What is distinctive about Global Vision?
1. How does Global Vision differ from those organisations arguing for reform of the EU (like Open Europe)?
We support the aim of persuading the EU to reform, but we see little evidence that this approach will succeed on the scale and timescale needed to meet the UK's needs.
Rather than relying on EU reform, Global Vision believes that the UK must therefore take the initiative to negotiate a new arrangement for the UK outside the existing EU structure that ensures we have the freedom and flexibility to succeed as a global trading nation.
Global Vision also argues that, by taking this initiative, the UK may provide a catalyst to accelerate the wider restructuring of Europe to enable a more flexible framework of relationships instead of the current EU monolithic approach.
2. How does Global Vision differ from those organisations (like UKIP) arguing for unilateral withdrawal from the EU?
We agree that the kind of relationship we want in Europe means we would no longer be members of the EU as currently structured.
In addition, Global Vision argues that we should seek to negotiate the Treaty changes we want as part of an agreed settlement with the EU. That allows us to take advantage of the bargaining position we have as current members of the EU, where the core group also need our consent to the Treaty changes they need to continue their process of economic and political integration. It also allows us to reach an amicable agreement to continue cooperation in those areas where we believe it is in our national interest to do so, and increases the chances of negotiating a new framework for relationships in Europe that might embrace other countries as well as the UK
Nevertheless we accept that unilateral withdrawal may be necessary if we cannot negotiate the outcome we want.
3. How does your approach differ from the Conservative Party's proposals?
It is up to them to say what their policy is, but we understand it includes repatriation of the ‘social chapter' in order to reduce costs and regulations imposed on British business.
In practice Global Britain believes such a fundamental change would be likely to require negotiation of the kind of wide scale Treaty Changes we are envisaging. However at the moment the Conservative Party are not prepared to advocate and campaign for this.
4. Gordon Brown is arguing about the need for global competitiveness. Why is the government's approach not enough ?
The government has consistently argued that we can succeed in reforming Europe by influencing the debate from a position ‘at the heart of the EU'. In practice that has meant they have adopted a lot of damaging regulations and costs without much to show for it. The EU has continued down the path of further costly economic and political integration.
Global Vision believes we will not achieve the kind of flexibility we need for a competitive UK economy unless we declare our intention to opt out of the current EU structure and negotiate our own relationship.
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