The gaping contradictions between Labour’s promises and its refusal to get Britain out of the EU

The gaping contradictions between Labour’s promises and its refusal to get Britain out of the EU

Over the last week or so we have seen the Labour Party dream up an extra £58 billion to fund repayments to the so-called ‘WASPI Women’ who lost out on thousands of pounds each when the State Pension age was increased with little notice back in 2010. This policy was intended to keep the UK in line with EU regulations. The struggles of these women, and the stresses on their finances by not being given much notice to plan for this policy change, are not up for debate. By giving this commitment, with a lack of costing provided, Labour has made the same mistake they have made with vast swathes of their manifesto: it would be against EU law to repay these women, therefore should Labour want to move forward with this policy, first, they must actually Leave the EU – which is not Labour’s priority!

Since 1978 the then European Economic Community (EEC) set in place regulation to force members to bring in pension age equality, so men and women benefit equally. The EU continued this policy and as such Member States could choose the rate at which they changed the pension age, within reason – making the state pension age the same for men and women – at some point. Now, with the UK at age equality, there have been many suggestions from legal minds that Labour’s policy of refunding the women affected would go against EU legislation, as it would treat men and women differently (See Council Directive 79/7/EEC).

This is not the first time Labour’s policy of Remain/‘Brexit in Name Only’ is completely at odds with their other goals as set out in their manifesto. The most prominent of these are the plans for Labour to go forward with a strategy of mass nationalisation across the board. There have been accusations many of these plans breach State Aid laws put in place by the EU to manage fair competition – a fair accusation in the eyes of many. For example, it is hardly fair to suggest broadband providers – such as Talk Talk and Virgin – can compete effectively with the Government providing ‘free’ broadband for everyone.

While many Remainers will point towards the existence of state-owned companies in France and other countries across the EU, there are still questions to be answered because of the scale and speed at which Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, his Shadow Chancellor, are proposing changes will be made. If they want these policies to go ahead in the way they have advertised to the public, EU membership must be brought to an end, along with membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union, neither of which are fulfilled by Labour’s current Brexit policy.

An often ignored area of European regulation which restricts the ability of Labour to put into action the policies they have proposed is the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) – something no Labour politician has ever suggested they wish to leave. Mr Corbyn’s plan to seize parts of private companies, with minimal compensation given to shareholders, goes against the right to ‘Protection of Property’ as set out in law in the ECHR.

In the past, the level of compensation given to individuals whose property was subject to Compulsory Purchase Orders – such as property seized along the HS2 route – was subject to ECHR jurisdiction, forcing the government to properly recompense homeowners for the land they were taking. This same regulation applies to the seizure of privately-owned company shares.

Labour seems to have ignored this potential clash when costing their plans, stating a Labour government would set the cost of shares they seize in exchange for Government Bonds, regardless of the potential difference in market value. An attempt to short-change investors would fundamentally breach the ECHR right to ‘Protection of Property’, as Labour would simply be stealing people’s belongings. Should Labour pay the full price for property and assets seized, then watch the costs skyrocket, and taxpayers hard-earned money would be handed straight to investors – hardly ‘For the Many’.

So in order for Labour to go forward with their plans, they must first jump at least two hurdles which remain impassable while the UK remains within the EU and part of European bodies such as the ECHR – both of which Labour refuse to countenance leaving in any form. Yet this will not stop them from making false promises of mass investment and compensation to hard done by individuals – such as the WASPI women – in a vain attempt to try and bribe their way into power with the electorate.

The only way we can truly change or even have the option to change the way this country works, is for us to Get Britain Out of the EU as soon as possible, removing the regulations which govern and restrict our sovereign government from making the policy decisions they want. Regardless of any judgement on the policies suggested by the Labour Party, the fact is if they are elected by the Great British Public in this General Election, they will not be able to fulfill their promises because of our EU membership, to which they are so tied.