2003: a crucial year - our future will be:
‘IN THE BALANCE’
MORE THAN TRADING RELATIONS
In 1975, the public was told that it was voting over a trading relationship, with the implication that to say ‘No’ was to cut off trading links. It was denied a proper discussion on the small print of the membership Treaty, and on the trading alternatives.
Government statements delivered to every house in the land were very misleading, claiming no "essential" decision making powers had been lost. Spin won over substance. But with hindsight the warnings of the ‘No’ campaigners were proved right.(See Government paper, "Britain's New Deal in Europe", issued for the 1975 referendum on staying in the EEC, also the condensed Government White Paper, "Britain & Europe", July 1971)
A key feature of democracy is that the people elect representatives to govern them and have the ability to vote out their rulers if they are not satisfactory.
Did you know that key decisions in many areas are no longer made by our elected representatives?· Economic & Monetary Policy · State Aid · Agriculture · Commercial Policy · Trade Agreements · Employment · Transport · Fisheries · Customs · Asylum & Border Control · Social Security (Pensions?) · Public Health · Environment · Education · Research & Development · Foreign Policy · Citizenship · Fundamental Rights (& their removal) · Legal system/Police investigations
An institution, incredibly called the European Court of Justice, has already judged that powers transferred to EU level cannot return to national governments. Far from impartial, it has a political remit, to encourage ever more centralisation of power.(See ECJ Cases 6/64, 161/78 and 44/84).
The European Commission wanted to introduce an employment directive in 1996, beyond its formal remit. It simply called it a "health" measure to bypass our veto. The European Court of Justice proved a willing accomplice by allowing it, saddling UK businesses with paperwork costing billions of pounds a year to administer.(Working Time Directive).
DOUBLE STANDARDS IN ‘JUSTICE’
Under the terms of EU membership, we must accept this for all time. (The much hyped renegotiation in 1975 was only able to challenge relatively minor details of terms, such as on our New Zealand trade, nothing on powers). (See 'While Britain Slept', Douglas Evans, 1975).
The European Court of Justice also allowed France to carry on imposing its illegal ban on British beef for years, although it had been medically ruled safe. France was let off fines and compensation payments to our farmers; in contrast, in 1994, well before the BSE outbreak, the European Court of Justice fined the UK millions of pounds for tiny irregularities with stored meat.(Meat fine, Daily Mail, 28.11.94).
"European programmes have put pressure on the UK to remedy its lack of regional structures" - Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1996
The EU is developing its own policies for regional government and even towns and cities. Politicians try to justify it for getting ‘EU funds’, but these ‘funds’ must be spent on EU programmes – which take priority over local needs – and must be matched by national funding.(European Commission, Vade Mecum on Grant Management, Nov. 1998).
Other strings are attached – recipients must display prominent signs claiming ‘EU funding’. What’s more, funding will recede after the EU diverts it to South & East European countries due to join. (Anyway, grants are small compared with what the UK pays into the EU).
Far from having the confidence of the peoples of Europe, the EU is only supported by 1 in 4 of its own ‘citizens’. In the UK, nearly 75% of young people polled rejected the EU.(Runnymede Trust Survey, reported Sunday Telegraph 1.3.98).
Since then, the turnout in European Parliament elections dipped to 23% in the UK and 20 Commissioners had to resign after a corruption scandal. The EU's auditors have rejected accounts for an eighth successive year; British company directors would be disqualified and probably jailed for such negligence at home.(Auditors, Telegraph, 6.11.02)
POLITICIANS BEFORE PEOPLE
French politician Claude Cheysson remarked that the EU could only have been created in the absence of democracy. When the Danish people voted against the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, this was not respected, and they were made to vote again to give the correct answer the next year.(Remark in speech from Sir James Goldsmith, speaking to the Federation of Small Businesses in Newcastle, 27.6.96)
The same happened when the Irish people rejected the Treaty of Nice in a referendum in 2001. European Commissioner Verheugen moaned that one country’s referendum couldn’t block the biggest and most important project for European integration.(Sunday Telegraph, 9.6.01)
Faced by a lack of public confidence, the Commission will be spending over £170m on boosting its image.(Telegraph, 1.7.02, 4 year budget of £173m)
At the same time it is promoting regional government in the UK to give the appearance of democracy, seeking it for heavier enforcement of regulations. (In the North East, a committee representing the regional assembly, development agency quango and government office is already referring to "the government of Europe". Its purpose is "to realise the potential for the Region of being part of the EU").(Commission plans: White Paper on European Governance, COM(2001)428, 25.7.01; One North East, European Management Board, website)
The Unwanted Euro - Tip of the Iceberg
"A Country Called Europe"
There Is An Alternative
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