Why we must Vote To Leave The EU: A Briefing Note By Peter Morgan MBE
David Green, 6 June 2016
- The Big issues
- What happens after we leave?
- The European Empire
- Why must we leave?
- However did we get to this state?
The Big Issues
Self Government is the central issue. The British Empire based its existence on the argument that ‘good’ government was better for the governed than self-government. The ‘Remain’ case is based on the same premise – that government by the EU Empire is better than British self-government. (See part 3 – The European Empire). In this case ‘good’ government equates to access to the Single Market and the protection of workers’ rights. It also includes freedom to move around the Empire to experience other cultures, other universities, other holidays and other work places. Finally, there is a perception that the Empire is a guarantor of Member State security.
In order to maintain the illusion of ‘good’ EU government, the present British government and its acolytes have launched a dishonest campaign to create an aura of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about the self-government alternative. The extent of the mis-representation is staggering.
The basic point is that the EU Empire is not well governed. It is not at all democratic. Its system is the absolute opposite of democracy. As the British Empire disintegrated in the face of freedom movements seeking self-government, so will the EU Empire. Britain is the cradle of democracy. (See part 4 – Why must we leave). Westminster is the mother of parliaments. It is right that we strike the first blow. The Remain campaign talks about reform in Europe, but the only likely change will be to consolidate the Super State in response to the multiple crises faced by the Union – euro crisis, refugee crisis, unemployment crisis, economic stagnation and a political crisis from both the left and the right.
The apparent benefits of EU style ‘good’ government are more illusory than real. (See part 2 – What happens after we leave?). Trade will continue, holidays will continue, security will be maintained, subsidies and subventions will continue. We are not ‘leaving’ Europe, we are leaving the European Union. We are not ‘cutting ourselves off’ from Europe. With some adaptation, things will carry on as before.
The young in particular need reassurance that they will not be cut off. You have to be 60 years old to remember that before joining the EU we travelled all over western Europe when we were young, Inter-railing, hitch-hiking, Youth-hostelling, etc. Mediterranean homes were not a problem. In 1964, my wife Sue and I received an apartment on the Costa del Sol as a wedding present. This freedom will continue, with the bonus that today access to Eastern Europe is also possible.
The real difference will be that we take back control of our country and our borders. Westminster will legislate for Britain; the Supreme Court will actually be supreme, we will still need migrants, but we will decide who they should be.
Britain has no more reason than America to give up its independence. Britain is a big and powerful country:
- Permanent member, UN Security Council
- One of 9 nuclear powers
- 5th ranked armed forces in the world (behind USA, Russia, China and India)
- 5th largest economy in the world
- 4th most traded currency in the world
- All the top universities in Europe
- Ranked number 3 in FT global 500 companies
- Ranked number 1 in FT Europe 500 companies
- 10th largest population amongst G20 countries
- Forecast to be largest population in Europe by 2050
- English is the world’s first language
People who have being listening to Cameron and other leaders continually talking down British prospects will be astonished by these statistics. It makes you wonder how we came to be in the EU in the first place. (See part 5– How did we get into this state?). It is time to leave.
Our forefathers went to war for parliamentary democracy.
We must mobilise to get it back.
What Happens After We Leave?
Machiavelli told his Prince that he needed to plan carefully when introducing any major change because those who think that they may be adversely affected will protest vigorously while those who may benefit will keep their heads down and wait to see what happens. Most of the concerns about Brexit are illusory, but the disgraceful government campaign to create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), has the single purpose of frightening the general public into rejecting change. But the long-term goal, a democratic Britain in control of its borders and its future, is a prize worth fighting for.
The main point is that treaties between sovereign states – the UK and the EU – will replace our present subordinate status vis a vis the EU. The most obvious example of what a Treaty can achieve is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO – that has underpinned our security since the end of the Second World War. Over that period NATO has done as much, if not more than the EU, to keep the peace in Europe
NATO will still underpin British security when we leave the EU. We will continue to be a Member of Interpol, because it is an international organization. We will continue to be a member of Five Eyes, the world’s most important intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The multilateral UKUSA Agreement binds these countries in a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence. GCHQ in Cheltenham is the most powerful intelligence organisation in Europe. The EU will need a treaty for intelligence cooperation with the UK involving GCHQ, MI5 and MI6. Further aspects of security cooperation would involve the British voice at the Security Council, the armed forces and the British nuclear deterrent. A modified European Arrest Warrant should be agreed to apply to cases of terrorism and serious criminality. When applied, the existing blanket warrant removes habeas corpus and trial by jury, the corner stones of British Liberties.
Education and Science
UK universities lead Europe and there can be no doubt that the EU will seek cooperation in Education and Science. Shanghai University publishes the most authoritative ranking of world universities. Overall, the UK has 3 in the top 20, Switzerland 1, EU 0; in the next 20: EU has 2, UK 1. In the top 100, UK has 9 and the rest of the EU has 18.It is implausible to suppose that there will not be a free academic interchange between the UK and the EU.
UK ranks equally well in the science and technology disciplines. In Science top 20: UK 2, Eu 1, Switzerland 1; in the next 20: UK 3, EU 2, Switzerland 1. In Engineering top 20: UK 2, Switzerland 1, EU 0; in the next 20: UK 0, EU 2, Switzerland 1. In Life Sciences top 20: UK 3, EU 0; in the next 20, UK 1, EU 3, Switzerland 1. In the medical top 20: UK 3, EU 1; in the next 20: UK 2, EU 4, Switzerland 1. These skills underpin the future wealth of an independent Britain. They should also be the basis for academic interchange with the EU and the rest of the world.
Note that these comparisons are between one country, Britain, and all the other 27 EU countries.
The share of world output accounted for by the 28 current members of the EU has fallen from 30% to 17% between 1980 and 2015. It is not that EU output has fallen much; it has just not kept up with the growth in world trade. Four fifths of world trade now takes place outside Europe. The UK share of world trade has also fallen. The shortfall is in Asia and it is there, rather than in the EU that the UK needs to concentrate.
Although we must leave the Single Market after Brexit, trade with the EU will continue to flow – that’s what trade does. Which politician will tell French farmers or Bavarian Motor Workers that they have decided to put barriers in the way of trade with Britain? Scotch whisky manufacturers are big Remainers because the EU is a big market. But do they think that Italy, Spain and Portugal will no longer sell us wine; or that France will no longer sell us wine, champagne and cognac? The UK is the next biggest market for champagne after France itself. The trade scare stories are the most despicable of the government’s FUD tactics. They should be working to facilitate trade, not alarming our trading partners. There will be no change until the 2-year transition is over, by when it will have been in the mutual interest of both parties to organize bi-lateral market access. Fears about spiteful retaliation should be discounted because the trade will have to flow. As Mrs. Thatcher famously said, “You can’t buck the market”.
Not being involved in EU market regulation will not be an issue. After all, America, Japan and China adapt to EU requirements; so will the UK.
We are also told that trade agreements will be problematical but the facts suggest otherwise. Obama may say that Britain would go to the back of the queue, but his opponents disagree and the facts are that Britain and the USA are the largest direct investors in each other’s countries while an EU deal with the USA seems impossible for as long as France has a say. With compatible Anglo-Saxon views on markets and a shared basis of language, common law and commercial law, a trade deal should be a shoe-in.
In this context the CBI (which is on the Brussels payroll) is its usual short term, unprincipled (in respect of British democracy), pragmatic self and, as usual, because it is blinkered, it is wrong, as it was wrong about both ERM and EMU. I know – I was there. The largest CBI members are multinational companies with polyglot boards of directors with no stake in British democracy and British liberties.
Economics and the City
It was not the City, nor the Treasury, nor the Bank of England that kept the UK out of the euro. It was, in effect Jimmy Goldsmith, whose promise of a referendum on the euro during the 1997 general election campaign caused Blair to make a similar promise. This meant that Britain did not join the euro because the vote could not be won. Let us hope that the government, with the Bank, the Treasury, the City and the CBI pimping out the FUD, will be thwarted once again by the commonsense of the people.
The euro crisis is unresolved. In the language of the economists, the troika (Commission, IMF, ECB – to which you can add Germany) is kicking the can down the road. When they finally grasp the nettle, they only have two options: either to eject the over- indebted Member States from the Union or mutualize the debt and create an integrated European state. The former option could create chaos. The latter option will create an EU of which the UK cannot form a part. Either way, we are better off out of both the EU and the euro, with sterling managed by the Bank of England.
Part of the FUD generated by the UK troika – Bank, Treasury, City – is that the fifth largest economy in the world is somehow going to become a basket case overnight while the crisis ridden EU is a paragon of stability and some sort of haven. The troika should be realistic about the opportunities presented by Brexit. Much of the financial services industry will be unaffected, except that the regulators can take the opportunity to adapt the Brussels regulations to the realities of London markets, instead of being forced to live with French-inspired regulations that seemed designed to undermine the City. Modification of the AIFM directive should bring back the Hedge funds. The spectre of FTT (Financial Transaction Tax) will be removed and HSBC can shelve its plans to move to Hong Kong. Investment banks are clearly concerned which is why Goldman Sachs has given a substantial six-figure sum to the Remain campaign. As one of the architects of the banking crisis, Goldman Sachs’ views should probably be ignored. After all, if these bankers are clever enough to earn their astronomical paychecks, they should be clever enough to establish a role for London in global financial markets.
A crass example of the FUD coming out of the Treasury is the warning that London house prices could fall by 10%. Isn’t that good news? Have not lower London house prices been the goal of policy makers for decades?
The social dimension of the EU is not concerned with social security and minimum wages, or at least not yet – the EU yearns to get involved in such matters. At present the EU focus is on workers’ rights – Social Charter, Social Chapter in the Treaties, Working Time Directive, etc. After the Thatcher government brought order into trade union affairs, the unions sought refuge in the Workers Rights activities if the EU. As the Thatcher administration proved, labour relations in Britain are best dealt with in Westminster. The leader of the Labour party has said that Britain should remain in the EU because Westminster cannot be trusted with labour legislation. In other words, the British people are not to be trusted. This is to be expected from Labour, but how is it that Cameron agreed publicly with the TUC assertion that trades unions need the protection of the EU. What a betrayal of British democracy!
Migration is a pivotal issue in this referendum. People are concerned about the social impact of uncontrolled migration from the EU even though they know that they benefit from the skills the migrants bring and the positive economic impact they make. It would be wrong to halt migration from Europe but we must have control over it. We also need to ensure that we create room for skilled migrants from outside Europe, especially from India and China that are now being turned away because the EU influx is out of control.
We should assume that for British workers seeking jobs in the EU, the EU would replicate controls put on migrants from the EU to Britain. Since our controls will make sense, we should expect that EU controls would be equally rational.
Immigrants are vital for the economy but we must have control of the flow. A Slovakian hospital nurse said to me recently that if we did not get control of migration, we would lose our Britishness!
Holidays in the EU
What happens to holidays? The answer is the same as that for trade. Vacation traffic will not stop. We will not be cut off. Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Ireland all need our holiday-maker pounds because the euro has crippled their economies. There is no question of visas being needed. Since we are not in Schengen, we already show our passports. What will be needed are a reciprocal air transport protocol and a revised E111 medical scheme. Both should be straightforward because they are mutually beneficial. The 27 are in our debt on medical expenses.
EU Subsidies and Subventions.
Many organizations and many individuals receive more or less financial support from the EU. NGOs are notorious clients of the EU. These are the Machiavellian beneficiaries of the EU, throwing their support behind the Remain campaign. They worry about the money being cut off. They forget that it is our money and that for every £100 we send to the EU, we only get £50 back. When we leave the EU, the other £50 will be available for new subsidies while existing subsidies and contributions can be maintained until needs have changed. If the government were honest, it would give the necessary undertakings instead of spreading FUD over the issue. Senior politicians in the Leave team should be making pledges to farmers, fishermen, remote islanders, scientists, NGOs and others that they will be looked after. This is a gap in understanding the LEAVE programme must close.
The Celtic Fringe
The Celts seem to prefer EU government to Westminster government. All 3 nations are hooked on EU regional aid, discounting the scale of support they receive from Westminster under the Barnett formula. Residents of the Highlands and Islands, sheep and dairy farmers all need reassurance that Westminster after Brexit will compensate them as necessary to mitigate their geographical disadvantages.
As the Irish home-rule campaigners proved, while the Westminster Parliament works well for the government of Britain, it does not necessarily serve the specific interests of the Celtic nations. A more federal structure, including home rule for England, is clearly needed. It is ironic that while pressing for independence in the United Kingdom, the Celts seem less keen on independence from Brussels, even though their clout in the United Kingdom is some orders of magnitude greater than it could ever be in Brussels. This is a measure of the distrust of Westminster. A federal solution must be on the agenda after Brexit.
The European Empire
Britain must leave the EU in order to become self-governing again. This section of the paper explains the characteristics of the EU that define it as an Empire:
The European Union is a Super State made up, for the moment, of 28 subordinate Member States. It is most probable that 10 more states will be added in the coming years. Britain has nothing in common with any of them.
There are five recognized candidates for membership: Turkey (applied in 1987), Macedonia (applied in 2004), Montenegro (applied in 2008), Albania (applied in 2009) and Serbia (applied in 2009). All candidate countries except Albania and Macedonia have started accession negotiations. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, whose independence is not recognised by five EU Member States, are recognised as potential candidates for membership by the EU. Bosnia-Herzegovina has formally submitted an application for membership, while Kosovo has a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, which generally precedes the lodging of membership application.
According to its Eastern Partnership strategy, the EU is unlikely to invite any more of its post-Soviet neighbours to join the bloc before 2020. However, in 2014 the EU signed Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and the European Parliament passed a resolution recognizing the “European perspective” of all three post-Soviet countries.
This means that another 10 countries are in line to become Member States of the European Union, bringing alien perspectives and further diminishing the British presence in the Union. If an independent Scotland were to join the EU in this time frame, it would have strange bedfellows!
The Four Freedoms of the EU are the free movement of goods, workers, capital and services. They also include the right to establish a business (if you can cope with the local bureaucracy). These freedoms are fundamental to the creation of the Union. They are sacred. If, like the British, you had not planned to be part of the Super State, and find yourself unable to control migrant flows, whatever their economic contribution, these freedoms seem less sacred. It should not be forgotten that freedom for the young to explore Europe existed long before we joined the EU.
Following the Schengen Treaty there are no border controls, because Member States now form a Super State that has no internal borders. Britain and Ireland did not sign the treaty. Events in Syria and elsewhere have shown that the Schengen concept was fundamentally flawed. Signatories are opting out. A Union without internal borders will not be possible until the Union is more tightly integrated with a strong border force. Britain has no interest in giving up control of its borders to such a force. After Brexit, the borders between Britain and Ireland will remain open.
The Euro is the Union currency. There were 3 main reasons for the introduction of the Euro, known formally as EMU – Economic and Monetary Union – which formed part of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992:
1) To fulfill a French goal to wrest control of European monetary policy from the Bundesbank whose Deutschmark dominated Europe. As it turns out, this was a big mistake. France is floundering in the wake of Germany while the Euro has enabled Germany to grow even richer so that it now calls the shots in the Eurozone.
2) For the architects of the EU Super State, the common currency had been the Holy Grail. It would be the route to full integration. After all, you cannot have a currency without a country to back it. It would also stimulate wealth creation, making Europe rich and uniting its people. The outcome has been misery, unemployment, economic decline, political extremism and a north south divide whereby Germany prospers and southern Europe is in despair. This is not necessarily bad news for the integrationists because if the Union is not to fall apart completely, it will have to be more tightly integrated so that the impossible debt levels of so many impoverished Member States can be assumed by the Union as a whole. This cannot happen without more political integration. When that happens, non-Euro members like Britain and Denmark will be marginalized, with Euroland deciding for Euroland, with little consideration for anyone outside. There are only two possible scenarios for the Eurozone: disintegration or integration. Britain should use the June 23 referendum distance itself from both scenarios that would be equally bad for Britain.
3) To appease the EU’s visceral dislike of the Anglo-Saxon world by challenging the supremacy of the US dollar. In this they have had some success, with the Euro achieving the status of a reserve currency. All around the world, nations hold a proportion of their reserves in Euros. Therefore, if the Eurozone implodes, there will be a crisis. This is why the world’s major finanical institutions –World Bank, IMF, US Federal Reserve, etc. – are so anxious and why the Greek crisis has been allowed to fester for six years because Brussels thinks that if a country leaves the Eurozone it will undermine confidence in the euro, even though the Eurozone would actually be more stable without Greece. Even though Britain is not a member of the Eurozone, a Brexit could be seen as a vote of no confidence in the EU and, by extension, the Eurozone. This is why all the firepower of these institutions deployed by Obama and others, is aimed at putting the fear of God into the British people. It is a naked attempt to subvert the democratic choice of the British people to prop up the misconceived and misbegotten euro. British democrats should stand firm against this intimidation. Our long-term future is at stake and should not be traded off against a financial crisis not of our making.
So much for the EU fundamentals –Free movement, Schengen, Eurozone. They are not well conceived but they are fundamental building blocks for the imperial Super State.
The EU now makes all the important laws for the UK. There is a dispute about how much UK legislation comes out of Brussels. It is certainly more than half but rather than argue numbers, it is more important to consider the extent of powers enjoyed by the EU.
EU powers are called ‘competencies ‘. They have been increased progressively since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. There has been a whole series of treaties in which power was transferred to Brussels but the key milestones have been the 1976 Single Europe Act that turned the Common Market into the Single Market, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that turned the European Community into the European Union and the 2006 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), otherwise known as the Lisbon Treaty. The T-EU was, in fact, a repackaging of the EU Constitution, which France and the Netherlands had blocked by referendum. As the competencies of Brussels have been increased, so has each Member State been stripped of its right to veto legislation that may be detrimental to its interests. Each state is subject to the tyranny of the majority. The UK has lost more votes in Brussels than any other Member States.
There are four levels of EU Competency:
- Exclusive Competence, which means that only the EU can act.
- Shared Competence, which means that Member States can act, until the EU acts, in which case the EU overrides Member States. In effect, these are also EU powers.
- Competence to support, coordinate or supplement actions of Member States, in other words, supervision of national acts.
- Competence to provide arrangements within which Member States must coordinate policy, in other words, requiring Member States to act.
Customs union (elimination of tariff barriers in the internal market), competition policy, monetary policy (for the Eurozone), common agricultural policy (CAP), common fisheries policy (CFP) and common commercial policy such as negotiating WTO agreements
Internal market, which means everything to do with all industry sectors from steel to banking to information technology, social policy, which covers all the work place legislation, economic, social and territorial cohesion, which means regional aid, environment, which means everything from greenhouse gases to dustbins, consumer protection, transport –road, rail, air and sea, energy – fossil fuels, renewables, etc., Trans-European networks (TEN), whether, road, telephones electricity grids or any other inter-European networks, Justice and Home Affairs – an area of freedom, security and Justice, Public Health, Research, technological development and aero-pace, humanitarian aid and development coordination.
Human Health, industry, culture, tourism, education, vocational training, youth, civil protection, and sport
Economic policy, Employment, Social policies – following the euro crisis Member State budgets are reviewed and approved by Brussels and countries in the Eurozone are sanctioned when they are out of line. Employment and social policies are included in these reviews.
Member States are not Self-Governing
These powers clearly put Brussels at the centre of an Empire, even if we ignore associated developments like the European army. With this range of powers in Brussels, it is not possible to describe Member States as self-governing. Most important legislation originates in Brussels, while national parliaments are progressively losing more authority and power. To restore self-government to Britain, we mist leave the EU.
Why We Must Leave
To restore self-government, the UK must leave the European Union. For the Remain campaigners who urge us to stay with the ‘good’ government of the EU, it is time for them to accept just how bad the governance of the EU really is.
The Westminster system of law making is simple, reliable and has worked for 750 years. It is the model for most Commonwealth parliaments and for the US Congress. In essence, constituencies select candidates with different views, then elect the candidate with views most acceptable to the constituents, then the elected member represents his constituents in parliament, accounts for his or her actions in meetings with constituents and, if the constituents are satisfied, he or she will be put forward again as a candidate in the next election. The House of Commons drives the legislation, the House of Lords is a revising Chamber. Legislation is initiated by Ministers, who are also MPs, and also accountable to their constituents. This process links legislation to the concerns of the electorate and the will of the people. At each election, the people, the electorate, pass judgement on the government’s record by the election of MPs. This is democratic government tried and tested in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.
Now consider what passes for democracy in the European Union. We have seen the range of EU competencies. Laws in these competencies affect the wealth and welfare of every British citizen, but British citizens have virtually no control over the outcomes.
Elected representatives of the people do not initiate legislation. The right of initiative rests with the European Commission. This is a highly paid civil service with a Commissioner in charge of each department. There are 28 Commissioners, one appointed by each Member State. They are un-elected and their quality and competence is variable. Much of the Commission’s programme is ideological in origin and somewhat detached from the concerns of the European citizens. This is another reason why Brussels is distrusted. .
Legislative Acts initiated by the Commission are generally subject to a process of co-decision by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Both institutions need to approve legislation. It would be wrong to confuse these two bodies with the two Chambers at Westminster, because neither can respond to the will of the British people.
Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers is a blanket term for councils of national government ministers responsible for the main domains of Brussels power such as the environment, together with a top council of prime ministers. The 28 countries have weighted votes according to population. When the Commission initiates an act like many of the recent financial services acts, which Britain opposes, Britain cannot stop approval if it is in a losing minority, because it has no veto.
A recent study has shown that the UK government was on the losing side a far higher proportion of times than any other EU government in the 2009-15 period: jumping from being on the minority (losing) side only 2.6% of the time in 2004-09 to being on the minority (losing) side 12.3% of the time in the 2009-15 period. Also, the next most frequent “losing” governments, Germany and Austria, were only on the minority side 5.4% of the time in this period.
Britain should not be in a position of having laws forced upon it by countries with many of which it has little in common. Britain should restore its democrat legislature and have accountable lawmakers to make its own laws. There is no practicable way to hold to account British ministers who acquiesce in legislation in Brussels that harms British interests.
The European Parliament compounds the EU democratic deficit. It it is part of the problem, not part of the solution Take, for example, the South East England constituency comprising the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. The population of the constituency is 8.5 million. There are 10 MEPs which males 1 member per 850,000 of the population (pop). Membership of the EP favours the smallest countries that generally have a per pop ratio around 4-500,000, while the smaller are at about 250,000 and the three smallest constituencies at about 70,000. Clearly, the distribution of seats is unfair, but the whole system is nonsense.
4 UKIP, 3 Conservative, 1 Labour, 1 Liberal and 1 Green MEP represent the constituency. How can they relate to 8.5 million people and get around 9 counties? The answer is that they don’t and so the voters do not know who they are. Party conclaves establish candidate lists. Manifestos are immaterial. Most people do not vote. Many that do vote support UKIP to protest about the whole rotten system. In Brussels, the MEPs join one of the 7 parliamentary parties. Few British people are aware of these parties and what they stand for. The parties are partly driven by ideology and partly by lobbying from non governmental organisations (NGOs) and by large corporations that have spent a great deal of money to secure legislation adapted to their interests. The people who have no influence are the constituents. At the end of the day, MEPs do not account to the electorate for their actions. They are unaccountable and even if our 10 MEPs wanted to do something for their constituents, even if they had the support of all 73 British MEPs, their voices would still be lost in a parliament of 751 members.
The only possible reason why the British people accept EU government, with so much power exercised in the democratic black hole of Brussels is that they do not understand what is going on. It is laughable that the USA and Canada urge us to stick with it. They both have the democracy that we used to have, and there is no way that they would give it up. We should get our democracy back.
How Did We Get Into This State?
The British are so used to being governed reasonably well that many now take it for granted and are indifferent to the form that that government takes. In particular, the undemocratic natures of European Union government, and the erosion of British democracy are not generally understood. This is because we have been spared the horror of living with Schengen and the Euro, and because it is in the self-interest of MPs to conceal the true scale of Brussels control of Westminster legislation.
The progressive submission of Westminster to Brussels has been hidden from the people. How did it happen?
Misunderstanding the British Economic Malaise
British government paranoia in the 1960s and early 1970s was based on the idea that the Common Market was the reason why the economies of the countries in the European Community were performing well while Britain was performing badly.
Disastrous Heath Negotiations
Edward Heath would do anything to join the Market. He broke up the sterling area, renounced the Dominions, gave up the fisheries and accepted an unfair financial settlement. Of course, his analysis was quite wrong. Continental economies were being hugely stimulated by the vast scale of post war reconstruction coupled with delayed entry of many regions into the 20th century with installation of electricity and inside toilets for the first time. This phase would pass, as would the economic outperformance.
Wilson and Referendum
The Wilson government which followed Heath finally gave the British people a say on Europe, but the conduct of the referendum was dishonest and in many ways a precursor for the present campaign. Wilson claimed to have renegotiated the terms, but nothing substantial had been achieved. The referendum question was to stay in or leave the Common Market. The comparison with the present referendum is obvious – Remain concentrates on the market and avoids any recognition of the Brussels Super State. The government document sent to every household can now be seen to have been a pack of lies. At that referendum, most British people were led to believe that they were joining a free trade area while in reality we were joining the EC, the European Community, with a Court of Justice which could and would begin to undermine the will of the Westminster Parliament.
Thatcher Government Reforms
The basic British economic problem was the persistence of a neo-socialist post war settlement that culminated in an IMF rescue – the sort of thing that happens these days to Greece and Argentina. The situation was resolved and Britain’s standing was restored after the Thatcher government had re-established the market economy. That government also negotiated a rebate to mitigate the unfair terms of our annual payments to the EU.
Maastricht and Major
In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty turned the European Community into the European Union. This gave Brussels a swathe of new powers that Westminster would lose and increased the power of the European Court. The conduct of the Major government was reprehensible on two counts. First, the legislation allowing the Prime Minister to sign the Treaty actually failed to get a majority in parliament. On a vote of confidence, the government won by a majority of 3 votes. To use a vote of confidence for such a profound constitutional decision was clearly an abuse of power, bit the failure to call a referendum was a more profound abuse of parliament’s omnipotence. In the Wilson referendum the British people had voted to join a Common Market and had found themselves in the European Community. Now the decision was much bigger and parliament was deeply divided, yet the people were not consulted.
Blair and the Euro
The power of the referendum, or the threat of it, was the reason why the Blair government did not take Britain into the Euro. The significance of that episode is that the establishment, many politicians, the CBI and the foreign bankers all wanted Britain in the Euro and said that our world would fall apart if Britain did not join. They were wrong; it is the Euro that has fallen apart, not Britain. The same cast of short term oriented self interested players are behaving in the same way in this campaign. They are not to be relied on.
Brown and the Constitution
In this saga of government duplicity and democratic denial, the last two acts are the most shameful. The penultimate act that brought shame on all of the so-called democracies of the European Union was the proposal to extend the powers of the EU even further by a constitutional treaty. This was such a big step that many governments, including the UK, decided to call referendums. After France and the Netherlands said ‘No’, and before the UK could vote, Brussels took the treaty off the table. In its determination to subvert national democratic will, Brussels had previously caused a number of Member States to rerun referendums until they got the results they wanted. Brussels now needed to do the same thing, but on a grander scale. Step one was to redraft the constitution as a treaty – The Lisbon Treaty – keeping all the key provisions of the constitution, but dressing them up differently. The second step was to arm-twist Member States to accept that this treaty had nothing in it that warranted a referendum. This was not true and the acquiescence of Member States in this fraud is in a large way responsible for the universal distrust of Brussels and national parliaments that is manifest across the EU today. It is because Gordon Brown reneged on his commitment to a referendum in Britain that pressure from UKIP and others forced Cameron to accept that a referendum was unavoidable. Now that we have it, let’s use it to restore self-government.
The Cameron Referendum- An orgy of FUD
The final act in the saga is the behaviour of the government and its misconduct of the referendum. Once again, there has been a meaningless renegotiation. The government talks about a reformed Europe, but there is no reform. A one-sided document has gone to every household at taxpayers’ expense, and barely a day goes by without a distorted representation of post Brexit Britain from either the Cabinet Office or the Treasury. In a campaign to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) they are determined to prevent the restoration of democratic government in Britain.
June 23rd – A Defining Moment.
When history comes to be written, Cameron’s referendum campaign, belittling Britain, creating post Brexit panic, denying his people their democratic heritage, is likely to be judged as infamous, inglorious and ignominious.
Our forefathers went to war for parliamentary democracy.
We must mobilise to get it back.
By Peter Morgan MBE
Peter Morgan has worked and played in Europe since 1955.
- In 1955-56 he was a Royal Signals officer stationed in Austria and Bavaria in a unit responsible for intercepting signals traffic from the Russian army in Hungary.
- In 1966-69 and again in 1975-80 he was on the staff of IBM Europe, living and working in Paris with Europe-wide responsibilities.
- From 1989 to 1994 he was Director General of the Institute of Directors. The IOD was active in the public policy arena and in this period he worked on the 1992 Single Market programme and was deeply involved with the ERM, EMU (the euro), the Social Charter and the Social Chapter. On the morning after the Maastricht Treaty, Peter featured in the item on the Treaty in the BBC Today programme.
- In 17 of the last 21 years, Peter was a UK delegate to the European Economic and Social Committee based in Brussels, which he visited 30-40 times a year. The Committee is tri-partite. Peter was an ‘employer’ representative. The role of the Committee is to give its opinion on upcoming legislation to the Parliament, the Council and the Commission. This meant a considerable involvement in EU legislation and the legislative process.
- He was a director and chairman of a mutual life insurance company (1980-89) and a Member of the Council of Lloyd’s (2000-09).
- In 2005 Peter published a book – Alarming Drum, Britain’s European Dilemma – in the context of the EU Constitution that was then being drafted
 The % of BMW sales by country is as follows: China 21%, USA 18%, Germany 13%, UK 10%. UK sales are bigger than the next 3 markets – France, Italy and Japan combined, soothe UK clearly has plenty of leverage to make trade deals
 The ranking of British holidaymakers in the main EU destination countries is Spain 1, France 2, Italy 4, Greece 2, Portugal 2, Ireland 1, Germany 3, Austria 5
 Lord Hill was appointed as an EU Commissioner in 2014. Hill worked in the Conservative Research Department (1985–86), before becoming a Special Adviser to Kenneth Clarke at the Department of Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Health until 1989. After working for Lowe Bell Communications (1989–91), he joined the Number 10 Policy Unit (1991–92) and served as Political Secretary to PM John Major and Head of the Prime Minister’s Political Office (1992–94) during the Maastricht Treaty negotiations.
In May 2010, he was created a Life Peer, taking office as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools in the Department for Education. Lord Hill succeeded Lord Strathclyde as Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords in January 2013.
The choice of Lord Hill as a EU Commissioner was controversial. It had been expected that a better-known politician would have been nominated to follow Ashton.
 Baroness Ashton replaced Peter Mandelson as the European Commissioner for Trade in 2008. Between 1977 and 1983, Ashton worked for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) as an administrator and in 1982 was elected as its national treasurer and subsequently as one of its vice-chairs. From 1979 to 1981 she was business manager of the Coverdale Organisation, a management consultancy. From 1983-89 she was director of Business in the Community.
For most of the 1990s, she was a freelance policy adviser. She chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001 and she became a vice-president of the National Council for One-Parent Families
She was created a Labour Life Peer in 1999. In 2001 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Education and Skills. In June 2007, Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Ashton to HM Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. As Government Leader in the House of Lords, she was responsible for steering the Lisbon Treaty through the Upper House.