How did it get this far without a revolution
In order to make sense of a complicated topic such as Brexit one should start out from a topographical viewpoint in order to have some perspective. If you start with the big picture it helps to understand how seemingly unrelated things fit together.
A simple analogy might be: If you woke up suddenly, surrounded by trees, you might assume you were in the woods. After walking around a while you could judge it to be a forest. But if you then climbed up a tree you will see that you were not in a forest at all but in a vast jungle. On reaching the canopy you might even see the boundary in the distance and this information would give you a direction to head out of the jungle.
You probably already know a lot more about Brexit than you think. But maybe not so much about the EU institutions and how they work. Did you vote in the 2016 referendum, and was it to Remain because you support the EU or Leave because someone told you there are too many immigrants in the UK?
At what point did you cement your decision at the ballot or change it. Was it when Guy Verhofstadt said in February 2016 that “British citizens know very well that Britain without the EU is in fact a dwarf on the world level.” Or when he said: “It is a fact that they have professionally squandered Winston Churchill’s legacy.”?
Or was it when Donald Tusk said in February 2019 “I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit …Slowly but surely English is losing importance in Europe.“?
There are several articles on this site that discuss at length the components of the UK economy; fisheries and aerospace industries and so on, where we look at statistics and attitudes to immigration and multi-culturalism.
Here I want to look at the crumbling institution of the EU and how the UK has always kept one foot out since joining, which ended in 2016 when people voted to take the other foot out also.
Brexit Betrayal – Treachery or Treason?
The European Union was originally the EEC, also known as the Common Market at that time. The two main summits were at Maastricht and Lisbon, and after each the name changed to reflect a new beginning.
1957 – 1993 (EEC) European Economic Community
1993 – 2007 (EC) European Community – Maastricht Treaty 1992
2007 – (EU) European Union – Lisbon Treaty 2007
Let’s start with the question – what is a nation state? Before we delve into how the EU operates, we’ll take a detailed look at the events in Europe that led to a powerful France and Germany and from which rivalry a pact emerged to bring their neighbours under control.
The nation state is a defined area under the governance of one system. Demarcation between these areas can be a physical border or a theoretical one, it doesn’t matter so long as there is agreement between neighbours. It doesn’t matter if one area has a monarchy and another is a republic or a federation, so long as there is an agreed boundary between them.
When a native people of similar culture or geography occupy an area that has recognised boundaries then they have a right to exist and protect their area, they have sovereignty over it. Each qualifying individual, the citizen, has a say in things, the citizen is the highest authority.
But citizens by themselves cannot exert control over anything because it’s all jointly owned by the collective. Therefore citizens must agree on how to delegate powers to handle the decision making process for the whole, such as a judiciary for legal matters.
If that decision making process is answerable to an individual instead of the people, such as a king, dictator, pope, whatever, then it is an autocracy. If the system is closed off from the world, doesn’t trade and is self sufficient economically then it is described as an autakry. And if it’s answerable to the state as a form of ideology, such as communism, then it is authoritarian.
But if the system of governance answers to the people then it is a democratic system. Studies have shown that democratic systems last longer than other systems and work well. Democracy is the best model we have for governing people and states. No two democratic states have ever waged war on each other.
When governance separates the political, economic and administrative parts, it can be referred to as a ‘nation state’. When the nation state is powerful enough to make a treaty with another nation state then it is called a ‘country’. The terms ‘nation’ and ‘country’ are interchangeable these days.
Without territorial boundaries conquerors would keep expanding until an empire was achieved. This type of expansionism is limited because the more it grows the more it diversifies from the society at the epicentre and integration becomes impossible.
To define native people of a given area, one would look for similarities of appearance, language, culture, or a line of descent. These people would share an interest to protect themselves from others not like them. This is mirrored in wildlife where animals are constantly marking out their territory and defending it.
Let’s take a couple of examples. First consider Russia’s expansion following the 1917 October Revolution when 200,000 Bolsheviks created the Bolshevik Soviets that was later renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
The Eurasian nations that were once part of the Russian Empire were absorbed into the Soviet Union. Apart from Mongolia the Eurasian states regarded themselves as a separate and distinct people.
The origins of the Russian people came from the Slavs in the north, from Poland and Finland. Yet these countries became independent from Russia following the revolution and much later when the Soviet Union broke up, the Eurasian nations were quick to break away from Russia.
Then there’s Palestine, an area where the Palestinian Authority administrates just 39% of its area and the other 71% is disputed by Israel, a people distinctly different to the Palestinians. The 5.1 million Palestinians that live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, are under direct Israeli military and civilian control.
The peoples of Israel and Palestine are so different that they can never exist as one nation. 135 countries do recognise Palestine as an independent nation state, so Israel’s claim is not valid and a unified Palestine at some point in the future is inevitable.
Now let’s turn to Belgium, an area passed between rulers but existing today as an independent nation state because its native people have a distinct heritage. The territory that presently forms Belgium was conquered by Julius Caesar in 53 BCE and became part of the Roman Empire.
Caesar observed that their language and traditions were distinct from other tribes in Gaul. The people that he called Belgaes got their name from the tribes known to have lived there since the third century BCE.
The Belgaes did not accept being part of the Romans’ empire and revolted so viciously that Caesar acknowledged them to be the bravest and hardest to conquer. It remained part of the Holy Roman Empire until the 11th and 12th centuries when their influence faded.
With little protection from Rome, the English, French, Spanish and Dutch took more than an opportunist interest. The land itself was broken up into feudal regions with Flanders in the north becoming a centre of trade; e.g. English wool was imported and converted into fine cloth.
In 1814 the French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated in Belgium by the English Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history and a new United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created.
Just fifteen years later the territory was again divided during the Belgian Revolution (1830–1839), creating three nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Belgium became a country that speaks Dutch in the north and French in the south.
The story of Belgium demonstrates an area that finally became a nation of people descended from the Belgaes, not of the many nations that claimed it at various times. However it has been massively affected by immigration which prevents the minority Belgians from a greater sense of national identity.
The capital Brussels, became the headquarters of the EU institutions when it started out as an alliance for the coal and steel industries: the European Coal and Steel Community. The nations that signed that Treaty of Paris in 1951 were Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Italy and the Netherlands. The UK was not interested.
In 1957 the Treaty of Rome created the European Economic Community and the European Community for Atomic Energy. However there remained no consensus on where to host their offices. At an emergency meeting in Paris 1958, it was decided to take turns in each of the countries starting alphabetically. So Belgium was first and due to indecisiveness it stayed that way.
Today there are many wide and varied cultural division in Belgium, it is largely populated by four even five generations of immigrants from many countries and since 1993 has operated as a federal state whereby the communities and regions have full control over their own areas.
Unlike Russia, Palestine and even Belgium which has a parliamentary monarchy like the UK, the UK was fortunate to have the protection of the English Channel, and the ability to de-colonise after the British Empire in a civil manner was a great achievement. The UK survived after its empire but the the single most damaging thing has been the EU immigration and refugee quotas that have served to water down the national identity.
Several nation states have demonstrated against the EU migrant policies and all the EU have done is demonise them. The UK has been first to leave the EU and the speculation now is, who will exit next.
The Prussian Model (EU version 1)
The idea of nations merging, ceasing or being created is just how things fluctuate when nations are within close proximity and have territorial ambitions. The UK has always had the English Channel for a theoretical and natural border and countries like Spain, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus that sit on the extremities of Europe are blessed with the sea for border protection.
In early history Jostling for space was done by conquest e.g. The pagan people of the lands to the north of Poland and Lithuania are known as the Old Prussians. But in the 13th century they were conquered by Germanic tribes and by 1701 those lands that are recognised today as Poland and Lithuania were a large part of what became the German Kingdom of Prussia, a country consisting of many ethnic groups, and tribes that the Romans had never been able to fully conquer.
Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 Prussia regained its lost territory and acquired some more which were brought together under a German Confederation consisting of 38 sovereign states. The King of Prussia, Frederick William III, in 1817 also set up the Prussian Union which attempted to unite both Lutheran and Reformed churches. It aimed to bring together the sovereign nations into one unified Germany and its first major step was to establish a German Customs Union in 1834. It was the basic model for the European Union that would evolve from it many years later.
1866 was a busy year and war saw the annexation of the Kingdom of Hanover, the Electorate of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau and the Free City of Frankfurt. These new possessions became the 39th member of the German Confederation. Having debated the best way to bring about the unification of Germany for decades, in 1870 the Franco-Prussian War was started when Otto von Bismark lured France into declaring war at which the German alliances closed in to defeat France.
The end of that war in 1871 marked the creation of the German Empire with the Prussian army absorbing the other German armed forces excepting the Bavarian army. King William became the first emperor (Kaiser) of a unified Germany and Otto von Bismark the first German Chancellor.
In 1918 after four years of bloody war the German Revolution of 1918–19 abolished the monarchies and removed political power from the nobility. The Kingdom of Prussia ended and a republic emerged known as the Free State of Prussia, and the remaining German states became collectively known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1918 to 1933.
The Weimar was supposed to be a democracy but was highly problematic and unpopular by its people who saw the signing of the Treaty of Versailles as a betrayal by German politicians and the constraints it demanded as harsh and severe. A people that despite being responsible for the deaths of millions of people, felt hard done by.
Despite Germany’s defeat and loss as well as its international humiliation, one doubts not for one minute that it would acknowledge it had done anything wrong, even though the Treaty of Versailles admonished them to accept responsibility for the war and agree to reparation costs for France and the UK. The alternative offered to Germany for not signing the armistice was a complete invasion.
In addition Germany was hit by hyperinflation in 1923 leaving their currency worthless. In their bitterness, the only means left for rebuilding the nation were by diplomatic and peaceful means; how ignoble to be deprived the right to continue with mass murder.
Anyway, Germany re-surfaced by first re-establishing their borders in the Lacarno Treaties 1925, and then by securing membership to the League of Nations in 1926. Unfortunately the Wall Street crash in 1929 meant the US recalled its loans to Germany and the economy consequently collapsed.
Rise of the Phoenix
Of the European countries that tried to gain territory by conquest such as France under Napoleon, it demonstrated that might alone was not sufficient. After Napoleon invaded Russia he didn’t know what to do with it and the troops simply returned home. This was to be the case much later when Germany invaded Russia and after taking St Petersburgh they didn’t know what to do with it and pulled out.
The Prussian model was far superior to the French and Russian imperial expansion method and to the Nazi method that came after. The Prussian way was more in line in the way the Romans had expanded and the muslims under Saladin had done. In these examples the conquering Romans and muslims had regarded their new territory as administrative districts, allowing the subjugated people to continue to practice their own religion and run their own affairs, so long as taxes were paid.
Prussia had learned to colonise by forming alliances by means of treaties and then to bring these treaties under a federation whereby over time, the revamping of treaty after treaty had the effect of transferring little by little more sovereignty from the members. Prussia had many such ‘unions’. We can use the UK for an example where the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, gives effective control to England.
The Weimer Republic could have rebuilt Germany, but as we have seen, fate pummelled it into the ground and when people are faced with extreme conditions such as they were when the Depression hit them, they look to political extremes for solutions. This meant the rise of the Nazis was unopposed and therefore the end of democracy came when Hitler was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg. By the time Hindenburg died in August 1934 Hitler had proclaimed himself Führer with absolute power in Germany.
Again we come back to a lesson from history, that a totalitarian state cannot stretch to governing directly an ever expanding territory. Although Hitler nearly did it, it has to be said, the odds were always against him. The closed economy, the autarky, was an ideological aim where Germany ceased trading with other nations to rely solely on its own resources. So everything the Nazis did went against what Germany had learned up to the end of The Weimar; from soft expansion to hard expansion.
However, in the EU of the future, lessons learned from the Nazis would be used, such as the targeting of children where the school curriculum was altered to promote Nazi ideology which is exactly what the EU have recently introduced as we shall discuss shortly.
In addition, the Nazis sought to control religions, persecuted the catholic church and completely banned the worshipping of other faiths which is contrary to the religious leniency given by the more successful conquerors from history.
The expanding empires of Saladin and the Romans understood that conquest so far from home, where societies are more alien, means there can never be ubiquitous harmony, and the trick is not to force people to do as you do, but to allow such freedom of expression so long as a duty is payed. The Nazis didn’t appreciate this, hence everywhere they went they were an occupying force that were stretched too thin.
In 1818 a moderate customs and tariff system was introduced for the Prussian Kingdom which became the basis for the Zollverein Customs Union established in 1834 and by 1852 it included all the German states except Austria and Hamburg. That expansion was thwarted by the lunacy of two world wars but following World War II there was a new Germany restructuring, a second Weimar, but this time a Germany carved up at the Potsdam Conference (17 July-2 August 1945) between Britain, the US, France and Russia. Germany had to wait until 1949 for the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany in the west and the German Democratic Republic in the east, before Germans had a voice again.
West Germany soon became industrially strong and once more forged alliances including joining NATO (formed in 1949) in 1955, until it had become the most prosperous nation in Europe. The cold war meant that West Germany was needed as an ally against the Soviet Union and it was generally agreed that economic recovery in Europe could not be achieved without the reconstruction of the German industrial base and therefore the policy of dismantling Germany from 1945 was halted in 1951 with the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community.
France having received the brunt of Germany’s might in two wars that century, and seeing West Germany’s rapid rise again, in 1950 proposed a pact between European countries to regulate industrial production under one authority, known as the Schuman proposal as it was presented by Robert Schuman the twice Prime Minister of France, and it was hoped this would prevent another war between France and Germany.
In 1951 the Treaty of Paris was signed by France, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany which enabled the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
The ECSC was made up of four institutions; an assembly, a council, a court, and various appointees. It was the blueprint for the current European Union, in which once again, Germany would come to dominate. Many view the EU today as the German Fourth Reich.
The expansion of the EU is in effect the expansion of Prussia, achieved through soft power. The Treaty of Paris expired in 2002 and the ECSC was absorbed into the European Community that had been set up by the Treaty of Rome 1957.
Landing back on earth
These days it’s common for people to think of the EU in very simple terms, as an organisation that was created to bring together the western nations of the European continent that share similar beliefs and policies. This utopian view sees the EU as a living entity revolving around communities and of a secondary concern looking after the economy and trade. Acting for the public good and holding sincere values and exemplifying a just and democratic way of life.
The reality is far from that utopian view. The EU is not a way of life and not just nor democratic. Since we are looking at the topography, considering what we have discussed so far, the EU could be seen as based on a Prussian model, almost a carbon copy of the Weimar, and centred around trade alliances formed by treaties and with economic and political arms bolted on.
As was the case in Roman times, Napoleonic times, Weimar times, ECSC times, and when joining NATO, the Germans have always been a powerful force. Germany today controls the EU political, economic and financial institutions.
So why do people only see an EU that represents their values and enshrines their way of life. Even if the EU were the idyllic solution, why should people trust it implicitly without ensuring a safety mechanism in case something were to go wrong, remembering that many Germans said that they never realised what the Nazis were up to until it was too late and they had no mechanisms to do anything about it.
In a system where sovereignty is guarded well and therefore democracy remains intact, it is impossible for those in power to by-pass the people, who as we know ultimately have sovereignty. For a leader or political party to go beyond this, they need first to erode democracy and attain some sovereignty in order to hold the powers to fulfil their aims.
In all examples of expansionism the conquest has been done militarily and the politics came after. Germany invaded Belgium in one war then Poland in the other. But the EU is not a nation but a political force without an army. It has attained its power through treaties that give it sovereignty. It is now placed to enlist a police force and build an army. The German Empire will then be fully restored – a Fourth Reich.
In the deception, the EU has allowed nations to manage their own affairs whilst centralising the decision making and power in Brussels. From the start the EU has held the view that the very existence of nations creates nationalism, leads to expansionism and that in fact nation states need to be abolished and replaced by new structures in which politicians are not elected but a new super-class of people are appointed.
EU leaders have put on record that they have not secured full sovereignty from member states but that they have enough to effectively control them. They state openly and unashamedly their plans for an EU police and an EU army and one EU government.
The German people could not stop the Nazis because they had gained total power by the time anyone fully understood their ambitions. This will happen once more when it is revealed what the EU is preparing for, and by then it will already be too late to be opposed.
It’s true that some brexit supporters believe everything they hear about the failings of the EU, many of which are not true. For instance, Mr Nathan Gill ex-MEP made a speech at the EU parliament about his concern over EU indoctrination in schools. It seems during his research he came across the idea that schools and local districts must only purchase food from French or German sources. Mr Gill rightly stated that these markets are available but wrongly assumed schools had no other choices.
The EU did put pressure on schools to keep costs to a minimum when purchasing. This allowed a broader field for competition which gave local suppliers an advantage being nearer if they were competitive. If districts could stipulate that schools could only purchase local produce then producers would drive the costs. Schools will likely buy from local producers anyway just for carbon footprint but the point is if schools can source elsewhere for cheaper then they have the option to do so.
The EU economy is still recovering from the 2008-09 and 2012 global economic crises and the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone in 2011. In April 2019 manufacturing in Germany was at an all time low with Italy and Greece entering recession and others like Finland only just slowly coming out of recession.
When the EU started out its world GDP was at 30%. By 2016 EU world GDP had almost halved to 15.6% and has been reducing by 1% each year since. The EU economy is failing in a dramatic way. Now while the UK is the second largest economy in the EU by GDP at 15.2% (2017), when measured globally, the UK’s world GDP is 4.23%.
The UK is a nation with 0.6% of the global population but represents 4.23% of the world’s economy. The UK is seventh of the top ten countries with the largest economies. 44% of UK exports are to the EU with no reason to suppose this will change post-Brexit considering that UK imports from the EU are 53% of total imports which is around 6% of total EU exports.
Does a failing EU economy really want to cut trade ties with the UK, doubtful. Let us think how much the UK’s world GDP could rise when the rest of the world is available to trade with, without any restrictions from the EU.
Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to believe everything you read in the papers. There are facts, everything else is propaganda. It used to be that the facts were printed and then a reporter would give an expert explanation or opinion. Now you have to look elsewhere for the facts. But of course, don’t believe everything you find on the internet either. So it’s up to you to find the reliable sources.
We have seen over recent years the emergence of cyber insurgency and in particular since the Trump election, Russian interference in elections. As far as broadcasting goes, the Russian RT channel is said to spread propaganda and also Chinese state television CGTN. The EU doesn’t have this facility yet but it did commit to funding a media hub that will attempt to distinguish fake media from the truth. In other words it will decide what the truth is.
In an address to the President of the EU Parliament, Nigel Farage told Mr Tajani the following after he claimed that the EU had kept the peace in Europe since 1945:
“We do seem this morning to be struggling just a little bit with our history. To claim Mr Tajani, that the European Union brought about the fall of nazism and soviet communism isn’t only laughable, it is very un-gracious and deeply insulting to the United States of America who made massive sacrifices so that Europe could be free twice in the twentieth century. And to a slightly lesser extent the United Kingdom, as 30,000 British dead in Italy will attest. So, you know, you can claim what you want for the European Union but please do not rewrite history.“
And I would add to that, the bodies of 120,000 British dead in Belgium in the First World War. What is being played out in Europe is an unstoppable creep towards centralisation headed by un-elected men with incredible power that they themselves do not know what to do with.
This is Welsh MEP Nathan Gill in the video below, often seen at the EU Commission sitting at his desk behind Nigel Farage. What was a majorly UKIP representation at the EU became a reformed group called the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) Group, Chaired by Nigel Farage and with around 44 members, around half of which were British. After the European elections this was filled with Brexit Party MEPs and of course now following Brexit there is no longer British representation.
Mr Gill was an EFDD member and member of the Brexit Party. Here he addresses his concern of the EU education system where children as young as three years old are being indoctrinated with the values of the EU.
In the UK Article 406 of the UK’s Education Act 1996 forbids any political indoctrination in schools. Countries like France do not have this protection and EU indoctrination is well under way there including the legal obligation to have an EU flag in every classroom.
For a full discussion on indoctrination read the article on propaganda here.
Propaganda takes many forms, it was called ‘project fear’ during Brexit because there was so much negativity and fake news. Judging by the voting numbers at both the European and General elections, it would appear that most Leavers did not fall for it, perhaps that in itself speaks volumes about the British spirit.
There were several soundbites that kept being repeated which became the most annoying thing throughout the entire Brexit period. ‘They didn’t know what they were voting for,’ was one, ‘we need a people’s vote’ was another. But I think the most irritating one was the term ‘crash out’.
To ‘crash out’ was supposed to imply that leaving the EU without a deal was like being in a car crash, that it was something to be avoided at all costs. Project fear knew that a no deal Brexit was the desired option among Leavers. In truth it was this terminology, the attempt to brainwash people and the entire project fear movement that turned a lot of Remainers toward the Leave campaign.
On the one hand the EU shows a facade of democratic values but on the other they remove rights and freedoms piece by piece. E.g. 16 April 2019 – The EU accepted the UN move to re-define the meaning of what a refugee is, making it illegal to report or portray refugees with any form of negativity and warning media outlets that they could face being shut down — i.e. censorship.
The UN Migration Compact is a pact that was established in 2016 following the one million migrants that arrived at the EU in 2015. By December 2018 almost all UN members, except notably the U.S. and Australia, agreed for this body to re-classify refugee status to mean someone that is seeking refuge in another country as having the same weight as someone seeking refuge because they are in fear of their life should they be forced to return to their country of origin.
In April 2019 Compact cemented that move by ensuring UN laws override any existing refugee legislation by nations. It was surprising to many because refugees and immigrants have been predominantly younger males prompting the question of where are the women and children if things are so bad back home. The term ‘political refugee’ emerged.
In the streets, protests were held in Brussels which led to the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, offering his resignation. Germany backed the new legislation with stern opposition from Alice Weidel, the leader of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD); she said “In effect, illegal migration is being legalised.”
The UN says the move will improve the global migrant situation but who does it aim to improve it for, immigrants? And what of the people who are being told to make way. There has been no consultation between more than 150 countries that signed the agreement, certainly not among the EU members. They have just been told to sign.
The whole thing claims its justification on account of the signatories which are UN members and the inference that this ballot in theory ratifies a mandate for progressing its policy on immigration and refugee status.
The UK Government has not only endorsed it but positively praised it, despite an online petition signed by more than 100,000 people asking the Government not to agree to it. Marches and riots in Europe as well as around the world such as in Canada, have vented anger, which in turn has helped to highlight the collusion of organisations such as the UN and the EU to implement laws that suit their common interest.
Yes of course a certain discretion is allowed for the common good otherwise what would be the point if organisations had no power at all. Who would argue efforts made to hinder the ivory trade, fight a drug war, engage in peacekeeping missions, tackle human trafficking, fight crime or apprehend child abuse rings. But when something effects a populace it should not be simply taken for granted that it is the will of the people, especially when an organisation puts itself above a government as the UN and EU do.
Take Germany as an example, whose government embraced immigration but whose people have seen their idyllic towns flooded and turned into mini-slavic quarters. A people who may have been quite agreeable to a sensible immigration policy in order to bolster the country’s industrial labour needs, did not expect to struggle to integrate them. In fact the country had to deport 9,000 in 2018 according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the largest daily newspapers in Germany.
The UN Global Compact on Migration document is apparently non-binding on nations according to the statements disseminating to the global media. It commits governments to provide extensive care and labour rights, regardless of any qualifications and to give them total family reunification rights.
This non-binding document within its 34 pages sets out requirements for member-states to adopt and commits nations to agree to make their own laws and regulations that incorporate a human right to migration. In simple terms, the UN does not say you have to do this, but you do have to decide to do it by yourself. The Compact is just one of several moves by the UN to push for a borderless world.
We can appreciate Australia’s reluctance to sign this agreement in Marakesh. Australia’s message has been to welcome migrant workers based on what qualifying skills they have. The agreement is divided into 23 objectives toward which signatories must work towards. Here is an extract:
“Launch and publicise a centralised and publicly accessible national website to make information available on regular migration options, such as on country-specific immigration laws and policies, visa requirements, application formalities, fees and conversion criteria, employment permit requirements, professional qualification requirements, credential assessment and equivalences, training and study opportunities, and living costs and conditions, in order to inform the decisions of migrants.”
Once a migrant chooses a country, the signatory should:
“Provide newly arrived migrants with targeted, gender-responsive, child-sensitive, accessible and comprehensive information and legal guidance on their rights and obligations, including on compliance with national and local laws, obtaining of work and resident permits, status adjustments, registration with authorities, access to justice to file complaints about rights violations, as well as on access to basic services.”
With this clearly supportive route into any country in the world, it doesn’t stretch the imagination too far to see how the people trafficking business would be booming.
Tanya Gaw, head of the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Government and who organised the rallys in Canada, said, “The goals of the UN Compact for Migration are unrealistic and must be rejected.”
Ever since 13 April 1791, when the Pope denounced the French Constitution resulting in a split in the French Catholic church, France has remained overwhelmingly represented by 80% of French citizens that are nominally Roman Catholics. France is the sixth largest catholic country in the world, yet it regards herself today as a secular country.
In 2015 there were 50 muslim-majority countries. Of the 1.5 billion muslims in the world (22% of the world’s population), the exact number living in Europe is unknown, but one estimate puts it at around 6% of Europe’s population (excluding Turkey) of which about half live in the EU (i.e. 3.8% 19 million).
Of these there are around 3 million in the UK, that’s 5% of the population. There are an estimated 1,750 mosques and between 30-85 operating sharia courts, according to the Mail Online in the UK.
Ever since the end of World War II muslim immigrants and refugees have been pouring into Europe and the UK has been one of the top three worst hit, it has the third largest number of muslims of the EU member states. With this has come a rivalry between muslim law and UK law.
There is no end to the EU’s encouragement for muslims to continue to pour into Europe and if things continue there will be problematic religious issues in the Europe of the near future.
Jews on the other hand feel increasingly threatened in Europe with several studies claiming that 40% of jews living in EU member states have considered emigration due to anti-semitism. With just under 20 million jews in the world, one third living in Israel and another third in the U.S., the remaining third (i.e. 6 million,) are scattered around the world – Even the Falkland Islands has one registered jew.
An EU poll in December 2018, the largest ever worldwide, surveyed over 16,000 jews from the twelve EU member states that have 96% of EU jews, and found that 85% rated anti-semitism as the biggest social problem in their nation states. Of the remaining countries excluding Israel and the U.S., the UK comes in third place after France and Canada with 290,000 jews. According to Pew Research there are about 1.4 million jews living in Europe or around 10% of the world’s jews.
There doesn’t appear to be much news about the other major religions, and neither mormons or Jehovah witness and the like, but every time you see religion in the news its about muslims or jews and to have an opinion on either, is to be labelled Islamophobic or anti-semitic. It’s about time things changed.
Therefore the Arab bloc has inserted its will over the EU bloc by encouraging the UN to enable the proposal through its humanitarian facilitator to affect laws and policy. The nett result is an OIC/EU partnership within the UN that enshrines compliance with shariah law.
The UK therefore has not and cannot condone Sharia law, a law practised by fifteen Arab Islamic countries which includes: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and the Yemen – all of which are on the UK’s list of 20,000 extremists living in the UK.
On 7 March 2009 over 200 people turned up in Trafalgar Square for a rally against the introduction of Sharia Law to the UK. On 21 November of the same year, another march took place at Hyde Park. Would you believe the UK is actually bowing to muslim pressure to run sharia law alongside UK law.
‘One Law For All’ was launched in the House of Lords on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2008. It is not an anti-Islamic group but objects to sharia courts in the UK, on the grounds that sharia law is discriminatory and unjust, particularly against women and children.
There are inevitably instances that crop up that set precedence. Notably in July 2018 when Kate McCann, a senior correspondent for The Telegraph reported that a British court had made a landmark ruling that an Islamic faith marriage, conducted in a ceremony called a nikah, fell under British matrimonial law despite not having any legal UK validity.
The court ruling aligned Islamic law with British law despite British officials saying that British law is absolute and must remain so. In this court case the judge said the marriage should be recognised because the couple had lived as man and wife and as such was similar to a British marriage contract and was therefore recognised as such.
It’s true that in the UK a common law wife does hold some standing but this case had significant implications for women that marry under sharia law but not UK law, giving them a right to divorce and a share of the assets when the marriage is not recognised under UK law. To rule that a sharia marriage is the same as a UK marriage is to accept sharia into UK law.
What it means is that if a couple marry under sharia but not UK law and subsequently they divorce, the woman can take a share of her husbands wealth as if she had married under UK law when in fact under UK law they were never married in the first place.
This is how things are brought into the mainstream underhandedly, by setting precedents like this. As far back as 2015 Home Secretary Theresa May set up a review by Lord Bates who reported that: “Sharia councils may be working in a discriminatory and unacceptable way.”
It didn’t help that Lord Williams of Oystermouth, then Archbishop of Canterbury, said that aspects of sharia in Britain seemed unavoidable. Yet in his book, Re-imagining Britain, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said sharia should never become part of the British legal system because it is incompatible with our laws.
The Baroness Cox warned that creeping normalisation of sharia “would make the Suffragettes turn in their graves.” Even an e-petition to the government to prohibit and criminalise sharia courts in the UK received over 15,000 signatures and the government’s response was that sharia rulings were only permitted if legal under UK law – in others words ‘no comment’.
Under sharia law women appeal to sharia councils, largely made up of men but men are not obligated to do the same when seeking a divorce. And according to the Home Office there are about 100,000 British muslim couples of which 60% are not legally married.
By comparison in 2013 the High Court was asked by an Orthodox Jewish couple to accept the ruling of a Jewish religious court on post-divorce family arrangements. The judge said that while the agreement would carry weight, it would be non-binding as neither party could get around English law by agreeing to abide by the decision of another tribunal. In other words it’s okay for muslims but not for jews.
On 21 April 2019 in a report published by Tony Blair’s institute for Global Change he says in the foreword that the word ‘multiculturalism’ has been misinterpreted as meaning a justified refusal to integrate and he says of migrants that they have a duty to integrate, to accept the rules, laws and norms of our society that all British people hold in common and share. It’s the only thing about Tony Blair’s report worth mentioning.
One might suggest that British courts should administer law to people equally, irrespective of their religion. The aim of this article is to show how democracy has been eroded by the EU, and this is going to cause religious wars because it is democracy that carries the definitive law for all, there is no room for alternative and religious versions.
If a Sikh working on a construction site is exempt from wearing a hard hat that’s fine, but to accept sharia law being of equal validity is unacceptable. The law must remain secular. Brexit demonstrated to the EU how much we value democracy and it looks like foreign religions are going to have to learn that also.
It’s already started in Austria. This collaborator Prime Minister warns his people that all non-muslim women may be forced to wear head scarfs out of respect for that religion.
Whatever your opinion on the EU, unless you are one of the powerful individuals that sit around that table of enormous power, it would not have escaped your attention that the EU agenda is accelerating and has moved up a few gears partly perhaps due to the rise in peoples’ awareness, of what the EU likes to call ‘populism’.
Parties that have risen up across Europe to oppose the status quo are called the ‘far right’ and labelled as populists by the EU. The way that immigration was and is being handled across the EU members has riled people because ultimately the migrants have to be settled somewhere that either displaces existing communities or creates rookeries and neither is a solution that could be described as integration.
Migration is the current theme around populism today. But if it was not about people trafficking then it would be about something else. There will always be something to demonise an uprising when you have a propaganda machine.
For a full discussion on populism read the full article here.
A popular criticism of the EU is that it is run by unelected bureaucrats. What’s being referred to is the European Commission, the presidency of which is nominated by the national leaders and then elected by the European Parliament.
No one outside of the EU parliament has heard of the nominees when there is a ballot. Brexit Party MEPs were asked to vote in 2019 and reported being handed a ballot paper with just one candidate on it.
Member states are represented at the EU parliament by MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) that have been elected in their own nations. It’s misleading to say they are unelected because they are elected at national level public elections.
It’s only down to Brexit that some MEPs are familiar to us: Guy Verhofstadt, Michel Barnier, Donald Tusk, Elmar Brok, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Nathan Gill, Nigel Farage, Jean-Claude Juncker, Frans Timmermans and the ever popular Hans-Olaf Henkel.
The Council of the European Union represents the nation governments and the EU Parliament represents citizens. It is the European Commission that represents the European interest which is essentially the unelected part.
A Commissioner is appointed by a member state and the president of the European Commission. So there are 28 Commissioners representing all the member states. A Commissioner is expected to be impartial of their government and act in the interest of the EU, much like a civil servant.
A Commissioner is appointed in the same way an foreign Ambassador is appointed and not elected. A new Commission is appointed every five years, within six months of the elections to the European Parliament.
Essentially, the Council, Parliament or other part of the EU, place a request for legislation to the Commission. It is the role of the Commission therefore to propose EU legislation as well as manage EU policies, funds, and make the EU’s trade agreements.
The European Commission manages the EU as a whole with it’s Commissioners operating as a cabinet. It also manages the EU treaties and can resort to the European Court of Justice if there is an infringement.
Judges of the ECJ are required to be qualified for high judicial office or be experts in law of recognised competence in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.
In a democratic government the cabinet is made up of politicians that have been elected to represent constituencies. With the EU system the cabinet is made up of Commissioners. It’s at this top level that there is no accountability. You cannot replace a Commissioner vote one out.
Nigel Farage described it to Jean-Claude Juncker once, in 2014, like this:
“I don’t think that the European public or commentators understand what the European Commission really is. The Commission is the executive, it is the Government of Europe and it has the sole right to propose legislation. It does so in consultation with 3,000 secret committees staffed mainly by big business and big capital and all the legislation is proposed in secret.”
This video explains the EU tiers of relationships with the EU following release of a chart they made and how no deal fits in with it. It helps somewhat in explaining how the EU works.
There are 27 EU member states now that the UK has left the EU. Whilst their official currency is the euro, eight members use their own; Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.
The euro came into use in 1999 but the idea of unifying currency across nations in Europe dated back to the end of World War II when the Bretton Woods Agreement was formed to control the foreign exchange rate. However for one thing or another it collapsed and was abandoned officially on 15 August 1971.
New members joining the EU have to adopt the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) for the first two years. Originally there was the European Unit of Account (EUA) which became the European Currency Unit (ECU). But the ECU had problems, it had the effect of raising the value of stronger currencies and lowering weaker ones, so in 1979 the European Monetary System (EMS) replaced the ECU.
The Maastricht Treaty in 1991 attempted to start again from the beginning but it was very contentious because the solutions meant member states surrendering some sovereign control over monetary policies. It formed the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) to replace the EMS.
The UK’s opposition to the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 was demonstrated by the refusal to join the eurozone along with Sweden and Denmark who also refused, and the UK pulling out of the EMS. It was a time of divisions in the UK cabinet and between Chancellor and Prime Minister. The UK had joined in 1990 and left in September 1992.
The purpose of the EMS was to link economies and stabilise inflation and the exchange rate of currencies. In 1994 it created the European Monetary Institute which in 1998 became the European Central Bank (ECB) whose primary responsibility was to institute a single monetary policy and interest rate. At the end of 1998 most EU members had cut their interest rates in preparation for the implementation of the euro.
The global economic crisis of 2008 marked the worst shock for the single currency and highlighted its vulnerabilities.
Greece was hit the hardest with Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Cyprus, also experiencing high debt. When the UK left, it set its own interest rate for around eight years to recover and stabilise and then put its currency out to fluctuate at the control of the markets. Those countries in the euro hit hardest, could not exercise control like devaluation and the EMU had to take bailout measures despite its policy not to do so with a failing economy.
In 2012 the European Stability Mechanism was set up to alleviate struggling EU member economies with funded bailout plans requiring austerity measures in return. By 2015 Greece in particular was still struggling and defaulted on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. The Greek people voted against further austerity measures imposed by the EU as they believed the system is designed so that a country that is down cannot get back up again despite it having a surplus in cash.
Finally in March 2019 the IMF assessment of Greece’s economy reported that Greece had entered a period of economic growth that put it among the top performers in the eurozone. One wonders what situation Greece would be in had they not taken matters into their own hands and sought an alternative recovery plan outside of the EU from the IMF.
The Common Market as it was referred to back then, was more precisely called the European Economic Community, so from the very start things had began with confusion for many people who found it difficult to keep up with the debate on Europe and rather naively entrusted the issue to the powers that be. Remember it was a time before mobile phones and the internet and news was more unified across the media with a narrower diversity of debate.
It was said after both the referendums of 1975 and 2016 that people had too little information. Whether the dissemination of information was sufficient or not, whatever the level of technology or reporting standards of the day; the result did reflect the mood of the people, despite all of the political wranglings behind the scenes to persuade voters.
The decision to join the EEC made sense at that time based on the information that was known. The UK would have prospered without the EU given a little more time when oil and gas made Britain rich, but when the decision needed to be made, EEC membership offered the only route to prosperity.
In the 1975 referendum the public knew as little as they had done a couple of years earlier when the UK joined but by then the government knew the nation would be self sufficient in oil and gas. They had also known what Edward Heath had signed up for on joining the EEC in 1973, on agreeing that future integration would come at the cost of sovereignty, which he never revealed to the people.
Sifting through parliamentary debates from the early 1970s, as I did, it’s clear that many MPs took the view that public opinion had no place in the day to day running of parliament because their voice had been decided at the ballot and their elected representatives were entrusted by the constituencies to act on their behalf.
The referendum in 1975 opened up the door for debate again and offered those who had not wanted to join the EEC another chance to try and turn the vote. Politicians such as Tony Benn and Enoch Powell put across the case that it was not just trade but as much about sovereignty, but it would seem that message wasn’t heard.
The prospect of joining a wealthier group after many years of hardships must have been exciting and you can’t blame people for wanting that. They were voting for a trade alliance. Conversely in 2016 there was plenty of information and many years of membership to analyse, and it was now a political alliance. Yet many people wanted to Remain which one can only attribute to years of propaganda.
“I confess that I am uncertain, after Britain’s entry into the EEC, how far hon. Members or indeed the public of this country care at all about parliamentary democracy—which is the same thing as parliamentary sovereignty, because sovereignty and responsibility to the electorate are two sides of the same thing.“
— Enoch Powell (UK Bill of Rights debate 7 July 1975)
It must be strange for the older people to have known days when the top news was about the UK’s desperate efforts to get in to the Common Market and then seventy years later it’s about trying to get out. The sense of sovereignty was stronger in 1973/1975, just thirty years since World War II, but by 2016 it had very much watered down.
In the post-war economic boom of the 1950s millions of people had seen their standard of living rise. Three years after rationing ended in 1954 Prime Minister Harold McMillan said famously in a speech in 1957, “most of our people have never had it so good.”
The UK was benefiting from increased production in major industries such as coal and steel and it declined to join the European coal and steel organisations that ultimately became the founding members of the EEC.
McMillan’s government was tasked with managing that prosperity, to maintain growth and employment but to keep down inflation. But inflation did rise and the Prime Minister in 1961 imposed an unpopular wage freeze. It was though the UK should have joined the coal and steel organisation when it had the chance because in the 1960s it was denied membership, solely opposed by France, twice.
It was the Conservative chief negotiator Edward Heath that had been passionate to join the EEC in the early 1960s but by 1964 Harold Wilson’s government wasn’t so keen and perhaps did not find it too disappointing that de Gaulle had blocked the way in 1963 and was now blocking it again in 1967. But following the general election of 1970 Edward Heath again applied for a third time, when de Gaulle was no longer alive, and this time he was successful.
The UK in the 1970s was a nation of shop-keepers, not the great industrial nation or empire ruler of Victorian times. On joining the European Community on 1 January 1973 the UK was thought of as the sick man of Europe. This date in history also ended long years of preferential ties with the former colonies. The UK had joined the EEC because it was perceived to be a way to stop its relative economic decline at a time when just 5% of working-class families had a fridge.
The UK had been desperate for a solution. A striking coal and electricity industry saw hospitals working by battery and candlelight. An economy that had been at the mercy of a belligerent and ungrateful workforce was reflected in the UK’s GDP, as was relative to the EU founding members, declining steadily from 1945 to 1972.
By comparison economic historians refer to the period from 1950 to 1973 as the Golden Age of European economic growth; a period marked by steady recovery with full employment, rising wages, and affordable consumer goods.
In the year of joining the EEC Prime Minister Edward Heath had attempted to impose a prices and incomes policy to cap the rampant inflation, but the unions resisted, something that would have to wait until Margaret Thatcher’s term to be addressed fully.
Then came the oil shock of 1973. Although oil had been discovered off the Anglican coast in 1965 it was not produced until 1976 and so when in October 1973 an oil embargo was imposed by OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) against the U.S. for supporting Israel in the post Arab-Israeli War negotiations, that embargo extended to all countries perceived as supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War also known as the ‘October War’, and the UK therefore found itself in a jam.
Little could the UK have known that in 1974 they would come to appreciate that North Sea oil could provide a massive source of energy and revenue, making them self-sufficient in oil and natural gas. It may appear as though the UK’s prosperity was wholly to do with joining the EEC a year earlier but it also had to do with a focus on oil and gas.
Studies show there was a relatively stable period for the UK between 1973 and 2010 and that by 2013, Britain had become more prosperous than the average of the three other largest European economies for the first time since 1965.
But of course the discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea was a game-changer, as well as the deregulation of the energy industry which brought an end to the widespread blackouts which had plagued the nation for so long.
During a tumultuous Labour government of 1970-74, Prime Minister Harold Wilson decided to introduce a referendum on the issue of continued membership of the EEC, in an attempt to cover up the divisions in the cabinet of the day. This was the time at which the people should have been fully informed of the UK’s self-sufficiency in fossil fuels, but they were not told and the 1975 referendum decided to Stay in the EEC.
What if the UK had put all its endeavours into the North Sea and invested in it sooner, would it have obviated the need to join the EEC? Harold Wilson won two general elections in 1974 but in the October election he had only succeeded in turning February’s hung parliament into a three seat majority, presumably due to inflation being around 20% and Chancellor Denis Healey having raised taxes. But the miners’ strike had been resolved and the state of emergency imposed by Edward Heath had ended.
However, personalities in the government clashed over Europe and the matter of the day turned to EEU membership. The Pro-Europeans or Marketeers as they were termed, were unnerved and MPs Shirley Williams and Roy Jenkins threatened to quit politics should the referendum decide to exit the EEC.
The conservative party voted against having a referendum. Supporters calling for it were Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Barbara Castle and Peter Shore and former Conservative Enoch Powell, the MP for the Ulster Unionists in South Down, who called on his supporters to vote Labour in order to secure the referendum that Labour’s manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised.
In the 1970 general election the Conservatives had promised that they would not enter the EEC without the full-hearted consent of parliament and the people. But they reneged on that promise by not offering the people a vote. This was the reason Labour pledged to offer and honour a referendum and they consequently won both general elections of 1974.
The referendum was planned for 5 June 1975. Enoch Powell said in a speech (audio further down on this page): “… it is to be hoped that the people will not be taken in twice, but will listen to those who warned them correctly before“. And Lord Tonypandy, the former Speaker of the House of Lords noted: “A national referendum conducted before and not, after further decisions are taken, is our elementary right.”
The Conservative government had advised people to vote to Stay. It sent a sixteen page pamphlet to every household promoting membership of the Common Market which also had a section about sovereignty as follows:
Fact No. 3. The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.
The White Paper on the new Market terms recently presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister declares that through membership of the Market we are better able to advance and protect our national interests. This is the essence of sovereignty.
The full pamphlet can be seen at the Harvard repository here.
Soon after joining, the Common Market became less popular. A MORI poll of 1979 showed that 60% of the country would have voted to leave and when Margaret Thatcher was in power that figure rose.
The majority of MPs in both referendums were for staying in the EEC/EU and there were some saying it was all a waste of money and some said that were against having a referendum. There were some differences between 1975 and 2016 the most obvious is the EU population that doubled from 250m to 500m.
The 1975 pamphlet reflected the issues of the day; food, money and jobs, and at least attempted to allay people’s fears of losing their national identity in the pamphlet. The 2016 pamphlet was sent to 27 million homes and outlined the issues of the day but discussed ‘the benefits of EU membership’ and no disadvantages nor any advantages for leaving the EU.
The 2016 pamphlet stated that over three million UK jobs were linked to exports to the EU; a dubious claim due to way in which the Treasury calculated it. They calculated the percentage of the UK’s total economic output and then applied that percentage to the total UK labour force.
The claim: Less than 8% of EU exports come to the UK while 44% of UK exports go to the EU.
Those percentages are correct but purposefully misleading. As you can imagine, 44% of one country was compared with 8% of 27 countries. It would have been more honest to declare that 53% of UK imports came from the EU. In cash terms, the UK exported £227bn to the EU and imported £288bn, which makes the UK look like a much more important customer for the rest of the EU doesn’t it.
Yes, but what of the alternative, isn’t it supposed to be about making a choice.
The government can tell you how it would prefer you voted, but it has a duty to present the options impartially so you can make an informed decision. This is something we should also have expected from the BBC.
The Referendum Act 1975 was the legal provision to hold a ‘non-binding’ referendum whereas for the 2016 referendum the government gave assurances that the result would be implemented without actually legislating for it, it was a tacit agreement.
Earlier we discussed the different attitudes inside the House of Commons during the 1970s. In 1975 with less information readily available many people saw the referendum as an unnecessary exercise and thought that government should just get on with it as that’s what MPs were paid to do.
From the Hansard parliamentary records of that time:
“There are many people in my constituency who are bewildered by the issues and would prefer the guidance of Parliament. That has not been sufficiently stressed in the debate. During the last election a woman came up to me and said ‘I do not understand what all this is about. Why cannot Parliament decide?’ I am sure there are many people who share that view.” — Miss Janet Fookes MP Plymouth.
“Every speech I have heard in the debate so far has convinced me of the difficulties inherent in trying to combine our accepted system of parliamentary democracy and the running of a referendum. In a sense I am rather sorry for the Government. I am certainly sorry for some Ministers.” — Mr David Walder MP Clitheroe
Also from Mr Walder, this transcript from the EEC membership referendum debate 11 March 1975.
“Since those days, when the leaders of the three main political parties were all in favour of entry into the Common Market, many people— I do not wish to mention any names— have come a long way. The Government are now in the position that I am in on a Saturday morning with my dog. I feed my dog regularly, but on Saturday it gets a bone. I know— I do not know whether my dog knows— that its normal meals are of more value than the bone, but having given it a rather valueless bone it is very difficult to get it away from it. That is the position of Ministers now. They are stuck with the idea of having a referendum.“ — Mr David Walder MP Clitheroe
In 1975 there was a clear result to stay in the EEC and no majority needed as it was a non-binding exercise. The government would decide how to proceed after that. Mr Enoch Powell stated in the House of Commons: (Hansard)
“I had assumed that a bare majority would be unlikely to be regarded as indicating the full-hearted consent of the people which leaders of both parties have regarded as the essential condition of continued British membership.“
Mr Powell had obviously expected Stay to win by a small margin and was paving the way for a second vote. He needn’t have bothered as the result was indisputable with a national turnout of 64.5% (25.9m) the final vote was 67.2% (17,378,581 votes) to 32.8% (8,470,073 votes) in favour to Stay in the EEC (54,540 votes rejected).
It was very similar in 2016 when the vote was expected to be to Remain but shocked many people when Leave won. No one beforehand had prepared for a loss scenario but the same argument was used that a win by a ‘bare majority’ (52% – 48%) should not be regarded as the full consent of the people. That too was clutching at straws.
Following the 2016 referendum, Remain voters claimed that a majority of 1.4 million people was not an adequate majority. The turnout was far higher at 72.2% (33.6m) than for 1975. The result was: Leave 51.9% (17,410,742 votes) Remain 48.1% (16,141,241 votes) with (26,033 votes rejected).
Throughout the 1980s Margaret Thatcher was frequently described as the most powerful woman in the world and given the nickname The Iron Lady, which she rather liked, by a Soviet journalist. She took the country to war in the Falkland Islands, was America’s greatest ally and survived a terrorist assassination attempt at a party conference in Brighton.
That she completely turned around her views of the EEC from pro to anti is a revelation. Her pro-European opinions were formulated at the start of her career when she became MP for Finchley in 1959 during which time the government of the day was debating EEC membership and applying to join.
Mrs Thatcher was a staunch supporter of the EEC. In many ways she was amenable to the idea of it as a facilitator of trade deals.
Margaret Thatcher became Conservative Party leader on 11 February 1975 and was in opposition at the time of the referendum with her party in favour of staying in the EEC. The notable difference between her and Edward Heath was that he viewed sovereignty as a non-tangible chip, the price for a place at the EEC table but Mrs Thatcher believed that it was unacceptable to share any part of it.
In 1988 EEC President Jacques Delors contacted the British Trade Unions Congress to persuade them to adopt the EEC model and he also offered support with greater powers to the unions. Mrs Thatcher was outraged as she had spent the last nine years controlling the unions to improve the economy. Delors then made a statement in which he signalled his wish for greater power in Brussels by stating that within ten years all major decisions would be made by the EEC.
Mrs Thatcher’s response was to go to Belgium in 1988 to address the College of Europe with a speech subsequently referred to as The Bruges Speech, in which she outlined her opposition to the plans of the EEC to centralise power and monetary matters. She said:
“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.“
The author of that speech, Charles Powell asserts that Thatcher was not making an anti-EEC speech but simply making criticism and outlining her vision for Europe. It has to be noted that she did criticise the EEC and fiercely believed that member states should govern their own affairs.
A new President of the European Council is appointed every six months. Margaret Thatcher was President in 1986 and Helmut Kohl in 1988. They did have a strained relationship at times while Mrs Thatcher was a soft eurosceptic and Mr Khol an ardent supporter of the EC.
“We will make the process of European integration irreversible.“
— Helmut Kohl
German Chancellor (1982-1998)
“You Germans do not want to anchor Germany in Europe but Europe in Germany.“
— Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister (1979-1990)
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy would many years later mirror a similar message to that of Chancellor Kohl.
“All Western Balkans countries have made important steps towards the European Union over the past couple of years, and the work with them will continue to ensure their progress towards European integration becomes irreversible.“
— Federica Mogherini
29 November 2016
In 1989 Mrs Thatcher removed her Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe for colluding with Chancellor Nigel Lawson in forcing the UK into the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) which took place in 1990, effectively pegging the pound to the Deutsche Mark instead of the US Dollar.
The ERM was one of the policies of the European Monetary System (EMS) a group of policies to bring the economies of member states together as well as others from outside the EEC in the eurozones. Mrs Thatcher’s opposition to the EMS was in contrast to the views of her cabinet and she was virtually ousted from 10 Downing Street because of it.
At Prime Minister’s Questions in 1990 she repeated the famed words “No No No” in a riposte to the European Commission chief Jacques Delors over his wish for an EU Parliament.
Mrs Thatcher had been grooming John Major as her successor and it was a disappointment to her when he took over the mantle and proceeded as a pro-European. The strongest peacetime prime minister was followed by the weakest. It was her opposition to greater EEC integration that the Conservative Party believed could not win them the next general election.
The issue finally caused her demise. In the tense weeks at the end of October 1990 her fierce opposition at a summit in Rome was enough for cabinet members, deputy prime minister Geoffrey Howe and Michael Heseltine, to challenge her for the leadership. She won the first ballot but on her journey to a fourth successive term was persuaded to step down and make way for John Major.
Many years later in a book by Geoffrey Howe he would write: “The insistence on the undivided sovereignty of her own opinion dressed up as the nation’s sovereignty was her own undoing”
At the start when the Common Market was being formed, the UK had understood the implications for the Commonwealth countries and adamantly refused to join. The UK opposed joining and that’s why there was no seventh founding member.
A political ambition was there from the start as the preamble of the first treaty, the Treaty of Rome, states that it is: ‘determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe‘.
Following the demise of Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister in November 1990, the EEC set about re-structuring and positioning itself for a more relevant role. It was open about seeking further integration and what it would mean for nations. In most cases nations were agreeable and some even embraced the idea.
In the absence of an EEC constitution, it is the treaties that hold it together. With each treaty, members decide how much sovereignty to cede from their nation to the EEC in order to ratify it.
Edward Heath had known all along that joining the EEC in 1973 would mean handing over sovereignty like this. Little did the nation know their prime minister thought of sovereignty like a stack of casino chips to be used for brokering deals. He believed a chip from the UK was worth more than the chips of many other nations and that his bargaining power was greater.
When he pulled the UK into the European club he’d deliberately obscured the details from the public, as we saw from the video clip in the above section ‘Why the UK joined the EC’.
In any case it would be another two decades until the Maastricht Treaty took effect in 1993 and solidified the shift from economic to political and a new beginning emerged with a new name, the European Community. Later the Treaty of Lisbon would come in 2007 that changed the name to the European Union and for the first time provided a formal procedure to withdraw from the EU, namely Article 50 TEU.
The timeline of significant events:
1950 The Schuman Plan begins. Proposed by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on 9 May for an authoritative body to control the production of steel and coal in France and West Germany.
1952 Formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
1957 The Treaties of Rome 25 March were three treaties that established two new structures; the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC). The Treaties came into force on 1 January 1958. The other essential agreement was the adoption of a Common agricultural policy (CAP).
1962 European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) was established to regulate the financing of the CAP which consumes a large part of the EU budget.
1963 General de Gaulle ensures UK does not join the EEC due to the mistrust that UK membership would really mean the US had a seat at the table.
1967 The ECSC, Euratom and EEC are brought together meaning that the official name becomes the European Communities. In practice it continued to be commonly referred to as the EEC or Common Market. The name change removed the word ‘economic’ part in a subtle move towards a political union.
1967 In November Charles De Gaulle again vetoes the UK’s application to join the EEC, accusing the UK of a deep-seated hostility towards European construction.
1968 In July all tariffs among the EEC members were abrogated.
1969 The resignation of Charles De Gaulle opens up the possibility of the UK joining the EEC.
1973 The EEC expand when Denmark, Ireland, UK, Greece, and Spain become members.
1979 The European Monetary System (EMS) and the European Currency Unit (ECU) come into force.
1979 The first elections to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage are held and a European Parliament takes office.
1985 The three countries of the Benelux, France and Germany sign the Schengen Agreement; the start of an agreement to remove frontiers and for the free movement of people. Most member states would join in subsequent years.
1986 The signing of the Single European Act in February, came into force on 1 July 1987, brought legitimacy to the title ‘European Parliament’ that had been used since 1962 and which was in force from 1979. It was the first thing Jacques Dolors did after his appointment as President of the European Commission in 1985 and it extended their powers.
1992 The Treaty of the European Union, known as the Maastricht Treaty was signed 7 February and came into force on 1 Nov 1993. It set up three pillars; the EEC, Common Security and Foreign Policy and these were collectively called the European Community (EC).
1993 The European Single Market is established by 12 countries to cover the so-called four freedoms: the movement of goods, services, people, and money and is regarded as one of its greatest achievements. On 1 January the borders between EC members were physically removed.
1995 Sweden, Finland and Austria join the EC.
1998 In June, the European Central Bank (ECB) is established.
1999 The Euro is introduced on 1 January. The UK and Denmark have opted out which means they agreed to the principle of a single currency but not on handing over any sovereignty and therefore they retained their currencies. It was the European Single Market Treaty of 1993 that created the Euro as the single currency between EC members which itself had been based on the ECU from 1979.
2004 Ten new countries join the EC.
2007 Bulgaria and Romania join the EU.
2007 The Treaty of Lisbon in essence amended the Treaty on the European Union (i.e. Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, EAEC et al) which completely renovated the European Union and abolished the pillar structure. It was a fresh attempt to legitimise the Union.
2008 The Banking Union is established to deal with the global economic crisis.
2013 Croatia joins the EU becoming the 28th member.
(Referendum Party 1994 – 1997)
Before the Brexit Party formed in April 2019 there was the Referendum Party in 1994 and UKIP in September 1993. These three parties have been the significant Eurosceptic force in British politics keeping alive the very real problem of the UK’s depleting sovereignty.
Both UKIP and The Referendum Party were formed in opposition to the Maastricht Treaty 1993. Labour MPs including Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn demanded a referendum in order to stop it and Conservative MP Enoch Powell condemned the Conservative Party for supporting it.
UKIP candidates stood in the 1997 general election, but were overshadowed by James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party. Of the 165 seats contested by both parties, the Referendum Party beat UKIP in all but two. After the elections UKIP leader and founder Alan Sked left the party because he said it contained racist members and was doomed to remain on the political fringes.
“The Europe of Maastricht could only have been created in the absence of democracy.”
— Claude Cheysson, former French Foreign Secretary and European Commissioner.
James Goldsmith was so outraged at the politicians he saw in Europe that he gave the UK parties an ultimatum, to provide a referendum or face opposition at the general election. He vowed to set up a party with a candidate in each constituency to give people the framework to vote for change.
His new party would only be active for thirty days and only introduce one piece of legislation, to secure a referendum. Once done the party would resign. It was a trick employed by the Brexit Party in 2019 when their single objective was to secure Brexit.
Sir James Goldsmith was a relation to the well known Goldman Sachs dynasty. His daughter, British film producer and magazine editor, Jemima, was formerly married to Imran Khan the later President of Pakistan. He was also the brunt of insinuations by the press that he was the father of Lady Diana, due to a liaison with Diana’s mother.
He used £20 million of his own money to fund the Referendum Party over its brief existence and he was adamant from the start that it was purely to campaign for another European referendum.
He was convinced that when people were advised of the full extent of the loss of their sovereignty that they would put an end to any involvement with the EC.
Having been a businessman of some stature, he had turned to politics when he researched the way the EC worked and decided that he had to fight it. He started a political party in France and later came to the UK.
In a British electoral culture in which it is notoriously difficult for new political parties or maverick politicians to establish themselves, James Goldsmith was one of the key figures to initiate political opposition to the EC. In March 1993, he gave a televised lecture publicly declaring opposition to the EC which was transmitted across the UK on Channel 4 Television.
In 1994 in his country of origin, France, he was first elected a member of the European Parliament representing the Majorité pour l’autre Europe party, and then as leader of the eurosceptic Europe of Nations group within the European Parliament. In the same year he founded and financed The Referendum Party in the UK, modelled on the Majorité pour l’autre Europe, with the objective of seeking a referendum for its national withdrawal from the European Community.
“Democracy requires informed consent of the governed.“
— Sir James Goldsmith
The referendum he campaigned for never happened and he went on to fight in the 1997 general election for which he mailed to approximately five million homes a VHS video cassette film in which he addressed the electorate, free from the editorial control of the mainstream media. Sadly he died just two months after that election from the effects of pancreatic cancer which also saw the end of the party.
“I have voted in two referendums in my life – to end apartheid in South Africa and to end EU domination over the United Kingdom. Both results were perhaps not quite what the governments of the day wished for. However, the South African government honoured the commitment it had given.“
— Sir James Goldsmith
The EU and the European Central Bank have struggled with high sovereign debt and collapsing growth in Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain since the global financial market collapse of 2008. Greece and Ireland received financial bailouts from the community in 2009, which were accompanied by fiscal austerity. Portugal followed in 2011, along with a second Greek bailout.
Multiple rounds of interest rate cuts and economic stimulus failed to resolve the problem. Northern countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands increasingly resented the financial drain from the south.
Repeated roumors that Greece would be forced to withdraw from the euro failed to materialise amid disagreement as to whether the move was legally possible as it was not covered in the Maastricht Treaty. Indeed as we have discussed, the EU has no mechanism to expel members.
As the situation moved from crisis to stagnation, the UK government announced it would hold a referendum to determine whether it would remain a part of the EU on 23 June 2016. The nation voted to Leave the EU. Legally scheduled for 29 March 2019 and postponed several times until 31 January 2020, Brexit was the news item of the century until the coronavirus pandemic occurred.
The decision to Leave the EU had divided the UK. It revealed that almost half of the population were proud europhiles not concerned about sacrifices made by their predecessors to maintain sovereignty and freedom.
A despicable three years followed the referendum during which the europhiles, businesses, and MPs constructively employed every effort to overturn the referendum result. Brexiteers suffered the worst kind of persecution. In the previous section you heard James Goldsmith in the video clip describe the same thing happening during that time.
Alexandra Phillips expressing in a nutshell the vitroil experienced by Leavers on Question Time 30 May 2019.
Fortunately the Brexit Party were there to give many people a voice against the two main parties that did not look like they were going to get Brexit done. The Brexit Party stood candidates in every constituency, but then to the disappointment of many, they stood down candidates in constituencies where the Conservatives could win, thereby ensuring the Leave vote would not be split. The Brexit Party believed that Boris Johnson could secure Brexit.
In a dramatic twist, Boris Johnson did more than was expected and held his ground against the EU onslaught. Having won the General Election in December 2019 there were just eleven months to get it done until the final leave date of 1st January 2021.
The EU were embittered and offered no compromise to break the impasse around discussions for a trade deal. In what can only be described as the weirdest moment in political history, both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier contracted the coronavirus at the same time.
Conspiracy theorists will no doubt read into the coincidence but the europhiles made no bones about calling for a postponement of Brexit due to coronavirus to which Prime Minister Johnson, from his bed in the Intensive Care Unit at the Saint Thomas Hospital, re-affirmed that there would be no delay.
In April 2006 David Cameron, described UKIP members on LBC Radio as fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly. Mr Farage asked for an apology but Cameron did not back down. On 12 September 2006 he was elected leader of UKIP with 45% of the vote and would lead it for ten years.
After the referendum in 2016, Mr Farage resigned as UKIP leader on 4 July 2016 with the following comment, “During the referendum I said I wanted my country back … now I want my life back. I won’t be changing my mind again, I can promise you.” he said, referring to two previous withdrawals of his resignation in 2009 and 2015.
On 29 March 2017, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union, Mr Tim Barrow, formally delivered by hand a letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council in Brussels, formerly invoking Article 50.
What ensued was treachery and treason by the government and parliament in collusion and the UK was blocked from leaving the EU. Mr Farage, serving as an MEP in Belgium was so outraged that he formed the Brexit Party to give people the framework to fight for democracy.
Nigel Farage at EU parliament advising not to give the UK a Brexit extension past 29 March 2019, which of course they did.
Nigel Farage at EU parliament advising not to give the UK a Brexit extension past 12 April 2019, which of course they did.