Britain’s Suicide Note

Britain is to cease to exist as an independent nation and this has come out on a voluntary basis.  In other words, we, as a nation, are effectively committing suicide.

What have we given up?

  • We had the greatest empire the world has ever known and, having turned it into a Commonwealth with The Queen as its Head, we subsequently turned our backs on its 54 countries with a population of about a billion people, by abandoning Commonwealth preferential trade, in favour of the so called advantages of local trade in Europe.
  • We have also given up on our own sovereignty, or the right to be an independent nation with its people choosing their government, when necessary.  Instead, about 72% of our laws come directly from Brussels and are incorporated into our legal system without us being able to do anything about it.

Our Politicians call this “sharing sovereignty” which is nonsense, as, like virginity, sovereignty cannot be shared!

We have given up our democratic right to govern ourselves in favour of governed by permanent, unelected and unremovable bureaucrats, deciding our future from their headquarters in Brussels.

We have given up our financial independence and even sold two thirds of our gold reserves at $280 per ounce and switched into Euros, to show solidarity and loyalty to our new masters, the European Union.  We now pay about £50m per day to those bureaucrats for the “privilege” of being governed by them.

Why did we do this?

Because our own British elected politicians did it for us without telling us what was happening, and hoped we did not notice until it was too late.

When did it start?

After the Second World War when we saved France and the rest of Europe from Germany under Hitler.

 Who now governs us?

The EU, which is now run by France & Germany since the Treaty of the Elysee on 22nd January 1963, whereby they agreed to be the heart of Europe and have acted together ever since.

What was the starting point?

The European Coal and Steel Community in March 1951 — a single market amongst six countries in Europe, including Germany and France.

Next there was The Treaty of Rome in 1957.

This set up the European Economic Community (EEC), known as The Common Market.  The Common Market sounds like economic co-operation only, but the treaty set up all the machinery of a single super state, including Council of Ministers, an executive Commission, a Parliament, a legal system based on continental law and headed by a European Court of Justice, a Central Bank and a tax system called VAT.  There was also a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), although fishing was not yet included.  There was no way of changing any parts of the treaty unless all signatories agreed to do so.

The European Court of Justice was set up to give judgements which must always be in favour of closer political union.  This court had little to do with “justice” and much to do with “Integration”. It should have, more accurately, been called the European Court of Integration.

This treaty, and all the others following, were drafted in accordance with the “Acquis Communitaire” system, “that which is acquired by the Community.”  It means power, once handed to Brussels, is never returned, and cannot be renegotiated.

The European Communities Act of 1972

In 1972 Edward Heath pushed through Parliament the European Communities Act.  This Act was not an international treaty, but an Act of Parliament deciding that it no longer was the supreme authority for lawmaking in this country.  This Act was passed in conjunction with Britain applying for membership of the “Common Market” or European Economic Community (EEC).  The public were never told about the consequences of this Act.

In the famous ”Metric Martyr” High Court judgement 29 years later, in the spring of 2001, Judge Morgan ruled that because of this Act “We are now living under a new legal ORDER.  Parliament surrendered its sovereignty in 1972.  The doctrine of the primacy of European Law holds good. European laws have over-riding force with priority over our law.” This judgement was confirmed on appeal.

Britain joins the EEC on January 1st 1973

Unbeknown to the British electorate, Edward Heath, in order to gain membership of the EEC, had made a deal in 1972 with the EEC and gave away British sovereignty of our territorial fishing waters.  Up to that point fishing had not been included in any treaties, but was later added in the Maastricht Treaty under Articles 38-47.

Our Referendum in 1975

Harold Wilson, after campaigning in the 1974 General Election on the basis of wanting to renegotiate our terms of EEC entry, gave us a referendum.  The referendum was on whether or not we were happy with the “renegotiated terms” to approve Britain’s 1973 entry into the EEC under the Treaty of Rome.  In fact there were no changes at all to the terms of entry, and the treaty itself was unchanged

 He strongly advised the country to vote YES, giving so called “trade” reasons, and directly reassuring us that there would be no loss of sovereignty. This we did, on a low vote of only 47%. There has never been another referendum in the last 35 years.  Now, nobody below the age of 53 has ever had the chance to vote on a referendum on how this country should be governed.

The Single European Treaty of 1986

This treaty was signed by Margaret Thatcher who later said that she had been tricked into signing it. But Article “A” says the purpose of it was “ever closer union”, which is in line with the earlier Treaty of Rome.

The treaty changed the Common Market or EEC to the European Community, with the word “Economic” left out.  It also removed the national veto in certain areas by the principal of Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Ministers.  It also introduced European control over lawmaking, employment, regional development, environment and foreign policy.

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1988

This was not an international treaty but a normal Parliamentary procedure which went through the House of Commons and the Lords and received the Queen’s Royal Assent.  This act regulated amongst other things, the allocation of our reduced fishing quotas in British waters to British registered trawlers at the expense of the foreign fleet.  The Act was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice and Britain was fined, and also had to pay compensation to Spanish trawler owners, at a total cost to this country of £100m.  The conservative Government meekly paid up, with taxpayers’ money, without a murmur, so as not to alert the public what a disaster we faced.

The Maastricht Treaty of 1993

The official name is: Treaty on European Union. Agreed by John Major, it changed the European Community to the European Union.  Article 8 made all citizens of the United Kingdom citizens of the European Union, including Her Majesty the Queen, and could be deemed as an act of treason by any who signed it, including Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, and Francis Maude who both formally signed the document.

Indeed, a citizen’s charge of treason was taken out against them by Norris McWhirter, of Guiness Book of Records fame.  This was successful in the magistrates’ court, but the case then had to go to a higher court.  At this point, the Attorney General in the conservative government exercised his power to take over any private citizen’s right to go to law, and having replaced Norris McWhirter, he failed to take it any further, thus ending the treason procedure against Douglas Hurd and Francis Maude.

The treaty created obligations of its citizens to the newly created European Union, or, EU, but did not state what they are.  That was left to the European Court of Justice to decide.  The ECJ was officially given full authority by the treaty, to be the Supreme Court of Europe, under articles 169-172.

 The Maastrict Treaty introduced regionalisation throughout Europe, whereby the whole of the EU is split up into Regions to be directly governed by Brussels, bypassing Westminster through the secretive Committee of the Regions.  Britain is now just 12 regions in Europe, and both British local and parliamentary government is being gradually replaced in power and influence.  London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are 4 of the 12 regions, with England broken up into 9 separate EU regions.  You will have noticed how services such as health, ambulances, planning guidance and now policing are now being regionalised along these lines.  The treaty officially confirmed the creation of the EU fishing waters, although by arrangement with Brussels, Britain had already had agreed that EU fishing boats, the vast majority of which are Spanish, could fish in British waters.  From then onwards British waters holding over 70% of Europe’s fish stocks became EU waters, with Britain being allocated, under the new quota system, about 12½% of the annual catch, devastating UK fishing.

The introduction of regulations was provided by the treaty.  Regulations issued by the European Commission have immediate effect in all countries, without being debated in any national parliament.  An example is Regulation 3760/92 which decreed that from 1st January 2003, EU fishing boats would be able to fish right up to our shores, thus abolishing our 12 mile limit. Directives, on the other hand, are notionally debated before being incorporated into UK law, after being adjusted or “gold plated” by the government.  The break up of the Post Office is because of EU Directives 97/67/EC and 2002/39/EC which have undermined the Royal Mail, and EU state aid rules which have lead directly to the closure of 2,500 Post Offices in this country.  The government and opposition politicians, apart from an honourable few, hardly ever mentioned this in their arguments over the current problems facing the Royal Mail.

Regulations will gradually replace directives as more power goes to Brussels.

The treaty also introduced the notion of a Common Defence Policy and a single currency.  We all know about the currency, but have you noticed the BBC talking about the European Navy patrolling the seas of Somalia, when the ship doing so is clearly a Royal Navy frigate acting under orders from its HQ in Brussels?  Are we prepared to fight for a European state?

In the early 1990s Britain entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in preparation for joining the Euro single currency.  However, we entered at the wrong rate, and in attempting to maintain a fixed rate for the pound we suffered, in the following years, high interest rates reaching 15%, unemployment rising from 1.5m to 3m, and 100,000 businesses going bankrupt.  To avoid total monetary collapse and the loss of all our reserves to the speculators, Britain was forced to leave the ERM and float the pound.  The pound has been floating happily ever since.  However, the European Commission intends that Britain should be in the European currency, because there cannot be full political union without monetary union.

The Treaty of Amsterdam of 1999

just an amending treaty,” Tony Blair.

Signed by Tony Blair in Rome, it place EU control over further areas of British law, and established Europol, the EU state security service, which, is above the law, and cannot be sued, whatever damage they do in the exercise of their activities.  Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident, makes the point that even the KGB did not enjoy this immunity.  Europol comes into being, with full authority as an EU agency, on January 1st 2010.

 Treaty of Nice in 2001

Signed again by Tony Blair, giving up another 39 vetoes on areas of British life.  It introduced Corpus Juris which was an interpretation of continental law, to replace British Law such as Habeas Corpus, whereby a person cannot be held in custody for more than 96 hours without being charged. Under Corpus Juris, a suspect can be held in custody for up to six months without charge, and then a further three months in custody without trial.

The concept of the accused being assumed to be innocent, unless proved guilty in a Court, will go. Already in EU civil law, the responsibility has fallen on the accused to prove his innocence.  The entitlement of a person charged with a criminal offence to be tried by a jury, will also go.

Under the EU Arrest Warranty, any citizen can be extradited to another EU country on suspicion of committing an act which is not an offence in this country.  He can be put in prison while waiting to be charged or to be put on trial by a magistrate or judge.  308 UK citizens were extradited in this way in 2008, according to the charity Fair Trial International.

Article 191 grants the EU power to withdraw or prevent funding, private, state or at EU level, for political parties deemed “unsuitable”.  This means that the EU can suspend or ban a political party if it so decides. This could first apply to EU-critical parties and is associated with the laws of a police state.

The European Constitution Treaty of 2004

This was signed by Blair and was intended to be the second Treaty of Rome and the last treaty necessary to give Brussels full control of Europe with the creation of “The United States of Europe”.

The new state would have its own entity as a country, with its own Foreign Policy and its own embassies throughout the world.  The member states would cease to exist as such and would end up as mere regions within the new state.  In other words, the EU’s Foreign Office will not be at the service of the nation states, but will supplant them. This is now being enacted through the EU’s Brok Report and with its new Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton.

The European Commission would take full executive powers for itself, would choose its own members who could not be removed.  Furthermore, the Commission, if it so decided, would be able to change or “amend” any existing arrangements in the same way as Hitler did with his Enabling Act in 1933.  In other words, the Commission was effectively given the powers of a legally appointed dictatorship.

The European Council, representing the heads of all the member states and acting as a form of trustee for the EU, would become merely a Senate, or talking shop, with no remaining powers.

Tony Blair was eventually persuaded to agree to have a referendum on the new constitution to ratify his signature.  This forced France and Holland to do the same, and as they were likely to vote yes, this would persuade Britain to do likewise.  To the horror of the politicians, both France and Holland voted decisively against the treaty and this killed off the project for the time being.  It also let off Mr Blair from having a referendum in Britain.

 Meanwhile in the General Election of 2005, two months before the French referendum, all three main parties in the UK promised in their manifestos, that if voted into power, they would give the voters a referendum on a constitutional treaty.

The European Reform Treaty of 2007 (The Lisbon Treaty, now a Constitution)

After the demise of the constitutional treaty of 2004, the European politicians gradually recovered from the shock of the French and Dutch reversals and set up the Lisbon Treaty which, they said, was not a constitutional treaty at all.  It was instead, merely a “tidying up exercise”, to help the European Commission be more “efficient” in governing the enlarged Europe of 27 nations.  The Eastern Lib Dem MEP and avowed federalist, Andrew Duff, co-wrote this treaty/constitution.

In order to be more “efficient” in governing, it does help to be a dictatorship.  A dictatorship does not have to use uptime and energy in consulting or listening to the people, or ever risking a general election.

The word “reform” was put into the treaty to enable the previous treaties to be reformed or adjusted, and more importantly, to make it look less like its predecessor of 2004.  The actual wording of the European Reform Treaty is very difficult to understand because it keeps referring to previous treaties, and the reader has no way of really grasping what it means without the help of an experienced constitutional lawyer.  Few ordinary Members of Parliament could master what it really meant.

However, the experts who did understand what it was about, included Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the ex French President and author of the “dead” constitution of 2004, who said it was virtually the same.  Indeed, out of 250 articles, only 10 were different from its predecessor.  The key self amending clause was retained in the treaty under article 48.  This is extremely dangerous as it allows EU Ministers to amend the treaty behind closed doors with no further need for parliamentary approval of referenda.

The main differences were the lack of the word “constitution” in the name which was replaced by the word “reform”, the removal of the 12 star national flag and the EU “Ode to Joy” anthem from the text.  The two latter items have already been added back to all EU procedures currently taking place.

The Irish were required by their own constitution to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and this took place in 2008.  Again, much to the consternation of the politicians the Irish voted NO in their referendum.  However, in the summer of 2009, Brussels again presented to Ireland the same referendum on the unchanged treaty with the “invitation” to vote again.

The Irish voted YES this time around, and once Poland and the Czech Republic reluctantly followed Ireland, without a referendum, the treaty was finally ratified by the politicians (but not by the peoples) of all EU countries and became law on December 1st 2009.

Meanwhile, Britain was denied the right to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, affecting the entire future of this country, by Gordon Brown, the leader of the Labour Government who denied that the treaty was the same as the constitution treaty.  He was aided by the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and both of them instructed their parties to vote directly against what each party had promised in their 2005 manifestos, namely, to have a referendum on any constitutional changes affecting Britain. Between them, they broke their election promises and forced our Westminster Parliament to vote its parliamentary sovereignty into oblivion, or into the hands of unelected bureaucrats to govern us without us being able to remove them.

 The Lisbon Treaty does include virtually all the terms of its predecessor, the 2004 Constitutional Treaty, which has been described earlier, and will be the last treaty required.  There will not be any need for further treaties because the European Commission has now acquired all the powers it needs.  The Commission has become a legally created Dictatorship although the way it was done leaves very serious doubts about the whole concept of a truly United Europe.

How did the politicians get away with it?

Because it was done so slowly, we did not notice.  It was so boring and complicated that we ignored it.  The politicians lied to us all along, yet we believed them. This was just as Jean Monnet had planned in the 1950s.

The future

The Conservative Party have gone back on the now infamous “cast iron guarantee” and have told us that they will now not hold any referendum.  They will merely try to stop further powers going to the EU in the foreseeable future, and seek to negotiate aspects of treaties.  However, this is impossible as there is no prevision for it under EU laws.  We must see what happens if they get into power in our Westminster Parliament. They will find themselves up against European law which they must obey if they wish to remain in the European Union.

Two perfect examples of this will be: First, when we are required by the Commission to give up the pound and enter the euro money system.  This is a requirement of both the 2004 Constitution and more importantly the Lisbon Treaty.  One of its clauses states that “the currency of the Union shall be the Euro”, and you cannot be more plain than that.  There is going to be a political explosion when it happens.  The Conservatives can do nothing about it except make a decision to join the Euro against all their promises to the electorate or take the opportunity to make a final break and leave the EU, which any country can still do under the terms of Lisbon.  The second example could arise if the Commission “requires” Britain to change over to driving on the right, which the Commission can do as it has dictatorial powers over us, and from its point of view, is the logical thing to do. After all, you can hardly have part of a single country driving on the left, with the rest driving on the right.

You may think that this is an exaggeration and the whole thing is becoming farcical.  But it is no more farcical than a previously sovereign country, such as ours, committing suicide, which Britain seems to have done.

If you wish to embarrass your MP, ask whether his or her loyalty is to the Queen or to the new President of Europe.  After all, the Queen is now a citizen of the EU.

Did you know that the Commission has appointed 7 ex-communists, including Mr Barroso, the current Chairman?  Mrs Merkel, from East Germany, is another.

Did you know that the terms of the Lisbon Treaty introduced the death penalty in certain circumstances?  The terms are tucked away in an obscure place (a footnote attached to a footnote) and have not yet been noticed by the Labour or Liberal Parties who voted for it.

What is a wasted vote?  A wasted vote for a party with those policies you do not agree.  Anyone who does not wish to be a part of the EU and votes for any of the three main parties is wasting their vote.  For those who do not want to be governed by the EU, it does not matter which party they vote for as each of those three parties will keep us in the EU and under total EU control.

If a Europhile tells you that three million jobs in Britain depend on the EU, just remind them that four million jobs in Europe depend on exports to Britain.  80% of Britain’s trade is generated internally, with 20% being exports and imports.  Of this 20%, only about 9% is with countries in the EU and 11% is with the rest of the world.  As Britain has a large trade deficit with the EU, and its single largest trading partner, it is hardly likely that trade would suffer if we left the EU.

Switzerland and Norway are in Europe but not in the EU, and are two of the richest European countries per head.  The benefits of trade with the EU can be retained by a free trade agreement – the EU has such agreements with many countries and the Swiss francs are spared import tax in theirs.  Their own government found that being outside the EU cost 600m Swiss francs but saved 3.4 billion francs each year.  The EU needs Britain for trade more than we need the EU trade.

Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident who spent 12 years in a gulag said, “Remember, I have lived your future and it does not work.”

We have been warned.  We have just begun to live in a totalitarian regime, although many people do not yet realise this.

Can we leave the European Union?

Yes We Can!

Under the British Constitution, no Parliament can bind its successors, so a new parliament can quickly overturn all the EU treaties signed to date and repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which gave parliamentary approval for joining the then EEC.

The Lisbon Treaty for the first time defines a mechanism for withdrawal in Article 50.2. However, the terms would be set by the EU to make things as difficult as possible   for the applicant state.

The likely arrangements for leaving would be:

  •   The UK Parliament would rescind all previous EU treaties under the basic rule of our constitution that “No parliament can bind its successors.”
  •   Parliament would therefore repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and all subsequent EU legislation, thereby returning to the people the power to appoint our government.
  •  Having repealed the European Communities Act of 1972 the British Government, being sovereign, would inform the European Commission that Britain is leaving the EU immediately and would henceforth no longer be subjected to any EU directives or regulations.  This action would no doubt cause considerable fury and dire threats from the European Commission but it could do nothing about it as Britain would no longer be a member.  Any action such as imposing tariffs would be illegal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines.

Having officially left the European Union, Parliament could at last govern this country as it was elected to do.  Probably its first task would be to negotiate a trade deal with the EU from a position of strength and independence.

Parliament’s next task would be to unravel all the unnecessary directives and regulations from the 120,000 laws imposed on us by the European Commission.  This would release an enormous amount of energy and enterprise that is stifled by current legislation.  It would get Britain going again, and allow considerable cuts in red tape on businesses and lower taxes for citizens and businesses alike.

Result

We would be a democratic, deregulated, competitive offshore haven, with lower taxes, less bureaucracy and very much richer too.  It is never too late to do the right thing.

by James Carver

Churchill’s United States of Europe

Contrary to much mis-reporting of what Churchill actually advocated in terms of a United Europe, his belief was in a two-fold European solution; the first was a reconstituted ‘League of Nations’ in the UNO, to which the UK would belong, and the second a federation between France, the German Länder and Europe’s other small states but excluding the United Kingdom. He formulated this as early as 1946, at a time when France and the US were still committed to implementing a version of the Morgenthau Plan aimed at depriving her of all industrial capacity, governing the Saar and Ruhr as international zones, and reducing Germany’s population by 24m to a level at which she could only just subsist.

Churchill had revolted against Morgenthau when the plan was first proposed in Tehran in 1943. By Quebec in 1944, the US had explicitly linked a $6.5bn credit for the UK to Churchill’s acceptance of the Plan; Roosevelt, in an act of utter crassness, actually required Churchill to sign the Morgenthau Plan before they signed the credit agreement, prompting Churchill to exclaim “What do you want me to do? Get on my hind legs and beg like Fala?”. Morgenthau became occupation policy as JCS1067.

The other key influential supporter and proponent of the Morgenthau Plan was Jean Monnet, later to achieve notoriety as the ‘Father of Europe’. The Monnet Plan and Morgenthau Plan had a single shared aim; to deprive Germany permanently of any industrial capacity, and of any export capacity. Through 1945 and 1946 the US and French long-term aims of German population reduction came dangerously close to realisation; disease and starvation stalked Germany, in the wasteland ruins and in the POW camps Typhoid, Cholera and Diptheria raged. At a time when UK and French civilians has returned to pre-war nutrition levels, German civilians were subsisting on as little as 1,000 Kcals a day
– comparable to Concentration Camp rations. A great part of the problem was that 17m more Germans than calculated had to be fed in the US, UK and French zones – the 13m Germans who crossed the Elbe, 8m DPs and slave labourers, and 5m POWs who surrendered to the West were vastly in excess of expectations.

Against this background Churchill spoke at Zurich in September 1946 (RECORDING);

“.. we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe, and the first practical step will be to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join a union we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and every land from war and servitude must be established on solid foundations, and must be created by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than to submit to tyranny. In this urgent work France and Germany must take the lead together.”

But he made clear that Britain and the Commonwealth would not be members of this USE;

“Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America — and, I trust, Soviet Russia, for then indeed all would be well — must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live. Therefore I say to you “Let Europe arise!”

Churchill also advocated that a United States of Europe, with France and Germany at its core, take its place alongside Britain and the great powers at the United Nations;

” There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe that the larger synthesis can only survive if it is founded upon broad natural groupings. There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. These do not weaken, on the contrary they strengthen, the world organisation. They are in fact its main support. And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this mighty continent? And why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings and help to shape the honourable destiny of man?”

By September 1946 the prospect of mass starvation in Germany was real. The vengeful, retributive policies of Morgenthau and Jean Monnet were leading to a genocide of the German people. Churchill’s dictum that “The USA always does the right thing – eventually” proved true again when James F Bymes spoke in Stuttgart to repudiate the Morgenthau and Monnet Plans; in “Restatement of Policy on Germany” the US ditched the hateful JCS1067 and JCS1779 – the Marshall Plan – was launched.

This wasn’t quite the end. The ‘Morgenthau boys’ committed one last act of spite and destruction in breaking the German banking system, and Jean Monnet held onto both the Saar and control over German coal and steel production for many years.

But it was Britain’s conscience, through Churchill, that from 1943 to the end of 1946 spoke up to save Germany from US and French intentions for her destruction. “In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill”

Indeed.

by Raedwald

The Government confirms 18 month EU delay on state aid requests and “astonishing list” of outstanding applications

News Release
THE PRESS OFFICE OF The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)  

In reply to the third in a series of written questions on state aid from the independent Labour peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon (24.02.14), the Government has confirmed that there are 25 outstanding applications for European Commission approval of state aid.  It has also confirmed a delay of up to 18 months in order to receive clearance from Brussels and provided a full list of the outstanding applications (see below).
Lord Stoddart, commenting on the Government’s response said:  “This astonishing list confirms that our democratically elected Government has to go cap in hand to unelected EU bureaucrats in Brussels for permission to give state aid grants for everything from supporting the building of a nuclear power plant at Hinckley Point to film and video games tax relief and even a Welsh red meat advertising scheme!
“We no longer have a Government in this country.  It has become little more than a fawning subsidiary of the European Commission.”
Ends
The full text of Lord Stoddart’s question and the Government’s answer is as follows:
Hansard 24.02.14 – State Aid
Question
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 23 January concerning European Union powers relating to state aid to United Kingdom undertakings (WA 166), what are the 26 cases before the European Commission; and what is the timescale for discussion of those cases.[HL5231]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): Since the previous Written Answer, 4 of the 26 cases have received approval from the European Commission. These are:
– All-Island Collaborative R&D Scheme (Innova) – prolongation- Enterprise Capital Funds
24 Feb 2014 : Column WA227
– Scottish R&D&I Scheme- Support for land remediation – prolongation
One further case has been put on hold by the UK, and 4 new cases have been notified. The 25 cases currently before the Commission are therefore as follows:
1. Agricultural and Horticultural Levy Board Market Research Scheme 2. Agricultural and Horticultural Levy Board Technical Support Scheme 3. Aid for indirect carbon price floor costs  4. Amendment to SA.35565 – Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme 5. Electricity Market Reform: Capacity Market6. Electricity Market Reform – Investment Contract (early Contract for Difference) for the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station 7. Electricity Market Reform – Renewables Contract for Difference 8. English Woodland Grant Scheme 9. Government support to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project 10. Green Bus Fund 11. Isles of Scilly Airlinks12. Isles of Scilly and Penzance sealinks 13. Liverpool City Council Cruise Liner Terminal 14. The Marine Energy Array Demonstrator (MEAD) Scheme 15. Modifications to NEST pension scheme 16. Northern Ireland Gas Pipeline – extension to the West and the North West 17. Partnership support for regeneration18. R&D&I Scheme for Northern Ireland – extension to 31 December 201919. Regional Stadia Development in Northern Ireland20. Renewables Obligation in Northern Ireland 21. Regional Growth Fund – Jaguar LandRover (JLR)22. Update to the UK Film Tax Relief 23. Video games tax relief 24. Waste Contract to provide waste disposal services for spent fuel and intermediate level waste (ILW) from new nuclear power stations 25. Welsh Red Meat Advertising Scheme
As set out in the Procedural Regulation 659/1999, the Commission is required to conclude the preliminary examination of notified cases within two months of receiving the complete notification. From pre-notification to decision, cases are usually before the Commission for between 6 and 18 months.

Germany: The next sick man of Europe?

From the brink of incredible success, the new German coalition is on the verge of driving Germany back towards an almost inevitable economic abyss…

Eurocrats love to opine about European competitiveness from their lofty tax free towers. Yet the most competitive aspect of Europe remains the race to be the genuine sick man of Europe. Britain held the mantle unchallenged during the 1970’s until Margaret Thatcher revitalised the nation’s fortunes in an unprecedented reversal. Now the sick man of Europe mantle is hypercompetitive. Greece, Spain, Italy and Cyprus are amongst a series of basket case economies while France is on the cusp of a triple dip recession thanks to a dizzying spiral of dismal government.

However, the idea that Germany, the all-powerful hegemon of Europe, might itself biodegrade economically sounds preposterous as we can easily bear witness to roads awash with an ocean of Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and VWs. Nevertheless, the cycle is turning and Germany is once again in danger of decline. Ironically Germany was written off a decade ago, after a lavish but bruising reunification process proved the folly of top down economics: Eastern Germany remains economically patchy whereas Poland without a western ‘sugar daddy’ is a remarkable economic success story. Germany’s rise was thanks to the Social Democrats (SPD) who, ironically, are proving pivotal in dragging Berlin back down again. Hartz IV was a key development by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, at once making Germany more dynamic and igniting the incredible decade of growth that saw“Mutti” Merkel hectoring the rest of the EU on the virtues of fiscal prudence.

Alas the German electorate just didn’t quite love Mrs Merkel enough, voting her a poisoned chalice in the recent general election. Her third term is a coalition moving Germany left. One key SPD demand? Watering down the Hartz employment laws which they introduced! Swingeing rises in minimum wages won’t help competitiveness, nor will higher taxes.

This economic paragon has obtained a complacent coalition just when it must plan for the future. Mrs Merkel hectors abroad yet appears aloof to the problems facing her homeland.

Demography is a big issue. Despite a lavish $265 billion annual spend on family subsidies to encourage population growth, Germany is aging (already the oldest in Europe with median age of 45). Demographic studies are frightening: the German population could plunge by 21% or 17 million people to 65 million by 2060. The workforce is shrinking by 200,000 a year. Germany has fewer people in work today than it had 20 years ago. Germans tend to be guarded about immigrants – just when they need an influx.

The German state has a massive series of top down legacy projects which allied with even a much more modest than predicted population decline, can cause economic problems. German power prices are 30% above the EU average and twice that of US rivals (no wonder Daimler Benz are considering a new Mercedes factory stateside).

Scaremongering about fracking is closing the shale spigot while Mrs Merkel’s knee-jerk cowardice post Fukushima in closing down all nuclear power plants will go down in history as concerted energy suicide. Germany lavishes 700 billion – 1 trillion euro subsidising erratic renewables which is, itself, er, unsustainable. This green dream is every taxpayer’s worst nightmare. Mrs Merkel is invariably the woman banging her stiletto on the EU summit table demanding prudence, reciting her triptych of welfare madness (Europe is 7% world population, 25% of the global economy and 50% of Earth’s social spending). Yet, Mrs Merkel herself is perilously close to ignoring her own golden rules at home.

Despite a massive government bribe for births, Germany’s demographics look shaky. An aging nation is discouraging investment and employment while demanding fiscal rectitude from eurozone neighbours. Ultimately Germany is slowing long-term. Productivity growth has been barely 0.6 percent for a decade, half the OECD rate. Right now Germany may appear the class of the field in its own backyard but then again the ‘Eurotrash’ economies are no match for their emerging competitors. Meanwhile Germany cannot afford to bulk up its government sector when holding together the euro vanity currency. It will soon require hard cash on top of national bills for crazy green subsidies, birth bonuses and a massive unfunded pension liability.

The German boom is close to its peak. It may soon be a sick man although probably not the sick man amongst Europe’s fantasy economies. However how can the EU itself survive a bout of German influenza?

The Lisbon Treaty: A constitutional revolution by stealth by Anthony Coughlan

When the Lisbon Treaty came into force at the end of last year, members of the European Parliament, who previously had been “representatives of the peoples of the States brought together in the Community”, became “representatives of the Union’s citizens”. This change in the legal status of MEPs is but one illustration of the constitutional revolution being brought about by the Lisbon Treaty.

For Lisbon, like the EU Constitution before it, establishes for the first time a European Union which is constitutionally separate from and superior to its Member States, just as the USA is separate from and superior to its 50 constituent states, or as Federal Germany is in relation to its Länder.

The 27 EU members thereby lose their character as true sovereign states. Constitutionally, they become more like regional states in a multinational federation, although they still retain some of the trappings of their former sovereignty.

Most people are unaware of these astonishing changes, for two reasons. One is that, with the exception of the Irish, the people of the EU member states have been denied any chance of learning about and debating them in national referendums. The other is that the terms “European Union”, “EU citizen” and “EU citizenship” were already in use before Lisbon, but Lisbon changes their constitutional content fundamentally.

The Lisbon Treaty therefore is a constitutional revolution by stealth.

Three steps to a federal-style Constitution

This revolution takes place in three interconnected steps:

Firstly, the Treaty establishes a European Union with legal personality and a fully independent corporate existence for the first time. This enables the post-Lisbon Union to function as a State vis-a-vis other States externally, and in relation to its own citizens internally.

Secondly, Lisbon abolishes the European Community which goes back to the Treaty of Rome and which makes European laws at present, and transfers the Community’s powers and institutions to the new Union, so that it is the post-Lisbon Union, not the Community, which will make supranational European laws henceforth. Lisbon also transfers to the EU the “intergovernmental” powers over crime, justice and home affairs, as well as foreign policy and security, leaving only aspects of the Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy outside the scope of its supranational powers. The Treaty thereby gives a unified constitutional structure to the post-Lisbon EU.

Thirdly, Lisbon then makes 500 million Europeans into real citizens of the new Federal-style Union which the Treaty establishes. Instead of EU citizenship “complementing” national citizenship, as under the Maastricht Treaty, Lisbon provides that EU citizenship shall be “additional to” national citizenship.

This is a real dual citizenship – not of two different States, but of two different levels of one State. One can only be a citizen of a State, and all States must have citizens. Dual citizenship like that provided for in Lisbon is normal in classical Federations which have been established from the bottom up by constituent states surrendering their sovereignty to a superior federal entity, in contrast to federations that have come into being “top-down”, as it were, as a result of unitary states adopting federal form. Examples of the former are the USA, 19th Century Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Lisbon would confer a threefold citizenship on citizens of Federal Germany’s Länder.

Being a citizen means that one must obey the law and give loyalty to the authority of the State of which one is a citizen – in the case of classical Federations, of the two state levels, the federal and the regional or provincial. In the post-Lisbon EU the rights and duties attaching to citizenship of the European Union will be superior to those attaching to one’s national citizenship in any case of conflict between the two, because of the superiority of EU law over national law and Constitutions.

An alternative source of democratic legitimacy to the Nation State

Under Lisbon population size will in turn become the primary basis for EU law- making, as in any State with a common citizenry. This will happen after 2014, when the Treaty provision comes into force that EU laws will be made by 55% of the Member States – currently 15 out of 25 – as long as they represent between them 65% of the total population of the Union. Germany and France together have one third of the EU’s population.

Lisbon provides an alternative source of democratic legitimacy which challenges the right of national governments to be the representatives of their electorates in the EU. The amended Treaty provides: “The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy. Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament. Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments.”

The constitutional structure of the post-Lisbon EU is completed by the provision which turns the European Council of Prime Ministers and Presidents into an “institution” of the new European Union, so that its acts, or its failing to act would, like those of the other EU institutions, be subject to legal review by the EU Court of Justice.

Constitutionally speaking, the summit meetings of the European Council will henceforth no longer be “intergovernmental” gatherings outside supranational European structures, as they have been up to now. The European Council will in effect be the Cabinet Government of the post-Lisbon EU. Its individual members will be constitutionally obliged to represent the Union to their Member States as well as their Member States to the Union, with the former function imposing primacy of legal obligation in any case of conflict or tension between the two.

As regards the State authority of the post-Lisbon European Union, this will be embodied in the EU’s own legislative, executive and judicial institutions: the European Council, Council of Ministers, Parliament, Commission and Court of Justice. It will be embodied also in the Member States and their authorities as they implement and apply EU law and interpret and apply national law in conformity with European law. Member States will be constitutionally required to do this under the Lisbon Treaty.

Although the Lisbon Treaty has given the EU a Federal-style Constitution without most people noticing, they are bound to find out in time and react against what is being done. There is no democratic legitimacy to the institutions the Lisbon Treaty establishes and there is nothing that will make people identify with these as they do with the institutions of their home countries. This is the core problem of the EU integration project. Lisbon has, in effect, made the EU’s democratic deficit much worse.

Anthony Coughlan is President of the Foundation for EU Democracy, Brussels, Belgium, and Director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, Dublin, Ireland. (See www.nationalplatform.org.) He is Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.