UCL report is no vindication for the principle of free movment of people

Professor Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini of University College London published a study of the effects of immigration on the UK. Their conclusions were that non-EU migrants were a drain on public finances but those coming from Eastern Europe are actually contributing more to the exchequer than they receive in benefits. QED, argue supporters of free movement; unfettered intra-EU migration is a good thing for the UK.

Well, not necessarily. Take, for instance, the report’s findings that a higher percentage of migrants from Eastern Europe are in employment than native-born Brits. There is no doubt that our agricultural sector has provided employment for many hard-working migrants from Eastern Europe prepared to put in long hours for low pay in conditions that many UK-born workers would not tolerate. However, not all Polish and Romanian immigrants work on farms. Some are van drivers, some work in the catering industry – jobs which UK workers could equally well do. As Tim Congdon has shown in his booklet Europe Doesn’t Work, immigration from Eastern Europe has definitely destroyed jobs for the UK-born population.

Furthermore, with the workers often come their families, or if the family doesn’t come, the worker is able to claim child benefit and send the money back to his home. David Cameron has admitted that he is powerless to do anything about the sum of at least £15 million in child benefit payments which is sent every year to Poland. Free from the EU, we could address labour shortages with a system of work permits which would not confer any right to benefits or residential rights for family members. We would not be required to allow anyone who did not have a job to come here. We could also deport foreign criminals, which we are currently unable to do if they are citizens of an EU member state.

Finally, one must ask the question as to whether economic considerations are the be-all and end-all. In other words, does the positive benefit to the Treasury as a result of migration from Eastern Europe outweigh all other considerations? To answer this question, it is worth recalling that the objective of the European Union is to create a United States of Europe. It always has been and always will be. The former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reminded us all of this fact when he launched his recent book on Europe Aus sorge um Europa (Worrying about Europe), stating that Europe should move ahead with a policy of closer ties with courage and determination. “Our future is Europe,” he said. In order to build the European superstate, it is necessary to undermine the homogeneity of the populations of the nation states. This sounds like dark conspiracy theory, but in actual fact the Irishman Peter Sutherland, a former European Commissioner who now works at the UN as their special representative for migration, has been quite open about it. Speaking to the House of Lords EU home affairs sub-committee two years ago, he said, “The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others…and that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine.”

Sutherland is wrong, dangerously wrong. Replace a largely homogeneous population with a multi-cultural mish-mash and all manner of problems will result. Josef Stalin moved large numbers of ethnic Russians to the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in the years following the Second World War. It has left a bitter legacy, with the ethnic Russians forming their own political parties in Latvia and demanding Russian be treated as a second official language in the country. Further afield, Brazil, an ethnic melting pot if ever there was one, has a homicide rate 80 times higher than ethnically homogeneous Japan. In his ground-breaking book The Diversity Illusion, Ed West argues that “Throughout history less homogenous societies have tended to require a harsher criminal justice system”. Do we want to preserve our freedoms and to enjoy the blessings of a small state? We therefore would be better off without hundreds of thousands of immigrants that feel no sense of identity with our culture and traditions. Again, to quote West, “The national community is the only environment in which democracy has thrived, for democracy requires a citizenry that feels itself to be part of the political process…. National history and national identity promote trust and solidarity within a society, something that liberal ideals fail to do.”

Seventy five years ago, we fought a war against an aggressive tyrant. It cost us immensely, not only economically but in terms of lost lives. However, it preserved our nation and its freedom and most people consider the price to have been worth paying. We are not required to fight any war at the moment, but if there is an economic cost to restricting migration in order to preserve as much homogeneity as we can in the UK, it too may be a price well worth paying.

Cut the EU Budget? Pull the other one, Dave! (Part 2)

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Since our earlier post on this subject, the latest government “Pink Book” has appeared. This compendium of statistics does not make pleasant reading for David Cameron as he continues to maintain that he has cut the EU budget. What matters to the UK is how much we pay into it and the hard facts show that both our gross and net contributions have increased substantially since the Coalition government came to power in 2010.

Our gross contribution jumped from £15.999 billion to £19.377 billion, an increase of 21%. The situation with our net contribtion, i.e., excluding the rebate, CAP payments, etc, is even worse. It increased from £7,225 billion in 2010 to £11,271 billion last year, a jump of no less than 56%.

Mr Cameron may perhaps be able to claim that he was able to secure a commitment to lower expenditure for the coming EU seven year budeget, but in view of the surcharge of £1.7 billion recently imposed on us, this too has to be taken with a very hefty pinch of salt. Whatever budget the EU may agree one day, it has a habit of increasing further down the road if it feels in need of more cash.

The fatc of the matter is that if MR Cameron wishes to deal with the EU’s voracious appetite for our hard-earned money, he has only one alternative – to withdraw our country from the EU.

A letter to Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP

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To: Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP

25th October 2014
Dear Count Lambsdorff,

I heard you on BBC Radio 4 this morning and agreed with you when you said that the UK, as part of the EU, should pay its dues. I understand the exasperation which you and your colleagues must feel with Mr. Cameron. His position is quite untenable. He wants to be in the ever closer union of the EU for ever and ever but does not like the rules. We still have some remnants of democracy here and Mr. Cameron is faced with the long-delayed awakening of the British people to the real nature of the EU project.

Even those who once supported it keenly admit that they were thoroughly deceived. On 28 July 2013, a Mr. John Lidstone wrote to the Daily Telegraph –
“From 1961 to 1972 as part of a team of key businessmen, I spoke to meetings throughout Britain arguing the case for the United Kingdom to join for trade purposes what was then known as the European Common Market. The case for enjoying the benefits of favourable access to a market place of millions of people was overwhelming. Had Ted Heath, the chief negotiator, told the British people what the long term consequences of joining the EU would be, I and my team would never have supported such a policy”.

And,of course, the political class and government knew the consequences very well. As early as 1947, Peter Thorneycroft, later Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chairman of the Conservative Party, wrote in a pamphlet called “Design for Europe”-
“No government dependent on a democratic vote could possibly agree in advance to the sacrifice that any adequate plan must involve. The British people must be led slowly and unconsciously to the abandonment of their traditional economic defences…not asked.”

So it is hardly surprising that the Foreign Office advised the government in an officially secret document (Ref FCO 30/1048) in 1971
“The transfer of major executive responsibilities to the bureaucratic Commission in Brussels will exacerbate popular feelings of alienation from government. To counter this feeling, strengthened local and regional democratic processes within member states and effective Community economic and social policies will be essential…there would be a major responsibility on HM Government AND ON ALL POLITICAL PARTIES (my emphasis) not to exacerbate public concern by attributing unpopular policies to the remote and unmanageable workings of the Community”.
So devolution and regionalisation were foisted upon us merely to distract people from their powerlessness under this foreign government and the people were to be kept in ignorance of their real rulers.

More recently (2005) the Europhile writer Mark Leonard explained the process in an approving article which he entitled “How the EU deceives its way to Power”.
“Like an invisible hand, the EU operates through existing political structure. There are no European courts, legislatures or business regulations on display in London. The British House of Commons, British law courts and British civil servants are still there but they uphold and implement European law. By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, Europe can envelope countries without becoming a target for hostility”.
Well, that no longer applies and your intervention was helpful in clarifying the situation further.

Another Europhile, Lord Hattersley, understood the sentiments of many British people as long ago as February 2000

“Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe (he meant the EU) involved, but we’ve paid the price for it ever since, because every time there is a crisis in Europe (the EU), people say with some justification . “Well, we would not have been part of this if we’d really known the implications”.
The fundamentally authoritarian, over-mighty nature of the EU project is now too blatant to be further concealed, so British public sentiment today is very much stronger.

Members of this campaign come from across the constitutional political mainstream from the Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign on the Left to the Freedom Association on the Right and our individual members of all parties and none are from the same spectrum.

We would like to be on good terms with our European neighbours. If they wish to merge their states into a single government of the EU or of the Eurozone, that is their business – but we do not want to be part of it – and never did. We were deceived from the beginning about the true intention – by our own politicians rather than anyone else. In spite of over forty years of their deceitful striving against our traditions, liberties and instincts they have never been able to make us settle down and be happy under this yoke. That is why Mr. Cameron is in such an impossible position.

So, it is time for Article 50 in the Lisbon treaty to be invoked which is somewhat like the introduction of divorce in the Irish Republic. A friend remarked of one couple who had parted after a long, unhappy marriage. “Sure, those two will get on better together when they’re apart”. Only an Irishman could put it like that but I think it sums up the position between the people of the United Kingdom and the EU exactly. It would be kind to encourage Mr. Cameron to take this view.

We would be spared the embarrassment of our country’s leader in an untenable, dishonourable position and you and your colleagues would be rid of much future exasperation.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Spalton

Hon. Secretary
Campaign for an Independent Britain

A strategy for victory in a referendum – some more thoughts

You would have to be a remarkable optimist to believe that we could secure independence from the EU if a referendum were to be held in 2015. Those wishing us to stay in have plenty of money and plenty of supporters in corridors of power. Let’s face it, although the most vocal supporters of EU membership moan about “the eurosceptic press”, only the Daily Express has yet come out unequivocally in favour of withdrawal. A referendum in 2017 is winnable, but only by a well-run campaign with a well-thought out strategy

The first plank in any strategy must be to demolish any fig-leaf renegotiation which claims to be a major clawback of powers from Brussels but is, in reality, little more than window dressing. Unfortunately, the electorate may be vulnerable to the same tactics used by Harold Wilson in 1975. Few of the UK population are keen on the EU. Even fewer support the idea of a European superstate, but for many, independence is seen as too big a leap into the dark, especially if a renegotiated relationship within the EU is on offer. An opinion poll undertaken by YouGuv on 20th and 21st October confirms this. Given a choice between independence and the EU status quo, there would be a narrow vote in favour of independence. 42% would vote to leave and 36% to remain in the EU. However, if David Cameron secured ‘modest’ renegotiation, 44% would vote to remain and 36% to leave and if the renegotiation was ‘major’, 53% would vote in, and 23% to leave. Already one of the proposed targets of renegotiation, immigration restriction, has thankfully been shot down by both the old and new presidents of the European Commission along with Germany’s Angela Merkel. We mentioned José Manuel Barroso’s comments in a previous post http://campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk/barroso-says/ Jean-Claude Juncker has followed suit a couple of days later, insisting that he is “not willing to compromise” on the issue of the freedom of movement of migrants within the European Union. Mrs Merkel indicated last weekend that Germany “would not tamper” with the principle of the free movement of workers. So one key item on our Prime Minister’s renegotiation agenda has already proved itself to be dead in the water before serious talking has even begun, but will this be sufficient to stop him trying to pull the wool over our eyes in some other area? Time will tell.

Another important point was made by Michael Fabricant, one of a number of Tory MPs who has come out openly in favour of withdrawal. In an article for the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/21/eu-outers-europe-without-britain ), he claimed that “angry-looking grey men” will never win an “out” campaign. Supporters of withdrawal will need to find younger, positive, articulate spokespersons who will be able to command widespread support. He has a good point. Let’s be clear – there is plenty for the electorate to be angry about. Disillusion with politicians is understandable. Frustration about immigration cannot be dismissed as “racism”. However, there are not sufficient Mr Angrys about to win the vote without support from elsewhere and there are plenty of voters who will not be won over to supporting withdrawal if it’s the Mr Angrys who are fronting the campaign.

And this leads on to the third point. Given the small size of the majority in support of withdrawal even without renegotiation, winning round the undecided – or indeed, those who support the status quo by default without really being aware of the true nature of the EU – requires a positive campaign. To quote Michael Fabricant again, any successful “out” campaign must “instil positive images of the sunlit uplands that will open to Britain as a prosperous global trading nation free from EU directives and dogma.” Polling by the Bruges group suggests that if offered a choice between EU membership and re-joining EFTA, voters swing round to EFTA by a margin of almost four to one. Even the immigration debate can be given a positive slant. Not only would cutting (or better still, stopping) immigration from the EU help preserve our beautiful countryside, as fewer houses would need to be built, but also, research suggests that for anyone who loves freedom and peace, it is desirable to live in a society as ethnically, linguistically and culturally as homogenous as possible. There are also economic benefits of independence, as has been explained by, among others, Professors Tim Congdon and Patrick Minford. An independent Britain really has an exciting future if a successful withdrawal strategy can be devised. Obviously, the negatives cannot and must not be swept under the carpet. Many people are still unaware that the EU’s objective is to create a European superstate and continued participation in the EU project will ultimately lead to the destruction of all that gives our country its distinctive features. However, to persuade our fellow-countrymen to leave, we must both show them just how much better life could be and assure them that there is a viable escape route. CIB has put on a number of seminars recently exploring the possibility of taking the “Norway Option” – combining membership of the EEA and EFTA. It is far from ideal as a long-term relationship between an independent UK and the EU, but it deals with all the fear about job losses and at a stroke, while relieving us of having to follow the diktats of the European Court of Justice, enabling us to strike out 80% of EU legislation and saving us money – a moot point given the sudden recent demand by the EU for £1.7 billion extra dosh from the hard-pressed UK taxpayer.

The bottom line is that there wil be no option in any referendum to vote for the status quo. As more member states join the Eurozone, those determined to keep their own currency will find themselves increasingly marginalised. Independence is by far the better of the only two real alternatives on offer, but sadly, such is the powerful hold of those supporting continued UK membership of the EU on the press and parliament that it will need the right strategy to win over hearts and minds for something that is ultimately nothing more than common sense.

Small EU countries will lose out from 1st November

By Dr Anthony Coughlan

The most important power-political change made by the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, which gave the European Union its own Constitution, is that it provides that from Saturday 1 November 2014 law-making in the EU will be based on simple population size/number of citizens, just as in any State.

From that date a qualified majority for making EU laws on the EU Council of Ministers will consist of 55% of the States – which means 15 out of the 28 – as long as that 15 comprise 65% of the total EU population of some 500 million people.

With Germany and France between them having one-third of the EU’s population, and half the population of the Eurozone, this provision of the Lisbon Treaty gives these two States a blocking minority on any issue if they can get one or two smaller allies. It also gives them a powerful say in pushing through whatever laws or policy measures they might wish for.

As Germany is the most populous EU State this Lisbon Treaty provision means that from 1st November Germany’s voting weight in making EU laws will double from its pre-Lisbon 8% of Council votes – i.e. 29 votes for each of the four biggest States (viz. Germany, France, Italy and Britain) out of a total of 345 votes in all, a weighted majority being 255 – to 16%, because that is Germany’s proportion of the total EU population.

Having a shareholding of 16% in a company of 28 shareholders can be close to a controlling interest.

Under this new arrangement the voting weights of France, Italy and Britain will rise from their pre-Lisbon 8% each to 12% each. Sweden’s will fall from 3% to 2% and Ireland’s from 2% to less than 1%.

Under the new population-based system post-2014 the six largest EU States will increase their combined share of Council votes from 49% to over 70%, while the combined voting share of the 22 smallest States will fall from 51% to less than 30%.

This provision of the Treaty of Lisbon shows clearly how that treaty was a power-grab by Germany in particular, supported by France, Italy and Britain, to increase its weight in the post-Lisbon European Union.

Since the 1957 Rome Treaty the three or four largest EU States had the same number of votes as one another in making EU laws – currently 29 votes each out of a total of 345. Under the new system from 1 November Germany for the first time will have one-third more relative voting weight than Britain, France or Italy – 16% on a population basis as against 12% for the others.

Germany’s population is some 82 million, France’s 64 million, the UK’s 61 million and Italy’s 60 million. The total EU population is 500 million.

It is sometime said that voting rarely take place on the EU Council of Ministers, as if these voting weights do not matter very much. In fact a process of “shadow-voting” takes place all the time whereby Ministers look around to see whether a qualified majority or a blocking minority exists for any proposal. Small countries rarely push matters to a vote if they see that the big countries are agreed on something. Most EU legislation is thus made “by consensus” on the Council, but it is the voting weights which effectively decide whether there will be a consensus or not, and how matters will be decided when there is no consensus.

The relevant voting provisions of the Consolidated EU Treaties as amended by the Lisbon Treaty are set out in Art.16.4 Treaty on European Union and Art.238(2 and 3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Is this wacky woman worth paying over €200,000 per year?

Slovenia has had rather a rough ride over its choice of EU commissioner. The European Parliament, which has the power ultimately to vote down the entire Commission, has been keen to flex its muscles and grill some of the candidates not to its liking. Ultimately, most of the candidates, including Britain’s great nonentity Lord Hill, managed to survive. Not so Alenka Bratusek of Slovenia, who withdrew her candidacy for the post of Vice-President for Energy Union after a being effectively vetoed by MEPs.

So it was back to the drawing board for the small Alpine republic. The replacement for Mrs Bratusek is Violeta Bulc, the Slovenian Development Minister, who will face the music from MEPs as they assess her suitability for the transport portfolio.

However, according to Open Europe, to whose blog this article is indebted, this woman is suitable for the crackpot portfolio and nothing more. She certainly doesn’t seem to have much experience in transport matters. Even the EU Observer magazine describes her as a “political novice” who “switched to politics less than a month ago, when she was appointed minister without portfolio responsible for development, strategic projects, and cohesion.” The article also describes her as “unconventional” – and with good reason.

Firstly, she has some interesting ideas about energy generation. “Natural environmental heat can transformed directly into electrical energy,” she is quoted as saying.

Secondly, she is a qualified shaman – in other words, a medium or witch doctor. She even has a certificate to this effect after studying at a college in Scotland. She is also a fire walker.

Thirdly, she is a great believer in “the power of positive energy and pure thoughts.” This, she claims, “creates the conditions for prosperity and thrivability.” (sic)

Then there is her blog, http://www.violeta.si/ which includes an entry (26th September) entitled “The vibration of the white lions in the new era.”

However, she is clearly not a woman to be messed with, for she holds a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Even so, it is highly disturbing that such a complete nutcase is not only going to be paid over €200,000 per year but will also have more say over the lives of the EU’s 500 million people – including the population of the UK – than our own elected representatives.

Our one hope of escape is that the European Parliament will reject her. However, given her general level of wackiness, they will no doubt decide she is just the right sort of person to become a European Commissioner. Even Peter Mandelson can’t hold a candle to a CV like hers.