THE EUROPEAN UNION (E.U.) … to the …UNITED STATES OF EUROPE (U.S.E.).

INTRODUCTION.

What do the British people want now and for the long term? What are the ambitions of the bureaucracy of the E.U. and the elected leaders to its institutions? Could one man’s ambitions again take over Europe?

If you desire to be a federal part of the United States of Europe, perhaps read no further. If you appreciate what we have in this United Kingdom and in the common strings that bind the Commonwealth you are already worried.

German economic misery and hyperinflation between the wars assisted dictatorship to become entrenched. One man’s ambition was no answer to the issues.

French misery after 1789 welcomed the leadership, construction works and Napoleonic Code of the Corsican. His ambition was no answer either.

The question before the British people is whether the inevitable congruence of states to form this U.S.E is what the British want? If so, the pending renegotiations will be carried out easily. If not, then there will be a much more drawn out set of negotiations. Clearly Brussels seeks complete integration. Who in Britain wishes the same: a common currency, fiscal regime, Central Bank, President, Parliament, police, armed forces, politics, foreign policy and rules and regulations of a United Europe?

Who in Britain wants this existing political law creating Supreme Court in Luxembourg with a constitution and power along the lines of the U.S Supreme Court? We suffer the overarching creative ambitions now of this Foreign Creation so alien to our own legal traditions.

Is there a middle way and if so what is it and is it acceptable to both Britain and the U.S.E? What will be the aims and ambitions of each country? When Britain was misled by Edward Heath into joining a political Europe under the guise of an economic agenda, the issues were blurred. That must not be the case today. It is for all these reasons, and more, that David Cameron has begun the vital process of renegotiation.

The objective here is to identify core issues as it is clear that the referendum must take place before the next election and only after renegotiation. Time is of the essence. The chances of success may be slim but the attempt must be made.

History sets the scene.

The History of these islands and its Celtic races is of stories of fierce independence. They are echoed in Latin treatises of the bloody battles with Rome, in Shakespeare’s histories and in the polemics today in favour of an independent England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Lord Palmerston was the prime international mover and shaker in the 19 Century. He was the Father who oversaw the birth of Belgium (as chairman of the international conference). As Secretary of

State for War in the Government, he supported sending the fleet to assist the birth of the Hellenic speaking peoples in their Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. The French and Russian fleets supported this assistance. Garibaldi invaded Sicily and rolled up the peninsular as he fought northwards and handed, what was in effect, a united country to Vittorio Emmanuel of Piedmont. So Italy was born in 1860.

The Austrian Hungarian Empire, a forerunner of the proposed F.E.U, continued its disintegration as the might of the tiny Prussia developed. Prussia used the same current EEC ruse to bring about the collapse of the neighbouring principalities and the enlargement of the Prussian territories. Economic unity was further deliberately used as a backdoor way of taking over unwary neighbouring states. (Napoleon had commenced this work of destruction of customs barriers and Principalities). Tariff barriers were further removed, roads improved and railways built. Gradually Bavaria and Wurttemberg, Hesse Darmstadt, and the South German Union were all absorbed into the net cast
by Prussia to take over the effective leadership of this central European area and, by this economic union, wrest power and control into its own hands. Austria was defeated by economics without a shot being fired. (1)

After common tariffs came common systems of weights and measures, tax, and currency (the Prussian Thaler). Then Bismarck struck. Like Garibaldi and the Hellenic Revolutionaries he roused the German peoples, attacked Denmark (acquiring Schleswig Holstein), the German Federation of independent states merged into the North German Federation under Prussia. The defeat of France followed in 1871 and Europe saw the birth of Germany and its supremacy.

France and Spain alone in mainland Europe had some established longevity. But after two defeats at war, Germany is supreme again and joined with France in an Euro economic nightmare, of their own choice. They deliberately ignored the economic guidelines to Euro membership when dealing with Italy, Spain and Greece.

It is just such wavering on the issue of principles that we see the present EU lurching from short term exigency to another, dealing with Symptoms and not root causes. Indeed, at the Summit of February 2013 the French wanted even more that the unwarranted 30% or so of the budget for Agriculture and, together with Italy, Spain and Greece, wanted a more inflationary and unaffordable budget (so long as someone else paid i.e. Germany and the UK). It was not to be. At last the input of more than one Statesman supported a reduced budget. At least in theory, as the accounts are never audited or signed off and brave whistle blowers are disgraced and treated with contempt. Integrity reallyshould and must matter. There is so much dishonesty, waste and flagrant disregard of the truth that the EU as established must destroy itself economically. What then? Another tyrant to the rescue?No! We renegotiate on the basis of the six Main Principles and the Six Essential Targets set out below.

WHENCE DO WE NOW GO?

David Cameron’s speech (the In/Out speech) was refreshing. It previewed his constructive diplomatic efforts at the February 2013 Summit. Cameron noted three Major Challenges (MC) MC1 – Eurozone single currency MC2 – A projected fall by 2033 of 33% of Europe’s share of world output MC3 – The EU “Is seen as something that is DONE to people rather than ACTING on their behalf”

David Cameron also evinced his FIVE MAIN PRINCIPLES (MP) for the future guidance of the Leaders of the EU.

MP1 – Competitiveness

MP2 – Flexibility

MP3 – Power must flow back to and remain with the Member States

MP4 – Democratic Accountability

MP5 – Fairness

I would add a SIXTH Main Principle: Less Government is better Government. I would add a further Six Basic and Essential Targets (ET)

ET1 – Removal of the European Court of Justice

ET2 – Complete overhaul of basic policies, like the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies.

ET3 – Retraction root and branch of the pre-emptive sovereignty of directives and powers of the E.U.

ET4 – Member States shall maintain Sovereignty. If sample areas should be indicated, they are: Foreign Policy, the Armed Forces, the Police, the Main Principles, the Essential Targets, The States’ own Parliament (in the U.K. at the Palace of Westminster, and as Devolved to Scotland, Wales or Ireland), Monetary affairs, Sterling, Fiscal matters etc. The list is purposely not exhaustive nor inclusive or exclusive.

ET5 – Reduction in actual overall Government, less interference, less expenditure and taxes. Less government is better government. (the sixth Main Principle)

ET6 – Institution of financial social and political mechanics in order to resolve issues arising from
Main Challenges, Main Principles and Essential Targets.

Nothing can be achieved without whistle blowers being fully protected and fully compensated. How else can we ensure that acts and omissions of the.E.U.are discovered and remedied with integrity. The Democratic Institutions, the Member States’ aims and aspirations, the whole of The Organisation of the E.U. must manage these goals.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Prior to the 2013 Summit, there emerged reports of the great Alpine tunnel venture, a new road–rail link between France and Italy. The cost amounts now to E8.5Billion. This will inevitably double. In addition there are extra expenses of a further E17.5B. Those could also double, taking the total to E52Billion, or 5% of the EU budget for the next 10 years!

These monies seem to have been allocated without reference to the world wide economy, to other economic pressures, to MC1-3 or MP1-5. Eg.although it is postulated that some 4,500 jobs will be created, only 10% of transalpine freight goes by rail.

There are no Euro funds for research and development (essential for the pursuit of MP1). Is the transalpine tunnel a frivolity when funds are scarce or essential for the competitive edge?

There are no Euro funds for Education (essential for MP1). There are no funds for energy (eg. pipelines.)
There are no funds for the main problems of the next 100 years, namely Health, Pensions and Social
Welfare.

HEALTH, PENSIONS and SOCIAL SECURITY, EDUCATION

In the U.K., Government expenditure has seemingly no control over the costs of Health, Pensions and Social Security. These issues are severe constraints upon financial freedom of government. Unfortunately, these growth areas of spending are not readily controllable. The pot for all expenditure is under pressure of economic constraint. These curbs are now potentially terminal restraints upon the UK‘s ability to meet its own challenges The E.U. has the same issues. All members of the EU must deal with this. The Main Challenges, Principles and Targets are the guidelines.

Education is a fundamental issue of all Governments. So education and pensions are key for budgets to secure the survival of achievements. Difficult when there is economic decline not growth, monetary expansion not restraint, inflation at home and devaluation of currency abroad.

These financial curbs or strains will require higher tax rates and reduced tax take and increase the restrictions upon competitive growth.

THE U.S.E

The EU mix to date is struggling to achieve its aims of federal integration and programme its long term ambitions. Brussels has achieved many of its objectives:

1. Economic annexation of States within the Euro Common Currency by the Euro.

2. A Bureaucracy that has freedom and is not controlled or accountable control. It has no reporting obligations.

3. A Parliament intent upon achieving greater autonomy and further E.U. integration.

4. A Central Jurisprudence based upon European models and the Napoleonic Code. The Supreme Court in Luxembourg (i.e. Brussels) is politically and legislatively creative. It is similar to the United States Supreme Court. Both institutions are alien to the U.K. and its Common Law.

5. Member States wish to move inexorably into a fuller Union of Member States.

6. Member States with Democratic and effective institutions represented by political leaders whose collective Wills are all held in thrall to these E.U issues. Those “Wills” alas, by their own dilution of direction, effect a continual moderating weakness of direction.They tend to strive to arrive at the “Middle Road” conclusion. That always should be avoided as the product tends to be “too little too late”!.

SO WHERE IS THE U.K.?

The government of the U.K. seeks none of these objectives. There is a growing majority groundswell of public opinion that seeks none of these objectives too. Hence the vital decision to renegotiate.

What is to be renegotiated? The answer is clear. The entire edifice of the E.U.needs root and branch review and the relationship of the U.K, in particular, will need careful negotiation bearing in mind the Main Principles, Targets and Challenges.

We must listen, learn and act now. So much better than to suffer now and learn and repent at leisure. David Cameron is right. The European plan must be re-written as a vital urgent project for all of Europe, not just for the United Kingdom.

Roger Wright-Morris.

(1) I refer you to the writings (three excellent books) of Lindsay Jenkins, who encouraged my views. They are however my own.

(2) Douglas Carswell “The End of Politics”.

Article 50 And Withdrawal

Not so long ago, it seemed unlikely that any country politically was willing to contemplate leaving the European Union. Nothing illustrates this better than the fact that all of the treaties pre-Lisbon were silent on the question of withdrawal. There were a number of theories for this; partly it would have been contrary to member states’ commitment to “ever closer union”, partly it could have encouraged members to make the outcome more likely and partly that the process of leaving is a significant legal challenge best left unspecified in a treaty – a legal challenge made more complicated the longer member states remain within an ever integrating Union.

So in the absence of a specific provision for exit, international treaties are usually covered by Article 56(1) of the Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties which states:

1. A treaty which contains no provision regarding its termination and which does not provide for denunciation or withdrawal is not subject to denunciation or withdrawal unless:

a) it is established that the parties intended to admit the possibility of denunciation or withdrawal; or
b) a right of denunciation or withdrawal may be implied by the nature of the treaty. Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, these provisions of the Vienna Treaty did not cover EEC /EU Treaties before Lisbon. The spirit and terms of those treaties as epitomised by “ever closer
union”, with the long-term goal of full political and economic integration, meant the “right of denunciation or withdrawal” was never implied. Quite the opposite in fact. Thus it could’ve been argued therefore that exit of the EU was not specifically allowed under international law.

Crucially this was reinforced, by virtue of its absence as a clause, that the Vienna Treaty also does not list sovereignty as a means of automatically absolving countries from their treaty obligations. There is no legal defence within the Vienna Treaty for a country who wishes to withdraw unilaterally from its obligations as it sees fit. This became especially true due to the nature of EEC/EU Treaties. The European Court of Justice has a well-established interpretation that EU treaties are permanently binding on the Member States and limit their sovereign rights as per Flaminio Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR 585 (6/64) – (my emphasis):

“By creating a Community of unlimited duration, having its own institutions, its own personality, its own legal capacity and capacity of representation on the international plane and, more particularly, real powers stemming from a limitation of sovereignty or a transfer of powers from the States to Community, the Member States have limited their sovereign rights and have thus created a body of law which binds both their nationals and themselves … The transfer by the States from their domestic legal system to the Community legal system of the rights and obligations arising under the Treaty carries with it a permanent limitation of their sovereign rights”

However the problems and arguments with Article 56(1), and pre-Lisbon, are now largely moot points, as the Lisbon Treaty explicitly makes provision for the voluntary secession of a Member State from the EU and this provision comes via Article 50. Therefore exit from the Lisbon Treaty, and subsequently from the EU, is instead covered by Article 54 of the Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties (my emphasis):

The termination of a treaty or the withdrawal of a party may take place: (a) in conformity with the provisions of the treaty; or (b) at any time by consent of all the parties after consultation with the other contracting States.

For the first time in an EU treaty there is an exit clause and one that is backed up by international law. One should note at this point that Article 50 does have two areas of a lack of clarity particularly for the EU – for example over the issue of more than one member wanted to withdraw at the same time, especially if there was a mass exit, and more importantly it contains no special provisions on the requirements for the withdrawal of a Member State which has adopted the euro. However these are concerns which should not affect the UK, so this piece will concentrate on a UK exit only.

One overlooked factor with Article 50 is that it actually contains two choices of withdrawal not one; it allows for a negotiated agreement where the Member State in question and the EU agree terms but it also recognises a unilateral right of withdrawal – a Member State simply hands in their notice and serves out their two year notice with no desire for negotiation whatsoever. This is clearly defined by Article 50 (3):

The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

The unilateral right of withdrawal has the added benefit of acting as a longstop – as a negotiating tool – that prevents the EU from imposing impossible conditions upon a Member State with the intention of trying to stop their exit.

So in practice, should the UK want to change its relationship with the EU, Cameron would, using the Royal Prerogative and as per Article 50 (2) notify the European Council via President Van Rompuy of our intentions. Then, as per Article 50 (2), there would begin a period of
negotiations:

In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

Though it’s left unsaid with Article 50, any country leaving would necessitate a new EU treaty as it would require amendments to the founding treaties. Though there is no precedent to draw on regarding a country leaving the EU under Lisbon, we can find an imperfect example with Greenland in 1985 who left the then EEC which required a treaty – unsurprisingly called The Greenland Treaty of 1985, documented by Hansard 20th July 1984. It’s worth noting Teddy Taylor’s comments at the time, about how very complex the whole process of leaving was:

First, my hon. Friend the Minister will agree that, judging from the papers that he and the Department kindly made available to us, the formula adopted to arrange Greenland’s withdrawal from the EEC is a highly complicated one. There is a very good reason for that. There is no clear procedure in the treaty for the withdrawal of a part-member state or indeed a member state. In view of our experience with Greenland, is there not a case for saying that the Common Market should consider its rules and treaties with a view to providing a clear arrangement for the withdrawal of member states which wish to withdraw, if other member states agree?

Post EU and the Lisbon exit clause means the Greenland example is no longer really relevant; instead a better example of how we leave may lie with the process of accession treaties. Similar to Article 50 the accession clause in Lisbon – Article 49 –also does not mention specifically the need for a new Treaty. Yet if a country applies to join the EU a new treaty is ultimately required for precisely the same reasons as leaving – that it requires amendments to the founding treaties. A recent example is the Treaty of Accession 2011 concerning Croatia’s accession to the EU which comes into force 1st July 2013.

Under Article 49 a country formally applies for membership, then begins a period of negotiation mainly based on whether the country wishing to apply is able to sufficiently execute EU law. This is a process which only ends when both parties agree that Acquis Communautaire has been sufficiently implemented, then a treaty of accession will be signed, which must then be ratified by all Member States of the EU, as well as the EU itself, and the applicant’s country.

This process would be remarkably similar to Article 50 but obviously for opposite intentions. The UK would formally notify intentions to leave, negotiate, and then sign the resulting treaty

which is ratified by the EU and all Member States. Those countries wishing to join the EU have the option of saying no by changing their minds if the terms aren’t right, those countries wishing to leave have the option of saying no by not accepting the withdrawal agreement if the terms aren’t right.

One quirk with Article 50 though is as a member of the EU – the European Council and the Council of the EU – the UK would ending up sitting on both sides of the negotiating table regarding the new treaty. So this is where Article 50 (4) comes in (my emphasis):

The member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

This is entirely logical otherwise the UK would end up negotiating with itself. This exclusion is entirely consistent to Article 49 where accession countries are also absent from the European Council and the Council…by virtue of not yet being EU members.

In summary Article 50 allows us to fulfill our international obligations, abide by our EU treaty agreements and allows for an orderly exit with minimum of disruption particularly with regarding trade.

Speech by Lord Pearson of Rannoch to The House of Lords

I am truly grateful to all Noble Lords who are to speak today. A number of other Noble Lords have said that they support the Bill, but are either unable to be present or to stay to the end. They include the Noble Baroness, Lady Cox, and the noble Lords, Lord Vinson, Lord Tebbit, Lord Howard of Rising and Lord Flight. This is not the first time your Lordships have debated this or a similar Bill at Second Reading. We last did so some 4 ½ years ago, on 8th June 2007, and we had similar debates on 11th February 2004, the 27th June 2003, and the 17th March 2000. The series would not be complete without mentioning the 31st January 1997, when Your Lordships’ House voted at Second Reading for a Bill which would have taken us out of the European Union altogether.

My Lords, for more than 30 years our political class has done its best not to talk about our membership of the EU. But the wheel of history turns, My Lords, and the question as to whether we should leave the European Union is now firmly back on the national agenda. But this Bill does not deal with that question. It is an altogether milder and more innocent little creature. It merely requires the Chancellor of the Exchequer to set up an impartial Enquiry into the economic costs and benefits arising from our membership of the EU. As presently drafted, the Bill suggests that the Committee of Enquiry should consist of 7 people; 2 who favour our staying in the EU, 2 who favour our leaving, 2 who have no further view and an independent chairman. The Bill excludes from the Committee anyone is or who has been an MEP, or is or has been an employee of the EU or any of its institutions. The thinking behind these exclusions was that no one in the EU’s pay, or in receipt of an EU pension which they can lose if they go against the EU’s interests, should sit on the Committee. But the wording may be at fault here, because I now understand that former MEPs do not receive such a pension, so perhaps their experience would be useful to the Enquiry. The Bill could be of course amended in our Committee proceedings if Your Lordships think fit.

It could also be amended to extend the date by which the Enquiry must report to the Chancellor beyond 1st July 2012. Noble Lords may feel that doesn’t give it quite enough time. Be that as it may, the Bill requires the Chancellor to give the Enquiry report to Comptroller and Auditor General, and lay it before Parliament with his views attached.

The Bill goes no further than that. Of course I hope that the ensuing debates in Your Lordships House and the House of Commons would increase the public pressure for a referendum on our EU membership. But that remains to be seen. That will depend on what the Enquiry comes up with.

My Lords, I submit that the cost benefit analysis proposed by this Bill is long overdue, and that it is made even more urgent by the long-foretold crisis in the eurozone. So I dare to hope that the Government will support the Bill and that the Noble Lord the Minister will not repeat the misconceptions which all Governments have steadfastly repeated in all our debates so far. Perhaps I could sum these up now, and warn the Noble Lord that I shall be pressing him to justify them if he intones them yet again today.

The first is that a cost-benefit analysis is unnecessary, because the advantages of our EU membership are so obvious that it would be a waste of time and money. On the money point, I note that the Stern report on climate change cost a little over £1 million. Surely that is a rather more complicated subject than the simple economic facts about our EU membership? So we are not
talking about an expensive enquiry, especially when set against the colossal cost of our membership,
to which I shall return.

The 2nd misconception is to suggest that the 40% of our exports which go to clients in the European Union, supporting some 3 million of our jobs, would all somehow be jeopardised if we left the political construct of the European Union. I can only assume that the bureaucrats who invented this one did so because they simply don’t know how international business actually works. So can I repeat that nobody trades with the European Union, except perhaps the mafia. We have hundreds of businesses exporting to clients who happen to be in EU countries, and there are hundreds of businesses in those countries exporting to us. This 2-way traffic benefits from free trade, but none of it need be affected if we resile from the Treaties of Rome. There are good commercial reasons for this. The first is that we do indeed have some 3 million jobs exporting to customers in EU countries, but there are 4 ½ million jobs in those countries exporting to us. So, collectively, they need us more than we need them; we are in fact their largest client. So not even the Martians in Brussels would attempt any retaliation if we left the EU as such. And the Martians would face other realities if they did try anything so silly. The World Trade Organisation has brought the EU’s average external tariff down to below 1%, and would also prevent any retaliation. Also, the EU has free trade agreements with 63 countries worldwide, and is negotiating with a further 63%-80% of the countries in the world.

So we, as its largest client, could have one too, as good or better than the one enjoyed by Switzerland, which is not in either the EU or the European Economic Area. It is of course smaller than us, but its economy is very similar to ours, and it exports 3 times more per capita to clients in the EU than we do. Looking at it the other way round, would the French stop selling us their wine, or the Germans their cars, just because we were no longer being bossed around by Brussels? Of course not. And the Government doesn’t have to take my word for it. Channel 4 News’ “Factcheck” programme on 1st November revealed that the economists at South Bank University, who first estimated that 3 million jobs depended on our trade with Europe, never said that any would be lost if we left the EU. The programme ended with the following quote:

“According to the people who did the original research, talk of mass redundancies if Mr. Cameron goes for a European exit strategy is just scaremongering”.

So, please, My Lords, can we hear no more about 40% of our trade and 3 million jobs as being a reason to stay in the EU and not to have the Enquiry proposed by this Bill.

The third misconception is that if we were no longer in the European Union our exporters to European markets would still have to obey all its rules, but our Government would not be able to take part in their making, and that this is somehow a frightening prospect. Those who peddle this one assume we would stay in the European Economic Area, like Norway, which we wouldn’t. Our position would be like that of Switzerland, or better. We would have our own arrangements for free trade, free movement, and so on. Our exporters to clients in the EU would of course have to meet its requirements, as do exporters from every other country on the planet which exports to the EU. That’s really no big deal. But only 9% of our GDP goes in exports to clients in the EU, while 11% goes in trade with the rest of the world, and 80% stays right here in our domestic economy. So the 91% or so of our economy which at the moment does not go in exports to clients in the EU would be set free from the heavy burdens imposed by Brussels. That begins to sound like quite a good deal, does it not My Lords? I will come to what those burdens might be, but conclude the third misconception by saying that I hope the Noble Lord the Minister will not repeat it today.

My Lords, a fourth misconception was put forward by the Noble Lord Lord Howerll during Oral Questions this past Tuesday, at Col. 942. He claimed that our influence in international trade bargaining is greater from, within the EU than it would be if we had our own seat at the WTO. To answer this, I can do no better than to quote from a brilliant new publication by Civitas of Mr. Ian Milne’s “Time to Say NO”. On page 15 he says:

“British influence at the WTO is sometimes claimed to be stronger as part of the Single Market than it would be if the UK spoke and negotiated for itself in WTO councils. That claim has validity only in so far as British commercial and geostrategic interests coincide with all 26 or a majority of its EU partners. When British interests do not so coincide –for example in the regulation of the City, or in agriculture an fishing- it follows that British influence is weaker than it would be if the UK were outside the EU and able to make its own decisions at the WTO.

Since the structure and pattern of UK global trade is quite different from that of its EU partners, there is no a priori reason to suppose that –on balance- British interests and those of its EU partners coincide more often than they diverge”.

My Lords, the proposed Enquiry would have to examine what I have called these 4 fundamental misconceptions about our economic relationship with Brussels, or form its own opinion.

I hope it would also look at a number of the very short Briefing Notes by Mr. Milne on the GlobalBritain.org website which I have extolled before to Your Lordships. I declare an interest as a founder and supporter of Global Britain. For instance, I hope it would reading Briefing Note No. 70, which shows how customs unions like he EU have become redundant in the modern world; No. 68 which analyses the non-existent benefits of belonging to the EU’s Single Market; No. 36, entitled “Cherry-Picking”, which analyses in 2 pages the differences between the European Free Trade Association, the European Economic Area and the Swiss-EU Trading Relationship; and No. 69 “The Coming EU Demographic Winter”. This one is rather like being shown the film “Titanic” before you get on it, and gives another reason why so many of us want to get off. Dare I ask the Noble Lord the Minister if he or any of his officials have read these and other Briefing Notes on the Global Britain website, and if not whether they will do so, and meet with Mr. Milne if they disagree with any of it? I am of course happy to offer them lunch.

My Lords, the Enquiry would also have to examine the range of figures put forward by our Eurosceptic movement as the annual cost of our EU membership, mostly from EU over-regulation. These are summarised in Global Britain Briefing Note No. 65, and average at around 6% of GDP or £90 billion per annum, equivalent to £1500 per person per annum in this country. It’s interesting that a similar figure was put forward by the European Commission itself in 2006, and also that the highest estimate actually comes from the Treasury itself in 2005, under the signature of a Mr. Gordon Brown, entitled “Global Europe, Full Employment Europe”. This estimated the cost of our EU membership as follows:

EU protectionism: 7% of GDP

Competition Gap with the USA: 12% of GDP

EU over-regulation: 6% of GDP (broadly in line with the Eurosceptic studies)

And Transatlantic barriers to trade: 3% of GDP.

These add up to 28% of GDP. Now, Mr. Brown did not say whether there might be some degree of overlap in those 4 categories, but even if we’re generous and divide it by 4 you still come out to about 7% of GDP, or around £95 billion a year today.

Anyway My Lords, I suppose the Enquiry will want to interview Mr. Brown and the officials who wrote this report. There are other areas which I hope will be examined. What, for instance, is the cost to our economy of the decimation of our fishing industry? Would it not be useful to have an accurate figure for the extra amount that each family in this country pays for the cost of food? That has been widely put at about £1,000 per annum per family, but the world price of sugar is now apparently higher than the EU cost. So there is no doubt that this figure fluctuates, but it would be useful to be clear about it.

By the time the inquiry reports we will have a better idea of whether we are going to get back the £12 billion that we have borrowed to bail out the euro—I fear not, but time will tell. Then there is a big one, and talk about being flogged by a dead horse: by the time the inquiry reports, the damage done to the City of London and our financial services elsewhere by Monsieur Barnier and his cronies in Brussels will be clearer than it is today. Is it not simply grotesque that an organisation which has not had its own accounts signed off by its internal auditors for 17 years, there being no external audit of how our funds are wasted, should now be telling us how to order our financial affairs? I think “grotesque” is accurate.

Finally, there is one area in which there is no room for doubt: the amount of cash that we send to Brussels every year. Please remember that our expenditure cuts last year came to some £6.2 billion. The Pink Book came out this week, revealing that we sent £18.5 billion gross to Brussels last year, of which it was pleased to give us back some £8 billion for projects designed to improve its image, such as agriculture and regional aid. That leaves a net cash contribution of some £10 billion—£10,340,000,000 to be precise—which comes to £28 million net cash every day, never to be seen again, with perhaps none of it spent in our national interest.

To put that figure into perspective, £28 million pays for the salaries of 940 nurses at £30,000 per annum each. So every day we throw away, thanks to our EU membership, 940 nurses—or policemen, or soldiers, or any other public servant you care to mention.

Yesterday in your Lordships’ House we had a well-informed and moving debate on the latest report into the future of social care in this country: the care of our elderly, infirm and dying, and of our learning disabled. The report suggests that we should spend another £1.5 billion to meet our obligations to these most vulnerable people in our society, but the Government are not sure that we can afford it. Yet we are sending £10 billion in net cash to Brussels. It is against that sort of background that I suggest the inquiry envisaged by this Bill should be set, and I beg to move that this Bill be read a second time.

**Following debate, the Bill was read a Second Time and then committed to a Committee of the Whole House**

Pro-EU Brigade Will Soon Attack By Patrick O’Flynn

WE in the anti-EU movement have had it all our own way in the past couple of years. How could we not have done given the implosion of the eurozone and the blind faith among the Brussels elite that more unwanted integration is the answer to every problem caused by previous rounds of unwanted integration?

As a result of the European Union being exposed as a sclerotic economic twilight zone based around an unsustainable currency union, we Better Off Outers have been able to shift public opinion markedly in favour of withdrawal. The Nobel prize charade this week with Papa Smurf Herman Van Rompuy appearing to believe he was some kind of success story was another public relations gift for us.

Recent polls have shown such a big shift in public opinion that the penny is finally dropping among the complacent political class that we are on course for victory. Or as they prefer to put it: “Britain is drifting towards the exit.” Our successes mean that the other side, the side of the establishment, now realises that smearing us as cranks and worse is not working. So I have to warn you that they are about to unveil their heavy guns.

Over recent weeks at Westminster I have heard several whispers that a concerted fightback is planned in the New Year by the pro-EU contingent. It will be based around the one shot they still have in their locker: fear of the unknown.

Already Europe Minister David Lidington has claimed that being outside the EU would “probably” lead to our car exporters being subject to a 10 per cent tariff. Now I hear that captains of industry are to be wheeled out from next month to warn of potential job losses and lost inward investment if we get out of the EU.

You may remember that similar warnings were made by this mob about what would happen if we stayed out of the euro and they turned out to be 100 per cent wrong. They were also cheerleaders for the disaster of unfettered immigration from Eastern Europe, presumably because it reduced wage rates on their production lines.

So on the basis that it is best to get one’s retaliation in first let me explain why so many bosses of FTSE 100 companies are pro-EU membership and why that should make you even more strongly anti-EU.

About nine per cent of British economic activity is made up by exports to the rest of the EU. But at the moment 100 per cent of British economic activity is subject to complex and expensive single market regulations. Big multinationals are more likely to export to the EU than are smaller businesses. Since their scale enables them to employ large compliance teams of lawyers, health and safety specialists, personnel experts and the like, they are far betterable to cope with new Brussels regulations than are smaller players.

So the highly regulated European single market acts as a barrier to entry against smaller companies, allowing multinationals to charge higher prices and gain greater profits to the detriment of consumers. Multinationals are also required to register for tax in only one single market jurisdiction, enabling them to use their scale to negotiate preferential arrangements that are again not open to smaller, single country businesses.

At the same time, multinationals can ensure they remain competitive in other parts of the world by opening factories in non-EU countries where wage rates are much lower and employment conditions inferior. This too is often beyond the scope of small British businesses.

So the European single market’s rules actually promote the so-called “predator capitalism” of which Ed Miliband has frequently complained yet he has turned a blind eye to this. Now, were we to leave the EU but instead agree a Norwegian-style trading deal with it then the nine per cent of the British economy that involves exporting to the single market would indeed continue to be governed by its rules (what David Cameron has referred to as “government by fax”).

But the 91 per cent of our economy that is not made up of exports into the single market would be free of its costly regulations and could compete much more effectively for business both at home and in faster growing markets abroad. To many of the business figures determined to keep us in the EU it is a cushy number. But who do you think creates most new jobs in Britain?

Most studies find that more than 60 per cent are created by small and medium-sized enterprises. The more we can build up our SME sector the more consumer choice there will be and the less vulnerable we will be to economic blackmail by large multinationals with an aversion to paying taxes.

Please bear this in mind when they start wheeling out very highly paid people from the top of large corporations to tell you that getting out of the EU will be a disaster. Not for most of us it won’t be.

Milky day: Farmers dump thousands of litres of milk on Brussels police, European Parliament

Dairy Farmers Protest

Dairy farmers poured 15,000 litres of milk on the European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, in a protest against plummeting food prices. Police resorted to tear gas and water cannons to disperse the milk-spraying crowd. ¬About 2,000 dairy farmers from all over Europe gathered outside the European Parliament (EP) building, blocking traffic along several of Brussels’ busiest streets.

The two-day protest, dubbed 1,000 Tractors to Brussels, was put together with a view to convincing politicians to take what its organizers call “efficient legislative measures” for the milk market.

“We have a European Parliament that hasn’t made a move in years. We want new laws that will give insurance for our future,” said Roberto Cavaliere from of the European Milk Board, which coordinated the protest.

To make their demands heard, farmers showered the EP’s doors with milk launched from cannons. Despite even that, the demonstration was peaceful until farmers tried to storm the fence of the EP building. Police forces blocked their way, so the farmers switched the aim of the milk cannon against the police.

The first round of a milky battle finished with no casualties or arrests, but the demonstration is still going on as the dairy farmers plan to stay outside parliament until Tuesday afternoon.

“Politics are really killing us. It has to change very quickly at the European level,” said Belgian farmer Julien Husquet. “‘The way it is going, we are in big trouble.”

The farmers are demanding a 25 per cent increase in the retail prices of their products, which are now sold cheaper because of less international demand and increased competition. According to the European Milk Board, thousands of dairy farmers have been forced out of the market since 2009 – and if the bloc’s agriculture policy remains unchanged, more risk losing their businesses. The EU’s agriculture ministers are expected to meet to discuss reforms to the industry.

Lord Stoddart on the Eurozone

Lord Stoddart of Swindon: Britain is not a member of the eurozone. We have decided to keep our own currency. There is no prospect of our joining the eurozone. So why on earth does our Prime Minister keep lecturing the eurozone as to how it should carry on, including whether it should have a banking union? Since we are not part of it, it is nothing to do with us, and we should keep out of it.

The second point I want to raise has already been raised-that is, the position in relation to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who seems to be throwing her weight about increasingly these days. The Prime Minister does not have to satisfy Angela Merkel; he has to satisfy the people of this country, and the people of this country, we understand, will suffer austerity for the next 10 years, which means that they cannot afford to pay any more than the £10.3 billion that we already pay into EU coffers. I hope that the Prime Minister realises that he is not answerable to the EU for taxation and our contributions. He is responsible to the British people, who show increasingly that they are not very happy about remaining in the European Union, and who will be even unhappier if they are asked to pay even more towards it.

Lord Strathclyde: My Lords, that is the point that I was trying to make to the noble Lord, Lord Grenfell. I have every sympathy with the view given by the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart. It is entirely correct that, although we believe that the economy is heading for a state of recovery and long-term growth, many budgets are being cut in Britain, and we are not in the business of seeing them being increased in Europe, where British taxpayers will have to foot the bill. But that is a discussion that will take place, first between the Prime Minister and Mrs Merkel and then, later on, in the Council of Ministers.

As for the noble Lord’s question as to why we are interested in the banking union, self-evidently financial services and financial matters are incredibly important to the United Kingdom-it is one of our key interests-and to the City of London. It is entirely right that we should take note of what is happening in the zone where nearly 40% of our exports go. One of the many reasons why this economy has suffered in recent years is because of the uncertainty in the eurozone, which we believe needed to be resolved-and one way in which to do that is through the banking union.