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

Contributions graph
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

website header

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

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.

Meeting my Member of Parliament

5848117278_84a0febff8_David-Cameron
By Dave Phipps, author of the Witterings from Witney blog. Used with permission

In politics, a lie unanswered becomes truth within 24 hours.

This afternoon I had a meeting with my Member of Parliament, David Cameron, the object of which was to take him to task for being less than candid on ‘matters EU’. When requesting the meeting some weeks ago I had suggested that as the subject matter was of a complicated nature it might be more productive if an extended interview period could be granted. This suggestion was turned down by his constituency assistant based in the House of Commons, the reason being given that David Cameron had a packed schedule. It was suggested that I produce the points of contention in writing and that he would respond in due course.

As a result the following ‘dossier was handed to him:

Economical With The Actualité

Contents:

Introduction 1

European Treaty/Budget/Bailout Mechanism 2

Norway 4

Treaty Change 6

In the EU to trade with the EU 7

Brexit 9

EU Council Conclusions 10

Introduction:

How can we sensibly answer the question ‘in or out’ without being able to answer the most basic question: what is it that we are choosing to be ‘in or out’ of[1]

When considering the mountain of words that have been uttered or written by anyone, be they of the pro-EU or anti-EU factions, never has anything so true been uttered than those words above.

How can the British electorate make an informed decision in respect of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, in any referendum that is granted, when the true facts relating to that subject have been hidden from them – deliberately, it would seem.

Unfortunately, where you are concerned, that which you have said, or written – other than the words quoted above – has been far from the complete truth; in fact the accusation of misleading the British public can be justifiably levied against you.

I would offer for your consideration – and subsequent response – the following:
[1]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/9820375/David-Camerons-Europe-speech-in-full.html

On the Marr programme[2] (BBC1: Sunday, 29th September 2013) you stated: They also said you can’t cut the European budget. I have cut it. They also said you can’t veto a European treaty. I did veto a European treaty. They said you’ll never get out of the bailout mechanism. We got out of the bailout mechanism.

I have cut it [the European budget]:

It was in May 2013 that the finance ministers of the EU member states, including Mr George Osborne, agreed to provide an additional €7.3 billion for the 2013 budget (as set out in Draft Amending Budget No. 2)[3], as the first tranche of an overall figure that would eventually reach €11.2 billion with the addition of £470m in September of that year[4] EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski was quite blunt, at the time, about needing the money[5].

Your claim to have cut the EU budget is therefore not strictly correct, yet still you continue to maintain that a budget cut was achieved. You may have succeeded in a cut of the initial budget, but that has since increased – so should you not be clarifying this claim?

I did veto a treaty:

In relation to the Euro crisis of 2011 you let it be known that you effectively vetoed a treaty[6]; you also stated, in your report to the House of Commons, on 12th December: and so I did not agree to the treaty[7]. You repeated your statement that you vetoed a treaty in the Conservative Party European Election Manifesto of 2014[8], a statement which bears your signature.

Those claims immediately beg the questions: what was the name of the treaty you vetoed? For any draft treaty to have been on the table for discussion there would have had to have been a need beforehand for a Convention, followed by an intergovernmental conference (IGC). – in which case perhaps you can advise when and where were both held?

The truth of the matter is that there was no draft treaty on the table, so you could not have applied a veto.

We have got out of the bailout mechanism

This statement is also incorrect and is nothing more than a ‘smoke and mirrors’ argument. It has never been the case that the UK could not end the commitment made by Gordon Brown, when the EU terminated its temporary European Financial Stability Facility and created the permanent rescue mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism[9]. But it does not end UK involvement in bailouts though the IMF and the Balance of Payment Facility[10].

Your statement ‘We have got out of the bailout mechanism’ implies that the United Kingdom is no longer liable for any contribution – yet our continued participation through the IMF and the Balance of Payment Facility demonstrates that the United Kingdom is still liable.

All it required was the insertion of the letters ‘EU’ immediately prior to the word ‘bailout’ in your statement for it to be correct. Would you not agree, on reflection, that your omission of those two words was less than candid on your part?
[2]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm2GGqdWfpM
[3]http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/137122.pdf
[4]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24286784
[5]http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-857_en.htm
[6]http://www.channel4.com/news/cameron-vetoes-eu-treaty-deal
[7]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16136672
[8]http://www.conservatives.com/europe/~/media/Files/Downloadable%20Files/MANIFESTO%202014/Euro%20Manifesto%20English.ashx
[9]http://www.efsf.europa.eu/about/index.htm
[10]http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/economic_and_monetary_affairs/institutional_and_economic_framework/l25005_en.htm


Norway ‘governed by fax’

I think it is worth understanding what leaving would involve – there is the Norway option. You can be like Norway – and you can have full access to the single market but you have absolutely no say over the rules of that market……In Norway they sometimes call it ‘Government by fax’ because you are simply taking the instructions about every rule in the single market from Brussels without any say on what those rules are.

You stated in that speech that a key part of your international ambitions for the UK is our place at the top table. At the UN. The Commonwealth. NATO. The WTO. The G8. The G20 and yes – the EU.[11]

You have repeatedly made the accusation that Norway has no voice in the formation of EU law and that she is forced to accept law by fax from Brussels – nothing, as you are no doubt well aware, is further from the truth.

Where the World Trade Organization is concerned, we all know that, within the EU, trade policy is an exclusive competence of the commission[12]; subsequently we also know that in dealing with the WTO, the framework for negotiations is decided at EU level by consensus, and we are then represented at the WTO “top table” by the European Commission[13]. Yes, membership of the EU gives us access to the “top tables” of EU institutions, but the very fact of our membership means that the United Kingdom, in her own right, is excluded from the WTO top table.

As you must be aware the WTO situation is not unique; take for example the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations – known as WP.29 and held under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Council Europe (UNECE) – where we have no direct membership and our interests are represented exclusively by the European Commission. (Oddly, Norway, which has no automotive industry, sits as a member of this body in her own right.) Or take the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (on which Norway again has her own seat), which jointly manages the fisheries in the region, where the UK interest is represented by the European Commission and where we are not even parties to the enabling treaty, the EU having taken over our seat. On both bodies Norway has a voice in the formulation of standards and decisions which are then handed down, in the form of dual international quasi-legislation for implementation by governments and trade blocs.

The point has to be made that it is from this dual international quasi-legislation that the majority of the bulk of the Single Market regulation originates, making the EU no more than an intermediary player, processing standards agreed elsewhere, over which it has no direct control – at which point it becomes obvious that a seat at Brussels is not one at a top table.

On this question and your assertion that we need to retain our full membership of the European Union in order to have a seat at the top table, once again I can but suggest you are being less than candid.

Where the setting of global standards is concerned, with food standards Codex is the top table – and there are many others, all under the aegis of the United Nations. There is also, for example: the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) based in Rome; the United Nations Economic Council (UNECE) based in Geneva; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based in Paris; the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) based in Montreal; the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) based in Basel; and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) based in Bonn.

Norway has a seat on all these organisations and thus exercises just as much influence as the European Union in the framing of global standards.

Let us turn to the relationship twixt Norway and the European Union.

Decision shaping is the phase of preparatory work undertaken by the European Commission to draw up new legislative proposals. The Commission has an exclusive right of making proposals for new legislation but is obliged to call on advice from external sources when so doing. The EEA Agreement contains provisions for input from the EEA EFTA side at various stages before new legislation is adopted. Input can take the form of participation by EEA EFTA experts in EC committees or the submission of EEA EFTA comments.[14]

According to the EEA Agreement, the EEA EFTA States have the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of EU legislation at the preparatory or pre-pipeline stage by participating in the Commission’s experts groups, committees and other advisory bodies. As the initiator of EU legislation, the Commission is responsible for the preparatory work leading to draft proposals. For this purpose, advice is often sought from experts of the Member States. EEA EFTA States’ influence on the shaping of legislation is significant at this pre-pipeline stage, as the EEA Agreement provides for extensive participation by EEA EFTA experts in the preparatory work of the Commission[15].

Not bad for a country which you maintain has no voice in the formulation of EU rules, yet has a veto over those rules, something it employed over the Third Postal Directive – would you not agree?
[11]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9735644/We-will-be-governed-by-fax-from-Brussels-if-UK-quits-EU-David-Cameron-says.html
[12]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/policy-making/
[13]http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/eu-and-wto/
[14]http://www.efta.int/eea/decision-shaping
[15]http://www.efta.int/media/publications/bulletins/EFTA-Bulletin-October-2011.pdf

Treaty Change:

During your interview with Andrew Marr on 11th May 2014 you stated that you were confident of achieving the renegotiation elements you sought so that a referendum could be held by the end of 2017, while also confirming that some of what you wanted would require treaty change – for example removal of the requirement for ‘ever closer union[16]’.

If there is to be treaty change then you must be aware that (a) you need the agreement of all Member States; (b) a Convention is required; (c) that said Convention would be followed by an IGC; and (d) that some Member States would require a referendum to be held as part of the ratification process..

That scenario could not be accomplished within two years as you must surely know, so why are you promising something that cannot be achieved?

Yet you have promised a referendum towards the end of 2017 regardless, which would mean that any referendum held would be a referendum requiring a decision by the British electorate on an incomplete ‘renegotiation’ process. How can this be logical?

Is that not misleading – and, in effect, another example of being less than candid with the British people?
[16]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWVrTZksQRI#t=400

In the EU to trade with the EU:

There has always been a mantra put forward by politicians in favour of EU membership that the United Kingdom has to be ‘in Europe to trade with Europe’ – a mantra that is palpably false. An example of this is that ‘3 million jobs’ depend on our membership of the EU.

An article appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 24th June 2014 relating to a speech Danny Alexander was due to give in Washington in which he was to say that 3.3 million jobs are connected to this country’s continued membership of the European Union[17].

Let us re-wind to 30th October 2011 and an appearance by Nick Clegg on BBC’s Today programme[18] in which he stated:

There are three million of our fellow citizens in this country, men and women, whose jobs rely directly on our participation and role and place in, what is after all the world’s largest, borderless single market with 500 million consumers right on our doorstep.

This figure of three million jobs has been quoted since 2000, by Stephen Byers[19] (Trade and Industry Secretary) and by Tony Blair[20]. In the same year a report was issued by the South Bank University[21] in which the figure of three million is mentioned. Yet another report was published in 2000 by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in which it is stated that: “detailed estimates from input-output tables suggest that up to 3.2 million UK jobs are now associated directly with exports of goods and services to other EU countries” and went on to state that: “there is no reason to suppose that many of these [jobs], if any, would be lost permanently if Britain were to leave the EU”.

Reported in Hansard[22] (col: 604W) of 2011 a figure of 3.5 million was mentioned during a BIS debate in the HoC about overseas investment, based on an analysis apparently conducted in 2006. Further, a BIS report from February 2011, on the UK Government Response to the European Commission Consultation on the Single Market Act[23], stated that “the single market has also contributed to increased growth of at least 1.85 per cent and the creation of 2.75 million new jobs across the EU since 1992.”

There was a further report in 2008, by the predecessor to BIS, namely the BERR, which found that: “approximately 3 – 3.5 million British jobs are linked (both directly and indirectly) with exports to the EU”.

Yes, without doubt there are British jobs linked with exporting goods and services to the EU-27, but these jobs are not linked to our membership of the EU, they arise from our membership of the Single Market. You know as well as I that it is possible to be fully functional participants in the Single Market without being members of the EU, something which can done by applying to re-join EFTA and remaining within the EEA.

Another interesting fact is that, if this figure of three million can be traced back to 2000, it seems a tad strange that current estimates are the same as those made over a decade ago – not least because we have seen a significant recession during this period.

Where this example of being economical with the actualité is concerned, when and where have you corrected this instance of what can be classified as misinformation?
[17]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10923865/Treasury-figures-show-more-than-3-million-UK-jobs-are-reliant-on-the-EU.html
[18]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/nick-clegg/8859374/Nick-Clegg-close-ties-with-Europe-are-absolutely-essential.html
[19]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/650295.stm
[20]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/652963.stm
[21] http://www.eabcn.org/research/documents/ukjobs.pdf
[22]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110906/text/110906w0008.htm#11090819000362
[23]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32275/11-760-uk-response-single-market-act.pdf

Brexit:

I believe it correct to state that in everything you have written, or said, on the subject of renegotiating and thus repatriating powers from the EU not once have you explained how you hope to achieve this. The word ‘repatriation’ does not appear anywhere in the Lisbon Treaty, so under which article of that treaty do you intend accomplishing that which you seek? There is only one method of renegotiating the UK’s terms of membership of the EU and that is by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon (TEU); therefore the question has to be raised whether it is your intention to so do?

On the question of repatriating powers, the following questions arise:

1) Repatriating powers requires Treaty change with the unanimous agreement of all other 27 member states. How do you intend to persuade the other member states that it is in their interests to make the UK a special case and to have a competitive advantage in the Single Market?

2) It appears that the EU has Treaty changes of its own in mind. With the release of a draft version last year – Fundamental Law of the EU – the EU intends to go for another step forward in integration for the Eurozone. This will leave the UK behind with an “Associate Membership” status which means limited access to EU institutions. Is Associate Membership status something you would accept for the UK?

3) A referendum obviously has two variables. No doubt you would be confident of winning to stay in, however there is also the possibility that the electorate vote to leave instead. In the event of that happening what are your contingency plans? How would you negotiate with the EU to leave thus ensuring that exit was as smooth as possible?

4) Returning to the ‘Norway Question’, the UK could repatriate powers successfully by invoking Article 50 and adopting the Norway model of remaining in the Single Market. This would then allow an opportunity to negotiate a new form of relationship with the EU, with no detrimental effect to financial markets or businesses. Do you rule out this option – and if so on what basis?

5) While you are carrying out your process of ‘renegotiation’, what steps do you envisage taking in order to calm the financial markets and business?

EU Council Conclusions:

In the Conclusions following the European Council meeting of 26th/27th June 2014, point 27 stated:

The UK raised some concerns related to the future development of the EU. These concerns will need to be addressed.

In this context, the European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further.[24]

That is not what the Commission website states when explaining what is EU law and/or ‘ever closer union’:

The main goal of the EU is the progressive integration of Member States’ economic and political systems and the establishment of a single market based on the free movement of goods, people, money and services.

To this end, its Member States cede part of their sovereignty under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which empowers the EU institutions to adopt laws.

These laws (regulations, directives and decisions) take precedence over national law and are binding on national authorities.[25]

In your statement to the House of Commons, on 30th June 2014, you said:

We broke new ground, with the Council conclusions stating explicitly that ever closer union must allow for different paths of integration for different countries and, crucially, respect the wishes of those such as Britain that do not want further integration.[26] (Emphasis mine)

The Council Conclusions stated no such thing – perhaps I might ask that you read point 27 again?.

It should be noted that the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘concept’ as: a general notion; an abstract idea.

Is the foregoing not another example of your being economical with the actualité, or not being candid – or, even more serious, misleading the House?
[24]http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/143478.pdf
[25]http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/introduction/treaty_en.htm
[26]http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140630/debtext/140630-0001.htm#1406308000001

I only spent just over 5 minutes with David Cameron as I did not wish to give him the opportunity of providing a short verbal response, wishing him to commit himself to a written response. Skimming through, he repeated that he had vetoed a treaty and cut the budget; although he made no mention of negating any bailout. The section on Norway appeared to ‘stop him in his tracks’ and when he began to respond, I intervened suggesting that, as his assistant had proposed, it would perhaps be better were he to read the dossier when he obviously had more time and replied at a later date. This he agreed to, stating that his response would be ‘punchy’ – adding that he understood my concerns as the subject matter was one of importance.

I hold out no hope that a satisfactory answer will be received, least of all one which contains an apology for that of which I accuse him; but when said response is received, it will be published on this blog as is my usual practice.

Original Article at Witterings from Witney http://witteringsfromwitney.com/meeting-my-member-of-parliament/

Only by leaving EU will we escape human rights legislation

Edward Spalton 20 May
By Edward Spalton. This article irst appeared in the Derby Evening Telegraph on 10th October

Mr Cameron is, of course, quite right that the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has been expanded to a parody of its original laudable intentions.

It once took many thousands of pounds from public funds to pay a lawyer, Cherie Blair, to take a case on behalf of a schoolgirl who did not want to wear her school uniform.

As long as he keeps us in the EU, Mr Cameron cannot get us out of obeying the ECHR.

In 2011, the EU Commission (a separate body) wrote: “Respect for fundamental rights as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights is an explicit obligation for the Union under article 6 (3) of the Treaty on European Union… (i.e., the Lisbon Treaty). …. The Court of Justice of the EU has held that the Convention is of special importance for determining the fundamental rights that must be respected by the member states.”

So, if Mr Cameron does run away from the European Court of Human Rights, the EU’s own Court of Justice will drag him back and compel his obedience to it. That is in the Lisbon Treaty, which is our country’s supreme constitution, overriding the Magna Carta, Queen, Lords and Commons as long as we remain in the EU. It is the same treaty on which “Cast Iron Cameron” promised us a referendum.