The Left and Europe

By Anthony Coughlan

The political Left, whether social democratic, communist or Trotskyist, has always found the European Union problematic. This is because supranational EU “integration” poses the issue of national independence and national democracy so acutely, which many on the Left find embarrassing. They prefer to concentrate on economic issues, for, on political ones like national independence, they fear being found on the same side as the Right. Their political sectarianism makes that hard for them to cope with.

The EU shifts a myriad of government functions from the national level, where they have traditionally been under the control of democratically elected parliaments and governments, to the supranational, where the bureaucrats of the EU Commission have the monopoly of legislative initiative and where technocracy rules. Should the Left oppose or support this process?

The classical socialist position is clear. It is that Leftwingers should eschew “economism” and should seek to give a lead on democratic political questions as well as economic ones. They thereby put themselves in the best position to win political hegemony in their respective countries and to implement left wing economic measures in due course when their peoples desire these.

Marx and Engels took it for granted that socialism could only be achieved in independent national States. In the Communist Manifesto of 1848 they wrote: “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” They supported Irish independence from Britain. Engels wrote to his friend Kugelman: “There are two oppressed peoples in Europe, the Irish and the Poles, who are never more international than when they are most national.”

Their Irish follower, James Connolly, showed by his political practice in allying himself with the radical democrats of the IRB in the 1916 Easter Rising that he regarded the establishment of a fully independent Irish State as the prerequisite of being able to achieve the socialist measures that he advocated. While awaiting execution he speculated on how the international socialist press would interpret the Dublin rebellion: “They will never understand why I am here. They will all forget I am an Irishman.”

Outside Europe the proposition that the Left should be the foremost advocates of national sovereignty would be taken as self-evident. The strength of communism in Asian countries like China and Vietnam rests on its identification with nationalism. The appeal of the Left in Latin America is largely based on its opposition to Yankee imperialism. Only in Europe do so many Left wingers regard the defence of national independence in face of EU integration as “right-wing” and therefore by definition reactionary.

This is primarily due to the fact that the main countries of Western Europe – France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy etc. – were all imperial powers in their day and historically their mainstream Labour Movements identified with that imperialism and its colonial accompaniments. With honourable if marginal exceptions, the national Labour Movements in these countries supported their respective national bourgeoisies in going to war with one another in World Wars 1 and 2.

In the second half of the 20th century transnational capital became predominant over national capital in the advanced industrial world. In Europe continental social democrats now shifted to backing European-based transnational capital in supporting its main political project, the construction of a supranational power, the EU/Eurozone, in which the classical principles of capitalist laissez faire – free movement of goods, services, capital and labour – would for the first time in history have the force of constitutional law.

In Britain and Ireland, Labour initially dissented. The political tradition in Britain is that all the main issues of national policy are decided inside the Tory Party, with the rest of society having bit parts. Joining the EEC became the central goal of Conservative policy from 1961. The Labour Left originally opposed this, as indeed in this country the Irish Labour Party opposed Irish membership of the EEC in our 1972 Accession referendum. Under Michael Foot’s leadership British Labour advocated the UK’s withdrawal from the EEC in the 1983 general election.

Then in 1988, with Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, Commission President Jacques Delors, a French socialist, wooed the British TUC at Blackpool and Ireland’s ICTU at Malahide and promised them labour-friendly legislation from Brussels which they would never get at home. The Trade Union leaders embraced “social Europe” and much of the Labour Left followed them, in some cases becoming missionaries for the grand “project”. As the downside of the EU/Eurozone became clear in recent years, Euroscepticism began to grow on the political Right. Now some on the Left are starting to follow the Right in that too, in Southern Europe and maybe in Britain.

In France and Italy the central role of communists in the war-time Resistance and their consequent appeal to national sentiment gave these countries mass communist parties for three decades after World War 2. A key factor in the subsequent decline of these parties was their embrace of the EC/EU in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the tenets of “Eurocommunism”.

In France this volte-face was necessary to allow Communist Ministers join Francois Mitterand’s socialist government in 1981. I recall the labour historian Desmond Greaves remarking at the time; “This will revive fascism in France.” That was before anyone had heard of le Pen. The French Communist Party, which had one-quarter of the seats in France’s National Assembly in 1956, has 2% there today. Many former French working class communist voters now vote for the National Front.

Left wingers in the Trotskyist tradition tend to be upholders of EU supranationalism as “objectively progressive”, while stigmatising concern for national independence as nationalism and “rightwing”. This goes back to Trotsky’s famous dispute with Stalin in the 1920s over whether it was possible to build socialism in one country – that being Stalin’s view – or whether it required a more general transformation, world revolution, as Trotsky thought. The EU is assumed to provide a more favourable field for socialism because it is at once bigger and it is trans-national, although it is hard to see how socialist-type restrictions on capital can come from a body one of whose constitutional principles is free movement of capital.

The EU institutions and their national extensions are populated with people who were on the Trotskyist Left in their youth and who feel no qualms at the EU’s assaults on national democracy. Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, Portuguese Commission President José Manuel Barroso are among those with such a background who have advanced supranationalism. Left-sounding arguments for the EU go down well in circles where “socialism” is no way a realistic danger, but where “nationalism” very much is – that is, the nationalism which resists losing national independence and democracy. Leftist rhetoric, radical-sounding, has helped grease many a lucrative EU career path.

Leftist Europhilia of this kind has been influential in the ideological collapse of Greece’s Syriza, which made its leadership adopt policies the opposite of what they were elected on. While loud against “austerity” Messrs Tsipris, Varoufakis and Tsakalotos continually proclaimed themselves believers in the EU, which they seemed to think could be transformed into a force for cross-national solidarity and Euro-Keynesianism by dint of rhetorical argument.

When it came to the crunch they lacked the courage to go for a “Grexit”, a repudiation of Greece’s mountainous debts and a devaluation of a restored drachma. Yet only such a policy can revive Greece’s lost competititiveness, stimulate its home demand and bring back economic growth, for Greece’s third bailout will not work.

The dissenters in Syriza are now advocating such a course, as are the Greek communists and others. The Syriza collapse is educational for Leftwingers everywhere. It illustrates the old truth that the establishment or re-establishment of national independence – which means a State having its own currency and with it control of either its interest rate or its exchange rate – must be central to any meaningful campaign against neoliberalism and banker-imposed austerity, not to mind “socialism”, however one might define that.

(Anthony Coughlan is Associate Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. This article first appeared in the September 2015 edition of the Village Magazine, Dublin)

Photo by ell brown

The CIA agents with a conscience

One of our supporters, Mr Peter Farrell, has recently sent us a link to a most interesting article, which first appeared in the EU Observer magazine in 2001. Although this is now 14 years ago, few people are aware, even now. of the degree to which the US intelligence agency played its part in clandestinely supporting the European Movement, which in its turn played a key part both in securing the UK’s accession to the EEC (As it was) in 1973 and ensuring we didn’t regain our independence in the 1975 referendum. The piece quotes extensively from CIB’s former vice-president Sir Richard (Dick) Body MP. At least a couple of CIA agents appeared to have been most uncomfortable about the CIA’s covert operation. Sadly, since the inception of the EEC, they have been very much the exception rather than the norm as far as the US government and its intelligence services are concerned.  Given President Obama’s recent utterances in support of the UK remaining in the EU, it is hard to have any degree of confidence that US intelligence agencies will keep their nose out of the forthcoming referendum.

Here is the article:-

It has long been rumoured that the CIA played an important role in the campaign to “keep Britain in Europe”, which the Yes side ran up to the 1975 referendum about Britisk EU membership. But now, irrefutable documents are available to the public, according to Sir Richard Body, who gives his version of the facts in his recent book, “England for the English”.
“After I became joint chairman of the Get Britain Out Council two Americans came to see me in 1975 with a large bundle of papers. They were, they claimed, CIA agents who deplored their country’s methods in interfering in the affairs of a good ally. What they had brought were copies of documents which showed that a dedicated federalist, Cord Meyer, jnr. was to become head of a CIA station in London for the duration of the Referendum “to do what it takes” to secure a “Yes” vote in favour of Britain remaining in the EEC. The papers showed that the CIA had already given the European Movement considerable sums of money, but now multinational corporations which had been assisted by the CIA were to be persuaded to fund the “Yes” campaign through indirect channels.

 

I hoped that at least one newspaper would agree to take up the story, but they were all strongly in favour of the EEC, and each one refused. Eventually, in the last few days of the campaign, Time Out agreed to publish the story. But it was then a mere fledgling with a small circulation, som only a few hundred Londoners would have read it.
Other people treated my account of the interview with disbelief, and I gave up speaking of the episode. However, the original documents are now filed in Georgetown University. Dr. Richard J. Aldrich, an academic of Nottingham University, has examined them and written a research paper about the CIA in Britain based upon the originals as well as a book”.
Documentation can be found in: OSS, CIA and European Unity in Diplomacy and Statecraft, vol. 8 no 1, March 1997 andRichard J. Adrich, The Hidden Hand; John Murray, 2001.

Photo by theglobalpanorama

The EU: A Corporatist Racket

 

EU a Corporatist Racket

By Dave Barnby

A review by Edward Spalton

Many books have covered the ideological origins of what is now the EU. This book describes the manoeuvres of the the principal post war actors whose guile, determination and deceit contrived progressively to deprive our country of its constitution and liberty whilst pretending to engage in mere facilitation of trade ( “The Common Market”) and international co-operation. It is a thorough job, backed by detailed research with frequent facsimile documents from public archives.

From the early post war years, it traces the growth of the European Movement, saved from bankruptcy by substantial CIA funds and by American corporate money. Whilst the subjects will be familiar to most independence campaigners, the author’s angle of approach is refreshingly different.

The first part (of 11 chapters) begins with the lie of “no essential loss of sovereignty” and covers the conversion of the civil service from its politically impartial role to an agency of “government against the people”. In a role reversal, the Foreign Office devoted much of its energy to promoting the foreign European project to the British people whilst using public money to frustrate and discredit those campaigners, who knew what was really at stake.

Drawing on official records, the author makes a strong case on the balance of probabilities that Britain’s abandonment of the Black Arrow satellite launcher was part of the price of entry to the EEC, giving the French a monopoly in the European space programme. He also covers the subversion of the apparently innocent business of town twinning into a scripted process, requiring participating towns to declare allegiance to the European project.

The second part ( 9 chapters) “European Integration, the broader picture 1948 -2014” begins with a review of the ACUE (American Committee for a United Europe – funded by corporate donations) and the European Movement. It includes an in depth study of the 1975 referendum, how the process was skewed and was certainly open to electoral manipulation. Whilst this is informed conjecture, similar complaints by those taking part in later Irish referendums should alert any independence campaigner. There is an extremely interesting piece on “85 Frampton Street” , the media centre for Britain in Europe which the author visited in 2003 when a referendum on the euro currency was in the air. Campaigners should know of the scale of publicity machine available to our foes and its cosy existing relationship with the media. Bilderberg is covered in a matter-of-fact sort of way and the attempts within the Conservative party to discredit their Eurosceptic MPs.

The endpiece, entitled “The Rats” makes some proposals to break the power of the supranational corporations in the supranational state but the author has not yet fully developed his ideas. Few who experienced the reality of nationalised industries would wish to revisit them.

In the meantime, this highly original account will be extremely useful both as a readable record and as a mine of verified quotations for anyone speaking or writing on how our country came to its present state.

ISBN 978-0-9569815-8-5 Paperback 185 pages

Price £9.99 plus postage and packing £2.00

Available from David Barnby
64 New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PA
Tel 01993 704421
Email [email protected]

Unknown Truths About The European Union by Francis Codjoe

In this meticulously drafted book, the writer has scoured every nook and cranny, left no stone unturned, in a brave and heroic effort to seek the removal of Great Britain from the crumbling EU monstrosity ruled by an unelected, unaccountable cabal of faceless bureaucrats.

Many others have warned of the dangers of a union of European Countries. Sir Winston Churchill said: “Each time we must choose between Europe and the open sea, we shall always choose the open sea.” (Winston S. Churchill, the great British Prime Minister. Comments to de Gaulle before Normandy Landing on 06.06.1944.) He also said, “Every step that tends to make Europe more prosperous and more peaceful is conducive to British interests … but we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. And should European Statesmen address us in the words which were used of old – „Shall I speak for thee to the King or the Lord of the Host?‟ – we should reply with the words of the Shumanite woman: „Nay sir, for we dwell among our own people …‟

Jaques Delors understood that Churchill envisaged European integration only for the countries of the European continent, not for Britain (as Delors noted in Le Monde, 3 May 2000).

Lady Margaret Thatcher herself also issued a warning: “Europe is a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage is in doubt.”

In 2002, Eric Deakins, former Labour MP and Government Minister, delivered a speech at Trinity College Dublin. The title of the motion was “This house believes that the European Union is a threat to democracy”. In his address Deakins declared: “The Treaty of Rome was the result of a subversion of democracy. The process was not transparent; peoples of the member states had no real choice; they were deceived about long-term aims.” He continued, “There is a fundamental contradiction between common law culture, where rights and power flow up from citizens to state, and Roman Law culture, where rights and power flow down from state to citizen. In making this comparison, I am mindful of Roman Emperor Justinian‟s comment: quod principi placuit legis habet vigorem (what the Emperor is pleased to command has the force of law); this could be a good motto for the Commission.

He then concluded: “The EU is not and never will be subject to the will of its peoples. They cannot vote to accept or reject policies coming from Brussels. The democratic deficit is an inevitable result of the way the EU has been and is being constructed. The EU will continue to be a threat to democracy at national and supranational levels. Democrats must fight harder against this threat. They must not retire to cultivate their gardens, leaving the field clear for the triumph of elitism and bureaucracy in the EU.”

The following editorial puts it in a nutshell: “A New Superstate”:

“Much has already been written in many places about the Convention on the Future of the European Union. Without doubt, this convention would, if its conclusions were ratified, be an enormous and significant step. Effectively, it would turn the European Union into a superstate in its own right, with the present member nations reduced to mere provinces. Although a supranational body from the beginning, the European Economic Community and its successors have at least operated according to treaties entered into by national governments; the Convention aims to go a vital stage further by establishing its own Constitution. The EU would, through this constitution, become the supreme source of legal authority over its entire territory, supplanting the member states and their own constitutions. This would be the final act in putting the United Kingdom under the control of a superstate. Whether the new state is to be called the European Union or the United States of Europe is immaterial; if it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it‟s a duck, whatever you choose to call it!”

We hear so much that is pro European but rarely are the Euro-sceptics given a voice. No matter how loud we shout our cries go unheard. We are the invisible majority air brushed from the media as indeed the “Prince of Detectives” has been airbrushed from history.

Several Freedom of Information requests have been placed regarding papers written by the Secret Service Agent by writers more interested in his case work on the Jack-the- Ripper murders than his prolific Christian writings and prophecies on the Union of Europe. However, it is worthy of note because these writers apparently know of the existence of papers which cannot be released even now, 122 years later. One must ask why and what a riddle, further research is needed now that the author has brought the Knight Commander and the “Seer of Dublin” back to life and full square in the public eye. He has told me that eventually he hopes to open a museum to celebrate the life and memory of this great theologian and detective, whose prophecies about Europe we would do well to heed. Otherwise, as Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor (1982-1988) said: “The future will belong to the Germans… when we build the House of Europe. In the next two years, we will make the process of European integration irreversible. This is a really big battle but it is worth the fight”(2002). Well, it most certainly is not irreversible as you will find as you wend your way through this book.

A truly gripping read from start to finish and a must for those who have never really understood the machinations of the European Union. A thoroughly researched and factual book which has taken the author almost 10 years of painstaking research and writing to complete. Ignore his words at your peril and your children and your children‟s children will reap the whirlwind. Codjoe has presented a massive case for our withdrawal from the European Union, like some barrister presenting a case against the European juggernaut. It is left to you the reader to decide on the evidence presented. “Is the future of the EU bright or dark?” Be warned and heed the following before making a decision, for indeed successive governments have been and are the enemy within.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague” (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 BC – 56BC).

Churchill’s United States of Europe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed.

by Raedwald

Research Paper 10/79 – Letter to Edward Heath from Lord Kilmuir, December 1960

I have no doubt that if we do sign the Treaty, we shall suffer some loss of sovereignty […] Adherence to the Treaty of Rome would, in my opinion, affect our sovereignty in three ways:-

Parliament would be required to surrender some of its functions to the organs of the Community; The Crown would be called on to transfer part of its treaty-making power to those organs; Our courts of law would sacrifice some degree of independence by becoming subordinate in certain respects to the European Court of Justice.

(a) The position of Parliament
It is clear from the memorandum prepared by your Legal Advisers that the Council of Ministers could eventually (after the system of qualified majority voting had come into force) make regulations which would be binding on use even against our wishes, and which would in fact become for us part of the law of the land. There are two ways in which this requirement of the Treaty could in practice be implemented:-

Parliament could legislate ad hoc on each occasion that the Council made regulations requiring action by us. The difficulty would be that, since Parliament can bind neither itself nor its successors, we could only comply with our obligations under the Treaty if Parliament abandoned its right of passing independent judgment on the legislative proposals put before it. A parallel is the constitutional convention whereby Parliament passes British North America Bills without question at the request of the Parliament of Canada; in this respect Parliament here has in substance, if not in form, abdicated its sovereign position, and it would have, pro tanto, to do the same for the Community.

It would in theory be possible for Parliament to enact at the outset legislation which would give automatic force of law to any existing or future regulations made by the appropriate organs of the Community. For Parliament to do this would go far beyond the most extensive delegation of powers, even in wartime, that we have experienced and I do not think there is any likelihood of this being acceptable to the House of Commons.

Whichever course were adopted, Parliament would retain in theory the liberty to repeal the relevant Act or Acts, but I would agree with you that we must act on the assumption that entry into the Community would be irrevocable; we should have therefore to accept a position where Parliament had no more power to repeal its own enactments than it has in practice to abrogate the Statute of Westminster. In short, Parliament would have to transfer to the Council, or other appropriate organ of the Community, its substantive powers of legislating over the whole of a very important field.

(b) Treaty-making Powers
The proposition that every treaty entered into by the United Kingdom does to some extent fetter our freedom of action is plainly true. Some treaties, such as GATT and O.E.E.C., restrict severely our liberty to make agreements with third parties and I should not regard it as detrimental to our sovereignty that, by signing the Treaty of Rome, we undertook not to make tariff or trade agreements without the Council’s approval. But to transfer to the Council or the Commission the power to make such treaties on our behalf, and even against our will, is an entirely different proposition. There seems to me to be a clear distinction between the exercise of sovereignty involved in the conscious acceptance by use of obligations under our treaty-making powers and the total or partial surrender of sovereignty involved in our cession of these powers to some other body. To confer a sovereign state’s treaty-making powers on an international organisation is the first step on the road which leads by way of confederation to the fully federal state. I do not suggest that what is involved would necessarily carry us very far in this direction, but it would be a most significant step and one for which there is no precedent in our case. Moreover, a further surrender of Parliamentary supremacy would necessarily be involved: as you know, although the treaty-making power is vested in the Crown, Parliamentary sanction is required for any treaty which involves a change in the law or the imposition of taxation (to take only two examples), and we cannot ratify such a treaty unless Parliament consents. But if binding treaties are to be entered into on our behalf, Parliament must surrender this function and either resign itself to becoming a rubber stamp or give the Community, in effect, the power to amend our domestic laws.

(c) Independence of the Courts
There is no precedent for our final appellate tribunal being required to refer questions of law (even in a limited field) to another court and – as I assume to be the implication of ‘refer’ to accept that court’s decision. You will remember that when a similar proposal was considered in connection with the Council of Europe we felt strong objection to it. I have no doubt that the whole of the legal profession in this country would share my dislike for such a proposal which must inevitably detract from the independence and authority of our courts.

Of these three objections, the first two are by far the more important. I must emphasise that in my view the surrenders of sovereignty involved are serious ones and I think that, as a matter of practical politics, it will not be easy to persuade Parliament or the public to accept them. I am sure that it would be a great mistake to under-estimate the force of the objections to them. But those objections ought to be brought out into the open now because, if we attempt to gloss over them at this stage, those who are opposed to the whole idea of our joining the Community will certainly seize on them with more damaging effect later on. Having said this, I would emphasise once again that, although these constitutional consideration must be given their full weight when we come to balance the arguments on either side, I do not for one moment wish to convey the impression that they must necessarily tip the scale. In the long run we shall have to decide whether economic factors require us to make some sacrifice of sovereignty: my concern is to ensure that we should see exactly what it is that we are being called on to sacrifice, and how serious our loss would be.

To read the full paper, click here (Lord Kilmuir’s letter can be found on pages 75-76)