An opportunity to correct an historic mistake on 23rd June – a letter from our President to the Leicester Mercury

Married with a son and daughter plus three granddaughters, I have lived in Leicester for 20 years. I am not a member of any political party, now aged 81, having worked in engineering manufacturing for 51 years watching our heavy engineering virtually disappear and our fishing fleet destroyed by the EU.

I organised demonstrations to close down the EU-inspired East Midlands Regional Assembly and also had the EU flag taken down because it was being flown illegally above the main entrance to the Town Hall. In 2000 under Magna Carta I organised and, with the help of Groby voters, won hands down a Parish Poll to save the pound against the euro. For good measure, under the ancient law of Misprision, I laid evidence of alleged treason against Tony Blair at Leicester Magistrates Court which the Bench felt they couldn’t handle although I had done my duty as a citizen in making a detailed report.

I spent 10 with Leicester Jazz Society voluntarily promoting concerts and a jazz festival in the city, plus two years trying to establish St George’s Day celebrations in Castle Gardens. Now I spend my spare time on three NHS-related committees locally, plus organising Head & Neck Cancer Support Group meetings monthly at Coping with Cancer at Helen Webb House, Westleigh Road, Leicester. Having survived major cancer surgery to my head five years ago I am now used during the final exams at the Royal Infirmary for trainee doctors and those wishing to become Consultants

Around the age of 17 in 1951, I followed my father into a large engineering factory. There was little problem trading with and travelling around the continent before we were drawn into the Common Market. Becoming married and a father I became suspicious that we were not being told the truth about joining the EEC so I sat in the Commons the night we joined by a slender majority of 8 votes obtained by the withholding of crucial information from MPs about the terms of entry and a legal warning from Lord Kilmuir about the surrender of sovereignty hidden for 30 years. (see video film of former Labour MP Nigel Spearing on MPs being asked to sign a blank cheque)

At the stroke of midnight 1st January 1972 we turned our backs on and discriminated against our Commonwealth friends. We had to cancel duty free and other food contracts with those countries to enter the higher cost food market of the EEC without any thought to the major impact upon the economies of those countries who had historical and multicultural links with us. As Barbara Castle of the Labour party put it “This is the new internationalism, selected relationships dictated and controlled by a powerful European bloc. What kind of internationalism is it that henceforth this country gives priority to a Frenchman over an Indian, a German over an Australian and an Italian over a Malaysian”?

Since then I have campaigned to reclaim the sovereignty of our Parliament and Courts to make our own laws and regain the freedom to trade globally within and outside an ailing crisis-ridden EU of rising unemployment and social unrest

There are three issues and many more that worry me should we remain in the EU.

  1. The British public want truth and calm debate, not hysterical crystal ball predictions and threats bombarding us from the remain side. We began to distrust long ago politicians fobbing us off as though the British public are fools such as the time then Minister for Europe Keith Vaz claimed that the European new Charter of Fundamental Rights “would have no greater legal standing than a copy of the Beano”. Peter Hain said of the EU’s draft Constitution for Europe, the forerunner of the Lisbon Treaty setting the EU’s course for the next 50 years that it was, “a mere tidying up exercise”. We are getting bad tempered insults, mud-slinging with an eye to winning the next general election. The Labour party is as bad as the Conservative. It is the scratching of infected scabs left by long standing party conflicts.

  1. I owe my life to the NHS. I fear that the TTIP trade treaty being negotiated in secret between America and the EU will bring the full weight of privatisation, pharmaceutical, insurance, financial investment companies and legal professionals to fall upon the NHS. David Cameron says the NHS will be exempt. I do not trust him.

  1. The biggest concern is uncontrolled immigration. We need controlled immigration. Our history is built upon immigration over centuries. Our culture evolves over time if newcomers integrate gradually rather than bringing the problems of their own countries with them. We need to leave the EU and elect a Parliament to begin to get to grips to find the right balance between the types of skills and labour that are needed matched with the adequate provision of homes, schools, hospitals, transport systems and the many services that are required to avoid social tensions and civic unrest. It ought to be made known that economic immigrants on arrival should not expect to take or be given priority over UK residents. Joining the EEC required us not to set any limits on immigration from within the Community. Although Turkey is expected to join according to our government’s policy, on top of those arriving from other EU countries, 100,000 would be expected to arrive every year from Turkey. This is the estimate given by Lord Green to the Migration & Asylum Select Committee on 7th June based on the pattern from east European of known arrivals Our towns and cities are becoming overcrowded and air polluted whilst our countryside is coming under increased pressure with new urban sprawls

The evidence of uncontrolled immigration is perfectly clear to those who live, travel and work in cities, to those who want their children placed in schools, to those who want GP appointments and to those who want hospital treatment.

The Office of National Statistics state that at the time of my birth in 1935 the UK had a population of 46,870,000. It is now 65,089,427 with a projected increase to 74.3 million in 2039.

My wife’s parents were invited and came to the UK from the West Indies in early 1960s. Caribbean immigrants were needed to fill job vacancies because we had to cope with the loss of people killed in the second world war (326,000 military and 62,000 civilian deaths) who would have provided more children had they lived. Those immigrants arrived and came speaking the English language, wearing western dress and bringing Christianity as my wife reminds me. They had a rough time but in reasonable numbers integrated over time. We have never before known the scale and different cultures and different languages we have arriving now in the UK. We are told we need immigrants to counter an ageing UK population. This is perfectly true when a balance can and should be created and managed once we leave the EU. Sad to say our UK population is on average ageing as many women need or decide to work longer before couples can afford or want to start families. We should not raid the skills and labour especially for medical staff needed by the remaining populations in poorer countries. It is wrong morally to recruit doctors and nurses as a cheaper and short term alternative to spending money and time to train our own youngsters

I liken the EU to a lorry without insurance and MOT certificates travelling on worn tyres and defective brakes driven by under-qualified drivers along rocky roads to a destination signposted “Ever Closer Control”. David Cameron says he changed the signpost from “Ever Closer Union” but yet again, I do not trust him.

I trust the common sense and instincts of the British people to have the confidence to vote Leave to be governed in future by our Parliament by MPs we elect and not to be governed by unelected Commissioners we cannot get rid of.

Upon leaving the EU we would save billions of pounds. It is just not the money that we transfer directly to the EU but the even greater amount of money which burdensome regulations cost the UK economy. How much better when we are spending our hard earned money on our own needs and making laws and regulations to suit our own country and people. A brighter future beckons when we leave and take control.

George West

UK statistics authority – hopefully staying far more neutral than the Treasury

This article first appeared in BBC News. After the recent flawed Brexit report from HM Treasury, it is encouraging to hear that at least one public body, albeit one which operates independently of the Government, intends to maintain neutrality.

The statistics watchdog has vowed to resist any political pressure over the release of migration statistics in the run-up to June’s EU referendum.

Details of the number of EU migrants paying tax and claiming benefits in the UK will be published next month.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority, told MPs that any interference in the process from any source would be “just inappropriate”.

But MPs suggested officials didn’t have a full picture of migration levels.

Giving evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee, Sir Andrew was questioned about statistics used by the Leave and Remain campaigns during the campaign so far.

He said it was “legitimate” for the Remain campaign to say that 3.3 million jobs were linked to trade with the EU but it would not be fair to say they were directly connected to the EU membership and to claim they would disappear if the UK voted to leave.

Sir Andrew said Leave campaigners were entitled to cite the £19.1bn figure for the UK’s gross annual contribution to the EU budget but he was concerned that by stating that the UK could save £350m a week by leaving the EU, this “could be interpreted as implying that the gross figure was, in fact, a net figure” – ignoring the rebate and funds which flow from the EU to the UK.

Sir Andrew, a former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, was asked by several MPs about the move to release data on the number of National Insurance numbers actively used by EU citizens in the run-up to the EU referendum on 23 June.

Eurosceptic MPs have long sought more information about this, arguing official figures on inward migration from the EU based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS) underestimate the true numbers.

Sir Andrew told MPs that while it was already known how many NI numbers were issued, it was not known how long recipients were staying in the country afterwards and whether they entered the country with the specific purpose of registering for tax and benefits or whether they were already here.

“It is conceivable the work being done will show the Nino (National Insurance numbers) and IPS numbers are consistent with one another but measuring something different,” he said. “It is conceivable that they will not show that… and we will make a judgement about we think about their quality.”

Asked by Leave campaigner Kate Hoey whether he had been subject to any pressure from Downing Street or elsewhere in government about the information, Sir Andrew said no.

Asked what would happen if he was, he replied: “If anyone was to put pressure on us they would receive the response that that is just inappropriate and if they continued I would ring the chair (of the committee).”

Eurosceptic MPs have been pushing for information about the number of EU nationals who have paid income tax and NI and received benefits over the last year to be published, as well as information about the nationalities of new NI applicants over the past four years.

They say details of National Insurance numbers – which are issued to those entitled to study or work to help pay tax and benefits – being actively used will shed more light on the current impact of EU migration on the UK labour market.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics suggested that 257,000 EU migrants came to the UK between September 2014 and September 2015. But other figures for the same period show 630,000 National Insurance numbers were allocated to EU nationals, up 7% on the year before. Of these, 209,000 were from Bulgaria and Romania.

Former Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan questioned whether any figures would show the true scale of immigration into the UK.

“We are really not in control of this. We really don’t have the information about who is coming in, who is working, who is staying and who is leaving…and we don’t have the knowledge with which to work.”

Schengen’s flaws are challenging the EU project as never before

The EU has traditionally excelled at using crises for its own ends  – in other words, to further integration. The flawed €uro project, which set interest rates for the benefit of Germany but not the Medterranean nations, is a classic example. The tragic recessions in Greece, Spain and elsewhere have provided the impetus for another treaty designed to surrender fiscal sovereignty of the €urozone member states and thus move an EU inner core closer to becoming a federal superstate. Even though treaty plans currently seem to be dormant, they are still on the longer-term agenda.

The flood of refugees into Europe, however, is proving challenging, not only in and of itself but also as far as turning it into a beneficial crisis is concerned. Member states are unilaterally reimposing border controls – in other words, pushing back the integration process. There is provision under the Schengen agreement for a temporal reimposition of borders in the event of an emergency, so putting back border controls isn’t necessarily breaking the rules,  but the migrant crisis has struck deeper into the heart of the European project than anything else for many years.

You can now find articles disussing the possiblility of ending the Schengen agreement altogether. The writer of the article in the link, like others, says that the implications of such a move for the whole EU project would be immense.  He does go on to say, however, that it probably won’t happen

For such optimists, a report by Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, will not make happy reading.  Frontex officials warned a that ‘staggering’ number of European citizens had become jihadists and were taking advantage of lax border controls. The organisation also stated that it had no idea how many illegal immigrants had entered the EU.

So far, concerns over these issues – or indeed, the aftermath  of the Brussels bombings – have not shifted poblic opinion in the UK towards withdrawal.  While most of those for whom migration is an issue are firmly on-side already, one might have expected the desire to distance ourselves from terrorists on the Continent to have helped some wavering voters make their minds up.

What may help provide a more favourable backdrop for the debate is the growing disillusion with the whole European project elsewhere. It’s not just open borders and immigration. Today the Dutch are holding a referendum  on a proposed pact betwen the EU and Ukraine, which is viewed by both sides as a prelimiary move towards Ukrainian membership. Expansion fatigue has been a factor in many older EU countries for many years, but without further expansion on the horizon to encourage the masses that the EU is marching ever forward, the threat of stagnation – and indeed of implosion – of the EU increases. The referendum is non-binding, but a “no” vote will send another powerful signal  to Brussels that disillusion with le grand projet is not confined to the UK.

The debate in this country appears to have moved on from the days when we were told that a UK withdrawal could see the whole EU project undermined. This is a shame as it can be so easily countered. The EU is already showing signs of fracture and UK withdrawal could prove the best way to achieve a peaceful dismemberment, rather than the disorderly collapses that has brought to an end many multinational entities from the Roman Empire through to the Soviet Union.

In other words, if the UK votes to withdraw from the EU, to quote William Pitt, “England has saved herself by her exertions and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example”

The EU is a security catastrophe

The remarkable ease with which terrorists could travel within the EU’s borderless Schengen countries to kill 160 people in Paris and Brussels has alarmed everyone except the Euro-elite in Brussels. The Paris and Brussels bombers went from Syria to Holland to Belgium to France to Hungary before and after the Paris attacks and before the Brussels attacks. But Cameron agreed with his fellow EU leaders that discussing changes to the free movement of terrorists across national borders would be “inappropriate”!!

A former Tory leader Lord Howard rightly attacked the Government and the EU saying that the Schengen zone “makes Europe less safe” and a former head of MI6 and a former director of the CIA have said that Britain returning to a self governing nation state would not affect and might indeed enhance our security.

This chimes well with the late Sir Louis Le Bailly the former Director General of our Defence Intelligence Staff who recommended my 1997 anti EU book “Europe’s Full Circle – Corporate Elites and the new Fascism” to “all who cherish our heritage as a nation state”.

Sir Richard Dearlove the former Head of MI6 said in a magazine article that:
“the truth about Brexit from a national security perspective is that the cost to Britain would be low. Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights – remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque – and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union.”

Former CIA Director General Michael Hayden said that “with regards to these kinds of questions the (European) union is not a natural contributor to national security of each of the entity states and, in fact, in some ways [it] gets in the way of the state’s providing security for its own citizens.”

No limit to those who could enter EU
As soon as the EU destroyed the internal borders of the European Union – which it did 22 years ago in the Maastricht Treaty where “European citizens” were allowed to travel to any other EU state as a matter of right – then Europe was open to unlimited and effectively uncontrolled migration from all over the world – a situation which Jihadist Muslims have been able to exploit.

It was in our book Treason at Maastricht in 1994 that the late Norris McWhirter and I showed that the Treaties that British ministers had signed were an immigration disaster (it was Hurd who only half humorously said “We had better go away and read what we have signed”!).

Since Maastricht any EU citizen can go to any other EU State to live and work. Any National of any EU State can become an EU citizen and any State can make anyone in the world their national. So there was and is no limit to the number of the world’s peoples who could not be given free access to any EU country, with any one EU State creating “citizens” which all the others have to accept.

Given that several small EU States are in danger of becoming, with the aid of the European left, Muslim States – or critically Muslim influenced – within the next generation (Sweden and Belgium being the most obvious) the scope for a rogue State exploiting this grotesque “citizen creating” danger is very great indeed.

There is not a single reason for the United Kingdom to stay within the madhouse which is the EU but among the many critical reasons for leaving – constitutional, financial, economic, social, democratic – the most immediate is the critical danger of our uncontrolled borders made unenforceable by the idiocies of the European Union’s policies on “borderless” States and the creation of “European citizens”.

With our thanks to the Freenations website, where this piece first appeared (http://freenations.net/the-eu-is-a-security-catastrophe/), for permission to reprint the article.

Rodney Atkinson’s latest book “And into the Fire…..” is available from Amazon

EU Migration controls – UK Action Plan, including Brexit

The current unsustainable migration to the EU and the UK offers an opportunity to review policies and trial new ones, for win-win outcomes, using off-the-shelf solutions. The illegal immigration of Syrian refugees and north African and also Eastern and southern Europe migrations to the UK and northern Europe. People wish prosperity for all people everywhere, with no problem with prosperous tourists visiting from everywhere, people coming to study, maybe 1 year working visas with learning of new skills. However mass migration isn’t working for low income people, nor lowering crime and having people who pick and choose which laws to abide by are not ideal; it is better to reward people who do play by the immigration rules.

Solutions could include the following

  • Brexit, for EU immigration controls
  • OCV (Out of Country Voting) organised by the IOM (international Organisation of Migration) for Syrian refugees
  • Trade not Aid for immigration from the rest of the world
  • FTAs, Free Trade Agreements, also a consequence of Brexit
  1. Brexit, upgrading to a self-governing democracy

With the EU referendum coming up, Britain could lead by example, including for Commonwealth countries, by upgrading to a self-governing democracy. The current EU agreement, has led Britain to have a cumulative trade deficit of over £400bn, net contributions of over £130bn, not a win-win agreement. Also it is difficult to say to totalitarian régimes and badly run countries ‘ be like us’, since unfortunately the answer could be ‘ we are in many respects like you as a member of the EU’: virtual one party state, voting is meaningless – as people elected cannot make, amend or repeal many laws, media censorship of pro-democracy voices, media/banking and business cartels lobby for laws that help them and reduce competition, accounts would be unlikely to be signed off by independent auditors, as power is centralised – so is wealth, rich getting richer – the poor getting poorer, large tribes bullying smaller tribes, with the EAW people can be arrested on flimsy evidence.

Any wonder, as the centre of gravity of the world has been moved away from self-governing democracies to one-party state ideology, that other countries have followed suit?

The EU referendum offers an opportunity for the British people to shift the centre of gravity to self-governing democracies, with the UK upgrading to democracy. Options include:

  • EFTA/Single Market with Opt outs for immigration control and buying property efta.int
  • FTA (Free Trade Agreement) similar to what Canada has been negotiating for more than 6 years

Leading by example in the world, is a good help.

  1. OCV (Out of Country Voting) organised by the IOM (international Organisation of Migration) for Syrian refugees

The Syrian people stood up for having a say in how their country is being run, with a desire for democratic self-government – the Syrian regime disagreed and with violence, has tried to run the country, so leading to refugees. As the refugees have moved out of control of the government, to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and also inside Syria, an opportunity has arisen for voter registration and starting the democratic process.

An off-the-shelf solution using Out of Country Voting (OCV), organised by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), is fully trained to organise voter registration and voting – as they have done for many refugee groups, including Afghanistan and Iraq, with high voter turnout.

IOM link: https://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/shared/shared/mainsite/activities/mepmm/op_support/esu_ocv_080107.pdf

Voter registration and elections can be organised easily, in 10 weeks, in some cases. What they need is:

  • Which locations – e.g. Lebanon. Jordan, Turkey, inside Syria, already known
  • Approximate Number of people, already available
  • Who will be on the ballot paper, already different groups

It costs around US$4 per person to organise, so even with 5 million refugees, it is US$20 million, much less than currently being spent on refugees in camps. Elections could be held every 6 months, as more refugees arrive, giving more legitimacy. Referendums could be held on what kind of system of government they might start with. As the new government takes form and legitimacy, it helps people in old regime in looking for a new future –  and once, one thing changes, other things can change.

The UK, and other countries, could offer current refugees 3 to 6 month training opportunities in the areas of: running a democracy, military training and business skills. Also with selected few coming to European countries for a short while for training. So helping building up the future leaders and processes in the country for a safe and prosperous population.

  1. Trade not Aid, for immigration from the rest of the world

The unsustainable immigration from all parts of the world to the UK and northern Europe, is not win-win, and is not solving the root causes of the problems. Here is another opportunity for changes in policy.

With the EU referendum, the UK could vote for self-government and run it’s own immigration policy. This could include:

  • New Eastern Europeans getting a 1 year working visa, after which they return, or stay longer if a points systems shows their skills are in demand
  • Other new EU citizens can come and work, unless their country unemployment rate is over 7%, in which case they get a 1 year working visa, or stay longer if a points system shows their skills are in demand
  • Or the UK unemployment rate is over 7%, in which case any new EU citizen can only get a 1 year visa, unless a points system shows their skills are in demand, for staying longer.

The rest of the world includes low income countries, which is taking longer for them to develop good government and prosperity for most of the population. What to do? What new ideas could help?

Looking at decolonialisation and which countries have prospered more than others, could offer a clue. Looking at:

Singapore – which split away from Malaysia, has become a small country and prosperous with fast rates of growth in incomes

Hong Kong/China – Hong Kong was a colony for longer, with a Governor appointed by Britain, around 40% of the legislature voted by the population, around 60% appointed by Britain, stability, free trade, honest government, and prosperous with fast rates of growth in incomes. Skills learnt used to start businesses in China and accelerate growth and prosperity for millions and millions.

In Africa, since the Second World War, over US$500 billion of aid has been given, with little to show for it. Aid is not the solution, in fact some charities say it is a cause of the problems, as it helps corrupt people stay in power, and put off reforms. It could have helped if decolonialsation had taken longer, i.e. developing leaders professionally, e.g. starting with local elections, then regional, then national, starting with a higher voting age e.g. 50+, a year later elections for 40+, a year later elections 30+ etc, with regular ongoing training. We are where we are – what lessons can we learn going forward?

What are fast track options that are realistic?

  • Re-colonisation: no way, no interest
  • Smaller countries: allow countries with multiple languages, to have referendums to become smaller self-governing countries. Some people say that Africa is full of EU-type countries, that are held back by being lumped together in artificial countries
  • Free trade zones: help with setting up free ports, to help with foreign investment and growth, with trade. This option still relies on the local government, who are open to corruption, so may have partial success http://www.britannica.com/topic/free-trade-zone
  • New micro-colonies, similar to HK, 50 to 99 year leases: organising referendums in coastal areas for areas to become a temporary colony of the UK again, similar legislature set up as HK had, encourage Foreign Direct Investment, integrity, develop supply chains, fast growth, using expat UK labour and also expat labour from host country. Only with referendum approval. Likely opposition from populations, and also business cartels and corrupt politicians, so maybe not much interest, though highest chance of success for growth. This option could help create jobs, slow the brain-drain of skilled people leaving and create wealth.
  1. FTAs, Free Trade Agreements, also a consequence of Brexit
  • FTAs: Free Trade Agreements can be negotiated by the UK, once free from the EU, so helping accelerate growth. Also selected 1 year working visas for countries, for people to learn skills and government integrity – instead of aid money.

These are some ideas, which are off-the-shelf, proven and are about prosperity for the many, with democracy – and win-wins for people in different countries. A good starting point is the UK upgrading to democracy with the EU referendum, with a ‘No thank you to the EU’ and ‘Yes please to self-government’ – and shifting the centre of gravity in the world to democracy and prosperity.

 

Photo by Rex Pe

Turkey, EU visa liberalisation and Schengen

The Government has told us that the liberalisation of visa restrictions on Turkey only appliues to the Schengen area. However, this post, from John Redwood’s blog, raises the issue of whether we are being lied to – again. 

I drew attention to the fact that the official minutes of the 7 March EU/Turkey Agreement made clear that all member states need to lift visa restrictions on Turkey by June this year. The UK government keeps saying this does not apply to the UK.  I suggested they have the minutes amended in that case.

Far from doing so, the minutes of the European Council held 17-18 March  reconfirmed the minutes of the 7 March “Following the decisions of the Heads of State of government of 7 March”  the European Council “calls for the full implementation of the EU-Turkey statement”.  So if we assume the UK is not actually going to lift visa restrictions we are left wondering why official statements of the Heads of State and government which we are asked to rely on in other contexts are wrong on this matter. We also need to remember how assurances that the UK would not have to bail out Euro countries were swept aside when it came to a new loan for Greece.

There can be no opt out for the UK when it comes to possible Turkish membership of the EU. There we are told clearly in the minutes of the Council meeting that ”the EU and Turkey reconfirmed their commitment to re energise the accession process” for Turkey to become a full member.

Visa liberalisation even if confined to the continent means many more people having easy access to the EU and possibly establishing citizenship and free movement rights to the UK  as well as the rest of the EU. Full membership of course brings complete freedom of movement. In view of the pressure on us already from the many people in the rest of the EU who want to work and live here, we do need to consider this Turkish issue more seriously. One of the failings of William Hague’s Referendum Act was it does not give the UK people a vote on new members joining the EU, though they can represent a big change to the EU and to our obligations as a result.