Get Carta

‘Torquil Dick-Erikson, the journalist who first alerted us to the iniquitous Corpus Juris criminal code has had a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph. We reproduce it below:

GET CARTA

Sir,

Magna Carta is to be celebrated by David Cameron’s administration, even if Allan Massie (Comment, June 16) says that it was not a “revolutionary” step in its time. 

Yet it was the first, successful attempt to limit the state’s power. Clause 29, to this day, deprives the state of power to order punishment of a citizen, which can be decided only by a jury of the defendant’s peers. It inspired the American revolution. Nobody has mentioned that Magna Carta never crossed into continental Europe. 

Continental criminal procedures are little known in Britain, even by the Government.

In 1215, Pope Innocent 111 was setting up the Inquisition, which, far from limiting the authorities’ power over the individual, made it absolute. When he heard of Magna Carta, he wrote to the English clergy saying they had done something “abominable and illicit“.  In Europe, only England escaped the Inquisition. Centuries later, Napoleon’s new laws adopted and adapted an inquisitorial method, redirecting it to the service of the state. Napoleon’s codes underpin most continental legal systems today. Brussels aims to create a unified European criminal code. The embryo “Corpus Juris” proposal was unveiled in 1997, and was denounced in “THE DAILY TELEGRAPH”  It would abolish trial by jury, HABEAS CORPUS, and other safeguards considered normal by the British, yet ignored by the European Convention.

The European arrest warrant is a stepping stone towards Corpus Juris: a European prosecutor will issue European warrants. Yet Mr Cameron intends to reconfirm the European Arrest Warrant.  This will trash the foundation stone of our freedoms in Magna Carta.

So just what is Mr. Cameron meaning to celebrate?

TORQUIL DICK-ERIKSON
Rome

How EU law is made

Originally published August 28th, 2010 by Ian Parker-Joseph

When politicians explain that laws are made in Westminster they are only giving you a half truth, so please ask them to explain what I am about to show you below, and then ask them whether they understand the UK relationship with the EU, and how the UK is governed.

Following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the first pillar of EU law has been satisfied, subsumed into the Treaty on the EU (TEU) and into the renamed Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). Such treaties provide primary law within all 27 member states.

As the Lisbon Treaty as subsumed allows for self amendment, there will be no more treaties of this kind, only International Agreements that will now be negotiated and sealed by the EU, and former National treaties that will be adopted and form part of the TEU and TFEU, an example of which can be found here.

All other law, in the parlance of the EU, is called Secondary Legislation, and it is derived in the following ways, and I outline the three most important elements of secondary legislation, Regulations, Directives and Decisions. (and I take this from the EUR-LEX database direct).

1.3.1. Introduction
The ‘secondary legislation’ is the third major source of Community law after the treaties (primary legislation) and international agreements. It can be defined as the totality of the legislative instruments adopted by the European institutions pursuant to the provisions of the treaties. Secondary legislation comprises the binding legal instruments (regulations, directives and decisions) and non-binding instruments (resolutions, opinions) provided for in the EC Treaty, together with a whole series of other instruments such as the institutions’ internal regulations and Community action programmes.
1.3.2. Regulation
Adopted by the Council in conjunction with the European Parliament or by the Commission alone, a regulation is a general measure that is binding in all its parts. Unlike directives, which are addressed to the Member States, and decisions, which are for specified recipients, regulations are addressed to everyone.
A regulation is directly applicable, which means that it creates law which takes immediate effect in all the Member States in the same way as a national instrument, without any further action on the part of the national authorities.
1.3.3. Directive
Adopted by the Council in conjunction with the European Parliament or by the Commission alone, a directive is addressed to the Member States. Its main purpose is to align national legislation.
A directive is binding on the Member States as to the result to be achieved but leaves them the choice of the form and method they adopt to realise the Community objectives within the framework of their internal legal order.
If a directive has not been transposed into national legislation in a Member State, if it has been transposed incompletely or if there is a delay in transposing it, citizens can directly invoke the directive in question before the national courts.
1.3.4. Decision
Adopted either by the Council, by the Council in conjunction with the European Parliament or by the Commission, a decision is the instrument by which the Community institutions give a ruling on a particular matter. By means of a decision, the institutions can require a Member State or a citizen of the Union to take or refrain from taking a particular action, or confer rights or impose obligations on a Member State or a citizen.
A decision is:
– an individual measure, and the persons to whom it is addressed must be specified individually, which distinguishes a decision from a regulation,
– binding in its entirety.
It is important to note that the European Commission, an unelected body, has the power to make law using the methods above without recourse to either the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers. The UK Parliament, our MP’s, now only create on their own initiative something in the region of 15% of the laws that pass through Westminster. All other laws and Statutory Instruments are in furtherance of laws that have been made in Brussels using the 3 methods above.
If you go to the EUR-LEX database directly, you can see the other types of instruments that are used to formulate, or coerse National Governments to introduce legislation ‘voluntarily’ with the veiled threat that a directive will follow unless they do. These areRecommendations, Opinions and Joint Actions.
The Smoking Ban is one such example, where the EU Commission has only ever given an Opinion that National governments were encouraged to follow, with explicit threats of EU legislation if they did not.

Historical laws and regulations are all on the various EU databases. All you have to do is find them, trouble is they keep moving them.

You don’t think they are trying to hide anything! Do you?

Civitas calls for the return of supremacy to the Supreme Court

Civitas, which is leading think tank supported by The Campaign for an Independent Britain has released a report which says that Britain has a “moral duty” to give the Supreme Court power over the European Court of Justice.

Dr David Green, the head of the Civitas said in a report released today that “The Government must unpick unwanted EU laws one by one and challenge Brussels to “do its worst”. To do this the Government will have to amend the 1972 European Communities Act to give Supreme Court superiority over the EU Court of Justice. A move which would amount to a “unilateral declaration of independence” without tearing up all EU laws and regulations in one go, Mr Green said.

The Civitas report examined the damage the EU has “wreaked upon Britain’s traditions of liberty and democracy since we joined the common market in 1973“. “There is a moral imperative for the UK to reclaim its independence irrespective of whether the EU is economically beneficial or not, Dr Green said.”

“It is tragic to watch the free people of Britain, who historically led the way in establishing modern freedom and democracy, absent-mindedly give up their powers of self-government. What’s at stake is far more than our future prosperity. It’s our ability to uphold our distinctive contribution to Western civilisation. The huge cost of the EU is undoubtedly a very important question, but even if the cost were zero – for that matter, even if we made a profit – the case for upholding our independence would stand.”

Last year Mr Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary said: “We have to make our Supreme Court supreme, I do not believe decisions about the way this country is governed – we are a democracy after all – should be taken elsewhere.” He is likely to welcome the report as renewed support for his ongoing battles with the European court over prisoner voting and whole-life tariffs.

Britain’s leading judges have also lent their support for the campaign for protecting the sovereignty of the Supreme Court in recent months. Lord Sumption, who is a UK Supreme Court justice, has accused the court of exceeding its legitimate powers, usurping the role of politicians and “undermining the democratic process“.

This is a welcome development now that Britain’s membership of the undemocratic economically moribund EU is being openly discussed but doesn’t go as far as we in CIB want which is the complete repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act.

The Debates in British Parliament

Most politicians, if not all, know exactly what the European Union is to turn into, for it is written clearly enough in Hansard. It is only the ordinary people of the Country that these politicians of yesterday and today didn’t see fit to enlighten. Yet these ordinary people trusted them, they voted for them to look after them and this their Country.

As I take words from Hansard, and to mean anything at all, they have to be the words taken from before we actually joined the European Community or Common Market as we were told. My one difficulty is, there are so many words to choose from on this subject it is difficult to choose which ones to set down for you to read. I have put the dates and column numbers for your own confirmation.

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, 31st July 1961 (column 928)

This is political as well as an economic issue. Although the Treaty of Rome is concerned with economic matters it has an important political objective, namely to promote unity and stability in Europe which is so essential a factor in the struggle for freedom and progress throughout the world.”

Mr Fell, same day (Column 935)

Is the Prime Minister aware that this decision to gamble with the British sovereignty in Europe, when 650 million people in the British Commonwealth depend upon his faith and his leadership, is the most disastrous thing that any Prime Minister has done for many generations past?”

On 2nd August 1961 (column 1478), a Mr Silverman is restating that on the 28th June he moved a Motion about the European Common Market in the following terms, “That this House, being gravely concerned at the pressure to make this country enter a European Common Market and the consequent threat to subject its independence, its membership of the Commonwealth and its right and power to plan its economy in its own way, to a political union with Germany, France, Italy and Benelux, as well as a threat to the survival of the Commonwealth inherent in

these proposals, urges Her Majesty’s Government not to enter into any negotiations concerning such entry until expressly empowered so to do by a conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers and by this House.”

Later on that same day (column 1480) at 3.42 pm, the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan:

I beg to move, That this House supports the decision of Her Majesty’s Government to make formal application under Article 237 of the Treaty of Rome in order to initiate negotiations to see if satisfactory arrangements can be made to meet the special interests of the United Kingdom. Etc, etc”

Later on (column1491), he states,

This problem of sovereignty, to which we must, of course, attach the highest importance is, in the end, perhaps a matter of degree.  I fully accept that there are some forces in Europe which would like a genuine federalist system. There are many of my colleagues on both sides of the House who have seen this at Strasbourg and other gatherings. They would like Europe to turn itself into a sort of United States, but I believe this to be a completely false-analogy.”

 Mr Gaitskell then reminds the Prime Minister (column 1498) what Macmillan said in 1956, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, which was,

Finally, we must recognise that the aim of the main proponents of the Community is political integration. We can see that in Article 138 of the Treaty, which looks towards a common assembly, directly elected. The whole idea of the six, the coal and steel community and Euratom is a movement towards political integration. That is a fine assertion, but we must recognise that for us to sign the Treaty of Rome would be to accept as the ultimate goal – to accept as the ultimate goal– political federation in Europe, including ourselves.”

Later on (column1501), Mr Gaitskell says,

“There is the question of a common currency, which is mentioned in various quarters as something to which we must look forward.  In my opinion, it is idle to speak about a common currency until there is a common government, and the idea of not being in control of our own currency, and having it subject to a supranational or international gathering, would be quite wrong, and I hope that, equally, will be made abundantly plain.”

On 3rd August 1961 (column 1735), Mr Shinwell continues his words after having read out a part of the Treaty of Rome, ending with

reinforcement of the European Parliament through direct elections and widening of its powers and, finally, a European Government. That is the intention. That is their object and that is what they are saying on Hon Members can talk until they are black in the face about the Rome Treaty and there being no provision for federation, but there is no doubt that from the declarations made by some of the most influential people – M.Spaak, Professor Hallstein and others who have indicated that there is a definite intention and that once we accept the economic provisions of the Rome Treaty – and it looks as though this government might – they are on their way towards complete political integration.”

I wonder what this place will be like during the course of the next ten years? There will not be 630 Hon Members. There will be no need for more than 150 or so. It will be like—“

Mr A. C. Manuel, A Council.”

Mr Shinwell, “I was about to say a Parish Council, with the authority of some kind delegated to it by the European Parliament and dictated to be a European Government. To that we are being led.”

On 16th November 1966 (Column 446), I quote just a couple of comments from the then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr George Brown, on the subject of joining the EEC,

The issue today is not do we join Europe – (who does he remind you of?) we have always been there. The issue is can we play such a role that from here on the continent shall be unified and we shall be effectively a leader of it?”

And a little later on (Column 488) he says,

We could clearly play a much greater role from within the Community, in influencing these affairs than we can play from outside”.

 I now turn to Sir D.Walker-Smith, snippets from his speech on 16th November 1966 (Column474)

On the constitutional side, the agricultural position shows clearly under the Treaty of Rome we would no longer be masters in our own house and that the powers of decision would pass from Parliament.  For many years this country has practised a system of price support. It may or may not be the best system, but it has operated for 20 years with the assent of both sides of the House, etc, etc.”

But the constitutional question is clear. It would not matter if not one Member wanted to change the system.  That would be irrelevant because, under the Treaty of Rome, if we join the Community the power of decision passes from this House.”

I now turn to the political and constitutional aspects, of which there are two. First, there is the immediate affect of adherence to the Treaty on British sovereignty, and secondly, the future question whether membership of the Community carries any implied or inescapable commitment to political federation in the future?”

On the second of those matters, the position is clear as far as it goes; but our range of vision is necessarily limited. The Treaty, of course, carries no express commitment to future federation.  But the difficulty is that as time goes by, if we join the Community, the decision about federation would not be one of our own choosing so much as the will of others, because our arrangements would be so inextricably involved with those of the Community that it would be difficult to the point of impossibility in practice—though not impossible in theory– to dissociate ourselves from a supranational federation if our partners decide that they want it.” Etc, etc.

I come now to the other question relating to the political and constitutional aspect-the immediate consequences of signing the Treaty of Rome.  Here we can see the position much more clearly.  Two truths are apparent—first, that over a wide range of our national life there would be an immediate abandonment of sovereignty and of our constitutional principle of the sovereignty of Parliament. The second truth is that, so far, the British people have very little idea of what is involved.”

(Column 478),

It is clear that Article (189) in respect of those Regulations this House can be nothing but a conduit pipe.  That will be its role. We cannot reject of even vary any of the regulations which are at present pouring out from Brussels.  The collective law of the Community would bind the individual British citizen, and Parliament and Courts alike would be powerless to intervene.  That would be a heavy price to pay for Membership of the Community.”

The British people may, in the event, pay it.  I do not presume to prophesy about that, but I do know that they should not be asked to pay it in ignorance.  It is a mistake to assume that the British people are interested only in the economic bread and butter aspects of this matter.  It is a mistake to assume that they are not interested in these great political and constitutional matters.  I know, of course, that terms like “sovereignty” are not part of the every day idiom of the British people; but the represent things which are long-established and cherished.  They are like the air we breath – little noticed in its presence but valued beyond price in the event of deprivation.”

 There is therefore, a duty on the Government of explanation and instruction, a duty not to gloss over these political and constitutional consequences.”

Mr Stanley Orme, 16th November 1966 (Column 489),

I want first to consider the European situation. At a private meeting in the House, M. Spaak, who was prominent in the setting up of the Community, explained his concept of what the European Community should be and what it should entail, and his explanation sent shivers down the spine’s of some of my Hon Friends who are very pro-European.  M. Spaak’s political concept is that of many statesmen, particularly among the five, excluding France, (General de Gaulle, who wanted a Europ des Patries) It is the political issue which we must seriously consider.”

M. Spaak is against the entry of any neutrals. He regards the Community purely as an extension of the militarily based N.A.T.O. a further extension of a military alliance.  I do not attribute those views to all of my Hon Friends who favour entry, but I do know that there are many Hon Members on both sides of the House who are interested in the Community not just as an economic unit but as a political unit too.  They regard it as a supranational authority of which Britain should be a part.”

Page 492, still Mr Orme,

It has been said that the British people do not fully understand what is involved in our entry to the Common Market.  This is true, and I am hoping that the continuing debates on this matter will get the facts across to our people.  It is not just a matter of an increase in food prices, serious as they may be; it is not simply the effect on the economy, the distribution of our industry and our future development, or our social services.  It has also to do with how the Community is operated and controlled.  The Community is undemocratic.”

Mr Jennings, 16th November 1966 (Column 495),

I cannot bring myself to assume that there will be no political and constitutional connotations if we sign the Treaty of Rome.  It is historically illogical that this should happen, that one step will follow another, and that from economic union there will follow political union.  I have no objection to economic arrangements, even a negotiated economic union, provided we get certain safeguards.  But I am horrified when I am told that I am as British as ever because I do not want to be a European first.  I want to be British first and European after.  Is there any shame of disgrace in wanting to be British first?  It is therefore the implications and consequences of economic union of which I am frightened.”

We know quite well that five or six years ago, when we debated the question in this House, the sentiment in most of those who supported going into the Market was eventually for a political alignment and a politically united Europe. They do not deny it. They are quite honest.  Even Members who are here tonight are nodding their heads on agreement.  They know that this is what they want.  That is what frightens me.”

The question of sovereignty or loss of sovereignty and political union in a political union in a federal United States of Europe has been swept nicely, beautifully and quietly under the carpet.”

It is almost a sin to talk about it.  Apparently we have got to get into the Community, because of the mess we are in, in order to live as a nation. ‘Oh thou of little faith’,. Have we lost faith in our own selves?  Have we lost pride in our own ability even to stand alone?”

Page 497,

“My Rt. Hon and leaned friend the Member for Hertfordshire (Sir D. Walker-Smith who five years ago most expertly, throughout the country and in this House, exposed what the loss of sovereignty would be, has touched upon it and given us the gist of it this afternoon. But the ordinary man in the street has no conception of what he will lose in rights and privileges that he now enjoys, even in a denigrated Britain, which is the attitude that many people tend to adopt.  I mean questions of social services, benefits, rates of contributions, the position of the trade unions and all that sort of thing. How much loss of sovereignty of this House will there be?”

It is easy to talk glibly about going into Europe. That is the way that it is put over to the electorate.  “Let us go into Europe”. Is the theme.  We never attempt to say what we mean by going into Europe, but just what do we mean?  Do we mean trade?  Is that all?  Do we leave the other sort of things, the unmentionables? Under the carpet or push them under the bed, or where?  By going into Europe, do we mean in addition to the trade negotiations a form of federalism in which Britain would become a State in a United States of Europe, or part of Europe—what I have described as the rump of Europe?”

I am not in favour of a federal United States of Europe or binding ourselves in any direction like that.  I would look more kindly on a confederal system, if we had to have something like this.  The alternative is what is called federalism.”

I am not prepared to sign a blank cheque that would denude this House of its powers; nor can I support a central Parliament to which we would contribute electorally, a central Parliament in Europe. I ask the Rt Hon Gentleman who is to reply to this debate, if this question of sovereignty and all it means does not arise, will he tell us quite clearly, and if he does, will he tonight, or his Rt. Hon Friends tomorrow night, tell us how much loss of sovereignty is involved?”

16th November 1966 (Column 510), Mrs Renee Short,

I must add my view that many of those speaking in favour of going into the Common Market are tending to gloss over the problems and difficulties that would face us as a Nation.  This is not really being fair to the public outside this place whom we represent and who rely on us for leadership in this matter, and in connection with all the other important problems with which we as Members of Parliament have to deal.”

My own view on this issue of entering or not entering the Common Market we have been brainwashed for a long time.  I do not go along with this emotive phrase, Going into Europe”. As my Rt. Hon Friend said, we are in Europe; the question is what sort of Europe are we going into?  Enormous pressure has been exerted, not only by big business, which has obviously vested interests for going into Europe, but by the Press.” Etc, etc.

 Page 518, still Mrs Short.

“It is no use saying that if we go into the Common Market we should accept the Treaty of Rome as if it is written, with all the small print—most of which I find extremely alarming, including many articles which were referred to by the Rt. Hon and learned Member for Hertfordshire (Sir D. Walker-Smith), which refer to the power of the Commission to issue directives to Member States as to what they should do about their economy.  There are many of these articles (Interruption) Oh yes, there are. There are at least a dozen.  The Rt. Hon Gentleman gave some of the numbers.  They lay down clearly that the Commission can issue directives to Member States.  In the event of economic difficulties the Commission can issue directives about taxation, aid to nationalised industries, and many other matters which affect the economies of nations.”

It is no good saying, “It is all right.  We can accept this and when we get inside we shall be able to change the machinery.”  This is barking up the wrong tree.  If we go in we shall have precisely the same voting power–no more and no less, as West Germany, France or Italy, based on population. We shall therefore be faced with the possibility of being out-voted if three or four or five, of the existing Members decide to vote together on any issue.  We shall be able to speak and raise our voice, but our vote will not be decisive.”

 16th November 1966 (Column 530), Mr. A.J.Irvine,

“It will be found that there is strong opposition in this country and, I think, on this side of the House, to federalism, and I share that opposition.  There is certainly strong opposition to an excess of federalism, to any loss of identity of this Parliament, to any loss of sovereignty affecting foreign affairs, defence or certain aspects of our industrial and economic planning.”

The most interesting single feature of the Community at present is that, as I understand it, in our dislike of the federal solution we have a supporter in the President of France, and in the outlook of the French Government.  The President’s objections to federalism, which I share and which are enormously influential inside the Community, might in some respects neutralise his objection to our special relation with the United States.”

16th November 1966, Page 535, Sir Legge-Bourke,

The only respectable basis upon which anybody could be in favour of Britain’s entering the Common Market is by being at the same time entirely confederalist or federalist for Europe as a whole.  A study of the Treaty of Rome shows straight away that inevitable it will involve political changes of a federal kind.  How far and how fast and exactly how federal or confederal will be worked out as the years go by, but it is wrong to suppose that the Community can survive without a customs union being followed by a single currency, and it is wrong to suppose that the countries of the organisation can keep alive the vigour with which they started— and all credit to them— without developing politically with all this.  To make that supposition is to fail to face what is in the Treaty, or is deliberately to deceive the people.”

 I believe that the Treaty was conceived in a spirit of high federalism.  It was soon apparent to Europe that Britain was not overkeen on that idea, but Britain had to be brought in by the architects of the document. And so the whole thing was trimmed and as the negotiations developed, the emphasis was more and more on economics and less and less on the political side.”

I have long believed that the most important economic freedom for nations is the one freedom which was left out of the four Atlantic freedoms—the freedom of choice to do business with whomsoever one will on mutual beneficial terms.  In other words, this is the right to discriminate in trade.  This right was taken from us particularly by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was signed by the first Labour Government after the war.  Again, I do not want to hark back over what happened after that.  I deeply regret that when it was returned to power the Conservative Party did not exercise the full rights which it had reserved through the mouth of Oliver Stanley and reassert our rights to alter our preferential tariffs and so on.”

8th May 1967 (Column 1088), The Prime Minister, Mr Harold Wilson,

I should like to deal before I come to the political issue.  One of them, on which certain anxieties have been expressed, is that the constitutional and legal implications for this country if we join the European Community.  Here again, our examination of the Treaties and the other law emanating from the European Institutions, but even more of the way in which member states have been applying Community law, taking full account of realities prevailing in the member states, has greatly reassured us about the possible implications for Britain.”

It is important to realise that Community law is mainly concerned with industrial and commercial activities, with corporate bodies rather than private individuals.  By far the greater part of our domestic law would remain unchanged after entry. Nothing in the Treaty would, for example, materially affect the general principles of the law of contract or tort or its Scottish equivalent, land law, the relations of landlord and tenant, housing, town and country planning, matrimonial law, or the law of inheritance.  The constitutional rights and liberties of the individual such as habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence will, of course not be affected; not in any material sense will our criminal law.  The main affect of Community law on our existing law is in the realms of commerce, Customs, restrictive practices and immigration and the operation of steel, coal and nuclear energy industries.”

8th May 1967 (Column 1109), Mr Turton,

The debate is historic, to follow the remarks of my Rt. Hon Friend, Sir Alec Douglas-Hume) It is historic because, if we join the Common Market, under Article 189 of the Treaty of Rome, NO Hon Member will be able to get up in this House and protest and vote against regulations which affect the economic or social welfare of his constituents.  For many of us that is the main reason why we take the view which we hold on this issue.”

Last November, I and many of my Rt, Hon Friends asked for a White Paper on the constitutional issues. We felt that they were what all the country should know about.  We have never had it.  We have never had a White Paper on the economic issues.  We have only had an article, a very fair and, I thought, damning article in The Times of last Monday.”

 (Column 1114),

I believe that acceptance of the Motion would lead to a betrayal of the Queen in Parliament, would be disloyal to our Commonwealth Members, and would put unendurable burdens on the British people.”

8th May 1967 (Column 1154), Mr Erec S. Heffer,

I also want us to go into the Community because I believe that a United States of Europe is absolutely essential, and I want to see a Socialist United States of Europe. That is the prospect.  I believe that we can get a socialist United States of Europe.”

Finally, I will finish with Mr Peter Shore (as he was then) on 22 February 1972 (column 1164),

When we consider the net effects of what we pay out and receive back, these arrangements are little short of a national disaster.  No Government in their senses could have agreed to terms so clearly against and detrimental to our interests.  It is difficult to imagine a system of taxation, a tax mix, that could impose a heavier and more disproportionate burden upon us than the particular tax mix that has emerged as the permanent tax system of the Community under the “own resources” rule.  I do not say that was the Community’s purpose, but they have been extremely blind in not recognising the grievous effect this is bound to have upon us.  Indeed, I cannot recall another example in history of a free country, without compulsion from outside, entering upon an arrangement so damaging to itself.”

Apart from being disastrous and unfair, these arrangements, as the Financial Secretary has made abundantly clear, constitutes a direct challenge to the most important power of Parliament, our exclusive control over taxation. As the Ways and Means Resolution makes clear, we shall permit the Community to tax the British people. We are acceding not just to the Treaty of Rome but to the Treaty of

Luxembourg of April 1970, which specifically authorised the Community to have its own resources and to receive the yield of the three taxes to which I have referred.”

That agreement was a major development in the Community and I found it extraordinary that, in our debate last week, neither the Solicitor General nor the Prime Minister had anything to say about it.  The Solicitor-General amused himself greatly by quoting from the 1967 White Paper on the legal and constitutional implications of Britain joining the Common Market but, in his efforts to show that the constitutional innovation of the Communities having directly applicable law in the United Kingdom was known in 1967, he totally, and to me surprisingly, omitted to mention the second and even greater constitutional innovation which occurred in 1970: the right of the Communities to tax directly the Member States.”

For the Prime Minister to say, as he did last Thursday, that the constitutional position has not changed in any single respect since the negotiations of 1961, when it was fully discussed in the House time and again, is stretching the truth to the greatest possible extent.”

This is a major development in the Communities, as a consequence of which there is a major intrusion into the sovereignty of Parliament.  The strongest of all our constitutional principles is that Parliament, and in particular the House of Commons which represents the people of this country, alone has the right to levy taxation.  That has been the basic constitutional doctrine.  Because Parliament three centuries ago insisted on this right, we gradually brought the Crown and the Executive under the control of elected representatives.  As we were reminded recently, Parliament made the supply of money to the Government conditional on the remedying of grievances.  That was the way in which control by the House of Commons was brought about.”

There should be no doubt about what is intended here.  It is not proposed that we should make a contribution to the Communities, which we can alter if we think it is too much or too little.  It is not a contribution at all.  The right to levy taxes, which are specified, is to be ceded to non-elected institutions of the Community without the further consent of Parliament of the British people. As the Ways and Means Resolution puts it, we shall be, giving effect to any charge to taxation of those Communities” That is quite unacceptable to us.”

There are more, many, many more pages of these debates; for the debates on our entry into the Community cover a great many number of years. I hope I have proved, without a shadow of doubt, that most, if not all Members of Parliament knew what the Community was eventually, step by step, to become.  Many Members of Parliament wanted to join, many did not. Again without a doubt, the truth of what the Community was to become was kept from the people of this Country. This was a complete betrayal to ALL in this Country.  Today’s politicians can find out the true facts of our history regarding this County’s entry into the European Community in exactly the same way that I have.  It just takes time and patience. It is all recorded, every sordid detail, (Britain’s shame) in Hansard.

No matter how long ago these events took place, the Members of Parliament that are still alive, should and must be made accountable for their actions, in the same way that ‘today’s’ MPs will surely be.

Britain’s Suicide Note

Britain is to cease to exist as an independent nation and this has come out on a voluntary basis.  In other words, we, as a nation, are effectively committing suicide.

What have we given up?

  • We had the greatest empire the world has ever known and, having turned it into a Commonwealth with The Queen as its Head, we subsequently turned our backs on its 54 countries with a population of about a billion people, by abandoning Commonwealth preferential trade, in favour of the so called advantages of local trade in Europe.
  • We have also given up on our own sovereignty, or the right to be an independent nation with its people choosing their government, when necessary.  Instead, about 72% of our laws come directly from Brussels and are incorporated into our legal system without us being able to do anything about it.

Our Politicians call this “sharing sovereignty” which is nonsense, as, like virginity, sovereignty cannot be shared!

We have given up our democratic right to govern ourselves in favour of governed by permanent, unelected and unremovable bureaucrats, deciding our future from their headquarters in Brussels.

We have given up our financial independence and even sold two thirds of our gold reserves at $280 per ounce and switched into Euros, to show solidarity and loyalty to our new masters, the European Union.  We now pay about £50m per day to those bureaucrats for the “privilege” of being governed by them.

Why did we do this?

Because our own British elected politicians did it for us without telling us what was happening, and hoped we did not notice until it was too late.

When did it start?

After the Second World War when we saved France and the rest of Europe from Germany under Hitler.

 Who now governs us?

The EU, which is now run by France & Germany since the Treaty of the Elysee on 22nd January 1963, whereby they agreed to be the heart of Europe and have acted together ever since.

What was the starting point?

The European Coal and Steel Community in March 1951 — a single market amongst six countries in Europe, including Germany and France.

Next there was The Treaty of Rome in 1957.

This set up the European Economic Community (EEC), known as The Common Market.  The Common Market sounds like economic co-operation only, but the treaty set up all the machinery of a single super state, including Council of Ministers, an executive Commission, a Parliament, a legal system based on continental law and headed by a European Court of Justice, a Central Bank and a tax system called VAT.  There was also a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), although fishing was not yet included.  There was no way of changing any parts of the treaty unless all signatories agreed to do so.

The European Court of Justice was set up to give judgements which must always be in favour of closer political union.  This court had little to do with “justice” and much to do with “Integration”. It should have, more accurately, been called the European Court of Integration.

This treaty, and all the others following, were drafted in accordance with the “Acquis Communitaire” system, “that which is acquired by the Community.”  It means power, once handed to Brussels, is never returned, and cannot be renegotiated.

The European Communities Act of 1972

In 1972 Edward Heath pushed through Parliament the European Communities Act.  This Act was not an international treaty, but an Act of Parliament deciding that it no longer was the supreme authority for lawmaking in this country.  This Act was passed in conjunction with Britain applying for membership of the “Common Market” or European Economic Community (EEC).  The public were never told about the consequences of this Act.

In the famous ”Metric Martyr” High Court judgement 29 years later, in the spring of 2001, Judge Morgan ruled that because of this Act “We are now living under a new legal ORDER.  Parliament surrendered its sovereignty in 1972.  The doctrine of the primacy of European Law holds good. European laws have over-riding force with priority over our law.” This judgement was confirmed on appeal.

Britain joins the EEC on January 1st 1973

Unbeknown to the British electorate, Edward Heath, in order to gain membership of the EEC, had made a deal in 1972 with the EEC and gave away British sovereignty of our territorial fishing waters.  Up to that point fishing had not been included in any treaties, but was later added in the Maastricht Treaty under Articles 38-47.

Our Referendum in 1975

Harold Wilson, after campaigning in the 1974 General Election on the basis of wanting to renegotiate our terms of EEC entry, gave us a referendum.  The referendum was on whether or not we were happy with the “renegotiated terms” to approve Britain’s 1973 entry into the EEC under the Treaty of Rome.  In fact there were no changes at all to the terms of entry, and the treaty itself was unchanged

 He strongly advised the country to vote YES, giving so called “trade” reasons, and directly reassuring us that there would be no loss of sovereignty. This we did, on a low vote of only 47%. There has never been another referendum in the last 35 years.  Now, nobody below the age of 53 has ever had the chance to vote on a referendum on how this country should be governed.

The Single European Treaty of 1986

This treaty was signed by Margaret Thatcher who later said that she had been tricked into signing it. But Article “A” says the purpose of it was “ever closer union”, which is in line with the earlier Treaty of Rome.

The treaty changed the Common Market or EEC to the European Community, with the word “Economic” left out.  It also removed the national veto in certain areas by the principal of Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Ministers.  It also introduced European control over lawmaking, employment, regional development, environment and foreign policy.

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1988

This was not an international treaty but a normal Parliamentary procedure which went through the House of Commons and the Lords and received the Queen’s Royal Assent.  This act regulated amongst other things, the allocation of our reduced fishing quotas in British waters to British registered trawlers at the expense of the foreign fleet.  The Act was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice and Britain was fined, and also had to pay compensation to Spanish trawler owners, at a total cost to this country of £100m.  The conservative Government meekly paid up, with taxpayers’ money, without a murmur, so as not to alert the public what a disaster we faced.

The Maastricht Treaty of 1993

The official name is: Treaty on European Union. Agreed by John Major, it changed the European Community to the European Union.  Article 8 made all citizens of the United Kingdom citizens of the European Union, including Her Majesty the Queen, and could be deemed as an act of treason by any who signed it, including Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, and Francis Maude who both formally signed the document.

Indeed, a citizen’s charge of treason was taken out against them by Norris McWhirter, of Guiness Book of Records fame.  This was successful in the magistrates’ court, but the case then had to go to a higher court.  At this point, the Attorney General in the conservative government exercised his power to take over any private citizen’s right to go to law, and having replaced Norris McWhirter, he failed to take it any further, thus ending the treason procedure against Douglas Hurd and Francis Maude.

The treaty created obligations of its citizens to the newly created European Union, or, EU, but did not state what they are.  That was left to the European Court of Justice to decide.  The ECJ was officially given full authority by the treaty, to be the Supreme Court of Europe, under articles 169-172.

 The Maastrict Treaty introduced regionalisation throughout Europe, whereby the whole of the EU is split up into Regions to be directly governed by Brussels, bypassing Westminster through the secretive Committee of the Regions.  Britain is now just 12 regions in Europe, and both British local and parliamentary government is being gradually replaced in power and influence.  London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are 4 of the 12 regions, with England broken up into 9 separate EU regions.  You will have noticed how services such as health, ambulances, planning guidance and now policing are now being regionalised along these lines.  The treaty officially confirmed the creation of the EU fishing waters, although by arrangement with Brussels, Britain had already had agreed that EU fishing boats, the vast majority of which are Spanish, could fish in British waters.  From then onwards British waters holding over 70% of Europe’s fish stocks became EU waters, with Britain being allocated, under the new quota system, about 12½% of the annual catch, devastating UK fishing.

The introduction of regulations was provided by the treaty.  Regulations issued by the European Commission have immediate effect in all countries, without being debated in any national parliament.  An example is Regulation 3760/92 which decreed that from 1st January 2003, EU fishing boats would be able to fish right up to our shores, thus abolishing our 12 mile limit. Directives, on the other hand, are notionally debated before being incorporated into UK law, after being adjusted or “gold plated” by the government.  The break up of the Post Office is because of EU Directives 97/67/EC and 2002/39/EC which have undermined the Royal Mail, and EU state aid rules which have lead directly to the closure of 2,500 Post Offices in this country.  The government and opposition politicians, apart from an honourable few, hardly ever mentioned this in their arguments over the current problems facing the Royal Mail.

Regulations will gradually replace directives as more power goes to Brussels.

The treaty also introduced the notion of a Common Defence Policy and a single currency.  We all know about the currency, but have you noticed the BBC talking about the European Navy patrolling the seas of Somalia, when the ship doing so is clearly a Royal Navy frigate acting under orders from its HQ in Brussels?  Are we prepared to fight for a European state?

In the early 1990s Britain entered the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in preparation for joining the Euro single currency.  However, we entered at the wrong rate, and in attempting to maintain a fixed rate for the pound we suffered, in the following years, high interest rates reaching 15%, unemployment rising from 1.5m to 3m, and 100,000 businesses going bankrupt.  To avoid total monetary collapse and the loss of all our reserves to the speculators, Britain was forced to leave the ERM and float the pound.  The pound has been floating happily ever since.  However, the European Commission intends that Britain should be in the European currency, because there cannot be full political union without monetary union.

The Treaty of Amsterdam of 1999

just an amending treaty,” Tony Blair.

Signed by Tony Blair in Rome, it place EU control over further areas of British law, and established Europol, the EU state security service, which, is above the law, and cannot be sued, whatever damage they do in the exercise of their activities.  Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident, makes the point that even the KGB did not enjoy this immunity.  Europol comes into being, with full authority as an EU agency, on January 1st 2010.

 Treaty of Nice in 2001

Signed again by Tony Blair, giving up another 39 vetoes on areas of British life.  It introduced Corpus Juris which was an interpretation of continental law, to replace British Law such as Habeas Corpus, whereby a person cannot be held in custody for more than 96 hours without being charged. Under Corpus Juris, a suspect can be held in custody for up to six months without charge, and then a further three months in custody without trial.

The concept of the accused being assumed to be innocent, unless proved guilty in a Court, will go. Already in EU civil law, the responsibility has fallen on the accused to prove his innocence.  The entitlement of a person charged with a criminal offence to be tried by a jury, will also go.

Under the EU Arrest Warranty, any citizen can be extradited to another EU country on suspicion of committing an act which is not an offence in this country.  He can be put in prison while waiting to be charged or to be put on trial by a magistrate or judge.  308 UK citizens were extradited in this way in 2008, according to the charity Fair Trial International.

Article 191 grants the EU power to withdraw or prevent funding, private, state or at EU level, for political parties deemed “unsuitable”.  This means that the EU can suspend or ban a political party if it so decides. This could first apply to EU-critical parties and is associated with the laws of a police state.

The European Constitution Treaty of 2004

This was signed by Blair and was intended to be the second Treaty of Rome and the last treaty necessary to give Brussels full control of Europe with the creation of “The United States of Europe”.

The new state would have its own entity as a country, with its own Foreign Policy and its own embassies throughout the world.  The member states would cease to exist as such and would end up as mere regions within the new state.  In other words, the EU’s Foreign Office will not be at the service of the nation states, but will supplant them. This is now being enacted through the EU’s Brok Report and with its new Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton.

The European Commission would take full executive powers for itself, would choose its own members who could not be removed.  Furthermore, the Commission, if it so decided, would be able to change or “amend” any existing arrangements in the same way as Hitler did with his Enabling Act in 1933.  In other words, the Commission was effectively given the powers of a legally appointed dictatorship.

The European Council, representing the heads of all the member states and acting as a form of trustee for the EU, would become merely a Senate, or talking shop, with no remaining powers.

Tony Blair was eventually persuaded to agree to have a referendum on the new constitution to ratify his signature.  This forced France and Holland to do the same, and as they were likely to vote yes, this would persuade Britain to do likewise.  To the horror of the politicians, both France and Holland voted decisively against the treaty and this killed off the project for the time being.  It also let off Mr Blair from having a referendum in Britain.

 Meanwhile in the General Election of 2005, two months before the French referendum, all three main parties in the UK promised in their manifestos, that if voted into power, they would give the voters a referendum on a constitutional treaty.

The European Reform Treaty of 2007 (The Lisbon Treaty, now a Constitution)

After the demise of the constitutional treaty of 2004, the European politicians gradually recovered from the shock of the French and Dutch reversals and set up the Lisbon Treaty which, they said, was not a constitutional treaty at all.  It was instead, merely a “tidying up exercise”, to help the European Commission be more “efficient” in governing the enlarged Europe of 27 nations.  The Eastern Lib Dem MEP and avowed federalist, Andrew Duff, co-wrote this treaty/constitution.

In order to be more “efficient” in governing, it does help to be a dictatorship.  A dictatorship does not have to use uptime and energy in consulting or listening to the people, or ever risking a general election.

The word “reform” was put into the treaty to enable the previous treaties to be reformed or adjusted, and more importantly, to make it look less like its predecessor of 2004.  The actual wording of the European Reform Treaty is very difficult to understand because it keeps referring to previous treaties, and the reader has no way of really grasping what it means without the help of an experienced constitutional lawyer.  Few ordinary Members of Parliament could master what it really meant.

However, the experts who did understand what it was about, included Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the ex French President and author of the “dead” constitution of 2004, who said it was virtually the same.  Indeed, out of 250 articles, only 10 were different from its predecessor.  The key self amending clause was retained in the treaty under article 48.  This is extremely dangerous as it allows EU Ministers to amend the treaty behind closed doors with no further need for parliamentary approval of referenda.

The main differences were the lack of the word “constitution” in the name which was replaced by the word “reform”, the removal of the 12 star national flag and the EU “Ode to Joy” anthem from the text.  The two latter items have already been added back to all EU procedures currently taking place.

The Irish were required by their own constitution to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and this took place in 2008.  Again, much to the consternation of the politicians the Irish voted NO in their referendum.  However, in the summer of 2009, Brussels again presented to Ireland the same referendum on the unchanged treaty with the “invitation” to vote again.

The Irish voted YES this time around, and once Poland and the Czech Republic reluctantly followed Ireland, without a referendum, the treaty was finally ratified by the politicians (but not by the peoples) of all EU countries and became law on December 1st 2009.

Meanwhile, Britain was denied the right to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, affecting the entire future of this country, by Gordon Brown, the leader of the Labour Government who denied that the treaty was the same as the constitution treaty.  He was aided by the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and both of them instructed their parties to vote directly against what each party had promised in their 2005 manifestos, namely, to have a referendum on any constitutional changes affecting Britain. Between them, they broke their election promises and forced our Westminster Parliament to vote its parliamentary sovereignty into oblivion, or into the hands of unelected bureaucrats to govern us without us being able to remove them.

 The Lisbon Treaty does include virtually all the terms of its predecessor, the 2004 Constitutional Treaty, which has been described earlier, and will be the last treaty required.  There will not be any need for further treaties because the European Commission has now acquired all the powers it needs.  The Commission has become a legally created Dictatorship although the way it was done leaves very serious doubts about the whole concept of a truly United Europe.

How did the politicians get away with it?

Because it was done so slowly, we did not notice.  It was so boring and complicated that we ignored it.  The politicians lied to us all along, yet we believed them. This was just as Jean Monnet had planned in the 1950s.

The future

The Conservative Party have gone back on the now infamous “cast iron guarantee” and have told us that they will now not hold any referendum.  They will merely try to stop further powers going to the EU in the foreseeable future, and seek to negotiate aspects of treaties.  However, this is impossible as there is no prevision for it under EU laws.  We must see what happens if they get into power in our Westminster Parliament. They will find themselves up against European law which they must obey if they wish to remain in the European Union.

Two perfect examples of this will be: First, when we are required by the Commission to give up the pound and enter the euro money system.  This is a requirement of both the 2004 Constitution and more importantly the Lisbon Treaty.  One of its clauses states that “the currency of the Union shall be the Euro”, and you cannot be more plain than that.  There is going to be a political explosion when it happens.  The Conservatives can do nothing about it except make a decision to join the Euro against all their promises to the electorate or take the opportunity to make a final break and leave the EU, which any country can still do under the terms of Lisbon.  The second example could arise if the Commission “requires” Britain to change over to driving on the right, which the Commission can do as it has dictatorial powers over us, and from its point of view, is the logical thing to do. After all, you can hardly have part of a single country driving on the left, with the rest driving on the right.

You may think that this is an exaggeration and the whole thing is becoming farcical.  But it is no more farcical than a previously sovereign country, such as ours, committing suicide, which Britain seems to have done.

If you wish to embarrass your MP, ask whether his or her loyalty is to the Queen or to the new President of Europe.  After all, the Queen is now a citizen of the EU.

Did you know that the Commission has appointed 7 ex-communists, including Mr Barroso, the current Chairman?  Mrs Merkel, from East Germany, is another.

Did you know that the terms of the Lisbon Treaty introduced the death penalty in certain circumstances?  The terms are tucked away in an obscure place (a footnote attached to a footnote) and have not yet been noticed by the Labour or Liberal Parties who voted for it.

What is a wasted vote?  A wasted vote for a party with those policies you do not agree.  Anyone who does not wish to be a part of the EU and votes for any of the three main parties is wasting their vote.  For those who do not want to be governed by the EU, it does not matter which party they vote for as each of those three parties will keep us in the EU and under total EU control.

If a Europhile tells you that three million jobs in Britain depend on the EU, just remind them that four million jobs in Europe depend on exports to Britain.  80% of Britain’s trade is generated internally, with 20% being exports and imports.  Of this 20%, only about 9% is with countries in the EU and 11% is with the rest of the world.  As Britain has a large trade deficit with the EU, and its single largest trading partner, it is hardly likely that trade would suffer if we left the EU.

Switzerland and Norway are in Europe but not in the EU, and are two of the richest European countries per head.  The benefits of trade with the EU can be retained by a free trade agreement – the EU has such agreements with many countries and the Swiss francs are spared import tax in theirs.  Their own government found that being outside the EU cost 600m Swiss francs but saved 3.4 billion francs each year.  The EU needs Britain for trade more than we need the EU trade.

Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident who spent 12 years in a gulag said, “Remember, I have lived your future and it does not work.”

We have been warned.  We have just begun to live in a totalitarian regime, although many people do not yet realise this.

Can we leave the European Union?

Yes We Can!

Under the British Constitution, no Parliament can bind its successors, so a new parliament can quickly overturn all the EU treaties signed to date and repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which gave parliamentary approval for joining the then EEC.

The Lisbon Treaty for the first time defines a mechanism for withdrawal in Article 50.2. However, the terms would be set by the EU to make things as difficult as possible   for the applicant state.

The likely arrangements for leaving would be:

  •   The UK Parliament would rescind all previous EU treaties under the basic rule of our constitution that “No parliament can bind its successors.”
  •   Parliament would therefore repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and all subsequent EU legislation, thereby returning to the people the power to appoint our government.
  •  Having repealed the European Communities Act of 1972 the British Government, being sovereign, would inform the European Commission that Britain is leaving the EU immediately and would henceforth no longer be subjected to any EU directives or regulations.  This action would no doubt cause considerable fury and dire threats from the European Commission but it could do nothing about it as Britain would no longer be a member.  Any action such as imposing tariffs would be illegal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines.

Having officially left the European Union, Parliament could at last govern this country as it was elected to do.  Probably its first task would be to negotiate a trade deal with the EU from a position of strength and independence.

Parliament’s next task would be to unravel all the unnecessary directives and regulations from the 120,000 laws imposed on us by the European Commission.  This would release an enormous amount of energy and enterprise that is stifled by current legislation.  It would get Britain going again, and allow considerable cuts in red tape on businesses and lower taxes for citizens and businesses alike.

Result

We would be a democratic, deregulated, competitive offshore haven, with lower taxes, less bureaucracy and very much richer too.  It is never too late to do the right thing.

by James Carver

Heath lied to us – by Christopher Booker

This article speech was based on a speech delivered  at an event in 2001 to mark the 12th anniversary of the founding of the Bruges Group. You can access the original here.  

There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.”

Prime Minister Edward Heath, television broadcast on Britain’s entry into the Common Market, January 1973

This country quite voluntarily surrendered the once seemingly immortal concept of the sovereignty of parliament and legislative freedom by membership of the European Union … as a once sovereign power, we have said we want to be bound by Community law.

Judge Bruce Morgan, judgement in Sunderland metrication case April 9, 2001

Preface

I am grateful to the Bruges Group for the chance to expand on a talk I gave to their 12th anniversary meeting in February 2001, and which I rather frivolously suggested might be entitled “Having Made Our Bed, Must We Continue To Lie In It?”.

The starting point for my talk was the release under the 30-year rule last January of documents relating to Britain’s application to join the Common Market in 1970. What these papers revealed more starkly than ever before was just how deliberately the Heath Government and the Foreign Office set out to conceal from the British people the Common Market’s true purpose. They were fully aware that it was intended to be merely the first step towards creating a politically united Europe, but they were determined to hide this away from view.

It may no longer be particularly shocking to see such clear evidence of a British Government’s dishonesty over our relations with ‘Europe’, if only because this is something which has since become so familiar. Scarcely a day now goes by when British politicians and civil servants do not make statements relating to the European Union which can be shown to be based at best on concealment of the truth or even on direct falsehood.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the fundamental reason why our involvement with ‘Europe’ has introduced into our politics a culture of deceit which is quite new in our history, not least by obscuring the scale on which it is changing the entire way in which our country is now governed.

In the light of the European Union now making the final moves towards political integration, it is particularly urgent that the nature of this culture of concealment should be analysed and more widely understood.

The Strange Case of the Werner Report

It is not often a British Prime Minister remains active in politics long enough to be caught out by secret papers released under the 30-year rule from the time he was in office. But such was the case in January 2001 when the Public Record Office at Kew opened the files relating to Edward Heath’s application to join the Common Market in 1970.

The most striking of these documents were those reflecting the Heath Government’s reaction to something called ‘the Werner Report’. In 1969, the Council of Ministers had commissioned the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Pierre Werner, to draw up a plan to move the Common Market forward to full economic and monetary union. As luck would have it, his confidential report began circulating in Brussels in October 1970, just as Britain’s negotiations to enter the European Economic Community were getting under way.

In the British Foreign Office, as we can now see, the Werner Report rang fearful alarm bells. A secret briefing note to Mr. Heath from Con O’Neill, the senior civil servant responsible for Europe, explained that, if implemented, Werner’s proposals would have enormous political repercussions. They envisaged“a process of fundamental political importance, implying progressive development towards a political union”. The long-term objectives of economic and monetary union, it was made clear to Mr Heath, “are very far-reaching indeed”, going “well beyond the full establishment of a Common Market”. The Werner plan could lead to,

the ultimate creation of a European federal state, with a single currency. All the basic instruments of national economic management (fiscal, monetary, incomes and regional policies) would ultimately be handed over to the central federal authorities. The Werner report suggests that this radical transformation of present Communities should be accomplished within a decade”. (PRO/FCO 30/789)

Such a political and economic union, possibly also including a common defence policy, would thus involve a massive loss of national sovereignty, which would ultimately leave member states with somewhat less power “than the autonomy enjoyed by the states of the USA”. But what alarmed the Foreign Office was not the contents of the Werner Report. Mr Heath and his ministers did not throw up their hands in horror and say “good heavens, we had no idea this was what the Common Market is about. We could not possibly accept such a thing”. On the contrary, when Geoffrey Rippon, the minister in charge of our negotiations, went to see M. Werner on October 27, the minutes of their discussion show that Rippon went out of his way to congratulate him on his report, which he said “well stated our common objectives”. Privately, Her Majesty’s Government had no objection to the political union Werner was proposing. (PRO/CAB 164/771)

The only real concern of Mr Heath and his colleagues was that this plan should not be talked about too openly in public, because this might so inflame public opinion that it would be much harder to persuade Parliament and the British people that it was in their interests to join what they were being assured was no more than a ‘common market’, intended to boost trade.

It was vital, Mr Rippon urged on M.Werner, that this goal of political and economic union should be achieved only in a “step by step approach”, because“it was natural for people to be afraid of change” and “part of his problem in Britain was to reassure people that their fears were unjustified”. When these documents were released 30 years later, this was confirmed by a retired Foreign Office official Sir Crispin Tickell, who had played an intimate part in Britain’s Common Market negotiations as Geoffrey Rippon’s private secretary and was present at the meeting with Werner. In a BBC interview Tickell frankly admitted that, although worries over Britain’s loss of sovereignty had been“very much present in the mind of the negotiators”, the line had been “the less they came out in the open the better”. Here was chapter and verse to show how politicians and civil servants had been party to a quite deliberate attempt to hide from the British people what Britain’s entry into the Common Market was letting them in for. So successful were they at burying the Werner Report, indeed, that when 30 years later the journalist Hugo Young came to compile This Blessed Plot, his lengthy and detailed history of Britain’s relations with ‘Europe’, he did not even mention it.

 But this curious glimpse of what was going on behind the scenes back in 1970 provides an apt starting point to explore one of the oddest things which has ever happened to British public life: the way in which our involvement with the “European project” has introduced an element of deliberate deceit into our politics which, in its depth and scale, has no historical parallel. To anyone who follows such matters in detail, nothing is more striking than the way, again and again, we see supporters of Britain’s participation in this project apparently having to resort to obfuscation and subterfuge, both to disguise what the project is really about and to hide what they themselves are up to. And the fundamental reason for this culture of concealment is that there have always been two quite different perceptions as to the nature of this European project.

For 40 years British politicians have consistently tried to portray it to their fellow-citizens as little more than an economic arrangement: a kind of free-trading area primarily concerned with creating jobs and prosperity, which incidentally can help preserve the peace. On the continent, however, right back to the dreamtime of Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the ‘European construction’, as its supporters call it, was always seen as something very much more ambitious. However long it took, and however much it might be desirable not to come too much into the open about it, the real long-term aim of the project was always that the countries of western Europe should eventually come together in complete political and economic union. The setting up of a common market (which itself was never intended to be a free trade area but a highly regulated internal market protected against external competition by tariff barriers) was regarded as merely a first step along the way. And this is of course precisely what we have seen over the past 50 years, as the whole project has inched forward, step by step, treaty by treaty, directive by directive, always moving in the same direction towards that distant, never very clearly defined but always utterly consistent goal.

The real problem for the British has been that, from the moment our politicians first decided in the 1960s and 1970s that we should join the project, they have never dared to admit openly to the British people that this was its true nature and purpose. And this has had two particularly damaging consequences.

The first is that, right from the start, it created that need for a culture of deceit, whereby our politicians and civil servants have consistently tried to downplay the significance of ‘Europe’, and to present it as something different from what it is. Apart from anything else, this has meant that every time the project has taken another step towards its ultimate goal, as that original “European Economic Community” first evolved in the 1980s into just the “European Community” , then in the 1990s into the “European Union”,Britain’s politicians have at every stage along the way, had to go through that process with which we are now so wearyingly familiar: whereby first they express opposition to much of what their continental partners are proposing; then find themselves having to agree to more than they intended; and finally have to hide from the British people just how much they have given away.

The second, rather less obvious consequence has been the need to conceal the startling extent to which our ever-greater involvement in ‘Europe’ is now changing the way in which Britain is governed. Few features of our political scene have in recent years been more curious than the way our politicians and civil servants try to hide away how deeply our political system is now enmeshed with that of the European Union and how much of the legislation which rules our lives now derives from Brussels. All too often we see them announcing new policies or laws which they pretend are their own, only for it to emerge that they are merely passing on edicts from the EU. Again and again we see them having to conceal just how much of the power to run our country has been given away to a new system of government which has no particular concern for the interests of the people of Britain.

 But ultimately this culture of concealment, which is far more prevalent in Britain than in any other country in Europe, derives from that same basic act of deception: the pretence that the nature of the ‘European project’ is something different from what it is.

Mr Macmillan and 1961

The moment when our political leaders first took this fateful decision to conceal the real purpose of the European project from the British people was not, in fact, 1970 but ten years earlier when, in 1960, Harold Macmillan’s Government began discussing the dramatic reversal of national policy which was to lead to our first abortive application to join the Common Market.

This we can see from an illuminating book published in 1995 by Lionel Bell, The Throw That Failed, based on studying the Cabinet papers which reflected those discussions in the months leading up to our application in the summer of 1961. What was striking about the documents Bell uncovered was just how frank Macmillan and his colleagues had been in private, even at that early stage, over where the Common Market was heading. They were in little doubt it was intended to be just a first step towards eventual political and economic union. Yet this, they decided, should be kept hidden from the British people, because otherwise it would not be acceptable. The Common Market had to be presented as no more than a trading arrangement.

Even before the Treaty of Rome had been signed in 1957, the Foreign Office had been briefed to the effect that its six original signatories wanted:

to achieve tighter European integration through the creation of European institutions with supranational powers, beginning in the economic field … the underlying motive of the Six is, however, essentially political”. (PRO/FO 371/150360. Bell op.cit. p.1)

In the summer of 1960, when British entry was first being actively discussed behind closed doors, Sir Roderick Barclay, head of the UK delegation to the European Commission in Brussels, sent a despatch to the Foreign Office stressing, in Mr Bell’s words:

that the aim of the Community was not merely harmonisation but the unification of policies in every field of the economic union, i.e. economic policy, social policy, commercial policy, tariff policy and fiscal policy. That this was not just pie in the sky needed to be made clear to the politicians”. (based on PRO/FO 371/150363, Bell p.22)

When Edward Heath, Minister of State for Europe, visited Professor Hallstein, the President of the European Commission, in November 1960, his report on the meeting noted how Hallstein had emphasised that joining the Community was not just a matter of adopting a common tariff “which was the essential hallmark of any ‘State’ (and he regarded the EEC as a potential‘State’)”. It would be necessary, Hallstein insisted, for any new entrant to accept the principle that the EEC was intended to evolve into something much deeper, “some form of Federal State”, which was what the Commission was working towards (PRO/FO 371/150369).

 Particularly revealing in this context was the reply given in December 1960 by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, to a request from Mr Heath for comments on what would be the constitutional implications of signing the Treaty for Britain’s sovereignty. Kilmuir responded that in several respects the loss of sovereignty would be considerable: by Parliament; by the Crown in terms of treaty-making powers; and by the courts, which to an extent would become“subordinate” to the European Court of Justice (PRO/FO 371/150369, Bell pp.36-9).

On the making of laws, Kilmuir said it was clear that:

the Council of Ministers would eventually (after the system of qualified majority voting had come into force) make regulations which would be binding on us even against our wishes …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 ever experienced and I do not think there is any likelihood of this being acceptable to the House of Commons”.

As for the subordination of Britain’s courts to the European Court of Justice, Kilmuir wrote:

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 British public to accept them. I am sure that it would be a great mistake to underestimate the force of the objections to them. But these objections should 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 joining the Community will certainly seize on them with more damaging effect later on”.

These were pretty direct warnings. And when in the summer of 1961 the Cabinet finally considered whether to apply for entry, Mr Macmillan opened the discussion by pointing out that the first question they needed to consider was that,

…if we were to sign the Treaty of Rome we should have to accept its political objectives, and although we should be able to influence the political outcome we did not know what this would be.”(Bell pp.59-62)

Macmillan conceded that a decision to go in would “raise great presentational difficulties”. On the one hand, it would be important to convince the Six that “we genuinely supported the objectives of the Treaty”.On the other:

we should have to satisfy public opinion in this country that the implementation of the objectives of the Treaty would not require unacceptable social and other adjustments. The problems of public relations would be considerable.”

Nevertheless the Cabinet ruled in favour. Mr Heath was sent off to Brussels to negotiate the terms of British entry. And when on October 10 he made his opening speech to the other member governments, he could not have been more fulsome in expressing Britain’s desire “to become full, wholehearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense, and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe”. (Bell p.73).

 But when, two weeks later, his fellow Cabinet Minister Duncan Sandys followed him to Brussels and made a speech emphasising that the British Government recognised how the Treaty of Rome was not just an economic agreement but also had important “political content” (FO 371/158302), Heath became alarmed that he might be letting the cat out of the bag. As Bell discovered:

He set officials urgently to work to check what Ministers had been saying in public and a line was developed of arguing that the Treaty contained no political obligations, only implications. The United Kingdom would not regard itself as committed to any particular development or extensions of obligations simply by virtue of EEC membership”.(based on M.Camps, Britain and the European Community 1955-63, cited in Bell p.74)

This was to remain the line until, in January 1963, President de Gaulle vetoed Macmillan’s attempt to join. Although the Cabinet was well aware that the Common Market was ultimately a political project, involving considerable surrender of sovereignty, and was likely to develop much further in these respects in the future, this was not what the British people were to be told. All this was to be downplayed in favour of a pretence that the Common Market was little more than its name implied: a trading arrangement which would be good for Britain’s economy. It was a line which was still to be the official orthodoxy four decades later. The seeds of the culture of deceit had been sown.

Mr Heath and 1970

By the time Mr Heath came to launch his own, successful application to‘enter Europe’ in 1970, he was already well versed in how to pretend that it was something other than what it was. Over the next five years, up to the time of the referendum in 1975, Parliament and the British people were incessantly assured that entry into the Common Market was simply a matter of trade and jobs. In no way would the British way of life be changed or Britain’s right to run her own affairs curtailed.

An oft-quoted line from Mr Heath’s White Paper circulated to every household in the country in June 1971 promised,

there is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty”.

In a television broadcast to mark Britain’s entry in January 1973, Heath said: there are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.

Yet shortly after Parliament had approved British entry, word came from Paris that President Pompidou was proposing that member states should make a solemn commitment to “move irrevocably to economic and monetary union by 1980”. This made a complete mockery of all the assurances given to Parliament that any plans for monetary union had been dropped. In a BBC documentary series The Poisoned Chalice in 1996, a former Foreign Office official Sir Roy Denman recalled the Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, looking askance at the news. He said to Heath “the House isn’t going to like this”. “But that”Denman recalled Heath replying, “is what it’s all about”. When Heath himself was asked by the BBC whether he could really have said such a thing, his only response, after an unsmiling pause, was “well, that’s what it was about”.

 Another revealing measure of how deeply the culture of deceit had now set in was the curious story of the common fisheries policy, and the Heath Government’s response to the crude ambush set up by the Six to ensure that, as part of their price of entry, the four applicant countries, Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Norway, would have to hand over to the Community their fishing waters, the richest in the world. (all documents cited on the CFP are from PRO files in FO 30/656-9)

On the very day the applications went in, June 30 1970, the Six hastily approved the principle that member-states should be given “equal access” to each other’s fishing waters, under Brussels control. The point was that, because this had now become part of the acquis communautaire, the body of existing Community law, the applicant countries would have to accept it as afait accompli. Within a few years, as everyone knew, national fishing waters were due to be extended out under international law to 200 miles. Because the waters belonging to the four applicant states would then contain most of the fish in European waters, this would give the Six an astonishing prize.

In fact the Six knew their new fisheries policy was not even legal. Among the Foreign Office papers released in 2001 was an internal Council of Ministers document, dating from June1970, which shows how desperate the Brussels lawyers had been to find some article in the Treaty of Rome which could be used to authorise such a policy. There was none. The policy therefore had no legal justification, and other papers show that the Foreign Office knew this too.

But so determined was Mr Heath not to offend his prospective new partners that he decided not to challenge them. Britain would simply accept the illegal new fisheries policy, even though this would mean handing over one of her greatest renewable natural assets and would spell disaster for a large part of her fishing fleet.

Gradually the British fishermen got some idea that they were about to be sacrificed, and in the closing months of 1970 various MPs for fishing constituencies wrote to ministers asking what on earth was going on. They were fobbed off with evasive replies. Indeed, as the recently released papers show, civil servants eventually worked out a careful form of words, intended to reassure the fishermen that “proper account would be taken of their interests”.

But behind the scenes, as a Scottish Office memo put it on November 9, ministers were being told how important it was not to get drawn into detailed explanations of just what problems might lie ahead for the fishermen because, “in the wider UK context, they must be regarded as expendable”.

The following year the White Paper promised that Britain would not sign an accession treaty until the Common Market’s fisheries policy was changed, Geoffrey Rippon repeated this promise to Parliament and to the Tory Party conference. But in November Mr Heath realised that time was running out. Unless he accepted the fishing policy as it stood, his plans for Britain’s entry in January 1973 would have to be abandoned. He instructed Rippon to give way, and when Rippon was questioned about this in the House of Commons on December 13, he answered with a straight lie. He claimed Britain had retained complete control over the waters round her coastline, knowing that this was simply not true. So barefaced was this deceit over fishing rights that successive governments and fisheries ministers would continue to obfuscate the truth of what had been done for the next three decades.

 In June 1975, the month when inflation hit 27 percent, its highest level in history, came the referendum, Surrounded by all the evidence of a major economic crisis, the British people voted by 2 to 1 to remain in a “Common Market” which the vast majority believed was intended to be no more than a free-trading arrangement. The supporters of the ‘Yes’ campaign, including the leaderships of all three political parties, did little to disillusion them. The message was that a ‘yes’ vote was all about protecting ‘jobs and prosperity’, offering the lifeline Britain’s ailing economy required. As for any fears that there might be moves towards “an Economic and Monetary Union”and “fixed exchange rates for the pound”, the Wilson Government’s own leaflet to every household promised categorically “this threat has been removed”.

Mrs Thatcher and 1985

Ten years later, when Britain’s economy had begun to make that historic recovery which had nothing directly to do with being part of ‘Europe’, it was Mrs. Thatcher, curiously enough, who was put in the position of the British people, in believing that the Common Market’s chief purpose was to promote and liberate trade. It was this which led her to fall for the proposal that there should now be a further big push to turn it into something more like a genuine free-trading area.

Since, as she imagined, this was the Common Market’s real aim, it could surely be achieved without any need for another treaty. But at the Milan summit in May 1985 she was rudely disabused. The powerful new troika at the head of what had become ‘the European Community’, President Mitterand, Chancellor Kohl and Jacques Delors, now President of the Commission, were keen to see another major leap forward to European integration. With the aid of the Italian Prime Minister, they set a clever ambush, insisting that what she was after could be achieved by only a new treaty, and calling for a snap vote. The reason they wanted this was because it could give Brussels a raft of new centralising powers not allowed for in

the original Treaty, significantly extending both the areas of lawmaking to be handed over to Brussels and restrictions on national veto powers.

By the end of the year their treaty had been already signed and they had got all they wanted. Mrs Thatcher had been hoodwinked. And to disguise her frustration, she now felt she had to sell the Single European Act back home as if its main purpose really had been just to set up a ‘Single Market’, as she had told everyone, rather than to move towards a ‘Single Europe’ as its name implied. This confusion, alas, only helped to compound the deceits of her predecessors.

In fact one of the most significant points agreed at that same Milan summit had been the adoption of a document known as the Addenino Report, which in its own way was to do as much for European integration as any of the treaties. Pietro Addenino was an Italian MEP who had been commissioned, after the so-called “Solemn Declaration on European Union” at Stuttgart in 1983, to draw up a whole range of measures specifically designed to create what was called“a European identity”.

These included giving the Community its own emblem and flag, the “ring of stars” and its own anthem, Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy”, all of which were ceremonially unveiled. Other recommendations ranged from adopting a Community driving licence to sponsoring its own sports teams and cultural organisations. These were all deliberately intended to give ‘Europe’ the symbolic appurtenances of a nation state. And they were nodded through at that Milan summit by a roomful of people including Mrs Thatcher, whose officials, one may suspect, had no more given her a proper briefing on the real intentions of the Addenino Report than they had on the Single European Act.

 But it was Mrs Thatcher’s growing alarm at just how far and how fast the integrationist tide was now running which led her in 1988 to give that great Cassandra-like warning speech in whose memory the Bruges Group was founded. M. Delors was now speaking openly of how the President and his Commission would soon be the new “Government of Europe”, the Council of Ministers its “Senate”,the European Parliament its “House of Representatives”, which within ten years would be enacting 80 percent of Europe’s legislation: to all of which in 1989 Mrs Thatcher famously responded, “no, no, no”.

Only a year later she was bundled out of the way, soon after she had in effect been blackmailed by her Chancellor Nigel Lawson and her Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe into accepting Britain’s catastrophic entry into the ERM. This of course involved precisely that freezing of exchange rates which the British people had been promised in the 1975 referendum would never happen. We then saw Mrs Thatcher’s successor going off to Maastricht, to face yet another treaty which was now quite unashamedly designed to transform the European Community by another giant step into the European Union.

From Major to Blair, Maastricht to Nice

Yet again in 1991 we saw a British Prime Minister caught out by the gulf between that cosy idea that “Europe” was just a trading arrangement and what it was really intended to become. Indeed, this time it was a “bridge too far,”because John Major realised at Maastricht that if he gave in completely to two of the main integrationist proposals on the table, economic and monetary union and the social chapter, he would risk serious rebellion from his own party back home.

At least on these two issues he was therefore grudgingly allowed his opt-outs, although that on economic and monetary union was not as complete as he liked to pretend, since Britain had an opt-out only from stage 3 of EMU, the single currency. Major had signed up to stages 1 and 2, handing over to Brussels a considerable measure of control over Britain’s economic policy. And a further large price he had to pay was in having to accept the foundations of common policies on foreign affairs, defence and justice, all of which opened the door to giving the EU several more of the crucial attributes of any fully-fledged state, in addition to having that crucially symbolic right to issue its own currency. In terms of the long-term plan to turn Europe into a political union, most of the crucial building blocks were now moving into place.

When Mr Blair went off to agree the next treaty at Amsterdam in 1997, inflated by the hubris of his election victory and his wish to be “at the heart of Europe”, he was a pushover for the next round of integration measures, which included his surrender of control over social policy thatMr Major had not dared give up in 1991. We then in 2001 saw the Nice Treaty cementing a few more important building-blocks into place, from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to institutional arrangements for the Rapid Reaction Force, which is only not a “European army”, because it is a European navy and a European air force as well. Nice may not have achieved so much as many continental politicians once hoped. But of course it was also agreed that there should be yet another treaty in 2004, to take the process another step towards its ultimate conclusion.

 What we now see, in short, is a European Union which has its own government, its own executive, parliament and supreme court; its own citizenship, passport, flag and anthem. It already has complete control over its own food resources, through the agricultural and fisheries policies. It is well on the way to having its own currency and economic policy and its own foreign and defence policies, backed by its own armed forces and the embryo of its own police force in Europol. It has taken the first steps towards creating its own common legal and judicial system. In other words, it has taken on almost all the essential attributes of a fully-sovereign state. Almost the only thing missing as the keystone to the whole structure is a fully-fledged constitution, and again that is planned for the next treaty conference in 2004.

But what else is missing? Quite simply, any admission from our own politicians in Britain that this is the reality of what we are now part of, and towards which they have stealthily, reluctantly, deceitfully been leading us for the best part of 40 years. It is the most remarkable political sleight of hand which has ever been practised on the British people: to lead them step by step into exchanging their own country and political system for another, totally different; and to pretend at every stage that none of it is really happening. And it is that fundamental dishonesty which in the end accounts for that ubiquitous culture of deceit which now permeates every corner of our dealings with the European project, like an all-pervading fog: so that not a day now goes by without almost everyone involved in the government of our country, from the most senior cabinet minister down to the most junior civil servant, making statements which are at best misleading and often demonstrably untrue.

The Price We Have Paid

In summarising the range of deceptions which have characterised Britain’s relations with ‘Europe’, we may categorise these under three main headings.

1. The first has been the way British politicians have consistently misrepresented the nature and purpose of the ‘European project’.Never more obviously than in recent years, there has been a startling contrast between what continental politicians are prepared to say about its real aim -the need to drive on to full political union – and the far more limited and woolly version sold by British politicians to their own people.

Even in the run-up to Nice in 2000, while continental leaders like Gerhard Schroeder, Joschka Fischer, Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin were making speech after speech calling for political integration, all we heard from Prime Minister Blair was a weak, waffly speech in Warsaw, trying to evade the issue by suggesting that Europe’s future lay in more “intergovernmental co-operation”. The Conservative’s spokesman Francis Maude was even more implausibly evasive when, in a speech in Berlin, he persisted like other Tories before him in vague day dreams about building a ‘flexible’ Europe of independent nation states, a scenario simply not on offer.

In this respect successive generations of Europhile British politicians have put themselves in the position of being the true ‘little Englanders’, as they have continued to talk about ‘Europe’ in terms so far removed from those in which it is discussed by the politicians of any other country that they might come from another planet. But since privately they have been well aware that their continental partners had a wholly different view of ‘the project’,this in itself has amounted to a massive act of deception.

 2. A second major area of deception has been the concealing from the British people of just how far control over their country’s affairs has been handed over to this new system of government centred in Brussels. One former Tory minister privately admitted she had found nothing more disturbing about her time in office than the pressure from her officials, wherever possible, to hide the fact that policies she was advocating had originated from the European Union.

In April 2001, when the Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn was charged with the criminal offence of selling a pound of bananas, the judge Bruce Morgan ruled that he had no choice in finding Mr Thoburn guilty because, when we went into the Common Market back in the 1970s, Parliament and the British people had –

quite voluntarily surrendered the once seemingly immortal concept of the sovereignty of parliament”.

When had we ever heard any of our politicians telling us so baldly that we had “voluntarily” handed over our sovereignty, even though this flatly contradicted everything the British people had actually been told in the 1970s about how they were not losing any of their sovereignty?

When in February 2001 Britain’s countryside was hit by the barely credible foot-and-mouth disaster, the great puzzle was why was it being so catastrophically mishandled? Why in particular did it appear that every one of the recommendations of the official report the last time Britain had a major foot and mouth outbreak in the 60s was being so flagrantly ignored? Why was it taking so long to kill infected animals? Why were they not being immediately buried on the spot, as that report had insisted? Why the piles of rotting carcases left in fields? Why the awful funeral pyres? None of this seemed to make any sense until it gradually emerged that the crisis was being run not under British law but in accordance with a series of European Union directives. This may not have excused the way that, as so often before, the Ministry of Agriculture made such a shambles of implementing those directives. But the fact was we had handed over ‘competence’ on handling foot-and-mouth to Brussels. And again, not one of our politicians explained this – not even the Tory front bench spokesman Tim Yeo – because they wanted to preserve the illusion that Britain still retained the power to run its own affairs.

Just before the 2001 general election a curious public meeting was staged in Exeter, chaired by the local bishop. This so-called ‘constitutional convention’ was staged to create the impression that there was popular demand for an elected regional parliament for the ‘south- west region’ of England. It might have seemed curious that identical meetings were being planned in all the other seven regions of England. But of course it wasn’t really curious, because this whole exercise of splitting up the United Kingdom into regions, each with its own little regional government and regional parliament, was all part of a grand plan, promoted by Brussels, to set up a so-called ‘Europe of the Regions’.

Already this plan is much further advanced than most people realise. We have already seen the dividing up of Britain into 12 Euro-regions for the European Parliament; the setting up of the Scottish Parliament and assemblies for Wales, Northern Ireland and London; the creation of eight regional development agencies for the rest of England. The only major building block left to put into place is to set up elected assemblies for each of those eight English regions, which is why in 2001 we were being told that there was a spontaneous grass roots demand for such assemblies in every one of those regions.

 But again none of our politicians has had the honesty to explain openly what is going on. Indeed so determined are the promoters of this grand design to deny that there is any connection between regionalisation and the EU that, as they demonstrated in Exeter, they will even shout down anyone who dares suggest such a thing. Was it not odd therefore that there on the platform in Exeter was a senior official of the European Commission, sent over from Brussels by the EU’s Regional Commissioner Michel Barnier? The truth is that, over on the continent, there is no secret that this is what the regionalisation policy is all about. Here in Britain, ironically, the only politician who has been remotely honest about it has been that great Europhile Michael Heseltine who, at a fringe meeting at a Tory conference in 1998 suddenly launched into an extraordinary outburst against the regionalisation plan. He was all in favour of European co-operation, he said, but this breaking up of Britain into Euro-regions was very much a step too far, and the stealthy way in which it was being brought in he described as “deeply sinister”. (transcript from British Management Data Foundation).

It would be easy to cite countless more examples of how our British politicians and civil servants now quite routinely try to conceal the extent to which our lawmaking and forms of government are now becoming more and more taken over by this new system of government centred on Brussels. The result is that few people, except those directly affected, now have any idea just how much of our power to run our own country we have already given away.

The areas of policymaking handed over to Brussels now stretch right across the field of government, from agriculture and fisheries to much of our foreign policy. Whole tranches of the power to pass laws and decide policy have now been passed over to become what are known as Brussels ‘competences’. And wherever such a competence has become part of what is known as ‘the occupied field’, we no longer have power in that particular area to decide our own policies or laws. That has passed out of our hands forever. What in fact has been taking place has been a transfer of power from Westminster and Whitehall to Brussels on a scale amounting to the greatest constitutional revolution in our history. But much of this has remained buried from view because our politicians like to preserve the illusion that they are still in charge. The result is that remarkably few people now have any proper understanding of how the political system which rules our lives actually works.

3. The third major area of deception lies in the often quite comical compulsion of supporters of Britain’s membership of the European Union to talk up the benefits we derive from membership. And where, as so often, our membership in fact damages British interests, this again must at all costs be suppressed or denied. This type of distortion has become so familiar that I will only mention one or two examples.

One is the grandiose claim that it is somehow the ‘European Union’ which has preserved ‘the peace of Europe’ since World War Two, when the chief cause of this has obviously been the NATO alliance and the presence of America in Western Europe through 40 years of Cold War; the very alliance which influential elements in the EU, motivated by anti-Americanism, are now trying so hard to undermine.

Another is the claim that we have somehow derived special benefits from trading with our continental neighbours which we could not have enjoyed without membership. The figures show that, although before we joined we had a small trading surplus with the original Six members, we have subsequently run up a cumulative trading deficit with our European partners amounting to more than £170 billion. In terms of the balance of trade, our membership has been hugely more beneficial to them than it has to us, and without the surpluses we earned from trading and investing elsewhere in the world, we should long since have gone bankrupt.

Linked to this is the claim we have constantly heard from such people as Robin Cook when Foreign Secretary, that “3.5 million British jobs now depend on trade with our European Union partners”. The intended implication of this is that, if we did not belong to the EU, those jobs might somehow disappear. What is interesting about this particular deceit is that we know precisely where it originated. That figure of 3.5 million jobs came from a report commissioned in 1999 by Britain in Europe from a reputable research organisation, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.

What the report actually stated was something very different, It did estimate that 3.5 million UK jobs were linked to trade with the EU. But even if Britain were to leave the EU, it pointed out, few of those jobs would disappear, because we would continue trading with the EU much as we do now (and as do other non-EU countries, such as Norway and Switzerland). But no sooner did Britain in Europe receive the report than it put out a press release claiming that “British withdrawal would cost 3.5 million jobs”. The NIESR’s director, Dr Martin Weale, was so angry at this misuse of his report that he described Britain in Europe’s behaviour as “pure Goebbels”. But this did not prevent Robin Cook and Co. continuing to parrot a propaganda point which can still be heard from Europhiles to this day.

Another deceit beloved by pro-EU propagandists is to pretend that one of the advantages of membership is all the money Britain receives from Brussels in grants and subsidies. What they fail to explain, of course, is that all this money was handed over by British taxpayers in the first place, and that we have merely received part of our own money back (in 1999 roughly £1 for every £2 we paid in), What they also fail to explain is that many grants are only paid on condition that “matching funding” of 50 percent or more is provided by the UK government, so that for every £1 returned by Brussels the taxpayer can end up contributing £3. But all this is hidden away, and the grant is publicised as if it was simply another example of Brussels’ largesse and of the benefits of belonging to the EU.

One could cite countless similar instances of the world of mirrors our Europhiles now inhabit, but I will end on just one more, because it is one of the most fundamental of all. This is the deliberate way they invariably try to confuse the European Union with ‘Europe’, to suggest that anyone who is at home with the peoples and civilisation of Europe must automatically support the political project which has taken its name. Conversely, anyone who opposes the project must somehow be “anti-European”, “xenophobic”, a “Europhobe”.Rarely was the self-deception implied in this sleight of hand more cruelly exposed than in the comment by Tony Blair during the Kosovo crisis of 1999 that this was a “tragedy taking place almost on the doorstep of Europe”. What this revealed, of course, was the extent to which, for Mr Blair as for so many other ‘Europhiles’, the idea of ‘Europe’ had become just an abstract concept, identified with the EU, and almost wholly unconnected to the living reality of a continent whose centre is marked by a monument in a Warsaw park, more than 200 miles east of where the EU stops.

Epilogue

In all this sorry fog of deception and falsehood, there is one last vitally important issue which still remains to be decided, and it is the one on which everything else will in the end be seen to rest. If Britain is finally to be absorbed into this new country we are allowed to call anything but a“superstate”, there is one crucial act of surrender we still have to make: that of our currency. Because the one thing without which a nation cannot be considered a nation is its money. So long as Britain fails to join the euro, it can never be fully part of this new nation with which in almost every other respect she is now so comprehensively enmeshed.

Mr Blair knows this only too well, which is why he is so desperate to get us in. He knows that, so long as Britain remains outside the euro, we must remain half-in and half-out of this new state, in a way which, as ‘Europe’moves ever closer to full political and economic union, must eventually become unworkable. It would be a contradiction so glaring that in the end

this could only lead to the unravelling of our political involvement in Europe altogether. In that sense Mr Blair is right. But what does he do? He does exactly what Mr Heath and his colleagues did back in 1970. He publicly tries to make out that joining the euro is purely an economic decision, without any political or constitutional implications, when privately he knows only too well that the whole point of the euro is that, in terms of completing the European project, it is the ultimate political act. Just like Mr Heath, he pretends one thing when he knows another.

But of course in his own attempt at deception, Mr Blair is impaled on one very large hook. He is skewered by that commitment that he cannot take us into the single currency without the consent of the British people. After 30 years of stealthily surrendering our democracy, that is the point on which the bluff of all our politicians has finally been called. However much they may already have given away, the British people have a last unexpected chance to give their verdict. On that issue of whether or not we stay out of the euro, with or without a referendum, far more now hangs for the future of our country than most people have yet realised.

Christopher Booker