What do the British people want now and for the long term? What are the ambitions of the bureaucracy of the E.U. and the elected leaders to its institutions? Could one man’s ambitions again take over Europe?
If you desire to be a federal part of the United States of Europe, perhaps read no further. If you appreciate what we have in this United Kingdom and in the common strings that bind the Commonwealth you are already worried.
German economic misery and hyperinflation between the wars assisted dictatorship to become entrenched. One man’s ambition was no answer to the issues.
French misery after 1789 welcomed the leadership, construction works and Napoleonic Code of the Corsican. His ambition was no answer either.
The question before the British people is whether the inevitable congruence of states to form this U.S.E is what the British want? If so, the pending renegotiations will be carried out easily. If not, then there will be a much more drawn out set of negotiations. Clearly Brussels seeks complete integration. Who in Britain wishes the same: a common currency, fiscal regime, Central Bank, President, Parliament, police, armed forces, politics, foreign policy and rules and regulations of a United Europe?
Who in Britain wants this existing political law creating Supreme Court in Luxembourg with a constitution and power along the lines of the U.S Supreme Court? We suffer the overarching creative ambitions now of this Foreign Creation so alien to our own legal traditions.
Is there a middle way and if so what is it and is it acceptable to both Britain and the U.S.E? What will be the aims and ambitions of each country? When Britain was misled by Edward Heath into joining a political Europe under the guise of an economic agenda, the issues were blurred. That must not be the case today. It is for all these reasons, and more, that David Cameron has begun the vital process of renegotiation.
The objective here is to identify core issues as it is clear that the referendum must take place before the next election and only after renegotiation. Time is of the essence. The chances of success may be slim but the attempt must be made.
History sets the scene.
The History of these islands and its Celtic races is of stories of fierce independence. They are echoed in Latin treatises of the bloody battles with Rome, in Shakespeare’s histories and in the polemics today in favour of an independent England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Lord Palmerston was the prime international mover and shaker in the 19 Century. He was the Father who oversaw the birth of Belgium (as chairman of the international conference). As Secretary of
State for War in the Government, he supported sending the fleet to assist the birth of the Hellenic speaking peoples in their Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman Empire. The French and Russian fleets supported this assistance. Garibaldi invaded Sicily and rolled up the peninsular as he fought northwards and handed, what was in effect, a united country to Vittorio Emmanuel of Piedmont. So Italy was born in 1860.
The Austrian Hungarian Empire, a forerunner of the proposed F.E.U, continued its disintegration as the might of the tiny Prussia developed. Prussia used the same current EEC ruse to bring about the collapse of the neighbouring principalities and the enlargement of the Prussian territories. Economic unity was further deliberately used as a backdoor way of taking over unwary neighbouring states. (Napoleon had commenced this work of destruction of customs barriers and Principalities). Tariff barriers were further removed, roads improved and railways built. Gradually Bavaria and Wurttemberg, Hesse Darmstadt, and the South German Union were all absorbed into the net cast
by Prussia to take over the effective leadership of this central European area and, by this economic union, wrest power and control into its own hands. Austria was defeated by economics without a shot being fired. (1)
After common tariffs came common systems of weights and measures, tax, and currency (the Prussian Thaler). Then Bismarck struck. Like Garibaldi and the Hellenic Revolutionaries he roused the German peoples, attacked Denmark (acquiring Schleswig Holstein), the German Federation of independent states merged into the North German Federation under Prussia. The defeat of France followed in 1871 and Europe saw the birth of Germany and its supremacy.
France and Spain alone in mainland Europe had some established longevity. But after two defeats at war, Germany is supreme again and joined with France in an Euro economic nightmare, of their own choice. They deliberately ignored the economic guidelines to Euro membership when dealing with Italy, Spain and Greece.
It is just such wavering on the issue of principles that we see the present EU lurching from short term exigency to another, dealing with Symptoms and not root causes. Indeed, at the Summit of February 2013 the French wanted even more that the unwarranted 30% or so of the budget for Agriculture and, together with Italy, Spain and Greece, wanted a more inflationary and unaffordable budget (so long as someone else paid i.e. Germany and the UK). It was not to be. At last the input of more than one Statesman supported a reduced budget. At least in theory, as the accounts are never audited or signed off and brave whistle blowers are disgraced and treated with contempt. Integrity reallyshould and must matter. There is so much dishonesty, waste and flagrant disregard of the truth that the EU as established must destroy itself economically. What then? Another tyrant to the rescue?No! We renegotiate on the basis of the six Main Principles and the Six Essential Targets set out below.
WHENCE DO WE NOW GO?
David Cameron’s speech (the In/Out speech) was refreshing. It previewed his constructive diplomatic efforts at the February 2013 Summit. Cameron noted three Major Challenges (MC) MC1 – Eurozone single currency MC2 – A projected fall by 2033 of 33% of Europe’s share of world output MC3 – The EU “Is seen as something that is DONE to people rather than ACTING on their behalf”
David Cameron also evinced his FIVE MAIN PRINCIPLES (MP) for the future guidance of the Leaders of the EU.
MP1 – Competitiveness
MP2 – Flexibility
MP3 – Power must flow back to and remain with the Member States
MP4 – Democratic Accountability
MP5 – Fairness
I would add a SIXTH Main Principle: Less Government is better Government. I would add a further Six Basic and Essential Targets (ET)
ET1 – Removal of the European Court of Justice
ET2 – Complete overhaul of basic policies, like the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies.
ET3 – Retraction root and branch of the pre-emptive sovereignty of directives and powers of the E.U.
ET4 – Member States shall maintain Sovereignty. If sample areas should be indicated, they are: Foreign Policy, the Armed Forces, the Police, the Main Principles, the Essential Targets, The States’ own Parliament (in the U.K. at the Palace of Westminster, and as Devolved to Scotland, Wales or Ireland), Monetary affairs, Sterling, Fiscal matters etc. The list is purposely not exhaustive nor inclusive or exclusive.
ET5 – Reduction in actual overall Government, less interference, less expenditure and taxes. Less government is better government. (the sixth Main Principle)
ET6 – Institution of financial social and political mechanics in order to resolve issues arising from
Main Challenges, Main Principles and Essential Targets.
Nothing can be achieved without whistle blowers being fully protected and fully compensated. How else can we ensure that acts and omissions of the.E.U.are discovered and remedied with integrity. The Democratic Institutions, the Member States’ aims and aspirations, the whole of The Organisation of the E.U. must manage these goals.
Prior to the 2013 Summit, there emerged reports of the great Alpine tunnel venture, a new road–rail link between France and Italy. The cost amounts now to E8.5Billion. This will inevitably double. In addition there are extra expenses of a further E17.5B. Those could also double, taking the total to E52Billion, or 5% of the EU budget for the next 10 years!
These monies seem to have been allocated without reference to the world wide economy, to other economic pressures, to MC1-3 or MP1-5. Eg.although it is postulated that some 4,500 jobs will be created, only 10% of transalpine freight goes by rail.
There are no Euro funds for research and development (essential for the pursuit of MP1). Is the transalpine tunnel a frivolity when funds are scarce or essential for the competitive edge?
There are no Euro funds for Education (essential for MP1). There are no funds for energy (eg. pipelines.)
There are no funds for the main problems of the next 100 years, namely Health, Pensions and Social
HEALTH, PENSIONS and SOCIAL SECURITY, EDUCATION
In the U.K., Government expenditure has seemingly no control over the costs of Health, Pensions and Social Security. These issues are severe constraints upon financial freedom of government. Unfortunately, these growth areas of spending are not readily controllable. The pot for all expenditure is under pressure of economic constraint. These curbs are now potentially terminal restraints upon the UK‘s ability to meet its own challenges The E.U. has the same issues. All members of the EU must deal with this. The Main Challenges, Principles and Targets are the guidelines.
Education is a fundamental issue of all Governments. So education and pensions are key for budgets to secure the survival of achievements. Difficult when there is economic decline not growth, monetary expansion not restraint, inflation at home and devaluation of currency abroad.
These financial curbs or strains will require higher tax rates and reduced tax take and increase the restrictions upon competitive growth.
The EU mix to date is struggling to achieve its aims of federal integration and programme its long term ambitions. Brussels has achieved many of its objectives:
1. Economic annexation of States within the Euro Common Currency by the Euro.
2. A Bureaucracy that has freedom and is not controlled or accountable control. It has no reporting obligations.
3. A Parliament intent upon achieving greater autonomy and further E.U. integration.
4. A Central Jurisprudence based upon European models and the Napoleonic Code. The Supreme Court in Luxembourg (i.e. Brussels) is politically and legislatively creative. It is similar to the United States Supreme Court. Both institutions are alien to the U.K. and its Common Law.
5. Member States wish to move inexorably into a fuller Union of Member States.
6. Member States with Democratic and effective institutions represented by political leaders whose collective Wills are all held in thrall to these E.U issues. Those “Wills” alas, by their own dilution of direction, effect a continual moderating weakness of direction.They tend to strive to arrive at the “Middle Road” conclusion. That always should be avoided as the product tends to be “too little too late”!.
SO WHERE IS THE U.K.?
The government of the U.K. seeks none of these objectives. There is a growing majority groundswell of public opinion that seeks none of these objectives too. Hence the vital decision to renegotiate.
What is to be renegotiated? The answer is clear. The entire edifice of the E.U.needs root and branch review and the relationship of the U.K, in particular, will need careful negotiation bearing in mind the Main Principles, Targets and Challenges.
We must listen, learn and act now. So much better than to suffer now and learn and repent at leisure. David Cameron is right. The European plan must be re-written as a vital urgent project for all of Europe, not just for the United Kingdom.
(1) I refer you to the writings (three excellent books) of Lindsay Jenkins, who encouraged my views. They are however my own.
(2) Douglas Carswell “The End of Politics”.