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Sunday 30 December 2018
Booker has dedicated his last column of the year to Brexit matters, with the heading: “Europe’s ‘great deception’ fooled our politicians for decades. Next up, the great disappointment…”.
As we move on from enjoying our last pre-Brexit Christmas to thoughts of the year ahead, he writes, only one prediction can be made with absolute confidence: that the national mood next Christmas may not be quite so merry.
From there, he has managed to circumvent the usual Telegraph ban on mentioning my name by the device of referring to our book. Booker regards it as one of his most significant moments in the 27 years he has spent seriously reporting for The Telegraph on the EU and its impact on British life.
This, of course, is The Great Deception and, says Booker, it brought to light the true origins of the EU, as well as many long-hidden details of its history.
Writing this 600-plus page book was certainly an experience and far from being value-free. What we found in the process of writing convinced us of one unavoidable conclusion: that one day we would have to leave the EU.
The reason Booker has decided to mention it now is because some aspects of our research has particular relevance to where we find ourselves today. The first is that, to a much greater extent than is generally realised, the “European project” has only ever had one real agenda underpinning everything it does.
This is a desire to integrate the countries of Europe so closely under a new system of government centralised in Brussels that it would be extremely difficult for any country to leave it.
The reality of this is something a lot of people have difficulty coming to terms with, choosing to believe that what is now the EU is simply a benign trading bloc. Conservatives in particular have their own variation on this myth.
Many believe that the EEC started off as a nice cuddly trading agreement but somehow went off the rails and became “political” as continental politicians decided to exploit it in order to pursue a centuries-old ambition to unite Europe.
That this is a false picture is borne out by our research, which led to the title of our book. The original “great deception” stemmed from a deliberate decision by Jean Monnet and his “co-conspirators” including former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak.
Their action came after the successful creation of the Coal and Steel Community when Monnet’s ambition over-rode his natural caution and he pushed for a full-blown European Political Community (EPC) with its own constitution and its own European army.
When this hubristic plan was rejected by the French Assembly on 30 August 1954, Monnet, his ambition undiminished, changed tack. Rather than declare the agenda openly, the strategy was changed to pretend that the purpose of the European project was to set up an internal free trade area, a “common market” established behind a protectionist tariff wall.
The very term “common market” was a deception, spearheading a policy called engrenage, later labelled by the academics as the “neo-functional theory of integration”. In this, the common market was simply a means to an end, using economic integration as the first step towards the true goal – welding all of the countries involved together into full political union, in other words a “United States of Europe”.
The scope and depth of this process has been such that, after 46 years of “ever closer union”, there is now scarcely a single aspect of our national life which is not in some way or another governed by the EU. There is hardly any branch of economic activity which is not only now dependent on EU law but which has not become enmeshed with that of our EU partners.
Picking up the story, Booker observes how he has long been struck by how little the British, and especially our politicians, have ever really understood the full extent of this entanglement. When it comes to “deception”, the central dynamic here is “self deception”. The political classes have been in denial.
As we researched our book, we became more and more aware of the scale of this entanglement, which few people in political circles either understood or were prepared to admit. And that is why, even before the referendum, we were pointing out that to disengage ourselves from the EU with minimal damage would require fully informed judgment as well as political leadership of the highest order.
With that in mind, was our view that our nation’s real aim – which would have been entirely possible – should have been to liberate ourselves completely from all the political structures of the EU, while retaining access to the single market.
This obvious and – to us – sensible course would have achieved the aim of distancing ourselves from the political structures of the EU while safeguarding our exports which today provide around one pound in every eight we earn as a nation.
All that though was to come to naught when Theresa May chose to exclude us from the wider European Economic Area, and from other countries outside the EU such as Norway and Iceland. Sadly, it is all too clear that she did this without any real understanding of its implications.
That is why, the moment she made that fateful choice, we warned that this would put at risk whole sectors of our economy which rely on integration with the EU to function successfully.
At risk are the manufacture of cars, chemicals and pharmaceuticals and our role as the EU’s financial centre and the rights of our airports to operate and our airliners to fly. And, as the government is now at last admitting, we risk “severe congestion” between Dover and Calais and “significant disruption to the economy from customs checks”, affecting the corridor through which we import 30 percent of the food we eat.
That brings Booker to his word limit for the column but we both have plenty more to say. No amount of space, however, could properly convey our disillusionment with the political process and frustration with the handling of events. Although nothing of this was predictable, in detail, much of it was avoidable.
What we did say, though – although perhaps not loudly or often enough, was that a botched Brexit might put the whole process at risk. This will forever be an indictment of the managers of the Vote Leave campaign, who so cavalierly refused to support an exit plan or produce one of their own.
And now we see the prospect of chickens coming home to roost as Liam Fox tells us that Brexit is “on a knife edge”. The chances of Britain leaving the European Union, he says, are “50-50” if MPs reject Theresa May’s deal.
Undoubtedly, this is part of the political game-playing that is going on, leading up to the vote on 15 January, adding to the pressure on MPs to support the withdrawal agreement.
Fox’s estimate, necessarily, is a personal view and others may differ. Some most certainly will, as we see the likes of the Telegraph pushing the “no deal” agenda. And while there is an argument for saying that a no-deal is better than a humiliating return to the fold (something with which many will disagree), there is no good argument for preferring this to the withdrawal agreement.
Not on any grounds could Mrs May’s solution be the preferred option but we are where we are, and the alternative is too unpredictable to contemplate. Doubtless there are mitigation measures which could temper the worst effects of a “no deal” Brexit but the reality is that we cannot model chaos. There is no possible way of knowing what the full effects might be.
For what it is worth, my view is that we have to take what’s on offer and then work towards improving it. To that effect, right from the very start, Booker and I have been consistent in asserting that Brexit is not an event but a process. Brexit day, if it comes, will be the start rather than the end and, in twenty years or more we will still be dealing with the aftermath.
But then, if it took us 45 years to get to this degree of integration, and the original Six nearly seventy years – in what is still unfinished business – there is no logic in expecting instant results. In terms of the evolution of a nation, twenty years is the mere blink of an eye.
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain with 16% of EU GDP and 13% of the EU’s population yet having only 8% (if united) say, whilst holding less than 3% of the various offices within the EU Do note The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy despite its protestations!Do note that many senior apparatchicks and even elected politicians speak openly of the ‘Post Democratic era’ with no sense of shame or irony and in complete contempt of the so called electorate – yet The EU & many of its vassal States/Regions are all too willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States, to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
Now as President Junker announced in his ‘State of the union’ speech 2017 the aim is to create an EU military force and centralise ever more of the decision making and control!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
Just follow the recent EU display of so called ‘Democracy’:
France and the Netherlands voted against the proposed EU constitution in 2005, only to have those votes ignored.
Ireland voted against ratifying the Lisbon treaty in 2008, but then later under pressure & threats had to change its mind.
Greece for me was the final straw. It became clear in 2015 that it didn’t matter which way the Greek people voted. The birthplace of democracy had become its tomb. That was enough. I was going to vote to leave the EU when the chance came.
No political party of any significance in Britain took active steps to achieve a Referendum – the task was eventually taken by an Indipendent West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire who personally launched and funded the gathering of a petition of 225,000 signatures delivered to Parliament via Downing Street, thus forcing a debate in the House of Commons on an IN/OUT Referendum, which led to David Cameron’s first consequential rebellion.
It was due to winning that debate, officially opposed by every party including Ukip that David Cameron was forced to include a promise of an IN/OUT Referendum in the Tory Manifesto at the next General Election. The rest is history & despite no Parliamentary Party backing the OUT vote & Government spending Millions of Pounds of public money leafletting & promoting ‘Project Fear’ to try to persuade the British people to Remain just as they had at the first Referendum in 1975 – This time their lies and threats were not heeded and in the largest vote in British history Britain voted by a clear majority to Leave.
Nikki Sinclaire’s OUT result left Cameron & his co conspirator Osborne with no option but to resign, sadly some of the other traitors have remained to try to hinder progress to BreXit, aided by their corrupt allies in the EU and \eu funding and bribes!
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, if we leave the EU, using a better negotiated, customised & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.
This is of course dependent on a modicum of intelligence on the part of Britain’s politicians and negotiators but it also requires the integrity of Parliament to uphod democracy and the integrity of EU politicuians & apparchicks to act ethically and without their normal vindictive mallice.
I believe Leaving the EU will be turned into something of a rough ride by the ignorant and the corrupt but I have no doubt that in the long run Leaving the EU will prove conclusively to be in the best interests of Britain and our true allies. I also believe that Britain leaving the EU will prove to be the catalyst to great changes within the EU and hopefully its democratisation as without great changes it is indubitably doomed.
Do not overlook the fact that politicians have plotted and schemmed since the 1950s and we have actually been vassals of the EU, when it was still using the aesopian linguistics and calling itself The Common Market in the early 1970s, a name the bureaucrats arbitrarily changed to EUropean Union in the early 1990s as they worked towards their long term goals of an ever closer centrally controlled Political and economic Union with its own anthem, currency, flag and rigid central control by its self appointed bureacrats towards a new Empirate –
It will take many years to rectify the mess our political class got us into and we have no other peacefull means by which to extricate ourselves than to depend on that self same self styled elite, who all too often forget they work for us!
One huge benefit of BreXit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly, in our own interest and that of our partners around the world, in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and terms imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their interpretation of the rules handed down, as if they were some great achievement of the EU’s!The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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