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In 46 years the UK electorate has been allowed 2 votes on EEC/EU matters. Over the same period the EU has changed beyond recognition. Here are just some of the things no-one voted for /1
No-one voted for the UK to leave EFTA in 1972. EFTA did not effect agriculture or fisheries and did not operate external tariffs. Countries were free to establish individual customs duties or FTA /2
No-one voted for the UK to join the European Economic Community in 1972. There were 4 countries in the Accession Treaty and the other 3 were given a referendum. Denmark and Ireland voted yes while Norway voted No ./3
No-one voted for enlargement of the Community which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 1979 whereby Greece joined the EC /4
No-one voted for further enlargement of the Community which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 1985 whereby Spain and Portugal joined the EC /5
No-one voted for further enlargement of the Union which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 1994 whereby Austria, Finland & Sweden joined the EU. All 3 had a referendum as did Norway who again voted No /6
No-one voted for further enlargement of the Union which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 2003 whereby a further 10 countries joined the EU. The Treaty also included changes to voting weights and Qualifed Majority Voting /7
No-one voted for further enlargement of the Union which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 2005 whereby Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) was used in the EU parliament and no-one voted for that mechanism either ./8
No-one voted for further enlargement of the Union which resulted in the Accession Treaty of 2011 whereby Croatia joined the EU. Croatia had a referendum though and Slovenia’s objection to the Accession was bought off to the tune of approx €170m ./9
No-one voted for the proposed further enlargement of the Union whereby Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey are recognised candidates to join the EU. Serbia and Montenegro are expected to join before 2025 ./10
No-one voted for the Single European Act in 1986. This paved the way for the introduction of the Single Market in 1992 and was the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome 1957 which no-one voted for either ./11a
No-one voted for the European Parliament to have an increased role in decision making nor for the change from unanimity to QMV in 12 policy areas. The Single European Act allowed both ./11b
No-one voted for the UK to sign up to an external economic and monetary policy via the Exchange Rate Mechanism in Oct 1990. The UK crashed out less than 2 yrs later with £ devalued by 17% & interest rates increased twice in one day from 10 to 12 to 15% /12a
It is estimated the govt spent 40% of the our ccy reserves trying to prop up £ and the total cost in lost GDP, jobs and businesses was £700b. You’ll recognise the names involved – Major, Heseltine, Clarke, Hurd ./12b
No-one voted for the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Most Tory MPs hadn’t seen the Treaty before being forced to sign it by the govt. Douglas Hurd, our chief signatory, admitted he had not read it before signing it ./13a
Maastricht gave birth to the European Union and reinforced the irreversibility of the progress towards ‘ever-closer’ political union. The Treaty paved the way for the introduction of the Euro and also further economic union ./13b
“Economic” was removed from the EEC’s title, fundamentally changing the Community’s approach to the Treaty and the ideals of the EU. The European Parliament’s powers were increased again by the introduction of co-decision with the Council ./13c
The Social Chapter was tacked on to the Treaty & would enshrine the commitment of Member States to the separate Social Charter of 1989. This gives the EU Commission powers to impose social legislation. UK secured an opt out despite Labour’s opposition ./13d
No-one voted for the move to qualified majority voting (QMV) of a further 30 new and existing articles. This brings the total to 42 ./13d
3 referendums were held on Maastricht: Ireland yes (69.1%) France yes (51%) Denmark no (50.7%). Despite the margin of victory being almost identical in France and Denmark, inevitably only Denmark was forced to vote again ./13e
Portuguese Foreign Minister reacted by saying “there is something rotten in the state of Denmark” and “only donkeys don’t change their minds”. Inevitably Denmark voted again and this time 56.7% voted yes. This is a pattern that will emerge ./13f
No-one voted for the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 whereby Member States devolved to the EU, powers in immigration, civil & criminal law and foreign and security policy. Institutional changes were also introduced to prepare for adding new member states ./14
No-one voted for the Schengen Agreements to be admitted into EU law. And no-one voted to allow our opt-out from the Social Chapter to be given up but Labour allowed it anyway. 24 more areas moved to QMV making a total of 66 ./14b
There were 2 referendums held in Ireland (61.7% yes on 56.2% t/out) and Denmark (55.1% yes on 76.2% t/out) . Neither were asked to vote again. /14c
No-one voted for the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The institutional structure of the EU was reformed to enable expansion into Eastern Europe. Weighting of votes in the EU Parliament was changed and the number of seats was also increased ./15a
The size of the Commission was reduced and the UK was one of 5 countries to give up its 2nd Commissioner. Another 46 articles were changed from unanimity giving a new total of 112 areas under QMV. “Closer” became “enhanced” co-operation ./15b
As is now the norm Ireland had a referendum on the Treaty. To the surprise of the elite, the previously compliant Irish stayed at home and the majority who voted said No (53.9% on t/out 34.8%). As is now the norm the Irish were forced to vote again ./15c
In the 2nd ref Ireland voted 62.9% yes on t/out of 49.5%. That was good enough for the elite but Ireland did win a guarantee that the state would not enter an EU mutual defence pact and therefore preserved its neutrality ./15d
No-one voted for the Draft Treaty Establishing The EU created by Altiero Spinelli, an Italian Communist, in 1984 . It was passed by 78% of the EU Parliament but did not pass into law as it was rejected by the Council ./16a
The treaty is in effect a draft constitution and is arguably one of the most influential docs in the development of the EU. It formed the basis of negotiations for the Single European Act in 1986 and Maastricht in 1992 ./16b
Some of the principles included in later treaties up to and including Nice: creation of the EU & EU citizenship; subsidiarity; investiture of the Commission; co-decision between Parliament and Council; European Monetary System. /16c
Other main principles not included in Nice were later incorporated in Lisbon (which no-one voted for either). More of that later ./16d
No-one voted for the draft Treaty establishing the Constitution for Europe in 2004 although Tony Blair and Jack Straw saw fit to sign it on our behalf. 4 referendums were held with Spain & Lux voting yes and France & Holland voting no (54.7% & 61.5%) ./17a
The ratification process ended and further referendums, including in the UK, were cancelled. This is not the end though. Many of the main objectives miraculously re-appear in Lisbon. Peter Hain’s tidying-up exercise would not be swept away easily ./17b
If the Constitution had been passed, 2 principal and 5 accession treaties (which no-one voted for) would be repealed and consolidated into a single document. A new EU with legal entity status and legal personality would be formed ./17c
EU law would have *primacy* over that of the Member States. Charter of Fundamental Rights would have been included in the main text and given legal status. Formal introduction of EU symbols: flag, currency, anthem, motto & Europe Day ./17d
A new Minister of Foreign Affairs; accession to the European Convention on Human Rights; a newly *appointed* President of the Council who would be in post for 2 1/2 years; laid out the distribution of powers between the EU and Member States ./17e
Defined areas of policy where the EU would have *exclusive* competence & those where competence would be shared with Member States. Despite these very major changes (“tidying up”) Tony Blair signed up without any consultation with us.
Onward to Lisbon ./17f
No-one voted for the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 although Gordon Brown and David Miliband saw fit to sign it on our behalf. The purpose of the Treaty was to finish off what was started
by Amsterdam/Nice and to continue the debate on the failed Constitution ./18a
The 3 pillar structure introduced in Maastricht (1. Economic Community 2. Common Foreign & Security Policy 3. Justice & Home Affairs) was removed and with the exception of pillar 2 now come under the legislative procedures of the Union. /18b
This means pillar 1 & 3 (renamed Area of Freedom, Security & Justice) are now, only with certain restrictions, justiciable in the European Court of Justice (which no-one voted for) ./18c
There are 71 *major* amendments included in Lisbon. 39 are new provisions but crucially 32 were introduced in the failed un-ratified Constitution of 2004 but transposed into Lisbon anyway ./18d
Giscard D’Estaing, President of the Convention that drew up the failed Constitution said “the institutional proposals of the Constitution are found complete in Lisbon, only in a different order” ./18e
“To my surprise and in truth, to my great satisfaction, the 9 main points are repeated word for word in the new project. There is not a single comma that has been changed” -/18f
Major areas transposed from the failed Constitution into Lisbon. Explicit statement that Member States confer competence to the EU; Union would accede to European Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ./18g
Number of MEPs defined as min 6 and max 96 per MS; *Appointment* of President of the Council for 2 1/2 years, renewable for 1 term; Defined QMV as at least 55% of MS representing at least 65% of the population (UK 73 MEPs = 9.7% and population = 12.5%) ./18h
No. of Commissioners reduced to 2/3 the no. of MS; EU will have legal personality and becomes a separate legal entity; move towards changing method of ratifying treaties from unanimity to QMV; distribution of competences or powers between EU/MS defined ./18i
Measures introduced for cross-border health issues, space policy, energy policy, tourism, civil protection; increase in power of the EU Parliament in passing legislation through co-decision; 46 areas now QMV under co-decision ./18j
Only 12 provisions in the failed Constitution were not transposed into Lisbon. And most were not in the main text, rather were declarations or protocols ./18k
New provisions in Lisbon: The Union replaced the Community; measures incl on border controls, asylum, immigration & crime; Charter of Fundamental Rights given legal force, becoming EU law with equal status to treaties but is *not* inserted into the text ./18l
European Central Bank now an institution of the Union. Provisions for QMV in Council; Declaration that EU Law has *primacy* over that of Member States; symbols of the Union acknowledged by 16 states. And still no-one voted ./18m
Despite the magnitude of the changes introduced, a number of UK redlines & the Treaty being almost a mirror image of the failed Constitution, the text was agreed by Heads of State, including Gordon Brown, in less than 3 months. A miracle in EU terms ./18n
The next step was to ratify the Treaty. In 2004 Tony Blair offered a UK referendum on the Constitution. Despite Lisbon being almost a carbon copy of the failed Constitution, Gordon Brown reneged on Labour’s election promise to hold one ./18o
A High Court case was brought. The court agreed with the Govt in its assertion the referendum was only promised on the Constitution and Lisbon was only a treaty. A further appeal also failed. Still no-one had voted ./18p
All references to the Constitution were removed in the Treaty to make it look like it had been abandoned. MS who had previously rejected the Constitution via referendum also decided to not have another one. France and Holland signed up this time. /18q
As is now the norm Ireland had a referendum on the Treaty. As is now the norm the Irish rejected the Treaty (53.2% no t/out 53.1%). As is now the norm the Irish were forced to vote again. Irish Govt concluded voters had a lack of knowledge. Ring a bell? ./18r
So as is the norm Ireland voted again and this time said yes (67.1% yes t/out 59%) but also secured guarantees on abortion, taxation and military neutrality. Perhaps it wasn’t lack of knowledge after all. Power to the people ./18s
In fairness to the EU not everything in Lisbon is bad. The Treaty introduced Article 50 which defines voluntary withdrawal from the EU of a Member State. 17.4m of us voted to trigger it in 2016 👏 ./18t
No-one voted for the introduction of the Euro as single ccy of the Union. Maastricht obliged MS to replace their ccy with €. Of 12 MS at that time 3 had a referendum, UK & Denmark opted out meaning the other 7 replaced their ccy without asking ./19
No-one voted for the abolition of Purchase Tax and replacing it with VAT. This was a condition of our entry into the EEC and was achieved via the 1972 Accession Treaty & the 1972 Finance Bill which no-one voted for ./20
The Purchase Tax was introduced as a ‘luxury tax’ during WWII & applied to items like jewellery, china, porcelain, fur, silk, lace, cosmetics etc. VAT was applied to a much broader range of items & also businesses and services including many essentials ./20a
Examples: clothes & footwear; electrical goods; fruit juice; prams; fuels; water; sweets; alcohol; CDs & DVDs; nuts…VAT is an indirect tax and is now the 3rd largest source of govt revenue ./20b
We are subject to EU law whereby the standard rate of VAT *cannot* be lower than 15%. Also the EU Council must approve any temporary reduction in the public interest. Even tho no-one voted for it we pay over €3.6b in VAT to the EU every year ./20c
In 1975 Referendum pamphlet, Govt used as justification for Remain that Britain had a new deal which wld see us receive £125m back from EU funds w/out mentioning what we would pay. Between 2010-16 our *net* contribution was €80b. No-one voted for that ./20d
The Govt also said we “would not have to put VAT on necessities like food” But it didn’t say what it would be put on (see 20b). “We have also maintained our freedom to pursue our own policies in taxation…” (see 20c)../20e
No-one voted for handing over control of our fishing grounds to the EEC. Council regulation 2141/70 was drawn up by the original 6 members just hours before applications to join were received from the UK, Ireland, Norway and Denmark in 1970 ./21a
This ensured the issue became part of the negotiations on the Accession Treaty in 1972. The UK first refused to accept the rules but gave way and signed the Accession Treaty anyway. Norway refused and therefore did not join the Community at all ./21b
No-one voted for the Common Fisheries Policy which sets quotas for Member States. Quotas are based on 1970s hauls and as Britain fished extensively outside EU waters up to 1976, arguably our quota is lower than it should be ./21c
No-one voted for allowing policy and decision making to be shared with the EU. It is estimated Britain provides 13% of the water in the EU but is only allowed to catch 30% of the fish in that water. Norway’s total quota is 2.5× larger despite being non-EU. /21d
When the UK joined the EEC in 1973 we had 36/198 seats in what is now the EU Parliament. That’s 18.18% of the vote and the same as Germany /22a
Due to the multiple Accession Treaties, which no-one voted for, the UK’s vote has been reduced to 76/751 seats or 9.72%. That’s a reduction in voting power of 47% /22b
Over the same period Germany’s vote has been reduced to 96/751 seats or 12.78%. That’s a reduction of voting power of only 30%. And no-one voted /22c
The UK is 2nd highest net contributor to EU budget with 3rd most voting power. Poland is 2nd highest net *recipient* with 5th most voting power. Spain is 3rd highest net *recipient* with 4th most voting power. EU fairness in action/22d
No-one voted for a system of Proportional Representation to be used to elect our MEPs. This is at odds with our FPTP system but is a rule mandated by the EU (note AV was rejected in a UK-wide referendum in 2011) /22e
This is important as our EU Parliament voting power of 9.72% is split across 10 different parties, some of whom do not speak for the UK (SNP, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru) and therefore our vote is diluted further /22f
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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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Greg Lance – Watkins
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