The EU: Why we must leave

The most common misconception about the anti-EU argument is that it boils down to nationalistic whining about “losing our sovereignty”. This simply isn’t true. While the issue of sovereignty is crucial and should not be overlooked, there are other vital points to ponder.

Objections to Britain’s membership of the European Union can fall into two categories: those of principal and those of pragmatism. The former are easier to articulate and far more difficult for EU proponents to counter.

The essence is simple and indisputable: we were promised a referendum on Britain’s EU membership and that promise was broken by Labour. No prizes for guessing why that is the case. It would be foolish to throw all the blame at Labour though, the Tories set the wheels in motion in the seventies when Brits were conned into thinking their choice concerned a free or common market within Europe. The people were certainly never told or led to believe that they were voting on issues as important as supreme jurisdiction, sovereignty and democracy.

And democracy is exactly what the EU lacks. Of the two (arguably three, depending on your classifications) EU chambers, only one is directly elected, and that chamber has no legislative initiative . Of course, this little piece of reality is difficult for teh EU to hide or spin, yet still they try. Clicking on the previous link will explain:

The Commission has the legislative initiative {i.e. there is no legislative intiative for any elected body}. However, under the Treaty of Maastricht, the European Parliament has a right of legislative initiative that allows it to ask the Commission to submit a proposal.

In other words, MEP’s have about as much power over the laws as my son does when he wants a chocolate biscuit. In practise, motions within the EU are passed by the European Commission. What this means is that laws governing all citizens of the United Kingdom are as influenced by a politician from Greece whom we know nothing about – and who has never, ever been chosen  by any election within the UK –  as they are by our own EC representative.  Even our own representative is selected by his or her peers, not the people.

To support this system is to believe with all your heart that politicians from every single EU member country are utterly equal in terms of ability, transparency, honesty and democratic validity. Even if you are so rose-tinted as to believe that, you must also believe it is fair for this system to come into effect without permission of the people.

The pragmatical argument is more difficult to approach for both “anti” and “pro” EU sides for a simple reason: the functionality of the EU is tortuous and opaque. The Lisbon Treaty – currently at the core of the EU controversy – and the already ratified Maastericht Treaty are complex beasts. So complex, in fact, that it is a badly kept secret that most of the relevant parties in the ratification have not read the whole document. You have to wonder: if the people who made it cannot understand this stuff, how can the rest of us even hope to do so?

In short: the EU system is a bit like the global warming debate; we all have an opinion, but few of us have the entire set of facts. In the case of the EU, is it really an accident that most citizens are confused or bored about what is going on? Whom does this work in favour of?

What we do know is this: the EU costs us millions upon millions. The EU creates ideal conditions for corruption to flourish – auditors refuse to sign off expense accounts, MEPs refuse to reveal expenses (a particular concern after local scandals) and have been exposed as signing in to parliament at 0730 and leaving immediately. This is done to permit the MEP to claim daily allowances.

The EU legal system overrides local wishes, as perfectly exemplified by the old Spanish trawler battle. It also renders our own parliament into an expensive form of impotence. However, nobody knows for sure how much of our legislation comes from the EU. Nigel Farage, Caroline Flint and the EU website have all given statistics that have been proved inaccurate. Again we must ask – how can such a massive entity be so ignorant of its own role?

These are a a few points from the small list of things we know for certain about the EU. Those who argue on its favour often do so in purely hypothetical terms.

“We are stronger together than we are apart”.

This line is a poplar piece of demagogy, and was proved false when the world economy collapsed around us last year. In response, EU leaders held an expensive summit with lots of smiles and lots of vacuous talk of “standing united”. As soon as the meeting was finished though, each leader fled to his or her own country and desperately tried to do what they could to minimise the damage. No central plan and no combined strategy, simply each man for himself. Am I the only one who was left scratching my head by this and wondering what the hell the taxpayers were paying out for?

” Leaving the EU would be financially disastrous”

I always respond to this line with: “You mean like Norway (top of the GINI coefficient index) or Switzerland?” to which the reply is usually:

“Ah but they have unique resources or services, we don’t”

Actually we are the financial trading centre of Europe, we were before we became fully fledged members of the EU and we will be after we leave. This ” we will be ruined” argument for EU membership implies it’s all or nothing – we are members of the EU or we are totally ostracised by Europe. This is total nonsense. There is no reason whatsoever why we cannot have free, strong and binding trade agreements with Europe without surrendering our sovereignty.

“The EU is good for human rights. It encourages other countries to be democratic and fair, because they know they cannot join otherwise.”

There may be some truth to this. But it’s well known that Turkey is being lined up for future EU membership, as are the old respective Yugoslavian and Russian states. When this happens we must either believe that all human rights abuses in the nations have stopped, or that the EU simply wants to increase its power and scope. Which one do we believe?

In summary, the EU is a juggernaut of corruption and greed, that only cares for power. It’s my strong belief that we are better off out of this wasted system, and can do more to help our European neighbors by working outside the system. But others may see things differently. That’s why my solution to the problem is the same as that of Popular Alliance, and UKIP: let the people decide, hold a referendum.

It’s that simple.

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3 Responses to “The EU: Why we must leave”

  1. Bodwyn Wook Says:

    From our example here in the Land of the Round Doorknobs you all should be able to see clearly the historical fate that begins to overtake these large over-centralised whoreodoms, sooner or later.

    I advocate a much looser confderation here, if not the option of outright secession by a state or states. That would be one way people could perhaps freely choose to go back to living under, for example, the original American constitution! It should stand a chance now, too, as the Public Liberals have applied this state-dissolving precedent to for instance Jugoslavia, another fissaparous pisshouse. But I see that “President” Obama was louding off, no doubt apotropaically, about “national sovereignty” in Moscow recently, so I imagine some of The Skunks & Non-Productive Professionals /are/ now within an ace of figuring (in American), “Hey there…maybe we screwed up and this could turn around and bite US in the ass! What about our prestige? What about our ‘careers?’ What about our unearned prestige? What about being on Tee Vee all the time WITHOUT HAVING ANY TALENT? What about being a pain in the ass to as many ‘folks’ as possible…?”

  2. Bodwyn Wook Says:

    [Under my conception of a “Streamlined America,” we would simply give back the Southwest & California south of San Francisco to the Mexicans, it is no good to us anyway as European-Americans — we evolved in a nice cool rainy climate and are /meant/ for grey skies! — and is simply full of gila monsters and the sort of thieving and, now, aged Republicans (and, Mormons) of the sort one doesn’t want in the neighbourhood anyhow, if only on account of the dreadful golf-boredom and the distinctly not on Viagra munching. And, as far as I am concerned if it comes down to it, France or Spain can have the South – and, that load of so-called ‘whites’ there. BW]

  3. Wookean July Fireworks « Bodwyn Wook Says:

    […] https://theantipolitician.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/the-eu-why-we-must-leave/#comment-14 […]

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