Nine deceptions in our history with the EU

Nine deceptions in our history with the EU

The strange pseudo-deal stitched up between David Cameron and his 27 EU colleagues is yet another example of the EU’s smoke and mirrors

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He knew he was lying over our ‘loss of sovereignty’: a smiling Edward Heath at the count for Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Community in 1975
By Christopher Booker

The key to understanding the unique system of government known as the “European Union” is that everything about it is based on smoke and mirrors, with nothing ever being quite what it is pretending to be. Of this, the strange little pseudo-deal stitched up between David Cameron and his 27 EU colleagues is only yet another example.
When, some years back, I co‑authored what I believe is still the most comprehensively researched history of the “European project”, nothing struck me more than how consistently it has, at every stage, been built on one deception after another, which is why the book was called The Great Deception. Here are nine of them.

1. How it all began
To this day, the European Commission website deliberately confuses two quite incompatible models for a future “United States of Europe” put forward after the Second World War. Its account starts with Winston Churchill’s call for a “United States of Europe” in 1946, which led two years later to the “intergovernmental” Council of Europe. But no one was more scornful of this than the Frenchman Jean Monnet, who had a wholly different model in mind, first conceived back in the Twenties. His “United States of Europe” would be centred on an entirely new kind of “supranational” government, able to overrule the vetoes of any of its individual member states. It was Monnet’s vision that won, through the “Schuman Declaration” he drafted in 1950. This led to the European Coal and Steel Community, with Monnet at its head, which even then he explicitly hailed as the “government of Europe”.
Cameron’s deal was yet more ‘smoke and mirrors’  Photo: REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

2. ‘Switch-sell’ in Rome
When Monnet’s first bid to move straight to the complete political union of its original six members was rebuffed in 1954, he and his allies realised they could only achieve their real goal step by step. So they deliberately decided to conceal it, by pretending that they were only seeking to create a trading arrangement. But the treaty of Rome in 1957 did begin by declaring their intention to work for “ever-closer union”, and set up all the core institutions needed to run a future government of Europe – even though this was far more than was needed to administer what was sold as its headline purpose: the creation of just a “Common Market”.

3. Macmillan joins deceit
When, in 1961, Britain first applied to join “the Six”, Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath had been fully briefed by Monnet’s allies as to the project’s ultimate goal, full economic and political union. But papers released under the 30-year rule show that, at the end of June, the Cabinet accepted their urging that, for “presentational” reasons, this should not be revealed to the public or Parliament. British entry should be sold as being only to a “Common Market”, concerned just with trade and jobs.

4. Britain taken in by Heath
We can also now see how deliberately, when Heath applied for British entry in 1970, he perpetuated the same deception. His Europe minister was sent to plead with Brussels to keep quiet about its already emerging plans for a single currency (another Monnet idea). And although we were repeatedly told that British entry would involve “no essential loss of sovereignty”, a secret Foreign Office paper, released 30 years later, shows that the government knew how important it was to conceal just how untrue this was. This was compounded in the 1975 referendum, when the campaign for Britain to stay in deliberately centred only on how vital this was to our trade and economic prosperity.

5. Towards ‘Union’
In the early Eighties, much more ambitious plans were afoot for a further leap forward to integration: it was so ambitious that it was secretly agreed that this would require not one but two more treaties. The first, the “Single European Act” in 1986, was again sold as being only concerned with turning the Common Market into a “Single Market”. But in reality the treaty was just what its title indicated: another major move towards a “Single Europe”, giving Brussels control over several other important policy areas little concerned with trade.

6. The Maastricht treaty
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union brought out into the open the next instalment in the march towards the ultimate goal, centred not just on full “economic and monetary union”, including Monnet’s single currency (from which Britain won what was meant to be only a temporary opt-out); but also much else, never fully explained at the time, including moves towards giving the new “European Union” its own foreign and defence policies.

7. Blair ‘at heart of Europe’
Tony Blair’s ambition to be “at the heart of Europe” led him to collaborate fully with moves to make the European Council (another Monnet idea) the EU’s political “Cabinet of Europe”, with its own foreign and defence policies, and also towards giving the EU its own “Constitution”, to make it in effect a sovereign government on the world stage.

8. The ‘Lisbon switch-sell’
After the “Constitution for Europe” was in 2005 rejected by French and Dutch voters, virtually the same document was then smuggled back in as the more harmless-sounding “Lisbon Treaty” in 2007, for the first time formalising the European Council as an official institution of “the government of Europe”.

9. Mr Cameron’s ‘treaty’
Almost everything about Cameron’s “treaty” to give Britain a “special relationship” with the EU is yet again smoke and mirrors, not least the insistence that it is “legally binding and irreversible”. Under the Vienna Convention, a treaty is only valid when the signatories can guarantee delivery of what they have agreed. But in at least two respects, on economic governance and recognition that Britain is no longer bound to “ever closer union”, Cameron’s deal requires change to the EU treaties themselves. So it could only become “legally binding” after going through all the procedures now required for EU treaty change, depending on ratification by every member state, often involving referendums, any one of which could make Cameron’s “treaty” reversible.
Until then, Cameron’s little deal cannot conceivably be considered “legally binding”. To pretend otherwise is just another deception. But he may still get away with it, because no one will challenge him on it (Michael Gove’s claim that it could be reversed by the European Court of Justice is quite irrelevant).
The fearful irony of what is going on was exemplified by that poll last week which found that, while 65 per cent of the British electorate describe themselves as “sceptical” about the EU, only 30 per cent would wish us to leave it. And if there is one reason above all else for this seeming contradiction, it is the total failure of the various “Leave” campaigns to agree on any plausible, properly worked-out plan for how we could extricate ourselves from the political “government of Europe” while continuing to have full access to the Single Market.
It is this failure that allows Cameron and his allies to play their only trump card – that fear of a “leap in the dark” which might somehow exclude us from the trading arrangement which has been used as the main justification for why we needed to be “in Europe” ever since we joined it. Because none of the Leave groups have done the homework needed to show us how it could be done, the Remainers can terrify us into fearing that we could lose our economic future.
As Roy Jenkins shrewdly put it in 1999, there have only ever been “two coherent British attitudes to Europe”. Either we should wholeheartedly embrace what it was always intended to be, ever since Monnet set it in train six decades ago. Or we should negotiate a “reasonably amicable withdrawal”. Otherwise we are doomed to remain just a “foot-dragging, constantly complaining member” of something most of us instinctively distrust and dislike.
But that is what it seems we are fated to choose on June 23 – because our political class has now been actively collaborating with that “great deception” – albeit too often foot-dragging and complaining – for half a century.

Jonny Lavery

 

I joined and I am standing for UKIP because I believe that it’s a party truly committed to people-centred change, hard work, personal freedom and standing up for people from many different walks of life.

UKIP is the only party that can accurately claim to have representation in every part of the UK, with elected representatives here, aswell as in England, Scotland and Wales. 

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In North Down, hospital services are under threat, courthouses are closing denying people local access to justice, and there is a lack of investment in this part of the world. Our towns should be bustling towns every day of the week, but many have been neglected and premises lay vacant. Instead of more investment and attention, we’ve had broken promises.

UKIP offers a fresh face and a fresh approach. I will prioritise the needs of North Down and not narrow-minded party interests. 

I will stand up to protect our front-line services. I’ll stand up for and fight for investment in our local communities. 

I’ll stand up for the small business owners who are paying higher rates than ever before, but see little support in return.

I’ll stand up for our armed forces and veterans. For too long, politicians have failed to look after those who have looked after us. UKIP is a strong voice and pledges to fight for full implementation of the Military Covenant. 

North Down deserves to take its rightful place in our national politics. VOTE UKIP next Thursday and vote for a strong, determined voice for North Down as part of a strong UKIP Team in Parliament that is changing politics throughout the United Kingdom.

 

Jonny Lavery

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Born in County Down, I am a University of Ulster Honours Graduate in Political Science.

After graduating, I continued my studies at Queen’s University Belfast studying Corporate Governance before deciding to pursue a career in Marketing and PR. After working for a busy PR firm for a period of time, I made the decision to pack in my job and set up on my own. I have been self employed since. I have been interested in politics for many years, but the parties of old have let ordinary people down. I joined UKIP and I am standing for UKIP because I believe it is the only party truly committed to real people-centred change, hard work, personal freedom and standing up for people from many different walks of life.

Politics here in Northern Ireland is almost is a mirror image of the problems on the mainland; it’s about benefiting those in the political bubble. UKIP offers something different, we are the true party of the union with representatives in every corner of the UK.

In this Westminster Election, the people of North Down have the chance to vote for a UKIP candidate for the first time ever and be part of a truly nationwide movement for change.

Mount Stewart

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Mount Stewart house officially opened today following an extensive refurbishment. Also changed is the self guide method of transit around the house.

Montgomery: Belfast City Airport continues to be a tremendous asset on our doorstep

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Montgomery: Belfast City Airport continues to be a tremendous asset on our doorstep

 

George Best Belfast City Airport is seen by many in the North Down Borough as a tremendous asset on our doorstep, providing convenient access to locals and tourists alike.

 

Commenting on the airport’s success and future potential for growth, UKIP North Down Councillor and Representative on on the Airport forum John Montgomery has said:

 

“It is pleasing to note the continued success at the airport where despite losing the London Gatwick service operated by Flybe in March, passenger numbers are still expected to be above 2013 figures and GBBCA is forecasting double digit growth next year.”

 

 

“Flight numbers may have declined slightly on 2013 however, this is offset by a significant increase in bums on seats to an average of 77%. The commencement by Flybe of its  3/day service between GBBCA and London City Airport (LCY) is proving to be very popular given the number of businesses in Northern Ireland with offices based in in close proximity to LCY.”

 

 

Commenting further, Councillor Montgomery added:

 

“I welcome the news that the airport has announced a number of new routes for 2015. Flybe to Liverpool with a new airline Vueling making its debut with a 2/week  offering to Barcelona from May. Vueling’s arrival in at the airport is a significant one as this major European operator will hopefully present further opportunities in the future”

 

 

After a recent spend on upgrading some airport facilities, it is also welcome news that the airport has announced additional spending plans that will soon see an upgrade to car parking facilities, body scan security and an extension of the covered walkway to the Fast Track parking.”

 

 

“The future prosperity of North Down can in part be echoed by how well this airport succeeds.”

MONTGOMERY: Temporary closure of Bangor Hospital unforgivable

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MONTGOMERY: Temporary closure of Bangor Hospital unforgivable

Commenting on the temporary closure of Bangor Hospital, UKIP North Down Councillor John Montgomery has said:

“This temporary closure, if it is indeed temporary, is quite frankly unforgivable. Yet again, we see the evidence of a not fit for purpose executive and assembly. I am troubled also by the apparent preference towards Newtownards, whilst Bangor has the population density to support its local hospital. This is worrying because a feeling might exist that this event and thinking could become future policy within the new North Down and Ards Council.”

Commenting further, Councillor Montgomery added:

“I am also deeply concerned at the role played by our local MLAs in this affair; one is a member of the NI Assembly Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, the other is an Assembly Private Secretary to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Surely an appropriate oversight would have been to work with their party colleague preventing the cuts reaching Bangor in the first instance. Still, I suppose, it is difficult to tear one’s self away from the glare of the camera lens long enough to actually do the function for which they were elected.”

“The knock on effect of the closures a 20 bed ward, and the minor injuries unit will be apparent in local surgeries and the emergency department at the Ulster Hospital, both of which are already stretched to the limit. It is the users of both units where the true hardship of this will be most keenly felt. I am aware of one disabled patient who just days before closure was unaware of what the future held. A situation I am sure repeated.”

“I have asked my party Leader David McNarry MLA to arrange a meeting with the minister, however, I suspect that this Minister will be playing a game of hide and seek. He hides while we seek!”