When the Conservative Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne threatens that the post-Brexit Budget would increase the basic income tax by 2 per cent, the higher rate by 3 per cent, and inheritance tax by 5 per cent and pledged £2.5 bn cuts to the NHS budget, £1.2 bn in defence spending and £1.15 bn in education, PM David Cameron is complicit to threatening to punish the people if they vote for the British exit of the infamous EU club which is at the heart of the collapse of the Greek economy.
The concept of a 'United States of Europe' has been floating around for quite some time. The French military leader and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to form such an entity some 200 years ago. He said: “I wished to found a European system, a European Code of Laws, a European judiciary: there would be but one people in Europe”. He wanted to form the united states of Europe and set out to conquer Europe and failed. Adolf Hitler of Germany invariably had a similar vision, and he lost too.
The European Economic Community, also called the Common Market, was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. The signatories were France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy and Germany. When French President Charles de Gaulle took France into the Common Market, he demanded a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). But de Gaulle was against a «supranational Europe» and in favour of a «Europe of Sovereign States», for which he counted on the support of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). At a press conference (‘Volapük’) on 15 May 1962, de Gaulle «rejected the concept of a Europe of stateless persons and integrated languages». But, de Gaulle was against the UK joining the EEC and he vetoed UK's application to join in 1963. He argued that the UK had to undergo «radical» changes before it could join, in other words, the UK had to make far-reaching concessions for the benefit of France (such as CAP) and the other five members.
Democracy on its Head
Further to the Accession Treaty on 22 January 1972, Denmark, Ireland and Britain joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle's resignation in 1969. But no referendum was held in order to seek popular mandate to join the EEC. Under the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, there was a UK referendum on continued membership of the EEC in 1975. The electorate voted 'Yes' by 67.2% to 32.8% to 'stay' in Europe as if the UK was outside Europe. It is a very strange form of democratic showmanship where people's consent are sought two years after joining and then arguing that 'we cannot be out of Europe', 'we will lose jobs if we leave', 'investors will desert the UK if we leave', the same sort of scaremongering tactics we keep hearing in the weeks coming up to the second referendum (to be held on 23 June 2016) on whether or not the UK should remain in the EU.
The EEC was turned into the European Union with the 1991 Maastricht Treaty, which came into effect in 1993. Again, no referendum was held. This «paved the way for monetary union and includes a chapter on social policy. The UK negotiates an opt-out on both. The treaty also introduces European citizenship, giving Europeans the right to live and vote in elections in any EU country and launches European cooperation in foreign affairs security asylum and immigration». [«Timeline of the EU», BBC News 12 March 2007]. While the EEC was about the free movement of capital, goods and services, the EU is also about the free movement of people between the now 28 member states. with a total population of over 500 million.
In the UK (being more densely populated than, for example, France and Germany), European immigration in their hundreds of thousands has caused a rise in property prices, with property speculation of the type never seen before in the UK, as the EU incentives are very attractive to speculators. While PM David Cameron's reigning Conservative Party are cutting benefits for UK residents who have contributed to the economy, European immigrants are claiming benefits and housing like nobody's business. The ruling of the EU Court on 14 June 2016 (9 days before the EU Referendum) suddenly allowing the UK to restrict benefits of «some» EU migrants on the ground of an undefined «protecting a member state's finances», thus going against the EU Commission's ruling of «unequal treatment» and «discrimination» should be looked at with great suspicion as laws for the UK are being made in a very sloppy fashion by those outside our control.
The UK makes a yearly contribution of £18 bn into the EU Club and gets around £5 bn back in the form of rebate. Although UK's contributions vary from year to year, they have recently increased to phenomenal amounts. No one has so far produced figures to demonstrate what the UK has truly gained for being part of the EU compared to when it did not form part of this club.
The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, Conservative Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath, hits back at David Cameron’s scaremongering over the risks of leaving the EU, and told a Sky News audience that “Brexit would be an opportunity to ‘take back control’ from ‘unelected, unaccountable elites’ and directly accused the Prime Minister of trying to ‘scare’ voters in his own TV appearance on Thursday [2 June 16]”. [«EU referendum: Michael Gove urges voters to take back control from Europe's 'unaccountable elites'» The Independent, 4 June 2016].
British Home Stores (BHS) has gone into administration. The administrators failed to find a buyer and they announced on 2 June 2016 that the business would close and around 11,000 employees would be laid off. Who is responsible for this, according to David Cameron? The EU then, because the UK is presently in the EU?
UK at the mercy of the EU
The European Parliament (EP), together with the Council of European Union and the European Commission, has power to impose its legislative will on the UK. While the EU Parliament is located both in Brussels (Belgium) and Strasbourg (France), The EU Court of Justice is located in Luxembourg and the UK is bound by its decisions.
This referendum should have been held before the UK signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1991 to decide whether or not the British people want to form part of the EU where anyone can immigrate into the UK. Now that the UK has been in the EEC since 1972 and the EU since 1993, how on earth can people work out what the implications will be? On BBC Question Time on 2 June 2016 held in Cardiff, the panel, which included the Conservative Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, who is campaigning to remain in the EU, started by scaremongering about recession if the UK leaves the EU. But later, in reply to the question “Isn't it true that no one really knows the effects for us to leaving the EU because no country has ever left before?”, put by Zeena Blundell, Ms Truss replied: “That is true in that we don't know what would happen, we don't have any positive alternatives in terms of trading arrangements that are being proposed.”
To take one concrete example, our EU partner Germany has a trade surplus with the UK. If the UK leaves the EU and this surplus turns into our favour, is it a good or a bad thing? In the Independent of 1 June 2016, Ashoka Modi states that:
“As economists have long known, trade is embedded in business and social networks into which partners invest enormous social capital.”
“And even if British trade with the EU falls, trade with other regions will undoubtedly increase. Because Europe has been growing at a slower pace than the rest of the world, trade has been shifting away from Europe for years.”
Economist Roger Martin-Fagg says that, throughout history, “The UK has always been a major trading nation”, and this is not because of the EU. He produced factual figures to demonstrate that UK has a trade in goods deficit with the EU but with a surplus in trade in services. He further points out that “UK exports of goods and services to non-EU countries have grown at a faster rate than imports, driven largely by the services side. This has resulted in the UK running an overall trade surplus with non-EU countries (where the value of exports exceeds that of imports) over the past three years, which reached £27.8 bn in 2014”.
When politicians decided to join the EU, they could not care less what the people wanted. It suited their personal agenda. When people became unhappy about the outcome, David Cameron promised the referendum to be held on 23 June 2016 for the people to decide whether they would like to remain or leave the EU. In fact, the question should have been whether people would like to join the EU in the first place.
Cameron argues that if people decide to leave, businesses will close and jobs will be lost. Which businesses? Which jobs? But he does not say how many businesses were already trading with countries in Europe (and the rest of the world) before politicians took the UK into the EU and how much MORE business the EU brought in; similarly, for jobs. In a BBC EU Special on 15 June 2016 with Conservative MP Michael Gove, Greta Homer said that 50 % of her business is with the EU. When asked the nature of her business, she said she was a translator. This is the best the Remain camp could produce.
In fact, if the British people decide not to remain in the EU, any impact on businesses and jobs will be short-term because the trade mechanism system will adjust itself. For example, it is not in the interests of Germany to impose tariffs on us because they sell more to us. The indications are that trade will increase with the rest of the world as the UK will not be tied down to EU’s restrictive rules and regulations. The EU fat cats in Brussels will not be able to interfere in our internal affairs with respect to our laws, our immigration policies, our trading partners, and our well-being. The reason why they want us to remain in the EU is because it is in their own interests. This is why Christine Lagarde, former French Minister and present MD of the IMF, is making a case for the UK to remain in the EU club.
With uncontrolled immigration where EU members, with a total population of over 500 million, EU migrants not only enjoy free entry to any EU country but also has the right to remain and seek housing, employment and benefits when our own benefits are being cut by PM David Cameron. The UK is too small and bursting at the seams. Its health services are cracking under the EU weight and health care is degrading day by day. When the Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn says that quitting the EU will put the NHS at risk, like the Conservative PM David Cameron, he does not know what is talking about.
The economic disparity between member countries are too great and immigrants, including criminals, tend to flock to where it is of benefit to them, and not vice versa. The UK is a prime target. The British people should be able to control the number of people arriving into the UK. Merely showing passports to immigration is not control. On the contrary, it serves to identify EU nationals in order to give them free entry. With the EU preparing itself to admit five more countries (Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania), the problems for the UK will reach epidemic proportions. Immigration can only be a good thing if it is controlled and only people with the right skills admitted.
Scaremongering by the Remain Camp
While the Brexiters want to preserve their British identity, their sovereignty, their laws and have control over their money and on immigration, the Remain camp is resorting to scaremongering tactics.
David Cameron is a PM for EU capitalists, not for the majority of ordinary people in the UK. He is scaremongering. How did the UK fare then outside the EEC, later the EU? It had a strong economy and was better respected in Europe and the world. In the EU, the UK has lost its sovereignty and has to bow to the will of Germany and France and the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. All European countries, whether inside or outside the EU, have always traded with one another and with countries outside Europe. Their raw materials come from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Far East. If the British people vote out of the EU (in what is referred to as «Brexit»), they will be able to check property speculators, sky rocketing house prices will level off and any rises will be at a slower pace and people will have affordable housing. The NHS will improve, jobs will be more secure, immigration will be kept under control, and students will have a better deal rather than ending up with £50 k loan for university education and be in debt before they can even think of buying a house. Britain will have an independent voice and be a stronger nation and not controlled from Brussels.
As the polls indicate that the Brexiters are leading the Remain camp by 7 points, PM Cameron uses very extreme language trying to scare people alleging that “Brexit would put a bomb under our economy”, [Evening Standard, 6 June 2016].
As the referendum date draws closer, the Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne threatens that the post-Brexit Budget would increase «the basic income tax by 2 per cent, raise the higher rate by 3 per cent, and inheritance tax by 5 per cent». «He also pledged £2.5 bn cuts to the NHS budget, defence spending reductions of £1.2 bn, and education cuts of £1.15 bn.», [Independent 15 June 2016]. In other words, David Cameron is complicit in threatening to punish the people if they vote for the British exit of the infamous EU club which is at the heart of the collapse of the Greek economy. Such figures can only be worked out after weeks of work and analyses but they are being churned out like doughnuts to please the Remain camp. No wonder top Tories like Lord Norman Lamont and Lord Nigel Lawson (also ex-Chancellors) accuse the Treasury of 'lying' [Metro 17 June 2016]. The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, as a Civil Servant, has also been accused of «breaching impartiality rules by making his personal views on the referendum 'public'».
BORIS JOHNSON, a respected Conservative, and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, is spearheading the campaign for Brexit for very good reasons. During the debate Matt Frost/ITV on 9 June 2016, very personal attacks were made against him. The Government's representative, Amber Rudd, even said the following about Boris Johnson: “he’s not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening”. Boris Johnson has made a very strong case in favour of Brexit. He wants the British people to take back control of their money, their economy, their borders, their security, their taxes, their laws. On the other hand, Conservative PM David Cameron, who is spearheading the Remain campaign, has made a very poor case with a lot of scaremongering. Cameron merely wants a seat at the EU table while Nigel Farage wants a sovereign nation. David Cameron even refused to have a televised debate with Boris Johnson. Should the Brexiters maintain their poll lead and win, there is a high risk that the EU supra-national structure will collapse sooner rather than later. The UK will be safe.
M Rafic Soormally
17 June 2016