Herald on EU

June 6th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial from Tuesday:

From time to time, national referendums have thrown a spanner in the European Union’s plans for closer ties between its members. But never has there been such a broad renunciation of that process as that delivered in the recent European Parliament elections. In an alarming number of the ’s 28 member states, populist parties from the far right and far left triumphed over their mainstream opponents.

The impact was most notable in Britain, where the UK Independence Party topped the poll with 28 per cent of the vote, and France, where the anti-European National Front did likewise with 25 per cent support. Centrist pro-European parties will continue to be the dominant force in Brussels, but this is not an outcome that can be shrugged off.

It is clear that after 60 years, during which the EU and its forebears have, by and large, orchestrated peace and prosperity, many of its 500 million people have fallen out of love with the pan-Europe ideology.

They complain about the arrogance and expense of bureaucrats in Brussels who are intent on reducing the important of their national parliament. They regret replacing their national currencies with the euro, which, rather than making Europe more equal, has created instability. And those in the north decry an expansion that has saddled them with indebted nations in southern Europe. The EU has, says David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, become “too big, too bossy and too interfering”.

Especially the European courts over-riding national legislatures.

Others, however, believe the EU can be saved by reform.

The latter course can prevail if the European Parliament heeds the unmistakable lesson of this election and puts a brake on the drive towards ever closer union. It needs also to be less intrusive in the everyday affairs of its members. Equally, it must convince Europeans that it provides the framework to outperform other developed countries economically. The most convincing answer to the eurosceptics lies, as Germany’s Angela Merkel suggested, in “improving competitiveness on growth and creating jobs”. At some point, those countries using the euro must also embrace a more comprehensive fiscal union. If that is not done, a return to national currencies is the logical step.

You can’t have monetary union without fiscal union. Which is one reason Scotland won’t be able to keep the pound if they vote for independence – which is unlikely on the polls.

The economic tide is swinging in favour of the pro-Europeans. Much of the EU has been late to catch the global upswing, but even the weaker economies are starting to benefit. They will gain also from the tough measures taken over the past few years. Further, the conclusion of a successful free-trade pact with the United States would hammer home the message that union can deliver more wealth than individual endeavour.

A focus on free trade and freer economies is what the EU needs, not more regulations.

Oliver Hartwich also writes on the EU lack of democracy:

What is democracy? Well, usually democracy is when the people vote in an election and the winner then happens to form a government. It is as simple as that. And what is European Union democracy? It is when the people vote in an election and, regardless of the outcome, German chancellor Angela Merkel decides on the next president of the European Commission.

Oliver’s article is a fascinating analysis of the power games currently going on.

11 Responses to “Herald on EU”

  1. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Support for the UKIP is another manifestation of the people’s discontent with democracy, that fragile body being perverted today by self appointed elitists who endow upon themselves far more power than the people ever intended to grant them.

    Get government out of our lives.

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  2. Tarquin North (1,059 comments) says:

    The real problem with the E.U is it combines the humour of the Germans, the generosity of the Dutch, the work ethic of the Spaniards, the honesty of the Italians, and the financial skill of the Greeks. The only ones who have done any good out of it are the beurocrats in Brussels and the wefare refugees pouring in to England.

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  3. freethinker (776 comments) says:

    Yes Redbaiter you are right, the incompetence and deceit globally by politicians & beaurecraps whilst enriching themselves is finally coming home to roost with trust a major victim of their actions. History repeatedly demonstrates that the fuse may be long but the last bit burns quickly with an explosive result, that point is very close in many places in the world and if meaningful changes that have widespread support are not forthcoming there will be a bloodbath – as Enoch Powell from the UK predicted decades ago – rivers of blood on the streets.

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  4. Bob R (1,831 comments) says:

    ***From time to time, national referendums have thrown a spanner in the European Union’s plans for closer ties between its members. ***

    Hahaha, how many EU countries actually had a referendum on such a significant issue? I recall Ireland did a few years ago, gave the wrong result, so they promptly arranged another one, threw in some bribes & more propaganda, to get the right answer. 🙂

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  5. Nigel Kearney (1,991 comments) says:

    It’s just a pity the people who don’t want to live in the Soviet Union are in the same parties as the racists, so that voters cannot choose one without the other.

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  6. kowtow (13,220 comments) says:

    A few issues .

    Just cos a party is anti mass immigration or nationalist doesn’t make it “far right.” The NF in France being a case in point.They are more left than right,while the UKIP is said to be libertarian.

    More lazy journalism or is it simply denigration of parties and voters who wish to protect their own culture,while the political elite impose “multiculturalism” on a reluctant populace?

    The problem the EU has is it has moved without a mandate from being a free trade zone (free movement of labour ,goods and capital ) to becoming a federal union.

    Scotland could easily keep the pound. The “independant” Paddies did. Not that the Jocks will vote for going it alone.They’re a wee bit more canny than that.

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  7. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “Others, however, believe the EU can be saved by reform.”

    Nonsense. It’s a totalitarian body and like all such things it can never be reformed.
    The sooner the people rise up and destroy it, the better.

    It is largely because of the EU that the UK and Europe have such bad problems with immigration (as the individual countries are bound by EU laws).

    The sooner the EU is shattered, the sooner that the countries will get their sovereignty back.

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  8. James Stephenson (3,054 comments) says:

    while the UKIP is said to be libertarian.

    They were heading that way, but cheap populism is easier votes. They’re now a weird munging together of ACT and NZ First

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  9. SJM (274 comments) says:

    DPF “You can’t have monetary union without fiscal union”


    And you cannot have that without political union.

    kowtow (7,125 comments) says:
    June 6th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    The problem the EU has is it has moved without a mandate from being a free trade zone (free movement of labour ,goods and capital ) to becoming a federal union.

    No, not quite. the EU was always intended to be a political union right from the outset, the means of doing it were and are by gradual economic union to diguise the fact. The undemocratic nature of it can be summed up by a few interesting characters whose quote’s I reccomend all should read.

    “America would welcome it if Britain should apply for full membership in the [EEC], explicitly recognising that the Rome treaty was not merely a static document but a process leading towards political unification.”
    (George Ball Under-Secretary of State for JFK 1961)

    “The supremacy of Community Law when in conflict with national law is the logical consequence of the federal concept of the Community”
    (H P Ipsen, 1964 – 9 years before we joined)

    “Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals we dare not present to them directly. All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and diguised”
    (Valery Giscard D’Estang. on the Lisbon treaty)

    “[Norway] held a referendum [on the EU] that went the wrong way”
    (Douglas Hurd, former Foreign Secretary on the Maastricht Treaty)

    “The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State.”
    (Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister)

    “The primary reason why Britain entered into [EEC] negotiations was political, political in its widest sense.”
    (Edward Heath, lecture at Harvard, 1967)

    The European Union is a state under construction.”
    (Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs)

    “I have never understood why public opinion about European ideas should be taken into account at all,”
    (French PM Raymond Barre)

    Let’s be clear about this. The rejection of the constitution was a mistake that will have to be corrected.”
    (Valéry Giscard d’Estaing)

    “I don’t want an ‘in or out’ referendum because I don’t think out is in Britain’s interests.”
    (David Cameron, who won’t hold a referendum because he thinks he’ll lose)

    “The EU is the old Soviet Union dressed in Western clothes”
    (President Gorbachev)

    “I have lived in your future ….and it doesn’t work”
    (Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky on the EU)

    “The day of the nation state is over.”
    (Roman Herzog, German president, 1996)


    For good information on the nature of the EU, and a plan to get the UK out of it http://www.eureferendum.com/

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  10. SJM (274 comments) says:

    James Stephenson (1,927 comments) says:
    June 6th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    while the UKIP is said to be libertarian.

    They were heading that way, but cheap populism is easier votes. They’re now a weird munging together of ACT and NZ First

    Yeah, and that will be their undoing…that and an almost total lack of policy that isnt slogans.

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  11. Fletch (9,017 comments) says:

    I posted this the other day as well. It looks like the UK parliament will be coming to an end soon, with EU states being subordinated to the EU.

    On the 1st November 2014 the right of Parliament to legislate over us in 43 areas, the important ones, will be removed and be made subject to approval. They call it QMV, Qualified Majority Voting.

    Each member State will lose it right of Veto over these areas, so Cameron’s idea of negotiation to recover any areas goes out the window at the same time.

    The following areas of competence will switch from requiring unanimous approval of all member states to qualified majority voting only:

    Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Administrative co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Asylum – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Border controls – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Citizens’ initiative regulations – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Civil protection – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Committee of the Regions – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Common defence policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Crime prevention incentives – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Criminal judicial co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Criminal law – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Culture – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Diplomatic & Consular protection – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
    Economic & Social Committee – Nice: QMV Lisbon: QMV
    Emergency international aid – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
    Energy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    EU budget – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Eurojust – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    European Central Bank – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    European Court of Justice – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Europol – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Eurozone external representation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Foreign Affairs High Representative election – Lisbon: QMV
    Freedom of movement for workers – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Freedom to establish a business – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon QMV
    Freedom, security, justice, co-operation & evaluation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    General economic interest services – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Humanitarian aid – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Immigration – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Intellectual property – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Organisation of the Council of the EU – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Police co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    President of the European Council election – Lisbon: QMV
    Response to natural disasters & terrorism – Lisbon: QMV
    Rules concerning the Armaments Agency – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Self-employment access rights – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Social Security Unanimity – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
    Space – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Sport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Structural & Cohension Funds – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Tourism – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Transport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
    Withdrawal of a member state – Lisbon: QMV

    A brief review of the Treaties confirms the Transitional arrangements which allow, only on specific votes, for the Nice Treaty Provisions to apply from 1st November 2014 until March 2017, hence I imagine PM David Cameron’s determination to delay our referendum beyond that date, tying Britain for ever within the non-democratic, totalitarian and now clearly despotic EU.

    For your reference, if anyone interested in the Treaty Articles behind this change, here is the legal bit. http://grahnlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/eu-qualified-majority-voting-qmv.html


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