I DIDN’T VOTE FOR A U.S. OF EUROPE. OR A COMMON CURRENCY. AND NEITHER DID YOU

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Map courtesy of Nations Online Project http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/europe_map.htm

The EU is profoundly undemocratic

by Paul Phillips

The EU ‘Project’, occasionally and mysteriously referred to, is not a nebulous, conspiracy theorist invention. It is the work of bureaucratic mandarins. Their work started even as WW11 was being fought to its conclusion. It was conceived as a means of integrating the troubled nations of Europe and ensuring peace for generations to come.

Unfortunately, its true purpose was kept secret from us. We were sold an idea of a European Economic Community (EEC) – a trading partnership that would put old rivalries behind us.

But even as we were being asked to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to what was then called The Common Market, politicians and bureaucratic mandarins in France, Germany and, yes, the UK, were already planning the total integration of economies, militaries and a supranational government.

We were not to know. Their view was that ‘they’ (we – the people) didn’t ‘need’ to know. By which they meant that we would never agree to it. The ‘Project’ was, unashamedly and explicitly, conceived as an unelected bureaucracy. By the time we – the people – figured it out, it would be too late.

Well, it’s not too late. Democracy trumps all (pun intended). We cannot have a United States of Europe, where half a billion people are shoehorned into a system conceived as a bureaucratic putsch.

France already has a ‘Frexit’ movement ready to roll if the UK votes ‘Out’. And look at the havoc caused by the current refugee crisis. Hungary started closing its borders pretty early on. Sweden – that bastion of social democracy and brotherhood – and Norway have started to follow suit.

None of which is to mention the horrors of the Euro, which has inflicted poverty and worklessness on two generations across southern Europe. As a tourist, when the price of a pot of jam goes up from 30 pence to nearly £2 almost overnight, we can shrug and say, “Ah well, they (cheap holidays) were good while they lasted”.

But the same can’t be said for the poor inhabitants of, say, Portugal. Their wages didn’t go up 600%.

Spain, Greece and Portugal do not remotely belong in a currency union with France and Germany. The fiscal requirements placed on them are way too heavy for what we might call the ‘siesta economies’. (No judgement implied. Good luck to them).

It’s not much different in Italy, where the north of the country thinks those down south are spongers. If we can’t even guarantee a united Italy, what chance a United States of Europe? If you’re interested in who we’re in bed with in the EU, have a look at this document which is designed to show that Italy is “a country in receivership”. So it’s not just Greece. How much more of this do we need to know before we cry, “Enough!”?

So far, the Germans have largely bankrolled the EU Project. But even their collective guilt over two world wars and The Holocaust is now being overlaid with an overwhelming sense of burden. Take a look at Frauke Petry and the Alternativ fur Deutschland party. This is the direct consequence of a political elite deeming their goals and ideals more important than a democratic process.

So the UK Referendum on June 23 is about one thing, and one thing only: do we or do we not value the democratic process?

The way to get the Europe we want is to vote ‘Out’.

In the ensuing chaotic couple of years, the EU ‘Project’ could be completely reshaped from its profoundly undemocratic current state to what we who voted in 1975 thought we were signing up to.

So vote ‘Out’, and then let’s start the serious work of rebuilding Europe in our own image. Ignore the politicians. Talk to your friends in France, in Germany, or visit and talk to the locals in any EU country. You’ll be amazed at the common ground.

But particularly don’t let the ‘remain’ brigade scare you that all hell will break loose if we vote to leave. And does anyone seriously believe that if the UK votes ‘Out’, all our trade with Europe will stop? Money makes the world go around, not politics. Half of our trade currently is with America, Asia and Africa in any event. But even so, no business in, say, Germany is going to cancel contracts with the UK, the world’s fifth largest economy. Business will do what is best for business. The politics will follow.

As for that Nick Clegg canard that ‘three million jobs will be lost’, the original research that Clegg based that claim on said no such thing. It said that 3.2m jobs in the UK were linked with exports to EU countries. So Clegg was effectively saying that all those exports would be cancelled overnight, and all 3.2m jobs would be lost.

In any event, that research dates back to 2000. It is, according to Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research “past its sell-by date”. Yes. Sixteen years past it. Even the Government’s own terminology has changed. Now, it says, “3.3m jobs in the UK may be related to exports to other European Union countries”, going on to say: “This is not an estimate of the impact of EU membership on employment”.

So your choice, really, on June 23rd will be not ‘In’ or ‘Out’, but ‘Do I want to live in a genuinely democratic state?’ If your answer is ‘Yes’ (and on what possible basis could it not be?) then you must be an ‘Outer’. Only good things will follow.

https://fullfact.org/economy/uk-jobs-and-eu/

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Paul has worked as a journalist, as a songwriter and producer, as a magazine publisher and partner in a design agency. Since leaving school aged 17 and spending three months doing hard manual labour as a gardener, all of his occupations have been sedentary.

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