Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Britain's Final Chances

The EU will become a super-state once its Constitution, embodied in the Treaty of Lisbon, is fully ratified by all member countries. The EU is an anti-democratic experiment in socialism that stands in contradiction to Britain’s anglo-saxon traditions of representative democracy, individual rights and capitalism (see here, here, here and here). While membership in the EU has proven a boon for Britain’s political class, it has proven very bad for the rest of Britain in innumerable ways that only portend to worsen.

Britain's integration as an EU province is also very bad for the U.S. Britain has been America's closest European ally. As Britain is subsumed into the EU, so goes both its special relationship with the U.S. and, in a larger context, a critically important member of the anglosphere whose traditions and values animate the freest and most prosperous nations on earth.

Britain is at a tipping point on the EU membership in many ways. Things look bleak at the moment. Gordon Brown and Labour are determined to transfer Britain’s sovereignty to the EU without any vote of the people. The "conservative" Tory Party is little more than a light version of the socialist Labour party. As I posted here, it is led by David Cameron, a weak man driven by political expediency rather than conservative principles who has said that he will treat Labour’s actions as a fait accompli. What is going on in Britain is a stealth coup by a disingenuous political class that is being largely supported by British media though minimalist and superficial coverage.

We are down now to the last three chances to derail British ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and transfer of the bulk of its sovereign powers to the EU. The House of Lords must vote on the Lisbon Treaty this week. Ireland is the only country to hold a referendum on the treaty, and they do so on Thursday. Lastly, there is a court case seeking to force Labour to uphold its pledge and hold a referendum on the EU. Speaking on these issues are Melanie Phillips, John Bolton and EU Referendum’s Dr. Richard North.

Author Melanie Phillips has written an exceptional article documenting the current situation and the stakes at issue:

. . . The EU is the issue that all politicians are ignoring in the hope we will forget about it. Most immediately, they hope we have forgotten to be concerned about the European Constitution, which is masquerading as a bog standard treaty over which we need lose no sleep.

This constitution, which would bring into being an unprecedented bureaucratic super-state and end once and for all what remains of the independence of EU member nations, was dumped after it was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. It was then resurrected in all but name as the Treaty of Lisbon, which Parliament is in the process of ratifying. This week, that constitution faces a triple test.

Today, businessman Stuart Wheeler's legal challenge to Labour's refusal to honour its manifesto pledge to put it to a referendum reaches the High Court. On Wednesday, the ratification Bill reaches the House of Lords. This Bill was ruthlessly shoe-horned through the Commons. This week we will see whether their Lordships will also spinelessly roll over, or recall their historic role as a last- ditch defence of this country's interests against such abuse of power.

But something else is happening which our politicians didn't bargain for. As we know, the constitution has to be approved by every member state or else it falls. On Thursday, Ireland votes on the treaty - and it looks as if it might vote against it.
The Irish government is filled with panic and horror at the possibility that the Irish public might actually be thinking for themselves. For the EU has always relied on bamboozling the public about the joys of EUtopia and terrifying them that their whole world will collapse if it is thwarted.

More and more people, however, are realising that they have been lied to, not only about the constitution but about the whole EU project. In Britain, we were told from the start that it was only an economic union which would entail no loss of sovereignty.

That was the very opposite of the truth. The dirty little secret is that, even without the constitution, political power has simply drained away from Westminster to Brussels.

In a little-noticed but quite devastating speech in the Commons last week, the Tory MP Peter Lilley recorded that last year the EU passed no fewer than 177 directives - more or less equivalent to our Acts of Parliament - and 2,033 regulations enforceable in the UK, as well as making 1,045 decisions which affect us.

Our own Trade Minister has admitted that 'around half of all UK legislation with an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector' stems from laws passed in Brussels. . . .

Now the former Tory policy adviser Lord Blackwell is arguing that Britain should renegotiate the terms of its EU membership, restricting it to trade agreements and common security and environment policies, but rejecting EU control over monetary policy, foreign affairs, defence and justice.

An opinion poll run by his group Global Vision suggests that more than a third of voters across all parties would back a prospective Conservative Government pledge to negotiate such a change, and that people would support it in a referendum by more than two to one.

The fact is that those opposed to the creation of a European super-state are not the 'xenophobes' or 'Little Englanders' of the overheated Eurofanatic imagination.

. . . The EU is fundamentally an anti- democratic project, based on the belief that the individual nation is the source of the ills of the world and that by contrast supra-national institutions offer the solution to all its problems.

It is that absence of democratic transparency which is now corrupting not just European politics but our own. The fresh outbreak of 'Tory sleaze' over the expenses gravy train is rooted in Brussels, where corruption is the accepted way of EU life.

Yesterday, the Irish government said that a 'no' vote over the constitution would be a crisis for Europe. What rubbish. The plain fact is that the EU has brought about a crisis for democracy within Europe. Which is why it is essential that we should renegotiate our place within it.

Politicians, however, run a mile from any such suggestion. The terror of acknowledging the true nature of what has happened, in case he is required to address it, has propelled David Cameron into a cul-de-sac.

His pledge to allow the British people a vote on the constitution is worthless since - as he has only now admitted explicitly - once the treaty is ratified it will be almost impossible to do anything about it.

But since his party has warned that the constitution will spell the end of British self-government, this turns Mr Cameron into the Hamlet of the European debate - an awesome talent for speeches denouncing tyranny, but a complete inability to act against it.

Mr Cameron is paralysed by fear of reigniting the Tories' internal civil war over Europe. But the Tory Europhiles are now moth- eaten has-beens who have comprehensively lost the argument with the British people.

The fact is that Parliament is now so emasculated it is becoming the equivalent of Westminster regional council in the Republic of Euroland.

. . . It is time to end this charade. Whatever happens to the constitutional treaty in Ireland or anywhere else, Britain must now re-negotiate its relationship with the EU. The politician who does so will be a hero to the nation. Which is why Mr Cameron should ignore the faint-hearts and suede-shod Euro-fanatics in his ranks. This country must rediscover its identity and sense of purpose, or else it is finished. It can do so only if it regains the power to govern itself.

The issue is quite simply whether democracy in Britain has a future at all. It could not be more fundamental. . . .

Read the entire article. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton spoke at the University of Dublin against ratification of the EU treaty, both because it is anti-democratic and its effects on NATO and the US-British relationship:

The Lisbon Treaty poses a threat to NATO and undermines democracy by handing more power to Brussels, a former senior advisor to President George W Bush has warned.

John Bolton, . . . said the new Treaty could hurt the military alliance between Europe and the US.

He was speaking only days before Ireland hold a referendum on the EU Treaty, the only member country to do so, with the latest polls showing the Yes campaign slightly ahead.

But an Irish vote No on Thursday will mean the Treaty, which abolishes dozens of national vetoes and creates the new post of EU president, cannot come into force in any of the 27 member states.

. . . Mr Bolton has previously warned the deal threatens Britain's special relationship with the United States and yesterday said he would not understand the Irish giving "more powers to bureaucrats."

He added: "The only people you elect have a very limited role and I think this treaty will further enhance the power of institutions in Brussels without extending democratic authority to people."

. . . A Global Vison/ICM poll published yesterday found 64 per cent of Britons would back a renegotiated looser relationship with the EU in a referendum, against 26 per cent who would oppose it.

Read the entire article. Dr. Richard North, who runs the EU Referendum blog, added his own thoughts to those of John Bolton:

. . . For sure, the official US view is very much at variance, expressed in a report last month from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. This stated that Washington would support a more "muscular" EU, provided that European defence spending was sufficient for a radical improvement in military capabilities on this side of the Atlantic. Some four months previously, in a speech in Paris, Victoria Nuland, the US ambassador to NATO, had overtly supported a militarily stronger European Union . . . That support, though, was conditional on the Europeans embarking on a "radical improvement in military capabilities, with a far more focused policy on defence spending.

"While we cannot say that Bolton's view in any way reflects official US policy, it may be a straw in the wind. From the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, we recently had a report indicating that many of the EU member states were having trouble meeting their existing defence commitments. While between 2001 and 2006, France, Britain and Spain spent more than three percent of gross domestic product on defence, Italy spent only 1.47 percent, and spending in Germany and Sweden sharply declined.

Even more recently, we had seen reports that the French military is in trouble, with most of France's tanks, helicopters and jet fighters are unusable and its defence apparatus on the verge of "falling apart".

Elsewhere on this blog we recorded the difficulties EU member states had in equipping its force for Chad and latterly we concluded that – in terms of military performance, the idea of European defence was an "unrealisable dream".Despite this, we have seen continued attempts by the EU to create a "European Army" – but all that actually amounts to is a "dedicated military headquarters", more structures and oversight of the military function by the EU parliament.

. . . For some member states . . . the objective of pooling military structure is to spend less money on defence.

Going back in history, one must recall that one of the greatest supporters of the nascent European "project" – in the fifties and sixties – was the US government, with CIA money being channelled into the European Movement. Not least, the US then saw in a united Europe a bastion against the emerging threat of Communism which threatened to engulf the whole of Europe.

Now, if Bolton is seeing the EU defence ambitions as a threat, he cannot be the only influential American to take that view. This may reflect the assiduous work of a number of British teams who have been over to the States, working through right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation – warning them of the dangers.

As did it help the EU on its way, therefore, there is now a glimmer of hope that the US could be instrumental in prising away the UK from the "project", having seen – at last – that the EU represents a danger to the interests of democracy and global security.

Read the entire post. NATO as it is has significant, possibly existential problems. Most NATO nations other than Britain do not field a functional military and most NATO members are not fully supporting the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Moreover, given the anti-democratic nature of the EU, having all of the member nation’s forces integrated and under EU central control could prove problematic down the road for any states whose restive populations decide they no longer want to be part of the grand socialist experiment that is the EU.

At any rate, we are nearing the end of Britain's chances to sidestep the transfer of their sovereign rights to the EU. Much will be decided by week’s end.


vinny said...

The EU might be the realization of dreams of the UN. Corrupted politicians and tyrants with ability to enforce their dumb proclamations. Perhaps the focus of EU will also become to blame the Jews for all of mankind's ills. What a nightmare.

Joanne said...

All I know is it is an act of treason on the part of the Labour party. They do not have the right to transfer Britain's sovereignty to the EU as it would not be the Queen's right either.

Britain belongs to the people, and if the people continue to look blankly from the sidelines without snapping out of it, they may not live long enough to regret it because it will be the death of all things British.