British expat in France promotes UK exit from EUtopia
Political Democracy in our western tradition is essentially the active consent of the people to the government which rules over them. It comprises, in essence, the ability to dismiss any tier of government from office by means of the ballot box, at regular intervals.
Traditionally in the UK and other democracies we hold elections for each tier of government every x years – for local, county, regional or national levels – the national level being the supreme level capable of framing the laws by which we live and do business.
With the advent of the EU, that system has been radically undermined. According to the Lisbon Treaty by which the EU now operates, national law is subject to EU law. Subject in both the forming of law and in the judicial consideration of the law.
UK courts -indeed the courts of any member country of the EU – are required to observe EU law as paramount. Indeed the EU’s Court – the European Court of Justice [E.C.J.]- has the final say. The UK’s Supreme Court is not supreme when it comes to any matter on which the EU has legislated or ruled.
Nor is the UK Parliament. It is variously estimated that 60% to 80% of all UK law is now directly derived from EU Directives and Regulations. [A Directive gives national parliaments the aim which they are obliged to translate into their own national law; a Regulation is immediately applicable across the EU as law].
So, neither national government, nor its Parliament, has any choice in the matter. A federal system has in fact been created without actually asking the people of Europe for permission. The last time an attempt was made to get electoral support for an EU federal system – the European Constitution in 2005 – the attempt failed.
When the national electorates in France and Holland said ‘NO’ in 2005 – effectively killing the proposal – the EU simply circumvented these democratic decisions. They changed the format and went ahead with the Lisbon Treaty which is now in force. That only needed the national governments to agree. The will of the people was not sought.
The Lisbon Treaty is the Constitution dressed up in different guise. Not my view. That is the verdict of the Chairman of the Constitution’s drafting committee, former French President Valery Giscard D’Estaing. He made this crystal clear in an article in the French newspaper, Le Monde, dated the 26th October 2007.
There he states explicitly that all the Lisbon Treaty changed was
the legal format of the text
omitting the symbols of the EU [flag etc which they kept anyway]
the way the text could be adopted by members states – by Treaty, obviating the need for popular approval [he actually points that out !]
He stated all this quite explicitly because the average Le Monde reader ardently supports the EU project – Le Monde is the French equivalent of the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
But where do EU ‘laws’ come from ? Are they not democratically arrived at ?
EU laws are framed by the EU’s Commission – that is its Civil Service. That Commission is headed by a Commissioner from each member state. As Commissioners they are required to put the EU project before their own national view. Inevitably, therefore, they are posts held by adherents of the EU project, not by opponents of it. There is an inherent bias.
They agree with the aim of the Project as complete Political and Economic Union where the EU replaces the formerly supreme tier of government in our national democracies. Whole nations are now merely regions in an emerging super State called the European Union.
So the Commission, staffed by adherents of European Union vision, both initiates and frames new ‘laws’. They spend a great deal of time in secrecy doing this, being lobbied all the while by major corporate interests. This is actually the way they operate.
The Council of Ministers and the Parliament can agree or amend EU law, but it is the Commission which acts at the critical stages of initiation and drafting the texts. And the Commission does so with the express purpose of bringing political and economic union. That is also the perspective taken by the ECJ when it considers any legal challenge or issue over EU law.
The Parliament comes into the process once the Commission has done the main work. At that point, the particular law is well advanced and the expectation is its approval. If you have ever seen a session of the EU Parliament voting such laws, you may be left aghast at the way in which it is done. Tomes of laws can be pushed through in minutes, leaving the distinct impression that the Parliament is no more than a ‘rubber stamp’. Of course, it largely comprises MEPs predisposed to the European Project. The Commission has done all the detailed consideration; they have taken time to frame the laws; they are committed to the overall aim: Why should MEPs question too closely what they have done ?
It should be obvious that with a Parliament of 751 MEPs, the UK’s 73 members are in a permanently small minority. Even if they all acted together – which they don’t – Britain’s particular interests can never be adequately taken account of. Yes, alliances can be made between national groups with a similar agenda, but the whole system is predicated on, and works by, viewing matters from a federal or supra national standpoint, not a national perspective.
When it comes to the Council of Ministers from each of the 28 member states, the UK is just one among 28. But the UK is the 2nd largest economy in the EU with 12%-13% of its population. The UK is also one of the top 4 net contributors to the EU budget, annually paying over [in excess of all receipts back from the EU] anywhere from £8 to £11 BILLION each year.
The UK’s importance to the EU is simply not matched by its paltry political influence. Whatever our governments may want to do, they are systemically impeded or prevented. They are obliged to do deals with other nations, thus compromising what they want to do.
Within the EU, the UK government can never act solely in the UK’s particular interests on EU legislation. Yet such legislation must be implemented in the UK, regardless.
If this is really what the people of Europe want, then that is an end of the matter.
But it is not. Witness the EU lobby playing down political union, and the historic votes against when such a proposal was made in 2005.
Institutionally and politically, the EU is not really a democratic system. It is more accurately an Oligarchy comprising the adherents of a Vision, an Ideal. That is perfectly understandable given the inspiration for the idea, but it does not constitute Democracy.