We can either have a future outside the EU or no future worth worrying about inside it.
The Coalition Government has neither the intention of leaving the European Union, nor that of ‘repatriating powers’ from its grasp, writes UKIP MEP Gerard Batten in the Freedom Today magazine.
•The golden rule of politics is to listen to what people say but judge them by what they do. Nowhere is this more important than in relation to the European Union. In Britain, the project of ever closer European political integration has been achieved by our politicians saying one thing but doing another. In 1972 Ted Heath promised to ‘negotiate, no less no more’ then promptly took us into the EEC with no democratic mandate.
I won’t bore my readers with a long reiteration of the lies and deceit that has passed from the lips of every Government since then in order to oil our passage along the long road to the creation of a United States of Europe (now almost complete); but let us turn to the lies being told now and the actions that illuminate them.
Prior to the 2010 General Election, David Cameron made critical noises about the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights because of the outrages they had been responsible for in various cases concerning criminals and terrorist suspects.
As recently as this September he again referred to the subject at the Conservative Party Conference. Some Tory MPs apparently favour complete withdrawal from the Convention and the Court. Mr Cameron said, in relation to that, “It may be that, that is where we end up”. He said he was willing to consider any option to ensure that Britain can remove foreign criminals, adding, “Whatever that takes, we must deliver the outcome”.
Fine fighting words, but look at his actions. Under the Lisbon Treaty the European Union has the power to enter into treaties and international agreements on behalf of its member states, which they are then bound by. The EU is in the process, soon to be completed, of acceding in its own right to the European Convention on Human Rights; thereby binding all its Member States.
In 2011 I wrote to Mr Cameron pointing out that in order for the EU to accede to the Convention it required a unanimous decision of the European Council (Heads of Government); but Britain had a veto and Mr Cameron could stop the accession by simply saying ‘No’. I received a reply from Lord McNally on the Government’s behalf. He wrote that because accession was in the Lisbon Treaty HM Government could not oppose it “as a matter of principle”. Lord McNally went on to say that the EU’s own accession “will not affect the position of the UK or any other EU member state under the ECHR”.
But this is not true. Britain could not, as Mr Cameron seemed to intimate, withdraw from the ECHR as “the place we might end up” because we would be bound to it under the EU’s own accession as one of its vassal member states. Not only that but if the European Commission considered that Britain is in breach of some aspect of it then they themselves will have the power to take us to the European Court of Human Rights.
So Mr Cameron, by allowing his discontented Tory MPs, the diminishing number of Tory Party Members, and the general public to consider that leaving the Convention was somehow an option for the future is promoting a downright lie. Not only has he no power to do so but he deliberately did not take the action that would have given another Government the power to do so in the future.
Yet more lies surround the Government’s intentions towards the growing power of the European system of criminal law that is being created. Most people have now heard of the European Arrest Warrant, but this is just one aspect of a whole expanding body of legal institutions and instruments. We have the right to opt out of all these measures in mid-2014, but if we decide to opt in, then we are powerless henceforward to change our minds.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, made the appropriate noises about keeping only those measures that are in our ‘national interest’. The Government indeed conducted a review of the 135 measures in question and announced that they were to cut back the worst and leave only the necessary 35 or so that we really need. The truth is somewhat different.
The one hundred or so that they will opt out of are those that are those that are redundant, defunct, or replaced by something else. The remainder that they will opt into are in fact the worst and the most dangerous to our freedoms – such as the European Arrest Warrant, and more yet to come.
One of the very first actions that Theresa May took as Home Secretary in 2010 was to opt into the planned European Investigation Order, thereby removing any right to opt out later. When enacted, this measure is intended to give foreign courts and prosecutors the power to order the British police to investigate, search, interrogate and gather evidence against, British citizens; as well as to put us under surveillance, tap communications, monitor bank accounts and take DNA samples and other biometric data. Meanwhile the Government praises itself for a repatriation of powers from the EU.
The old political parties in Westminster are three bodies with one head - and that head is bought and sold. The job of its Parliamentary candidates is just to lie as blatantly as necessary in order to get them over the next electoral hurdle.
There is no real competition in policies or ideas, just in seeing whose backsides are on the seats when the music stops. We can either have a future outside the European Union, or no future worth worrying about inside it.