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November 2014

To extricate ourselves from the European Union (aka “The Empire of Lies”) there is a "ready made, 'off the peg' solution." Transcript of a Campaign for an Independent Britain Workshop held in Derby on 11 July 2014.

The Norway Option

EDWARD SPALTON

 

In the Sunday Telegraph of 28 July 2013, a Mr. John Lidstone wrote:

From 1961 to 1972, as part of a team of key businessmen, I spoke to meetings throughout Britain arguing the case for the United Kingdom to join for trade purposes what was then known as the European Common Market. The case for enjoying the benefits of favourable access to a market place of millions of  people was overwhelming. Had Ted Heath, the chief negotiator, told the British people  what the long term consequences of joining the EU would be, I and my team would never have supported such a policy.

Perennial mendacity

Mr. Lidstone and many like him were deceived. You often hear people say “We joined a common market – not a superstate” or words to that effect. But, in fact, the objective of the EU project was always to create a single European government and polity into which the member states would be dissolved. Mr Heath and every British government before and since has always known that.

The Foreign Office knew too and advised the government in 1971 in document ref FCO 30/1048 how to deal with the well foreseen consequences when people realised what was happening:

The transfer of major executive responsibilities to the bureaucratic Commission in Brussels will exacerbate popular feelings of alienation from government. To counter this feeling, strengthened local and regional democratic processes within member states and effective Community economic and social policies will be essential.... there would be a major responsibility on HM Government and on all political parties not to exacerbate public concern by attributing unpopular policies to the remote and unmanageable workings of the community.

That advice, of course, remained an official secret for thirty years but is the policy followed by every government since.  You will note that the officials recommended things like devolution and regional government to distract people from the fact of their powerlessness before "the remote and unmanageable workings of the community."

A remote, unmanageable and therefore undemocratic form of government was always the intention of the policy and it was the intention that people should be deceived about it until it was too late for them to do anything about it.

Revolution by stealth

This always was a project by the political elite to subvert democratic government and replace it with a European technocratic government which would not have to bother about public opinion. In Design for Europe (1947) Peter Thorneycroft, later Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chairman of the Conservative party wrote:

No government dependent on a democratic vote could possibly agree in advance to the sacrifice that any adequate plan must involve. The British people must be led slowly and unconsciously to the abandonment of their traditional economic defences ... not asked.

So our country which had just fought a world war, spending all of its treasure and much of its blood ostensibly for democratic government, was to be led “slowly and unconsciously” into a completely different sort of state — and which its promoters assumed to be self-evidently good. Certainly since 1972, every piece of British government policy must be seen against this background — a process which has been a series of enabling Acts, cancelling our traditional liberties and constitution. Our Irish colleague, Dr Anthony Coughlan, called the most recent Treaty of Lisbon “A Constitutional Revolution by Stealth.” It overrides Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, Queen, Lords and Commons and is described in pages 16 to 21 of our booklet A House Divided. This alien law is our country's supreme constitution.

Government by proxy

I woke up to what was going on rather before Mr. Lidstone because I was in the grain and animal feed trade. Britain had enjoyed a policy of free trade in food with the whole world since the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 — a sensible policy, keeping down the cost of living for an increasingly urban population. At the stroke of midnight on 31 December 1972, we were catapulted into the strange world  of the Common Agricultural Policy — a sort of siege economy with vastly higher prices, cut off from our traditional, reasonably priced  suppliers in the Commonwealth.  The experience of entering this alien new policy was not unlike emigrating without having to leave home. It was accompanied by a massive increase in officialdom.

You may find agriculture a boring subject but we all eat and the policy is intimately connected with your wallet. It is still the EU's biggest policy and consumes 30% of the budget. In the time taken by this short presentation it will have cost the UK around £600,000  in tax alone.

Since 1973, although we still have a government department responsible for agriculture, it is the agent of the real government in Brussels. Mark Leonard, a great supporter of the EU project, had the rights of it when he wrote in How the EU deceives its way to power:

Like an invisible hand, the EU operates through existing political structures. There are no European courts, legislatures or business regulations on display in London. The British House of Commons, British law courts and British civil servants are still there  but they uphold and implement European law.

By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, Europe can envelope countries without becoming a target for hostility.

Well, up to a point, Mr. Leonard! The EU project is now so blatant and so obviously anti-democratic that it can no longer be concealed. UKIP's remarkable achievements in the recent elections show that people in the wider public are beginning to wake up to it.

Beyond Brussels to a changing world

It is now no longer our task just to reveal the moral, democratic, political and indeed financial bankruptcy of the EU project, but to raise our eyes to what life can be like outside it and to plan for it. The independence movement never was composed of “Little Englanders” or of xenophobes. We are not “anti-Europe,” only against being governed by the European Union. We aspire to have a cordial and neighbourly relationship with people in other European countries — people who seem to be starting to share some of our own misgivings about the EU!

The world has changed a great deal since 1973, since the government outsourced negotiations on all our trade arrangements with the outside world to the EU. There is now a complex network of international regulations and regulatory bodies under which the free movement of goods in the global market place becomes possible. Britain's businesses and their employees need to be assured that their goods and their jobs will be at no disadvantage in that market place when Britain does become independent.

The way these regulations are made has changed over the years. Peter Lilley explained the old system like this: The British government goes to Brussels fiercely determined to resist a new proposal, finds itself in a minority of one and caves in. Then it comes back to Parliament and presents this new proposal enthusiastically as if it were the government's own idea. Peter Lilley likened this to a cuckolded husband accepting the fruit of his wife's infidelity as his own child to avoid admitting the humiliation of the real position. 

The press, even the euro-critical press, were either too lazy or too strictly disciplined to report the true situation and lay bare the government's powerlessness and shame. Time and again we wrote to the papers, pointing out that what they called a “new government initiative” was nothing of the sort but  an EU initiative.

EU as errand boy: passé and obstructive

Now this process has moved up a gear. A few months ago, the papers announced a “New EU Initiative” to improve the safety of vehicles with regard to things like the siting of wing mirrors on vehicles, the positioning, size and brightness of lights and indicators, removal of blindspots etc.. And the report was true as far as it went.

But the EU had not made the new regulations. It was only the errand boy. The regulations had been made by a little-known body called UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). I am indebted to Dr. Richard North of the blog eureferendum.com for charts which show the true situation now. Regulation today is more and more on a global basis and the EU is only a bit part player which actually keeps Britain off the top table where the real decisions are made. The EU Commission merely transposes the decisions of UNECE and other bodies into law and Britain never gets a chance to put its own views to UNECE.

International entanglements

If you look inside your car, you will see many different components and, if you check further, you would be surprised how many different countries they had come from. If your friend bought the same model of car six months later, you could well find that the same components were still there but coming from yet different countries. It is international standardisation and regulation which makes this global market place possible. It also plays a big part in safety so that, for instance, the bolts which hold a jet engine onto an aeroplane's wing are strong enough for the job.

Then there is the international legal framework within which aeroplanes fly between different countries, have access to their airspace and use of the landing and airport facilities. This is all now conducted under EU Regulation (EC) 847/2004 by which the air travel became an EU competence — something which involved the amendment of around 1500 treaties between EU countries and third countries, and some 45 so-called “horizontal agreements” negotiated by the EU itself. Again I am indebted to Dr. North for this information and have his most recent report here.

In the Derby Telegraph of Wednesday July 9, a Mr Guy Dickinson asserted of our EU membership: “Our own sovereign parliament can at any time repeal the British legislation. It can be done in the twinkling of an eye.” If he were right (which he isn't) and Parliament did as he suggests it can, then Britain itself and all British airlines would no longer be in all these EU agreements under which access to foreign skies and airports are available- “in the twinkling of an eye.” Legally the UK airline fleet would be grounded until HM government got round to renegotiating all those treaties — a skill which the Foreign Office has not had to exercise for years.

There are essentially three main ways to leave the EU:

  • To do as Mr Dickenson suggests — simply leave and rely on the rules of the World Trade Organisation and the fact that “they sell more to us than we do to them” to ensure continuing trade — supposedly on terms as favourable as at present. That is extremely risky and a recipe for chaos, as I have just demonstrated — and that's only one case of hundreds, possibly thousands of agreements negotiated during our EU membership over the last forty years.
  • To do as Switzerland has done and negotiate a whole series of treaties with the EU on a case by case basis. This has taken the Swiss 16 years to achieve. I doubt whether the British electorate would accept so long a delay, if they had just voted “out” in a referendum. We could not cease to be an EU member until the negotiations were complete. It is not a practicable way for a quick, clean change to a relationship outside the political structure of the EU. In any case the EU is not satisfied with the Swiss arrangement and is demanding further changes
  • To stay as we are in the European Economic Area (EEA) whilst leaving the EU political structure. The EEA  is really the “Common Market” part of the EU. We resign from the political structure by giving notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is the relationship which Norway has and which you will see described later in the film.(1) It is a ready made, “off the peg” solution taking into account all the things like the use of airspace and the increasingly global standards of market regulation.

It completely removes the supposed danger to “three million jobs” — our enemies strongest argument — because we would enjoy exactly the same access to the EU Single Market as we do now. Some 20,000 EU regulations and directives would cease to apply, leaving about 5,000 — many of which are necessary for world trade anyway. We also have the power to refuse any new directives, as the Norwegians have done recently. They kept their Royal Mail as a public service and did not privatise it, as we were forced to do.

It is not ideal of course but it is a working relationship which is very prosperous for Norway. As something which already exists and works, it is not a leap in the dark. So it would be far easier to persuade people in a referendum when they can be credibly assured that their jobs are safe.

 

FOOTNOTES

(1) The Norway Option is an eye-opening documentary relating how Norwegians prosper within the EEA, while still being able to veto EU Regulations considered detrimental to Norway’s self-governance. This must see DVD is available for £11.95 (p&p inc. - cheques payable to "Peter Troy The Publicist Ltd") from:

4 The Cottages, Rushyford, Co Durham DL17 0LN.

Or purchase online at www.the-publicist.co.uk/ .

For further information contact Peter Troy on 08007747651. Or email: thenorwayoption@the-publicist.co.uk.

 

 

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