By Hugh Williams (Revised March 2016)
With thanks to Hugh Williams for his kind permission to reproduce his book here.
This booklet was first prepared long before the announcement of the referendum on our membership of the European Union. With that announcement having been made, it has been decided to divide this publication into two parts:
The first part deals with the 101 reasons for leaving the EU;
The second part deals, briefly, with whether or not the deal that Prime Minister David Cameron reached with his fellow EU leaders in February 2016 makes any difference to the arguments for leaving.
Part 1: 101 Reasons for leaving the EU
Let’s start with the EU’s lack of Democracy:
1. Although the people of Britain will be given a referendum on our membership of the European Union, for over forty years, the British people have never been asked if we wanted to be part of a European Union.
2. The EU is a totally undemocratic institution. The rules are made by unelected bureaucrats in the European Commission; they write the laws, get them passed by the almost entirely pro-EU European Parliament – a parliament that has no official opposition – and then impose them on the member states. There is no appeal.
The EU already controls the following areas:
3. Foreign affairs
4. Economic affairs
5. Public health
13. Social affairs
14. Law enforcement
17. The whole plan is for the EU to do away with all the member countries and form just one country, Europe. This would mean...
18. The parliaments of the EU member states would be disbanded as Brussels takes total charge.
19. When we voted in the 1975 Referendum, we were told we were joining a trading agreement. Now that the official documents, concerning our entry in 1973, have been released we have seen that our then Conservative Government had it clearly in mind that we were on a long road to full political union, but ministers were told not to tell the British people. This means that this ever-creeping European Union (the gradual and now almost complete takeover of our country by the EU) has all been done with the full connivance of the British Conservative and Labour Parties and the wholehearted enthusiasm of the Lib Dems.
20. We have been promised chances to leave the EU, but all of the promises have been broken. Firstly, Tony Blair promised us a referendum on the EU constitution in the 2005 General Election manifesto. When this constitution (national straitjacket) went through our Westminster Parliament under the name of the Treaty of Lisbon, that promise was broken, with the total support of the Liberal Democrats.
Secondly, the Conservatives, who were then the official opposition, gave us a cast-iron guarantee that we would be given a referendum on this treaty, but within a few months of being elected, they too had broken their promise over this matter of vital national interest.
It has only been thanks to the growing tide of opposition to the EU dictatorship within Britain that David Cameron has been forced to seek some cosmetic changes on which we are being asked to vote.
21. MEPs cannot initiate legislation. Only the unelected European Commission can do that. There is very little point in having Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The European Parliament is a sham.
22. UK MEPs (of all parties) are powerless to block legislation that is harmful to British interests.
23. MEPs are asked to vote on hundreds of items in an hour. This means that they often get confused as to which measure they are voting for. The MEPs nearly always vote in favour of what the Commission proposes because, as has just been said, most MEPs are pro-EU. Indeed the voting system in the European Parliament is so skewed that legislation is nearly always passed. This has always been the case. If a piece of legislation fails then it comes back again and again until it is passed.
24. There is seldom a proper vote count in the European Parliament. There isn’t even a wish to have a proper vote count. Indeed, the EU Parliament never allows a proper debate.
25. Criticism of the EU is definitely not encouraged in the European Parliament. (See also Reasons 95 to 97.)
26. The British gave democracy to the World. Yet we have abandoned this system (which has proved its integrity over 8 centuries) in favour of the corrupt EU alternative.
27. Acquis Communautaire. This is the Brussels Ratchet which says that, once a national power has been ceded to Brussels, it will never be returned. Indeed this Acquis is just what the Eurocrats want because...
28. “Ever closer union” is what the EU is all about (it is stressed right at the start of the Lisbon Treaty) and “Ever closer union” is what it has always been about; but, of course, not with the approval of the peoples of Europe. This union is being foisted on us by the unelected Brussels bureaucrats and indeed totally contrary to the wishes of people like the Irish, Dutch and French voters, all of whom voted against the EU constitution, (which within a few years had morphed into the Treaty of Lisbon) in three of the rare referendums that were actually granted to EU voters on the subject.
David Cameron may have won us an opt-out from “Ever closer union” but, as at least two serious national newspapers have pointed out (and as I mention at the start of this point) “Ever closer union” is a fundamental principle on which the EU has been built. It is highly unlikely that this opt-out is worth anything at all.
29. The three main political parties refuse to deal honestly with the issue of the EU. They always focus on national issues, and never on the far more important issue of who actually governs us. They are frightened to let you know just how much the EU bosses them about.
30. With the EU making so many of our laws, there is little point worrying about the national policies of any of the British political parties. This is because, when in government, they have to dance to the EU’s tune, not to the one they present in their manifesto. Once we can return our seat of government to Westminster and make UK law superior to EU law, only then it will make sense to have a full presentation and debate about the different manifestos.
31. Two fundamental principles have been destroyed by our membership of the EU:
a. The hard-won right to elect and dismiss those who make our laws. This right has gone because we no longer elect the people who make our laws. The Brussels Bureaucrats who do so are unelected.
b. We have given our UK Parliament, and only that Parliament, the right to make our laws. But this right has been given by our UK Parliament to a foreign power, without our permission, and all the while the three main political parties pretend that they have not done this.
32. We, in Britain, are simply powerless to change any EU law. With 9% of MEPs the maths simply does not work in favour of national interests and wishes because you need 30% to block new EU laws. This is called Qualified Majority Voting (QMV). And, if we wish to use David Cameron’s “Red Card”, we have to get 55% of the member states to agree with us before any action will be considered.
With our own MPs in Westminster powerless to change, or prevent, EU law being enacted, all we can do is the bidding of our EU dictators. On top of this...
33. …If we don’t put EU law into effect we face huge fines from Brussels.
34. No law passed in Brussels has ever been overturned by the UK Parliament. For example...
35. The British Government can no longer ban live animal exports. It does not take too much imagination to visualise the suffering caused to these dumb creatures on the journeys which usually last for thousands of miles across Europe. But Westminster can do nothing about it.
36. The only appeal is to the European Court of Justice (which meets in Luxembourg) but no appeal will ever work because the Court must always find in favour of “ever-closer union”. Democracy is not what the EU is about...
37. As if to prove this, a junior government minister was heard to say in early October 2010. “I am coming round to the Eurosceptic point of view about the EU. Whenever I go to Brussels to negotiate the British position, I am allowed three minutes to make a prepared statement, as are all the other 27 ministers. None of it makes a blind bit of difference. What is decided is what the Commission has already decreed long before the national ministers turn up. There is no debate. No negotiation. It’s all a stitch-up”. So there we have it from the horse’s mouth.
Here are just some of the over one hundred thousand rules that the EU has imposed upon us
38. European Arrest Warrant. This means that you can be extradited to another EU state at the whim of a foreign judge and our legal system is powerless to do anything about it. And this is no mere threat; it has already happened to hundreds of UK citizens, with precious little reporting about it in the Press. This growing list of extreme injustices proves just how totally unjust this EU law is; and it’s an EU law to which the Labour Government, that was in power between 1997 and 2010, signed us up; and are proud of having done so.
39. Prisoners getting the right to vote.
40. Money Laundering Regulations. All that palaver when we want to change our bank account or appoint a new accountant. It all comes from the EU.
41. Inefficient Light Bulbs. These so-called eco-friendly bulbs that are so dim when switched on and never last for as long as we are told they will. In addition, they contain so much mercury that, if you break one, you should vacate the room immediately and leave all the windows open for fifteen minutes while the deadly poisonous vapour disperses. All thanks to the EU.
42. Thousands of Post Office Closures. Again thanks to the EU’s regulations.
43. Rubbish Collection. The new way we have to leave out our rubbish is an EU imposition with heavy fines for our councils if we don’t obey their laws. And there are even rumours that some of what we sort so diligently for recycling never even gets recycled.
44. Health and Safety Regulations. We signed up to that raft of legislation as we joined in 1973.
45. Value Added Tax has replaced the UK’s Purchase Tax. VAT is an EU tax.
46. Political Correctness. All of this (never daring to, for example, “call a spade a spade”, or using phrases like “nitty gritty”) is part and parcel of the EU’s dominating culture.
Let’s look at some further effects of the EU’s dictatorial regime
47. While bandying statistics can be risky, even EU officials have declared that over 70% of our national laws already come from Brussels.
48. Brussels issues, on average, nine new laws or regulations every day.
49. The Common Agricultural Policy gobbles up £65billion of our money, yet farm incomes continue to fall. We are told that this money helps our farmers. Poppycock! It is actually paid to our farms whether they produce anything or not! In addition, the farming community is now under such stress that, on average, there is one farm suicide every week.
50. New Zealand butter, which is virtually subsidy-free and, after being shipped half-way around the world, is cheaper on our supermarket shelves than EU brands. The Common Agricultural Policy really stinks, doesn’t it?
51. Certain areas in the UK, for example the South West, are no longer meant to be used for farming. Brussels has designated it (the whole region) for tourism. There is a map in Brussels where this is clearly set out. Farmers in Devon are not meant to be farming.
Costs of membership
52. It costs us about £54 million every working day (an average of £14 billion every year between 2013/14 to 2019/20) just to belong. (Figures were provided by H M Treasury in January 2015.)
53. It is reckoned to cost a further £220 million every day (£80 billion a year) simply complying with EU regulations.
54. Any EU funding that we receive has to be match-funded by our government and we can only ever receive up to 50% of what we pay to the EU...
55. …This means that every EU-funded project costs us one and a half times what it would cost if we simply paid for it all ourselves.
56. What we spend on our membership of the EU could be better spent on schools, hospitals and the police. That’s the equivalent of £250 that you, personally, and I are paying every year simply to belong to this club that we never voted for. It’s enough for 50 brand-new fully-equipped 800 bed hospitals every year.
57. And remember, the money the EU doles out to us is not them being generous. It was our money in the first place. They are simply giving some of our own money back.
58. The EU wants to run this country by means of twelve regional authorities, all reporting direct to Brussels.
59. As one region in 250 throughout Europe, do you think that, for example, the people living in the South West of England - the Euro region known as UK “K” - will ever be listened to?
60. The county of Devon (as well as those of Cornwall and the rest of them) is set to disappear as the regions take over.
61. All this talk of regional assemblies by both the Press as well as the present government is a smokescreen for European regional assemblies. We are told that we, the British people, want regions. This is poppycock again! “Poppycock” because we have simply never been asked! The EU is determined to dominate and emasculate our national government, by dividing up the member countries through this creeping regionalisation.
62. If you doubt my word that this is happening, next time you visit cities like Exeter, look at the sign as you drive in. No longer is Exeter the Cathedral City of Devon, it is the European Regional Capital. The European regional institution that has already been set up in Exeter is costing us taxpayers £5million a year to run.
The end of the nation state
63. If we let regionalisation develop as the EU wants, England will not have the consolation of still being the name of a region. It will have disappeared. England will be split up into the outlines we can already see clearly drawn on the Brussels map and in which we vote in the elections for the EU Parliament. Do you want England to disappear – without your even being consulted? Indeed...
64. The map of Europe in Brussels no longer mentions England as a country.
65. You may think that Scotland and Wales are countries but, according to Europe, they are simply regions.
66. The EU wants to do away with all EU monarchies.
67. The EU wants to abolish all national identities, even suggesting that, for example, the South of England should be merged with the North of France to form a new super region called the Trans Manche region.
The threat to our financial independence
68. For many years the EU has been trying to take control of the UK’s financial centre, the City of London. The City of London (the largest financial centre in the world) provides over 12% of our GDP, £52 billion of tax, and 1.1 million jobs in this country. The City has played an incredibly important part of our economy, and its performance has often turned a negative balance of trade into a positive balance of payments. Without the City of London our nation’s finances would be sunk.
David Cameron says that, as a result of his agreement, he has protected the City, but this protection is only against the financial regulations that the EU impose on the Eurozone.
Needless to say the City of London is against the UK joining the Euro.
69. On top of this, the EU has now imposed a Financial Transaction Tax, but only in the EU, which will make the whole of the EU even more uncompetitive in a global market. 800 years ago, Magna Carta enshrined the principle of “No taxation without representation” – the EU has simply done away with that concept. We now pay taxes to the EU but have no say in how the money is spent.
Corruption in the EU
70. The EU is riddled with corruption. In 1998 every single EU Commissioner had to resign because of endemic EU corruption. There is a culture of systemic greed and denial of any sense of responsibility on the Brussels gravy train.
71. The European Union’s finances are corrupt. Its accounts have not passed audit for the past twenty years (1994 to 2013). If you or I did such a thing we would fall foul of the EU’s Money Laundering Regulations and be put in prison. But not our European dictators; they simply get clear away with this corruption and scandal. But it’s worse than this…
72. Anyone who works at a position of responsibility in the European Union enjoys a life-time’s immunity from prosecution. So they can never be punished for these crimes. We are told that European law protects its citizens. Well, it does. It protects criminals from ever being punished, just so long as they are committing crimes in the name of the EU.
73. And to prove this, in May 2004 the European Parliament voted not to punish those guilty of European corruption.
74. In 1997 I asked (the now late) Sir Leon Brittan if it were true that, at that time, our gold and currency reserves were being transferred to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. He said that they were. Don’t you think we should have been told?
75. The EU is fundamentally anti-Christian. The EU’s School Diary for 2011 marked all the religious festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, Mohammedans, Jews, and Chinese BUT NOT FOR Christians. Neither Christmas nor Easter was mentioned. When objections were raised, the EU officials responsible replied by saying they would solve this problem by ensuring that the next year’s diary had no religious festivals marked at all! Added to this, Baroness Ashton, the (then) EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, announced in February 2011 that it is no longer politically correct to use the word “Christian”. It should also be noted that the move to legalise so-called “Gay marriage” emanates from the EU.
The Treaty of Lisbon (the EU’s constitution)
76. The Treaty of Lisbon has one lethal aspect to it. It is self-amending which means the EU can now do whatever it wants. No further treaties (sic) will ever need to be passed by national referendums again.
77. Having accepted the new Constitution, unless we vote to leave, we are effectively locked in forever. Do you feel happy that you, your children, grandchildren, successors etc. are now bound to such a prospect?
78. Having ratified the Treaty of Lisbon, and despite the reassurances given by both Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and David Cameron, that we will never give up the pound, thanks to a measure passed overwhelmingly by our MPs in March 2011, we are still in grave danger of losing the pound and adopting the Euro. This was because the Treaty of Lisbon says that the currency of the EU shall be the Euro; so using the Euro is now a condition of EU membership. It is unlikely we will be able to remain outside the Euro for much longer.
79. Once locked into the Euro there would be no escape. The pound will have gone forever.
If we left the EU
80. If we left the EU, we would naturally sign a trade deal with the EU, just like over 90 other countries have already done.
81. At the same time we would also benefit our loyal Commonwealth friends by being able to buy more from them and at terms we negotiate with them directly.
82. If we left the EU and simply enjoyed a trading relationship with our European neighbours, we would not lose jobs. The simple reason why this is so is that we buy so much from the EU, they could not afford to lose us as customers of theirs and therefore they would be bound to keep us as suppliers to them as well. Please do not be fooled into thinking that we would suffer, if we were able to leave.
83. The two European countries that are not part of the EU, Norway and Switzerland, are among the richest on the Continent. So, again, here is a clear indication that we would not suffer if we were to come out. Even Neil Kinnock has stated that, if we were to come out of Europe, we would suffer no trade tariffs.
84. If we left the EU we could change the practice of having to mark our goods with labels of dubious worth.
85. It is a little known fact that the citizens of Switzerland (not an EU country) export four times as much per head of population to the EU as do the citizens of the UK. This shows that one does not need to be in the EU to export successfully to the EU.
The EU is now a country in its own right
86. France has called for the EU to set up its own army and recently the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the same. If you doubt that the new constitution heralds the arrival of a single country called Europe, does not the existence of an EU army imply that that single country called the EU has already been born? ...
87. As does the arrival of a European President and also...
88. The EU now has an unelected European Foreign Minister called the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. He has a large salary of over £300,000 and the department, the EU’s Foreign Service (the EU External Action Service voted for by the Conservative Government, please note) has the following: a £6 billion budget; a workforce of 7,000; a network of 137 embassies; 46 diplomats in the Caribbean; a head office costing £10.5 million with a £32 million fleet of bullet-proof limousines. None of which is needed because this service simply duplicates what is already being done by the member states. (The plan is so clearly a key part of doing away with and replacing the member states.) Not only was this EU Foreign Service voted for by Conservative MEPs; the Conservative Party rubbed salt in the nation’s wounds by selling their former headquarters in Smith Square in London to the EU so that the new EU embassy in London could be based there.
89. The European Central Bank – another clear sign that the EU regards itself as a country.
EU waste and destruction
90. There are so many members of the EU now that the costs of translating the proceedings of the institutions has escalated exponentially from £200 million when there were 15 members to close to £1billion per year.
91. The EU has two parliament buildings. One in Brussels and the other in Strasbourg, which is used just 48 days a year. It costs £100 million a year to shuttle everything between the two. What a waste of time and money!
92. Yet the European Library is in another place, Luxembourg. It costs £50,000 per book lent. What a waste of money. What madness!
93. The European Fisheries policy results in more perfectly edible fish being thrown back into the sea than are actually landed. Yet this same policy has imposed ever-diminishing quotas to try to restore the depleted fishing stocks this policy is itself creating, throwing thousands of UK fishermen out of work. 9,000 jobs have been lost in the fishing industry since we joined the Common Market in 1973.
94. This same policy – this severe depletion of our fish stocks – is seeing European fishermen moving into African waters and, as a result, they are forcing the locals there out of their own fishing waters and costing them their livelihoods.
Nobody is allowed to criticise the EU
95. Anyone in Brussels who speaks out against what is going on (like Nigel Farage MEP, former MEPs Marta Andreasen and Godfrey Bloom, or Martin Tillack) is punished. They are punished for telling us what is really going on. (See more about Marta Andreasen under Reason no 101.)
96. We are told that, in future, aid will be given to political parties (to help with election expenses etc.) just so long as the parties are pro-European.
97. Criticism of the EU is considered to be blasphemous. The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice gave it as his formal opinion in case C274/99P that “Criticism of the EU is akin to blasphemy and could be restricted without violating freedom of speech”.
How the Labour and Conservative Parties, as well as the Media, do all they can to help the EU
98. No cost-benefit analysis. One would think with all these problems in the EU, with its deep unpopularity in this country; with, until now, the people never having been asked if they want it; with it costing so much just to belong to and with no discernible benefits to be gained from this topsy-turvy arrangement whereby we pay them vast sums for the privilege of being dictated to by them; one would think that it would be sensible for the Government to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of our membership. But, no - All they say is that it is in our nation's interest to belong to the EU. But they never ever say why this is so.
99. Secrecy (Conspiracy?) in the Press and the media. For years, the Press and the media (as well as politicians of the three main parties) have belittled and ridiculed those of us who have tried to protest about the way we hand £55 million per day for the “privilege” of being dictated to. Being sneered at, and on the receiving end of both opprobrium and name-calling have been the lot of the Eurosceptics. Why should that be, unless the Press and the media are part of this same anti-democratic, anti- Christian EU stream roller?
UKIP has been the main recipient of this besmirching with the BBC always and deliberately describing UKIP as “far right.” But why? UKIP is the most cosmopolitan and democracy-loving party there is. All UKIP wants is for our seat of government to be returned to Westminster, where we can vote in our MPs and then get rid of them at the next election if we don’t like what they have done. What is remotely right-wing about that?
Of course one must not overlook the Daily Express campaign that started in December 2010 calling for the UK to leave the EU and, very recently, other papers joining their bandwagon, not to mention a number of MPs and former MPs now saying that they will vote to leave the EU. But why has there been this past mistreatment of the Eurosceptic movement as if they (we) are all part of the great unwashed (and worse)?
This was the scene in 2009, when I was working with a lady to try to get some publicity for Marta Andreasen’s jaw-dropping exposé of the EU in her book “Brussels Laid Bare”. This PR lady tried so hard to promote Marta’s book to the Press but this is what she found. She said:
“I was extremely surprised when I tried to promote Marta's book to the media. There were journalists whom I know quite well and who returned my phone calls with warmth and good will, but the minute I mentioned 'UKIP' they went catatonic and clammed up.
“With general calls, some individuals were sympathetic, but others were almost openly hostile. There seems to be this perception with many that UKIP are part of the 'extreme right', and therefore not to be touched with a barge-pole.
“I guess part of this will be a top-down reaction - who knows what is said by senior editors and managers to their news teams behind closed doors? I certainly think there were signs that both the media and the main political parties were trying to smother UKIP and starve it of political oxygen in the run-up to the election. ”
There can be only one explanation – that the Press have been, and in many cases still are, on the side of the EU.
100. Brussels Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC receives enormous subsidies and loans from Brussels, with the quid pro quo that they will not criticise the EU. This is public knowledge and it was confirmed by one of the BBC’s employees in 2011 when, having been offered some publicity about UKIP, she simply replied “Don’t waste time with me. I work for the Brussels Broadcasting Service.” Why would a BBC employee say that, unless it is true?
And one last mention of EU corruption to end on
101. I have already mentioned Marta Andreasen’s book and it would be no bad thing to give a brief résumé of her story as the last point in this catalogue of EU horrors.
Marta was appointed as the EU’s Chief Accountant in early 2002. She was the first professional accountant ever to be appointed to this top financial role in the EU – which, when you come to think about it, is a dead give-away about how the EU operates.
One of her first tasks was to sign off the 2001 accounts that had been prepared by her predecessor. She realised she had better understand them before signing them off and, on inspection, she discovered a €200 million fraud. So she refused to sign the accounts.
You would expect such a discovery and report to result in thanks and gratitude by the powers-that-be in Brussels but you would be mistaken. Instead of being praised she was suspended – effectively sent to Coventry – for two years, during which time they investigated to see if she was correct.
After two years, they found that she had indeed been correct but, instead of being reinstated, she was summarily sacked - for disloyalty to the EU.
She appealed against her sacking on the basis of wrongful dismissal. The hearing was in November 2006 and she was told that she would be given the decision in the spring of 2007 but it was not until November 2007 that she was told that she had failed. The cruelty that delay involved just shows how the EU treats people who speak the truth about what is really going on in Brussels.
After that she took her case to a higher court in 2010 but, you guessed it, she was turned down again. Clearly the EU does not believe in the truth.
You can read of her jaw-dropping experiences in her book Brussels Laid Bare, published by St Edward’s Press
Part 2: Has the deal that Prime Minister David Cameron reached with his fellow EU leaders in February 2016 made any difference to the arguments for leaving?
In 2013 he said he would ask for:
In 2016 he has been given:
More democratic accountability.
The completion of the single market.
Nothing except more red tape which means even more regulation to come.
No more talk of a two-speed Europe.
By getting the UK this questionable new status, he has deliberately created a two-speed EU.
Power flowing back to the nation states.
Nothing. See point 27 for why he has failed here.
Fairness for those countries that think they are being hard-done by.
We now have a red card system which means that, if the EU passes a law we don’t like, we can now object to it but only if we can get 55% of the members to agree. And of course, the red card system might easily work against us, if others don’t like a measure that we happen to approve of.
With his lack of success in the above five areas…
… He has since asked for:
Minor welfare curbs.
This has been granted but the sums involved are miniscule (less than one day’s average contribution to the EU) and only for a maximum of seven years. No wonder this has been called “pathetic”.
Opt out of Euro.
We had already done that under John Major– but see also point 78 above.
And of “Ever closer union”.
See point 28 above.
Some limit on the free movement of peoples.
But only for those who arrive from outside the EU.
This agreement is both a fudge (he has not got what he set out to get) and a smokescreen to make us think that this represents a great leap forward in getting us a significantly better relationship with the EU. It is nothing of the sort.
David Cameron has totally failed to address the essence of the referendum debate, which concerns this simple question: Do you want to be governed by The United Kingdom Parliament, or The European Union?
Clearly the UK would be better off out of the corrupt, dictatorial and totally undemocratic EU.
We must all vote to leave.