Why was the European
Union formed? [
There are so few good arguments
for being in the European Union (EU) today that it is hard
to remember why it started. The two most important reasons
belong to the last century and are now out of date.
First, in 1945 the French wanted
to stop the Germans starting another war in Europe. They
thought they could tie Germany down within a union of all
Second, the Americans wanted to support
a bloc in Europe against the threat of the Soviet Union.
EU believers still claim that the EU is crucial to keeping
peace in Europe. But wars are not started by democracies.
They often begin when different nations are forced together.
Yugoslavia is the latest of many examples. Even in the UK,
the recent troubles in Northern Ireland are a horrible reminder
that living under the same roof is no guarantee of a happy
marriage. To cram the British together with the French,
Germans, Italians, Greeks and Spaniards would be asking
A third reason for the EU was the creation
of the Single Market - the duty free exchange of goods and
freedom of travel across Europe. That was a good idea. But
it didn't - and still doesn't - need to lead to a single
government for all of Europe.
Why did Britain join the EU?
It was understandable that Britain
wanted to join the Single Market. However, there was no
need to join the EU and Britain made a big mistake in doing
so. Most people thought that the EU was a natural extension
of the Single Market. They did not realise that, as a result,
Britain would lose its sovereignty and independence.
Can Britain veto decisions
we don't agree with? [
Britain's right to protect itself
has been steadily eroded. We can still block decisions in
a few areas but even these are under threat. In most cases,
Britain can be outvoted by other EU countries. (1)
The House of Commons is then compelled to put the EU's decision
It is not just that Britain often loses
to the other EU countries. We also have to fight the bureaucrats
who work for the EU institutions: the Commission, Council,
Court and Parliament. They are committed to building a single
government for Europe, giving them increasing power over
us. They approach every problem with this goal in mind.
Is there any protection for
minority interests like the UK under European law? [
The EU does have a special Court
to hear this kind of appeal. Unfortunately, it invariably
finds in favour of the 'ever closer union of the peoples
of Europe' as required by the Treaty, rather than protecting
the rights of individual nations.
Britain has a long history of protecting
the rights of its citizens, going back to Magna Carta in
1215. But the EU's new Charter of Fundamental Rights will
override all our legislation.
One key element of our tradition is 'Habeas
Corpus'. This means that British people are treated as innocent
until proven guilty. But the EU has an idea called 'Corpus
Juris' which would destroy our traditions. If an EU country
wants to arrest you, our police would have to give you up
even without any evidence.
Would our trade suffer if
we left the EU? [
There is no need to worry about
future trade with the EU if we withdraw from it. We buy
far more of their goods than they buy of ours. (2)
If trade stopped altogether, the EU countries would lose
far more than we would.
The Germans will still want to go on
selling to us their Mercedes, BMWs and Volkswagens, the
Italians their Fiats and the French their Renaults, wines
and perfumes. We could easily enter into a Free Trade Agreement
with them, because they would be mad not to. Indeed, the
EU has just entered into a Free Trade Agreement with Mexico,
for example, which would suit Britain very well. Even without
negotiating a Free Trade Agreement, the UK would be better
off if we exported to the Single Market from outside the
EU because our contributions to the EU outweigh our trade
advantages by about £2 billion per annum. (3)
Only about 14 per cent of everything
Britain produces (Gross Domestic Product - GDP) is exported
to the EU. This amount is declining and in deficit. Another
14 per cent goes to the rest of the world. The remaining
72 per cent of our GDP is our domestic economy. We should
not let the mangy EU tail go on wagging our healthy UK dog.
They need us far more than we need them. (4)
If we left the EU would we
lose out on its aid to the UK? [
Don't fall for that one. We give to the
EU more than we receive. We pay about £11 billion annually
to the EU from which it gives us back about half. (5)
So there really is no such thing as 'EU aid'. We would be
far better spending our money ourselves, without the costly
and corrupt bureaucratic filter of Brussels. The net amount
of money we give them would buy over 50 hospitals every
year for example. Surely this would be a much better way
of spending our money?
What do we pay our contribution
Much of it is wasted running the absurdly
over-regulated bureaucracy of the EU. The EU is like a paper-making
factory. The number of regulations, directives and legal
acts issued by the EU has increased more than tenfold since
Britain joined and there are now over 25,000 in force. (6)
The EU spends most effort on the least
important subjects. The Ten Commandments run to 300 words
and the American Declaration of Independence to just under
1330. In contrast, the EU directive on the export of duck
eggs runs to over 26,900 words - a time-consuming bureaucratic
blizzard of bumf.
Is it really true that there
is a lot of fraud and corruption in the EU? [
The EU Commission has admitted to fraud
of about £500 million a year (7)
, enough to build 5 hospitals a year in Britain. But experts
in the House of Lords think that the true figure is at least
seven times as much. The EU Court of Auditors refused to
pass the EU accounts for several years and every member
of the Commission had to resign in 1999 because of the scandalous
record. The EU's £7 billion annual foreign aid budget is
also grossly mismanaged; much of the money does not arrive
at its destination. (8)
Have we benefited from the
Common Agricultural Policy? [
The CAP is a complete nonsense.
The EU pays some farmers not to produce food. It pays others
to produce food which is not worth growing. For example,
the EU obliges us to provide only 85 per cent of the milk
we need, while our farmers spray milk onto fields to avoid
exceeding their quota.
The result is that British people pay
more for food than they should. The CAP costs the average
UK family an extra £1000 a year in food costs. We need the
CAP like a hole in the head. (9)
What has happened to our fisheries?
Fishing was the livelihood of thousands
of British workers and indirectly of thousands more. The
EU's Common Fisheries Policy has destroyed most of this.
We can no longer simply catch fish in our waters. Instead,
the EU tells us what we can and cannot catch.
Britain used to own over three quarters
of the fish in EU waters. Now we are allowed to catch only
one third of the EU's fish. (10)
By the end of 2002, all the EU's fishing fleets will be
able to fish in our twelve mile coastal belt.
The Brussels bureaucrats who designed
this absurd policy thought they could conserve fish by limiting
the numbers landed in port. They did not realise that most
fish are dead when they come up in the nets, so millions
of tonnes of fish are thrown back dead into the sea each
year in the name of EU conservation.
Have we benefited from the
EU in any other industries that might compensate for the
loss of our fishing waters? [
On the contrary, the cancerous influence
of Brussels has also affected adversely our waste disposal,
beef, herbal medicines, lorries, dairy farmers, whisky distillers,
market gardeners, cheesemakers, paper rounds, boat builders,
hotels, art market, duty free shopping and many other British
If the EU has its way, will
we still have the capacity to wage war or defend ourselves?
The current plan is for the EU to have
a force of 60,000 soldiers. It will be used only for humanitarian
purposes. But the long term aim of creating a single European
government means that we can expect demands for a single
EU army. In this event, NATO, which has kept the peace in
Europe for many years, would be severely undermined. The
men and women in our armed forces might be required to fight
a war under a French or German general for a cause in which
we do not believe. We might also find it difficult to help
our allies, like America.
Is there another way of continuing
trade preferentially with the Eurozone? [
Norway is a successful example
of this approach. They twice voted against joining the EU
but are still members of the European Economic Area and
enjoy full tariff-free access to the Eurozone. Norway's
exports to the EU have been at record levels since then.
Norway enjoys good relationships with
the EU but does not have to contribute to the EU budget
and is not part of Common Agricultural Policy and Common
Fisheries Policy. Clever Norway!
Is the EU working well? [
Far from it. On average there are twice
as many people unemployed in European countries than in
the USA. (12)
Europe is in fact lagging behind America in every respect.
It has more people out of work. Its people earn lower wages
and suffer higher taxes. It is behind in the key industries
of the future such as the internet.
Britain go it alone? [
Of course we can. Britain is one
of the world's strongest countries. We have the fourth largest
economy in the world. (13)
The City of London is one of the world's leading financial
centres. We sit on the United Nations Security Council with
the world's other leading countries. We founded the Commonwealth
and English is spoken by over one billion people.
This year Britain has twice been voted
the second best place in the whole world to do business.
In a recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Britain's
prospects for the next five years were rated second only
to the Netherlands. Germany and France were 10th and 15th
We lead Europe in the industries of the
future, such as the internet. (15)
Britain has expert knowledge in advanced technology, art,
science, engineering, telecommunications and medicine.
Before too long we would not miss the
EU Single Market. It already costs very little to trade
with most countries around the world. The World Trade Organisation
is aiming to remove the last remaining duties. Trading blocs
like the EU will become a thing of the past. But until then
we should have no difficulty in negotiating a new Free Trade
Agreement with Europe. Because we buy more of their goods
than they do of ours, they would be mad to let us withdraw
On our own we would be free from the
crushing bureaucracy of Brussels and free from having to
pay billions of pounds towards its costs. This money could
be far better spent in our economy.
Britain has had to fight many wars to
preserve the right to govern ourselves. We should not give
up our sovereignty lightly. Our current leaders do not seem
to have grasped that our freedom is at stake. The British
people themselves need to take a stand.
joining EMU more about trade than politics? [
That is what most politicians tell
you. They say that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is
only a commercial project. But in Europe all politicians
accept that it is designed to create a single European government,
with its own foreign and defence policies and its own legal
system. You have only to listen to what some of the key
people in the EU have been saying for years:
A previous President of the EU, Jacques
Delors, said: 'Yes, we have to have transfers of sovereignty
to achieve economic and monetary union.'
More recently, the new President of the
European Commission, Romano Prodi, told the European Parliament:
'We must now face the difficult task of moving towards a
single economy, a single political unity.'
Wim Duisenberg, President
of the European Central Bank, said: 'The process of monetary
union goes hand in hand, must go hand in hand, with political
integration and ultimately political union. EMU is, and
was always meant to be, a stepping stone on the way to a
Hans Tietmeyer, former President
of the German Central Bank, said: 'A country that merges
its currency with that of another currency cannot be politically
Gerhard Schroeder, the new Chancellor
of Germany, said: 'The introduction of the euro is probably
the most important integrating step since the beginning
of the unification process...it is certain that the times
of independent nation states are definitely over...the internal
market and the common currency demand joint co-ordinating
So who do our Euro-enthusiasts think
they are kidding, other than themselves?
Would interest rates fall
if we joined EMU? [
The problem with EMU is that it
allows only one interest rate for 11 diverging economies,
all growing at different rates at different times. The 'one-size-fits-all'
interest rate will never be right for all 11 countries.
At present, the German economy is in
difficulties with unemployment twice that of the UK, while
the Irish economy is booming. The Germans need lower interest
rates to stimulate their economy, while the Irish need higher
rates to avoid a property crash. In EMU, they must both
have the same rate, whether they like it or not.
If the UK joins the Single Currency,
we would certainly be forced to accept an interest rate
(as we had to in the ERM) that would be wrong for our economy.
If it is too low as is currently likely, we would be stoking
If we continue to fix our own interest
rate, our economy will not be put at risk. For this reason,
the Governor of the Bank of England said recently that he
was 'relieved' we did not join the euro when it started.
Personal Tax range
Corp. Tax range %
||10.5 - 59
||15 - 18
||35 - 45
||25 - 35
||10 - 50
||22 - 28
||5 - 45
||35 - 40
||20 - 56
||19 - 46
||30 - 34
||29 - 53
||31 - 56
||7 - 60
||5.5 - 56
||15 - 40
||5.2 - 47
||11 - 13
||11 - 14
||40 - 58
||24 - 46
||20 - 40
||3 - 10
Scource : Calculations of
based on OCED Reveue Statistics1965-1997 Edition 1998.
See also Global Competitiveness
Report 1999, World Economic Forum, p.91.
Will our taxes go down if
we join EMU? [
You may have been told that our
taxes will be left alone if we join EMU, but take no notice.
The true position was clearly stated by someone who ought
to know - Hans Tietmeyer, the former President of Germany's
Central Bank. He said: 'A European currency will lead to
member nations transferring their sovereignty over financial
and wage policy, as well as in monetary affairs. It is an
illusion to think that states can hold on to autonomy over
taxation policy.' Very recently, the French government announced
that tax harmonisation was a priority for its Presidency
of the EU. If this happens our taxes will go up by over
18 per cent. (16)
Believe it or not, at present the UK
has the lowest taxes in Europe and is a comparative tax
haven. Britain's corporation tax for business is 30 per
cent and is the lowest of any major industrialised country
in the world. The EU average is about a third as much again.
The countries using the Single
Currency cannot reduce their tax burden in the future because,
unlike Britain, they have not set aside enough for their
pensions. Britain has more money put aside in private pensions
than the rest of the EU put together. (17)
If France and Germany do not take action,
they will find themselvs spending more and more on pensions
as their populations get older. This will require even higher
Europe's leaders are openly arguing for
control of Britain's tax policies. The European Commission
already has plans to impose VAT at a uniform rate of between
15 per cent and 25 per cent on all goods, including children's
clothes, books, newspapers, travel fares, new houses, and
food, all of which are at present exempt in Britain. If
we want to keep low taxes, we have to stay out of EMU.
Would joining EMU help our
inflation rate? [
Only if you want to double it! At present
the UK's inflation rate of under 1 per cent a year is the
lowest in Europe and is about half the European average.
What will happen to our pensions
if we join EMU? [
Like most things in the EU it will
cost us dearly. At present, UK pensions are the best funded
in Europe. By 2030, Germany will have to spend three times
as much as us just to keep their pensions at their present
As populations age, this pensions timebomb
in Europe will lead to either reduced benefits or higher
taxes. If we join EMU, there is an obvious danger that we
will end up, one way or another, having to make substantial
contributions to the pensions deficits of Germany, France
What will happen to
our gold reserves if we join EMU? [
This is one of the many reasons why joining EMU would
They will be transferred to the
European Central Bank which will 'hold and manage
the official reserves of the Member States'. For the
UK, this would mean surrendering control of our gold
reserves of £28 billion. (
Is it true that foreign investment
into the UK would suffer if we did not join the Single Currency,
and that jobs would be lost? [
Foreign investors know what they
are doing. They are attracted to the UK because we have
by far the lowest business taxes in Europe and a reliable
workforce. We also have considerably less regulation and
bureaucracy and we are comparatively free of corruption.
In addition, we speak the world's most popular commercial
language - already 80 per cent of all electronically stored
information is in English. (20)
We continue to receive the lion's share
of inward investment in the EU. Last year we received twice
as much inward investment as France and three times as much
as Germany. (21) Our share has not
been affected by foreign investors already knowing that
the majority of the British people are against joining the
euro. Companies like Honda, Vauxhall, Marconi and Ford have
all announced big investments in Britain because of our
much more favourable business climate.
There will undoubtedly be a new Free
Trade Agreement with Europe if we don't join EMU and leave
the EU. The interests of present and future investors would
be fully protected, so they will go on investing in the
Would joining EMU help reduce
Many trade unionists have now realised
that 'EMU' also stands for 'Even More Unemployment'. Countries
using the Single Currency have a much higher unemployment
rate than Britain. Since we left the ERM, Britain has created
more jobs than the rest of the EU put together.
Did we learn anything from
our membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner
of EMU? [
One crucial lesson - it is absolutely
vital to keep control of our own interest rates. Our two
year membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was
disastrous for Britain. It cost one million jobs and made
100,000 businesses bankrupt. Since we were liberated from
the ERM by market forces the British economy has prospered
far better than Europe.
Last year the UK overtook France as the
world's fourth largest economy. We achieved this since leaving
the ERM, because we have had the right level of interest
rates for our economy and the right exchange rate for developing
our world trade. This would not have been possible within
the Single Currency.
If EMU is such bad news for
the UK, why does the Prime Minister, some leading politicians,
and a number of leading businessmen argue in its favour?
The Prime Minister is no longer content
with his role as Mr UK. He wants to play the political game
on a bigger stage and sees himself as Mr Europe. ( See ...
Of Dr David Kelly )
The Conservatives took us into
the EU. Like most politicians, they are not very good at
admitting their mistakes. They also fear that a movement
to withdraw now would be seen as too right wing and would
frighten the voters. They are wrong about this too - polls
indicate that, if forced to choose, more British people
would vote to leave the EU than join EMU. This is in spite
of being told for 25 years that the EU is vital to the national
interest. If a fraction of the money spent on propaganda
had been spent on explaining the 'get-out' case properly,
popular support for it would be overwhelming.
Businessmen who support EMU are in the
main from big global businesses. Independent surveys show
that only a quarter of all UK businessmen want to adopt
the euro. Three quarters want to keep the pound. Most small
to medium-sized businesses are against the euro and it is
they who are today's job creators.
The businessmen who say they like the
Single Market are usually just expressing their belief in
free trade, which could in any event be preserved by negotiating
a Free Trade Agreement if we left the EU.
If EMU is such bad news, why
are France and Germany keen on it? [
As in the UK, you have to distinguish
between the politicians and the people. After a tremendous
amount of Government spending on the case for EMU, European
France voted against Maastricht. Those in favour reached
just over 50 per cent because of votes from Guadeloupe and
In Germany, there is growing disquiet
as unemployment continues to be a major problem and as the
mark falls in value with the euro.
Can you think of any argument
in favour of the Single Currency? [
Not on balance. There are three main
points in its favour but there are far more against. There
would be some savings on business transaction costs. It
would be easier to compare European prices with our own.
We would not need to incur the cost of changing pounds into
other Eurozone currencies. However, when put on the scales
against being forced to accept the wrong interest rate for
the UK, the loss of exchange rate flexibility, higher taxes,
higher unemployment costs and massively increased regulation
and bureaucracy, there is an overwhelming case against joining.
At some point in the future,
can we leave EMU, like we left the ERM, if it does not work
out well for us? [
No, if we join EMU, it will be
irreversible. We will lose the pound, our gold reserves
and domestic monetary control forever. EMU is the ERM without
the escape hatch.
The nightmare will be permanent. It will
be no good saying: 'What a shame - I wish I had thought
about it a little more before I cast my vote.'
01. Why was the European Union formed?
02. Why did Britain join the EU?
Britain veto decisions we don't agree with?
04. Is there any protection for minority interests
like the UK under European law?
05. Would our trade suffer if we left the EU?
06. If we left the EU would we lose out on its aid
to the UK?
07. What do we pay our contribution for?
08. Is it really true that there is a lot of fraud
and corruption in the EU?
09. Have we benefited from the Common Agricultural
10. What has happened to our fisheries?
11. Have we benefited from the EU in any other industries
that might compensate for the loss of our fishing waters?
12. If the EU has its way, will we still have the
capacity to wage war or defend ourselves?
13. Is there another way of continuing trade preferentially
with the Eurozone?
14. Is the EU working well?
15. Can Britain go it alone?
16. Isn't joining EMU more about trade than politics?
17. Would interest rates fall if we joined EMU?
18. Will our taxes go down if we join EMU?
19. Would joining EMU help our inflation rate?
20. What will happen to our pensions if we join
21. What will happen to our gold reserves if we
22. Is it true that foreign investment into the
UK would suffer if we did not join the Single Currency,
and that jobs would be lost?
23. Would joining EMU help reduce unemployment?
24. Did we learn anything from our membership of
the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner of EMU?
EMU is such bad news for the UK, why does the Prime Minister,
some leading politicians, and a number of leading businessmen
argue in its favour?
( See ... Murder
Of Dr David Kelly
26. If EMU is such bad news, why are France and
Germany keen on it?
27. Can you think of any argument in favour of the
28. At some point in the future, can we leave EMU,
like we left the ERM, if it does not work out well for us?
WHAT CAN YOU
DO ABOUT IT ?
There is very little that one person
can do on their own but if we get together a great deal
can be achieved. Politicians change their policies when
they are faced with a tidal wave of public opinion. You
can help to create that wave and this is how you can do
Pass this pamphlet on to a friend
who might be unsure about the EU and EMU. Ask your friend
to carry on the good work and pass it on to another
Write to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
and make your views clear.
Write to the BBC (Fraser Steel, Head of Programme Complaints,
BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA),
or ITV (Programme Complaints Department, ITC, 33 Foley Street,
London W1P 7LB) if you think any of their programmes are
biased or the full case is not being presented fairly.
Vote against EMU if and when there is a Referendum and try
to persuade your family and friends to help preserve the
Never vote for any political
party that is intent on closer integration with Europe.
If you are against the EU or EMU make a donation of whatever
you can spare to The Democracy Movement, Freepost LON 10777,
London SW6 1YZ. We arranged for the production and distribution
of this booklet and have been working tirelessly to promote
the anti-EU cause. With your help we will be able to step
up our campaign substantially and make sure that the Government
gets a resounding NO from the Electorate when they call
for a Referendum on giving up the pound.