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Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro

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originally posted here

Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro
Monday, 09 January 2017
Robert Oulds

To escape the damage caused by the euro, and the resulting problems of mass migration, Brexit is essential for the UK
9th January 2017

Summary

1. The euro prevents EU countries with weak economies using currency exchange rates to adjust their competitiveness within and external to the EU. The EU therefore has a policy of ‘rebalancing’, or ‘internal devaluation’. Rebalancing relies on the failure of uncompetitive industries. The result is unemployment, lower wages and lower prices together with austerity justified by high levels of sovereign debt. These pressures on the population are intended to force the creation of competitive trading industries and reduce non-trading activities.

2. Regional EU payments are bureaucratically allocated and managed. They are inadequate, inappropriate and inefficient compared with simple and automatic floating exchange rate adjustments.

3. Freedom of movement theoretically reduces the unemployed population by moving labour to stronger economies that have labour shortages. This is the reason for its importance to the Euro model.

4. Rebalancing involves severe dislocation and widespread hardship. The relief of hardship by EU welfare provision is inadequate and counter to the desired pressures to bring about rebalancing. The EU policy of rebalancing is entirely unethical, repressive and manipulative. It is a cruel policy reminiscent of Stalin’s forced 1930/40s population transfers. Moreover, in practice it does not work and therefore nor does the euro.

5. By contrast, Brexit is ethical and traditional in seeking to develop local economies without dislocation and with whatever support is needed. It incorporates normal exchange rate adjustments and acceptance of skilled persons of any origin through controlled immigration. Many who voted for Brexit voted for jobs and standard of living. The characterization of controlled immigration through Brexit as racist and discriminatory attempts to disguise the cruel nature of EU internal ‘rebalancing’.

* * *

Freedom of Movement and the Cruelty of the Euro

1. It is a false accusation that the UK’s wish to control immigration is racist and discriminatory. That accusation is intended to disguise a vicious and cruel EU policy. Freedom of movement is asserted by the European Union to be a privilege and great benefit. That is not true. Its fundamental purpose and the reason for the EU’s insistence that the UK accepts it as a condition of market access following Brexit is to enforce use of the euro.

2. It is well known that prior to adoption of the Euro the weaker economies of Southern Europe, such as Greece, were able to maintain rough competitiveness with the stronger states such as Germany by currency exchange rate movements. After adoption of the Euro this was no longer possible, either within the EU or in relation to countries outside the EU. The IMF, ECB and European Commission therefore adopted a policy of ‘rebalancing’.

3. The rebalancing or ‘internal devaluation’ model assumes that when competitive trading differences arise between countries, the less competitive industries will fail. There will be unemployment, less demand and a consequent fall in wages and prices. Austerity is a tool to reinforce this process. Where these conditions occur, the countries affected must develop more competitive production methods and move resources from non-trading activities to trading production. Those persons made unemployed by this process or who cannot find work should be able to emigrate to EU countries that are more competitive and where there are labour shortages. This is the reason why freedom of movement is essential to the EU. It reduces the economic pressures that are desirable for rebalancing.

4. Unemployment, euphemistically called ‘labour shedding’ is regarded as essential to rebalancing. The ECB at present purchases company debt to sustain the financial markets since even negative interest rates and money printing have failed to give growth. The EU regional funds that are given to Greece and Spain for social and economic purposes are inadequate, inappropriate and are inefficiently bureaucratically allocated and managed. In practice they do not materially reduce the pressures for rebalancing/internal devaluation. The only large scale assistance offered is more debt, additional to the debt that is a major part of their economic problems in the first instance.

5. The traditional simple and automatic rebalancing of competitiveness by exchange rate movements involves little or no drastic economic reorganization or social disruption. That is not the case within the Eurozone. Eurozone rebalancing is driven by closure of industries, unemployment and migration. The creation of new competitive industries is merely an aspiration. The notion that competitiveness can be equalized between Greece and Germany, for example, by these means is absurd.

6. The simple unemployment rate does not, of course, reflect the quality of employment taken up by employees from failed industries. Their first option will be to take whatever employment is avalable, which will probably be at a lower income and living standard. This is part of the ‘rebalancing’ process.

7. The closure of uncompetitive industries with theoretical development of new competitive industries is euphemistically called ‘structural reform’. In the real world, uncompetitive industries within the Eurozone definitely close; in competition with Germany and other Northern states, competitive industrial development of the southern EU states definitely does not and can not occur. This is the source of the present imbalances within the EU.

8. Apparently, the EU rebalancing policy has developed from a United States model. If so, it is wholly inappropriate. The United States is homogeneous for language and culture. Even so, unacceptable within-country imbalances have occurred as they also have in the UK. It is these that have given rise to the protest votes for Donald Trump and Brexit. The EU is not homogeneous for language, culture and many other factors. For these reasons, Europeans are much more attached to their locality of origin than Americans.

9. In any country, a major rigidity is that the unemployed usually have low skills. They cannot afford to move or are unwilling to leave an uncomfortable but manageable situation where housing, family and familiar support networks exist and move to another country having a different language where there are great uncertainties.

10. Persons who are skilled and have money will regard freedom of movement as beneficial, for holidays, or retirement for example. Many of these would wish to relocate for career reasons in any case. They would be welcomed by receiving countries, as the UK welcomes such persons from any country and would do so following Brexit. Young persons with qualifications and without family will also emigrate readily, although their loss disadvantages their countries of origin. It is evident however, that those often older persons who are displaced from failed industries will be least able or willing to emigrate. This is what can be seen in practice.

11. Adoption of the euro has therefore generated economic imbalances that will not be rectified automatically. Worse, the rebalancing policy based on the euro has created hardship for millions of people in Southern Europe and the Republic of Ireland. It is a cruel policy that ignores human welfare and rather than encouraging prosperity, is indifferent to the pain that it causes.

12. The human cost of the EU’s rebalancing policy, that is driven by industry failure and unemployment, has always been known to the institutions of the EU but they have chosen to ignore it. The UK’s Brexit is based on positive policies to create employment by assisting existing industries and developing new ones with, of course, exchange rate adjustment of external competitiveness. Not only is the EU’s rebalancing policy an ethical disgrace, the attempt to disguise its true nature and purpose by labelling those who do not accept it as racists is despicable.

13. Together with these considerations, many EU states have very large public and private debt that will never be repaid. This requires separate consideration but, briefly, debt permits control by the EU central institutions, particularly the ECB and IMF. Its most obvious outcome is the sale of state assets, further weakening states that are undergoing ‘rebalancing’ stress. It is these destructive debts knowingly given by the banks and underwritten by the ECB and IMF that provide the rationale for austerity. Austerity is intended to reinforce ‘rebalancing’.

14. There may be said to be four broad groups of people affected by Brexit:

i. People who are aware that they are suffering, or at least are not benefiting, due to EU policies. They tend to support Brexit because their local industries have vanished and they want jobs and a reasonable living standard. They are often not well educated and do not understand the technicalities of the Euro or how the EU functions. Although not articulated in these terms, their views contain implied strategic factors as well as self-interest. They identify uncontrolled immigration as evidence that the UK no longer controls its own economy and their destiny. This enables pro-EU activists to label them as ignorant, racist or espousing ‘the politics of hate’.

ii. Educated and well-informed persons who understand that the EU is undemocratic, administered by a super-rich elite with dependent politicians, a large dependent bureaucracy and a dysfunctional currency. They understand that the BIS, ECB and banks generally control the EU. They might know, for example, that Mario Draghi came from bankers Goldman Sachs, achieved Presidency of the ECB and after his term of office returned to Goldman Sachs. They might know that Goldman Sachs conspired with Greek politicians to hide Greece’s debts in order to obtain EU entry, so laying the foundation for the present economic misery of the Greek people. They may view the EU to be on the path to tyranny, which would not be unusual in some EU countries.

iii. Usually middle class persons who support the EU and believe that it is beneficial because their jobs depend on EU trading, are publicly funded or EU funded. These apparently do not understand how the EU operates or do not care. Their evaluation is based on their immediate interests rather than whether the EU system is democratically legitimate or benefits the UK.

iv. The rich and high level executives in international companies, banks, the ECB and IMF who understand the EU. They will fight to retain the euro because it is they who have designed it in their own interests to make them richer and to give them political control of the EU through its economy. This group believes in ‘realpolitic’ rather than democracy and will support tyranny as it has in the past.

13. Because it is clear that the existing banks are hostile to Brexit, a priority for Brexit planning must be to organize a banking system independent of the ECB and the existing big banks. Ideally local mutual units would be best for SMEs with a large central unit for major development and export finance. The role of the Bank of England needs close examination. The recent actions of the Royal Bank of Scotland in asset-stripping vulnerable SMEs indicates where the interests of all bankers lie. It is noteworthy that Richard Branson who cultivates his image as ‘a man of the people’ has recently publicly opposed Brexit and is financing an opposition group. The EU operates for the very rich.

14. Those who designed the EU’s euro ‘rebalancing’ policy view people as theoretical economic units without human needs, feelings and attachments to family and locality. Theoretically, it is not desirable to give welfare to because this would lessen the economic pressure that is essential to rebalancing. In any case, the levels of welfare assistance would be impossibly large for the EU to accept. This neglect of welfare is to the extent that in Greece large numbers of people are homeless and actually starving and in Spain youth unemployment is 45-50 percent. ‘Rebalancing’ is not based on a democratic, egalitarian view of society. It is a policy of repression and manipulation without any ethical content. For this reason the euro does not work and nor does the EU.

15. The creation of the EU and Euro is a far development from the Common Market that the UK joined. The Common Market has moved from national directly elected parliamentary democracies to a centralized bureaucracy managed by a political and economic elite. This elite, most visible in central banks, the ECB and IMF has little if any connection with or responsiveness to the immediate needs of the population. It is not at all clear that the first priority of the EU is the welfare of its population.

16. Brexit has a democratic and ethical foundation based on centuries of trading, economic development experience and the democratic development of society. It will be traditionally designed to give benefits with the minimum of dislocation possible, to develop local skills and industries and to welcome skilled workers from all other countries.

17. It is the writer’s view that on present trends, full EU integration based on the euro and supremacy of the banks over the public interest can only be achieved by political repression and a police state, that is, tyranny. That is a form of government that often occurs in Europe. The EU and UK parliament have permitted the spying and financial infrastructure of tyranny to be assembled under the guise of fighting terrorism. The democratic Brexit decision is now being labelled ‘tyranny of the majority’ (John Major) and ‘populism’. It is a bad sign.

By Christopher King MSc DipM DMS

Most of the following are discussion papers, not official ECB or IMF papers.

Official IMF report 2015 http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2015/110915.pdf

http://voxeu.org/article/rebalancing-eurozone-internal-adjustments-won-t-be-enough )

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2014/sdn1407.pdf

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2014/wp14130.pdf

http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2013/11/europe-the-failure-of-internal-devaluation/

Written by anubis

January 9th, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Article 61 in practice

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Good morning rebels…..I am going to write a post that will make the lawful rebellion process very simple to understand and use.

It maybe a long blog as I will put Notices that we have used successfully within it, so that any layman can see how and why this remedy works.

The basic principle is that we all have lawful excuse to deny the crown any authority at this time, not only the crown but any individual not standing in open rebellion against the crown since article 61’s invocation.

It really is that simple we just need to act honourably with our processes to stay within British law.

The other most important fact that needs to be understood is that law is only law if it complies with the constitution. Since the constitution was usurped many moons ago there are only rules being used against us today and, even if laws were being used the crown has no authority to use them at this time.

The ‘crown’ also means the police, councillors or any agents of the crown. The law demands that we rebel in peace until the rule of law (constitution) has been properly reasserted.
EVERYONE of the entire realm has been commanded to rebel in order to protect our sovereign nation since 2001, and the common law that protects the people from injustices…..this command comes from the crown!! so anyone opposing your standing will be opposing the crown and constitution which is effectively treason to do so.

Lastly an Oath of allegiance does not need to be sent to a baron but by doing so it makes that Oath more credible. You can simply create one and get three witnesses to sign it, by doing so it becomes a legal instument. A declaration to someone in a position of alleged authority would also suffice. The lawful rebellion process will only work to remedy the treason when a small percentage of the people use it together…..our forfathers understood this back in the 13th century which is why article 61 is not optional.

The people are the power of any nation when they stand firm together, this has always been the case and is why we have a constitution that protects the people. If it weren’t for the people revolting in the past then we would have grown up in tyranny and would know no different. Peace.

Written by anubis

December 27th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER-PRESIDENT SEEHOFER

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OPEN LETTER TO MINISTER-PRESIDENT SEEHOFER
(Sent before the carnage in Berlin’s Christmas market)

posted here

Dear Minister-President Seehofer,

I would like to commend you on your opposition to mass uncontrolled immigration into Europe. One would think that it would be trivial to praise politicians – who are elected to uphold law and order, meaning our culture and values – for doing so, but these are the times we are living in.

In 1973 French author Jean Raspail asked a prophetic question in his best-selling novel, The Camp of Saints. What if France had at its borders millions of people ready to move in, not carrying weapons but complete destitution instead? If you refuse entry they will face a very uncertain future; but if you let them in millions more will follow and your culture and national identity will die. What should be done?

Today we have the answer: an unprecedented population replacement across much of Western Europe, largely funded by those being replaced. Based on current demographic and immigration trends, Austria will become a majority Muslim country by the end of this century, likely followed by France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and even the UK.

Somehow I don’t believe that the millions who died defending Europe over centuries had this outcome in mind. But then again neither did the mighty Byzantines and their Persian archrivals, both of which after reaching the pinnacle of Human civilization at the time ended up being irrevocably absorbed by the Islamic demographic and military onslaughts.

As an immigrant myself (who lived in Munich at one point) I have great empathy for anyone leaving their homelands in search of a better life. I certainly have no ill feelings towards my Muslim brothers and sisters, whose aspirations are as worthy as anyone’s. If you build a nice house, then throw away the “quaint” tools like your values and religion used in its construction, it shouldn’t be a surprise that as the front door is left wide open others will come in and set up their own values and religion in that empty space. Why shouldn’t they? I would too if I had the chance.

Unfortunately, as you well know change at this scale is seldom easy… and peaceful. We only need to look at the Balkans, a beautiful region with wonderful people, to get a glimpse of how fractured our own multicultural societies might become. Actually, we are already feeling its effects, with national armies having to patrol European cities to prevent further atrocities – and no resolution in sight. And it can get much worse, not least in terms of personal freedoms, to the detriment of both natives and immigrants. Even a breakup of Germany at some point is not unthinkable.

Large economic crises have reliably sparked social revolutions over generations. We may not have to wait long for another one to hit Europe, now with the novelty of an imported multiethnic component. It is in times of strife that we can truly judge the resilience of our societies, not the relative prosperity we’ve had until now. And frankly I’m very worried about this particular point.

We can debate whether the SYKES-PICOT agreement in the 1920s is really what led to the current turmoil across much of the Middle East; but it is beyond question that the MERKEL-SARKOZY-BLAIR mass immigration policies have led to this bubbling instability in our societies – very likely for decades. Whether this was incidental or not, our children will probably hate us for it.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Prof. Vaclav Smil, considered to be one of the leading global thinkers alive today, listed the emergence of “Eurabia” as one of the potential catastrophes of the 21st century in his seminal book on the matter. I would very much encourage reading it. It seems even the Dalai Lama agrees.

Yes, low birth rates across Europe are a concern, but as we stand on the verge of a massive automation wave which risks displacing millions more jobs I’m not convinced it is that problematic; it might even help manage serious global environmental problems. What is deeply worrying –and irreversible at some point – is the progressive debasement of our culture (“so not to offend the newcomers”), one which has contributed so much to Human progress over centuries. To be clear it is really *culture* that’s at stake here, much more than race or anything else which have remained fluid across Europe throughout the ages.

There was once a time when we in the West stood proud of the civilization we created – with great cost and sacrifice, and not always with perfect results or intentions – to the point where we exported it all over the world. And despite the prevailing cultural Marxist narrative in today’s mainstream media and academia the recipients are broadly better off as a result (notwithstanding some very notable errors).

Take Germany. Just one of your inventions, the Haber process that allows the industrial production of ammonia (critical for modern agriculture), has enabled the sustenance of innumerable lives all over the world – dare I say far, far more than the unfortunate and unjustifiable deaths caused by the darker days of your recent History. I could name several other German inventions that have greatly helped Humanity. Even your emigrants have made immeasurable contributions to countries like Brazil and especially the US. As such, I am one of many who believe you should feel proud of your German heritage, instead of being beaten down through indoctrination for what happened over seventy years ago.

And now you are on the receiving end of that cultural flow:

Instead of exporting much needed water treatment, cars and farming equipment you export weapons and homegrown jihadists to the Middle East;
Instead of promoting Western education standards and unequivocally standing up for the rights of women across the Middle East you are lost in endless debates of how many burqas and child marriages should be allowed in Germany;
Instead of enforcing international refugee protection laws, especially regarding the first country of safety, you now have to ponder how to accommodate sharia law in your society;
Instead of creating safe zones in the region that will allow people affected by the tragedies of war to live with dignity (at a fraction of the cost of doing so in Europe) and eventually return to rebuild their homes, you completely open your borders creating chaos and resentment – while supporting foreign policies and regimes that, to put it mildly, greatly contribute to destabilizing the Middle East.

Unfortunately, much of the current European political establishment is committed to the dilution of our nation states and cultures so we can all merge into a single, glorious entity. And they figured out that mass immigration is the way to do it. Clearly they learned the wrong lessons from History and there’s just no amount of imported crime, rape, violence, murder and animal torture that will stop them from blindly pursuing their EU-topia. The multicultural car crash known as Sweden is a great example of this. I’m sorry for these harsh words but this is the world we live in.

The fate of EU-topia will be the same as that of all utopias. It is already unraveling, unable to create decent jobs for millions of people – especially young Europeans, with no vigor nor any international aspirations (what exactly does it stand for?), incapable of adequately safeguarding the protection of its citizens (especially women and Jews), greatly susceptible to political interference from all sorts of foreign regimes and standing on the verge of a financial collapse so great that risks destabilizing the entire world economy for years to come.

Freedom of thought and speech is what really has made us Europeans so unique and successful in Modern History. Regrettably, we are increasingly not allowed to criticize or report on any of these unfolding tragedies this time around.

I am told that in the incident of the woman who was viciously thrown down the stairs in Berlin your Police is now looking to punish the source of that video leak. Yet another sad episode on the back of the cover up of the New Year Eve’s events in Cologne, where to add insult to injury women were told to dress up properly to “avoid problems”.

If only that much effort had been put into defending our way of life. Instead, the emperor must keep on walking with no clothes – and no criticism: “since we lost control of reality let’s control the perception of that reality”… “it’s all fake news”… “the Russians did it”… etc. Fin de civilization indeed.

But persevere we must. We rely on brave politicians like yourself to stand up for the rest of us. For that we thank you Sir. And please rest assured that an increasing number of voters all over Europe will respond to it. There is much to hope for, even as the lights are dimming all over our beloved Continent.

May I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy – and Safe – 2017

Sincerely,

Europe Always & Forever

Written by anubis

December 21st, 2016 at 10:51 am

Clean Brexit

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Clean Brexit is the practical and democratic way forward

Liam Halligan

10 December 2016 • 7:55pm

There’s a strong case for the Government to make a very clear statement – and then to stick to its political guns.

Theresa May has long refused to give a running commentary on her negotiations with the European Union.

Last week, though, in a moment of high parliamentary drama, the Prime Minister conceded her government will now publish a “Brexit plan” before triggering Article 50 by March next year.

Having backed Brexit, I’ve always recognised it may be unwise for the Government to disclose its desired negotiating outcome.

These two statements aren’t linked. However you voted in June, everyone should acknowledge the potential downsides of the UK showing its hand ahead of what could be some extremely hard bargaining. That hasn’t stopped numerous Remainers from insisting ministers “have no plan” and “are clueless”, as they demand full disclosure.

Many are doing so, of course, to spread Brexit-related alarm – trying to whip up a panic and somehow stymie or even reverse the clear referendum result.

The complexity of any negotiation involving 27 countries, each with their own commercial lobbies and electorates, means any detailed Brexit roadmap would be obsolete before it was written. So the Government, having just secured a Commons majority to invoke Article 50 in return for “a plan”, could justifiably produce something vague.

I’d argue, though, there’s now a strong case for the Government, quite soon, to make a very clear statement with regard to the outcome it wants – and then to stick to its political guns. So long as that desired outcome is “Clean Brexit”.

I’d identify three basic Brexit models. The first is joining the European Economic Area – the “Norwegian option” – involving continued multi-billion pound annual payments to Brussels, while accepting numerous EU rules and regulations – including “freedom of movement”.

This isn’t Brexit and, in my view, would be a betrayal of the referendum result.

The second, and most widely envisaged option, is a bespoke UK deal. We’d invoke Article 50 as the Government has indicated, using the subsequent two-year negotiating period to bend EU rules to our will – trying, in particular, to maximise control over our borders while minimising the constraints placed on our EU trade. This might be possible.

As the world’s fifth-largest economy, with a £60bn trade deficit with the EU, the UK can surely get a better deal than Norway.

A “bespoke UK” option, though, would involve a drawn-out and acrimonious negotiation. The outcome of any deal, almost by definition, wouldn’t be known until the moment before the two-year deal-making window expired – prolonging business uncertainty and hindering both domestic and foreign investment.

It must also be recognised, given the UK would be going head-to-head with the EU, attempting to weaken links between the various “pillars” which hold the entire European project together, that a very real possibility is an extremely bad-tempered “no deal”.

With the UK seeking to dismantle EU rules, and Franco-German EU lifers fighting back, a multi-year UK-EU negotiation could easily end in stalemate. Uncertainty would then become semi-permanent, seriously harming all of Western Europe as a place to do business.

Voters on both sides of the Channel would despair at the rank incompetence of their leaders. The UK, in particular, would be in a terrible state. We’d have torn incurable fissures across the British electorate and wrecked our relationship with the EU, making future cooperation all but impossible – and for what?

So I strongly favour the third option – “Clean Brexit”. Parliament passes the “Great Repeal” Bill that May has already outlined, carrying over relevant EU statute into domestic law. We then send our Article 50 letter and leave – quitting both the single market and the customs union.

Under Clean Brexit, the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, which are in no way a disaster for Britain. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Under Clean Brexit, the UK trades with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules. That won’t be denied – as we’d take the EU to WTO arbitration and win. WTO rules are in no way a disaster for Britain. They currently govern our trade with countries including the US and China that make up the 85pc of the world economy that’s outside the EU.

The non-EU accounts for almost 60pc of our trade and rising. While we have a huge EU deficit, with the non-EU we run a £30bn surplus – under WTO rules, outside the single market. The non-EU, then, generates the bulk of our trade, the part that is growing and where we register a surplus.

The single market – despite its appealing name – is a deeply imperfect set of rules that discriminate against the services in which Britain excels. The maximum EU tariffs we’d face are well within single digits. On manufactured goods, the average is 2.4pc – far less than the recent fall in sterling. And that’s a worse-case scenario.

The importance of the UK to German carmakers, French food producers and the rest of them means we can expect to negotiate tariffs down much further. There’s lots of alarm about preserving the “passporting” of financial services. Such concerns, trumpeted by big City companies that don’t like change, are massively overdone.

Yes, the UK’s financial services industry is important. But the EU accounted for just 33pc of our financial services exports last year, while the country which took most was America – where we have no free trade deal. Passporting would be good, but we can live without it. Many non-EU members anyway trade financial services using EU “equivalence” rules – which would apply to a Brexited UK.

“Leaving the customs union” is also often presented as a mortal sin. Once out, though, many imports – including food – would be cheaper, as shoppers would avoid the related tariff on non-EU goods. And, free of the customs union, we could finally strike trade deals with the populous, fast-growing emerging markets, beyond the EU, which will soon be the most important economies in the world.

The EU accounted for just 33pc of our financial services exports last year – passporting would be good, but we can live without it.

Clean Brexit is democratic. The Great Repeal means that, in the short term, nothing changes. Then, in our own time, over several electoral cycles, UK ministers and our Parliament decide which EU laws and regulations we retain and which we alter. That’s how it should be. Our annual contribution ends and, leaving the single market and customs union, we strike UK trade deals and take control of our borders.

The Government should state all this in March, on invoking Article 50. That’s ahead of upcoming French and German elections, next spring and late-summer respectively – which is vital. We tell the EU we want to trade under WTO rules, we don’t want any kind of drawn-out negotiation over borders or the single market, but we’re happy to consider UK-EU sector-specific trade deals of mutual benefit.

During the upcoming continental elections, then, the French and German carmaking, pharmaceutical and food-processing giants will know the EU needs to cut a deal with Britain to retain tariff-free access to the UK market.

These powerful industrial lobbies will try to extract pro-UK concessions from the various candidates, doing our lobbying for us. Remote politicians, perhaps looking to bash Britain on the election stump, will be reminded by their own people that the EU’s free trade with Britain underpins millions of jobs and billions of euros of profit.

I reject the term “hard Brexit”. It’s often used by those who lost the referendum and want to make leaving the EU seem extreme.

Quitting the single market and customs union voluntarily, avoiding a tortured “single market-free movement” negotiation and using WTO rules isn’t ideological. It’s a practical, transparent position that limits uncertainty while minimising damage to the UK, the EU and our ongoing relationship.

Clean Brexit is the way to go. Forced to disclose her plans, Theresa May should go the whole hog.

Written by anubis

December 12th, 2016 at 6:19 am

Brexit

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By Edward Chancellor June 16, 2016
Tags: BREXIT | EUROPEAN UNION | GOVERNMENT | M&A | UNITED KINGDOM
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. (but obviously shared by me !)

originally posted here

On June 23, Britain votes on whether to remain in the European Union. Being out of the country on that date, I applied for a postal vote. I have marked my ballot paper, with a certain trepidation, in favour of leaving the EU, or Brexit. At first I worried this vote conflicted with my cosmopolitan leanings. On reflection I decided that by rejecting the EU I showed greater fellow feeling for the citizens of Europe, and was more faithful to the continent’s highest ideals than those who wish to remain.

Legions of economists, policymakers and political grandees from around the world have warned of the economic threat of Brexit. These voices lack credibility. None of the Remain economists, to my knowledge, anticipated the global financial crisis. The UK Treasury claims that British incomes will be lower for years after leaving the EU. The same Treasury, however, has consistently had problems forecasting next year’s UK GDP. Not long ago, many politicians and businesspeople argued that Britain would miss out if we didn’t join the European single currency. We now know that the real calamity would have been joining the euro.

In truth, the greatest economic risk posed by Brexit comes from the threat of retaliation by our erstwhile European “partners”. Given that Britain runs a large trade deficit with Europe, a trade war would be irrational. It is a poor reflection on the EU that such a threat should be credible.

Of course, leaving the single market creates uncertainty – a state of affairs which repels the modern breed of policymaker. In the past, developed economies have withstood far greater shocks. The growth of the U.S. economy, for instance, was only temporarily set back by the Great Depression. Nor did it take many years after 1945 for Germany’s output per capita to return to its pre-war trend. It’s inconceivable, in my view, that Brexit could by itself permanently damage Britain’s economic prospects.

Even if the economic arguments are overblown, doesn’t a vote for Brexit reveal an unattractive petty nationalism at odds with modern progressive values? Doesn’t my vote put me in bad company?

I don’t believe so. At university, I read 18th-century European history. The ideals of the Enlightenment – a preference for reason over tradition, for economic individualism over state control, for tolerance over bigotry, and a belief that relationships between nations should be governed by the rule of law – remain close to my heart. The same notions guided the founding fathers of the post-war European project.

The EU has since betrayed those ideals. In 1795, Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher who coined the term “Enlightenment”, wrote “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch”. In this essay, Kant showed profound respect for a state’s separate identity: a state “like the stem of a tree has its own root… to incorporate it as a graft on another state, is to destroy its existence as a moral person.” The consequence of bundling states together, even when done peacefully through dynastic alliances, would be that the “subjects of the state are used and abused as things that may be managed at will”.

Kant defined a republican government as one that gained the “consent of citizens as members of the state”. He preferred this to despotism, characterised by “the irresponsible executive administration of the state by laws laid down and enacted by the same power that administers them”. While Kant proposed an international federation of states to avoid war, this “would not have to take the form of a State made up of these nations”. Such a superstate would not allow the existence of a free state, which by definition both made and applied its own laws: “Each state,” wrote Kant, “places its majesty (for it is absurd to speak of the majesty of the people) in being subject to no external juridical restraint”.

Since its inception in the 1950s, the European project has morphed from Kant’s ideal of an international federation into something akin to the late Habsburg Empire – a sprawling and fractious conglomeration of nations struggling against centripetal forces. The EU’s form of government, in Kantian terms, can be described as “despotic”, since the public’s consent has not been gained.

During the interminable years of the euro crisis, unemployment in parts of Europe has exceeded Great Depression levels. The citizens of Greece, Spain and elsewhere have been force-fed austerity by the EU with little prospect of eventual economic recovery. If the EU cared for its citizens, or was properly accountable, substantive reforms would have been enacted. This hasn’t happened. As a result, discontent across Europe is fostering political extremism of the 1930s variety. Sooner or later something must give.

A vote for Brexit, I believe, puts me in the best company. It shows solidarity with the long-suffering European public and complies with the principles of Kant, the greatest of Enlightenment philosophers.

Written by anubis

September 13th, 2016 at 8:17 pm

An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom

without comments

We will be clear about only one thing after the EU referendum on 23rd June. Either we will be living in a more democratic society, or we will not. This is just as it should be, given that this is a constitutional referendum focused not on particular economic or social policies or outcomes but on process, the process by which we organise and relate to democratic government. The EU is not just a trade group, single market or debating society, it is an important part of our government.

There will be economic and social outcomes. There are risks and there will be consequences – either way – as to trade, GDP, immigration, unemployment, house prices and so on, but not only are these almost impossible to assess or predict, they are also beside the main point. The main point is that we are voting about democracy, and democracy is about freedom, and democracy and freedom matter.

Emphasising democracy does not imply that the people will have taken control if the vote is for ‘Leave’. Sovereignty, national or popular, will not have landed on Dover beach. Indeed, given the parlous state of our actually existing democracy it is not unlikely that the government would manage (the mot juste) to keep the UK in the EU despite a vote to the contrary. It should be noted too that the EU is not the only challenge to our democracy and our freedom; the malaise is wide and deep.

Nevertheless, a vote to leave is the democratic thing to do, and will be of great significance. The demos can strike a blow against the collusion and entanglement of the UK with a very undemocratic institution, and can land a blow on those ‘mind forg’d manacles’ too. Settling for a good king rather than a bad parliament should, now we have been asked, be turned down.

We also need to keep our eye on the ball. It is a symptom of the deeply apprehensive mood of our times that tragic events such as the killing of Jo Cox MP can so easily plunge society into the sort of understandably emotional responses that we have seen in the last week. Now indeed is the time for cool heads, and reason to be strong.

Few bother to dispute that the EU is undemocratic. For example, the Times editorial on 18th June set out its case for Remain, but simply concedes the democratic point, ‘The institutions that run the world’s biggest trading bloc foster democracy in new member states but are themselves undemocratic, meddling and short-sighted’. This is admirably frank, but it simply underlines how little importance is attached to the democratic dimension. Such has been obvious too from the referendum debate, and it bespeaks a great danger – that democracy is considered no longer worth fighting for.

To mention democracy is to provoke frowns of exasperation, winces of guilt, and ever more elaborate redefinitions of ‘what we really mean by democracy in a complex global economy in which nations are past their sell-by date’. It is sometimes added with neither conviction nor credibility that the EU, well, can perhaps be ‘reformed from within’. Most often though we are told that things are just too complicated now for an old-fashioned idea like democracy.

Democracy, in fact, is a pretty straightforward thing. It is based on an understanding of the equal worth of every human being, and it is above all about freedom. Freedom is about the ability of an individual to act without unnecessary constraint, and about a people being able to live under a government of its own choosing. It is also more than that. Freedom is an attitude. The very concept recognises that we are indeed unduly constrained not just by nature and necessity but also by the structures and frameworks that we have created for ourselves, and it expresses a yearning, and also the confidence that we have it in ourselves, to overcome these limitations and do so much better. If we give up on this, we will have given up.

That parliamentary democracy was about freedom was obvious to those who fought for it in the first place. In 1647, one of the simple demands that the Levellers proposed to the General Council of the Army at Putney was ‘That the people do of course choose themselves a parliament once in two years’. Their magnificent manifesto was entitled ‘An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom’. In 1776, the American revolutionaries who had been denied representation in the British parliament published their Declaration and they listed liberty, after life, as the second of their inalienable rights. In 1840, the young Chartist, Samuel Holberry, was arrested in his bedroom with a dagger in his hand. He admitted that he would indeed use it ‘in defence of the Charter and to obtain liberty’. He died in prison two years later, and it is said that up to 50,000 people followed his funeral procession to Sheffield General Cemetery. In 1863 at Gettysburg, where there had been about 23,000 casualties on each side, Abraham Lincoln defended ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, and said that victory in that cause would herald ‘the new birth of freedom’.

As the examples above illustrate, democracy and freedom grew with and within nation states. This was the historical form and vehicle for the expression of the individual and collective freedom of the people. The understanding followed that people in other states were also entitled, in theory at least, to the same. Woodrow Wilson put the matter succinctly in a speech to Congress in 1918, ‘National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self-determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril.’ True internationalism implies such an approach. The workers of the world must indeed unite, but this will not be achieved at the behest and service of Jean-Claude Juncker.

In order to be free, people need to form a political unit, a demos. It can come in many shapes and sizes. It can be as large as India or the United States of America or as small as Luxemburg or San Marino, but demos there must be if the people are to be able freely to participate in, and determine themselves through, their own government. There is, patently, no European demos. It may be desirable to build one, but as should be clear not least from many referendums the EU is certainly not the institution to do so.

The EU has never been designed to operate on a democratic basis. The Council of Ministers, composed of one minister from each of the 28 member states, is firmly in the driving seat, and with double majority voting now the norm, the wishes of any given national electorate may simply be overridden. The only body that can initiate legislation within the EU is the Commission, which is composed of one Commissioner appointed by each national government, plus 33,000 staff. There is much talk of the power of Parliament to censure the Commission (it has never actually done so) and of its increased powers to revise, amend and agree legislation. The key issue is the power of Council. The simple truth is that even with the ‘co-decision’ powers given to Parliament alongside Council in the legislative process, the Council can simply veto any legislative proposal. The Court of Justice of the European Union, with one judge appointed by each of the member states, interprets and applies EU law in all member states, and can overrule national law where EU law applies. There it is.

In considering the respect this institution has for democratic process, its treatment of Greece, Italy and Cyprus should give the stoutest EU loyalist pause for thought. In 2011, the Greek prime minister George Papandreou proposed to put the EU’s austerity proposals of Greece to the people of Greece in a referendum. Under pressure from the EU, which was furious at his idea of consulting the people on such an important issue, he was bundled out of office. A coalition was installed, headed by an unelected prime minister, Lucas Papademos, an economist and former Vice-President of the European Central Bank.

When, four years later, the Greek people, courtesy of a Syriza-led coalition, did get the opportunity to vote in a referendum on the terms of an EU-arranged bailout, they rejected the terms by 61% to 39%. The EU, which had taken Greece into the Eurozone in 2001 despite the fact that it could not possibly meet the ‘euro convergence criteria’, then rejected the Greek people – our terms or nothing – and a week later the Greek government caved in and sided with the EU. In fact, the government had to accept a deal containing even larger pension cuts and tax increases, which was presumably intended to teach the Greek people a lesson for having the cheek to express their view about how their debt crisis might be resolved. Even the IMF disapproved. George Osborne, however, appears to have been impressed. He has now promised a punishment budget of £15bn in tax rises and £15bn of spending cuts for British voters if the Leave campaign wins the referendum.

In Italy, on the day after Papademos took power in Athens, Mario Monti, another economist and a former EU Commissioner for nine years, was installed in Rome. He served as prime minister for two years despite being unelected. This was considered especially acceptable because it got rid of the horrible Silvio Berlusconi, who was hated by everyone, well, apart from the voters who kept returning him to office. In Cyprus in 2013, the EU Commission, ECB and IMF insisted amongst other things that in return for a bailout, a levy of 47.5% be taken on all deposits of more than €100,000 in the two largest Cypriot banks. The people were not consulted. They were just relieved of their money. The Economist called the bailout ‘Unfair, short-sighted and self-defeating’.

The important point that these events establish is that democracy will not be trusted by the EU to deal with such crises, or rather to deal with them in any way other than by making the people pay, and keeping the system that caused the crisis intact. Bring in the technocrats they say, take emergency powers, pass emergency measures, tear up private property rights, suspend elected government, whatever it takes.

Worse, it is not just the EU and its apologists who say this. Democracy is now widely discounted as a satisfactory form of government. Rule by the experts, say the chattering classes, is better than chaos, autocracy or military rule. They seek to insulate national governments from popular pressure and accountability. They describe those who call for democracy ‘populists’. They tell us to be very afraid, and to do what you are told. It is a recipe for disaster. Nothing, let alone the crises of failing systems, can be solved in the long term without the consent of the people involved, and that consent can only be obtained through democratic structures and practices, and that in the end is because people still want to be free.

We should never accept that the answer to a financial crisis is to give a supranational institution, with undemocratic structures and a figleaf parliament, the authority to evict a democratic government so that it can dictate terms directly to the people that government is supposed to serve. We can do better than that.

‘National aspirations must be respected’ said Wilson. Not by the EU. When the Irish people voted in a referendum on the Nice Treaty in 2001 and rejected it, they were asked to revisit their decision. Among other things people had been worried by the proposed extension of majority voting in the Council, on the basis that it put smaller states at a greater disadvantage. The EU would normally not even notice a low turnout (34%), but on this occasion the Irish were asked to vote again, and the following year they were persuaded by their government to approve the Treaty.

In 2005, four countries held referendums on a new constitution for the EU – France and the Netherlands voted against, and Spain and Luxembourg voted for. The EU paused, rewrote the proposal and presented it in 2008 as the Lisbon Treaty in more or less exactly the same terms. A whole continent just looked the other way. This time only Ireland held a referendum, and the vote went against the new treaty 53.4% to 46.6% on a turn out of 53.1%.

The EU’s Irish Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, later commented ‘all of the political leaders know quite well that if a similar question was put to their electorate by a referendum, the answer in 95 per cent of the countries would probably have been ‘No’ as well.’ At the time, quite unperturbed by the fact that no other country had held a referendum or that most people took the McCreevy view, an editorial in the pro-EU Guardian newspaper described the Irish people who had dared to vote against the treaty as ‘a horde of Goths at the gates of Rome’. A second referendum was duly held in 2009. It was after the financial crisis had broken, and this time the treaty was easily approved.

So, the EU is not itself a democratic institution and it does not respect democratic societies. Yet for all that, the real democratic problem with the EU is not the structures or behaviours in themselves. The problem is that an institution of this sort is a useful mechanism by which national governments are empowered to make major decisions of law and policy without proper discussion in their own democracies. It is popular sovereignty more than national sovereignty that is denied at the heart of the EU. It was no coincidence that the governments of all the member states, save constitution-bound Ireland, decided not to hold referendums on the Lisbon Treaty. They were not going to allow their electorates to prevent them from proceeding in the manner to which they had become accustomed.

The governments of member states appoint their ministers, commissioners and judges to the EU. They can uphold their national interests as they see them, but they are sheltered from discussing and justifying back home the actions and decisions they take in Brussels. In the UK, all of the various domestic procedures for approval and scrutiny of EU law are of little weight against the Council and its Commission, and they certainly cannot make up for the fact that the public is so distanced from the decision-making process that it cannot begin even to understand it. It is unsurprising that the turnout for the EU parliament election in the UK was 35.6% in 2014, and the EU average was 42.6% (and that includes Belgium 89.6% and Luxembourg 85.5%).

A couple of recent cases are also instructive. In the negotiations over the Lisbon Treaty the UK and Polish governments negotiated Protocol 30, a so-called ‘opt-out’ from the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In the run up to treaty signature in December 2007 Foreign Secretary David Miliband reported ‘The Government sought to ensure that nothing in the Charter of Fundamental Rights would give national or European courts any new powers to strike down or reinterpret UK law, including labour and social legislation. This has been achieved.’

Well, in 2011, in the case of NS v Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Court of Justice of the European Union at Luxembourg, the British government did not even bother to argue (and had already abandoned the effort before the UK Court of Appeal) that Protocol 30 exempted the United Kingdom from its obligations to comply with the requirements of the Charter relating to its treatment of asylum seekers. The provisions of the Charter offer somewhat greater protection to asylum seekers than national law in the UK or that provided by the European Convention on Human Rights and its Court at Strasbourg.

In 2015, the case of Benkharbouche v Embassy of the Republic of Sudan a cook who had been sacked by the Sudanese embassy was unable to claim for a breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (which implement an EU Council Directive) at an Employment Tribunal. The State Immunity Act 1978, a primary act of the UK parliament, barred such proceedings on grounds of diplomatic immunity. The Court of Appeal found that the Act did not need to extend immunity to a cook, and thus offended Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights which protects access to a court. There was again no mention of Protocol 30 and no dispute that the Charter is directly effective in the UK so far as claims based on EU law are concerned (eg the ‘working time’ claim), and the court simply ‘disapplied’ or struck down the relevant sections of the Act so they were no longer law for the purposes of this case, and the cook’s claim could proceed.

The importance of the decision lies in the fact that the Human Rights Act 1998 made it a point of constitutional principle that a court could declare a primary act of parliament to be incompatible with a right protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, but such a declaration would not affect the continuing enforcement of that act. It was only a ‘signal’ to parliament that it should consider amending or repealing the act. This was the much-vaunted compromise whereby the sovereignty of parliament vis-à-vis the judiciary was to be maintained. Good-bye to all that compromise now, across a new swathe of human rights law. In Benkharbouche the Court of Appeal, using the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, simply amended the primary act of the sovereign parliament for the purposes of the case.

Many people, especially those who work in defence of the interests of asylum seekers and employees, will welcome these decisions, and understandably so. They do not, however, have also to welcome the means by which they were achieved. It matters greatly in democratic terms that these decisions were made by courts using powers that the government had specifically told the people these courts did not possess. Those who do not recognise that should perhaps check their democratic compass.

The cases also show the cynicism of the Labour government in promoting the notion of an opt-out that manifestly never was, and show too the growing confidence of the European and domestic courts in extending their jurisdictions using the Charter and other EU law.

The cases also point up a wider democratic issue with regard to the role of the judiciary, which is deeply intertwined with both the waning belief in democracy and the role of the EU. Despite its ‘ingenious’ sovereignty compromise, the Human Rights Act 1998 in fact gave the judiciary unprecedented scope to make law, and to do so on the basis of general principles rather than tightly defined provisions and precedents. And now, EU law has extended that scope, and given the courts an undebated and mostly unremarked extension of their power to strike down primary acts of parliament.

The judicial branch of government plays an important role, not least in defending the rule of law. It has, however, been pushed into deciding matters that properly belong in the sphere of democratic politics, not law. The rule of law is important, but representative democratic procedures are the most progressive aspects of the legal-constitutional package, because they give much fuller expression to the principle of equality and the practice of freedom. When we talk about the rule of law, it is democracy that should decide which laws should rule. It is important to insist upon this because the importance of democracy has been significantly diminished in recent decades. ‘Majoritarian’ has become a pejorative usage. It refers in fact to a procedure that is based on the idea that people are equal and that majority voting is the only way yet devised to give effect to that principle.

There are those who argue that enhanced judicial power does not infringe democratic principle, because the aim of democracy is to accord all individuals equal status and respect. They argue that while this imperative will usually be satisfied by the use of majoritarian procedures, such as parliamentary democracy, there is also a legitimate place for non-majoritarian procedures, such as rule by the judiciary in respect of important policy matters, so long as the procedures themselves conform to the underlying aim.

This is wrong. Even though such procedures may be sanctioned by our elected representatives, and operate in the context of the rule of law, this argument is nothing less than a denial of the principle that all citizens are equal, and that a true expression of that equality will involve their meaningful participation in important policy decisions. Democracy is fundamentally about process not outcomes, and it is about the participation of the people in that process. It is not about what is done for them, or to them. It is about what they do. That is what freedom too is about.

It is said that democracy works at many levels – indeed it does, it can be local, national and international; legislative, executive and judicial. A great deal of delegation and outsourcing is inevitably involved. The key level, however, is the level where participation and control by the people occurs, and there has been a consistent shift from this level, away from the people to the experts and technocrats. This is what the shift of power to the judiciary in London, Strasbourg and Luxembourg entails, and also what the shift of decision-making to the EU entails.

Others argue that, given the weakness of our democratic institutions, not to mention the cynicism and contempt in which they are held, we have no choice but to rely upon a judicial elite – or an EU. That is an argument for improving and strengthening those institutions rather than with dispensing with them. We should also reject the idea that even if parliament is being sidelined at least the rule of law is being strengthened. On the contrary, the rule of law is itself degraded by the recourse to general principles and the vesting of wider discretionary powers in the judiciary, let alone the functionaries of the EU.

As for the people, they are finding it hard to get a look in. They are being kept a long way away from the decision making process. Take the case of Hirst v United Kingdom. In 2015 the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg decided that the UK statute denying convicted prisoners the right to vote in domestic elections was in breach of their democratic rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, and should be amended. Interestingly, in October 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of Thierry Delvigne v Commune de Lesparre-Médoc, Préfet de la Gironde accepted jurisdiction of ‘prisoner voting’ case in France, on the basis of the application of Articles 39 and 49 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The main point here of the unresolved Hirst case is that a political issue has been reposed as a legal one, so as to suggest that there is in fact a right answer which the expert alone, the judge, is able to discover. There is no right answer. There is a difference of opinion about whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. In a democratic society an important issue like this should be decided by majoritarian democratic procedures, in which people are involved – with public discussion, investigation, researching, discussing, lobbying, and then voting.

The fair point has been made that the UK government has consistently approached the EU in a grudging, hostile and instrumental way. It does not follow that this is a behavioural glitch in the workings of the EU which some remedial therapy might remove. No doubt the UK is graceless about its refusal to entertain ‘ever greater union’ or embrace the ‘social’ dimensions of the Union or the opportunities for ‘solidarity’. The fact is that the EU today is primarily a market bloc not a mutual or co-operative society. It is true that there were and are ambitions for a different trajectory, and it is true of course that the countries were originally brought together to prevent further warfare. It is also true, that for years the European peace has long been kept by Nato and the military might of the United States of America.

This not to say that there are no reasonable and good grounds to be concerned about leaving the EU. There are. It is sensible to worry about shocks to prosperity and how they can be handled. It is admirable to feel genuine internationalist concern about the impact of such a decision on those people who would appreciate the assistance of the UK within the EU, and may feel that ‘Europe is the less’ if the UK ‘clod be washed away’.

There are many other grounds that are very much less convincing. If we leave the EU, it is said, the UK as a nation will become isolated, inward-looking, culturally impoverished. Is it seriously supposed that we depend upon our MEPs (hardly anybody can even name one) and the Council of Ministers to entice us to visit other European countries, to enjoy their art and architecture, to listen to their music, to keep in touch with family and friends there, to attend academic conferences and organise exchange programmes, to drink and think with them all? I fear that even the influence in the UK of Monsieur Foucault will comfortably survive a Brexit. I am sure that we will still be permitted alongside Turkey and Switzerland, to field a team in the UEFA champions league, if we qualify. Would we really trade a better grip on our democratic liberties for the convenience of shorter airport visa queues, an Erasmus programme or the whole mess of pottage in Brussels?

If we leave the EU, it said, it will be the occasion of a more right wing government at home. This argument represents perhaps the nadir of the whole sorry history of lesser-evilism. The role of the the left is now reduced to arguing that it should prefer David and George to Boris and Michael. Comrade, which side of the Tory cabinet are you on? In truth, there is not even the proverbial cigarette paper between them, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has, predictably, fallen into line behind. The sorry state of contemporary democracy can only be energised by a modest improvement to its relationship with the people who actually vote in it. There will be no move to the right, if we argue and organise against a move to the right. Are we to leave the task to Jean-Claude Juncker?

If we leave the EU, it is said, we will lose the benefit of progressive laws especially with regard to workers’ rights. It should first be noted that EU labour law is by no means as progressive as some people seem to assume. That much is evident from the rulings of the European Court of Justice in December 2007 in International Transport Workers’ Federation v Viking Line APB and Laval un Partneri Ltd v Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet which held that the right of trade unions to take industrial action could be subjected to certain restrictions in accordance with the principle of proportionality, and specifically decided that industrial action in a member state to obtain pay increases exceeding the level of protection guaranteed by the EU Posted Workers Directive, where there are no clearly defined national law requirements in that member state for such an increase, could not be justified. That is a serious blow to free trade unionism.

Moreover, the assumption that there will be a bonfire of workers’ rights if Brexit occurs is ill founded. A senior UK barrister produced a 66 page briefing on the issue, and concludes with the scary observation that post–Brexit ‘most fundamentally, a future Government could simply reverse rulings it did not like’. It is telling that the author suggests that it is the government as opposed to parliament that reverses rulings. Government is used as short-hand, because parliament is assumed to be the plaything of government. That rests upon another assumption, that there is nothing that parliament or the public or the trade unions or the workers could do about it. We should remember that in 1972 the trade unions successfully defied the National Industrial Relations Court, and in 1974 they brought down the government.

The careless comment concluding that briefing says a great deal not just about the attitude of a lawyer to social change, but about the loss of morale and confidence in society about our ability to have any impact upon our government. This is why democracy and the attitude of freedom matter so much in this referendum. We should recall that some progress was actually made in this country before 1973. Under pressure from the people, and only under that pressure, it was parliament that brought forth factory acts, social insurance legislation, a national health service, free education for all, laws against discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or sex – and all before the UK joined the EEC. How did we manage? We might add that it was parliament that in 1998 brought in the national minimum wage, the envy of workers in the rest of Europe today.

It is said that Brexit will bring racists and fascism to our streets, and create a harsher, nastier culture. It won’t if we don’t allow it to happen. The fortunate truth is that there is no sign at present of a resurgence of neo-fascism. There is however loose and dangerous talk about people being racists and fascists. People who favour Brexit are being branded racists for no good reason at all.

A poll prepared by ICM Limited for the period 10th – 13th June 2016 found that of persons categorised as C1 class, 48% were for Remain, and 39% for leave. Of those categorised as C2 class, 27% were for Remain, and 61% for Leave. The class divide revealed here in voting intentions reflects the judgement of the relatively worse off that they have little stake in the EU, and that is true in both economic and political terms. The EU has contributed to the stagnation of wages, austerity in public services and the transformation of communities without consultation. The attempt to silence these people by demonising them has been the most unattractive aspect of the referendum campaign, and it has deep roots.

Actually, with a bit of luck Brexit will bring a more tolerant, liberal and enlightened society. People may be able to express their real concerns about the impact of immigration on the jobs and pay that they would like to obtain, without being derided as racists, xenophobes and neo-fascists. People may even be able to disagree with the EU and the Guardian without being described as a ‘horde of Goths’.

It is shameful that all the major parties were opposed to holding a referendum on important changes in the way we are governed. That approach expressed the contempt they felt for the worth and the intelligence of ordinary people. For the major parties those people weren’t good enough to understand, they couldn’t be trusted, they would come to the ‘wrong’ conclusions. Democracy was not for them. It is a sobering thought that without the steady rise of UKIP David Cameron would never have promised a referendum in January 2103.

Nevertheless, against expectations and despite scare-mongering by the leadership of both main camps, the debate has actually turned into a real, lively, healthy engagement with the issues. We should keep that up. We should vote Leave. There will be risks, but that is the radical option. We will not fully restore respect for democracy or the spirit of freedom overnight, but we will have made a new start, and we will not prevail without them.

John Fitzpatrick
Professor of Law
Director of the Kent Law Clinic

Written by anubis

June 23rd, 2016 at 11:35 am

Vote Leave

without comments

I’ve already voted to Leave.

These are the factors that I think are significant and form the reason for my vote.

1. The Euro. The Euro is an unmitigated disaster for the people of Europe. It has caused grave economic distortions which have impoverished the south (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal) and those countries will never recover while they are in the Euro since their economies will not become German, and they will never be able to effect the internal deflation required by their levels of debt. Unable to inflate the debt away, and due to the mercantilist effects of having an overvalued currency they will never start growing again through exports so they will eventually collapse. The main beneficiary of this policy has been Germany, who have effectively been running a mercantilist foreign trade policy with a massively undervalued currency. That the Euro has been instigated by the elites in pursuit of all the trappings of statehood, while having these empirically determinable negative effects on vast part of their population, is evidence of the total failure of governance. This failure is a direct result of the undemocratic procedure by which laws are formulated and enacted.

2. The EU is Anti-Democratic. Terms like “anti-democratic” and “sovereignty” are dismissed as abstract by the Remainers. However, what sovereignty actually is, in its albeit imperfect way, is feedback to the decision making process within the government. Feedback is an essential component of intelligence. Sticking your hand in a flame when you can’t feel pain will lead to destruction of the tissue. A government with no feedback will have no way of correcting its errors, leading to destruction of the society it is tasked with administering. We long ago established individual property rights. This has been eroded by, for example, income tax (which is actually theft) but the general principle exists within our legal system that taxation is payment for something and contractual and therefore cannot be arbitrary and therefore cannot be levied without due process and representation within the parliament of the levying agency. These concepts have had strong economic benefits and are a major contributing factor to the economic success of the Anglo bloc (UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Evidence that lack of accountability is damaging is provided by …. The €uro. See above. Thus the argument that the EU is undemocratic is not based on little Englander national sovereignty but is intrinsically linked to accountability of the decision making for society and the resulting societal wellbeing, which is a direct result of such accountability.

3. Clearly the political aims of the EU take precedence over the economic. Economic benefit has always been the carrot, but the real aim is control of the resources of the member states by those who would dominate. That means Germany. Actually it means a rag tag of euro “ex” Marxist, statist lunatics (Merkel, Barroso etc..). Since democratic accountability would prevent that, the method used to aggregate this power must by definition be undemocratic in order to secure its aim. Since lack of accountability is damaging to the economic wellbeing of the subject, i.e. the member states that the dominators wish to dominate, the entire project has unobtainable aims since the necessary method (unaccountability) is actually antithetical to the stated aims (economic wellbeing). That those who are most enthusiastic about this do not understand this is most certainly true, but the fact that they don’t understand it, is exactly reason for not allowing them to try. If they truly are unaware that their actions can only have a negative outcome and they clearly deny or are happy to ignore the real empirical negative impacts of their choices, then based on this evidence, expecting any good to come of the EU is lunacy. Furthermore, based on this evidence, it is completely unrealistic to expect any other pattern from those in control since they don’t know they are doing anything wrong.

Hope is a fine thing. But hope in the face of considerable evidence of the futility of that hope is pathetic. I have voted Leave for the benefit of the people of Europe, and the benefit of the people of the UK.

Written by anubis

June 16th, 2016 at 9:47 am

EU membership referendum vote

without comments

VoteLeave

The €uro is the weapon of mass destruction that is causing Europe-wide economic ills. Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy will never be Germany, so the ‘needed’ internal deflationary adjustments will never occur in these economies as long as the €uro is their currency. Look at recent bank stock price falls for what is going on in the eurozone banking sector. Eventually (already happening actually) the resulting economic hardship will lead to violence.

There will never be ‘reform’ of the EU since its entire purpose is the opposite of the suggested aims of those who claim they would reform it. It is a political project to establish and strengthen an oligarchic dictatorship, free from interference by the ‘demos’, and this is being pursued regardless of the economic effects of its policies which, empirically undeniably, are failing.

So this is the only remedy that all sane people should follow, whether motivated by economic, political or constitutional considerations.

A #Brexit #VoteLeave is a vote for the good of Europe. A #Brexit vote will be the first step in freeing all peoples of the continent of Europe from the vile, anti-democratic crony fascism that is the EU.

When we leave, the resulting collapse of the €uro will free Europe (especially the south) from the €uro derived shackles of economic stagnation and will restart progress in the direction of cooperative economic and social well-being shared by free peoples….(Note plural).

Written by anubis

May 30th, 2016 at 7:36 am

Referendum

without comments

AN UNLAWFUL REFERENDUM.

Very shortly, the British people will be voting in an unlawful referendum; unlawful because our national sovereignty is the birth right of generations yet unborn, just as it was ours and therefore not in the gift of any one generation to decide whether or not they wish to return to being a free sovereign people of self political determination, or remain a satellite state subordinate to the German based European political empire.

The majority will be so doing without the slightest understanding of the issues involved and the consequences and potential perils of their actions. The situation now is similar to the situation that existed in 1972, when the then Conservative government, acting without mandate or regard for due lawful procedure, took the nation into what was then “The Common Market” or European Economic Community, while hiding from the people the factual implications of the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Rome.

In order to facilitate that 1972 act of treachery, the people were led to believe that the issue was one of economics and that national sovereignty would not be affected. Today’s Conservative government is peddling virtually the same dishonest and deceitful lies, and they are now simply smothering the issue of national sovereignty with a great play on the claimed but totally hypothetical advantages of being permanently subordinate to an unelected, unaccountable and undemocratic foreign political power, which has come to replace the pure common market (now the European Economic Area – the free trade zone which is totally separate from the political union that is the EU).

Most importantly, the essential issue of this coming referendum is not about politics or economics, it is about national sovereignty and freedom, the most highly valued thing known to man and for which mankind has time and again been prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend and secure.

Little wonder the people are divided on the issue, which is one of utter confusion as it was deliberately planned so to be. Also as planned, if the people were to be informed of the truth behind our present unlawful governance it would doubtless be met with utter disbelief, for such circumstances are expected to be found in third world countries, not in the land of Christian principles and honest integrity, presided over by a contractually bound sovereign monarch and the mother of all Parliaments. The sad truth is that in 1972 a parliamentary political coup by the Conservative party deposed the office of the monarch, dismissed the people’s common law constitution and surrendered the supremacy of the Crown, together with the people’s law and the nation’s sovereignty to a foreign political power.

As things presently stand, the economies of the world are in a state of flux which does not make for any form of monetary or political stability. The EU is no exception (worse in fact due to fascistic legal processes and endless EU regulation), yet our politicians, large corporates and a number of very wealthy international speculators are attempting to persuade us to dispense with a thousand years of constitutional stability by placing ourselves permanently under the dictate of unelected foreign bureaucrats whose nations’ histories have never experienced democracy as we understand it; and all in the pursuit of the possibility of financial gain.

Important though the issues of trade and investment are, man does not live by bread alone, there are other important aspects and issues that are essential to social cohesion and political stability, such as principle, integrity, truth, transparency and fairness; our ancient word ‘fair’, which summarises all that we are as a people, has no equivalent in any other language. It is these social assets we have in our national disposition and from which our democracy is sustained and gives lead and example to the civilised world, a far greater value than the handful of silver for which our politicians would sell our lawful rights and freedoms.

For the past half century the British people have been deceived, lied to and denied the truth of their inalienable common law rights and liberties. Before 1972 we had a thousand year old written common law constitution that summarised, represented, expressed and upheld all that we were as a nation state and upon which our system of law was based. Under the terms, principles and demands of the Treaty of Rome, this had to be ignored, buried, forgotten and banished from the nation’s education curricula, it being the antitheses of the “Code Napoleon” on which European law is based, not least on such issues as the presumption of innocence and trial by one’s peers in the form of a jury.

Not surprisingly, very few people, including politicians, understand what the Treaty of Rome is all about. The principle and objectives of the Treaty of Rome, which is based on the German High Command document Europaisch Whitshaftsgemeinshaft 1942, is to realise the planned destruction of the nation states of Europe by the eradication of the principle of national sovereignty. Prior to the Conservative government signing up to the Treaty of Rome in 1972 there was deceitful and misleading propaganda proffered by that government that we would not be losing but would be sharing our sovereignty, despite sovereignty being absolute and indivisible. In reality, our national sovereignty was surrendered and replaced by the political sovereignty of the EEC. Before the surrender we were a constitutional monarchy, this was ended, along with the monarchy, for there is no provision in the Treaty of Rome for a constitutional monarchy.

Clearly, the monarch had either abdicated or been treasonously deposed, as there can be no sovereign monarch in a country that is no longer sovereign. Under the Coronation Oath Act 1688, the monarch was also the official Governor of the nation, with extensive powers of governance, as vested in the monarch by the people, at the time of the Coronation. The government of the day was no more than a delegated authority, with no powers of its own, its only powers being those loaned to it by the people for its temporary duration, and was mounted by the monarch on the people’s behalf for a strictly limited period. The power of governance remained with the monarch and through the monarch to the people, the monarch and the people being as one, as established and proclaimed in a marriage as part of the coronation ceremony. In summary, before 1972, this nation was not about Parliament and the people, it was about the people and their elected monarch, Parliament being no more than a temporarily appointed national administration and legislature; a national servant.

With the unlawful dissolution of the monarchy and the surrender of the supremacy of the Crown in accord with the terms and conditions of the Treaty of Rome, Parliament, which formerly drew its legitimacy from the Crown, became an illegitimate and therefore unlawful assembly and has remained so since 1972. The abdication of the monarch was later officially confirmed when following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, again by a Conservative government, the then Conservative prime minister John Major announced in the House of Commons that all British people had been officially made citizens of the EU including the Queen, the implication being that all, including the Queen were bound by the demands, obligations and restrictions of that foreign citizenship. Had John Major not been correct he would have been ‘imagining the death of the monarch’ and so subject to charges of Treason under the Treason Felony Act 1848, but no action was taken against him. Also, clearly, no one could be both monarch and citizen at the same time. By his statement, John Major was also making sure that everyone fully understood that they were NO LONGER BRITISH SUBJECTS.

Unlawful though this coming referendum is, as it invites the British people to engage in an act of treason against themselves, it could at least give expression to those wishing to return to being British subjects and once more under lawful governance.

To those who will be voting.

If you wish to return to being a British subject.

If you wish to have the Crown and the monarchy reinstated.

If you wish to return to lawful governance and the rule of law administered through a legitimate national parliament.

If you wish to see a return to the lawful recognition of our ancient common law Constitution.

If you wish to ensure your descendants grow up and live in a free and sovereign country of self political determination, there is only one way to vote and that is, for this nation to leave the politically chaotic and financially corrupt European Union.

Do so with a will and be mindful of the hundreds of thousands of foreign immigrants surreptitiously brought here to vote against you, and the hundreds of thousands of those born here of foreign immigrants who have no historic affinity with this country, be it politically or spiritually. Digest the facts that are hereby laid out and check them out for yourself, should you have a mind to, and should you be of a spiritual belief, pray that the sword of truth and enlightenment does ultimately prevail.

Bob Lomas.

Written by anubis

May 14th, 2016 at 7:27 am

Illegality of UK’s membership of the EU

without comments

Sovereignty – The ability to rule ourselves and make our own laws.

The Lord Kilmuir letter, below, was sent to Edward Heath advising him that joining the European Economic Community would be contrary to English Constitutional Law. It would be a total abrogation of his duty to govern us according to our laws and customs.

Heath went ahead anyway and in 1972 gave away Britain’s sovereignty in the most grievous act of treason in British history. Diligently pursuing his treachery, every following parliament has been an unlawful assembly unqualified to legally govern. This means that every Act and EU Treaty since 1972 is null and void as treason has no authority in law.

The comments in red interleaved in Lord Kilmuir’s letter, clearly show that the Heath Government was fully prepared to commit acts of Sedition and Treason in order to take the UK into the EEC. Unfortunately we do not have a copy of Heath’s original letter to Lord Kilmuir.

My Dear Ted,

You wrote to me on the 30th November about the constitutional implications of our becoming a party to the Treaty of Rome. I have now had an opportunity of considering what you say in your letter and have studied the memoranda you sent me. I agree with you that there are important constitutional issues involved.

I have no doubt that if we do sign the Treaty, we shall suffer some loss of sovereignty, but before attempting to define or evaluate the loss I wish to make one general observation. At the end of the day, the issue whether or not to join the European Economic Community must be decided on broad political grounds and if it appears from what follows in this letter that I find the constitutional objections serious, that does not mean that I consider them conclusive. I do, however, think it important that we should appreciate clearly from the outset exactly what, from the constitutional point of view, is involved if we sign the treaty, and it is with that consideration in mind that I have addressed myself to the questions you have raised.

He is clear that if we do sign the agreement with the EEC we will suffer some loss of Sovereignty. This is clearly an act of Treason because our Constitution allows no such surrender of any part of our Constitution to a foreign power beyond the control of the Queen in parliament. This is evidenced by the convention which says:-

(Parliament may do many things but what it may not do is surrender any of its rights to govern unless we have been defeated in war). And the ruling given to King Edward 3rd in 1366 in which he was told that King John’s action in surrendering England to the Pope and ruling England as a Vassal King to Rome was illegal because England did not belong to John, he held it only in trust for those who followed him. The money that the Pope was demanding as tribute was not to be paid because England’s Kings were NOT vassal Kings to the Pope nor was the money legitimately owed.

Adherence to the Treaty of Rome would, in my opinion, affect our sovereignty in three ways:-

a) Parliament would be required to surrender some of its functions to the organs of the community;

b) The Crown would be called upon to transfer part of its treaty-making power to those organs of the Community;

The English Constitution confers treaty making powers on only the Sovereign. The Sovereign cannot transfer those powers to a foreign power nor even, to our own parliament because they are mere servants of the Monarch. Sovereignty itself cannot be given away as it resides with the people who entrust it to the Monarch for his/her lifetime and the Monarch is obliged by law to pass that sovereignty on to any successor as it was received.

c) Our courts of law would sacrifice some degree of independence by becoming subordinate in certain respects to the European Court of Justice.

It is a Praemunire to allow any case to be taken to a foreign court not under the control of the Sovereign. The European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights are foreign courts not under the control of our Sovereign. Praemunire is a crime akin to Treason.

The position of Parliament:

It is clear that the memorandum prepared by your Legal Advisers that the Council could eventually (after the system of qualified majority voting had come into force) make regulations which would be binding on us even against our wishes, and which would in fact become for us part of the law of the land.

There are two ways in which this requirement of the Treaty could in practice be implemented:-

It is a Praemunire to allow any laws or regulations not made by the Sovereign in parliament to take effect as law in England. This is illegal under the 1351 Treason Act, the 1351 Act of Praemunire (which was introduced by King Edward III because he believed it was an affront to his honour and dignity as King of England to have laws imposed upon his Kingdom by a foreign power, to have any of his subjects to be taken out of England to be tried in a foreign court or for his Bishops to excomminicate any of his subjects on the orders of the Pope), the Act of Praemunire 1392, the Act of Supremacy 1559, the Declaration and Bill of Rights 1688/9 and the Treason Felony Act 1848.

Parliament could legislate ad hoc on each occasion that the Council made regulations requiring action by us. The difficulty would be that, since Parliament can bind neither itself nor its successors, we could only comply with our obligations under the Treaty if parliament abandoned its right of passing independent judgement on the legislative proposals put before it.

A parallel [to the position of Britain and the EU] would be, for instance, the constitutional convention whereby Parliament passed British North American Bills without question at the request of the Parliament of Canada. In this respect Parliament here would have in substance, if not in form, abdicated its sovereign position and it would have pro tanto, to do the same for the Community.

No such power exists for parliament to do this. This would be an act of treason under the 1351 Treason Act, a Praemunire under the 1351and 1392 Acts of Praemunire, an act of treason under the 1559 Act of Supremacy, the 1688/9 Declaration and Bill of Rights and the Treason Felony Act 1848.

It would in theory, be possible for Parliament to enact at the outset legislation which would give automatic force of law to any existing or future regulations made by the appropriate organs of the Community. For Parliament to do this would go far beyond the most extensive delegation of powers even in wartime that we have ever experienced and I do not think there is any likelihood of this being acceptable to the House of Commons. Whichever course were adopted, Parliament would retain in theory the liberty to repeal the relevant Act or Acts, but I would agree with you that we must act on the assumption that entry into the Community would be irrevocable. We should therefore have to accept a position where Parliament had no more power to repeal its own enactments than it has in practice to abrogate the statute of Westminster. In short, Parliament would have to transfer to the Council, or other appropriate organ of the Community, its substantive powers of legislating over the whole of a very important field.

There is no constitutionally acceptable method of doing this because it would be tantamount to a total abrogation of their duty to govern us according to our laws and customs. And it would be an act of treason under the 1351 Treason Act, a Praemunire under the 1351 and 1392 Acts of Praemunire and treason under the 1559 Act of Supremacy, the 1688/9 Declaration and Bill of Rights and the Treason Felony Act 1848.

Regarding Treaty-making powers:

The proposition that every treaty entered into by the United Kingdom does to some extent fetter our freedom of action is plainly true. Some treaties such as GATT and OEEC restrict severely our liberty to make agreements with third parties and I should not regard it as detrimental to our sovereignty that, by signing the Treaty of Rome, we undertook not to make tariff or trade agreements without the Council’s approval. But to transfer to the Council or the Commission the power to make such treaties on our behalf and even against our will, is an entirely different proposition.

There seems to me to be a clear distinction between the exercise of the sovereignty involved in the conscious acceptance by us of obligations under treaty-making powers and the total or partial surrender of sovereignty involved in our cession of these powers to some other body. To confer a sovereign state’s treaty-making powers on an international organisation is the first step on the road which leads by way of confederation to the fully federal state. I do not suggest that what is involved would necessarily carry us very far in this direction, but it would be a most significant step and one for which there is no precedent in our case. Moreover, a further surrender of sovereignty of parliamentary supremacy would necessarily be involved: as you know, treaty-making power is vested in the Crown.

Parliamentary sanction is required for any treaty which involves a change in the law or the imposition of taxation, to take two examples, and we cannot ratify such a treaty unless Parliament consents. But if binding treaties are to be entered into on our behalf, Parliament must surrender this function and either resign itself to becoming a rubber stamp or give the Community, in effect, the power to amend our domestic laws.

This is a surrender of our Sovereignty, a clear act of treason under the 1351 Treason Act and a Praemunire under the 1351 and 1392 Acts of Praemunire, it is treason under the 1559 Act of Supremacy, the 1688/9 Declaration and Bill of Rights and the Treason Felony Act 1848.

Independence of the Courts

There is no precedent for our final appellate tribunal being required to refer questions of law (even in a limited field) to another court and as I assume to be the implication of ‘refer’ — to accept that court’s decision. You will remember that when a similar proposal was considered in connection with the Council of Europe we felt strong objection to it. I have no doubt that the whole of the legal profession in this country would share my dislike for such a proposal which must inevitably detract from the independence and authority of our courts.

Of those three objections, the first two are by far the more important. I must emphasise that in my view the surrenders of sovereignty involved are serious ones and I think that as a matter of practical politics, it will not be easy to persuade Parliament or the public to accept them. I am sure that it would be a great mistake to under-estimate the force of objections to them. But these objections ought to be brought out into the open now because, if we attempt to gloss over them at this state, those who are opposed to the whole idea of our joining the Community will certainly seize on them with more damaging effect later on.

Having said this, I would emphasise once again that, although those constitutional considerations must be given their full weight when we come to balance the arguments on either side, I do not for one moment wish to convey the impression that they must necessarily tip the scale. In the long run we shall have to decide whether economic factors require us to make some sacrifices of sovereignty: my concern is to ensure that we should see exactly what it is that we are being called on to sacrifice, and how serious our loss would be.

It is a Praemunire to subject Her Majesty’s Courts of Law to the domination of a foreign court outside of Her Majesty’s control.

Written by anubis

May 9th, 2016 at 12:39 pm