|1. Why was the European Union
There are so few good arguments for being in the
European Union (EU) today that it is hard to remember why it
started. The two most important reasons belong to the last
century and are now out of date.
First, in 1945 the
French wanted to stop the Germans starting another war in
Europe. They thought they could tie Germany down within a
union of all European countries.
Second, the Americans
wanted to support a bloc in Europe against the threat of the
Soviet Union. EU believers still claim that the EU is crucial
to keeping peace in Europe. But wars are not started by
democracies. They often begin when different nations are
forced together. Yugoslavia is the latest of many examples.
Even in the UK, the recent troubles in Northern Ireland are a
horrible reminder that living under the same roof is no
guarantee of a happy marriage. To cram the British together
with the French, Germans, Italians, Greeks and Spaniards would
be asking for trouble.
A third reason for the EU was
the creation of the Single Market - the duty free exchange of
goods and freedom of travel across Europe. That was a good
idea. But it didn't - and still doesn't - need to lead to a
single government for all of Europe.
|2. Why did Britain join the EU?|
It was understandable that Britain wanted to join the
Single Market. However, there was no need to join the EU and
Britain made a big mistake in doing so. Most people thought
that the EU was a natural extension of the Single Market. They
did not realise that, as a result, Britain would lose its
sovereignty and independence.
|3. Can Britain veto decisions we don't
Britain's right to protect itself has been steadily
eroded. We can still block decisions in a few areas but even
these are under threat. In most cases, Britain can be outvoted
by other EU countries. (1) The House of Commons is then
compelled to put the EU's decision into law.
It is not
just that Britain often loses to the other EU countries. We
also have to fight the bureaucrats who work for the EU
institutions: the Commission, Council, Court and Parliament.
They are committed to building a single government for Europe,
giving them increasing power over us. They approach every
problem with this goal in mind.
|4. Is there protection for minority
interests like the UK under Euro law?|
The EU does have a special Court to hear this kind of
appeal. Unfortunately, it invariably finds in favour of the
'ever closer union of the peoples of Europe' as required by
the Treaty, rather than protecting the rights of individual
Britain has a long history of protecting the
rights of its citizens, going back to Magna Carta in 1215. But
the EU's new Charter of Fundamental Rights will override all
One key element of our tradition is
'Habeas Corpus'. This means that British people are treated as
innocent until proven guilty. But the EU has an idea called
'Corpus Juris' which would destroy our traditions. If an EU
country wants to arrest you, our police would have to give you
up even without any evidence.
|5. Would our trade suffer if we left the
There is no need to worry about future trade with the
EU if we withdraw from it. We buy far more of their goods than
they buy of ours. (2) If trade stopped altogether, the EU
countries would lose far more than we would.
Germans will still want to go on selling to us their Mercedes,
BMWs and Volkswagens, the Italians their Fiats and the French
their Renaults, wines and perfumes. We could easily enter into
a Free Trade Agreement with them, because they would be mad
not to. Indeed, the EU has just entered into a Free Trade
Agreement with Mexico, for example, which would suit Britain
very well. Even without negotiating a Free Trade Agreement,
the UK would be better off if we exported to the Single Market
from outside the EU because our contributions to the EU
outweigh our trade advantages by about £2 billion per annum.
Only about 14
per cent of everything Britain produces (Gross Domestic
Product - GDP) is exported to the EU. This amount is declining
and in deficit. Another 14 per cent goes to the rest of the
world. The remaining 72 per cent of our GDP is our domestic
economy. We should not let the mangy EU tail go on wagging our
healthy UK dog. They need us far more than we need them. (4)
|6. If we left the EU would we lose out on
its aid to the UK?|
Don't fall for that one. We give to the EU more than
we receive. We pay about £11 billion annually to the EU from
which it gives us back about half. (5) So there really is no
such thing as 'EU aid'. We would be far better spending our
money ourselves, without the costly and corrupt bureaucratic
filter of Brussels. The net amount of money we give them would
buy over 50 hospitals every year for example. Surely this
would be a much better way of spending our
|7. What do we pay our contribution
Much of it is wasted running the absurdly
over-regulated bureaucracy of the EU. The EU is like a
paper-making factory. The number of regulations, directives
and legal acts issued by the EU has increased more than
tenfold since Britain joined and there are now over 25,000 in
The EU spends most effort on the least
important subjects. The Ten Commandments run to 300 words and
the American Declaration of Independence to just under 1330.
In contrast, the EU directive on the export of duck eggs runs
to over 26,900 words - a time-consuming bureaucratic blizzard
|8. Is it really true that there is a lot of
fraud and corruption in the EU?|
The EU Commission has admitted to fraud of about £500
million a year (7) , enough to build 5 hospitals a year in
Britain. But experts in the House of Lords think that the true
figure is at least seven times as much. The EU Court of
Auditors refused to pass the EU accounts for several years and
every member of the Commission had to resign in 1999 because
of the scandalous record. The EU's £7 billion annual foreign
aid budget is also grossly mismanaged; much of the money does
not arrive at its destination. (8)
|9. Have we benefited from the Common
The CAP is a complete nonsense. The EU pays some
farmers not to produce food. It pays others to produce food
which is not worth growing. For example, the EU obliges us to
provide only 85 per cent of the milk we need, while our
farmers spray milk onto fields to avoid exceeding their
The result is that British people pay more for
food than they should. The CAP costs the average UK family an
extra £1000 a year in food costs. We need the CAP like a hole
in the head. (9)
|10. What has happened to our
Fishing was the livelihood of thousands of British
workers and indirectly of thousands more. The EU's Common
Fisheries Policy has destroyed most of this. We can no longer
simply catch fish in our waters. Instead, the EU tells us what
we can and cannot catch.
Britain used to own over three
quarters of the fish in EU waters. Now we are allowed to catch
only one third of the EU's fish. (10) By the end of 2002, all
the EU's fishing fleets will be able to fish in our twelve
mile coastal belt.
The Brussels bureaucrats who
designed this absurd policy thought they could conserve fish
by limiting the numbers landed in port. They did not realise
that most fish are dead when they come up in the nets, so
millions of tonnes of fish are thrown back dead into the sea
each year in the name of EU conservation.
|11. Have we benefited from the EU in any
other industries that might compensate for the loss of our
On the contrary, the cancerous influence of Brussels
has also affected adversely our waste disposal, beef, herbal
medicines, lorries, dairy farmers, whisky distillers, market
gardeners, cheesemakers, paper rounds, boat builders, hotels,
art market, duty free shopping and many other British
|12. If the EU has its way, will we still
have the capacity to wage war or defend ourselves?|
The current plan is for the EU to have a force of
60,000 soldiers. It will be used only for humanitarian
purposes. But the long term aim of creating a single European
government means that we can expect demands for a single EU
army. In this event, NATO, which has kept the peace in Europe
for many years, would be severely undermined. The men and
women in our armed forces might be required to fight a war
under a French or German general for a cause in which we do
not believe. We might also find it difficult to help our
allies, like America.
|13. Is there another way of continuing
trade preferentially with the Eurozone?|
Norway is a successful example of this approach. They
twice voted against joining the EU but are still members of
the European Economic Area and enjoy full tariff-free access
to the Eurozone. Norway's exports to the EU have been at
record levels since then. (11)
Norway enjoys good
relationships with the EU but does not have to contribute to
the EU budget and is not part of Common Agricultural Policy
and Common Fisheries Policy. Clever Norway!
|14. Is the EU working well?|
Far from it. On average there are
twice as many people unemployed in European countries than in
the USA. (12) Europe is in fact lagging behind America in
every respect. It has more people out of work. Its people earn
lower wages and suffer higher taxes. It is behind in the key
industries of the future such as the internet.
|15. Can Britain go it alone?|
course we can. Britain is one of the world's strongest
countries. We have the fourth largest economy in the world.
(13) The City of London is one of the world's leading
financial centres. We sit on the United Nations Security
Council with the world's other leading countries. We founded
the Commonwealth and English is spoken by over one billion
This year Britain has twice been voted the
second best place in the whole world to do business. In a
recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Britain's
prospects for the next five years were rated second only to
the Netherlands. Germany and France were 10th and 15th
We lead Europe in the industries of
the future, such as the internet. (15) Britain has expert
knowledge in advanced technology, art, science, engineering,
telecommunications and medicine.
Before too long we
would not miss the EU Single Market. It already costs very
little to trade with most countries around the world. The
World Trade Organisation is aiming to remove the last
remaining duties. Trading blocs like the EU will become a
thing of the past. But until then we should have no difficulty
in negotiating a new Free Trade Agreement with Europe. Because
we buy more of their goods than they do of ours, they would be
mad to let us withdraw without one.
On our own we would
be free from the crushing bureaucracy of Brussels and free
from having to pay billions of pounds towards its costs. This
money could be far better spent in our economy.
has had to fight many wars to preserve the right to govern
ourselves. We should not give up our sovereignty lightly. Our
current leaders do not seem to have grasped that our freedom
is at stake.
British people themselves need to take a stand.
|16. Isn't joining EMU more about trade than
That is what most politicians tell
you. They say that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is only a
commercial project. But in Europe all politicians accept that
it is designed to create a single European government, with
its own foreign and defence policies and its own legal system.
You have only to listen to what some of the key people
in the EU have been saying for years:
So who do our Euro-enthusiasts think they are
kidding, other than themselves?
- A previous President of the EU, Jacques Delors, said:
'Yes, we have to have transfers of sovereignty to achieve
economic and monetary union.'
- More recently, the new President of the European
Commission, Romano Prodi, told the European Parliament: 'We
must now face the difficult task of moving towards a single
economy, a single political unity.'
- Wim Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank,
said: 'The process of monetary union goes hand in hand, must
go hand in hand, with political integration and ultimately
political union. EMU is, and was always meant to be, a
stepping stone on the way to a united Europe.'
- Hans Tietmeyer, former President of the German Central
Bank, said: 'A country that merges its currency with that of
another currency cannot be politically independent.'
- Gerhard Schroeder, the new Chancellor of Germany, said:
'The introduction of the euro is probably the most important
integrating step since the beginning of the unification
process...it is certain that the times of independent nation
states are definitely over...the internal market and the
common currency demand joint co-ordinating action.'
|17. Would interest rates fall if we joined
The problem with EMU is that it allows only one
interest rate for 11 diverging economies, all growing at
different rates at different times. The 'one-size-fits-all'
interest rate will never be right for all 11
At present, the German economy is in
difficulties with unemployment twice that of the UK, while the
Irish economy is booming. The Germans need lower interest
rates to stimulate their economy, while the Irish need higher
rates to avoid a property crash. In EMU, they must both have
the same rate, whether they like it or not.
If the UK
joins the Single Currency, we would certainly be forced to
accept an interest rate (as we had to in the ERM) that would
be wrong for our economy. If it is too low as is currently
likely, we would be stoking inflation.
If we continue
to fix our own interest rate, our economy will not be put at
risk. For this reason, the Governor of the Bank of England
said recently that he was 'relieved' we did not join the euro
when it started.
: Calculations of Sachverstandigenrat, based on OCED Reveue
Statistics1965-1997 Edition 1998
Corp. Tax range
soc.sec. range %
soc.sec. range %
||10.5 - 59
||15 - 18
||35 - 45
||25 - 35
||10 - 50
||22 - 28
||5 - 45
||35 - 40
||20 - 56
||19 - 46
||30 - 34
||29 - 53
||31 - 56
||7 - 60
||5.5 - 56
||15 - 40
||5.2 - 47
||11 - 13
||11 - 14
||40 - 58
||24 - 46
See also Global
Competitiveness Report 1999, World Economic Forum, p.91
|18. Will our taxes go down if we join
You may have been told that our taxes will be left
alone if we join EMU, but take no notice. The true position
was clearly stated by someone who ought to know - Hans
Tietmeyer, the former President of Germany's Central Bank. He
said: 'A European currency will lead to member nations
transferring their sovereignty over financial and wage policy,
as well as in monetary affairs. It is an illusion to think
that states can hold on to autonomy over taxation policy.'
Very recently, the French government announced that tax
harmonisation was a priority for its Presidency of the EU. If
this happens our taxes will go up by over 18 per cent.
Believe it or not, at present the UK has the
lowest taxes in Europe and is a comparative tax haven.
Britain's corporation tax for business is 30 per cent and is
the lowest of any major industrialised country in the world.
The EU average is about a third as much again.
countries using the Single Currency cannot reduce their tax
burden in the future because, unlike Britain, they have not
set aside enough for their pensions. Britain has more money
put aside in private pensions than the rest of the EU put
If France and Germany do not take
action, they will find themselvs spending more and more on
pensions as their populations get older. This will require
even higher taxation.
Europe's leaders are openly
arguing for control of Britain's tax policies. The European
Commission already has plans to impose VAT at a uniform rate
of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent on all goods, including
children's clothes, books, newspapers, travel fares, new
houses, and food, all of which are at present exempt in
we want to keep low taxes, we have to stay out of
|19. Would joining EMU help our inflation
Only if you want to double it! At present the UK's
inflation rate of under 1 per cent a year is the lowest in
Europe and is about half the European average.
|20. What will happen to our pensions if we
Like most things in the EU it will cost us dearly. At
present, UK pensions are the best funded in Europe. By 2030,
Germany will have to spend three times as much as us just to
keep their pensions at their present rate. (18)
populations age, this pensions timebomb in Europe will lead to
either reduced benefits or higher taxes. If we join EMU, there
is an obvious danger that we will end up, one way or another,
having to make substantial contributions to the pensions
deficits of Germany, France and Italy.
|21. What will happen to our gold reserves
if we join EMU?|
They will be transferred to the European Central Bank which
will 'hold and manage the official reserves of the Member
States'. For the UK, this would mean surrendering control of
our gold reserves of £28 billion. (19) This is one of the many
reasons why joining EMU would be irreversible.
|22. Is it true that foreign investment into
the UK would suffer if we did not join the Single Currency,
and that jobs would be lost?|
Foreign investors know what they are doing. They are
attracted to the UK because we have by far the lowest business
taxes in Europe and a reliable workforce. We also have
considerably less regulation and bureaucracy and we are
comparatively free of corruption. In addition, we speak the
world's most popular commercial language - already 80 per cent
of all electronically stored information is in English.
We continue to receive the lion's share of inward
investment in the EU. Last year we received twice as much
inward investment as France and three times as much as
Germany. (21) Our share has not been affected by foreign
investors already knowing that the majority of the British
people are against joining the euro. Companies like Honda,
Vauxhall, Marconi and Ford have all announced big investments
in Britain because of our much more favourable business
There will undoubtedly be a new Free Trade
Agreement with Europe if we don't join EMU and leave the EU.
The interests of present and future investors would be fully
protected, so they will go on investing in the UK.
|23. Would joining EMU help reduce
Many trade unionists have now realised that 'EMU' also
stands for 'Even More Unemployment'. Countries using the
Single Currency have a much higher unemployment rate than
Britain. Since we left the ERM, Britain has created more jobs
than the rest of the EU put together.
|24. Did we learn anything from our
membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the forerunner of
One crucial lesson - it is absolutely vital to keep
control of our own interest rates. Our two year membership of
the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was disastrous for Britain.
It cost one million jobs and made 100,000 businesses bankrupt.
Since we were liberated from the ERM by market forces the
British economy has prospered far better than
Last year the UK overtook France as the world's
fourth largest economy. We achieved this since leaving the
ERM, because we have had the right level of interest rates for
our economy and the right exchange rate for developing our
world trade. This would not have been possible within the
|25. If EMU is such bad news for the UK, why
does the Prime Minister, some leading politicians, and a
number of leading businessmen argue in its favour?|
The Prime Minister is no longer content with his role
as Mr UK. He wants to play the political game on a bigger
stage and sees himself as Mr Europe.
The Conservatives took us into the
EU. Like most politicians, they are not very good at admitting
their mistakes. They also fear that a movement to withdraw now
would be seen as too right wing and would frighten the voters.
They are wrong about this too - polls indicate that, if forced
to choose, more British people would vote to leave the EU than
join EMU. This is in spite of being told for 25 years that the
EU is vital to the national interest. If a fraction of the
money spent on propaganda had been spent on explaining the
'get-out' case properly, popular support for it would be
Businessmen who support EMU are in the
main from big global businesses. Independent surveys show that
only a quarter of all UK businessmen want to adopt the euro.
Three quarters want to keep the pound. Most small to
medium-sized businesses are against the euro and it is they
who are today's job creators.
The businessmen who say
they like the Single Market are usually just expressing their
belief in free trade, which could in any event be preserved by
negotiating a Free Trade Agreement if we left the
|26. If EMU is such bad news, why are France
and Germany keen on it?|
As in the UK, you have to distinguish between the
politicians and the people. After a tremendous amount of
Government spending on the case for EMU, European France voted
against Maastricht. Those in favour reached just over 50 per
cent because of votes from Guadeloupe and
In Germany, there is growing disquiet as
unemployment continues to be a major problem and as the mark
falls in value with the euro.
|27. Can you think of any argument in favour
of the Single Currency?|
Not on balance. There are three main points in its
favour but there are far more against. There would be some
savings on business transaction costs. It would be easier to
compare European prices with our own. We would not need to
incur the cost of changing pounds into other Eurozone
currencies. However, when put on the scales against being
forced to accept the wrong interest rate for the UK, the loss
of exchange rate flexibility, higher taxes, higher
unemployment costs and massively increased regulation and
bureaucracy, there is an overwhelming case against
|28. At some point in the future, can we
leave EMU, like we left the ERM, if it does not work out well
|No, if we join EMU, it will be irreversible. We will lose
the pound, our gold reserves and domestic monetary control
forever. EMU is the ERM without the escape hatch.|
nightmare will be permanent. It will be no good saying:
wish I had thought about it a little more before I cast my
|Are you in favour of a European
Many people believe that bigger is both better and
safer and anyway they argue the EU is inevitable so why not
try to make the best of it. However, when they step back for a
moment and carefully consider the EU's policies and their
effect on their lives, they are likely to conclude that the EU
is very bad news for Britain and that we should get out as
soon as possible.
The link below will take you to a
check-list of key questions you should ask yourself. If you
find that your answer to most of them is a resounding NO you
need have no further doubts - you are against the EU and you
should try to do something about it.
to the Check-List See
Results so far
Unfortunately, these questions
and answers to them are not the end of the story. The EU
stranlehold on Britain will be massively strengthened if we
join European Monetary Union. Check the next paragraph and
link to see whether or not you agree to this extension of
Brussel's power over Britain.
As you know, the
geniuses who devised the Common Agricultural Policy and the
Common Fisheries Policy are now trying to persuade us to join
another of their mad schemes. European Economic & Monetary
Union (EMU) is its name and their objective is for us to scrap
the pound and join the Single Currency (the
There are many reasons for saying NO to this mad
idea but head and shoulders above all of them is that the
decision would be irreversible.
we join EMU we will be trapped in the EU
take this quick test
Results so far
what can I do?
There is very little that one
person can do on their own but if we get together a great deal
can be achieved. Politicians change their policies when they
are faced with a tidal wave of public opinion. You can help to
create tha wave and this is how you can do it.
Register Your Support
- Go to www.democracy-movement.org.uk and fill in a
request for a the printed version of this pamphlet. Its also
available as a PDF download. Pass out the pamphlet, the
web address to democracy movement and truthwars.com. Give
them out to friends, relatives, etc.
- Write to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A
0AA and make your views clear.
- Write to the BBC (Fraser Steel, Head of Programme
Complaints, BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London
W1A 1AA), or ITV (Programme complaints Dept, ITC, 33 Foley
Street, London W1P 7 LB) if you think any of their
programmes are biases or the full case is not being
- Vote against the EMU if and when there is a Referendum
and try to persuade your family and friends to help preserve
- NEVER vote for any political party that is intent on
closer integration with Europe.
- If you are against the EU or EMU make a donation of
whatever you can spare to The Democracy Movement, Freepost
LON 10777, London SW6 1YZ. They arranged for the production
and distribution of the booklet this material came from and
have been working tirelessly to promote the anti-EU cause.
With your help they will be able to step up the campaign and
make sure that the Government gets a resounding NO from the
Electorate when they call for a Referendum on giving up the
forget, once we're in it, its for ever!
1. For example, Britain opposed the Working
Time Directive, which limits the number of hours that any
person can work to 48 a week. But Britain was outvoted in the
EU and it is now part of British law.
2. Since 1987, the UK
has bought £130 billion more EU goods than they have bought of
our goods. (Free to Choose, Bill Jamieson, Global Britain,
3. Eurofacts 3 March
4. Written Answer House
of Lords, 18 Jan 1999.
5. Figures for
6. 1,947 in 1973.
23,207 in 1999. Free to Choose, Bill Jamieson, Global Britain
7. Prosecuting Fraud on
the Communities' Finances - The Corpus Juris, House of Lords
European Select Committee 18 May 1999.
8. Times 16 May
9. National Consumer
10. Free to Choose,
Bill Jamieson, Global Britain 1997.
11. Free to Choose,
Bill Jamieson, Global Britain 1997.
12. Figures for
Eurostat March 2000.
13. Eurostat 13 March
Intelligence Unit 11 May 2000. AT Kearney 16 February
15. Booz Allen
Hamilton April 2000.
16. The average tax
burden in the Eurozone is 45 per cent; the UK's tax burden is
38 per cent. OECD June 1999.
17. Britain has over
£850 billion invested in private and occupational pension
funds. Department for Social Security 1999.
18. Britain and
Europe, Choices for Change, Bill Jamieson and Patrick Minford,
Politeia and Global Britain 1999.
19. Free to Choose,
Bill Jamieson, Global Britain 1997.
20. The Nott
21. In 1997, Britain
received 52 per cent of all inward investment into the EU.
Source: Eurostat 1 July 1999. In 1999 Britain received $62
billion in inward investment, compared to $31 billion received
by France and $22 billion by Germany. Source: United Nations
Conference for Trade and Development, 12 February
(End of footnotes)