The List (1100+ Words)

Welcome to the Blog!

This first post simply sets out where I started in my journey from being completely ignorant though concerned about the impact the EU was having on the UK, to deciding to take action on the matter now that we have the impending EU referendum.

Hague Mosaic
A selection of my own photos taken in The Hague, Holland

The following is a list I wrote some time ago (actually in an email to a University Professor).  Not all of it will be correct but worthwhile I think to list all of my original points as they represent the views of a layman. Some of the points are in response to particular points the Professor and I discussed so may lack some context, however just view it as a brain dump and it makes more sense.

I have also been challenged by more than one Twitter user to list the ‘reasons why the EU is so bad’ so this will suffice as a starter for ten.  As I took this from an email sent to an EU supporter, it is written in that style.  Think of it as a message to you if you are an EU supporter.

The List

Following are the things I could think of that concern me about our current membership of the EU.  I am simply a lay person who has come to realize that this has a huge impact on my life and that of my children, fellow citizens (of UK) and that I needed to learn more.

Why is the EU different to the United Kingdom? Why is it important at all where borders are drawn?  A persons sense of belonging to group and nationhood is a very complex area. Subject to emotion of course but also rooted in entirely practical considerations, some of which I list below:

Legal system: Habeas Corpus vs Corpus Juris, a fundamental difference. Simple practical example: outlawing of people harvesting/sharing seeds from domestic plants that are not approved in EU law.  Basically, UK law says: ‘these things are prohibited and you will be punished if you do them’. European law says ‘you may only do that which we have explicitly allowed’. Being a generally ‘law abiding’ citizen I do not submit to being controlled to that extent. Talk about human rights?

A completely different basis of the legal system alone illustrates the fundamental difference between UK and EU. You won’t hear Nick Clegg or any other EU cheerleader pointing it out though.

Being entered into the EEC in 1973 based on a huge deceit: that it was only a trade agreement and that “there is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty” in the words of Edward Heath. Note how he described sovereignty as essential.

More on Heath.

Heath of course knew this to be untrue as it is made clear in the treaty of Rome (dated 25th March 1957: “DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” (Emphasis theirs not mine). In fact that is the very first statement in the objectives.

Heath was advised by civil servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth office that it did of course mean a loss of sovereignty. This only came to light after the 30 year rule and the documents were released to the public.

You want to cheer lead for a situation based on lies which has so many damaging effects on UK citizens and leads us further towards a world where a small number of government officials wield ever increasing powers and citizens of whatever nation/region they are deemed to be members of have a vanishingly small meaningful democratic influence?

Being subject to extradition to any EU nation with no prima facie evidence being required. (European Arrest Warrant, EAW).

Loss of influence generally e.g UK seat on WTO, ceded to EU.

UK budgets subject to approval by Brussels.

Ruled by politicians who are discouraged from criticizing EU which is essential for effective democracy.

Loss of control of the population size in UK. Not in a general sense but a literal one due to free movement, immigration pa is ~8.5%).

Being one of only a few countries that are net contributors to the EU (9 out if 28 in 2010 e.g), UK being the 2nd highest. Do you think those that take from the EU have the same interests as those that give?

Waste of funds provided to the EU. For public projects (Cohesion Funds) I have personally seen gold plated provision of leisure facilities in France with EU flag liberally displayed to make clear to people that they can get ‘money’ from the EU (those net contributors again). Actually is it making them feel dependent on EU which of course suits the EU leaders. It is insidious as we are being bribed with our own money.

On an emotional level the difference is the commonality I share with British/English (I’m actually Welsh born to an English father/Welsh mother but I live in England). I have worked abroad (in Europe) and have friends who live in continental Europe.

Giving away fishing rights.

Subsidizing French way of life by supporting their farming system, which is very different to UK farming (and has been since before 1973).

Supporting/paying for a huge bureaucracy with an extremely small amount of power to influence the outcome.

Before you conclude that I am a little Englander, please know that I am well traveled, personally and through work. Adore France and the French (but not French government). Love experiencing different cultures, languages. Love to welcome foreigners to visit and experience UK. I am not xenophobic in any way shape or form. Hopefully you can see that my position is principled and fact based.

If nothing else I appeal to you on an intellectual level to view the EU in a wider historic sense, certainly not simply from a post 1945 perspective and see if you can hold to your position that it can ‘only be a good thing’.

End##

Not a comprehensive list by any means and it was simply what came to mind at the time.

I intend to pick up on each of the items raised in the list and research/write a blog post about it. Note, trade wasn’t one of the items, neither was ‘how the UK can do better outside the EU’, whether true or not.

A recent item of interest is recent legislation from the EU on the legal Presumption of Innocence.  Some interesting Analysis by EU Law Analysis: Presumption of Innocence

Strange that in the 21st century, such basic legal provisions need to be legislated for by the EU?

But what about our Human Rights?

9 thoughts on “The List (1100+ Words)

  1. Whilst I am in full back-seat-driver-mode, can I just make a teensy suggestion?
    The comments….. you all need to sort out the comments.
    Eureferendum does this well….. you get to the end of the piece and click on comments, and lo! there are the comments.
    Pete North (sorry, Pete!) is not so good. You click on the comments and then have to scroll through the whole piece again to get to the comments.
    Others seem to have NO comments.
    There is an awful lot of scrolling and finding nothing on many websites.
    Young Sceptic Isle (go you, young Sceptic Isle!) tells you at the top of the piece how many comments there are; and if you have read the piece before, you know there is something else to check out.
    Just a helpful suggestion and I am in AWE of you guys who do this, because you are amazing. But as a reader and one trying to learn, the comments are really important. And I would like to receive them without having to go all round the houses.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m using default WordPress settings and I am seeing the # comments next to the post title on both PC and Mobile. Clicking them takes you to the first comment.
    Possibly it was just that I hadn’t noticed the comments and approved them (I’ll take off approval).
    Thanks for the feedback though, important that it is as easy as possible to interact on the blogs and in general.

    Like

  3. I would follow you if I could see the “subscribe to this blog” button.
    This is a WordPress widget you may want to add.

    I could and I will shoot all of your arguments right out of the water, but won’t do it here because I love reasoned debate, and will do it as and when you make your points in blogs to come.

    I know you have read my blog, as you selectively lifted parts of it as ‘block quotes’ Lifting sentences out of context is not clever. A good example is where I juxtapose Dan Hannan’s neo-colonial trade policy to what generally is regarded as modern trade as regulated by the world trade organisation.

    Today I will only comment on Human Rights. As you know Britain’s accession to the European court of Human Rights pre-dates EU membership. Indeed that court was mainly set up by British thought leaders who implemented their ideas. To say that it’s fundamentally different is a farcical argument.

    Eurosceptics often think that Human Rights are only invoked to protect foreign criminals and that the’d never have a need for them because they think they’re the good guys.

    These people, if they are Tories have short memories because not so long ago a Labour government decided it was a good idea to build a National DNA database by stealth. It was only after intervention of a Court in Strassbourg that a million innocent Brits were removed from that database, which also meant their data wasn’t broadcast all over the world to other police forces

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    1. Response in line with text from your comment:

      >I would follow you if I could see the “subscribe to this blog” button.
      This is a WordPress widget you may want to add.

      Strange, I can see the list of subscribers but not the place to add the widget. Will google how to add it when I get a minute.

      >I could and I will shoot all of your arguments right out of the water, but won’t do it here because I love reasoned debate, and will do it as and when you make your points in blogs to come.

      More than welcome. I’ll either bat them straight back at you and we can debate them or I’ll acknowledge if and when I come to realise there is a more valid point of view. I’m always happy to learn and we all have different levels of knowledge on various subjects.
      If your future comments are like your comments on the Trade Wars post however, you certainly won’t be ‘shooting all my arguments right out of the water’.

      >I know you have read my blog, as you selectively lifted parts of it as ‘block quotes’ Lifting sentences out of context is not clever. A good example is where I juxtapose Dan Hannan’s neo-colonial trade policy to what generally is regarded as modern trade as regulated by the world trade organisation.

      I lifted quotes of yours where you made a statement in support of your point that also supported mine. I’m not concerned that you made them to rebut Hannan as I’m not making the same points as him. As you can see from my post and my responses to your comments, I am exactly talking about “what generally is regarded as modern trade as regulated by the world trade organisation.”
      I’m happy to go back to the source of the lifted quote and if I believe it is indeed unfair of me to have taken it out of context I’m happy to acknowledge.

      >Today I will only comment on Human Rights. As you know Britain’s accession to the European court of Human Rights pre-dates EU membership. Indeed that court was mainly set up by British thought leaders who implemented their ideas. To say that it’s fundamentally different is a farcical argument.

      Yes, I am aware of the British involvement in establishing the ECHR. I’m not referring to it in the post though. You are referring to where I point out there is a different basis for the legal system in the UK vs many member states. It is indeed a different system. Read the simple example I gave. It was a general comment about the rights I enjoy currently under English Law, not a comment on the ECHR at all.
      Proposals to implement Corpus Juris under a European Public Prosecutor were included in the draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe and only removed (IIRC) when it was rejected by France and Holland and the Constitution was re-written as the Lisbon Treaty. Hence the relevance in relation to the EU.

      >Eurosceptics often think that Human Rights are only invoked to protect foreign criminals and that the’d never have a need for them because they think they’re the good guys.
      These people, if they are Tories have short memories because not so long ago a Labour government decided it was a good idea to build a National DNA database by stealth. It was only after intervention of a Court in Strasbourg that a million innocent Brits were removed from that database, which also meant their data wasn’t broadcast all over the world to other police forces.

      If I said the EU never did anything good it would be disingenuous. I am also under no illusions about politicians in general or in Westminster. I have to decide on balance whether I want to support continued UK membership of the EU and not on a single issue.
      However, as I’ve explained you are barking up the wrong tree with your comment anyway.

      Verdict: All shots wide of target.

      Like

  4. Is this you Alan? Our beloved Prez Schulz on twitter? In that case I suggest you add your identity and credentials to the ‘about’ section of your blog, because it says absolutely nothing about you other that you like to blog about EU and Europe :-0

    RE the widgets you need go in admin mode, click on apearence and widgets to add the subscribe button. I did you a screenscrape which I can send on twitter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is Alan King (Twitter @akabilky, Prez SchuIz) behind these posts. Based on a previous twitter conversation I thought you were aware of that. Apologies for any confusion.

      I will add some personal details but the blog is not personal (other than the initial post) and I intend only to act as curator. Most of the posts will most likely be my own, depending on my abilities to cajole others who are pro Brexit to pen an article for the blog. At present I have a few promises.

      Like

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