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I had penned my next piece about why the governance structure of the EU harms the ability (and importantly) the agility of the UK to act in its best interests and ultimately in the best interests of Europe.
However, there is something more pressing that we all need to confront and decide how we feel about it.
So, in this post I will examine why it matters that David Cameron has lied about the ‘Legally Binding’ deal that he apparently secured in Brussels on 20th Feb 2016.
Before covering the reasons why the lie matters, we examine the nature of the lie and provide reassurance that it is categorical, not a hypothesis that Cameron has indeed lied
Why it is a Lie
This has been covered in great detail by a series of ‘Dave’s Dodgy Deals’ posts by the long-standing EU watcher website eureferendum.com:
As you might not have time to read through the posts linked above, here are the pertinent points that need to be considered:
- Who made the agreement
- What obligations were they able to commit to
Firstly, who made the agreement.
The agreement was made by the 27 Heads of State or Government (HSG) acting in their capacity as Heads of governments of the member states. They were not acting in any capacity as part of the EU. It turns out they met IN the European Council but not acting AS the European Council, a key distinction but one that has led to much misunderstanding.
The key outcome of this is that, to quote from the linked posts:
“None of the current heads of state or government can guarantee the passage of treaty amendments. Even if they could, none could guarantee their ratification”
Then quoting from the European Council Conclusions , on page 16:
“The substance of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties”
So, David Cameron claims to have a binding Deal but in reality:
Those who signed it have no authority to ensure it is delivered.
If it happens to be delivered (by pure chance), it will be done in accordance with the Treaties of the European Union (that’s not reformed treaties you might note).
Doubtless this is why French President Francois Hollande stated bluntly that nothing had been given away that was not in the treaties.
So what, exactly did David Cameron bring back from the negotiations?
Nothing binding, nothing of substance.
Is that the message that he has given to the British people?
British politicians have form when it comes to lying about either the nature of the EEC/EC/EU or revealing the truth about their dealings with it
In the first post in this blog I referenced the lies told by Edward Heath and the information that was withheld from the British public when it was seen to be damaging to the ‘Pro Marketeers’ (as they were called at the time) cause.
The deceit was multi levelled.
Avoiding Calling a Thing By its Name
Notice that in 1975, the referendum was apparently about the UK remaining in ‘The Common Market’. However there was no such organisation and never has been. The real name was the European Economic Community, or EEC.
The effect though of having a group called Pro Marketeers, is that the opposing group were inevitably called Anti-Marketeers. Which sounds more positive? The ironic thing is that the terms Common Market and Marketeer has intimations of being pro free market, when the EEC is at its heart a protectionist organisation.
Now we see persistent and it has to be said determined use by the Remain camp of the name ‘Europe’ instead of the correct term European Union, or EU. The purpose of course if that those who are against staying in ‘Europe’ can now labelled as ‘Anti-European’ or europhobes. Who’d want to be labelled Anti-European, it is repugnant. The effect is subtle but effective, otherwise the tactic would not be used. It is fundamentally dishonest though.
A cheap (as in, it costs nothing) tactic that casts the debate and those on the opposing side of it in a false light.
Hiding the true intentions and the end game, even though the politicians know the truth.
This is an odd one, because you won’t find many in the Remain Camp talking much at all about what the future EU looks like. I see the question being asked in online forums but it doesn’t register that it is a meaningful question, it is usually brushed off or ignored.
Remains don’t mention that EU needs to complete Economic & Monetary Union (EMU) for the Eurozone and that this is a matter of survival for the Euro.
They don’t mention the Five Presidents Report.
They probably mostly don’t even know about papers from influential groups such as the Spinelli Group and its Fundamental Law proposals.
Then you have Arch Euro Federalists such as Andrew Duff authoring papers that have Conspiracy Theory worthy titles: The Protocol of Frankfurt. The point being of course that none of this, the evolution of the EU or the current situation where the British public are not being told the truth is any sort of conspiracy theory. It is just dishonesty by those who rule us and who certainly know that it is wrong. they also know that most people are simply unaware (or ignorant to use that horrible word).
The False Presentation of ‘The Deal’
Telling the public that you have secured a deal and over claiming what you have achieved.
In the case of the 1975 referendum we had a Prime Minister who was also prepared to lie. In this case it was Labour’s Harold Wilson.
Check bullet point three if nothing else at the above link: ..make sure that the 1975 renegotiation did not have to involve Treaty change (and thus didn’t return powers to the UK). You could believe that was the exact same game plan in play this time!
Why discuss difficult questions about the future of the country and our democracy when you can make the whole debate revolve around party politics, in the current referendum about high-profile figures in the Conservative party.
This was also the case in 1975:
Tony Benn in particular was incredibly angry, claiming in April that the press “are seeking to make this campaign a campaign about personalities and about the Labour Party”
Announcing supposed achievements of the negotiation before they have been delivered
IN all of the above points we see many parallels with both 1972 when Heath signed the Treaty of Accession and 1975 when there was ‘renegotiation’ and a great deal made of it in order to ‘persuade’ the public which way to vote.
Why it Matters
If you think deceit and lies don’t matter I might assume that you have not had to bring up children and that you yourself managed to avoid taking the lessons of right and wrong from your own parents.
Or I might assume that the EU subject is so mind bogglingly complicated that to most people it ceases to make sense. Or you just genuinely don’t care.
However, this was one of the reasons I became suspicious of Britain’s relationship with the EU in the first place. I came to realise the UK’s relationship with the EU was not straight forward and suspicious about the way they were being presented.
I can’t go on further to justify why the whole EU ‘Project’* is based on a succession of lies, David Cameron’s being but the latest. You either appreciate that it matters or you don’t.
*Those who have spent even a small amount of time reading about the EU know the meaning of the word Project and why it is used. If you don’t know, it might be worth you looking it up.
If a relationship is based on Deceit, what are the prospects for a long and harmonious relationship?
As I just stated, I can’t go on justifying why the current situation is based on lies, the above presented information should be enough. The internet is there for anyone who wants more information.
I leave you with one remaining question:
Should lies told by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron be allowed to stand or should he be challenged on them?
Thank you for reading.
Comments and feedback welcomed. If I have anything wrong I’m always happy to admit it. I’m here to learn as much as I am here to effect change.