T Nation

U.K. Into E.U.?

Most of us over here aren’t following the progression of the E.U. terribly closely, but I do remember following the multi-vote Irish adventure, and now the Spanish are having a vote on the E.U. constitution.

How popular is the E.U. idea over there in Merry Ol’ England? Obviously, the “Anglosphere” would be undermined if the U.K. was subsumed into the E.U.

Personally, I like the idea of the E.U. as a free-trade area – not so sure on this whole transcension of national sovereignty thing…

http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/2005/03/loss-of-uk-americas-emerging-foreign.html

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Loss of the U.K.: America’s Emerging Foreign Policy Challenge
The big news in the European Union last week was the Spanish people?s overwhelming approval of the proposed E.U. constitution. When we checked in to El Pais to read the coverage ( http://www.elpais.es/ ), there was a banner ad urging a ?yes? vote taken out by the European Commission that read:

Justice?..or no?

Tolerance?..or no?

Peace?..or no?

Friendship?..or no?

The Europeans say the Americans are simplistic and drawn to empty slogans, but it?s hard to find a better example of both than that ad. Simply draw up a document giving yourself power and tell everyone with their own tax money what monsters they are if they disagree. One of the reasons the E.U. project is so popular is that its P.R. campaign has convinced a whole generation of Europeans that it is synonymous with those values and not, say, a completely unaccountable and undemocratic Leviathan.

Imagine the poor Spaniard who objected. Obviously, he?s for injustice, racism, war and spite. Why, his own government says so! One way or another?not the least of which is the fact that the E.U. is notorious for not taking ?no? as an answer?this constitution is likely to come into force sooner or later. And with it, we can say goodbye to our greatest ally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Constitution of the European Union

Nothing evidences the utter futility of the European Union more than the proposed constitution ( http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2004:310:SOM:EN:HTML ). You?ve seen those pocket versions of the U.S. Constitution that the Federalist Society and other conservative groups hand out? The ones that can fit in the back pocket of your tightest pair of jeans? Don?t try that with the E.U. Constitution; you?re likely to break something

The HTML version linked to above weighs in at a hefty 475 pages and covers a ridiculous amount of territory. While the Common Law tradition allowed the United States to erect a bare-bones framework that laid out general principles, thereby allowing the beautiful old thing to remain relevant to a world the Framers wouldn?t even recognize, the Civil Law perspective of the Europeans compelled its constitution drafters to attempt to produce an all-inclusive document for all ages.

The summary released by the E.U. on its proposed constitution declares that:

The draft Constitution first of all defines essential principles regarding:

[i]- the principle governing the allocation of the Union?s powers;

  • lawmaking in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and the proportionality of the
    exercise of competences;
  • the primacy of Union law, which is stated unambiguously;
  • the obligation of Member States to implement Union law.

Distinctions are drawn between three categories of Union powers: areas of exclusive
competence, of shared competence and areas where the Union may take supporting
action, provided this conforms with the provisions of Part III relative to the area where
action is to be taken. Particular cases that do not fit into the general classification are
dealt with separately: for example the coordination of economic and employment policies
(Article 14) and common foreign and security policy (Article 15).

The flexibility the system requires is guaranteed by a clause allowing the adoption of
measures necessary to attain any of the objectives laid down by the Constitution where
there is no provision for powers of action to that effect in the Constitution. Its scope is
therefore wider than that of the current Article 308 of the EC Treaty, which is confined to
the internal market, but the conditions for its implementation are stricter in that, as well as
requiring unanimity in the Council, Parliament?s approval will also be needed.
This provision is complemented by the Protocol on the application of the principles of
subsidiarity and proportionality, which provides for an ?early-warning system? involving
national parliaments in monitoring how the principle of subsidiarity is applied.[/i]

And you thought the Establishment Clause was difficult to understand. Keep in mind, this is the summary, and of only one portion of the constitution at that.

Recently, Times columnist William Rees-Mogg published an article entitled ?Are We Fools Led By Liars?? ( http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1052-1503692,00.html ) about the debate over the constitution in the U.K. It seems that leading members of the government, led by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, are representing to the British people that the constitution merely formalizes what is already in existence and represents no threat to the sovereignty of the nation.

Straw is hampered in this thankless task by two things. First, a strong majority of the British people don?t believe it since it contradicts what a good British friend of ours would call ?blind stinking reality?; and, second, other European politicians keep letting the damn cat out of the bag. As Rees-Mogg notes:

The German Minister for Europe, Hans Martin Bury?.told the Bundestag that the constitution of the European Union is more than a ?milestone?, it is ?the birth certificate of the United States of Europe?. Last month Mr Straw said that the constitution treaty signalled ?thus far and no further on European integration?. Is the treaty a boundary marker for European integration or is it a birth certificate for ?a single European state bound by one European constitution?, to use the language of the German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer?

It?s a hard matter indeed to sell the constitution as a mere legal document when all evidence demonstrates that the U.K. will simply cease to exist as an independent sovereign nation should it sign up. As Rees-Mogg goes on to note:

[i]Nevertheless, the constitution does two things which do allow one to answer the question: boundary stone or birth certificate? It creates a state. Article 11: ?The constitution establishes the European Union.? Article 15a: ?The constitution . . . shall have primacy over the law of the member states.? Article 18: ?Every national of a member state shall be a citizen of the union.?

This new state will have broad and predominant powers, with ministers to execute those powers. Article 111: ?The member states shall co-ordinate their economic and employment policies within arrangements as determined by Part 3, which the union shall have competence (power) to provide . . . the union shall have competence to define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy.?

The EU is already proceeding step by step to the establishment of this common foreign and security policy. Nato is being downgraded; a European diplomatic service is being developed; the constitution provides for a Foreign Minister. The whole European structure has been built by general aspirations backed by creeping bureaucracy. The common foreign and defence policy is likely to become a fait accompli.[/i]

The Debate in the U.K.

Despite such overwhelming evidence, however, the debate in the U.K. continues to focus on small matters, completely missing the fact that the country is likely to not exist in any recognizable form in the near future.

It?s simply a matter of numbers. Since the law has to be unified, the Civil Law tradition of the Continent is just going to swamp ?outdated? British concepts central to the Common Law. Already, the E.U. uses ?human rights? law to declare wide swaths of our cherished tradition out-of-bounds and out-of-touch. Leave aside and forget that the Common Law has been many, many times more effective in securing liberty and prosperity in the legal history of the West.

Little things matter too. Already the U.K. has lost its old system of measurements. Speak of ?pounds? of bananas at a produce stall in Manchester these days and you?re likely to face a fine under E.U Directive 234/C/233b-2. Of course, the metric system is more ?rational? and works better, as is obvious since the only Western state to retain the Imperial system leads the world in high technology, engineering and space travel.

The mathematics and the structure of the new constitution compel ?an ever greater Union? and can do so only at the expense of an independent U.K. Imagine a world where there is another crisis like the Iraq War and the E.U. has a ?common foreign policy.? Whose ideas are likely to predominate in such a union: Jacques Chirac?s or Tony Blair?s?

The unique structure and tenor of the British Constitution, the ancient and strange institutions, the vitality of the Common Law, all are at risk, even though they are the only thing that has stood between Europe and whatever totalitarian foolishness is a la mode on the Continent since the time of Napoleon.

But what really amazes is all this is happening without so much as a debate. As Rees-Mogg points out:

[i]I sometimes think that Britain has a Government which takes us all for fools. There may be a case for a United States of Europe. Many continental Europeans believe in that; most Germans, for instance, see a single European state as a natural development, similar to the creation of a united Germany in the 1870s. Britain, as Franz-Josef Strauss used to say, should have the status in a United Europe which Bavaria has in the Federal Republic. Bavaria, he would add, does not feel any need for a separate air force. Some Germans differ. One recently commented to me: ?What is the problem for which the European Union is the solution??

We could have a useful debate on these issues. Is it Europe?s destiny to become a superstate? Is the age of British independence at an end? Can we protect democracy and the rule of law in a fully united Europe? That would be an honest and historic debate. But it cannot be an honest debate so long as the Government pretends that the European constitution is anything other than a constitution for the United States of Europe. The Germans are telling the truth. So long as our Government takes us for fools, we have every reason to take them for liars.[/i]

The Labour Party is rushing headlong to this brave, new world, the Liberal Democrats are the party for those who can?t stop talking about how ?ashamed? they are of their history and the Conservatives are split. The only thing that stands between the U.K. and its obsolescence are the brave souls of the U.K. Independence Party and those good democrats who are demanding a referendum.

Of course, the U.K. has some very good reasons for wanting to be in the E.U. But we wonder what would happen to the debate were we to make a good counter-offer. Perhaps a U.S.-U.K. political-economic-military union where the U.K. and its people have full and complete access to the United States and under which we would neither demand their sovereignty nor their laws is an idea whose time has come. Perhaps the time has come for us to rescue our most important ally, even if it doesn?t seem to know it?s in mortal danger.

posted by NewSisyphus @ 12:21 AM 15 comments

There are some good points raised here.

I feel there is very little information regarding the EU, its impact and what it means to individuals every day. i ofen imagine its like the south being forced to join the north in US history.

At least on your point re UK and US. About 4 times the trade is crried out to with the EU than the US, thus making it a more powerful economic interest for the UK.

THis amazed me as i thought the US would have been a greater ?$ to the UK.

I guess since the fairly unfriendly import environment that exists in the US for importers, and the ease in which buisness can exist in the EU, then that is of no real suprise.

Also, on that final point.

i could finally get some Grow! in cheap!!!

especially as unit value dollar/pound is 1:1.8.

I might habe missed something here (it’s late and I’m overworked and tired), but the UK is already in the EU. It’s part of the Schengen area, it just is not part of the Euro zone.

The debate here in the UK is interesting, but I’m a bit surprised about musings if the UK should join the EU, since it has done so a few decades ago…

Good night,
Makkun

I guess it’s a more complete joining – right now, the U.K. doesn’t have the currency, and hasn’t endorsed the proposed Constitution, if I’m not mistaken.

BB,

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I guess it’s a more complete joining – right now, the U.K. doesn’t have the currency, and hasn’t endorsed the proposed Constitution, if I’m not mistaken.[/quote]

There are a number of countries who haven’t joined the Euro zone, but are full member states, just like the UK:

Eurozone members are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. That’s about half the EU.

Non-Members are Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom. But they are full EU members.

The EU let’s its members quite a wide range of freedoms, even in these substantial matters.

As for the constitution, I think only Spain has fully endorsed it with a referendum so far - but I would have to look that up.

Makkun

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3825521.stm

is what the bbc say, obviously.

Did BB’s article say “spanish voted overhwelmingly in favour”?

If it did (bit drunk to read properly at the mo) then read this:

http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/21/uspain.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/02/21/ixportaltop.html

The problem in UK is most people are idiots, the majority havent got a clue how the EU works or even how UK politics works.

Obviously that excludes any UK ers on these boards.

i have to say aswell that that blog was the the most biaised piece of shit ive ever read. Ill probably regret saying that and i dont really have the time to justify all the reasons why- i might try tomorrow though.

“all thats standing in the way…brave souls…UK independence party…referendum…”

fuck off!

whats standing in the way is each mans refusal to play a part in the political system.

Fuck the EU, i have friends in France + Italy and they all want out. What (apart from the holocaust) was the point of WW2? The EU want a single currency being the Euro (Hitler want the deutschmark)… they want a single capital, brussels (as opposed to Berlin) and to top it all off they have come up with the “brilliant” idea of renaming the EU the “United States of Europe” (USE). Forgive me if i am wrong but Hitler came up with the name the USE whilst writing Mein Kampf.
It is a good idea to have peace and free trade in Europe, but to have people in Brussell dictate what we can (and other EU states) and can’t do is utter bollocks.
Ok, i am going to stop before i board a train to Brussels armed with a Mini-gun.
(Yes this posting is full of spelling mistakes.)

BBC has a pretty good website which lays out the member states’ positions on ratifying the Constitution.

http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3954327.stm

errr…right, SEAL what the hell was that little rant about?

Why do your french and italian friends want out?

You do understand the arguments for and against the euro dont you?

Sorry if i have read you wrong. I know i sound like an ignoramus too in my last few posts.

[quote]jaimeo wrote:
errr…right, SEAL what the hell was that little rant about?

Why do your french and italian friends want out?

You do understand the arguments for and against the euro dont you?

Sorry if i have read you wrong. I know i sound like an ignoramus too in my last few posts.
[/quote]

Yeah, i do understand the arguements for and against. My rant is with the fact that we will have to laws imposed on us from Brussells that may not be suitable for the UK, or other member states for the matter. I admit that i have jumped head first into this thread and haven’t read all of the previous posts. Rant over. Just don’t like the idea, it’s just not cricket.

The day we get tied into the EU is the day that I bugger off somewhere else. I hate the concept and I can’t believe how little people seem to care about what’s going on. I can’t believe how uneducated the English population is becoming. If this is still alive I’ll expand on what I think about the original post when I have more time.

One last thing - the metric system makes much more sense than the imperial system.

One more thing - how fast do Chavs breed?!? The number 1 teenage fashion accessory is a pram.

[quote]Breakdown wrote:
The day we get tied into the EU is the day that I bugger off somewhere else. I hate the concept and I can’t believe how little people seem to care about what’s going on. I can’t believe how uneducated the English population is becoming. If this is still alive I’ll expand on what I think about the original post when I have more time.

One last thing - the metric system makes much more sense than the imperial system.

One more thing - how fast do Chavs breed?!? The number 1 teenage fashion accessory is a pram. [/quote]

What he said. And another for the teenage fashion accessory is pulled back hair (the Croydon lift) and large hooped gold earings for Chavettes. and gold soveriegn rings for the male Chav.

U.K.is in E.U!!!

[quote]Janick wrote:
U.K.is in E.U!!![/quote]

We know this, but we don’t want to go any further. Such as common laws for all EU member states, the scrapping of the pound for the Euro and European Army.

All the bozos in Brussels are about is making the EU as large as possible, so that France and Germany (who run it) can feel important and act like a valid opponent to the US.

The wonderful thing about the EU is, the laws overrule those that we make up in our own countries (so we are in effect ruled by a foreign government) and the only country that bothers to play by the ridiculous EU rules is merry old England.

The only reason that they even want the UK in the EU is because we are the only european nation with a decent modern military.

The latest wonderful idea is to let modern, tolerant Turkey into the EU; a nation which this weekend attacked a demonstration by women protesting for equal rights. Just the sort of progressive people we want to be letting into our countries.

I could moan all day but it just gets me too p*ssed off.

Don’t even get me started on the immigration problem…

Makkun wrote:

“Eurozone members are Austria, Belgium, Finland, --France, Germany–(aka…the International community) , Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. That’s about half the EU.”

JeffR

JeffR,

[quote]JeffR wrote:
Makkun wrote:

“Eurozone members are Austria, Belgium, Finland, --France, Germany–(aka…the International community) , Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. That’s about half the EU.”

JeffR
[/quote]

And?

Makkun

Totally off topic here, but wasn’t it good to see Chelsea beat Barca and Man U to go out?