The latest SOS from Iris Binstead follows. It will be fascinating and furious reading for those who care about the British people. To take just one fact from SOS - billions of pounds are being taken from poor pensioners and council services and are being sent to Brussels. Does the Government ever mention this huge expenditure when it talks about reducing the deficit?
You'll see as you read that we've added comments, identified by (-BRITS Ed). And we've tweaked a few headlines to give you the gist of a graph right away. The credit for all the thoughtful hard work belongs to Iris Binstead. Her comments appear as (Ed.)
SOSSAVE OUR SOVEREIGNTY 5 Battery Park, Polruan-by-Fowey, Cornwall PL23 1PT Tel: 01726 870850 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THOSE READERS who voted at the recent general election for a Conservative Government believing it to be eurosceptic must be feeling utterly betrayed. They were led to believe that Mr Cameron and Mr Hague would not allow the European Union to take further powers away from this country without a referendum. But already there is talk of new financial regulation and supervision, member states’ budgets being supervised, new powers for EU police forces, EU control over immigration and asylum matters, and much more.
Was Mr Cameron’s euroscepticism just a ploy to get votes or has he now been forced to co-operate by the extremely pro-European Union Liberal Democrats with whom the Conservatives are in coalition? Whichever is true, the Sunday Telegraph, 18.7.10, reported that he tried to intervene in the election of eurosceptic MP, Bill Cash as Chairman of the Parliamentary European Scrutiny Committee in an attempt to head off a Tory rebellion on Europe. Many members of the Tory Party were angered by this. There are also doubts about William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, who has vowed to increase Britain’s influence in the European Union by boosting the numbers of UK nationals in the Brussels Civil Service. (UK Press Association, 1.7.10)
Wonderful. More bureaucrats complacently focused on their own paychecks and pensions. (-BRITS Ed.)
EUROPOL GAINS CONTROL OF YOUR PERSONAL DETAILSAccording to http://www.nickmaine.info/, 26.3.10, under the proposed European Investigation Order (EIO) signed up to by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, Europol will be able to access personal information on anyone in this country, including their political opinions and sexual preferences, if it suspects, rightly or wrongly, that they may be involved in any ‘preparatory act’ which could lead to criminal activity. The vagueness of this remit has already sparked furious protests with critics warning that the EU snoopers threaten our right to free speech. It is believed that Europol will target people thought to be ‘xenophobic’ and that could even include those who deny global warming.
James Welch, Legal Director of Liberty, said: “We have huge concerns that Europol appears to have been given powers to hold very sensitive information and to investigate matters that aren’t even crimes in this country. Any extension of police powers at any level needs to be properly debated and scrutinised.” According to the Daily Mail on line, 4.5.10, detectives from Europe will be able to carry out investigations designed to combat international crime and make arrests on British soil. Until now European police could travel to this country to share intelligence but were not able to make arrests. Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: “This is the latest shocking failure to stand up for the British national interests in Brussels." The Daily Telegraph, 12.7.10, believes that the already overstretched British police forces could be swamped by demands from foreign countries for DNA and other evidence. Under the Lisbon Treaty this law was an ‘opt in’. The coalition government is opting in VOLUNTARILY.
EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT for THE INNOCENTAccording to EUObserver, 22.7.10, fast-track extraditions under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) are still landing innocent people in foreign prisons. This has caused particular distrust among prosecutors in the UK. Last year over 250 cases were brought to the EU’s judicial co-operation agency, Eurojust, for mediation. Eurojust has no authority to annul a wrongly issued arrest warrant or to stop an extradition even if its procedures are flawed. Catherine Heard of Fair Trials International said that, although the EU arrest warrant was intended to deliver justice, the current system is causing serious injustice. Crucial safeguards must be built into the system to prevent this. Across the EU some 14,000 arrest warrants are issued annually for minor crimes and some have been used many years after the alleged offence occurred or in situations where a fair trial is impossible. Under the Lisbon Treaty, Eurojust’s powers will be boosted by its transformation into a European Public Prosecutor with investigative powers.
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was claimed to speed up trials in serious cases such as terrorism or drug smuggling but, in fact, has been used for many quite minor infringements and is causing serious injustice to many British people. Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, who were subject to such a warrant, went voluntarily to Budapest thinking their trial to be imminent and were held for 80 days in a former KGB prison during which time they were only once interviewed by police. Andrew Symeou was extradited to Greece in connection with the death of another Briton in a situation which appeared to be one of mistaken identity. Joseph Mendy was extradited to Spain on flimsy evidence. His case was debated in the House of Commons on 24.1.07. These are just some of the numerous uses of the EAW which British courts have virtually no powers to stop. It is expected that this year that the number of Arrest Warrants will double. With the addition of the EIO the numbers will no doubt rapidly triple or quadruple.
Marc Glendening, Director of the Democracy Movement, reported a case of a British subject, Malcolm Hay, who was the subject of an EAW because the Greek authorities claimed that he sold stolen antiques in London to a dealer in Athens. A casual examination of Malcolm Hay’s receipt for a small number of items shows that they do not correspond to the objects discovered by the Athens police. All charges were dropped against the Greek defendant but at Mr Hay’s trial, held in absentia, the judges were invited to view the stolen artefacts and to compare them with the items on the receipt written out in London. They refused to do so. This appears to be the first time that a resident of the UK is being extradited to another country under the EAW for an offence said to have taken place in Britain. Shamefully, Mr Hay claims, the British authorities have been complicit in assisting his forced removal to Athens rather than in helping him.
They used to put politicians in jail for selling out their own people. (-BRITS Ed.)
BANKING AND FINANCIAL REGULATORS - DESTROYING THE CITY OF LONDONThe UK Independence Party reported that EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso declared on 16.6.10, that the recession was helping to drive forward the ‘European Project’. He said: “Once again, we can see that a crisis can accelerate decision-making when it crystallises political will.” (http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/181419Eurocrats-crisis-hopes). In Strasbourg, 8.7.10, all but two Tory MEPs joined their Liberal Democrat colleagues in voting in favour of the new European Banking Authority being located in Frankfurt - a massive betrayal of British interests. According to the Sunday Telegraph, 11.7.10, although the European Parliament voted for all three new financial ‘super regulators’ to be in Frankfurt, George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will demand that the Banking Regulator be located in the City of London. He will also say when he next meets EU finance ministers that the new regulators for banking, insurance and the markets should not be able to override national regulators if that risks the principle of ‘fiscal sovereignty’ for EU states.
The Sunday Telegraph, 18.7.10, reports that JP Morgan is angered by lack of support for the financial sector in the UK and now has doubts about investing £1.5 billion in a new headquarters building in Canary Wharf because of the uncertainly about future costs which would be imposed on the banks. If this project were cancelled it would be a major blow for the UK and George Osborne’s claims that Britain is ‘open for business’. In meetings with Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, JP Morgan have expressed their concerns for the future of London as a financial centre and have made it clear that they now see expansion being in Asia rather than London.
This is called the writing on the wall. The history of London's decline is being written now. (-BRITS Ed.)
BANKRUPTCY - OUR OWN AND THE EURO'SOn http://eureferendum.blogspot.com, 20.5.10, Dr Richard North states that he is intrigued by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s comments about undisclosed debt in the German banking system. He suggests that the underlying damage to the eurozone banking system runs even deeper than feared and that the people were not being told the truth. [The recent stress tests on all European banks have not proved conclusive. (Ed)]
Dr North also believes that Spain, Greece and Portugal have liabilities in excess of two trillion euros and states: “So huge is this figure – which is far more than previous estimates, somewhat dwarfing the UK deficit – that the prospect of defaults or restructuring in any of the three nations could trigger sub prime-style shockwaves, another banking crisis and the mother of all currency crises”. He wonders whether the unilateral action by Germany in banning short selling was a sign that Germany intends to pull the plug on the euro experiment and look after its own interests. If the currency were about to collapse, this would also have a serious effect on the British economy.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, 11.7.10, Angela Monaghan suggests that a break-up of the eurozone would be positive for growth in the region. A recently released report by Capital Economics finds that the weaker members of the eurozone, such as Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIGS), have been hit by higher cost and price rises than countries such as Germany. This has undermined their ability to compete.
According to the Daily Express, 14.7.10, Portugal’s debts have caused the euro to fall against the pound and the dollar because analysts told the Lisbon Government that they needed to take further austerity measures. Moody’s, the rating agency, has downgraded Portugal by two notches to A1 because their public debt had risen to 90% of GDP with little chance of growth in the near future. The BBC Radio 4 To-day programme (20.7.10) announced that Ireland had been downgraded by one notch despite their having taken severe austerity measures. A bailout package for Greece of £110 billion, which is being paid by instalments, was arranged jointly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU, and the German newspaper Handelsblatt, 20.7.10, reports that Greece is making progress towards putting its public finances on a sustainable path. However, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical institution, has decided to postpone the disclosure of the true picture of Greek finances for at least six months. Until recently public sector workers in Greece have been able to retire at 58 on an 80% final salary pension, while our own pensioners face poverty.
On 10.5.10, the Guardian reported that European finance ministers meeting in Brussels had quickly agreed a ‘stabilisation mechanism’ of a €60 billion fund to save the euro from disaster, followed by a further €440 billion, the likely beneficiaries being Portugal and Spain. In answer to a question in the House of Lords, 21.6.10, by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, Leader of the UK Independence Party, it was established that Britain could be asked to underwrite £8 billion of the €60 billion fund but, as we are not in the eurozone, would not be responsible for any part of the €440 billion fund. A UKIP spokesman said that it was utterly incomprehensible that we in the UK should have to pay off the debts of other EU countries when our public services are being massively cut to pay for our debts.
Under the sub-heading ‘Rumpy Dumpy and the Euro-Prats’ The Telegraph on line, 28.5.10, reported that the EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that ordinary people were misled over the impact of the euro and the public was not made aware of the full social and economic implications of the currency before it was created. Speaking to a selected audience of civil servants and businessmen, Mr Van Rompuy said: “Nobody ever told the proverbial man in the street that sharing a single currency was not just about making peoples’ lives easier when doing business or travelling abroad, but also about being affected by economic developments in the neighbouring countries. Being in the ‘Euro zone’ means, monetarily speaking, being part of one Euroland”. Mr Van Rumpuy also confessed that the euro had been flawed from the moment of its creation in 1992, a situation that had not been made clear to voters. Marta Andreason, UKIP MEP and former chief accountant to the Commission, points out that the people were not told that a common currency would require political union and a common fiscal policy to survive hard times.
Writing in euobserver.com, 9.5.10, the journalist Bruno Waterfield said that the bailout negotiated in Brussels was based on a lie, deceit and the worst kind of dishonesty. The legal basis for the new EU ‘stabilisation mechanism’ will be the ‘exceptional occurrences beyond control’ clause contained within Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Waterfield believes that this clause was designed for earthquakes or potentially extreme circumstances that threatened the existence of one member state. He said that to use this clause to save the skins of the EU’s political class was profoundly deceitful and legally dodgy. A former German Judge on the Constitutional Court attacked the super-bailout and its planned parliamentary passage as ‘opening the flood-gates which we will not be able to shut again”. He described it as usurpation of power over the EU’s no-bailout clause. (http://birgrunar.blog.is/blog/birgrunar/entry/1057026/) [The ‘no-bailout’ clause was originally contained in the Maastricht Treaty which was signed by all EU member states. (Ed)]
According to Open Europe, 25.7.10, their analyst, Vincenzo Scarpetta, said: “Ultimately, the eurozone crisis is not simply about economic failure but also a breakdown in trust between the political class and European citizens. The EU elite simply got it wrong on the euro – displaying a combination of na̎ive idealism, incompetence and dishonesty….The elite-driven EU project is failing and we now urgently need to find an economically sustainable and more democratic model for European cooperation that is more in tune with the interests and preferences of European citizens.” To read the Open Europe report on how the EU got it wrong: http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/eurotheysaidit.pdf.
As usual the people who got us into this mess have a sure-fire solution - more, much more of the same. (-BRITS Ed)
NEW ECONOMIC SANCTIONSIt has been reported that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble recently attended a French cabinet meeting in Paris to discuss the stance France and Germany will take on economic government. (Les Echos, 21.7.10) They discussed whether within the present treaties they could make the stability and growth pact more effective. Mr Schäuble feels it may be necessary to make Treaty changes. According to FT Deutschland, 21.7.10, Olli Rehn, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, wants ‘quasi-automatic’ sanctions for eurozone countries violating deficit rules.
The Daily Mail, 27.3.10, reported that Germany wanted economic government across the EU. This would mean that the UK would be forced to have its budget signed off by European leaders. Mrs Merkel, the German Chancellor, wants to introduce financial penalties for countries with persistently high budget deficits. British sources suggested that this would apply only to the eurozone countries, but the Daily Telegraph, 12.6.10, stated that Britain would be powerless to stop plans to have the budget vetted before it is presented to the House of Commons since the regulations would be introduced by qualified majority voting. A British diplomat said that Britain will continue to make it clear that it is not prepared to submit a draft budget to the EU Commission prior to its being presented to the House of Commons.
British diplomats. . could we interest them in defending the British people? (-BRITS Ed.)
ENDLESS EU FINANCIAL DEMANDSAs a result of former Prime Minister Tony Blair giving away much of the UK rebate negotiated by Mrs Thatcher, this year’s contribution to the EU Budget will increase from £4.2 billion to £6.6 billion. By 2014 it will be £10.3 billion. A report by Sὒddeutsche Zeitung, 20.7.10, criticises the EU Commission’s proposal to increase administrative costs to €8.2 billion. Marta Andreason, UKIP MEP, has also criticised this budget increase at a time when taxpayers are forced to tighten their belts. A German MEP who sits in the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets is quoted as saying: “the Commission asks member states to look into prolonging the working life of its citizens, while, at the same time, it keeps sending its own employees into retirement early.”
According to EUobserver 21.7.10, the European Commissioner for Research announced that €6.4 billion will be spent on research and development in 2011 – a 12% increase over this year. Free education for the children of EU civil servants will increase by 12.5% with a total cost of €174 million. The Daily Express, 18.7.10, revealed that EU bureaucrats had secretly spent £400 million on 727 ‘confidential’ projects, details of which they refuse to disclose The BBC Today programme, 24.7.10, reported that, over four years, the EU had spent €13.8 million on research revealing that apples are healthy. The EU’s own figures disclose that their yearly foreign aid budget to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America is in excess of $50 billion. On 10.7.10, the Daily Express reported that many people who responded to George Osborne’s appeal for ideas for saving money, wanted Britain’s foreign aid budget to be reduced. According to the Daily Mail, 26.6.10, the UK is still giving aid to China, which is rich enough to have spent £30 billion on the Olympics.
We're especially pleased about Britain's financial aid to China. After all, giving them Hong Kong was a bit shabby. (-BRITS Ed.)
EU HURTS POOR AROUND THE WORLD
In its latest bulletin, July 2010, the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign states that deep divisions of opinion among European states has made the presentation of a unified policy to the rest of the world almost impossible. The EU might have better standing in the world if some of its policies were not so damaging to poor people in other countries. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) precludes Third World countries from selling many of their agricultural products to EU states, even though these items could be supplied at lower prices than those prevailing within the EU tariff and quota barriers. Although on a smaller scale than CAP, the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is even more pernicious. Not only do Europe’s fishing vessels over-fish in their own waters, but they are regularly over-fishing in waters surrounding Africa, thereby putting local fishermen out of business. The total cost to Third World countries of CAP and CFP is now higher than the aggregate EU foreign aid budget. Effectively, the EU is taking the resources from poor countries instead of helping to develop them. It was revealed on http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/-/539552/926252/, 27.5.10, that the European Union has for years been paying annual subsidies of approximately one billion euros to industrial fishing companies based in member states. The states most involved are France and Spain, the French fleet being the largest operating in the Mediterranean Sea, including Libyan waters.
An equal opportunity abuser of British and African fishermen. You just have to look on the bright side, don't you? (-BRITS Ed.)
WASTESeveral months ago, Open Europe published their ‘Top 50 examples of new EU Waste’. Items listed include 80,000 euros spent on a virtual Swedish city in one computer game to 30 million euros invested in illegal hotels in Lanzarote. (http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/top50waste.pdf)
Rejoice in the jobs created from waste. (-BRITS Ed.)
PART OF VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) GOES TO EUIt is not widely known that a percentage of our VAT contributions go to Brussels as part of the EU’s ‘own resources’ and that, when we joined the European Union in 1973, we were forced to give up our Purchase Tax in favour of VAT. According to Marta Andreason, UKIP MEP, the VAT own resource contribution is calculated at 0.3% of a tax base which is capped at 50% of our Gross National Income. She quotes Britain’s Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report that: ‘net expenditure transfers to EU institutions will be excluded from the Spending Review process, as they are either self-financing or not directly within Government control’. Marta states that, if we did not have to make this annual contribution to the EU, there would be no need for VAT in this country to increase to 20% next January. EU law requires that VAT is charged at between 15% and 25%, with exemptions for food. Countries such as Switzerland and Canada charge purchase tax at between 5% and 7%.
This is called seeing red. (-BRITS Ed.)
EUROPEAN EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE (EEAS)
According to the Sunday Telegraph, 19.7.10, the new EEAS, which will control a total budget of around €7 billion, may cost an extra €55 million to set up. It has already requested an extra €9.5 million for staff salaries so far. The final bill remains unclear. There are likely to be about 7,000 staff based around the world. In the Daily Mail of the same date, Melanie Phillips argued that the EEAS will be making policy decisions which could well run entirely counter to the policies and interests of member states, but which they will be forbidden to oppose. David Campbell Bannerman, UKIP MEP, 8.7.10, said that there had been attempts by the EEAS to gain control over military actions. There was real danger of the lives of our troops being lost by political interference in military operations. This was confirmed when two months previously General Sir John McColl addressed the European Parliament’s defence committee.
Decimated British Armed Forces. To the EU way of thinking, this is not a bug but a feature. (-BRITS Ed.)
EU FINES BRITAIN
Britain has been fined more than £150 million by the EU for failing to display the EU flag on a number of projects part-funded by Europe. The fines relate to £3 billion given to the UK by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) over a period of 7 years. Projects include the Eden Project in Cornwall, the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead and the redevelopment of King’s Dock, Liverpool. Nigel Farage, UKIP MEP, called the fines an ‘outrage’, and Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, condemned the ‘over-bureaucratic rules surrounding ERDF money, which usually has to be match funded. (Daily Mail, 8.7.10) [Britain contributes more to the EU budget than it has received in Objective 1 and Cohesion Funding. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer estimates that, for every £1 received from the EU, the cost to the taxpayer is £2.60. (Ed)]
That's the way the EU likes it. (-BRITS Ed.)
‘SENSIBLE’ EU REGULATION?
According to the Financial Times, 22.7.10, Mr Cameron on his trip to the USA was forced to assure Wall Street that EU regulation will be ‘sensible’ and that the UK was still a prime area for investment. Open Europe has compiled a list of the most expensive EU regulations. These were headed by Working Time Regulations, estimated to cost this country £32,834.9 million, closely followed by the Climate Change Act at £28,232,9 million and the Building and Approved Inspectors Regulations at £20,234.5 million. Most of these regulations bear most heavily on small businesses, which are the engine of our economy. The total cost of the EU to this country is independently estimated at £120 billion per annum. [Sensible! (Ed)] Mr Clegg’s Freedom Website asking people to suggest laws that should be repealed is just a public relations exercise. It has a caveat stating that laws and regulations which fall under the jurisdiction of Europe, devolved administrations or local authorities are beyond its remit. (Brussels accounts for 75/80% of our laws.)
DIVING INTO EU COSTS
UKIP Leader, Lord Pearson of Rannoch has introduced a private member’s bill entitled ‘The European Union Membership (Economic Implications) Bill’ which calls for a public enquiry into the cost of the UK’s membership of the EU. The Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on 20.7.10. A date for the second reading has not been set.
Speaking at a recent UKIP conference in Bournemouth, Lord Monckton of Brenchley stated that, if the UK left the European Union, there would be no problem about our continuing free trade with the EU since this was absolutely guaranteed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In any case, 4 million EU jobs would be at stake if the EU refused to trade with us. No British jobs would be lost. By leaving the EU Britain could almost balance its budget overnight and there would be no need for redundancies among civil servants or cuts in services. Switzerland, which is not in the EU, has all the rights that we have plus free trade with the European Union, but none of our obligations and costs.
No one doubts that the Swiss can add and subtract. Why can't our politicians? (-BRITS Ed.)
In his Bournemouth speech, Lord Monckton also mentioned that, in order to meet EU emissions targets, the UK was committed, at the government’s own admission, to costs of £18 billion a year for renewable energy sources. These costs could rise to as much as £50 billion, which would hit the poorest in our society the hardest by causing fuel poverty. According to the Daily Mail, 26.7.10, Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, has said that the number of wind farms to be built in the UK will be dramatically increased to meet targets and “to stop power black-outs.” Unfortunately, writing on http://www.countryguardian.net/, Dr John Etherington, Former Reader in Ecology, University of Wales, states that: “….Wind turbines cannot generate enough energy to reduce global CO2 levels to a meaningful degree; what’s more wind power is by nature intermittent and cannot generate a steady output, necessitating back-up coal and gas power plants that significantly negate the saving of greenhouse gas emissions….” He also said that, in addition to the inefficiency of wind power there are ecological drawbacks, which include damage to habitats, wild life and the aesthetic assault on the natural beauty of the landscape. Dr Etherington stated that consumers have not been informed that they are subsidising through their bills an industry which cannot be cost efficient.
A politician considers this the best of all worlds. Making hay while the wind blows! And who gets to pay for the boondoggle, why, the poor, benighted taxpayer. (-BRITS Ed.)
The Sunday Telegraph, 20.6.10, reported that in addition to the large subsidies they already receive, Britain’s largest wind farm companies are to be paid NOT to produce electricity when the wind is blowing because the National Grid cannot use the power they are generating! Critics of wind farms claim that the ‘intermittent’ nature of wind makes such farms unreliable. On breezy summer nights wind farms could cause a surge in electricity which is not met by demand.
A number of Royal Society Fellows complained recently that the Society’s guidance on global warming needed revising. Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Society’s President, accepted that the case for man-made global warming had been exaggerated in the past and agreed to issue new guidance to reflect uncertainties.
Ashley Mote, former MEP, cites a book entitled ‘Heaven and Earth’ by Professor Ian Plimer, head of environmental sciences at the University of Adelaide. The book includes over 2000 individually annotated sources of data drawn from academic papers published all over the world by scientists directly involved in the study of earth sciences. Professor Plimer points out that the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warmings were all warmer than our current levels of average temperature and CO2 levels were also higher. He states that, during at least one Ice Age, CO2 levels were 15 times higher than today, which undermines the theory that global warming and levels of CO2 are directly linked. Even the UK’s Met Office has recently admitted that global average temperatures have fallen since 1998, and this has happened when there has been a significant increase in the use of coal, oil and gas across the world.
Many thanks, Iris. (-BRITS Ed.)