March 6, 2017

Time for the EU to face up to reality

Time for the EU to face up to reality

Matthew Ellery argues that the time for excuses is over. The EU must face up to reality: the rising tide of hostility towards a European federalist superstate is nobody’s fault but the EU’s.

There’s a long-standing pro-EU myth: the EU is only unpopular because of unfair media coverage. But blaming the media for the increasing distrust of the EU won’t wash. After all, governments are heavily scrutinised by the press in all functioning democracies.

The problem with the EU is its unelected, insulated leaders do not like scrutiny of their plans for a federal super-state. Why? Because their actions do not stand up to scrutiny.

Enough excuses – the EU’s problems are the EU’s fault – nobody else’s.

Failing to see the EU’s flaws, they decide to attack the media rather than their own institutional failings. They claim the EU is a ‘whipping boy’ and is unfairly talked down.

But why is the EU a whipping boy and being talked down? Is it a random decision made by media moguls to sell papers? Absolutely not; it is a legitimate response to policies being proposed in an electoral vacuum.

EU laws are proposed by an unelected EU Commission, which acts as the EU’s government. The elected arm – the European Parliament – then votes to approve the legislation. Unfortunately, due to its distant nature, only EU political obsessives have any idea who their MEPs even are, never mind which way they vote. Additionally, the UK is underrepresented in relation to the number of MEPs it has, when compared to nations with smaller populations. Lastly, ministers from each Member State have the final say on whether the law is adopted.

Some argue, the fact ministers have the final say on the implementation of the law, gives the legislation democratic legitimacy. But this is incorrect for two reasons. First, the minister approves the law rather than domestic parliaments. This makes oversight and accountability to the home electorate impossible. Second, and more importantly, the vast majority of EU laws do not require unanimity, therefore, the minister can vote against an EU law and the law is implemented domestically regardless.

This is why, hypothetically, the UK’s EU Commissioner, Sir Julian King, all the UK’s MEPs, the UK Government and in fact every single person in the UK could oppose an EU law, and the law would still be implemented here and in all EU Member States. In this situation, who can the British people hold to account for the new law? Where is the democratic legitimacy? Nowhere to be seen!

It is on this platform of democratic illegitimacy the EU’s woes flow from. This allowed Vote Leave to run the successful EU Referendum campaign on the slogan ‘Take Back Control’, which summed up its fundamental problem. The message clearly got through to the public, with ‘sovereignty’ being the most popular reason for ‘Leave’ voters supporting Brexit.

These democratic failures and the range of policy disasters – from butter mountains to bendy bananas – is however, considered too much for the EU to deal with, despite media coverage of its institutions being skin deep at best. The EU objects to this on the grounds of it being unfair, when it is the exact opposite.

If the EU wants to govern hundreds of millions of people in a federal superstate, then it’s not just acceptable – but necessary for it to be properly scrutinised. Crying foul over negative media coverage, simply shows the EU’s utter contempt for transparency, democracy and the people of Europe. We are about to Get Britain Out of the EU, and if the bloc wishes to prevent more exits across Europe, it must adapt and embrace genuine scrutiny of its crumbling institutions.

4.80 avg. rating (95% score) - 30 votes
Matthew Ellery
Matthew Ellery is a Research Executive at Eurosceptic campaign group Get Britain Out. He joined the campaign in early 2016 after training as a barrister at Cardiff University.
  • Shadow Warrior

    Hammond is continuity Brown. He is a hand-wringing lefty looking for clever wheezes to raise more tax in ways that people don’t immediately notice.

  • captainslugwash

    I predict the Budget will attempt to show the Left how caring the Tories are, and it will be funded by screwing over the working man.
    If Corp Tax comes down, I bet Divi tax will be going up.
    I would love to be wrong.

  • skynine

    We really need to look at tax credits, in particular in work tax credits that encourage people to work part time to preserve the benefits. 45% of women work part time and I would hazard a guess that tax credits are the main cause. This leads to low pay, low skill work in supermarkets and the retail sector including coffee shops. The government needs to get back to the employer paying people to do a job for economic reasons rather than to get onto the tax credit ladder. Like all government benefits it distorts the market and diverts government expenditure into non productive areas.
    The refrain that the government has cut expenditure is not true, it increases every year as more and more goes into welfare.

  • MrVeryAngry

    fat chance

  • MrSauce

    So, when wouldn’t we want a ‘budget for growth’?

  • Rob

    I note that the UK Government has just slapped on a 25% tax charge for anyone moving abroad and wishing to move out their private pension from the UK.

  • SonofBoudica

    The Remoaners will do their utmost to sabotage the Government’s negotiating position. They do not want a successful outcome; they want a failure. They want to be able to scream “Told you so!” from the rooftops.

  • EnglandLaments

    Thank goodness for Andrew Neil, the one media hack who scares the pants off the established politicians. He was spot on with Heidi Allen!

  • joshuafalken

    I had a very long, hard, studied and considered look at the hope, care and aspirations of all Europeans, before I voted to get the UK out of the toxic grasp of Brussels.

    The European Union and it’s charge of “ever closer union” has borrowed and spent its way to oblivion, whilst enslaving the working and middle classes in debt.

    The central control mantra of the unaccountable Brussels ruling elite, delivered through a mixture of socialism, globalism and corporatism is entirely responsible for the populist revolt by the millions of “Just About Managings” across Europe.

    We must remember the ultimate goal of socialists, globalists and corporatists is control, not prosperity. see—-not-prosperity.

    Social equality and economic growth always fail under central control and fighting against the Brussels doctrine on behalf of all Europeans is why I voted for Brexit.

    Britain has a long history of helping Europeans depose tyrants and Brussels is just the latest incarnation.

    Britain is the most racially advanced and accepting society on the planet. We welcome those in need and those that can help us with open arms and a smile; that will not change.

    We are also one of the most innovative, talented and open societies in the world, which why everyone wants to live here. However, we cannot fit everyone in, so we have to have clear, balanced and fair immigration policy which is where the arguments start between the monetarists and humanists will never be reconciled.

    I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that leaving the EU was in the best interest of all Europeans, as Brussels is toxic and cannot be reformed from within.

    Also, I find it insulting that people who voted Remain have insufficient faith in British ingenuity, compassion and skill to get a good deal for us and see the Europe that we love get a better deal from Brussels and the reform that European people deserve. and

    The politics of left verses right are dead because neither have delivered the promised economic growth and social mobility for anyone, but themselves. The populists are not selfish per-se, they just want to take back control of their own destiny that left/right politicians have freely given away and/or exploited for their own ends. In my constituency, the local residents group are taking over the councils as politicians ignore voters, so Westminster should beware of the well-organised, local resident independents at the next election. This is a peoples revolution which should be shouted from the rooftops, but liberals remained deafened by the socialist, globalist and corporatist “vested interests” that have spectacularly failed us and are obediently crying foul and fake.

    There will be an initial unpalatable inflationary cost to fighting globalism and rolling back central control that few appear to have factored in, but dismantling failed left/right vested interests should eventually free libertarian socially-conservative capitalism from the shackles of TBTF corporatism to feed economic growth and social mobility.

  • agdpa

    The EU usually makes the wrong decision – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on the euro, on the Ukraine, etc. etc. Little hope it will get Brexit right.

  • brownowl

    Eh? Reference please!

  • Neil2

    Sod caring. Screw the spongers and breeders. Kill HS2. Stop all “green” subsidies. Slash “foreign aid” and walk away from the EUSSR with immediate effect.

  • Rob
  • John C

    What a confused article. It conflates surveillance by the security services with poor defences against fraud.

  • John C

    Err, it’s the UK that’s leaving the EU, not vice versa.

  • John C

    Me, now. ‘Growth’ is a manic obsession.

  • La Face Nord

    Mr Redwood – are you aware of the Biased BBC website? It’s been exposing their agenda for a long time, but I imagine you’ve been well aware of the BBC’s agenda for quite some time…

  • Contact Rvtech

    The post is great

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