It’s Called Democracy

In a Champion Letter to the Editor

JR of Tarleton writes about the “fundamentally flawed Brexit Referendum”, the one that resulted in 17.4 million people voting in the majority for leaving the EU.

I can only sympathise with JR, as I voted No to joining the Common Market. Lies were told then, they were in 1961, and they may have been told in 2016, but that’s politicians for you?

Historians know that the real problem for the British has been that, from the moment our politicians first decided in the 1960s and 1970s that we should join the “project”, they have never dared to admit openly to the British people that this was its true nature and purpose. And this had two particularly damaging consequences.

The first is that, right from the start, it created that need for a culture of deceit, whereby our politicians and civil servants have consistently tried to downplay the significance of ‘Europe’, and to present it as something different from what it is.

Apart from anything else, this has meant that every time the project has taken another step towards its ultimate goal, as that original “European Economic Community” first evolved in the 1980s into just the “European Community” , then in the 1990s into the “European Union”, Britain’s politicians have at every stage along the way, had to go through that process with which we are now so wearyingly familiar, whereby first they express opposition to much of what their continental partners are proposing, then find themselves having to agree to more than they intended, and finally have to hide from the British people just how much they have given away.

Edward Heath, then Minister of State for Europe, was sent off to Brussels to negotiate the terms of British entry. And when on October 10 1961 he made his opening speech to the other member governments, he could not have been more fulsome in expressing Britain’s desire “to become full, wholehearted and active members of the European Community in its widest sense, and to go forward with you in the building of a new Europe”.

It took some time before the biggest lie of all by the biggest liar ever?

“There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.

Prime Minister Edward Heath, television broadcast on Britain’s entry into the Common Market, January 1973. Below, Edward Heath signs the accession treaty for Britain to join the European Economic Community or Common Market at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium on 22 January 1972.

The proof?

“This country quite voluntarily surrendered the once seemingly immortal concept of the sovereignty of parliament and legislative freedom by membership of the European Union…as a once sovereign power, we have said we want to be bound by Community law”.

Judge Bruce Morgan, judgement in Sunderland metrication case April 9, 2001.

David Cameron said “In 45 days’ time, the British people will go to polling stations across our islands and cast their ballots in the way we have done in this country for generations. But this time, their decision will not be for a Parliament, or even two. They will decide the destiny of our country, not for 5 years or for 10, but in all probability for decades, perhaps a lifetime”.

JR does mention democracy, as in “The forthcoming election providing an opportunity to “democratically reassess everything. We should avoid being fobbed off with simple constantly repeated mantras like “Get Brexit Done”.

Presumably JR doesn’t mind hearing the constantly repeated mantra of “holding a Peoples’ Vote” despite the people holding a “perhaps in a lifetime vote” in 2016? But would he have been so desperate for a “democratic reassessment” if remain had won? I think we all know the answer to that?

How many UK Prime Ministers wanted Britain in the European Community, regardless of the public?

Just remember if you will that oft-quoted line from Heath’s White Paper circulated to every household in the country in June 1971 that promised “There is no question of Britain losing essential sovereignty”.  And now there is no question that it’s time it came back, it’s called democracy!

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