Conventional historiography has put forward some dubious reasons for Britain’s membership of the EEC, writes Alan Sked. Most students seem to think that Britain was some sort of economic basket case and that the EEC provided an engine which could revitalise her economy. Others seem to believe that, after the second world war, Britain needed to recast her geopolitical position away from empire towards a more realistic one at the heart of Europe. Neither of these arguments, however, makes sense.
The EU in the 1960s and 1970s was in no position to aid anyone’s economy. It spent most of its meagre resources on agriculture and fisheries and had no policies at all for furthering economic growth. If Europe grew after 1945, growth was kick-started by Ludwig Erhard’s currency and supply-side reforms in West Germany from 1948, which in turn revitalised the economies of the Low Countries. Also important was the work done by the European Payments Union under the Marshall Plan and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which worked on the ‘most favoured nation’ principle. From 1960, the Rueff Plan in France implemented further supply-side reforms. In the words of the US economic historian, Professor Barry Eichengreen, in his magisterial The European Economy since 1945:
‘An economy no longer saddled with controls and cartels responded energetically to the reforms of the Rueff Plan … On 1 January 1960, when the Rueff Plan came into effect, 90 per cent of all trade with European markets and 50 per cent of trade with the dollar zone were freed. The Plan tackled the country’s chronic fiscal deficits by limiting public-sector pay increases to 4 percent, cutting subsidies for nationalized companies and eliminating pensions for able-bodied ex-servicemen. It addressed inflation inertia by abolishing index-linking, except in the case of the minimum wage. Capital formation was encouraged by tax provisions allowing for the accelerated depreciation of fixed investment… and [it] scal[ed] back the protection afforded small farmers. The results were out-migration from agriculture, rising farm productivity, and elastic supplies of labour to industry.’
Stimulated by a devaluation of the franc, French companies consolidated themselves to secure economies of scale in export markets. Gross fixed investment rose from 17 to 22 percent over the previous decade. The French car industry expanded faster than the Japanese. In short, Jacques Rueff was the Erhard of France and his policies were copied in Italy and Scandinavia.
Margaret Thatcher would continue the story of supply-side reforms, cutting taxes, defeating the trades unions and cutting back the state but adding privatisation of nationalised industries to the mix. Thatcherism in turn was copied by governments across Europe. Finally, in 2003, Gerhard Schroeder would again revitalise the German economy by introducing further supply-side reforms. In short, the European economy after 1945 grew because of reforms brought in by individual governments. EU policy has always been either irrelevant to European growth rates (tariffs cuts were of marginal benefit statistically, according to recent research, and difficult to disentangle from the results of tariff cuts made by EFTA states) or, like the Euro, positively detrimental.
If British growth rates before the Thatcher revolution had been lower than those of France, Germany and Italy, this was not because she was a late member of the EEC but was due to high overseas defence spending which led to continuous balance of payments crises. West Germany did not have any overseas defence commitments. Indeed, the money paid into the West German economy by the troops of the British Army of the Rhine actually increased the West German trade surplus and increased the UK trade deficit. Meanwhile, most of the costs of the French war in Vietnam were paid for by the Americans, who thereafter subsidised French military spending through the US Mutual Defense Assistance Program. This turned out to be as costly as the Marshall Plan (c. $ 11 billion over a decade). EU membership did not impinge on any of this.
If growth rates in Western Europe were 3.5% in the 1950s and 4.5% in the 1960s, British growth rates were in any case not very far behind and often ahead. In 1959, when Macmillan took office, the real annual growth rate of British GDP, according to the Office of National Statistics, was almost 6%. It was again almost 6% when de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s first application to join the EEC in 1963. In 1973, when we entered, our annual national growth rate in real terms was a record 7.4%. The present Chancellor would die for such a figure. So the economic basket case argument doesn’t work.
What about geopolitics? What argument could have been so compelling as to make us kick our second world war Commonwealth allies in the teeth to join a combination of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg plus France, Germany and Italy? Four of these countries held no international weight whatsoever. West Germany was occupied and divided and its armed forces were under the strict supervision of NATO. Most West Germans opposed rearmament. France, meanwhile had lost one great colonial struggle in Vietnam and another in Algeria. De Gaulle had come to power to save the country from civil war. Most realists must have regarded all these states as simply a bunch of losers. De Gaulle, himself a supreme realist, could not understand why the British wanted to join the EEC. In his famous press conference of January 1963, when he vetoed British entry, he pointed out that Britain had democratic political institutions, world trade links, cheap food from the Commonwealth and was a global power. Why would it want to enter the EEC?
I repeat, conventional historiography does not answer the question.
The true answer is that Harold Macmillan, backed by a handful of close advisers, was part of an intellectual tradition that sought salvation in some sort of world government based on regional groups. He was also a close acquaintance of Jean Monnet, who believed the same. Monnet was a high international civil servant who had worked for the Americans as much as the French, but who also had close links with the Soviets (as did Macmillan). The two had grown close in Algeria during the war, when Monnet was the US envoy to the Free French Government in North Africa and Macmillan was the Allied Representative for the Mediterranean. Monnet, however, also had fanatically devoted followers in the US State Department, including John Foster Dulles (who persuaded a sceptical Eisenhower to back Monnet’s plan for a European defence Force), David Bruce (the eminent American diplomat who served in France, Germany and the UK), and, later, George Ball, Kennedy’s Under-Secretary of State for European Affairs. All these people backed Monnet’s plans for a united Europe and later Kennedy’s Grand Design for a European-Atlantic Trade Partnership. Inside the State Department, they were known as the Theologians.
Macmillan was the representative of the European federalist movement in the British government. In a speech in the Commons he even advocated a European Coal and Steel Community before the Schuman Plan had been announced. He later arranged for a Treaty of Association to be signed between the UK and the ECSC and ensured that a British representative was sent to the Brussels negotiations following the Messina Conference. In the late 1950s, he pushed negotiations concerning a European Free Trade Association towards membership of the EEC. Then, when faced with de Gaulle turning the EEC into a less federalist body, he took the risk of submitting a full British membership application in the hope of frustrating Gaullist ambitions. Apart from Adenauer, who disliked and distrusted him, he had all the others (all federalists) on side.
Macmillan’s aim, in alliance with US and European proponents of an Atlanticist and federalist world order, was to frustrate the emerging Franco-German alliance. Monnet met secretly with Heath and Macmillan on innumerable occasions to facilitate British entry. Indeed, Monnet was informed before the British Parliament of the terms in which the British approach to Europe would be framed. Despite advice from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, that membership would mean the end of parliamentary sovereignty, Macmillan deliberately misled the House of Commons — and practically everyone else — that merely minor commercial negotiations were involved. Macmillan even tried to deceive de Gaulle that he was an anti-federalist and a close friend who would arrange for France, like Britain, to receive Polaris missiles from the Americans.
De Gaulle saw through him and vetoed the British bid. Macmillan left Heath to take matters forward and Heath, along with Douglas Hurd, arranged for the Tory party to pay a large sum of money to become a (secret) corporate member of Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe. According to Monnet’s chief aide and biographer, Francois Duchene, both the Labour and Liberal parties later did the same. Meanwhile the Earl of Gosford, one of Macmillan’s foreign ministers in the House of Lords, actually informed the House that the aim of the government’s foreign policy was world government.
Monnet’s Action Committee was given financial backing by the CIA, through numerous bodies including the Council for Foreign Relations. By 1973 the whole international establishment was behind British membership. It probably still is.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the BrexitVote blog, nor the LSE.
Alan Sked is a Professor of International History at the LSE.
This article contains too many of your own views to be convincing. I do recall that the UK was called the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ just prior to us joining the EEC which seems counter to your argument.
Actually, it was some time after our joining the EEC on Ist January 1973 that Britain was described as ‘the sick man of Europe’. In the first two years of membership, if I recall correctly, Britain’s trade deficit with the EEC increased greatly leading to that epithet being applied to Britain in 1978.
The term “sick man of Europe” has been applied to several countries, on multiple occasions, as far back as the Crimean War. First use of it to describe the UK goes back to Wilson’s premiership in the 60’s. Here’s a link:
Indeed, Up2snuff is wrong here. The UK was known by this epithet from 1967, when the pound devaluation occurred.
There was no Thatcher revolution, the UK had an oil bonanza which Thatcher frittered away on tax cuts to keep herself in office. Had the UK been the ‘poor man of Europe’ we would not have been asked to pay so much into the EU.
We would have been like Slovenia, paying nothing in, but getting huge EU grants.
Michael Oakes, of course we were told that! How else could we be convinced to vote to join the EEC if we were actually doing better than it was?
I came across this article whilst looking for something else. An intriguing read. I do feel that some of the statistics have been produced selectively. The UK’s average real GDP growth throughout the 60’s was 4% – slightly behind that of then EEC. The following article shows in stark terms the UK’s relative economic decline over this period:
I don’t disagree with some of Mr. Sked’s arguments, but I don’t think he is representing the economic data in a totally balanced way.
Sorry, not Mr., Professor.
I don’t know where to begin to tackle the editorialised view of history resented in this article.
While the UK’s GDP was sometimes ahead of the EEC members it was mostly behind them. Our heavy investment in manufacturing helped to generate growth that helped to bring the debt to GDP ratio down from approx 160% in the aftermath of WW2 to about 70% by the mid 70’s, but by that time we were losing market share to the likes of the Americans and Japanese. We didn’t have enough economic clout to take them on. On our own, we would never be able to displace them. Also the USA started to behave quite, understandably, selfishly – they fought Concorde really hard and underhandedly, wouldn’t buy the Lightening, dissed the Comet and even later they wouldn’t buy the Harrier until they were allowed to make it under license. There’s similar cases in electronics and computing too and consumer goods manufacturing. So America as a trading partner hasn’t been a good experience, ever. It was seen that being a part of a bigger trade area would be beneficial as to take on one country from that area would mean taking on all of them, something that the USA would not do (forget Trump). The notion that MacMillan was a stalking horse for an Atlantacist alliance is itself a fantasy. The complexity and nuance of the time is totally ignored by the author of this piece. I campaigned to remain in the EEC in 1975, although I was too young to vote. I went and listened to both side and spoke to pretty much everyone on both sides of the argument. What I can tell you is that those that wanted to join and remain in the EEC felt the choice was between isolation and losing a little of our sovereignty to be a part of the EEC to help shape the future of shared prosperity and security that was free from the prospect of crippling global wars. You can see how MacMillan, et al, felt about that and dangers of being outside the EEC in the pamphlet produced in 1967 and the Conservative manifesto of 1975. Also MacMiallan’s diaries add further fact and insight. His motives were not as those portrayed by such a narrow vignette as provided by Sked.
On to other players. De Gaulle was opposed to Britain joining as our balance of payments deficit was so high in the 1960’s (Marshall plan, NHS, funding for high tech manufacturing, massive public ownership and rebuilding so much of our infrastructure) that it posed a problem to the EEC at the time. It was around the mid 60’s that we were thought of as an economic basket case, we dubbed ourselves the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ in the 70’s. Further, our membership of the EEC was incompatible with restrictions on the removal of capital from a member state’s economy and in particular the state of sterling,which had been thrown into prominence by the devaluations it had endured, presented further risk of destabilisation. Economic contamination from Britain to Europe was a big worry. De Gaulle also did not believe that we wold drop our imports of cheap goods and food from Commonwealth countries in favour of the same items from EEC countries.
The comments about our ‘secret’ membership of the Monnet action group and our ‘secret’ desire to see a United States of the World wasn’t that secret. It was openly discussed and pursued for a long time, actually beginning in the aftermath of the first world war. Seen in the context of both world wars, the federalist doctrine was seen, at the time, as the best way to avoid another world war. The EEC wasn’t seen as a back door way to achieve that, it was viewed far more strategically in post WW2, that given the emergence of the Iron Curtain axis and the expansion of American led pacts, it would be impossible to ever gain a global/federal alliance of states. Apart from Kennedy, we were beginning to distrust America and its leaders.
And there’s more counter arguments, but when faced with a statement such as “conventional historiography does not answer the question” then I see an approach to history more aligned to the Mont Pellerin Society than to any objective analysis of historical fact.
I don’t know about the economics of the 1960s/70s, but in terms of the history of the EEC/EU, Alan Sked is completely correct.
Much of the information below came from a piece in ‘Diplomacy & Statecraft’ (March 1997), by Richard J. Aldrich of Nottingham University, entitled, ‘OSS, CIA and European Unity: The American Committee on United Europe, 1948-60’.
US (and Churchill) discussed the formation of a US of E during the war……..something to keep France and Germany from each others’ throats, and to undermine the spread of Communism. Guided by Acheson and the Dulles brothers, Truman was more motivated by this than the ailing Roosevelt – who died in April 1945 – as would be Eisenhower.
These steps accelerated post-1947 when it was clear that Russia was upping the stakes.
The conduit was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), set-up in summer 1948 by Allen Dulles (CIA) and William Donovan (OSS). The American anti-Communist policies directed towards Europe can summarised in six points;
1. Subsidize non-Communist political parties of the left and centre-left in Europe – Italian prime minister de Gasperi directly benefitted from this both immediately post-war, and in the 1948 elections.
2. Undermine the Soviet-controlled World Federation of Trade Unions, and related labour organisations – particularly in Italy and France.
3. Influence European culture and academia – e.g. Congress of Cultural Freedom and Encounter magazine.
4. Provoke dissonance and dissidence inside Communist-controlled countries – the US Free Europe Committee (there was also a Free Asia Committee) established Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Other groups such as the Assembly of Captive European Nations focused on maintaining hopes that Iron Curtain countries would regain democratic freedoms….one day.
5. Train ‘resistance’ inside Iron Curtain countries.
6. Encourage European federalism – utilising high profile politicians
Such political figures were either pragmatists – such as Churchill – or idealists whose ideas were forged in the aftermath of WWI such as Briand, Coudenhove-Kalergi and Monnet. The latter two had both spent much time in Washington during WWII, and had the ear of Roosevelt.
In 1948, in response to uncertainty within Germany, the European Movement was established. Its ‘Presidents of Honour’ were – Churchill (no longer British PM), Paul-Henri Spaak, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi and Leon Blum. It was funded almost entirely by USA.
A reference to a single secondary source and this is “proof” that someone’s historical perspective is entirely correct?
What a tool you must be in pub discussions.
Ah, so that’s your level. The intellectual vacuity of the above treatise is now explained.
Do I smell the rarified odour of academic vanity, mingled with de haut en bas and venomous disdain?
No wonder ‘Leave’ won.
No clue have you. This paper was about why the UK joined the EEC/EU back in the 70’s. It now becomes clear though why you have such a one-dimensional interest in it. As it happens, having voted it stay in in 1975, in 2016 I voted Leave – though I am now regretting it as our government is making a complete Horlicks of it.
You got the bit about disdain right though.
You talk about the 1970s………having interpreted the article’s title quite narrowly (no surprise one supposes).
Yet the article is actually about the genesis of the EU as an American satellite project of the 1940s and 50s – a sideshow in their major war against Communism.
Sadly, the sideshow assumed a life of its own, and is now a fully-fledged three-ring circus.
Whilst May’s government is indeed making a Horlicks of the leave process – it is not something that it is itself mainly responsible for……….there is a wicked quadruple alliance conspiring the keep Britain tied as closely to the EU as possible;
1. The EU itself
2. The Civil Service / Treasury
3. British politicians, lawyers and business
4. The British media and academia
Appalling demagoguery……….something that should not make you regret voting ‘leave’ – it should double your resolve to ensure we leave cleanly and/or punish those responsible for trying to stifle the process.
This should include the Conservative Party – which will never again receive my vote in local or general elections if it fails to sever ties with Brussels.
It seems they are all out to get you then. Conversely, if we do not end up with a working relationship with the EU which allows business to operate effectively and does not punish families of mixed citizenship, I will not vote Conservative again, nor will I continue to pay for my membership, though I will stay in just long enough to vote against Johnson/Gove/Mogg/AN Other in the ensuing contest to be leader of the Conservative opposition to the next Labour government.
You people do know that Sked is the founder of UKIP? As such his vuew’s, and that’s all they are, are as usual with his ilk, ‘fact lite’ and err, ‘carefully chosen’ to suit his agenda. He wilfully misrepresents so much in this piece he should win the ;’Ferguson Starkey’ award for bad history!
a) there are plenty of facts and figures in the piece…….they are not just ‘views’.
b) it your post that is just a ‘view’
c) Sked has far more integrity than any figure on the ‘remain’ side, and many on the ‘leave’.
More integrity – true enough – putting aside the quality of his historiography in the above (including as it does, PLENTY of facts and figures).
Despite having founded UKIP, Sked later described it as turning into “a far-right and what I think is an extremist and racist party”. And that was 5 years ago!
To me, the piece is an accurate summary of the West’s strategy to avoid catastrophic wars by shackling Germany and France together in economic – and political – union.
History is history – it cannot be denied.
What IS to be questioned is whether or not what was a suitable strategy in 1948, can still be valid after 50-odd years……..
……..especially when, in the 21C, Germany has achieved through economic power what it tried to achieve through war 1861-71, 1902-18 and of course 1933-45.
As for UKIP…….I am sure he knows what he is talking about.
To me, the party should have died in 2016, once it had achieved its long-professed twin aims.
In 2018, we may need a new anti-EU party to get the job done……the ‘Clean Brexit Party’.
That would be great. I would dearly love to see proponents of this economicly suicidal total separation version of Brexit put to the electorate for them to decide, rather than being pushed through on the sly by a a minority of maniacs in the Tory party egged on by the far right.
This “clean Brexit” party could explain to voters exactly what their plans entail and be subject to public debate and scrutiny. Then when no-one voted for it, we could follow a more sensible approach which allows our economy to prosper without having to wait 50 years for the promised unicorns to arrive..
Sadly the whole shebang is going to fall apart long before this could all take place – probably by September.
Total eparation has been an option for the electorate twice before – in 1975, and again in 2016.
Both times the electorate made an affirmative, proactive, choice; first, to join, and then to leave.
Everyone knew what they were voting for.
It is very disingenuous of you to ascribe the term ‘far right’ to what one option in a binary choice……..was the vote to remain a ‘hard left’ choice?
The country voted to leave – not to stay in, and not to be half-in-half-out. Simple as that.
You say it is ‘economic suicide’. I don’t think it will be, in fact quite the opposite. Aside from the re-aligned of the pound, which was over-valued anyway, he broad and outrageous lies of the remain side have not eventuated.
That said, in any case, I am quite prepared to accept short-term stunted growth for full democratic sovereignty.
You seem younger than me……..there will be a lot of opportunities for you when we escape the protectionist EU and trade globally.
I’m 65. Opportunities have already been presented. My overseas investments have done very well as a result of the devaluation (over-valued my arse! – Sterling floats, has done for years, the value reflects the econpmy’s prospects) and I expect to profit further from Sterling’s collapse when the UK crashes out of the EU without a proper deal.I’ve virtually nothing left in the domestic UK economy – I followed the excellent advice of John Redwood on this.
I’ve no interest in stunted short-term growth or this bullshit about the advantages of global trading. It’s quite clear what the potential advantages of these magical ex-EU trade deals are – nothing to write home about. I’ve been trading globally for nearly 50 years. I know what benefits trade and what hampers it. So I’m leaving to secure dual citizenship for the benefit of my children before it is too late.
You are right about the far left, there are few of them involved as well. They are just as crazy.
By the way, that is total nonsense about either vote being for and against “total separation”. In 1973/75, the choice on joining was between the EEC and EFTA, which we had previously been in. There was nothing on the 2016 ballot paper saying “clean”, “hard” or “not Norway”. The majority of voters, both leave and remain did not have a clue what they were voting about. Even now neither the government nor the media understands what the EU is and how it works; to suggest that the man in the street does is lunacy.
Just to take a small example, if we make a totally clean break from the EASA (an EU agency), our aircraft won’t be certified safe to fly and will stay on the ground. No total separation from the EU is possible – it is a fantasy. I’ve booked my flight for February.
I was mistaken, you are 10+yrs senior to me.
In leaving I can respect you putting your money where your mouth is…..
……….but……it appears that your frustration at the result of a binary choice – everyone knew the meaning of – has clouded your judgement and obscured facts.
1. Planes will still fly, the 1944 Chicago Convention – signed by 133 countries – guarantees air-space.
2. The EU has just ratified a €100bn trade deal with Japan……..no requirement for Japan to be members of a customs union, accept free movement of people or accept ECJ jurisdiction…….can you explain why UK cannot have a similar arrangement?
3. USA has a $151bn trade deficit with the EU……for UK it is about $100bn. Naturally, the situation is more complicated, but the principles of ‘supply and demand’ are over-arching.
4. The EU’s share of the global economy has fallen substantially since UK joined in 1973 – when it commanded >60% of GDP trade, to now when its share is about 30%………in other words, world trade is now much more important.
5. The EU’s protectionist system is crooked, out-moded and incompetent. It is actually neo-colonialist, and does significant harm. We should be very glad to escape it.
6. It’s not just about trade is it? For me it’s not EVEN about trade.
It’s about democracy and sovereignty – time and again, the EU’s cruelty, corruption, conniving and lack of competence has been exposed……
……..the EU parliament has no power to legislate, the MEPs we elect are paid to talk. It is through the unelected EU Commission that the EU – makes over 66% of Britain’s laws, and most of its general policies, and we have NO say in This is not acceptable in any way.
As a direct manifestation of this, take the fact that the man in charge – a corrupt Luxembourger (Juncker) – is a drunken idiot, a puppet, whose strings are pulled by the descendant of a Nazi war criminal (Selmayer) who has never been elected to anything.
17.4m people realized this, and made a firm and positive choice to leave it allbehind – and leave it cleanly.
Finally, a point that was never made in the referendum campaign – or explored in the media – that is that a vote to remain, was not a vote for the status quo in 2016……..it would’ve been taken by the EU as carte blanche approval for ever closer union and full EU-federalism…….and all that would be entailed – universal taxes, socialist policies, and criminal justice………joint armed forces, one foreign policy, one immigration policy etc. etc…….
……..and there would be no way out of that.
Whilst many of the 16.2m voted for membership of a pan-European federation, many didn’t appreciate that that would be the inevitable ultimate outcome…….Britain dominated by undemocratic EU socialism, incompetence, corruption and dishonesty.
All substantially subsidized by Britain – for the main benefit of Germany and France…..
…….regardless of ‘trade deals’, without doubt, the referendum saved Britain.
Planes will still fly, the 1944 Chicago Convention – signed by 133 countries – guarantees air-space.
No it doesn’t! I have not bothered to read beyond this as it is a waste of time. This is illustrative of the problem. People claim to understand this kind of thing and say that have answers. Actually they have no idea. Have you ever read the Chicago Convention? Do you know how it works? In itself it provides no certainty that a plane is allowed to fly. It has to be supplemented by inter-country agreements. Secondly, even with such agreements, the CC gives only 5 of the 9 freedoms provided by the Open Skies agreement which would be necessary (but not sufficient) for UK planes to fly as they do now. Thirdly, it has nothing to do with safety – it remains the case that without EASA, UK planes will not have safety clearance to fly to European destinations. Insurers won’t insure them, pilots won’t fly them, lessors won’t allow their planes to be used, airports won’t accept them and airlines won’t run them. EASA is an EU institution. If we are totally separated from the EU, no flights. If we ignore this idealistic fantasy and accept some connection to the EU, we can negotiate 3rd country working agreement with the EASA. This is one example of many.
You are obviously just another fatuous member of the Jeremiah-class……
…….the same people who proclaimed ‘economic disaster’ if UK did not adopt the euro…..how did those predictions turn out?
…….the same people who stated that a vote to leave the EU might cause a war, economic collapse, house price falls, big companies leaving UK in droves, the loss of 3m jobs…….
…….and now, the grounding of all flights to Europe or over EU air-space….
……..UK citizens make 70m visits to Europe every year……..and buy a lot of hotel rooms, drinks, meals and souvenirs…….the economis of Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy that have already been trashed by the EU, would be further damaged…….
……..and that’s just tourism…….where, as if it needs stating, UK has a nearly 100% deficit with EU countries.
Already in economic and political difficulties, EU countries have far, far more to lose than Britain if Brussels continues to play maniac hard ball……
……..and in any case, from our point of view, if Brussels, in its determination to punish UK, and leave us hamstrung, is willing to wickedly sacrifice the economy of the whole continent……..
……..then it merely proves itself to be a malevolent dictatorship – and underlines further why we are completely correct to havevoted to leave.
You are exercising your right to leave – taking your wealth with you – and that’s your choice. I do think though that a clean break will benefit UK……..and that you will return.
And you are obviously just a cultist, who, once their ignorance of the detailed facts is exposed, retreats from this and just recites a load of tosh.
Ad hom abuse use and non-argued dismissal of my points.
Game, set and match too me then.
No, it was a reaction to you calling me a “fatuous Jeremiah” instead of engaging with the subject matter. Having been demonstrated to be poorly informed and arguing from an entirely false premise, your lack of understanding of passenger air travel regulation exposed, instead of going away and better informing yourself, yor response with a silly insult and a generic list of anti-EU propaganda, irrelevant to the specific point.
I have no interest in your list of points. As with your earlier piece, I didn’t bother to read it.
quad erat demonstrandum
Isn’t it just!
Recall that Heath won the Charlemagne Prize (£25,000) for taking us into the Common Market. Heath and his cabinet lied to parliament and the country about the true nature of the organisation that would work to become the United States of Europe. We have heard the lies for 45 years and the lies are still being told by remoaners. The EU is a despicable organisation and a danger to world peace.
I voted OUT in 1975 and OUT in 2016.
Yes, Heath was given the award in 1963.
With Churchill working hand-in-hand with the Big-6 and Americans to bind Europe together, it was very well known by the Foreign Office in the 1950s that what was being planned was an alliance that went much deeper than a trading bloc.
The Tories under Macmillan, won the 1959 election on a manifesto that did not mention the EEC at all*. The nearest mention it got was;
“……..We shall concentrate on the further promotion of the export trade.
Half our trade is with the Commonwealth, and the new Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council will provide further opportunities for expansion. We shall continue to take steps to increase the flow of trade with America in which for the first time in a century our exports have exceeded our imports. We are about to join an economic association of Seven European countries**; our aim remains an industrial free market embracing all Western Europe. The recent trade agreement we made with Soviet Russia is already leading to more orders for British machinery and other goods…………”
[ * Nor did Labour’s ].
[ ** EFTA – Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland – signed in January 1960. EFTA established the progressive elimination of customs duties on industrial products, but did not affect agricultural or fisheries products. The main difference between the early EEC and the EFTA was that the latter did not operate common external customs tariffs. ].
Yet almost immediately after winning office, the Macmillan Government began to discuss a ‘policy change’ on the matter of the EEC.
The first EEC Commission was established in 1958 under Walter Hallstein. UK sent Sir Roderick Barclay as head of the nations diplomatic delegation. In summer 1960, he briefed Whitehall that what was being planned was broad alignment of ‘economic, social, commercial, tariff and fiscal matters’.
Further in November 1960, Heath – by then Lord Privy Seal, basically a minister without portfolio – and sent to Brussels to consult on UK’s membership of the EEC. He visited Hallstein, and was quite clearly told that any prospective new member must accept that the EEC was ultimately aiming to evolve into a federal state.
In December 1960, Heath consulted the Lord Chancellor (Lord Kilmuir) on the constitutional/legal ramifications of joining the EEC. Kilmuir stated that making Britain’s parliament (and her courts) subservient to European edicts was a grave matter, and that the consequences should be hidden from neither parliament nor the people.
Six months later, in summer 1961, Macmillan’s cabinet considered whether or to to submit an application to join, and decided to proceed. Heath was appointed to lead negotiations, with the whole apparatus of the Civil Service and Tory government behind him, and the truth of the ultimate consequences deliberately hidden from both parliament and the people. A deception that has been perpetrated for over 50yrs.
As we know, Britain’s first application was veto’d by de Gaulle in early 1963 (and again in 1967). Nevertheless, in that same year, Heath was awarded Charlemagne Prize for ‘services to European unity’. It came with a financial purse – of £35,000……..or £700,000 in today’s money (source Vernon Coleman).
Coleman goes further, suggesting that the EU has bribed politicians all over Europe.
“…………..According to International Currency Review, the EU operates a secret bank account which it uses to distribute money to many of those involved in treaty signings. The International Currency Review has reported that in 2004 a total of over £3 billion was allocated from secret slush funds to `procure’ the European Constitution Treaty. Of this sum nearly £2 billion was allocated and paid out after the inter governmental conference in the summer of 2004. Sums of £70 million were allocated for each of the 25 EU member states with the bribery funds being remitted to various officials concerned in each country……….”
So there we have it.
Yet the recently deceased Lord Stoddart of Swindon said of it:
“I was never in favour of joining the EEC. My first speech against joining was made in Woolhampton, Berkshire, in 1962. I understood that the Treaty of Rome was not about trade but about ‘ever closer union’, building a country called Europe. ”
If Lord Stoddart could work this out in 1962, it wasn’t very well hidden was it?
Alan Smith is in error in asserting that I am recently deceased. Although 92 years of age I can assure him that I am still alive and relatively active and hope to remain so for a lsome while yet.
Good news Lord Stoddart……….all the very best to you.
Perhaps you would be good enough to explain please – if you know – what prompted Whitehall’s change of heart about becoming a member of the EEC.
Was it a decision based on economics or politics? Was it to do with losing American favour over Suez?
Any information gratefully received.
The irony is that both Britain and France were stiffed by the Germans.
France wanted the Union because it saw itself pulling the strings…….(from what I can work out) Britain wanted in in order to keep tabs on France and Germany.
In the end, the Germans have made fools of everybody……..and emerged on top and calling the shots.
Zollverein worked for Prussia to create Germany………..WWI was a German attempt to create a new empire and customs union……..WWII was about similar.
Now, having expended scullions of treasure and millions of lives in the 20C………Germany is now benefitting massively from calling the shots in a European customs union – having taken advantage of US funds and British and French debt (reparation) relief…..and never fired a shot, Germany is top dog in Europe, and has no qualms about trashing ‘little countries’ like Greece.
Germany only wants Britain to stay in the EU because we are a cow to be milked.
I was amazed to read this. I’m 77, a retired academic, and at a Council of Europe sponsored seminar in 1985, I was talking with a German aged about 30, who had been surprised when in UK at an attitude of ‘we won the war’ pervading many mentions of Germany failing from the late 1800s in its efforts to take over Europe: Franco-Prussian war and WW1 &2, but he was also amused at comic references on TV. He wasn’t at all agressive or nationalistic, and happy to be in the EC, but he pointed out that it was possibly more accurate to say that, despite its defeats in those conflicts, Germany had won, effectively, a second “100 Years War” against France and Britain, to gain economic dominance over them in Europe. He was surprised that I didn’t disagree. I wonder what he’s thinking now.
Yes – they have everything stitched-up nicely, and used our resources to do it, whilst squirrelling away their own.
Have to hand it to them.
Profound apologies to Lord Stoddart. I confused him with another peer. I believe I have the quote correct though.
I think not Alan old bean……
…….just the usual lack of clarity and accuracy from ‘remainers’…….. ; ]
You’ve just linked to a site where the exact same words appear. Did I miss the invisible unicorn?
No……but you have missed the bit where it says that article was written by the good Lord Stoddart……
So the quote was correct and was attributed to the right person. Is there a stick you are capable of getting the right end of?
Well, the Lords has only lost one member ‘recently’, and that was the late Baroness Hollis
So there I was quite reasonably thinking that your ‘confusion’ concerned the person who made the speech…….
Suggest you read through this sequence of comments more carefully.
Once again, Sked proves himself an intellectual powerhouse. Conventional historiography is effortlessly dispatched with irrefutable arguments like ‘most realists must have regarded all these states as simply a bunch of losers’. Such is Sked’s sheer mastery of the historical discipline, there is not even a hint of his well-known opposition to European cooperation.
Seriously, LSE. Sked is a disgrace.
Why is it disgraceful for Sked to be anti-EU?
Is it because of all the funding LSE receives for research / op-Ed that is positive to Brussels?
Or is it because you are partial to the EU?
Jim W, have you really nothing better to do than peddle tosh?
So ukips founder describes it as a far right,extremist and racist party. Sad,really.even sadder is a quick analysis of the leave vote.ukips share of the vote in the lsat general election collapsed but was pre referendum significant.not everyone who voted leave was a xenopbe, but every hard right extremist and racist did.given the the unintended outcome of 2016 is a tacit permission that it’s ok to be racist,even anti Semitic and abusive towards’johnny foreigner’ then we should be ashamed as a country that we allowed 1.8 million closet or outright racists to determine the future of this country or that those who had reasoned opinions were happy to be validated by knuckle draggin troglodytes !!! What a future to look forward to!
Yep – UKIP is no longer a haven for patriotic conservatives – it is but a party for angry rightist trouble-makers.
Similarly, not every person who voted ‘remain’ was an anti-Semitic, hard left international Marxist – but they did nearly bring Corbyn into office in 2017……..and are still going…….we should be ashamed as a country that those barely-educated, rabid, fanatical knuckle-dragging troglodytes might have the opportunity to determine the future of the country.