This post is the fourth from our series in which we extract evidence from ten EU documents. Overtime Lords was the first, Democracy or Institutional Strengthening? the second and Ideology the third.This post focuses on the ways in which the EU covers its true agenda (and ideology) and why we believe that the EU is manipulating fact and opinion and is at risk of being found out.
The EU documents cited in this post are:
[C] Draft guidelines following the United Kingdom’s notification under Article 50 TEU [Treaty on European Union] European Council (Art. 50) (29 April 2017)
[D] White Paper on the Future of Europe Reflections and Scenarios for the EU by 2025 (1 March 2017)
[E] Special Eurobarometer 451: Future of Europe (December 2016)
[J] COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK (Brussels, 21.10.2015)
[K] Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (The Five Presidents Report – European Commission. 15 June 2105)
For the full ‘evidence’ paper, you can view it here.
[C] “European integration has brought peace and prosperity to Europe and allowed for an unprecedented level and scope of cooperation on matters of common interest in a rapidly changing world. Therefore, the Union’s overall objective in these negotiations will be to preserve its interests, those of its Member States, its citizens and its businesses.”
Unfortunately the first claim is not intended ironically; they mean it. But we can include this under the heading of ‘alternative facts’, better known as ‘lies’. Certainly the level and scope of integration (“cooperation” is questionable) is unprecedented. The whole of this first sentence is propaganda, as is clear from the next word, “Therefore”, which seeks to persuade us that “the Union’s overall objective in these negotiations will be to preserve its interests…” Even if we believed the propaganda we would see that the misuse of ‘therefore’ does not lead to the objective. Of course, we cannot doubt that the EU will seek to preserve its own interests. It is significant that they feel a need to justify this and that the best argument they can come up with is a statement of the obvious produced by flawed logic from a suspect premise.
“Businesses and other stakeholders will lose the predictability and certainty that come with EU law.”
This is characteristic of the deceptions that the EU imposes on us. In the absence of any persuasive case for loving the project they have to resort to dishonest propaganda such as this. The only “predictability and certainty” that we witness are the inexorable growth of regulation and the irreversible transfer of power from member states to the Union.
“In these negotiations the Union will act as one.”
During the Brexit negotiations the UK remains a member of the Union, so this claim is obviously untrue. It could be propaganda or wishful thinking or another example of the pressure the EU Commission likes to put on its members to conform to its expectations. Most likely it signals a combination of all three. Even if the statement is intended to refer to the other 27 member states, it is already clear that the normal, and expected, self-interest of all parties will condition any outcome. We are already hearing statements of concern about the impact on local employment and GDP from national and regional administrations amongst the 27, Denmark’s Foreign Minister for example.
“In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately.”
This ‘principle’ is one the EU has invented for the purpose of controlling the Brexit negotiations, it has no basis in law but is just a statement of how the EU intends to proceed. Except that it doesn’t mean it. The terms of the ‘divorce’ (the Withdrawal Agreement) must be agreed before anything else is agreed. Is this an example of where the EU is being flexible with its own ‘principles’. They break “everything” into packages for their own convenience and then apply their principle to the UK within each package.
“Article 50 TEU requires to take account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union in the arrangements for withdrawal. To this end, an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship could be identified during a second phase of the negotiations under Article 50.”
They do not intend to follow their own rules, as laid out in the treaties. The first phase of the negotiations cover “the arrangements for withdrawal” and should therefore “take account of the framework for its [the UK’s] future relationship with the Union”. And then “an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship could be identified” (emphasis added).
It is clear that they do not intend to honour this treaty requirement.
[D] “These developments [e.g. unbalanced economic recovery, youth disadvantage] have fuelled doubts about the EU’s social market economy and its ability to deliver on its promise to leave no one behind and to ensure that every generation is better off than the previous one. This has been particularly felt within the euro area, highlighting the need to complete the Economic and Monetary Union and strengthen the convergence of economic and social performances.” (emphasis added)
Platitudes are not a satisfactory substitute for a cogent argument. There is justification in neither theory nor experience for the claim that completing EMU will do anything to remedy “these developments”. In fact EMU is an immediate objective, contributing, as they see it, to the completion of the project as a supra-national state. If they could show a causal link from economic and monetary union to growth, prosperity or balance they surely would.
[E] “Create a promising economic future for all, safeguard our way of life and provide better opportunities for youth”
Three cheers! And better luck will be needed than has been evident over the past few decades. (What is “our way of life”? And how many Greeks want their way of life safeguarded?)
We know that politicians lie and dissemble as easily as they breathe but our responsibility as citizens is to question their nonsense and, where we can, to challenge it.
[J] ‘Then, on the basis of benchmarks for a renewed upward convergence of the euro area economies, more fundamental reforms should be undertaken, moving to a medium- to long-term vision for new growth perspectives…”
Apart from the propaganda value it was barely worth mentioning a “vision for new growth perspectives”, since visions and perspectives have no practical value in themselves. We could suspect substance-abuse here, were it not that ideology-abuse is sufficient. When reading anything from the EU it is important to distinguish propaganda from deceit and from the overriding goal.
“This Communication and its accompanying proposals take forward key elements of Stage 1 of the process (described in the Five Presidents Report, and see below) to deepen EMU.”
The “package of measures” the document lists are all directed towards the overriding goal, wrapped in propaganda and spiced with deceit, because they know that the goal itself would be unacceptable to a majority of its citizens, who will be denied any opportunity to resist or redirect the project.
[K] “There is now significant divergence across the euro area. …Today’s divergence creates fragility for the whole Union. We must correct this divergence and embark on a new convergence process.”
In practice the pre-defined rules were broken by the powerful members, Germany and France, when it suited them (the Growth and Stability Pact for example) and the ad hoc rulings to overrule the little voices of Greece and Ireland were imposed to suit the Bundesbank. The Greek “solution” is well known and has ensured a decade of devastation for its people with no end in prospect. In Ireland the entire losses of its banks were borne domestically while foreign banks (especially German, French and British) were let off. Irish savers and investors took “financial haircuts” but bail-out loans were imposed to pay back the overseas banks, shifting the remaining burden to Irish taxpayers. So much for solidarity. We don’t think this is what they mean by ‘divergence’.
“Specifically, during this second stage, the convergence process would be made more binding through a set of commonly agreed benchmarks for convergence that could be given a legal nature.”
“The notion of convergence is at the heart of our Economic Union: convergence between Member States towards the highest levels of prosperity…”
This pair illustrate the depths of deceit on which progress towards the supra-national state is founded. In one sentence convergence means towards increasing prosperity, in the other sentence it means towards legally-enforceable benchmarks. Stick and carrot; buy the carrot and accept the beating. Except that there is no reason to believe that prosperity will follow from convergence. The document is almost entirely devoted to glorifying EMU (propaganda), promoting its necessity for prosperity (specious claims) and announcing how successful it is (lies). Where it is not successful it is the fault of the member states for not converging enough; this is used to justify the underlying ideology towards political union, which is what the EU is really about.
Could it be, in fact, that the differences between the nations, states and principalities in Europe during the Middle Ages gave rise to competition, experiments and copying of successful ideas, creating the conditions that led the divergent continent to outpace unified China? Where else in the world did so many diverse administrations abut one another, overlapping in language, culture, communications and transport so that success could be so easily copied and continued?