Again we list more of the terms designed to confuse the general public in Brexit discussions.
Level Playing Field – A field containing different levels.
In EU jargon a ‘field’ is an area of EU regulation, or ‘competence’. The top level in the trade field is for German manufacturing, in the agricultural field France takes the highest level, whilst in the economics field Germany’s Bundesbank occupies the summit level. Lower levels exist for other members in the various fields but a special level (or “place in hell” according to Council President Tusk) exists for any that wish to leave these fields altogether.
Moderates – Politicians who take the extreme position that what the people decide they shall not have.
Clearly leaving the EU is an extremely silly idea that ill-educated, hot-headed or malevolent racists voted for; it needs to be watered down (if not reversed). In politics ‘moderate’ is a laudatory term for fudging decisions: not too hard, not too soft but just right – the Goldilocks position. If we’re neither in nor out we are disadvantaged against either ‘extreme’ by being subject to the rule of others without a voice. However, that is really an extremist position – extremely unsatisfactory.
Newspeak – The language used in George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ by the oppressive government of Oceania; not strictly an EU technical term but the similarities are striking.
Orwell’s novel has this example of Newspeak, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” The inversion of meaning of common words and phrases is strikingly similar to Eurospeak, of which this lexicon contains many examples.
People’s Vote – A referendum in which the Government asks voters to chose the approved option so they won’t have to keep on voting until they do.
Referendums are a form of direct democracy with potential outcomes that may conflict with EU objectives. Since these objectives are immutable any conflict may not be allowed to stand, therefore the democratic process must be repeated until the people’s decision aligns with EU precepts.
Switzerland was unable to join the EU because referendums are frequent and intrinsic to its constitution, every new ‘competence’ acquired by the Commission would have to be put to the Swiss people for approval. The Irish constitution also requires a referendum but only for changes to the constitution; the people rejected both the Nice and Lisbon treaties but another people’s vote was held on both occasions to correct these aberrations. Denmark’s voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty but they too were given a second chance to make the right choice. The French people voted to reject the EU Constitution, proposed by ex-president Giscard d’Estaing; they were not told to vote again, however the constitution was simply redrafted as the Lisbon Treaty and signed by President Sarkozy.
The People’s Vote campaign, established by people opposed to Brexit, has now been officially endorsed by Labour. Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary for Leaving the European Union (DEXEU), is clear that the options would be to remain in the EU or remain under EU control but without voice, votes or rights (see also Withdrawal).
Stability – when everybody lets the Germans run things properly.
The Germans are famous for the skilled management of their economy so that it is by far the most successful of the 28 members of the EU. They have managed to create a trade surplus with the other 27 members equivalent to 8% of their country’s GDP – that’s illegal under the EU’s treaties but, hey! if it makes us all richer, so what? They’ve shown it works for them so it’s common sense to let them run the whole show so we may all enjoy an 8% surplus in trade with our fellow members.
Subsidiarity – powers move inexorably upwards, further into the clutches of the bureaucracy
In everyday language subsidiarity means that “matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralised competent authority”. It is a founding principle of the EU, spelt out in the Maastricht Treaty, which declares that the Union will act only in areas where required action cannot be sufficiently-well achieved by the member states (except for areas taken as being its own “exclusive competence”) . This principle conflicts with the underlying ideology of the EU, which requires authority to be centralised and not subject to the whims of the people. The mandarins know best.
The growing aggregation to itself by the EU of “competences” has deprived the UK of the ability, and even the right, to set standards and embed these standards in legislation that the British government may see as relevant to circumstances in the UK. The EU is constructed deliberately so that competences extracted from member states, or passed upwards by them, are irreversible (what goes up is not allowed to come down). There is no possibility of reversing course. Here is an example, from the negotiating guidelines: “Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union confers on the Union an exceptional horizontal competence to cover in this [withdrawal] agreement all matters necessary to arrange the withdrawal.”
This may be the most important area in which the EU ignores its own rules – and demonstrates its obsession with federalism. They have ensured that few areas remain in which the EU does not have exclusive competence. Powers to act, once passed up from the member states, are never returned.
Withdrawal – the legal abrogation of the right to leave.
The following definition summarises the term ‘withdrawal’ in accordance with the Draft Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister at the end of 2018 :
The action of withdrawing from the European Council and Parliament (thereby having all voting rights withdrawn); of withdrawing commissioners, judges and eurocrats (civil servants); of having the right of appeal to an independent authority withdrawn in a dispute over any issue within the ever-expanding scope of EU law and regulation (the EU is not subject to rulings of the International Court of Justice); and having the legal right to withdraw from the Draft Withdrawal Agreement withdrawn. A perfect example of Newspeak.
Council of Europe (CoE) A confusingly-named organisation
(It sounds like an institution of the EU – the European Council); it should be retitled Cherry-basket of Europe since being pillaged by its younger, ugly sister. The CoE pre-dates the EU but many of its best bits were stolen and made mandatory instead of voluntary by the upstart.
Project for Peace Probably a misunderstanding or misspelling of a Project for Piece:
-since the EU wishes to devour more pieces of Europe by diktat, if not by force of arms (yet?) The EU is trying to take a piece of the UK (Northern Ireland) which is likely to re-ignite armed conflict in the province. Its member Spain wishes to capture Gibraltar and the EU demonstrated its support for this when it offered Spain a veto. Now the EU has given Switzerland an ultimatum (see Will the Swiss Roll?)