UK-EU: IN or OUT? There is no "no"
Don't worry folks, the YES vote to stay in the European Union will win in the United Kingdom by a comfortable margin of some fifty-eight per cent to forty-two. Not for the right reasons, not due to any Euro-enthusiasm but yes, once again, due to the manipulation of fear, the what-if factor, the insecurity of the unknown. Rather than being the odd man out, Britons mirror the essence of the hearts and minds of their continental counterparts.
As David Cameron battles to strike a deal which will satisfy Europe but which will also satisfy more immediately, his own back-benchers in his own Conservative Party and then in a wider sense, the British public, the very essence of the European Union is at question.
What was originally a widely-accepted free trading agreement which started with conventions among States, saw a splinter movement set up with the Treaty of Rome in 1957, namely the rich boys' club called the European Economic Community (France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy). The reaction was an alternative trading bloc, the equally widely-accepted EFTA (European Free Trade Association) which was set up in 1960 (UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland).
The crunch came with Maastricht
It took three decades for the crunch to come and it came in 1993 with the Maastricht Treaty, when a single market involving the free movement of people and goods was established in the European Economic Community countries (by now including Denmark, Ireland and the UK - 1973; Greece - 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986). The European Economic Community was renamed Economic Community, the European Union began to lurk behind headlines, growingly, and after 2009, only the European Union was referred to, by which time Brussels had assumed virtual control over national policy-making.
The result today is that countries which have received bail-outs, for example Greece, Portugal and Ireland, have to present their national budgets to the Eurocrats in the European Commission in Brussels, which accepts or rejects the proposals, usually calling for more austerity and fewer social benefits without having a single idea as to the reality of the measures in the field.
Rush to create a supra-national entity
This interference and this rush to create a supra-national entity in a few decades among states whose economies took thousands of years to form and develop and gain singular characteristics has seen ludicrous measures such as destroying apples which are outside the Euro-size, fishing fleets beached, industries closed, thousands of jobs lost while at the same time, the markets are controlled by Germany.
This interference also gives Bulgarian and Romanian migrants the right to travel en masse to London, and sign on to claim social security benefits, paid not by the Bulgarian and Romanian taxpayer but by the British taxpayer who takes issue with having to step over beggars lying in pools of excrement in the streets and having to pay taxes to house them.
And however multi-cultural one may be, however much of an exaggeration the example given might sound, this is the crux of the matter, namely the sovereign right of European nations to form their own policies for their own people and expect other states to do the same within sovereign borders.
This interference has also spilled over into Eastern Europe, where communities are suspicious of hundreds of thousands of young men charging across their borders armed with the latest i-phones, tablets and laptops but of course, without any documentation whatsoever, and where communities are supposed to receive their new guests with a nice Euro-smile.
There is no "No"
The Euro-project is in short a sinister exercise in top-down anti-democratic political and economic measures imposed on hundreds of millions of people who do not understand what it means and who have not been informed what happens if they wish to say no. Worse, they are told there is no "No" because the institutions have not been created to travel the other way. It's a one-way track to Euro-Nirvana.
The Euro-project is also a study in the implementation of a Neo-Liberal Regime which benefits the corporations and which has seen small businesses vaporize from the streets. Gone is the butcher, gone is the baker, gone is the greengrocer selling local produce and in come the Big Spaces which offer fabulous GM goods smothered and charged with chemicals, deep-frozen meat products made in Vietnam, and Japan and Peru and Nigeria, washed with ammonia, compressed into blocks and frozen for years before being marketed as 100% Prime British Beef!
Nobody was asked, nothing was explained, nobody wanted it and nobody wants it. Belonging to the European Union is like having two choices: do or die.
Conclusion: The British experience is no different from anyone else's over the channel in the other 27 member nations. The difference is that the British from time to time ask why? But the result is always the same: through the manipulation of fear, through the doubt created by the question What if? And through the total absence of information as to the possibilities of trying something different, half the population will vote, and of these around 60 per cent will express a very muffled YES, to stay in, just because.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
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