Foreign Policy Perspectives 028, Britain and the European Union: How We Got In and Why We Should Get Out (1992), by David Botsford
How we got in and why we should get out
By David Botsford
Foreign Policy Perspectives No. 28
ISSN 0267-6761 ISBN 1 85637 358 4
© 1997: Libertarian Alliance; David Botsford.
David Botsford is a freelance writer and therapist.
The views expressed in this publication are those of its author, and
LA Director: Chris R. Tame
FOR LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY
The New Road to Serfdom
The most important question facing the future of individual liberty in the United Kingdom is the question of this country's relationship with the European Union. It is not merely the most important question, but, in one sense, the only question. If the current drive towards a unitary European super-state, in which the British government has been actively collaborating since 1972, succeeds in destroying British national sovereignty, and in consolidating its rule over the British people through the proposed single currency, then it will decisively - and probably irreversibly - condemn future generations of British people to live under an essentially totalitarian state which yields nothing to either the Soviet communists or German National Socialists in the degree or scope of its rule over the individual. Under the terms of the Treaty of Maastricht, Britain must decide in 1997 whether or not to participate in the single currency, or phase three of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU3) which was one of the main purposes of the Treaty of Maastricht. This would involve the handing over £26 billion of the gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of England to the proposed European Central Bank in Frankfurt, and the transfer of economic policy to the same unelected institution, which would not be accountable to any electorate. There can be no serious doubt that both Major and Blair want to do this. If they succeed, then the prospects of the British people enjoying freedom in any sense twenty years from now are likely to be slim. No matter what else may happen, the drive to force the British people into the slave-pen of the single currency shall and must be stopped. Not only that, but Britain must, as soon as possible, leave the European Union completely and permanently. On strictly libertarian grounds, the UK shall and must become once again an entirely sovereign nation, and no "court", government, bureaucracy, "parliament" or any other body outside the United Kingdom shall have any jurisdiction whatsoever under any circumstances over any individual within the UK. That goal is the minimum precondition for any prospect of the defence, let alone the extension, of individual liberty in this country. Indeed, a government which was firmly committed to achieving this goal, and which had Tony Benn as Prime Minister, Dennis Skinner as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Arthur Scargill as Employment Secretary, would be far preferable to libertarians than the present Tory government which is driving the British people ever further down the road, not so much to serfdom, as to pan-European slavery. Some degree of individual liberty and the rule of law would survive under a government led by Messrs Benn, Skinner and Scargill, and at least the people could vote them out of office at the end of their term. By contrast, once the European super-state has consolidated its death-grip over the freedoms of the British people, especially through the single currency, a lawful, peaceful and constitutional withdrawal will become virtually impossible.
It is often said or implied that the process of the integration of western European nations is somehow "historically inevitable", and is the result of the interplay of impersonal forces. This is historicist balderdash on the level of the old Marxist claim that "dialectical materialism" proves that "the dictatorship of the proletariat" was a similar "historical inevitability". Historical events are the product of chosen actions carried out by autonomous and thinking individuals acting in the real world. Just as Soviet communism, for example, was actively planned and created by Lenin and other Bolsheviks, so too the European Union was created by the actions of specific individuals, the most important of them being Jean Monnet.
At the outbreak of the first world war Monnet avoided call-up for the front because he claimed to be sick with nephritis. This did not stop him from hob-nobbing with presidents and prime ministers. He was closely involved in setting up and heading supra-national bodies to control French and British shipping and supplies, and which he hoped would become the basis for post-war supra-national economic management. Fortunately, these hopes turned out to be somewhat premature, although Monnet built up exceptionally good contacts in Britain and the United States which were to prove invaluable when the climate became more favourable for the establishment of a pan-European state. After the war, he was appointed deputy general- secretary of the League of Nations, seeking to mediate inter- national disputes, such as that between Germany and Poland over Upper Silesia in 1921, by setting up supra-national bodies with strong administrative powers.
In 1938, the French government sent Monnet to the United States to secretly purchase warplanes in violation of US neutrality laws. With the outbreak of war in 1939 he became head of the joint Anglo-French Co-ordinating Committee, which ran the British and French war economies as a single unit, divided by sectors. After the fall of France in 1940, Monnet continued to play a leading rôle in Allied economic planning, while strengthening his contacts in the US, Britain, French Algeria and elsewhere. At this time he was actively planning the construction of a united European nation-state which would replace the traditional national sovereignty of each country with a supra-national authority. For example, in an interview with the American magazine Fortune in 1944, he said that there would have to be "a true yielding of sovereignty" to "some kind of central union" with the purpose of eliminating the nationalism "which is the curse of the modern world". The Ruhr should be internationalised under a European authority with its own powers. "But where to begin? And how far to go? And could England be brought in? For without England Europe all over again."  Proposals for a pan-European economy, socialist and centrally-planned, were being widely put forward by Monnet and others throughout the second world war. In one chapter of The Road to Serfdom, which was published in 1944, Professor F.A. Hayek clearly demonstrated that these proposals could only lead to both economic disaster and a tyranny of the sort which the German National Socialists had already imposed on the occupied nations of Europe.
The National Socialist EEC
Fortunately for Monnet's intentions, the German National Socialists had already set up the basis for the post-war European super-state he was planning. In 1940, after the conquest of western Europe, Adolf Hitler established a Europaische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft (European Economic Community) which co-ordinated the industry and agriculture of western Europe for the benefit of the German war effort. This became the basis for the proposed National Socialist "New Order in Europe". The Waffen-SS, or "fighting SS", was established as a pan-European politicised military force which was intended to form the basis for a post-war European Army. The Waffen-SS recruited units from virtually every country in Europe and many beyond, including even Indian members who had been captured while fighting as part of the British forces in North Africa and were opposed to British rule in India. The smallest unit in the Waffen-SS was the British Free Corps (BFC), which was composed of 27 British prisoners of war inspired by Hitler's pan-European vision, who were clearly decades ahead of their time in their appreciation of the value of common European instit-utions. John Amery, commander of the BFC, wrote a recruiting pamphlet entitled England and Europe, which was distributed to British PoWs. The British Europhiles of today can point with pride to the fact that even then some enlightened Britons resisted the insular and xenophobic "Little Englander" attitudes which such individuals as the Battle of Britain pilots displayed during that conflict. In a compendium of papers published on the EEC in 1941 by the president of the Reichsbank, the National Socialist professor charged with synthesising the contributions wrote that:
This was certainly true. One aspect of the New Europe was the General Plan East, proposed by the SS in 1942. Dr Erhard Wetzel, Reich Minister for the Eastern Territories, wrote the following comment on the plan:
I am aware of no EU law that would prevent the reappearance of this sort of plan.
The British Europhiles of 1940
In the vast outpourings of propaganda in support of the European Union, I have seen no repudiation or condemnation of the National Socialist European Economic Community, its powers and methods. Indeed, British Europhiles expressed definite admiration for the basic idea at a surprisingly early date. The December 1940 edition of the Economic Journal published the text of an address by C.W. Guillebaud to the Royal Institute of International Affairs entitled "Hitler's New Economic Order in Europe". Guillebaud described how Dr Walter Funk, minister of national economy in the Third Reich, offered a stable system of agricultural prices based on the high cost of production of inefficient European producers, "Insulated from the wide fluctuations of the world market, and divorced from the general level of prices at which food can be raised overseas with the aid of large-scale mechanised technique." He continued, "Whether the proposed economic policy for agriculture could succeed permanently is a matter of argument, but I do not think it could be ruled out of court as prima facie impossible, and if successful it would have much to commend it." Although Dr Funk's purpose was to ensure German supremacy, he went on, "France economic sphere." Guillebaud rejected the National Socialist scheme "not on the grounds that it is unworkable, nor that it is fundamentally unsound economically - parts of it may well come to be adopted later in a modified form - but because it is based on a one-sided German hegemony over the whole continent of Europe, which would be unendurable." 
In 1940, R.W.G. MacKay, an Australian living in Britain who was to become a Labour MP, published a book entitled Federal Europe. He argued for a European Federation including at least Britain, France and Germany:
Doubtless the millions of British people in 1940 who believed that they were engaged in a life-and-death struggle to preserve their national sovereignty and individual liberty from Hitler's new economic order in Europe would have benefited from the insights of these pioneering Europhiles and saved themselves an awful lot of trouble by surrendering sovereignty to the New Europe immediately rather than wait another 32 years to do so.
The National Socialist EEC did work, however, in the sense that it left France with the only functioning economy among the European nations on whose territory the war had been fought. The industrial, economic and agricultural arrangements thus established formed the basis for Monnet's post-war schemes of economic planning.
The Monnet Plan, 1945-52
At the time of the Liberation of France in 1944, the nation was, in the words of J-C. Asselian, "animated well beyond the parties of the left by anti-capitalist feelings the intensity of which is hard to conceive today".  General Charles de Gaulle told the "privileged classes" that they had "disqualified themselves" and called for an investment which "had to take place on the initiative and under the control of the state".  In 1945, Jean Monnet was put in charge of the First Investment Plan, which became better known as the Monnet Plan. The essential features of the Monnet Plan were later to be incorporated into the European Union. Stalin's supposed success in planning the Soviet economy led Monnet to copy the Soviet planning model for France's economy. In the words of his hagiographical biographer Francois Duchene, "he either came to share, or was driven to adopt, the French bias in favour of heavy industry for motives of industrial power. At the time, of course, the idea was fashionable in much of the world as a result of Soviet planning and of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany."  Monnet established a powerful central planning agency, the Commissariat General au Plan (CGP), of which he was the head, which was based on the Soviet planning organisation Gosplan. The CGP was "technocratic", in that it was run by planning experts in secret who exercised power over the entire economy and were not accountable to elected politicians, voters or private interests. The CGP was later to form the model for the High Authority, the central planning body of the European Coal and Steel Community, which was later renamed the European Commission after the formation of the European Economic Community. Euro-sceptics have drawn attention to Hitler's contribution to the present-day European Union, regarding him as the main influence. This is somewhat unfair, in that it leaves out the inestimable contribution to the EU made by that pioneer of enlightened economics Stalin. A vast proportion of the French economy was nationalised, and the remainder was planned just as thoroughly as the state sector. The funding for the Monnet Plan came primarily from American taxpayers via Marshall Aid.
At the same time, Monnet was advancing his scheme for the unification of western Europe into one state. The purpose of these efforts was the replacement of national sovereignty with the rule of a supra-national state authority, and not to bring about greater economic efficiency. These schemes were backed, and have always been backed, politically and financial-ly, by the US government. The Economic Co-operation Act of 1948 explicitly enshrined in the law of the United States that:
The Foreign Economic Assistance Programme of 1949 stated that "It is further declared to be the policy of the people of the United States to encourage the unification of Europe." 
In what sense could it have been "the policy of the people of the United States" to encourage such unification? The citizens of Peoria, Illinois, and Cross Plains, Texas, might have been surprised to learn that the economic and political arrangements of sovereign European nations had suddenly come under their jurisdiction, and that they had unanimously and spontaneously decided to encourage the unification of countries at least three thousand miles away from their own. If millions of mid-Western and Southern farmers, Pennsylvanian coal miners and Texan cowboys earnestly petitioned their Congressmen to press for immediate European unification and held massive angry demonstrations to achieve that end, forcing the government to legislate under the pressure of public opinion, then the history books do not record it. One can only wonder what they would have thought if the legislature of, say, Holland, had taken upon itself to pass a law demanding that the United States surrender its sovereignty to Mexico or Brazil.
The Schuman Plan
Although the Schuman Plan of 1950 bore the name of the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, it was fundamentally Monnet's idea. The proposal was for the pooling of coal and steel production in France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy within the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). It was made quite explicit that the reason for the formation of the ECSC was political, and not economic. It was openly declared as a means of creating a united European state. George W. Ball, an American lawyer and State Department under-secretary, and close friend and associate of Monnet, says that in the immediate post-war years, many French people were concerned about the possible threat from a resurgent Germany. The Americans, however, wanted to rehabilitate Germany and were beginning moves to establish a new Federal Republic which would combine the US, British and French-occupied sectors into a new state. In his introduction to Duchene's biography of Monnet, Ball wrote:
In other words, Monnet's goal was to deliberately inflict the maximum possible amount of economic damage on those nations which could be coaxed into his supranational institutions as a means of driving them further into the shackles of the European superstate, against the wishes of both the citizens of each nation and their elected governments. Here, I suggest, is the explanation of why so many of the "Euro-directives" which are being imposed on the British people are so destructive of the economic life of the people of this country. And Ball is also highly illuminating as to Monnet's method of advancing his project:
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that we are subjected to so many artificially-created crises, such as the BSE crisis, which are used to impose further domination of the rule of the European Commission at the expense of the freedom of the British people.
The Defeat of the European Defence Community
Under the Treaty of Paris of 1951, the governments of France, West Germany, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Italy agreed to membership of the ECSC, often against strong opposition from within their own countries. The coal, steel and scrap metal industries were placed under the control of a High Authority, the members of which were specifically mentioned in the Treaty as "completely independent in the performance of their duties. In the performance of these duties, they shall neither seek nor take instructions from any Government or from any other body. They shall refrain from any action incompatible with the supranational character of their duties." 
The British Labour government refused to join it, but granted it recognition, as did the United States, which gave every diplomatic and financial support to the move. The political purpose of the ECSC was in no way hidden. Dr Konrad Adenauer, the West German chancellor, told the Bundestag in 1952 that
The ECSC was openly declared to be the first step in the establishment of the European state. Its power to raise funds by taxing each ton of coal or steel produced made it independent of national governments. In 1950, the Pleven Plan proposed a European Defence Community (EDC), consisting of a European Army and Ministry of Defence, and a European Political Community. The Plan was strongly backed by the US government. John Foster Dulles, US secretary of state, threatened to withdraw American military defence from western Europe if the insolent French poodle and German daschund failed to heel on the command of Uncle Sam: "If the EDC should not become effective, if France and Germany should remain apart, so that they would again be potential enemies, then indeed there would be grave doubts whether Continental Europe could be made a place of safety, that would compel an agonising reappraisal of basic US policy."  In an outrageous display of disobedience, the French national assembly voted against the EDC in 1954. Dulles virulently condemned the villainous Frenchmen for their failure to abolish their centuries-old army and accept the rule of an armed force under supranational control. Dulles said, "It is a tragedy that in one country nationalism, abetted by communism, has asserted itself so as to endanger the whole of Europe." Pointing out that there were objections to West Germany obtaining an army of its own, Dulles said that "Limitations on German sovereignty to be permanently acceptable must be shared by others as part of a collective international order." 
The elected legislature of a sovereign nation which constitutionally and democratically chooses to vote against giving up its right to self-defence in favour of merging its army with a Washington-backed pan-European force is guilty of "nationalism, abetted by communism". Yes, definite evidence of Marxism-Leninism at work there. Every one of those Frenchmen who voted to keep their own armed forces could only be in the pay of, and working to achieve the ends of, the Kremlin. One might ask what Dulles and other Americans would have thought if the French foreign minister had condemned a vote by the US Congress relating to the US armed forces in similar terms.
Despite the temporary defeat of the EDC, steps towards a united European state continued. At the Messina conference of 1955, the Six proposed that the ECSC be extended to a general economic community, and for the establishment of a European atomic energy committee (Euratom). The Messina resolution reaffirmed that "it is necessary to work for the establishment of a united Europe by the development of common institutions, the progressive fusion of national economies, the creation of a common market and the progressive harmonisation of their social policies."  Later that year, Monnet established the Action Committee for the United States of Europe, which pressed for the speedy construction of the European super-state. In 1957, the two Treaties of Rome, relating to the European Economic Community and Euratom, were signed and ratified by each of the Six. Under these treaties, vast new structures of the European super-state, such as the Assembly, the Council, and the Court of Justice, were set up, and their rôle was extended to the entire economy of each member state. Euratom was a supranational state body which developed western Europe's nuclear energy programme on a centrally-planned, socialist basis. The High Authority was renamed the Commission of the European Economic Community (European Commission). The stated aim was to run it by majority voting, so that no single nation had a veto on its actions. A Common Agricultural Policy was also proposed in the treaty. The pan-European state was now a reality. To give credit where it is due, the Institute of World Economics and International Relations in Moscow provided the most accurate analysis of these events. The Institute said in 1957 that
The EEC Takes Over Agriculture
Over the next few years, the EEC repeatedly made clear in unambiguous terms that it formed a new European state, and explicitly repudiated both the free market and the idea that it was a free-trade organisation. In 1959, the very first memorandum from the European Commission to the Council of Ministers stated that "Free trade is an objective impossible of attainment unless certain conditions are fulfilled",  and went on to list five conditions which it considered to be necessary for the attainment of trade between member states, all involving greater controls by the state over economic activity. In an interview in 1959, Monnet opposed British proposals for a 17-nation European Free Trade Area on the grounds that "The Free Trade Area would be a market in which you exchange goods but do not build a common policy. Each nation would have its own economic policy. The six-nation Common Market, on the other hand, is not just a customs union or a big market. It is a Community with common rules and common institutions which can gradually build a common policy to foster rapid economic growth."  In a lecture in India in 1962, Walter Hallstein, the German who was first president of the European Commission, described the EEC as "a federation in the making. ... In a word, while the Community, like India, is `a Union of States', it is also, in many respects already, a `Sovereign Democratic Republic'."  Whatever else one might say about the European Union, its leaders were entirely frank about the fact that its purpose was to politically integrate the European nations, to increase the degree of state control over the economy and to reduce the areas of activity controlled by either the free market or elected governments.
Every policy carried out by the EEC was devoted to these ends. From 1962 onwards, the Common Agricultural Policy became the largest-scale increase in state power over agriculture, and the most massive attack on private farming and a free market in food, that the world has ever seen, certainly since Stalin's collectivisation of Soviet agriculture in the late 1920s and early 1930s and similar events in China. The CAP deliberately set food prices several times higher than world market prices. It massively subsidised large inefficient Continental farms and gave farmers guaranteed prices for their produce, regardless of how much was produced. Billions of tons of food was destroyed, piled up in mountains or dumped on poor countries. Small, independent farmers were deliberately forced to close, to amalgamate in larger units or to leave the farming profession. Every detail of the management of food and farming was laid down by the CAP, and no area of agriculture was left to the free, or even partially free, market. Taxpayers in EEC member states paid - and of course continue to pay - dramatically higher taxes in order to subsidise farmers, and then much higher prices for their food in the shops. In addition, the taxpayer subsidises food exports, which are dumped on international markets at artificially low prices, destroying the economic livelihood of many farmers in poor countries. People in the EU pay several times above world market prices for the food in the shops, while the rest of the world pays far less than market prices for the same EU food. History records no greater example of a massive forced transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, or of a state-imposed transformation of agriculture, or of sheer economic destructiveness than that of the CAP. In 1970, Dr Sicco Mansholt, vice-president of the Commission, wrote:
There was no question, of course, of farmers having the right to run their own farms in their own way, selling their products to whomever wanted to buy them at a mutually agreeable price. That was precisely the system which the CAP was introduced in order to abolish. This was - and is - the EEC's version of "freedom of choice".
A Political Europe
In 1965 a dispute arose between the President of France General Charles de Gaulle and the EEC over agriculture, finance and the budgetary powers of the European Parliament. The Commission wanted to move rapidly towards majority voting, so that no individual nation had the power to veto Community policies. This was opposed by General de Gaulle, who promoted the concept of a "Europe des patries" as opposed to Monnet's unified European state, leading to the "empty chair" crisis of 1965, in which de Gaulle temporarily withdrew the French representative from the Council of Ministers. The dispute was ended by the "Luxembourg compromise" of 1966, which meant that the Council of Ministers negotiated towards a common consensus rather than moving towards majority voting. This was a temporary setback on the road to the unified European state, but may have fooled some British people into thinking that the existence of the national veto meant that each country retained some element of sovereignty.
In 1968 a declaration by the Commission stated quite clearly that
In 1970, the Werner Report on Economic and Monetary Union declared that
The introduction of a single currency, then, which was already an official EEC policy by 1970, was a political act which quite openly had nothing to do with any potential economic benefit.
Note that all the above documents were a part of the public record long before Britain joined the EEC in 1972. No informed person could have been in the slightest doubt as to the meaning of the entirely straightforward and unambiguous purpose of the EEC and its associated institutions, as stated repeatedly by its leaders in the above passages. There was never the slightest reason whatsoever for surprise that Brussels was extending its powers or undermining national sovereignty. The whole purpose of European integration, from even before the foundation of the ECSC, was to abolish national sovereignty and replace it with the rule of a pan-European state. The economic measures were introduced purely as a means of encouraging member states to surrender greater sovereignty to the European Communities. Suggestions that they had any other purpose had been definitively refuted in authoritative statements by the leaders of the Communities.
The Treason of Edward Heath
Throughout the 1950s, the United Kingdom did not join any of the new pan-European bodies. In 1961, however, the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, completely reversed previous policy and announced that he wanted Britain to apply to join. The US President, John F. Kennedy, had urged him to do so. Macmillan told the House of Commons that
In 1963 under Macmillan, and again in 1967 under Harold Wilson, Britain applied to join the EEC, but both times its application was vetoed by General de Gaulle. The General was a good friend to the British people in peace as well as in war, and he never did us a greater favour than on those two occasions. When Britain once again becomes an entirely sovereign and independent nation, it is to be hoped that libertarians will finance the erection of a statue of de Gaulle by private subscription outside the Palace of Westminster. Opinion polls throughout the 1960s and early 1970s demonstrated that the large majority of the British people did not want to join. In 1970 the Conservative manifesto said that if elected, the Conservatives would "negotiate, no less, no more" for British membership. Once elected, Heath introduced Value Added Tax into Britain, an entirely new type of tax that had been created by the EEC and was a precondition for any country wishing to join it. VATmakes every business owner an unpaid tax collector for the state. Like most EU-related measures, it is a massive coercive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Heath then applied to join, and the application was accepted. In 1971 the government's White Paper "The United Kingdom and the European Communities" stated that "There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty."  It also contained promises of economic benefits which were attacked by economists and proved to be completely false in practice after Britain joined. In 1973, Heath himself said that "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."  In 1990, Peter Sissons of BBC Television asked Heath whether when he took the UK into Europe he really had in mind a United States of Europe with a single currency. Heath answered, "Of course, yes."  Heath had by his own admission committed an act of high treason.
In 1972, Heath signed Britain up for membership of the European Communities, despite strong opposition from many people in Britain, and against the wishes of the majority of the population, as expressed in opinion polls. In the words of Tony Benn - who, because he has always opposed British membership of the EU, is more of a libertarian than the whole Tory Party put together - Heath "signed the treaty of accession without it even being published, and we did not know what he had signed until he had signed it. He signed it under the [royal] prerogative."  The royal prerogative, which is very rarely used, is a means by which the Prime Minister can make laws without presenting them to Parliament. This was the foulest deed ever committed by an enemy of British freedom. If Heath had openly signed Britain up to become a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, and argued for the supposed economic benefits of that, one could have far more respect for him.
The European Communities Act 1972 passed the Commons by a majority of only eight votes, and even then only after considerable pressure on MPs and opposition from many quarters. In 1972 the Labour Party's annual conference passed the following resolution:
Unfortunately for Blair, he can do nothing to shove this document down the Orwellian memory-hole. And unfortunately for the freedom of the British people, Labour has moved a long way from this admirably libertarian position over the past 25 years. In the 1970s and early 80s, it was condemned as "extreme left-wing" to demand British withdrawal from the EEC; today anybody endorsing this Labour Party conference decision would probably be accused of being "extreme right-wing".
In the general election of February 1974, the Labour Party was elected on a firm pledge to withdraw Britain from the European Communities. Enoch Powell supported Labour at this election for this very reason. However, once in power, Harold Wilson reneged on this firm and unambiguous electoral pledge. The Labour manifesto for the October 1974 general election said that the government was going to seek a "fundamental re-negotiation" of the terms of Britain's membership and then hold a national referendum on it. In 1975, after gaining one or two minor concessions from the EEC, rather than the promised "fundamental re-negotiation", the government recommended a "Yes" vote in the referendum. Even this recommendation split the Cabinet 16 for and 7 against, the Labour cabinet at that time containing ministers who were prepared to argue for the interests of the working people of Britain and this country's heritage of individual liberty and accountable and elected government. These principles are, of course, outrageous heresies in Blair's "New Labour".
The leaflets distributed to voters by the "Yes" campaign were probably the most fraudulent that have ever been distributed in Britain. One of them, from the Britain in Europe campaign, claimed that
The same leaflet made the extraordinary claim that if the British people were to be allowed again to buy their food at the best prices from the most efficient producers on the international free market, it would lead this country to famine. On this ground the leaflet justified the protectionism and state control of food production that was the Common Agricultural Policy: [S]tronger world demand has meant that the days when there were big surpluses of cheap food to be bought around the world have gone, and almost certainly gone for good. Sometimes Community prices may be a little above world prices, sometimes a little below [!]. But Britain, as a country which cannot feed itself, will be safer in the Community which is almost self-sufficient in food. Otherwise we may find ourselves standing at the end of a world food queue. It also makes sense to grow more of our own food. That we can do in the Community. 
One does not need a PhD in economics to know that in a free market, supply increases to meet demand. If there was stronger world demand for food, then food producers in such a market would increase their production to meet that demand, and that there would actually be more food produced and larger supplies available at lower prices. It is state control of food production which causes food queues, while the free market produces an abundance of food. If you doubt that, ask the Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Czechs, etc. Then there is the protectionist argument that "It also makes sense to grow more of our own food. That we can do in the Community." If you want protectionism in food, which libertarians certainly don't, why not just reintroduce the Corn Laws? Needless to say, there is no explanation of why, precisely, we need to grow more of our own food. EEC food prices under the CAP were always four or five times higher than world prices, and in addition to paying more at the shops, taxes were increased to pay subsidies to farmers. The average British family spends an extra £20 on food every single week as a result of the CAP. It is quite astonishing that Margaret Thatcher supported the "Yes" campaign in the referendum after she had supposedly become a convert to free market economics.
The government's own "Yes" leaflet contained the deliberate lie that "No important new policy can be decided in Brussels without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament."  The referendum was presented a being a conflict about personalities rather than fundamental values. Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Heath and (unfortunately) Margaret Thatcher were able to muster more combined support than Tony Benn, Eric Heffer, Peter Shore, Barbara Castle and Enoch Powell. Vote "Yes" to Europe, so it was said, or Tony Benn would put you to work in the salt mines. 67.5% of the electorate voted "Yes", even though opinion polls both before and after the referendum showed the majority of the population against British membership.
After the 1975 referendum, everything else was entirely predictable. With Britain in, many people clung to the delusion that the EEC was some sort of a glorified customs union, with a bit of regulation here and there, perhaps somewhat excessive, and, admittedly, the problem of the CAP, of which there was the occasional talk of reform. In her memoirs, Margaret Thatcher recalls that in her early years as Prime Minister she thought that the EEC was on the verge of doing something to clear up its problems. This delusion gradually changed as she became aware of the true nature of the beast, particularly after Jacques Delors became Commission president in 1985. Mr Delors was a hard-line state socialist who, like Monnet before him, had been head of the French Commisariat General au Plan, the French central economic planning agency. Mr Delors rapidly accelerated the process of European integration and made the EC (later renamed the EU) into a highly partisan socialist body, packed with French Socialist Party members, and thus removing any illusion - for which there had never been any foundation - that the EU was some sort of coalition between liberal and socialist interests. At least Mr Delors was an honest man, openly and proudly proclaiming his hatred of markets and individualism. In 1991, for instance, he defended the EU's tight restriction on the use of marks of origin for food and drink:
And, of course,
He defined the socialism he believed in as
In addition, he vigorously promoted the "Fortress Europe" attitude which underlay the EU's protectionism and opposition to international free trade.
Unfortunately, Delors succeeded in persuading most of the British Labour movement to repudiate their previous opposition to British membership of the EC. In the 1983 general election, Labour's manifesto contained a firm and unequivocal pledge that a future Labour government would pull Britain out of the EC. By the late 1980s, in true Nineteen Eighty-four style, Labour was outdoing the Tories in the competition to become the "party of Europe". In 1994 Delors boasted that the triumph of socialism within the EU had defeated the "ultra-liberal" policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, Mrs Thatcher was prevailed upon by Europhile Tories to sign the Single European Act in 1986. This had nothing whatsoever to do with any market. On the contrary, every part of it provided for an increase in state control by Brussels at the expense of the free market. As Tony Benn recognised:
In her well-known Bruges speech of 1988, Mrs Thatcher said that
She was corrected by Professor Hendrik Brugmans, first rector of the College of Europe, who made clear that the process of European integration entailed a substantial increase in the power of the state vis-a-vis the market. Professor Brugmans said:
We should all be grateful to Professor Brugmans for such a clear refutation of the idea that the "Single Market" of 1992 had anything whatsoever to do with the free market, or that the increase in power from Brussels is simply an example of bureaucracy run riot.
Because Mrs Thatcher was attempting to resist the drive towards the European super-state, she was got rid of in 1990 in a plot involving EC bureaucrats, Continental politicians and enemies of freedom within the Tory cabinet. She was replaced by John Major, who claimed to be a "Euro-sceptic" in order to gain the support of "Thatcherite" MPs for his leadership bid. He then signed the Treaty of Maastricht, by which the European Union was comprehensively set up as a nation-state, with the introduction of Economic and Monetary Union, phase three of which was the single currency. The single currency, which involves the abolition of national currencies, has been proposed as a means of eliminating market processes in the area of foreign exchange and replacing it with the dictates of a proposed European Central Bank. If implemented, it can only lead to economic catastrophe and possibly war, as Bernard Connolly, formerly a senior EU official in charge of the ERM, has demonstrated in his book The Rotten Heart of Europe. For writing his analysis of the proposed single currency, Mr Connolly was dismissed from his job and harassed by the EU's little-known security service. The Maastricht Treaty took away vast powers from the British people and Parliament and confirmed the rule of the European Union as supreme in Britain. According to Professor Pascal Fontaine, of the Institute of Political Studies, Paris, writing in an official EU publication:
The Tory leadership and its supporters used every possible dirty trick, threat, blackmail, character assassination and even physical violence to force Conservative MPs to vote for Maastricht, as Teresa Gorman MP has related in her excellent account of these events. Tristan Garel Jones MP, the Foreign Office minister responsible for negotiating Maastricht, attacked a fellow Conservative MP, saying that he wanted to "see your body floating down the river as an example to enemies of the State".  Major vilified the very free-market Euro-sceptics who had supported his leadership bid in 1990, when he had claimed to be "the biggest sceptic of them all".  He then went on to call them "the bastards", the title of Mrs Gorman's book. At a Conservative dinner, he described them as "defeatists who make your flesh creep. They practise a sort of phantom grandeur, a clanking of unusable suits of armour but they are running against the tide, a tide that will flow ever more strongly into the enlarged community."  No self-respecting person - let alone a supporter of individual liberty - could ever vote for a Tory Party led by Major after reading that book. Mrs Gorman and her colleagues courageously defended the individual liberty of the British people against the majority of Tories in the latter's attempts to suppress their opposition to the act of high treason carried out by Major, Hurd and Maude at Maastricht. Unfortunately, however, they were eventually defeated. In 1993, British judges ruled that EU directives were the supreme power in the land, over and above acts of Parliament and the common law.
Imprisonment of Dissidents
In the above account, I have concentrated on the political aspects of the European Union, and ignored the economic damage done to the British economy by membership of the organisation. This damage has been more than adequately documented elsewhere, for example in the book by Booker and North in the bibliography. The point that I have made so far, and which is not open to dispute, is that the central purpose of the European Union has always been to establish a central pan-European state, and to eliminate both national sovereignty and the free market. For libertarians this is enough to demand immediate withdrawal. However, there are other considerations which go vastly beyond that. If the single currency is established, the next step with be the integration of legal and political systems. There are already plans for a "Euro-FBI", or Europe-wide police force. The Commission has also demanded that Britain and France hand over their nuclear weapons to the control of Brussels. Who those weapons are supposed to be aimed at, and who is going to take responsibility for firing them, has not been explained. One may wonder what will happen if, say, ten years from now, Britain or some other country decides to leave the EU. Bearing in mind what happened in the United States from 1861-65 and afterwards when the Southern states attempted to secede from a federal union which they believed they were lawfully entitled to leave, and what has happened in the former Yugoslavia when that multi-lingual federation broke up, the prospects are less than excellent.
Another feature of the European Union which is worth noting is the agreement that member states are obliged to throw dissidents into prison. The following remarkable news item appeared in the Sunday Times recently under the title "Holocaust disbelievers face prison":
At the 1996 Labour Party conference, a motion to introduce such legislation was passed unanimously. It is a matter of some concern that the EU takes upon itself the power to decide that people can be imprisoned for expressing an opinion on an historical subject, objectionable though that opinion may be to many people. The idea of challenging those objectionable views and refuting them through evidence, reason and the free market in ideas is apparently not the way things are done in "Europe". We seem to have come a long way since the Helsinki Agreement of 1975, when Western countries and the nations of the Soviet bloc signed a mutual agreement that they would refrain from imprisoning people for expressing opinions that differed from the official line of state. Under the European Union, by contrast, nations are making an agreement that they are under an obligation to lock up such dissidents, and could presumably be punished by Brussels for neglecting to do so.
This is only the first such "agreement" on the compulsory imprisonment of dissidents within the European Union. If it is EU policy to imprison people for expressing an unofficial opinion on an historical subject, then how can people be allowed, for example, to continue to express fundamental attacks on the EU and its policies, and to demand that their nation withdraws from it? Would it not be more convenient to simply imprison such individuals? One hardly needs to be a radical libertarian to be somewhat concerned about the fact that the EU has the power to decide who does or does not go to prison for expressing certain views. Certainly this agreement makes it rather difficult to defend the view that the EU is, or could be considered to be, some sort of glorified customs union.
Why Britain is Different
The proposition that all the nations of western Europe have a common identity, and therefore should be unified into one political, legal and economic entity under a supranational state, is often put forward as a justification for the European Union. As Britain is a part of Europe, therefore, it is argued, it must join in this unifying process. This proposition has no basis in reality. "Europe" is no more than a geographical expression. I would accept that all the nations of western Europe are, in a philosophical sense, a part of Western civilisation. But the nations of eastern Europe, such as Poland, Hungary and Lithuania, are just as much an integral a part of that civilisation. So too are the nations of North America and Australasia. In contrast to other civilisations, such as those of China and India, the Western civilisation which developed after the fall of the Roman empire in the West was always characterised by political decentralisation and the formation of local political entities.
The real division in the Western civilisation is not between Europe on the one hand and North America and Australasia on the other. It is between all the English-speaking countries on the one hand, whose institutions are based on the English common law system, and those of the Continent on the other. It is worth exploring this difference in some detail.
The English common law originated in the customary dealings of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who invaded Britain after the end of the Roman occupation, and became the law of the kingdom of England. Individuals in Anglo-Saxon England were ceorls, or free peasants, who were not bound to any feudal master. The English common law was, essentially, a system in which voluntary arrangements between individuals were lawfully valid, and did not have to be approved in advance by the state. The common law system was and is basically a libertarian one, in that the individual is, on the whole, free to do whatever he or she wants to do unless it conflicts with the equal rights of others, a contract, or a statutory law. In Anglo-Saxon England there was very little by way of written law. When the Normans conquered England, they dispossessed the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and introduced feudalism, under which most peasants were bound to the land as either villeins or serfs, and served a feudal master. Under the Normans, laws were written down on a widespread basis for the first time. Although the Normans did not consider themselves to be fundamentally changing the law of England, they introduced concepts from Roman law, which considered the Anglo-Saxon peasants to be subjects of a feudal master. The writ of novel disseisin, which the Normans introduced, reduced Anglo-Saxon peasants to the status of sharecroppers on the lands which they had previously considered to be their own.
King John violated the laws and customs of the kingdom, encroaching on the rights of his subjects. In 1215, the barons, clergy and knights of the realm compelled him to sign Magna Carta, a written statement of the rights of the subjects and communities within the kingdom. Magna Carta was not a revolutionary document, but a statement of pre-existing laws. By putting his seal to Magna Carta, John became the first ruler, probably in world history, to recognise that his word was not law, that his subjects had rights upon which he could not legally encroach, and he had to operate within the framework of individual rights and the rule of law. With Magna Carta, John did not grant any rights. He simply recognised pre-existing rights which freeborn Englishmen enjoyed as their birthright, and which were not granted as the favour or privilege of the monarch, and upon which he had encroached. The idea of a king's subjects enforcing the law and compelling a recognition of their own rights from the monarch was without precedent in the history of humanity. In a lecture he gave in London, Wilhelm Nolling, then a member of the Bundesbank Council, explicitly said that British participation in the EMU designed by Maastricht was inconsistent with Magna Carta. 
Of course, there were some problems with Magna Carta. In recognising the rights of "freemen", it appeared to exclude the peasants who had been reduced to bondage after the Norman conquest. The attempt to implement its provisions led, in the short term, to renewed fighting between the king's forces and those of his barons. Nevertheless, it provided a definite recognition of a political and legal order in which individuals enjoyed the right to do what they wished to do, except as prescribed by statute law. Where there were legal disputes between individuals, a court would settle those disputes by reference to the common law, and not to the wishes of the monarch. If the king wished to introduce a law which interfered with the voluntary actions of individuals, the onus was upon him to propose it and get it legally passed, rather that the onus being on those individuals to prove that what they were doing was in accordance with a law the king had previously promulgated. The English common law, in short, recognised an area of human action which lay entirely outside the wishes of previous or present rulers.
The English Parliament gradually developed after Magna Carta as a means by which the king was legally required to gain the assent of his barons, churchmen, knights, merchants, etc, meeting in Parliament, for any new statute law. The king had to get Parliament's approval for the raising of new taxes, and Parliament had the legal right to reduce or refuse these taxes. Parliament also defended the rights of individuals when the king's administration illegally encroached upon them. The English Parliament began, in other words, as a means of limiting the actions of the monarch and defending the integrity of that area of activity which lay outside of statute law. Indeed, as early as 1326 Parliament deposed Edward II after his military failures against the "Auld Alliance" of France and Scotland.
It is essential to recognise that, among the major European countries, this situation existed only in England, although in the separate and adjacent kingdom of Scotland a somewhat similar political and legal order developed, in which the people were also considered to be born free from bondage. I apologise to Scottish readers for refraining from a detailed examination of this theme in Scottish history before the two kingdoms were united. In every other major country in Europe - let alone beyond - the ruler's word was, for all practical purposes, law, and the individual had no rights outside of those the ruler had granted. This development of English liberty took place in a context in which the English people were aware of their legal rights and of their power to use them. In the 14th century, feudalism broke down and was increasingly replaced by a wage economy in which peasants received payment for their work. The concept of a "freeman" was gradually extended to cover every individual in the kingdom. The Peasants' Revolt of 1381, which was actually led by knights, merchants and clergymen as much as by peasants, was a manifestation of an entirely libertarian protest against the prices and incomes policy and the poll tax in which the common people used their rights within the law of the land to petition the 14-year-old king, Richard II, for the redress of their grievance, while expressing loyalty to him. Unfortunately, the king tricked them by first agreeing to their demands and then betray-ing them after they had dispersed. This was the personal fault of the king, and not of the system in which individuals enjoyed freedom. The Peasants' Revolt in England should be compared with the peasant Jacqueries of northern France and the Low Countries in the 14th century, in which rebellious serfs looted, burned and killed without motive. The peasants who participated in the Continental Jacqueries had no conception of individual liberty within the law, and nor did they have any reason to do so, given the systems under which they lived.
As the centuries went on, Parliament grew in strength. In the 17th century the inherent conflict between the powers of the king and that of Parliament broke out in the English civil war. When the Parliamentarians had Charles I executed in 1649, unjust though that action certainly was, they did it by legal process. Every king, Pope, emperor and tsar on the Continent expressed amazement that in England the king's subjects could use the law of the land to commit this act of regicide. It would have been utterly inconceivable anywhere else in the world. Eventually, in the so-called "Glorious Revolution" of 1688-89, William of Orange accepted the Bill of Rights as a fundamental statement of English law, and affirmed the sovereignty of Parliament. It was not actually a revolution, of course, but merely a reinstatement and recognition of existing rights which had been violated by James II. The people of England - later of the United Kingdom - remained freeborn individuals, despite the increase in state interventionism in the twentieth century, until this status was put into question by one act of Parliamentary legislation after another which gave jurisdiction over individuals in the UK to foreign authorities whose rule was based on the supremacy of the state, and in which the individual had no rights. As Enoch Powell put it in 1980:
The English tradition of the common law, individual liberty, freedom of contract, and the rule of law, which makes what we call "libertarianism" possible, was extended to those countries which were colonised by the British and later became independent of them. What we call "libertarianism" applies only to those countries, and has no meaning outside of them. Among the existing nations of the world, the UK, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and possibly South Africa are the only ones where libertarian principles apply, or could conceivably apply. Even in such countries as India, Malaysia and Nigeria, which were once under British colonial rule and law, these traditions have not survived the end of British rule, and the supremacy of the state over the individual has been re-established. And now that the UK and the Irish Republic are subject to EU law, their inclusion in this list is now in some doubt.
The legal and political tradition of Continental countries is the exact opposite of the British tradition, and there is no way in which they can be merged without destroying one or the other. In the conception of law and society which exists in Continental countries, the state is not merely the supreme, but the sole legal entity within society. No person or institution has any rights whatsoever that have not been granted by the state, and which are in the power of the state to revoke. Under the Code Napoleon, which is the fundamental law of France, Italy and Belgium, every activity is illegal unless a law has been specifically passed permitting and regulating it. The German legal system is very similar. By contrast, in the British tradition every activity is legal unless Parliament has passed a law prohibiting or regulating it.
The Example of Medicine
An example of the difference between the British and Continental systems is the contrasting attitude towards complementary medicine, psychotherapy, New Age healing and the like. On the Continent, it is only legal to practice those activities if the state has passed a law permitting them, and the individual concerned has a licence to do so. Some areas of complementary medicine are completely illegal, others can only be carried out by registered medical practitioners. In Britain, by contrast, the common law system means that anybody has the right to set themselves up as a psychotherapist, homeopathist, naturopath, osteopath, acupuncturist, hypnotherapist, or whatever, without the requirement for any kind of qualifications or licence from the state, and can treat patients. Believe it or not, there is no law in Britain prohibiting an individual from carrying out even heart surgery or brain surgery without having so much as a boy scout's badge in first aid or a GCSE in biology, provided that they do not falsely represent themselves as being a registered medical practitioner. It is still, in short, an unrestricted, unfettered free market. The British Medical Association, in its study of the law relating to complementary medicine across western Europe, discovered the following:
When I have told people from the Continent about this, they simply cannot believe it. Although the National Health Service is, of course, an example of state interventionism, it is nevertheless true that Britain has a degree of freedom of choice in health care utterly unknown on the Continent. This will disappear as the English common law is supplanted by the dictates of the EU.
That which is not Interdit is Obligatoire
On the Continent, all economic activity is considered to be a part of the state, even if, as a matter of administrative convenience, a proportion of the economy remains in private hands. As Enoch Powell put it in 1972:
In France, it is said that that which is not interdit is obligatoire. The rule of the bureaucrats is not subject to democratic accountability in any form. The graduates of the cole National d'Administration (ENA), known as the ‚narques, have absolute power over the lives of the French of an entirely different order from that exercised by Whitehall civil servants in Britain. According to Bernard Connolly:
He quotes a French writer who examined applicants for study at the ENA:
According to Connolly, "while les francais do not like enarques, a majority of them appear to think the ENA state necessary for their well-being."  And the enarques want to extend their power over the whole of Europe:
The proposal for a single EU currency is one aspect of this attitude. Libertarians would ideally prefer a free market in currencies, with private banks and companies having the legal power to mint their own money. Nevertheless, the existence of national currencies produced by each European state at least creates an international free market, in which the value of each currency is set by the free movement of market forces, thus imposing at least some influence on governments not to print more money than they actually have. The declared purpose of the single currency is to replace these market processes with the dictates of the proposed European Central Bank and to end the foreign exchange market as far as EU member states are concerned. Alan Minc, an enarque, has said in support of the proposed single currency, "I prefer the power of an independent central bank to the dictatorship of the jittery people in the markets."  This hostility towards "speculators" and "financiers" is closely linked with anti-semitism. For instance, the Italian Minister of Labour who is a member of the supposedly "post-fascist" National Alliance (formerly the openly fascist MSI) accused "New York Jews" of a conspiracy against the lira in 1993. 
The institutions of modern France were, of course, founded by the Revolution of 1789, which, like the EU of today, aimed to remake everything from scratch and to eliminate everything that had gone before. The Revolution led to the outbreak of terror which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, and failed to give the country lasting institutions that command general assent. Indeed, since 1789, in every generation except that of the first world war, France has undergone a violent revolution of some sort or other. There is an old story about the man who walks into a public library and asks for a copy of the French Constitution. The librarian replies, "I'm sorry, sir, we do not stock periodicals."
The Amazing Talking Nazi Dog
What is true of France is also essentially true of Germany. Germany's economy is a system of "Rhenish capitalism", in which the state, big companies and big trade unions collectively plan the economy. The system is exceptionally bureaucratic, and the cost of employing a worker is the highest in the world as a result of social legislation. Although I am opposed to the "German-bashing" line of argument, it is worth pointing out that Germany's culture is highly intolerant and authoritarian by British standards. Five sixths of the population of what is now Germany perished in the Thirty Years' War of the 17th century, including virtually all the aristocracy. The survivors were the toughest and most resilient peasants, whose cultural values predominated, and from whom the Germans of today are descended. The nation's extremely troublesome history led to attitudes of intolerance of dissent and a simplistic love for a strong and authoritarian leader, around whose "cult of personality" the people could unite. According to the historian Richard Grunberger, the Germans "despised leaders who were no more than magnifications of themselves. In fact they craved not statesmen, but idols endowed with superhuman qualities." Such leaders include Count Otto von Bismarck, General von Ludendorff, Dr Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Kohl and, of course, Adolf Hitler. The British, by contrast, have always rejected demagoguery: Winston Churchill in 1945 and Harold Wilson in 1970 were rejected by the voters for this very reason. According to Grunberger, Hitler's "personality reproduced aspects of the more diseased side of the German psyche, above all it unappeasable capacity for resentment, drawing on limitless reserves of self-pity and auto-suggestive feelings of paranoia and persecution."  Although the claim that a large proportion of the Germans of today are National Socialists is unfair and untrue, and I believe that Euro-sceptics should avoid that line of argument, the infatuation of virtually the entire German people for Hitler during the Third Reich nevertheless provides examples of the vastness of the gulf that separates Britain from Germany. The following is a guide from that period to performing what was called "the German form of greeting":
Grunberger relates that "The eventual news of Hitler's death was accompanied by a wave of suicides, and less sacrificially inclined devotees of the Fuhrer exhibited two characteristic reactions: a refusal to accept the evidence of Hitler's misdeeds, and a denial of the finality of his death." One man said weeks after the final German surrender, "I concede the crimes of the regime. The others have misunderstood him, have betrayed him, but I still believe in him. In him I still believe." 
He also mentions that
Any British person would start laughing at that incident, but the Germans took this sort of thing very seriously. Attempts to build fascist movements in Britain have never had any significant impact on this country's politics. When Sir Oswald Mosley, a former Labour Cabinet minister, paraded around the East End of London with his tiny handful of uniformed Blackshirts, most people found the sight highly amusing. To get an idea of what an Englishman of the 1930s would have thought about Mosley, imagine how you would feel if, say, Roy Hattersley dressed up in a comic-opera military-style black uniform and set himself up as the mystical embodiment of the British people. I once saw an historical monograph entitled Fascism in Aberdeen, an account of violence between fascists and communists in that city. The very title is enough to cause a chuckle to most people.
I am not claiming that any significant number of Germans are National Socialists today. But the political cultures of Germany and Britain, even under pluralist and multi-party systems, are too different to allow any kind of successful merger. I admire the German economic and political achievement of the past half-century as much as anybody and am just as delighted that they are now a unified nation. Nevertheless, let us recognise that the 1949 constitution of the Federal Republic was written by an American academic who established a decentralised structure and a weak presidency in order to avoid the conditions which had led to the rise of National Socialism. Let us also recognise that the best prospect for a maintenance of good relations between the British and the Germans is a mutual recognition of the unbridgable difference between the two countries. Although the Germans certainly have many admirable qualities, nobody has ever made the claim that they are a nation of libertarian individualists. That would be like saying that the Russians are a nation of teetotallers.
Another potential problem with a merger with Germany is the fact that many Germans favour the reannexation of the lands ceded to Poland at the end of the second world war, from which the German inhabitants were certainly expelled in a most unjust and inhumane way. (Other parts of Germany were taken over by Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and the inhabitants expelled.) Even Chancellor Kohl initially refused to accept the post-war borders in 1989 before reluctantly conceding them. As far as the Polish people are concerned, those lands have become, and will remain, Polish. Although there is certainly a strong case for compensation by the Polish, Czech and Russian governments of those who were expelled, it would be a matter of concern if the Germans were to seek to use the European Defence Force and its proposed nuclear weapons to forcibly regain those territories. As the potential European State would doubtless have conscription, this would mean that British conscripts could be sent out to invade Poland for the benefit of Germany. When Hitler invaded that country, the British and French declared war on him. The next time, Mr Kohl may well send out British and French boys to do the fighting for him, claiming that it has nothing to do with the Germans. Now that's what I call chutzpah.
Continental Collectivism - British Individualism
What is true of France and Germany is also true of Italy, Belgium, Spain and virtually all other Continental countries. However, France and Germany are the two countries which really call the shots in the EU. The degree of political corruption in Continental countries such as Italy, Greece, Belgium, France, Spain and even Germany is staggering by British standards. The gangsterism in Brussels is so extreme that that city is called "the Palermo of the north", and Palermo, capital of Sicily, can only be described as "the Palermo of the south". Professional criminals in the Mediterranean countries extort bill- ions fraudulently from the CAP and other schemes every year.
The partial exceptions to the rule that the state takes precedence over the individual are Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland), where there is some conception of the individual having rights against the state, but nowhere near as much as in the UK. Although the proportion of national income taken by taxation is in every Continental state greater than that of the UK, this is not the entire picture. In a sense, there is no private sector on the Continent. When privatisations take place on the Continent, they are considered to be augmenting, and not reducing, the rôle of the state in the economy. If privatisation can be shown to achieve greater economic growth, and thus increase the resources at the disposal of the state, then privatisation may take place. Similarly, the government has to legislate a "free market" in a certain area of the economy, which remains under state control.
Every detail of the lives of people in Continental countries is controlled with the purpose of continually reminding them that they are servants of the state. In France, people spend many hours every week queuing in government offices for licences and permissions from bureaucrats, in what the French call la bataille de la papetrie. Although it would save the taxpayers a fortune to get rid of this system, it is retained purely for this psychological and political purpose. Economic relations between individuals are everywhere considered to be the province of the state, not of the individuals concerned. If you own a business in Spain, for instance, before taking on a new employee, you are not permitted to advertise a vacancy until the contract of employment has been sent to the relevant government office and you have received written approval of it. And Spanish bureaucrats are not noted for their speed in dealing with such matters. It is perhaps hardly surprising that the Spanish unemployment rate is 25%. The reason is not to "protect workers from exploitation", but to express the principle that employment is a matter for the state, not the market. Even commercial employment agencies, at least for permanent staff, are illegal in most Continental countries. Britain's predominantly free-market economy has been the most successful in Europe for the past four years, while the socialist Continent is in severe recession, largely as a result of restrictive labour laws.
Virtually every Continental country has the conscription of young men, not for military reasons, but in order to instil within them the habits of obedience to the state. The legal system of each Continental country serves the purpose of imposing the power of the state over society, and not in protecting individuals against that power. In criminal law, in virtually all Continental states, a person is considered to be guilty until proven innocent, the opposite of the case in Britain. Individuals can be locked away for months or even years without trial. The individual who comes into conflict with the police or other authorities has, in effect, no rights at all. Police powers are vastly greater than they are in the UK. In contrast to the British conception of a police officer as an unarmed civilian in uniform who upholds the Queen's peace and who has no legal powers that an ordinary person does not have, the Continental policeman is an armed agent of the state who imposes the will of the state on the people, and does so in an extremely officious manner. In July 1996, British veterans of the Battle of the Somme, virtually all of them aged over 100, arrived in a coach to commemorate the battle in which they had fought to defend France. On the first day of that battle alone, 60,000 British soldiers were killed in action. The French police would not allow the coach to drive all the way to the commemoration site, but forced the veterans to get out and walk several hundred yards to the spot where they had marched towards the German guns which were killing and maiming their comrades-in-arms. A greater insult to the British people could hardly be imagined. While one might make legitimate criticisms of the British police, it is utterly inconceivable that police officers here would treat French veterans in this way.
The political and civic culture of the Continental states completely accepts and supports the maintenance of these systems. Manifestations of individualism, expression of opinions fundamentally different from those of the state or "unconventional" behaviour are at best frowned upon, at worst closed down by state action. Although not actually illegal, it is nevertheless socially "not done" for an individual to strongly oppose fundamental government policies or accepted ways of thinking and doing things. Britain, by contrast, is extraordinarily tolerant of diversity. Two young Italian women were recently interviewed as to why they like Britain so much. One of them said, "You can do whatever you want and nobody will tell you not to. In Italy, it is completely the opposite." The other said, "In Rome, you can't go out with blue hair in the street."  Race relations are far better in Britain than in any Continental country. Members of different ethnic groups accept each other's individuality with virtually no mutual animosity. Individuals such as, say, Frank Bruno, Lenny Henry or Naomi Campbell are as accepted by virtually everybody as being just as British as Henry Cooper, the late Benny Hill or Kate Moss. In Continental countries, by contrast, ethnic relations are strained, and members of ethnic minorities are often not popular with either the authorities or the people. They face a level of harassment by the police and other officials which would create outrage in the UK.
Racist and fascist political parties - although they have changed their style a great deal since the time of Mussolini and Hitler - have strong support on the Continent. A recent opinion poll in the French daily newspaper Liberation showed that 51% of French voters agree with the ideas of the National Front, which wants to forcibly expel members of ethnic minorities. The National Front (FN) have a majority on several town councils, and its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won 15% of the vote nation-wide in the 1995 presidential election, coming top of the poll in several departments. The FN has also had up to 35 seats in the National Assembly. Unlike most other racist movements, which have been ephemeral phenomena, the FN has firmly established itself on the French political map. Proof of this is the fact that the FN even produces its own brand of wine, Cuvee du Front National. The label has a photograph of Le Pen on a background of a map of France. In France, where political parties are subsidised by the state, the taxpayer is one of the main sources of the Front's income.
In recent Austrian elections, the so-called Freedom Party, whose leader, Franz-Josef Haider, has supported Hitler's employment policies and praised veterans of the Waffen-SS, won 27% of the national vote. In Germany, the Republican Party, led by Franz Schonhuber, a former Scharfuhrer in the Waffen-SS, has enjoyed considerable electoral support in the 1990s, as has the even more extreme National Democratic Party. In Italy, the National Alliance, formerly the openly fascist MSI, which now claims to be "post-fascist", became part of the governing coalition in 1994. In Belgium, the Flemish Bloc has won several local elections, especially in the city of Antwerp. These political parties have established a strong presence in the "European Parliament", where Le Pen is the leader of a pan-European coalition of racist and fascist MEPs from France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Greece. Through our taxes, we are all forced to finance this group's activities. In the past both communism and fascism have enjoyed the enthusiastic support of millions on the Continent, while in Britain neither movement has ever gained significant popular support. Although the French Communist Party, which still supports Soviet-style communism, has lost a great deal of support in recent years, it gained 11% of the vote in the 1995 presidential election and still has strong popular support in such areas as the "red belt" around Paris. Although the Communist Party of Great Britain once enjoyed considerable influence in the trade union movement and among "intellectuals", both communism and fascism are alien to the British tradition. In 1987, Peter Jay and Michael Stewart published a novel entitled Apocalypse 2000, in which the European Union is taken over by fascists, who use it to establish a pan-European dictatorship. Given that the EU proposes the establishment of Europe-wide political parties subsidised by the taxpayer, this prospect is by no means far-fetched.
The philosophical traditions of Britain and the Continent are also completely opposed. The predominant figure in German philosophy is Hegel, who argued that the state is the sole repository of right within society. Britain, by contrast, produced John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and Herbert Spencer, all of whom defended the rights of the individual against the state.
Britain's historical development was completely different from that of the Continental states. The historian Correlli Barnett is a critic of classical liberalism, but he has succinctly summarised British attitudes as follows:
Foreign visitors, such as Madame de Stael, also noted the extraordinary enterprise and vigour of the British people, by comparison with Continentals. In 1869 the poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold wrote:
Barnett contrasts this with the Continental experience:
Neither is it true that the increase in state intervention in Britain over the past century has changed Britain into a Continental-style state. The government introduced state schooling under the Education Act 1870, in imitation of the Continental model, and made school attendance compulsory in 1880. The Liberal government of 1906-16, in which Herbert Asquith and David Lloyd George established state welfare, the immunity of trade unions from the rule of law and the widespread regulation of industry even before the outbreak of the first world war, was still guided by largely classical liberal principles. When war broke out, the government, as a matter of principle, refused to take over the production of munitions, which were left to the free market until 1915, the same year in which pubs were forced to close at 11.00pm in order to make sure the munitions workers got a good night's sleep. (This law, of course, has never been repealed in England and Wales.) Also as a matter of principle, the government refused to introduce military conscription until 1916. Peacetime military conscription was introduced for the first time only in May 1939.
Subsequent British state intervention, such as nationalisations, prices and incomes policies, and central planning, proved to be a failure, and did not gain the acceptance of the British people. British free marketeers used to complain about the activities of the trade unions, but at least the "bloody-mindedness" of the unions in the 1960s and 70s disrupted every attempt to impose economic planning on the British people, and thus probably made a net contribution to individual liberty. State intervention in Britain is a somewhat haphazard, "higgledy-piggledy" kind of intervention, compared to the comprehensive, planned organisation by the state over the individual which exists in Continental countries. On the Continent, central economic plan- ning is generally obeyed by everybody without complaint or question. If the state wishes to build a motorway or an airport across someone's land or home, it is built, and the owners do not complain. In Britain such endeavours are invariably met with widespread opposition which takes years to overcome. The EU expects Continental levels of obedience.
The British common law system enables individuals who are fighting for their freedom to take on the power of the state and win. For instance, Joy Baker, the British home education pioneer, announced in 1952 that she wanted to educate her three children at home. She faced continuous harassment from local authorities, who had her children taken into care and herself subject to fines and suspended prison sentences, until in 1962 the House of Lords found that she could lawfully educate her children at home under the law of the land. In the 1970s, Sir Freddie Laker set up Laker Airlines and charged fares considerably below the legal price. It took several years for the government to challenge him through the courts, and eventually Sir Freddie's achievement led to a virtual free market in air fares that has made Britain the world centre of bargain air tickets to every place in the world. In any Continental country, of course, Mrs Baker or Sir Freddie would have been clapped into prison or a madhouse in 24 hours without the slightest degree of ceremony - as such individuals will be if Britain's legal system is merged with that of the Continental states. There can be no doubt that the recent reduction of legal rights through such measure as the Criminal Justice Act 1995, and the proposed introduction of identity cards with the EU logo are intended to prepare the way for the Continental legal system that will be a feature of the EU superstate, and the complete abolition of British freedom.
The Continental economic systems are hostile to both entrepreneurship and free markets. The state decides what the economy is going to do, and not the market. This system does not encourage economic or technological innovation. In Britain the situation is the opposite. A survey by the Japanese Ministry of Trade revealed that 55% of all commercially viable inventions in the world since the Second World War have come from the UK, compared with 25% from the US and 5% from Japan. The jet engine, radar, matches, photography, cat's eyes, microwave ovens, holography and the computer were just a few of the items invented by Britons. Since 1901 Japan has won only four Nobel Prizes, compared to Britain's 61.  If the Continental system in which the individual lives for the state and not for himself is imposed on the British people via the EU, the result will be the extinction of this extraordinary culture of innovation. If you doubt that, there's a book you ought to read. Its title is Atlas Shrugged; its author, Ayn Rand.
I have no desire to tell people on the Continent how they are to live in or run their own countries. Any attempt to send libertarian evangelists onto the Continent to convert the natives to the ideas of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill would be as laughable as it would be futile. Such concepts as "rolling back the frontiers of the state" can have no meaning in nations where the state is everything. The best prospect for future warm relations between the European nations is the restoration of each country's national sovereignty and mutual respect for each other's fundamental differences. Strong fences make good neighbours. It is just as impertinent for an Englishman to tell a German, Frenchman, Italian, etc, what to do in their own country as it is for a Continental to do the same to an Englishman. The EU, of course, is a Continental state, but one potentially far more dangerous than those which are grounded in centuries of tradition, and are accepted by their peoples. There is no right of appeal against its arbitrary Diktats, nor is there any mechanism for electoral or other forms of accountability. The EU was dreamed up as the personal brainchild of Monnet, a central planner turned international empire builder, and corresponds to the traditions of no individual nation. In his famous Reflections on the Revolution in France, published in 1790, Edmund Burke recognised that institutions which have stood the test of time and experience are far preferable to those thought up as abstract philosophies and imposed by force. Unless the EU is destroyed, or at the very least the UK pulls out of it completely, the consequences will be disastrous.
Even language itself reflects a completely different philosophy of society. In his excellent study of crowd psychology, published in 1896, the French philosopher Gustave Le Bon wrote:
And what is true of the Latin countries - France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece - is equally true of Germany. There can be no meaningful assent to a political entity where people use words to signify such opposite meanings. Indeed, every nation where the people speak more than one language is a nation divided. Belgium and Canada are on the verge of splitting apart because of linguistic differences. The United States has large Spanish-speaking minorities who threaten secession to Mexico. The Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia have already divided in a comparatively peaceful way, while Yugoslavia has split up in a far more terrible manner. Switzerland is the exception, precisely because it has a very decentralised canton system and a very small Federal government - nobody ever knows the name of the Swiss prime minister. And in a referendum, the Swiss people had the good sense to vote against joining either the EU or the EEA. When the proposed European nation-state breaks up - as it certainly will do - it is likely to be on the Yugoslavian rather than Czechoslovakian model, because of the fact that the EU is a socialist state in which the wealthier countries, such as Britain, Denmark and Germany, are forced to subsidise the poorer ones, such as Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and the Irish Republic. An important chapter in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged refers to Starnesville, a town run on the basis of the principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", which ends up a devast-ated wasteland. This is already the principle which justifies EU regional aid, in which billions in taxpayers' money from Britain, Germany and Denmark are poured into EU state projects in the Irish Republic, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. If this principle is expanded out on a pan-European basis between people of different languages and cultures, it may produce a bloodbath which will make the carnage in Yugoslavia, or the Thirty Years' War, look like a tennis match by comparison. In the interests of peace and friendship between the different European nations, let Britain and as many others as possible pull out and bring the whole monstrosity to an end.
The Way Ahead
Every baby born in the United Kingdom on 31st December 1972 was born free. Every baby born in the UK on 1st January 1973, the day when the European Communities Act 1972 became law, was no longer freeborn, but was, in the strict sense of the word, a slave of what is now the European Union. Slavery was abolished throughout the British empire in 1833. In 1972, Heath reintroduced it for the entire British people. Since the Treaty of Maastricht, British judges have ruled that EU law overrides all Acts of Parliament and the common law itself, the only legal system in which the right of the individual to live his or her life free from the rule of the state has ever existed, or could conceivably exist. Unless Britain completely and irreversibly pulls out the EU, freedom will be completely abolished in this country. In 1997, the British people still have the chance to regain their freedom and the national sovereignty on which that freedom depends.
This can be achieved only if all individuals who value individual freedom and the national sovereignty on which it depends agree to set aside differences of party and ideology and work together to achieve this goal. A "middle way" between freedom and slavery to Brussels is simply not possible, as the EU itself continually makes clear. Those, such as Lady Thatcher and Sir James Goldsmith MEP who believe that British sovereignty can be retained without a complete withdrawal from the EU, are sadly mistaken. Over the centuries, British freemen have fought to defend the liberty and sovereignty of this nation from every attempt to subordinate it to the rule of a Continental superstate. In 1588 English sailors defeated the Armada which Philip II of Spain sent to conquer the people of this country. At Trafalgar in 1805, the Royal Navy destroyed the mighty fleet of Napoleon Bonaparte without the loss of a single British ship, and saved the people of this country from being subordinated to the Continental System, one of the antecedents of the present European Union. In 1940, British airmen defeated the attempt by Hitler's Luftwaffe to turn Britain into a province of the National Socialist European Economic Community. I recall these historical events, not to revel in the defeat of former Continental enemies with whom every thinking person wants only the warmest possible relationship, but to remind the reader of the sacrifices made by earlier generations so that the people of this country should live as free individuals in a free and sovereign nation in perpetuity.
The acts of high treason committed by Heath in 1972 and Major in 1992 shall and must be reversed. The European Communities Act 1972 and all other legislation relating to the EU shall be repealed, and Britain shall declare itself an entirely sovereign and independent nation, whose people enjoy the ancient liberties of this land now and for ever. Of course, this in no way implies the slightest degree of hostility towards the peoples of France, Germany or any other Continental country. We should actively welcome individuals from the Continent as visitors to the UK, and encourage British people to travel to the Continent and appreciate the greatness of the mutual civilisation of which we are all a part. There is not the slightest degree of incongruity between the defence of British freedom and a positive affection towards the peoples and cultures of Continent Europe. It is important that Euro-sceptics refrain from attacks on the peoples of the Continent, their nations and their cultures. I have discussed the differences between Britain and the Continental countries not in order to attack the people of those countries, but in order to demonstrate that the best prospect for relations between Britain and the Continent countries is mutual recognition of each other's differences and the fact that they cannot be combined into a single legal, political or economic system without the destruction of the one or the other.
Indeed, a large proportion of people on the Continent are themselves opposed to the EU and wish to regain their traditional national sovereignty. In 1992, the majority of Danish people voted against the Treaty of Maastricht in a referendum. Under the terms of the treaty, that meant that Maastricht was dead, as every member state had to ratify it for it to become legally binding. If any one nation rejected it, it was finished. The EU ignored the Danish "No" vote, and illegally re-negotiated terms with the Danish government, which put every possible pressure on its people, including police brutality against anti-Maastricht campaigners, to vote "Yes" in the illegal second referendum. The "No" campaigners, all of them volunteers, were exhausted and bankrupt of funds, and up against the resources of the Danish government's "Yes" campaign. Unfortunately, therefore, the majority of Danes, bored and irritated by the whole thing, in the second referendum voted for Maastricht. In the French referendum, in which the state massively pressurised and intimidated the people for a "Yes" vote, the treaty was passed by a majority of less than 1%, demonstrating that the French people were almost exactly equally divided on the treaty. British Euro-sceptics should build close links with Continental Euro-sceptics and work together to achieve our common goal, while as a matter of principle refraining from lecturing them about their countries and their ways. The ideal situation, from the libertarian point of view, would be the secession of all members of the EU, the restoration of their national sovereignty, and the complete disappearance of the organisation. Indeed, even after Britain completely disconnects from the EU, the existence of a totalitarian nuclear-armed superpower hostile to British freedom would still be a significant potential military and political threat. For centuries, British foreign policy was based on a "balance of power", in which Britain would oppose the strongest power on the Continent, whether Spain, France or Germany, and build up a coalition against it. There would be a strong case, after British independence has been re-established, for the British security services to carry out covert operations with the purpose of encouraging as many other nations as possible to secede from the EU, and thus destroying this enemy not only of Britain but of every historic European nation.
Let us Reclaim our Banners
The leaders of the EU know that symbols are very important in human thinking. Man is not simply an automaton, but symbols are keys to fundamental values within the unconscious. They have created their "European flag", and aim to make the flying of it compulsory throughout the EU. They have taken a great work of German poetry - Schiller's Ode to Joy, set to the music of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - and adopted it as the unofficial national anthem of the EU. Let us therefore reclaim British flags as the symbol of freedom. The Union Flag, it is true, has never gained among British people the affection which, for example, Americans give to the Stars and Stripes. To almost all Americans, Old Glory is not just the symbol of the American nation, but also of the liberty which the individual enjoys within that nation. People in this country often consider themselves primarily to be "English", "Scottish", "Welsh" or "Ulstermen", rather than British. Let us therefore reclaim the banners of Saint George and Saint Andrew, the Red Dragon flag of Wales and the Red Hand flag of Ulster, as the symbols of a free people in a free nation. Of all the countries in the world, only in Germany, Japan and the UK is patriotism subjected to ridicule. In the case of Germany and Japan, this is related to crimes committed by their governments before and during the second world war. It is difficult to see why legitimate patriotism, which in no way implies denigration of other countries and their achievements, should be held in such low regard in Britain. Let us embrace patriotism as a fine libertarian value, celebrating the freedom of the individual that is so central a part of British culture and history.
This in no way implies the slightest degree of hostily towards, or denigration of, the peoples of Continental Europe. On the contrary, for my part, and that of every Euro-sceptic I have discussed these questions with, I would positively favour British people visiting the countries of the Continent and learning more about their culture and civilization. I equally strongly hope that Continental people will visit the UK, and that British people will be extremely welcoming and courteous to them. The great cathedral at Chartres, the paintings of Rembrandt, the statues of Michelangelo and the music of Bach are just as much the heritage of Western civilization as Salisbury Cathedral or the plays of Shakespeare. Every thinking Euro-sceptic must reject the sort of tactics advocated by the Sun a few months ago, when that publication encouraged its readers to shout abuse at German tourists because of the German government's attitudes during the BSE crisis. Similarly, the football hooligans (actually a tiny minority of England supporters) who disgrace the name of England (but not Scotland or Wales) when they go on rampages in European cities fully deserve the full power of the Continental state being used against them with maximum force.
Far from being a drawback to individual liberty, the existence of national sovereignty is essential to it. This is precisely why the EU is determined to abolish the historic nations of Europe and replace them with a single state. Even Hitler and Stalin allowed some of the nations in their empires to retain their national sovereignty. For example, Vidkun Quisling was the wartime leader of a Norway which retained its national sovereignty under German occupation, but he was still shot as a traitor at the end of the war. Such countries as Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg, Denmark and Poland, by contrast, lost their national sovereignty under the Nazis. Although Stalin forcibly annexed such countries as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia into the Soviet Union, he allowed countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania to retain their legal national sovereignty in all technical respects. This proved to be very important later, when these countries were striving towards freedom, as they retained their national identity. When the Soviet Union invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia, it was condemned on the grounds that it had violated these countries' national sovereignty. When General Jaruselski suppressed the Solidarity movement in Poland in 1981 through imposing martial law, he defended this action by arguing, almost certainly rightly, that the alternative of a Soviet invasion would be worse. When millions of people were deliberately starved to death in the Ukraine in the early 1930s, by contrast, the mass murder received far less attention, even though the death toll was many times higher, because the Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. The EU leadership is certainly not going to be as soft as Uncle Dolphie and Uncle Joe in allowing the peoples of its empire to retain their national sovereignty even in a technical sense. The prospects for the survival of freedom under the EU are not good.
"It is liberty alone that we fight and contend for"
The greatness of the British nation was built by bold individualists and entrepreneurs of great vision. The foremost example is Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the greatest engineer of all time. Brunel built such extraordinary achievements as the Bristol Suspension Bridge, part of which utilises a natural rock formation as its base, as well as the Monkwearmouth Docks. As chief engineer for the Great Western Railway, he introduced broad-gauge railway for the first time. He built more than 1000 miles of railway in Britain, as well as building railways in Australia, India and the Italian states. He created the Box Tunnel and the Mackered Bridge (the flattest brick arch in the world). He introduced compressed air techniques in underwater and underground construction. In the field of maritime engineering, he built three ships, each of which was the largest in the world at the date of its launching. These included the first ever trans-Atlantic steamer, the first large vessel driven by a propeller and the first ship with a double iron hull. He improved large guns and designed a floating armoured barge which was used to attack the Russian naval base at Krondstadt in the Crimean War in 1854. He also built a complete prefabricated hospital building which was shipped in parts to the Crimea in 1855. He was an enthusiastic advocate of the free market and individual liberty, and every one of these projects - innovations which had never been done before in world history - were created by private enterprise in the free market under the British common law. Had Ayn Rand invented Brunel as one of the heroes of her novels, it would have seemed ridiculous that one "man of the mind" could have produced such an extraordinary series of marvels.
If libertarians believe in anything, it is in the right of men such as Brunel to live in freedom, and more than that, to achieve the greatness which is rightfully theirs. Brunel could only have carried out the achievements of a free mind in the context of a free economy and a free nation. No Continental nation, for all their elaborate structures of state schooling and state economic planning, ever did produce or could have produced a Brunel. In a nation where man lives for the state, Brunels do not appear. If the United Kingdom continues down the road towards pan-European slavery, then the great torch of freedom and reason that was first lit by the ancient Greeks, that was rekindled during the European Renaissance and reached its greatest brilliance in the lands of those who speak the English tongue, will be extinguished in this country for ever, never to be lit again. If, however, this country can free itself permanently and irreversibly from the pack of cannibals that infest the cities of Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, then that torch can be handed on from generation to generation until the day when the sun finally swallows up the earth, and humanity travels to worlds beyond in crafts build by the Brunels of the future.
In the long history of the British Isles, there were numerous conflicts between England and Scotland before the two countries, both of which embodied the principle of individual freedom in their laws and customs, formed a united kingdom. In 1320, when the English were invading Scotland and appealing to the Pope for support of this action, the barons of Scotland, led by King Robert the Bruce, wrote the Pope a letter known as the Declaration of Arbroath. They said that:
They appealed to the Pope to
Let these words echo across the ages from a time when the defence of freedom depended not on economic analyses and academic debates, but on the strength of a man's sinews and his prowess with the sword and the axe on the field of battle. I would be the last to recommend a return to the middle ages, but the spirit of liberty must have been far more powerful when it was defended by acts of force used in a just cause. Let all the people of the British Isles (for the people of Ireland, too, have a heritage of freedom that is being destroyed by the slave-empire in Brussels) unite in that spirit and become once again a free people in a free nation.
64. Translation in Gordon Donaldson (editor), Scottish Historical Documents, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1970, p.57.
Suggestions for Further Reading
Publications about the European Union are pouring off the presses at a phenomenal rate. The following is by no means a compete bibliography, but these volumes, not all of which I have read all the way through, are valuable in shedding light on the issues. Needless to say, the inclusion of a work on this list does not mean that the author necessarily shares the views expressed above.
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790
This book is the classic description of how and why institutions which have stood the test of time and experience are better than those created on the basis of abstract ideas. Burke predicted that the French revolution would turn into a bloodbath. With the outbreak of revolutionary terror in 1793, he was proved right. It is just as relevant today in relation to the EU.
F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1944
The classic of demonstration of how economic central planning leads to tyranny. One chapter is a devastating refutation of the proposals for a centrally-planned, socialist European state which were being proposed during the second world war.
Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, Harper, New York, 1946.
A simple and straightforward presentation of classical liberal economics which refutes the economic delusions on which the EU's policies are based.
Sir Oswald Mosley, The Alternative, Mosley Publications, Salisbury, 1947
After the second world war, the former leader of the British Union of Fascists argued for "Europe a Nation" on the grounds that the British were not receptive to totalitarianism at home, and would have to have it imposed on them by a pan-European state. This book presents the same arguments that are being advanced by today's Europhiles.
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four, Secker and Warburg, London, 1949
In this book, Britain has become "Airstrip One" in the supra-national totalitarian state of Oceania. If Orwell had entitled his novel Nineteen Ninety-Six, he would have been quite accurate about what has actually happened.
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, New American Library, New York, 1957
A novel which demonstrates what happens when the state forces the individual to work for "the collective good". Even if one disagrees with a great deal of Objectivism, this is probably the most profound novel ever published about the philosophical premises which underlie the EU. Although this novel is set in the United States, it is likely to become even more relevant to Europe.
Paul Einzig, The Case Against Joining the Common Market, Macmillan, London, 1971
A good summary of the arguments against Britain joining the EEC, written by a free market economist before Britain went in.
Jean Monnet, Memoirs, first published 1976, translated by Richard Mayne,
Secker and Warburg, London, 1978 The autobiography of the "father of Europe", who is entirely open about his desire to set up a united European socialist state.
Peter Jay and Michael Stewart, Apocalypse 2000, Fontana, London, 1987
A novel in which a pan-European fascist movement takes over the EU and imposes a tyranny.
Enoch Powell, Enoch Powell on 1992, edited by Richard Ritchie, Anaya Publishers, London, 1989
An annotated collection of speeches and articles about the EU by the nation's leading Euro-sceptic, mainly dealing with constitutional issues. Excellent.
Norman Tutt, Europe on the Fiddle, Christopher Helm, London, 1989
An account of the massive amounts of fraud being carried out in the EU's various economic plans, such as subsidies for an Italian wine which killed 27 people, written by a chartered accountant turned journalist.
David Weigall and Peter Stirk (editors), The Origin and Development of the European Community, Leicester University Press, Leicester and London, 1992
An excellent annotated collection of historical documents relating to European unification from the first proposal in 1918 to the EU's Drang nach Osten to the eastern Europe nations in 1991. This book is the best single volume for understanding the real nature of the EU, where the documents make abundantly clear what its purposes have always been. Highly recommended.
Teresa Gorman with Heather Kirby, The Bastards, Pan Books/ Macmillan, London, 1993
A gripping first-hand account by Mrs Gorman, who is probably Britain's most radical free-market MP, about the Parliamentary struggle against the Maastricht Treaty. The evil tactics of the dominant faction in the Tory Party, including blackmail, threats and violence are thoroughly described. The reader will feel a sense of physical repulsion against the Tory gangsters who rule this country. Just as Queen Boedicea resisted the mighty legions of Imperial Rome, so too Mrs Gorman has fought for freedom against the tyranny in Brussels.
R. Simpson and R. Walker (editors), Europe: For Richer or For Poorer, Child Poverty Action Group, London, 1993
Although the Child Poverty Action Group is rarely seen as a bastion of economic liberalism, this book contains an excellent analysis of how the Common Agricultural Policy has a devastating effect on the less prosperous people within the EU, and on Third World food producers, and appreciates the need for its replacement by a free market.
Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years, Fontana, London, 1993
Lady Thatcher's memoirs show how she had been fooled into believing Heathite lies about the EEC, but gradually learned differently after several years as Prime Minister.
Geoffrey Harris, The Dark Side of Europe, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 1990, 1993 edition
This is an account of the dramatic rise of racism and fascism on the Continent. Although written by an EU official who advocates greater integration, he actually reveals a strong reason for not integrating Britain with the Continental states.
Rodney Atkinson and Norris McWhirter, Treason at Maastricht, Compuprint Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1994
An excellent account of Major's betrayal of the British constitution, and the fight against it by two of Britain's leading free marketeers. They attempted to prosecute Douglas Hurd, MP, and the Hon. Francis Maude, MP, for treason for signing the Treaty of Maastricht. (Britain still has the death penalty for treason, and there is a working gallows at Wandsworth Prison.) This book is a chilling and succinct account of the deadly threat to freedom represented by Maastricht.
Francois Duchene, Jean Monnet, W. W. Norton and Co, London, 1994
A hagiographical study of the "father of Europe" which reveals his methods in detail. It contains a revealing introduction by George W. Ball.
Charles Grant, Delors, Nicholas Brearley Publishing, London, 1994
A biography of the socialist who was president of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995. Whatever one might think about Mr Delors, he has always been far more honest about the EU that the likes of Major.
Bernard Connolly, The Rotten Heart of Europe, Faber and Faber, London, 1995, paperback edition 1996
This is the most important book to be published in the UK on the subject of politics and economics since The Road to Serfdom in 1944. Although he is a free market economist, the author was head of the European Commission responsible for analysis of the European Monetary System and national and Community money policies. He was sacked and harassed by the EU's secret police for writing this thorough analysis of the proposed single currency. He documents the villainy of the EU leadership's attack on freedom and demonstrates the threat to the prosperity and peace of Europe represented by the single currency.
John Redwood, The Single European Currency, TESLA/ Conservative 2000, London, 1995
A pamphlet containing a good brief statement of the case against the single currency by Mr Redwood, as well as by Hywel Williams and Andrew Roberts. Unfortunately, like many Conservative Euro- sceptics, Mr Redwood does not favour pulling Britain completely out of the EU.
Roger Eatwell, Fascism, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1995
A comparative study of the history of fascism in Italy, Germany, France and Britain. It clearly demonstrates how that ideology fitted in with the traditions of the Continental countries and gained the support of millions, while being an utter irrelevance to and failure in Britain.
Christopher Booker and Richard North, The Castle of Lies, Duckworth, London, 1996
An excellent study of the attacks on the British economy and individual liberty by the EU, and arguments for Britain's withdrawal. I have deliberately avoided listings of the economic damage caused by Euro-directives, and have focussed on political and legal issues. This book excellently covers the economic problems.
Martin Holmes (editor), The Eurosceptical Reader, Macmillan, London, 1996
A substantial compilation of writings by the leading Euro-sceptics in British politics and journalism, edited by a leading Euro-sceptic Oxford don.
Norika Hama, Disintegrating Europe, Adamantine Press/New European Publications, London, 1996
The author, a Japanese economist, shows how the European Union project is breaking up. She exposes the economic and political delusions which guide EU policy.