Many people who voted to leave the EU reason that they only voted to remain in the common market or EEC in the 1975 referendum. They allege that they did not vote for a political union or a ‘United States/USSR of Europe’. However, the founding principles of an ever increasing political union with freedom of movement were there in the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community. The founding 6 nations were: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Now either the UK electorate in 1975 were woefully misinformed or fed-up with being ‘the sick man of Europe’ they voted to remain in the EEC, which was already bringing dividends in terms of a growth in GDP.
Below is an excerpt from the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The 25th March 1957 Treaty of Rome: Principles
PART ONE PRINCIPLES
By this Treaty, the HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES establish among themselves a EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY.
The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and progressively approximating the economic policies of Member States, to promote throughout the Community a harmonious development of economic activities, a continuous and balanced expansion, an increase in stability, an accelerated raising of the standard of living and closer relations between the States belonging to it.
For the purposes set out in Article 2, the activities of the Community shall include, as provided in this Treaty and in accordance with the timetable set out therein
- (a) the elimination, as between Member States, of customs duties and of quantitative restrictions on the import and export of goods, and of all other measures having equivalent effect;
- (b) the establishment of a common customs tariff and of a common commercial policy towards third countries;
- (c) the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital;
- (d) the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of agriculture;
- (e) the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of transport;
- (f) the institution of a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not distorted;
- (g) the application of procedures by which the economic policies of Member States can he co-ordinated and disequilibria in their balances of payments remedied;
- (h) the approximation of the laws of Member States to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market;
- (i) the creation of a European Social Fund in order to improve employment opportunities for workers and to contribute to the raising of their standard of living;
- (j) the establishment of a European Investment Bank to facilitate the economic expansion of the Community by opening up fresh resources;
- (k) the association of the overseas countries and territories in order to increase trade and to promote jointly economic and social development.
1. The tasks entrusted to the Community shall be carried out by the following institutions:
an ASSEMBLY [EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT],
a COURT OF JUSTICE.
Each institution shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by this Treaty.
2. The Council and the Commission shall be assisted by an economic and Social Committee acting in an advisory capacity.
Member States shall take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of this Treaty or resulting from action taken by the institutions of the Community. They shall facilitate the achievement of the Community’s tasks.
They shall abstain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the objections of this Treaty.
1. Member States shall, in close co-operation with the institutions of the Community, co-ordinate their respective economic policies to the extent necessary to attain the objectives of this Treaty.
2. The institutions of the Community shall take care not to prejudice the internal and external financial stability of the Member States.
Within the scope of application of this Treaty, and without prejudice to any special provisions contained therein, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.
The Council may, on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the Assembly [European Parliament], adopt, by a qualified majority, rules designed to prohibit such discrimination.
1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years.
This transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years each; the length of each stage may be altered in accordance with the provisions set out below.
2. To each stage there shall be assigned a set of actions to be initiated and carried through concurrently.
3. Transition from the first to the second stage shall be conditional upon a finding that the objectives specifically laid down in this Treaty for the first stage have in fact been attained in substance and that, subject to the exceptions and procedures provided for in this Treaty, the obligations have been fulfilled.
This finding shall be made at the end of the fourth year by the Council, acting unanimously on a report from the Commission. A Member State may not, however, prevent unanimity by relying upon the non-fulfilment of its own obligations. Failing unanimity, the first stage shall automatically be extended for one year.
At the end of the fifth year, the Council shall make its finding under the same conditions. Failing unanimity, the first stage shall be automatically be extended for a further year.
At the end of the sixth year, the Council shall make its finding, acting by a qualified majority on a report from the Commission.
4. Within one month of the last-mentioned vote any Member State which voted with the minority or, if the required majority was not obtained, any Member State shall be entitled to call upon the Council to appoint an arbitration board whose decision shall be binding upon all Member States and upon the institutions of the Community. The arbitration board shall consist of three members appointed by the Council acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission.
If the Council has not appointed the members of the arbitration board within one month of being called upon to do so, they shall be appointed by the Court of Justice within a further period of one month.
The arbitration board shall elect its own Chairman.
The board shall make its award within six months of the date of the Council vote referred to in the last subparagraph of paragraph 3.
5. The second and third stages may not be extended or curtailed except by a decision of the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission.
6. Nothing in the preceding paragraphs shall cause the transitional period to last more than fifteen years after the entry into force of this Treaty.
7. Save for the exceptions or derogations provided for in this Treaty, the expiry of the transitional period shall constitute the latest date by which all the rules laid down must enter into force and all the measures required for establishing the common market must be implemented.