What did people vote for in the 1975 referendum?

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


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

  1. (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;
  2. (b)  the establishment of a common customs tariff and of a common commercial policy towards third countries;
  3. (c)  the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, services and capital;
  4. (d)  the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of agriculture;
  5. (e)  the adoption of a common policy in the sphere of transport;
  6. (f)  the institution of a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not distorted;
  7. (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;
  8. (h)  the approximation of the laws of Member States to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market;
  9. (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;
  10. (j)  the establishment of a European Investment Bank to facilitate the economic expansion of the Community by opening up fresh resources;
  11. (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:

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.

Posted in 1957 Treaty of Rome, Article 3 Treaty of Rome, Brexit, Democracy, EU Referendum, Immigrants, Immigration, Uncategorized, United States of Europe | Leave a comment

The United States of Europe

Today, on Remembrance Sunday, it seemed fitting to remember why we should come together in peace, rather than pull apart in hate. Below is Churchill’s speech given in Zurich on the 19th September 1946 about the tragedy in Europe. At the time, we had a prosperous Commonwealth and Churchill probably didn’t intend for us to be part of the United States of Europe. However, he didn’t envisage the demise of the Commonwealth and he wouldn’t have approved of our recent destabilisation of the European project. Maybe ‘mankind’ is indeed ‘unteachable’. 

“I WISH TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY about the tragedy of Europe.
This noble continent, comprising on the whole the fairest and the most cultivated regions of the earth; enjoying a temperate and equable climate, is the home of all the great parent races of the western world. It is the fountain of Christian faith and Christian ethics. It is the origin of most of the culture, arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modem times.

If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance, there would be no limit to the happiness, to the prosperity and glory which its three or four hundred million people would enjoy. Yet it is from Europe that have sprung that series of frightful nationalistic quarrels, originated by the Teutonic nations, which we have seen even in this twentieth century and in our own lifetime, wreck the peace and mar the prospects of all mankind.

And what is the plight to which Europe has been reduced?

Some of the smaller States have indeed made a good recovery, but over wide areas a vast quivering mass of tormented, hungry, care-worn and bewildered human beings gape at the ruins of their cities and homes, and scan the dark horizons for the approach of some new peril, tyranny or terror.

Among the victors there is a babel of jarring voices; among the vanquished the sullen silence of despair.

That is all that Europeans, grouped in so many ancient States and nations, that is all that the Germanic Powers have got by tearing each other to pieces and spreading havoc far and wide.

Indeed, but for the fact that the great Republic across the Atlantic Ocean has at length realised that the ruin or enslavement of Europe would involve their own fate as well, and has stretched out hands of succour and guidance, the Dark Ages would have returned in all their cruelty and squalor.

They may still return.

Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted, would as if by a miracle transform the whole scene, and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and as happy as Switzerland is today.

What is this sovereign remedy?

It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.

We must build a kind of United States of Europe.

In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living.

The process is simple.

All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong, and gain as their reward, blessing instead of cursing.

Much work has been done upon this task by the exertions of the Pan-European Union which owes so much to Count Coudenhove-Kalergi and which commanded the services of the famous French patriot and statesman, Aristide Briand.

There is also that immense body of doctrine and procedure, which was brought into being amid high hopes after the First World War, as the League of Nations.

The League of Nations did not fail because of its principles or conceptions. It failed because these principles were deserted by those States who had brought it into being. It failed because the Governments of those days feared to face the facts and act while time remained. This disaster must not be repeated. There is, therefore, much knowledge and material with which to build; and also bitter dear-bought experience.

I was very glad to read in the newspapers two days ago that my friend President Truman had expressed his interest and sympathy with this great design.

There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe that the larger synthesis will only survive if it is founded upon coherent natural groupings.

There is already a natural grouping in the Western Hemisphere. We British have our own Commonwealth of Nations. These do not weaken, on the contrary they strengthen, the world organisation. They are in fact its main support.

And why should there not be a European group which could give a sense of enlarged patriotism and common citizenship to the distracted peoples of this turbulent and mighty continent and why should it not take its rightful place with other great groupings in shaping the destinies of men?

In order that this should be accomplished, there must be an act of faith in which millions of families speaking many languages must consciously take part.

We all know that the two world wars through which we have passed arose out of the vain passion of a newly united Germany to play the dominating part in the world.

In this last struggle crimes and massacres have been committed for which there is no parallel since the invasions of the Mongols in the fourteenth century and no equal at any time in human history.

The guilty must be punished. Germany must be deprived of the power to rearm and make another aggressive war.

But when all this has been done, as it will be done, as it is being done, there must be an end to retribution. There must be what Mr Gladstone many years ago called ‘a blessed act of oblivion’.

We must all turn our backs upon the horrors of the past. We must look to the future. We cannot afford to drag forward across the years that are to come the hatreds and revenges which have sprung from the injuries of the past.

If Europe is to be saved from infinite misery, and indeed from final doom, there must be an act of faith in the European family and an act of oblivion against all the crimes and follies of the past.

Can the free peoples of Europe rise to the height of these resolves of the soul and instincts of the spirit of man?

If they can, the wrongs and injuries which have been inflicted will have been washed away on all sides by the miseries which have been endured.

Is there any need for further floods of agony?

Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?

Let there be justice, mercy and freedom.

The peoples have only to will it, and all will achieve their hearts’ desire.

I am now going to say something that will astonish you.

The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany.

In this way only can France recover the moral leadership of Europe.

There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany.

The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.

The ancient states and principalities of Germany, freely joined together for mutual convenience in a federal system, might each take their individual place among the United States of Europe. I shall not try to make a detailed programme for hundreds of millions of people who want to be happy and free, prosperous and safe, who wish to enjoy the four freedoms of which the great President Roosevelt spoke, and live in accordance with the principles embodied in the Atlantic Charter. If this is their wish, they have only to say so, and means can certainly be found, and machinery erected, to carry that wish into full fruition.

But I must give you warning. Time may be short.

At present there is a breathing-space. The cannon have ceased firing. The fighting has stopped; but the dangers have not stopped.

If we are to form the United States of Europe or whatever name or form it may take, we must begin now.

In these present days we dwell strangely and precariously under the shield and protection of the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb is still only in the hands of a State and nation which we know will never use it except in the cause of right and freedom. But it may well be that in a few years this awful agency of destruction will be widespread and the catastrophe following from its use by several warring nations will not only bring to an end all that we call civilisation, but may possibly disintegrate the globe itself.

I must now sum up the propositions which are before you.

Our constant aim must be to build and fortify the strength of the United Nations Organisation.

Under and within that world concept, we must re-create the European family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe.

The first step is to form a Council of Europe.

If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can.

The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny.

In all this urgent work, France and Germany must take the lead together.

Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, and I trust Soviet Russia – for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.”


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‘Enemies of the People,

get out of the way of the German Common People’s will.’


A copy of a tweet by Conor Gearty@conorgearty – LSE academic and barrister

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The Rise of UKIP


Why we should have voted and why it may now be too late

At the last general election UKIP garnered 12.6% of the vote in the United Kingdom. This represented a significant proportion of the population mainly from the South of England to the Midlands. It also meant that a party previously viewed as marginal, could claim some credibility and more importantly valuable media representation.

However, they were able to rise to this position by our apathetic attitude to our own democracy. Whilst things were ticking along nicely, not that many of us bothered voting in either a general election or more significantly in the European Parliamentary elections. In 2014 only 35.6% of the UK population bothered to vote in the European Parliamentary elections where UKIP secured 27.49% of this vote and 11 extra MEPs taking its total to 24. UKIP were able to mobilise those sections of the electorate who have been moaning about the EU for years, to vote. In fact, 77.2% of those who bothered to vote were UKIP supporters.

europeanparliamentturnoutSource: http://ukpolitical.info/european-parliament-election-turnout.htm

Despite what is commonly believed, the European Parliamentary elections are more democratic as they use proportional representation. UKIP have been able to rise to their present level of influence, from their roots in the south of England, because they exploited a flaw in our democracy. The simple flaw being that we don’t always bother to vote. They could gain a stronghold in the European Parliament and therefore present themselves as a mainstream viable alternative to the British electorate using this flaw. Whilst in the UK Parliament they currently only have 1 seat, they have moved from being an outside marginal party to a party that threatens the mainstream parties because they have been overly represented in Europe for years by our failure to vote.

If we had all bothered to vote in the European Parliamentary elections, they would have stayed on the margins.



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Nationalist Mythologies

H is for Hawk


The following beautifully written extract sprang to mind in the aftermath of the EU referendum. Whilst the Brexit slogans are mere ersatz echoes of Nazi propaganda, they do nevertheless signal a shift towards previously marginalised political leanings. The quotation follows a conversation Helen MacDonald has had with a couple she has met whilst walking with her goshawk, Mabel. Upon agreeing on the beautiful sight of the fallow deer, the husband comments:

‘Isn’t it a relief that there’re things still like that, a real bit of Old England still left despite all these immigrants coming in?’

Whilst Helen is too embarrassed to retort, or cannot summon the words to reply eloquently enough, as is so often the case when greeted with such ugliness of mind, her written rebuttal is sublime.

‘I think of the chalk-cult countryside and all its myths of blood-belonging, and that hateful bronze falcon, of Goring’s plans to exclude Jews from German forests. I think of the Finnish goshawks that made the Brecklands home, and of my grandfather, born on the Western Isles, who spoke nothing but Gaelic until he was ten. And the Lithuanian builder I’d met collecting mushrooms in a wood who asked me, bewildered, why no one he’d met in England knew which were edible, and which were not. I think of all the complicated histories that landscapes have, and how easy it is to wipe them away, put easier, safer histories in their place.

They are only safe for us. The fields where I fly Mabel back in Cambridge are farmed organically, and they are teeming with life. These are not. The big animals are here, it is true: the deer, the foxes, the rabbits; the fields look the same, and the trees, too, but look more carefully and this land is empty. There are few plants other than crops, and few bees, or butterflies, for the soil is dressed and sprayed with chemicals that kill. Ten years ago there were turtle doves on this land. Thirty years ago there were corn buntings and enormous flocks of lapwings. Seventy years ago there were red-backed shrikes, wrynecks and snipe. Two hundred years ago, ravens and black grouse. All of them are gone.

Old England is an imaginary place, a landscape built from words, woodcuts, films, paintings, picturesque engravings. It is a place imagined by people, and people do not live very long or look very hard. We are bad at scale. The things that thrive in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. We are bad at time, too. We cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. Nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. We live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. We take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.’

From ‘H is for Hawk’ by Helen MacDonald, pp. 264-265, Vintage, 2014



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