Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Telegraph: No, Britain wasn't lied to when we joined the EU. We knew what we were getting into

The Telegraph: No, Britain wasn't lied to when we joined the EU. We knew what we were getting into

by Greg Rosen

Those who claim we were deceived when we entered Europe in 1975 are speaking in flagrant ignorance of the easily-accessible facts


"MP David Waddingon, subsequently Margaret Thatcher’s last Home Secretary, spelled it out further: “[a] country may have complete legal sovereignty, complete power to pass whatever laws it wishes in an attempt to control every kind of activity of its citizens, and yet be so weak as to be incapable of protecting its people from military, economic, or other action taken by other countries. Conversely, another country may sacrifice quite a lot of its legal sovereignty and yet, by acting in partnership with others, be able to exercise very much more power and give greater protection to its citizens than it ever could and did before that sacrifice was made.”

Margaret Thatcher’s last Agriculture Minister John Gummer agreed: “if anyone believes that we have the same power to guide our destinies today as we had in 1945 or in 1900 he is taking a totally wrong attitude to life. Sovereignty is defined today as it was in 1900, but the power it gives us is totally different. Therefore, I am not interested in legalistic definitions of our sovereignty; I am interested in what we can do to create a new future for ourselves. How can we control our environment? How can we control our financial future?”

At the heart of this debate was not deception but genuine disagreement, over whether the economic benefits of EEC membership combined with the opportunity for greater collective power through pooled sovereignty outweighed the infringement upon narrow national sovereignty that EEC membership entailed.

Helpfully, the wonders of modern technology make the past ever more accessible: Hansard, for example, is now helpfully online, so every Parliamentary utterance of Britain’s politicians on what joining the Common Market actually entailed can be accessed with but a click of a mouse."

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