Dear friends, UK citizens (yes, that includes you Scotland), and EU nationals living in UK (you’re our friends too!) It’s really not over yet. It’s one thing to say we would like the government to leave the EU but it’s another thing to actually do it.
Yes, we’re talking about Article 50. Remember the Greek referendum? Yes, the Greeks clearly said they did not want to accept the bailout terms that were on offer. But when faced with the reality of actually carrying out those wishes, the Greek government who had actually been pushing for that result found they couldn’t. In the case of the UK referendum there now seems to be a real case of surprise at the result and a real fear that the potential for catastrophe is too great to actually leave. It’s also the case that the leader who said he would immediately enact Article 50 has now resigned, and he is not going to do it himself. So whoever is the next Prime Minister is not bound by the result if he or she thinks it’s not in the country’s best interest to do so. All is still to play for.
Federalism is still and has always been an alternative option for both UK and the EU.
And it’s suddenly looking a whole lot more appealing.
Leader of the Federalist Party of the United Kingdom
Kate Hoey MP speaks about the EU having a democratic deficit. Well let me explain a few simple facts here. I have lived in Kennington for 22years and Kate Hoey has been my MP for all that time. She has a safe seat which means she pretty much has a job for life. I have voted in five General Elections here where my vote has not had any bearing on which government has been elected. I have not been able to vote for the Government of the day or for the Prime Minister. I have only been able to vote for my local MP and in a safe seat that vote is pretty worthless.
In the European elections however my vote can actually make more difference.
There are issues with the European Institutions. At EU elections we should be voting for EU parties and not national parties, the Commission and President should be elected directly by the people, but then so should our UK Prime Minister. And the Council of Ministers should be replaced by an elected chamber.
If Kate Hoey was really worried about democracy she would be advocating PR in the House of Commons and an elected 2nd Chamber. But then she would lose her job for life.
In a recent survey Lambeth was listed as the 4th most Europhile area in Britain, https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/02/28/eurosceptic-map-britain/ so she certainly is not representing her constituents.
There are big challenges facing all of us in the European Union, but we can only overcome these challenges by working together, and we can only do that by moving closer to a Federal Europe. All the arguments being used currently in favour of us leaving the EU are the same arguments that can be used for us working together.
Kate Hoey should resign her seat and stand as an independent on her Grassroots out platform and see if she gets re-elected. Only then will I finally have a vote that counts.
Federalist Party of the United Kingdom
Ten reasons we MUST stay in the European Union
1. A huge number of the laws (especially those relating to rights at work) which have benefitted ordinary people in the UK have originated in the EU. When it suits them, different UK governments (which have often fought against these laws at the EU) have then taken credit for them in elections.
2. The United States and China are the two dominant world powers, economically and (soon) politically. A united European Union can provide a challenge to this hegemony.
3. Most of the criticisms of the lack of democratic accountability in the EU are because the member states want the system to work this way. The powers of the democratically elected European Parliament are severely restricted because member states’ national governments want to keep the major decisions in their hands (at the Council of ministers). Want more democracy? Strengthen the powers of the elected European Parliament!
4. The reason the European Commission so often seems out of control is that the European Parliament lacks the powers to control it adequately on a day to day basis. Strengthen the powers of the European Parliament!
5. EU migrant workers are accused of coming to the UK because of the welfare system. This is largely untrue; they come to work and because wages are higher. They contribute taxes. On the other hand, many older British nationals (and other northern Europeans) retire to countries in the sunny south of the EU. When they become old and sick, they often impose enormous burdens on the health and social care systems of these countries, many of which are at present struggling economically. What do you think should happen to them if the UK leaves the EU?
6. Free movement of labour has immeasurably contributed to the diversity of skills available for member states’ businesses (including many small businesses), making them more flexible and responsive to the needs of a world market than any national economy could do alone.
7. EU education programmes have enabled thousands of British students to benefit from new perspectives in other EU countries in their subjects and to gain new skills (including language skills) they might never have otherwise acquired.
8. Arguments about staying in or leaving seem to concentrate almost exclusively on money and business. Think about the dream of a strong, united Europe, which could be a real moral diplomatic (and economic) force in the world. We need to transform the EU into this, not leave it.
9. No-one wants all Europeans to be the same. The cultural richness of Europe is part of its strength. The EU has done more than national governments to protect and strengthen this cultural and linguistic diversity.
10. I personally am in favour of a federal Europe (and before you tremble, think of other federations – the United States of America, for example. Are the rights of individual states trampled on? Of course not!) in which decisions which should rightly be taken at a national level are. But whatever you think of a federal Europe, remember that the European Union emerged after centuries of European wars; so much more unites us than divides us. Reform it, yes! Leave it and become a little island isolated in its dreams of old glories? No thank you!
A passionate “Stay in” supporter, who voted “yes” in 1975 and will do again this year.
Cameron’s EU deal is a “Bullies Charter” and does nothing to help Europe work better.
We urge British citizens to vote REMAIN at the Referendum on 23rd June, because to leave would be disastrous for European society as a whole. But this referendum helps no one and should never have called on the terms of “UK demands”. That is not how Europe should work.
There is a widely understood need for reform of the EU and its institutions. This is understood; we should all be discussing how it should be reformed.
A European super state is not and has never been what most Federalists have argued for but the current situation, where national governments dictate policy and direction is not acceptable. This is particularly the case with the larger states, who bully the smaller ones, as we have seen clearly this weekend.
So what of the agreed re-negotiated package itself?
• Child benefit: Paying child benefit at the rate standard rate of the member state where the country resides is something that to most will seem perfectly logical and acceptable, but surely this should have been proposed for all member states. This form of negotiation and backroom horse trading is exactly what Europeans populations do not want to see.
Migrant welfare payments – This is mean spirted and is in the agreement to combat a small problem that has been twisted and magnified to become very important to those that wish to leave the EU, but will create second class citizens and demonise those from other parts of the EU if for any reason they need to use the welfare system.
• The Eurozone and protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent Eurozone regulations being imposed on it may seem on the face of it to be justified, but there is a real risk of the City of London gaining an advantage by not having to enforce Europe-wide regulations which are set to ensure the economic safety of all citizens. And shouldn’t long-term entry into the Eurozone still be a long-term desired goal?
• Sovereignty – In the same way that many Americans fear giving up the right to bear arms, many British people claim sovereignty and the fear of losing it as a reasonable justification for withdrawing from the EU. There is nothing to be feared from shared sovereignty; indeed, this should be seen as extending sovereignty
• ‘Red card’ for national parliaments – Terms such as Special Status and Veto have replaced Subsidiarity and Solidarity. David Cameron claims to want to work together with the rest of Europe, but his terms show that he is a national leader thinking only of his and his party’s election future instead of what is best for all European citizens,
• Competitiveness – Cutting red tape should not be used to resist regulation of the banking industry, which is needed in order to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis.
• Some limits on free movement – There are many steps and actions that can be taken to strengthen Europe’s external borders and discussion of how to manage the freedom of movement is something that should be happening all the time at EU level and not unilaterally by national governments
These renegotiated terms do nothing to help solve the current problems in the EU because instead of addressing the need for closer co-operation, they it much harder to reach collective decisions. This is certainly not the progress and development that Europe needs.
In the week when it was announced that, according to the UN Children’s Emergency Fund and the International Organization for Migration, at least 340 children, many of them babies and toddlers, drowned in the eastern Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, it was a sickening sight to see Europe’s national leaders spending so much time on these demands instead of working on the real problems that face Europe.
Federalist Party of the United Kingdom
If a destination is desirable, then the journey is worth taking. The destination is a European Federation of nations with a federalist structure in place and the freedom of movement right for all citizens to move unencumbered anywhere in the federation.
Everything that is wrong with the European Union is caused because we have not reached this destination and do not have the required integration in place already.
So why are there is there such a vocal section of society, calling for us to abandon the journey altogether?
Because the journey is long and hazardous and requires commitment, self-belief, and there is no clear roadmap.
What is needed is National Leaders who are strong willed visionaries, who realise this, is our destiny. It was Churchill who wrote 21 October 1942:
‘Hard as it is to say now… I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.’
What we see today is a French Prime Minister warning of the end of the EU, a German Chancellor struggling to unilaterally take decisions that would be easier if she was not the only one making the right choices, and a British Prime Minister saying he no longer wants to reach the destination but wants to keep walking anyway.
So for those of you worried that a federal Europe is no longer an attainable goal, or even a desired one – I say, do not worry. Like any journey, there will be setbacks, delays and hurdles. It may even be necessary to backtrack, and take a different route.
But we will get there, of that there is no doubt.
Federalist Party of the United Kingdom