Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville
Visitors:


Wednesday, June 16, 2004  

In response to Syon Park over at Samizdata

Firstly you don't have to 'surrender' to EU membership. Thankfully we've stopped fighting our mainland cousins, although clearly some of you UKIP supporters see other Europeans as 'the enemy' and they refuse to 'surrender'. Very sad.

Secondly, companies submit accounts, not parliaments. ENRON submitted accounts annually - did that stop corruption? Corruption is a human fault, with no geographical boundary. It is just as rife in Westminster, although less so since 1997. Would you call for a withdrawl of your local MP in protest? I think not as you'd be left without influence.

Peddling myths about EU corruption is the major weapon of UKIP when persuading ignorant sections of the UK electorate. They should consider the following, which is reality, not myth:

Each year, the European Parliament has to assess how the European Commission has managed the EU's budget. Parliament votes on a resolution each April to decide whether to sign off the budget, a procedure known as "granting discharge". In this way MEPs can show their approval or disapproval of the way EU funds have been spent. The Commission must act upon any comments or recommendations in Parliament's resolution. If Parliament concludes there are serious issues to be addressed, it will postpone the granting of the discharge. The Commission then has to take swift action to remedy the problems.

The repeated refusal of auditors to sign off accounts is largely due to the CAP. Fraud on the part of EU farmers is apparently rife and the CAP has long needed to be reformed. Asides from the fraud, paying farmers to have empty fields is ludicrous.

Our UK farmers currently (albeit reluctantly?) rely on this system. UKIP propose pulling us out of the EU, so Whitehall would then be expected to provide farm subsidies - otherwise our farmers couldn't compete with the subsidised EU farmers - the result would be a complete squeeze on UK agriculture.

Pulling out of the EU is not sensible - getting in there and changing the system is the only sensible approach. The UK currently has some influence, UKIP would leave us with none, competing against a trading block whose collective powers would leave the UK in a disadvantaged position.

Like many other businesses I trade extensively in North America, Australia and Asia. Being based in the UK facilitates this (language, cultural similarities, history) and EU membership facilitates trade in the Euro zone (increased labour pool, increased consumers who are more affluent and important here folks...POLITICAL STABILITY) where the English language and influence is becoming increasingly influential.

You'll no doubt still be cynical, but consider this...if you are suspicious of fellow Europeans now while we're in the EU, think how unco-operative they'd be towards us once we decided we no longer needed them.

Not good poitics is it?


Firstly. Well, ‘surrender’ suggests a fight. So if there is no fight, what with red lines and rebates and every discussion that ever goes on in COREPER, or COREPER II for that matter then there are no victors. How is it that every European politician, (and by that I mean EU based politician that supports the project, all the integrationists in the European Parliament, the superannuated civil servants that make up the Commission, the Committee of the Regions, ECOSOC, the politicised and activist European Court of Justice, oh must I go on) talk about ‘winning the battle’ against Euroscepticism. They are definitely fighting for what they believe, so yes the term ‘surrender ‘ is highly appropriate here.
Euro myths, hmmm. Where does that phrase come from. Ah yes the European Commission’s website. The mouths of every integrationist institution 9same list). Right take a look at your evidence shall we.
I interviewed the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee about this only a coupe of ,months ago. Diemut Theato, a German Christian Democrat’s job is hold the Commission to account in much the same way that the Public Accounts Committee is supposed to in the UK. What she told me was illuminating. “MEPs have a duty to the idea of Europe, not just to their constituents”. It is important to be “responsible2 when discussing fraud. As to bring down the Commission would “damage the project”. “MEPs must have the courage to say No to their constituents”, when they want people to take direct responsibility for their actions in Brussels.
Much of the fraud is as you say attributable to the CAP, but what about Eurostat, OPOCE, the MEP allowances scandal, or how bout the one that ripped apart the Committee of the regions – these are just some of the corruption scandals that have come to light in the past three years – lord alone knows what else is there.
The UK farmers might well look at the experience of the New Zealand farming system that successfully cut subsidies a few years ago. Agricultural subsidies are like heroin. They feel good to start with, give a great feeling of Euphoria, but after a while become debilitating and damage your ability to act in any way without them. Most user of subsidies recognise the harm they do to themselves, but cannot think of a way to wean themselves off.
Pulling out of the EU is not sensible - getting in there and changing the system is the only sensible approach. The UK currently has some influence, UKIP would leave us with none, competing against a trading block whose collective powers would leave the UK in a disadvantaged position.
Nonsense on stilts, in this the 200th anniversary of the birth of Cobden, I think we can look to the example of the repeal of the corn laws. Continental firms, and the EU National Champions would never allow the EU to embark on a sanctions regime against Britain, for fear of loosing markets. This is fear wrapped up as principle, fear which I ardently believe to be unfounded.
Like many other businesses I trade extensively in North America, Australia and Asia. Being based in the UK facilitates this (language, cultural similarities, history) and EU membership facilitates trade in the Euro zone (increased labour pool, increased consumers who are more affluent and important here folks...POLITICAL STABILITY) where the English language and influence is becoming increasingly influential.
Never noted political stability in those regions you mention you trade with. I hear that there have been a number of recent coup attempts in Australia, Japan, and North America. As above I see no risk to the markets that you talk of, nor indeed a problem with the use of the English language both within and without the EU.
I am suspicious of the Eurocracy in Brussels, Strasbourg and elsewhere. I am not suspicious of the citizens of Europe. In fact I live with them, and amongst them, work with them everyday and enjoy their company. For that matter I work with, drink with and socialise with Eurocrats every day too. Its fun, but would I trust them with my freedom and democracy, NO.

posted by Eliab | 3:50 pm
«expat express»

«#Blogging Brits?»

Blogroll Me!Listed on BlogShares
archives
Stuff read while sitting
EU Observer
The Sprout
The Spectator
The Telegraph
Tech Central Station Europe
Centre for the New Europe