Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Will Britain Leave the European Union?


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The Truth About Brexit | UK's EU Referendum  
Published on May 31, 2016
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Why the spectre of Brexit leaves European Union leaders frozen in fear
Poll showed majorities in every EU country surveyed critical of how it handled refugee crisis
By Don Murray, CBC News 
Posted: Jun 15, 2016
Business at the EU offices in Brussels has now much stalled ahead of Britain's referendum later this month on whether to leave the union. (Yves Herman/Reuters)
Meanwhile, in Brussels — silence. Not so much the silence of the lambs as the silence of the lost.
Business has more or less ground to a halt in the offices of the European Union. The great beast is paralyzed, frozen in fear.
And almost totally silent. That's because they've been told to shut up, not by the Brexiteers, those in Britain who want out of the EU, but by those — led by British Prime Minister David Cameron — who want to stay.
Words of encouragement or words of warning from EU leaders, any words at all, are considered too toxic by their so-called British allies.
British Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't want to hear any words of encouragement or warning from EU leaders ahead of this month's vote by Britons on whether to stay in the union. (Yves Herman/Reuters)
That's not the only reason the EU leaders look lost. The fear of Brexit has been compounded by a poll, not in Britain but in the rest of Europe.
The Pew poll of people in 10 of the 28 countries representing 80 per cent of  the EU population, including Britain, showed only 51 per cent had a favourable view of the EU. Not surprisingly, the Greeks, after a series of austerity diktats from Germany and the EU, had the most negative opinion. Seventy-one per cent of them view the Brussels beast unfavorably.
Only 44 per cent of Britons said they like the EU. But what must have really shocked the bosses in Brussels is the French reaction. Sixty-one per cent of them have a negative opinion. And the French, along with the Germans, are the founders and motors of the EU.
Half-forgotten dream
Most worrying of all is the news that the favourability rating of the EU has dropped almost 10 per cent in just a year.  The days when the EU leaders saw themselves building an edifice to rival the U.S.A. seem a half-forgotten dream.
In Brussels, mouths are kept shut. But, as referendum day on June 23 approaches and the spectre of Brexit grows larger, others cannot help themselves. Germany's chief enforcer, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble — he's the man who held the austerity gun to the Greeks' heads — pulled out his gun again.
"In is in," he said. "Out is out."
Former London mayor Boris Johnson is a firm backer of Brexit, where Britain would leave the European Union, despite an uncertain economic result. (Reuters)
Very succinct. So much for the pipedream scenario floated by leading Brexiteers like Boris Johnson — just after he suggested that, like Hitler, the EU leaders want a Europe under central control — that Britain could quickly negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU if it voted to leave.
Then the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, voiced the fear that paralyzes all at EU headquarters. "This might affect other EU states that will say: 'Well, if they can leave, maybe we should have referendums and maybe should also leave.' "
It's not hard to think of the states she's referring to. From Austria to Finland, hard-right parties are on the rise, and one of their main targets is the EU and its policy on refugees.
That is reflected in the Pew survey, which showed overwhelming majorities in every country surveyed criticizing how the EU handled the refugee crisis.
The anti-EU fury spreads across central Europe but is particularly virulent in Poland. There, the government Law and Justice party is locked in bitter battle with Brussels.
Internal meddling?
At immediate issue is the government's goal of remaking the country's supreme court. At the moment, it simply refuses to recognize the court's rulings. The EU has issued a written warning, saying Poland has not respected its solemn democratic commitments made upon joining the EU.
Law and Justice leaders fire back that the EU is a "super European state" and is meddling in Poland's internal affairs. Their fury with Brussels is echoed by the Hungarian government with its own authoritarian leanings.
The irony is that support for the EU is highest in these countries. Seventy-two per cent view Brussels favourably in Poland, sixty-one per cent in Hungary. It's really not surprising: European money has built or rebuilt highways, hospitals and schools across central Europe in the past dozen years.
Britons will vote in a referendum scheduled for June 23 to decide whether Britain will exit the European Union. (Reuters)
So the Eurosceptic governments must tread carefully, especially Poland's. There are 600,000 Poles living and working in Britain. What would happen to them in the event of a Brexit vote is a headache the government doesn't want to contemplate. And so, like the tribe of the lost in Brussels, it keeps quiet.
In fact, "quiet" is the word to describe the general reaction, in central Europe and beyond, to the Brexit debate.
It's particularly quiet in France. That's perhaps not surprising; France has a lot of other things on its plate — strikes, demonstrations, the European soccer championship, inevitably accompanied by hooliganism and violence and the fear of attacks.
France also has a president, François Hollande, who once told his ministers "nobody cares" about Europe. Well, he does now. But, like the men and women in Brussels, he's keeping quiet about it.
He's had a private meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his officials have had semi-secret meetings with representatives of other major EU states. These are all about 'Plan B' — what to do if Britain votes to leave.
Push for punishment
Plan B boils down to Schauble's comment — out is out. And the French are pushing to make the British exit as painful as possible.
"Playing down or minimizing the consequences would put Europe at risk," said one senior French official. "The principle of consequences is very important — to protect Europe."
And also to protect France's mainstream political parties. The reason for the push to punish Britain can be found in the Pew survey. Three French respondents in five had a negative view of the EU, and that's directly linked to the rise of the far-right National Front. It now attracts almost 30 per cent of French voters.
One of the main targets of Marine Le Pen, the National Front leader, is the EU. According to her, everything about the EU is dreadful — its currency, the euro, its Schengen open borders policy and its policy on refugees and immigrants.
But, she says with satisfaction, the EU is a "death star."
"It is in the process of collapsing in on itself."
She wanted to take this message to Britain in the referendum campaign. But her ferocious pronouncements on immigrants were too toxic even for the Brexiteers. She, like the EU leaders in Brussels, was told to stay away and keep quiet during the campaign.
And so the continent waits, mute or almost, on the sidelines. But the signs are that the beast of Brussels will react nastily if Brexit carries the day.
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Will “BREXIT” Lead to a British Departure from the European Union?
By Allan Wall
June 15, 2016
NewsWithViews.com
While the United States is already engaged in an exciting presidential campaign, across the Atlantic, our British cousins are scheduled to vote in an important referendum, “Brexit”, on June 23rd, 2016.
The big question is whether to stay in or get out of the 28-country-member European Union.
No nation has ever withdrawn from the European Union. Should the United Kingdom (UK) successfully do so, it might actually inspire citizens of other member states to organize referendums also.
Needless to say, the Eurocrats and globalists are not keen on Brexit and are hoping it fails.
The election is scheduled to take place on June 23rd in the United Kingdom and the small British territory of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean.
Who is eligible to vote? According to, eligible voters are “British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are a BBC article resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries - apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus - will not get a vote.”
For the voters on that fateful day, there is one simple question on the ballot: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?"
There are only two options: “Remain a member of the European Union” or “Leave the European Union”.
If the “Leave” option wins, that doesn’t mean that the UK will immediately exit the EU. There are issues to negotiate. And forces within both the UK and the European Union may still try to derail an exit.
But it would mean that the British electorate has spoken and wants out.
It’s controversial, and people are speaking out. And I don’t just mean British people, you know, the actual people who are supposed to be voting in this referendum.
The German Foreign Minister warned that such an exit could inflame relations between Britain and the Republic of Ireland (another EU member).
But Britain and the Republic of Ireland have their own relationship and even share a peaceful land border. British-Irish relations don’t depend upon the European Union at all. So that’s a red herring.
Not to be outdone, Donald Tusk, Polish-born president of the “European Council” has apocalyptically warned that by just voting on the issue, Britain is threatening “Western political civilization”.
Wow. Just voting on an issue could destroy Western political civilization? I thought that voting was part of Western political civilization!
(By the way, “civilization” and “civilization” are variant spellings of the same word, going back to Oxford University’s preference for –z and Cambridge University’s preference for –s).
Here’s more of what President Tusk said, "As a historian I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilization in its entirety.”
Douglas Carswell, British Member of Parliament belonging to UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, responded to Tusk by asking "Why hasn't Western civilization come to an end already seeing as how most countries are self governing?"
Minister of State for Employment Priri Patel (the first Hindu woman elected to the British parliament) said “This is extraordinary language from the EU president, and serves only to reveal his own desperation. The only thing that is destroying civilizations is the euro , which has ruined economies and led to youth unemployment soaring to nearly 50% in southern Europe."
(The UK never adopted the euro currency and still has its own currency, the pound sterling).
Our own President Obama weighed in on Brexit, declaring in a visit that Britain shouldn’t leave the European Union.
Donald Trump thinks Britain would be better off leaving the EU, but hastened to add that “I want them to make their own decision.”
Hysterical warnings that a British departure would hurt the country’s international trade seem unlikely. After all, Britain was an international trading nation centuries before the EU even existed. There are plenty of countries Britain already trades with outside Europe.
A British exit from the EU could allow the country more of a say in its own future. For one thing, it could obtain better control of its immigration policy.
In one word, Brexit is about independence.
June 23rd – the big day for Brexit.
© 2016 Allan Wall - All Rights Reserved
Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.
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The European Union is the worst choice – apart from the alternative
George Monbiot
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/15/european-union-eu-britain-s
‘If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors.’ Illustration: Eva Bee
What it’s about is not what it’s about. The referendum is a proxy question. Underlying it is the fundamental political question, one that is seldom asked precisely because it cuts to the heart: how do we best keep money out of politics?
Without sufficient public scrutiny, all political systems degenerate into the service of wealth. All end up controlled by the few with the cash, not the many with the votes. The primary democratic task is to break the nexus of money and power. So the question we face next week is this: “In which political unit can money best be resisted?” We are not embarrassed by choice. This is a contest of plutocracies.
The European Union is a festering cesspool of undue influence and opaque lobbying. Prompted at first by the tobacco industry, the European commission is slowly dismantling, through what it calls its “better regulation agenda”, many of the hard-won laws that protect our health, working conditions and wildlife. Once they are torn down, corporate power will be locked in place through the TTIP – the transatlantic trade and investment partnership – it is negotiating with the United States.
TTIP has two main strands. One is regulatory cooperation, which means standardising the laws on either side of the Atlantic – almost certainly downwards. The other is investor-state dispute settlement: allowing companies to sue governments through an offshore tribunal if a law threatens their profits. Democracy means being able to change those aspects of governance we do not like. TTIP, if it goes ahead, will ensure that this is not an option.
And if TTIP fails? Well, there are other means. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Europe and Canada, imposing much the same package, quietly transacted, now remains only to be ratified. The proposed Trade in Services Agreement – between North America, the European Union and 19 other nations – is a turbocharged version that has been negotiated behind closed doors for the past three years.
‘Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA
The trade secrets directive, approved by the Council of the European Union last month, threatens to treat as commercial property any information that a corporation hopes to keep out of the public domain. Whistleblowers and campaigners trying to expose corporate malfeasance – tax evasion, falsifying emissions tests, polluting rivers – could be subject, depending on how it is interpreted by the courts, to massive fines and compensation claims. If the EU sometimes looks like a matchmaker for wealth and power, that’s because it is.
By comparison with the British system, however, this noxious sewer is a crystal spring. Every stream of corporate effluent with which the EU poisons political life has a more malodorous counterpart in the UK. The new Deregulation Act, a meta-law of astonishing scope, scarcely known and scarcely debated, insists that all regulators must now “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth”. Rare wildlife, wheelchair ramps, speed limits, children’s lungs: all must establish their contribution to GDP. What else, after all, are Britain has become a power base for a legalised financial mafia that strips the assets of healthy companies, turns the nation’s housing into a roulette table, launders money for drug cartels and terrorists, then stashes its gains beyond the reach of police and tax inspectors. Through privatisation, outsourcing and the private finance initiative, the public sector has been repurposed as a get-rich-quick scheme for friends in the City, licensed to erect tollbooths in front of essential services.
The media, largely owned by members of the same class, directs our attention elsewhere, blaming immigrants for the ills it has inflicted.
It was British lobbying that sank Europe’s soil framework directive and the financial transactions tax. Without a mandate from either parliament or people, the British trade minister wrote secretly to the European commission insisting that investor-state dispute settlement should remain in the TTIP. Wherever barriers to the power of money are being kicked over, there you will find David Cameron’s bootprint.
Since the first states were established, they have sought power by making alliances. The splendid autonomy we are told a Britain out of Europe would enjoy is an illusion: we would swap one transnational system for another. The demand to leave Europe in the name of independence has long been accompanied by a desire to surrender our sovereignty to the United States. If judged by their own standards, the Brexit campaigners who foresee a stronger alliance with the US are traitors, ceding the national interest to a foreign hegemon.
Sixteen years ago, the Conservative party published a draft manifesto in which it proposed that we should join the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). This remains a plausible outcome of leaving the EU: it is hard to imagine the business class permitting the UK to stand outside a formal trading bloc. What this means is swapping a treaty over which we have had some influence for one in which we have had none.
How do we know that TTIP would tear down public protections? Because the same clauses in Nafta have already started doing so across Canada, the US and Mexico. A closer alliance with the US means surrendering to a system that has been signed, sealed and delivered to the power of money. A Congress bound and gagged with dollars; a police and military machine pressed into the service of plutocracy; a media that scarcely bothers to disguise its own corruption. The political power of money there is naked, unashamed – even proud.
I suspect that Donald Trump, or at least Trumpery of some kind, represents the future of US politics, especially if the Democrats fail to connect with people who are catastrophically alienated from the system. Exciting as it will be to have a woman in the White House, Hillary Clinton is embedded in corporate power and corporate dollars.
We do not release ourselves from the power of money by leaving the EU. We just exchange one version for another: another that is even worse. This is not an inspiring position from which to vote remain. But it is a coherent one.
• A fully referenced version of this article can be found at www.monbiot.com
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EU referendum: Four problems with the Sun’s 'Queen Backs Brexit' front page
She is said to have “let rip” at Nick Clegg during a lunch at Windsor Castle
Ashley Cowburn @ashcowburn
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
The Queen was dragged into the EU referendum debate last night amid claims she launched a lengthy criticism of European integration during a “bust-up” with Nick Clegg.
She is said to have “let rip” at the then Deputy Prime Minister during a lunch at Windsor Castle, where she is reported to have informed him of her belief that the European project was heading the wrong direction.
The “bombshell” claims, which appeared in the Sun, cited an anonymous “highly reliable source”, who said: “People who heard their conversation were left in no doubt at all about the Queen’s views on European integration. It was really something, and it went on for quite a while... The EU is clearly something her Majesty feels passionately about."
The newspaper's introduction reads: "The Queen was hailed as a backer of Brexit yesterday after details emerged of an allied bust-up between her and Nick Clegg over Europe... A source said: 'People were left in no doubt about her views on Europe'".
However, buckets of cold water have been poured on the alleged conversation from five years ago.
Buckingham Palace denies it
Following the publication of the story, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The Queen remains politically neutral, as she has for 63 years. We would never comment on spurious, anonymously sourced claims.
“The referendum will be a matter for the British people.”
Nick Clegg denies it
Mr Clegg said last night: “As I told the journalist this is nonsense. I’ve no recollection of this happening and it’s not the sort of thing I would forget.”
A spokesman for Clegg added: “This is categorically untrue. Nick has no recollection of this conversation and it is not the sort of conversation you forget.”
Page 2 virtually denies it
After being told that her Majesty “BACKS BREXIT”, an inside editorial, on page 2, then demands: “We must know her view”.
It adds: “The Queen is arguably the most respected stateswoman in the world. If she has a view on Brexit, don’t voters have a right to know what it is?
Sir Ed Davey compares the Sun's Queen Brexit story to 'Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster'. But says 'I don't know, I wasn't there'.
— Dan Bloom (@danbloom1) March 9, 2016
The one source did not say the Queen was backing Brexit
The claim, from the “impeccably placed source”, never mentions Brexit – as the reported lunch was in 2011. It is clear that you can be critical of the EU, without actually advocating a swift exit from the Union.
Many pro-EU politicians begin their defences of the European project with: “The EU isn’t perfect, but…”
...So, who was at the dinner?
A search of the Court Circular finds five people were present at a dinner attended by Nick Clegg and the Queen on April 7 2011 at Windsor Castle:
Nick Clegg, then leader of the Liberal Democrats
Michael Gove, then Education Secretary and now the Justice Secretary
Cheryl Gillian, then Secretary of State for Wales
Judith Simpson, then clerk of the Privy Council and civil servant
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EU REFERENDUM- The Real Face of the European Union  
Published on Jun 21, 2016
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EU Referendum ... The Plan to DESTROY the UK  
Published on Jun 4, 2016
The UK is being set up the final destruction of the NATION STATE!
On Thursday 23rd June 2016, the outcome of the EU referendum will be manipulated ... but perhaps not in the way many expect!
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David Icke EU Referendum Interview  
Published on Jun 14, 2016
My talk with David Icke about the EU Referendum, Brexit, how the EU was started, why, and by who. David explains where the EU wants to take us and explains the totalitarian tip toe, and why it is so urgent and important that we study what is happening in order to understand the EU prison which is closing in on us fast, if we fail to escape it, by voting to leave in the the EU Referendum, a chance which may never come around again.
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Palestine - European Union Drowns In Sea Of Inconsistencies
European Union continues to backtrack on these internationally- binding commitments to the Jewish people made by the overwhelming majority of EU members 94 years ago
By David Singer —— Bio and Archives
January 5, 2016
The European Union (EU) has concluded an unhappy 2015 with the introduction of racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria (West Bank)  and East Jerusalem.
EU members Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have rejected these laws which have also been condemned in a bipartisan resolution presented to the US Congress.
The EU’s Ambassador to Israel - Lars Faaborg-Andersen - has attempted to justify these labelling laws as being simply an expression of the EU’s longstanding view that such designated territories are not part of Israel.
He omitted to state that EU policy will never support any part of these disputed territories becoming part of the State of Israel because the EU claims that Jewish settlement there since 1967 is illegal in international law.
However there is no binding legal decision in any Court that substantiates this EU claim.
Indeed there is territory-specific legislation to the contrary - article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter - that confirms the legal right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.
Jews lived in these areas for millennia prior to being driven out in 1948 by six invading Arab armies - facts which somehow appear to have escaped the EU’s notice.
Such EU policy also flies in the face of Security Council Resolution 242 calling for secure and recognised borders to be established in negotiations between Israel and her neighbours.
EU’s anti-Israel stance
The EU’s anti-Israel stance no doubt encouraged the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to reject offers by Israel in 2000/01 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of Judea and Samaria as part of any peace treaty to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.
Why accept 90% when the EU is supporting the PLO’s demand for 100%?
The EU - in so acting - has repudiated the decisions adopted in 1922 by 23 of its current 28 members unanimously endorsing the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine - whose terms provided for:
1.Jewish self-determination in 22% of the territory of the Mandate including East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria
2.Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of the territory of the Mandate - today called Jordan.
Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Malta are the only current members of the EU that were not members of the League of Nations when these fateful decisions were taken.
The Jews had been short-changed by the League of Nations - which reduced the area within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted to just 22% of that previously contemplated by the High Contracting Powers - Great Britain, France, Italy (all current EU members) and Japan - at the April 1920 San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres signed in August of that year.
The Jews nevertheless reluctantly accepted these restrictions. The Arabs rejected them. The PLO deemed them “null and void” in 1968.
Fast forward to 2016 and the European Union continues to backtrack on these internationally- binding commitments to the Jewish people made by the overwhelming majority of EU members 94 years ago.
Conditions for entry into the EU require that each applicant:
1.Be democratic
2.Have a free market Government together with corresponding freedoms and institutions and
3.Respect for the rule of law.
The EU does not require the PLO to meet these criteria - yet opposes any claim to the historic and biblical heartland of the Jewish people by Israel - which shares these EU fundamental values.
The EU should hang its collective head in shame as it drowns in this sea of inconsistencies entirely of its own making.
David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International—an organization calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at: jordanispalestine.blogspot.com
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