Europe: Them Or Us

Europe: Them Or Us


This is the title of 2 programs aired on BBC One on Tuesday 12th and 19th April 2016.

They trace the history of our dealings with what is now the European Union from its start to now.   The reason they are being aired now is because, as most people know, both inside and outside of the UK, we are going to vote on the 23rd June 2016 whether we want to be part of it or not.

In one way they are definitely Them and not Us and that is in most of them have a written constitution and we don’t.  And their parliaments are subject to it whereas ours is not.  There are restrictions on our parliament in that no individual parliament is allowed to bind its successors.  All laws they pass have to allow future parliaments to change them.

We are a Parliamentary democracy and although ultimately the power is not in the hands of the people in one way it is in that we vote them in.  Last year (2015) we celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, which is the basis of the freedoms all English speaking nations enjoy to this day.   This was in the reign of King John.   In the reign of his son Henry 3 the first parliament was set up.  It was in the reign of his son Edward 1 that Wales became part of what is now the United Kingdom which Scotland didn’t become part of until the time of the Stuarts in the 17th century.

How this works is that we, the people, elect someone to represent us in Parliament for a certain length of time (now 5 years).  It has to be handed back to us so we can vote for who we want.  They may be re-elected, or they may not.

No one can agree that it should be given away because they don’t own it and don’t know if future generations will agree.   What they have done is given it to outsiders, who we didn’t vote for and cannot remove who are dictating to us what we can and cannot do in our own country.  We have therefore ceased to be a Sovereign country, even though we claim to be one.

I had to search for this information as the Leave campaign are not concentrating on it, but other aspects.  I would have thought that the above would have made it illegal for us to have done this, but presumably it is not, so other reasons have to be brought forward to persuade the people of this country to Vote Leave (which as you have no doubt gathered, is what I will be voting).

What we joined was the European Common Market, a trading block, but this is not what we belong to now.  On the 7th February 1992 John Major (our then Prime Minister) signed the Maastricht Treaty which gave our Sovereignty away to outsiders, as noted above.

This is the main reason I am voting to Leave, but there are other aspects that concern both me and others about belonging to the EU.  These will be looked at in later posts.

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