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James Goad, UKIP:
What's wrong with the EU, and why does the UKIP oppose it?
The long version: the EU is a supra-national body aiming to create a federal European state, with ancient sovereign nations being classed as regions within it. Sovereignty is pooled, and the whole show is run by the European Commission, which is both the executive and the legislature in one. The European Parliament (the only body in the whole EU structure that is directly elected by the people of Europe) is not really a parliament at all. It's a rubber-stamping vehicle for laws and regulations generated by the unelected commissioners. It has the power to delay and amend some legislation but it barely even does that.
None of the British people signed up for a political union. We were sold the idea in the 1970's that we were to a member of a 'Common Market' or free trade area. The true objective was however to lead us into a European federal state with national parliaments reduced to little more than local councils. National parliaments have been dis-empowered. We are subject to laws and statutory instruments that emanate from an offshore, unelected bureaucracy. Since the signing of the fifth and final European treaty (The Treaty of Lisbon, 2008) to create the federal state, we are becoming the federal entity that no one in this country has given consent to. In our 1975 referendum, British people were misinformed about the objectives of the EU—we were sold the lie of a 'Common Market'. We haven't been given a say on our membership ever since. We are now nothing more than a star on someone else's flag.
The EU sells itself as a free-trade area. It's not. It's a customs union that has erected a protectionist trade tariff wall around itself. This penalises nations outside the EU which find it uncompetitive to sell their goods in the EU market. This not only harms EU consumers, who are paying over the odds for goods, but hampers developing nations and can feed the endless stream of economic migrants who head for European shores every year, many of them drowning in the Mediterranean on the way. The protectionist approach also fostered the growth of organised crime in eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain came down in 1989 when many of the rural economies of these countries needed the economic growth that access to the EU market could have brought.
The UK has run a trade deficit with the rest of the EU in all but one of the 42 years of our membership. On our entry into the-then European Economic Community (note the big lie in the name) we put up trade barriers with the British Commonwealth, putting many of our kith and kin out of work in Australia as a result. Even now we run a budget/ export surplus to nations outside the EU, even with the Common External Tariffs in place. If we left the EU and had free trade relationships with the Commonwealth and others, we'd be massively better off. All the nations in Europe which lie outside the EU (Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) all have per capita GDP higher than any EU nation. The EU is also a bloc with a shrinking share of global economic GDP. Then there's the disaster of the Eurozone and deflation......I could go on and on, but I wont. But finally.......and the crowning turd in the water pipe.....the EU is a byword for venal corruption. The accounts of the organisation have not been signed off by independent auditors in 20 years. Billions go missing every year, mostly into the hands of organised crime. Marta Andreasen's book of her experiences is an eye opener.