Eurochaos: Why Should Britons Fear Leaving The EU?
The three institutions, The European Council, the Commission and the European Parliament that make up the European Union reveal, without anybody needing to look further, that the EU is not a free trade organisation, if it ever was. In fact, in the six months I worked in the European Commission administrative headquarters in Luxembourg, the most valuable thing I did was learn that the founders of the project, let by the French bureaucrat Jean Monnet (after whom our building was named) did not share Winston Churchill's vision of a free trade area whose members would co operate in other ways, foreign policy, defence and so on, but planned to form the free trade alliance and then work towards abolishing the individual sovereign nations of which the group was comprised and creating a federal European superstate.
. The Council — presided over by Donald Tusk — comprises any meeting of EU leaders or their ministers at any time. The Council decides broad policy within the EU.
The European Commission, with another President, Jean-Claude Juncker, former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and a man reputed to have brandy for breakfast, is the executive branch of the EU. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the European Council. There are 28 Commissioners — unelected — who are appointed by each member state.
The European Parliament, which has yet another President Michael Schultz, (this isn't a joke about bureaucrats doing everything in triplicate, honstly) comprises elected lawmakers from member states, who sit in political blocs. It passes laws based on Commission proposals, scrutinizes EU work and establishes the budget, among many other things, but has no real legislative powers as when the EP vi=oted down sometging the Commission wants to do, the bureaucrats just do it anyway.
Many people mking up their minds which way to vote in the UK's in / out referendum in June might be thinking that if the out vote wins we will be rid of the hugely unpopular European Court Of Human Rights (ECHR) obligations such as giving prisoners the vote and providing free housing and health care for illegal iummigrants, they will be disappointed.
The European Court of Human Rights is not a part of the EU, it was set up on the 21 January 1959 on the basis of Article 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights and comes under the auspices of the Council of Europe — which is not an institution of the European Union, so will not form part of the referendum on June 23.
All is not lost however, should the vote go to the in campaign, the EU is already splitting itself apart over three seemingly insoluble issues: the migrant crisis, the Eurozone economic crisis and the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The European migrant crisis which began more than four years ago, really ran out of control from the moment German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the doors of her country were open to all refugees, precipitating the biggest mass movement of people through Europe since World War 2.
It led to country after country closing its borders — in contravention of the Schengen agreement on a borderless EU and breaking the fundamental principle of freedom of movement.
This, in turn, exposed the reality EU bureaucrats would rather have kept secret, the EU's external borders were leaking like a sieve. Migrants and Islamic Jihadists were free to move in and out of the EU and once in to go wherever they wished within the Schengen zone.
A deal to relocate 160,000 migrants out of Greece and Italy took months to broker and has still moved fewer than 1,000, with many EU states opposing mandatory relocation.
Now the EU has signed a deal with Turkey under which migrants deemed "irregular", i.e. not meeting the requirements for asylum, are dispatched back to Turkey from Greece. The deal includes an agreement that all Turks will be allowed visa-free access to EU members states by June 2016.
That deal has been shunned by many relief agencies and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR in saying the EU-Turkey deal is either immoral or illegal as the 'hotspots' have become detention centers. They also say Turkey is not a 'safe country' for migrants to be returned to, under the Geneva Convention.
The second issue is the Eurozone, where 19 member states share a single currency, but with differing economic cycles and fiscal policies. You cannot have a functioning single currency without common economic policies and which includes economies of very different strengths as any Gr ask Athens.eek citizen will happily tell you. There have been increasing calls for those in the Eurozone to move closer together — politically and economically — even having their own parliament. Thus, there will likely be a two-speed Europe, although a more logical split would be between the strong economies of northern Europe and the basket cases of the mediterranean and eastern Europe.
And finally, the EU has been secretly negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), creating a US-EU 'free trade' zone that many well informed people say will do nothing for free trade but will grant enormous powers to US corporate lawyers, reduce the EU's right to protect its citizens and allow big businesses to sue governments and the EU if their goods are not allowed to be sold in the EU.
Europe is facing the biggest crises since it was set up, with a probable split between the Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries and major differences exposed by the migrant crisis, plus heavy criticism over the TTIP.
The three great institutions rumble on under their three presidents, as Britain decides whether to stay in or get out. The question many may ask on June 23 is: If the EU is already splitting apart, do we give it just one more nudge?