Great Speech by our Local MP Gordon Henderson
Mr Speaker, whenever I receive documents originating from Brussels I feel as if we are being manipulated by some clever Count Dracula who hypnotises us with reassuring words, whilst at the same time is eyeing up our jugular.
The problem is that the more we struggle to escape the grip of this grotesque European vampire, the tighter we fall within its grasp as it slowly sucks the very blood from our democracy.
These two papers on economic policy co-ordination are typical of the sly and insidious way in which Britain is being entrapped by the EU.
We are being asked to agree to these communications, but just look at the size of them. Can any member, hand on heart, say that they have read every word of these documents?
I suspect that the EU thinks that if they flood us with enough words, we will just give up and accept all their proposals without protest.
No doubt ministers will assure us that the proposals are nothing to worry about and that they only relate to Eurozone countries.
If that is the case, Mr Speaker, let’s tell the EU that because we are outside the Eurozone, and have no intention of ever joining the Eurozone, we want nothing to do with their proposal for economic policy co-ordination. We can then adjourn the debate and all go home early.
But of course that isn’t going to happen, not least because these proposals ARE something to worry about and they DO have an impact on Britain.
I am sure that members can dip into these documents and find any number of examples of the way in which if we are not careful, the EU will try to take control of our economy by the back door, let me give just one example...
The first Communication suggests that the Commission should play a greater role in macroeconomic surveillance in future, in order to prevent Member States from building up imbalances that could pose a threat to their competitiveness or macroeconomic stability.
The second Communication expands on that suggestion by proposing a scoreboard of competitiveness indicators, including productivity, labour costs, employment, productivity, current accounts, foreign assets and real exchange rates... pretty well the whole gamut of a country’s economic policy.
The second Communication further proposes that the scoreboard should be used to assess Member State’s performance against all these indicators, in order to develop tailored recommendations for individual Member States.
It goes on to say that if necessary the Commission could issue a warning directly to a Member State under the new provisions in Article 136 TFEU, and recommends – there’s that word again – that in addition to preventative monitoring systems, there should also be an enforcement mechanism, which they call euphemistically: an “excessive imbalances procedure”.
But it gets worse, because the communication makes clear that the monitoring, which would determine the so called recommendations, and eventually enforcement, “would go into more detail for eurozone Member States”. Let me read that bit again... “would go into more detail for eurozone Member States”.
What that phrase means, of course, is that non eurozone countries would be monitored, but to a lesser degree.
So there you have it, if we agree these communications, Britain’s economy would be monitored and if the EU wasn’t happy with our performance it could “recommend” improvements.
As we all know, today’s EU recommendation often becomes tomorrow’s EU legal obligation.
I am sure that I will be accused of exaggerating the threat to our economic independence and that ministers will assure us that they will not let the EU interfere in our budgeting process.
However, over the past three decades the British public have been let down by too many ministers, in too many governments, to have much faith that our present frontbench team will be able to stand up to the steady drift towards European Federalism, particularly when that is the settled policy of at least one partner in the Coalition.
Mr Speaker, I am sorry to be such a cynic, but unfortunately my cynicism has been forged by a history of sacrificing Britain’s independence on the altar of European unification.
Sadly, it is for that reason that I will be voting for this amendment and if it is defeated will be forced, with great regret and a heavy heart, to vote against the Government on this issue.