The People's Pledge is a cross-party campaign for a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.
A YouGov poll of 2,436 voters carried out for the campaign found that 61 per cent of voters would support a referendum, against 25 per cent opposing it.
According to the campaign:
The EU is now planning to give itself new wide-ranging powers in the form of yet another treaty in relation to the crisis in the eurozone. The choice concerning our relationship with the EU is now clear: either we accept being primarily and increasingly governed from Brussels or we decide to abandon membership and negotiate a new relationship with the EU based on trade and, where this makes sense, voluntary co-operation.
There are 5 key reasons why we must have a referendum on Britain and the EU:
1 – NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 54 HAS HAD THE CHANCE TO VOTE ON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BRUSSELS
The EU as it stands today is very different from the European Community we were taken into in 1972 and then voted in a referendum in 1975 to remain within. This was principally sold to the British people as a ‘Common Market’ with few law-making powers.
Since then there have been 5 further treaties centralising many important new powers in Brussels without us having been able to give our consent to these constitutional changes in referendums.
All 3 of the major political parties promised a referendum on the European Constitution, re-named the Lisbon treaty after France and Holland rejected it overwhelmingly in referenda. These commitments were then withdrawn. The far-reaching Lisbon treaty is now law. As a consequence, Britain’s current relationship with the EU lacks democratic, moral legitimacy. Given that the European issue divides voters across party lines, a referendum is the only fair way to determine whether or not the current situation should continue.
2 – THE EU NOW MAKES A MAJORITY OF THE LAWS WE MUST OBEY
Since Britain joined the European Community in 1972, 17,000 directives and regulations emanating in Brussels have been imposed upon us. The House of Commons Library has estimated that approximately 50% of UK laws are Brussels-derived. This study was concluded before the full impact of the Lisbon treaty kicked in.
The German government conducted a forensic audit of its legislation that were the product of EU laws and arrived at the figure of 80%.
This degree of centralisation of power in Brussels has huge implications for democracy. Elected representatives in the member states cannot reverse laws once they have been passed as EU law is supreme. Most EU derived laws are passed without debate and votes in parliament through the use of statutory orders. A key aspect of liberal democracy is the right of the electorate to change its mind and vote to modify or reverse existing policies.
Issues such as whether the railway system, postal services and other public services should be in the private or public sectors, many areas relating to civil liberties, the environment or the degree to which the economy should be regulated, have been effectively removed from democratic debate in the EU member countries and handed over to Brussels.
3 – THE UK HAS LESS THAN 10% OF THE VOTES IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Politicians and civil servants who are unaccountable to us through the ballot box are therefore determining the laws we must obey here. If key decision-making powers are to be transferred to an authority outside of the UK, then the British people must give their explicit consent first. The same democratic principle should apply to all the other peoples of the EU, the great majority of whom have also not been given the chance to vote on where ultimate power over them lies.
4 – THE EU IS COSTING BRITAIN MORE AND MORE MONEY
British taxpayers hand over £48million a day to the fraud-ridden EU budget. That’s £17.5billion a year gross (£8.3billion net). This is due to rise still further next year. This is money that could be used to protect some essential public services or/and keep tax rises down.
We were forced to contribute £8billion to the bailout of the Greek economy under Article 122 of the Lisbon treaty. We stand to lose this money if the Greeks default on the loan. Yet, Britain is not part of the single currency. A very dangerous precedent has been set which could see us further obliged to financially contribute to the maintenance of the euro system.
5 – THE EU WANTS TO GIVE ITSELF NEW POWERS OF “ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE”
The German and French governments, together with the European Commission, want to centralise new powers in Brussels in order to try and secure the future of the eurozone. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, envisages what she calls an ‘economic government’ for Europe.
This will include elected member governments having to present their budgets to the Commission for approval before they are passed by national parliaments, a permanent bail-out fund costing billions to assist eurozone countries facing difficulties, the harmonisation of corporation taxes, limits on the extent to which member states can run up debts and the imposition of a common retirement age.
There is now the possibility of yet another treaty being implemented in the near future to set these and other measures in concrete. Even if the British government is able to secure promises that countries outside the euro will be exempt from these measures, once the treaty is passed into law it will be the European Court of Justice that will interpret the opt-outs. Given the past record of the ECJ and the Commission in ignoring the letter of the law in relation to supposed guarantees made to Britain, it is very naive to believe that the creation of a central EU economic government will not have serious implications for us.
TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN PLEASE VISIT: http://www.peoplespledge.org/