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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain?

Press Release from
The election issue should be

Who Governs Britain?

Robert Oulds

To highlight the importance of the European question as an election issue a senior member of the Bruges Group, Dr Lee Rotherham, is standing against the Europhile Europe Minister Denis MacShane in the constituency of Rotherham; the town where the BBC conducted the euro experiment. The voters will be invited to decide Who Governs Britain?Westminster or Brussels?

Dr Lee Rotherham's election agent is Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group.

The main issues in this election are areas where the British public and our elected representatives have little or no right to determine. Britain needs a government that is prepared to liberate Britain's democracy from EU control.

After 5th May the real decisions will have to be made as to the future of this country.

This is a task that those seeking office have a duty and an absolute responsibility to make clear to the British people.

Below is a list of the key election issues which are in fact coming under the control of Brussels


Immigration & Asylum

National control over asylum and immigration is ending and Parliament is being bypassed by the EU. There may still be British border controls and British immigration officers but they are and will continue to be enforcing EU rules.

Under Article 63 of the Amsterdam Treaty, the EU controls four areas;
    - criteria for determining member state responsibility
    - minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers
    - minimum standards for the definition of asylum
    - minimum procedural standards for granting and withdrawing refugee status

Provisions in the EU Constitution, many of which have already been adopted, take further control.

First, Britain's obligation to adhere to the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees is set in stone.

Secondly, a legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights will give the European Court of Justice the ability to rule on many aspects of UK asylum policy.

Thirdly, European laws or framework laws shall establish measures in the following two areas;
    - conditions of entry and residence, including family reunion
    - the definition of the rights of third country nationals residing legally in a member state, including the conditions governing their freedom of movement and of residence in other member states.



The European Court of Justice is consistently making judgements that are moving the EU towards a single tax regime.

The areas of UK tax law under control or attack from the EU are;
    - VAT, the EU stealth tax
    - overseas dividends
    - transfer pricing
    - anti tax-haven legislation (Controlled Foreign Company tax)
    - taxation deducted from savings income (Withholding tax)
    - the rules governing the use of tax losses belonging to one UK company to other companies in the same group (Group relief)
    - rules that prevent overseas owned companies getting UK tax relief for excessive interest payments to their parent, (Thin Capitalisation)


The Health Service

Through successive treaties and recent legal cases, which have been consolidated in the EU Constitution health provision is set to be run by the same organisation that brought us the CAP and the CFP.

The NHS needs reform. But it needs a solid structural overhaul and not policy change by legal subterfuge. If some European states have a better Health service, it is not because of diktats from above: it is because of real diversity and the lessons of best practice learnt on the ground. The last thing the NHS needs is to see these alternative models homogenised in the name of standardisation - the socialist leg-irons of reform.

Furthermore, the NHS is set to suffer as a result of the EU's extension of the Working Time Directive inspired by its belief that people have the right not to work hard.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 4


The European Union is gaining a foothold in the classrooms of Britain. The EU through the subtle use of British tax payers money has managed to take control of higher education curricula.

The Sorbonne Directive 1998 and The Bologna Agreement 1999
The political decision underlying the Bologna process starts convergence between the different educational systems in Europe. This will occur with the necessary adaptation of curricula in terms of structures, contents as well as the phrasing of competencies or learning outcomes as a starting point. This will start with higher education but the standardisation is set to cascade down through the entire education system.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 5

Law and Order

The development of the Schengen Information System, harmonisation of key elements of criminal law, the establishment of a common police training college, and like moves form a risk to civil liberties. This has already been observed in the European Arrest Warrant in the context of the Greek plane spotters.

Taking place is the gradual harmonisation of civil and criminal law. Europol, Eurojust, the EU pressure on the UK to confirm to identity cards and biometric passports, and a possible EU Public Prosecutor, are all undermining Parliament's ability to determine how this country is policed.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 6

Red tape and political correctness

Politicians often criticise these but in fact they have little power to stop them. The EU obliges us to enforce the Human Rights Act, Britain is forced to adopt excessive health and safety legislation and the interfering European Court Justice makes it impossible to repeal politically correct rules whilst our current relationship with the EU Continues.

Have you ever wondered why the symbol of Britain the RouteMaster bus must go and be replaced by the German built fire-hazard the bendy bus? Why is your local library, or your parents or Grandparents care home under threat from closure? Why? Because they do not fit in with the EU directive that forced upon the UK the Disability Discrimination Act. EU inspired amendments to the Race Relations Act and the Sexual Discrimination Act will add burdens onto Britain and will allow for a form of positive discrimination in recruitment advertising.

There are also numerous PC provisions in the Charter of Fundamental Rights that could cause the most damage to businesses, charities and State services alike. It will also force governments, at the expense of the taxpayer, to continue to provide a welfare state. So no hope of reform then for that 1940's monster that has grown out of control.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 7


Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU has pushed for "the development of a common defence policy, which may in time lead to a common defence." As a result of the EU's militarist ambitions the undermining of NATO and the development of the EU's 'Rapid' Reaction Force continues apace. The EU Constitution consolidates these developments, adding a common armaments and strategy entity.

Furthermore, through projects such as the Galileo satellite system and the Future Raped Effects System Britain's defence capability is being integrated with the EU via stealth.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 8

Foreign Affairs

The EU Constitution creates an EU Foreign Minister, styled as such, who can move in on the UK's permanent seat in any policy area. This happens once governments have at any point agreed to run that policy together. The veto then goes for good.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 9


Despite over 30 years of EU membership Britain has failed to adequately reform, let alone abolish, the Common Agricultural Policy.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 10


The Common Fisheries Policy has been an environmental and economic disaster. Britain cannot end the rape of the North Sea, if a UK government were to try this it would be in breach of EU law and be overruled by our own courts and the ECJ.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 11


The EU is a customs union and as a result the European Commission decides Britain's trade policy. It is nonsense that the fourth largest economy in the world cannot determine its own economic destiny.

The election issue should be Who Governs Britain 12

Africa and International Development

The issue of aid to Africa and the third world has been raised. Yet overseas development is a European competence. What is more, EU's protectionist trade and agricultural policies are responsible for a great deal of suffering.

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