The Brussels Diary: We're All Citizens of Europe Edition
Did you know that you can't be a British citizen without being a European, too? That and more...
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Lee Rotherham, who has done a great deal of work with the Taxpayers' Alliance, has recently published a book The EU in a Nutshell.
My boss, Roger Helmer, is a huge fan of Lee's and my own limited dealings with Lee have been extremely pleasant. The EU in a Nutshell breaks down the intricacies of the European Institutions and could teach a great deal to most Eurocrats.
During the last Strasbourg session Roger spoke for a minute and a half on the future of the Single Market Act. Understandably, he toned down the speech that I wrote but gave a cracking statement that the "Single Market" is more a bureaucratic mess of a customs union than it is a free trade agreement.
Most Conservatives who support the EU use the Single Market Act (SMA) as a reason for doing so; "It is good for trade," they say, "we need the EU for the Common Market". Malcolm Harbour MEP, a Conservative Europhile, sent a blue card intervention to dispute Roger's claims that EU regulation, part of the SMA, is responsible for a horrendous amount of regulation itself.
In order to refute this I got in touch with Lee who was kind enough to forward a few pages of his book. They were amusing, informative and sort of scary in their content.
Estimates of the regulatory burden coming straight from Brussels ranges from as low as nine percent to as high as 84 percent, with the German Federal Department of Justice quoting 80 percent.
A study by Open Europe shows that while around 50 percent of regulations come from Brussels, EU regulation costs over £100 billion. So much for a free trade agreement.
I look forward to reading the rest of Lee's book when I finally make it back to England next week and suggest that readers of this column buy a copy right now.
CITIZENS OF EUROPE
We are all citizens of Europe now. In fact, the numerous, repetitive and deeply irritating emails calling for MEPs to vote against ACTA (all UKIP MEPs have and will continue to do so, unlike their Tory counterparts) are from people claiming to be "citizens of Europe". That is for the best, really, as it seems they have little choice.
A response to a written question from an independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has confirmed that a British subject cannot renounce EU citizenship without first renouncing their UK citizenship. "A UK national… who has renounced that status and did not have the nationality of another member state would cease to be a European citizen. It is not possible, however, to renounce European citizenship while remaining a national.'
Oh the horror.
We are no longer British; we either European Brits or entirely stateless.
Personally, given the way the UK is currently being run by Cameron's pseudo-communists, I would settle for stateless. I tend to veer toward the anarchistic side of libertarianism and my ideological hero is Auberon Herbert.
I am considering revoking both citizenships and setting up a voluntaryist society in my flat in Brussels. It will be entirely tax free, with no child benefit available for any children regardless of the quantity. To apply for citizenship, please get in touch via email….
Thanks for taking the time to read - more next week and until then my website is www.alexandraswann.com
Read more on: UKIP, brussels diary, Brussels, Nigel Farage, Roger Helmer, working time directive, Alexandra Swann, alex swann, EFD, climate change, dirty gas, fracking, anti-fracking, anti-growth lobby, low carbon, JAMA, japanese automobile manufacturers association, competitive enterprise institute, fred smith, the record europe, BBC, RSPCA, heythrop hunt, hounds magazine, eu summit, communists, Greece, Spain, portugal, Ireland, Italy, EU Commission, ECJ, ACTA, ecocide, polly higgins, war crimes, human rights, genocide, wilberforce, earth, renewables, India, china, eco-fascism, industrialisation, lee rotherham, eu in a nutshell, The EU in a Nutshell, single market act, malcolm harbour, open europe, citizens of europe, lord stoddart of swindon, and auberon herbert
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