THE EURO DISASTER PREDICTED - IN DETAIL, IN ADVANCE
I wrote this analysis of the Euro, what it would mean and its disastrous consequences in 2000. I had warned for years of the disastrous political and constitutional nature of the European Union itself (starting in 1989 with Your Country Your Democracy) and of course I stood for the Referendum Party in 1997 which was the turning point in British politics because we forced the other parties to commit to a referendum of the British people before adopting the Euro - a referendum which they dared not hold. Sir James Goldsmith and his Referendum Party probably saved the British people from Greek or Spanish type conditions today - unpayable debts, 22% unemployment, 50% youth unemployment, economic and social breakdown.
I think this chapter from my book Fascist Europe Rising (written in 2000 and published in 2001, available on Kindle or see Publications on this website) was a devastating warning at the time. More or less everything predicted then has come to pass. So, Your Majesty, you cannot say "No one warned us". Your disloyal Ministers did not warn you either because they did not have "the wherewithal" as my late and dear friend Norris McWhirter used to say! or they actually believed in betraying Your Majesty's country, its democracy and its sovereignty. For in the democratic world Your Majesty's Sovereignty is the people's Democracy!
In this exposé of the disastrous Euro all the elements of the crisis were predicted in detail: mass unemployment, migration, divergence of economies, capital flight, political conflict, massive divergence of interest rates between member states, the Euro's threat to the USA, a boost to Scottish and Welsh Nationalism, the political powerlessness of the Left (who promoted the whole fiasco) to fight unemployment and financial dictatorship, the need for - but impossibility of - massive transfers of funds to impoverished member states and the dawning realisation of how a national currency is the essence of national sovereignty. I am sorry this is so long - but it is extremely short compared to the decades long suffering Europe will now require to recover from this self inflicted disaster. As in the last war it is the perpetrators who must pay the reparations.
There were three attempts at monetary union in Europe (uniting under one currency) in the 19th century - all failed. In 1987 the Tory Government tried to fix the Pound to the Deutschmark. This failed but not before causing an inflationary boom, the consequences of which still debilitate British citizens today. In 1992 the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) broke up completely, but not before instigating the longest recession since the 1930s. The two major international attempts to fix exchange rates - the Gold Standard in the 1920s (which led to the depression) and the fixed exchange rates agreed at Bretton Woods in the 1940s also broke up, as even politicians gradually realised that no one can fix any economic relationship without destroying the whole basis of the free and dynamic economy which relies on spontaneous changes in those relationships. The Euro (or Single European Currency) however is even more dangerous than these historical failures to control exchange rates since it is part of an "irrevocable" plan to create a superstate with one economy, one central bank, one government etc.
Perhaps the shortest monetary union of all time was that between the Czechs and the Slovaks after Czechoslovakia broke up in 1992. They tried to maintain a single currency between the two now sovereign states. They rapidly found that the management of a single currency was impossible between two democratic sovereign governments - even of two states which had together constituted one nation for over 70 years (with a break during the war when the Nazis split the country into two, just as "German Europe" has once again achieved today!)
Just as in the 1930s British appeasers of European Fascism tried to convince the British people that their nation was in terminal decline and that therefore an accommodation with Hitler would be advantageous so in the modern era those who are trying to build a United States of Europe, have tried similar tactics. In fact, despite our decline since joining the EEC in 1972, during the 1990s (because the United Kingdom opted out of Europe's social chapter (up to 1997) and the economic straightjackets of the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the EURO) Britons enjoyed an unprecedented period of economic growth. While other EU countries suffered years of mass unemployment, huge debts and (up to 1998) little growth, Britain flourished. British industrial workers became the richest in the EU and while the other countries had 6 years of stagnation and unemployment the British enjoyed economic growth and ever lower unemployment. Even today, after two years of modest economic growth in the European Union, unemployment in the UK is between one half and one third of the levels in France, Germany, Italy and Spain and in August 2001 reached a 26 year low.
2. WHAT THE
SINGLE CURRENCY MEANS
The EURO, even before it was launched, proved to be a very weak currency. Even in anticipation of the EURO, the Deutsch-mark fell by about 30% against the Pound and the Dollar between 1992 and 1999 (thus giving Germany's supposed "sacrifices" a flying start). Since its launch the Euro (and hence all its member currencies) has fallen a further 15% against the Pound and 25% against the US Dollar. A weak currency will seek to protect itself. Having the powers to influence the EURO exchange rate the European Central Bank could, acting on a majority vote, impose exchange controls on the United Kingdom (or any other member state) thus preventing investment abroad. (Maastricht Treaty Article 730 and under Article 73 g:
may take the necessary urgent measures on the movement of capital and on payments
as regards the third countries concerned.
It is illegal under the Maastricht Treaty for the British Government or any British minister to even try to influence the governors of the European Central Bank. No matter how high unemployment rose no politician could complain to the European Central Bank, which has complete and unchallengeable power. Even Gordon Brown, the first Chancellor of the Exchequer since the war to give the Bank of England complete independence to set interest rates, has on occasion tried to influence the Bank to lower interest rates.
Despite no Conservative election manifesto ever having mentioned the abolition of the currencies of the EU and the possible abolition of the Pound, Douglas Hurd, the then Foreign Secretary signed the Maastricht Treaty on Economic and Monetary Union which said just that. Indeed, the so-called "opt out" of the United Kingdom from the Single European Currency is so unclear and ambiguous it is possible for Britain to be forced against its will into the EURO. Having left office, Douglas, now Lord, Hurd said: "I have never been an advocate of the Single European Currency."
German politicians, claiming as always that the European Union was designed to counter "dangerous nationalism" insisted that the European Central Bank should be based in Frankfurt. Indeed it was a German Finance Minister who said that "Either the European Central Bank comes to Frankfurt or the Euro will not get off the ground". The European Single Currency is "managed" by the unelected bureaucrats of the Frankfurt Bank. But to do so they will need to have detailed information about money supply, inflation and economic activity and the control of Euro bank note printing in every EMU country. In addition the ECB will have to trust each participating country not to print too many Euros! Given the trustworthiness of the process so far this is an extraordinary risk. The Board of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt has decided not to publish its minutes or voting record or even its inflation forecasts - all taken for granted in the United Kingdom and the United States. The ECB's guidelines - as we enter a period of potentially crippling deflation - contain a ceiling but no floor for inflation. In other words they could not respond to a massive deflationary fall in prices and the extremely high unemployment that might cause. There is of course no convergence criterion for unemployment levels.
The utter contempt with which the once free nations
of Europe will be treated by bankers in a single European Currency was well illustrated
by Otmar Issing an executive member of the European Central Bank board in an article
in The Financial Times (where else?) of 22nd September 1998: "National
considerations must not play a role with the ECB even when conditions in one country
differ markedly from the Euro-area average." In other words if peripheral
nations like Italy, Portugal or the UK have very high unemployment, or high inflation
nothing will be done for them, since only the core of the system matters. We can
be sure that there will be even less willingness in Germany and France to pay
massively higher taxes to provide "regional" subsidies to the United
Kingdom, Italy or Ireland - although funds may be forthcoming in return for political
obedience to the Euro-integrationists' will!
A Single European Currency would mean a federal superstate, like the United States but without its (not very good) national cohesion. Europe, politically divided by 12 languages, with populations which take little interest in each others affairs cannot even form a common public opinion never mind become a united democratic voice. Therefore all common action would be seen by the national electorates as illegitimate. Indeed this is precisely why "Europe" was created without asking its peoples.
No other region of the world is even proposing to unite their currencies (and therefore governments) - not even North America, and certainly not South East Asia. They are not so foolish. Indeed Asian countries point to the European Union as an example of what not to do and even the United States which has been instrumental (especially under the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton administrations) in helping to create the present European Union finds itself at odds with EU economic, exchange rate and trade policies and would not dream of involving itself in a similar constitutional State covering North America.
The Pound sterling
is to British national democracy what a name is to an individual - without it
neither can draw funds, spend or borrow as they wish, or even exist as a sovereign
nation or as an independent individual. Many supporters of the abolition of the
Pound (and therewith our sovereign nation) will claim that the abolition of all
the currencies within the EU in favour of the Euro is no different from fixing
currencies between nations. Needless to say, there is no comparison and the former
link between the Irish punt and the Pound demonstrates why.
None of this has been possible within the EURO and as a result the Irish economy is out of control with 6% inflation but within the same currency as Germany with less than 1% inflation. The answer would be for Ireland to tax its own citizens or severely cut back on its Government expenditure but the Irish voter did not elect its government to do that. No government would dare to risk electoral unpopularity in order to appease the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.
When the newly emerged free nations of Eastern Europe escaped the Soviet communist yoke their first step was to create their own national currency. For with a national currency a nation "breathes" and shows that it really exists. A freely convertible currency (that was also Russia's first step after the break up of the Soviet Union) reflects real supply and demand, domestic assets, production value, overseas earnings and future prospects for all of these things.
Conversely when the Nazis marched into other countries in their plan to "integrate" the nations of Europe one of their first measures was to take over and control those nations' currencies. As a Rothschild once remarked, if you control a currency you control the nation. The Nazis had rigid controls of the currencies of the countries they took over. They set up a central bank in Berlin and organised a central clearing of payments - as a prelude to a single European currency. Real economic liberals and democrats know that you do not need a single currency to enjoy free trade. Dictators, fascists and the European Union know that you cannot control countries without abolishing their currencies.
A national currency also reflects the relative values of those who live in a country. (Some countries put more weight on leisure and families rather than production and wealth, some put religious observance before business interests, others reverse these priorities.) Climate and history also need to be (and are) reflected in the movements of national currencies.
massive inward social payments (from other
regions- i.e. nations)
Either eventuality would mean burgeoning taxes and power flowing to the central "government" in Europe and mass migrations of labour across national/linguistic/cultural borders, heightening social alienation and political tension.
In America, where there is (only after the deaths of 600,000 in the civil war) one recognised government, one history and one language, over 7 million people move between states every year. Within the European Union this would be neither linguistically nor politically possible.
It is deeply ironic that, given the role of German and French political leaders in creating the European Union and driving towards further integration that the least crossed border in the European Union is that between France and Germany. (Their populations in their spontaneous choices totally reject the grandiose political schemes of their "leaders"). The stability of nations and their cultural cohesion depend on the retention of their populations and the stability of their families and opportunities for work. These in turn depend on the flow of capital replacing the flow of workers. This is the whole point of free markets in capital and it is all too typical of the real aims of the founders of the European Union that the alienation of migrating labour did not concern them.
But what has actually happened since the launch of the EURO, founded to give a cohesive single monetary market for investment flows? Has the one major economy, which has remained outside the EURO, suffered from a lack of inward investment? No - nor was this likely since there have always been large flows of inward investment into the UK dating from long before our membership of the European Union and inward investors need a free market in the currency of the nation in which they are investing in order to judge their (true) costs. The proof of the pudding is in the fact that since the UK decided to stay out of the EURO, foreign inward investment has reached record levels - £38.1 billion in 1998. Many of the investors are French and German companies escaping the enormous social and taxation burdens within the European Union! In the year to March 2000 inward investment rose 16% and since the Blair Government was elected in 1997 on a "wait and see" approach to the Euro the stock of inward investment has increased to £252 billion.
There are a number of important issues which could in theory give stability to an economy, even one the size of the European Union (assuming of course that it were possible politically). They are inward investment, convergence of different parts of the European economy and above all the movement of capital.
If capital is free
to move or is not inhibited by the burdens of regulation and taxation from moving
then it will flow to where jobs are in short supply thus making the migration
of labour unnecessary. But it is a sign of the true intentions of those who founded
the European Union that it was the movement of people which interested them most,
for that, rather than the free movement of capital would more quickly break up
the cohesion of the nation states. (The cultural and linguistic alienation of
those forced to migrate was of course of no concern.)
If the Euro-zone countries provided a stable base for inward investors then that would increase job security and make migration of workers unnecessary but here again the facts show how those countries which have adopted the Euro are in fact breaking apart from each other. Far from converging they are diverging. The accounting firm Chantrey Vellacott found that the index of divergence of interest rates from their natural rate within each national economy of the Euro-zone worsened from 62 in January 1999 to 115 in October 1999 - zero would mean complete convergence. In other words (see Ireland above) an inward investor would have to reckon with great instability within the Euro-zone member states and therefore investment decisions become more difficult.
The reason we never talk of "Scottish oil" but there is such a thing as "Norwegian oil" is because Scotland does not have its own currency (and is therefore not a sovereign nation) while Norway does. The Single European Currency would mean that in future North Sea Oil would be "European Oil". Indeed the European Treaties Britain has already signed refer to "common resources" which include of course physical assets onshore or offshore the UK. The European Parliament has on many occasions claimed that North Sea oil and gas are "European resources", not British and the entry of the UK into the EURO would finally bring that about.
While Britain would bring invaluable assets to the EURO, other member states bring massive liabilities, particularly in the form of unfunded future pensions. Germany's liabilities total 139% of annual Gross Domestic Product. France's liabilities total 98% of GDP and Italy's are 113% of GDP. This means that if the debt were spread across the European Union as a whole (and a single European currency of course does just that) it would cost the British people £1.2 thousand billion or £25,000 per head (source: House of Commons Social Security Committee).
The United Kingdom has the second biggest pension assets in the world after the United States. Britons can look to $2,000 trillion ($2,000,000,000,000,000) (source: The Economist) to secure their retirement - more than all the other European Union countries combined. Had we joined the EURO in January 1999 these pension assets would by now be worth $20 trillion less! Indeed it is odd that American corporations are still so supportive of the Euro, given that all their assets inside Euro zone countries are now worth at least 20% less than they were on January 1st 1999. They will have had to account for these exchange losses in their accounts. I wonder what their shareholders think of the great "European project" now?
FRAUD AND THE CENTRALISATION OF POWER
The Euro is being printed in most of the Euro-zone countries and in fact by British printing firms but it is not just the logistics of co-ordinating so many countries in one system of money printing and control but the extraordinary naive idea that so many different governments, central banks (which paradoxically carry on even in those countries which have abolished their currencies although it is not clear why) different taxation systems and different track records in even paying tax can run a currency when they have not even created one country.
But it is just such conflicts which are welcomed by the worst eurofanatics because they think that each crisis will lead to more central power, the consolidation of the new State and the destruction of the powers of the parliaments and governments of the nation states. One of Britain's leading economists Professor Patrick Minford was discussing the EURO with a member of the Bundesbank Board. The latter, when warned by Minford that the Euro-zone countries were courting a real crisis said that in fact they needed a crisis in order to consolidate the institutions of the European Union and the power of the European Central Bank. Such an attitude is not uncommon on the continent of Europe but would be unthinkable in Britain.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR DEMOCRACY
Gordon Brown, a proponent of the EURO, not long ago tried to bully the Bank of England into altering interest rates. If his EURO were to be imposed on Britain Mr Brown may as well retire - otherwise his bullying might land him in a (European) court case! Certainly, as Herr Lafontaine the German Finance Minister found out, there is no role for national control of money when a Government has abolished its currency. So the Eurto abolished Herr Lafontaine!
Without complete political control by European institutions of all spending and borrowing within the countries which join the EURO, there will be fiscal and monetary chaos. With such controls there will be massive political rejection as voters within each "democratic nation" suddenly realise what has long been the case - that their national "governments" and "parliaments" are just puppets of a higher, unaccountable power. They will realise that virtually all their democratic rights and the powers of their parliament to represent them have been given away secretly behind their backs (without having ever been mentioned in any political party's manifesto) and that in fact their nationhood effectively no longer exists.
Indeed this is likely to become clear just when they are in the middle of an economic crisis. Such a crisis could come in Ireland where the economy is booming because the Euro exchange and interest rates are completely wrong for that economy or in Germany where there is still very high unemployment but also high interest rates (in order to counter boom conditions elsewhere and to protect the value of the Euro). This will lead to a downturn in economic activity and drive unemployment even higher. In either country if the European Central Bank ordered the Irish or German governments to take action on government spending or taxation their respective electorates would say, "who are these unelected foreigners telling us what our government must do when we did not elect our own MPs on that platform?"
Of course such conflicts have already arisen on a daily basis in the political sphere where national parliaments and national courts are powerless to resist the arbitrary edicts of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice (sic). But it is in the economic sphere (where everyone understands what a currency is, for they have it in their pockets) that electoral resistance is likely to be strongest and where the resulting crisis is felt directly in job losses and higher taxes. This is why the final stage of the abolition of the free nations of Europe is presented as being "inevitable" - precisely because the euro-fanatics fear it is far from "inevitable" that the people will agree to it, or accept its consequences.
Needless to say a European union built on
the abolition of nation states would not spawn Scottish and Welsh national parties
or Ulster Unionist Parties.
Free market capitalists in the Conservative
Party would be stuck with a EURO exchange rate which did not (and would never)
reflect the true state of the British economy while Conservatives in general could
no longer justify their party's existence since its very raison d'etre is the
Most social policy is already set in Brussels thanks to the Trade Unionists' support for the European Union's Health and Safety legislation and the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty so British Trade Unionists will never again decide these matters and will be powerless if one day there is a majority within the EU to abolish such social rights - or indeed trade union rights in general! But that of course is the result of the loss of constitutional rights - sacrificed as we noted above in the blind pursuit of short term political advantage.
One of the great and sudden converts to the abolition of the Pound in favour of the EURO in recent years is one John Monks, President of the TUC, whose conversion came as a result of regular attendance at Bilderberg meetings during the early 1990s. As a result the leader of the TUC is a tireless campaigner for the EURO. Unfortunately its membership opposes the EURO by 61% to 15% according to an ICM poll. On 12th May 1999 a rally to promote the EURO failed - despite a stage-managed platform of 8 eurofanatics to one anti EURO speaker and a conference packed full of European Union propaganda. But since when has democracy ever had anything to do with the "European project"?
In a speech on 3rd
February 1998, 9 months after the disastrous government of which he had been a
leading member had departed, Hurd gave a speech to the CBI Northern Region members
luncheon in which he compared the approaches of the Labour and Tory Parties to
This short extract tells us so much about the weak, unprincipled waffle which has characterised the Establishment British politician since the 1960s and still grips the Tory party today. Naturally if you believe that the abolition of a nation's currency, central bank and Treasury is not a matter of either principle or constitutional concern then you are the kind of buffoon who will betray your democratic nation with the same lack of concern as you would choose a different suit. It is a "relief to Hurd not to have to fight on a "battleground of principle" and he believes that under certain circumstances it can be in the national interest to abolish the nation! In this the equally "pragmatic" and constitutionally ignorant Blair of course supports him. Finally we get an insight into the economic illiteracy of the Foreign Office mandarin (for Hurd was more a civil servant than a democrat) when he predicts that the Euro will be one of the world's "leading currencies". The Euro continues to fail, even when the world economy has shown remarkably steady growth rates for nearly a decade and it is regarded with the same universal contempt as is the (ultimately treasonous) career of Douglas Hurd.
The author of this book had the opportunity to question Douglas Hurd after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and just before its consideration by parliament in 1993. The then Prime Minister John Major had repeatedly claimed in public, in parliament and in interviews that the Treaty actually restored elements of British self-governance through the principle of so-called "subsidiarity". I approached Hurd and said "Mr Hurd, you know that in fact the Maastricht Treaty, with its acceptance of the acqis communautaire and the continued recognition of the authority of the European Court of Justice means that not one iota of self governance will in fact be returned to the United Kingdom." Hurd replied "Yes, that is right." Was this a man who did not know what he was saying or was it someone who knew that his Prime Minister was telling lies?
On another occasion John Major, just before the second referendum in Denmark, said in Parliament that if Denmark voted NO then the United kingdom would not proceed with ratifying the Maastricht Treaty. A few weeks later, in the final week before voting Hurd visited Denmark and, asked whether Britain would indeed not proceed with the Maastricht Treaty if Danes said no, replied that that was not the case. This was of course a fatal blow to the Danish "No" Campaign.
It falls to few men in their lifetime to betray one country, but the Rt. Hon Douglas Hurd has achieved the unique feat of betraying two.
The remarkable characteristic of the British economy is its wealth of global, international investments. The total stock of inward investment by other countries in the UK in 2000 was £252 billion but the total stock of our investments overseas stood at £2,000 billion. After the USA Britain attracts more foreign inward investment than any other country in the world. In the year 2000/2001 (after two years of the non-membership of the EURO which eurofanatics claimed would be so disastrous) foreign direct investment in the UK stood at record levels. Investment projects rose from 757 the previous year to 869 and involved the creation of 71,488 jobs. Indeed this inward investment - has evidently been so spurred by non-membership of the EURO that it could now be regarded as a somewhat excessive boon!
British exports to the European Union account for only 9% of Gross National Product. To allow the Union, through a Single European Currency to control our country and our economy for the sake of the 9% of our Gross National Product which goes to that small group of countries called The European Union is a madness of historical proportions - especially since that trade has for 25 years been massively loss-making. (Total deficit since 1972 over £150,000m).
European Countries outside the European Union trade far more of their GDP with the EU than does Britain. For instance Switzerland has always been outside the EU and yet 66% of its exports go to other European Union countries. The EURO has, as this author predicted, already heightened trade tensions between Europe and the USA. While the international economy was slipping towards recession in 1999 and stock markets around the world had crashed following the economic crises in Russia and Japan, the European Union maintained its controls on imports of Russian steel and Japanese cars. The European Union, said the US Trade Representative Charlene Barschevsky, had left the USA to act "not only as the market of last resort but of first resort".
The United Kingdom had equally been left in the lurch by our "partners" in the European Union when the Pound was collapsing inside the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992, which ended in "Black Wednesday", the removal of a Chancellor of the Exchequer and the massive defeat of the Tory Party some years later. Those who claim to be our "partners" but who are in fact so totally out of kilter with the British economy and at best uninterested in or at worst antagonistic towards British interests will not, indeed cannot, change their policies to suit us. It is with the USA that we share language, trade patterns, legal systems, legal rights and vast mutual investments, not the countries of continental Europe.
Leading EU politicians
always said that they wanted a "soft" EURO (that is a low exchange rate
against other currencies) but even they could not have anticipated such a massive
collapse of the currency against the Pound and the US Dollar - the latter by nearly
25%. This collapse has meant a large increase in Euro-zone exports to the USA
and has made US exports more expensive in Europe. Prior to the advent of the Euro
such "beggar thy neighbour" policies were not easy when 15 currencies
needed to be co-ordinated. With one EURO, protectionist Europe has found in the
collapse of its currency a weapon as potent as any tariff barrier - except that
unlike illegal tariffs currency depreciation cannot be adjudged under world trade
Contrary to the lies of the "European Movement" the much-trumpeted Maastricht criteria for joining the EURO were never met. Only 3 of the 11 countries which "qualified" had met the debt levels set out in the Treaty by the time of the Euro launch in January 1999. Italy and Belgium had twice the levels of debt laid down in the Treaty. Neither Italy nor France had met the budget deficit limits but had "fudged" the figures by large one-off budgetary tricks.
The Maastricht criteria covered government debt and spending levels and inflation but, crucially there was no Maastricht limit for unemployment which was (and despite recent falls still is) at crisis levels throughout the European Union. It indicates the grotesque lack of democratic accountability within the European Union and within the governments of France, Germany and Italy that very high unemployment was not a cause of concern to be included in the "convergence criteria" and that therefore the jobs of voters could be sacrificed on the altar of the budget and inflation criteria which were in the Maastricht Treaty.
The EURO, even before it was launched in 1999, had proved to be a very weak currency. Even in anticipation of the Euro the Deutschmark fell by about 30% against the Pound between 1992 and 1998 and has since fallen a further 12%, the most dramatic collapse of the German currency since the 1920s when the political and economic seeds of fascism and National Socialism were sown. Had anyone sat down to deliberately recreate conditions of economic instability, social alienation and national resentment of 1930s Germany in the modern era, they could not have done better than establish the European Union and the Euro.
During his campaign to persuade his own countrymen of the wisdom of abolishing his nation's currency Chancellor Kohl was so worried about the rejection of the Euro that he asked the European Commission to stop "selling" the idea in Germany since it was making Germans angry and turning them against the abolition of the Deutschmark. It is a true fascist who forbids the truth in his own country - in case his people then reject his lies. But Germans - and Frenchmen - have always rejected the Euro, by between 60 and 90% in opinion polls (and continue to do so to this day after their national currencies have been abolished), but democratic accountability has never been a strong element in the authoritarian politics of continental Europe, as the arrogant characters of Kohl, Delors and Mitterand so often testified.
A former President of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) said that a Single European Currency would mean a single "trade policy, finance and budget policy, social and wage policy ... in brief a federal state". The German people listened to their own economic experts and did not believe their "democratic leaders". There were two institutions in Germany which commanded the respect of the German people, both established in the post war constitution of 1949 - the Bundesbank and the Bundes-Verfassungsgericht (the Federal Constitutional Court). Helmut Kohl undermined both. The first was to guarantee the stability of the new Deutschmark so there could be no return to the wheelbarrow loads of confetti which the Reichsmark became in the early 1920s. One of the greatest Eurofanatic myths is that the German currency has proved more "stable" than the Pound. In January 1921 there were 64 Reichsmarks to the US Dollar. By November 1923 there were 4,200,000,000,000 Reichsmarks to the Dollar. Whereas the Pound has been in circulation for hundreds of years most continental currencies, like the long defunct Reichsmark, have been replaced in various "currency reforms" or simply disappeared as those countries' constitutions collapsed.
The Federal Constitutional Court was to guarantee the legal and human rights of the individual and the kind of stable and trustworthy constitutional democracy which Germany had never before experienced. The arbitrary suspension of the rule of law during the Weimar Republic and the enthusiastic adoption of those emergency laws by Hitler required a strong and publicly trusted institution which would lead Germans to trust their democratic representatives.
The very man who claimed to have re-established German unity - Helmut Kohl, destroyed the credibility of these two institutions. The first to lose its national credibility was the Bundesbank which Kohl forced to accept (following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the re-unification of West and East Germany in 1989) a ridiculous exchange rate at which "Ostmarks", the currency of East Germany, would be converted into Deutschmarks. Kohl was interested in buying as many votes as possible in the former East Germany to boost his chances of re-election. He therefore overruled the advice of the Bundesbank and fixed a conversion rate which gave an artificial boost to the savings of East Germans. Unfortunately that exchange rate also made East German industry even more uncompetitive than the previous communist regime had already made it! As a result there was a massive spending spree in East Germany and an equally massive exodus of East Germans to the West, where the infrastructure was scarcely able to absorb them. Naturally this grotesque behaviour by Kohl, interfering politically in one of the previously unpoliticised pillars of the German constitution, completely devalued the credibility of the Bundesbank and established a precedent for political manipulation of monetary matters, which was then applied with a vengeance to the abolition of the Deutschmark itself and the introduction of the collapsing Euro.
The Maastricht Treaty on Economic and Monetary Union which established the Euro was also the issue which led Kohl to undermine the other pillar of post war German democracy - the Federal Constitutional Court. The Court was called upon to determine whether the Maastricht treaty was compatible with the German constitution. It patently was not but Kohl's Government lied to the Court and put such pressure on it that one Professor of Jurisprudence said "Germany is no longer a law based state". In other words Kohl and his eurofanatic henchmen had effectively suspended the rule of law and substituted it with the rule of the arbitrary whim of politicians - the word fascism springs to mind to describe such antics, a fascist attitude so succinctly put by Kohl himself in his notorious statement that "might is right in politics and war".
Ironically it was Germany which was the first country to really suffer from the loss of its currency and therefore from the loss of self-government. The resignation of their Finance Minister, Oskar Lafontaine came after he had mistakenly believed that a) he was still finance minister of a self-governing country, b) the Germany economy still existed and c) he could use his position as an elected politician to influence interest rates. Of course he eventually woke up to the fact that none of this was true so, powerless as he was, he resigned. This extraordinary episode shows just how weak and vulnerable what we call "German democracy" has become in the new Europe, built ironically by German politicians.
Just as Douglas Hurd betrayed the democratic nation of the United Kingdom, so Helmut Kohl destroyed the prosperous democratic nation which was Germany. Was Kohl's recreation of all the characteristics of Weimar Germany and the power seeking, euro-integration policies of Hitler just accident and stupidity or was it intention and malice? Like all truly obnoxious movements in history it really does not matter. Whether by accident or intent politicians like Kohl, Major, Hurd, Cook, Blair and Mitterand seem to achieve almost identical outcomes to those desired by the more overtly evil. One of the greatest dangers in political history is to regard a few individuals who we now know did great evil as unique and whose death many years ago therefore removed the possibility of similar evils today. Hitler and Mussolini we now know did evil things but they were both originally socialist, they were both Roman Catholic, they were both leaders of parties which stood for election, they were both elected to power, they both had support among the British and European political elites. What better pedigree could a BBC interviewer wish? And yet...
So let us look at just a few of the remarkable parallels in the life and work of Helmut Kohl and Adolf Hitler. Hitler in his school days used to rub out the borders of Germany in his Atlas. As a young man Kohl was arrested for ripping out border posts between Germany and France. Kohl said "might is right in politics and war", Hitler said "The world belongs to the man with guts - God helps him". Hitler said that Czechoslovakia had "got on the wrong train" and had no choice but to go the way Germany dictated "because the points were set that way" whereas Kohl claimed that "Germany is the locomotive of the European train" and if Britain was not careful it would "miss the train".
Hitler destroyed Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and created
petty nationalist states in Slovakia and Croatia. Helmut Kohl's German Europe
has broken up Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, Slovakia driving out its gypsies,
Croatia its Serbs and Albania its gypsies, Jews and Serbs.
unemployment and deflation in Germany led the (socialist/green) Government to
encourage trade unions to press for much higher wages with demands for 6 to 7%
pay rises - where inflation is virtually zero. Since the German economy no longer
exists this means that other countries within the EURO will have to pay for these
pay rises - with higher unemployment or lower real wages or perhaps higher interest
rates. (This is of course also true of the awards of subsidies and pay rises in
France by the French government in attempts to appease striking farmers, fishermen,
teachers and just about any group which has a grievance.) But, just like Oskar
Lafontaine with the European Bank, so the Governments and electorates of those
other countries have no power to influence German wage claims and settlements.
The circle of irresponsibility and lack of accountability is very wide!
In Germany as in the United Kingdom and other EU countries governments have acted without parliamentary approval, and where parliamentary approval was unavoidable they have acted without ever stating their intentions in a democratic manifesto. Where the overall aims of the Euro-State were set down in vague language elected politicians relinquished power to the European Court of Justice which daily makes laws by bypassing national parliaments and overturning without any democratic approval the laws passed by those parliaments. In the Council of Ministers, British and German ministers cast a vote in a forum in which they are outvoted and accept the majority decision of other governments about how their electorates should be governed internally. Nothing could be more likely to alienate voters and destroy the delicate balance of democratic acceptability, which the Western allies had painstakingly built up in Europe in general and in Germany in particular, since the second world war.
11. BRITISH BUSINESS AND THE POUND
But the whole purpose of currencies is to reflect the true size, nature and health of a national economy and its trade and financial relations with other countries. As with any other economic variable if it is fixed then it can no longer fulfil its function, the knowledge it imparts is no longer available and of course decision-making becomes more difficult. In addition when one variable is fixed other variables (like the balance of payments, employment or exports) must change more dramatically in order to re-establish a balance.
Usually in times of poor trading conditions the Pound would fall so that imports could be curtailed, exports promoted and real wages fall in terms of other currencies, thus encouraging inward investment. But the abolition of the Pound would mean that taxes would have to rise to pay for extra social payments. (The unemployed are unlikely to move to other parts of the new single currency market since that would mean going to live (in large numbers) in other countries with all the linguistic, cultural and political alienation that would cause).
For businesses the putative saving on changing currencies
would be more than balanced by a fall in profits, redundancy payments and a falling
share price. This is of course exactly what happened when Britain had a dress
rehearsal for the EURO inside the Exchange Rate Mechanism. Within 18 months unemployment
had risen by 1.5 million, company bankruptcies had reached record levels, housing
repossessions had affected one million people and billions of pounds were expended
trying to support the unsupportable exchange rate to which the Exchange Rate Mechanism
had committed us.
If two or more countries wish to abolish themselves then they should openly take the political decision so to do. The combining of parliaments, taxation and social policies might lead eventually to similar trade links, industrial policies, financial structures and social and political attitudes. If that point were ever reached those countries could perhaps abolish their separate currencies but to put the currency horse before such a carriage is of course a recipe for disaster. Those businessmen who wish to abolish the Pound because it is (at the time of writing, 2001) too high were not long ago saying we must join the EURO because the Pound was too weak. There could be no better example of why we should never make important political - never mind constitutional - decisions based on the "pragmatic" decisions of businessmen. In fact if the Pound is strong our earnings (although less in Pound terms) are much greater in terms of other countries' currencies - therefore we are richer. Indeed all our assets including the 80% of our economy which is not traded is also worth much more in world-wide terms.
If the Pound is weak then our exports become more competitive, and imports become more expensive. Therefore exports tend to rise and imports tend to fall. Thus a moving exchange rate restores balance without massive dislocation. The important thing about the Pound is that it reflects what is really happening in our economy, not in Germany's or France's or some fictional "Europe".
The bible of the businessman in Britain - and indeed internationally - is the London based Financial Times which in the modern era represents not so much the responsible owners of capital but the collective ownership of capital in the large corporations, pension funds and insurance companies which have so effectively mopped up the capital of those individuals, families and private businesses that used to flourish when the United Kingdom was a financial and entrepreneurial success. As the high point of corporatism the European Union has naturally been a great favourite of this corporatist newspaper which has been prepared to sacrifice the democratic constitution of the United Kingdom in the pursuit of the greater profits of its corporatist readers.
Not long ago The Financial Times gave support to the arch Europhile and former European Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan (a former Cabinet Minister sacked for misbehaviour and unelectable in the UK, who like that other electoral liability Neil Kinnock therefore made his lucrative career in Brussels where elections never take place). Brittan had asserted that the abolition of the nations of Europe will make war impossible. Of course if the nations have been conquered then there is certainly no need to wage war against them. And if they no longer exist then naturally they can no longer fight. But power does not just disappear and the abolition of sovereign competing nations means their replacement by a superpower without democratic credentials but with the kind of international swagger which is far more likely to cause wars than democratic nations going about their own business. A glance at the kind of arrogant supranational bullying characterised by the remarks of the great "integrators" of the European Union will show the extent of that danger.
But the idea that if you abolish conflicting parties you abolish conflicts and that the larger a power becomes the more responsible, is the logic of tyranny throughout the ages and the logic of corporatism and collectivism during the 20th century. If competing companies are taken over by the state then you do not need to abolish competition. If the individual is merely a puppet of the State then we can be spared the conflict of free elections. If all personal capital is taxed away then we can abolish the conflicts inherent in competition. If all workers are forced into a closed shop then they cannot "conflict" with each other and big corporations can deal "efficiently" with only one monolithic trade union.
The disgraceful truth is that neither the abolition
of the 11 national currencies (of the Euro-zone) nor the effective abolition of
those nations' parliaments and the castration of their governments was ever mentioned
in the manifesto of any "democratic" political party. The Euro and indeed
the entire edifice of the European Union, designed from the beginning to abolish
the free nations of Europe (in whose name the allies fought and won two world
wars) were established by small cliques of corporatist anti-democratic politicians
and large multinational corporations behind the backs of voters, parliaments and
democrats in every EU country. The house magazine of such multinationals is The
Financial Times and when one of that paper's most successful journalists, C. Gordon
Tether who founded the Lombard Column made no secret of his opposition to the
European Union, the Bilderberg group and the corporatist threat to democratic
nations, he was sacked. The Editor who sacked him was a certain Mr Fisher, a regular
Bilderberg attendee. Fisher had removed sections of Tether's column which dealt
with the Bilderberg Group and the Lockheed scandal of the 1970s (which involved
bribery of politicians throughout Europe, including, in the Netherlands, the founder
of Bilderberg, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands). Gordon Tether's Lombard column
was the longest running financial column in the world and the subsequent industrial
tribunal in which he appealed against arbitrary dismissal became the longest in
history - 18 months. (For a comprehensive analysis of the Bilderberg Group see
Europe's Full Circle)
As Benjamin Disraeli wisely remarked "The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes." It was precisely such "behind the scenes" manoeuvring by unelected corporatists which created the European union and its constitutional structures - under the mild sounding "Common Market". So successful have they been that they now think that the final step - the abolition of national currencies, national central banks, national Treasuries and (effectively therefore) national governments - is achievable.
Within the United Kingdom, businessmen who seek the abolition
of the Pound are a small minority, but through the Confederation of British Industry
(and their affiliated Chambers of Commerce who pretend for propaganda purposes
to be separate) they are accorded disproportionate airtime - especially by the
BBC. Those thousands of businesses represented by the Institute of Directors (39,000
members) and the Federation of Small Businesses (125,000 members) are, like 75%
of the British people, totally opposed to the abolition of the Pound and its replacement
by the EURO.
Foreign firms register their United Kingdom subsidiaries as members of the "Confederation of British Industry" - reminiscent of Michael Heseltine's fatuous statement that he was not interested in British companies but "companies in Britain"! Many of those firms - in particular Japanese companies - make frequent attacks on the Pound and propagandise for the EURO. Two such companies are Toyota and Nissan. Toyota has demanded that its suppliers invoice Toyota in Euros. This means that the suppliers, nearly all of which are smaller than Toyota, have each to change their Euros into Pounds. It is rational purely from a business point of view for Toyota, not its suppliers, to change pounds into Euros if they so wish since it is cheaper to convert the total amount than for each individual supplier to convert their shares. Therefore it is evident that Toyota is both passing on to its British suppliers the costs of its Euro losses and - particularly obnoxious in a democracy - making a public political point and thereby seeking to change policy within Britain. This is corporatism - the political involvement of collectives of capital and labour and their manipulation of democratic government.
But the supporters of the Eurostate know that big business, with its claims to speak for all business, in fact does nothing of the sort and it is therefore necessary to propagandise for support among the hundreds of thousands of small businesses. A report in the Sunday Times of 10th August 1999 was headlined "Small firms tout Euro as a stabilising force." The rising Pound had given the Euro-pushers a hope that British businessmen, their exports hit by the high rate of the Pound against EU currencies, would be duped into supporting a Single European Currency and the abolition of the pound as a solution to their problems. (As we noted elsewhere the corporatist and collectivist see the solutions to a crisis for "x" in the abolition of "x" rather than in tackling the original causes of the crisis.)
The article reported that the Natwest Bank was holding seminars "raising awareness" (!) of the Euro among small firms. In fact the writer had to admit that, according the Forum of Private Businesses, small businesses rejected the currency by more than two to one. Indeed 97% of the Federation of Small Businesses membership voted to leave the so-called "European Union" all together. Needless to say the Natwest Bank's devotion to "raising awareness" among Britain's small firms does not derive from a philanthropic desire to educate but rather from that organisation's own political agenda. The Natwest Bank is the driving force behind the "Association for Monetary Union in Europe" and their former Chairman heads the "Action Centre for Europe" which campaigns for the abolition of the Pound.
Small businesses, like the British people, are overwhelmingly opposed to the removal of these last vestiges of our democratic nation and our absorption into the German dominated Eurostate. But some banking and big business interests, supported by the European Commission, are desperately trying to seduce the naive in British business into surrendering their country for (supposed) profit. As we noted above in describing the "fourth technique" used by the euro-integrationists small businesses are asked not to worry their little heads about the loss of their country or parliamentary rights but are asked to decide "purely from a small business point of view".
Is it not strange that, after continental EU countries have collapsed because of their attempts to create a European currency, the Natwest Bank and its fellow corporatists suggest we could rescue ourselves (from our success!) by joining them in that very currency. Fortunately British small businesses are not so dim. Unlike their corporatist big brothers they cannot recruit the State to subsidise their failures so they are used to making decisions on commercial merit not on political grounds. (For those who wish to take action against those large corporations which like the Nat West Bank (subsequently Royal Bank of Scotland, RBS) have supported the worst elements of euro-fanaticism, see Appendix II.
London - and Britain - are at the centre of the world's finances and economy. Not only is the European economy far behind but in all except the field of financial derivatives (financial futures contracts) so is the USA. London dominates the world in international banking, foreign exchange and foreign equity trading. No wonder the European Union wants to get its hands on it - neatly packaged for them by the corrupt and ignorant British political classes. Their chief method of achieving this is the abolition of the Pound, the Bank of England and the take-over by the EURO and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.
In 1999, despite the collapse of the Euro against the Pound (thus making British goods and services less competitive compared to Euro-zone countries like Germany, Italy and France) the United Kingdom was the 8th most competitive economy in the world (as well as being the 4th largest). By contrast those main pillars and drivers of the European union's "integration" agenda and members of the Euro - France, Germany and Italy were, respectively ranked 23rd, 25th and 35th in the world.
During the 1930s when large elements in all the three major political parties were appeasing Hitler and continental fascism, they tried to persuade Britons of the futility of resisting European "integration" (yes, the same words were used then) since the British Empire was of no value and the British economy could not possibly survive, never mind flourish in a world where nation states were increasingly irrelevant. They were tragically wrong then and they are even more tragically wrong now.
Today Britain is the fourth largest economy in the world, it is one of the five members of the Security Council of the United Nations (Germany for instance is not) one of the very few nuclear powers in the world, the biggest investor in the world's largest economy (the USA) a global investor with £2000 billion invested, the longest parliamentary tradition in the world, the longest surviving currency and the most stable currency in Europe. With the other nations which share our Anglo-Saxon heritage, language, parliamentary and legal traditions (the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) we account for 40% of world trade (the European Union accounts for only 20%). So much for the predictions of the eurofanatics in the 1930s - and so much for their advice today.
13. BRITAIN INSIDE
THE EUROPEAN UNION - TRAPPED IN THE SINGLE CURRENCY
The abolition of the Pound, or, even if the UK rejects or postpones its abolition, continuing EU control of the British economy and currency, represents a grave and imminent crisis. Tragically this crisis - which could literally destroy what remains of our country - is in the hands of those who either believe in the abolition of the Pound, the Bank of England and the end of effective sovereign government in the United Kingdom or those who wrongly believe that if the UK refused to join the Single Currency we would be immune to the constraints of European economic and monetary union. When considering the efficacy of the British parliament's controls over events in the European Union it is worth remembering that all Government ministers must (according to the Maastricht Treaty) have the power to go to any European Council meeting "authorised to take binding decisions for the Government of that member state". This is of course a grotesque denial of the very basis of democratic parliamentary governance - but then so is the entire creation and structure of the European Union.
In The Times of 3rd December 1996 it was reported that the then Chancellor of the Exchequer (Kenneth Clarke) had "won copper bottomed assurances" which answered the 'groundless fears' of the Conservative Eurosceptics". If the fears were groundless then why obtain copper-bottomed guarantees? But far more important was the naivety of a Chancellor claiming that (in the context of Treaties signed under European law and enforceable in the (political) European Court) "assurances" between politicians mean anything at all. For instance under Article 108, describing the controls exercisable by the European Central Bank over all Member States it specifically states that "recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force". In another context and in response to the specific requests of Heads of Government to open up EU discussions to public scrutiny, the European Court said, "their declarations were of an eminently political nature and therefore not binding on community institutions". So much then for Clarke's - or any other Minister's - "EU assurances"!
Unlike the Danish opt out from the Single Currency,
which is quite clear, the wording of the UK's opt out is ambiguous and therefore
dangerous. In addition Article 109k(2) seems to allow a majority vote of member
states to force the UK to accept a Single Currency. The clause states:
The constraints of the Single Market alone are certainly sufficient to let the European Court of Justice impose economic and exchange rate controls on the United Kingdom even if we are outside the Single Currency (see below). Any appeal to the Council of Ministers to overrule such a judgement would have to contend with the kind of attitude expressed by for example a former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe and a former Belgian Finance Minister who rejected competitive freedom for those member states currencies which are outside the EURO. As many of us pointed out to British Ministers in the mid 1980s when the ludicrous "Single European Act" was signed, the provisions had nothing to do with competitive economic markets but everything to do with single political control. Needless to say the freedom to pursue "beggar thy neighbour" policies by those inside the Euro does not seem to be affected. The Euro-zone economies, without enforcement of the Single Market rules (and the EU majority which decides whether to apply them is within the Euro), thus enjoy a massive and artificial competitive advantage against the Pound. Like so much else within the European Union it is not the law which rules but the politicised majority which decides whether the law should be applied.
Article 109.1. of the Maastricht Treaty allows for the European Central Bank (albeit with a possible UK veto which in the hands of a Gordon Brown could not be relied upon or in the hands of a government trading off other interests might not materialise) to "conclude formal agreements on an exchange rate system for the EURO in relation to non Community currencies". In other words not only will Community countries which do not join the Single Currency be coerced but also political power will be used to "negotiate" fixed rates with any country in the world. This is economic fascism in its true imperialist mode.
Article 108a(2) of the Treaty of Maastricht makes clear that the European Central Bank shall issue regulations "binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all member states" (NB not restricted to those states which join the Single Currency). These regulations can be applied to "the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions". (ECB Statute 25.2)
Maastricht Treaty protocol which describes Britain's "opt out" from
stages 2 and 3 of monetary union is chaotically drafted. On the one hand it says
that "unless the UK notifies the Council that it intends to move to the third
stage of monetary union it shall be under no obligation to do so": on the
other hand it states "Paragraphs 3-9 (the opt out clauses) shall have effect
if the UK notifies the Council that it does not intend to move to the third stage."
So we cannot tell from the wording whether the UK needs to actively opt out or
passively just fail to opt in. This means yet more opportunities for the arbitrating
European Court to adjudicate in the true spirit of the political integration which,
it admits, is its overriding aim.
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke used to claim that the Government had no intention of re-joining the ERM and yet he wished to retain his option to join a single currency. But it is impossible to join the Single Currency without having remained "within the normal fluctuating margins provided for by the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System without severe tensions for at least two years". (Protocol on convergence criteria Article 3). It is precisely this level of ignorance among leading politicians of all parties, which has permitted the effective destruction of the British constitution and which now threatens to hasten the end of the last crutch of our nation's sovereignty - the Pound Sterling.
is an array of other duties even for those member states which have opted out
of the Single Currency. For instance Article 102a states:
In a European Commission paper on Stage 3 of Economic and Monetary Union, there is no mention of "opt outs". Only two categories are mentioned "ins" and "pre-ins" - not surprising, given the general approach described above. The status of the "pre-ins" would "be merely transitional". A new ERM is proposed for those member states not in the Single Currency which makes the former Conservative Chancellor's belief in the avoidance of the ERM even if the UK chose to enter EMU even more extraordinary.
Throughout the tragic relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the British people have been plagued by the failure of their "democratic representatives" to even read the Treaties they were signing on our behalf. As a result Ministers' daily impotence in the face of the onrushing juggernaut of the new Eurostate seems to surprise them. There is in fact but one remaining crutch for that sovereign nation for which 1.2 million people died in two world wars - the Pound Sterling. The actions of the last Conservative government fatally undermined even that last proud bastion of our democratic self-governance. The utterances of the Labour Chancellor and Prime Minister, who seem totally unaware of the constitutional, political and even fiscal implications of the Single European Currency, can only be described as surreal.
There is one clear way of avoiding the difficulties and traps for the United Kingdom set out here - to take advantage of the illegality of the entire enterprise of European Economic and Monetary Union which Norris McWhirter and I described in our book Treason at Maastricht. (The Germans never ratified the Treaty as signed and therefore the treaty, under any normal democratic rule of law, would fall. The fact that the juggernaut carries on regardless is itself proof of the inherently fascist nature of the enterprise.)
Indeed even remaining within the "European" Union while others press ahead with a single currency has already gravely threatened the stability of the British economy - although not by as much as membership of that currency would have entailed. The catastrophic dislocation of labour and capital markets which a failed Euro will cause will require enormous social and regional "cohesion" spending to bridge the fissures caused by imposing a single monetary regime on so many disparate national and regional economies. Such expenditure will require a large increase in community funds which can only be agreed by unanimity of member states. Since the consequences for the British fiscal purse (and every other member state's finances) would be grave it is extremely unlikely that a principal paymaster - like Germany or the UK - would vote for such additional funds; equally those countries which at present benefit from massive subsidies for agriculture (like Ireland) would almost certainly veto any loss of subsidy to those regions which had lost industrial jobs as a result of EMU.
Unable to react to massive unemployment in certain regions and countries, unemployment would rise and national budgets would breach the strict financial terms of the "Stability Pact". In addition the innate protectionist forces of Italy, France and Germany would undoubtedly react against a tragedy of their own making by restricting the exports of "perfidious Albion". The political costs within the EU are already being felt in the rise of extremism in Germany and France and the external view of the Euro has already led to widespread selling on international markets and the migration of capital to the UK, the USA and other parts of the world. (Recent estimates are that $170 billion has been exported from the Euro-zone since the currency's foundation.)
The French and Belgian politicians quoted above assumed that those currencies which stayed outside the EURO would be weak while the EURO would be strong. As a result they threatened to apply trade controls on imports from those countries which stayed within the European Union but did not join the "strong" Euro! In fact of course (as one has come to expect of the predictions of Euro-leaders) the exact opposite process has resulted, with those countries likely to join the EURO being weak. Needless to say there is no talk of protecting British industry against the predatory priced imports from e.g. Germany, France and Italy whose currencies collapsed even in anticipation of their membership of EMU.
So long as the United Kingdom "went along" with European integration in order to prevent it, there was logic behind our vetoes. As soon as we refused to use those vetoes, the catastrophe on the continent was inevitable and we should have long since withdrawn from the political "union" to that relationship which the British people approved (but did not obtain) in 1975 - that of a free trading group of sovereign nations, without budgetary or political commitment.
(inevitable) move will require the kind of volte face which will frustrate a large
section of the British and continental political Establishments but it will be
less devastating than the electoral holocaust when the people eventually awaken
to the loss of their nations and democracies. As the former head of the American
Federal Reserve Board, Lawrence Lindsey, noted "I am somewhat unsettled by
the secretive nature of the federalist agenda. I am not sure that when European
electorates discover they have surrendered national political sovereignty by adopting
a single currency they will be altogether pleased." Surely the understatement
of the century!