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.

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Lines, Herrings and Missed Opportunities

Robert Oulds

TONY BLAIR has announced that the EU Constitution will not mean a single tax rate for the European Union and that the Charter of Fundamental Rights will not affect Britain's trade union laws. These are the Prime Ministers famous 'red-lines'.

However, the EU Constitution does not use clear language, as always, the devil is in the detail. It seeks to expand the EU's power through ambiguity and leaves the European Court of Justice (which always agrees with those who favour taking power from the nation-state) as the final arbiter as to what the messy proposed Constitution means.

The PM's red lines are quite simply red herrings. He knows that it does not overtly promote such decrees. This allows him to pretend that he has won a victory in Europe. However, whilst the PM has spent his time spinning to the British public about what the EU Constitution does not mean he has missed the reality of what it does.

In the name of European unity the EU Constitution will force onto Britain laws that have led to job losses in France and Germany.

Article I - 14 and Article III - 3 will allow the EU to set the general economic principles of the Union, i.e. enforce the low-growth and high unemployment European social-market model. It will also allow the EU to standardise the employment and social policies of member states. Article III - 125 and the EU's escalator clause will give the EU the power to standardise taxes. Article III - 306 will give the European Parliament the last say on the Union's budget.

So we can be sure that the EU economic and tax standardisation, which has been on the agenda for some time, is coming.

The Government also failed to notice - or failed to admit - that the EU's power grab will stretch as far as handing over control of our natural resources, including North Sea Oil reserves. This is in the proposed Constitution in black and white: Article I - 13.2, Article III - 130.2 (c), and Article III-157 1.(a) (b) and (c). Yet, the Government did not try to stop this.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 7 of the EU Constitution) is also set to become enforceable in Britain. This will make our economy uncompetitive, driving jobs out of the UK to emerging markets in Asia.

So where is the European Union headed? The evidence suggests that the EU is set to become an economic backwater.

And we are being told to join this block!

Our Government instead of playing the Quisling to Franco-German utopian plans for political union should be more concerned with protecting Britain's resources and jobs. There should have been a concerted effort to turn the EU from what has become a red-tape area into a genuine deregulated free-trade market. Time has been lost as has the opportunity to begin the process of constructive root-and-branch reform of the EU. If Britain is to remain a competitive nation in the 21st Century we have been left with no alternative but to reject this Constitution and free ourselves from the economic restraints of European Governance.

This is taken from an article by Robert Oulds for Liberty News