Published On: Tue, May 8th, 2018

'The UK would lose control FOREVER’: Anger over EU plot to tighten grip on member states

JunckerNC

The EU’s future could see countries forced to join euro, HIGHER budget payments and open borders

Brexit backers said statements by senior EU figures since Britain’s historic referendum show the folly of seeking to reverse the 2016 vote.

The comments point to an EU future where power is centralised yet further in Brussels with countries forced to join the euro, pay more in budget contributions and open their borders to workers from impoverished new member states.

Former Labour MP Gisela Stuart, a leading Brexit campaigner and chair of Change Britain which conducted the research, said:  “Campaigners who want to overturn the referendum result should be honest with the public that the EU they want the UK to be part of is very different to the one 17.4 million people voted to leave.

“EU leaders have been vocal about their wishes to take more power and money from member states, and expand their influence across Europe.

“The British public voted to take back control.

“Rejoining the EU would see the UK lose control forever.”

The group said its findings undermine the claims of Remain campaigners that the UK can stay in the EU on the same terms as before.

Statements it highlighted included by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

He called last year for his role and that of the European Council presidency to be merged, which Change Britain said would place yet more power in the hands of one unelected EU official, adding to the democratic deficit which prompted many in the UK to vote Leave.

Mr Juncker has also called for decision-making changes that would reduce member states’ ability to veto EU proposals.

He has argued for all EU member states to join the single currency, a “banking union”, the passport-free Schengen travel zone, and for a single EU military HQ and a European Minister of Finance – all moves which go against Britain’s current policies and would drastically reduce UK independence.

Latest budget proposals from the European Commission threaten Britain’s annual rebate on its contributions to the EU – and could see Britain’s gross contribution without the rebate from £13.9billion in 2016 to more than £22billion a year, Change Britain warned.

Rejoining the EU would see the UK lose control forever

Gisela Stuart

Powerful French President Emmanuel Macron has also caused the group alarm with some of his pronouncements.

He has backed the idea of having Members of the European Parliament able to represent voters from more than one country, which Change Britain says would make the body feel even more remote from voters.

Mr Macron has backed a minimum level of corporation tax in member states, which would damage the competitiveness of the UK which charges 19 per cent compared to 33 per cent in France and 29 per cent in Belgium.

In the same speech, Mr Macron called for a pan-EU minimum wage with states gradually moving towards the same figure, which Change Britain says could force the UK to make its own people poorer by reducing its comparatively high rate.

The EU is also likely to become even bigger, with the Commission recently signalling its intent to open accession talks with Macedonia and Albania, and Mr Juncker refusing to rule out Turkey joining.

Change Britain said that would give those countries’ citizens the right to live and work in the UK if we were still in the bloc, and could cost richer states more in payments to support the economies of Albania and Macedonia, which are two of Europe’s poorest countries.

Change Britain issued its report to coincide with Europe Day today WEDNESDAY.

On May 9 each year, events are held around the EU to “celebrate peace and unity in Europe”.

It is the anniversary of the historic “Schuman declaration” by then French foreign minister Robert Schuman in 1950 where he set out his vision of a new kind of political cooperation in Europe to make war between its nations unthinkable.

His idea of a European body to pool and manage coal and steel production led to a treaty and eventually to what is now the EU.

Europe Day has never been as big an event in the eurosceptic UK as in some other member states.

This year the European Commission’s Office in Scotland – where a majority voted Remain in 2016 – is hosting a celebration in Glasgow’s George Square showcasing music, dance and other arts from around the EU in line with this year’s theme of “cultural heritage”.

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