Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles We the people are being cajoled, fightened, and bullied into surrendering our democracy and freedom. This film is a rallying cry. We must fight for our independence - for the right to determine ourselves the laws under which we live, and for the freedom to shape our own future. This is the most important voting decision that any of us is gonna make in our lifetime. With general elections it doesn’t really matter who you vote for, Conservative or Labour, because you know that in four years’ time you can change your mind. This time you can’t change your mind, this time is for keeps. In this film we’ll see how the EU works It’s like heaven for the politician or bureaucrat, because it’s power without accountability. It was devised to make sure that the great mass of the people could not control government, ever again. The EU is turning into a dictatorship- this is not overstating it. We will see what the EU had done to Britain. The EU has just obliterated the English fishing industry altogether. The European policies that we face are really the single biggest threat to our competitiveness. We’ll see why fortress Europe has been such a calamity for the European economy What we see is the EU bringing up the drawbridge The European Union has become an economic basket case. Certainly it is not in our economic interests to remain within the European Union - no way We will look at the risks of tying our fate the failing EU. Extremism at both ends is being fostered by the anti-democratic nature of the European Union. Far from it being safer for us to be in the EU there are dangers that go along with us being members of the EU being dragged into situations we don’t want to get in. And we look at how independence could transform Britain We have huge, huge scope for creating vast number of new jobs Outside of Europe we could have prosperity on a level that we can’t even imagine now. We are being asked to give up the right to govern ourselves. What we are being offered in return. That could possibly be worth it? It just shows utter contempt for what they think people are like, because they really do believe that these little trinkets are going to buy us off. What really matters is that you should have the power to remove the people who govern you. We’re about to choose how we wish to live our lives. This is the single most important political decision any of us will make in our lifetime. It’s been more than 40 years since we were last asked. It could be half a century before we’re asked again, if we’re ever asked at all. I think this is the last chance that we’ll be able to vote on EU membership when we still have a recognizable identity as Britons, and what makes it scary is that if we go the wrong way, we’re in it for certainly my lifetime and probably my kids’ lifetime. I’m on my way to Brussels to better understand the deal that’s on offer: This is about our ability to say to ourselves that we are a genuinely democratic and free people. That’s how important this is. In return for our democratic rights we’ve been promised prosperity and security. Are these promises convincing? The choice before us is all about democracy, and how highly we value it. The word ‘democracy’ comes from the ancient Greek. The demos is the people. The people are meant to be in charge, not politicians or bureaucrats. They’re meant to serve us, not rule us. We have given them some power, but only temporarily, and we can take it away from them if they displease us. That’s the theory. Uh, the EU, s’il vous plait. Straight off there’s a snag. On my quest to understand the EU, my first challenge is to find it. There are over 90 EU buildings here in Brussels, and load more Strasbourg and Luxembourg. As impressive as the modernist buildings is the number of directorates, councils, commission and ministries which occupy them. But here, the EU slips its first cog. For a democracy to function, there needs to be transparency. We the people need to know how the system works. People might not understand exactly how the functions of the British constitution work, but they get the gist of it. Once every five years, we go down the school hall or to a church, we put a cross in a ballot paper, they’re all counted up and the chap with the most votes wins. We get that. You try working out how a European Commissioner is appointed. It’s positively Kafka-esque. You can’t actually get your head around who does what, why and who is answerable to who. The European Union, which imposes laws on 28 countries, is made up of 7 main institutions, which include the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament. Do you know the difference between the European Council, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe? It’s a very good question. *European parliament translator chatter* Tell me how many presidents there are in the European Union. How many presidents? Yeah. I’d guess at one. There’s two presidents for goodness sake, I don’t know what the difference between the two- -Four -presidents is, there’s four presidents you say? There are squads of committees and presidents of this and commissioners of that. The expression I really hate is ‘pooled sovereignty’. It’s bollocks- the people of Slovenia have no more idea than the people of the UK and the people of Sweden or the people of Spain what in fact is going on. I wouldn’t profess to understand the detail of how it all works and I think part of that is deliberate. One side knows, if one side is a priesthood and knows how it all works and the rest of us ordinary citizens don’t know how it works, a massive transfer of power takes place. It was devised to make sure that the great mass of the people could not control government ever again. Problem #2: for a democracy to work/ function?, you need to know who’s running it. A democracy only works if you know who your representatives are. David Cameron? Toff, tries to hide it, probably quite a nasty piece of work. Tony Blair: oily, if there’s only room for 1 in the life boat: Tony Blair. The ordinary voter, who’s gonna hand them all this power, can make up their mind whether they like them, dislike them, ‘cause they see them in the papers, they hear them on the radio, they watch them on the telly. Do you recognise this man? No Do you recognise that man? No I challenge you to name almost any of them. Do you recognize this guy? No. Well, there’s that chap Juncker, is he one of them? I didn’t know whether it was just the British being a bit thick, so I thought I’d ask some folk in Brussels. Ah yeah, uh, that’s uh, oh Martin… Martin?? Martin Sch… Can you tell who that is? No No No Who are all of these eurocrats? Who are they answerable to? Ah but here we come to Problem #3: Accountability. Would it help if you knew who they were – because you don’t have any power over them, so what’s the point? In the EU there’s a thing called a parliament, but it’s not a parliament in the sense that we know it. In the EU, the parliament isn’t in charge. Have you ever known anyone know who their MEP is? Nobody does. It’s because we know that they’re not actually being voted into a meaningful position of law making. This is the only parliament the world’s ever invented where you cannot initiate legislation, propose legislation or even the repeal of legislation. All of that comes from the unelected European Commission. So you can’t propose a law and try and get it passed? No, absolutely not. With parliamentary democracy, once every five years you can throw everything out the window and start again, with this, once something is European law there is nothing through the democratic process the voter can do to change it. The people whom we elect to go to Brussels have almost no power at all. They do what they’re told. They’ve got even less power than the House of Lords for goodness sake. Our votes for these people are pointless. They are fundamentally pointless. The European parliament is an irrelevance. The European Union bureaucratic structures who are appointed not elected have all the real power. The real power in the EU, including the power to legislate resides not with the parliament but with EU officials. They debate their laws in secret. We are not allowed to hear or read their deliberations. Do you know the name of Britain’s European Commissioner? No Have you heard of Jonathan Hill? No. No. No. Did you vote for him? Did I vote for him? No (laughs) No. The curious thing is that only last year we were celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the founding charter of English Freedom. The history of democracy in Britain has been the history of taxpayers demanding the right to determine themselves how much tax should be taken from them, and how it should be spent. If I’m going to be asked to pay taxes, I want to be told where they’re going, and if they’re spent badly or stupidly, I want to be able to remove from power the people who are spending them. What made Britain rather different from most other countries was that at an early stage we said that no government could pass any law or impose any tax without first getting the authority of the British people. So it’s a major thing that we can be taxed by other people without our say. We are now subjects of a vastly complex state machine, run by anonymous officials who we didn’t elect, but who have the power to impose on us laws that we haven’t debated and have no democratic means of repealing. People who say to you that the European Union is undemocratic fundamentally misunderstand the European Union: It is anti-democratic. But to EU officials and politicians It's like a warm bath. It’s like heaven for the politician or bureaucrat, because it’s power without accountability. The reason why all the major political parties are massively in favour of Europe, is because when their careers are blown out of the water here – they’re stumbling around for a job – no commercial organisation is going to hire them. They know what a collection of shits they are – there’s only one place that will hire them. They can get a job there which gives them a freedom not to have to face the electorate. It’s extremely well paid, it’s more or less permanent, they don’t have any constituents and they don’t have any worry about being thrown out at elections So they say ‘stay with the European Project, I’ll be making myself two, three hundred grand a year, it’ll be fantastic, and at the end of it I get a peerage, it’s great.’ Since they’re not directly accountable to the taxpaying public, EU politicians and bureaucrats have understandably been more than generous to themselves in pay and perks. This is the much talked-about Brussels gravy train, and here’s my handy guide: This is the shopping centre But this is all for politicians and bureaucrats - it's not for members of the public No So you get your own hair salon, and your nail bar - get your nails done There's a sauna, there's a massage parlor here as well Yeah Why would they not want to stay here, living a life of luxury? There are a number of people here who are paid more than the British prime minister. Ah, you might say, but how many? Four? Ten? A hundred? Ten thousand. There are ten thousand people here paid more than David Cameron, that’s 1 in 5 of everyone who works for the EU. If you’re an EU official, There’s the relocation allowance, the household allowance, the family allowance, the entertainment allowance , the private healthcare allowance , the private education for your kids allowance . The healthcare allowance includes free Viagra - you would have thought would come under entertainment…. If you’re an MEP you get an extra 250 pounds a day for being good enough to turn up , another 41,000 pounds a year on top of that to cover phone bills and computers, and another 225,000 pounds a year on top of that to cover staffing costs , which in years gone by often meant spouse or children. To cap it all they’ve decided to charge themselves a special low rate of tax. But it’s not just officials and politicians who benefit The EU also diverts rivers of taxpayers’ cash to the tax-munching middle class intelligentsia in our sprawling publicly funded establishment. The European Union is very good at purchasing the loyalty of powerful and articulate interests in all the member states When we hear the heads of great public institutions, quangos, museums, campaign groups, waxing lyrical about the EU, we have to remember, the EU gives them vast amounts of our money. The EU gives shed loads of our money to local authorities and to universities and to art groups and opera companies. And that then provides this chorus of noise in favour of the European project. Every charity over a certain size is getting money from Brussels, every NGO. We see EU largess effectively buying opinion. You know what we see here is really a racket, it’s become a very good way of taking money from the general population and handing it to people who are lucky enough to be working for the system. The EU likes to advertise it’s generosity, here in the North East for example. “European Union investing in your future”, isn’t that good of them! I wonder where they got the money? The SAGE arts centre at Gateshead we’re often reminded was built with the help of EU money But what you’re not told is that if you live in the North East for every £1 that comes from the EU you have to pay the EU £2.30 in tax… But that’s not the only price the Geordies have paid for EU membership. I’m heading down the river to the mouth of the Tyne The reward for giving up our sovereignty, we’re told is greater influence in Europe. To see how much influence we have I’ve come to the place I grew up. For centuries fisherman’s huts called Shields lined the River Tyne, from them came the names of the towns that straddled the mouth of the river, North and South Shields. The seas here are rough but the water’s rich in mackerel haddock , salmon , herring , cod , skate , and shrimp. By the early 20th Century 14 thousand tonnes of fish a year was being landed here at North Shields. There is a daily fish auction here still, in a building part-funded by the EU. 24 in, 25, 25 pounds…30 pounds, 31, 31, 32…37 pounds In a corner of one of the halls sits fewer than a hundred boxes part filled with fish, a dozen or so fishermen and merchants surround them. 74 year old fish merchant John Ellis has been buying at this auction since the 1950s When I started working down here there was about 200 firms working on the quay, there was haulage firms on the quay who had 30 and 40 wagons that used to ship the fish away. And how many boxes would there be in the market then? In them days there’d be…..8, 10, 12 and then you’d get also- Martin: -twelve- - thousand- -twelve thousand boxes a day- -so a different place -Oh, you couldn’t get moved. Now this, well I think the average for the year would just be about two hundred boxes a day , so it’s practically nothing isn’t it? When Britain joined the common market it lost control of its fishing grounds. When quotas were imposed several other European countries lobbied the EU for Britain’s fishing rights to be divided up between them. The British government was powerless to stop this. The EU has just obliterated the English fishing industry altogether. The quota system they’ve got now is just , it’s just mad. Local fisherman were now banned from fishing in waters they’d fished successfully for centuries.