The UK before joining the EEC
I lived in Hampshire, England from 1970-1973. Almost weekly local newspapers carried graphic reports of huge numbers of French and Belgian shoppers travelling across the channel to Dover, Folkestone etc. to purchase food, drink and many other household items. Significant savings were achieved even after adding in the cost of a return ticket. In light of the foregoing we considered ourselves lucky that Harold Wilson’s bid to join the EEC in 1967 had been vetoed by General de Gaulle.
But bad tidings awaited the UK in the form of the introduction of the “Common Agricultural Policy” (CAP). The hugely expensive policy had been forced on the EEC by the French who intended retaining their vastly inefficient “peasant farmer” agriculture system. Once this was in place France dropped their objections to the UK joining the EEC. Informed politicians warned the UK public that France needed the UK in the EEC so that finance would be available to fund their inefficient farmers and this proved to be the case.
In 1971 Ted Heath’s Tory government (prodded by the USA) opened negotiations with the EEC once more. Simultaneously they launched an expensive political and media onslaught on the UK public broadcasting the subliminal message that the EEC was simply a trading agreement and there was no threat to the UK’s sovereignty. The conduct of discussions were not openly broadcast and in time many aspects of the agreement disadvantageous to the UK unravelled. But the (USA owned) UK media and press clamoured for membership, through their heavy use of emotive headlines shaping and promoting USA and Tory agenda’s.
Yet again the UK public was subjected to a massive con trick orchestrated by politicians and the media who, whilst extolling the virtues, (as yet intangible) gave no mention of the extortionate costs of joining the EEC. Nevertheless Heath, (assisted by a compliant media and press) without affording the UK public the opportunity of a referendum, agreed a treaty committing the UK to joining the EEC in January 1972.
Within days of joining the cost of living in the UK increased by around 40%, (without any increase in wages). Those of us living in the South of England formed “shopper clubs”. These organised weekend trips to France to purchase, food, drink etc. “The shoe had been transferred to the other foot.” What a nonsense.
Cameron resurrecting Project Fear bullying tactics in EU Referendum
David Cameron has come under renewed pressure over his conduct during Scotland’s independence referendum – after new revelations that his government put pressure on big business to try and play up anti-independence fears.
As reported today, a leaked letter from Serco has shown that the Prime Minister has pushed corporations to encourage the publication of anti-Brexit information – and makes clear that the UK Government did the same thing during the independence referendum and ‘managed to garner a lot of publicity’.
Commenting, SNP MSP James Dornan said:
“This damning new evidence lays bare the concerted effort of the UK Government to pressurise big business to try and whip up anti-independence fears – and gets to the heart of the sinister, behind the scenes campaign David Cameron ran in the final weeks of the referendum.
“Now we know that the UK government was pressing businesses to garner publicity for anti-independence scaremongering, people in Scotland will view every anti-independence pronouncement from the Tories in the same light – and won’t believe a single word they say on the issue.
“As Prime Minister of the whole UK, David Cameron had a duty to people in Scotland – instead, he put his partisan interest first and actively sought to undermine our economy, and it’s high time he apologised.
“But it’s clear that he hasn’t learned a single thing from the appalling way his government conducted their business during the independence referendum – and seems content to use the same Project Fear bullying tactics on the issue of the EU. “He should make clear that he will eschew the negative tactics of scaremongering from now until June 23rd – and make the positive case for being part of Europe.”
2014 – The Scottish Referendum
Retailers under pressure from David Cameron to back no vote in Scottish referendum
The UK’s biggest retailers are being ruthlessly pressurized by David Cameron forcing them to intervene in the Scottish referendum debate, pushing his message that a, Yes” vote next week will result in higher prices. He invoked Britain’s defeat of Hitler as part of a plea to around 200 business leaders aimed at preventing Scotland voting for independence. The Prime Minister said that it was as a United Kingdom that the Second World War had been fought and won, and that it was crucial that the country remained undivided.
Cameron’s remarks at the private gathering represent some of his most bizarrely impassioned comments so far, ahead of a referendum which is more finely balanced than at any stage since campaigning got underway. “He (Cameron) emphasized the need for us to do everything we can over the next few days to keep the union together,” said one of those present. “He wants us to highlight the dangers of a Scottish exit in any way we can.”
The so called, “initiative” will take the form of a letter to be released to the UK media in the next day or so. It is being led by Sir Ian Cheshire, the Chief Executive of Kingfisher, the business behind B&Q, the DIY chain. Other retailers understood to have agreed to back the initiative, so far include Marc Bolland, the chief executive of Marks & Spencer, and Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Group. Andy Clarke, the chief executive of Asda, and John Timpson, boss of the Timpson shoe repair business, also support it.
On Thursday night Cheshire confirmed his involvement: “Business leaders need to speak out and get the facts in front of Scottish voters who need to make a decision. It’s not scaremongering. There are costs and consequences of separation and I think the current system works better. Independence is possible but people have to decide if it is better. There needs to be measured debate.” So far, it is understood that Morrisons has refused to add its name and that several other leading retailers are holding back, fearing it would alienate vast numbers of Scottish shoppers. News of the move will fuel concerns in Scotland that a dirty tricks campaign is being co-ordinated through Downing Street
Queen “purred” at the good news her realm would stay intact (for now)
Competition and Supermarkets – A Guidance Note
In the event the Scottish referendum results in Scotland becoming an independent nation. At the date of change supermarkets would be free to establish new markets in Scotland in all respects. Assuming Scotland would retain, “special membership status” within the EU all, “new” markets would be governed by internal market regulations operating within Europe.
To that extent any restriction of trade measures that Supermarkets might seek to introduce would need to meet all aspects of the aforesaid regulations.
The European Commission may, if provided with reference, decide to order a market investigation so as to ensure a fair extension of the frontiers of competition within Supermarkets operating within England & Scotland.
Any costs inflated by carriage charges would need to be measured and imposed equally across the entire supermarket distribution area, (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). eg Asda, (based in Leeds) would need to introduce an added carriage cost for distribution to Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Cardiff.
It would not be permissible to add carriage costs to goods for sale in Scotland to the exception of the same goods for sale in England.
Unionist Party leaders in forefront of Better Together 2014 referendum campaign