Whilst we at OneEurope welcome debate, now is the time to show the lies told by of those who want the UK to leave the European Union. For too long those Brits who want to live in a tolerant, open and bold country which works with our European partners to tackle the greatest challenges of this century have been quiet. Now is the time to make your voice heard! Take part in the OneEurope UK campaign. This is your chance to make a difference, seize it.
Below are direct quotations from a piece written by Young Eurosceptics and published by OneEurope (although the author did not reveal his / her identity so we cannot be certain the author is 'young').
1. 'The most significant argument for leaving the European Union is the undemocratic nature of the union.'
This is one of the most tired arguments of the eurosceptic case for leaving the European Union and needs to be utterly destroyed by the Pro EU/UK side.
For any piece of EU legislation to be passed it must be ratified by the Council of the European Union (CEU) and the European Parliament. In both of these institutions there are elected representatives of the EU's citizenry. So please, spare us the nonsense about the 'unelected' Eurocrats.
In the CEU the minister of an EU member state votes on whether to accept or reject the proposed legislation. The minister representing the member state has been elected by his/her electorate and chosen by the President / Prime Minister to serve in the cabinet. How can this part of the EU legislative procedure be undemocratic, when an elected official of a member state is voting on proposed legislation?
This brings me onto the European Parliament (EP). Since 1979 the citizens have been electing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Over time, MEPs have gained more power in the legislative procedure; this ensures that the directly elected actors within the EU polity play an increasingly influential role in all aspects of the European Union. Not only do MEPs now have the powers to block the European Union's budget, they also sit on committees which scrutinise the Commission and ensure EU policy is fairly implemented. But most importantly of all, with the advent of the co-decision procedure, the EP is an equal actor to the CEU. This means for any EU legislation to be enacted, MEPS and Ministers in the CEU have to vote in favour of it.
Yet, for the eurosceptics this isn't enough. This is known as the 'eurosceptic paradox'. They bemoan the EU's 'lack of democracy', most often chanting that all familiar shout, the Commission is unelected. Yet, when efforts are made to further democratise the EU, the sceptics scream that too much power is being 'taken' from the member states.
Nowhere is this better proven than in the 2014 European Elections. Whilst we in the UK were blissfully ignorant of the election (a pitifully low turnout shows this), a fundamental aspect of the EU was changing. In the treaty of Lisbon, there was an agreement that the results of the next European elections should influence who the President of the Commission was. So, the largest blocs in the EP put forward their candidate for the Presidency of the Commission, this was known as the Spitzenkandidaten. When the votes were counted the EPP (which the Conservatives left) bloc was the largest group in the EP, so it was Juncker, the EPP's representative, who would be 'elected' to the Presidency. Well, lo and behold, the very same people who criticized the democratic credentials of the EU criticized the EU for trying to improve its democratic traits. These people cannot be reasoned with.
2. 'I urge them to ignore the rhetoric and think of the reality, and think of the future instead of the past.'
Yes, I am thinking of the future. This century will continue to be characterised by the tremendous opportunities of globalisation; it is only by working with our European allies that we can transform these opportunities into realities that will benefit the British people. I am a patriot and want my country and the British people to prosper, be more secure and play a leading role in tackling the greatest challenges this century. The only way to achieve this is remain in the European Union.
However, no one can deny the reality that with a more interconnected world, new threats have emerged that do not respect national borders. Challenges like global warming, terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and instability in the Middle East and North Africa (the list goes on) will affect all of us. This is why it is so important for the UK in the EU, so that we can take the lead in overcoming these grave challenges. We should take pride in seeking to play a leading role within the European Union.
3. 'Those who claim the EU to be crucial to European peace are simply stuck in the 19th and 20th centuries; Europe no longer needs to fear Napoleonic-like wars.'
This absurd claim just shows how ignorant the eurosceptics are of history. It was only in the 1990s when the Balkans erupted into bloodletting and ethnic cleansing that we thought that was no longer a 'European Problem'. Yes, the US jets stopped the death squads, but the EU is ensuring that the people of the Balkans never have to experience such trauma again. The long term prospect of EU membership with all the benefits this would bring gives the EU tremendous power in exporting reforms which are securing the construction of more accountable, fair and democratic states, which are imperative if the Balkan region is to avoid more horror.
This belief that 'we' Europeans will not go to war again is narrow minded, racist and blind to the fact that the last 70 years of peace in Western Europe represent in fact an anomaly. You cannot guarantee peace; you must work for it. To do so we must ensure the key foundations of peace in Europe - economic integration and political cooperation - are maintained. It is only through the EU that these two pillars can be secured.
4. 'The EU is having the adverse effect - their expansionist and imperialist foreign policy is undoubtedly causing unnecessary tension with a great military power - Russia.'
In their blind hatred of the EU, the eurosceptics have become 'useful idiots' for the greatest threat to European security, Putin. Though they proudly wear the Union Jack, it is in fact the Russian tricolour which represents the authoritative and aggressive country they are clothed in.
How dare they talk about an expansionist and imperialist foreign policy? The people of Eastern Europe who had suffered under the yoke of Soviet oppression for 45 years gladly seized the opportunity to become part of the European Union, knowing this would lead to democratic institutions and a market economy. The very notion that former Warsaw states were subject to an expansionist foreign policy by becoming members of the EU is shameful. By believing this, the sceptics are willingly marching into the Kremlin's carefully spun web of anti NATO and anti EU propaganda that seeks to destabilise, weaken and ultimately break up the western alliances.
It is Russia not the EU who is destabilising Europe. The illegal annexation of the Crimea and the invasion of Eastern Ukraine have pushed west east tensions to their highest since the end of the cold war. Yet the eurosceptics portray Putin, a man who has crushed all internal opposition, destroyed freedom of the press, isolated Russia and spits in the face of international norms, as the victim!
5. 'It would make no economic sense, for either party (especially with the eurozone in crisis), for the EU to block a free trade deal with Britain. In fact, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty provides that the EU is obliged to negotiate a free trade deal with any member state who may decide to leave.'
This is absurd. No one on the pro EU/UK side has ever said the EU would block a free trade deal with the UK. But what the eurosceptics utterly fail to realise is that for every trade deal the EU signs, the partner must accept all European Union legislatives. The EU can successfully do this, because with a market of 400 million consumers and with some of world's most successful business it has such a strong bargaining position. Don't just take my word for it. Here is the House of Commons report on the future of the European Union.
So there it is. If we were to leave the EU and remain a part of the EEA (no euro sceptic has said we should leave the EEA) we would have to accept all the EU's single market legislation without control over that legislation. To advocate leaving the European Union and surrendering all control over policies that will impact on British people's lives isn't a policy, it's criminal.
6. 'Thus, I urge fellow members of my generation to regain control of our country. I urge them to take back the right to rule ourselves; a right for which past generations fought and died. I urge to them to 'Leave'.'
Wow. What grotesque hyperbole. I will leave it at that.
The choice in this referendum is clear. We must win this campaign so that we can proudly take our place in Europe working with our allies in securing prosperity and security. Join the OneEurope UK campaign to ensure that happens. This is your chance to make history, seize it.