It might be interesting to look back at some of the leaflets which I and colleagues produced over the past few years to see just how many of the predictions we made have come true and how many may yet do so.
In view of the current demand from over one hundred Conservative MPs that powers relating to our legal system should be taken back the warning we gave in July 2000 about Corpus Juris is a good place to start. As we said at the time this plan would lead to the complete destruction of British Common Law, replacing it with the Continental system in which the state becomes both judge and jury, responsible for the prosecution and sentence and for initiating prosecutions even before the opening of an investigation. We said that it would eventually lead to an end to the presumption of innocence, an end to the right to trial by jury, an end to Habeas Corpus and an end to the ban on double jeopardy. As yet only the latter is an accomplished fact but there has been pressure to reduce jury trials, albeit for specious reasons concealing the true motivation of seeking to obey our masters in Brussels. The truth of one sentence which has proved prescient is now reported on in the mainstream press on a regular basis: "Once Corpus Juris is established a British citizen could be arrested within the UK, on the order of a judge elsewhere in the European Union, imprisoned in a foreign jail, refused the right to appear before a courts, be presumed guilt and finally tried by professional judges without the right to heard by a jury". Of course all this has come to pass with the introduction of the European Arrest Warrant. British citizens are now vulnerable to an often corrupt foreign judicial system which the EU itself boastfully described as "a fairer, simpler and more efficient system of repression".
A series of leaflets produced from 2001 onwards concerned VAT and the general operation of the taxation system. Again a direct quote is instructive: "Without the agreement of the electorate, successive British governments have agreed to the imposition of VAT. The levels and the revenues obtained from VAT will eventually come under the full control of an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels This transfer of taxation from direct (income and profit) to indirect (consumption) means that the burden is transferred from the well off to the poorer sections of society. However, even the wealthy should remember that VAT is the first stage in the creation of a unified tax system, which will inevitably control direct taxation of income. Eventually all decisions on taxation, and the use of its revenues, will be removed from the democratic control of the British people, making it impossible for our government to direct economic policy in our nation’s interests". As erstwhile supporters of the EU in the City squirm at the thought of a tax on financial transactions perhaps they might like to reflect on the fact that we told them so years ago.
As one might expect we had a great deal to say about that misbegotten creation of the political class, the single currency , and, as we watch its slow motion collapse, we can now laugh at all those who told us that we were fools. As we said: "Joining the Euro would mean giving control of our economy to un-elected officials in Frankfurt, VAT being charged on children’s clothes, books, newspapers and new houses, increased unemployment , full economic and monetary union, with harmonization of interest rates and later of taxation and a repeat of the disaster which occurred because we joined the ERM in 1990, when we suffered dramatic increases in interest rates and mortgage repayments, followed by the loss of a million jobs and thousands of businesses as well as thousands of home repossessions, through the creation of ‘negative equity'. Thankfully, despite the strenuous efforts of Europhiles we have not joined but must feel sympathy for the peoples of benighted countries such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy who are now reaping what their politicians have sown. Unbelievably there are still lunatics in the UK who advocate joining without delay.
It is instructive to examine what we said about the Common Fishing Policy, as our introduction could hardly be bettered:
"The final betrayal of Britain's fishermen was confirmed in 2003, when British waters became a European Union (EU) asset, under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Edward Heath in his haste to get Britain into the Common Market fell for a swindle, conceived just days before negotiations for us to join began. It gave the other member states freedom to fish in our waters by making them a 'common resource'. Having exhausted their own fishing grounds, they wanted to get their nets into the rich fishing waters inside the British 200-mile limit. In accepting it, Heath betrayed British fishermen and gave other EU nations a licence to rob, loot and pillage our fish forever. Since then, the ongoing process of taking control of our fishing waters by stealth has continued unchecked."
I feel that the only fault was that we were too kind to Heath who, far from 'falling for a swindle' knew only too well what he was doing but was so obsessed with destroying our country as an independent nation that he would have signed away anything to achieve it.
We revealed all those features which proved that the policy was, and is, a disaster for the UK: "More fish are now being thrown back dead in discards, or landed illegally, than are landed legitimately. Britain provides three quarters of the stock, two thirds of the waters, but gets only a third of the catch and an eighth by value. The fish nearly all hatch, grow and spawn in British waters but are a 'Common Resource", the only one. So everyone else can catch our fish and land it in their own ports, destroying the British fishing industry. Every EU nation has "equal access" to this "Common Resource" and new entrants with big fishing fleets, but few fish, seek catches in our waters. Spain was the first and our fishing fleet has been cut to make room for them. Countries, whose fishing fleets are too large for their quotas can register their vessels as British, get European money and catch our quotas. A fifth of the British registered fleet is now foreign owned and these quota hoppers catch more than two fifths of our hake and plaice. Policing at sea falls mainly to Britain but we can't discriminate against the vessels most likely to offend and our efforts are not supported by control at most European ports where small fish "over quota" and illegally undersized fish are all landed with impunity. Nations outside the EU have built powerful fishing industries within their 200-mile limits. Britain isn’t allowed to do this because of the CFP rules."
Finally we summarised just what we could expect as the policy was enforced:
"Far from encouraging conservation it will produce over fishing and a massive crisis in stocks. It will drive many fishermen from the sea and force others to break the law to survive. It will provoke confrontation and conflict at sea. The full application of the policy will mean the end of the British fishing industry."
I remember going, in the very early years of UKIP, to talk to Paul Joy and his colleagues in Hastings about the effect of the European fishing policies on their livelihoods and, despite the fact that these hardy men usually concentrate on their difficult and dangerous profession, rather than involving themselves with the more mundane concerns of politics, they joined the fight we were leading against the EU. Despite all the efforts of patriots since the betrayal has continued and it is so tragic to see former fishing villages around our coasts practically destroyed by this vile policy.
We ended our leaflet with the following statement:
"Only by taking back what is rightfully ours can we save our fish stocks, our fishing fleet and our fishermen".
That is as true now as when we first wrote it and of course the only way by taking back our maritime heritage is by leaving the EU and restoring the Royal Navy to the strength necessary to protect our seas.
It might be salutary to look at a statement which sums up our position, then and now "The only reason we remain within the EU is so that politicians can continue to belong to an elite political club as they are the only people who really benefit from membership. The undemocratic nature of the EU gives politicians the opportunity to wield power without accountability. It provides them with a wider stage upon which to enhance and prolong their careers, even when they have failed domestically. Look at how many politicians have been rejected by British voters and yet have gone on to obscenely over-paid sinecures in the European Commission. Do you really need them named? The main reason politicians support EU membership is because it gives them so many opportunities for highly profitable career development. Why trust them on this when you can see their real motivations and how little you should believe in what they say?"
We have not yet been proved right on every detail but I am proud of the fact that we gave such clear warnings and I have no doubt that, should the EU survive, which obviously we must all hope it does not, many more of our words will come true.