In September UKIP are planning to launch a nationwide assault on Britain's membership of the European Union, through a campaign they have entitled "Let the people decide."
The campaign will include an online petition and regional publicity drives, to publicise their ill informed "euro-myth" that the EU no longer resembles the free trade area the British people were allegedly conned in to joining in the 1970's.
Such claims about the European Union can be seen as shorthand for xenophobia, and to raise the myth of ‘foreigners taking over the nooks and crannies of British life’.
It was, Hitler who said that people “will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one,” a quote which UKIP have also used on their website. It is for this reason, that we feel it necessary to dispell the euro-myth which UKIP have founded their campaign on and are intent on using to play up to people's concerns regarding the EU.
The UKIP campaign claims that the British government told the electorate they were simply joining a free trade zone in the 1975 referendum. However this is simply not true. British governments never hid the significance of joining the EU.
The Wilson government, in setting out its reasons for applying in 1967, stressed that “the Government’s purpose derives above all from our conviction that Europe is now faced with the opportunity of a great move forward in political unity and that we can - and indeed we must - play our full part in it...”
The Wilson Government White Paper pointed out that membership involved “Community law
having direct internal effect is designed to take precedence over the domestic law of the Member States”.
The Heath Government’s 1971 White Paper on joining spoke of the aims of “an ever closer union
among European peoples” and not just of trade but “social progress”, “approximating the economic policies of member states”, “stability”, and “closer relations of the member states” - all“objectives to which this country can wholeheartedly subscribe”.
The White Paper went on to say: “ If the political implications of joining Europe are at present
clearest in the economic field, it is because the Community is primarily concerned with economic
policy. But it is inevitable that the scope of the Community’s external policies should broaden as
member countries interests become harmonised. That is the Community’s clear intention. As
regards the co-ordination of foreign policy, the practical obligations which the UK will assume if we join now will involve no more than we have already assumed in WEU. But we shall be joining at a moment when we will be able to influence the process of development. This will also be true of progress towards economic and monetary union”.
It underlined that “what is proposed is a sharing and an enlargement of individual national
sovereignties in the general interest,” and “a Europe united would have the means of recovering
the position in the world which Europe divided has lost”.
It is also worth looking at the statements sent to every household prior to the referendum on
membership in 1975. The Government’s statement explained that this was “probably the most important choice that the British people have ever been asked to make”. A far cry from UKIP's claim of a small trading matter!