Yesterday I visited the EU Parliament. It was an event to open the institutions of the parliament and celebrate the success of the largest trading block on the planet.
It was indeed an interesting day with a chance to ask a question in the debating chamber and put a question in writing. Which will be answered within two weeks.
The role of the EU parliament is widely misunderstood in the UK and to a point in Scotland, although there is a difference in the degree of misunderstanding between Scotland and the rest of the UK and this was made apparent during the campaign and vote on exit from the EU. Overall, the UK voted by a very small margin to leave the EU but in Scotland, there was a large majority of 62% who voted to remain.
The difference between the way the EU is governed and say the UK is that the EU is all about the people, the citizens of the union. Whereas, the UK is all about the vested interests of big business and the xenophobic nature of the present ruling party.
The EU seeks to control corporate pressures, as opposed to the UK parties who are in the thrall of corporate interests through the funding direct from these corporate entities to political parties. Does anyone think that this funding is other than for the benefit of these companies? No, of course, it is not. So, in the UK our governance is based on the needs of the financiers of our governments and not on the needs of the people, otherwise, we would not be requiring foodbanks to feed large sections of the people.
The EU is different in as much as the funding comes directly from the member states, therefore it bears no allegiance to outside interests and therefore concentrates on the needs of the citizens of the EU and not big business.
No more is this evident than in the EU legislation to go live in early 2019 concerning tax evasion by corporate entities by way of the transfer of profits to offshore tax havens thus depriving the country that the money was made in the benefit of the taxes due.
Starbucks is a prime example of this and this is how they do it. They set up a company in say the Cymen islands where corporation tax is either nil or perhaps half a percent as opposed to the 19% it is in the Uk. This company owns the intellectual rights of Starbucks such as the right to use the name. So, when the profit is calculated for each Starbucks outlet, this potential profit is then taken as a payment for the intellectual rights such as the use of the name, by the company in the Cayman Islands, meaning that the Starbucks outlet in the UK appears to have made nil profit. This deprives the host country of billions of pounds in tax.
So, this is what this new EU legislation is all about, it is facilitating a fair tax system for the member countries and therein lies the true reason for Brexit. It is not about immigration (or at least only in a very small amount) no it is all about the corporate interests who fund the Tory party and indeed their own MP’s who are terrified that the EU will stop their huge tax evasion practices.
So, remember this. The EU is about people and the UK is all about corporate interests.
OK, so to the questions I asked. The session was hosted by the speaker and the speech was by Marie Arena who is one of the Socialist members of the parliament. She gave a very good speech, the gist of which was that the heart of the EU was the people. I asked her, “as the UK has voted by a small margin to, lemming-like, throw itself over the cliff edge and into oblivion, but the people of Scotland voted by a large margin to remain and taking into account that the people of Scotland are EU citizens, what is the EU position on this”?
Her answer was that this was a very good and difficult question. It was apparent that the UK had been forced to make a decision under false pretences by receiving unreliable information from people like Nigel Farage, and they were very aware of the difference in the Scottish vote. The member state is the UK and although they do not intend making it particularly easy for the UK to leave without penalty they have a duty to be less severe as they realise that many of the EU citizens do not want to leave, especially now that many of them realise they were deceived.
So there you have it, an honest answer from a member of the EU parliament.
The other question I was able to ask in writing, aided by one of the researchers was, “As Scotland voted to remain and the people of Scotland are by choice European citizens and taking it that there might very well be another referendum where Scotland will almost certainly vote to be independent. Should there be a fast track mechanism in place to facilitate immediate entry to the EU? The researcher said that this was a very good question and she would personally see to it that it was answered. I will have the answer to this within two weeks so watch this space.
So remember this, the EU is all about the people as opposed to the UK which is all about corporate interests.