It only takes a quick read of the FCO's "Guide to the European Union" for the heart to sink. By any definition, it is a tissue of lies.
Here, of course, one has to be precise. I remember from school days learning from the Catechism – in the days when we did that sort of thing - and still recall distinctly the definition of a "lie". It was not only the act of uttering an untruth but also included "default and omission". That ethos survives in the oaths given in court where one is required to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
In the main, this document (or its authors) lies through omission. It is not what it does state but what it leaves out. But there is also the lie direct. Some of the statements are downright lies.
To give a flavour of this mendacity, read page 4 on "How did the EU start". Says the document:
Fifty years ago, the countries of Western Europe wanted to make sure they would never again fight each other, as they had in two World Wars. They also wanted to boost their economic recovery. Six of them (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) joined together in 1958 to create the European Economic Community (EEC), which later became the European Union.
This is a parody. From reading this, one gets the impression that "fifty years ago" an idea suddenly popped into the heads of "the countries of Western Europe" who wanted to make sure they would never again fight each other.
Apart from peace and stability, the main goal was to make it easier for member countries to trade with each other. This remains one of the main purposes today. But over the years, the member countries of the EU have decided to work together in more areas. For example, through the EU, Europe’s nations now work together to combat environmental pollution, organised crime and world poverty.
The truth, of course, is that the EEC was the third attempt post-war to achieve political union, and attempt by a very small group of politically motivated men, without the knowledge of understanding of most of their fellow countrymen (and women).
As for economic recovery, this was happening anyway – not least through the Marshall Plan – and was never on the agenda of the EEC. The same applies to "trade with each other". The EEC was a customs union, a Colbertian, protectionist construction designed mainly to promote political union. And it is "political union" which has always been the primary objective of the construct. Remember the first preamble to the 1957 treaty?
Determined to lay the foundation of an ever closer union among the peoples of EuropeBut this the document conveniently ignores. What we get is that, after all these countries suddenly decided to work together, they suddenly "decided to work together in more areas," – like the environment. Nothing of engrenage, the steady process of accumulating powers all directed towards the one objective "ever closer union".
We will continue to deconstruct this document but we can say with confidence, even at this stage, it is a thoroughly dishonest document.