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Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, for decades a giant of international EU-critical movement, passes

Jens-Peter Bonde, former Danish MEP who was well-known in Ireland
because of his involvement in various EU-related referendum campaigns
in this country over decades, lost his battle against cancer and died
in Copenhagen yesterday evening, Easter Sunday, 4 April.

He was one of the longest serving members of the European Parliament,
having been elected to that body in the first direct elections in
1979. He was re-elected six times consecutively and was a member of
the conference of presidents for 17 years.  He was known throughout
as a life-long campaigner for democracy and transparency in the

Jens-Peter Bonde was one of the founders of the Danish People’s
Movement and originally opposed EEC membership for Denmark.
Following Denmark’s Maastricht Treaty Referendum in 1993 he accepted
the fact of Denmark’s EU membership and founded the Danish June Movement to
campaign for more democracy and transparency in the EU and its

He took part in all nine EU-related referendums in the Republic of
between 1972 and 2012 in broad support of the EU-critical side
and participated in many radio and TV debates on these occasions. He
was the author of over twenty books on EU topics and is probably best
known for his production of the ‘Reader-Friendly Edition of the EU
Treaties’, with its invaluable index (see http://www.EUabc.com),
which enables people  find their way around the complex EU treaties.

His many friends and admirers in Ireland, in Denmark and
internationally will mourn his passing.  His close friend Anthony
Coughlan said: “Jens-Peter Bonde’s death means that Denmark and Europe
have lost a great democrat and internationalist and Ireland has lost a
very good friend.”

Jens-Peter Bonde was the husband of Lisbeth Kirk, founder of EUObserver.

He  was an admirer of the work of Irish artist Robert Ballagh, who
painted three portraits of members of the Bonde family: one of Jens-Peter
himself, one of his wife Lisbet Kirk and one of Jens-Peter and his
four sons together.

(See www.EUobserver.com for confirmation)

The Irish border problem: a better way

It is now clear that the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement negotiated mainly by Theresa May was a capitulation to the Transnational Big Business interests in the Confederation of British Industry and other “Remainer” elements who knew that parts of it – in particular the Irish Protocol – would keep the UK entangled indefinitely in the EU and its Court of Justice.

It provides that EU rules regarding State aids and customs that were thought necessary in Northern Ireland to ensure that there was no physical border between North and South could extend to the whole of the UK. This would keep Britain as a whole under the jurisdiction of EU law post-Brexit – the Irish tail continuing to wag the British dog – which is what the “Remainers”, and of course the EU, have always wanted.

An alternative and perfectly reasonable approach for after the UK has left the EU would be for the UK Parliament to pass a new law requiring all exports continuing to the EU to meet all EU requirements on pain of criminal sanctions. As only about 6% of UK business firms are involved in exports to the EU, the other 94% could be exempted from EU laws without that having any adverse effect on the EU.

After all, the previous need for EU/UK border checks was removed when the EU’s Single European Act came into force, which was only possible because the House of Commons had passed the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1986 to approve that treaty.

If the existing UK law provides a sufficient guarantee to the Irish and EU authorities that there is no need to check imports from the UK at the North-South Border, as it does, then there seems no good reason why a new UK law could not also provide such a guarantee.

This proposal was advanced by a high-powered group including former senior British Commission official Jonathan Faull in an August 2019 paper entitled “An Offer the UK and the EU cannot refuse“.

Unfortunately both did refuse it. Tuilleadh

“Ireland and the EU Post Brexit”…Important new book by former Irish diplomat Dr Ray Bassett

This 300-page work by Ireland’s former Ambassador to Canada takes a critical look at Ireland’s negotiating tactics on Brexit. It discusses
Ireland’s relations with the Europe since we joined the then EEC in
1973 and considers the policy choices that lie before us in the next few years as a real Brexit is now happening and the North is leaving the EU along with the rest of the UK.

Read an extract here.

I think that it is in the interest of every patriotic, nationally-minded and progressive person to do what they can to draw attention to this important work and to urge people to buy it, preferably direct from the Distributors, as that is the easiest and speediest way of getting it, paying by credit card online at £12.50 a copy, plus postage. It should retail in the local bookshops here at €15 in due
course, but please do what you can to generate interest in and encourage sales of this book.

Dr Bassett’s revealing book is now available from YPS Publishing at www.yps-publishing.co.uk Its ISBN number is 978-1-8380397-0-7 if one is ordering it through bookshops.

Video: Dr Ray Bassett on the Irish Backstop, 2019


Video: Prof. Bill Mitchell, Dublin – Europe and the EU after Brexit


The Committee of the Annual Desmond Greaves Summer School lecture on “Europe and the EU after Brexit” at 2 p.m. on Saturday 15 February, by Professor William Mitchell, co-author with Thomas Fazi of “Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post- Neoliberal World”.

Co-hosted by the People’s Movement. In this internationally influential book the authors explore why the mainstream Labour movement and Left in the developed world ideologically disarmed itself in the 1970’s before a rampant neoliberalism.


Video: what is the National Platform?

UK “Breakin’ the Law”?

The hysteria over the British Government’s statement that the will of the Westminster Parliament will override EU law in the UK post-Brexit reflects the dismay of “Remainer” interests that this prospect would disappear in the event of “No Deal” on a trade agreement.

The EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement and its Northern Ireland Protocol were drawn up by Boris Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May under pressure from the euro-unionists of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and other “Remainers”.

It provides that EU rules regarding State aids and customs that were thought necessary in Northern Ireland to ensure that there was no physical border between North and South should extend to the whole of the UK.

This would keep Britain as a whole under the jurisdiction of EU law post-Brexit – the Irish tail continuing to wag the British dog – which is what the “Remainers”, and of course the EU, have always wanted.

It is legal ABC that the unwritten Constitution of the UK is that the Crown in Parliament is sovereign and can therefore pass legislation that is in breach of any external treaty, and there are many precedents for that.

The international law of treaties governs relations between sovereign States. The EU does not claim to be a State, but an arrangement between States, so that any treaty with it does not have the status of a normal inter-State treaty.


The EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement is NOT a Treaty between States

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defines treaties as agreements between states. But the EU is not a state, it is an international organisation. So, the Withdrawal Agreement does not have the status of a treaty. The EU is not a party to the Vienna Convention, so it can hardly invoke its provisions.


(See House of Commons Library, Could the Withdrawal Agreement be
terminated under international law? 19 March 2019.)

It is legitimate to terminate a treaty if the terms of the treaty become injurious to a state: Tuilleadh

Labour-oriented Brexiteers vs. Constitutional Revolution

Further evidence of the part played by Labour-oriented Brexiteers in winning the 2016 UK referendum victory for “Leave” was the elevation of three former Labour Party MPs to the House of Lords in last month’s British Honours list.

The best known of these is the redoubtable German-born Mrs Gisela Stuart, former MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, who was Tony Blair’s nominee to the EU Convention that drew up the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe in 2003.


Cross-Party Campaign for an Independent Britain makes Anthony Coughlan honorary life member; & Correction of ‘Phoenix’ misrepresentation

See 12 June addition to CIB web-site and Image of Robert Ballagh portrait there.

The CIB committee has unanimously resolved to award honorary life membership to Professor Anthony Coughlan of Trinity College Dublin, in appreciation of more than fifty years of support for the cause of British independence from the EU. Prof. Coughlan‘s writings as both a professional economist and an authority on the threat of European integration to national sovereignty have for decades been invaluable to EU-critical lawyers, economists and political activists.


Important Article links roundup (YTD)


Barnier, Border and Brexit: A Game of Cynics by Brussels

Michel Barnier seems hell bent on imposing an internal border in Ireland if there is a no-deal Brexit. It’s the same old EU song: using the Irish border to try to disrupt Brexit, with hints of a return to Irish Border terrorism unless Brussels gets its way. In reality, North/South trade in manufactured goods can be easily managed by means of trusted trader status and is a non-event in terms of difficulty. All that is required is a UK system of export licences to control what is actually carried across the land border into the Republic, as suggested last August by former senior EU Commission official Sir Jonathan Faull:

Brexit: Backstop plan by Sir Jonathan Faull dismissed by EU, BBC NI, 27 Aug 2019


“Under this proposal it will be a violation of UK law backed up by severe penalties knowingly to export, through the frontier between the North and the Republic, goods which do not comply with the regulatory standards of the EU.”


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