EU – Quangos

This chapter will look into the various EU quangos either fully or semi controlled by the EU.

There are quite a few, so watch this space.


Official Name: GSA

Budget: 30mill 20177 however financial resources are 2290 mill

Personnel: 1167

This is a EU funded GPS system initially designed for civil purposes but it was later agreed5 to include military purposes.

GPS is crucial for monitoring and assisting troop movements; and for autonomous and automated guided weapons systems.

There are several issues with the functioning of Galileo and the US and NATO supported system2+3 both technical and political.

The civil part of the system is utilised in cooperation with Canada6 and China4.

Questions to be asked:

  1. Does the inclusion of the military use indicate EU want it’s own army independent of NATO?
  2. If China and Canada are partners and Canada and Switzerland are on the council; why are the UK then being excluded due to Brexit?
  3. Why does the UK need access to Galileo when the UK can use the US based GPS as part of NATO?

Good Articles (subscripted)

  • None yet

References (superscripted)

  1. Galileo – GSA

Change log:

  1. 5/8-2018: Created document
  2. 7/8-2018: Minor changes to references document

EU – Article 50

Just to remind myself what this says…


Highlights in my own words

  1. Any country may leave due to own requirements (another way to say you cannot be kicked out)
  2. If any country decides to withdraw; that country needs to tell the European Council (the timer will start then)
  3. The country leaves the EU based on an agreed date or if no date is agreed then 2 years after the timer started above
  4. The country leaving will be left out of meetings concerning the country leaving the EU
  5. The country can re-join again later based like any other non-EU country (no hard feelings!)

Original text below from

Article 50

  1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
  2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
  3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
  4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Article 218(3)

Just to ensure nothing sinister is in here…

  • The Commission, or the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy where the agreement envisaged relates exclusively or principally to the common foreign and security policy, shall submit recommendations to the Council, which shall adopt a decision authorising the opening of negotiations and, depending on the subject of the agreement envisaged, nominating the Union negotiator or the head of the Union’s negotiating team.

Brexit – Remember the Results

I’m making this post as the referendum details keeps being questioned in various discussions. Also to preserve the facts in case they disappear off the BBC website.

Most of the facts are thanks to the BBC website:

Based on that I did a few additional calculations…but all facts!




Electorate: 46,501,241 (100%)
Turnout:  33,551,983 (72.2%)

Detailed Result

Based on Votes

Votes: 33,551,983 (100%)
Leave: 17,410,742 (51,9%)
Remain: 16,141,241 (48,1%)
Gap: 1,269,501 (3.78%)
Rejected: 26,033 (0.078%)

Based on Electorate (includes undecided)

Electorate: 46,501,241 (100%)
Leave: 17,410,742 (37.4%)
Remain: 16,141,241 (34.7%)
Gap: 1,269,501 (2.73%)
Did not vote: 12,949,258 (27.9%)
Rejected: 26,033 (0.056%)




England: 28,455,402 (100%)
Leave: 15,188,406 (53.4%)
Remain: 13,266,996 (46.6%)
Gap: 1,921,410 (6.75%)


Scotland: 2,679,513 (100%)
Leave: 1,018,322 (38.0%)
Remain: 1,661,191 (62.0%%)
Gap: –642,869 (-24.0%)


Wales: 1,626,919 (100%)
Leave: 854,572 (52.5%)
Remain: 772,347 (47.5%)
Gap: 82,225 (5.05%)

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: 790,149 (100%)
Leave: 349,442 (44.2%)
Remain: 440,707 (55.8%)
Gap: -91,265 (11.6%)


2016: 72.2%

1975: 64.6%

Historical Election Turnouts with EU referendum turnouts:


EU – Economy of Brexit

This is part of the EU Fact File

Verdict: NEUTRAL – YES it CAN be proved that either leaving or joining the EU does NOT impact the ECONOMY

So both Brexit remain and leave campaigns struggle to prove what would happen if we either leave or stay in the EU?

Strangely enough – nobody has thought of looking at what happens when you join the EU.

Leaving the EU would then be the reverse effect of joining!

So if a country get a huge boost by joining if would make sense a similar bust would occur when leaving.

Lets look at some of the late comers in the EU – lets pick the bigger ones of the new EU countries:

  • Poland: joined 2004 with a population of about 38 million
  • Hungary: joined 2004 with a population of about 10 million
  • Romania: joined 2007 with a population of 20 million

You can add the smaller ones yourself but they would almost be zero as it goes to show the new EU countries had a very low development level per capita compared to the old EU countries.

To see if the population got richer you need to look at GDP PER CAPITA.

GDP TOTAL or % GROWTH is not used – as these numbers does not show if people are getting richer or poorer inside the country.

A country may show an overall GDP growth – but if this is caused by immigration then this may not result in anybody getting richer (except for the immigrants whilst in the country).

What we need to understand is – if we (human beings) are better of inside or outside of the EU – hence the use of GDP PER CAPITA.

I have added a couple of non-EU countries for comparison.

Feel free to add your own but remember they have to start off with a similar population and GDP starting point so you don’t compare apples and oranges.

You can play around with the graph on the Wold Bank website by clicking on the graph below.

The interesting period is before and after 2004/2007 where the new EU countries joined the EU:


Points to make of the above graph:

  • Poland and Hungary around year 2004 – did have growth – but not more than Romania, that had not joined yet
  • Romania around year 2007 – even after joining the trend followed other EU10 countries – no impact it seems
  • Malaysia having a population of 28 million – did similarly to the new EU countries and did better than Hungary with a similar economy
  • Switzerland and Norway did as well or better while not being in the EU even though these countries are already highly developed
  • United Kingdom and Germany did NOT do well at all – similar to other large EU countries (you can add these yourself!)

Some conclusions to be made:

  1. The new and undeveloped EU countries would have had a similar growth outside the EU (compared to Malaysia)
  2. The old and developed EU countries would have had a better growth outside the EU (compared to Switzerland and Norway)

Questions to be asked (maybe covered in a later article):

  1. Why do the IN campaign and other organisations believe we will be economically worse off my leaving the EU mind boggling?
  2. How much could the United Kingdom have grown if been outside the EU if we had followed countries like Switzerland and Norway?
  3. Would the United Kingdom get a better or worse deal than Switzerland and Norway if the UK left EU?

Good Articles (subscripted)

  1. None

References (superscripted)

  1. World Bank open data:

Change log:

  1. Created 4/6-2016

EU Fact File

Image result for EU question

Please! This is work in progress…

See change log below for updates and additions…

ALSO this is being split into sub-pages now as it is getting too big!

The Brexit in/out campaign is getting incredible dirty and full of propaganda and lies so here I have been trying to find facts only.

Please tell me if something is incorrect.

Index to subpages:

Diplomatic Mission9

The member states of the European Union speak with the same voice on many issues. The EU is the world’s largest trade bloc and donor of humanitarian and development assistance, and thus has an extensive network of delegations around the world mainly operating in the framework of External Relations, for which the European Commission is the main decision body.

The EU has 140 ‘delegations’ – EU embassies – around the world, each with ‘Heads of Delegations’ – EU Ambassadors – making up the European External Action Service – the EU’s foreign service.

EU Budget

The European Union has a budget to pay for policies carried out at European level (such as agriculture, assistance to poorer regions, trans-European networks, research, some overseas development aid) and for its administration, including a parliament, executive branch, and judiciary that are distinct from those of the member states.

EU budget is combined by contributions based on the GDP and tax on VAT (yes tax on tax!).

EU contributions per capita in 2014 (23):

  • United Kingdom €229 (thanks to the rebate originally negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984)
  • Denmark €487 (similar to Norway)
  • Spain €232
  • Germany €353
  • France €332

EFTA contributions to EU per capita in 2014 (23):

  • Switzerland €68 (EU export 45% 22)
  • Norway €107  (EU export 63% 21)
  • Iceland €50 (EU export 78% 20)

Interesting note in (23) on EFTA:

After 50 years of existence, the European Free Trade Association is still a political and  economic alternative for European countries, which want to remain outside the European Union. The reasons for being a member state of EFTA are today exactly the same as they were 50 years ago: EFTA states can maintain their independent monetary policy, foreign affairs, defence and agriculture and fisheries policies. On average, EFTA states enjoy a higher GDP per capita and a lower unemployment rate than the EU-28.

Questions to be asked:

  1. As Switzerland is landlocked with the EU the UK should have an even better deal than Switzerland if we left the EU?
  2. If a country do better then they have to pay more EU contributions – does that encourage a prudent national budget approach? 


This is quite messy but here is an overview (click to enlarge):


The details:

  • European Commission: Unelected executive branch. Responsible for initiating all legislation and the day-to-day running of the EU. 28 Commissioners for different areas of policy – one Commissioner from each member state, though Commissioners are bound to represent the interests of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. Any legislation presented by the Commission must be voted upon by the European Parliament. The commission has powers to pass certain sensitive matters without the approval from the parliament like laws on taxes
  • European Parliament: Elected primary chamber. The European Parliament forms one half of the EU’s legislature (the other half is the Council of the European Union). The 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU citizens every five years on the basis of proportional representation. Parliament and the Council of the European Union pass legislation jointly
  • Council of the European Union: Second chamber. Forms the other half of the EU’s legislature. It consists of a government minister from each member state and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed.
  • European Council: The European Council gives direction to the EU, and convenes at least four times a year. It comprises the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and one representative per member state; either its head of state or head of government. The European Council has no legislative power
  • Court of Justice of the European Union: Ensure uniformity of interpretation of European law and has the power to decide legal disputes between EU member states, EU institutions, businesses and individuals
  • European Central Bank ECB: forms together with the national central banks the European System of Central Banks and thereby determining the monetary policy of the EU and EURO
  • European Court of Auditors: EU budget is scrutinised by the auditors however they do not audit the EU finances

All the above institutions are based mainly in Brussels, Luxemburg (court and auditors) and the ECB in Frankfurt


There is a lot of statistics in this area and it is generally hard to interpret.

The graph below includes both goods and services.

If you look at the proof in the pudding then the EU trade had fallen by around 10% since 1999 (see dotted line) and continue to fall.

Figure 2: UK exports and imports to EU and Non-EU

Negative EU balance means the EU is dependent on exporting to the UK as well as the UK is increasingly dependent on exporting outside the EU = non-EU.

Not that clear from the graph above but another article has analysed the net trade balance details from above and come to same conclusion (14) but in a clearer way:

It get even more complicated as some of the EU trade is actually non-EU trade (3). For example goods exported from the UK are often sent via the Netherlands to Rotterdam and from there to the final destination outside the EU. So this trade looks like EU trade where in fact it is non-EU trade. To quantify this is complicated but the amounts are significant if looking at the UK to Netherlands trade figures.

December 2015 Trade numbers35:


  • Non-EU exports increased 22%
  • Non-EU imports down 11%
  • Total exports to non-EU is now 62%
  • Total imports from non-EU is 45%
  • EU exports down 7.7%
  • EU imports down 6.3%
  • Total exports to the EU is now 38%
  • Total imports from the EU is 55%

So the UK activity with the EU is falling dramatically!

Questions to be asked:

  1. How much EU trade is “artificial” due to subsidies resulting in situations like how it can be cheaper to fly tomatoes from Spain to the UK rather we grow then ourselves?
  2. How can EU trade be falling since 1999, while the number of EU countries has expanded from 15 to 28 in same timeframe (bigger EU = less trade to UK?)?
  3. If the trend continues would we be playing on the right horse by being in the EU?

Tax (12)

This is a complex subject due to the various ways people and businesses are taxed in the EU and EFTA.

UK tax since 1970:


No impact of the UK entering the EU. Also business tax has dropped since late eighties over both successive left and right governments.

Total EU and non-EU taxes in PCT of GDP:

Switzerland (CH) has a very low tax compared to the EU almost as low as Romania (RO) although preserving a high-level social system.

Double Irish/Dutch Sandwich39

Typically, the company arranges for the rights to exploit intellectual property outside the United States to be owned by an offshore company.


  1. An advertiser pays for an ad in Germany
  2. The ad agency sends money to its subsidiary in Ireland, which holds the intellectual property (IP)
  3. Tax payable in Ireland is 12.5 percent, but the Irish company pays a royalty to a Dutch subsidiary, for which it gets an Irish tax deduction
  4. The Dutch company pays the money to yet another subsidiary in Ireland, with no withholding tax on inter-EU transactions
  5. The last subsidiary, although it is in Ireland, pays no tax because it is controlled outside Ireland, in Bermuda or another tax haven

In 2014, the Irish government announced that companies would no longer be able to incorporate in Ireland without also being tax resident there, a measure intended to counter arrangements similar to the double Irish. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan addressed the “Double Irish” during the presentation of his 2015 budget. Under the new rules, companies not already operating in the country may not pursue the “Double Irish” scheme as of January 2015; those already engaging in the tax avoidance scheme have a five-year window until 2020 to find another arrangement

Under Finance Act 2015, a new system has been introduced whereby innovative companies who choose to incorporate in Ireland can now benefit from the introduction of the Knowledge Development Box (the “KDB”) in Ireland, the scheme is seen a replacement for the “double-Irish” tax system which was recently closed. An effective tax rate of 6.25% can be obtained on qualifying profits generated in periods commencing on or after 1 January 2016.

Questions to be asked:

  1. In many EU reports Switzerland is left out for reasons, which can be interpreted as obvious as they have a very low tax indeed?
    Most of the time EU taxes are compared to Norway and Iceland, which are both part of the highly taxed Nordics/Scandinavia
  2. How can a country like Switzerland with with high-level of social security have as low taxes as Romania?
  3. How can the EU allow tax avoidance between two EU countries like in the Irish/Dutch sandwich?

Legal System

EFTA Secretariat, the EU generated 52,183 legal instruments between 2000 and 2013.

The all have to be adopted by EU members.

EFTA uptake (5):

  • Norway: adopted 4,724 – 9 per cent
  • Iceland: adopted 6,326 out of 62,809 EU legal acts between 1994 and 2014 – 10%
  • Switzerland: zero per cent

Difference between European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights(10)

  • European Court of Justice ECJ rules on European Union (EU) law
  • European Court of Human Rights ECHR rules on European Convention on Human Rights which covers the 47 member states of the Council of Europe CE

The EU’s Treaty of Lisbon, in force since 1 December 2009, requires the EU to accede to the convention in Article 6 of the consolidated Treaty on European Union.

In other words UK can only avoid ECHR if outside both EU and CE.

European Court of Human Rights can rule against deportation if a person faces death sentence, torture or unfair trial (11).

Questions to be asked:

  1. Seems like Switzerland can get away with having a extensive trade union without committing to any EU laws. Maybe Switzerland has a more negotiation power compared to Norway and Iceland. Maybe this would work in the favour of United Kingdom?

Military System

  • This is not applicable to EU as this is fully covered by NATO
  • The EU has some peacekeeping and European Border and Coast Guards (former Frontex) to detect and stop illegal immigration, human trafficking and terrorist infiltration
  • United Kingdom permanent membership of the UN Security Council(17) is based on the outcome of WWII and is not dependent on economics nor membership of the EU

Questions to be asked:

  1. Why paying to a EU military force when we are already paying to a NATO force?
  2. Still need to understand why the EU need a border force when this according to the Schengen agreement should be done my the individual member state?
  3. Many says the EU have secured our safety since WWII but is it not really NATO including the US that have done that?


  • 1957 – EEC (Rome treaty created) by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany (total 6 countries)
  • 1973 – Denmark, Ireland and United Kingdom joins (total 9 countries)
  • 1981 – Greece joins(total 10 countries)
  • 1986 – Portugal and Spain joins (total 12 countries)
  • 1993 – Maastricht treaty created leading to the EURO
  • 1995 – Austria, Finland and Sweden joins (total 15 countries)
  • 2002 – EURO introduced in 12 countries simultaneously
  • 2004 – Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joins (total 25 countries)
  • 2007 – Romania and Bulgaria joins (total 27 countries)
  • 2009 – Lisbon treaty created introducing majority voting in the EU parliament
  • 2013 – Croatia joins (total 28 countries)

Turkey(18) is to join next but is being held back due to mainly Germany. Germany already has a large Turkish population(19), which may explain the reluctance. However in the current refugee crisis Turkey has been using the flow of refugees as a negotiation weapon.

Iceland(20) withdrew its application to the EU membership 12 March 2015. EU would have limited the fishing in Iceland where their current membership of EEA does not limit this.

Countries not in the EU (but often mistakenly included or confused in relation to EU):

  • EFTA2 countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland
  • EEA3 countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway providing free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the EU
  • Turkey customs union4: Goods may travel between the two entities without any customs restrictions. The Customs Union does not cover essential economic areas such as agriculture (to which bilateral trade concessions apply), services or public procurement

Questions to be asked:

  1. How can we keep control the borders to Turkey if they become an EU member – just try to have a look at a map of Turkey – it is missive and impossible to control hence the current refugee crisis?
  2. Leaving EU and being in the EEA instead  would strengthen UK fishing just like Iceland?

Overview of European Organisations (click to zoom):


Good Articles (subscripted)

  1. Legal:
  2. Legal:
  3. Trade:
  4. Scotland:
  5. Immigration:
  6. Immigration:
  7. Banking:

References (superscripted)

  1. EU:
  2. EFTA:
  3. EEA:
  4. Turkey:
  6. Budget:
  7. Immigration:
  8. Immigration:
  12. Personal tax:
  13. Trade:
  14. Trade:
  15. Moved to Economy
  16. Moved to Economy
  17. Military:
  18. Turkey:
  19. Turkey:
  20. Iceland:
  21. Norway:
  22. Switzerland:
  23. Budget:
  24. Migration:
  25. Migration:
  26. Moved to Banking
  27. Moved to Banking
  28. Moved to Banking
  29. Moved to Employment
  30. Moved to Business
  31. Moved to VAT
  32. Moved to VAT
  33. Moved to VAT
  34. Moved to VAT
  35. Trade – 2015:
  36. Moved to Business
  37. Moved to VAT
  38. Moved to VAT
  39. Tax-
  40. Moved to Economy

Change log:

  1. 27/2: Created document
  2. 28/2: Added Economy in GDP and added some questions around migration
  3. 29/2: Added fact about UK in UN Security Council and Turkey as next in the EU and Iceland reason not to be in the EU
  4. 1/3: Updated EU budget contributions to 2014 numbers. Added more info to Migration
  5. 8/3: Added Employment and Employers
  6. 9/3: Added VAT
  7. 10/3: Added 2015 trade figures
  8. 10/3: Created separate VAT page
  9. 10/3: Created separate environment page
  10. 15/3: Separated employment into separate page
  11. 20/3: Separated Employers into separate page