What Have We Done? The surrender of our democracy to the EU

David G. Green, April 2013

Since joining the European Economic Community in 1973, we have steadily lost the power to govern ourselves.

In this necessary and insightful book, David Green describes the essential qualities of the free, open and democratic British system which evolved over 1,000 years. Under our constitution, the fact that the government can be removed immediately by either the Commons or the Crown changes its behaviour. Yet EU officials have been handed powers by Parliament at a time when the constitutional importance of being able to oust the government is being forgotten.

We in Britain have always tended to think of the EU as a useful device for encouraging mutually beneficial trade: no more, no less. When we joined, we did not think that we were voluntarily surrendering our national independence, curtailing the powers and freedoms of our Parliament, and giving our imprimatur to the eventual creation of a pan-European supra-national state. And yet that is exactly what we did.

Can anything be done?

Green argues that it must fall to the younger generation to supply the deficiencies of their parents, and keep alive the long tradition of British liberty – in the face of a polticial class that is happiest in a posture of abnegation. But to apply the necessary corrective, we need to revive the deliberately-occluded history of English liberty – from Magna Carta to the emergence of parliaments, from the Civil War and habeus corpus to the development, most recently, of Cabinet government.

This book is an excellent introduction to a history that, regrettably, fewer and fewer people are familiar with – an essential history – our history.