Vice-President of foreign power tours EU’s part of UK for two days like he owns it

EU’s Šefčovič even tries to claim credit for UK taxpayer money spent in Northern Ireland and Irish Republic

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

Facts4EU.Org’s Sunday edition is about the fundamental sovereignty of the United Kingdom

Our article today might seem to be about Northern Ireland, but in reality it addresses the fundamental issues of United Kingdom sovereignty and the continuing and unacceptable behaviour of the EU.

Below we present a Facts4EU.Org analysis of some of the key excerpts from EU Vice-President Šefčovič’s speech on Friday in Belfast. Mr Šefčovič spent two days touring Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom.

At the end of his visit he made a speech, summarising his findings and re-confirming Northern Ireland’s status as a de facto colony of the European Union.

What did the EU Vice-President actually say on Friday?

Speech by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič at the Queen's University, Belfast - PART ONE

Key excerpts, with commentary in dark blue by Facts4EU.Org

“The EU has an unshakeable commitment to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that the peace, stability and prosperity they have enjoyed over the last twenty plus years is preserved. After all, the EU is a peace project itself.”

No. The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement had nothing to do with the EU. The EU’s main contribution has been to “tear up” the Agreement, according to one of its two principal architects, Lord Trimble. The EU’s insistence on retaining Northern Ireland in the Single Market under ECJ jurisdiction means that Northern Ireland is no longer part of the sovereign United Kingdom.

Secondly, the EU is not a peace project. It is a 'projekt' to unify as many countries as possible under central control from Brussels, creating an EU empire. Its overriding mantra is “ever closer union”.

Once again the EU wrongly claims credit for spending UK taxpayers’ money

“We will therefore continue to support the PEACE+ programme, together with the UK and the Irish government, to the tune of around 1 billion euros…. This financial support will be all the more important as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

- EU Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Belfast, 10 Sep 2021

At the very least this qualifies as disinformation. The impression given at a quick read is that the EU has thrown vast amounts of money at the NI peace process. Facts4EU.Org research shows that for the PEACE+ programme the EU is nothing more than a bit-part player.

EU continues to spend UK taxpayers money - on new £0.75bn project

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The UK pays for bulk of the ‘Peace+ Programme’ from 2021, while EU claims the credit

© Crown

  • UK contribution: €850m
  • EU & RoI combined: €258m

“The UK has confirmed that it will be investing more than £730 million (€850 million euros) into the new PEACE PLUS programme to support economic stability, peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.”

- Northern Ireland Office and The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, 4 Sep 2021

On 15 June this year the Northern Ireland Finance Minister confirmed the much smaller contributions from the EU and Irish Government combined.

“The European Commission and the Irish Government have jointly committed €206m to the PEACE PLUS Programme… and [with the] Irish Government €52m providing additional match funding, this will now result in a total PEACE PLUS Programme budget of approximately €1bn.”

This programme and its large budget is administered by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) – an EU department. The funding from the British Government, representing three-quarters of the total, will be paid by the UK to the EU, allowing the EU to administer it and to claim credit for it with plaques on every project wall. This is despite the fact that the UK ostensibly left the EU on 31 Dec 2020.

The prolapsing NI Protocol

Speech by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič at the Queen's University, Belfast - PART TWO

Key excerpts, with commentary in dark blue by Facts4EU.Org

“Together, we indeed found such a solution – the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. It serves a number of purposes:

  • It protects the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its parts; [No, it has wrecked it.]
  • Respects the constitutional order of the United Kingdom; [No, NI has been separated, as confirmed by the NI High Court and in Parliament.]
  • Avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland; [The NI Protocol was not needed to avoid that.]
  • And preserves the integrity of the EU's Single Market; [NI exports to the Republic of Ireland constitute only 0.02% of all EU imports – how was this ever a risk to ‘the integrity of the Single Market’?]
  • While ensuring that the UK as a whole leaves both the Single Market and the EU's Customs Union – a key demand of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.” [No, the UK as a whole did not leave the Single Market and Customs Union. Only GB (England, Scotland and Wales) did. Northern Ireland was abandoned.]

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021

“On the UK side, it agreed that EU rules on goods would remain applicable to Northern Ireland, accepting that this would mean checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, acknowledging a role for the EU's institutions. This is the only way to avoid a hard border between north and south.”

No it was not the only way. As Facts4EU.Org has shown many times using detailed evidence, the Customs authorities of the Republic of Ireland and the Customs authorities of the UK both said they saw no need for a hard border or infrastructure of any kind. They were then prevented by the EU from having any more contact.

“I will not mince my words. The Protocol is not the problem. On the contrary, it is the only solution we have. Failing to apply it will not make problems disappear, but simply take away the tools to solve them. I am, of course, acutely aware of how some in Northern Ireland feel about the Protocol, in particular in the Unionist community.”

No Mr Šefčovič, you clearly are not aware of the strength of opposition in NI, and the Protocol IS the problem. The Unionist community is the majority in Northern Ireland. They (and all people in NI) have been denied any opportunity to give consent, as required under the Belfast Agreement. Furthermore, not one Unionist party in NI supports the Protocol and feelings are becoming more and more inflamed, risking the peace.

“I believe that our focus should be on those issues that matter the most to the people of Northern Ireland, and not on requests, such as removing the role of the European Court of Justice. Doing this would effectively mean cutting Northern Ireland off [from] the EU's Single Market and related opportunities.”

This is wholly disingenuous. The issues have all been caused by the EU’s refusal even to consider the practical solutions put forward by the people whose job it is to manage cross-border trade, nor the subsequent proposals which are mostly based on these, by think-tanks and politicians, including the CBP paper.

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021


The EU is taking the peace…

Firstly, the European Union is NOT “a peace project in itself”, as the EU Commission’s Vice-President claimed on Friday. It is a totalitarian and authoritarian 'projekt', with the principal aim of homogenising and controlling hundreds of millions of citizens of European countries and creating one superstate, ruled from Brussels by individuals who are not directly elected by the people.

Our characterisation might not appeal to those in Brussels, but the facts of its aims have been well documented over decades and we have published these on many occasions.

Nor did the EU have anything to do with securing the peace in Northern Ireland. The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement was a local and national affair, led by those who understood what was needed to forge peace. It was for good reason that the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to David Trimble and the late John Hume, both Northern Ireland politicians.

The EU as lords and masters?

Secondly, how is it possible that an unelected EU Commissioner and Vice-President can tour what is supposed to be a sovereign part of the newly-independent United Kingdom, ‘listening to the concerns’ of British citizens and acting as if he were a government minister?

The funding fiasco

Thirdly, why is the British Government paying £0.75bn to the EU, for it to spend in Northern Ireland and in the cross border areas of the Republic of Ireland, only for the EU to claim the credit by erecting EU plaques on every project?

Following detailed research we do not believe that any of the £0.75 BILLION has yet been transferred to the EU, as the EU has so far been unable to create the required funding mechanism for a cross-border fund. We propose that now that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, it should not participate in this EU programme at all. Instead the money should be part of a ‘UK-NI Peace Fund’.

Failing that, at the very least the UK Government should make any transfer of funds to the EU conditional on plaques being erected on every project which is helped, saying “Majority funded by the United Kingdom”, and bearing the Union Jack.

This is about sovereignty and democratic accountability

Not one person in Northern Ireland (or anywhere else in the EU, for that matter) voted for Mr Šefčovič in any general election. The only votes he received were from MEPs after he had been appointed by Ursula von der Leyen – and the MEPs were presented with only one ‘candidate’ to vote for.

Not one person in Northern Ireland was given the opportunity to vote on the question of whether to give up their sovereignty to Brussels, with no say in the making of laws, nor their implementation.

This article is about sovereignty. Over five years ago the people of the United Kingdom voted to regain it from Brussels. They did not vote for it to be reimposed by Brussels by the back door.

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[ Sources: EU Commission | Northern Ireland Office | N.I. Assembly - Finance Ministry | European Scrutiny Committee - UK Parliament | EU Interreg funds ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sun 12 Sep 2021

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