A recent public letter warning against Brexit argued that EU laws have ‘a hugely positive effect’ on the environment. It was signed by the heads of a dozen green pressure groups including Natural England, the Green Alliance, the RSPB and the Natural Environment Research Council. What was not mentioned was that the European Commission funds eight of the 12 organisations directly.
The last time Britain had to approve a major transfer of power to Brussels was in 2007, when we ratified the Lisbon Treaty. Introducing the Bill in Parliament, the then Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, made a great song and dance of quoting a whole range of organisations in favour. ‘The NSPCC has pledged its support, as have One World Action, Action Aid and Oxfam,’ he said, looking pleased with himself. [...] It turned out every organisation he cited was in receipt of EU subventions. Hardly surprising, then, that they should dutifully endorse a treaty supported by their paymasters.
What was surprising was the extent of their financial dependency. When I asked the European Commission how much money it had paid these organisations, it emerged that Action Aid, the NSPCC, One World Action and Oxfam had among them been given €43 million in a single year.
Back in 2003, when the European Constitution was first being drawn up, 200 organisations supposedly representing ‘civil society’ were invited to submit their suggestions on what it should contain. All of them were in receipt of EU grants.
This sounds more like a racket than a government. I would not be surprised if all of it were true.