[b[b]]Extended Essay Alex White s CEO Should the UK remain in the EU? [/b][/b] The European Union is an international organisation, which contains 27 member states and was founded in 1951. It has disproportional political and economic importance to it's land mass (about 6% of the world) and it counts among it's member states half of G 8. The EU is both supranational and intergovernmental in its operation. It was established for economic benefits and to avoid another war (Europe had just endured a bloody period of conflict) however relatively recently its role has changed and it now deals with policy with would previously have been left to the member state's own government.

It is a common misconception that the European Union has ultimate power over member governments in all cases but this is not true; while some areas of policy are out of the hands of national governments, most are still dealt with internally. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is usually referred to as the United Kingdom or UK) is a state situated in North Western Europe (see map 1). It is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other territory around the world, for example Gibraltar. Its population is about sixty million people. The main language of the UK is English but Welsh is also a national language. Its government type is parliamentary constitutional monarchy which, simply put, means that the UK is a democracy with a sovereign who technically has supreme power but it is unlikely that it would ever be used.

The UK has great international importance; both economic and political. The UK's main moneymakers are services; for example banking. The European Union, if good for nothing else, is a fascinating experiment in politics and it is completely unprecedented. The EU is, and always will be a topic of great debate. It is intergovernmental, it is supranational and it is certainly hard to understand. There is much debate over the EU and the main topic of debate is should membership be retained.

This debate is not limited to the UK and is a topic of political discussion throughout the member states. It is worth noting that the UK's public are more anti-EU than most of the member states'. In this essay I will look at whether or not the UK should remain in the EU; to do this I will look at the history of the EU, the structure of the EU, it's effects on the UK, and finally the different arguments for and against membership in the European Union. The European Union was formed after World War II to avoid conflict especially between France and Germany whose hostility had been significant factors in both World Wars. To avoid any more conflict various schemes were tried. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was the most significant of these and it was established in the early 1950's by Robert Schuman (the then French foreign minister) and Jean Monnet (the then Planning Commissioner in France).

The member states were: the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. The aim was to share resources (mostly coal and steel - hence the name) to rebuild Western Europe, which had been destroyed after World War II. To make these countries share their coal and steel an organisation was needed; the ECSC created the Commission, Council and Parliament. In 1957 the ECSC became the European Economic Community, or 'Common Market', in the Treaty of Rome.

All EU treaty law is amendments of the Treaty of Rome and it still holds great significance. Technically the treaty was mostly an economic institution until 1980, but it did state at the beginning of the treaty that it was for 'an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe.' The Treaty was essentially made to establish European government bodies, give member states the freedom to transfer goods, people and money (capital), and to introduce inter-state cohesion - i. e. states support each other economically so that every state can grow at the same pace.

There were three other options open for free trading in Europe at that time all of which were operating completely separately from the ECC. They were the European Free Trade Area, the Baltic Free Trade Area and the Central European Free Trade Agreement. The EFTA is the only one likely to continue to have importance, as its members have not expressed any wish to join the European Union. The UK made two unsuccessful attempts to join the ECC in 1963 and 1967 mainly due to the efforts of the French Prime Minister Charles De Gaulle. Edward Heath was the British Prime Minister who eventually gained entrance, this occurring 1973. In 1975 the new British Prime Minister Harold Wilson held a referendum on membership in the EEC.

Significantly both major UK political parties split over the question of membership and the conservative party remains so. In the late seventies the European Parliament began to have more power and in 1979 all EU citizens (i. e. citizens of the member states) could vote for their Member of European Parliament (MEP). 1979 was also an important year as it saw the introduction of the European Monetary System (EMS). The point of which being, to achieve a single currency and implement the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) that was a method of keeping exchange rates stable.

This was good for trade and was important in the construction of the single market. In 1986 the Single European Act (SEA) was signed which was, as the name suggests, an attempt to unify the EEC. It was the first real attempt to amend the Treaty of Rome and its aims were quite significantly different. Whereas the Treaty of Rome was mostly an economic pact, the Single European Act was an attempt at creating the common market that still did not really exist. The SEA stated that by 1992 a Single Market should be in place.

A single market is a common economic policy, which means that each member state must adhere to central policy. A good example of this is interest rates; the central bank of a nation cannot change them if necessary and it must keep them at the standard rate. Most of Europe has a single market and it is, monetarily, one state. This single market is now known as the European Monetary Union (EMU) and it is so advanced it has a single currency, the Euro. Put of the EU member states only Britain, Sweden and Denmark are not in the EMU. The Maastricht Treaty (also known as the treaty of the European Union) was signed in 1993 and its impact was immensely important.

It created the EU as we know it; the name was changed to the European Union, it amended the Treaty of Rome and it advanced the agenda set out under the Single European Act. The EU three-pillar structure was established. The first pillar was there since the Treaty of Rome and deals with the economy, social rights and deals with how EU institutions are set up. The second pillar was established under the Maastricht Treaty and it concerns common foreign and security policy.

The third pillar was also established in Maastricht and its responsibilities are justice and home affairs. The commission retained responsibility for the first pillar and the European Council gained responsibility for the second and third. This system of law is still in use. The treaty also set a timetable for the Euro.

Between the years 2002 and 2004 a seven hundred and eighty-four piece of legal legislation known as the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (TCE) was written. In theory if passed it would bring together all past EU treaties and agreements, confirm the power and point of the EU, re-emphasises the concept of every citizen being an EU citizen (first stated in the Treaty of Maastricht), make human rights laws consistent and change the way decisions are made in the EU. It is a much-debated subject as many people have strong feelings about it. The Constitution would create two extremely high-profile posts; Foreign Minister and President. The power these two positions hold would be immense; the Presidents term would be very long - maximum six years. Interestingly critics say that the creation of the post of Foreign Minister would pave the way for a common foreign policy.

This could be a problem for Britain, as it may mean that we could not pursue the same Middle Eastern policy that we do now - potentially damaging our "special relationship" with the USA. The Qualified Majority Voting system is a voting mechanism in the Council of Ministers, which means proposals can be adopted without every member agreeing to it. While this seems unfair in practice, it is necessary for a democracy to work. The system is "Qualified" because the amount of votes a member state has depends on it's population size. The UK is in the top band of this and has 29 votes to use. This contrasts with Malta's 3.

Supporters of the Constitution say that passing it would mean a fairer voting system (QMV), it would make the EU easier to run and that to leave the EU would be immensely expensive. Critics say that; the treaty is extremely complex and cannot be understood by the average citizen of the EU, unelected officials would gain too much power and that, in contrast to the other camp's views, the QMV would make things unfair. Personally if feel that what we (the UK) want from the EU and what the EU is actually about clearly need to be defined and established, but am sceptical about whether or not the European Constitution is the best way to do this. The history of the EU is a very complex and confusing one, but I feel it is necessary to understand if I am to form an opinion on the UK's membership. The European Union has a complex structure and how laws are passed is confusing. The European Constitution intends to change the structure but it has not been passed, so I aim to outline the basic structure as it stands.

Legally there are three sections to EU law known as "the three pillars of EU law." The first pillar is the oldest and most important. It deals with law concerning economic and social rights and also the setting up of EU institutions. The second pillar concerns common foreign and security policy and the third pillar deals with justice and home affairs. There are four main institutions in the EU that are involved in law making: the European Commission (un-elected), the Council of the European Union which is sometimes known as the Council of Ministers (elected), the European Parliament (elected) and the European Council (elected). Their relation with each other is explained in fig 1. While it would appear that three out of four of these institutions are elected to do the job they do, this is not the case.

The European Commission is made up of Commissioners each from a member state. They are un-elected and, under the Treaty of Rome, should not represent the interests of their state. The commissioner from Britain is Peter Mandelson. The commission has immense power and this is often criticised. There are many commissioners for the UK the most famous of these is possibly Robert Kilroy-Silk. The Council of the European Union is made up of ministers from the governments of the member states and it meets to discuss policy.

In the UK the minister for the Europe Union is Geoff Hoon (as of 29 th July 2006) and he was, technically, elected, as he is an MP. He was elected as an MP by his constituents to represent their interests and the interests of the UK in the House of Commons and was appointed to his position by the Prime Minister. The European Parliament is elected but has very little power. Voters are extremely confused about the function of the Parliament and this has led to low turnouts at elections for it. In the 2004 European Parliament elections 38. 9% turned out to vote on Thursday the 6 th of June, which contrasts with the 61.

36% (2005) turnout at the UK general elections (it is worth noting that not many people vote in the UK anyway). The European Council is made up of the "Heads of State and Government", so essentially in the democratic world the President or Prime Minister, and the President of the Commission. It is slightly more democratic than the Council of the European Union in that you, the voter, know that if you vote for the labour party then you are voting for the leader to become Prime Minister and thus be on the council. The EU structure of law making can be explained quite simply in this diagram, taken from a "Geofile online" Fact sheet. European Commission Makes Proposals European Parliament Council of Ministers Working committees debate 15 individuals from and alter proposals member states meet. Who At a full session attends will depend on proposals are debated topic under discussion and voted on Proposals are discussed and can be rejected If Council and Parliament are in agreement, proposal becomes law.

It is the Council of Ministers that set the agenda, which the Commission must propose on. The complex EU structure is unique and is like no other government or organisation. Arguments for and against the EU are numerous. The EU was established to prevent war, rebuild Western Europe, increase trade and unite Europe.

I believe it is fair to say that all of these, bar the latter, are accomplished. But what is the point in the EU now? Is it economically viable to stay in the EU? I will address these issues and others considering both the "Euro-sceptic" and "Europ hile" camp's views. "The EU is great" (Brass ington 2007). While in the UK there is a big anti-EU feeling and the number of UKIP MEPs represents this, there are people who believe that staying in the EU is the right thing. A big argument for staying in the European Union is the strength in numbers argument, there are many reasons why being part of a big organisation is a good thing - mostly the question of power. For example Britain has much less power than it previously did and on the world stage, with many countries banding together in similar unions (like the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ) or already being significantly powerful (America, Korea), it is necessary to have a 'louder voice' than one small nation.

This is important especially in trade, and in the World Trade Talks the EU is the biggest market there. If the UK was to leave the EU it would set the precedent for other nations to and this could possibly result in war. It may seem improbable but it was only sixty-eight years ago that the last world war started, and most of the fighting between European nations. The EU has united Europe by the process of integration. It is argued that membership in the European Union makes the UK economically prosperous but I do not feel that this is the case. "The EU makes the world a better place." (Embers 2007) The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) offers financial support to countries that border the EU so long as they conform to EU values and 'play ball'.

This means "mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development)." (World Wide Web web). The policy is negotiated between the neighbour and the EU, and at the present time only seven out of seventeen neighbouring nations (sixteen in the policy) are starting the process, they are: Israel, Jordan, Moldova, Morocco, the Palestine Authority, Tunisia and Ukraine. The ENP is not a completely altruistic venture as it means that; the EU maintains good relations with its neighbours, the neighbouring nations that reform will be more likely to become a and also an acceptable (i. e. have the basic human rights necessary) member, and the EU could potentially benefit economically from trade etc. The UK struggles to fill the lowest paid jobs, like factory workers etc.

and the European Economic Area means that movement between member nations is simple. "The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the member states of the European Union (EU), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. There is free movement of people, goods and services within the area. So long as nationals of the countries are exercising their freedoms under these the various treaties, they are not strictly subject to United Kingdom immigration control, and may work or set up in business without restriction." (web) This means that workers from other EU nations, usually the Eastern Block Nations (see fig 2 for nationality of working immigrants) can fill the empty posts (see fig 3 for jobs being filled). This is very good for our economy in the short term. Fig 2 (Both graphs taken from web) "The EU is great...

NOT!" (Rees 2007). As previously mentioned there is a big anti-EU feeling in the UK. The main argument for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union is the economic argument. The EU costs the UK roughly lb 40 billion a year (Civitas EU Fact sheet {1}), which is a lot of money. Most of this money goes towards the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and is, in effect, wasted. The Common Agricultural Policy was initially created to deal with potential food shortages in the cold war but it is still in operation.

The CAP 'protects' EU producers from the threat of outside competition. It used to do this by subsidizing agricultural produce but currently it uses import tariffs and gives one off payments to farmers (the Single Farm Payment). The reason that I feel the money is wasted is that the agricultural industry is a very small one and, while part of the scheme is environmental, lb 7 billion per year is too much. Another problem with giving so much to the Common Agricultural Policy is the question of morals. A lot of the time EU farms produce too much produce, and because this would mean less flooding the market and prices dropping, the EU interferes and either subsidies export, stores it or destroys it. When it is exported it is usually exported to Less Economically Developed Countries, mostly in Africa.

The CAP also means that able workers sit around doing nothing because of the quotas the EU imposes; farmers are paid not to go over their quota and that makes more money than if the farmer was to continue to produce and sell the produce. Another economic anti-EU argument is the amount of money paid to Structural Funds which funds poorer countries that are members of the EU. The UK does get something back from this and it was the Structural Fund that made a big, positive impact in old mining towns however, the amount we get back is not as much as we put in. It has been said that the UK has one of the fastest growing economies and the EU is holding it back. Recently EU growth has been significantly lower than that of the USA's and this is due to the effect of EU regulation making it less easy to do business.

The question of whether or not the EU 'works' has been thrashed around a lot and the answer, in my opinion, is no. There are 27 member states and for each of them to agree, which is necessary for Treaty Law, is difficult. The EU is un-democratic. The European Commission holds an immense amount of power and is completely un-elected. It is my opinion that democracy is the only right method of government and the EU should have it. National pride is an incredibly sore point for the European Union.

Attempts have been made to evoke some 'EU pride' amongst the EU citizens, like the creation of the EU flag, but in the UK at least it has been largely unsuccessful. Interestingly at the last Olympics the competitors from EU states flew the EU flag as well as their own. If the UK was to enter the European Monetary Policy then we would be forced to join the Euro; something that we neither want nor need. The reasons for staying or leaving the EU are evidently abundant and confusing and it is important to maintain and open mind when exploring them. The European Union truly is a fascinating topic and there are so many different viewpoints on it. I approached this essay with a completely open mind and feel that when making my conclusion I have made the right choice.

It is my opinion that the UK should not remain in the EU because of three main reasons: . The European Union does not function in a democratic way. The European Commission has too much power for a completely un-elected body and the only directly elected institute, the European Parliament, has very little power. Perhaps recently things have been changed to accommodate Anthony Blair's 'Presidency' (I allude to his abuse of his position and his style of 'rule') but I still feel that the system of government in the UK is a democracy in the true sense of the word... It is not economically viable to remain in the EU.

The amount of money the UK puts in is significantly less than what it gets back... Britain is something to be proud of, it has achieved a lot for such a small nation and its previous accomplishments mean that it still has a strong economy and some global significance. Britain has had the same style of government since the 1600's and the model of parliament has been imitated around the world - to throw it all away to be part of an un-democratic massive state would be nothing but a waste. It is not fair, however, to progress through life moaning and providing no solutions - so I will explain the role I can see the UK playing. I feel that the UK should leave the European Union immediately and remain in the European Economic Area like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This way we would continue to reap the economic benefits without paying ridiculously high sums to the EU.

In conclusion I believe that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should leave the European Union. Bibliography I have rated each of the resources on their reliability and their impartiality from 1 to 5. 5 is completely impartial / reliable and 1 is not at all. Reliability = R and impartiality = I. Books Milne, Ian 2004, A Cost Too Far? An analysis of the net economic costs and benefits for the UK of EU membership, Civitas, London. R = 5 I = 4.

Websites BBC News 2007, New EU citizens 'will benefit UK', viewed 28/01/07, < web > R = 5 I = 5 BBC News 2006, Scrap plan to end EU veto - Reid, viewed 28/01/07, web R = 5 I = 5 The UK Independence Party - Mission Statement, viewed 02/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 1 The History of the European Union, viewed 04/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 2 EU History, viewed 04/02/07, < web > R = 3 I = 5 Constitution Crisis, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 3 I = 5 European Constitution, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 2 QMV, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 5 101 Reasons to leave the EU, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 4 I = 2 Reasons not to leave the European Union, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 4 I = 2 The Question of Sovereignty, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 5 10 Reasons to Leave the EU, viewed 05/02/07, < web > R = 2 I = 2 The European Neighbourhood Policy, viewed 06/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 2 Immigration EEA, viewed 06/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 5 Immigration 2005, viewed 06/02/07, < web > R = 5 I = 5 Other Wil James, 2006, Civitas Factsheets on the EU, 1 st edn, CD-ROM, Civitas, London. R = 5 I = 4 Lynda Evans, 2001, EU Policy Update and the Geography of the United Kingdom, edn unknown, Factsheet, Geofile Online Nelson Thomas, n. p. R = 5 I = 5 Garrett Nagle, 1999, The European Union - a pre-Millenium update, edn unknown, Factsheet, Geofile Online Nelson Thomas, n. p.

R = 5 I = 5 Maps Unknown Author, taken 06/02/07, < web > n / a Images EU and Union Flag front cover, taken 06/02/07, < web > n / a.