EU (Parliament Politic Magazine) – One of the issues that Rejoiners consistently overlook in their campaign to push us back into the EU is the significant historical difference between Britain and Europe when it comes to corruption. This disparity was emphasized in a notable collection of essays published in 1997, titled “Democracy and Corruption in Europe,” which stated, “When considering political corruption throughout the last century, the UK undeniably ranks on the lower end of the scale.”
The aforementioned collection of essays shed light on the stark contrast in corruption levels between Britain and Europe. It is crucial to acknowledge this distinction, as it challenges the notion that rejoining the EU would automatically alleviate corruption concerns within the UK.
Britain’s Transformative Journey Amidst EU Corruption
Throughout history, the political elite has never made any deliberate or successful attempts to exploit state resources for personal or party gain, at least not on a large scale, since the 1840s. Instances of serious misconduct by individual parties and politicians have also been relatively uncommon. The accepted norms of public behavior have consistently remained at a commendable level. This statement was part of a compilation that included contributions from Lord Adonis, a prominent advocate for rejoining the European Union.
That certainly remains the case today. British scandals, ranging from MPs’ expenses to COVID parties in Downing Street, have been rather insignificant when compared to the practices observed on the Continent. One notable example is the complete breakdown of the Italian party system in 1992, following the “clean hands” revolution. Unfortunately, this revolution merely served as a prelude to the emergence of Berlusconi.
Germany experienced significant party financing scandals, while Presidents Chirac and Sarkozy of France faced corruption charges. Reflecting on my own experience, I once inquired of an Italian senator about the number of Italian MEPs involved with the Mafia, to which I received the surprising response of “only about twelve.”
Why Britain Stands as a Model of Transparency
Today, scandals in Brussels persist at an alarming frequency. Recently, there have been distressing allegations of bribery within the European Parliament. Moreover, a new revelation has emerged this week, exposing the fraudulent practices of Dutch farmers who have been deceitfully obtaining substantial amounts of EU subsidies for land they neither possess nor lease.
The magnitude of this abuse is so extensive that the Dutch government holds it responsible for the Netherlands’ failure to meet the EU’s accuracy targets in subsidy allocation. The scale of this abuse is nothing short of staggering, prompting the Dutch government to point fingers at it for the Netherlands’ failure to meet the EU’s accuracy targets in subsidy allocation.
The ongoing scandals in Brussels have become a cause for concern, as they continue to tarnish the reputation of the European Parliament. In recent times, shocking accusations of bribery have surfaced, casting a shadow of doubt over the integrity of the institution.
Farmers have been fraudulently claiming exorbitant sums of EU subsidies for land that they neither own nor lease, perpetuating a gross injustice.
Britain’s Triumphs in Combating EU Corruption
Voters across the Continent have long been aware of the governance challenges confronting their leaders. In 2021, the Global Corruption Barometer conducted a comprehensive survey of 27 European Union (EU) member states, involving over 4,000 individuals. The findings revealed that approximately one third of respondents believed corruption had escalated, while 44 percent perceived it to have remained unchanged.
Interestingly, in nearly half of the countries surveyed, prime ministers and members of parliament were deemed the most corrupt, while the other half pointed fingers at bankers and businessmen.
Approximately 28 percent of individuals have resorted to leveraging personal connections in order to access public services, while around 29 percent have had to rely on personal connections to receive medical care. Astonishingly, a mere 21 percent of the population believes that corrupt officials are consistently held accountable for their actions. Furthermore, a staggering 45 percent of people admit to feeling apprehensive about reporting wrongdoers.
The European Union (EU) that Europhile enthusiasts advocate for us to rejoin is quite different from Britain when it comes to corruption. Despite this reality, they persist in their desire for us to reenter the EU fold.
The EU, with its diverse member states, has been plagued by corruption issues. However, it is important to note that Britain stands apart from the majority of these countries in terms of corruption levels.