To All Whom It May Concern

A message from Christopher Booker and Richard North about their book
The Great Deception: The Secret History of the European Union
to be published by Continuum on 19 November 2003.

Grateful though we are to the Daily Mail for giving such space to their serialisation,, we wanted to pass on that our book is rather more substantial than might have been guessed from the way the Mail chose to present it.

Essentially The Great Deception is by far the most comprehensive account of the history of the 'European project' that has yet appeared. By drawing on a huge range of source material, including many documents never published before, it has been possible to show almost every part of the story in a new light.

As examples of how this research has changed our own understanding, the book shows o how vital it is to grasp that the core idea behind the project has always been the need to set up a 'supranational' form of government for Europe, which had the power to overrule national states; and that this originated from a tiny group of men working for the League of Nations in the 1920s. It was from here that the EU was eventually to develop, and the first blueprint for it was produced by a now almost totally forgotten British civil servant, Arthur Salter

  • how the central, behind-the-scenes role in masterminding every stage of the 'project', from the 1920s up to the 1970s, was played by Salter's friend, the Frenchman Jean Monnet

  • the irrelevance of any supposed 'Nazi links' to the 'project'. The 1939-45 period was important, but only because the war gave Monnet the chance to lobby for his 'supranational' project, not least in America, with those who would subsequently play a key part in helping him to realise it. It was also during the war that another key player entered the story, the Italian ex-Communist Altiero Spinelli, who wrote that the post-war construction of a 'United States of Europe' would have to take place in the shadows, and that only when it was all but complete could the project come out into the open, with the calling of a 'convention' to give it a constitution.

  • the true story behind the failure of fhe first two post-war attempts to create a 'United Europe' - one inspired by Churchill - despite attempts to hi-jack them for Monnet's 'supranationalist' cause by his allies, notably the Belgian Paul-Henry Spaak.

  • the true story behind the attempt which succeeded, Monnet's coup d'etat in setting up the European Coal and Steel Community, intended as the template for the future 'European Union', based on that 1920s blueprint. Monnet stopped at nothing to ensure that Britain was kept out of his ECSC, for fear it would sabotage his 'supranational' plans.

  • the true story of how Monnet and Spaak deliberately hid their plans for a complete political union behind the pretence that its next stage was just a 'common market', again deliberately ensuring that Britain could not join.

  • the true story behind why Britain decided to apply for membership in 1961, now with Monnet's support, and how Macmillan and Heath were both made fully aware that the aim was political union, while deciding for 'presentational' reasons to conceal this from the House of Commons and the British people.

  • the real reason why de Gaulle needed to keep Britain out in the 1960s, until he had cemented into place a Common Agricultural Policy which he and his advisers thought was the only way to save France from social chaos and a Communist takeover.

  • the real reason why, in 1969, France then needed Britain in: to help pay for a CAP specifically designed to benefit France and to provide a market for France's food surpluses.

  • the inside story of how Heath deliberately deceived the British people in the lead-up to taking Britain into the Common Market in the early 1970s, when he was well aware that preparations were already being made for full economic, monetary and political union (this also includes the first fully-documented account of how Heath and his ministers were first ambushed into giving away Britain's fishing waters, and then lied about it).

  • how Wilson lied about the 'sham' renegotiations which led up to his referendum in 1975

  • how Callaghan was already at odds with his Common Market colleagues in the late 1970s, not least because of Britain's grotesquely disproportionate budget contribution, resulting from the stitching-up of the CAP in favour of France and against Britain - the battle eventually won by Mrs Thatcher in 1984, but only at very heavy cost

  • how the Foreign Office and Geoffrey Howe concealed from Mrs Thatcher the fact that, in the early 1980s, plans were already afoot - led by Spinelli, now an MEP - for a further giant leap forward in integration, to turn the Common Market into a 'European Union'. As early as 1984 this was already so far advanced that it was decided it would need not one but two new treaties to achieve. One would become known as the Single European Act, the other as 'Maastricht'.

  • how, following the famous 'Milan ambush' of 1985, leading to the Single European Act (which Mrs Thatcher, having been outmanoeuvred, continued to pretend was only about the Single Market), Delors pulled off another major coup with his policy for a 'Europe of the Regions', building on a suggestion first put forward in 1972 by Edward Heath

  • how, as Mrs Thatcher belatedly woke up to just how far she had been deceived and tricked, her downfall was deliberately engineered by a covert alliance between Delors, other EC leaders and Europhiles in her own party, led by Heseltine and Howe. This was because she was threatening to become a major obstacle to their next treaty and the proposed Single Currency.

  • how the Lawson-Howe-Major conspiracy to get Britain into the ERM nearly brought Britain to economic disaster, and the Tory Party to electoral meltdown

  • how John Major consistently lied to Parliament about how far he was being outmanoeuvred by his EU colleagues, until in 1996 he was being openly and repeatedly humiliated by them

  • how Tony Blair was from the start completely out of his depth in 'Europe', showing even less understanding of how it worked than Major, and being shut out of the 'inner ring' just as firmly, not least for his failure to join the euro, which was viewed as a crucial step towards full political integration

  • how in 1998-9 moves got under way for another major leap forward in integration, coinciding with the launch of the euro and the corruption scandals which brought down the Commission. But by 2000 it was clear that a fundamental three-way split had opened up over the form a politically united Europe should take. Prodi wanted the Commission in charge, along classic Monnet supranational lines, Chirac wanted the so-called 'directoire' model, effectively run by France and Germany; and the Germans wanted a fully-fledged 'federal' Europe, on German lines, with its own elected President and government. It was to achieve this that Germany in 2000 proposed the drafting of a 'Constitution'.

  • how Giscard's draft constitution (drafted in the vast buildings in Brussls named after lSpaak and Spinelli) is a hopelessly botched compromise between all these three 'Europes', which is one reason why it will almost certainly never be agreed or ratified in its current form

  • how the coincidence of a muddled and highly unpopular constitution, with the increasingly obvious failure of the eurozone and the threatened disaster of an 'enlargement' on terms grotesquely unfair to the 10 new member states, is likely in the next 18 months to begin the unravelling of the 'European project' as it has developed over the past 50 years.

    If Monnet's dream is about to come to an end, how prepared are Britain's politicians to react to the chaotic new situation which will result? The answer is, not at all, because for 40 years our politicians have, like true 'little Englanders', consistently failed to understand or face up to the 'project's' real nature and purpose, and they have therefore concealed it from the British people.

    In particular they have totally failed to explain to the British people just how much of the government of their country is now in the hands of this new supranational system of government in Brussels. Probably not more than one MP in 100 could even define the term 'supranational'. But the British people are gradually waking up, as reflected in the 90 percent who believe, according to the polls, there should be a referendum on the constitution. If they continue to be lied to and betrayed, they will eventually become as angry as the more farsighted already are.

    We hope you will enjoy the book and find it useful!

    The Great Deception: The SECRET History of the European Union

    Christopher Booker, Richard North

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