European Movement UK

Britain's future is with Europe! Join the debate and put your opinion forward!

by Catherine Bearder MEP
There is a single word which has legions of Euro-sceptics flinging down their newspapers in disgust.
The word is ‘now’. NOW Brussels wants tightrope walkers to wear hardhats, NOW meddling bureaucrats want to ban the Great British tea room.
It is a word accompanied with a fist pumped in anger upon the breakfast table: “What are they are telling us to do NOW?!?!”
Tales cooked up with a fantastical twist on reality have consistently wound up the British public. For the British press, the Euromyth is king to a killer headline.
The invented tales – often conjured up with imaginative and theatrical aplomb – have the ability to terrify and, frankly, amuse the public.
Many Brits view the European Union with unnecessary doses of fear and scepticism, while other member states chortle at the UK’s paranoia.
In reality, the chunky catalogue of Euromyths has succeeded in spreading one thing: confusion.
This cannot be good for those in favour of Britain’s relationship with Europe, nor can it benefit the sceptics who want bags packed and return Eurostar tickets booked ASAP.
We are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives (name one?), and barmy plans (which exactly?) from Brussels.
Did we ever get busts of Jacques Delors on motorway bridges as one British tabloid suggested was imminent?
Was Britain forced to liquefy corpses and flush down the drain, as – apparently – the EU was proposing?
You can answer for yourselves.
However, David Cameron’s referendum pledge means it’s time to talk FACTS.
Otherwise, how can the British public be expected to make an informed decision? I’m sure UKIP would agree, but perhaps they are not keen for a debate without fabrication?
Rebutting falsehoods about the European Union has become a full-time job.
My Euromyth Buster campaign attempts to right some wrongs at , but it’s hard work.
You could question how Britain’s relationship with Europe has flourished with such persistent attempts to undermine it?
Just open a regional newspaper, there undoubtedly will be a letter inside advocating Brexit and it will contain an inaccuracy or assumption on the EU.
Every day, drip-drip, the falsehoods wedge themselves into the public sub-conscience until they are taken as truth.
But we mustn’t shrug and ignore it any more. When a story screams ‘EU shambles’ or the ‘NOW’ word barks back at you, question it.
Join my Euromyth Buster campaign and the work the European Movement does locally and nationally to refute these Euromyths and put forward the truth about the benefits of EU membership.
I often stress, I’m not a walking PR machine for the Union, there are many things it could do better.
However, our continued place at the table is essential for jobs and growth in the UK, and more people need to be standing up to say so.
I don’t want to see it jeopardised by ranters who cherry pick the truth and replace it with made-up tales.
NOW that’s something which makes me angry.


Author :


  1. Ms Bearder. I am a full blown Euro sceptic. But it may surprise you that I do not belong to Ulip and I don’t believe everything I read in the papers. I find your veiled assumption that some how every euro sceptic has been brain washed by the British press quite insulting. I read the pro EU propaganda machine as well as the lying spiteful UK press.
    So lets talk facts.
    Why have the EU accounts never been signed off?
    Why are the MEPS incapable of stopping the very expensive travailing circus between Belgium and France?
    Why are the Commissions all unelected? Some of them (Ashton) apparently never been elected to anything in her life.
    How has the EU become so massive when all I voted for was a Common Market.
    Why does the EU fail to take into account the strength of feelings of national populations about specific items, I of course refer to immigration.
    Why is it that the EU is kept alive by only seven (?) nations, who put more in so that the rest can take more out? A better description for the EU would be a Euro Charity to the poor nations of Europe!

    No, Ms Bearder you like so many of the europhiles that are running full tilt towards the United States of Europe just want to put a ring through my nose and lead me to your dream. You and many other Europhiles get annoyed when I won’t quietly follow without question!
    The simple fact is Ms Bearder as an English man I do not want to be partly governed by a French politician or a German or a Romania or Greek all elected by their own country men. By the same token I have no desire for UK politicians to poke their nose’s in to their countries either. The sole power in my country should lay with the duly elected British Parliament in the UK voted for by British people. and not be over ruled by 670 odd foreign politicians, some from dubious back grounds,sitting in Brussels or where ever!
    I think you have an uphill battle and the EU has to accept that it has to change.
    Now call me a nationalist or a populist or even a racist. But at least I have a mind of my own……. for now!

  2. I have never understood why anyone would need to write stories about liquefying bodies etc when there are so many real horror stories.

    Here are a few devious directives you could look into. How about the way the working time directive was implemented in the UK despite treaty reassurances, cost £9.2 – 11.9bn pa (Open Europe). Or the suggestion that the Pregnant Workers Directive costs UK industry £2.8bn a year (figures from the EP FEMM committee impact assessment). All terrible untruths I am sure, who could imagine that such costs would be piled onto an economy.

    When you have looked into those, might I suggest you look at Article 123 of the TFEU, and Article 21.1 of the Statute for the ESCB and ECB which specifically states that the ECB will not provide any type of credit facility to any country, agency or authority. Then consider the working of the ESM. Seems to me one Euromyth you should debunk is the one that says the EU follows it’s own rules.

    In relation to the rule of law, the claim that the ECJ “fabricates rulings in important cases with severe financial consequences for governments without understanding the national rules” could also be subject to your investigation, another myth I am sure. Although the quote is from Marc Bossuyt, President of the Constitutional Court of Belgium who might be thought to know what he is talking about. For completeness Roman Herzog former German President said “the ECJ deliberately and systematically ignores fundamental principles of the Western interpretation of law, that its decisions are based on sloppy argumentation, that it ignores the will of the legislator, or even turns it into its opposite, and invents legal principles serving as grounds for later judgements.” Pretty damming,but mistaken I am sure.

    Another Euromyth you could work on is that the organisation is democratic. Try telling that to the voters who got the wrong answer in referenda in France, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark etc. Oh and let’s not forget that the number of voters represented by each MEP varies by widely varying factors, (Spain 944,000 voters per MEP, Malta 75,000) and at the same time the electors are now so dismissive of your assembly that barely over 40% of voters bother. By the way is it true that it costs approximately 180m euros a year shuttling between Brussels and Strasbourg ? Another myth I am sure.

    You could tackle the myth that the CAP or CFP are badly run, and work for the benefit of large businesses. Whilst we are talking about economics you could look into the myth that the EU materially benefits the UK. In 2011 UK Govt figures estimate the value to the UK of membership of the single market at 0.2 – 0.3% of GDP, whilst a review by the Treasury costs of implementing all EU legislation at 6% of GDP. Might I suggest you read the articles of Wolfgang Munchau (Financial Times 26/11/12) to get a German perspective of, to use his words, “an overhyped, but mostly disappointing programme.”

    Yes there is so much work to be done, but I would suggest that you stop people with an interest reading official documentation or they will only ask you difficult questions. Many of us stopped reading popular tabloids a long time ago, there is quite enough official information to discredit the EU when you start to look.

  3. Dear Twantout, don’t expect an answer. They only answer silly myths about Jam and straight cucumbers. When you get to the serious stuff like your post which shows the EU for what it really is, they run for the EU bunkers and bury their collective head in the sand bucket!

  4. Has anyone eve thought of holding a referendum within other member states to find out people feel about keeping Britain, the eternal EU bellyacher, in or out? I, for one, expect a landslide victory for hot air UKIP at the next elections, meaning Britain out – but also, in the long run, the end of Britain. Whatever way: let’s have some peace… bless your hearts and thanks a lot.

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