In or Out?

Britain’s prophesied entry and exit from the EU
From the March 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

“Britain will one day leave the EU. The timing may be hard to predict, but not the inevitability of our eventual departure,” wrote London’s Daily Mail, December 9, 2000. “We shall depart because the balance of advantage, both politically and economically, already so plainly in favor of leaving, will become overwhelming…. The powers being taken now go miles beyond those once excused as necessary for the functioning of the single market….”

Is the British public now waking up to the harsh reality of what their government sacrificed at the recent Treaty of Nice and the federalist course upon which the former European Economic Community is now headed?

As was recently forecast by Germany’s chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, the coming European Summit of 2004 will cement the formal structure of Europe as the economic, political and military superstate that it was always planned to be. That is not what the British public was told it would be when its government took them into the Common Market, as it was then called, under Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1972.

For much of the 20th century, Herbert Armstrong wrote of a coming European Union that would oppose Russia, China, America and Britain. Despite Britain’s formal entry into the European Economic Community (eec) in the early 1970s and its government’s subsequent signatures on the treaties of Rome, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice, Britain was destined not to sit comfortably in its role within Europe.

Herbert Armstrong was the one voice who, at the close of World War ii, warned of Germany’s next and final economic and militaristic resurgence. But this time, he said, it would be disguised under the illusion of a European Union.

Speaking in a World Tomorrow radio broadcast on May 9, 1945, he revealed the true intent behind forthcoming events within Europe. “Hitler has lost. This round of war, in Europe, is over. And the Nazis have now gone underground…. Now a Nazi underground is methodically planned. They plan to come back and to win on the third try.

“The Bible foretells that third round—and it spells doom for us, as God’s punishment, because we, as a nation, have forsaken Him and His ways! The third round is termed, in prophecy, an invasion by ‘Babylon’—a resurrected Roman Empire—a European Union. I have been proclaiming that since 1927….”

The conclusion of the recent Treaty of Nice saw Britain sacrifice its key veto powers, France’s strategic alliance with Germany collapse and Deutschland’s dynamic duo of Chancellor Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer secure the trump card of double majority voting superiority within the Union. This is the latest evidence of Germany’s inevitable march toward leadership of a European federation. This is just what Herbert Armstrong predicted in that radio broadcast in 1945—56 years ago!

Through television, radio and print, Mr. Armstrong warned unceasingly of Britain’s impending seduction into economic and political cooperation with Europe. He warned them not to enter this Vatican-inspired, German-led final resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire. When they did, he delivered the prophesied message of their coming punishment as a result of trusting in their old enemies, rather than their God! Britain’s ongoing rejection of these warnings and continued flirtation with this resurrected Holy Roman Empire has done much to weaken it economically, socially, politically and militarily.

In his final book, Mystery of the Ages, released just months before his death in January 1986, Herbert Armstrong spoke of “a union of ten nations to rise up out of or following the Common Market of today (Rev. 17).” He then forecast, “Britain will not be in that empire soon to come.”

Both France and Germany, since the days of modern Europe’s patriarchs, Adenauer and de Gaulle, have sought to hamper, harm, irritate, alienate and barely tolerate Britain, while benefitting from anything it has had to offer.

Soon Britain will be forced to leave the European Union.

Fateful Decisions

Massive expenditure in two great world wars and mismanagement of the country’s economy in the 1960s left Britain financially in tatters. Formerly the mother of an empire upon which the sun never set, Britain charted a futile course of economically deserting its Commonwealth allies—the source of its imperial wealth—and pursuing closer commercial ties with Germany and other European countries.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Herbert Armstrong issued this warning in a 1962 article titled “Britain’s Doom.” “Yes, Britain is allowing itself to get mixed in with European foreigners, even negotiating to desert her own Commonwealth nations by 1970. Continue: ‘Ephraim has become a cake unturned as it was baked. Foreigners eat away his strength, unknown to him; gray hairs are on him here and there, unknown to him’—he, Britain, has grown old and decadent—‘Israel’s pride shall confront and convict them’—is anyone so proud as an Englishman?—‘yet they will not come back to the Eternal their God, nor seek Him, in spite of it all’ (Hos. 7:8-10).

“No, in her economic distress right now, Britain is not seeking God’s help, nor relying on Him to restore prosperity—she is going to the Common Market, undoubtedly to be dominated by Germany” (Plain Truth, July 1962).

By 1971, British Prime Minister Edward Heath was desperate to stem the tide of economic failure. He saw his government’s white paper on the European Common Market as the gateway to affluence. “The prime objective of any British government must be to safeguard the security and prosperity of the United Kingdom and its peoples,” his white paper stated. The government’s document was flush with further assurances of potential British prosperity—with all the promise of the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz.

Mr. Heath has since confessed that he lied to the British public to gain their support when he signed the 1972 treaty of accession to the European Economic Community. Though Heath lost the 1974 general election, his deceitful pro-European policies were accelerated under the incoming Labor government.

After defeating Heath in a Conservative Party leadership challenge in 1974, Margaret Thatcher recalled in her book The Path to Power, “Europe was very much Ted’s issue. He considered that his greatest achievement was to take Britain into the eec…” (p. 330).

Uneducated as to the real motives of the framers of the European initiative, the British public hastily voted yes in the 1975 referendum on continuing membership of the eec. The coming decades would see the spider-like eec grow in both scope and power, as Britain remained caught in its burgeoning web.

Meanwhile, under the leadership of Mrs. Thatcher and President Reagan, Britain’s special relationship with America would become its strongest since World War ii. Then, in 1986, Margaret Thatcher signed the intricate and dangerously wide-ranging 300-page Single European Act. The troika of Thatcher, Bush and Gorbachev paved the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall in December 1989. Now, events in Europe moved like lightening. The USSR collapsed, Germany united, and within a year the Conservatives ousted Mrs. Thatcher for her anti-European views. She was replaced by colleague John Major.

Royal Warning

In 1992, John Major led Britain deeper down the Europath when he signed the Maastricht Treaty. In effect, the treaty dismantled many and varying ingredients of the British Constitution and monarchy. “Following the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, the Queen, like her subjects, has duties towards this ‘European Union’ (Article 8)…. In other words the Queen, under Maastricht, becomes a citizen not a monarch. In fact, like other citizens, the Queen will be open to be taxed by the ‘European Union’” (Treason at Maastricht, p. 10).

In 1996, in another act that eroded British heritage, John Major announced in Parliament that the Queen had approved moving the “Stone of Destiny” from its traditional place of rest under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey to Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. For centuries this ancient relic had witnessed the coronation of Scottish and English monarchs. It once had sacred significance to British royalty. “This knowledge has become embarrassing to the British because of their degenerating faith. Even prior to giving the stone to Scotland, they had removed the sign identifying it as ‘Jacob’s Pillar Stone’” (Gerald Flurry, The Key of David, p. 3).

The British public seems to have forgotten God. They are ignorant of God’s end-time warning. Their own royal family has been dogged by curses of the multiple failed marriages of its princes and princesses, plus the untimely death of a rebellious princess. The House of Windsor is in fact the ruling House of Israel for whom God reserves a special warning. “Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you…” (Hos. 5:1).

Britain’s Fraulein

In 1997 Labor won the national election and Tony Blair made No. 10 Downing Street his new home. Blair came to power in Britain during a time of widespread national loss of memory. Its historic values and institutions were rapidly eroding.

The new administration set about implementing its agenda of “Europeanizing” Britain. This involved changing not only the identity of the nation but also the mental landscape and core values of those who inhabit it. Britain’s links with the past and its rich, traditional culture would have to go. Mr. Blair set about making Britain fresh, new and hip, with its rock musicians, fashion designers and millionaire soccer-club managers. This was the new face of Britain.

British author Hal Colebatch wrote in his book Blair’s Britain, “The government is trying to reshape the national identity and consciousness not in spite of the coming European union but because of it. A Britain whose historic culture has been destroyed may not find the loss of sovereignty such a great matter” (p. 59; emphasis mine).

After all, reshaping Britain’s national identity would help create the necessary atmosphere where average Brits would feel that they didn’t really need the pound sterling, ensuring acceptance of the euro currency and submission to German-Vatican rule. The Germans in particular have noted the swing in Britain and have sought to take full advantage. This, however, will work greatly to Britain’s disadvantage. Britain has simply, in its collective national conscience, accepted its traditional enemies as its lovers!

The biblical book of Hosea is an astounding prophecy of Britain’s demise, and its future hope.

“Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth [joy] to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths and all her solemn feasts” (Hos. 2:9-11). Trumpet Editor in Chief Gerald Flurry comments on this verse, “It is not going to be the enemies of Britain and America who discover their lewdness—but their lovers, such as Assyria” (Hosea’s Adulterous Wife, p. 15).

Britain and America are increasingly aligning themselves with Germany (modern Assyria). That alliance is prophesied to be their downfall. God will bring it about.

The Blair government, which has overseen the signing of both the Amsterdam and Nice treaties, has radically swept away previous barriers to greater British integration within Europe. British Foreign Minister Robin Cook, under pressure from recent anti-EU press commentary and concerned Tory opposition, recently confirmed that the government would have to put to a national referendum the divisive question of the removal of the pound and adoption of the euro. The vote is set for September or October of this year. If the British vote no, this may well leave Britain out in the cold as a second-rate member of the EU.

Sensing the real prospect of Britain’s rejection of the euro, Germany and France have taken major steps toward forming a fast-track federation of the 11 countries that have already adopted the euro. In so doing, they are isolating Britain from the EU.

“The Franco-German initiative will be watched nervously from Downing Street, where neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown [chancellor of the Exchequer] want to see the emergence of a new policy-making body which leaves Britain in the cold for as long as sterling is outside the Eurozone….

“As a euro outsider, Britain is not invited to attend meetings of the Euro-11 group, meaning that Mr. Brown is likely to be excluded from key decisions” (Electronic Telegraph, June 1, 2000).

Calls for Withdrawal

As the reality of greater European integration sinks into the minds of the average Briton, the German-led call for greater sacrifice of national sovereignty is being met with a colder glare.

We can’t influence them one iota,” Norris McWhirter told the Trumpet in an interview last year. This longtime friend of Mrs. Thatcher, leading author and eminent British broadcaster, has consistently voiced his opposition to Britain’s position within Europe.

“We’re one of 15 votes in the Council of Ministers” he said. “And I think that the whole concept is absolutely bedeviled, and it’s a tragedy, and totally unnecessary economically, or in any other way that we should have hitched our wagon to this particular old-fashioned idea—very old fashioned.”

As the British public readies itself for a general election, Conservative opposition leader William Hague has been serving up a volley of questions to Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding the future of Britain’s sovereignty as the Labor government seeks closer ties with Brussels. Hague, however, is having to do some political tap-dancing himself, as half of his Conservative Party is Euroskeptic and the others pro-Europe.

Meanwhile, a confusing mix of recent events has British public opinion in a spin: the trip to Britain by the lead Eurofederalist, Joschka Fischer, to pacify British voters ahead of British national elections; the embarrassing resignation of ardent pro-Europe cabinet minister Peter Mandelson; Tony Blair being called to a private meeting at the Berlin home of Chancellor Schröder; and French President Jacques Chirac’s attempts at fence-mending diplomacy with Germany. All of this activity climaxed with a London newspaper report in February that Mrs. Thatcher was about to deliver a speech recommending Britain withdraw from Europe altogether! This bombshell, dropped by newspaper columnist Simon Walters of the Mail on Sunday, told of Mr. Hague stepping in to ask Mrs. Thatcher not to give her speech on the grounds that it would “split the party completely.”

The reporter noted that Mrs. Thatcher believes the signing of the Single European Act in 1986 was her single largest mistake in office. Other conservatives claim that she was beguiled by then-French President Mitterrand. The paper quoted anti-EU campaigner and Thatcher’s close confidant Lord Pearson as saying, “She still thinks the EU has become a disaster and that we have no option to withdraw or demand a better deal” (Feb. 4).

Watch and Wait

Britain is now a mere shadow of its former glory as the greatest empire the world has ever seen. At its height, the British Empire ruled the waves. Excluding the United Kingdom, it encompassed 11 million square miles, occupying almost 20 percent of the world’s landmass, governing over 400 million people (25 percent of the Earth’s population) and controlling all major seaports of the world up to World War ii. Britain directed global trade from London, the bustling metropolis that stood as the crossroads of the financial and business world. The British pound sterling was the major international currency. The globe was witness to “rule Britannia”!

In stark contrast, today’s “empire” covers a mere 100,000 square miles, with only 14 dependent territories governing a total of 16 million people. At the turn of the new millennium, Britain seems to be almost powerless to even stop its own United Kingdom from disintegrating. Lacking the will to rule, it appears increasingly a mere empty shell of its former glory days.

The passage of time has proved Herbert Armstrong right. Britain now faces the consequences of its politically irresponsible actions over the past 40 years.

Watch events within Britain as it grapples with the reality of a failing love affair with German-led Europe. Watch for the very real and coming prospect of Britain being asked to leave the European Union.

Gerald Flurry continues to warn Britain, in the tradition of Herbert Armstrong, of the coming consequences of the rejection of its regal heritage, founded by the patriarch Joseph, consolidated in the royal line of the House of David. As prophesied by Daniel, modern Britain largely has become a godless society.

In just 50 years Britain has fallen from the heights of glory, having the greatest empire and commonwealth in man’s history, to an aged former colonialist power, literally embarrassed by its imperial history and royal heritage.

God yearns for Britain to turn back to Him for its protection and prosperity. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezek. 33:11).

Only when Britain rediscovers the God who blessed it so greatly via the faith of forefather Abraham will its treasures return to their homeland and Britain truly once again will, by the grace of God, “rule Britannia.”