For those of us who keep a ‘close eye’ on ‘developments Brexit’ it will not have escaped the attention of some that amongst all the talk of the United Kingdom ceasing its membership of the European Union – while wishing the European Union no harm, etc, etc- only one voice has asked the question: why do we need the European Union? As an aside there were two voices, but one of them was a politician (of whom more in a minute) who, in the intervening period appears to have changed his tune – presumably because he was handed another ‘hymn sheet’ (you know the one: it contains the phrase: be a good boy, ‘don’t make waves’, following which: behave, ‘fall into line’; and you’ll soon be a Secretary of State again). Oh, how are the mighty fallen – but resurrected once they have had their 15 minutes of ‘rebellious fame’.
I am at a loss to understand why any politician in our nation would wish to give the ‘kiss of life’ to an organization that is, in effect, breathing its last due to the fact that the need for its existence has been overtaken by events. Let us, initially, acknowledge that two men (Monnet and Salter) recognized a ‘gap in the market’, one which would bring them – and their disciples – power and fortune. Whether it brought them fortune or power is open to question as those two are now no longer with us – but it sure as hell has for their disciples.
It is a known fact that approximately 80% of what is called ‘EU law’ actually emanates from United Nation bodies – such as UNECE and Codex, to name but two – and whilst our politicians are, no doubt, well aware of this fact, that they do not acknowledge it is probably due to the fact that it diminishes their self-proclaimed right to ‘set our laws’. Knowing this as they do I, for one, find it incredulous that they appear willing to ‘prop-up’ a failing supra-national body which is no longer needed – if it ever was in the first place.
Amongst all the ranting about Theresa May’s views with regard to Brexit, as an aside I have to say I find it ludicrous that MPs appear so obsessed with the subject of whether EU nationals will have the right to remain in the UK once we have left (and vice-versa), when there are far more pressing subjects such as the continuation of trade – but I digress.
Guy Verhostadt has admitted on the BBC that the EU faces possible ‘disintegration’ and in this regard not much, if anything, appears to have been mentioned by those bloggers who are considered ‘must reads’. Where ‘disintegration’ is concerned, I would suggest that too little has been focused on the possible upheaval that could be caused in the Brexit debate were Gert Wilders to succeed in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen in France; and adding in Denmark, together with the Eastern Europe Member States (Hungary and Poland spring to mind), just how many of these countries are waiting to see how the UK fares, prior to declaring they too wish to ‘jump ship’?
It cannot be denied that history shows the United Kingdom has not only ‘led the world’- but that it has also ‘led Europe’ – is it not time the UK resumed this leadership? Has- and is it not time – that our politicians held/have talks with the likes of Wilders, Le Pen and the other aforementioned nations with a view to accumulating a group of countries willing to speak with one voice; in effect saying to the EU: we don’t need you – we’re leaving.
In the first paragraph I mentioned two voices querying why we (the UK) need the European Union. One is Richard North (FlexCit: pp 200-210) and the other was Owen Paterson with a speech (google: owen paterson heritage foundation washington speech [should be top hit] – opens in pdf) given to the Heritage Foundation in Washington a few years ago – as I wrote, he appears to have changed his tune somewhat; or suffered a loss of memory?
Helle Haganau first came to the attention of most people when she appeared on a Newsnight programme and ‘stunned’ those of us interested in ‘matters EU’ by announcing that Norway is not ‘governed by fax’ (contrary to what we were led to believe at the time) and had a veto over EU directives and had exercised such where the Third Postal Directive was concerned.
While I have been an advocate of EFTA/EEA membership, as proposed by Richard North in FlexCit, in the interim period we may spend there it may not be the ‘bed of roses’ it appears. HelleHagenau has posted an article here – (click on ‘The EEA – A warning from Norway’ (opens in pdf – do read) which suggests that the EU has been ‘tightening its grip on the EEA’ in its usual ‘salami slicing’ – this would suggest that were we to follow the EFTA/EEA route there is much to beware.
This leads one to query whether there is something to be gained by investigating that which is suggested in paragraph six of this article? Were the UK and France to ‘leave’ (bearing in mind they are both nuclear powers and have an ‘armed might’ worthy of consideration), notwithstanding the loss of possibly four more member states; might that not put the boot on the other foot where UK negotiations were concerned?
Food for thought……………?