The EU, and later the EMU, were based on a vision outlined not long after the Second World War. The vision, that Europe needs to be integrated to avoid the possibility of its constituent nations going again to war with each other, has faded as economic and social ties have pushed such a possibility into the remote distance.
The current EU/EMU projects are justified by the belief that economic, political and social development can (only) be achieved from the top down.
The arguments in support are based on two assumptions. The first is that Europe’s nation states are not capable of delivering their own improvements to economic, democratic and social circumstances, let alone that they can collaborate, other than through EU/EMU, to provide an environment that is congenial to efficient development. The second assumption is that a self-selected group of professional bureaucrats has the ability to achieve what individual nations cannot. From these assumptions the conclusion is drawn that the nations of Europe must give up substantial sovereignty in order to pass responsibility for development to a central, non-sovereign authority, which the professional bureaucrats will manage to the benefit of all.
The EU project is misdirected and misrepresented. The true agenda – ever-closer union – is not the declared agenda and the declared agenda – a better and fairer life for all citizens – is designed to cover up the true agenda. The true agenda is to be achieved by fiat; by member states giving up ever more of their sovereignty.
The central problem is that the EU project, subservient as it is to EMU, is misdirected. It is about centralising power and as such it is doomed to fail. If it succeeded the outcome would be to reduce Europe’s attractive and stimulating cultural and economic diversity to a dull and ineffective uniformity.
EU/EMU have a hidden agenda – central control – obscured by an unachievable goal: unachievable in principle because the divergent realities of economic, democratic and social development contradict the goal of union, and unachievable in practice because the juggernaut does not have the capability to achieve the declared goals.
The deal agreed in January by the EU with David Cameron is neither a reform of its treaties nor a true safeguard of Britain’s interests. It will leave Britain stuck inside with its legal obligations but disregarded in discussions on key aspects of political and monetary union, because Britain is not fully committed. Possibly the worst of both in-and-out worlds.
The unjustified centralisation and top-down control provide sufficiently strong reasons for Britain, having avoided joining EMU, to leave the EU, before it collapses chaotically and destructively from the failures of its own logic and the inabilities of its managers to deliver outcomes that meet the needs of the peoples of Europe.