The longest word in Parliament; a chain reaction; the UK outcast; boomerang bailouts; a bad design; a bad marriage; a superior, foreign court; whose law is it then?; weak economic foundations; why are EU?; an outdated ideology; to the Land’s End station; the impossible dream; apply the obvious.
You may be interested to learn about floccinaucinihilipilification. This is the longest word in Hansard, used by Jacob Rees-Mogg in condemning the ECJ’s judges for ruling on their own salary increases:
It was clever, not just because of the extraordinary word itself but because the issue gained a bit more traction in the news, even overseas. He explains here:
Fear of Domino-ation
Trade friction with Britain isn’t good for EU businesses but the Commission doesn’t care too much about that because if Brexit works for Britain why shouldn’t Italexit do the same for Italy or Grexit for Greece? If Italy leaves it would destroy monetary union, the EU’s greatest integrationist project so far. As Junker says: “If Italy wants further special treatment, that would mean the end of the euro. So you have to be very strict.“
This is probably like spitting into the wind because the eurozone doesn’t have the firepower left to survive the next big, global financial crisis without radical change, such as a fiscal union. The creditor nations are about as likely to agree to that as the debtors are to match their economies to the standards that would be demanded (i.e. Germany’s, as dictated by Germany).
The EU is neither a benevolent nor a beneficial project for the UK and compromises that it is willing to make to accommodate others are denied to a country that betrays its precious principles. (for example: the EU’s acceptance of TTIP against its dismissal of Chequers regarding services; Gibraltar’s border with Spain and the Eire/NI border; Germany’s budget surplus and Italy’s budget deficit; (fishing quotas?); …) Remainers see the EU as it ought to be, not as it is – that is, self-serving to the point of being malign.
Italian debt is about four times what Greece owed when it needed bailing out, nearly 1.5 trillion euros. In his book ‘Adults in the Room’ Yanis Varoufakis writes: “As soon as the bailout loans gushed into the Greek finance ministry, ‘Operation Offload’ began: the process of immediately siphoning the money back to the French and German banks… The operation was thus completed within less than two years. This was what the Greek bailout had been all about.”
The EU project has a noble but poorly implemented economic ambition riding precariously and incompetently on the back of a powerful and out-of-control political machine (out of our control –the people).
The EU economy has grown slowly, erratically and unreliably for three decades. This is surely because the economy’s importance is secondary to the political agenda and because its managers ignore economic realities.
Those who most loudly proclaim that the European Union is a valuable project either have a personal interest in doing so or wilfully ignore its economic and social ineffectiveness. Or both of course. And they refuse to acknowledge, let alone discuss, the federal agenda that underpins the project.
The central purpose of this EU is to create a supra-national government, secured at one remove from a critical electorate. This cannot succeed and should not be attempted.
No closer please
Remainers may accept that the EU has some faults but probably feel that these are less important than the benefits of being close to our neighbours. Similarly many would agree there are benefits of marriage but there are cases where remaining single is preferable. Consider the Victorian spinster faced with handing her money, property and freedom to a man she could marry, or she could remain ‘just good friends’. It was a tough decision for her unless trust and love were strong; the life of a single woman was challenging in those days but times have changed. Trust and love for the EU are lacking for a majority in the UK (and probably elsewhere) though some fear the consequences of being alone.
The EU believes its judges should continue to rule on cases in many areas after the UK leaves, for example its citizens’ rights. The UK’s response is to ask what other government allows a foreign court to overrule its own judges. In its usual spirit of compromise the UK suggests a neutral umpire, perhaps a Canadian, but the EU flatly refuses to consider this. Is that fair? Is it rational? It only makes sense if the EU is determined to scupper any chance of agreement, except on its own inflexible terms.
Law unto itself
Common law is a peculiarly English development, found mainly in countries that are former British colonies or have been influenced by the Anglo-Saxon tradition, such as Australia, India, Canada and the United States. It is a beautiful example of spontaneous order. Before the Norman Conquest, different rules and customs applied in different regions of England. But after 1066 judges created a common law by drawing on customs across the country, with an occasional nod towards the rulings of monarchs. Powerful Plantagenet kings such as Henry II set about standardising the laws to make them consistent across the country, and absorbed much of the common law into the royal courts. But they did not invent it. By contrast, European rulers drew on Roman law, and in particular a compilation of rules issued by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century that was rediscovered in eleventh-century Italy. Civil law, as practised on the continent of Europe, is generally written by governments.
A project such as the EU should be firmly underpinned by sound economic and social theory. It is not. There is no broad consensus in either economic or political theory, so there is no widely accepted foundation that could support the case for economic and political union. Supporters of the Project refrain from attempting theoretical or empirical justification for the claim that EMU is the best, and may be the only, way to deliver economic, democratic and social development.
On the surface the EU might appear an enlightened project, and it could be. The obsession with enforced conformity is not the path to harmony and mutual benefit. The EU is the wrong project to unify and pacify a fractious Europe; it can only succeed through suffocation.
What are the main objectives of the EU and are they beneficial, harmful or irrelevant? We have answered these questions as we understand the EU and its tributaries. We do not see an honest presentation of the case in favour.
We need regional and global cooperation but we don’t need remote government. We need cooperative structures that can evolve to meet new challenges as they arise, not rigid ideologies. Only democratic accountability has been able to achieve this over the long term. Europe’s nations are capable of making choices about how they collaborate; their peoples don’t need an unelected, supra-national body to manage them. They don’t need this EU, which is a regime imposed on Europe for out-dated reasons and held together only by an out-dated ideology. People will have their say and if imposed upon they will resist. The future of the EU is highly uncertain.
The EU ‘professionals’ and their predecessors have overseen an EU of low economic growth, high unemployment and growing extremism. This despite their unshakeable confidence in their own abilities. Popular, sackable politicians could hardly have done worse. Of course national politicians risk the sack if they hand over full control of their diverse economies to others who are not responsible to the various electorates. The resultant squabbles and compromises illustrate the underlying tension between the Commissioners’ demands for uniformity (dressed up as ‘union’) and the wish of citizens to have a say in their economic and legal systems. This tension cannot be resolved by soft words as it goes to the heart of the EU’s ambitions. In the end the people will decide, with or without the compliance of their ‘betters’ and this is the risk the EU is taking.
In Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story the White Queen lives her life backwards (in looking-glass mode) and it seems to us that EU “royalty” have a similarly distorted view. By sticking to their plans the EU’s leaders believe there will be jam tomorrow. In fact it is more likely they are destroying their dream.
Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
This is what the White Queens ruling the EU believe:
- That doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is not the definition of insanity (to paraphrase Einstein).
- That spending their energies trying to diminish Britain rather than making us envy a reinvigorated EU will improve anyone’s life (except perhaps their own, if it works).
- That 27 countries would ever agree on how to deploy an EU army.
- That the Euro is working.
- That bullying Britain with threats of economic retaliation is an example to the world of how international cooperation means peace and harmony.
How about the Brexit deal = Canada + Japan + common sense cooperation (planes, science, security, etc.) In this way we can claim we aren’t asking for anything the EU hasn’t granted to other friendly countries, or are we the enemy? This way we get most of what we need and expose the ideological ruthlessness of the Commission’s stance to everyone at home and abroad. Why do UK Remainers not see the pernicious nature of the EU and tolerate its aggressiveness? “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” (Jeremiah 5:21)