Three short, independent pieces on the EU and Brexit.
1. We Wanna Be Together
From the start the EU’s principal strategy for ensuring peace in Europe has been to unite all its people into one nation, whether they like it or not. This assumes they would then begin to understand each other, mix together, share the same benefits and adopt the same values – one happy family with no reason to fight. Many UK Remainers see themselves as virtuous internationalists and support this strategy; they see Leavers as mainly inward-looking Little-Englanders (and Welsh nationalists) but after nearly half a century they still represent the majority of British voters. That suggests the strategy isn’t working but the contradiction doesn’t bother the Remainers who prefer a grand theory to practical evidence.
2. Une union toujours plus étroite
This week President Macron of France sent a letter to fellow EU leaders setting out his vision for the future of the EU. In it he states, “This is the moment for a European renaissance. Resisting the temptation of withdrawal and division, I propose to build together this renaissance around three aspirations: freedom, protection and progress.”
By protection he means more trade protectionism and more integration of national defence forces, by freedom he means (we’re not sure, but he told Andrew Marr that France would “probably” have voted to leave if it was asked – don’t ask Emmanuel!) and by progress he means ‘more Europe’. His plan is to give more powers to the EU and more agencies to exercise them. He calls for “convergence rather than competition”, a sure recipe for stifling innovation (see Shorties-11: Principles)
He is also scathing about Brexit but his recipe is exactly what the majority of Britons don’t want and have never wanted, we prefer cooperation to control. Amongst other questions he asked, “who mentioned the risks to peace in Ireland?” – John Major and Tony Blair did.
3. Let’s Bomb Brexit
Letter bombs have been posted from Dublin to places in the UK and car bombs were recently detonated in Northern Ireland. No doubt the timing was deliberately designed to highlight the danger of Brexit. Is this another example of EU theory (the ‘Project for Peace’) being contradicted by experience? The Commission and Varadkar’s nationalist government will blame Brexiteers but it is they who are stirring the hornets’ nest of terrorists. Is it OK for murderers to determine our political future?
There were two sides to The Troubles in Ireland, the other side is likely to be roused if the threat to UK union continues and it is this appalling Taoiseach who is stressing the Good Friday Agreement (see Bloody-Border Line).