This is based on our original essay. We have now added many posts, which can be found under the PAGES heading on any screen. You can go to any post through the list of contents here, or first read a summary of each post in the Synopsis (see below) and from there link to the posts that most interest you.
- Benefits of the EU Project
- Ever Closer Union
- Through the Looking Glass
- The UK is different
- Learning from experience
- Ideology v. Pragmatism
- Experts don’t agree
- Keeping the Peace
- Good intentions and bad outcomes
- A playground for squabbles and cheating
- Summary and Conclusion
Much that underpins the true EU is revealed by the five Presidents in their report (June 2015 – see References). We examine these revelations and conclude that this Union cannot be made to work for Britain.
There some, but the deep flaws count for more. Much of what has been achieved could have been achieved through democratic collaboration.
Left to ourselves we might elect the likes of Mussolini and Hitler: to spare us the risk and the consequences of such decisions national parliaments are left as the ghost of democracy, providing a Punch and Judy show to placate the masses.
The EU is founded in the belief that political authority has to be centralised to be effective; democracy is untidy and cannot deliver the goods without paternal management.
A political union should evolve; it cannot be imposed and expected to be successful and lasting without the approval of its citizens.
Voters are confused: what they can plainly see is different from what they are told so they lose confidence in their ability to understand and many would rather leave the decision to experts. It is clear that the interests of member states are subservient to the Project as whole. There is no proof that merely creating a supra-national power creates the conditions needed to produce growth and reduce unemployment?
Historical differences lead the British to be sceptical about many features of the European Union and this scepticism has resulted in a range of opt-outs, through which Britain does not participate in what are elsewhere regarded as key features of the Project. Britain, if it remains in the EU, will be a despised fringe player, at best, in a union in which it has little faith.
The case is nowhere substantiated that the Union can deliver desirable outcomes better than individual nations. Experience has convinced the British government that more can be achieved by devolving significant powers to local authorities.
Economic, political and monetary union have become the rationale for the creation of treaties, laws and institutions that have no other rationale. We are guinea pigs in a project that has neither empirical nor theoretical justification.
‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ claims in its mass mailshot: “Experts agree that jobs would be lost and family finances hit if we left – and our security would be put at risk.” This is a lie, they don’t agree.
Economics is not a science; economists cannot conduct controlled experiments. “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” Yet leaders of the EU/EMU believe that they can predict and control the future, if only the rest of us would stick to their rules. Economically Britain is drifting away from Europe.
Countries joining the EU must accept the primacy of EU law over their national law. This denies the primacy of Common Law in Britain, a heritage discarded without proper consent.
Many people worry that their jobs and incomes are threatened by immigrants from poorer countries and this has increased since the EU expanded into Eastern Europe. The free movement of labour is a sacrosanct component of the Single Market but it is hard to see why EU citizens should be preferred over others with skills we need, unless it is to further the single state.
This motive inspired the founders but has become an ideology remote from reality.
When a plan isn’t working the instinctive response is to try harder (more Europe) rather than re-think the plan.
Europe is a massive bureaucracy, with top-down control and corrections to “divergence” run by people who believe that we cannot be trusted to manage our own affairs but who have no doubts that they can run our affairs for us, provided we give them the power and don’t expect to get it back.
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 do so by suffocation. Two questions remain unanswered: ‘To whom are you accountable?’ and ‘How do we get rid of you?’ because the only honest answers are: ‘no one’ and ‘you can’t’.
We could stay with the floundering ship, shouting at the officers, or cast off in our own gig to find new territories, with hope that our limited navigation skills will find them.