Friday, 19 February 2016
#UKinEU done. Drama over
This is why we have the European Union: to stop the French and Germans bashing four bells out of each other and laying waste much of Europe in the process. One of the successes of the EU we're told is that there ain't been a war in Europe for nigh on 70 years. Supporters of the EU point to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reclamation of Eastern Europe, as a sign of its influence and success. There's the wider "The EU encourages love and understanding between European sovereign states" - a generalisation of the Franco - German spat. And, of course, the economic argument - the EU generates greater wealth and prosperity for its individual members than they would achieve on their own.
Now is not the best of times to be a Europhile. Take the economic benefits argument. As they say in financial circles past performance is no guarantee of the future. For many years the EU had been synonymous with growth, wealth creation and rising living standards. Not anymore. People will say that's because of the Euro and the UK isn't part of that. True, but we're affected by the EU's poor economic performance none then less. Germany: to many it sees the EU as its secure export market - the UK especially. Just look at the cars in your street and the white goods in your house. And the EU as benefiting all its members. That's why David Cameron is seeking special treatment for the City of London?
There is a case for a strong Europe militarily now that Putin is acting like a mini - Stalin. Except the EU isn't a defence grouping. It can be argued that the retreat of the Russian empire in the late 80s had nothing to do with the West - especially Europe - but with Russian's own internal contradictions.
As to the "I want to teach the world to sing" argument. Look at the way the EU is atomising on national boundaries over migration. Greece is understandable annoyed at being told that it's not doing enough to stop migrants while Austria, Slovenia, etc, etc are shutting up shop to migrants, So much for "ever closer union".
Don't run away with the idea that I'm anti - EU. I'm not I really don't know how I'll vote. Although I'm rather hacked off at Cameron stirring up the immigration issue because he's beholden to a load of primitives in the Conservative Party.
I think we're different here in England. We see ourselves as separate, special and rather parochial despite what our leaders say. We've been sold the EU dream on the basis of economic and financial gain. That's not so apparent now and other concerns and cares are surfacing.
A Tory government that is keen on devolved responsibility, must now find it difficult to set the economic benefits of a centralised EU against the call for greater devolution of powers. The idea that our energy security is dependant on a French company 80% owned by the French government operating in UK's privatised energy market doesn't help the EU cause.
As I've said I'm not sure how I'll vote, but it might be an adventure if we give the EU establishment and Cameron a blooded nose.
It might even be a knock out blow.