The EU needs to learn the lessons from Brexit and come to terms with reality

The EU needs to learn the lessons from Brexit and come to terms with reality

As unlikely as it may seem, we are two Italians – an MP and a journalist – who are publishing a positive book about Brexit. Released this week, it is entitled “Brexit: the challenge” (Brexit: La Sfida).

As you can easily imagine, here in Italy, Brexit has been judged by the mainstream media on the basis of stereotypes and clichés: isolationism, selfishness, anti-immigration and anti-European attitudes and so on. We have tried to put down in black and white the other side of the story.

From our perspective, the Brexit process will make clear what has been in the hopes and expectations of many of us, as European friends and admirers of the United Kingdom.

Now, after getting out of a building on fire, the UK can finally do what is perfectly in the interest of the British people: make Britain a global superhub, capable of attracting resources and investments, and able to cut taxes and regulation and secure better trade deals with any possible partner on the global scene.

So it’s up to the EU to learn the lessons from Brexit and come to terms with reality.

Here in the EU, the only unrealistic attitude is thinking (and there are many who do so, not only in Brussels unfortunately) that going on with the same doctors and with the same treatments which have already sickened the patient might somehow work in the future, for some mysterious reason. Now, Brexit is offering us a huge, fortunate opportunity to reveal that the emperor has no clothes.

First of all, the EU authorities should show full respect and engage in friendly cooperation with the British government.

Then, coming to the EU situation, we need a network of countries and political movements (the ECR group at the European Parliament and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe – as a family of parties and movements – can lead that process) to keep together all those who, across Europe, want to change the EU status quo.

Specifically, we should consider three main points in a European renegotiation process for the remaining EU members:

1. Push for a multi-speed/multi-tiered European Union in which members can join in or abstain from programmes that suit or don’t suit them;

2. Prevent a Euro-area Finance Secretary, with the mission of “harmonising” – that is to say, building an inescapable cage around the Eurozone states. On the contrary, we need fiscal competition between states and territories;

3. Pass a sovereignty bill in as many European countries as possible, stating that EU rules may prevail, unless they are overturned by national Parliaments (or repealed by Constitutional Courts, as it happens in Germany). The best thing would be that national Parliaments should be given a general opt-out option on what comes from Brussels.

The EU must not be a cage. It should be a means by which we can achieve our end goals of democracy, free markets, and full respect for the taxpayers and voters across Europe.

‘Brexit: La Sfida’ is published by Giubilei Regnani and collects opinions and views (or articles) from many authoritative figures, including Janet Daley, Michael Doran, Niall Ferguson, Nile Gardiner, David Goodhart, Daniel Hannan, Allister Heath, John Hulsman, Tim Knox, Lord Lawson, Charles Moore and Peter Rough. The volume also includes papers from the Adam Smith Institute, the Centre for Policy Studies, Policy Exchange and The Conservative.