The Superstate into which the EU is evolving makes our departure all the more urgent

The Superstate into which the EU is evolving makes our departure all the more urgent

Back in April, after we didn’t leave the EU on March 29th, my view was that whatever got concocted by the various interested political and civil service/EU parties in the ensuing days and months would be regarded as stale and unsatisfactory by many across the UK.

Now I think that the majority of people want Brexit done and dusted, yesterday. It was what they were told would be done, but so far it hasn’t. If it isn’t delivered, it is the ballot box which will again be used to show the people’s discontent, not in another referendum, but at a general election, which is what is required. They, the people, are not going to accept dither and subterfuge any more – and I don’t just refer to Conservative and former Conservative voters.

So what is to be done? I don’t have a crystal ball, obviously, and so there may, or may not be, a general election sooner rather than later (in anticipation of which we are out campaigning in Lincoln most weekends, and all are, of course, welcome to join us on our campaign). But rather than deal with the state of flux in politics and the immediate future of the UK, the Government and the EU relationship, and the Conservative Party, I want to delve a little further into the future.

In my view the discussions about ‘In or Out’ have become too blinkered. Much of the commentary from the oxymoron of ‘professional commentators’ (some of them are very amateur) is short-term in its impact and much of it designed to cause doubt in the minds of Leavers – and resolve in the minds of Remainers – and much of it is about trivia in all honesty. You know what they say: ‘We will be poorer, we will have to queue at passport control, there will be fewer flights and those will cost more, we will have less choice at our supermarkets, mobile phone charges will increase, some supplies may be delayed…’ and finally, the most repeated, emotive and misleading phrase, ‘we will crash out under a no-deal scenario’.

Well, my retort, after recent election results, many polls and the reaction to the ‘Establishment’ actions of the Supreme Court, is that it seems even more of the Great British public would now also respond: what price freedom?

Freedom has a price, it always has had, and I for one would rather be freer but poorer, and I suspect most of the 17.4 million who voted to Leave feel precisely the same way. In fact, many of them told me that in similar words in 2016, and have re-iterated that strong feeling on many occasions since – people of all ages who support (or supported) all major political parties.

Do I mind a wait at passport control if it means our borders are secure, there might be fewer flights and those might cost more? No, not really – but we are told air travel is environmentally bad so, obversely, that might be a good thing, maybe? Do I really care that I cannot buy ready-ripe mangoes from Ecuador twelve months of the year? Again, reducing the air miles of food is a social good, isn’t it? And as for ‘roaming’ mobile phone charges, we are told less time on our phones and iPads is a good thing by our incessantly nannying state.

But these are all distractions and deliberately so. We have little mainstream media coverage of the current EU member states’ problems – and there are some pretty major ones: Italy is on the verge of recession and hasn’t grown in 20 years; the Greek economy has reduced by 25% since 2010 and financially they are still crippled; and the German economy is flat-lining and has a multitude of other issues, from banking to immigration. And occasionally and fleetingly we hear of the civil unrest and ongoing ‘yellow jackets’ agitation in France, now into the umpteenth weekend on the bounce. How many times did the taxpayer-funded BBC (or any other media) tell us all that Macron’s skiing holiday was abandoned a few months ago as the civil unrest escalated… what do you mean you didn’t know?

Enough of the frivolities, if they can be called that. The question we have to answer is: what is the EU going to become, and do we in the UK want to be part of it? Not tomorrow, next week or next month. But in five and ten years’ time?

No-one can say with certainty what the EU will look like in detail in ten years’ time. But, from its direction of travel we can predict, reasonably accurately I would suggest, some of the things that will come to pass at a macro level. Let us forget for a moment the EU Army, Navy and Air Force, the EU institutions and whether the whole circus will still decamp in a very costly exercise every fourth week of every month of the year to Strasbourg – it still will we can assume.

Ponder this scenario:

In another ten years, even more countries have now adopted the euro as their currency. They had to. The criteria for a number of these countries, we suspect, was allowed to be fudged – but that was of course permissible in order for this particular aspect of ‘the project’ to get off the ground. We may have also seen stresses in the Eurozone which will not go away. In any single currency area, capital will migrate to where it can be most productive, where it can earn the greatest return. In the Eurozone that has been to date essentially Germany and what we used to call the Low Countries. There is no reason to expect this to change in ten years. That also means capital has left the less productive areas – referred to as the periphery. The peripheral countries, in order to survive, have been forced to take loans. Loans which they can never repay and which will be inherited by their grandchildren and their children after them. The only solution to this is social transfer payments.

Many believe we should not be lending money to these countries, but giving them money. Money recycled through the tax system. That is what happens in any country with its own currency, to assist different regions within that country. It is right that wealth is transferred in that way. Maybe the European socialists feel similarly strongly about such redistribution, or do they? But to do that, i.e. redistribute wealth through a tax system, you do need a single fiscal area with a single fiscal regime. That means a Eurozone-wide taxation area (continent?) of which Ireland is certainly fearful for obvious reasons, as their economy has relied in recent times on a beneficial tax regime for a number of large multinational corporate organisations; and very importantly, you cannot have that ‘Eurozone-wide taxation area’ without a complete political integration of all member states.

So, output one: in ten years’ time there has to be a single political construct across the EU to provide the governance framework for a single fiscal policy. If we as a nation were still a part of the EU at this point, what will have become of our financial business prowess and City institutions in the heart of London as a single fiscal policy is imposed across the EU?

What would the characteristics of such a political construct look like? Whilst past performance cannot readily translate into future predictions, it can – in the case of the development of political infrastructure, the institutions and general approach to the evolution of a final political solution – signal some things which can guide us as to what characteristics the political construct will have.

The rights of the individual and the balance of power between the individual and the state are part of our UK DNA. They are not part of the DNA of most of the still existing states in Europe. Their history provides for a very different relationship between state and individual, in many cases where the rights of the State, and previously the common or state religion, trump that of the individual. France was always autocratic with its monarchy, Spain is still trying to shed the autocracy from its central institutions in the post-Franco period, Germany was a construct of a brutal assembly by Bismarck, and similarly, though slightly less brutal, with Italy and Garibaldi. Much of Europe also enjoys the residual autocracy and centralised focus of the Catholic Church, though admittedly not Germany and other states liberated during the Protestant Reformation.

But the key issue perhaps is at the very heart of EU institutions. It is this sense that their hierarchies have of the permanent right of the State, and the power which comes from that. Perhaps we saw it most visibly in the EU’s response to the UK’s 2016 referendum result. One might have thought a more sensitive organisation would have said “…the result is troubling, we need to put the brakes on our direction of travel, we are moving too fast.”. To the contrary, it has been re-energised in its centralising and Superstate-building agenda that has advanced over the last decade or two.

It seems obvious that no brakes will be applied to this driven opportunity for foul integration. Leaders from constituent democracies are bought off with promises of roles in the EU – which come with multiples of their salaries as simple heads of nation states, and pension enhancements to boot. Support the club whilst you are a Prime Minister (or Speaker) and you will be rewarded whilst your country maybe will not. Tony Blair is a ‘pseudo presidential’ example of this, maybe Gordon Brown too. I suspect John Bercow wants to be.

Output two will, as night follows day, be an EU Superstate, with as few checks and balances on its powers as the EU and its institutions enjoy and wield today. Customs Unions and Freedom of Movement will seem trifling in their insignificance with no borders nor national governments as the Superstate (or ‘Empire’ as one of its own, Guy Verhofstadt, recently termed it) takes all decisions, leaving former Parliaments with ‘collecting bins’, ‘street lights’ and regional or local government-type devolved powers to play with.

Just those two outputs alone would, in my mind, make me want to avoid at all costs what Europe and the EU will become. The Great British public in 2016 had an inkling of this future, as did many involved in that referendum, and the majority voted accordingly – 17.4 million of us. The supine Remainers too saw this future and to them it was a utopia, a nirvana, to be embraced whatever the democratic deficit of such a totalitarian monolith. For anyone with a sense of or an interest in history, the early 1950’s origination, and eventual morphing into the EU, of the European Coal and Steel Community (proposed initially in May 1950 and agreed and set up by August 1952) has its bedrock and ultimate aims clearly and boldly proclaimed. There was never any doubt what the EU’s leaders and mandarins’ endgame was, and is.

So now go back to what we initially ignored. If you add to that described above – perhaps an EU foreign policy backed up by an EU wide army (Armed Force) commanded by the French and Germans, alarm bells might ring. Additionally with an economy in recession, protectionism ramped up and and with no innovation whatsoever to grow the wealth for future generations, needed to support the ambitions of the ‘new’ EU, and with even the EU stating itself that 90% of future economic growth will be outside the EU, then the panic klaxons are joining the cacophony.

So what is your view now of the EU? A normal individual would surely rightly be worried, and could rightly ask themselves and their fellow countrymen and women: what is there to like about all of that?