Cameron and his team have placed great stock in a 2017 referendum promise. But is worth a dime?
In front of us, there is a choice – whether it comes in 2017 or not; the choice will be essentially the same: ‘Do you (the British people) want to remain part of the European Union?’ I would argue that it will ultimately be a false choice, as I hope to explain.
There are some (very few I would argue) positive points that can be made for the European Union in its current form. These merits will no doubt be emphasised and exaggerated to the British public before any future referendum. But just as a puppy isn’t a puppy for long, the EU is not static – it is constantly changing and growing. What kind of beast will be the final result of this process?
Each new treaty transfers new powers and ‘competencies’ to Brussels in a process they call ‘pooling sovereignty’ but in reality amounts to little more than handing power to unelected Brussels bureaucrats. Whether you approve of The EU in its current form or not is beside the point – it is changing into a ‘United States of Europe’.
The EU is already taking on the trappings of a state with its own foreign policy, its own parliament, its own Flag and Anthem. It has been reported that European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs stated only this month that the UK must join the Euro.
Shortly, the EU may even have its own armed forces.
William Dartmouth MEP has stated that:
“It is clear that the EU is making concrete plans to create a European army.”
A recent Comres poll discovered that:
“A majority of MEPs across all three main parties think that the EU should be aiming to become a unified state”
Earlier this year, Eurosceptic Syed Kamall MEP expressed his alarm at:
“a European Commission-funded initiative, aimed at young people, which promotes the concept of Europe as a single state.”
The choice before us is not between the EU status quo and Independence. The choice is whether to become independent once more or be subsumed into the imminent EU superstate.
In a 1992 Speech in The Hague called “Europe’s Political Architecture” Baroness Thatcher stated clearly:
“Our choice is clear: Either we exercise democratic control of Europe through co-operation between national governments and parliaments which have legitimacy, experience and closeness to the people. Or, we transfer decisions to a remote multi-lingual parliament, accountable to no real European public opinion and thus increasingly subordinate to a powerful bureaucracy. No amount of misleading language about pooling sovereignty can change that.”
In a Recent Survation poll for the Mail, 55 per cent favoured an EU referendum before the next Election.
The Poll also revealed that Asked how they would vote if a 2014 referendum went ahead, nearly one in two, 46 per cent, would vote to leave – with 38 per cent in favour of staying in. I am encouraged by this, but one thing is troubling me. I am worried that those in government who want us to remain in the EU will manage to get a few superficial concessions from Brussels and present this ‘renegotiated’ EU to the British people as a fait accompli.
It is worrying since according to the Survation Poll, 47% would vote to remain in the EU if it made concessions to the UK. While I do not believe that significant powers will be returned to the UK from Brussels – there would be little stopping the government claiming a mass return of powers. I have no doubt that whoever is in power at the time, Labour or Conservative Prime Minister will return to the UK claiming ‘Game set and match’ to Britain.
But without EU-wide consensus on treaty reform, there is no way that the EU can be reformed in any significant way.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned that plans to retrieve powers to member states are “doomed to failure”
I admire his honesty. Let us also be honest – the EU is a failed construct. The sooner we leave it, the sooner we can form a new European arrangement based on sovereign nation states, mutual respect and co-operation.
That is ultimately; the only real choice we can make.
Gary Robinson (Follow Gary on Twitter: @GaryJRobinson)