By Julian Lewis
Southern Daily Echo – 6 April 1999
A few years ago John Major tried to strike a blow against those who wish to create a politically unified European state. He vetoed the appointment of a rather ugly Belgian as President of the European Commission. Instead, we got Jacques Santer, the man who promised us a single European defence and foreign policy – thus turning me and many others instantly into profound eurosceptics.
Now, Santer has gone in a cloud of corruption, and former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is all set to take over as top man in Europe. Yet, he has openly declared that
"Economic and Monetary Union [EMU] and political union are two sides of the same coin."
EMU, he gloats,
"opens the chapter of 'government' of the European economy".
Prodi therefore predicts that it will lead to the creation of
"a common political authority",
and emphasises that
"this political interpretation of EMU leads us to opening the second front in our commitment: to swing the integration process from economic to political".
This is no isolated view. A few weeks ago, champagne corks were said to be popping in Downing Street – Tony Blair was supposedly celebrating the downfall of dangerous 'Red' Oskar Lafontaine, the German Finance Minister. But his replacement is 'moderate' Hans Eichel, who stated in July 1997:
"European unification is an absolute must ... The euro is not European unification, but it is one important step towards this end."
In other words, the introduction of the euro and the destruction of separate national currencies, is an economic means towards a political end. The euro is a Trojan Horse designed to penetrate the defences of democratic states and to trick them into combining their economies and, inevitably, their countries.
Once we have a single European economy, the people who run it will become, in effect, a single European government. At present, fluctuating currencies vary in value against each other as different countries perform differently. With the removal of this safety-valve, the peoples of Europe will be compelled to carry each other's burdens whether they like it or not.
Unlike continental federalists, Blairite politicians – and even re-modelled old Leftists such as Alan Whitehead MP – seek to camouflage the political purpose of the euro. They prate about "the disadvantage of a fluctuating currency".
They claim – as Tony Blair did in response to a question from me in the Commons – that the national interest is defined only in terms of the "economic tests" for British entry into EMU. Politics and democracy are dismissed with glib platitudes about "pooled sovereignty".
In fact, when countries freely agree to work together – as in NATO – they are not pooling or losing sovereignty. They are entering arrangements which are both co-operative and reversible.
The single currency is neither. It is a political trap baited with economic bribes. At present, the British people are opposed to it by approximately two-to-one. This explains Labour's reluctance to hold a referendum until the public have been softened up by misleading government propaganda about the 'inevitability' of our participation.
Continental countries have proportional electoral systems which make it much harder for politicians to be held to account. That is why those in Germany, for example, are able to defy the people's wish to keep the Deutschmark. Sooner or later, economic and monetary union will implode – like all systems which are not based on popular consent; but how much damage will be done to peace, prosperity and democracy in the meantime?
Even now, so-called 'Regional Development Agencies' are coming into being. Structures are quietly being constructed by the government to bypass Westminster and prepare us for a 'Europe of the Regions' run directly from Brussels.
It is often claimed that, by staying out of the single European currency, Britain has "missed the boat". Eleven other countries have caught it: it is called the Titanic – and pretty soon we shall be very glad that we are not among the passengers.
[This article was published in slightly shortened form under the title 'Euro May Bring Unwanted Unity'.]