One Day the European Union will Implode
By Julian Lewis
Politics First – vol.10, issue 42, February 2020
When it finally happened on 31 January, our exit from the European Union received muted broadcast coverage. Big Ben did not chime. The huge Parliament Square assembly shared equal billing with tiny counter-protests, but by then no-one on the Leave side expected anything else.
Our EU entanglement was developed 'under the radar' by stealth, so its overdue ending probably deserved to be low-key. From the outset, the Project had been foisted upon us, step by step, on economic grounds. On the Continent, there was greater honesty – right from the start – that it was all about politics. It was an attempt to bind together countries which, within living memory, had turned their backs on the politics of consent and sought to subjugate each other.
Asked on the eve of the introduction of the Euro if the Single European Currency was a political project, incoming EU Commission President Romano Prodi replied: "It is an entirely political project." Yet, if the aim of creating a politically unified Europe was to end conflict between major European states, that dream of integration entirely missed the point.
Dictatorships go to war with other dictatorships – and also with democracies. Modern constitutional democracies, though sometimes declaring war on dictatorships, are not inclined to fight each other. Between the overthrow of Nazi despotism in 1945 and the beginning of European integration in the 1950s, there was no significant prospect of one West European democracy attacking any of the others.
By dismantling this safe and stable network, and subsuming constitutional democracies into a single political entity controlled by unelected officials, the EU Project risks fuelling extremism among the disenfranchised and re-creating the conditions for conflict on the Continent. Already, in certain member-states, the warning signs are evident.
I do not claim, for one moment, that this dangerous scenario was in the forefront of the minds of many of those who voted to leave. Far more likely was their justified resentment at our ever-increasing loss of sovereignty over our laws, our governance and our right to protect our own borders. Few British people subscribe to the Marxist view that all politics is about economics. Many – I suspect most – of us would choose to sacrifice some economic wellbeing if that were the price to be paid for self-government via those we elect and can subsequently vote to remove.
Whatever trading arrangements we enter into with the EU at the end of the transition period, it cannot seriously be doubted that we have escaped the conveyor belt to political union. My personal view is that the EU will ultimately implode, like most political entities into which people are shoehorned without their consent.
When that collapse occurs, we and those who come after us will thank our lucky stars that we were on the outside rather than within the imploding superstructure. And the anti-democratic arrogance of those who sought to steal the Referendum result, and to lock us permanently into the servitude of Brexit-in-name-only, will be treated by history with the contempt it deserves.