Thursday, 1 July 2010

The Garden of Gethsemane

In 1975 Britain joined the EU. In 2009 Britain signs the Lisbon Treaty. We are now fully signed up members of the European economic club. But, as we all know, this is not just about economics. The EU concept is also about sovereignty and this has also effectively been signed away by those who govern us today.

So what is the problem? Why are many British people often less than enthusiastic about being part of a European Superstate?

At root I think it is about identity. The British people are in the main quite proud of their identity which has largely been shaped by a history of independence, free speech and victory; a victory over tyranny which others failed to defeat.

These others are our continental neighbours. Most people on the continent are not so proud of their history and seek a new future. This is understandable. If I was French or German or Italian I too would seek to be part of a new European Federal Republic. But I am not French or German or Italian. I am English.

In the geopolitical world there is an increasing shift of influence which is not just about the strength of a nations economy; it is about military might. Without American muscle the EU is dependent on other nations accepting arguments about Human Rights law. Meanwhile competing nations often see Human Rights law as Western Imperialism by the back door.

The fact is that in the dawn of the 21st century, 19th century political ideals are as strong as ever. Nations gain influence in this world as much as by military strength as they will through economic advancement. It was ever thus. Indeed, without American military strength I do not think the EU would last five years.

In response some say: 'the US has no choice but to have a gigantic military, it is what holds the country together'.

In reality, however, the truth is rather more prosaic. The US does have a choice. American defence budgets can go down as well as up. It happens all the time.

There is also another issue. A question of moral imperative which is all the more relevant to the debate because many influential politicians in Europe undoubtedly see themselves as holding secularized moral high ground in arguments about Human Rights law; a stick with which to beat other nations not so keen on democracy.

But it is not an army and hardly likely to be while the Germans still refuse to allow their soldiers to engage seriously in any conflict including Afghanistan.

So how do European Federalists square the moral circle of relying on the power of America for greater European influence in this world?

In my view they cannot. It is simply treacherous of a British government to have compromised British sovereignty whilst relying upon a questionable and dubious morality.

A naive yet incredibly selfish political elite has sold a unique and immensely world respected British identity for thirty pieces of silver. Unbelievable.

No comments:

Post a Comment