When it comes to the history of the EU, Nigel Lawson actually has his facts straight. It’s a shame he also feels the need to weigh in on the political and economic aspects of Brexit
When he isn’t single-handedly torpedoeing the thinking Brexiteer’s case for leaving the European Union with fatuous and cavalier pronouncements on the economic aspect – or wrongly whipping up fears that Brexit would mean border controls with Ireland – Nigel Lawson can sing quite a nice tune on the issue of democracy and the unabashedly federalist imperative of the EU.
From Lawson’s OpEd in yesterday’s Telegraph:
On the European mainland it has always been well understood that the whole purpose of European integration was political, and that economic integration was simply a means to a political end.
In Britain, and perhaps also in the US, that has been much less well understood, particularly within the business community, who sometimes find it hard to grasp that politics can trump economics.
The fact that the objective has always been political does not mean that it is in any way disreputable. Indeed, the most compelling original objective was highly commendable.
It was, bluntly, to eliminate the threat to Europe and the wider world from a recrudescence of German militarism, by placing the German tiger in a European cage.
Whether or not membership of the EU has had much to do with it, that objective has been achieved: there is no longer a threat from German militarism.
But in the background there has always been another political objective behind European economic integration, one which is now firmly in the foreground.
That is the creation of a federal European superstate, a United States of Europe. Despite the resonance of the phrase, not one of the conditions that contributed to making a success of the United States of America exists in the case of the EU.
But that is what the EU is all about. That is its sole raison d’être.
This is a condensed and fairly accurate restatement of the EU’s underlying purpose, more fully laid out in “The Great Deception” by Dr. Richard North and Christopher Booker – though this essential book makes the additional important point about just how much of the EU’s evolution has taken place by stealth, cloaked in deliberate secrecy.
Anyone still labouring under the illusion (or burying their heads in their sand to convince themselves) that the EU is nothing but a happy-go-lucky club of countries coming together voluntarily to “cooperate” and solve common difficulties together should read “The Great Deception” and let the scales fall from their eyes. For all his other faults, Lawson does at least have a firmer grasp of history than most starry-eyed EU apologists.
Does this OpEd make up for everything else that Lawson has unfortunately done to retard the case for Brexit? No. But it does show quite starkly the positive case for Brexit which the main Leave campaign is throwing away by refusing to commit to an anxiety-soothing EEA-based exit plan and then, once the public’s understandable economic concerns are neutralised, letting the case for democracy speak for itself.
Top Image: The Irish News
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