Sensing A British Vote To Leave The EU, European Politicians Reach For Insults

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When senior European politicians start reaching for the insults, it suggests that they believe the EU referendum is already lost and that Britain will vote to leave the union

And the latest inductee to the ranks of Foreigners Unwittingly Rooting for Brexit (FURP – it just sounds right) is French Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron.

The Evening Standard duly reports Macron’s high-handed warning to us uppity Brits:

Britain will be no more significant than the island of Guernsey if it votes to leave the European Union next week, France’s economy minister has claimed.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Emmanuel Macron said the EU would also have to send “a very firm message and timetable” to Britain if its voters backed Brexit.

He said: “In the interests of the EU, we can’t leave any margin of ambiguity or let too much time go by. You’re either in or you’re out.

“Leaving the EU would mean the ‘Guernseyfication’ of the UK, which would then be a little country on the world scale.

“It would isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe’s border.”

A bit rich, one might think, coming from a minister who presides over one of the most defiantly sclerotic economies in Western Europe, and where the most timid labour market reforms suggested by President Hollande saw the country erupt in flames.

And yes – in the event of Brexit, Britain would of course immediately become just like Guernsey. At least, we would if Guernsey also possessed the fifth largest economy in the world, the second most projectable armed forces, a culture which is admired and consumed the world over, a language which doesn’t require constant governmental protection against decline, a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and…oh yes, Trident nuclear weapons.

It is difficult to know how to interpret “interventions” in the Brexit debate of this kind. Can they be explained away as foreign politicians simply blowing off steam and releasing frustration for the consumption of their domestic audience, or are they intended to be picked up and have an impact here? It is certainly difficult to see how Macron could make such forceful comments without expecting them to be picked up, so let’s assume that this was part of a Brexit comms strategy approved by Manuel Valls and Francois Hollande.

In that case, deliberately provoking the Brits at this late stage in the campaign can only be a sign of desperation, of having given up completely – otherwise the French government would be gritting their teeth and flattering us no end right up until the close of polling. Only if one believes that one’s opponent can not be persuaded and won over does resorting to comically wild insults make any kind of sense.

If we see a similarly belligerent tone when Jean-Claude Juncker makes his eagerly-awaiting appearance on our shores next week then we will know for sure that the EU has indeed already severed its mental ties to Britain, and is preparing itself for the next phase – the negotiation of the terms of our departure.

So, without succumbing to complacency, let us welcome every slight, insult and threat uttered by pro-EU European leaders as a sign that we are doing something right.

 

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Little Englander Conspiracy Theories, Eh?

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It isn’t difficult to discern the trajectory of the European Union over the next decades. Just listen to the words of the EU’s leading political figures from past and present

Leave Alliance blogger Paul Reynolds has published an excellent retort to claims by assorted Remainers and EU apologists that those of us who warn of the impending European state are somehow indulging in paranoid fantasies.

For while everyone in the Remain campaign, from the prime minister on downwards, may be shouting “move along, nothing to see here!” while the scaffolding for a single European state continues to be steadily assembled behind their outstretched arms, any objective person can clearly see what is going on.

Among the examples given by Reynolds, in a piece entitled “A Profound Choice”:

“We have sown a seed… Instead of a half-formed Europe, we have a Europe with a legal entity, with a single currency, common justice, a Europe which is about to have its own defence. ” — Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of the EU Convention, presenting the final draft of the EU Constitution, 13th June 2003

“The proposals in the original constitutional treaty are practically unchanged. They have simply been dispersed through old treaties in the form of amendments. Why this subtle change? Above all, to head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary!” — Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 2007, referring to the the Lisbon Treaty achieving the aims of the rejected EU constitution

“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State.” — Guy Verhofstadt, then Belgian Prime Minister, now an MEP

“The European Union is a state under construction.” — Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs

“Of course the European Commission will one day become a government, the EU council a second chamber and the European Parliament will have more powers.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing MEPs,  November 2012.

“We need a true political union … we need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States … European Parliament elections are more important than national elections … This will be our best weapon against the Eurosceptics.” — Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, January 2014

“For my children’s future I dream, think and work for the United States of Europe” — Matteo Renzi, Italian Prime Minister, May 2014

 “I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a council chamber in Europe.” — Kenneth Clarke, Conservative Chancellor in International Currency Review Vol 23 No 4 1996

Reynolds then goes on to show how this was the plan all along. As it was in the beginning:

Nor should anyone believe that this is a recent development. The EU was always conceived as a vehicle for supra-national federal union, dating right back to its founding organisation, the European Coal & Steel Community (ECSC) established in 1951:

“Through the consolidation of basic production and the institution of a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and the other countries that join, this proposal represents the first concrete step towards a European federation ..”
 — The Schuman declaration May 1950

“By the signature of this Treaty, the participating Parties give proof of their determination to create the first supranational institution and that thus they are laying the true foundation of an organised Europe.” — Europe Declaration made on 18 April 1951, at the signing of the Treaty of Paris establishing the ECSC

Is now:

“Do you really want to participate in a common state? That’s the question.” — Francois Hollande, French President, addressing UKIP leader Nigel Farage in the European Parliament, 2015

And forever shall be:

This is reinforced by the proposals for the next EU treaty, The Fundamental Law of the European Union, published by the federalist Spinelli Group of MEPs, through the Bertelsmann house in late 2013. The preamble contains a telling paragraph:

“This proposal for a Fundamental Law of the European Union is a comprehensive revision of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007). Replacing the existing treaties, it takes a major step towards a federal union. It turns the European Commission into a democratic constitutional government, keeping to the method built by Jean Monnet in which the Commission drafts laws which are then enacted jointly by the Council, representing the states, and the European Parliament, representing the citizens. All the reforms proposed are aimed at strengthening the capacity of the EU to act.” 

European Political Union without end, Amen.

The time for childish, wistful self-deception is over. The British people need to wake up and make a decision – as Francois Hollande rightly exclaimed last year, in a moment of rare candour – about whether we want to participate in a common European state, or whether we wish to be independent, like every other major country in the world outside of Europe.

Ignorance about the intentions and trajectory of the European Union is no longer excusable. These quotes are not difficult to be defined. Neither can their existence be denied or countered in the way that the various economic claims on both sides have been subject to ridicule. These statements all exist because the real political leaders of Europe really do intend to take the European Union in this direction. Today’s EU institutions stand as testament to their vision and their determination to make it a reality.

Contrast the determined long game played by the euro federalists (the quotes selected by Paul Reynolds extend from 1951 through to 2015) with the flimsy, ethereal, cosmetic efforts of British politicians to supposedly win “concessions” from the EU. David Cameron’s renegotiation was nothing more than a grubby little fraud perpetrated on the British people, securing meaningless nods of assent from various heads of government acting in their own capacity, not the EU’s, most of whom will soon have moved on and been replaced by successors who do not feel bound to honour the various tidbits promised to Britain.

And leftists are no better. The once proud and principled tradition of left-wing euroscepticism is virtually dead, stabbed in the back by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Jones (was the guilt and shame of this betrayal – and he knows he is betraying his true values – the reason why Owen turned in such a weak performance on Question Time last night?). And the leftists are now queueing up to talk about their utterly unachievable pipe dream of hands-across-Europe socialism, pretending to themselves and the rest of us that the EU can somehow be “changed” into a perfect socialist vessel. The EU’s founders and current leaders have been working toward a common state for nearly a century! What gives the likes of Owen Jones and Yanis Varoufakis such misplaced confidence that their little socialist tugboat can alter the course of the EU’s giant oil tanker, steaming at maximum knots toward economic and political union?

No, there are only two choices available to Britain – leave the European Union and seek to become a self-governing democracy once again (like every other major country in the world), or remain in the European Union and continue down Francois Hollande’s path toward a common European state.

There is no third way. David Cameron’s renegotiated settlement is not worth the used napkin on which it is scrawled – as far as the EU is concerned, a “Remain” vote mean that Britain is all squared away and ready to continue the march toward political union.

And those who continue to fatuously claim that the EU is simply about cooperation, trade and sharing cookies with one another are lying – to themselves, and to the British people. That benign version of “Europe” is not on offer in this referendum. We have a choice between independence and re-engagement with the world as a confident, powerful player on the one hand, and continued participation in the journey to a common European state on the other.

Do you really want to participate in a common state?

As Britons step into the polling booth on 23 June, this is the question which should ring in our ears.

 

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