Monday, August 29, 2005

A European Union beyond reform

The extent of the recent shift in British public opinion against the European Union (EU) - even among business folk, hitherto its greatest supporters - has been remarkable. It is a shift born of experience, especially the unarguable fact of the euro zone's well-established economic failure, but also the growing realisation that the EU, with its mountain of regulations and wasteful farm subsidies, is essentially beyond reform. The fact that other European countries, for their own reasons, have also turned against the EU has refuted the myth that only Little Englanders or xenophobes oppose the EU.

Britain now desperately needs an opposition with a comprehensive, alternative vision of British foreign policy that breaks with the Foreign Office's post-war obsession with Europe. Such a vision would flesh out new trading and defence alliances for Great Britain on an international scale to meet the needs of an age of globalisation, the continued dominance of the United States, and to the rise of China, India and the rest of Asia. It would also require a new, much looser relationship with the EU. None of the pretenders to the Tory throne, however, is offering anything like this. Apart from the rhetoric, of course, nothing really ever changes in the EU. A report from the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in Washington last week found that the EU protects its farming more than anybody in the world. The EU also subsidises exports dumped on developing nations more than any other bloc, accounting for 85-90% of the world's export subsidies. These figures demolish the widely-held belief that the EU and US are equally protectionist when it comes to agriculture. America is bad enough; but the EU is beyond the pale.

The blunt truth is that the euro zone's poor economic performance and high unemployment are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future while the Brussels bureaucracy is forever trapped in its own regulatory mindset. As a result it is only realistic to conclude that there is little hope for the EU. It stands condemned to permanent decline, making it time for Great Britain to start thinking of forging a new, looser relationship with its European neighbours, most of whom seem resigned to accepting decline. Working out how to do this should be one of the Tories' main concerns in their current leadership contest. Clearly, this is not a task for Mr Clarke; but it is easier to rule him out than to identify anybody who is up to the job.


At August 29, 2005 3:46 PM, Blogger bordergal said...

Good. No EU, now how about scrapping the UN, that abysmal waste of time and money?

At August 29, 2005 4:55 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

I've heard the EU conglomeration described as the world's largest 'pencil pusher' non profit corporation. When I read about all these regulations and how they detail the most trivial of issues and place endless rules on companies and entrepreneurs, it reminds me of Islam. As you probably know, everything in Islam is detailed with all this trivia and procedure. Look at these prayer rules.

Since the 7/7 bombings I have really been appalled at England, it is so dhimmi and PC. I thought the US was sick with PC and dhimmitude, but England, much worse. I won't say deathbed, but definitely the prognosis looks bad.

The EU with its human rights charter, that England approved - well the govt did, not the people. Look where it has them now. Actually having to 'debate' whether England can expel because the EU overrides England's rights. Yeah, the EU is just a web and all these countries are trapped in it. The elite deny it and claim it's the best thing since sliced bread, but the masses disagree. That is why the EU const. was doomed to fail. Thank God the citizens got to vote. If they try to revive the Const. corpse, I am sure they will bypass the masses opinion and approve it in the parliaments. After all, the elites know best.

I say cut the EU down to size, to only those functions that are commercially productive and positive for security. All this superceding the EU countries regarding human rights and how much square meters and lighting and cooling for some farm animal, well, that stuff can be just junked. And there is plenty of it.

Pedestrian Infidel
The Pedestrian Infidel Blog

At August 31, 2005 12:36 AM, Blogger PD111 said...

Pedestrian Infidel posted: Actually having to 'debate' whether England can expel because the EU overrides England's rights.

France seems to have no problems deporting any islamic fanatic. They are out of Frtance before the ink is dry. Yet England has enormous difficulty in doing what France does with alacrity.

This is inexplicable as England is a realm and not a republic, and should have little or no difficulty in expelling anyone, even a citizen. The reason being, that any, who by word or act, wages war on Her Majesty, immediately loses the protection of the Crown.

I believe there is another reason for this behaviour of the Labour government. In the last decade they have opened the gates to asylum seekers and sundry. Most of these are Muslim and on benefit, and also likley to be on the electoral role.

Now there is an equivalence between the two major parties in the UK. I think Labour decided to upset this balance in its favour for the forseeable future by allolwing in people who will be grateful not only for getting in but for all the benefits that were given to them.

It is interesting to note the panic in the Labour leadership, when the muslim vote turned against it due to Iraq. Since then it has done everything to woo back the Muslim vote, even to the extent of limiting freedom of expression.

PS: I have a very cynical view of politicians, particularly when they are trying to get into or retain power.


At August 31, 2005 2:18 PM, Blogger Stijn said...

Only a Europe that is one, can handle the threat of globalization, immigration, China. Nor France, nor Germany, nor ... can do this on its own anymore. Even Britain should realise that it isn't an empire anymore.
There's nothing wrong with European integration at all, but you're right that a lot of things should change in the EU.


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