This Friday night, at midnight, the United Kingdom will cease to be part of the European Union, an exit process popularly known as BREXIT. What has been its cause?
This morning Hermann Tertsch shared a video showing the last intervention by British Conservative Deputy Daniel J. Hannan, Vice President of the ECR Group, in the European Parliament, explaining the reasons why the United Kingdom says goodbye to the European Union. I have uploaded it to YouTube:
I transcribe here his intervention:
How did we get here? Asked Mr. Verhofstadt, opening the debate. There was a referendum in 1975 which went in favour of continued membership. There was no continuity leave campaign after that, people accepted the result with good grace. They didn’t seek to overturn it, indeed euroscepticism was confined to the fringes of the Bennite left.
What changed, frankly, was the Maastricht Treaty. Up until that moment it was still possible to see the EU as a club of Nations, as an association of states primarily concerned with trade and economics. But after Maastricht, it becoma clear thar that EU jurisdiction was being extended into a whole series of completely on economic fields: foreign policy, culture, migration, citizens rights, etc. etc. And that the aspiration was to have the EU as a quasi-state with a flag, a parliament, a currency, a president, an external embassy and all the other accoutrements.
If, at any stage, Britain had been able to have a trade only association, of course that would have been enough. In fact, even as recently as February 2016, if David Cameron would had come back with any repatriation of power, can we doubt that he would have won the ensuing referendum? But faced with the departure of its second largest financial contributor, the EU was still not prepared to allow any devolution of power and that, ultimately, is what made a parting of ways inevitable. Si I wish you all the best. I want to return to the vision Winston Churchill set out where he said let’s have a a united Europe, with Britain looking on as a friend and sponsor. You are losing a bad tenant but gaining a good neighbor.
What this deputy has expressed is a growing concern among many Europeans: the loss of sovereignty of the EU member nations in favor of a bureaucratic elite based in Brussels, an increasingly invasive elite, in favor of regulatory excesses that encompass all areas of our life and that begin to resemble, dangerously, the dominance of the Soviet regime over society. This is not the unity Europe that many dreamed of: it is a Europe increasingly similar to the former USSR.
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