Wednesday, 11 May 2016
The remain camp are in deep denial
The supposed advantage of being in the EU is that we have more resources to tackle problems by working together. But then resources is something the EU has never been short of. What is at question is the effectiveness of the response and the decision making process.
When we look at the EUs aid and humanitarian efforts we see it firehosing money at international NGOs and as with Turkey, there is always money in the kitty for a bribe here and there for political expedience - but we are still not seeing an effective resolution to various problems. For all the soft power the EU supposedly wields a civil war still rages in Ukraine. Meanwhile we can look forward to another summer of bodies washing up on Europe's shores.
We see condemnation of Hungary for building a wall along the borders, but that in itself is an act in response to the EU's failure to take action. We see Greece facing the double whammy of economic reform while little is done to assist with their influx of refugees.
For years we saw fish stocks decimated while nothing was done. There were too many special interests at lay standing in the way of even having a debate let alone reforming the system. The reforms we got were a decade late and still more an attempt at making the problems invisible rather than resolving them. Whenever we get a crisis we see that crisis fester until it is an emergency.
Then when it comes to trade we find that same dynamic exists. We have seen years invested in several bilateral deals between the EU and the US and India, only for them to stall and fall flat. Masses of investment that never pays off. Everything takes forever and nobody can reach agreement. Is this really how things should be run?
In almost every crisis we see the effects of EU inaction and each time the EU refrain is that things would work better if only more power were in the hands of the few. Tyrants have always said this. And yet strangely we continue to believe them.
As much as the EU's design makes an effective response improbable, it is also a political stasis field. While everyone's prosperity is pegged to what EU diplomats can achieve the pace of growth is begged to the slowest ship in the convoy. It's like trying to take off with the brake parachute deployed.
As much as Britain could be out there getting the best for us, Spain could just as easily be seeking greater harmonisation with Spanish speaking South America. But while the EU holds all the cards nobody gets what they need and nothing happens in good time. EU member states do not have the freedom to come together without going through the EU middleman - and whatever it is, to coin a phrase, we go to the back of the queue.
In a world where we need consultative policies and rapid response the insistence that what must apply to one must apply to all is not only bonehead and suicidal, it is also redundant. With the world now working through the WTO to harmonise regulations and standards, nations are better off seeking harmonisation with their strongest trading partners on a sector by sector basis. Sometimes that may mean working with Europe - sometimes not. But while we are in the EU we don't have that choice.
Nobody in the Brexit camp that I know of wants to end intergovernmental cooperation, especially not with Europe. What we are saying is that the rigid and inflexible EU is an inhibitor that holds all of us back. As a system the EU has never worked properly, never will and is not fit for purpose in a world of multilateralism.
Yet still, after forty years of procrastination, delay and self-deception we are still told that we are stronger in. They say "we know it's not perfect but we should stay in and help reform it" despite the fact repeated attempts have failed. The very construct of the EU is designed to resist reform. It is the ultimate in denialism. They know it doesn't work and for entirely dogmatic reasons they ignore the stark reality that it does not want to reform.
The EU has never been about trade or economics. It is entirely a political experiment based on the flawed idea that nations deprived of democracy cannot go to war. It is a bankrupt idea. As a rule liberal democracies don't go to war with eachother. As a post war mechanism it may have had some influence in getting us here but to continue with the post-war settlement without evolving out of it is insanity.
Nations prevented from getting what they need - to be told "wait your turn" each time will grow weary and impatient. We will see increasingly unilateral acts taken while the EU looks on and does nothing. Poland is doing exactly that.
The question is whether we can afford to remain in this political choke-hold. Without rapid and democratic resolutions to problems, problems will fester and grow septic. It is no coincidence that far right movements are popping up all over Europe. The EU is creating the very conditions it was designed to prevent.
They say the Britain should be outward-looking and internationalist and no Brexiteer would dispute that. Nor would they deny the importance of collaboration and cooperation. But the EU represents none of those things. It stifles cooperation, it controls the terms of collaboration and causes delays that make effective resolution more difficult.
And while it suits the narcissism of europhiles to believe that their experiment represents those values we start seeing the basics unfold and good governance starts to break down. Governments are increasingly constrained by bad rules dreamed up in the last century. And of course it's never the fault of the EU is it? That's the beauty of directives. It means having control but never taking responsibility.
The truth is the EU is already redundant. It is superseded by several global agreements and will increasingly find it is an anachronism. Instead of breaking down barriers we will see the EU creating more as it fights for relevance. Their vanity and hubris prevents them from seeing what their dream has become. And we will pay for their arrogance. We will lose out by not being at the global top tables and we will fall behind as we wait for the EU to complete that perfect deal that never comes.
While Britain is gradually erased from the top tables and unable to break out of stagnation, the EU will start to break. The single market will disintegrate as member states take ever more legal and moral shortcuts and Britain will be subsidising the competition while we still adhere to the rules. We may actually be the very last member state who will implement the rules we agree to. By then the EU will be as irrelevant as the Commonwealth is now. An empty shell that we maintain largely for the gratification of our euro-elites so they can pretend their empire still functions.
The time has come to admit that the EU is a failed experiment. It is time to break with the past and make room for a new global system of cooperation and trade. It is time to let Europe be as good as it can be without the dead weight of supranationalism. We have two choices. Stagnation and decline or democracy and growth. If we continue to indulge the delusions and vanity of our politicians we will pay a heavy price. Their denialism will destroy Europe and demolish Britain's prosperity. We can't go on listening to their lies.