Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Who said EU federalists don't get headlines in UK media (but 'associate membership' for Britain is hardly a revolutionary thought)

The Union of European Federalists – an umbrella group of federalist organisations and lobby groups – got a pretty good hit in the UK media on New Year’s eve when the Times (and later other papers) picked up on a forthcoming paper by the group, which is expected to argue that the UK be granted “associate status” in the EU, a few days after Jacques Delors made similar comments.

So EU federalists can make headlines in the eurosceptic UK press after all, although we would hasten to add that an intervention by a few MEPs and retired politicians can’t qualify as a “Brussels plot” – you at least need to have some scheming Commission bureaucrats on-board for that. Apparently, the paper, which will come in the form of a draft “EU Treaty”, will be based on a report by Andrew Duff, the Lib Dem MEP.

According to Duff, the UK would be given “membership based on trade and the single market”, with a UK judge at the ECJ but no Commissioner and no MEPs. The objective is clear: Given that the UK is a perceived as a  “continual impediment” to greater EU integration, associate membership of the EU would be devised “to prevent a British veto of the constitutional evolution needed and desired by its partners”. Curiously, and perhaps testament to the world view of the author, there’s no mention of what would happen to the UK’s voting weight/rights in the Council of Ministers, the forum where national governments are represented. They might want to work that one out before publishing their draft EU treaty.

Either way the idea is for the UK to effectively be given access to the single market but with little say - like Norway but with some twists and without the EEA-wrapping. This is hardly revolutionary stuff and the author, though an interesting guy, isn’t exactly the go-to guy in key national capitals. So don’t expect this to become policy any time soon. To view the UK as an “impediment” - ignoring the moving goal posts created by the eurozone crisis - is also predictably simplistic.

In addition, there are massive obstacles to more EU integration also amongst “EU partners” and European public opinion – from joint and several liabilities in Germany, to Bundesbank-style budget controls in France to banking union in Sweden. But Duff’s contribution is nonetheless welcome as it does remind us of the need to develop a new model for EU integration in light of changing economic, political and economic circumstances – one that is better at reconciling different democratic decisions in member states with EU cooperation. This is a debate that should be in everyone’s interest to have under way.

34 comments:

WitteringsfromWitney said...

"Either way the idea is for the UK to effectively be given access to the single market but with little say - like Norway"

When is Open Europe going to cease following the media in parroting the ideas of those in the Europhile Camp?

Surely you know that as a member of EFTA Norway does 'have a say' in the formulation of EU policy, or are you too, as with the media, also unaware of that about which you write?

Perhaps you need to go read:

http://www.efta.int/eea/decision-shaping.aspx

Norway may not have much influence in the decision-making process but it does have influence in the decision-forming process. Therefore to say that it has little say is being economical with the actualité - but then why let a little item of fact intrude in what is no more than your underwriting Cameron's present argument.

Either you are a think-tank or you are Cameron's poodle - perhaps you can inform the public which?

Anonymous said...

Associate status in the EU would be only a sop to those who incline towards full withdrawal.
Naturally, it's generally accepted that the UK would have no say in EU matters either way. That is acceptable anyway.

The Boiling Frog said...

Norway does have a say, not only does it sit on over 200 EEA committees helping to frame Single Market legislation but more importantly it can veto any EU law it likes as part of its membership.

In short it can file any fax from Brussels in the bin should it so wish

Open Europe blog team said...

Thanks for your comments
@ WitteringsfromWitney Interesting point. But as your link shows, Norway has minimal influence over EU decisions and very limited influence in the agenda-setting stage as well. Like everyone else (including other non-EU countries, business, NGOs) it can seek to influence the Commission during the consultation stage. As a bonus it may also sit on expert committees (which, true, is better than nothing), enjoys "access" to comitology committees and can have some representation in EU agencies, but that's about it. Hardly a game-changer, No votes in the Council of Ministers, no veto at the European Council, no MEPs, no representation at the ECJ, no Commissioner. Perhaps a good question to ask is whether the Commission is more or less minded to take on board advice from a party that it knows eventually will vote on its proposal. If you're trying to find a model for the UK "outside" the EU - which is, we suspect, what underpins your remarks - then we would seriously recommend you looking beyond the EEA.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

"No votes in the Council of Ministers, no veto at the European Council, no MEPs, no representation at the ECJ, no Commissioner."

Maybe not, but what Norway - and every member of EFTA - has is the power of veto, namely it can refuse to implement any EU Directive or Regulation; and has, in the case of Norway, indeed so done, as the Boiling Frog points out.

In any event, when did I say that membership of EEA was in our best interests? Personally I would rather the Swiss route; membership of ETA and bi-lateral accords while we sort out an alternative.
]
Next........?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Further to my last:


So the ability to sit on expert committees, enjoy "access" to comitology committees have some representation in EU agencies, besides being a "bonus", is having no say?

Reverting to my first response, the comments by Mats Persson which were in the form of an article on the Guardian website were pure "spin" - no more, no less - and thus were factually incorrect. And you still deny the charge of spreading misinformation?

Your lack of rebuttal in respect of the assertions I make with regard to the integrity of OE can but speak for itself.

I can but repeat my last question, namely are OE a think-tank or Cameron's poodle? A straight answer would be good - together with the proof, if the answer is in the negative.

Sean O'Hare said...

So don’t expect this to become policy any time soon. To view the UK as an “impediment” - ignoring the moving goal posts created by the eurozone crisis - is also predictably simplistic

I don't expect this to be announced as EU policy any time soon, but behind closed doors it is already the policy of the colleagues. My guess is they are really getting quite worried that the UK just might invoke Article 50 and head for the exit door. They know under those circumstances that they would have to give way so much and realise how dangerous that would be to the whole project. They are therefore desperate to rein us in somehow and will bend the rules to do so if necessary.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Correction to previous comment:

"In any event, when did I say that membership of EEA was in our best interests? Personally I would rather the Swiss route; membership of ETA and bi-lateral accords while we sort out an alternative."

This should have read:

Personally I would rather, initially, membership of EFTA/EEA while we sort out an alternative which would lead to the Swiss route of bi-lateral agreements and thus rejection of EEA.

With apologies......

Dave H said...

Single market or common market? British companies should only have to conform to EU law for what they sell into Europe, if it's going elsewhere then it only has to meet the requirements for where it's going. Britain should also be free to make its own trade deals with the rest of the world separate from the EU.

What about future immigration (both ways) and what do we do about those already settled either side of the divide?

I think the term "associate" needs to be defined a bit more securely before I'll believe it isn't just a smokescreen to give us none of the power but all the responsibilities. In-Out referendum in 2014, based on whatever the terms are at that point.

Autonomous Mind said...

With the steady gravitation to Qualified Majority Voting the UK's mythical 'influence' in the EU is being diluted to nothing.

We keep hearing about this 'influence' yet we constantly hear complaints about EU directives and laws that harm UK interests and about which we can do nothing. At least Norway and the other EFTA countries can decide not to be bound by what the EU decrees and instead negotiate favourable terms. That is real influence, even though it is only a half-way house.

The Open Europe position of reforming the EU is pie in the sky because your premise treats as reality something that is an illusion - namely that the EU is a single market merely experiencing mission creep. The EU was never about trade, that was just a rider for establishing political union.

The EU is not interested in reform, its technocrats want to achieve political union. It relies on faux-eurosceptic organisations like yours keeping people distracted from the reality while it quietly continues its work of achieving ever closer union.

Rik said...

A veto is different from being able to shape new legislation. See how many times a veto has been used here or in the US (by the president).

The UK should probably look at several scenarios. There are too many uncertains, not only politically in the rest of the EU, but also at home. Mainly public sentiment. There is a lot of momentum with eg UKIP at 15%.

The UK is not Norway. Norway is a small-to-medium sized country the UK in EU perspective a large one. That changes most likely the way things have to be approached.
In this respect the UK as one of the alternatives could look at 'teaming up' with countries in a similar situation. A block of say the UK, The Swiss, Norway, Turkey and Russia? for instance would be almost equally strong.

It is imho essential that the UK will keep a similar influence in 'common market' decisions (not via a veto, but up front).

Anyway it is good to see that the other side has not lost realism out of its sight. Probably better for both parties if this is solved in one way or another and asap and without as much as possible public fighting. The situation now looks simply unsustainable with the UK voter in majority for an exit. And it might on the other hand simply freeze the EU as it is (probably not to the benefit of those in it as well).

What people really think and what we will be breaking points etc we first will see furtheron up the road. A lot from the EU side still looks not very well thought through.

They still donot grasp the PR side of things. Using wording like second class membership is hardly clever. But that is the way it is (or better how they apparently are). Schauble with his no-referendum talk was of course exactly the reason the people of the UK want out.

Rik said...

The Duf report is a great example why the negotiating process should go in stages. The first is put it on the agenda the second make it clear that the EU has as big a problem if the UK voters want to leave as the UK government itself.

The EU side at least a substantial part of it got the point that it is probably better that a sustainable solution is found than go fore conflict. What is however not clear as far as I can see it that they realise that a solution cannot be forced through by EU dictate.

As said Duff is a good example thereof. Big EU with a lot of great intentions and Euro-sceptic populist UK government unwilling and unable to stand up against their Euro-phobic press.
This is probably a how a lot of the EU burocrats still think and of course they speak out like that. But the thinking is the main problem.

One of the reasons why Cameron imho should stress on democratic legitimacy also as far as only the Common Market is concerned.
It simply points directly at the weak point of the whole EU set up (they forgot to ask the people if this is what they want). And most of the EU press for instance is pro-EU because of the good things it (says) it stands for one being democracy, not as part of some worldwide conspiracy.
And it reduces the chance that the UK is cut out of the legislative process as well. If the process is democratic and not EU-burocratic (the way they probably like to go) the UK is always at the table.

Ray said...

“to prevent a British veto of the constitutional evolution needed and desired by its partners”
This is the important bit, however you title it, "membership" is "membership", and "non-membership" is, well you know the rest. Whilst we are any kind of "member" our membership can be adjusted, from the outside we can control our destiny.

Rollo said...

What power does the UK have in the EU decision making process? I remember Blair giving up a large dollop of our tax-payer's donations to the EU with some sort of promise of reform of the CAP; we got nothing. I remember parliament voting against prisoner's right to vote: has that changed EU policy? There is a huge consensus in the UK against the WTD: has that changed EU policy? No, they will be back by any devious means to try to reintroduce it. More and more policy areas are losing the power of Veto in exchange for qualified majority voting: it will become more and more like Eurovision.

Average Englishman said...

Open Europe Team. Your article betrays a continuing bias towards support of the 'grand plan' to form a superstate when you accept the "need to develop a new model for EU integration."

Why is there a need for a model for EU integration at all? Following your presumed logic there should also be models in place for the integration of Pakistan and India, Canada and the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Argentina and Chile, etc.

Countries are quite capable of cooperating without the need to integrate. Integration is only likely to lead to improved harmony when the peoples of the countries concerned feel the need and desire to join with their neighbours because they have so much in common that they are effectively one country already.

Integration must be a 'bottom up' process and not a 'top down' one. This simple fact lies at the heart of the EU's problems. The EU is an artificial construct being forced upon its inhabitants by a bunch of self righteous, self serving pseudo intellectuals who have no respect for democracy. All that is necessary to create the Europe that the politicos in Brussels say they want is for them to dismantle everything EU except the single market and then wait for a hundred years or so. Cross borders trade, marriages and operational agreements concerning environmental matters, etc., would bring the peoples of Europe together over time and then a new larger block would eventually evolve organically. Forcing the Nation States of Europe to merge when their peoples do not want a merger will in all likelihood cause the violence the Eurocrats profess to be trying to prevent. If the EU were to disband tomorrow it would not automatically lead to World War 3 as some seem to fear and in fact, the current 'forced austerity march' to a single Eurostate is far more likely to cause bloodshed in due course than prevent it.

History tells us that nations are built by conquest or by cooperation between peoples over time. The politicos in Brussels and their political pals in the various nation state parliaments are seeking to build a new country by bureaucratic conquest, using the weapon of deceit. It will not work.

If you really are the unbiased think tank that you claim to be then let's see you looking at some sensible alternatives to the integrationist line you continue to follow at present.

As for the UK, the more the spotlight of truth shines upon the past works of the EU elite and their plans for the future, I have no doubt that the call from the UK population for a UK withdrawal from the EU will increase not diminish and no half way house fudge will do. If Cameron does not understand this very soon and does not then act quickly to accept the will of his electorate, he has no hope of continuing in power. We shall see. One way or another 2013 should be an interesting year.

bingobax@gmail.com said...

Not quite the cosy on message readers feedback one would have hoped for Open Europe eh?

still well done for having the courage to publish the critique

The Boiling Frog said...

@Open Europe [quote] "Norway has minimal influence over EU decisions and very limited influence in the agenda-setting stage as well"

Norway has vetoed the 3rd Postal Directive, so that it doesn't apply to them. Conversely we have had to implement it via the Postal Services Act 2011.

I'm sure you can appreciate the contradiction that Norway with apparently "minimal influence" refuses to implement an EU law, yet the UK with apparently more influence, as an EU member, has no choice but to pass it - despite the further damage it will do to our once efficient Royal Mail service.

As others have noted, one can only come to the conclusion as a result that far from being a 'eurosceptic' Think Tank your preference is for further integration.

Woodsy42 said...

Why does it matter if we have no MEPs or seats at the top table? Why do we want or need them?
They will be free to do whatever they want without our inteference.
Equally well we are free to completely ignore it if we don't like it.
As long as we stay friendly and have input and dialogue - which we would have, as does Norway etc - that sounds ideal for both sides to me.

Richard said...

The Open Europe "team" doth employ weasel words. Having asserted that Norway has "no influence", they are now forced to row back, grudgingly, and admit that the country does have some influence, albeit they want to position it as "minimal". But even if minimal, that is not "none". Open Europe got it wrong.

Even then the grudging acknowledgement belies the way most single market legislation is made. It is well known that most proposals, by the time they reach the Council for a vote are already cast in stone and cannot be changed. Thus, the voting issue is the last and least important part of the process.

Not least, a huge amount of technical legislation is formulated at a global or regional level, in bodies such as UNECE (on which Norway is represented) and then handed down to the EU institutions as "diqules" which cannot be changed in substance. Thus Norway has a considerable say in the nature of the regulation, long before it gets anywhere near the EU.

The inability of Open Europe thus properly to explain the way the system works is a poor reflection on its overall competence, and suggests it is more interested in scoring points and projecting its own agenda, than it is informing and debating.



Jesper said...

Setting the agenda is important and that is what makes chairmanship important.

Defining the issue is more important as that partly decides the solution.

There is some jostling for who'll chair the discussions. Barroso, van Rompuy or?

Then we come to the issue.
The Dutch and the French voted against the EU constitutional treaty. It might be argued that since they didn't want what came to be they are,like the UK, against what currently is (the Lisbon treaty). People in other countries have similar opinions. Therefore I think it is fair to say that the current issue isn't with the UK or UK people, it is with the current set up of the EU.

I voted for free trade, I like peace but I don't like the current set up of the EU. There are some infamous EU directives that nobody in their right mind would claim to have anything to do with free trade or peace - what does the shape of cucumbers have to do with peace and/or free trade?

People whose income depends on the EU in its current form are unlikely to work towards reducing what the EU does and consequently they personally not getting a wage. The MFF clearly showed that people in the employ of the EU will put their own personal interests first. I think it is very very unlikely that EU will reform without significant outside pressure, just look at Greece and how slowly it is being reformed even with strong outside pressure. The current EU strategy (might be unconscious, might not) to reduce outside influence by taking more power inside to themselves will ensure that there'll be no meaningful reforms.

In my opinion the issues should be about:
Subsidiarity - Norway and Switzerland both enjoy the full benefits of the EU subsidiarity principle and it is solely due to them being outside of the EU. No country in the EU has the same kind of rights.
Areas of competence - free trade and peace. The rest should be seen as subject to reverse subsidiarity - if nations can't deal with it themselves, then they can propose for it to be dealt with on a supra-national level, i.e. the EU. Likely to reduce the number of people in employment working for EU institutions but as they appear working for themselves more than anything else I don't see it as much of a problem - their brand of solidarity paid back in kind.

Long post, the main point is: This is not a UK issue, it is an EU issue and UK can choose to fight on its own or it can try to get allies from among the others who share many of its opinions and values.

Open Europe blog team said...

@BoilingFrog, WitteringsfromWitney and others.

Norway doesn’t have the power of ‘veto’ in any meaningful sense, because it cannot stop the EU going ahead with something it does not like (and as we’ve already said its ability to influence legislation is confined to the committees and lobbying the Commission, it has no formal vote).

You are correct that Norway can refuse to incorporate a piece of EU legislation into the EEA agreement but this is not straightforward and has the potential for pretty large downside risks:

1) The ‘veto’ doesn’t stop the legislation happening. So, if it relates to something like new product standards, for example, Norway cannot use the old ones to export to the EU instead (so, worst case, it could be locked out of Single Market in this area).

2) Once a ‘veto’ is used this not only applies to the individual measure concerned but also leads to the suspension of the “affected part” of the relevant annex to the EEA Agreement, which would also cease to apply. The "affected part" of an annex is a matter for consideration by the EEA Joint Committee (i.e. EU and Efta countries). A Norwegian Government White Paper notes that: “For example, all the various Community acts in Annex IX of the EEA Agreement regarding financial services can hardly be viewed in isolation from each other”. So, potentially, you could say No to one financial services regulation and be locked out of the rest (many of which provide market access) if the EU decided so. In the UK’s case, you could see why this would be problematic.

This is why Norway has used its ‘veto’ so rarely – the White Paper notes that: “Even though Norway has a genuine right of veto which gives us freedom to manoeuvre from a legal point of view, it is the Government’s view that our room for manoeuvre both as regards finding compromises with the EU in the EEA Joint Committee and as regards exercising our right of veto has been significantly curtailed since we entered into the EEA Agreement.”

This is the link:
http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/documents/propositions-and-reports/reports-to-the-storting/20002001/report_no-12_to_the_storting_2000-2001/7.html?id=193725

Incidentally, Norway’s implementation rate of EU law is higher than almost all EU member states – countries like Spain, Greece, Italy and others have refused to implement far more EU measures than Norway. Again, we suggest you look for a different model.

Elby the Beserk said...

When did we last have any influence in the EU anyway? This discussion is about something which does not exist anyway, and is a total waste of time. The EU is a disaster (are you aware of what an appalling state the Irish economy is, three years after the EU took it over).

Also, it is a tyranny. It has power over me and I have never had a say in that power. That is tyranny. My parents generation risked and laid down their lives to fight the same thing, and our politicians then submit us to the same. This is treason. And don't go pedantic or semantic on me. It is. End of.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

@Open Europe blog team:

You really have not read and consequently understood what commenters are writing.

"1) The ‘veto’ doesn’t stop the legislation happening. So, if it relates to something like new product standards, for example, Norway cannot use the old ones to export to the EU instead (so, worst case, it could be locked out of Single Market in this area)."

And you can write that after @Richard had already explained how Norway has invariably already had a considerable say in the formation of legislation long before it reaches those who you appear to hold in such high regard. In which case, having had a hand in the drafting of the legislation, why would Norway subsequently refuse to implement it? Your response has the aroma of red herring attached, methinks.

The further points you raise can be addressed when my comment, timed at 13:22, is posted - thus negating the idea that censorship may well be the norm on this site; especially as email notification was received to advise that it had been left, ie posted.

The Boiling Frog said...

@Open Europe [quote] "You are correct that Norway can refuse to incorporate a piece of EU legislation into the EEA agreement"

So an acknowledgment at last that Norway has what in effect is a 'big say' in implementing EU law by virtue of the ability to say 'no'. As it has done as per the 3rd Postal Directive mentioned above. That is better than the situation now and is different to "but with little say - like Norway" mentioned in the post above and also Mats Persson's article in Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/28/what-uk-options-outside-eu

[quote] "The Norwegian option: access to the single market in services and goods outside the customs union. The worst of all worlds. It would literally be: not in the EU but run by it."

Clearly that is not true. There are always downsides to everything, but the reluctance publicly until now to admit Norway has some influence amounts to deception.

Not only that but a large portion of single market regulation comes from international agreements. Norway has a seat at the international table in this case, whereas we are represented by the EU who take a 'common position'. Leaving and regaining that seat would help us formulate legislation at an international level - thus more power to us.

[quote] "Incidentally, Norway’s implementation rate of EU law is higher than almost all EU member states – countries like Spain, Greece, Italy and others have refused to implement far more EU measures than Norway. Again, we suggest you look for a different model."

That is an issue for the Norwegian Parliament not an illustration of the failing of an EEA/EFTA agreement which allows for a veto. At least Norway has a veto and a choice - we don't.

Elby the Beserk said...

Mr. Frog.

Quite so. The problem for us antis is that not only are we fighting lying politicians, we are fighting a lying MSM as well.

christina speight said...

WitteringsfromWitney says what I have been saying for months! - Welcome WfW!!!

One point though when he says "Either you are a think-tank or you are Cameron's poodle " He is slightly off-target. OE is not so much Cameron's poodle as the EU's own lapdog! Mats Persson spent a lot of effort in buttressing the false slander that Norway is a mere satellite of the EU via EFTA and the EEA. There are numerous ways in which Norway's ideas may arrive at the EU's HQ in Brussels as preformed policies for the EU to implement as EU policies (Which is the form they arrive in London as!) We in the UK are far down the pecking order of policy making while Norway is nearer its source. Of course Norway's foreign minister plays up the snags of his country's position, but then HE want tro join the EU and the people have twice rejected his advice

Open Europe, whose research is a value asset for us all is now widely seen as a Trojan Horse because if the undertone of Europhilia which permeates its public utterances.

Anonymous said...

The EU buys its support from its members by paying bureaucrats large amounts of money which is obtained from taxation of the general public in all the countries.
Maybe it's time for a two sided EU: those who choose to stay on the inside and those who prefer it on the outside. Those on the outside will not pay those on the inside.
I, like several of your commenters have now come to realise that Open Europe is not perhaps as open as we would like. Saying that the UK will not have any influence, is irrelevant.it would be no concern of ours what the EU does. They can go on making a mess of it, and we would not have to pick up the bill.
average Englishman mentioned about a model for the integration of Canada and the United States. He may not be aware that this is a proposition and includes Mexico. The currency has already been worked out and will be called the Amero. one last interesting fact: De Larue printers in England have been printing large quantities of German Deutschmarks from about a year ago. Interesting?
I think EU should stand for Evil Uncle

christina speight said...

The Open Europe responses throughout this thread have been pusillanimous in their blinkered EU-perspective vision. Every argument is put forward as though edited in Brussels

I have felt somewhat lonely in questioning OE's stance throughout. I am glad therefore to see Wittering from Witney, Richard and Boiling Frog all adding strength to the criticism. I suppose the opening of a parallel service in Berlin show have been a warning that the apparent impartiality of OE here was to be tempered by a EU-centric policy.

But in doing so you at OE and especially Mats Persson's outrageous bias over the holidays (" the comments by Mats Persson which were in - - an article on the Guardian website were pure "spin" - no more, no less ") have crucially undermined your standing in Britain.

Autonomous Mind said...

While you sit and ponder Richard's explanation of how Norway has more influence over EU policy than the UK, perhaps you can tidy something up for us? Open Europe is pro-EU membership, so in what possible sense are you eurosceptic, given it means wanting to be outside the EU?

Moose said...

Just how much bloody 'influence' do you reckon the Uk has in matters EU?? And can you give us examples?

Anonymous said...

The eussr is democratically deficient, not having a single mep wouldn't make any difference. Regaining control of our borders our finances and not wasting time debating eu directives, which we are bound by, from the unelected political failures who make up the commission would allow our elected politicians to actually debate on what is right for our nation without external foreign ideations being imposed on to us.

blingmun said...

Let's not get dragged into the EU's batty mercantilist mindset. Imports are a good thing! Businesses need good suppliers in order to make good products. Preventing them from purchasing what they need for non-commercial reasons costs jobs and damages the economy.

If Norway or Britain can make decent products or services then we will always find a market. Europeans will be the losers because businesses will be marginally less able to compete in global markets and consumers will miss out on certain goods that they would otherwise have purchased. The only result of the EU's economic bullying will be to impoverish Europeans relative to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Britain is a net importer from the eu, our trade balance outside the eu is positive, being outside is more in our interest, than being in it. Since we were dumped into the common market, and a large part of our population duped by political lies prior to the referendum we had far more industry and far more exports and export potential, and less imports. The whole project has been bad for the UK as a whole, although a very few people like failed politicians make money out of it.

RCS said...

I love it!

At last people are realizing that the EU is the most dysfunctional system of government imaginable.

It is inefficient, anti-democratic and increasingly authoritarian construct that is imprisoning Europeans in an economically stagnant backwater.

While it has taken the best part of 40 years for the scales to fall from the eyes of the UK population, the nation has become increasing Euro-skeptic for the above reasons. It is clear that the UK cannot travel in the direction of increased EU integration and we will have to determine our role outside the EU.