Constitution or Treaty - it's still 'ever closer union'
We arrive, once again, at the constitution stage.
It was too much to chew two years ago, so it has been in the deep freeze. It now returns, not so much chopped up into smaller pieces, but served as a different dish altogether.
Let us be in no doubt: whatever kicking and screaming noises Mr Blair is reported to be making; whatever the BBC is stating is the UK’s reluctance; whatever Commissioner Barroso thinks of the British Parliament or people, there will be an agreement because ‘there is no alternative’, it is ‘destiny’. They might as well say it is the will of God. Former British defence minister Alan Clark observed: ‘The European Commission...is not a programmatically hostile and aggressive force, as was Nazi Germany. But it is not benign. And the reason for its ill-disposition towards Britain...is of the same nature as that felt by Napoleon, by Kaiser Wilhelm, and by Adolf Hitler.’
This is why the EU is so dangerous for the United Kingdom. Not only is it an entity that consists of smoke and mirrors; it is a political project into which the UK is being irrevocablt fused, and the people are being deceived. That is the constant. All the opt-outs are temporary; the derogations are ephemeral; and the proposition that we are ‘winning the argument’ an illusion. Indeed, it is reported that the EU is dropping its commitment to the free market, which is a highly significant eradication of an 'anglo-saxon' concept. The words 'undistorted competition' are replaced with talk of a 'social market economy' and a commitment to full employment. There's no mistaking that this is antithetical to everything that Margaret Thatcher thought she was achieving when she signed the Single European Act. This about a 'social Europe' that is introspectively concerned with rights and welfare, and absolutely nothing to do with liberty or the achieving of a vibrant economy.
Hugh Gaitskell uttered a salient warning at the 1962 Labour Party Conference. He spoke of ‘the end of Britain as an independent nation state... the end of a thousand years of history. You may say “let it end” but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.’
It not only needs care and thought, Mr Blair, Mr Brown; it needs a referendum. The rights and liberties of the British people are not yours to sign away. Imposition and enforcement do not result in heart-felt conversation, and one man’s assent does not amount to divine blessing.
And speaking of conversion and blessing, why is Mr Blair flying straight from Brussels to the Vatican to see the ‘Holy Father’?