Never closer union

ONE OF the scare stories perpetrated by the Leavers in their version of Project Fear is the long out-dated idea (and now myth) that one of the aims of the EU is the establishment of a United States of Europe.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is worth spending some time reading the various treaties which established the EU, starting with the 1957 Treaty of Rome, in order to find out exactly what it is what was envisaged and planned for at various stages of its development.

The Preamble to the Treaty of Rome begins:

DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,

which is a fairly clear statement of the intentions of those who set up the Common Market in the first place. But note the wording — “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe” — and the clauses that follow. which refer to “common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe” which “calls for concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition”,”the constant improvement of …living and working conditions …”, “reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favoured regions”, and so on and so forth.

On the other hand while ever closer union may be an aspiration, the EU itself makes clear that different countries with different requirements will proceed aiming different paths and at different speeds. Or, in other words, “ever closer union” can mean pretty much what individual countries want it to mean.

The European Council said in June 2014 that:

the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further.

The best place to look for an honest appraisal of what this, and much else in this debate, really means is the web site ‘Full Fact’ and in relation to “ever closer union” herehere, and here.

Once again we see that the Leavers are being less than totally frank and that their version of Project Fear is still alive and well.

On another tack the ability of the Remain campaign to shoot itself in the foot shows no sign of diminishing with an inept interview this morning by Amber Rudd who appears as incapable as any of her predecessors at DECC at escaping from the grips of the eco-idiots that pass for civil servants in her department.

It is hard to know what has been dangled in front  of the eyes of the ministers in this government (or added to their morning coffee, perhaps) to make them think that the nuclear power station proposed for Hinkley Point makes any kind of economic sense but to hear the responsible minister attempt to convince the public that the price of electricity from this white elephant will compare favourably with wind-generated electricity does call her fitness for office into question.

Likewise the idea that Brexit would mean massive increases in bills is simply not the case.

It really is long past time for that whole department to be shut down and the responsibility for UK energy policy transferred to Trade & Industry where it can be run by engineers instead of social science graduates with ideas about the environment that most of us got over in our teens.



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