“We must stay in the EU”, the argument goes, and wearily continues: “Without a seat at the top table, we lose our ability to influence the direction of Europe”. It is worth asking in whose interest this argument is usually wielded. It is common knowledge President Obama would rather the UK stayed in the EU, but this is only because a naturally free-market spirited Britain is seen as a counterweight to protectionist France. In fact our membership of the European Union is holding us back with global trade, as well as hindering Britain’s attraction for foreign investment and freedom for our own people. How much longer will this erroneous argument continue to be bandied about?
The idea that Britain really wields any form of special power (say, more than Luxembourg) in Europe is crumbling before our eyes. David Cameron’s sudden enthusiasm for European reform is falling at the first hurdle, and with spectacular results. The selection of the European President is a proxy for debate over the future of the European Union itself, whether the direction is ever closer union, a European Army, or whether another path is possible. It is entirely reasonable for Cameron to have tried to use the UK’s apparently formidable influence in Brussels to influence this, as it affects us all. The only hitch is that fabled British influence in European corridors of power appears to be illusory.
Many have been angered at our temerity for trying to interfere with the status quo. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor was initially broadly sympathetic with Cameron’s aim, but under pressure from the pro-federalist German media Merkel has become increasingly reluctant to support Britain. She has made comments that Cameron’s ‘threats’ over the presidency are not in the “European spirit”. She is not the only one either. On Tuesday shocking tapes were released of the Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski ranting about ‘kurwa-Cameron’ (Kurwa being his native curse-word of choice when referring to our Prime Minister, incredibly literally translating into English as ‘Prostitute’) meddling with European affairs. The idea of Cameron as an “incompetent” political operator, out of his depth rather than a European statesman with the ability to broker power and shape Europe is clearly spreading. His increasingly irrational behaviour is not doing either himself or Britain any favours on the world stage.
It’s clear that while we are members of this EU ‘club’ we can’t make the rules, but are being forced to abide by them. Nations the world over have seen the advantages of striking free-trade agreements with the EU and it is obvious it would be better by far for us to do the same. The glacial rate of change in Europe holds back dynamic Britain, and prevents us from making free trade deals anywhere in the world. The European Union was supposed to have been created to bring the people of Europe together – instead it’s setting us against some of our closest allies. This madness has to stop; it’s time to Get Britain Out.