British expat in France promotes UK exit from EUtopia
The enduring, underlying myth of all the myths about the EU is the idea that the EU/EEC has prevented war in Europe since the 2nd World War.
That does not bear scrutiny.
The two World Wars initiated in Europe were the result of German militaristic ambitions. The German attitude to France goes back to the 19th century and Bismarck’s unification of various German states.
In 1870-71, Germany invaded France and humiliated her, just as the Napoleonic French had humiliated the Germans earlier in that century.
So, conflict in western Europe has its origins in Franco-German antagonism. It was for France and Germany to resolve their conflict if the peace in western Europe was to be maintained.
This they have done since 1945.
In fact the two countries took a decisive and momentous step in 1963 with the Elysee Treaty in Paris. With that Treaty, Germany and France bound their hegemonic ambitions together, and have co-operated as such ever since. They hold bi-lateral meetings of ministers before every EU meeting in order to pursue this joint ambition.
De Gaulle’s famous rejection of all British attempts to join the then Common Market were not just based on antipathy to Britain. They were based on his calculated policy of allying with Germany to dominate Europe. He perceived UK membership of the EEC as likely to cause problems to that agenda, and so persistently refused.
Events proved him right !
It is the alliance between France and Germany, based on their bitter experience of two World Wars, that has kept the peace in western Europe – not the EU.
In broader terms, it is NATO and the existence of nuclear weapons that has kept the peace of Europe in relation to the former [Russian dominated] USSR and the Russian Federation today.
Certainly the idea inspiring the EEC/EU was that peace would be kept by economic and political integration of the European states. But the existence of the EEC/EU has in reality been coincidental, not causal.
If anything, the EU has become a source of de-stabilising Europe by virtue of
its open borders policy and practice
its inflexible Euro currency monetary policy and practice
its exclusion of the UK from the currency project
its refusal to incorporate the UK perspective into EU thinking
It is important to remember here that Britain has for centuries acted to maintain the balance of interests in Europe, never seeking to dominate Europe herself. Her unique contribution in the history of Europe is a matter of historic record.
The French have ignored this. The consequences are demonstrated in the history of the Euro currency project discussed on another Page of this site.
The Peace Myth is the main myth, but from this parent myth have spawned other myths.
One such myth is that of human rights and individual liberties. The thinking goes that the EU has given us our human rights and secured our liberties.
The reality is that the EU actually threatens our liberties by its un-democratic nature as discussed on the ‘EU Oligarchy’ Page of this site.
What disturbs me as a free born Englishman is that this myth about the EU is embedded in the mindset of the younger generation. Again the EU lays claim to be the protector of our ‘Rights’, and in so doing implies that we had no rights as free individuals before the existence of the EU.
Britain rejected the totalitarian mentality and practices of both Nazis/Fascists and Soviet Communists. Britain was instrumental in framing the Atlantic Charter with the USA during the Second World War – a charter outlining the Cause for which the Allies were fighting in the War. Britain gave the vote to women years before the French whose Napoleonic mindset dominates the institutions and culture of the EU.
Britain’s perspective, culture, traditions reflect a different world view from the more continental, French dominated way of thinking and acting. Britain’s concept of liberty and restraint of the Executive goes back at least 8 centuries to Magna Carta, if not the Anglo Saxon councils centuries before that. The French only goes back to 1792 !
In our mindset, the individual is inherently free. It takes a law to inhibit my liberty and good reason needs to be shown to do so. I do as I please, unless there is good reason not to.
In the French system, the State grants me Rights – and if I don’t have the Right, I don’t have the liberty to do. Living here in France I hear the words, vous n’avez pas le droit !
There is a fundamental philosophical and practical difference here.
Yet the continental, French mentality so dominates the EU that centuries of British tradition and development have been over-ruled and dismissed. Our very institutions have been re-modelled on the continental pattern, on no superior basis whatsoever.
Then there are all the myths about worker’s and women’s rights ! As if the UK would return to some remote dark age of aristocratic abuse of the people should we be so foolish as to leave the loving, protective embrace of the enlightened EU !
As if our own Parliament at Westminster had never passed any enlightened legislation in its centuries old history. As if the vote had not been extended to working men in 1868 and 1884, nor to women in 1918 and 1928. As if the British parliament never passed the Factory Acts of the 19th century, nor the 1906 Trade Disputes Act [right to strike], the 1908 Pensions Act, the 1909 Trade Boards Act, nor the 1911 National Insurance Act. Nor the National Health Service Act of 1946 – to my knowledge, no other EU country has such a free-at-the-point- of-delivery-for-all service.
How did we ever manage without the EU to put us on the right road !