June 13, 2005


We bar the door, so Europe climbs in the back window (Daily Mail, 12th June 2005)

Here we are back again on the European misery-go-round that has dominated British politics since the distant days of Harold Macmillan.

First rejected in case we got in the way of France's plan to subsidise its farmers, we were grudgingly let in on condition that we handed over our fishing grounds and paid a cripplingly high membership subscription to the Brussels club.

Promises of a new economic wonderland faded rapidly. Somehow, while our EU partners found it easier to sell their goods in Britain, it was far harder to sell our services to them.

And the Heath government's dishonest pretence that the then Common Market was a purely economic affair has come back time and again to haunt British politicians.

This is why even the most pro-EU governments end up in angry megaphone confrontations with Paris and Berlin over power or money, and often over both. Margaret Thatcher got her rebate in 1984 but, ever since, Britain has had to shed blood to hang on to it.

The struggle for mastery never lets up. If it is not Maastricht it is Amsterdam, or Nice, and yet more demands for the abandonment of the veto. [...]

Our membership of the EU, an endless headache, is like having a hangover without even having been to a party the night before. It is tempting to wonder if there is any point in Britain belonging to this organisation any longer.

Not actually shed blood, but there's always hope...

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 13, 2005 1:34 PM
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