Goodbye EU

Since the vote to leave the European Union is done, and Great Britain is out, I suppose I will give my opinion about it.  This undoubtedly will not be shared by all.  First, let me say—again—that I strongly favor free trade among nations.  Having said that, the EU is very much more than an economic association.  And even its s0-called free trade is far from free.  It really amounts to protectionism by cartel.  Right there then goes much of the benefit an EU membership would have for me.  But there is more.  The “Eurocrats” have been busy as little bees doing two things: (1) lining their pockets and their friends’ pockets with lots of money and (2) worse still, imposing or trying to impose on the citizens of Europe onerous regulations and EU court decisions that not only seek to take away state sovereignty but (seemingly) to make each member subservient to what appears to be an aspiring super-government.  It looks quite a bit like what has been happening in the United States for some time, as the Federal government has effectively taken authority from the states and centralized more power at that level.

As an aside, it also appears that most of the EU leaders are flaming liberals (using our American definition of that term).   Their policies therefore reflect that ideology.  They favor completely open borders, they desire severe limitations on gun ownership, they love high taxes and apparently also, high spending levels, they sought even to regulate the relationships between parents and children, and they have in general constructed a giant and unaccountable bureaucratic apparatus that aims to exercise greater “expert” rule over the rest of Europe’s citizens, and more.

In an article in the National Review of June 24, David Pryce-Jones writes,

The EU was a good idea in 1945, but it has long outlived its initial purpose of reconciling Germany and France. What stands out is that heads of state and politicians in Europe have been surreptitiously building a much wider political entity. Voters are not asked for their consent. Absence of legitimacy is the EU’s main feature. Since there is no procedure for the democratic right to throw out the [expletive deleted], the EU has developed into something never seen before in the world, an oligarchy with soft totalitarian symptoms. Conflicting national interests and global economic factors lead inexorably to the hardening of these totalitarian symptoms.

I have to say he is basically correct.  Now does the “Brexit” portend what may happen here in America.  And did it resemble what is happening here?  I am a bit hesitant to draw too many parallels.  European politics is different than American, as are European political ideas and even the views of the average person.  In one sense, the British voters may have been saying something similar to the voters here with respect to Donald Trump:  They may have viewed themselves as overthrowing the “establishment,” “blowing it all up.”  And certainly some of this was based on a backlash against the immigration policies foisted on Britain by the EU (and on other nations as well).  The threat and the reality of terrorism don’t mix well with those policies, and the Eurocrats have never seemed to get it—or care.

I have never believed the EU would survive in the long run anyway.  The tendency of all such supranational organizations, no matter how well-intentioned at their beginning, is to seek to amass more power and to care less for the common good and more for their own aggrandizement as time passes.  Nations don’t like to lose sovereignty and at some point they will say “enough.”

Will the Brexit stick?  I presume it will, though some are saying it is not a done deal.  Time will tell.  In fact, other nations may well follow Great Britain, as we are seeing already.  That’s fine with me.  And if the Europeans want really free trade, let’s see them do it instead of promising it and then never really doing it.  You don’t need an EU to get free trade.  You need a simple agreement that is enforceable and addresses only trade, not allowing for “mission creep.”  Finally, I am not at all convinced that this vote will bring economic chaos.  In fact, I think that was a ruse.  We may see some temporary ripples, but nothing catastrophic.  So I have given my opinion.  I am interested in what others think.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye EU”

  1. From an economic standpoint, I, actually, was not surprised at the economic downturn. I mean, of course, the stocks would go down. Based on my understanding of the European economies, Germany and England were the only large nations in the EU with “stable” economies. Now that England has left, I think it is safe to say that the EU does not have a bright economic future ahead, and the stocks are reflecting that.

  2. I am just curious if there is a European “Abraham Lincoln” waiting in the wings to come forward with lofty rhetoric about “a house divided” and require the other members of the European Union to raise troops so that he might put down the “insurrection” underway against the “Union” in the United Kingdom.

    I know the EU had the “foresight” to finally provide an explicit right of separation in the Treaty of Lisbon, but why should that stop a “Lincoln” since in America prior to Lincoln most Americans, though they believed it unwise, took it for granted that an implicit right of a member State to peacefully withdraw existed?

    I wonder, does the EU currently garrison a fort in the mouth of a major British harbor it can refuse to abandon?

    Okay, I’m done now 😉

  3. I am very much supportive of the European Union. Yes, it was founded in 1946 as the European Coal and Steel Community and has grown much beyond its original purpose of an economics and free trade. There has even been some talk in recent years of the EU to become what the federal government is to the states in the United States. It has much benefits and I think what Britain did was a mistake.

    I am worried about a potential collapse of the Eurozone if the Brexit causes a chain reaction of citizens of other countries trying to leave. While Britian wasnt part of the Eurozone, most of the other major EU countries are and there is also many questions about what a collapse of the EU would look for Europe. What would happen to the ECB? There are many European Institutions that would cease. There is also the possibility of millions of people losing all their money if the eurozone collapsed due to the demise of the EU

    1. “There has even been some talk in recent years of the EU to become what the federal government is to the states in the United States.”

      I realize that the “United States of Europe” is an idealistic goal. The idea goes back at least to George Washington who mused on the idea himself. But realistically it’s a bad idea. I would suggest that the very reasons you list about why you think Brexit is bad (collapse of the Eurozone, etc) are the very reasons European “centralism” is a bad idea.

      International cooperation is of course a good thing and European cooperation on trade, defense, etc. is also desirable. But the last thing the European Union needs is a central government that begins to act like the US Federal government that tramples on State sovereignty and ever more frequently oversteps its authority. The States of the United States have really become little more than geographic administrative divisions. Other than State tax policies, there is little difference going from one State to another. Most major decisions, socially, ethically, morally, economically, are regulated by the Federal government and the States, many unwillingly, are becoming more and more uniform. They are losing little by little the ability to govern their own affairs.

      The same would gradually happen in Europe under such centralization and those unique things that make France French, or Germany German, or Britain British, will slowly be worn down into a European uniformity. Nations are intrinsically different and should be free to govern themselves as they see fit without undue interference from outside bodies.

      P.S. Just to be clear, when I say “govern themselves as they see fit” does not mean there should not be accountability for wrongful actions taken.

Comments are closed.