Großbritannien und EU

21.6.2016 | Von:
Aaron McKenna

Brexit is an opportunity for all people in the EU, not just the British

The modern EU is a product of bureaucratic momentum rather than economic necessity, says Aaron McKenna. The UK should vote to leave the European Union on June 23.

"Der Brexit ist eine Chance für alle Menschen in der EU, nicht nur für die Briten, die Zeit zurückzudrehen", sagt Aaron McKenna."Brexit is an opportunity for all people in the EU, not just the British, to seriously consider rolling back the clock", says Aaron McKenna. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

The EU was born of a different age in Europe. It was a Europe with vastly different interstate problems to those experienced today. A Europe recovering from two devastating wars that were mostly abnormal for the industrial scale of the carnage they wrought. Veterans of most major European wars have been alive to witness the next one begin, from the Seven Years War to the Napoleonic Wars and from the Franco-Prussian to the First World War into the Second.

The European Coal and Steel Community was designed to bring this cycle of nationalistic violence to an end by interlocking economic prosperity and security. The drive for autarky need not be an excuse for war between neighbours.

Much of the argument for remaining in the EU has pivoted back to this core ideal of an integrated Europe being a safer, more prosperous Europe. The arguments fail to adequately counter the riposte that the EU has developed from this lean, athletic core into a fat and short-sighted old man who is constantly reliving his old glories without properly acknowledging his current follies.

The EU has metamorphosed into an overbearing and overreaching bureaucracy. We have 28 EU Commissioners running 28 departments of government, each seeking something to regulate or tinker with in order to justify their existence. Why 28? Well, because the number was arrived at to ensure every country got a seat at the table. The modern EU is a product of bureaucratic momentum rather than economic necessity.

EU institutions recognise the mission creep every now and again, such as when the incoming Juncker Commission gave Frans Timmermans the job of cutting down on unnecessary complexity. Without a hint of irony, Timmermans’ full Vice Presidential job title contains 19 words.

Voters across the EU have expressed reservations about the nature of the modern Union and the direction it is moving. Surveys of voters and the Eurosceptic nature of a growing minority of representatives they elect to the European Parliament show clear disquiet. Voters very rarely get an opportunity to directly rebuff the progress towards a bureaucratic super state, and when they do so they are usually told their vote doesn’t matter or that they must vote again to seek the "correct" outcome, as happened in Ireland on two separate occasions.

One of the oft expressed fears of EU leaders when contemplating policies to combat the economic crisis was the idea that a measure would require "treaty change" that must be put to a referendum in certain EU countries. Fear of the electorate is now baked into the decision-making process of leaders who know the population at large is not in tune with the Brussels orchestra.

Brexit is an opportunity for all people in the EU, not just the British, to seriously consider rolling back the clock from our federal super state towards a free market association with minimal interference into state business. This model of shared economic prosperity will continue to copper fasten European peace. An EU that is resented by large tracts of its populace will eventually break up in ignominy and amid much recrimination.

It is easy to characterise the British as tricky partners in Europe. Doing so sells short their history as guarantors of European democracy and peace. What is at question today is whether or not it is most appropriate to carry on this role within an EU that voters no longer see as fit for purpose or through other, less involved, means.

Brexit is an opportunity to reset the clock and re-secure what was always best in the EU by dumping all the fat that has accumulated around the core and great ideal of economic co-dependency.

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Click here to read this article in German. Hier geht es zum Beitrag auf Deutsch.

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