Mrs May’s de facto deputy David Lidington (hereinafter referred to as Dave Mark II) has done nothing to improve my judgement of our politicians’ intellectual and moral integrity.
It’s possible, he said, that in the next 10 to 20 years the EU will be so different that we’ll happily come back into the fold (that is, provided we actually do leave, was the unspoken refrain).
Across the Channel, Manny squeezed that time frame to “a few years”. After that time has elapsed, explained Brigitte’s foster son, the UK could “find its place” in a “reformed and simplified EU”.
Now Manny, being the EU’s flesh of the flesh, can’t be expected to say anything different. But it’s appalling to see a senior British minister display so much ignorance about the organisation to which he fervently believes Britain should belong (Dave Mark II is a fanatical Remainer).
The two forecasts are identical in everything other than the time element. Dave Mark II thinks it’s impossible to predict what the EU would be like “in 10 or 20 years’ time”.
Clearly, his assumptions are that 1) the EU is bound to change drastically and 2) the change can only be for the better (this suggests something that Dave Mark II couldn’t possibly have meant, that the EU is so wretched that it has no way to go but up) and 3) the British will miss the EU so much that they’ll be delighted to crawl back on their hands and knees.
Manny agrees with it all, but he’s more specific: the EU will be reformed towards greater simplicity. Of course, all God’s children like things simple, but Manny was very economical with details. Simplified how?
Now arguing with the French on this subject is like trying to argue with an ayatollah that there is a God other than Allah, and Mohammed isn’t his prophet. Or to convince a senior Western politician that ‘Allahu akbar!’ isn’t the Arabic for ‘has nothing to do with Islam’.
But, in theory at least, Dave Mark II ought to know something about the organisation for which he has found so much love in his heart. Some knowledge of general political history wouldn’t go amiss either.
First, giant ideological contrivances created by a few fanatics to achieve a specific purpose are too rigid to reform. They either do what they set out to do and then have a free run for a few centuries or else collapse. Examples for either possibility are both too numerous and too obvious to mention here.
The EU was concocted for one purpose only: to create a single European state under the aegis of Germany, with France bringing up the rear. C’est tout, as Manny would say.
If that wicked contrivance can achieve that objective in its present form, it’ll probably hang on for quite a while – until it implodes in the blood splatters of an all-out civil war. If it doesn’t achieve its purpose, it’ll disintegrate – probably again with some bloodshed, but less than in the first option.
The objective of a single superstate is as immutable as an ayatollah’s belief that all infidels should be either killed or enslaved in a global caliphate. Hence no serious EU reform is on the cards – all that’s possible are a few tactical tweaks here or there.
Hence, the only conceivable ‘simplification’ of that bureaucratic Leviathan is reduced membership. Some EU countries may be forced out by bankruptcy, some may get sick and tired of being bossed around by foreigners, some may have unsolvable internal turmoil.
In fact, such simplification is likely. One can easily imagine an EU shrunk to just Germany, France and possibly the Benelux countries. But I wouldn’t describe this development as reform. That’s like saying that D-Day reformed Nazi Germany.
Dave Mark II has to believe that, once Britain has been out in the cold for 10 to 20 (or just a few) years, she’ll be anxious to join the new European state, possible called Francmany or Germance. Somehow, that’s not a plausible prospect.
Conversely, the EU may keep its name and all its members (perhaps adding a few others, such as – Turkey? Saudi Arabia?) and stitch a new supranational state together out of those pieces. Would that make the British any more likely to want to rejoin?
You’ll remember that for two generations now our Europhile politicians have been lying through their teeth that the EU (or EEC) has no desire to create a single European state. It’s only after greater peace and prosperity.
That lie is the only reason the British voted to join the EEC in 1975, and without that lie the Brexit margin of victory would have been much wider, gravitating towards unanimity.
However, when the EU actually does become an unapologetic single state, be that of 30 members or three, that lie will no longer be possible. Now, unless a cataclysmic genetic catastrophe occurs, I can’t imagine too many Britons ever wanting to become a province of Germany de jure (de facto, we’re exactly that now).
So you see, Dave Mark II, predicting the future of the EU isn’t as hard as all that. All one has to do is read a book or two, think for a while and – most important – learn to respect one’s own country and its two-odd millennia of history.