|The June Press|
|Britain and the European Project|
by Christopher Hoskin.
Reflections on sovereignty, history, politics, psychology and economics. How they point to the UK regaining her independence.
[eurofacts (Vol 9 No 22) –16th September 2004]
In just 36 pages and 13 short chapters Mr Hoskins brilliantly traces Britain’s unhappy involvement with the EU. He starts with a discussion about the issue which all debate on the topic must start and finish: sovereignty. What is it, what does it involve, why is it important, how it is exercised, why is “shared” or “pooled” sovereignty a contradiction in terms? He then sketches in the “thousand years of history” that Hugh Gaitskell feared in 1959 would be lost if we joined the Common Market, contrasting the histories and political traditions of the UK and the various European nations.
Mr Hoskins rightly points to poor British economic performance in the sixties, the loss of empire and the understandable fear of another Franco-German conflict as (partial) explanations for the defeatism and loss of nerve of the British political class of the those times. This ensured that we joined the EC, on the worst possible terms, at just the worst moment, 1973, when the thirty-year post-war Continental reconstruction boom (fuelled with Marshall aid and under the NATO umbrella) was coming to an end.
The author concludes with pithy remarks about the Anglo-American partnership and the dangers and risks of Continental anti-Americanism. His remarks about and praise for the nation-state, the only structure mankind has yet devised that allows real sovereignty to be exercised, are especially pertinent. In clear simple jargon-free language the author explains why the EU is heading for the scrap-heap, and why the UK has nothing to fear from regaining her sovereignty. Though his short book is against the EU, it is also pro-Europe: Continental countries have as much if not more than the United Kingdom to gain from avoiding the long-predicted disaster awaiting the whole continent if the present path is pursued.
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