I love Europe, but the constant push towards federalism will undoubtedly lead to the break-up of the EU

#CriticalThinking

Picture of Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

Member of the European Parliament

While I love Europe, I want us to have a Europe of co-operating sovereign, independent and democratic nation states. We don’t need to build a European super state and besides, the citizens of Europe don’t want one. It is this constant push towards federalism that will undoubtedly lead to the break-up of the EU. As it becomes more obvious to the citizens of Europe that power is flowing from their own elected governments to unelected technocrats in Brussels, the more people will vote for political parties who oppose further integration.

Martin Schulz, the President of the European parliament, told French schoolchildren earlier this year that: “70% of national legislation comes from European legislation.” Viviane Reding, former vice-president of the European Commission stated in a speech in London in February that: “70% of the laws in this country are co-decided by the European Parliament.”

In an on-line discussion, Commissioner Reding went further, saying:“I do not know if it is now 80% or if it is 75%, the truth is that most laws which are applied and executed, implemented at national level are based on European Laws, Directives which then have to be translated into National Laws, so the most, the biggest part of the legislation which is applied in a given member state in one of the 28 is decided by the European Parliament in co-decision with the Council of European Ministers.”

As it becomes more obvious to the citizens of Europe that power is flowing from their own elected governments to unelected technocrats in Brussels, the more people will vote for political parties who oppose further integration

Perhaps as a result of these bold claims, or for fear of further power-grabs, the citizens of Europe voted in huge numbers for eurosceptic parties at this year’s European elections. My own party, UKIP now has 24 MEPs – the largest British contingent in the European Parliament. We have formed the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group with colleagues from all across the EU who share our views.

While we may be an irritant to the Brussels elite, and we will resist any further European Integration, it will not be we who end the European project. The end will come when reformists from national governments finally realise that EU reform is futile. As the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher wrote in her 2002 book Statecraft: “Europe as a whole is fundamentally un-reformable.”

The EU’s outgoing Commission President José Manuel Barroso has warned that plans to retrieve powers to member states are “doomed to failure” saying: “What is difficult, or even impossible, is if we go for the exercise of repatriation of competences, because that means revising the treaties and revision means unanimity. From my experience of 10 years, I don’t believe it will work.”

When it becomes clear to all that reform is impossible, Europe will reform itself into a completely new model based on co-operating nation states. The good news is that without the EU structures, Europe will not descend into chaos. We would co-operate via existing international bodies such as the United Nations (most notably the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) the G20, the G7, our police forces would combat cross-border crime via Interpol and we would resolve trade issues as equal members of the World Trade Organisation. I believe the nations of Europe have a bright future, as long as they can free themselves from this failing EU project.

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