The Problem With Europe

Europe. Not the most popular thing in the UK. The Union, that is, not the continent. People must like the continent, they keep holidaying there. But hardly anyone likes the European Union.

Now, those who know me know I don’t like the EU. The main reason is that it is a wannabe superstate in the style of Russia, China or the USA – it wants to be a big nation with a big army and a big ego. But, that isn’t the problem. Not as far as Britain is concerned.

In fact, the problem isn’t Europe at all, no matter what I wrote in the title. The problem is the way in which the EU is invoked in British politics :  it has become the figleaf for every unpopular measure and the source of every ill that needs an excuse. Whilst there are plenty of bad ideas coming from across the Channel (usually of a one-size-fits-all sort or an attempt by one member state to do down another) and Europe has certainly caused the UK plenty of problems, the vast majority of what is blamed upon Europe is actually concocted within the UK :  whether it is overzealous Europhiles attempting to prove Britain’s Euro-credentials by going an extra mile or civil servants taking advantage of a new directive being incorporated into British law to add a few clauses to further their agenda, most of the truly ridiculous ‘Euro Directives’ that cause equal measures of mirth and outrage are very much ‘Westminster Directives’ tacked-on to those arriving from Europe. Should someone complain or something go wrong, well, hey, Europe takes the blame.

Likewise whenever something goes wrong generally, such as the current economic woes, it is very easy for the government to point the finger of blame southwards towards Brussels. It’s not our fault things are a mess, they say, it’s those useless Europeans who are to blame. No, it’s not that we don’t have solutions, but Europe means we can’t apply them. If only for Europe all would be well with the world! It’s no wonder that we never get a referendum on our membership of the EU – despite all the promises, the political elite knows that if Britain left the EU, they will no longer have a convenient bogeyman to blame, and that would never do! So, Europe keeps getting blamed for every ill afflicting Britain whilst the government binds us ever closer to it.

It might not be so bad if the Europhiles in government actually took heed out of what Europe does well (as opposed to casting their envious eyes towards the corruption and thinking about how much they could profit by introducing it here). Likewise, if the British people adopted a more Continental approach towards the EU, our relationship with Europe might well be less fraught. Unfortunately, they don’t. We get the worst and toss out the best.

Whetheer the EU sorts itself out or not, the UK desperately needs to sort itself out. Britain cannot go on like this. In – Out – Lurking About – none of it really matters if lazy, inept and misleading governance remains the norm under a cloak of European misdirection. Will Britain wake up? Who knows….?


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