The draft EU ‘constitution’ is going to be subjected to a test by referendum in a number of EU states. That’s good. But if the people vote no, will it make any difference? Writing in the Sunday Telegraph euro-MP Daniel Hannan isn’t so sure:
“No one wants to jinx things by using the phrase “no vote”. Instead, Eurocrats talk about “irregularities” or “delays in ratification”. But the message is clear: we intend to push ahead regardless. A report before the European Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee is typical – not only in its content but also, I’m afraid, in its prose style: “Even if the constitution has not yet been ratified, or even signed, it must certainly inspire, to a large extent, the future multiannual guidelines.”
Hannan then goes on to make this, crucial, point:
“We often talk about the EU’s democratic deficit as if it were a design flaw, an oversight by the founding fathers. In reality, it was their chief purpose. Monnet and Schuman knew that their project would never survive if it were regularly subjected to national electorates. That is why they vested supreme power in a civil service, insulated from public opinion. Their calculation was that, if people were simply presented with a fait accompli, they would go along with it. Their strategy has been stunningly successful. Again and again, Brussels has extended its authority into a new area and then, years later, regularised the situation in a treaty. The Single European Act put a belated stamp on the EU’s intrusion into environmental policy. Maastricht formally recognised the common foreign policy, which had been launched unofficially in the mid-1980s. Amsterdam and Nice retrospectively authorised a great deal of harmonisation in the fields of criminal justice and immigration. By the time we see what is being done, it is too late. “
For anyone interested in the evolution of a profoundly corrupt and deeply undemocratic superstate Hannan’s piece is an essential read.
Via the indefatigable bloggers at EU Referendum.