The Corner

‘A Nascent Empire’

I’m writing an article at the moment (Eds: “Where is it?”) on the results of David Cameron’s “renegotiation” of Britain’s position in the EU (spoiler: the new deal is almost indistinguishable from the old, a squib so damp that old Noah would be reaching for hammer and nails, a squalid embarrassment of use only for what it has to say — nothing good — about the British prime minister), but I’ll interrupt myself to flag this article in the Financial Times by Poland’s former foreign minister, Radek Sikorski.

Sikorski is a sharp, savvy, and tough politician, but he is also a eurofundamentalist. Naturally, therefore, he praises Cameron’s rancid nothingburger as a “crafty compromise.” It’s nothing of the sort, but Sikorski does what he can to bolster it, not always as accurately as he might.

So, no, it is not true to say that Norway (which is not in the EU, but which has access to the EU’s single market through its membership of the European Economic Area) has “no influence” on the rule-making for the single market.

So, no, it is not true to say that Cameron’s deal would enable the U.K. (in any legally meaningful sense) to extricate itself from the ratchet of “ever closer union.”

I could go on, but instead I’ll point to something much more interesting, the way that Sikorski concludes the piece:

Having lost an empire, the British have been at a loss for a new role. There is another nascent empire, just across the water, yearning to be led. If only the British would realise it.

So there you have it; the EU is a “nascent empire.” It’s not the first time that the EU’s boosters have deployed the e-word (I wrote a bit about that here), but still . . . 

And the peoples of Europe should ask themselves if they think they are in a nascent empire, “yearning to be led.”

Is that really what they feel in Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, in Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, and Bucharest?

Is that what they really feel in Warsaw?

And is that what Americans should want to see?

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