EU going from bad to worse amid Brexit transition

As Britain negotiates terms of its full and final departure from the EU, delusional Brussels continues its desperate bid to build a superstate. They have learned nothing from Brexit, and we must be mindful of that as we forge a deal with them

Ursula Von der Leyen has learned nothing from Brexit
Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie
On 27 February 2020 11:43

When we voted to Leave the European Union back in 2016, many of us believed we would soon be free of the EU and their ever-growing ambitions for further integration.

However, since our vote to Leave, the federalist project is now being implemented at a frightening pace. This is something which has largely been ignored by many as we negotiate the final terms of our departure.

However, if we fail to fully recognise the pace of change - and the EU’s increasing zealotry - we may fail fully to ‘take back control’, ending up trapped in new European bodies and institutions which did not even exist when we voted to Leave.

The most significant bodies created in the years since our vote to Leave are those of the European Defence Union (EDU) and its subsidiaries, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CDSP) and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

Despite all the claims during the EU Referendum that a European Army was just a scare story from the Leave side, the EDU was set up in 2016 and has grown exponentially in the years since, a growth which has included the United Kingdom. Projects and security missions were started and funded - and are ongoing - but now the EU is demanding we stay in these new structures and fund future ones.

This mentality of the EU paints an alrming picture of what we can expect to see in future negotiations. The intention is clearly to try and keep as many links between the UK and the EU as possible. They can then be expanded upon and more projects or commitments created within their remit - just as they have done with defence. Give the EU an inch and they will take a mile.

The developments in the EU since 2016 stretch beyond the creation of the EDU, with the EU increasingly behaving like a single country, making demands of foreign states and trying to manipulate their economic policy. For example, in 2017 the EU created their list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, under which they attempt to force countries to accept tax policies which are more beneficial to EU countries.

The consequences for a country refusing to bow to pressure from Europe is a restriction on the trade they can do with EU member states and businesses inside member states. In what way do the EU’s unelected bureaucrats have the right to dictate economic policy to the elected leaders of other countries who are not even inside the EU?

This is not an economic partnership of EU Member States facilitating better trading, but the petty and aggressive behaviour of an organisation with deluded visions of global dominance.

No doubt we can expect the UK to be placed on this list of ‘non-compliant countries’ should we dare to try and actually ‘take back control’ of our economy and not accept the EU’s ‘level playing field’, which, given the EU’s propensity to increase regulation and federalisation, must be rejected outright.

Certainly there is no way the EU can force the UK into following their regulations, as the UK still has the very credible option of walking away from negotiations and trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, just as countries such as the USA and Australia do.

If these examples are not enough, you can see the scope of ambition of the EU and why we must ensure we are not tied into their regulations, exacerbated by the trouble the EU Commission is having getting its new budget approved for the next 7 years.

With the UK’s huge contributions now gone, the EU has to fill the funding gap, but their ambitions also mean they are planning to increase their overall budget. This attempted raid on member states’ treasuries is needed to allow the EU to increase its defence capabilities and to give the Commission more power over domestic environmental and economic policies.

This is not what any country signed up for when they joined the EU, and somehow it seems the EU has learned nothing from the UK’s vote to Leave.

Should we fail to Get Britain Out of the EU completely and remove the alignment we have to EU regulations, then in the years and decades to come we will find ourselves embedded within the EU without any say in how it operates.

Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie is a Senior Research Executive at the grassroots cross-party campaign Get Britain Out

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