by Sir Thomas Crapper
Whether you voted ‘In’ or ‘Out’ on Thursday June 23, 2016, storms are gathering over the European Union.
Waiting in the wings, stage left, Greece will be back for another bailout estimated at €100bn (it might be more). The problem was pushed back so as not to sway our referendum. The fear was that it would swing an ‘Out’ victory.
How Angela Merkel deals with Greece will profoundly impact her chances of retaining power next year. Waiting in the wings, stage right, Frauke Petry represents a new kind of German politician – one who isn’t sentimental about Germany’s ill deeds in the 20th century.
Others of her ilk are springing up around Western Europe. They are labelled ‘right wing’. In fact, they are merely populist, which is to say, they are listening to the concerns of ordinary people. The liberal establishment currently running Europe holds the views of ordinary people in utter contempt.
If Merkel acts as she did last time – and we can be certain the banks will take a hard line – Greece will face another democratic meltdown. This time, it may – as it should have in 2015 – lead to the reintroduction of the drachma.
If Merkel treads softly, German voters will send her a clear message at the 2017 general election. Germans are sick to the back teeth of being the EU’s loan shark.
The European Union has been over-ambitious, and like all huge, over-ambitious conglomerates, it is stultifyingly incompetent.
For instance, it is beyond belief that it tried for a monetary union without fiscal union. One is impossible without the other. Of course, the EU’s ‘Project’ is to eventually unite all members into a federal state. It has no democratic assent to do so, but that is the goal.
But in its greed for speed it introduced the Euro which, without a central bank and a homogenous fiscal policy to go with it, will end up being the instrument by which the EU destroys itself.
Greece, we already know, is bust. So, unofficially, is Italy. Other countries, like Finland and Hungary, won’t tolerate much more of the largesse that, in any case, only serves to put Greece further into debt. The bailouts are not gifts, but merely further loans, to be repaid with interest.
So, whatever your vote in today’s EU Referendum, the result will be the same. The EU is destined for the scrapheap unless it drastically redefines itself.
A Common Market of half a billion people is, no question, a powerful and valuable lobby – one to which we ought to belong.
Everything else – the European Parliament, the Euro, the interference with local law-making and a generally accepted corruption – should go. None of this will affect free movement of labour, nor travel through the continent, nor UK residents of other EU countries.
What it will do is finally give back power to each country to make its own laws, and run its own economy (with its own currency). And, hugely importantly, it will create a legitimate entity unencumbered by the massive democratic deficit which currently exists.