EADT ‘Letter from Brussels’ : The Relentless Drive for a European State Must Stop
The latest Letter from Brussels deals with the issue of pushes towards a federal European state.
In the last couple of weeks we have seen an accelerated and dangerous push towards creation of a European state, which I know the British people do not want and which I have long opposed.
In his so-called 'State of the Union' address on 12 September, European Commission President Barroso laid out his proposals for a "European Federation" with full political and economic union. In the coming months, detailed proposals will be put on the table for closer economic integration of the Eurozone. The very people that created the botched Euro project are now demanding even more power to administer more of the same failed medicine.
On 17 September, the eleven Foreign Ministers who make up a so-called "Future of Europe Group" released their final report on EU integration, including moves towards a European Army and establishment of a European Government. They want to remove our national veto in the areas of foreign and defence policy and in changes to European Treaties. They want to integrate our diplomatic service and armed forces under an EU flag, with the EU's High Representative in charge. They want defence industries harnessed within a European defence industrial policy. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Franco-German EADS aerospace firm (in which the French and German governments each have 22.5% shares) has chosen this moment to announce plans to take over the brightest star in Britain's vital defence industrial sector, BAE Systems.
Over many years we have seen a determination among the euro-federalists to sideline Nato, with its US involvement, and replace it with some fanciful 'European' capability. Nato is, of course, an effective inter-governmental alliance with the enormous advantage that US and European allies act on international crises together. EU encroachment into the defence arena has produced wasteful duplication of structures, dilution of commitment to Nato, and confused messages to our enemies. But above all, the EU produces no additional military capabilities. In fact the opposite has been the case. If our nation faced a serious security threat, who would we want to rely on - Nato or the EU? This question, I think, answers itself.
The one saving grace is that even Mr Barroso now recognises the need for a new EU Treaty. This will create real and serious dilemmas for Britain, but it will be the opportunity for us to recast our relationship with the EU. Then the British people will be able to express themselves in a long overdue referendum.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is a former senior British Army officer and Conservative Defence Spokesman. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and via www.geoffreyvanorden.com