It is Brexit Eve as I write this, January 30th 2020. Tomorrow it becomes official – what was joined on January 1st 1973 is going to be put asunder January 31st 2020.
How did it come to this? I can only speak for myself so I am going to start there.
Back in 1972 I was at East Herts College doing my OND in Mechanical Engineering. I worked for the Gas Board and was set to go to University in September of 1973, I was enthusiastic about the prospects of being able to just work in Europe. I had spent a large part of my childhood in Germany (West Germany as it was then), I had a pretty good vocabulary in French so I figured I would be able to make a good fist of it.
By 1978 I was living in Copenhagen and working around Europe – got to travel all over, never making much money and strictly lower, cabin class on the travel and accommodations but I did love seeing all the places I went to.
By 1989 my wife and I and our children were heading to the USA – to Denver Colorado and trying our fortune in the land of opportunity and my interest switched to this wonderful new life and I lost track of the doings in Europe.
Fast forwarding now – to June 2016. The referendum in the UK to vote on whether to remain in the EU or to leave. I found myself cheering for the vote to leave. I found myself exulting in the result.
How on earth did that happen?
It took a speech from Nigel Farage in the European Parliament yesterday (January 29th 2020) to remind me what it was that changed my view of the EU what it was that started me on the long journey from enthusiast to skeptic to opponent.
Our time focus jumps again to 2005.
In 2005 the great tide in Europe was the drive to have the nations of the EU ratify, by referendum, the “Constitution for Europe”. This would be the great step that would start to weld the nations of Europe into the “United States of Europe” but as I read up on the subject I was struck by the fact that it seemed to be the setting up of an extraneous non accountable power base that would be the central repository for all future initiatives in the EU and that those initiatives would be pushed down to be enacted by client governments.
I was not surprised to see that the ever bolshie French rejected this nonsense out of hand. And then was pleasantly surprised to see the Dutch follow suit. And then the people pushing the Constitution for Europe realized that without unanimous consent it would not be valid and the project was shelved.
Our time machine moves forward to 2007. The introduction of the Treaty of Lisbon. No longer a constitution but , instead a “Treaty” that changes the treaties of each member state, adds the necessary clauses and articles to pull the treaties into alignment with what the “Constitution” would have put in place. And suddenly, with NO votes, the EU Superstate was birthed. The people behind it were confident that, eventually, the people of Europe would forget about the referenda and would gradually just come to accept “what is”.
If it had not been for Nigel Farage and, yes, Boris Johnson and their outrage at the evolution of European “power” that drove the Brexit vote then Britain would be, at this moment sinking in the ever growing morass of EU rules and regulations and moving further away from being a nation state and further toward being a satrap in Europe.
But even after the British people voted to leave – that was not good enough for the embedded statists both in Europe and within the ranks of Westminster. It took the organized effort to drive out the Tory leadership in Westminster and replace it with someone who wanted to get Brexit doen and then it took fighting and brawling with the embedded europhiles of Westminster to get a General election called – where, once again, the British people said “LEAVE”.
Finally it is being done.
And here – is Nigel Farage saying goodbye to the European Parliament – and if you will listen to the very end you will hear the chairperson try to get in a quick egregious bit of virtue signalling by actually misquoting what Farage said and trying to make it sound like “hate speech”. It ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.