Brexit – on the road to nowhere?
Sir, – Those who see Europe as a foe are pushing for a hard Brexit.
While we must stand up for ourselves and endeavour to remain united and strong, we might also allow ourselves a moment’s begrudging admiration for the delicate sense of historical irony shown in the selection of the UK as a target of a divide and conquer strategy. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – Beneath all of the Brexit negotiations there at times seems to be an undercurrent of impatience – why, Eurosceptics wonder, are wheels not turning faster? This impatience with the bureaucratic process and negotiations defies their occasionally swashbuckling and dramatic style, much to their frustration.
It is perhaps worth remembering in that regard that the European Union was originally set up to avoid, at all costs, precipitous, populist and impetuous decision-making on international relations.
What appears to be an achingly slow and inefficient bureaucracy is therefore inherently designed to operate in this way.
It is, above all, a modus operandi that places caution and safety first.
While this can be irritating, there is therefore no worse or inappropriate misnomer that the use of the word “trigger” in the EU context. It was real-life triggers, over a century ago and many times since, that the EU was brought into being to control. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Fintan O’Toole is plain wrong when he writes that the British knew what the stakes were when they voted to join the EU (“Brexit White Paper puts UK on road to nowhere”, Opinion & Analysis, October 18th). The UK, along with every other country which signed up for Europe, was told it was joining a common market, a mutually beneficial trading association. That this has morphed into something far more fundamental was never on the cards.
The unelected people who run Europe, and who cannot be voted out, have slowly but surely ratcheted up the involvement of member countries on the road to a federal Europe.
This has become clear since most countries joined, but it was not made at all clear prior to joining.
If the peoples of Europe want to be part of a European superstate, that’s fine by me, but they should be given the chance to exercise their democratic right of choice to legitimise the whole thing, and not have it imposed on them by the back door or against their will.
Additionally, should approval be forthcoming, the structure of the construct must be changed to make the leaders of Europe elected and answerable to the electorate on a regular basis if the project is to have legitimacy.
Brexit was simply the British people exercising their voice on the UK’s part in the project, and the electorates of the other countries absolutely must be given the same choice for Europe to be credible.
Rather than forever knocking the UK on this, they might be applauded for giving their electorate the choice, and showing the rest of Europe by example. – Yours, etc,