Federalism Week concludes with a big welcome for and some words from our newest member of the Europa United team, Stephen DuBois. Stephen gives us his idea of a politically reconstructed Britain, still in Europe and using the federal system of government.
Boris Johnson’s pompous proclamation that the EU as a supra-national entity had been dispatched conveniently omitted mentioning the danger to the UK’s ‘supra-national’ constitution. A supra-national federalist constitution can support regionalism better than nationalism and can be a great power for good; for security, economic development and culture. The burden of increased administration must not hinder its development. To paraphrase Jack Kennedy ‘We choose to do things not because they are easy but because they are hard’.
Sour taste for Brexit
The EU needs to be deeper, wider and stronger; impossible with one member holding back progress because of a jingoistic faction complaining about the supposed erosion of sovereignty. Over a period of 25 years, the core ‘fruitcake’ minority grew into a mulitipartisan ‘tea-party’ with a melange of reasons for voting ‘Leave’. How long before these people realise their big mistake? Not overnight. In any case, the EU would not be happy with a ‘volte face’ by the UK. The EU considers its interests best served if the UK goes quickly; and this departure will certainly be to the UK’s detriment! The EU owes the UK nothing when you consider the threat to its cohesion. It is a bitter pill for ‘Remainers’ but, with such division, it is better if the UK exits until Euroscepticism can be successfully addressed. A few days after the referendum, my despondency was replaced with elation at the prospect of seeing the Eurosceptic project unravel rather than the EU. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Boris would not only have his fruitcake but would be forced to eat it publicly. Post-referendum developments show it will not be a pretty sight!
For example, the 2014 Scottish referendum clearly endorsed ‘Better Together’. Now, it is imperative that Scotland breaks the union with the UK before Article 50 is triggered. Independence will make negotiating Scotland’s continued EU membership more straightforward. Nicola Sturgeon said that the UK has suffered ‘… a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014’. Painful but necessary to agree and we may eventually get a satisfactory federalist constitution. Nor do I have any problem with a federalist Europe which, as I said previously, could support regionalism better than our anachronistic nationalism. With all our differences, we need unity in this challenging world. It works for the USA and, despite problems, it works for many other global communities. It can also work for Europe, the original melting-pot of the world’s disparate tribes.
The UK’s reconfiguration and an acceptable federalist EU constitution could help educate the misled majority about the benefits; of global rather than national polities; of working to overcome the difficulties of cooperation rather than retreating from them. Everyone will need the comfort of experts. The analysis will be made more difficult by the background drum-beating that distracts us. The world’s future cannot hang on the whim of a gutter-press headline. The claim was ‘We have had enough of experts’ and this justified Eurosceptic prejudices. Those people listen to the weather forecast, racing form, follow stocks and shares and act accordingly. Yet for many, the mess must materialise before they change their minds.
A sneering Eurosceptic on TV accused David Cameron of being like Neville Chamberlain, returning from Europe with inadequate guarantees. Cameron replied he felt more like Churchill, maintaining membership to bring about a strong, vibrant, viable EU. That is certainly what Churchill and Edward Heath would have wanted. Even Thatcher! It is NOT what Bill Cash, Aaron Banks, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson want … nor does Donald Trump … nor ‘federal’ Russia. Brexit was the UK’s Dunkirk moment. Let us look forward to EU D-Day.
image courtesy of the observer.com