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EU politics: they just don't get it

Richard North, 18/01/2013  


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I'm told that Roland Rudd was on the idiots' lantern last night, sharing his ignorance about "fax law" with the Question Time audience. We also get Reuters desperate to parade its ignorance in a "factbox" article which tells us that Switzerland and Norway "have to follow much of the bloc's rules but have no power to influence them".

Today's pride of place, though, goes to Gavin Barrett in an opinion piece in the Irish Times, discussing the possibility of a British exit from the EU. Here, Barrett acknowledges that a Norway-type relationship with the EU, with full access to the single market, is conceivable. But he then goes on to write: "Norway is effectively in a 'fax union' with the EU – accepting EU regulations without any say in their shaping – as the price for single market access".

So pervasive is this myth that we even have the erudition of Conservative Home poured into the problem, with no expense spared. But not one commentator, any one of which might elsewhere glibly talk about "globalisation", shows any shred of understanding of the background to this issue, and quite how important it is.

The fact is that the European Union is increasingly a backwater in world affairs. Take the time out to google "global governance" and then start doing some selective searching under the sub-head "United Nations". It is quickly evident that the action is no longer regional, in tiny blocs such as the EU, but on a global scale.

Then, to get an appreciation of the sheer scale of the endeavour, look to the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, hosted by UNECE. Then look at a recent meeting agenda and you will be staggered by the volume of work and the amount of detail.

There is no conspiracy here. The advocates and practitioners of global governance are entirely open about their agendas. But, despite this, alongside the globalisation of trade, the globalisation of government remains almost invisible. It is almost as if people can't cope with it, and shut it out of their minds.

The irony is that, by focusing on Brussels, and concentrating our energies there, we miss the bigger picture. Since the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 January 2009, the EU assumed a legal identity. With that, we see the EU joining a huge number of international organisations, such as Codex Alimentarius, where it now represents Member States in discussions.

Increasingly, therefore, membership of the European Union means that we have no direct say in global trade negotiations, while independent countries such as Norway retain their influence and have, effectively, equal status with the EU, on international bodies and in negotiations.

Very much under the horizon, what is happening is that the globalists now want every country to join in a regional bloc, so that the number of delegates (and voices) can be reduced, and the "unfair" advantage that independent countries have can be removed. After all, they argue, it cannot be right that tiddlers such as Norway can have equal status with the EU and even the United States. With the compliance of their own political elites, such countries must be reined in.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, globalists such as Obama would like us to stay in the EU. But that simply reflects a game the US has been playing for decades, and especially through the WTO, where it prefers to deal with trade blocs rather than messy groups of individual countries.

A similar agenda drives the business corporates, who would also much rather see the world grouped into convenient blocs. Nationalism to them, is an anathema. World governance is very much their preferred option, and their view the break-up of regional blocs such as the EU with absolute horror.

This, though, is where the debate needs to lie. It is invisible and unspoken because the politico-media bubble barely understands it and is frightened to talk about it. For, not only is this happening, it creates a world where not even the vestiges of democracy exist.

Bizarrely, by contrast, the EU is a paragon of virtue – a blinding example of "democracy". And that illustrates just how bad it is getting. We need to wake up to the reality. We need to look at what is, and create our own agenda.

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