European obsessions: a rant

Here’s something that may surprise you. I share one key concern with the most extreme Brexiteers: Europe is the only key policy issue that matters right now for the UK. Everything else is an also-ran, not because nothing else is important, but because nothing else can be achieved or delivered unless we get the European issue right. And here of course I part company with the Brextremists, because their vision of the future is baloney, and if it were implemented would catastrophically damage the UK at every level and in every context.

For UK universities Brexit has become the issue which makes planning almost impossible. Because universities are essentially international institutions, links with other countries touch almost everything – and because Europe is nearer than anywhere else, it plays a disproportionate role.

But beyond universities many people still don’t realise that the European Union by now is part of almost everything. Of course some have persuaded themselves that this is oppressive, and some have rightly challenged aspects of EU regulation. But what they may not grasp is that there is no quick or easy alternative. Abandoning all things EU at short notice doesn’t leave us with a reassuringly British way of doing this, it leaves us with chaos capable of causing great and lasting damage.

I am hoping that recent political developments will make the UK’s politicians take a more sane approach. We will leave the European Union. But let it be on terms and through a process that protects the genuine interests of the country, rather than on terms that satisfy ideologues to whom the practical impact is either a mystery or irrelevant or both. And for the avoidance of doubt, ‘no deal’ is immeasurably worse than any ‘bad deal’ that could be imagined.

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One Comment on “European obsessions: a rant”

  1. Vince Says:

    2000, saw the EU take a huge lurch to the Right, more or less becoming a protector of Capital&Land. And where DeValera and De Gaulle saw the farmer with a few acres scratching a living off barren land while jobbing at something else as the core of the State, their State. And set, in the case of France, systems in the EEC to aid that cohort. Labour back then saw it’s job as protecting the factory workers. Now, with the changes, the small farmer has absorbed 20 of his neighbours and the factories are in China. Meaning neither of their core vote exist in 2017, or 1997 for that matter.
    In my opinion the EU has to adjust so it becomes the protector of the Citizen. Not the tool of factions.


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