Excerpt reposted with permission from Spiked Online
For spiked, the EU is not, as its cheerleaders claim, a coming-together of European peoples. Rather, it represents the outsourcing of key parts of national political life to the unaccountable, unreachable realm of the European Commission and other Brussels-based bodies. It directly waters down our democratic clout through granting ever-greater authority to institutions like the EC and the European Court of Justice, whose edicts and rulings can be imposed on nations regardless of what national governments, far less national plebiscites, think of them. That is anti-democratic. End of. And it should be viewed as intolerable by anyone who considers himself progressive, and who recognises that every radical, inspiring leap forward in modern times – from the Levellers to the Chartists to the Suffragettes – has been about people wrestling from the authorities the right to choose who governs them; the right to political say-so.
The EU is a union not of peoples, but of elites. It has in recent decades become the sphere in which national elites, feeling ever more estranged from their national electorates, have effectively taken refuge. In pooling their national sovereignties into the EU, our national rulers absolve themselves of the responsibility to have tough, testy debates with us about various political and social matters, in favour of seeing such issues discussed and resolved by the commissioners and self-styled experts of this rarefied zone.
The EU is not any kind of internationalist or cosmopolitan project, as its supporters claim. Nor is it a conspiracy of French and German blaggards to do over decent Blighty, as its detractors insist. Rather, it is the institution that has grown from and been constantly fed by national elites’ own growing feeling of exhaustion with democracy – and with democracy’s engine: the demos – be it politicians who would rather an aloof court decided something they haven’t got the stomach to debate or advocacy campaigners who agitate for an EC regulation because nothing repulses them more than the idea of trying to win over the plebs of their own nations. All those things that the Remain lobby claims will be better if we stay in the EU – workers’ rights, freedom of movement, anti-terror security measures – are things that should be discussed and decided by us. To say the EU does ‘good things’, even though it does them without any real democratic oversight, is to support a benevolent tyranny. A tyranny enacted not to crush us but to save us – the worst kind.
Full article (well worth the read)