Want a punchy summary of the state of play in the referendum build up? Here it is, courtesy of Luke Johnson reviewing recent related books in the latest edition of the unfailingly stimulating Standpoint magazine.
No one in any of the debates I’ve attended over the referendum is really very keen on the EU. Indeed, most of the pro-EU camp are highly critical of the institution, and see it as bureaucratic, undemocratic, remote and poorly governed. As a consequence, they lack true conviction, and can’t be bothered to write serious works in its defence. Their argument relies almost entirely on a series of scares designed to frighten voters into plumping for the current system because any alternative must be worse.
This cowardly, pathetic stance is typical of the chaos which the EU represents. The eurozone is an unmanageable consortium, while the Schengen border arrangements are close to collapse. The EU itself was sold as a trading pact (the Common Market) but for many of the Brussels elite is a political project. This contradictory vision is at the heart of the problem. I believe a large majority of citizens in Britain — and probably in much of the rest of the EU — do not want a political merger. They want our country to be an independent nation state, in charge of our own laws — but trading with everyone. Meanwhile the Commission and other instruments of the EU have other ideas.
I agree with every word. With perfect timing, try reading this Daily Mail column by the pro-Remain Chris Deerin, a very thoughtful and perceptive writer. It’s hardly enthusiastic.
Win or lose, the EU in its current form has had it.