Pantsdown Euro Lament - Full Steam Ahead Is The Answer
To be stronger, Europe must give away power | The Times (£)
Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon
There is now a real possibility that the European Union will break apart.
There are many in Parliament who would cheer this and, I suspect, even more in the country beyond who would join in with enthusiasm. Nor would they be alone. It is not only in Britain that the public mood against the EU runs so strongly. The Dutch seem to agree and even the people of Germany, given the chance, might vote the same way.
The single greatest political idea of our time, European integration, now looks in serious trouble.
The reasons for European integration are not weaker today than they were when this all started; they are stronger.
If we Europeans don’t understand that the right reaction to our new circumstances is not to loosen, but to deepen, the integration of our defence, our foreign policy and our economics, then we are bloody fools. If we really believe that this is a moment to consign ourselves to a collection of perfectly sovereign corks bobbing along in the wake of other people’s ocean liners, then the next decades will be much more difficult, turbulent and dangerous for us.
In stormy waters corks rise and fall and survive very well, it is the badly built supertankers that break apart, losing all hands and polluting the environment. I'll take the cork anytime, thanks.