Internationalism versus the EU


It is fascinating to watch the way that the “Leave” and “Remain” camps are spinning events and comments from prominent people.

There was Theresa May’s recent speech in Washington, at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.  The BBC picks up the theme of migration which, according to Mrs. May (and she’s probably right) is both caused (in part) and exploited by extremism.    Oddly enough the BBC does not seem to be making the link to the EU.

The Telegraph, however, does.  Political correspondent Ben Riley-Smith writes “The European Union is vital in the fight against international terrorism, Theresa May has indicated as she said jihadists threatening Britain cannot be defeated by ‘acting in isolation’”.  This is bad and ambiguous journalism.  Did Mrs. May actually say that the European Union is vital?  Or did the journo merely infer it from her emphasis on international cooperation?

I have managed to find the speech, and have even read it.  There are a number of references to the EU, and to working with it, although no specific statement that we need to remain in the EU to secure cooperation.  She did not say “The European Union is vital”. The “Leave” position would be that we certainly need to work with a range of international organisations including the EU, but that’s not the same as being in the EU.  And we note for example that Europol already has cooperation arrangements with 18 countries that are not EU member-states.

There is a vital distinction between “working with” and “being in”.  There is a huge effort by the Remain side to conflate international cooperation with EU membership.  But these are not at all the same thing, and indeed there is a case to be made that the EU militates against international cooperation, by focussing our attention on (as it were) our own back-yard, in a little fag-end of the Eurasian land-mass, and perhaps failing to devote enough attention to the world at large.

Another way in which this mind-set reveals itself is the implication that after Brexit we will no longer be able to cooperate with our European neighbours.  Of course we will.  But we will be cooperating as an independent and sovereign entity – not as a subservient province with most of our laws made in a foreign city.  I have always expressed my ambition for the UK in Europe as “a relationship based solely on free trade and voluntary intergovernmental cooperation”.

Theresa is absolutely right that we cannot address terrorism by “acting in isolation”.  But no one is suggesting that we should act in isolation.  We are, after all, permanent members of the UN Security Council.  We are a leading member of NATO, of the OSCE and innumerable other international fora.  NATO and the OSCE are arguably far more effective organisations to address security issues than the EU – which, as we have dramatically seen in recent times, seems to be rather ineffective at dealing with anything.

Besides the example of Mrs. May’s speech, we also have the spat over Prince William’s recent speech.  This has been seized on by the Remainians as a coded call for Britain to stay in the EU – despite the fact that at no point does the Prince refer to the EU at all.  What he did, quite rightly, was to praise the UK’s “outward-looking history”.  Ask yourself, what is the best way to be outward-looking?  To be an offshore province in a declining, inward-looking, self-referential, protectionist European Union?  Or to be a great global trading nation, respecting all the world but focussing most on growth areas like China and India?

In this context, the Telegraph’s headline writer, who came up with Duke of Cambridge boosts EU ‘In’ campaign by praising UK’s ‘outward looking’ history”, is guilty of an excessive and highly biased inference.

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8 Responses to Internationalism versus the EU

  1. davidbuckingham says:

    V glad you picked up on this Roger – I was inwardly whooping at first when I heard Prince William’s remarks – seemed like a clear case for links with the commonwealth and the world until it was suddenly interpreted as EU support. Haven’t seen any letters in the press about this most crude piece of Orwellianism. Spin is too polite. Very curious how persistently the idea of outward-looking is equated with EU membership, while leaving and reconnecting with the world is dismissed as a retreat into isolationism.
    A letter from yourself, Mr Farage, UKIP or GO seems urgent before this interpretation of the Prince’s words takes root. Equally Lord Bramall’s observations can be used to validate NATO and our full place in international affairs rather than 1/28th of a squeak in Europe’s pathetic voice. The international peace-keeping value of the EU needs to be unambiguously squashed.
    In fact the EU is an attempt to bring into line a century of intolerant squabbling anti-democratic fascist dictatorships with one enormous omnipotent corporate (fascist) dictatorship. They are too afraid of the squabbling to trust freedom. That’s one solution, reminiscent of the USSR and communist China. However much they adopt the language they can’t trust themselves to adopt the democratic processes, rule of law, individual rights and free markets of the anglosphere.

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    V. tiresome stuff.

    Rees-Mogg got it right on Ch4 news tonight with a female rattling about employment conditions, agency stuff etc. The EU is what did it all for us! Mogg said if you want to change stuff in Uk vote Corbyn or someone else in….not a foreigner! Thats more or less it!

    • brent lyon says:

      Roger your thoughts as always provoking.
      Democracy without power is worthless. Not yet convinced Britain has the power to stand alone.
      How do you convince the youth of britain to aspire to being doctors engineers and nurses rather than the next owner of facebook?

      • Because there are far too many people in the NHS as it stands. There are heaps of doctors – behaving like Primary School children on Strike. Engineers? Nurses? Far too many of them too. We need to cut back on NHS spending. Health is an adjunct, not an aim in itself. And, if you have any recent experience of being ill, you will know that the NHS is getting worse and worse rather than batter and better.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Brent, you are not yet convinced Britain can stand alone, are you of an age to remember life in the UK before the EU? Unfortunately a generation of folk have no first hand experience of life outside the EU. For centuries the United Kingdom was a strong independent country, not a servant of unelected leaders in a foreign land. But of course the UK would need a government capable of governing so an election would be needed more or less as soon as the clowns in Brussels are rejected. This Tory government of millionaire overgrown public school boys is a joke, and a very bad joke at that.
        As for Prince William and the rest of the royal family, they are not stupid, they just need to look to the history of other countries with former royal families. If the UK remained in the EU then their days would numbered as indeed would the incumbents of the House of Lords and eventually the House of Commons. Three lots of prime real estate emptied and handed over to the foreigners to do with what they like.
        Britain stood alone for centuries and will once again stand alone and be a darned site stronger and successful than it ever would be by just being a star on someone else’s flag.

  3. colin kay says:

    Journalism,you couldn`t make it up!
    Cheers Rodger for all your blogs,as for Brent we stood alone against the would be rulers of Eruope before and were proved right so why not again!

  4. Brin Jenkins says:

    The problem source is identified, INTERNATIONALISM. It’s the sole aim of Communism to implement a New World Order, and to enable this the old system has to be destroyed. The EU is but the local office of this evil organisation.

  5. Richard111 says:

    Roger, can I point you to a comment on another blog?

    The link to the German source is in the comment. Skulduggery of the first order in the EU!

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