No British political party has any credibility when it comes to the matter of Britain’s EU referendum. The politicians have always lied, saying that Britain’s EU membership is about trade. But the fact of the matter is that the EU is a political body, always was, always will be.
Therefore, whether Britain should remain in or leave the European Union is a matter of politics and, even more fundamentally, a matter of governance. The real question is: who rules?
Those who think that Britain should be an independent country are convinced that the best people to govern Britain are the British. Those who support the supranational EU see the need for institutions above the nation-state that have supremacy over national electorates.
The contest between leave and remain should be a battle of visions. What sort of a country do you want Britain to be? Confident, self-governing and democratic or frightened, subordinate and governed via a supranational treaty organisation? That is your choice.
The politicians, on the other hand, are determined to bog down debate in petty trivia. First there was the charade of the “renegotiation”, which achieved precisely nothing. Now the Remainers have affixed upon the idea that the EU would frustrate cross-border security in the event of Britain’s EU exit. Illogical and irresponsible piffle.
Chancellor, George Osborne, even has the gall to say, “this would be the very worst time for Britain to take the enormous economic gamble of leaving the European Union”. I can scarcely express my rage at this transparent attempt to portray the EU referendum as an economic question, but to engage with the “logic” of Mr Osborne’s position is enough to reduce one to fits of laughter.
If leaving the EU was as risky as now claimed, the proposition would have never been put to the British people in a referendum. Moreover, the position of Mr Osborne, Mr Cameron, and the entire Tory Party, all of two weeks ago, was that they “rule[d] nothing out”.
We are expected to believe that these men and women would have campaigned for Britain to leave the EU had they not been given a promissory note saying that the British government can ask permission from the EU institutions to make a minor administrative tweak to migrant benefits, yet now EU withdrawal would mean the end of the world. Give me a break.
The fact that a referendum has been called is an admission of failure on the part of the politicians. The lot of them really need to sod off; they absented themselves from this decision when they decided that the matter of Britain’s EU membership should be decided by the British people.
For Cameron to instruct us that the government and the civil service are not impartial actors in this is such a blatant manipulation of the referendum process that a capable press and a worthwhile opposition would be creating ructions over this.
Unfortunately, Britain has neither. Nor are we ever likely to while the preponderance of the British people are content to be lied to by politicians and patronised by a media that seeks to trivialise the real heart of the matter—who governs Britain—yet reports on Boris Johnson’s every fart and eyebrow scratch with solemn earnestness.