General

We continuously underestimate the underlying passion and commitment of the powerful people who run Europe and steer it towards a United States of Europe.

Speech to the Bruges Group, Monday 13 June 2016.

Read the full text here: BrugesGroup13.6.16

Watch the video of the speech and Q+A here: BrugesGroupVideo

Extract: …how is it that Margaret Thatcher, the most powerful Prime Minister we have had since we joined the Common Market in 1973, totally failed to slow down, let alone halt, the continued integration of the EU despite being, on the face of it, the most hostile Prime Minister ever towards the end result of integration – a United States of Europe.

… The answer – and it has direct relevance to why we should leave on 23 June – is that as a nation of pragmatists or shopkeepers, call it what you will, we continuously underestimate and simply will not address the underlying passion and commitment of the powerful people who on a day-to-day basis run Europe and steer it towards that end result, a United States of Europe.

We also ignore how effectively the Brussels believers turn the mind frame of the diplomats, civil servants and experts from the Member States to their ‘idea of Europe’. Part idealistic, part realistic they constantly reiterate the idea that a nation state is rather old-fashioned in a complex world. That supranationalism enshrined in Treaties, which cannot be amended, is the only way forward. That democracy is untidy, inefficient and needs to be managed and tempered by expertise. They have both a design, a method and tenacity.

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