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Why will no one talk about where the European Union is headed?

Attempts to talk seriously about the undemocratic nature of the European Union are consistently sidelined.

By John King

The so-called debate on the UK’s membership of the European Union has been stuck on trade and immigration for months now, with the same arguments knocked back and forwards, and channelled by a lazy media, but the reality is that if the UK votes for independence on 23 June there will be no great economic collapse and people will come and go as they have done across the centuries. There will be adjustments, but nothing compared to the trauma we face if we stay in. These issues are distractions from the most important question, which is where the EU is heading.

The European Union is not static and what we vote for now is not what we will have to live with in one or two years’ time, let alone the decades to come. The EU is a political structure and exists to create a single state, its tactics to guide Europe’s nations towards the superstate without its people knowing what is happening. This is being accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, a slow-motion coup that is taking place across the generations.

The EU’s long-term mission is continually being raised by those trying to refocus the argument for withdrawal, but establishment bias means it is just as often dismissed, and yet it is important to talk about this, the refusal of the Remain side to engage destroying any attempt at honest discussion. A trade deal does not need a president, an anthem, a flag, a currency, a parliament, the ability to make law, tens of billions of pounds of donations, its own paramilitary police force. Neither does it need to plan an army. The nature of this body is there in the suffering of Greece, Italy and Spain, where debt is used to strip back services and enforce austerity and privatisation. David Cameron and George Osborne are enacting smaller versions of this, which is why they are doing everything they can to keep Britain inside the EU.

Attempts to talk seriously about the undemocratic nature of the European Union are consistently sidelined, some of its apologists openly questioning the importance of sovereignty and, thereby, the worth of an electorate. For anyone who genuinely believes in democracy, this is impossible to accept, and shows the depths to which our political class has sunk. No organisation gives up its power without a fight, but there are less and less ways to confront the EU, which is going to become increasingly arrogant and unaccountable in the coming years. When challenged about its mistakes, Brussels does not apologise, but instead demands more control.

If we stay in the EU, the battle to leave will intensify. Anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously mistaken. If the margin is narrow, the backlash will be immediate, fuelled by numbers and a surge of anger, as the referendum has been unfair and the government has not been impartial. Few people have any real affection for the EU, but many will be swayed by the scaremongering as they are afraid of losing their jobs and homes, while others will choose to protect subsidies we in effect pay ourselves. Fear and a form of bribery is going to distort the vote. The rich and powerful will of course look after themselves, and they are the ones the EU benefits.

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What is amazing is that after all the years of sarcasm and smears, when anyone who dared speak out against the EU was branded racist, fascist, anarchist, a socialist/communist nutter or just plain boring, millions of ordinary citizens are still set to reject the state’s propaganda. This reflects the split between those in positions of control and the wider population, a division that is only going to worsen if we do not leave the EU. The referendum offers us the chance to make a clean break.

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We should not be afraid of life outside the EU. An independence vote would be a kick in the teeth for those in power, a major shock to a party-political system that has refused to represent the views of the people. We would be choosing democracy and the decentralising of power, and such a show of confidence could energise the nation. The direction of our society will be fought over, and we have big problems to confront, but a negative influence will have been removed and our destiny would be in our own hands. With the establishment humiliated, a better sort of politics might even emerge. We should be positive, embrace change and choose an exciting future.

John King’s new novel – The Liberal Politics of Adolf Hitler – imagines a future European superstate where New Democracy rules and elections are a thing of the past. 

Editor’s note, 17 June: This piece has been updated to remove a disputed quote attributed to Jean Monnet