I see that Hilary Benn has been doing his bit for ‘Project Fear‘. According to Mr Benn one of the best reasons for staying in the EU is that ‘President Putin would shed no tears if Britain left the European Union.’ So what? Caliph al-Baghdadi may laugh like a drain if we stay in. Anyone can play that game.
According to Mr Benn, ‘the weakness of European solidarity’ caused by Brexit would be particularly damaging at this time, ‘just when strength needs to be shown in the continent.’ To which one might ask, how did that ‘solidarity’ and ‘strength’ go vis-a-vis Crimea and Ukraine? It is true that the EU was ‘united’ – it united in doing nothing.
Of course Mr Benn’s use of Vladimir Putin as a big scary monster to terrify us all into staying in the EU would be more convincing were the leadership of the Labour party these days not such wholesale lackeys and lickspittle admirers of Mr Putin.
However, if there is one thing to really object to in Mr Benn’s speech it is his warning of the untold risks of Britain leaving the EU. According to his ominous, risk-filled warning, ‘Stepping into the unknown is very, very unwise.’ Except that we wouldn’t be stepping into the unknown. We would be stepping into the situation we have been in for most of our history, when we have been an independent, stable and successful country, governed by our own laws. I’ve no doubt that having breathed the asylum air of the post-Maastricht House of Commons for so much of his life, Hilary may well be utterly terrified of life outside those walls. But the rest of us will cope with living in an independent nation very nicely, I’m sure.
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.