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My objection to the EU

15 September 2011

10:05 AM

15 September 2011

10:05 AM

The Spectator debate next week is about whether or not we should leave the European
Union. Luckily, this is one of the very few issues upon which I am undecided and not possessed of an arrogant and fatuous opinion. Luckily, because I am moderating the debate and therefore am
required to be neutral.

My objection to the European Union was always largely racist, rather than economic or political. Had Britain been asked to join a union consisting largely of what Hitler would describe as Greater
Germany, plus the official Scandies and their arriviste cousins in Latvia, I would have had us sign up without demurral. My objection was to having people like the Spanish and Greeks and southern
Italians having anything to do with the running of my life. And the Portuguese, for that matter, and the French. It always occurred to me that we had nothing in common with anyone south of a
somewhat wiggly line stretching from Bruges to Milan (and doing a sort of dogleg around Switzerland). This, at the time of the great Euro debates, was seen as a nonsensical and crass argument,
rooted in base xenophobia. Well, that’s as maybe. But, as things turned out, it wasn’t very far wide of the mark, was it?


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