Yesterday we saw yet again just how dysfunctional the EU has become. Far from creating union, peace and harmony, it is creating rows and conflicts between European countries. Germany and Greece are showing great dislike of each other in public and have no ability so far to compromise and to understand each other’s point of view. Greece cannot accept Germany’s austere economics, and Germany has no wish to send financial assistance to a part of her currency zone with mass unemployment, deep recession and much reduced pay. France is at loggerheads with Italy over migrants admitted by Italy. France and the UK disagree over Calais and the Anglo-French border. The EU supporting part of Ukraine is fighting a hot war with other parts of that country as the EU stands and watches. Euro outs are getting a bad deal from Euro ins, southern states feel hard done by the richer northern states, the richer north has no wish to subsidise the south. The UK and Denmark opted out of the common approach to migrants.
Meanwhile the EU damages national democracies by preventing them taking action or legislating in ways they wish without providing a good working democracy of its own. There is no official opposition to the EU government. No-one has the duty at Council meetings or in the Parliament to expose the problems with EU policy, lay bare the waste or to show which policies are doing harm. As we saw last night, trying to govern by needing the agreement of 28 countries is absurd. They spend hours just having one round setting out their different attitudes, and then more hours as the hapless Chairman and Commission try to broker compromises between the more extreme views around the table, in the hope that tiredness will eventually cause all to give in and agree with something, however modest or inappropriate or vexatious.
The people who say we should stay in the EU whatever the EU offers us confine themselves to just two main arguments.
The first is the lie that 3 million jobs would be at risk if we left.
Our trade is not at risk, as Germany has made clear.
The day after we leave Germany will still want to sell us her cars and will make sure she can do so with sensible free trade rules.
Under WTO rules which we have automatically trade can flourish, as the rest of the world shows when trading with the EU.
The second is the EU guarantees us peace in Europe. If only. The EU has intervened clumsily in civil wars in former Yugoslavia and now in Ukraine, in ways which often make things worse.
Meanwhile it is obvious that the peace has been kept amongst the main powers of Europe and Russia since 1945 by NATO. The UK will remain a leading member of NATO, and NATO will continue to guarantee our security.