“The construction of European Unity is a bold far sighted endeavour” The Rome declaration

Now we know what the EU wants without the UK. The Rome Declaration signed last week-end sets out the full scheme for the Union. It is as Eurosceptics described. It is certainly not the minimalist EU based around a single market of Mr Blair and Mr Brown’s imagining.

As the Declaration says, “We have built a unique Union with common institutions and strong  values….Unity is b0th a necessity and our free choice….Our Union is undivided and indivisible.”  “We will make the European Union stronger and more resilient through ever greater unity and solidarity amongst us and the respect of common rules”

The document sets out four large areas where the Union is manifest and will now be strengthened.  The first is freedom of movement of people, combined with promises of new border arrangements and an EU wide policy towards external migrants. The second is the single currency which will be “stable and further strengthened”. There is no mention of countries opting out.  The third is a social Europe, with EU wide benefit and social policies. The fourth is “a stronger Europe in the global scene” “committed to strengthening its common security and defence” with a common defence supply industry.

This upbeat and centralising document looks forward to further increases in Union powers. It does acknowledge that “The EU is facing unprecedented challenges both global and domestic: regional conflicts, terrorism, growing migratory pressures, protectionism and social and economic inequalities”. All this points them in the direction of doing more in the Brussels to counter these unwelcome trends.

So there we have it. It was the creation of a large new state after all. The irony seems to be missed that this declaration is published  to the world when the UK sends in its resignation and as many  voters around the EU seek to show their disapproval of the vision. The declaration points to the EU having much more influence in world affairs  without explaining how it will build up its military forces to back up its wish to intervene and its pursuit of  influence in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Surely now, no-one can doubt that the EU is so much more than a set of laws regulating trade and commerce?  Why did so many UK politicians try and pretend this was just a business or commercial arrangement? As this declaration reminds us in a timely way, at the heart of the EU is the strong desire to create a single country. It will have common borders, one currency, one foreign policy and one social policy. It will have its own energy policy, its own transport policy. Indeed, it has much of that already. It is only those who refuse to read EU documents who can think otherwise.



  1. Lifelogic
    March 27, 2017

    Why indeed did did so many UK politicians and indeed the hugely biased BBC, over many years, try and pretend this was just a business or commercial arrangement?

    Lock them up as Trump might say.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 27, 2017

      More absurd anti-scientific, climate alarmist, propaganda again from the BBC today on radio 4. Mainly about Trump & Florida. The sooner Trump’s climate people expose the record fiddling, outright fraud & propaganda that has gone on in this area the better.

    2. Ed Mahony
      March 27, 2017

      ‘Lock them up as Trump might say’

      – Trump has just been compared to a 1930’s dictator by a Yale professor. Whether you agree or not, many Republicans would have sympathy with this view. And Trump is quickly destroying sympathy some/many might have for the hard right in America and elsewhere.

      I’m sorry, but i think you’re out of touch with most voters in the UK, including many – a lot of – Tories. If Mr Redwood listened to comments such as yours here, he’d have no future in the Tory Party. That would be a shame as he has a tonne of talent to offer his party and country.

    3. Ed Mahony
      March 27, 2017

      I’m sorry but you’re no friend to the Tory Party if you make comments like this. It was hard right-wing commentary like this that helped Labour get into power in the 1997. They didn’t win it. We lost it. And we had to put up with 10 years of Blair and Brown because of it.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 28, 2017

        Above all the damaging effects of the ERM did for the Tories in 1997.

  2. Jerry
    March 27, 2017

    “It is as Eurosceptics described. It is certainly not the minimalist EU based around a single market of Mr Blair and Mr Brown’s imagining.”

    Nor how Mrs Thatcher described the EEC/EC whilst backing our membership whole heartedly until she stopped getting her own way during the first “Delors Commission”, as did many of her Ministers and closest advisor’s. When exactly did Mrs T ever threaten to withdraw the UK from the EEC, even though she must have known the aims of the Rome Treaty because Mr Heath made them clear to the UK back in 1972 (as did those MPs against our entry at the time).

    “New age” eurosceptics are engaged in rather to much revisionist nonsense, some of them having being happy to sit on their hands as late as the mid 1990s, unlike those eurosceptic pioneers, on both sides of the house, who put their principles before all else back in the 1970s and ’80s Either being described as either of the far left or out of touch right-wingers harking back to empire…

  3. Leslie Singleton
    March 27, 2017

    Dear John–Yet you wished the EU well on its birthday–Those of us in the ‘Love Europe loathe the EU’ camp wish, rather, that the damn thing would collapse and the sooner the better. Excellent news that Carswell has gone–I remember listening to one of his early speeches and wondering what on earth was going on.

  4. agricola
    March 27, 2017

    Well it is good to start with a lie and then continue hoping no one will notice. Unity is not necessarily the free choice of the people of the EU. In most cases they have not been asked. When they were and disagreed with the direction of the EU they were ignored. Hence the ever growing dissention.

    Is the desired strength of the EU to protect from outside threats or is it to contain the democratic tendencies of the people within democratic states. I say the people because so often their leaders prefer the centrist agenda.

    Past UK politicians were no different to the European ones of the present. They acceded to this vision from the outset, hoping the people would not notice. They were utterly dishonest to pretend that it was a trade arrangement, because they knew the people would never agree to being part of a political union we could not control. Fortunately the gene of democracy is too firmly embedded in the people of the UK for the lie to be accepted.

  5. formula57
    March 27, 2017

    Creation of a large new state is not an unattractive nor unworthy vision and had I thought there was even a moderately fair chance of bringing it about and that having done so the UK and others would have found contentment therein, I might have been persuaded to opt for Remain.

    Consistent with your enjoinder to be sensitive to Remainer passions, I will ready myself to just politely acknowledge the many apologies that we can surely now expect from the likes of Blair, Brown and Cameron for misleading themselves and trying to mislead us.

  6. Mark B
    March 27, 2017

    Good morning.

    EVER CLOSER UNION. That is what the Conservative Government of Edward Heath signed us up to. Enoch Powell and others warned us way back that this was the aim, so it can as no surprise to me and to others. But all this will be ignored by the media and those foolish enough to believe that it all about trade and a common European identity. It is NOT !!! It is about power and power without democratic accountability, a dangerous mix that the continent of Europe cannot seem to shake off. It will not end well.

  7. alan jutson
    March 27, 2017

    To be fair John the only way it will really work, given they are not satisfied with a simple trading arrangement, is to operate as one state with the same rules, regulations and law throughout.

    It was just a shame that our Politicians who promoted the EU did not share and outline those views with the population at the time, then perhaps we would never have joined in the first place.

    It would seem at last, 44 years too late, we now have a better idea of what its all about, but many of our MP’s will still remain silent.

    1. John B
      March 27, 2017

      I worked in import/export for 25 years dealing with North American and European products.(I have lived in early retirement in France for 15 years, so I am not a ‘little Englander.)

      I travelled routinely around Western Europe during that time and by speaking to my business contacts and through observation I came to understand that the EU or ‘Europe’ as it is called, to the people on the Continent is about a politically settled, united and unified Super-State, whereas in the UK it has only ever been about trade.

      The UK historically is a small island, maritime, mercantile, politically settled nation so it is trade orientated, trade preoccupied; global free trade is a friend, an aim.

      The Continent is a politically conflicted (count the dictatorships, civil wars, revolutions over the last 200 years), intrinsically unstable, with predominantly regional inland trade.

      ‘Europe’ is political settlement, stability, autarky orientated; trade is just garnish and to be closely regulated.

      Free trade with outlanders is the enemy, potentially destabilising if the Volk and the sans-cullottes have their jobs threatened by it.

      That is why when Remainers in the UK talk about the EU, it is not the same EU of which people on the Continent speak – two different beasts, two different raisons d’être, two different aims.

    2. Mark B
      March 27, 2017

      There is a Foreign Office document that gives advice to Ministers regarding the then EEC. One sentence stands out.

      ” . . . they must not know what is being done to them . . . “

      ‘Them’ being ‘we the people’.

      They all knew ! They were all in on it ! They saw the advantages that membership of the Stupid Club gave them. The could do all the things ‘they’ wanted to do and blame the EU and claim powerlessness when the people complained. Once out, that excuse will no longer apply. 🙂

  8. sm
    March 27, 2017

    I’m sure Mr Juncker and his colleagues will not need reminding that the Austro-Hungarian Imperial crown and sceptre are held in Vienna, ready for use by the next Leader of the Great European Union.

    1. Mitchel
      March 27, 2017

      The crown resides in the Hofburg till “there is again a Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation”

      1. Leslie Singleton
        March 27, 2017

        Dear Mitchell–Still neither Holy, nor Roman nor an Empire and you may be aware that the original HRE very much didn’t want the title anyway because it implied his subservience to the Pope (nearest it came to “Roman”) who condescendingly gave him the title, want it or not

        1. Mitchel
          March 28, 2017

          And,furthermore,it wasn’t the Pope’s to give,there being a sitting Roman Emperor in Constantinople at the time whose successors were the Russian Tsars;hence Russia’s centuries old claim to be the Third Rome!

  9. Christine
    March 27, 2017

    I’ve just read the original and it builds on what was in the five presidents report, which was one of the reasons I voted out. There is no democracy and seems very much like the old USSR. My worry is that we will have 2 years where we have to continue to follow this madness e.g. the latest proposals for faster family reunification.

    1. Duyfken
      March 27, 2017

      It should be a preliminary step by our government to insist that from the beginning of the withdrawal process (the notification letter on Wednesday) the UK will not be bound by any new, amended or replacement laws or regulations introduced by the EU.

  10. Bert Young
    March 27, 2017

    Centralisation gone mad . There are too many dissenting voices across the EU due to the many and valid differences that exist in culture and economics . It is not possible for a system to cater for these many differences – certainly not a centralised bureaucracy that exhibits no sign of financial discipline . Simply getting together and making noises of agreement and putting signatures on documents means nothing ; it is the people at the far end of these signatures that matter and they will not be fooled by temporary politicians .

    Ask the Germans if they will share their wealth , ask the Greeks if they will accept personal discipline , ask the French to run their agriculture without outside subsidy , ask the Poles the Slovakians and the Hungarians to have open borders to Muslims ; all these factors exist and mean degrees of independence . A one central size will not fit all .

  11. David Murfin
    March 27, 2017

    The only thing missing from this Utopia is “a union respecting the views of all its people and enabling them to be democratically represented.”
    Perhaps if we go to a federal UK, they should all join?

  12. Mike Stallard
    March 27, 2017

    OK So the EU is a cancer which has to be cut out soon before it kills us. Hence I totally approve of the Article 50 submission in a couple of days’ time.
    What I find really scary – as does the Financial Times – is the fact that you – yes you and the other ultras – are about to ruin our economy.

    I did not vote for total economic ruin.

    Reply I am not doing any such thing. We will continue to trade with the EU and the rest of the world once we have left.

    1. Anonymous
      March 27, 2017

      Of course, Dave Davies won’t be working on such as aviation himself. Lots of people will.

      If Barnier wants 60 billion from us (and it is deemed fair to pay it) then we had better be left in a fit condition to be do so.

      If the world was worried about the Greek and Italian economies tanking then we had better be left in a fit condition.

      If London property collapses then so do large international banks.

      If London property collapses then millions of highly leveraged EU expats living in London become impoverished refugees flooding back to the Continent – not just a simple drift of talent outwards.

      The point is the EU wants to become an undemocratic superstate – the subject of todays posting.

      Yes. It’s a mess.

      What do we do then ? Stay in it ???

      1. Mitchel
        March 28, 2017

        “What do we do then?Stay in it ???”

        No!All bubbles burst …..eventually.

    2. Denis Cooper
      March 27, 2017

      If you agree with the euromaniac FT about this then you are probably wrong!

    3. libertarian
      March 27, 2017

      Dear Mike S

      Why not give me an example. Show me a company currently trading in EU from here that will suffer and explain how that will be, then tell me exactly how many other companies will fall into the same boat thereby “ruining our economy” as you claim. Oh and as a start point please bare in mind that 88% of our companies do NO external trade what so ever .

    4. Simon
      March 27, 2017

      John your consistent phraseology that “we will continue to trade etc…. ” rather skates over all the substantive details completely.

    5. Chris
      March 27, 2017

      That is nonsense, MS. Please don’t bandy around the term “ultras” to refer to those who voted to leave the EU, which we understood meant leaving the single market among many other things, regaining our sovereignty and ability to make our own laws, and very importantly to control our borders and to stop uncontrolled mass immigration. We voted for freedom from the EU (nor Europe)and to regain our national identity. There is nothing ultra about that. That is what was repeatedly explained to us during the campaign.

      The fact that it does not fit in with R North’s view of the world, is not the issue at stake (you comment regularly on that site, I believe). I have seen those who do not agree with him described by him on his website “idiots”, “fools” and much, much worse. Balanced debate on his site is not possible apparently as he seems to be extremely rude to those whom he regards as “fools”. Not the best way to win any arguments. His site now seems to provide all the ammunition for the Remainers to continue their disruption and whinging. I don’t feel it is useful to introduce the Project Fear mantra of “you will ruin our economy” as a wild accusation on this site, and presumably that is why Mr Redwood has given you the response he has.

      1. Chris
        March 28, 2017

        Correction to above post: should read “…We voted for freedom from the EU (NOT from Europe)….

      2. Denis Cooper
        March 28, 2017

        Rather amusing today, about critics of Christopher Booker’s articles:

        “Rarely though do we see any of them on the comments for EUReferendum.com, where they might get more robust handling.”

        Maybe that’s because they quickly get banned for dissent!

        1. Chris
          March 28, 2017


    6. Denis Cooper
      March 27, 2017

      I’ve seen your mentor applying that opprobrious descriptor “ultras” to those like JR who want a proper and enduring solution to the problem of our new relationship with the EU, not some half-baked unsatisfactory but supposedly temporary arrangement which may turn out to be a half-baked unsatisfactory permanent arrangement – not least because most of the obstacles to a proper solution which are being identified now would still be there if we were starting from that proposed interim intermediate position instead of starting from the EU. But I see the term is now also being used by the journalist Dan Hodges, and I wonder how you feel about being in his company?

      The current great panic is about the impossibility of setting up the newly required customs formalities within the available time and with the available resources, which will lead to trucks bringing in imports from the EU being stacked up as far back as Brussels – see what I did there? – and today I read:

      “Come what may, we will be seeing the re-imposition of customs controls. What is absolutely staggering is the almost wilful refusal to confront this, the inevitable consequence of adopting anything other than continued EEA participation (and even that would present problems).”

      Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it would indeed present problems, in fact it seems exactly the same problems as without continued EEA participation:


      “The EEA Agreement provides for a free trade area covering all the EEA States. However, the EEA Agreement does not extend the EU Customs Union to the EEA EFTA States. The aim of both the free trade area and the EU Customs Union is to abolish tariffs on trade between the parties. However, whereas in the EU Customs Union, the EU Member States have abolished customs borders and procedures between each other, these are still in place in trade between the EEA EFTA States and the EU, as well as in trade between the three EEA EFTA States”

      So once we had left the EU and thereby become a “third country” it would be no help in this regard if we had arranged to join EFTA and stay in the EEA; the EU would still be saying “Now that you have left the EU and become a “third country” it is an “ineluctable consequence” that we must have customs borders and procedures, just as we already have with the other EFTA countries.”

      Unless of course some alternative, sensible, arrangement was agreed.

    7. Roy Grainger
      March 27, 2017

      Citing the FT as a source is hardly convincing given they have always been one of the biggest Remainer newspapers of the lot. They were in the vanguard of the Project Fear campaign, remember that ? Year-long recession and 500,000 job losses immediately following a Leave vote ?

    8. getahead
      March 27, 2017

      It would be a sad thing if the UK economy depended entirely upon the EU. Most UK trade – 51.5 percent in 2015 – is with countries outside the EU and is growing at a faster rated than EU trade.

      1. getahead
        March 27, 2017

        rate. Apologies.

    9. Chris
      March 27, 2017

      That is nonsense, MS. Please don’t bandy around the term “ultras” to refer to those who voted to leave the EU, which we understood meant leaving the single market among many other things, regaining our sovereignty and ability to make our own laws, and very importantly to control our borders and to stop uncontrolled mass immigration. We voted for freedom from the EU (nor Europe)and to regain our national identity. There is nothing ultra about that. That is what was repeatedly explained to us during the campaign.

  13. Know-dice
    March 27, 2017

    When will they publish a “Little Red Book” and have students marching around Berlin and Brussels waving it?

    1. Know-dice
      March 27, 2017

      One has to question the intelligence of the leaders of the Labour party…stop trying to undermine the Prime Minister’s EU negotiations before they have even started…

      Labour’s 6 point demands are ridiculous – it’s clear that they don’t want UK citizens to benefit from leaving the EU…

  14. Prigger
    March 27, 2017

    “Why did so many UK politicians try and pretend this was just a business or commercial arrangement?”
    “pretend” is the operative word.

  15. Graham
    March 27, 2017


    Why is your post (yet again) the first we hear of these things?

    No doubt the MSM has made the decision for the population that they would not be capable of understanding its implication and so should be ignored.

    Shameful deliberate ignorance

    1. Tom William
      March 27, 2017

      A very good question. As far as the BBC is concerned we do not need to guess.

    2. hefner
      March 27, 2017

      If you had wanted, it had been posted and made available on the web “The Rome Declaration” on 25 March 2017 at 11:40. So anybody a bit curious could have read it by the evening, which, I guess, is what JR might have done.
      As they say “Curiosity killed the cat”, but lack of curiosity makes people uninformed.

      1. hefner
        March 27, 2017

        By searching for it for one minute, I have found eight web sites presenting the Rome declaration all from 25/03/2017. So could it be that ignorance simply is lack of curiosity or more often laziness?

      2. hefner
        March 27, 2017

        And finally (to let the steam fully off), if after Brexit, the UK is to depend on people like you, I do not give much of its prospects.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          March 27, 2017

          Dear Hefner–Bilge as so often–How and why would one be looking for a Rome Declaration if one had no idea (and couldn’t care less anyway) that such a mighty Declaration had been made?

          1. Mitchel
            March 28, 2017

            Precisely.A large-and I would suggest growing-part of the population has been conditioned to be spoon fed by the mass media.


  16. Chris
    March 27, 2017

    Mr Redwood, you write:
    “The declaration points to the EU having much more influence in world affairs without explaining how it will build up its military forces to back up its wish to intervene and its pursuit of influence in the Middle East and elsewhere”.

    The EU has apparently made clear how it will build up its military forces in one way: it has made demands for money into the coffers for the EU army, which our government signed up to not that many weeks ago apparently:
    ‘It makes no sense’ Falklands hero blasts Britain for AGREEING to EU military integration

    THE retired general who led British efforts to regain the Falklands has condemned the Government for signing up to EU military integration even as we prepare to end Brussels rule in this country……”

    See also:
    EU Army set to be agreed TODAY – and BRITAIN will foot the £420m-a-year bill

    How much of this reported information is true?

  17. DaveM
    March 27, 2017

    If any of them read their history they would know that rules and regulations don’t make a country – language, culture and ethnicity do. OK, so they are doing their damnedest to destroy the ethnicity and culture, but another irony is that the only “common” language they really have is English!

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    March 27, 2017

    The strategy was always to disguise the real purpose from the public as they wouldn’t welcome it but after many years they would realise it was about creating a single country by which time it was thought it would be too late for it to be changed. Democracy is anathema to the EU and to those in UK who are still trying to keep us enslaved by it.

    1. Ed Mahony
      March 27, 2017

      I disagree with the EU’s plans for further integration, but i don’t think everyone who supports the EU wants this, and so i suspect there will be many debates about this in the future (but without the UK being a powerful influence in making the EU more practical and less Utopian).

      In the meantime, we have to think ahead to 20 or 30 years time, when the UK will be even smaller fry in the world stage, when the likes of China and India will be big players on the world stage along with the USA. I think we can do really well outside the EU, but we still need to be very careful. There are going to be big, big challenges ahead as a small player in a big, global world.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        March 27, 2017

        Dear Ed–As ever, Canada, smaller than us both absolutely and relative to the USA, no less, gets by

        1. Ed Mahony
          March 27, 2017


          I said, ‘ I think we can do really well outside the EU’! but ‘we still need to be very careful.’


    2. nigel seymour
      March 27, 2017

      Agree totally. Alas, the fight to remain in the EU hasn’t even started yet and there are 27 members and 48% of UK remainers that will do their best to scupper brexit.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 28, 2017

        I see the Remoaner claim “We are the 48%” but it simply isn’t true.

        For a start about half of those who voted Remain now agree with the Leave voters that the decision has been made and government should get on and implement it.

        Then of those who are still opposed to the UK leaving the EU, despite that being the majority decision on those who voted in the referendum on a high turnout, only a small proportion are intent on active opposition.

        Maybe it’s more than the 3% who typically tell opinion pollsters that they want a European federation, but it certainly is not 48%.

  19. margaret
    March 27, 2017

    What is striking is that it takes a series of terrorist attacks and a vision beyond the imaginative to actually acknowledge that the borders are taking away this potential European Union gelled society into a position which is actually fragmenting power.
    A common defence policy and army protects in the bigger picture , but getting to that stage where it is necessary is the flaw. Numbers of people who flee from their own cruelly managed Countries will develop and not live by European law, they will live as they did in their native Countries. We found this out a couple of decades ago and Prince Charles was the protagonist to ask people for their allegiance to GB .

  20. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017

    This isn’t the only thing that Newmania is wrong on. (The intent behind the EU project)

    He also repeatedly states that racists against migration voted for Brexit. In that case he’ll have to accept that A poll published last week by the National Centre for Social Research found that not only did 86 per cent of Leave voters think that ‘prospective EU migrants should have to go through the same hoops as non-EU migrants’, but 54 per cent of Remain voters agreed with this proposition, too.

    The police estimate a paltry 25, 000 turnout at this weekend’s Remainer’s march (fox hunting got 16x that number !) bear in mind that this was in the Remain capital of London where there should have been marchers on tap, in sunny weather enjoying a right jolly.

    The figure *actively* opposed to Brexit is much closer to the 8% I estimate from Parliamentary voting activity since. The vast majority respect the referendum result and want it carried out.

    A) Most Remainers are decent, fair minded people.

    B) Most Remainers see that subverting a democratic result is a greater evil than leaving the EU

    And most of all…

    C) No one is passionate about the EU, it’s bland flag and anthem as they are passionate for their own country. It’s a complete bore off.

  21. Pat
    March 27, 2017

    The declaration is pie in the sky. The aims are unachievable. Good job we have opted to leave with time to make an orderly departure. Others will be less lucky.

  22. ChrisS
    March 27, 2017

    The desire of the Europhiles for a headlong rush to further integration will come as no surprise to anyone regularly posting here but the same old problem remains :

    The Euro-fanatics want to give more powers to the Brussels institutions that will restrict the freedom of Member States to govern themselves way beyond what Eurozone voters are prepared to accept.

    We are not just talking here of those financial controls that are essential to make the Euro work, like centrally set budgets and North-South fiscal transfers, but far more fundamental changes that will essentially end the concept of the nation state as citizens know it.

    Yet at the same time, countries like Poland, which won’t sign up to these measures, are virulently objecting to a two speed Europe that could allow those seemingly prepared to move further and faster to do so !

    This all seems irreconcilable, even more so when you delve into social attitudes of voters in those countries whose current leaders seem most committed to deeper integration – like France and Germany.

    I have said here many times over recent years that there is no appetite among the French for their tax, spending and industrial rules to be set in Brussels or, more realistically, Berlin. In a similar way, if asked, German taxpayers are never going to agree to the monumental fiscal transfers needed from Northern (i.e. German ) taxpayers, to the people of the Club Med States like Italy and Greece who they regard as lazy, feckless and entirely responsible for their own problems.

    Yet these are the two measured deemed by the markets as essential to give the Euro any chance of succeeding.

    That is the fundamental dichotomy at the heart of the EU and the reason why it’s ultimately doomed to fail.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 28, 2017

      Well, the suggested answer for Poland is here:


      “This makes non-eurozone members nervous about losing influence, losing funds and eventually losing the ability to join the elite currency club.

      Eurozone countries might start to argue that it is time for the others to join the currency, since – with the exception of Denmark, as well as the UK – all EU countries are obliged to do so.”

  23. acorn
    March 27, 2017

    The UK, particularly England, has never fitted into the EU vision. Probably because the UK has never been occupied by a foreign army in the last century or so; and, has never become a modern style republic.

    Brexit, may well be the event that kicks the EU up a gear and on to becoming the United States of Europe, with a proper federal structure like the USA or Germany. It will have to, if it continues to use a single currency without a federal Treasury fiscal (tax and spending) structure.

    For me, the interesting bit will be if it continues to be a union of 27 states; or a union of circa 86 regions. It is accepted that 70% of EU legislation impacts at regional level by way of “subsidiarity”. An EU concept that can’t be applied in the UK due to it having the most centralised system of government of any member state in the EU.

    1. acorn
      March 27, 2017

      At least we now know who to go looking for when Brexit goes tits up for the little people. The Julian Knight MP Seventy Seven.

  24. Denis Cooper
    March 27, 2017

    In his speech Tusk spoke about a “sovereign” EU.

    As far as objectors in the UK were concerned that was the paramount reason for rejecting the proposed EU Constitution, that it attempted to convert what was still an international organisation of sovereign states into a single federal European state which could claim sovereignty over its component states. Article I-6 here:


    “The Constitution and law adopted by the institutions of the Union in exercising competences conferred on it shall have primacy over the law of the Member States.”

    Only a very small minority of UK citizens want that, according to various opinion polls it is in the region of about 3% who want a single European government. As the editorial in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph said:

    “Yesterday in Rome the EU celebrated its 60th anniversary, and it behoves a friend and neighbour to say “happy birthday”. But there are good reasons why the UK voted for Brexit, reasons that became apparent during the ceremonies. Donald Tusk said: “Only a united Europe can be a sovereign Europe.” Britain wants no part of a sovereign Europe, so we are right to leave the EU.”

    Of course even if it’s only 3% of UK voters that still comes to 1.4 million persons – despite what I feel about them I will stick with the neutral term “persons” – and some of them are in positions of power or influence, so they can still make a lot of noise both in the media and on the streets.

  25. Oliver
    March 27, 2017

    Sounds as if Heseltine was right, it’ll be a German dominated “Continental Socialism”. Ironcially the only people who can stop it will be the French, and they’ve never done a very good job in the past without our help.

    1. Ed Mahony
      March 27, 2017

      Sounds as if Heseltine was right, it’ll be a German dominated “Continental Socialism”

      – It’s a myth to say it’s socialism. Maastricht was mainly set up by Kohl who is no socialist but centre right Conservative. And the centre right Conservatives dominate the EU parliament – German and French politicians like Heseltine and Clarke.

      President George Bush Sr said Kohl was the best European politician of the last 50 years. Whether you agree with him or not, you can’t label Kohl and those who follow after him, socialists.

      Yes, to Brexit. But no to exaggerations about the EU. It will do us no favours in the future when we will need to work closely with them, albeit outside the EU.

      1. Mitchel
        March 28, 2017

        Any organisation which seeks to rip up the past,impose secularism(for better or worse),redefine the family,etc is hardly “conservative”.The EU shares many of the ideals of early bolshevism.

  26. Ed Mahony
    March 27, 2017

    Not forgetting the global world we live in (part of me wishes we didn’t but that’s the reality) with big blocks like China, India, and of course, the USA. Many see us stronger together, including standing up to Russia, working together against mass migration from the Middle East and Africa, terrorism, and working together in big commercial projects such aviation and space travel that we can’t do alone as independent countries.

    I see the great benefits of the MICRO (being a small, independent country, and have not doubt we can do well outside the EU, but there are also problems as well (and we have to face up to them), just as there are great benefits of the MACRO as well (e.g. being part of the EU) as well as there being problems with this as well (which the EU has to face up to). It’s not black and white.

  27. English Pensioner
    March 27, 2017

    Even the United Stated of America are no where near as integrated as the EU’s aim. Most individual States have far more freedom that from Washington that the sovereign countries of the EU have from Brussels. When you talk to Americans, you find that they are often far more interested in what is happening in the State Legislature than in Washington and certainly the laws vary considerably from State to State. Any one who has driven there will know that the rules vary widely from State to State, about the only common thing between many States is that they drive on the right!
    If the EU had been built more like the USA, only having common laws and policies for major issues and leaving the rest to individual countries, it might have succeeded, but no, it wanted to get involved in every last trivial detail!

  28. John B
    March 27, 2017

    “… and our free choice….Our Union is undivided and indivisible.” “We will make the European Union stronger …”

    Who is the “we” who will “make”?

    Where is the “free choice” when the controlling “we” are making it and imposing it on “us”?

    Can someone explain how this not a rerun of the plans for Europe circa the late 1930s by he whose name we may not invoke, or for that matter the Emperor Napoleon, or, name a Caesar?

    Strange World; strange madness.

  29. Ed Mahony
    March 27, 2017

    Btw, the EU wouldn’t be calling for closer EU integration if we were still in it!
    1) They would have had to make promises to us, bound by law
    2) We’d be there imposing our will on the EU to ensure the law was implemented. And offering a more practical way of running the EU.
    But with us out, they’re now free to do this HOWEVER its not a done deal yet as many in the EU will be opposing closer integration.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 28, 2017

      The UK being in there before did very little to stop or slow the process of integration, and it is worth reflecting why that was the case. I will just say that in general those calling for a referendum on our withdrawal agreement never wanted a referendum on any of the integrating treaties which had been negotiated by the government and then approved by a Parliament which was not allowed to modify as much as a comma of what the government had agreed even it wanted to do that.

  30. Martin
    March 27, 2017

    Having campaigned to remove the UK from any power or influence within the EU you cannot complain if the other 27 decide the direction of travel. No UK veto or Qualified Majority Voting anymore.

    Our voice will count the same as Morocco, Egypt and other nearby countries.

  31. Andy Marlot
    March 27, 2017

    I’ve traveled across Europe since the 1970s and I used to love it. France was the best of all in the early years. By far the most pleasant with southern Italy a strong second. Relaxed, free, uncomplicated. Since then they have sunk lower every year I’ve gone. The autoroutes are more expensive and ordinary roads ruined by the same rubbish we are saddled with (speed cameras, roundabouts, traffic lights), culture wrecked by rules and immigration, prices rising constantly, excessive taxation. All these things have come to the point that I just don’t even want to visit Europe any more. The EU has contributed to the problems to a very large extent. They along with the bureaucrats in each country have enthusiastically killed off the spirit of France and Italy and all the other places. If they are allowed to they will turn the whole continent into a third world hell hole that nobody wants to go to. Le Pen is the only hope to halt the slide into disaster. I hope she succeeds or we will need a lot of border controls to stop all the European, let alone African, immigrants.

  32. Antisthenes
    March 27, 2017

    The idea of an European superstate is nothing new Napoleon and others since have endeavoured to build one. The only difference this time it is being done without bloody conflict However the same anti-democratic means are still being employed albeit in a more subtle way. Previous ones came to grief and it inflicted untold suffering. Just because this time no armaments are being employed it does not mean that the vision is any more acceptable. Democracy and liberty are just as precious now as it was then and a pan European superstate will not provide much of that.

    Brussels are showing considerable confidence by announcing their true intentions which hitherto were known but not declared. Obviously gained from an implacable belief in their omniscience and unchallengeable superiority of intellect and visionary ideas. It could of course be no more than arrogance and just delusions of grandeur. To my mind it is just that and they may find that they have set in motion the means for them to be hoisted on their own petard. It certainly gives ammunition for Brexit negotiations as now it can be pointed out that the choice is the single market and subservience to a superstate or independence.

  33. James Neill
    March 27, 2017

    Now that the UK is about to leave the EU it makes perfect sense to me that the remaining European nations would want to consolidate their economies into a multi-speed effort with enhanced defensive capabilities. When we think about it the remaining European countries can hardly rely on the USA any more, even within NATO, so that is why they are planning ahead against Russian hegemony and belated Turkish aggression. But in any case none of this will matter to us here in Britain as we will be well out of it.

    1. Charles Crofton
      March 28, 2017

      The Russians and Turks are not the aggressors.. It’s the Empire building European Union which creates these problems. The US and NATO has been the only guarantee of peace. Britain and the US are going to have to keep the EU in check.

      1. Chris
        March 28, 2017

        Agree wholeheartedly, CC. Meanwhile, the EU continues to pursue its policy of drawing more countries in eastern Europe into its web.

  34. Denis Cooper
    March 27, 2017


    “‘Now or never’ for Europe, French think tank warns”

    “In a 77-page report entitled “The Europe We Need”, the Institut Montaigne, an independent institute with links to French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon, called for a “multi-speed” Europe in which the euro zone presses ahead with its own budget and even a prime minister.”

    “Above all it stresses the importance of the euro zone and smaller groups of countries pressing ahead with closer integration, a similar message to the one sent on Saturday at a summit of 27 EU leaders to mark the 60th anniversary of the bloc’s founding Rome Treaty.

    The report calls for an “executive” for the currency bloc in the form of a prime minister or finance minister, who would be answerable to a euro zone subsection of the European Parliament.”

    If some of those now whining about Brexit had had their way at the time we would have been condemned to be part of that. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to leave the EU now if we had not retained our own national currency. But notwithstanding our own lucky escape against their traitorous desire they have still wickedly condemned all of the other EU member states present and future, except for Denmark, to become part of it under their EU treaty obligations.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 27, 2017

      And here is one of them, and I don’t mean Nigel Farage:


      “‘Believe me, Brexit can be stopped’: Watch Nigel Farage and Alastair Campbell have heated bust-up over Article 50”

      However to be realistic it is only small minorities who feel sufficiently strongly about the EU to have that kind of heated bust-up over it. For many people the judgment whether to vote one way or the other was quite finely balanced, and most of those on the losing side of the vote have since accepted the result. It is only the small minority of irreconcilables who are passionately committed to the EU who are behaving with the same kind of disloyalty to the country as those subversive trade union leaders in the 1970’s who covertly supported the USSR.

  35. Javelin
    March 27, 2017

    It’s like pushing hydrogen atoms together.

  36. Lawrence Hartley
    March 27, 2017

    Unless Germany realises that, in return for the vast benefits to them of a weaker currency, they have to pay more to give equality of Economy to the poorer southern and eastern EU countries, there will never ever be a settled and happy EU population.

    Now that a major net contributor is leaving the Germans have to either contribute more, or the problems of EU inequality will never end.

    The EU puts Politics before People, they have to turn this round or fail !

  37. Jason wells
    March 27, 2017

    Theresa may keeps talking about getting the best deal possible for the UK but i don’t see much evidence of it yet..so what does it matter to us now what the EU does or does not do..as we are well out of it.. so now we have to start looking to our own future and where we are going to get new trade deals because with the present dtand being taken by the UK i fear we are heading for the well talked about ‘crash out’. Therefore If the EU wants to start a EU army or expand their numbers i to a multi-speed EU then that is their business and nothing to do with us so there is no point in discussing it any more.

    Whats more of concrn to me is whats happening in scotland and also northern ireland….are we about to see the start of the breakup of the UK itself?

  38. Brexiteer
    March 27, 2017

    A BBC Question Time Special on Brexit is on BBC One tonight at 8.30pm. It lasts two hours.

    As all the information, true and false, and all votes on Brexit in and outside Parliament have occurred then you have to conclude the only topic of the programme is why Mrs. May STILL has not triggered Article 50 though the original vote was on 23rd June last year.

    1. Brexiteer
      March 27, 2017

      Watched it. Same questions, same answers. Same reluctance by Remoaners to accept democracy. All trying to find the most polished route to block, create obstacles, delay with a contrived reversal of the original Leave vote.Oh and of course that people who voted Leave did not know what they were doing but people who voted Remain somehow did.
      We have two years of this. Best bring sandwiches and a flask!

  39. Atlas
    March 27, 2017

    Well, since the EU is based closely upon Plato’s “Republic”, we should not be surprised to read in the history books what happened to ancient Greece at the hands of the Romans. That is, the practical types triumphed over the “head in the cloud” types.

  40. Peter Davies
    March 27, 2017

    Why is all this a surprise to anyone? This is in-line with the strategy stated by other founder Jean monet is it not?

  41. Freeborn John
    March 27, 2017

    I still think it likely Theresa May will agree to a bad deal. The huge rise in the recent budget for foreign aid indicates it will be used to pay (in disguise) ongoing contributions to the EU budget. There is no indication that the government will not pay the £50bn exit fee being demanded by Barnier or will walk out of talks that that EU want to narrowly focus on a one-sided agenda of the exit fee, the rights of EU citizens to work freely in the UK and Northern Ireland.

    May has been able to disguise her willingness to agree to a bad deal under a cloak of secrecy, but that will not be possible after Article 50. If she agrees to Barnier’s separation of exit fee discussions from future trade deal she will be throwing £50bn of taxpayer money away only to find the EU will not offer a comprehensive trade deal later anyway. Better to let German car exporters and French agriculture pay tariffs for a few years in order for them to learn the value to them of. A trade deal.

  42. forthurst
    March 27, 2017

    “National Grid is gearing up for summer with the start of a scheme which pays companies to use more electricity when wind and solar power surges past demand.” DT

    So in the winter, organisations are told to stop using electricity when they otherwise would, either by using their own using smelly diesel backup generators or by simply sending the workforce home, whereas in summer those same organisations are told to use more electricity from the grid than they actually require because the savetheplanet apparatus produces electricity when it wants rather than when there is consumer demand.

    We know that the global Warming Hoax is a globalist scam because it only apples to Western countries. People who fall for this scam are congenital idiots or globalist stooges and should never be handed to the levers of power.

  43. Paul w
    March 27, 2017

    This brexit is starting to look like a runaway train..nobody knows how, when ot where it is going to stop…so all talk about what the EU is up to hardly matters.

  44. Tony Sharp
    March 27, 2017

    Well – the ‘genaral principles’ of Europeanism are just Humbug! What this Rome declaration reminds me of is an earlier incident, given the background reaction to its centralisation against rational economic, ‘Nero – Fiddling Whilst Rome Burns’.

  45. Doug Powell
    March 27, 2017

    Basically no surprises in the Updated Rome Declaration:

    No Department for Democracy;

    No Department for Accountability;

    No Department for learning to Sign off Accounts.

    Perhaps the only surprise is that Juncker resisted the temptation to create a ‘Juncker Youth Movement’ to act as a feeder pool to provide the personnel to create and maintain all the strong, strong, strong new departments the Union seeks to establish.

  46. Anna
    March 27, 2017

    Monnet and others who dreamed up the idea of a European State deliberately concealed the plan under the guise of economic co-operation and trade. The idea might have been noble: the prevention of future wars in Europe, but the concept was flawed. Peace is not created by forced uniformity and the obliteration of the nation state. Strong democracies, each with its own political traditions and structures, are the best guarantee of peace. I think there is not a single example of two stable, fully-functioning democracies going to war. Democracies solve disputes by negotiation.

    The EU is seeking to erode democratic nation states by create an empire with vassal territories, some with greater clout than others. It is a recipe for disaster. In the latest pronouncement there is not a hint of self-questioning, of considering the possibility that mistakes have been made or the wrong paths followed, despite the loss of a major member and confusion and disarray among the remaining members.

    There is much that I admire in European culture and still want to be part of. What I distrust is European politics which tends to generate extremism that has little place in pragmatic Britain. Communism came from Europe, Fascism came from Europe, virulent anti-Semitism came from Europe and still flourishes in some parts of the EU. Over the centuries, far more Europeans have fled to Britain than Britons have fled to Europe to escape persecution for their political views. We don’t yet have refugees from the EU; but Mr Juncker’s threats that Britain must be punished ‘to deter others from leaving’ has an ominous ring. ‘Oderint dum metuant’ ‘Let them hate so long as they fear’ – the motto of Caligula and tyrants through the ages.

  47. rick hamilton
    March 27, 2017

    The words Ever Closer Union are right there in Para 2 of the Preamble to the Treaty of Rome. To claim that it doesn’t mean what it says is somewhere between dishonest and ignorant. Yet that is what governments have been telling us for 40 years. The whole thing is a massive fraud designed to stop the will of the people being enacted, with a structure similar to the USSR.

    They said it was nationalism that caused the wars but in fact it was, as always, power mad politicians turning into dictators. Erdogan seems to be going down that route now. We are well out of it, and if there is a cost to getting out it is surely going to be less than the long-term cost of being sucked further in.

  48. Alan Hill
    March 27, 2017

    Trading away your national sovereignty with no guarantees is a fool’s game.

  49. John
    March 27, 2017

    About a year ago the EU seemed to drop its attempt to deny it was a project to create a single country and started to extol the virtues of that dream.

    Of course no apology for lying all those decades.

    And no doubt all these absolutists saying it will be Armageddon will no doubt not apologise when they are proved wrong.

    We have had a recent re run of the Star Wars movies on TV, I chuckled when Obi Wan said that line “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”

  50. rose
    March 27, 2017

    Yes, it is indeed shocking that the remainiacs never read the treaties, reports, and directives. And still they maintain they are the clever, morally superior ones.

  51. Original Richard
    March 27, 2017

    “As the [EU] Declaration says, “We have built a unique Union with common institutions and strong values….Unity is b0th a necessity and our free choice….Our Union is undivided and indivisible.” “We will make the European Union stronger and more resilient through ever greater unity and solidarity amongst us and the respect of common rules””

    As the EU expands to include include Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, the Ukraine and quite probably Turkey through a “visa only” backdoor, the EU will suffer financially and socially through asymmetric mass migration from the recipient states to the donor states.

    To make matters worse, all the EU states will be forced to take quotas of ME and African migrants that Mrs. Merkel has unilaterally invited to come to Europe.

    Remainers are still arguing that Brexit is a leap into the dark and that trade with the EU will fall over a cliff edge once we leave.

    But the far greater unknown and risk will be remaining in this unstable, undemocratic, dysfunctional union with its insatiable desire to expand to include ever more countries and people, even those with quite different cultures.

  52. Tad Davison
    March 27, 2017

    I agree John, but be careful, there are those amongst us who would accuse us of being conspiracy theorists. Indeed that was the case for many years. I had direct personal face-to-face assurances from some of the most senior Europhiles in the land that what the EU now states as their intention, was NEVER going to happen.

    And then they have the gall to call us Brexiteers liars.

    Boy will I be greatly relieved when we are out of the place altogether.

    Tad Davison


  53. Tabulazero
    March 27, 2017

    I am always surprised by this take on the EU from British Politicians.

    There is hardly anything new in this declaration. It as if John Redwood suddenly discovered that the EU is a political project first and foremost, which begs the question:

    What part of “European” and “Union” didn’t you get, sir ?

    hint: there is even a flag which might strike a little bit as unnecessary if the whole thing was just a free trade block don’t you think ?

  54. Doug Powell
    March 27, 2017

    So the EU is 60 years old! Rejoice! Rejoice!

    Rejoice that the EU is ONLY 60 years old!

    This institution is hell bent on creating a super state. The fallout from this megalomania is to wipe out national and regional characteristics and cultures, even religions, as regulations, political correctness and sheer bloodymindedness are used in the relentless push to steamroller all that stands in the way of Centralisation, Standardisation, Conformity and Uniformity of thought.

    The targeted victim of this crusade is, of couse, the individual, because his very being threatens the existence of the super state.

    Now we come to the reason for rejoicing that the EU has existed for only 60 years. If the EU and its assault on the individual had existed for longer, how many of the genius minds of Europe would have been snuffed out before coming to fruition? Would the genius of Mozart, Beethoven, Rembrant, da Vinci, Goethe, Cervantes, Copernicus, Madame Curie, Pasteur, Koch, Puccini, Plato, Aristotle, Gregor Mendel, Picasso – to name only a few, – would they have been crushed by the drive for to Conform and never risen above the demanded mediocrity of EU governance to inspire world civilisation? How much stimulation of the intellect, education, enjoyment, appreciation of beauty would have never seen the light of day?

    And if the UK had been a member of this insidious club, would Shakespeare, Newton, Darwin, Fleming, Stephenson, Brunell, Dickens, The Beatles, Wellington – to name only a few, also risen above the EU conformity to inspire world civilisation?

  55. a-tracy
    March 29, 2017

    John, if we are to guarantee the full rights to all our benefits such as tax credits, child benefits plus the NHS, School places, for 3 million EU citizens are we only asking for reciprocal rights for 1 million or the equivalent 3 million?

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