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.