I offer below a speech similar to the one I made on Thursday night at the Cambridge Union. I spoke spontaneously and was not given enough time to say what I wanted. This recreation captures some of what I said then and adds a bit.
This House should not believe in a United States of Europe
It is good to see that some eight years after we had our great debate about whether to stay in the EU on its journey to ever closer union Cambridge wakes up to what the argument is all about
It would be quite a turn round for Remainers in the UK to believe in a United States of Europe.
They spent the last 50 years telling us the EU had no such plans.
It is just a single market they told us.
We will not lose more sovereignty they said .
Successive federalising Treaties were tidying up exercises. Nothing to see here
It is true I never believed them.
It was always clear to me the aim was a United States of Europe.
I could hear it in the speeches of many on the continent who were more honest about their direction.
I could read it in the Treaties themselves as they set out on their course of ever closer union.
We went from common market to single market
We went from European Economic Community to European Union
We went from the Treaty of Rome to the Treaty of European Union via Maastricht, Lisbon and Amsterdam.
The aim was always to create a United States of Europe
Many wanted to rival or outshine the United States of America
Today I can tell you there is still a gap between plan and reality.
I know both the USA and the EU fairly well.
I have travelled and worked in both.
I can assure you that for all its federalising and centralising
The EU is no United States of Europe in the way the USA is the United States of America.
Let us look at some of the differences
The USA has a powerful President elected by the voters of the whole nation
The EU has five Presidents jostling for authority. Not one of them is elected by a pan European electorate.
If any government in the world wants to talk to the USA, they ring the President in the White House.
Who are they meant to ring if they want to talk to the European Union?
If the USA wishes to meet a foreign country at senior level the President meets the Head of the other state.
If the EU wants to meet they often send a couple of their Presidents who argue over who is senior
The USA backs its foreign policy with the world’s most powerful army, navy and airforce.
The EU’s small forces cluster under the NATO umbrella and rely on US protection
The EU says it promotes peace
So what went wrong with its interventions in the Balkans?
How is it promoting peace in Ukraine?
The EU claims to be democratic
In Poland the new government is busy locking up Ministers from the government of 2007 despite a Presidential pardon
Germany has put the AFD Opposition under surveillance
The EU backed Spain in sending Catalan nationalist politicians to prison
The EU seems happy with stopping critics of its scheme from standing for election
The European Parliament has no organised Opposition saying the EU’s policies are wrong and offering an alternative
The EU says it promotes free trade
Yet it is slow to reach agreements with other countries
And quick to impose protections at home
The EU’s idea of a single market is
Laws telling everyone what they can make and how they can make them
No wonder innovation withers
All they needed was the simple rule that if you sold a product in your home country
Then you could also offer it for sale in any member state
The EU claims to foster a digital revolution
So how come all the world’s main technology companies are in China and the USA?
The EU claims to be good for growth
So how is it that the fifteen largest quoted companies in the world are all American – yes 15
How come the USA has outgrown the EU so much in recent years?
US GDP has now hit $80,000 a head
That almost double the EU’s $41,000
Time to ask who has the better model for growth?
Where the USA gives us great digital innovations and services
The EU taxes and fines US companies for daring to supply what the public and business want
The USA creates an exciting 21st century of opportunity and investment
The EU is stuck in the last century worrying that innovation brings threats
The EU wants many to buy battery cars
Pity they will largely be imported as China corners production of batteries
The EU poses as kind to migrants and asylum seekers
Yet it and its member states have been in recent years busy building more border wall and fence than Donald Trump
The EU promotes trans European networks.
All the time we were in the EU no trans European train turned up at Wokingham station
Whilst HS 2 was ground down by cost overruns and extreme delays
The EU’s energy policy has left it short of energy and facing high bills
Germany’s bad decision to close all her nuclear stations did not help
The worse decision to build pipelines to make themselves dependent on Russian gas followed
The EU has a great idea to put in more solar and wind energy
Such a pity China will supply much of the kit
Meanwhile the EU has not worked out how to store renewable power when plentiful
Or how to use electricity in planes and trucks
The USA under Biden as well as Trump carries on drilling for more oil and gas
So they can send gas to Europe to keep the lights on
The EU’s farming policy became so hostile to producing food
That a Dutch government fell because of it
The EU fishing policy is great at allowing supertrawlers to hoover up far too much fish
Damaging fishing grounds and sea bed
The Euro is the jewel in the federal crown
The chosen means to complete the Union
It has been a currency in search of a country to love it
Now the EU is making progress with the common budget, common taxes and common borrowing a USE needs
The Germans agreed to the Euro on grounds that it would take a tough anti inflation stance
They wanted no return to currency printing and debasement that so damaged Germany 100 years ago
In recent years the ECB did turn to money printing and ended up with high inflation
Germany agreed to monetary union on the basis that all states would need to keep their debts and deficits down.
Those rules are now suspended and most countries are way over the borrowing limits
One of the main constraints on fast progress to complete the United States of Europe is the huge costs it will impose
The EU itself is trying to overcome the cash shortage by its own huge borrowing spree
It aims to add a short trillion euros to EU debts
Which will fall to be guaranteed by the member states
The EU is a long way off commanding the mighty resources of the USA
The Euro is still no match for the dollar
As the EU worries about its defence and security, worries about its long and exposed borders, worries about its cash need, worries about where to find extra tax revenue from highly taxed people the US storms ahead with the digital revolution
I warn you
Do not be a small business in the EU – they will regulate and tax you too much
Do not be an entrepreneur in the EU – they will make innovation difficult and impose high taxes
Do not be a believer in freedom in the EU as they have a law for everything
Do not believe the emerging United States of Europe will outshine the USA
History tells us the attempts at European unions fail
The Holy Roman Empire broke up
The Scandinavian union broke up
The USSR broke up
To say nothing of the forced unions some European countries sought to impose on others that caused so much harm and loss of life
You do want to be the USE
But you are nothing like the USA
Why would anyone believe in this lopsided underfunded over regulated legal structure?
That is no new successful country
It is the comfortable well paid redoubt of an elite that is fast losing it with many voters.