Boris and the Unity of Europe

In some kind of Jungian counter-projection spasm, Boris Johnson is using Project Fear to sell his perceived benefits of Brexit on the basis that the EU wants political unity . At some level his government clearly feels threatened by unity, and so prefers the comfortable tantrum of discord, division and divestment.

The founding fathers of the European Union did not create the common market to tear down barriers to trade but to pursue a political project.

As opposed to the disunity that shaped the European experience of the last century?

Of course the European Union is a political project. It is a project to put aside the petty, destructive nationalisms of the 20th Century and build a sense of commonality and community using education, culture and business to bring people together, to pool our resources and to align our interests. To foment peaceful cooperation and neighbourly partnerships rather than competition. The EU’s very founding as the European Coal and Steel Community was an attempt to unify access to the raw materials of war and to nullify any one member’s advantage or ability to wage war on its neighbours. You can’t get more political than that. We tried competitive disunity across Europe for 2,000 years and it led to a constant cycle of conquest and resentment, bloodshed, violence and poverty.

Despite its obvious democratic deficit the European Union is the only body currently capable of standing up for its citizens and defending the integrity of its internal markets in the face of rapacious international capitalism. The EU governs the behaviour of these bullying trans-national behemoths, generally in the interest maintaining of a productive healthy environment in which to do business. The EU has enforced rules and defended its citizens against the overbearing power of Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Volkswagen, in ways that British politicians (with the admirable exception of Sadiq Khan’s stand against Uber) have singularly failed to govern. Those who flout the rules of the EUs internal market should rightly lose access to the second largest consumer economy on earth.

The EU is undoubtedly a force for unity in Europe and Boris Johnson and the English nationalists with whom he marches are doing a sterling job of promoting that unity to an extent that no one could have ever imagined.

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