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United States of Europe

July 29th, 1988

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 29th July 1988.

What makes your correspondent Jenny Rees (letter, July 26th) attach such perjorative phrases as “lagging behind”, “insular” and “not come out of it very well” to her fellow countrymen and women simply because they decline to be dragooned into a United States of Europe?  There is nothing “good” about tamely surrendering your nationhood at the behest of Continental Europeans and their allies in this country; the mean and women we honour around November 11th certainly did not give their lives for that outcome.

The debate on our future relations with Continental Europe which you rightly call for, needs to confront one basic fact at the outset.  This is that Continental Europeans of all classes and nationalities, but especially the professional classes who decide matters to a much greater extent than they do in this country, have a reverential semi-mystical view of European culture, an attitude which provides a natural basis for their European loyalty, but which has no echo in this country outside a few unrepresentative political circles.  For this reason the leaders of Continental states which are anyway mainly of recent creation, are determined to install a full-blown European State with its own president, government, laws, flag, army, capital and anthem.

Despite the Prime Minister’s view, there is thus no fudging, middle way for Britain to choose: either we opt for independence from the EEC with the type of relationship enjoyed by our neighbours across the North Sea, Norway and Sweden, or we accept the subordination of our nation and its ancient monarchy to Continental, increasingly Mediterranean, power – reversing in fact decisions achieved by our forebears in 1534, 1588, 1690, 1815, 1918 and 1940.