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EU Superstate still on hold

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 29.06.2016

In the wake of last week’s vote, some papers have rowed back on their more garish EU coverage. Others, however, have returned to form – with the Express in particular once again printing scare stories, publishing an article yesterday about an EU “superstate”.

In fact, Brexit means that the UK has lost the right to block the Franco-German plans – though other member countries have not.

The Express begins with a list of horrors – suggesting German and French ministers had delivered an “ultimatum” to “effectively do away with individual member states”. EU countries will, the paper reports, “lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels”. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ll “also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees”.

In general, the proposals will only happen if all others agree – other EU nations are under no obligation to build based on the Franco-German blueprint. Any of the remaining member countries could block an EU army, or tax proposals – though in both areas, the Franco-German suggestions fall far short of the Express description. The EU can’t harmonise criminal law – it can merely set out definitions for the most serious cross-border crimes.

In other areas, the “ultimatum” simply restates existing policy. When a country joins the euro, its central bank is bound to follow the monetary policy set by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt – thereby ceding the national institution’s most important power. The 19 countries in the eurozone have already done so – most of the remaining countries have pledged to in future, though the UK would never have had to do so against its will.

Finally, the EU has already set out reforms on the rules for admitting and relocating refugees – but, again, Britain, even as an EU member, had an opt out.

In short, this Franco-German superstate would only come to pass if remaining EU members want it to. As an EU member, Britain had the right to prevent many of these moves, such as to create an EU army. Far from a reason to celebrate leaving, the proposals show that, through Brexit, we have lost a powerful tool to stop Europe heading in a direction we do not like.

Contacted for comment, the Express Newsdesk said “You’ve got nothing better to do, again?” and hung up.

Edited by Jack Schickler

Tags: , Categories: Articles, Brexit

One Response to “EU Superstate still on hold”

  • You’re making the assumption that the UK Government WOULD block these plans, whereas the government itself has shown to be more than willing to vote along with the majority of proposals put forwards by the EU. In fact THAT was one of the talking points the Remain camp was big on pointing out when faced with the “UK is the most voted against country” argument that was disingenuously put forward by the Leave campaign.

    Of course, don’t let that inconvenient fact get in your way. You only have your pro-EU narrative to punt. Carry on.