Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Euro-loving sceptics

I have been in and around the European Parliament for quite a while now, and some things, no matter how much I hear them, still annoy me. Mainly the French and their annoyance with the Brits 'ruining' everything for the rest of Europe with their nasty scepticism. "If you don't like it here, why don't you just cut your losses and leave?" Sometimes I am tempted. But it is not the French themselves that annoy me, it is the look of disgust I get when I criticise the EU project.

However, what I really don't understand is why they don't like the sceptics so much. In many ways, I see us free-market Europsceptics as more 'Europhile' than the Euro-loving French. In my opinion the overarching aim of the EU is to provide an internal/common market, with no barriers to the free movement of people, goods or services - great! We need to trust that our neighbours can produce the quality goods and services that we require, and if they don't, then the market will weed them out. I sign up to this part of the EU wholeheartedly. This is what the EU should be all about.

Yet when it comes down to it, the greatest barriers to this were the French and German elites, and still they have the nerve to whinge about the Brits being Eurosceptic and not signing up to the project. If I remember correctly, the British Tories were one of the few componants of the 'centre-right' EPP who actually voted for the undiluted Services Directive (no one followed our lead), whereas the old European States, who are also the most Europhile, watered it down. If the old Member States want to protect their markets, fine - I believe in the competition of ideas as well as the competition of businesses - just don't then complain when we want to protect our sovreignty from the harmonising straightjacket that is the EU.

I apologise for this post/rant, but I recently got into an argument with a very sleazy Frenchman and I felt that I needed to get this off my chest!

The Grapevine

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