Britain and the EU: time for a divorce


David Davis

Norman Tebbitt gets it right here. The only fly in the ointment for libertarians, most of whom would be cool about the idea of the UK leaving the EU right away, is that we still here have our own sadly home-grown gramscoFabiaNazi enemy-class, which habitually gold-plates everything the EU decrees before foisting it upon us.

These people would have to leave office by force, in a “great burning” of their work-premises, records, filing cabinets, pension-entitlements (sorry, Sean, I cannot view them with such equanimity as you sometimes do) hard disks and the like. A rebirth of British let alone English sovereignty and liberty would be still-born while such organisations staffed by such people remain in being.

The thing is worth quoting in full:-

By Norman Tebbit Politics Last updated: January 22nd, 2010

319 Comments Comment on this article

It may well be that Mr Cameron regards any discussion of the EU as “banging on about Europe”, but here in the Telegraph blogosphere – to judge from the over 350 comments on my last blog post – it does seem to be a matter of some interest.

However, I should first say to Gary 4 that I certainly did NOT tell people “to get on their bikes”, I am not, and never have been a “Monday Club politican”, although I see nothing shameful in being one. After all, it is not like being a Fabian. Nor have I ever urged people to vote UKIP.

On the other hand, ZigZag says he cannot understand the logic behind my view on the EU since he thinks that “the English are just a European Nation” and “the EU is simply an institution to which most European nations belong”.

So let me explain. The English are, of course, a European nation, but we are different by virtue of our history from the others. And I suppose that at this stage I should come clean about my own background.

Yes, we are all immigrants, since during the depth of the most recent ice age Britain was not inhabited by man. Even since the land bridge to the mainland was submerged there have been a good number of new arrivals, not least the Scandanavians, Romans, and Normans. My paternal forebears probably arrived here sometime in the 16th century from the continental lowlands. Indeed had they not got on their bikes, so to speak, I might have been born a Belgian. Happily they passed the cricket test with flying colours and integrated into the East Anglian turnip taleban of their time.

They, and most of us who came here until recent times, adopted the history and culture of England and the English. We were much infuenced by the Scandinavian practice of the folk moot, wherein lie some of our democratic ideas and which had a part in the thinking which led to Magna Carta.

It saddens me that in the bastardised ruins of what was once an educational system even children taught the importance of what happened at Runnymede are often told that the barons forced King John to grant rights, such as free speech, freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and the right to a fair trial. No, not quite so. The King was forced to sign a declation that he would not interefere with, nor abridge, those rights which were were the inherent rights of English freemen (and women too, Harriet) according to rank.

Our fellow Europeans may well enjoy similar rights, but they are rights which have their origins in constitutions and laws. The right of a German or Frenchman to free speech is a grant by law – essentially an entitlement rather than a right. Here, it requires a law to set limits upon that right, which in this Kingdom is (I’m sorry Professor Dawkins) the God-given right of an Englishman or woman from birth.

What I discovered during many days (and not a few nights) negotiating and dealing around the table in Brussels was that my colleagues were, with a few wonderful exceptions such as Count Otto von Lamsdorff, not just corporatist by nature, but inclined to the unspoken assumption that man was made for the state rather than that the state was made for man. At its worst, that became an assumption that whilst the citizen must obey the law and his rights were limited by the scope of the law, the state could do whatever was not specifically forbiden to it.

The basic assumptions underlying the two systems of law, English Common law and European law, are such that they cannot exist side by side. While we are members of the EU as it is constructed today, wherever the two clash on a matter within European competence, European law is superior.

Nor is it just a matter of law. Our history has shaped our society to be different. We have suffered no invasion nor conquest since 1066 and no civil wars, revolutions nor military dictators since Cromwell’s time, and we have stopped one attempt after another to create a pan-European state. Philip of Spain, Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin have all been frustrated by the people of these islands. In short, we have form as a destructive force against European political and military union.

Churchill was right. We should wish European union well – so long as it does not seek to cross the Channel. Certainly I have no ill will towards our friends on the mainland, but I think it is time the British dog got out of the federalist manger. I could live happily on the mainland as a foreigner. I believe that we should have a treaty relationship with other European nations covering matters of mutual interest, but that our Parliament should remain fully sovereign.

Divorce is never easy, but it may be better than persisting in an unhappy marriage. The question should not be whether we part, but what sort of relationship would follow.

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8 responses to “Britain and the EU: time for a divorce

  1. chris southern

    You have to respect Norman, he is spot on in his observations. Mind you corruption brings money to those who do not care and just wish power which is why the higherarchies of the big three parties do not give a shite about the people.

    Come on Liz, send your lads and bring a start to the 21st Centuary rennaisonce.

  2. You know, having been raised in the 80’s by communists I’ve only recently come to appreciate Norman Tebbit, having been always led to believe he was a terrible man. His blog is too busy to bother commenting on though.

    As for ‘Liz,’ hasn’t she committed treason by signing all these acts giving sovereignty away to brussels?

  3. chris southern

    As far as i am aware she did not sighn the Lisbon Treaty, it’s only parlimentary statutes that she gives her signature to.

    I could be wrong though (wouldn’t be the first time hahahahaha)

  4. I was thinking of the statutes, although now you mention it i think the head of state is supposed to sign the lisbon treaty, aren’t they?

  5. It is a great pity for Britain that Norman Tebbit was severely reduced as a force in Margaret Thatcher’s government by the IRA bomb at Brighton.
    Britain might have had a more optimistic future if he had been able to do as much for the country subsequently as he did before the blast.
    That was certainly an evil terror attack against freedom.

  6. chris southern

    The problem is is that as the prime monster is her representative (and actualy has more power!) it’s as good as the Queen sighning it.

    If the Queen was to ever withold her consent to a statute then parliment could theoreticly claim that the monarch is abusing her powers and move to abolish the monarchy. It is the reason why the kleptocracy has been able to continue to financilay rape the UK population as well as undermine the monarchy.

    To be honest i would rather have a monarchy as they are easier to remove as well as them being financialy responsible as it is their wealth they spend in general and not the peoples (never thought i would end up thinking that full blown monarchies are better than what we have but party politics and the corperatism that funds them is far more corrupt!)

  7. It would be interesting to see what would happen were the Queen to say “Giving my assent to this statute would violate the oath I swore at my coronation, furthermore I am dissolving parliament and my armed forces will be along to arrest you shortly.”

  8. chris southern

    It would be interesting to see what would happen were the Queen to say “Giving my assent to this statute would violate the oath I swore at my coronation, furthermore I am dissolving parliament and my armed forces will be along to arrest you shortly.”

    You bet it would be interesting :D

    @John B, totaly agree.
    That incident changed a lot of things for the then conservative goverment. At least Norman is giving the current conservative party a good wake up kick (because until they wake up a lot of old conservatives won’t lend them their vote.)