Artillery Row

The EU is no friend of ours

The European Union’s increasingly open hostility towards Britain has deep historical roots, says Nigel Jones

It should come as no surprise that leaders of EU nations are suspending their life-saving British-made Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination programmes. For their reaction – based on no scientific evidence whatsoever – comes as the culmination of a long series of openly hostile actions against the country that dared to leave their precious project. Even the lives and health of their own citizens, it seems, count for nothing compared to preserving their increasingly precarious “Union”.

It all began with the war. In 1940 our island nation was the only European country still in arms against Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. All the other current member states of the European Union had either been occupied or were uneasily neutral in the great battle between democracy and dictatorship.

The geographical accident of the English Channel and the existence of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy meant that this country was able to hold out and survive for a vital year until Hitler’s insane invasion of the USSR and Japan’s equally ill-advised attack on the USA six months later drew those giants into the conflict which determined the eventual victory of the Allies over the Axis powers.

The baton of Anglophobia has been passed throughout the EU

The humiliating experience of domination by a genocidal totalitarian regime formed the mindset of the EU’s founding fathers. Acting on the principle that “no good deed goes unpunished”, they not only distrusted the process of democracy that had brought the dictators to power, but were afflicted by a burning resentment of the one country that had stood firm and fought fascism throughout the entirety of the war.

This mindset not only set in stone the undemocratic institutions of the EU – the unelected European Commission, the powerless European Parliament, the immovable Brussels bureaucracy and so on – but has continued to this day. The baton of Anglophobia has been passed from Jean Monnet, Maurice Schumann and Charles de Gaulle (all three of whom owed their rise to power and physical survival during the war to Britain) to such Brit-loathing luminaries as Jacques Delors, Jean-Claude Juncker and, now, Ursula Von der Leyen.

It was William Pitt the Younger (a prime minister who successfully defied an earlier overweening European dictator) who observed that this country would “save Europe by her example”. The example that Britain set during the Second World War has been a standing reproach to those countries that succumbed so easily to dictatorship, since it embodies an alternative to the model that they have foisted on the continent since 1945.

It is clear that there is no tactic too dirty for the EU in their attempts to bring us down

Britain has always had a semi-detached relationship with the European mainland. This is partly due to its position as an offshore island which, at least since the Reformation, has enabled it to develop a civic and political model very different from that of its neighbours. The evolution of parliamentary democracy, global links with other continents fostered by maritime trade, a culture of individual liberty, political and religious toleration, aversion to arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of speech and the press, and resistance to despotism are just a few of the differences distinguishing us from them.

Time and again since the rout of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Britain has stood against attempts by an overzealous European power to subvert such freedoms. Philip II, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler all tried in their turn and failed. It now appears that the EU is following these unhappy examples.

Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, the reactions of the EU’s leaders have passed through the stages of bewilderment, disbelief and anger to undisguised efforts to prevent Britain from reclaiming its place as a sovereign nation, liberated from the creeping controls of “more Europe”. From encouraging and entertaining anti-Brexit UK politicians, through attempting to revive the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and now attempts to sabotage the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination rollout, it is clear that there is no tactic too dirty for the EU in their attempts to bring our country down.

Given the crises convulsing the EU – when did we last hear a good story about it? – it is scarcely surprising that they should try everything they can to deflect attention from their own failures and stop Britain making a success of Brexit. But the question that follows is how should we respond in the face of such unrelenting hostility?

On a very basic level we should stop referring to the EU as “our friends in Brussels” as Boris Johnson did earlier this week (unless he was being ironic). We should deceive ourselves no longer. Real friends do not bend every sinew to frustrate, undermine and damage their neighbours. The harsh truth is that the EU is our enemy: a hostile and dangerous entity that should be treated as such.

The EU must be destroyed for the sake of Europe’s future

British foreign policy should therefore do what it has done for centuries: prevent the domination of the European continent by a single over-mighty power. In the past such a power has been threatened by Spain, France and Germany; today it is represented by the European Union as an institution. We should do all that we can to encourage Eurosceptic nations and parties to have the courage to follow our example and leave this malign project.

At the height of the Punic Wars the conservative Roman soldier and statesman Cato the Elder used to end every speech to the Senate with the phrase “Carthago delenda est” (“Carthage must be destroyed”). Eventually it was. The EU must be destroyed for the sake of Europe’s future.

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