Thatcher’s warning still valid after 32 years

Brussels bureaucrats should have learned from Brexit, but all signs show that they did not, Magyar Hírlap columnist Mariann Őry writes

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mariann Őry

The leaders of the Euroepan Union institutions had four years to draw conclusions from the fact that the majority of United Kingdom residents decided they would have a better life outside the EU. The British, who spoke out in a democratic referendum, came under attack and were treated with contempt by the part of the liberal elites dictating the union. Once again, we have heard — as has been the case several times since — that the will of the people is only desirable if it is “appropriate”, while in all other cases where it is embarrassing to liberals, it suddenly arises that important decisions cannot be left to the people. They don’t know what is good for them! Those who did not insult the electorate began to look for the work of dark forces: surely the Russians intervened, and in general the evil populists twisted the people’s heads and forced them into this or that position. Incidentally, George Soros has spent a fortune on Britain’s Remain campaign and even spent serious sums trying to override the result of the Brexit referendum and demand another referendum.

Towards the end of the year, it does not appear that any of the conclusions reached in Brussels would dissuade them from further centralization. On the contrary. Yet, it really cannot be said that the British did not speak up about the issue for some time. Margaret Thatcher warned as early as 1988 in her high-impact speech in Bruges not to further or deepen integration. She recalled that Europe was not created by the Treaty of Rome, and that the European idea was not owned by any group or institution. It belongs to each member of the European Community and must reflect the traditions and aspirations of each member state. She pointed out that the European community is a manifestation of European identity, but not the only one. The European community is not an institutional instrument that can be constantly modified in the wake of the dictates of some kind of abstract intellectual idea, and it cannot be constrained by infinite regulation. Thatcher rejected the Brussels superstate, finding it extremely damaging to efforts to suppress nation-states and concentrate power. “Europe will be stronger precisely because France is France, Spain is Spain, and Britain is Britain, with its own traditions, customs and identity,” she said. Thirty-two years later, no matter how we judge the effects of Brexit, it’s easy to see why the British have had enough. It is also worth recalling another Brexit here: the British Conservatives, the Tories, left the European People’s Party in 2009. For the umpteenth time, a column published by faction leader Manfred Weber perfectly illustrates what is wrong with the policies of Europe’s dominant center-right party family. Weber condemned Viktor Orbán for “portraying the necessary compromises with the Social Democrats and Liberals as a betrayal of conservative values”. It is high time for Weber to recognize that the liberals do not see the yielding of the European People’s Party as a necessary compromise. They see it for what it is: another bow of a party family that has lost its strength and identity.

European Union leaders have learned nothing from Brexit, and unfortunately the alliance’s sovereign forces have also lost an important ally with the British exit. However, nation states must continue to fight. A strong European Union can only be built on strong nations.


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