Many of those lauding the European Union do still manage to find fault with it. This can be from its treatment of Greece, to the crony corporatism that flourishes within its protection. Yet these profoundly detrimental attributes will be ignored by those who want to remain; instead, they will focus on heaping praise onto how important the EU is in that it unites us, promotes peace, and prevents a possible war.
Yet to see through this grave misconception, consider the concept of the European Union for a minute. The name itself speaks volumes: ‘European Union’. When broken down, it’s essentially a body that encloses the European nations together, forces them to integrate, and unites the people within it.
Clearly yes, it does unite Europe. But what of the rest of the world?
Think about the situation with Russia. The EU has recently announced that it will place further sanctions on Russia, due to the ongoing disputes over Ukraine and Crimea. Does this not seem provocative towards Russia, and that it could reignite hostilities between the West and the East? After all, Europe was peacefully united after World War Two, and long before the European Union was founded in 1993. Yet one feud that hasn’t been completely patched over is Russia. While David Cameron made a ridiculous claim that brexit could trigger World War Three, the EU’s actions could further divide us from an entity which is actually the biggest threat for a new global conflict. The incessant talk of a ‘European army’ does not make this situation any more comforting either.
Trade is a big factor too. The European Union does allow free trade within Europe, but excludes those outside of Europe from this beneficial deal. For instance, nations like China will be hit hard with tariffs. This means that France has more access to trading with Britain than China does. Does this sound like equal unity between nations, or an agreement that favours only European nations over others?
And yes, the European Union does allow freedom of movement for those within the bloc. But what of outsiders? Obviously free movement only applies to European nations. Many refugees are shifted back to Turkey, in an exchange to keep many out. Yet this is something that the EU couldn’t even provide fully within its own borders; Greece were threatened with the Schengen (free movement) Zone after they allegedly ‘failed’ to control the flow of refugees from their own borders. Not a nice way to treat Greece after their financial woes. Clearly the EU doesn’t even fully respect those it pledges to unite together. Not only that, this borderless utopia that many progressive Bremainers advocate only applies within Europe, over others.
So it should be evident that while the EU unites peace within Europe, it is just Europe alone. Those who scorn Brexiteers for being ‘little-Englanders’ or ‘nationalists’ are clearly oblivious to the fact that they themselves are ‘little Europeans’, and supporting something that promotes a pan-European nationalism i.e. just an extended version of British nationalism. Are they really that much wiser than those who support British sovereignty?
The EU does unite people within Europe, but that’s as far as it goes. Otherwise, the rest of the world is excluded. This is a key flaw in the idea that the European Union promotes nationalism. If anything, it prevents nations within it from opening up to the world, and sharing the same unity with them that it does with its European neighbors.