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What Sort of Europe do You want to Live in?

June 13, 2019 11:52 PM
By Tony Clayton


What sort of Europe do we want to live in?
We want to live in Winston Churchill's 'United State of Europe' .
This means sovereign nations - 'those that can, and those who will' - as Churchill put it in 1947 , coming together in a confederation to build a common European family of peoples. Across all the countries which join, people would enjoy:
- the right to move freely between countries, to work, learn live, and build their families
- the ability to trade, make a living and build enterprises across national borders
- shared legal frameworks which make individual people more powerful than governments
- a shared understanding of what it takes to keep nationalism in check and build peace.
Until 2015 we thought we would live at least another 40 years in this Europe, which has:
  • - driven collaboration on science, technology, health and the environment
  • - helped rescue 14 European countries from fascist and communist dictatorships
  • - built the largest economy on the planet, able to take on big multinational companies, and negotiate good trade deals with others
  • - been strongly led by UK principles of competition, legal rights of individuals, and evidence for policy
  • - stood up for environmental safeguards, helping the poorest build sustainable economies, human rights and the rule of law across the world
The UK was a driving force of this Europe - designing the single market, and bringing evidence based policy as principle for government. It also led on aspects of competition and science, and has been the main winner from its position as a gateway to Europe for international investment.
But it was - and still is - the most unequal country in Europe - not because of any EU pressures but because of its own political choices. In in its future relationship with Europe, the UK must learn from France, Germany, and other countries which have been more successful in restraining - and reversing - inequality.