*NB: Thatcher was originally a passionate Europhile. She supported the common market and integration into the
*It was not until midway through her tenure in office that she became persuaded that the original goals of the EEC had been supplanted by the goals of the EC: to wit, forming a European superstate that would a) inaugurate government by bureaucracy; b) promote socialism through the back door; c) erode national sovereignty.
*The Bruges speech: It was, as her foreign secretary said to me, "like Martin Luther nailing his theses to the wall." And it was received with about as much enthusiasm by faithful believers in the European project.
*This was the cause of her downfall: Her reluctance to bring
II. Twenty years on: Was Thatcher right?
A: Government by bureaucracy:
*Every year, the European Commission produces more than 11,000 new regulations. According to the Commission’s own findings, these regulations cost European businesses 600 billion Euros per annum. The trade benefits of the single market amount to about €160 billion per annum—in other words, the costs of EU membership now vastly exceed the benefits.
*The acquis communautaire is now 170,000 pages long. Over 100,000 have been produced in the last 10 years.
*77 percent of the total cost of regulation on
*The European constitution: 265 handsome pages, forty times the length of the American Constitution, unreadable, uninspiring, and an absolute tour de force of bureaucratic jargon.
*Thatcher, 2002, In Statecraft: "You only have to wade through a metric measure or two of European prose, culled from its directives, circulars, reports, communiqués or what pass as debates in its ‘parliament,’ and you will quickly understand that Europe is, in truth, synonymous with bureaucracy. It is government by bureaucracy for bureaucracy ... The structures, plans, and programs of the European Union are to be understood as existing simply for their own sake ... It is time for the world to wake up to it; if it is still possible, to stop it ... "
B: Socialism through the back door:
*European countries continue dogmatically to defend the "European social model" against global competition. A group of nine EU member states issued an open declaration in February 2007 calling for "stronger social, environmental, and work protections" to further sap economic growth.
*Continual introduction of anti-competitive, price-controlling legislation in critical industries such as pharmaceuticals has led to huge capital flight.
*Massive resources redistributed to the agricultural sector. The CAP's highly protectionist system of agricultural subsidies (more than 40 percent of the entire EU budget) is the greatest obstacle to free trade in the modern world: It prevents the world's poorest farmers from competing fairly in the marketplace and is a direct cause of starvation.
*cf. Heritage Foundation's 2007 Index of Economic Freedom: "
*Levels of corruption and fraud are staggering. European Court of Auditors has rejected the EU's accounts for 13 straight years.
*French finance minister proposing to equalize tax rates throughout
C: Erosion of national sovereignty:
*The Commission’s rulings are intended to supersede those made by the elected officials of the member states. Although the European parliament is elected directly by the citizens of member countries, the vastly more powerful Commission is not elected at all.
*Drafter of the constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing: "Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly."
*When the constitution was rejected by popular vote, it was replaced by
*When the Irish rejected it at the ballot box, Eurocrats' first response was to try to figure out a way to force it down their throats without a popular vote by reintroducing the constitution as a treaty to be ratified by parliaments, rather than by direct referendum.
III. The popular revolt against
*The single European currency is now suffering from a severe lack of public support. Polls show that people in
*Growing resentment among ordinary Europeans about the tsunami of petty directives issuing from
*Initial response to global financial crisis shows how quickly national interest asserted itself over the European ideal.
*Single currency may well disintegrate as global recession/depression unfolds. Financial markets are already pricing this possibility in. With an ECB headed by someone so incompetent as to hike rates three months ago, national self-preservation instincts are apt to override unity. Countries may begin to reassert their independence.
IV: Conclusion: Almost everything Thatcher warned would come to pass in the