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A model for European co-operation after Brexit
29 Sep, 2019

or is it?


London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg is never quite sure whether it is that he does not understand the Brexiters' argument - or that they don't. 


Some of the advocates of Brexit assert that they wish to co-operate with our European partners - just not through the EU. 

Great. There are lots of areas for useful co-operation between countries nearby that are similar in values and living standards. Product standards would be one example: after all, it is not as though a desire that your new dishwasher should be electrically safe is some uniquely Hungarian trait not shared by the rest of us; one set of rules makes for cheaper products than 28 slightly different ones. Pollution knows no boundaries so we need common rules if our own air is to be clean. Fish swim in and out of territorial waters as though there were no fences. One would wish to make it easy for people to work and study anywhere, for example by simple residence procedures and reciprocal healthcare arrangements. There could be other measures to foster good understanding between peoples so that we do actually have co-operation not conflict. 

But the leavers do not tell us how this co-operation is to be conducted. Let me make a suggestion.

Diplomats and Ministers from the various countries would meet in some sort of Council to discuss possible measures. They might commission a secretariat to support them and then manage the process including enforcing the agreements. They would wish to have a legal body to resolve disputes. After a while the publics would feel that it needed not just a democracy of governments but also of individual citizens and call for an assembly to hold leaders to account and to approve the rules. One cannot escape the need for branding: a flag, logo, a good tune to reflect the joy of sovereign nations co-operating, a name that reflects how the Europeans are, in all their diversity, uniting to co-operate.

And the point of re-inventing the wheel is?



Articles on the London4Europe blogs page reflect the views of the author not necessarily of London4Europe. The blogs page is edited by Nick Hopkinson, Vice-Chair of London4Europe.