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The purpose of the EU
12 Dec, 2018

Peace, not just trade

David Quinn, a retired Senior International Official, builds on the theme of his earlier article "The EU - a union for peace".

At a time when the UK Parliament is being asked to confirm its intention to leave the EU, is it not extraordinary to note that, after 43 years of participation in the construction of Europe, the ultimate purpose of the EU is still not understood by so many in the UK from the Prime Minister downwards, who continue to perceive it almost exclusively in terms of the Single Market ? An institution awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 ?

Is it because the UK, in view of its history and geographical location and in spite of its participation in the suffering of WW2, did not experience the ultimate tragedy, the brutal occupation of the country by a foreign army, that so many in the UK have not seen the necessity for the change in the paradigm of European politics that the EU represents?

Is it not evident, in the new world environment, where globalisation, interdependence and major trading blocs impact so many areas of national life, that the notion of national sovereignty itself has to be looked at in a different light ?

Is it conceivable that when the Meaningful Parliamentary Vote comes  the UK will confirm its intention to absent itself from the permanent EU  conference table and Parliament where political problems, both internal to Europe and those thrust upon us by the outside world, are debated and common policies adopted; and where, above all, the working together on the issues leads to a transformed relationship between the parties involved ?



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