I’ve been asked to publish my speech at the launch of Politeia’s The UK and the EU: what must change? by Bernard Jenkin, Sir William Cash and John Redwood. I did not have a script: this is a close parallel of the main substance of my remarks.
In 2007, a British MP visited the Czech Republic to make a speech on the European Union. He said,
It is the last gasp of an outdated ideology, a philosophy that has no place in our new world of freedom, a world which demands that we fight this bureaucratic over-reach and lead Europe into the hope and potential of a new, post-bureaucratic age.
I agree with David Cameron.
I agreed with David Cameron so strongly that at that time, when I was very upset about the handling of the Lisbon Treaty, I joined the Conservative Party and sought election. So here I am.
I am very grateful to David Cameron for inspiring me so deeply on this issue.
A couple of years before, I had been working for a technology startup. I needed a new logo so I set up a competition on Design Outpost, prepaying with PayPal. It was only towards the end of the process, when I needed a teleconference with the winning designer, that I found he lived and worked in the Yukon.
Yet here we are, ten years later, still going through tedious conversations about completing the single market in services. The world has changed and the European Union has not kept up.
David Cameron was right. The EU is the last gasp of an outdated ideology. It does have no place in our new world of freedom. And, yes, we should lead Europe into the hope and potential of a new post-bureaucratic age.
We must escape the unwarranted mood of misery and self-abasement into which we have slipped on this subject. If we are to have a joyful future, we must remember that human flourishing and virtue begin with individual liberty and that means self-government.
It is time to change the tune on this subject. It is time for us to recover our self-government so we can go forward with joy into a new prosperity.