The EU a stretch too far

Sir Andrew Large, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England writes in my morning paper about the supposed dangers of the referendum vote to leave the EU. He is plainly upset about it and he’s supporting the idea of some that there’s should be lots more discussion about it followed by another referendum after which, he hopes, we stay in.

There are several points in his article, “Politicians must heal the rifts exposed by the referendum”, which could be commented on but there’s a sentence early on which ‘innocently’ inveigles the reader into an illogicality. After mentioning the motives of those who voted to leave, he writes this: “In a world where progress requires increasingly collective actions, that seems unwise.”

Every thoughtful person would agree with the sentence. We need more and more international treaties and collective actions about issues such pollution, fishing rights, ozone layer, and such like. But note that all of these are single issues — and on which there is usually complete agreement. Andrew Large is implying that we need the EU for this reason even though all sorts of issues, including controversial ones, are bundled up together in Brussels’ directives.

Goodness knows, the complexity of modern life is making ‘ordinary’ nation-state governance difficult enough– the word increasingly used is “broken”.  For a body that is trying to be a super-size nation-state “collective action” is a stretch too far.

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