Oops! The Brits made a big mistake
The British people made a big mistake - not the week before last when they voted to leave the European Union (EU) but when they signed up in 1973. Originally designed as a common market, the organisation has since been transmogrified into something fundamentally different which threatens the very foundations of liberal democracy.
There are economic risks in the decision to call it quits, and it will take time for the consequences for Europe and for the United Kingdom (UK) to become clear. But the EU is a political project whose objective is the withering away of the nation-state and its replacement by a supranational leviathan headquartered in Brussels.
There is no secret about this vanguard-driven revolution from above by stealth. One of the French founding fathers of the enterprise, Jean Monnet, said back in 1952 that "Europe's nations should be led towards a super-state, without their people understanding what is happening." Since then the supporters of "ever closer union" have usually had their way.
Opposition has sometimes been ignored, sometimes cynically outmanoeuvred. When, in 2005, the Dutch and French rejected the European constitution drawn up by a former French president, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, he boasted that he would "hide and disguise" its provisions in a "new text". So he tweaked it a bit and rebranded it as the Lisbon Treaty in 2007. When the Irish voted against that treaty in a referendum in 2008, they were bullied into changing their minds a year later. The British have now declared "enough".
Various people have pleaded with them to stay in the EU and reform it from within. Over the years they have won concessions here and there, but they have now finally realised that the EU is incapable of fundamental reform. It cannot reform without abandoning its overriding objective of a political union.