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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A reflection on the French and Dutch No votes

Just heard that the Dutch have voted by an even larger margin than the French to reject the Constitutional Treaty. For the EU this means we are now in utterly uncharted waters. The next few days, weeks, and months promise to me very interesting. History is happening here - it is happening around us all the time if we but have the eyes to see it occur.

However, what has struck me about listening to some of the reporting on the French and Dutch votes and comparing those "No" votes to the Euroskepticism here in the UK is that, past all the detailed grievances with Europe, there runs a common theme. People want to be able to run their own affairs without Brussels sticking its nose in.

Now, the French opponents in particular dislike the EU for pretty much the opposite reasons many British opponents dislike the EU, but as I say, that is just detail. What it comes down to is that we each want to be able to determine the way our country goes on our own, with minimal interference from a bunch of corrupt kleptokratic Eurocrats most of whom probably wouldn't recognise a day of honest work if it hit them in the head.

Also, these two votes should serve as a clarion to the "European political class" that they are massively out of step with the people that they are supposed to be representing. This is nothing new. Just as in the Danish and Swedish campaigns against the Euro the French and Dutch 'No' campaigns were run by a bunch of rebels and misfits that were opposed by most of the media-political landscape of their respective countries. With all the odds stacked against them, the 'Nos' had it. Democracy is a precious thing, and it must be maintained, and the French and Dutch voters have done some sterling work for all of us who live in the EU.

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