The Independent Institute


No Surprise: U.S. Urges Britain to Warm to Brussels’ Centralization

According to the London Evening Standard, Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to announce a referendum to be held after the 2015 general election on Britain’s relationship with the EU. Conservatives hope to negotiate a looser membership in which fewer powers are ceded to Brussels, and hold a referendum on the outcome. In other words, Britain is working to have more of a say over its own internal affairs.

What does Washington D.C., have to say about these plans? A BBC news story reports that Philip Gordon, a senior official in the US State Department, wants Cameron to rethink matters and says Britain should remain in the EU. “Referendums have often turned countries inwards,” he added. Translation: Better be careful before you let the people decide anything; they’re not astute enough to know that outsiders are better qualified in running local affairs.

The Brits seem none too happy with Washington’s hectoring. Nile Gardiner, a former Thatcher aide, makes this pithy response:

Fortunately, Barack Obama and his choir of pro-EU officials don’t have a say in deciding Britain’s future in Europe. That will be decided ultimately by the British people, when a referendum is finally held. And if anything, the ignorant and relentless hectoring from Washington will only encourage the resolve of those who are fighting to restore national sovereignty for Britain in Europe. Frankly, British policy on Europe is none of President Obama’s business. The present US administration is not only flat wrong on the EU, but it is also displaying a breathtaking arrogance that will win it few friends across the Atlantic in the second term of the Obama presidency.

Three cheers for British sovereignty and hopes that the British people will have the final say on their relationship with the Eurocrats.

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