The EU’s Napoleonic character at root of Brexit
Turmoil of ideas British first repelled in 1815
The real threat to British way of life comes from the European Court of Justice, which enforces the policy codes of the Commission of 28 (and its Brussels bureaucracy).
The Canadian media appears apoplectic. Somehow over 52 per cent of the Brits voted to leave the European Union.
They ignored the advice of the Canadian prime minister, the U.S. president, and, of course, the former British prime minister. Labour voters ignored the strictures of their leader. Tory voters did the same.
The media seem to believe that prosperity follows in the wake of large scale political unions (look at the U.S., for example). They seem to love a laissez faire approach to labour mobility (a.k.a. immigration). Even the elderly are accused of ignoring the benefits of open borders for younger voters to move offshore.
Brexit voters are labelled xenophobic, or racist, or just ignorant and irrational.
In this turmoil of ideas, the fundamental character of the EU is lost. It is not, nor ever has been, a customs union. It is not simply a co-operative collaboration of nation states. It is rather a governance system that is antithetical to the ways that the British and their former colonies have operated. It has a Napoleonic character that was first repelled by the British in 1815 and now, again, in 2016.
Let us remember the fundamentals of EU governance. It is an alliance of 28 nation states that have little in common with the U.K., apart from a heritage of warfare. Does Albania possess commonality with Britain? Does Denmark share similar religious, social and intellectual heritage with Romania? Yet the EU asks these diverse states to govern themselves using unanimous consent at the European Commission. What emerges is a blamange of policies.
But this is only one part. The real threat to British way of life comes from the European Court of Justice, which enforces the policy codes of the Commission of 28 (and its Brussels bureaucracy).
The court employs a rational intellectual method of decision-making to ensure a single code of law is enforced for all situations in all member states. This is the Napoleonic uniform method (of revealing the truth).
The British and its Commonwealth countries have used a gradualism that evolves from situation to situation. We know it as the common law. It allows governance to adapt across different social practices and then to adjust to ongoing experience. Canada never totally adopted this system of law due to the civil code used in Quebec.
But the cultural similarity of the approaches has provided the framework for secure prosperity in many areas of the former Empire. It is a legacy strongly internalized in Commonwealth peoples.
So the media and others got it wrong. They must have done well under quasi-Napoleonic arrangements of the EU. They should not be surprised that the millennium of experience of a different governance system should emerge and trump “the invaders.”