An­tag­o­nism is the new nor­mal in EU, UK

‘It is a sorry state when ma­ture politi­cians can­not come to­gether to prag­mat­i­cally re­solve dif­fer­ences.’

The Sunday Guardian - - World -

This week, Jean- Claude Juncker, Pres­i­dent of the European Com­mis­sion, re­vealed the EU’s fur­ther in­te­gra­tionist fed­eral plans in his State of the Union ad­dress; he promised more than the ex­ist­ing 27 EU mem­ber states— new states would in­clude the Western Balkans and ex­tend­ing the Schen­gen free move­ment area to in­clude Ro­ma­nia, Bul­garia and Croa­tia. But na­tional ve­toes on tax, so­cial and for­eign pol­icy will be re­scinded. He said, “Europe is and must re­main the con­ti­nent OF SOL­I­DAR­ITY, WHERE THOSE flEE­ING PER­SE­CU­TION CAN fiND REFUGE.” He con­firmed Brus­sels needed a European De­fence Union (EU army) by 2025, ap­par­ently blessed by NATO. The no­tion of a new European De­fence Fund and a European in­tel­li­gence unit are be­ing con­sid­ered. Juncker called for a fi­nan­cially as­sisted “Euro-ac­ces­sion in­stru­ment” to fa­cil­i­tate com­pul­sory en­try into the sin­gle cur­rency and pro­posed amal­ga­mat­ing the roles of Pres­i­dent of the European Com­mis­sion and of the European Coun­cil, into one Pres­i­den­tial au­thor­ity. This is in­ter­preted as an in­sur­ance against Ger­many’s au­thor­ity. If any Brex­i­teers were doubt­ing their vote to leave the EU, this speech would have reignited their re­solve. Junker said he re­gret­ted Brexit and that the UK would too. It seems he has turned into a “bloody dif­fi­cult man” to match Theresa May’s “bloody dif­fi­cult woman”.

Re­gret­tably, this con­fronta­tional meme is do­ing the rounds. In Au­gust, a Labour MP, Laura Pid­cock, claimed she had a vis­ceral ha­tred of Tory women and would never have a Con­ser­va­tive woman MP as a friend. Pid­cock’s aide blogged about cel­e­brat­ing Margaret Thatcher’s end. On Thurs­day, Bob Ste­wart, MP and for­mer United Na­tions com­man­der in Bos­nia an­nounced that his four chil­dren had been has­sled in school be­cause of their fa­ther’s job. Colonel Ste­wart went on to say that dur­ing the June gen­eral elec­tion, his 13-year-old son’s teacher had told the other chil­dren in the class not to talk to his son, as he was the child of a Con­ser­va­tive politi­cian.

It is a sorry state of things when ma­ture politi­cians can­not come to­gether to prag­mat­i­cally re­solve dif­fer­ences and less ma­ture in­di­vid­u­als be­have abu­sively. In pol­i­tics, sen­si­ble MPs re­alise the im­por­tance of work­ing across the floor to get things done.

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