Peter Sutherland of the Federal Trust has produced this pamphlet, Fog in Westminster Europe Cut Off, that reviews the often stormy relationship between the United Kingdoms various governments and European integration.
Sutherland documents the decades of wasted opportunities, europhobia and anti EU populism. He describes clearly the cowardice both Tory and Labour governments have shown in broaching the core European issues with the UK public.
Neither party, in Peter Sutherland’s opinion, has had the “courage to explain to the British electorate that political integration within the European Union is central to the way the Union works, that the European institutions are a necessary part of this integration … and that political integration is beneficial to those who participate in it.”
This pamphlet is a must for all who want to gain a deeper understanding of the UK in Europe and in particular help burst some europhobic bubbles.
Taken from the OurKingdom blog:
There are at least two fatal flaws in this conspiracy theory of federalism. The first is that it in no way relates the reality: what Jacques Delors once described as “a federalising European Union” is characterised as much by devolution of power downwards (to regions and communities) as it is upwards to the EU itself. The second is that it fails to recognise that EU member states have been and continue to be willing to share sovereignty through binding legal and political processes to confront challenges and problems which defy solution at the purely national level. Indeed Sutherland might have made more of the fact that policies get transferred from the dimension of inter-governmental cooperation to decision making at the EU level, when hard experience has repeatedly demonstrated the poverty of actual results from mere “cooperation.”
After a quick glance at the Federal Trust website another document produced by Dr Thomas lane called Regionalism and the Conditions for a New International Organisation catches the eye. Not being the only Cornish person who is generally positive about European integration I'm sure that I am not alone in wishing to see a decisive commitment from European regionalists / federalists to the stateless nations and natural historic regions that are the bedrock of Europe.