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Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago

Smacks a bit of playing to the pro-Brexit crowd, but God, even the most ardent Remainer has to acknowledge that everything written here is painfully true.
The EU has become an embarrassment to itself. With the vaccine passports, dodgy contracts with Big Pharma and now the flirtation with mandatory vaccination, it has betrayed it most fundamental values.
True believers like myself are turning away in disgust. To my shame, it has taken something as personal as the covid crisis for me to acknowledge what should have been apparent after the Crimea annexation, the hamfisted ‘sanctions’ that followed, and the approval of the Nordstream pipeline: The EU is a failed project. Western civilisation now depends on the transatlantic alliance between the UK and the US.
God help us.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Broadly agree with you, but would like to point out that, although Ursula vdL mentioned Europe-wide mandatory vaccination, the EU did not have any power to introduce that. It is a member state competence. The most the Commission could have done was to recommend introducing it.
Also – I am not sure the EU has approved the Nordstream pipeline…I think there is still legal wrangling going on with it, although I have to admit I am not fully up to speed.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The article is pointing out the silence from the EU when it comes to Ukraine. You could say that they are behaving in the same way when it comes to vaccine mandates and the pipeline. You don’t need to have control something to voice an opinion.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

Right, yes. I perhaps should have used the word ‘tacit’ to avoid confusion, because I think that Katharine is technically correct regarding the EU’s position wrt Nordstream.

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

As a passionate supporter of the EU project for over 50 yrs I couldn’tagree more with: “The EU has become an embarrassment to itself. With the vaccine passports, dodgy contracts with Big Pharma and now the flirtation with mandatory vaccination, it has betrayed it most fundamental values.”
I am simply sickened with what they’ve done. I feel utterly alienated from Austria, Greece, Italy, France, Germany etc. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised – after all Europe was where fascism originated and it sure has returned with a vengeance with vaccine mandates etc.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

I am contemplating moving to England to escape the madness on the continent.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

Thank you for such an erudite and polite comment.
You have obviously rejected your previous vulgar persona, (if my memory serves me correctly).
Well done indeed & keep taking the pills.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Branagan

In 1990 Germany was united. The French policy was ” Frenc jockey riding the German horse ” This was not realistic post 1990, so Mitterand suggested the Euro to control German power. Kohl was against it until the German car makers realised it would protect them from Italians when they devalued the Lira. Also the Deutschmark was very strong, almost like the Swiss Franc and was harming exports. The Euro would devalue the currency with which wich Germany exported it’s goods, destroy any Italian advantages at the top end of the car marketand generally make the vast majority of companies who competed with Germany, uneconomic.
Germany agreed provided they did not have to pay other countries debts. Soros has pointed out the Euro can only survive if Germany pays for the debts. Germany can probably carry Spain but not Italy.
I suggest that Germany is in a similar position to what it planned if it’s invasion of France and Belgium had been succesful in 1914 and it was able to impose a Customs Union on Europe.Europe proving raw material, cheap labour and export markets for a German economy based upon high value manufacturing.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I thought the EU’s failure to help the Bosnian Muslims back in the nineties was quite telling. The EU was tested and failed to help. Then Dutch UN peacekeepers watched as Muslim men were herded from their protection to their deaths. It wasn’t resolved until NATO turned up.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

That’s also true. The argument then, though, was that the EU still needed to ‘form’ itself to develop the kind of political coherence necessary to assume this mantle.
That is what I believed at the time.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Many Muslims said to me the massacre of 7000 men at Srebrenica in 1995 caused a massive increasse in support for islamic Terrorism. In 1990, the West defended Kuwait. The Taleban took control of Afghanistan in 1992. Bin Laden moved to Sudan . From 1992, there were many Arabs, Chechens and other Muslims who left Afghanistan. All these factors enables Bin Laden to recruit ex Afghanistan veterans to an anti West Jihad. They first congregate in Sudan and then move back to Afghanistan where hatred of the West due to Srebrenica massacre unites a disparate group o Jihadis. What makes Bin Laden’s propoganda so effective is that he points out the Bosnian Muslims were the most Westernised in the World yet the West allowed the Serbs to murder them.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

“Clearly, many Europeans assume that they will be defended — even if they aren’t prepared to contribute to the defence of their neighbours”.
Yes, that’s exactly it. More than ready to take but unwilling to give. A common attitude among continental Europeans friends is: why does the EU even need a military? We’ve got NATO and the US will always be there. Like overgrown children earning good money who should go out and stand on their own two feet but can’t see the point in leaving the comfort of Hotel Mama.
One of the greatest lies in modern times is “European values”. So much time and energy goes into shooting the breeze on this but really, tangible examples in practice are hard to come by. And when the pressure is on, Russian tanks are ready to role into the Ukraine, and it’s time to put your money where your mouth is, the EU is oddly mute. Or, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard over at the DT put it yesterday, “heroically useless”.
The only value of any meaning in the EU is money. The single market over everything.

Last edited 10 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Karl Francis
Karl Francis
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Excellent.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

One of the greatest lies in modern times is “European values”. 
Well said!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Spot on… Brexit is endlessly argued over in terms of £ or EURO signs and money-in or money-out by Remainers because this is the way the EU characterise everything, but it was never about money-in and money-out, and I cannot see the Baltic states and Poland and others simply standing by in trust as Germany plays games with Russia.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Another of the “greatest lies” that was shamelessly peddled was that the EU was responsible for 70 years of peace in Europe

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago

Precisely, what utter b*llocks to lapse into the vernacular.
The American ‘big stick’ kept the wretched ‘Europeans’ in check. A more ungrateful bunch of t*ssers would be hard to imagine.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

Why is anybody surprised about the lack of guts shown by the EU? Is anyone out there still a Remainer? You can trust us – we won’t tell anybody.

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

This is all about energy and Russia’s dominance in Natural Gas. This has not affected the UK so acutely yet, but if the Chinese keep buying up the LNG as they did in 2021, the UK will be in line for even more significant rises in energy costs through 2022. Please forget BREXIT it is done, we need to move on, normalise our relationship with Europe and deal with our problems as they are in 2022 like adults.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Lawton
Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

What do you mean by “normalise our relationship with Europe”?

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Start looking for solutions rather than manufacturing inflammatory headlines for the right wing press. We have left which cannot and will not be reversed. So rather than constantly trying to poison any negotiations all the time, how about sorting out temporary visas for musicians and entertainment? This was offered but turned down by the Home Office as looking too like freedom of movement. Our music and entertainment industry is severely diminished by this jingoistic act. There are plenty more too.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Lawton
Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

“Right wing” press?

Robert Routledge
Robert Routledge
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Right wing press !!,? have you never watched BBC news or itn news? It could not be more left wing woke retainer!!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Inflammatory headlines – like the EU politicians that said the U.K. must suffer post-Brexit in order to ensure it is seen as a failure?
How do you normalise a relationship with people who still want to hurt you? Are you into abusive relationships?

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

It always seems to me that it is mainly Macron who is always shouting and sticking obstacles in the way…he needs to give up on the distracting fantasy that somehow we can be made to vote again. The figures on *would you expect to defend/would you expect to be defended* are , well quite frankly, chilling..with the French joining the Italians in not even waiting for hostilities to start before they put in the surrender document.

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
10 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

He has an election to fight if he ever declares

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Why not try fracking for a change? You could gain independence from both American energy policy and Russian energy supply manipulation. It would be a big game changer.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

We have short-term governments. If you approve fracking today you get the opprobrium tomorrow morning. The energy security comes in five years’ time. By then you’re in the Lords and your opponents are in power.

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

The Franco-German axis is a joke at this point.

Michael James
Michael James
10 months ago

My guess is that the EU tacitly thinks that empires have legitimate ‘spheres of influence’. If the EU likes to push the UK, Switzerland and Norway around when and where it can, why shouldn’t the Russian federation do the same to its neighbours?

Last edited 10 months ago by Michael James
Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
10 months ago

Criticism of the EU is justified but there is one country at the root of the current problem and apologists for Russia need to remind themselves it isn’t the EU releasing Novichok on British soil or murdering hundreds of civilians by shooting down aircraft. Get some perspective.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

Agreed not this time, but what about the thousands of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians etc Or perhaps they don’t count?

Last edited 10 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
10 months ago

The EU has no army, no navy, no nukes and its economic sanctions would backfire. Its member states have no strategic interest in Ukraine and its populations would kick out any politician who would stake the nation’s future for a country nobody could pinpoint on a map. To top it all off a few key countries have made themselves dependent on Moscow for their energy needs. It’s not a betrayal at all, its realism on display here. All previous demonstrations of support for Ukraine are just talk….which is what Brussels is really good at.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago

I just found Ukraine on the world map and it looks pretty strategic if you lived in Poland, Slovakia, Hungry, Moldova or Romania.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

5 countries out of 27.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Precisely, and none of them adding anything worthwhile to the other 22…in fact undermining their working class communities

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren T

Those are 5 Eastern European countries that also should not have become part of anything remotely calling itself Western. They have been captured by EU/NATO subterfuge or else by the vicissitudes of history from the Russian sphere of influence formerly known as the Soviet Bloc. Their strategic concerns should not be leading to further illicit annexations of former Soviet buffer zones (….unless you want to risk a nuclear war), otherwise every illicit annexation could lead to further annexations.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago

There was no imperative to become dependent on Russian Gas..it was the result of choices. The EU are like the SNP, they fell for the *End of History* rubbish, and since then have become inward looking, and self obsessed about *the project*..those in favour of a wholly united superstate EU (few) and the others just going along until the day they reach their individual red line.
The US and all the West felt for far too long that all we have to do trade and the totalitarian states will slowly open up and become more like us. That hasn’t worked, they have traded their way into permeating our states and societies and we are the ones becoming more like them.

Iris C
Iris C
10 months ago

I would suggest that the third of Russian trade that takes place with the EU is mostly with former Soviet countries – the trade was there and stayed there.
I dislike this warmongering article.
As I have said before, Ukraine is to Russia as Cuba was to the USA in the mid-1960s. With Russian missiles due to arrive in Cuba and point towards the USA, WW3 was on the brink. Fortunately President Kennedy’s threat of war caused the ships to turn back.. Don’t you see the similarity between what the USA faced then and what Russia is now facing with Ukraine on its border?.
In my opinion, we can only be thankful that the EU countries are not united. As happened in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the USA always retreats within its borders and leaves Europe or Asia to cope with the influx of refugees.
Ukraine should be neutral like Finland and Sweden on Russia’s northern borders.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

The Cuba analogy fell flat when Ukraine gave up its nuclear deterrent.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

They can only be neutral because of the USA, if it goes properly 1920s and 30s isolationist Russia will simply nibble bits away and after tidying up Ukraine will move onto Estonia (massive Russian minority) or the right of Kaliningrad to be reunited by eliminating the Suwalki Gap.

As the poll stats in the article make clear the lotus eating EU countries want to be defended but can’t be bothered to defend anyone.

Iris C
Iris C
10 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

What rubbish!
Are you forgetting that Russia saved Britain in WW2? Hitler’s army turned towards Russia instead of the Germany armies continuing its firepower and bombardment against us – and Russia paid a terrible price, particularly in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). The USA was, of course, content to stay out of the European war until it was forced into the conflict with the invasion at Pearl Harbour.
Personally I think we would be safer if NATO was disbanded and America stayed within its own borders.
Think of the carnage it has inflicted on other nations since WW2 – Korea, Vietnam Afghanistan. Iraq, Libya and Syria – returning home and leaving Europe and Asia to cope with the refugees fleeing from the conflict and the devastation of their countries.. .

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
10 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

And the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? What of that?
Germany treated the Russians abominably. No surprise that they fought back. But it wasn’t done for any regard for the Allies. It’s NATO that’s kept the peace since 1945. Definitely not the EU or its antecedents.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Iris C

Ukraine always was neutral, it wasn’t part of NATO and as a result has lost large swathes of its territory to the Russians

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
10 months ago

….nah, off-beam on this one Peter. The formal push of Europe eastward, is the enterprise of the Western bureaucratic institutions, not any of the peoples affected. It is complete lunacy.

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

The ‘push’ of Europe or the choices of countries formerly under the brutal suppression of Russia? Publish your sources to show that Eastern European people have not made democratic choices to be part of the EU or other European treaty organisations despite all the criticisms of those organisations. They know very well that Unherd would really be unherd in Russia.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
10 months ago
Reply to  Terence Fitch

…your perspective is dangerously one sided Tel. What about the individual peoples of Western Europe not getting to vote on the Lebenstraum for the Brussel based bureaucracies? Yep, the Russians are not like us….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Should those Eastern European countries have their foreign policy dictated by the Russians? Why should the Kremlin decide which defensive alliances other countries join? It’s also worth remembering that NATO never placed battalions in those countries bordering Russia until Putin annexed Crimea (and basically eastern Ukraine). For him to now complain about NATO moving eastward is a bit much when it’s his actions that have caused his neighbours to be fearful of Russian aggression

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Russian objection to mission creep eastwards, by the current iteration of imperious europe (EU/NATO), is not a rhetorical assertion made in the context of last decade events Billy Bob.
The anxiety of the Russian state derives from the catastrophic experience at the Russian end, of the Napoleonic expansion, the mid 19th century Franco-British Crimean intervention, and of course the Third Reich.
That anxiety is only likely to ease after generations of peaceful co-existence and economic integration, (e.g. through the N’strom 2 pipeline). The price of otherwise asserting Western political and societal virtue will be a new war.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
10 months ago

Russia can afford to be a problem only because Global Warming Alarmists have managed to shut down a lot of fossil fuel production, and also nuclear electriciy generation. The price of oil and natural gas, Russian government’s main revenue sources, have almost doubled since Biden took a number of actions hostile to North American production.

The solution, however, is in European hands. Make fracking legal. Break your dependence on Russian natural gas by producing your own. There are a lot of American experts who would be glad to develop your assets, if you let them.

Last edited 10 months ago by Douglas Proudfoot
Lou Campbell
Lou Campbell
10 months ago

Great article

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
10 months ago

The EU does need an army, but that’s also where the Germans are a hinderance. They want the Americans to do all the work as the Germans are committed “transatlanticists”. And part of this is the anti militaristic worldview imparted after WWII. That needs to go.

What’s needed is a EU alliance with a looser alignment with NATO, but fully capable of self defence against Russia, Turkey and able to control people smuggling in the Med. This alliance should be the front line of any defence in fact. With bigger military spending and larger navies. Every EU member, including Ireland and the 4 others with their pseudo neutrality, ever country should be prepared militarily to fight to defend Poland or Greece – which would mean spending more money. Anything else isn’t an alliance.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago

I can’t see changing the initials on the alliance from N,A,T and O to an E and U…or trying to form an alliance ‘below’ Nato will achieve anything. If they are lazily freeloading now they’ll just keep lazily freeloading/

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago

I watched the news in disbelief this afternoon as an ex-PM of Finland [someone please correct if he held a different post] praised Angela Merkel as one of Europe’s greatest ever leaders because she was able to speak to Putin in his own language. (Yes, there was a little more to it than that.) Germany’s past is understandably infused with a mistrust of Russia, and Merkel’s naivety towards Russia competes for recognition with her equally disastrous approach to the 2015 immigration crisis.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
10 months ago

This article is useless propaganda. People who have no knowledge about the situation shouldn’t be allowed to write an article about it. Westerners live in their little bubble world and seem to have no clue about history or foreign affairs. They just parrot back what the TV tells them. Russia has maintained a naval base at Sevastopol since its founding in the late 1700s under Catherine the great. After the the USSR collapsed Russia leased the base until 2042 with a promise to renew indefinitely. It was understood that there would be no mass immigration from the West to settle Crimea and push out the Russians. It is a little know secret that there are a lot of Russian military families who settled Crimea over the years. All of this was the price Ukraine paid for keeping nominal control of Crimea. All that went out the window in the US backed Coup in February of 2014 with the coup government claiming that they were going to kick the Russians out of Crimea. Obviously that didn’t happen and it will never happen unless the Western “elites” want to start a nuclear war over it. My guess is they don’t. That what they want to do is drive a wedge between European countries and Russia to keep them easily malleable to US interests as their economic power continues to decline. It almost looks like they are goading the Russians into committing some violent act. Do I have that right? Yes. I am pretty sure I have that right.
there was no doubt as to where the crowd’s sympathies lay
If there is no doubt why didn’t they just wait until the next election? The Orange revolution happened and the Russians didn’t do a thing. Of course they didn’t attack the Donbas region or threaten to kick the Russians out of Sevastopol. Eventually the leaders of that revolution collapsed from their own corruption. This round of leaders are doing the same exact thing. lol

Last edited 10 months ago by Dennis Boylon
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Crimea only became part of the Ukraine in the mid 1950s when it was moved by Kruschev whose parents lived in the Donbas.
If one looks who has benefited it is Putin. The actions of EU/USA in promoting anti Russian factions in the Ukraine and then backing down, makes Putin strong. Also, Germany constructing gas pipelines to Russia makes the Ukraine irrelevant. Russia now has a guarateed income from gas. The Red Army Faction and Z2 by joining the Green Party and closing down nuclear in Germany has donne more damage to the West than the numerous murders they undertook.
It is almost as if Putin who used run KGB agents from Dresden has planned it all along. Could The Green Party( ex communist terrorists) Schroder and Merkel done any more to undermine Western security ?

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
10 months ago

What in the world was a European PM doing in 2014 standing in front of a violent mob praising its efforts to overthrow a democratically elected President? Imagine if instead of Guy Verhofstadt in the Maiden it was Putin in front of an Insulate Britain demonstration? Russia unilaterally withdrew from Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and Ukraine and the Western response was to expand an anti-Russian alliance up to its borders, and to help overthrow a democratically elected government that failed to sign an unfair deal subordinating itself to the EU. That’s the EU failure, not its mixed efforts to defend Ukraine today.

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago

Peter, I don’t buy the EU being responsible for this Gerhard Schröder’s administration made a decision to phase out nuclear power years ago and no matter how hard she tried Angela Merkel was pushed into accepting no nuclear power generation after 2022.Given that nuclear was still producing over 10% of Germany’s electricity up to 2021 they have boxed themselves into a massive problem which Putin seeks to exploit. Yes a big issue for the EU simply because its biggest economy is stuck between a rock and a hard place on energy.
I also take issue with your suggestion that the EU since the creation of the Euro has become inward looking? Given that in the last 4 years they have concluded trade deals with Canada and Japan suggests otherwise. Yes the Euro has caused massive problems and will continue to do so because of the disparate nature of the 27 economies but the Euro’s demise has not happened yet which I forecast a long time ago but have to be honest they have muddled through. The UK on the other hand is paralysed by minor problems of its own making, which demeans us.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Lawton
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Normalisation will take some time as long as there are significant parties on both sides who believe Brexit can be reversed and that the UK needs to be made an example of.

When will the EU be ready to make a trade deal with the UK?
It’s not through the UK’s lack of trying.

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago

I spend a lot of time talking to people my business trade with in Germany and Austria and honestly we have done ourselves no favours really. Frost was just like De Gaulle easier to say no than yes or even maybe. Quite honestly to my friends it’s better the UK is out we were always making out for special treatment. I am not sure we will ever get a better deal because the one Frost and Johnson cooked up is pretty one sided we have to get over it the EU won that one.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

I gave you an uptick although I don’t agree. I too am talking to industry colleagues in Germany (just organising some rental equipment back from there as I write) and Austria, not to mention Italy and Netherlands.
We were doing business in all these countries through 2021. January was challenging but it gradually got easier as the year went on. Italy continues to do its own thing, of course, as they have done throughout the EU years.
There is no doubt that the removal of open borders has made freight movements more difficult , but not so much that the difficulties can’t be overcome and mitigated over time, as businesses and even reluctant bureaucrats have been doing.
In the long term, there is no practical reason – except intransigence – why the EU cannot agree to improved trade terms with the UK as they have done with various other non-EU states. it won’t happen overnight though.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

No, but for a wee bit of compromise the U.K. left the EU. So the EU didn’t win that one, in fact they made a huge, maybe fatal, strategic error in losing the U.K..
And I’m grateful for their stupidity every day as it will only benefit the U.K. long term.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago

The EU is turning into a digital age version of the Hapsburg empire a set of states that haven’t got all that much incentive to stay together as various already dimming, collective memories of how bad it was in recent history, either under the military dictators (Portugal, Spain, Greece, etc or the Soviet Union’s empire).
Talking about trade deals shows that what people think it should be about, and want it to be about…we’d never have left if that was the reality.

But it’s an ever ratcheting, stealth project to create a super sized EU state without ever overtly even discussing it.
I have had two lots of FBPE types lashing at me as stupid for six years now… half saying an EU army is utterly impossible and a Brexit lying straw man argument, it can never happen. The other half saying it must happen and the possibility has *always been there in the discussions and treaties* before sending reams of document extracts that prove both diametrically opposed views.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
10 months ago

That made me laugh.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Thank you for that erudite essay.
It seems that the only certainty in life, besides death & taxes, is that when it comes to a really important epoch making decision, the Fatherland* will always get it wrong!

(* Germany, for younger readers.)

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago

Germany gets very few decisions like that wrong, I think it really shows the strength of Green Politics over a long period of time in Germany which is worrying when we see promises like net zero bandied about by politicians with no real idea how that can actually be achieved.
For once I have to agree with Tony Blair who made sure the UK did not ditch its plans for new nuclear power reactors at the time Germany did.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

But that is my point, on truly titanic issues Germany gets it wrong. The Investiture Dispute, The 30 Years War, 1914, 1939, and now this.

However I do agree with you about Blair. At least we have 13 Reactors, which is better than none.*

(* The French have 56.)

Last edited 10 months ago by SULPICIA LEPIDINA
Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago

I have to admit that I was only thinking post 1871! I am not sure it’s that simple.
Whilst we still have 13 reactors I am not sure how we build more, we have let our capability to build such projects alone now lapse and I really don’t like any ideas of having China involved in anything connected with UK infrastructure. EDF whilst big nuclear players are struggling in many aspects of their business. The one thing that is certain our heavy reliance on wind has to be balanced properly.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Well let’s put it this way, on the division of Karl der Gross’s * ‘Empire’ in 843 it was East Francia/Germany that got off to the best possible start, particularly under Otto der Gross (great). West Francia/France trailed far behind.
However as the Middle Ages progressed it was ‘Capetian’ & ‘Valois’ France that became the greatest state in Western Europe, whilst Germany dissolved into a myriad of petty statelets, grandly calling itself The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. An almost perfect contradiction in terms!

This happened because of number of catastrophic blunders made by the German ‘Emperors’ and others, too numerous to mention here.

As to Wind, does it really work or is this just another giant Green Scam?

(* Sometimes known as Charlemagne.)

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Simple;, develop shale oil and gas, underground coal gasification and Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors. Most of R and D has been done. LFTR were developed in 1950s by Oak Ridge USA Dep of Energy.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

Given they are the dominant economic power in Europe and have been for a hundred years they’ve fairly made a mess of it compared to our nation of shopkeepers.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

In what way is the UK paralysed? You surely don’t mean the current partygate nonsense?

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yes it is nonsense, but look the effect?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Charles Lawton

None – MSM bangs on about it; people like us reading the news get distracted by it; meanwhile the economy grows, services develop, trade continues, employed totals increase, blah blah. Life, and the country, goes on regardless of party gate.
Which is why we have been able to act on Ukraine, unlike the dithering EU or the do-nothing Germans.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
10 months ago

The EU seems to be at the point of unification that we yanks were in 1776 when we were obliged to expel George III and his minions.
Look what became of that improvised Union! The divided-serpent, “don’t tread on me” flag of 1775 was replaced with the Stars and Stripes, which is . . . well, you know.
Now is the time for all Europeans to come to the aid of the EUnion!
And I venture to say that our guys in Washington are willing to assist in that project. Monsieur Macron would certainly be a pivotal gear in that assembly. Perhaps this would be the occasion of our, at last, thanking the French (et al) for lending Lafayette to us back at the dawn’s early light.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
10 months ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

Language united you.

Languages divide the EU.

Tim Duckworth
Tim Duckworth
10 months ago

Where is my previously written comment?

simon00
simon00
10 months ago

I just love reading the intellectual discussion that follows every Unherd article. In this case though, I’m surprised not to see any reference to Putin’s own motivation. Surely, being (probably) the World’s richest man, having plundered the country’s resources, his main focus is to remain in power? The Russian population will support his ‘Make Russia Great Again’ strategy and he’ll die out of prison.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
10 months ago

There is an article, The Putin Doctrine, in the current edition of Foreign Affairs, that is worth reading.

David Kwavnick
David Kwavnick
10 months ago

Another low and dirty decade?

Alan Hawley
Alan Hawley
10 months ago

The perceived problem arises out of the writer’s expectations, rather than reality. Contrary to the impression given by Brexiters, the EU is not a sovereign state, and so in many situations cannot act like one, even if it has diplomatic clout in other situations. I for one am content that the EU focuses on the Single Market and other issues within its Treaty competences. If member states are unable to agree, so be it. Criticism for failures to act should be addressed to the member states.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawley

It has a High Representative (currently Josep Borrell) to act as the EU’s foreign minister

Do you remember when Baroness Ashton held that role? She was a time-server on various NGO’s who had never stood for election to anything. She was ennobled by Blair and appointed High Representative without any previous diplomatic experience
She earned more than a British PM, and led her own cabinet, without troubling any electors to give her any sort of mandate.
I despise the EU; it is the diametric opposite of a democracy

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Strange that you blame the EU for that and not the people who appointed her. Not saying that the EU are incapable of it.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

She was friendly with Tony and Cherie, hence the title and the job. I was protesting against the EU system which allows patronage on that scale.

Dylan Regan
Dylan Regan
10 months ago

Stop the warmongering. Britain and the EU should stay out of the Ukriane, it is a Russia-Ukriane issue and therefore none of our business.

Akarsh Gupta
Akarsh Gupta
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

What Putin is actually trying to do is to drive Americans out of Europe. There was no Cold War before Hitler got Uncle Sam into Europe. A Europe without American troops will be conducive to being dominated by the Russians. How many tanks has Germany left in active service? Miniscule when compared to the Russians. He would not get this opportunity everyday. You’ve got COVID, devastated economies as a consequence, and a polarized political discourse in place. The German government is just formed. French elections in 3 months. Putin’s got you guys on all fronts.

Last edited 10 months ago by Akarsh Gupta
Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Akarsh Gupta

And a complete joke in the White House.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

Precisely, also the hypocrisy is simply just staggering!
Only a few years ago Butchers Bush & Blair launched a completely unprovoked war on Iraq, and ‘butchered’ upwards of 500,000 souls in the process……..bravo.
Additionally a similar war was visited of both Afghanistan and Syria with not dissimilar results. Had the ESN* afflicted Bush done his intelligence homework correctly he should have directed his fury against Pakistan. No doubt the supine Blair would have followed obediently.

(*Educationally subnormal.)

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
10 months ago

Ah yes, that ancient principle of international relations: “two wrongs make a right”.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago

I would have thought it was more along that Ines of that ancient principle, “people who live in glass houses” etc

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

Apologies, wrong target!

james ub
james ub
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

“therefore none of our business”
A huge country (militarily) bullies its much weaker neighbour. Is there not a principle of international law at stake (e.g. the independence of nation states)? China I am sure is watching with some interest how the rest of the world responds to this challenge to the international order.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

Only two countries have ever given up nuclear weapons; South Africa and Ukraine. SA did it because the end of white minority rule was coming and they didn’t want black marxists to inherit their nukes.
Ukraine inherited about one-third of the USSR’s nukes when it dissolved. It agreed to give them up in return for a treaty guaranteeing its borders, signed by Russia, USA & UK. Obviously we never imagined that the border violator would be our co-signatory. It is our business, unfortunately.

Warren T
Warren T
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

That is precisely what the liberals in the U.S. were saying in 1939 about the Germans in Europe. I have a copy of a tattered NYT from 1939 to prove it. Good thing they didn’t listen to them back then.

stephen archer
stephen archer
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

You’re seeing 10% of the whole picture. It’s the other 90% of what’s in Putin’s head which is the overriding worry. and he’s playing with Europe like a cat plays with a mouse.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
10 months ago
Reply to  Dylan Regan

It’ll be our business when millions of refugees fleeing the war turn up on our doorstep. What do you suggest we do then?

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Look out for Putin turning up on our doorstep.