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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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The New Imperialists

Bright blue flags with the circle of yellow stars, hoisted with the hubris of progressive post-nationalism. The colours don't seem quite right, do they? In London, foreign tourists flock to our historic buildings, where the theme is red, white and royal blue. However, stand across the road from the Remain vigil at Westminster, defiantly waving your Union Jack, and you'll be denounced as a xenophobic Brexiteer. That's if you get a chance – while the Soros-funded Remainiacs are allowed to block the pavement, you will be whisked away by police.

Here, and in the mass Remain rallies, are the new imperialists. Perhaps they'd be offended by the label. Many of the anti-Brexit protestors are students, whose universities are rife with student union demands to 'decolonise' the curricula. Campus culture is at the vanguard of the fight against 'white supremacy' and Western bias. Yet these students enthuse over a European superstate, a previous folly of Napoleon and Hitler.

Remain idealists rarely look at what is happening on the ground in Europe: the seething resentment against the self-serving metropolitan elites and a remote federalist bureaucracy. Italy now has a 'populist' patriotic government, but like other Eurozone countries it is required to send annual budgets to Brussels for approval. A democratically elected leadership cannot enact its manifesto, including spending pledges, unless the Eurocrats agree to it first. The Italians, as tragically demonstrated by the Genoa bridge collapse, need to spend on infrastructure. Economic stagnation has lasted too long for the country's legions of unemployed. But according to the EU, by insisting on its errant budget, Italy is committing 'a particularly serious case of non-compliance'. Is that not the language of empire?

While Project Fear was mostly nonsense, the warning by Leave campaigners of an EU army has come true, despite vehement denials by the likes of Nick Clegg prior to the referendum. The megalomaniac visions of Emmanuel Macron are matched by his finance minister Bruno le Maire, who urged Europe to forge its status as an empire. An army is a prerequisite, ne c'est pas?

We thought we'd escape from the clutches of these imperial advances, but sadly it seems that we're set for vassalage. Britain emasculated, a colony of the Brussels regime. Taxation without representation. Fishing waters plundered by Spaniards. This was all avoidable if our leaders had listened to Yanis Voufakis, whose experience as Greek finance minister taught him that you cannot negotiate with the EU. It's their way or…well, there's no other way.

The EU and its institutions shall prevail. At least for now. But the formation of an army suggests that the powers-that-be are worried by resurgent nationalism. Macron wants the military prowess to protect European civilisation against Russia, China and (very cheekily) the USA. But internal conflict is more likely. It's not too fanciful to imagine a future EU threat to send tanks into Rome, or whichever country tries to reassert its autonomy.

The new imperialists lack insight to their delusion. But perhaps letters dropping on the doormat just before an 18th birthday will change the minds of the upcoming generation. 'Your statutory 2-year period of service with the European defence force is now due to commence'. Or should we expect the current crop of Remainers to enlist?


Follow the author on Twitter @CraeNiall

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