British Prime Minister David Cameron, as most of you know, has committed the UK to a popular referendum on the nation’s continued membership in the European Union if he doesn’t get what he wants in terms of a rewrite of the treaties that created the EU.
EU leadership thinks this is a bad thing, and they’ve acted on that badness in the past: referenda by France, the Netherlands, and Ireland to the Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties, in which the people of each of those nations solidly to overwhelmingly rejected those arrangements, were ignored outright, and the Know Betters of Europe simply went to the more compliant national governments for the needed assents. They have no such capability regarding a UK vote to depart the EU altogether; neither does the EU have the guns with which to compel continued membership.
The Brexit message will be poured “like a pint of beer into a thirsty electorate,” one alarmed official warns.
Officials now speak of contagion.
The fear among EU diplomats is that if Britain’s demands to rewrite the EU’s underlying treaties are met, radical parties across the continent will demand their own tailor-made deals. The union unravels.
Can’t have the people speaking for themselves. What would the EU Know Betters and bureaucrats do for jobs if they weren’t needed in a pan-European government? Whom would they control, if not the people themselves?
The only ones who fear the voice of the people, though, are those Know Betters and bureaucrats. Everyone else welcomes that voice.