Let the European Union Fall Apart

This event has already taken place.

Host: Intelligence Squared
Location: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
Speaker: Daniel Hannan, Katinka Barysch, Leon Brittan, Nik Gowing


That’s it. Game over. The eurocrisis has laid bare the truth from which Britain has always hid – that the EU is a project designed to end not in economic but in political union. To hold it together each member of the eurozone will essentially have to castrate its own finance minister as all the key fiscal and monetary decisions must henceforth be taken in Brussels. Britain, meanwhile, is heading off in the opposite direction – seeking ever more opt-outs from EU rule. You simply can’t keep a marriage together under such conditions. Britain should be grown up about it, recognise we have reached a point of terminal breakdown, and head for the divorce court. And many other EU states would do well to do likewise.

But do we really want to throw away all we have achieved in the post-war decades – years of painstaking negotiations which have led to a peaceful and prosperous Europe? Not only has the EU enhanced trade between its members – to Britain’s benefit as much as the others – it has also provided Europe with a real voice in the world. Of course it’s far from perfect. That’s why it needs to be reformed not rejected. And of course it involves some loss of sovereignty: in a globalised world that’s inevitable. But only political juveniles hanker after a lost world of unfettered sovereignty. Time to be grown up and accept that the EU is our future, warts and all.

So which side of the argument should we heed? This is the biggest national issue of our time: Britain’s destiny is at stake. On March 20th 2013  passionate advocates for two very different visions of our national future will be thrashing out the arguments at Cadogan Hall.

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