This week’s European entertainment came to us courtesy not of the usual Vaudeville Euro parliament speeches, but of Poland and Hungary as they stuck the kai-bosh onto the EU’s bug recovery budget.
And what a corker it was. Went down like a vomit gazpacho in Brussels.
Well that’s democracy for you. Or to put it more bluntly, a fat old bargaining chip for a negotiation. That should sound familiar to those at the heart of the EUSSR, but they are not big on reciprocity. They only like dishing out orders, not being on the receiving end of them. Sucking up their diktats is lauded as European liberal democracy. Having an alternate perspective is ‘dangerous populism’. It’s how they roll.
What stock they place in unity and unanimity. The unanimity of the 27 is sacred when it can be dickswung as leverage in a negotiation, but an albatross if it stymies the agenda of the PolitBeuro.
Mind you, that unity is hardly the epitome of unselfish brotherhood. Last week, Ireland joined forces with Apple to defeat other members in court over an €13bn fine.
I wonder whether that one was about values or hard cash?
Of course, any member state is well within their rights to veto the budget, which is squarely within Brussels’ own rules. The real issue, though, is that the EU, after pontificating that Europe was ‘an identity’, founded on ‘shared values’ and ‘more than just a market‘, has been exposed as nothing more than a talking shop. It should have remained an economic community and true to itself rather than overstretching with stealthy empire-building.
The market is the only real part to it, hence the largely single track for Brexit negotiations. If the ‘values’ piece had any underbelly, they would not have sat on their hands for years while the Poles and the Magyars had trashed their values while blatantly taking the cash and the piss.
And now, as a result, they have found themselves in a right hole.
And to think that David Cameron had only asked for a few concessions when he received the stiff Eurofinger? Now, that is not to say that the UK’s demands were reasonable. But what kind of serious outfit paves the way for orderly net contributors to jump ship while ignoring routinely rule-breaking net beneficiaries to remain and prosper?
If you want to see ‘cake‘, you need to look further east because they are having it, eating it, and sticking the rest right up the EU’s jacksie.
After this veto car crash, there will doubtless be calls in Brussels for majority voting, which for the smaller nations will mean subjugation. Then the surreptitious backslide on values that they paper over with layers of doublespeak and distraction will move front and centre.
This debacle is not simply a bust-up but the highest-profile riposte in a lengthy series of flipped birds to Brussels that showcases the sham of EU values.
In terms of an existential crisis, it’s the icing on the ‘cake’ that the EU itself has always sought to have and eat.