Lord Saatchi Europe Referendum op-ed in the Daily Telegraph

CPS Chairman Lord Saatchi wrote an op-ed for the Daily Telegraph on his vision for the UK to take the lead in Europe, Wednesday 15 June 2016. 

To see the original article, visit the Daily Telegraph website

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth looking at. So said Oscar Wilde, and I agree. So let me draw you a map of Eutopia, where Britain has taken its rightful place as the natural leader of Europe, and I will give you directions for how to get there.

No British citizen has ever heard of this idealist possibility. Instead, in this EU referendum, we are faced with two dismal alternatives. Both are unacceptable. To remain is too frustrating. To leave is too frightening. No wonder the country is ambivalent, split 50/50, right down the middle.

It’s time to move on.  What we want in Eutopia are the benefits of this “big trading bloc” that President Obama likes so much, without the price that goes with it: being a supplicant, a mere courtier. You may say that is a fantasy. Really? So how did Germany’s dream come true?  It’s not complicated.  There are many examples of fine diplomacy by the British Foreign Office. Europe is not one of them.

According to the Centre for Policy Studies and the OECD, within a generation Britain will have a bigger population than Germany and a bigger economy. Obviously, therefore, Britain should now prepare to take its natural place as the leader of Europe.

Since Victory in Europe Day on May 9 1945, British diplomacy’s lack of idealism has left a void for Germany to fill. Since then, the response of the British Foreign Office has been entirely pragmatic. If at the time it is best to “go in”, we will. If at the time it is better to “come out”, we will. No “principles” are involved.

In the meantime, German diplomats made a plan and executed it with precision. They had Weltanschauung – a world view. The result? Nightly TV news across Europe now reports that Germany will decide things. In the end, it is Mrs Merkel who will decide.

For the Germans, reunification was emotional . But it was also a question of power. Germany had a plan. It unfolded  in three astounding manoeuvres:  1) the reunited Germany to have the biggest population in Europe; 2) EU voting to be changed (as it was at the Treaty of Nice) to reflect population weight; and 3) the voting threshold to pass EU law was to be reduced (as it was at the Treaty of Lisbon). Three simple steps to the effective control of Europe. The One Country, One Vote basis on which Britain joined the EEC in 1973 was over.  The long-held dream of German diplomacy had come true.

The Foreign Office was asleep at the wheel. It consistently underestimated Britain’s power in Europe: the respect for our culture, arts, financial propriety, incorruptible criminal justice system, MI5, MI6, GCHQ, non‑violent protest, former empire, present Commonwealth, scientific and medical legend, and not least for our Army, which has never lost a war, and stood alone against the might of Germany. Compared with that CV, every other applicant for “Leader of Europe” might understandably feel second-class.

So now we have the European Union, with the full blessing of both the world’s two superpowers, America and China. For most global corporations doing “the math”, Britain is a rounding error. You cannot defy economic Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. So the only question worth asking now is, who’s in charge?

We want more control. We must have it. We deserve it. Why? Because we’re worth it.

At the moment, the only way anyone can think of to get it is to leave. But I bring joyous news. We are on the road to Eutopia! Britain will soon overtake Germany to be the Number One economic power in Europe.

The Prime Minister deserves to win this referendum. And he will. On one condition; that on the morning after his victory on the June 24, he calls in the Foreign Secretary to No 10 and asks to see his plan for Britain’s leadership of Europe: What are we going to do between now and then? What will we do when we get there?

When this referendum ends, the Prime Minister’s work begins. He tried with his “renegotiation”. An honourable failure. But his heart was in the right place. He took the first step on a long journey. This is not a job for pragmatism, or a whistlestop tour of European fine dining tables. It is the work of a generation. Maybe several. It will take quite a while. Let him start now. See the future. Recognise it. Plan for it. Let him, his heirs and successors, show the people of Europe what Britain has to offer as the leader. ”

For more, read the CPS report “The Great Overtake” by Daniel Mahoney. 

To see the original article, visit the Daily Telegraph website

Date Added: Wednesday 15th June 2016