The offer of associate EU citizenship shows we are being stitched up

Foreign Affairs & Security
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Dr. Jon Stanley


Nothing happens in politics by accident, even when it appears to.  

We have heard from Guy Verhofstadt that associate EU citizenship is not only desirable for the British public, but perhaps now the EU can advance it without treaty change because it had “captured the imagination and hopes of many of the 48 per cent of Brits that have voted to remain in the EU. It has therefore become a very important issue that cannot await treaty change."

Strange that a union which took 20 years to define what exactly chocolate is suddenly finds itself galloping against time to introduce something as radical as standalone EU citizenship. That is of course what is being proposed. Statehood. 

The EU never lets a crisis go to waste and have used crises to advance its powers and agenda only to end up mysteriously in more control of member state affairs than before. 

Europhiles in the UK and elsewhere have long learned to apply the Gallic shrug whenever the spectre of federalism is raised. Oh, there wasn't going to a European Army, or a Single Currency, or...and then there oh so mysteriously was. The sheer dishonesty of federalists was part of the reason we voted to leave, that we would trust them now to debate citizenship is ludicrous.

There is nowhere on Earth that requires associate citizenship for anything. Irish citizens are not classed as foreign by the Ireland Act, which in its day caused an incredible backlash from Nationalists when it dared suggest the people of Northern Ireland would need their consent to any Irish unification. The UK simply does not apply many restrictions to Irish nationals which means they can work and vote without any reciprocal duties.

Irish nationals do not pay taxes or face the threat of conscription to national service by virtue of their citizenship of Ireland. Indeed, granting every Irish national citizenship of the UK would likely trigger a firestorm again and the question would be raised, 

"What is that lot over the water really up to?" 

Associate citizenship requires the EU become a state and yet would leave associate citizens here with a sense of not really belonging to the EU either. Would they be able to vote in EU elections? Would these citizens be granted MEPs ex-officio to air their many precious grievances in a foreign parliament? France does this now, London is in essence a French department. You can see Celtic nationalists and metropolitan do-gooders interfering in the UKs affairs with the EU, as the European Parliament has oversight into EU deals.

And so the motive becomes clear: to drip wort into the pits of separatism and elitism to ferment away and to divide the UK.

Taiwanesation of British subjects cannot be allowed to happen. Cross-Channel relations cannot follow the cross strait status quo where Taiwan is all but independent, but not really. Of course there are differences but the analogy is clear, we aren't allowed to leave if the EU decides so.

Once you live in Scotland for a while you realise a large minority really hates the UK as a concept and once you come to terms with that it is not so hard to find them back in England. The progressive elite have built a new England and they are not prepared to go back to the old one.  To have alternate governments to Westminster is to undermine the original European Union of Nations, the UK.

We as conservatives need to face the sad truth we must take a long gentle stroll through the lunatic asylum of third way, centrist progress and rebuild from the ruins of the institutions that made our Union great, brick by brick, of a tougher stone than before. We can start with clear principles, that there is no citizenship for our people than its own and there is no law but that made by our peers.

There really is a crisis afoot, but it is not of European citizenship, it is of British existentialism. There is nothing offered by this new lamp of associate citizenship that cannot be in place through a treaty with EU member states. Why can Spain or Greece not offer citizenship? 

Maybe Greece could go further and sell it instead. Ten thousand pounds perhaps from every UK citizen resident in the EU could be made a citizen of the Hellenic Republic too. Yes there'd be national service and what not, but that citizenship would be real. Fifteen billion pounds as cash injection into the Greek economy by 1.5m Brits locking in their rights to the EU would really boost the country at a difficult time. 

Of course this won't happen. We are not in a Europe of common sense but in the midst of a plot to grab power not just from our citizens but from those of EU member states who, like us, are being stitched up by the EU and by our own representatives. 

Yes, we are being stitched up by plotters in our midst and we should not lose our new-found confidence in protesting against it. We do not need to negotiate on this and we do not need to consider it.  It gives a terrible impression to the world that we would work to create an EU suprastate on the basis it lets us leave with a deal.

As if it would ever allow that if it had the power to stop it.

Dr. Jon Stanley is Health Research Fellow at the Bow Group, a Junior Doctor and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons