Frank Lee Reviews The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas
Britain, in the shape of Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, initially joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. De Gaulle had always been opposed to the Anglo-Saxon axis, regarding the UK as a ‘Trojan Horse’ for US geopolitical objectives, and consistently blocked the UK’s attempted entry into continental Europe. According to DG Britain ‘was not European enough’. With the General out of the way the path was clear for British entry.
However, this was not an altogether popular move with much of the electorate and some quite solid opposition from elements in both main political parties. This being the case the then Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, opted for a referendum on continued membership in 1975 to settle the issue. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe. As I recall I voted ‘Yes’ and even wrote a pamphlet in support entitled: “EU the unfinished project.”
However, I was then blissfully unaware that the project which I had in mind bore little resemblance to the real strategy of the EU architects. At that time the neo-liberal counter-revolution was still in its infancy and did not really get into its stride until the 1980s. Prior to this there was an interregnum between the ending of the post-war settlement in 1975 and the emergence of the new world order. During this interlude it was still possible to believe in the independence of Europe, national sovereignty, the welfare state and a settlement where an independent social-democratic Europe stood as a bridge between the harsh realities of both American capitalism/imperialism and Soviet Communism.
Alas today the social-democratic, welfare-capitalism consensus is gone, probably forever, to be replaced by the brutal reality of an off-the-leash juggernaut which gives no quarter. Europe is now essentially an occupied zone. An American controlled political/economic/military bloc effectively corralled by NATO as well as other US puppet-facade institutions such as the IMF, WTO and World Bank. And the irony of all this is that the Europeans are not even aware of it.
In Western Europe many have come to accept without challenge the primal role of the US over the affairs of their states and give little thought to NATO except as a foundation to their security architecture.