Thanks to Guido for this snippet from the Liberal Democrat conference, in which Guy Verhofstadt takes the stand for that political party (hardly a proper position for a negotiator and diplomat) and announces, as if in the Hall of Mirrors, the European Empire.
Back in 1990, Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke’s Peerage, suggested an imperial constitution for Europe with Her Majesty the Queen as Empress. Seeing ‘Imperatrix Europaea’ on the coins might give a frisson, but it not in our interest nor our inclinations. In any case, this is not a benevolent, light-of-touch empire of splendour and trumpets under British rule which Verhofstadt has in mind but an all-embracing iron-booted Rome founded on faceless office clerks.
The projects of Barnier, Verhofstadt, of Ursula von der Leyen and others like them are nothing new. During the referendum campaign the Lib Dems denied strenuously that this was the intention of the European Union to become an imperial state, and they denounced as a liar anyone who claimed that it was so, and now they embrace that which they denied.
There are many who support the creation of the empire, and they have emplaced themselves and others like them in positions of power. It is to be expected: even during the heroic, generation-long war against France and Napoleon there were those in our land who supported the enemy as they wanted a universal empire in Europe to revive the dream of Rome, and would have destroyed in that cause the greater civilising effect of the British Empire.
It will not tale a coup on the 18 Brumière, nor the defeat of Pompeii and a senatusconsultum. It will just take the onward grinding of bureaucracy step by step, each portrayed as necessary, convenient and inevitable.
Listen now to the rapturous applause which the EU parliament’s top negotiator receives for his imperial ambition.
- Res Gestae Divi Augusti by Augustus, trans. Aison E Cooley
- Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
- The Dream of Rome by Boris Johnson
- Revisiting the European Union as Empire Hartmut Behr, Dr. Yannis A. Stivachtis, Ioannis A. Stivachtis (eds)
- Making a Success of Brexit and Reforming the EU by Roger Bootle
- Brexit: Its Necessity and Challenge by Tony Kosuge
- Brexit: How Britain Will Leave Europe by Denis MacShane
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Brexit: How Britain Left Europe by Denis MacShane
- Beyond Brexit: Towards a British Constitution by Vernon Bogdanor