|Not a million miles from what Hitler/Napoleon wanted|
The European Union is a supranational confederation of twenty-seven nations. The EU took a long time to get where it is today, having evolved gradually out of the seemingly unassuming European Coal and Steel Community founded back in 1952.
There are two schools of thought. Firstly, that the EU is a remarkable experiment; its members states agree to "pool" sovereignty as an alternative to settling differences by invading Belgium, Poland or North Italy (Perhaps this is where it all went wrong? -UFF). Supporters of Britain's membership are very keen on bringing up the long peace which has persisted in Europe following the Second World War (excepting the multiple Soviet invasions of eastern and central European countries and the various Balkan wars, of course) as a direct result — supposedly — of European integration. Another plus point is the fact that membership entails access to what is the biggest free trade area (actually customs union) in the world. Besides, in these post-Imperial times Britain would just be a small, rubbish island with no influence on the continent or on the world stage if it wasn't in the EU anyway. Right?
The more cynical have also indicated its usefulness to politicians as a bogeyman that they can blame unpopular policies on while also giving the British public an eagerly accepted opportunity to rant about foreigners while still buying Belgian beer, Italian food, French wine, German cars and Spanish houses.
The EU is a corrupt, anti-democratic, wasteful and highly secretive institution which has been chipping away at the hard-won freedoms our forefathers fought and died to preserve ever since mincing Tory PM Edward Heath took it upon himself to sign away our independence back in 1972.
Naysayers are unconvinced by the notion that the EU kept the peace in Europe following the Second World War, indicating the 27 year period post-war prior to Britain's joining in which we managed not to give any Frogs or Boxheads a shoeing without having to subordinate ourselves to foreign judges in Luxembourg. Peace in Europe likely had rather more to do with the large, mostly English-speaking NATO armies stationed in Germany which the aforementioned Frogs and Boxheads did not contribute to (but managed to shelter behind) than it did to do with their decision to stop taxing each other's imports of croissants and wienerschnitzel. Far from instantly becoming bezzer mates as a result of embarking on the journey towards "ever closer union" the French flatly refused to trust Jerry putting his Panzers back together until after Muggins had agreed to station 77,000 squaddies and a Crab tactical airforce on the Rhine.
The EU might indeed be the world's largest economic bloc, but that doesn't necesarrily mean we're getting much out of it, with a trade defecit in the billions and even the Swiss managing to export more per capita to EU members from outside the club than we do from within it. Joining the then EEC meant having to levy a common tariff on goods exported by non-members (that'll be why so much of our trade has to be with other members, then) and left us with food bills 50% higher than they would be if we just traded on world markets, while seriously shafting our former Dominion and Commonwealth allies (with whom we had previously traded on preferential terms) in favour of people who had mostly either sided or at least collaborated with Hitler into the bargain.
The Way Ahead
Like most things designed by a committee, it's quite obvious that the whole EU ideal is not just simply flawed, but is a total mess. And like all self-appointed bureaucrats, they simply do not know when to stop.
All sorts of tin pot nations are queuing up for a slice of the EU cake, and before long China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Korea, Egypt, Libya and a whole host of other pretenders will be feeding off the EU platter after becoming full members - with all that entails: free ranging travel from the South China Sea to the English Channel, and the inevitable one-way ticket to Blighty for an estimated 980,000 billion plumbers - all of whom will live in London and the South East of England.
It's perfectly obvious to many that a sizable chunk of the UK's problems are a direct result of EU interference - particularly Human Rights legislation (which encroaches in a surprising amount of areas) (And also surprisingly has nothing to do with the EU, the EHRC,was not done by the EU.....oh dear) , Health and Safety and immigration (partly due to a system in tatters, but also a result of a vastly expanded EU).
The metric monster (welcome to the 21st century) that was let out of its cage in the 1970s is rampaging through the market towns of middle England, with vendors being persecuted for selling their wares under the old Imperial system. And don't even broach the subject of straight bananas (as opposed to gay ones).
All of this has been done without any public consent whatsoever. There's never been a referendum on EU membership in the UK. After all, if you never have a referendum, then it can never be said the it was thrown out - like the (sensible) Norwegians did. The referendum question does rear its head from time to time, as does the issue of the Single European Currency.
What little it matters, when the streets are full of foreigners who are feeding off the already beleaguered system - and who have just as many (probably more) rights than UK nationals - but haven't had the luxury of paying Income Tax for most of their lives.
Please feel free to tear this perfidious, unelected (Hey look the EU parliament), multi-headed, federal monster to shreds. This pile of bureaucratic shit really deserves a category of its own. Then again, it could give all the peoples of Europe a whole new excuse to hate the French and Germans.