Europe and the European Union are not one and the same

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Two contrafactual propositions continue, as ever, to be highlighted in the coverage by pro-EU media, including the Guardian, of the current EU referendum debacle in the UK.

The first is that Europe and the European Union are identical and interchangeable terms (Guardian editorial, 25 October, passim). The fact is that many of those opposed to the EU are pro-Europeans who want to preserve the Europe they know and love from being sucked down permanently into the black hole created by an unelected Brussels bureaucracy that is galloping out of control towards the ultimate catastrophe of a United States of Europe.

The second contrafactual proposition is that opposition to the EU is the exclusive domain of swivel-eyed fanatics on the right (“This Tory rebellion tells us nothing we didn’t know”, Polly Toynbee, 25 October). The fact is that principled opposition to the EU from a socialist – as opposed to a New Labour – angle is invariably air-brushed out of the picture: we disagree with these people: therefore, they don’t exist.

Why can the Guardian not accept that there are more than one ways to skin a cat, that the EU is not the only show in town and that there exist already a large number of formulations and visions for the Europe other than the one-size-fits-all straitjacket that is being pinned around us, ever more tightly, by the pen-pushers from across the Channel?

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