Brussels cannot adapt to economic stagnation
Financial Times, January 22nd, 2019.
As Philip Stephens reminds us (One Final Throw of the Brexit Dice, January 17th) what the UK decided to join 40 years ago was the European Economic Community, a free trade area which had operated for some while very successfully under liberal and open principles.
By contrast, since the Maastricht Treaty the overriding thrust of the policies promulgated by the European Commission, as the Union’s executive authority, has been the imposition across the EU of a uniform body of laws and regulations which it is fair to describe as hermetic and authoritarian. The malign consequence of this process has been not only the steady erosion of democracy in the continent of its birth, as the numerous populist political movements now active in the EU demonstrate, but the creation of unadaptable social and economic stagnation.