'In a joint article published in a number of European newspapers, Spain's Alberto Navarro and Luxembourg's Nicolas Schmit say that in today's globalised world "a united and capable Europe is more necessary than ever".
"We cannot resign ourselves to Europe being no more than a huge market or a free trade area," they write.
"We want a political Europe that can speak with one voice, and with one minister of foreign affairs and a common foreign service."'
I, like tens of millions of people all across Europe, thought the EU constitution was dead. France voted it down, the Netherlands voted it down, the end. True, I'm no expert about these things, but my reasoning I presumed was sound: a constitution could not be acceptable for all of Europe if it had been rejected by France and the Netherlands, important constituent members.
I, also like tens of millions of people across Europe, have no interest in an EU state. I want a 'huge market or free trade area'. After all, at least two generations of politicians in Britain have assured my parents and now me that that's what we signed up for. There will be an awful reckoning if it turns out that under the guise of joining a free-trade area, we have become a province of United Europe. That eventuality would probably provoke the complete unravelling of the political dispensation in Britain: the subjects of the Queen would no longer respond to the politicians in Westminster with anything but abuse and bile. Sovereignty is a precious commodity over which countless wars have been fought- it is only given up in circumstances where the receiving party is considered utterly trustworthy, or when armed resistance is completely at an end.
Neither of those latter conditions prevail in our current circumstances. The instincts of the vast majority of Europeans is that the nation-state is the surest guaruntee of their safety and their interests, and is already the object of their great affection. A socialist super-state with statist, protectionist economic policies; anti-American, pro-Islamist foreign policy; and a vast array of neuroses and self-destructive habits is anathema- if the politicians think they can coerce us into it, they are wrong. People will fight. The Czechs, Hungarians, Poles and Balts didn't throw off Communisms dead hand to have it replaced almost immediately by the proto-communists of Luxembourg and Spain.
'A united and capable Europe is more necessary than ever...' Necessary for what?
'We want political Europe that can speak with one voice, and with one minister of foreign affairs and a common foreign service...' Why? To stop Britain sending armies to help America perhaps? To send European armies to the middle east to help the Arabs destroy Israel perhaps?
Over my dead body.