As you will come to learn, I am a massive Daniel Hannan fan. His latest Telegraph article is a passage from his new book: How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters.
He rightly singles out the defining problem of the way the EU functions: Its ability to ignore the rule book.
Shall I tell you the worst thing about the EU? It’s not the waste or the corruption or the Michelin-starred lifestyles of its leaders. It’s not the contempt for voters or the readiness to swat referendum results aside. It’s not the way that multi-nationals and NGOs and all manner of corporate interests are privileged over consumers. It’s not the pettifogging rules that plague small employers. It’s not the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy. It’s not the anti-Britishness or the anti-Americanism. It’s not even the way in which the euro is inflicting preventable poverty on tens of millions of southern Europeans.
No, it’s something more objectionable than any of these things – and something which, bizarrely, doesn’t exercise us nearly as much as it should. Put simply, it’s this: the EU makes up the rules as it goes along.
He goes on to give many examples of why this is the case. One of the best involves Article 125 of the EU treaty “The Union shall not be liable for, or assume the commitments of, central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State.” Thus, every single euro-bailout was illegal. Christine Lagarde admitted: “We violated all the rules because we wanted to close ranks and really rescue the euro zone. The Treaty of Lisbon was very straightforward. No bailouts.”
If the EU is proud of bending the rules, how can it be trusted?