Douglas Carswell

25 FEB 2016

Direct democracy - not Brussels bureaucracy - will save Europe

It's still four months until the referendum, but the prospect of the British people demanding Brexit is already breaking the continental consensus. Dutch voters now want their own referendum on EU membership. Democracy looks to be contagious.

Democracy – especially direct democracy – is antithetical to the European project. The Brussels bureaucracy is predicated on top-down, one-size-fits-all government that takes no account of differences between countries, and can't be held to account by the people.

Time and again, Euro elites have demonstrated their contempt for the will of European voters. Just look at what they did to the mother of democracy, Greece. When voters elected an anti-austerity government, the parasitic paymasters in Brussels forced through an even tougher austerity package just to show them.

But there is nothing Eurocrats hate more than a referendum. Which is why, in the past, it has simply ignored them. When voters in several EU countries gave the 'wrong' answer on the EU Constitution in 2007, Brussels first made them vote again and then decided to bypass the voters altogether and introduce it as the Lisbon Treaty instead.

But now the Euro empire is creaking. Like in 1848, the people are rising up against the remote, elitist ancien regime. But unlike in 1848, the change isn't coming through violent revolution, but peacefully at the ballot box.

Over the next few months, the Remain campaign will accuse Eurosceptics of being anti-European. They are so wrong. 300 years ago, Britain imported a Dutch king, and with him limited, constitutional monarchy. Today, we are exporting direct democracy back to Holland. This referendum is Britain's chance to spread the European ideas that underpinned the Enlightenment across the continent again. Brexit can set Europe free.

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