Douglas Carswell

12 DEC 2016

Nation states will outlast bureaucratic empires

"European nations will disappear without the EU", says the EU's chief bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker. So the only way to preserve individual nations... is to subsume them into a superstate. Can he really be that delusional?

Juncker might not have noticed, but beyond Europe, nation states are normal. In fact, unlike the EU, small polities are flourishing – even in difficult circumstances.

Taiwan has become an industrial powerhouse, in the face of decades of hostility from Beijing. As has South Korea, notwithstanding the rogue nuclear power next door. Israel has developed a high-tech exporting economy, despite being mostly surrounded by longstanding foes.

What Juncker doesn't get is that trade happens organically, not by grand design. Specialisation and exchange – enabled by free markets at home and free trade abroad – can make any small country internationally competitive.

Meanwhile, the EU has tried to orchestrate an entire continent's economy from Brussels. How's that working out?

What's obsolete is central planning by bureaucratic empires. Even Juncker should be able to make out the writing on the wall of his gilded cage by now.

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