Last Monday you reported Naomi Long’s speech at the City Hall EU rally, in which she said “we have the EU to thank for the longest period of peace and stability on the continent of Europe in history” (‘EU is force for peace in Northern Ireland, rally told,’ October 22).
She forgets to mention that for the first 45 years of the post-war period Western Europe was cowering from the Soviet threat, protected by Nato and, ultimately, the US nuclear umbrella.
The Coal and Steel Community, the Common Market, the EEC, the EU were nowhere in that equation.
The fall of the Berlin Wall “could have been chaotic” had it not been for financial underpinning by the EU, Naomi said.
Leaving aside the fact that the EU didn’t exist in 1989/90, what was this financial underpinning?
What happened was that Mitterand and Kohl did a deal.
France wouldn’t stand in the way of German unification as long as the Germans agreed to give up the Deutschmark and the power of the Bundesbank in favour of a common currency regulated by a European Central Bank. And we know how well that has turned out!
Meanwhile the Germans, at great financial cost to themselves, managed to integrate the former East Germany into the larger German economy, an effort that led to a moderate-sized knock-on recession in the UK in 1991/92. There was no EU financial underpinning.
Far from helping to stabilise the former Yugoslavia, as Naomi claims, it was EU meddling that sparked the conflict there, and perpetuated it.
It wasn’t until the US took matters in hand at Dayton Ohio that a semblance of order was restored.
Meanwhile the Dutch peacekeeping troops stationed in Srebrenica failed to prevent the massacre in that town in July 1995.
More recently Baroness Ashton of Upholland, a hitherto obscure Labour peer, was the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
Under her leadership the EU leadership encouraged a coup against the democratically elected government in Ukraine, with a view to the eastward expansion of the EU.
That policy led to war and mayhem in the area, and the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
Naomi Long seems to believe the EU is made up of a body of nations who co-operate in matters of common interest. Not so.
It’s a supranational authority, which is not democratically accountable to the electorates of the member states.
People like Martin Selmayr, current secretary-general of the EU Commission, get shoehorned into top posts after deals in back rooms without any nonsense about elections.
“It has forced people to come together on the big issues like climate change”, says Naomi.
This is the same EU that encouraged the proliferation of diesel engines, and turned a blind eye to Volkswagen’s fiddling of the emission figures. With environmental friends like that, who needs enemies?
Closer to home the EU negotiators under Michel Barnier are engaged in a cynical manoeuvre to try to weaponise the Irish border and thus gain traction against the British.
This is the same EU that, as part of the infamous Troika, was happy to punish the Irish state at the time of the banking crisis.
Can it be said with a straight face that the EU Commission really cares about the people of Ireland, north or south, about the border, or about the Good Friday Agreement, except as a means to an end?
Stephen Richards, Ballymena