Thursday, 1 June 2017

Quotes opening "Brexit and Democracy"

These are 6 quotes on democracy and the European integration process with which I open my new book. Brexit and Democracy is due out on Monday 5 June!
It is in general a necessary condition of free institutions that the boundaries of governments should coincide in the main with those of nationalities.

John Stuart Mill, 1861 [1]

I know that you [English] have the art of sticking to the form, and more than the form, of the old traditions while starting them in new directions. While becoming an extremely democratic country, you have kept the form, and more than the form, of an hereditary aristocracy and an hereditary monarchy. It may be that even if your constitution becomes more dictatorial you will preserve the form, and something more than the form, of the parliamentary system.

Élie Halévy, 1934 [2]

Europe finds itself still divided and indeed has never advanced beyond the unity achieved by the legions of the Roman Empire. It has vigorously resisted the attempts made successively by Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler to achieve unity by force…Certainly Europe was never, since ancient Greek thinkers first conceived it as a continent and tried to map it, either culturally homogenous or politically one.

W Gordon East, 1962 [3]

There is no chance of a possible EU democracy because there is no European people, no demos. No demos, no democracy – quite simple.

Karlheinz Nunreither, 2000 [4]

The whole European integration experiment, from the Coal and Steel Community on, has been a political wolf dressed in economic sheep’s clothing.

Willem H Buiter, 2010 [5]

Membership of the EU makes Britain literally un-governable, in the sense that no administration elected by the people can govern the country.

Steve Hilton, 2015 [6]

1. Mill, John Stuart, Considerations on Representative Government (1861), Batoche Books 2001, p184

2. Halévy, Élie, Socialism and the Problem of Democratic Parliamentarianism (1934), in The Era of Tyrannies, Anchor Books 1965, p263

3. East, W Gordon, An Historical Geography of Europe (1935), Methuen 1962 (new epilogue), p437

4. Neunreither, Karlheinz, Political Representation in the European Union: A Common Whole, Various Holes, or Just a Hole? in Neunreither, Karlheinz and Wiener, Antje, European Integration after Amsterdam: Institutional Dynamics and Prospects for Democracy (2000), Oxford University Press 2004, p148

5. Buiter, Willem H, Economic, political and institutional prerequisites for monetary union among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in MacDonald, Ronald and Al Faris, Abdulrazak (eds.), Currency Union and Exchange Rate Issues: Lessons for the Gulf States, Dubai Economic Council 2010, p65

6. Hilton, Steve, How the EU makes Britain impossible to govern, Daily Mail 23 May 2016. Available at, accessed 28/5/2017

Brexit and Democracy: Reclaiming full and equal suffrage from the political cartel is due out on Monday 6 June.

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