Commissioner Accidentally Makes Case for British Membership

Günther Oettinger hopes that Britain’s exit will unleash “new dynamics” for closer European integration.

Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for the digital economy, speaks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, April 20
Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for the digital economy, speaks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, April 20 (European Commission)

Europe’s digital commissioner, Günther Oettinger, inadvertently made the case for continued British membership of the European Union on Tuesday when he told Politico that an exit could unleash “new dynamics” for closer integration.

Recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris demonstrated the need for a further transfer of powers to the EU level, the German argued.

However, Britain is wary of expanding the EU’s role in security and defense, preferring to keep this to NATO and the member states.

Should it vote to leave the bloc in a referendum this month, Oettinger seemed to suggest the remaining countries could go ahead and add security to the EU’s purview as well.

Which is precisely why Britain should stay in.

Arrogant

Oettinger also revealed the arrogance of European federalists when he said that after the elections in France and Germany next year, “I believe we will gather more power and strength.”

Put that another way: Once we’re done with the inconvenience of asking the electorate for their opinion, we can continue with the integration project.

This sort of disdain is exactly why Euroskeptic parties have popped up everywhere and — again — why we need Britain involved, so it can put a brake on the ambitions of ever-closer unionists.

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