A day to remember

Today is a day to remember – I’m serious. Here’s Dan Hannan, MEP, on his blog this morning:

Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. At midnight last night, we ceased to be an independent state, bound by international treaties to other independent states, and became instead a subordinate unit within a European state.

Hannan’s article is a classic of the genre, combining apocalyptic melodrama with a pedantic legalism that bears no resemblance to the reality of the world as it is lived.

For instance, the reason we are apparently no longer a sovereign state is that the EU now fulfils, in Hannan’s opinion, the four-part definition of a state in Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Treaty. Disaster! Stop all the clocks! Write a thriller about it and call it the Montevideo Protocol (starring a devilishly handsome shaven-headed hero who can’t stand socialised medicine).

The possibility that Hannan might be wrong, or that the EU and the UK might be parallel sovereignties, or that they create a new form of joint sovereignty unimagined in 1933, isn’t considered – why spoil a good drama?

For all it is laughably inaccurate, hyperbole of this kind always goes unchallenged and is then forgotten. The sensationalism of the media and the collective amnesia of the public will ensure that in a few months’ time, the UK will lose its sovereignty all over again, on some other issue, like a constitutional groundhog day.

That’s why you should remember this day. Remember, when life goes on as normal, Parliament continues to pass laws, we continue to be grudging members of the EU, and the world, in general, keeps turning on its axis, this this was not a day when we lost our sovereignty, that it was just a day like any other, like October 22, 1844, for instance.

Then when the next great world-changing disaster comes around, you can remember that the Euro didn’t collapse within five years, sharia law isn’t ruling our streets, and we could all use a sense of perspective.


Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.