There is a scene in Monty Pythons Life of Brian in which two activists complain about the Roman imperialist state and ask their audience what the Romans have ever done for them, other than bleed them white and take everything they ever had. The audience starts to offer suggestions. Romans provided the aqueduct, says one. Sanitation, says another. The list continues: roads, irrigation, medicine, education, health, wine, public safety and peace. All right, responds the leading character in frustration, but apart from all that what have the Romans really done for them? It can sometimes seem that Europe faces the same problem of unrecognized contributions, particularly in the UK. What has it done for us, ask its critics, apart from chipping away at British national sovereignty, promoting government by unelected bureaucrats, opening British borders to new waves of immigrants, costing millions in budget contributions and tying Britain in bundles of red tape? In this book I have argued that European integration has in fact provided a great deal but that we have not always been good at appreciating this. Distracted by the misunderstanding and misrepresentation that colours much of the debate about Europe, it has been easy for many Britons to conclude that the European project is elitist, undemocratic, opaque, unpopular and inefficient.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Fourteen Reasons Why Europe Matters to Britain
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number