“Emmanuel Macron has made a tantalising constitutional offer to Brexit Britain, even if it is couched in vague language and has no official backing from the European Union's institutions” according to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in an article for the Telegraph.
In a remarkable and unexpected intervention, the French President has spoken openly of his vision of a European Confederation along the lines originally outlined by Francois Mitterand, rather than the monolithic superstate we had all been led to believe.
“Macron proposes a constellation of democratic and liberal states that wish to trade and cooperate on friendly terms without having to accept the full EU package, with its ever more powerful executive in Brussels, and with a supreme court in Luxembourg acquiring hegemonic jurisdiction.”
Floating the idea in a key-note speech to the EU parliament earlier this week, it nonetheless raises as many questions as it answers and is shot through with contradictions:
The EU itself is divided: the EU’s President Charles Michel and the Council Secretariat support it but not the Commission officials
The price for EU rapprochement over the NIP might be Boris Johnson’s political scalp
Renewed commitment to freedom of movement.
Supreme court in Luxembourg acquiring ‘hegemonic jurisdiction.’
Such a confederation already exists: it is called the Council of Europe which the EU has sought to emasculate over decades.
"President Macron seems to be proposing the very relationship with Europe that middle Britain has long sought, whether moderate Remainers or moderate Brexiteers - and the line between them is an artifice of post-Referendum polemics.”
It's a beguiling invitation, but with all due respect to the author whom we follow closely, experience should teach us to be very wary of French Presidents bearing gifts.
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:
CREDIT: REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane