On Wednesday, June 25th the European Commission announced that it had given its blessing to the proposed £3.7 billion merger of two of the UK’s best known high street businesses – Dixon’s and Carphone Warehouse.
The European Commission? Brussels? Not our own elected UK Government?
Once upon a time such a merger might well have been dealt with by the UK’s Monopolies and Mergers Commission which would have reported its findings to the relevant UK Government department which would then have pronounced on the merits or otherwise of the proposed deal.
Not any more!
Do you recall during Pfizer’s recent abortive bid for UK pharmaceuticals giant Astra Zeneca – a company whose output represented something like 2% of the UK’s GDP – how the Government seemed at great pains not to take a position. What they did not dare to reveal was that they had no powers over this proposed merger for all such authority had long been ceded to Brussels.
There was muttering from the Opposition at that time about a so-called public interest test and yet if one had been held then any legislative action which might have followed would have been decided upon and acted upon not by our elected UK Government but by the EU.
Yet another example of an impotence that dare not speak its name. Yet another example of how successive governments elected in good faith to protect our national interests have surrendered their ability to do so to the anonymous, unelected bureaucracy of the EU.
The late Sir James Goldsmith in his Referendum Party’s 1997 election broadcast described the UK as having become a mere province of the EU Superstate – a province, which was once a great and sovereign nation, as having all of the powers of a parish council. He said that all the promises of our elected politicians were meaningless because all major powers of government had been surrendered to Brussels.
The late Sir James made a good point which is even more valid today.
The self imposed impotence of our elected politicians – an impotence that so many of them seem content to endure – is one of the most perplexing questions of modern times and one which so few of them seem prepared to explain.
For another example of our impotence in the face of the EU political monster just look at our Prime Minister’s total humiliation over Jean-Claude Juncker.
It is not a pretty sight!