Max Hastings: The EU is a disaster blighting our lives, and I’ve been pro-European all my life

Max Hastings
Daily Mail
September 13, 2011

Put aside the crash this week in European shares over the nightmare that is the Greek economy, and the fact remains that the EU is in dire straits, unprecedented in its history.

All my adult life, I have called myself a  pro-European. I deplored Brussels’ follies as much as anyone, but went on hoping for better things. I believed Europe was broadly a force for good.

However, today, I recant. After much agonising and hesitation, I adopt the conclusion that many of you probably reached years ago: that the EU in its present form has become a disaster, which threatens the future of its major members, unless its terms and powers are drastically recast.

The eurozone is merely the most conspicuous symptom of failure. It reflects a historic policy blunder by the rich, prudent nations that linked themselves in a suicidal currency pact with the non-serious countries of Europe, Greece and Ireland foremost among them.

Even the staunchly pro-European Economist magazine admitted last week that ‘the debt crisis is exposing problems in the basic design of the European Union’; that the eurozone faces a stark choice between break-up and fiscal integration, against the strong wishes of its solvent members’ voters.

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