Leaving aside the whole economic argument, where I remain sceptical by instinct, the greatest tragedy about the aboutEuropean project – the full-on superstate version, that is – is that it never came to pass and was never going to come to pass. Because actually no one told us it was a possibility and it might even work. For some of us such honesty would have been refreshing. It rarely surfaced.
In other words I can see the emotive power of the nation state – a concept that remains stubbornly attractive from Quebec to Catalonia to Scotland – and I can also recognise the dreamy attractions of a European superstate as rich and powerful as the US, with nuclear weapons too. But a stumbling, flawed, dysfunctional, disputatious, multi-speed, crisis-ridden European Union? It is the worst of all worlds, and has set the European cause backwards.
I don’t think many even in “core” Europe are really convinced by the ramshackle outfit we’ve got now, and really believe it will be around in another 60 years.