Understanding the Eurocrisis: Interview with UKIP Leader Nigel Farage

Danny de Gracia interviews UK Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage on the ongoing European financial crisis. Photo: (c)2006 Mark Croucher

HONOLULU, August 16, 2012 – As Europe continues to struggle with ongoing financial instability, America’s policymakers are anxiously trained across the Atlantic for even the slightest negative changes in the world’s largest economy. Like the United States government, the European Union has come under intense criticism from people all across its member states for its perceived poor handling of the Eurocrisis and the fiscal fallout it has brought to ordinary lives.

To help us make sense of the unstable situation in Europe and its global implications, I sought out the UK Independence Party Leader and South East of England MEP Nigel Farage. Speaking of what he calls a “centralization of formerly democratic, national powers in an autocratic, bureaucratic, unaccountable authority” in the EU, Farage warns that the same big government trends are dangerously at work all across the world. “If Americans do not wake up to this danger,” Farage says, “they too will be submerged in a mud-slide of utterly unaccountable global governance.”

Here now is a transcript, with light edits.

Danny de Gracia: Mr. Farage, it seems like no matter what goes wrong in Europe, the default solution offered by the European Union is “more European Union.” The question that a lot of us in the United States are wondering is whether or not Europe is going to hold together or break apart under the weight of the ongoing financial crisis and the increasing number of bailouts. What’s your thoughts on the direction the EU is headed? Is there more integration to come or is Europe seriously in trouble?

Nigel Farage: Indeed, the EU has no solution for - or vision of - anything but more of what it has been doing for 60 years. It calls this “integration” but it is really only centralization - the centralization of formerly democratic, national powers in an autocratic, bureaucratic, unaccountable authority.

This EU-scheme and process is extremely dangerous for the freedom, prosperity and peace of the world, and the abolition of the EU will mean the return of sovereignty and democracy to its present subject states.  It will also mean that those states will become capable of associating cooperatively and freely in a dynamic trade area, without the strictures of a single currency or the burden of a vast mass of EU regulation.

The abolition of the EU does not mean that “Europe” will “break apart” – for one thing, only 27 of Europe’s 41 states are currently subject to the EU – and for another, their freedom from the EU will allow all of Europe to work together without the imposition of uniformity, which the EU calls “harmonization.”

DDG: Some have said that while Euroscepticism is essentially a majority view in the UK, it’s still not reflected as a majority in the House of Commons. Why do you think on one hand the people want more flexibility and freedom to do as they please but on the other hand their elected leadership essentially wants to go the other way? Is this just politics as usual?

Farage: Unfortunately, it has become usual - owing to the might of the media, which are all controlled by pro-EU forces - and the determination of the pro-EU parties to perpetuate their power by submitting to those forces; but the genius of democracy will not be denied, either in the UK or in the other subject states.  The EU is now colliding with economic reality, and displeasure with its arrogant impositions is no longer sustained by increasing affluence.  Resistance to the EU, and to its anti-democratic centralization of power, is growing everywhere in the EU.

DDG: Is a common currency really necessary for economic prosperity?

Farage: Quite the reverse:  in a continuum of diverse economies, languages, customs and legal systems, centralized rule and a single currency spell death to economic flexibility, cultural flowering and acceptable codes of law.  The EU’s attempt at homogenization will fail and its system of political correctness will fall.

DDG: As you’re probably aware, there are numerous pundits who essentially say that the EU is necessary to preserve peace and cooperation in Europe - that is, to prevent infighting between European states. Some say that if the EU were to ever break up, it would be a global disaster, but others say it would be the best thing for Europe. What do you think about these opinions and in your estimation, what would actually happen if states were to start leaving the EU?

“The EU is now colliding with economic reality, and displeasure with its arrogant impositions is no longer sustained by increasing affluence.” -Nigel Farage (AP File Photo)

Farage: Those who advocate the EU’s anti-democratic system of government advocate it also for the world as a whole.  If Americans do not wake up to this danger, they too will be submerged in a mud-slide of utterly unaccountable global governance. 

The EU has never kept the peace. NATO does that.  It does not promote harmony and friendship, it promotes the collusion of big business and big government in the construction of tyranny over the people.  Once the subject states start rejecting the EU - de jure and de facto - we can all heave a sigh of relief and get on with tackling the real challenges of our times.  Supranational organizations are not the answer. Democratic control is.

DDG: Last but not least, do you think that the world in general is moving towards more integration and less sovereignty?

Farage: At the moment, on the surface, yes - in your country and mine, and wherever the anti-democratic EU and UN have influence - but the tide has turned, and we can already say to the supranationalists, as Princess Leah said to Darth Vader:  “the more you tighten your grip, Darth, the more worlds will slip through your fingers!”


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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