Britain and European Union: Dialogue of the Deaf

In This Review

Britain and European Union: Dialogue of the Deaf

By Lord Beloff
St. Martin's Press, 1996
172 pp. $59.95
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This latest book by the historian and Conservative peer Lord Beloff is a familiar diatribe. The European Union is a federalist undertaking that would reduce Britain's position to that of a Land in the Federal Republic, deprive Parliament of its powers, submit the judiciary to the dictates of the European Court, and transfer sovereignty to European agencies. But does the Thatcherite vision of a Europe of nation-states with no other joint mission than deregulation ensure an adequate role in world affairs for Britain? Would it not destroy much of what has been accomplished by European integration since 1950? There are many non- federalist elements in the EU machinery, and the prospects for "federalism" are at best limited to certain aspects of the European Monetary Union. On British-French relations, Lord Beloff fails to see that one of the main obstacles to greater cooperation after 1945 was Britain's desire to be the special partner of Washington and treated as a greater power than France. Nor did Mitterrand, after 1989, revert to Pierre Laval's acceptance of "German preeminence in Europe as inevitable," making "the best of it by becoming Germany's most loyal partner." Mitterrand's fleeting Vichyism never went that far. Beloff is describing Britain's policy toward the United States.