A reason I, and the others who might share this particular view, want
out is because we do not want to share in the EU's direction of travel -
ever closer union. We therefore want to leave "at any cost".
But we don't have to share in the "EU's direction of travel -
ever closer union" (leaving aside the meaning of "ever closer
union" ), we have been able to opt out.
Do you not consider opting out as sufficient?
No. Why would I? An option to opt out is meaningless if a UK government
decides to go all in with the EU. It simply means the UK will not be
You seem to accept that the option to opt out "means the
UK will not be forced to" share in the "EU's direction of
travel - ever closer union" (leaving aside for now the
meaning of "ever closer union"), so I do not understand
why that is not sufficient for you.
I thought you wanted the elected UK government to be
sovereign. You seem to be worried about the UK
government ignoring the opt out option and deciding to
go all in with the EU. It is beginning to look as if you don't
trust either the EU or the UK government.
If we stay in the EU, nothing is off the table. Nothing.
Going by what you say above, it looks as if you think
nothing is off the table even if we leave the EU, because
the UK government could still decide to go all in with the
Presumably if the UK government did decide to go all in
with the EU, in order not to stir up UKIP, they would have
to avoid the term "EU membership" and instead describe
it as a "special relationship with the EU", or say, as May did
in Florence, that the UK would be the EU's "strongest partner
and friend", and that the UK would have a "deep and special
partnership" with the EU.
'In brief: The proposed EU deal would exempt the UK from
aspiring to ?an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe?.
This phrase has a symbolic political impact, but has little or no
legal effect. Saying that it no longer applies to the UK doesn?t
change anything about how the EU works, or the powers it has.
'...The UK has opt-outs despite ?ever closer union?
'It?s also important that the wording ?ever closer union? hasn?t
prevented Britain from obtaining a range of opt-outs from EU
integration in the past.
'And in June 2014, the European leaders formally stated that
?the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of
integration for different countries, allowing those that want to
deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish
of those who do not want to deepen any further?.
'... ?It is recognised that the United Kingdom, in the light of the
specific situation it has under the Treaties, is not committed to
further political integration into the European Union. The substance
of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next
revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties
and the respective constitutional requirements of the Member States,
so as to make it clear that the references to ever closer union do
not apply to the United Kingdom? ...'
Yes, I know what "ever closer union" is, and I know what an opt out is.
I also know that things change.
What do you understand by "ever closer union"?
This article doesn't seem to think it means "ever
closer *political* union":
“Ever closer union” isn’t specifically a call for political
'This expression is of long-standing origin.
'It is found in the Preamble to the 1957 treaty that set up
what became the EU. On at least six occasions the UK has
signed up to it (firstly in becoming a member, and then
agreeing to subsequent treaty changes).
'So for example, one of the main EU treaties currently refers to:
“the process of creating an ever closer union among the
peoples of Europe, in which decisions are taken as openly
as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen”.
'Notably, the treaties actually say “ever closer union of the
peoples” of Europe, not governments. The phrase does not
contain the word “political”, and it uses the word “union” with
a small u, less suggestive of a formal drive towards a
European super-state. ...'