(THE TELEGRAPH) — If you have a spare evening, read the Magna Carta. It is a restraining document. What leaps out from the pages of Langton’s text is the intent to protect subjects from overweening authority in this case, Norman-French despotism, by restoring ancient freedoms.
Europe’s Constitution – the Lisbon Treaty, as we know it – began as a sort of Magna Carta. EU leaders agreed at Laeken in 2001 that the Project needed restraining after Danes and Swedes rejected EMU, the Irish rejected Nice, and youth torched Gothenburg in anti-EU riots.
People do not want Europe inveigling its way into “every nook and cranny of life”, they said. Needless to say, insiders hijacked the process. A Hegelian monstrosity emerged. The text says much about the heightened powers of EU bodies, but scarcely a word to restrain EU bailiffs and constables.