Justice Secretary Michael Gove has aimed fire on Prime Minister David Cameron’s claim Britain is “stronger, safer and better off” in the European Union (EU), saying it has in fact made it harder to identify terrorists and fuels the rise of “Hitler worshippers”.
Formerly a close Cabinet ally of the Prime Minister, Michael Gove was speaking to The Sunday Times when he made the comments undermining the Remain campaign’s claims about national security within the EU, insisting instead that an over-ambitious EU is a danger. Likening the 28-nation politico-economic union to the portrayal of Napoleon in ‘War and Peace’ he said:
“I am irresistibly reminded of the European Union every time Napoleon appears just because he was guilty of grotesque imperial overreach in his desire to impose a single unified bureaucratic model on Europe and in the end it didn’t work out so well for him.”
Explaining why he believes it is important that the United Kingdom leaves the EU for its own security, he stated that “overall our national security is strengthened if we are able to make the decisions that we need and the alliances that we believe in outside the current structures of the European Union.”
Turning to his more recent experience as Justice Minister, he identified the problem of EU judges making decisions against the UK’s national interests and dictating “what our spies can do and whether we can be kept safe”.
It is not just certain EU structures which actively undermine what Mr. Gove describes as “security and sovereignty”, but also the policies it follows which end up “inflicting pain on Europe”, specifically economic ones. Looking at the Greek debt and banking crisis and subsequent steps taken to defend the Eurozone, he said:
“The far right is stronger across the continent than at any time since the 1930s because of the EU, Golden Dawn in the Greek parliament (pictured above) are explicitly Hitler worshippers and that is a direct consequence of what has happened with Greece and the single currency.”
Today’s election results in Slovakia, where the far-right ultra-nationalist group of central Slovak Governor Marian Kotleba — People’s Party-Our Slovakia — won nearly three times more votes than opinion polls had predicted, further reinforces this.
Mr. Gove did not merely look to arguments about security and sovereignty. Conscious of the need to make a positive argument for leaving the EU he expressed his desire to have Britain join the world’s centres of innovative excellence:
“The really exciting innovations that are changing the way in which the world lives — Amazon, Google, Uber, Netflix — none of them are coming from the European Union.”
For him it is not just about an innovative future, however, he believes the UK’s past would also prepare it for a life outside the EU, stating:
“The institutions we’ve got in this country have been tested and work. A respect for our historic institutions isn’t about living in the past, it’s about allowing us to face the future with confidence.”