Hilary Benn MP, son of the late great Tony Benn, today said the following on BBC News:
The EU’s biggest achievement has been keeping the peace for seventy years.
This is getting things backwards. Europeans have not slaughtered each other (Yugoslavia and Ukraine aside) for seventy years because they do not want to, and not for the reason that Benn gives: that the EU has prevented it. The EU is a symptom of the desire for peace in Europe, not a cause.
Of course, from the very beginning — despite what British politicians have traditionally claimed and often still do claim — the “European Project” had as an explicit aim the dismantling of the independent infrastructure of the sovereign states and their consequent incorporation and integration into a new Federal United States of Europe. One reason for this was to prevent war in Europe again.
DETERMINED to establish the foundations of an ever closer union among the European peoples
From the first sentence of the Preamble of the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) “Treaty of Rome” 1957 
Any war between France and Germany [would become] not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.
Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, 1950, in the declaration which launched the project 
I find it very hard for a man of Benn’s cleverness and standing to truly believe what he says. Either he lacks basic knowledge of history and thus condemns himself as unfit to be an MP or public figure, like so many others who repeat the same statement. Or he is misleading the public. Either way, he is wrong.
Please, dear reader, do not believe the hype. Frechmen and Germans would not be slaughtering each other today had the model been intergovernmental dialogue as opposed to centralised European Unionism. The idea that the EU has been a cause of the peace in Europe is as inaccurate and almost as ridiculous as David Cameron’s recent claim that we would be risking World War Three or a new European War if the UK were to leave the EU.
Repeating something ad nauseum doesn’t make it true. But unfortunately, modern psychology shows us that it does end up convincing a few people. And “a few” might be enough to swing the referendum. Therefore, I will keep repeating the opposite, the truth:
The EU has not caused or kept the peace in Europe; the EU is merely one symptom of the desire for peace in Europe. The EU did not cause peace; peace helped cause the EU.
Indeed, the EU’s dogged following of an outmoded model of a United States of Europe is itself counter to the will of the people, counter to democracy, and therefore is ironically more likely to cause conflict than the alternative inter-governmental model of a brotherhood of sovereign states working together in close alliance.
Love Europe, Hate the EU. Let’s take back our democracy! Let’s fight for the truth! The EU doesn’t keep and hasn’t kept the peace in Europe; a free association and close alliance of likeminded sovereign nation states does (see NATO). Vote Leave on Thursday 23rd of June.
 The European Union: A very short introduction (2013, 3rd Ed.) John Pinder and Simon Usherwood. OUP, p.1
© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry
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