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Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg

If you watched the much-hyped debate between Nigel Farage and suited bureaucrat Nick Clegg, you’ll no doubt be more tempted to vote for UKIP than ever before. Farage, as the media has now reported, wiped the floor with his genderless, over-groomed opponent, whose main argument – namely, that withdrawal from the EU would plunge the UK economy into ruin – was (and is) supported by a podium of damp sand.

Nobody with a knowledge of European history can fail to notice what is becoming of the EU, and what lies immediately ahead of its downfall, should a more amicable divorce not be arranged before then.

‘War’ is the word; if not military war then economic war – or if neither then intra-national wars in the form of fascist implosions promoted by parties like Golden Dawn.

A fundamental truism conducts the orchestra here: In any European political arrangement, Germany will always emerge as the most powerful nation. This isn’t because of any calculation or intent, but purely because of the country’s size and industry.

Indeed, even when Germany was boxing with one hand (during the Soviet occupation of its Eastern region), German banks and planners still set the policies for the rest of the EU to follow.

Within the arrangement of the EU then, and its insidious doctrine of ‘ever closer union’, Berlin has naturally become Europe’s de facto capital, and the only place in which political debate serves a purpose other than recreation.

Greeks – in real terms – have no power over Greece. Portuguese have no influence over Portugal. The Italian grip on Italy is diminishing. The desire of other European states to avoid a similar fate is as inevitable as it is justified.

Although I derive from a country with a long tradition of anti-Germanism (rather a genetic hypocrisy for the English) I do not partake in the vice myself. My on and off girlfriend is German, and I have always valued in particular the musical achievements of that country. Nevertheless, German rule (as opposed to financial domination) of Europe is neither right, nor natural, nor – in the long term – sustainable. There is too much bad blood between Germans and other Europeans to allow for such an arrangement in the long term.

Ironically, the only argument for the European Union that still carries weight is also that which underlies its most fatal criticism. According to the website europa.eu “The historical roots of the European Union lie in the Second World War. Europeans are determined to prevent such killing and destruction ever happening again.”

Well, with economic inequality between Northern and Southern Europe beginning to hold lighters to German and even French standards, surely that argument has now crossed the floor. The prevention of intra-European conflict is now the goal of Eurosceptics. The promoters of the EU project have been disarmed of their founding principle.

I do not realise the EU’s mortality with a special joy. I actually like the fact that – should I feel like it – I could permanently relocate to Sweden, France or Portugal without going through an application process. As a British citizen, every door in the continent of Europe is open for me. It’s a pleasant liberty to possess.

Nevertheless, contingency plans are now needed for a divorce that seems all but guaranteed. To this end, UKIP I’m afraid is a dud force, incapable of delivering the very referendum which undergirds its manifesto. At the same stroke, David Cameron’s pledge to allow a referendum before 2017 is rather too late.

Ultimately, the collapse of the EU will – as Farage argued – be settled in one of two ways; Democratically, and with a preservation of order and moral norms, or if not that way, then in a different manner. To understand what that means, I refer your imagination to the centenary we commemorate this year.