Matt Kilcoyne says that Manuel Valls has made the prime Euro-federalist mistake in saying their way is the only way to a good outcome. David Head says being a Unite member at Honda has no value with McCluskey in charge
Manuel Valls is right to say we’ve known since Adam Smith that barriers to trade are harmful to society (Opinion, 7 March). But he is wrong to say harmonisation and standardisation are the only ways to reduce barriers, while ignoring mutual recognition – knowing that states are after the same outcomes, but there are different ways to get there. In doing so he has made the prime Euro-federalist mistake in saying their way is the only way to a good outcome. Harmonisation has indeed removed barriers but its curtailment of regulatory competitiveness has allowed corporatism take the place of capitalism all too often in the EU, and entrenched large companies at the expense of competition and consumer choice.
Brexit and Catalan independence are totally different, one might even say independent, of one another. We do share, however, a trust in our people to decide their own fate, and a desire not to have our citizens bullied by Brussels or Madrid. Respect for democratic expression, implementation of results, a recognition that the justice of the state follows the just actions of its agents, are all important values Europeans share no matter the national banners they stand under. It’s a pity Europe’s would-be leaders do not understand that.
Adam Smith Institute