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The U.K.’s giant delusion of sovereign control

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LONDON - As the British struggle to choose a new prime minister and, in effect, a new government team, a huge delusion runs through much of the media comment and public debate.

This is quite simply that, whether Britain leaves the European Union with an agreed deal, with the “no-deal” (which in fact means with a string of issue-specific arrangements and mini-deals) or just stays in the EU, some kind of new sovereign control can be gained over its laws and government that will change things beneficially. We must “regain self-government,” goes the cry.

The delusion is fed by numerous examples of poorly judged and EU-inspired overregulation, as well as by the irritating superiority of EU law in British courts. It is fueled by tiresome and cumbersome procedures that a club of 28 countries has to go through to reach decisions and by the often perverse rulings of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Ironically,the latter in reality has nothing to do with the EU, and will still be there, leave or remain, although few commentators bother to explain that.

Indeed, this last point illustrates the great delusion with crystal clarity. In today’s deeply interdependent world, the whole idea embodied in such ringing metaphors as “taking control,” “making our own laws” and “getting our country........

© The Japan Times