Nelson McCausland: British people voted to reject the Brussels vision of a new United States of Europe
Angela Merkel's talk of a European army shows where EU chiefs want to go in the future, writes Nelson McCausland
Those of a certain age will probably remember some of the many Hollywood films from the 1960s when someone was drawn deeper and deeper into quicksand and eventually disappeared. There was the 1962 classic Lawrence Of Arabia, and there were also many western films where one of the characters was sucked down into the quicksand, somewhere in an American desert.
Then too the Vietnam War became known as the 'quicksand war' before it was compared to a quagmire.
Getting into the war was one thing, but getting out was another, and in many ways it is a picture of what has happened with British membership of the European Union over the past 40 years.
The United Kingdom has been drawn deeper and deeper into the quicksand that is the European Union. That is why getting out of the quicksand is so difficult.
However, getting out of the quicksand or the quagmire is always a good idea.
There was no People's Vote, or as we called it then a referendum, when the UK agreed to an accession treaty in January 1972, or when the European Communities Act (1972) went through Parliament. However, the UK joined the European Communities on January 1, 1973.
We didn't have a People's Vote, or as we used to call it a referendum, on continued membership of the European Community (Common Market) until 1975 and it was sold to the electorate as something that would be good for business.
The Whitehall mandarins knew that there was a ceding of British sovereignty and so too did senior politicians at Westminster, but this was denied by the Europhiles and as a result the majority of the voters backed continued membership.
After that 1975 People's Vote the United Kingdom was firmly locked into the European project, which has a final destination of a United States of Europe. In the midst of all the frenzied debates, the endless speculation and the repetitive 24-hour news coverage of every detail of every document, that is often forgotten.
The creation of the euro as a European currency was simply one step in the journey of European harmonisation and integration towards a United States of Europe. Indeed, the project is generally advanced in that way, one step at a time, with little mention of the ultimate goal.
Nevertheless in 2005 Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian MEP and former Belgian Prime Minister, did write a book with the title United States Of Europe.
Verhofstadt advocated the creation of a European army as part of his vision for a United States of Europe, and we heard more about that within the last few days when Angela Merkel backed Emmanuel Macron's vision of a European army.
Speaking to the European Parliament, the German Chancellor called for "a real, true European army".
This was not something that was simply being floated by a Brussels bureaucrat - it was a serious proposal from the leaders of two of the most powerful countries in the EU, Germany and France.
That is why there is a growing sense that our sovereignty and identity are being eroded and gradually replaced with a European sovereignty and a European identity. Indeed, it was one of the main factors in the People's Vote in June 2016, when 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU.
Since then we have seen the ineptitude of the British Government and the intransigence of the EU. We have also seen a ferocious and febrile campaign by militant Remainers who refuse to accept the will of the people.
Theresa May wasn't helped by the fact that David Cameron had made no real preparation for the People's Vote in 2016. Cameron and George Osborne never imagined that the majority of the people who voted would dare to disagree with them. The degree of arrogance shown by the Cameron Government was breathtaking, and so was the degree of incompetence.
Unfortunately the arrogance and the incompetence did not end with Cameron. The current Conservative Government is running them a very close second.
However, we must not allow that to subvert the will of the people or undermine the sovereignty, the unity and the identity of the United Kingdom.