What a godsend to Ukip José Manuel Barroso must be. On his recent short visit to the UK he not only managed to tell the British public that limits to immigration (desired by the overwhelming majority of the British public) would be ‘illegal’. He also managed to tell us that if we left the EU, Britain would have ‘zero’ influence in the world.
I do wonder who bureaucrats like Mr Barroso think they are going to persuade. Are they simply relying on swaying or scaring us on the presumption that we have no historical knowledge or memory? Because this latest message can’t possibly work, can it? Most British people don’t feel we were an impoverished, backward and weakly nation before the EU came along and saved us. Most of us simply notice – whether we are pro-EU or not – that throughout our history this country has rarely had ‘zero’ influence in the world. That wasn’t the case before the EU. And it seems unlikely that it would be the case after it.
But what is especially weird about this is that on his visit Barroso also said:
‘My experience is that you can never win a debate from the defensive. We saw in Scotland that you actually need to go out and make the positive case.’
So remember, ‘You’d be nothing without me’, ‘You’re nobody’, ‘You’re nothing’ etc is Jose Manuel Barroso making his most positive case. Ukip must be salivating at the possible outcome of Barroso turning negative on us.