Why the Cracks in the British/EU Relationship?
Britain has been notoriously at odds with the EU. Will the British people vote to withdraw from the EU? What is the prophetic significance of these trends?
Life, Hope & Truth has recently reported on the continuing trend of tension between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Read “The European Dream: We Must Go Deeper” by Eddie Johnson (one of our U.K. correspondents) for our recent reporting on this topic. Mr. Johnson wrote: “Presently Britain, in particular, is increasingly backtracking from greater participation in a more unified Europe.”
Recent news reports have supported that statement.
Recent developments in the British/EU relationship
In a recent speech in Germany, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague outlined the position of British Prime Minister David Cameron that major reforms are needed to the European Union. Cameron’s proposed reforms primarily seek to provide nations within the EU more flexibility and freedom. The motive of these proposals is to allay concerns of many British people that European policies are going too far in diminishing British sovereignty.
According to a Reuters article, the speech included the proposal that “EU states should consider giving national parliaments the right to block EU-wide legislation they felt was over-reaching to clip [limit] the powers of the European Commission.”
With the promise of holding a popular referendum in the next two years if his party wins reelection, the Cameron government is undertaking a comprehensive review of how EU laws and influence are benefiting or not benefiting the British people. Cameron and Hague have said that the U.K. may retake some areas of national sovereignty if the review concludes that it would be to the benefit of the British people.
Germany and France have rejected an invitation to take part in this review process. These two nations, the most powerful in the EU, are openly opposed to member nations deciding to pick and choose which EU laws they will submit to and how far they will participate in the EU system.
Though it remains to be seen how this tension will play out in the short run, the indisputable fact is that British and EU leaders are moving farther and farther apart when it comes to the future direction and role of the European Union.
Significance of current trends
Readers of Life, Hope & Truth will notice that we regularly comment on events in Europe—and will continue to do so. The reason for this is that we analyze world news through the perspective of Bible prophecy. The Bible prophesies specific events and trends that will lead to the end of this age and the establishment of the rule of Jesus Christ on earth.
This blog post highlights two trends that we have been watching and alerting the world about for 70 years:
- The growing power of a unified European political/economic system will develop into a global superpower that the Bible calls “the beast” (Revelation 13). Prophecy tells us that this European power will rise as a result of 10 sovereign nations surrendering their national sovereignty willingly to a central authority (Revelation 17:12-13).
This power will be the seventh in a string of revivals of the Holy Roman Empire. But, whereas some of the previous revivals were created by a central authority attempting to lead a unified Europe by force (such as Napoleon Bonaparte and the Hitler/Mussolini axis), this final resurrection will be formed using a more subtle approach—European nations will surrender their authority to a central power. This final resurrection will start stronger than recent resurrections because it will not have to use military and economic resources to subdue the European continent before it can subdue other regions of the globe.
- Britain will eventually remove itself or be removed from this growing European power. The “beast” power of Revelation 13 corresponds to the last of a series of empires that are revealed as a unified image in Daniel 2. The fourth part of this image (Daniel 2:40) corresponds to the “beast” of Revelation 13. The leadership of this “beast” will be primarily non-Israelite.
Britain, in Bible prophecy, is considered an Israelite nation. The British people are the descendants of Ephraim who were prophesied to become a “multitude of nations” (an empire or commonwealth) in Genesis 48:19.
The descendants of Israel will face national punishment in the end times at the hand of the European beast power. Prophetically, this punishment on the Israelite nations is known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). To learn more, read “Jacob’s Trouble: What Is It?”
Continue to watch the news from the United Kingdom and Europe. Developments in this region of the world, historically the source of world wars, will affect your life in the future. Life, Hope & Truth will continue to report on these trends and keep you alert to where they are leading.