The dozens of nations that today are part of the European Union have watched their sovereignty slip away bit by bit, falling into the hands of unaccountable international bureaucrats.
But Great Britain has finally drawn a line in the sand on the loss of its ability to chart its own course.
Despite intense pressure from other nations of Europe, Britain quite understandably has decided against going along with an agreement among the EU countries that will force those nations to surrender more of their authority. The new agreement would allow bureaucrats to specify each nation's permissible debt load, and it would let those bureaucrats review -- and then approve or reject -- each nation's budget.
That is an attempt to head off a financial disaster brought about by debt-burdened nations such as Greece and Italy.
"[C]ountries in the treaty will have to submit their national budgets to the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, which will have the power to send them back for revision ...," The Associated Press reported. For nations that do not meet the bureaucrats' rules, "an unspecified 'automatic correction mechanism'" would be imposed.
But that kind of centralized control of all European nations' economies was evidently a bridge too far for Britain. While it remains part of the EU, Britain simply will not turn over its internal financial decision-making to an international body.
"What was on offer is not in Britain's interest, so I didn't agree to it ...," British Prime Minister David Cameron said. "[W]e're never going to give up this kind of sovereignty that these countries are having to give up."
Britain's critics are now faulting the nation for refusing to surrender its sovereignty. They say Britain will be "isolated" from Europe. But as one observer wryly put it, "Britain is 'isolated' the way those on lifeboats were 'isolated' from the Titanic."
Britain cannot rescue Europe from the consequences of reckless spending, and its decision not to cede its sovereignty to the other nations of Europe is perfectly reasonable.