EU Project = The political project (the Commission, the Parliament, the Courts etc) based in Brussels, Strasbourg and elsewhere that has political, legal and fiscal harmonisation as its core raison d'etre.
No it doesn't. Beyond a requirement that member states are democratic and subject to the rule of law, there is no political harmonisation. In fact the treaties specify the EU's obligation to respect the national identities and the fundamental political and constitutional structures of the individual Member States.
The euro is a monetary union but NOT a fiscal one, and it never will be. The fact that fiscal matters (i.e. tax and spending) have been left to indivdual member states in the euro zone is the main reason why it has failed.
None of the countries within these organisations [NAFTA, ASEAN] has abrogated their laws or fiscal systems to a dominant country or project.
Neither has the EU. There is no fiscal union between any EU member states. Most laws are down to individual countries. EU laws and directives mainly relate to cross-border issues such as agriculture, fisheries and the single market.
All of the countries outside of Europe look at the EU Project as being one of the most bizarre aspects of Europe and can't understand why we would give up our sovereignty to Germany.
I am not nearly as well travelled as mikes, but I have been to many countries, and I have always got the impression that the EU is regarded with respect and envy across the world, as a shining example of how countries which fought one another for 2,000 years can find a way of living in peace and prosperity. As for giving up our sovereignty to Germany, you could argue that the other eurozone countries have done that, but it's nonsense to suggest that we have, or ever would.
our relationship has been one of trying to maintain our distinctive being and not be subjected to political, legal and fiscal union. We had no say over the Maastricht or Lisbon Treaties.
See above. There is no political, legal or fiscal union, and there never will be. We were part of the drafting of the the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties, and we willingly signed them
So it will not surprise me if other countries don't follow the UK out of the EU Project.
Me neither. That's one of the most worrying and dangerous things about our current situation - the break-up of the EU could re-awaken national rivalries and animosity the like of which we have not seen for decades. We could be entering some dark times.
I would like to think that mikes' rose-tinted view of where we are bore some relationship to reality, but I fear it doesn't. We are in the most almighty mess, and the referendum has caused damage that will take years to repair, if indeed it is ever repaired. Hold on to your hat, mikes, because we're all in for a very bumpy ride!