Saturday, 10 December 2011

Some thoughts on this week's UK Veto at the EU.......

Well, where do I begin? Is it the end of the EU? (No.) Am I a xenophobic Little Englander? (No.) Are we now in a two speed Europe (Yes and we have been since the early 1980s.) Can I imagine the UK outside the EU? (No.) Will the UK one day leave the EU and concentrate on Commonwealth and wider world trading? (No.)

Had the UK not taken the position it had, then given government policy, a UK referendum on the change to our European Treaty obligations would have been necessary. Had such a referendum taken place, I think it would inevitably resulted in a heavy vote against acceptance.......putting us right into the position we're in now.

People do love to blame "the bankers" for everything, forgetting that "the bankers" concerned are a tiny group of people, whereas the banking industry (which people would apparently like to shaft mercilessly until it ****s off somewhere else) employs thousands of ordinary people whose companies would at the very least contract, throwing more people out of work. Just what we need at the moment.

I really am angry at the hypocrisy of the Labour Party stance in the last 48 hours. Had Gordon Brown or Ed Milliband been Prime Minister and gone off to this summit, do they really expect us to believe that they would have done anything different? And if they had, they'd have been slated for it anyway. They - and all UK politicians, including the remarkably subdued Liberal Democrats - know that tying the UK into a Euro-rescue policy would be both economically dangerous and electorally fatal.

The fact is, "the bankers" didn't cause this particular problem. Nor even did the start of the recession in the US mortgage market cause it. The Euro's problems stem from countries lying their way into the currency and then being allowed to do so by other countries that should have known better but which turned a blind eye in the name of the Great European Ideal.

We're told that we're now "isolated". That might or might not be true. But given that the alternative was doing something we wouldn't want to do, then apparently "not being isolated" means "doing what other countries tell us"?

And as has been said elsewhere, we're actually "isolated" in the same way that a passenger left on the dockside in Southampton was "isolated". When they missed the Titanic.


  1. Whilst I largely agree, I think that the "Titanic" quote is the kind of rhetoric that stops any real discussion taking place, it implies that Britain is fiscally sitting in a safe place which is very far from the truth.

    I do not think that Britain is necessarily isolated it is more a fact that Cameron has used a huge amount of politcal capital with this Veto and the question should be whether that capital has been used wisely. I think two of the four principle demands made at the meeting were unsupportable and probably part of his bargaining basket.

    I think the danger is that the rhetoric encourages an upsurge in demands to "leave" Europe which in my personal opinion would be a disaster for both Europe and the UK. There have been countless comments about the British economy becoming modelled on Switzerland after exiting from Eurpope with no discussion as to how long that would take.

    The thing that makes me smile about all of this is the statements claiming that European Fiscal practice is undemocratic, which by itself is true... However international fiscal policies of successive UK parliaments are identical and never open for discussion and at the very core undemocratic.

  2. My use of the Titanic metaphor was both considered and intentional.

    While I do not for a moment believe that the UK is in any sense in a "safe place", I equally do not believe that fiscal harmonisation of the other 26 (or 17) is practical, nor possible, nor indeed democratic.

    UK policy should only be decided by the UK and being "intimidated" into doing something harmful is deeply distasteful.

    I consider myself a good European for a variety of reasons but that does not mean making moves which would harm our country more than they would harm our neighbours'. I would certainly never support moves to leave the EU, nor would that be in any sense practicable.

    In any case, my point that the UK agreeing would have led to a referendum which would have thrown it out does rather make the nuances of the situation somewhat irrelevant! :-)

  3. I tseems that we agree with more than we disagree although I a would be flabbersmacked if there were ever to be a referendum on European Mambership.

    That vote in parliament would be amusing, I doubt there would be a clear majority in the house supporting any such move.