Monday, 7 December 2009

Déjà vu

Further proof, if any were needed, in the FT's interview with George Osborne, that Hannan's First Law: 'no party is ever eurosceptic while in office', is still alive and kicking.

Osborne's interview refers to the news that Gordon Brown has been out-maneuvered a French commissioner is in charge of EU financial services, which poses a threat to the status of the City of London as a financial centre.

On a positive note, Osborne indicates that, at least, he's prepared for the horse-trading nature of EU politics, which so dogged and overwhelmed John Major during the Maastricht Treaty negotiations:
“We have to be realistic at how we play the European game,”
That the FT is one of the most pro-European UK newspapers would account for some of Osborne's softer tone, unfortunately the article is still liberally sprinkled with heard-it-all-before phrases:
“We’re prepared to trade some other things in order to secure Britain’s vital national interests on financial services.”
"a Eurosceptic Conservative government would not become isolated in Europe"
"the overall policy would have to be “deliverable”"
The Tories claim that; 'We won't let matters rest there', is again ultimately exposed as nothing more than an empty promise. The article continues:

He said he would base a Tory minister in Brussels “for the next year or two” to ensure a “much more aggressive Treasury presence” as EU legislation is drafted.

Aggressive presence eh? I bet that has the EU quaking in their boots, because that aggressive presence has hardly been a success up to now, as demonstrated when the UK's finance team recently walked out of the negotiations on financial supervision by the French.

Partly the French's posturing delight over the City, and the snub over CAP negotiations, is because they know a dying, incompetent UK Government when they see one.

Conversely the Conservatives should have a stronger hand to negotiate with, by (probably) having a successful mandate next year, as a so-called eurosceptic party.

Despite that however, experience teaches us, that what really happens with a so-called eurosceptic Tory party is:
  • Britain claims proposals are unacceptable.
  • Britain attends negotiations isolated, and so a row ensues.
  • Behind the scenes lots of horse-trading happens.
  • Neville Chamberlain George Osborne will emerge waving a white piece of paper exclaiming that they have secured the required opt-outs for the City, and that they've got the best deal for Britain.
  • It later emerges that far more was given away than won.
  • Said opt-outs will erode over time, especially now EU law is supreme and thus they will leak like a sieve.
  • Britain will, as a result, be integrated further into the EU supranational state.
It all sounds so depressingly familiar.

No comments:

Post a Comment