Saturday, 23 June 2012

Is Britain On The Way Out Of The EU?

Harold Macmillan allegedly replied to a journalist's question of what is most likely to blow governments off course, with the response; "Events, dear boy, events".

Such is Cameron's position now. He was desperate to 'park the EU' issue for the Tory party, but now it has blown up in his face big time. So much so that within less than six months the question of an EU referendum of sorts is increasingly being touted as being inevitable. This was unthinkable before the 2010 election in political circles.

But, as with the issue of immigration, which is being discussed by Labour eight years late simply as a token gesture so it is with our EU membership. Our political class are still stuck in a time warp of 'renegotiation' and 'common market' rhetoric, however events move fast and the EU tectonic plates have shifted very rapidly. The EU is about to go for the leap into full political integration (as was always intended) - more quickly than it will probably get away with but necessary because of the severity of the Eurozone crisis.

As Richard North points out, the key date is June 28th next week when the EU Council (not Summit) takes place, and political integration proposals are likely to be announced. With the severity of the Eurocrisis preventing the original intention of salami tactics (step-by-step) regarding integration as per the Monnet method, they are having to go for it all in one go - a bold move which will inevitably mean that Britain's relationship with the EU will have to change. A significant treaty change is due and thus a referendum here. This leaves three options:
  • Accept full integration including the Euro - a non-starter.

  • Attempt to veto the forthcoming treaty at an IGC, unless Cameron demands we repatriate powers. Yet not only does Cameron have no influence regarding the EU Council agenda, it will also leave him open to accusations of destroying the EU project for 'selfish national interest'. Again a non-starter.

  • So all that's left is option 3, leave via article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to try to renegotiate a new relationship entirely, which essentially means exit, in all but name.
As Dr North argues; "Britain is on its way out". At times like this, the official advice regarding a possible breakup of the Euro is to stock up on canned food. Me? I'm stocking up on beer - I might need's been a long wait.


  1. Tut, tut TBF - beer??

    The best malt and a huge great cigar for me - and I haven't smoked for 30 years.

    Unfortunately - I somehow get the felling it ain't going to be so easy.

    I hope you and RN are right.

  2. I have a bottle of Denbies Greenfields Cuvee English Sparking Wine which will be cracked open when we leave.

    But the British Establishment; big business and our Quisling Political class will do everything they can to keep us in the EU in one form or another.

    We are at 'the end of the beginning.' The REAL fight to get our country back starts now.

  3. @BJ 'fraid so - a nice glass of London Pride - sorry don't do spirits generally.

    I hope so too, the momentum does appear to be towards a make or break situation and was always on the cards at some point.

    @DeeDee99 Agreed, leaving the EU is only the beginning - something I didn't appreciate 20 odd years ago. I will celebrate (enthusiastically) if we do but the fundamental problems will still remain - we want our country back.

  4. given that the two largest parties are composed of what used to called traitors ?

  5. I think it was always known that eventually there would have to be a leap across a chasm to establish a single state properly; they didn't realise the chasm would be so wide or the edges so slippery.

    Leaving under article 50 is a deliberately drawn out process with demeaning terms.

    Richard North has pointed out that it isn't simply a matter of leaving. There has to be a plan and a vision of what life would be like outside the EU, that is a positive goal and a plan. There is no will in the political establishment to form such a plan and really no thought of doing anything apart from going along with the EU as far as they dare.

    RN's also pointed out that if things retain any semblance of normality, it's just a fact that the affairs of the UK and those of the EU are so intertwined that it would be difficult to disentangle them. There are all sorts of things such as expatriates, fishing agreements, defence policy etc. There's also the fact that the EU produces technically workable legislation; Westminster, having been reduced to a playpen, has lost the habit.

    One possibility you haven't accounted for is the EU falling apart, maybe by Germany refusing to play along or something else which is completely out of the blue, like a military dictatorship in some country. These things are not off the cards.

    Basically, these are uncharted waters, but we can't make things as if we'd never been drawn into the EC.

    My guess is that the UK political establishment will want to fudge along with the EU, tracking it, because anything else is too painful. There'll be a realisation that the EU they know and love is over, but they'll look forwards to being founder members of a Northern European League or somesuch.

    What got us into the EC/EEC/EU in the first place was a desperation over the loss of empire and a basic lack of faith in Britain. Britain had to 'punch above its weight' and 'have a seat at the top table'. If you have the economic ability, these things can't be refused you, but they no faith in that and wanted to achieve it by sleight-of-hand. Nothing much has changed. That's why we've had the nonsense about being an Aid Superpower and Leading the Way on Climate Change; leading the way on anything which involves spending a lot of money we don't have and produces no tangible return, but allows the inflation of political egos.