Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Cameron's Only EU Option? The Doggy Bag.
Cameron simply cannot negotiate and agree a new EU treaty by his own deadline - by 2017. The EU works by its own timetable. All Cameron can do is to promise "jam tomorrow". It will be a promise based on so-called trust - and with "cast iron" - we are fully aware of how that works out.
His only option is to attempt to pass off Associate Membership as a new relationship, one which is suggested in a forthcoming EU treaty - embedded in the Fundamental Law draft treaty since at least 2013 - as a "new relationship for the UK". But that is only a doggy bag rather than the full menu which is available via presiding on international bodies as an independent country. International bodies which largely determine Single Market rules.
Associate Membership then does nothing more than put countries in a position to argue they are reluctant to accept "ever closer union" while pretending they don't. The EU to its credit has never made the concept of "ever closer union" clearer.
And like 1975 we will have an attempt at the "reform nonsense" in direct contradiction of EU international treaties. Thus Cameron will leave us in "doggy bag" territory. Unable to deliver proper reforms the UK will merely pick up the leftovers at the behest of our EU masters. Cameron's constantly changing strategy in the face of EU objections makes it perfectly clear where the real power lies.
Here we can see that during a referendum campaign while Cameron will try to promise a better relationship with the EU, the Eurosceptics have a much better offer.
Unlike 1975 we have a substantially better vision of a new relationship with the EU, which will be outside "ever closer union". The mechanism with which we achieve that is to leave with Article 50.