What next for the Euro?

So once again, it’s the bad old Brits who’ve ruined things in Europe.

OK, don’t expect this to be entirely rational. I was up until early this morning signing Christmas cards. Still, my natural grumpiness has been enhanced today by the entirely predictable sulkiness of Mr Sarkozy this morning.

It’s all Britain’s fault.

Mr Sarkozy made this plain enough. He said that “the sticking point had been Mr Cameron’s insistence on a protocol allowing London to opt-out on proposed change on financial services” (source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-16104089). We are the culprits once more.

And not only the French say this – British Liberal Democrats are up in arms. Lord Owen was almost incandescent on the radio this morning. He wanted us to be out of the Euro, but ever more closely European, and this decision, he said, would leave the UK “in great danger of being neither in the eurozone nor in Europe”.

Let’s just think about this. The man who signed away so many of our rights in 1978 is now complaining because we have vetoed a new treaty. He was always happy for us to agree to new treaties provided we retained our vetoes, but apparently this was the wrong time to use it.

In the last week we have seen the French and Germans growing more and more cosy. There have been visits to Paris by Angela Merkel, and the two great European powerhouses have discussed in private how to take things forward. They had much agreement. Just as they had about the need to remove the elected and democratic leaders of Greece and Italy. Somehow (and I don’t know how it was achieved), Sarkozy and Merkel quickly had the two out, and replaced with technocrats from Europe. Selection of two large nations’ leaders by French and German diktat – am I the only person in Europe who finds that deeply concerning?

Europe charging at the perfidious British

But for all their discussions and happy smiling photo opportunities, Sarkozy wanted a French model by which the European Central Bank would become a lender of last resort, and the Germans would not consider it. So the possibility of forward movement was bogged down last week by France and Germany, before Britain was included in any discussions at all.

One cure for the Euro would be for all the European nations to agree to sign up to a treaty whereby all their finances could be controlled centrally by European administrators.  That would help. It would create a massive fund, theoretically. Europe, ruled by Commissioners, could allocate funds as necessary, taking from the richer states to give to the poor.

And Britain would be included.

There would be a series of new taxes on – oh, banks and other unpopular folks. That’s OK, isn’t it?

Actually, no. It’s not. Because here in Britain, thanks to over a decade of gormless Labour leadership under their “borrow till we’re bankrupt and spend even more” policies, about the only sector worth anything is the City of London and the money brought in by the banks and other financial industries.

Oh, who cares about bankers and all that lot, I hear you say. They don’t create anything, they don’t help anyone but themselves.

Well they do help some folks to be particularly greedy. But the finance industries go deeper. Since Gormless Gordon Brown’s efforts, our finance sector is responsible for a huge proportion of the UK’s spending each year. Last year our banks generated £53.4 billion in taxes, for example. And Europe of course wants a large slice of that. Why wouldn’t it?

But there are deeper risks. Germany would like to have all banking centralised more. Perhaps persuading banks to become more European, by having them relocate to, say, Frankfurt, would make their business more efficient? France has always been, until recently, a balanced EU contributor. By that I mean that they have taken out almost exactly what they have paid in, while Britain and Germany have been net contributors.

Britain, if we were to lose our banking sector, would be very heavily damaged. It would affect us much more than other nations because we depend on banks for so much in terms of taxes. But if regulation and banking taxes were standardised, there would be no reason for the banks to remain in England.

Oh, yes, there will be some who will think that we could survive without banks. Who need ’em? But if they were to go to Frankfurt or Paris, we would all feel the pinch. And the British government would have to slash spending still further.

Of course this could be outweighed by the advantages of having bureaucrats in Brussels overlooking the banking and finance sectors.

They would manage them with great care. With the same care as they have managed, say, the European budgets. Riven with corruption, bribery and incompetence.

Piacenza - lovely city, but Britain needs British accountants and civil servants, not European ones.

Under the last administration, Ed Balls, Gormless Gordon’s sidekick, said he wanted more light touch control of the banks. Gormless Gordon and Balls set up a new tripartite system which was very light touch. When things started going wrong, no one could take responsibility, and three agencies pointed at each other to focus the blame for all that went wrong. But the failures in London pale into insignificance beside the administrative competence of Europe.

Marta Andreasen lost her job in the EU some years ago. In 2002 she was the accountant who refused to sign off the EU’s audit. But it wasn’t only her – the accounts for the EU have not been signed off by the external auditors since 1994 – yes! For seventeen years our administrators have failed to produce properly audited accounts.

And these morons in Europe wanted to have all of us sign up to have our national budgets  regulated by these same bureaucrats?

However, since France and Germany are keen to remain close buddies, with “Markozy” agreeing to a civil partnership, a big, bad enemy had to be found, and when in doubt, Europe always likes to lambast the miserable Anglo-Saxons. It was us and our banks who brought the world economy down, obviously. We always throw a spanner in the works.

It was a big spanner this time.

But perhaps if, in the past, we hadn’t already had to give away our fishing industry, our farming, our currency, our weights and measures, as well as our natural ties to the Commonwealth, we might have more faith in the project.

And before any European technocrat gets his hands on our taxes and tries to control our budgets, I’d like to see the European budgets properly audited and see their books balanced.

 

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Comments
11 Responses to “What next for the Euro?”
  1. Jack eason says:

    What gets to me Michael is how the leaders of the European nations, for some reason known only to themselves, think that Adolf Hitler’s dream of a united Europe is a good thing!

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  2. It is becoming quite clear that the UK was being roped in to provide much needed finance to help baiil out the feckless on the Southern periphery of Europe AND simultaneously hand over even more control to unelected beurocrats on the Brussels gravy train. Berlusconi was an idiot but now Italy has an unelected president pulling the strings imposed from Brussels. Greece ditto. The more one looks at the way the Euro was set up and how the finances have been totally mismangaed not only within the sovreign states but also within the central beurocratic departments one staggers back in disbelief.
    Interesting to see the MEPs, receivers of much of the gravy train moolah washing around Brussels, hurrying to the TV studios to bewail the “isolation” of the UK.

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  3. So Dave actually did what he said, hurrah! Why should we bow down to a Franco-Prussian treaty, we pay more in than we get out – so we have a right to protect our own.
    Time for the euro to go – an artificial currency at the best of times – now it is a chocolate coin melting on the funeral pyre of those countries who are suffering such financial restrictions that half their populations will be below the poverty level

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  4. To be fair, Jack, Hitler was only expanding a little on Napoleon’s concept. But the trouble I have is the same as Ralph’s and Madkent’s – which is that they’re trying to force us to pay for their empire building. They will not want banking or insurance controls to be based in England, but they do want the money. So we’ll have to lose the £50 billion tax revenues as well as the jobs. No doubt our European “partners” will want us to maintain our crippling payments to remain part of the European Union, after we’ve lost our main industries, of course. Why are we the bad guys of Europe when we’re the ones who fund all these vainglorious and moronic plans?

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  5. Carole Schultz says:

    Thank you, again, Michael for keeping us (me) informed of the situation. Naturally, most of what I pick up are through the newspapers, so I am grateful to receive news from the “people”. My personal opinion is that we should never have joined the EU in the first place; then, I think, Britain would still be Britain.

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  6. Mike, I am glad you mentioned Marta Andreasen. I heard her speak at a conference around the time she left her post in the EU (or was suspended, I believe it’s true to say). I have also dipped into her book since. I understand that the EU falls down in that it does not fully utilise proper double entry accounting systems with some data prepared on Excel only and sometimes even in a far less sophisticated environment. Hence it’s not able to perform all the reconciliations required for confidence in the data and is more at risk of fraud. It’s this lack of control that really bugs me as we all know that staggering amounts of money flow through it every year (and are ever-increasing). It is a certainty that fraud will be rife there in such an environment.

    And what did that walking, talking, breathing rat bag of a Welsh politician unfortunately given a DNA structure by God say regarding Andreasen’s situation when he went there as a Commissioner? He’d sort it out, he said. This he achieved by permanently shutting the door on Andreasen. Sorting it out the right way wouldn’t have suited Kinnock whose middle name is surely Bisto?

    With the state of the economy you’d hope they’d try and contain costs etc., but this is the only immense body not appearing to see this need.

    However, I think we need to be in a well-designed EU. Germany is big enough to be a ‘county’ of China but we’d be the equivalent of the UK’s Sark to it. That is a route I fear the most.

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    • Mike says:

      I get the distinct impression I hit a raw nerve!

      Thanks for the comments. Especially about the appalling Kinnock, who is so dedicated to removal of the House of Lords that he gleefully grabbed a Lordship with both hands. Nice to be able to get a Commissioner’s job in Europe. And see his wife get another. And their son, too, so that they can all share from the trough while trying to slag off a dedicated civil servant attempting to prevent fraud.

      The EU was keen to remove Britain from negotiations about European finances, which is why we were forced into a corner to protect our interests. If Europe standardises their position on taxation, it’ll mean our little country will benefit as businesses come to us (and not, as in the past, Ireland, for example). And being on the fringes gives huge benefits to countries like Turkey, Norway, Switzerland etc. Yeah, I’m pretty happy.

      Now all we need is the referendum promised by Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and the Conservatives.

      I can dream.

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  7. Michael Ramsey says:

    A reverse of decimalization is on order….but seriously. DC should retreat to the sidelines and let the EU game come to Britain a bit. No need to change the strategy of straddling the fence as a gateway between Europe and North America (and the Far East)…..a large niche….lord knows nature hates vacuums.

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  8. Live long enough and you get to work out that all politicians promise honourable things before an election… Then, after the election, who cares about the electorate?

    As for Brown. I wouldn’t trust him to *give* me a used space hopper.

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  9. Paul Neimoyer says:

    Now that France has been downgraded by S&P look for default. France defaulted on it’s debt to the US after WWI. It’s their pattern.

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