European Stitch-Up

Mr Cameron, select your defence!

Last week we had a pretty unanimous conclusion from within the government about the impact of the meetings on Thursday night. The use of the British veto was necessary, because, as he said last Friday:

“The demands Britain made for safeguards, on which the Coalition Government was united, were modest and reasonable. They were safeguards for the single market, not just the UK.

“There were no demands of repatriation of powers from the EU to Britain and no demands for a unilateral carve-out of UK financial services.

“What we sought to ensure was to maintain a level playing field in financial services and the single market as a whole. This would have retained the UK’s ability to take tougher, not looser, regulatory action to sort out our banking system.”

However, of course, now he says that he is bitterly disappointed, and that Britain risked becoming “isolated and marginalised” from the European mainstream and, along with senior Liberal Democrats, spent the weekend contacting European leaders in a “strategy for re-engagement to recover lost ground”, according to a senior government source.

Paddy Pantsdown has been on the TV and radio declaring that our Prime Minister has failed, in words that left me gaping, suggesting that any other prime minister in the last fifty years would have done better. He has declared that our Prime Minister has “tipped 38 years of British foreign policy down the drain in a single night.” Vince Cable was much more measured. He said Britain was left in “a bad place” and there were rumours of his resignation (I wish). Meanwhile Chris Huhne – the one who’s being investigated for perjury, told everyone that his brilliant negotiating had won the day at the climate change discussions. It was a great success for “European diplomacy” he said.

His smugness made me nauseous.

So, just now, Britain has been removed from discussions about the Euro. We are excluded, a lonely, unwanted little island on the fringes. We’re on the sidelines, and are being forced to watch as our companions surge ahead, all engines racing, on a large, safe, vessel, towards a glorious future, while our little raft is buffeted by the wash from their propellers.

But their ship’s name is “Titanic”.

After all the discussions last week, which were too late, our friends came up with a plan that was predestined to fail, mainly because nothing has been done. They agreed to think up some new rules, they agreed to have more controls from the centre. They agreed that they would meet again to discuss how to do so, what to impose on other countries, and how to address all the problems with the Euro. Er. The disaster is here and now, but for all the guff from European politicians, you’d think they had a year to fix things. They haven’t.

I am sure that the French and Germans were determined to remove the UK from these discussions.

I think someone could be aiming the gun at Cameron's back. Probably a Libdem Quisling ...

No, I’m not paranoid. But the simple fact is, it helps all our European “partners” to take a swipe at Britain. We have a different background, different policies, different culture, even a different accounting system from their “Napoleonic” methods.

Britain has been an enemy of almost every nation in Europe at one time or another. We’ve fought with the French and Italians against the Germans; with the Prussians against the French; with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Belgians against the . . . well, you get the message. Britain built up the world’s largest empire in competition with Europeans. And we have strong ties elsewhere.

Now, one message which is being put out on the airwaves is that Britain needs Europe more than Europe needs Britain. Well, perhaps that’s usually true – but Britain is by nature an international nation. We trade all over the world. And while yes, we export a lot to Europe, we import more. We are valuable to Europe. Not least because we help bankroll the “project”. We would save billions a year, were we no longer paying to grow ever closer.

The European project is an ambitious concept. The idea is to tie all European states into one super state that will have centralised control over all nations. This disaster with the Euro has provided a marvellous opportunity for all those who believe in binding all states ever more closely into Europe, because they can see a chance to impose new rules on all European banks and governments. Straitjackets will be tied tightly around these unhappy nations. And any chance of growth will be stifled.

Ireland, whose economy has depended upon being able to entice foreign investment on the back of her low corporation taxes, will find money going elsewhere as she is forced to agree to increase taxes to meet German standards. The same taxes in Greece and Italy and Spain will, I would have thought, have guaranteed that their populations would remain impoverished for a generation.

And France and Germany asked that Britain, who depends for some 10% of GDP on our finance sector, and who relies on banks and banking to pay some £54 billion a year into our exchequer, asked us to agree to a series of new taxes.

Other countries don’t care too much. After all, almost all the serious trading that goes on is based in London. But those banks can easily move. Frankfurt would like to see them relocate to their city; Paris would like them too. But British banks wouldn’t relocate to cities which demanded identical taxes. They’d go to Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Toronto.

Britain would be hugely impoverished (like bankers or hate them because of their greed, but don’t cut off the flow of money they bring in unless you like the idea of being broke). We would lose our tax revenue, which would mean austerity on steroids. And would Europe be happy for us then to renegotiate our annual payments into Europe? I don’t think so.

Sarkozy and Merkel could not agree on how to resolve the present disaster that is the Euro. Merkel wants nothing that could sniff at central bank control and the risk of inflation caused by printing money, while Sarko has a simple attitude that he must get motoring if he wants to win his reelection in 2012. So kicking Britain is on everyone’s agenda. Sarko looks strong as he insults Britain, and Merkel and he can deflect all attention away from their lack of progress.

The request by Britain that such a vital part of our economy should be excluded from a new treaty was not unreasonable, and had been broadcast in the media beforehand.

In any negotiation it is crucial that the negotiators know where their red line is, beyond which they cannot retreat.

Last Thursday night, France and Germany knowingly forced Britain to that line and tried to keep pushing. It should have been no surprise that David Cameron was forced to use his veto at that point.

Time to defend the realm again. A referendum on EU membership has to be in Britain's best interests. Put the decision to the people and make up our minds.

Using the veto has raised lots of negative comments. Shocking, after all, they say, that the veto should have been used. Cameron should have used the threat, but never have gone for the nuclear option.

Hold on, guys! What the hell is the point of having a veto if at every single negotiation, you’re going to back down at the last minute?

For the last God knows how many years, Britain has backed down. We have never used the veto before on any issue. We have been forced to accept changes in working times for all workers (which has screwed our systems for training doctors), we’ve accepted changes in laws covering almost every aspect of life – and huffed and puffed, but never done more than complain.

Just as has happened in the past, no doubt new rules and new taxes will be discussed and imposed on Britain. They’ll do it under different rules. That’s the great thing about European law-making. Since it’s not democratic, bureaucrats can invent ever more creative ways of imposing laws on nations, against the wishes of the population.

But surely there are greater moves in place than just changing some laws.

Tectonic plates are sliding around under the surface.

This is oddly like the time a few weeks ago, when the Greek Prime Minister declared that he wanted a referendum on accepting the EU’s new rules.

His words went down well that day. His government agreed, and the Greek Cabinet was unanimous.

Within a day it began to unravel. A series of broadsides from opposition parties, and then from the cabinet itself began to show that there was a strong anti-referendum sentiment. Within a week, the Prime Minister had to resign, and somehow a new government was formed with a banker from Europe took over.

Compare that with the positive initial comments from Nick Clegg, and his sudden change over the weekend.

Now, apparently he is holding discussions with European partners, reforging links.

He is mad. So are the Libdems generally.

This isn’t rabid, foaming at the mouth madness. It’s the madness of lemmings. The Libdems can see the cliff in front of them, and they’re increasing their speed at the sight, egging each other on and cheering wildly as they go. And if lemmings don’t cheer, just look at the Libdems.

In Britain it would not be easy to remove our Prime Minister and impose a European technocrat to rule in his place. There would have to be a take-over from inside Parliament to oust the PM, and then there would have to be an election because the people here would not tolerate having someone foisted upon us.

So, let’s consider what would happen in an election. There would be millions of pounds spent from European coffers to promote Europe and how Britain’s future is only to be secured within the great European project. That money could benefit Labour, but in reality any election would become a pro- or anti-Europe vote. It is likely that party loyalties would be broken in that event, because Britain is more and more eurosceptic. And I think the Conservatives would be strong in that kind of election, especially if they promised a referendum on Europe.

Against that there would be the Libdems.

The party that promised a referendum “in or out” but now say we don’t need a vote, that promised with written guarantees that they would not support higher student fees, that promised so many things – and failed in all of them.

I don’t think they’d do well in an election just now.

So, if Europe wants a real show-down, bring it on. The Eurosceptics would win hands-down. And it’s time Britain was asked.

Do we want to be a part of a “European Project” or not?

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Comments
2 Responses to “European Stitch-Up”
  1. Jack eason says:

    In or out, sadly really makes no difference Michael. While we have inept politicians taking decisions based on their own personal agendas and emotions, what country anywhere stands a chance in hell of surviving this mess?

    Like

    • What scares me is the concept that they seem to have, that Brits should always agree, no matter how bad the treaty or agreement may be, just so that Europe can continue on its juggernaut-track. We were promised that we wouldn’t lose any sovereignty, that we wouldn’t have laws imposed on us from Europe, that we wouldn’t lose weights and measures – ye Gods! Every promise was a lie, as so many of us suspected from the start. It’s time we were given a ruddy say in the future of our nation. And not like the French and Irish, where it was decided they had given the wrong answer, and had to be asked again until they got it right – a simple vote on in or out.
      Europe would be happier and so would we. Mind you, they’d miss our £50 million a day that we pay in.

      Like

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