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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New OE poll shows Merkel and Cameron should have plenty to talk about

We’ve put out a new poll this morning in conjunction with You Gov ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the UK tomorrow. The results make for some interesting reading and suggest there are plenty of areas of agreement between the Brits and the Germans. Whether this can translate into a new Anglo-German bargain and wider EU reform remains to be seen, but it provides a good basis for discussions.

The results suggest that Germans are split on the future development of the EU. While 38% say they’d like a more integrated Europe with more decisions taken at the European level, 31% say they’d like a less integrated Europe and 9% favour complete German withdrawal. 14% favour the status quo.

Among British respondents, a less integrated Europe with more decisions taken nationally or locally, is by far the most favoured option (37%). 24% want complete British withdrawal, 15% favour the status quo and only 10% would like more integration with more decisions taken at the European level. This illustrates that rather than a straight in or out choice, the British public has a clear desire for reform. It is now up to the UK Government to deliver a clear reform programme.


While more German than British respondents were sympathetic towards the prospect of more EU integration, a majority in both countries think that national parliaments rather than the European Parliament should be the ultimate check on new EU laws (see graph above, click to enlarge).

In the UK, 55% believe that every country’s national parliament should have the right to block new EU laws and 18% believe that a group of national parliaments working together should have the power to block EU laws – a total of 73%. In Germany, 36% favour a veto for the Bundestag over new EU laws and 22% are in favour of a group of national parliaments being able to block EU laws – a total of 58%. Only 8% of Britons and 21% of Germans think the European Parliament, rather than national parliaments, should have the right to block new EU laws.


Furthermore, in four out of six key policy areas – EU migrants’ access to benefits, police and criminal justice laws, employment laws and regional development subsidies – a majority in both countries said that decisions should be taken at the national rather than at the EU level (see table above).


Of the EU’s three flagship projects – the single market, enlargement and the euro – the single market was considered to be beneficial by the biggest share of voters in both countries. 52% of British voters said the single market is beneficial while 26% said it is not beneficial and 23% are undecided. 74% of German voters said it was beneficial, while 19% said it isn’t, and 8% said they don’t know.


Both British (55%) and German (48%) voters tend to view the impact of EU migrants on their country negatively. A smaller share of voters in both Britain (42%) and Germany (42%) said EU migrants negatively impacted on them personally, while a larger share in Germany (41%) than in Britain (30%) feel that EU migrants have a positive impact on them personally.

Plenty of scope for agreement then, but we’ll end on a note of caution. Merkel remains keen on a step by step approach and is somewhat hamstrung by her new coalition partners. Cameron will have to secure a much wider base for reform than just her, while she is also more likely to publicly back him if he has formed other alliances.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of the 6 core policy areas sampled in the poll, there is an overwhelming majority (bar in one area) in favour of the UK running its own affairs.

Clearly, this is a "two fingers up" approach to what the EU has (not) achieved over the last few years.

What we all must remember too is that we are in an 'abnormal' period in that this is not a 'business as usual' period which the countless EU rules and directives were designed for.

The EU has not sorted out the problems with the Euro which has lead to the law of unintended consequences impacting large parts of the UK's way of life and culture in areas such as immigration and absurd rulings from the European Court (and ECHR).

I have no confidence that the EU can make a correct decision and demand the right to let them know that by either sacking the lot of them or, better still, just leaving.

SC

Rik said...

1. Looks to be a clear mandate/platform for Cameron for a reneg. Clearly the communication towards the electorate (albeit started a bit too late) have done most of its job.
It always takes some time for a rather complicated mesage to get through.
Good timing from Osborne in that respect on the Scotland/Pound front. He basically proofs that Salmond is talking out of his backside and out of tune on top of that, but still the polls direct after that show different.
First (primary) reaction is 'he is bullying us', so even support for an 'out' went up. Simply takes some time for people to 'wake up to reality'. To quote Mr Mercury.

2. Communication with the business sector however still pretty much sucks. It is still not clear that the EU simply needs reform to be a sustainable thing anyway. Also not clear that this is not Cameron's call at the end. With polls like this and the issue on top of the agenda and over several election cycles it will end up anyway with the public sometime.
Choice is does business want this completely unorganised (the Milliway) or does it prefer the Daveroad which tries to manage the process and substantially increases the chance EU membership can be maintained.
The Milliway would very likely put IP permanently on the map and the country being Blaired by another chain of Labour cabinets. Businesssector being usually rather anti-fruitcake and anti-redistributors.

Furthermore the only noise we here is about UK companies losing business. It is still not clear that by far the most likely outcome even in case of an exit is that the Common market will remain intact.
Also the fact that the EU will lose a lot of business otherwise is clearly underlighted. While this also explains that for both parties keeping the Common market simply looks like a no-brainer. Or in Ms Reding's case a no-2brainceller.
Good the Swiss are doing the recon in this respect. They will get the first Flak always better on somebodyelse's head.
Merky probably has seen the bigger picture already and doesnot think it is a good tradeoff having 200K Jermans send home and retaliate by sending by 7 or 8 Swiss sending back jodeling into the mountains (or the other way around).

3. Problem remains in Germany that there are no real alternatives on the political stage. AfD could well do with Wilders latest masterpiece: 'How to present yourself as a real populist for dummies'.
Basically everything that AfD does different from Wilders sucks. As far as it goes to put the party on the map at least. When it is really there things will be easier but will they really make it.
Simply donot understand that eg 30-40% simply hate foreigners of the 3rd worldtype and you can basically call them everything you want with as likely success you will gainsubstantially in the polls. Not that they should do that (makes the current AfDcrowd look unnatural which is also a negative). But if Wilders and LePen show one thing 30-40% of the population is totally fed up with political correctness and is willing to vote on that.
There is much simply more room. Why not say it businesslike but as hard, they should be able to that and that is not out of character?

Rik said...

Part2
EP looks to be an easy one 3% is deemed unconstitutional so people donot have to fear voting for nothing.
Likely the CDU will get pretty nervous about that and they should be. Not with the result as such (they will however be), but for what it means re next Merkyless election and carrying all the SPD presents for the people (with annexed taxbill) with their approval.

On the left developments are almost equally strong. Sarah With The H On A Funny Place is probably the most intelligent MP overthere (pitty she is a lefty). OE and most of the foreign press seem to miss developments there. She has by far the most clear analysis of that bunch of in general misfits only as said unfortunately for a Guardianist perspective. She was the only critical voice mentioned (probably because she was) on the discussion a couple of days ago on a possible new Greek bail out. That will start to play just after the EP elections. Purely by coincidence of course.
There is already a rather populist party: Die Linke. Who should be well served with one of Wilders other masterpieces written in combination with a Mr Cokx (excuse the spellingmistake I undoubtedly made): 'How to put a populist party on the electoral and subsequently political map for dummies'. Or even their other masterpiece : 'How to use EU mismanagement to double your voterbase for dummies'. That is all that is missing there at the moment.
A rise of an Eurosceptic party on the left will simply force the SPD to do a Timmermans and actually listen to their voters on this point. They probably would have to take prozac for a longer period because of that but it is for the good of the country eh Heimat.
They probably have to create some USP anyway as the SPD is getting all sort of unaffordable social nonsense through parliament as Merky has messed up the coalition agreement. Likely they SPD will do well in the polls probably at the expense of the other Lefties Greens and Linke.

3. For Germany this is not the priority. If you want it on top of the agenda you simply need to make it top of the agenda. In other words make it urgent. Simple as that. But not a priority now.

The rest is playing a bit wait and see. Not really a problem yet. Let them first think things through. Economic meaning of a Brexit for themselves. Market response, may be this year's dip in the stokexchange can do that. Undoubtly it will lead to some problems on the Eurofront. Which could be used to 'inform' people if the political contamination risk. In that respect getting the communication with the businesssector in order should as well be speeded up. They are likely the first ones that will bring this up, with politicians to follow. It is not a popular opinion thing.
Good the Dutch are coming with own proposals. Swedes might be another good candidate. They have kept themselves out of discussions but they will be well served to understand that the relation EZ nonEZ needs a retuning. And this is the best time for that, the only notEZ biggy is going for it and the climate in general is nearly optimal for reform.

Average Englishman said...

I would agree with O.E. that a renegotiation would be great if the end result were the Common Market the UK voters agreed to originally and not the EUSSR they have now been lumbered with. However, such potential reversals for the EU commissars are not 'on the table' nor will they ever be whilst the EU loving Cameron is in charge.

Given this situation, it is more relevant to note that:-
1) About 25% of the UK people want out of the EU altogether.
2) A large majority of the UK population want a lot less EU.
3) Such Eurosceptics tend to have strong feelings and will definitely vote, so their impact on Cameron and his buddies will be disproportionately large when compared with their basic numbers. 4) The Eurosceptic cause is gaining momentum in the UK (and elsewhere in Europe) and the percentages noted are moving up all of the time as the public become more and more aware just how much their lives are blighted by living under the rule of unelected EU Commissioners (the forthcoming EU parliamentary elections are a bad joke democratically speaking and are worthy of the old USSR).
5) Said Eurosceptic cause will not be stopped or appeased by some half baked deceitful promises of future possible action from Cameron or anyone else (a.k.a. 'spin').

So, I hope that Angela and Dave have a nice meal or three and get a good rappor going but don't delude yourself at O.E. (or try and convince anyone else) that it will make any real difference to the place of the UK in the EU, either now or in the future.

johnlandseer said...

So, the older I get, the more simple things become for me.

In terms of Mrs Merkel's priorities, one suspects that, above all others - the survival of the euro is the most important thing in the world for her.

To this end, she knows (as do most of us) that much further and deeper integration of the euroland/zone has to take place.

In the UK, we are not in a position to stop this.

Increasingly, it follows that the EZ will increasingly become non aligned with what we the UK a) need or b) want.

My crystal ball tells me that the euro will, in the limit, kill the EZ and that the EZ will help kill the EU - night really does follow day - when will this happen - 10 years from now.

All currency unions end in failure - the great mistake, no, gigantic mistake that Delors/Santer/Duisenburg made was instantiating the euro when they did.

The ability to renegotiate anything from the EU/EZ is just not going to happen whilst the euro goes into its death throes - therein lies madness.

Best we can go for is to invoke Article 50, orderly BREXIT and use great british ingenuity and trade to make our way in the wider world.

Sovereignty will traduce trade/single market in any dimension.

johnlandseer said...

To this end, she knows (as do most of us) that much further and deeper integration of the euroland/zone has to take place.

In the UK, we are not in a position to stop this.

Increasingly, it follows that the EZ will increasingly become non aligned with what we the UK a) need or b) want.

My crystal ball tells me that the euro will, in the limit, kill the EZ and that the EZ will help kill the EU - night really does follow day - when will this happen - 10 years from now.

All currency unions end in failure - the great mistake, no, gigantic mistake that Delors/Santer/Duisenburg made was instantiating the euro when they did.

The ability to renegotiate anything from the EU/EZ is just not going to happen whilst the euro goes into its death throes - therein lies madness.

Best we can go for is to invoke Article 50, orderly BREXIT and use great british ingenuity and trade to make our way in the wider world.

Sovereignty will traduce trade/single market in any dimension.

Anonymous said...

Johnlandseer

I could not agree more.

Given the implosion of the MananaZone and their inability to deal with the serious problems involved, the UK's needs and wants and the EU's needs and wants are now diametrically opposed.

Keeping the free movement of labour just pushes the problem and risk of MananaZone unemployment over on to the UK, to the detriment of our economy, culture, laws and way of life.

Here in the UK we need to be free to move quickly and flexibly to re-structure and target new markets and ideas. I just cannot see that happening given the vested interests of the many EU members. By the time they have argued and compromised over X number of years, the world will have moved on and they will still be behind.

The agreements, laws and directives agreed at EU level apply to normal times and NOT to these times of economic chaos.

BREXIT is the way out and other rich northern EU nations will follow.

I just do not understand how the idea of a Common Market and Free Trade has led us being politically ruled by these buffoons. To cap it all, their agenda is now becoming clearer by the day - first we have the secret and unauthorised EU drone project (cost EUR 300m) and now they have stirred up trouble in the Ukraine and will, no doubt, expect us 'to pay our fair share' of the cost of the bail out (read bribe).

No thanks. Free trade. No sovereignty.

SC

christina speight said...

It is ludicrous and self-deluding to go on talking as though ":Reform" were possible.

The EU insiders and eurocrats will have none of it and is is batty to go on talking about it.

Jusat look at those interesting polls. There isn't a leader of any country or any of the EU's own top brass who would subscribe to the German wishes let alone the British ones. Merkel wouldn't and Cameron certain;y wouldn't. We're just wasting time and effort discussing a fairy-tale.

It's time we - including OE - all woke up and fixed our minds on getting away from the monstrous evil machine altogether.