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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cool heads and clear minds

Former British PM John Major has a very interesting piece in today's FT.

For the UK, these paragraphs are instructive:
"A more integrated eurozone will also provoke non-euro members of the EU by driving them further away from core decision-making. They will react adversely – which is why an early announcement of fiscal union is unlikely. Instead, judicially enforceable controls over deficits, early harmonisation of corporate taxes and a permanent chairman of the eurozone are likely early moves. We are drifting towards full fiscal union: only the timescale is flexible.

This has consequences: non-euro members will not wish to be marginalised and may sniff suspiciously at euro-core proposals, rendering decision-making even more of a hurdle. If the eurozone integrates and co-ordinates policy, non-euro members may co-ordinate too. Confrontation looms. Deeper eurozone integration may encourage non-euro member states to seek to repatriate key policies they can’t influence. The UK will not be alone in this. In the next decade, a federal eurozone will change Europe’s mosaic. Within the eurozone it will become more prescriptive; outside, a looser union could emerge. A pattern of variable alliances is likely. EFTA countries may move closer to non-euro members. One thing is certain – the EU will not remain the same.

In the UK, and elsewhere, many are pressing for their nation to leave the EU. This is an extreme option that would throw up far more problems than it would solve. For the UK it would be a dangerous mistake but, even so, our relationship within the EU will shift. Cool heads and clear minds are needed: our future depends on it."


Peripatetic Scribe said...

Personally, I find what Sir John says more than "interesting". He has outlined the nub of the problem and presented an excellent viewpoint on the way forward. To leave the EU would be catastrophic; to be part of a "non-aligned outer" core is highly acceptable. The UK holds democracy in high regard - we MUST ensure that level (and more) for the future.

Paul Daniel said...

I follow the logic of John Major's argument concerning the likely effects of greater cooperation by the Euro block within the EU. However, he does not explain his final statement that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU would cause more problems than it would solve. He cannot just present such glib statements as fact without any justification.

I voted for the Common Market but not the current highly undemocratic situation where 80% of our laws are made by a bunch of unelected, thieving, overpaid bureaucrats in Brussels. I initially thought like John that reform would be adequate but the more I have looked into the EU the more I have come to the conclusion that an exit by the UK in the most gracious way possible is the only proper answer. I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK. Nothing less will do.

Oh and before writing me off as another loonie sceptic, please note that this nut case campaigned against the Euro for the UK because along with many other people I saw the current Euro crisis coming 15 years ago, which is a better record than John Major. How many people want to ditch the £ now I wonder?

christhai said...

In the UK and "elsewhere" many are pressing for their nation to leave the EU.

Please could we have a list of these countries in which significant numbers are pressing their Government to leave the EU?

Anonymous said...

Four nations already said 'no' but they still got more EU pushed down their throats anyway.

Peripatetic Scribe said...

Anonymous - I think you are slightly in error. Four nations had referenda in which the majority said "no" (but upon re-voting they said "yes") but this was NOT on joining the EU but for pieces of legislation coming out of the EU (as they were already members). The question was 'which countries are significant numbers pressing their government to leave the EU'; thus far no list has been given.

Anonymous said...

I find it worrying that so many people, of some intelligence, can still seriously believe that the EU is anything other than a political conceit. The delusory attitude that pouring money down the black hole of the EFSF "bail-out fund" will solve anything is incredible. It does not actually have anything like the €440 billion which the media keep describing as its "firepower", its "reserves", its "funds" as Robert Peston of the BBC pretends. It has operates by borrowing money and lending it on.

Its subscribed share capital was minimal - less than €29 million, and I do mean million not billion, as can be checked on page 4 of the Articles of Incorporation:

So far it has borrowed a total of €13 billion through three bond issues and it has disbursed a total of €9.5 billion, on which basis it will presently have less than €3.5 billion to hand.

Alice in Wonderland stuff in reality.