When pressed in a TV interview to agree that current Eurozone moves towards greater integration meant that the UK would now never join the single currency, Ken Clarke the once Chancellor now Justice Secretary said that ‘Certainly nothing is going to happen in the next decade but I find ‘never say never’ in politics is a very good rule’.
Reported in the Express this has been jumped on by Eurosceptics such as the Conservative MP Douglas Carswell (a politician for whom I have great respect) as an opportunity to bash those that may like the European project. “The reason Britain always ends up being on the wrong side of almost every public policy issue I can think of is because we leave it to people like Mr Clarke to make these decisions. Again and again we see the governed having a lot more common sense than the governing.” He said.
“If it’s left to the people in Westminster, I’m sure they would put euro membership on the table again.”
“But the 60 million people who constitute the country would be appalled by this sort of thinking.’’
You get the feeling from this that our Ken would watch the Titanic sinking and ask if there were any more tickets available.
However, despite the prevailing anti-joining the Euro view in most of the UK, Ken is actually correct.
The current thinking within the UK of the Euro is just that …. current.
If any surviving members of the Eurozone quickly accept a single bond market and full tax harmonisation then the ‘zone could become quite a power-house. It is then that the public at large could begin to be swayed by the arguments for joining the Euro.
Not going into the Euro now is a no-brainer, so no breath should be wasted on it. But how could you argue against joining when the UK is having a bad time economically and the Eurozone is flourishing? It would only be a matter of time, maybe decades, until that state of affairs occurred, which is what the Europhiles are all waiting for. That would be when the real battle started.
We can say no as many times as we like, but it would only take one yes to then be tied in to the European project for a virtual eternity.