According to a speech that the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is set to give today the UK’s unhappiness with the EU is at ‘the deepest it has ever been’.
Mr Hague is set to say this in Berlin against a back-drop of the Eurozone battling for greater integration in the wider EU and the European Commission wanting a juicy injection of money for itself while the rest of us suffer from the imposed austerity measures.
But this has added fuel to the fire that is Berlin’s unhappiness with Mr Cameron’s increasingly hard-line stance against the EU to the extent that it is reported that unless Mr Cameron alters his approach Angela Merkel will call off next month’s budget discussion EU summit. That’s democracy in action for you! It seems that EU summits are only to be held when everyone acquiesces. What’s the point in these meetings if everyone agrees? Surely they should meet and discuss when there’s something to discuss. But of course these summits are really just PR exercises to show how unified the politicians are so convincing the people that their plans have some sort of mandate.
But all these disagreements and concerns are today’s disagreements and concerns. What of the future?
Let’s sprinkle a little fairy dust about and go to a magical land where the Eurozone has turned itself over time into an economic behemoth. It straddles the world and towers over an isolated UK and slowly but surely outstrips it in growth and living standards. What then would be the overwhelming call made by the people of the UK? To join at any cost?
The truth is that the 27 member state EU is an ever changing landscape of political and economic needs and wants where a mutually beneficial agreement made today becomes tomorrow’s liability; as the drive towards an ever closer union and the adoption of the Euro seem to show.
Those that want a fully integrated Europe should learn to slow down; it won’t be built in a day, if at all. But of course politicians’ personal legacies are not made that way in the modern world.
The EU seems to have been set up in a way that allows it to almost dictate to us that it is good and must be allowed to grow and flourish. And that anything it cobbles together (like the Euro) is good and must be blessed and accepted. This has allowed it to run off like a driverless express train, so the wreck that follows should come as no surprise.
What we really need is a massive scaling back of the EU and some real red lines drawn as to its power and scope. Let’s drop the steel cable of ‘ever closer union’ that threads through everything that is the EU. Then we can let European nation state relations follow a more natural, less forced route. This may take time but the eventual outcome might be far more harmonious.
But the Euro’s woes are now forcing the pace, the people of the Eurozone and the EU are being herded by the needs of the single currency in the belief that if the Euro goes under so will they. But if countries are forced together in this manner will it actually benefit those that really matter, the ordinary folk of Europe?
The old adage ‘more haste less speed’ springs to mind. But humans are very ‘now’ beings.