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The United Kingdom's bye bye to Europe

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 11:36 am
@Walter Hinteler,
In its German version, spiegel-online has a quite ironic comment

The (different) commentary in in the English version - The Failure of a Forced Marriage - sums it up as well:
Quote:
[...]
What exactly is the country's role in the EU? British historian Timothy Garton Ash, a critic of the euro-skeptic course followed by the Cameron administration, said recently in an interview with SPIEGEL: "If the euro zone is saved, there will be a fiscal union, which means a political union of the euro countries.... Then, in the next two, three or four years, we in Great Britain will face the final question: in or out?"

If the British political class does not undergo a fundamental transformation, there is only one possible answer. Out.
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 12:45 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
In this regard, I think Cameron has made the right decision for his country and I believe most Brits back him up in his decision. Yet, as I said - you cannot benefit from something where you don't want to be part of. So a clean cut from the EU is in order for Britain. The coming years will tell us if Cameron's decision was right, but for now it certainly is!
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 02:50 pm
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:

In this regard, I think Cameron has made the right decision for his country and I believe most Brits back him up in his decision.


Well, I am a "Brit" and I don't think it was the right decision, and I don't think "most" UK citizens back him; I think it's about 50-50. According to the latest polls, asked if they trust Cameron to look after Britain’s interests in Europe, 49% of people say they do, 44% do not. Asked if a closer monetary union in the rest of Europe would leave Britain sidelined – 51% thought it would.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 03:08 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
bookmarking
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 04:37 pm
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

Well, I am a "Brit"


Aren't you an American living in Britain?
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 12:54 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

contrex wrote:

Well, I am a "Brit"


Aren't you an American living in Britain?


Whatever gave you that idea? I am a British citizen living in Spain.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 01:08 am
@contrex,
Poll reported by BBC today...64% in favour of Cameron decision.
As a Brit living in Spain, your position is of course likely to be pro-EU.

In my opinion, as stated above, only time will tell if the decision has any real significance.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 01:12 am
Sweden and Denmark do not have the Euro and Norway is not even in EU and the three countries are doing very well in many respects. Why shouldn´t UK.

I have the feeling that certain countries on the continent don´t like UK very much anyway and that Scandinavia is a kind of fairy land which one does not have to take seriously anyway. Wonderful for vacation, but otherwise treat the countries as kids.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 02:09 am
@saab,
saab wrote:

I have the feeling that certain countries on the continent don´t like UK very much anyway and that Scandinavia is a kind of fairy land which one does not have to take seriously anyway. Wonderful for vacation, but otherwise treat the countries as kids.


I don't think so - at least both to my personal experiences as well as to reading to the media.

What certainly has been there (politically) is a certain ... ehem ... feeling about the special status which the UK has got in the EEC/EU from the very beginning onwards.

Besides that, the Scandinavian EU-countries didn't "support" the UK either, I think.
0 Replies
 
Old Goat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 04:21 am
The title of this thread should have read something like....

"EU members, you can either do it our way, to the letter, or you can f**k off".....
..... as that is how the conference was set up from the start. The United Kingdom did not go there to say bye bye to Europe, but has now been manaouvred into such a position that it will probably happen, which will be a damned shame.

I feel that Sarkozy might at least have been a bit more honest about his game play, and said to Cameron as soon as he entered the room "Ah David, just bend over this table while I climb on this step ladder and shaft you up the arse", because at least it would have saved everyone having a sleepless night around the table, taking part in so called negotiations that had the outcome already determined in advance.

What must be borne in mind regarding this British scapegoating (a trap which the naive Cameron totally fell into, by the way) is that Sarkozy has more than one agenda in all of this.

1.He is facing re-election or political oblivion very soon, and getting one over on the Brits is a surefire way of increasing his popularity in France.

2. He did not want to go the Merkel route of getting all 27 to sign up, as this would mean that anything decided would automatiaclly become EU Law, and this would mean that the French people would face the DEFINITE prospect of having to go cap in hand to a commitee of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels in order to get approval (or big amendments more like) for their own French budgets.
A vote loser if ever there was one.

Much better to ensure dissent and a veto from at least one member, in order to go the Europlus route, which doesn't have half as many teeth.

Merkel didn't want to go the "club within a club" route (euro plus) but in the end had to bend to the scheme that Sarkozy had wanted all along.

In my view, Sarkozy has played a blinder ....for now.....and is at this moment probably going out to buy a pair of shoes with even bigger heels to fit in with his new found position of power.....while Merkel slowly simmers as she gets to realise that he also shafted her while she was looking the other way.

The euro press will now rally round and start the "little englander" style gloating (as one or two have already signed up to on this thread), but I'm sure that we'll be OK in the long run. It's certainly not the first time we've had to make do on our own. The more we're proven right, the more we're resented, primarily by France but to a lesser extent some others.

From day one we made it clear that the whole idea of a single currency would never work as long as individual members retained full sovereign powers over their finances.
As we were not prepared to cede any of these powers (certainly not to unelected Eurocrats) we did not join the Eurozone club.

That decision made us very unpopular with those countries who had been striving for a "United States of Europe" from day one, as we somewhat temporarily derailed their idealogical train.
To add a good dollop of humiliation to their aforementioned anger, Sarkozy and Merkel have now had their noses well and truly rubbed in it when we turned out to be totally correct about the whole Euro farce, and have finally had to come clean about the fact that EU members will have to give up large swathes of sovereign power in order to keep the euro afloat.....something they poo poo'd at the time when we pointed it out to them.

Basically, a single currency will work when democracy takes a back seat.
Maybe France and Germany can stomach that (and have done in the recent past, one by force and one by choice and then by force), but here in Britain, the idea of democracy still remains pretty important.
I don't think the idea of an unelected Herman Van Rumpledick, sitting in his swish Brussels office and enjoying a pain au chocolat while perusing our national budget proposals and determining how much personal tax we have to pay would go down too well here, somehow.

On that note, I foresee MAJOR objections to this in most other EU countries as well, over the coming weeks.

Good luck with that, all those in favour! I mean that sincerely.

The touch paper has been lit, now let's see how the various Parliaments react.



0 Replies
 
Old Goat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 04:31 am
A quote and an article from just two or three months ago......


"Monsieur Sarkozy had demonstrated zero understanding of economic realities in his constant criticism of the European Central Bank."



Who dared to come out with this outrage regarding the principal architect of this latest "deal"?

The PRESIDENT of the GERMAN BUNDESBANK, Axel Weber.



"The GERMAN and AUSTRIAN finance ministers and Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, also suggested that M. Sarkozy should concentrate on France's own economic failings, rather than keep up his constant drumbeat of complaints about the management of the euro.

Earlier, M. Sarkozy had attacked the European Central Bank and European finance ministers – and especially Mr Juncker – for their handling of the international banking crisis. He said that the decision to keep interest rates unchanged last week while injecting new cash into the banking system "benefited speculators, not entrepreneurs".

M. Sarkozy also angrily waved aside CRITICISM by EU FINANCE MINISTERS of his failure to tackle the French budget deficit and his apparently inflated forecast of 2.5 per cent growth in France this year.

"I now want 3 per cent growth," M. Sarkozy said in a petulant interview with journalists on a plane returning from a trip to Hungary. He did not make it clear when he expected France to reach this target. Independent forecasts by the EU and OECD put French growth this year at well below 2 per cent.

Opposition leaders in France suggested that M. Sarkozy was PICKING THE QUARRELS TO DISTRACT ATTENTION FROM DOMESTIC PROBLEMS.
[see my previous post re. Sarkozy/election tactics]
With the economy stuttering, he has been accused of wanting to slow his promised radical reforms of the French economy and welfare system."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sarkozy-understands-zero-about-economics-says-bundesbank-boss-402594.html

0 Replies
 
Old Goat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 05:04 am
Have you seen this, Walter?


GERMANY ANNOUNCES 30% VAT.

"12/12/11 Reuters: Finance Minister announces Vat to rise to 30%, following market doubts re. Greek recovery.
"I have no option but to take this course of action, following the directive received from Euro finance inspector M. Van Rumpledick," declared Herr Irrelevant after an emergency meeting with Angela Merkel. "I put it to Brussels that it seemed grossly unfair that the German people should have to suffer higher taxation simply because the Greek government refuses to increase their country's retirement age to 51, but he simply told me to "suck it up" and stop interfering with his coffee break."
"However, I have assured him that Mrs Merkel and I are confident that the German people will rise to the occasion and come to the financial rescue of a fellow Eurozone member, and have assured M. Van Rumpledick that this dictat will be passed in the German Parliament within the next 48 hours. Mrs Merkel has also offered a further rise in income tax for our people next year, to support the "new car for every family" scheme, which comes into effect in Portugal in late 2012.
I am pleased to announce that this offer was well received by M. Van Rumpledick, and that he would phone the Portuguese Prime minister with the good news as soon as he has finished writing up his November expenses claims."

www. thismightbeyourfuture.com
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 05:10 am
@Old Goat,
April 1?
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 09:25 am

According to Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden:
The game behind EU´s latest agreement is a way for Germany and France to keep their influence. They hide also their own conflicts by point out that GB is the scapegoat. writes Roger Älmeberg, journalist with many years of experience of EU.

http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/merkozy-behovde-cameron-som-syndabock_6703205.svd
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 11:10 am
@saab,
That clearly is marked as "Opinion".*
It might well be that Älmeberg has "mångårig erfarenhet av EU-bevakning".

Others have that, too.
And there are published a lot of opinions in European media by those ...


* edit: it's a copy from Älmeberg's personal blog
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 04:43 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
As a Brit living in Spain, your position is of course likely to be pro-EU.


I don't know how you arrive at that conclusion. I work for an multinational company amd I have been assigned to one of our facilities just over the (nearby) border in France. It could have been Canada or Malaysia or Wales or Argentina.

0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  4  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 04:58 pm
http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/744095_700b.jpg
eurocelticyankee
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 05:04 pm
@Ceili,
That's about sums it up except maybe Britain may be sat on the edge of a longer perch. Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
eurocelticyankee
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 05:08 pm
@Ceili,
Oh and the French bird is to tall to be Sarkozy.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Apr, 2013 12:02 am
Well, it's now over a year later and not much has changed, though the intramural rancor and the half-way state of mind of the British with respect to the EU remain. I don't think the prospects for greater mutual accord between the UK and the continental powers with respect to financial markets will improve while the Euro/public debt crisis continues - and that is likely to last for a decade or more ( here in the U.S. too).

President Hollande's government in France appears to be doing poorly both in terms of public support and in energizing the French Economy. Italy is still looking for an acceptable government without Berlusconi. The UK is chafing a bit with the austerity, but in some areas their economy appears to be turning around. Germany is struggling with balancing the conflicting requirements for spreading more fiscal discipline throughout the union and bankrolling deadbeats - all while struggling with the domestic political consequences of whatever they do.

Beyond all that, I believe the EU also has important unresolved issues to face, with or without the UK. The new larger union is much more complex and diverse than the original - there are already detectable regional differences and perspectives among the members. The steady accretion of administrative, judicial and bureaucratic structure in EU governance, juxtaposed with the still unresolved core political issues of shared sovereignty appears (to me) to be a growing source of friction and/or paralysis.

At the same time it is easy to forget the troubles we and Europe might be experiencing if there was no union. There's the rub. We have full knowledge of the rocks and pebbles on the path we are walking, but too easily forget others we may have avoided.

History doesn't reveal its alternatives.
 

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