Sadly there are still those in Britain who feel it necessary to gloat over the deep and difficult problems facing the Euro. “Thank goodness we’re not in the Euro” is their rallying cry as they watch from what they consider to be the sidelines as Eurozone leaders search for a durable solution.
Yet in this age of globalisation and inter-woven economies being outside the Euro does not mean we can blissfully ignore what is happening in the Eurozone. Britain is affected and, because we are outside the single currency, we have no meaningful say in deciding what needs to be done. It would appear from his recent comments that David Cameron feels this frustration as deeply as anyone.
As Cameron has said, according to the “Times”, the interminable and often ill-tempered Euro discussions are having a “chilling effect” on Britain’s economy. Indeed, if the tensions caused by the Euro do not ease soon and if the key players Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy do not come up with something credible, the UK banks are warning that they may have to raise interest rates. That means you and I will pay more for our mortgages and loans – not necessarily, I imagine, what most of us would want.
There could hardly be a clearer demonstration of how deeply integrated Britain’s fortunes are with the Euro area. It is actually quite straightforward: if the single currency sinks, the UK will be pulled down with it.
It goes even wider than that. If Italy, and potentially Spain, are thought to push the Euro to the point where the only rescue option is a life line from the International Monetary Fund, we will be into a truly international scenario. Money from India,China and Brazil may well form part of any such deal, such are the profound shifts in economic and political power currently happening around us.
In truth, the world is becoming ever smaller. There is no way Britain can go it alone, and it’s about time we as a nation fully accepted this fact of life.