Cameron starts to count the cost of exclusion

Labour Party

David Cameron seems at last to be starting to understand that it is not at all in Britain’s national interest to be excluded from EU decision making.

It now appears that the 10 EU countries that are not in the single currency fear that the Euro 17 could decide on issues affecting the 27 such as banking, resource allocation, the EU budget.”

Cameron has, quite rightly in my view, expressed similar concerns. According to the BBC, one senior EU official said Mr Cameron wanted a safeguard clause at the summit but “didn’t get it since firstly, it would accelerate the split, and secondly, only two countries will eventually not be in, the UK and Denmark.”

Cameron, until very recently a proud Eurosceptic who was elected Conservative Party Leader on just such a ticket, is finally beginning to see the light. Britain will be damaged if we languish in the EU second tier. Banking, resource allocation and the EU budget are all major policy areas where Britain needs to be heard. Now Cameron has to face the hard realities of government, he has belatedly realized that the world is not as simple as his little-Englander back benchers and the Tory backwoodsmen in the shires would have us believe.

Maybe this feeling of being cornered is why Cameron is attacking EU regulation saying it will harm the City of London. I find it interesting that this is coming from the Prime Minister with little comment from the City itself.

Cameron also seems to be beginning to understand that repatriation of powers will not just happen because the Tory part of the British government wants it. We are now hearing that whatever treaty changes may be put on the table to take account of the Euro changes will only be small ones. This means no deal on taking back powers will be possible. I wonder how many such excuses we will hear in future.

As I have said many times on this blog, repatriation of powers is a difficult, if not impossible, goal. Why should Euro saviour Angela Merkel or French President Nicolas Sarkozy go along with the demands made by David Cameron and George Osborne, two Europhobes who have gone out of their way to be insulting about the EU? There are many ways to treat a treaty and most will probably not involve making any concession to UK demands which are generally regarded as slightly potty pie in the sky by the rest of the EU. 

It’s a long time since the Labour Party in opposition in the UK during the 1980s advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament, generally viewed as a policy totally lacking in credibility. Yet there are similarities between the Tory aim to repatriate social protection legislation from the EU back to the UK and Labour’s disastrous unilateral nuclear disarmament. Both are impossible and both fuelled by dogmatic members of the respective political parties. The one real consolation is that when it formed a government Labour had realized its dream was impossible: the Tories are yet to get there.

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