Repatriation of powers is looking increasingly less likely

Labour Party

According to the Daily Mail, Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy are looking at striking separate arrangements outside the EU Lisbon Treaty to bring about tighter budgetary control in the Eurozone countries. 

It now appears that Germany’s original idea to secure agreement on the future of the Euro from all 27 EU member states is biting the dust. The aim of securing a limited change to the Lisbon Treaty by the end of 2012, making it possible to impose much tighter budget controls over the 17 countries in the Eurozone, is quite simply going nowhere. It is proving impossible to get agreement from all the 27 members of the EU for such a course of action.

An agreement among the 17 Eurozone countries, or even the eight most significant, would well and truly emphasise Britain’s isolation.

It would also put paid to the Tories’ much-vaunted idea that powers from the European Union can be repatriated to Britain. The very basis of such a return of powers was to be an EU treaty change when Cameron would, so the fantasy goes, insist on Britain gaining more control over social and employment policy in return for agreeing changes to the treaty. However, there was one major flaw to this policy, now firmly consigned to cloud cuckoo land, in that there had to be a treaty. No treaty, no go.

Meanwhile our Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is having a rude awakening to the realities of European and global inter-dependence. The Daily Mail quote him on the Eurozone crisis: “It’s having a hugely chilling effect on the British economy at the moment……one in seven pounds we export goes to Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece –  just those countries.”

Precisely Mr Osborne. That’s exactly why the UK should be at the table and not flitting about in the twilight we currently inhabit, watching others taking massive decisions which will hugely affect our future.