Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

What a week it’s been for UK relations in Brussels. Media coverage was dominated by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s, failure to reach an agreement and deliver a deal that would have ensured that the UK remained at the heart of continuing negotiations in Europe.

Instead Britain has isolated itself, or at least Cameron has isolated Britain, the Coalition Government is in disarray and Britain is the laughing stock of Europe.

We are marginalized and isolated. Wisely (and it’s odd to say this) Nick Clegg  has warned Cameron not to appear triumphant tomorrow when he reports back to Parliament tomorrow.

How Cameron will be able to build any sort of bridge with Europe who are rightly furious with his behaviour remains to be seen.

The Financial Times has an excellent write up in this piece which you can read here.

There are further implications, however,  which concern the way in which business will be affected. Cameron may believe he has helped the City in his (short sighted) moves, but he is very misguided.

The threat it poses to economic growth in the UK has been expressed by business and manufacturing groups across the country. Manufacturers, many of whom are heavily reliant on demand from the EU are very nervous.

Steve Coventry, head of government affairs at manufacturers’ association the EEF, says was interviewed by the Guardian and told the paper: “What we need to do is step back, forget about the politics of this, and think about the practicalities of the way it’s going to affect how we engage with our EU partners on a daily basis.”

Perhaps the most high profile concern from the City comes from The British Bankers’ Association chief executive Angela Knight who told the Guardian: “We do not yet know the impact this new arrangement is going to have on the UK’s ability to secure agreements on sensible regulation – but that is critical.”

You can read the full article in the Guardian here.

And the Association of British Insurers adds: “The immediate challenge for us will be exerting influence over EU regulations that will affect the UK financial services industry and its customers.”

The greatest fear is that Cameron has left the country, industry and business exposed.

Inept Cameron sails Britain merrily down the river

Labour Party

The result of last night’s Eurozone summit is a disaster for Britain.

David Cameron has vetoed the proposed treaty on the euro involving all 27 member states because he is so incapable. He failed to adequately negotiate a situation which would ensure Britain is kept in the process.

If the treaty of all 27 member states had gone ahead British sovereignty would not have been anymore affected because British sovereignty was never at threat, the new treaty clause was solely about the euro.

The real consequence of Cameron’s actions for Britain is that our influence will now be severely limited. There is a real danger that we will not be able to protect important British interests especially in the EU single market which is very important for British trade and jobs.

Just one example of our monthly trade with the EU shows how important it is financially to the UK to have such good relations. An example can be found in just one month in the UK’s EU exports which increased by £1.6 billion (13.4%) in a single month from August-September 2011, to £13.6 billion. And compared to September 2010, exports have increased by £1.7 billion (14.8 %).

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Cameron is despised in the EU, by Merkel and Sarkosy especially. The problems began in 2009 when Cameron pulled Conservative MEPs out of the European People’s Party (EPP), the centre-right political grouping in the European Parliament.  He then formed his own grouping with various fringe parties from across Europe, leaving Merkel and Sarkosy incandescent.

Such a loss of power is not helpful for the UK and it is imperative that we continue to be part of future negotiations with the euro zone. A two tier Europe, which may well result from this, would be disastrous for the UK and as a result we will not be able to fully protect British interests, as Sarkosy has already pointed out.

Domestically there are going to be fallouts. Nick Clegg, is as we know, very pro-European and yet the Deputy Prime Minister is also part of a government which has loosened ties with the EU and lost the respect of European heads of state. This will undoubtedly have implications for the survival of the coalition. And globally there are massive implications; markets have fallen and during this uncertain time it will continue to hit the already fragile global economy.