“The EU has no option” but to accept UK proposals for change, says President of the European Council Donald Tusk. This is remarkable.
Which is interesting because, in effect, a key proposal is to exempt the UK from any requirement towards an “ever closer Union”, all while maintaining the UK’s membership. Accepting that a member state may not wish any “closer Union” in effect ends any prospect of a “United States of Europe” – something which was never realistic but which was a fundamental driving force.
It is unlikely that the forthcoming referendum will see any real acceptance that this is a significant change in direction (or at least an emergency stop), nor that it is a good thing for the EU to stop the façade (a façade which has already seen countries like Greece enter the Union far more “closely” than they ever should have).
Turning the EU into a free trade zone in which countries can pick other aspects “à la carte” is surely the objective of the “reformers”. They may just have nailed it. Let’s hope they realise this before 23 June!