UK has just changed EU – for better

“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!

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5 thoughts on “UK has just changed EU – for better

  1. I think the “á la carte” approach would have to rely on three f’s … Not just freedom, but fairness and feasibility.

    We can’t have discrimination against migrant workers and travellers, we can’t have any nations demanding lopsided protectionist measures on the premise of “á la carte” we take what we want, and we want one rule for you and one rule for us. The parity of esteem needs to be included, the EU isn’t an empire which the richest nations dictate it all. No country should have to see that extortion is the only way to grow their nation.

    The EU should keep its unifying principles for the sake of the single market its people enjoy, but there are 28 proud nations who do want the responsibility of governing themselves.

    We do live in a right wing somewhat Eurosceptic EU, with right wing majorities and pluralities across the three bodies, probably as close to the Tories on the political spectrum as they’ve ever been. Many are more afraid of referendums blocking these terms than they are of the terms themselves, strangely enough a consequence of other nations taking an á la carte approach.

  2. At the moment the “Risk” board in terms of the negotiations seems like this:

    A) Republic of Ireland, Finland, Croatia, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Cyprus, Czech Republic seem 4/4 for all the reforms.

    Add United Kingdom to that you’ve got nine, a quarter of the nations already on board.

    B) Slovenia, Italy, France, Poland, Malta, Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Luxembourg seem 3/4 with a moderate gripe.

    Nineteen a clear majority.

    Bizarrely the UK has more nations (and a lot more people) on the 3/4 position than Germany does on the 2/4 position.

    ——————————————————————————————————————
    C) Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Estonia all have two moderate gripes

    D) Hungary 3/4 with a serious gripe

    —————————————————————————————————————
    E) Belgium 2/4, one moderate gripes, one serious gripe

    F) Latvia 1/4 two moderate gripes, one serious gripe

    http://www.ecfr.eu/europeanpower/britain/renegotiation

  3. My theory is everyone from A-C will eventually go along, should be interesting to see where Hungary, Belguim and Latvia stand at the end.

  4. Any concession that David Cameron achieves will only last until a future Labour government is tempted to dump it for something else. At one time, we had the rebate and a social charter opt out. Tony Blair threw those away.
    The fact that there is no consensus between Labour and Conservative on the European constitution is an argument for Brexit. Labour might do the pro-Europe campaign a favour by openly supporting the principle of ‘no closer union.’

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