Jan 16, 2013

David Cameron’s Euro vision: would he dare abandon the EU?

David Cameron will outline his vision for Britain's place in the European Union next week. Would he dare signal a split? It would be a disaster for a still-faltering economy, says EU researcher Keshia Jacotine.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was due to deliver his much anticipated speech on the future of Britain’s relationship with the European Union next week. Overnight he cancelled to focus on the Algerian hostage crisis. But the reshaping of European politics will wait for no one.

Frictions began once Germany signalled it wanted a review of the Lisbon Treaty; if a review was to occur member states would have the opportunity to renegotiate the terms. Cameron was set to seize the opportunity with a reportedly “definitive” speech on the future of British-EU relations.

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7 thoughts on “David Cameron’s Euro vision: would he dare abandon the EU?

  1. Doug

    All of which also ignores the potential for serious conflict in relation to the upcoming Scottish Independence referendum. Most Scots are actually quite happy about the EU, and the political parties there don’t have to outflank the UKIP. In the meantime; the irony is that the anti-Independence campaign – coordinated by all three major parties, Labour, Conservative and Liberal, have been pushing scare stories in the Scottish media about an Independent Scotland being expelled from the EU, at exactly the same time they are running the ‘we need to redefine the relationship’ line in England.

  2. Malcolm Street

    Doug – how on earth would an independent Scotland be in danger of being expelled from the EU? I would have thought it would be a natural for EU membership and Scotland has historically closer links with Europe than England.

  3. Gavin Moodie

    I don’t see how Cameron can seek ‘new eurozone governance agreements’ since the UK is not a member of the eurozone. Indeed, I suggest that the central issue for the UK is how and when eurozone fiscal policy and governance may be strengthened to allow the UK to join the euro.

    Surely if the Tory maddies somehow manoeuvered the UK out of the European Union Scotland would leave the UK to join the EU.

  4. Doug

    The argument is that Scotland is a member of the EU by dint of the UK membership, and that if Scotland was no longer part of the UK, would lose it’s EU membership. This ignores the broader question of how could the rest of the UK retain membership as it would no longer exist, (being an entity created by the joining of the parliaments by treaty) leaving that aside, there are serious concerns especially in Spain, that any EU agreement to the joining of a new ‘separatist’ state would encourage Catalonian separatists. And the Catch 22 is that the EU has stated it cannot give advice on the possible future of Scotland unless the advice is requested by the member state, i.e. the UK, and so far, the Westminster Govt has refused to ask for the advice (presumably so they won’t run the risk of getting advice they dislike, and secondly, so they can continue to run a scare campaign about the ‘uncertainties’ of Scotland’s future).

    Now personally, I don’t see this as being a huge issue. The Spanish and Portugese fishing fleets depend on Scotland’s territorial waters, and as a major producer – I would have thought the EU would be very happy to renegotiate Scotland’s membership.

  5. AR

    Bring back EFTA, although it never went away – still exists in aetiolated form Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg the usual suspects.
    It is a natural fit, the small independent nations, beholden to none and ignored by most, Oz would be welcomed in, similar to the olde worlde ‘Empire Preference’.

  6. Malcolm Street

    Gavin – my thinking too – if the UK leaves the EU the option of Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU looks attractive to Scots… After all, if the UK can leave a super-national body, why can’t the Scots?

    Doug – I see distinct parallels between the situations in Scotland and Catalona. I wouldn’t be surprised if Catalona moves first.

  7. Doug

    There are some parallels between Catalonia and the Scots, but some distinct differences as well. Mainly that the Supra-National body (in this case the UK) was formed with consent, and there is consent to a democratic process if the body is dissolved.

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