Stephen Hill says the UK does not need a ‘stagnant, deflationary, one-size-suits-only-Germany Single Currency EU’.
David Cameron bowed to a little internal cabinet pressure this week, and agreed that his ministers should campaign with their conscience on the Brexit issue. Maybe there is a little more behind this apparent cave-in than meets the eye ... There is far more at stake than the unity of the Conservative Party - namely the integrity of the United Kingdom, and its revitalized and growing economy.
Cameron made very bold statements in the House of Commons before the 2015 election, and talked of the UK only staying in a 'Reformed EU'. The idea of a reformed EU is a million miles off, and his own attempts to renegotiate the UK's own relationship with the unreformed EU is at a similar distance too. Nevertheless, he was in Bavaria during the week and repeating his reform message.
The idea of denying welfare benefits, for three to four years, to EU immigrants does not begin to address the real issue, that with Maastricht the then PM Sir John Major gave away Britain's law, foreign policy and border controls ... for what? That is now the unanswered question, which is only addressed by the In/Out Yes/No Referendum.
Personally, I don't believe Cameron is an out-and-out Europhile: I believe, from a little personal experience, that he is a Euro-realist: namely, that if the EU works for the UK, then fine, but as the evidence mounts on all sides that it doesn't, and isn't working for any EU country other than Germany, then it's time to leave. Cameron, as a highly intelligent PM, knows that if the UK leaves the EU, then it has to be done in style, and with good manners too.
Cameron has been rebuffed on his demands for changes up until now and on present perceptions, he is not on course to begin to live up to what he promised the Parliament. That is a perilous position for a PM to have landed himself in, unless ...
Unless, Cameron acknowledges to the Nation that his attempts to reform the EU have fallen on deaf ears, and that he will now either stand aside from the debate, or more significantly lead the UK No/Out campaign out of the EU, so that he can lead new negotiations, as a stronger PM: namely, to resolve an intra-governmental treaty (as opposed to the supra-national Treaty of Rome) to rejoin the EU's Customs Union, or Common Market, which is what the UK voted 2-1 for in 1975.
Otherwise, to lead a flawed Yes/In campaign and lose the Referendum will definitely be a resignation issue for him. The politicians - especially Dave, George and Boris - will be watching the polls up to the last minute: they cannot dodge this straightforward issue, as they saddle up their mounts.
The basic economics of a renegotiation are straightforward: the EU exports twice as much to the UK than the UK does to the EU. It's the economics, Stupid. Even Empress Merkel should get the point, as the lines from Wolfsburg, Munich and Strasbourg grow red hot, with angry car manufacturing CEOs, furious to protect their main EU export market ... the UK. The simple fact is that the EU needs the UK more than the UK needs a stagnant, deflationary, one-size-suits-only-Germany Single Currency EU. Got it Dave? And you cannot change it - it's unfortunately set in technocratic, bureaucratic, mindless, reinforced concrete, for the time being ....