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And just to cheer everyone up

Posted by Helen Monday, November 07, 2011

The Daily Torygraph once again misses the point. In fact, the Daily Torygraph talks rubbish. Apparently, David Cameron must have a plan to take to the table. What kind of a plan. Ah, that would be telling.


Any article that starts with a sentence that includes the words "Britain’s relationship with the European Union" is going to be a lulu. You just know. All together now: Britain no more has a relationship with the EU than Sussex has a relationship with the United Kingdom. Got that?

Let us move on. Apparently, the Torygraph may have understood a few things:
It appears increasingly clear, however, that the compromise expressed by that slogan is no longer an option. The crisis within the single currency means that the countries who are part of it are destined for full fiscal union, in which there will be a single policy for all of them on taxation and on government spending.

Within the EU, the eurozone countries will have a unified set of economic and social interests, and will certainly act as a caucus, outvoting the rest when it comes to matters that can be decided by qualified majority voting. And as we report today, the rule changes agreed by the Lisbon Treaty have had two very important results.

First, there has been a significant increase in the number of issues over which Britain has given up its veto. Second, and far less frequently mentioned, alterations to the ways in which votes are weighted and counted, set to come into force in 2014, will mean that the eurozone countries, when they act as a bloc, will be able to impose their will on the rest – and there won’t be anything that Britain (or any other EU member that is not in the euro) will be able to do about it.

Should the euro bloc decide that the City of London needs to be subject to regulations that will effectively eliminate its competitive advantage, Britain will just have to accept it. And should that bloc decide that it is time to unify criminal law across Europe, Britain would have to implement that momentous change, even though it would trample all over the last government’s precious “red lines”, not to mention the basic principles of British criminal justice.
Apart from the fact that most of this is not in the future but in the past and the present with the Torygraph failing to report developments in any detail, one cannot argue with that analysis.

Then we come to the grand conclusion, otherwise known as the Torygraph's pompous pronouncements the Telegraph's view:
We believe they are not: that there can be a workable compromise between being subsumed by the EU and divorcing ourselves from it entirely. The Government has said the same. But for that to come about, we need a detailed examination by ministers about what our options and goals are, and a wide-ranging debate among the public, so that Britain not only has a watertight plan to bring to the negotiating table but also one that has the popular legitimacy that has been so sorely lacking in Brussels’s relations with member states. These are enormous questions, and they can no longer be swept aside – for on them depend the future and nature of our democracy.
May I suggest that somebody, anybody on that rag finally reads the Treaties and, perhaps, dips into a certain book that gives you the history of the whole project. A wide-ranging debate among the public would be a good idea but it is unlikely to get us anywhere if it relies on erroneous information from our media.

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