Tuesday 22 January 2013

EU want in or EU want out?

We have avoided mentioning it much here. Mainly because the arguments for an in/out referendum and a further fusing of the UK to to the EU isn't much of a real issue. Much like the Obama election , the result isn't in doubt.

In any referendum the nation would vote to stay in the EU, but to be allowed to have some minimal power restored. Probably the working time directive which we ignore anyway. Immigration would be the issue citizens would like to have control over, but that isn't going to happen. A slight move on  citizens being able to claim benefits in any member country from day of arrival to maybe after 3 or 6 months or something might be as far as Brussels would be prepared to go. 

The EU actually wants greater powers. A larger budget. Control of nation states finances. Its not going to start unraveling what it has already achieved just to placate a nation that isn't going to really leave anyway. Sure, the UK might become 'uncooperative.' But that's about it. 
No poll has the UK wishing to leave the EU over treaty negotiation.
Not nearly enough of the population want to leave and no amount of huffing and puffing and pointing to idiotic banana rules or millions of new arrivals from Bulgaria will change the opinion polls much. So that's that. 

For eurosceptics the Liberals are in love with the EU and would have the UK join the euro and become a proper , respectful, member state. 
Labour is very keen on the EU and only pretends towards mild euroscepticism to retain its large working class vote share. Its unlikely to want to join the euro anytime soon, but wouldn't rule out joining at a later date. 
Cameron's Tories, maybe as many as a third,  are unhappy with Brussels so he will plot a course to try and win something from Brussels, possibly in exchange for agreeing to that 10 year increased budget that the EU wants.
UKIP, polling nicely, looking a better bet than the Liberals, but would be lucky to gain even 1 MP in an election. That gives them as much power and influence as the Greens. .. None.

Cameron is expected to say he would allow a referendum in 2015, AFTER the election. Good politics. Vote Dave and see if he'll really do it, or vote someone else and never, ever get the chance to vote on even mild reform. 
I expect Miliband, if the election looks winnable for him, will avoid any commitment that he would have to break. The EU is an issue he wants the Tories to implode on and not something that he wants opening any divisions in his own ranks.

So, for Eurosceptics, the future is bleak. The EU is as weak and as divided and as poor, and as unpopular and impotent as its ever been. Yet still the majority favour being in. In Greece, with daily riots, racism, fascism and communism on the rise, real, actual poverty, record 27% national unemployment, no realistic prospects of recovery shackled to the Euro, the populace voted to stay in.  Still vote to stay in.  And they have a party, an extreme party to be sure, but a party that COULD take them out. The devil you know carried the day.

There isn't really much reason to believe a referendum would produce a different result here.


Electro-Kevin said...

If I were Nigel Farage I would field as many UKIP candidates as possible, no matter what their quality.

- Destroy the Tory party by drawing in its disaffected voters

- Let Labour bankrupt the country

The people of Britain (a mild lot) will get pretty agitated about the EU and its malign effects then.

What Mr Cameron offers us is academic. He will not serve a second term in office.

Antisthenes said...

That is the truth of it. However the euro crisis and the way that the EU has been constructed may well see it destroy itself. If that does not occur and the UK does not quite the EU we are all going to regret it. Regardless the West is in self destruct mode anyway and the leaders of the West EU included have not a clue how to avoid it. It may not happen for a few years yet but it will happen. I am betting on 2014 as it is the centenary of another momentous cataclysm that changed the West for ever.

Anonymous said...

I dont get this. electro_kevin says :

"Let Labour bankrupt the country"

"The people of Britain (a mild lot) will get pretty agitated about the EU and its malign effects then."

How do you square those two points?
Destroy the Tories; got it.
Let Labour win and bankrupt the country; ok got that too.

..Then blame the EU.. eh, what? I dont see how this is even coherent?

Any other unintelligible madcap schemes?
Destroy Tesco.
Then destroy Sainsburys.
Then blame Lady Gaga?

Wheres the logic?

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon - Bear with. I am rather individualistic as regulars here will know.

My rationale explained:

Because (when the people are hungry and realise that there really isn't any money left) they will resent every penny wasted on unelected bureaucrats, every job taken, every fishing ground destroyed - the madcap CAP ... and every penny of welfare money handed out to foreign arrivals.

All those things listed caused by EU membership.

BQ is right in this post. But let's remember that the Tory party has become pro EU through an insidious policy of marginalising sceptics over a long period of time.

Party membership and support has plummeted.

It is not we who are 'mad'.

If the future is further immigration with an expansion of the welfare system then truly we are on the road to bankruptcy anyway.

The EU is already the most welfarist region on the planet. If welfarism is what it stands for I am dismayed at how the writers at CU can stand for it.

Blue Eyes said...

EK the Tory party is far more EU-sceptic than it was twenty years ago. Remember when Hague was leader? He basically made the party unattractive for EU enthusiasts. Cameron is reflecting the public mood much more than the mood of his party. Most of his party are nearer to the "out" door than the "try to renegotiate and then hope that people will vote to stay in" door.

This is what I don't get about UKIP supporters, they seem to actually want the opposite to what they say they want.

If you want out of the EU the only way to get a referendum is to elect a Tory PM in 2015.

Have the Greeks realised that their woes were caused by bureaucrats and the CAP?

CityUnslicker said...

EK - I am not for the EU and I don't think BQ is either. I recall voting UKIP at the last EU elections and Mayoral elections that i voted in.

But I do agree there is not a prayer of an out vote given the total lack of interest the population has in anything which is 'diffcult' to understand. the lets stay in vote is a surefire winner.

So all this dissembling at the moment is guff. the economy is heading for a triple dip and you can't blame Labour 3rd time round. lack of growth policy and lack of radical action to boost the private sector has brought the country to its knees...but look over there, a squirrel!

DtP said...

It's a sop to keep the punters engaged and the fact that the chump has had over 2 years before defining whatever the fuck policy he has on Europe other than the occassional random irrelevant veto gives rise to a seemingly obligatory espousal of the bland banality of 'In Europe but not run by Europe' guff that has reverberated round Westminster for the last 30 years. Whilst most organisms evolve, the political response in Blighty has been petrified in chiselled marble as permanent with institutional mission creep suiting every bastard who gets near it.

My colleague is having a few dry wanks over the speech but for me, meh, heard it before and if you've got 2 years to write the dam thing then it should be at least cogent.

Bill Quango MP said...

Well, politically, not a bad speech at all. Probably placated most. In and out of the party.

There has been no debate on Europe. in fact we don't even know which powers come from the EU and which are our own.

HIPS. That useless house selling pack, was widely reported as being from the EU, but we don't have it anymore.
I believe the energy efficiency part is retained. That must have been the Eu bit and all the other junk was added by our own MPs.

I'm ambivalent about the EU. In any large bureaucratic political institution there are the sensible, the chancers, the over promoted, the deluded and the out and out nutters.

I'm quite happy to see where Cameron goes with his strategy. Judging by the polls, that will probably be nowhere as he isn't going to win another term.

EK is rightly angry. Its a farce that the UK population, who were not like the other willing, card waving, EU members, have never been told what the project is for..and where it will go.
Instead the politicians pretend that 99% of our laws are our own. That the status quo is forever, and that any change at all with our relationship with the EU, will result is such catastrophic consequences for the UK that we will all perish.

Blue Eyes said...

Again we have this paradox. If the EU is as important as lots of people say it is then promising a referendum should help Cameron to win the election in 2015 and/or force the other parties to promise the same. If a combination of UKIP and a poor economy mean that British voters don't get EU reform and a referendum it will be their own fault for not caring enough about their constitution.

I think the EU treaties and our sovereign parliament's interaction with them are very important if we consider ourselves to be a liberal democracy in the true sense. However I doubt many people have ever bothered themselves to think about it properly, including I suspect lots of people who "bang on about" Europe.

Bill Quango MP said...

Just thinking out loud.. but doesn't miliband now HAVE to match this pledge or remain silent on Tory EU policy for two years?

And..canny old Nigel..can he now do some back room dealing with the Tories to ensure that Cameron gets his majority, allowing UKIP to have achieved its aims without ever having any political power at all?

Jim said...

It's immigration that will change peoples minds on the EU. If as many Romanians and Bulgarians arrive as Poles did, the effects will be obvious to all. And that is entirely at the door of the EU.

Elby the Beserk said...


Agreed. The West has had it; it's all downhill from here. Another pointer to this is that the USA, nation founded on resilience, personal responsibility and enterprise has, having observed the disaster that is the EU & the UK, decided that that is the way for it to go. A death wish in action.

WTF? as the kids say...

Elby the Beserk said...

@Bill Quango MP said...
Just thinking out loud.. but doesn't miliband now HAVE to match this pledge or remain silent on Tory EU policy for two years?
Given that Miliband has managed to stay utterly schtumm on ANY policies, never mind the EU, I would fully expect him to carry on that way. The man is a vacuum. And nature... well, you know the rest.

andrew said...

BQ : 'In any referendum the nation would vote to stay in the EU'


In any referendum, we will probably vote to get out.

1 - It is always easier to vote against something
2 - Older people appear (to me) to be overwhelmingly eurosceptic and they are the bloc that votes a lot
3 - 20 years of the Sun / MPs / Etc telling us that its b****** europe's fault and not that many people standing up and pointing out the positives
4 - Immigration - at the end of the year our borders are fully open to the eastern states

Wait for a constant stream of bad news about the EU, it does not matter if it is true or not.

Having Mandleson on the Today program saying that the EU is a good thing because it is a good thing just wont work.

I think the expectation of what an acceptable re-negotation is is set at such a level Cameron will have no chance to meet it.

I expect UKIP to not stand in constituencies where the Con MP pledges to fight for the Exit option, in other words UKIP has no power, but the Conservative party is now UKIP.

ps I am for the EU, so this does make me sad.

Bill Quango MP said...

Miliband has just said NO to a referendum.

What a very foolish man he is.
Say Yes! Ed. Say, Maybe! Say I won't rule it out, but the time isn't right blah blah...

To rule it out will move immigration threatened workers towards the Tories.

Stupid mistake. There are no pro EU votes. The pro EU are happy already.

Just lost himself a few 100,000 votes.
Dave must be delighted.

Anonymous said...

The polls that show a majority would rather renegotiate and stay in also show it's a dead heat if renegotiation fails.

Meanwhile, the EUcrats completely dismiss the idea of renegotiations and talk of "accidental exists".

Basically, we're going to get de facto kicked out somewhere down the line.

andrew said...

... Of course I forgot about the 6-8 million odd (about 50% EU and 50% Non-EU no-one knows the real Nos.) foreign born residents who, if they do vote, will almost certainly vote for the EU.

So we stay in

Hurrah for democracy.

hatfield girl said...

The UK's relationship with the EU is so entangled with its (and the individual member-states of the EU's) relations with America that to consider one without the other can be misleading.

Cameron has had his orders: get in there and stay in there. Not so easy to issue instructions like that to core EU states any more. Mr Q's masterly analysis of the UK's relation to the EU doesn't cover the new US incompetence vis a vis core Europe so well.

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue makes an interesting point that I can't answer really.

The Conservatives being more Eurosceptic than ever.

asquith said...

All eyes are now on the "renegotiation" Cameron would bring about before the referendum. I suspect he will (if he's in a poosition to do anything at all by 2015) make a huge deal about how much he's got out of Europe and campaign for a Yes vote, albeit possibly with little enthusiasm. The other question is whether he'll allow a free vote by ministers and who'd take what side. It looks very much like 1975, but with more honesty in the debate and less one-sidedness.

Miliband is, imho, shafted today. His state reminds me of nothing so much as that Brown was landed in in 2007 when Ozzy pledged to cut inheritance tax. Whatever he subsequently does will make him look bad and low-information voters will simply register that he wassn't there when Cameron made a drramatic move. The Labour core vote will do as they've always done, and floating voters might forget if he's lucky, but that grey streak (can anyone else not stop themselves looking at it whenever he's on Marr, PMQs etc?) will be wideening today.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK: If i were Farage i'd be trying my hardest to get some sort of agreement on the election with the Tories. UKIP agree to not stand in anti-eu tory seats in exchange for ??? Don't know what the Tories could offer. Funding for minority parties?

Antisthenes : the death of the Eu has been predicted many times. We've even done it here ourselves. It isn't going away. It might alter its federalist dreams, but never give them up. If Germany is in, and willing to pick up the tab,then the project continues.

Anon: Good point. voting stances are most odd. Before the last election some on here were suggesting they didn't trust Cameron to deliver a right wing agenda and would therefore vote Brown.

Nonsensical. Unhappy with a mild ish, liberal centre right view, the alternative would be a centre left, socialist one ??
"To teach them a lesson" Teach who? Teach yourselves?

But its not completely illogical. Its emotional. I am unhappy with new biological Waz, so am not going to keep on buying biological Waz and be permanently disappointed. If there is no alternative I just won't buy anything.

BE: I agree. there is no way UKIP can win an election in 2015. So the realistic option is to vote for Cameron.
UKIP have done very well to force Cameron back to a pledge position. You can imagine, after the cast iron debacle, his advisers warning him to commit to nothing on anything.

I think Miliband has just made a monumental mistake that will cost him dearly unless he reverses it very soon. The pro EU, eat your vegetables children, argument "its good for you..because it is.." is never going to match letting the people decide.
Having been promised a vote before , at least twice recent memory, and never having had one, to stand in the way of allowing a vote on EU negotiation is a very silly position to adopt.

Twice recently Miliband has walked into Tory traps. And unlike Brown, he knows he's doing it but thinks he can climb out the other side unscathed.
He's either very confident or very stupid.

Bill Quango MP said...

Jim: You might be right about immigration. It would take another wave like the Polish one and I doubt there's the jobs to attract 500,000 Hungarians to the UK.

Immigration will be part of the argument. Farage says 4 million in+ 1 million illegals in 10 years. If he can find a way to portray that in lost school places, hospital beds, parking spaces, council housing..it might chime hard.

DTP: it is a sop. But a big one. No one has ever asked me whether I want greater EU integration before.

Elby: Obama wants us in the EU. Mainly because we pay the bills that he might have to pick up. i never worry about our US trade. We speak the same language{almost}{. We have a massive advantage we should make greater use of.

Andrew. you are wrong on the polls. Just one recent one had a majority in favour of eu exit. That's one poll with a wafer thin majority for exit.

HG; I'm not sure DC is too worried about the USA. Obama is a Merkel man. We aren't very welcome in Washington at the moment. Bush and war and all that being deeply unpopular. Obama would definately like us in for all sorts of reasons. But if we were out our US trade would flourish.

Asquith: Yep, a Milimistake. Unlike the Brown inheritance { movie title?..have we done those before?..might have to google} Miliband OPTED to put himself on the wrong side of popular opinion. He need not have. He doesn't normally have any firm commitments. why on this?

James Higham said...

I was initially worried why he was willing to give it. Did he know opinion had gone back to staying in? Then when I saw the 2017, it was clear that most people still want out.

asquith said...

Presumably because Cameron pisses him off so much, and opposition for its own sake has become so firmly entrenched a strategy, that he just decided if Cameron is for something he must be against it.

Ryan said...

"the economy is heading for a triple dip and you can't blame Labour 3rd time round"

Who cares? Unemployment down AGAIN. Fact is nobody cares about some remote GDP figure when they manage to keep their job. Sometime soon we are going to wonder why GDP became so much more important than balance of trade and employment rates.

Ryan said...

As for the EU, I am sure the power elite will get the required "IN" vote because the referendum will be about as fair as the referendum on AV: "babies in incubators will die if you vote for AV" - remember that one?

I just hope that when the power elite do get the vote they want, they will take a leadership position in the EU and start running the showe, because France and Germany are rapidly turning out to be a busted flush. With a growing population we will soon be bigger than Germany anyway.

Budgie said...

The fundamental question is: do we want to be just an English speaking region of the People's Republic of Western Europe; or do we want our own country?

It is no good saying the UK will be better off in the EU, because there will be no UK left to be better off.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin.

singapore sling said...

"Ryan", how many of these jobs are low-paid, part-time or self-employed people on low earnings but who don't quite get benefits? They care about being underemployed and so do their families.

Electro-Kevin said...

Budgie - I was waiting for that. You didn't let me down.

Blue Eyes said...

The thing which I like the best about any EU debate are the comments made by the absolutists. These guys are Europe's equivalent to our cousins over the pond who believe in God just so they can believe that the Second Amendment was handed down directly by The Creator.


Agence communication said...

i'm totally agree with the person who says that ..."" That is the truth of it. However the euro crisis and the way that the EU has been constructed may well see it destroy itself. If that does not occur and the UK does not quite the EU we are all going to regret it. Regardless the West is in self destruct mode anyway and the leaders of the West EU included have not a clue how to avoid it. It may not happen for a few years yet but it will happen. I am betting on 2014 as it is the centenary of another momentous cataclysm that changed the West for ever. "" really this is true ..