I was struck by Shirley Williams 's comments on Andrew Neil's late night show about the case for Europe seldom being put in the UK.( A programme also noteable for Portillo declaring that Trident was a waste of money-I paraphrase) Our foreign owned UK press don't like Europe. You cannot see Murdoch backing a multi-national body that would be able to to properly regulate his multi national operations-taxes and all. Crime and businesses like the lawless space that exists between nations
I can recall a number of occasions on Question Time when Shirley, Charles Kennedy, Ming Campbell and Paddy have made the case for Europe and won the audience round.
Interesting we have heard alot about the democratic deficiency of the EU but little about the fact it is the Euro sceptics that bloc moves to greater democratic accountability. They fear greater legitimacy.
Imagine a football club joining a league and then insisting that when they play they want a different offside rule and to introduce a new rule that applies only to them and stops other players tackling their striker. That club wouldn't be very popular. Nor is Britain.
Fiona Hall a UK MEP published an article the other day looking at Cameron's speech, in began:
In his speech on Europe yesterday, David Cameron spoke not as Prime Minister but as a Tory party leader backed into a corner by his outspoken tea-party backbenchers. It was never going to be possible to appease his own right-wing and at the same time reassure his European partners. By promising an in-out referendum following an anticipated but far from certain renegotiated EU treaty by 2017, he has chosen to prioritise party political interests.
As a result, the UK will lose further influence in Europe as other Member States anticipate a “Brexit” and discount the UK’s views altogether. Even worse, he has put the national interest at risk by creating a climate of uncertainty for potential investors, who no longer know for sure whether the terms of access to the EU single market of 500 million people and the UK’s participation in EU’s Free Trade Agreements will change in the near future.
Instead of focusing all efforts on getting the British economy back on track, the Conservative party will now be tied up in its own internal renegotiation discussions that have very little to do with the reality of treaty change among 27 member states.
The vision for renegotiation spelt out by David Cameron today was notable for its vagueness and inconsistencies. At the same time as insisting that nations must ‘work together against terrorism and organised crime’, he also demands a return of EU police and security cooperation measures. Asking for a common set of rules for the Single Market along with measures to enforce them, he goes on to say that it is wrong to hanker after a level playing field.
The rest of Fiona Hall's article can be found here
Here in the NW we welcome inward investment. it is difficult to understand why any government with the nations best interests at heart would jeopardise that investment. No major manufacturing company is going to locate its European plant in the UK if we are outside of the EU. It is bizarre to think that we should become semi detached from the bodies that will decide the terms of trade within the single market. Not to be fully represented in the forums that take those decisions is to opt for the illusion of sovereign over the fact of real influence.