CAMERON’S HOMOAEOPATHIC RENEGOTIATION IS AN INSULT
I’ll try to keep it simple: let us simply return to Cameron last October 12th.
At the time, I posted this piece pointing out that Cameron appeared to have dropped the core demand of control of UK borders. At that time, his ‘4 key demands’ were:
- Brussels to make “an explicit statement” that Britain will be kept out of any move towards ‘ever-closer union’
- An “explicit statement” that the euro is not the official currency of the EU, making clear that Europe is a “multi-currency” union and the Pound is forever.
- A new “red card” system to bring power back from Brussels to Britain
- The block of 28 nations to be reorganised to prevent the nine countries that are not in the eurozone being dominated by the 19 member states that are.
But by November 8th – just three weeks later – only the exclusion from ever-closer union remained.
These were the brutally obvious differences:
- All references to a multi-currency union and guaranteed existence of the Pound had been dropped
- The ‘red card’ retrieval of powers demand has been hugely diluted, and become vapours about Member Parliament sovereignty
- The two-speed eurozone v EU veto has been removed completely
- The Border Controls demand remains absent, but this time an entirely different demand – reducing migrant rights to benefits – has replaced the core concern of all UKippers.
So here we are today, the 2nd February, and this is what’s on offer.
- Limit on migrants’ access to benefits for four years immediately after the referendum. That is, not forever – just until 2020.
- Migrants will still be able to send benefits to their children abroad, just in lower amounts than they currently do.
This is an insipid and largely pointless response to Cameron’s oiginal insistence back in August on CONTROL OF UK BORDERS. The fact that King Dave the Spineless gave up on it in record time is irrelevant: those in the Leave camp have 0% reassurance about defence against infiltration, and roughly 5% of what they wanted as a bulwark against benefits for people who, by definition, on their day of arrival have contributed nothing….while pensoners here aged sixty will have to live on nothing in order to pay for them. I wonder how many member States would proffer that benificence to us?
- The UK will not be committed to further political integration into the European Union. That is not the same as exemption from any and all moves to that effect.
- A “red card” system will allow the House of Commons to band together with like-minded EU parliaments and block unwanted Brussels legislation. This requires the UK to find enough EU member legislatures – ie, 15/28 – to agree with them on any disliked piece of legislation. A hundred and sixty years after Union, US States’ have more rights than this
These clauses are a massive dilution of what most Brits say they’re looking for – and what Cameron said he would need. The red card is no longer red, but a rather pale primrose yellow. Having reduced the concept of a veto some 15 times, we can say that the Government has come back with 7% of what it wanted.
- Sterling is to be protected by recognising in law that the EU has more than one currency. That could be reversed at any time.
- British taxpayers’ money can never be liable to support the eurozone. It isn’t liable to do that anyway….but if the clause above was abolished, it would be.
- Any issues which affect all member states must be discussed by all member states – not just countries in the eurozone. But the majority voting clause remains, so that is an empty commitment.
It is patently obvious that, given its so-called goals, the Government score 0% on this little lot.
- The EU will increase efforts to cut bureaucracy, especially on small and medium enterprises, which the Government has said damages UK businesses. Sheer puffery: Germany promised the IMF it would increase efforts to make Greek debt sustainable…and then ignored the pledge.
And another big fat zero on this one.
We would also do well to remember what vanished along the way to Camerlot’s humiliating surrender:
- Repatriation of powers from the past
- Domination of the 9 by the 19
- Ultimate UK Parliamentary Sovereignty over certain areas in perpetuity
Even after my simplifications above, the problem for the Vote Leave camp is that perhaps as much as 80% of the UK population lack the time, inclination, intelligence, education and technological means to interrogate the ‘deal’, go to meetings, and so forth.
This merely confirms my original advice to those who campaign to leave: you must focus on these areas where the Government has failed, and which will, in the future, hinder our ability to prosper by fair means.