He’ll get his deal!

Wouldn’t it be great if David Cameron’s charm offensive achieved nothing of any substance? That he came back empty-handed from his whistle-stop tours of Europe and announced that, in view of the intransigence of his fellow EU leaders, he had not secured any concessions on the UK’s concerns about the EU and would therefore recommend we vote to leave? Recent media reports have highlighted some of the obstacles the Prime Minister is facing. Having already recognised that there is no wiggle-room as far as free movement of people is concerned – not that Cameron was ever really interested in securing a modification to this principle – Poland’s Prime Minister has raised objections to any thought of stopping benefits for EU nationals resident in the UK or forcing them to wait four years before being eligible for benefits at all.

And now, according to the Guardian,  Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign Minister, has warned the Prime Minister not to indulge in “wishful thinking” about German support for reform of the EU. He also pointed out that Chancellor Angela Merkel was preoccupied with Greece at the moment, adding that it would be an illusion to presume the UK could get special treatment because of its large contribution to the EU’s budget.

While there are genuine grounds to believe that some EU heads of state and senior ministers are genuinely fed up with Mr Cameron and his demands for special treatment, it would be hopelessly naïve to hope that ultimately, they are going to get so sick of his demands that they will tell him to get lost and take his country with him. The Guardian article quotes an advisor to the German Chancellor, saying that she would consider it a failure of her chancellorship if the UK withdrew from the EU during her term of office.

So, however much frustration senior figures from the EU may feel, Cameron will get his deal. He will come back from Germany, like Neville Chamberlain when he landed at Heston aerodrome in 1938, proclaiming “Peace for our time.” He will wave a piece of paper that will be just as worthless as the Munich agreement, but it will sound impressive. Present indications are that EU states may agree on declarations to be added to the treaties, firstly acknowledging that the UK no longer aspires to the “ever closer union” specified in the treaty of Rome and secondly to modify the bald assertion that the EU’s currency is the euro. Neither would reduce any existing EU powers over us at all. The supposedly eurosceptic press will rally behind the new deal and we’ll all be encouraged to vote to stay in under these renegotiated terms which our plucky Prime Minister has fought tooth and nail to extract from his reluctant EU partners. It will all be choreography and spin, but there will be no substantial improvement of the UK’s position, just like Harold Wilson’s renegotiations of 1975 which did little more than secure a lower tariff for New Zealand butter. We can but hope our countrymen won’t be deceived again.

As the old saying goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Photo by Steve Bowbrick

Photo by Brett Jordan

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John Petley

John Petley

John Petley is Operations Manager for Campaign for an Independent Britain

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5 comments

  1. Jerry WraithReply

    It does not matter what cosmetic changes Cameron gets from the EU. Over the next 5 years it will still cost the UK economy over £1 trillion to be in the EU. Every household will have to pay on average an extra £3,300 out of their taxed income to finance the CAP and the EU’s share of VAT. In addition, every taxpayer will have to pay an extra £5,000 extra tax to fund the EU’s budget and the current value of our accumulated balance of trade with the EU since we joined in 1973 will increase from £1.25 trillion to well over £1.5 trillion. Who needs the EU when we can still trade with the EU from outside the EU?

  2. Phil JonesReply

    Cameron already knows that the biggest provinces, Germany and France, will give no meaningful concessions that will result in their dream of a European country stalling. But they’ll play along with Cameron in any way they think will help him to ‘put one over’ on his countrymen. Don’t expect the British press to present the IN/OUT case fairly. Anyone who has followed the pro-EU bias in most British newspaper coverage over the last 30 years knows that the OUT campaign will have an uphill battle in putting across their case. Conrad Black was the last newspaper publisher willing to say that the E.U. emperor had no clothes. You never see anything in the press on how federal systems of government work, and how a large majority of our law now comes from the central government in Brussels — law introduced into the U.K. by stealth to hide its origin. In the U.S. and Canada the federal level of government writes letters directly to citizens of the states and provinces, respectively — but not in the E.U. provinces. A large majority in the U.K. still seem to believe they live in a ‘country’ where all U.K. law originates at Westminster and somehow the E.U. is just a trading bloc between countries. One can only hope Brits will somehow, some way get a fair presentation of the IN/OUT case in spite of a biased press and the tirade of blackmail, lies and threats that will shortly be descending.

  3. Gordon WebsterReply

    I expect him to return with ‘trinkets for the natives’ and a ‘form of words’ then say that a referndum is no longer necessary because he has got the changes he wants. If I am correct, the Referendum Bill says that it must be held before a certain date, not that it must be held. He has reneged once before, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to do it again.
    Corporate Business wants us in, because they find it easier to manipulate already corrupt Commissioners. The British Political Elite want us in, because they are career politicians who couldn’t run a booze-up in a brewery, so it is easier to let the EU do the thinking. The World Corporate Elite, in the form of the Builderbergers want us in for the same reason as British Corporates. America wants us in, though for the life of me I cannot understand why.
    The EU was built on the European Steel and Mining Group, formed in 1944 between Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Funk and Heydrich always intended that it should become the European Union with a single currency, with Germany at its head, and regardless of the poverty it caused elsehwere. If we know this, so does Cameron.

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