Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The European Contradiction

So Dave has finally made his European speech. This morning he looked straight down the lense of the camera and said, 'It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.'

It was a strange thing to say really because it contradicted a large part of what he had said earlier in his speech. Earlier he had told us that now was precisely NOT the right time to have a referendum, justifying this by saying 'How can we sensibly answer the question ‘in or out’ without being able to answer the most basic question: ‘what is it exactly that we are choosing to be in or out of?’

So whilst Dave stood there in his purple tie (nicked from Nigel Farage's wardrobe in the dead of night I gather) in a somewhat confusing way he was actually telling us that now is not the right time because he believes he has another achievable vision for Europe which simply requires some 're-negotiation'. 

Dave's vision for Europe is for a European Union that is a 'flexible, adaptable, open EU'. One where there is no 'one-size fits all' but an EU within which different countries can choose to where to collaborate and where not to. 

And therein lies the contradiction. Unfortunately this is exactly the opposite position of many other European politicians. The video below shows previous Belgian Prime Minister and current MEP and leader of one of the Liberal/Centerist groups in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt mocking the very idea of an 'a la carte' EU.

So is Dave living in cloud-cuckoo-land thinking he can not only re-negotiate but re-cast the EU as some kind of 'European Association' rather than a European Union?

Well yes. Except that I don't for a moment believe that he does 100% think he can.

Instead I suspect he believes that ultimately he can only get the best deal for Britain diplomatically (with the other EU states), by proving that he has exhausted all possible efforts to come up with a solution for staying in the EU in a way that is acceptable to the British electorate..


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