Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tebbit on the way forward for Europe

In light of our greatly diminished sovereignty, and our almost total lack of influence in the EU (detailed in my previous post), Lord Tebbit considers the best way forward:

There are three possible ways to resolve the matter. One is to surrender our remaining independence, join the euro and advance to political union. Another is to simply leave the EU and stand back as it is engulfed in economic and political crisis, not next week, perhaps not next year, but inevitably because political union over such disparate nations will not work. We would however be badly harmed by that collapse. The third is to at least try to develop an alternative European architecture to preserve open and free markets in our mutual interest, ready for when even the eurocrats are compelled to face reality.

Tebbit discussed this third option in a previous post:

we should begin to draft the outline of a new European Treaty which would create a wider EFTA like structure with better provisions for trans-border controls over matters such as pollution, and would allow those states wishing to achieve total integration within a single state to do so. There might be such a state centred on Germany, and perhaps one on the north coast of the Mediterranean, and they could inherit the Commission without charge. Thus the integrationists could have their way to ever closer union between nations who may want it, and the rest of us could simply be individual nation states, all as members of the super-EFTA.

It would be an attractive formula for many in the Baltics, the central European states such as Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics, not to mention Ireland. Here we could have a referendum to give the Government a strong negotiating mandate, and if Brussels was obstructive, to call a European Conference (a new 21st century Concert of Europe) to convert the draft into a new Treaty which would annul the Treaty of Rome.

Tebbit is under no illusions that transforming the EU into a more sensible arrangement would be easy:

At present that looks to be formidable, perhaps an impossible, task. However, the history of this kingdom has been one of having to intervene in our own interest to save the masters of Europe from their follies. So now once again it may be our future.

Personally, I am among those who want to exit first, and then re-engage, but Tebbit sets himself apart from our Coalition overlords by his clear expression of his objectives, and his firm statement of what we should do if these are not met.

It will be very interesting to see what role Europe plays in the 2015 general election:

1285 days to go!

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