Saturday, 10 December 2011

Veto? What veto?

David Cameron is an amazing vacillator. What does he believe in? Only three weeks ago, he used a three-line whip to stop his own party voting for a Referendum here on our membership of the EU. It was a repressive step and a signal that he did not want to offend the powers in Brussels who have just overturned democratic rule in Greece and Italy.
Now he has gone to Brussels and refused to sign the latest treaty, to their great and visible annoyance. He is wobbling around all over the place, like a drunken driver.
The media are overwrought with excitement reporting that our PM has gone to Brussels and used his "veto". Suddenly the chicken has learnt to squawk, Dave the Knave is now Dave the Brave and he has confronted and defied the will of the EU's leaders. Or has he?
What precisely did this veto consist of? It consisted of refusing to sign a plan that will go ahead without him and which will probably be accepted by at least 25 of the 27 current member states. Refusing to sign the new treaty does not exempt us from having to pay the massive contributions to the IMF which will still be demanded to try to shore up the sagging euro currency. It will not stop the EU from passing its legislation taxing financial transactions and unless we withdraw altogether from the EU it is hard to see how we can avoid paying it - with all the damage to our economy and tax revenues that entails. The new tax will go straight into the coffers of Brussels, along with all the other billions we have paid for a succession of bail-outs and the £50 million per day that we continue to pour into the EU's pot as our "membership fee".
Cameron has not vetoed the treaty. What he has said is that he will not sign something that gives the EU commissioners even more power to dictate our internal affairs and run every country in Europe with a puppet government. He has not vetoed anything - but he has taken a step back from that "ever-closer-union" that leads to the setting up of a EUSSR. The fact that he has done so is a credit to the UKIP campaigners and Eurosceptics in his own party who have often wondered whether he is listening.
But it is a step that leaves us in an awkward limbo. Are we in the EU or aren't we? Are we going to carry on paying unlimited bail-outs and propping up a failed system when our own country is suffering such crippling cuts and our own pensioners are being denied the support they earned and were promised? Without a doubt the scare-stories about how bad it will be for us if the single currency fails are wildly exaggerated. It would only take a few months for Greece and Italy to start printing and circulating their own currency again and re-float their economies. During the twentieth century, almost every country in Europe did that once or twice. There is a rumour that Germany is already printing deutschmarks, just in case. Anyway, a short-term disadvantage should not be compared to the permanent calamity of the UK losing all right to govern itself. That is what the EU politburo is demanding from us.
It's not much use Dave just refusing to sign one new treaty. We are now left in an awkward position as it is always difficult to work with people after you have antagonized them. They will never kick us out - of course not, because they want us to go on paying for bail-outs and don't forget that little matter of a mere £50 million per day...
Have we got the guts to turn our back on all this madness once and for all? Because just refusing to sign one treaty does not solve all our problems.

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