David Cameron’s phony promise of an in-out European Union referendum after the next election – assuming he is re-elected Prime Minister – is sheer, condescending arrogance.
He now compounds that by fanfaring a “possible” United States-EU agreement which “could be” worth £80 billion to the UK economy, as a further portent of disaster awaiting us should we leave Europe. A likely story? Anyway, our annual deficit with the EU is reportedly almost double that.
No detail is provided, of course, just as with his declared intention to insist on reforms to the running of the EU as putative “conditions” for remaining. Let him avert his attention from his recalcitrant party MPs; they are not the important players in this matter. We – the electorate – are the people to whom he must listen.
In denying us a formal vote on continued membership, Mr Cameron must balance that by clearly stating the precise “changes” he intends to impose on Brussels.
Presumably he has already identified these, so if he feels they are sufficient to calm public disquiet on the subject, revealing them would surely enhance his chances of re-election. It’s impossible for Mr Cameron to be unaware of at least some of the public’s objections to EU influence, and it would be comforting to learn that some of these are on his list for action.
Nicola McEwen wrote a thoughtful article (Perspective, 14 May), on the possible effects of EU popularity on the independence debate.
Yes, if the Scots are more pro-EU, then it could affect the No vote come the referendum (if the rest of the UK is sceptical).
However, the EU also affects the Yes side; if the Scots vote for independence, yet remain in the EU, the centralising tendencies of the EU would mean that independence, in effect, becomes impossible (as more and more key decisions are made in Brussels). The old SNP slogan, “Independence in Europe”, is very obsolete.
Bo’ness, West Lothian
On Newsnight Scotland a professor suggested that EU experience shows that a shared currency inevitably leads to closer control by the central authority. This fails to recognise that the problems in the eurozone arise from the fact that they had appropriate conditions, but ignored them.
Neither Greece nor Italy came anywhere near meeting the conditions, but Greece was allowed in “because it was the cradle of democracy”, and Italy “because it was a founding member of the EEC”.
Had the EU stuck to its original Maastricht Treaty rules, there would have been no problem. A simple agreement on ratio of debt to GDP would have sufficed.
That leaves plenty of scope for policy initiatives for an independent Scotland.