This article is in response to an article by Mike Love on Linkedin, about Britain’s future in the EU, TTP and TTIP.
Slow lunchtime, so I’ll take the bait. (Though these kinds of debates are probably best had with a pint of beer in the hand.)
Sounds like you want to keep alive this idea that Brits are different from the ‘other’ Europeans, and should therefore walk alone, since that way Britain works best. Forgetting that Scotts or the Welsh, who are also ‘Brits’ may have other ideas about this.
To start with the current ‘negotiations’ in Europe, I think these are quite typical on how the British Government misunderstands it’s role in the universe, let alone Europe. For DC to even imagine that he can get the EU to change one of it’s founding principles is a clear demonstration of this.
In the end, we all know that Cameron over-promised in the heat of an election )as he did with so many other things), only now to find that he has painted himself into a corner. And what will come out of these ‘negotiations’ will no doubt be a fudge – if anything at all.
Which reminds me of when Mrs Thatcher once famously ‘handbagged’ that ‘refund’ from the EU. While this sort of behaviour got her a short-term win, she also lost friends and influence in Europe, so when it came to other negotiations she often found herself isolated with few allies. Is that really a victory?
Life, and certainly politics, is full of ironies. One I find particularly amusing is that one of Thatcher’s EU ‘victories’ (with the backing of the USA) was to pressure the EU into rapidly integrating the East European countries that had just started to break away from the Russian grip.
The irony of ironies it that this eventually resulted in a flood of Poles coming to the UK… And then everybody turned around in surprise and proclaimed that this wasn’t the way ‘we do things over here’. (You’d think that the Tories, party of the free and open market, would love an influx of keen and eager workers, willing to work hard and accept lower salaries). The Germans had foreseen this flood however, and imposed a limit on how many Poles could enter the country… Which of course meant even more came to the UK.
Which sort of brings me back to Cameron. Again, as so often with British EU relationships, there never seems to any long-term thinking or strategy involved when dealing with other European countries, and an expectation that because everybody speaks English, that they will eventually see things the English way (not British).
For me though, this lack of long-term thinking really comes to mind every time people get on their high horse about the EU and Europe.
What about the TTP and TTIP agreements?
If you really want to talk about loss of accountability and transparancy, it strikes me that the EU debate is a red herring, and the real threat is coming without anybody particularly paying attention.
There appears to be a big media silence on this issue (except for the occasional squawk here and there). And as for politicians, they are certainly all clamming up. Left, centre or right, in the EU, EU affiliates as in the UK and the USA. (Are they all being blackmailed by some fiendish Spectre?).
When it comes to the TTIP I find myself, a pro-European, in an odd situation… it pains to say, I have to agree with UKIP. The are amongst a few political parties that for once are ringing the alarm bells.
UKIP, who normally never participate in EU votes out of principle, are fully engaged in debate in the EU Parliament – about the TTIP. And, irony or ironies, are being backed by parties on the left, including Jeremy Corbyn.
The sheer silence and lack of openness in the whole TTIP sage is quite frustrating. I could go on and on about this, obviously, but for the moment that’s my bit said.
My question to you is: What are your ideas about TTIP? Does it not concern you that there is too much secrecy involved? Where corporations can take governments to court – without public knowledge? Why are all our leaders rushing into this agreement – from the UK to Germany, to France etc?
I’d never thought I’d cheer at a headline like this: “UKIP MEPs staged a dramatic revolt which threatened to bring the EU Parliament to a grinding halt today, in an attempt to disrupt a “dirty deal” on a global trade deal that critics say could force NHS privatisation.”