So, the UK left the table, the rest of the Eurozone countries got together and decided on a plan to save their currency and rescue the countries who are struggling with it.
That’s exactly the way it should be. The UK shouldn’t be part of those discussions, the PM used his power of veto to prevent the rewriting of the European treaty that we’re part of, something which would have had a direct impact on our ability to trade with the rest of Europe, and then when he had nothing left to contribute he left them to decide their own fate.
We are not part of the Eurozone, we have our own currency and are currently having enough trouble sorting ourselves out, even though we’re ‘only’ involved with the IMF, without getting mired more deeply in the great un-union of the Euro.
Some people are complaining about us isolating ourselve from the Eurozone, that we are no longer a world power and by removing ourselves from the meeting we had basically handed over any control we had in the EU. I want to know what kind of “power” these people think we ever had? We have only ever been on the fringes of the EU, we take part in the councils and have trade agreements, we have EU passports (although most travellers will quibble the benefit of that when it comes to the passport control queues) and call ourselves “Europeans” but that’s about it!
We pay lots of money to be part of the EU, we handed over control of our trade to the great EU directive machine when we joined and I still don’t see what great advantages we have that people like (for example) Switzerland who only adopt EU laws in order to participate in the single market, haven’t. We too could remain members of the EFTA (European Free Trade Assoc.) and distance ourselves a bit more from the EU and I still wouldn’t be unhappy.
I don’t want to adopt the Euro, as countries like Greece and Italy have proved, it’s not necessarily for the best and blindly allowing Brussels to control your ability to feed your own people and run your own government isn’t something that appeals to me at all.
There isn’t going to be a referendum on Europe. Some people reckon that’s because the UK population would vote overwhelmingly to leave, and some people reckon it’s because the government wouldn’t listen to the people anyway. I would welcome a referendum if only to find out a) how many people in the country actually give a damn enough to show up and vote, but b) because I’d really be interested to know how my countrymen feel about our part in Europe.
It doesn’t seem that anyone in the Eurozone is having a particularly cozy time of things, there appears to be a great amount of dissent between the member countries and the monetary union doesn’t appear to be helping. The lack of exchange rates removes a very effective mechanism for adjusting imbalances between countries that can arise from differential shocks to their economy. The recent drop in rate of the Euro agains the Pound and Dollar just because Greece got in trouble aptly demostrates that. History demonstrates that well-chosen devaluations can help an economy out of difficulty, by keeping the GB£ the UK can retain this option.
The current Eurozone crisis doesn’t seem to have “an” answer, they keep trying things to make improvements and seeing if they work, if not they have to try something else. All the time it seems to be getting more convoluted and difficult to assess, while causing a massive argument across the continent. I don’t forsee a solution anytime soon, and the only comment I have on the entire mess is that it’s nothing I want to get any closer to.
No politician is going to be able to fix this, but my 2 penneth’orth says David Cameron did exactly what he should have done. We just have to sit back and wait for the consequences.