‘There’s Always an Excuse’

by Andrew Stuttaford

While David Cameron stumbles back and forward between incoherence, shambles and surrender in his relationship with the EU, David Davis, the man he defeated for the leadership of the Tory party says it like it is:

The House reports:

“The explicit answer to the European issue, whether it’s eurozone or the more general European membership issue, is a big renegotiation and multiple referendums…People say now’s not the time to negotiate with the Europeans. There’s never a right time to bloody negotiate with the Europeans. There’s always an excuse. They say ‘oh you mustn’t make the eurozone crisis worse’. Well it’s bloody hard to think of how you could make it worse than what the European authorities are doing. They are just trying to find one more finger to stick in one more dyke before the flood.”

As with spending cuts which he wanted at the start of the Parliament, Davis wanted action on EU renegotiation much earlier. “Now they’ve got to come up with a new model for our membership and the new model – it’s pretty obvious what it should be but it’s also pretty obvious that nobody wants to talk about it.”

What is the new model? “It’s pretty much a trading relationship with a cooperative not a coercive model. The other side will say ‘oh, you will end up like Switzerland and Norway, not being able to determine the laws that are passed’. Well, I don’t see us being able to determine the laws that are being passed right now, given we are one in 27 and there’s qualified majority voting.

“But also frankly I don’t see Switzerland doing too badly right now. It’s got a growth rate of two per cent and will be in surplus next year. And that’s a place that had as big a banking crisis as we had. But also we are Great Britain. Who’s to say we should settle for what Norway and Switzerland settle for? It needs a major public debate to get the public informed over a year or two…”

Sounds like Mr. Davis needs to be talking to UKIP’s Mr. Farage.

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