With the EU under more stress than in years, here’s a fascinating article from the London Spectator by Tim Congdon. Unlike some euroskeptics, Congdon is no little Englander pining for the days of splendid isolation, but a realist who recognizes that the existing EU structure may be too narrow and too rigid for the challenges of a changed world. So far as the UK is concerned, in this extract Congdon gets to the heart of the issue:
“The question has to be asked, ‘Why does the UK have to pay the costs of the CAP and suffer the indignities of the CFP in order to be associated with a group of nations which are both economically unsuccessful and will take a diminishing share of its exports over the next few decades?’ It cannot be because Britain wants to participate in a common European defence and foreign policy, as the diplomatic shambles of recent weeks has discredited that option; it cannot be because Britain wants to abandon its currency and introduce the euro, as opinion polls show a decisive majority in favour of keeping the pound; and it cannot be because Britain wants to be absorbed into a European political superstate, as European federalism has been and remains unpopular at all levels.
The message has to be that — putting sentiment and treaty obligations to one side — the case for continued British membership of the EU is weaker today than it has ever been.”
Indeed it is. Read the whole thing.
Tony Blair, on the other hand, still does not appear to get the message.