Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Boy David again

Poor Cameron! He is so frightened of his anti-EU Tories that he has promised a referendum on a new EU settlement yet to be negotiated. What he doesn't understand that you cannot negotiate if you have nothing to offer in exchange for what you want. It may be that most EU governments would secretly rather like to get rid of Britain, in which case there will be no new settlement to vote on. In fact Britain would lose a lot more than the rest of the EU from our exit; all those multinational companies that have invested here would want to move their operations to the Continent or to Ireland. And we would lose the prospect of joining in a pan-European project to regulate banks. Cameron has already turned down a very reasonable proposal for an EU tax on banking profits, because it would hurt the City. Could it hurt the banks more than they have hurt us?! But why look only at the economic loss to Britain? European unity is an inspiring vision after all those centuries of wars, in which Britain - and before that England - was usually involved. Mrs Thatcher turned down a visionary proposal for exchanges of language teachers, which could have revitalized our miserable performance in learning about other cultures; she haughtily said we didn't need any help. Whatever happens we can't escape the fact that Britain's geography, climate, flora and fauna, ecology, history, languages, literature, art, music and religions are all European. If we turn our backs on our fellow Europeans we shall just get drawn deeper and deeper into the American bearhug

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