In My View: European Union Treaty Veto
It’s a bit difficult for anyone to make their minds up about the decision of our government to veto a treaty that would have helped ensure greater financial stability across Europe.
The first point worth remembering is that the problems of global debt did not start in Germany or France or indeed most of the countries that make up the European Union. However, the dangers can only be dealt with by the EU working together as an economic powerhouse, one that is capable of competing with the United States, China or other great trading blocks.
A fact that is also not in dispute is that our own economy is unbalanced. Our prosperity relies far too heavily on earnings from the financial sector and not nearly enough on other areas of wealth creation, especially manufacturing. Should London lose its’ status as the financial capital of Europe then we would be in very deep trouble.
Rather sadly, the UK had become rather isolated in Europe long before this most recent development. Under the influence of the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative party, our Prime Minister decided to leave the moderate grouping called the European People’s Party and align his party with some seriously flaky politicians. As most politicians know, most decisions are made during informal meetings, through finding consensus, long before formal meetings and votes taken.
For me, the fact that the UK is now so far out on the fringes of EU decision making is a sure sign that we have failed to forge friendship and trust with our European neighbours. Worse still, the result of using our veto is not that a treaty won’t come about, it will, but with no input from ourselves, the interests of the UK will not be taken into account.
It is absolutely essential that the Eurozone does not collapse. The UK will suffer as much as any other country that is in the club. Our use of the veto has not exactly been helpful to the cause of greater financial stability, has worsened our relations and standing within Europe and decreased any residue of influence we did have.
Of course, our Prime Minister will portray his decision as standing up for the best interests of our country. He will be briefly praised by the Eurosceptics within his party. On the other hand, he will have sown discontent amongst the Liberal Democrats, his partners in the coalition government.
My guess is that it is simply not possible for any political party to be half committed to the European Union in the way that the Conservative party clearly is. It might require an approaching General Election for political parties to spell out exactly where they stand on our future with the EU. Despite the negatives, I hope the Liberal Democrats will stand solidly behind enthusiastic support for the organisation.