Sunday, 11 December 2011

UK Deputy Prime Minister Warns of UK Isolation

It should be no surprise that most Brits would support Prime Minister David Cameron's veto on a European treaty that would leave the British budget for review by the European parliament.  The treaty would also administer fines for budgets that don't meet deficit guidelines.  The measure was largely due to debt ridden countries, whose deficits would have send those countries into bankruptcy.  British Deputy Prime Minister Neil Clegg, a coalition partner with Cameron, warned that the country risks becoming an international "pygmy" after vetoing a new European Union treaty.

Most Brits reject the notion that they would have to subordinate themselves to an EU, which they perceive would be controlled by a French-German Alliance, known as Merkozy (Merkel-Sarkozy).  The French President and German Chancellor are the architects of the new treaty supported by 26 EU countries.

Neil, initially supported Prime Minister Cameron's actions, but has now come out publicly warning of the consequences of such a move.  At first glance he may be right.  Without a voice in Europe, Britain will have little influence.  Clegg broke ranks with Cameron on Sunday and told the PM that "the outcome would be bad for Britain."

 "I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last week's summit, precisely because I think there is now a real danger that over time the United Kingdom will be isolated and marginalised within the European Union," Clegg told BBC TV.

Making reference to Cameron's eurosceptic elements, who are pressing for a referendum on membership in the EU, Clegg warned that if Britain leaves Europe it would have less influence in Washington.  

"I think a Britain which leaves the EU will be considered to be irrelevant by Washington and will be considered a pygmy in the world," he said.

Despite Clegg's stance on this issue, he denied reports that the coalition government would collapse.
Although one can understand Cameron's position, it is foolhearted.  The treaty that was being discussed during the EU summit has yet to be written.   There are always some concessions that can be reached during negotiations.  Being part of a treaty that dictates one thing for one of its members and seeks exemptions for one doesn't seem to be much of a treaty. 

One comment yesterday after Cameron's walk out was "You can't protect the UK's interest by floating away in the Atlantic. 

All of us are part of a global community and to exclude yourself as a country can only have negative consequences. The UK exports 57% of its goods to Europe, while it imports 55% of its goods from the UK.  

UK Trade with the European Union

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