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Andrew Lilico

Andrew Lilico: A few questions about our new European arrangements

Okaaay.  Well, that's set the cat amongst the pigeons.  A few questions, in no particular order:

  1. Are we going to buckle in a couple of weeks, and sign up despite the show last night?
  2. Having been so adamant that we had to have an opt-out from financial regulation that we vetoed a Treaty, but not got such an opt-out, what will happen next time an EU Directive we don't agree with something in comes before Parliament for passing?  Will we pass it or not?  Can the government really vote in favour of such a Directive having exercised a veto to try to resist?  But if it doesn't pass, aren't we in violation of the Treaty?
  3. Can the Eurozone Plus group use the institutions of the EU, such as the Commission and European Court of Justice, without our say-so?  And yet, since these things are all physically located in Eurozone Plus group countries, how can we, as a matter of practicality, prevent this?
  4. If we don't sign up and won't pass Directives and can't control the EU institutions, have we now de facto been ejected from the EU, or have we de facto renegotiated out relationship with the EU, or have we de facto ejected the other 23 Members from the EU?
  5. If the "EU" now really consists of us, Hungary, the Czechs and perhaps the Swedes, will we be asking the Norwegians and Icelanders to join soon?
  6. If the EU is now just us four, what is the new name for the EU bogeyman?  It presumably can't be "Brussels" any more, since Belgium isn't in our slimmed-down EU.  Should we move Brussels somewhere - Prague, perhaps?
  7. Also, what's the right name for the "EU4"?  "Europe" seems a bit grand for such a small proportion of the continent.  Shouldn't we rename it "The Fourth British Empire" or something?
  8. Couldn't this have been avoided if Cameron had renegotiated properly at an earlier stage?  (I think so.)  Surely if we'd sought a proper renegotiation during the 2010 Treaty amendment negotiations, matters could have been sorted more amicably?
  9. How signed up are the Lib Dems to this, really?  And if they' are prepared to go along with us de facto leaving the EU (or whatever we call this) "on the hoof", why couldn't they have gone along with a properly planned renegotiation?
  10. How stable is the new Eurozone Plus group?  Do the Bulgarians really believe the Germans are ever letting them into the euro?  If the UK can be de facto kicked out of the EU, why not others - how long does anyone expect the Greeks to stay in?
  11. Will any of these questions be resolved before the euro collapses totally?  Does the new Treaty really provide a basis for saving the euro?
  12. Will the SNP now call a snap referendum on Independence, arguing that Scotland should be in the Eurozone Plus Group rather than the Fourth British Empire?
  13. Do we need a referendum on being kicked out of the EU, to see whether the British voter accepts that?  Or is it okay to present that as a done deal?  Might the British voter want the chance to un-veto British participation in the new Treaty?
  14. What is the Labour Party's policy on any of this?  And does anyone, frankly, care?


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