I’m no politician or economist; just an ordinary worker – a cleaner, in fact, and British – an ‘ordinary Joe’ who is part of the electorate of UK. Like many Brits, I’m not anti-European and deep down I’m sure there must be something good about being in the European Union. After all, it is best to be friends and well connected with our neighbours like France and Germany or any of the other European nations.
When I listen to our own politicians they talk of the trade links being good and progressive for the UK. We pay huge sums of money into the Union. I think it amounts to the third biggest contribution behind Germany and France. However, France gets more back then the UK so I would also argue that ours is the second largest contribution. Again, if this is so; fair enough, we are after all in this Union of European nations, which were once called a ‘Common Market.’
I, as a Brit and only a humble cleaner, don’t see this Common Market thing anymore. It is now the European Union and I can’t remember when it changed. I am now reading things like fiscal Union, when European politicians speak, and federal Europe was being used a few years prior to this. As much as I like other EU nations, I’m reluctant to want to be more integrated with Germany pulling the purse strings. I’m not having a cheap pop at Germany or France (who seem to be agreeing with everything Germany wants at the moment) but I’m worried for my United Kingdom and why should I feel selfish because Britain will not renegotiate this new treaty on stronger fiscal union?
I can understand why Germany wants to adopt these hard austerity measures against the failing southern nations of the Euro Union, but why must the UK be forced to adopt these measures when the UK took the precaution of not joining the Euro currency when it was brought in by most Euro nations? The Euro currency had one level playing field that was spear headed by Germany – a great nation that in this day and age has made great and progressive strides in industry and commerce plus lots of other great things that a humble cleaner might not even think of. This great nation of Germany had inflation that is un-noticeable (say .025%) or something less. I’m inventing the low figure but I’m certain experts know it was low.
The other southern European nation were offered to join the Euro money club with larger inflation due to borrowing (say 25% or more) Was Germany expecting these nations to level out alongside their great economic performance or did they think they could always ride the storm? Were Germany and France honestly this naive? They must have realised they were adopting another nations inflation. Am I, the humble Brit cleaner, getting something wrong here? Is it me who doesn’t see the wood for the trees?
Perhaps I’m being too British – selfish and biased, but I honestly think David Cameron, our British Prime Minister, got it right when he walked away from the revised treaty that Germany UNDERSTANDERBLY wants. David Cameron wants his British government to adopt its own regulations towards our London banking industry, and as a Brit I do know what happens when money restrictions are put upon big business corporations. In the seventies when we Brits overtaxed them; they left and went somewhere else. Inflation was ripe and Europe called us the ‘Sick Man of Europe’. Again, this was probably true at the time.
Along came a real butt buster of a Prime Minister called Margaret Thatcher. She grabbed Britain by the scruff of the neck and really kicked our arses for years during the eighties decade. Christ do I remember some of her medicine. At the time I cursed this woman and her Conservative party, but she got inflation down and got the country up and running to some degree of decency. I hate to admit it, but she did and it leaves a bitter pill in my throat to admit she got some things right. After going through all of that, I remember feeling relieved when the UK did not want to join the Euro currency club. It was not a problem with Germany or France or the northern European countries, but I could not see the same efforts brought to bare against Italian, Greek or Spanish inflation by these respective nations. Even though, I'm a cleaner, I'm sure we were wise not to enter the Euro even when it marginalised us (UK) as a consequence.
When the economic strife came, because of the US economy, it reflected on all and the Euro has been badly hit. When British banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock were in danger of going under; they were bailed out by British tax payers. We did not like this but we reluctantly went with our elected government and stabilised these banks. No burden was put on the EU. We brought in measures against big rewards for failure among big economic institutions, but these rewards remain for success and rightly so. We control this and do not want this dangerous European legislation that might drive these institutions abroad. Even though Britain is not involved in the Euro and remains better equipped to deal with the recession then most of the other European countries, we were still prepared to help, but we wanted concessions to protect our London banking industry. Europe must UNDERSTAND this.
It was the European Union that was intransigent and not the British before David Cameron used his veto. We can’t afford to adopt this legislation and would be very foolish to consider it. We control our own finance and think in terms of a Common Market. What is wrong with that? We are prepared to help but will not have this fiscal Union that will put us in Europe with Germany pulling the purse strings. I’m not being anti-German, but we don’t need that nation’s strong guidance like other countries in the EU do.
Now we have a situation in Britain where the Euro-phobics are gaining ground for us to leave the EU. This would be a great shame, but I’m beginning to see that sadly they could be right. When other European nations catch a cold; they want to bury themselves in Europe – we want to distance ourselves and sought it out.
We are marginalised in Europe by our own choice concerning currency and fiscal Union, but we still like the old Common Market aspect. You (the EU) could get help, but we (UK) don’t want your stringent regulations concerning our London institutions. Europe is pushing Britain out into the cold and it is the fault of Germany UNDERSTANDABLY wanting it her own way with the purse strings, because she has to concerning the Eurozone members. However, for none Eurozone members, who still retain their safe three star ratings and their own finances; Germany might not get what she wants on this front and she might need to throw the odd bone. The trouble in the Eurozone was Germany and France having ill-deserved confidence concerning other Eurozone countries’ abilities to level out and control borrowing. Also other non-Eurozone nations might reflect on this matter more before March and the next meeting.
Sadly, most Brits are delighted by David Cameron's veto because they think it might lead to a referendum on us leaving the EU altogether. They think this is an opportunity in that direction. I’m hoping it would not come to this, but how long will Britain stay in the cold before she looks in on herself? The UK will not conform with German led Eurozone Europe on this and I think the cross roads is fast approaching. I don't think there is a way out and perhaps there might come an amicable parting of the ways in the near future.