British PM David Cameron opened the long awaited debate about the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. In effect Europe is now a British election issue. The crisis which began as a banking problem, moving to a Euro currency problem, is now a constitutional debate on whether there will be enough appropriate Brussels reforms by 2017 when a referendum will offer the electorate a direct IN or OUT vote.
It’s a five year plan to shape a bureaucratic, democratically deficient Brussels sliding towards total disconnection with European citizens into an institution acceptable to British democracy.
Confederate nation states, led by Britain are poised to shape the course of European direction. An era of faceless Brussels dictate is being challenged. The option are clear “Not just change for Britain but change for Europe…..we have a choice, turn away or lead the change necessary to bring us together.” (British PM)
|Fanfare for the common people. The British challenge Brussels. Five|
years to make the EU project acceptable to democracy. image Den Haag 2012
Use of the financial crisis to steamroll Europe towards a political union without consulting citizens will be stalled by this referendum pledge. Some are angry with the UK saying “You can’t come to a football match and expect to play rugby.” And “Europe is an idea and not just about trade.” One former EU commissioner expressed a view that the debate will be acrimonious and that it is wrong to consult the people.
However, some European ideas have not always worked out, mainly due to obsessions to rush headlong into undefined destinations. The European project, until now, secured the confidence of nations that its existence was entirely a co-operative peace mission. Fixation to force an unapproved agenda on citizens means confidence no longer exists in many countries.
Without the UK pressing for reform, Europe’s counter balances to prevent current Brussels dilution of the democratic process would be much weaker. In reality the British have introduced the shock of the new normal. Democracy and accountability is not retractable to further Federalist ambitions.
The big question is whether reforms will happen to allow the UK to participate comfortably. Or, whether Brussels will resist and simply ask the Brits to vote again and again till they get it right. We have five years to find out.