An imploding European Union is not in our national interest. I have been saying that for 20 years. I thought that it would occur, and it has. What has been needed is a realignment of European institutions and Europe itself into an association of nation states to avoid the implosion that is taking place.
The EU’s Lisbon agenda for employment and jobs has failed. It’s Stability and Growth Pact has failed and with it, the rule of law.
In this context, our shopping list for renegotiation must include (but by no means limited to) repatriation of social and employment legislation, regulatory burdens on business, home affairs, justice and criminal law, regulation over the City of London and financial services, industrial policy, the common agricultural policy, the common fisheries policy, family law, and control over communication and education EU propaganda budgets, to name but a few areas.
The British people are continuously told by their Government that we need a strong eurozone, because they account for 40% of our trade. However, the eurozone is imploding, and our trade policy is not working. In 2010, the UK balance of payments with the EU was a £53.4 billion deficit while the current account with the Rest of the World was a £7.1 billion surplus.
The Liberal Democrats, and certain elements in the Conservative party at a very high level, are quite prepared to allow further European integration. There are alternatives that would allow us to renegotiate the treaties or simply to say no, but the Government are simply not doing that.
Renegotiation of the European Treaties is fundamental. Why are people protesting and rioting all over Europe? The European economy is not growing and the reason is that the sort of policies needed in the UK and the European Union to engender growth and therefore deal with the deficit – which the Government rightly say we have to address – cannot possibly be achieved without generating the growth that is needed by repealing legislative burdens and generating policies that the integrationists in Europe simply refuse to allow.
The Coalition itself in the UK cannot achieve growth because the Liberal Democrats, as part of those arrangements, have silenced the PM’s promise to repatriate, among other policies, burdens on business. It is called 56 votes and the keys to No. 10.