Coalition Watch: As the eurozone slowly disintegrates, should Cameron start listening to Daniel Hannan?
I always enjoy reading Daniel Hannan’s* Telegraph blog mainly because I usually agree with him.
Take this short post: Britain should rejoin EFTA [European Free Trade Association]:
“You really can have your cake and eat it. Switzerland managed to strike a deal with the EU which gave it full access [to the] market without pressing it into common political structures. The Swiss export more than twice as much per capita to the EU as the British do. Yet they control their own trade policy, foreign policy, borders, home affairs and employment law. Being outside the EU, they are free to disperse power through cantonalism, referendums and competing tax jurisdictions. Result? They are the wealthiest people in Europe.
“Do we really imagine than 60 million Britons couldn’t negotiate at least as favourable a deal as seven million Swiss? We are, after all, a larger market for EU exporters. We are an existing member state, with commensurate leverage. And, of course, we buy far more from the rest of the EU than we sell to it. It isn’t normal, in any transaction, for the salesman to have the upper hand over the customer.”
The Dutch bank ING calculates that any defaults within the eurozone — which in my opinion are inevitable — will spread deflationary shocks and depression around the world. It also suggests that the one-off effects of eurozone break-up “would dwarf Lehman Brothers collapse”. Isn’t it time we distanced ourselves from this dangerous organization? Whichever way the dice fall, Britain is going to lose trade.
Better at arm’s length than in the thick of it.
* Daniel Hannan is a British Conservative MEP and joint author of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain.
Update: Read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s brilliant blog post over at the Telegraph tonight. Excerpt:
“In a sense, the Verfassungsericht [German Constitutional Court] has become the defender of democratic freedom and liberties for the whole of the European Union since other national courts are largely craven (Though not Ireland’s supreme court) and since the Hegelian ECJ [European Court of Justice] has demonstrated in a series of key cases that it has no respect whatsoever for human rights and acts a mere enforcer of authoritarian power-grabs by the EU’s executive machinery. As such, the ECJ is a dangerous organization.”
I do hope David Cameron and William Hague are listening to this debate.
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