So we are off, Cameron hasn’t even made his long awaited speech on the EU and already he is saying the UK would be mad to leave, the Americans are telling us to stay in, and all the other Europhiles are crawling out of their shells to tell us that we need EU trade, that we need a voice in Europe, that our prosperity depends on Europe and that our children will be drowned under rising oceans if we keep burning fossil fuels – oops sorry that’s a different set of propaganda!
They are certainly running scared of the opinions of us plebs and so the EU scare tactics are being sprayed ever more liberally via the media in our direction, even though the earliest possible date of a potential referendum that might or might not ask the relevant question could just possibly maybe happen as soon as 5 years hence - but only assuming Cameron wins the next General Election. It’s going to take a lot of FUD to turn round opinion in 5 years but it can be done. And it will be done if we let them get away with it. Already they are wittering on about how we can’t leave because we need to trade, as though the EU would lock us out for leaving! It’s mindless scaremongering. I note the latest YouGov poll that miraculously shows public support for the EU - it turns out they changed the questions - what a surprise (not).
It looks to me like the game plan is quite simple. Cameron knows that the EU is intending tightening its treaties and merging into a single state with banking union. He knows he can’t easily follow because he promised a ‘triple lock’ on any new treaties and even he can’t wriggle round that on such a large issue. He also knows that he can’t join unless we switch to the Euro and no amount of propaganda will allow him to get away with that either at the moment. So he can’t go along with their future plans.
However what he can do is spin out the process, and 5 years gives plenty of time for the Euro crisis to resolve and for the economy to improve so people are more accepting of the EU and politicians in general. Lots of opinions can be changed by 5 years of relentless scaremongering.
Meanwhile he can make lots of headlines during those years about how he won’t join the banking union and won’t join the single state or closer integration (unless the referendum supports it). Then he will find a few crumbs like the working time directive and banking union that he can opt out of.
Then in 5 years we have a referendum – join the full integrated EU (as it will be by 2018) or be part opted out or leave completely. The referendum will of course never return the leave option because the FUD will block the completely out vote. The likely outcome is the middle option as even after 5 years it’s unlikely (but not impossible) that a majority would stand for the next layer of full integration.
But here’s the smoke and mirror outcome. The middle option will be relative to the fully integrated EU of 2018 and in reality will be almost exactly what we have now. Apart from a few crumbs of self determination in areas that have little day to day effect what we will opt out of is not our current rules of 2013 but the next stage of integration. All the regulations, red tape, rules and interference that we have now will keep coming exactly as they do now and they will end up with a democratic mandate to keep it like that.
I do realise that I have said Cameron, and clearly he won’t win the next election in 2015 (I personally doubt he will last until next year) but that makes no difference whatsoever. When it comes to the EU all the main 3 party leaders past, present and future are playing to the same plan.