While Cameron received a serious warning from the US regarding his dabbling with a referendum on and possible exit from the EU, I had marked my ’19th‘ birthday. Celebrations regarding this milestone will take place today. Although I didn’t do anything special on the anniversary of my birth, I seriously had the birthday feeling. I just had a lovely day and enjoyed all the attention I got via phone, text, email, social media and in face to face interaction. I felt grateful for all the goodness in my life and I am looking forward to some more goodness to come. While I was feeling the love, it seems our prime minister is busy exercising party politics which by no means serve the country.
Within the Conservative Party lives a tribe of Eurosceptics, who were the only ones who hailed the Prime Minister as a home-coming queen after he’d thrown a tantrum at the EU summit that was to save the euro back in December 2011. That tribe of Eurosceptics wants a referendum on EU membership and an engagement with the UK Independence Part (UKIP) as they are anti-Europe as well and are doing pretty well in the polls.
Knowing the Dark Fairy, you know that I believe that the concept of democracy is slightly laughable, but if one believes in it, one shouldn’t take half measures and have that referendum. The people have the right to choose whether they want to be governed by a larger, less-democratic institution called Europe. It’s just that this nationalism and isolationism seem soooo 19th century. And nationalism has done pretty messed up things in the 20th century (Second World War, nation building of former colonies where no nations ever existed, hence the ethnic and political mess in many African countries, former Yugoslavia in the 1990s).
Wishing to renegotiate one’s deal with Europe means breaking up the treaty. That’s no small thing to do. Talking about renegotiating Britain’s relationship with Europe and letting the electorate choose on whether they want to be part of the European Union, is not Cameron’s way of giving expression to his love for British ‘independence’ or his passion for the democratic process. By these means he is offering the Eurosceptics of his party a juicy bone and aims to win back some run-away Tory-voters who currently feel much more at home at UKIP.
If Britain were to break away, it won’t change that Europe is the country’s largest trading partner. Any deals the EU is to make with any other country or economic block, if Britain wants to enjoy the same deal, it has to make it on its own accord. ‘Independent’ from Europe it will still have a lot of dealings with the Continent (and Ireland), yet it can exercise no influence. Even now the US has explicitly stated that it wants Britain to be an active member of the EU, how well would a separation or even a divorce go down in Washington?
Although I believe that Eurosceptics are not completely honest with themselves and disregard the benefits from EU membership, I understand their frustration with the bureaucracy of Europe. The EU has made a serious attempt to make the Union more democratic ,however, the democratic deficit still exist. Who wants to be ruled by a faceless, bureaucratic entity in a foreign country? However, I have been able to live my life in the UK has I have done for the last decade as a non-British national and EU-citizen because of the EU. This life and that of many of my non-British friends would change considerably if Britain decides on a divorce. I might not have a British passport, but this country and especially its capital is my home and I want it to do well. I want it to have the leadership it deserves, to bring the country back to health. Not only economically, but also socially. A country that cares about its young, the elderly, the sick. That offers all a chance to make it in life. A country that punishes those who do economic and moral damage (bankers, press), that knows how to argue a fair share from those who are innovative and worked hard to do well for themselves so they can help others.
Cameron occupying himself with party politics while he knows very well that Britain needs Europe and Europe wants Britain to remain an active part of the family, he is yet again not doing the country any favours.