1. avatar

    Brief thoughts on your questions.

    1. I think The Economists’s columnist has got far too close to the detail. The outcome of the summit last week has been likely for some time. Basically, the key players got at least some of what they wanted.

    The Germans got the supposedly beefed-up stability pact that they convinced themselves they needed. The French, in return, got a (a) big advance in joint economic policy-making in (b) a largely intergovernmental form, and they got it (c) without the UK. The British got (a) something that might shore up the euro, and (b) non-involvement in it. (Every other country that has signed up so far sees placating the Germans as unavoidable. They’ve got all the money.)

    All in all, the outcome is indeed quite bad for Britain. But these are extraordinary circumstances, making possible an big advance in integration, and there was little choice for a British government but to accept its marginalisation. Cameron saw this some time ago. I just can’t see how any British prime minister could have agreed to what the French and Germans were proposing – an economically and politically dubious solution to a gigantic problem for which Britain bears no responsibility.

    2. It’s often a difficult call: are you better off influencing from within or with a bit more autonomy outside? I strongly suspect that most City types will, on balance, prefer the latter. But let’s see.

    3. Yes, there is irony in a Tory government seeking solace in EU treaties and suprantional institutions. But, again, the French actually got a lot of what they’ve always wanted. If only their monetary system wasn’t on the point of total collapse, their diplomats could surely feel very pleased.

  2. avatar Norwegian Guy

    The UK isn’t the only country that has doubts about the new EU treaty. The Danish government is split as well. And there’s no guarantee that the Swedish Parliament will accept it either. Interesting times ahead in several countries!

  3. avatar

    There is of course a general question if the Euro17 pact will have any practical consequences or if it is just a case of agreeing to agree. But even if the British (or should I say: The English) see themselves as a league above France and Germany, not to speak of the Czechs and the Danish, the lack of attempts to form any coalitions, anchor the British position etc. is very curious. But I will look into the Euro in my 2011 review. Or rather 2012 preview.

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