I could rant for England on the subject of the Common Agricultural Policy, but I can’t seem to get very worked up about the European Constitution. This might be stupidity on my part, but what exactly would happen if, after we’ve signed it, a future UK government just refused to accept some part of it (not that there’s anything much new there that we—or rather past Conservative governments—haven’t signed up to before). I mean, what would they do about it? Would Belgium engineer a mass killing of the Celts? Would France arrange for a member of our royal family to have an unfortunate road accident? (Certain) members of the Eurozone can flout the so-called “Growth and Stability Pact” without so much as a slap. If someone can tell me of a sanction with real bite that the constitution’s co-signatories could impose on us for breaking with that agreement, I’d love to know about it. I’m genuinely curious. I wouldn’t want to our nation to find itself in the gunsights of Italy’s mighty naval fleet.
31Oct04 — 4
This is something I’ve never worked out about the Europhobics.
Nearly all of the problems that get blamed on ‘Europe’ are down to our own homegrown bureaucrats, and a ‘get red tape out of Whitehall’ campaign would have far more impact on the overregulation they claim to hate than any amount of anti-EU rhetoric.
Even arch-Europhobe Christopher Booker stresses in his book The Mad Officials that most of the problems are to do with over-zealous application of “regulations” which, often as not, weren’t binding in the first place.
It’s also well worth noting that signing up to the constitution explicitly grants a member state the power to leave the EU with (presumably) relatively minimal hassle – as opposed to the current procedure, which involves the systematic repeal of countless pieces of legislation.
You underestimate the power of bureacracy…
I’m with Micheal,
I rather admire the way the French just ignore any rules they fancy and carry on regardless.