Cameron’s EU deal is a “Bullies Charter” and does nothing to help Europe work better.
We urge British citizens to vote REMAIN at the Referendum on 23rd June, because to leave would be disastrous for European society as a whole. But this referendum helps no one and should never have called on the terms of “UK demands”. That is not how Europe should work.
There is a widely understood need for reform of the EU and its institutions. This is understood; we should all be discussing how it should be reformed.
A European super state is not and has never been what most Federalists have argued for but the current situation, where national governments dictate policy and direction is not acceptable. This is particularly the case with the larger states, who bully the smaller ones, as we have seen clearly this weekend.
So what of the agreed re-negotiated package itself?
• Child benefit: Paying child benefit at the rate standard rate of the member state where the country resides is something that to most will seem perfectly logical and acceptable, but surely this should have been proposed for all member states. This form of negotiation and backroom horse trading is exactly what Europeans populations do not want to see.
Migrant welfare payments – This is mean spirted and is in the agreement to combat a small problem that has been twisted and magnified to become very important to those that wish to leave the EU, but will create second class citizens and demonise those from other parts of the EU if for any reason they need to use the welfare system.
• The Eurozone and protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent Eurozone regulations being imposed on it may seem on the face of it to be justified, but there is a real risk of the City of London gaining an advantage by not having to enforce Europe-wide regulations which are set to ensure the economic safety of all citizens. And shouldn’t long-term entry into the Eurozone still be a long-term desired goal?
• Sovereignty – In the same way that many Americans fear giving up the right to bear arms, many British people claim sovereignty and the fear of losing it as a reasonable justification for withdrawing from the EU. There is nothing to be feared from shared sovereignty; indeed, this should be seen as extending sovereignty
• ‘Red card’ for national parliaments – Terms such as Special Status and Veto have replaced Subsidiarity and Solidarity. David Cameron claims to want to work together with the rest of Europe, but his terms show that he is a national leader thinking only of his and his party’s election future instead of what is best for all European citizens,
• Competitiveness – Cutting red tape should not be used to resist regulation of the banking industry, which is needed in order to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis.
• Some limits on free movement – There are many steps and actions that can be taken to strengthen Europe’s external borders and discussion of how to manage the freedom of movement is something that should be happening all the time at EU level and not unilaterally by national governments
These renegotiated terms do nothing to help solve the current problems in the EU because instead of addressing the need for closer co-operation, they it much harder to reach collective decisions. This is certainly not the progress and development that Europe needs.
In the week when it was announced that, according to the UN Children’s Emergency Fund and the International Organization for Migration, at least 340 children, many of them babies and toddlers, drowned in the eastern Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, it was a sickening sight to see Europe’s national leaders spending so much time on these demands instead of working on the real problems that face Europe.
Federalist Party of the United Kingdom