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Tories Europe Implode

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The problem with the Europe issue is that is a complex situation dumbed down for the general public on popularist issues such as immigration. There are serious debates to be had at some point in terms of the pros and cons of membership, but it is largely being used as a distraction by the right at present to divert attention from the persistent failure of centre-right policies to secure economic growth. A classic political mid term misdirection to direct the public away from the more pressing issues facing the country and the ineffective nature of the Government's policies in providing positive benefits since 2010. It's a typical holding pattern ready for 2015 - focus on something beyond that date and people will start focusing on the future rather than the problems of the present. The Coalition was always up against a significant challenge over the last couple of years, as there are conflicting ideologies preventing strong leadership from attacking the legacy of the global financial crisis in a coherent manner. It should be no surprise that the challenge has been insurmountable to date, as even a single party with a majority would have had a tough ride. Europe is fundamental to this situation however largely because it is a polarising issue that divides the Tory right and the Lib Dems like no other. Europe is purely being used as the means to dissolve the relationship and differentiate the parties for the next two years.

In terms of my general opinion on Europe, I think that the seeds of an exit have long been sowed. Rightly or wrongly our influence has been marginalised and diluted by our exclusion from the single currency and the expansion of membership. We have no realistic method of now pushing an agenda to meet the UK's interests without the Franco-Germanic Euro bloc support and their interests are clearly differing from ours in terms of moving towards political and monetary integration. There are benefits of being in Europe for the country, largely because it provides a brake on extremist nationalist policies, but we are deluding ourselves if we think it is being directed towards the UK's benefit. The Cameron renegotiation is purely a stalking horse to produce a political stand off with Europe so that when any such requests are inevitably rejected it leaves us with no choice but to leave.

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The problem with the Europe issue is that is a complex situation dumbed down for the general public on popularist issues such as immigration. There are serious debates to be had at some point in terms of the pros and cons of membership, but it is largely being used as a distraction by the right at present to divert attention from the persistent failure of centre-right policies to secure economic growth. A classic political mid term misdirection to direct the public away from the more pressing issues facing the country and the ineffective nature of the Government's policies in providing positive benefits since 2010. It's a typical holding pattern ready for 2015 - focus on something beyond that date and people will start focusing on the future rather than the problems of the present. The Coalition was always up against a significant challenge over the last couple of years, as there are conflicting ideologies preventing strong leadership from attacking the legacy of the global financial crisis in a coherent manner. It should be no surprise that the challenge has been insurmountable to date, as even a single party with a majority would have had a tough ride. Europe is fundamental to this situation however largely because it is a polarising issue that divides the Tory right and the Lib Dems like no other. Europe is purely being used as the means to dissolve the relationship and differentiate the parties for the next two years.

In terms of my general opinion on Europe, I think that the seeds of an exit have long been sowed. Rightly or wrongly our influence has been marginalised and diluted by our exclusion from the single currency and the expansion of membership. We have no realistic method of now pushing an agenda to meet the UK's interests without the Franco-Germanic Euro bloc support and their interests are clearly differing from ours in terms of moving towards political and monetary integration. There are benefits of being in Europe for the country, largely because it provides a brake on extremist nationalist policies, but we are deluding ourselves if we think it is being directed towards the UK's benefit. The Cameron renegotiation is purely a stalking horse to produce a political stand off with Europe so that when any such requests are inevitably rejected it leaves us with no choice but to leave.

Decent analysis Giwildgo, agree with nearly all of that. With one important flaw. Actually, the French-German 'bloc' has never been weaker than it is now: Merkel and Hollande have almost nothing in common. We (the UK) share massive commmon interests with France (foreign policy, counter-terrorism, several cross-border issues) and with Germany (economic shrewdness, views on how the single market should be run) that we could easily be exploiting right now were it not for this paralysis and inability to engage.

Believe it or not, I'm someone who works close enough to the EU to see that there are massive flaws in the system as well as the incredible freedoms and positives attached to membership. Just like Canetman, I can move freely and transfer several rights with me (albeit not enough just now). The false borders that kept manufactured nation-states aside from each other for decades or hundreds of years are mostly down, and it's creating a European country that our forefathers could never have imagined (not just in Brussels, but across the towns and cities of the EU). UK exit won't stop or slow that down, but it may well affect how we're perceived (already with suspicion) and the extent to which others wish to engage with us. Not to mention the economic shot-in-the-foot that would be represented by preventing firms gaining access to the single market from the UK.

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