Last night’s deal on the Euro represented the EU’s last best chance to find a way out of this crisis.  In another demonstration of the power of effectively locking people until until they agree, the Heads of State & Government produced a series of conclusions that went beyond many of the opening positions of the previous weeks.  Certainly, after much delay and prevarication, there appears to be a move to attempting a more long-lasting solution, although there is still a strong sense that Europe’s leaders are trying to get away with as little as possible, rather than building in extra room for manoeuvre.  This is the product of German unwillingness to be put on the hook any more than they already are and of the PIIG’s unhappiness about further encroachments on their sovereignty. Continue reading »

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Today’s debate in the Commons on holding a referendum on EU membership very simply highlights the dangers of the issue for David Cameron.  Remember that he was the leader who finally poured balm on what had been a very divisive topic for the Conservatives, although it not appears that this was largely by the expedient of not talking about it any more than necessary, rather than any fundamental resolution.  Whereas leaders such as Hague and Duncan-Smith has attempted to control the issue by giving it fuller expression, Cameron was astute enough to recognise that given the low level of public interest in the matter, the best thing was to park it all to one side.  This strategy was helped by the situation after the Lisbon treaty, where further integration wasn’t on the table and the risks of being caught out appeared minimal. Continue reading »

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