Excellent piece by Simon Nixon on David Cameron, the Tories and Europe. The lack of any coherent EU strategy and the focus on short term gains has left David Cameron at the mercy of events – and in the hand of his eurosceptic backbenchers.
Please note the disclaimer at the end of the article. But the point remains valid: “U.K. policy makers should stop blaming the economy’s plight on the crisis in the euro zone and engage in deeper soul-searching about the country’s enduring economic weakness. Britain’s economy has actually shrunk fractionally more over the past year than the euro zone’s has. Over the past two years, the euro zone’s economy has grown by a total of 1.1%, Britain’s by only 0.2%.”
(PS: Two excellent pieces on Britain and the EU in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal. Interesting)
William Hague makes the case that we need ‘flexible European integration’ to embrace ‘diversity’. He also thinks that “less is more” and that the European Parliament is useless – oh – and that the UK is interested in EU Foreign Policy (he did not mention the Canada embassy sharing story and the constant undermining of the EEAS) But nevertheless, it is his first substantial speech on Europe in quite a while and he is surprisingly pragmatic and polite (quite an achievement!). Read it – it is a good summary of what the British government is trying to do.
Interesting research project by Benjamin Hawkins on the British media debate on the EU: “There are two principal frames evident within eurosceptic discourse: the EU as a foreign power and the EU as a bargaining forum.”