Renegotiating Europe

From the Economist’s Charlemagne column:  ‘Somewhere in a parallel universe exists an alternative renegotiation that Britain would be well-placed to lead, focused on the EU’s persistent economic torpor and its weak fragmented foreign policy…Instead the EU must grapple with Mr Cameron’s parochial concerns…’

Compare Charles Moore’s apparently reasonable comment: ‘They (the Eurosceptics) need voices (that is, not Nigel Farage) which can show that voting to stay, far from being a safe status-quo vote, is to sign up for a journey as yet unfinished to a destination most British people do not want.’

This destination, and I assume he means a federal Europe, however that’s defined, won’t happen because European electorates and European leaders don’t want it. It’s ‘unfinished’ to my mind in that it could be a damn sight more efficient – and more accountable at an individual parliamentary level.

Britain could and should be a leader in this debate, a renegotiation in which everyone is involved, and which helps re-position all of Europe, not just the UK. If the referendum focuses minds on this possibility, and helps make it a reality, it will have – in the end, and despite all my misgivings – have been worthwhile.

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