(05b) UK versus European Union
Recently, Europe was angry with the veto of the UK against necessary reforms. I really do not understand the reasoning of the UK. Germany (and other countries) wants stronger control on the spending of European countries to prevent them from cheating (as Greece did) or lending too much (although investments by governments should be allowed such as (1) improving schools or (2) spending money on research into solving cancer, dementia and other diseases to save future money as people will be healthy for a longer period and thus can contribute longer towards society or into research on how to solve the financial crisis or (3) to improve the environment to prevent catastrophic future events and resulting in the creation of new jobs).
What demands the UK (England more particular as Scotland was angry the UK vetoed the reforms) from the Eurozone? They demand countries should look more after their spending to prevent greater debts. They want other countries to implement the measures taken by the UK to save money, e.g. on health care (at a time more people might need health care as the population is ageing). Countries already introduce pension reforms (such as the UK). Countries are thinking about charging higher entrance fees to study at university (such as the UK did). Therefore, I still do not understand why the UK vetoed the proposed changes? Simply because the Tories in the English government know about the hatred of some of its electorate towards Europe (and everything that is not British) and want to win the elections next time to have a majority in Parliament without the LibDems?
The UK vetoed because they claim they are afraid that reforms might affect the City and its employees. Indeed, politicians have to defend the interests of their own employees but should also dare to tell their people that the best of their interests is not always what the populous thinks. If the whole of Europe would make reforms on the banking system, then surely all banks in all EU countries would have the same (dis)advantages (and those outside the EU would surely have to follow)? I read the British government is now reforming their own banking system. Surely a disadvantage for the banks in the UK compared with the rest of Europe and the world? (And how many bankers would like to leave Europe and go to e.g. China? How many banks would say no to the money of European savers?)
The UK claims the euro may not fail otherwise it is bad for the UK economy. The UK claims the IMF should have adequate resources to deal with the crisis in Southern Europe. But when the UK were asked, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne refused to give the IMF around €30bn unless China, India and others from the G20 joined in. The refusal came after the Euro summit. Is this revenge from the UK because of what they consider as the humiliation from the other EU countries towards their PM Cameron during the European summit? Even when Europe showed (again) their goodwill by allowing the UK to be present as a witness at some of the meetings regarding the Euro. Does the UK want Europe goes down so the UK can claim they knew it better than the rest of Europe and if Europe wants to receive help it will be on the UK's terms?
I bet, when the UK is allowed the presidency of the EU in return for necessary changes in Europe, the UK will accept this and the UK will force the rest of Europe to deal with their debts in the same way as the UK did (and as Germany wanted). They might also allow the removal of the veto so their decisions can't be blocked (I am against the veto but it should not be removed by those who were in favour of the veto as long as it was in their interests). And their decisions might be in the interest of the economy and the big money and less in the general interest. Reforms are necessary in Europe, but I fear the way the UK would make the changes.
Of course, I can be wrong.
Don't misunderstand me. I am in favour of a political Europe. I always found the UK should have taken responsibility as an EU member and should have joined the Euro so it could have demanded the other countries to take their responsibilities financially. But the UK was often against the EU so the EU was not allowed to develop a political union and as a consequence the European institutions are largely undemocratic. When the UK is against more Europe, it should take its responsibility and allow the EU develop. But of course, the UK can't leave the EU because the UK prevents the EU from developing into a fascist state (as someone told me ones he feared Europe would do without UK). Also, the UK only wants the benefits without taking much responsibilities.