Last year ended with a bang. There was the 30 November action over pensions, a nation united in struggle (see pensions feature article). And then the EU summit on 9 December, whose outcome represents a big breach in our relationship with the European Union and accordingly a significant advance for Britain.
The EU answer to its crisis is yet another pact for “stability and growth”, ignoring the failure of the last one. But the fiscal union now proposed in the 17-member eurozone would be a huge step towards a single European state.
The tiny band of pro-euro fanatics – including Blair, Miliband, Salmond and sundry press commentators – who say Britain is now “isolated and marginalised” need their heads (and their motives) examined. What could leave a nation more isolated and marginalised than giving up a huge chunk of its sovereignty?
Tax and spending plans will be scrutinised by EU officials before national governments. Automatic sanctions against countries that overspend will make monetarism a constitutional obligation. Marginalised? More like missing the maiden voyage of the Titanic.
German chancellor Merkel wants legally binding restrictions on deficit spending in the eurozone countries. This would outlaw any industrial growth policy: eurozone nations would effectively be forbidden to invest in industry, jobs, wages and public services. It would make the slump obligatory and permanent. Now French president Sarkozy wants parallel bureaucracies set up in every EU institution to run the single fiscal policy. Assault on the working classes of Europe is the aim: the European Union is the weapon of choice.
Merkel says that the eurozone had set an “irreversible course towards a fiscal union”. Yet even now the deal is under pressure, even without the peoples of Europe having yet been allowed a voice – will they put up with losing their national sovereignty to Germany? Ireland is talking about a referendum. The Danish government lacks the votes it needs to agree to the deal, with calls for a referendum growing. Both Hungary and the Czech Republic say that the proposed fiscal rules are unacceptable because they would take away their sovereign taxation rights.
Cameron vetoed the proposed treaty, the first good thing he has done, in a bid for voter popularity.Whether he meant it or not, it’s a big step towards our being free of the EU. The British people do not want to be in the euro, nor in the EU. The question is, what shall we going to do about it? Now, there’s material for a New Year’s resolution! ■