Bugger That

As of late, Germany has been sounding the call for further EU integration, which would result in the creation of a European Monetary Fund, as well as an alteration of the EU treaty to avoid triggering a referendum.  In a nutshell, it would allow for further integration of Europe without a protest vote.  And, if this article from Express UK is to be believed, Britain is not reacting well to Berlin’s aggressive integration stance.  (In my experience, the Brits generally don’t react well if they perceive any sort of threat from any outsiders.)

The UK has long abstained from further economic involvement with the EU.  In fact, when initially put to referendum, Britons handily voted down the idea of abandoning the long-standing British Pound Sterling. David Cameron, the Tory (conservative) Prime Minister, suffered a bit of an embarrassment back in late October when several conservative lawmakers balked at his orders to vote against bringing British membership in the EU to public referendum.  Although Cameron spoke as though it wasn’t a serious setback, it seems as though he has lost one battle in what may blow up into a full-blown war to bring Britain out of the EU cooperative.

EU Business reported that Great Britain was divided about equally regarding EU membership, with a slight majority favoring an exit.  Express UK is now reporting that rift to either be larger or growing (it didn’t specify), with now 51% of Britons figured to be in favor of leaving the EU, while only about 32% would vote to stay, if the subject were brought to referendum today.

Ultimately, the same worries that seem to be buzzing around Britain are not limited to the shores of those islands.  EU citizens on the continent have long held similar worries about a unified government and currency – with good reason, perhaps, given that the EU is in dire straits now.  It seems that the political answer to these worries has not be to question the current path but to instead impose integration, a tactic that still seems to be favored by the bureaucrats in Brussels.  In fact, according to this Cato report on economic policy, Chancellor Merkel and the other Volk in Berlin seem to be ignoring a rather obvious reality at home, as well: most Germans are opposed to bailouts of other countries and now favor a return to the good old Deutschmark (God rest it).  Once again, it seems as though the wishes of the people are being ignored, ostensibly for “their own good.”

Though the article was written before the Greek default was admitted – and Greece was defaulting two years ago – it now seems painfully obvious that what the EU is ultimately asking is that Greece, Italy, and others be allowed to take advantage of Germany’s financial power and the benevolence of the government, which represents a population that is currently unwilling.  It’s no wonder certain elements in Britain want out of this mess post haste!

EU leaders are fretting over the idea that if Greece and other weaker states are kicked out, it would signal the failure of the “European project.”  Frankly, it’s already a failure.  In just a few short years after economic integration, Europe’s nut-bag currency and financial policies have led it down the road to ruin.  It would be monumentally difficult to argue, at this juncture, that Europe is doing anything but failing.  Further integrating a mess is not going to make it less of a mess – it’s just going to prolong the descent into the inevitable.  As long as the EU, Britain, and the US pursue easy money policies via monetization of the debt through central banks printing fiat currency, the ultimate economic demise of the countries in question is inevitable.

That said, Britain has less to lose by exiting the Eurozone than one might imagine.  For one thing, they do more business with the US than with mainland Europe, in terms of services and investment, and the same could be said of the US in regards to Britain.  Ultimately, Europe has long disliked Britain’s strong financial and diplomatic ties to Washington.  If Britain were to cave and join the Euro, it would lose a measure of support with Washington, although it would gain favor in Brussels.  Of course, it would also lose most of its coveted financial freedom, something to which the Brits have fiercely clung for a long time.

But as I’ve said, I think the final word for the British Isles will be decided by what the world is perceiving in the economic meltdown of Southern Europe.  Why in the world would anyone want to integrate more closely to that?  It’s like throwing oneself into bankruptcy just because your friend is doing it.  Besides that, I don’t believe that the Brits like to be dictated to, and that’s what closer integration with Europe promises: having Brussels red tape, fiscal, and social policy crammed down one’s throat.

Forbes commentator Tim Worstall had a rather amusing take on what he calls the “political delusion” of the German finance minister and conveys the average British voter opinion, which will hopefully be where the buck (or the pound) finally stops: “The euro?  Wha’ wiv all ’em riots ‘n stuff?  Nah, rubbish, innit?”


About The Lady Libertarian
I am American, currently expatriated but hopeful about getting back home one of these days. Besides reading and writing about politics, I enjoy camping, sailing, canoeing, making pie, and traveling. I hope you'll enjoy this blog and find it informative and accessible.

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