Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cameron 'Expresses' Himself

Today's edition of the Express contains an 'exclusive interview' with David Cameron, covering a wide range of subjects.

"Q What is your position on Britain joining the single currency – we see some of its members, notably Greece, struggling badly at the moment? 

A Very simple, one word: never. I was in the Treasury when we were in the Exchange Rate mechanism, and I said to myself: “Never again should we give up control of our domestic interest rates.” If I am Prime Minister and for as long as I would be Prime Minister, I would never take Britain into the euro, full stop, end of story.We should never have got ourselves into the financial mess that we are in but at least we have the flexibility of our own currency and our own interest rates

Is this another cast-iron gurantee that will have to be broken? The reason one asks is due to the reports of a proposal for three new EU authorities with binding powers over national regulators such as the FSA. It is also worth noting the statements of Barroso on the subject of fiscal policy within the EU. Whilst Britain has not joined the euro one is reminded of Article 3, clause 4 of the Treaty on European Union which states "The Union shall establish and economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro." Looking back over the history of the EU and how it works - slowly bringing in measures to achieve its aims - one has to ask whether joining the euro will actually be a decision for Britain. 

"Q What would you do if Britain was asked by Brussels to help fund a bail-out of countries like Greece?
A We are in our own bad situation. Our budget deficit this year is bigger than Greece’s. We are not part of the euro. We are contributors to the IMF, we are part of the international community but our focus is on sorting out our own budget deficit.

Interestingly Article 125 of of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) says "The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State" yet Article 122 states "When a member state is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control, the council, on a proposal from the commission, may grant, under certain conditions, union financial assistance." From the apparent contridictions contained in those two Articles it can be argued that David Cameron has ducked the question - but hey, whats new as he is, after all, a politician.

"Q How did you get into a position where you got blamed for there not being a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and what can you say to reassure Eurosceptic voters that you will stand up to Brussels?

A I understand people’s disappointment because it was a long and honourable campaign that we fought for a referendum on the European constitution. It looked many times like we might get it, if we’d had an election any time before the Czechs and the Poles had signed. But when reality confronts you, you have to answer back. And the fact is you couldn’t have a referendum now. The treaty is in place, it’s part of European law. I totally understand people’s frustration. In the first Queen’s Speech there will be a Bill that says any future treaty that passes power from Westminster to Brussels will need to have a referendum. The legacy of the great Lisbon argument will be that it will never happen again.

This statement is, again, nothing but spin when saying that any future treaty that passes power from Westminster to Brussels will need to have a referendum. It has been admitted that Lisbon was a self-amending treaty, therefore there will not be any further treaties on which to have a referendum. One comes back to Barroso's statement linked to above: "....I believe that our economic and social situation demands a radical shift from the status quo. And the new Lisbon Treaty allows this." Remove the words 'economic and social' and substitute any other 'topic' and 'a radical shift', which is allowed by the Lisbon Treaty, will surely be imposed on Britain.

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