Friday, September 16, 2016

Britain's EU friends

Herman Van Rompay bluntly claimed that the UK did not have that many friends in the EU even before the referendum.

That may be partly true.

First, let's point out that HVR claimed the EU would never become US of Europe a few years ago.

It is true that many in the EU were tired of British antics re the EU way before the ref. It was not just Farage and the UKIP in the EP. It was Tories' (let us not forget that the Tories left the pro EU European People's Party years ago) antics too.

It was Thatcher, it was Major (and his veto on the Maastricht Treaty at first and then on the Euro and the Social Protocol) and Cameron too.

Blair's UK was rather pro EU.

The UK has been nagging for ages about:

The structural funds
The UK contribution to the EU budget
The agricultural policy of the EU

It was the UK that was one of the champions of EU enlargement from 15 to 28 as a strategy for preventing deepening of the EU.

But as Germans have pointed out, Germany and the UK see things eye to eye regarding markets philosophy.

Plus the UK is the most international member of the EU in terms of migration, both intraEU and from outside the EU.

NVR was exaggerating. But the UK has become a problem for the EU and the EU will deal with it.

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