Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

Mr David CAMERON, UK Prime Minister at the 17-18 EU Council Summit. (TVNewsroom Consilium, 30/12/2015)

Mr David CAMERON, UK Prime Minister at the 17-18 December EU Council Summit. (TVNewsroom Consilium, 30/12/2015)

Following the failure of the European Council’s summit on December 17-18 to answer positively to UK’s requests regarding EU migrant’s social benefits ban, it was time for the German Councellor and French President to take the lead and try to avoid a possible Brexit. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande thus proposed to the British Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron to pause EU migrants claiming benefits for three years instead of four, which was his initial demand.

Migration is set as a top priority by Mr Cameron in order to “persuade” the rest EU countries that Great Britain deserves more in order to stay within the EU. However, countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain oppose to the aforementioned proposal.

The matter now rests with the ability of the British PM to persuade the EU leaders to grant UK with this EU migration ban at the next summit next February. If he manages to do so, there are great chances that he will campaign in favour of the UK’s membership within the EU in the referendum that is going to take place sometime before 2017.

Germany and France brought the Christmas gifts

David Cameron cannot complain he didn’t receive his Christmas present this year by Santa. His requests have heeded and alternatives have been proposed. According to the website Express, a French official involved in the negotiations said: “there was a co-ordination between Hollande and Merkel to discuss possible compromises on this issue, ideally compatible with the treaties”. The proposal made by Germany and France has opened widely the EU door to Mr Cameron and provided him with the necessary “tools” to keep to some extent his pre-electoral promises while endorsing the EU path of the country.

But will UK’s migrant ban policy even work?

Will the proposal of the British PM to ban EU migrants from claiming social benefits make the British economy more prosperous and competitive and reduce migration? The answer, according to the economist and senior member of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) Sir Stephen Nickell, is negative. More specifically, he had mentioned while appearing before the House of Common’s Treasury select committee: “Changing the benefit rules for EU migration so that they become more difficult to obtain – you are asking me what impact that is likely to have. In my opinion: not much. I am prepared to say that any changes to benefit rules are unlikely to have a huge impact on migration flows.”

Therefore, the will of Mr Cameron to reduce migration coming from the EU is not going to be too beneficial for the UK after all, which is still facing hardship like many EU member states from the increased migration waves. Particularly, according to Oliver Hawkins’s paper, annual net migration has reached 336,000 in June which is a new record high. It is stated also that the main reason that people migrate to the UK and especially to London is work and the second one is studies.

The opposition of EU member states

There is a lot of work to be done in order to persuade the EU members, which see this migration ban policy as “pure discrimination” and raise serious concerns. Particularly, except for Poland, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain and Belgium are among the countries that disagree with Cameron’s proposal. According to Politico website, a European diplomat stated on the British PM’s attempt to convince EU countries to accept his plan: “you can look people in the eye for a long enough but it doesn’t mean you will be mesmerized”.

But for how long?

Even if there are great oppositions by some countries, the German Chancellor has the power to convince them by promoting new proposals and alternatives that can satisfy the UK and leave the EU treaties “untouched”.

Hence, everyone will be pleased and in the end Britain will probably stay within the EU. But till that time is reached, this hot topic is going to be plaguing the European leaders’ minds till the end of 2017 when the British people will have to decide about the faith of their country regarding its membership or not within the EU.

Europe gives in

All in all, it is rather shocking to see that the EU seems determined to play Cameron’s referendum game, in order to ensure stability and help him campaign in favour of the UK staying in the EU. It seems that these days politicians take too big risks just to stay in power and get re-elected. David Cameron did so, Tsipras did the same and so many others. Cameron played the European fate of his entire country just to stay in power and got into an absolute mess where he couldn’t until recently take neither a step forward or back for months.

The big leaders of the EU, in fear of the big challenges the block is bound to face in 2016 like migration, they unexpectedly concede to an “à la carte” EU mobility. It seems that if someone wants to ask something from the EU, now is the best moment. Who knows? Maybe we get a Schengen “à la carte” very soon.

The Sting will be monitoring the Brexit challenge closely.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Cities: a ’cause of and solution to’ climate change

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

Innovation is the key to the pay-TV industry’s long-term growth

‘Dangerous nationalism’ seriously threatens efforts to tackle statelessness: UNHCR chief

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Sovereign wealth funds could increase equality in a post-COVID world

Election-related violence claims 85 lives in Afghanistan: UN report

Countries must make teaching profession more financially and intellectually attractive

An economist explains what happens if there’s another financial crisis

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

These 11 companies are leading the way to a circular economy

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

How can education empower youth to become tomorrow’s leaders

Worth going ‘extra mile’ for a new Syrian constitution, UN envoy urges

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

250+ senior claims leaders under one roof, exchanging transformation strategy

The importance and the need of mobile technology in the health care system and in saving lives

MEPs share concerns about COVID-19 variants

Here’s how we can make innovation more inclusive

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

Coronavirus: Commission expands talks to a fifth vaccine manufacturer

A 3-step plan for carbon-neutral cars

COVID-19 Update: Solidarity and Joint Efforts Shall be the Main Theme For China and Europe in the Fight Against the Outbreak

2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Maria Ressa of the Philippines

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

The European reaction to the neo-fascist wind

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

COVID-19: lessons from Italy on public-private healthcare procurement

Mental health and social isolation: how do have an active participation in self-care?

Climate change and health: creating global awareness and using earth resources wisely

How cocoa farming can help stop deforestation

5 ways the ocean can contribute to a green post-COVID recovery

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

COVID-19: Why we must take the widescreen view of workforce uncertainty

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

Mental Health: Role of the individual for their well-being in the pandemic

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

We need natural solutions to fight ocean and climate risk

With field schools in Kenya, UN agriculture agency teaches techniques to combat drought

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

What paleoecology can teach us about fires in the Amazon

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

In Yemen, Special Envoy sees UN role in preserving ‘essential’ aid pipeline at country’s major port

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

Peacekeeping chief honours Tanzanian troops in Zanzibar, a year on from deadly DR Congo attacks

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s