Some days ago and more precisely on 18 January, this newspaper argued that David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, readies to support the ‘yes’ side for his country’s position in or out the EU in the referendum. Yesterday afternoon he actually confirmed this with a speech at the Davos WEF. Having recited the four conditions that have to be fulfilled in the EU, if he is to campaign for the ‘yes’ side, he confirmed that there are good prospects to reach a full agreement in February’s European Council.
However, he didn’t only have positive comments about an agreement being possible during the 18-19 February meeting of the 28 EU leaders. He was obliged to say something antithetical for his voters back home to hear. To this effect, he boasted that he is “not in a hurry to get an agreement right now” and added that the referendum can be held off until the end of 2017. Yet again, he didn’t want to leave his reticent rhetoric at that. He explained that he wants a good deal, one that he can propose to his compatriots and again confirmed that he is ready to support the ‘yes’ side in the referendum with everything he’s got. Very characteristically he didn’t use not once the word Brexit (Britain out of the EU).
More than once Cameron stressed that “the best for Britain is to get the best of two worlds”. He meant that his country should stay in the EU, but not participate in the ‘ever closer political union’ that the mainland European countries are now trying to develop. This is more true for the 19 Eurozone member states.
EU internal emigration
Again as the European Sting also reported on 18 January, Cameron confirmed that out of the four conditions for Britain to remain in the EU, the most important one is to reduce the numbers of EU citizens immigrating to Britain and claiming in-work social security benefits from the first day they arrive. The next crucial issue for Cameron’s referendum is the relations between the Eurozone and non-Eurozone EU member states.
Yesterday, he reminded everybody that last summer, Britain strongly denied the use of money from all EU countries to rescue one Eurozone member, namely Greece. Of course at the end the money mobilized to save Greece from bankruptcy came exclusively from Eurozone member states, and actually not all of them. In reality, Cameron recalled this affair once more for his home audience to hear clearly, that the British taxpayer will never be called to save another country from a financial Armageddon.
Talking to the British voters
The British voters can rest assured that they will never spend one penny to help another European country. In short, this condition that Cameron poses for Britain to stay in the EU is already fulfilled and actually never constituted an important friction point between London and Brussels. Even some Eurozone members like Slovakia have never spent a cent to support Greece.
The other two conditions Cameron poses if he is to support the ‘yes’ side present no difficulty for Brussels to meet. For one thing, cutting down the red tape for business in the EU is an ongoing effort in Brussels. As for the last issue that Cameron raised, national sovereignty, it doesn’t actually pose any problem for Britain. The steps towards a closer political union that Britain denies are restricted exclusively to the Eurozone of which this country will never be a member.
Cameron’s speech in Davos was exclusively devoted to the referendum. He didn’t even touch the WEF’s main theme, the ‘fourth industrial evolution’. This is another sign that he is rather in a hurry despite saying the opposite. He understands that the prolongation of the uncertainty about Britain’s positions in the EU does a lot of harm to the country. That’s why his rhetoric was a bit more positive about an agreement in February.
Stay tuned from 20 to 23 January as the Sting will be once more producing top class critical LIVE media coverage from the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland.
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