Was David Cameron right to Veto the EU treaty?
David Cameron has vetoed the latest plans by the duumvirate of Germany and France for propping up the Euro and preventing future crises. This is potentially a watershed in Britain’s deelings with the European Union - Britain has threatened to use its veto before but has never actually eventually chosen to use it, instead always finding a negotiated way out such as John Major’s opt outs for the Maastricht treaty. Cameron believed that the proposals unfairly targeted Britain through setting up a ‘tobin’ or tax on financial transactions and was unable to achieve the ‘safeguards’ that he wanted and as a result used his veto in the interests of the city of London, that would have been most affected by such a tax. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, did not appear to be bothered by the British veto arguing that everything would carry on regardless "I really don't believe David Cameron was ever with us at the table. We're very pleased with the result. [The deal] was no weak compromise for the euro." However despite Merkel also saying that Britain would continue to be a valued member of the EU there are worries in Britain that although Cameron used his veto in ‘the national interest’ it may not be as simple as that and the national interest might actually have been better served by remaining at the table even if it meant swallowing some European regulation or taxation. Now Britain is on its own while the other 26 nations of the European Union remain together and may simply carry on with legislation that affects London regardless of British interests. So the veto, should it have been used?
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Doomed from the outset, veto saves UK in the long term
Even without the benefit of hindsight, fiscal union amongst economies in totally different cycles is pure folly. The only way for the euro to work is for a total transfer of sovereignty to a supranational body with limited accountability to the people they govern. The veto was David Cameron's only option to prevent us from setting the dangerous precedent of amending treaties without the need of national referendums, which the EU invariably know will falter. Unfortunately, the UK has persisted in having one foot in and one foot out of Europe, which has left us in the slow lane of a two speed Europe and with the only option of using our veto last week. Cameron has safeguarded the economy being regulated somewhat by us the voters, and not the shady puppet masters which stalk Brussels. Quite rightly Germany, tasked with funding the collapsing southern European states, wishes to take control. There is no need for this in London, as we quite rightly tread a path of austerity. It is time Britain stopped standing on the sidelines in Europe, reluctantly accepting treaties from the continent which swallow sovereignty and democracy whole whilst leaving us with some change to spend as we see fit. India, Brazil and China id the future, and its high time Britain transferred trade to them instead. Standing up for the national interest is an unfashionable things of late, but this is the first step.
You mean monetary union - fiscal union obviously could work as is shown by other immense states in the world, US, China, Russia, Canada, Australia. Since three of these cases are mature democracies it is also difficult to see why this inevitably means 'limited accountability to the people' it simply requires a fundamental rethink about European governance.
The real question is whether if all this were to happen a veto would really be 'saving' the UK rather than simply making it a marginal state with no influence but still very much affected by EU policy-making in the way that Norway and Switzerland are.
As is often the case with the EU there was a lot of uproar and then everyone carries on. Cameron has now said that he will allow EU institutions such as the ECJ to enforce any new Eurozone treaty and there are still no guarantees for the City of London so what was the veto for? Did it actually achieve anything or did the EU just keep on rolling as usual?
What do you think?