UK Conservatives continue attacking the eurozone
French president Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly told his British counterpart this weekend, in very clear terms, he was not welcome in eurozone discussions.
But that did not stop London’s mayor, a colleague of David Cameron in the Tory party, from adding to his prime minister’s meddling. in a column in the right-leaning Telegraph this morning.
Boris Johnson (pictured) said Britain has “no choice but to clear up the mess and take Europe forwards”, and that efforts to create a unified whole entity out of Europe are “always bound to end in tears”.
He added that any treaty drafted to help this happen “must have the full approval of the people of Britain in a referendum”.
His prime minister is today fighting his own battle against referenda – he has ordered his parliamentary party to vote ‘no’ in a vote today pushing for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership.
At least 60 of his own party are expected to ignore his demand.
Predictably, Johnson used the analogy of Normandy – Arromanches – and the 1944 D-Day landings in his article. He wrote that the common market, a result of binding Germany peacefully to its neighbours, was “in many ways a success”.
The European Union had “served as a beacon for the countries of eastern Europe as they groaned under communism; and it is one of the triumphs of post-war history.
“Where the project has come adrift is in the past 20 years, when it has frankly tried to go too fast and too far in advance of the wishes of the people; and that, I fear, is what we are about to do yet again in our efforts to ‘solve’ the euro crisis.”
Johnson then wrote the euro would be “a shipwreck – so indeed it has proved.”
“The Greeks and others racked up huge and unsustainable debts because they could – because euro interest rates were low, and there was no way of enforcing the rules of the currency union.
“We will limp on from ‘crisis’ to ‘crisis’, with ever bigger bail-outs and ever worse economic performance in the eurozone, until finally there is some sort of rupture and reorganisation. It is then that British politicians will have to show the maximum imagination and generosity in setting a new path for Europe.”
He said Britain’s Conservative Eurosceptics would then have to “overcome the extra distrust and dislike that goes with having been right all along.”