Only a banking union is going to save the Eurozone. That’s effectively an economic union which needs democratic political control. That means a United States of those countries in the Eurozone which leaves the continental countries outside the Eurozone as an uncomfortable rump plus the UK. London has the biggest banking and financial centre in Europe; therefore we should be part of the United States of Europe.
Whilst Eurosceptics (most of you) gag on this outrageous proposition, let me make my case. It won’t be easy in a country that has been heavily influenced for a long time by the anti-EU Murdoch press. Remember what former Prime Minister John Major told the Leveson Inquiry this week. How this jumped up Aussie press baron had threatened the Prime Minister of this country that if he didn’t change his policy on Europe, all his newspapers would aim to bring him down.
The Greek vote this weekend may accelerate the deepening crisis brought about by the contradiction of having a common currency without central banking control. Whether the Greeks elect a far left government that repudiates their bailout conditions or not, the President of the European Commission is already paving the way for a banking union to start next January.
It would mean common supervision of Eurozone banks giving the German Chancellor what she wants, joint accountability and joint control all in one.
Whilst euroscepticism is rampant in Britain, the response of European politicians to the deepening crisis is to see the solution in closer integration.
David Cameron and George Osborne won’t be taking my advice, although they will support the Eurozone drawing closer together. After all the Chancellor is convinced this Euro chaos rather than the Jubilee Bank Holiday or the wrong kind of rain is hampering our recovery. The UK will demand a strengthening of the single market involving all 27 member states to protect our large financial services sector.
But the Germans aren’t happy with the British government’s approach. They fear the danger of a 2 speed Europe if there is a tight Eurozone with Britain outside. But they aren’t going to get us in because most people in Britain think the Euro is a failure and we are well out of it. I doubt if that is a wise judgement in the longer term.
If we were part of a united Europe we would be able to add our economic and fiscal wisdom to a collection of countries that badly need it. We should be alongside Germany and France in spreading best practice from Eastern Europe to the Atlantic. That way we could ensure stability in our biggest market. As it is we are shouting advice from the sidelines and we could soon be down the tunnel and out of the stadium.
That’s because the pressure for a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union is wearing down all politicians. There are even suggestions that the Labour Party is dallying with this irresponsible nonsense.
Irresponsible nonsense to give the British people a say? I’m afraid so. There would be a big vote to get out and only then would we realise what we’ve lost. We’d be like Norway, obeying all the EU rules so that we could sell our goods but with no influence.