Britain's EU Wavering: What Cameron Doesn't Know Could Hurt You

A Commentary by Christoph Scheuermann

Does Britain have a future as a member of the European Union? Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't have an answer to that question -- and that is a problem. His threats to veto the EU budget and efforts at securing a special status for his country are both undignified and dangerous.

British Prime Minister David Cameron lacks a clear course on the EU. Zoom
DPA

British Prime Minister David Cameron lacks a clear course on the EU.

David Cameron's favorite toy while attending European Union summit meetings is his BlackBerry. He glances at it constantly, almost as though he thinks it can provide him with guidance. Unfortunately, it cannot.

EU heads of state and government are gathering in Brussels this Thursday for talks on the 27-nation club's next budget, set to cover the years from 2014 to 2020. And Cameron, the British prime minister, has threatened to torpedo negotiations if the €1 trillion spending plan submitted by the European Commission isn't drastically cut.

His unequivocal warning is the product of more than just diplomatic ineptitude. Cameron simply doesn't know what he wants from Europe and lacks a strategy. Nor does he have any idea how Great Britain will be situated within the European Union in two, three or five years down the line. Will the country remain on the cusp as it is now? Will London take additional steps outside of the fold? Anything is possible, and Britain's erratic position is increasingly becoming an annoyance for the UK's partners on the other side of the Channel.

Cameron's inability to steer the debate in London over the EU shows just how weak the prime minister has become within his own party. And that is good news only for those Britons who want to see their country withdraw from the EU, a category which includes a majority of Cameron's party allies.

Radical Egotists

Indeed, the more integrated the European club becomes on the Continent, the more Great Britain feels like a gentleman in a swinger club. It's not that the British hate the European Union. But they fear the inevitability with which the Brussels beast is mutating into a monster, and they fear being eaten by that monster.

Cameron is doing nothing to combat those fears. And his strategy of inaction could very well lead to a situation in which the UK stumbles out of the EU accidentally. Britain's ongoing assessment of EU integration in the search for elements it would rather do without is both undignified and dangerous. The rest of the club should refuse to play London's game.

Europe lives from the passion of its members and from their willingness to accept responsibility and obligation. Radical egotists who are only half-heartedly engaged have the ability to destroy the entire project.

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1. British Freedom
thorpeman@sky.com 11/20/2012
Zitat von sysopDoes Britain have a future as a member of the European Union? Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't have an answer to that question -- and that is a problem. His threats to veto the EU budget and efforts at securing a special status for his country are both undignified and dangerous. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/british-wavering-on-the-eu-could-ultimately-lead-to-its-withdrawal-a-868254.html
We arent stumbling out of the EU accidentally. We have wanted out for 30 years it will be no accident when we divorce ourselves from this wretched socialist prison cell
2. Too Much Fog in the Channel
eurogolfer 11/20/2012
“What Cameron Doesn't Know Could Hurt You” Not as much as you might think!
3. Bravo Thorpeman
Loucleve 11/20/2012
Unfortunately, I live in the US. and with a certain someones reelection, we can only look forward to more EU interference and globalization.
4. Why would what Cameron hurt you with if he didn't know
MyBlackHen 11/20/2012
It could hurt you ? This is idiotic and egocentric made up rubbish. A 6% increase in contributions could hurt any country in the world if that increase came to about 1 Trillion in any currency.Grow up selfish bunch of idiots, their is no wavering except for the predicament of a useless EU organization who is as puffed up and incompetent as much as not to realize that their situation is due to their fault in bringing the profit they need to the table, especially never even signed by an auditor..sounds like this country rubbish needs a respirator for a memory, a history of incompetence for as long as the Euro has begun !
5. How out of step is Britain really ?
chris@drakemarine.co.uk 11/20/2012
Rarely have I read such a biased piece on Spiegel Online as this ! If the EU's ruling elite ever dares to test the legitimacy of their policy of "ever closer union" with the electorate across all 27 countries - and the full consequences were explained in an honest way - I strongly suspect that they would lose the referendum in a majority of those countries. Of course, they never will because they know and understand this all too well. After all, every referendum held has produced a "no" vote and the offending countries have been forced to vote again to ensure they came up with the "right" answer. The difference between Germany, France, in particular, and Britain is that ours is the only country where the electorate has a significant number of politicians in parliament who don't support the corporate EU line. The large proportion of German and French voters who are unhappy with the current direction being taken by the EU have no mainstream party candidates to vote for. Sooner or later the democratic deficit will become a significant issue and things will have to change. The longer this is postponed, the uglier it's going to get. Britain is not out of step, it is simply ahead of the game.
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