The EU is on a wild ride to political union. Far from representing the status quo, the Better Stay in Europe (BSE) campaign wishes to sentence us to endless rows and uncertainties as the rest of the EU goes about its task of ever closer union.
The rest of the EU is working towards significant Treaty change to increase EU powers after June 2017. Were we still to be in the EU that would trigger another referendum for the UK under our EU referendum Act, agreed by all three main UK political parties in Parliament.
The 5 Presidents Report mapping the future of the Euro and the EU is quite clear on these matters. It states that in the first phase of completing the Union, up to June 30 2017, they intend to “build on existing instruments and make the best possible use of existing treaties” to increase central power and convergence by member states. In Stage 2 commencing in June 2017 they propose “concrete measures of a more far reaching nature…. The convergence process would be made more binding”.
Stage 2 is ambitious. It will include integrating the European Stability Mechanism into the EU law framework. It entails setting up a Euro area Treasury accountable at the European level. It means “integrate into the framework of EU law the Treaty on Stability, co-ordination and governance, the relevant parts of the Euro Plus Pact, and the intergovernmental agreement on the Single Resolution Fund.” This is jargon for saying the Euro now drives the EU, and the Euro’s needs must come to have a central part in the EU’s structure.
In other words, they intend major Treaty change to include the Euro Treaty, Euro area budgets, guarantees and transfers that the UK has expressly opted out from and so far largely kept out of the Treaties applying to all 28 member states. The medium term plan is to use the EU and its legal structures for all Euro activity, and to handle much more of the member states tax revenues and budgetary matters at EU level.
How would the UK keep itself out of all the costs and difficulties of the Euro in such a case? Stay in needs to explain how they might recommend voting on those major Treaty changes, as currently they claim the UK can stay free of the Euro and the tax bills it brings with it. How can you belong to a football club but refuse to play or watch football? The EU is going to be driven by the needs of the Euro.