How might the UK's future relationship with the EU change?
by our secret columnist in Brussels
Posturing on Britain's links with the EU is becoming something of a national sport in the UK, but what would Tory Prime Minister David Cameron's dream scenario look like? Ouráresident satiristáSchadenfreude puts forward some ideasá
British Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that between now and June 2015, he will negotiate a "new settlement" between the United Kingdom and the European Union. He had promised to submit the results obtained to a referendum, or a general election, on whether the UK should accordingly remain a member or withdraw. How the coalition government will survive this process is not stated. So just what is on David Cameron's wish list? Well, in the spirit of giving, we have put together a breakdown of DC's dream scenario. Enjoy.
1. Withdrawal from the social contract and cancellation in the UK of all measures taken under it.
2. No new health and safety regulations before 2020.
3. Withdrawal from the area of freedom, security and justice, with an option to accept any measures which the UK considers appropriate.
4. No obligation on the UK to subscribe to the Declaration of Human Rights and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (but no immediate withdrawal).
5. No appeal to the European Court of Justice on any case settled in British courts.
6. The UK to be entitled to restrict immigration from the rest of the EU.
7. The UK to be permanently exempted from contributing to the European Stabilisation Mechanism.
8. The UK contribution to the "own resources" to be permanently fixed under the terms of the rebate first negotiated by Margaret Thatcher.
9. The UK to have the option of subscribing or not to existing or future EU financial regulation, with permanent exclusion from any 'financial transaction tax'.
10. In any development of the Common Defence Policy, the UK to have the choice of participating or excluding itself.
11. British waters to be reserved for UK fishermen, with the possibility of swaps.
12. Despite the option in the Lisbon Treaty, the multi-annual financial framework to remain permanently subject to unanimity.
13. There should be a pre-legislation stage in the presentation of new regulations in which the member states can advise the European Commission on how best to proceed, if at all.
14. Forcing the commission and European Council to pursue efficiency savings by reducing their staffing levels by 25 per cent.
15. Simultaneous translation to be restricted to English and French and no new official languages to be adopted.
Having set out his negotiating objectives, Cameron would report to the people on what had been achieved and recommend acceptance or rejection. Rejection means withdrawal from the EU, followed by negotiation to join the European Economic Area on terms yet to be defined and submitted to referendum. To quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth: "If you can look into the seeds of time and say which seed will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear. Your favours nor your hate."
No chance in hell the rest of the EU will agree to that, but you know that.
nightstallion - Vienna