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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blair’s vision for Europe

A Federast is asking whether there is anything real to Blair’s vision for Europe. He believes that Blair’s rhetoric is of no value. I have to agree with his conclusion but the route to get there is interesting.

In killing an unfortunate scapegoat—the European Union constitution—the voters of France and Holland showed their dislike of short-term politics, often synonymous of bad politics.
As the No Side had the best populist tunes, I would be a lot easier to argue exactly the opposite. If the treaty was as important as its proponents claimed, then was it not short termist to use the referendum to punish Chirac as so many have claimed was done?
He, perhaps adroitly, used the CAP as a way to shift the responsibility for a failed Europe to Jacques Chirac.
The Budget rebate was a ploy on behalf of Chirac to shift attention away from the referendum. It obviously worked. On CAP he adds:
The agricultural subsidies must be negotiated at the WTO level, otherwise relatively speaking the US farmers would be the main benefactors and not the Third World countries.
Actually European Consumers and taxpayers would probably be the biggest benefactors. I think he is being pedantic here. The tariffs and non tariff barriers would have to go along with the subsidies, just ending subsidies would be of little use to Africa. In addition, there is nothing to stop the EU unilaterally dumping subsidies. You only need to negotiate an increase not a decrease.
Paradoxically, one way to reduce the relative weight of the CAP in the EU budget would have been to advocate raising budget levels and allocating more resources to innovation and research
One way to stop your teenager running up half the phone bill each month would be to speak to your cousin in Australia more often.
Although it already contributes roughly almost twice the UK contribution, and 30% more than France—the second largest contributor—Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder agreed to pay even more.
Bully for him, I feel sorry for German taxpayers though. Nice try with France as the second largest contributor, but by now the public knows that you are bending the facts.
It is a pity that rising nationalism across Europe—perhaps not created by, but used for political gain by politicians—will make it markedly more difficult for those who wish to adopt the long-term vision. Because History and it seems especially European History repeats, the task is worth the difficulty.
So if there is a European war, it will be Tony Blair’s fault.

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