“An eagle does not fight a snake on the ground, it picks it up, thereby changing the fighting ground, then releases it back to the ground. A snake has no stamina, no power and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable unlike on the ground where it is deadly, wise and powerful”. This is a great metaphor that illustrates the skillful play of David Cameron with the European Union. The continuous threat for an exit leaves EU with no stamina, no power, no balance, the same as a snake on their struggle with a powerful eagle that doesn´t fight on the ground on equal strength and conditions.
The European Union does not has a monetary and fiscal union yet, that its so that in times of financial crisis is quite common to perceive reactions against the own structure of the Union. However, responsibilize the Union for any negative impact on the economy is not accurate and forget that in times of prosperity is precisely this Union that gives solidity for growing in a reliable pace.
Proposing a referendum for an exit in this historical moment of multiple crises, leaves doubt about the real origin of this claim. Is it a political will coming from shortcomings of British society or it´s just an individual and partial intention of Cameron to set above other interests?
In a democracy the only interest that should be above all is the transparent and mature will of the citizenship. That its so, that we ought to be certain to conclude that there is an in-depth concern over UK membership to EU, instead of an internal economic-social discontent.
As a different from Grexit, that comes as a way out after going through a tragic limit situation that swept out all the pillars of their society and drives the nation into a full instability; Brexit comes as an opportunity to impose their own particular interests in an strategic moment, not as a response to an emergency situation.
Much has been said about the duties that Greece has not fulfilled towards the EU, but few to the obligations that the Union do not fulfilled to that country. In fact, lack of financial support, sense of membership, solidarity and intolerance towards the exercise of national democratic mechanisms were some of the highlights of this disappointed process that is leading to a reasonable proposal for a Grexit.
In the case of Britain there are not clear elements for considering and exit as an achievement to get better financial or economic results. Neither seems much negative impact on other global crisis like migration or war against terrorism. An exit will not resolve current migration challenges, but will contribute to create more defensive attitudes against a crisis that impacts all countries members in equal conditions, all over the world.
Regarding economic migration is important to discriminate the negative implications of Schengen agreements and the own nature of belonging to the Union. Is clear that migration crisis put in risk the safety of current open border system, but not for UK that shouldn´t be much concerned as it has not signed it and do not experimented the same overwhelmed problematic as the rest of EU countries. The same argumentation is valid to currency; as UK has established a safety net by not taken the risks of joining the Euro, hence minimize their negative impact after the recent global financial crisis.
The only reason that Cameron raises this issue, exactly now and after the onset of this two big crises, is just an opportunistic gesture in “political marketing” terms but not in real terms. In addition, both are global crises that could not be adjudicated to the own nature of the Union membership.
Cameron´s referendum is not arisen through a real need from the British citizenship facing an emergency situation, but an initiative from the government that do not represent the real concerns, although there seems to be a strong intentionality to divert internal national issues to EU membership debate.
Going through the wish list of EU reforms of Cameron it seems to display an anti global mentality. In fact introducing the sovereignty element into a claim to reform the Union represents a controversial point that does not fit, not just for a healthy integration with the EU but also for an updated global view of the world. The exaltation of national extremisms has been one of Cameron´s tactics to face internal failures among their administration and has been used in a more evident basis against Scotland and migration issues.
“Research by the think tank Open Europe has suggested that 203 of the 330 Conservative MPs can be characterized as ‘swing voters.’ That is to say, they are either not particularly interested in the EU or who are waiting until the results of the renegotiation before making up their minds on the referendum”. What clearly means that there is not a strong opposition against EU membership but a political game that serves other interests, different from British citizenship´s will.
The fact that a wish list to the EU on reforms comes after the announcement for a Brexit referendum shows the hidden agenda & intention for not entering in a negotiation. Even if UK were not part of the Union, the position to face immigration crisis is not updated to current global system. The same apply to the vindication for a stronger role on national Parliaments as a point inside the chapter of sovereignty that is showing authoritarian features and a search for isolation that do not match with a current economic-financial-political world map.
In times of crises: war, immigration & financial, extremism speeches and ultra conservative positions are electorally “profitable”. Take the opportunity of a crises moment for the exaltation of nationalism is a skilful move to gain popularity, personally and for their political party. In fact, despite the approval of austerity measures that usually leads to a reduction of popularity, Cameron has been able to compensate it and maintain a high approval rating
Under a world hit by crises, is normal to witness the fall of traditional and consolidated structures in which the European Union is not the exception. Financial crisis has brought instability and accentuate the “fissures” of each country member: like levels of unemployment, corruption and indebtedness. Migration crisis has put on evidence the lack of current control systems and the weakness of Schengen agreements. In addition, the state of declared war supposes a crisis on national and global security. All that crises means a threat for European Union institutions instability that only by a strong leadership and joint efforts of governments could be overcome. Instead, Cameron´s proposal is to break not only with the EU but to resign to a global statu quo without taking in account that is precisely this system the one that could give hope that those crises could be managed in a successful way.
Claim for EU reforms on UK benefit exclusively is not acceptable but what is it really a matter of debate are structural reforms to the Union that should be taken place at institutional level as a way to face the new challenges on a stronger basis.Taking the opportunity of an instability situation to go further and threat with and exit is just a political move that do not contribute to EU future or /and a global stability. Most of the proposed reforms are basis in a national context with no vision of its global impact. Even if Britain would be out of the EU, their ambitious of being a national supremacy should be adapted to current global demands.
Is also true that we need to enter in a debate for an institutional reform but not at the service of partisan interests taking the opportunity of a historical global crises moment. Those reforms should be at the service of the whole Union in a global world. Is in this context that a debate about BREXIT is just a way to avoid responsibilities towards the EU and to influence the elections for an exacerbated nationalism with political partisan goals far away from a global agenda.
Building resilience is the key factor for being able to face those challenges in an effective and sustainable way. Reforms in the EU are a condition sine qua non for facing current crises, but not as an excuse for a Brexit.
It seems that Cameron´s claim is not for “flexibility” as he points out, but to a rigid demand in which there is no room for negotiation or consideration of different views and identities of each country member.
Is good to highlight that is not the same to ask for reforms in an integrated commitment basis than call for a referendum and threat for an exit. Is not healthy to handle with both process at the same time because it leaves the idea that there is not a clear intention of restructuring their membership but to put more pressure for the only goal: Brexit.
Cameron on EU: “We need to talk about our relationship”, that´s right! Is imperative not only for them, but also for the European Union members to establish clear rules that allows new counterbalance relationships among countries by accepting that the impact of migration-financial & war global crisis press for the implementation of reforms at a institutional level.