This is a very interesting article from Patrick Wintour, Political Editor in the Guardian, who examines a recent article in the Times from Lord Lawson, former UK Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher. It’s well worth a read. Check it out!
Despite being elderly, Lord Lawson is still a highly respected in the UK. He argues simply that the EU has become a bureaucratic monster and has passed it’s sell-by date; he fears that the UK will not be able to negotiate better terms with EU partners, so the only option is a UK exit from the EU.
Last week, it was the UK Independent Party’s powerful showing in UK local elections and now Lord Lawson has argued in favor of an exit from the EU. Every major UK newspaper has picked up on the Nigel Lawson story. The pressure is mounting on Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Personally, I have always been pro-EU but in favor a light-touch, trade-based, EU, along the lines of the 1970’s model. I agree with Lord Lawson about’s the EU’s bureaucracy. I am not convinced that the UK would retain the same level of trade with the EU, if the UK were not a member. In my mind, too much power has transferred from London to Brussels; the EU has increasingly become a federal model, with reduced national power – the cost has been erosion of local democracy.
However, the financial crisis in Southern Europe and the prevalence of German views on austerity has been most revealing for me. In many respects the EU is no longer a democratic model; it has become a bureaucracy controlled from Berlin.
It will be interesting to see if a weak French Government will be able to unite Southern Europe to challenge German power within the EU. Against this background, a canny David Cameron might win concessions from his EU partners but like Nigel Lawson, I am not optimistic.
The Nigel Lawson article has helped me change my views. If we discount the opportunity for David Cameron to negotiate more favorable terms for the UK, I now concede that perhaps the UK would be better off outside the EU.
What do you think?