|Richard North, 11/10/2015
It was George Osborne who, last month brought into high profile the idea of two classes of members in the EU. In his scenario, one group, the majority, “would be rapidly integrating to try to make the single currency work”. The other group, particularly Britain, would comprise those which didn’t want to be part of that ever-closer union and would not be part of the eurozone – the so-called non-euro states.
This arrangement, presented as if it was something new – emanating from the mind of the Chancellor – was, of course, already foreseen in the Bertelsmann “Fundamental Law” of 2013, where the non-euro states would become associate members, whole the eurozone powered ahead with further integration.
And now, up pops the same idea again, this time heralded in the Sunday Telegraph where “David Cameron and his closest Cabinet allies” are allowed to pretend that they have thought of the idea all by themselves, this time in the form of a “four-point plan of key demands as the price for keeping Britain in the European Union”.
The four points comprise “explicit statements” that Britain will exempted from the EU’s founding principle of “ever closer union”, and that the euro is no longer the official currency of the EU. Thirdly, the UK wants a “red card” system allowing national parliaments the block certain EU laws.
Finally, there has to be “a new structure for the EU itself”, where the 28 Member States are redefined as two blocks, one constituting the eurozone and the other the nine non-euro states – ostensibly to stop those not in the eurozone being dominated by those that are.
If the Sunday Telegraph was aware of what was going on, it would immediately recognise the game plan. But since no-one in government has spoon-fed them with the details, and laid down a flare path signifying the direction of travel, the nature of the play completely passes the paper by.
Had it been recognised that Mr Cameron’s “proposals” could only come with a new treaty, which cannot be announced until after Mr Juncker’s White Paper of the spring of 2017, this might also have helped the paper pin down the most likely date of the referendum.
However, the paper is still entertaining speculation of a poll in the autumn of 2016, although it seems to be ruling out a referendum in the spring of next year. Thus, we are regaled with the classic, lightweight style of report that we have come to expect from the legacy media, as they remain completely unaware of the significance of the news they are reporting.
This plays fully into the hands of Mr Cameron who is showing all the signs of laying a firm foundation for associate membership, establishing the myth that the idea will come from the UK and will be wrested from the “colleagues” by dint of long, hard and skilfully fought series of negotiations.
And, needless to say, Mr Elliott’s latest business venture, “Vote Leave Ltd”, is so far silent on the matter – no doubt the reason why Matthew was able to get his beauty sleep in time for his starring role in the Marr Show.
It will be interesting to see whether this associate membership ploy is brought up by Marr, and what Elliott makes of it, although the likelihood is that both will fail to understand the implications. However, the Bruges Group is on the case. Robert Oulds is telling Expressreaders that there are already proposals where there would be a greater degree for centralisation for the eurozone state, and less for non-eurozone ones.
David Cameron, says Oulds, “will pretend this is a fundamental change that he has achieved, but there’s already a plan to commission white paper in 2017. He will claim victory, but it won’t be”. He adds: “A two-tier Europe would just mean that we would in a union that still has many of the obligations we have now, but with less influence”.
If the Express was on the ball, this would be on the front page, but without the intellectual architecture to enable them to understand the importance of what Mr Oulds is telling them, the key story is buried downpage.
As a result, the deception continues – barely checked – aided and abetted, as always, by the legacy media.