United Kingdom Adrift

“Frankly the deal on the table was just not good enough. It wasn’t good enough for Britain, nor was it good enough for a number of other countries.” British Prime Minister David Cameron left no doubt on 26 Nov. how he would like to redefine the U.K.’s relationship with Europe, taking a hard stance against the €973.2 billion EU budget proposal 2014 to 2020: No deal, without serious cuts.

The negotiations broke down on the weekend before the British Prime Minister made his speech in Parliament. In the end, his government was left with little choice. A few weeks earlier, 31 Oct. the Conservative-Liberal coalition lost a crucial – yet non-binding – vote in the House of Commons, which enforced the UK’s hard-line position. Fifty-three of Cameron’s own Conservatives sided with the opposition Labour party, delivering the heaviest political blow to Cameron’s cabinet since taking office in May 2010.

The major shift in UK politics towards Europe, however, took place within the Labour opposition, who have evidently adopted an undiluted Eurosceptic agenda in an attempt to topple David Cameron’s government. The question remains, whether the UK should remain in the European Union.

A recent poll, published by The Independent the same day Cameron delivered his speech in Parliament, showed 54% of U.K. citizens ready to leave the European community, provided the country was able to maintain close trade relations. Ever since Labour’s U-turn on Europe, the EU-sceptics have gained a majority in Parliament.

 

– MW

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