How absolutely wonderful!

One of Angela Merkel\’s closest allies has warned David Cameron not to try to blackmail the rest of Europe. The prime minister was also told a UK referendum was a high-risk option that might paralyse Europe

That\’s just super.

So by even thinking about our relationship with Europe we have great power over you. Excellent, give in to all our demands now or we paralyse Europe.

Mmm? Sorry, what is it about this negotiation thing that you do not understand? We couldn\’t give a pig\’s ear if Europe is paralysed. We do care about all the rest of it though. You apparently care more about Europe being paralysed than you do about our demands.

We win therefore.

11 comments on “How absolutely wonderful!

  1. ‘Blackmail’ is what one party accuses another of then the latter has a particularly strong negotiating position. Splendid stuff, indeed.

    Question is, will Cameron have the cojones to ignore the wailing, or will we Eurosceptics have to started waving the piano wire at him again while pointing to a nearby lampost?

  2. Well yes and no. Presumably if the UK withdrew unilaterally that would have a significant negative effect on the EU, so yes its a good negotiating tactic to threaten to do so. But if we actually did leave unilaterally we would automatically lose access to the Single Market which would affect UK business (and thus the UK public) via job losses/ economic upheaval/tax revenue losses etc. So even if the EU stood to lose more than us, we could still be a loser if they forced our hand. So its not a perfect negotiating threat.

    I guess the relative detriments would depend on what access to the EU markets we could demand under World Trade rules as an independent nation. If having the same access to the EU market as (say) China didn’t actually affect UK based businesses that much, then threatening to leave has great leverage.

  3. Tim, you seem to have stopped reading EU Referendum. Get back to doing do so regularly if you want a more realistic view of all this.

  4. Walking out of the EU is not a sensible option, there are too many legal ramifications that need to be sorted out. It would make more sense to join EFTA where we would still have access to the single market and we would have space to deal with the legal practicalities. What comes after that would remain to be seen.

  5. Yes indeed the scare tactics are coming at us as thick as English arrows at Agincourt, but probably rather less effective.

    It is clear that things are moving and the volume implies that they are doing so in a favourable direction; however I have yet to see the term “article 50″ in an article in the mainstream media yet and until we do we’ll know the debate is not really serious.

    At some point even Cameron is going to realise that the first of the big three to commit to invoking article 50 is guaranteed victory in the next election, and can shaft Mr Clegg – what’s not to like?

  6. @Ted

    “Tim, you seem to have stopped reading EU Referendum.”

    Is that a blog? anyone got a link?

  7. “Countries like Switzerland and Norway seem to have plenty of access to the EU market.”

    Yes, but how much is down to negotiated voluntary agreement between them and the EU, and how much is as of right, under WTO rules? IE what can the EU get away with doing under WTO rules if they wanted to be really spiteful, because we had just walked out?

  8. Vir Cantium // Jan 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Question is, will Cameron have the cojones . . .?


    sadly, that barely qualifies as a rhetorical question

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