With Clegg\’s full blessing, Cable dropped a commitment that was at the heart of successive Lib Dem election manifestos, saying it would be pointless to hold a referendum on entry into the euro as it is \’perfectly obvious\’ one \’could not be won. We would not give it (a campaign to adopt the euro) priority. We are not pushing for early entry\’. He said: \’I sometimes use the visual image that it is a ship that has sailed out of the harbour. There is no point in jumping into the sea and swimming after it.\’
Implying that he and his party were wrong to have pushed for entry into the euro for the past decade, Cable suggested that handing control of interest rates to the European Central Bank may have contributed to property price \’bubbles\’ in some eurozone countries, including Spain. \’There are various things that we have learnt about euroland, and about the eurozone, which are clearly problems that need to be resolved,\’ he said.
He denied that the party had abandoned its core pro-EU beliefs. But in an extraordinary shift he said it would campaign for a more decentralised, less bureaucratic EU in next year\’s European elections. \’There are things wrong with it [the EU]. The CAP [common agricultural policy] is a complete disgrace. We think there is a lot of institutional reform that is necessary. I think when we get to the European elections next year this will be a key message.\’
That the EU isn\’t an optimal curency area has been obvious for years. I suppose we should be grateful that they\’ve finally woken up and noticed.
On that "decentralised, less bureaucratic EU", well, good luck with that. It simply ain\’t gonna happen.
On their tax ideas they\’ve at least got part of the right idea. In order to cut the bills you\’ve got to cut what government does, abandon whole areas, rather than tinker with "efficiency" etc. Same with the EU. Reform won\’t happen so we\’ve got to leave, not try to tinker.