This could be Cameron\’s opening. Given the trouble he is going to be in anyway – with his sceptics, if he agrees to the proposed treaty amendments without agreeing to a referendum, and with business, if he effectively accepts Britain\’s relegation to a lower financial league – he should summarily end the ambiguity of the past year and embrace the only logical solution: Britain\’s belated entry into the euro.
Between the lines of what Sarkozy, but also leading German politicians sometimes say, can be detected the thought that, if another big economy, ie Britain, had been in the euro from the start, the operation of the currency would have been better policed. The agreed limits on indebtedness might have been kept; Greece, for one, might not have been admitted. That is all history now. But Britain\’s entry into the euro would, at a stroke, bring more money and – as the regulation of British banks improves – more financial stability into the European Central Bank, to mutual benefit.
Britain would retain, or even enhance, its position as Europe\’s financial centre – a price that could reasonably be exacted as a condition of entry. Nor need there be complaints – as there were 15 years ago – that sterling would be entering the euro at too high a rate. Thanks to Gordon Brown and the global financial crisis, the pound has been devalued by almost 30 per cent against the euro. Cameron could thus boast that a key requirement set by the former, Labour, government had been met.
Not only does Cameron have all these arguments and more, on his side, but he has the political means to get his way. He is not John Major, teetering on the brink of losing his majority and in hock to his Eurosceptics. With Liberal Democrats and Europhile Labour MPs on his side, he could win a majority in Parliament and campaign country-wide for a referendum \”Yes\” as the only true representative of the national interest.
With his PR skills and his one-nation Tory credentials, Cameron is one of the few British politicians who could convince mainstream voters to accept the euro. The Republican, Richard Nixon, initiated the US opening to China; the Likud Zionist Ariel Sharon took Israel out of Gaza as the prelude to a Middle East peace (regrettably halted by his illness). David Cameron should be the Conservative who made Britons into Europeans.
Someone should have a discreet look at Ms. Dejevsky\’s meds.