Today’s City AM reports that business leaders are backing an EU referendum. This is most welcome, only 26% want the status quo according to a poll among the British Chambers of Commerce. It shows that the business community want a change in our relations with the EU and that the people should be consulted.
The problem, however, is the belief that the EU can be reformed into a trade based unit. It’s gone too far for that to be a reality. There is too much integration among 27 states to be undone.
For any real renegotiation to take place all of the Treaties would need to be amended, especially the Treaty of Rome, the treaty that formed the EU.
The Spanish and Portuguese won’t want to lose rights to British fishing waters. The French won’t give up the Common Agricultural Policy. The Commission won’t give up financial regulation.
And why should they? This is their vision of the future of the EU. It’s not a secret that the policy of the EU is ‘ever closer union’. Come 2017 fiscal union is to be written into EU law, embracing all EU member states. Plenty of EU leaders have said renegotiation is not on offer. Their solution is more integration, not less.
So let them get on with it. Pointless renegotiation, costing us billions, will be throwing good money away. The only honest, viable question is whether we are all in or out. Everyone, bar David Cameron, knows that is the question that must be asked. He’s got to be straight with the British public and trust the people. The only real renegotiation is to leave the EU.