Indeed his thoughts echo many, which stated “There is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years and which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is, yes, felt particularly acutely in Britain,” he was due to say. “The danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit.”
Cameron is responding to pressure from lawmakers in his Conservative Party for looser ties with the EU or an outright schism from the political union entirely. While giving voice to his base’s discontent, Cameron has already received reprisal from European counterparts, as this issue is no doubt incendiary, with far reaching ramifications for an economic bloc in the convalescent stage of its debt debacle.
Cameron, who had briefed U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande on his speech yesterday, has said that he didn’t expect Europe to be a significant issue in his first term. The decision to push for a renegotiation has been driven primarily by lawmakers in his party, who in 2011 defied him in record numbers to vote for a referendum on leaving the EU.
It has been argued repeatedly, “European interests should always be the most important,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy said yesterday. “The European Union doesn’t just mean taking account of national concerns.” Cameron planned to say that the deepening integration of the 17 euro countries, which don’t include Britain, and the demands of global competition raise “fundamental questions” about the nature of the U.K.’s relationship with the EU.
“People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent,” he was due to say.
Britain has contributed 3.25 billion pounds ($5.2 billion) in the form of a loan for Ireland to 486 billion euros ($649 billion) of bailout commitments to four euro-area countries from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Both Cameron’s Liberal Democrat coalition partners and the opposition Labor Party oppose his push to loosen ties with Europe, saying he risks investor confidence and London’s role as a financial center. However, a staggering 42% percent of the electorate say they would vote in a referendum to leave the EU compared with 36% who said they would back staying in, according to a YouGov Plc (YOU) poll conducted online on Jan. 10 and 11.