We have to accept free movement of labour to get access to the single market.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that over the past ten days. I’ve heard it so much that there’s no way it can’t be true. Right?
EU law, isn’t. It’s a series of guidelines that can, and are, discarded when convenient.
Germany exceeded their deficit limits in the early years of the Euro – illegal? Sure. Any action taken? Against Germany, in the Euro? Come on. Be serious.
Bailouts are specifically forbidden under the Lisbon Treaty. But Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain are all in trouble. Well, damn the law. The Euro is more important than the law.
1. The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of any Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project. A Member State shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of another Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project. – Article 125, Lisbon Treaty
Politics trumps law every time in the EU. It’s one of the main reasons I voted to leave – because the rule of law, isn’t.
So, will politics – the armed wing of economics – trump the law when it comes to negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU? Most likely.
The EU will need some paper wins to prove they weren’t walked all over. The UK will be made an example of in a very public but very limited way.
The UK is (depending on measure) the country with the highest military spending in the EU. We, along with France, hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, we are one of two nuclear powers in the EU. We have one of the two blue water navies in the EU and are (from 2020) able to project power from the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. We are Atlanticist in a way that no other EU country is. The UK anchors the USA in NATO, checking Russian aggression. Is NATO less relevant now than it was 30 years ago? Yes – but Ukraine proves that Russia is still a strategic threat. NATO counters that threat. Poland, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania all share a land border with Russia. Without an economically strong UK, able to fund our NATO commitments, the USA will continue to see Europe as not pulling its weight. Four EU countries, Poland especially, that have a strong incentive to see a deal done for the UK.
The UK has a colossal trade deficit with the EU – primarily with France and Germany. The German CBI went on the record before the referendum saying (correctly) that free trade was in the interest of all parties. The French business lobby is making more noises to the same effect. The EU attempting to punish the City can lead to reciprocal punishments to the French and German car industries. A beggar thy neighbour policy would hurt everyone. So if the EU puts down their gun, the UK puts down its gun.
The EU has a strategic and economic interest in keeping the UK engaged. Keeping the UK engaged on the continent will require a deal that allows both sides to save face but both sides to prosper. The laws… rules… guidelines can, and will, be damned for political expediency.