Not since the Suez Fiasco in 1956 has Britain become so Isolated as it is today. The perfect dream of anti-europeans in UKIP and Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party is becoming reality. Britain has finally said No to Europe. Together with the fact that the Euro in it's present form looking doomed, gives cheer to Mrs Thatcher and poor Ted Heath is probably turning in his grave. Once again Liberal Democrats have appeased the Conservative Party in the national interest.
Britain is in a minority of one against 26 other European Countries. Many people are cheering David Cameron's actions, and think them long overdue. Fewer but perhaps more insightful people are wondering what just happened, and pondering that perhaps Britain just stepped away from 50 years of trying to be at the heart of Europe.
As one European put it - Britain is free but without power. So is what has happened good for Britain? - On the face of it - it is hard to see why distancing ourselves from our major export market would be a good thing. It is difficult to see how excluding ourselves from policy making in this new eurozone europe would be advantegous.
Sure right now - the Eurozone is a basket case and still not taking the dramatic steps the markets demand. But in the long term, the new Europe of the Eurozone will eventually return to stability. Will the British of 2025 thank us for the events of this December?
In the short-term Britain seems to have fared well outside of the ERM and the EURO since 1993, and may well do so for the next five years. The doubt exists whether we can remain in the single market and even the EU without being in the Eurozone, it looks doubtful according the sabrerattling in Europe. Yet who has more to lose? Has 38 years of EC membership really helped Britain? -
Looking at Britain's Imports and Exports from and to Europe between 1970 and 2009 the facts show that while Exports to the original six EEC members - France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands has grown by 45 times since 1970, imports have soared a staggering 60 times. Whilst in 1970 Britain exported 50% more to Belgium that it Imported, by 2009 this had reversed to importing 30% more than export.
As a pro-European it seems that British membership of the common market has boosted exports but at the expense of higher import growth. Whilst in 1970 - Britain maintained a small 4% trade deficit with the EEC, that deficit soared to 29% in 2009.
As a Pro-European it galls me to say that it appears from these figures that EU membership appears to have hindered Britain.
Yet as a Pro-European - I want to see Britain at the heart of Europe, showing leadership and promoting freedom, democracy and British values such as tolerance and liberty. So much of English history has been spent promoting division in Europe and the folly of 2 world wars which started in Europe contrast sharply with the good sense of the EEC era of peace and cooperation.
When in 1923 German suffered from hyperinflation a scaring process which even now prevents Bankers in Frankfurt from printing money, British isolationism played a part in the creation of the Nazis in power in 1933. Now in 2011 we stand on the sidelines and europe again deals with crisis with Britain on the sidelines and not helping. We will come to regret our isolation.
Can Britain make up it's mind to play a full role in Europe, not to join the common market but to sell to it more than we buy from it. Could our leaders forge real alliances with democrats and make common cause against tyranny ? Doesn't look likely.