The case for leaving the European Union has constantly to adjust to oppose a moving target. The EU establishment is continually striving to move the agenda forward. Crises such as the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, the Greek sovereign debt crisis and, most recently, the migration crisis are all exploited in the cause of promoting ever closer union… greater technocratic control… deeper integration… further destruction of nation states’ power and democratic accountability.
The ‘Five Presidents’ Report’ on ‘Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union’, and the Spinelli Group proposals for ‘A Fundamental Law of the European Union’ are clear in their implications. The EU will move towards a core group of members of the euro currency, with a single central bank and unified fiscal regimes; and an outer tier of ‘associate members’ — including the UK — who will remain subject to the totality of developed EU law but with limited influence on its future development. Those nations who do not eventually join the eurozone will be consigned to perpetual second-class status.
David Cameron is likely to return from his ‘renegotiations’ trumpeting such an outcome as a triumph. It will not be. A clear focus on the case for leaving the EU in principle needs to hold fast in the face of a moving target.