A large part of the British debate seems to be taking place in a kind of parallel universe. Politically, Britain would lose a lot of influence if it left the Union. Economically, I could hardly afford to leave – respectively pay a very high price. Staying in the common market without being EU member would mean a status similar to Norway or Switzerland – which meant economic rule from Brussels without British influence on decisions taken there. No option either and definitely not what ‘Eurosceptics’ want.
We have been running in circles for almost six decades now The only change is Britain’s further loss of political and economic relevance. If too many British fail to see their true political weight, their strategic position and the options they have for pursuing their national interest, the other states of the Union will finally have to present the price for leaving and detail the consequences.
As the British democracy after passionate debates usually produces reasonable results, I cannot imagine Britain deciding to leave. On the way there, an international treaty with the other member states detailing all consequences and cost to be paid plus he conditions for future cooperation would need to be negotiated. The process of defining in implementing this would mean a lot of time and opportunity to rethink such a step again. So, even if such a decision was taken, I would doubt it would ever go into effect.
A reader’s letter written in reaction to “Carmeron’s big EU speech fails to calm” (27. 12. 2013, euobserver.com)