Britain to Lead Second-Tier EU?

I suggested some weeks ago (see Brexit: Mainly the Right Decision for Mostly the Wrong Reasons?) during the Brexit campaign, rather tongue in cheek, that Britain should take the opportunity to lead the formation of an EU II. The idea was simple: develop another EU commitment but one that resolves the issues that dog the current EU. These issues stem from an unelected body that writes laws and a need for statist and deeper integration. Well I am pleased to report that the idea is not all that crazy.

In Tuesday’s US print edition of the Financial Times there is a Comment piece by Foreign Affairs correspondent Gideon Rachman. The title of the article is, “A two-tier model to revive Europe“. In a nutshell his suggestion is for Britain and a number of other counties to form a tier of the EU that supports those parts of the EU model that don’t require unelected (or elected) officials to write laws from superstate or ever closer integration. This second-tier EU might be more liberal, free-trade oriented, and so enjoy single market but avoid the politically challenging work related to political and financial integration.

It’s a great suggestion. However Rachman highlights how some in Europe seek to penalize the UK for seeking to leave. This is the craziest and nuttiest thing going. As my late father would say, this is an example of, “cutting their nose off to spite their face”. Any penalty to the UK will first hurt the UK economy then the EU’s economy. Why would such politicians do this? Such politicians should be forced to resign and retire due to negligence.  But the chances of a two-tier Europe is interesting; but will those countries focused on the inner-tier really let others enjoy the benefit of free trade without the penalty of deeper integration?   Maybe…


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