UnNews:Cameron achieves "grand compromise" with EU
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Cameron achieves "grand compromise" with EU
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Friday, August 18, 2017, 09:19:UTC)(
20 February 2016
BRUSSELS -- UK Prime Minister David Cameron hailed a "landmark" agreement with the European Union to secure the UK's continued membership and, shortly after winning re-election on a promise to put the decision in the hands of British voters, will now advise British voters not to take it. Mr Cameron now says he will "campaign heart-and-soul" for unity in the vote in June, and there is no doubt that he has the former.
EU leaders agreed on a package of measures to placate the Brits. First and foremost, the motto of the Community will be lengthened to read, "Toward ever-closer union, except as otherwise provided." Negotiators pointed to the healthy example of legally distinct Québec inside Canada and agreed that the EU needed a comparable enclave with loads of special rights that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Thus the commitment to a continent-wide "level playing field" for banking will get an exception protecting the special status of London's financial "City," and British employers will not have to pay child support to litters of children back in "the Old Country."
"I believe we are stronger inside a European Union that is weaker," said Mr Cameron, firing the proverbial starting gun, straight into the Conservative Party manifesto in the 2015 election. The Party has been divided for decades between national pride and delivering cushy favors to business, a division that turned Margaret Thatcher into a doddering biddy at the cinema and that the current deal stretches so far that the division may now become a drawing-and-quartering. Cameron acknowledged that Secretary Gove and other Conservatives will join the "out" house unless he takes them to the woodshed, but stated, "I believe that Britain is stronger with a Conservative Party government that is weaker."
Mr Cameron's agreement is "legally binding" as it compels the European Parliament to work to make its governing treaty gentler on Britain and then work to sell the result to voters as fervently as Mr Cameron is set to work on Britons. Mr Cameron was concerned to show sceptical voters he had "won" the negotiations — a process he termed "pwnage" — and maintained economic union while excluding swarthy foreigners and potential continental competitors to British businesses.
But Belgium won a clause where, if British voters balk, a raft of bad things will happen to the island nation — modeled on United Nations treaties where "late adopters" lose their rights, American corporations with "poison pills" that let management bankrupt the company if someone buys most of the stock, and many other forums where negotiators dictate to voters.
Mr Cameron presumably will have to sell the poison pill as well. The referendum is between accepting and rejecting his agreement, with the signature Conservative campaign promise of "Brexit" now mysteriously and silently off the table entirely. Mr Cameron said that hopes that rejection would let Britain negotiate a better deal are "for the birds," hoping to rebut Britons who want to fly the coop. Mr Cameron, a skilled advertising executive, will now have to sell the concept that he has shot his negotiating wad and the result is the best that Britain can get. London mayor Boris Johnson, a eurosceptic who has actually been to Brussels, may be a thorn in Mr Cameron's side, as Mr Johnson is said to have charisma.
No country has ever voted to leave the European Union, but here too, there is a precedent across the Atlantic Ocean, as America preserved its own union with a Civil War that decimated its population and turned the leaders who chose war into heroes up to the moment of their assassination.
- Jan Strupczewski and Elizabeth Piper "Cameron hails EU deal to give Britain 'special status', battle looms". Reuters, February 20, 2016