In an interview with UCL’s Claudia Sternberg, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow at the University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School, discusses today’s EU referendum from the perspective of the last 50 years of the UK’s presence in EU.
In what ways is today’s EU referendum different from the June 1975 precedent?
The difference is that in 1974 the actual renegotiations started fairly quickly after British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s re-election: he had tabled early on what he wanted to renegotiate. Today, we just know the fairly vague wish-list that David Cameron drew up. How this can materialise into a genuine ‘renegotiation’ process with all other EU member states is still a mystery today. Continue reading
Albert Weale, Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL, discusses David Cameron’s tactics as he prepares to fight for reform of the European Union. It remains unclear what Cameron wants from the other European governments, but he risks alienating any allies through his current negotiation strategies.
Suppose you were in dispute with your bank about the way your account was being handled. How would you deal with the matter? Would you try to identify the issues and have a rational conversation with the organisation or would you bluster, make some general accusations and threaten to close your account unless some yet to be identified changes were made? If you were sensible, you would do the first, never the second.
Transpose this situation to Britain’s relationship with the European Union. For the last five years, David Cameron has been the epitome of bluster, making general but unspecified complaints and threatening to walk out if he does not get his way. Yet no one knows what he wants even if he did get his way.