It is interesting that an election in a middle-tier, aging island nation should mean so much: but it does. It is interesting in that the election is even in question. In any past election such economic differential between the UK’s condition and its trading partners would have all but secured the incumbent. That left-leaning Labour, possible bandied with even-more-left leaning SNP, might win is almost incredulous. The issue that this to-close-to-call election is important is far in excess of its own boundaries.
I blogged the other day (See UK election – Critical Juncture and Europe Not Likely to Even Notice, April 29) on this situation and I feel vindicated once I read this weeks Economist “Bagehot” article, “Tearing apart the union“. It seems the economist is alarmed, as I am, at what is at stake back home in Britain. However, more than the union is at stake though that itself is an amazing question to ponder.
The Euro might lose one of its staunchest free-market supporters, and the European Union might lurch to the left as a result. Some European countries, especially in the Nordics, rely on Britain to stand up (mostly to the French) to ‘state the obvious’ in order to draw out rational responses to political haggling. Even Germany desires a rational, globally oriented partner with a NATO seat-holder. If Britain were to ‘leave’ Europe, it would be bad for Britain and Europe. That this is even a topic of conversation is itself fascinating.
And I read today (Tuesday) the European Commissioner suggested that, should Greece leave the euro, Anglo-Saxons would seek to dismantle the rest of the euro. Really? Is that a political statement or an economic one? If the first outer shell is removed why isn’t it logical to assume the rest us fragile? The current situation sure doesn’t make since economically. The euro is an experiment gone wrong. Only federalist politicians argue otherwise. The free-market might pick off the next weakest euro member: Portugal, Spain or even Italy. To fight the very free capital-moving market that gave us the growth 20 years ago that led to the standard of living we enjoy today is to take us back 20 years or more. Politicians should stop arguing with rhetoric and instead face economic reality.
I hope the British voter does tomorrow.
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