Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pacta Sunt Servanda

"If the euro breaks up because its members have to move clumsily and slowly outside the formal EU treaties and institutions because of Cameron's veto, the resulting series of bank collapses and consequent depression will hurt Britain badly.", writes Will Hutton in today's Observer.

Consider, though, the view expressed by the draftsman of the Lisbon Treaty, from this morning's Sole 24 Ore:

"The fact is that to reinforce the eurozone it is  not actually necessary to change the Treaty, it is enough to apply the clauses on the eurozone and,  further, the clause on flexibility. The final communique' of  Friday's  Council  specified among the things to be done as a priority, the reinforcing of  procedures and  sanctions for all the eurozone countries with excessive deficits  under Article 26 of the Treaty.  It is precisely  that which  is  already permitted  under Article 136 of the same Treaty." *   

The ntergovernmental  accords that Hutton fears are too slow are sought, not imposed upon the 26, by Germany.   Why? because Germany must convince its voters that something more than the low-level language of the Lisbon Treaty is reinforcing  a more disciplined and integrated fiscal stance throughout the eurozone and indeed throughout the EU ( bearing in mind that all except two of the 27  - shortly to be 28 -  member-states are necessarily candidates for entry to the Euro) and all are bound by Stability and Growth Pact requirements, euro-users or not.

Has the UK Prime Minister vetoed parts of the Lisbon Treaty signed so gracelessly by his predecessor?   And if he has what other international treaties to which the United Kingdom is a signatory  might the Coalition government be tempted to repudiate?

'Il fatto si è che per rafforzare la zona euro non era affatto necessario modificare il Trattato, bastava applicarne le clausole che riguardano la stessa zona euro, più, eventualmente, la clausola di flessibilità. Il comunicato conclusivo del Consiglio di venerdì indica tra le cose da fare con priorità il rafforzamento per i paesi dell'euro delle procedure e delle sanzioni previste dall'art.126 del Trattato per i disavanzi eccessivi di tutti gli Stati membri. È esattamente ciò che già consente di fare l'art.136 dello stesso Trattato.'


Antisthenes said...

The last summit had little to do with ending the euro crisis apart from making vague promises of taking money from Paul to give to Peter who then returns the money to Paul. All this blame and counter blame, legalistic contortion and speed nonsense is just scapegoat preparation. Cameron has done the decent thing and is now the number one candidate. When the euro collapses as it must to the Brits Cameron will be the hero and to the rest of Europe he will be the villain.

dearieme said...

I do hope we repudiate our treaty duty to defend Belgium.

dearieme said...

Here's a detailed view:

hatfield girl said...

Yes, D. Looking at that it's quite unnerving the flat rejection of Cameron's position. He wasn't seeking all that much, unattractive though it was. Now he's facing domestic political difficulties, federal UK difficulties, wide unpopularity on the continent and nothing gained.

And all over powers already assigned in the Lisbon Treaty.

How many governments have fallen in Europe in the last few months? For different reasons and by different means, certainly, but Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy have all had recent replacements. Denmark's changed too but it's neither a large economy nor in the eurozone, so it's not very interesting.

As a large economy outside the eurozone the UK was most vulnerable in its popular opposition to EU membership at all facing a europhile political elite spread across all three major parties, two of which were in uneasy coalition.

A Lib-Lab alliance would be much more EU and USA compatible.

dearieme said...

"He wasn't seeking all that much,...": then why reject it?

Elby the Beserk said...

Hutton is still recovering from realising that his beloved New Labour has turned out to be a crock of shite. I would also add that he is part of the Liberal Elite, who think that their world view is held by all right-thinking people. This however, was a belief laid to rest by the AV Referendum. The self-appointed "Progressive Majority" was going to win the vote easily. The Guardian said so. Toynbee said so - a leading light in said Progressive Majority, as did many others.

In the end, only Oxford, Cambridge, Camden, Islington and three other London constituencies voted for AV, giving the lie to the "Progressive Majority myth". It is in fact, the head Guardianistas, the BBC and a few hangers on, and they only talk to each other (and maybe God).

Jeff Randall, whilst in this quote describing the BBC, has them down to a T.

"It's not a conspiracy. It's visceral. They think they are on the middle ground",

Jeff Randall former BBC Business Editor, in The Observer, Jan 15th, 2006.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"Has the UK Prime Minister vetoed parts of the Lisbon Treaty signed so gracelessly by his predecessor?"

Unfortunately not.

Or not yet, anyway. And knowing him, probably he never will.

"A Lib-Lab alliance would be much more EU and USA compatible."

Probably. But (1) the Libs are finished electorally - their supporters will never forgive them for joining this coalition; (2) If Cameron really does grow a pair and start fighting back against the EU he will sweep the board in England at least, so there won't be any Lib-Lab coalition; and (3) if Scotland breaks away, Labour become a mere phantasm of malice which gnaws itself in the shadows but can never take shape or power again (with apologies to JRRT).

Either way, no Lib-Lab coalition seems likely in the foreseeable future.

Elby the Beserk said...

Worstall puts the boot into Hutton as well