Posts Tagged ‘haircuts for bondholders’

We need to be on the right side of EU disintegration

11/01/2011, 07:00:52 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Labour modernisers have been largely pro-European since Neil Kinnock made them so. The role of the EU in advancing Labour’s goals has often, however, been vaguely defined. As UK relations with the EU head towards various crunches, this seems likely to be inadequate.

The issues that are most important to people will determine the next general election: the economy, jobs and public services. Nonetheless, debate about the EU is going to get hotter. As this happens, the connections between EU policy and the things that people care most about are likely to become more apparent.

Most immediately, the European Union bill, over the short to medium term the euro-zone crisis and the longer term need for the UK to adapt to the rise of Asia could all bring UK/EU relations to the boil. The first of these pressure-points diminishes UK influence in the EU at the same time as the second poses not only an existential crisis to a currency to which we don’t belong, but a union to which we do and our largest trading partners.

Either disintegration of the euro/EU or consolidation of the euro as both a fiscal and monetary union seem more likely outcomes of this crisis than perpetuation of the status quo. Either way, British business has only just begun the adaptation that it must undergo to prosper in a world whose centre of gravity lies ever more firmly to the east. (more…)

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