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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:13 PM

U.S. warns Britain not to drift away from EU

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - The United States wants Britain to stay in the European Union and fears a British exit would run against U.S. interests, a senior official in Barack Obama's administration said on Wednesday.

In a strongly-worded intervention days before British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers his most important speech on Europe, Britain's closest ally said it needed London to retain a "strong voice" within the EU.

"We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU," Philip H. Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, told reporters at a briefing in London.

"That is in America's interests," he said, according to two journalists present.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/09/uk-britain-us-europe-idUKBRE9080UY20130109



cough

21 replies, 2585 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply U.S. warns Britain not to drift away from EU (Original post)
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 OP
enlightenment Jan 2013 #1
TygrBright Jan 2013 #2
T_i_B Jan 2013 #13
enlightenment Jan 2013 #17
T_i_B Jan 2013 #19
PerceptionManagement Jan 2013 #18
mwooldri Jan 2013 #3
amandabeech Jan 2013 #4
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #7
mwooldri Jan 2013 #20
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #21
pampango Jan 2013 #8
MADem Jan 2013 #5
andypandy Jan 2013 #10
SkyDaddy7 Jan 2013 #11
MADem Jan 2013 #16
Selatius Jan 2013 #6
SkyDaddy7 Jan 2013 #12
andypandy Jan 2013 #14
SkyDaddy7 Jan 2013 #15
Ghost Dog Jan 2013 #9

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:17 PM

1. Well, bless his heart . . .

Perhaps the US should let the UK run their own country?

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:28 PM

2. This. n/t

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:38 AM

13. The Eurosceptic response to this would be.....

"Perhaps the EU should let the UK run their own country". The EU has more influence over UK policy then the USA does.

I don't want the UK to leave the EU as I think it was be a disaster from an international trade point of view. However, the EU is quite unpopular over here in the UK and as such I do think that the "No" camp would be quite likely win a referendum over whether or not to leave the EU.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:58 AM

17. Yes, the EU has more influence.

I'm unconvinced as to the long-term viability of a concept that has moved from an economic organism to a political one in a very short span, but it's not for me to decide.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:11 AM

19. The EU is in need of reform.

However, you've got many of those in the Pro-EU camp arguing that we should essentially just grin & bear it, while the anti-EU camp argue that the EU cannot be reformed in any way.

Between them you haven't got very many places to turn to if you do want the EU to reform itself.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:05 PM

18. American Exceptionalism at work!

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:54 PM

3. Eff off, America.

It may not be in America's best interests if the UK opts out of the European Union but it is the people of the UK to decide this on a referendum. On the other hand... I really don't see a 'no' vote on Europe prevailing because people have too much vested in Europe already. If it does, Labour will be mostly 'yes' to EU, Lib Dems will be all out 'yes', the Tories will be split (hurray!) and UKIP will be barking along the sidelines. Other powers that be will make their voices heard and remind everyone of all the opt outs the UK already has (e.g. not in the Euro, not in Schengen, other opt outs, etc).

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:57 PM

4. This idiot does not speak for many of us here.

What the UK does with respect to the EU is the UK's business.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:04 AM

7. You are assuming

that in in a referendum people would vote along party lines. I don't believe that to be the case.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:03 AM

20. you are right, it wouldn't be a vote on party lines.

However the political parties usually back a specific line on Europe and will be involved in a yes/no vote. Given the political stances of the parties, this is how I expect the MPs to vote and encourage the public to vote. Labour are mostly pro EU, the Libdems, SNP and Plaid Cymru are very pro EU. The Conservatives are very mixed on EU membership. I believe a lot of this posturing by Cameron is because the Euroskeptic wing of the Tories are emboldened to push for this. Think of it being like Tea Party Republicans, except more reasonable on matters not on Europe. Given the fiscal mess that is the Eurozone the anti-EU people are spreading a bit of FUD around. Of course in a referendum campaign non-politicians will be very much involved, especially celebrities. Also businesses will most likely go for a yes vote and put money into the 'yes' campaign - I think the City (London banks and financial businesses) are very pro EU. I don't know how a 'no' vote would be funded - I guess a few very wealthy people plus UKIP (UK independence party IMO like the tea party proper but in their own actual party) would be leading the way. I think BNP would be anti-EU but they will be not very vocal about it given their extreme nature on racial issues. When an actual referendum comes I believe a lot of people who are saying in opinion polls that the UK ought to be out of the EU will change their position. Especially when the bulk of trade outside the UK is to EU countries, and there being no guarantee that a non-EU UK would be accepted into a free trade agreement... that alone should get most of the yes votes on board.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:35 AM

21. no guarantee that a non-EU UK would be accepted into a free trade agreement ?

The trade agreements preceded the EU in the form of the common market. I sincerely doubt that would change as the rest of the EU would be equally likely to lose out as a result.

A lot might depend on how the subject is spun by our media. For newspaper distribution see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_circulation Figures for the Independent and the "i" need to be added together as they are in effect the same just marketed differently

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:49 AM

8. You're right. Conservatives are the group that most wants to leave the EU (68%-24%).



Seems that conservatives everywhere are fearful of international organizations and prefer to 'good ol' days' of nationalism. Many of the GOP's state party platforms last year urged the US to withdraw from the UN (an organization just full of 'foreigners') and expressed opposition to the mythical North American Union.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:56 PM

5. There's a not insignificant cadre of people who don't like the EU in UK.

Some don't like the economic issues and linkages, others don't like the idea of "bowing down to Brussels."

The more extreme of them write vaguely racist screeds in This England magazine, decrying the influence of dusky, non-English speaking foreigners on the "green and pleasant land."

But then, there's this--which really is the crux of the matter:

British business leaders warned earlier on Wednesday that a UK exit from Europe would leave it outside a possible future free trade deal between the EU and the United States.

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Response to MADem (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:32 AM

10. the crux...

few in the UK actually want to leave the EU, whats wanted (by and large) is two-fold: firstly a distancing between the UK and the EU/Eurozone/'European' economic/political structures that have failed spectacularly to deal with the Eurozone problem, and secondly a return towards the organization/relationship that the UK joined in 1973 - which was a free-trade, economic/political co-operation block.

what it was not was a kind of half-built state was economically welded together but with political chaos.

its important to remember that the UK is 1/7th of all economic activity within the EU. the 'economic block' within the EU, Germany the Netherlands etc.., are not going to allow their trading relationship with 1/7th of the economic power of the EU to be damaged over the Social Chapter, or straight bananas - they will, entirely in their own interests, see that an arrangement with the UK that sees the UK revert to a 'free trade+' relationship within the EU as being of far more importance to them than anything else.

its actually also in the interests of those within the EU who are very strongly in favour of becoming a single state - the UK is a big beast in the EU, if the UK doesn't like the idea it can stop it, and moreover it acts as a 'standard-bearer' around which far smaller countries which also may not like a particular idea can group, countries which, without the UK saying the same thing, would be much more easily swamped/bribed/cajouled to STFU - with the UK out of such fights, the 'single state steamroller' has a much less bumpy ride.

the French won't like it all, but Germany (who'se EU ardour has somewhat cooled of late, even if they intellectually accept that far greater political integration of the Eurozone countries is neccesary to solve the Eurozone problem) will prefer a situation where the UK remains in the 'free-trade' fold, as well as within the EU's foreign policy and defence structures (an issue the French will also want to secure UK participation in), but outside the EU's economic/political/social spheres, to a situation where tempers run hot and the UK flounces out of the EU all together. Germany signs the EU and Eurozones' cheques - what Germany says goes.

being a member of the the EU is a good thing for the UK, and the UK being a member of the EU is good for the rest of the EU - the UK provides about 10% of the EU's budget (after rebate and EU projects in the UK), 50% of its UNSC P5 seats, and a very large slice of the EU's military capability - big picture concerns will, in the end, trump fragile ego's.

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Response to andypandy (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 AM

11. And it is good for America...And the world economy as a whole.

I don't see a problem with America trying to encourage the UK to stay...It is not like the UK will stay on the simple fact that the USA says they should. The UK will do as they please. IMHO.

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Response to andypandy (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:24 AM

16. I think your conclusion is probably accurate, but there are a lot of voices in UK lately who are

playing the EU bogeyman card for their own political purposes.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:04 PM

6. I believe the EU's haphazard response to the Great Recession soured a lot of opinions.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve and the federal government were able to put a package together to answer the problem when the stock market started crashing in October 2008.

The European Union wishes it had that kind of unanimity of control. Nations had to haggle with each other over whether there would be a bailout, and if there would be a bailout, in what form and size should it take. The ECB couldn't function effectively unless the individual member states came to a consensus as far as capital for bailouts.

If Great Britain did formally exit the European Union, power would naturally revolve around France and Germany, and the United States has less influence over those two countries than it does with Great Britain.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:12 AM

12. It also had a lot to do with...

Many governments in the EU were electing Conservatives at the same time we elected Obama & the Democrats had huge advantages in both Houses of Congress. It is obvious which approach worked better when it comes to austerity or stimulus...Stimulus won by a long shot!

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Response to SkyDaddy7 (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:00 AM

14. i doubt it.

most 'Conservative' parties and governments in Europe are to the left of the Democratic party in Congress/Senate, and President Obama would fit right in to most 'Conservative' parties/governments in Europe.

without wishing to be rude, don't confuse the wingnut, loonspuddery of US politics with the politics of Europe. European politics are very, very different to US politics - something i get down on my knees and thank the god i don't believe in every day of the week...

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Response to andypandy (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:54 AM

15. No confusion here...

It is not a matter of debate...I was simply stating what actually happened in most of Europe right at the time of the Great Recession started...Most European countries elected Conservatives who decided not to do stimulus like Obama did & instead relied heavily on austerity measures. Obama tried really hard to get them to do stimulus packages in unison with ours but most refused.

Without wishing to be rude, don't confuse what I said with how you perceive European politicians to be vs US politicians. What I stated was simply what actually happened. In this case Obama was far left of the Conservatives in Europe.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:52 AM

9. Yet another reason for the UK to be encouraged to leave the EU...

... Or change its heart for the better...

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