Boris, Popping the Sceptic Pills
Professor Tim Bale rather wittily described the Tory revolt over the Maastricht Treaty as the “gateway drug” to today’s hard stuff of “Better Off Out” Euroscepticism.
I have taken issue with my fellow Queen Mary, University of London, searcher after knowledge in another article for e-International Relations. I point out that the Conservatives’ shift towards a harder line is partly a response to changes in Europe, notably the euro crisis, which has driven a sharp change in public opinion in this country (see graph).
Bale’s argument is similar to Tony Blair’s description of Euroscepticism as a “virus”. But it is notable that it is Blair who provided the most persuasive counter to Boris Johnson’s elaboration of his own inconsistent Euroscepticism today.
Boris (one of the 10 most interesting politicians in the UK) professed himself baffled by David Cameron and George Osborne’s “immoral” support for closer eurozone integration. But that is easy to explain. The euro might survive, and even if it does not eurozone members won’t take kindly to us telling them we knew it was a stupid idea all along.
Boris and de Pfeffel are Boris’s middle names, not Tact and Diplomacy.
However, Iain Martin has done a much better job than I could of pointing out the weaknesses of Boris’s plan for Norway and Switzerland to join us in a Council of the Common Market.
In the end, Boris does not explain why the EU should allow the UK access to the single market beyond a breezy, “Oh, of course they will.”Tagged in: boris johnson, euro, euroscepticism, tony blair
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