Over the past eighteen months, the pound has suffered a devaluation against the euro of approximately a quarter. This suggests that international markets have little confidence in the British economy when it is compared with its continental neighbours.. If Britain wishes to remain a full member of the European internal market, it cannot demand the right indefinitely to improve its competitiveness by unilateral devaluations against its trading partners. British politicians warn loudly against “beggar my neighbour policies” in the current economic crisis. Massive devaluation of the pound against the euro is precisely such a policy.
YES2EUROPE wants Britain to start negotiations with its partners now about joining the euro, the terms of this agreement to be put to a British referendum as soon as possible.
Britain derives little in terms of its security and much in terms of inconvenience and expense to its citizens by not being in the Schengen arrangement. This arrangement allows continental Europeans to cross frontiers without any formalities, while their governments pool information between themselves to help the fight against major criminality, terrorism and illegal immigration.
Within the Schengen arrangement, Britain would have better access to this vital intelligence and greater freedom of movement for the millions of Britons who travel and work in continental Europe. Within the Schengen arrangement, Britain and its neighbours are allowed to carry out frontier checks when there is a specific reason to do so. The indiscriminate carrying out by the British authorities of frontier checks is largely a matter of ineffectual symbolism, rather than the best use of limited resources.
YES2EUROPE wants Britain to join the frontier-freee, Schengen arrangement immediately.
In the Lisbon Treaty, the British government negotiated a bewildering array of special arrangements for the United Kingdom, principally regarding the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the policy area of European internal security. YES2EUROPE believes that the British government’s suspicion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights is wholly misplaced, since the Charter is a document of laudable general principles. The government was wrong to allow itself to be persuaded by some British business interests that the Charter represented a threat to British economic well-being.
YES2EUROPE believes that systematic opting-out from European arrangements for cross-border security can never be in the British national interest.
YES2EUROPE wants the United Kingdom to abandon its self-marginalizing philosophy of special British opt ins and opt outs in European treaties, which simply serve to reinforce the view that Britain is not fully engaged in the European Union.
The European economy
YES2EUROPE believes that the British government should work urgently to achieve European agreements on economic policy and financial regulation.
Britain’s absence from the euro has acted as a brake on this country’s ability to play a leading role on these matters in Europe. The British government’s unrealistic hope of achieving global agreements involving the United States of America has also formed a barrier to its exploration of possible European arrangements. The current economic crisis poses severe new challenges to the Eurozone. Rather than hoping that the Eurozone will disappear, the United Kingdom has every interest in the deepening over coming years of European economic integration within the Eurozone and the creation of a Eurozone economy, in which Britain would play a leading role.
YES2EUROPE is convinced that Britain’s recovery from the present economic crisis depends upon its committing itself more enthusiastically to the European economy and building with its European partners the structures to consolidate and strengthen European economic integration