Today I had fun. I decided to focus the blog on the new EU Reform treaty (former EU Constitution), and especially all the polemic about it in the UK.
Perhaps I was inspired by the Today-programme on Radio 4. I was on it this morning. There is nothing like being interviewed by the legendary John Humphrys. Gets you in a journalistic mood.
I thus decided to do a little videoclip on the new treaty. The EU-web TV (see below) will give you a flavour of what 16 MEPs think about it all.
A wanna-be John Humphrys in action…
Ok, ok, I admit that my attempt at impartial journalism is be a bit questionable. You might have noticed that I am a fan of the new Treaty, and less so of a referendum.
I follow the UK debate closely. When you have a British wife and children with dual nationality (Finnish and British) you are kind of oblidged to keep an eye on what’s cooking on the other side of the channel.
I often feel that the EU debate in the UK is completely detached from reality. The tabloids hijacked the debate a long time ago, and unfortunately most politicians dancing to the tune of the likes of the Sun and the Daily Mail.
The stories you read about the EU in the British tabloids are often out of this world. Facts are distorted and the debate is simplified into some grand battle between the nation states and a European super state.
Sad, really. The UK is, after all, a civilised country…despite its Victorian plumbing system.
My point is simple: the EU (and the UK) would be much better off with a strong UK in the heart of Europe. We need an economically liberal big state to fight some of the more protectionist tendencies.
Opposing the whole European project is a bit like opposing internet. I really do not understand those Brits who are even contemplating a UK future without the EU. I mean what do you want to do? Close the doors to the outside world?
Fortunately UK rhetoric and reality are often different. The rhetoric might be anti-European, but the reality is often pro-European. Example: opening borders for Central and Eastern European workers. The UK was one of only three member states that had the courage to do it in 2004.
The debate about a referendum on the New treaty seems to be following the old path. Those who do not like the EU, want a referendum. Those who like it, do not want one.
I think the UK will should organise a more fundamental referendum in the coming years: should the UK be a meber of the European Union or not? My answer is clear: YES!