Bargaining length of two years
British Prime Minister David Cameron began to bargain about this two years ago. Then he considered that the UK contributes more funds to the EU funds than it receives back. Cameron offered to review contributions and quotas. Otherwise, he threatened to leave the union. He even promised to hold a corresponding referendum in the country. Since then, the British prime minister has arranged similar demarches with enviable regularity, if decisions that did not suit London were ripe in Brussels. So it was, for example, in the summer of 2014. Then between the leading countries there was a sharp dispute about the candidacy of the President of the European Commission.
Cameron lost the argument. Despite the British resistance, the head of the European bureaucracy was the ex-premier of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, the creature of Germany and France. There were other tensions between EU leaders. In the end, the British Prime Minister announced last fall the preparation of a referendum on secession from the European Union and outlined the requirements of the United Kingdom for its status in Europe.
They fit into four base points. First, the EU should not involve Britain in the creation of a European superpower. This promise emerged from the plans of the European bureaucracy for the further integration of the states of the Union, up to the formation of a single budget. Such events are now being worked out, a new version of the EU Charter is being prepared. Britain is not satisfied with it categorically.
The second requirement was a multi-currency union. This reflected the long-standing rejection of the single European currency by the islanders, expressed in the preservation and strengthening of the British pound. The third condition - London demanded the right to reject the directives of Brussels and repeal existing laws. Finally, in the fourth paragraph, Cameron called for the creation of a new European Union structure. According to the British, the block should be reorganized so that “non-eurozone 9 countries of the EU could be protected from the dominance of other 19 countries”. At the same time, London wanted more “special guarantees”.
These were the basic conditions under which the United Kingdom would remain in the European Union. But there are also details. Some of them clarified the head of the British Ministry of Internal Affairs Teresa May. Supporting the premiere, she unprecedentedly harshly spoke in favor of restricting migration. Moreover, it was not so much about refugees from the Middle East and Africa, as about labor migrants from the EU countries.
Among the first critics of the British policy was Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. This is natural, because half of Lithuanian migrant workers are currently working on the British Isles. The closure of the UK borders for Eastern European migrants threatens Lithuania with serious problems - if not a social and economic disaster. Grybauskaite called the requirements of the British authorities unacceptable, as for their implementation it is necessary to revise existing agreements in the European Union, adopted by consensus. In the heat of controversy, the Lithuanian president did not notice the sobering warning of her main patron, the United States.
Americans are worried about the situation in the Old World. They immediately clearly expressed their position: the UK should remain in the EU. State Department Deputy Head Philip Gordon put the final accents: The United States is interested in a “strong British voice” that Europeans would listen to.
Britain has achieved special status
After such support, David Cameron, as they say, could now play "one wicket." So it happened. The British media, summing up the two-day summit almost without interruption, noted with satisfaction that London received even a little more than it had required before the Brussels meeting. This refers to the resolution of a long-standing dispute about social assistance to migrants from EU countries. Under the current regulations, they received benefits immediately after registration in Britain. London insisted: the right to benefit must be earned. Now it is recognized by the EU summit.
The heads of all 28 EU countries agreed: Britain will not pay benefits to newly arrived migrant workers for four years from the moment they get a job. The new social regime will operate for seven years - from 2017 to 2023, inclusive. A weak consolation for the East European summit participants was the extension of this right to all countries of the bloc. It seems that democracy is triumphant. In practice - shaped mockery. This is how, for example, payment of children's allowances will now look. Britain has achieved that migrant workers receive it at the rates of the country from which they arrived at work.
For example, a family Lithuanian who is employed in the British Isles will receive a child allowance of about 20 euros per month - as established in Lithuania. To a family Brit who has been seduced by his work in Lithuania, Vilnius is obliged to pay a child benefit at the rate of 27 pounds per week. In euro it turns out - 140 per month. In other words, Britain, together with the leading countries of the bloc, received the right to indicate a place in the union to its less successful partners.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite (as well as her Eastern European partners who actively criticized the British premier) signed the new rules. Cameron was supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. At the final press conference, she said: “We believe that David Cameron received from us such a“ package ”that will increase the number of Britons who intend to vote for the country to remain in the EU.”
Admittedly, Merkel has not recently criticized the British prime minister, and even supported. On the eve of the summit in Brussels, an article by Mark Seddon appeared in the American newspaper The New York Times, recently holding the post of communications assistant to the head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Seddon offered Angela Merkel as a possible successor to the current UN Secretary General, whose powers expire at the end of this year.
In accordance with current regulations, this time, an Eastern European politician must replace Ban Ki-moon. The New York Times considered that Angela Merkel could well do this, since she was "originally from the country of the former Eastern Bloc." It is unknown whether the unexpected news Merkel in favor of greater support for Britain. Only critics of Cameron during the hours-long debates were somehow “blown away”, while he himself, at the final press conference, exuded not thanks to the partners, but victorious self-confidence.
The gene of exclusivity invigorates mind
“Britain will never become part of the European superstate,” the United Kingdom media quotes a catchphrase from the press conference of its prime minister. This is the key. Until now, the British arrogance, formed in the Victorian era, makes itself felt. She grew up on the leaps and bounds of colonial conquest and the expansion of the empire, which has reached a truly cyclopean size in 34 with more than a million square kilometers.
Along with the empire, consciousness of superiority over other nations grew. Psychologists say that the British have a strong conviction that the world secretly recognizes their exclusivity and tries to take an example from them. As is known, the dominant feature of Victorian morality was the postulate: prosperity is a reward for purposefulness, will and perseverance, and losers are not worthy of respect and attention. This colonial mentality entered the blood and flesh. Even today, a true Englishman is distinguished by a polite, but by all means scornful attitude towards foreigners.
If psychologists somehow sin in their conclusions, it is probably not very strong. The arrogance of the British is well known. Even the fact that the once omnipotent pound has now dropped to second-rate world currency has not hindered it, it has shrunk to the islands of the United Kingdom the largest stories empire, and the current influence of Britain is limited by the possibilities of the City of London.
Even the right to exclusivity from London was taken overseas to the United States. Now the American president strenuously pedals this topic. So much so that it has already begun to annoy its closest allies. A few days ago, Japan was reminded that the pretentious Barack Obama had “black blood slaves running in his veins” in his veins. Then, however, began to deny the assessment, apologize. The author of the scandalous speech was even dismissed. But this little changed the meaning of the incident: the world no longer recognizes anyone's right to be exclusive. This was confirmed by inaccurate estimates by the Japanese.
The British have not yet embraced the new political realities. The gene of exclusivity is still invigorating. Therefore, to be equal in the block, where decisions are made by consensus, and to become like, for example, a loser-Lithuania, London is not ready today. So he bargained for various preferences.
Business resists leaving the European Union
Meanwhile, the dependence of Britain on Europe has seriously grown. The business of the kingdom is already so merged with the continental that it can hardly exist separately. Recently, the British Research Institute Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a survey on the attitude of entrepreneurs to the country's withdrawal from the European Union. 76 percent of respondents spoke out against the release.
They expect unpleasant consequences. Three years after the UK’s exit from the EU, 36% of entrepreneurs predict a collapse in trade, 31% - a fall in investment, 29% - an increase in unemployment. This will force business to make radical decisions. In the event of an exit from the EU, every third surveyed firm will limit production capacity, or transfer production to the continent.
More than half of the leaders of the largest companies in the country were in favor of maintaining Britain within the European Union. TASS, citing the Financial Times, reports that an open letter has been prepared, stating that the UK will be "stronger, safer and richer" in a reformed EU. Support has already been expressed by such business giants as oil corporations BP and Shell, mining Rio Tinto, telecommunications Vodafone and BT, defense BAE Systems, bank HSBC.
The largest rating companies Fitch and Moody's made their forecasts. They believe that withdrawal from the EU will harm the UK economy, and in the long run will lead to a “substantial” increase in risks. However, British politicians did not calm down. The split occurred even among the ruling elite. Justice Minister Michael Gove and London Mayor Boris Johnson have already announced their readiness to agitate for secession from the European Union.
... European passions show - the world is changing. Tectonic processes take place in it. The old forces are leaving, resisting. Hope to live by their own rules. So the British gentlemen managed to bargain for the past exclusivity. Only this already fully corresponds to the main challenge of the time: it is now impossible to hide from the global peace on the islands. Even if they are British ...