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Cameron Blowing Smoke Over EU Exit?

English: Prime Minister David Cameron speaking...
English: Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to the UK Home Office, on May 13, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David Cameron has been quite vocal lately with his desire to separate the UK from the rest of the European Union. This has, of course, sparked much debate from analysts and policy-makers. What is the real cost of that potential decision, and is this just an idle threat? EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told CNN’s Richard Quest that it is “mutually beneficial” to both the EU and the UK to remain connected. It seems that this is more to do with Cameron’s desire to change certain agreements, trade and otherwise, to better suit Britain. And it was recognized by Rehn that much of the Prime Minister’s desire for reform was in line with that of the EU as well.

The good news in this bit of tension came with Rehn’s comment that “the worst is over” regarding the euro zone crisis. That may not placate many, but it is nice to hear a positive affirmation that the ‘meltdown’ is in the past. But Rehn, as well as Cameron, echoed the same idea that growth was still far too stilted and unemployment across the region is too high. Perhaps the worst is over, but there needs to be continued pressure applied by the ECB, World Bank and eurozone member states to carry further the task of tightening monetary policy towards better single currency unification.

Cameron’s promise at this point of a referendum on staying or leaving the EU is irrelevant really – this won’t be considered until the next general election in 2015, and he may not win it anyway. It also behooves the UK’s government to apply pressure to the EU in more diplomatic ways, not with rhetoric and cheap threats that won’t benefit either party. Two years from now is a long time in terms of policy development and financial security for the region, but Rehn’s optimism isn’t misplaced, only the pace needs to quicken and bickering left outside. 


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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.

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