He has little to lose from making a fresh start on Europeby Ian Bond / June 16, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: What would Brexit do to the pound?
If the UK votes on 23rd June to stay in the EU, Britain and its partners will face a choice: to carry on with their previous dysfunctional relationship, or to create something better.
For British Prime Minister David Cameron, the easy option will be returning to how things were. Anything short of an (improbable) crushing vote in favour of remaining will not quiet his eurosceptic party colleagues. Any hint of a more positive approach to Europe and they will accuse him of promising the voters one kind of relationship with the EU but giving them another.
Cameron has little to lose, however, from making a fresh start. He has already said that he will not contest the next general election in 2020. He can bequeath to his successor the role of Europe’s curmudgeon, irritating other member-states without placating his domestic enemies. Or he can show Europe that he has learned the value of teamwork, and show Britons that the UK gains by working with the EU instead of against it.
Some member-states may doubt that Britain can ever be a fully committed member of the Union. Cameron needs to show that there will be no more ultimatums: “Give us what we want or we leave.” Instead, here are ten suggestions for persuading partners that the UK is now fully engaged.
Security and counter-terrorism. In the campaign, Cameron has stressed the EU’s contribution to Britain’s security. Other member-states may have been irritated by Britain withdrawing from justice and home affairs measures in 2013, only to opt back into the most important; but the UK remains a crucial partner in fighting crime and terrorism. It should step up operational collaboration and use its intelligence expertise to help create a regulatory framework that balances privacy and security.
Migration. Though outside the Schengen borderless area, Britain cannot escape the impact of the refugee crisis. The UK has argued that giving asylum seekers legal channels to come to Europe would ruin the people smugglers’ business…