On balance, I find it highly unlikely that the EU is capable of serious reform. So let's lead the way on leaving itby Diane James / March 29, 2018 / Leave a comment
Can the EU become the sort of institution that the UK wants to remain a member of? Remainers seem to think so—but I’m not so sure.
The Remain camp continually argues for staying in a reformed EU. Whilst acknowledging that the EU was and is far from perfect, they maintain that, if the UK stayed a member, we could push forward a process of internal reform leading to a more satisfactory non-Brexit future.
I call those who advocate this argument the Reluctant Remainers. Theirs is still a valid proposition, given the push for a second vote, and should be considered carefully.
What would “reform” actually mean?
It is difficult to nail down exactly what could be meant by a reformed EU, and which areas require reform, but I will give it a go.
Firstly, as sovereignty was a key determining factor for voters, would a future EU be prepared to roll back its ambitions with regards to further control over national decision-making?
The answer to this, at least, is relatively straightforward. It is highly improbable that the EU would row back on this, as it plans its own Treasury and the creation of a Fiscal Union. It is also rolling out further and deeper integration in the energy markets via the European Energy Union, and taking greater control of the internet and e-commerce via the creation of the Digital Single Market.
Additionally, the EU has launched the Common Defence Fund and the European Education Area. Put these moves together, and it becomes apparent that the EU is unlikely to ever repatriate or downgrade powers to its Member States.
A diminished voice for the UK
Secondly, pressure from…