The coalition government’s mid-term review and relaunch yesterday gave us an update on what they think they have achieved. Of course, because the coalition is made up of two separate and, at the next election, competing political parties, what they think of as their achievements varies notably between the parties. (Read the report here http://midtermreview.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/)
The section on Europe http://midtermreview.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/fixing-the-economy/europe/ is a perfect illustration of this. It lists some of the things that the government has done – keeping out of the eurozone bailout mechanism, for example – but not others. No mention of the Fiscal Compact Treaty, which came into force on 1 January 2013 despite David Cameron having thought he had vetoed it. And no mention of the closure of the Treasury unit that was preparing for euro entry, something the Liberal Democrats surely rue.
And in the forward-looking section, there is utter silence on the future of Europol and the European Arrest Warrant. The UK has the right to withdraw from justice and home affairs cooperation if it wishes but has to notify its decision to do so during this year. Home secretary Theresa May said at the Tory party conference that she wanted to do so, but it is not just up to her. Her coalition partners will need to agree, and their manifesto said that Europol membership should remain. Either the Tory right will be disappointed, or Nick Clegg will be making another apology video before the end of the year.