Somewhere else

David Cameron

David Cameron’s speech on reforming government on Tuesday morning includes the usual sideswipes at the European Union. He says:

“The EU and the judges – neither of them accountable to British citizens – have taken too much power over issues that are contested aspects of public policy, and which should therefore be settled in the realm of democratic politics.”

And it thereby follows that “a progressive reform agenda demands that we redistribute power from the EU to Britain”.

The alternative would be to settle these issues in the realm of democratic politics at European level. There are elections in two weeks’ time on exactly the issues that Europe deals with. If now is not the time to talk about European democratic politics, when is it?

He goes on:

“It’s no wonder people feel so disillusioned with politics and parliament when they see so many big decisions that affect their lives being made somewhere else.”

You don’t need to talk about progressive politics to understand David Cameron’s attitude to Europe, you merely need to read that sentence. Europe is “somewhere else”.

If you look at a map, though, or if you look at our trading patterns, or our environmental problems, or our security interests, Europe is not somewhere else, it is where we are.

About the Author