BBC NEWS UK UK Politics Full text: Cameron speech on EU: "But our guiding principles will be these: we believe Britain's interests are best served by membership of a European Union that is an association of its member states, we will never allow Britain to slide into a federal Europe and that means we will watch closely how the Lisbon Treaty works out in practice. We will put in place a referendum lock, so never again can a British government transfer powers to the EU without the people giving their consent in a referendum."
So this is how David Cameron kicks off his election campaign. Apparently there is a tug-of-war in the EU, in the corridors, between the federalists and people like those of the Tories if one is to understand the comment on the Lisbon Treaty in the citation above. He also gives Labour a beating in the speech when he claims that "if the Tories win the election they will inherit the worst economical situation in 50 years".
He says that the UK will be ready to work with the EU on climate change, on energy security, on growth, on global poverty. However, according to the Eurobarometer 71 from the spring of 2009 the priorities of the people of the EU is the economy and health care with energy and environment way down on the list and with the question of global poverty not even assayed.
Federalists against the member states crowd. The key question then becomes if a non federal EU will be particularly efficient in dealing with for example energy security contra the Russians and the Middle East? In Sweden they said during the last election for the EU parliament that we have passed the stage of if we want to be members of the EU. But Olof Palme once turned down an offer by Willy Brandt to become a member of the EEC. Göran Persson and Anna Lind did not succeed in making Sweden a member of the EMU. Persson was down in Germany delivering speeches in German and Anna Lind was brutally murdered--hopefully not by nationalists. Norway is not even members of the EU but have a relationship with the UK via NATO. The position of the UK probably matters more than we are willing to admit for both countries.