Σάββατο, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2016
In 1967, Britain unexpectedly announced the end of what, for decades, had been a genuinely global foreign policy. In response to the depreciation of the pound sterling, expensive decolonization campaigns, and the evolving attitudes of the baby boomer generation, Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s Labor government abruptly announced that his government would change course, prioritizing welfare over warfare. That would include withdrawal from all bases “East of Suez.” In response, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk complained that he “could not believe that free aspirin and false teeth were more important than Britain’s role in the world.” But the danger of such a patrician attitude to foreign policy — one that views domestic considerations as illegitimate — is that, over time, foreign policy can become seriously disconnected from the priorities of the electorate.
David Cameron did better than expected at the marathon Brussels summit. But his package of reforms will sway few voters, so he must now make the case for the EU itself.
Once David Cameron had won the May 2015 general election, and announced an EU referendum before the end of 2017, he was always going to find it hard to fulfil his pledge to achieve significant reforms to the Union. The final phase of the British renegotiation proved particularly tortuous. But on the night of February 19th a deal emerged and there will now be a referendum on EU membership on June 23rd. Why did Cameron struggle to win major reforms? What are the most significant changes that he has achieved? And how should he try to win the referendum campaign?