Cameron to deliver long-awaited EU speech this week

LONDON Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:24am GMT

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London January 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to deliver his hotly anticipated speech about his plans for Britain's membership of the European Union this week, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday.

After months of speculation, Cameron had been scheduled to deliver the speech on Friday in the Netherlands, but it was postponed because of a hostage crisis involving Britons at a gas plant in Algeria.

"It will happen in the coming week. We will make an announcement about exactly when and where tomorrow," Hague told the BBC.

In the speech, Cameron is expected to spell out his plans for Britain's membership of the 27-nation bloc and to promise to put any deal he struck to the British people in a referendum.

According to excerpts of the planned speech that were released before the decision to postpone it, Cameron will say that Britain will drift out of the EU and the European project will fail unless the bloc tackles three major problems.

The excerpts identified these as the euro zone debt crisis, faltering competitiveness and declining public support.

Some critics say a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU would be a reckless gamble with the country's future economic prospects and place in the world.

They accuse Cameron of taking a huge risk in order to placate hardline eurosceptics in his Conservative Party who are worried about an electoral threat from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns for an exit from the bloc.

Appearing on a BBC television political programme on Sunday morning alongside UKIP leader Nigel Farage, Hague rejected the suggestion that Cameron's speech was all about Conservatives "running scared" from the UKIP threat.

"No, it's about doing what is best in the interests of this country and of course also about democracy in this country," Hague said.

"We want to get a better relationship with the European Union. There are changes we want in that relationship. But we also need to see how the changes in the euro zone are affecting the European Union, how that affects this country and the relationship of the countries of the EU together.

"When we have done those things there is a strong case for fresh consent in this country, for the people of this country having their say."

Farage suggested that the idea of a long-drawn-out renegotiation of the terms of membership followed by a referendum years away was a convoluted way to try and keep Britain within the bloc against the wishes of the people.

"We'll get the speech, and then the Conservative Party will launch a five-year campaign to try and keep us in the European Union," he said.

"What Mr Cameron ought to do is say: 'Right we're going to have a full, free and fair referendum on this before the next general election.'"

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Alison Williams and Louise Heavens)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
DR9WX wrote:
‘three major problems…the euro zone debt crisis, faltering competitiveness and declining public support.’

Actually, that is just ONE problem. MONEY. To be absolutely accurate, the problem is the creation of money.

In our digital age, more than 97% of our money exists in an electronic format. This electronic money is CREATED when we BORROW it. ‘We’ being individuals when we finance cars or purchase homes. ‘We’ being specific clumps of individuals when businesses borrow money. ‘We’ being everyone when our Government borrows money to deficit spend.

Do you actually understand the implications of the above paragraph? If you do, you truly are one in a million.

Some of you will nod and say, ‘Well yes, it’s fractional reserve banking.’ You are WRONG. This is the digital age. Very few people carry much cash. Do you keep £20 in your wallet? Fifty pounds? £100? Less than 3% of societies currency is in the form of cash. So for every £1000 you have, on average you will only have £30 in cash. £970 of it will be digital.

Banks love digital money. They are allowed to create as much of it as ‘we’ borrow. (Central banks then create whatever they need to to back this creation. To give an impression of a fractional reserve system working as intended.) So banks create 97% of our money electronically. We borrow this money, we pay it back. We also pay back the interest requirements too. Banks decide whether or not to lend money and for what purpose. If they restrict lending across all sectors, we get a recession. If they flood money into one sector, perhaps housing, then house prices will rapidly increase. They can decide how easy it is to borrow. There is a massive difference between setting a minimum 20% deposit for a mortgqage or loaning 20% more than the house is worth. One doubles the price of houses every four to six years and the other doesn’t.

I mentioned interest payments. Is it ethical to demand interest payments on money that DID NOT EXIST until you borrowed it? Can you actually borrow something that does not exist?

Following this train of logic through to its bitter end, we are Economic Slaves of the Banks. Banks ‘extend credit’ to us, lets say £10,000. The bank effectively types £10,000 into our account. We then earn money to pay back the £10,000. So eventually, this extra £10,000 in the economy gets paid back. Everything is as it was except you have then paid back interest, taking money from the economy. Slavery. We work for something that they get as interest payments on money that they created electronically when we borrowed it.

Now, what do you think happens if the government continually deficit spends for decades? Easy, lots of additional money comes into the system which dilutes the value of the money already in the system. This is how inflation is created. Notice how used to inflation we are? The government can borrow without limit. The banks can lend without limit. The game continues for as long as the people want it too.

It is a good game and provided the banks don’t abuse their position intentionally or not and provided the Government doesn’t abuse its position intentionally or not, everything is fine.

I suggest that house prices rocketing up from 1990 to 2007 from around £28,000 to £122,000 as a strong indication that the banks have not acted in the public’s best interest.

I suggest that continuous inflation is also not in the public’s best interest either, hence the Government deficit spending is not in the public LONG TERM best interest. By LONG TERM I am thinking of your grand children.

‘We’ need to understand the entirety of this brief response.

‘We’ being you, Mr D. Cameron, Sir M. King and Her Majesty.

This is not just a UK problem, it is a developed world problem. Or to be more accurate, an electronic money creation problem.

Jan 20, 2013 1:01pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
@DR9WX

….and the best bit is that “growth” can only arise through the creation of more and more and more and more debt…

One day it will implode…very very messily!

Jan 20, 2013 4:57pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
DR9WX wrote:
@mgb500

Yes.

The amount of ‘Growth’ required depends on the interest on the debt.

High average interest rates on the debt requires significant ‘growth’.

The argument is circular and as such difficult to mentally grasp. You are, essentially, correct. We either create more and more debt or ‘it’ implodes. Unfortunately ‘it’ is the Worlds Financial System.

I see the ‘implosion’ as a wake up call to the people of the western world. The absolute ‘shock’ of the collapse will give people pause for thought. However, intellectual debate may have to wait until Martial Law restores our food, electricity and water. In our time of need, Her Majesties Armed forces will prove themselves to be men and women of Honour. They will protect Her Majesties subjects whilst Her Majesty asks for calm. Questions will be asked, I am happy to advise Her Majesty on what questions to ask to whom. I can even supply the answers.

You’ve seen the mugs and t-shirts ‘Keep Calm and Carry on.’ I suggest that is what, ‘we’ do.

I know Her Majesty has some very important advisers already. Perhaps they have explained why we don’t need as much gold as the Germans or Italians or why we have such a high national debt.

I suggest that all UK residents ought to own a gold sovereign. When you have a child, buy them one too. ‘We’ would then have more gold than the Bank of England. Just a thought. This electronic money isn’t worth the paper it isn’t written on.

Disclaimer, I have a gold sovereign. It is the size of a penny and completely unremarkable. I’d rather have a gold Britannia but I bought a silver one instead and it is really nice. I don’t really like gold.

Jan 20, 2013 6:40pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.