Former Foreign Secretary, Lord David Owen, a lifelong European, says “Without a very different renegotiation, for the first time in my life I could well vote ‘No’ to remaining in the EU. Continuing with much the same EU is not supportable.”
In his book Europe Restructured Lord Owen provides a negotiable blueprint for a restructured EU Single Market within the European Economic Area. It allows for more and more opt outs for the UK as it lifts its veto on the necessary ever greater integration of the Eurozone in order to alleviate its six year crisis, and as the Eurozone inevitably introduces more and more Qualified Majority Voting. He advocates the UK remaining in the EU Single Market within the European Economic Area (EEA), and that this area should be opened, in principle, to all of the wider European states as full voting members when they fulfil the criteria for entry, such as Turkey, already an associate of the EU, and Switzerland. But they are not offered free movement of people and labour. Also in future any EU country like the UK that does not want to be in the Eurozone nor in the Schengen group and wish to retain control of its own borders they would no longer be obliged to offer free movement of people and labour to any new EU member. That means that eight countries* in the queue for EU membership would be stopped from the automatic right to come into the UK. This is a huge but necessary reduction in potential open access to the UK. Unlike over Poland, Bulgaria and Romania it means closing an open door before it happens. The distinction that makes this possible is that free movement is not essential for a Single Market but is essential for an ever-greater integrated Eurozone. …..
Lord Owen says “This restructuring is both more realistic and far reaching than anything at present on the Government’ s very limited negotiating agenda. It is the means for avoiding Brexit, a course on which at present we are sleepwalking towards.”
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