EU Freezing Over: UK Adopting Euro, Turks Joining

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 11/30/2011 10:30:00 AM
Even while commentators as mainstream as the FT's Wolfgang Munchau are already counting the days towards EU breakup and the Economist ponders its inevitability, we have some interesting countervailing forces at work. They're something to think about if you've tried totting up the trillions upon trillions said to be necessary to keep the monetary union intact.

While the current Tory-led coalition is very Thatcher-esque in pooh-poohing the EMU, remember that there remains an older generation of Conservative politicians who believed the UK would eventually adopt the single currency. Remember Kenneth Clarke and Chris Patten. To this list we should add Michael Heseltine:
Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine has said he still expects the UK to eventually join the euro. The Conservative peer, one of his party's most pro-European figures, said the eurozone had real problems but he hoped it would survive as its collapse would be "catastrophic" for the UK.

All three of the largest Westminster parties have ruled out joining the euro in the foreseeable future...Prime Minister David Cameron has faced opposition to his European policies within Conservative ranks, with more than 80 MPs defying the government and calling for a referendum on EU membership [let alone joining the Eurozone].
He places current EU-phobia against the historic trend towards greater UK economic interaction with the EU:
Asked by the BBC's Politics Show if he still felt the UK would ultimately join the single currency, he replied: "I think we will join the euro." He acknowledged that the eurozone was in crisis but said he believed it would endure, largely due to the determination of Germany and France to preserve its "cohesiveness".

"I think the chances, and it is a balance, are that the euro will survive. They (Germany and France) have got a hell of a problem, let's be frank about that, but my guess is that they will find a way through. I hope they will because the downside for the British economy of the eurozone going under is catastrophic. People have no idea of the scale of money British banks are owed by European banks." He said European co-operation since the 1950s had been "remarkably successful".
So that may be a long shot, but here's yet another--Turkish EU membership. I've long discussed what I believe are fundamentally racist attitudes behind French and German opposition to Turkish membership. With Turkey now in the ascendant relative to both (and its PM on TIME's cover besides), now may be as good a time as any to prompt a reappraisal. That is, buoyant Turkey would join a bunch of troubled European nations to hopefully add dynamism instead of a troubled Turkey bringing its own problems to European nations:
The Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, says his country still wants to join the European Union despite the euro zone crisis...

Mr Gul said: "Some people who think in a narrow scope and who do lack a strategic perspective consider Turkey's membership a burden". He said Turkey can be the EU's "growth engine". Britain supported Turkey's right to became an official candidate for EU membership and formal accession negotiations began in 2005. If it joined Turkey would be the first EU nation with a majority Muslim population.
Especially with the EU-Turkey question, who knows? Especially during these times, things change, my dear.