David Cameron has beaten Europe at its own game. That makes it worth staying – Telegraph.co.uk

11 months ago Comments Off on David Cameron has beaten Europe at its own game. That makes it worth staying – Telegraph.co.uk

The first of these is my strong belief that if the UK leaves the EU, Scotland is much more likely to leave the UK. How would we feel about freeing ourselves from Europe if our own country disintegrated as a result? The only real answer I have heard to this is that the price of oil is too low for Scottish independence. But would anyone bet their house on what the oil price will be in two or three years? It is quite a risk to bet the entire Kingdom on it.

Second, we need some kind of European Union to exist whether we are in it or not. Otherwise, Europe’s seething nationalisms and tensions will break loose again, as they did in the Balkans in the 1990s. Britain needs most European countries to be anchored in a formal grouping, for the sake of our own long term peace and security. Departing from it would undoubtedly weaken it, and the ultimate consequences of that are unknowable.

My third concern would be about business. It is now vital that the campaigns to leave the EU set out what sort of arrangement they think we would have instead of membership, for the detail of that is every bit as important as all the details of British membership negotiated last Friday. If we leave the single market, the effect on business confidence and investment would be very damaging. But if we seek to stay in the single market, then that would certainly mean we would have to keep the rules, regulations, payments and freedom of movement of that market. The key difference would be we would no longer have any say over those things.

For these reasons, I come down on the same side as the Prime Minister I was happy to serve with for many years. He is doing the right thing in giving this choice to the people of the country, but he is giving them the right recommendation as well.

David Cameron has beaten Europe at its own game. That makes it worth staying – Telegraph.co.uk