The UK between the European Union and the United States
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that the referendum on maintenance of membership in the EU would take place on June 23rd. Recently leaders of the European Union discussed the demands of London about new conditions of its membership. They include four directions – competitiveness, sovereignty, improvement of social policy, and improvement of economic management.
Marcus Papadopoulos, editor-in-chief of the magazine Politics First, said that Cameron promised a referendum on the EU membership because he did not expect that he would be re-elected as prime minister. “It really says a lot about the personal qualities of David Cameron as a leader: he proposed a referendum on the most controversial issue in the UK. But he believed that he would not need to implement this promise.”
According to Papadopoulos, the relations between Britain and the EU are very difficult, due to the English outlook: “In Scotland many people have a very positive attitude towards EU membership. However, in England and especially in Middle England or the South of England they have a fairly antagonistic, hostile attitude towards the EU. Many English people do not consider themselves to be Europeans, and they do not believe that Britain is a part of Europe.”
Answering the question “What does Britain want from the EU?” the expert noted: “Some people in the British Parliament believe that the United Kingdom must be a member of the EU, but it must have special status. Great Britain does not want to participate in a European army and does not want to completely separate European policy. However, there is a serious problem. If you join some club, if you are a member, you must accept the rules of the club. And the UK wants, on the one hand, to be in the EU, but it also wants to remain with the United States. And the US believes that Britain is its eyes in the EU, its eyes and ears. And with regard to the sanctions on Russia, many countries did not want to introduce the sanctions against Russia, but due to the British influence in the EU, which is a reflection of the views of the US, the sanctions were adopted.”
Papadopoulos believes that “a very important issue here is freedom of movement for EU workers. David Cameron could not completely push his conditions through the negotiations, could not achieve what he wanted. So far, he has received a delay of about 7 years, but what will happen after that is unknown.”