France is often described as "dirigiste". Their government does take a controlling interest in the corporate enterprises in the French econmy. And they do not see the advantages in letting the economy loose and trying to step-back and let people get on with their economic lives.
They have also been instrumental in setting the agenda over the last 60 years for the development of EU. And look at that!
It is reading articles like this one, that really focuses the mind on the Referendum. It is definately not about the UK going its own way. It is about providing a real catalyst for change in Europe.
George Osborne recently said leaving the UK would be significant shock to the UK economy. I believe it would also be a significant shock to the EU, that would necessitate change. Reform would have to follow.
Today, Yuncker was saying that perhaps the EU has been getting too involved in issues that could be best resolved by National governments. I wonder if the speech only got air-time in the UK.
He is the co-author of the Five Presidents Report that describes the road map to further integration where full EU democracy could only come after complete integration into a Federal Europe. So I doubt very much he really believes what he says about doing less.
Perhaps a Leave vote would really be the catalylist for change. David Cameron's position has been watered down from his Bruges speech days where he advoctaed that the EU needed to change fundamentally. The potential changes he has negotiated do not adequately reflect his original stance. They have been watered down in ways that reflect what is wrong with the EU, their real desire for ever closer political union. They do not want the type of changes that we see are needed.
But then perhaps it is not going to be that catalyst..!
....when has a referendum ever prevented the EU from continuing on its path? So perhaps I should not delude myself...!
After this referendum, after the French and Germans get their National Elections out of the way, the agenda of the EU will revert to further Treaty change to allow them to get on with further political and fiscal integration to get the Euro to function properly as a currency.
Those treaty changes would include the deal made by David Cameron, and it remains to be seen whether they would be watered down further.
Whether we vote to stay in or leave, we will always be trying minmise the impact of EU / Euro on the UK.
Does it really matter which way we all vote.....?
Has David Cameron's deal really only been a damage limitiation exercise? To allow us to continue in an economic club and prevent the further political union that is required to make the Euro work. Perhaps we should vote to remain on this occassion, and if they try to renege on the deal at the next treaty change, leave then.
Who knows.... Back soon ......
.....the undecided voter.