Tell It Like It Is, Dave: Cameron Calls Out the EU on Bureaucracy
For most of 2013, David Cameron seemingly couldn't please anyone. The "we want out of Europe" wing of the Conservative Party didn't think he'd done enough, even with the 2017 In/Out referendum pledge, to further their cause. The British economy sputtered like an old engine on a frigid morning. And the Tories slipped up in by-elections that many political commentators viewed as an indictment of Cameron's leadership.
Barely a month into 2014, and Cameron must feel like the storm clouds have finally cleared. Unemployment dropped to 7.1 percent and the number of people out of work fell by 167,000 since November - signs that the UK economy is creating jobs and at last pulling out of its recent slump. Such figures undermine Ed Miliband's vague, unsubstantiated claim that "life's getting harder" for the average Briton.
Certainly, last week's news that the House of Lords has sent the EU Referendum Bill back to the Commons for re-wording is less than ideal. But Cameron has proved his commitment to getting Britain a "better deal" in Europe by pushing the matter and, in practical terms, can do little more to satisfy Euroskeptics at this point.
Well, except maybe continuing to deliver speeches like last week's salvo at the World Economic Forum in Davos. There, Cameron offered re-assurance to his Get-Us-Out supporters that the "fight is not yet won." He then took the EU to task for it's cloying, go-slow bureaucracy, claiming that if Brussels workers aren't producing regulations for regulations' sake they feel like "they're not doing their job."
After revealing his hopes that fracking would lower energy bills and encourage employers to move jobs back to the UK ("reshoring") to take advantage of cheap energy, the Prime Minister then shared his fear that such potential benefits would be strangled by "burdensome, unjustified and premature regulatory burdens" from Brussels. Such over-regulation permeates every edict the EU issues, Cameron stated, as what Daniel Hannan has called "euro-apparatchiks" view any attempt to simplify policy as "an act of self-harm."
Regardless of what people think of fracking, it's hard to argue against the key premise of Dave's diatribe: that the EU is a bloated entity that exists merely to further its own over-reaching power.
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