Johnny Fallon: Frontline debate? I’ll find out more about the Treaty watching Jedward tonight
I NEVER really expected a European referendum campaign to be particularly informative, but I suppose I am a man who lives in the constant hope that my inner cynic will be proved wrong. Despite all the evidence to the contrary in the Fiscal Treaty Campaign to date, I still hoped that watching the Frontline debate was going to leave me a wiser man.
While traditionally I have always supported European referendums, the last few years have not been particularly inspiring. The EU has been ham-fisted and weak throughout this crisis. Its actions during Ireland’s first bailout negotiations were reprehensible and designed to put the EU well ahead of any concern on what was happening in Ireland. I also cannot shake the fear that there is a growing number of people, particularly within the European Commission ranks, that see this as an opportunity to develop a federal Europe. I have never believed in that. For me, Europe was always a club of individual nations. These nations would come together, negotiate, compromise, but always the political power lay with the nation state.
Europe worked well with this model. Some suggest a single currency is only viable with a federal state, I disagree. It all depends on where power resides. If you hand power over to the commission and the European Parliament then you get a federal state. If ultimate power remains in the hands of the heads of state and council of ministers then the power is not centralised but remains in the hands of democratically elected governments. It is because of this lack of clear direction and strength that I have been very tempted to vote no.