The Coalition is missing opportunity after opportunity to stand up to the EU. David Cameron had made lists of the powers he was going to repatriate once in power, but once in the coalition, all attempts at repatriation were off. Eurosceptics are chewing on their elbows with frustration as thousands of Britons are handed over to rot in European jails each year, awaiting trial for what are often petty offences thanks to the European Arrest Warrant, and while the scope of the EU’s powers extend day by day over yet more areas of our lives.
What will happen next?
UKIP are poking up from the 3% they scored at the election to 5% now according to YouGov. This drift will continue, and could only become a surge if there was a byelection breakthrough, or a sensational performance in the European elections. Otherwise if Liberal Democrats and Conservative keep strengthening the bonds of their alliance, the numbers they command in the polls of 40% and 11% look rock solid against all comers. UKIP would need to match the Lib Dems to become a threat.
There is one other possibility – that the Lib Dems could become fed up with their own European policies. As ministers in government, they will be finding that every time they try to bring about change, their hands will frequently be tied by the EU legislation that they as a party have always supported in the past. If the experience of real events has that effect, and the Lib Dems start to feel the same way about the EU as Conservative backbenchers, then the coalition could really come together. If a reorientation of British politics against the EU doesn’t come about one way, it will no doubt come about by another.
In the meantime eurosceptics can enjoy cheering at fantastic speeches made by Nigel Farage in the EU Parliament, and being equally electrified by Jim Corr interviews on RT, as he talks of burning the bondholders, nationalising Ireland’s oil, ditching the Euro and repatriating his country entirely from EU control. As fast as EU power is growing, the political basis of that power erodes even faster.