James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James at The Springfields Academy
Parliament’s back; but looming over all of our discussions this week are two impending crises.
The likelihood of a bloody civil war in Syria appals us all. Yet it seems that for geopolitical considerations (the Russians and Chinese not agreeing with us for their own reasons), there is precious little we can do about it. Yet how can we stand back and watch the appalling massacres of women and children? There is a better humanitarian justification for some kind of limited military intervention in Syria than there was in Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. Not since Srebrenica can there have been such an urgent need for intervention. Yet we are, and can, do nothing. None of our consciences will rest easy over it.
We can- and must- take urgent action over the worsening situation in the Eurozone. There seem to me to be two possible routes from here. The first would be the disorderly break-up of the Euro, with Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and possibly others being summarily ousted. That would have pretty terrifying consequences for the world’s banking community and for the Global economy. We here in the UK would by no means be immune from the financial gales which would make last week’s physical ones here in Wiltshire look like a puff of wind! The break-up of the Gold Standard (or perhaps its dependents reluctance to leave it) caused untold troubles in the twenties and thirties, and was ultimately responsible for World War II. And anyhow, if the weaker currencies left, there would remain some kind of Euro made up of the strong central European currencies, with who knows what sort of economic chaos round the peripheries.
So the second option must be preferable ; namely strong Economic Cultural and Political union, dominated of course by Germany. The people of Germany will only agree to subsidise the poor parts of the Continent if they can also control them in some kind of Federal superstate. That is very much what Frau Merkel has been hinting at; and it is what we Eurosceptics have predicted all along. You simply cannot have any kind of currency union without fiscal and political union as well. It was a doomed project from the start unless it was a step towards the foundation of a Euro superstate.
Now we in Britain, of course, would want no part of any such project. We are a proud and independent Nation State and have rejected European interference in our laws at least since Henry VIII rebelled against the Pope’s attempted intervention in our divorce laws! I suspect that the outcome of a Referendum (which must now be a strong prospect) whose question was “Would you prefer a. to be part of a European superstate, b. to be altogether independent of the EU or c. part of a trading mechanism across the continent of Europe, without other domination from EU institutions?” would result in 95% voting for c. So that is exactly what I shall be arguing for – on all of your behalfs – in the discussions which lie ahead.
Post-Jubilee and pre-Olympics, there are great matters of State to be discussed!
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