pwa wrote:Another question I have heard asked recently, is what could / should the remaining EU be doing to attract an unhappy UK back into the fold. Even Remain supporters must acknowledge that the UK population has not been content with the EU as an institution over recent years, and in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote voices at the top of the EU were talking about it as a wake up call that demands reform. But in the subsequent two years they have done SFA to make the EU more appealing to member states, and they have done zilch to try to win back support in the UK. I can only imagine that they are actually content with the EU as it is, which I find astonishing. It is complacency taken to a new level.
Is it possible that the EU is saving up a carrot, hoping that if the tide of UK opinion turns, there will be an offer to seal the reversal? I don't know. Perhaps the ground is too poisoned to allow compromise.
I believe many in the EU valued the UK's input. It was seen as a sensible, restraining influence (ha ha! No longer), and often voiced objections that other states supported but were unwilling to express openly. That went wrong as theatrical rhetoric for domestic consumption drowned out the genuine debate.
But what could the EU do? Which reforms? Certainly the UK population was not content with the EU, but I'm not sure that it knew why, as much of the information it relied on was cobblers.
The freedom of movement 'problem' should have been dealt with by the UK itself. It had some tools, both by restricting non_EU immigration and by tightening rules for EU immigrants. That successive governments failed to do so tells you everything about their priorities. They didn't care about the issue, beyond knowing that it was a good instrument for rabble-rousing. From Blunkett to May, Home Secretaries couldn't even check who was coming through our ports. That was nothing to do with the EU (and, by the way, nothing to do with ID cards).
It's true that there are some tax-dodgy kind of people at the heart of the EU, but it was the UK that stymied proposed rules on offshore tax havens.
The EU might have done more for the likes of Greece and Italy (though that's by no means simple). But that wasn't a concern for most Brexit voters, was it?
What else could the EU do to draw us back?