“The morning after…. ” A Risk Assessment of the Fiscal Stability Treaty Vote
May 17, 2012

” The morning after…….

Supporting a ” yes” vote in this referendum is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, politically. 

My ability to represent my constituents was taken away by the Intergovernmental nature of the Fiscal Compact Treaty.  The European Parliament, in particular, the Socialist Group, was hostile to the Treaty.  It was obvious that it was a political agreement to satisfy Merkel’s government. Just about everything was wrong with it. 

And yet, and yet, I had to move past all that, in to the particular situation we were in. After much deliberating it became clear to me and at least some others on the centre left, that the risk was simply too great for a “no” vote. In other words I made a risk assessment. It had nothing to do with being a member of a government Party. It is also clear that the FCT will fail at a EU level, but it is a failure that we must not bring about. On a more hopeful note, our ability to re-negotiate our debts, in particular the promissory notes, will be enhanced by a yes vote. However I personally expect the government to engage in that serious negotiating with the Troika, if necessary, unilaterally.

My concerns are, and always have been, about the aftermath, the morning after May 31st. Where will we be then? While we will have left the “hot zone” of risk by a “yes” vote, no actual gains will be made.  At that point if no political will is demonstrated to show a red rather than white flag, in those negotiations, the government, in particular the Labour Party, will have failed. At that point it will be impossible for me to support the status quo. 

Many of my constituents are very angry, even the “yes” voters. Why should anyone be surprised at this anger? They will still be so on June 1st. And they will expect something.  I expect something. But will it happen? 

There is reason for hope. Only a few people know our negotiating strategy. But I know what is right and what is wrong. No hero will appear to rescue us from everything. Great damage has been done already. But we can be rescued from unacceptable suffering. 

Nessa Childers    16.5.2012

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