Simon Hix: UK stands alone in Europe’s third tier

…the choice for Britain is now between isolation within the EU, isolation outside the EU or a new relationship with the EU that protects the interests of the UK in the single market but outside the euro. —Simon Hix, Professor and Head of Department of Government, London School of Economics, UK

I just came across a 2013 letter to the editor of The Financial Times from Simon Hix:

Sir, In arguing that the UK could be the potential leader of the non-euro European Union states, Philip Dodds (Letters, May 20) misunderstands the direction of travel for most of these other states.

The eurozone states and the prospective eurozone states are together building a new macroeconomic union within the EU. Only the UK and Czech Republic did not sign the fiscal compact treaty and only the UK and Sweden look set to be outside the banking union. So, there are now three rather than two tiers in the EU, with the UK alone on the third tier.

As a result, it is now impossible to imagine the EU considering a UK candidate for the next Commission president. Since the UK is unlikely to join the euro or any of the related agreements, the choice for Britain is now between isolation within the EU, isolation outside the EU or a new relationship with the EU that protects the interests of the UK in the single market but outside the euro.

Simon doesn’t outline how, given the Brexit referendum, it’s possible for UK to negotiate “a new relationship with the EU that protects the interests of the UK in the single market but outside the euro”. I fail to see how such a deal is in the interests of the EU leadership, who worry every night about setting an attractive example for EU members contemplating escape from the Euro.