Eurosceptics in Ireland and the UK seem to be delighting in the fact that Germany (as mentioned in the WSJ here) may be rapidly losing patience with the Euro and the EU generally. There is talk of a return to the Deutschmark, and if the Euro goes, surely the EU as a project will find itself beached.
But what fascinates me is this: Eurosceptics have always alluded to the idea of a united Europe dominated by France and Germnay and an EU elite. So, supposing that the European project does fail, and the EU disintegrates. Supposing Germany decides to cast off the shackles of the EU and stand as a free, totally independent nation once again. Should we be afraid? Not in a Dad’s Army type way. Modern Germany is a solid democratic nation which does not have imperial designs. But it is also the economic superpower of the region, and so a Chancellor in Berlin is the effective boss of Europe in the same way that the President of the United States is the de facto leader of the Americas. A German chancellor, free from the constraints of the EU consultation process, can just make decisions which, by sheer economic heft, most other European countries will have to accept. If Germany, the biggest market in Europe, decides that all widgets are to be 28mm, then we are all in the 28mm widget business whether we like it or not. At least in the EU we get asked. Is that what we really want? We can have a European Germany which consults, or else live in a German Europe. That’s the choice.