l Like many of your readers, I am very surprised at the content of David Cameron's speech regarding Britain´s future in Europe. Obviously it is a political bid to recover lost electoral ground with his eye on trying to unite his party, and also nullify the UKIP effect. Probably only with an absolute majority in the 2015 elections will he really be able to start the ball rolling.

He states that he will re-negotiate Britain's role in Europe, prior to a 2017 “in-out referendum”. Given the complexity and time-scale of such negotiations with 27 other European countries, two years is at best highly optimistic. The article in today's “Daily Bulletin” summarises this process very clearly.

In the intervening years this announcement of intention will cause uncertainty in the short and medium term for both business and financial markets. This is absolutely the worst scenario for Britain in these turbulent times.

Much more important for British residents here in Spain is the possible effect on their daily lives of a British exit from Europe. While anti-Europe press in Britain will continue to give full coverage to irrelevant details, the some one million British citizens living in Spain would have to plan for a huge change in many aspects of their daily lives here, should Cameron's referendum result in a wish to leave Europe. More uncertainty for so many! Having said that, I am an eternal optimist, and I am convinced that the combination of Europe's legal process and a dose of sheer British common sense will win the day.

It is to be hoped that UK politicians will look further ahead than survival in the 2015 elections, and allow Britain to assume a real and responsible role in Europe - which is where it belongs.

Kate Mentink


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