There’s been extensive debate on Facebook on my article on why I’m a reluctant ‘yes’ voter. Many thanks to everyone who commented. I understand the frustration with the position I’ve taken, and can assure you that I didn’t come to it easily. A few reflections in response to the various comments posted:
1. The Treaty does not enforce stricter austerity than we have planned anyway, until 2018 at least. However, not having access to the ESM could well lead to an acceleration of the austerity measures;
2. Without access to the ESM, we could end up back in an IMF programme – it seems that the burden of complying with macro-economic rules which we’re already signed up to is less than the burden of being micro-managed by the IMF for several more years;
3. The question of sovereignty is a big one, but again, I believe we would cede more control via the IMF route, as the terms of the Treaty can be renegotiated;
4. We most certainly can be cut off from further funding, which brings us back to the IMF.
As I said before, I don’t like it, and I believe that a Yes Vote buys us time…to get the IMF out, to renegotiate the Treaty where necessary, to balance our budget (which gives us all sorts of additional negotiating power) and to get the country ready for future growth.
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