Londres contra la eurozona

LONDRES.– Desde que el Reino Unido se sumó a la Comunidad Económica Europea en 1973, luego de que los franceses retirasen el veto de Charles de Gaulle, la relación británica con el proceso de integración europeo ha sido tensa. Los británicos son europeos renuentes, por motivos históricos y culturales.

Durante siglos, la política exterior británica luchó para evitar involucrarse permanentemente con Europa; pero, lo más importante, buscó evitar que una única potencia continental se convirtiese en dominante –particularmente si esa potencia era Francia. Mientras tanto, los británicos colonizaron grandes porciones del globo. Luego, cuando el sol se puso sobre su imperio, trataron de mantener una «relación especial» con los Estados Unidos. Formar parte de la Unión Europea no fue una afirmación de su creencia en la integración europea, sino un reticente reconocimiento de que la estrategia transatlántica había completado su ciclo. Desde entonces, la opinión pública británica respecto de la UE ha sido poco entusiasta, en el mejor de los casos.

En los últimos años, con su negativa a la moneda única y el área Schengen (que permite a los europeos cruzar las fronteras sin pasaportes), el RU se ha distanciado de importantes iniciativas de la UE. Sin embargo, el primer ministro David Cameron sorprendió a todos al vetar un nuevo tratado de la UE el 9 de diciembre –la primera vez desde que el RU se sumó a la Unión– dejando que los restantes 26 estados miembro siguieran adelante con una mayor integración fiscal propia. Lo más sorprendente es que las negociaciones fracasaron por arcanos detalles de regulación financiera.

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