All Politics Is Local, Even In France

Bagehot finds Cameron's championing EU membership for Turkey tone deaf to the politics of various EU countries:

In Germany...it is a big deal that if Turkey did achieve membership in 2025, say, it is projected to have a larger population than any other EU country. That would give Turkey, overnight, the largest delegation of members of the European Parliament. That profoundly shocks Germans, who take the EP rather seriously. In Britain, many people could not care less if a delegation of chimpanzees were elected to the Strasbourg assembly.

In France, for example, it is a source of profound angst that Turkey is full of farmers. How on earth could the Common Agricultural Policy survive the cost of subsidising tens of millions of Turks, it is asked in Paris. In Britain (and in Sweden), few would mourn the CAP if it vanished.

In Brussels, it is common to hear grumbling that British support for Turkish membership is essentially a plot to broaden the EU so much that it can never achieve deeper political and economic union. I think that is unfair, but not wholly. There are certainly British Eurosceptic whose support for Turkey reminds me of the old adage: you can also kill a cat with cream. If some of them could admit China, I suspect they would.

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