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CELTIC-L  February 1999

CELTIC-L February 1999

Subject:

Re: Welsh housing problem

From:

"Mag.phil. Raimund Karl" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mag.phil. Raimund Karl

Date:

Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:16:54 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (170 lines)

mike brown wrote:
>
> At 10:44 4/2/99 RAY wrote:
>
> >Just as a sidenote, have you considered that the EU might not want Great
> >Britain to split to separate states at all?
>
> As I understand it, Britain is still a sovereign state and so has the
> prerogative power (under its constitution) to do as it likes
> (administratively speaking) including the desire to devolve or split-up.

Well, as I understand it, the Yugoslavian Republic is still a sovereign
state but still the EU and the rest of the world doesn't want Kosova to
split off, regardless what the UCK wants. The point is not if it is not
possible for the state to do something, but if the EU would like it to
happen and be sympathetic to the splitoff states or not. What I think is
that it would not be very happy if it would have to make a series of new
treaties with the three new states that formerly were the UK, where it
already has one with the UK (which, by the way, is seen as much too
UK-friendly in most other EU countries, nowadays, which makes it even
less likely that any new treaties with a split-off state of the former
UK would be more lenient that the one the UK has now).
>
> > As it looks from here from
<snipped>
> >parliament than Britain had in total before that split.
>
> As a nation with a population of 2.7 million I doubt if the representation
> of Wales (or Scotland - 3.5 million) would be a significant increase, if at all.
> I'd also be confident that Wales would "do a deal" with the EU over its
> representation in the EU, as Wales is not specifically represented under the
> current arrangement (Westminister) anyway.

Then, I'm sorry, you have no idea about the EU. The crucial point in
this is, if nothing else, every national government has a veto right and
a vote in the EU commission, as such, two new members are two more
votes, two more votes for the former UK in that case. This definitly is
a significant change in the balance of votes in favour of the former UK.
I also doubt that England, which definitly would take over the seats of
the former UK in the EU parliament, would agree to reduce its seats, as
such, Wales and Scotland would need to be given new seats, which, again,
would be a significant change in favour of the former UK. Now, what deal
could Wales offer the EU over it's representation? If a new state of
Wales becomes a member of the EU, the vote in the EU commission and some
seats in the EU parliament have to be given to it, or it is as much
represented in the EU as it is now, if not worse.
>
> >Actually, it
> >would, I suppose, be seen by most European Nations as a trick of
> >"Britain" to increase it's influence in the EU by simply splitting the
> >country[...]
>
> Both Wales and Scotland are historic nations with a history of
> distinctiveness beyond the artificial construct of 'Great Britain'. I doubt
> if anyone would seriuosly claim that either Wales's or Scotland's
> devolution/separation was just a "trick" pulled out of the hat by Tony
> Blair's government.

I'm sorry, but I have seen a lot more stupid claims pulled out of
politicians hats on a regular basis. And you don't really think that any
of the involved politicians is informed well enough to know about the
distinctiveness of Scotland and Wales. To those politicians, and to the
huge majority of Europe's population, Wales and Scotland are parts of
Great Britain, as Sachsen is a part of Germany, Burgundy a part of
France and Carinthia a part of Austria - which all were historic nations
with a history of distinctiveness beyond the artificial constructs of
the states they are now part of (and Sachsen lost it's independence as
late as in the 19th century for instance, times when Wales and Scotland
were parts of the UK for hundreds of years already!). What one has to
see in this situation, at least that's what I think, is what the common
European, and especially the common European poiltician will think - and
this will be: less influence and power for my people, more influnence
and power to those on the Island! Do you really think they will await
your arrival with open arms? I doubt!
>
> > but keeping a "national economy" and, most probably, a "national
> >policy".
>
> Ultimately, wouldn't the "national economy" be subsumed within the broader
> European one anyway?

The question is when this "ultimately" will be. There definitly will be
a trade advantage for those companies which now are UK companies and
then will be English/Welsh/Scottish companies in this "new Britain", as
there, most probably, are only few "pure Welsh" or "pure Scottish", or
even "pure English" companies now - most of them probably use the
resources of the common UK economy, and this won't change for quite a
while. As such, such a split as you propose it would create a strong
"trade block" inside the EU, which, with added political influence,
could increase it's power at the expense of the others, that's at least
what most other Europeans will fear - and that will have consequences
for the political decision process if an independent Wales or Scotland
are welcome to the EU.

> A "national policy" would no doubt exist. For example,
> the military would probably come under a central administration (I doubt if
> Europe, or England, would be impressed with two armed Celtic nations to
> contend with!). However, I suspect the EU would welcome such "national"
> policies and economies because they make life administratively easier.

But the problem is that a "national UK" common policy will continue to
exist, but with more votes and more influence on political decisions -
which is why I am definitly sure that the EU will not want this to
happen. The problem is that the new splitoffs from the UK will not be
able to follow an independent policy from their "great brother", as the
economy will be much to much intertwined and much too many inhabitants
of these new states will have strong ties with the good old Uk that they
could be ignored in the internal political decision processes. The
result, definitly, would be a common "UK" policy in the EU, only with
triple votes.
>
> I see your point, but due to the non-economic advantage of the proposed
> housing laws, I feel the EU will be sympathetic. If not (and this is a
> possibility), the locals will just have to take matters into their own hands
> and construct methods to make living in such Welsh-speaking areas
> undesirable for people who are prepared to destroy the surrounding culture
> and language (non-violently, of course).

Well, that's the point. I fear this will be the only chance for the
survival of the Welsh language and culture - the people living in those
areas have to take the survival of their language in their own hands -
as the EU is definitly not interested in saving yet another "endangered
culture" by giving it official status in the EU and allowing it to
violate some of the most basic EU regulations like the freedom of
movement on the way while increasing "UK" influence on EU politics.

A good example in this direction are the Tyroleans in Austria, which,
given the spectacular mountains with good skiing possibilities they
have, were faced with the problem that every house, every piece of land
to be sold went off either to German or Eastern Austrian city dwellers,
who wanted a skiing domicile in the Typrolean mountains. The problem
they had was very similar to that the Welsh face, and the solution they
found was to generally forbid the sale of land to persons which were not
registered as living primarily in the district already. In Austria this
is possible, as every district can legislate the housing regulations on
its own, and it is EU-conform, as every EU citizen can move to Tyrol if
he wants to, rent something at first, and after being registered there
for a while can buy something - the consequence of course was that this
procedure is much too complicated for the average tourist who lives and
works, say, in Vienna and wants to buy a nice house in Tyrol, as it is a
very bureaucratic and complicated process, which includes that you have
to register your car in the new district you "primarily" live in, have
to change a lot of official documents and so on. The consequence is that
now the sale of the Tyrolean mountains to the "Weanabazis" (Viennese)
and "Piefke" (Germans) has been reduced to an acceptable amount that
doesn't endanger the local inhabitants any more.

Something in the like is the best chance I see for the Welsh to safe
their language and culture, as hoping on the "big, good EU" that will
safe it will probably show up to be nothing but a nice dream that will
never come true.

RAY
________________________________________________________________________

RAY - Mag.phil. Raimund KARL
Universität Wien, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
A-1190 Wien, Franz Klein Gasse 1
E-Mail: <[log in to unmask]>
Internet: <http://unet.univie.ac.at/˜a8700035>
________________________________________________________________________

Visit the Celtic-L Resources Page at
<http://unet.univie.ac.at/˜a8700035/celtrese.html>
________________________________________________________________________

Privat: A-1120 Wien, Hasenhutgasse 7-11/9/4
Tel/AB/Fax: (+43 1) 8103629 oder mobil: (+43 676) 3048830
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