I frequently disagree with Financial Times writer Wolfgang? Münchau, especially on keeping the eurozone and EU intact.Today, I largely agree (but sometimes for opposite reasons) with Münchau's take in Britain’s bluster serves the eurozone well.Münchau: The singular importance of the budget negotiations, and of British prime minister David Cameron’s insistence on an EU budget freeze, lies in what they reveal about the future of the EU itself. A frozen budget means that the EU is stuck with what it does. Forget the Agenda 2020, or any other pretence at growth-enhancing policies.What the fraught budget negotiations tell us is that the process of European integration – at the level of the EU – is largely completed. In that sense it matters little whether the UK, for example, stays inside or not. In formally leaving the EU, there would be no need for the UK to give up on any existing rights, including the right to take up work and residence in the EU and, of course access to the single market – whatever that is worth. The terms of a withdrawal from the EU are freely negotiable. Even now, it does not feel that different, apart from the temperature, whether you are in Britain inside the EU, or in Norway outside the EU.Mish: From the point of view of the EU, Münchau is largely correct. The EU can blunder along in its creation of an economic nannyzone with or without the UK, but not with or without Germany.However, from the point of view of the UK, it would be better for the the UK to leave. The UK does not need inane EU agricultural subsidies, inane financial regulations, inane work rules, or this endless bickering over rules and budgets that the EU nannyzone requires of member states. Münchau: Today’s EU has two important functions left. Some readers may find my list shockingly short. The first is that it provides the institutions and legal framework for the eurozone to muddle through to a solution of its crisis. I am not saying that the eurozone will necessarily achieve that goal. There is a non-trivial probability that it will not.The banking union could be a first step towards a single market for finance at eurozone level. Ultimately, I would also expect a single market for labour and for services, all at eurozone level. If there is a fiscal union, its budget will end up not only bigger than the EU’s, but also different in
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