The debate about Europe is not one of how much we pay, or who is allowed to live where, or what laws are made. Europe is about breaking down borders and living with your neighbour but nobody will mention that in the next few months.
The Tories have come back from Europe with some tweaks to the treaty most of which are small minded and self centred. But at least we have got that bit over with and can get on with the real debate. Or at least that is what you would hope but both sides have already started to spout rubbish and fight over insignificant details.
David Cameron thinks that the big issues are things like protecting the banks from international regulation. It's like he just slept through the last recession. He wants to stop people coming to this country claiming benefits. A policy that looks more aimed at the UKIP voters and middle England who think that it's really a problem, than at making any positive change. He is haggling over the lives of people struggling to make their way in the world to save a few million on the budget while billions go missing under laws written to allow large companies to move money out of the country. He wants to protect the City because he can't see anything better about this country than the cash it generates in the City. He talks about "British Values" then wants to stop them at our borders.
The way to tackle migration is to make it less attractive for people to leave their home countries. (Assuming you think it needs tackling) If you want to stop people from Poland coming to the UK then invest in Poland. Then we can get on with letting people come and go as they please. Similar to my idea on how York should solve it's house price issues by investing in neighbouring Selby. Europe is set up to help with this. The flow of labour allows people not only to work where they want but also encourages people to spend time outside of their borders and experience life in other peoples shoes. The flow of Money allows areas that are less attractive to get a start on the ladder. When you look at the difference European money has made to places like Sheffield giving it the breathing space to rebuild and redefine itself. I hope the same would be done in Donetsk it's twin city in the Ukraine (incidentally a city founded by a Welsh immigrant) Allowing that city to grow in the same way. Supporting everybody through tough times. (Obviously not now as Russia annexed it).
At the moment we think we are in a bad way but the solution is not to go back to small states fighting each other. Let not lash out at groups of people that are a little different and blame them for all our problems. Europe has tried that before and it turned out rather bad.
Europe is much more than laws and budgets its about a sense of belonging, of freedom, of being part of one thing and not lots of little things fighting each other. Lets see if this is the focus of the coming months.