Investors and business leaders - on whom the country's economic recovery depends, can no longer be certain of the UK's liberty and protection under the law. At the very time other crisis economies are cutting costs and increasing certainty, business in the UK will have to contend not just with statutory rules and the costs they impose on employers. They will also face the consequences of pressure-group politics, in which politicians abandon the labour market to the unpredictable operations of twilight law.
Setting a budget is a difficult exercise at the best of times. Even when money is plentiful, it is never unlimited, so tough choices have to be made. Now imagine 27 countries, all with their own of difficulties and preferences, having to decide about billions of euros for a seven-year period in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the great depression.