>> 25 May 2004

The European Union: In or Out?

A piece by Sir Norman Tebbit in the Daily Telegraph exposes the inherent contradiction in current Tory policy surrounding the future of the EU. He correctly highlights the difficulties any future Conservative government may experience when faced with the dilemma of an enforced 'ever closer Union' or total withdrawal from the club. Michael Howard is supposedly committed to the perennial philosophy of a 'Union of sovereign nation states.' In the early 1990's, when such an eventuality was not beyond the realms of possibility, the espousal of this noble goal was entirely believable. In today's EU, with its overarching exercise of neo-functionalist politics, a loose alliance of independent countries is anathema.

Does the United Kingdom wish to continue with membership of an organisation whose fundamental tenets are so antithetical to the wishes of a clear majority of the British people? It is time to end Tory ambivalence. Either Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition commits itself to a Liberal Democrat vision of the EU, or it propounds the scenario of a British exit. I certainly favour the latter.


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