Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Caroline Flint, New Labour and the Lisbon Treaty

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 1st April, 2009

caroline-flintBritain’s Europe Minister, Caroline Flint, caused gasps in the House of Commons yesterday, when she admitted that she had not read all of the Lisbon Treaty. I have often chided New Labour for not making the case for the Treaty stongly enough to the British public, but this really takes the biscuit. For once, I agree with UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP, who commented, ‘a Minister being in this position of simply not being bothered is staggeringly insulting to the people she is supposed to represent.’ She is clearly not fit for purpose, nor is this increasingly tarnished government.

Tony Blair had the most wonderful opportunity to put Britain at the heart of Europe (as he said he wanted to do) after his sweeping victory in 1997. I think he could even have taken the UK into the euro on the crest of his electoral wave. But he flunked it. Gordon Brown has never been as EU-friendly as his predecessor, of course. But it is an appalling indictment of his management of this country’s affairs that he has appointed to the European ministerial portfolio someone who hasn’t even done her homework. How on earth does New Labour think it can ‘sell’ the benefits of the Lisbon Treay to the British people if it carries on like this? Perhaps Ms Flint should be sent off to Brussels for an intenseive course from the leader of the Britsh LibDem MEPs there, the Euro-constitutional expert, Andrew Duff!


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