Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Thank You, Vaclav Klaus

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 4th November, 2009

Vaclav KlausI’ve never been a great fan of the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, who has none of the breadth of intellectual and human experience and understanding of his predecessor Vaclav Havel. But all true Europeans should feel nonetheless grateful to Mr Klaus for recognising that it would be quite wrong for him as an individual to try to stop the ‘train’ of the Lisbon Treaty when even his own country’s government wants to see it brought into force. Thus by signing the Treaty he has ensured that the last remaining hurdle was removed. not only for the ratification of the Treaty by all 27 member states but also for the European Union to move forward with the reforms that are contained within the Treaty, which will make the Union more democratic and more accountable, as well as more efficient.

David Cameron 5The other great aspect of President Klaus’s decision is that David Cameron has now been given an exit strategy from the corner into which he and his Shadow Foreign Affairs spokesman William Hague had painted the Tory party, rather like schoolboys in the playground taunting the rest of the class that they would reject and overturn what everybody else wanted by holding a referendum on Lisbon and campaigning against it. If we take Mr Cameron’s recent statement on the matter at face value, then that will not happen after all. Bravo. Eurosceptics will fume and some Tory voters may switch to UKIP, but so be it. Having a more reasonable policy towards the EU makes the Conservative Party more sensible, indeed more electable, and it gives pro-Europeans in the Liberal Democrats a good opportunity to put further pressure on the Tories to make sure that if they do become the next government in the UK, or the biggest single party in parliament, then they must engage constructivey with our European partners and ensure that Britain is at the heart of the onging European project, not sniping from the sidelines.

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