Jonathan Fryer

Now We Need EU More Than Ever

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 9th November, 2016

March for Europe LibDems 12016 is proving to be the year of false assumptions. First there was the belief (shared by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron) that Britons would vote to stay in the European Union. Then there was the widespread conviction that Americans could not be crazy enough to elect Donald Trump as President. Both assumptions proved horribly wrong. So what comes next? The Front National’s Marine Le Pen as President of France? If I were a more traditional Christian I’d be tempted to think that Satan was at work, sweeping aside the liberal consensus that has prevailed in much of the West since the Second World War and opening the way for nationalism, hatred and conflict. But it is human beings who are responsible for what has been happening and human beings who will have to confront the consequences. In January 2017 we will see Trump in the White House, Putin in the Kremlin and an ever stronger Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Firbudden City. This is not a prospect Europeans should relish. But before we all admit defeat and emigrate to Canada, let us make a stand for European liberal values and the rule of law. We need a stronger, more united European Union to be a force for peace and reason in this turbulent new global reality, and Britain should be in there helping that to be the case. This is absolutely not the moment for the UK to pack up and leave the EU, to face the harsh realities of the new world order in isolation.

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2 Responses to “Now We Need EU More Than Ever”

  1. David Grace said

    I agree but I fear there may be a contradiction in your conclusion. The EU is needed more than ever and needs in fact to be stronger and more united. However, given the record over many years now and particularly with recent governments, the UK could continue to act as a drag anchor stopping the EU from developing. Anand Menon, speaking in Cambridge recently, said continued British membership would be a catastrophe for the EU.

    • jonathanfryer said

      A point well made, David. But I believe it is now the LibDems’ task to try to change the nature of the discourse in the UK and to press for continued British membership of the EU. If we don’t do that, we might as well pack up and go home.

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