Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Irish Referendum. Lisbon Treaty’

Winning the Argument for Europe

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 15th June, 2008

There are two excellent editorial and op-ed pieces in today’s ‘Observer’, in response to the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It’s reassuring to see that at least one British Sunday newspaper publishes sense. The lead editorial — ‘The Irish vote must not thwart a better Europe’  — correctly notes that ‘British governments in particular have fostered scepticism by presenting their negotiations in Brussels as heroic defence of the national interest against the forces of pan-Europeanism. British Prime Ministers, including Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, have colluded in the fiction that EU power is something exercised over Britain by Brussels, to be constrained with “red lines”. In fact, EU power is wielded by Britain through Brussels’. This is a point that needs making again and again, to counter the vicious misrepresentations put out by UKIP and other more mainstream Euro-sceptic politicians. A lot of the responsiblity for doing that over the next 12 months will fall on the shoulders of the LibDems’ Nick Clegg and Ed Davey.

In his column — ‘Europe must not be derailed by lies and disinformation — Will Hutton warns what is likely to happen if the Conservatives under David Cameron and William Hague get into power, spouting their populist nonsense about Brussels bullies. ‘Pro-Europeans everywhere must engage,’ Will exhorts. ‘We need this Europe — to fight climate change, to ensure security of energy and food, to underwrite our prosperity and to fight for our common interests. The world needs it too. The EU is the citizens’ friend.’

Well worth reading and inwardly digesting in full!

Link: www.observer.co.uk  

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