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The real alternative

Posted by Richard Thursday, April 14, 2005

Under the heading, "Britain's place in Europe and the world" in the Lib-Dem manifesto published today, we get this direct quote:

The other parties like to posture. We think it's time for common sense. In the modern world, Britain is more prosperous and secure in Europe. But we need to make Europe work more effectively – through more democracy, more openness, less waste and less bureaucracy. That's our Liberal Democrat vision for a strong Britain in a strong Europe, a powerful voice in the world.

Saijad Karim & Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEPs
Then we get to the body of the manifesto, with the statement:

Membership of the EU has been hugely important for British jobs, environmental protection, equality rights and Britain’s place in the world. But with enlargement to twenty-five member states, the EU needs reform to become more efficient and more accountable.

The new constitution helps to achieve this by improving EU coherence, strengthening the powers of the elected European Parliament compared with the Council of Ministers, allowing proper oversight of the unelected Commission, and enhancing the role of national parliaments.

It also more clearly defines and limits the powers of the EU, reflecting diversity and preventing over-centralisation. We are therefore clear in our support for the constitution, which we believe is in Britain's interest – but ratification must be subject to a referendum of the British people.
So there you have it. We love the EU and we fully support the EU constitution – as long as you vote for it in a referendum.

How's that for a real alternative?