Home - News - Anhängare - EMU-skeptiker - - Statsvetare-

Iain Duncan Smith

About Ian Duncan Smith at Conservative's website

European Trade and Political Cooperation “Yes”
European Government “No”
Iain Duncan Smith
The European Journal July/August 2001

Britain is a part of Europe, and the United Kingdom must actively cooperate with our European partners, work positively to improve the way that the EU does business and help prepare Central and Eastern European countries from the former Soviet bloc for membership.

Britain also has other important international relationships - with the members of the Commonwealth, the United States of America, and the other NATO member states. With permanent membership of the UN Security Council, the United Kingdom is one of the world’s leading nations.

Democracy is founded on the bedrock of the nation state. Institutions or individuals that take fundamental decisions that affect everybody - governments - must be fully answerable. When the process of government is removed from those who are directly accountable, people become disaffected and can turn to those who offer simplistic or divisive solutions.

It is clear that across Europe, people feel that political elites are ignoring their views. The Irish referendum vote against the Nice Treaty, the Danish rejection of the single currency, and the recent riots in Stockholm and Genoa are signs of growing public unease at the way in which important issues are being removed from national democratic control.

We should be in favour of co-operation and trade with our European neighbours but not a single currency, a Euro army or European government. If I am elected leader of the Conservative Party, I will promote flexibility in and enlargement of the European Union, alongside our other vital transatlantic and global relationships.

These views are common to the vast majority of Conservatives and, crucially, are also shared by the vast majority of the British people as well. Only a leader who reflects the majority view on these crucial issues can hope to unite the party and make us electable once again.

The Conservative Party cannot afford to be paralysed by the issue of Europe any more. We must draw a line under past divisions and move on to all the other issues that preoccupy people in their daily lives. I am the candidate who provides the only chance of unity.

As I said in the Savoy Speech on the 3rd of July, I am opposed to entry into the European single currency in principle. Under my leadership, the Conservative Party would reflect the view of the majority and would campaign against the single currency in a referendum. However, I want the minority of Conservatives who support the single currency to be able to occupy positions of responsibility in the Party including serving in the Shadow Cabinet. They will be free to step down temporarily, if they wish, and to campaign for UK entry.

Our existing opposition to the Nice Treaty is the right policy. Apart from the dangerous increase in qualified majority voting and the gravitational pull to an over-centralised Europe, there is the issue of the Euro army - which creates more problems than it resolves. It excludes non-EU members of NATO, such as Turkey, Norway, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. It risks dividing NATO, fragmenting the command structure and undermining the political cohesion in the alliance.

The European force would not extend our collective defence capability. It would not provide a single new soldier or a single new bullet. It would, however, transfer the chain of command from national capitals to the European Union. It is no good trying to deny that the EU force is not separate from NATO - the fact that it is to be independent and autonomous is set out clearly under the conclusions to the Nice Treaty.

The Euro army is not about enhancing military capability. It is a political project. This has been made clear by, amongst others, President Chirac of France and Rudolph Scharping, the German Defence Minister. I do not believe that we should put the politics of European integration above the best interests of the people of Europe. Those best interests lie in pursuing common defence through NATO - the most effective peacetime military alliance in the world.

The idea that these positions are ‘extremist’ is wrong. They are supported by the vast majority of the Party. People who say that opposition to the single currency in principle or to change direction is equivalent to a desire to pull out of the EU altogether are trying to avoid the real issues. Economic policy is the most important responsibility of modern democratic government and should not be cast aside. People who accuse opponents of a European army of being xenophobic are trying to avoid a proper discussion about the threat it poses to the strongest international alliance the world has ever seen – NATO.

I believe that the nations of the EU should have the most flexible and sustainable relationship that allows them to trade and co-operate with each other across a full range of issues, but we should oppose all moves towards the creation of a centralised and bureaucratic government, federal or otherwise and we must shape a policy to this end.

We can and must be positive when it comes to our relationship with Europe. But that does not mean accepting policies or laws that are not in Britain’s national interests or the interests of the wider world.

Isolationism i vår tid
SvD-ledare 2001-09-16

Ian Duncan Smith elected leader of the Conservative Party

Isolationism i vår tid (Ian Duncan Smith)
SvD-ledare 2001-09-16

Början på sidan

Tillbaka till startsidan