I was at an event in Brussels this week where there was much discussion about Labour trying to find 5 points it could put on a pledge card during the 2014 European Parliament election campaign.
So, looking at what top politicians in the Labour Party have been saying about the EU over the last 12 months, what are the five clearest statements they could make?
- We don’t want an in-out referendum in the UK
- We don’t want any repatriation of powers
- We don’t want the Euro
- We don’t want a common foreign policy or an EU army
- We don’t want to increase the EU budget
Inspiring, eh? Who says Labour doesn’t have a vision for the EU?
[NOTE: this is not what Labour should say. It’s more of a critique of how little vision the party has right now.]
@Ian – yes, I have heard rumblings about this. I think Ed M’s focus is more about getting more flexibility in state aid rules to allow local and regional governments in the UK to pursue a more active industrial policy. There are a few problems with this. Start to unravel these rules, and all kinds of problems can crop up across Europe, at national level as well. Second, the UK does not have much of a history of active industrial policy anyway, so this sounds like some kind of a sop from Miliband to try to find something to say along the lines of the Tory argument about repatriation. I think it’s a non-starter.
When asked last year on Radio 4’s Today if he would repatriate any EU powers, Ed Milliband mentioned regional industrial policy but gave no details. Any information as to what this policy is and how it contravenes present treaty obligations would be appreciated.
On 1. – yes, that might yet even change…
On 2. – does Labour want to repatriate anything? Not that I am aware of… Or am I missing something?
On 1. Labour does not call for an EU referendum for now.
On 2. Labour wants to renegotiate and repatriate something, but less than Tories.
Am I impressed?
At least they’re specific. No, we won’t honour our democracy by asking your consent to membership. The coalition constantly dangle a carrot, only to snatch it away at the very last minute. It’s a ploy that’s now tired and they’re at the stage where nobody believes a word they say anymore.