Tuesday, April 12, 2005

European secession - Britain's dreamers

The FT also carries an editorial on the UK Conservative Party manifesto. They state that on Europe;

..... the Tory manifesto fails to recognise how the European Union is changing since the arrival of the former communist countries of eastern Europe. The EU is becoming the more flexible and liberal organisation the Conservatives want to see, but instead they are advocating a form of partial withdrawal. There is no explanation of how a Tory government could achieve this without leaving Britain on the margins of Europe - subject to EU legislation but less able to influence it.
I tend to agree. People who believe that a Conservative government would be able to successfully achieve a renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership are dreaming – this is one election promise that would certainly be broken.

As for the changing nature of the EU, that is certainly true; it's a pity that some of Europe's member state politicians such as Jacques Chirac can't, or don't want to accept it.

Incidentally the label "former communist country" beloved of journalists is increasingly a misnomer. People in countries like Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic aged under 30 have little or no knowledge of what life under communism was like other than what they are told by their parents, or get from books and the media.