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PC14: Europe
Closes at 23:59pm on 21st August
Redgrave | A-Team
Just last year, one Tory MP scoffed that my party's support for a vote on Europe meant we were not "a serious contender for governing and leadership" and was merely a case of "weak sauce populism". How times change, eh! More importantly, what a fantastic advertisement or good, principled, opposition politics, and taking leadership on policy, even if it doesn't poll well from day one. I am glad to say that today's statement is a brilliant diplomatic coup for our nation in Rome, and that it has my wholehearted support. I have been scathing about a lot of Government policy, and my focus on Foreign Affairs is well known. Put simply, though, there is no point in opposing for the sake of opposing - this is a historic moment, where Britain has led the way for democratic reform in Europe, and we must seize this opportunity. It gives me great pride to see Britain leading the way for reform abroad. It is vital that Governments govern by consent - the Poll Tax riots make clear what happens when they don't. I am glad to see the Conservatives have been forced to learn that lesson, and I look forward to voting for legislation supporting a referendum. I hope that this ushers in a new constitutional tradition of more consultative, democratic government.
I just made a statement to the House about the importance of maintaining our British identity on our currency--and maintaining the balance of being a member of the European Project--but being the United Kingdom first. I call upon the Government to reverse this grave error in its Maastricht Treaty negotiations and not allow the possibility of the British pound being outsourced to Brussels and the image of Our Most Gracious Sovereign replaced on our currency to stand. This is an issue that transcends party politics. This is not a party political issue--this a British issue. I call upon MPs from all sides of the House to put pressure on the Foreign Secretary and this Government to protect the British pound and not place its continued existence in jeopardy.

(OOC: Please discount my statement in GPC and only consider it for this press cycle. Thank you!)
Labour MP for The Wrekin (1987-Present)

Biography | 3 XP | Constituency Appeal | Issue Champion (The Pound)
Where the Opposition want to kick Europe to the kerb, abandoning our international friendships and alliances with the EEC and NATO, this Government is proving that you don't have to leave, you can lead. The latest Rome negotiations ensure that the United Kingdom is at the heart of Europe, expanding on the strong foundations of the European Community with common sense reforms that will democratise Europe and give individual nations more say over the future of the whole body. The deal we have negotiated allows the European Council more say, MEPs more say, and national governments more say to build a strong, democratic, and accountable Europe where the Leader of the Opposition would simply abandon ship and leave us isolated.

It has long been established that I believe in the single currency, but today's announcement isn't about me it is about the people of the Europe and the United Kingdom. The Rome negotiations have laid out a pathway to the Single Currency, one with a more forgiving ERM to allow for cyclical fluctuations in monetary value and protect against currency speculation, and one with respect for the democratic wishes of the British public. This deal we have struck brings the Single Currency a step closer to existence whilst also preserving a British opt-out should the people want to do so, it is for this reason that I wholeheartedly endorsed the plan in the House of Commons and I wholeheartedly endorse the plan in the press.

(Reposted from the GPC)

News out of Brussels today that the British candidate for the President of the European Commission is the front runner is precisely the kind of news that provides a vindication of our decision to lead in Europe rather than simply flounce out and leave Europe. This isn't about selling the United Kingdom's soul to the European superstate, this is about building a European Community anchored around British values such as democracy, accountability, and sovereignty of the people. Building a community of nations that can trade together with as little friction as possible, generating as much money for our nation as possible, whilst being able to have genuine and accountable democratic input from sovereign governments and a duly elected Parliament is precisely why the UK needs to be at the centre of the European Community going forward rather than frozen out as Labour would have us.

There is no question here of selling out Britain's sovereignty or our national character. It will be Britain's Parliament, democratically elected and accountable to the British people, that ratifies the Maastricht Treaty which we have negotiated over the last year and it is Britain's Parliament that remains sovereign in future decisions, including over the future single currency. For all of Labour's fear mongering about the future of the pound there are two inescapable truths that they run from in a blind panic: 1. The British people will have the final say on the pound sterling vs the Euro and 2. If Labour get into power then the run on the Pound will reach such levels that the pound in the British people's pocket will be worthless anyway. The British people don't want fear and they don't want to walk away from Europe, they want real leadership on the international stage which is what this Government provides.
Fewer policy areas using unanimity means more areas where Britain can be outvoted. Decisions about Britain are being made in Brussels, even when we don't agree to it. British democracy doesn't work over there; they can't be voted out if you don't like their decision. This Treaty means more decisions being taken in Brussels, and fewer being made by the representatives elected by the British people. If Britain joins the Single Currency, then that would be just the start. Interest rates, which affect the cost of every mortgage, won't be set here, but over there. Economic policy will be set to what the EEC wants for their targets, not what Britain needs. With Britain just one of twelve voices shouting for what we want, do you believe Europe will give us what we need? We must reject this treaty and instead negotiate a relationship with Europe that really works for Britain.
Over the past 13 years the Tories in Government have encouraged the outsourcing of our industrial base which has costed good-paying, stable union jobs and hollowed out the communities which they sustained for decades. Now they've proposed outsourcing our monetary policy to bureaucrats in Brussels. The Foreign Secretary, Chancellor, and Prime Minister may strut around acting like achieving a referendum on joining a single currency is some sort of great victory, but the reality is that such a clear constraint on our ability to tailor a monetary policy to benefit working people should have never been allowed on the table in the first place. In this period of alienation, of mass-misery, and righteous discontent we must focus on empowering people in their workplace, in their communities, and in their region as opposed to further isolating them from the halls of power.
Tommy Dawson
MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Deputy Leader of Labour (1990-Present), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 8 XP. Media Darling, Campaign Guru
While I defend a strong role of the United Kingdom in the EEC, I firmly believe that we must keep the pound as our national and single currency, since it's a sign of our identify and our leadership across the world, specially economically, as it remains as one of the strongest symbols of the economic power of the United Kingdom. I strongly believe that for the future of next generations we should keep monetary policies, that have a great impact on our economy and can be useful to make us strong and competitive, of course only if they are not in Labour's hands, because their only platform is to reduce our purchasing power. I'm also glad that our Government is representing well our interests across Europe, by keeping the possibility of continue with the pound, as a democrat, I support the idea of a referendum, but I'll campaign to keep our currency.

This Government is hardly working to ensure Britain's leadership in Europe, while Labour, the false internationalists, prefer to keep us isolated and breaking ties with our allies. If Britain wants to keep and even improve our position in world stage and power, we need to have a great say on the European future, by leading the process. The United Kingdom has a great future by leading the ambitious project, we Will work to make it possible and I thank the Government for their job.
Whether or not the Labour Party are willing to admit it, the situation in Europe is very clear: either Britain leads Europe into the 21st century, or we are left behind while the rest of the continent enjoys the benefits of increased trade and mutual cooperation. This is a Government that refuses to allow our country to fall behind, that wants wants the British people to enjoy the benefits of an increasingly free Europe, and is intent on ensuring Britain remains at the center of Europe's future. The Rome negotiations shows quite clearly what happens when Britain has a Government that is capable of providing the sound foreign policy leadership the British people deserve. We are setting the agenda, dominating the conversation, and leading the effort the shape of the future of Europe. I commend the Foreign Secretary for his excellent diplomacy; because of him and this Government Britain has seized this historic moment to build a freer, fairer, more democratic foundation for the whole European continent.
I welcome the numerous interjections into this debate but I do believe that there are multiple mistruths and mistakes creeping into the discourse. My colleague Mr Carpenter believes that we are expanding majority voting to the exclusion of unanimous decision making, this is factually untrue. Points 3 and of the negotiated outcomes read as follows:

  • That the UK and other member states should fundamentally still be sovereign over their own affairs ensuring that the EEC cannot expand its roles and rules beyond those areas expressly laid out by treaty without further treaties.
  • That the use of majority voting in the European Council should be restrained ensuring that the UK cannot be pushed into accepting rules by majority vote and must actively endorse them as part of a unanimous Council decision

Far from expanding the role of majority voting the Rome negotiations and Maastricht Treaty reduce the role of majority voting so as to ensure that the precise situation that Mr Carpenter outlines cannot come to pass. The United Kingdom is a proud and sovereign nation with a great history of using that sovereignty to the betterment of others as much as itself, this Government is not putting that sovereignty at risk it is enhancing it whilst at the same time strengthening our place in a Europe built around British principles of good governance.

The faux internationalists at Labour are running around screaming that the UK should never be allowed to discuss the idea of a single currency with the European Community, they argue it is anti-worker. What is anti-worker is their economic platform which would devalue the pound to the point of worthlessness, what is anti-worker is their policies for tax which would stifle business and kill investment, what is anti-worker is their plan for defence which would see 10,000 troops sacked mid-operation in Iraq leaving our country less well defended than it is under this Tory Government. The bottom line is that Labour wants to leave the EEC, and they know the single currency makes that more difficult, so rather than trying to convince the British people to vote their way they want to rob you of your voice and stop you from having a vote at all. It is shameful anti-politics and it has no place in democratic British society.
I'm pleased that a cross-party consensus is growing behind the idea that removing the Pound is not-negotiable, apparently having among their number at least one Cabinet Minister. I call upon the Prime Minister to do the right thing and reign in Mr. MacMillan and make to clear to Brussels that removing the image of Her Majesty the Queen from our currency is not negotiable, period. This isn't something the Kingdom wants, this isn't something Parliament wants, and it's becoming increasingly clear it's not even something the Tory party itself wants. It's time for the Government to rectify this error and ensure that we can engage in Europe with a meaningful way without giving up the Pound.
Labour MP for The Wrekin (1987-Present)

Biography | 3 XP | Constituency Appeal | Issue Champion (The Pound)

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