Tag Archives: edward mcmillan-scott

LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Letter from a disunited kingdom

Former Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott ahs written an open letter to his former Brussels colleagues explaining from a pro-EU British perspective what the hell is going on over here.

As you all know, what started as former prime minister David Cameron’s attempt to pacify the UKIP tendency within the Conservative party – the reason I left it – has resulted in the dominance of that group in the Theresa May administration, and their determination to push for a hard Brexit – and as soon as possible. Do not underestimate their determination to sever all ties with the EU at whatever cost to the UK: they are ideologues, mostly inspired by what they believe is Thatcherism, but in reality in many ways resembles 1930s political extremism.

As a lifelong pro-European, with 30 years as an MEP, the last ten as a Vice-President, I know most of the key players on both sides of the argument in Britain, and many of the EU politicians too. I urge you to ignore the ideologues and listen to the silent majority: in a recent poll, 56 per cent said they do not want Theresa May’s Hard Brexit.

Today I am one of many in the UK campaigning not just for the British parliament to have a meaningful role in all the stages ahead and also for an “outcome” referendum if and when the negotiations produce an agreement.

So why did Leave win?

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LibLInk: Edward McMillan Scott: Turkey’s EU membership will remain in the EU’s deep freeze, no matter what Leave says

The Leave campaign continue to peddle the lie that Turkey is about to join the EU.

This is not going to be happening any time soon despite the disgraceful leaflet which shows the 76 million figure and an arrow going straight from Turkey to Britain (and actually in Scotland, the arrow pointed to Scotland).

Former Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan has outlined the issues surrounding Turkey’s application in an article on politics.co.uk.

Turkey has always been a divisive issue for the Tories, whose Ukip tendency see Turkey’s membership as the final nail in the EU’s coffin. I witnessed this for several years in the 1990s, when I was the European parliament’s spokesman on Turkey’s accession bid. Leading Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan has waded into the Warsi resignation debate this week. He says he asked her to join Leave and now claims she declined, although his friend, Ukip MP Douglas Carswell, told the Huffington Post that Hannan had indeed recruited her.

But internal Conservative politics aside, the fact remains that Turkey’s entry into the EU remains a very distant prospect. The EU’s response to Turkey’s often blunt courtship has traditionally been: “We don’t think either of us is ready for this yet, but let’s keep working on the relationship”. However, recent thuggish behaviour by President Erdogan’s hoodlums against any dissent to his corrupt regime has made even EU diplomats use much stronger language.

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Making the case for Britain as a strong force in Europe

Former Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott has written for the Yorkshire Post, unsurprisingly on the subject of the forthcoming  EU Referendum.

He compares and contrasts this referendum with the last one in 1975:

Today’s media will play a decisive role in shaping the debate but is far more diverse both in attitudes and structure than in 1975. Then there were a handful of radio and TV channels whereas now there are hundreds; then only the Morning Star and the Spectator opposed Britain remaining in, but now the print media are much more evenly split. The role of social media has exploded in recent years and knows no constraint, political or personal.

Today, largely thanks to the EU, low cost airlines carry Britons routinely to airports which have sprung up in every corner of the continent and its islands. There we have learned new cuisines and cultures.

However, the most fundamental difference in Europe between 1975 and today is the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the subsequent enlargement of the EU to embrace its emerging democracies. Our generation has had the happy task of creating the world’s largest Single Market within a democratic framework.

The roles of Nato and the EU in the fall of the Berlin Wall are often discussed, but their close relationship was foreseen in their earliest years. Today, they are stronger not just because they are both located in Brussels, but also because there is a plethora of working arrangements between them, such as a shared 24-hour situation room.

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Tories might pull their hair out but they’re not going to get a parliamentary veto in the EU

Former Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber Edward McMillan-Scott has been writing or Politics.co.uk about the Tories’ efforts to ensure that national parliaments can veto EU laws that they don’t like.

Edward clearly knows a fair bit about how the EU works, arguably significantly more than your average Eurosceptic Tory backbencher. He’s been in on the organisation within the EU that actually does represent the rights of national parliaments and it has asserted itself in recent years.

He explains how the process works:

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The Liberals Putin can’t bear to have in Russia

I was very amused by this tweet from former Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber Edward McMillan-Scott.

If you look at the list, you’ll see that Edward, who was a powerful voice for human rights in the European Parliament, is viewed as more dangerous than Sir Malcolm Rifkind who was chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Edward is at 45 and Rifkind is 16 places further down at 61. It shows off your values when you are more horrified by people who want your citizens to have rights than someone who’s scrutinising the people who might be spying on you.

Edward is not the only dangerous liberal on that list, though:

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Major adds new ingredient to Europe debate

edward mcmillan-scottFormer Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber has written about John Major’s intervention on Europe last week.

But Sir John’s intervention shows how desperate David Cameron is to shore up his dwindling store of continental goodwill, to appease the 100-or-so Tory MPs who want out of Europe and are holding their tongues until after the Rochester and Strood By-election this coming Thursday.

Although the headlines have focused on Ed Miliband’s leadership crisis, both he and Mr Cameron are now on notice. And bang on cue Nigel Farage – on target to win the by-election handsomely – positions himself between them with a demand to be included in TV debates.

How often have foreign leaders heard a British Conservative say “I really need your help: my backbenchers want to see real change?” and usually they have delivered. It is not weakness on their part but a strategic calculation that Britain must be part of the process, whether it is the EU or, say, Nato.

John Major’s speech was often equivocal about Mr Cameron’s tactics towards the EU, but he introduced a new note, massively upping the ante, by saying “for the first time, there is a serious possibility that our electorate could vote to leave the EU. I put the chance of exit at just under 50 per cent”.

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Britain’s obligation towards Hong Kong

Former MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, who until June was a Vice President of the European Parliament with responsibility for human rights, has written about the current situation in Hong Kong. First he sets out the context:

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  • User AvatarJohn Minard 29th Apr - 11:12pm
    We certainly have the people but they're not generally allowed to speak, unless it's bad news of course! The BBC ought to remind viewers that...
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  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 29th Apr - 10:11pm
    Thanks, Catherine, all that needed saying, and you were the best person to say it. All this supposed new strength from a successful General Election...
  • User AvatarRichard S 29th Apr - 9:49pm
    The reason it was a 1 minute meeting is because it was all stitched up in advance, as is their standard practice.
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