LibLink: Charles Kennedy: Britain must remain at the core of the European Project

Charles KennedyIn an article for the Euro Blog marking Europe Day yesterday, Charles Kennedy wrote of the need for Britain to stay at the heart of Europe.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the jobs and the trade and the money, but Charles starts with the principles of peace and the common good:

9 May marks the beginning of a process of cooperation, which intended to make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable. We call it Europe Day The process that was set in motion that day was based on principles like democracy, open markets, free trade, the respect for the rule of law and human rights, principles at the very core of British identity, as relevant today as they were 64 years ago.

The journey that started on 9 May 1950 produced a long period of peace and prosperity and laid the foundations for the spread of those founding principles across the European continent, eventually bringing together Eastern and Western Europe, which had been dramatically divided after the end of World War II. It led to the creation of a community of 28 nations, which have come together in partnership to form an economy worth £11 trillion, the biggest in the world, and a market of 500 million people, where 1 set of rules has replaced 28, making easier the exchange of goods and best practices in the service of common good. blockquote>

But the world has changed since those days. Problems are best faced on a much more global scale. Coming out of Europe would leave us on the margins:

Today we live in a world where the globalisation of economic activity has come to challenge our economic model. Energy competition threatens our independence. Climate change and international crime posse threats that do not recognise borders. We live in an interconnected world, our challenges are international and so should be the answers we give. The EU is the vehicle that empower us to do exactly that.

As we mark the 9th of May, talk of leaving the European Union doesn’t just threaten jobs and weakens Britain’s economic wellbeing. It also risks marginalising us, leading to loss of influence, both in Europe and globally. Britain should remain a committed member of the EU, closely engaged with continuing efforts to ensure that the process that begun in 1950 continues to guarantee peace and prosperity for its member states and their citizens blockquote>

You can read the whole article here

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  • jedibeeftrix 10th May '14 - 12:33pm

    “Britain must remain at the core of the European Project”

    What does that mean, in detail, Charles?

    The Euro?
    Fincancial Regulation via the ECB?
    Tax harmonisation?
    Euro taxations and euro-region transfer payments denoting common liability?
    Additional competences such as Defence and Security?

    These are all things that the eurozone, if it is to survive, must move towards.
    A monetary union made sound with economic union, legitimised by political union.

    Should we be at the heart of this, eh, Geroge…

  • Eddie Sammon 10th May '14 - 12:44pm

    I agree with Charles, but if the EU jumps into the fire we shouldn’t jump in with it.

    I believe in a single currency, but in my mind the problem is a single interest rate for multiple banks, not a single interest rate for multiple countries. We already have different interest rates for different countries via government bonds. If anyone has heard of a similar analysis, please let me know.


  • “Post hoc ergo propter hoc”
    Just because peace occurred after a specific date, it does not follow that an event on that date caused peace.

  • Also the rule of law does not always apply. Snowden broke the law, as a political act.

  • Nick missed the golden open question on live TV against Farage when asked what kind of EU would he like to see in 10 years time (or it was something along those lines). I think he answered ‘ much as it is now’ ( please correct me!!).
    I would (and was hoping for) at least……. ‘a fully Democratic, accountable Union of all European countries, working for common goals (peace, freedom, increase living standards) where power is pushed down to local communities , and where International action is needed such as climate change, and trade that that is taken at a European level’.

    i’m sure 99.9% of Liberals would come up with something better than I have out!!

  • Robert Wootton 14th May '14 - 11:05pm

    The kind of EU I want to see in two years time is the kind I have advocated the MEPs of the European Parliament to legislate into EU law; A Common Economic System. One that makes poverty history and establishes a respectful social economy for all EU citizens. That replaces the exploitative unsustainable economic system that we have in place now.

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