Ed on EU

First 42 days, then David Davis; and now Ireland has voted to reject the European Union’s Lisbon treaty. Sometimes the cliche about a week being a long time in politics really is true....

Suddenly it’s not just the football that’s making Euro headlines. Liberal Democrats have always been pro-Europe. The EU has brought its members peace, democracy and prosperity; things our grandparents’ generation could not take for granted. And today it helps us work together against new threats that cross boundaries: climate change, pollution, terrorism and crime. If the EU didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.

But we should never be uncritical of the EU. When its directives interfere in matters best left local, we should say so. We should clean up the corruption (real or perceived) of some MEPs. And we must keep fighting to expose the hypocrisy of the Council of [national] Ministers taking unpopular decisions in secret, then blaming the EU.

Most of all, we must champion the democracy that the EU was set up to defend.

So I think Ed Davey has hit the right note with his reaction to the Ireland vote.

“The Irish people have spoken and it is clear that the treaty cannot be ratified without their support.

“Once scrutiny of the treaty is completed in Westminster next week its ratification should be suspended.

“The Liberal Democrats believe this treaty would have been good for Europe, but now the EU must redouble its efforts to improve its accountability and efficiency under the existing treaty provisions.

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