Why Ming is wrong and right on the EU

Ming Campbell, who I supported in the leadership contest learlier this year, has today spelled out why he feels that the EU should have a greater role in foreign and security policy.

Initially after reading this, I was concerned about the direction he wants the UK to take. Personally I feel there is too wide a gap in the EU between forward thinking interventionist states and those who sit in the corner with a scared look on their faces. I remember well the first Gulf War in 1990 when the Belgians didn't want to sell the UK artillery shells in case they became a terrorist target. How can we have a shared foreign policy if an ally cannot even sell a friend military equipment ?

I also fear that the porous borders, the selling of EU passports in some Southern and Eastern EU states and a generally insular bunch of EU states means that security is something that we must completely rely on ourselves. I do not want to have to rely on the Slovenians or Polish to defend me from attack.

Where I agree with Menzies Campbell is when he says we need to re-evaluate our relationship with the US. I like the phrase he uses when he says

"(We should) rediscover independence of thought. We should all value our relationship with the United States but the relationship needs to be rebalanced, redesigned and renewed."

America takes UK support for granted but gives little back. In much the same way as High Grant's Prime Minister character in the film "Love Actually" makes his passionate speech about how the special relationship had gone bad, I know many who would agree with Ming (and Hugh Grant).

The other important point Ming made was really when he said the EU should just keep out of things that are not any of their business.

"The EU would better reflect its peoples' priorities if it stuck to legislating only where necessary,"

Too true Ming, but the EU at present shows little willingness to do this.

So, I support in general what Ming is saying, but do not want to see the EU speaking on my behalf when it comes to international matters. I don't much like what Tony Blair does on my behalf, but at least I can campaign to get rid of him, but I wouldn't have the first idea how to campaign against an EU foreign minister and their is little I could do.


Tom Papworth said...


I basically agree, but my comments required a blog so I've posted my own essay at http://liberalpolemic.blogspot.com/2006/12/reform-in-europe-should-be-at-core-of.html

I wanted to raise one point, though. Don't you think that not wanting to rely on the Poles in the event of attack is a bit ironic?

Not only are they among our most reliable allies in Europe, they were condemned to half a century of oppression because we failed to liberate them!

Now, had you said the French...

Gary Elsby said...

What utter crap.

Join UKIP, Nick.

Norfolk Blogger said...

The reason I mentioned Poland is because of their rather antiquated views on equality (gay rights and still some deeply anti semitic views).