Tory Euro-skeptics' time has come

William R. Hawkins
The "Draft letter from Foreign Secretary to Prime Minister" leaked to the British media sets out the timely change in United Kingdom policy towards the European Union that the new Conservative government intends to implement even though its Liberal-Democrat coalition partner has had a very pro-EU stance.

Euro-skeptic William Hague advised Tory leader David Cameron that while the UK favors many EU aims, including enlargement, it also wants "less bureaucracy and regulation." More importantly, London will be "Promoting and vigorously defending the national interest through ongoing EU business." Hague stated,

The British relationship with the EU has changed with our election. We will never join the euro. We will introduce legislation early [I won't pre-empt the Queen's Speech with detail] to implement our commitments: any Treaty change transferring competence or powers would require a referendum; the sovereignty bill; and increased parliamentary controls on any use of ratchet clauses....

We are committed to returning powers from the European level to the UK in three key areas - the Charter of Fundamental Rights, criminal justice, and social and employment legislation....

Like others, we will fight our corner to protect our national interests through engagement and influence. Britain's interests are best served by membership of an EU that is an association of sovereign Member States, not a federal Europe.

Now is the perfect moment for the British Right to raise the issue of national sovereignty. Keeping the pound and rejecting the euro looks brilliant as the EU bails out Greece in an effort to keep the financial crisis from spreading throughout the euro zone. People in other parts of Europe (especially in Germany) resent having to "loan" the spendthrift Greeks $145 billion. It is doubtful that in the present political environment, the Lib-Dems will want the public reminded of their Europhile ways.

A renewed sense of national independence in the UK is also good for the United States. The Anglo-American alliance (which includes Canada and Australia) is the real basis for international security in a dangerous world. It has been a mistake in U.S. policy to champion a stronger, more centralized EU. During the Cold War, a more united Western Europe was essential to countering the Soviet-Warsaw Pact, but NATO was adequate for that purpose. The "special relationship" between Washington and London is as vital today as ever. So is the ability to deal bilaterally with key European states as governments change and "coalitions of the willing" continue to be the only effective way to undertake multilateral actions.

President Barack Obama may not value national sovereignty as he embraces EU policies and pursues UN agendas, but Foreign Secretary Hague has shown the proper conservative attitude which should be embraced on both sides of the Atlantic.

The "Draft letter from Foreign Secretary to Prime Minister" leaked to the British media sets out the timely change in United Kingdom policy towards the European Union that the new Conservative government intends to implement even though its Liberal-Democrat coalition partner has had a very pro-EU stance.

Euro-skeptic William Hague advised Tory leader David Cameron that while the UK favors many EU aims, including enlargement, it also wants "less bureaucracy and regulation." More importantly, London will be "Promoting and vigorously defending the national interest through ongoing EU business." Hague stated,

The British relationship with the EU has changed with our election. We will never join the euro. We will introduce legislation early [I won't pre-empt the Queen's Speech with detail] to implement our commitments: any Treaty change transferring competence or powers would require a referendum; the sovereignty bill; and increased parliamentary controls on any use of ratchet clauses....

We are committed to returning powers from the European level to the UK in three key areas - the Charter of Fundamental Rights, criminal justice, and social and employment legislation....

Like others, we will fight our corner to protect our national interests through engagement and influence. Britain's interests are best served by membership of an EU that is an association of sovereign Member States, not a federal Europe.

Now is the perfect moment for the British Right to raise the issue of national sovereignty. Keeping the pound and rejecting the euro looks brilliant as the EU bails out Greece in an effort to keep the financial crisis from spreading throughout the euro zone. People in other parts of Europe (especially in Germany) resent having to "loan" the spendthrift Greeks $145 billion. It is doubtful that in the present political environment, the Lib-Dems will want the public reminded of their Europhile ways.

A renewed sense of national independence in the UK is also good for the United States. The Anglo-American alliance (which includes Canada and Australia) is the real basis for international security in a dangerous world. It has been a mistake in U.S. policy to champion a stronger, more centralized EU. During the Cold War, a more united Western Europe was essential to countering the Soviet-Warsaw Pact, but NATO was adequate for that purpose. The "special relationship" between Washington and London is as vital today as ever. So is the ability to deal bilaterally with key European states as governments change and "coalitions of the willing" continue to be the only effective way to undertake multilateral actions.

President Barack Obama may not value national sovereignty as he embraces EU policies and pursues UN agendas, but Foreign Secretary Hague has shown the proper conservative attitude which should be embraced on both sides of the Atlantic.