Published in The Times, 27 April 2007
Sir, It is wrong to depict the European Union as a one-way ratchet towards greater integration (“Just say ‘Non’, April 25). For example, the budget deal for 2007-13 agreed in December 2005 actually cuts the EU budget by 16 per cent.
Let us be confident enough to think about how much the EU can do for us, rather than how little we dare let it do. More effective action is needed to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Europe needs a more coherent voice in the global economic institutions –it could be comparable to America, and has only itself to blame that it is not.
It is clear that the proposal rejected in France and the Netherlands in 2005 cannot be resuscitated, but no one is proposing that. Instead, what is needed is creative thinking about how to improve the way in which the EU operates. The political leaders elsewhere in Europe are taking part in this debate: the British people will be the losers if our own politicians do not join them.
Richard LAMING, Director, Federal Union