And the people say?

Minister for Europe David Lidington has set out the UK’s continued commitment to EU enlargement following his participation in the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 11 December. At a press briefing for European journalists today Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said:

“The UK remains a strong supporter of EU enlargement to all countries of the Western Balkans, Iceland and Turkey. I’ve just returned from the General Affairs Council in Brussels where I was pleased to have a long discussion on EU enlargement. Its conclusions make clear the EU’s continued support for enlargement. This is important, and a message that I hope will be heard clearly in the accession and pre-accession countries.

“Enlargement is good for the EU and one of the EU’s greatest achievements. The European Union, alongside NATO, has been an instrument of peace and reconciliation that has helped spread democracy and the rule of law across our continent, and helped make armed conflict between EU members unthinkable. At the same time an enlarged Single Market, another of the key success stories of the EU, has opened up prosperity and opportunity to hundreds of millions of people. An outward-looking approach and a continuing commitment to enlargement should be seen by all EU Member States as signs of strength and vigour.

“Enlargement is also good for wider security and prosperity across the continent. The accession of new Member States helps promote security, stability and prosperity across Europe, based on a firm foundation of democracy, human and civil rights, and respect for the law. The focus on good neighbourly relations is particularly important for a region such as the Western Balkans which saw conflict only two decades ago.

“It is a respect for this firm foundation and its benefits which drives the UK’s scrutiny of progress and focus on conditionality. So the UK is clear that there will be no pause after Croatia’s accession. But equally there will be no movement without progress on the ground.

“The Foreign Secretary visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo in October. He set out clearly the UK’s support for each country’s EU future. But he stressed to the political leaders that they needed to take the necessary steps to deliver. I hope political leaders in all of the aspiring countries will do so and that we will see further progress being made towards the EU early next year.

“And the UK remains committed to Turkey’s EU membership. We strongly believe that this would contribute to Europe’s prosperity and security, and the EU remains the strongest lever for reform in Turkey. We are focused on making real progress on the accession process in 2013 and we fully support the Irish Presidency in their desire to open a new acquis Chapter during their Presidency.”

Not only to we get a repetition of all that EU keeping the peace and spreading democracy crap, but to talk about opening up prosperity and opportunity to millions of people when the unemployment rate rose to 11.6% with 18.49 million people without jobs in the 17 countries sharing the euro kinda beggars belief where Lidington and logic go together.

The answer to the question posed as the heading to this post must surely be: I’m a pleb – get me out of here!


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10 Responses

  1. cosmic says:

    As Minister for Europe this is exactly the sort of boiler plate we’d expect, especially at a time like this when he wouldn’t be thanked for rocking the boat.

    I get the impression that the first inkling is coming to Cameron % Co., that business as usual may not be in the cards. Staying in on the terms on offer really isn’t acceptable at all and he’s being called on the renegotiation and repatriation patter when it’s dawning it’s a busted flush.

    • david says:

      What can I say other than you’re so right!

      • cosmic says:

        Article 50 exit, here we come, with much prevaricating and prattle about fax government etc on the way?

        I wonder if they are not thinking of setting up Labour to handle the monkey. I can’t think how they could arrange it.

        Presumably the big thing is to maintain the flow of damaging and useless regulation in perpetuity – tracking the EU. A danger to be watched.

        I’m feeling slightly optimistic about the possibility of leaving the EU. It will be much messier than anyone would like.

  2. Sean O'Hare says:

    I’m amazed that you both (David an Cosmic) seem so calm when if comes to Lidington’s treason. When we are finally out, and if I’m still around, I will take pleasure in volunteering evidence at his trial

    • cosmic says:

      One among so very many, a very long list going back decades, and this one just a sad time server.

      I doubt there will be any come-uppance for any of the crew who’ve got us into this, kept us in it, and made out like bandits on the back of it.

      Talk about such things doesn’t really help or make exit more likely.

      Maybe the closest we’ll a national holiday where Ted Heath is traditionally burned in effigy and we have fireworks.

  3. kenomeat says:

    When John Major encouraged EU enlargement in the 90′s it was widely believed that this would weaken the power of the EU (being spread too thinly). Alas the opposite seems to have happened. Interesting that mention is made of Iceland joining when Hannan assures us that the people of Iceland (as opposed to their government perhaps) most definitely do not want to join the madhouse.

  4. Robin says:

    More enlargement .
    First they will say that not all of Turkey`s 170 million inhabitants will come to the UK .Only 13 000 or thereabouts (perhaps give a million or two near this figure ) .
    Then at midnight on the day of its accession the Daily Mirror will have a journalist at Heathrow to see how many Arbies arrive . At 00.15 hours he will go home to write a report that he didn`t see a horde of Turks arriving . No need to worry .

  5. Nick says:

    It’s the bits about democracy, freedom and open markets that gets me. If it were not such an utter lie, it would be funny.

    Let it continue west until instead of Europe, it swallows up deeply poor, malfunctioning countries and leaves the rest of us to get on as we wish to.

    Time we left.

    However, this begs a question. We ask Dave to invoke article 50 and he chooses not to. Why do we permit him the option to refuse? Why is everything done to their timetable and on their whim?

  6. graham wood says:

    Anybody got some spare flannel they don’t want? I had a load of old flannel and it was borrowed by Dave who said he just needs it temporarily, then he will return it. The trouble is I had some articles wrapped up in it and now they are lost – The 50th Article was particularly important to find for me, but Dave says he cannot find it anywhere, but he will let me know if he comes across it. Well, thats so reassuring.

  7. Derek Buxton says:

    What a crock, and what is this democracy he talks so glibly of? It seems as mythical as a unicorn. Still, I wonder if making it bigger might, just may, focus their tiny minds on the difference between the EU, an evil politicians dream, and Europe, a place for good food and wine at prices our thieving politicians will not let us have. Sorry for the long sentence, not my style….it’s the anger you know!

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