Don’t mention the –
My colleague Jane Merrick has a good report of Anglo-German dialogue at a panel discussion organised by the think-tank Open Europe in London on Thursday last week. It was the usual. The Germans bemoaned British reluctance to pay lip service to the platitudes of good Europeanism. The British came over all Basil Fawlty.
Rudolf Adam, deputy head of mission at the German embassy in London, said:
If you are talking about interests, you are talking about your ambitions and your aspirations. If you ask a German politician, he will probably talk about the federal states of Europe, and a European army … For the last 20 years from Britain, the comment on Europe has been ‘no, no, no – we don’t want this, we don’t want that’. If you want to bring your power and your influence to bear, why does your government not develop a vision of what Europe should be like? … To do that on the basis of a balance of competencies in 2014, you will just see the red lights of the train that has already left the station.
We did not have space in the newspaper to record in full the response of Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Europe minister David Lidington, who said that Britain had not said “no” to EU enlargement, or on issues of trade and the environment. But he added:
European Army: wonder why we’re saying ‘No, no, no’ to that? There’s a pretty good alliance that’s worked for longer than the EU itself. Therefore creating a European Army… – and if I was really going to be cheeky, I would say well look what happened with the last intervention, who stood up then in that particular case?
Oops.Tagged in: euroscepticism
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