Syed Kamall - the Conservative MEP for London kindly sent me a copy of his new book -"For a Free Market Europe" - a collection of his articles over the last three years setting out his views on a European Union which should do more to promote free market liberalism.
Syed has been consistent champion of free market values in the European Parliament since he became an MEP in 2005. He is a leading figure in the Brussels Network - which brings together conservatives and centre-right figures in Europe who want to campaign for small-state government. This collection of short articles illuste=rates his commitment to the free-market cause.
The dilemma of being a free market classical liberal in the European Parliament:
He starts from the fundamental nature of the European Union and its basic premise: Should it be a free-market coalition of sovereign states or should it try to ape the "cross-continental socialist model"?
Should pro-free-market MEP’s work within the system to change it or attack it from the outside? Should some liberalism be an adequate compromise as the “perfect” free-market is unachievable?
The are big questions. However, Syed seems to think the answer is easy. He says the EU should provide a marketplace and a framework of basic rules and minimum standards – better to be an unregulated single market than one subject to overbearing directives
Politicians can only do what they can with the tools available – therefore free-market liberal MEP’s should work from within the system to change it
He applies his free-market thinking to environment policy too: The liberalisation of trade does not cause environmental damage, he says; “Calls for higher taxes often have precious little to do with real environmental factors but a lot to do with environmental posturing or the need to raise new revenue”
“Globalisation and free trade are not only the key to enriching this planet; they may also prove to be the key to saving it.”
Whether you agree with Syed Kamall or not, his written articles over the last few years show that he is on of the most consistent and energetic campaigners of the free market in the European Parliament.