Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lib-Dems and Labour come together to expose Tory weaknesses on Europe

Last night the Liberal Democrats and Labour came together to present a progressive common cause united against the reactionary forces of Conservatisim. Or at least it was an opportunity for them to steal a march on a Tory policy that seems doggedly rooted in the Major years untouched by the uber-modernising David Cameron.

Chris Bryant MP, Europe Minister and Ed Davey MP- Lib Dem Shadow Foreign Minister spoke at a Westminister event last night on the issue of the Conservative Party's policy on Europe. And they started with Tory MEPs record in the European Parliament.

They said that in the last few weeks Tory MEPs have voted against measures to tackle tax evasion and tax havens.

Chris Bryant warned that if the Conservatives win the election they will do everything in their power to get opt-outs on EU social protection measures such as maternity leave.

Ed Davey wents as far as calling many Tories "mouth-frothing xenophobes. He said that the Conservatives were actually taking a step back into out-right euro-scepticism. Michael Howard when Home Secretary actually helped set up Europol. Now the Tories oppose the European Arrest Warrant and Eurojuste. As part of the Stockholm Process, the Uk will have the choice to opt-in or opt-out of measures over teh next five years. We should be asking the question now - what will the Conservatives do if elected - opt-in or out of Eurojuste?

If David Cameron thinks that he has got rid of Europe as an election issue by dumping his cast-iron guarantee for a referendum, then last night showed that both Labour and the Lib Dems are willing to open a common front and make the Conservatives squirm a little over what exactly they intend to do on some very critical questions.