January 31, 2008
The Daily Telegraph – a very Eurosceptic English daily newspaper – today published an interesting article under the above banner.
The article conclude that Lady Thatcher of then 1980s might in fact have supported the new Treaty of Lisbon, for the following reasons:
- The institutional reforms in the Reform Treaty are largely designed to make the EU more efficient and effective, and to streamline bloated institutions.
- The UK’s voting weight is increased from 8.4%to 12.2%.
- The single representative on foreign affairs may have won her support.
As she put it in her infamous Bruges speech: “I am the first to say that on many great issues the countries of Europe should try to speak with a single voice. I want to see us work more closely on the things we can do better together than alone. Europe is stronger when we do so, whether it be in trade, in defence, or in our relations with the rest of the world.” The proposal for a single representative in the Reform Treaty aims not to undermine the UK’s independent foreign policy but to increase effectiveness when there is common EU agreement.
- 50 areas move to QMV but some are technical and others do not apply to the UK. Lady Thatcher signed the Single European Act because she saw more majority voting as a price worth paying to secure policy goals, in the strengthening of the single market and efforts to oppose national protectionism:similarly under the new treaty.
- She would have realised that the EU budget review next year presents a golden opportunity for reforming the EU’s expenditure, and that the liberal-minded Commission is a body with which she could forge a fruitful partnership.
The newspaper is to be congratulated for publishing this article, written by Roland Rudd, chairman of Business for New Europe.Author : Stanley Crossick