Why Europe Matters
Next week sees the European Parliament elections and there has been a distressing lack of debate about Europe.
I want to be clear here – many of the expenses claims are simply outrageous and I understand the public anger but this shouldn’t be the issue on which people vote in the Euros.
Gordon Brown has an article in the FT today, arguing the case for a sustainable recovery in Europe. It’s actually very good.
The euro area is expected to be hit harder than the UK this year and next, despite the disproportionate initial impact on Britain of the banking crisis. So I will be working with European leaders in advance of the European Council to advance on our decisions at the Group of 20 with a more focused Europe-wide strategy for growth.
EU states dealing with car industry problems should work more closely together to find sustainable solutions. Europe also needs a clear determination to avoid long-term unemployment.
Bringing this issue to the fore is another story in today’s FT, ‘UK seeks to secure Vauxhall’s fate’.
Britain is lobbying to prevent the German government from bowing to election-year pressure with a pledge to protect domestic jobs at the expense of Vauxhall’s UK plants. “We’re pedalling hard to get a commercial solution and not an overtly political one,” a senior government insider said.
The fate of two factories in Luton and Ellesmere Port (around 5,000 jobs) now dependent on our ability to work together with European partners. So whilst the expenses issue can’t be ignored, it should not be the major factor when voting in the European elections.