Friday 21 May 2010


I promise I won't keep harping on about the lack of clear water between the three main UK parties on the EU, but I've stumbled across this article in the Economist by Charlemagne. Titled; "Are Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats really so Europhile? Are the Tories so Eurosceptic?", here are some choice quotes:

"NUANCES". That is the word that William Hague, Britain's new foreign secretary and a supposedly ferocious Eurosceptic, uses to describe foreign policy differences between the Conservatives and their new coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats (and, for that matter, the outgoing Labour government).

"Quite easy": that is another Hague phrase, to describe the work of forging a common policy on the EU with the LibDems, supposedly the one true Europhile party in Britain.

I must admit that as a foreign hack myself, out of Britain for some 13 years now, the central message that Mr Hague had to send strikes me as accurate: that the differences between the big three British political parties on foreign policy are not very big, and that what counts most of all is the fact that they are British.
Mr Hague basically sounded like a Democrat: ie, like every other European politician who comes to Washington. In fact, scepticism towards the euro was about the only area where Mr Hague showed some teeth, it seems, appearing to have said of the euro crisis that his party had always thought the single currency a foolish idea.
The article is well worth reading in full. It's very clear that nothing has changed in terms of policy detail on the EU, and on other issues as well, by the election apart from the colour of the shirts.

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