MEPs Speak Out Against "Narrow Nationalism"


Christopher Beazley, one of only five Conservative MEPs to bravely go on the record and declare that he will defy David Cameron's far-right moves to sever links with the mainstream EPP group in the European Parliament has launched an exciting new group designed to strengthen and deepen Britain's relationship with the EU.

The group, forged with cross-party support, will examine challenges relating to the "constitution, economy, security, justice [and the] environment " with a remit of getting the best for Britain out of the EU.

As Beazley says, the European Union is not about "narrow nationalism", it is about compromise. Whilst the Hannan/Helmer/Heaton-Harris/Deva/[insert head-banger] axis childishly denounce the European Union in favour of protecting their anachronistic vision of the nation state, Beazley offers an exciting vision for just what Britain can achieve from the European Union by working with our friends and allies in the best interests of the people of Europe. Beazley -- and our like-minded allies in Labour and the LibDems -- should be congratulated on their initiative.

Commitment to Europe

Sir, By this time next year, the Treaty of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community, will be 60 years old. Over that time, despite many difficulties, the EEC has evolved into the much stronger and larger Union we know today. European integration has radically changed the way that the United Kingdom governs itself and does its business at home and abroad. For the most part, this has been of great benefit to Britain.

But this country has yet to fulfil its potential as a member state of the EU. We note a continuing reticence on behalf of all British political parties in their approach to EU matters. As unabashed pro-European British Members of the European Parliament, we are acutely aware of the enormous lack of knowledge about, or indeed genuine interest in, European developments that still exists in this country. In terms of public sentiment, Britain is less equipped to be a member of the EU today than when it joined more than 30 years ago. Wishing to combat the spread of British indifference to Europe, a cross-party group of UK MEPs is being formed to co-operate where it is appropriate to do so on matters of EU law and policy as well as to fight narrow nationalism. We aim to co-ordinate closely with like-minded MPs and peers at Westminster, who have announced the formation of their own cross-party group.

The challenges facing the EU — constitution, economy, security, justice, environment — are immense. Working together, despite party differences, to make a success of British membership of the European Union is now a key national interest.

CHRISTOPHER BEAZLEY, MEP(Conservative) RICHARD CORBETT, MEP (Labour)ANDREW DUFF, MEP (Liberal Democrat) Brussels


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Richard Ashworth (SE)
Sir Robert Atkins (NW)
Christopher Beazley (E)
Philip Bushill-Matthews (WM)
Giles Chichester (SW)
James Elles (SE)
Jonathan Evans (W)
Malcolm Harbour (WM)
Caroline Jackson (SW)
Timothy Kirkhope (Y)
Edward McMillan-Scott (Y)
John Purvis (S)
Struan Stevenson (S)

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Robert Sturdy (E)


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Martin Callanan (NE)

Nirj Deva (SE)

Daniel Hannan (SE)

Chris Heaton-Harris (EM)

Roger Helmer (EM)

David Sumberg (NW)

Geoffrey Van Orden (E)