Michael launches tory European manifesto

Contributed by editor on Apr 29, 2004 - 06:25 PM

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<TABLE width=150 align=left border=0><TABLE class=lightbg cellPadding=4 width=145><TD class=mcblack align=middle> <TD width=5><IMG height=1 alt="" src="" width=5>Michael Howard has launched the Conservatives European Manifesto, Putting Britain First. It outlines the Conservative agenda for a modern European Union, which is more flexible, less bureaucratic and less obsessed with regulation. The manifesto also includes a commitment to hold a referendum o­n every future Treaty agreed by the European Union which transfers significant powers from Britain to Brussels.

Addressing the launch of the manifesto in Manchester, Michael Howard said, "I am determined that Britain shall remain a positive and influential member of the EU. But I do not want a Europe which is a o­ne way street to closer integration to which we must all subscribe.

He continued: "Those member states which wish to integrate more closely should be free to do so. But they should not drag other member states who do not wish to do so kicking and screaming in their wake. We would say to our partners: 'We don't want to stop you doing what you want to do, as long as you don't make us do what we don't want to do'. We do not want to impose o­n the EU a rigid straightjacket of uniformity from Finland to Greece, from Portugal to Poland. Conservative policy is simple. Live and let live. Flourish and let flourish. That is a modern and mature approach to Europe".

Among the Conservatives' proposals are:

Referendums o­n future Treaties which transfer significant powers away from Westminster: Politicians should never forget that they govern o­n behalf of the people. Individual parliaments, and the politicians elected to serve in them, do not own Britain's liberties. They are there to safeguard them. And they should not diminish those liberties without an explicit mandate from the British people.

The European Parliament should have the power of repeal: The Conservative Party wants to give the European Parliament the ability to dismantle unnecessary laws by giving them the power to repeal regulations and directives. We also want to achieve a 25% cut in EU regulation and we will push for ‘sunset clauses' to be included in all new regulations so that they automatically expire after a set period of time.

Allowing greater flexibility: The enlargement of the EU requires a fresh approach and more flexibility to ensure Europe's institutions work effectively. Countries should be free to work together when they want to - but they shouldn't be forced to give up power to Europe if they don't want to. That is our positive Conservative vision for a 21st century Europe. It's right for Europe and it will help us to put Britain first.

<A class=globallink href="">Download and read the manifesto