This article was written by Brendan Donnelly for posting on the European Alternative website

                              Yes 2 Europe: a new political party in the UK

 

Yes 2 Europe’s first political initiative will be to stand in the London region for the European Elections 2009. Yes 2 Europe will be arguing for three main policies, policies which reflect it general desire for Britain to participate fully in the development of the European Union..

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First, Yes 2 Europe believes that Britain should join the euro as soon as possible and work urgently towards this goal. Over the past eighteen months, the pound has suffered a devaluation against the euro of approximately a quarter. This suggests that international markets have little confidence in the British economy when it is compared with its continental neighbours. If Britain wishes to remain a full member of the European internal market, it cannot demand the right indefinitely to improve its competitiveness by unilateral devaluations against its trading partners. British politicians warn loudly against “beggar my neighbour policies” in the current economic crisis. Massive devaluation of the pound against the euro is precisely such a policy.

 

Second, Yes 2 Europe wants Britain to join the system of free movement across borders which most other European countries enjoy; Britain derives little in terms of its security and much in terms of inconvenience and expense to its citizens by not being in the Schengen arrangement. This arrangement allows continental Europeans to cross frontiers without any formalities, while their governments pool information between themselves to help the fight against major criminality, terrorism and illegal immigration. Within the Schengen arrangement, Britain would have better access to this vital intelligence and greater freedom of movement for the millions of Britons who travel and work in continental Europe. The indiscriminate carrying out by the British authorities of frontier checks is largely a matter of ineffectual symbolism, rather than the best use of limited resources.

 

Third, Britain should abandon the confused and confusing system of British opt-ins and opt-outs from the European treaties. In the Lisbon Treaty, the British government negotiated a bewildering array of special arrangements for the United Kingdom. Yes 2 Europe believes in particular that the British government’s suspicion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights is wholly misplaced. The Charter represents no plausible threat to British economic interests. Yes 2 Europe wants the United Kingdom to abandon its self-marginalizing philosophy of special British opt ins and opt outs in European treaties, which simply serve to reinforce the view that Britain is not fully engaged in the European Union.

 

The European Elections of 2009 will probably be the last major electoral contest before the General Election likely to take place in 2010. Yes 2 Europe believes that British voters should have the chance to send a clear pro-European message to the next Prime Minister of this country. Every possible version of Euroscepticism is offered to the British electorate by the British parties. Yes 2 Europe wants to fill the gap at the opposite end of the British political spectrum.

 

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