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Martin Horwood: UK must push EU-wide reform, not international blackmail

July 10, 2012 3:55 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

"Liberal Democrats have always been passionate EU reformers and we welcome many of the constructive calls in this report, like increasing MPs' involvement in EU affairs and more Brits in EU institutions.

"The call for a long list of demands for unilateral repatriation and carve-outs is neither achievable nor desirable.

"Trying to wriggle the UK out of the bits of the single market they don't like whilst insisting on keeping full access to it is trying to have your cake and eat it. Neighbouring countries will make separate agreements on serious cross-border issues like pollution, climate change or organised crime without us. That is not standing up for Britain. It is a recipe for failure, international isolation and weakness.

"As current Fisheries Policy reforms show, EU-wide reform and bringing back decision-making powers to a local level is possible. This requires rolling up your sleeves, building alliances and winning the argument. The proposed kind of international blackmail is destined to fail and will damage the UK in the process."