Liberal Youth objects to the potential uncertainty the Prime Minister has brought the UK economy for the interests of Conservative Party electoral prospects.
The European Union has attracted a level of controversy with a number of voters since its creation, not least within the United Kingdom; it has divided the Labour Party in the early 1970s, triggering the first UK-wide referendum on our membership (nearly 70% voted in favour); and led John Major to call a leadership election within the Conservative Party in order to settle their dispute.
“Eurosceptics have long used the argument that the UK contributes a relatively large amount of money to the EU, this is true, however it is a very shallow argument as it fails to appreciate what the UK receives in return”, said Conor McKenzie, Liberal Youth’s International Officer. “Not only is a common market really important for our economy, we have seen many other great things come out of the EU such as giving member states a greater voice on the world stage (prompting reform in other parts of the world), allowing us to tackle issues across boards (like climate change and crime) and even ensure peace.”
Liberal Youth applauds the Prime Minister’s support for the European Union however it is obvious that today’s statement wasn’t simply one to improve how the it works; but rather one with the clear intentions of appeasing his eurosceptic backbenchers and an attempt to outflank the UK Independence Party ahead of the 2015 General Election.. This is not how politics should work.
“Liberal Youth want to see a more democratic, accountable and ultimately liberal European Union. This requires reform in many areas of the EU and today’s announcement will not help that cause. Instead of staying at the centre of the institution and pushing for reform, Cameron instead wants to cowardly retreat.” said Sam Fisk Co-Chair Liberal Youth.
This move could potentially plunge the markets into a state of uncertainty whereby businesses are especially unsure what state the UK economy will look like in the near future and whether it will be a member of the EU single market. The concept of free trade attracts many businesses to invest in the UK, in fact Cameron has recently called for greater investment in the UK, however calling for this one week and then causing uncertainty the next is not the sensible approach our economy should be taking. At a time where our country needs more growth, playing political games with at its expense is far from needed.
Liberal Youth supports reform in Europe, it is far from perfect and it is clear that many member states appreciate this too. We call on the European Parliament to take a greater look at how the EU can be reformed, in particular how it can be made more democratically accountable. After these reforms have been brought forward and passed, Liberal Youth welcomes the decision by any member state that chooses to let their electorate determine whether the reforms are in their best interest through an in-out referendum; however we are not in favour of this happening at a time of difficulty for many of the world economies.