09 December, 2011
Andrew Duff: 'EU 2' is new start for Euro
Following the outcome of the euro-summit last night, Andrew Duff MEP believes that the formation of 'EU 2' and the prospect of a new treaty should start the process of stabilising the markets and saving the euro. He deplores, however, the decision of the UK government not to participate.
In a statement this morning (Friday), Duff says:

"The euro-summit appears to have laid the foundations for a new start for the euro. Agreement on the fiscal compact, on introducing reverse QMV for the excessive deficit procedure, on building stronger economic governance for common economic policy and on improving and accelerating the European Stability Mechanism are precisely what are needed to stabilise the markets and to begin to restore democratic confidence.

"The new treaty will give birth to what we might call 'EU 2' - a federal economic government of a fiscal union. But the gearing between the new Union and the old will be a very delicate matter. It is vital that the role of the European Commission and Court of Justice are equivalent in both EU 1 and EU 2, and that the integrity of the corpus of EU law is preserved.

"There must be no question that EU 2 can be cast in a neo-Gaullist mould in which the Commission would be sub-contracted to do secretarial services for the euro-summits. The Commission must remain the motor of government."

Deploring the decision of the UK government not to partake in this qualitative step in European integration, Duff added:

"Mr Cameron has reached the logical conclusion of Tory policy which is to retire Britain to a second class membership of Europe. This will be hugely damaging to the British national interest, including the interests of the City of London which the prime minister purports to wish to advance.

"It is perverse to blame other countries for not wishing to cooperate with the UK, when it is the UK which has opted out of the euro and so many other aspects of life in the European Union.

"One is reminded all too clearly of Messina Conference in 1956 which the British left in a huff but which led eventually to the foundation of the European Economic Community. When the UK eventually joined up, more than 15 years later, it found the EEC was not perfectly designed to suit British interests."

On the next steps, Duff says:

"The European Parliament will need somehow to be involved in the new Intergovernmental Conference which will now draft the EU 2 treaty. I will be consulting with colleagues in the next days to see how this might best be done.

"EU 2 must be born with full democratic legitimacy."

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