Europe

Cameron must take steps towards European integration

Shahrar-Ali

A political analyst tellsPress TV that UK should be looking at reform of the EU and the EU structures and its part within Europe should be greater engagement.

The comments came after President of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy warned that London could make EU collapse with its insistence on repatriation of powers from Brussels that means attacking the very cornerstones of the 27-bloc.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Shahrar Ali, from the Britain Green Party, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Let’s look at this statement made by Van Rompuy, the basic question that comes about who needs who more? Does the EU needs Britain as much or vice versa ?

Ali: That is a very good way of putting it and I think Van Rompuy although he is overstating the risk of harm to the EU if Cameron got his way which is a form of disengagement, I think that the British citizens I think if they had such a referendum on repatriation of powers, I think they would decide ultimately that they wanted further engagement because what does the engagement actually involve? It means that we are taking greater interest in the affairs of people across Europe.

We have for example people in Greece who are suffering a great deal a very high rate of unemployment as in the UK and it is only by being truly internationalist so I think we can solve these problems and I think Cameron’s fault is that he is fundamentally insular and the Conservative Party ethos is one of this engagement because they are too nationalist, shall we say, whereas the Green Party and others more progressive on the left would say we need to engage with Europe in order to solve the problems collectively which are extremely serious at this time.

Press TV: Let’s look at the prediction that was made by the former EU commission chief Jacques Delors who said that Britain could leave the European Union and enter into a different sort of partnership with the bloc. Do you foresee that happening in that form?

Ali: Well let’s be clear. I mean we have Iceland, we have Switzerland who aren’t amongst the club of 27 as so-called and they are doing rather well in their own countries and they are still engaged, they are engaged internationally and they are engaged within Europe.

So clearly there is a possibility of that but I think at this stage in the game the UK should be looking at reform of the EU and the EU structures which have a great deal of promise which hasn’t actually delivered and I think that our part within Europe should be greater engagement. Why we disagree? We should be actively and proactively seeking change from within not from outside.

So I think had we been not within the EU for the past fifty years or so then maybe that question would have been viable but at the moment it is not viable. At the moment we are a major player and we should be engaged not disengaged.

We shouldn’t be telling the EU and we shouldn’t be telling our own citizens that the way forward is disengagement. We have so many international climate change issues, jobs issues, health issues, education issues which are on the agenda and we should be pursuing those in a progressive way and I think this really shows Cameron’s true colors.

Press TV: Quickly if you can when you look at the bigger picture, you mentioned something important to make change from within. Doesn’t each country have a respective to their own problems that need to be addressed in terms of unemployment etc. and I ask that when we know about this Banking Union that is supposed to come into effect, that is going to supervise all this and tell each country how to spend their money, but is that the right approach?

Ali: I do not think that greater economic union is the way forward in terms of a single currency. However you can maintain influence within Europe. You can maintain trade with your own currency as the UK has shown and I think in that sense we could be arguing that point far stronger and moreover we need to peg our currency towards the state of the planet.

That is something which would involve reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which at the moment is rewarding big business for actually exporting their production to faraway lands so that we can consume more than it is actually sustainable in the long-term.

So there is a lot that we can be arguing for in the economic front including reform of the European Central Bank which is lacking accountability at the moment.

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