“Both Britain and Ireland need to focus on the EU’s achievements, with our national interests coming before party politics. Cameron risks tearing the UK apart: advocating Brexit will reopen the Scottish debate. Equally, Cameron’s reckless plans to restrict human rights in the UK by repealing the Human Rights Act and threatening withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Right (ECHR) jeopardise both UK unity and British EU membership. Withdrawing from the ECHR also risks breaching the Belfast Good Friday Agreement”, Hazell warned the Dublin audience.
“What the UK needs is real political leadership: leaders with courage, who use the present to build a better future. Instead of running away from Europe, we should aim for a leading role in the European Union: meeting common challenges that face us all through shared values and aims. We must stand true to our beliefs and resist populist politicians peddling fear: exposing the myths and distortions that are designed to divide and rule”, noted Hazell: “Bringing people together: uniting our means and efforts to achieve greater strength, resource, prosperity and security.”
“Europe needs courage, not fear. Yesterday (Wed - 11 Nov), across Europe we remembered the fallen: those who paid the ultimate price for past policy failure. In this rapidly changing world, we should recognise the warnings of commentators like Michael White, who wrote recently in The Guardian that ‘increasingly fractious and enfeebled, our politicians may drift into an EU breakup just as, 100 years ago, we drifted into war’”, said Hazell.
Hazell observed: “With Russia testing European unity over Ukraine, and the self-proclaimed Islamic State recruiting in Europe’s cities, now is the time for Europeans to stand together. In our interconnected world, no nation is an island. Through shared values and by sharing sovereignty, our local communities, cities, regions and nations can combat global challenges - such as climate change, and the growing gap between rich and poor. Whilst we cannot recover the past, clearly the future is ours to lose or win. By working together within the EU, we can shape a better future free of fear. Europe - not fear-peddling demagogues - offer hope for our achievable and positive future”
Turning to the tectonic shifts and ever increasing schisms within United Kingdom politics during the last five years, Hazell observed: “By bringing Britain to the brink of Brexit in a desperate effort to appease UKIP, the Conservative Party has placed party politics ahead of the national interest, as a result betraying both. British PM David Cameron’s Bloomberg speech in January 2013 has failed to bridge the ever widening split in the Conservative Party over Europe.”
Tomorrow (Thurs - 13 Nov) evening, former British PM Sir John Major will speak in Berlin on Brexit at the headquarters of German CDU’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS). “In March 1991, while visiting German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, British PM John Major told the KAS audience in Bonn that Britain’s role was ‘at the heart of Europe’. And in 1992, John Major led the British Tory MEPs into the mainstream centre right EPP Group: to sit alongside friends like Fine Gael”, concluded Hazell: “In ordering Conservative MEPs to leave the EPP family, Cameron began systematically to destroy the work of Sir John Major and other Tory leaders.”