Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We shall see

Dr Liam Fox has assured a number of people in my hearing that he was a unionist, Atlanticist, pro-American eurosceptic but had not the slightest intention of calling for a withdrawal from the European Union.

He does not like the Lisbon Treaty but seems unaware that certain matters to do with the common foreign and security policy have been developing ever since the Conservatives foisted the Maastricht Treaty on us. No, there was no referendum then, either, though muggins here was one of those who worked hard to secure one.

However, he is absolutely certain of one thing: the Conservatives, when and if in government will pull out of the European Defence Agency. They have already told their colleagues that they will follow the right path for Britain in this as with the EPP. Yes, he did say that. I expect it will be just the same but miracles might be possible. We shall see.

While we are on the subject of what we shall see or not, Dr Fox also assured us all, that he and his party were absolutely certain that NATO must decide for itself who shall be its members and not allow Russia to intervene in the process.

That is all very well, but as I recall the Conservative Party made no statements at the time of the Sofia Summit when Germany and France with support from Spain, Italy and the Benelux countries opposed all plans to start the process of taking Georgia and Ukraine into NATO because Russia did not want it.

As it happens, the final statement was very different from what our French and German “partners” wanted and promised that the two countries’ Membership Action Plan (MAP) applications would be sorted out by the Foreign Ministers of NATO at their forthcoming meeting in December.

As we know, President Prime Minister Putin and his teddy bear President Medvedev assessed the situation accurately and went ahead with their plans to invade Georgia, where the Russian troops have remained despite many promises to withdraw.

Chancellor Merkel has just visited Russia and, while doing a certain amount of grandstanding about how unhappy she was with the Kremlin’s behaviour, in actual fact, assured her hosts that NATO foreign ministers will do nothing about either Georgia or Ukraine at the December meeting. So much for that.

As it happens, Dr Fox did not explain whether the Conservative Party would be making any statements on the subject when those foreign ministers meet; nor did he mention the possibility of a debate about NATO’s relationship with Russia in the Commons. Still, he made some very firm statements about it all. We shall see what they might lead to.


Anonymous said...

The whole Bruge Group could support Free Europe Constitution and vote YES at (Vaclav Klaus supports it).

Helen said...

You don't appear to understand - we do not support any Europe-wide constitution.