Page 5, 3rd July 1992

3rd July 1992
Page 5
Page 5, 3rd July 1992 — Europe: pro and con

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Locations: Brussels, Westminster


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Europe: pro and con

European Viewpoint

Derek Enright, MP Hemswurth (Labour)

WHERE is it now, the great revolution of Rerum Nnvarum? It's tucked up there in Maastricht weakly struggling to get out. The great social teaching of the Church put justice for all at the heart of society.

Society derives its strength from the family; a family that is not selfish. It is strong within, but it is not exclusive. It uses its strengths to help those who need it on the outside. It seeks out all who are in distress to comfort them.

That was the vision for the European Community of the founding fathers. Even in the Coal and Steel Treaties, the welfare of all, not the profits of a few, is explicitly stated. Economics is the handmaiden of justice for all Europe's citizens, not an end in itself. The Single European Act completed the market mechanisms and enhanced its human values. Maastricht puts them into practice. The social clauses, the environmental aims, the educational ideals are given room to prosper in the picture. Demo racy is boosted by giving the European Parliament a greater control over the Commission and Council.

Far from losing sovereignty, it is enhanced in the Treaty. Sovereignty for an independent UK is an illusory creature. On our own, we have little influence and lose power. Even now the value of the pound depends on the strength of the Mark. Surely we should be concentrating on building together a strong European economy which has regard for the just society.

Like the family, it should be an outward-looking Europe, strong not to crush but to'help: to take the weight of a central and eastern Europe which is disintegrating and restore to those countries cohesion and social and economic health; to look with compassion on starving Africa and, in partnership, build up a new strength to bring justice to all; to work with the other superpowers for peace and to restore harmony to nature.

That's what Maastricht can start. Have we the courage to tackle it?

James Pawsey, MP Rugby (Conservative)

VOTED for membership of the European Economic Community I did not, however, vote for membership of a United States of Europe. Still less did I vote for a federal Europe. The Community was not intended to be a political organisation its role was to develop trade and industry.

There was also the view, that since the two World Wars started in Europe, there would be a reduced possibility of a third and final war if Europe's nations were integrated into a Common Market. Ambitions have, however, moved on since the days of the Community's founding fathers. Greater finding has now become available, resulting in the emergence of a bureaucracy which seeks increasingly to interfere in the internal affairs of individual member states. Maastricht was merely the latest in a series of steps towards a federal Europe.

It is true that Prime Minister John Major obtained the best deal for our country. But despite his Herculean efforts. the steady erosion of power from Westminster to Brussels was set to continue.

The Danish. vote provides second thoughts, and it is clear from the reaction both in the Conservative Parliamentary Party and indeed in the country that those second thoughts are likely to be much closer to the nation's gut opinion.

Increasingly there is scepticism about the political role of the Community, the Common Agricultural Policy and the economic and social policies promoted by Jacques Delors.

I remain committed to the European Community the Common Market. I wish to see free trade but not a free and unrestricted movement of peoples form one part of the continent to another. 1 don't want a social contract imposed, or to receive instruction on the number of hours that can be worked. I do not wish to see powers transferred from an elected Parliament in Westminster to an unelected Council of Ministers in Brussels. In short I want more trade, not more government.

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