'TORIES AND EUROPE'
Independent – 9 January 1998
The Conservative Party entered last year's General Election with an untenable fence-sitting compromise on European economic and monetary union. It alienated a key segment of its core vote, reducing its percentage of the poll so much that Labour's 43 percent of the vote translated into an unnecessary landslide victory.
Some of those who prevented the last Government from adopting a principled policy of opposition to EMU now say that they "will support Tony Blair" on this crucial issue (letter, 5 January).
In answer to a question in the Commons on 15 December, the Prime Minister declared that "we should judge whether we enter monetary union according to our national interest, and that is defined by the economic tests that we have set".
Most Conservatives who oppose EMU do so as much for political reasons as for economic ones; but the Labour Government's position means that – provided that their economic tests are passed – there is no loss of political sovereignty or independence which would prevent them from joining EMU.
It is sad to see parliamentarians of any party encouraging such a danger to democracy.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
DESMOND SWAYNE MP
LAURENCE ROBERTSON MP
House of Commons