Whose vision of Europe do we want Tony Blair's or Jacque Chiracs

17 June 2005

Tony Blair has as little vision of Europe as Margaret Thatcher did. His current schoolboy negotiating tactics do our reputation in the EU nothing but harm and seriously hinder any vision he may once have had of putting the UK at the heart of Europe. As for Chirac, a stubborn unwillingness to face up to the fact that Europe has changed and France is lagging behind does not offer anything I wish to subscribe too.

I want to see a Europe with Scotland playing its part. With Scotland sitting in European Council meetings as a fully fledged member of the EU, where we speak up for ourselves instead of having Blair and his bully boys negotiating for us. Scots have far more friends in their EU neighbours than Mr Blair does, and they all want to see us on board and taking up an active role in Europe. I don't want to see a Europe where we blindly accept anything the Commission says, but a Europe where Scots and the Scottish Parliament are fully engaged.

Europe is not there to be dictated by the whims and personal battles of Mssrs Chirac and Blair. Why are we being asked to choose between two visions that have been clearly rejected by people across Europe. The problem with Europe's leaders right now is that there is no new vision and that is what Europe so badly needs right now.