BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: In Depth: Conferences: Conservatives
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

banner Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Maude stands firm on EU laws
Danis referendum
The Danes proved 'one size does not fit all'
Shadow foreign secretary Francis Maude has promised that a Conservative government would not allow Europe simply to take more powers away from the UK.

He told conference that any further transfer of powers would only be allowed after a referendum on the issue.

People want to be in Europe but keep the pound

Francis Maude
Mr Maude said the Tories would legislate to create "reserved powers", over which European law could not over-ride the will of Parliament.

He also said that they would insist on a 'mix and match' approach to European laws - apart from those on the single market and core areas - allowing countries to accept only those which met their needs.

One size 'does not fit all'

The shadow foreign secretary said the UK would not stand in the way of other EU countries which wanted to integrate more: "That's their sovereign right. But a Conservative government will not - not - do the same."

Ours is a swirling, tempestuous world; a world bursting with opportunity; a world of lightning information flows; truly a network world

Francis Maude
Mr Maude denied that this would mean the UK becoming isolated.

He said the Danish vote to reject the euro proved that 'one size did not fit all'.

There was "nothing inevitable about scrapping the pound. People want to be in Europe but keep the pound," Mr Maude declared, "And with a Conservative government, they will."

Network world

The shadow foreign secretary began his speech by remarking that the world was now less stable than it was during the Cold War.

Francis Maude
Maude expresses Tory determination
"Ours is a swirling, tempestuous world; a world bursting with opportunity; a world of lightning information flows. Truly a network world," he said.

Mr Maude said that if people believed in themselves, then the UK could flourish in this new world.

He said UK assets included the world's fourth largest economy, the greatest financial centre, armed forces admired worldwide, membership of the EU, at the heart of Nato and the Commonwealth, and English - "the language of the internet and global exchange".

Britain could be at the centre of the network world, Mr Maude said, if it looked outwards, not inwards.

He said the British were globalists before the word was invented, and had spread freedom, law and democracy across the globe.

  • Lady Thatcher entered the European fray by saying that Britain's war record showed the UK should not become "entangled" with its European neighbours.

    The former prime minister told the BBC: "I have very strong views about Europe. We're quite the best country. We rescued them. We're not going to get entangled with them.

    "We've got to keep our own independence. Is that clear?"

  • Search BBC News Online

    Advanced search options
    Launch console
    See also:

    29 Sep 00 | Business
    What future for Denmark?
    29 Sep 00 | UK Politics
    Danish vote boosts eurosceptics
    28 Sep 00 | Europe
    Danes say no to euro
    29 Jun 00 | UK Politics
    Hague: Protect UK from EU
    Internet links:

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more Conservatives stories are at the foot of the page.

    Links to more Conservatives stories