‘the Major Uk Parties Agree More over Europe Than They Disagree.’ Discuss

1277 Words May 13th, 2013 6 Pages
‘The major UK parties agree more over Europe than they disagree.’ Discuss

Throughout the history of European integration, the major UK parties have debated on all different aspects of Europe and the impacts of membership on Britain itself. From both these debates and party policies, it is clear to see that whilst there is generally a consensus over Europe, some issues have been a cause of disagreement among the major parties. In this essay I will analyse the policies and actions of the major UK parties that concern the EU and be able to conclude to what extent they agree over Europe.

The most obvious example of agreement between the three major UK parties is that they all favour UK membership of the EU, and none of them have
…show more content…
The Conservatives, on the other hand, have been against joining the Eurozone ever since negotiating an opt-out from the part of the Maastricht Treaty that would have required the UK to adopt the euro. They remain against the joining the euro, with David Cameron saying in his recent speech on Europe that “Britain is not in the single currency, and we're not going to be”.

One common criticism of the EU by all three major parties has been the lack of democracy within the EU institutions. Even the pro-European Liberal Democrats have said that the certain parts of the EU need to be reformed. One of the main reforms supported by the major parties is the reform of the EU budget to get better value for money, as they believe that the UK pays too much into the budget and does not get as much out of it as it pays in. A policy that the all parties wish to reform is the Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP takes up 32% of the EU’s budget, but only supports a small minority of EU businesses. They believe that the CAP makes food more expensive in the EU than it needs to be, and that it increases poverty in poor countries by competing unfairly with local farmers. The major parties also support reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, with all three voting in favour of reform of the CFP in the European Parliament in February 2013. The Liberal Democrats and