I met today with the excellent think tank OpenEurope, along with other MPs of various parties:
Open Europe is an independent think tank, with offices in London and Brussels, set up by some of the UK’s leading business people to contribute bold new thinking to the debate about the direction of the EU.
While we are committed to European co-operation, Open Europe believes that the EU has reached a critical moment in its development. ‘Ever closer union’, espoused by Jean Monnet and propelled forwards by successive generations of political and bureaucratic elites, has failed.
The EU’s over-loaded institutions, held in low regard by Europe’s citizens, are ill-equipped to adapt to the pressing challenges of weak economic growth, rising global competition, insecurity and a looming demographic crisis.
Open Europe believes that the EU must now embrace radical reform based on economic liberalisation, a looser and more flexible structure, and greater transparency and accountability if it is to overcome these challenges, and succeed in the twenty first century.
The best way forward for the EU is an urgent programme of radical change driven by a consensus between member states. In pursuit of this consensus, Open Europe will seek to involve like-minded individuals, political parties and organisations across Europe in our thinking and activities, and disseminate our ideas widely across the EU and the rest of the world.
It was all very encouraging. Through The Cobden Centre, I advocate free trade and peace in addition to our work on honest money, so naturally I am keen to promote a more open and dynamic Europe which is actually accountable to the people, instead of trampling their democratic rights whilst issuing ever more regulations, raising nationalism to the continental level.
Apparently the EU is now ripe for radical reform. Good.