Brittan exposes Hague’s fatal mistake

Series Title
Series Details 18/01/01
Publication Date 18/01/2001
Content Type

Date: 18/01/01

Former Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan has detected a fatal flaw in the latest attempt by UK opposition leader William Hague to find a credible policy on Europe.

Speaking at a conference of centre-right leaders in Berlin, Hague said that EU enlargement should take place even before the 2003 target date the Union has set. “It is unacceptable that over a decade after the collapse of communism there is still no clear end in sight for the applicant countries,” he argued.

Hague would allow the candidates to join once they had met the Union's “free market provisions”, while giving them the choice to opt in on social legislation later. However, as Sir Leon pointed out, Hague's desire to accelerate enlargement is undermined by one small detail: he opposes ratifying the Nice treaty.

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