‘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 expressed interest in entirely leaving Europe. They are all committed to the European Single Market, as by standardising national regulations, the single market makes it easier to do business in the EU and contributes to faster economic growth. They are also in favour of a single market as it would increase competition within the EU leading to lower prices for consumers, and economic ties will help contribute towards European stability, which will reduce the chance of conflict between European states.
Another agreement between the major parties is that none of them currently support joining the euro, and have no plans to join the Eurozone in the future. Despite Tony Blair supporting the UK joining the Eurozone whilst PM, Gordon Brown’s five economic tests prevented the UK from adopting the currency. When he took over the role of PM, Brown ruled out membership of the euro for the lifetime of his parliament. Once Labour was voted out of power and Ed Miliband took over as leader, Labour still pledged to keep the pound, with Miliband saying "Britain's not going to be joining the euro, it won't be joining the euro if I'm Prime Minister", meaning Labour has no plans to join the euro for the foreseeable future. Like Labour, the Liberal...
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