The Spectator

Ed Miliband’s speech on Europe: full text

In a speech today at the London Business School, Ed Miliband set out Labour’s policy on an EU referendum: unless there are further transfers of powers, there won’t be one. Here’s what he said:

It is great to be here at the London Business School. For fifty years, in the teaching you provide you have made a major contribution to helping businesses succeed across the world.

And today I want to talk about an issue that I know is close to your heart: Britain’s place in the European Union. I want to set out why I believe our country’s future lies in the EU. Why the EU needs to change. What that means for the next Labour government’s position on Britain’s membership of the European Union. And our policy for our general election manifesto for the next Parliament.

I want to start with events in Ukraine. In recent weeks, we have been reminded of what the European ideal means. One of the most striking sights of this year has been those pictures we have watched of young Ukrainians waving the EU flag. For them Europe is an ideal: a symbol of a better future, of peace and prosperity.

And that was the original case for the European Union: Securing peace among the countries of Western Europe as they emerged from the horrors of the Second World War. Then taking in countries that had been locked behind the Iron Curtain.

What events in the Ukraine reveal is that this ideal remains strong. At its best, the European Union is a set of countries committed to working together for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. What has been happening in the Ukraine is a reminder of how some countries outside the EU look upon the European Union.

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