Daniel Korski

William Hague sets out the government’s Europe policy

William Hague sets out the government's Europe policy
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Those who hate the new Conservative-led government and those who love it seem to be united in one expectation: that Europe policy may be the coalition's downfall. David Lidington, the able new Europe minister, certainly has his work cut out for him.

In the latest of the Brussels journal Europe's World, Foreign Secretary William Hague lays out the government's Europe policy, a policy best described as "pragmatic scepticism":

"The EU is an institution of enormous importance to the United Kingdom and to British foreign policy. And although the Conservative Party has seldom shied away from frank criticism when we have thought the EU has collectively been getting things wrong, we have equally been the foremost champions of the EU's greatest achievements - the single market and enlargement."

"The UK's new Conservative-led government intends to play a leading role in discussion of the European Union's external affairs. While we conservatives have taken a particular view on the utility and purpose of the EU's institutional structures, we have always argued that it is in the common interests of the nations of Europe that we should use our collective weight in the world to mutual advantage and to promote our shared values."

It may earn the Foreign Secretary few plaudits among the party faithful - and absolute ire from the Bill Cashs of this world - but it will garner appreciation from pragmatists at home and partners abroad.