Blair-era puppet-master slams Cameron on Europe
Peter Mandelson has blasted Cameron's policy of renegotiation with Europe, calling the fight, "futile"
Tony Blair's former confidante and ex-European Commissioner for Trade, Lord Mandelson has blasted Prime Minister's David Cameron's policy of renegotiation on Europe, calling the attempts "futile".
The ardent pro-EU life peer spoke last night at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) London's annual dinner and claimed that Cameron was “walking away” from the “huge market on our doorstep” of Europe.
As the LondonLovesBusiness site has reported, Mandelson’s intervention comes after the Prime Minister’s pledge in January to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership and put them to a referendum by 2017.
He stated, "I’m afraid it seems absolutely insane to me, at a time when we have in our country so many other deep seated problems to grapple with, we should want to add to them by starting an entirely artificially generated argument amongst ourselves about whether or not we want to remain in the European Union.”
Mandelson served in the cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and though he admitted that the last government “overplayed its claims to have transformed the economy and to have put growth on an enduring upward trend”, he also stated that economic austerity versus growth was not an “either/or” and it would be a “huge mistake to argue for growth at the expense of reform”.
The intervention comes on the day that Nick Clegg delivers a major speech on immigration, which some have described as a sign of coalition government worries over UKIP voters. Recent polling has suggested that while the eurosceptic party attracts many votes through its policies around Europe, it also commands much support on the issue of immigration.
A recent poll showed that only 1 in 3 Brits wish to remain a part of Europe.
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