Rodney Leach helped to stop the Euro and defeat AV. Today, he sets out a platform for "moderate Euro-sceptics"
By Paul Goodman
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So when he takes up a new venture it's worth keep an eye on it. He is now Chairman of Open Europe, and has a piece today behind the Times paywall. He writes that:
"The shape of a new Europe therefore writes its own script - a neighbourly alliance, partly federal, partly by treaty between independent states, in which those who want to share a currency and economic sovereignty and those who just want co-operation would be equally welcome. Only trade, the bedrock of the original Common Market, would be universal. In truth, it is not the eurozone that is the “core” of Europe - it is the single market."
In other words, Lord Leach believes that Britain can have its cake and eat it - that it can stay in the customs union and leave pretty much everything else.
Or, as he puts it, "limit Brussels’ involvement in areas such as policing and crime, fisheries, farming, employment law and regional policy".
The Franco-German alliance has been the motor of "ever-closer union" since the Common Market was founded. It is very hard to believe that this will change.
But whether it does or not - as the great Eurozone unemployment machine grinds on - we won't have a clearer view until after the German elections next year.
Nor will the Government propose a major repatriation of powers to Germany and other EU countries. Nick Clegg certainly wouldn't have it, and David Cameron probably wouldn't either, at least before the next election. Lord Leach knows this. So why his article? My eye rests on the section that says that the voice of "moderate sceptics, who want to stay in the EU but might want “out” if the Government can’t negotiate a changed relationship...is too seldom heard."
Which suggests that we will hear it more loudly from Lord Leach, that backer of winning causes, in the New Year.