Although many conservatives will welcome President-elect Sarkozy’s commitment to closer ties with the USA there are many people who are worried about the implications of his victory for the future of the EU. Worry one must be the President-Elect’s willingness to introduce a backdoor version of the EU Constitution that France’s voters so wisely rejected. This from EU Observer:
"Mr Sarkozy’s win is also likely to make it much easier for the gathering consensus among several member states that there should be parliamentary ratification and not a referendum on a new-look EU treaty to see the light of day. He has long advocated a streamlined version of the rejected EU constitution that is not put again to the French voters in a referendum. If this political route is taken in France, it is likely to make it easier for other countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands, to use the same tactic."
As The Guardian reports this morning, Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to travel to Berlin shortly to meet with Angela Merkel. They are expected to favour an end to the rotating EU presidency and its replacement with a fixed-term president. They will also recommend a European Foreign Office and further endings of national vetoes. The Tories know that they will oppose any attempt to reheat the Constitution but it will be a difficult early test for Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Will he attempt to recover Labour’s support in middle England by opposing Sarkozy-Merkel or will he be afraid to upset his fellow Europeans?
Worry two must be Sarkozy’s attack on the EU’s support for unchecked free market economics. It may just be campaign rhetoric but, as Martin Callanan MEP has warned ConservativeHome readers, he has long supported Jacques Chirac’s protectionist support for ailing French companies. Sara Rainwater of Global Vision is certainly concerned:
“Sarkozy’s recent comments on wanting to protect France from globalisation should come as a stark warning to those who support free trade. His policies risk the economic future not just of France but also the other Member States of the EU, including the UK.”
Sarkozy may be about to put Europe back on to the British political agenda.
Related link: And the next President of France is…