Europe Restructured


02/09/2015 | E-book |

ISBN: 9780413777980

About Europe Restructured

Former Foreign Secretary, Lord David Owen, a lifelong European, says “Without a very different renegotiation, for the first time in my life I could well vote 'No' to remaining in the EU. Continuing with much the same EU is not supportable.” 

Six years on from the global financial crisis the Eurozone is still in the midst of its own economic crisis. Greece’s problems are not resolved. The French and Italian economies are still not grappling with their need for radical change and there are weaknesses in other Eurozone economies. These economic problems and the geopolitical problems of the wider Europe like Ukraine are inextricably linked to whether the UK will decide to remain in the EU. It will be a catastrophe if the EU dismisses the UK referendum as one of little significance, a matter just for the British.  

In his book Europe Restructured Lord Owen provides a negotiable blueprint for a restructured EU Single Market within the European Economic Area. It allows for more and more opt outs for the UK as it lifts its veto on the necessary ever greater integration of the Eurozone in order to alleviate its six year crisis, and as the Eurozone inevitably introduces more and more Qualified Majority Voting.  

He advocates the UK remaining in the EU Single Market within the European Economic Area (EEA), and that this area should be opened, in principle, to all of the wider European states as full voting members when they fulfil the criteria for entry, such as Turkey, already an associate of the EU, and Switzerland. But they are not offered free movement of people and labour.  Also in future any EU country like the UK that does not want to be in the Eurozone nor in the Schengen group and wish to retain control of its own borders they would no longer be obliged to offer free movement of people and labour to any new EU member. That means that eight countries* in the queue for EU membership would be stopped from the automatic right to come into the UK. This is a huge but necessary reduction in potential open access to the UK. Unlike over Poland, Bulgaria and Romania it means closing an open door before it happens. The distinction that makes this possible is that free movement is not essential for a Single Market but is essential for an ever-greater integrated Eurozone. 

By reviving Political Cooperation for those Single Market EEA counties who wish to participate and who are not in the Eurozone, the way is paved for the UK to opt out from the pretension of an evermore integrated Common EU Foreign and Security Policy and EU integrated common defence. Gone would be all the tortured and deeply damaging wording in the Nice and Lisbon Treaties that still stand and threaten the UK's self-government. Political Cooperation served the UK well in the past for cooperating and coordinating foreign and security policy.  

Lord Owen says "'This restructuring is both more realistic and far reaching than anything at present on the Government' s very limited negotiating agenda. It is the means for avoiding Brexit, a course on which at present we are sleepwalking towards." 

*(countries affected: Albania, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine)  


David Owen

David Owen (Lord Owen) trained and practised as a medical doctor before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979. He co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and is now a Crossbencher in the Lords. Among many books, he is the author of In Sickness and In Power - Illness in Heads of Government during the last 100 years, The Hubris Syndrome, Balkan Odyssey, a powerful autobiography, Time to Declare, the updated edition of which was published as part of Politico's Great Statesmen Series in August 2009, and a poetry anthology, Seven Ages.

David Owen is the author of a number of books on political subjects including The Hubris Syndrome (Methuen) and In Sickness and In Power (Methuen), both in-depth studies of the health of leaders in governments and the impact of illness on their effectiveness in office. He served as a Labour Party Member of Parliament for twenty-six years during which time he was Health Minister (1974–76) under Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary (1976–79) under James Callaghan. He left the Labour Party when, under Michael Foot’s leadership, it lurched too far to the left. David Owen was one of the ‘Gang of Four’ to found the Social Democratic Party in 1983, which he led on two separate occasions. In 1992 David Owen was created a Life Peer and now sits as an independent social democrat in the House of Lords. Before entering Parliament, Lord Owen trained as a medical doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, where he was Clinical Neurologist and Psychiatric Registrar. He has championed the NHS throughout its existence and is now a powerful advocate for its reinstatement to its original purpose.


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