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Local MEP welcomes EU enlargement

Andrew Duff MEP
Andrew Duff MEP

The enlargement of the European Union to 452 million people and 25 countries is a historic victory for European liberal democracy, says East of England’s Euro MP Andrew Duff.

Andrew Duff said: “On the 1st May ten new countries from Central and Eastern Europe join the European Union. They will now be able to share fully in the prosperity and security that we have enjoyed in the West for many years as a result of our own membership of the EU.

“Europe’s Liberal Democrats have worked long and hard to get this result. The enlarged single market is good for British business, and should sharpen our drive to greater competitivity. Many companies in East of England are already investing in the faster growing economies of the new member states.

“Expansion of the territory of the EU also enlarges our cultural horizons. I hope that our schools and universities will recognise and celebrate in their own teaching the new richness of Europe’s shared culture.

“Above all, enlargement is a triumph of liberal democracy. Those members of the British media and public who are contemptuous of parliamentary democracy in their homeland should pause to reflect on the political energy of the societies of the EU’s new members. Certainly the EU itself is already being invigorated by the injection of skilled and committed Europeans who really care about the future of our continent.

“British racists and nationalists will use this enlargement as a pretext to reinforce their prejudices against the foreigner. But many effective measures are now in place across the Union to control illegal immigration. And legal immigration into this country is badly needed to fill some of the half a million vacancies now advertised by British firms, schools, hospitals and public services.

“Just for once, let us remember with humility the moral justification for European unification: no more war; no more crimes against humanity; peace and reconciliation”.