Coalition is contradictory and incompatible on Europe - Miliband

David MilibandDavid Miliband MP, Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, said today that the Coalition Government held contradictory and incompatible views on Europe, resulting in inaction and no policies.

David Miliband said:

"We will hold the Government to account for their promises on Europe. Their contradictory, mutually exclusive and incompatible promises on Europe.
"The Government goes into European negotiations with no policy on European defence; it is not mentioned in the Coalition agreement; no policy on European energy – also not mentioned; and on justice and home affairs, all they can say is that they will review cases one by one; no principles, no plans.

"The reason is simple: they cannot agree on anything, and Britain is weak as a result. The Prime Minister threatens vetoes abroad; the truth is that policy has been vetoed at home.

"The Deputy Prime Minister says 'if we remain outside the Euro, we will simply continue to subside into a position of relative poverty and inefficiency compared to our more prosperous European neighbours'. He says the Tory party is allied with 'a bunch of nutters, anti-Semites, people who deny climate change exists, [and] homophobes' in Europe. The Energy Secretary has said the Tories have 'jump(ed) into bed with the wackos and the weirdos'.

"He also said 'you can tell a lot about a party by the company it keeps'. Too damn right – and we will be reminding the voters of Eastleigh and every other seat of the company the Lib Dems now keep.

"Meanwhile the Prime Minister says of the Lib Dems that they 'want to take away Britain’s seat on the United Nations Security Council, and replace it with a European one'.

"The Foreign Secretary himself has called the Lib Dems 'the most fanatically federalist party in Britain'.

"So when it comes to policy no wonder they cannot agree. And it hurts Britain.

"This government has set up almost 40 reviews in three weeks.

"But unfortunately for the Foreign Secretary we can't put our policy on Europe, and our relationship with Europe, out into the long grass of the Great Review. It needs strong leadership and this Government has no chance of showing it."