By Alison Little
TORIES ACCUSE LABOUR OF EU SURRENDER
THE Tories yesterday accused Labour of “lurching to the left” and seeking to give the EU even more control over the lives of ordinary British people.
A document drawn up by a European Parliament group that includes Britain’s 13 Labour MEPs calls for a bigger EU budget, common EU taxes and VAT harmonisation.
It also wants more powers for Brussels over housing and employment policy.
Stephen Hughes – Labour MEP for Durham and Blaydon and vice-president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament – was a leading figure in drawing up the document, entitled The EU’s 2020 Vision.
The group, the second largest in the European Parliament, wants the EU to have a much bigger budget.
The document says: “Ambitious goals need an ambitious budget. Cutbacks by ministers have left key programmes such as Galileo [the EU’s controversial satellite programme designed to rival the US Global Positioning System] without the funds they need.”
The document calls for the “naming and shaming’’ of national member governments that fail to play their part.
But Labour officials yesterday sought to distance the party from the document. They insisted it was only a draft.
Glenis Willmott, leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, said: “This document does not have support of the Labour MEPs.
“We have not discussed any of the proposals, but we would certainly not sign up to any federalist proposals in it.”
But the group’s website hails the publication of the “policy framework’’.
It says Mr Hughes “led three months of talks to fine-tune the proposals’’.
He is quoted as saying Europe would lead a “radically different way of life in our vision of a fairer society that tackles greed and waste.