Anyone who has gritted their teeth and listened to the many statements of Conservative Foreign Secretary William Hague in recent weeks on the Libyan uprising may have noticed Hague has never failed to act as if he were the official spokesman for the EU.
For a man who is a supposed Eurosceptic Hague seems to have been holding a very large candle for Brussels, never failing to mention the EU as a solution to every problem, even though it is NATO that is carrying out air strikes against the Gadaffi regime. This pro Brussels sycophancy is completely at odds with the carefully cultivated image of a man who will not rest until Britain controls her own affairs.
However Hague has taken his forbidden love of the EU into new ground tonight. In a speech delivered at the Mansion House on the Arab Spring and democratic reform in Middle Eastern countries, Hague has once again advanced the EU as the answer – this time as the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict:
The EU already has the tools and the resources for the task. What it has lacked is the will to use them well. We should use the EU’s economic magnetism to encourage and support real political and economic reform. That means a new partnership with the southern neighbourhood with a simple proposal at its heart: that the EU will share its prosperity and open up markets in return for real progress on political and economic reform.
The EU should offer broad and deep economic integration, leading to a free-trade area and eventually a customs union, progressively covering goods, agriculture and services, as well as the improvement of conditions for investment. All of this must should be accompanied by our partners achieving clear and sustainable political and economic reform.
It is stomach churning to see how devalued the role of Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has become. There is no mention of the role Britain could play, just a fawning fanaticism to cheerlead for a bureaucracy that talks big and delivers nothing. Move over Baroness Catherine Ashton and behold the EU’s true Foreign Affairs spokesman.
No doubt once he has been ejected/departed from office we will see this overhyped money grubbing climber slide into a cosy, well remunerated EU placement. As Hague likes wearing baseball caps, perhaps the one above will serve as a goodbye and don’t come back gift from people who would rather we had a Foreign Secretary representing this country instead of Brussels.