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Friday, 17 October 2008


I was very pleased to see that Baroness Catherine Ashton has been appointed as Britain's new EU Commissioner.

I have known Cathy Ashton for a number of years. She has excellent credentials for her new position, being an experienced EU negotiator with the Rome I and Rome II civil law regulations in her repertoire. Prior to her nomination as Commissioner designate (her hearing before the Trade Committee is on 20 October) she was Leader of the House of Lords where she piloted 18 Bills through the Upper House.

Sadly, though predictably, the British Tories and UKIP are waging a campaign against Baroness Ashton. Their agenda is twofold: a) to do anything they can to disrupt the functioning of the European Union and b) to undermine Gordon Brown's government. Their game plan seems to consist of unfounded and disagreeable attacks Cathy Ashton, which are unpleasant to say the least. Baroness Ashton is well qualified for the job with far more relevant experience than those Tories who are leading the campaign against her such as the arch Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan.

Baroness Ashton deserves the support of all British MEPs. Commissioners of whatever Party have always received cross Party backing. I very much hope the same will be true this time. Don't let a few diehards ruin it for the majority who understand how Europe works and wish our Commissioner well.

1 comment:

Jon Worth said...

I can understand why people should back Ashton, but I can also understand why people from other political families do not! After all it was the socialists who led the efforts against Buttiglione in 2004 (because he wasn't a socialist), so now other parties lead the charge against Ashton. The left in the EP can't claim it's above these sorts of tricks as it's used the very same tactics to its own advantage in the past.