European Affairs

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 1:31 pm on 3rd June 2010.

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Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Labour, South Shields 1:31 pm, 3rd June 2010

I fear that there is a rather more fundamental problem than the one that my right hon. Friend has addressed. Although it is right to have a single European growth strategy, there is not a single European Government, nor is there a single European economic policy. We have nation states of Europe that pursue their own policies, and the vast majority of right hon. and hon. Members across the House would support that. The benchmarks that he talks about could not be enforced by the European Commission, or by anyone else, in those areas that were not within the competence of the European Union. I do not think the lesson from that is that we should centralise all work on universities or other supply-side issues. However, the structural problem remains, whereby the European Union operates by agreement, but implementation in significant areas is carried out by nation states.

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