Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-02-02-Speech-4-181-000"

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"Madam President, I took part in a debate in the United Kingdom last month against our former Europe Minister about these BRICs. He said: ‘What you have to understand, Hannan, people like you, is that we sell more to the Netherlands than we sell to the whole of Brazil. We sell more to Belgium than we sell to the whole of China’. I replied, ‘That is precisely the problem’. Which is the better long-term prospect? When we joined the European Union in 1973, we had the impression that we were hitching our wagons to a powerful locomotive. Western Europe had indeed grown spectacularly in the years following 1945. It had far outperformed the United Kingdom, burdened as it was with the enormous debt-to-GDP ratio that it had at the end of the Second World War. But we can now see in retrospect that our timing could hardly have been worse. In relative terms, Western Europe stopped growing in the oil crisis of 1974 and never really got going again. We foolishly stood aside from the parts of the world which are still developing, where the growth still is, not least the Anglosphere and Commonwealth markets to which we are tied by habit, blood and speech. We are cabined, cribbed, confined in a dwindling customs union. We should raise our eyes to the broader, brighter and more distant horizons that our fathers took for granted."@en1

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