Published in The Times, 29 November 2003
Sir, From where does Clare Short get the idea that a renationalised trade negotiating authority would have been preferable to the EU at the WTO summit in Cancún? The European Commission’s negotiating mandate is agreed by those member states, after all, so the policies advocated would not have been any different.
The one thing that is certain is that, rather than having the potential for a united and powerful voice on the world stage to rival that of the United States, the 15 or 25 EU member states would have been easily picked off one by one. That is what happened in the rush to war in Iraq. A co-ordinated European response might have made some difference: a fragmented one made none at all. Clare Short must learn from experience.
(Director, Federal Union)