Anti-protectionism summit must deliver action, not words

Test of leadership for the EU

The proposed anti-protectionism summit due to be held later this month must deliver positive action as well as sentiment to reject a protectionist response to the economic crisis, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, said today.

Chancellor Alistair Darling has recently called on the EU and US to reject protectionism, as finance ministers meet to resolve recent differences.

Sir Robert said:

“This is a real test of leadership in the EU. Of course, we can understand why there will be calls for EU countries to erect barriers to each other and to the rest of the world, but our leaders must stand firm.

“A summit that sends out an anti-protectionist message to the rest of the world is a first step, but words and rhetoric must be backed up with action. If the EU and the USA give up on free trade and open markets, the rest of the world will follow and a downward spiral of economic nationalism will result.”

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