Atkins Confronts Merkel Over EU Constitution

At a packed meeting of some 500 representatives of the Centre-Right EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament today, German Chancellor Merkel was questioned fiercely over her commitment to the EU Constitution by Tory MEPs’ Deputy Leader, Sir Robert Atkins.

“I asked her why she was persisting in trying to resurrect this dead but divisive issue, given that two founding members - France and the Netherlands - had voted against it in their referenda and that every opinion poll showed increasing hostility to it throughout the EU.” stated Sir Robert. “ I urged her to look for policies to unite and excite European citizens rather than to divide Member States,” continued the North West MEP “and warned Merkel that a future Conservative Government would not support the Constitution, whoever was President of the Council of Ministers.”

The German Chancellor was somewhat taken aback by the force of Sir Robert’s question but responded by declaring that she believed that a new Treaty was essential if “Europe was to continue to go forward.” But she recognised the importance of unity rather than division and pledged to seek to achieve the former rather than the latter.

Sir Robert commented:

“I remain to be convinced but at least the Chancellor now understands the strength of British Conservative opinion about this wholly unacceptable EU Constitution.”

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