Abolish EU, says Tory

By Rachel Sylvester (Filed: 10/05/2003)

The European Union should be abolished and replaced with a "Europe of Democracies" based on free trade rather than shared sovereignty, say opponents of the European constitution being drawn up in Brussels.

A group of members of the Convention on the Future of Europe, the body writing the constitution, plans to publish a minority report opposing most of the main proposals.

David Heathcoat-Amory

The rebels include around a dozen politicians from eight countries including Britain, France, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland. Although the minority report stands virtually no chance of being adopted, it is a clear sign of growing concern across the EU about the planned constitution, to be published next month.

The draft constitution proposed that countries should lose their veto on foreign policy, that taxes be harmonised and that the EU should be renamed the United States of Europe. There were also plans to set up a European army and a common criminal justice system.

In an interview with The Telegraph, David Heathcoat-Amory, the Tory MP who is one of the British members of the convention, said he would vote for the minority report.

"We've got Left and Right united in this noble cause of creating a democratic Europe answerable to its people," he said. The minority report proposes that the Europe of Democracies would be "a treaty association of free and self-governing European states and an open economic area".