Euroscepticism has been reduced by Brexit, says former minister

2016-07-23 09:00:00

Could it still be possible to avoid the global storm which would result from the UK leaving the EU? Trinidad Jiménez, a former minister with the socialist government, believes so, and she is convinced that there is much less Euroscepticism in countries such as Holland and France now that people have seen the price paid by political leaders in the UK, and the uncertainty which now reigns over the country.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs told a conference organised by the University of Malaga to mark the start of its summer courses that if she had been asked a month ago whether a ‘Brexit’ would cause problems in the European Union because other countries would want to follow suit, she would have said yes. Now, however, “it has happened, and it has had the opposite effect: in some countries which had threatened to hold their own referendum, there is a real feeling of fear about the possibility of leaving the EU,” she explained.
In her speech Trinidad Jiménez, who was representing former prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the conference, focused on Spain’s position in the EU, 30 years after joining, but she spent several minutes analysing Britain’s vote to leave.
She said a political solution is needed to prevent the disconnection between London and Brussels, which she believes will have serious consequences for the people of the UK and its businesses, many of which are likely to decide to exchange the City for a location elsewhere in the world.
“I believe that Europe would be better with the United Kingdom as part of it, but above all that Britain is better as part of the EU. In politics everything is possible, and I believe a solution needs to be found,” she said.
The former minister thinks it would be difficult for a second referendum to be held, but she reiterated that Parliament has to ratify the decision to leave the EU. She pointed out that if there were to be a general election in the UK and the new British leaders were committed to remaining within the EU, the government could propose this to the European institutions. “In politics you can always find a solution, but there has to be the political will to do so,” she insisted.
She did, however, stress that there could be no exceptions for Britain, and that it should not expect to be able to take advantage of free movement of goods and capital without accepting free movement of people. “Free movement of people is the basis of the EU, and what Britain doesn’t seem to realise is that it will continue to have the same migratory pressure, whether it is in the EU or not,” she insisted.
She also claimed that the UK would have greater difficulty in controlling its borders because it would not have the same mechanisms as those that exist in the EU, and she questioned whether Britain could face the global threat of terrorism alone.
“I really don’t think it could. With a visible enemy, you can use traditional methods, but with a threat which is diffuse and not localised, a threat which can be from a single individual who can kill hundreds of people at once, as occurred in Nice a few days ago, that is very difficult to combat” she said.source surinenglish