Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU must embrace free trade with India and the United States

25th April 2007

Conservatives propose US-EU-India "special relationship" deal on eve of showpiece summit

Strasbourg 25th April -- Dr Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman, wants the three most populous democracies to promote free trade in a free world. Speaking in the European Parliament to the visiting President Kallam of India, Dr Tannock, who is President of the Friends of India, urged the EU to "topple the barriers to trade" with the sub-continent and warned protectionist MEPs to wake up to the EU's economic decline.

"This weekend's EU-US summit is an historic one given Chancellor Merkel's aim for a transatlantic market without barriers by 2015. We should be more ambitious and create a trans-global market of free democracies - starting with the US and India.

"Protectionists who prefer the politics of "transatlantic rivalry" to "partnership", must recognise that in the economic battle America is clearly winning. The healthy long-term prospects of its free-enterprise economy are in sharp contrast to the EUís gradual decline in a sea of over-regulation which we must remedy before it is too late.

"Free trade is the answer to the EU's chronic unemployment which can be reduced by EU reform and opening up markets with our friends in the free world."