Much as I hesitate to take your regular correspondent Donald Leach to task, his letter “Lessons from the parties” in The Courier of 17th October contained a material inaccuracy which stands to be corrected.
Mr. Leach says that William Hague has described the EU as a burning building with no fire exit. This is very far from the truth as what William Hague did describe as “a burning building with no exits” was the Euro i.e. the single currency.
On the subject of the EU itself, Mr. Hague’s views were clearly expressed in an interview printed in The Observer of 2nd October this year, in which he is quoted as saying quite clearly that “Our place is in the European Union”.
Given that he has been a long-time sceptic of Europe, this is an interesting clarification of his views and, one must presume, a reflection of the more pragmatic stance that has to be taken when one is in power (and therefore knows the facts) rather than opposition.
Even more remarkable is Mr. Hague’s statement that he “very much” wants to see the admittance of Turkey to the EU which he sees as both “strategically necessary and economically beneficial”. Indeed he goes so far as to say that turning Turkey away from EU membership would be “a century-long error by Europe.”
On the subject of Turkey, it is also surprising to learn that our Foreign Secretary talks to their Foreign Minister as much as he talks to Hilary Clinton, which is further evidence that the old certainties and alliances are changing fast and that a country, to be successful in the future, has to be placed in far more hubs of power than ever before.
Brighouse Wood Lane