Cameron Euro allies back anti-Muslim marches

With friends like these who needs enemies?

With friends like these who needs enemies?

Angela Merkel meets with David Cameron today to discuss a range of global issues, from Ebola to Ukraine. Yet the one which will be most talked about is Cameron’s proposal to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU.

So far Merkel has been keen to sound a conciliatory note, issuing a joint statement with Cameron emphasising that Germany agrees with reforms to make the EU more competitive and more focused on growth. Aware that how her words are interpreted could have a profound impact on the outcome of general election, the German Chancellor is bound to tread cautiously around this very sensitive topic.

However, behind the scenes there is a limit to how far Germany and other EU countries are willing to go to accede to Conservative demands. As Merkel herself has made perfectly clear, in comments that have been echoed by a number of other European leaders, restricting freedom of movement in the EU is a red line that cannot be crossed. 

Since its creation, the single market has been based on the free movement of goods, people, services and capital. Tamper with one of these and the whole thing unravels. Say no to Polish labour, and Poland can say no to the British capital and goods that have flooded the country since it joined.

In other words, restricting the free movement of workers would mean leaving the single market and therefore the EU. The Tories should come clean and admit this.

Yet as well as being faced with impossible demands from his Tory backbenchers, Cameron is being embarrassed by his Conservative MEPs in Brussels, who are now allied in the European Parliament with Merkel’s arch-rivals in the Alternative Fur Deutschland (AfD) party.

This is the party which in recent weeks has become closely linked with Pegida, the far-right anti-Islamic movement organising mass protests in cities across Germany.

Frauke Petry, one the AfD’s three co-leaders, has been outspoken in defending Pegida and will meet with its representatives today.

Another AfD politician, Alexander Gauland, recently attended a mass Pegida rally in Dresden and said the movement are the party’s “natural allies,” while in a leaked internal memo AfD leaders said the party should target voters ‘who fear being swamped by Islam”.

This comes just days after Merkel described Pegida as being full of prejudice and hatred in her New Year’s Speech.

With friends like these, you might say, who needs enemies. By openly allying with a party that is being associated with intolerance and xenophobia in Germany, the Tories are further undermining their ability to deliver EU reform.

The huge counter-demonstrations in recent days have shown that the German people are rightly rejecting Pegida’s politics of fear. The Tories would do well to do the same.

Catherine Bearder is a Liberal Democrat MEP

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14 Responses to “Cameron Euro allies back anti-Muslim marches”

  1. snorx

    Have you a source for the Conservative- AfD EParl alliance?

  2. Benjamin Walter

    Eurppean Union MUST GIVE A SERIOUS THOUGHT MUSLIMS ISLAMIZING EUROPE, THEIR BOOK not muslims but their book tells to make JIHAD AGAINST.CHRISTIANS, they say every baby born in this world is born as muslim, its rediculous, they simply start their prayers on the main road. Europe and USA is well deciplened contries, EU leaders must see that CHRISTIAN CULTURE AND DECILPENE IS MAINTAINED ALL OVER.

  3. robert

    Cameron would the dimwit

  4. IslamReligionofPeace

    Cameron “Islam is a religion of peace” 2014

  5. Pete Rossetti

    Though Christian countries have killed more people in war that any other. Go figure.

    The UK eg has been in a continuous state of war for the last 11 yrs

  6. Psymon

    Time to take the fight to them and stop them destroying the world most of the violence worldwide is from this religion with no regard for humanity or life! The west should stop being cowards and fight them wherever they roam

  7. James

    Its silly how countries in Europe are worried by a minority and feel as if their countries are going to be overtaken by a minority. The truth is these countries are racists. In England, the population is approx 60 million and there are only 2 million Muslims. This clearly illustrates that English people are worried by a small minority for no other reason than all of them being racists. Europe is on a continuous basis interfering with other countries and the people who live in these countries are blind to see what the reason behind their interference is. It’s because of money and world domination. People need to wake up and demonstrate against their respective governments.

  8. Godfrey Paul

    Given what happened in Paris today, what do you expect?

  9. keeshond

    Unfortunate timing for this article to appear today, don’t you think? And maybe James, the person who chooses to call European countries racists (sic), would prefer to live in Pakistan, Syria or Yemen from where he could protect his fellow citizens against European interference…..just as long as he doesn’t try demonstrating against their respective governments.

  10. James

    Keeshond its individuals like yourself who require education. Your comments are silly and irrelevant. You should be extradited to the above countries so that you can live in a environment you would like to be in.

  11. Guest

    No surprise you’re for bombing Europe’s cities.
    The religion with no regard…is that of extremism. Theirs, yours…

  12. Guest

    And apparrently your book is about Jihad against Muslims (and then Jews, of course).

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    You mean except the European Conservatives and Reformists’s own website?

  14. Cole

    So why is Catherine Bearder’s party in a coalitiin with these nasty people?

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