10 days to go: EU Should be a market not a model

Michael Howard has signalled that a Conservative government will look to the United States rather than Europe as the ideal economic model.  Addressing the British Chamber of Commerce annual conference, the Party Leader pledged to cut back on the bureaucracy strangling British firms, and reduce taxes, restrain state spending, and keep the Pound.

And he declared: "I don't want British companies to be burdened with all the regulation and red tape that weighs down on business in continental Europe. When you hear Gordon Brown going on about the need to make the European economy more like America's, you might think he agreed with me. The great irony is that he's actually making Britain's economy more and more like those of continental Europe. Europe should be a market for British business, not an economic model."

Mr Howard said an examination of the major English-speaking economies would show that Britain is growing slower than the rest, while our income per head is now - for the first time - lower than Ireland's.

"We have dropped from fourth to eleventh in the world competitive league. I don't want the British economy to follow the European model. Labour, for all their fine words, do. I want Britain to change direction," he said.

The Party Leader told his BCC audience that the Conservatives would provide business with a government that was "on its side, not in its way"…a government "that spends within its means, that doesn't take risks by over-spending and over-borrowing, that won't hand over control of our interest rates to the European Central Bank.

"We are the only major Party pledged to maintain the independence of the Bank of England. Not just 10 days before a general election. But because for years we have seen the importance of interest rates being set in Britain for the benefit of the people of Britain," he said.

Mr Howard also attacked Labour's economic record and said experts backed his view that Labour would be forced to raise tax levies to fill the gaping black hole left by Gordon Brown in a third term.


story from www.conservatives.com