Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

We need the freedom to make our economy grow

The Guardian - June 27th 2007

Sir

Will Hutton's lament against foreign takeovers of British firms (Comment, June 25) fails to offer much evidence that this phenomenon - otherwise known as economic globalisation - is negative for Britain. Even more questionable is his assertion that those of us who opposed the original draft EU constitution should be equally vociferous in denouncing such takeovers. The free movement of capital - one of the four cornerstones of the EU - brings jobs to Britain. Economic national protectionism acts as a brake on prosperity and scares off international investors.

Britain, with some 50% of its listed equity now foreign-owned, has chosen to remain open to the global economy and is reaping the benefits. We don't need "national champions" or the euro. What we do need is the freedom to make our economy grow in an increasingly competitive world. The EU, with its traditional bias in the past towards centralisation and economic over-regulation, often threatened economic growth, but at last liberalising reformist forces seem to be in the ascendant.

Dr Charles Tannock MEP
UK Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman