Speeches » April 23rd 2008 - Towards a reformed World trade Organisation
From the report it seems that the EU requires all member states to reach a consensus in WTO negotiations, or to justify its position in writing.
So the UK, for example, has to go along with the rest of the EU. We have to toe a line. Put simply, it means that in reforming the WTO Britain will be more closely forced to trade with such other countries as the EU allows. But we are world-wide traders, we've been doing so for centuries. We have a great deal of expertise in global trading, for instance our trade with the USA is more than France and Germany put together. But EU countries do not seem to want to take advantage of our experience, so we are already constrained by EU trade agreements and that is ruining Britain's global trading reputation.
We are not allowed to trade sufficiently with our traditional partners in the British Commonwealth. That's not exclusive trade, we would not try to stop other European countries from joining us with our commonwealth friends, it would be of benefit to all concerned. EU countries would prosper and many third world countries would find their living standards rising.
The WTO was set up to promote trade and friendship and the EU keeps on saying it wants to help the disadvantaged. Well, one way to start is to widen trade links not cut them off.
Derek Clark MEP Strasbourg April 23rd 2008