The Prime Minister has botched his negotiations with European leaders. He has tried to bludgeon them into accepting flawed and phoney reforms, which will not address the real problems of the European Union – and failed.
They have called David Cameron’s bluff, and he knows it.
Labour backs Britain’s continued membership of the EU as the best framework for trade and co-operation in a 21st century Europe. And we will campaign for Britain to stay when the referendum is finally held.
But people across Britain and Europe know that the EU needs to change if it’s going to work better for the majority of its people, not just its banks and corporations.
Cameron’s timid and lop-sided demands, choreographed for the cameras, won’t achieve that.
Labour will instead be pressing a programme of progressive reform in Europe to deliver positive change for working people.
That means democratic reform to make EU decision-making accountable to its people; economic reform to put jobs and sustainable growth at the centre of European policy; labour market reform to strengthen workers’ rights in a real social Europe; and new rights for elected authorities across Europe to support public enterprise and halt the pressure to privatise services.
We will be working to build progressive alliances across Europe for real reform. That is the opposite of Cameron’s failed posturing aimed at appeasing his own party.
Today I have been talking with colleagues from parties across Europe about how we can work together to build a more democratic Europe that delivers jobs, prosperity and security for all its people.
By working with our partners in Europe, we can make sure Britain not only remains a member of the European Union, but helps to shape a better European future.