Lauristin: Britain could afford Brexit, but we don’t have such a choice (11)
Estonian MEP Marju Lauristin (SDE/S&D) said to daily Postimees on Saturday that the Nordic and Baltic countries faced challenges and needed to contribute more to the shaping of the European Union.
Lauristin said that with the possible exit of the United Kingdom, the balance in Europe had shifted, and there was no obvious direction for the union to go anymore. Politicians of all persuasions now had to think hard what the Europe is they wanted.
Europe, according to Lauristin, now has two options. One is the kind of negativity and opposition currently prevalent in many member states of the EU. The other is more solidarity, and instead of concentrating on laws and the economy, more cooperation between members, and a more human face of the union.
Brexit was the result of negativity and opposition. The problem in the United Kingdom was that the EU had been treated as something different, outside everyday life - and this had ended badly.
The Nordic and Baltic countries, who also according to other Estonian MEPs often see eye to eye in matters discussed in the European Parliament, now faced a great challenge, Lauristin said. They needed to take more responsibility for the development of the union, because they needed it more than the UK did.
“Britain could afford it, but we don’t have such a choice. We have to become better, and do it in the EU of which we are a member,” Lauristin said about the UK’s referendum.