Sir Malcom Rifkind, former UK Foreign Secretary from 1995 to 1997 spoke at the London School of Economics and Political science at the beginning of May. He set out to talk about Britain and the EU, an issue at the very top of the political agenda in the UK at the moment, constantly causing trouble for PM David Cameron. Rifkind describes his own approach towards the EU as ‘moderate euroscepticism’. Listening to his points about the UK relationship with the continent however suggests that euroscepticism is in no way something someone familiar with the current debate in the UK would want to associate with him.
The term has become so intertwined with the irrational position of many Tory backbenchers, that the nuanced and factual account of Rifkind cannot in any way be associated with all the proud Euroscpetics on the island.
If euroscepticism in the UK would follow Rifkind’s thinking, it would not be dominating the news and pushing way more important issues in the background (and not threatening the survival of the government).
The podcast of Sir Malcom Rifkind’s talk is available on the LSE website and highly recommended: