Malcolm Rifkind: If people vote for the withdrawal from the EU, it will happen
“The referendum, that will soon take place in the UK would not be advisory, it would be the basis of further important state decisions. If people vote for the withdrawal from the EU, it will happen,” – said Malcolm Rifkind, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1995-1997), during the 9th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.
“I cannot say what the referendum result will be in the UK because it is not as predictable as the Crimea one. At the same time it is not advisory, like in the Netherlands. Our referendum will be the basis of further important state decisions. If people vote for the withdrawal from the EU, it will happen”, - said M. Rifkind.
“For some time, the question of the forthcoming referendum has not been raised in the UK. Why was it decided to hold it now? I would like to assure you that this is not a result of the so-called euroscepticism. The British people are simply used to the fact that they govern themselves and the concept of "losing a part of their sovereignty" is not an option for them. Great Britain feels no need for any external incentive for the development of its democracy,” - said M. Rifkind.
Along with this, the British diplomat said that the EU today suffers from a democracy deficit: “Sometimes the decisions are adopted by a qualified majority against the will of those countries which were not supporting them. And this situation is hard to explain to people in Britain who are used to govern themselves”.
“At the same time I would like to note that the EU membership has a very positive and important meaning for the UK. Firstly, as a member of the Union, Great Britain has the opportunity to influence the important decisions for the entire planet, the thing it would not do, if was not a member. Secondly, the EU membership is extremely important for us, given the fact that Great Britain is a country with a developed market economy based on the principle of free trade with the common European market, free movement of goods and services on it. That is why I disagree with my fellow citizens who advocate a withdrawal from the EU,” - concluded Mr. Malcolm.
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The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region.
Internet broadcast of the Forum:
9th Kyiv Security Forum (Ukrainian):
9th KYIV SECURITY FORUM (ENGLISH)