10 January 2016
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said today on television that the only reason he was in favour of the European Union’s Association Agreement with Ukraine is trade. He’s not alone in this. The whole of Brussels is peppered with economic considerations. Short-term advantages are raked in with no thought for the longer term consequences, either within the EU or, most importantly, in the world as a whole. For the SP, international solidarity is the priority. We too want to see a healthy economy, but not at the cost of people in other countries. If the EU sees the rest of the world as merely an export market or as competition, we fear the worst. A human being is more than a consumer. Trade? Great, but only if it offers mutual advantage which benefits ordinary people in all of the countries involved. And in the case of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, that criterion is not met.