Lord Owen argues that the principal distinction in British politics over the last quarter-century has not been between Labour and Conservatives, but between the modernisers of all parties and those who continue to believe in the structures and assumptions of the post-War settlement.
Like Lord Joseph, Lord Owen is an internationalist and supporter of strong institutionalist ties with continental Europe. Here he analyses the elements of Britain’s economic recovery achieved by successive governments since 1974, and concludes that ‘the painful and hard-won struggle for modernisation of 1974-2011 is the prime asset on which we now have the strength as a nation to stay outside the euro and resist being part of a single federal superstate.’
Lord Owen argues against considering membership of the ‘speculative experiment’ that is the euro until at least 2004. He sets out eight Amendments to the putative ‘European Constitution’, enshrining the principles of national sovereignty, subsidisrity and democratic accountability, and effecting institutional reforms to achieve the growth of a decentralised, deregulated and dynamic Europe.