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Evans: Putting the East Midlands First

It's good to be here today to help launch the Conservative European election campaign in the East Midlands.

We began our national campaign for the European Elections two weeks ago in Manchester.

We have since been round the country to launch campaigns in Scotland, Wales, the South East, the West Midlands, the South West, London, the Eastern Region, the North East, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Now, today, I am delighted that we are completing the launch of our European campaign here in the East Midlands.

The Conservative Party has now launched its European election campaign in every region of the country.

In contrast, Tony Blair waited until yesterday to kick off his European campaign.

And he didn't even talk much about Europe when he did!

Last month, he called for a debate on Europe and the Constitution.

But ever since then he's been running away from one.

Conservatives have been contributing to that debate for weeks now.

Well I am glad that he has finally launched his manifesto for Europe.

We have a clear view about the future of Europe, and the future of Britain in Europe.

Labour and the Prime Minister have a different view.

Now the British people will have the opportunity to have their say.

Vote Labour and see more and more of our powers go to Brussels.

Or vote Conservative and put Britain first.

On June 10th, British people have the opportunity to send a clear message to Tony Blair: on Europe, he does not speak for them.

This campaign is not about whether Britain is in or out of Europe.

It is about what kind of European Union is right for Britain and the rest of the Europe.

The manifesto we are launching today sets out clearly our vision for the future of Europe.

A Europe of nation states, not a federal state of Europe.

British people have been let down by Labour in Europe.

Labour MEPs consistently support more EU regulation and more EU control over our daily lives.

This approach is shared by the Liberal Democrats.

But it is very different from ours.

That's why I am so pleased that we are here today at the Chambers of Commerce in Leicester.

Conservatives are committed to cutting EU red tape by 25 per cent.

That's part of our commitment to making Britain a better place to do business.

Our manifesto also sets out other ways in which Conservative MEPs will put Britain first in the European Parliament.

The European Parliament takes decisions every day that affect everyone in this country: citizens, taxpayers, employers, employees, farmers and fishermen.

Conservative MEPs are proud of our record of delivering for Britain since 1999.

And today here in Leicester we are setting out our priorities for the next five years:

We will oppose excessive EU red tape and regulation.

We will promote the interests of British businesses and consumers.

We will speak up for British farmers and fishermen.

We will expose cases of fraud and waste and demand real reform.

The only way to ensure that these vital interests are safeguarded in the European Parliament is a strong team of Conservative MEPs.

Five years ago, people across Britain put their faith in the Conservative Party by choosing us to be their representatives in Europe.

Since then, we have repaid that faith by delivering on the things that matter to them.

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