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Evans: Putting Britain First

Introduction to the 2004 European Election Campaign launch in Manchester

"These European Elections are vital. On June 10th, British people have the opportunity to send a clear message to Tony Blair that, on Europe, he does not speak for them.

The key issue for Britain in this campaign is not whether we are in or out of Europe. It is 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 shared by the Liberal Democrats. But it is very different from ours.

Our manifesto also sets out how 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 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.

On 10th June, the British people have the opportunity to vote for Conservative candidates who will put Britain first in Europe. They have the opportunity to send Tony Blair a clear message that, on Europe, this Labour Government has let them down."

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