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Miliband: UK must forge strong foreign policy.

Summary: The Foreign Secretary says the UK must take a lead in developing a strong European foreign policy if it is to retain world influence.

Britain must take a lead in developing a strong European foreign policy if it is to retain its influence around the world according to UK minister David Miliband.

The Foreign Secretary has warned Britain would lose out internationally if it tried to oppose the European policy on the grounds of "hubris, nostalgia or xenophobia".

Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, he attacked the Conservative opposition to the Lisbon Treaty - which creates an EU foreign minister and diplomatic service - as a "deception".

"It is very strongly in the British national interest for the European Union to develop a strong foreign policy," he said.

"To be frightened of European foreign policy is blinkered, fatalistic and wrong. Britain should embrace it, shape it and lead European foreign policy."

Mr Miliband warned that without an effective European foreign policy Britain and the EU would increasingly become an irrelevance in a world dominated by Washington and Beijing.

"The choice for Europe is simple - get our act together and make the European Union a leader on the world stage or become spectators in a G2 world shaped by the United States and China," he said.

"I think the choice for Britain is also simply stated. We can lead a strong European foreign policy or, lost in hubris nostalgia or xenophobia, watch our influence in the world wane."

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 30, 2009
Words:274
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