Letter: Tories shunned by European liberals

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was amazed to read ('Tories and Lib Dems in line for Europe link', 28 April) that you have taken so seriously one of the many current rumours about the character of party formations in the European Parliament following June's elections.

What is clear is that anyone wishing to join the European Liberal Democrat and Reformist Party (ELDR) has to subscribe in total to our liberal values, to our progressive common programme and to our united goal of building European federal democracy. There are only two British political parties that can do that; Paddy Ashdown's Liberal Democrats, who are founding members of ELDR, and John Alderdice's Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

The British Tories clearly exclude themselves from the European liberal family while they play the nationalist card and seek to weaken the European Union.

We in European Liberal Democrat and Reformist Party look forward with great anticipation to welcoming our first British Liberal Democrat MEPs to our group in July. The Tories will have to make their own way with whatever collaborators they can find.

Yours sincerely,

WILLY DE CLERCQ

Brussels

29 April

The writer is president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reformist Party.

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