Now we have finally established there is more than one pro-EU candidate in this election, the argument is now that a link to the Party of European Socialists means it is the only party that can influence the EU. This is more desperate nonsense.
As an MEP, I would sit as a member of the Liberal/Reform grouping, the third largest and fastest growing in the European Parliament. All evidence points to the fact that it will remain the fastest growing at this election – and even maintaining its current strength would leave it, unlike the Socialists, effectively holding the balance of power. It does not get more influential than that!
From this position, unlike others, I would seek to influence the EU not in order to make it more relevant to people, but in order to make people more relevant to it.
Ultimately, there are two pro-EU candidates at this election. One wants more EU intrusion, the other wants more EU relevance. One wants the EU to regulate, the other wants the EU to care. The Socialists talk only about “EU funding”, seeking to create yet more dependence on EU bureaucracy; Liberals talk about real and shared prosperity, so we can build in Northern Ireland an EU region which is self-reliant and self-confident. The electorate may take its pick.