Daniel Hannan, a prominent euroskeptic member of European Parliament, sat down with National Review at the Conservative Political Action Conference today. Hannan, a member of the Conservative party, rose to fame with a forceful condemnation of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s response to the global financial crisis just after the prime minister had spoken to European Parliament.
He talked about the EU’s and Britain’s handling of the situation in Ukraine, and argued that, while the country should be welcomed into the West and not lost to the Russian sphere, keeping it in our orbit will be quite costly. He noted that countries such as Germany are energy-dependent on Russia, a burden the U.K. doesn’t have. Challenged about allegations that Britain has gone easy on potential sanctions of wealthy Russians and Russian politicians because they fuel much of London’s economy, Hannan pushed back, arguing that most of Britain’s expat Russians are enemies of the Putin regime or Kremlin allies-turned-dissidents (who wouldn’t be targeted by the sanctions).
Hannan also expressed some optimism about a possible U.S.-EU free-trade agreement, but laid out some reasons why such agreements aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Not in the frame: Hannan’s handsome maroon-and-navy striped socks, a pattern from his high school, Marlborough College.