Foreword from James Elles.

I warmly welcome you to the website of the South East Conservative European Network (SECEN).

The Network is committed to generating and vigorously promoting innovative thinking and ideas that support the effort of the UK to reform the European Union and persuade voters to support continued EU membership.

By no means can it be said with any truth that we Tories are all Eurosceptics now. This would be to confuse those who wish to leave the EU come what may and those like us in the Network who wish to stay and win the battle for reform. So I am a reformist, but not a Eurosceptic. Nor can it be said with any truth that the EU is a European monster in its death throes. On the contrary, at every stage over the past 30 years, from the collapse of the Warsaw Pact resulting in the enlargement of the EU to the East, or more recently with the huge financial upheavals threatening our very survival like the 1930’s, the EU has found a way to allow European countries to act collectively together.

In this century, isolationism is not an option. More cooperative action, not less, will be required. Looking ahead to the challenges facing our society, it is a mistake to believe that the world’s problems on the environment, terrorism or the economy will be best served by going it alone. To preserve the multilateral system in a multipolar world, working together with those who share our core beliefs will be the best way to secure our prosperity and security. Those proposing that we should leave the EU provide no certainty that we will be better off outside, no clear strategy of how to achieve it and pretend that Brexit is like a walk in the park. Far from it (see Prospect January 2016).