During last month's survey of the ConservativeHome Members' Panel we asked whether certain statements should be included in the next Tory manifesto:
- 68% wanted “The European Union should return responsibility for fishing and aid policies to member states” to "definitely" be included in the manifesto.
- Another 19% said "maybe" it should be included.
- 7% said "probably not".
- 4% said "definitely not".
The survey result reveals a big appetite within the Tory grassroots for practical measures to address the continuing loss of British sovereignty to the EU. This appetite will only have been encouraged by Philip Davies MP's controversial launch of the Freedom Association's 'Better Off Out' campaign. The Tory leadership has so far refused to say that it still believes in Michael Howard's policy to retake control over fishing and has promised only to take Tory MEPs out of the EPP. Oliver Letwin has not established a policy group to examine a fundamental reappraisal of Britain's relationship with Brussels.
All of the 'Built to Last' principles - proposed by David Cameron in January and tested in last month's ConservativeHome Members' Panel survey - tended to enjoy strong support amongst Tory members and led for this website to call for the costly idea of an all-party referendum to be scrapped. The only value in such a referendum would be if it gave members the opportunity to amend 'Built to Last'. ConservativeHome's survey suggests that members would vote for changes that emphasised economy-boosting tax relief, solidarity with the striving classes (not just the poorest of the poor) and more anti-corruption measures within the overseas development budget.
April's ConservativeHome survey is now online and you can have your say by clicking here.