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So True Blue is happy for over 70% of our laws to be made in Brussels and stamped through our own Parliament without discussion.

89% of Norways laws are made in the EU, just so they can trade with us. And they have absolutely no say over them at all; they like it or they don't get to trade.

At least we get to decide what is and isn't included.

Norway is so rich and so happy that it's tried twice to get into the EU to avoid being a "fax democracy" - see previous post. They must have been ecstatic when the EU imposed a 16% tax on their salmon exports.

According to the Economist:

"All European environmental and social legislation has also had to be adopted, including those irksome EU regulations on working-time and parental leave that drive British right-wingers to distraction. "

(They certainly drive me to distraction)

They must be overjoyed to be the biggest per capita contributor to the EU with no grants or subsidises at all from the EU. They subsidise their farmers more than the EU does.

As to why they are so wealthy, well, I think you answered that question yourself.


The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world partly from petroleum production.

And most of the laws that those wishing to leave the EU get worked up about are nothing to do with the EU, they are down to the European Court of Human Rights, a separate body of which, incidentally, Norway is a member.

I am really suprised that almost everyone is spouting UKIP policy on a Conservative blog. Very strange.

At least we get to decide what is and isn't included.

That should be "At least we are involved in the decision-making process"


As for tariff-free access - China has such access to both US and EU markets under MFN status which if the USA granted to Britain MFN status the EU is compelled by bilateral treaty to extend to Britain

I suppose that's why Mandelson put £7.00 on the price of a pair of Chinese-made shoes under anti-dumping legislation.

As for the ECHR the judges are not "Activist" they are not even what England would consider Judges. Many of them - go look at their biogs - are Civil Servants from Ministries of Justice who have not in fact acted in courtrooms.

By activist, I mean they interfere outside their remit. They are not qualified to do what they are supposed to.

Then again a Judge from Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Malta, Hungary, Spain...........adjudging matters in Britain ?

I aree that the courts powers should be curtailed, and this is a completely different argument to that of EU membership. They are different bodies.


If you want to leave the EU, start by leaving the Conservative party.
You certainly know how to win friends and influence people

I just suggesting that for people who feel strongly about this, leaving the party is the best option - Conservative policy is not going to switch to wanting to leave the EU. If you can live with this and accept it then by all means stay.

It's not a matter of "get lost" at all - I personally don't want a bunch of unhappy, unfufilled grumblers stopping us from getting elected with their anti-European obsessions.

True Blue

As the response to Dave's UKIP statement shows we host a number of UKIP sympathisers - presumably as part of their anti-Tory agenda they see CHome as a more viable way of getting their message out than through UKIPs own blogs.

Well done for holding the conservative euro-sceptic line!

"The EU should be a free market, and that's pretty much it."

Agreed. They should also dispose of the common external tariff. Customs unions are so 19th century.

"All European environmental and social legislation has also had to be adopted, including those irksome EU regulations on working-time and parental leave that drive British right-wingers to distraction. "

In that case I'm definitely against the Norway option. How about the Swiss one? Although I accept that EU withdrawal is unlikely to be Conservative policy in the near future. Ideally I would like us to try reforming the EU from within but I find it hard to believe that the other countries would want it to be just a free trade area. Maybe we could develop an arrangement where those countries that want "social" legislation can have it and those that don't can reject it?

"As the response to Dave's UKIP statement shows we host a number of UKIP sympathisers "

I expect most of these people sympathise with UKIP because they don't believe that the EU can be reformed from within. If they thought it could be then I'm sure they'd give UKIP less attention.

UKIP is a single issue blatantly anti-conservative party. As for Switzerland it is also increasingly "governed" by EU rules in accessing European markets.

The quality of UKIP is shown perhaps by their latest "defector" (can you still be a defector 5 years after you leave?) Mr Gill
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1251913.stm

It is quite obvious that those like True Blue are in the Heseltine/Clarke camp. What was it that Clarke said "I look forward to the day when Westminster is merely a County Council" or something like that.

I am a Tory, through and through, but the "Parliamentary Conservative Party" is no longer Conservative, it is part of the liberal elite. That is why I am very unhappy about the way the party is going.

I told my "Conservative" MP 4 years ago that they were in danger of losing their core supporters. I think I have been proved right.

Dave and his pals may feel that younger, more "with it" MPs will be a good image for the Party, but looking at Blair's Babes I think they are barking up the wrong tree. What they need are MPs with more brains than the present lot.

"Norway is so rich and so happy that it's tried twice to get into the EU to avoid being a "fax democracy"". Like most elites, their Government wants in, just like Blair. It is the people who are against it, same as in Britain.

They should thank their lucky stars that the EU have not been able to take over their fishing grounds, like they did with ours. What was it Heath said "Any price is worth it" as he signed away our fishing rights.

We have an annual £6 billion trading deficit with the EU, and a cumulative £350 billion deficit since we joined in 1973. Last year the Lords were asked to debate the costs and benefits of staying in the EU, and the Conservative Peers turned it down. Being in at any price seems to be the Conservative policy.

"And most of the laws that those wishing to leave the EU get worked up about are nothing to do with the EU, they are down to the European Court of Human Rights, a separate body of which, incidentally, Norway is a member."

In my case, my anti-EU views are largely based on the Common Agricultural Policy and a desire to prevent inefficient French farmers helping themselves to vast wads of British taxpayers' hard-earned cash year in, year out.

That, and the simple truth that the countries with the highest living standards in Europe and the world are invariably not in the European Union.


I support the sort of EU that True Blue, and I daresay most of us, want here.

The question is; what do we do if we can't get it? That is the point at which it would be worth considering pulling out.

I would have thought that in such circumstances, a country with the fourth or fifth largest economy in the World would be capable of negotiating a mutually beneficial trading relationship with the countries of the EU.

"It is quite obvious that those like True Blue are in the Heseltine/Clarke camp. What was it that Clarke said "I look forward to the day when Westminster is merely a County Council" or something like that."

The impression I get is that True Blue believes that the EU should be a mere free trade area and that we should aim to repatriate power. He simply believes that this is best achieved within the EU rather than by withdrawing. If I am wrong then he may correct me.

[email protected], are you really a "Tory, through and through"? You see, there's a UKIP activist called Margaret Bluemerle who has posted more than 1,800 times on the UKIP boards. To quote her on that site:

Meanwhile the Tories themselves, ageing and decrepit, non-existent in large areas of the country, are incapable of unseating new Labour in one, or two, or three heaves. Indeed, it is hard to see how a party without a backbone can heave so much as a bag of sugar.

True Blue wrote at 17:22
The EU does not affect our ability to work in the international arena anyway. It does not dictate our foreign policy

Ahem. It plans to do just that and it is there in plain black and white.

European Constitution

Quotes:
"The European Council shall identify the Union's strategic interests and determine the objectives of its common foreign and security policy.

The common foreign and security policy shall be put into effect by the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs

Single UN seat for EU: Link: Point 119
The European Parliament's position is that the EU should have a single seat on the enlarged Security Council

Here is a nice rebuttal of the claims made that the EU does not plan to take full control of foreign policy.


Now you may reply that you will veto everything, but surely that begs the question, why are you a member of an organisation that you disagree with on such core issues? Or to turn you suggestion around, shouldn't you just leave?

1.Sorry, I don't think that True Blue is a british conservative at all. If he were he would know that the party is very close to officially rejecting the EU (stopped only by
senior party members, the ranks of whom hold a totally disprportionate level of pro-europeans). True blue states that we cannot pull out of the EU. Lord Denning no less indicated obiter(ie off subject but on the record, in a judgment) that it was probably possible (he could not go any further since he was judging something completely different at the time).
2.True Blue says "Many of the changes in our law have resulted from ECHR judgements" As a student of law, True Blue's analysis of the european court system is flawed. The real danger and real change has always come from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which has always interpreted treaties way beyond what country leaders intended as a method of further integration/pushing a certain economic ethos etc... In my experience
lawyers are less bothered about the ECHR, principally because it is extremely easy for us to opt out of, and it has no important legal powers over our court system (we merely promise to follow it, See Human Rights Act 1998).
3. Over half of the conservative activists that I know are rabidly anti-eu, so even if margaret is UKIP, the position she presents is that of a sizeable group of Conservative Party Activists.

The EU cannot be reformed. It is a cancer - sometimes in remission but mostly spreading. Amputation is the only honest treatment and better sooner rather than later - end of story.

Sorry, I don't think that True Blue is a british conservative at all. If he were he would know that the party is very close to officially rejecting the EU

You better add me to your list of non-"british conservatives". You can also add 77% of Conservatives polled in this YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph.

Lord Denning no less indicated obiter(ie off subject but on the record, in a judgment) that it was probably possible (he could not go any further since he was judging something completely different at the time).

He was referring to the fact that UK legislation was supreme over EU legislation if there was a clash. Or maybe you're talking about a different case.

Over half of the conservative activists that I know are rabidly anti-eu

That says more about you than the Conservative party.

It is because I am absolutely convinced that the EU is utterly unreformable that I wish Britain to withdraw (and wish the EU project to collapse). Those who say they want to remain in an EU trade area aren't facing up to the reality: that's not what we have, that's not what we ever *will* have.

Furthermore, as time goes by, the advantages of membership in this exclusive club diminish as we discover what a parlous state it is in.

"You better add me to your list of non-"british conservatives". You can also add 77% of Conservatives polled in this YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph."

Only 3 percent of Conservatives in that survey want to see a federal Europe (which is what we're heading for). That hardly shows a Europhile membership. The survey also shows 50% of Conservatives want the EU to be purely a trading organisation. This is highly a ringing endorsement either because the point about Europe is that that vision looks completely impossible.

And yes the majority of Conservatives that I know could easily be described as "rabidly anti-EU". Moreover, the entire country is very eurosceptic (we're the most eurosceptic nation there is). If there were a referendum on EU membership held tomorrow, I don't think many could confidently predict the result.

Thus it is a dreadful shame that we have 3 parties all offering basically the same thing with regard to Europe, and they are all very reluctant to raise it as an issue because they know how out of step they are with a great bulk of the electorate.

Another day, another EU fraud story. However it is important to note that EU withdrawal is a process not a priority which is what makes UKIP unattractive to me (but the closest we currently have in terms of a step in the right direction).

For example's sake, my priority at night is to get home and see the kids which involves various processes including driving home. UKIP's core message seems to be "drive home" rather than "spend time with the kids".

UKIP are seeking to change this, but at least they are campaigning for an essential part of the process. However, for me, they are offering a step in the right direction, but not the vital solutions.

For me, and what I hope to develop with Imagine is to focus on the priorities (nation-state international reform) not the processess. With UKIP developing in this area too, perhaps choice is at last beginning to emerge.

EU withdrawal is not the be all and end all, it is simply a vital process in advancing us to the next stage of international reform and cooperation.

Only 3 percent of Conservatives in that survey want to see a federal Europe (which is what we're heading for).

The question being discussed is whether EU withdrawal is likely to become Conservative policy. "Blogga" made a ridiculous claim that "british conservatives" know that the party is very close to officially rejecting the EU. The YouGov poll found significant scepticism towards Europe but only 23% wanted all-out withdrawal.

Sorry, I don't think that True Blue is a british conservative at all. If he were he would know that the party is very close to officially rejecting the EU

I must have missed the memo. Please can you point me at anything that supports this statement? I need to go talk them out of it.

I find it peculiar that I'm the one supporting party policy, and yet you're telling me that I'm not the Conservative?

True blue states that we cannot pull out of the EU.

I didn't say that. I said I didn't think it would be a good idea. If we wanted to leave, no one could stop us. It would probably be easier just to get kicked out, though. A very healthly scepticism towards Europe is a good idea, though.

If it were a known what would happen if we pulled out of Europe, there wouldn't be an issue (except for those people who would rather be poor and get their own way.)

The simple fact is no one knows what will happen, and it is a major change, liable to have a major effect. My opinion is that it will be disasterous, other people based on the evidence of a few small totally disimilar countries think it would be a good idea. It will be an incredible risk, certainly not a conservative thing to do.

I have no idealistic reason for supporting the EU, merely sound economic ones, considering the options we have available to us. I'm very happy with the party's pragmatic and realistic approach to the EU, and we need a Conservative government to ensure that further integration does not occur. The constitution referendums were a watershed moment - it derailed the European project. It puts us in the best position we are ever likely to be in to make changes from within, but the vital thing is to build cross-party Europe wide support in opposition.

I also fail to see how supporting what I thought was fairly unconstroversial Conservative policy stops me being a Conservative. The party isn't just an opinion poll of the party's supporters - thank God for that, or we'd have nuclear disarment and state-owned industries by now.

Traditionally the membership has very little say over policy. There isn't much you can do to change this - and the party membership's obessesion with Europe is stopping us winning elections.

If you believe in the power-elite conspiracy theory, the best way you can get their attention is to vote for another party - but only if you think that issue is so important that you would rather the Conservatives lost another election. I'm pretty sure if UKIP did very well then you'd get your promised referendum.

I'm interested to see that Blogga thinks that the Human Rights Act of 1998 (implementing the ECHR rules above our own) doesn't really affect the law in this country. I beg to differ, although I do bow to his superior knowledge as a law student.

True Blue - apparently, though I also missed it, the only true church of the Conservative Party is now known as UKIP and it is a mortal sin to say that UKIP is a nasty party with some very rum characters in it that deserves electoral oblivion (oops)

We heretics who are against a federal EU, want to repatriate (if possible) certain parts of the aquis communitare and make the EU more of a customs union than a superstate might only be 8 out of 10 of the membership but I think that the hopes of the Church of UKIP that we can be converted or otherwise driven into the wilderness will fail.

Ted,

That's a gross misrepresentation. We all (mostly)seem to agree that we oppose a federal EU and want to bring powers back, we disagree on the means of achieving this.

For all TB's call for those pro-EU withdrawal to leave the party why is he not calling for federalists to leave too? Clearly anyone with federal EU ambitions should not be a Tory?

I think both sides can agree that a federal EU is not conservative, being big government, more central control etc.

EU "Reform" is a nice idea but is meaningless without a firm set of objectives to reform and a firm timetable to achieve this.

To call for reform, you need a coherent policy of what reform you demand and when you want it otherwise it could easily be misinterpreted as a stealthy eu-phile approach, talking sceptic but going along with the EU anyway.

The current failure to deliver or provide a firm timetable for EPP withdrawal seems to fit this talk-sceptic act-phile approach. Action on this pledge is vital.

Reform has to be more than a veto, it means change. What if the EU rejects your agenda for change out of hand?

If you (not you in particular) point-blank refuse to leave the EU under any circumstances whilst claiming to be a 'reformist' then you have already made reform impossible as you will continue to bend when your proposals are rejected.

So over to the reformists. Show us what you want reformed and when is the latest you will accept it for delivery. Then,please tell us what you will do if the EU rejects your proposals.


We heretics who are against a federal EU, want to repatriate (if possible) certain parts of the aquis communitare and make the EU more of a customs union than a superstate might only be 8 out of 10 of the membership but I think that the hopes of the Church of UKIP that we can be converted or otherwise driven into the wilderness will fail.

Amen.


For all TB's call for those pro-EU withdrawal to leave the party why is he not calling for federalists to leave too?

I didn't think that there were any federalists in the room (or in the party.) But, I am happy to oblige.

Fellow Conservatives - if you feel strongly that European federation is a good thing, I recommend that you find another party before you are lynched. Maybe the LibDems?

And no, as a lowly member, I am not going to prejudge hypothetical negotitions which I won't even hypothetically be involved with.

A reformist with no idea of what reforms he wants! OK, as long as that has been cleared up.


A reformist with no idea of what reforms he wants! OK, as long as that has been cleared up.

I've made very clear what reforms I want - they are in line with policy. It was your demand that I make a decision as to what to do after those reforms are not accepted that I thought was a little silly.

While this thread on the EU rages on - Roger Helmer MEP for the East Midlands continues to have the Conservative whip at Brussels withheld because he dared to speak out on EU corruption. This despite CCO and Timothy Kirkhope being lobbied on this from all quarters.

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