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My prayers are soon to be answered.

I pray for no demonic infiltration or interference...

It'll all end in tears

The ODS is the only mainstream European party that could give the new grouping any kind of credibility.
Without the ODS you will be the sixth party in the Parliament, behind the main Green party and a ragtag of far-leftists including Sinn Fein.
Vive l'Europe fédéraliste!

Hague is to blame for this. We should have left the EPP and then found partners. It would have been a story of a growing group. Now we have wasted 6 months to form a small group. It will be presented as a failure by our opponents. Not good.

Thank heavens for that. Leaving the EPP is essential for Cameron to show that the"new" Conservative Party means what it says, and will match words with action. This is good news indeed: it means I will stay in the Party.

I have not been able to understand the reluctance to leave the federalist and dissembling EPP, so that we may speak and vote openly (as Roger Helmer did, and still does) about the failures of the EU and its institutional corruption, bureaucracy and waste.

The vast majority of UK voters are sick and tired of the billions we pay, to end up regulated out of profitability - a strong stand will bring many of them on board and give us the support we need to the next election.

I agree with GCHQ Spy, Hague has failed. He is no longer committed to politics, he has too many other interests, so this EPP problem received his half-hearted attention.
Mr Cameron has made a tactical mistake in welcoming back yesterday's politicians. The lot of them - Hague, Clarke and Heseltine - are played-out and will prove noting but a source of embarassment. Hague's failure is one such farce and, now, witness the Puffball Clarke's outburst on BBC TV (where else!) regarding the alleged xenophobia of his party leader.

The fact that we will probably fail to get the Czech Civic Democrats on side at this moment in time is of course disappointing. However, let's keep in mind that when we eventually get back in power, a Conservative Prime Minister will be leading Britain, one of the biggest players in Europe in a principled opposition to the grand Euro-federalist project for the first time.

There are many parties in Europe along with their respective electorates who feel as we do and I believe we will eventually gain a lot of momentum. We have finally got a chance to put forward an alternative vision of Europe, and you just can't do that in a broadly federalist grouping, centre right or otherwise. Of course, we will need to gain power first in order to mould the new grouping into a powerful influential movement but so what? We can hardly have that much influence on the direction of Europe anyway whilst being in opposition regardless of whether we are in or out of the EPP. We've been inside the grouping for years, and the ever onward march of EU-integration goes on no matter what our party or the British electorate feel, so what have we got to lose. I wouldn't have voted for Cameron without this pledge.

The whole affair gives the impression that it was talk first, think later. Not a good sign from a would-be PM.

Who gives a toss about who will join a new grouping. If something is fraudulent (as our continued links with the EPP are) then it should be ended and let the chips fall where they may. Good news.

I've asked before but without a credible reply so I’ll try again; is there any practical reason (research allowances, expenses, speaking time etc) why we couldn't simply sit on our own?

Henry the answer is no,although alone our MEPs would not be able to remain as heads of the meaningless commitees they sit on etc.I'm delighted with this news although I think we will have to face a predictable onslaught of 'sitting with extremists etc'.Having said that DC would have faced serious trouble if he'd reneged on this promise.

I say it again. I think Camerons making a big mistake. I think thaty once we hit talks on international issues or those affecting more than one member of this grouping, theres going to be some serious tension. I fear tears here. Better the devil we know than the one we dont.

Well it's still just more talk and promises for now, but if the EPP withdrawal is delivered, then Cameron has delivered his pledge and should be praised despite the delay.

It was suggested here by Tim that June would be the exit month, now it's July, so if we get to the 1st of August and the Tories are still in the EPP then it will be obvious that it is all talk.

Only 32 days left to wait to see! Tick Tock.

And business is going to *love* you. Giving up any chance of influencing EU legislation at a crucial time.

"Only 32 days left to wait to see! Tick Tock"

Bad luck Chad, I don't time my own party by the fruitcakes and loonies in UKIP...

Cameron will deliver.

It might be a small group to start with. It might not be all he hoped, but there will be a Conservative delegation separate from the EPP in the European Parliament.

All the doubters can go silent. It is a wonderful development.

In the midst of all our misery, as our country is being broken up into regions, as our Parliament is being bypassed and humiliated, the Conservative Party has a new and young leader who believes we can do better, and who is prepared to take abuse to get us there, from many quarters - Merkel, Sarkozy, Blair, Ken Clarke and their allies in the media.

Cameron is Britain's last chance. He's also creating a new chance for Europe by breaking the federalising cartel.

From this little acorn, a great oak can grow - an end to the nightmare and uncertainty, and a chance for Europe to move forward into a new and better era.

It could be said that never has so much been owed by so many to so few, the small section of openly eurosceptic Conservative MEP's and the determination of Cameron to stand by his promise.

It's a great moment to be a Conservative. It is a moment of hope amidst so many things going so badly wrong that lead to feelings of despair.

Good God william, I feel nauseous after reading that!

It's important to get out, as a first step and without worrying too much about partners. It's much easier to rally troops from outside the enemy lines.

Well put William. Leaving the EPP will be a tremendously important and pivotal moment in UK & EU politics. The EPP & federalist cartel will face opposition, and its fragmentation will have started. Then (this is what is terrifying them...) something nearer to democracy might just be possible in the EU.

Guys, I wouldn't get too excited... I have a bad, bad feeling about this!!!! It's the same bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had when the Party knifed Margaret Thatcher back in 1990......

We are giving our power away in Europe and we will be sorry!!!!

We are giving our power away in Europe and we will be sorry!!!!

If any of us thought we had any power, we might not be so happy.

You do have power, though. C.f. Chris Huhne's article in the Times today:

"Without such amendments pushed through by market-oriented MEPs, some daft Commission proposals would have wrought far more damage.

The liberalising supermajority that saved the City of London from an even worse fate than the present EU financial services legislation was composed of most of the EPP (except the southern Europeans), some of the Socialists (mainly the Scandinavians and British) and all the Liberal group. Building this coalition would have been inestimably more difficult — if not impossible — without the Conservatives’ influence within the EPP."

"Bad luck Chad, I don't time my own party by the fruitcakes and loonies in UKIP..."

I didn't publish the departure date, it was Tim.

Tim isn't a UKIP member Richard and he is the one who has published the departure dates.

Do you know something about Tim's political affiliation that I don't?

What difference does that make Valerie?If EU parliamentary legislation is on the table which is harmful to Britain British Conservatives will vote against it whether they are in the EPP or not.
Chris Huhnes' article was a typical piece of partisan crap so typical of him.I expected as soon as saw he had written this article that he would refer to the Tories as extremist and sure enough he didn't let me down.
Chris Huhne for someone who is so well acqainted with the City Of London still thinks it's a good idea to join the Euro,an idea that has no credence whatsoever within the City and ensures his opinions are trated with about as much respect here as they deserve.

William Hauge is one of the most impressive politicans in Parliament and is a great asset to the party so please don`t lets have him attacked just because he doesn`t deliver what all the looney tunes on the Eurosceptic wing want straight away.
Withrawing from the EPP will not win the party one single vote at the next election and all it will do is pasify all those who are to largely blame for the party still being in opposition.

Yes Valerie, we've been part of a large bloc stitch up of the Parliament which has been in place a long time.

According to Dan Hannan by coming out of the EPP their numbers fall enough to lose the automatic majority which they get by sticking togather with the other biggest grouping.

EuroParliamentary politics will go from negotiations by two big groups to them having to involve others. No wonder they don't like the idea.

When you've had the game all your own way for a generation, a bit of competition seems like someone's robbing you of your birthright. In fact it's democracy at work - and long overdue it is in that particular venue.

Listen to Chris Hunhne MEP Lib Dem ranting away -

For those of us who have studied the modus operandi of the Tory Euro-phobes over the years, this poor trade-off should come as no surprise. Like most extremists, they are far more interested in passionate posturing than pragmatic politics. Solid parliamentary work of legislative amendments in committee bores these people, while an anti-European crusade conducted in the pages of right-wing newspapers is much more fun.

This is all very good, I understand that a decision willbe made on the 19th. However I also hear that the German axis in the European Parliament has been making things very difficult. Hans Gert Poettering (EPP leader German), has been putting pressure on Danny Cohn Bendit (Greens leader German) to inform the Czech Greens - principle ODS coalition partnerthey will be in difficulties in the EP if they go into coaltion with a party that is working with non EPP partners.
Hans Gert is applying his own pressure on the Christian Democrats.

Of course this isn't definitive, but it makes lifedifficult for Topolánek

If it is true that EPP Group leader put pressure on a leader of a national party, that shows what a sick system that exist in EPP.

I am so happy that Norway is outside (and will stay outside) of that huge, bureaucratic, superstate you call EU:-)

What difference does that make Valerie?If EU parliamentary legislation is on the table which is harmful to Britain British Conservatives will vote against it whether they are in the EPP or not.

Because the structure of the European Parliament is such that coalition-building nad committee memberships are very important in what happens to the legislation. It's not about the final vote, it's about coalition-building etc.

As for the Czechs, they're quite capable of making their own minds up, and will do so in keeping with the Czech national interest and in a more responsible way than the Conservatives.

Morten - it must be fun having to comply with the regulations without being able to do anything about it.

Morten - it must be fun having to comply with the regulations without being able to do anything about it.

I can confirm the posting from Eliab about the EPP and the Greens working together to stop our new grouping. I wonder why they might be so keen to stop this happening? Put the nonsensical advice from Chris Huhne into the same bin as that from Tony Blair and Nigel Farage-all united in their desire to stop us breaking from the EPP. Since when have they had the best interests of our party in mind? If David Cameron fails to deliver this one specific, oft repeated, promise from his leadership campaign, why would anyone believe his pledges as a potential prime minister?

I am not saying that our situation is perfect, I would prefer that we had agreement on free trade and movement of people period.

But we have much more say and control of our resources than many EU contries have, we don´t send wasted politicians to the EU Parliament and other quangos.

I just say that I like Europe, but i hate EU

Exactly Morten. Just because you dislike Sepp Blatter and the way FIFA is run, doesn't make you anti-football.

In fact, those who are pro-football know that the way FIFA runs the game has to change.

It's the same with the EU.

Valerie writes - It's not about the final vote, it's about coalition-building etc.

Actually it's about both.

Right now we are in a coalition which we don't agree with, and which uses our votes to push through business that we would prefer to oppose.

If we step outside and start building another coalition, even a small one, the current coalition structure that makes voting almost irrelevant as you describe would end, and voting would become meaningful.

That's plus 2 minus 0.

Jack, I couldn't agree more with you! I am very sad indeed to see people laying the blame (as they see it) at William Hague's door. William is one of the most able people we have in our Party and he has worked very hard indeed trying to sort out this particular issue. Please at least give him credit for that!

William - yes, but at the moment it looks as if you're going to be on your tod - or in a pretty small coalition, with people who don't seem very economically liberal, unless the ODS joins which seems very unlikely.

The other groups aren't going to fall apart in the meantime - the Socialists will be loving the fact that the EPP is weakened...

and also, sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the final vote wasn't important - obviously it is - I just meant at -as far as I can tell - there's a lot of work that goes on beforehand that seems crucial in getting a business-friendly vote on whichever piece of legislation.

If the Tories can get enough people on board in their coalition, it'll work, but if not - it won't.

When you do, I will be waiting.


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