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I hope you are right. As a Labour Party member I am loving Cameron's addition to anti-European loopyness.

It's anti-Federalism, not anti-Europeanism.

If the EPP's main aim is to promote federalism, then how can the tories remain within the group?
The sad thing these days is that people are so pigeonholed: "right wing", "left wing", "Eurosceptic", "Europhile" etc.
Life is not as stark as that. Culturally, linguistically and in many other ways, I am very much in favour of Europe. I hate, however, the corruption, bureaucracy and federalism of the EU.
Above all, I cannot accept economically a single currency and a single interest rate controlling the very disparate economies of 25 countries (or whatever).
In this country, for instance, we really need one low interest rate for manufacturing, the normal rate for most other things and a higher rate for the housing market.

If 128 Conservative MP's vote to overrule the European Communities Act, operating as a party during the debate on the Regulatory Reform Act, it is quite clear that Cameron is not a europhile.

Hague is as usual not good at making tough decisions - better at writing about political leadership than the actual practice of doing it. His books and speeches are superb.

Cameron is new to leadership. He does not want a rift with Hague, but he will have his way. Of that I have no doubt. Iron fist in velvet glove? He does not seem like the type to flunk decisions. The Parliamentary Party are happily settling into his leadership. That tells you a lot.

His beliefs are not so easy to follow as yet. His stements are consistent with Compassionate Conservatism as defined by Policy Exchange.

Cameron is not son of Thatcher. He's more grandson of Thatcher. He's not far off 50 years younger than her, and grew up in a different world. The Telelgraph is obviously disorientated by his youth. They'll get there soon.

I think we should all stop buying the Telegraph. See what they print then...

Don't worry about the Torygraph. It's just a bit of old boy NIMBYism. What's this young whipper-snapper doing, leading the Conservative Party without getting TG permission first? Just have a good laugh at them, while they adapt to the new politics. They'll get there in time, but for now, it's priceless seeing the old colonels choking on their brandies.

It will be a bright day indeed for Labour when Cameron pulls out of the EPP.

There is no one for the Tories to team up with. Certainly, not the Czech ODS who have made it clear they don't intend to leave the EPP.

The Tories will have to sit with the likes of Poland's Law and Justice (anti-gay, anti-abortion, very religious), the French National Front and Alessandra Mussolini's MSI.

This will enable Labour to paint the Tories as a bunch right-wing nutters. Cameron's attempts to rebrand the party will be in tatters and all his careful positioning will be shown to be skin deep. Electoral disaster will inevitably follow.

You really should be careful what you wish for you know...

You say: 'I agree with The Telegraph leader-writers that "authenticity" is an absolute requirement for a successful politician in the post-Blair era but was the EPP pledge really "the most important of his leadership so far"?'

Have you forgotten that David Cameron made the pledge to leave the EPP before he became leader? Have you forgotten that he made the pledge during the leadership contest and only AFTER his leadership rivals had made the same pledge. And have you forgotten that it won him the leadership?

There's no point DC going around blaming everyone else simply because he and his advisors didn't think it through at the time. He should take it on the chin. Take it like a man. He made a mistake. So what? It's not his first, it won't be his last.

But we need a decision from him and we need it as soon as possible. Because the longer he leaves it, the more it's likely to fester. Pull us out of the EPP immediately, it'll be forgotten within a week, and then we can all move on to trouncing a corrupt, discredited, incompetent Labour government.

"AFTER his leadership rivals had made the same pledge."

I'm sure you're not being deliberately misleading but only Liam Fox made the same pledge - Ken Clarke certainly didn't and David Davis was far more pragmatic about the EPP-ED issue.

Paul, stop falling for the spin and read this http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2006/06/daniel_hannan_m.html

I stand corrected Mr Vince-Archer. But if he made the pledge only after Mr Fox had made the pledge, we really have got problems.

I suppose that's a risk, Paul, but the decision to leave the EPP genuinely is about principles, and the principles behind it are the ones that most Britons hold (and the ones that were voted for originally). The act of leaving, unspun, should go down very well. It's just a question of whether the Cameroonian PR folk are good enough to be able to neuter some of the Labour scaremongering, and based on what they've done so far, I'm pretty hopeful.

Andrew, lol.

Daniel Hannan says "an alliance of mainstream parties". What mainstream parties? Go on name them! They're all in the EPP, you know.

Outside the EPP are the nutters, the nationalists and the neo-fascists.

Wake up!

You shouldn't be falling for everything that Daniel Hannan says.


But Andrew, there's nothing wrong with being a suspected rapist if one is a left-winger. At least one has noble thoughts.

Ed, when you talk of principles one is reminded of Michael Foot's 1983 campaign.

"EPP leaders warned him that his most important potential allies had been "turned" by intense lobbying and would not now be joining him in his new group. They said he would be thwarted in his plans to build a new group ..." "Hans-Gert Poettering, the head of the EPP group, has led lobbying efforts to keep it intact."

What is it about these politicians elected in Germany - Poettering, Brok, Merkel - which makes them assume they have the right to dictate to MEPs elected in Britain? The Tory MEPs are there to serve us, as our representatives, supposedly "Putting Britain First". They are not there to serve foreign politicians.

The reply to these machinations should be a simple "Goodbye".

Tory MEPs leave the EPP, except for those who insist on staying, whose cards will be well and truly marked; they sit as independents, like Roger Helmer; they provide the nucleus for a new group; over time other MEPs or groups of MEPs will join, until they have collected at least one MEP from each of four other countries; then they will have satisfied this ridiculous "diversity" criterion, and can apply for official recognition.


Paul, what is mainstream (in UK terms) about wishing to abolish nation states?

David Davis is often stated to be a eurosceptic, but his credentials are not that good. He was the Whip under major who forced through the Maastricht Treaty. He didn't take up a strong position on the EPP during the leadership contest. He was real snake in the grass against IDS. Marks 0/10.

Paul, why are Labour so concerned by our European policy? Surely they should just be letting us go ahead if it's going to be that unpopular.

Perhaps their concern is, it will spark off a movement away from the EU and they will be the ones being painted as extrememists, for sitting with ex communists and wanting to hand over ever more powers to Europe.

The EPP decision / lack of action matters v much as a symbol more than anything else.

In fact, after 6 months of shilly shallying it more or less gives credibility to accusations of shallowness and lack of principles on DC's part.

This is a decision which requires NO vote in Parliament, NO approval of Judges, UK or European - nothing except the political courage to go through with the commitment and take whatever negatives - if any - come with it.

If he can't do something so very damn simple to do how is he ever going to be believed when eventually setting out a policy stall for the next election?

In my view people do actually approve by large majorities Tory policies as set out at the last election BUT, big but, they have little confidence that they would actually be legislated for when up against opposition from the UK Establishment, from Lords through Bishops, media, rich wet Tories and all the rest.

And the EPP lack of follow-thru shows just how right the electorate were to not believe any of it would actually happen.....

C'est triste mais c'est vrai !

British Conservatives should, as Dan Hannan has argued, establish "for the first time in the history of the EU, a dissident group – an alliance of mainstream parties opposed to political integration".

Oh yes, that wonderful term "mainstream" which is used to ignore the fact that a dissident group - an alliance of parties opposed to political integration already exists. It is called the Independence / Democracy group and comprises of 29 members from 9 countries.

"Outside the EPP are the nutters, the nationalists and the neo-fascists."

If you read the article you would see that there are several rather unpleasant people inside the EPP. "Children, not Indians" - do you consider that mainstream?

Most of us here want the EU to be nothing more than a free trade area. How does British business benefit from European regulations? How does the British taxpayer benefit by subsidising inefficient French farming methods? What is the point of legislating on what weights and measures we can use? Could the pro-Europeans please explain what the benefits of the EU are apart from the access to European markets?

I think Cameron wants to form a credible, pro-European, anti-Federalist group. Hence the delays, which I suspect have been exacerbated by EPP lobbying. I think we soon reach the point where it makes more sense to follow Denis Cooper's suggestion and form an independent block, however that does not mean that the time spent trying to form a group has been wasted.

Also, if you are going to be critical of the Czech and Polish parties, it might be worth looking at the records of some of the parties in the Socialist and EPP groups.

Sorry, that should have been "Children before Indians". Here's the relevant part of the article:

"Would readers of this blog automatically disqualify a party that ran election posters showing a gay couple with the slogan “Daddy and Papa? Say No!”? What about a party which had had hundreds of its MPs and councillors convicted in fraud cases? OK, then, what about a party that had campaigned against the immigration of some computer programmers from India under the slogan “Children Before Indians”?

Well, here’s the thing: all three of these parties are currently in the EPP. They are, respectively, Forza Italia, Chirac’s UMP and the German CDU."

So why should we stay in?

If Cameron and Hague are not prepared to defy German politicians over British MEPs being locked into the EPP, what will happen when they go off to some obscure town in Slovakia to reclaim control over our fishing grounds; or to repatriate our regional aid policy and announce that English regional assemblies are being abolished and in future there will be no British delegation on the Committee of the Regions; or make it clear that Britain will never, under any circumstances, join the euro; or that there will be no British contribution to a European army and we will not permit the destruction of our defence industry, if there's any left by then; or that we will no longer allow the EU to control our immigration policy, or any other domestic policies which are nobody's business but our own - in short, that we will never be part of their federal United States of Europe, and therefore they should forget about the Constitution, under whatever name, and start to negotiate a completely new treaty for a loose, flexible, Europe? Will they do a Major, coming back to declare that it's game, set and match for Britain, when in fact they've surrendered? They need to show some backbone, now, even over what may seem to many to be the minor matter of the EPP, if they're ever to be taken seriously in the future.

Also, if you are going to be critical of the Czech and Polish parties

Critical? I wasn't critical of the 'Czech party' as you so obfuscatingly put it. Please call the 'Czech party' by its name. It's called 'ODS' or Civil Democratic Party. They're a good party - pro-free trade, trying to introduce a flat tax and so on. It's just that they won't save Cameron's bacon as they are staying in the EPP.

Also, please call the "Polish party" by it's name. It's called 'Law and Justice'. It is socially conservative, anti-gay, anti-abortion and very pro-Roman Catholic. Just the sort of people that Cameron's soft-focus Tories shouldn't be having anything to do with. They may as well go into alliance with the French National Front.

Anyway, this is academic. Cameron will leave the EPP. There are no friends outside the EPP. Not one of you has mentioned what these 'mainstream' parties might be. You can't, because there aren't any. So outside the EPP it will be a disaster and a PR coup for labour. As you will, in due course, find out.

A good point well made Denis Cooper.

You ask is (The EPP pledge) the most important pledge of David Cameron's leadership so far? Some might say it's the only substantive pledge!

But the question misses the point. No one cares very much about where a handful of Tory MEPs sit in the European parliament. What matters is, for the first time, to create an anti-federalist opposition in Brussels. What matters is to break the monopoly of the integrationists in the EU institutions. The EPP understands this very well. That is why Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are so excited about the issue. That is why Hans-Gert Poettering MEP is making such huge lobbying efforts to stop the formation of a new group. This is the biggest single thing that Cameron can do to achieve real change in Europe, and he must do it NOW.

"Not one of you has mentioned what these 'mainstream' parties might be."

And you haven't addressed my point above about some of the views of "mainstream" parties in the EPP. Forza Italia seems to have similar views on homosexuality to Law & Justice while the CDU seems to have the racial attitudes of the French NF.

That is why Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are so excited about the issue. That is why Hans-Gert Poettering MEP is making such huge lobbying efforts to stop the formation of a new group.

That is also why the Labour Party and its supporters like Paul, are making such a big thing out of it.

UK voters are generally eurosceptic, but wary of leaving. However, as time goes by the general view seems to be ever more anti EU. If this trend continues, and the Conservative Party is ready to take advantage of it, the cost to Labour (and even more so, Limp Dums) will be huge.

The whole Labour strategy is to stir up the Europhiles in the Conservative Party so as to cause trouble. Their problem is that the number of these dwindles with time and will fall even more after the next Euro Election (yes I mean you Mrs Jackson et al).

From our side, being outside the EPP gives us a credible platform to promote change. (Not quite the lets leave tommorrow that I would like, but less likely to scare the voters either). Then for the first time, a major political party will consistently show up the EU and all its faults.

The damage to the reds, who have given up on "socialism in one country" in favour of EU forced left wing madness, will be huge.

The best part of all this is bit where UKIP memebers will come back.

Excuse me for intruding in on your grief but they are outside the Tory party and you are left with a few eccentrics that do have loyalty.

Pandering to the anti EU UKIP members is like asking the bad apple to come back into the barrel because everything is now OK.

They have collapsed the Tory party and will do so again.

Give up the hatred for Europe and stop pandering to a loony element.

Opposition parties will love the day the Tories replace sense with nonsense and you open up the only avenue that will deny power.
Sit with Le-Pen and suggest you don't will only open you up to ridicule as you will actually be sitting with him.

gary

Tory friends,

I have found something interesting about Independence and Democracy Group in European Parliament. There are many nationalistic nutters here.

Members of the Independence and Democracy group come from the following national parties:

Vladimir Železný (Czech Republic)

Vladimír Železný is a media businessman and politician in the Czech Republic, the founder of TV NOVA. Often operating on the limits of law, or outside it, thus being called "Czech Berlusconi". (source Wikipedia).

JuniBevægelsen (June Movement) (Denmark)
The June Movement (Danish: JuniBevægelsen) is a Danish eurosceptic political organisation founded in August 1992. It takes its name from the referendum on the Maastricht Treaty that took place in Denmark in June of that year. The organisation claims to be politically neither left nor right. In the European Parliament, however, it is part of the Independence and Democracy Group that includes UKIP and Georgios Karatzaferis. In 2005 a number of prominent members of the Movement left because of these alliances. In general the movement wants the EU to deal with only cross-border issues such as environmental and trade policies. (source Wikipedia).

Mouvement pour la France (Movement for France) (France)
The Movement for France (French: Mouvement pour la France), or MPF, is a conservative, traditionalist and nationalist party, founded on November 20, 1994, with a marked regional implementation in Vendée. It is led by Philippe de Villiers, once Communication Minister under Jacques Chirac. Philippe de Villiers may be tied to the legitimist right-wing tradition analyzed by famous historian René Rémond. The party resists increases in European integration and campaigned for a "no" vote in the 2005 referendum on the European constitution. It is also strongly opposed to the possible admission of Turkey into the European Union. While this view is not uncommon, the MPF distinguishes itself here in its stridency and the fact that it does not believe, as do some other political leaders, that Turkey should be admitted at some point in the future, after a set of criteria have been met. (source Wikipedia).

Popular Orthodox Rally (Greece)
The Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S. - ΛΑ.Ο.Σ) (Greek: Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός) is a Greek nationalist and Orthodox-conservative political party, founded and led by journalist Georgios Karatzaferis, a member of parliament who was expelled from the New Democracy party. According to the Popular Orthodox Rally, "the demarcation of the political world in the Right Wing and the Left Wing is not relevant anymore after the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, everyone in every aspect of his or her everyday life is either in favour or against Globalization," in which LA.O.S. finds "mainly negative elements." (source Wikipedia).

Lega Nord (Northern League) (Italy)
Led by Umberto Bossi MEP, former Minister in Berlusconi Government. Want more autonomy for Northern Italy, declared Northern Italy as independent state of Padania in 1996.

ChristenUnie-SGP (Netherlands)
Very conservative.

League of Polish Families (Poland)
Very conservative.

Kathy Sinnott (Republic of Ireland)

Junilistan (June List) (Sweden)
Mix of liberals, conservatives and social democrats.

United Kingdom Independence Party (United Kingdom)
You know all about them.



I take it then, Gary, you are happy for the Conservative Party to be associated with people like Berlusconi and Chirac, and, shortly, Gianfranco Fini.

"The Tories will have to sit with the likes of Poland's Law and Justice (anti-gay, anti-abortion, very religious), the French National Front and Alessandra Mussolini's MSI."

Not true. Being outside, along with other outsiders, does not mean you and your fellow outsiders are a group. Primary school set theory.

"Give up the hatred for Europe and stop pandering to a loony element."

Where have we said we hate Europe? What we oppose is the concept of laws being enforced upon this country that the British electorate didn't vote for. Can you really justify criminalising selling in Imperial measurements?

What especially bothers me is that many of these laws are a hindrance to British business. We were fortunate to escape the Working Time Directive but the very idea that European politicians, unelected by the British people, should be able to control how many hours we can work is outrageous.

Like it or not the majority of people in Britain, even if they are not pro-withdrawal, do not favour political integration. In fact there was an opinion poll a while back that showed 52% would favour withdrawal providing we could maintain free trade with the EU.

We want a European free trade area and good relations with our European neighbours. We see the benefits of this. We do not see the benefits of legislation telling us how many hours we can work, what weights we can sell our goods in and various other petty regulations. Nor do we see the benefits of subsidising ineffecient French agriculture.

I would also like to see the abilition of the common external tariff, a measure that harms third world agricultural exporters. Is this idea loony?

Sorry, that should be "an obstruction that harms".

The hatred for Europe is very much alive and well within Tory ranks as most honest Tories will admit.

Prosecution for selling imperial is a little harsh but I think selling Imperial is a deliberate attempt at being silly.

Free trade areas guarantee nothing at all and can open up British business to many crooked tricks. Euro currency with political will, gained from Union and enshrined in constitution, guarantees British business against short term quick fixes within the single marketplace.

The ability of weaker Governments and currencies to pull the rug from under us, is now a trick of the past.

The main target of the Conservative party is not working hours, it's the Social Chapter. This is an argument that will definitely be played out come election time.

Dave, doesn't stand any chance whatsoever of gaining the floating vote and persuading it to vote against itself.

The EPP at least give some credibility to your dying party.

Gary

"Give up the hatred for Europe and stop pandering to a loony element."

Others have made the same point, but lets clear this up. I dont hate Europe. There are several things about France that I like (gasp!) - their sensible approach to nuclear power, their supermarkets, the way they are not afraid to stand up for their national interest for example, their defence of French culture, and if we want to reform the NHS I would advocate copying the French model wholesale. I like things about other european countries as well - Italy has a high standard of living we could try and emulate, etc.

But that doesn't mean I think Britain should be ruled by Frenchmen or that Italians should make our laws.

I agree with Sean, but you've missed out the Austrian EPP party which is in coalition with Haider's Freedom Party.

No one has ever put forward the idea of sitting with Le Pen and Mussolini or even UKIP - I don't remember Cameron ever inviting Jean-Marie along for a coffee!

Cameron's pledge is to set up a atlantacist free market and free trading group, hoping to make some headway against the current European agenda which has been hijacked by the Socialists. Without a shake up in the Parliament and a without a Group with this end specifically in mind, then we will continue to head ever closer towards a United States of Europe.

If you needed any more reasons why David Cameron is right to take Tory MEPs out of the EPP you should see page 14 of today's Daily Telegraph. Alongside a questionable story suggesting that Cameron 'will fail in plan for grouping of Eurosceptics' the main headline declares...

"EU LEADERS LOOK TO REVIVE THE CONSTITUTION IN 2008."

This very starting point betrays a complete ignorance of how Europe actually works. The Constitution is nothing to do with the European Parliament. If member governments don't all sign it, it fails to come into force.

The European Parliament spends its time discussing and voting on legislative proposals from the European Commission, in co-decision with the relevant Council (member states' representations). The fact that the European Commission has the right and jurisdiction to initiate legislation on a given area is derived from a conferring of competencies laid out in the treaties which are agreed by member states' governments - thus the only way you can stop Europe doing more and repatriate competencies, and change all the other things we wish to change, is to change the treaties. In short, the only way to change the EU is to get a Tory government, followed by similarly-minded governments in a majority of the other 24 member states.

Some voters voted for UKIP in 2004 thinking that somehow having some UKIP MEPs would mean we could withdraw from the EU. They were sorely disappointed: the only way to do that is if UKIP are in government in the UK. The Conservative manifesto for the EP elections in 2004, for which I and most of the readers of this site campaigned and voted, made a series of pledges based on a knowledge of what the parliament actually does. The decision on what group we belong to should be based on how best - whether it be in or out of the EPP-ED - we deliver that manifesto and keep our promises to voters. Nothing more, nothing less.


Gary, you reveal a rather warped sense of right and wrong, if you believe that there is somehow, common ground between ourselves, Chirac and Berlusconi.

The Union for Europe of the Nations is a nationalist and (mostly) euro-sceptic party grouping with seats in the European Parliament. It is attached to the broader Alliance for Europe of the Nations organization. Its Irish member, Fianna Fáil, is considered the driving force behind the group in spite of the fact that it is alone in its support for the proposed European Constitution which was negotiated by its leader Bertie Ahern when he was President of the European Council in 2004.

Member Parties

Denmark - Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party) (1 MEP)
far right xenophobic party, support the current Danish Government, but are not allowed inside Government.

Ireland (Republic) - Fianna Fáil (Soldiers of Destiny) (4 MEPs)
led by Bertie Ahern, TD, Taoiseach. rather good party.

Italy - Alleanza Nazionale (National Alliance) (9 MEPs)
led by Gianfranco Fini, former Minister in Berlusconi Government. former called MSI, but the neo-fascists are now thrown out of the party, which led to alessandra Mussolini forming her own party.

Latvia - Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK (Fatherland and Freedom) (4 MEPs)

Lithuania
Liberalų Demokratų Partija (Liberal Democratic Party) (1 MEP)

Valstiečių ir Naujosios demokratijos partijų sąjungos (Peasants and New Democratic Party Union) (1 MEP)

Poland
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) (7 MEPs)

Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (Polish Peasant Party) (3 MEPs)†
† - The Polish Peasant Party is aligned with the European People's Party, but against the wishes of party leadership 3 of its 4 MEPs moved to UEN in December 2005.


And there are non-inscrits, MEPs not belonging to a parliamentary group. Here we find

Austria
Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) Andreas Mölzer

Hans-Peter Martin's List (Liste Dr. Hans-Peter Martin) Hans-Peter Martin

Belgium
Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang)
Philip Claeys
Koenraad Dillen
Frank Vanhecke

Czech Republic
Independent Democrats (Nezávislí demokraté) Jana Bobošíková

France
National Front (le Front National)
Bruno Gollnisch
Carl Lang
Jean-Marie Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Fernand Le Rachinel
Jean-Claude Martinez
Lydia Schenardi

Italy
Northern League (Lega Nord)
Mario Borghezio
Umberto Bossi
Matteo Salvini
Francesco Speroni

Socialist Party New PSI (Partito Socialista –Nuovo PSI)
Alessandro Battilocchio
Gianni De Michelis

Olive Tree (Uniti nell'Ulivo)
Giovanni Rivera

Social Alternative (Alternativa Sociale) Alessandra Mussolini

Tricolour Flame (Movimento Sociale Fiamma Tricolore)
Luca Romagnoli

Poland
Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland (Samoobrona RP)
Marek Czarnecki
Ryszard Czarnecki
Jan Masiel
Leopold Rutowicz

League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin)
Sylwester Chruszcz
Maciej Giertych
Bernard Piotr Wojciechowski

Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska)
Paweł Piskorski

Slovakia
People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(Ľudová strana - Hnutie za demokratické Slovensko)
Peter Baco
Irena Belohorská
Sergej Kozlík

United Kingdom
Conservative Party
Roger Helmer

Democratic Unionist Party
Jim Allister

Independent Robert Kilroy-Silk

Independent Ashley Mote


The National Alliance is currently negotiating to join the EPP.

Sean, Gary is going down the traditional socialist route of calling us xenophobes because we dislike the institution that is the EU. I suspect he loves the EU because it's behaves in a socialist manner.

I've noticed that you don't want to be 'ruled'(ruled?) by Frenchmen or Italians.
You have omitted the British. Was this deliberate or do you suggest that we have no part in this 'ruling'?

We don't have much of a say in the economics of Europe, granted, but that is because we haven't adopted the Euro. Therefore we have to leave the room when finances are discussed.

To change Europe the Conservative party has to win an election here. Then, and only then,could it be possible for you attempt this alteration of Social Democracy.The other 24 Countries would have to follow suit.
I don't wish to be pedantic, but that is some wish, isn't it? The electorate here continue to relegate you to second place and many people consider third more appropriate.

No one is considering that Tory MEP's sit with Le-Pen? That is exactly where they'll be. It's no use suggesting that a Tory group is nothing other than independant.
The Socialists and Tory media will have a field day here and it will be the beginning of the end for Dave's short leadership.

Can you imagine an independant Tory MEP slagging off Europe for a free trade area, sitting alongside Le-Pen & co? What a photo opportunity for the concensus of the willing.

The writing is on the wall.

Gary


I don't know if you're being deliberately obtuse Gary, but sitting on a row of seats near to an opposition party doesn't make you part of that opposition party.

Visit a council chamber one day. You'll see what I nmean.

"Sean, Gary is going down the traditional socialist route of calling us xenophobes because we dislike the institution that is the EU. I suspect he loves the EU because it's behaves in a socialist manner."

Well, he doesn't seem capable of engaging with the arguments we're making.

Paul, could you explain why you feel abortion is such an ideal means of birthy control ?

May I remind some of the more excitable posters that in March 1939 Great Britain pledged to come to the aid of a Government in Poland much to the right of any party currently in The Sejm, and in September 1939 went to war with Germany and its "modernising" Government against the advice of the British Ambassador in Berlin and the US Ambassador in London.

No one is considering that Tory MEP's sit with Le-Pen? That is exactly where they'll be. It's no use suggesting that a Tory group is nothing other than independant.

So under the same mentality, in the UK parliament, we Conservatives are the same as the Scottish Nationalist Party, because we both sit on the opposition benches. Creative.

Notice that Gary seems to be suggesting that the Conserbvative Party is history.

May I suggest checking out the polls.

Gary Elsby is presumably a marionette whose strings are being pulled by the Labour Party or the Lib Dems?

Either way, he peddles the Ken Clarke/Chris Patten/Michael Heseltine false choice between top-down Napoleonic pan-European Government and ...well what? Civil war? Anarchy? Nothing? After the French, Italian, Spanish and German experiences since 1800, no-one could exactly describe the Napoleonic approach to running European states as a runaway success and it is also profoundly undemocratic. Of course Blair loves this approach precisely because it is undemocratic; it panders to his huge ego; and creates huge opportunities for getting rich at the taxpayers' expense. Three excellent reasons for rejecting it.

Chaps,their is no point in arguing with Gary Elsby.He has the same regard for facts and truth as his hero Alistair Campbell.He's posting to wind you up.

Mike, Gary is a Labourite who on other blogs is trying to pedal the line that 2 Tory MP's are close to crossing the floor to Labour. (presumably he believes over Europe).

We will only have to wait another four or five weeks to find out whether we will be leaving the EPP or not. A lot of the headlines in the Telegraph are designed to help our leader to reach the right decision. Although most of the public regard this as a non-issue, it is right that it causes intense debate among those like ourselves who take a keen interest in these matters.

I doubt if many contributors to this blog have heard of many of the parties listed above in this thread, let alone know what policies they promote, or what their members have said. The whole business of the EU parliament is completely divorced from the people of this country. Our MEPs might as well be joining the Freemasons for all the public know! What David Cameron must do is symbolic. Even if we do not form a large group [or if we sit alone], he will be sending out a message that we are going to be a party of principle with a consistent message at home and in the EU.

"We will only have to wait another four or five weeks to find out whether we will be leaving the EPP or not..."

Not. Hague has missed the group funding slot, which runs six-monthly, this one from 1 July. To set up a new group, he would have had to have announced it in the EU parliament this week. Now, the first possible time there can be a new group is 1 Jan. And, if a week is a long time in politics, six months is an eternity.

"Prosecution for selling imperial is a little harsh but I think selling Imperial is a deliberate attempt at being silly."

Why? I work in a corner shop and whenever customers want tobacco they always give the measurements in Imperial. Despite being 22 I use Imperial measurements to refer to my weight and height as well as measuring distances. I only use metric for temperature. I expect most people nowadays use a mixture of both. Why deny them the choice?

"Free trade areas guarantee nothing at all"

Why not? They have a free trade area in North America.

"Euro currency with political will, gained from Union and enshrined in constitution, guarantees British business against short term quick fixes within the single marketplace."

In what way? Providing we keep our currency stable British business has nothing to worry about. If the Continentals want to mess around with their currencies then they will only harm themselves. Besides, chearper European goods brought about by them devaluing their currencies would benefit British consumers.

Well, this is something the Tories have to sort out, but they are not having any real influence inside EPP as long as the EPP Party are led by Wilfried Martens, CD&V, Belgium and EPP-ED Group are led by Hans Gert Pöttering /CDU, Germany. And there nothing that suggests that they will be ousted by more pragmatic, liberal-conservatives such as Moderata Samlingspartiet from Sweden.

How can the Tories continue to be a part of a group where they are not really welcome, where they don´t have any influence and where the policy is opposite of what the Tories stand for?

EPP want a more federalist Europe
they support Common Agriculture Policy
they want the constitution (and think people who votes against the constitution are stupid)
they want euro
they want common foreign, security abnd defence policy
they want a common Foreign Minister (Javier Solana)
they want common EU embassies

etc

Daniel Hannan..........if Richard North is correct, and he usually is, it's time to carry out your promise to quit the EPP and join Roger Helmer in building an extra-EPP Conservative representation in the EuroParliament.

Call up the other known eurosceptics to see if they will join you - Callanan, Deva, Van Orden, Heaton-Harris, Kamall plus plus, and launch the ship. May God Bless Her and All Who Sail In Her.

If a couple of MP's cross the floor of the House of Commons then so be it. Who knows? There might be two way traffic.

It will make it easier for Cameron if you move, not harder. So
Geronimooooooooo!!!!

The EU has always been, and still remains, a mechanism by which the Socialists intend to impose their discredited political philosophy by the back door upon the majority in Europe that have roundly rejected it. For that reason alone conservatives must oppose the federalisation that will allow this manouvre to take place and yes it is is vital that there is finally a proper mainstream anti federalist grouping within the otherwise pointless European Parliament.Also all you Europhiles need to make your minds up; last week you were telling us all that the electorate don't care about this issue and so it should be left alone and now this week you are telling us that leaving the EPP will be a stick for Labour to beat us with and that it will make us look bad to the electorate and so should be left alone. You can't have it both ways you know.... . oh but then of course you are Europhiles and so are much experienced in pretending that you can have it both ways despite all the hard evidence to the contrary.

What is perhaps disappointing is that the tories have done "a Blair" by threatening to leave the EPP.
This is rightly seen as a commitment but, like Blair with the HoL, the Lord Chancellor etc, he has indicated he will destroy the status quo without having first thought through the possible solutions and then decided on a preferred choice that will command general respect.
What does Daniel Hannan recommend we do?

"Hague has missed the group funding slot, which runs six-monthly, this one from 1 July. To set up a new group, he would have had to have announced it in the EU parliament this week. Now, the first possible time there can be a new group is 1 Jan. And, if a week is a long time in politics, six months is an eternity"
This would appear to make a nonsense of Cameron's 13 July deadline.What one wonders will be the content of Hagues announcement at the end of July,conveniently timed for when Parliament is in recess? Six months may be a long time in politics but the conference is only four months away;tick tock ,head on block!

Euro elections are years off. Brussels is busy bribing all potential partners to stay away. What is all the excitement? Cameron is only facing "humiliation" because the Telegraph has said so - no one else is interested. Number 10 must be cheering the Telegraph on, it's the oldest story; as soon as the Tories make progress dome inadequate little posers pop up to wreck things.

You have only to read to-day's Telegraph and leader to realise that so many of people we rely on for objectivity are divorced from reality and more than happy to kick the Conservative party and the country if they have an excuse for a tantrum. To-day provides a devestating example of why we have a pro-Europe Labour government and why Brown will win the next election.

"This would appear to make a nonsense of Cameron's 13 July deadline.What one wonders will be the content of Hagues announcement at the end of July,conveniently timed for when Parliament is in recess?"

Does it really matter? The timing is to get Cameron past the by-election.

Does it really matter?
to saddo nerds yes!to joe public,no way.
However for something that doesn't really matter it sure generates some disproportionate interest ,and not just amongst blogdwellers;but it certainly won't be the topic of conversation in the bars of Bromley.

Sorry to come back again. But I am reading all the stuff from Eurosceptic people being so upset that Cameron's deadline comes after Parliament recess and a by-election. How distressed you all seem that the deadline is convenient for the Tory party.

Someone really has to say; you are all utterly politically incompetent or you are quite happy for the Conservative party to fail if it doesn't go exactly along with your meaningless foibles. No wonder voters don't like Conservatives, you, and the Telegraph, and all the other buffoons apparently demanding early action over the EPP must be members of the Committee to Re-elect Labour. Tomorrow I am going shoving leaflets for the party while you do your best to sink it. Boy are you guys sad.

...or you are quite happy for the Conservative party to fail...

Tell me when you have one, and I'll answer that.

Reading some of this, I can now see why John Major ripped his hair out and the Conservative party are no longer required by the establishment or the voters.

2 MEP's are definitely crossing the floor if you leave the EPP.

Forgive me, but you are all cheerleaders for the EU but want to sit independently of the EPP? And you won't be saying the same as Le-Pen?
The British press will love that line.
Truth is you are isolationists and not internationalists, hence your failings.

Sitting by someone is not the same as agreeing with someone and I should try looking at a council chamber.Let's see where William puts you when you pull out.

The free trade area that you so worship is a bullying tool that bullied British goods using tariffs to protect USA jobs(economic patriotism)Our only weapon was the return of serve via the 350M strong EU.

Devaluing currencies will benefit consumers here would it? You're having a laugh.
The Euro guarantees against such measures and guarantees a level playing field.Pity poor British business for not being in it.

Pity poor Dave for not having the guts (leadership) and say 'enough is enough' to those within the Tory Party that wrecked this once great party.
Heath: EEC
Thatcher: SEA
Major: Maastricht
Blair: social chapter
Hague: reject
IDS: reject
Howard: reject
Cameron: ? (I know the answer)

Gary

"Forgive me, but you are all cheerleaders for the EU but want to sit independently of the EPP? And you won't be saying the same as Le-Pen? "

What do you think of those parties in the EPP that have homophobic and racist sentiments? Examples have been provided above. "Children before Indians" was a campaign slogan of the German CDU. Please address this point.

"The British press will love that line.
Truth is you are isolationists and not internationalists, hence your failings."

The British people are profoundly Eurosceptic. All opinion polls show majority opposition to the Euro, the Constitution and greater integration. Why can't you grasp this?

"Sitting by someone is not the same as agreeing with someone and I should try looking at a council chamber.Let's see where William puts you when you pull out."

I'm pretty damn sure he won't put us with Le Pen and co.

"The free trade area that you so worship is a bullying tool that bullied British goods using tariffs to protect USA jobs(economic patriotism)Our only weapon was the return of serve via the 350M strong EU."

What does that have to do with free trade within the EU? The point about free trade agreements is that there are no tariffs between the countries that are involved in them. If a country doesn't wish to be a part of the agreement then they will only harm themselves by depriving their consumers of cheaper foreign goods. EFTA seemed to function well without a problem and still does.

"Devaluing currencies will benefit consumers here would it? You're having a laugh."

Yes, if it means cheaper goods. If I want to order from a Continental branch of Amazon.com then I don't have to pay as much if the pound is stronger. Suits me fine!

"The Euro guarantees against such measures and guarantees a level playing field."

The Euro is creating inflation in some countries and contributing towards recession in others. It makes more sense to set an interest rate for our own conditions. We aren't suffering for being outside. Besides, the majority of British people are opposed to Euro membership. How do we gain by adopting such an unpopular policy?

The Telegraph is quite right to raise the issues surrounding Cameron's pledge to leave the EPP.It is imperative that he delivers on this disregarding the counsel from the europhile elder statesmen.We have had the arguement and the price has been paid for the the division of the Major years.The Conservative Party is a non federalist party it simply can not be part of any group that wishes to transfer additional power away from our parliament.

As I see it the EPP remains commited to this integrationast project and will inevitably support the ressurection of the Eurpoean constitution.

Cameron has the opportunity to show true leadership. He can make the case for retaining our own distinctive identity and nationhood borne out of centuries of unique experience.This process can identify our party as the leaders of a rival vision of Europe.This should emphasise economic co-operation within Europe whilst recognising the political and social differences between member states.

This is a core issue which will resonate positively with the electorates of the Midlands and the North to compliment success in the south east.I hope the opportunity is not missed.

The Conservative Party are in the lead in the polls, got the government on the back foot and what do the Anti-Europe nutters do they start a big argument over Europe.
The leadership should just be left alone to settle where Tory MP`s sit in the European Parliament. This should not be used to split the party in two once again.
Those that say they don`t hate Europe they just hate the EU are the same sort of people who say I don`t hate blacks and then let rip with a load of racist nonsense.
We need to treat the EU as a source of strength for our country not as a source of danger.

'Those that say they don`t hate Europe they just hate the EU are the same sort of people who say I don`t hate blacks and then let rip with a load of racist nonsense.'

Jack that is a despicable comment and lower than I thought even you would stoop.


Jack, the vast majority of the Party are quite happy to let David Cameron pull us out of the EPP. It's people like you who object to it.

I can only agree with Andrew that your comment was despicable.

So what do people make of this?

"DAVID CAMERON’S plan to remove Tory MEPs from the main centre-Right grouping in the European Parliament will cause “signficant damage” to British business, the Conservative leader has been told.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has written to William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, warning him that Tory MEPs would lose their influence in Brussels if they leave the European People’s Party group."
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8209-2227957,00.html

and this? (from the Independent)
"One Tory frontbencher said: "Some of our biggest firms are getting very steamed up about this and are lobbying us hard. We don't want to get on the wrong side of business and we should drop it."

It seems that the desire to 'collaborate' with some of the ssedier sides of Europe is due to the isolationist and economic illiteracy, that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of Dave's first (and only) piece of policy to date.

The lunatic fringe, that is forcing Dave down a path he does not want to go, are hell bent on flagellating the Conservative membership for a life time of opposition.
Free trade areas, nice. Isolationist, very much so. As I said, Britain trading only with the EU is an isolationist cause. When the US market feels the squeeze, uncle Sam will protect his children. The EU's combined strength is a mighty sword against such bullies.What of the Shanghai co-operation commission? Another Tiger raising it's head smelling power and influence.
Dave wants to go it alone? A would be leader, surrounded by fall guys who lost it for the Tory cause? No chance. If it's us against this lot,UK PLC and its voters will come on side.

Richard's lack of understanding is typical of your combined hatred of Europe.It suits him fine if fellow isolationists abroad devalue their currencies. Forgive me Richard, but have a look what British business is saying on that point.Don't take my word for it, just listen to your financial supporters.It would be another disaster and a return to boom and bust.I know some of you Tories like 'booms' but it is the underclasses who pick up the bust tab. Don't worry, if you leave the EPP I will remind the world of your plan.

Oops, Richard! The Euro is most certainly not causing inflationary pressures in the Eurozone, so please stop spreading false propoganda.The Conservative party knows full well that Italy under a Conservative Government failed to modernise and pull up the reigns when it should have done. It is incompetence and as usual, a socialist Government is called upon to restore order.
Stop blaming the Euro messenger and blame humans who can't add up.
I could go on and I know you want me to. Rest assured I will.
Gary


"the economic illiteracy that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of Dave's first (and only) piece of policy to date."

It's interesting that the less free-market Law and Justice seems keen to join a grouping with the Tories, while the more free-market Czech ODS doesn't seem at all keen to.

"I could go on and I know you want me to. Rest assured I will."

It's a free country and you can bore on as long as the Editor permits you.


Valerie, groups like the CBI and the BCC were predicting significant damage if we didn't join the Euro.

Sean - their fears may yet be justified.

My position on the EU has always been that if business wants it, then so do I (by 'it' I mean proper engagement in the creation of a functioning single-market). While businesses ars clearly never going to speak entirely as one on some of the issues, I still think it's important to listen to what the associations are saying.

p.s. which obviously includes taking heed of businesses' concerns at over-regulation - but those concerns aren't going to be dealt with by putting yourself in a position of weakness and removing yourself from potential allies.

To try to claim, as Jack Stone has, that the EU can be some kind of source of strength for the UK is to completely ignore all of the actual facts and evidence regarding what the EU has done, is doing and wants to do. It is about sucking up power away from nations and placing it in the hands of the unelected and unaccountable. To be against this disenfranchisment is to be a democrat not a racist or a nutter. Isn't it amazing how the Europhiles always stoop to personal abuse and completely unevidenced claims of racism when challenged because they actually do not have any genuine arguments in their armoury. All of the claims of disaster if we didn't sign up to the Euro have been proven totally wrong and contrary to the Europhile view that ordinary people do not care about the EU issue those of us who have spent most of the last 2 years on the doorstep actually talking to voters, instead of just to each other, have found that anti EU sentiment amongst the electorate is actually very high and well entrenched, it is simply a matter of harnessing that to our electoral advantage.

This row over membership of the EU is so symptomatic of why the Tories are so despised by the electorate. The Tories are split over the EU and New Labour party are split over Iraq. Both stories have a lot in common and are set to run and run and run.

The two stories have common geneses: they both started because a PM wanted to pull the wool over the eyes of his own party in order to achieve international objectives. In both cases the lies were later exposed but not apologised for, instead supporters pretended the lies were superficial and the cracks could be covered up.

This sort of behaviour splits parties; PMs who lie to their electorates have to be disowned by their parties.. For thirty years the Tory Party failed to came clean that membership of the EEC was not membership of just a trade body, it was in fact an embryonic attempt to create a political union. The model was supposed to be the United States, but in fact it has much more in common with the old Soviet Union.

Even before the ink had dried Heath had bartered away a whole industry, the fishing industry, as if the jobs of those who depended on fishing were casino chips; expendable for the common good of the EU. For thirty years he went on telling porkies, and only after the public records office published the papers was the matter settled.

In the late 80s Lawson shadowed the German currency, he called his critics teenage scribblers, but the scribblers were right. Then Major bounced us into the preparations for currency union and it ended in black Wednesday.

And Major pushed through Maastricht, calling those who opposed the currency union names, like some bully in a playground that had to have his ball. But the predictions of “the rebels” were right, one currency does not fit all and the economies inside Euroland are diverging not converging as Major told us they would.

Continuing to be part of the EPP is to continue with Heath’s big lie, it is a lie which fools only some dinosaurs on this forum, the public in the street know that the big shows in town are the US, China and India:

The concept of fortress EU is a failed idea. The constitution did not get through because the EU is ungovernable. To govern 27 nations that speak 20 different languages without a cabinet with real powers is an impossible task, that the people given this task are failed Labour politicians with a reputation for telling porkies makes it almost funny, but then one looks at what carnage they have caused and it is not funny at all.

The lies are so silly. The idea that Mandelson really was batting for Britain at the world trade talks is silly; he ruined them because he was defending the French CAP policy. The losers were Britain and the third world farmers. This is where sharing sovereignty with a corrupt international club gets you!

Cameron says he is going to cleanse the party; he has to start by being honest about the EU. Leaving the EPP will be a symbol that he has begun this journey. My expectations are that he is one more twit in a long line of Tory twits but I wish he prove me wrong.

"Richard's lack of understanding is typical of your combined hatred of Europe."

Please show me where I have said I hated Europe? Or have you just decided that I do because I favour free trade over political union? If I hated Europe I'd want us to put tariffs up and become a fortress Britain. Personally I'd like to see us abolish all trade barriers.

"It suits him fine if fellow isolationists abroad devalue their currencies."

Yes, it does. Like I said, cheaper goods from Continental Amazon!

"Forgive me Richard, but have a look what British business is saying on that point."

British business will benefit from being able to obtain cheaper imports. I expect the businesses that are concerned are exporters. I do not see why they are deserving of special favours just because some of them support the Conservative Party. Our primary concern should be British consumers who will benefit from cheaper foreign imports.

We managed to do very well before the single currency. Nor have we suffered from being out - we still get the majority of foreign investment.

"It would be another disaster and a return to boom and bust."

Boom and bust is caused by the nature of the banking system but I'm not going to go into that because it's off-topic.

"Oops, Richard! The Euro is most certainly not causing inflationary pressures in the Eurozone, so please stop spreading false propoganda."

There is a one size fits all interest rate and different parts of the Eurozone are at different stages in the economic cycle. Germany is stagnant while Ireland is booming. Yet you seem to think a single interest rate for the entire Eurozone will have no effect.

You have yet to address the fact that the majority of the British population are Eurosceptic, nor have you justified the enforcement of regulations such as the social chapter that make British businesses uncompetetive. If the British people do want these regulations then why can't they be introduced at the national level?

Re Jack Stone.

Pay no attention to him. You all ought to have worked out by now that he is a troll who tries to stir things up. No doubt he will soon be claiming that opposition to membership of the Euro betrays hidden thoughts of holocaust denial.

By the way Gary, what do you think of the homophobic and racist sentiments expressed by other members of the EPP that have been mentioned above.

I usually do ignore him Richard but I couldn't let that statement go unnoticed.

I wonder how the Europhiles will answer and attempt to smear your points.

Anti-Europeans really should be honest. They don`t want re-negotiation they want Britain out of the EU. Not only would that be disaterous for this country it would also be electoral suicide for the Conservative Party.
I am afraid no matter what people say that there is in peoples opposition to the EU a little Englander attitude. Johnny foreigner I am afraid just can`t be trusted so we are better off not having anything to do with them
I am also certain that if you ask any Eurosceptic if he would like to see immigrants sent home and homosexuality outlawed they would answer yes.
Richard you are like most right-wingers you can`t stand it when people disagree with you.I want to see a Conservative Party that wants to be a part of a Europe united not a Europe divided by hatred and suspicion.

'I am also certain that if you ask any Eurosceptic if he would like to see immigrants sent home and homosexuality outlawed they would answer yes.'

He gets worse.

"I am also certain that if you ask any Eurosceptic if he would like to see immigrants sent home and homosexuality outlawed they would answer yes."

Well my answer is no. What do you think of the Working Time Directive and compulsory metrification? How do these plans benefit us?

The majority of the British people don't want to join the Euro. Do they all secretly want to kick all the non-whites out of the country?

Cameron will deliver either through Hague or through Hannan. Next.

"Not only would that be disaterous for this country..."

Oh really? The people of Norway, Iceland, Canada, Australia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, the United States, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Monaco, San Marino, Gibraltar, New Zealand and Japan don't seem to be doing too badly.

and Switzerland!

I don't know whether it's worth requesting that Jack Stone be banned for trolling or keeping him on for amusement value.

"Anti-Europeans really should be honest"

You should be honest that you're a troll. Obviously, it's the Editor's call, but I think there is a strong case for banning you from this forum.

Surely its come to something when someone seems to think Great Britain should be bracketed with San Marino and the Isle of Man. Mind you if we pulled out of the EU our influence in the world would end up on the scale of the likes of San Marino enjoy.
I think people should just be honest. If you believe we should pull out then say it.
I think far too many on the anti-europe wing of the party are trying to get the leadership to agree to a policy of withrawal by slowly wanting to move closer and closer to that position. Of course they won`t suceed because the people with sense in the party still outweigh the senseless but I would just like those that want this too be honest.
As for the rest my comments are mild compared to those on here who stand up for the BNP and UKIP and who are very quick to defend those who make racist or anti-gay comments or who talk about those who disagree with them as if they should be locked up.

It does nobody any credit to attempt to characterise those who wish to prevent political and social unitification within Europe as Racist or ignorant.The core Conservative attitude is one of tolerance and respect and we must remember that when conducting this or, indeed any discussion.

Let us remember that DC made the pledge to leave the EPP prior to the leadership contest.It may be suggested by cynics that this was a purely self interested gesture to secure election.

We should not fall victim to this attitude and instead urge that the leader press ahead.It was always going to be the case that powerful and well funded Europhiles would lobby against the move.It is the leadership's duty to ignore this and press ahead.The arguement over Europe is essentialy dead.The Conservative Party is against further loss of sovereignity and those who favour such a course ought really to consider joining a different party.

The issue is how best now to forge a new imaginative relationship with Europe.The underlying principle being the support of the principle of nation states.There is no economic necessity to support the loss of UK political sovereignity.The future must be about taking back power from unrepresentaive bodies of which the EU is one and return it to communities up and down our country.

This way provides the signpost for renewal not only of our Party but also greater credibilty and trust for our political processes and institutions.

Surely its come to something when someone seems to think Great Britain should be bracketed with San Marino and the Isle of Man. Mind you if we pulled out of the EU our influence in the world would end up on the scale of the likes of San Marino enjoy.

Well, if San Masrino had one of the largest economies in the world, was a member of the UN Security Council, the G8 group of nations, a prominent member of the WTO, a leading member of NATO, and the founder of the Commonwealth, you might have grounds for comparison. Except, of course, you don't.

I think people should just be honest.

Perhaps by not labelling others as "anti-Europe"? The EU and Europe are quite discrete, and being sceptical about membership of the former does not mean that one is anti the latter.

"Surely its come to something when someone seems to think Great Britain should be bracketed with San Marino and the Isle of Man. Mind you if we pulled out of the EU our influence in the world would end up on the scale of the likes of San Marino enjoy."

Hogwash. Jack, if you can't engage in a debate constructively without deliberately misrepresenting other people's views or demonising those that disagree with your opinions, then I respectfully suggest that you 'sod off' (to quote, er, you) to go and poison somebody else's well and leave the rest of us to discuss this issue like adults.

No major serious political figure as ever avocated withdrawal from the European Union something that many on this site by implication do.
People are not honest. The majority of those who talk about re-negotiation are not serious about that option as they see re-negotiation as a first step to withdrwal.
Most of the major problems this country have such as crime and poor public services are of our own making nothing whatsoever to do with our membership of the European Union.
If we left the European Union we would end up as nothing more than a small island off the continant of Europe not a major world power as we are today.

No major serious political figure as...

Still 'aving problems with the letter "h", Jack? You should find it between the "g" and "j" on your keyboard.

... ever avocated withdrawal from the European Union

Other than when the referendum was held, obviously.

People are not honest. The majority of those who talk about re-negotiation are not serious about that option as they see re-negotiation as a first step to withdrwal.

Really? Could you be honest about the source of this insight?

If we left the European Union we would end up as nothing more than a small island off the continant of Europe not a major world power as we are today.

This is simply untrue. Even the NIESR - hardly a eurosceptic thinktank - presented the costs of leaving the EU as being the loss of 0.5% of GDP, as Foreign Direct Investment declined. That's hardly the apocalypse you predict.

As already ignored by you, it has been pointed out that this "small island" would not be insignificant. Or do you think we'd suddenly be booted out of the G8 and UN Security Council?


Richard, I'm afraid I have to stand by my comment that your views are typical of the 'combined' hatred the Conservatives have for Europe.

britain is an importing and exporting Country, hence our success over hundreds of years. Our trading position is, however,dwindling.

Heath, Thatcher and Major, regocnised this and made every play to be a leading voice within the only biggest political (political) organisation on the planet.
They succeeded.

Howard, Hague and IDS just played to the gallery and , well, lets just say that history is recorded.

Countries can't just import because someone has made it cheaper. Nice for a while and we all benefit. But, Like the USA and Great Britain, unemployment starts to rise because of the lack of exports. Check the Tory press for confirmation on these facts.As I say, don't take my word for it.

It makes great sense for the biggest, single and most successful political experiment ever devised, the EU to do exactly what it has always said it was created for;political Union.

This sends the less glued down Tories into the screaming ab dabs, but it makes sense.

One political union with a set of laws (constitution) that sets out the stall which we all abide with.Forget social policy.If we have one currency, the euro,and it is controlled by the ECB with an interest rate across the whole of europe,then countries have to stick within the rules and not pull a fast one by devaluing.
Unlike what the Tory press suggest,individual countries are independant to do whatever they like with their budgets as long as they don't breach the rules of overspending.

In othe words, nobody tells us what to do.
The winners? importers and exporters, which means British business and employment.

Ireland boomed because its own intrest rate plummeted overnight and Germany stagnated because they didn't reform. Each one of those problems is now addressed.

Britain is fully reformed and the five economic tests were passed the day they were created. Hence the multitude of new ones.They are passed as well.

Today Britain's intrest rates should be 7%.
Britain's manufacturing base is comatose and on a life support machine and will be pronounced dead before Dave makes a policy on it. So what is the logical thing to do for a country that can produce records on the FTSE not seen since Thatcher and Lawson were certified?

Become more involved with the EU, embrace Euro entry and police the intrest rate set by the ECB for all 25 members states.

Britain can not go it alone. Being part of the USA or the EU is the answer. The USA don't want us and they want us to be the major player in Europe. The Asian Tiger is growing. China, Russia and now Iran?
Our Bloc is the EU. To stand alone is suicide and unpatriotic and British business knows this. All Business will ultimately support Labour/Liberal in the final showdown.
For the Conservative part to leave the EPP is not what is really wanted and everyone knows this.
To sit outside the EPP but stay within the EU sphere will be ridiculed by all comers.

Well done to the political air heads who are forcing this issue and well done to UKIP who are about to poison the Tory party with yet more isolationism.
Oh dear.
Gary

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