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Yet another Eurosceptic think-tank and/or pressure group? Aren't there a couple of dozen of these already?

Wasn't David Cameron a major advocate of EPP exit?

The MP's can say what they want and can try and rubbish all they want. The MEP's advocating the EPP withdrawal have the support of the grassroots membership, and no amount of spinning from Europhiles will change that. You only need to see the attacks on Roger Helmer from Europhiles, and the support he has, to see that.

Why don't the Tories just sit on their own? What exactly do their achieve by remaining members of the EPP? Will the EPP fight to abolish EU red tape? Will it bring about the end of CAP? Will it call for EU trade barriers to be abolished?

David Cameron will one day be Prime Minister, and then the whole nation will feel the betrayal that many Conservative members are feeling today. A pointless politician, existing only for his own ambition and with no real purpose – brilliant at posing, hopeless at delivering.

I don’t suppose many of us still expect courage or honesty in politics. The Stepfords will smile and say, “Isn’t he great?” as he launches a think-tank for euro-scepticism while breaking his pledge under the table.

Cameron will one day look in the mirror and see a PM who is loathed by the nation and by his colleagues, having squandered every hope, just like his hero Tony Blair.

If this is true, look for Conservatives to desert the party in droves. Chad and his friends at UKIP must be cockahoop.

We should have walked away from the Federasts the day DC became leader and worried about creating a new group later.

While the EPP issue is undoubtedly irrelevent to most voters, Cameron did make a pledge to leave the EPP and pledges, like promises, should not be broken. For someone concerned with image I am surprised Cameron is allowing himself to be seen as doing a U-turn. I know that exit has been "delayed" and therefore the policy has not technically been abandoned but it still looks like a very lame get-out clause.

This is my one big disapointment in Cameron so far, I've been happy with his policy review, and happy withe thre greater emphasis on green issues, this however is just a complete joke. The botched policy announcements were necesarilly his fault, after all you can't expect him to be responsible for every minor detail in the organisation and presentation of each speech, but this breaking of a promise is just going to annoy the Tory right. He knows he is the only viable Tory to become Prime Minister so I can't understand why he iws welcoming the knives of the euro fanatics in this way.


I take no pleasure in having my view of David Cameron confirmed in this way.

I called Cameron a liar. You strongly criticised me for this Tim, seeking to confirm that the pledge would absolutely be delivered (long before the end of the year).

I didn't believe you, hence the £100 bet. As I noted at the time, this is one bet I wanted to lose.

Cameron has gone on the record in February to state that politicians making promises that they break is the very source of the breakdown in trust in politicians.

On that he was spot on.

I really hope the Tories aren't announcing this today because it coincides with the Lord Levy business. Such behaviour is cynical in the extreme and worthy of contempt.

I should hope not, because if there's a way to appear less trustworthy than breaking your promises, it's immediately turning around and shrieking incoherently at the people who asked you to keep them.

If this report is true (I read it on Guido last night, so don't see how it is exclusive, BTW) then

1. won't our MEPs be marginalised in the EPP now, because the rest know we are coming out in the future?

2. won't many people conclude that the Tories line of 'in Europe not run by Europe' is a self-delusion?

3. won't Cameron be considered as untrustworthy, especially as this decision backs up the accusations he is all spin and no substance?

4. won't it harm the Conservative Party to have a leader who was elected partly on a 'solid pledge' which he has reneged on?

5. wasn't all the cheering about having Hague back a bit premature?

Ask 1000 people what the EPP is and I doubt a single person will know.

Apart from political anoraks and a hanful of frothy mouthed ranting eurosceptics (and UKIP)- NOBODY GIVES A TOSS ABOUT IF AND WHEN TORY MEPS WILL LEAVE THE EPP.

The world isnt suddenly going to stop and there wont be riots in the streets if we stay or leave the EPP.

I realise that politicians think they are important but I doubt many members of the public have a clue who there MEP is or what they do.

With so many other issues your opponents will want to highlight the EPP to try and engineer 'splits' and arguments within the Conservative party about Europe.

You should get on with trying to win the next election - you are doing a good job - Labour and the LibDems are very worried - so you must be doing something right.

Dont get drawn into pathetic arguments about the EPP - an issue most ordinary voters couldnt give a toss about.


UKIP Nutter,

The issue for many people is simply that Cameron went back on a pledge. The subject the pledge concerns is a secondary issue.

UKIPNutter,
The public don't give a toss about almost everything MP's do, but they do care about trust and honesty.

Cameron made a speech about it, about how breaking promises (not focussing on the specifics of any promise) is the source of this breakdown in trust.

The EPP pledge is key to Conservative Party policy of reforming the EU in an anti-federalist direction. Breaking this pledge undermines the whole Party policy on the EU. If we can't even leave the EPP, how the hell can we reform the whole EU?

UKIP's position is that the EU cannot be reformed, so we should leave the EU. If Cameron reneges, then their perspective looks more correct.

Rather than risk getting side-tracked onto European issues in this thread (and I'm pleased to see we haven't so far) I suggest people focus on the most important issue here: Cameron said one thing but is now doing another. Is the delay until 2009 excuse really going to wash?

Another classic example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

If you tories are happy being bogged down in another euro argument (remember Major and Maastricht) then heres to another decade of Labour rule!

You now have until 2009 to sort out your EPP problem.

If you want to make this a big point and whinge whine and moan like a bunch of hapless political anoraks then go ahead.

BUT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT GIVE A TOSS!

Leaving the EPP has not been abandoned - just put off a few years.

But please if you want to gnash your teeth and froth at the mouth on an issue people dont give a toss about then you will shatter everything that has been achieved by you tories since electing Cameron as your leader and you will plunge back to the bad old days of a split and argumentative tory party moaning and groaniong (and boring the public) about the EU (yawn zzz)

The country deserves better and it deserves a party of Government.

You will not be the party of government and will allow Labour to rule for another decade if you tories start another civil war over boring europe!

Go on do what the tories always do and argue like a couple of cats in a sack over europe and prove to the general public and those waiting to vote for you that you have not changed at all.

It's interesting that UKIP are so worried that we might leave the EPP (disregarding UKIP nutter - see Farage's comments). They'd be put out of business if we had a European policy that made sense. This morning they must be very relieved that we are continuing to live under the media yoke.

The Conservative europhile tail is going to carry on wagging the Conservative eurosceptic dog. It's interesting how angry the tail feels about the possibility of losing their 40 year control of Conservative Party European Policy. They really don't like the idea at all.

It's now down to others to take the lead and face down the media - where Murdoch's continued control of vast swathes of TV and Press will only be permitted if he pleases the EU Competition Commissioner. He must use this power as a whip to keep Britain's Party Leaders from adopting policies that don't please the EU, or lose it.

That's the problem for Cameron, but while Fox would have taken on the media as did IDS, Cameron's going to lie down, and not rock the EU's boat.

Ranged against the vast power of the media, are a tiny bunch of Conservative heroes. Roger Helmer is only the start. Now others from the Magnificent 7 must kick off the process of leaving the EPP, and work independently. Britain's future independence depends on the courage of 7 people this morning - Callanan, Deva, Van Orden, Sumberg, Kamall, Helmer, Hannan, and Heaton-Harris. Are they going to flunk it too? Even Hannan?

I regret that I will be unable to vote for David Cameron on any other issue until he delivers on the pledge that extracted my vote to make him leader.

I am not a moron. I am not voting fodder. I am not so 'desperate' for power that I shall vote Conservative because there is nowhere else to go. I want a leader I can believe in and trust. So does the nation. To renege on this is to create the doubt that he will renege on any pledge he makes this side of a General Election. I feel lied to, deceived, and taken for a ride. I remain Conservative, but not a supporter of the leadership.

The public will give a toss when Tony Blair and co. ridicule Cameron over this broken pledge, along with the Lib Dems.

The public will, quite rightly, ask themselves: "If he makes a promise to get elected leader of his Party, then breaks it, why should we trust him?"

It would be the same if the pledge was on another subject, then broken.

I have said this many times or here and elsewhere. EPP is the only substantive promise Cameron made "The Right" during his leadership campaign.

If this story is true (and I suspect it is) I will leave the Party.

I have been a member for 28 years, have held office in 5 constituencies and fought 7 General Elections, 3 as Campaign Director.

This is the straw that will break the camels back.

Nothing is more bittersweet to watch than the disillusion of party activists. Labourites have realised that Blair is, after all, just another politician. Maybe you lot will realise the same about Cameron a little sooner, but such a realisation was always inevitable.

"But please if you want to gnash your teeth and froth at the mouth on an issue people dont give a toss about then you will shatter everything that has been achieved by you tories since electing Cameron as your leader and you will plunge back to the bad old days of a split and argumentative tory party moaning and groaniong (and boring the public) about the EU (yawn zzz)"

I didn't realise it was the job of politicians to entertain the public. If it is the case, then maybe they should avoid talking politics altogether since doesn't it all just bore people anyway?

Perhaps that has been David Cameron's tactic after all.

"The country deserves better and it deserves a party of Government."

But apparently this "party of government" should only involve itself with matters that the public deem entertaining...

Some government that will be.

This is NOT a matter of whether or not you agree with the policy. It is a question of trust. In the grander scheme of things the EPP is an utterly minor issue, but Cameron has broken his ONE SOLITARY 'BANKABLE' promise, made to secure his leadership victory. His word is now valueless. I don't care how it is dressed up today in whatever new conference, this u-turn magnifies all the grumblings of party members over 'no tax cuts', 'no reform of health', no grammar schools, 'hug a hoodie'. The man ceases to sound Conservative at all.

"It's interesting that UKIP are so worried that we might leave the EPP (disregarding UKIP nutter - see Farage's comments). They'd be put out of business if we had a European policy that made sense."

I agree. However, it's not going to happen and thus it will be *easier* (less hard) to reform a small party like UKIP built on a clear withdrawal pledge, to adopt a progressive agenda that seek to get the Tory Party to at least offer a referendum.

If this is true, no-one will believe Cameron again, and Labour will make sure of that. Of course they are as bad if not worse, but that won't stop them and they will have a point.

This EPP pledge is holding up two vital issues; trust and ability to bring eu reform. Flunking it will be a disaster.

The EPP issue is an issue for Anti-European fanatics no one else. Davd Cameron and William Hauge are not going back on there pledge they are just being pragmatic.
If the UKIP nutters inside this party want to create divisions yet again because of Europe and yet again the party spilts apart then all I can say is, when not if, the party lose the next election it won`t be David Cameron`s fault it will be there`s.
Its about time the party shut up about Europe and started talking about the issues that are important to ordinary people not political anoraks!

"The EPP issue is an issue for Anti-European fanatics no one else."
And pro-European internationalists like myself who simply do not think the organisation that is the EU is the best strucutre to help Britain, Europe and the world.

As I said before, criticising FIFA for the way it runs football does not make you anti-football. Those who love Football know that Sepp Blatter is not helping the game.

It's the same with the EU.


"Its about time the party shut up about Europe"
Straight from Iain Dale's blog!

Wasn't David Cameron a major advocate of EPP exit?

A cynic might say that was obviously a leadership election ploy designed to win the votes of eurosceptic MPs, who have now been sold out.

I take no pleasure in having my view of Cameron confirmed in this matter. He's no "Ronseal" politician.

We ARE going to leave the EPP. It's been delayed a bit, that's all. Those people screaming about 'betrayal' are the absolute mirror image of the impossiblist left of the 70s and 80s. If I thought for a moment that Cameron was secretly pro-EPP, or iresolute in a Majoresque sense, I'd be shouting from the rooftops too but my judgement is a sane and balanced one - not driven by UKIP-style narratives of treason and plot.

Let's focus on making sure that everyone who gets selected for the 2009 elections is a Eurosceptic. The only way that creeps like Kirkhope can survive is if good Eurosceptics all throw our toys out the pram, leaving him and his ilk looking like the 'loyalists'.

It's amazing this Tory obsession with europe, by 0900 you have as many posts on this subject, as sometimes you have in a whole day on another.

On a day when the Labour party is reeling,you people get yourselves in a lather, about something thats become like the weather. Like the weather we all moan about it, like the weather we've got to get on with it.

The Tory Party should be coming up with reasons why the British people should vote for you, something you seem to be avoiding!

I am not a Tory, but I'm a Democrat. The British system, is dependant on periodic change, it can't function without it!

Don't let Europe screw you up this time, it has in the past, don't let it in the future.

This is indeed bad news, not just for the credibility of the Conservative Party as a whole but for the future of Euroscepticism.

The arguments for leaving the EPP are sound and supported by the vast majority of Conservative Party members. I also know for a fact that several MPs and MEPs were swayed to vote for Cameron specifically because of his pledge to withdraw us from the EPP.
The arguments put forward by those who want is to remain in the EPP are poor as are their shrill cries that we would end up in a new group full of homophobes and Nazis and racists. I was fortunate enough to here Syed Kamall speak on this subject recently and as he said, "do you really think that I would sit in such a group".

Yes, the vast majority of people may know nothing about the EPP but it is important that we leave. If we wish it to be known that we are a Eurosceptic party that we must act as such in all that we do and that means not remaining members of a federalist grouping within the European Parliament. UKIP continually remind voters and our members that we are in the EPP and they ask "how can they be Eurosceptic when they sit in the EPP a federalist grouping that supports the Euro and the Constitution."

I just hope that our many good and decent MPs and MEPs that support withdrawal from the EPP are not now subjected to a rubbishing campaign for after all it was Caroline Jackson MEP, Christopher Beasley MEP and Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP (all of whom support our membership of the EPP) who went on air and to the press to attack David Cameron and the Conservative Party and to date nothing has happened to them.

On Tuesday night I was out with the FD of a large, well connected British company. He has been very impressed by Cameron and the direction he's taking the party. Of the EPP he said that it was silly to promise an exit, but obviously the promise had to be kept. All stuff I agree with, but good to hear it from a Brownite Labour supporter.

David Cameron, if you're reading this... if you break your word you will undo all the good you've done, and not just in the Conservative Party. It would be an indefensible action and a huge step backwards.

' One of the biggest challenges facing all of us in politics today is cynicism. Too many people think there’s no point in voting because you can’t believe a word that politicians say and, if elected, they’ll ignore the wishes of the electorate and do whatever they like. '

@ David Cameron, writing for CHome after 100 days as leader.

At least our leadership recognises that grown-up people, aspiring to exercise power, sometimes need to admit that they were wrong and change their tack accordingly. Leaderships that can't do that look like the Labour Party in the 1980's, saddling themselves with fantasy policies in the name of ideological purity, never changing their mind for fear of being denounced as traitors.

At least it means not moving to the non-attached members. The absurdity of a party that sees itself as a natural party of government sitting anywhere near far rightists like Le Pen and Mussolini, and those who nobody wants like Paisley's man would be just too much. The party needs to look to its own dignity if it is to have any credibility in the future.

Gareth, it wasn't an off-the-cuff pledge. Cameron has gone on the record to state that it is ideologically wrong for a eurosceptic party to sit within the EPP.

I can only agree with those posters (particularly Nadim) who have expressed their extreme dismay if this story is correct.Both morally and tactically I think it is a mistake and both Cameron and Hague will pay a very heavy price for this.
As regards the threat to 'rubbish' anti-EPP MEPs I would counsel extreme caution.Two can play that game.
Politics is a very rough game but my faith in the high command has been very severely shaken.

Look, I didn't vote for Dave and he is the main reason that this Conservative councillor is standing down next May and leaving the Party. However, until we have a concrete backtrack by DC, it's premature to speculate on what he is doing.

I suspect that most people are right. He is a mildly talented, cynical, careerist politician who has been in the right place at the right time to become leader of our Party. He is a carbon copy of his hero, Tony Blair in image as well as integrity. Before the Dogs of War are let loose upon him, let's wait to hear his excuse first.

Well , what a load of froth over nothing.
We're burying bad news? Welcome to realpolitik, it may not be the nicest place on earth but its nearer power than the couple of obsessives running around the UKIP playground. C'mon , get real - this isn't proper politics its just fun for anoraks within a Euro obsessed bubble. If we want to connect with real voters we should connect with reality first.

Ah ah - how predictable that notorious Europhile Gareth should attempt to stir things up by misrepresenting Cameron's position as being his own: "At least our leadership recognises that grown-up people, aspiring to exercise power, sometimes need to admit that they were wrong and change their tack accordingly."

Cameron hasn't admitted he was wrong to announce that we would be leaving the EPP. He's doing the opposite - confirming that it's going ahead. The timetabling is of secondary importance to the direction of travel. People like Gareth, a tiny federalist rump inside the Party, know that their only hope is to engineer a split between the decent Eurosceptic majority and the leadership.

Sorry Gareth, you obviously believe your own sneering, INSEAD propaganda about how all Eurosceptics are provincial thickos...

This is a simple question of integrity. Mr Cameron made a promise to get elected, got elected and has promptly reneged on that promise. Whether the promise was wise or not is totally immaterial - it was a promise and it has been broken. I can now never trust a word the man says.

"...all Eurosceptics are provincial thickos..."

... and we eat metropolitan clever-dicks for breakfast.

All those stories you mention, and you're still talking about the EPP...?

I think that most of us will share Nadim's disappointment and that of many others at this apparent failure to realise a firm pledge but, given the tremendous asset value of DC's leadership to date, can we not do anything positive to try and redress the situation?
Is the idea, as Richard suggested at 07.55, of the conservatives sitting on their own a practical suggestion?
Has Dan Hannan any proposals?
In case DC himself does not see ConHome, why not bring all the above views to the notice of Desmond Swayne or, conversely, send a petition to DC direct?

The man is a liar. I will not believe any other promise he makes on policy, belief, or anything. He can charm all he wants: this is a cynical u-turn on the pledge which gained him huge numbers of votes fomr MPs and members in the Leadership.

Why do these people ignore the fact that the vast majority of people in this country are sick of the EU interfering in our lives. Talk of "reform" and "changing the EU" are just smokescreens - we can't do or say anything serious while in the EPP: evidence the disgraceful treatment of Roger Helmer.

Daniel Hannan has shown most eloquently how strongly the EPP quitting would have helped us show our commitment to EU reform and a new path over there - and thereby win many votes. Remember the Referendum Party (for which I was a Parliamentary Candidate) gained well over 1,000,000 votes, and in the saem election UKIP gained many humdreds of thousands of votes.

Apart from votes, leaving the EPP would have shown his honesty and commitment to real change. Now we all know exactly where we stand.

I want us to leave the EPP, but i would rather do it later, when we have other moderate groups to form a significant grouping with. Otherwise, all we will get from the Labour party, is 'your mixing with right wing fascists' etc, which wont do our campaign any good to run the country. People, seem to be worried that it will never happen, its only being delayed (if these stories are true, and we cant blame the leadership for the ODS party backing out!

Comments on Lord Levy: 9
Comments on PMQS: 5
Comments on another EPP thread: 50+

Fantastic news. It shows that David Cameron is a pragmatic leader who is willing to adapt his policies as circumstances change. By circumstances changing I mean (1) the election of Merkel and her attitude to us leaving the EPP, (2) the difficulties we faced forming a new grouping, (3) the refusal of the Czechs to join us, (4) the intervention of one of the frontrunners to be the next US President, John McCain. I thought we Conservatives were meant to be opposed to ideological fanaticism in the face of all the evidence?! And isn't breaching our manifesto commitment to the voters to be party of the EPP far worse than adapting a policy in the light of new circumstances. Well done David.

"Comments on Lord Levy: 9
Comments on PMQS: 5
Comments on another EPP thread: 50+"

So it is obviously an important issue for members, no?


How many people do you think voted for us in June 2004, because we said we'd be part of EPP, ChangetoWin?

And since when have we allowed our foreign policy to be determined by either Angela Merkel or John McCain?

I think that a lot of people who have up 'til now given Cameron the benefit of the doubt, be profoundly dismayed if EPP withdrawal is shelved.

It will set in stone his bland, slippery, policy-lite, image-driven Blair-esque leadership "qualities".

The opposition will use it as a big stick, and the grassroots will defect or stay at home in elections.

A disaster.

Oh, and Europe is only a potential minefield for Conservatives because we let the left set the agenda. Full and open discussion is the way forward - supression of the issue doesn't make it go away.

Cameron's mistake was making that promise in the first place, clearly leaving the EPP is totally unrealistic and the fact he has the courage to admit he made a mistake should be respected.

What a lot of daft pontification. Voters are the people who matter most, and they surely couldn't care less about the EPP.

Some of the fury above really is laughable.

Could I come back in on this

It's obvious that the curse of the third term has struck the present government 'big time'. Perhaps we should look at the possibility of PM's only being able to do 2 terms: difficult etc. After all the Tories won 3, limped into a 4th and have been in the doldrums since.

So you have responsibility to 'win next time' after all Labour are doing everything they can to help you.So this Europe obsession, has got to STOP.

After all those of us who were around in 74/75 have seen it all before. Tories were for it under Macmillan, Labour were iffy, then for it. Heath was for it, big time. Labour were agin' it. Then Labour were for it, Tories 'agin it and so on.

If you read the Labour manifesto 1983 (The longest suicide note in history) The section on Europe is exactly what Tory Eurosceptics are saying now: it's all hypocrisy. Everyone knows that once in power, you'll go over to the 'dark side': remember Leon Brittain, 'one of us', 6 months in Brussels, he was more European than the Eiffel Tower.

So its all pointless, you have responsibility to win, therefore act responsible: after all in 2010 I want to moan about you!!!!!

"How many people do you think voted for us in June 2004, because we said we'd be part of EPP, ChangetoWin?"

Thanks for clarifying your views Sean! So you think that manifesto commitments don't have to be kept if YOU believe that not many people voted for us because of them? That's an interesting idea, but I think manifesto commitments are rather more important thatn that.

Not saying that Merkel and McCain should dictate our foreign policy. Just making the point that circumstances have changed since David made the EPP pledge. I would have thought that the intervention of two of the most prominent centre-right politicians on the planet would at least have some influence on our decision. No?!

Cameron's big mistake was to win the leadership judging by the posts on here.

Who cares about 300+ council seats - its the EPP issue eh ?


We made a manifesto commitment to oppose corruption in the EU, and then kicked out Roger Helmer for adhering to that commitment. I think that a commitment to remain within the EPP is one of a lesser order of magnitude.

Merkel and McCain are both entitled to their opinions, but I don't see how their views change anything.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5175708.stm

Exactly Sean.I really don't believe that anything at all has changed since Cameron made his unprompted pledge.I still hope that this story is not correct although it does seem a bit unlikely.If it is true Camerons silky presentational skills are going to have to supass themselves to explain why he made the promise and why he now wants to break it.

I'VE JUST SPENT THIRTY MINUTES WITH WILLIAM HAGUE AND WILL BE POSTING A RECORD OF THE INTERVIEW VERY SHORTLY.

I will be eager to read the assessment of this news by the likes of Hannan, Helmer & co. Perhaps some will take action into their own hands? If we are to have a Tory civil war it may as well start between our own MEPs.

If anyone from UKIP wants to woo me please email me with some party literature! Or if Cameron would like to assuage me of my wanderlust, perhaps?

The mistake, if there was one, was making a pledge he doesn't actually have the power to keep, not changing it now.

As far as I am aware the leader cannot MAKE elected MEP's leave a group if they don't want to.

There is no decent alternative on offer and MEP's have elected not to go. If these MEP's won't play ball I expect the party may decide to choose candidates next time who do. That's democracy for you.

For some people on here to try and turn it onto a question of trust in Cameron is laughable - the intent to leave the EPP is still going to be there whatever delays are announced today.

I am not overly obsessed by the EPP issue, but I am concerned that the one pledge (a sort of leadership manifesto )that Cameron has made, is clearly being reneged on. To delay the commitment on the assumption that the ODS might join an independent grouping by 2009 is worrying. What if the ODS changes its mind by then? The delay would have been for nothing.

You can imagine the scene. The launch of the party maifesto at the next election. David Cameron stands up and says thst the party`s big idea and its most important promise is that the party will leave the EPP if its elected.
It would be like a scene from a film. Carry on in Opposition.
All this is not just laughable its pathetic. Grow up and move into the real world for goids sake.
We have a government that makes Nixon and his cronies look like choirboys and all we have here is the usual obsession about Europe.
I just wish all these Euro-obsessives would leave the party they apparantly hate so much and leave those of us who don`t blame Europe for everything from the state of the weather to the country being hopeless at sport to geton with getting David Camerton into Downing Street.

Willets being interviewed on Daily Politics Beeb 2 in a few mins re EPP.

As for those who cry, "It's alright, exiting the EPP has just been delayed, that's all", what on earth are you talking about ? It's a direct climb-down by Cameron. A few months into his leadership, and he's already dropping those policy pledges he made during the leadership contest. How pathetic and what a liar. The Tories are finished. Perhaps Mr Hannan can show some balls, see this for what it is (ie. policy u-turn) and lead a walk-out of the Euro-realist MEPs.

Rik Willis on politicalbetting.com @ post 97 confirms via a Westminster statement that Tories will not leave EPP until 2009.

Question : When is a pledge not a pledge ?

Sorry re above post 91 NOT 97.

Well, I've won a bet I didn't want to win.

The only upside is that the TaxpayersAlliance will gain £100.

Tim, shall we have a big charity-stylee cheque to hand over to Matthew Elliot? A good photo opportunity to nail a coffin in David Cameron's honesty.

Come on people, this has nothing to do with "honesty". it IS the direction of travel that matters. The position is now quite clear. A new grouping in time for the next euro elections. WELL DONE! William and David A result. rather more than all the fanatics of either side have achieved.Margaret Thatcher-The Single European Act (Remember this, purists?).Can we be grown up on Europe for once after all this poison. European relations/negotiations (like all international relations - see the USA right now..)are messy, imperfect and always require stances for negotiation - which always results in a lack of total achievemment (that's negotiation..). The problem is that all UK Governments have to give their tough position up frontto the British public and then never get it all. The result is a constant public sense of failure and betrayal. That is wholly understandble and why this EPP move - properly thought through and implemented as it now is - is so important. Despite the "noise" here, something important has actually been achieved. I want a Tory Government ASAP, and David and his team will deliver that if we allow him to and stop endless bitching.

There is no guarantee of a new grouping in time for the next elections. A new grouping was not the pledge either, the pledge was to withdraw from the EPP. The mess about the new grouping is of our own making.

I'm sure our opponents will have a field day on this issue.

"The EPP pledge is key to Conservative Party policy of reforming the EU in an anti-federalist direction."Posted by: Christina | July 13, 2006 at 08:29
I am delighted at the delay in leaving the EPP. If we are to be an anti federalist force in the EU we need to be a big player in a moderate grouping. I was concerned that by leaving the EPP just now to either stand alone or join a grouping with some dubious parties was going to be harmful in the long term.
I think that having looked at the European political climate this year they have decided that the more damaging scenario for the tory party is to leave the EPP now rather than later even if it gets some bad publicity from places like ConHom. Considering the mess we are in at the moment with the WLQ I wish that Labour had reneged on their promise in 97 and DELAYED their promise and given the implications to the whole of the UK a lot more thought. A proper thought out debate might have produced a better deal for everyone!
How many ill thought pledges have been implemented by this Labour government to the annoyance of many here posting on this thread?
Looking at the headlines here and abroad I sometimes despair at the consistent flood of postings by the regulars on this site about the EU, it is not a reflection of the majority of the tory party never mind the voting public!
I think that anyone here who thinks this will have a long term damaging on DC and the tory party might finally recognise how out of touch they are with the voting public.

Chris D seems to live in some parallel universe. If there's one thing that does upset the general public, it's the thought of 20+ billion sterling wasted every year by being given to the EU, then having their constitution forced upon us. To have policies directed towards exiting the EU would be veritable vote WINNER. That's one thing I have learned from years of canvassing. And where you seem to get the impression that most people in the Tory Party want to cosy up to the EU is beyond me. Why do you think Cameron made the pledge to leave the EPP ? Why, because he knew that it would garner a lot of support from the Tory members. When 2009 arrives, the EPP issue will have been conveniently forgotten, or some other lame excuse found. David Cameron has shown himself to be utterly untrustworthy, and is sympomatic of a party in terminal decline.

I guess the difference in number of votes for the late EU-Skeptic Eric Forth and Bob Neill in Bromley, had nothing at all to do with their different positions on the EU.

Have seen on the news reports that we're leaving the EPP and realigning with Czechocrats. So problem over , deal done,foaming at mouth can cease.

So, we've got George Osborne saying "no concrete guarantees were made" (regarding leaving the EPP). Cameron and his cronies must have thought long and hard how to get away with reneging on his pledge. They've now come up with the excuse that it's all tied up with the peculiarities of the Czech voting and political system, and can't work before 2009. I wonder how long it will be before the requirement for "All Tory candidates at the next European Election" being "required to commit to leaving the EPP and joining the new group." will be dropped. No doubt it will be, and because of the complexities in the Estonian electoral counting system ? Waving around his 'bit of paper' like some latter day Chamberlain, only serves to make William Hague seem even more of berk than he already looks. It'll be him who is made to look the most stupid when Cameron does, in the next couple of years, finally scrap any plans for exiting the EPP.

As for those who seem to think that this is confirmation that they are sincere at keeping the pledge, you seem to be gullible in the extreme.

So it doesn't happen 'immediately' but now has been pushed back to 2009 and by that time it'll all be forgotten! ...All political talk, no beef, just another day of typical politics we see at work.

test

"If there's one thing that does upset the general public, it's the thought of 20+ billion sterling wasted every year by being given to the EU"

This does upset some of them, but nowhere near as much as being burgled for the 5th time, second-class healthcare, schools in disarray, sky-high council tax, etc. etc. etc.

On most people's day to day priorities, EU membership is not top of the list, if it makes the list at all. Rather than tearing the party apart again over the minutiae of exactly where we sit or when we move seats in a Parliament that barely registers on the radar of most people I'd far rather see the party pulling together to highlight the scandal of the hundreds of billions of pounds aimlessly tossed in the vague direction of 'schools'n'hospitals' by NuLab.

"This does upset some of them, but nowhere near as much as being burgled for the 5th time, second-class healthcare, schools in disarray, sky-high council tax, etc. etc. etc."

While we're on the subject, what's DC said about tackling those ? Err....hasn't he asked us to hug them and tell them that they only burgle our homes and assault us because they aren't 'loved' ? Yes, he has. Yet more bright thinking from Mr Smirking Perma-tan.

Come Out! Come Out! Wherever you are! Patriots unite! Remedy the lie which betrays British interests and makes us weaken ourselves into becoming less than the nation we are!

Why no call of treason against those who recognise another power over us as sovereign? Call to the people of this country and they will tell you. They KNOW they are BETTER OFF OUT, so let's show them we are of the same will. Let us show those who would teach betrayal as a virtue; we not only have the will, we also have the way.

I worry, as increasing numbers of decent people are being sucked in by the BNP, because they feel they have no credible alternative! Are we content with 'think tanks' while their party rallies, causing further damage to this country with their hate? Do we have the guts to stop the constant chatter and wringing of hands (some holding order papers), to kick out the cuckoos and reclaim our right as a sovereign, democratic nation? I answer "YES". How say you?

"...all Eurosceptics are provincial thickos..."

I live in Brussels and you can't get more provincial than that!

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