« Tory MPs launch sustained questioning of BBC | Main | It's confirmed: LabourDoNotDo »

Comments

Personally I'm of the opinion that an EU withdrawal would be a good idea BUT we should negotiate entrance into EFTA instead. We need to escape the political disaster that is the EU and simply go back to being a member of a Europe wide free trade organisation.

What is clear, is that at least 30% definitely support withdrawal.

That is huge and very encouraging!

..for UKIP! :-)

If we do withdrawl (no bad thing) let's make sure we have an immediate plan as to how we cut away at the red tape. The only way a withdrawl would be a popular success is for it to be accompanined by a surge in economic growth. If we do not plan carelully, we will end up looking like the US Army, having quickly conqueored Iraq, but with little clue as to what to do next.

The sad fact is that we are divided on our EU membership although I do think if the question had been phrased differently 'Do you think Britains membership of the EU is a good thing' far fewer than 30% of Conservatives would answer yes.I wonder if it's time for Cameron to do a Wilson and offer a referendum on our continued membership.

Maybe, but that would be a different question altogether Malcolm.

This important issue here is that we have here is at least 30% unequivocally supporting eu withdrawal.

That is major news.

For the first time, EU debate is being tolerated at the highest levels within the Conservative Party. Congratulations Mr Cameron, a very important step towards resolving a problem.

As soon as this issue is resolved, the creative energies of the centre-right can focus on developing policies for the economy, health, education and crime.

With a united Right, Conservatives can look forward confidently to government and, more importantly, making a positive difference to this country. Congratulations Editor for calling for pro-Euro argument. Debate is what our system is built on, not television interviews or soundbites. By the way, does anyone else agree with me that Philip Davies is becoming one of our most important legislators?

While I was living in the States there was an article about Britain joining NAFTA. Has anyone seriously looked at this?

I think there is a large slab of wishful thinking going on by those that want to withdraw. The 'some sympathy' does not, in my view, add up to 33% support. The NOT withdraw is the key here.

To distract the whole Party on this issue at this time will do the Conservative cause no good. We need to gently park this until we are in power, and take a pragmatic view of the situation then, and even then it will need a referendum, which is unlikely to succeed, so to blow all our hot air on this issue just now is of no practical use and will only serve to reinforce the public perception that we are unstable and an unsuitable party to form a Government.

EU... **!!*

oh!, there we go, I think I've got a migraine coming on.

"The sad fact is that we are divided on our EU membership"

All the main parties (and the Liberal Democrats) are divided to some extent regarding EU membership.

I seem to recall that two senior MPs in the Labour Party entered parliament on the back of a commitment to withdraw from the European Union. Their names? Oh, Tony whatshisname and Gordon somethingorother...

Distract the Party from what? It is going through a wholesale rebranding and questioning. Why should this extremely damaging issue be ring-fenced from discussion and resolution?

To count “sympathetic” as “support” is scraping the barrel. I have sympathy with all sorts of arguments that I don’t agree with – for example the arguments that took us to war in Iraq.

It would be absurd to infer from this result that Conservative policy should be withdrawal from Europe. This blog is definitely right-leaning but, even so, the smallest group was the one that wants to exit.

Oberon wrote:
"I think there is a large slab of wishful thinking going on by those that want to withdraw."

Hi Oberon,

30% of the respondents definitely, definitely support EU withdrawal.

Ignoring the middle response which can be read either way completely that is very significant and clear all by itself.

"We need to gently park this until we are in power, and take a pragmatic view of the situation then"

Surely it would be far better to have this debate now and resolve it years from an election, instead of getting into power and then collapsing into infighting and recreating the Major years.

i normally feel that the problem with leaving the EU is that there is nowhere else to go and that we have a lot of jobs links with the continent.
However i've been thinking....
How about enlarging EFTA to create another different form of cross - europe free trade and cooperation model, involving Scando Eurosceptic countries like Norway, present EU member Ireland and little rich states like switzerland?

We could also try to revive NATO as a free trade / capitalist / mutual security entity?

How about increasing trade with the Commonwealth rather than EU states?

Any thoughts?

.............Oh hang on, Norway is already part of EFTA, anyway rest of suggestion still holds.

"The sad fact is that we are divided on our EU membership"

All the main parties (and the Liberal Democrats) are divided to some extent regarding EU membership.

I actually had a question about how europe has proven divisive in political parties on an exam paper a couple of weeks ago. I think that was the only time I felt glad that the party had been so divided over Europe as I had tons of material.

"We need to gently park this until we are in power, and take a pragmatic view of the situation then"
Personally I'd prefer to see this decided before we were in power. Then we would have a clear mandate to support EU withdrawal in a referendum if that was the stance the party decided to take.

I must confess I thought the questions were skewed (deliberately or not, I don't know) to get this sort of answer. There was no middle ground answer - "I agree", "I agree, but it's bad politics" and "I don't agree".

You can't lump the Eurosceptic mainstream of the Party with the Europhiles, and that is what these questions did.

David, through becoming a member of EFTA we could then reapply to join the EEA meaning the free trade agreements we currently have with EU countris would remain. Forming a new free trade bloc would be incredibly difficult, I mean we're having enough trouble forming a new grouping in the EU parliament!

"Surely it would be far better to have this debate now "
With debate being the key word, calm, rational, debate, not a slanging match.

* What would make you agree to stay in the EU/what would make you decide to leave?

I think the answer to this question will really show whether people's views are entrenched or open to discussion.

I don't understand the need for hot heads. We are all pro-European*, we are simply debating whether the EU is the right organisation to forward our interests, europe's interests and the interests of the world as a whole.

Let not start from 'in' or 'out' or 'europhobe' or 'europhile' but debate the issues.

*bar a tiny minority of course.

What is needed is more pro-EU statements. There isn't a debate because the pro-EU argument is not being made. Well done Editor for calling for articles.

My impression is that it is just international businessmen that are in favour of the EU and its associated and all-powerful courts of justice.

As soon as this central debate is won I will be delighted to deal with the Cameroonian Hug a Hoodie agenda and donate to Party funds. A sound Conservative Party is critical to the future of this country.

Hold on, Roger and Philip! I - and I think the vast majority - of people who supported the 'middle' option did so because we *DO NOT* support the BOO campaign. I am sympathetic to a lot of causes but that does not mean I support them (am I making sense?). If there hadn't been the middle option, I suspect that option three would have been the most popular. Withdrawing from Europe is a defeatist plan; our MEPs should be there to stand up for Britain's interests and promote a Europe of nations where we do not only regard it as a Free Trade zone, but also see it as a force for good in, for example, tackling terrorism and climate change and countering the Americans.


Didn't Mexico recently secure a trading arrangement with Europe that effectively gave them all the trading advantages without the bureaucratic and political disadvantages?


oops -- that last message should have read "Didn't Mexico recently secure a trading arrangement with Europe that effectively gave them all the trading advantages of EU membership without the bureaucratic and political disadvantages?"

Jon Gale says "the problem with leaving the EU is that there's nowhere else to go". Why do we have to go anywhere? We are a great global trading nation, and there is a whole world out there. Outside the EU, we should be free to strike free trade deals with our major trading partners, without the deadweight of EU regulation and protectionism. And we should continue to be permanent members of the UN Security Council, and key players in the WTO, the G7, the OECD, the World Bank, the Commonwealth, NATO.... need I go on?

30% support BOO. 33% would support BOO if it did not threaten a media firestorm. Pragmatic or defeatist?

Cameron supports withdrawal from the EPP. He fears reprisals in the media, and is going slow on his promise. Prgamatic or defeatist?

We should not talk about the EU, but we should act to either get out of the EPP and work to reshape the EU. Or get out of it.

Chris
i take your point about it being very difficult.
I think we should stay in the EU just because everything else is cloud cuckoo land /UKIP territory.I just like to dream occaisionally, i have yet to 'come out' as an EFTA fan ( an Eftan?) but i have sneaking inclinations that way.

Conservatives - whio have always supported a being in Europe, not run by Europe policy - polled around 33% at the last GE. UKIP, on the other hand, got about 3%. It is THEY who are in a minority, out US.

"David, through becoming a member of EFTA we could then reapply to join the EEA meaning the free trade agreements we currently have with EU countris would remain. Forming a new free trade bloc would be incredibly difficult, I mean we're having enough trouble forming a new grouping in the EU parliament!"

Unfortunately I think EEA membership includes having to accept certain EU regulations.

"we do not only regard it as a Free Trade zone, but also see it as a force for good in, for example, tackling terrorism and climate change and countering the Americans"

Counter the Americans in what sense? I'd prefer us to be nearer to America than the EU. They're more anti-socialist for a start plus they share our common law legal system and traditions of liberty. America was created primarily by the British. We shouldn't allow Bush's clowning around to distract us from that.

Those of us who were around in 1975, know just how pointless these polls are.
Six months before the referendum, polls showed: out 65% in 35%. On the day 67% in 33% out.

If when the time came, a similar referendum were held, bet the result would be identical.

Its the WW1 analogy. Old Bill saying to the young soldier who is moaning about the state of the trench, 'If you knows of a better hole, go to it!'

When the time comes the bulk of the people, won't take the risk.

'better the devil you know, than the one you don't' sad but true.

Well this is one former Conservative, whose vote is up for grabs who will certainly NOT vote Conservative at the next General Election if withdrawl or an even more hard line Eurosceptic line becomes party policy.

Advantages of the EU:
1. Free trade with other EU nations
2. Convenient border crossing when going on holiday

Disadvantages:
1. CAP
2. Common external tariff (we should aim to get rid of all our trade barriers)
3. "Social" legislation (eg social chapter)
4. Non-social business regulations (eg metrification)
5. Laws made by elected or unelected representatives of other countries

I'm sure I've missed out some under both categories. The question is, how do we get rid of the disadvantages? Will the Continentals be happy about us giving ourselves an advantage by excluding ourselves from business regulations? The problem is that there's a socialistic mindset at the heart of the EU that believes all members should be compelled to have their economies regulated to create a "level playing field" so that European welfare states aren't threatened.

Isnt it about time we talked about what is good for the United Kingdom. Plenty of people have commented on what is good politics or good for the Conservative Party.

The meansure should be what is good for the British people.

Let us not forget that roughly 80 per cent of all legislation going through the Commons is rubber stamping Brussels. That nearly half our statute book dating back a thousand years is now filled with Brussels speak and that in 30 years. And that about two thirds of all our government is either controlled or largely controlled from Brussels.

Why on earth would two thirds of Conservative repsondents want to stay in an EU they cannot substantively change?

It's important that American isn't the world's only policeman. Besides, America doesn't want us and the Americans, esp. the Republicans, want to see a strong Europe working in partnership with them (read John McCain's speeches).

Worth visiting...

http://www.cge.org.uk

Norway is in the European Economic Area, with access to the EU single market, but it avoids most of the costly EU rules we have to accept. Some stats from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry: in the period 1997-2003 Brussels produced 11,511 different pieces of legislation, of which Norway adopted only 2,129 - 18.5 percent.

As Daniel Hannan put it last October:

"Norwegians must meet EU standards when they sell to the EU - as exporters the world over must do. But they are spared the expense of having to apply most of these regulations to their domestic commerce. You will sometimes hear that Norway has to assimilate thousands of EU laws, but these laws are generally of a technical and trivial nature. The 3,000 EU legal acts adopted in Norway since 1992 have required only 50 statutes in the Storting. And the people who make such a fuss of these 3,000 regulations neglect to mention the 24,000 that Britain has had to incorporate over the same period."

'It is important that America isn't the worlds only policeman'.You are not seriously suggesting that the EU can perform this task are you Justin?
The performance of the EU in the Balkan conflict in the 1990's (including Britain) was seriously pathetic and even now some of our European NATO allies in Afghanistan are sending miniscule numbers of troops if any.President Chiracs idea of an EU is a total pipe dream.
Like it or not (and I don't like Bush generally) the Americans are playing the only game in town.

Didn't Mexico recently secure a trading arrangement with Europe that effectively gave them all the trading advantages without the bureaucratic and political disadvantages?

China has that already

"'It is important that America isn't the worlds only policeman'"

This unhelpful view is particularly common amongst the super europhile LibDems who wants a USE to counter and even challenge the USA.

It simply exposes a regionalist xenophobia and is actively carving up the world into power bases when we should be showing a committment to international solutions.

The way to provide balance is to seek to operate on an international basis, not carve up the world into regional power bases.

The questions were too vague to gain any real meaning from them. There is a whole range of beliefs from Federalist to Independence and many in between.

Even within the last group it is easy to imagine Eurosceptics who still believe that a different type of EU is possible.

Happy to see that 30% of members are supporters of independence though.

My previous post should read President Chiracs idea of an EU defence force is a pipe dream.
I seriously doubt whether John McCain is advocating that the EU act as a counterweight to the USA.Rather he wants EU troops involved in Americas wars.That's a pipe dream too.


Justin, Europe has no desire to be the world's other policeman (which would require them to divert money from welfare payments to their armed forces).

I agree Serf, the only crystal clear view that can be extracted is that 30% definitely support withdrawal.

That is huge, imho.

qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm
!"£$%^&*()_+=-0987654321`
/.,<>??><><>>.,,[email protected]@@@@-----

Have you been drinking or doing drugs Comstock

"Have you been drinking or doing drugs Comstock"

No, although I am tempted :D

I'm glad Serf mentioned the word "independence". Isn't that what the debate is all about -- independence for Britain?

Why worry that this campaign might be used to portray the Conservative Party as divided on the EU? It is!
How many times have we heard the terminal cancer patient say that they wished they had sought treatment earlier?A clever pragmatist might consider the harm that WILL be done to the party by ignoring the subject.Think B&C,then think marginal,then think UKIP.

Roger Helmer MEP

Jon Gale says "the problem with leaving the EU is that there's nowhere else to go".

No, you've got me confused with David Banks.

I would like to leave the EU as quickly as possible!

I could give you a great deal of information on why we would be Better Off Out in economic terms, by £50bn to £100bn pa - but that it to miss the point.

The real issue is FREEDOM. Nothing else matters - freedom from the growing tyranny of the EU, freedom from the oppression and lack of demoracy designed into the EU from its very beginnings.

As Jefferson (I think) once wrote - "Any nation that gives away its freedom in pursuit of economic advantage deserves to lose both."

Or to put it more bluntly - It takes a fool to sell his freedom for perceived economic advantage - but it takes a raving lunatic to pay to have it taken away!


Idris Francis.

I could give you a great deal of information on why we would be Better Off Out in economic terms, by £50bn to £100bn pa - but that it to miss the point.

The real issue is FREEDOM. Nothing else matters - freedom from the growing tyranny of the EU, freedom from the oppression and lack of demoracy designed into the EU from its very beginnings.

As Jefferson (I think) once wrote - "Any nation that gives away its freedom in pursuit of economic advantage deserves to lose both."

Or to put it more bluntly - It takes a fool to sell his freedom for perceived economic advantage - but it takes a raving lunatic to pay to have it taken away!


Idris Francis.

China does not have any sort of free trade agreement with the EU - there is a quota on Chinese imports for goodness sake!

It strikes me as bizarre that as soon as we've won the principle of a multi-speed Europe, courtesy of our Euro opt-out, where members can pick and choose how far they integrate, we should decide that's the time to throw in the towel and get out.

Britain does not need to leave the EU and abandon any place at the table that decides what the 3000-odd bits of law it needs to implement are. Britain needs a government that won't sign up to new EU directives, and will start to disentagle herself from the current ones she dislikes.

The advent of DC, I believe, has created one of the most exciting times in British politics for years. Absolutely everything is up for grabs and discussion: immigration, hoodies, Europe etc.
On Europe, we should seize the moment to have a structured debate; why not initially invite simple lists of pros and cons without getting involved in any highly emotive arguments?
The starting point: European countries came together after WW2 to form a community of nations in an attemptto ensure that no European country would ever again wage war on another one.
Then we had the idea of a common market and I feel that, if these two points remain common ground for the majority of people, we can go on to list (i) those good things that some believe have emerged since then and (ii) a list of things that other people dislike.
There could well be lists of yet more things that do not work properly at present but which are worth doing and could perhaps be improved.
Then let the arguments commence, ending up with a referendum.

What do you do when you have a malignant cancer - albeit at an early stage - and you know that surgical removal will be 100% successful.

It is a no brainer for any rational decision maker. The EU is malignant in that it keeps growing (whatever our MEP's say )in its impact and influence. The strategy of the pro-EU camp has been to close down argument until it is too late reverse and that time is rapidly coming. A Pro-EU approach from Labour is understandable - it is socialism by the back door. Why on earth should a conservative party collaborate with corrupt, unaccountable centralism ?

I'm afraid I'm also part of the conservative section where the Tory party will not get my vote if the leadership suggest EU withdrawal. I find the idea extremist and outrageous. If 24 other countries seem to be able to work things out, so should we. It's plain and simple, EU withdrawal = uncertainty = economic loss. After the fiasco of the ERM, I don't think we should fiddle with our economic policies with the EU, for DC, this is such a dangerous policy and for the conservative party to survive we show that we can be trusted with our economics.

"Britain needs a government that won't sign up to new EU directives"

Unfortunately most of them are now decided by Qualified Majority Voting, and unless we could assemble enough votes to block the ones we didn't want they would be imposed upon us anyway. There aren't many areas left where we still have a veto, even if we had a government with the will to use it.

Why is it extremist and outrageous Jaz?If you are going to make a comment like that I assume you have some very good reasons to back this up.Please tell us what they are.

Jaz, do you think we gain from EU regulations, CAP and the common external tariff?

The manufacturing company I work for exports 60% of it's product to EU countries . Pulling out of the EU would seriously jeopardise the jobs of 150 people who would not be impressed with the Conservative Party .

Mark Senior,

We're not opposed to the free trade aspect of the EU. In fact we dislike the EU's protectionist instincts towards outsiders. Ideally we would like the EU to be a free trade zone and nothing more.

Nothing is inherently "extremist". An opinion is "extreme" only in relation to the number of its adherents. By that token, EU withdrawal is not extremist since a large body of opinion supports the idea.

European Economic Area countries (i.e. Iceland, Norway & Liechtenstein) have to take on EU single market legislation as follows:

freedom of movement of goods (excluding agriculture and fisheries, which are included in the Agreement only to a very limited extent), persons, services and capital. Horizontal provisions relevant to these four freedoms in the areas of social policy, consumer protection, environment, company law and statistics.

I am not sure who the we are that you mention Richard . My impression gained from the thread as a whole is that others want out of the EU whatever the cost to some peoples jobs .

Mark Senior: you think your company would be locked out of Europe?

I think more likely, with the brakes off our economy and still on theirs, they'd be the ones coming to us on bended knee, looking for business.

Exporters to EU countries will be better off out, as they can sell to the EU (still a protected marketplace) and yet not suffer all the regulatory costs of membership.

Add to that that we pay about 50% above the rest of the world for manufactured goods into the UK. Maybe Mr senior is worried about that aspect as he might have to compete against cheaper goods?

It depends which business he is in, but most British exporters to Europe would be better off out.

they (Norway) also have to pay into the EU budget as well, for the structural funds - 227 million euro a year, or about 49 euros per capita.

Est pragmatqiue, ja?

BOO is noo goo der jookle!

China does not have any sort of free trade agreement with the EU - there is a quota on Chinese imports for goodness sake!

China has MFN status witn the USA and thereby MFN status with the EU. It exports DUTY FREE into the EU.

There is a quota on textiles because of the HUGE increase in Chinese textile exports over a 12 month period - they are devastating the economies of Portugal and Italy.

Still the shops are full of Chinese goods and European goods are full of Chinese sub-assemblies. China's textile exports to EU were worth 10.79 billion dollars in 2004, six percent of the total China-EU bilateral trade, which totalled 177.3 billion dollars, Xinhua said.

The EU grants preferential access to most of its trading partners for some or all imports: in 2002, nine WTO Members are subject to exclusively Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) treatment in all product categories: Australia; Canada; Chinese Taipei; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Republic of Korea; New Zealand; Singapore; and the United States. These countries accounted for 45.2% of EU’s total merchandise imports in 2001

http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp198_e.htm

GSP

China is the second largest beneficiary out of 180 of the EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, under which the EU grants autonomous trade preferences to imports from developing countries.It has a share of more than 11% of all effective preferential imports under GSP.

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/trade/issues/bilateral/countries/china/index_en.htm


About 80% of our new laws are now imposed by the EU, but Norway only has to accept one in five of them. So if we were in the same position as Norway, instead of 80 new EU laws for every 20 of our own new laws, we would have 16 EU laws for every 20 of our own, total 36 not 100. That is to say, we would cut the flood of new laws by about two thirds. Must be worth something!

Quit the EU...Oh, come on! I know Camerons had some poor policies, but that would be the bad policy to top them off. Its not going to happen. Im calling it. It wont even cross his mind. Im willing to put up money on it. Cameron will not call for EU withdrawal during this (domestic) parliamentary term.

James, it is a dreadful shame that you are certainly right in saying that it won't be proposed, although calling it a "bad policy" is just plainly wrong as far as many of us are concerned.

Does this mean that you are responding to Tim's challenge and are currently slaving over a red-hot keyboard typing up a justification of staying shackled to our European enemies?

With all due respect, I have still never heard a valid argument for staying in. Wishy-washy hand-wringing lies about turning into a third world economy overnight doesn't balance against actually being able to pass our own laws for a change.

the power mechanism that keeps us inside the eu is also a bit odd

http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2006/07/murdoch-controls-blairs-eu-policies.html

80% of our new laws are not imposed by the EU. 80% of our new laws are negotiated and signed by the British government in the EU Council of Ministers.

The Norwegians of course, do have a whole raft of laws imposed on them by the EU. Apparently that's a good thing.

The EU was conceived as a Supranational concept which involves destroying the power of the nation state.

This fundamental requirement has always been disguised and achieved step by stealthy step. None have been more duplicitous than the Conservative Party. Labour, especially under Gaitskill, once upon a time told the truth.

People as a whole do not want their nation destroyed so as to be governed by an unaccountable, irremovable elite appointed by self-serving functionaries. We were told we were joining a mutually cooperative trading block. Most of us would gladly accept a European Commonwealth of independent nations.

Until the Conservative Party admits that the supranational soviet that the present EU is intent on becoming is unacceptable it will remain split, fractious and unelectable.

The question then remains do we strive to change the EU into a Commonwealth of Nations or decide it is a lost cause and get out?

With the Constitution rejected and no clear road ahead maybe this is a golden opportunity to change its direction. If we turn our backs the EU might go off in a direction we come to regret as has happened on the Continent so often in the past.

PS If the Conservative Party is still supporting the EU Supranational nation destroying project again come clean and I and many other can save our time and money by ceasing to be members of the Party.

Adam, the Norwegians have to accept one in five of the EU pieces of legislation. You can call that "a whole raft of laws" if you like, but it's a much smaller "raft" that the one we have to put up with. Given that even the government says that regulations are now costing UK businesses ca £100 billion a year, and even the government admits to about half of them coming from the EU, that's an ongoing cost of at least ca £50 billion a year, of which we would be spared four fifths or ca £40 billion a year if we were in the same happy position as the Norwegians.

"80% of our new laws are not imposed by the EU. 80% of our new laws are negotiated and signed by the British government in the EU Council of Ministers."

Almost all decided by QMV, no longer with any possibility of a national veto.

I think that Bill Woodhouse @ 10.09 accurately sums up what many of us feel about the EU:
"We were told we were joining a mutually cooperative trading block. Most of us would gladly accept a European Commonwealth of independent nations".
Unfortunately over the years we have been sucked into a gargantuan socialist paradise of bureaucracy, micro-managemnt and waste that has obscured the thoroughly laudable objectives of the founders.
Bill adds: "The question then remains do we strive to change the EU into a Commonwealth of Nations or decide it is a lost cause and get out?"
I suppose that, since we are well and truly in at the moment, we should strive first to make a real effort to reform it from within. If that fails, then the other option must be seriously considered.
As I suggested earlier, it might be helpful first to simply draw up a list of pros and cons for the various options, rather than get involved in heated debate.

Maybe, as support for the EU is stronger in Scotland and Wales, an independent England could leave the EU?

EU membership is no benefit -- it is not too much to withdraw!

I am a eurosceptic and would welcome a decade long cessation of new legislation from the commission (fat chance) but I'm not convinced withdrawal is the answer.

The economic case is difficult, especially as you have esteemed economists on opposite sides of the argument. (Minford being the most famous sceptic economist)I'd be interested to hear people's views on the economic arguments - leaving aside the arguments about democracy and sovreignty

2 other observations:

there is obviously much emotion on this subject, perhaps more so from those who campaigned for and against entry in the 70s

Roger Helmer's treatment seems very unfair. Visit the reinstate website

Any submissions as to why Britain shoud stay in the EU MUST be followed by arguments agianst. WHY? Because the Tories have been lYING about the benefits of being in the EU since before we joined.
Jerry

I cannot understand why Roger Helmer wishes to be re-instated in the Conservatives unless it is to formally resign. To vote for the Conservatives at the next election will be to allow Labour in once more. (Had Mr Cameron fulfilled his promises that encouraged the people to vote for him, the conservatives would have stood a chance, as would our Country of surviving) but there are those that want a federal European Union State, they sit on the opposition front bench. So near and yet so far.

It seems very clear that Cameron only represents the 1/3rd. of the party that is foolish enough to wish to remain vassals of the EUropean soviet against all evidence of the damage it does our country, in the light of a total failure to present a single benefit of membership over the last 40 years that even begins to compensate for the costs and down side risks and in the naive and unproven belief that change can be achieved when in the last 40years of membership the British Government (mostly Tory) has not managed to change one single solitary material phrase of EU diktat.
Just how long do you keep digging when you are in a hole?
It is clear that Cameron and his crew have NO deductive ability, little political accumen and no leadership competence - get a leader and get a chance.

"This important issue here is that we have here is at least 30% unequivocally supporting eu withdrawal. That is major news"

Absolutely right Chad. It should be key to our future EU-withdrawal policy.

The bonus is that we will also lose the dwindling minority of Tory Eurofanatics such as Jaz who are holding us back from making real progress.

They can form a new party with their hero Ken Clarke and sink without trace.

We have had to virtually destroy our Country to remain in the EU. Change our laws to suit the EU's Corpus Juris, run down our three services that we NEED to DEFEND our Country, pray that we never get sick and have to go in to hospital, pay for Parliamentarians and our Government that can only instigate about 20% of our laws. Watch in horror and humiliation as the European Court of Justice overrules the highest Court in this Land. Do you want me to go on?

Access to the EU's single market is not dependent on EU membership (as Mexico proves). EU countries sell vastly more to us than we do to them so their own self interest would preclude a customs tariff war. In any case the WTO (to which the EU is signatory) has reduced tariffs to relatively footling levels, compared to the Common External Tariff of around 35% which existed when we joined the EEC. So, economically, the case is altered.

About ten per cent of Britain's GDP (and falling)consists of exports to the EU. Yet the other 90% has to carry all the costs of EU regulation. Even Commissar Verheugen recently admitted that the benefits of the Single Market were outweighed about four times over by the cost of EU regulation.

So the only possible self interest in staying an EU member is political - either a masochistic fondness for being regulated by foreigners in their interests or attachment to the well rewarded careers afforded to the political and official class. As we know from Richard North and others, attachment to EU defence arrangements and equipment procurement is seriously degrading the capabilities of our armed forces. But the MoD was always pretty good at cocking that up without EU assistance.

The Conservative leadership have taken the wrong lessons from history. They have seen that any party that campaigns on a Eurosceptic platform is bound to lose (i.e. Labour 1983, Conservative 2001).
But the Eurosceptic platform that William Hague adopted was consistently his most popular policy. The problem was that he went on it too much and the country wasn't yet ready to back the Tories after 18 years of government. The electoral cycle had not yet turned around.
Now we are in a different position. The electoral cycle IS turning in our favour and withdrawel from Europe remains popular. The vast majority of the party membership want to adopt a policy along those lines.
David Cameron doesn't even need to offer a platform of unilateral withdrawel. All he needs to do is promise to set up a Royal Commission to look into the pro's and con's of withdrawel and promise to hold a full national referendum on the issue whatever that commission reports. Then people can make up their own minds.
This would even be a good strategic move because whenever the media try to pin him down on where he stands on withdrawel he can say "we will set up a royal commission, lets see what it says and what the arguments are. We will make our position clear before the referendum". The Eurosceptic vote would still support us because it would be the best possible chance they would ever have of getting what they want! Its WIN, WIN all around.

Why do so many inpolitics hanker after an association with other economies. Why have they too little self confidence and confidence in Britain to trade and prosper on our own. Of course, no one believes in pulling up any draw bridge.

We are an international trading and investment economy and one of the most significant reasons to leave the EU is its insularity. We do not need to be a member of NAFTA to trade with its members any more than we need to be a member of the EU or a province of Japan to trade there.

Forget about NAFTA or EFTA membership just agree near-free trade and very low tariff deals with all trading countries and carry on as we were the day before we left the EU.

The lower costs and fewer regulations can be implemented within months while the renewed sence of purpose and self respect will make us all 2 inches taller overnight. (That's 50mm, Dave).

An interesting fact that is usually overlooked is that MORI/Times polls in May 1999 and May 2001 showed that a majority of Conservative voters - around 59% each time - were in favour of withdrawal from the EU. This was widely ignored by commentators and the Conservative Party at the time.

It is a pity more senior Conservatives don't support the very sensible views on withdrawal of the majority of their voters.

The comments to this entry are closed.

#####here####

Categories

ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:
      Name:
      Email:
      Subscribe    
      Unsubscribe 

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker