« 56% want Blair to go now as loans-for-peerages inquiry is set to lead to three charges | Main | An election winning agenda for the Tories? »


One does wonder if Cameron understands how the EU works. With or without the EU constitution there is enough space in the existing Treaties for the integration to continue relentlessly. Yesterday Cameron said he wanted to see powers returned from the EU - the big question is how?, is it going to be like Hague when he was leader and never say other than by Maggie's rebate, which has since been dumped because we all now know Maggie had a Bill prepared to present to Parliament if she did not get her way.

20-25 years ago, Mrs Thatcher learnt what the EC/EU was like and its ways of operating during the five-year long rebate struggle, the Single European Act negotiations and subsequent early stages of the Maastricht discussions. Has Cameron never read 'The Downing Street Years'? His apparent mix of surprise and exasperation shows that he does not seem to have learnt much from it.

Why oh why can't he learn from history as so many of us have done who are not in the political elite? The European project is a one-way juggernaut to destroy democracy, whose progress or direction we cannot stop. It is therefore long past the time that we should have got off.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to view anything that Mr Cameron says on the EU as anything but sophistry and salesmanship.

One wants, desperately, to believe him. But when one does, one is left disillusioned and disappointed.

Like the EPP saga, Mr Cameron refuses to enage in the consequences of his rhetoric: how does he propose to repatriate powers? How does he propose to transform the 'Brussels culture'?

Until there is a policy (like that of regaining UK fishing waters, which he has ditched), there is absolutely no credibility to be found.

I think that this commentator is, if anything, being perhaps a little too mild in his response to the load of tripe that Cameron serves up today.

Frau Merkel is IN power and seems more secure than others. I don't think the Conservatives are credible in any sense on the EU and Merkel can safely ignore them. On the EU the only person that really has any importance is Gordon Brown and he will decide what is and is not acceptable from the EU.

The Conservatives are an irrelevance in terms of EU matters and have an uninspiring track record

Cranmer puts it perfectly

Perhaps he should consult John Redwood for how to enact these withdrawal policies.

Perhaps Camerloon should appologise to Ted Brocklebank, and tell him he was right after all? That would be a start...

Well DC in today's 'Telegraph' argues that the EU can be 'modernised'. Bollards, that will never happen due to the fact that France and Germany will not endanger their pre-eminence in the EU. Neither will the smaller 'subsidy junkie' countries want to endanger their over generous handouts. Why argue for modernisation when there's a cat's hope in hell of this being achieved. Europe should be more 'outward looking' says DC with refernce to the 'growing economies' but it's too unwieldy a structure to ever do that. Why waste the party's time, and his own time and energy, arguing for a European strategy which has less chance than Tony Blair's 'integrity' returning?

I can only agree with the previous comments, but add that what is needed is a fresh start with a completely new treaty to establish a new kind of international organisation for European and neighbouring countries. There's absolutely no point in trying to adapt the present treaties and organisation, any more than it would be sensible to try to modernise and refurbish some ugly building of no historical or architectural value, which was badly designed and poorly built from the very start, and which is now riddled with dry rot. The only answer is to raze it to the ground, clear the site, and start again from scratch.

"...that will never happen due to the fact that France and Germany will not endanger their pre-eminence in the EU"

They already have in enlargement - that diluted their power enormously within all the institutions.

To quote the great Mr Victor Meldrew:- 'I don't beeeeleeeeeve it!'

Suddenly www.europeanreform.eu has risen from the dead to act as blotting paper for EU concerned Tories. Cameron and Fox are trying to stem defections to UKIP but it will be hard to stop a bandwagon on the way down a hill.
Cameron has achieved his aim of being seen as the heir to Blair, because like Blair he cannot be trusted.With senior MEPs saying that the party will still be in the EPP in 2010 only naive fools will believe there is any substance to Cameron's wants and wishes.This is all a smokescreen.

Having now registered and received a password for the website that will forever change the EU I find I am unable to log-in although two people have seemingly left messages.A call to the only available phone number ,a press office gets the response call back tomorrow.
Such is Cameron's non-urgent 5/7 approach to the most pressing issue of our relationship with the EU-----always tomorrow,after the damage has been done.
A party leader, a top flight spin doctor, promotes a website in today's S.Telegraph that supports the whole thrust of his article and yet the site is unprepared for a public response.Not good.

Denis @ 12.10 - 'The only answer is to raze it to the ground, clear the site and start again from scratch'.

But who would have the incentive to 'raze it to the ground'?, certainly not France and Germany, and certainly not the 'subsidy junkie countries' that Simon mentioned @ 12.0 in his post.

It is a very bleak prospect, the EU see us as a milch cow, and so although they would not want us to leave the Union, neither would they want us to alter things in any way that might benefit us and our economy at the expense of any of their own economies.

But who would have the incentive to 'raze it to the ground'?, certainly not France and Germany

They cannot because like Britain they cannot get a majority of voters to back such a move. It is a classic case of being stuck because noone can decide and noone has enough power

Once it's understood that the EU is beyond reform, it becomes obvious that we would have no option but give short notice of our withdrawal - "the Bill is being drafted now, and it will start its progress through Parliament next week".

Either that would force an immediate acceptance that fundamental change had become unavoidable - the razing to the ground, and rebuilding from scratch - or more likely we would leave, and the fundamental change would follow some years later when the French and/or the Germans themselves had finally had enough.

Whichever way, we would have extricated ourselves from the present EU. But of course unless Cameron was prepared to say that we'd leave, and plainly mean it, then his negotiating position would always be fatally weakened.

At an Open Europe lecture last year William Hague was asked by Lord Pearson how he would achieve the reforms to the EU that he sought.
His pathetic response was that he couldn't be expected to reveal his negotiating stance when everybody in the audience knew there was really only one way..
The party has finally woken up to the dangers of appeasing the Islamists,it is about time similar thoughts were applied to the EU.

Well said Cranmer, you've absolutely nailed it your eminence!

Will someone please post a comment in support of Cameron's strategy for rescuing us from the EU.

I can't think of anything, but surely SOMEONE out there can see SOME merit in what he says!

I loved Mick Mcgough's likening of the european reform idea to 'blotting paper' and he exposes how it is not a serious operation and was never intended to be.
How strange that he thinks that the Conservative party has woken up to the danger of appeasing islamists some of whom are no doubt entering the country as I type.This is another Cameron spinning operation and when you look at his proposals they amount to nothing.The only good thing is that he feels he can say something without being trashed by the BBC Guardian etc.Its about the level of the attitude to Europe after the Brges speech- we acn now criticize soemthing without leaving the mainstream-but look where we are 18 years later-more integrated with the EU than ever.
The only thing that would bring the whole racket to an end is stopping any Muslim immigrants now,throwing out all foreign criminals and illegals.Dont forget Osama Bin Laden's quite correct saying'when men have to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse they naturally choose the strong one'.

Cameron's Sunday Telegraph article is largely waffle. Whoever wrote it for him repeats the usual anti-European sentiments. No wonder so many in Europe regard Britain as a wrecker. The article is one long whinge that the EU is the EU. The British people have voted in referenda to remain in the EU, and at election after election they have voted for parties which wished to remain in the EU. The Tory Party, however, still has a substantial body of Europe-hating throwbacks, who think they are still fighting the second world war, and who refuse to accept that a politically united Europe - our European homeland - is an historical inevitability.
Cameron gives the game away towards the end of his article: the commitment to "a strong Atlantic relationship". In other words, Britain is to remain in the EU in order to act as the United States' fifth column. The British role, as his article sees it, is to wreck the EU in the interests of the Americans. It is a shameful prospect. We are Europeans, not Americans.

Paul Rowlandson, could you manage to come up with any good reason why a) a "united" europe is a historical inevitability and b) we should want to be subsumed by it? In a longish comment all you have done is hurl platitudinous insults at eurosceptics and Conservatives but failed in any way to justify continuing along the federalist path.Oh and no the British people have never had a referendum on a "united" europe, only ever, once, on a common market which is a completely different thing and I, at 43 years of age, have never had the chance to participate in any referendum on europe at all so that one doesn't wash.

And here we all were,thinking of you as a Eurosceptic Rowlandson.Covert Euromaniacs are living here on borrowed time,just wait and see,the UK will withdraw from the Communist styled EU.

We appear to be faced with two tyrannies Islamism and the EU operating in parallel .Those aware of the former do have the ear of Cameron but those against the EU are being blackmailed into silence.

'And here we all were, thinking of you as a Eurosceptic Rowlandson'-Rudyard. Speak for yourself Rudyard, I've never heard of Paul Rowlandson either on this blog or elsewhere.Does he have any official position within the Conservative party?
I never meet anyone in the party with views like Rowlandson anymore in real life and a very few vagely pro EU bloggers on Conhome. These people tend to get annihalated in debate and are generally reduced to saying we 'shouldn't keep banging on about Europe'.

The British people have voted in referenda to remain in the EU, and at election after election they have voted for parties which wished to remain in the EU.

'Referenda' is plural. The UK had one referendum (singular) in 1975, to remain in the EEC. The question was one of economics and trade, not one of political union with a 'soul'. The British people have not been offered a referendum since the EEC transmogrified into the EC, and then to the EU.

And as for voting for parties which expressed a desire to remain in the EU, the reality is that matters European are way down the scale of political priorities. At general elections, people generally think of tax, crime, education, or health. The EU barely registers. So, no, people have not consciously voted for pro-EU parties at all.

Mr Cameron should offer us a referendum. All those defectors to UKIP would then come flooding back to the fold.

"Mr Cameron should offer us a referendum. All those defectors to UKIP would then come flooding back to the fold"

We wouldn't believe him if he offered one.

I describe Britain's integration into a United European Nation as 'inevitable' because the reason for our separation is historically obsolete - the 'Reformation'. Europe, including Britain, is now largely secular. The religious issues that divided us no longer do so. Prior to the so-called 'Reformation' we were part of what was then known as 'Christendom', ie, Europe. We are ending our exile and isolation and returning to our cultural and political homeland. This process can be delayed, but not prevented. We should want this process to continue because Europe belongs to us, just as much as it belongs to our fellow-Europeans.
The referendum in June 1975 - in which 67% voted in favour of remaining within the EEC - was fought on precisely the issue of sovereignty. Take a look at some of the No Campaign propaganda. Its main concern was sovereignty. 'No' and 'Yes' leaflets were delivered to every household in the UK. The argument was clear, and the British people voted decisively in favour of Britain in a United Europe.
If the anti-European fanatics manage to commit the Tory Party to yet another campaign against Europe, we will lose the general election again, as the Party has done on every occasion when it has stood on an anti-EU platform. How many times does this have to happen before the 'we will fight them on the beaches' numbskulls learn the lesson?

QUOTE: "Take a look at some of the No Campaign propaganda. Its main concern was sovereignty. 'No' and 'Yes' leaflets were delivered to every household in the UK. The argument was clear, and the British people voted decisively in favour of Britain in a United Europe."

The YES people (not least Wilson's government) blatantly lied about the implications for sovereignty. The NO people were bang on.

Paul Rowlandson,what does religon have to do with the EU? The rest of your two posts are disingeneous in the extreme, I sincerely doubt that you will be able to put any credible defence of the EU whatsoever if this is the standard of your argument.

Nope Paul Rowlandson I'm afraid that you have still completely failed to provide a single reason to support your wild assertions and have simply descended once again to hurling silly insults at people who you don't agree with.

A single referendum 32 years ago on membership of, what was then, a completely different organsisation does not give any democratic legitimacy to ever closer union in any what whatsoever. In fact I'd keep quite about that if I were you since it is liable to remind all those like myself who have never been able to have a say on EU membership of that disgraceful fact and of the pressing need for a referendum on our continued membership as soon as possible.

If you represent the general standard of debate offered by Europhiles these days then there is hope for the Eurosceptic cause yet.

Welcome to another thread on ConservativeHome.com on European politics. As usual, it’s kind of a cross between sensible political debate and a form of care in the community.

"Mr Cameron should offer us a referendum. All those defectors to UKIP would then come flooding back to the fold”

Are you sure that we want them? If they have the political nouse to defect to a party polling 0.5% of the vote over a non-issue in electoral terms to the British electorate? An issue that in reality we are the only party speaking sensibly about? And “all” of them – would that be all, ooh, ten, twenty? I don’t want to pander to our opponents, including UKIP, I want to beat them, and that frankly leads me to wonder about the motives of those who champion them here.

I can’t personally attest to the operation of the MER website – if our campaigning logistics aren’t following our press articles etc, that’s some thing for us all to look at. Interesting though that given the choice today on ConHome of a thread on how to combat Islamist terrorism, a broader interview with DC and a couple of posts on the likely fall of the Labour Government, McGough thinks that this is “the most pressing issue of our relationship with the EU”. Could this be the same McGough who was a UKIP PPC in 2005 by any chance?

Leaving behind the “care in the community” aspect and coming back to sensible politics…

What is the purpose of this? It’s pretty clear, and is expressed very well in a quote from the article not in the editorial here:

Today, with so many new EU members committed - like Britain - to open markets, a Europe of nation states and the importance of the Atlantic relationship, I believe we have a great opportunity to lead Europe in a new direction. To move away from the culture of centralisation and regulation towards a new flexibility and dynamism.

Please don’t claim that our European policy as a Party is unclear. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it’s not (with some relief) what the simplistic withdrawalists polling half a point of the vote want to see. But we’re committed to putting it firmly on the mainstream menu of European politics.

It seems to me that the euro-sceptics mainly fear ever closer union with a Soviet Socialist Republic of Europe, a membership that disadvantages the peoples of this nation. The pro-European postings, on the other hand, attack the europhobes in the most personal terms and poo-poo the threat of UKIP.

It is a pity that these threads descend into mere insult and invective. The site ought to contain the foundations on which solid debate is built.

Putting it on the menu eh!-thats sure to get our partners so worried they will choke on their foie gras.

Putting it on the menu eh!-thats sure to get our partners so worried they will choke on their foie gras.

Well, Anthony, they'll have the consolation that your biting wit, with it's citrus tang of acid sarcasm, should serve as a most effective palate cleanser. Just as long as you don't use it on me too often!

(Does anyone else think that we've already stretched the culinary metaphor too far? Mea culpa!)

It is a pity that these threads descend into mere insult and invective. The site ought to contain the foundations on which solid debate is built.

I agree, Don. I know that I'm somewhat "robust" in my contributions on this topic, especially with our political opponents, but I have said on similar threads before that the difficulty with the polarisation of opinion into "phile and phobe" is that the moderates tend to get shut out of the debate. (Fat chance of that with me...)

Do we want these people back?-Richard Carey. Yes Richard there are many people who have left us for UKIP that I would love to come back to the Conservative party. At the moment these people are unwittingly working on behalf of the Labour party and I think that's a terrible shame.
There are however a number of UKIP supporters including some who visit this site who I hope will never join the Conservative party again.


Is that the new name for Wet/Eurocompliant?

If, which I somewhat doubt, "Paul Rowlandson" is a genuine poster, then the ravings of this Eurofanatic, who claims to be a Tory, should give all traditional Conservatives cause for alarm that such people are now re-entering the party.

Time was, and many will remember it, when these people flooded out. The last remaining FCS leftists left in droves plastering their yelps acros the press. and I well recall a local wannabee female councillor here who for years had tried to become an MP without success, slithering off to join the Lib Dems with a bleat about "Europhobes".

These are the traitors we are welcoming back under Cameron, it seems.

Well, I'm a firm believer in "what goes round comes round" and my advice to the next leader of the party following Cameron's demise is - This time no Mr Nice Guy. Do unto them as Hague (all praise to him) did unto the Eurofanatic Fenian Temple-Morris.

Cameron continues to avoid the EU question with his latest pronouncement. In today's Telegraph he urges concerned citizens to sign up to a new movement http://www.europeanreform.eu and give their ideas on how to change the EU. This smacks of a smokescreen, trying to placate the strong anti-EU movement in both the country and the Tory Party, instead of developing a firm stance.
The idea of reforming the EU is fanciful. If they refuse to take notice of the voters, most refuse to even let them have a say, then the political force behind a superstate cannot be derailed. Every politician who has ever tried to reform the EU has not only failed but have found themselves drawn closer to the federal dream as the Juggernaut rolls on.
Any policy that does not explicitly state that we will leave the EU is a policy that will result in closer integration, proven over many years. The Conservative Party should be the party that opposes EU membership, not the Party that supports the status quo.
We will never achieve accountability of parliament when they can hide behind the EU lawmakers.
We will never control immigration and crime when we have no border control
We will not be able to free our economy from red tape and daft regulations until we leave the EU

You cannot trust any Party that has a policy of integration or a policy of inaction - we can see where it leads.
Any policy that involves 'reform' actually means 'negotiation'. Negotiating with a group of politicians that are not accountable to their own electorate is not a great bargaining position

I am sure many people feel so strongly about this they will not vote Tory until they offer a more sensible policy. Unlike others posting here I see no point winning 'power' if you have no agenda, no vision and intend simply to tinker with the status quo. That smacks of NuLab.

Its not about UKIP or immigration, the EU issue is all about political accountablility and integrity.

I have a novel idea for the Tory Party and Mr Cameron. Why not advocate a policy of withdrawal from the EU and frame your other policies around the principle of what is best for OUR country ie Great Britain and not what is best for the USA ect?

Will Cameron give the people a referndum on the EU...i heard it say today that he wouldn't, please tell me this is wrong.

The comments to this entry are closed.



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:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker