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@TFA Tory:

If we withdrew from the EU, we'd still want to be part of the EEA.

One of the things a free market *demands* is free movement of capital, goods and people.

So, we'd be bound by the EU's free market laws, but have no say in their drafting. This is unacceptable.

Or, we withdraw even from the EEA, and stop supporting free trade with Europe of any kind. What happens then would be unthinkable.

"If it walks like a UKIP troll and quacks like a UKIP troll, then we should probably stamp on its head till it bleeds to death."

... and you wonder why a Tory chairman described it as "The Nasty Party"...

Which MEPs who are standing at the next European elections hold similair views to Mrs Jackson?

If we withdraw from the EU, there is no need to join the EEA. We just trade freely with EU countries. If necessary, to get round managed trade protectionism, we could negotiate bilateral agreements with the EU, EFTA, NAFTA.

We import twice as much from the rest of the EU as we export to it. Assuming the French and Germans would like us to go on buying Renaults and VWs I think we'd be in a strong position to negotiate a free trade agreement.

"Which MEPs who are standing at the next European elections hold similair views to Mrs Jackson?"

James Elles, Richard Ashworth, Charles Tannock, Malcolm Harbour, Timothy Kirkhope, Edward MacMillan-Scott, Sir Robert Atkins, Robert Sturdy, Struan Stevenson and Sajjad Karim.

Not sure I'd include Robert Sturdy in that list. He is not especially Europhile.

We just trade freely with EU countries.

Unlikely.

If you want to sell goods to EU member states you have to meet regulations and standards set by the EU.

If the EU tell you your bananas have to be straight, you have two choices, (a) grow straighter bananas, or (b) don't sell bananas to the EU.

Unfortunately, you don't just "trade freely" with the EU, at least not from outside. Ask the Swiss... or the Norwegians... or the Americans :-(

@TFA Tory:

It seems like a cumbersome, bureaucratic, expensive and tradewar-prone mechanism to get access to a market we already have unlimited access to.

@Gospel of Enoch:

Don't look at me like that. It was a mercy killing.

@IRJ Milne

I think TFA Tory's summary is - with respect - a little bit simplistic. Charles is certainly more eurosceptic than James Elles.

I recommend the following page on Lee Rotherham's excellent site

www.adieu-epp.com/wheremepsstand.html

I wouldn't include Robert Sturdy in that list.

Charles is certainly more eurosceptic than James Elles. Not difficult but Tannock's recent article here was very Europhile.

Sean, I have no evidence that Sturdy is a Eurosceptic. He generally votes with the Europhiles.

Gosh!

Okaay...Where to start...?

I think we've pretty much demonstrated in this thread that Eurosceptics can be every bit as abusive as Europhiles.

As to whether we should shut up about the EU. No. We shouldn't, and no we shan't. Cameron and Hague are quite right: if the Lisbon Treaty goes through we can't let matters lie there. Even if they wanted to (which they don't) the Party wouldn't let them. If Lisbon goes through, and we are privileged enough to be re-elected, then we shall be seeking significant renegotiation as an early priority of government. Justin and others can fulminate all they like. That's where the Party is.

As to whether we as a party will ever advocate withdrawal. Well, I don't hold out much hope, frankly, of the EU agreeing to our demand to renegotiate. In that event we may be forced to withdraw. Unlike many others here, I think that would be most undesirable.

I want to stay in the EU and I see it as extremely culturally valuable to us. But the Lisbon Treaty is a watershed moment. This "ever closer Union" is never going to stop. We all see that now. And we've missed the boat in terms of achieving a renegotiation within the normal cycle of treaties. There's just so much wrong after Lisbon (Maastricht was the turning point, really) that we can't let matters lie. We have to do something.

I'm keen for us to stay in the EU, and I think we should work very hard on establishing our credibility in seeking renegotiation - we really mean it; it's not just electoral posturing that we shall abandon once in office; other EU Member States have to find some way to accomodate us if they (as they do) want us to stay in at all - and work hard on the detail of precisely what we shall be seeking out of the renegotiation. I guess we should anticipate that and use our opportunity to access civil servants to have detailed studies done. We should also seek to encourage a grand effort by think tanks, academics and other commentators to develop precise proposals that we could use.

We should give staying in the EU through renegotiation every chance we can, for it won't be straightforward to achieve, I fear. If we don't want to be driven to leave, we need to be setting about planning now.

I used to believe in renegotiation but not now. Kinnock's sacking of Marta Andreasen for disloyalty (sic) was the last straw and her decision to become treasurer of UKIP is significant. The EU's culture is corrupt and unreformable and I want to see it fall apart rather than just leave. If Britain leaves, other nations will follow our lead. Smash the EU state!

@Martin Coxall: Frankenfurter was referring to Eddie: Are you in the National Association of Ted Heath Burners, by any chance?

I prefer Riff-Raff's view: We should go now, because the experiment's been a failure...

I'm not too keen on low energy lightbulbs, I find they give more of a flimmer than a proper concentrated light, they also emit a slight buzzing hum which can be very annoying and very noticeable late at night when I'm trying to study.

Thank you Caroline Jackson for potentially giving our opponents and the BBC more ammunition to use against us.

As for her reference to EU-scepticism as a very nasty patch of poisonous fungus, she’s referring to the view of the majority of the electorate who are broadly EU-sceptic. Another example of establishment contempt for democracy on this issue?

Remember her MP hubby defected to Labour. "Her" article will have been written by the FCO press office prior to her defection. A sad end to a career. Perhaps she should have teh whip withdrawn prior to her defection as damage limitation? Then with Hannan and helmer gone there will be only 24 Tory EPP members!!

@Martin Coxall 15:22

All any of us want from the Conservative Party is a referendum on withdrawal. Once the referendum is conceded, all those people who believe "that nothing can be done about the EU , so why bother doing anything" will suddenly have one chance to wipe the smiles off the Europhiles faces.

I have no worries about the outcome of that referendum and nor do the Europhiles, which is why Clark et al will never let it happen.

Until now I had decided to steer clear of this awful debate. But I would like to remind you all that Carline Jackson is a conservative MEP and even if we ignore the malicious wording of her very damaging attack on a significant number of activists
that would of worked hard to get HER elected all those times, we can't ignore the fact that she is attacking party policy!

This should not be a debate about europe, it should be a debateabout disipline and loyalty, of which caroline jackson has been shown lacking.

If there is one thing we don't need in the conservative party it is Loose Cannons on EITHER side of ANY debate.

In amongst all this ghastly and unattractive bile, can someone tell me what is the definition of a Eurofanatic Tory MEP. I am not aware of any more than three who want to remain in the EPP come what may (two of whom are standing down) and the rest have signed up to Cameron's demand that we move elsewhere - if we can.

@Tory Jim
If you want to sell goods to EU member states you have to meet regulations and standards set by the EU.

If the EU tell you your bananas have to be straight, you have two choices, (a) grow straighter bananas, or (b) don't sell bananas to the EU.

Unfortunately, you don't just "trade freely" with the EU, at least not from outside. Ask the Swiss... or the Norwegians... or the Americans :-(

And your argument is what? That if you are in the EU you don't have to grow straight bananas if they tell you to?? Of course you do, there is no difference in the terms of trade between inside and outside.

Brighter Europhiles than you usually prefer to argue that being inside gives you influence on deciding how straight the banana needs to be before the decision on its straightness has been taken. Merely reading the preceding sentence should be enough to understand the essential absurdity of the idea and of the EU as an institution.

Better off out

TFA Tory:
I don't agree with you that people cannot change for the better. If you believe that the only reason for Kinnock's enlightenment is that of money, then you are simply wrong.

Im don't come here to make fun of Tories (although, my shrink does reccommend it), I come here to expose UKIP infiltrators (I stress the word trators)who continue to keep the Tory party inn check.

Normally, I would congratulate both parties on thisn altruism. UKIP for keeping for hijacking Tory policy and therefore keeping yoou out, and for you lot (take a bow) forkeeping my lot in.

Dave for leader, I say.
All power to your elbow, UKIP.

Gary

In the DM today there is an advert, the main feature of which is a photo of Gordon Brown laughing all over his face. In fact the photo is flattering - it bears no relation to the way the ghastly man is looking at the moment. The advert says: "Conservative Members of the European Parliament say: Honour your promise to the British people - give us a Referendem, Mr Brown". The Conservative logo and the words "Conservatives in the European Parliament" are totally overpowered by the huge photo of Brown. Talking to colleagues in the office, we have agreed that this advert which must have cost a bomb has all the impact of a dead louse. The advert is promoted by Giles Chichester MEP for the South West.
Regarding my blog February 18 @ 14.32, I notice the silence from Giles Chichester, et al. This silence has spoken louder than words to the voters of the South West and certainly louder than the advert.

Gordonism won't work in Brussels either. Prepare in due time: vote YES at www.FreeEurope.info!

I see Iain Dale's reporting that Dan Hannan MEP has been chucked out of the EPP-ED group.

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