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"Even if Britons dislike the faceless bureaucracy of the EU, they do not necessarily dislike Europe"

That is why the term should be "EUscepticism".

Love Europe; Hate EU!

You didn't need to comment on this one, we all know what the FT is like!

As Kate says, we know what the FT is like (there was some discussion of this on Conhome the other week.) The article ends up by saying this is a problem for Cameron and the main leader has something on what Labour should do to wrongfoot the Tories before the election.

"Cameron may also have noticed that young and better educated people tend to be more open to the advantages of EU membership."

Indeed. After all, freedom of movement allows them to embrace the 'grass is greener' approach. They can work elsewhere without the need for visas, thereby escaping the failing socialist state that was brought into being by Blair and Brown.

Note the monumental, and probably deliberate, confusion between 'Europe' - a loosely defined geographical area - and the EU - which is a political construct, disguised as an economic arrangement and indeed, some of its proponents look to extending it beyond what has ever been considered Europe.

The questions are whether we want to accept one-size-fits-all laws and regulations from a body with no proper democratic control and which is demonstrably corrupt, or whether we want to make our own laws, to suit our outlook and circumstances, and control our energy policy, waste disposal policy, fisheries and so on.

We should boycott the FT over its EU views. It's all well and good for some of these rich businessmen, the economic problems the EU causes us only means they have less special features in their cars whilst the strivers have to face the EU's pernicious effects at the coalface.

David Cameron a longtime eurosceptic?
Who are the FT kidding?

I absolutely agree with cosmic @ 14.27, in fact with all his comment.

With regard to George Parker's comment ...'but deeper analysis shows that the public regard Europe as a marginal issue in their daily lives.... Well Mr. Parker, that might have been the case in the past, but as the cost of living sky-rockets and most importantly in this country, heating costs go through the roof, the 'public' are learning that gas and electricity companies are being sold abroad - and some water companies, this gets into the newspapers. People may not have paid much attention to who owns a utility, when their bills were not too high, but with the foreign owners getting greedy, in a good old-fashioned way, the press will highlight it, and a slow-burn WILL take place - just wait and see!!

People do not express either interest or concern about the EU, until they fully realise that English laws are being over-ruled by EU ones and that it affects their lives, that again will cause a slow-burn!

"Ken Clarke says that the Tory grass-root members who choose parliamentary candidates will reject anyone who does not claim euroscepticism"

Happily, that is probably correct.

"In 2006, 207,000 Britons left the country – mostly to other EU countries – and only 81,000 came back"

This is hardly a great sign of euroenthusiasm in the UK. If anything, it suggests that those who are especially keen on our left wing continental friends are leaving the country, leaving more and more eurosceptics behind. Meanwhile, I am quite happy to travel to Greece to visit the Parthenon - this does not mean that I want the Greeks to decide the foreign policy that my country pursues. Utterly spurious rubbish.

Yes indeed 'utterly spurious rubbish' and from a newspaper which has supported a federal Europe since the editorships of M H Fisher and Gordon Newton.

Fisher came from Belin and could never adjust to free markets and trading with the whole world - a continental bloc proscribed his horizons.

Gordon Newton was given a freebie tour of Brussels by Robert Schuman in 1958 and converted - as were many others.

Parker makes one critical point: Cameron has vowed to renegotiate the social chapter. Parker is right to say he stands virtually no chance of success. France for one would put paid to that.

Cameron will be between a rock and a hard place.

Yet another piece of hype and spin following on the heels of the Economist article and Marr's description of Cameron as an arch eurosceptic.
Pure balderdash aimed at maintaining the anti EU vote for the Tories. Of course it will not wash, truth will out.Would a eurosceptic keep a europhile as head of candidate selection?Would a eurosceptic allow re-selection of MEPs wishing to remain in the EPP?Would a eurosceptic renege on a promise to leave the EPP?Would a eurosceptic appoint a rabid supporter of the anti democratic EU as his democracy guru?
This will be as successful as the EU's recent attempt to spin articles in the accountancy media to show how financial controls had improved and as useless as chaining a bike to an open topped post.

"longtime eurosceptic David Cameron"

And this has manifested itself how? I take it this is not the FT's view but this blog's.

"between a rock and a hard place".

Fatal for a vertebrate, a jellyfish would hardly notice.

Within a few days of becoming PM Cameron will be faced with as decision on the EU-go for serious reform which means threatening to leave as otherwise he will be ,politely or more likely impolitely so no other british politician tries it on in the future, turned down-or cave into the EU.
It does not seem to occur to the leadership that making EU sceptic noises will last as a policy for ,well,five minutes when in government
To quote John Hoskyns on the Conservative shadow cabinet policies in the late 70's 'it was like telling the troops landing in Normandy to find their own way to Berlin'

Editor - I can't remember whether we have ever had an article asking people to define what THEY mean by "Euroscepticism" but if not, then may I make a suggestion that we do?

I think the term clearly means very different things to different people.

To add to Sally Roberts' comment about the need to define what is meant by Euroscepticism I think ConHome should also start the debate about how the UK continues its relationship with the EU. We do not have long to do it. It's unlikely that Gordon Brown will call an election this autumn, because he just won't and Labour don't have the bottle to get rid of him. But an election in the Spring of 2009 is quite likely.

David Cameron has not told us what his policy is with the EU. As with taxation, he is keeping his cards very close to his chest, either because he knows but doesn't want to upset the proverbial apple cart, or because he hasn't made up his mind and does not really know how the public feel about it. And what the public, and the Party, need is facts about the EU: how it operates, how many of our laws are EU laws, what it costs us, how they have influenced our daily working lives and so on. Otherwise, I suspect there will be a lot of people in the Party who will be bitterly disappointed if Cameron fails to hit the ground running with this one.

What the whole country needs is a good, well informed, one year long debate about how we proceed with the EU and then a referendum at the end of it.

David Cameron’s Conservative party is no longer split over Europe. The old pro-European wing has been routed: a Cameron government promises to be the most eurosceptic ever elected in Britain.

If we had a referendum on staying in or get out of the EU, and we voted to get out, the European Union would be forced to let us go. We will always have the inherent in-built right to do what we want as a nation and indeed to claim back our centuries old right to fish in our own territorial waters, pass our own laws and control our own borders.
While a burgeoning parasitical political superclass luxuriates at taxpayers expense I feel the financial cost of membership has been far too high while our rights and freedoms are being eroded daily. It is about time we used our money for our own needs and stopped spreading it around to ungrateful EU spongers.

I think the labels we use are so important in this debate. I am happy calling myself a European, I am simply anti-federalist. This is a reasoned and resonable political position to hold and it is not driven by nationalism, jingoism or any sort of petty small mindedness.

David Eyles - Cameron has made clear his policy on EU relations,even though there's been a lot of loose reporting.

William Hague recently clarified (if that's the word) policy in some correspondence of 30 June - "the Conservative Party is opposed to further political integration in the EU and the transfer of more competences.. we want to make it possible for the acquis communautaire to be unpicked, where appropriate. In particular, our priority in EU policy when we return to government will be to reassert national control over social and employment legislation....My view is that the EU must and can reform'.

Well-meaning but sadly due to fail. For a start, most of our counterparts in the EU want more Europe not less.

Secondly, Hague fails to realise that the acquis is not just a legal ratchet preventing the return of powers, it is a commitment to the EU goals of ever-closer union i.e. further political integration.

In 1975, Callaghan and Wilson duped the public into believing that there had been substantial reform on account of cosmetic and temporary measures. Nothing altered the power framework as nothing could.

Assuming that Hague and Cameron are sincere, they will soon find a legal block on reasserting any national control and will have to come up with Plan B. Actually understanding the EU legal framework and a bit of history would be a start.

Julian Melford - Thank you for that, but it really proves my point doesn't it? Basically, the Conservative approach is woolly with good intentions to reform an incorrigible institution that has no intention of being reformed by one slightly Eurosceptic member country. Even if the will to reform, tidy up its accounts and cut the corruption actually existed (which it doesn't), it would take decades to acheive. The UK hasn't got decades to watch our own country go down the economic pan in the hope that the EU might stop the federal march and get down to trading properly.

Which brings me back to my point that we need a reasoned debate about all of the aspects of continued membership and how we go from here. I want to see properly thought out policy discussions in the same way as we saw for economic competitiveness and social and educational reform. ConHome is a good place to start this, so does anyone else out there have any views?

Both Julian Melford and David Eyles are right - and we do need a reasoned debate.

But some of us have been debating for a very long time. The trouble is that the Conservative leadership will not join in with the reasoned bit.

None of us knows whether or not David Cameron believes in a United Kingdom able to make all its own laws. Do those about him?

All Cameron has said is he would like to repatriate the social chapter (most voters probably haven't a clue what that is - fishing was better - so he has made the 'debate' murkier).

We all know that can't be done within the EU. Does he? I really dont know.

Its like the old days of Moscow watching and trying to interpret the latest straw in the wind.

More and more people are reacting. The BNP is rising in local elections - 20 per cent of the vote from nowhere in election after election.

This could get really nasty.

We do need a clear level headed debate and we need it now.

I fear as do many, I believe, that apathy is th soul force behind repressing the mutual feeling of distaste for the foe that is the EU.

If people were told that their local council would hold serious debates about the EU would they actually attend or has it amalgamated into too much of a non-issue with the electorate?

I.e. is it possible to explain to the masses, en force, what implication the EU really has upon their lives? The links between taxes, fishing, laws and the EU?

I think, and I direly hope I am wrong, that most will just ignore call form reform.

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