Saturday, July 26, 2008

"The election of longtime eurosceptic David Cameron as Prime Minister...

...would bring about a much-needed shot in the arm for democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union." So says a posting on ToryBoy Blog, known officially as Conservative Home blog.

Its starting point is a remarkably silly and predictable sounding piece in the Financial Times Magazine, which seems to hit out at euroscepticism as being outdated scare-mongering (people like going to European countries so they must like the EU) and at the Conservative Party, which, according to George Parker, has now defeated its europhiliac (sorry, europhile) wing and can go forward on a eurosceptic ticket.

This may be news to some of us as we survey the position of such luminaries as Kenneth Clarke, Malcolm Rifkind and Francis Maude, not to mention the weaselly responses given by the Shadow Foreign Secretary to perfectly straightforward questions.

What surprised me somewhat was the attitude of the posting itself, written, one must assume, by the editor, Tim Montgomerie though he may have delegated. There seems to be an assumption that the Boy-King of the Conservative Party is, indeed, a long-time eurosceptic and will restore, well, give a shot in the arm of democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union.

First things first. How has the Boy-King's long-term euroscepticism manifested itself? Enquiring minds want to know. They want a list of his words and deeds that prove this.

Next: what will be that shot in the arm and how will it be delivered? We are told that the Social Chapter will be taken back into British legislation. Hmmm. A few problems with that:

1. The Social Chapter does not exist as a separate entity. The Boy-King and his whizzkids will have to find which Articles they mean and deal with them separately.

2. The only way a Treaty can be changed is through an IGC. There are various ways of ensuring that it is called. Which one will the Conservative government use?

3. The changed Treaty at the end of the IGC has to be signed by all participants. How will the Conservative government ensure that it happens?

We at the Bruges Group are looking forward to the various plans the thinkers and strategists of the Conservative Party will produce in order to give that "much-needed shot in the arm for democracy and accountability in Britain and the European Union".

1 comment:

Clarence said...

On 2 March 2007, in a written answer to the European Parliament, Mr Barroso, that reliable reminder of a UK politician’s limits, said that a country’s withdrawal from the social chapter would be impossible: “These provisions are part of the whole Treaty and cannot be isolated. All Member States are bound by the Treaties they have signed and ratified and which have entered into force, including the social provisions they contain. Consequently, a withdrawal from these provisions by a Member State would require an amendment of the EC Treaty in accordance with Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union.”

Mr Cameron and his clique (claque?) cannot be unaware of this statement.

Mr Cameron has abandoned his predecessors' (three of them, I think) plans to try to derogate from the Common Fisheries Policy.
He has said "Better Off Out" signatories cannot hold "high office".
He has not left the EPP ("weeks not months").
He has said, “Trade policy is decided in Europe and I don’t propose to change that.” (Foreign Press Assoc, March 2006).
Hague said in that FT piece that the Tories were “very positive about many aspects of the EU”.

I could go on but it gets too depressing.