Monday, 10 December 2012

Brutal Reality Kicks In For The Tories...

Autonomous Mind has picked up on a report from the Telegraph that the Tory fantasy that is renegotiation for a 'looser relationship' whilst remaining within the EU' is...erm...a load of bollocks, to be quite blunt:
David Cameron cannot just pick and choose European Union laws for Britain despite promising his party a "new settlement", a senior Brussels official has suggested.

The warning came from Cecilia Malmström, EU home affairs commissioner, just days before the Prime Minister prepares to give a major speech setting out his vision for a fresh relationship with the rest of Europe.
It also deals a blow to the Prime Minister's initial efforts to claw back 136 powers related to law and order. This is Mr Cameron's first step towards re-negotiating wider powers over areas such as agriculture, justice and employment laws.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Ms Malmström said it was a difficult process to opt out of a package of laws and then opt back into some of them.
“On each of these opt-ins there will have to be a negotiation and the other member states will have to agree,” she said. Ms Malmström added that it would be complex because “of these 136 laws, many are very connected”.
It's amazing, in a disturbing way, the lengths our political class will go, to try to pretend we rule our own country, or that being a member of the EU involves some kind of Woolworths inspired 'pick 'n mix' option.

Alex Salmond suffers from the same affliction in a slightly different way refusing to be honest about the EU status, or lack of, regarding an independent Scotland:
José Manuel Barroso told the BBC it was “obvious” that if one part of a member state, like the UK, became a separate country then it would have to apply for EU membership.

He rejected Alex Salmond’s claim that talks over Scotland’s terms of membership would take place from “within” the EU, arguing that legally it would be an entirely new state. 
In Cameron's case, it simply isn't feasible to pass various EU treaties via Parliament then try to whinge argue later you don't like some aspects of them. The EU, quite rightly, will simply point to Article 50 (the exit clause in the Lisbon Treaty), basically saying 'if you don't like it you know where the exit door is'.

For the Tories, pigeons are coming home to roost - big time. Here's what Labour MP Hugh Gaitskell, said in October 1962
"The Tories have been indulging in their usual double talk. When they go to Brussels they show the greatest enthusiasm for political union. When they speak in the House of Commons they are most anxious to aver that there is no commitment whatever to any political union."
'Ever closer union' was always going to mean the Tory position of 'in Europe not ruled by it' would over time become laughably less and less plausible. But it seems, in the face of evidence, they would still rather destroy their own party first than admit to the truth.


  1. Even if Cameron wanted to, would he be in a position to do anything about the EU before the next GE, considering he has the LibDems in tow?

    Presumably, there's only so much he can do by fiat.

    Promises about what he will do after the GE are worthless because the Tories probably won't be there and because no one trusts them.

    So pretty well anything he says is burbling.

    I'd assumed the Tories' line on 'Europe', repatriation and a new relationship was cynical pap. I'm now wondering whether they don't have the foggiest idea how any of this works and they really believe the piffle they come out with.

  2. @cosmic, regarding your last paragraph, I have sympathy with that view. I'm often torn whether they are cynical or useless - I try to think it's a bit of both. But picking out which bits are which is the tricky part.

    What is clear is the Tories want to remain members. It's maybe the details they can't cope with.

  3. Imagine yourself waking up one day and finding you were Cameron, looking in horror at the tackling climate change nonsense and the position taken on the EU. It still wouldn't be a case of announcing your new position and giving your reasons, then imposing it. Also assume you didn't give a damn about your political future or acceptance in certain circles which Cameron almost certainly does.

    There would be an army of people whose rice bowls were about to be broken in positions of influence and out to stop you.

    You'd at least need to lead people towards it, rather than try a banzai attack.

    Anyway, Cameron is effectively history and my guess is that he's treading water here.

    Miliband will probably pick up the baton, He can't very well take us further in and he doesn't want us to get out either. He may have been elected on a pro-EU ticket, rather than a faux eurosceptic one, but he still has the EU wanting us to make our minds up and a growing anti-EU sentiment.