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Monday, September 01, 2014

The Independent getting excited but do 100 Tory MPs really want to leave the EU no matter what?

The UK media has an insatiable appetite for ‘Tories split’ stories on Europe – mainly we suspect because it makes for an attention-grabbing headline - and Douglas Carswell’s defection is Christmas come early for many. True, the defection is a big deal which could have even bigger implications so fair enough.

However, off the back of his move, there are now far less credible stories cropping up. As OE Director Mats Persson argued on his Telegraph blog back in January:
 “There's a vicious circle at play here. The UK media never seems to get tired of Tory split stories. It only takes a handful of vocal backbench MPs to create a “Tory rebellion” headline. English being the lingua franca, European politicians and commentators read the UK press, drawing the conclusion that, this is really all about a party talking to itself about itself. The many good reform ideas coming out of the UK are dismissed as a matter of “domestic politics” – an image happily (sometimes dishonestly) conveyed by a whole host of special interests, including those who have invested personal prestige in the EU project and seek to maintain the status quo. Cameron, meanwhile, is seen as an unreliable partner, not in control at home. This perception is then fed back to the UK press, as a sign that Cameron is “isolated”, in turn hardening backbench opinion.” 
A prime example is today’s Independent front-page, celebrating that “Up to 100 MPs will call EU exit regardless of concessions won by PM”. So one third of the Tory Parliamentary Party has already made up its mind on the EU? That’s a big claim. Cameron might as well throw in the towel now. It’s an over-cooked story, of course, as is usually the case, quoting exactly the same Tory MPs who have been quoted in stories like this since Magna Carta. The big headline number comes from “other eurosceptics” (hmmmm) who “predicted” that “between 50 and 100 Conservative MPs would make the same pledge” [out of the EU no matter what]. In other words, the number is plucked straight out of thin air.

There will no doubt be pressure on Tory MPs to clarify their position, but to go for “out no matter what” is a whole matter entirely. Still, this story will make it into embassy press clippings around Europe, and will probably also be re-produced in some foreign papers (100 is an impressive and conveniently round number). And voila, it has taken a life of its own. The Independent prides itself on taking “seriously our responsibility to maintain high editorial standards.” Well, we’re not impressed.


Rodney Atkinson said...

Of course the UK must leave the EU no matter what - for the simple reasons that 1. the Eu is a geopolitical disaster now courting war in the East 2. It is an economic catastrophe with war time levels of depravation in the Mediterranean countries and mass exit of economic refugees and 3. it has destroyed 28 national constitutions and 28 national parliaments and replaced it with what? - a centralised bureaucratic dictatorship at best and a corporatist fascist German Europe at worst.

"Leaving the EU is NOT leaving Europe - it is leaving the constitutional straightjacket and joining the only Europe - of nation states - which brought peace to this benighted, backward part of the world.

Rodney Atkinson

JMR said...

Writing purely for myself, I tend towards the "Out: regardless of any "negotiations". With no hands tied, our national scope would become immense.

Anonymous said...

Great post Rodney, one which I completely agree with.

I no longer recognise my country and feel that I have no say whatsoever in how it is run.

The passing of cost and risk from the disaster that is the MananaZone onto the UK is adding to our GBP1.3Trn debt and removing opportunity from our children on a daily basis.


Average Englishman said...

Given the slurs that the Tory Party under Cameron have lost no opportunity to circulate about competitors, especially UKIP and any 'fruitcake' supporters of that party, I can only sit back with a grin on my face to see chickens coming home to roost for Dave and his supporters. Live by spin and die by spin.

Anonymous said...

The Independent is a minority Left-wing newspaper with very one low circulation figures. It is on the verge bankruptcy. I'm not impressed by such lazy and unsubstantiated stories either.

Edward Spalton said...

Any return of powers to a national government would require treaty change. This would require a Constitutional Convention and Intergovernmental Conference plus unanimity.

Mr. Cameron is offering a referendum in 2017 with at the most 18 months between next year's general election and the referendum. It is simply not possible to complete the EU procedures in that time frame.

So Mr Cameron's "renegotiation" will perforce be a cosmetic fraud, like Mr. Wilson's "fundamental renegotiation" and "New Deal in Europe".

At the most it might amount to some declarations on the treaties being accepted but these cannot change anything which has already been agreed and incorporated in the treaties.

There may be some modification of policy but nothing of any constitutional significance or substance

Anonymous said...

Take heart. The Brussels Behemoth is concerned with the really crucial things in life - like vacuum cleaners

Anonymous said...

Again, the Eurofascist Open Europe seeks to diminish the importance and substance of the growing anti - EUSSR sentiment across the UK.

I wonder why Open Europe keeps doing that kind of thing.

Denis Cooper said...

The answer to your headline question is obviously "no", or there would be far more Tory MPs already signed up to Better Off Out. Maybe they stuck an extra zero on the number by mistake?

Rik said...

@Edward Spalton
As the Euro rescue has shown a lot is not included in the treaties that before most people thought there was.
Basically it looks like if enough pressure can be built up it will move.

Cameron is not a very clever operator imho. He has been moving too slowly towards a harder position (basically following the troops iso the other way around).
Also towards the EU and EU'partners'. A much better message had been when you blow up my party don't count on any approval for anything Euro rescueing. Not exactly in those words of course.
You are scared about Russian exports falling away (well just check ho many times UK exports are compared to Russian).

For both looking at some sort of arrangement with IP would be highly benificial. Would a close call with Labour turn into a huge victory. Not even to mention the impression it would give to the electorate.
And to the EU that it was in degree severe trouble and there to stay.

Sign of strategic idiots btw both Cameron and the EU. When you are in an existential problem and you can bail yourself out by a compromise (giving away a huge (but not existential) thing you should always do that. Especially for the EU it will not survive when there is a perfect storm (Brexit plus Euro crisis). But apparently they are looking for trouble. Ukraine completely avoidable and subsequently let run out of control.

Rollo said...

"Find out where my people are going, that I may lead them!" says good old Cast iron Pledge Cameron. I would be surprised if it were only 100 MPs who would get out whatever the fake claims for renegotiation may amount to.