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ConservativeHome reports that over 100 MPs (one said 104 another 120, all Tories) met in the aptly named Thatcher Room in the Portcullis House to discuss the EU.  Not all were euroskeptic; but all agreed the time had come for a new relationship with Europe:

Under the chairmanship of George Eustice, there was a calm determination to take advantage of what everyone agreed was a “golden opportunity” presented by the euro crisis to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU – with the aim of repatriating some powers. Contrary to media reports, the aim of the meeting was not to pressure the government into holding a referendum on pulling out of the EU – indeed, that was explicitly and repeatedly ruled out as a purpose of the new group.

Apparently this meeting had government approval but this group intends to reach out to Labour and LibDems to renegotiate the terms of being a EU member. I am also disappointed that the EU referendum is not on the table.  UKIP ought to make it their own issue – vote for us – we’ll push for a referendum!

The goals of the meeting are modest – too modest I say:

  • Firstly, that some of the more Eurosceptic elements of the party have in the past done themselves no favours when it comes to winning followers. Fellow MPs, and members of the public, have been alienated by harsh rhetoric and strong passions.
  • The second is that progress will only made if the party is united across its more Europhile and eurosceptic elements, and reaches out to other political parties which hold a similar range of opinions – not least Labour. Otherwise, it just turns into an old “Conservatives split on Europe” story.
  • Thirdly, the Conservatives are not alone in government – but in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, the most Europhile of parties, and nothing will be achieved unless we reach agreement with them.
  • Finally, we will only get what we want in Brussels if we form meaningful alliances with other European countries, and we won’t get that if we sound like we’re trying to pull the whole house down.  Rather, we have to show it is about making the EU work better.

I would politely remind the Tory MPs that the British people have choices:  UKIP is a national party with proven vote getting power in the European Parliament elections.  But I am encouraged by a movement that recognizes that sovereignty is essential.  I would start with the bill to take the power away from British judges to award compensation for the lost “right” of a convicted, incarcerated felon to vote.  Parliament is supreme (next to God, of course) over the United Kingdom!


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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