Friday, 6 November 2009

Interesting times ahead for Cameron on Europe

Politicians are notorious for answering their own questions and not the ones they have been asked to answer. Life is complicated and often there is no easy answer. That's why I like to start blogs by stating the obvious. This time the obvious is that the Conservatives are split over Europe. Why should this be? Ted Heath took us into the European Economic Community in 1971 but complaints about loss of sovereignty (otherwise known as working in Europe) have led many Tories to become Eurosceptics.

We need to work with the rest of Europe. Nobody would argue with trade agreements. Can we have trade agreements without ties over law and order, immigration, the environment, fishing, defence... Well yes but if we are not part of Europe then we have to agree with what we are told. The alternative is to have no influence.

David Cameron is trying to look after the anti-Europe block within his party. He has an uphill struggle. David Davis' continuing insistence on a referendum even when it was clear that David Cameron was set on dropping that commitment can be seen as a direct challenge to theTory leader. But even Mr. Davis isn't set to be such a thorn in the side to Mr. Cameron as Daniel Hannan is. Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP whose hero is Enoch Powell and who has described the NHS as a mistake, is the sort of character for whom the word "maverick" seems to have been coined, but he is not without influence. I predict interesting times ahead.

Change the world.

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