Earlier today Conservative Home proudly trumpeted that nearly 100 Conservative MPs had signed a letter to David Cameron urging him “to place on the Statute Book before the next General Election a commitment to hold a referendum during the next Parliament on the nature of our relationship with the European Union”.
I have refrained from posting on ‘matters Europe’, even superficially, as Richard North has been doing such an excellent job over at EUReferendum in a ‘string of posts’ (on top of which he knows a damn sight more about it than I do), however I cannot allow this domestic event on ’matters Europe’ to pass uncommented.
From Politics Home we learn that 100 Conservative MPs have now signed this letter – not only that but Cameron, attending what we are informed is an EU Summit (it isn’t; it is a meeting of the European Council – but hey, why let a matter of detail interfere with such an inferior example of journalistic expertise) dismisses calls for a referendum on our country’s membership of the EU (and, figuratively speaking, the ink on the letter is not even dry yet). This series of events demonstrates the benefits we have of living under an elected dictatorship – but I digress.
Just what is it that Cameron does not understand about this statement from José Manuel Barroso:
“ ………..I do not want to talk about a specific country, but it’s like a club, if a member fails to comply with the rules it is better for him to leave the club and this applies to any organization, any institution, for any project. ”
Just what is it that Cameron does not understand about the fact that there is not one article in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that covers the repatriation of powers? If Cameron only wanted one power returned his only option is to invoke Article 50 of the TEU – leave the EU and negotiate a new ‘arrangement’.
If Cameron really does completely understand and in many ways share people’s concerns about Brussels getting too much power, then he has a damn odd way of showing it – and as for his ‘Lock’, it would appear Brussels has managed to ‘pick it’ on………. – how many directives have we had nodded through Parliament now since the locksmith installed said lock……?
Having told us that no way were we going to lend to the eurozone, lo and behold we are now informed Cameron has agreed to inject £1.3 billion from Britain into an EU-wide growth plan and the Prime Minister will give the go-ahead to the additional contribution to the European Investment Bank (EIB). In defense of this decision, no doubt we will be told that 3 million jobs depend on our membership of the EU and to safeguard those jobs, etc etc. And there was I thinking our country is ‘broke’ – in fact according to Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, the UK’s national debt now stands at £1,055,000,000,000 – and he can’t be more precise than that because, he says, it’s increasing by about £4,000 a second.
Well, one thing is for sure – unlike the money found from Chloe Smith’s ‘underspend’ to enable the fuel price rise to be frozen, this £1.3 billion won’t be coming from any ‘underspend’ on the cost of MPs.