Cameron locks the Conservatives into Euro-chaos….
Much ado about David Cameron’s speech outlining the new Conservative position on Europe. Of course, the abandonment of a commitment to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty had been well-trailed. His justification; that the Treaty is now European Law sits uneasily with the rest of his speech which is focused on grand-standing around ‘sovereignty’ and ‘renegotiation’. Apparently, there was much cheering from Conservative MP’s when Cameron announced his position and indeed there were favourable tweets from the likes of Iain Dale but beneath the surface discontent is already brewing.
Within moments some of Cameron’s claims were unravelling; for example, William Hauge told the BBC’s Radio 4 that repatriating powers was ‘not an easy process’. Meanwhile, Tim Montgomerie on Conservative Home was far from convinced;
There were no meaningful threats to Europe if there is no serious willingness to renegotiate.
Just how does David Cameron intend to win the necessary agreement of all 27 member states for the repatriation of powers from the political fringes of his new political grouping? Cameron failed to explain all this; which is probably confirmation if any was needed that what this speech was really about was, as Montgomerie put it, an ‘attempt to kick Europe into the long grass’. If you look at the actual policies then they are mostly unworkable, impracticable and crucially, unlikely to ever manifest. For example, Cameron started his speech by saying the refrendum would not happen because;
We cannot hold a referendum and magically make those posts – or the Lisbon Treaty itself – disappear, any more than we could hold a referendum to stop the sun rising in the morning.
But later he says he is in favour of;
limiting the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over criminal law to its *pre-Lisbon level*, and ensuring that only British authorities can initiate criminal investigations in Britain (my emphasis).
So, David how exactly does that work out? For the moment Dave will carry the day but later on in the life of the next Conservative government, as the contradictions in Cameron’s policy unravel, the real rebellion will begin and then the Conservative government will inflict it’s own isolation on this country.
UPDATE: Seems like a minor rebellion has already begun with David Cameron’s bête noir, Daniel Hannan leading the rebels charge…and possibly putting himself in the frame for a future (post-election) leadership bid….