Monday, 12 September 2011

Will they talk about the fisheries?

A new eurosceptic group of Tory MPs gathered today for their inaugural meeting. 120 attended, among them a number of new(ish) boys and girls, which indicates rather strongly that they do not think their careers will suffer if they join this lot.

So far they sound vague but optimistic with little detail about their plans or intentions.

Backbencher George Eustice, one of its conveners, said there is a strong desire to see "a clear plan" for how to pull the UK back from Brussels.

"The euro crisis could arrive on our doorstep at any time. We need to have a very clear British foreign policy for how we can take powers back," he said.

He added there are many recently elected MPs as well as long-time campaigners at the meeting, which was attended by a number of frontbenchers.

But he said that while the meeting agreed urgent work was needed, nobody wanted to return to the days when Europe dominated.

There are no plans to announce any initiatives at next month's party conference though there will undoubtedly be fierce debate on the fringes.

He also talked of the likelihood of there being a new treaty before the end of the year (leaving that a little late) and that could be an opportunity for Britain to repatriate powers. He did not say what the government might have to offer to the other member states as a sweetener for them to accept whatever new plans the group might come up with and get accepted by the leadership.

The big question from our point of view remains whether the new group will look at the most obvious place to start and the most obvious policy to repatriate: the fisheries. Until they mention that word we beg leave to doubt their intentions.


Post a Comment