After the House of Lords blocked by 180 votes to 130 earlier this year (Fri - 31 Jan) Tory MP James Wharton’s original Bill, Cameron is once again trying to force through this major constitutional gamble via a Private Member's Bill. “By planning to invoke the rarely used Parliament Act and overrule the House of Lords, Cameron is caving into the Conservative Party’s UKIP militant tendency. British parliamentarians are being asked to support this EU referendum without knowing anything of Cameron’s renegotiation plans. This white flag of surrender to UKIP is a blank cheque, with no clear strategy. Cameron’s essay crisis policy-making is undermining British influence”, stated Hazell.
In 2011, the European Union Act ensured that the British people can vote on any future major transfers of powers from the UK to the EU, providing a chance to campaign for Britain to be at the heart of Europe once everyone knows what is on offer. At the time, William Hague wrote of this so-called ‘Referendum Lock’ that ‘this law hands back democratic control of the way the EU is developing to the British electorate’ and ‘means being positive and proactive about what European countries can achieve together through the EU’. “In 2014, Cameron is more desperate than ever to put internal party politics ahead of the national interest. On the English and European questions, Cameron’s kowtowing to UKIP cannot succeed”.
Before Tuesday’s (14 Oct) House of Commons devolution debate, the UK government outlined more powers for the Scottish Parliament - after September’s referendum. “Even UKIP leader Nigel Farage agrees the UK is too centralised. A settlement similar to Germany’s Basic Law would strengthen both Britain’s regional identity and our voice in the EU. Cameron’s tactics fail to defeat UKIP - instead bringing Britain to the brink of Scottish separation and to the edge of Europe”, added Hazell.
Next month (Thurs - 20 Nov), Cameron faces further electoral test in the Kent parliamentary by-election for Rochester and Strood - following Tory MP Mark Reckless’ defection to UKIP. “Cameron is hostage to UKIP sympathisers like Daniel Hannan MEP ever since recklessly pledging, as part of the 2005 Tory leadership race, to order Tory MEPs out of the mainstream centre-right EPP Group in Brussels. Cameron cannot stem the rise of UKIP, and is instead surrendering British influence across the EU by caving in to the Conservative Euro-rebels”.
“The 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP) continues to challenge Cameron’s plan to marginalise further the UK. We believe in Britain leading, not leaving, Europe - and will strive to put Britain back at the heart of Europe”, concluded Hazell: “In our interconnected world, no nation is an island. Through shared values and by sharing sovereignty, our local communities, cities, regions and nations can combat global challenges such as climate change, and the growing gap between rich and poor. We cannot recover the past: our focus must be that the future is ours to lose or win. By working together within the EU, we can shape a better future free of fear”, concluded Hazell.