“During the 2014 European election campaign one year ago, Cameron failed to admit to the British people who Conservative MEPs would sit with in the European Parliament. Ahead of Britain’s EU referendum, Cameron must stop concealing and start revealing: a renegotiation policy based on smoke and mirrors will alienate allies while not convincing voters. If he is not to be the last Prime Minister of a United Kingdom, Cameron needs to stop appeasing the Conservative Party’s UKIP Militant Tendency”, stated Hazell.
Speaking in Brussels (Tues - 12 May), Hazell warned the mainstream centre right EPP Group’s European Ideas Network (EIN) of continuing divisions and rebellions within Cameron’s Conservative Party over Europe: “Cameron is under pressure from within to get tough with Europe. With backbenchers - and possibly Government Ministers - to be allowed a free vote in the EU referendum, the UKIP Militant Tendency is well prepared for battles ahead. Anti-EU campaigners like the Bruges Group will provide convenient platforms for Conservatives to appear alongside UKIP to argue for Brexit.”
“We must re-build bridges that Cameron tore down during the 2005 Conservative Party leadership bid. Pro-EU Tories should return to the mainstream centre right EPP family of Ireland’s Enda Kenny, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy, Poland’s Ewa Kopacz and Germany’s Angela Merkel. The UK needs to recognise limits, win back friends across Europe and restore declining British influence. It is not too late to correct past mistakes through deft diplomacy”, stated Hazell.
On Britain’s global role, Hazell urged the UK to return to the heart of Europe: “We must reverse the erosion of Britain on the world stage. The Economist is right to warn of the Little Britain risk. One solution is for David Cameron to stop placing the sham of Conservative Party unity over Britain’s national interest in Europe. His must break his addiction of paying ransom to the Conservative’s UKIP Militant Tendency. Sadly, Cameron’s contrived referendum will not be the answer, and risks confining Britain to the margins of Europe.”
“By standing with our allies in the EU and NATO, we can preserve the UK’s prosperity through security. Cameron must urgently reverse the UK’s foreign and defence decline”, Dirk Hazell concluded: “The focus must be on persuading the British people that the UK should stay united within an ever closer union. Our United Kingdom is founded on unity, and we are better together in a Europe united in diversity.”