Category Archives: david cameron

Ireland Has Three Choices

The Euro zone will only finance Ireland if its people vote ‘yes’ but, as the Prime Minister told me at Prime Minister’s Questions, Britain will act as a good friend of Ireland whatever they decide in their referendum on Fiscal Union, and require the EU to respect their decision.

I previously ensured, when Parliament considered the Loans to Ireland Act, that the Treasury term sheet provided for UK financial assistance to continue whether or not Ireland stayed in the Euro.

Enda Kerry describes Ireland’s referendum as being on whether to reaffirm Ireland’s membership of the Euro.

When I commissioned a Red C poll in December 2010 across the Republic of Ireland asking if Ireland should leave the Euro and re-establish a link with sterling over a third said ‘yes’, with the strongest support being amongst younger people.

Others would presumably support leaving the Euro to set up a separate Irish currency, even if that meant inflation and an inability to borrow abroad in the near-term, although it is interesting that even 43% of Sinn Fein supporters prefer adopting sterling to staying in the Euro.

In the House of Commons debate about the Fiscal Union treaty, I discuss the three options for Ireland:

  • stay in the Euro on Franco-German terms and pay back the ECB;
  • print money in a new Irish currency to replace overseas borrowing; or
  • negotiate arrangements to use sterling and the UK banking system
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Prime Minister’s Questions 29th February 2012

The Price of Coalition

Subjugation to the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights, and the consequent release of Abu Qatada, is part of the price we pay the Liberal Democrats for the votes of their MPs in the House of Commons.

Last week at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron raised the intriguing possibility that we may not need to pay that price much longer. He noted that Labour “even support our police commissioners so strongly that droves of Labour MPs are going to quit to try to become them”.

Yesterday I followed up, asking the Home Secretary “We cannot currently repeal the Human Rights Act because the Liberal Democrats will not let us. However, so many Labour Members are running in the police elections that, come November—if they all win—it is possible that we may have a Conservative-Democratic Unionist party majority. Will we use it?” 

If even a few Labour MPs step down to become police commissioners, or big city mayors with Gisela Stuart and Peter Ainsworth for example keen to run for Birmingham and Coventry, it would be a crucial development because the current parliamentary arithmetic that makes us dependant on the Liberal Democrats is so tight.

Current House of Commons

Con 305                Lab 256    SNP 6   Lab ‘rainbow’ allies 9

DUP 8                    LD 57                (PC 3 + SDLP 3 + NI Other 2 + Green 1)

= 313                     =313                                     

(Sinn Fein and Deputy Speakers excluded)

Fear that Labour could cobble together a ‘rainbow’ coalition with the Liberal Democrats and several minor parties (although not the SNP) caused us to offer the Liberal Democrats concessions for a coalition which included no action on the EU or the Human Rights Act / ECHR.

If three or more Labour MPs step down in November, or just one if a Conservative MP were by then to have replaced Chris Huhne in Eastleigh, then the putative Labour, Liberal Democrat and ‘rainbow’ alliance would not have the votes to win a confidence vote in the Commons.

We could embark on repeal of the Human Rights Act and an EU referendum/repatriation and, if needed, force an election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act whether Ed Miliband and the Liberal Democrats liked it or not.

What did we veto?

Today in the House of Commons I asked the Prime Minister the following question:

Mark Reckless:Would the Prime Minister explain what it is that he’s vetoed?”

To which the Prime Minister responded:

Prime Minister: “I vetoed Britain’s involvement in a Treaty so as a result it is not an EU Treaty. We had in front of this House, we had the Maastricht EU Treaty, we had the Lisbon EU Treaty, we had Amsterdam, we had Nice. All of those were Treaties Britain was involved in as a member of the EU and they were EU Treaties with full force of law. This is not like that. This is outside the European Union. It is an arrangement come to by 25 other countries and we’re not involved, so as a result we’ve safeguarded Britain’s interest which could have been put at risk by a new EU Treaty.”

After all the huffing and puffing of December the make-up of the front-bench today – Nick Clegg smirking next to the PM with IDS staying away – said it all:

  1. We have not vetoed anything and at best have an opt-out;
  2. EU institutions are used by this treaty as with any other EU treaty; and
  3. We have no safeguards and the City is left wide open to EU regulation by majority vote.

It is time for a referendum to let the people decide if we stay in the EU or become independent. Add your voice by signing up at www.peoplespledge.org

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Cameron v Clegg On EU Treaty: Analysis

Originally posted in the Daily Express, 12 December 2011

OUR Prime Minister was as good as his word.

He said that if he could not protect the city from EU regulation then he would veto any new EU treaty.

The Deputy Prime Minister agreed this moderate and reasonable demand, but it was too much for Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy. They want control of the City.

Therefore the Prime Minister said “no” and, for the first time since joining the then Common Market in 1973, we vetoed a European treaty.

David Cameron was as good as his word and said no to the EU treaty
Mark Reckless, Conservative MP

The other EU countries can create the political and fiscal union that they want, essentially a country called Europe, but Britain will be outside.

In the words of one of our most respected City figures, Terry Smith, Britain will be “as isolated as somebody who refused to join the Titanic just before it sailed”.

Of course, we wish our friends in Europe well, and want them to fit lifeboats for their currency.

However, Greece and Italy and Spain cannot compete in the same currency as Germany. Having the Germans tell their governments to make more cuts won’t help.

If they break free though, and return to national currencies, then they could sell to us competitively again, we could afford holidays there, and their economies would grow again.

We want to be friends with France and Germany too, to allow them to develop Europe as they would like, without us forever standing in their way.

They must in turn let us be an independent country, trading with Europe, but governing ourselves. It is better to be friendly co-operative neighbours, than for us to stay in their European home as a surly and unwelcome tenant.

Our veto logically leads to a better future, where the EU countries retain the EU institutions they spent 55 years developing, and where we have free trade access and democratic government, the EU deal with Switzerland.

Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats said before the last general election that we needed a real referendum on Europe. The Coalition is now working together to put Britain back on track.

If Nick Clegg wants to put the case for Britain to be part of a country called Europe, then we can have a referendum, rather then fight a general election.

The Daily Express made the right call, the UK/EU relationship is changing fundamentally, and our Prime Minister is standing up for Britain.

Mark Reckless and Evan Harris on Sky News

Mark Reckless and former Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris discuss the UK’s decision to veto the new treaty.

Standing Up For Britain

Mark Reckless responds to Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to stand up for Britain.