The Prime Minister has “demanded” emergency talks with the EU about their demands for more money from the UK. The demands themselves stem from the UK economy’s outperformance since 1995 and they amount to £1.676 billion. The Netherlands, Greece, Italy and Cyprus are also in the frame for their underpayments to the EU. These “demands” have been acceded to by the EU.
Some countries have been made overpayments to the EU and now they are due a refund. The countries are: France, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Austria. Given how strong these countries’ voices are within the EU, and the fact that they are due a rebate, I don’t think that the PM stands much of a chance of getting the surcharge waived.
This announcement from the EU is a big blow to the Pm and the Tories, with the Rochester and Strood by-election coming up on 20th November and UKIP nipping at their heels. The PM has to appear to be tough on Europe or risk losing more votes to the right wing UKIP. Unfortunately for David Cameron the majority of people are against leaving the EU so the PM is really on the hook. If he succeeds then the Tories will look good to UKIP voters but if he fails then he can expect a backlash against his party.
But what about our moral obligations? Think of it this way, if you had under paid your taxes to HMRC you can be sure that they would want you to pay that money back. So what is the difference here? Are the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition involving themselves in tax dodging?
They’re just like their rich chums.
A recent IpsosMORI poll shows that 56% of Britons wish to remain within the EU, the highest proportion since 1999. The poll is a clear warning to the Tories and UKIP that their Euroscepticism is falling on deaf ears throughout the land, with even Tory support for continued membership above 50%.
Among the other parties 73% of Labour supporters and 82% of Lib Dem supporters favour continued membership. Unsurprisingly only 11% of UKIP supporters are in favour of remaining within the EU.
The new poll is a big blow for David Cameron, who is pushing for an in/out referendum on the issue in 2017 if the Tories are re-elected. He is responding to the threat of UKIP which has seen 2 Tory MPs defect to it in recent times. But it is clear that his message is not getting through to the majority of the population. Membership of the EU has always been one of the major fault lines of the Tory party.
The poll also shows that UKIP are not reaching the majority of the population with their xenophobic message.
Labour are marginally in the lead ahead of the next general election in 2015 but they are not immune from the threat of UKIP either which has lead to a further lurch to the right for the party with David Miliband announcing new controls on immigration if Labour are elected in 2015. But Labour supporters have traditionally been more in favour of immigration than the other parties.
Among Scottish people 60% were in favour of remaining within the EU. Unfortunately there were no breakdowns of political party affiliations within this segment of the poll.
There was no mention of this poll on the BBC, is this censorship by omission?
In a fresh blow to the Tory party’s UK immigration strategy the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told British Prime Minister David Cameron that he risked upsetting allies and trading partners, as well as losing international clout if he pursued an anti-immigration agenda designed to placate domestic voters.
Mr Cameron’s false flag operation, aimed at reducing the numbers of low skilled workers entering the UK from the rest of the EU, is a direct result of the threat to the Tories posed by UKIP. It gives him the impression of being tough on the EU, however he knows that the free movement of people is enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty which created EU Citizenship. This means that it is a fundamental to the EU that all EU citizens have the freedom of movement within the EU and the freedom of residence throughout the EU. So any restrictions on the movement of EU citizens would be in contravention of EU law and thus it would be completely unacceptable to the rest of the EU.
The only legal way to restrict the number of EU migrants would be a renegotiation of the founding EU treaties, which would require the agreement of all of the other EU states. This is very unlikely to happen. So when the rest of the EU says No, Mr Cameron will be able to say, “We tried to renegotiate but they were not willing so now we must hold a referendum on leaving the EU.” This would make him appear to be tough on the EU, partly countering the xenophobia of UKIP (and the Eurosceptics within the Conservative party). He would see this as a mandate for his proposed referendum, assuming the tories get re-elected.
The compliant media are all singing from the proffered hymn sheet, ramping up the anti immigration and anti EU rhetoric. All the while giving UKIP, with one elected MP, loads of free publicity. It’s almost as if UKIP are being lined up by the establishment as a protest vote, side lining the Lib Dems, but in reality they are just the right wing of the Conservative party. The media are also not asking the important questions, like “what would be the cost to the UK of an exit from the EU?” The media are constraining the breadth of acceptable discussion, limiting the debate to narrow confines, not allowing the bigger picture to be spoken about. This is how referendums are won and lost.
Of course the general election is just round the corner and the tories are just laying out their stall, trying to steal some of UKIP’s clothes in order to hide their dismal record in government, particularly on the deficit. Expect to see DC in a pub soon, supping a pint like “common folk” would.