Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tory questions of yesterday to a weak-willed PM

Andrew Rosindell (Romford (Con): The British people want to see two things from this week’s European summit: first, a resolute and uncompromising defence of Britain’s national interests; and, secondly, an end to the disastrous crisis of the euro—a currency that the Labour party still want us to join. Will the Prime Minister do Britain proud on Friday and show some bulldog spirit in Brussels?

Mr Andrew Tyrie (Chichester) (Con): There is a wide spectrum of views on Europe throughout the House. [Interruption.] One can sense that even from the response to my remark. Will the Prime Minister take to the European Council the straightforward message that the one thing most likely to unite the House of Commons would be the perception of a calculated assault from Brussels—not even in its own interests—on the well-being of the UK financial services industry, and on the 1.3 million people in all our constituencies who work in it?

Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is time for this country to lead Europe into the hope and potential of a new post-bureaucratic age?

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) (Con): May I offer the Prime Minister my full support as he promises to stand up for the British national interest at the EU summit on Friday? Is it not the case, however, that Europe and the eurozone will be saved not by bail-out after bail-out of the eurozone but by making Europe more competitive, reducing its high unit costs and cutting regulation and red tape on business?

Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) (Con): Our history of repatriating powers from the European Union is not a happy one. May I therefore suggest a fundamental renegotiation of our relationship with the EU based on free trade, growth and competitiveness, which other countries enjoy, not on political union and dead-weight regulation? This EU summit is a defining moment—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Will the Prime Minister seize the moment?

Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) (Lab): Last year the Prime Minister’s manifesto promised to repatriate legal rights, criminal justice, and employment and social legislation. His article in The Times this morning is silent on all those issues, and the Justice Secretary has said that this agenda is not realistic anyway. Does the Prime Minister regret leading his party up the garden path and forcing himself into a choice between ditching his manifesto and potentially vetoing a treaty that may be essential to avoid huge damage to the UK economy?

Mr Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) (Con): Does the Prime Minister agree that in exchange for supporting the euro countries in dealing with their crisis, we should be seeking changes in the law of immigration, employment and fishing rights, in order to support our economy?

Fiona Bruce (Congleton) (Con): Small and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of the economy in my constituency and will play a very important part in our economic recovery. Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that a key factor in achieving growth, as well as in resolving the eurozone crisis, is to take action in Britain’s interests to tackle and reduce the huge regulatory burdens on small companies, so many of which come from Europe?

Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): May I hark back a month to 7 November, when, as is recorded at column 28 of that day’s Hansard, I put three suggestions to my right hon. Friend for containing the euro crisis, with which he appeared to agree? None of
7 Dec 2011 : Column 303

them, as he will have noticed, has been acted upon by the European Central Bank, so may I now express to him my belief that the alternative policy of a fiscal union will, as my hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) has just said, pose a great threat to the liberty of Europe, because it would inevitably make Germany still more dominant? Can the Germans be persuaded to study the reason for the Boston tea party? “No taxation without representation” is the bastion of freedom.

The Prime Minister's non-answers may be found on this link.  His usual non-performance on matters connected with the EU will be seen during the coming EU Council meeting of the next day or so and the aftermath thereafter!

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