Telegraph Reports


A visitor to the website has kindly e-mailed me to point out an article by David Rennie that appeared in The Telegraph in early January about the future of the Party's relationship with the EPP.

Five widely-respected Conservative MEPs from across the country have wisely said that they will refuse to bow to the right-wing extremism that has gripped Cameron's Conservatives and will remain in the EPP regardless of central orders.

"Five Conservative MEPs told The Daily Telegraph... that they would disobey orders to leave the EPP-ED before 2009: Jonathan Evans, a former leader of the Tories in the European Parliament; Caroline Jackson, James Elles, Christopher Beazley and Philip Bushill-Matthews".

Please e-mail your MEP and tell them to do the same!

To view the full article, click here.

Rt Hon Sir Robert Atkins


The great Sir Robert Atkins, Deputy Leader of the Party in the European Parliament and MEP for North West England has written a detailed outline of the cast for the Conservatives to stay in the EPP.
View it at:
"...years of experience has made me understand that power and influence comes with numbers – whether of Councillors, MPs or MEPs. Standing alone and diminished achieves nothing for one’s country or constituents. And if we are to continue to fight for British interests we must operate on as large a basis as possible. It is called “realpolitik"... we would... find ourselves in the company of The League of Polish Families (racist and Europhobic), the Danish People’s Party (Ian Duncan Smith banned us from even talking to them!) the Italian Fascist Party, and of course UKIP"

Caroline Jackson Writes for the Guardian


Backwards not forwards

David Cameron is a Tory moderniser, but on Europe he's locked into a Battle of Britain mentality

Thursday March 2, 2006,,1721209,00.html

David Cameron's reputation as a moderniser of his party is now firmly established in domestic policies. Hardly a day passes without a satisfying cry of pain from Lord Tebbit and his acolytes. Yet Cameron continues to use "Europe" as a touchstone of his loyalty to the party's Europhobic right. Although it is presented as a point of principle - "consistency, consistency" - this commitment was made during a wobbly moment in his campaign for the leadership. To gain support from those who might otherwise have voted for David Davis, he undertook to remove the Conservative MEPs from their alliance with the "federalist" centre-right European People's party group.

This commitment is now haunting him. It suggests that in European policy, far from being a moderniser, Cameron is prepared to go back 50 years to a time when this country was just a spectator and not a participant in shaping the future of Europe.

William Hague, George Osborne and Liam Fox have just come back from visiting Washington to kiss and make up with the Republicans, and talk with the Democrats. The plan is for David Cameron to meet President Bush later this year. But can Cameron plan visits to Berlin, Paris, Stockholm or Madrid? He can't, because he knows that he will not be welcomed by Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, or the leaders of the Swedish and Spanish centre-right. Indeed, in December the leaders of 11 parties told him that they would refuse bilateral contact with the Tories if they withdraw from the EPP-ED. So what will David Cameron say to George Bush when asked what he is doing to keep Europe on the Atlanticist, open-market path?

In the European parliament laws are made which directly affect Britain. A British Conservative MEP has just led the EPP-ED to victory on the services directive. How could he have done that from a small group on the fringe?

William Hague is visiting some strange places as he tours Europe to find someone to help form an alternative party grouping that will conform to the European parliament's rules. A minimum of 19 members is required from at least five countries. The main candidates are the Polish Law and Justice party (PiS) and the Czech ODS party. Unfortunate acronyms apart, even these are problematic. The PiS is opposed to CAP reform and the ODS can't decide this side of their election later this year. Neither party can be counted on not to join up with the EPP in due course, leaving the Conservatives in the lurch.

The rest of William Hague's list is even more eccentric. He has met Hans Blokland, the sole MEP from the fundamentalist Christen Unie, who advised him to stick with the EPP, and Kathy Sinnott, a solitary Irish independent.

It is time to call a halt to this pointless rummaging in the margins of European politics. After the defeat of the European constitution a new agenda is opening up in the EU - market-opening, social and economic policy reform and the reform of the European budget and the CAP. The Conservatives should be playing a central part in these debates. This would help them to break out of the self- defeating Battle of Britain mentality of the past 15 years, and serve the British national interest. But we cannot do so with the millstone of withdrawal from the EPP-ED alliance round our necks.

Karl Rove is said to have left a blunt message on Michael Howard's answer-phone telling him that he would not be welcome in Washington. Those who David Cameron hopes will be his peers in the next generation of European leadership have sent him a similar message, more polite but equally firm. The Tories cannot stop being the "nasty party" at home while playing nasty in Europe.

Letter to The Times


Aside from the convicing evidence about the level amount of influence the Conservatives would lose in the European Parliament if they were to cut their ties with the centre-right EPP group, the strongest argument for us remaining in the group is that a majority of our MEPs favour staying in.
Below, I include two letters that were sent to The Times by members of the delegation. Whilst those wisihing to pursue a sensible policy of active engagement with the EU and EPP have thirteen signatories, the isolationists who favour leaving the EPP manage a mere seven names.
Amongst those who have supported efforts to stay in the EPP include former Leaders Edward McMillan-Scott and Jonathan Evans and former Government Ministers John Bowis and Sir Robert Atkins.
I need not say much about the list of far-right MEPs who have signed the motion in favour of us leaving the EPP apart from point out that signatories include the far-right columnist Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer who was sacked from the Conservative Party for his unacceptable views.
Sir - We profoundly disagree with the minority of our colleagues (Letters, October 1) who have always disliked our European Democrats (ED) group associating with the European People's Party (EPP) as the EPP/ED Group.
By working within this larger group, Conservative MEPs ensured the appointment of a centre-Right commission president who is slowly but surely driving EU reform. Within this group, we are leading a reshaping of the EU social policy agenda and driving completion of the single market. We are proud to be punching well above our weight, pursuing the manifesto commitments on which we were elected with vigour and without compromise.
We believe in seeking out where the real action is, rather than fleeing to the margins. We believe that, to be a credible alternative government, Conservatives need to work with EU centre-Right colleagues whose parties are already in government. We believe that, in the EU, just as in Britain, the Left is the main enemy - and that when the Right is divided, the Left prevails.
Richard Ashworth MEP, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Christopher Beazley MEP, John Bowis MEP, Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP, Giles Chichester MEP, James Elles MEP, Jonathan Evans MEP, Malcolm Harbour MEP, Caroline Jackson MEP, Edward McMillan Scott MEP, John Purvis MEP, Struan Stevenson MEP, Brussels
Sir - We agree with your leading article (September 29) in welcoming Liam Fox's statement on Conservative MEPs' affiliation to the deeply federalist European People's Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament.
At a time when the electorate has less and less trust in politicians, for the Conservative Party to campaign strongly in Britain against European integration and then sign up to the most integrationist group in the parliament is deeply hypocritical. It is clear that our membership of the EPP cost us many votes in the last European elections.
There are mainstream Centre-Right parties in the Parliament that share our vision of a free-market, Atlanticist Europe of nation states. We should join with them and start challenging the prevailing orthodoxy of ever closer integration as espoused by the EPP, Socialists and Liberals in the Parliament.
We hope the other leadership candidates will emulate the sensible, pragmatic approach of Dr Fox and also, we understand, of David Cameron.
Martin Callanan MEP, Nirj Deva MEP, Daniel Hannan MEP, Chris Heaton-Harris MEP, Roger Helmer MEP, David Sumberg MEP, Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Brussels


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Richard Ashworth (SE)
Sir Robert Atkins (NW)
Christopher Beazley (E)
Philip Bushill-Matthews (WM)
Giles Chichester (SW)
James Elles (SE)
Jonathan Evans (W)
Malcolm Harbour (WM)
Caroline Jackson (SW)
Timothy Kirkhope (Y)
Edward McMillan-Scott (Y)
John Purvis (S)
Struan Stevenson (S)

Those highlighted in blue have pledged
to maintain our influence in the EPP
and remain in the group despite
Eurosceptic orders from David Cameron


E-mail the below and  tell them you
wish the Party to remain fully engaged
with Europe inside the EPP-ED

Philip Bradbourn (WM)

Neil Parish (SW)

Robert Sturdy (E)


E-mail the below and  tell them you
wish the Party to remain fully engaged
with Europe inside the EPP-ED
Martin Callanan (NE)

Nirj Deva (SE)

Daniel Hannan (SE)

Chris Heaton-Harris (EM)

Roger Helmer (EM)

David Sumberg (NW)

Geoffrey Van Orden (E)