I wrote last that we still don’t know what the Liberal part of the Liberatory Alliance thinks of Hague’s statements on Europe, after all their previous support for the EU, and for Europe. The funny thing – well I find it funny – is that the Lib Dems are saying they have no problem with Hague’s position on repatriating powers, and stopping the loss of further power to the EU.
From Open Europe – Hague: We didn’t find it difficult to reach agreement with Lib Dems on Europe;
If that’s true then I should take back all the unkind things I’ve been saying about UKIP stopping a Conservative majority in the General Election.
It is even being said that it will be an advantage negotiating with the EU, having the Liberals inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside pissing in. In these circumstances, if true, it should now be said that UKIP played a crucial role in stopping a Conservative outright majority, allowing the Lib Dems to step in as partners in government, strengthening British euroscepticism.
With the Lib Dems as partners, it will be easier to stop EU power, it now appears.
Open Europe again –
In an interview with US broadcaster PBS, Foreign Secretary William Hague was asked about the coalition negotiations with the Lib Dems on Europe. He replied, “Well, funnily enough, we didn’t find it difficult to reach a common position…The Liberal Democrats have already come to the view that we do not want to transfer more powers or sovereignty to the EU. So, it was quite easy to agree about that.
They have also come to the view that we shouldn’t be joining the euro in the foreseeable — in the near future. So, we have agreed that, in the lifetime of this government, this Parliament, we’re not going to be doing that.”
Writing for the Telegraph, Open Europe Director Mats Persson also looks at the coalition Government and goes a stage further –
“The Lib Dems could actually be an asset in achieving such change, by giving the coalition a much friendlier face.
A ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach to EU negotiations could prove particularly effective on issues such as trade, financial services, the EU budget and democratic reform…
But what cannot be allowed to happen is that the Con-Lib government adopts the calculating, spinning, referendum-dodging approach of its predecessor.”
UKIP should take cheer from this report. Maybe they need not be held responsible for ending Britain’s chances of freedom after all, but they have, inadvertently actually increased them.
If Hague’s and Persson’s opinions are correct, then this is a bloody lucky outcome, and should not provide a justification for future UKIP voting to block Conservative eurosceptic MPs who are a critical part of the balance in this tricky democratic equation.
The next best thing that could happen would be a full house – in the sense that if Labour review their position and decide to become a eurosceptic party once more – the whole game would swing away from competitive europeanism to competitive euroscepticism.
The ballot box demands nothing less. Do labour really want to string out a pro-EU platform which no one believes in any more? Only David Miliband is totally fanatical enough to keep going with this lost cause. His brother Ed might just drop it all, and the House of Commons becomes a Europhile-free zone. Let’s see. We’re getting used to strange things happening this month, so why not?
The more serious Liberatory disagreements could well be over taxation. John Redwood describes succinctly the tussles going and the outcomes he thinks will be possible. His blog is currently a must read as he knows exactly what’s going on and he tells us straight. Thanks John. Link Here to John Redwood on Tax.