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“It is impossible to be a democrat and support the continued existence of the European Union”

In the Telegraph, Peter Oborne reviews Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy by Peter Mair. I have not yet read it. Towards the end, Oborne writes, Like Miliband, Peter Mair comes from the Left. He was an Irishman who spent the majority of his professional life working in European universities in Italy, the Netherlands or Ireland. And yet he has written what is by far and away the most powerful, learned and persuasive anti-EU treatise I have come […]

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Re-selected as Wycombe Conservatives’ candidate for 2015

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I am delighted that on Friday evening Wycombe Conservative Association re-selected me as their candidate for the 2015 general election. In the course of the past three years, I have worked on a wide variety of national and local issues from healthcare, education and welfare to transport, defence, foreign affairs and the economy. Just a couple of weeks ago, the BBC once again asked me to comment on monetary policy. The trigger which caused me to seek election was fury about […]

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Reform the Council of Europe and abolish the EU

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Via Angela Merkel: Brussels should return powers – Telegraph: Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has raised Conservative hopes for David Cameron’s European policy by saying that the European Union should discuss returning powers from Brussels to national governments. Good, though I am not surprised. Having had breakfast recently with the German Ambassador, I know devolved powers are consistent with the German vision of a federal state. All the while politicians insist on policies of interference with business within a customs union, […]

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Report: The EU’s impact on UK micro-business

The Fresh Start Project has recently produced a paper on the EU and the UK’s micro-business: Constraining What should be Nurtured. Written by my colleagues Anne Marie Morris and Andrea Leadsom, the report argues that national governments must retain the right to implement their own definitions of what constitutes a micro business. Their preferred approach would see micro businesses in the UK defined as those employing fewer than five people with a turnover of less than £250,000. They recommend three […]

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David Lidington speaking in Berlin

David Lidington, Minister for Europe, spoke recently in Berlin commenting that: In Germany, you have had a difficult (but necessary) debate – in the Bundestag, in the media and at the Constitutional Court in Karlsrühe – over how much liability to take on for Eurozone debts and how much control to exercise over how German taxpayers’ money is spent in other countries. The UK and other ‘Euro-outs’ have wrestled with a different set of issues around ensuring equal access to the single […]

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An absolute Conservative commitment to an EU referendum

You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence “democracy”, and the other “tyranny”. — Karl Popper Before the Lisbon Treaty, I had no interest in being an MP. That Treaty was introduced to sidestep democratic rejection of the near-identical EU Constitution: I saw democracy dying at the hands of fanatical advocates of European political integration. Previously, I thought it was enough to vote Conservative […]

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Motorcycle rider licensing must be part of our EU renegotiation

The issue of rider licensing is still causing alarm among motorcyclists. I have been contacted by riders and businesses who are concerned about the complications that the European Union has introduced to the British motorcycle licence through unwelcome directives. This issue is important because as well as being a great leisure and tourism activity, more and more people are using bikes to get to work as a cheaper form of transport than trains or buses, plus of course motorcycles are […]

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The UK remains a European Defence Agency member

The Government has decided to remain a member of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The EDA is part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It is yet another area of mission creep by the European Union towards a unified foreign affairs policy. Ultimately, it would rival and undermine the strength of NATO. As the third largest contributor to the EDA after Germany and France in 2012, the British Government should consider the Agency’s objectives and whether it is […]

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EU-HSE farce update

On 4 Dec, I explained how a regulatory farce between the EU and the HSE was wasting millions of taxpayers’ money while costing business millions in lost sales. I have now had an update. Thankfully, the Secretary of State has understood the position. Iain Duncan Smith has given instructions which should see this dealt with promptly. The next stage is to deal with two crucial issues: why the HSE couldn’t see the problem they were causing in the first place and […]

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The EU vs the HSE – another expensive regulatory farce

Yesterday, I heard from a local businessman about the kafkaesque nightmare that has been inflicted upon his industry by the EU – made far, far worse by our own bureaucracy. The firm manufactures water-disinfection systems used in hospitals and other health facilities. The EU has just imposed another round of over-regulation on that particular industry. The new set of rules — the Biocidal Products Regulations — are flawed but what concerns me is the new ban on the use of copper as a […]

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