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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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Was the EU budget ringfenced? No!


There is much fretting in the Commons today. Conservative MPs are torn between the demands of party discipline and their higher loyalty to constituents and the country. Many colleagues are  wrestling with their consciences. It’s because at 7pm we’ll be voting on whether to approve an increase in the EU Budget. Not for this year or next year, but for the next 7 years. This increase would be in line with inflation — some other countries are calling for a real terms increase! — but […]

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The coming completion of the European nation?


Following Barroso’s contradictory speech calling for a federal European state, the Telegraph reports, Germany, France and nine other of Europe’s most powerful countries have called for an elected European Union president and an end to Britain’s veto over defence policy in a radical blueprint mapping out the continent’s future. And they report my comments, Steve Baker, the Tory MP for Wycombe, warned that proposals to strip Britain of its veto over defence or foreign policy would be “the end of […]

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EU propaganda and the potential for a referendum


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I had a meeting at Europe House earlier today. It’s the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom. I picked up some of their propaganda — there’s no other word for it. Blosssom Lane — on the evil of cars. The Blue Island — on the importance of licensing and certification. Hope for the Kayakos — on runaway global warming and the joy of pre-industrial life. Opportunities and resources for young people in the EU — The Erasmus, Comenius, […]

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Rising economic interventionism – a question and a speech yesterday


Vince Cable answered an urgent question on industrial policy in the Commons yesterday. In the supplementaries, I asked: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con):Will my right hon. Friend reassure me that he will not allow Opposition Members, in their clamour for economic intervention, to drive us back to the misery and impoverishment of the 1970s? Vince Cable: There were certainly many mistakes in that era, which I saw at first hand; I was in government at the time. We are determined to […]

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