Well, here’s my letter setting out my demands for a reformed European Union – says David Cameron – and you will notice that, in common with ‘everything EU’ where reform is suggested, it is set out in very ‘broad terms’,; ie, nothing too specific; well one might be but as you can see I am open to diluting that if necessary. You will also note there is no mention of fishing, agriculture/farming, working time directives, energy or taxation in all its forms – to name but a few where repatriation of powers is concerned, which would then enable me to waffle on further about sovereignty – not bad, eh; coupled with the fact that I hope you will agree I have not ‘rocked the boat’ too much.
That sums up the contents of Cameron’s letter to Tusk and his speech today at Chatham House. As a result, one can but echo Bernard Jenkins’ question to David Lidington, following the latter’s statement in Parliament today: After all the statements made by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Europe, the Foreign Secretary, and the former Foreign Secretary about being in Europe and not being run by Europe, and after all the pledges to restore the primacy of national Parliaments and to get an opt-out from the charter of fundamental rights to restore our borders, is that it? Is that the sum total of the Government’s position in this renegotiation? Normally I do not have much time for Bernard Jenkins but on this occasion he is ‘spot on’ with his question.
In conclusion Cameron really should have mentioned farming and in particular sheep – after all he’s going to need a lot of them to produce the amount of wool he’s trying to pull over our eyes!