How ridiculous and blackmailing does a politician of a sovereign country and ex-empire sound, when in today’s age of constant change and democratization, he/she says to their people that exiting a “cooperation” that is obviously not working is a “leap into the void”.
To many it surely sounds like the words of someone panicking in face of losing the chance to applying a hidden agenda!!
New Tory campaign launched to keep Britain in EU, as war over Europe escalates
Group warns against a ‘leap into the void’ as battle against Eurosceptics begins in earnest
The Conservative Party’s war over Europe has dramatically escalated as senior Tories launch a new campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.
A new group, Conservatives for Reform in Europe, has been created to lead the fightback against Eurosceptics with a warning to voters that leaving the EU would be a leap into the void.
The group will be run by Nick Herbert, a former minister, who led the campaign to keep Britain out of the Euro 15 years ago and was set up with the full knowledge of David Cameron, who is expected to welcome its formation.
Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Herbert says he wants to “give voice to the thousands of Tory members and supporters” who want to stay in a reformed EU and want the Prime Minister to succeed in his negotiations with Brussels.
He argues that Mr Cameron’s proposed reforms would boost British trade, restore “sovereignty” by giving more power to national parliaments over EU laws, and stop the welfare system acting as a “draw” for European migrants coming to the UK. Leaving the EU, he warns, would put investment in Britain at risk, undermine policing and security, and jeopardise access to the European market for businesses.
Mr Herbert places national security at the heart of the debate, warning that quitting the EU could put Britain in danger. “Leaving without the first idea of what we might get instead would be to jump into a void,” he says.
The announcement comes days after Chris Grayling, a leading Eurosceptic, became the first Cabinet minister to declare his opposition to Britain’s continued EU membership on the current terms. Writing in the Telegraph last week, he hinted that he was likely to campaign for Britain to leave – without substantial reforms – as he backed Mr Cameron’s drive to overhaul the terms of Britain’s EU membership.
The key division between Mr Herbert and Eurosceptics is that the Out campaigners believe Mr Cameron’s reforms do not go far enough to restore British sovereignty. Tory Out campaigners also say leaving the EU would pose no threat to Britain’s national and economic security.
The announcement of the new group comes as Mr Cameron’s negotiations with other EU leaders reach a critical phase.
He has promised to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership to regain control over immigration, protect British businesses, improve competitiveness and keep the UK out of any future “European superstate”.
He hopes to agree a final deal with EU leaders at a summit in Brussels next month, enabling him to call the “in-out” referendum for June or July.
Mr Cameron insists publicly that he has not ruled out calling for Britain to leave the EU if he does not get the deal he wants in Brussels.
However, Eurosceptic ministers and MPs believe he has already begun using “scare” tactics to persuade voters not to leave the EU. Many MPs believe the Prime Minister has already decided he will vote to remain in Europe and worry that they will face the full might of the Government machine. In other developments on Saturday:
• It emerged that David Cameron is planning to announce radical plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights as part of the referendum campaign, to win support for keeping Britain in the EU. One Whitehall source said the new Bill of Rights was “ready to go” but the Prime Minister wanted to hold it back for maximum impact during the referendum;
• A group of Britain’s leading historians attacked Downing Street’s attempts to “scare” voters into staying in the European Union. In a letter to the Telegraph, 14 academics and authors including Andrew Roberts argue that Nato – rather than the EU – has secured peace in Europe since the 1940s;
• The Vote Leave campaign is to take advice from Norway’s successful “No to the EU” campaign on how to fight the “relentless scaremongering” of the pro-European lobby in Britain;
• Senior Tories attacked the so-called “Project Fear” campaign of pro-Europeans, with criticism from former Cabinet ministers Owen Paterson and Liam Fox, and Conservative MPs Steve Baker and Bernard Jenkin;
• The Labour Leave campaign prepared to launch this week, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s promise that his party would campaign to stay in the EU.
One Eurosceptic minister criticised the “In” campaign’s attempts to stoke the fears of the public in order to scare voters into staying in the EU. “The campaign is bound to follow the same path that the Scottish referendum did when fear about change was a big theme,” the minister said.
Liam Fox, a former defence secretary, rejected the arguments that EU membership protected British national security, insisting that “Nato has been the cornerstone of our security” and would remain so.
Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, said it would still be possible to collaborate with European police without being a member of the EU.
Bernard Jenkin, a senior Tory and select committee chairman, said it was “the most ludicrous scaremongering” to claim that Britain would be less safe outside the EU.
He warned Mr Cameron that he must keep the Government machine and the Tory campaign headquarters neutral in the referendum debate or risk the wrath of party members and MPs.