I see my question in Parliament recently has also been raised by week-end commentators. Ministers in this Coalition government are finding on many occasions that they cannot make the decisions they wish to make, owing to EU Directives and regulations, Treaty agreements, the European Court of Human Rights or some other quango that can override or set the policy.
On Friday night we held the Annual General meeting of the Wokingham Conservative Association. Both Dan Hannan MEP and I spoke to the meeting. In his remarks Dan reminded us of the way there have been a couple of quiet “coups” in the EU, with the substitution of unelected officials in government for the politicans the countries originally elected. He reminded us there is not a single elected person in the Italian government. As he pointed out, Signor Monti is both Prime Minister and Finance Minister, a new definition of the full Monty. I explained the growing frustrations of many Conservative MPs in Parliament, who now want this government to get powers back from the EU, to withdraw from the extremes of the ECHR, and to assert Parliamentary democracy again.
In responses to my assertion yesterday that England is more Eurosceptic than Scotland or Wales, several of you have asked me to supply evidence, as you do not agree. I judge voters by their actions, more than by their words. That’s the way many of you assess politicians. If you look at the last General Election, you see the following pattern:
Scotland Conservative 16.7%, UKIP 0.7%
Wales Conservative 26.1% UKIP 2.4%
England Conservative 39.6% UKIP 3.5%
Practically all the other votes in Scotland and Wales went to parties that proudly support the EU as it is, and welcome further Treaties to strengthen the law making and powers of the EU. The Conservative party campaigned on a platform of repatriating powers from the EU, and UKIP campaigned to leave the EU altogether.
It is quite clear from these results that there is a very strong majority in Scotland and Wales, in the ballot box, for parties that favour federalism. In England there is a stronger wish to vote for moderate Euroscepticism come election time.
UKIP recognises this by running its better candidates in areas where there are already good Europsceptic Conservative MPs, rather than trying to do something useful by seeking to knock out federlaist MPs elsewhere. Mr Farage clearly thought Buckingham was more Europsceptic than anywhere in Scotland in the last election, though he managed to come behind a strong advocate of more EU, as well as well behind John Bercow. He did not run against one of the damagingly federalist well know figures like Mr Brown or Mr Darling, despite the fact they had pushed three federalist Treaties through the Commons against Conservative votes and voices.
It is high time those who say they want to change the UK’s relationship with the EU recognise that so far UKIP is just a wrecking movement that tries to get Eurosceptic Conservatives thrown out of Parliament to be replaced by Federalist Labour or Lib Dems, instead of making common cause and grasping that it is a growing group of Conservative Eurosceptic MPs who make the arguments and cast the votes in favour of more UK democracy. Anyone who thinks Scotland and Wales are Eurosceptic based on the last election must have misread the results.