A number of Conservative MPs tabled an Amendment to the Queen’s speech . This is an unusual but available means to require the government to do something that Parliament wants but the government has omitted from its programme. It could also be used to seek to drop something from the programme.
The amendment Peter Lilley proposed requires the UK government to protect the NHS from the EU’s proposed trade with the USA, the so called TTIP. Many think the present version of the TTIP would allow overseas healthcare companies to come in and compete against the NHS, and many disagree with such a development. The government seeks to assure them that this will not be the case. The Labour opposition and the Conservative MPs moving the amendment point out that if the government has already secured the objective there can be no harm to them in accepting the amendment. It looked as if the government took this line and accepted it, but subsequently it appears the government would prefer the Conservative sponsors to drop it. They are unlikely to do so. Maybe the government wants to resist the amendment because they know it is not in their power to deliver what is asked.
This is a rare and important development. Because Conservatives were prepared to pick up a Labour worry about something from the EU, itself an exceptionally rare event to find a Labour EU disagreement, there is at last some debate about an important matter which is an EU matter and no longer in the power of the UK Parliament. As I pointed out yesterday, the UK has moved from being governed by a fanatically pro EU Labour government for 13 years who rarely disagreed or stood up against EU proposals, to being governed by a grand coalition of Labour, Lib Dems and Conservative Ministers on all matters EU. This grouping has sought to carry on rushing everything the EU wants through the Commons without proper debate or explanation. They have been successful in taking the oxygen of publicity away from those MPs who have regularly turned up and opposed important EU driven matters. Because Eurosceptic Conservatives have rarely had enough votes to threaten the EU consensus, most media and journalists have chosen to ignore what we have been saying.
Now we have united to offer a referendum to voters we are having to compress the missing 18 years of lost debate on all matters EU into a few weeks. Too many voters have no idea of just how much power and sway the EU has over us, because the mainstream parties and much of the media have conspired to tell us little power has passed and the UK can still govern herself. Now people are at last realising that we do not control many of our laws, taxes, budgets, foreign policies and the rest.
Vote leave is always being challenged to set out why Out is better. That is an easy task, and this site has done a lot of that in recent weeks. More difficult is we also have to explain just how undemocratic and unfair things currently are for UK people, and just how much worse they can get if we vote to remain in a thoroughly undemocratic, expensive and often wrong headed organisation.