Sunday, 21 August 2011

Surely, ten "not-so-Eurosceptic" Tory MPs?

"Up to 70 Conservative MPs are to join a new group dedicated to "reversing the process" of closer European Union integration in a move likely to place fresh strain on the coalition"; writes Patrick Hennessy in The Telegraph. Reporting that the new grouping is being formed by three Tory MPs; George Eustice, Chris Heaton-Harris and Andrea Leadsom; Hennessy quotes George Eustice:
"We think it might be helpful if we set up an informal group of like-minded MPs who could come together to talk, receive regular quality topical briefings, exchange ideas and, indeed, provide support and helpful advice to the government. The political objective of the group would be to reverse the process of ever-closer union [....] There is a lot of interest in such a group. It aims to be constructive and the ensure that we make the most of the opportunity presented by a Eurosceptic PM and a changing context in Europe."
This article lists what are termed "Ten Tories to follow from the 2010 intake", namely; Rominic Raab, Tracey Crouch, Priti Patel, Chris Heaton-Harris, George Eustice, Andrea Leadsom, Anna Soubry, Kwasi Kwarteng, Matthew Hancock and Claire Perry.

Courtesy of TheyWorkForYou we can examine the voting records for each of these supposed Eurosceptic MPs:

Dominic Raab: Voted moderately for more EU integration
Tracey Crouch: Voted strongly for more EU integration. 
Priti Patel: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
Chris Heaton-Harris: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
George Eustice: Voted a mixture for and against more EU integration.
Andrea Leadsom: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
Anna Soubry: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
Kwasi Kwarteng: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
Matthew Hancock: Voted strongly for more EU integration.
Claire Perry: Voted moderately for more EU integration.

The method of grading how an MP votes is explained in the links and the view may be held that this 'grading' is not particularly good, however if the term Eurosceptic is taken to mean being against EU membership, then support for the government on any matter EU is not being 'Eurosceptic'. With this article by Patrick Hennessy, it is logical to assume that the term 'Eurosceptic' is being stretched a tad?

As for Eustice's assertion that it is a good time to make the most of a Eurosceptic Prime Minister - George Eustice must be starting another career as a comedian!

Update: Richard North has a 'take' on this story.......


Anonymous said...

When it came to the recent vote in Parliament, for the IMF bailout of the euro (£9 billion +) not one of these so called "eurosceptics" voted against it.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

A: It had not escaped my notice....

IanPJ said...

Nice article WfW, knicked...

Edward Spalton said...

In fact, Chris Heaton Harris moved the wrecking amendment to block the motion by Mark Reckless MP to stop the euro bail out.

In the 1999 EU election, he berated me for standing for UKIP because "It could cost us a seat".

I said "Tell us you are irrevocably committed to getting out of the EU and we will come and campaign for you".

But I could see he was really affronted in having opposition from what he regarded as poor white trash which should have known its place.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

IPJ: Be my guest, you're more than welcome. Thanks also for your kind comments on the re-post over at your place.

ES: CH-H is no more a Eurosceptic than I am a Socialist! Nuff said?