On today’s BBC Daily Politics programme, europhile Tory MP Laura Sandys claimed that her party leader, Prime Minister David Cameron, was a ‘Euro-Realist’.
Sandys’s remarks may be taken with a pinch of salt given that she called Prime Minister Thatcher the very same thing.
Despite noting that “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”, Sandys seems to think Thatcher was, at least in some way, pro-EU. She wasn’t.
She saw the benefits of the European Community as a free trading organisation, but nothing more.
Asked whether she thought Cameron was a eurosceptic or europhile, Laura Sandys replied, “He’s a Euro-Realist… Any Prime Minister who wants to reduce our role in Europe would not be working in Britain’s interest”. Mark her words for future use.
Enter Norman Lamont, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who politely differed: “I do disagree slightly,” he said.
“I would say about David [Cameron]… as you may recall, used to work for me, used to write my speeches. And I know he’s eurosceptic”.
So which is it? And if Conservative Party grandees, MPs, representatives and members don’t even really know – then how on earth can the electorate decide?
They can’t, is the truth. And that’s partly why so many people make the leap to UKIP. Because at least its leader, Nigel Farage, is clear about where he stands on one of the most important issues of the day.