David Cameron is under challenge from increasing numbers of his own MPs over his lack of action coupled with slim ambition as he seeks to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s European Union (EU) membership.
An alliance of 40 Conservatives wrote to the Mr. Cameron last November demanding a meeting over their concerns that the prime minister will fail to restore Britain’s “sovereignty” over setting tax rates and laws. Their plea was rejected out of hand.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Eurosceptic Tories think Mr. Cameron is deeply unambitious in his negotiations with Brussels and radical changes to EU membership are almost entirely missing from his modest proposals.
The prime minister’s decision to turn down the request to meet his MPs, who were said to be backed by 10 government ministers and aides, was made public on Saturday night.
According to the newspaper, senior Tories accused him of reviving his arrogant “Flashman” persona and “ignoring” the concerns of Eurosceptics who believe he is using government resources against them.
One senior MP said that Mr Cameron was doing “significant harm” to his party’s chances of reuniting after the referendum.
John Baron, the Eurosceptic MP who organised the letter, revealed the split within Mr. Cameron’s government.
Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Baron says that the prime minister’s “refusal to engage” with 40 of his MPs could “cost him” when it comes to the referendum. “His refusal to meet 40 of his backbenchers – who signed my letter last November requesting a meeting to discuss our concerns – signals No 10 has no intention of pitching for a ‘fundamental change’ in our relationship with the EU. This is a great opportunity missed,” Mr Baron says.
“No 10 ignores contributions – what could it be afraid of?” he asks. “Such an approach epitomises the EU’s democratic deficit, but we had not expected it of our own Government.”
In the letter, the MPs told Mr Cameron they were unhappy at his limited attempt to restore British “sovereignty”, which is based on getting an exemption for the UK from the principle of “ever-closer union” in the EU.
Breitbart London has reported on the deepening rifts within the Tories over the government’s handling of Brexit negotiations.
Tory high command was accused of presiding over a fresh stitch-up after it emerged pro-EU propaganda is being churned out by the party’s own favourite print company.
The supposedly independent Britain Stronger in Europe campaign is bombarding householders with leaflets claiming it would be a disaster if Britain quit the Brussels club.
MPs fear that Mr Cameron’s plan to renegotiate the terms of the EU membership will leave the power of Brussels to set laws and taxes in Britain intact. Only by making Parliament sovereign – with its own veto over EU laws – will Britain truly regain control over its own borders, security and taxes, they believe.
One Tory who signed the Baron letter said: “Cameron’s inner Flashman is still there, just under the very thin veneer. When we are asking for a respectable debate after which we can come back together as a party, his answer to John Baron – and to all of us – was not respectful at all.”
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