Long-standing Conservative Party ‘eurosceptic’ Robert Halfon MP has written in today’s Daily Telegraph at how he is switching his allegiance from the campaigns he supported for so long, to work with the Prime Minister to keep Britain in the European Union.
Mr. Halfon – a former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and minister without portfolio – has drawn significant ire from his former friends and supporters, with one telling Breitbart London: “I’ve told Halfon that I’ll never forget or forgive him, and will do the same re [Sajid] Javid”.
But the Member of Parliament for Harlow has attempted to explain away his position today, in an article entitled: “I am voting to stay in the European Union because I am frightened by an uncertain world”.
He begins by claiming “three things” motivate him in politics: the image of the Conservative Party; to stop terrorism and genocide; his support for the State of Israel.
He says: “I am voting to stay in the EU because I am frightened. Frightened of the rise of Islamism across the world and what it means in terms of the battle of civilisations. Frightened of events in Syria, the use of chemical weapons, the weakness of the response of the West – until very recently. Frightened of a strong Iran, whose wings may have been clipped in terms of nuclear weapons – for the time being, but still acts as a major oppressor across the Middle East funding Hezbollah and Hamas. Frightened of a re-emergent Russia, recreating colonial outposts in Syria, her actions in the Ukraine and poisoning her own citizens on British soil. Frightened of the future of an existential threat to Israel facing the arrival of ISIS in Gaza, a hostile Iran and the spill-over of the Syrian conflict. Frightened of the return of major terrorist atrocities to Western Europe. Frightened of the revival of anti-semitism. Frightened of the weakening of the Chinese economy and what effect it will have on the world.”
But Mr. Halfon’s arguments will have little weight with those who realise that the European Union is actively importing Islamism into the continent, with Europol head Rob Wainwright recently commenting that between 3,000 and 5,000 jihadis could have re-entered the continent after training with the terror group in Syria and Iraq – all thanks to the European Union’s near open border policy championed by German leader Angela Merkel. Indeed he writes about terrorist atrocities in Europe, but these are helped by EU policies, as seen during the Paris Attacks.
His comments on Iran are also easily dismissed, at the European Union alongside Obama’s administration in the United States were the key factors in a “soft touch” on Iran, with a deal recently struck in large part thanks to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who is on the record as having stated: “Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe’s history, in our culture, in our food and – what matters most – in Europe’s present and future…. I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture”.
Mr. Halfon’s concerns over Hezbollah and Hamas are also ill-founded, with the two terrorist organisations effectively fundraising inside the European Union due to a light touch – failing to even list the former organisation as a terror group, instead, simply listing its “military wing” as such. In practice, there is no difference between Hezbollah’s “military wing” and the rest of the group. It is a distinction that not even Hezbollah operatives make.
On Russia – Mr. Halfon is perhaps on slightly sturdier ground, though ideologically Putin’s administration is closer to representing conservative values, though not liberal or democratic ones, than that of Obama’s. But the Putin threat is often overstated, with journalists, parliamentarians, and statesmen often scratching their heads over Russia pursuing its own self-interests. Opposing Russian intervention in Syria for instance, while backing the Iraq War conducted by Western governments, are arguably contradictory opinions. And many have noted that it was in fact the European Union’s expansionism, rather than Russia’s, which provoked the coup in Ukraine which led to the annexation of Crimea.
And there could scarcely be a more anti-Israel organisation in the world outside the Middle East than the European Union. Just this year the EU unanimously adopted a resolution criticising Israeli settlement activity, and has issued what some regard as “anti-Semitic” guidelines for the labelling of products made “on occupied land”.
On a weakening Chinese economy, Mr. Halfon seems to think that being part of a shrinking economy with a weak recovery is the answer. It is not. Looking outside of the European Union – to growth markets, is surely Britain’s best hope.
So on all points Mr. Halfon comes up short in his arguments. Of course some have speculated that the real reason he might be backing the Prime Minister is because the PM kept him as a minister despite a relatively recent sex scandal. Politics is full of horse-trading and deals of this nature. I’m not saying that is definitely the case, but I would have a much easier time believing that than assuming Mr. Halfon had suddenly lost all memory of European Union weakness on his most cherished issues.
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