On the 9th July David Cameron boasted that the Government had “just achieved the greatest ever return of powers to the UK” from the European Union. Unfortunately, our Prime Minister often resembles an oily salesman as he routinely misrepresents the truth for short term political gain. The pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (the slyly renamed EU constitution) was dropped after ratification and now he has been exposed as being opportunistically disingenuous on the subject of the EU once again.
The Prime Minster had explicitly promised to hold a vote on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) but this has turned out to be at worst a lie and at best a serious bending of the truth. Not long after his latest hollow pledge it transpired that the Members of the House were not to get a separate vote on whether or not to rejoin the EAW at all. Last night in the House of Commons the anger of Tory backbenchers was palpable after Speaker John Bercow confirmed that there would be no such individual vote. Instead they were to vote on a mere 11 of the 35 European justice measures, and that did not include the arrest warrant.
As frustration spread, the Tory whips were in a frenzy shoring up support and David Cameron had to rush back from the Lord Mayor’s banquet to try and avoid humiliation. Theresa May, who has badly mishandled this whole situation, insisted that this vote was, in effect, to be an endorsement or rejection of the EAW. After a night of murky politics and dishonesty the bafflingly overrated Home Secretary bungled to victory. The motion that the Speaker insists was not on the EAW and Theresa May says sort of was passed 464 to 38.
And so it goes, that the Conservative Party, aided and abetted by the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, is again to shun the opportunity to conserve our national sovereignty and liberty. Instead, a large scale transfer of sovereignty back to the EU is to be implemented after the government avoided a potentially embarrassing defeat with methods of pure chicanery. It was a shambolic episode in which the Tory leadership treated their party members, their MP’s and parliament with contempt.
Why did David Cameron make this promise if it was impossible to keep? And if it was possible to hold a separate vote, who decided against holding it? If the government could have held a separate vote (if it was procedurally possible) then it has acted disgracefully in not doing so and forcing its will on parliament and the country. Could it be that they wanted to force through the EAW and believed any revolt would be small and manageable? The confusion that followed has proven this to be a mistake. These political tricks have left a bitter taste in my mouth and the story is now one of Tory Party leadership deception on matters of the European Union, again.
The Ukip campaign literature for the Rochester by-election writes itself…