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16 January 2013

Independent: [UK] Tory MPs set out blueprint on EU

A group of UK Conservative backbenchers today set out a blueprint for the renegotiation of Britain's membership of the European Union, warning that "the status quo is no longer an option".

The Fresh Start Project's Manifesto for Change urged [PM Cameron] to focus his efforts on "a robust but achievable renegotiation of our terms of membership".

The manifesto demands five significant revisions to EU treaties:

  • an "emergency brake" for all Member States on financial services issues;
  • repatriation of powers on social and employment law, or at least a UK opt-out and emergency brake in these areas;
  • a UK opt-out from all policing and criminal justice measures;
  • a new legal safeguard for the single market;
  • the abolition of the Strasbourg seat of the European Parliament.

Foreign Secretary William Hague appeared to signal that the group's ideas chime with thinking on Europe at the top of the Conservative Party, hailing the manifesto in a foreword as a "well-researched and well-considered document full of powerful ideas for Britain's future in Europe".

"Many of the proposals are already Government policy, some could well become future Government or Conservative Party policy and some may require further thought", said Mr Hague, adding that it will be "essential reading" for those drawing up the Tory manifesto for the 2015 general election.

The Fresh Start group has the support of around 100 Conservative MPs. On the BBC Today Programme, Fresh Start co-founder Andrea Leadsom MP said: “From my conversations with European politicians over the last few months, when we actually get down to the nitty gritty of what is it that Britain wants, they don't think it's all utterly impossible".

Full article

See also CBIE: Fresh Start or False Start?

© The Independent

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