Cameron Shows His True Colours as Euro Sceptic Tory Shadow Minister Gets the Shove
Tory leader David Cameron lost no time in revealing his true colours on the European Union by refusing to appoint Tory Shadow Minister on Europe, Mark Francois, to the cabinet — even though Mr Francois spent three years preparing for that role.
Instead, Mr Cameron passed over his former loyal shadow minister in favour of newcomer David Lidington, described as a “Euro realist.”
Mr Francois is reported to be furious at the snub and some of his supporters have threatened rebellion in the House of Commons over the move.
Mr Cameron has a long record of deceit and lies over Europe. He is most famous for withdrawing his “cast iron” guarantee to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty — after the British National Party was the first to point out that the treaty could not be rescinded except by withdrawal from the EU.
The Tories have also now announced that its election promises to roll back EU laws in social, employment and criminal justice areas will also be abandoned.
The EU policy document issued by the Con-Dem coalition government now only refers to the intention to "examine the balance of the EU's existing competences."
It also says it will "work to limit the application of the Working Time Directive" — an EU law which limits EU citizens' working hours to 48 per week. Previously, the Tories opposed that law as well.
Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff pointed out in an article in the EU Observer that "Implicit in the agreement is that the Tories accept the [Lisbon] treaty.
“They won't be able to carry out their electoral programme — they were going to pull out of the charter, they were going to withdraw from social and employment law of the European Union and block progress in the criminal justice area,” Mr Duff said.
* Mr Cameron has not been rewarded by the EU for betraying his Euro sceptic Tory colleagues. The British government’s request for a delay in the vote on plans to regulate hedge funds and private equity firms has been dismissed by the EU, which will steamroller the law through next week even though the UK government has not had time to prepare for the debate.
Elena Salgado, the finance minister of Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency, told the Financial Times: “We have a sufficient qualified majority. There is a very clear majority of countries that want to approve it.”
The Lisbon Treaty — now endorsed by Mr Cameron — specifically allows for simple majority decisions and it is ironic that the first victim of this process is the Tory party.