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Substance not Sham! A firm policy on EU renegotiation is needed...

Friday 17th October: As MPs vote to give a second reading to a private members bill on an EU-UK referendum, the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond has announced that his party is ‘lighting a fire’ under the EU by pledging a referendum. Martin Howe QC considers the Conservative position on UK-EU renegotiation and shows what is needed to show voters that the exercise is not a sham.

Douglas Carswell's by-election win at Clacton demonstrates the importance which voters attach to the UK's relationship with Europe. It is no longer possible, if it ever was, for sneering metropolitan political commentators to say that Europe is a weird obsession of a minority of political activists which does not matter to ordinary voters.

Two weeks ago at its party conference, the Conservative policy adopted a new and radical policy on human rights. It is not yet realised in the media and by the country how far this policy will change things and how it will change our relationship with Europe. It will mean, if the Conservative Party wins a majority at the next election, that the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights will be treated as advisory only. If the Council of Europe does not like this arrangement, then the United Kingdom will simply exercise its treaty right to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Highlights from the Blog

A Question of Identity

On the 5th June this year, the Conservatives held Newark in a tough by-election fight. But the results show that voters are switching in their thousands to UKIP. Professor Tim Congdon CBE explains that though the newcomer may seem brash, its goal is noble. It will now be for the prime minister to clarify the status of Britain vis-a-vis the EU.

A Common Market of Sovereign Nations

As the EU institutions regroup in Brussels in the wake of the European Parliamentary elections, Professor David Abulafia explains that a Common Market is one thing, whereas a United States of Europe is another. 

The Sceptical Majority

The central message of the UK's European election is not UKIP’s success at the expense of the older parties. Rather, says Sheila Lawlor, the odds are that the elections will show this country to back the sceptics by a good margin.

Who’s Heading for the Fast Lane? The Emerging Multi-Speed Global Economy

The Eurozone growth figures for early 2014 remain stubbornly low at 2 per cent. But, says Dr Gerard Lyons, the global economy is not all gloom and the UK is 'starting to motor'​. Germany is growing and the Eurozone can act to stimulate demand.

Britain and Europe - Short term fix or long term relationship?

As voters across the European Union prepare to vote for their MEPs on 22nd May, many eyes will focus on Britain. If the Conservatives are returned to power in 2015, the UK will renegotiate the relationship with Europe. What should be Britain's aim and what course should she follow? What framework will best reflect the concerns of people in this country? The distinguished lawyer, Martin Howe QC considers how the Constitutional Framework for a Future Settlement could be framed.

Free to Compete!

Governments worldwide are setting their universities free to face globalisation, says Dr Paola Mattei.

Why We Need the Rich - and George Osborne

Britain’s political parties are now in 2015 general election- mode. Labour, says Dr Robin Harris, promises a policy of ‘madhouse economics’. But if Britain is to prosper in the long term, the case for the free economy must be made. That responsibility falls to the Conservative leaders and in a piece for Standpoint, Dr Harris explains why:

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