Thursday 12 March 2009

European Parliament elections 2009 (63): British Tories (conservatives) leave the European People's Party's group in the EP (corrected)

With interest I note that the British conservatives - rather eurosceptic - leave the European People's Party's (EPP) group (EPP-ED) in the European Parliament which itself is rather pro-EU.

The rumour that this might happen one day was floating around for quite some time already, but it seems as if the British conservatives want to go into the election campaign with this new face, maybe also to fight clearly eurosceptic players like Libertas which has just started its UK campaign.

Altogether, this is a considerable blow to the EPP-ED and will cost the group in the European Parliament over 25 seats if the Tories will at least keep their result of 2004.

Whether the Tories will join the eurosceptic United for a Europe of Nations (UEN) or whether they will form a new political group is not yet clear.

Read the story and related discussions also here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

(Corrected: The Tories are not part of the EPP but just of their group in the EP.)
Under the category "European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009.

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Ralf Grahn said...

If the Tories want a weak EU by weakening it (despite the crisis) and Libertas wants a strong Europe by weakening the EU, these movements may be close enough to form an obstructionist group in the European Parliament, perhaps with a few others.

But beyond the European elections there will be elections in the UK, and it is going to be highly interesting to see if a Conservative government would be able to hammer out an even remotely constructive policy on Europe.

Anonymous said...

I follow the machinations of the Tories quite closely mostly on my blog "Teetering Tories"

The party is split on the EU. Present leader David Cameron was probably only elected leader on a promise to leave the EPP-EDD group by Christmas 2005, thus beating his more eu-sceptic opponent David Davis on the back of a promise he knew could not be fulfilled.

Cameron is now severely weakened in the party by the collapse of the British economy due to government policies he has supported.

If the UK fails to meet their hugely increased payments to the EU this year (motorway street lighting cuts were announced yesterday) it is probable there will be no UK involvement in the June elections unless the other 26 are now prepared to bankroll Britain in return for their earlier excessive payments.

The Czech Presidency should be now urgently seeking huge EU economies, including no June elections, to provide an orderly EU wind-down through the period of the Depression, as I have recommended on my blog Ironies Too.

The G20 under discussion in Horsham this weekend can hardly succeed given President Obama's refusal to agree to any binding outcomes.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

The idea that Cameron was elected leader simply because of this pledge is frankly laughable! It was not a major issue in the leadership campaign (and it wasn't in Cameron's manifesto - which annoyingly means no-one's been able to produce the actual wording when rows about whether it had been broken or not occurred) which instead turned on questions of a traditionalist versus progressive party and to an extent the need for "decontamination".