Has the Prime Minister won significant concessions?by Prospect Team / February 22, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Cameron’s compromise
On Friday evening, David Cameron announced that he had struck a deal with European Union leaders. Britain’s relationship with the EU is sufficiently reformed on issues such as “ever closer union” and benefits for migrant workers, Cameron claims, to mean that we should remain a member. He will campaign to remain leading up to the referendum on 23rd June.
But Cameron’s critics allege that nothing much has changed. They are quick to point out that the concessions Cameron has won are watered-down versions of what he first proposed. (for a run-down of precisely what the agreement means, read John Springford’s piece here).
Has Cameron achieved meaningful reform? Our panel of experts, including Priti Patel, Minister of State for Employment, and Neil Carmichael, chair of the Conservative Europe Group, offer their views.
Let’s take back control
Priti Patel, Minister of State for Employment
The forthcoming referendum is a once in a lifetime opportunity for this country to take back control over our destiny and to decide how we are governed. Do we want to continue be governed by the EU’s unelected and unaccountable institutions that shamelessly pillage £350 million each week from taxpayers’ pockets? Or do we want Britain to be a free, strong, independent and sovereign country whose government is elected by and accountable to the British people? By voting to leave the Union we can take back control over how our laws are made and how our money is spent.
A deal that maximises our interests
Neil Carmichael, chair of the Conservative Europe Group
My position on our membership of the European Union is straightforward and it has been consistent throughout my involvement in politics. The EU is not perfect and it needs to be reformed—and the Prime Minister has set out a path to achieve that. There is no point in being dogmatic about it. This is a simple question of where and how our national interest is best pursued. There is nothing inherently patriotic about being a “Eurosceptic”; nor is there…