11 Jan 2013 at 13:26
I first met David Campbell-Bannerman when he was head of the Bow Group, and an aspiring Conservative MP. He then defected to UKIP and became a UKIP MEP. Not that long ago he left UKIP and re-defected to the Conservatives, and now sits as a Tory Euro MP for East Anglia. Having come from UKIP it’s clear where his sympathies lie in the European debate. A few minutes ago I received an email from his media chappy, alerting me to what Mr Campbell-Bannerman will say in response to David Cameron’s long-awaited European speech to be given in Holland in a couple of weeks. How very odd, seeing as nobody, let alone Mr CB knows what’s in it. The very fact that he is trying to get his retaliation in first signals how toxic this speech could be for the Conservative Party.
For an interesting interview when Cameron finally makes his speech on Britain’s future with the EU, it’s worth getting in touch with tory Euro-sceptic MEP, David Campbell Bannerman. The UKIP turned tory MEP will not shy away from criticising any form of fudge from the PM on the issue, and is prepared to fully express his disappointment and his concerns that supporters will leave and join UKIP in droves – sealing Cameron’s fate as a one-term PM. Below is an example of what the MEP is likely to say, if Cameron’s announcement fails to impress.
Please let me know if you have any questions you would like addressing. He will be available for interview.
I am very disappointed that we still don’t have the promise of a genuine in/out referendum, that will give Britain the option of leaving the constraints of the EU. The announcement means that even if renegotiation is ‘successful’, most of the irritations of EU membership (including those pesky directives) will remain. There’ll be no relief for ministers who feel emasculated by EU procurement rules, no escape from regulations aimed at the heart of the City of London. Britain will only be able to open up its markets to the new economies of the east at a pace set by Brussels.
It is not over yet! The British people will not forgive us for this fudge. They must be given a clear choice, and I will carry on trying to convince the Prime Minister that it is they that should be heard above that of officials from the US State Dept, or a small number of a money minded business clique.
I have spoken to Mr Cameron about this, on a number of occasions, and I know the strength of feeling in the party and in the country over this issue. 2018 is much too late for this vital issue to be decided. We need to leave now, so we can start our economic recovery. At a rate of £50million a day, by the time we get to any sort of referendum in 2018 we will have sent them £73billion. We could do an awful lot here with that money, and that’s one of the reasons the public want a say in whether we should stay or go.
I had hoped that this announcement, which has been trailered for weeks, would signal the start of the end of Tory infighting over Europe, and supporters leaving us, to join UKIP.
Sadly, this non-announcement will only lead to the opposite.
They used to say that loyalty was the Tory Party’s secret weapon. I think we are about to find out just how outdated that maxim is.
I don’t know who the press release has been sent to, but if it has been sent to me, it’s presumably gone out to others. And before anyone asks, there was no embargo on it, nothing to say ‘Not for use before the speech’ so I have no qualms in making it public now. This is what the email says…