Whilst I believe that David Davis has the best vision on issues as diverse as Tax, Education, Pensions and Rebuilding the party, the issue of interest to this Blog is obviously European Union. First of all, I should reiterate that my opposition to the EU derives from a belief that a centralised harmonised system of government is not only fundamentally unrepresentative, but it also discriminates against the type of limited government that I and the majority of Conservatives wish to see. Thus, patriot though I am, I am more impressed by a criticism of the EU based on its illiberal bias, than one that relies solely on the concept of sovereignty. Whilst I believe we should cut ourselves loose from the anchor of the EU, I am aware that such an option is not currently on the table, in a way that is attractive enough to the electorate, to have a reasonable chance of success. I am therefore looking for someone capable of taking us down a road that at best will lead to a goodbye, and at worst will stop the erosion of our ability to run our own affairs. First a leader has to recognise the threat posed by the Euro Elite. Davis has shown that he is only too aware of what is at stake. Unlike the current Government, he is not pretending that the game is over:
It is plainly wrong to believe that Europe is not a current issue or that the Constitution is dead. In the next few years there is likely to be a fresh attempt to re-write the EU treaties.The reason is of course that our superiors in Brussels, do not let small issues like democracy knock them off track.
In truth, the world has changed, but the way in which the European elite conceives of its purpose has not. The Euro may be failing and unpopular and the European Constitution in cold storage, but the drive towards integration, centralisation, bureaucratic intervention and one-size-suits-all policies is set to continue.As alcoholics anonymous will tell you, you cannot solve a problem unless you recognise it exists. As a Conservative, this is an anathema to Mr Davis. As he says in his manifesto:
Conservatives have always been suspicious of getting locked into a heavily centralised, bureaucratic, state controlled model of Europe. We have a preference for voluntary action, for freedom of individual choice, which runs totally counter to the way of the EU.It is these values that make David Davis, and myself for that matter, Eurosceptics. It is for this reason that we can trust a Government lead by David Davis to renegotiate on many of the issues. It would repatriate the most important of those powers that have been taken away.
I believe that the alternative vision I am suggesting is the only realistic way forward. This is because it is based on a clear quid pro quo: the return of certain powers to Westminster in exchange for the right of other states and groups of states to integrate further on the terms they wish. At the last election, we Conservatives said that we would re-negotiate, for example, the arrangements which currently apply to fishing, overseas aid and asylum, and that we would restore our opt-out from the Social Chapter.He has seen that we can lead on flexibility and in return, we can ask for the return of those things that majority of Brits have indicated that they want. This is not just idle talk either, Davis understands what is at stake.
Without a radical change of direction, the European Union faces a bleak future. The European Commission’s own forecasts suggest that by mid-century the EU’s share of world GDP will have nearly halved.This is not something that we can bargain half heartedly for. Only a Conservative government that puts taming the EU monster at the centre of its programme, can be considered worthy of the title Conservative. I believe that David Davis is the man that can do just that. From 1994 to 1997, Davis was blessed with the title Europe Minister. On the continent, they knew him by another name. Monsieur Non. He was a man who used his position to make life hard for the integrators and federasts. Here is not a man who places being liked above do what is right. Compare that to Our Dear Leader’s desperate wish to be seen as sound, by his peers. One of the problems with leadership contenders making claims about future actions, is that none of us can know what the future holds. The reason Conservatives rejected Kenneth Clarke, was not for his support of the Euro, as much for the belief that whatever stupid idea Brussels dreamt up next, Mr Clarke will be a wholehearted supporter. Likewise, we cannot tell what Mr Davis can achieve as Prime Minister, the variable are too many. We can be sure however, that come what may, this is a man that will stand up for the right of British people to be ruled by those of their choosing, and not by an unelected elite in another land. Because to be a Conservative, means that you have to favour transparency, accountability and freedom of choice. David Davis is experienced enough to understand that these are not on offer in the European Union, and he has the track record to prove it.