Post on the EU 28/10/2011
Posted by Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, at 10:47, Fri 28 October 2011:
On Monday dozens of Members of Parliament wanted to speak in the debate on Europe. A time limit was set at five minutes and then reduced to four. I had prepared some remarks for so important an occasion but discarded them as I was called to speak after the argument had been going for four hours and the chamber is for debates not a succession of set piece speeches.
There were three main points that I felt it was important to make. First, we should trust the people. It is clear that they want a referendum and a new relationship with Europe. Politicians ought not to stand in their way.
The second point is that now is the time to negotiate for the European partnership we want. The European crisis means that the continental members have a major problem that needs to be addressed with which we can help them. In return for our assistance there is no reason for them to stop us having what we want. The veto that we can wield adds muscle to this argument.
Third, this is a once in a generation opportunity to order our affairs as we wish. In the context of a coalition there are many policies that can be negotiated by either side as a later majority can change things. That is not the case here which makes Europe more important than the coalition.
Thus I voted against the Government which makes me a most Conservative rebel which is not what usually accused of being.