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by Fran on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 04:25:21 PM EST
UK Tories confirm they are to leave the EPP - EUobserver

The UK's Conservative Party has confirmed to the European People's Party - the main centre-right grouping in the European Parliament - that it intends to leave and form a new political grouping in the chamber.

According to the BBC, the party's critic on Europe, Mark Francois, said that he, opposition foreign affairs critic William Hague and the leader of the Tories in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope, on Wednesday (11 March) visited the chairman of the EPP, Joseph Daul, in Strasbourg to inform him of their intentions.

'European Conservatives' may be the name of the new group

Tory leader David Cameron in 2005 during his leadership campaign had pledged to leave the parliament's centre-right political family due to his party's disagreement with its support for the Lisbon Treaty and, more generally, for its euro-federalist orientation.

Though the British Tories are committed to remaining in the European Union, euroscepticism has long flourished amongst their members of parliament, their voters and the conservative press in the UK.

by Fran on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 04:30:52 PM EST
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Blog - Richard Corbett MEP: Tories dump EPP in favour of isolation
The Tories' departure from the centre-right EPP has been brought a step closer today, with William Hague and Tim Kirkhope holding a meeting with Joseph Daul to officially serve notice of their intention to form a new group after the elections in June. The meeting will no doubt have been difficult for Tim, who has always been in favour of remaining within the EPP-ED.

However, the Tories are still no clearer about who will join them in this new right-wing group. Apart from some of the Czech ODS members, takers are a bit thin on the ground. Under the rule change which I piloted through the Parliament last summer, political groups must consist of at least 25 members from at least seven Member States. The number of Members is unlikely to be a problem, but finding MEPs from at least six other countries to join could still prove difficult.

Leaving the largest group in the European Parliament to sit in isolation (or with some pretty odd characters) is in any case throwing away power and influence.

Why do it? Because the EPP has some federalists! Yet, it also has many non-federalists, and anyway it is national governments and parliaments that decide on the degree of integration - the European Parliament decides on the content of EU legislation in areas that the EU is already responsible for. On most of this, the Conservatives and other centre-right parties agree.
by Fran on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 04:32:25 PM EST
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EPP loses a virulent faction, diminishes its size and the rabid anti-EU Tories can go the distance without any alliances.

Sounds all good to me. I wonder if the PES is throwing a party.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 06:04:53 AM EST
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It still looks stupid for the UK conservatives tho'. This is not just pointless posturing on their part, but it demonstrates their obesicence to the media agenda. Nobody, apart from Murdoch and the Mail, are ever going to know they've done this, even less what it means, as EU politics is never reported in the UK. so they have done this to impress their paymaster/advertisers, not their voters.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 09:37:33 AM EST
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I wonder if the PES is throwing a party.
They could throw Labour away...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 09:41:49 AM EST
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Libertas again | The Democratic Society blog
I said yesterday that the launch of Libertas in the UK would confuse the anti-EU vote. It turns out, according to a short piece in Le Monde today, that this has already happened in France.
by Fran on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 04:33:07 PM EST
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Elections européennes : l'Irlandais Declan Ganley divise les souverainistes français - Le Monde.frElections européenne: Irishman Declan Ganley splits French sovereignists - Le Monde.fr
L'eurodéputé Paul-Marie Coûteaux, élu sous l'étiquette du Mouvement pour la France (MPF) de Philippe de Villiers, dénonce l'alliance de ce dernier avec l'homme d'affaires irlandais Declan Ganley, leader du non au référendum en Irlande sur le traité de Lisbonne. Le MPF et Chasse, pêche, nature et traditions (CPNT) de Frédéric Nihous, qui lançaient leur campagne mercredi 11 mars, seront fusionnés le temps des élections européennes de juin dans Libertas, un parti créé à l'échelle européenne par M. Ganley. Mais Libertas divise les souverainistes : M. Ganley est atlantiste, libre-échangiste, favorable à l'euro, à l'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE. "Je n'endosse pas ce programme", dit M. Coûteaux, gaulliste et anti-atlantiste, idéologue du MPF. Il conduira lui-même une liste souverainiste en Ile-de-France ou rejoindra celle de Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.MEP Paul-Marie Coûteaux , of the Movement for France (MPF) led by Philippe de Villiers , has denounced the latter's alliance with the Irish businessman Declan Ganley, leader of the no vote in the referendum in Ireland on the Treaty of Lisbon. The MPF and Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Traditions (CPNT) of Frédéric Nihous, who launched their campaign Wednesday 11th March, will join up during the European elections in June with Libertas , a Europe-wide party created by Mr. Ganley. But Libertas divides the sovereignists: Mr Ganley is Atlanticist, a free-trader, in favour of the euro, along with the entry of Turkey into the EU. "I do not endorse this programme, says Coûteaux, Gaullist and anti-Atlanticist, the ideological leader of the MPF. He will lead his own sovereignist list in Ile-de-France, or will join that of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan .
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 05:23:55 PM EST
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Wonderful. Fight it out, suckers.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 12th, 2009 at 05:25:56 PM EST
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Chasse, pêche, nature et traditions (CPNT)

Wait, you mean this is really a party?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 04:38:21 AM EST
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Yes indeed.

A hard-right movement, it pretends to be apolitical to catch votes from good ol' boys in country areas who might otherwise vote left. "Nature" is likewise a figleaf.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 13th, 2009 at 05:53:13 AM EST
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