This week’s reading of the EU referendum bill highlighted deep divisions in the Conservative party over British membership of the EU.
A faction group of 50 Eurosceptic MPs called ‘Conservatives for Britain’ campaigned to leave the EU unless the UK parliament is granted sovereignty over EU legislation.
However, a notable Eurosceptic and current Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond MP has criticised the group over its demand for the UK parliament to be able to veto EU legislation.
In order for Britain to introduce its own national veto, every other EU member country would need to be given the same power.
Keeping free trade but giving the UK a veto over all EU rules would be unachievable even if Britain left the EU.
The common market requires common rules to function.
If each country could choose which EU rules it wanted to follow the whole system would fall apart.
France could put in place protectionist measures against UK carmakers, and Spain could discriminate against British citizens buying second homes.
If we want free access to that market, we need to follow the rules and remain a member of the EU.
Britain cannot hope to influence EU legislation if we are not actually at the table debating it.
The Foreign Secretary’s public denouncement of one of the ‘Conservatives for Britain’ group’s main demands exposes how divided the Conservative party is becoming over Europe.
Worthing & Adur Lib-Dems
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