First the Guardian,
David Cameron today pledged that a future Conservative government would pull out of the EU social chapter as a "top priority".
Or more specifically,
The Tory leader said: "That's why I do not believe it is appropriate for social and employment legislation to be dealt with at the European level.
"It will be a top priority for the next Conservative government to restore social and employment legislation to national control."
Which is funny, because as Mr Barroso pointed out in a written answer to Nigel Farage last week,
Answer given by Mr Barroso
on behalf of the Commission
The Commission assumes that when the Honourable Member refers to the Social Chapter in the Treaties, he is referring to the social provisions contained in the articles 136 to 145 of the EC Treaty. These provisions are part of the whole Treaty and cannot be isolated. All Member States are bound by the Treaties they have signed and ratified and which have entered into force, including the social provisions they contain. Consequently, a withdrawal from these provisions by a Member State would require an amendment of the EC Treaty in accordance with Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union.
What this means of course is that for Dave to be able, as Prime Minster to withdraw from the no longer existent Social Chapter he would need unanimity from the other 27 EU Member states. Now given that one of them is called France, either Mr Cameron is stupid, or he is being dishonest with the British electorate, you choose.
What came next? Oh yes the Constitution,
Mr Cameron will say: "There are two ways that a British politician can speak in Europe. One way is to posture for the TV cameras back home and boast of your determination to stand up for the national interest. And then, later - inevitably - to agree to whatever proposal is on the table.
"This government's record on the EU Constitution is a study in how not to deal with the European Union. First, they were against the constitution. Then they were for it. Then they signed it. Then they refused a referendum on it. Then they agreed a referendum.
"Now they're briefing against a new constitution but they don't have the courage to oppose it in public. And they're in favour of a referendum but they don't really want one.
"They've had seven different positions. I've only ever had one. I'm against a European Constitution and I'm in favour of a referendum if one is ever proposed."
Now Dave as we hear is against posturing. So this promise for a referendum on the Constitution is a damned good thing would you not agree. Aha, but that is before you do any textual analysis on this.
"I'm against a European Constitution and I'm in favour of a referendum if one is ever proposed".
But if you have been following the news the one thing that will not be proposed is a Constitution. A Basic law maybe, or a mini-treaty, but not a constitution. The fact that they are the same thing is irrelevant. The Eurocrats have learnt one thing. I think it was Chirac who first complained about the name Constitution, thinking that if it hadn't been called that then the people of France would have supported it.
Now take a look at what Geoff Hoon, the apology for a Europe Minister has said recently on the same subject,
Europe Minister Geoff Hoon said the title "constitution" was partly to blame for the rejection of an EU treaty by French and Dutch voters in 2005, confirming Britain would prefer a simplified document.
"I think what happened in the referendums that took place in both France and the Netherlands was that there was a great deal of concentration on the word 'constitution' and perhaps not enough concentration on what the European Union actually does," Hoon told ITV1's The Sunday Edition.
"It seems to me much better, instead of talking about details of alleged constitutions, that we actually concentrate on what the European Union does for its citizens and make sure that that is the debate that we have," he added.
And more specifically on the Referendum pledge,
"We've made it clear that if the constitutional treaty comes back in its present form then there would be a referendum,"
As one national journalist who was there tiold me this afternoon,
"You couldn't slide paper between the Conservatives and the Government's position on this. It is obvious that Cameron feels he has beaten Euroscepticism in his own party".
the rest of the speech was bleating on about the, "3G Europe that focuses on globalisation, global warming, and global poverty".
G1 - Globalisation. The way to address the problems facing the countries of the European Union in reference to Globalisation, is not through half hearted schemes like the Lisbon Strategy. It is by reducing regulation, disposing of the mantra of the precautionary principle and fighting against the rampaging harmonisation of everything from taxes to the symbols on your pint glass. The EU is the problem, not the answer.
G2 - Global warming. Well even Mr Mirek Topolanek disagreed with you about that, and he is your only serious ally. Not only that but your proposals on this would vastly increase the power of the EU over our lives through the introduction of draconian green legislation and taxation. 20% carbon reduction in 10 years. Yeah right.
G - 3 Global Poverty. OK, scrap the CAP and allow the South, third world, developing world or whatever you want to call it to trade freely with the EU.
No can do, the French (amongst others) would, and have vetoed that suggestion. So again you are being disingenuous Dave.
So any of you Tories out there who thought that Dave could provide a bulwark against the encroaching mass that is the EU, please rethink your faith. You have had it dashed before, you will have it dashed again.