News from Grassroots conservatives
29 May 2014
Get tough on the EU: David Cameron is urged by Tory activists to act on Brussels
DAVID Cameron last night faced fresh calls from Tory activists to get tough with Brussels to stop the party “haemorrhaging voters”.
An open letter says that the Tory party’s outlook for the general election looks bleak.
An open letter from more than 70 Conservative members and former members warned that support was draining away because of anger over “uncontrolled immigration” from European Union countries.
It urged the Prime Minister to make clear his demands for bringing back powers from Brussels and signal his determination to campaign for the UK to quit the EU if his negotiation proposals are rejected.
The letter, organised by campaign group Grassroots Conservatives after Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party topped the polls in last week’s European elections, was released last night.
Senior Tories dismissed the letter as the work of malcontents, many of whom have quit the party.
In the letter, Grassroots Conservatives chairman Robert Woollard described the poll results as “disastrous and avoidable”.
You are well aware that people believe that Ukip will be the only party that is serious about revisiting the relationship with Europe
The warning to David Cameron
He said: “The European election results prove that the Conservative Party is haemorrhaging voters to Ukip because, to many people, the leadership does not offer sufficient clarity on the future of Britain’s EU membership.
"The outlook for the 2015 general election for our party is currently unnecessarily bleak.”
Mr Woollard called on Mr Cameron to toughen up his negotiating position ahead of his promised in-or-out EU referendum by 2017.
The letter warned Mr Cameron: “You are well aware that people believe that Ukip will be the only party that is serious about revisiting the relationship with Europe.
"This will continue to divide the Conservative vote unless we are seen to be as serious about this issue.”
The 77 signatories of the letter include Tory MP Bob Blackman.
He declined to comment last night.
Meanwhile, Britain has rejected a demand from the European Commission for an extra £500million in funding.
The EU executive is seeking an additional £3.8billion from national governments this year to pay for rising costs, including supporting Ukraine.
A Treasury spokesman said last night: “At a time when countries across Europe continue to take difficult decisions to deal with deficits, the European Commission should not be asking Europe’s taxpayers for yet more money.”