Sir David Davis’s speech reported by national newspapers


As reported in The Telegraph;
“The leading Tory eurosceptic MP, David Davis, declared that the British people must be given the chance to vote for a major repatriation of powers from Brussels by early 2014.

The government needs a positive referendum result to have a “mandate” that can convince European leaders to negotiate meaningfully about Britain’s future, he said.

It is possible to strike a “new deal” with Europe but ministers “will need to show more imagination, tenacity and courage” than in the past, he said.

Mr Davis, the former shadow home secretary, intervened three days before the Prime Minister departs for Brussels for some of the toughest European negotiations he has faced since taking office.

The Prime Minister, under pressure from Labour as well as his own party over Europe, used a speech to business leaders to declare that the EU must stop “picking the pockets” of the public and limit its budget.

Mr Davis, a former Europe minister and Conservative leadership candidate, is regarded as a leading voice of the eurosceptics within the party, whom he claims now represent more than 90 per cent of Tory members.

In a speech in Westminster, hosted by, Mr Davis proposed a two-stage referendum. The first would ask whether the public wanted to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU and the second would ask whether any resulting new deal was good enough or whether Britain should quit Europe.

If the EU refuses to restore Parliament’s sovereignty over a host of policy areas, including defence, justice, immigration, and social policy, then the government would hold a second “in-out” referendum on whether the UK should leave, he said.

“We have reached a turning point in our history,” he said. “A decision has to be made. It is critical that this decision is made now. The pressure for an in-out referendum is building.”

Levels of support for an in-out referendum fluctuate “but the demand for a say in our future is constant”.

Mr Davis warned bluntly that the Prime Minister would fail to trim the ambitions of European leaders for an increase in the EU budget in his negotiations in Brussels later this week.”

As reported in The Daily Mail;
“David Cameron has made a series of phone calls to other EU leaders ahead of crunch talks this week aimed at preventing Brussels budget growing even larger.

The Prime Minister is under increasing pressure to secure a freeze in spending from Tory rebels, the Labour party and the voting public.

But he faces an uphill struggle after it emerged EU officials have begun plotting to secure a budget deal without Britain.

The Prime Minister today insisted Brussels had to stop ‘picking the pockets’ of the public amid reports that EU officials and diplomats are in talks on the legal and financial viability of agreeing a new seven-year budget amongst the 26 member states excluding the UK.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister ‘has been hitting the phones this weekend, speaking to several European partners as we continue to work constructively to find a deal on the EU’s multi-annual budgetary cycle’.

His spokesman said Mr Cameron had spoken to his counterparts in France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and Poland.

Speaking at the CBI conference in London today, Mr Cameron said challenging the EU’s spending made him a ‘good European’.

‘I make absolutely no apologies for standing up strongly for Britain in Europe on some of our priorities,’ the PM said.

He said in the UK pay and benefits had been frozen and budgets cut, and Europe had to do the same.
‘I don’t think it makes you a bad European because you want a tough budget settlement in Europe. I think it makes you a good European. I think I have got the people of Europe on my side in arguing that we should stop picking their pockets and spending more and more money through the EU budget, particularly when so many parts of the European budget are not well spent.’

The Prime Minister has pledged to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Brussels and then put that deal to the public. He is expected to use a speech before Christmas to say that would involve a referendum after the next election.

But Mr Davis warned that voters would not believe him because he reneged on a ‘cast iron’ pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

‘Nobody believes it and why should they?’ he told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show. ‘The British public have been promised a referendum by the three major parties, and every single one has not delivered. The public feel they’ve been lied to – they won’t believe any more promises on referendums.’

Mr Davis demanded two referendums: One to win public backing for a shopping list of areas where Britain wants to renegotiate, the other to either approve the deal that is thrashed out or to leave the EU.
And he insisted Mr Cameron pass legislation before the next election to ‘put this in law’.

Mr Davis, said: ‘There’s going to be a referendum, whoever’s in power in the next five years, because the British public will demand it – they won’t put up with it anymore.’

He added today that he was prepared to bet ‘a large sum of money’ on the UK being out of the EU within a decade if the government was unable to secure major changes on the relationship with Brussels.

In a speech at London’s St Stephen’s Club, the former home secretary called for all justice and home powers to be repatriated permanently along with control over immigration and employment legislation.

The Prime Minister is under fire on several fronts over Europe last night, facing waves of criticism from Tory rebels, Ed Miliband and voters over his approach to Brussels.

Mr Davis, a leading right-winger, warned that the public believes Mr Cameron has lied to them about the prospects of a referendum.

He spoke out as a new poll showed that the public overwhelmingly wants him to take a much tougher line with Brussels.”

As reported in The Guardian;
“David Davis, said that “radical, out-of-Europe options” were becoming more attractive.

Davis said the prospect of British withdrawal should concentrate the minds of EU partners under his plans for two referendums – one to agree a negotiating mandate in which Britain would opt out of key EU laws, and a second to approve a deal negotiated with the rest of the EU.

The prime minister did not dwell in detail on his own plans to repatriate powers from the EU after 2015. In his remarks on the EU during his speech to the CBI annual conference in London, Cameron instead focused on this week’s budget negotiations in which Britain will be demanding an inflation freeze.

He said: “I don’t think it makes you a bad European because you want a tough budget settlement in Europe. I think it makes you a good European.

“I think I have got the people of Europe on my side in arguing that we should stop picking their pockets and spending more and more money through the EU budget, particularly when so many parts of the European budget are not well spent. One of the interesting things about the proposals so far in this debate about the EU budget is how little attention there has been on the central costs of the EU, the commission budget, what people get paid.”

But Davis showed that many Tory MPs, who voted in favour of a below-inflation cut in the budget, have their eyes on an immediate recasting of Britain’s relations with the EU as he set out his plans for a double referendum.

The former Europe minister said: “One of my colleagues described this idea to me as a Ukip-killer. That is not the purpose of the strategy, but it will give the Conservative party a proper platform to fight that European election [in 2014]. To make this work we have also to be clear what our position would be if the European Union did not deliver a package that appealed to the British people.”

Davis added: “Paradoxically, the fact that the radical, out-of-Europe options are growing more attractive as the years pass, means that the deal that we can strike with Europe is likely to be much stronger. Tony Blair recently called for a “grand bargain” to save the eurozone. But as ever his words were not backed by serious plans. Now is the time for big action, not just big rhetoric.”