Guido drew attention last month (Did the Tories Really Vote to Abolish EU Primacy?
) to Bill Cash’s claim that the Tories had made a fundamental change in policy on Europe – effectively the Tories voted in parliament for an amendment re-asserting the sovereignty of parliament to make British laws and tear up EU treaties. John Redwood chairs the Economic Competitiveness Policy Group and he told Fraser Nelson in the Sunday Business “The significance of this amendment is that, for the first time the opposition party stated we should be able to amend and choose which parts of European law to obey. In the past, we have done this by prior agreement and opt out”.
Bill Cash now claims it would be unthinkable to reverse the new policy a month later; “We don’t vote for something and say it does not change policy. That would take cynicism in politics to new levels”. Redwood agrees “I have not discussed this with Cameron’s people because I had no need to. My whip was telling me to vote for it.”
Guido said at the time he wasn’t convinced that most Tory MPs understood the significance of the amendment they had voted for, Bill Cash and John Redwood did, and they are going to try and make political capital out of it. Cameron will not be too chuffed to see Europe back on the agenda.