X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Liam Fox: I’d vote to leave the EU

20 January 2013

12:11 PM

20 January 2013

12:11 PM

Not that it’s a great surprise, but Liam Fox has come out as an out-er – i.e., he’d vote to leave the European Union if it cannot be reformed. He has hinted at this before, writing that the idea of leaving the EU “holds no terror” for him but on Sunday Politics he explicitly told Andrew Neil that he’d prefer independence to the status quo. Once, that would made Fox a minority voice but now it’s the mainstream position – and one shared, I suspect, by at least a dozen of his Cabinet colleagues who have no yet gone on the record.

If you’re happy with Britain’s EU membership, you occupy a fringe position in British politics. And you want to keep the status quo, Fox said with a not-entirely-respectful chuckle, ‘vote Liberal Democrat’. And then:-

Andrew Neil: “If we don’t as a country get a major repatriation package and that – roughly – the status quo was roughly on offer, would you vote to leave?”

Liam Fox: “If the choice for me was between going in the current direction – which, let’s face it, is towards ever-closer and ultimately a greater and greater loss of British sovereignty, then personal preference would be to leave. I don’t want to have ever-closer union, I don’t want to be European first and British second.”

[Alt-Text]


It wouldn’t surprise me if, tomorrow, some newspapers write this up as the ‘Tory right’ putting pressure on David Cameron and going off on a tangent. But this isn’t about Tories, not any more. It’s about the basic fact that there’s only so long you can keep a democracy in a union against its will. The below (from an excellent Citi research note on ‘Brexit’) shows an opinion poll taken not by UKIP but by the European Commission – the largest poll in the world – asking people if they’d be better off out of the EU.

This shows that no one – not the sado-austerity suffering Greeks nor the technocrat-led Italians – wants out of the EU more than the Brits. This is not (take note, BBC) about a Tory leader trying to assuage a wing of his party – you simply can’t be in the game of democratic politics and ignore this. Ed Miliband should have a long, hard look at the above graph. Because a good chunk, perhaps most, of his target voters won’t like our current EU relationship any more than Liam Fox does.

 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close