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MPs head up new backbench revolt
6:00am Wednesday 15th January 2014 in News
TWO north Essex MPs are leading a backbench revolt against the Government.
Clacton Tory Douglas Carswell has criticised Chancellor George Osborne for repeating the mistakes of his Labour predecessor Gordon Brown.
Meanwhile, Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex, said his party is on track to lose 50 seats at the next General Election because of its stance on issues such as immigration.
He said the Tories should copy some policies adopted by Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage because grassroots Conservative supporters back them.
Experts say it is the switch of Tory voters to Ukip that could allow Labour to take key Tory seats.
Mr Carswell has described the coalition’s attempts to revive the country’s fortunes – using cheap credit and a housing boom – as “Osbrown ecomonic policy”. He said Mr Osborne could be sowing the seeds for another crash.
He said: “After all the excesses of Gordon Brown’s time at the Treasury, what we need is not another dose of cheap credit.
“We need a monetary policy that encourages us to produce more, and borrow less. Saving needs to go up and debts down.”
Eurosceptic Mr Jenkin drafted a letter, signed by 95 Tory MPs, calling for Parliament to be given a veto over all laws passed by Brussels.
Parliament has no automatic veto over EU laws, and the Prime Minister can only use the UK’s veto to head off new rules regarding sensitive issues, such as defence and the budget.
The letter to Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Each time you have stood up for British interests in Brussels, you have achieved a great deal.
We would urge you to make the idea of a national veto over current and future EU laws a reality.”
The letter said a veto would transform the UK’s negotiating position in the EU, but Foreign Secretary William Hague said that suggestion was unrealistic.
JENKIN: WE NEED TO TAKE EU POWER BACK
“The Prime Minister said he wants to limit the number of people who come to this country and claim benefits and we agree.
“This is part of the renegotiation of our relationship within the European Union.
“We need Parliament to take back the powers it gets in order to control borders and immigration.
“This was the recommendation by the group of MPs that form the European Scrutiny Committee.
“All of our European Law rests upon the European Communities Act 1972 and by amending that act, we can limit the application of european law when it is in our interests to do so. When we first joined the European Union, we used to have a veto.
“The European Union is far more powerful than is necessary for trade and co-operation between member states.”
Mr Jenkin admitted the party had lost votes to Ukip but said he believes the Conservatives could still win the next election He said: “Ukip keeps stealing Conservative policies – we should claim them as our own.
“Controlling immigration and taking powers back from the EU should be Conservative policies.”
CARSWELL: I FEAR AN ECONOMIC DISASTER
“Growth is back and unemployment is down, which is great news.
“I’m just concerned we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
“Using low interest rates and capping credit might have helped us through the immediate downturn, but it’s not going to make us rich.
“Lots of people want to get on the housing ladder and the Help to Buy scheme is helping people to do that.
“But what’s going to happen if someone who can only just afford a mortgage and the interest rates come up?
“House prices are rising because of Help to Buy.
“It’s great if it has helped someone to buy, but what about other people in Clacton who can’t afford a house and are now seeing house prices go up further.”
“I don’t want Osbrown economics to mean things are good for a year or two and then we’re back to square one.
“My job when Gordon Brown was chancellor was to give him a hard time over economics – and I will do the same with George Osborne.
“I’m not beholden to either, I’m doing what is right for Clacton people.”
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