Cameron must face down Ukip

After a “five-hour running procedural shambles”, the government finally won its bid to sign up again to 35 EU justice measures, including the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), says The Guardian.

As part of EU renegotiations, the UK opted out of 133 European police and criminal justice measures last year, but the government wants to re-adopt 35 of them by 1 December, including the EAW, which is strongly opposed by some on the grounds that it erodes the authority of British courts.

However, the commons motion mentioned just 11 directives, not including the EAW, and opponents, led by Ukip’s former treasurer Stuart Wheeler and the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, are arguing that the failure to hold an explicit – and promised – vote over the EAW raises doubts over its legality, says Rowena Mason in the same paper.

Labour is now forcing a non-binding vote next Wednesday, a day before the Rochester and Strood by-election at which Ukip is expected to defeat the Tories.

“I’m just plain lost” over the Conservative position on Europe, says Andrew Lilico in The Daily Telegraph. The stance used to be that we wanted to stay in the single market but not as part of a bloc that shared a currency, criminal law, policing, defence, foreign policy or an elected presidency.

Now the Tories apparently want to “commit to common criminal law and policing”, but to “exit the single market by abandoning the principle of the free movement of labour”.

David Cameron’s position hasn’t been helped by the rise of Ukip and the looming general election, which is forcing him to the side of “euro-hostility”, says Chris Blackhurst in The Independent. If it’s not over the EU’s “holy tenet” of the free movement of people, he’s picking a fight over our £1.7bn bill, which is, in reality, “peanuts”.

The fact is that the majority of the population, big business and David Cameron himself want to remain in the EU, but with necessary reforms. He should face down Ukip and adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards the EU.

Business leaders asked Cameron to tone down his “rhetoric” on the EU at the CBI’s annual conference this week, says Andrew Grice in The Independent.

Cameron hit back at his critics, saying that the recent “extraordinary period” of investment gave the lie to fears that his promised referendum was damaging business confidence, and criticising Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg for saying they would keep Britain in the EU “come what may”.

Renegotiation needs to happen, he said. “We can then hold that referendum and give people a proper choice.”

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