In The Times today, there is a piece quoting Nicholas Soames (£), saying that pro-EU Tories “only had themselves to blame” for letting the Party bow to the demands of Eurosceptics within. He also said the Tories must ‘wage war on Eurosceptics’, though he seems to forget that there are Eurosceptics pursuing war from within and outside the party. Nicholas Soames, the MP for Mid Sussex, is simply another member of a dying breed of Conservative Europhiles who is now looking forward to a cushy seat in the House of Lords, the type of person who would be perfectly happy to let the EU steamroll over Britain.
He has also had a less than virtuous political career since becoming an MP in 1983. During the Maastricht rebellion, when he was Food minister, he allegedly threatened to close down a meat processing plant owned by Christopher Gill who had the tenacity to rebel against John Major’s government. In 2005 he was named as the most sexist MP by the book, Women in Parliament.
Clearly, the man is probably not the most pleasant of individuals, but he is a committed Europhile. He says, according to the Times, that “having won the European argument, the pro-Europeans just let it collapse”. If the Europhiles won any arguments, that would be news to me. Thankfully, attitudes like that just does not stick with the Great British Public anymore. Andrew Alexander said in his column that following the party line should be a way of winning a seat and not losing one, and the Tories who are still fond of Europe will be losing plenty when the next General Election comes.
Simon Turner, Research Assistant