For David Cameron, it just wasn’t meant to be like this. The Prime Minister hand selected an obscure bureaucrat named Lord Hill of Oareford as his nominee for Britain’s European Commissioner. He watched as Hill was handed the job of overseeing financial services and the internal market – areas of regulation which are so vital to Britain.
But it all began to go wrong when Lord Hill was hauled back in front of a committee of MEP’s, for yet another grilling – his second in just over a week. At Get Britain Out, we have long argued that Britain has no influence whatsoever inside the European Union. When Lord Hill sold our country down the river – just to assure his position on the EU gravy train – we were proven right.
In his first meeting with MEPs, Hill seemed defensive. He repeatedly rejected attempts by the committee to portray the City of London as a burden on Europe. He accused MEP’s of “caricaturing his background” and underestimating the vital role of financial services in the British economy.
What a contrast! The second time around, Hill made sure he didn’t leave an inkling of doubt about where his loyalty lay.
You see, to be an unelected EU Commissioner, you must cast aside any allegiance to your nation. Instead, taking an oath to uphold the ‘European interest.’ For any Eurosceptic, watching this unelected official grovel before Brussels grandees was a sorry sight indeed.
To secure his new role, Hill had to shed any remaining illusion he would defend the City of London, ‘reform the EU’ or even oppose Brussels in any way. In fact, Hill had to repudiate the whole notion of British democracy – vowing that Britain would remain in the EU beyond any 2017 referendum.
In his, ‘big picture for 2019,’ Hill explained that, “…our Union, by the way, remains a family of 28 Member States – including the United Kingdom.”
The fact that Cameron’s personal lackey could be so arrogant – as to assume the British people would vote to stay in the EU – raises questions about the Prime Minister’s motivation to renegotiate Britain’s relationship. Unless Hill’s whole performance was an elaborate act, the Tory party has demonstrated its complete lack of sincerity on EU reform.
This appointment was David Cameron’s attempt to reassure the British people he understands our concerns about the EU. It has spectacularly backfired. “It is in Britain’s interest to be in the EU,” Hill said, confirming his Europhile credentials. What hope of renegotiation and repatriation of powers – when the Britain’s official representative takes such an unambiguous stance?
Events such as this, along with Tory proposals to leave the European Court of Human Rights, reflect an increasing sense of desperation in Westminster. Tory rhetoric – supplied for public consumption to combat the UKIP threat – is being mugged by the reality of a European elite that will never surrender power.
Lord Hill is one British commissioner amongst twenty-seven others. His appointment must be confirmed by the European Parliament, in which Britain is allocated a minority – less than 10% of the seats. Once his position is secure, he is required to act against Britain’s interests, promising instead to obey his Eurocrat masters.
Britain’s influence, if it ever existed in Europe, is now truly dead. We know the EU is in the interest of overpaid and unelected bureaucrats like Lord Hill. However, more and more the Great British Public realise EU membership is no good for them. This whole fiasco has proven renegotiation is little more than a pipe dream. The sooner we Get Britain Out the better.
Jack Wharton is a Research Assistant at Get Britain Out.