‘The time for promises on the EU is long over,’ says Andrew Lilico, ‘only deeds will do’. However the repatriation of powers from the EU that he refers to in his piece on the content partner site of the Guardian – ConservativeHome – is not possible due to the core terms of EU membership, making the Tory manifesto pledges nothing more than empty promises.
Yet in his indignant piece we read Lilico demanding the commencement of that mythical renegotiation. What we have here is either the politics of wishful thinking or the politics of dishonesty.
Is Lilico unwittingly demanding something that cannot be delivered, making him nothing more than a useful idiot? Or is his article part of a cynical effort to hold the line on behalf of the pro-EU Tory leadership, making his piece a deliberate attempt to deceive people? Perhaps we should be told if Mr Lilico still believes in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny given they are just as real as this fabled notion of renegotiation.
Make no mistake, anyone who calls for ‘renegotiation’ wants Britain to remain firmly inside the EU and remain governed from Brussels.
Despite their apparent protestations and tough talk they are in no way Eurosceptic. These are the people the Tory party is rushing to the barricades, to spew out hundreds of column inches of comment in the media and places like Con Home, to help in the deception effort and maintain the status quo.
Update: In the comments Richard North points us towards a piece on EU Referendum from 2008 about Lilico’s renegotiation fantasy. Nothing has changed since then, apart from the person who occupies Downing Street and the faces around the Cabinet table. Which is why his conclusion then remains true today:
What will not wash, however, is any pretence that “renegotiation” under the present terms is a practical proposition. The Conservatives must recognise that this is no longer an option, without first committing to withdraw from the EU.