Graham Brady has resigned from his role as Shadow European Minister. Statement. I'm sure he "loved" his role, but due to his decision of conscience we now have to find a new Conservative MP to take on the Europe brief. Here's your mission should you choose to accept. Old Etonians and people with a known view on Europe need not apply.
Mission Statement - Form a reform grouping of parties drawn from at least 5 states across the EU in anticipation of the 2009 Euro-elections.
Key Obstacles To Overcome -
1. You will get next to no assistance from your other partners in Czech or Bulgaria as you are the biggest member of the coalition, are not new to the EU and therefore are expected to provide leadership.
2. The current Conservative leadership of the MEP delegation will see Brady's departure as an opportunity to stay within the EPP and will be actively working against your mission. They will do their utmost to provoke disunity and prevent the new grouping develop any clarity of vision.
3. There is little opportunity to bring fresh blood into the 2009 delegation because of the MEP selection rules that have been approved by the party board.
4. You may not form coalitions with other parties that have a similar stance on Europe if they are pro-death penalty or opposed to equality for homosexuals. Neither of these issues has anything to do with Europe or EU reform, but nevertheless these rules must be followed. In other words, forget attempting to team up with Polish or Slovak right-wingers.
Rewards For Success & Penalties For Failure
Should you succeed in your mission, your leader will take credit for building this coalition, but will have made many sworn enemies along the way. Should you fail in your mission, you will take the blame and be dispatched to the back-benches. You will have made many sworn enemies along the way.
Congratulations to Mark Francois. He comes from the Treasury team and had a comprehensive education. I do not know his views on Europe. I saw him interviewed on 18 Doughty Street a few months back and was left with a favourable impression. Mark, let us know when you come to visit Prague.