Eurosceptic message on the Essex doorstep is pretty compelling, says Braintree MP.

James Cleverly, Braintree MP

James Cleverly, Braintree MP - Credit: Archant

People in Essex are uncomfortable with Europe as it stands, Braintree MP James Cleverly has said citing a “compelling” and “consistent” message from the doorstep. The newly elected politician, who is a member of the Conservatives for Britain campaign group, said it was designed to put pressure on other European leaders to take renegotiation seriously, not lead UK negotiator David Cameron.

The eurosceptic MP said his position during the General Election campaign had always been to leave Europe if the relationship with Europe remained as it was.

He would not specify red lines for him, saying: “You cannot send someone off to negotiate on your behalf and then try and control that negotiation from a distance with a megaphone. He is the one going to be eyeballing other European leaders.

“If there are people trying to dictate his position at every step. Those negotiations are going to be impossible. I want them to be successful,” he added.

Mr Cleverly said he had been approached by the co-chairman of the new group, and a meeting had been held.

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“People within this group have got a fairly broad range of views. It’s fair to say we are all broadly eurosceptic. But we are not coming up with a collective view about what deal would or would not be right for Britain. There are people who they might feel more conformable with a tougher position than I would. Each person can make the decision.” “We want to give the PM all the ammunition he needs to come up with a successful negotiation. Going into those negotiations with the other EU leaders knowing if they do not act pragmatically there will be a very well organised out campaign, strengthens David Cameron’s position, because they know the deal they strike has got to be a good one for Britain.

“What we are trying to do is put pressure on the other leaders to recognise David Cameron means business.”

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He said the message on the European Union membership in the constituency was “pretty consistent” and “pretty compelling”.

“People are really really uncomfortable with Europe as it stands on a whole load of issues. Immigration is part of that, being tied up with European legislation is part of that. The message I got back on the doorstep was pretty compelling. Of course people are judging Europe as it is now. My view is that as it is now, I am not comfortable with it at all. But I am willing to see what it might look like in the future.”

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