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General Press Cycle
Who do you believe? Ruth Murphy, or her boss? Ruth believes there will be a referendum on the Euro, Mr McCrimmon believes "being asked to give up the sovereignty of our currency is too much to ask for." Then we have the charming tale of Mr Dawson who said "the reality is that such a clear constraint on our ability to tailor a monetary policy to benefit working people should have never been allowed on the table in the first place." If the Shadow Foreign Secretary says one thing yet the Leader, Shadow Chancellor and Deputy Leader of her party say the precise opposite who should voters believe? How can anyone trust Labour on Europe when they can't even decide if they want a referendum or not?

The Labour Party has produced a shopping list of demands with only one concession, a concession that this Government has already made and has already yielded positive results for this country in terms of democracy in Europe, national sovereignty, and progress on the single market. Some of these demands are so broad that they only cover a loose desire to “reform CAP somehow”. British citizens are not helped by “reform x somehow”, what they benefit from is clear commitments like the protection of our national veto, the expansion of representative democracy, the cooperation of international police to deal with international crime, and the stability that this treaty would bring to our national economy. Labour have produced a shopping list but they haven’t provided a single way to pay for their demands which means having to hand back many of the concessions that we have already gained from the EU on sovereignty, on democracy, and on the Single Market.

Labour's plan for Europe is a non-starter, don't take my word for it, take the word of former Belgian PM and leader of the second largest bloc in the European Parliament Mr Leo Tindemans when he says "...she [Ruth] simply hasn't provided either the detail for her proposals or any counter-measures she'd be prepared to accept to get these British terms into the treaty. The correct way forward is to ratify the treaty and bank the gains we have made, then negotiate another treaty together once the dust has settled from Maastricht." Labour need to get serious on the issue of Europe rather than simply presenting a ransom note and an unspecified and implicit threat to veto the whole thing if they don't get their way.
Nicholas Eden
MP for Vauxhall (1974/1 - Present)
Labour
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Cut off ahead of final updates for BBS tonight/tomorrow

Any outstanding press events / GPC comments / live events will also be marked and placed here
Redgrave | A-Team
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To “bank” this treaty, as Brussels's man Mr Tindeman wants, robs us of our negotiating leverage. Once this treaty is on the books, our shackles are tightened. Even if Brussels allows a second round of negotiations to take place, all nations are starting from scratch to seek to loosen those shackles again. No, we must take action before allowing that to occur. So long as we have the power to block this treaty with our veto, we have the power to get the treaty changed to Britain's benefit. Other nations understand that. That's why the French and Danish people are each poised to do the same for their own national interest. Britain must stand up for itself in Brussels and secure a return to a Europe of nation states, not accelerate towards a centralising superstate.
Henry Carpenter | Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Havant (1964-present)

Member of the Monday Club

Biography | XP: 4 | Traits: Maverick
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It is right to say that we should protect against the erosion of national sovereignty - but it is equally important that we do not allow ourselves to become an effectively vassalised outcrop of our partners across the Atlantic. In working with our historic friends across Europe, we do so not in a state of hierarchy - but on equal ground, and on terms that we have the power to guide. There is no man or woman in any position of power in Brussles that wishes to see the creation of a United States of Europe, and there is no man or woman in Westminster that would ever allow one to emerge. The Maastricht treaty is not about leveraging our position for short term gains, made out of losses in Berlin, Paris and beyond, but about securing Britain's prosperity and position in the world for the long term.
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I am happy to welcome Euphemia Fournier-Macleod, MP for Fulham, and former Secretary of State for Education to the Liberal Democrats. Euphemia and I spoke together on the topic of a defection in good faith, after I said the other day to the Guardian that my hope was that she'd become a real and much needed champion for the causes she feels so passionate about. It takes real bravery to come out in our politics, especially during a frenzy from the papers - a frenzy during which it has been hard not to only admire and respect Euphemia. I hope that by welcoming her, we will give her a chance to be the champion, and defy the conventional politics of the media circus. As a lifelong Methodist and committed Christian, I was always brought up on the idea of second chances, of kindness, and of compassion. I have confidence that as a Liberal Democrat MP, Euphemia will make everything she can of that chance to do the right thing, and fight for a better country for all. After all, you'd have to be very silly to join us as a careerist pursuit!

I see it as a real matter of principle that your family life is just that - yours. I am a happily married man, and the Church is a large part of my life. The idea of the state, involving itself in my personal business is against the basic sensibilities of most British people, and that is a simple matter of principle. With the media circus surrounding Euphemia's family life, my respect and sympathy for her only grew - no, she does not have a conventional lifestyle, but that does not make it right that she hasn't been able to sleep for the flash of nosey press photographers' cameras. Even public figures have private lives, and I ask that people respect that. None of us are perfect. I would like to quote a passage from Ephesians that has always stuck with me, here - be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. That is certainly what I hope to do as leader of the party, and I am genuinely proud to provide a home for those who think similarly, such as Euphemia.
Alex Cardigan MP
Deputy Prime Minister (1992-present)
Leader of the Liberal Democrats (1990-present) | MP for Montgomery (1983-present)
Former BBC Broadcaster | Liberal Party | XP: 20 | Issue Champion | Safe Pair of Hands
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(09-12-2020, 09:34 PM)Redgrave Wrote: Cut off ahead of final updates for BBS tonight/tomorrow

Any outstanding press events / GPC comments / live events will also be marked and placed here
General GPC
For posts above my cut-off post, since the last round of marking, we see contributions primarily from Cardigan, Macmillan and Murphy. The round also sees commentary from Morrison, Fournier-Macleod and Croft, with the topics across all comments including Europe, NATO, foreign policy vision, education and the Fournier-Macleod scandal.

Of these comments, the ones that stuck out were Morrison’s withering putdown about Cardigan, Cardigan’s Pupil Premium pledge from a separate comment and the attack upon Dawson by Fournier-Macleod over NATO. 

Otherwise, the engagements about Europe have largely been seen by the media before and/or covered in other press cycles. 

1XP to Morrison, Fournier-Macleod and Cardigan

Live Events
Maastricht Live Question Time

This was a more difficult Question Time than usual, given its focus on one issue and a reduced panel of 3 rather than the usual 5. It featured the respective main spokesperson on Europe from each of the three parties and 

Macmillan’s command of detail on the deal he negotiated was clear for all to see whilst Murphy was true to form in attacking the Conservatives whilst proposing where she would be different. Cardigan appealed to the wider principle at stake and emphasised where his party would differ from the two main ones. In this, all three played to their characteristic strong traits. 

However, it’s hard to declare an overall winner because all three were also wounded at various points by attacks from the others. Murphy scored a decent attack on Macmillan and Cardigan by contrasting her background with their privilege whilst both men poked holes in Murphy’s Maastricht proposals. The three exchanged fire in this manner throughout and nobody really scored a knockout blow on any others that might set them apart as an overall winner of the debate. Therefore, this can be considered a decent draw for all concerned - no sterling victories but no Ben Swain meltdowns either.

1XP for Macmillan, Murphy and Cardigan

Press Conference - Euphemia Fournier-Macleod

It’s been quite a while since Westminster had a genuinely sensational political scandal (sorry Croft, love children are quite common…) and Euphemia Fournier-Macleod was at the centre of a week’s worth of intense press speculation and intrusion. 

The initial press conference where Fournier-Macleod announced she was coming out as bisexual drew considerable press attention and viewer ratings. Sexuality is one thing but Fournier-Macleod also had to contend with the details of her sexual activities, which was undoubtedly difficult for her. 

However, she did earn plaudits in some sympathetic corners (e.g. LGBT groups, some liberal-minded folk) for the open and honest way in which she answered questions. Even those disgusted by her activities were at least a little respectful in the way she confronted the story head-on rather than ducking and hiding. 

Fournier-Macleod did get into a little bother about her voting record under the Conservatives but she was saved from a prolonged attack on this one by her pledge to make up for her former record.

1XP awarded, as well as a Star Performer trait for a strong performance under an embarrassing revelation and considerable fire from the press.
Redgrave | A-Team
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Dylan Macmillan can talk up the success of his treaty, but his actions have confirmed what we already know: that Maastricht has been a huge opportunity that the Conservative Party is now scrambling to rectify, with Labour's policy as their blueprint. 

Not content with scuttling to his European establishment friends to get quotes talking Britain down in a way even principled Conservative backbenchers have found distasteful, Macmillan has tacitly shown that Labour's critiques of Maastricht were on the mark. Whether it's suddenly deciding we do need to renegotiate the Common Fisheries Policy after all or announcing spontaneously in the media that Europe's fiscal rules will be added to so the British economy, British businesses and British public services are not left at the mercy of the Germans, we have seen the Tories admit that their treaty has multiple flaws. Instead of locking ourselves into it and being held hostage by Macmillan's European friends who are keen to talk Britain down, we must go back to the drawing board and negotiate a better treaty for the United Kingdom.
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Labour's doing what the Conservatives won't, fighting hard for British fishermen. While the Government fails to take concrete action unfair common fisheries policies that disproportionately limit access to British fisheries to small-business fishermen, Labour is taking bold action, demanding that comprehensive changes to the CAP and Common Fisheries Policies to make Britain's fishing industry more accessable to our citizens. I commend Ms. Murphy on taking bold and much needed action to address this vital area of great import to British families all throughout our United Kingdom. We can not continue to wait for this Government to take action on this important issue while it misses opportunity after opportunity to make this right. I stand with Ms. Murphy and the Labour Party in demanding better treatment for British fishermen in the Maastricht treaty--and it's long overdue that the Government make this important stand for an important British industry that so many rely upon for their livelihood.
JOHN BROWN
Labour MP for The Wrekin (1987-Present)

Biography | 3 XP | Constituency Appeal | Issue Champion (The Pound)
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A recent Tory MP has said “ There is no man or woman in any position of power in Brussles that wishes to see the creation of a United States of Europe, and there is no man or woman in Westminster that would ever allow one to emerge” But they ignore that there have been several voices calling for a more centralissd Europe. But where Tories talk; Labour delivers. Labour is committed to establishing the ability to be a close Europe without being in a federal Europe. National sovereignty is not a bargaining chip. Therefore me must also negotiate for the recognition of state parliaments endowed with the power to scrutinize European law. We need to make sure that the British Parliament and the British people have a role of strength and sovereignty in the European Community. Anything less is a non starter. Anything less is merely handing  over the reigns to Brussels; and that isn’t what’s best for Britain. Neither are the Tories
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Many of the same people who presided over the most cruel, mean-spirited redistribution of wealth away from working people to the wealthy few in a generation have a very peculiar message on the terms their Maastricht Treaty. They say we must join a bankers' and bosses' racket that will result in immense cuts to our public services still reeling from a decade plus of Tory policies, that we must agree that our industry being sold off to City speculators with their fancy yachts and elaborate dinner parties must remain the permanent status quo, and that Brussels bureaucrats should have more of a say in determining our interests rates than the working people who experience the impact of them. And they cloak all of this in the language of progress and inevitability, arguing that the only path forward is signing on the dotted line, otherwise we are in danger of being "left out". Of course they'll never acknowledge the millions of working people they have deliberately left out over the past 13 years so that the same wealthy few who benefit from their treaty could accumulate more wealth.

Labour knows this is a bad faith choice designed to scare working people into accepting a fundamentally bad deal for them and a great deal for the privleged and powerful. We see things differently. A Labour Government we will fight tooth and claw for a treaty that uplifts the many, not one that aggrandizes the few. We will ensure that when we sit down to negotiate working people will have a seat at the table, fighting for fiscal rules that allow for robust public services and community investment, protecting the pound so that we can tailor a monetary policy that uplifts working people, and by preserving our ability to restore our industry that has so callously been sold off to ensure stable, good paying jobs that allow all to enjoy a full life.
Tommy Dawson
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 9 XP. 15 Marx Visits. Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Issue Champ (Econ Equality)
Deputy Leader (1990-1992), Shadow Chancellor (1990-1992), The Most Dangerous Man in Britain (1992)
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