Eurosceptics bid to grab power for UK parliament

Julian Harris
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EIGHTY MPs are expected to attend a Eurosceptic meeting in Westminster tonight, as a wave of new activist politicians seeks to reshape the UK’s relationship with Europe.

The new forum – founded by Conservative MPs such as George Eustice, Chris Heaton-Harris and Andrea Leadsom -- wants parliament, not ministers, to appoint UK judges to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

It marks the latest move by a group of new Tory MPs, elected in 2010, promoting an agenda of “Eurorealism” – sceptic-leaning reforms that they believe stand a good chance of being adopted by the coalition government.

The division between the moderate band of MPs and more traditionally hard-line Eurosceptics was drawn prior to the summer recess, when Heaton-Harris tabled an amendment to dilute a motion opposing UK bailouts to EU member states.

Fellow Conservative MP Mark Reckless, who had led the motion, hit back: “If Members believe that we need to put a stop to these bail-outs and say, ‘Enough is enough, it is our money, we did not join your currency, and we want our money back’, then vote no to [Heaton-Harris’s] amendment,” he told MPs.