Tory ministers want new deal with Europe

A LEADING backbench MP yesterday told City A.M. that a majority of Conservative cabinet ministers would like to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU.

Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, made the comments following a report that education secretary Michael Gove wants Britain to threaten to leave the European Union if it does not claw back powers from Brussels.

The Mail on Sunday said that Gove, who is a close ally of the Prime Minister, wants to issue an anti-EU ultimatum: “Give us back our sovereignty or we will walk out”.

The timing of the story – as MPs return to parliament – suggests the government is ready to take a more aggressive stance against Europe.

Carswell said Gove’s comments will have “overwhelming support” in the party: “Not just on the backbenches – he’s probably got most of the Conservative cabinet ministers on side.”

“Until now the fundamental failure in Britain’s negotiating strategy has been the will to sign up to membership, come what may,” Carswell added.