What’s Wrong with the EU Diplomatic Service?

Fringe Meeting, Austin Court, Tuesday Oct 5th, 9:00 a.m.
Back in July we were voting in the Strasbourg Plenary on the proposal to set up the EEAS — the European External Action Service, or EU Diplomatic Service  (under the wise and guiding hand of Baroness Ashton).  And looking down the voting list, I and a couple of colleagues saw that we were whipped to vote in favour.
It had to be a mistake.  As a Party, we’ve always opposed the EEAS, and we opposed the Lisbon Treaty which provided its legal basis (or at least we opposed Lisbon until it was ratified).  But clearly we would not actually be voting in favour — would we?
I turned round to our Foreign Affairs Spokesman (at least we still regard EU issues as foreign, even if Brussels regards them as domestic), Charles Tannock MEP (London), two rows behind me, and I shouted “Hey Charles, there’s a mistake.  We’re down to vote YES on EEAS!”.  To which he replied “That’s right.  Instructions from London”.  Shocked, I immediately voted NO anyway, as did Nirj Deva and Dan Hannan.  And to their credit, several other colleagues, although caught by surprise, at least had the presence of mind to abstain.
So which way now for euro-sceptics in the Party (which is most of the membership)?  I have written to William Hague requesting an explanation of this volte face, but to date have received no reply.  There’s more to this — much more.  So come and hear Nirj and me talk about it at our fringe meeting in The Freedom Zone (co-sponsored with The Freedom Assn) at 9:00 a.m. (if you can make it that early!), in Austin Court, right alongside the main Conference venue (but outside the security zone).

More on The Freedom Zone here

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7 Responses to What’s Wrong with the EU Diplomatic Service?

  1. Sean O'Hare says:


    Why are you, Nirj Deva and Dan Hannan still in the Conservative party? You know it doesn’t make sense!

    • paula west says:

      In Roger’s case it is probably because his greedy, profiteering, wealthy land owning chums still have a few favours to ask.
      Ask not what you can do for the countryside, but what the countryside can do for you, eh Rog.

  2. Michael St George says:

    I’m surprised you turn to Tannock for clarification.

    His portentous posts on Centre Right (even to the extent of labelling himself “Charles Tannock MEP” – can you imagine Masden Pirie or Eamonn Butler feeling the need to do something similar?) are usually full of arguments why we should cave in to the EU monolith and be good subjects of our so-called EU partners.

    He even posted on the subject of the EEAS in late August, describing as “admirable” Hague’s proposal to second the FCO’s best and brightest to the EEAS – presumably so that they get comprehensively house-trained.

  3. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    This is Hague’s comment in Europe’s World about the EEAS…

    The EU’s new External Action Service is going to have considerable bearing on the future success of Europe’s global role. It is true that we in the Conservative Party were not persuaded of the case for the new EEAS as a service, but its existence is now a fact. Part of our critique of the Lisbon treaty was that rather than making the EU more streamlined and efficient, its new arrangement of the EU’s structures held the potential for inter-institutional confusion and discord. Nevertheless, we now look to the smoothest possible establishment of a service that must play a positive role for the EU and have the confidence of its member states. Britain’s Conservative government will work closely with the High Representative, whom we wish well.

    Here is the link to the full article, all in Hague’s own words..


    And for some obscure reason Hague has the reputation of being Eurosceptic!!

    How wrong can one be??!!

  4. Daniel1979 says:

    Which way indeed Roger?

    I think you already know the answer to where you and like minded Tories could go; but, respectfully, how much more is it going to take to set you on that journey?

  5. Jessica says:

    Hello Roger
    I hope you’ll be able to update those of us who can’t attend on Tues? 🙂

    Please do not be discouraged by such two faced behaviour. Keep going! I am very glad that you are representing the E Midlands in Brussels and the Conservative party!

    I can’t imagine the frustration of such work but thank you for it!

  6. Axel says:

    You wrote to William Hague ?
    Well good luck with that, because you should hear the speech that he gave at the Council for Foreign Relations last week. Watch him and listen to what he says, and then tell me that Hague is the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary of State for the United Kingdom. To me he sounds more like a shill for the New World Order of Green Fantasies & Carbon Taxation. See URL:


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