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Disappointing deal: David Cameron (seen here with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker) failed to deliver on his Bloomberg speech (© Yves Herman / AP/Press Association Images)

I’m a reformer. I’m in politics to change things for the better rather than accept a status quo which suits the establishment.

This Government is a reforming administration. The Prime Minister is personally leading work to integrate excluded minorities into our national life and promoting important reforms to social work, prisons and mental health. The Chancellor’s reforms have helped incentivise growth and supported job creation, and are helping the poorest through the introduction of a national living wage.

But, despite the Prime Minister’s best efforts, there’s one area where we have failed to bring reform. The European Union.

The scale of the problem with the EU was powerfully laid out by the Prime Minister in his Bloomberg Speech three years ago. It’s worth quoting from at length to appreciate the force and urgency — as well as the clarity — of his critique:

“Taken as a whole, Europe’s share of world output is projected to fall by almost a third in the next two decades. This is the competitiveness challenge — and much of our weakness in meeting it is self-inflicted.

“Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that’s been visited on our businesses.

“These problems have been around too long. And the progress in dealing with them, far too slow.

“As Chancellor Merkel has said — if Europe today accounts for just over 7 per cent of the world’s population, produces around 25 per cent of global GDP and has to finance 50 per cent of global social spending, then it’s obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life.

“The biggest danger to the European Union comes not from those who advocate change, but from those who denounce new thinking as heresy. In its long history Europe has experience of heretics who turned out to have a point.”

David Cameron’s words were heart-felt and impassioned. He pressed for reasonable reforms. But Europe didn’t change.

We must be clear. The Prime Minister’s deal does nothing to change the way the EU works, it doesn’t shift its direction of travel and it does nothing to address its enormous economic problems.

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October 5th, 2016
2:10 PM
That was a great speech from Theresa May today.She could well have 17.4 million Brexit voters supporting her now . She was superb. The Feminist Times will be back online in November.

September 28th, 2016
6:09 PM
If the Labour Party is turning into the Jehovah`s Witnesses pf UK politics and only capable of talking to the 16 million Remainers it`s time to ring the funeral director. Theresa May is right not to give a running commentary on the Brexit negotiations. The Tories will lose too if they can`t communicate with the 17 million Brexit voters. Bring Back Hanging ( feminist Julie Burchill`s advice), finance Women`s Refuges,prosecute the FGM child abusers, finance local councils,end austerity politics - there`s nothing to stop her being a great PM .

September 26th, 2016
1:09 AM
I`m glad Theresa May is PM. There`s a good article in the Spectator by Isabel Hardman about her and Harriet Harman. Harman is being the anti-feminist and "no sister". The islamification of Europe will necessitate the israelification of borders and internal security. What Israel is doing today other countries will be doing tomorrow (as the Israeli PM stated) Brexit has certainly set Europe an example of cultural and political leadership.

July 2nd, 2016
11:07 AM
Michael Gove has been chosen by God. Fiver says he makes it to Prime Minister. Even if he`s been chosen by Satan.

June 29th, 2016
11:06 AM
The Brexit divide wasn`t between young and old,but Ponces and Non-Ponces (Julie Burhil`s masterpiece journalism now at the Spectator)

June 16th, 2016
10:06 AM
That`s The Spectator, Dennis Skinner, Kate Hoey , Julie Burchill and John Cleese voting Leave. Me too. The Dutch are also talking about leaving the EU.It`s the great (only?) political and cultural idea of the 21st century.

Alexander Tomsky
June 6th, 2016
9:06 PM
Why would Brexit set in motion such terrible chain of events? The growth of political extremism is the consequence of the no less extremest Mandarins' oligarchical power and their building of a supranational Utopia. Britain's departure will embolden or give succour to a few people but the eventual clash is inevitable. The Europe of states could not be forced to become an Empire by any means. The "Jacobins" can't prevail because people attached to their homelands, the only home they know and the time has not come to have greater affection for an international organization. It is unfortunate there is no reasonable party for reform. It will take a long time and anything might happen.

Malcolm McLean
May 30th, 2016
1:05 AM
The EU elite is incompetent and driving Europe into the dust both economically and socially with their policies. But I fear your second scenario - Brexit sets in motion a chain of events that includes a Greek default, financial and economic crisis, and the growth of political extremism. Also, I'm very reluctant to vote against the Prime Minister. I wish this referendum had never been called. Whichever way the vote goes, the country will be worse off it after it than before it.

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