Why does Michael Gove want to leave the EU?
To go back to one of the most significant political moments of this year, the un-denied report by the Mail on Sunday on 14 October that Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, wants to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union under threat of our leaving if the Government cannot secure the terms he wants, I have a question.
What is it about our present relationship with the rest of the EU that Gove finds so unacceptable? Because I was struck by this passage in his speech to Politeia on 23 October, in which he extravagantly praised Andrew Adonis and repeated his devotion to The Master, Tony Blair, as a way of trying to embarrass Ed Miliband:
The Labour leader’s … heart lies with those opposed to opening up our society and our economy to new people, new influences, new ways of working. We can see Ed inch towards a restrictionist approach on the labour market in sympathy with union concerns. We also know, in line with other trade union thinking, that he wants to place restrictions on how companies operate, which will inhibit innovation and prevent us enjoying lower prices and better services. And as I know, all too well, that he is totally opposed to an open society approach to reforming education. On every single major area of reform in education on which we are embarked, the Labour Party is opposed. I believe – as Tony Blair did but Ed Miliband does not – that we must embrace openness in education because the changing nature of our world makes it impossible to ignore the improvements to education being pioneered and extended in other nations.
He does not spell out what he means, but he implies that he is not in favour of “restrictionist” immigration policy. So the free movement of workers – enshrined in the Treaty of Rome (pictured) – is not a reason he wants to leave the EU.
As a fellow Eurosceptic Blairite, I have to ask him: Why does he want to leave?Tagged in: euroscepticism, free movement of labour, free movement of workers, michael gove
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