Why does Michael Gove want to leave the EU?

John Rentoul

rome 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?

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  • Guest

    Two words: Romania Bulgaria. Ms May wound people on on the Andrew Marr show by saying she is powerless – all in the attempt to get more and more people eurosceptic.

  • Matt Tysoe

    Free movement of workers is why 49% of people want to leave the EU

  • topmutt

    Wake up and smell the 21st century Coffee Britain! You put your faith in Capitalism and now this selfsame system looks for new ways to feed! Capitalism has no nationality or loyalty to any but shareholders and the rich…..

    Capitalism is like a plague of locusts that moves to new areas to consume new natural resources, in the 21st century Asia and Africa are its new fodder.

    It will leave this continent bare and dying…..

    The equalisation of the globe has begun! Soon there will be shanty towns in London…

  • Pacificweather

    Toser, tooser, tesser, gosh darn what is that word Ms Mod3r4t0r?

  • Kippers

    What new ways of thinking can Mr Gove claim credit for?

  • greggf

    “What is it about our present relationship with the rest of the EU that Gove finds so unacceptable?”

    Who cares what Gove thinks?
    That question is for the voter to address.

  • emiller7

    Referendum……in or out is what the voters want!

  • Kippers

    Mr Gove’s idea of a new idea is rote-learning, it would seem! . I think that the answer to your question, Mr Rentoul, is that Gove isn’t really interested in new ideas. He certainly isn’t interested in rational, tested, monitored and evaluated new ideas.

  • James Jones

    “Soon there will be shanty towns in London…”
    A century of continuous improvement in the circumstances of the lower ranks (lets call them – not a term I like but it will have to do since I am to stupid to come up with anything better right now) is now in full retreat as the rich hoover up more and more of the pie once more.

    It will not end without changes in policy but the rich now control our government and institutions so there will be no change in policy. For example I think it no accident that immigration cannot be controlled and part of the reason it that it enriches the rich and causes fear (of unemployment) in the lower ranks which itself enriches the rich further by enabling the erosion of working pay and conditions.

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