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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "David T C Davies MP"

Philip Davies: Better Off Out – the campaign that shattered Westminster’s taboo about leaving the EU

Philip Davies is MP for Shipley.

Watching newly-elected MPs make their maiden speeches in the House of Commons always makes me think back to the one I made in the House of Commons shortly after I was first elected at the 2005 General Election.

Maiden speeches give new MPs the chance to set their stall out regarding what they wish to achieve in their time in Parliament and I was determined to do just that. In my maiden speech, in June 2005, I said “I want…..a country that has a sovereign Parliament, not one run by a corrupt and inefficient institution called the European Union, which we subsidise to the tune of billions of pounds a year”.

Despite the then Chief Whip, David Maclean, making it clear to me that I must not persist in speaking publicly to leave the EU, I accepted an invitation from The Freedom Association to speak at their fringe meeting at the 2005 Conservative Party conference on why we should leave.

The fact that the Yorkshire Post reported me at that meeting as the first MP to publicly say explicitly that we should leave the EU shows how out of touch the House of Commons had become on the issue. There were many MPs who would say we needed to get powers back from the EU, but none were prepared to say we should leave altogether. As with so many issues, the voters were way ahead of the politicians.

Following the success of the fringe meeting, and determined to keep the momentum going, The Freedom Association – superbly led by Simon Richards and Mark Wallace (now of this parish) – and I decided to launch the Better Off Out campaign in April 2006.

In the meantime, David Cameron had become Leader of the Conservative Party. I had supported David Davis, but during the contest I had asked David Cameron if he would allow MPs from the back benches to campaign to leave the EU. He had agreed, and in doing so gave the green light for (albeit unambitious) MPs to come out of the woodwork on this issue. This was more significant than has hitherto been reported.

Better Off Out was therefore officially launched in a House of Commons Committee Room in April 2006. MPs had been invited, as had the media. I chaired the meeting, and fully expected to be the only MP there. I feared the campaign would be instantly ridiculed, but we had to start somewhere.

To my amazement and delight, eight other MPs actually attended the launch, namely Sir Nicholas and Ann Winterton, Philip Hollobone, Douglas Carswell, David TC Davies, Bob Spink, Christopher Chope, and the much missed Eric Forth (it was in fact the last time I saw Eric before he tragically died).

It was a watershed moment. The DUP MPs joined Better Off Out shortly afterwards. The fact that MPs were now openly speaking about leaving the EU meant that this was now a mainstream opinion to hold. We had made leaving the EU a respectable opinion to hold in political circles.

The name ‘Better Off Out’ was also extremely important and meaningful. The traditional reasons for leaving the EU were to regain sovereignty, restore democratic accountability and – ever increasingly – to control immigration. I agreed with all of these arguments, but even back then it was clear to me that those arguments would never be enough alone to ensure we left.

We had to win the economic argument. Even if people agreed with the arguments on sovereignty, democracy and immigration, it was always my view that people would still support remaining in the EU if they felt their job and their standard of living depended on it.

Hence Better Off Out. Indeed, I never felt that the economic argument was our weakest, I always felt it was our strongest card, and one that we needed to play over and over again.

The argument I never failed to give wherever I went, which still applies today, was that the EU is a declining part of the world’s economy. Every year it becomes a smaller proportion of the global economy and yet we were paying more and more to be members of it. The growth in the world’s economy is going to come from areas like Asia, Africa and South America. That is therefore where we need to focus our trade agreements and we can only do that outside of the EU. We built our wealth in this country by being global traders and I always made the point that we should be ashamed of ourselves that we were paying around £10 billion a year (net) to prop up an inward-facing, backward-looking protection racket designed to prop up inefficient European businesses and French farmers.

I also repeated over and over again that we had a huge trade deficit (currently around £90 billion a year) and that we didn’t need to pay £10 billion a year for a huge trade deficit, you could have that for nothing. I believe these simple to understand, common sense economic messages were crucial to ensuring we won the referendum.

To be honest, if someone had said to me when we launched Better Off Out that within 10 years we would hold and win an In/Out EU referendum and that within 14 years we would be out of the EU, I would have said they were mad. But it has happened and nobody is more delighted than me.

It is for others to decide the importance of Better Off Out in achieving this great success – and clearly people like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage (as well as others) have played a much more crucial role in bringing it about – but I am immensely proud of the small part I have played in this long running and successful campaign to leave the EU.

When I made that maiden speech I never believed I would still be in Parliament to vote for it to come to fruition.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Who is going to be the next Welsh Secretary?

It’s election week, and with the Party increasingly confident Boris Johnson will return to Downing Street thoughts are turning to the anticipated post-election reshuffle.

Just this morning, the Times reported speculation that Michael Gove could be given a leading role in international negotiations at the head of a fused ‘super-department’ combining the departments for Exiting the EU and International Trade.

But even if the Prime Minister weren’t minded to make significant changes, he’ll have to portfolios to fill. Nicky Morgan’s departure from Parliament will leave the Culture position vacant, and Alun Cairns’ resignation at the start of this campaign has done the same for the Welsh brief.

Any attempt at haruspication over the first position is a bit pointless, given the volume of possible candidates. But since most prime ministers like to appoint MPs for Welsh constituencies to Cairns’ old post if at all possible, that produces a much smaller list of possible successors.

Should Johnson confine himself to Welsh Conservative MPs who are currently in the Commons, he really has a literal handful of choices. As I noted in our battleground profile for Wales, the Party entered the election holding just seven seats and two of those incumbents, Glyn Davies and Guto Bebb, have stepped down.

Assuming that the Prime Minister doesn’t just re-appoint Cairns – and even were he minded to bring him back at some point it is almost certainly far too soon – he therefore has four options. These are Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire), Simon Hart (Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire), David TC Davies (Monmouth), and David Jones (Clwyd West).

There are several reasons to think that Crabb and Hart, who represent neighbouring constituencies in the western tip of the Principality, might not be top of Johnson’s list, the most relevant of which is that they were both Remainers during the 2016 referendum. It would be in keeping with his elevation of Alister Jack at the expense of David Mundell for the Prime Minister to choose a leaver.

Which would narrow his list to just two – and an interesting geographical choice.

TC Davies has never been a minister, and has historically been perceived as a bit of a ‘wild man’. But he’s not only an ardent Leaver but has also been Chair of the Welsh Select Committee since 2010, so will know the brief. Moreover, he represents a constituency in South Wales and has reportedly been softening his once trenchant opposition to devolution, which might help.

Jones’ profile has several similarities: both were returned to Parliament in 2005, both previously served in the Welsh Assembly, both speak Welsh, both very pro-Brexit. But there are a couple of notable differences. First, Jones has served in government before, and held the Welsh post from 2012 to 2014. Second, he represents a seat in North Wales and his ongoing devoscepticism reflects a quite strong current of Tory feeling in that part of the country.

This attitudinal split on devolution could be important, not just because the Welsh Secretary will have to deal with both the Conservative Assembly group and the Welsh Government but also because it will colour their analysis of why the Party appears, a few days from polling day, set to once again fall short of expectations in Wales.

A year ago I wrote that the Welsh Tories need to break out of their rut, and suggested that they had failed to capitalise on recent political realignments the way their Scottish counterparts had done. If the sun does rise on Friday to find the air has gone out of their election campaign again, the question of how to tackle this challenge will be more pressing than ever – and the Prime Minister’s choice will shape the answer.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Which MP is backing which candidate. Our named estimates. Johnson 112, Hunt 44, Gove 34, Javid 21, Stewart 14

The arms race to name supporters has begun, and on balance we’ve decided to join it.

We have been compiling our own list for some time both of declared and undeclared supporters of possible contenders.

Some names will doubtless come off one column and be added to another…only perhaps later to revert to the original.

At any rate, here we go: as we wrote recently, what strikes us so far is how fluid the Parliamentary stage of the contest is presently set to be.

– – –

Boris Johnson – 112

  • Nigel Adams
  • Stuart Andrew
  • Steve Baker
  • Steve Barclay
  • Paul Beresford

 

  • Jake Berry
  • Peter Bone
  • Andrew Bowie NEW
  • Ben Bradley
  • Andrew Bridgen

 

  • James Brokenshire
  • Robert Buckland
  • Conor Burns
  • Alun Cairns
  • Bill Cash

 

  • Rehman Chisti NEW
  • Therese Coffey
  • Damian Collins
  • Colin Clark
  • Simon Clarke

 

  • James Cleverly
  • Geoffrey Cox
  • Tracey Crouch NEW
  • Leo Docherty
  • Nadine Dorries

 

  • Oliver Dowden
  • Richard Drax
  • James Duddridge
  • Iain Duncan Smith
  • Michael Ellis

 

  • Charlie Elphicke
  • Nigel Evans
  • David Evennett
  • Michael Fallon
  • Mark Francois

 

  • Lucy Frazer
  • Marcus Fysh
  • Zac Goldsmith
  • Chris Grayling
  • Andrew Griffiths

 

  • Matt Hancock
  • Simon Hart
  • James Heappey
  • Chris Heaton-Harris
  • Ranil Jayawardena

 

  • Bernard Jenkin
  • Andrea Jenkyns NEW
  • Robert Jenrick
  • Caroline Johnson
  • Jo Johnson

 

  • David Jones
  • Daniel Kawczynski
  • Greg Knight
  • Kwasi Kwarteng
  • Mark Lancaster

 

  • Andrea Leadsom
  • Andrew Lewer
  • Julian Lewis
  • Ian Liddell-Grainger NEW
  • Jack Lopresti

 

  • Craig Mackinlay
  • Stephen McPartland
  • Esther McVey
  • Ann Main
  • Kit Malthouse

 

  • Scott Mann
  • Paul Maynard NEW
  • Johnny Mercer
  • Amanda Milling
  • Andrew Mitchell

 

  • Damian Moore
  • Anne Marie Morris NEW
  • Sheryll Murray
  • Andrew Murrison
  • Matthew Offord

 

  • Priti Patel
  • Owen Paterson
  • Mike Penning
  • Andrew Percy
  • Mark Pritchard

 

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • John Redwood
  • Lawrence Robertson
  • Douglas Ross
  • Andrew Rossindell

 

  • Lee Rowley
  • Bob Seely NEW
  • Grant Shapps
  • Alok Sharma
  • Chloe Smith

 

  • Henry Smith
  • Andrew Stephenson
  • Bob Stewart
  • Graham Stuart
  • Julian Sturdy

 

  • Rishi Sunak
  • Desmond Swayne
  • Ross Thomson
  • Justin Tomlinson
  • Craig Tracey

 

  • David Tredinnick
  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan
  • Liz Truss
  • Martin Vickers NEW
  • Theresa Villiers

 

  • Ben Wallace
  • David Warburton
  • Matt Warman
  • Heather Wheeler NEW
  • John Whittingdale

 

  • Gavin Williamson

Jeremy Hunt – 44

  • Harriet Baldwin
  • Peter Bottomley
  • Steve Brine
  • Alistair Burt
  • James Cartlidge

 

  • Jo Churchill
  • Greg Clark
  • Glyn Davies
  • Alan Duncan
  • Caroline Dinenage NEW

 

  • Jonathan Djonogly NEW
  • Philip Dunne
  • Mark Field
  • Vicky Ford
  • Liam Fox

 

  • Mike Freer
  • Mark Garnier
  • Nus Ghani
  • Robert Goodwill
  • Roger Gale

 

  • Richard Graham
  • Greg Hands
  • Oliver Heald
  • Nick Herbert
  • John Howell

 

  • Andrew Jones
  • John Lamont
  • Alan Mak
  • Patrick McLoughlin
  • Huw Merriman

 

  • Penny Mordaunt
  • David Morris
  • James Morris
  • Will Quince
  • Mark Pawsey

 

  • John Penrose
  • Mark Prisk
  • Amber Rudd
  • Royston Smith
  • Alec Shelbrooke

 

  • Keith Simpson
  • Iain Stewart
  • Helen Whateley

Michael Gove – 34

  • Peter Aldous
  • Richard Bacon
  • Kemi Badenoch
  • Karen Bradley
  • Jack Brereton

 

  • Alberto Costa
  • David Duguid
  • George Eustice
  • Michael Fabricant
  • Nick Gibb

 

  • Luke Graham
  • Bill Grant
  • Kirstene Hair
  • John Hayes
  • Trudy Harrison

 

  • Damian Hinds
  • Kevin Hollinrake
  • Stephen Kerr
  • Edward Leigh
  • Oliver Letwin

 

  • Rachel Maclean
  • Mark Menzies
  • Anne Milton
  • Nicky Morgan
  • David Mundell

 

  • Bob Neill
  • Guy Opperman
  • Neil Parish
  • Claire Perry
  • John Stevenson

 

  • Mel Stride
  • Tom Tugendhat
  • Ed Vaizey

Sajid Javid – 22

  • Lucy Allan
  • Edward Argar
  • Victoria Atkins
  • Fiona Bruce
  • Stephen Crabb

 

  • Mims Davies
  • Kevin Foster
  • John Glen
  • Robert Halfon
  • Luke Hall

 

  • Simon Hoare
  • Caroline Nokes
  • Chris Philp
  • Mary Robinson
  • Andrew Selous

 

  • Chris Skidmore
  • Gary Streeter
  • Derek Thomas
  • Robin Walker
  • Mike Wood

 

  • Jeremy Wright

Rory Stewart – 14

  • Richard Benyon
  • Ken Clarke
  • Tobias Ellwood
  • David Gauke
  • Dominic Grieve

 

  • Margot James
  • Gillian Keegan
  • David Lidington
  • Paul Masterton
  • Victoria Prentis

 

  • Antoinette Sandbach
  • Caroline Spelman
  • Nicholas Soames

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com