Is the “UK Settlement” an EU Fresh Start?

Is the “UK Settlement” an EU Fresh Start?


Statement from supporters of the Fresh Start Project

It is widely accepted that the EU requires fundamental reform. Such reform is necessary, not only to realign the EU project with UK interests and public opinion, but also to show that it can adapt to new times and work better for Europe as a whole.

This is why we initiated the Fresh Start Project in 2011. The aim of the project was to come up with ideas to change the EU for the better, to make it more cost effective, democratic, accountable and open; a club that concentrates on delivering real benefits for its citizens.

The result of this work was set out in our Green Paper “Options for Change”, and was designed to contribute to and inform a renegotiation that would be in the interests of all EU members.

The Prime Minister has now come to the end of a hard won renegotiation. It has taken place during a period of great change within Europe, and his own negotiating position was backed up by the certainty of a UK referendum. This gave the best possible chance for change in Europe we are likely to see for a generation.

So was the EU able to rise to the occasion and show that it is capable of fundamental reform? Now that the ink is dry on the UK’s settlement we have studied the text to see if it fulfils the hopes for reform we had when we began the project.

Regrettably, the changes on offer fall far short of the opportunities that we identified, with the vast majority of key underperforming EU policy areas unaddressed.

We began the Fresh Start Project with open minds as to the UK’s membership and with a clear preference for reform over exit. It is still the case that some colleagues who took part in Fresh Start believe the UK is better off remaining inside the EU. However, faced with a choice between an uncertain future in an unreformed EU and the alternative, which is to leave, to trade freely and to set our own laws, we have concluded that it is in the UK’s long term interests to leave.

Andrea Leadsom MP

George Eustice MP

Chris Heaton Harris MP

Priti Patel MP

Dominic Raab MP

Tim Loughton MP

Penny Mordaunt MP

Kwasi Kwarteng MP

Anne‐Marie Morris MP

Jason McCartney MP

Mike Wood MP

Karl McCartney MP

Heather Wheeler MP

Andrew Bingham MP

Nigel Adams MP

Conor Burns MP

Greg Knight MP

James Wharton MP


See the attached file below for complete document (including their rationale)


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Fresh Start Manifesto Delivery 106.83 KB