I was at a dinner last night with a number of political journalists and, among others, Roland Rudd, who is running the campaign to stay in Europe.
I asked Mr. Rudd the following question:
“It seems to me that one of the arguments to leave that resonates with the public is the idea that Europe is always telling us what to do, and that so much of our legislation originates in Brussels. It also seems to me that many pieces of European legislation would, had we not been a member of the EU, have been independently introduced here anyway. For example, it seems inconceivable that the climate change requirements set by Europe would not have been introduced by Ed Miliband when he was energy secretary, and Tony Blair opted in to the Social Chapter not because he had to but because it was the easiest way to implement something he wanted to do anyway. In short, political elites of left or right introduce things they want when they have power, and most of the things that Conservative Eurosceptics don’t like would have formed part of the legislative programme of a 13-year Labour government had we not been ‘in’. Why do you not make this point?”
He replied, “I don’t know. It’s a very good one. I am going to plagiarise it.”
I’m just posting it here now so that no-one tells me I’m after-timing when he does…