John Cryer and the EU: always read the small print

A correspondent writes as follows:

‘No doubt so as to further underline his left-wing credentials, John Cryer has always presented himself as anti-EU, and a good example of this occurs in the latest of his (very infrequent) parliamentary reports:

Report from John Cryer

Dear Member,

The big news has been David Cameron’s much-vaunted renegotiation of the treaties of the EU. In fact, he secured very little and I suspect that fact will become increasingly clear in the coming months.

He started out by claiming that his plan was for a profound and fundamental renegotiation, returning powers to Westminster and changing the founding principle of freedom of movement. No powers have been returned and freedom of movement remains sacrosanct.

There have been minor changes to benefits for EU migrants (all the evidence shows that hardly any migrants from accession countries come to Britain for benefits). There are also promises to pursue those who arrange bogus marriages (already illegal, as I know from my own caseload) and it is apparently set in stone that we will not join the Euro, something that has never really been a possibility.

You may know that I have never been a great admirer of the EU. I regard it as a wealthy and exclusive club set up largely to defend the interests of big banks and business. Repeated rulings by the ECJ and many directives emphasise this.

The debate at the GC meeting on Friday will be about EU membership.

As the chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party I have been appointed to a small group, led by Ian Lavery MP, to look at rights at work and to design a charter of rights. There will be further such meetings in the future.

This is crucial, as the government tries to destroy employees’ rights via the Trade Union Bill and through myriad other parliamentary measures”.

However, those who know him well often find he has a much more flexible (some might say opportunist) approach, and that his primary and overriding aim appears to be to remain an MP at all costs, especially with boundary changes on the horizon. His report would lead you to believe that he is in favour of leaving the EU (though he is careful not to actually state this). However, a quick check through the list maintained by the political website Guido Fawkes, and widely reported on by John Rentoul of the Independent (linked to below), finds him listed as an ‘In’, a position that may well be connected to the desire to keep his sponsors, the pro-EU UNITE union, onside.

So as ever with John Cryer, always check the small print….’.

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