Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, in their own words


With it reported that up to 210 Tory MPs favour voting leave in the EU referendum, we thought it would be good to offer the views of just a selection, on why they support Brexit.

James Cleverly MP, Braintree:

The case for a new relationship with European and global economies is overwhelming. The EU too often hinders Britain’s ability to trade across the globe and pursues discriminatory policies that hold back developing nations. We need new relationships and, without that fundamental change in the EU, the only way that will be possible is for the UK to leave.”

Royston Smith MP, Southampton Itchen :

“It is in everyone’s interest to secure the very best outcome for the British people and I believe that will be best achieved in withdrawing from the overbearing EU structures while remaining good neighbours to our European friends.”

Paul Scully MP, Sutton and Cheam :

“We need to stop the drive to ever-closer union and remove the ability of EU citizens to claim out of work benefits immediately on arriving in the UK.

“The EU is an outdated, unaccountable body.

“I would rather focus our energy and our substantial financial contribution to building new relationships.

“This doesn’t mean pulling up the drawbridge – trade, international security and environmental issues don’t stop at the Channel.

“I want to be able to continue trading with the EU but also be able to develop closer trading links with countries predicted to dominate the global economy in the coming decades like India.”

Scott Mann MP, North Cornwall:

“A vote to remain, I believe, is riskier than a vote to leave. When we were led into the European Union it was sold to the public as a free trade deal. It has subsequently become an integrated, federalised and complex beast which the United Kingdom has little control over. There are those in the EU who wish to see far greater integration, I believe this would be against our national interests. Britain is a proud nation, a nation that wishes to make its own choices and we will stand or fall based on decisions we make, not decisions made by others.”

Liam Fox MP, North Somerset :

“Britain’s laws should be made by those who are accountable to the British people, and by no others. It is time for us to recover our birthright. That is why I’ll be campaigning to leave.”

Steve Baker MP, Wycombe:

 ‘I am for free trade, peace and an international outlook but I don’t think the EU is the right route to these ideals. Although the EU seeks to suppress economic nationalism, in fact the EU has raised it to the continental scale.’

Sir Gerald Howarth MP, Aldershot :

“We don’t want a United States of Europe, we want decisions made by British politicians in our sovereign Parliament.”

Bernard Jenkin MP, Harwich and North Essex:

“We voted to join a “Common Market”. We had a veto over any new European laws. It worked very well. We should get back to that. If the EU won’t agree, then we will have to leave the existing treaties, and negotiate a new deal from outside. And the people should have the final say in a referendum.”

David Jones MP, Clwyd West:

“My view is that the parts of the country such as Wales that do benefit from the EU as they do at the moment would actually be not only just as well off but could potentially be even better off as could the country as a whole”

Julian Lewis MP, New Forest East :

The danger to the peace of Europe is if you change our system of sovereign democratic states to an undemocratic system.

“And indeed I do fear for the peace and stability of Europe. Because if ever they do manage to create this superstate I don’t believe they will be able to create it with the consent of the people concerned and I believe that it will necessarily be an undemocratic entity – and the moment you have undemocratic entities you have a danger of conflict.”

Owen Paterson MP, North Shropshire:

“It is the European Union that is leaving us, there is not doubt about it.” “Those of us not in the Euro will be given associate status,” “That is the worst position we could find ourselves in. We would still be tied to the EU yet would have no say at all. It is completely hopeless. We would be left on the outside.”

John Redwood MP, Wokingham:

“If the UK is foolish enough to vote stay it needs to understand what it is staying in. It is an emerging state called the EU, with the full range of state powers. It is a wild ride to political Union.”

Adam Afriyie MP, Windsor:

“The EU, as it stands, is broken. It’s too protectionist, bureaucratic and undemocratic. It needs to allow its member states more freedom to trade as they choose, a democratic process of holding decision-makers to account and assurances that Britain will not be dragged down the rabbit hole of further integration.”

John Baron MP, Basildon and Billericay:

“So far, Brussels’ ‘solutions’ to the EU’s economic woes have been to implement ‘more Europe’ – greater integration and increased regulation, particularly in the area of financial services. In his negotiations, it is imperative the Prime Minister obtains concrete opt-outs from any measures which will hobble the City and reduce our competitive advantage in financial services.”

Steve Double MP, St Austell and Newquay:

“My number one area of concern is the EU’s ‘ever closer union’ objective. Unless we can opt out of that, I would vote to end our membership. The key issue is Parliamentary sovereignty – who decides how and where our country is being run.”

Nigel Evans MP, Ribble Valley:

“Most people see the huge benefits of remaining within the European single market but are concerned that this country is being constrained by more and more legislation coming from Brussels which does not reflect the view and wishes of the British people.”

Henry Smith MP, Crawley:

“The UK’s relationship with the European Union is untenable as it stands”


Thomas is director of Conservatives for Liberty. Follow him on Twitter: @Thomas_Stringer

Follow @con4lib on Twitter

Like Conservatives for Liberty on Facebook

The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty