MPs 'tap dance on their eyelashes' for EU reform

Nearly half of UK firms surveyed backed a "looser" UK relationship with the EU. Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

They say it's not a shopping list but a "vision".

This morning, two days before the Prime Minister's much anticipated speech on the European Union, a group of Conservative MPs set out how they want Britain's relationship with Europe to change.

The MPs - many of them elected in the 2010 election - say the status quo is not an option and they have "tap danced on their eyelashes" to present a set of proposals which are possible and achievable.

The Fresh Start Project called for five treaty changes. They include:

  • An emergency brake for member states on financial services.
  • Repatriate social and employment law.
  • Further opt outs from policing and justice measures.
  • A new legal safeguard for the Single Market.
  • Stop the costly move of politicians and officials between Strasbourg and Brussels.

Responding to criticism that there are no treaty changes forthcoming in which their demands can be discussed, the Fresh Start MPs insist the EU will be forced to change rules as it attempts to save the Euro.

David Cameron was fired up on the topic of Europe at PMQs. Credit: PA Wire

They also say the treaty changes they have proposed will get support from the other 26 members of the EU. Although right now it is not clear how that will happen.

They did not set out any demands for a referendum - insisting the group has a variety of views about when it should be and how it should be framed.

They also deny they are boxing in David Cameron and setting out an ultimatum before his speech.