Ken Clarke and Peter Mandelson join forces to fight Eurosceptics

clarke and mandelsonWhen I first saw this in tomorrows Observer my first thoughts were that it was either an early Bilderberg meeting, or a story about some other special club they belong to, but it’s just a story about a new Euro group they’ve been told to set up.

Tory grandee Ken Clarke is joining forces with Labour peer Lord Mandelson in a historic cross-party bid to turn back the rising tide of Euroscepticism.

The two political heavyweights will share a platform to call for an abandonment of plans to disengage from the European project. Clarke, who attends cabinet as a minister without portfolio, is determined to fight back against the clamour for Britain to step back from the European Union or withdraw entirely.

Along with Liberal Democrat Lord Rennard, Clarke and Mandelson will spearhead a new organisation, the Centre for British Influence through Europe (CBIE), which will support a cross-party “patriotic fightback for British leadership in Europe”. The organisation will hold its launch event at the end of the month.

Peter Wilding, director of the CBIE, and a former head of media for the Conservative party in the European parliament, told the Observer: “Both Mandelson and Rennard are closely involved in our policy and campaign strategy. Having them with Ken Clarke on one platform, we think, says something in itself about the need for grown-up, consensual politics on Europe.

“We would argue – and many in the Tory party would agree – that disengagement from Europe is profoundly contrary to Britain’s national interests.”

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