William Hague's instructions to the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, in which the British Tories sit, were decisive in securing a crucial positive vote on the European External Action Service (EEAS), EurActiv has learned.Was it really worth all this hassle, then leaving the EPP in the first place?
Without a decisive call by UK Foreign Minister William Hague to his fellow party members in the European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR), whose members were elected on an anti-federalist ticket, the EEAS would probably not have got off the ground. (see roll call by Vote Watch)
The Parliament voted last Thursday (8 July) on a decision to establish the European External Action Service, a new EU diplomatic corps that will be led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
To the surprise of many observers – including some ECR group members – the EEAS proposal was approved, in part thanks to the support of MEPs from the European Conservatives and Reformists group.
The Conservatives' grassroots is spitting feathers.