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Explain the Divisions That Exist Within the Conservative Party over Ideas and Policies (10)

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Explain the divisions that exist within the conservative party over ideas and policies (10)

One of the most notable divisions that exists within the Conservative party today is over the European Union. Many Conservative MPs and party members do not like the UK’s involvement with the EU to the extent that they wish to remove the UK from it altogether, or at least decrease Britain’s involvement. The main arguments against staying in the EU include the high cost of membership and worries about the volume of immigration into the UK from EU countries, more recently Romania and Bulgaria. There are, however, a significant number of Conservative MPs who wish to stay within the EU, with arguments such as around 50% of our trade is within the EU, and the single market brings between £30bn and £90bn a year into the UK economy, which is far more than the cost of membership. These differing opinions within the party have caused splits and divisions within the party.
Another division which has occurred within the Conservative party is the argument over gay marriage. There is a clear difference of opinion within the party as some believe that homosexual couples should have the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples, whilst some disagree. David Cameron, leader of the party, has publicly voiced his support for gay marriage, however many Conservative MPs, for example David Burrowes, disagree with his opinion. The clash within the party came as traditionalists (opposed to same sex marriage) failed in a series of bids to limit the scope of the bill. An amendment to allow registrars to opt out of conducting same sex marriages was defeated by 340 to 150 (a majority of 190.) Another amendment which aimed to protect the religious beliefs of a person who believes marriage can take place only between a man and a woman was defeated by 349 to 148, a majority of 201.
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