The EU after Lisbon

The mood in the UK towards the EU is currently one of angry resignation. We are angry because Lisbon has been such a dishonest and anti democratic process. The British people by an overwhelming majority opposed the transfer of more powers to the EU institutions under the Lisbon treaty. They were promised a referendum so they could formally express their view. Two of the three main political parties making this promise in the 2005 General Election ratted on it once elected, so the public will was thwarted. We are currently resigned, because Parliament ratified the Treaty against our will and we know in the short term there is nothing we can do about it.

We were thrilled when France and Holland voted the constitution down. What part of “No” don’t they understand, we bellowed across the Channel? Why can’t they get this democratic thing? If you ask the public you accept their verdict. Sometimes the people know best.

We were elated again when the Irish voted down the revised constitution or “Lisbon treaty” as it had to be called, to pretend something had changed to appease French and Dutch opinion. We were livid when they were made to vote again. Some of us think the Irish should have another referendum, so at least it can be the best of three.

It would be wrong to think UK resignation will grow into acceptance and acceptance into enthusiasm for a more integrated Europe. On the contrary, each anti democratic power grab creates more outspoken Eurosceptics. Each refusal to give us our say creates more cynicism and disagreement with what will happen next. The UK is fed up of being taken for granted, and being expected to pay the bills for an oversized bureaucracy it does not love and often does not want.

I appreciate how differently things look from the continent, and how differently people think who receive the hospitality and whisperings of presumed power in the corridors of Brussels. The EU enthusiasts think the UK will do what it always has done. It will grumble about the new powers for the EU. It will try a little to disrupt them. Then it will acquiesce, and one day will accept them fully. The Euro enthusiasts think that the UK will go in the same direction as the centralising states, only at a slower pace with more huffing and puffing.

That is not what I hear on the doorsteps of England. The sudden propulsion of the withdrawal party, UKIP, to second place in the European elections last time showed how the anti EU mood is firming. The Conservatives romped home in first place on a very Eurosceptic prospectus. English people see how the EU project is taking a crow bar to break up the United Kingdom. The EU’s policy of encouraging separate identity and government in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast is helping destroy the Union of the four countries.

The EU wish to break England up into a series of Euro regions is perhaps the most hated EU policy of all, as England wishes to have its own national identity as the other three parts of the UK press for more independence and more use of their national symbols. The fact that the EU will not welcome and encourage England is part of the cause of stronger English Euroscepticism. There is now a growing band of English nationalists as a result of the EU’s playing around with our identity. These English nationalists would like Scotland, Ireland and Wales to split from England. Their ideal would be that Scotland Wales and Ireland retain the EU membership so England can be set free of both the Union of the UK and more importantly the Union of the EU. Then England could follow her historic and natural instincts of being a free trading low taxed country dealing with the five continents and oceans of the world, building alliances within her English speaking global family.

What do I think will happen as a result of the Lisbon treaty? I fear more of the same. The EU seems determined to be an area of low growth, falling population and too much government. Every time there are choices to be made the EU chooses more regulation over more freedom, more public spending and taxing over less, more regional and Euro government over less, slower growth and a smaller private sector over faster growth and a larger private sector. The EU nations are weighed down by huge public debts, by politicians and quango heads who do not understand markets , people who do not realise what a battle it is to be competitive in this modern world. As the working age population on the continent plunges and as the rule books lengthens each month, there is a blind belief that the growing power and success of India and China can simply be ignored. The EU looks in on itself, growing older and relatively poorer gently whilst congratulating itself in an orgy of self importance.

We are told that now the EU has its own Foreign Minister it can strut the world stage and have more power and influence. I don’t think so. Without credible military forces that will be difficult. Look at the reluctance to either put serious forces into Afghanistan or to face up to the US and tell them we need to get out. The EU has had no influence on the war in Afghanistan and clearly does not intend to have any. Or take the recent climate change conference, where “soft power” might have been deployed. The only deal to come out of the conference comprised the US, China, India South Africa and the USA reaching an agreement. The EU was not even in the meeting that called the shots. The other countries simply had to respond to the US-Chinese initiative.

I don’t think the EU is serious about wanting to create a successful economy, open to talent, enterprise and innovation. I think it is a government construct which one day will presume too far and sow the seeds of its own undoing. The EU is playing around with strong emotions of identity and belonging. It has crossed the UK all too often, refusing to understand the UK’s wish to be part of a common market and be friends with EU countries but not to be part of a common government, a single currency and all the rest. If the EU wants to stabilise its north western frontier, it would be well advised to sit down and negotiate a new deal with the UK which England can accept. That deal would mean the UK opting out not just of the single currency, but also of the more obtrusive elements of the single government now emerging. We do not want a common army, a common defence policy or for that matter a common fishery or a common criminal justice policy. If the EU wants the UK to go along with closer integration for the core countries, the core needs to understand the UK’s wish for some more freedom and flexibility to follow our genius, which has always been different from the continental one.

(This is an article I was asked to produce for www.e-IR.info which they agreed I can reproduce here)

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

51 Comments

  1. Ken Adams
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Shame the Conservative Party has the wrong leadership, one that instead of recognising and plugging into the helpless resignation the British public feel is only adding to it by refusing to offer a way out of this mess.

    The only way we can do something about this is to vote against any party whose leadership accepts the present situation. Unfortunately for me that means voting against a good honest and EUsceptic sitting Conservative MP.

  2. Grumpy Optimist
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Well Done John. There it is in a nutshell. I would just say this – that I believe there is a larg minority in the UK and even England, who are more open to the ending of nationalistic identities or who just don't care about Lisbon and all that – just seeing it as games played by the political class.
    What do other readers think?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      This article, actually, put into words exactly what I myself think.
      England – Reformation, the Armada, Louis XIV and Marlborough, Napoleon and Wellington, the wars against the Kaiser and Hitler – has, up to now, always successfully fought for independence against European hegemony.
      Like the Japanese who are in no way Chinese, we are not really European at all.
      The younger generation of English people, who are an increasingly vanishing minority, know nothing about this, of course. History is not really taught in Comprehensive Schools. So I accept that there is a large majority of younger people who just don't care. Look at the readers of this blog, though.

      • Grumpy Optimist
        Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Mike, I remember reading The Offshore islanders by Paul Johnson (I think this was around a million years ago) where he argued that when we turned toward Europe we suffered and when we turned outward we prospered. I have just reordered it through Amazon. It is still available at a knock down price and I think that you would enjoy it. Though it might cause to weep a little also.

  3. R.Rowan
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood and thats why my vote will go to UKIP it’s been on loan to them since the European elections last year and will stay there until Cameron listens to the wishes of the people.

  4. David B
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    A very interesting peace. I fear we the eu has started down a path which will lead to it's eventual break up and we can only hope this will happen peacefully. The history of Europe suggests there may be trouble ahead.

    For now the uk's battle over Lisbon will take a back seat, possibly with some big concessions to keep it thee, as the euro countries fight to keep Ireland and Greece inside the currency. They may only be the first as Italy spain, etc may also find external and internal pressures to leave the euro mount

  5. Donna W
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    This is what Cameron should be saying. The fact that he isn't is why I will be voting UKIP in the General Election.

  6. HK
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    JR: "The sudden propulsion of the withdrawal party, UKIP, to third place in the European elections last time…"

    UKIP came second. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/archive/electio...

  7. David
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    With David Cameron going pro EU to get elected where do you stand now?

    Still a Tory loyalist?

  8. FRANCIS S CODJOE
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The Prince of Scotland Yard warned Britain would not be saved in Europe. He wrote about EU- how it would develop, its character and future prospects even before the French founding fathers of EU – Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman – were born in 1888 and 1886. Whatever he wrote about EU has came to pass. The Lisbon Treaty has paved the way for his prediction of the future of Europe to be fulfilled. WE must educate the British people with the unknown truth about EU to take our country back from selfish politicians. There is no point in compalining if we are not prepared to force politicians to withdraw Britain from the EU. Britain and Ireland are unique in EU. Unfortunately they have ignored the warning from the British Secret Service agent. Scepticism is not a permanet resting place for the serious thinker. Eurosceptics must decide whether they will continue voting for the 3 main parties or abandon them.

    We will regret if we remain on board Jean Monnet's luxurious Titanic which was doomed before its contruction began on 9 May 1950

  9. John Evans
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. Now tell that to David Cameron. 🙂

  10. Bill
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    John,

    You capture my frustrations and anger with the EU very succinctly.

    What happens next?

    I read you and I read Vicky Ford and Daniel Hannan, you all express a message I like, as does UKIP. Individually, you have my respect, but for me, voting conservative is a wasted vote, because the party is not delivering that message with the same degree of clarity.

    Convince me otherwise!

  11. Jupiter
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Why does this article appear on your RSS feed but not on your website?

  12. Eric Goodyer
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    John – why are you still a memeber of the Tory Party then? Your EU manifesto last June was the most Europhile I have ever read, committing your MEPs to combat climate change with our European Allies, and exapanding the EU to include The Ukraine, Georgia, the rest of the Balkans & Turkey. The truth is that the British people simply no longer believe what your Party says on the EU anymore. You should do the decent thing and resign and join UKIP.

    p.s. Happy New Year from one of the majority of British Citizens who want to stay in the EU (last You Gov poll was 57% to stay in against 35% who want to leave – time you accepted the will of majority and the ballot box)

    • Ken Adams
      Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Mr Goodyear, you do not know the will of the people of this country, because the Labour Government reneged on an election promise, so please do not presume to lecture anyone about respecting the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box.

    • David Price
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yougov does not represent the majority opinion of British Citizens, it's a market research outfit that relies on invited on-line respondants. Saying it represents the majority will of the voting public is disengenuous to say the least, only a true ballot would do that.

      So, tell me again why the Labour government refused to honour its promis of a referendum?

  13. Dorothy Wilson
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    And we do not want to pay a massive increase in our contribution unless the other side of that bargain is delivered – ie that the CAP is reformed. Of course, there is a great deal more but that surely would be a good starting point.

    • Collis Gretton
      Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Oh I'm sure we could afford a massive increase if we did want. Say a third.

      That would take our net contribution from 15p a day for each individual to 20p. Half the cost of a first class stamp at 41p

      • Atlas shrugged
        Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        If your really think the cost of the EU is so little perhaps you could pay my contribution for me. I have a wife and five children therefore by even your silly calculations that would be £511 pa.

        However the cost of the effective removal of all of my democratic rights will I fear end up over my remaining lifetime become far more then anything measured in monitory terms. I have relatives who laid down their lives to protect their national democratic rights. Others that died in concentration camps, who it go's without saying, failed to do so.

        If I wished to give away £511 pa ( by further impoverishing my own family,) I would not choose to give it to an organization that uses the cash to create more problems that cost far more then the original sum. I feel sure that if you were being forced to pay for something you personally believed to be immoral if not also potentially genocidal, even £1 pa would be far too much.

        • Collis Gretton
          Posted January 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Pay your contribution? Share and share alike. The community way

      • Dorothy Wilson
        Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        John [aka Collis] Gretton has always had some trouble with his understanding of the cost of the EU. He mistakes the cost of the annual membership fee [ie our contribution to the budget] with the total cost.

        • Collis Gretton
          Posted January 14, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Squirm as much as you like Dorothy. Re the Lisbon Treaty the sceptics have lost again and the European project progresses.

          On total costs read the article on the trumpeter site. It's prominent on the Welcome page. Simply click.

        • Dorothy Wilson
          Posted January 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Don't be so silly Mr Gretton [Collis aka John]. There is no way I am squirming.

          As far as the Lisbon Treaty is concerned, the sceptics may have won the battle because of the treachery of Labour and the LibDems and specifically Gordon Brown. However, it is more than likely that – and before too long – the blinkered supporters of ever-closer integration will find that Lisbon was the straw that broke the camels back.

          Additionally, the extent to which the German Constitutional Court criticised the EU's approach to democracy have obviously passed you by.

          I would also, once again, remind you of the fate of the Roman Empire. That collapsed when it became corrupt at the centre and over-expanded at the edges.

          As for looking at the cost of the EU on the trumpeters site, well I have better things to do. As that site seems to be run by you and Peter Valentine the figures are likely to be based on your usual selective approach.

          I prefer to look at the figures from a more rational, analyical and realistic viewpoint.

    • Citizen Responsible
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Tony Blair gave away Britain’s rebate with Gordon Brown’s backing, even though he had previously said he would veto any attempt to scrap the rebate. He talked vaguely about CAP reform being part of the deal. As the promised CAP reform has not materialised, why did he give our rebate away?

  14. David
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Actually, UKIP came second, not third.

  15. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Yes, as with Hannan and a couple of your fellow MPs, one does wonder why you are still a Conservative MP.

    Not just on the EU question but because you have a leader who is not a true Conservative and in fact is more left-of-centre (and I believe who leans more to the left than the centre) and with whom you have nothing in common.

    Perhaps you would answer me this – do you not have more in common with the form of Conservatism as laid out in Hannan and Carswells 'The Plan'?

    Please, please do not answer no because the cynic in me would then have to question your motives and principles.

    Reply: I reviewed their book at the time on this site and set out my view on their proposals.

  16. oliver
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood speaking as a Welshman I can add that the formation of a growing Welsh identity has nothing to do with Europe for us but a Government who wrecked our industries and left us to rot for 20 years in de-industrialsed decay without any viable means to regenerate those communites. We all know right or left that British policitcs has been dominated by the policital agendas of middle England for the last 30 years. Having second rate secretary of states who failed to sing our anthym didn't exactly help matters!

    Wales has been socialist and that has never been respected. Consequently, our natural industries of coal, steel and manufacturing have been abandoned by both Government's as we became ever reliant on a redundant gambling sector in the City of London. That is the politics of England – not Wales or Scotland and we are all paying the price.

  17. eric goodyer
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Ken Adams feigned belief in Democracy is touching – unlike him I am prepared to accept the contents of ballot box. Last June we had elections to the EU Parliament, when 80% of the votes were cast for Parties who want Britain to stay in the EU.

    Debate over, the majority won, and the anti EU minority were shown up for what they are, and unrepresentative but very vocal minority.

    The EU has delivered decades of peace of prosperity to a continent that has only known millenia of warfare – it is an incredibly effective organisation that means that my son will never have to fight in another European war.

    The Conservative Party are the architects of British Membership of the EU, and will never take us out. It is time that John Redwood quit the Tory Party and allowed the majority of Conservatives to get on with enjoying the benefits of the EU . But he will never will because he knows (as does Roger Helmer) that standing up for British withdrawal at the ballot box would mean defeat. UKIP secured barely 20% of the vote last June, David Cameron published the most Europhile manifesto I have ever read, and we are stronger standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies.

    The EU, NATO, the EHRC and Council of Europe are the pillars of our freedom and democracy that we hold so dear. The anti Europe brigade would have us isolated and detached, not just from our allies but from reality. Thankfully great Europeans like Ken Clarke have the ear of David Cameron, not people like John Redwood

    • David Price
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      But there has been no ballot, the Labour government reneged on the promised referendum. Where there have been votes the majority have voted no.

      If you were so sure that the majority want to hand over all authority to the EU why did you not demand a referendum? Clearly, pro-EU peddlers are not really prepared to accept the majority position and are scared witless to let the UK population have a vote.

      So much for the EU being the beacon of democracy.

    • Atlas shrugged
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      The EU, NATO, the EHRC and Council of Europe are the pillars of our freedom and democracy that we hold so dear.

      HA HA, surly you don't actually believe that nonsense, or do you?

      How on Gods earth ( please note GODS EARTH, not the exclusive property of the extremely small groups of totally unaccountable puppets who decide all European policies) can the EU safe guard democracy, when the EU is not at all democratic, and does not even pretend to be so??????????

      Exactly the same can and should be said regarding NATO and all other internationalist political organizations.

      Democracy, if it works at all, only works at a national or far more local level then that. To my knowledge the only democratic country with a constitution up to the job is The USA, and even that is destined to be dumped onto the same scrap heap of history that British democracy visited over 60 years ago.

      Please try your best to understand, ruling elites only listen if or when they are FORCED to listen. If the pretence of democracy is finally removed the worlds ruling elites can basically do as they please. Do you really TRUST these people to act in YOUR best interests, instead of their own??????? If so what possible evidence could you have for such a totally unfounded opinion?

      These people are of the same stock that gave us Nagasaki, the Ist and 2nd World Wars, The Spanish Inquisition, The slave trade, Wall Street, Viet-nam, Korea, Cuba, The Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler, and on and on and on. How many WARS and general genocides have you or your mates been responsible for over the last 1500 years or so? I would like to hope, none whatsoever.

      The people do not need protecting from each other, they need protection from despots and their GOVERNMENTS and big rich despotic governments in particular.

  18. Dave
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Unless the Conservatives promise more say to the people of the UK regarding the EU, I will be voting UKIP.

  19. Peter Valentine
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Poor John, but is the truth finally dawning? Most here in the UK are not bothered by all the strutting you and your likeminded vocal minority. And far more people have voted for the pro EU parties than your true party the UKIP. The saddest comment for me is that you are still peddling the silly myth that England will be split into 9 EU run regiuons. If it were to be then Germany France and so on would be subject to the same splitting up, and we hear nothing from them!

    So put away the myths and do what the majority of the Tories are going to do, that is get on with working with the EU if and when they come to power.

    Regards

    Pitiful Pete

    • Citizen Responsible
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      You say we hear nothing from Germany and France about splitting their countries up into regions. The EU strategy is to reconstruct Europe along ethnic lines. The break up of Yugoslavia is one example. The European Parliament has been supporting and encouraging Catalonia to secede from Spain- a referendum on independence was held in December. We have seen the EU maps dividing up the UK. The whole point is to weaken the nation states which compete with Germany and France for influence in Europe.

    • Atlas shrugged
      Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      And far more people have voted for the pro EU parties than your true party the UKIP.

      Sorry but not only is that not the case, the trend is clearly in the opposite direction, not only here but all over Europe.

      As the EU is democratically unaccountable the people of Europe have no other choice, ( as things will undoubtedly stand for the time being,) but to blame the EU for every thing from civil-unrest to the price a tea bags. Expect the popularity of the EU, which is already low and falling, to fall ever lower in all parts of Europe.

      The question is. Do the corporate and religious interests who run the EU like a personal play thing give a sod, what the people actually think? Come to think about it, I see no particular reason why they should care if we live of die.

  20. David
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I think that things are to comfortable for you John.

    Do you really think that your supporters will be content with the occasional rant from the Tory benches when most of them seem to be ready to vote UKIP.

  21. Collis Gretton
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    The mood one of angry resignation! Wishful thinking John.

    The general public have already forgotten the Lisbon Treaty and the Conservative campaign for a British referendum.

    The EU is currently important to only 3% of the electorate.

  22. Citizen Responsible
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    JR “anti democratic power grab”

    For me, this phrase describes the Lisbon Treaty in a nutshell.

  23. adam
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Unless you renege on our Rio UN commitments, it is difficult to see how sustainable development will be kept at bay.
    A future of deindustrialisation, rewilding and high density urbanisation is looking more and more likely.
    The EU is simply a vehicle for all of that.

  24. Atlas shrugged
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    John

    I respectfully disagree with the basic thrust of your comments.

    We very likely will accept it, because we very seriously do not have much of a choice, or a Hobsons choice at best. A choice that will become ever harder to make every single day the EU exists.

    There is however hope.

    However this small hope can only come from the collective might of the overwhelming majority of European people, not at all just the British people acting on there own.

    Just as The UK has been systematically destroyed from within and without, so must the EU by the common will of the people of Europe. For if the people are ever united they can NEVER be defeated by what is a VERY small ruling class elites.

    I personally believe that the UK independence Party is part of the problem, not the solution. What we need is a European Peoples Independence Party, which must act to unite anti EU citizens from The Atlantic to the Baltic and Adriatic against their present and future slave owners.

    This can only be achieved when the people know who is really driving this New World Order agenda, and WHY they are driving it so clearly against the will of the unsuspecting people.

    I know who is doing this and more importantly WHY. What should not surprise me at all is why you seem not to, or if you do, make no possible effort to tell your readers or voters.

    If the people knew the perfectly enormous power of the forces that confront them they would not only be deeply shocked, they would be perfectly horrified.

    John, you are not a stupid person, therefore I KNOW you must understand that these powers are so ingrained within the British and World establishment that resistance is all be futile, without the people knowing the true identity of their enemy. Still more where the EU is carefully designed to take us all. Which is to….. dictatorial hell….(words left out)

    I appeal to you to expose the powers that not only ultimately removed M.Thatcher from power but actually tried to MURDER her and her cabinet in Brighton. Yes we all know it was the IRA. (I mean what lies behind those forces-ed)
    If you are not prepared to come clean, may I again respectfully request that you shut-up on this matter, you are only making the situation worse with your unhelpful nationalistic sentiments.

    IMO the future will be at best, like this unless the people know who is, and has always been pulling the proverbial strings.

    The EU will survive, while national governments will become increasingly marginalised into effective non existence. After much poverty, murder, repression, civil-unrest and all that goes with it, the people of Europe will be manipulated into DEMANDING that the EU president be elected, and this request will be seemingly regretfully conceded by the elites. However only at a future time when they feel they can decide all of the available political options and therefore all of the presidential candidates. Very much like they do today.

  25. Eric Goodyer
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Lots to say now – but little time. What on earth has the Lisbon Treaty got to do with British Membership of the EU? It is merely the rule book. The only real question is IN or OUT, not how it is run. There were elections, last June 80% (yes I'll try that again 80%) of the electorate voted in a free and open election for political parties that want Britain to stay in the EU. UKIP, the BNP, The Socialist party and the other minor parties who want Britain to leave the EU got 20%. It is time that the vocal minority who want to isolate us from our Allies accepted the democratic will of the British people.

    That vote was in line with all opinion polls with the exception of a brief period during the 1970's. Britons want to stay in the EU and have regularly voted to do so.

    Even if the Lisbon Treaty had been defeated we would still be in the EU – so a campaign against the Lisbon Treaty has nothing to do with British Membership – it would just have meant that we carried on as full members under the old rule book.

    Now let's examine the Lisbon Treaty – 1/3 of the Commission is now abolished, National Parliaments given the right to veto Commission proposals, more power given to the directly elected European Parliament, citizens given the right to petition the parliament, an end to the expensive rotating 6 month presidency (there is no 'new position' of president we always had one).

    So instead of talking about the rule book, which in my opinion still needs more changes – ask the real question – Should Britain Leave the EU – The answer from David Cameron is No Never The Conservatives are wholly committed to British Membership of the EU. It is time for John Redwood and the other vocal minority to do the honest decent thing and join UKIP.

    In the meantime I as a Labour supporter welcome the Conservative Party's whole-hearted endorsement of British Membership of the EU – it is the only thing that David Cameron has ever said that I agree with. That is why Ken Clarke is at the centre of the Shadow Cabinet, not John Redwood. Like Cameron I will stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies for a better, safer and more prosperous Europe. I particualr welcome the Conservative Pledge to expand the EU to include the Ukraine & Turkey.

    Reply: But doubtless you did not welcome Conservative opposition to Lisbon, Nice and Amsterdam, where we all voted against in the Commons, nor probably did you welcome us supporting Mr Cameron's demand for a referendum on the loathesome Treaty. You are being too selective to be effective.

    • Andy
      Posted January 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      What a load of piffle. We, the people, were promised a referendum on any treaty that emerged from the negotiations: Lisbon is that treaty. So where is our referendum ? The liar, Gordon the Moron, ratified the treaty without the promised referendum presenting the Conservatives – the ONLY party which has behaved honourably – with no choice to but abandon their pledge. However once in Government I hope they wont allow matters to rest as they are.

  26. mikerophone
    Posted January 4, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    John,
    the 'voices on the doorstep' that you hear are totally ignored by the three main party leaders. The people don't count anymore, they just have to obey. 'Here is the President that you didn't vote for. Don't like it ? Tough !'

    So what can we do ? Nothing, but when Cameron is elected YOU and your fellow eurosceptics should tell Cameron to get tough on Europe or you will threaten a leadership challenge, and I can tell you that the Conservative members will vote for an anti-European to replace Cameron. We feel he has betrayed us on Europe. Why do you think that the Conservative members voted for Ian Duncan-Smith ? BECAUSE HE WASN'T KEN CLARKE.

    We the people have been castrated -IT'S UP TO YOU MR. REDWOOD TO SAVE YOUR COUNTRY.

  27. Dorothy Wilson
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I see we have John [aka Collis] Gretton and Eric Goodyer posting here.

    Mr Goodyer is the Labour Party's Parliamentary Candidate for the Charnwood Constituency. The pair of them are leading lights in the European Movement and seem to have nothing better to do with their lives than defend the indefensible that is the EU.

    Both of them, and Mr Gretton in particular, seem to be totally unable to understand the difference between the contributions to the EU budget and the total cost of the monster and try to suggest that the budget contribution is the only cost.

    As for his comment about paying the budgetary contribution and his estimation of how much it works out per person, well the increase was part of an agreement. Let's see the other side of that agreement, ie the reform of the CAP, put in place before we pay our money over.

  28. Dorothy Wilson
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I see we have Peter Valentine here too. He's another one from the European Movement. They are like a rash. I'm not sure what they are like in the rest of the country but here in the East Midlands they seem to have just three members.

    And those members keep churning out the same old arguments. They are totally and absolutely blinkered. Or brainwashed.

  29. Richard
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how I agree with you, John. I wish you were the Leader of the Conservatives.

    It is time we awoke from our stupidity. Just because this dishonest socialist Government ratified Lisbon, should not preclude our de-ratifying it (apologies if this is bad grammar) and offering the nation a referendum.

    Regrettably, this is unlikely with Mr Cameron at the top. We are frighteningly close to ending up with a hung Parliament because of people's resentment over the EU. Votes will go to UKIP, diluting the Conservative vote and possibly denying them an outright majority. God help us if this happens!

  30. Eric Goodyer
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    As a strong supporter of the EU, which has given us decades of prosperity, freedom and security, I am very grateful to the Conservative Party. They have succesfully conned so many people who want to to leave the EU in to voting for them. David Cameron's strong support for British Membership of the EU is the one policy of his that I can agree with. Well done Cameron, and well done to the Conservative Party for ensuring the long term future of Britain within the EU.
    The current Tory Party proposals to expand the EU to include the Ukraine, Georgia, the rest of the Balkans and Turkey is an important Europhile policy shift. It is now inevitable that in time the EU will absorb more Muslim nations, Kosova, Albania and Bosnia will surely join this great organisation of European Democracies in the next decade – Turkeys accession means that there will be a bridge to Asis Minor and Africa. I look forward to democracies in Northern Africa joining the EU.
    Fortunately EU membership is supported by the overwhelming majority of the British people – as proven by the results in the ballot box and all recent opinion polls.
    The Lisbon treaty is merely the Rule Book and I welcome the opportunity to debate the rules of membership – had it been rejected it would only have meant that we stayed in the EU under the old rules, and as pro-European I see no problems with that. Debate over the Lisbon Treaty is pointless, it simply streamlines the operation of the EU, reduces its' costs and returns power to member tates. What those who rabbit on about it are afraid of is the real debate 'should Britain leave the EU' – because they know that they would lose that debate – as they did last June when 80% of the votes cast were for political parties who want Britain to stay in the EU.

    So I can only repeat the first point thank you David Cameron for conning so many anti-EU voters to vote for you, and I welcome your continued support for Britain remaining a member of the EU.

    Reply: Your Labour spin will have to be better than this. You help me make my point that Labour want Conservatives to vote UKIP so Labour can stay in government!

    • Citizen Responsible
      Posted January 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      You can’t give the EU all of the credit for giving us decades of freedom and security. NATO, led by the USA, has made the biggest contribution to Europe’s freedom and security since World War ll.

      The Lisbon Treaty is not “merely the Rule Book”. It is an EU constitution in all but name. Your assertion that the treaty “returns power to member states” is a joke. I quote from Mr Redwoods “Lisbon Lies” post of 4th November:

      “The passerelle clauses, which give the new EU the right to take more power in the future without a renegotiation, clearly cannot apply in the UK. The UK will need to regain its rights to control its own criminal law codes, employment law, foreign policy and much else.”

      As I understand it, the Lisbon Treaty is self amending. There will be no need for any more treaties. Lisbon is the last one. Herman Rompuy, who was appointed EU President by the EU elite, has announced his intention to “streamline” the EU council meetings. “Streamlining” is code for weakening democracy by moving power away from national electorates to a chosen few. And as for reducing costs, Mr Rompuy has said the EU needs to raise more taxes to pay for the changes called for in the Lisbon Treaty such as the EUs’ new Foreign Service which reportedly will employ 5,000-6,000 staff.

  31. Eric Goodyer
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I suggest that you read the Lisbon Treaty then. Inventing its contents in support of your prejudices is no substitute for arguement. However I am not worried, the overwhelmingly majority of the British population want to stay in the EU, and 80% of votes cast last June were for pro-EU political parties. Game set and match to us then. You have a lot of work and convincing to do.

    In the unlikely event that a politicial party who wants britain to leave the EU ever gets elected then I will accept the result of the ballot box. However that is unlikely to be soon, with David Cameron pledged not only to stay in the EU but to expand it. Labour & Lib-Dems also want to stay in. You are in a small but very vocal minority.

    I really do think that this is the end of the debate – you lost it by a landslide last June!

    Reply: Both the Conservative party and UKIP fought the last European election on an anti federalist anti Lisbon ticket. You should be careful how you spin the views of voters.

    • Citizen Responsible
      Posted January 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Have you read the Lisbon Treaty then? Let me get this straight.
      You, are accusing me, of inventing its contents in support of my prejudices??? Motes and beams Mr Goodyer. Motes and beams!

  32. Harry
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr Redwood, many Euro Enthusiasts may well be satisfied to wait until an exhausted British sceptic population concede defeat without ever having a say over a grotesquely changed constitutional settlement; though I would put it to you that Germans are not so relaxed:
    http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/

    If you read the language used within this article you will begin I think to feel a little uncomfortable that we have not yet confronted the political establishment in a way fitting to force these ivory tower liberal nitwits to listen.

    The EU Project is a hybrid created through the hijacking of its true purpose and imposition of the Corporatists agenda. I want none of it and nor does the great majority of the general public.

    I see the EU Collective as a communist entity; a collective.

    Another factor worth considering is that the Collective Dictatorship of this criminal Enterprise (SFO) fully understand that the only mandate they can claim are the Euro elections, where we get to vote for MEP's that are impotent: Mere rubber stamps. A tool of aquiscence to enable dictatorship rather than democracy. That being the case the Kommissars have made it law in four countries to enforce voting in EU elections. Just as it was in soviet Russia, so it is in the EU Collective. Amen.

    These four countries where the Law is in place to compel the population to Vote are:

    Belgium
    Luxembourg
    Greece
    Spain

    At this time the law is only enforced in Belgium and Luxembourg, but is in place ready to be enforced if the Voter turnout drops.

    Democracy, Soviet style.

    We must leave this oppressive dictatorship. The day may well come when a unified Europe is desirable; then again it may not. Either way the people of Europe must never again relax that powerful men subvert our lives as has been done.

  33. Yugoslavia Stamps
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    This is good website. Check out my blog , to check out fresh news about Yugoslavia Stamps,

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page