Time to speak for the UK, Mr Hague

For some the £150 milllion fine on the Uk for not displaying the EU flag on projects which received “EU” money is the last straw. It is certainly more proof of Labour incompetence. I remember investigating the use of the EU logo on Welsh projects when I was in office there. The legal advice was clear – the symbol had to appear where money had been received. I was even advised against putting the Union flag on the project as well to show that British taxpayers had also contributed directly as well as indirectly through the EU. The rules on these schemes just demonstrate the lop sided deal we have with the EU, and their attempt to buy our love with our own money.

It is time Mr Hague went to Brussels and tackled some of the issues which feed our sense of unfairness. Many people in the UK are fed up with power seeping away. We did not like Mr Hague’s acceptance of an enlarged EU diplomatic service. That is more cost for the member states, seeking to undermine our own Foreign office and diplomatic service. We did not like Mr Hague’s opting in to more of the EU’s movement into criminal justice affairs. We do not wish to see the UK have to pay out £150 million for a technical infringement, at a time of public spending restraint. We would like the EU to cut its budget to help with our spending review, and would like to see EU spending cut back rather than important domestic programmes.

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138 Comments

  1. JohnnyNorfolk
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    What gets me is when it is described as money from the EU. Its not, they are just returning some of OUR money. The whole EU thing makes me sick.

    • Johannes
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      I agree Johnny ! The bad news is that the more you learn about the EU, the more sickening it gets. Did you know that the EU has it's very own paramilitary force that is " First and foremost at the disposal of the EU " ? Google their site if you enjoy photos of paramilitary people with machine guns, armoured cars etc. They call themselves the European Gendarmerie Force and one of their tasks is controlling "public order" i.e. demonstrations ! I wonder if they have immunity from criminal prosecution like the EU's own police Europol ?

  2. Boudicca
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    All of the above – yes. But, ultimately we want our country back. We don't want to belong to the EU; we want to leave.

    We should hold a Referendum on continued membership.

    • Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      No we don't want to leave nor should we.

    • APL
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 1:37 am | Permalink

      Redwood: We need an Eurosceptic majority in Parliament.

      So where an individual Tory voter finds himself in the constituency of a rabid EU supporter, for example Kenneth Clarke, how should that voter vote assuming his wish coincides with yours for more Eurosceptic Tories in Parliament?

  3. Templar1
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The report that the new EU Ambassador says he speaks for EU countries just shows that there is a real risk to Britains influence.

    We have simply GOT to say 'No' to what is going on in Brussels and be as constructively obstructive as possible. For example the proposed increase in the EU budget is staggeringly insensitive.

  4. Templar1
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    it is all very well for the Coalition to talk of devolving power down to the local areas, but if ever more power over our affairs (e.g. frim our legal system to flying a flag) passes up to the EU, we will have increasingly less say in how we live our lives and how the citizens of this country are treated. We have to start patiently explaining why these things are unexceptable and ultimately say 'no' if we have to and stick to it – no subsequent compromises.

    In the longer run we must seek to build an alternative Europe, one of nation states who co-operate on interests in common. We never hear much about the popularity of the EU, in its present form, in its other members, so a start would be talking widely to those who share our concerns and work-up an alternative structure of the EU to be presented en-masse to the existing Euro elite. There needs to be change if we are to avoid a situation where the power to change anything lies hundreds of miles away with people who have not been brought up in this country and may simply not care about our concerns. The failure to hold the pomised referndum on the LIsbon Treaty may well come to be seen to be a grave mistake in retrospect.

  5. Iain Crew
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hear, hear!

    Positive engagement with our neighbours in Europe and with the EU means telling them the truth – warts and all – that being part of Europe is all fine and dandy but being coerced into flying flags is not acceptable and I will ever hope increase appetite for the UK electorate to demand a referendum on membership of an EU that has become far more of a political project than a common market for which the 1975 referendum participants ONLY approved as the question put was, "Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (The Common Market)?"

    As a participant in that 1975 referendum, I now feel that I was mugged-off as the EU may still be a single market but it has become a political institution for which my "Yes" vote would have definitely been a "No" vote if i could only be given the chance to be asked the question once again.

    • SJB
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      The contracts were entered into freely. If, as appears to be the case, one of the conditions was that the EU flag should be displayed then where is the element of coercion?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        There is no coercion, just treachery within the British political system.

      • Barbara
        Posted August 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        One shouldn't have to enter into a contract to get some of one's own money back.

      • Iain Crew
        Posted August 15, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Is not imposing a financial penalty in the event of non-compliance not coercion?

        The daft thing is that the EU-funded projects require the EU flag to be flown as a consequence of receipt of that funding which, because the UK is a net contributor to the EU Funds, means that the UK is being made (or coerced as the word I prefer!), with threat of fines, to fly the EU Flag even though the money received is actually monies paid over to the EU from the UK in the first place.

        That is so absurd as to be almost unbelievable – but when it comes to the mindset of the Eurocrats, expensive bureacracy keeps them in work and as happy as pigs in clover!

  6. Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Time for a 'Flag Tax' on public projects. If the EU want a flag they must pay for it. I suggest $1 million per flag. That would soon earn back our $150 million.

  7. Ian
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The rules are the rules, the UK are as bad for this type of thing. See the case in the news today where a Welsh school has to be kept open even though it has no pupils simply because the council didnt follow the National Assembly rules….

    Not that I agree by the way, do as the French do and refuse to pay!

    • Liz
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Did the ever pay their beef fines?

  8. Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Here is a solution.

    1. All organisations receiving UK taxpayers money are subject to UK FOI laws.
    2. Not complying with a FOI request is made a criminal offence.
    3. No organisation will receive tax payers money unless it produces a satisfactory audit.
    4. Any fraud involving an organisation that receives UK taxpayers money is a criminal offence in the UK.
    5. Veto an EU changes that overide these rules.

    Problem solved.

    Produce the audit for fraud by MEPS.
    We refuse.
    Fast track extradition for not complying with the FOI request.
    Jail for EU director.

    Simples.

  9. Alfred T Mahan
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    And exactly where is the BBC report on this nonsense?

    • Bob
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      The BBC are reluctant to report anything negative about our EU membership because the EU provides them with soft loans to expand their commercial activities which cannot be funded from the tsunami of "licence tax" cash that floods into their coffers every year.

  10. Derek Duncan
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Is this a joke, Mr Redwood? I can't find any reference to such a fine except on that other joke, the BNP website.

  11. Adrian
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Agree with all of the above, John, and if William Hague accomplishes just one thing on that list by teatime next Friday, I might change my opinion of him.

    The thing is, however, that nobody under the age of 56 has ever had a say on this whole European Empire thing. Indeed, the Treaty of Rome was signed before I was even born.

    Now, you might argue that we do have a say – at a General Election. But as we saw with the Lisbon Treaty and as we saw with Theresa May and the EIO, what political parties say regarding Europe in their manifestos (or in grand televised speeches in Cameron's case) and what they do are two very different realities.

    All I would ask of every Parliamentarian, when standing in that fine old historic, magnificent building, surrounded by statues and paintings of noble figures from throughout the ages of this fine land – all that we have been through as a nation; a civil war, the Glorious Revolution, two World Wars…

    …with all that history, can any Parliamentarian really say – hand on heart – that it is right that nobody under the age of 56 has ever been given any say on the Europe issue?

    That for the best part of forty years, all three main parties have colluded to deceive the British people and do whatever the political elite want – finding ever more cunning ways to trick the people rather than representing them?

    Can any Parliamentarian say to me – at 36 years of age – that my views on the European project have been listened to, represented and acted upon?

    Because I'll tell you for nothing – I feel betrayed. I don't trust any of you and I do not believe a single word any of you – Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem – say on the matter.

    Never in my entire lifetime – 36 years – have those of you who have been elected to represent we, the people ever done so on the European question.

    The fact that none of you – not in my entire lifetime – has ever been honest and sought permission from the British people for what you have done to our sovereignty is something that brings shame to the entire Palace of Westminster.

    And, when history judges what has taken place – if this country should have a future history – the last four decades will be a great stain on the character of that fine building from which you conduct your work.

    In my view, it is a far more serious and far more grave matter than the fuss over MPs expenses.

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      An eloquent exposition of the frustration so many of us feel. I am old enough to have voted ('No') in Harold Wilson's referendum, which was only held because his own Party was totally split on the issue.
      I am also old enough to have been one of the 40 or so who voted against joining the Common Market at the Conservative Party Conference.
      So, although I regard my membership of the Conservative Party as 'my mis-spent youth', my conscience is clear on this!

    • Boudicca
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      What an excellent comment.

      It should be printed out and mailed to every past and present MP so they are left in no doubt that they have betrayed the trust of the British people.

  12. Iain
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Agreed, but its you politcal class that keep on letting us down, we vote Conservative on a manifesto that states..

    .'.As the Lisbon Treaty allows a number of the further changes to the EU's rules without a new Treaty, a Conservative Government would change the law so that any use of these "ratchet clauses" would require full approval by Parliament, and where they amount to handing over an area of power, e.g. abolishing vetoes over foreign policy, a referendum would be required. A Conservative government will never sign up to a European Public Prosecutor.”….'

    Yet what happens? You sign up to the EEAS and EOI. What do we do to get you politicans to honour yor word and not sell us out to the EU? Storm Parliament (etc ed), is that what it will take for MP's and Governments to find a bit of spine and stop lying to us?

  13. Chuck Unsworth
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    If Britain were to refuse to pay, what would/could the EU do?

  14. A David H
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Yes to all of that Mr Redwood, although I would have said that the opting in to the criminal justice agreement was more like an active betrayal of the citizens of this country. No doubt we shall see surprised and indignant newspaper headlines in years to come.

    As to the £150 million fine for non display of the EU logo or flag on "their" funded projects. Perhaps a simple non payment is in order, together with a letter explaining that non display of the logo was to avoid the embarrassment of probable mutilation and an assurance that it will be displayed on every possible occasion in future.

  15. Robert George
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Who decides on these absurd fines and what is the effect if they are not paid… as they should not be.

  16. Geoff M
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    But he won't.
    You know that, we know that, and the EU knows that.
    Craven, supine, duplicitous – take your pick.

  17. Stuart
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    This morning I noticed an article describing how the EU ambassador would now speak for Britain in the U.S. Now that we have given our sanction to the EEAS through a recent Parliamentary vote, it seems we have given up the right to represent ourselves outside the EU. I know the EEAS vote was largely symbolic since it was already operational and would have been ratified in September anyway, but I believe our acquiescence has given the EEAS more legitimacy.

    I conclude that we cannot let these matters rest and that William Hague no longer has a sceptical viewpoint regarding the EU, therefore, is it not time Eurosceptic backbenchers started to voice their concerns in order to avoid a further erosion of our sovereign status.

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      No chance for the next 3 or 4 years – maybe when the next General Election is looming!

  18. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Well said sir and I bet you get a bumper in-box!

    WE BLOGGED RECENTLY:

    "David Cameron has gained the praise of many with his plain-speaking and hard-hitting comments on Pakistan. He has basked since in self-ordained 'I say it as it is' credentials.

    Without raining on the PM’s parade why cannot he be persuaded by colleagues to adopt the same policy on countries far nearer home and closer to the interests of the Conservatives who put him on the world stage?"

    WE CONTINUED:

    "Why Mr Cameron won't you castigate your European partners who continue to waste billions of your taxpayers' pounds on maintaining a vast and wasteful bureaucracy unsuited to the trading world of today and tomorrow?

    Why are you supporting the new network of enormously costly European Foreign Offices throughout the world?

    Perhaps the contributions from this site can be used to good purpose John?"

    THE FINE TO WHICH YOU REFER IS INDEED A FINAL STRAW AND
    YOUR CONTRIBUTORS WILL BE HEARTENED THAT YOU HAVE ASKED MR HAGUE TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGE!

  19. a-tracy
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Are the people responsible for not following the rules and conditions of receiving this money from the EU held to account in any way for not doing their jobs properly. I don't agree with having to use the EU flag on projects but if they were the rules and regulations then State employees should have followed them. The State is so busy tying British Business up in red tape and regulations with fines for the business owners for every infringement. Which departments caused the fines, who were the department heads, have they received warnings? All that many officials on big pay cheques do is spend our money they should at least be accountable when they screw up.

  20. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    In the 'more important' categories of things Hague could do is to tell the EU 'We're Off'!

    It is also about time that his leader honoured his pledge of a referendum where further loss of powers happens – and has happened under this 'government's' watch.

  21. James Matthews
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Your heart is in the right place Mr Redwood, but asking this Coalition, or any Conservative government, to stand up robustly for UK interests within the European Union is a massive triumph of hope over experience. Eurorealist Conservatives need to face the fact that we will not regain control over our own affairs until we come out and that that must therefore be their aim.

  22. Brian Corbett
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Put the EU flag at A6 size and the Union Jack (not the PC 'Union Flag', please) at A0 size.
    That reflects the use of the institutions to the average person.

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      I agree, Brian, and I am as anti-PC as you. But "Union Flag" is not PC – it had been the correct term for centuries before PC was invented. The only time the term "Union Jack" is correct is when it flies at the stern of a ship.

  23. Voter Richard
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Spot on John ! Well said. While you are speaking to your cabinet friends, can you kindly remind them of manifesto committments to an EU Referendum? How about asking Dave why our billions being paid to the EU are effectively ring-fenced from the spending review? No taxation without democratic authorisation : so time to ask the public.

  24. Steve
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So we joined a Free Trade Area, the EEC, and are now being hit with massive fines for not showing an EU flag? How did we ever let it get so completely out of control, and for once we can't blame it all on NuLab, the Conservatives under both Mrs Thatcher and John Major were just as guilty of pandering to the Brussels elite and failing to foresee the consequences of Maastricht. OK, so make payment of the fine conditional on our getting back Mrs Thatcher's full rebate, not the slimmed down version which resulted from Tony Blair's lack of a spine. The huge devaluation of the pound against the Euro since then combined with Britain's rapid slide down the world economic rankings and the austerity measures now being forced upon us, provide all the reason we will ever need to get the money back that Blair so stupidly gave away. That should more than cover their silly £150 million fine, thank you.

  25. Electro-Kevin
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Perhaps my earlier comment about consulting the EU over our defence policies wasn't so far fetched after all.

    The flag is all part of the propaganda. If it's just a minor detail – a petty issue – then why is it so important to them ? To the tune of 150 million quid !

    Where's our referendum, Dave ?

    When the people get to vote YES then I'll shut up about it.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

      … bearing in mind that British people are often accused of being small-minded about the Union flag.

      The Eureaucrats obviously realise the subliminal importance of symbols in the creation of a new state.

      • CDR
        Posted August 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        I agree. The use of symbols is something which most people ignore, but when used day after day, week in and week out, they sink into the subconscious mind and become "accepted". We all know, for example, that four rings on a car-grille signifies an Audi; and we view a certain mascot on a car-bonnet as a sign of wealth. The stealth tactics know no bounds. It would be easy to quietly force people into acceptance of the EU flag by simply sticking it on everything possible, so that it is constantly under people's noses.

  26. Sir Graphus
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Successive govts have used a policy of constructive engagement with the EU in the hope of gaining concessions. It is not clear if this policy has ever born fruit. Can we at least try obstruction and the deliberate ignoring of silly rules as a method of engagement? It seems to work for the French.

    £150 million seems a bit steep a fine for failing to show flags. You could have 3 mulit-fatal Texas refinery explosions for that.

    • SJB
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      £150 million is 0.004% of the £3.8 billion received. Hardly excessive for repeated breaches of a contractual obligation over a seven year period.

      • simon
        Posted August 14, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        You've got the decimal point in the wrong place , it's 4% .

        All these EU grants smack of deciding how to spend our money for us .

        • SJB
          Posted August 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Well spotted, Simon. The risk of posting my comment in a rush 🙂 Historically, a billion used to correspond to a million million in British English but the American meaning of a thousand million is what we use today.

  27. Alan Wheatley
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Yes, yes, yes – a thousand times yes!

  28. forthurst
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Don't waste your breathe; the EU is incorrigible – by design.

    The EU is a conspiracy to turn Europe into one country with one national border, one nationality and one ethnicity; are you English, British, Northern European? Don't ask racist questions. Anyhow, races don't exist. There are hoi poloi and an elite – who are the elite? That is their business, serf.

  29. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, during the election campaign, I expressed my scepticism that Cameron was serious in his manisfesto promises on the EU, because he was keeping so very quiet about them, apparently in the hope that we'd all just forget about it. You confirmed that the remained party policy, adding, "I though everyone knew that by now."

    As it turned out, I was right. No sooner were the votes counted than Cameron started working to break the whole lot of them. Have you anything to say, Mr Redwood?

  30. David Evennett
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Here Here. These things make me so angry. Keep speaking out John until the people of this country are demanding independence with a loud voice.

  31. R.Rowan
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood it's about time someone spoke out ,all the pre election talk about taking powers back from Europe seems to have gone by the wayside and more has been ceded to Europe via Theresa May .How much does it cost the public for the appeals against deportation by terrorists only to find at the end of day the Human Rights act stops deportation, when are going to take back control of who can and can't stay in this country?Why do newly elected conservative P.M's suddenly become europhile along with some of their ministers.I sometimes wonder why I keep voting conservative .

  32. Vanessa
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I think what John really wants to say is we would be better off out of the EU rather than paying vast sums of money for the privilege of having our democracy demolished. His party has betrayed the British people, eurosceptic! – HAH, pull the other one. Every British government since that traitor Heath took us in has spoken with forked tongues and said THEY will get us out of the EU if only we vote for them and look where it is going. The Arrest Warrant is criminal, the Investgation Order, even more so, our justice system destroyed, our local councils 'in bed' with EU propaganda, and so it goes on. VOTE UKIP for a REAL change.

  33. Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Spot on, JR.

    We can be certain that there are more EU power grabs in the pipeline, of which we have not been told. I fear but expect that each and every one of them will be accepted by this government.

    Anyone care to wager?

  34. Harry Randall
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Total support your comment John (as I have for many years).

    Harry

  35. Johannes
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the 27 un-elected commissioners would be willing to help out by taking a salary cut ( cost to the taxpayer : 13.7 million Euros each year ), or EU technocrats could agree to a smaller pension ( cost to the taxpayer : 1.3 billion Euros each and every year ) !
    Who fines the commission when they break the law ? Their recent bail-out plan for Greece was a breach of EU law as the "parliament" was not consulted ! Oh, I forgot…all senior EU officials have immunity from criminal prosecution ( as do the EU's own police Europol ) !
    Welcome to new feudal,federal Europe.

  36. Rich
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    John, if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Mr Hague or anybody else to go to Brussels and tackle anything. You seem to be the only person in the Conservative party who has not noticed the complete sell-out to Brussels which has taken place.

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Actually, Rich, there are a few others such as Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell. However, either they still haven't realised that their Party will never take us out of the EU or they are more concerned with keeping their seats than the future of the country.
      History shows that both Labour and Conservatives are "eurosceptic" in Opposition but totally "europhile" in Government.

  37. Richard Calhoun
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Hague is proving a great disappointment as our Foreign Secretary, he is becoming a ' Yes Minister ' minister

    • THE ESSEX GIRLS
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      We're not entirely convinced of that but let's all goad Mr Hague into action in the anticipation that he will be directed to this site!

      Don't underestimate our site's influence with this government.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted August 14, 2010 at 12:57 am | Permalink

        He'll buy you Essex Girls off with a bag of chips.

  38. Roland Scott-Jackson
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    As brief as possible ? Out.

  39. Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    "We did not like Mr Hague’s opting in to more of the EU’s movement into criminal justice affairs."

    I don't like that either. But did you not vote for that?
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011

    Was there a reason for voting for this?

  40. Ruth Robinson
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    It's a good job we still have MPs like John Redwood. He has been kept out of office by the 'establishment' . I live in Wm.Hague's constituency and he is extremely popular but he seems to have been gagged since the Libcon regime. Keep up the good work John.

    • Geoff M
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree with the point about the treatment of John Redwood.
      However, Hague's problem is not that he has been gagged [it's just the opposite in fact – Israel-bashing, EU-toadying, Turkey-boosting], but that he has been assimilated into the EU body politic.
      He is part of the problem.

      • Steve S
        Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Assimilation is a very apt description. I don't normally mention Star Trek on this blog out of respect for Mr Redwood who I feel speaks for the UK much better than any MP I am aware of, but the Eurocrats are very much like the Borg in Star Trek – relentless and intolerant of differing points of view, wanting standardisation, power and domination at all costs. I look at every product in the shops, and now even the pint glass when supping real ale and see the hated sign of the Borg replacing the Crown. And we are getting this silly fine on top of all this existing Borg worship!!! Let us regain out country before it is too late.

    • Little Black S
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Who are the others? How many are there?

  41. i albion
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The body snatchers have taken over Haig ,he not only does not sound the same man ,he does not look like the same man,but that can be said about the rest of the Cons…….sorry Lib-Cons

  42. Javelin
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    The EU is a like a badly behaved girlfriend that should be dumped. Instead you put up with her because you dont want to be left alone.

    • THE ESSEX GIRLS
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Ummm…but sometimes it's 'cos you don't want the hassle, you don't want to upset your friends or family who are used to her, you have other more important things to do first…or you realise the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

      We reckon it's a combination of all of these – but it makes it none the less important to map out an action plan with the likely consequences for future planning!

      We speak as former dumpers and dumpees!

    • Johannes
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      In fact the EU is more like a girl you once agreed to have a free and open relationship with….untill you woke up drugged one day to find you have been married to her without your consent.

  43. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    When cycling through Ireland one sees many EU-signs for projects, assisted EU funding. Nobody seems to mind.
    In the UK, why be so difficult about living up to the contract rules and show the EU origin, especially with so little knowledge about EU funded projects.
    Wasn't it a conservative government which signed up to the EEC, wasn't it a conservative government which signed up to the EU and its regulations? Why then not be a wholehearted EU member?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      I suppose attitudes in Ireland might change as it changes from a net recipient from the EU budget to being a net contributor. Unlike Ireland, there's never been any "EU funding" of anything at all in the UK which hasn't boiled down to part of our own money being returned to us with strings attached.

    • Little Black S
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      A silly post.
      "Nobody seems to mind" – well we do mind.
      "Why be so difficult?" Because the EU is not popular & we don't want to see that flag all over the place.
      "So little knowledge about EU funded projects" – all we need to know is that it is our money and we are getting less for it by channelling it through the EU.
      "Wasn't it a conservative government which signed up to the EEC?" So what? Betrayal is wicked, whoever was responsible.

    • Butterworth Stephen
      Posted August 22, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Correct it was Heath who pushed through the EEC membership, but he certainly did not have the full backing or enthusiasm for joining that he said needed to be from the public. The problems stem from that. The EU is a Socialist nightmare coming true. In that Enoch Powell was 100% correct. I hate Heath and his minions for taking the country into the EEC and in my view the Conservative party died at that point.

    • Winston's Black
      Posted August 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Peter you are right. One expects parties of the left to undermine the UK they despise in favour of the EU and they are relatively honest about it.

      The Conservatives, as you say, have signed many of the integrationist treaties yet dishonestly pretend to be patriotic towards the UK.

      I voted Conservative in pre UKIP days. I now despise the Conservatives even more than the Greens, Labour and the BNP.

  44. Andrea S.
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Well put, Mr Redwood. Thank you. I have often seen the proposal on various blogs that true conservatives and other patriots should form a new party. How do you feel about this? To be honesst, I voted UKIP but I'm afraid that the party appears single issue although their manifesto and policy is more broad. I just hope that many more notable (famous) politicians of all sorts, who are not only patriotic but business, and fair minded, would pull together on this idea. I am deeply disapointed with Mr Hague and it was a pity that his video interview on foreign policy, given to 'The Austrailian' , last year, vanished before I could spread word around.

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Andrea, You clearly haven't studied UKIP's general election manifesto (www.ukip.org). It was by far the most detailed of any party fighting the election. It was stuffed full of middle-of-the-road, common sense policies for life outside the EU.
      In any event, our membership of the EU is not a 'single issue'. It is about how, where and by whom we are governed and, as such, affects every single issue.

      So, (unless you happen to be a nasty racist,) the ONLY way out is UKIP.

  45. Posted August 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Now you're talking

  46. JimF
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Time to introduce retrospective legislation to fine the EU £150 million for not flying the Union Flag on all EU buildings and websites

    Any EU project financed in part or in total by UK taxpayers' money should carry a Union Flag.

    Job done.

  47. Agincourt
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    But will William Hague speak for Britain, John? I very much doubt it. He's been Foreign Secretary for 3 months now, & who has he spoken for? Britain, or the EU? The EU, regretably. Every time!

  48. Peter Green
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Very well said Mr Redwood. It is about time we stood up for ourselves to the EU superstate. While we are at it, we should also do our bit to get rid of Baroness Ashton who is an utter embarrasment to the British People.

  49. crowbait
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your usual clear thinking. On the subject of the eu can you tell me if any of the British governments in the past 40 years have ever said no to Brussels
    despite all telling the voters they will stand up for this country and not allow any further loss of sovereignty? The usual song and dance is inevitably followed by caving in. Thus the eu bandwagon rolls on.

  50. thomas
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I can hardly muster the energy to respond. The arguments have been done to death. The majority of the British population is not happy with a federal European state with fiscal, police, foreign policy and military powers. This has been long established. Yet all parties are colluding to push us closer and closer – Labour through tax and social policy, the Conservatives through policing and, it shall become apparent after the SDR, military. Is there really any point in commenting on this? It is irrelevant what we think.

    Incidentally, you have mis-typed 'symbol' as 'sympbol'.

  51. Posted August 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Here' here! – but why is he doing it? Is this the malign influence of the pro-EU Coalition?

  52. Posted August 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Why don't we just say no more money until they can get their accounts in order anyway?

  53. David H
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    John, you are, of course, quite right. I wonder why I bothered to vote Tory – its the same old same old!

  54. Chris E.
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Come, come, Mr Redwood. The time for diplomatically phrased niceties is over. Continued dalliance with the EU racket is a mistake that costs the UK dearly in terms of cash and, more importantly, nationhood. Parliament is not mandated to sell the country out.

  55. Anne Palmer
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    The EU are fining Nation States as if there is no "tomorrow", this is because there has been no reduction in ANY of the EU Contributions Nation States make to the EU. We are even going to pay towards the EU Defence Agency at a time when our own Forces need far more equipment and protective gear to keep them safe. This is perhaps the greatest betrayal of all by our own MP’s.

    Nothing in the outside world touches them, only when all National Parliamentarians are out of their jobs and hopefully on the dole like many of the people in this Country, will they realise perhaps the sheer treachery they have taken part in. Perhaps Sir, you should ask The RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM HAGUE just how much longer does he think the people will continue to contribute to the charade that is taking place within those once "Hallowed Halls"? Perhaps when they see the very first foreign Police Officer on British Streets as a result of the European Investigation Order?

  56. Phil Kean
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for standing up for us.

    However, the line has definitely been crossed.

    There is an opportunity to give the people the electoral choice they've so far not been offered.
    A credible cross-party anti-EU / anti-unlimited immigration coalition would draw massive support throughout the country. I am hoping that respected MPs such as yourself will eventually make the break and help us to fight to save Britain from this socialist EU nightmare.
    .

    • Mike_Smith_Glos
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      There is UKIP! But these craven Conservatives, including John Redwood are more concerned with their careers than with their country to join it.
      Remember, UKIP came second in the 2009 Euro-elections, beating the Lib Dems and the, then, governing Labour Party.
      But in 2010, in their blinkered desire to get rid of GB, voters fell for the usual lies from Cameron and his ilk and voted Tory. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire!!

    • Posted August 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      An excellent idea. The smaller parties would probably join, too.

  57. Martin
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Re the fine – Send the fine to the ministers responsible.

    Re the EU budget – why does the UK not propose say a 5% cut in the EU budget to the other member states? It would be appropriate when all other budgets are being squeezed in all member states that the EU should take some of the burden.

  58. Joe
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    You are right of course John. But you know fine well that the leadership of your party is every bit as weak and bending when it comes to dealing with the EU as every government has been since the seventies. Hague particularly has been pitiful, after posing as he has done in the past as some potential defender of Britain's interests.

    Of Cameron, it hardly needs saying that he has surprised no one. He is a closet eurofanatic if ever there was one, and he will be relishing the chance to hide behind the Lib Dem's presence in government as he passes ever more powers to the politburo on Brussels, all of course without the merest hint of a referendum.

  59. gac
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Why do politicians go all soppy with the EU when they get into ministerial power?

    It is the same as the brain-dead approach to Windfarms – now blighting the scenic view from Thanet.

    What magical event takes place in the few hours between being elected and the PM appointment?

    You have been there John so you should know?

    Is it that despite the rhetoric when in opposition comes the realisation that the Civil Service has it all tied up – and thas nowt thee can do lad.

    The French would have told them where to stick the fine and the Italians would just ignore it. As for Germany – I doubt if the EU would dare fine them!

  60. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Would Mr Hague also tell the EU Ambassador to the US, Joao Vale de Almeida, that, contrary to what he may think, he does not speak for the UK in his dealings with the USA. If Mr Hague doesn't do this then he may as well become one of the “cuts” as his role would appear to be superfluous.

  61. stabledoor
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Very glad to see this post. I heard about this on Newsnight on Wednesday evening and so yesterday checked all the usual places to see if anyone had picked up on it – absolutely nothing and I wondered if I had dreamed it. Why the lack of coverage in the MSM? I googled it and still got nothing. People should be taking to the streets in protest and burning the EU flag – or is that illegal? I despair at our continued membership of the whole corrupt european project then when I thought it couldn't get any worse the Portugese EU ambassador to the US says he is talking for Britain now – surely this has gone far enough. I didn't vote for any of this and nor did anyone else

    • maxc
      Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative party actively collude in stripping GBP150m from British tax
      payers to give to the French, Germans et al, at a time of national fiscal crisis. For not flying a foreign flag enough in our own country. You just could not make this up. That tells us all we need to know about the level of utter contempt that the Government hold for its citizens. After much soul searching and after 20 years voting Conservative, at the last election I voted UKIP. I will never vote Conservative again.

  62. Widget
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Simple —
    Step 1 do as the French & tell 'em where to go.
    Step 2 get the Referendum out of the way asap
    Step 3 Get out fast
    Step 4 Become a stable, successful, independent country again

  63. Idris Francis
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Posted this ar 12.45 but as still not showing, again now at 6.30

    Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Better exposed than not, but its the whole iceberg that will sink this ship of State.

    My defining moment about the EU, having been fooled by Heath's lies and Wilson's lies in his 1975 Referendum document into voting Yes, came at the time of Maastricht when, having worked 70 to 80 hours a week for nearly 30 years I realised that the EU intended to make working hard a criminal offence.

    In thousands of hours study and hundreds of meetings since – including the first letter in 1998 in a national newspaper exposing Corpus Juris – the consequences of EU membership for freedom, democracy, our economy and our survival have become steadily and horrifyingly worse.

    Quite frequently of course measures introduced here are not announced as EU diktats though the EU is undoubtedly behind them, from ever more draconian surveiilance and laws to road safety measures to imprisonment without trial.

    So off the top of my head here are things I refuse to accept:

    Corpus Juris, the single Napoleonic legal system involving the loss of habeas corpus, jury trial, freedom from double jeopardy and many other vital principles.

    The European Public Prosecutor. The EU Arrest Warrant against which there is no meaningful defence.

    Police from every EU member state – if it is possible to be a state within a State – able to come here and interfere and instruct our police.

    Our private health and financial and other data available at the click of a key to hundreds of thousands of officials throughout the EU in countries even more corrupt than ours now is.

    Countries with far worse road safety records than ours being able to tell us how to run our roads, by QMV.

    Lord and Lady (sic) Kinnock's pensions on which they pay 11% income tax. And all the others'.

    The European Facade of a Parliament in which MEPs can and are fined for showing dissent on the basis that "dissent is not allowed"

    The CAP and CFP

    £100bn to £150bn pa overall cost of membership that we pay so that we can be destroyed by regulations uniquely harmful to us.

    Direct EU taxation now being planned, in addition to all the long standing indirect taxation.

    Laws we oppose imposed by QMV.

    The threat of forced euro membership – possibly quite soon as the EU throws everything into the ring to try to shore it up.

    The economic insanity of trying to get 27 divergent economies running in synch – as mad as ordering 10,000 troops to march in step across a rickety suspension bridge.

    EU number plates, flags, anthem.

    Totalitarianism. Fraud, deviousness, dishonesty, spin, outright blatant lies.

    The slowly slowly catchee monkey tactics – 1. It is not true 2/ It's only a discussion over coffee 3/ Its not official 4/ It will not happen 5/ Its law – why didn't you complain sooner 6/ Go to jail – do not pass go,

    Laws in "xenophobia"

    Worthless promises of referendums and that "We will not let it res there"

    Pretended eurosceptics who are simply decoys – Hague and Cameron ar eonly two examples.

    Those who pretent that we can fix these problems and should stay in and renegotiate – as much chance as ablindfolded wartime spy after the safety catch has clicked. None.

    We must get out while we still can. Nothing else makes any sense at all

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Well said Sir, you have covered the problems admirably. If only we could get such information out more widely. I do wonder what it will take to wake up our Nation to the threat the EU and our politicians are posing.

  64. Andrew Johnson
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Can't find any factual reports about this on the Web. The very fact people have taken it seriously shows just what some people really think of the EU.
    Dream on all those who think any of the three major partiesare going to do anything other than continue to delude themelves that Britain's best interests are served by ceding ever more power and control to the EU. I'm rapidly concluding that our only hope may be persuading enough of the Eurosceptic Conservatice Mp's to rebel and demand a referendum or withdraw their support from the coalition. Oh dear the alarm clock is bleeping again…. time to get up!
    Many years ago Tony Wedgewood Benn said, that nearly every important social and political change in Britain has come about through the direct action of the people. I'm looking forward to the creation of the non-violent but extremely vocal and effective English Liberation Army!
    By the way, thanks Mr. Redwood for feeding us regular scraps of hope that at least one MP has a grasp on how frustrated and annoyed many people are by their MP's views on Europe.

  65. vervet
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    John, you are just too much of a gentleman in these matters.
    We need to raise two-fingers to the EU and go our own, independent way.

  66. Avikal
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    John

    You have 62 independent comments to this Blog as of Friday Night. You could certainly now start to influence 10 Downing Street Spinners and the PM's Aides by publishing your traffic figures too. I bet Lord Ashcroft would be envious since he bought out a few political web sites recently. If we now move to a Global Recession as "Export markets" just are not there for the taking and the US is tanking under a "Dying President" who may limp thruogh just an another couple of years, then your arguments about Europe and their outrageous control of democracies and costs to us, will start to gain serious political traction. This is a very good Blog piece and should run on.

  67. Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I love the fact that they're fining us. I love all the increased powers of the EU and their steady grab at the structures of our nation. Keep it up, I say!

    It clearly takes this level of interference to wake people in the country up. So bring it on and let's have the breakpoint sooner, rather than much later. Better Off Out.

  68. CDR
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    MSM has a habit of conveniently blacking-out stories that it doesnt want people to know about. That is how it controls the minds of the population. Why do you think so many alternative-news sites are under regular attack and faceless bureaucrats are always trying to shut them down? Very few MPs are willing to speak out in support of people's concerns; it's time to get the ball rolling faster, because time is steadily running out. The more we lose control of things to Europe, the stickier the glue will become until there is finally no way off the fly-paper.

  69. anti EEC
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I shall never forget William Hague admiting on a televised election debate that a UK government couldn't prevent eastern europeans from coming in to the country and competing with British nationals for jobs. The Slavic (arrivals in -ed) our country over the last 6 years or so has not been to the benefit of this country and it is outrageous that a senior Tory politician can complacently accept this scandal and display all the spinelessness we have come to expect of our representatives.. How Hague could be so sanguine in condemning many of his felow citizens to unemployment disgusts me.

  70. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Clearly I have been working too hard and have missed all this.

    Had an interesting conversation many years ago whilst on Holiday with a Civil Servant (also on holiday) about EU funding projects having just travelled on a motorway funded by the EU (signs all over the place).

    EU would at that time, only give out grants/money if that money was ring fenced for use on that particular project. Since the UK at that time refused to ring fence any EU money for a particular project, but instead just wanted to put the dosh into a central fund, we did not get any.

    If a condition of getting EU money is to have an EU flag sign posted on the project, then we have two choices, take the money and get a flag, or refuse the money and do as we like.

    No I am not an EU supporter, the sooner we get out the better, but how bloody incompetent having taken the money, not to put up a sign.

    John just out of interest, how much was the Grant.

    Please do not tell me it was less than 150 million.

    • Private Schultz
      Posted August 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Yup, agree with you, and where possible, if the fine is imposed, it should be passed on to all those projects who took the money then ignored the conditions.

  71. john kelly
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Roger Helmer MEP has shown that for each £100 spent on an EU-funded project – for which they require the flag to be shown – has cost us, the UK taxpayer, £260, some bargain eh?

    For heavens sake, John Redwood, help to break the Tory Party into 2

    1/ the real conservative party
    2/ the Vichy conservative party

    and then we can vote for which we want, and get out of the corrupt EU

    • Alec Y
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The real conservative party is now UKIP.

  72. Neil Kernick
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I just want Britain to leave the fraudulent' EU. I'm not interested in improving the EU from the inside or outside. It is a dictators paradise, an unelected European political elite ruling Europe, absolute power to the few over the many, I hate them with a passion!
    Neil Kernick

  73. Malfleur
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Any EU project using funds donated by the United Kingdom should from now on be required to display the Union Jack.

  74. Glyn H
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    The EU needs us a great deal more than we need them, contary to the thinking of The late and unlamented Mr Heath. He was stuck in 1948 just as MacMillan was forever stuck in 1930 due to what he saw then.
    We need to look out to the trouble brewing for us in China and Russia not be tied into a sclerotic socialist (and expensive) past. There seems to something in the water at Westminster that affects even clear thinking Tories like Hague and turns them into Blunketts.

    • Mike
      Posted August 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      It is not the 'water' in Westminster but the 'crock of gold' at the end of the rainbow in Brussels. No doubt Cameron and Hague are stacking up EU brownie points which will get them 'saved' like Mandelson or 'paid off' like the Kinnocks.

  75. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, it would be interesting if you have the figures to tell us the 'net' figure for the UK in terms of what we pay into the EEC and what we receive back in subsidies, grants etc. etc.

  76. John Payne
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    This whole matter adds up to the question.

    When is the Conservative Party going to get together and force the Government to have a complete and open investigation into the full cost of being a member of the European Union, as apposed to following the Swiss policy?

    John Payne

  77. backofanenvelope
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    And now it seems that Mr Hague no longer speaks for the UK in Washington.

    • Iain Crew
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      That's probably a good thing as it makes things more obvious.

      WIlliam can now only cowtow to the party line – as dictated by Brussels not his immediate boss, David.

      We are all slaves of Brussels and made so by our own Westminster politicians alas!

  78. Mike_Smith_Glos
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Why have we never had a referendum on the political Union?
    The answer is here – the vast majority would vote to leave it!

    • Iain Crew
      Posted August 15, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I don't know if the 'vast majority' would vote for leaving the EU but, in truth, the UK entered a "Common Market" and this was approved by a Referendum of the British People but the subsequent politicisation of the EU was neither put to the British People in that Referendum nor approved by the voters.

      Unfortunately no British mainstream party which is ever reasonably likely to form a government of the UK, will ever offer the people the vote on remaining within the EU (or not) as the British mainstream politicians know that they (a) they know best, (b) are voted to post to make ALL decisions for us (even if the EU is never raised as a real Manifesto topic at Elections) and (c) the probable loss of prestige, influence and the end of the political excuse for the UK having to abide by the bureaucratic EU power over the UK explaining why the Westminster makes certain unappealing decision would be too much for the pro-EU politicians to allow the 'Great Unwashed' to have a choice or real vote in the matter.

  79. margaret strange
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, __Well done for sticking your neck out __But please, please lets get out there is no other answer to this you know it we know it. Mr Cameron, Mr Hague will change nothing..__
    Margaret Strange.

  80. Anne Palmer
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I have recently been looking into the European Investigation Order (EIO) that The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May) recently said that the Government are going to "opt in" to. Mrs May also said that the EIO directive does not incur a shift in sovereignty.

    Yet I have just read an EU Paper from the instigators of this EIO which on the last page Dated 29th April 2010, makes clear that, in accordance with Article 3 of Protocol 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland etc “have notified their wish to take part in the adoption of this Directive”

  81. Anne Palmer
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    This proposed EIO seems to be an attempt to make, for the very first time, one state, through its covering of ‘territoriality’, the ability to whisk some-one away for what may be an offence in their Country but not in the residents country. No borders-just one state. Mrs May says the there is no loss of Sovereignty.
    With this legislation there is a massive loss of Sovereignty and powers and that promise of a referendum MUST be upheld, which I pray will be “fair and true”. If the outcome of a referendum is to remain in the EU, there would be no point in voting for a British Government ever again, for they will have given the Governing of this Country away, probably forever.

  82. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Why are Conservative members of the cabinet behaving like this? Is it because they are in coalition or is it that they are less Eurosceptic than they would have us believe? I think that Mr Redwood needs to ask a few very pointed questions in the Commons in order to find out.

    If the cabinet members simply say that the Lisbon Treaty obliges us to do these things, that will send a message to the electorate.

  83. Iain Crew
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The UK politicians love having the EU as a bête noire as it makes for a handy excuse when they enact laws upon the UK citizens. Why take responsibility for unpalatable rules and regulations when you can always blame the EU for their imposition … that is why there will never be another referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

    It is high time that the British People were given fresh opportunity to review the 1975 Referendum choice (many of the current voters either not being old enough to vote or even born in 1975) and the decision of the people allowed to be made afresh – whether or not they approve or disapprove the UK remaining within the EU (which is no longer just a "Common Market") cannot be prejudged but at least the right to choose would be that of the electorate and a truly democratic decision.

  84. Alec Y
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Your fellow MP, Douglas Carswell, gave a brilliant speech at the Bruges Group meeting last month. He is a true eurosceptic who wants to get all like minded people together to get our country back. I am certain of his position but when will you join him and call for us to leave the EU.

  85. Peter
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    You fail to understand that Cameron is a collectivist. I told you in Gillingham over ten years ago that there is no solution other than out and that be peaceful or violent means. Cameron is a socialist who is playing at cutting the deficit. To put the EU money into context, we are talking about the cost of running the NHS for one day. But to spend £48 million a day of our money to pay fat cats in the EU to destroy our nation is simply storing up a visceral anger which will not be quenched until the UK leaves the EU or the EU implodes as all dictatorships eventually do. Why are you so reticent about our leaving? Are the conservatives now so resigned to our fate that they no longer want to defend the nation? Blair ensured our armed forces were neutered by entering into umpteen conflicts where we had no business being but you belong to a party of traitors of a worse hue, because your party claimed to be patriotic. From Heath through to Major and now Cameron, the lot have been ghastly and now Cameron has the effrontery to appoint Maude (he wh signed the Maastricht Treaty) and Clarke (who could not be bothered to even read it) to high places at the table along with his socialist friends from the irrelevant but empowered Lib Dems. And now a Labour man. I despise the conservative leadership.

  86. Derek Buxton
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    There is no "conservative" leadership and at the rate we are going, there never will be ever again.

  87. Posted August 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    What is the issue with Europe we cant survive without them so please stop going on about it and let us work together

  88. Smolt
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Following redundancy from a British job, I profited from my free movement as an EU citizen and got a job in France. No need even to register at the local town hall (except to vote in local and European elections). There's no restriction on me as a foreigner from buying real estate. The climate's better too, the Intercity trains are faster and public transport is properly integrated. In theory I could travel all the way to the Polish border without needing to show my passport.

    There are plenty of adventures waiting to be had outside the UK, most of them good ones. Also British people on the ground in foreign parts stand a better chance of trying to share ideas on free markets, pragmatism and so on than the introspectives who want to try to hide behind a narrow strip of salt water.

  89. jedibeeftrix
    Posted August 22, 2010 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    What has happened to Camerons six EU policy pledges?

    First one must look at the coalition agreement and compare it against the original policy pledges:

    6) Repatriation of control over social and employment legislation
    We agree that there should be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament. We will examine the balance of the EU’s existing competences and will, in particular, work to limit the application of the Working Time Directive in the United Kingdom.

    1) The referendum lock
    3) A guaranteed say for MP’s if Ministers want the EU to extend its powers
    We agree that we will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty – a ‘referendum lock’. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation.

    2) A United Kingdom sovereignty bill
    We will examine the case for a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority remains with Parliament.

    5) Return of powers over criminal justice
    We agree that we will approach forthcoming legislation in the area of criminal justice on a case by case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting Britain’s civil liberties and preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system. Britain will not participate in the establishment of any European Public Prosecutor.

    The only obvious casualty is the fourth of Camerons EU policy pledges:

    4) Opt out from the charter of fundamental rights

    However, it is arguable that pledges five and six are no longer clear statements of intent to return power from Brussels, and the pledge regarding a UK sovereignty bill is clearly been kicked into the long-grass, so this is no longer the manifesto upon which the Conservatives were elected, that much is certain. The new governments language when discussing EU matters is also distinctly emollient, with several public statements indicating that they have no wish to pick a fight with the EU.

    This is not what we voted for.

  90. Winston's Black
    Posted August 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives mantra is in Europe not ruled by Europe.

    If that statement is meaningful why don't we simply tell them to stick the fine where the sun doesn't shine?

    Surely the Conservatives wouldn't lie to the electorate? Breaking cast-iron guarantees is one thing but lying?

  91. Ollie Cromwell
    Posted August 31, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Its long overdue – we need to cleanse the filth from our democracy, and that means we must leave europe – the successive governments have committed treason by passing our sovereignty, against QEII's coronation oath (look it up). Hang them all, and start again, it's the only way!

  92. SJB
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    From the Daily Mail, 22 September, 2010:

    "THE UK hasn't been fined £150 million for failing to 'fly the EU flag' on projects co-funded by the European Union (Mail). The Commission hasn't requested any repayment from the UK on this basis. In fact, the UK is responsible for managing these funds and has detected these and other irregularities itself. It is able to re-direct all or some of the money to other eligible projects rather than having to reimburse the European Union." – per Jonathan Scheele

  93. Anne Palmer
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Letter to the Managing Editor of The Daily Mail, sent 8th July 2010
    Sir,Your article “Brussels fines us £150m for failing to fly the EU flag” is wrong. The EU has not “fined” the UK GBP150m and most definitely not in regards to displaying or not the EU flag.

    The legal provisions adopted by the EU member states (the UK included) ask them to comply with certain minimum requirements on publicity and this includes the display of the EU logo on a permanent plaque. However, there have been no issues with the UK in this respect.

    Yours sincerely,
    Antonia Mochan,
    Head of Media
    European Commission Representation, London
    Just who can the people of this Country believe any more? Why concoct this tale up if it is not true? Is it the UK Government that are fining them? Just for the money? Has there been a trial? I can find no legislation that states the EU will FINE people or Organisations that do not display the EU Emblem or flag when they have some of our Money back from our EU Contributions. (which does not mean there isn't any such legislation-but just that I have not found any) I just do not know. None of it makes any sense to me. Many important people, MP's, Lords and Ladies do not seem to know the truth.-Not named here. Do they know but are keeping quiet-I don't know. Sorry, but to lose the trust of the people over a matter such as this when eventually the truth "will out" just does not make any sense.

  94. Anne Palmer
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Where is the £150.000.000 now? The EU or the UK?
    Placing this on here for the third and last time. Why keep it secret?
    Letter to the Managing Editor of The Daily Mail, sent 8th July 2010

    Sir,

    Your article “Brussels fines us £150m for failing to fly the EU flag” is wrong. The EU has not “fined” the UK GBP150m and most definitely not in regards to displaying or not the EU flag.

    The legal provisions adopted by the EU member states (the UK included) ask them to comply with certain minimum requirements on publicity and this includes the display of the EU logo on a permanent plaque. However, there have been no issues with the UK in this respect.

    Yours sincerely

    Antonia Mochan
    Head of Media
    European Commission Representation, London

  95. Anne Palmer
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    This was sent by me, to Citizen’s Direct Date: Monday, 11/10/2010 13:55:46
    Subject: [Case_ID: 318715 / 4737993] Flying the EU Flag.
    ————————————————–
    Headlines Recently in UK National Papers have been that certain UK Firms have been fined between them £150,000,000 for not flying the EU flag when they have received some of our EU Contributions back. This has also been denied by allegedly some-one from the EU-no name given. I would like to know the truth please. Has the EU fined either the UK or have certain organisations been fined by the EU for not flying the EU flag or showing an EU Emblem when they have received EU money back from UK Contributions? Thank you for your attention. Anne Palmer

    This reply came today 14.10.2010
    [Case_ID: 0318715/4737993] Flying the EU Flag.
    Dear Ms Palmer,
    We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail and thank you for your message. Please note that the article we suppose you are referring to is misleading. In response to your enquiry we would like to inform you of the following as regards publicity rules of the European Flag for EU Structural funds funded projects and related fines: The General Regulation on the implementation of Structural Funds, which has been adopted by the Member States, requires that they comply with certain minimum requirements on publicity and this includes the display of the EU logo in a permanent plaque. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy is satisfied with the way the UK authorities comply with publicity requirements in general and has not identified any issues relating to publicity requirements in any of the recent audits. To our knowledge this issue has not been flagged up either after audits from the EU Court of Auditors and national audit authorities. Even if some irregularities would have been identified in individual projects over the years, the amount concerned would never come anywhere near the GBP 150 million figure mentioned in media articles.
    Non-respect of the publicity rules (such as making a plaque) may lead to financial corrections. However, these cases are very rare as the Member States normally adopt corrective measures themselves following the audit findings. Only in one case so far (not in the UK), where the Member State did not want to do the corrective measure, and after several interventions of the European Commission, the managing authority implementing the project to install the plaque and subsequently a financial correction of approximately 5 million Euro was made.
    We hope that this information will be of use to you.
    With kind regards,
    EUROPE DIRECT Contact Centre http://europa.eu – your shortcut to the EU!
    Disclaimer
    Please note: We will try to ensure that you receive the information requested, or to direct you to an appropriate source. However, we are unable to comment on specific issues pertaining to EU policy, and information provided by EUROPE DIRECT may not be considered as legally binding. END.
    Have the national News Papers and local Papers made all this about the EU ‘fining’ the UK, up? As certain Companies have been named and alleged amounts of fines printed that the firms had allegedly been fined, your guess is as good as mine. I have asked certain MP’s- so far no reply. Why didn’t the Government step in or MP’s?

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  1. […] it.  Imagine if a pro-European politician had written on his blog, as John Redwood has done http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?p=6803, that this money should not be paid back because it was a “technical […]

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