High finance and low politics

Angela Merkel is afraid that the German constitutional court could challenge the legality of the bail out arrangements put in place for Euro zone members to get them through the last crisis. She is pressing for a new EU Treaty to define  the EU powers and to put them beyond constitutional doubt.

France is looking for EU  solidarity and support at a time of spending and deficit crisis. Other member states with large deficits  are hoping that the bail out measures in place will one day be available to ease their pain.

This all makes it more likely that the EU will press ahead with a new Treaty seeking wide ranging powers of economic government. The combination of legal uncertainty, the reluctance of many Germans to pay taxes to support the southern states, and the ever present aim of the EU bureaucracy to extend its powers will come together to demand a substantial extension of EU economic government.

This leaves the UK in a potentially powerful and interesting position. The UK will presumably say it intends to surrender not one iota of extra power to the EU. Otherwise it would in conscience have to grant a referendum which it does not seem keen to do. The UK does not have to sign a new Treaty, even if it does include an opt out that works. The Uk should require a good offer to persuade it to let  the others go ahead with stronger central controls. There are powers and money to get back to improve the UK’s deal.

It will be a good test of the UK government’s negotiating skills, and  a chance for them to show how determined they are in wishing to cut back on central controls and high spending budgets in Brussels.

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28 Comments

  1. norman
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Importantly it would also do a lot to dispel the notion of ‘Cast Iron Dave’ to the right. Time after time the charge is laid at the PM’s door that he says one thing (that he’s so Eurosceptic it’s ‘worse’ than Nick Clegg thought) but secretly is happy to go with the flow towards ever increasing Union (as evidenced by a string of decisions in the first 6 months of his government).

    A tough stance and real concessions won would strengthen his hand considerably. Always assuming he wants to strengthen his support within the right of the Party.

  2. Simon
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful…. However the cynic inside me says that the inmates and not the warders are in control of the asylum.

  3. Richard J
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “The UK will presumably say it intends to surrender not one iota of extra power to the EU.”

    This sounds like a classic example of the triumph of hope over experience. One need only consider the voting rolls on the amendments in the EU budget debate in the House.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    No one I know has any faith in Cast Iron Dave and now even worse with with the Liberals there too!

    Even William Hague only says “The Coalition is agreed that we will not agree to move more areas of power from Britain to the EU”

    Note the careful use of words “areas of power not power”.

    How do you expect anyone to have any trust whatsoever in this rabble?

  5. alan jutson
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I await the result with interest.

    It could at a stroke define our Prime Ministers thoughts for the future of our role within the EU.

    Will we play a tough hand and seek to enhance our own interests (as many other Member States do), or will we roll over again, and submit to more rules regulations and requests for cash.

  6. CDR
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Much as I’d like to see Mr Cameron make the effort to drag us back from further absorption into the EU, my gut instinct (like Simon, earlier on) tells me that he won’t. I haven’t seen one shred of evidence so far that shows any willingness to fight to retain the UK’s independence and retake powers from Brussels. Every time I read this type of article in the news, my innards tell me that I’ve “heard it all before”…..promises promises. Even if we had a referendum, I expect the result would be ignored….as is usual.

  7. Andrew Duffin
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    “The UK will presumably say it intends to surrender not one iota of extra power to the EU. ”

    (Where “The UK” means the government of course; the people will not be asked)

    I have no doubt that they will say that.

    What will actually happen, of course, is another thing entirely: they will find some way to surrender which does not involve holding a referendum.

    That’s my prediction; anyone betting against?

  8. waramess
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I will not be holding my breath. Cameron will choose the path of spinning to the electorate than having a rough-up with the EU.

    Cameron knows by now that the electorate have absolutely no redress and the only response to complete capitulation will be a whimper from anti EU MPs.

    The French would muster a bigger showdown with their political masters over a marginal reduction of garlic in sausages than the British would to the loss of their sovereignty.

  9. Deborah
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    So far the responses are unanimous in their doubt – that includes me.
    I wonder how long it will be before anyone responding to this article expresses any confidence that the Govt will do the right thing?

    I do hope the powers that be who keep an eye on this column don’t try and kid themselves it is just a reflection of the readers of this blog. It is a reflection of the lack of trust in this Government – and it is very widely held indeed amongst the electorate.

  10. Mark
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    If the PM were serious he would have popped over to Deauville and had a word with Angela and Nick while they were taking their blustery beachside stroll. As it is, we know he will be presented by a fait accompli. Perhaps our diplomats in Berlin should give the judges of the German Constitutional Court a good dinner – they seem to be among our best allies in Europe.

    The first test is to achieve a freeze in the EU budget in cash terms. If we don’t get that, we know the rest.

  11. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, Can you tell us in your view why we are not to be allowed a referendum on membership of the EEC?? Is it because government are afraid of the answer from an electorate who are not knowledgeable in these matters??

  12. simon
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You can’t negotiate with these people , Chamberlain proved that .

    Broadly the interest groups behind the EU and NWO are the same ones which were behind the 4th Reich .

    My heart tells me we could have an arms length relationship with the EU like Norway does .

    My head tells me it’s in-or-out .

  13. Posted October 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    An elegant encircling movement, Mr Redwood – a trap it should be tricky for the government to spring.

    Let’s hope that your backbench colleagues take this up.

  14. Andrew Johnson
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I once was privileged to work for a time with a commercial director (ex Navy) who was the most positive person I have ever met. His glass was always half full, and every problem was viewed as a window of opportunity to climb through and make things better. A philosophy that worked for him and those he led, including me.
    I hope with all my heart that the Coalition will act as you suggest, but life experience has taught me to temper my optimism with reality. But, if you were Minister for Europe in charge of negotiations…. Sighs and looks wistful at what could be.

  15. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    DEBORAH on 27 Oct 2010 at 10:00 am

    So far the responses are unanimous in their doubt – that includes me.
    I wonder how long it will be before anyone responding to this article expresses any confidence that the Govt will do the right thing?

    Not us either we’re afraid Deborah.

    Mr Cameron isn’t sufficiently streetwise to make a good negotiator but we hoped, indeed hope, for more from Mr Hague who is still strangely silent on this general issue.
    Surely he’s not still conventrating on his stated No 1 overseas priority, Climate Change?

  16. EJT
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    It won’t be a test of their negotiating skills. It will be a test of their principles and integrity.

    We shall see.

  17. Derek Buxton
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid that I agree with most of the comments, Cameron will give the EU everything they ask for and then come home and proclaim a great victory. It has happened before and it will continue on and on and on. Until we get a politician with a backbone and a love of our Country.

  18. Alan
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    We should reserve our efforts on EU negotiation until we get to a topic of importance to us. To make a fuss about a currency system that we are not even members of will give the impression that Conservatives are more concerned about abstruse points of principle than obtaining the best for the UK.

  19. Nick
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Referenda? Why no mention of a referenda on the matter?

    All transfers of power should have a referenda.

    The problem all polticians face is that they have repeatedly stuck two fingers up to the electorate.

    When the electorate gets the say, people like me will take the opportunity to go directly against the politicians’ wishes, purely because of their prior behaviour of lying, cheating, fraud, and general corruption.

    For example, what’s fair about taxing the middle classes to pay for politicians mistakes?

    Where’s the payback from all of Brown’s investment in people? The investment was fraud on expenses.

  20. THE ESSEX GIRLS
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    As an aside, PMQs improved again today. Less tribalism from the Labour backbenches, shorter questions and replies and therefore more ground covered. How Gordon Brown is missed – NOT! (However his successor peaked in Week 1 it seems)
    We often have a go at DC but today he was on very good form – remarkable what a good set of figures does for one’s morale! However we’d counsel the PM and Chancellor not to get too cocky too quickly. Unrealistic this early and un-statesmanlike too. Leave the lower echelons to crow if you feel the need to.

    As for The Daily Politics, our PMQs medium…Philip Hammond continues to be a good spokesman but what does the BBC have with the omni-present Ms Flint of the ‘I have to say, yer know, to be perfectly honest’ vocab? A poor performer.

    And finally, David Sainsbury made much sense on much maligned GM foods. Most US maize and soya is now GM and the Daily Mail has done us a disservice on this topic. Public opinion can be swayed we believe and the UK should be regarding agriculture – and with it GM – as a growth industry and capable of providing thousands of lesser skilled as well as science-based new jobs.

    As for The ESSEX BOYS, they merely emailed us to ask the name of the attractive MP sitting behind Cheryl Gillan. What ARE these blokes like!

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    We have been very fortunate in this country to have had two towering leaders in the C20, one saved us from fascism, the other from socialism/communism. I cannot see anyone on the political horizon brave enough to save us from the EU.

  22. simon
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Any negotiations would be as authentic as the televised wrestling which used to appear on ITV 30 years ago .

    Hague , Osborne and Cable are bought and paid for and Cameron has got to be considered suspect .

    The key feature missing is the Old Lady from the audience stepping in the ring and flattening the villains with her handbag .

    J.R. , I’m sure you’ve worked it out by now that you are in the wrong party . Nothing left for you with the Conservatives , they are never going to let you have a cabinet role .

  23. lola
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    “It will be a good test of the UK government’s negotiating skills, and a chance for them to show how determined they are in wishing to cut back on central controls and high spending budgets in Brussels.” In the words of the philosopher. Yeah. Right.

  24. Robert
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    At PMQ’s Dave was asked about the EU Budget increase and the Treaty changes. He will fight the increase and allow the Treaty change because we are not members of the Euro. These changes are being introduced because the loans proping up Greece are illegal from the ECB. In the meantime those national banks exposed to the Greek melt down are dumping their exposure onto the ECB. When Greece defaults the EU tax payers will pick up the bill. That will include us. Thank you Dave.

    That makes two referendums that he has dodged. There is nothing like a democracy for free people and this doesn’t look much like a democracy.

  25. Rob
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I wont be holding my breath.

  26. Steve S
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Being forced to have our budget vetted by the EU before it is presented to Her Majesty’s Parliament is an act that cannot be viewed as anything other than a surrender of sovereignty – irrespective of the applicability of sanctions upon the UK. Once we give up this prinicple, all will be lost in time. Despite this, I confidently predict there will be no referendum on this issue. Mr Cameron may surprise me on this, but I doubt it.

  27. John M
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    There is no point anyone waiting for DC to show any sort of integrity regarding his negotiations with the EU. His track record clearly shows he is fully in favour of ever closer union and he is happy to continue the denial of democracy to his electorate.
    As for budgetary responsibility, he and William Hague have amply demonstrated their intention of continuing to penalise the people of this island with ever higher taxation on behalf of the EU. At the same time they are part of the government which is claiming there is a dire financial crisis necessitating immediate reductions in benefits and services.
    If DC and his government do not take a stand on an immediate budgetary freeze now, it can only be because they do not wish to, no other explanation is plausible. With Angela Merkele desperate to avoid court action over the Eurozone bailout we have all the aces needed to aquire huge concessions and repatriation of powers.
    It is not in David Cameron’s game plan, he has other fish to fry. The real questions are, how much longer will real Conservative politicians follow this man, and how long before the electorate wakes up and boots him in to touch for good.

  28. Bob Cane
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s capitulation shows what a wet he is. His claims to be a Eurosceptic have been proved to be hollow. He comes back declaring that handing over a further 400 million per year to Brussels is a victory. When will the real conservatives MPs and activist rise up a take back the party?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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