Eurosceptics meeting

 

    Today is the day when the relatively new George Eustice group meets in the Commons to discuss how we can reverse the constant movement to ever closer union. Contrary to the press adverts for it, it will not just be a meeting of Eurosceptics elected for the first time in 2010. All are invited, to pool our votes and voices in a common cause.

    The government is aware of the growing disquiet about the steady drift towards more EU power. Some of us have voted No or abstained as the government has gone along with various new EU initiaitives, opted in to various Criminal Justice measures, contributed to some of the Euroland bailouts and supported a European budget higher again this year than last. Other Conservative MPs have complained in private to their whips that they did not want to be voting the way the government recommended, and are looking for some good news on the EU front to offset the votes they wished they hadn’t cast.

           Over the last seven days we have had a flurry of Eurosceptic grandstanding from the government. They tabled a debate on a criminal justice measure where they did use the opt out, to try to highlight a good decision that did not really need Parliamentary approval. They licensed William Hague to remind us that in an ideal world they want powers back, but of course this is not an ideal world as it is a Coalition. They remind us constantly that they will not be joining Euroland members when it comes to taking more economic powers to the centre, though they do not show us the small print of the measures.

            The truth is such words are not enough. In the same week the government yet again categorically rules out any kind of referendum on European matters, and repeated that it is not going to demand powers back anytime soon. Mr Hague has spent most of the last year declining to talk about the EU, and facilitating further moves towards an  EU foreign policy. Today’s meeting needs to set out clearly that the EU is in crisis and is about to embark on another major step towards closer union as part of the Euro fix. This is the perfect time for the UK to allow them to do so in return for lossening our ties to this failing economic bloc.

 

 

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67 Comments

  1. Duyfken
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    May the meeting achieve all that the organisers hope for. And congratulations to you and to others of the “old guard” who have kept the true blue (Tory) flag flying during the long years when eurosceptics could make little headway against the europhile tide.

    • Tim
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      If the Tory Party leadership position is as reported then we the electorate will get more of the same throughout this parliament and beyond. As a lifelong Tory voter I have therefore decided that I will no longer vote Tory until they put forward policies I agree with on leaving the EU, Human Rights Act, tougher immigration rules, reducing foreign aid, reducing public spending and smaller Government. Mr Cameron is treating the public as fools and he will be a one term Prime Minister. This is not democracy and this issue in particular cannot be constantly kicked into the long grass. All the people, family and friends I know are saying the same. We’ve had enough of 14 years of spin. Action not words are needed.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        I have therefore decided that I will no longer vote Tory until they put forward policies I agree with on leaving the EU

        I beat you to it! I’m in my 60s and a lifelong Tory voter until the last EU elections when I decided to lend my vote to UKIP. I came out of the polling station feeling quite elated. Some much so that I repeated the experience last year at the general election. The sense that it was the right thing to do is palpable.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Please let me assure you that you are right to do this, whatever the government happens to think. I send you all my very best wishes.

  3. Peter Campbell
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Why do Euro sceptics vote for policies they do not believe in? If they think that the government is wrong to go along with the EU then they should vote against it no matter what the whips say. To meekly do what they are told is to put their party and/or career before their country which is something that has happened far too much and has led to us being in a trap we don’t want to be in. If they do just toe the line they are worse than the fools that believe in the union.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The braver ones abstain – wow!

    • norman
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      We’re now in the position where the government implements and votes for policies it doesn’t believe in, such as the 50% tax rate, or abandons others it does (see list of u-turns over last year) not because they think these are good, or bad, policies, or that they will harm the country but because they are afraid of the opposition stealing a march on them.

      Would that we had a principled right of centre party that could build from a framework of solid conservative policies and trust that they will bear fruit and try and convince the public by with cogent arguments (that would mean treating us as capable and intelligent which any government is loath to do as they know best).

      Instead we have a leadership which doesn’t really believe in anything and so twists like straws in the wind.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Because most out of self interest respond to party rather than voters or personal feelings. The system makes this the best way to protect their personal interests so that is what they do.

      I was initially uplifted this morning reading about Osborne finally talking about “leeches on society”. Naturally I assumed he has finally decided to tackle the over large government and parasitic state sector. But alas it become rapidly clear that he was attacking the highly moral people who, legally, choose to put their money in offshore bank accounts. Perhaps to avoid his 50% tax and try to preserve it value in the face of the deliberate devaluation and inflation he has caused. Hopefully by doing this they will prevent him tipping the money down the PIGS or on HS2 or the Green Bling nonsense and they will use it for something sensible directly without the parasitic middle men of the coalition taking their pound of flesh.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        I see the government and Vince Cable seem determined to try to make HSBC move head office to Hong Kong and reduce UK bank lending yet further – to put yet more negative pressure on UK industry.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Again you forget to mention the parasitic private banking sector being the biggest leech on society. Any reason?

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 13, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Banking clearly need to be sorted out and they need a good regulatory framework and proper competition to encourage lending.

          As I have frequently said many of them are now an arm of the state anyway.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Did you have the same attitude to the ‘parasitic’ coal industry and the same amount of sympathy as you do with the Arthur Scargill of banking Bob Diamond. Whose strain on the state has been much more than any of the coal or metal bashing trades have ever been.

    • Widget
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      All too true, sadly.

      However, I do sense a head of steam building here that the government will ignore at their peril.

      Thanks to John Redwood & the likes of Douglas Carswell for staying true to their values.

    • lojolondon
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately because it is their job. If your boss tells you to turn left and you turn right, you are compromising your future, promotions, or even your time in the company. The ‘whip’ system is the death of democracy, because MP’s do what their leader tells them, even if they know that every person in their constituency is against it. Because the lemmings keep voting for the ‘big 3’, we have no voice anymore.

  4. Javelin
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I think the analogy between banking risks and sovereign risks are very direct

    Large Bank = Government
    Bank Shares = Government Bond
    Bank defaulting = Government defaulting
    Deposit Protection = Government Bailout
    Bank Living Will = No Euro Exit Mechanism
    Ring Fencing Retail Deposits = Seperating Countries Currencies

    Anyway, I think it’s impossible to hold the position of wanting to ring fence banks and not see the break up of the Euro – or visa versa.

    • norman
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The difference is that banks are ran by unscruplous greedy bankers who would (ignore-ed) their own granny for an extra nought on the bonus cheque and countries are ran by principled and incorruptible politicians who care nothing for their own welfare and look out only for what will benefit the citizenry!

    • javelin
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      The Greekshave now drawn a line in the sand. Today they said they only had enough money to last until October. On Friday I posted that the Greek Government had stopped paying their internal bills – apart from pensions and salaries.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/12/us-greece-cash-idUSTRE78B1BR20110912

      ‘We are trying to guarantee that the state can continue to pay salaries without problems until October’ – so that means on the 1st of October the cash runs out. RBS had predicted 11th of December … it just shows how optimistic the markets have been, when this date has been quoted as something new. Any critic of the markets need to address why the markets have been optimistic on Greece rather than realistic. I suppose its no surprise given the mess we have gotten into.

      This ties in with Merkels statement that Greece will default soon. In a couple of Weeks. That doesnt give Merkel much (any) time to rally political support. Stark’s resignation on Friday made an impossible task even more difficult. The new German member joining the ECB is a crisis management specialist. They will need his skills – and he will barely have slipped his feet under the table.

    • outsider
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      A truly illuminating comment.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    How seriously will your grouping be regarded by your party leaders when, as you point out, so many have already succumbed to the pressures of the whips? Similarly, Cameron has weakened his negotiating position by making it clear that he wants to remain in the EU and will not hold an in/out referendum for that very reason. Any attempt to ask for repatriation of powers will be snubbed by the EU in the full knowledge that his overriding determination is to remain a member.

  6. ian wragg
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Yet another empty gesture by the government. Cameron is a EUSSRphile and happily blames the coalition for following his own policies.
    Labour will announce an in/out referendum in the next general election campaign and the non tories will be sunk.
    Any moren of Daves cast iron promises will be laughed off stage.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Yes, this is the inevitable scenario. Union leaders are already paving the way with anti-EU rhetoric and how it is hurting the British working-class. Cameron believes he can spin away the issue and his personal PR machine will triumph. Proper ‘Conseravtive’ MPs should stop wasting their time in talking shops and move to form a breakaway party.

    • MickC
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if Labour do announce that they will hold such a referendum (and are trusted enough that they’ll do it), the Tories are history.

      A similar promise by Cameron will not be believed and there’ll be no reason to vote for UKIP.

      Presumably Milliband could declare that the Labour party/government would not have a policy on which way to vote and that both sides should be put to the “people”. This would allow their government to survive no matter what the outcome, whilst probably continuing to comply with most existing or proposed EU legislation.

      The Tories would have no effective answer to this -in fact as the party leadership is in favour of the EU will probably go along with it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is spoiled goods now on verasity – he will not be trusted at the next election – no one can believe in anything he “promised”. He many not have broken any (technically by using clever wording but that is irrelevant to the voters. He has broken the spirit of his promises – a labour promise against Cast Iron cameron gives him no chance whatsoever. He will have to be changed like a spoiled nappy unless he does something very soon to live up to the spirit of them.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Shame he did not take up the offer with the KGB instead he might have been well suited to it.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        There must be a feeling of utter disbelief inside the KGB that Cameron has ended up in Downing street !

        The Dad’s Army humour of it all will be too much for them .

        Expect they concentrate on infiltrating the reel power centre ; Brussels .

        No shortage of traitors in Brussels or Westminster .

    • Kenneth
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree that Labour are likely to offer an in/out eu referendum at the next general election if they do not have a commanding lead in the polls.

      It is the trump card that will likely win them the election.

      If that was the case I just might do the unthinkable and vote Labour!

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        That would present Farage and UKIP with a fascinating dilema ; whether to field candidates at the next election or not .

        Do they take Labour at their word and advise UKIP supporters to vote Labour on the basis of this single issue ?

        Do they field candidates knowing that they will split the Conservative vote making a Labour victory even more likely ?

        Do they call Labour untrustworthy and try and win the election outright ?

        Reply: Labour is very unlikely to offer a referendum – they decline to vote for one this Parliament. If they did promise one I suspect a Conservative backbencher would look for a way to table a proposal this Parliament and put their resolve to an early test.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    This is a very welcome and much needed initiative. It is about time that back benchers expressed themselves publicly in this way. It is the only way that the power of the party and state machinery can be confronted and the converged lines of thinking of the three main parties can be challenged. That thinking has got seriously out of line with public opinion on this and other issues. With the right approach, you may achieve cross party back bench support to enforce action, and not just mealy mouthed words, from a Coalition that is obviously failing.

  8. matthu
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Richard North draws his readers attention to the following parallels between US and UK (and Europe):

    “A report of a recent speech from Sarah Palin has the New York Times almost purring with pleasure. She made three interlocking points, says the paper. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class”, drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people.

    “Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism”.

    “Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

    These points are directly applicable to the UK (and much of Europe) …”

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/09/corporate-enemy.html

    As an example of political cronyism, the Global Warming Policy Foundation draws attention to this;

    “A high profile, politically well-connected California solar energy company that had won a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama Administration declared bankruptcy earlier this month and closed its doors sending 1100 workers to the unemployment line. The demise of Solyndra has already sparked an FBI investigation, congressional hearings, and raised numerous questions of political cronyism and corruption connected to the highest levels of the Obama Administration….

    “The Solyndra debacle is rapidly becoming a White House scandal. It is far too symptomatic of an Administration that is founded not on principle, but on Chicago-style cronyism and political corruption in the worst sense of the term.”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/international-news/3845-solar-bankruptcy-scandal-deepens.html

    I am sure we don’t need to look very hard to see the parallels in our own country with the marginalisation of democracy, the EU paying vast subsidies to lobbying groups and all three political leaders apparently content to allow this situation to continue ad infinitum.

  9. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    In “Statecraft” Margaret Thatchers argues convincingly for renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the EU, and now indeed does seem to be a good moment to try.

    But it should be remembered that a key part of her strategy is that for the UK to be taken seriously we have to have in place BEFORE starting negotiations a credible alternative in the event that the rest of the EU say NO. It may be thought that we are well placed to win what we want, but the rest of the EU may see things differently.

    I see no sign of a credible alternative even being considered, let alone being put in place. If anything, it is the opposite.

    What’s your credible alternative, John?

    The Thatcher credible alternative is, of course, to leave the EU.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    It’s all hot air there is no mechanism to claw back, opt out or roll back. The EU has been organised so that democratic institutions have no voice and decisions are made by bodies that can silence criticism.

  11. Graham Cook
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Best of luck John but fear that it is a futile gesture.

  12. javelin
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Credibility is everything in the prediction business …

    Well 2 weeks ago I predicited that the Bundesbank was preparing for defaults – and it now appears they are. This Friday morning I was predicting all was not well at the ECB – and then Stark resigned. I was also saying last week that bank accountants would (damage-ed) the Euro when they were forced to default. Today we see traders pricing in mark to market values to the Euro banks and their equities falling heavily – if the banks accountants (internal auditors) wont do it then the equity traders (external auditors) will.

    So thinking again about the German Central Bank and Treasury – they are openly planning for a Greek Default.

    (edited out allegations about German government actions and a private company which I cannot verify-ed – general view that Germany is now wanting out of the Euro)

    Reply: Mrs Merkel yesterday moved to slap down her deputy for querying Greek solvency. She says she wishes to keep the current system going, and claims that there is no prospect of Greek insolvency this year or next.I will write about the parlous state of Euroland tomorrow.

  13. sm
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Either Mr C knows the euro and then EU is about to fail and is positioning or a new leader should be appointed. Democratic Leaders who directly cross swords with the electorate on an EU referendum are frankly a liability.

  14. Vanessa
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I have never such twaddle in all my life and especially from one of the intelligent and intellectual politicians of our age. What are you doing deceiving the British yet again? You must know that no amount of “meeting of eurosceptics” will make any difference. You have lost any power we had and this government is more europhile and even Labour before, you have signed up to more legislation than than government when you could have exercised an opt-out; but no, you signed up and there is no going back. As I have said in an earlier post, all you have left is “banning circus animals !!! The complete ILLEGALITY of handing this country over to be ruled by a foreign power should be screamed by any one of you. Our local councils are now, virtually, the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) run by people APPOINTED by the EU not elected. The destruction of our Parish Councils – thanks to the EU. There really is very little left of our democratic institutions. Your next post about the British economy – it will never be as healthy or as rich as it has been, the EU contributions will go up and up and up together with our constant fines which go up and up and the cost of the RDAs will go up and up all paid for by us poor British taxpayers, not to mention your gold-plated pensions and expenses.

    Reply: I am not deceiving anyone. I am not claiming this meeting will solve the problem – if only – but I do thin k we need to try to find ways to change the direction of travel on the EU

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      “to find ways to change the direction of travel on the EU” and very nearly every other policy too alas.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Two rather similar, and similarly misleading, propaganda articles in the press today – one in the Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8756110/George-Osborne-warns-of-new-EU-fiscal-union-treaty.html

    and the other in the Mail:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036341/George-Osborne-warns-new-EU-fiscal-union-treaty-2-years.html

    In both articles, George Osborne is quoted to convey the impression that in a couple of years radical EU treaty changes could be “imposed” on the UK.

    Telegraph:

    ” “I think it is on the cards that there may be a treaty change imposed in the next year or two, beyond what has already been proposed,” said the Chancellor.

    “This would be for the eurozone, this would be to further integrate the eurozone, further strengthen fiscal integration.” ”

    Mail:

    ” ‘It is on the cards that there may be treaty change imposed in the next year or two,’ he said. ‘This would be for the eurozone. This would be to further integrate the eurozone, to further strengthen fiscal integration now’.”

    Firstly, the UK and every other EU member state still has a veto over any change to the EU treaties, so legally no EU treaty change at all can be “imposed” on the UK.

    Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union lays out the only legally valid procedures for amending the EU treaties, starting on page 41 here:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0013:0046:EN:PDF

    and all of them still need unanimous agreement before a treaty revision can come into force.

    Secondly, if by his:

    “This would be for the eurozone”

    Osborne is obliquely referring to intra-eurozone treaties – treaties which just the (now) 17 eurozone states would agree among themselves – rather than EU treaties – treaties which all of the 27 EU member states would agree among themselves – why doesn’t he come out and tell the British public that on July 11th the governments of the eurozone states formally signed the first such intra-eurozone treaty, which is here:

    http://consilium.europa.eu/media/1216793/esm%20treaty%20en.pdf

    “TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN STABILITY MECHANISM (ESM) BETWEEN THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM, THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA, IRELAND, THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC, THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS, THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS, THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA, THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC, THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA, THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC, THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND.”

    Note that the UK is NOT listed as a contracting party to that ESM treaty, and so has no direct control over its contents, but also would not be bound by it.

    And why does the Telegraph author so easily accept the government line that the EU treaty change agreed on March 25th is just “a minor amendment”, when without that radical change to the EU treaties the eurozone states would not have the legal right to conclude that first intra-eurozone ESM treaty, or indeed other related intra-eurozone treaties which they may be planning?

  16. forthurst
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I hope they can agree to vote as a bloc and not allow themselves to be picked off by whips individually.

    The British people want to remain a nation state preferably populated with recognisably British people; those who are acting to achieve the opposite are traitors and deserve to be accounted as such. The malignant minority has always attempted to herd our politicians in directions to serve their alien globalist agenda; they should be very firmly resisted.

  17. Norman Dee
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Where can I find a list of these 90 stalwarts, I would like to see if my lily livered MP has joined finally.

  18. Publius
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Just the usual empty words from the government. No coincidence that it’s just before the conference season.

  19. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    It is my perception that the main reason why Europe is not working effectively and it is so difficult to achieve effective reform is that:

    There is a vast knowledge gulf between those who understand how Europe works and those who seek reform, making it virtually impossible for effective reform to take place.

    I am an expert analyst of online discussion forums and other forms of mass online conversation. I find that these are very powerful facilities where those who wish to engage with policy can rapidly enhance their level and width of insight as they can have many rapid interactions with other interested parties from the comfort of their own homes at time which suit them.

    I’m working to explore how these possibilities could be effectively harnessed to close the gap between those who are interested and and detail of government in Europe. Discussion groups like ‘Future of Government’ on linkedin.com give some insight.

    Anyone whose interested in this should feel free to contact me.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I feel that this ‘knowledge gulf’ is quite deliberate. The subject has been made esoteric so as to bore us all into submission – it seems to have worked !

      My only other comment to Mr Redwood, other than support, is that it seems to be too little too late.

      We could well have a rift opening in the Tory party close to the next election. Their only hope is that Ed Miliband remains leader of Labour and so bad that he offers no alternative.

      How I wish for a new (proper) right-of-center party.

  20. Bob
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The Lib Dems abstained of the Lisbon vote saying that they wanted a full in/out referendum and Dave Cameron gave a cast iron guarantee that the Tories would give the British public a referendum – so what’s the hold up?

    I can’t think of a better opportunity to cut the Eurocrats loose and let them find another cash cow to support their totalitarian aspirations.

    At the time of my previous comment on the subject the e-petition stood at 23,000 names, and now it’s 29,000! Hyperlink to EU Referendum Petition on e-petition
    Have you signed John?

    • sjb
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      The EU in/out referendum petition ranks sixth behind more weighty constitutional matters such as “Convicted rioters should loose [sic] all benefits” (244,418 ‘votes’) and disclosure of HMG’s documents about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster (138,519).

      • Winston Smith
        Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        This is because the Hillsborough and Riot petitions have received widespread media coverage.

        • DaveK
          Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps part of the reason is that like myself they have already signed the Express petition and read that they are going to have their names added to the e-petition. I am bemused as to why this hasn’t happened yet.

  21. Dr Bernard Juby
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Well said, John.

    It is time that Government, Coalition or no, climbed down of the fence (the splinters must be getting painful by now) and actually listened to and did something about what the public is telling them.

  22. Derek Buxton
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Another smokescreen, they are there to protect Cameron not to actually get anything done!

  23. Elliot Kane
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I think Tory MP Douglas Carswell is very much worth reading on the matter:

    http://www.talkcarswell.com/show.aspx?id=2086

  24. MajorFrustration
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    “to discuss how we can reverse the constant movement etc etc” are we still at the discussion stage. Not much hope of any real progress then – but I do look fwd to the usual press release blah blah blah – similar to progress on Greek debt.

  25. outsider
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Your approach to this question is the only practical one: those who insist on “out today” are so credally divided that purists deride UKIP as revisionist Mensheviks.

    In practical terms, however, renegotiation has no hope of success unless it is backed by an explicit threat to hold a referendum to withdraw if the negotiations do not deliver their pre-stated aims. It does not matter whether that is an aspiration (as with the SNP) or “more in sorrow than in anger”, but it must be an explicit part of the negotiating position.

    That does not seem possible in the Coalition. In any feasible government, I think it impossible if the negotiations are about UK versus the EU. They must be about the relations of all member states outside the eurozone with the EU. They must be presented that way in the European Parliament, in the Council of Ministers and at the Commission, even if they could end up with a unilateral UK withdrawal.

  26. David Hepburn
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Am I the only one who is totally fed up with the Whip system? Perhaps you could explain to me why it is accepted that our MPs are neither allowed to vote with their consciences nor, perhaps even, the wishes of their voters?

    For many of us (I would not presume to represent everyone – or even the majority), the EU as it is currently organised is a dead duck. (Whither the Common Market that Edward Heath promised us?) However, to establish the majority view we need the referendum.

    I wish I were in your constituency. Know of a good home for me in Wokingham? I am saddled with the dreadful Sandra Osborne in Kyle, Cumnock & Doon Valley.

    Best regards,

    David Hepburn

    Reply: The whipping system is needed so when you vote for a party you know roughly what you will get if they win. MPs can still ignore the whips’ advice.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      “The whipping system is needed so when you vote for a party you know roughly what you will get if they win.”

      if only,

    • sm
      Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Why should the whip be used on non-manifesto pledges or the EU where the verbalised policy was to allow the British people a major say and ‘bring back powers’?

    • DaveK
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      I have often thought it a shame that MPs are not afforded the same right as the rest of the electorate to have secret ballots. Wonder what the outcome of those would be, perhaps leaders would actually have to convince a majority that their policies were in fact worthy.

  27. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    With you all the way on this Mr Redwood.

  28. Bob
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    The People’s Pledge is holding an historic event at Westminster Methodist Central Hall on Saturday 22 October 2011. The event titled “The Eurozone crisis and the case for an EU referendum” promises to be the largest event of its type in over a decade. This all day event, held from 10:30am – 5:30pm will feature keynote speakers as well as panel discussions and debates. The participants will include MPs, journalists, businessmen and members of the campaign team all discussing the need for a referendum.

    Will you be attending John?

  29. Paul
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    A few people have commented that the Tories will be history at the next election if Labour announces they will hold an in/out referendum. I completely agree with that and have no doubt that Labour will win the next election and therefore Cameron will, thankfully, be a one-term only prime minister. However, will Labour hold that referendum? No chance. They will go back on their word just like the Tories. This is why it is extremely important that UKIP gets out there and convinces voters that they are the only credible alternative to the equally useless old Lib-Lab-Con parties that have done their best to destroy this country. I urge people who are still clinging to the Tory party hoping it will change its stance on the EU to watch Mr. Farage’s superb speech at the 2011 UKIP conference very carefully. While it is good to still see there is a grain of genuine euroscepticism in the commons, it will not change a thing. UKIP is our only hope and I believe it will go from strength to strength as more people start realising Cameron and Osborne are about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  30. BobE
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    They want to stay in europe because when they get thrown out of government, in 3 years time, they will be able to maintain their lifstyle on the EU gravy train. As did Kinnock.

  31. English Pensioner
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Of interest is what will happen at the Conservative Conference. Will it all be carefully programmed sweetness and light, or are the Eurosceptics going to make their position very clear and risk a public row?
    I suspect we will get a nice bland meaningless speech from Cameron (something that he’s good at) and things will continue as they are.

  32. zorro
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Wokingham has escaped the attention of the boundary change committee…Please carry on raising the relevant issues and let’s hope some of the weaker brethren can be convinced to act according to their conscience.

    zorro

  33. Man in a Shed
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Time is running out.

    The sad fact is the Conservative party is nearly out of Eurosceptic capital with which to keep its membership onside.

    Desperation is setting in…

    I think we need to see something substantial and very soon.

  34. Andrew
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    I listened to Eustace being interviewed by BBC-Labour this evening.

    Why do Tory spokesmen fudge so badly when on radio 4? 

    Even the clearly amiable and intelligent Eustace.

    ‘aren’t you just banging on about Europe’

    Should be replied with:

    ‘well many in the broadcast media didn’t want to listen when we banged on about the risk of sovereign default in the Mediterranean economies and now even the bundesbank wish they had of listened more.’

    And when BBC-labour trot out the oldest tat in existence:

    ‘but won’t we lose influence in Europe?’

    They should reply:

    ‘over what? The shape of the euro-banana? World decisions are not and never have been decided in Brussels. Even France pursued its Libya strategy through NATO. As for economic influence, Switzerland have no influence either and they have a stronger economy than we have, with multinationals siting themselves there specifically to avoid crackpot EU legislation’

    And then when BBC-Labour retort with their final shot, that leaves me throwing my shoe at the radio:

    ‘but our biggest Trading Partner is Europe. We can’t afford to alienate them.’

    You reply:

    ‘no, our biggest trading partner is the 150 countries of the rest of this small world and we should cultivate them, not the 26 on our doorstep.  The EU make more money from us than we do from them by a massive amount. If we stopped trading with Europe the eurozone would be in even more trouble than it’s ill-conceived economic policy of  hari-kari currently threatens. 

    Again Switzerland does not have it’s laws decided by an unelected body and is doing quite nicely. Would your listeners prefer laws to be decided by committees of unsackable technocrats, or by MPs they can throw out every five years?’

    Just once, I would love to hear someone put the case properly on my radio whilst it still survives my morning target practice. 

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Quite agree. I am always amazed at the appalling presentation skills and the inability of Conservative Ministers to counter socialist dogma in the Media. These are supposedly skilled debaters and many are lawyers/barristers. I think they are so used to dealing with sycophants and party loyalists at afternoon tea events, that they become weakened. I guess their blandness is a characteristic that the leadership prefers. In my time as an activist, I was quite surprised at the meekness and poor debating skills of my local MP.

    • Kenneth
      Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      I agree with every word. I suspect that the internal polling at all parties steers them away from attackaging the messenger (i.e. the radio presenter).

      I think this is short term-ism and misguided.

      I blame the messenger.

      Attack! Attack!

  35. Martin
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    “failing economic bloc” – whose inflation rate is up again ! I wonder which bloc that is with 4.5% inflation?

  • 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.

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