The problem of the EU in Parliament


Many Conservative MPs want a new relationship with the EU. They fought the last General Election saying they wanted powers back. They value a relationship based on trade and co-operation, but think the EU regulates, taxes and interferes too much. They were pleased that the Coalition Agreement, despite Lib Dem enthusiasm for the EU, said no more transfer of powers.

Since the government started they have seen a continuing high volume of EU regulation which affects and some thinks damages the UK economy. They have seen the government opt in to new powers in Criminal Justice and  go along with the increasing ambitions of the EU in foreign affairs. They have seen the Lib Dems get their referendum on voting systems. Many now want the Conservative vote on the EU that was Conservative policy pre Lisbon but ceased to be on ratification.

There are various EU initiatives being undertaken by a variety of Conservative MPs. Bill Cash has tabled a Bill to seek to sort out the growing legal and sovereignty difficulties.  Bill through the European Foundation keeps up a stream of informed comments on the evolution of the EU. As Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Committee he and his colleagues daily seek less or better rules and regulations, and try to strengthen the government’s hand in negotiations about the new measures.

Peter Bone has proposed a Bill to repatriate our fisheries. The way our fishing industry has been affected by EU policy is a long running sore. The Conservative party has often argued for UK control of UK waters. Peter Bone is a leading light of the Backbench Business Committee, the body which can choose Parliamentary business for the days the government allows backbenchers to select what happens. He is a doughty fighter for less EU in the UK. He is backing the approach of selective repatriation of powers, the approach set out in the last Conservative manifesto.

From the new intake is the independent  and tough minded campaigner, David Nuttall. He has tabled the motion for a three way referendum which will now fall for debate and vote on Monday. Many Conservative MPs have apparently told him they want to vote for his motion. Now there is some suggestion of a three line whip against we will have to see how many show resolve to do so if and when advised not to. The Chairman of the 1922 Committee and other senior MPs are advising a free or less heavily whipped vote

George Eustice set up another body to study the problem of the EU and come up with proposals for alleviating the obvious extremes and tensions for the UK. So far his initiative seems to have been overtaken by events, though he would say it will in due course come up with practical proposals that may command majority support. It will be interesting to see how he votes on Monday. I note his name is not yet on the motion.

There is a growing sense of impatience over the whole EU issue in the Conservative Parliamentary party. The gathering Euro crisis and the likely substantial strengthening of EU central powers worries people. The way the UK is being dragged into paying some of the bills of the folly of the Euro is a growing concern. The avalanche of new regulations which could make the UK more uncompetitive angers many Conservatives. Most feel the government should draw up a list of the things the UK needs to grow faster and create more jobs, and then negotiate a position for the UK on the back of the constitutional Euro crisis which allows the UK to carry them through, whether the EU wants to as well or not.

Most Conservative MPs are focused on the need for faster growth and more jobs at home. They do  not take kindly to the EU if it gets in the way of achieving just that. The current situation is pushing more to the radical view that the UK will have to leave the EU, as they do  not see progress being made with an approach based on sceptical engagement with the project of European Union. Most still hope the UK will negotiate a better relationship and would like the government to  try.  This of course remains a federalist Parliament, as there is no Conservative majority, and the other main parties are fully committed to EU government. Only a handful of MPs would currently vote to pull out unilaterally and rapidly. In the words of Monday’s motion, there is probably overwhelming   majority support amongst Conservatives in an unwhipped vote for a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.


  1. lojolondon
    October 20, 2011

    Interesting – but I hope they will vote for a referendum!!

    It was one of the promises Cameron made before the last election – “more democracy, more referendums”.

    1. rose
      October 20, 2011

      I fear the public would be just too terrified to vote to come out altogether. In frightening times they never vote for drastic change. We could then be stuck with the EU treating us as a hostile power, but continuing to bleed us white. Rather like the relationship the US had with the UN during the cold war – but the US could afford it then. The PM seems to think the isolated position we are in at the moment can be managed to our advantage. But how can it? They already treat us as a hostile power, and extract from us every bit of tribute they can, while openly trying to undermine our one viable industry. So what on earth are we to do?

      1. Derek Buxton
        October 20, 2011

        Yes that is the problem. To have a referendum in the near future would be a disaster, the government, MSM especially the EU propaganda voice the BBC and big business would all gang up to lie, obscure and damage in any way possible a vote to get out. Because of the lies that have been told to get into the EEC and still are being, too many people are scared of change. But as the EU decays from it’s own contradictions, then most may wake up to what has been done in our name, illegally. There was no consent from the Country to pursue this path.

        1. uanime5
          October 20, 2011

          “There was no consent from the Country to pursue this path.”

          Other than repeatedly electing the people who pursed this path.

          1. Jon Burgess
            October 20, 2011

            For the period when it really mattered, from Kinnocks miraculous conversion until James Goldsmith and later UKIP, there was no choice – don’t forget that. The Tories publically feigned hostililty but privately signed up to every last loss of sovereignty, something I personally will not forget or forgive them for (unless, of course, they show some remorse for what they did and lead us out).

            Reply Conservatives nehotiatead opt outs from social chapter and borders which Labour gave away, got the rebate which Blair half gave away, and got the opt out from the Euro

          2. Jon Burgess
            October 21, 2011

            But then again it was the conservatives that took us into the common market, signed up to the Single European Act took us into the ERM and signed up to Maastrict. Those were the major treaties that led us here and all under conservative majority government.

            I do not point the finger at you Mr Redwood, just those in your party, whose manifesto you support and were elected on.

            Labour would have not had rebates et al to give away without Ted Heath, Francis Maude, Ken Clarke, Michael Hestletine, Leon Brittan, Chris Patton…and sadly too many more.

            Reply: The people did Rome, the worst Treaty of them all, in the referendum of 1975. The Conservatives did Single European Act and Maastricht, but opted us out of the main point of it, the Euro. Conservatives also brought opt outs from social chapter and borders and got rebate .Labour did Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, gave up opt outs on borders and social chapter and gave away part of the rebate.

    2. Disaffected
      October 20, 2011

      Your point about Eustice appears to be answered. Another reason not to trust Tory MPs at the moment I suggest. I hope the people of Cornwall remember to give him the sharp shrift at the next election.

  2. Boudicca
    October 20, 2011

    Acquis Communitaire means that when the EU achieves power over an issue/area of government, then it is not returnable. The EU will have permanent legitimacy.

    The idea that the EU will agree to give up the control of the UK which it has painstakingly won with the connivance of our political class and Whitehall is a joke. They won’t. They will not give us ‘our’ fishing grounds back – as far as the EU is concerned, they aren’t ours any more, they are theirs. They won’t relinquish control over our economy – that is the way they intend forcing us into a position where we have no choice but to join the Euro. They won’t permit a reduction in our budget contribution (rising to £60 millon a day next year) because they need every penny and more to keep the EU Show on the Road.

    Renegotiation and repatriation of powers is only possible if both sides want it – and in this case one side doesn’t and the other side doesn’t have the guts to do what is necessary to force the issue – and doesn’t want to leave the EU anyway.

    The only way to escape the job-destroying, bureaucratic monstrosity in Brussels is to get OUT: completely OUT. The so-called ‘third way’ is a chimera – it doesn’t exist.

    Only UKIP will do what is necessary. The CONservative Europlastics are just more of the same from the Party which is mainly responsible for dragging us into the EU and trapping us here. They are determined to prevent the UK from becoming the Independent, Sovereign Nation it was before, Heath shackled us to the EEC/EU.

    Reply: is this the same UKIP that has no MPs, and has great trouble keeping their MEPs in their party? They have had two defections from the whip out of 13 so far this Euro Parliament. In the last Parliament they lost a bigger proportion. They have also seen two former UKIP MEPs jailed for fraud. In 2009 in a Euro election with PR and concentrating on the issue of Europe UKIP managed just 16.5% of the vote, hardly a ringing ensdorsement of their approach to the EU. If they can’t do better than this in a Euro election the idea of a break through at Westminster is for the birds. I seem to remember Mr Farage not only lost by a country mile in a Westminster election where there were no official Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem candidates, but he came in behind John Stevens, a well know EU federalist.

    1. Disaffected
      October 20, 2011

      John, The points Boudicca makes are sound. You have stated before the lack of support for UKIP. However, I, like many others, will not vote Tory again and will seek an alternative to appease my conscience that a party will represent some of the issues I want rather than nothing. You can only be conned so many times. Blair was extremely good at it, but he has set the mindset of the public that all political leaders are like him. Hence the lack of support for Clegg, what right minded person would believe a word he says after the tuition fee debacle? Cameron has foolishly fallen into the same trap. Speaking authoritatively one day acting differently on another hoping that public would not notice or forget what he said. He and Clegg were going to clean up politics, scandals, expenses etc and now we have the Fox scandal. Any manager ought to know what his/her staff are up to especially after declaring a clamp down- Cameron failed as did Clegg with a host of his MPs. I genuinely believe the outcome on Monday will see the Tory supporters and the public turn against Cameron at the next election. He is a weak fool.

      Reply: You also need to consider UKIP’s record where they hold elected office in the EU Parliament

      1. Bickers
        October 20, 2011

        You’re right to point out that UKIP have not covered themselves in glory, however the main parties have taken the electorate at large for granted and just play for the swing voters, which may work but ends up disenfranchising large swathes of voters.

        UKIP have policies that should be at the heart of the Tory Party. The EU has not and will not work in the interests of the UK; we’ve ceded too much control over our lives to an unelected bureacracy.

        An increasing number of voters have had enough of the political status quo and the main parties may find that as things get worse, as they will, voters will be willing to put into bat UKIP, especially if a number of Tory MP’s join them during this Parliament. Remember the book Black Swan – the unpredictable tends to happen.

        1. Tim
          October 20, 2011

          I would like to continue to vote for the Conservatives as I have all my life. However I do not support Mr Camerons policies as he has postioned the party to far to the left of middle. I want an in/out vote on the EU so that we can escape this monstrous undemacratic controlling and costly parasite (£11.5 billions and rising).
          I’d like to see true cuts in public finance, no more immigration, repeal of the Human Rights Act, an answer to the West Lothian issue, but all we’re getting after 18 months is more of the same. Increases in taxes, sharing of our military with the French, increases in foreign aid (£11.5 billions) to nucleur powers, proposals to legislate for gay marriage. These are not key policies to Conservative voters.
          So what other choice do existing Tory voters have? More of the same from Cameron or give UKIP a chance?
          Its not your fault Mr Redwood but it is Mr Camerons.

          1. uanime5
            October 20, 2011

            1) The EU isn’t undemocratic. At MEPs are elected using PR it’s elections are more democratic than the UK elections, which use FPTP.

            2) If you don’t like human rights then you can always move somewhere where they don’t apply, such as Zimbabwe.

          2. Andrew Smith
            October 21, 2011

            uanime5 is really silly.

            1) Of course the EU is undemocratic. The MEPs are elected but they have no power save to dismiss the entire Commission, and on the only time they did it many of the same were reappointed.

            The meetings of all EU institutions save the “Parliament” are in secret both as to agenda and voting.

            Parliament does not have debates as anyone would recognise – 90 second contributions with the vote some weeks later is not a debate.

            The Commission has exclusive power to institute legislation and it may not be amended without their say so. No commissioner has democratic legitimacy.

            2) It is not human rights anyone objects to – we have had them in the UK for many centuries to varying degrees. Our rights are now codified and therefore subject to amendment by the EU at its convenience.

            Meanwhile the democratic HoC is prevented from making decisions which the public widely support. That is not democracy and it does not constitute an addition to human rights.

            As to Zimbabwe, one notes that the enthusiasm for military action in the name of democracy and human rights has been exclusively addressed at Arab nations, not at a country for which the UK has rather greater responsibility and where many UK citizens have been ill treated by the government.

            I have not noticed pro-EU types complaining about that.

          3. Disenchanted
            October 24, 2011

            UKIP have all the policies which right minded people should support. I voted Conservative all my life and the real problem is that like many, Conservatives will vote tribally at the next election without thinking. The Referendum vote tonight 24th October in the House will clinch things and make members of all Parties all the more determined to vote UKIP at the next election. I will personally, despite my previous loyalties, do my utmost to decimate the Conservative vote if they do not give the people what they want in a referendum. They must not be allowed to destroy democracy.

            Disillusioned Conservative.

        2. Michael
          October 20, 2011

          Yes, UKIP shouldn’t really have to exist and wouldn’t if the Conservative party had not sold the country out. It is true that some of their MPs have consistently voted against extensions to EU power but the leadership and it’s yes men have lied and deceived the country again and again. Witness Dave’s sham euro scepticism which has now totally disappeared in favour of euro surrender and his abject panic that the referendum he promised the country might actually happen. We expect this sort of behaviour from Labour and Lib Dems who are socialists and therefore incapable of acting in Britain’s interest rather than their own but the tory left is just as bad or worse.

        3. uanime5
          October 20, 2011

          Why would the Conservatives endorse policies of a party that does worst than them at elections?

          1. Tim
            October 20, 2011

            But a number of Tory voters are waking up to the fact that there is no difference from this Government than the last.

            The EU Commission directly impacts policy, like unelected Labour stooge, Dame Ashton.

            You also read the Human Rights abuses that are reported almost on a weekly basis where terrorists and other criminals cannot be deported as it breaches their right to a family life etc. What about our rights to be protected. This bad law needs to go!!

    2. Adam5x5
      October 20, 2011

      Reply to John’s original reply.

      The 2009 euro election happened before the slow motion train wreck of the euro really started to unfold.

      At that election, a fair few voted BNP. Also the conservative position was ‘ euro-sceptic’.
      Do you care to predict what will happen now that Cameron’s colours have been nailed to the mast?

      Also, if everyone is so in favour of the EU, as you claim, why Cameron’s reluctance for a referendum?

      Reply: I do not think most people favour the EU. The point I keep trying to make to you all is that past elections have shown that the natural Eurosceptic majority does not end up with a Eurosceptic Parliament owing to voting preferences.

      1. lifelogic
        October 20, 2011

        You say JR:- “The point I keep trying to make to you all is that past elections have shown that the natural Eurosceptic majority does not end up with a Eurosceptic Parliament owing to voting preferences.”

        It does not end up with a Eurosceptic majority because MP’s do not do as they promise anyway (cast iron or other type), all the parties are Europhile, the BBC is Europhile and the voting system forces people to vote with one vote 2 or 3 potential winners on many issues. Many have been bought with EU money or prospect of over paid jobs. And many like Shirley Williams, Huhne and Libdems are just religiously in love with a dream EU vision which is the opposite of reality.

        Democracy in any real sense it is not.

      2. Adam5x5
        October 20, 2011

        A lot of people voted Conservative thinking that Cameron wanted to re-negotiate our relationship with europe.

        Instead we get another euro-phile who wants to whip his party to deny a democratic referendum.

        How are we meant to get an EU-sceptic parliament, if we vote for euro-sceptics only for them to U-turn in office?

        My vote at the next election will depend on how my MP votes or how this vote goes, depending on boundary changes.

        Also, if as you say and is apparent on the street, most people aren’t in favour of the EU, why is parliament/government so intent on dragging us in if not to line their own pockets?

    3. Paul Greenwood
      October 20, 2011

      You may be correct when you say that UKIP may not win a seat at the next election, but they will take enough votes from Cameron to lose us number 10 to labour ( a horrible thought !)
      why will Dave not listen, does he not believe in democracy ?

      Reply: The UKIP strategy of seeking to pressurise the Tory leadership whilst failing to contest the Labour and Lib Dem federalist parties seriously is not working. Mr Cameron is not intimidated by UKIP because it has got so few votes in the past.

      1. Jwoo
        October 20, 2011

        “Mr Cameron is not intimidated by UKIP because it has got so few votes in the past.”

        It shouldn’t be a question of intimidation though, well not from my perspective. UKIP can be a much more acceptable ‘alternative’ vote than any of the others for those disillusioned Conservative voters, who like me, will not forgive Cameron his deceits.

        1. Disaffected
          October 20, 2011

          Spot on. John, might be right, however if enough of us Tory voters migrate he will lose to Labour or a Labour/Lib Dem paked.It matters not that UKIP do not get power it gives us former Tory voters satisfaction that we voted for something we agreed with. With respect John, you appear to be missing the point. The Tory party are acting in exactly the same way as Labour did so it does not matter if they get in next time because it is the same old same old arrogant politicians who do not listen to their voters.

      2. Pat Gaskell
        October 21, 2011

        UKIP polled more than 900,000 votes at the last election but returned no MPs. The Greens polled 285,000, mostly in the Bristol area, and returned one MP. It may seem unfair, but that is democracy and you won’t hear any complaints from those of us who are Ukipers. We are the only party in this land who believes in democracy – and we are growing stronger by the day. We may hold David Cameron in contempt for his cyncial manipulation of eurosceptic feelings but I, for one, love him. He’s undoubtedly doubled our vote at the next general election.

    4. Winston Smith
      October 20, 2011

      It does you no favours to avoid the valid points made by Boudicca, instead preferring to attack UKIP. You know very well the difficulty in challenging the establishment parties, who operate a cartel over funding and media access, so to dismiss them so vehmently displays an unattractive arrogance. I hope UKIP top the EU elections in 2014.

      Reply: I am not dismissing them, but you should not ignore the facts. You have been waiting for the UKIP break through for more than 10 years. If UKIP spends much of its time attacking people like me it is unlikely to make much progress.

      1. Paul
        October 20, 2011

        Once again JR attacks UKIP, the party that (if he is honest with himself) identifies with a damn sight more with than the one he belongs to – a liberal party that calls itself conservative. Of course, the conservatives are squeaky clean aren’t they. The EU, overseas aid, law & order, the economy… the list goes on where UKIP has it right and the conservatives are out of touch. Can you seriously blame UKIP for standing against a party that signed the Maastricht Treaty and continues to deny us a referendum? As Mr Farage said in his speech, we are being ruled by college kids with no experience of the real world. The front bench of the government is nothing more than a bunch of pathetic amateurs.

      2. Anthony Harrison
        October 20, 2011

        You have been waiting for the UKIP break through for more than 10 years.
        Mr Redwood, many of us have been waiting far longer than that – a matter of decades – for the Conservative Party to develop a consistent, coherent attitude to the EU. As things are, its attitude can in general be summed up as superficially sceptical, but in practice compliant. Many of us lost patience with this sickly combination of indolence & hypocrisy years ago, and notwithstanding your criticisms of UKIP, that’s where our votes now go. It’s a matter of principle, something I would expect you (though far from all of your colleagues) to appreciate.

    5. Tim
      October 20, 2011

      Mr Redwood. You must be well aware that a significant number of people who voted Conservative did so holding their noses. They were not voting for the Conservatives but rather against Labour. You yourself have pushed the argument that a UKIP vote is a wasted vote, but post election claim they have little support. The central UKIP theme is the EU issue that is necessarily a cross party issue whilst general elections are debated on the basis of left versus right. It is disingenuous of you to try to claim that UKIP cannot win a seat when the FPTP system protects the two party system. You then attack UKIP for it’s bad apples. I would have hoped an intelligent, reasoned politician such as yourself would stick to debating policies and keep away from the gutter end of politics where you try to gain advantage by trying to discredit your opponents.

      Reply: Iam not trying to dioscredit opponents, but do need to point out that even in PR elections where the only issue is the EU UKIP do not win and choose some MEPs who do not stay the course.

      1. JimF
        October 20, 2011

        Reply to reply:
        Mr Redwood, you are resorting again to attacking opponents on bases other than their policies. We vote based on our agreement or not with a party’s policies, not on their track record. What you are saying is tantamount to not backing Steve Jobs way back when he was in his garage, because he’d never designed a computer and anyway was working out of a garage. You’re just telling us to keep on buying IBM in case one day they come up with something like an Apple Mac. I don’t think it works like that does it?

        UKIP policies are by and large ones that you agree with, for goodness sake. We all know that a total change of work and benefits culture is needed here. Charging business rates at an extra 5.6% to pay benefit claimants that much extra is just madness. The very money that the business is paying extra in rates could be used to take on extra employees.

        Why not admit that your party is out of touch and a fresh breath of air is needed, and maybe, just maybe UKIP or a similar NEW party with DIFFERENT policies might be needed?

        Reply : I am extremely tolerant on this site letting UKIP make all sorts of unpleasant and often incorrect allegations about Conservatives. You have to learn to accept a little mild criticism back sometimes, especially when we look at what has happened when the public has put UKIP MEPs into the EU Parliament.

        1. Epigenes
          October 20, 2011

          Mr Redwood, your blog is extremely prejudiced against anyone who is not one of your sycophants.

          The censorship that you exercise on this blog is a disgrace to any person that is interested in free speech.

          You exercise your prejudices by censorship.

          You are not in the least tolerant.

          reply: What nonsense. Posting your lies shows how untrue your posting is.

          1. lifelogic
            October 21, 2011

            Just read the postings it is full of people who disagree with the JR line.

        2. Disaffected
          October 20, 2011

          You still do not get it. People writing to suggest to vote for UKIP are seeking an alternative as we have voted Tory in good faith and they have turned out to be a waste of space and mirror Labour’s previous government. Therefore if the three main parties are the same in substance we have no alternative but to vote UKIP, at least it will kick out arrogant Cameron.

        3. Jwoo
          October 20, 2011

          reply to JR’s reply if I may be allowed.

          If you are right about the failings of UKIP and I won’t challenge most of them, you might consider asking yourself why, in the face of those imperfections they are still a preferred option over the Cons for an increasing number of people.

          I am not moving towards UKIP, the Cons are pushing me. Sobeit.

          1. Kevin Dabson
            October 21, 2011


            A question to you. Why do people like yourself and people with views like yourselves, not defect to UKIP across the floor, and add real weight to the Issue? (albeit some tidying up of the UKIP party may be needed)

            Enoch Powell famously remarked that in spite of totally dispising the Labour Party, he would support them in the 70’s vote against europe and advised tories accordingly.

            People need some scruples. People need principles. Not meandering to the lefty’s. We can wish in the tory’s it will happen, but I cannot for the life of me see it happen.

            Anyway, had a wine too many! 🙂

            PS. Great Blog & website!



            Reply: Because UKIP tried to stop me being Wokingham’s MP and got a very small share of the vote. I stood on my version of the Conservative Manifesto, and will not let people down who voted for me. I will speak and vote in Parliament as I promised in 2010. Why should I defect to UKIP who have no MPs? Just because they have come round to my way of thinking on the Euro and some other policies in recent years does not mean I should join them! Most Conservatives agree with me over the EU. They do not wish to see us continue with membership on current terms. Some want out immediately, some want to negotiate a better relationship.

      2. Pat Gaskell
        October 21, 2011

        UKIP came second in the last Euro elections and will, I am certain, win the next ones in 2014 – if the EU hasn’t imploded by then. Only one UKIP MEP has been gaoled for fraud and he was uncovered and reported – not by the press or opposition parties – by UKIP. Nikki Sinclaire declared herself an Independent for one reason only – she felt intimidated by some of the East European parties who voiced similar concerns as UKIP. As a lesbian, she felt constantly under attack by their homophobia and stepped asided from us – though she still supports us.

    6. Robert
      October 20, 2011

      Apart from the comments about UKIP you have not answered the questions about renegotiating powers away from the EU. As far as I can see there are not three choices as you cannot get anything back from the EU. So it is in effect in or out.

      Which one are you for?

      Reply: My position is to renegotiate and then put the results to the people. If the EU offers us nothing then it is mroe likely people will vote for Out. I voted No in 1975.

      1. lifelogic
        October 20, 2011

        The right and only sensible position to hold I think JR.

      2. Alan Wheatley
        October 20, 2011

        Re reply to Robert: “If the EU offers us nothing then it is more likely people will vote for Out”.

        I can only deduce that the offer of “Nothing” from the EU is following an attempt by the UK to renegotiate their terms of membership following that being the winning choice in a referendum. So where does this choice of a further vote where more will vote for Out come from? A second referendum?

        Reply: Yes, I have always favoured a referendum on any renegotiated terms, so the people decide if it’s worth staying in or not.

    7. John
      October 20, 2011

      Don’t be so smug, it is only now, that is apparent that the three major parties have systematically cheated and lied to us, that the ukip first became prominent and set up. Believe me membership has mushroomed, following Camerons antics and Chicanery over this EU REFERENDUM, there will be a few shocks at the next general election.

    8. Tom
      October 20, 2011

      Fair comment, but UKIP did get more votes than either Labour or the Lib Dems.

    9. David Salmon
      October 21, 2011

      It’s all very well to just knock UKIP for being corrupt and having no MP’s but what of the three main parties? All of them have cheated, bribed and lied their way through a succession of scandals involving expenses, “assisting” friends” and other various nefarious interludes. At least UKIP has the guts to stand up for what they believe in. Something the other major parties have all renaged and U turned on>
      Or do you believe in “cast iron guarantees” anymore when it comes to keeping yourself in power?

    10. StrongUnitedKingdom
      October 24, 2011

      UKIP is a growing party and changes are to be expected as it matures.
      Yes two MEPs were dealt with by the courts, but what is your point? Things and people go wrong. It is what you do about that that makes the difference. The other parties lie, cover up, absolve and recycle their serial offenders. UKIP boots them and supports their prosecution. Another example of the “clear blue water” between us, to use the much loved Conservative cliche. And please name the main party that has no friction within, that has had no one leave it before?

      At the last election the EU was deliberately kept of the agenda by the main parties whilst UKIP was denied any real voice. Furthermore Cameron lied his way into the election on a Eurosceptic ticket and still couldn’t get a majority of 1, despite Labour leaving the goal wide open. UKIP gained nearly a million votes (the SNP had half that and have 6 MPs) on a tiny fraction of the budget and manpower available to the other parties. Cameron and Clegg are now revealed for the deceiving and insubstantial men they truly are. The threat of keeping Gordon Brown out at all costs has receded as Cameron has accelerated all of his failing policies.

      The people are now much wiser and much angrier than in early 2010. UKIP is growing daily despite the vacuous insults and denials from the old failed parties. The 2010 GE is history, UKIP is looking forward to a great future of working with the people of the UK rather the LibLabCOns who work against them.

  3. lifelogic
    October 20, 2011

    You say – There is probably overwhelming majority support amongst Conservatives in an unwhipped vote for a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.

    Why on earth would anyone sensible, of any party, be against this unless they harbour a desire for a job in Brussels and a very good pension? Where do the Libdems come from with these insane irrational love of all thinks EU even when they are failing all over the place indeed in everything they touch – fishing, CAP, energy, transport, growth, EURO, over regulation ……

    1. Disaffected
      October 20, 2011

      Look up Clegg on Wikipedia and you might find your answer.

    2. Alan Wheatley
      October 20, 2011

      While the sensible British would support a relationship based on trade and co-operation, the EU are idealistic. Thus negotiation is doomed to failure.

  4. Mike Stallard
    October 20, 2011

    Thank you very much for a really fair and thorough statement on what is going on in parliament about the ghastly mess that is the Socialist take-over of what was once a really exciting idea.
    If only the EU was truly democratic! We could vote this shambles out and put in someone of our choice!
    If only the EU had not got the acquis! Then we could re-nogotiate!
    If only Ed Miliband had more courage!

    But it ain’t going to be.

    1. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      “If only the EU was truly democratic! We could vote this shambles out and put in someone of our choice!”

      So democratic according to you is someone who does what we want, regardless of what everyone else wants. Is that called autocracy?

  5. Ian Wragg
    October 20, 2011

    Not only MP’s but a large part of the electorate are for less EU. Pity then that the majority of the establishment are against this.
    Despite overwhelming evidence as to the damage the EU is doing to national economies, Cameroon, Clog and Hague continue to promote its cause. Are they absolutely stupid or are they just feathering their nests for the next long spell in opposition?

    1. Simon 123
      October 20, 2011

      I think there are two fascinating questions about current UK politics:

      1. The gap between the electorate and the political classes of all parties.
      2. The even bigger gap between the electorate and Brussels.

      Europe is gradually being overwhelmed by an unforeseen financial crisis to which the Brussels elite has no effective solution. I understand that currently the UK public puts ‘Europe’ about fifth on its list of concerns but the last thing the political classes want is a referendum which they might lose. They regard the British electorate as an unreliable nuisance who could well vote the ‘wrong’ way on Europe and the British political elite is increasingly unsure about how to manage public opinion.

      I am not a UKIP supporter. However, if I get the chance to vote in a referendum I would vote the same way as in 1973. I want to be part of a common market. I do not want to be part of the Euro zone nor do I want Brussels running the country: the presumption should be that all Brussels legislation not needed for a common market should be repatriated to the UK.

      The immediate problem is that although the UK political elite has grandstand seats to watch the slow-motion car crash going on in Europe there is precious little it can do about the problem other than anticipate and try to mitigate adverse effects on the UK. Expect plenty of spin from Downing Street but a minimum amount of action.

      1. Mike Stallard
        October 20, 2011

        I don’t think you quite get the idea of Europe.
        First of all, I do not think that the people in charge fully understand that there even is a crisis going on.
        Second, I am not at all sure that they can do anything even if they decided to do something.
        But most of all is the totally unquestioned Acquis. This means that powers once granted to Brussels can never, that is not ever, that is not even in the slightest, that means not even a teeny little smidgeon, be discussed.
        As someone recently said (I forget who) it is like asking the Pope to renounce the Trinity.

        1. Derek Buxton
          October 20, 2011

          Yes, I agree there can be no re-negotiation, that is not in the grand plan. I by the way, do not support UKIP although I have put a cross against their name for two reasons, 1) the three main parties are as alike as two peas in a pod, both like the EU over the People they are supposed to represent, and 2) not voting or spoiling the paper is not counted. This means that someone with 20% of the vote could win, the other 80% are treated with contempt. UKIP are flawed but so are the BNP and that is the lot. So we the People do not really get a look in and this passes for democracy, not in my book thanks!

      2. uanime5
        October 20, 2011

        Norway has to comply with 80% of EU law in order to remain part of the EEC, so very little will change if we want to be part of the Common Market.

        1. rose
          October 20, 2011

          But she still has her fish.

          1. StrongUnitedKingdom
            October 24, 2011

            And oil, gas, Sovereignty, natioanl identity, seat at the World Trade Organisation, control of her borders, one of the highest per capita earnings, and can trade with the rest of the World unemcumbered by expensive EU rules. This list is not exhautive.

  6. alan jutson
    October 20, 2011

    John, many thanks for your update and thoughts.

    Do you think Cameron has thought his policy through about possibly whipping support, given the electorates growing frustration with the EU.
    Is he not aware that by attempting to whip his Party Mp’s to vote for his ideas, as opposed to their own, he will evetually weaken his own position within the party, or are the majority of MP’s so interested in their own self preservation, they will allow themselves to be lobby fodder once more.
    What is the point of being a member of Parliament, if you cannot follow your true beliefs on serious issues!

    Personally I think if Cameron orders a three line whip, he is a fool.
    If he is so sure he has got it right, then give us his reasons, go to the country and let us all have a free vote, and test his argument.

    To deny the public a vote on a festering sore, shows he is arrogant and weak.

    He may win the vote in the House of Commons especially if Labour and the Lib Dems also whip against the motion, but he is losing the country, and sure as hell he will lose the next general election.

    Keep up the pressure with your arguments and statistics.

    1. Jose
      October 20, 2011

      Couldn’t agree more Mr. Jutson! Cameron has nothing to lose by letting them have a ‘free’ vote and everything to lose by whipping them. He should be using the power of his logic (if he has any) to persuade the country that his argument is the correct one rather than employing fear amongst the Tory MPs.
      The Labour party should do the same thing but are more likely to choose to abstain than vote for or against…..a shower indeed!

      1. Mike Stallard
        October 20, 2011

        But what about the future of the Deputy Prime Minister?
        Mr Cameron, a very honourable man indeed, will stick by his Coalition Agreement.

        (After they banned our Free School, they lost my vote ages ago).

    2. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      Cameron doesn’t want an EU referendum because it will cause him a problem now, while the fallout from not allowing an EU referendum will affect him later.

  7. A.Sedgwick
    October 20, 2011

    I am pleased that you and others recognise that there is a growing volume of opinion that agrees the EU is a complete sham and threatens our economic future. There is beginning to be less fence sitting although many politicians are still going through the process of cherry picking areas for repatriation and reform – it will never happen. It is a house of cards and will disintegrate in the same way as the USSR. The message is beginning to get through to the hierarchies of the two main parties that UKIP is a threat – read the near daily reponses to EU articles in the various papers – more and more respondents are rejecting the Conservative Party. Yesterday a significant local Conservative Party member wrote a very telling piece basically saying that he had had enough. This referendum debate will be a watershed, it will be a total disgrace if a free vote is not given to all MPs and it will be massively counter productive to the debate/argument if it is not given.

  8. Martin Cole
    October 20, 2011

    Thank you for that analysis of the situation in your party.

    President Sarkozy, quitting his wife’s bedside as she gave birth to their daughter, to negotiate details in Frankfurt of an arrangement to stave off default of the three largest French banks, better paints the backdrop to the environment against which Monday’s brought forward vote in Westminster will occur.

    The riots on the streets of Greece, the closing collapse of the Portuguese economy and the threat to Spain and Italy of passing beyond a liquidity crisis to one of solvency, as warned by Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, the evening before last, all indicate that over the next few days Europe is approaching an historically defining moment. MPs owe it to their constituents to educate themselves on the EU over the coming few days, crass ignorance is widespread.

    To grapple with the realities of the developments now likely to follow this coming defining moment for the EU, our Parliamentarians of all parties need to take cognisance of all the well known facts, both of our country since the European Communities Act of 1972 but more importantly the motivations and negligence of those devising and running the euro currency since its inception.

    Much day to day commentary, down the years, of all these events is available on my blog.

    Any MPs who vote in any way (regardless of any supposed party whipping that may or may not be imposed,) to deprive the people of Britain, a say in the future course of their country at this crucial and desperate juncture, will never again deserve election to any legislative or public body.

    1. D K McGregor
      October 20, 2011

      It occurs to me that when the proverbial hits the fan in Europe , our masters want us in position to be gathered in as quickly as possible to the new order of things. There will ,of course , be no alternative at that point. This is the time to put some distance between Europe and ourselves.

  9. Rebecca Hanson
    October 20, 2011

    What’s needed is intelligent, open and active discussion with our European partners which seeks to build coherent visions of alternatives to bail out and borrow.

    The question of the UK’s relationship with the EU should be subordinate to this far more urgent issue at present.

    1. alan jutson
      October 20, 2011


      Have you seen any evidence of intelligent discussions having taken place with the EU before.

      All we ever seem to do is give in, and except the token so called victories offered to us as a booby prize.

      Meanwhile I see further alledged EU corruption/Audit cover up, with regard to expenses/payments and wasted millions is being exposed by the Telegraph today (Bruno Waterfield in Brussels)

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 22, 2011

        We could up the level of intelligent discussion by upping our own level of intelligence Alan. 🙂

        I hear lots of people demanding more power back from Europe. It would be nice if those same people could make a decent fist of using the powers they do have to run this country in order that we should actually be remotely inclined to want them to have more powers.

        This government has full power over education policy, for example, and it is choosing to use that power to pursue the most ludicrously ill conceived policies which are grounded in neither the theory nor the reality of education management. So they are throwing away lots of money on reforms that very clearly won’t work and are sacking all the people who know what they’re talking about and suffocating intelligent reforms.

        And all I hear is ‘we deserve more power, we should have more power.’ For heaven’s sake. Get your own house in order first!!! Prove that you are fit to govern.

    2. Robert K
      October 20, 2011

      Unfortunately, matters have gone beyond earnest discussion. Our European partners have closed their eyes and ears to the fact that the euro is a doomsday machine that is taking the Continent towards disaster. Read today’s analysis in the FT Peter Spiegel and Alex Barker – the issue of redrawing the Eurozone isn’t even on the agenda in Brussels.

      1. Rebecca Hanson
        October 22, 2011

        No they haven’t. You’re just not talking to the right people and are not being effective in getting it on the agenda.

  10. Mick Anderson
    October 20, 2011

    I have already e-mailed the MP who has his name against the Constituency in which I live. Unfortunately he holds a Ministerial post, and I suspect that he will vote the way that he is told.

    It looks as though many MPs (including Mr Cameron) believe that giving the electorate a referendum is the same as leaving the EU. Is so, they are deliberately ignoring what they perceive to be our wishes.

    Democracy is meant to be about the majority of the populus giving direction, not a bunch of party-serving career politicians following orders.

  11. Peter van Leeuwen
    October 20, 2011

    I find the Scottish approach, announcing a referendum but taking THREE years to prepare for it, a much smarter one. Putting myself in your position (not easy for a europhile) I could imagine that the Cameron government wouldn’t oppose a referendum if it were pushed to e.g. 2013 or 2014. The advantages:
    * The EU is fighting a crisis. A good time to be cooperative based on quid-pro-quo promises, to be implemented later. Mrs Merkel wants further treaty changes, that is an opportunity, but it should be played out in a smart, non-EU-hostile manner.
    * Europe as an issue for public debate will get more prominence. At the moment few people are interested.
    * In the meantime, nothing would stop MPs to prepare proposals for possible repatriation of certain powers or start testing these in the EU (government action not possible because of the coalition agreement)
    * By the time a, Cameron-supported referendum were to be held, say in early 2014, there would be more clarity on what the EU will look like, more awareness among the people, and there will have been ample time for public debate.
    * If people don’t like the outcome of the referendum, there will be elections soon afterward (promising a referendum after an election may not be trusted by many).

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      October 20, 2011

      The motion calls for a referendum by May 2013; not next week, this year or next year. This will have no influence on Cameron who is the consummate anti-democratic Eurocrat – because he doesn’t like the likely outcome of the referendum he won’t allow the electorate a vote. That’s the kind of European democracy that you so admire.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        October 20, 2011

        Brian, I’ve never regarded UK democracy as a typical “European democracy”. Only now, for the first time in decades do you have a government (coalition) which rests on a majority of the popular vote.
        Before anything else, David Cameron is a Brit.

    2. lojolondon
      October 20, 2011

      All very well, but if we have to wait three years to have a referendum, then can we have back the £45 Billion that we will have paid into the EU over those three years??

  12. NickW
    October 20, 2011

    It is very clear that there are many officials within the European Government who are primarily motivated by a compelling need to tell other people what they MUST do, and it cannot be argued too that some of these officials particularly like the idea of telling the English what they have GOT to do. Dan Hannan’s blog has shown clips of particularly poisonous anti-English MEPs.

    Our Country is under attack and it needs to respond with determination and unity.

    It is clear too, that the necessary de-regulation needed to restore growth and competitiveness is impeded at every step by European Legislation, AND that deficit reduction targets have been compromised by massive payments to European bail out funds.

    Cameron is totally and completely out of touch regarding the sentiment in the country over the European issue; he is divorced from reality after rubbing shoulders with other European leaders.

    Europe threatens our survival as a successful democratic and independent economy and I have no doubt that for some in Europe that was the plan from the very beginning.

    After the expenses row MPs are on probation; if parliament pokes the people in the eye again, (with Cameron’s help), it will discredit itself and politics in no small measure.

    This is not a time for weasel words and “Clever” amendments to block a free vote, it is time for the Conservative party to show its loyalty to the Country it purports to represent, and lay the Foundations for policies which will win the next election.

    1. Liz
      October 20, 2011

      This is absolutely right – we have a Bureaudictatorship in the EU – accountable to no one and with many in the ruling commission filled with dislike of England/Britain and still fighing, with modern weapons,the wars of the past few centuries. People who have unaccountable power almost never give it up willingly so there is absolutely no chance of us renegotiating repatriation of powers – even if the Government really deep down wanted to, which I suspect the don’t. Ignoring the public/electorate has proved to be one of the EU’s great attractions to politicians in almost every Government, past and present, in the EU. They just love those posturing summits!

    2. Derek Buxton
      October 20, 2011

      You are quite correct, from the beginning a single state was planned but they knew that the UK would not just sit back and accept it. So the fell back on deception and lying with the assistance of our FO and Politicians. Having got them on board it was relatively easy to push forward bit by bit tying us up ever more tightly. We are nearing the end game, we are broke and are squandering whatever money we can borrow. Soon it will be “oh dear, we are broke, we will have to become a full member of the EU. they will bail us out”. Unfortunately they will spit in the PM’s eye and tell him to get lost and keep paying anyway! That is a simple progression from all the years past.

    3. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      “It is very clear that there are many officials within the UK Parliament who are primarily motivated by a compelling need to tell other people what they MUST do, and it cannot be argued too that some of these officials particularly like the idea of telling the English what they have GOT to do.”

      I fixed the first sentence for you.

      “It is clear too, that the necessary de-regulation needed to restore growth and competitiveness is impeded at every step by European Legislation”

      Name 5 examples and how they are preventing ‘growth and competitiveness’.

      1. Jon Burgess
        October 20, 2011

        This should help. It’s a list of EU directives from March to June 2010. You can do your own search here:
        You can decide if they have any bearing on UK competitiveness, but bear in mind this is only 3 months worth of EU legislation that will have to be written into UK law whether you or I like it or not:
        • Directive 2010/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 June 2010 on transportable pressure equipment and repealing Council Directives 76/767/EEC, 84/525/EEC, 84/526/EEC, 84/527/EEC and 1999/36/EC (Text with EEA relevance)
        • Commission Directive 2010/36/EU of 1 June 2010 amending Directive 2009/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (Text with EEA relevance)
        • Commission Directive 2010/38/EU of 18 June 2010 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to include sulfuryl fluoride as active substance (Text with EEA relevance )
        • Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products (Text with EEA relevance )
        • Commission Directive 2010/37/EU of 17 June 2010 amending Directive 2008/60/EC laying down specific purity criteria on sweeteners (Text with EEA relevance )
        • Commission Directive 2010/33/EU of 21 May 2010 correcting the Spanish version of Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption
        • Commission Directive 2010/29/EU of 27 April 2010 amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC to include flonicamid (IKI-220) as active substance (Text with EEA relevance)
        • Commission Directive 2010/22/EU of 15 March 2010 amending, for the purposes of their adaptation to technical progress, Council Directives 80/720/EEC, 86/298/EEC, 86/415/EEC and 87/402/EEC and Directives 2000/25/EC and 2003/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the type-approval of agricultural or forestry tractors (Text with EEA relevance)
        • Commission Directive 2010/26/EU of 31 March 2010 amending Directive 97/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to measures against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery (Text with EEA relevance)
        • Commission Directive 2010/19/EU of 9 March 2010 amending, for the purposes of adaptation to technical progress in the field of spray-suppression systems of certain categories of motor vehicles and their trailers, Council Directive 91/226/EEC, and Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (Text with EEA relevance)

      2. Pat Gaskell
        October 21, 2011

        Here are the 5 examples:
        1) The EU allows us to trade only as a block with fellow members. We are not allowed to do trade deals with blossoming economies in Brazil, Taiwan or Argentina – just three examples;
        2) Cutting carbon emissions. Business closed down in Redcar to comply with rules, 3,000 people thrown out of work, business transferred to India – where wages are lower – where their is the same carbon emission but from a different country;
        3) Battery eggs. Brritish farmers have spent a fortune on ensuring their hens and chickens can live a free-range life which is why the cost of eggs has gone up. Eastern European farmers who promise to do the same – but are never check to see if they comply – are believed when they say their eggs are free-range and therefore can sell their eggs at a much lower cost than our farmers.
        4) Extended maternity and paternity leave, making employers wary of employing those in their teens, 20s and 30s, adding to our unemployment difficulties and, therefore, preventing the growth (or continuence) of a small business;
        5) Temporary workers to be given equal rights with the full-time work-force after 12 weeks. This causes problems for small businesses – the backbone of our economy – who may need to hire for only a few months but have to pay out far more than would be earned by taking on a temp. A further blow to our economic recovery and chance to grow.

  13. Adam5x5
    October 20, 2011

    It is not for the MPs to decide who governs us.
    That is our prerogative.

    The fact that Cameron is trying to whip against a referendum shows us his opinion of democracy. Hopefully enough MPs will vote in favour of a referendum, but I won’t hold my breath.

    I shall just change to supporting UKIP, as I suspect a fair few will.

    Kind of ironic that we’ll bomb libya into democracy, but are denied the same privilege here. Maybe we need a carpet bombing from the americans, to liberate us and give us our democracy back.

    1. A different Simon
      October 20, 2011

      Up until now the powerbrokers in the USA have been pushing for a United States of Europe .

      They could very easily change their mind if they perceive the U.S.E. as a threat .

      As you say , with democracy surely what is good for the goose and all that

  14. AndyC71
    October 20, 2011

    Thanks for this post – it’s nice to have some names of MPs who take this issue seriously in various areas. I remain to be convinced, but hope the Conservative party as a whole takes the chance to begin to address the matter of the EU.

    A vote for change now would not have to lead to a speedy referendum, and I can see force in the economic argument that now is a bad time to hold one. But it would lay down a marker for the future direction of travel.

    If Mr Cameron does try to whip this vote, he will deservedly lose a lot of support in the country, mine included, inasmuch as he still has it. I’ve already written to my MP to urge him to vote for change, and hope everyone else on here does likewise!

  15. John Page
    October 20, 2011

    We only have “a relationship with the EU” in the sense that Scotland has “a relationship” with the UK – we’re part of it.

    One difference is that our Parliament (yes, that’s you) is steadily reducing the extent of our devolved government.

    1. Derek Buxton
      October 20, 2011

      Hooray, you have got it. the only post where I have seen that. Well done.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    October 20, 2011

    This debate is a result of a petition system introduced by government. If this is no more than a cynical sop to the proletariat I think that any subsequent Parliamentary vote should be a free vote of all MPs. Cameron is on record as saying that he doesn’t support an in/out referendum because he doesn’t want the UK to leave the EU. His attitude shows that he thinks that such a vote would result in a vote to leave the EU. Therefore he will use all the power he has to frustrate the will of the people and his own MPs from whom he derives his position of power. In this regard he shows himself to be the consummate anti-democratic Eurocrat. It is clear that not one of the three main parties will ever allow the people such a referendum. Party leaders would do well to consider what unpleasant response their continual frustration of the will of the people and our parliamentary democracy will ultimately produce.

    1. ms m davies
      October 20, 2011

      … Party leaders would do well to consider what unpleasant response their continual frustration of the will of the people and our parliamentary democracy will ultimately produce. …

      Yes, indeed! We’ve already seen riots on the streets of London this year and now have the protesters outside St Paul’s. Jump now, to the vision of what happened to the Caecescu’s a number of years ago. When the people are really p*ssed off with the Government, who can tell what will happen?

  17. Robert K
    October 20, 2011

    Thank you for this analysis. The thing that continues to baffle me is the extent of support for the eurocracy in a UK parliament. One would have thought that with public opinion swinging behind a more eurosceptic view and with the obvious calamity of the euro meltdown there would be more MPs in favour of withdawing from Europe. Besides, why would Westminster MPs want to have their own influence on domestic affairs watered down by a foreign bureaucracy?

  18. Electro-Kevin
    October 20, 2011

    As well as EU interference there is meddling by Left leaning judges in our own courts.

  19. backofanenvelope
    October 20, 2011

    I think we should congratulate Mr Cameron. Lots of people think he is Euro-sceptic, but he isn’t. Lots of people think he is cutting public expenditure, but he isn’t. He is really doing very well.

    1. zorro
      October 20, 2011

      I suppose that his PR background was useful for something…..


  20. Steve S
    October 20, 2011

    I don’t uinderstand the reluctance to use the Eurozone crisis to the UK’s advantage on this – the EU never hesitates to shaft the UK, so we shouldn’t be timid in returning the favour. The UK is in a position as strong as it ever has been to drive home an advantage here. We need to rediscover our cojones.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 20, 2011


      1. Mike Stallard
        October 20, 2011

        Bureaucrats have no independence, no inside knowledge, no freedom(s). They just toe the line and do what they need (and only what they need) to keep out of trouble themselves. They run the government.
        As far as I can see, they have no cojones because most of them are women anyway.

  21. NickW
    October 20, 2011

    At the end of the day all Leaders are the same. Pretend democracy convinces no one.

    Anything other than a free vote for ALL MPs is a sham and a fraud.

    Cameron clearly models his ideas of democracy on those of Putin and Mugabe.

    It will be interesting too, to see what route Miliband follows in his desire to get everything wrong. Will he have the courage to seize the opportunity being presented to him?

  22. norman
    October 20, 2011

    Good to see that the coalition Party leaders have learned lessons (when don’t they?) from the, some would say terminal, damage they received from the expenses scandal and are now doing their utmost to restore public faith in MPs and the Parliamentary process.

    Carry on whipping, as the actress said to the Chancellor!

  23. javelin
    October 20, 2011

    Ive have NEVER been anti EU. I have always given them the benefit of the doubt etc.

    HOWEVER it is now apparent to me and the vast majority of EUROPEANS that the EU is broken.

    Broken – broken dreams.

    Broken – the old USSR.

    Broken – Ron Weasely’s wand


    The EU have been digging TWO tunnels one Governmental the other Economic. It is now extremely obvious that the two DO NOT JOIN UP. There is a massive GAP in their thinking and there is NOTHING they can do to join the two back up. Its not just a case of digging a little to the left or the right they need to back right up and remove the Euro. I think that is now obvious to ALL those in Europe. The EURO is bust.

    Europe cannot carry on with a currency that requires massive support from the wealth-based cultures to the leisure-based cultures becuase the hard working wealthy do not want to pay for the relaxed less wealthy.

    This is NOT a question of rich and poor. This is not a question of the poor being repressed and used by the rich. Germany or the UK never repressed Greece or Portugal. This is not a question of fairness, marxism, socialism or politics. This is not analogous to Londno supporting poorer regions. This is not a problem that can be solved by politics. Germany and the UK have chosen a life style, Portugal and Greece another. The two are not linked. No amount of persuasion can work.

    This is a question of cultures and free choices. I am not to judge whether wealth or leisure is better – but I will judge that the wealthy cannot support other peoples leisure. And that is the ROOT of the problem. Politics cannot solve this problem.

    Similarly Economic engineering by Europes leaders cannot solve the problem in the short term. The cultures are different and cannot be integrated in the long term. The problem is fundementally UNSOLVABLE.

    1. City Slicker
      October 20, 2011

      Or more simply you cannot compare apples with pears!

  24. frank salmon
    October 20, 2011

    John, what you want is to steal a march on the rest of Europe by allowing Britain to become more efficient. It would take all EU governments to agree on it, so it simply won’t happen. Even our opt-outs are only temporary. Therefore, we need to do nothing less than threaten, in all seriousness, to leave the EU. Only when we are on the verge of leaving might they come up with something.
    The three line whip is hardly democratic is it?

  25. Electro-Kevin
    October 20, 2011

    Thank God for Left-wing British judges.

    Without their impatience to implement their agenda through judicial meddling the EU wouldn’t have been shown up for what it is.

    No one has done more to further the anti EU cause in fact.

    Well done British Judges !

    1. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      So what is this left-wing agenda that involves implementing EU law?

      Also how can judges be faulted for ‘judicial meddling’ when this is their job?

  26. Steve Cox
    October 20, 2011

    What is the Parliamentary arithmetic on this vote? Presumably the Limp Dems will all vote against any referendum. The Conservatives will be split, presumably with the majority toeing the line (especially if whipped hard to do so) and a rump of back benchers voting for a referendum? Forgive my ignorance, but how does the total number of back benchers compare with the number of Conservative MP’s with a direct stake in the government? And Labour – what will they do? If Cameron’s official line is to vote No to a referendum, then presumably Labour would not want to follow his lead? Or do they feel that the European project is essential to the continued development of International Socialism, so they will vote with Cameron? Has anybody done an analysis of the likely outcome?

    Reply: So far over 70 MPs have signed the motion, mostly Conservatives. I have no idea how it will work out, as Labour have not declared their hand, and we still do not know for sure the governemnt will seek to whip all Conservatives. If it is a 3 line whip there could still be more than 50 Conservative rebels who vote against the whip, so Labour’s votes would decide it. The Lib Dems may well as you say vote against. However we should remember that they used to favour an In Out referendum, and this gives them it with a third option.

    1. Acorn
      October 20, 2011

      JR, if there is an amendment, which bit would be taken out of the motion?

      ” That this House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom should
      (a) remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;
      (b) leave the European Union; or
      (c) re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation. ”

      It is still listed for next Thursday at posting:

      Reply: An amendment can propose any change, subject to the Speaker’s judgement about its suitability for debate. The debate is being shifted to Monday. This wil enable Mr Hague and Mr cameron to b e present to vote against, as they plan to be out of the country on Thursday.

      1. Chris
        October 20, 2011

        On reading the report on the address by the German Finance Minister, Herr Schauble, at his very recent Chatham House address, I do not believe that option 3 is in fact viable. I believe that the UK would have to withdraw first and then negotiate new trading arrangements (not as difficult as people would have us beleive, and it would also be in the EU’s interests to keep up trade links with us). If the interpretation of his remarks are to be believed then any treaty change discussions would only be targeted at the fiscal policy part of the existing treaty, and as such would have to be fast tracked in order satisfy nervous markets. There would thus be no opportunity for national grandstanding/requests for changes in national positions. Thus, whatever in theory may be possible, in practice it would not be permitted. I fear it is too late to try to renegotiate when realistically we have so little influence in the EU, and have no chance of altering the balance of power in the future. We never had any chance of being in the control seat in the past, and nor will we in the future. We have certainly managed to be an irritation to the EU in the past under Margaret Thatcher but subsequently we have surrendered more and more powers rendering us now virtually emasculated. To suggest otherwise, is, I believe, misguided and can only lead to more difficulties.

        Reply This is the stuff of the referendum debate, which I n ow see Labour want to veto.

      2. Sean O'Hare
        October 20, 2011

        This will enable Mr Hague and Mr cameron to b e present to vote against, as they plan to be out of the country on Thursday

        Any possibility that we could have a referendum on whether or not to let them back in again?

    2. Winston Smith
      October 20, 2011

      Its not just those with a direct stake in the government who will be loyal to Cameron, its also those who want a stake. There are some deeply ambitious new MPs with low principles, who care little for the will of the people.

      1. Pat Gaskell
        October 21, 2011

        So true. Sadly, they are also short-sighted. We, the voters, can take out revenge at the next general election – provided we’re allowed one!

    3. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      Labour may abstain to split the Conservatives in pro and anti EU factions. Dividing the Conservatives will cause Cameron a lot of problems in the short term.

      Reply: Wake up – Labour have announced a 3 line whip against a referendum, because they are a federalist party

      1. JimF
        October 20, 2011

        erm, I believe the Conservatives have done the same.

    4. Steve Cox
      October 21, 2011

      Thanks for the reply. I see from the papers this morning that some junior Conservative members of the government (PPS level) are saying they will resign in order to defy Cameron and Hague and vote for a referendum. Interesting times!

  27. Viv Evans
    October 20, 2011

    Why is it so hard for EUrophiles to recognise that a big part of the inflationary pressure we experience here at present is due to Brussels directives?
    Why is it so hard for them to understand that our economy will not grow when people simply do not have the money to spend but must retrench, e.g. because of high energy bills for their households, fuel for their cars, rising prices for public transport?

    The day is not that far away where more and more people will see that government ‘gifts’ to the IMF is simply a support for the crumbling € through the back door.

    For the sake of our country, it must be an in/out referendum – else we all will indeed go down with the sinking shop that is the €zone.
    Does anybody think we’ll have a roaring trade with EU countries, us being in the EU, when their economies are going down like skittles?
    British policies were renowned for their pragmatism, as opposed to the ideology-driven policies on the continent.
    Let’s get back to this – and let’s get out of the EU a.s.a.p.

    1. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      “Why is it so hard for EUrophiles to recognise that a big part of the inflationary pressure we experience here at present is due to Brussels directives?”

      Because it’s caused by our Government as it reduces their debt and lets them borrow at a lower rate.

      “Why is it so hard for them to understand that our economy will not grow when people simply do not have the money to spend but must retrench, e.g. because of high energy bills for their households, fuel for their cars, rising prices for public transport?”

      All caused by the UK Government’s taxes and failure to regulate various industries.

      “British policies were renowned for their pragmatism, as opposed to the ideology-driven policies on the continent.”

      Which is why the UK lost most of its manufacturing industry, while Germany has a strong manufacturing economy. Wait wouldn’t this make Germany more pragmatic?

  28. sm
    October 20, 2011

    The referendum question with 3 options seems itself a calculated machiavellian (you wonder what is on a PPE course?) fallback strategy, if faced with a revolt.

    By attempting to split the euro-sceptic vote they will most likely then re-interpret this so as to continue the current policy ‘ever closer union’?

    Ask yourself would you trust them? to keep true to their weasel words feigning a policy or would you trust a legally binding referendum.

    IMHO Democracy lost out to capital longtime ago. Of course we have a Federalist Parliament – it doesn’t seem to matter who you vote for – ‘Ever closer Union’ marches on. Belgium apparently doesn’t even have an elected government, taxpayer bailouts continue apace. The system appears to have been rigged within.

    Vote for anyone who offers legally binding referenda.

    What are they afraid of ? If ‘ever the EU is rebuffed they will ask again. Maybe they read history and are aware we are prepared to stand with friends or alone if necessary.

    Stand or get on your knees.

    Reply: the motion was chosen by Mr Nuttall, not by the government.

  29. English Pensioner
    October 20, 2011

    It seems that our Prime Minister and a large number of our MPs simply don’t believe in democracy.
    A referendum on an issue is the ultimate expression of democracy, and the only logical reason for refusing one is that there is no real public demand for a referendum. Whilst this might have been a reasonable argument in the case of the referendum on AV, it is certainly not the case with a referendum on the EU.
    So the referendum might go against Cameron’s wishes – surely this is what happens in a democracy. He should be there to try to do what the majority of electors want, not what he wants, or even what he thinks is best.
    To me, every MP who votes against a referendum is voting against democracy and has decided that he/she knows better than the electors.
    In this respect, America is far more democratic, In most States “A Question” can be put on the ballot papers at election time provided that sufficient signatures have been collected to make the request. The availability to us of getting a parliamentary debate, if one can get enough signatures, is totally meaningless in real terms.

    1. lifelogic
      October 20, 2011

      Clearly they do not want a referendum on this issue for the sole reason that they think they will loose. They could have put the question on the bottom of the silly AV referendum at no cost at all. You can be sure that in England the electorate will never be consulted on anything of significance (unless they expect the right answer) and that the BBC under Lord Patten will continue the EU (and the “green AGV, environmental” propaganda.

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    October 20, 2011

    It would appear that your Prime Minister is not the Eurosceptic that he promised to be. His behaviour seems to be on a par with that of MacMillan, Heath and Major. So the 64 thousand dollar question is:

    What are you going to do about it?

    Hint: The Conservative Party allows leadership contests every Autumn – maybe this year is premature but by next year the evidence will be overwhelming.

  31. Neil Craig
    October 20, 2011

    While the world economy continues growung at 5% the EU is sliding back into recession. It is no accident that the EU is far and awy the slowest growing region of the world – the EU have admitted to their parasitic regulations destroying 5.5% of GNP and the real figure is probably now significantly higher.

    The EU thus costs us over £100 bn annually and, more importantly every year we remain in it permanently reduces our GNP by at least 5% of what it should be (another £75 bn). There would be no point spending years “renegotiating” our membership even if we could trust the government to achieve a “renegotiation” that was more than cosmetic.

    1. uanime5
      October 20, 2011

      “the EU have admitted to their parasitic regulations destroying 5.5% of GNP and the real figure is probably now significantly higher.”

      Can I have a source for this as I’d be interested to see who in EU said this.

      1. Neil Craig
        January 15, 2012

        Gunter Herheuggen EU Comissioner for “Enterprise”
        I doubt if he would estimate high.

  32. Denis Cooper
    October 20, 2011

    According to the Telegraph “dozens” of Tory MPs may rebel.

    Well, there are 305 of them, which is 25.4 dozens, so anything less than 12.7 dozen rebels will mean that a majority had not rebelled.

    13 dozens, a baker’s dozen of dozens, = 156.

    I’m not offering to run a book – I expect people can make spread bets on it somewhere – but my guess is that in the end between 30 and 70 will rebel, mid-point 50 or around 4 dozens.

    That would be about 1 in 6 of the Tory MPs, with 5 in 6 toeing the party line.

    Northern Ireland MPs not to be mistakenly counted as Tories.

    Another interesting bet would be whether the number of Tory MPs voting for the motion will exceed the net number of LibDem MPs voting against it.

    Ie there are 57 LibDem MPs, some of whom may vote for the motion, and that number who vote for it should be subtracted from the number who vote against it to get the net number voting against it.

    In any case the odds against this motion passing must be very long, and would have been quite long even if it was a free vote just among the Tory MPs.

  33. rose
    October 20, 2011

    If Mr Coulson were still around would the PM be so out of touch, not just with us, but with his own best interests?

  34. Denis Cooper
    October 20, 2011

    I find here:

    that both Peter Bone’s Common Fisheries Policy (Withdrawal) Bill and Bill Cash’s European Union Act 2011 (Amendment) Bill are down for their Second Readings tomorrow.

    The purpose of Bill Cash’s European Union Act 2011 (Amendment) Bill:

    is summarised as

    “A Bill to apply the terms of the European Union Act 2011 such as to require approval by Act of Parliament and by referendum of provisions for creating a fiscal union or economic governance within the Eurozone.”

    But I fear that as it refers to “European Union” provisions it would not cover the intra-eurozone treaties and agreements which would become legally possible once the radical EU treaty change agreed on March 25th had come into force, and in fact such intra-eurozone arrangements would not even need to be approved by the UK Parliament, irrespective of any damaging impact they might have on the UK, and the question of holding a UK referendum could not even arise.

    Reply: There’s no pleasing some people. We are doimng our best to highlight the transfers of power and to resist them. We think this Bill would work. Could someone occasionaly say something nice?

    1. Steve S
      October 20, 2011

      “Reply: There’s no pleasing some people. We are doimng our best to highlight the transfers of power and to resist them. We think this Bill would work. Could someone occasionaly say something nice?”

      Ok then John, I really do wish you were the foreign secretary, as Mr Hague seems to have lost the stomach for the fight according to reports of his mauling before the 22. In the meantime I think we can all trust you to continue to speak truth unto power.

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 20, 2011

      I genuinely appreciate your efforts, but should I remain silent when it seems clear that cunning, devious and unscrupulous EU lawyers are outflanking you?

      Reply: I think your contributions are excellent, clear and well researched. It is just the case that Bill Cash is well aware of the legal issues, and has drafted soemthign with advice which he thinks will sort it out. The problem in this case I suspect is not the drafting but the unwillingness of the governemnt to adopt it.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 20, 2011

        I have a great deal of respect for Bill Cash and his legal expertise, but I still believe that the EU is pulling a fast one and if they’re allowed to get away with it then that will cause us enormous problems in the future.

        On one view the radical EU treaty change in European Council Decision 2011/199/EU would permit the eurozone states to embark on a form of “enhanced co-operation”, but completely side-stepping even the (inadequate) restrictions and safeguards surrounding “enhanced co-operation” which are presently laid down in the EU treaties, specifically Articles 326 to 334 TFEU starting on page 189 here:

        Potentially even the very first and most basic requirement:

        “Any enhanced cooperation shall comply with the Treaties and Union law”

        could be circumvented.

    3. Electro-Kevin
      October 20, 2011

      Dan Hannan – PM
      John Redwood – Chancellor
      Peter Hitchens – Home Secretary

      Probably Dave Davies, IDS and Theresa May on my Dream Team too.

      Nice enough, John ?

  35. Chris
    October 20, 2011

    I think it may be unwise for Cameron to claim that in any negotiations re treaty change to deal with current EU problems that we can repatriate powers, and in that way hope to reassure MPs and sceptical public. See the reported remarks (UTV News) by Schauble, German Finance Minister, at the recent Chatham House function which apparently left many feeling that Schauble did not believe that Britain would have any “bargaining chips” in the negotiations. He is interpreted as having said that if treaty change is required (and some at Chatham House and Whitehall apparently feared that there may not necessarily even be a treaty change) then the change would be targeted on the fiscal policy section only, and would have to be approved swiftly to satisfy nervous markets – there would not be the opportunity for national grandstanding/renegotiating national positions. That would mean that Cameron’s assurances are questionable. It may be in reality that the only option for change that the UK has is complete withdrawal. NB I see now that the link to Schauble’s paper can be downloaded via google, but I think there were issues raised in Q and A which may not have been recorded.

    1. Kevin Dabson
      October 23, 2011

      Here is the full video. It should have the Q&A also.

      Schauble, German Finance Minister, at Chatham House

  36. fake
    October 20, 2011

    ***Reply: is this the same UKIP that has no MPs, and has great trouble keeping their MEPs in their party etc.***

    I would vote for pol pot if it would get us out of the EU, because then at least I could vote him out again.

    Reply: Yes, but it hasn’t got you out of the EU!

  37. Slim Jim
    October 20, 2011

    I am glad that this issue is gaining momentum, but we must all not get carried away. Just look at how the political class has connived and conspired to deny us a proper say in our relationship with Europe over the years, more recently with the Lisbon treaty. Even if we did get a referendum and voted NO, I’m sure you will find a way round it. Also, just look at how the EUSSR have treated other electorate’s wishes with contempt. The sad fact is that the Tories have had every opportunity to sort out the mess (as far as our relationship goes), but Mr. Cameron’s stance on Europe has become even clearer, especially since his ‘cast iron guarantee’, and does not bode well for democracy in the UK. We’re going to hell in a handcart, so why keep hold of the reins? I would urge everyone to contact their MP and ask what their intentions are. If we do, there will be quite a few jackets on shaky nails!

  38. Dr Bernard Juby
    October 20, 2011

    I was a Maastrict Bastard” and proud of it. I gave the “King Maastrict is Dead” speech to the Conservative Conference to the rousing acclaimof the floor but to the black scowls from Major and the platform! I used to be a LA Candidiate for the party, etc. etc.
    NOT ANY MORE. I have seen the error of my ways while I watched promise after promise made by the party being broken. The last culminated in Cameron’s pledge to hold a Referendum shattered before his desire to clamber in to 10 Downing Street. The Lib-Dems got theirs so why should we not have tit for tat? After all they only have to agree the principle without actually voting for it.
    If you don’t listen to what the electorate tell you you won’t get very far – especially if you don’t even give them a chance to tell you what they feel.

  39. Dr Bernard Juby
    October 20, 2011

    P.S. My wife – a long standing member – has also left the Party. She was especially miffed when I was black-balled and she was told that a trip to 10 Downing Street was for delegates only and spouses were not permitted only to find out when she got there that it was all a lie and all the other spouses were present.

  40. BobE
    October 20, 2011

    (a) remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;
    (b) leave the European Union; or
    (c) re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation. ”

    If 30% vote for option (b) and 30% vote for option (c) and 40% vote for option (a) then we would remain in despite 60% being against it.
    Very clever indeed!!

    Reply: Not so – 60% on that vote are not in favour of immediate withdrawal. There would be a renegotiation, and then I trust a vote on whther to accept the terms and stay in or not.

    1. BobE
      October 20, 2011

      Thank you for the clarification John. So (b) and (c) will be combined to operate against (a). Thats fair.

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      October 20, 2011

      BobE makes a good point. I am sure it would be argued that given a 40:30:30 result that 70% were opposed to withdrawal and that the result of the referendum was the status quo, as it had the highest number of votes.

  41. Bob
    October 20, 2011

    Don’t let Cameron abuse the system in order to suppress British democracy.

    You can write to your MP through this website:

  42. Robbo
    October 20, 2011

    Isn’t there a huge barn door here ?
    While the EU commission has very expensively, in terms of cash costs and in terms of the burden imposed on industry, been micromanaging its member countries with a flood of directives, the big picture – willfully neglected – has been falling apart due to governments´ irresponsibility over spending.

    You might make a case for banning 100W light bulbs (as an example) , and the cost of the beaurocracy and enforcement to do so, if it prevented economic melt-down, but you can´t help being cheated when you get the melt-down anyway, either despite the ban or because the responsible people were busy composing the ban instead of paying attention to what they should have been doing.

  43. dan
    October 20, 2011

    I have zero faith in John Redwood.
    He has talked a good game on Europe until this last couple of months when its mattered.
    He hasnt the guts to call for the UK to stand on its own two feet, but rather he wants to continue to pour billions into the EU every year…for what exactly?

    Reply: I have no wish to do any such thing.I have made it crystal clear I voted against staying in in 1975, so don’t blame me for the continuing high cost. I want a relationship based on trade, not on expensive common government. In them last couple of months I have used my vote and voice in Parliament to make the case against the growing incursions of the EU and the growing cost of Euro bail outs.

    1. dan
      October 20, 2011

      How much do you believe is a fair payment from the UK to EU each year for continued membership of the club?

  44. Sue
    October 20, 2011

    I actually believe the Conservative Party is scared that they may have to run the country without either the EU or Labour to blame!

    Taking responsibility takes honour and courage, something sadly lacking in politicians these days!

  45. RDM
    October 20, 2011

    I totally support a move to a Trade and Coop based relationship with Euro based EU, which is what (I Believe) the British people really wanted in the first place!

    So, you have my support (as usual), best of luck!



    PS: Has the Lord Chief Justice really told Judges to ignore the European Human Rights Act ( src: The Times)? Mmm… What is he up too? What are the implications of this, or is there any?

    Reply: Apparently so, but they do not seem to do so

  46. Freeborn John
    October 20, 2011

    Irrespective of the outcome of the vote, it is very important that EU-sceptic MPs make the stronger arguments during the debate itself. Keith Vaz & Co. must be made to look lightweight and clear advantages articulated as to why Britons will benefit if Westminister reclaims legislative powers from Brussels. Make the most of this opportunity to knock those federalists for six!

  47. Pedro
    October 20, 2011

    Reading the article and most of the comments, the thought struck me, what’s the point? The isolated ruling elite will decide what is best for them. And that’s the EU gravy train. Any contrary ideas will be arrogantly ignored.

  48. Brian Tomkinson
    October 20, 2011

    Courtesy of Guido Fawkes’s blog, I have just signed the LibDem petition they launched with their last manifesto calling for an EU in/out referendum. Within seconds I received this thank you:
    “Many thanks for signing our petition calling for the Government to give the British people a real choice on Europe by holding a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
    Chris Rennard
    Chief Executive, Liberal Democrats”

    How about all of your readers and their friends signing up?
    Clegg is going to enforce a 3-line whip in favour of the referendum isn’t he? (only joking!)

    Reply: Good point – Mr Clegg I read is one of the architects of the 3 line whip against a referendum.

    1. Bob
      October 20, 2011

      I signed it but I didn’t get an email from Chris Rennard.
      Maybe he’s got a lot of “thank you” emails to send.

      At least there is one party in the coalition who have a cast iron commitment to giving us a referendum. Well done Lib Dems!

      1. stun
        October 20, 2011

        ..rather comically, now taken down by LDHQ

      2. Bob
        October 20, 2011

        I hear that the petition has been ended already.
        Maybe they need time to count the signatures before the debate on Monday?

        Here’s one they haven’t yet closed:

    2. Alan Wheatley
      October 21, 2011

      I signed and got an email from Chris Rennard at 18:32,

  49. George Stewart
    October 20, 2011

    John, I admire and respect your convictions. I am a businessman and a card carrying Conservative but today I am done, hope is lost.

    This proposed referendum does not bind the Government and if it passed and was allowed, it would not mean we leave the EU.

    This debate is to allow the British people, our Countrymen to have a say.

    Tell me, why did David Cameron back an AV referendum which no one I knew cared about but in this case does not want to let the people have a voice?

    I am sorry to say that this fiasco has now cast in stone that the Conservative party will be relegated to opposition in the next election. I am a dual national so I am involved in politics on both sides of the Atlantic, the Conservatives are going to be thrown out in 2015 just like the Republicans were thrown out in 2008.

    The arrogance of David Cameron to not let the people speak is appalling.

    1. Steven Whitfield
      October 21, 2011

      I agree with George Stewart – what is David Cameron afraid of by letting the people speak ?

      If he fimly believes that EU membership is in the Uk’s best interest’s, let him argue the case. I want to hear the case for EU membership – so far i haven’t heard barely a single argument from the pro EU side. If the EU is such a good deal for the EU, surely the coalition leadership would be only too pleased to be given a platform to shout about it.

      Mr Cameron was said to have ‘trusted the judgement of the British people” over the AV referendum – so why cannot the people be trusted with the EU membership decision?.

      Cameron has been lucky so far – in 2015 he will need all the luck in the world to dodge an EU backlash (which transcends both labour and conservative tribal loyalties) and an economic crash abbeted by his flaky deficit reduction plan.

      I hope sufficient courageous Conservative Mp’s reject the 3 line whip and decide they would rather stand up and fight than be sunk by this rag bag of a coalition.

  50. Peter
    October 20, 2011

    “In the words of Monday’s motion, there is probably overwhelming majority support amongst Conservatives in an unwhipped vote for a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.”

    Sorry John, it’s never been on offer.

  51. Alan Wheatley
    October 20, 2011

    I am struggling to deduce the straight forward reasoning for including in the referendum the option “renegotiate”.

    If this is intended to be STATECRAFT strategy according to Thatcher then I am not impressed. According to her wise words negotiation had to be preceded by a credible alternative of withdrawal ALREADY worked out, in place and ready to go – else the EU simple calls your bluff – and I do not seen any sign of that from any quarter.

  52. PayDirt
    October 20, 2011

    Re 12:24 Could someone occasionaly say something nice?
    I think a lot of the comment is emotionally charged and is putting too much onto the wonders of democracy. When policies are adopted which some voted against, they are apt to complain their “democracy” has been short-changed. In reality, each and every country has to work together on solving problems, not least the debt crisis. Populist politics can easily lead to backward steps, we know that from the history of last Century etc etc. Democracy works best at the local level where one’s vote counts. Then it’s up to the representatives to whichever grand Parliament to work out global solutions. Fine, let’s have a UK referendum by all means, but not everyone here wants to put the clock back. The debt crisis requires growth not recession. Will moving away from the European institutions improve growth, I doubt it.

    1. Tom
      October 20, 2011

      Please explain what you mean by “populist politics” leading to backward steps.

      Some people call majority opinion with which they disagree (or look down on) populist.

  53. freeman on the land
    October 20, 2011

    its as simple as this.
    all parties promised a referendum.
    either give a referendum or admit there are no lies you would not tell , and no depravity you will not sink to .

    here’s a cast iron promise ” no member of the three main parties will allow the electorate a choice”

    the 3 main parties should be forced to merge. none of them represent their memberships or constituents . At least if they are legally forced to merge , the electorate will have a choice of lies or anybody but libs labour or cons.

    democracy is choice and britain has none. You may vote for who you wish but you still get the same lib/lab/con policy on the eu

  54. Colin Adkins
    October 20, 2011

    If, as rumoured today, the party officials are planning a three line whip based on the goverment position of voting against the referendum proposal it is the final proof of Cameron’s duplicity. I have always viewed him with the utmost suspicion but this is the ultimate betrayal. I have had great sympathy for your opposition to thse who vote UKIP but under Cameron the Conservative party is loosing all credibility as he believes it is fine to get elected arguing one position but in power does the complete opposite. Politicians keep moaning about the publics distrust of them but are too stupid to see that lying to get elected is’nt just fine.
    John, I really believe you are an honourable man but how you can continue to belong to a party made up mostly of and certanly led by a charlatan I don’t know.

    1. dan
      October 20, 2011


  55. uanime5
    October 20, 2011

    The problem with trying to change the UK’s relationship with the EU is getting the EU to agree to it. If the other countries in the EU don’t want to renegotiate or give the UK special privileges then there’s nothing anyone in Parliament can do about it as the UK lacks the power to dictate terms to the EU.

    So we will end up with one of four outcomes:

    1) Nothing changes.
    2) The changes the UK wants are achieved through cooperation with other European countries, so they are implemented throughout the EU. The UK will probably have to make a large sacrifice in exchange for these changes.
    3) The UK leaves the EU but remains in the EEC. We no longer have to pay for EU membership but still have to obey all EU laws.
    4) The UK leaves the EU and EEC. Due to trade barriers with the EU our economy suffers.

    1. stun
      October 20, 2011

      With respect to point (4), the WTO is in charge of that sort of thing. Previous battles have been fought between the industrialised nations who have exported their jobs to the developing countries and the inevitable consequences of doing so (e.g.China and the US current trade battle). No such disagreements have taken place in the ‘mature’ economies.

    2. Jon Burgess
      October 20, 2011

      You need to change the last one to:
      4) The UK leaves the EU and EEC. Due to trade barriers within the EU Ireland’s economy suffers, whilst the UK economy goes from strength to strength from re-establishing trade with the Commonwealth and rest of the world.

    3. Pat Gaskell
      October 21, 2011

      We leave the EU and we are free to trade where we like with whoever agrees to trade with us. With the EU countries – not just the Eurozone ones – heading for recession, they won’t be able to afford our goods and we could be swamped with their’s. Also we will save at least £45b – soon to be increased to $60b – a year on membership.

  56. forthurst
    October 20, 2011

    Will the Tories vote according to their consciences rather than vote against the British people as instructed by the treacherous Cast Iron, selected no doubt long ago and groomed for the Tory leadership by the internal elite malignancy; that unfortunately would require more gumption and independence never mind patriotism that those Stepford wifes could muster. There will not be a million protesting in central London as when the Tories treasonously voted for the war in Iraq on behalf of Israel and the Neocons, costing the lives of hundreds of brave Englishmen, so I expect another day, another act of treason.

  57. pedroelingles
    October 20, 2011

    Everyone is so eloquent. To me a Referendum was promised at the last Election by all concerned. For the Government or the Opposition to now Whip our MP representatives can only be construed as a calculated denial of Democracy of which there can be no greater loss to our Country. The fact is that it is the holding of the Referendum which is so vitally important and not its ultimate outcome.

  58. Ferdinand
    October 20, 2011

    We are telling our MP that if he votes against the motion on Monday irrespective of the three line whip we shall set up a No Confidence vote in the costituency as a prelude to his removal. It would be good if other Conservatives told their sitting MP likewise.

  59. Jon Burgess
    October 20, 2011

    Mr Redwood, as Boudicca pointed out with no reply, how can we renegotiate something that has gone forever with someone who does not want to negotiate?

    Regarding UKIP and their lack of parliamentary support, it took the SNP 80 years to achieve a majority government. I hope it doesn’t take that long for UKIP, but building support, and translating that into parliamentary seats, takes time. The way Cameron’s going though, will ensure it happens all the quicker.

    Reply: My proposal is to seek a new deal and then let the people vote on it. That way the EU has a simple choice – if it wants to keep the UK in it has to be realistic about what the UK people want.

    1. Jon Burgess
      October 22, 2011

      Yes I understand your proposal.

      What we all lack, however, is any indication from the EU that they will entertain such a negotiation. On past form they will merely ask us to vote again until we are all in favour of greater union.

      The EU has no incentive to re-negotiate and will just ignore us/call our bluff.

      Repealing the Treaty of Rome on the other hand might get their attention…

  60. NickW
    October 20, 2011

    The problem in Europe is simply stated; Too many Countries are running enormous deficits and there is no longer anyone willing to lend to them at affordable rates.

    Germany is neither willing nor able to pay for everybody else’s reckless spending, and “greater union” is quite clearly unacceptable to the populations of every member state, not least, because they have seen for themselves the degree of contempt that the EU has for any hint of democratic decision making. In any event, greater fiscal union will itself take far too long and will not, of itself, be a solution to the problem either.

    Our European policy appears to consist merely of wishful thinking, in hoping for a solution that seems more and more improbable by the day, and which is, in any event thoroughly undesirable.

    We, the electorate, can see that the ship is sinking, and we have either to leave it, or go down with it.

    We need a Government that is willing and able to adjust its thinking and its actions to a completely new situation, and we haven’t got it.

    1. Steven Whitfield
      October 21, 2011

      The coalition ship is indeed slowly sinking under the weight of un-sustainable spending levels. This is an inevitable consequence of the coalitions total failure to tackle the entitlement culture bequeathed by New Labour.

      I hope that John Redwood and like minded colleagues have the sense to build a lifeboat. Pressing hard for an EU referendum is a good start.
      The alternative is to go down with Captain Cameron and his lib/con rats.

  61. ukipwebmaster
    October 21, 2011

    Stitch -Up:

    “This House calls upon the Government to publish a White Paper during the next session of parliament setting out the powers and competences that the Government would seek to repatriate from the EU, to commence a renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU and to put the outcome of those negotiations to a national referendum.

  62. Max Cross
    October 21, 2011

    As JR has correctly pointed out, the current parliament is overwhelmingly federalist and determined not to allow the nation a vote. They will not allow the referendum bill to be passed on Monday. It really is a disgrace, for all the reasons posters here have articulated, but it’s no excuse for Conservatives to say the Libs / Lab are just as bad. At the last election UKIP attracted just under 1 million votes and on the basis most of those are disaffected Conservative voters, this one issue stopped the Conservatives achieving a majority. Those in the party who think this is a fringe issue should remember in the 2009 Euro eletions UKIP polled 2.5m votes to the Tories 4.2m (they were the two largest parties). Just wait until the next round of elections.

    The 3-line whip on Monday will ensure the Conservatives’ outright defeat at the next election. That is a given at this point. They will then remain in opposition and irrelevance until such time as the party realises their only hope of future power is to recognise the will of the voters on this issue, and that will require a new leader.

    1. Steven Whitfield
      October 21, 2011

      I have done a little research and apparently breaching a 3 line whip can ultimately result in ‘expulsion’ from the party .

      But could the coalition realistically expel or discipline a large number of Conservative Mp’s voting for this popular referendum. I think not.

      How would the inevitable backlash from constituency association’s be explained by the party leadership ? – the party’s claim to be democratic would be in tatters.

      If a majority of Conservative Mp’s back the referendum, why don’t they vote for what they believe to be right on this most crucial issue and ignore the whips advice ?. A united organised movement could get this referendum through if the will was there….

  63. David
    October 21, 2011

    The UKIP vote apparently cost the Tories 21 seats, and their majority, at the last election, including keeping our favourite politician, Mr Balls, in parliament.
    So as a protest vote, it was very much a breakthrough.
    In election 2015 (or probably earlier) the number of UKIP-induced lost seats for Dave can only increase even more. They don’t need to elect a single MP to have a seismic effect.
    I foresee no overall majority again next time with a labour / libdem pact, the Tories banished for a generation, and the fleeing of ever more right-thinking, enterprising folk from this island.

    Reply: Well that’s something nasty to look forward to! I tried something last time and it didn’t work, so I’ll do it again, says UKIP.

    1. David
      October 21, 2011

      …Don’t get me wrong Mr Redwood, I don’t think UKIP are the answer either. A lot will happen in (up to) 3.5 years, but on current form, I’d be staying at home next polling day.

      Disaffected Tory voters are much more likely to do the not bother / vote UKIP route, than disaffected Labour ones, who’ll still stamp the blind, apparatchick vote.

      Prayed to every God in the sky for the end of the Brown terror – never imagined that I’d declare, 15 months on, that am actually getting relaxed about concept of a labour-return-to-power.

    2. Sean O'Hare
      October 21, 2011

      Regarding JR reply:

      You seem to have a real downer on UKIP which seems to primarily stem from the fact that a UKIP candidate (unsuccessfully) stood against you at the last general election. Do you not remember the offer that was made my Lord Pearson and spurned by Cameron? Your majority was huge, but if that offer had been accepted the Conservatives would have had a clear majority nationwide and a genuinely anti-EU backbench. So much so that the government would not have dared to impose a 3-line whip.

      1. Sean O'Hare
        October 21, 2011

        typo “my” should have read “by”.

    3. Tom Commis
      October 21, 2011

      You wrote “Reply: Well that’s something nasty to look forward to! I tried something last time and it didn’t work, so I’ll do it again, says UKIP.”

      It is nasty, but no nastier than a continuation of the current Government. It’s not only on the issue of Europe that your party has failed, in almost every sphere it is following policies that few New Labour supporters would object to. The deficit reduction efforts in particular are a joke.

  64. Paul H
    October 21, 2011

    Isn’t the timing of Gaddafi’s death particularly unfortunate in that it strengthens the hand of Cameron and Hague, giving them an added moral authority in respect of foreign policy?

  65. Julie
    October 21, 2011

    Why would any Conservative (or Labour or LibDem) MP expect UKIP not to run in an election? It does not matter what an MP’s personal manifesto says if they help pro-EU parties take power. Why should a constituent be denied the chance to vote for a UKIP party which has a genuinely small state, low tax, anti-EU platform?

    I thought about the arguments used in the last election and I just wasn’t swayed by them. My own MP thinks we should not be in a political union, but curiously he will not support the demand for a referendum. Even if I’d been living in the constituency of a Better Off Out MP, I still don’t think I’d have voted for him; I wouldn’t risk Cameron think I supported the Conservative Party’s policies. There weren’t enough Better Off Out MPs anyway, and I don’t support the Conservative Party. For all its faults, and it has far less serious ones than the Conservatives for all the support they are given from a badly informed electorate, UKIP is my only option.

  66. tomsmith
    October 21, 2011

    The party does not need to whip this vote because conservatives will never give people a free choice on this issue. Events will decide this issue as Europe slides down the pan with the Cameron government most likely among its most loyal and vocal supporters. Never has a party so betrayed the people it pretends to represent.

  67. John Wrake
    October 21, 2011

    Much is being made of a debate about a potential referendum.
    What most comments and commentators seem to forget is that our entry into the E.U. through Edward Heath’s signing of the 1972 Treaty was unlawful.
    It was unlawful because, contrary to our Constitution, Parliament gave away the sovereignty, the possession of the citizens of this country, which was only on temporary loan to it. Not only was that act unconstitutional, but it was effected by the Prime Minister lying to the electorate, saying that no loss of sovereignty was entailed, despite a warning to the contrary.
    By definition, unlawful acts cannot be law.
    All that is required to free us from the discreditable European Union is a vote in favour.
    We are constantly reminded that Parliament is not bound by the enactions of previous Parliaments. So let M.P.s go to it.

    1. Jon Burgess
      October 22, 2011

      Nicely said.

  68. N Coghill-Marshall
    October 21, 2011

    Asanother poster points out, powers cannot be repariated. Once lost to nation states they remain the preserve and prerogative of the EU. The principle behind this fact is ‘Acquis Communautaire’ or ‘powers acquired by the community’.

    Sadly, many MPs and Ministers don’t realise this, or if they do choose in a fug of obfuscation to ignore the fact. Renegotiating our terms of membership is a non starter; we are either in, or preferably we are out. There can be no middle way.

    We would not get any sort of satisfactory new terms even if that it possible to try to obtain them since the agreement of another 26 countries would be required. As the Euro zone moves inexorably towards fiscal and political union the chances of agreement reduce still further.

    There must be a vote on our continued membership and both sides of the debate must fight it on the merits of a United States of Europe. Only those of us in UKIP will tell the whole truth. Hopefully, David Cameron has just increased our membership with his application of a three line whip. The days of his government, and now, possibly his party are numbered.

    1. Jon Burgess
      October 22, 2011

      Please, Mr Redwood, address this issue of Acquis. Is re-negotiation and repatriation of lost powers even possible with the current EU structure?

      Reply: Yes, we could have a different relationship where we decided how much acquis to accept

      1. AJC
        October 23, 2011

        JR can you elaborate on this “different relationship”? Is it EFTA?

  69. Sue
    October 23, 2011

    Mr Redwood. Either you think we are stupid or you are not as aware of EU Law as you think.

    Read the comments. These bloggers spend hours dissecting EU statutes/regulations. They know more about them than most MP’s do!

    The EU will not allow us to repatriate powers. NO COMPROMISES, NADA, NOTHING, ZERO! (How much luck have you had so far?)

    Cameron thinks we’re stupid. “We managed to negotiate the power not to contribute to the ESM”…. no, but nevertheless had our money stolen to bolster the IMF, which in turn is used to bail out Europe.

    Cameron has managed to sound patronising to the enth degree when he speaks to the “public” and he is seen as somebody completely out of touch with the rest of us.

    If words like “this is not the time for a referendum” are continually bandied about, you are asking for trouble. We don’t care what you lot think. You’ve lied, cheated and stolen money from us (not you personally, you understand).

    We have absolutely no reason to believe a damn a word you lot say! Do not think we will let this rest. You underestimate Britons and their hunger for freedom and democracy. We are not natural socialists like the Europeans.



    Reply: Any idea of how you intend to do that? On my proposal if the EU does not give us a better deal the people can decide in a vote to leave the EU if they don’t like the deal.

  70. Neil Craig
    November 14, 2011

    Gunter Verheugen the EU Commissioner for “Enterprise” said it in 2006
    My guess would be that he wasn’t overestimating and that it hasn’t got better since.

    Obnviously this was never “news” on the BBC.

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