Soundbites to sum up a week – and a gripping democratic argument

1. The single currency

The Euro is the Exchange Rate Mechnism you cannot get out of.

A single currency needs a single country to love it and pay for it.

Joining a single currency is like taking out a bank account with the neighbours. You inevitably fall out over the overdraft.

A single currency starts as an act of friendship with the neighbours, and ends in acrimony like a bad marriage.

 

2. “Seeking to change our relationship with the EU, or pulling out of the EU would destroy 3 million export  jobs” (Usual federalist line)

If the UK renegotiates or the people vote to pull out, Germany will still want to sell us her BMWs and France her wine

The EU would not try to damage our trade with them, as they sell more to us than we sell to them

China has millions employed in making export goods for the EU. Why havn’t those jobs been lost, as China is not a member of the EU?

 

3. “If the UK renegotiated or the people voted to  pull out, she would no longer have any influence over the laws and regulations made in Brussels” (usual federalist line)

The UK has no special influence over the laws made in the USA, India or China, but still trades with them quite happily.

The USA and China have no influence over EU laws, but they sell a lot of goods into the EU

How much influence has the UK had over EU employment laws, social policy, the Common Fishery Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and all the rest, where the UK has been seeking change but not getting it for years?

4. The single or common market

How many laws do you need for a single market?

Why do you need more than the simple rule that if a product is of merchanidsable quality in the home country , it can be offered for sale in the other countries of the area? (The Cassis de Dijon judgement)

The UK does a large  majority of its service sector trade with countries outside the EU. Service trade requires a deeper relationship than trade in goods and is helped by a common language. Federalists just quote trade in goods figures.

 

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99 Comments

  1. cronshd
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    John, agree with all of that!

    I have a slightly tangential question: I presented to our company this week on the state of the UK economy to answer our leader’s question “are we heading for recession”?

    During the course of this, I thought I would throw in (as per your blog) that public spending has actually increased in real terms. Then the guy who look after this sector said “that’s only because you are including debt [repayment] in that”. At that point I was stumped. How would you have responded and what are the relevant numbers?

    And thank you for the most rational blog of the lot!

    PS Do you think we will be in a recession (technically speaking) next year?

    Reply: There is no debt repayment! Debt is rising rapidly, with lots of new borrowing. They plan to borrow £122 bn extra this year.
    Maybe he meant to say it includes interest charges. Yes it does, as I made clear. £17.7 bn out of the £55.8 bn cash increase so far (2011-12 over 2009-10) is increased interest charges, but this is all current spending. The interest programme, Overseas Aid, Health and various others all show real terms growth.
    I am not forecasting a recession next year – I have said slow growth.

    • Greg
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      “I am not forecasting a recession next year – I have said slow growth”

      Slow growth in times of strong inflation is really recession. There will be no real growth all the time we have massive borrowing and ridiculous over regulation by government.

      • City Slicker
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Yes stagflation !

    • cronshd
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      John, many thanks for your clarification. To be fair to him, I think maybe he did say “….that is because of the debt”. So he was perhaps implying the interest repayments. And he did call out Overseas Aid which was growing in real terms.

      My conclusion which perhaps aligns with yours, is that we may be bumbling along in the range -1% to +1% GDP for a few years. (Certainly below trend).

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      John,
      Is it not the case that the governement is in effect borrowing the money to pay the interest charges which will rise year on year of this government as the debt is planned to increase by 50% over the 5 years of this parliament? That is why when I hear Osborne talk about “paying off the nation’s credit card”, or other such disingenuous statments, it makes my blood boil.

      Reply: Yes, they are planning a £485 billion increase in state debt over the 5 years (soon to be increased I suspect), and are in effect borrowing to pay the interest on all Brown’s borrowings. We are certainly not paying off the credit card. We are turning to ever more flexible friends!

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted October 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Reply: Yes, they are planning a £485 billion increase in state debt over the 5 years (soon to be increased I suspect), and are in effect borrowing to pay the interest on all Brown’s borrowings. We are certainly not paying off the credit card. We are turning to ever more flexible friends!

        Mr Redwood, I don’t believe this is common knowledge – but it should be in my view.

        Would it be possible to ask Mr Cameron at PMQ’s to acknowledge that :-

        ‘overall spending is increasing and is not being ‘cut’. ‘The ‘cuts’ in certain areas are due to the squeeze in spending caused by mounting dept interest and the sacred cows – NHS and international development budgets increasing ‘ .

        I guess this might mark you out as something of a ‘loose canon’ amongst the rank and file establishment types in the party ?. But some things need to be said and I don’t think your the sort of man to be cowed into accepting the party line like some lesser Mp’s would be.
        The referendum debate showed precious few Mp’s are willing to put the National interest before party interest.

        Maybe the watching public might realise that Labour’s ‘too far ,too fast’ rhetoric is just breathtakingly cynical political posturing.

        Perhaps this would hightlight the fact that debt interest will eventually become un-affordable on current trends – especially if the ratings agencies become worried about the Uk’s growth prospects and downgrade.

        • Steven Whitfield
          Posted October 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          .

    • APL
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      cronshd: “Then the guy who look after this sector said “that’s only because you are including debt [repayment] in that”.”

      The deficit is different to the debt.

      Deficit is the measure of the increase in the debt.

      If the defecit is increasing then we are not paying down debt but taking more debt on.

      Of course we are paying back debt as it matures, but if the UK didn’t the ability of the UK government to borrow and spend stops immediately!

      Then if the deficit continues to increase, at some point the debt repayments will overwhealm the ability of the UK tax payer to service the debt and the whole thing collapses anyway.

      Your choice, do you want a disaster today, or a catastrophe tomorrow?

      By the way, debt repayment and public spending are the same thing. Debt repayment is just last years public spending.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Jean Monnet who started the EU off in the first place, by pulling strings and making friends in high places, easily crushed the British desire for a purely economic union in Europe. Christopher Booker has documented this.
    Now, half a century or so later, the whole project is coming apart because it was not built on democratic principles.
    When the Americans had a deficit their democratic constitution coped. The United States of Europe is heading for disaster and all these trillions (from where as you said yesterday) are just making the central bank and the European states more bankrupt.

    Reply The reason I voted No in 1975 was I read the Treaty of Rome, the original Treaty. It was never just a common market. It was always about moving towards ever closer union.

    • Robert K
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      The majority of adults in this country, including me as a whippersnapper in 1975, have never had a chance to vote on EC or EU membership. That’s why it’s so galling not to get a chance to do so now, when it was promised by the elite. (Sorry to bang on about it, but thanks for trying on our behalf.)

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      If only the general public had been informed of such at the time.

      reply: I was invited as a businessman and young Conservative Councillor to speak on a referendum platform in 1975. They just assumed I would speak in favour of remaining in. When I spoke against and said the financial deal was a bad one for the UK, and the plan was ever closer union, they did not invite me to another hustings!

      • Bob
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Re yr reply, who is “they”?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It was in the very first line of the 1957 treaty:

      http://www.eurotreaties.com/rometreaty.pdf

      “DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe”.

      The very first line of the preamble, which is not only part of the treaty but considered to be the most important part for the “purposive interpretation” favoured by the lawyers on the EU’s Court of Justice.

      Still there now as the first line of the present Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, word for word and only modified by the omission of the hyphen, and the principle is re-iterated in the preamble to the Treaty on European Union:

      “RESOLVED to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe … “.

      Not only was this essential truth well concealed by the dense smokescreen of pro-EEC propaganda during the 1975 referendum campaign, but it seems that nearly four decades after we joined even some MPs haven’t yet realised that a country cannot honestly remain in the EU unless its government is totally committed to that relentless process of ever closer union, and completely irrespective of the real wishes of the people of that country.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      To reply indeed it was always more than a common market but Heath and the rest lied and presented it a just a common market. Despite knowing fully well the truth but knowing that most would not read it.

      Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and even Thatcher have continued with this dishonest approach.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        I see that the BBC censored contributions on the EU debate on “Any Answers” last week (strangely also not available on I-player when I looked) not the first time they ditched contribution if they are not of the BBC think, lefty, green wash, pro EU type and on BBC message. I remember the BBC then protecting Major in a similar way and rarely allowing discussion of immigration.

        Would Cameron be taking such an absurd line (dividing his party and kicking the voters in the teeth) without knowing Lord Patten and the BBC are behind him on this? No bad blood Cameron just very bad and stupid leadership and choice of trustee on your part.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        I see we are all in this together again:

        Civil service numbers rise by 5000 in last six months the bonus bill up by £4M. Just what the economy and business needs another kick in the teeth and more burden to carry.

        Perhaps Cameron needs them to carefully craft and administer (so there is no need for any referendum) a cave in to the EU bill. Or for the vital implementation of the new royal succession bill.

        It is all about priorities photo opportunities and the appearance of “equality” you see. Not about growth, jobs or democracy.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          You seem to have forgot the kick in the teeth business no has to face due to huge pay rises and lack of performance by many company bosses. Failure to generate wealth and pay taxes, but still ‘feel’ in a wishy washy lefty sort of socialism for the rich type way, that helped by their chums should have a pay rise. Do you think this is not relevant? I’ll put it to my boss that I ‘feel’ a need for a pay rise for doing less. It would be a good time to talk about my lack of expenses too. Have you seen the price of a coffee? Two and half quid? They’ll be lucky! Lidl energy drink 29p. Bad taste same effect. That’ll work. I’m sure he has heard how great I am.

          • lifelogic
            Posted October 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            I agree that company bosses often have absurd levels of remuneration often unrelated to performance even like RBS while they are often destroying their companies. They are robbing shareholders and owners due to lack of proper shareholder controls and bad employment laws. Just as governments are often cheating voters of their money due to lack of effective democratic controls.

            The parallel with footballers as is often used as a justification is a red herring as in football you can only have eleven players so want the best eleven you can get.

            I business 50 pretty good ones, on normal wages, can often be far better.

  3. decafT
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    John you are of course right.

    I am a better off outer and want to leave the EU pronto. However, I do not believe the question about whether we could trade freely with the EU if we left is settled.

    I know that the rational thing to do would be to allow us continued access to the ‘free’ market, such as it is.

    However I have no faith in the EU to act rationally.

    What with their constant attempts to destroy the City, CAP and all the other millions of anti-free trade measures, it’s hard enough to trade freely while we’re on the inside.

    You always cite the USA and China trading successfully with the EU but you never mention Africa, whose economies are severely held back by CAP.

    The EU could quite easily cut off trade with Britain to spite its own face.

    We may theoretically be able to take them to court (as we have to anyway for euro denominated trading) but this is not as satisfactory as free trade straight up, which is what you like to portray.

    Bottom line; they’re out to get us at the moment, and they’d still be out to get us if we pulled out.

    This is not a good enough reason not to leave the EU; I just think that you need to either develop your arguments on this point, or else stop sounding so utopian about it.

    • Mark< Edinburgh
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      decafT

      A trade war outside WTO agreements is surely unlikely?

      Remeber both Brazil and Canada already have quasi EFTA trade agreements with the EU.

      More importantly the USA is by far the largest foreign investor in the UK (as we are in the USA) and so has very significant financial interets to protect.

      Was it not rumoured that during the early stages of the EU Constitution debate Bush had offered us NAFTA membership to ensure that we were protected against EU trade bullying, but Blair had declined. I suppose this is what Federalists call the “51st State”, while of course ignoring the existence of Canada.

      Off topic – how I yearn for a “Realm Nations” dedicated entry channel at Heathrow .

  4. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Soundbite: it is a scam – Jim Rogers description of the EFSF while being interviewed on the Today Programme 07:20 28.10.2010.

  5. Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    May I add this one, which seems particularly apt, given the meeting in Perth W.A.

    “Many people in this country believe that the Commonwealth was sold out when we joined the Common Market, and I hope he remembers that by 2050 the 55 members of the Commonwealth will have 38% of the global labour force, while the European Union, with its 27 members, will have only 5%.”

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Nice game, just a few more soundbites:
    * If so many Brits want to leave the EU, why does nobody ever vote UKIP in general elections?
    * The EU is not forcing the UK to stay. Apparently the UK wants to stay.
    * A la carte is on the menu. Just don’t abuse the waiters.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Peter

      I eat A la carte from time to time.

      But:

      I choose the time and date.
      I choose who I dine with.
      I go at a time of my choice (tables being available)
      I choose my own restaraunt.
      I pick from a varied menu, where prices are displayed.
      I eave a tip if the service and experience is good.
      Thus I pay once

      If the service or food is bad, I simply do not go again.

      With Europe:
      You are stuck with a fixed menu.
      You are forced to eat the same stuff everyday.
      The service is often poor.
      You pay for some things you do not want or even like.
      You pay an the inflated bill which ofen includes other diners who do not even sit at your table.

      Sorry, not a good connection on your part.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        @alan jutson: You might try improving your negotiation skills, or . . .leave the restaurant altogether. Nobody’s forcing you to stay.

        • Javelin
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          But they are not giving him a chance to leave by having a referundum.

          Surely you should back a referendum if you think so highly of the EU.

        • alan jutson
          Posted October 29, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          Peter

          Absolutely agree.

          But its not my negotiating skills that need improving.
          I ran my own business for 30 years without any bank borrowing at all, its our bloody politicians who do have not a clue.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Your first bullet point is inaccurate. According to Mr Redwood, 3% of us voted for UKIP in the last General Election. We vote the way we do for many reasons. And we vary our vote according to circumstances. In Cornwall for instance we moved from six LibDems to 3 Tories and 3 LD at the last General Election. But in the last Euro Election we gave 17% of the votes to UKIP. Contrary to many comments, the British electorate is not stupid.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        @backofanenvelope: Far from me to suggest the British electorate to be stupid. It is just your system that stands in the way. I know about the 17 % and the 3% AND about the zero MPs. Your 17% means less than 2% in the EP, besides it would never be the EP to decide about UK membership.
        My suggestion is that EU is not an exiting item when there are general elections.

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      For some time I had hope that my local Tory parliamentary candidate meant it when he said he was Eurosceptic. So I voted for him, assuming (as far as politicians go) he would be honest. His voting record that since he got in last year shows he is not; he has voted in favour of every integrationist measure, voted in favour of financial help for Eurozone countries, and voted against a referendum. The jig is up for duplicitous MPs like him. He isn’t going to get the benefit of the doubt next time and UKIP will hoover up many of his votes.

      As for don’t abuse the waiters… give me strength. The whole EU construct is a Franco-German racket and they have been screwing the UK since the start. We are sick of it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Peter

        At present full a la carte is only planned for the eurozone states, not for the non-euro EU member states.

        The radical EU treaty change agreed by EU leaders on March 25th through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU:

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:091:0001:0002:EN:PDF

        would have the effect of releasing the governments of the eurozone states from potentially all the restrictions of the EU treaties, while the governments of the non-euro EU member states would remain bound by every pettifogging detail of every EU treaty article and EU law.

        You may find it amusing that a British government could be so stupidly reckless as to agree to that EU treaty change back in March, and now in October belatedly start to fret about how to make sure that closer integration of the (now) 17 countries in the eurozone doesn’t take decision-making away from the (now) 27 EU member states as a whole and lead to the UK’s vital interests being disregarded and damaged.

        On the other hand, you may not like the way that the governments of the eurozone states, including your own, are planning to use their new-found freedom to ignore the EU treaties and laws.

        They’ve made a good start with their first intra-eurozone treaty, the ESM treaty rightly condemned in this video (German with English subtitles):

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxMOW94V6xQ

        If you’re very lucky, British MPs may step in and block that intra-eurozone treaty by blocking the necessary EU treaty change.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Denis, I’m only amused because you keep painting these two extra sentences agreed in March as a massive treaty change (and you’re welcome to argue that). Your leader has said that this was in exchange for “opting out” of any more eurozone bailouts and mentioned the many pounds saved that way.
          In my opinion (and that of your Mr Rifkind I noticed!) a la carte is already happening for Britain: no euro obligation, no Schengen, a number of opt-outs.
          Of course it would have been smart if your government had sort of stipulated (or at least threatened) with a future referendum in e.g.2014. But I think that Cameron feared the in/out option as he has little control over the media.
          The UK is not going to block this treaty change, so as a europhile I still count myself lucky. I’ll watch your videolinks after the weekend, have to go now.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Those two short sentences, 46 words, which would be inserted into the EU treaties may superficially appear to be a small amendment, but then in a legal document the insertion of just one word, such as “not”, can radically change its meaning and effect.

            In fact one aspect of the problem is that there are too few words – and some of those which are there are little more than padding, of no material value – and the treaty change should have been drafted to include at least words similar to those which apply to “enhanced co-operation”, taken from Article 326 TFEU:

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

            Such cooperation shall not undermine the internal market or economic, social and territorial cohesion. It shall not constitute a barrier to or discrimination in trade between Member States, nor shall it distort competition between them.”

            and from Article 327:

            “Any enhanced cooperation shall respect the competences, rights and obligations of those Member States which do not participate in it.”

            According to this paper produced in June by Bruno de Witte, Professor of European Law at Maastricht University and part-time Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute, Florence:

            http://www.eui.eu/Projects/EUDO-Institutions/Documents/SIEPS20116epa.pdf

            “By inserting an explicit provision in the TFEU which authorizes the euro area member states to put in place a financial support mechanism for countries in budgetary and financial trouble, the effect of the bail-out prohibition of Article 125 TFEU would be neutralized by a complementary norm with the same treaty rank.”

            I should have thought it was obvious that a treaty change which effectively neutralises the “no bail-out” clause which was considered fundamental to EMU is a radical treaty change just on that count, however few words may be needed to do that, and moreover if one EU treaty article which would otherwise get in the way can be so neutralised then logically what is to say that any of the others can’t be similarly neutralised?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Obviously it’s not literally true that “nobody” votes UKIP in general elections, but one very strong reason for not voting UKIP is the FPTP electoral system.

      Which is also one very strong reason why the Tory leadership fought so hard, and so dirty, to squash the proposed change to AV.

      reply: I do not recall anything dirty in the campaign. Once again it showed UKIP do not understand the public and lose elections.

    • Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      UKIP gets very little media time in a domestic general election campaign (rightly I think).

      Any party starting with no seats has a mountain to climb.

      The Green Party cleverly did it by concentrating on Brighton and had indirect support from the BBC by its obsession with climate and green issues (during the election campaign). On the other hand, the BBC has had very little interest in matters that UKIP talk about which was confirmed in a report by the BBC Governors (as they were then called).

  7. Martyn
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Excellent summary, John. Off topic but related to the events of the past week, following the 3-line whipped referendum vote in Parliament an unamed Minister has allegedly said regarding those who voted against the whip “David and George cannot understand how people can sacrifice a career for a principle” and “for them their career has been their principle”.
    And ‘Der Spiegel’ reports “Merkel has presented herself as a good European. At the same time, she has neutralized two antagonists. She is now leading the competition with Nicolas Sarkozy for leadership of Europe” and “back in Germany, has reduced the role of the opposition parties in the euro rescue debate to that of extras. Be it the Social Democrats or the Greens, they will merely rubber stamp whatever she hands to them”.
    Is seems to me that the Euro crisis is now driving national interests above those of the European community as a whole; a lesson that our government might usefully keep in mind as we slip further away from the centre.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      “David and George cannot understand how people can sacrifice a career for a principle” – and we are expected to believe that these two and Hague are eurosceptics!

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Do you know whether the unamed minister was speaking out of frustration with his leadership or whether he could not understand people putting their priciples first either ?

      • Martyn
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Apologies – should have quoted source – DT today page 30. Good article, worth reading….

  8. lifelogic
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed how can anyone disagree with any of the above?

    How much influence has the UK had over EU employment laws, social policy, the Common Fishery Policy, the Common Agricultural Policy and all the rest, where the UK has been seeking change but not getting it for years?

    Virtually non – and what a costly pointless mess they all are. We can only renegotiate if we are prepared to leave should we have to. It is clear the euro countries are heading, in effect, for a “single country” I doubt it will work well we should stand as far back as possible.

    We should trade elsewhere as much as possible as non EURO countries are growing more quickly in general anyway.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Amazingly I actually agree with the Unions today who are complaining about executive pay – shareholder control of executive pay is far too weak just as voter control of MPs is far too weak.

      These executives are not top footballers many are not even competent as we have seen at RBS.

      There are plenty of good people available and unlike footballers they can be replaced by two or more cheaper players. Stop them robbing shareholders and get the easy fire rules in place now for the good of all.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Explain how it is difficult to employ a person temporarily? If you cannot answer this maybe you should consider why you believe it is difficult to find temporary workers?
        You do not seem to listen to the facts of being a temporary worker in a company or working for an agency.
        I talked to one worker a few days ago I worked with in a picking/packing job, simple guy who put a lot into the job. To much. One day sick and then fired. Very upset. Funnily enough he said a lot of people had given them a strike they understood. Revolving door recruitment policy. Can’t say I did much whilst I was there, apart from the minimum required and looking at the Polish girls. Minimum wages and conditions equals minimum work and commitment. Ram it.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Cameron still wittering on about succession this morning – who cares? He should be working on how break free of the EURO disaster, how to halve the size of the state abolish employment laws and get some UK growth.

      Succession “discriminates” against woman he whines on and on – well yes it discriminated against all the 7 billion other people who are not the issue of the great “green” (do as I say not as I do in My Aston Martin) guru Prince Charles too.

      The fact that it might discriminate against one more, yet perhaps to be born girl is irrelevant in comparison. Anyway if she has any sense she would not want to be queen anyway. He might therefore be forcing an unwanted burden on her.

      Get real and take some sensible and real positive action for once you PR and photo opportunity obsessed, say one thing do another, dope.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Don’t knock my beloved Aston Martin!

        The company is good for growth and exports. Maintenance and restoration are good for growth and exports.

        The cars are good for the environment in the sense that they go one for ever and so do not incur the environmental cost of disposal.

        And they can make a good wedding car, too!

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          I have nothing against Aston Martins but:- is it not total idiotic & hypocritical to spend 0ver £1M of tax payers money on your travel arrangements then lecture every one else to be green. When they, on average, perhaps spend about £3,000 PA each (and of their own money).

          I see they want to allow Catholics to marry the King/Queen. Personally I would like all irrational belief systems/religions kept well out of government too much damage is done already – especially the currently fashionable “green wash”, “equality” and “discrimination” ones.

          Anyway Cameron’s new gender neutral arrangements for succession are clearly highly “discriminatory” to men as they live less long so will be less likely to succeed or to last long if they do. Also to homosexuals who are rather less likely to have any issue or find a gay king/queen to wed. What about these new discriminations – how is Cameron going to address these he might drive himself mad?

          I have not done the maths (too lazy) but if first borne men live perhaps six years less than their mothers on average there is a pretty high chance they will not make it in a fit condition to rule or at all and not last long if they do.

          This might mean a queen for perhaps 65% of the time a king for 35% at a guess. Is that gender neutral and non discriminatory Cameron?

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Also a gay men are more statistically more likely to be second third and fourth borne so clearly the new succession law will be very anti gay men.

        Cameron had better do a bit more “equality” work on this I think.

        It also correlated with being more likely to be right handed if later in birth order so it will discriminate against right handed people.

        Equality is a slippery nonsense fish why is Cameron chasing it.

  9. norman
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The best soundbites of the week to my mind (but then I have a twisted sense of humour):

    EU announces private bondholders are being forced to take a 50% ‘haircut’ on Greek debt

    EU sends economic mission to woo bond buyers in China to help finance EU members future debt

    You can bet that the Chinese will be getting very favourable terms compared to what our banks / pension funds (who have just taken a scalping) will be offered. Once again the taxpayer being screwed by the political class who, without any sense of irony, claim to be doing this for our good!

  10. Alan Redford
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    You forgot the single most important category under threat which must be defended at ANY cost – the big, fat, lazy unaccountable ‘jobs’ with big, fat, generous expenses and fringe benefits where you hardly have to show up and get to claim a big, fat, generous pension after a few years that all elite Europhiles aspire to (see Kinnocks, Ashton, Patten, Mandelson, van Rompuy etc. etc. etc.)

    • Richard
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I quite agree Alan.
      When they talk about “jobs” and “prosperity” they mean their own.
      The EU pays Mr and Mrs Kinnock (a substantial sum-ed) a year and this tells me all I need to know to make my mind up about this organisation.

  11. Alan
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    In my view:

    1. We make our economy work by periodic devaluations of sterling. The next devaluation will probably take the value of the pound below the value of the euro. Maybe that will make people notice more clearly how our currency is failing as a store of value. Past experience is that people won’t care, so maybe this policy can continue for ever. But I doubt it, so we may have to join the euro eventually.

    2. No one knows what the detailed effect of leaving the EU would be on employment, or indeed on any other aspect of our economy. We do know we don’t want to damage our existing trade with the EU.

    3. Withdrawing from the EU will not increase our influence on the EU’s policies.

    4. We will need standards for safety, reliability, etc, whether or not we are in the EU. The products we sell to the EU will have to meet their criteria (as do those supplied by the USA, China, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, etc). We will not increase our influence on determining these criteria by leaving the EU.

    • Mark
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      The long run performance of the pound shows that we had the best economic performance when the value was basically stable:

      http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp2002/rp02-044.pdf

      The actions of the ECB and other EU institutions are not going to make the € a good store of value. They are debauching the currency.

      I’d suggest we do want to do damage to our trade deficit with the EU countries. It’s damaging us. Without oil exports it would be disastrous.

      It’s by no means clear that we would have less influence on EU policies if we left the EU. Leaving would allow us to create a competitive economy, and control our borders. With competition on their doorstep, and policies that are seen to be working more effectively in the UK, it becomes much easier for other European politicians to suggest that they would do better to emulate the success of the UK rather than follow the tired ideas of Brussels. What is more important is that they would have less influence on us: they may choose to create sclerosis or to reform – that is for them. We wouldn’t have to waste effort persuading them.

      It matters not whether the EU wish to set silly criteria for their imported goods. Like the other non EU countries, we can decide if making them is profitable. We can also choose to cater to other markets if we find that to be more profitable. That’s the whole idea of comparative advantage in international trade. We can enhance our comparative advantage by legislating sensible and appropriate minimum standards, and allowing the market to operate. The EU is creating non-tariff barriers for our industry through excessive regulation that mean we lose markets elsewhere in the world. We need to tear those barriers down.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Mark, well said.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    John

    Thank you for todays post, which is clear, simple, and well explained as per your normal style.

    Simple questions require simple answers, when someone tries to give a complicated answer, to a very simple question, you know that they are in trouble. They either do not know the answer and waffle, or are simply trying to cover their own false argument.

    I witnessed such waffle last night on Question time.

    Ian Duncan Smith looked extremely uncomfortable, attempting to support the governments line on Mondays vote.
    Labour and the LibDem representitives (forgive me I did not even bother with their names such was their stupine arguments) just waffled and said we do a lot of trade with Europe, so it would mean job losses, that they did not really promise a referendum because it depended on other things, the time was not right, and europe was in chaos..

    Nigal Farage was clear and concise with his argumens, as is normal for him.

    I gave up viewing Question Time a little while ago, as no questions ever seemed to be answered properly, last night I thought I would view again, as I had a feeling that Mondays vote may be one of the questions.
    The majority of the panelists performance confirmed my reason for thinking this programe is becoming a waste of time, should you want politicians to give truthful and factual answers.

    If only one of the national Papers could print your post of today, together with accurate cost implications of our existing membership.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I see we are still awaiting details of how this bailout solution is going to work, and from where the money is coming.

      The Telegraph have printed a hand drawn flow chart (photograph of) today, which they suggest had been drawn up by a European Government advisor during the talks.

      From my limited knowledge of international finance, it would seem to me that this possible solution is simply a massive creative accounting excercise, carried out with fictional money from an unknown (yet to be agreed source)..

      I fear the markets will soon discover the truth in the next few days.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Reported today that George Osbourne has said he will refuse UK money (which we have already been given to the IMF) to be used as part of any bailout fund for the Euro.

        Is Mr Osbourne able to put such conditions on our money, which I assume has already left these shores, or has no money yet changed hands.
        Alternative have we just underwritten, given a guarantee of support up to a certain amount, which we can veto at any stage, if we are not happy with its use.

        I would have thought that if you intend to give, or guarantee funds, then you make conditions at the outset, not after you have signed it away, for others to control.

        reply: It will be interesting to see how he does this. His statement was specific to the EFSF, where the UK has a good case to say the IMF bails out countries, not currencies. It should not b e lending to an investment company in Luxembourg, which is what the EFSF is. I suggested we told them we did not accept the legitimacy of bail outs for countries without their own currency and their own central bank with full powers.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          To reply:- a good idea but Osbourne won’t do any such thing he will make strong noises then cave in as usual Cameron style.

        • javelin
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          George has recognised that he does not want to play hard ball with the EU – but also that the EU needs the IMF. So he will play hard ball with the IMF instead – and just follow their rules.

          For some reason he is playing a passive PR game with the EU. “I need to be fair to everyone not just the EU”. By doing this he will force the EZ into austerity and stricter fiscal discipline following the IMFs usual requirements when handing out loans. This will create more tension in the EZ between its Governments and people. I feel he is playing a game of fate – lets just force the EZ to be “good” fiscally and see where this gets us. If the EZ and the voters tear itself apart then so be it, if not then there was nothing we could have done anyway.

        • Mark
          Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Here’s the electoral college arithmetic:

          http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/memdir/eds.aspx

          Assemble 50% by diplomatic persuasion.

    • scottspeig
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      I don’t know, Jacob Rees-Mogg was quite good the week before, and I quite like Hammond when he’s on.

      Although saying that, Jo Swinson was mediocre, and the labour girl waffled on about when she was a teen (5 years ago) and kept answering random questions that were never asked.

      IDS had it tough last night, but I sensed that his view was that the 3-line whip was not good, and he had to weigh the choice of vote for motion and lose job or vote against motion and concentrate on welfare reform. He did the latter which is quite sensible really. Although Cameron was wrong to make them choose between the two.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I don’t bother watching question time either but stumbled accross it .

        I.D.S. had to choose between the important welfare reform he is doing which will benefit the poor and a vote for democracy which was always going to be lost .

        Interestingly Frank Field , who is supposed to be tackling poverty on behalf of the Govt , voted for it . Suppose he had nothing to fear .

        Gloria De Piero was at least pleasing to look at .

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        It must be the first time the BBC have ever had three, nearly Euro-skeptics, on question time or any other program (Iain Duncan-Smith, Nigel Fararge and Julian Fellowes with the two (clearly rather (disappointing-ed) token women). One out or five or usually less has been the order of the day for years.

        Answering questions, that have not been asked, encouraging the politics of envy and mentioning the ‘wonderful’ NHS at every oportunity is standard practice for lefties. What always amazes me is how low the quality of contributors (particularly of the woman) on the program actually is. I know many of woman who talk far more sense – I suppose it is just that sensible woman choose not to go on or into politics. Ruth Lea and perhaps the odd journalist seem to be the only exceptions.

        Also they seem to be interrupted less than men (perhaps out of male/dimbleby deference and politeness) and so are allowed to speak nonsense for rather longer in general.

  13. Robert K
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The FT reports this morning that China is considering contributing to the bail out, subject to certain conditions. The mercantalist tide is turning…

  14. Steven Granger
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Can I add another commonly used soundbite:-

    “We need to renegotiate our relationship with the EU” Oft spoken by “Eurosceptic” (aka Europlastic) Tories including Redwood, Cash, etc.

    Reality:

    We don’t have a relationship with the EU, we are part of the EU in the same way that my left arm is part of my body. The whole point of the existence of the EU is to move towards ever closer union and eventually a United States of Europe. Trying to renegotiate our relationship with the EU is about as likley to succeed as trying to persuade Manchester United to ditch football and become a Rugby club. Those who call for this option are wasting their time and acting as the biggest obstacle to what should be the ultimate goal – i.e. UK withdrawal and getting our country back.

    reply: Tell me how you propose to get us out! As always you cannot resist attacking the people who are trying to get you a vote.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Sarkozy is quoted as saying that letting Greece join the eurozone was a mistake. I wonder if he think that also applies to Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. The architects of this EU “project” created a monster which, far from ensuring European paece and harmony, will drive its peoples into conflict.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      It was a mistake to let Greece join the euro, and it would also be a mistake to allow Greece to stay in the euro; so EU leaders should start thinking hard about how to set up a process for a country to make an orderly withdrawal from the euro without necessarily also leaving the EU.

      Apart from Greece, there may be other countries which have joined the euro where the people would prefer to leave it rather than be swept along into a federalised system.

    • Paul H
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      And a few weeks ago Huhne claimed that Greece had “lied” to gain its entry to the Euro. However there is an awful lot of rewriting history going on here. As I recall a lot of questions were being asked about the true suitability of Greece (and other countries) but these were brushed under the carpet by a political elite wishing to pursue a broader agenda.

  16. ms m davies
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    John

    Thank you for bringing clarity to complicated issues. It is a refreshing change from the usual smoke and mirrors that most Politicians palm us off with.

    I enjoy your reading your diary.

  17. Matt
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Not at the end of the road yet.

    The integrated sovereign state of Europe, the federalist Club 17 will not be achievable; it’s like tying to peg tectonic plates.

  18. Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    1. A marriage which turns bad need not end acrimoniously. The key is wide and extensive communication and an openness in recognising the strengths of what has been as well as the problems. The UK is as much at fault in preventing an amicable divorce here as anyone else. We need to stop demonising those parties who have supported the Euro – proactively recognise both the short term benefits it has brought and the good intentions of so many who have been involved in it and focus instead on a clinical analysis of the realities of the level of political integration between countries needed to sustain it and the practicalities of decoupling where that is what is needed.

    Personally I have an excellent relationship with my ex-husband. 🙂 Relying on the law would never have generated that. The above principles were needed.

    2. Decoupling from the Euro will bring hardship. Don’t try to pretend it won’t. Try to accurately describe the extent of the hardship. Contextualise it with the alternatives and with the hardships faced after the war and so on. Making it real but contextualising it so we know what we’re dealing with his a much more effective thing to so that pretending this hardship won’t exist which simply destroys your credibility. Face it head on. Invite discussion. Accept the intelligent and credible concerns raised.

    3. Shows no understanding of the emerging methods of communication, influence and democratic accountability which cyberspace generates. This is a shame because they are clearly going to fundamentally change the nature and quality of democracy so to ingore them seems unwise.

    4. You need more than the simple rule that if a product is of merchandisable quality in the home country , it can be offered for sale in the other countries of the area because of issues like import tariffs and subsidies.

  19. GJ Wyatt
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    If most of the Conservative Party is Eurosceptic, and the country at large is too (even though the EU is not top of their agenda), why is there no attempt being made to bring Ukip into an alliance with the Conservatives? After all it is often said that the party is a “broad church”. They would be more in tune than the LibDems.

    Reply: UKIP members are welcome to join any time they like if they now see the wisdom of backing Conservative MPs who have a vote and voice in the Commons and want to change our relationship with the EU. It would make a change from them being our main criticis, constantly complaining whatever we do.

    • JimF
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      No, I think Libdems are your main critics on policy.
      Incidentally, the Shadow Home Office Minister a Diane del Piero? on Question Time last night couldn’t even stick to the subject being discussed, a gadfly mind wandering all over the place.

  20. Norman Dee
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    If Farage is telling the truth, then my much maligned suggestion of Tory defections to form an instant party is not so daft after all ! Of course it will depend how many go at the first move, the more that go the bigger the momentum.
    They will of course want a treasury spokesman when it all takes shape, any thoughts on that?

    • norman
      Posted October 29, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink

      Firstly, I know nothing about how the Parliamentary Conservative party works, my main source of info being this blog, but I’d be astonished if any Conservative MPs, let alone in strength of numbers, defected to UKIP / left to form a rump party aligned with UKIP.

      It seems obvious to even the likes of us little people that Cameron is no conservative, from his initial attempt to castrate the 1922 committee to calling the right wing of his party ‘a bunch of shits’ (his language, allegedly) to snubbing the right wing by replacing Fox with a loyalist centrist Cameroon and many more examples I could drudge up.

      Why are the likes of John Redwood and David Davis’ names never linked to any positions in the press? You don’t need to be an insider to see that it’s a deliberate policy to marginalise and freeze out the right wing.

      It must be obvious to the right wing / grass roots that he and his current policies are a busted flush that won’t see a Conservative majority in 2015 but will damage the reputation of the party further so something needs to happen.

      Cameron needs to embrace all the elements of the big tent, preferably voluntarily.

  21. Richard
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    So, the EU is going to borrow some money from member states (who may well have borrowed it as well) put this money in a special fund and then leverage it (ie borrow against it by a multiple of 4 times) to get a trillion euros available in the fund, as well as borrowing more money to give to Greece so they can give it to the people they borrowed it off earlier!
    The BBC were claiming the summit was a triumph- do they think we are thick?
    Its like me borrowing at high interest rates off a credit card to pay my low interest rate mortgage and when this card is at its limit then using a second card to pay both my mortgage and minimum payments on the first card.
    I would imagine Mr Mugabe must be chuckling to himself.

  22. Damien
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Last night on John Humphreys The future state of welfare BBC TWO he interviewed Polish migrants who succinctly explained that the Polish benefits are a quarter of what the British benefits are and that they could not survive on the Polish welfare for any length of time. Conversely Humphreys interviewed a class of British long term unemployed , non of whom had parents who were working. Surely with all this talk of EU harmonization we should lower our benefits to the level of the Polish as the British have no shame nor motivation to get off welfare? If we are to face a long period of low growth then a lot is riding on IDS getting ahead on these issues given the cost in taxpayers money and lost potential of these long term British claimants.

    IDS on QuestionTime explained MP’s voted as they wished and would not have been deterred because of the three line whip. He gave himself as an example as one who voted against the whip on occasion. He seemed to say that a three line whip is just procedural without consequences, is this true?

    Reply: I don’t think he said that. A vote is a vote. A 3 line whip is a party matter affecting certain MPs but has no effect on the motion or vote under consideration, only on the way MPs respond to it.

  23. javelin
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As predicted in previous posts there is now a sell of of PIIGS CDSs.

    Some people have argued that the CDS are useful as hedges against soverign economies. But the EU has banned naked short CDS – so we’re left with genuine covered CDS. So now in the case of the PIIGS these CDS are now not worth alot.

    So whats the big deal – if a PIIGS CRDS isnt going to trigger because they’e going to be bailed out – isnt that a good thing.

    Except that its not – covered CDSs are effectively optional insurance on bonds – it brings the price of the “naked” bonds down because the buyers can choose to cover the bond risk. Now the bond risk MUST be priced into the bond.

    So this is OK for the smaller (PIGlets) Portugal, Ireland, Greece – where investors were prepared to take a voluntary swap. For the big pigs (S&I) its doubtul whether they will receive a complete bail out. So the question is whether they will ever get a voluntary agreement. Now that the CDSs have been forced to be naked only – then holders are going to be less likely to take a voluntary loss.

    It feels to me that the focus will now move to S&I and the CDS market on these sovereigns.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The BBC now reports: “The government is considering moving the UK’s clocks forward by an hour for a three-year trial period.” Some call this “Berlin time”. Funny how our so-called eurosceptic Conservative cabinet is suddenly resurrecting this after saying earlier this year that they would not do. A sop to Clegg and his and their friends in the EU?
    I experienced the trial in 1968 and it was atrocious; so bad that the experiment was abandoned early.
    As Mrs Thatcher once said – No! No! No!

  25. Bob
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    You seem to have left out the biggest of all the reasons, “peace in Europe”!

    “When a German chancellor talks of the inevitability of war in Europe if he (or she) doesn’t get his (or her) way, it would be remiss of the British to ignore it. It is not clear who we should infer will go to war against whom, but Chancellor Merkel’s observation is ominously similar to the threat made by her predecessor Chancellor Kohl, who once said: ‘The future will belong to the Germans…when we build the house of Europe… In the next two years we will make the process of European integration irreversible. This is a really big battle, but it is worth the fight.’ A CDU document from 1994 explained: ‘Never again must there be a destabilizing vacuum of power in central Europe.
    If European integration were not to progress, Germany might be called upon, or tempted by its own security constraints, to try to effect the stabilization (a word replete with unpleasant historical echoes) on its own, and in the traditional way.’ Kohl asserted his conviction that if there were no further European integration, there may well be war.”

    Cut and pasted from Archbishop Cranmer
    Thursday, October 27, 2011
    Merkel: “If the Euro falls, there will be war in Europe”

  26. Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Apropos the remark made that the EU discriminates against trade from Africa especially
    agriculture,here is but one more of my personal true factual examples,from my 28 years in South Africa. I have a friend who farms citrus near Port Elizabeth,on a 35000 hectare
    farm,I skyped him this morning to get prices ,I can buy a BIN of oranges from him [500kg]
    for R50 with the £R exchange rate being about R12.50 that makes one kilo at 1p YES
    ONE pence,based on that What would the price be in our shops if there was a FAIR duty
    certainly a lot less than the more than £1 upwards you do pay,but they do not export here
    because of EU discrimination,my friends exports go to Hong Kong and particularly to Cathay Pacific where he supplies all their orange juice,I could research lots of other farm
    products but rest assured they are all cheaper,much cheaper.The Eu by this discrimination
    costs us in the UK dearly because if we could TRADE with our old commonwealth countries we wouldn,t need to give AID,Miss Moyo from Zambia says in her excellent book
    TRADE NOT AID is dignified and much better as the money earned gets to all levels,from
    the Pickers up.We actually lose by paying more for agricultural produce while at the same time giving billions in Aid,at a guess adding the aid to the value we would save on produce
    it must be at least £15billion a year add that to what being in the EU costs us already
    and getting the Deficit/borrowing down will be a lot easier.

    • Bob
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Bernard,
      The whole point is to prevent self reliance from taking hold in Africa, that’s why they get aid. They’re being degraded to the point that they will have to re-colonised “for their own good”. Why else would the EU be dumping subsidised agricultural produce onto Africa’s traditional markets?
      It’s the way the EU does business!

    • Martin
      Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Agricultural protectionism is not new or no way EU exclusive. (See the history of Corn Laws etc) The USA protects its orange growers (Florida) against Brazil which is why there is more Brazilian orange juice in the EU than in the USA despite the USA being miles nearer!

      Incidentally if you want cheap oranges just go to a street market in Sicily. The prices there are way less than at the supermarket. Same in Britain or elsewhere in the EU – the farmer gets a few pence an item and the supermarket charges a Pound or Euro for the same.

  27. javelin
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    At least the German courts are sticking up for democracy …

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,794578,00.html

    They have stuck an injuction on a secretive 9 man committee by stopping them waving through the EU Bail out fund after a couple of opposition MPs objected. Quite how market sensitive prices (to stop forward buying) can be kept secret (which is what usually happens) with a full discussion in the German Parliament will be interesting.

  28. RDM
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    JR,
    Will we be bounced into an “In or Out” choice? Are the federalist (Labour, LD) talking to the Germans and French about this choice (back stabbing Collectivists aka the Red Weed!)? Will the 27 have a veto, or enter into a binding decision making process, over any non Eurocentric policies, so that if any of the policy’s, pursued by the 17, effects the 10 outer country’s, they will have to get agreement with the 27? How strong a position is DC in? Will DC be able to thread a course between In or Out, Trade & Coop? Will the Germans and/or French except this?

    The ball of string seems to be getting longer!

    Either way; The competitiveness of the UK will need to increase many fold over the next few years, and this will require some fundamental changes within the UK’s Economic and Social structure, including the concentration of capital with the Energy and Banking sectors! But also; I don’t see any growth coming out of the Euroland for at least 10yrs, so shouldn’t our focus be on the BRIC countries anyway? And high value added (Technology) product development.

    After all this has quieten down, over the next few years, I can see the Scot’s going it alone, and Wales following shortly after. What consideration is being given to the Peoples of GB benefiting from the Union, there must be a benefit from a British Banking systems? It is no use just giving Politicians, within the devolved Administrations, more money! When are the British People going be able to stand back, away from a dependency on these Administrations, and focus on building their own life’s(Wealth)?

    Good Job with the interview, over the weekend, against Sir MR. Even if the timing was wrong!

    Regards,

    RDM.

    Reply: I think if we stay in on unchanged terms more and more will be settled by the Euro group, and the UK will be subjct to more and more laws which are unhelpful or positively damaging to our economy. Look what the EU has done to fishing and agriculture, where it has more control already.

    • RDM
      Posted October 29, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Reply: Yes you are right, bar for the timing. For the short term; I think DC will want to plot a course between re-negotiation/repatriation of powers, and more powers to the 17. I think he will focus on getting the 27 to be the main decision making body, not allowing the 17 to start making laws harmful to the UK national interest. i.e the City. Not too sure he is in a strong enough position to do anything else? In the longer term; I recon he wants the same thing we do. So, just in case; do we need a clear view of what competenies are relevant to a Trade and Coop relationship, and the control Euroland will want? Forearmed!

  29. crowbait
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Re Sarkozy’s comment that it was a mistake to allow Greece to join the Euro.

    Correction; it was a mistake to allow anyone to join the Euro.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      It was a mistake to HAVE a Euro !

  30. Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    John, you say that the eu would not damage trade with the UK should we one day be outside it.

    However the eu is not behaving rationally at the moment.

    I’ve only just realised (after someone kindly put me right) the ramifications of a financial transaction tax being voted in by the 17 members of the Eurozone caucus.

    The financial transaction tax is a protectionist measure which would surely bring about retaliation by the UK by placing duties on imports from the eu.

    Enforcing these duties would necessitate us leaving the eu.

    Reply: If the 17 impose a financial transaction on themselves and we stay out of that tax we gain the business they will lose.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to see the possible effects of that on the City properly discussed, beyond the claim in a Telegraph editorial:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/8794145/EU-financial-tax-would-be-a-disaster-for-the-City.html

      “introducing the tax only in the eurozone …would still be a calamity for the City …”.

      However whether it would be beneficial for the City or calamitous for the City there’d be no way that the UK government could stop the governments of the eurozone states doing it through an intra-eurozone treaty or agreement, once they had the new licence which would be granted to them through the radical EU treaty change agreed by EU leaders on March 25th.

  31. Electro-Kevin
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I do wonder why the federalists can’t work out these simple truths for themselves, Mr Redwood.

    It bothers me more than anything that they might not want to. What is it that they REALLY want ?

  32. Quietzapple
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood might like to consider that, if his phobes foist us with Chinese wages, we may opt for Chinese politicians.

  33. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    John,
    Would you please comment on this short video presented today on Daniel Hannan’s Telegraph blog:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100114217/a-german-view-of-the-bailout-deal/

  34. Martin
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    China is the part of the problem. China has huge trade surpluses and won’t let its currency appreciate. It keeps sucking in manufacturing. In the case of the EU the weaker euro member states end up broke and in the case of the USA ex-manufacturing areas become economic deserts and the federal government is financially in a poor way.

    Until the WTO thing is sorted out or the west collectively leaves the WTO we will continue to have big problems.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 29, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Martin

      I think you will find China is working and negotiating in the interests of China.

      China already funds much of the USA debt, when it funds (as is suggested) a sizable portion of EUdebt, then you may well see some action taken which again will be in China’s interest.

      They are building up financial influence throughout the world, and one day will use it to thier advantage, why other govenments cannot see this baffles me.

  35. Jon Burgess
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    All of this is undoubtedly sensible and starightforward. But none of it represents your party’s policy on Europe.

    What is the point of 80 Tory ‘rebels’ if they continue to remain in the party that they so strongly disagree with on this subject, at the risk of their own political careers?57 Lib Dem MPs seem to have a greater pull on the Tory leadership than 80 of their own number.

    Now seems like a good time for the 80 to up and leave and become independents. Call a by election and you will all undoubtedly be re elected with increased majorities. We might just have the chance to creatie a proper right of centre party out of this mess. Come on Mr Redwood, what is stopping you?

    Reply: I have no need to stand down and fight again. I am voting and speaking in the way I said I would when last elected. What would be the point of resigning and winnign again on the same policies?

  36. Jon Burgess
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    The point of resigning and winning again, but as an independent, would be to show that you fundamentally disagree with current coalition and conservative party policy and the conduct of the Prime Minister. Or have I got it all wrong?

    Despite painting himself as a eurosceptic prior to the election, Cameron has shown himself to be nothing of the sort.
    Official Conservative policy is now not to allow the public a referendum on our relationship with the EU, which is not what it was before the election.
    Prominent past eurosceptics were made to trot out the new party line, as evidence of their re-education.
    Cameron chose to try to force his MPs to vote against their constituents wishes with intimidation when there was no need for him to do so.

    I can only assume these things were done to show the remainder of the conservative right who is in charge.

    I would guess that you do not support these things and there must be a good chance that these deceptions will result in an awful lot of lost support and seats at the next election.

    There is more support than you think for traditional conservative policies. If you and like minded others left the Tories, you might just help to create a new right wing movement that could provide the opposition desperately needed to the left liberal consensus in this country. That surely is a worthy aim?

    What I can’t understand is why you stay loyal to a party that openly despises what you believe in? Staying where you are changes nothing; you can continue to be ignored, so what is there to lose?

    Reply: I am staying loyal to my constituents who elected me and to the views I put to them to get elected. I do not see why I need to run again given that I am doing so. Of course I disagreed with the Coalition’s stance on the referendum and the whipping, which is why I voted the other way! The Conservative manifesto did not include a referendum, but I did say I would vote for one and so I kept my word.

  • About John Redwood


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

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