What powers would you like back?


              We read this week-end that the government is responding to the vote on Monday. We hear the Foreign Office is masterminding an exercise to ask all government departments what powers they would like to regain, with a view to drawing up a possible negotiating brief.

                 Reading between the lines , there is still an issue over the timing of any such renegotiation. Those of us who say we need a bigger price for granting more power to Euroland to bail out each other, have not yet heard that the government intends to dig in over this “technical change which does not affect us” with a view to getting a better deal for the UK. They seem to have in mind delaying  further negotiations until  other possible Treaty changes are discussed.  Euroland may need more changes to strengthen economic government on the back of the “save the world” package we have just been  treated to in outline.

           There also remains a disagreement between those of us who say real powers are being given away continuously through Directives and Regulations, whilst the Foreign Secretary only counts powers given away in a new Treaty.The Prime  Minister does now recognise the powers being surrendered over the City without a new Treaty as a serious threat. This is a welcome development. His worry could lead to a more vigorous approach to new law and regulation by the government.

            I would like to hear from you over your priorities for repatriation. I appreciate many of you just want to pull out of the whole EU in one go. This option is not favoured by most MPs, and there is nowhere near a majority either for pulling out or even for an IN/Out referendum. That is why we do need to respond positively to the newfound enthusiaism for powers back. This policy is clearly endorsed by a very large majority of the UK electorate.

              The powers could include:

1. Resumption of UK control of borders and entry policy, including people coming from the rest of the EU. (The UK used to have an opt out from the common migration policy under the Conservatives)

2. Return of powers to make our own employment and social laws. (The UK did have an opt out from the Social Chapter under the Conservatives)

3. Return of fishing policy. (The Comon Fishery Policy only applies to Northern Europe, not the Med. It has been unpopular with all political parties in the UK for many years)

4. Return of Agricultural Policy

5. End of any more opt ins to Criminal Justice Policy, and ending the Common European Arrest Warrant in the UK

6. Smaller EU budget and larger UK rebate (Labour gave away part of the rebate successfully negotiated by Mrs Thatcher)

7. Environmental policies – return of powers to settle our own approach to energy

8. Financial regulation

                For the UKIP supporters who will write in to condemn what we are trying to achieve, I have two simple questions. What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?



  1. lifelogic
    October 31, 2011

    In short we need to be allowed to opt out of anything whatsoever that we do no like or does not suit the UK at any time we like in the future (as changing conditions may dictate).

    Certainly all 8 of the above that you suggestions – at a minimum.

    I see Vince Cable is in to Singapore (growth rate 14.4%) no doubt he will be suggesting to them ways to bring it down – such as more silly UK style employment laws, an agency workers directive, no retirement laws, green energy and increasing the size of taxes and the state to UK levels).

    Then again perhaps he might learn something and come back sounding less like a handicap to UK industry.

    1. lifelogic
      October 31, 2011

      Andrew Marr continued the BBC’s global warming “proven science” agenda again on “start the week” this morning. How much longer will they keep this absurd exaggeration up one wonders. The whole approach of the BBC (with these AGW exaggerations) is:- “it is proven science” only a few silly non scientists and nutters disagree with this and what can governments do to make more people believe it.

      This despite only the 0.7 degree Centigrade over 100 years and no warming of any significance for about 16 years despite the increasing C02. Also very clear evidence of attempts to mislead by the “experts” and no real evidence that “a little hotter” would not be better anyway. Also very clear science that shows that the Huhne’s “solutions” simply do not even work in carbon terms let alone economic ones.

      The BBC have been pushing this biased nonsense for so long that it is hard for them to get of the hook they have created for themselves. Anyway their snail expert who looked into it seems to think they should continue on the same path.

      One wonders if anyone who believes in a smaller state thinks, that global warming is an exaggeration and thinks we should not be controlled by Brussels would ever apply for a job at the BBC. Certainly not without hiding their views should they wish to be engaged I suspect.

      1. Bazman
        October 31, 2011

        Employment laws as silly as the myth about them that you constantly perpetrate without any evidence or examples except to say there should not be any? Global warming being the fault of the BBC and so complicated as to be impossible to predict except by your own evidence. You need to read your own cult like beliefs to yourself.

        1. lifelogic
          November 1, 2011

          You say “impossible to predict except by your own evidence”

          I have lttle knowledge of the likely suns activity, volcanic activity, likely agriculture systems, when fusion power stations will be possible, other technology developments or the thousands of other factors for the next 100 years.

          I merely point out that the “experts” do not have much either and so cannot make valid predictions.

          It is also interesting to note that atmospheric temperatures as measured by satellites and weather ballo0ns have not risen as the C02 theory and computer models suggests they should have. Which makes their computer exaggerations look rather daft.

          On employment have you actually read any employment tribunal ruling and dismissal procedures needed?

    2. lifelogic
      October 31, 2011

      Good news for once:- the government wants to halve the PV solar cell taxpayer subsidy per Kilo Watt Hour. As these did not make economic (or even environmental) sense at the original figure it will hopefully kill this pointless industry (particularly so in the cloudy UK). Until they, hopefully, come up with something that works in in economic and environmental terms – rather than just as silly shiny house “bling” for LibDems and BBC/Guardian employee types.

      1. alan jutson
        November 1, 2011


        Agree with you.

        Any business which needs such a massive taxpayer subsidy to just avoid a loss, is not a commercial business at all.

        I see all the bleeting companies complaining now they are being forced to look long and hard at the commercial returns on their systems, even though they are still to be taxpayer subsidised, but now only to a lesser extent..

  2. Single Acts
    October 31, 2011

    All of the above plus one or two from Westminster please

    1. Rebecca Hanson
      October 31, 2011

      I’d like to see the return of the power from Westminster to the people involved in education in the UK to influence education policy through their representative bodies.

      Before requesting powers back from Europe I’d like to clearly know what Westminster are going to do with the powers they take back, to see the detailed of the processes by which they have failed to achieve a reasonable settlement through negotiation with Europe and to be convinced that there is no reasonable prospect of that situation being resolved. Just as the SNP justify what they are going to do with the powers they take back from Westminster.

      So no 3. please as the SNP have already done the groundwork on that one.

  3. Richard Roney
    October 31, 2011

    I would agree with all your suggestions but we must reclaim repatriation of Human Rights laws and most importantly repatriate jurisdiction from the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

  4. Mick Anderson
    October 31, 2011

    What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?

    National politicians dug us into this hole, and it is the same who are reluctant even to try and extract us. UKIP MEPs have no power to reverse the stupid decisions. The national Party system seems to have locked out virtually anyone else who tries to enter Westminster, which is why MPs can afford to ignore the electorate.

    I’m not entirely sure what MEPs are for, as the power seems to be wielded either by the unelected technocrats by diktat, or a small club of country leaders from the Eurozone.

    JRs eight point list would be a good start, but perhaps (if we are not to be allowed to choose to leave) the UK should also push to move any remaining EU powers to the elected MEPs, away from the unaccountable bureaucracy.

  5. Javelin
    October 31, 2011

    Certainly those.

    I’d like to approach it the other way around. To have a set of standards that allow for a trade zone then dump the rest.

    1. Javelin
      October 31, 2011

      I don’t see the Human Rights Act or any of the over arching legal powers that bring laws in the back door via case law.

      Reply: Because the European Convention on Human Rights is not an EU matter – that is another area where we need change

      1. backofanenvelope
        October 31, 2011

        I thought adherence to the ECHR was a requirement of EU membership?

        1. Mark
          October 31, 2011

          So is not being or marrying a Catholic a requirement for our monarchs (for now) – but not being a Catholic doesn’t make you in line for the throne.

    2. Alan Wheatley
      October 31, 2011

      Agreed. You do mean a “free” trade zone I guess.

  6. norman
    October 31, 2011

    When you write it down on a list like that it’s astounding the powers that Parliament has abrogated, partially or wholly, to the EU.

    Employemnt, agriculture, fishery, finance (with more to come including budgetary at some point albeit years away), energy, waste disposal, justice, the hours we work.

    We’ve seen recently that deciding who qualifies for welfare isn’t too far away. Also pensions, with cases being brought by pensioners from other countries moving here and wanting the British pension rather than the country they spent their whole lives in.

    I’ve also read about tentative talks for deciding on EU wide minimum wages (again, years away one would think but no one can doubt this is on the agenda). MOT periods being extended, clocks changing, one racks ones brain to think of an area that isn’t effected.

    It’s easy to say ‘Well, a lot of those are simply off the wall and we’d never allow it’ but Labour will be back behind the wheel at some point so if not now, when?

  7. Mike Stallard
    October 31, 2011

    I am just trying to translate “The Great Deception” into a series of lessons for secondary schools for the TES.
    Allow me to state, on the basis of wading through pages and pages of that very thorough book, that there is absolutely no hope of repatriating any powers at all. Let’s stop messing about.
    You can shout (Callahan), you can wheedle (Heath), you can scream,(Thatcher), you can intrigue (Jenkins),you can be decent and nice (Major) but it has no effect. The French are determined that the purpose of their project is to get everyone else to cough up for the CAP. Europe, to them has always been Charlemagne’s Empire. The Germans have always been a little cowed by the French and everyone else has always been on the periphery.
    Look at this crisis, for heaven’s sake! What does it tell you? England is at the heart of Europe? In Europe but not of it? Dining at the top table? I don’t think so. Our Prime Minister wasn’t even invited!
    At the heart of the project has always been the idea that Europe needs to be controlled by the Commissioners and their bureaucracy which has always been entwined with the national bureaucracies. The Parliament is just an add on. Then there is the acquis communautaire. Reforming that, grabbing power back from that, is rather like us trying to reform the NHS (peace be upon her).
    Politics is the art of making the best of reality. It is not about pretence. Europe is not England. It is based on a Franco-German alliance which we do not take part in.
    Return powers! You must be joking!

    1. Caterpillar
      October 31, 2011

      Mike Stallard:

      I agree with the essence of your observation “Politics is the art of making the best of reality… Europe … is based on a Franco-German alliance which we do not take part in.”

      I think both the ideas of a repatriation wish list, and UKIPer MEPs achieving withdrawal are both jam tomorrow dreams without identifying an achievable combination of leverage points (‘how’) and outcome (‘what’). Whether UKIPers or Conservative Eurosceptics, self-delusion will continue.

      Unfortunately I have no suggestions myself for the alignment of both ‘how and what’ but with the PM apparently in a dreamworld that the ‘how’ will appear, whilst the Deputy PM defines a ‘what’ of zero, I do not suspect change anytime soon. Nevertheless any coherent approach will need a compatible ‘how’ and ‘what’, not just the ‘what’.

    2. martin sewell
      November 1, 2011

      I have been reading ” La Seduction” by Elaine Scoliono in which she explores and explains the diference between French and Anglo attitudes.

      An example: 1st Gulf War – Anglo’s would not risk seeking UN sanction as they could see they might need to act quickly and did not want to be bound. Chirac said if
      you had to break the resolution – no problem. People make promises when they get married but ” things change”, adultery happens every day ” c’est normal- n’est ce pas?” Chirac and Clinton ( who shared extra curricular enthusiasms and common purpose) could do business on such a basis.

      It is such massive cultural differences that make our abilty to confidently compromise so difficult.

  8. Antisthenes
    October 31, 2011

    I have a feeling this exercise in what powers should be repatriated from the EU is academic because a) The EU will never concede any or more hopefully and very likely b) the EU is about to implode under the weight of all it’s failed crisis solving plans. Plans that are not improving anything but actually making the situation worse the recent one being no different.

  9. Pete the Bike
    October 31, 2011

    Given that membership of the EU is contrary to British interests in every possible way your points are a good start but 6 should read “massively larger UK rebate” and you can add
    9. An absolute right to reject any rule, policy or crackpot idea generated by Brussels.

    1. Martyn
      October 31, 2011

      Your #9 might well be put in a slightly different way i.e. Parliament to declare its absolute democratic right and authority to decide policy and Law based on what is, or is not, in the UK’s best interests.
      On the other hand, at a nearby RAF airfield I can see a full squadron of pigs all fuelled, pre-flighted, cleared for takeoff and ready to fly….

  10. Oldrightie
    October 31, 2011


  11. Derek Duncan
    October 31, 2011

    These all seem good ideas to me. Perhaps if we were successful in getting these powers back, other countries would similarly want back their own particular powers and the EU would be a much more popular and therefore much more successful institution for its participants.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      October 31, 2011

      Your comments encapsulate why the EU will never agree to repatriation of powers as its citadel would crumble.

  12. Alan Radford
    October 31, 2011

    What have any MEP’s done about anything? They are a faceless, anonymous bunch quitely pursuing their own pocket-lining lives without let or hindrance from ordinary voters.

    1. Mike Stallard
      October 31, 2011

      Please allow me to recommend Dan Hannan’s blog to you. Also Roger Helmer’s.
      Neither of these two strikes me as remotely like your assumption.

  13. John C
    October 31, 2011

    You ask: “And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?”

    I would say that they have had a great impact on changing the attitudes of the UK people towards the EU.

    When there is a referendum it will be the UK’s only chance to withdraw from the EU. At this point we will see if their years of campaigning on this issue has been worth it.

    The three main political parties have painted themselves into a corner by promising a referendum. They will do everything they can to avoid a referendum which will only cause the UK people to be even more angry. This will aid the OUT side.

    UKIP may achieve their aim without gaining a single MP.

    1. lifelogic
      October 31, 2011

      Well perhaps – they will be lucky ever to get even a single MP under the current voting system. They may do will at MEPs level but MEPs have no power anyway and are just there to provide a fake pretence of democracy to the whole evil EU machine.

  14. Richard
    October 31, 2011

    Yes to all on your list would be the ideal, but as priorities I would like to see two powers repatriated :-

    Number 1 :- A return to control over our own borders.

    Number 5 :- Which would allow us to make our own criminal law and end the frightening prospect of the European arrest warrant.
    We have already seen what problems a similar arrangement with the USA has given some of our citizens.

    Your list is a shock, it makes it clear just how much self determination the EU has taken away from us.

    1. Andrew Johnson
      October 31, 2011

      The EU has not taken self determination away from us, the UK’s Westminster parliament has freely given it away, and continues to do so even at this present time.

  15. stred
    October 31, 2011

    Could we please stop paying for their MP’s expenses, palaces for the unelected (official-ed) made president and the salary of the never elected Labour ex CND brownbabe made foreign minister and busily building embassies to do nothing useful.

  16. GeoffM
    October 31, 2011

    So our PM is going to give a presentation on global governance at the G20 after an invitation by Sarkozy.
    Dave saves the world just like Gordon Brown.

    See item 8. in the pdf

  17. A.Sedgwick
    October 31, 2011

    You have made it very clear that you wish to work through the Conservative Party and change our relationship with the EU. Similarly UKIP are working within the rules, being democratic and civilised – no camping in front of St.Paul’s. The fact that our electoral system is a closed shop as bad as any old Trade Union practice is not their fault. The fact that the European Parliament is one massive quango and as much use as a chocolate teapot is not their fault. The only speeches worth listening to have been by Farage and Hannan. Genuine Eurosceptics should be grateful to UKIP for raising the bar on this dreadful organisation not continue to snipe at it.

    Any removal of power from the EU is a step in the right direction but ultimately there is only one solution – exit.

    Reply: My question is to those UKIPers who tell me I should join UKIP – how has having UKIP MEPs helped get the UK out of the EU? The answer is it has not at all.

    1. dan
      October 31, 2011

      You dont need to join UKIP to make the point.
      Just stand as an Independent Conservative…step away from the spineless party which is determined to sell this country down the EU river. Its deceitful of you to pretend joining UKIP is the only alternative.
      Career first, methinks….

      Reply: Constituents and country first, as always. The Conservative party is my party too, and I have always stood as a Eurosceptic Conservative and intend to keep to what I promised I would say and do.

      1. Sean O'Hare
        October 31, 2011

        If you defected to UKIP you would still be an MP right? You are so well known and appreciated in Wokingham that when election day comes along (or even if you had to fight a by-election) you are extremely unlikely to be defeated. It is quite likely if you took such action at least one or two others would do likewise. Once UKIP have a presence in the HoC I am convinced it would grow and that they would quickly displace the Lib/Dems.

        By your anti-EU stance and your opinions on fiscal matters you have placed yourself of the very margins of the present faux Conservatives and are not in-line for a cabinet ministers job, which is where you should be. You don’t therefore have a lot to lose do you?

        You state that “The Conservatives are my party” Yes they are mine too, but we don’t really have a Conservative Party at the moment because it’s leaders are all Liberal Democrats (although they are neither liberal nor democratic). I think most of UKIPs membership are true conservatives and will return to the fold when the battle is won.

        Reply: A former Conservative MP did defect to UKIP. It lit no flame, and he fell out with UKIP. What is there to join?

        1. JimF
          October 31, 2011

          I think we are wondering just how bad things have to get for you to reconsider. Are you saying that, in the event of a major movement of both the electorate and other Conservative Eurosceptic MPs to UKIP or any alternative Eurosceptic Party, you would still be saying “No, I stood as a Conservative and will always stand as one?”

          Better to join on the principle than on the bandwagon.

          1. Bob
            October 31, 2011

            Hitchens put it very succinctly:
            “If 57 soppy anti-British, pro-crime, anti-education, pro-immigration, anti-family nonentities can push David Cameron around with the constant unspoken threat of walking out of the Coalition, think what 80 pro-British, anti-crime, anti-immigration, pro-education MPs could do to him by actually walking out of it.”

        2. Phil H.
          November 2, 2011

          100% when the battle is won (or Cameron is replaced by a real Conservative) I will be back.

      2. dan
        October 31, 2011

        Isnt there a line beyond which you cannot be pushed any further with regard to the treachery of Cameron and Hague selling the UK out?

        The Cinservative Party may indeed be your party too, but when a party quite clearly isnt reflecting your opinion on this, the most crucial of issues, how long do you stick with it?

    2. sjb
      October 31, 2011

      Whenever a UKIP supporter starts a sentence: “The truth is …” I always think of Farage’s cat story (the one apparently appropriated by Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference).

      Not only did he get the immigant’s nationality wrong but more seriously falsely accused him of having a conviction for manslaughter.

    3. Mike Chaffin
      October 31, 2011

      I think to most people Daniel Hannan’s “devalued Prime minister” speech was the highlight of opposition in the last decade or so rather than anything said in the House of Commons.

      As for the MEPs themselves, they have the square root of sod all power and aren’t elected by us in the first place (we merely vote for a party).

      As for what is there to join, you have a point. As no MP has been elected as UKIP I don’t think it is even possible to cross the floor as it were (an issue which came up with the one MP who tried it). No flame was lit, indeed I don’t recall even seeing it mentioned in the mainline press.

      That however was before the recent debate where the vast majority of MP’s did themselves and their constituents a grave dis-service. Kudos to those who stood up for us however far too many quibbled about the wording or quisled their way through a token speech.

      I don’t believe those MPs who say it is an issue which hardly ever comes up on the doorstep. Just weaselling again as whether you think the economy, jobs, defence, energy policy, crime and punishment, greenness or democracy itself is the issue then the EU and a debate about is relevant as it’s tentacles reach everywhere.

      People know this, they just assume the politicians are lying.

      Then again they also think politicians are over calculating and just blow with the wind. I suspect that if UKIP were to win a seat, say in a notional by election, you’d see quite a few current MP’s tempted to shape a new party rather than battle an old one.

    4. tony hammond
      November 1, 2011

      The only reason this is on the political adgenda is because ukip is cutting more than 5% support from MPs. MPs are scared about losing thier seats. This is how ukip is forcing the debate over mass immigration & the eu. ukip acts like a knife against the thoat of the pro mass immigration, pro eu party machine.

      The half measure of renegociating powers will not stop the ukip effect there are a whole range of corrupt big business eu issues from the forced hallal slaugther of our innocent livestock, to windmills which are not touched by any renegociation. Ukip can also slaugter the tories over the robbery of ordinary savers through inflation while millonaires can infaltion protect thier savings via inflation protected gilts (like Mervin King uses for his savings)

      Reply: The reason this is on the agenda is the action of 81 Conservative MPs.

      1. Tony Hammond
        November 1, 2011

        About half of the Tory rebels have 2010 general election majorities of under 14%.
        15 of the Conservative rebels have majorities of under 5.5% and nearly all suffered a 2010 swing to UKIP materially affecting their majority %age.

        Interestingly, about half the Labour Rebels also are in marginal seats ranging from under 2% (Great Grimsby, UKIP 6%) to 9% 2010 majorities and all but 1 have witnessed UKIP on 2%-5%.

        The single Lib-Dem Defector; Adrian Sanders (Torbay, UKIP 5.3%) had only a 8.3% majority in 2010, fighting a historically Conservative seat.

        So about half of the 88 rebels, are reasonably affected by the vote %age going to UKIP.

        Having said all that – There is no doubt slightly over half of the MPs who rebelled have little to lose majority wise and are voting out of absolute conviction.

        Like John Redwood (25% 2010 Majority, and UKIP on 3%) many had rather large majorities and UKIP no real threat at 3% or so.

        UKIP seems to have ‘helped’ the actions of about half of these Conservative and Labour Rebels.

        Reply: The Conservatives I met in the lobby were not voting there because of UKIP. They were voting there because of their promises in the Election, their convicitons and because their Conservative Associations strongly supported their view.

      2. Heather Ward
        November 2, 2011

        No. The reason this is on the agenda is because 100’s of thousands of ordinary people signed petitions to demand a referendum. They were promised a referendum on the EU or the Lisbon Treaty by all of the LibLabCon parties, who then reneged on their promises.

        The people are angry and despise all the politicians, who put their careers before their duty to the country and the people.

        1. tony
          November 3, 2011

          A ukip referedum petition.

  18. alan jutson
    October 31, 2011


    Your list is a start, but only a start.

    I quite honestly would go the other way, we need to scrap everything that involves Europe, other than a very simple trade agreement.

    Why, because the request is very simple and uncomplicated.
    No room for fudge or error.

    Then we want parliament to go through all of the regulations since we joined, and have a proper bonfire (sorry if this sounds familiar)

    As for contributions, do we need to pay anything at all, if their trade to us, is bigger than ours to them.

    Probably not the answer you wanted but the most simple.
    If there is going to be a two tier EU, where the first group (the Eurozone) can vote anything through for the second tier group by majority, then do we really want to be part of it ?

    Reply: I have made quite clear my wish for a self governing UK – but I am trying to contribute to the government’s exercise, with the help of contributors to this site.

  19. niconoclast
    October 31, 2011

    You cannot be in the EU but not of it.It is a false and misleading prospectus.Like going to a brothel and maintaining your virginity.Why is the honourable gentleman persisting with this polite fiction of ‘ in but not of ‘ ? Perhaps the UKIP represents his lost conscience hence his sniping at it? In psychology we call this ‘ projection’.

    Reply: Not so. I am being practical, and am fed up with being sniped at by UKIP for everything I try to do to reverse the tide of power going to Brussels. That’s why I ask how UKIPs success in gaining MEPs and failure with MPs has helped get us out, when we still have a UK Parliament that denies us a referendum and a EU Parliament that transfers powers daily to the EU when it is in session.

    1. Mike Stallard
      October 31, 2011

      I need to say this. Up to now, i have been a really loyal supporter of the Conservatives and certainly a loyal supporter of this blog. I did vote UKIP for the European Election to make a point, otherwise, up to now, my vote has always been for the Conservatives locally and nationally.
      I do not think UKIP is the right way to go.
      But surely our host does not honestly believe that we will ever be able to repatriate powers which have already been acquired? This, surely, must be a blind alley.

      Reply: My view is the government has to be persuaded to try to get powers back, and the result has to be put to the people in a vote. THis leaves it up to the EU – they can either treat the UK’s wish for fewer powers seriously, or face a hostile vote.

      1. Deborah
        October 31, 2011

        The Governments approach is pure procrastination. It will provide them with a fig leaf for a while, but eventually they will have to face up to the in-out decision. This delay will be very expensive for all of us.
        However, I can see that a list of powers to be repatriated could serve some use. As has been mentioned above, it can be quite a shock to see how many powers have been given away. Perhaps, some of those who are “not yet ready” to support an in-out referendum might rethink their position when they see the list in black and white and the impotence of our government is displayed across the MSM.
        I only hope that Cameron doesn’t manage to censor it.

        Of course I agree with all your suggestions but there are many morepowers which should be repatriated. Like others above, I suggest starting from the assumption that we want a free trade area and deleting anything that is not absolutely necessary to achieve that aim.
        Criminal justice and border control are areas for particular attention.

  20. Amanda
    October 31, 2011

    All of the ones you mention John.

    We desperately need to control how many people are in the country (so borders). On the other side of the coin, we should protect our own people from the European Arrest Warrent.

    Economically we need to grow our economy as we see fit, and feed ourselves. So that means control over agricultural policy, fisheries, and wealth sapping environmental issues, and employment regulations.

    Our finance industry is just too important to leave to the fools in Brussels, who cannot even get their own accounts signed off. And whilst we are at it, we should not be paying for their folly – so cut the budget.

    There are two really symbolic ones to me on this list – Fisheries (hurrah we have our seas back), and Agriculture (at last we no longer need pay for inefficient French farmers who block the ports at a moment notice).

  21. Colin D.
    October 31, 2011

    Sorry John,
    This Government talk about renegotiation is an example of ‘triangulation’. In other words, Cameron is appearing to side with the electors’ anger over EU, but he really will do nothing.
    Cameron is not Eurosceptic. Hague is not Eurosceptic. The Foreign Office is pro-EU. None of these people will stand up to the Eurobabble that Nick Clegg spouts.
    The pre-requisite for progress is that our leaders must adopt a mind set of ‘Britain First’.
    This used to be the norm, but like patriotism, it is out of fashion.
    Sorry John, our leaders are neither up to the fight nor are they minded to fight.

    Reply: Time will tell, but now is the time to welcome their words about getting back powers and to press for them to do it. If you always despair you will achieve nothing

  22. alan jutson
    October 31, 2011

    Why do people vote for UKIP when they have no powers to do anything.

    Simply as a protest vote against all of the other main Party’s, who have failed for decades to stand up for the UK.

    Most people are aware it is a completely wasted vote in power/negotiating terms, but it is better than the alterntive action,which is to not vote at all, at least by voting it shows support for a policy.

    Reply: What we need is more MPs in the Commons who do want to sort out the EU mess – Eurosceptics need to unite to fight democratically

    1. backofanenvelope
      October 31, 2011

      Well, I am with Mr Jutson on this. I vote for UKIP, not because I think their primary policy is sensible, but because the system we have has to be broken and re-assembled. At the moment we have three major parties that are just not listening to us. Not just on the EU but on almost any topic you can think of.

      1. sjb
        October 31, 2011

        If 25+ serious Tory Eurosceptic MPs decided to start a new political party would you vote for them rather than UKIP?

        1. scottspeig
          November 1, 2011

          Yes. (If they stood locally) – I’d see them as a more credible party than UKIP which I suppose is a where UKIP fail.

    2. Tedgo
      October 31, 2011

      With thoughts about boundary changes and candidate selection perhaps we should let the voter decide.

      Even under FPTP parties could put up more than one candidate in a constituency. The combined vote of a party would decide which party wins the seat and the party candidate with the most votes would be elected.

      Candidates from the same party would have to sell themselves by emphasising what aspects of party policy’s they favour. The Internet would make this aspect easier.

      1. norman
        October 31, 2011

        I stand to be corrected but wasn’t there talk of allowing primaries at some point? Can’t recall which parties, both Lib Dems and Conservatives suggest themselves to me. Of course, it would have to be open primaries, couldn’t just have five sacharrine central office candidates to choose from.

        That one change would do more to reinvigorate democracy in the UK than any other I can think of, not only could we have more of a say in who our MPs are (even those in safe seats) but they’d have to at least pay lip service to their constituents concerns during their term (again, even those in safe seats, which is why it’ll never happen).

        1. Alan Radford
          October 31, 2011

          Opem primaries? What, more democracy? You must be joking. The small sop to the people that was the e-petition website was stamped on as soon as it asked for something not in the script.

  23. Tedgo
    October 31, 2011

    I agree entirely with your list, but I also think that we should restore full parliamentary control over all EU diktats.

    Trying to regain control of particular competencies would lead to a sort of buyers remorse, in that we would soon regret not having included others competencies too.

    Our Parliament should be free to accept, reject or modify all EU diktats to suit our needs and interests. This would apply to all EU diktats past, present and future.

    Such a change should be easy to sell in a referendum, what is there not to like about our Parliament having the ultimate say over all legislation in this country.

    Also worrying is the proposed ESM. This will be a very secretive, wealthy organisation responsible to no one. No scope for auditing by courts, police or government. How will we know if money is being siphoned off for criminal activities or financial terrorism. Perhaps it could sponsor a new sort of SS.

    Isn’t the aim of the EU to form a massive, undemocratic superstate. Some talk of a one world government.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    October 31, 2011

    JR: “We read this week-end that the government is responding to the vote on Monday.”

    Really? Is this genuine or mere spin to keep you quiet? I am very sceptical. Clegg has suddenly become vocal again – no doubt to please his masters in the EU. As has happened with other Lib Dem cabinet ministers, he can openly challenge Cameron’s authority at will without consequence.
    Let us imagine that this is a genuine beginning to repatriation of powers; do you really think that your list will be conceded by the EU? I think that we would be offered a choice of leaving or accepting the status quo or perhaps a few crumbs from the table to make it look as though our leaders had achieved something. Just as I think the eurozone is doomed to failure I also think that the UK should leave the EU. If genuine attempts at repatriation of powers lead to that conclusion fine, but if it merely serves to lock us further into this anti-democratic organisation, which has happened remorselessly since we joined, that would be a further betrayal of the people of the UK.

  25. Mick Anderson
    October 31, 2011

    To reply: You’re comparing apples with lemons – MEPs have none of the power of MPs. I don’t remember seeing anything useful from the Conservative MEPs, either.

    The only two MEPs we ever hear of are Mr Hannen and Mr Farage. Both vocal, but entirely ineffective.

    1. Mick Anderson
      October 31, 2011

      Sorry, should have been a reply to “A.Sedgwick” at 8:16.

  26. Alan Wheatley
    October 31, 2011

    The Coalition Agreement is looking ever more like the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It will end, politically speaking, the same way; only the timing is in doubt.

  27. AndyC71
    October 31, 2011

    Everything on that list would be very desirable, and I applaud all the efforts from MPs on both sides of the backbenches in this direction.

    But surely the first step needs to be an amendment to the 1972 Act, to send a clear and unambiguous message to the courts, that UK law takes precedence over law from anywhere else. That needs to happen in Westminster, it’s not a matter for horse trading in Brussels. This is what worries me about the concept of renegotiation, of arguing to get powers back. It’s unlikely to address the basic question of the constitutional relationship between the UK and the EU. That is the root of the problem.

    Reply As far as we are concerned UK law still takes precedence, but only if you expressly disapply the 1972 Act where necessary. We are trying to get this power used

    1. zorro
      October 31, 2011

      Parliament is sovereign – if a majority of MPs vote for a motion to leave the EU we are out……no matter what Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty might try to obfuscate.


  28. English Pensioner
    October 31, 2011

    I would add changes our recycling policy.
    We are taking materials (gravel, stone, etc) out of the land far faster than we are filling the holes and we have no shortage of landfill. But much recycling if far from green the time that you allow for the separate collection and transport. Unless it can be shown that there is a financial advantage to recycling, or that dumping particular items is dangerous we should revert to landfill. The northern European countries can’t do this (dig a hole in, say, Holland and it just fills with water!), and have to recycle or incinerate which is more expensive, and want us to be forced to incur the same costs so that we do not have a competitive advantage.

  29. ChrisXP
    October 31, 2011

    All those you mention are important, Mr R, but certainly I would especially support control of our own borders and getting shot of the EAW. We just can’t have people pouring uncontrolled into the country and sucking up all our welfare benefits. As for the others, since it’s my former employer, anything to do with the return of Agricultural policy. But as said, the whole list is important.

  30. alan jutson
    October 31, 2011

    Reply -reply

    John I understand your reasoning for your argument, but you asked, and were given an honest outline of my thoughts.

    I really do not want anything to do with the EU, but would freely accept a level playing field trading arrangement, as was outlined by politicians to the electorate back in 1975.

    I now undedrstand that politicians may have been very ecconomical with the truth back then, but they reap what they sow, we were informed at the time (I was much younger then) that it was simply a trading arragement and nothing else, so I would be happy to be bound by that.

  31. Alan Wheatley
    October 31, 2011

    Negotiating the re-patriation of powers can be looked at two ways:-

    (A) it could be that the principle of being IN the EU is taken as inviolate and the the objective is to adjust the terms to better favour the UK;

    (B) it could be that renegotiation is preparatory work for offering an IN/OUT referendum – stay in on the best terms we have managed to renegotiate or leave.

    Choosing to raise the conditions of UK membership at the time of a little local difficulty in the eurozone is very un-British, don’t you think? Rather like kicking a man when he is down. Anything achieved in the short term by exploiting the power of the moment is likely to be reversed in the longer term when the defeated party recovers their strength.

    1. Mazz
      October 31, 2011

      … Choosing to raise the conditions of UK membership at the time of a little local difficulty in the eurozone is very un-British, don’t you think? …

      This is war, except that our arms are words. We are fighting to get our rights back, rights that should never have been given away in the first place.

      So, ‘the Foreign Office is masterminding an exercise’. Probably another PR exercise. I don’t believe anything will come of it. But all the same, all of the items John raises are a start and a must.

  32. Alan
    October 31, 2011

    A few thoughts from a Europhile:

    1. Would damage our economy by preventing British people working in the EU and businesses in the UK employing the best people.

    2. Would lower the standard of living of our workers.

    3. Is already UK policy. If it were easy it would have been done.

    4. Is already UK policy.

    5. Would result in more British criminals out of reach of our laws, and more foreign criminals on the streets of the UK.

    6. Is already UK policy.

    7. Not sure whether we gain or lose by this – it depends on whether our environmentalists are more powerful than EU ones.

    8. Sooner or alter the banks will crash again unless they are better regulated.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      October 31, 2011

      You are a true Europhile and no doubt anything the anti-democratic EU prescribes for us would be OK with you.

    2. Alex
      October 31, 2011

      Brief reply to Alan

      1. Straw-man argument; doesn’t necessarily follow from item 1. However, not a priority for me.

      2. Employment laws need to be a balance between employee rights and employer rights. It is not irrational to think that the balance is too biased away from employers, resulting in lower employment, and in many cases making employees worse off. A high priority one for me.

      3. Lets try harder then

      4. Lets get on with it then

      5. Logically possible, but any evidence? Low priority.

      6. See 4.

      7. True. but more chance to influence our tree-huggers

      8. And the EU has a great track-record on financial regulation? We can do this better ourselves.

    3. lifelogic
      October 31, 2011

      All the points you make are very difficult to follow with any logic. It is true that UK government might be just as bad as the EU but at least it is democratic (to a degree) and should act in the UK’s interests.

      The main thing lowering standard for employees is their undercutting by lower cost immigrant mainly EU labour and the lack of jobs caused by over regulation everywhere, high energy costs, and too large a state sector to carry. The EU adds to all these burdens.

  33. Liz
    October 31, 2011

    Since weare not going to get all the list at one go and it will need real resolve and determination by both the Government and Civil Service to get any powers back at all I would proritise your No 1 – Borders, 3.Employment and 8. finacial regulation as these are the three doing most damage to us boith econimically and socially.

  34. Sue
    October 31, 2011


    1. Jon Burgess
      October 31, 2011

      I’m with you on that, Sue.

  35. Mike P
    October 31, 2011

    Clegg made the extraordinary claim on the Today programme this morning that three million jobs totally depend on our continued EU membership. Predictably, this statement went completely unchallenged by Jim Naughtie, even though both men must be aware that a)we have a big trade imbalance with the EU and they would be crazy to raise tariffs against us, and b) the vast majority of our trade is protected under international agreements anyway. Two equivocating and dishonest men, colluding in misleading the public on a broadcasting medium entirely funded by the same public.

  36. Sue
    October 31, 2011

    “Nearly 1 million Tory Voters have deserted the party to UKIP

    An extrapolation from YouGov’s poll in today’s Sunday Times, shows the number of votes gained by UKIP from each of the three main parties. UKIP are now 7% in the polls (having been shown to be at that level 3 times in the last week).

    That is just 1% behind the Lib Dems from whom UKIP have gained 340,000 votes since the General Election. They have also gained more than 170,000 votes from Labour. But the Tories are by far and away the biggest net loser since they have lost nearly 1 million voters since the General Election to UKIP”

    tables at http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/2011/10/nearly-1-million-tory-voters-have.html

    You denigrate UKIP at your own peril. They are the only party NOT ignoring us!

    1. lifelogic
      October 31, 2011

      Yes perhaps – but UKIP have not got any power, nor any real chance of acquiring any – under the voting system, as it is currently structured.

      1. tony
        November 1, 2011

        Small principlied parties like ukip are where the real change happens in the us/uk political system. The larger parties are more unprincipled because they are trying to bind together opposing large blocks of interests, be it large banks vs savers etc…or developers vs rural tory heartlands needing to be built over because of mass immigration. The small party doesnt have to spin and adopt a unprincipled stance to win opposing blocks of votes, it simply gives voters a prinicpled place to go. It weilds real power for voters when the proportion of their support reaches MP threating levels.

  37. Disaffected
    October 31, 2011

    It was always the sole aim of the EU project to achieve a single pan European state by stealth, with or without public consent, with Germany and France heading the new country. MPs will change as the Euroland venture crumbles and it is realised that a two-tier system cannot work because the majority (17) will vote for their interests against the remaining 10 that includes the UK. Yesterday we have confirmation of Clegg’s fanatical obsession for the UK to become part of a pan European state. He claims there will be “economic suicide” while some us think perhaps he needs to question his own logic or sanity of argument.

    He claims it would be economic lunacy not to be in the EU and that the UK cannot influence on the margins- really. First, the UK would be bankrupt if we were in the single EU currency as Huhne aggressively promoted and denounced those who spoke against him (like Clegg is doing now). Second, we are on the margins already and have very limited influence, as one of 10 EU countries outside the single Euro currency, and if the inner group develops further into one country we will have no voice at all to the 17 who will vote in their interests. So Clegg has started to deride anyone suggesting the UK ought to renegotiate or get out of the EU. There is absolutely NO substance to what he says. But he is very committed to making the UK part of a single European state.

    Therefore John, I used to consider it was in the national interest to be part of a large EU trade group to negotiate with Asia, America, China etc, I have now come to realise that the only option is in/out because people like Clegg are fanatical and will do all he can to make the UK part of a pan European state. He has denounced the culture of Britain and the way we live on more than one occasion and he appears determined, like some of his colleagues, to use strong emotional language to deride those who do not agree with an EU state. It was always the sole aim of the project to achieve this aim by stealth and I will not trust any MP to act in the national interest over their own fanatical political ideology- possibly learnt on a PPE course at Oxbridge.

  38. Gareth
    October 31, 2011

    An end to the unelected European Court of Human Rights ‘legislating from the bench’ on what laws elected Legislatures such as Parliament may and may not pass.

  39. Anoneumouse
    October 31, 2011

    For the following are European Union Competence’s which the UK Government have signed away

    Competition, Trade, Asylum and Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Industrial Policy, Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy, Transport, Regional Government, Consumer Health, Social and Employment Policy, Justice and Home Affairs.

    We want them all back

  40. Lesson from History
    October 31, 2011

    When faced with the Gordian Knot and asked to untangle it (surely a good analogy with the EU and all its tentacles) – lesser men failed but Alexander the Great simply cut it (and such an outlook is why Alexander was Great). This cutting is what we need to do to the EU’s stranglehold over us.

    1. tony
      November 3, 2011

      What a great way to describe the only real solution to this monster

  41. Mark, Edinburgh
    October 31, 2011

    The Commons is currently in the final stages of affirming the EU Energy 3rd Directive.

    This will give more power to Brussels over UK Energy policy.

    The UK is in the lead in passing this Directive in terms of timing. Even although the notional EU deadline for national implementation was Spring 2011, most EU countries have yet to even show their hand as to what if anything they will do.

    Moreover the Directive seems to have been “gold plated” by DECC/OFGEM.

    Personally I sat in industry consultation sessions with DECC where DECC officials were given clear advice that, contrary to their assetions, industry did not believe it would enhance Britain’s Energy security in some areas – quite the contray.

    In my view this is a political integrationist Directive based on untrue assertions, but will be hailed by ill-informed politicans of a practical example of “making Europe work for Britain” .

    1. backofanenvelope
      October 31, 2011

      Instead of concocting an unobtainable wish list, why not just stop implementing EU Directives till we see how the EU’s latest “package” pans out? No one in the press financial papers or online believes it will work.

  42. Arnold Rimmer
    October 31, 2011

    After excusing the unConservatives ‘eurosceptics’ for not commanding a majority, you then lambast UKIP for not doing anything, ignoring the fact that they neither command a majority in the EU parliament, and that it is a puppet of the commission.

    There will never be a more ‘vigorous approach’, Cameron will never do anything, Clegg will never allow it, and you ought to start thinking about forming your own party as per Peter Hitchens’s view.

  43. Freeborn John
    October 31, 2011

    It seems to me that the current focus, return of employment
    and social policy, is not one that can appeal across the political spectrum. It
    can only lead to opposition to the return of powers in concept from the left,
    on the grounds that the returned powers would be used in ways contrary to the
    interests of workers. I would like to see a new list developed intended to
    appeal to liberals, trade unions and the Left. For example the return of
    criminal justice powers would appeal to civil liberties and undermine Nick
    Clegg if he argued in favour of keeping the EU Arrest Warrant. The return of
    fisheries might appeal to trade unions. And the return of CAP would appeal to
    the Left if it were promised that the very considerable amounts of money saved
    would be ring-fenced for public services.

    1. Mark, Edinburgh
      October 31, 2011

      Absolutely agree with you. This is by far the best way politically to deal with UK defenders of the Project.

      Clegg already seems to have conceded the CFP – always take your opponents concessions.

  44. Simon 123
    October 31, 2011

    All the items you have listed should come back. However, the folks who can’t smell the coffee have already begun to surface: Nick Clegg was on the BBC this morning spouting about seats at the table and the need to retain British influence. China sells masses of goods to the EU but does not have a ‘seat at the table’.

    I sympathise with David Cameron who is afflicted by the Liberal Democrat albatross working in concert with the metropolitan media. The default position of the latter is to support the EU status quo and treat the story as a split in Tory party. Their dream, of course, is for the Coalition to fall a part and for a General Election to be called with the voters returning a Milliband/Clegg left-liberal dream ticket. I wonder what the markets would make of this outcome.

    1. lojolondon
      October 31, 2011

      Sympathise NOT!!! Dave is NOT a Tory, he is a LibDem, he is delighted to ‘blame’ the LibDems for the foolish policies we are following – the EU, the Environment, loony energy creation strategies, all LibDem run, not a Tory in sight. This is a disaster, only possible because Dave is the most left-wing person in the Conservative Party!

      1. Jon Burgess
        October 31, 2011

        There might be a few other candidates for that title, but he’s certainly in the running.

  45. Andrew Duffin
    October 31, 2011

    What powers would we like back?

    All of them.

    What other possible answer could there be?

  46. Andrew Duffin
    October 31, 2011

    “What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?”

    For UKIP read Tory, and the answers are the same – None and none.

    The difference is that UKIP do at least intend to do those things.

  47. Iain Gill
    October 31, 2011

    I am not convinced a UK government would do the right thing if all these powers were repatriated

    I’d like to think they would but I struggle to see it happening

    Top priorities have got to be

    1 Keep control of which non Europeans we allow into the country, ie dont allow Europe to negotiate agreements with places like India which compel the UK to issue entry visas to Indian nationals. Its bad enough UK governments running open doors immigration policies without Europe making it even worse.

    2 Cut the amount we contribute. We need the money thanks.

    On the other hand I think free movement of citizens of the old core European countries throughtout those countries is valueable, however I dont think welfare tourism should be possible

    Good luck

  48. Sue
    October 31, 2011

    There’s a whole lot to consider!

    I suppose the first question is how many Brits are living and working in Europe and claiming benefits from those countries? I don’t know the answer, but my perception is that we are paying out far more over here to ‘foreigners’ who haven’t contributed to our tax system than fellow Brits receive in aid overseas. I’m willing to be shown that I’m wrong about this.

    We certainly need to tighten our border controls! Whenever Immigration is discussed, it never looks at Europe from where most people are arriving here from! (Again, my perception, but I believe statistics bear this one out.)

    We also need to do more to process claims for asylum more speedily – I want to give help to those in need and not have them languishing in detention centres OR building new lives in our communities only to be wrenched away a long time later. (We also need to ensure that the Human Rights stuff from Europe doesn’t prevent our deporting confirmed criminals. It shouldn’t be hard for people needing our asylum to abide by our laws!)

    I think co-operation with international policing agencies to halt criminal activities is a good thing. (e.g. people traffiking) But any arrest and detention should be by our own police and in our own stations and cells. People shouldn’t be taken abroad from home by some foreign police officer on suspicion of criminal activity – which I know has happened. (That’s a co-operation too far in my view.)

    Obviously we should know best about our own farming and fishing industries and how best to manage the fragile resources we have!

    (Essentially we shouldn’t have to go to the trouble of voting for MPs to merely rubber stamp dictates from Europe!)

    There is so, so much! Personally I’m one of those who wants us out, but if we renegotiated terms such that we restored a decent measure of our self-determination, I’d be happy. For now!

  49. lojolondon
    October 31, 2011

    John, the answer is ‘all of the above’. As a minimum. The EU has devastated the UK’s economy, though sucking out £10+ billion pa, but even more, from all the tiny, petty regulations that make it so hard to do business.

    We will be much better out, as a trading partner, than inside.

    See the economies of Switzerland and China and Thailand and Japan and the USA.

  50. tomsmith
    October 31, 2011

    All powers please, and not back to Westminster either.

  51. Martin
    October 31, 2011

    Fishing – has been a failure due to
    1) failing to conserve by net mesh size and total bans
    2) encouraging environmentally unfriendly fishing by say Spanish boats sailing vast distance to fish off of British, Irish and even French coasts. Needs reform whether repatriated or not.

    Farming (CAP) – has been very expensive – it needs reform again whether repatriated or not. Note even if this power comes back to Westminster there will still need to be difficult and expensive decisions made about farming. This of course is where much of the EU budget goes.

    Whether in or out folk need to realise that we are all a lot more legalistic than we were in a past “golden” age and tearing up EU rules to replace them with British rules will not change this. Indeed our own civil servants/governments have been accused of gold plating EU regulations!

  52. Electro-Kevin
    October 31, 2011

    That wish list of powers.

    Most were given up voluntarily by our own leaders. Let’s not blame Europe too much.

  53. Peter Stroud
    October 31, 2011

    All of the above, please. But before we try to get back powers concerned with energy programmes there is a UK only Bill that needs to be scrapped. The Climate Bill. It should never have been supported by the Conservatives when in opposition. It is based on poor science that has been politicised by the UN IPCC.

  54. a-tracy
    October 31, 2011

    EU Student tuition fee discounts in UK universities? Why – what regulation was this.
    Do we offer all EU students bursaries and grants? Student loans for none UK resident students (for at least five years) are offered – why? What regulation caused this? Why are EU students allowed to study in Scotland at lower cost but not English students – how can the rules be bent and why can’t they be bent in the same way against students of the EU who want to study here. How much subsidy and loans did this cost UK taxpayers this year?

    What have the UK affected in the European juggernaut? Why can’t the UK influence the other none beneficial nations against the wasteful double location in France and Belgium? Why can’t the UK insist that the accounts be signed off properly before we and other nations contribute this year – surely there are rules that should be kept to and if there are rules what are the sanctions if the people we pay in the EU parliament don’t do their job properly? Why do we carry on paying them if they’re not performing their roles properly – why are all the nations falling in and just paying up? Someone needs to stick their heels in and who would this be the individual parliaments of each Country, the MEP’s who do the public hold to account over these issues – who can affect them?

    This new state pension for all in the UK without any number of years contributing NI was this really IDS idea or imposed on us from the UK. Can Brits living in Spain get a State pension in Spain paid by the Spanish taxpayers on exactly the same terms? Or any other European country. Perhaps we should be offering language classes to the over 50’s that can’t get work in the UK that could move to the wealthier nations in Europe and then claim on their State pensions systems especially the more generous Greek, French, Scandinavian and German ones that we’re told of.

    What have Conservative MEPs achieved in sorting out any of the above and have the UKIP MEPs even scheduled any debates on these issues and the ones you’ve already indicated that I’d like us to deal with.

  55. sm
    October 31, 2011

    Everything where it has not been proved beyond doubt that the power used at EU level is better. So thats quite a lot!

    How about amendment of our laws so only government can create money or legal tender subject to certain appropriate rules.

    Constitutional powers to be given to the people via referendum and the ability for the electorate via binding referendum to repeal or less likely amend legislation.

    Then how about the £15bn EU funding for a start? Money is Power.

    This can be spent on any UK infrastructure we like. Airports,bridges, roads,resovoirs,power-stations,pumped storage,grid links.

  56. James Power
    October 31, 2011

    I would dearly love to leave the EU, but I am being practical and to be sure, the next best thing is to repatriate powers. I would agree in full with John’s list, but would prefer to simply go back to what was orginally agreed in 1971. The inexorable move towards centralisation has been accelerating in recent years – ignoring the results of the USSR debacle. Gorbachev famously said he couldn’t understand why the Europeans fought so hard against communism, only to adopt it themselves through the EU!
    Anyway, I digress. In answer to your question about what powers I would like back – is it too easy to say “all”? I’m all for a free trade area – can’t we just go back to that and save all of the membership fees!? Surely if the whole of the EU did that it would kickstart growth? We citizens could benefit from lower taxes, less interfering red tape, and thus more jobs. Hard to argue against the logic really…

  57. Norman Dee
    October 31, 2011

    Why do you dislike UKIP so much John ? your replies and comments about them seem to have an extraordinary amount of bile. Where do their ideals and targets differ so very much from us ? and do you not think that they would change if given more effective support from serious politicians ? As I have said before, a number of elected MP’s switching to them would force them to change whatever it is you find distasteful, and become something we could all work with.

    Reply: I am fed up with them criticising my every move to do something about the EU mess, when all they do is try to stop Eurosceptics getting elected to Parliament.

    1. Bob
      October 31, 2011

      Nigel Farage has indicated that UKIP would look far more favourably at those who would put their consciences and their constituencies ahead of the whips.
      Here’s hoping that UKIP will replace the Lib Dems as your coalition partners in 2015.

      As for the “return of power” exercise, don’t fall for it, it’s just a pacifier to keep the rebels’ heads down and knock the issue into the long grass. Just like the cast iron guarantee. The Tories took us into the EEC without a referendum, and then into the EU, again without a referendum. The Tories track record on the EU speaks for itself.

      Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    2. Jon Burgess
      October 31, 2011

      Mr Redwood, I agree with you that it appears unproductive of UKIP to challenge existing eurosceptic MPs of other parties. I would rather they concentrated on other MPs, but then again in a national election their aim is to get as many votes as they can.

      But no doubt you can see the logic in targetting known eurosceptic constituencies, like yours for example, and pointing out that although the sitting MP votes the right way, their party ignores it when they do…

  58. Martin Cole
    October 31, 2011

    As PM Cameron, has accepted an invitation from President Sarkozy, to present a paper on Global Governance in Cannes this week, which has been publicly welcomed by Barroso and Von Rompuy, are we not expecting rather much to look to this man to repatriate any powers? Surely Gobal Governance requires a flow going all the other way!

  59. hurunui44
    October 31, 2011

    Successive Governments have chosen to ignore the electorate on this subject and now the major political parties are about to pay the price. Clegg continues not to smell the coffee and Messrs Cameron and Milliband have belatedly thrown us a bone. Alas, too little too late.
    They have all underestimated the power of the internet and how it enables people of a like mind to become better organised.

  60. Neil Craig
    October 31, 2011

    I suggest a blanket legal right for British courts to overrule any EU mandated lawpurporting to be inspired by safety considerations which can be shown by cost benefit analysis to be to be at least 4 times more expensive or £10 million per life saved than things still allowed in other industries. It would then be up to members of the public to bring cases, under normal civil law conditions. It should also be allowed for Parliament to remove them if they obtain legal advice that such laws are likely to be found illegal.

    This relieves the civil service of the duty of finding regulatory powers to remove; is simple and understandanble by anybody; and involves no interagency tussles.

    Personally I would apply it to all such regulations whether inspired by the EU or not.

  61. Kenneth
    October 31, 2011

    I agree with all of your points 1 to 8.

    However, I urge HM government not to restrict itself to the eu quango’s general headline policies.

    Please look at the detail for there you will find the devil.

    If you just take some samples from the detailed proposals under the banner of the single market or the 20/20 ‘growth’ strategy you will them riddled with proposals that will do us great harm.

    A few of examples out of 1,000’s:

    1. 20/20: Delivering the European Research Area:

    Proposal to replace pension funds for researchers with a pan-European pension fund:

    This is a direct threat to our substantial and successful pension industry and I am certain this will be seen as a pilot scheme to steal our pension funds or at least tax them heavily.

    2. Single Market: EU and International Standards and Standardisation:
    This reduces product innovation and enterprise while increasing production costs. It has the effect of protecting existing product specifications and existing players at the expense of new players and innovative processes.

    This is making large companies larger, the rich richer leaving us with stagnating product specifications and ever poorer value for money for consumers. It is creating ‘too big to fail’ conglomerates at the expense of small business.

    This is killing our economy.

    3. You will also see in the small print numerous references to gender balance and diversity which crop up as the print gets smaller.

    The eu quango appears to be using its many regulations as a Trojan horse to bypass proper scrutiny.

    4. Finally we are funding organisations like Eurofound: ‘European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions’, and various left wing causes.

    In short we need a VETO in EVERY decision of the eu.

  62. Adam Collyer
    October 31, 2011

    The answer is that it doesn’t matter which powers we get back, since the EU will always encroach on those powers again in due course.

    What the British people actually want is a Free Trade agreement with Europe, but no more than that. So how about arguing for that?

    “For the UKIP supporters who will write in to condemn what we are trying to achieve, I have two simple questions. What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?”

    Who is “we”? I’m afraid I don’t trust Mr Cameron. I suspect he has no intention at all of rocking the boat in Europe. The support of people like you, John, is what allows the Tory party to continue keeping Britain in the EU. You are being used.

    Reply: I do not vote for the EU ticket

  63. patriot
    October 31, 2011


    I would vote yes, for withdrawal from the EU ASAP, but there is a big difference between saying it and doing it. We have been asking for powers to be repatriated for many years and nobody has yet acheived it-so why should it be any different this time,John?Ireland voted ,No in a referendum and that eventually became Yes. I do not want to be part of this undemocratic entity and wish to be governed by my own country without interference from Brussels. My greatest wish is to leave the EU, but I would reluctantly accept repatriation.
    One final point, I have heard that it may not be possible to get powers back from Brussels and that if we tried to do this it would effectively mean withdrawal?

  64. Libby
    October 31, 2011

    Much sense written in these replies – we must keep momentum of last week and not let the PM forget about it. I support the repatriation of the 8 mentioned above as a start. Appreciate it is difficult but surely we are not alone amongst the 27. The PM has seriously misled us on his views.

    Quite an article in weekend FT by Norman Davies – Decline & Fall – a very sad & sorry end to Euroland.

    Agree with JR’s UKIP comments. Please keep doing as you are now. Eurosceptic MPs should unite & keep shouting!

  65. Popeye
    October 31, 2011

    You have it in one Mr Redwood, it’ll certainly do for a start. Negotiation is another matter. To negotiate successfully you have to have a big stick to hold in the hand behind the back, but wholly visible.

  66. matthu
    October 31, 2011

    Whatever power is left to the EU will eventually be deemed by them to have a level of importance overriding any other powers reclaimed by us. We have seen it all before. We have climate policy being promulgated under security law, employment policy being promulgated under health and safety.

    In short, we don’t trust EU politicians and we barely trust any UK pooliticians either because so few of them are straight about motives and what is actually happening behind the scenes.

    That is why it is insufficient to build a shopping list of powers to be repatriated. Instead, build a shopping list of powers that the EU consider they NNED to retain – and try to justify those not being repatriated. Do this by reviewing historical evidence of how these powers have been used or abused in the past.

  67. revinkevin
    October 31, 2011


  68. forthurst
    October 31, 2011

    What is Cast Iron’s agenda? If he had a genuine desire for repatriation of powers, why did he block the EUSSR referendum. Such would have been a sword of Damocles hanging over the Central Committee in Brussels during negotiations.

    Has he had a Damascene conversion? Has his financial (word left out-ed)backers read him the riot act about the need to allow them free reign to carry on as before (….)?

    Is he upset that his new best friend and Neocon adventurer with whom he has so much in common, Sarko(..), publicly disparaged him? Has he just understood that the EUSSR is a French racket paid for by the Germans?

    Is it not more likely that this is politically manoeuvering to head of a revolt of the Eurosceptics?

    The concept of power repatriation is flawed. We should start from being outside the EUSSR and then negotiate mutual agreements on trade, bearing in mind they would be demanding other things ‘in return’. It would be a lot easier than having an argument about every single thing we want to revoke. They will want to continue to have access to our markets for industrial parts and products and processed food products.

    Generally speaking there is no reason to specifically adopt EUSSR law on anything; free states are always copying each others’ laws for good or ill.

    I think I agree with JR concerning UKIP; our electorial system militates against the emergence of new parties. Without PR we cannot vote directly for a party which corresponds with our aspirations. There needs to be a strategy to replace all the Europhiles in the Conservative Party with Eursceptics; the Europhiles are typically those who have joined the Conservative Party in order to subvert it and they all belong elsewhere (including some in the Tower for treason).

  69. Paul
    October 31, 2011

    Short of pulling out of the EU altogether, I think JR you have summed up all the powers most of us want back. It baffles me as to why the Lib Dems and Labour prefer these powers to be controlled by Brussels instead of our own parliament. I tried to list these eight powers which should be returned in order of preference, but could not as they are all so crucial to the interest of our once great, self-governing country. I admire those people who push for such powers to be returned, but can these powers seriously be returned if we remain part of the EU? Not a chance.

    As for your comments about UKIP, the UKIP MEPs have been doing all they can – voting and speaking against further transfers of power to the EU, while 22 out of the 26 Conservative MEPs were busy voting FOR a European External Action Service. Ideally, I would like to see UKIP and the Conservatives working together to push for what we all want – an In/Out referendum – but the Conservatives are not making that happen as the leadership, which you continue to support, is happy for the UK to be a European State. Instead of criticising UKIP, maybe you should actually voice support for them as they are the only party speaking up for what this country needs. Is there any major UKIP policy you actually disagree with? The only reason they stood against you at the 2010 election is because you do nothing but slate them.

    Reply: they always stand against prominent Conservative Eurosceptics because they know we have made the case for Euroscepticism in our areas and they think this will help them. They are the federalists’ freinds, as when they helped get Heathcote Amory replaced by a federalist MP

    1. Paul
      October 31, 2011

      Not true – Malcolm Pearson, leader at the time, asked the candidate not to stand against Heathcote Amory but he refused. UKIP did not stand against genuine eurosceptics who recognise their own party’s failings and who appreciate and share the same aims as UKIP. Unfortunately JR, you still seem to think your party is faultless and the best thing since sliced bread.

  70. Norman Dee
    October 31, 2011

    I won’t say “if you can’t beat…..” etc. The problem is they are not going to go away, because in their eyes it’s all taking too long. Also I think there is something of the Lib Dem attitude (well up until the last election) about them, they can say and do what they like at the moment as they don’t have to be right, or do anything about it. So forget the UKIP, form another party, pick up the sceptics, no one has ever been in a better place or time to start a new party that could hit the ground running. It’s not a real conservative government you would be leaving, but the one you start could be one!

  71. Ruth
    October 31, 2011

    Leaving aside my doubts about (a) Cameron’s willingness to do this (it smacks of a PR stunt) and (b) the legality and willingness of the EU to allow powers to go back to member states – a treaty is like a contract, my two top items would be everything that affects business and employment.

    Business is affected by rules on recycling, utilities, health and safety and other mad things such as the cookie law. Employment, while abetted by Labour’s torrent of “equality” legislation which has succeeded only in making some more equal than others (sorry, as a middle aged white male you’re bottom of the pile), has been badly affected by Europe. It’s one reason why despite the fact I have a degree in law I have no intention of growing my business big enough to employ others.

  72. Robert Christopher
    October 31, 2011

    IIRC, UKIP members stood for the Euro-Parliament so that they could find out what was going on AND tell the world; well, to at least tell UK taxpayers how they money was being wasted and used against them.

    In this, they have been VERY successful.

    I can understand why Euro-sceptic Conservatives, like John R, are staying in their party; and, for that matter, Euro-sceptic Labour supporters staying in their party.

    MPs changing Parties have rarely been a long term success and ‘Changed History’ on their own. Many seats have been lost in the following election, so not only is the new Party back they started, but they do not have that ‘someone in the other party’ with similar views to their own who might persuade others to change their views, and even their policy.

    Before UKIP, very few Euro-sceptics were invited on to the BBC to discuss policy, and they were not treated as well as the BBC, with its responsibilities for balanced reporting, should have done.

    Fortunately, after a lot of hard work by Euro-sceptics, from all parties, times have changed.

    So John, please continue to explain what is wrong with current Government policy, at every opportunity!

    NEWS ITEM: It is not only politicians that can create the news:

    Barclays finds it pays to be euro-sceptic on sovereign debt While Britain debates whether it wants to be part of the European Union or not, one British bank appears to be voting with its feet and giving the whole project a resounding ‘no’.

    In just the three months from the end of June to the end of September, Barclays cut its exposure to Spanish government debt by 43pc, to Italian sovereign bonds by 24pc, and Portuguese by 17pc.


  73. Denis Cooper
    October 31, 2011

    While of course I’m sympathetic to the idea of getting powers back, I think the immediate, absolute top, priority should be to deal with the further loss of power implicit in European Council Decision 2011/199/EU agreed by EU leaders on March 25th.

  74. javelin
    October 31, 2011

    Its very important to look ahead on this one. When EFSF head Klaus Regling returns fromChina – China will be looking for (1) access to western technology (2) looking to buy western companies (3) looking for an friend against the US.

    Its crucial that powers in this region are not taken over by China. That is their long term goal lending the EU money.

    So basically we need to have a veto on EU companies being taken over by China, technology being taken over by China and foreign policy being taken ove rby China.

    1. Peter van Leeuwen
      October 31, 2011

      @javelin: Interesting idea . . . but I very much doubt that eurozone countries are going to grant new vetos to non-eurozone countries. Much of this is between eurozone and China.
      Even outside the eurozone it would be strange: Imagine that the UK could have vetoed SAAB (Sweden) being taken over by China. Even the Swedes would object to that.

      1. alan jutson
        November 1, 2011


        Money talks, and the EU is at the moment desperate for money.

        So desperate that they are blind to the future.

        Its just a question of how much, and how long, before China makes inroads into Europe.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          November 1, 2011

          @alan Jutson: In january 2011 I wrote in this blog:
          “Rotterdam transports 5 x more Chinese containers than 10 years ago, that would be an 20% annual rise, and the number of Chinese companies in Rotterdam has doubled in 5 years (almost 20% annual rise).” The inroads are already happening, just like there are European (and Dutch) inroads in other parts of the world. When China and Europe were to become more interdependent, it wouldn’t just help economies and trade, it might even help to prevent armed conflict.

    2. A different Simon
      October 31, 2011

      What sort of companies are you talking about ?

      Utilities and big energy companies like Areva ?

      Rail networks ?

      Aren’t a number of our ports foreign owned already ?

  75. Denis Cooper
    October 31, 2011

    Here again is my revised list of eight accompanying treaty changes that Cameron should have demanded in exchange for that EU treaty change wanted by the governments of some of the eurozone countries, above all Germany and France, all of which additional treaty changes relate directly or indirectly to their desired treaty change and all of which are such reasonable demands that even the LibDems might have to agree that they are reasonable.

    1. All measures adopted by the eurozone states just for themselves through intra-eurozone treaties and agreements must be consistent with all aspects of the wider EU treaties and laws, including the “no bail-out” clause Article 125 TFEU.

    2. All proposals agreed by the eurozone states for such intra-eurozone measures must be subject to unanimous approval by the wider European Council, the heads of state and government of all the EU member states.

    3. The creation of a mechanism for a country to make an orderly withdrawal from the euro if it so chooses.

    4. The 8 EU member states which are not yet in the euro, but which were forced to commit themselves to eventually join it as a requirement of their accession to the EU, to be relieved of that legal obligation so that they have a completely free choice whether or not to adopt the euro.

    5. The EU must cease to impose that legal requirement on new member states, so they too would have a completely free choice in the matter, starting with Croatia.

    6. Strengthening of the UK’s “opt-out” protocol, so that it was written into the EU treaties that the EU could not allow the UK to join the euro unless that decision had been approved by a national referendum.

    7. EU member states that are not in the euro to regain some control over the entry of additional countries – at present it’s the eurozone states alone which make those decisions, under Article 140 TFEU, even though as we’ve seen the consequences of de-stabilisation of the eurozone severely affect the non-euro countries.

    8. To help prevent any repetition of its disgraceful abuse in the future, Article 122 TFEU to be returned from qualified majority voting to unanimous decision making, so that the UK and every other country will once again have the right to veto its activation, and it to be explicitly stated in the treaty that this Article cannot be used to circumvent Article 125 TFEU.

  76. Andrew Shakespeare
    October 31, 2011

    What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?

    One might ask the same question of the Conservatives.

    Reply: Conseravtives got the opt out from the Euro, and in previous governments had opt outs from social chapter, borders, criminal justice and common foreign policy.

    1. Jon Burgess
      October 31, 2011

      But without Conservative support whilst in office we wouldn’t have had the Treaty of Rome, the Single European Act or Maastrict – all of which laid the foundations for what we are stuck with now.

      Despite your principled stance on the EU, your party supports our continued EU membership and this is enough reason for me not to vote Tory.

    2. matthu
      October 31, 2011

      Were these powers being reclaimed by us, or powers being retained by us?
      If the latter, then that was hardly gaining anything at all, was it? It’s like a mugger saying if you give me your wallet I’ll leave you with your throat uncut.

  77. lifelogic
    October 31, 2011

    On the recent rather absurd BBC coverage of the Berkley Report on global warming may I recommend Prof Fred Singer response to the report available on Roger Helmers MEP’s blog.


  78. Sean O'Hare
    October 31, 2011

    former Conservative MP did defect to UKIP

    “Former” being the operative word here. You are a current member. That would make a big difference.

    I understand your loyalty to your party. Until 18 months ago I, in my small way, stuck with them. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on ones point of view, Cameron and Hague have, for me, passed the tipping point.

    I guess you don’t need to hurry though! We are going down the tubes, but there’s still plenty of time for you to deliberate on why you should remain loyal.

    Anyway John. I thank you for engaging with me. You remain one of the few I still have some faith in.

  79. Alan Wheatley
    October 31, 2011

    I’m with you, John, what we want back is our democracy. I do not see how that is compatible with being a member of the EU.

  80. Fiona Maddock
    October 31, 2011

    I agree with all points on your list, and I consider No. 3 the most important because sadly our fishing waters have been plundered beyond abuse and therefore that concession must be taken away and we should at the same time implement measures to let fish stocks recover. With sensible planning, maybe our West Country fishing ports can recover to some extent and also some of our wild life.

    I am old enough to remember when Puffin Island (Irish Sea) was actually inhabited by puffins and now they are all gone. It’s a tragedy. I’d like to see their food supply restored and breeding pairs re-introduced from the North-East, if possible.

    The other one that concerns me is reform of The Agricultural Policy. I listen to the farming programme early in the mornings on Radio 4 – Farming Today that’s it – and I get the impression that some farmers will be adversely affected if their European subsidies are withdrawn.

    The farming sector is already overly-clobbered by the grocery multiples who abuse their buying power dreadfully, so please don’t make things worse. I for one can’t bear mucus-based cheap milk and factory farmed cheap chicken which tastes of fish meal. I buy the good stuff and when I don’t have the money I go without.

    Otherwise, the list sounds good, especially border control, although it’s sad we have to clamp down on our fellow Europeans. I lived in Spain for ten years and I worked there and there was a lot of goodwill over the mutual employment possibilities. I love the Spanish people who were so kind to me and I would hate to think we would shut the door on them. It’s embarrassing. Sometimes I feel ashamed to be British.

    I don’t know, it’s all very sad but hopefully with common sense and diplomacy (which we used to be so good at) we can resolve most of the issues.

    One overriding objection I have though. This debate – no, it’s more of a wrangle, isn’t it? – risks taking our eye off the ball of the real problems of this country – namely impending serious poverty for a high percentage of its residents. Don’t let these issues take your eyes off jobs, prospects for young people, the issues of care homes for elderly people and keeping living costs at an affordable level.

  81. Mike Chaffin
    October 31, 2011

    I do think the question is a loaded one, and slightly dishonest if truth be told.

    It isn’t a question of which powers we would like to see back. It isn’t even a question of which powers we are disgusted to see lost in the first place.

    The mechanism by which these powers were lost is the crucial one.

    Parliament has failed us and representative democracy has been shown to be a sham. When the elected representatives are willing to kowtow to a foreign power and trade the trust we place in them for baubles from the EU it is a sign that great change is needed.

    The whips system has merely exacerbated the effect. Party leaders, driven one can only assume, by a thirst for real power in some dusty EU committee rig the payroll (which is huge without apparent need) and make sure right thinking types get the safest seats.

    Saying that it isn’t just the MPs, judges and civil servants are, if anything, more to blame than your local, and often somewhat clueless, MP (present company excepted). My understanding of the ECHR was that despite the grandiose name it’s mandate was merely one of a tribunal to test laws against breaches to the various treaties ( and the membership of the council of Europe). All rather complicated but a clever chap explained it to me once.

    You can almost see a Europhile Sir Humphrey wreaking havok amongst the ranks of inexperienced, gullible and weakminded Ministers. And why not? When a Knighthood is guaranteed one must attempt to better oneself somehow.

    I’d add to the list ( and I am unsure whether this is due to EU regulation or not) you have posted that we need the right and the tools to challenge work permits. Hence if a chap or chapess gains a work permit due to a skills shortage then the skills they wield must be made clear to anyone who wishes to know, such that they could then attempt to unseat the work permit.

    A lot of companies see work permits as a cheaper alternative to training up staff, to the great detriment of our industries over the long term. If a widget maker who became redundant knew that company x had hired 5 foreign widgeteers due to their exposure to WidgetExpress5.3 then they could train themselves up in this skill, to the point where passing an industry standard test should qualify them for one of those posts.

    All work permits should be open access, even if Sir Alex has demanded one due to his centr forward’s unique ability to trip over a blade of grass whilst seemingly barely surviving the incident.

    Another area which needs to be looked at is defence. Both the two main parties have seen the defence budget as a sop to european integration rather than as a mean to equip our armed services. The list is long and I believe that EU regulations do play some part however some form of independent control has to be formalised. Not that I don’t trust the EU with defence, I don’t even trust the government.


  82. Fernando
    October 31, 2011

    Another approach is to start with the tasks we believe can best be delivered collectively with our EU partners. I also asked myself would i mind if other EU partners had the same opt-outs as we did. If I apply this approach to your list I come up with:
    1. Control of our borders – I could live with the continued free movement of people within the EU, especially as many UK citizens move abroad.
    2. Employment and social policy – This would be my priority to repatriate. I can see no benefit in this being decided collectively.
    3. Fishing policy – it makes sense to me to manage fish stocks with our neighbours. However, I know many Libdems (eg Kennedy) are committed to this, so I would include it, if only to embarrass them.
    4. Agriculture – definitely repatriate.
    5. Criminal justice policy – repatriate
    6. Reduce our contribution – yes, especially if we leave the CAP.
    7. Environmental policy – I can understand that issues like acid rain should be decided in conjunction with our neighbours. Otherwise repatriate it.

    1. zorro
      October 31, 2011

      Free movement but not automatic settlement rights and all the string of benefits its accrues.


    2. forthurst
      October 31, 2011

      “1. Control of our borders – I could live with the continued free movement of people within the EU, especially as many UK citizens move abroad.”

      A country has effectively ceased to exist when it cannot regulate who may enter or why. It is no more a country than Clapham Common.

      “3. Fishing policy – it makes sense to me to manage fish stocks with our neighbours.”

      No it doesn’t. It makes sense to use the Royal Navy to keep foreign trawlermen away from our ancestral fishing grounds hoovering up our fish stocks. Furthermore, we would not then have the Central Committee of the EUSSR deciding on nonsensical conservation and quota systems that involve chucking dead fish back in the sea.

  83. Andrew Smith
    October 31, 2011

    Be fair, John; UKIP have only been in this game a short time whereas the Tories have been telling us of their determination to reform the EU ever since we joined. And they have passed up every opportunity!

  84. Mark
    October 31, 2011

    I thought I should check out what the EU currently reckons it does and found the following page that links to summaries of its policies in 35 different areas while pointing out that Lisbon makes the page outdated:


    I don’t think that it makes sense to try to cover the wide range involved in a single post. However, top of the list would be factors that impinge on our economy: energy policy, immigration control, and some areas concerned with justice, where our legal system is incompatible with theirs.

    Perhaps we should look at the areas by major grouping in turn.

  85. Catherine in Athens
    October 31, 2011

    No 5: Get us out of the European Investigation Order as well. Just as dreadful as the EAW. I was disgusted when Teresa May signed us up for it in July. And I’d like reassurance that the European Gendarmerie Force will not be deployed in the UK.

  86. Chris
    October 31, 2011

    John, I agree with your list, but would go further and reclaim all powers. I am not being simplistic, but I have got utterly disillusioned with the EU and how its regulations Directives and Council Decisions invade our everyday lives, right down to wheelie bins, light bulbs, size of envelopes and on and on. Why should we be regulated regarding toy blowup balloons? Why should we be condemned to condensing boilers which are now shown not to be able to cope in cold weather without expensive modifications? Why the over zealous obsession with minorities, equality, and sexual orientation? Why should an adult with severe learning disabilities and difficulties be required to give details on whether he is a traveller, gay, bisexual, transgender, or don’t know when applying to access services? It was tempting to give a facetious answer, but the response was a polite version of none of your business. Why should our children be indoctrinated by the EU funded education programmes, including those on global warming? Why should such charities as Christian Aid (which I understand now gets in excess of 40 million euros funding per year from the EU) apparently be put in the position of promoting the EU line on such issues? This is not to mention all the big issues.

    My answer therefore is to repatriate all powers, and then negotiate subsequently a trading arrangement with the EU on our terms. Apologies, John, to reiterate this, but I do not believe that repatriation is possible in practice.

    Firstly the reported remarks by German Finance Minister’, Schauble, at Chatham House on this issue, seem to support my view. There would be no opportunity for “national grandstanding” apparently when discussing the up and coming treaty changes re fiscal policies as nervous markets would need a swift response and so the treaty changes would have to be rushed through. Schauble also apparently does not think Cameron has any “bargaining chips”.

    Secondly, many MPs underestimate/play down the power of the EU political machine, implying that repatriation would be relatively easy. However, Katynka Barysch, Dep. Director of The Centre for European Reform in the Newsnight interview with Paxman, Oborne) gave an insight into the ruthless pursuit of a goal dominates the EU. She gave the impression that progress towards the goal of a superstate was inexorable and was designed to be achieved by simple step by step changes, where the people are not told the whole picture about the greater goals as consensus would not be achieved and the necessary measures not passed. Quite frankly, the scale of deception of the people that was apparently being described in order to achieve certain aims is disgraceful, unacceptable and frightening. Thus, any member state which tries to get in the way of this political juggernaut or that tries to destabilise the project by flexing muscles will not succeed – there is too much at stake, and the powerbase is formidable. This will be the fate, I believe, of any attempts by David Cameron.

    Thirdly, time is against Cameron regarding repatriation as I believe that the major treaty changes agreed by Cameron on 25 March will go through by December and this does not give Cameron time to get his arguments ready (but according to Schauble, apparently, member states would not be given the opportunity for national grandstanding at this time anyway, so no repatriation possiblities, despite what some UK politicians seems to be suggesting).

    Fourthly, unless Cameron gets rid of the current political mandarins in Whitehall dealing with the issue of repatriation of powers then he is doomed to failure, apparently – Sir Humphrey comes to mind. See Douglas Carswell’s D Tel. article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/8857577/Heres-how-David-Cameron-can-win-back-his-partys-trust-over-Europe.html

    Fifthly, there is the issue of trust in the leadership. I have lost faith and do not believe there is real political will to repatriate powers – Carswell, above, makes the strong case for how Cameron could start to rebuild that trust by replacing the mandarins involved.

    I wish to be constructive, Mr Redwood, and recognise the enormous efforts you have made from a difficult position within the Conservatives. The ones of us who are expressing eurosceptic views are not necessarily UKIPers, but I know that I would very much like it if somehow UKIP and the true eurosceptic MPs could be in the same party. I would like to see a Conservative party that represented grassroots and listened to them and I believe the current leadership does not do that. I fell that last Monday was the final straw for me, and until there is a new leadership I feel the party does not deserve my support. I realise that this is a very sensitive issue for you, particularly in view of all your efforts, but is there the possibility fo some sort of rational and measured debate on your website with regard to the highly significant and rapid movement of grassroots Conservative supporters (as well as others who have voted Tory in the last election) away from the Party?

    1. alan jutson
      November 1, 2011


      Good post and Well presented.

      We had a 6 people around for dinner this weekend, amongst them two conservative party members.
      After the Monday EU vote fiasco (three line whip) they have written to their Local party office to say until Cameron offers a referendum on Europe, they will not vote conservative again, will not help with further fundraising, and have resigned their membership.

      I wonder how many other party members have taken the same action, but more importantly, I wonder how many (non Party members) and past Conservative voters think the same way.

      Cameron still does not get it yet does he !

  87. matthu
    October 31, 2011

    Chris –
    You have phrased this far better than I could have done, and have capture the points I would have like to make. I am a long time CP voter, but the CP is in danger of provoking a massive defection of voters simply because CP leaders will not address these issues, will not admit they are issues at all certainly won’t encourage honest debate about these issues.

  88. Jonathan Castro
    October 31, 2011

    To suggest that we can repatriate powers seems a bit of a fantasy. What would the rest of the EU want in return? How would we get agreement from the other EU member states? In my opinion the only solution is to leave the EU altogether. I will be voting UKIP in the next election.

  89. zorro
    October 31, 2011

    I agree with the main points here. Repatriating our agriculture and fishing industries will create more jobs/side industries in the UK and particularly around the country not just in the South East which would be a welcome development.

    Excellent news that the Greeks are going to be able to vote on the bailout. Let’s see what happens in the next few days but I can’t believe that they will vote for it.

    It puts the pressure on wavy Davy re the referendum issue and is good news for those of us who want a far looser relationship and more freedom to take and make our own decisions.


    1. zorro
      October 31, 2011

      Of course, immigration control is important here and our ability to control it more effectively will help us get our unemployed back to work…one way or the other.


  90. BobE
    November 1, 2011

    Vote UKIP, its the best chance we have of saving our country.

  91. RD
    November 1, 2011

    ALL powers: Time to get out.

  92. Matt
    November 1, 2011

    The ability of our parliament to be supreme.

    Top priority though would be to opt out of the labour regulations – to make the UK more competitive.

  93. scottspeig
    November 1, 2011


    1. I’d like parliament to discuss every regulation before enacting it. That should be foremost. When they say it would take too long etc, then we know we have too much coming through and that’s when our MEPs could discuss them first and only send a few in at a time. All the others get an automatic NO vote.

    2. Removal of the CAP and CFP

    3. To at least get the rebate we had back as the CAP was not modified as was required for us to lose the rebate. Of course, if #2 is succesful, then I would compromise that the rebate can stay as is.

    4. To pass a new Act that states UK law takes precedent over EU law unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    5. To refuse to pay any contribution to the EU until their accounts are signed off by independent (external to EU) accountants.

    While a couple of those are not really repatriation, they are quite common sense to me and therefore should be enacted. The major ones should be CAP, CFP and the financial ones.

    Failing these, we should leave.

    Re: your comment at the end – UKIP created the situation where you failed to win some seats. WHile you may see that as counter-productive, I would say it sends a message to your leader that he would be foolish to ignore (yet he does). Also, if the 81 Conservative MPs all defected at once. That would throw the parties into disarray and surely that would also show a force of strength for UKIP. Alos, UKIP MEPs have achieved as much as Conservative MEPs – zilch.

    Saying that, Daniel Hannan is wasted there – you should try and persuade him into Westminster.

    Out of curiosity, who was the MP that defected??

    Reply: The 81 are voting against more EU – they don’t need to defect to do that!

    1. scottspeig
      November 4, 2011

      I agree, the 81 don’t need to defect to do what they do, and I admire you all for trying.

      What the defection would do in essence, is create a new party that would be trustworthy, set apart from the other 3 main parties and with enough clout to have a chance of winning MPs across the country. (As you say, how many MPs do UKIP have? – Yet they will get them eventually. Sooner rather than later if the Conservative Party doesn’t get one of those 81 in Cabinet!)

      Cameron has deceived the electorate too much (whether intentionally or not) for us to trust him or his party. I look forward to the day when the career politicians do not wield the power, and that real world people are back in government.

      Sadly, at present, I don’t see that happening unless drastic action is taken.

  94. pedroelingles
    November 1, 2011

    Just stop paying any money to the EU. Let our merchants and entrepreneurs make the profits and losses and with our Banks supporting them and conducting their own global financial interests. Use our taxes and revenues for the sole interest and prosperityof our people. Much more of our suffering under the European fiasco and it will be too late. It is really incredible that the British people have permitted the loss of so much of their freedom and I attribute the reason in part to the past Labour Party’s side-lining and removal of our History from the general curriculum.

  95. Anne Palmer
    November 1, 2011

    If Mr Cameron is indeed sincere and even before he tries to bring back powers from the EU, then all he has to do right now-to prove to us all that he is indeed sincere, is abandon the European Union Legislation he is putting through right now. There is absolutely no need to put through the European Union’s Localism Bill that divides the NATION and COUNTRY of ENGLAND into EU REGIONS.

    It might be a great idea if our own government was in control of our Country but not while we remain in the EU, BECAUSE THE REGIONS WILL BE GOVERNED DIRECTLY BY THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS.

    Localism is also recorded in the Council of Europe on Local Governance and a little box is ticked when each country has completed any one of the tasks set for it. It is also recorded in the UN although from what I have read, it has gone up to the UN and not downwards to the EU.

    The second task before he tries to get powers returned, he can forget HS2 because that too is part of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Policy which also includes giving the EU sovereignty over our sky (air traffic control) to the EU along with our PORTS and 12 mile limit around our shores for the EU’s Motorway in the SEA.

    If he succeeds in these easy tasks, perhaps then he might like to try and get some POWERS so eagerly given away to foreigners.

  96. Phil H.
    November 2, 2011

    John – Can I please point out that on my 18th birthday in 87 I voted Conservative and I’ve been totally loyal to the party until Cameron hi-jacked it.
    I will still vote Conservative in the next General Election because my MP is Zac Goldsmith. However I have joined UKIP and will send my money there as the current goverment policy on Europe is nothing short of treason!
    Personally I feel the only way to repatriate powers from Europe is that the 81 real Conservatives overthrow that despicable quisling in NO.10 and call an election!

  97. Roselady64
    November 2, 2011

    We absolutely need control of our borders back again, and certainly before next year’s Olympics are used as an open door to all with no intention of leaving again.

    Going back to a very simple system of counting anyone in… but also keeping track of when they are due to leave and confirmation that they have left when they should have, would solve a great deal of problems.

    The other huge elephant in the room is economic migration. We can’t afford the benefits/healthcare bill for UK residents without attracting those, understandably of course, in search of a better life and thinking the UK’s streets are paved in, if not gold, at least benefits far greater than their home country and free housing. The UK is a giant magnet attracting not only those wanting to work. Other EU countries are issuing passports and on the tide travels to us. Being one of the poor saps working to pay for it, as we all are, something has to give.

  98. Roselady64
    November 2, 2011

    Ugh! apologies. My comment above makes no sense. My only excuse is that I have had very little sleep for the past two nights through pain. Hope you understood the gist of it. Best wishes.

    1. Sean O'Hare
      November 2, 2011

      You touch on two supposed problems: uncontrolled immigration and our benefits system. Your solution to the former seems to involve keeping tabs on who comes in and who goes out. A very costly exercise involving thousands of officials chasing millions of illegal aliens. A much simpler solution lies in fixing the benefits system such that no one other than a UK born British Subject can claim until they have paid sufficient in taxes to qualify. Of course applying such rules while still in the EU would definitely be illegal for migrants from EU countries and probably from anywhere else. We need our country back fast!

  99. David Eyles
    November 2, 2011

    I would like to see an end to the putting out to foreign competitors of major capital projects such as aircraft carriers and other shipbuilding etc, all of which could easily be supplied by surplus capacity within the UK – Bombardier is a prime example of the enforced placing of work abroad that should have been done in the UK.

    Speaking as a farmer, I agree with your suggestion of returning agricultural payments and policies back into UK hands. The NFU have jumped into bed with the Lib Dems on this one, because the hierarchy think that the Lib Dems are going to protect the NFU in the EU. However, some years ago, the NFU also spent a lot of time trying to persuade the Labour Government that the UK should join the Euro. Thank goodness Gordon Brown got in the way of that one (and, incidentally, William Hague). Returning payments and many other agricultural policies back home would actually strengthen our food production and enable us to overcome the many conflicts between agriculture and environmental policies which are often mutually destructive to both.

  100. Anne Palmer
    November 2, 2011

    I BEG that all those 81 real Conservatives that opposed those that pretend to be Conservatives, to resign forth with and thus force a general election. This would be far better than squirming every time David Cameron follows EU’s Governance which to him comes before the wishes of those that elected him to govern according to our Common Law Constitution. There is very little time left before ENGLAND is divided into EU Regions through this Conservative Government putting it through Parliament at present.

    Yes we will vote for all those 81 Members of the Conservatives plus the handful of staunch Labour MP’s that do not want this Country governerned by foreigners along with members of UKIP and yes the BNP if we must-rather than those that some call traitors to their Queen and Country, and then we can finally come out of the European Union. I am sure they could all work together for that short while.

    I say there is very little time for I ask has Her Majesty been told where the instructions for the Localism Bill comes from? That the Localism Bill started its Journey from the European Union?

    I note that:- Lord Shutt of Greetland: My Lords, I have it in command from Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to acquaint the House that they, having been informed of the purport of the Localism Bill, have consented to place their prerogative and interest, so far as they are affected by the Bill, at the disposal of Parliament for the purposes of the Bill. 31 Oct 2011 : Column 1026.

    The Localism Idea would have been GREAT if it wasn’t to be governed by the Committee of the EU Regions, sadly it is, and it will be at the high cost of losing our House of Commons eventually. We simple cannot afford yet another extra layer of Governance for we are already paying billions out to the EU and will do so until this country is bankrupt.

    Reply THis is not going to happen. Nor would it necessarily cause a General Election, just a lot of by elections.

  101. Anne Palmer
    November 3, 2011

    I can dream can’t I? I can dream that one day the people might be able to elect a Government that can actually Govern this Country according to its Common Law Constitution, can’t I? I can dream that one day that our Country will be free from foreign Rule, can’t I? I can dream that I never spent night after night in an Anderson Air-Raid shelter, hoping that we could win the war and be FREE, can’t I?

    But sadly, the reality is, that all my friends that died fighting, that died in the bombing of this Country, and thinking of those that died when The Hood was blown up, was all for nothing. I read Hansard to the reality of what is being done to this Country through the EU’s Localism Bill, and a government that has agreed that foreigners can not only FINE this Country for what the EU deems this Government has done wrong, our Government can then pass on the fine to the NEW EU REGIONS for the people to pay through their-no doubt- increased taxes.
    Forgive me for putting as an example to you, if YOU Sir get fined, for say Speeding, can you get your neighbour to pay your fine? The Fines section alone intrudes on our Constitution which we are obliged to uphold.
    ● Firstly, everyone in this Country is innocent until proven Guilty.
    ● when individuals are “Fined” by a UK Court, their ability to pay is taken into account, and a trial is of course held-innocent until proven guilty.
    ● EU Fines tend to come in thousands, millions and who could stop them coming in billions? All this is also contrary to the Declaration and Bill of Rights 1688/9, “nor excessive fines imposed” and as above all are innocent until proven Guilty. When was the trial? Was the Jury sworn in?
    ● I ask when some-one (or our UK GOV) is “fined” can this fine be passed on to others that have had absolutely no hand in committing any “crime” what-so-ever? Neither have the people in UK Regions? Yet it is their money used in fines!
    ● Clause 29 Magna Carta makes clear that “for a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a husbandman the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a Royal Court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood”. See also Clause 39 and 40. When will our money run out if we keep paying fines?

  102. TheRealist
    January 27, 2013

    Congratulations on a comprehensive list of powers you wish to repatriate; just a shame that it is all of European policy and none are specific. Really what you are saying is: we want to be able to determine everything here in Britain without any restrictions whatsoever. If you mistakenly believe that Britain is still a word economic power that can very well exist on its own, then you are absolutely right. But perhaps you should entertain the possibility that Britain is no longer an absolute economic world power and needs it’s neighbours as much as they need Britain. If that is the case then it would perhaps be reasonable to assume that team play could yield better results than going solo. IN the European union Britain is a significant player. As such it has significant impact on decisions it does not like. No other member is making rules that you do not like just to annoy you – generally they are made with a) the national interest in mind and b) the European interest. In every club there will be decisions you like and those you do not like. You are clearly not a team player and believe that we should go on our own. That is your right, but please do not pretend that this is in the best interest of Britain. I think the fact that Sterling is dropping of the cliff in the past few days is enough indication that, at least economically, you are very wrong. No skin of your nose, with your financial future secured, but bad news for the ordinary Briton. We are a net importer from the EU. This is therefore very bad news for business and for inflation.

    Reply I have watched for many years the UK try to stop the torrent of expensive and bad regulations from Brussels, with little success.

Comments are closed.