Owen Paterson’s interview


          Owen Paterson from within the Cabinet has given a most encouraging interview to the Spectator. He tells us that the Euro area are now attempting to create a single country. That requires the UK to have a very different relationship with it. He says h”e wants to get the power to run our country back”.

            He loyally tells us that the Prime Minister agrees that change brings opportunities, and that the PM intends to stand up for the UK’s interest. Let’s hope the Prime Minister does agree that we need to  modernise, creating a   new relationship with Euroland as it rushes to political union.


  1. Andrew Smith
    December 7, 2011

    If anyone hopes for any return of powers or even the limitation of them to where we are, they have another think coming.

    1. Disaffected
      December 7, 2011

      No one noticed the takeover of Ireland. The cat truly was let out of the bag when the greek PM threatened a referendum. It was made absolutely clear by Germany that no such thing would take place. The takeover in Italy went ahead because of an unpopular PM and the rest of the EU countries are expected to fall in line quietly.

      I now have no faith in politicians to bring an end to the EU night mare. Therefore I do hope the markets cause an economic catastrophe as it is the only hope of retaining our sovereignty and life as we know it. Yes there will be pain, but at least the outcome will be in our favour. Going with the ridiculous EU ideology will equally cause pain and we will also become subsumed in a pan European State led by unelected dictators.

      Tory MPs stand idly by hoping beyond hope that Cameron will change course. The facts are stacked against their hope. It will be too late. Cameron needs to go before March 2012 before the new EU treaty is signed off as complete.

  2. Winston Smith
    December 7, 2011

    Do you really believe Cameron? Why is the Conservative PM using a Labour activist and Blair’s head of Labour Party policy to formulate Govt policy? Are you at all concerned? Do you care?

    1. Disaffected
      December 7, 2011

      Why haven’t MPs been protesting about the undemocratic takeover of three nation states by the EU ie Ireland, Greece and Italy? Where were the protests from governments? Why shout about the Arab Spring when an EU dictatorship is taking shape without elections or the voice of the people allowed to be heard? They make great play of dictators, how about the unelected EU commissioners? Democracy?

  3. lifelogic
    December 7, 2011

    I very much hope he is right but I find it very hard to believe given Cameron’s actions so far.

    I suspect it will be the usual politicians trick of saying what the audience, present at the time, wish to hear. I very much hope I am being to cynical on this occasion.

    1. javelin
      December 7, 2011

      Here’s a bad joke (Im working on it)

      Cameron catches his wife in bed with Clegg …

      Cameron : Darling I want a Divorce.
      Clegg: You can’t because your marriage contract hasnt changed.
      Cameron : Oh your so right Nick, move over Darling.

      1. Disaffected
        December 7, 2011

        Another joke: I suspect Clegg’s mother (German) will want to see her child’s budget in advance so she can tell Clegg’s wife (Spanish) how to budget and spend her money.

        1. Disaffected
          December 11, 2011


      2. matthu
        December 7, 2011


    2. lifelogic
      December 7, 2011

      The only real concession needed is the right at any time in the future for the UK government to opt out or ignore any part of or the whole of the treaties and legal framework, as and when we like and not to have to pay any fees or fines.

      The we can pick and mix as we wish – best for all if the other counties have this freedom too.

  4. Antisthenes
    December 7, 2011

    The EU may be aiming for a single country but what they propose at the moment does not do that unless something new comes out of this weeks summit. All that appears to be being done is tightening of the existing rules mealy slight of hand stuff . A statement only that the euro-zone will never be naughty again. Whether the markets will be placated by that only time will tell. Anyway putting together a single country does not tackle the immediate crisis putting the cart before the horse may work if there is horse left to pull it.

    1. Kevin Ronald Lohse
      December 7, 2011

      Sleight of hand stuff.

  5. me
    December 7, 2011

    Thanks go out to all the Euro sceptic Tories. If it wasn’t for you sticking loyally to the Tory party all the warm words and lip service about standing up for Britain’s interests would have been revealed for the lies they are.

    Trying to change things “from the inside” gives us the cover to keep the slide to European integration moving forward.

    A mass resignation of the Tory whip by those who suddenly decide to stick with their Eurosceptic principles would be a disaster for those of us who see Britain’s future as being at the heart of the European Union.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Antisthenes
      December 7, 2011

      You must be an admirer of the old Soviet Union. If you are not then I wonder why you wish to be part of superstate that is rapidly becoming to resemble it.

      1. Sean O'Hare
        December 7, 2011

        Read @me’s comment again. I think he is being satirical.

        1. APL
          December 7, 2011

          Sean O’Hare: “I think he is being satirical.”

          As with the best satire, there is much more than a grain of truth there too.

    2. Robert Christopher
      December 7, 2011

      A sudden mass resignation of the Tory whip by those who decide to stick with their EUrophile principles would be applauded!

      It would stop the tail wagging the dog!

      1. Sebastian Weetabix
        December 7, 2011

        No, it would ensure a Labour government in the ensuing election.

        1. APL
          December 7, 2011

          Sebastian Weetabix: “it would ensure a Labour government in the ensuing election.”

          Do you honestly think this administration has done anything remotely Conservative?

          Even if it had, do you really think the Liberals will stay with the Tory party when the alliance is clearly so uncomfortable for the Clegerons.

          Given 1 & 2 together, Cameron has no chance of winning an outright majority next election.

          3. He brought it on himself!

          1. Sebastian Weetabix
            December 8, 2011

            The Tories at least have a substantial number of MPs who restrain the europhiles. Labour do not, since they see Brussels as a way of establishing a socialist hegemonythey could never achieve at the ballot box, which is why we got sucked into the Lisbon treaty without a referendum. I am no fan of the EU or Mr. Cameron, but you can run off to UKIP and ensure a Labour victory or you can stick with the lesser of two evils.

            The public in this country has shown at election after election that they simply do not care about the EU as much as the commenters on this blog.

        2. davidb
          December 7, 2011

          Perhaps no bad thing. When the Euro collapses the economic shockwave will be a tsunami. Since those Labour clowns caused the present crisis, let them try to fix it. An all but impossible task. Would that the IMF were called in before the last election here, we might have seen a party elected instead of 3 parties not.

  6. javelin
    December 7, 2011

    I think the key word here is *** RELATIONSHIP ***

    The treaty has not changed but the REALTIONSHIP has.

    If your wife wants to stay married but to also see another man – then the marriage contract has NOT changed – but SHE has changed the REALTIONSHIP. You can seek a divorce. The EU is a mutual relationship – as we keep being told, again and again !! Now it is time to uphold the words.

    Cless just wants to focus on the contract (i.e. Treaty changes) but it is the change in REALTIONSHIP that is is important.

    1. Mactheknife
      December 7, 2011

      Interesting view, but illogical.

      Marriage is a legal contract, so if your wife see’s another man then that would be breach of contract. Thats why we have complex divorce legislation and need lawyers to legally nullify the contract.

      The bottom line is that treaty change is treaty change be it 17 or 27 required. If the 17 go ahead alone there is still a very high probability that the remaining 10 will be affected by anything agreed. Hence Cameron will be under pressure to call a referendum. He knows this and its why he is talking out of both sides of his mouth at present – one to the Conservative party and one to the EU and Merkosy.

      I think there is a lot of posturing going on between Germany, France and the UK, which is to be expected, but I really have a very uneasy feeling about ‘Call me Dave’. He talks of protecting the city but we need more out of this in terms of repatriating powers to parliament, but Dave is obviously not keen particularly with Clegg and Ken Clarke firing bullets at every opportunity.

  7. Denis Cooper
    December 7, 2011

    If necessary Cameron could always tell Merkel and Sarkozy that if they don’t watch out they won’t even be getting the EU treaty change already agreed on March 25th:


    Which they said they wanted so they could set up the ESM.

    Then they could try to explain to the world why they said before that they needed that EU treaty change so they could set up the ESM, but now it turns out that they don’t need it.

    He’d only have to cancel any plans to introduce the Bill to approve that treaty change, and that would mean that it would never be approved by Parliament, the UK could never ratify it, and so it could never come into force.

    Then they could forget about starting the ESM in 2012 rather than 2013, or at any other point in the future.

  8. javelin
    December 7, 2011

    Let me put that slightly differently

    … the UK is obliged to have a referendum because the **RELATIONSHIP** with the EU / EZ is going to change even if the treaty doesnt.

    By way of explanation. If your wife has an affair the relationship has changed and she breached the [marriage] contract BUT the contract (i.e. treaty) has not changed.

    So it comes down to whether any members of EZ Club 17 breach any existing parts of the current treaty – and they do – not whether we change or breach the treaty. Club17 are effectively having an love-in or affair, our relationship has changed and we have the right to ask for a divorce.

    1. APL
      December 7, 2011

      javelin: ” treaty ”

      are void by non performance of the treating parties, years and years ago!

      Which partly explains why Europe is in such dire financial straights now.

  9. Roger
    December 7, 2011

    We all ‘Hope’ as you do John. However as a realist I think we are all going to be bitterly disappointed at the end of all this and the Conservative Party will suffer as a result.

  10. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 7, 2011

    I suspect that Cameron has already explored some give-and-take in his meetings over the last weeks and just has to keep his cards close to his chest. He who pays determines also counts for the Tory party and so his negotiation booty to be announced after the summit will have to do with protecting the City (the UK financial services sector).

    1. Sebastian Weetabix
      December 7, 2011

      I suspect Mr. Cameron is dimly beginning to realise that his shelf-life is limited and if he doesn’t deliver his back benchers are going to defenestrate him. He never thought his tough talk would be put to the test.

    2. APL
      December 7, 2011

      Peter van Leeuwen: ” .. explored some give-and-take in his meetings over the last weeks .. ”

      I bet he has!!!

      Britain gives and the European Union takes. Business as usual for the Tory party.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        December 8, 2011

        @APL: Don’t forget that the UK has a coalition government. If you want a more eurosceptic government, you first have to get new elections.

  11. Tedgo
    December 7, 2011

    If I could repeat an earlier contribution,

    Frankly we are at a point where all the citizens of Europe should be given a referendum. Various questions need to be asked.

    1) Should the experiment of the EU continue or should we simply turn it in to a common trading area with a very very small central bureaucracy. (EFTA has 90 people).

    2) Should the EU continue but with full sovereignty restored to national parliaments and a much reduced central bureaucracy. Costly policy’s such as CAP would go.

    3) Do the people want closer financial integration around the Euro, effectively a central EU treasury.

    4) Do those in the Euro want to remain in the Euro or reintroduce their own currencies.

    5) Do those not in the Euro wish to join the Euro.

    6) Do the people want closer political integration with effectively an elected central EU government.

    One could go on.

    Obviously with each question there needs to be a proposed plan and associated discussion. The referendum would have to be carried out like a census rather than in a polling booth.

    Each country could decide its future with the EU, depending on the outcome across the EU versus the results from their own citizens.

    In researching a response to Peter van Leeuwen I was quite surprised how the Dutch rejected the European Constitution in a referendum, 61% to 39%. Naturally they didn’t get a second referendum with the Lisbon Treaty.

    The whole of the EU is so undemocratic.

    1. Peter van Leeuwen
      December 8, 2011

      @Tedgo: “The whole of the EU is so undemocratic”. You actually mean to say “the Netherlands is so undemocratic” because these are, like in Britian, national decisions. However, I still have to find a democracy-ranking in which the Netherlands isn’t ranked higher than the UK. Knowing a bit more about the democratic processes in the Netherlands, including those surrounding referendums would serve you, but most of that is in Dutch.

      1. Sebastian Weetabix
        December 8, 2011

        Well, most of us think we live in a democracy, but we don’t. We live in a constitutional monarchy which is effectively a time-limited elected dictatorship. I suspect the only real democracy out there is Switzerland with its regular referenda. Which probably explains why they haven’t embraced such marvellous innovations as uncontrolled mass immigration, PC laws which give preferential treatment to (some named-ed) minorities or the EU.

      2. Tedgo
        December 8, 2011

        My view of democracy is that 50% or more of the population agree on a policy or action. When 61% of the Dutch people voted, in the advisory referendum, against the EU Constitution, then the Dutch Parliamentarians should have respected that view and voted down the Lisbon Treaty.

        I agree that the UK is at the bottom of the democracy list.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          December 8, 2011

          @Tedgo: Yes – the constitution was declared “dead” by both government and parliament. Lisbon has almost the same DNA as the constitution, but the same is true for monkeys and human beings. You overestimate referendums as a reliable tool (this last resort for MPs who realize that they’re a minority). As an example – The Dutch socio-democrats don’t want to continue supporting the Dutch minority government in its Europe policy if significant power will move to Brussels ( a near certainty for a eurozone country), but then they will call for new elections, not for a referendum.

  12. NickW
    December 7, 2011

    Well , the European Union looks like its going to divide into two; but the wrong countries are in the wrong groups; they are incompatible.

    If Europe is going to divide into two, why does it not do it along sensible lines; why don’t Spain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Italy come out of the Eurozone and join with non Euro countries?

    France isn’t even compatible with Germany; Sarkozy has found a rich bride, and he wants her Germanic money. France will go the same way as we did in the ERM.

    The two “halves” of Europe are inevitably going to compete with each other.

    Will the Greeks and Italians agree to retire at a Germanic 67, rather than a Grecian 55?

    Will the German people agree to transfer payments if they don’t?

    Out of the frying pan into the fire; we should remove ourselves from this car crash as quickly as possible.

  13. uanime5
    December 7, 2011

    I doubt that the UK will get any power repatriated because that isn’t how the EU works. If you want to be part of the EEC or EU you have to obey their laws. This applied to both Norway and Switzerland and will continue to apply to the UK.

    1. Sebastian Weetabix
      December 8, 2011

      Neither of those countries is required to apply EU laws in their own land; they are free to ignore or adopt as they see fit. All they have to do is comply with EU directives in order to sell into the EU. Well, so do the Chinese. All these seem to have a relationship with the EU that benefits their own national interest, considerably more than we do.

  14. Adam5x5
    December 7, 2011

    Cameron seems to be making the right noises, but his credibility in this arena is mangled.

    As a result, we will only trust him when actions match the promises. it is only outspoken sceptics in the Tory party like yourself Mr Redwood, who are keeping him even close to being honest.
    keep it up as our future depends on you and other notable individuals maintaining three pressure amass forcing Cameron into a referendum before it is decided what is best for us (if it hasn’t already been)…

  15. Adam5x5
    December 7, 2011

    *maintaining the pressure and forcing…

    phone text issues…

  16. Paul
    December 7, 2011

    Nick Clegg will not let Cameron call a referendum. If Cameron does call one it would surely end the Coalition government.

    It strikes me that the Lib Dems got there AV vote and their manifesto stated that an EU referendum would be had. Two faced or what?

    Its time for the Coalition to be straight with the British voters and put forth their true views.

    1. George Stewart
      December 7, 2011

      What is their to be afraid of?

      David Cameron decides to move forward on a referendum.

      Scenario 1, Nick Clegg pulls the plug on the Government and we get an election. The number one issue for the election will be a referendum. If the Government collapses because of a referendum call, I suspect UKIP would not field any candidates but would support the Conservatives.

      Scenario 2, Nick Clegg fears an election knowing the lib dems will become a footnote in history, so he goes along with a referendum because it was in their manifesto and tries to take credit.

  17. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 7, 2011

    @Denis Cooper: Is this so smart? Wouldn’t it be smarter for Cameron to state (like this blog has done) that the euro needs a real sovereign? This road would no doubt lead to a significant change in the EU architecture and thus a treaty change (if applied to 27 members with the usual opt-out for some). When that road is chosen, there will of course be much better window of opportunity to change the UK relationship with the EU than when there is only some treaty tweaking.
    The biggest problem for Britain is the coalition agreement, but if you realise that in the Dutch parliament new elections may be necessary in the case of a significant new treaty, the Brits could have a similar approach.
    To summarise – working towards a big treaty change is a better tactic for eurosceptics, provided that you wouldn’t be defeated in elections after breaking with the LibDems (who obviously have my support).

  18. Robert Christopher
    December 7, 2011

    Repatriation of EU powers: if not now, when? (the headline on the front page)

    I am sure I’ve seen this headline before: “if not now, when?”

    Ah yes, I remember:

    It’s still true!

  19. John Wrexham
    December 7, 2011

    No one ever succeeds in negotiations if they tell everyone exactly what they want at the very beginning, so why do the ranters on the right expect the PM to do just that. i’d reckon it would make more sense to listen closely to what the likes of William Hague and George Osbourne say over the coming weeks. Their words may be more revealing than any of the PM’s speeches.

    As for Clegg vs Cameron, surely Mrs C would opt for a bit of rough, and not another smoothie!

    1. Sebastian Weetabix
      December 8, 2011

      It seemed to work for Mrs Thatcher. The difference of course was that it wasn’t negotiating ‘ploy’ – she actually meant what she said.

      Mr. Cameron possibly wants to be liked by his European colleagues. I’d prefer they hated him and we got what we wanted.

  20. English Pensioner
    December 7, 2011

    The Germans and the French might be aiming for a single country, but hatreds still run very deep over WW2. We might forgive and forget, but then we weren’t occupied by the Germans and in the case of some countries, the Russians as well. Remember, the Irish still don’t forget what Cromwell did, and that was some 350 years ago!
    And then there is the little matter of countries like Sweden and Ireland which have a strict neutrality policy as well as the other little matter of some countries requiring a referendum, unlike Britain.
    Its all Pie in the Sky!
    Meanwhile, we should be trying to tempt the more stable countries into the Sterling zone – Ireland was doing quite nicely when they had the Punt which they kept near to parity with Sterling, others might see advantages in doing the same.

  21. Kenneth
    December 7, 2011

    I am sorry to be thick but what are we supposed to be negotiating about

    Reply: A new relationship for the UK, restoring our lost democracy

    1. APL
      December 7, 2011

      JR: ” .. restoring our lost democracy”

      If that was what you really wanted John, you would still be arguing for us to leave the EU completely.

      But you are not … you are arguing for different EU shackles.

      Reply: Do try reading what I am saying. I say negotiate then decide through a people’s vote. I do not myself favour shackles, and voted No in 1975, advised against rhe Single European Act, and opposed all subsequent moves to integration.

  22. Robin Pearce
    December 7, 2011

    Get the politicians & Eurocrats out of the way & we can have free trade can’t we. You know where you buy from the cheapest & sell to the highest. 
    That is a market place. Market places exist in spite of Eurocrats & politicians… not because of them.
    Their con trick has been to try & make people believe they are essential to make a free market work. They are not.
    All they do is mop up £46,000,000 a day of our money. They are total parasites.They’ve screwed up the market by forcing a currency on everyone that doesn’t work & by encouraging massive unbalanced lending on the false premise that lending stimulates growth. No it doesn’t. It just makes builders & developers rich for a while until the generally pointless projects they were working stop. Then it’s back to growing tomatoes & olives to try & pay back to Billions to the Loan shark bankers & their politician friends who conned them.
    I see “Angela Merkel believes Brussels should decide whether national budgets are fiscally sound”Like they did with Spain, Greece, Italy & Portugal before letting them join the Euro & borrow billions of Euros they could never repay !!!!!!!!!
    Cameron doesn’t have the guts to walk away & let us do business with the rest of the world… unencumbered in any way with this disaster made by politicians. I hope the whole freeking thing collapses & each country goes it’s own way. Then we’ll all be as rich as the Swiss !

    The significance of Geographical location has been hugely exagerated by Europhiles. We can do business with the world. Buy from the cheapest & sell for the highest. What difference does it make how close the country is.

    Heres’ a few of the reasons the electorate should be incensed that Cameron refused us a referendum on the EU.
    EU =
    1] Evermore over crowding.
    2] A troubled currency we are insnared with
    3] Fish thrown back into the North sea even though they’ve died in the nets, once quotas are reached for a particular species.
    4] Language problems. Example, my mother in law is in a nursing home on the IOW staffed by East Europeans. She can hardly understand them & the can hardly understand her. Yet good communication is essential in giving good care.
    5] High levels of crime committed by nomads who can wander from one EU country to another now including the UK now our borders are freely open to 400 million people.
    6] (alleges undesirables coming in from a named place-ed)
    7] More competition for insufficient homes & scarce jobs.
    8] More road congestion
    9] 10% of our orchards bulldozed into the ground cos the Eurocrats decided there’s over production of apples in the Euro zone, regarless of whether we happen to like Brit apples !
    10] Huge cost of £30 an hour translators in courtrooms & classrooms disrupting the education of our kids.
    11] Fat cat ‘job for life plus index linked pension’ eurocrats who feast on our taxes but produce nothing but red tape in return.
    12] £46,000,000 a day we give to the EU & get nothing but dictats in return. It will be £41 billion over the next 5 years ! Twice what it was for the last 5 years under the previous government. Money we desperately need for our schools & our hospitals etc
    13] It’s a myth we need to be in the EU to trade with Europe. The Swiss do very nicely trading with Europe whilst at the same time enjoying the freedoms of not being in the EU.Ironically EU red tape makes it harder to do business with the EU. Yet we voted originally only for a common market to supposedly make trade easier. What have we got instead…. we are heading towards a republic of Europe where we lose sovereignty.
    14] We’ve lost the right to make our own laws.
    15] The latest dictat from Brussels means companies like Tescos have to reduce the number of part time workers. Regardless of whether it’s suits them & their employees such as mums wanting to only work part time.
    16] East Europeans claiming child benefits for children that aren’t even in the UK.
    17] Our legal system hamstrung with human rights legislation issuing forth from UN ELECTED EU judges, with terrorist bombers having more human rights than their victims. Also in respect of repatriating criminals.
    18] The accountants refuse to sign off the EU accounts because of huge discrpancies & money that can’t be accounted for.
    19] In Southampton we lost the Dimplex factory because they got a fat subsidy from Brussels to move to Ireland. Bournemouth lost the Johnson & Johnson factory too. It’s all part of the Pol Pot EU philosophy that everywhere has to be equal. Namely it’s not enough the Ireland should remain a green & pleasant farming land.
    No… instead Ireland has to have by dictat exactly the same number of factories per sq mile as everywhere else. Uniformity rules according to the Autocratic Euro crats. This must be going on nationwide. These are just two examples I happen to know of because they are local.
    God knows how many other jobs we’ve been robbed of by Brussels. 
    So we pay a Euro subsidy of £46m per day, some of which goes to rob us of decent productive jobs here !!!!!!!!!!!(Allegation about named workers removed-ed)
    Laughable if it wasn’t such a waste of our money !
    No businessman in their right mind would move for the sake of it using their own money. But when some little job for life bureaucrats in brussels who couldn’t run a whelk stall, throw our money at this sort of thing. Well how can any rational person possible think the EU is a good thing.
    It’s the same kind of insanity that happened under Stalin.
    We live in the EUSSR !

  23. john w
    December 7, 2011

    John,i dont want to live in another country but i might consider australia if this does not get sorted.I prefer damp old England with a government who are in charge ,with the voice of the majority.I have just seen Clegg on the telly and wonder who he is trying to kid.I noticed there is no mention of SIGNIFICANT CHANGE in anything he said.He upsets me more than Guy verhofstadt,two peas out of the same pod.

  24. APL
    December 7, 2011

    John Wrexham: ” .. so why do the ranters on the right expect the PM to do just that.”

    The EU want’s something unrelated, so we are told, to anything the UK wants, since it only impacts the Euro zone members.

    We don’t care if they get what they want! = no negotiation.

    No negotiation = no need to tippy toe around the subject.

    This is what we want, give it to us and you can have your Euro zone bankruptcy treaty agreement. Otherwise, just go away.

  25. Jon Burgess
    December 7, 2011

    I hope you’re right but I can’t share your optimism based on Cameron’s past actions (not his words).

    I hope it doesn’t happen, but I’ll not be surprised if Cameron comes back from Friday’s summit with the fantastic news that his price for agreeing to the new eurozone fiscal union was saving the city and scuppering the Tobin Tax – things that should have been non negotiable anyway. Nothing more will have been gained from the negotiations, and a referendum will be ruled out on the fact that there is no immediate transfer of sovereignty in the new treaty.

    The greatest opportunity for extricating the UK from significant areas of EU influence will have been missed, based on the laughable assumption that we should wait until the Eurozone is in a more stable position before trying to press our advantage.

    Future summits/bail out negotiations will slowly introduce Brussels governance over the city (much as Ken Clarke – that notable Conservative and colleague of yours – seems to favour), and an EU wide financial transactions tax will be introduced – both of which lead to a terminal decline in the influence of London on the world financial stage.

    No referendums on the EU will be allowed, but they’ll be held on many other things, such as setting up regional assemblies, and whether the X factor format should be used to elect members of the House of Lords.

    John Redwood and other notable tory ‘rebels’ remain in the unconservative party.

    Ukip win the next election! (Couldn’t resist.To be honest I’d be almost as happy if the English Democrats win.).

    Still, like I said, I hope I’m wrong and Cameron discovers his inner Nelson – ‘First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.’

    Will he make Marlborough, Nelson, Wellington and Churchill proud? Or will he be Ethlered the Unready, paying the Danegeld and delaying but not avoiding the inevitable attack on the UKs financial services industry?

    We’ll know next week…

  26. Tedgo
    December 8, 2011

    There’s a good article on the Taxpayers Alliance site about treaty changes,


    Well worth a read.

  27. outsider
    December 8, 2011

    Sadly, Mr Redwood, I don’t see how a unilateral renegotiation of the UK’s position can realistically be linked to the fiscal union. But a treaty change would give ALL non-eurozone members the chance to address the biggest threat it poses: namely that the eurozone would form a caucus of obligated countries that can force through anything subject to qualified majority voting.

    The UK ought to take a lead:
    1) To change the QMV numbers so that countries representing 20 per cent of the EU population could veto any directives/decisions in the Council. Since the voting rules have already changed several times and are due to change again from 2014 onwards, this would be perfectly feasible.
    2) To constitute any 7 member states as a blocking minority (a quarter of members including Croatia) which would be popular among small states, including Ireland and Slovakia that rely on low corporation tax rates.
    3) To abolish the Eurogroup so that all decisions are taken by the full Council, even if non-eurozone members are non-voting to answer the euro West Lothian question. Mrs Merkel, I gather, was once in favour of this although she now wants to make the Eurogroup more powerful. The case is particularly strong for including countries that are bound by treaty to adopt the euro at some future date.
    4) To exempt non-eurozone members from FTT and the new financial services regulation. I still think the FTT was only put forward as a negotiating pawn to concede to the British at 23.59.

    Do you not think that such a package would comfortably pass a UK referendum under the new Act? If, on the other hand, power is centralised through the slightly sinister new Frankfurt Group, or through a Eurogroup caucus railroading the Council, or there are no compensating treaty/voting changes, would the case for the UK to leave the EU altogether not be greatly strengthened?

    If so, Mr Cameron and even Mr Clegg have a strong incentive to have a treaty change, even if they lack the vision to see that.

    I do not see why a UK reIf, on the other hand, power is centralised either informally, through the new Frankfurt Group, or informally through a Eurogroup caucus, ourp

  28. backofanenvelope
    December 8, 2011

    We should remember that Mr Cameron’s way of reducing the national deficit is to reduce the rate at which it is increasing. Not actually reducing it.

    He will return from Sproutland announcing that measures that ruin the City of London will not come into force. They weren’t in force of course; but he will use this to justify agreeing to the Merkozy plan.

    His best plan would be to agree to the Merkozy plan but announce that there would have to be a referendum in the UK.

  29. john christmas
    December 14, 2011

    In a time when everyone can see the effects of the EU against the public-no democracy-do as we say-no choice. As a sideline which I expect NONE of you have heard about or care;that just recently the EU issued a “directive” (BIG BROTHER) telling all electrical companies that they must pay their subcontractor electricians the same as those employed directly. Now the companies realise that this could cost millions. So what do that do? Tear up agreements and tell their employed electricians your contract has changed-sign the new one (35% less wages) or else! Thats just a small part of the EU influence -non elected dictats from an office somewhere in Brussels! GET US OUT OF THE EU- YES WE KNOW IT WILL BE PAINFUL BUT MUCH WORSE IF WE STAY IN.

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