Where do we go from here?


          The veto of a new EU Treaty was necessary ground clearing.

          It has confirmed that the UK is different from the continent. We are not now in a two speed Europe . The UK has no intention of joining a later train to European integration. Changing the ever popular EU analogy, the UK is on the by-pass, to avoid the likely  Euro crash on the main EU street.

          Today we are still in many ways  in the same position as we were in last week. We are out of the Euro. As a result we have never been at the “top table” discussing high finance and Euro matters, because it does not apply to us. This is not some new exclusion crisis. We have not been thrown out of the room by Mr Cameron’s actions. We were out of the room thanks to Mr Blair and Mr Brown sensibly keeping us out.

           We now have confirmed what many of us feared. Our EU partners are out to tax, regulate and damage our financial services industry, just as they have done to our fishing industry, our alternative remedies businesses and many others.

           We have sidestepped much of the bail out cash and action needed for the Euro, which is good news. The current government has been better on this than its predecessor, who wanted us to pay our full “share”.

           In at least one important respect we are in better position today than last week. The EU now knows that this Prime Minister can say “No”. The EU has got used to dealing with weak previous governments under Blair and Brown, who always were willing in the end to rub out a red line or allow a UK national interest to be damaged in the interests of a deal. They accepted three new treaties which transferred major powers from the UK to the EU.  Even John Major, who achieved the crucial opt outs from the social chapter and the Euro itself, was not willing in the end to veto a whole Treaty. The EU now knows that this PM might veto, and could veto again. That changes the game a bit.

          So far so good. Now the UK needs to define its national interest and tackle the immediate problems where the EU agenda does not suit us. The Tobin tax is presumably history, as the veto can apply to that as well. I doubt Germany and France will rush one in for Frankfurt and Paris, though London would be delighted if they did. If they believe in it, why not do it?

           The EU financial regulations are a growing reality. The UK will need to push harder for working versions that allow good successful business to remain somewhere within the EU. Many other business and environmental regulations harm EU competitiveness, costing us jobs.

          The Uk should present a constructive plan for jobs and growth which includes repeals and amendments of EU regulations. In an ideal world the rest of the EU would see they need to make changes with us, as all of the EU has a jobs problem. If they will not, the UK needs to start negotiations on what it needs in order to have a sustained growth and recovery programme at home.


  1. stred
    December 11, 2011

    It is possible that the Euro group will bring in a Tobin Tax and other regulations applicable to any customer or bank trading with non-Euro areas. This would be payable on financial transactions but in Euros and in their area. Do not underestimate the ability of the commisioners to fleece our pensions. This would, of course, be given every assistance possible by our own civil masters and our bankers would be happy to pass on the cost to the customer.

    1. A different Simon
      December 11, 2011

      Surely you mean fleece what’s left of our pensions after the financial services industry take their charges for their abysmal performance .

      All the while public servants and politicians have access to a pensions scheme which is not open to the general public , the general public will continue to be fleeced .

      1. martin sewell
        December 11, 2011

        The Tobin Tax was devised in 1972 – pre superfast computers.

        What is to stop Financial Institutions ” gaming” trades in virtual reality and reconciling once a day via a collateral company in say, the Cook Islands? This would enable lawful avoidance of the tax levelled on each micro trade as the tax was devised to grab.

        1. lifelogic
          December 11, 2011

          Nothing the tobin tax is an absurd idea even if the BBC lovies like it.

      2. Javelin
        December 11, 2011

        If it’s a two speed Eu the the EZ are in reverse gear.

        John is right. We need to focus on being successful. The best way to destroy federalism is to do what is best for the UK

        This is a fantastic opportunity to take business from Europe.

    2. Geoff M
      December 11, 2011

      That will be totally self defeating for them, there is a whole wide world outside of the EU not that one could believe it by the garbage that has been spouted on the TV this morning. The libs are getting panicy incase Dave calls a GE.

    3. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      I doubt the other 9 EU non-Euro countries would agree to this. Norway and Switzerland may also object.

      1. Disaffected
        December 11, 2011

        The Euro is still as doomed this weekend as it was last – nothing has been done to address the underlying debt problems. All the summit has achieved is to drag in more suckers to suffer when it goes down. We left the doomed car to drive off the cliff.

    4. Disaffected
      December 11, 2011

      The Lib Dems also claimed before the election that their proposed in/out EU referendum was more acceptable to the public than the Tories by 2:1. Clegg whipped his party against a backbencher EU vote on 23rd October and today is using language of fear to persuade the public how much harm this will cause the UK. This is of course in contrast to what he was pledging before the election. Did he have any intention of giving the British public the in/out EU referendum he claimed he would give? We also heard his categoric language about university tuition fees. I would not believe a word he says.

      I found this quote on Wikipedia. Does it sound like a person with the national interest at heart?
      Whilst an MEP Clegg, for four years, wrote a fortnightly column for Guardian Unlimited. One particular article in 2002 accused Gordon Brown of encouraging “condescension” towards Germany. In an article, Clegg wrote that “all nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off”.[38][39. The article was dusted down during the 2010 General Election campaign when the Daily Mail interpreted the article as being a “Nazi slur on Britain” and Clegg had begun to feel the full heat of the British tabloid press following his success during the first leaders debate.[40.

      1. outsider
        December 12, 2011

        Before the summit, I understood that Mr Clegg had been going round the rest of the EU with his contacts book, pressing the flesh and preparing the ground. Now we are told that the British proposals came as a complete surprise in Brussels and the outcome was a complete surprise for Mr Clegg.

  2. norman
    December 11, 2011

    While I agree with everything above, and give credit where it’s due Cameron (although a British PM acting in our interests should have been the norm all this time), I can’t see how we can make any progress to looser union when we are still a signatory of Lisbon.

    The 26 can, and will, make all sorts of decisions that are EU wide and the scope of the Lisbon treaty is so wide (everything except tax and spend, it seems) that we’re now in the worst of all worlds.

    I have no idea of the legal process or issues involved but is it possible for us to opt out of Lisbon? I imagine we’d have to completely leave the EU lock, stock and barrel and then ask to be readmitted in a similar position to Switzerland. Which would have to happen if for no other reason the amount of EU nationals we have working here.

    I imagine it would need a referendum to give legitimacy to that, seeing as how being approved took us in. Would also most probably bring down this government. Maybe hold the referendum on May 1st 2015 (or whenever the next GE is due)?

    I don’t know how kindly EU is going to take it if on re-entry we withhold our net£10bn a year contribution, although the savings made from being outside EU regulations dwarf that amount so it would still be a good deal even paying that.

    Interesting times ahead, especially as urgent action is needed now to turn things around, not in 5 years time.

  3. M. Halaciuga, Esq
    December 11, 2011

    DER SPIEGEL : “Euro-Zone Treaty May Be Illegal

    The euro-zone 17 in combination with six other countries quickly began moving forward on their own. But is such a move legal? European Union lawyers have their doubts that the kind of euro-zone fiscal union within the EU would be allowed.

    Changes to the EU treaty, after all, must be unanimous. Furthermore, EU officials in Brussels say, because monetary union is regulated extensively in the Lisbon Treaty, reform can only be implemented within the existing legal framework. The legal services experts of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Council, which represents the member states in Brussels, are all in agreement. A treaty concluded only by the 17 euro-zone governments would be illegal, they say.

    Individual countries could only issue a “political declaration of intent,” in which they determined, for example, how they would decide on the use of sanctions against budget offenders. But such a declaration would have no legally binding character and, as officials point out, could also be revoked following the election of a new government. This is principally a reference to France, where the Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande has already announced that he would not accept any incursions into national sovereignty.

    Shortly before the summit, many European leaders were pushing for a quick rescue plan. At the convention of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Marseilles, the conservative group which currently constitutes the largest faction in the European Parliament, smaller countries also spoke out in favor of a strong Europe with strict rules.”

  4. Simon 123
    December 11, 2011

    One big problem in Europe is the attitude of the French and, in particular, M. Sarkozy – a political and intellectual lightweight who is standing for re-election in a few months and not doing very well in the French polls. He has clearly calculated that Britain-bashing will help his chances and also appeal to French opinion-forming elites. The French left-wing elite hates Anglo Saxon capitalism and the City of London, which they would take pleasure in destroying.

    Meanwhile little progress has been made on the two real and serious problems – the Euro sovereign debt crisis and the potential EU-wide banking crisis, which, in early 2012 will become a nightmare if no serious action is taken. It is a Euro problem. Does it matter if we are not at the table given French and German attitudes to us?

    Meanwhile, we need to keep calm and have a grown up national discussion about what we need to do in our own economy and what sort of Europe we need to be a part of as stated in your last paragraph.

    The rogue element is the Liberal Democrats. Their Europhile activists did not push leaflets through letter boxes to alienate the EU. They and many in the Labour Party will be considering a dream coalition to oust the Tories and ‘put matters right’ in Europe.

    However, a week really is a long time in politics: the dust needs to settle and things may look a lot different in January 2012. Remember, David Cameron had no choice but to act as he did, given such a preposterous and un-constructive rebuff from France and Germany.

    Finally, the British media needs to consider its own position. It is clear that many London based left wing journalists are now hoplessly out of touch with what the majority of the British people now feel about Europe.

  5. Mike Stallard
    December 11, 2011

    In 1945, on VE Day, I went for a drive with my Grannie in Cambridge. “Grannie, all our troubles are over now, aren’t they?” I remember asking her. “No,” said the sage,”they are just beginning.”

  6. Antisthenes
    December 11, 2011

    The underlining problem with the EU is the disproportionate influence France has on the institutions of the EU and have had so for a very long time. When you compare the rules and regulations that emanate from the EU and the structures that the EU stick rigidly to like the CAP and the way France is governed and structured then the weight of this influence becomes very evident. France is a heavily regulated country that leans towards protectionism and dislikes Anglo-Saxon competition practices intensely. It is no surprised that Sarkosy took umbrage at Cameron’s dissent as France holds authority with almost reverent respect were everyone else learnt years ago that those in authority were far from being infallible. So Cameron stance against Sarkosy coupled with his delusions of grandeur almost of Napoleonic proportions was an anathema to him. France’s agenda is for a fortress Europe where the lack of competitiveness of Europe can be ameliorated by stringent regulatory requirements and by having an internal market that can trade only on a level ground that is constructed by France and is in France’s favour. That is the reality of the EU and it is time to recognise that fact and a decision made whether or not the UK wants still to be part of it.

    1. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      “When you compare the rules and regulations that emanate from the EU and the structures that the EU stick rigidly to like the CAP and the way France is governed and structured then the weight of this influence becomes very evident.”

      What’s your evidence for this?

      “France is a heavily regulated country that leans towards protectionism and dislikes Anglo-Saxon competition practices intensely.”

      Do you have any examples to back up these claims?

      1. Antisthenes
        December 11, 2011

        My knowledge of France on how it is governed and structured comes from personal experience in living and working here for the last nine years. There is much about France that can be admired not least it’s health service which is many times superior to the NHS simply because it’s provision and funding is that which the Brits will not countenance for their own health service. There are other things that they do better however the downside is that which I describe above. It is a pity the EU was not constructed by adopting the best practices of it’s members what a different place it would be today. Without going into detail the weight of regulation and their tax system discourages enterprise encourages a very large black economy that has to be policed by armies of bureaucrats and gun totting Gendarmes. I say that without exaggeration. I could show further evidence lots of it but suffice to say that regulation, red tape and a barely fathomable bureaucracy is a fact of every day life. To attempt to contest or complain about how authority treats you is useless and to make disparaging remarks about anyone in authority is not only frowned upon but can land you in court as there is a law against it.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          December 11, 2011

          @Antisthenes: “It is a pity the EU was not constructed by adopting the best practices of it’s members”
          A pity indeed that the UK (British empire) walked away from the talks in 1955. (Et l’histoire se répète en 2011?)

          1. Jon Burgess
            December 11, 2011

            Hmmn – walked away only because the British suggestion of a free trade area around the customs union of the European Economic Community (EEC) was rejected.

            Plus ca change, as they say. Looks like the core of the EU has made a habit of ignoring Britain’s counsel, and this time there is a fair chance it may be terminal for you – certainly for the Euro and maybe even for the EU itself.

        2. stred
          December 11, 2011

          The chairperson of our co-propriete told the annual meeting that ‘to obey every law in France, you would need a gendarme on every corner’.

      2. Disaffected
        December 11, 2011

        Yes the regulations placed o farmers is intolerable and they are paid on occasion to waste food rather than sell it- look at the food quotas a ridiculous set of rules if ever there were. Look at the fishing industry and see how the EUdestroyed it and are still invoking stupid regulations where caught fish are thrown back dead instead of being eaten. Stop writing drivel.

      3. martin sewell
        December 11, 2011

        The remark accords with the views of many of my French friends who bemoan the anti- competitiveness of French bureaucracy. It is also attested by the structure of French businesses: there are sucessful large businesses, and many small family firms, however there are proportionately few intermediate sized firms. The dead hand of bureaucracy accounts for the problem.

  7. Chris
    December 11, 2011

    I agree with your analysis, and I believe David Cameron has to act very quickly indeed to define where we go next. I am, however, very concerned that he will not carry this through as there are some intriguing reports that the outcome at the summit was not at all what he expected and that he had been ill informed by his advisers as to the reactions of the EU to his proposals – hence the “panic” phone call to Nick Clegg at 4 am when things had not gone to plan. It is also suggested that Cameron was in actuality asking for very minor concessions and was willing to sign up to the main proposals – something that I would have been extremely concerned about indeed.
    However, whatever the truth, we are where we are, and now that David Cameron has tasted a bit of real popularity and realised that at long last he has made a “connect” with the electorate, he may decide to deliver the radical and bold agenda which I believe the UK needs – a complete redefining of our relationship with the EU, based on loose trading arrangements, and unfettered by the mass of regulation, red tape, bureaucracy and often nonsensical and self defeating legislation.

    1. Antisthenes
      December 11, 2011

      Success or failure often results from a misunderstanding, think charge of the light brigade. It is becoming apparent that here too was a great deal of misunderstanding but in this case the end result may be very beneficial very beneficial indeed.

  8. lifelogic
    December 11, 2011

    Indeed we need a huge attack on absurd regulation which is most of it (and over taxation levels and complexity) but we seem to have just introduced the no retirement rules and are intruding the absurd gender free insurance rules too. We still have the lack of control of our borders and the obligation to give overseas students free education in Scotland and cheap loans which may well not be repaid in the UK and countless other absurdities over which we have no control. We still have the absurd energy regulations.

    Clearly Cameron, in throwing cash our taxes at Greece and Ireland, did not win many friends in the EU nor did he achieve anything much for use or the recipients just rendered the UK even less competitive.

    Our national interest is to reduce the size of the state, reduce regulation and get our GDP per capita/living standard up to the levels in Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Indeed we should be ahead of them as we have many advantages over them – once we have with good government in place that is.

    Even today we have Huhne at the religious, climate beano trying to nobble the UK’s competitive advantage further.

    1. Antisthenes
      December 11, 2011

      On the climate change deal this my thoughts on that. In reality nothing was achieved. It was just an exercise in can kicking and when 2015 comes along the US, China and India will if it suits them find a way to give the can another kick. In the mean time Europe already uncompetitive in world trade forges on with green policies that are based on dubious science making themselves even more uncompetitive. The outcome has China and India sniggering all the way to their trade surpluses. If the euro crisis was not proof enough of European leaders incompetence this acclamation of this pathetic non-deal is even further evidence.

      1. lifelogic
        December 11, 2011

        No one takes the absurd exaggerations of the climate change religion seriously any more – but they need to have “an agreement” just so Huhne and the gang do not look too absurd and they get another free holiday somewhere else exotic next year.

    2. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      The no retirement rules are so the Government can make people work for longer and try to avoid the pensions black hole they have. As it’s not part of EU law the Government can repeal it any time they want.

      All EU countries are obligation to give UK students the same education as the natives of their country. This will prove value to UK students as it will be much cheaper than being education in the UK.

      If you want the standards of living in Norway or Switzerland then you’ll need the to reduce income disparity; though if you’re happy with there being a rich minority and everyone else being poor feel free to go for the standards of living in Hong Kong and Singapore.

      1. lifelogic
        December 11, 2011

        The no retirement rules just make industry uncompetitive and destroys jobs.

        Reducing income disparity will not raise living standard. How would it by what mechanism.

        To raise living standards you just need smaller and more sensible government, fewer and better regulations, cheaper energy based not on religion and lower taxes. Thus not deterring the wealthy and successful from living in or coming to the UK.

        The best way to raise the standard of livings of the poor is to make sure they can get a job (providing they can work). The more and richer the rest the more real jobs there will be.

        1. Bazman
          December 11, 2011

          They not only need a job, they need a job that pays a living wage and fewer right for the workforce at the bottom will not produce this. A job at any price is not a job and they will quite rightly refuse this work.

          1. Bob
            December 11, 2011

            The more you help people, the less they help themselves.

          2. lifelogic
            December 11, 2011

            The more competition for labour there is the more income they will be able to attain. The more silly regulations and tax in place the fewer the jobs will be available and the less they will be paid.

            Simple supply and demand.

          3. Bazman
            December 12, 2011

            You are assuming that there could be more cleaning jobs than cleaners within a commutable radius. The is clearly nonsense.

        2. outsider
          December 12, 2011

          Dear Lifelogic, while accepting your point, it is wrong to assume that less income inequality must mean more tax and redistribution. A lot of inequality is down to restricting entry to higher paid jobs while insisting on a policy of maximising the pool of labour further down. Suppose, for instance, that you could only work in a call centre if you had gained a registration qualification by passing a two year course, wages there would be much higher. Of course, there would be fewer jobs but we do not complain about that for accountants, nurses or electricians. I note that hairdressers are now campaigning for comulsory registration.

          1. lifelogic
            December 12, 2011

            I agree that protection of certain professions can be a gross conspiracy against their customers. I would have many professions investigated in this regard certainly the legal profession and court system monopoly. This has also been extended to gas works and electricians so simple electrical jobs, that I used to do when only about 13 are now not legally allowed. This even though I have a degree in Engineering as I have not filled in the right forms or been on the relevant expensive charged courses.

            Also workers are I agree often undercut by free movement of workers within the EU.

    3. Antisthenes
      December 11, 2011

      To clarify my comment on the climate change deal what I am trying to say is. That if the largest emitters of carbon are only paying lip service to carbon reduction then why is Europe not doing the same. After all the science behind climate change is seriously flawed and we are only harming ourselves by being the only ones stupid enough to make any serious effort toward reduction.

  9. Simon
    December 11, 2011

    Main point aside, I can’t believe any sensible person would be against the regulation of the medical alchemy that is the alternative ‘remedy’ business. We, without EU interference, had already enacted a law preventing those companies claiming they could cure cancer; preventing false claims by bogus industries to protect the public is surely a job for even a small government.

    1. lifelogic
      December 11, 2011

      I am not. too much, against quack medicine so long as people pay for it themselves. It they they are daft enough and prefer that to going to see a film, eating caviare, drinking a bottle of claret, having plastic surgery or buying perfume let them.

      But please, please, please can they stop the NHS to funding this nonsense. I do not want to pay for quack treatments (or plastic surgery in general) for others as we have to now to a very large degree.

      1. Bazman
        December 11, 2011

        Which treatments would you deem ‘quack medicine’ specifically, as you say millions is spent on them or is this like your ‘absurd’ employment regulations?

        1. lifelogic
          December 11, 2011

          Treatments that have not been shown to work in proper clinical trials beyond the effect of a placebo. Countless are done by the NHS funded with tax payers money and even “virginity” reconstructions are funded and vanity surgery.

          On employment regulation I have already addressed this. Just pick up a legal book on the subject (if it is not too heavy to carry). About 90% are pointless or worse counter-productive. Or look at any of the countless web sites for employers onerous legal obligations.

    2. libertarian
      December 11, 2011

      Whilst I agree Simon, it is ALREADY illegal to lie, mislead or falsely claim anything with any product, so why do we need MORE laws to regulate the same thing?

      1. lifelogic
        December 11, 2011

        In theory it might be illegal but this does not in practise seem to apply to elections, cosmetics, diets, insurance and very much else where you was one thing and use the unread small print later.

        I remember one government? advert that said in London – One red bus was greener than 56? cars. How did they get away with that drivel, either in environmental terms or in colour ones?

        1. lifelogic
          December 11, 2011

          Correction “You can say one thing (in the advert)”

          For another example the government’s appalling emotional C02 adverts some time ago (that rightly had many complaints) that copied religions indoctrination techniques by targeting vulnerable children with their exaggerated emotional Huhne type of drivel.

        2. lifelogic
          December 11, 2011

          Sorry correction

          “You can say one thing (in the advert) …”

          For another good example the government’s appalling emotional C02 adverts some time ago (that rightly had many complaints), It copied religions indoctrination techniques by targeting vulnerable children with their exaggerated emotional Huhne type of drivel before they had the knowledge/ability judge it.

        3. libertarian
          December 11, 2011

          So your point is???? That people break the law and don’t get punished, so creating another law will help how exactly?

  10. alan jutson
    December 11, 2011

    I see Simon Hughes bleeting on TV about what was in the coalition agreement about the EU etc etc. Is he in the real World, times have changed, and that requires a change of plan.

    If Clegg is likewise moaning, Cameron should simply let them complain, and if it gets to a breaking point, then let them complain to the electorate at a General Election, and then they can see how much power they hold!

    Agree with your post John, we do not have a problem until the rest of the EU try and push through ever more regulation which is not in the UK interest.
    It will happen of course, and DC needs to be strong once more, eventually he will find that almost everything that the EU wishes to intoduce, will in some way harm UK interests.

    The penny will soon drop that we are paying out huge sums of money to be a member of a club which has no benefit, and is a complete waste of time and money.

    It will be interesting to see how the populations of many of the Countries who’s Governments want to sign up to this proposed new Treaty, feel about things in a few months time, when they realise what is really being proposed, the reduction in power to self govern, and what has been hidden in the small print.

    1. alan jutson
      December 11, 2011

      I see on The Andrew Marr show this morning, that Mr Clegg is making the best he can of the veto decision made by Cameron, but sill believes “with every fibre in my body, that we are better in the EU, and when leading the discusions in Europe”

      I wonder if has he run these ideas through with his French and German contacts, because the impression I get is that these two countries are trying very hard indeed to form the framework for any future policy in Europe between themselves first, before engaging in any open discussion with other leaders, who then may find it difficult to spoil the cosy (self interest) arrangements put forward.

      1. APL
        December 11, 2011

        JR: “The veto of a new EU Treaty was necessary ground clearing.”

        There wasn’t a veto, you are deliberately taking part in a enormous propaganda exercise.

        Alan Jutson: “Mr Clegg is making the best he can of the veto decision made by Cameron”

        And Mr Clegg can do that because he knows this whole thing was staged to make Cameron look more EUrosceptic but without him moving an inch.

        If anyone actually believes Cameron vetoed anything, then you are sadly deluded*, he vetoed nothing but is benefiting from a huge surge in approval because people think he did a thing.

        It’s all a lie and I am sad to see Mr Redwood has jumped in feet first supporting the lie.

        That is sad.

        *All this summit was about was discussions about a potential new treaty. There was no veto because at this stage there was nothing to veto, what is more, the only thing Cameron could do was withdraw from the negotiations – he did that. If he had said, ‘the UK will withdraw from these negotiations’ that would be perfectly acceptable.

        That is good, I would be happy with that.

        But no veto, no treaty. The public is being manipulated.

        Reply: the lie is yours. The aim was a new Treaty and Mr C vetoed it

      2. Pete the Bike
        December 11, 2011

        Cleggy is only worried because he wants to line up a job in Brussels after the Lib Dims get massacred in the next election. If Britain tells the EU to take a hike he might have to find as real job where he has to work instead of talk rubbish for a living.

    2. Antisthenes
      December 11, 2011

      If the 26 sneak in new regulation against UK interests through the back door the UK should promptly walk out through the front door.

  11. Gary
    December 11, 2011

    This is a fight for reserve currency status. William Engdahl explains why

    http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=htktdv28EF4

    1. Peter van Leeuwen
      December 11, 2011

      Interesting clip, but your link isn’t correct (ends in advertisment): I believe it should be:

  12. Edward
    December 11, 2011

    I’m not sure why all the media (and hence many politicians) seem to be saying that what David Cameron has done is to only protect the city. Seems to me that David Cameron has also protected the country from having to submit any budget to the Brussels technocracy prior to it being implemented in UK law. Such an invasion of process would have implied a massive dilution of UK sovereignty. Cameron, Osborne et al should keep hammering this point home over the coming days/weeks.

    Furthermore I can’t see how Ed Miliband could have negotiated without compromise and fudge.

  13. matthu
    December 11, 2011

    It’s really revealing how many commentators are stressing “Opinion polls <at the moment show overwhelming support for Cameron’s ‘veto’ …”

    I don’t recall them ever stressing the transitory nature of opinion polls to quite the same extent over any other issue. It seems this underlines the biases held by most mainstream commentators …

  14. Kevin Ronald Lohse
    December 11, 2011

    Dear John. Whilst in full agreement with your assessment, I do wonder if Mr Cameron understands the consequences of his actions in the same way, or was he just “following from the front”, the opinion of the majority of Conservative MPs and the voluntary party?

  15. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 11, 2011

    Although the design of the euro may not have been absolutely perfect, the continental statements that the euro is a fundamental accompaniment of the European Union have been too abundant not to take them seriously. The more radical eurosceptics may find new allies on the continent where exasperation about British attitudes has turned into a “better off without” mood in the media. There will also be many, e.g. in the Netherlands, who want to keep the UK as closely involved as possible, for the sake of liberal policies and an as yet unfinished single market in the area of services due to French resistance.
    But the imbalance of having most of the dealings in our currency outsourced to some foreign country will most likely lead to some repatriation of control over these dealings. In spite of all the hardship, as a whole, the European continent hasn’t yet completely sold its sovereignty to the financial markets and will fight to regain control where temporary lost. For Britain it may be too late.

    1. alan jutson
      December 11, 2011


      “better off without”

      But a little poorer without our money, given we are a net contributor. !

      They need to think this through rather more carefully before making such comments, but then perhaps they feel its worth paying the price.

      When Germany veto’s their own Country’s budget, tax and spend arrangements they may perhaps feel a little different.

    2. NickW
      December 11, 2011

      Yes well;

      “The continental statements that the euro is a fundamental accompaniment of the European Union have been too abundant not to take them seriously”.

      There was a time too when lots of people believed the earth was flat, but the preponderance of that belief did not make them right.

    3. Jose
      December 11, 2011


      When you state ‘outsourced to some foreign country’, I take it that you mean the UK. This sort of defeats the view that the EU is a club which abides by common rules doesn’t it? It further suggests one set of rules for certain members and entirely different rules for other members.

      Enjoy the future with your French and German brothers as your say will undoubtedly be further diminished.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        December 11, 2011

        @Jose: Like the “repatriation”, just a little tease I couldn’t resist (I’m only human). It is odd though that such a high proportion of € dealings should be done in a anti-€ country. This may not continue if, in future, 26 countries were to use stricter regulation than the UK, as this would run counter to a level playing field. The Dutch realise that they’ll need allies as usual. Luckily, current policy is very close to that of Germany and Finland, but personally I hope that more Scandinavian countries will stay within the euro-plus group over time, strengthening the northern European influence. The British picture of only France and Germany is far too simplistic.

        Reply : It is not possible to stop people delaing through London unless they put on exchange controls and become like a communist state.

        1. Peter van Leeuwen
          December 11, 2011

          If you say so ok. But OpenEurope expresses e.g. the following concerns: In addition, the eurozone crisis is increasingly likely to create exceptional needs and political incentives for the euro countries to act in the interests of the eurozone 17 rather than the EU-27, with UK concerns seen as peripheral at best. This new dynamic has already been expressed in a series of new proposals, including an EU-wide financial transaction tax (FTT), possible short-selling bans and the European Central Bank’s insistence that transactions in euro-denominated financial products are cleared by central counterparties within the Eurozone rather than in London. These proposals represent a challenge to UK concepts of financial regulation and its access to the single market.

          1. sm
            December 12, 2011


            Your comment about sovereignty and powerful financial interests is a powerful one and resonates at least with me.

            I am hopeful that the EU with or without co-operation from the UK can indeed bring forward workable solutions. If they are practical and pragmatic im sure you will find the UK eyes and ears wide open but perhaps not in some quarters.

        2. outsider
          December 12, 2011

          As I recall, Mr Redwood, the postwar revival of London as a financial centre started by exploiting trading restrictions in the United States of America, so not necessarily Communist.

  16. WitteringsfromWitney
    December 11, 2011

    Mr. Redwood, Why do you continue this myth that David Cameron ‘vetoed the treaty’ when there was no treaty on the table – in fact there wasn’t even a draft treaty? Unless of course you have a copy and can produce it on-line?

    Just asking, you understand.

    Reply: Oh do not peddle these myths. The EU President of the Councul produced a paper outlining a new Treaty, and Mr C vetoed it for the 27. That’s why there is now a big row

    1. WitteringsfromWitney
      December 11, 2011

      You may believe I am argumentative, however when diseminating information I feel sure you would agree it is important that the facts are correct. As you say it was an outline for a treaty, it was not a draft treaty, nor was it a treaty – ergo, there was no treaty.

      It is therefore a tad disingenious of David Cameron to say that there was a treaty on the table and he vetoed it. Pedancy on my part maybe, but as an honourable politician I am sure you would agree that the form of words used is extremely important.

      ReplyNo, he was right – he did veto a Treaty in the making, and it will not be made.

      1. backofanenvelope
        December 11, 2011

        This is just nit-picking by you, WfW. Just imagine Mr Cameron having to explain to the BBC that it was a meeting of the European Council, not a summit. And that a treaty required an IGC and that only Von Rumpoy could call for that. Most of the BBC audience would have changed channel long before he got the preamble over. Your mate over at EURef suffers from the same problem.

      2. DaveK
        December 11, 2011

        Reply to Reply:

        Would this “Treaty in the making” have triggered the referendum lock? If so a cynic might suggest that this was DC’s motive.

      3. Sue
        December 11, 2011

        You know, I have to go with WfW. You have to admit, the last few decades have been nothing but lies, spin and corruption! Why on earth should we trust you now?

        In the EEC referendum, those that could vote were conned into voting yes to the European Market. Since then, Brussels has slowly taken over, step by step and every party in power has let it.

        We’ve had 13 years of NuLabour where we progressively lost everything, even our freedom of speech and the determination to have a say in our own country and the way it is run.

        The Conservatives have passed even more power to the EU while it’s been in government and now Mr Cameron has made one gesture which he can do yet another famous U-Turn on… and you expect us to trust you?

  17. JimF
    December 11, 2011

    The hornet’s nest has been poked but that is all. In order to provide sustainable growth we’ll need to lower Corporation Tax when Ireland is raising hers. We’ll need to provide some proper Enterprise Zones a la 1980s instead of phony ones as now, make employing people less of an obstacle course for employers.
    There’s a lot to do, and not much of it will be in line with the European Social Model.

    1. Boudicca
      December 11, 2011

      Agreed. This is an opportunity to recast the UK as regulation-light; low tax and a stable Democracy. The Euro-empire will be the precise opposite: weighed down with regulations; high tax (Ireland will scream when their Corp Tax is raised to be in line with the ‘colleagues.’); and inherently unstable, when austerity is imposed on the PIIGS by Germany with no democratic mandate to do so.

      We must hope the Conservative EU-sceptics keep up the pressure; Cameron keeps his nerve and Clegg is sidelined – or a GE will be called.

      Meanwhile, to encourage the Tories, UKIP overtook the LibDems in yesterday’s ComRes Poll.

      1. A.Sedgwick
        December 11, 2011

        Feltham and Heston could be one of the critical markers of a parliament. Will the Cameron good guy factor have any influence? Do the public really see the two Eds as leaders in waiting? Has Clegg blown the non trade union wing of the Labour Party out of the water? Then there is our host’s bete noire.

      2. Amanda
        December 11, 2011

        UKIP overtook the LibDems – excellent news, keep it up.

        UKIP plus Tory right-wing = path away from Mount Doom.

      3. uanime5
        December 11, 2011

        So your plan is to market the UK as a more expensive version off India. Which industries are you planning to encourage?

        Austerity was imposed on the PIIGS by the EU because it was a condition of the EU is bailing them out.

    2. backofanenvelope
      December 11, 2011

      How long before we see the Franco-German Alliance promoting Dublin as an alternative to London as a financial centre? In the Eurozone, speaking English, special exemption from the so-called Tobin tax and allowed to keep its low rate of Corporation tax.

      1. Chris
        December 11, 2011

        Sarkozy’s dream is for Paris to be financial centre, I understand.

        1. outsider
          December 12, 2011

          Yes, but it is a long-standing plan. In the battle of the stock exchanges about 20 years ago, France formed alliances with most of the other continental exchanges to form Euronext as rival to the London Stock Exchange. It did not quite work but they did manage to buy out the London Financial Futures Exchange. Frankfurt concentrated on becoming the centre for German, then all E-bonds. The war is now being reopened with a powerful new strategy for Paris and Frankfurt to defeat London.

    3. Pete the Bike
      December 11, 2011

      Agree with lower corporation tax but we only need one enterprise zone. One that starts at John O’Groats and extends to Lands End. A low tax. low regulation, small government zone that will attract business to the UK instead of the socialist nightmare across the channel.

    4. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      Given that the Enterprise Zones in the 1980s failed we don’t need them now. All Enterprise Zones do is encourage businesses to move from one part of the country to another part, so the net change in jobs is minimal but it does cause a loss of tax revenue.

      Also employing people isn’t difficult, which is why there are currently 500,000 jobs available.

      1. lifelogic
        December 11, 2011

        Employing them and making a profit can be quite hard though. I agree on Enterprise Zones just moving companies and jobs to the wrong place – there should be just one – the whole of the UK.

      2. JimF
        December 11, 2011

        So you’re happy with 500’000 vacancies when there are 5 million at least without proper jobs who could be working? You must belong to a very special political party.

        1. libertarian
          December 11, 2011

          Much as I hate to agree he is actually right about jobs. There are more than enough well paid jobs in the UK. In the SE we have massive skills shortages in engineering, manufacturing, IT and digital media.

          There are currently 600,000 unfilled vacancies this QUARTER

      3. Bob
        December 11, 2011

        If the enterprise zone extended from John O’Groats to Lands End there would be no need for relocation of businesses.

  18. figurewizard
    December 11, 2011

    We don’t go anywhere. The largely unreported headline of this latest summit is that nothing was said let alone agreed that is going to allay the concerns of the money markets. They are the true Eurosceptics that will put an end to the Euro and the concept of an EU with it.

    We are right to have stayed on the sidelines so far and notwithstanding the issue of the City of London, David Cameron was right to keep us there Friday night.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    December 11, 2011

    Cameron has made a start but must hold his nerve, not just against the grasping hands of the EU, but the massed ranks of the BBC, the LibDems, Heseltine and Clarke. Who knows what Labour will do?

    1. APL
      December 11, 2011

      Brian Tomkinson: ” .. but the massed ranks of the ..”

      Foreign and Commonwealth office. Don’t forget them.

      Here is my real worry with this whole staged managed affair, if it had any real EUrosceptic implications, do you think we’d be hearing the whispering and chuckling from Hestletine, Clarke? Clegg would have pulled the libbo’s out of the coalition.

      QED it is theatre.

      1. Jon Burgess
        December 11, 2011

        I really do hope not.

        Clegg is history at the next election, his party are now polling less than UKIP, so he’d be mad to force an election now by pulling out of the coalition, wouldn’t he?

      2. Matt
        December 12, 2011

        That’s my concern too

        I hope that you’re

        1. APL
          December 12, 2011

          Jon Burgess: “I really do hope not.”

          Mat: “I hope that you’re wrong”

          Believe me I do too, I am just itching to cast my vote for a truly Conservative party.

          Just look at this administration, how many EUrosceptics are in Cabinet? Look who was plopped onto the governing board of the BBC as a safe pair of hands.

          Where for example, are there people like John Redwood – who is one of the good guys btw, but people like him are like hens teeth in this administration.

    2. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      Labour will oppose the Conservatives, just like the Conservatives opposed Labour when Labour was in power.

      1. Bob
        December 11, 2011

        What, like agreeing with the introduction of academy schools?

  20. Captain Crunch
    December 11, 2011

    What was the dinner at Chequers like? Assume you were invited?

    Reply Yes. No.

    I had talked to the PM before the summit.

  21. bertsanders
    December 11, 2011

    Having heard Mr Clegg this morning it seems a General Election is necessary –
    it will in fact be a referendum.
    We are being frightened into believing we cannot operate without the EU – once again I heard the job loss scare (the PM will not answer this one either) when it seems our exports will discontinue, and I presume the euro imports into this country will cease also. We are still one of the major economic areas in the world and there will still be a place for us outside Europe.

  22. pete
    December 11, 2011

    What was the BBC spurting out this morning about Clegg being ‘Furious with the PM’?

    …And for the Eurosceptics to be careful what they wish for

    I have listened to politicians on sides of the Euro argument, some of the most ridiculous pro being:

    “You lose influence at the top table” – what influence? not seen a huge amount of that in the last 10 years, all we see is power shifting away and governments having their hands tied whilst paying more in tax

    “Obama less likely to pick up the phone to the UK PM now they have less influence” – what a load of nonsense!

    As they say the ‘devil is in the detail’ and hague et all will have seen this detail as being unacceptable – better to be honest than a labour style ‘lets go to the red line’ then lets start crossing bits out bit by bit.

    Time for an in out referendum to let the UK people decide – if the Lib Dems dont like it then call a general election.

    1. APL
      December 11, 2011

      Pete: “Obama less likely to pick up the phone to the UK PM now they have less influence”

      Yes, in the particular instance of THIS president who is the least anglophile of them all. If Cameron were to do something he doesn’t like, we would go from having no influence to …. having no influence.


      1. martin sewell
        December 11, 2011

        Even Obama knows who to call if the need is for trustworthy ” boots on the ground”.

        1. pete
          December 12, 2011

          He probably will be gone next year anyway after helping screw up the us economy

        2. APL
          December 12, 2011

          Martin Sewell: “Even Obama knows who to call if the need is for trustworthy ” boots on the ground””

          Is that what you want for the armed forced of our country? A sort of high priced call girl?

          British Armed forces are top notch, with reservations John Redwood pointed out in a previous post. But they should be used to protect our trade, project our influence.

          Not bargaining chips used to, for example – promote ‘Anglo French’ relations.

    2. uanime5
      December 11, 2011

      “what influence? not seen a huge amount of that in the last 10 years”

      Other than all the opt-outs.

      “Obama less likely to pick up the phone to the UK PM now they have less influence”

      Obama may be less likely to pick up the phone to the UK PM if the Euro crisis causes him to lose the election. I also doubt a Republican president will be happy for the UK to exacerbate the problems in the Eurozone, especially if it affect the US economy.

      “Time for an in out referendum to let the UK people decide”

      Didn’t the Conservatives veto the last referendum?

  23. Anne Palmer
    December 11, 2011

    I cannot understand the outcry of those that believe Mr Cameron has done wrong in rejecting what was originally put on the table, or in rejecting the ESM. The United Kingdom in no way could accept or “go along with” the contents of the ESM.

    I take it Labour and the LibDEMS would have signed up to this Treaty? It is perhaps about time they realised that all our MP’s were elected and perhaps more importantly we actually contribute to their pay to Govern this Country according to its very long standing Common law Constitution. Recognise also we are not of the Continent and haven’t been so since the seas decided it flood what is now known as the English Channel.

    We are an Island nation and Winston Churchill was exactly right when he said those famous words. It is time for us to withdraw and prepare as they say-for the worse, that is to come whether we remain in the EU or NOT. Most certainly the truth should be told to the people exactly why NO Prime Minister of this Country of any worth, could not sign the ESM Treaty ,

  24. Peter van Leeuwen
    December 11, 2011

    I’m really curious about what happened when these 27 heads of governments were, without their assistants, talking through the night. Cameron may have started with a list (available on internet) but that was followed by discussion.
    Today again, the Dutch government repeated that the UK tried to secure favors for the City (guarantees to shield the City of London financial district from EU regulation) which of course would distort a level playing field. It was expressed as a double loss for the UK (1 – no favors for the City, 2 – isolation within the EU).

    1. Tedgo
      December 11, 2011

      As I see it any legislation the 26 decide on regarding fiscal union will be inter government treaties outside of the EU. As such it will not apply to the UK. Any laws relating to the Euro do not apply to the UK as we haven’t joined that club. Any new laws regarding banking and the financial industry, within existing EU treaties, will have to be sorted out by all 27 members.

      Of course we could also adopt a more mainland EU EGG approach, that is ignore EU diktats altogether.

      1. Tedgo
        December 11, 2011

        ps I am in favour of turning the EGG lorries round at Dover with a return to supplier note.

      2. Chris
        December 11, 2011

        Laws may not apply directly to UK, but they will affect it greatly(worth being aware of how some politicians are exploiting the meaning of these words to hide things they would rather we did not know). That is why we need to be out of the EU altogether, and not bound in to this “sclerotic” organism, as I think the S Times referred to the EU this morning.

      3. Peter van Leeuwen
        December 11, 2011

        @Tedgo: “we haven’t joined that club”, actually the EU isn’t yet a “pick & choose” union (maybe in future we’ll have an opt-in union?), you got the huge compromise of an “opt-out”. The further opt-out Cameron wanted to secure just proved one opt-out too far. How it will work out from now I have no idea, but holding 26 countries to ransom on such vital issues may not be too easy.

        1. alan jutson
          December 11, 2011


          We do not need to hold 26 countries to ransom, we just have to opt out altogether if they all start playing silly games.

          I would not be too confident yet, that everybody else (the 26) will go along with what is being proposed at the moment, they all still have to report back, and then read and agree the small print.

        2. Bob
          December 11, 2011

          So Peter, remind me, when were the EU’s financial accounts last audited?

        3. Jon Burgess
          December 11, 2011

          Britain holding the other 26 EU members to ransom? Do us a favour!

          Looks to me like France and Germany had made up their minds not to budge an inch, and Cameron had pledged not to hamstring the City, so the imovable object met the irresistible force. I just don’t think the other EU members thought Cameron would stand his ground like that – hell most of us didn’t think he would either!

          If France and Germany’s aim had been agreement of the 27, they would have been prepared to grant Cameron some fig leaf for London – as you say, opt-outs had been granted in previous negotiations.

          Continental Europe (France in particular) has a problem with the City of London being a successful global financial centre. This looks to have been more about neutering the city and less about helping to bolster your currency.

          You can all have as many regulations and banking taxes that you want inside the 26 – Britain has no interest in telling you what you should do – but any EU wide banking tax and regulations require Britain’s agreement, and as you can see it is not going to be forthcoming.

        4. outsider
          December 12, 2011

          Dear Mr van Leeuwen,
          I sympathise with your view but the ultimate problem has been, as for many generations, UK diplomacy in Europe is hopeless while France’s is brilliant.
          Eventually, we give up hope of actually winning any argument, achieving any reform, even though we think most member states (including your own) often agree with us, and so we opt for “special treatment” as a fall-back position.
          In this case, competent diplomacy should have convinced many partners that financial services are the UK speciality, like small-scale agriculture for France; that the UK accounts for more than half the financial sector of the EU and that even though we wanted to help euro-wise, no British Prime minister had a hope of getting a treaty change through parliament, let alone a referendum, unless he had some gains to show in terms of guarantees that others would not try yet again to undermine the City of London.
          Obviously, we failed miserably, assuming we tried. That is why we end up, like the good Mr Redwood, talking about “the UK and the continent” and why, to the regret of, I think, you and many other good Europeans, we are taxiing towards the exit runway.

          Yet, if you think in terms of actions rather than diplomacy (and speeches in the European Parliament) we are actually rather good Europeans. Only the UK, Ireland and Sweden, for instance, decided from the start to treat Poles and Czechs as equal EU citizens with equal rights of abode, with unfortunate consequences in terms of migrant numbers. Yet I think most of the Poles who came to the UK had a friendly welcome ( apart from a few stuffy RC congregations) in marked contrast to Gastarbeiter in Germany, let alone Roma in France.

  25. Colin Hart
    December 11, 2011

    It’s a shame in a way we won’t be submitting our budget to the EU for approval as the opening preamble would be to explain why we no longer consider our membership fee represents value for money.

  26. Anoneumouse
    December 11, 2011

    Mr Redwood, you ask where do we go from here?

    Politically, we could start by banning anyone who has worked for the European Union Commission from taking up ‘public office’ in the UK as the terms of their EU pension conditions constrain their actions.

    Two that immediately come to mind Nick Clegg (deputy PM) and Chris Patten (chairman of the BBC Trust)

  27. David Price
    December 11, 2011

    Where is the fury of the LibDems, Lord Oakshot, Mr Clegg , the BBC talking heads et al over the French and German attempt to grab one yet another of our key revenue generating sectors by manipulating regulations in Brussels?

    Perhaps they should consider just who they are responsible to and should be representing the interests of before getting into such conniptions.

    In answer to your question I hope the boys in Westminster have a plan. A plan for when the Euro dissolves, the EU falls apart or is replaced by this 26 country construct or we simply leave the EU.

  28. NickW
    December 11, 2011

    Previous EU summit deals have speedily unravelled because of their economic shortcomings; this one has the capacity to unravel because of its political shortcomings.

    Sarkozy’s opposition in the forthcoming French election has set out his stall against any loss of Sovereignty. The French people will effectively have a referendum on giving up their Sovereignty to gain; exactly what? Sarkozy will probably lose and France’s position will radically change if he does.

    The German Parliament has already expressed its concerns about Merkel’s actions. We have yet to see how the German Parliament will respond, and what the German people’s opinion is in the next elections.

    National leaders who have tentatively agreed to acquiesce to the summit’s momentum subject to Parliamentary approval, may well find that their Parliaments do not support them, particularly now that the UK has already removed any possibility of unanimity, and with it, most of the opprobrium of saying “No”.

    We have yet to see how Irish agreement will impact on their Corporation tax regime. Now that the UK has held its line in defence of its national interest, Ireland will be much more inclined to do the same.

    I do not watch or listen to anything from the BBC, so what they have to say is irrelevant to me. To a great extent, the British public have already seen the BBC for what it is, and neither trusts nor respects its opinion. The BBC and the Guardian speak to and for themselves.

    I suspect that in the coming days, we will discover that Britain is not isolated at all, that others will move towards a courageous leader when they realise that they are not alone in their concerns about the assassination of democracy in Europe.

  29. oldtimer
    December 11, 2011

    There are two sides to the “Where do we go from here?” question. The UK and the rest of the EU sides. I agree with your prescription for what the UK should now do. Some early noises off from the rest of the EU, eg a couple of influential German MEPs, suggest a desire to drive the UK out of the EU by QMVd rules and regulations which they know will be anathema to the UK. If that view prevails with Merkozy and Sarkozy and comes to pass, then I see no point in staying; it then would be a clear case of better off out.

    In the meantime the EZ has to find a solution to its own problems, which are no nearer to a solution than they were last Thursday

  30. uanime5
    December 11, 2011

    “Our EU partners are out to tax, regulate and damage our financial services industry, just as they have done to our fishing industry, our alternative remedies businesses and many others.”

    John the alternative remedies businesses had restriction placed upon them because they claimed that their products could cure various diseases, such as cancer and asthma, without any evidence that they would work or that they were safe for human consumption. If these alternative remedies businesses want to market their products as medicines they should be subject to the same standards as pharmaceutical companies who produce real medicines. It’s a pity our cowardly Government wasn’t able to regulate such quackery and even tried to circumvent the EU laws.

    “Many other business and environmental regulations harm EU competitiveness, costing us jobs.”

    What business regulations are these? Minimum wage laws? The prohibition on firing women for being pregnant? Laws that prevent employers abusing their employees? Care to elaborate more on which rights employees should lose so their employers can make more money.

    “The Uk should present a constructive plan for jobs and growth which includes repeals and amendments of EU regulations.”

    Illegal under EU law. All this will do is cause the UK to be prosecuted by the EU in the ECJ and have to pay huge fines. Also the UK courts are duty bound to ignore all UK law that is incompatible with EU law, so expect a lot of domestic legal challenges.

    One final point. Given that the problem with the Eurozone is affecting the global market other countries, such as the USA, may not take kindly to the UK preventing the Eurozone from trying to fix its problems. Now is not the time to be seen by others as trying to milk this crisis for all we can get, as it will only make other nations hostile towards us.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 11, 2011

      Parliament decided that UK courts would be duty bound to give primacy to EU laws; Parliament can change its mind on that in general or in particular cases; provided Parliament had clearly stated its new will, then the UK courts would follow it.

  31. Martyn
    December 11, 2011

    I fear the worst is yet to come. Barroso has already made it quite clear that if the 26 can agree their proposed financial governance arrangements there will be no need to amend Lisbon, because the changes needed can be incorporated into an existing protocal attached to Lisbon without affecting the treaty itself. That could be agreed by QMV without a UK right of veto and Mr C will have to say ‘sorry, no change to Lisbon so no need for a referendum and we must now accept the new financial governance arrangements and that’s that.’
    Not only shall we back where we were, UK sovereignty in setting its own budget will be lost to the EU commissioners who will simply dictate what is, or is not, acceptable and instruct Parliament how it is to vote. Make no mistake, the EU is unstoppable and there is no way out of being totally ruled by the EU led by France and Germany other than a UK referendum deciding that we shall withdraw from it. Other than that, our only hope is for the talks of creating a fincial dictatorship collapse in chaos.
    And as for Cleggy and his supporting cast of Lib Dums, the mind boggles at how out of touch they are with the real world and in particular the ordinary people of this once-proud nation.

  32. Tad Davison
    December 11, 2011

    Below, is an e-mail I have just sent to Sky News, and with your permission, I have posted it for others to read.

    Dear Sky News,

    You appear to be trying to drive a wedge into a tiny rift in the coalition, in the hope you can make it bigger, and thus get a story out of it. Perhaps your reporter, Peter Spencer, ought to take account of what the Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said to Jon Snow on Channel 4 News on the 16th November.

    ”The Tobin tax would be a tax on Britain to fund the European union, and we’re not falling for that one!”

    That seems to me to be wholly compatible with what David Cameron achieved on Britain’s behalf, but I will add my own comment. What the hell does Vince Cable think we’ve been doing since we joined the EU in the 1970s?

    The only year we got more out of the EU than we put in, was 1974, when the Labour government and the trade unions drove this nation to the brink of bankruptcy.

    The British people really need to know how much our nett EU contributions have amounted to, then factor in all the other costs. It will soon be seen, that it hasn’t once been to our advantage, so all those who still advocate closer ties as a means to our salvation need to get real!

    The reason the EU is in a mess, is because of the grossly over bureaucratic and wasteful way it is run, and I doubt if the EU’s own auditors can be wrong for 17 years in a row, because that’s how long they have refused to give the EU’s accounts a clean bill of health, and sign off the accounts!

    The momentum to get out of the EU black hole that keeps swallowing our money is rapidly gathering pace. David Cameron did the right thing, but hasn’t yet gone anywhere near far enough.

    Tad Davison


  33. Quietzaple
    December 11, 2011

    Hardly surprising that the 26 will look elsewhere rather than the City of London when they have options. Our largest tax take is from the City. In holding the wretched Tory Party together Cameron has betrayed us all.

  34. Sue
    December 11, 2011

    I’m sorry, I’m still feeling conned. Can you reply to this post please?


    Reply: Yes, they did want a Treaty for the 27, Mr C vetoed it, so they are now all brieifng against him.

    1. Quietzaple
      December 11, 2011

      On the contrary Cameron brought his demands and Merk and Sark vetoed them.

      They then called a meeting to which he was not invited, as once pop groups would exclude a duff musician by starting a new group and not inviting the duff rhythm guitarist.

      There was no treaty or why for Cameron to veto and it is mere Tory PR for the BBC etc to pose these events in that fashion.

  35. Duyfken
    December 11, 2011

    Where Cameron might go from here is to goad Clegg & co into splitting the Coalition. A General Election might clear the air.

  36. MajorFrustration
    December 11, 2011

    John with the dross of the LibDems spouting off its about time somebody told them to either enjoy the limited power they have via the coalition or lets just call and election.
    The country would back the conservatives – massive majority. Trust me

    1. Bob
      December 11, 2011

      Vince Cable on LBC this morning claimed that 50% of our export sales are to the EU.

      He obviously doesn’t read this blog!

  37. Winston's Black Dog
    December 11, 2011

    William Shakespeare covered this 400 years ago.

    Much Ado About Nothing it was called.

    There was no treaty. It’s all theatre and Cameron the PR man has pulled a clever con which a compliant media are enhancing and the Party before Country Tories are having orgasms as they unite behind “Bulldog Dave.”

    When we have the next “Whose got the biggest tits” reality TV show to distract the sheeple Dave will be back to his normal, supine, compliant Europhile self . Have no fear.

    I’ll believe in Eurosceptic Tories, regotiation and all the other hogwash they try to con us with when we stop forking out massive sums of money to EU or EU via the IMF back door rather than murder old people by forced dehydration in NHS hospitals to save on pension costs.

    Reply: They did want a Treaty and he did say “No” which is why they are all so cross

    I’m not holding my breath!

    1. davidb
      December 11, 2011

      So am I to understand that when I was shot down yesterday for saying “what treaty”, I was in fact right? There was a proposed treaty, but not an actual treaty to veto?

      I do agree absolutely with what Mr Cameron has done. I note how few Labour people are being drummed up by the BEEB to give their tuppence worth. I know the Euro is doomed.

      But when I thought the king was in the all together it seems after all I may have been right. The treaty was not a treaty after all, just a bit of spin?

      Reply: No there was a Treaty to veto – a paper circulated explaining the contents of the proposed new treaty.

  38. English Pensioner
    December 11, 2011

    I note that Clegg has done another of his U-turns on the EU!
    From promising a referendum on the EU in the LibDem manifesto, to opposing one in parliament took some months. From reluctantly accepting Cameron’s actions in Brussels to total opposition to what happened has taken a mere 24 hours!
    And with regards isolation, why worry? Switzerland and Norway don’t seem to mind and they’re not doing to badly, neither come to that are Australia and New Zealand. None of these seem to be concerned about “not having influence” in world affairs, perhaps Cleggiband could explain why we need such influence and exactly what is wrong with isolation and keeping our collective noses out of other peoples’ affairs.

  39. Barbara Stevens
    December 11, 2011

    I still have several worries about the problem over the Channel. If we refuse to implement any taxes they impose upon us from the EU, and they want the Justice Commission to police this new treaty, where will we stand. Will be have fines imposed upon us? Can we refuse to pay, I would? If we were to finally remove ourselves from the EU, which I know it not likely yet, will they bring taxes upon us on imports we might have with the EU. They could do this if we take our money out of their hands eventually.
    I’m in no doubt Mr Cameron did the right thing, but I’m worried to how he will proceed, and the negative media particularly the BBC. I thought someone had died when they annouced the decision about the veto. They have brought on Liberal Democrat after another, and Labour weasels, where as been the Tory comment? The BBC is biased and left wing and as a taxpaying facility it should stick to it’s remit. Fairness for all. I just hope the Conservatives will keep up the momentum on this issue and tell it as it is, about the loss of business in the City and the costs to this nation. Plus the loss of sovereignty this new treaty would have meant, this is not getting across in the media. Make them say what they would have done. Surrender perhaps, appeasement, no thanks.

  40. nicol sinclair
    December 11, 2011

    To stop all this kerfuffle about when is a treaty not a treaty, it might be useful to have sight of that Agenda item. Does anyone have the script? Or a link to the web? What precisely did he veto/say no to?

    If so, we could then judge for ourselves as to whether ‘the Boy done good’…or not.

  41. pedroelingles
    December 11, 2011

    The PM has risen two points in my estimation and now, like the weather, is just above zero. Now that this country has given the lead the dominoes will start to fall. It only needed some catalyst to defend freedom and democracy in Europe and once again we have provided just that. As somebody said before though “..It’s been a damned close run thing…”. Now it is a question as to how long before others will object to their living standards and way of life being depressed by the faceless and unelected Diktats emanating from Brussels. We are not walking this tight-rope alone in Europe although the suicidal diversion being taken by our Lib-Dems is leading them to certain extinction.

  42. Chris
    December 11, 2011

    I believe it is essential that Cameron sets out very bold policies immediately to disentangle the UK from the EU and negotiate new looser trading arrangements, not only because that is the only way in which we can hope to achieve economic growth, but also because of ‘serious weather’ on the horizon – there are very real concerns being expressed regarding IMF loans to the EU (the amounts, the guarantees, the liabilities, the mechanism, the “legality”, and the responsibility issue) – see Athens News “Worries grow over IMF loans to Europe” http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/11/51313
    Also Standard and Poor’s is apparently likely to downgrade France’s credit rating by two notches. Sarkozy is rumoured to have said privately that he is finished (re election prospects) if this happens, as his stand has been that he would bring France safely out of the economic crisis.

    Any action that Merkel may have arranged on Friday will be far too slow for the these outside forces. It has been said in the press that Merkel is no economist, and it seems that this is evident in her handling of this whole disaster. I am inclined to believe that the euro has not long to run, and the end will be messy.

  43. john w
    December 11, 2011

    John,the lib dems have not shut up all weekend.Will you please publish a large print edition of spare us the fibs.They are aware of this fabulous article.I hope you get the opportunity to refer a few people to it at work tommorow.

    Reply: Thanks. I will remind people where possible of these points.

  44. Denis Cooper
    December 11, 2011

    As something of an aside, the EU treaty provisions relating to meetings of the euro group do relate to meetings only of the euro group, not to meetings of any “euro-plus” group.

    It’s Protocol (No 14) on the euro group, on page 283 here:


    “The Ministers of the Member States whose currency is the euro shall meet informally … ”

    And while:

    “The European Central Bank shall be invited to take part in such meetings … ”

    that is the only scope for issuing invitations, and it was clearly not intended to extend, and does not extend, to issuing invitations to ministers from non-euro countries.

    If notwithstanding the lack of any legal authority to do so the Commission did take part in euro group meetings to which ministers from non-euro states had also been invited, and allowed EU premises and facilities to be used for them, on what grounds could the UK minister be excluded from those meetings?

    1. Chris
      December 11, 2011

      As I read it there are no grounds for exclusion. If using EU premises/facilities the meetings can be for the 17 (with the ECB) or the 27 – nothing in between. However, von Rompuy will be hard at work on this….Perhaps they will all be “encouraged” to join the euro pronto.

      In practice if Cameron challenged the legality it would be a tortuous process, maybe taking months/years, by which time events may have overtaken the European leaders’ machinations.

  45. jack Dumas
    December 11, 2011

    Spring Election ?

  46. David Price
    December 11, 2011

    From the interview with Andrew Marr today Mr Clegg apparently has a plan for what happens next along the lines of “undoing” the veto damage.

    Perhaps he will be as successful as he was in early November when he claimed to have “won widespread backing in Europe to persuade the Germans not to push for EU treaty changes as a way of imposing greater financial discipline on crisis ridden euro-member countries.”


    Looks like France and Germany had other plans that they don’t seemed to have shared with Mr Clegg.

    1. Bob
      December 11, 2011

      Maybe he’s striving for useful idiot status.

  47. Andrew
    December 11, 2011

    This country will never be free until it frees itself from the treasonous BBC.

    There can be no doubt – no doubt – that the BBC has violated its charter of ‘independence’ in the last two days. The Clegg interview this morning was an absolute joke.

    It is time for a petition on the Downing Street website for parliament to discuss the morality of sending the poor to jail unless they fund Andrew Marr’s millionaire lifestyle and Orwellian farces such as the Departmemt of Vision.

    1. Bob
      December 12, 2011

      The government will not tackle the BBC problem, it’s up to you.
      The best way to tackle the parasites is to withdraw their sustenance, i.e. stop paying the licence fee (you won’t go to jail).

      You and the kids can use the various “catch up” services like iPlayer and 4 OD, as you will not need a licence unless you watch live broadcasts.

      We have to get into the habit of taking matters into our own hands in this country and kick the sheepish mentality, and then the politicians will follow (like sheep).

      Put the money you save towards a new licence free internet TV!

      Reply: It is the law of the land that if you have a TV you must pay the fee. This site does not endorse law breaking.

      1. Bob
        December 13, 2011

        Reply to reply:

        Correction – you only need a licence to watch or record live broadcasts, not for recordings, DVDs or catch up TV.

  48. Bob
    December 11, 2011

    So who’s next in line for Vince Cable’s job?

  49. Rebecca Hanson
    December 11, 2011

    I think you should make sure you get a proper break over Christmas and the New Year John. Keep you strength up. If possible go for a decent walk by a river or the sea or something.

  50. Bob
    December 11, 2011

    Would recommend Peter Hitchens’ write up (10/12) on the “veto”.

    …And somehow the City of London will be subject to the rules he claims to have vetoed. This, too, will be announced as a ‘victory’.
    It has happened to all the others, including Margaret Thatcher herself, though at the very end she grasped what was going on and tried to alert the country. That was why the Tory Party destroyed her

    Google “Angela’s giant vampire squid”

  51. Peter T
    December 12, 2011

    Of course this veto could well be the start of bringing economic reality back into the world.

    1. waramess
      December 12, 2011

      At least back into the UK

  52. Bernard Otway
    December 12, 2011

    Today I went to ASDA a very small punnet of South African peaches 5 the size of a plum each
    one,selling for £2 =R25.70 I skyped my farmer friend in Langkloof who has 500 acres of peaches and apricots, I can buy 1 Kilo which would be about 20 the same size as I saw for 30
    Cents =2.34 PENCE,WHY therefore such a huge price ? PUNITIVE EU DUTY AND AND AND if this monster of the Eu can show me WHERE? in the EU are growing any peaches RIGHT NOW [WINTER] that need PROTECTING from SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE crops
    seeing as we live on a PLANET where for those ignoramusses in Brussels information
    when its summer in the Bottom of the planet it is winter in the top.I would like an answer from Europhiles like Uanime5 and Peter Van Leeuwen and Peter Ek praat Afrikaans,as you know Afrikaners are called Dutchmen in SA ,but do not resemble in any way shape or form you their Cousins.Perhaps the EU would like us NOT to eat any seasonal fruit or vegetable
    except that grown in Northern Climates.

    1. Phil Richmond
      December 12, 2011

      Very good point. I remember Daniel Hannan making the point that our household weekly food bill would be halved if we left the EU.
      Interesting that the BBC/Guardian luvvies skipped over that one. I thought they cared about the poor?

      1. Bob
        December 12, 2011

        The poor are the raison d’être of the champaign socialists. Without the poor all they’d be left with is global warming. That’s why everything they do is to ensure the continuation of welfare dependency mostly through substitution of state in place of parents reinforced by indoctrination thinly disguised as education.

  53. Stephen O
    December 12, 2011

    The UK is continually painted as being ‘anti-Europe’ and it needs to show itself in a more positive light – as simply having an alternative vision which aims to make the economy (europe’s or at least the UK’s) competitive in the 21st centry. In the short run it will be a lonely position, but in the longer run the current near consensus views in europe will come to be discredited and its long established modernising stance will be beneficial to its relations with the rest of europe. But only if it starts to show now what it is in favour of.

  54. Dan Holdsworth
    December 12, 2011

    One thing which hasn’t been mentioned except in passing is that the performance of the Euro as a currency in the EU is, thus far, quite amazingly bad. It took Robert Mugabe over thirty years to destroy the Zimbabwe dollar; in a little under a decade the combined forces of ECB and EU have pretty much brought the Euro to the brink of similar ruin. This is, by anyone’s standards, a record of shocking incompetence.

    The massed economic wizards and bureaucrats of the EU therefore do not have any moral high ground from which to lecture the rest of us on fiscal and economic matters; indeed they are metaphorically at the bottom of a very deep hole, digging frantically as they speak on such matters. The whole Euro and EU project is corrupt, incompetently planned and idiotically implemented from start to finish.

    Cameron, acting as he did to keep Britain from being disadvantaged by more EU madness, was doing us all a favour. A Tobin tax on financial transactions would merely force financial institutions to move out of Europe to, say, Switzerland, Norway or even Israel. Trying to tax financial institutions over and above the level that they deem permissible is like trying to nail fog to a wall; intelligently evasive fog at that.

    The current racket we are hearing from Clegg is again nothing to worry about. At the last election, pitted against possibly the least popular leader since Charles 1st, the Lib-Dems suffered an electoral disaster and lost a lot of seats; Clegg’s position as party leader is extremely insecure and he needs to be seen to be battling against an intransigent opponent (rather than a coalition partner) simply to keep his own people on-side. Let the fool rant, he is easier to deal with than others of his ilk, though he won’t survive the next election.

    And what of the EU? Well, it is in the process of dying as we speak. I would advocate keeping out of its way and letting it get on with snuffing it; we won’t be thanked for interfering and letting the EU core countries feel a lot of pain now ought to persuade them not to try to resurrect the EU once it finally does go tits-up.

  55. Bob
    December 12, 2011

    Following is a UKIP FOI request submitted to Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

    1. Please provide a copy of the treaty that David Cameron is reported to have vetoed this week. If no draft treaty exists, please provide a précis of the intended purpose and contents of the proposed treaty.

    2. Please confirm the ratification process for the protocol change that was required for the introduction of the financial transaction tax and other measures agreed this week. Did the UK formally agree to the protocol change, was a veto available on the protocol change and which treaty was the protocol attached to?

    3. Please confirm which financial transactions carried out in the UK and which types of institutions in the UK will be subjected to the financial transaction tax. Approximately how many institutions in the UK will be subject to the tax, approximately what value of transactions in the UK will be subject to the tax and approximately how much financial transaction tax will be raised in the UK?

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