What Conservatives want

 

           I have been speaking in other constituencies in recent weeks, meeting Conservative members and voters. The overwhelming wish they have is to hold a referendum on the EU.

              I explain to them the ideas behind the government’s welfare reform proposals. I set out the government’s plans to cut the administrative overhead of government, and to tackle bureaucracy. I talk to them about the education and health reforms. I explain the latest proposals to try to get the banks lending to foster a private sector led recovery, which we need.  The questions will all be about Europe.

              If I spend more time talking about the EU, the questions will still be about Europe.Many Conservative members understand just how much the EU dictates to us, and how the EU is now a major part of the problem we face.

                Conservatives want the EU budget cut – not just the growth rate reduced, but big cuts in total spending. Many would simply like to be out altogether so we pay nothing.  They want an assurance that UK taxpayers will not have to pay a penny to bail out the Euro, as we wisely stayed out following a big battle mainly waged by Conservatives in the 1990s to keep us out. They want the government to spend less, and they think cutting the amount we spend on the EU is the best place to start.

                Conservatives want much less expensive regulation of our businesses. They understand that some steps have been taken on domestic regulation by the current government, but see also that the avalanche of new EU regulation overwhelms UK attempts to cut the overall burden.

             Conservatives want less interference in the way we handle our refuse, undertake our diplomacy, fish in our seas, run our criminal justice and work out  our environmental policy. The EU way for these things is rarely popular.

              Conservatives recognise that we were right about the Euro. They see that if the Euro area presses on with a political union to try to buttress their errant currency, the UK cannot possibly be part of it. They recognise the reality. This means we need a new relationship with the EU. They want their leaders to say so.

             Conservatives say that if we can have a referendum on the Alternative Vote, referenda on elected mayors, maybe a referendum on Lords reform, and if Scotland can have a vote on staying in the UK, why can’t the rest of us have the one referendum we want, a referendum on our relationship with the EU? Members in England want a better deal for England. They want the Conservative majority in England in the Commons to be allowed to make the calls for England in our increasingly devolved UK.

           I am delighted the Prime Minister wishes to define Conservative views and policies for the next election. He should understand that in the party there is just one overwhelming preoccupation amongst members, like it or not. They know the EU is going wrong for us, and they want a new sense of direction, a way out of the troubles the Euro and the EU are bringing us.

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168 Comments

  1. Adam5x5
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    you are correct. There is an overwhelming preoccupation and a majority of the people who are Conservative would like to be out of the EU, or at least see it have less power over us.

    What are the chances though of Cameron letting us have a say?
    After all, despite all his mouthing of ‘self-determination being a fundamental right’ for everyone – he believes that being in the EU is the best thing for us, so we don’t get a say and are denied our right to self-determination. He’s a hypocrite.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      What are the chances though of Cameron letting us have a say?

      Clearly none unless forced into doing so.

      • DennisA
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        What are the chances of Cameron being allowed to let us have a say?

    • David Kelly
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      It’s impossible to reach a position where we remain in the EU but with Brussels having less power over us. No government in the EU has ever managed to repatriate powers (if it has even tried), because the EU simply doesn’t allow the return of powers once it has them. The only option is to leave the EU, and rejoin the EFTA.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Mr Redwood I’m afraid your leadership won’t allow and cannot be trusted on the EU. So much cost (£10 billion net) to build foreign infrastructures and keep their farmers. £9 billion costs to implement the EU directives annually. 400,000 fishing jobs lost due to the CFP. Billions in additional food costs due to the CAP. 6.5 million of working age economically inactive and 1000,000 young people unemployed so that employers can recruit Eastern Europeans at and below minimum wage. We would loose millions of jobs if we left………. Not with a £50 billion annual trade deficit with Europe. Over £20 billion with Germany alone!! Lets get out and trade with the free world NOT this undemocratic monster!!

    • RDM
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      DC is a Monkey on a string, at the moment at least! And it is starting to show, big time!

      The Referendum will be turned into a In or Out question, and fear, etc … will be used to bounce GB into a Federal Union. The question should be about forming a new relationship with Euroland, within the EC, based on Coop and Trade.

      As stated by JR many times!

      So Who by?

      The 2015 Coalition! Lab/Lib? , the Establishment within the HoLs, and some senior members of the Cabinet. EU commission!

      The Conservative Party needs to understand this, and appeal to the People! We need to have a broader base, … We need to win 2015! Something we have failed to do once before!

      Ultimately, the Referendum will be about the Primacy of the HoP! So we need a Representative Democracy! And not full of Establishment figures trying to use the blurred powers of state to get their own way!

      Also; With the reform of the HoL, he has been given a chance to change things. Why, because its from there (and the Cabinet) he has been boxed in!

      Regards,

      RDM.

      PS: I recognize, and sympathize, with his position! I’m not about stabbing people in the back. But if he thinks a very narrow, negative, agenda will do, then he would have won the last Election! “The World of Work”, with no jobs, or anyway of earning some spare income, does say how People can get on in life! If you were to turn around and say that there is plenty of paid employment out there, then you’d be talking crap! And seen to be, by the people! But Free Enterprise, is Positive, etc …

      People want to know about how they, their family’s, and GB as a whole can build a life for themselves!

      Sorry about stating the obvious!

      I’m getting more and more cynical because I’ve been unemployed for the last four/fives years now. All because I do not accept someone can be owned, or strings pulled by, someone else, or whatever is going on!

      Before 2007/8 I did 12 years of Project Management (self employed Project Work), and now I can’t get a reply? I’m applying for 10 or 20 a day. All I get sent is IT roles. I do not do IT?

      Why are Agency’s, I would normally work with, sending IT roles, and not replying when I ask why?

      Even Oxfam have stopped sending roles? I’d be idea out in Sudan!

      Difficult times indeed!

  2. ROGER THE PILOT
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    …In other words, we want a Conservative Government, lead by a Conservative!

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Agreed, but, does Blighty ?

  3. norman
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Maybe he could promise a referendum for after the next election?

    Don’t know if anyone here has ever read a story called ‘The Boy who Cried Wolf’. Normally read to small children to teach them an important lesson. Would have thought with the best education money can buy the Party leadership would have came across it.

    Funny how the Lib Dems forced through an unpopular referendum on AV and almost one on the Lords. Tempted to say tail wagging the dog but reality is the leadership of the two parties are in agreement there must be no referendum, that the Eurozone has to move to become a political unity, and that we have to be involved in it to put our case and stand up for Britains interest.

    In Europe but not ran by Europe. Hilarious.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      A cast iron promise from Cameron after the next election would rightly not be believed anyway he will not get back at this rate.

    • Adam5x5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Don’t know if anyone here has ever read a story called ‘The Boy who Cried Wolf’. Normally read to small children to teach them an important lesson.

      Indeed. As accomplished as the majority of politicians are at spinning, if not outright lying, you would have thought they would have taken the point of this story to heart…

      Never tell the same lie twice.

  4. Alte Fritz
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    It sounds as if Conservatives want a free trade area as promised when the European Communities Bill made its devious passage through Parliament. Does any Conservative really think they will get that?

    I have still to hear, in reasoned detail, why an orderly deconstruction of the Euro would lead to Armageddon. Yet, until the Euro is taken to pieces, the EU can only go in one direction and that quite the opposite to that evidently wanted by Conservatives. The profoundly undemocratic British establishment will not tolerate the UK enjoying associate status.

    • Alan
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      You don’t hear why an orderly deconstruction of the euro would lead to Armageddon because none of the Eurozone countries wish to leave the euro, so it is not an option that is available.

      But to attempt to provide the ‘reasoned detail’ that you request: if it did take place it would result in devaluations, which would make some Eurozone banks default, which would cause other banks, not just in the Eurozone to default. The fear is this would spread financial chaos worse than that which happened when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. That’s probably not rational, but financial markets do not act rationally in times of crisis.

      I don’t feel much confidence that I understand this, so if anyone else has a better explanation I would be interested to read it.

      • matt
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Financial markets DO act rationally in a crisis.

        Politicians DON’T act rationally and cause the crisis.

      • Alte Fritz
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        That presupposes that you immediately convert all Euro denominated debt and credit into new currency. Why not keep existing debt and credit in Euro, effectively in run off, maintaining the Euro’s value against, say the US $. New transactions would be in new currency. I can see that it would make it very expensive for some countries to service exisiting debt, but in an orderly transition, that would be manageable.

        In other words, if they want to make it work, it will work.

  5. Boudicca
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I can agree with virtually every word in this post. The difference is that I want NO interference from Brussels in the way we deal with our refuse; fish our seas; support our farmers; deal with immigration and the rest of the policy areas that our politicians ceded first to the EEC and then the EU without explaining their longer-term intentions or bothering to get a mandate.

    I am more than happy to trade with European nations and/or the EU. I do not want my country under the control of foreign oligarchs.

    The Conservative Party has, over the post-war decades, betrayed the British people. The current Prime Minister has behaved disgracefully by whipping his MPs to vote against a Referendum and only recently claiming that ‘the British people don’t want a Referendum’ when all the polls say otherwise. He could have had the moral high ground IF he’d kept his (unequivocal) promise on the Lisbon Treachery; he could have had the moral high ground IF he’d graciously permitted a free Commons vote. Now he’s distrusted, disliked and on the back foot.

    I support UKIP. Conservatives who deserted the party for UKIP were right to do so. The EU-sceptics who stayed within a party which was systematically betraying the British people were wrong to do so. They have helped perpetuate the status quo.

    Nigel Farage speaks for me. Cameron doesn’t and never will.

    • Alan
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I don’t think our country is “controlled by foreign oligarchs”. There is no country in the world, not even North Korea, that is independent of other countries. The question is how do we interact with other countries. Something more efficient than one to one negotiation is needed.

      It would be a miracle if the EU got this exactly right, but it is an attempt to run this bit of the world in a better way than was, for example, attempted in the first half of the 20th century. We ought to try harder to make it work, not try to stop it working.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Which part of the phrase, ‘the EU never can work because it is unsustainable’ are you having difficulty with Alan?

        Tad

        • Alan
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          I suppose ‘never’ and ‘un’.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

            Then be brave enough to spell it out to us!

        • Jose
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          It seems to ‘work’ for Germany Tad so, how come our politicians can’t make us a prosperous nation?

          The EU is a mess but also a convenient excuse IMO.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          The main problem is that you have no evidence to back up your claim. At present the EU is sustainable and as a percentage of GDP the cost of EU membership keeps decreasing.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            Borrowing more and more, with no means of paying it back, and you say it’s sustainable?

            My, your ale must be fantastic stuff!

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            The failed banks of Spain, Italy and France cannot be bailed out because there is not enough money to do so. In any event, why would anybody in their right mind want to bail out incompetent businessmen and reckless politicians? Yet the EU (and their fifth columnist in the IMF) persist in trying to do so. No wonder that there is no confidence in the EU.

          • uanime5
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            To Tad Davison and Lindsay McDougall:

            The failure of some EU member states to run their economies is not a failing of the EU.

      • David Price
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        You have had 40 years to make it work, to the benefit of this country. It is not our responsibility to fix Europe nor is that the duty of our government, we wasted our wealth and people on that mission twice already not counting the decades of commitment to NATO and look how much benefit, thanks and respect we get.

        We need effective relationships, not efficient ones, and we have not got that with the EU and as far as I’ve experienced we have not had them since the beginning.

        So, lets take back our assets and our sovereignty and make our way in world again without interference from failed bureaucrats in the EU and the UK.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Please do read Dan Hannan’s blog. Or Roger Helmer’s. Both are MEPs and they tell it like it is.
        We have no influence there whatsoever. If you see the likes of M. Hofstadter speaking in the Hemicycle, you will quickly see what I mean.
        Dream on if you think we are in a parliamentary democracy. It is nothing like one.
        You might also like to Google any piece of public policy to see the pages and pages of lists of Directives, none of which have been through our parliament.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          There are many MPs who claim they have no influence whatsoever. Does this mean the UK doesn’t have a parliamentary democracy?

      • Boudicca
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Independent and isolated do not mean the same thing.

        I don’t want the UK to be isolationist or isolated. I don’t want it governed by an unelected, unaccountable cabal of mainly foreign Kommissars and Eurocrats. Under the Lisbon Treachery, from 2014 the need for unanimity is lost in a huge number of policy areas. What that means in practice is that a coalition of foreigners will be able to agree laws which will have to be enacted in the UK whether we like it or not.

        That isn’t cooperation – its dictatorship.

        We can interact with other countries without being under their control or domination by an unelected elite whose track record is appalling.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Conservatives indeed want the above. Cameron and the coalition, on the other hand, clearly do not. Cameron understands these strong feelings (as does Ed Miliband – indeed perhaps more so). Cameron will thus pretend to want these things pre election and then do the complete opposite once elected as we have seen.

    He has done this once, but no one sensible will fall for it twice. He cannot lead the party into the next election as nothing he says can now ever be believed.

    If a bonfire of red tape is allowing some shops to sell more liquor chocolates while bringing in no retirement laws, gender neutral insurance nonsense, more c02 and “equality” regulations and sick pay for over indulging while on holiday tax and having Vince Cable as an anti-business secretary the we clearly know what Cameron is and stands for.

    He is a pointless, transparent Trojan horse.

  7. Dan
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I can not understand how we have got to this mealy mouthed consensus of several political parties that people want a refferendum, there was recent talk Labour would promise one not because they believed in it but because it would embaress the Conservatives.

    The honest answer is a lot of people want out, that is fine and a perfectly legitimate position, another group describe it as recast our relationship or something but then go on to talk about Switzerland or Norway, but they are out and so any such relationship is exit.

    A refferendum needs to be about a specific proposal, do you have a London Mayor, is Scotland Independant, and if they want an in out refferendum on Europe then lets do it. If they want a tokenistic let’s have a vote about saying how terrible the EU is but stay in then what is the point?

    • Alan
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      You can’t have a specific proposal. One of the problems of referendums is that people don’t answer the question on the ballot paper; they answer something else. And even if they think they are answering the question they all have different ideas on what they want as a consequence: on the EU some would vote to maximise the country’s wealth, some to maximise our control over the way our country is run, some to maximise our individual wealth, some to reduce the chances of armed conflict, some to increase our say in world affairs, some to obey what their newspaper or TV programme says we should do, some to show the party in power that we will not necessarily vote the way they say is best.

      And then they don’t really know which vote will achieve the objective they want.

      • Tim
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        To Alan:
        There speaks a true Europhile. The little people just can’t understand what’s good for them so better to do away with democracy altogether….ah yes, hence your pro EU stance.

        • Alan
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          No, I’m happy with people electing MPs who are employed, and have the time, to think about these things. I’m unhappy about complex questions being decided by referendums.

          I agree that is not pure democracy, but it is the type of representative democracy that we had up until the referendum on the Common Market.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          To Tim:
          There speaks a true Europhobe, afraid that someone in the UK might not hate every aspect of the EU as much as he does.

          Alan is quite right that those dissatisfied with the EU are generally dissatisfied with specific parts of the EU and that there’s no guarantee that the part they hate will be changed if in a referendum they vote to renegotiate or leave the EU.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        You say:- some would vote to maximise our control over the way our country is run, some to maximise our individual wealth, some to reduce the chances of armed conflict, some to increase our say in world affairs.

        Fortunately they all need a vote in the same direction out of the EU, free trade and cooperation where it is in our mutual interests.

      • matt
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        WHY people vote is their own business. A clear and honest question will produce a clear and honest answer.

        How about:

        “Should the United Kingdom continue to be a member of the EU? YES or NO.”

      • Boudicca
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        All the more reason for a simple straightforward question.

        Should the UK remain a member of the EU.

        Should the UK leave the EU.

        Tick one.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Last night I was most encouraged too.
    The great Paxman held a focus group on the EU and actually included Nigel Farrage without being beastly to him! David Davis was allowed, too, to put the Conservative line. Of course we had nice safe Paddy Ashdown and Peter Hain in there to make sure that the BBC Party Line was upheld. But even they thought that a referendum ought to be held “after we have renegotiated our position”.
    And then Paxman was actually shouting at an Italian woman who thought that the crash of the euro was due to the Americans.
    I was really encouraged and went to bed happy.

    • Alan
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I think the ‘BBC Party Line’ (which I don’t actually believe exists) is changing. I have noticed many more critical comments about the EU of late (I’m sensitive to them because I’m a supporter of the EU).

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Shame on you !

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        The writer and broadcaster, J B Priestly, once said of the British, ‘our biggest national vice is self-deception’. I am bemused as to how anyone could possibly be in favour of Europe-wide social degredation and financial disaster, for some Utopian pipe-dream of jam for everybody if we just give it a chance.

        That is just fanciful romantic bilge!

        We are presently clinging on to what little democracy we have left, and you would consign us to the vice-like grip of unelected bureaucrats. It’s an absolute nonsense, and you really are putting your head into the lion’s mouth expressing your support for the EU, because so many have compelling if not overwhelming arguments to counter any assertion that Britain could in some way benefit from more of it!

        (Your last name isn’t Duncan by any chance is it?)

        Tad Davison

        Cambridge

        • Alan
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          Maybe J B Priestley was right, but he doesn’t say whether it is you or me that is suffering from self-deception.

          I don’t think the EU is particularly undemocratic for an international organisation. In fact it is difficult to think of an international organisation that is more democratic – NATO, the UN, WTO?

          I remember what this country’s economy was like before we joined the EU, and I do not want to go back to that slow decline. We have been more prosperous since we joined the EU, and if that is what it takes to achieve prosperity I will tolerate the disadvantages, which don’t seem to me that great.

          In my opinion it is UKIP and their like who promise jam tomorrow, expecting you to take on faith their assertion that they will negotiate some fantastic deal with the EU. In their dreams they probably do, but in real life I think they show few skills at negotiation. We need to operate in the real world, not deceive ourselves with pipe dreams.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

            It’s called evidence! It’s everywhere, except in the sand where Europhiles keep burying their heads!

        • uanime5
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          We are presently clinging on to what little democracy we have left, and you would consign us to the vice-like grip of unelected bureaucrats.

          Being ruled by MPs elected with 20% of the votes and failed politicians who were made Lords by the Prime Minister isn’t any better.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            You seem to accept then, that there are a lot of disenfranchised people who aren’t properly represented by the three pro-EU parties. Might that suggest something to you, that there just could be a massive amount of support for withdrawal from the EU?

          • uanime5
            Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Tad Davison if there was a massive amount of support for withdrawal from the EU then UKIP would be the largest party in the UK. The low number of votes it gets shows that leaving the EU isn’t something the majority of people care about.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Of course there is a BBC line pro EU, pro Green tosh, pro every bigger state, pro more taxes, pro more regulation of everything.

        If it is changing it is because they have realised they are so out of touch with viewers on the above (as they lines fall apart) they must move just a little.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Agreed, a largely good show, for a change !
      Paxo should have shouted down that ridiculous Itie Journo though – the very idea – being lectured to by a native of one Europe’s foremost ‘basket-case’ nations !!

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Paddy (Ash)down, Peter Hain (another advocate of “alternative” medicine like P Charles), the Italian woman and the other woman (novelist) were clearly round the twist on the issue without a singe rational argument between them. The two woman (sorry cannot remember the names) seemed to think we should give up democracy for better maternity rights and cheaper Ryan air and Easyjet flights! The first makes people poorer on balance anyway, the second is nothing to do with the EU it is just free trade and cheap fuel that are needed. Fights outside the EU are often rather cheaper still and the EU want fuel to be as expensive as possible.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Agreed

        On some flights the tax is higher than the fare !

        Now Cameron is taking about Welfare reform and putting limits on Benefits, as if this is a new idea.

        I have news for him, the general population have been feeling this way for the last 10 years.

        In fact I go as far as to say the general public are 10 years ahead of any government thinking at the moment.

        The sad fact is, many politicians (I exclude our host) are so far behind public opinion and the general way our lives are being affected, that they do not even understand the arguments.

        Just look at how late they are coming to the Party thinking on.
        Immigration.
        Racism.
        Welfare and Benefits abuse.
        Welfare and Benefit culture.
        The EU debacle.
        An EU Referendum
        The Bank Bailouts.
        Foriegn Aid.
        Inflexible job seekers payments.
        Fair Pensions.
        High Tax rates.
        A sensible Personal Tax allowance
        Etc.

        Drifting Government is the word to use to describe our leadership.

      • Alan
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        On the other hand one of the men was clearly blaming the EU for the failure to deport Abu Qatada, when, as I understand it, it is actually the Human Rights court that have put obstacles in the way.

        An example of how people blame the EU without checking their facts. A lot of anti-EU rhetoric is more like propaganda than truth, if you ask me.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Maternity rights don’t make people poorer, they help women keep their jobs and prevent bad employers firing them for being pregnant.

        Flights outside the EU are cheaper because the cost of going to these airports is cheaper.

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          @uanime5 – you are at least consistent. Wrong again.

          You say “Maternity rights don’t make people poorer, they help women keep their jobs and prevent bad employers firing them for being pregnant.”

          They put people off hiring them as certain ages and in general reduce wealth by restricting business flexibility. Not even helpful to pregnant woman some times and certainly not in overall financial terms for the country. Perhaps by the same logic it would also make industry more efficient if everyone had paid leave for a year when every they they had say a spot on their nose. That is after all your logic – that giving paid time off makes industry more efficient. It may be socially pleasant but it certainly makes industry less competitive.

          “Flights outside the EU are cheaper because the cost of going to these airports is cheaper.” Yes it is cheaper because these airports often have fewer over the top regulations, less tax, cheaper electricity, cheaper water, fewer daft employments laws, more flexible work force, no EU nonsense …….. .
          Flight taxes are often more than the cost of the flights in the EU.

  9. zorro
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Are we expected to believe that none of these Conservatives mentioned immigration and the resultant problems from the massive influx over recent years….? Because that is not my experience….

    Zorro

    Reply: They see immigration as part of the EU problem, and are worried about our lack of control over EU migration.

  10. MickC
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Well, who’d have thunk it? Apart from everyone not connected with Cameron?

  11. colliemum
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope that the voice of the people you are talking to will be heard by the leadership.

    There’s one point which seems to be a bit neglected when talking about the EU is that of the huge democratic deficit this ‘Union’ is creating.
    I am amazed that the EMS is being downplayed so firmly by EU politicians, as something negligible, as just another instrument to get the bail-outs going.
    Except for the Dutch, where Geert Wilders walked out of the coalition and thus invoked general elections next month, and German people (not politicians) who are petitioning to have this treaty rejected (and hoping for their Supreme Court to reject it), there simply is no outcry – as if people don’t mind that with that treaty they will transfer their budget sovereignty to a faceless, unelected, unaccountable ‘council’ in Brussels. This council has the powers to demand money from governments, regardless, and governments have no power to refuse. No wonder the ‘receiving’ countries like Ireland, Italy and spain have ratified this treaty.
    it is not true that this treaty will only apply to the € zone. Next year, it may affect all of us. Don’t forget that Brussels has form in regard to disregarding treaties. The whole bail-out is illegal according to the Lisbon Treaty – did any government protest? Does anybody care?

    As these things unfold, it becomes more urgent for us to get out. And when even a German Minister says that there may be a referendum in Germany, then it really is time for us to have one!

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Firstly the European Council is made up of the leaders of every country in the EU; so they’re neither faceless, unelected, or unaccountable.

      Secondly countries can only before forced to give the ESM money if they breach the budgetary rules they agreed to.

      Finally this only applied to the 25 countries that signed up to this agreement, so it doesn’t effect the UK or Czech Republic.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      We could exercise our veto a lot more than we do. A policy of Perfidious Albion is exactly right for the present times. A ‘great big bust up’ may turn out to be precisely what is needed in dealing with the EU. And we ought to be doing more to cultivate allies of significance – as always, what does Poland want?

  12. zorro
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Of course, you also know that Cast Elastic has done nothing of substance to bring about what the Conservatives you mention want….so what to do?

    Zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      What indeed needs to be done? Better to have labour now and the prospect of a proper Tory party in 5 years then this lot and 5 years of Labour to follow.

  13. Sue
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    and yet “Fury as Cameron rules out EU referendum because we had our say in poll 36 years ago”.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023485/Fury-Cameron-rules-EU-referendum-say-poll-36-years-ago.html#ixzz1ysWdONPK

    You know very well Mr Redwood that Cameron and Clegg are Europhiles. Cameron’s not interested in what the voters want, infact he denies that it is high on the list of our priorities to get out of the EU.

    If you want grass roots ex-Conservative members (including me) to return to the fold, get rid of Cameron and ensure a Eurosceptic PM is installed.

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Sue: “You know very well Mr Redwood that Cameron and Clegg are Europhiles. ”

      Sue, John does his job very well, his job is to support the Tory party regardless of its policies, regardless of its patriotism, regardless that the policies it pursues are anathema to the well-being of the country, and lastly provide a lightning rod for disaffected Tories who can cling to the flotsam of the old Thatcherite party.

      Tory party before country. Otherwise he is probably quite a good MP.

      Reply: What unpleasant nonsense you write. I seem to remember voting against 3 line whips on EU issues, and highlighting them in speeches and articles. I did not do this on the advice of the leadership!

      • Gewyne
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        You can certainly attack the Conservative parties policy on Europe, but you cannot attack John’s integrity. He has repeatedly stood by his (and the grass root) views on Europe in both speech and actions.

        As for the leadership, I have no idea what they can do. The problem is no one believes Cameron when he mentions Europe (people are starting to not believe anything he mentions on anything). When your nickname is a ironic “cast iron Dave” you have problems.

        Maybe a referendum before the elections might work, but a promise of one in the next parliament simply will not fool anyone – what a sad state for the Conservatives to be in, when even supporters think any promise on a referendum would be a lie never to be fulfilled.

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Gewyne

          I agree with you.

          Its a Referendum in this Parliament or nothing.

          Mr Cameron has used up all of his goodwill promises.

          Promises of future policies for the next Parliament will not fool the public again.

        • APL
          Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Gewyne: “You can certainly attack the Conservative parties policy on Europe, ”

          I do, and I have suspicions about anyone who supports the Conservative party after what it has been responsible for for over the last FORTY years.

          Gewyne: ” “but you cannot attack John’s integrity.”

          Mr Redwood supports the Tory party, the Tory party has been unrelentingly Europhilic, even under one of its better leaders, Thatcher.

          I guess I am suffering from the cognitive dissonance brought on by watching someone who apparently opposes an objective, supporting through thick and thin the party that has worked over the last forty years toward that same objective; the destruction of the United Kingdom, the erasing of our laws and traditions.

          But that is just quirky old me!

      • scottspeig
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        APL – do you even read this blog??

        While I don’t agree with John’s argument about staying in the conservative party, I think that he is a remarkedly good MP and I’d be happy to have him in my constituency.

        Your comment was baseless and rude and I’m somewhat surprised that John left it on the website!

        • John C
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          “I’m somewhat surprised that John left it on the website!”

          You’re not a closet Eurocrat are you? Where no dissent is allowed!

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Sue: “If you want grass roots ex-Conservative members (including me) to return to the fold”

      The party is utterly compromised, riddled with people who hate the United Kingdom and have been working steadily towards it destruction, there is no need to name them all again

      Sue: “get rid of Cameron and ensure a Eurosceptic PM is installed.”

      Erm! John Redwood voted for David Cameron.

      • zorro
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        From memory, John voted for Liam Fox first, and then switched to Cameron…..

        Zorro

        Reply: I did indeed. I asked my Association for their views before deciding how to vote after Liam had dropped out. The Wokingham Associaiton voted by a decent margin in favour of David Cameron.

        • Ken Hall
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          BOY were we all duped! How many of those regular tory members, who endorsed Cameron, now bitterly regret that decision?

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          I would have voted for Davis then but I agree Cameron was plausible at the time (though my wife had spotted his weaknesses even then) he it not now credible.

          If he could not win against the hopeless discredited Brown, then what chance has he got now again even just against hopeless Miliband, after throwing all his credibility away on the EU away continuing the economic mess with tax, borrow, over regulate and waste. And tipping our money down the pigis.

          • Mike Stallard
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            I have been following this blog more or less since it started off.
            I want to pay a small tribute to our host who provides a completely free and helpful service. He investigates figures which other people skim. He tells us what is going on in parliament. He allows the rudest comments. He is patient and honest.

            I am going further: it must actually be rather painful for him not to be in government. He is actually one of the tallest poppies…….

            Only in the sense that he has been unfairly passed over and not in any other way, he reminds me a lot of Macchiavelli who used his banishment to write an excellent and very popular book.

          • Paul
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            And I bet you bitterly regret voting for David Cameron now, John! The man has never had a proper job in his life and that shows in his atrocious leadership of the country. For me, the only contender with an ounce of credibility was David Davis. I think he would have made a great PM, as I think Michael Howard would have done. The British people made a terrible decision in 2005 and 2010. The sooner Cameron goes the better, and that means Labour has to win the next election because the Conservative Party seriously needs to rebuild itself.

  14. Alan
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    People want a referendum because they believe that their view is the predominant one and that they will therefore get their way if a referendum is held. At a meeting of Conservative Party members it is easy to get the impression that everyone feels the same, but remember that Conservatives are in a minority.

    If we hold a referendum it will not necessarily produce the ‘right’ answer, particularly as not everyone will agree what objectives we should be aiming for: that will be one of the hidden questions of the referendum. Are we voting to maximise the country’s wealth, to maximise our control over the way our country is run, to maximise our individual wealth, to reduce the chances of armed conflict, to increase our say in world affairs, to obey what our newspaper or TV programme says we should do, to show the party in power that we will not necessarily vote the way they say is best? You get a different answer depending on what objective is important to you, and even that is dependent on how clever you are in working out which answer best achieves your objective. Will ‘yes’ or ‘no’ maximise my individual wealth? I think I know the answer and can argue rationally for it, but I certainly won’t be sure I’ve got it right, and I suspect most people appreciate that there is no way of correctly predicting the outcome.

    Referendums have the property of giving equal power to those who understand the question and its implications as to those who do not. They give more power to those who can argue well and have access to, or even control of, the media. Most of us are not capable, or don’t have the time or the desire, to work out the best answer for ourselves.

    I don’t think referendums are a good way of running our affairs. I want to leave such decisions to those who have the time to consider the options. But the pressure for a referendum on the EU seems to have become unstoppable. Be careful what you wish for.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      You’re right that there are many reasons why people object to the EU and that a simple in/out or in/out/renegotiate referendum won’t identify what the main objections to the EU are.

      You’re also right about referendums being hijacked, especially by scaremongering. For example during the AV referendum certain groups claimed that if AV was allowed the cost would be so great that their would be less incubators for infants, leading to several deaths. If such nonsense is allowed during the EU referendum people will not be able to make an informed choice.

  15. JimF
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The next election will be one election too late.
    I’m sorry, but the show has moved on.
    These things were blindingly clear at the last election and have been for the past two years, yet were ignored.

    I think your party would need a complete change of leadership to accompany this complete change of direction before most people on this site voted for it again.

    A Cameron call for a “referendum/balanced budget/business-friendly/reduced taxes/no U-turns” government won’t be credible now.

  16. David C
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    “They want the Conservative majority in England in the Commons to be allowed to make the calls for England in our increasingly devolved UK.”

    John, this is a key issue for people (not just natural Conservatives).

    What specific steps are the Conservatives making to address this?

    • Iain
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      “What specific steps are the Conservatives making to address this?”

      Cameron has found the longest bit of grass he can find and kicked the issue there. But then Cameron has never believe us ‘Sour faced little Englanders’ as he called us, should have any constitutional equality. In opposition Cameron had nothing to say about Gordon Brown lairding it over England, even though no English person had voted for him, and now in power he does nothing for England but giving constitutional goodies for the Scots, like Devo Max. In fact it is even worse than that, for even little Cleggy gets all his constitutional whims fulfilled over AV and Lords reform, but 50 million English people? No, we aren’t even the equal of one Clegg in Cameron’s eyes.

      • Ken Hall
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        That brings tears to my eyes, because it is entirely TRUE!

  17. NickW
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The three main parties have a major problem regarding an EU referendum which does not affect UKIP.

    Credibility.

    I think the only way the Conservatives can effectively deal with it is to make a formal pact with UKIP. Otherwise no promises, (cast iron or not) will be believed.

    Present and aspiring party leaders need to concentrate on the rebuilding of trust which is far easier in opposition; in opposition, circumstances rarely make promises impossible to keep, whereas in Government it happens all the time.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I tend to agree they have no credibility now nothing they promise will be believed not even from a Cameron replacement.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        They will get credibility back if they actually hold a referendum IN THIS TERM, before the others promise one for next time.

  18. Colin D.
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    At last! You have said it explicitly and without qualification. We want a referendum and we want a date committed for it.
    But it will be all to no avail. The Establishment will go around whistling and with their fingers in their ears and democratic accountability will continue to go down the pan. We can get these people talking up HS2 ad nauseum, but when it comes to something that really matters to us – like the EU – no chance!

    Reply: Not “at last” – I have often said it, and voted for it in the Commons!

  19. Neil Craig
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t think its that Conservatives, or anybody else, see the EU referendum, important as it is, as the only thing of importance. I think they see it as the unarguable marker of whether we have a democracy or not. Currently we obviously don’t because the relatively monolithic political class are in agreement that the people should have no choice on the matter. Should Cameron get round to making a “cast iron promise” of a referendum in the next Parliament it would not and should not be believed.

    There are many other issues on which we have no democracy – windmillery, the catastrophic warming fraud, criminal wars, the deliberate recession [produced by the politicians, rising electricity costs etc. – however, most of these are at least partially concealed by the state media monopoly. The refusal to hold an EU referendum is a glaring and unambiguous abuse.

    • APL
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Neil Craig: “There are many other issues on which we have no democracy .. ”

      Yes, the finance act.

      The very thing the commons was supposed to control, they have utterly failed to do.

  20. Iain
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Major could be forgiven for being wrong about the EU, and his foot dragging on giving us a referendum on the Euro resulted in the Conservative party having to face a Referendum party that sucked support from them.

    The same cannot be said of Cameron, he knows what went before, he was on the political fringe when the Conservatives had a melt down over Europe with Major, he should be aware of the cost of prevarication on offering the people their say on the EU, yet what do we get from Cameron? The Major strategy, dither, prevaricate, and mega piss people off big time, the very strategy that was such a disaster for the Conservative party under Major!

    What is it with the Conservative leadership that has such a death wish over Europe, where they keep siding with the European establishment and against the people? Why just for once can’t they get ahead of the game, lead the debate, offer people a referendum, instead of foot dragging and prevaricating that will have them pencilled in as the enemy of the people? A referendum offer is going to happen, just like it was over the Euro, the establishment will have to give way on it, so Cameron has a choice he is either seen as part of the solution or very much part of the problem, but he should be aware this time he isn’t up against a party like the Referendum party that had just been put together, he is up against a gathering force in politics, UKIP.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Iain, I don’t buy the bit about Major being forgiven. These people are professional politicians and should be absolutely conversant with every aspect of any given policy, and it’s possible eventualities. And it wasn’t as though there weren’t enough people warning the dope about what would happen. Simply put, he just wasn’t fit to be a British Prime Minister. The people trusted Major once and gave him the benefit of the doubt. They tend not to do that twice. Cameron take note, and for the sake of all of us, DELIVER!

      Tad

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I can remember voting for the Referendum Party in 1997 and I fondly remember Jimmy Goldsmith leading the chant of ‘Out, out, out’ when David Mellor lost at Putney. Mr Goldsmith was calling for a Referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. Mr Major must have been conversant with all of the European issues of the day. Quite apart from the Referendum Party, he had the experiences of Norman Lamont voting for a Labour No Confidence motion (because Major and Hurd gave sneering and supersilious to perfectly legitimate questions on Europe) and of John Redwood standing against him.

      If there is one thing that I am slightly disappointed with in Mr Redwood’s European record, it is that he has never regretted the Maastricht Treaty. True, we got opt-outs (many since given away) but we should have vetoed the whole thing.

      Reply: I argued against the UK signing it in Cabinet, and then argued for a free vote for all Conservative MPs on it.

  21. Old Albion
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The people want a referendum alright. They want one that says EU in or out?
    No faffing around IN or OUT.

  22. Ken Hall
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    As a loyal conservative of long standing, who has supported the Conservative party in every general election since 1979, who faced abuse and assaults for sticking with the “nasty party” through from 1997 – 2010, who never ever thought I would question my loyalty to the party, I ask… No I BEG you to get rid of Cameron, Osborne and the other Heathite Europhile traitors running the party.

    Renegotiation of the treaty is now IMPOSSIBLE, for it would require ALL the other EU nations to ratify an improved and preferential set of terms for the UK. They will NEVER do that, so renegotiation is a vile Europhile delaying tactic.

    It is dishonest, it is deceitful and it is corrupt! We need a REAL conservative running the party implementing REAL conservative policies. Not this incompetent bunch of Blairite spivs.

    When Cameron was pretending to be a conservative Eurosceptic, he held a constant lead in the polls of over 20%…. Then Cameron gave in on Lisbon, broke his promise on a referendum and introduced a Blairite, soft left manifesto and then failed to win a majority. A conservative lead of over 20 points slashed to 7%…

    Since then he has continuously moved over to the left, introducing Policies that Blair would have loved to introduce, had he been more bold. And at every step leftwards, he has failed to convert left wing and Blairite voters to the conservatives and has haemorrhaged support from the conservatives to “none of the above” or UKIP.

    Now, unbelievably, the conservatives languish up to 14 points behind the inept, incompetent, opportunist, disloyal, disgusting, reprehensible, empty, vacuous policy free zone known as Miliband’s labour party. HOW? Because the conservatives are led by traitors, loyal to a foreign leadership, who lie to their own people and who would rather see labour win the next election, than offer their OWN core supporters the ONE policy they want more than any other. Betrayal, thy name is Cameron.

    If the conservative leadership think that all they need to do to win back pissed off conservative voters is utter a few right wing platitudes, then they are so massively arrogant and out of touch with their own core support that they will be in for a BIG shock on election night.

    Get rid of Cameron et al and deliver the in-or-out referendum by the next election or I WILL vote UKIP! Empty promises of sometime in the next parliament are NOT credible. Cameron has U-turned on so many things that he cannot be trusted at all.

    As things stand I will NOT vote conservative and Nigel Farage’s UKIP will get my vote in the next elections. After all there is NO significant difference whatsoever between the current tory, liberal and labour parties on all their major policy decisions. So it matters not which one of them wins, for whomsoever wins, the British people lose.

    For God’s sake, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    • ROGER THE PILOT
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Well said Ken Hall!

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Ken

        Clearly your feelings are running high, as they are for many of us out here.

        But Cameron seems to not understand how angry his core voters are at the moment, we can only hope that our host is feeding him this information, and that he will act upon it (better late than never) and the fact that any promises for the next Parliament, are promises too late to save him from defeat.

        Certainly if John was not my MP, I would not be voting Conservative next time, such is my frustration with this lot.

        Cameron and Osbourn simply do not get it !

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      A man after my own heart! Well said!

      Tad

  23. radsatser
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Slowly slowly catchy monkey!!

    Having spent most of my life since voting no in1975 as one of the lone voices in the wilderness on this matter. The new media has given myself and many others the ability to create an unstoppable momentum towards an IN/OUT referendum, and our exit from the EU.
    Many Europhiles in the media and politics are now starting to change their spots, and the fence sitters with their backsides full of splinters are also moving position to ease their tortured angst.
    We must be vigilant however, our political representatives in this matter from whatever major party, especially the Conservative party can not, and should not ever be trusted on this matter again, whatever they say to garner support. Although they will jump on board when they see it politically advantageous to do so, it will be the grass roots movement led by UKIP that will be the straw that breaks the camels back, not the enlightenment of our political establishment.

    We must keep up the pressure, day after day, month after month, they cannot shut down debate anymore, as their friends in the media now follow pubic opinion not lead it.

    We have won, we just don’t believe it yet!!

  24. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Very good except that you didn’t adequately express the anti EU sentiment.

  25. Tony Colvin
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Are you saying the requirement for everyone to pay tax is not the absolute priority with Conservatives, and is not therefore far higher than a referendum on the EU??
    I want an EU referendum, but I want everyone first to pay his taxes.

    • Ken Hall
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      What for? Why are we paying taxes to a government which is breaking its promises, and worse, NOT representing us at all, but representing an unelected foreign oligarchy and implementing their directives into our law and charging us for the inconvenience of it… We need to pay taxes for Schools and Hospitals? Why do you think the “nasty tory” party are introducing more and more competition and privatisation into the NHS? For the same reason that the last labour government did, EU directives.

      They are not running things how we want them run, they are running things how the EU dictates them to!

      I would humbly suggest that we need a referendum before we pay ANY more taxes, because the government has broken a covenant with the electorate and WE THE PEOPLE should have a say on WHO the government are working for, the electorate or the EU Commission + EU council, + 3500 secret working groups +ECHR? Because if it is NOT us, then the EU can pay the government my share of taxes!

      • Tony Colvin
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Your first sentence, (“Why are we paying taxes…?) contains the full answer to your question, because it’s not true that “we” are paying our taxes. Your question is therefore based on a false statement.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Which directive requires more competition in the health sector and if this directive exists why is the current private sector insufficient?

        Also the ECHR isn’t part of the EU, David Cameron is part of the EU Council, and the UK has an EU commissioner. So the UK Government is involved in running the EU.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          But we don’t want to be. We don’t want to interfere in the internal affairs of other Member States and we don’t want them to interfere in ours. There are some limited exceptions; a trade agreement does need some enforcement at European level and trans European transport networks (TEN) are a good idea if the right projects are chosen. The Single European Act of 1986 for the most part gave us what we want.

          As for health, if everyone makes it more or less free at the point of consumption, co-operation between Member States is useful. However, if you regard making health care free at the point of consumption as having more drawbacks than advantages, then co-operation is less important.

  26. oldtimer
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    It sounds as if the members of the Conservative party want something, a referendum on Europe, that their leader, Cameron, is not prepared to give them. It is then no surprise that they are moving over to UKIP. No wonder you blamed UKIP in your post yesterday.

    If Cameron was seeking to destroy the Conservative party, he seems to be going about it the right way. Add to that his control freakery over selection of the A list and other measures, he looks and sounds more and more like a fifth columnist to an outsider like me, looking on.

    Then there is the no small matter of the question to be asked in any future referendum on the UK`s relationship with the EU/EZ. Maybe it will be wise to await developments in the EZ. Merkel keeps saying there will be no blank cheques, German politicians now openly discuss the limits on transfer of sovereignty imposed by the German constitution and Schauble speaks on the need for a referendum on this issue so that German voters decide whether they wish to transfer more sovereignty to Brussels. The implication of this that the politics will become even more fraught than they already are and that the time needed for a political resolution of the German position will stretch out for even more months ahead. In the meantime, will Germany be ready to let the ECB continue to run up huge, future liabilities? How will the EZ continue to function? No wonder the markets have taken fright again.

    Whatever the outcome, and however it is achieved, the EZ and the EU will take a fundamentally new form. Inevitably the UK`s relationship with the EU/EZ will change too. At that time new options will emerge. These will provide the opportunity and the overwhelming case for a referendum on the nature of the UK`s future relationship with the changed EU. Is the government prepared? Or is its head stuck in the sand?

  27. DennisA
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    To save the EU, there must be a European government – even at the expense of the nation state, so says Gerhard Schroeder in HandelsBlatt, June 24th, two days ago

    He continued: “That is why I am a staunch supporter of European integration, because Europeanization is a consistent policy response to globalization.

    The European Council next week will set the course for this purpose.

    The growth policies alone will not address it, we must further consolidate the budgets, and advance the political union, but above all we must have the strength and courage for far-reaching structural reforms in Member States.

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble believes that only further EU integration can save the euro. In an interview just yesterday in Der Spiegel, he said:

    “The world is moving closer together, and we’re talking about the possibility of each country in Europe going its own way?

    This cannot, must not and will not happen!

    So far, member states have almost always had the final say in Europe.

    This cannot continue.

    In key political areas, we have to transfer more powers to Brussels, so that each nation state cannot block decisions.”

    “In Europe, but not run by it”, seems a pretty sick joke in the light of the above and this week’s European Council meeting will be coming up with strong proposals for advancing the agenda. We cannot play around at the edges, pretending we can influence any of this, there is no new relationship with the EU available.

    The Project is the name of the game, it’s not our ball, we don’t own the playing field, and there’s no referee, so we should pick up our coats and go home.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Good post, and exposes the danger to which Cameron and all the other Heath-ites seem to want to subject us to, without proper ference to the British people. The people are now better informed and have seen through him.

      Tad

  28. Tad Davison
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The issue is crystal clear. People want a referendum on the EU, because they want out of it. The only impediment to complete withdrawal, is the obstinacy and intransigence on the part of the party leaders, Cameron included, who don’t want one.

    We want it, Cameron doesn’t, so it won’t happen. Talk about out of touch! Where’s the democracy in that?

    Ever wondered why such flafrant acts of contempt, earn so much contempt in return?

    Remember what happened to ‘Bottler Brown’ who wanted to govern as Prime Minister without doing the honourable thing and going to the country for a mandate, who then gave us the Lisbon Treaty by the back door?

    We have to get rid of these slithery Rattlesnakes once and for all, and finally give the people greater accountability.

    I also saw the Newsnight programme last night, and it was only UKIP’s Nigel Farage who made any sense. Labour’s Peter Hain trotted out the same old BS about millions of jobs depending on our being part of the EU, as if such scaremongering was going to wash. He was soon put in his place, because, as we all know, so many more European jobs depend on us, and with free-trade, nothing would alter.

    The Lib Dems Lord Paddy Ashdown, quoted Norway’s relationship with the EU, and said that country has to meet so many imposed conditions before it is allowed to trade with it. Does China have conditions imposed upon them too, before it can trade? And what about their record on human rights and a lack of democracy? There’s something seriously wrong with that argument.

    Ashdown also trotted out the old chestnut about cooperation on military matters. That doesn’t need a political or fiscal union to acheive it. Those are areas of mutual interest where governments can work together.

    I confess, I was disappointed with the Conservative party’s David Davis. I had rather hoped he would be much more forceful and detach himself from the part line.

    That left just Nigel Farage to talk common sense, but before anyone runs away with the idea that withdrawal from the EU is exclusively highest upon Conservative supporter’s wish list, think again. There are millions of Labour and even some Lib Dem supporters who are dissatisfied with the EU and want out. That represents a massive reservoir of disaffected, disenfranchised people which sooner or later, some game-player of a leader will tap into for their own ends.

    And above all though, it makes absolute sense to get out, whichever way we look at it. Like I said at the beginning, crystal clear.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Tad, for that summary of the Newsnight debate – I did not watch past the opening shots because I have had experience of previous BBC debates – mind-numbingly awful.

      But I take you up on your suggestion that “People want a referendum on the EU, because they want out of it.” If we want out of it, and I certainly do, there seems no point in having a referendum. All we need do is to convince the government that we all want out of it, and get it to act accordingly!

      But first, the Tories need to ditch Cameron – fast.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Duyfken, it’s an interesting thought. Just think, Cameron could go from pariah to Messiah in one easy step! That naughty Mr Clegg might stamp his little foot though!

        One other thing I ought to have mentioned, was that Ashdown and Hain seemed resigned to the people having their say. Now call me an old cynic, but I smell a very big rat!

        These people will distort and tinker with the question that should be put, and therein lies great danger. I want a straightforward ‘In’ or ‘Out’ and no fudges.

        I simply don’t trust these snakes.

        Tad

        • APL
          Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Tad Davidson: “Labour’s Peter Hain trotted out the same old BS about millions of jobs depending on our being part of the EU,”

          Time someone asked Hain, how that is going to work out with the Greek economy collapsing, Spain following closely behind and Italy, Ireland and Portugal bringing up the rear.

          50% youth unemployment in Spain.

          Cut to the chase, Hain should be invited to return to South Africa, let him try his equality of outcome politics over there, it’d be interesting to see how far he got.

          We’ve got enough home grown second rate politicians thank you, we don’t need any more.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      While many more jobs may be lost throughout the EU if the UK leaves these job losses will be spread through the other 26 EU countries. However the UK will suffer heavy job losses if it loses access to the markets of the other 26 EU countries.

      China has far more conditions and quotas imposed on them than Norway.

      Finally given the number of people who publically opposed the Iraq war and marched through London it’s clear that the number who oppose being in the EU is far smaller as they cannot organise rallies on this scale.

      • stred
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Lefties like to go on marches. Righties prefer to vote. This is why they like referenda. And why Pinkies and Eurocrats don’t. Because they would have to obey the majority.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Stred, I get the feeling we’re wasting our breath with this one. They are so obtuse, they cannot see what is blatantly obvious to the rest of us.

          Tad

      • zorro
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Proof please on your job scaremongering that we will be denied access to their markets. Norway is not a member of the EU……so your point is what exactly?

        Zorro

  29. Toby G
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    lets see how much Common Purpose has indoctrinated Cameron.

    if it weren’t for the euro crisis the ‘IN’ vote would win it such is the apathy of UK voters and the awesome power of the euro funded MSM like the beeb.

    • zorro
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      You don’t have to search far to find evidence of that…

      Zorro

  30. Paul Danon
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I just hope the Europhiles and the commission don’t panic voters into voting to stay in the EU and/or that politicians trick people into thinking that we can somehow forestall the move to ever-closer union through renegotiation. A better commitment from politicians and parties would be withdrawal, not a popular vote on it.

  31. forthurst
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The LibLabCon Party contains many who like to live in our nice houses in the nicest parts of England whilst purporting to represent those whose homeland they are are filling with foreigners, deliberately, by design, in some other much less advantaged region of our country. These people regard England as a resource to be utilised by those of alien stock like themselves, and like themselves, with no loyalty to the English people whom they hate and despise. For these people, incorporation of our country into a European empire is their insurance policy for the future.
    Dave takes his directions from such people.

    There is nothing we want from the EU which we cannot have by entitlement through the WTO or by voluntary action, otherwise. The only sensible question then is in or out, but we should not need a referendum if our parliament contained our representatives, but it doesn’t.

    As our parliament and the media have been heavily infiltated with the enemies of England, it would be difficult to win a referendum unless the situation in Europe began to scare most people.

  32. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I read your article and thought, I could vote Conservative for the first time since 1987. But none of it is on offer, is it? Presumably you are not the only Tory MP getting this feedback, even Mr Cameron must hear it occasionally.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Those at the top of both coalition parties are adamantly opposed to holding any kind of referendum on the EU.

    On a number of occasions in the past LibDem leaders have been quick to get in first with demands for referendums; but we now know that has always been just for show, and when there is any risk that LibDem votes in Parliament could actually precipitate a referendum they find excuses to renege.

    The Tory leaders are equally opposed to holding any referendum on the EU, and their much-vaunted “referendum lock” law has been carefully designed as much to avoid referendums as to trigger them.

    Hence since that Act came into force Hague has used it twice, on both occasions to block a referendum.

    Most recently on February 2nd 2012 to block a referendum on the accession of Croatia to the EU, and it should be understood that it would be exactly the same for the accession of Turkey to the EU:

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/global-issues/eu-act-croatia-statement

    “All of the provisions of the Croatia Accession Treaty relate to the accession of a new member State to the European Union and thus the Croatia Accession Treaty as a whole is subject to the exemption provided for in section 4(4)(c) of the Act.

    In my opinion the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union of 9 December 2011 does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.”

    And of course before that on October 13th 2011 to block a referendum on the radical EU treaty change agreed through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of March 25th 2011:

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/eu-section5-statement

    “The new paragraph which the proposed amendment would add to Article 136 TFEU is similarly restricted to Member States whose currency is the euro. It explicitly makes provision only in relation to such Member States.

    Section 4(4) (b) of the Act provides that where an Article 48(6) decision relates to the making of a provision that applies only to Member States other than the UK, it is deemed to fall outside section 4. The Treaty change provision contained in this Article 48(6) Decision does not apply to Member States whose currency is not the euro. It does not therefore apply to the UK, as the UK is not among the Member States whose currency is the euro.

    In my opinion the European Council Decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 TFEU with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro adopted under Article 48(6) TEU does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.”

    Note that the grounds for blocking a referendum are not that this is an insignificant treaty change or that it would not and could not significantly affect the UK, but instead that it makes a provision which on paper “applies only to Member States other than the UK” and does not “apply” to the UK, and it should become clear that we would be similarly denied a referendum on all other EU treaty changes the eurozone states wanted for “fiscal union”, or a “banking union”, or whatever, provided that they could all be drafted so that they did not “apply” to the UK.

    There is of course an e-petition calling for a referendum on the radical EU treaty change to which Cameron assented on March 25th 2011, here:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33825

    The Lords report stage for that Bill is scheduled for tomorrow, and it will shortly be heading to the Commons.

    • Ken Hall
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed, it is a referendum which locks us out of a referendum. It should be called the referendum Block, for it is only triggered by OUR GIVING our powers to the EU. That will never happen, because we allow the EU to TAKE powers from us, without triggering the referendum. If the EU renegotiate, we are powerless to stop them. If we offer up our sovereignty, then other loopholes are adopted to block a referendum. MPs have already voted on numerous occasions to give away sovereignty without triggering the EU referendum lock into granting a referendum… Even then, the referendum would ONLY be about that specific power, not membership in total.

      When it comes to how much sovereignty has been handed over already, it’s like the government have burgled our house to steal everything in the kitchen, the living room and the bedrooms, without asking our permission for any of it, BUT if they want to steal a toothbrush, they will ask permission, and even then probably after the fact and after they have already lost the toothbrush.

      It feels like in 1975 we voted to allow them to view a few items which we may agree to charitably share with the community, and in response they ended up ransacking the entire house and then have the audacity to complain to us, the householder, when we complain about it, as being bigoted xenophobes!

      I want the thieves OUT of the house and ALL our property returned!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        1975 was the thin end of the wedge. It somehow legitimised what Heath had started many years earlier. Europhiles then saw the result as a green light to take us by stealth towards full matriculation. Their method was to hope the public would gradually become more Europhile in themselves, and their outlook, and accept what they were doing, provided it was done over a sufficiently long period.

        They completely overlooked the fact, that the project was doomed to failure anyway, because it’s aims and aspirations were alien to the democracy we in Britain had striven for, for hundreds if years, and we weren’t going to give it all away on someone else’s whim and pipe dream.

        That isn’t to mention the EU’s other fatal flaws which promise to destroy the project from within, without much impetus from us in the UK.

        I’m eternally grateful to the likes of JR for opposing it, and it makes sense to do so. Although we’re not out of the woods yet.

        But just think what this place might be like if we give in!

        Just think what Britain, and indeed the world, might have looked like after that seminal moment in the cabinet office in May 1940, had Chamberlain opted to recommend Lord Halifax instead of Churchill?

        It might not seem like it, but we are actually living through a pivotal moment in this nation’s history, and it’s now down to us to make sure our politicians do the right thing and give us the chance, at long last, to extricate ourselves from this madness by way of an ‘In’ or ‘Out’ referendum.

        Tad Davison

        Cambridge

    • Winston Smith
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      As ever, Dennis, you articulate the deceit of the Conservative Minsiters very clearly. As ever, JR remains silent when presented with the evidence. His position is designed to keep members and supporters clutching at straws in the vain hope change is possible, when he know full well it is impossible.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      As always you make powerful points. There is little doubt that the same reasons will be advanced in the face of a treaty change to implement a fiscal and banking union – namely they do not apply to the UK, only to the EZ. Such a treaty change would of course result in a fundamental change in relationships that would apply to the UK.

      It is also entirely possible that Germany would insist on further changes to EU institutional arrangements, personnel and powers to ensure that the new central EZ/EU authority did not run amok, spending money like water. German politicians speak of the need for treaty changes and for a referendum by German voters to approve such a transfer of sovereignty. In such circumstances the present UK coalition response that the changes “do not apply” would be received with scorn and ridicule.

  34. zorro
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9355352/Debt-crisis-Peter-Sands-documents-show-warning-to-David-Cameron-of-euro-danger-to-Britain.html

    Here we go……it starts…..if we leave the EU we will end up living in cardboard boxes and eat grass shocker….

    Zorro

    • zorro
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      So says the banker…….

      Zorro

      • Martyn
        Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        In whom we all have absolute faith and trust, of course…..

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Martyn

          Remember the government trust them.

          They have just promised them £14 Billion of cheap lending (taxpayers future debt) to go through their books, before going to personal and businesss.
          That is between £7-14 Billion extra on their profits at their current margins.

          Nice work if you can get it.
          Produce nothing, design nothing , Future profits all Completely funded by someone else, and any losses, a guaranteed bailout. What a great business !

          • alan jutson
            Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            Sorry not £14 Billion, but £140 Billion.

    • Ken Hall
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Great! Better living free in a cardboard box in a free and independent democracy, than living destitute in a bankrupt and profoundly anti-democratic EU oligarchy.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t he the one that gave Gordon Brown the advice to give extremely large dollops of cash to the banksters and pass the bill to the taxpayers, thereby enabling him to ‘save the world’?
      Iceland has demonstrated the correct way to deal with this scum.

  35. Mactheknife
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    There needs to be a massive axe taken to EU funding. In just one example of the EU madness, they award green action groups (WWF, Greenpeace etc) some 75 Million in grants to….errm….lobby the EU for yet more “green” regulations which impose further costs on idividuals and businesses.

    The lunatics have truely taken over the asylum.

  36. Robert Taggart
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Johnny, you say Europe be the big issue at public political gatherings ?
    Indeed, but, the ‘meedya’ (Auntie Beeb and Uncle ‘Indy’!) will say you and the Tories are obsessed with it – and paint you as being a single issue party. Question, how can you ‘square that circle’ ?

    The answer to the European problem ? – Europe a la carte !

    Question. Should there be a single European ‘entity’ – covering all aspects of political life (Defence, Economics, Finance, Foreign Relations, Social Issues…), or, as now, should there be several such (CE, EU, NATO) ?
    Oneself would actually argue for a single entity, split into several different aspects. European nations would come together as one only when they see fit to do so. European nations need not be part of every aspect.

  37. stred
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to dampen enthusiasm for a referendum, but assuming we were lucky enough to be granted one and possibly win an exit from the EU despite all the BBC propaganda, who would still be running the country? Most of the incredible incompetence, inumeracy and waste stems from our own pro EU, Guardian reading officials and useless MPs who are clones of the PRM.

    Unless we get rid of them too, and avoid paying huge redundancy and pensions, we are still stuffed. When I go abroad, the incompetence and waste is nothing like as apparent. In fact the French, Canadians, Dutch, Germans, Scandinavians and others seem to spend their high taxes quite sensibly. Maybe the French complain about their corrupt politicans and social security paid to foreigners but they do have good pensions and infrastructure. Does anyone else have PFI hospitals and schools or expensive overcrowded railways split up and run by subsidised private firms and an overpaid monopoly track company?

    Would we really be better off subcontracting the many ministries to the Germans? Then we might have a decent health service and transport and strong financial management of the Treasury/BoE. We could have the excellent technical school education and universities too. Perhaps they would give us a good deal, as they have the British to thank for setting up their admin after the great unpleasantness. And the French have officials in their Min of Ag who look after their own interests and understand figures. Maybe they could help our dunces.

    Our health minister has just been on the radio explaining that PFI can work if it is run properly. This chap really does not seem to understand that Hire Purchase is more expensive and alternatives are available which could avoid putting services into hock for 30 years. Are we going to be offered politicians who can understand this sort of thing? Has anyone come up with any ideas for altering the legal framework or taxation to reduce the ridiculous PFI payments to a level the taxpayer can afford? Unless these and other matters are sorted out, we will still be overtaxed and wasting most of the money, in or out of the EU.

  38. SteveS
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    What Conservatives do not want is a Federal Europe, and this is now the stated path for the EU. We have followed this far, but can go no further. I believe that the will of the people in this country is in tune with the will of the vast majority of Conservatives within the party.

    The Conservative Party will have missed the biggest open goal in history if it fails to hold up its hand and declare that we will have no further part in this project unless it is the will of the people to do so, and that they will actively campaign for our disengagement from the Federal Plan.

    It is time to put an end to the UK’s involvement in the mad plans of Van Rompuy, Barroso, Draghi and Juncker once and for all.

  39. FreedomLover
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    The sooner we leave the EU the better!

  40. Bernard Juby
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Extractum digitorum – Cameroon!

  41. Andrew Smith
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    For me this is good news and bad news.

    It is bad because I don’t want another election in which the Conservative Party is able to pretend to be Eurosceptic (whatever that is – you know what I mean), and use dog whistles and fraudulent promises of a referendum to get votes from the electorate. I do not want them to get away with being an anger sink any more.

    \But it is glorious news because it confirms that their Leader will have none of it. Cameron will not actually change tack and his promises to do different in the future just don’t wash, even amongst his own members.

    I would like a genuine campaign between parties saying just what they really want and let’s see how they get on.

    Ford do not pretend to be selling Renault cars and Heinz do not pretend to be offering Crosse & Blackwell. Why do the old parties keep pretending they are something they are not. All three are fully signed up for the EU but seem embarrassed to say so – let them come out! Let them speak of their heart’s true desire.

  42. AJAX
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    They’re getting worried about UKIP.

  43. AndyC71
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    sigh… I’ve always supported the Conservatives before, but like many others here, I don’t think I can next time, barring a major change in policy on the EU. I don’t particularly dislike Mr Cameron, and I’ve no time for the personal abuse he gets in comments on these and other pages. I don’t think he’s Edward Heath, I think he’s Stanley Baldwin, and would much rather the whole problem went away somehow. For the UK, that’s quite a dangerous thing to be in the months and years ahead.

    I don’t particularly want an EU referendum, because I’m deeply suspicious of the result it would produce. I want instead a mainstream political party with the political foresight to work out what has happened to the independence of this country, what now needs to be done, and has the guts to say it all out loud. That is not the current Conservative Party.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I want instead a mainstream political party with the political foresight to work out what has happened to the independence of this country.

      Then work to help make UKIP mainstream.

  44. Atlas
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Government Policy is to kick the sick(what was Incapacity Benefit) at home to save some money and then give it all away (and more) to the EU to squander on their delusions.

    Now we are to have an Upper house that is not fully elected (where’s the democracy in that eh?), filled with people who once in place can just milk the system for 15 years with absolutely no voter redress.

    Harry Truman once said ‘If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’, so it is with the House of Lords.

    Cameron just does not get it.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Given that under the present system the House of Lords is full of unelected Lords who can milk the system as long as they live the proposed reforms will greatly improve it.

  45. John C
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Methinks you are a tad too late John. (By that I mean the party and not you!)

    Too many of us have jumped ship to UKIP and we don’t trust a word the leadership of your party says on the EU issue.

    I know your thoughts on voting UKIP.

    At least my one vote in my constituency will be added to all the others in the country and there can be no doubt about my intentions. Also. the next general election will come after the 2014 EU elections with PR and I think UKIP will do astonishingly good in those, leading to a greater surge in the general election the following year.

    OK, UKIP will probably get no MPs and the Tories will probably get fewer MPs but I don’t care. There is very little to choose between all three main parties. Your approach of chipping away at the issue may get somewhere 50 years from now. By then, I’ll be pushing up the daisies.

    PS. Any chance of getting your website updated to use DISQUS? If you do you will probably get more people from Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell’s blogs.

  46. sm
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    What on earth do the main 3 parties seek to gain by remaining captured by the EU or EU groupthink? The refusal of the political class to faithfully and democratically represent the public can only lead to a major disaffection and civil problems and then exit.

    I am sure aggressive avoidance benefit fraud/rioting etc is not all down to just greed. We too can easily become Greece. We have Hospitals in administration but not banks? Is Hester really doing a good job.

    Maybe we should learn from the Poles? Where is our Lech Walesa? Certainly not Balls or Milliband?

    1) No equitable answer to the West Lothian question or an English parliament will be allowed because it will lead to English independence from the EU.
    2) No referendum will be allowed because it will lead to independence from the EU.
    3) The EU crisis will inevitably lead to an independent England maybe UK.

    We should just exit and proceed to deal with our own problems and restore democracy to England and look to mend relations in the UK and the world outside, particularly the commonwealth.

    Any party then that wishes to rejoin the EU can include it in their manifesto if they dare. Laws should require such abbrogation of sovereignty to be null and void as well as treasonous.

    Would that not be an honest and straightforward way to deal with the duplicity of the past .Cast rubber promises, last minute Lisbon treaty signers et al.

    Nothing but an EXIT prior to an election would cause me to vote for any of the 3 main parties.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      An English Parliament won’t lead to England or the UK becoming independent from the EU.

  47. Tony Houghton
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    John

    Who reads your blog other than those who place their views here?

    It is like us all shouting in a sound proof room!

    This is not true parliamentary democracy in action, is it?

    Tony

    Reply: It is widely read by people in media and newspapers, by opinion formers and politicians. I also put the main points of the economic analysis direct to relevant Ministers and draw on it in my speeches in the Commons

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      I can confirm that, as I get feedback from others. As well as good debate, it also gives us the chance to publicly demolish the arguments of the insane and the seriously deluded Europhiles.

      Tad

  48. John Orchard
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    John, why don’t you get the party behind you and set a no confidence vote in Cameron and get rid of this useless Dictator. He tells the World and his/her Aunt about what they should do but when it comes to us he ignores that we want out of Europe. Also to stop giving our money away willy nilly and the green issue that only we are paying for but nobody else takes a blind bit of notice of.

  49. peter
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I caught the end of Newsnight last night presented by Jeremy Paxman, with a Tory, good old Mr Farage, and a South African Labour politician and Lord Ashdown babbling some nonsense about the security of being in the EU (without saying what or being challenged) but they all agreed that at some point we will have to have a referendum on the EU though most of them voiced the fact that due to current instability now is perhaps not the right time.

    So I think the direction of UK politics is going that way as a whole, its a question of how long its going to take. Even Mandelson seems to think that this is something we will have to do at some point.

    I don’t think enough people realize the consequence of the EU and where they want to take us – to me the EU model is the USSR with lipstick, a total waste of space that will only benefit the political classes. It wont bring security – more the potential for conflict as people get uneasy.

  50. Chris
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Newsnight last night was interesting with regard to membership of the EU, particularly the rant of Paddy Ashdown with regard to how much we would lose if we left the EU and established looser trading relations with Europe. Timely then that Daniel Hannan blogged yesterday about the book by Lee Rotherham”The EU in a nutshell” which helpfully deals with the myths put forward by the europhiles and provides the facts to use in rebuttal.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100167508/the-eu-in-a-nutshell/

    “The EU in a Nutshell is a miscellany of facts and anecdotes about the system which rules us. It’s a book you can delve into in pursuit of a particular fact, or crack open for entertainment at virtually any page….
    Here’s the kicker: Norway sells two-and-a-half times as much per head to the EU as Britain does. Switzerland, which isn’t in the EEA but instead relies on a series of sectoral free trade deals, sells four-and-a-half times as much. So much for the risible notion that three million British jobs ‘depend on the EU’. (I write this with conviction, as one of the tiny handful of Britons whose job genuinely does depend on the EU: no one looks forward more eagerly to his redundancy.)”

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Alan and uanime5. Go and have a read! You might just learn something!

      • zorro
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Fat chance of that happening!

        Zorro

      • uanime5
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        I prefer to learn from reputable sources, rather than people trying to sell their books.

        Also if the UK manufacturing hadn’t declined so much we’d probably export more to the EU.

  51. Caterpillar
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    “I am delighted the Prime Minister wishes to define Conservative views and policies for the next election. ”

    But did the PM not just give a speech saying he wanted a debate on entitlements, rather than actually getting on and doing something? Has the Govt, via the Chancellor, not supported vast market interference – banks being able to borrow at below market rate? Though an EU referendum may be a fair demand, it would provide rather too much cover for a Govt that is just not doing the right things.

  52. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid you have left it too long to realise what an anathema membership of the EU dictatorship is. No one believes for one minute that Cameron is eurosceptic as you keep telling us he is and he has lost trust with the whole country and particularly within his own party grassroots. Even David Davis appeared lightweight on Newsnight last night. Why? Because he is mouthing your line about renegotiation which is just a trick to make people think that some serious change will be possible. Any so-called renegotiation would be followed by a recommendation to accept whatever the outcome. Who ever heard of politicians saying they hadn’t achieved the best possible deal? We would then be inundated with propaganda supporting continued membership. This is yet another attempt to hoodwink the people into abandoning their democarcy to an unelected foreign dictatorship.

  53. Bert Young
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    One advantage in getting this blog so late , is to be able to read all the responses . In a nutshell the message to Dr.JR is : there is no support for the Conservative party led by Cameron ; there must be a referendum on Europe , and , observers wish to see MPs following their consciences instead of their party line . UKIP is obviously a force to be reckoned with . The discussion I have with my friends (all Conservatives who have been around a bit) also focus and agree with this content ; not one of them has anything good to say about Cameron .

  54. zorro
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/9354259/Arab-Spring-provided-new-breeding-ground-for-British-terrorists-spy-chief.html

    More special pleading…. please give us some more money because all that hullabaloo we were (allegedly) involved in Libya and now Syria has gone a bit askew causing more people to take offence against us, and there’s a bit more threat now to you all because of it….

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9262379/MI5-feared-British-police-attended-terrorist-camps.html

    Oh and by the way, some of the police we employ might be a bit dodgy too…….Oh and don’t forget cyber crime!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9354373/Cyber-crime-a-global-threat-MI5-head-warns.html

    So we really do need more money, Cheers MI5 Head…..

    zorro

    • zorro
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Some accounts circulating of alleged accentuated British involvement in Syria. British government sources have previously denied involvement in February. I don’t believe that there has been a more recent denial covering this alleged incident.

      Reason for posting…..from talking to Conservatives, they’ve had enough of the foreign adventurism too…

      zorro

  55. uanime5
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Given that many of the EU laws businesses find troublesome are those that give employees rights and protections I’d prefer to keep them. The UK will never have first class companies if employers want a workforce with third world rights and pay.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Have you not noticed that many of those third world countries do have first class companies, for example Tata of India who have taken over Jaguar, who regularly run TV adverts in the Indian sub-continent saying how well they look after their workers and what great career opportunities they have. Tata could also put a perfectly workable car on the road for £2,000 but not in Europe.

      The workers’ rights of which you speak are in practice priviliges because the bureaucrats do not demand anything in return. It’s not their money. Take the latest example – a worker who falls sick on holiday is ‘entitled’ to extra leave. Is this going to be financed out of the pockets of Barroso and Herr von Rumpey Pumpey, or even by the taxpayers of Member States? No; it will be financed by empoyers, the usual whipping boys.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Cars like the Tata Nano are beyond the pale. There is also on the cheap Chinese cars that could be imported, but the crash resistance is if it where not such a serious subject, comical. Who would you buy a car such as this when you could have a second hand western one for 2k? You are proposing third world levels of technology, pay and working conditions and we should compete with this? Yes workers rights are a right. The right to safe working conditions is a right not a privilege and so on. Paying jaguar workers Indian wages in Europe? Not real. You think it acceptable to use holidays as sick days in principle and everyone should I take it?

      • Bazman
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        No doubt car crash laws should be about choice and personal preference. What if a safe driver would like to but a cheaper, but more unsafe car? Nanny state and pointless regulation pushing up the price of cars? Self regulate like banking? Anyone want to defend this one and give me a laugh.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      That’s all well and good, a decent employee is worth keeping. A company’s biggest asset is it’s workforce. No sane employer wants to get rid of a good and productive asset, but is it right that they can’t get rid of dross without jumping through all manner of legal hoops?

      • uanime5
        Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        The problem is that without employee protection employers can their abuse their workforces with impunity.

        • Bazman
          Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          They are allowed to just leave and tell them to ram it, but no doubt some would like to see this as a criminal offence starting with cleaners.

  56. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    The prevailing mood of despair concerning this absurd PM makes me understand the impulse to rebellion. The English people deserve better. Much blood was spilled so that their betters might rule. Now this spineless twerp refuses to lead & the Nation twists in the wind. Goddamn it Redwood denounce this traitor PM!!!

  57. i.stafford
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    The problem with calling for a referendum on staying in the EU is what happens afterwards. Suppose of a clear question overwhelming percentage -90%?- vote for leaving, is the PM going to introduce a Bill to repeal the ECA 1973 next morning and denounce the TEU? I doubt it. He will get a call to report to Brussels and warned by the Commission that he could be destabilised as four other PM’s in Europe have been by the Commission, unless he gets his electorate back in shape. He will then plead for some changes -a derogation on the Work TIme Directive perhaps – and return saying that he had put in place a new relationship with Europe. Unless HMG is in favour of leaving a referendum will not force a withdrawal. We need terms before the matters can be settled.

  58. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    “Members in England want a better deal for England. They want the Conservative majority in England in the Commons to be allowed to make the calls for England in our increasingly devolved UK.”
    Could you bring yourself to say the English should have their own parliament? That is what this really means.

  59. lawrence
    Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    You say Conservatives fought to keep out of the Euro, but it was the Referendum party in the 90s and now UKIP who have carried the banner to get our country back from the clutches of the Federal EU.
    Now its clear that Van Rumpoy and the EU commissioners are using the collapsing Euro as an excuse to force those miserable countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal into deeper political union (or “Control”). What is next.. I predict, will be reminiscent of Palatines creation of the Sith Empire out of the engineered failures of the senate.

    The Euro is doomed to fail, and this will be used to give executive powers to the EU!

    Reply: I did meet with Mr Goldsmith and did a joint press conference to urge saving the pound. His Referendum party did not of course win a single seat in Parliament. It needed the Conservative Eurosceptics to get the referendum promise from John Major, which in turn got the promise from Mr Blair. I think my resignaiton from the Cabinet over this issue was part of that process.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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