The Euro is not worth a single pound of UK taxpayers money

 

           The long running Euro crisis is set to run and run. This week’s summit of EU leaders is no more likely to fix it than all the previous ones, each billed as the crunch summit to save the Euro.

           This time on the agenda is the prospect of a Euro area Finance Minister and Treasury. The Germans are making the perfectly reasonable demand that if they are to back up the credit card for all the Euro nations, they want a say in how much they spend using it. Euro area countries are being  reassured that this is no great loss of power. After all, they are told, you the member states can decide how and where to make the cuts. All the EU authorities will wish to do is to set a limit on how much you can spend, and a total for you to raise in tax. The rest is your call!

           To do this properly will take Treaty changes. That is a long and arduous process, requiring ratification by all the states signing the new Treaty. It should trigger the odd referendum in a country like Ireland, and Parliamentary ratification everywhere involved. It does not sound like a quick fix.

          The last summit offered a banking union as the answer. We are told there will be more progress towards this. Here again, Germany will want some guarantees that she will be able to control or influence the policy of banks in faraway countries, if her credit card is to stand behind all the main banks of the Euro area.

            The truth is simple. Too many countries in the Euro area have spent too much, borrowed too much and have now run out of money. Too many banks in the Euro area have overexpanded their balance sheeets, are losing money on too many of their loans, and now need more capital.

              The rest of the EU would like the UK to put some money in to help deal with the cash shortfall. There is no reason why we should do any such thing. Nor should the IMF, but they are now fully engaged with a cause they should avoid. There are no signs that the Euro crisis is about to be solved. There is no evidence that the German people are ready to put the German credit card fully behind the troubled areas and banks of Euroland. If they are not willing to do so, why should we?

               The Euro remains an orphan currency in search of a country to look after it and support it. Creating a country called Euroland is taking too long for the good of its currency. The rich areas and countries are not willing to prop up all the poorer and weaker countries and institutions. There are now five countries needing special measures and special subsidised loans. It cannot go on like this. The UK government has a duty to ensure not a penny of UK taxpayers money is wasted on this scheme. It now looks as if the obligations of Euroland are also too big for the German state to taqke on, even if she wanted to.

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122 Comments

  1. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Very well put! But even if we do not contribute to trying (and probably failing) to control the Euro-fiasco, at some point the money is going to start to run out because of inflation arising from the vast sums of cash that have been printed. Politicians will be faced with hard questions of what spending to prioritise and how best to keep the peace. I don’t envy you.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Eventually yes but the way that they are deploying QE at the moment is not causing that…..it is effectively being used as a tool to cover government spending, and the banks are not lending this money out. Bearing in mind the competence of the banks, we need to start worrying when they do start lendibg (hopefully not recklessly) and the government’s/BoE ability to unwind QE….

      Zorro

      • Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        zorro: “QE …..it is effectively being used as a tool to cover government spending, ”

        The Banks and the Political class are two sides of the same coin. Without the banks the politicians couldn’t deficit spend, without the politicians willing cooperation, the banks would have to work a lot harder for their money.

  2. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    HEAR HEAR!
    A hugely important post to be ignored at our peril, especially for the City of London,(see my blog post of yesterday and Pan-European Totalitarianism from 2003 on Samizdata.

  3. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    “The UK government has a duty to ensure not a penny of UK taxpayers money is wasted on this scheme”.

    Alas they all ready have wasted billions on this and given money the the IMF for them to waste they even told us we would make a profit!

    “It now looks as if the obligations of Euroland are also too big for the German state to take on, even if she wanted to.”

    Indeed and she clearly does not want to anyway, so the great project must surely now collapse in fairly short order.

    Good news is that the shares in some wind farm manufacturers are collapsing like a stone over 70% in a year in one case – now that everyone (even governments) have worked out that they make no economic sense. So the end of another Labour, Tory, Libdem (especially), BBC, EU think insanity. I have no sympathy for these companies as they clearly based the whole bogus industry on government grants. Grants that were clearly never going to continue. The engineers (and executives) must always have know it was insanity in engineering and cost terms without helping themselves to endless taxpayers cash and so richly deserve to fold.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Does the government thinks they will get anywhere, in popularity or in increases to confidence in government, by putting up people like Chloe Smith on Newsnight last night. She either knew nothing at all or just to refused to answer any of the very simple questions from Paxman on Newsnight last night. The only information she gave at all was that the 3P petrol tax was only a deferment. She did not say for how long, needless to say.

      The government might as well have issued a statement saying they tossed a coin on the petrol tax issue and it came up heads. We have not got a clue where the money is coming from now or even when the coin was tossed or when we might toss another one or who tosses it.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        What were the Tories doing putting someone, just turned 30, less than three years as an MP (and not well briefed), up against Paxman?

        Wikipedia has this:
        “She [Chloe Smith] is best known for her appearance on Newsnight, broadcast on 26th June 2012, in which she struggled to deal with questioning from Jeremy Paxman (his questions to her included “Is this some sort of joke?” and “Do you ever think you’re incompetent?”). Parallels were drawn by the Daily Telegraph between Ms Smith’s performance and that of a character from political satire The Thick Of It”

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          It is indeed quite embarrassing when the office of Financial Secretary is put in this position. I remember a previous occasion when Chloe Smith was not so impressive under questioning. Bearing in mind the attention which the government purportedly gives to PR it is quite surprising……What were they thinking allowing this situation to unfold. It is not really fair to put Ms Smith in this position as it may expose her to some criticism…..

          Zorro

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, she did her best, but clearly knew nothing or was simply not prepared to say it. What was the point of her getting dolled up and making the journey? The only thing she did say was the usual interview tricks to avoid answering the question. Mainly rewriting the question asked then usually not answering that one either. It just showed she had been to a good how avoid saying anything of substance PR training session. Now everyone knows all the politicians sleazy tricks this is surely pointless. Better not to turn up.

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            ‘Better not to turn up’…..Yes, in fact it might have been more productive, because either the BBC or the Government could have saved the fuel or various expenses costs associated with these types of appearances…..

            zorro

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Twice in one day – made the Government look really bad

        Government getting a kicking on Channel 4

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Tkocd8njY&feature=player_embedded

        Embarassment for Government on BBC
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ31jMsKOXg&feature=player_embedded

        I have no idea what she was told – maybe “don’t say we only decided today as it will make it look as if we caved into Labour demands” ? But it looked really poor for the Government, and cowardly to throw Chloe under the bus to defend it.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        More good new it is reported in the Telegraph that some Universities are letting foreign student in with lower grades than UK ones when they pay the full fees. Rightly so why on earth refuse anyone who can pay the full costs and can cope with the course. They need the money after all and will only go somewhere else if not taken on. Universities should not be rationing education when people can pay the full cost and more than book shop should ration books.

        True they have to keep up the value and not trash the brand too much but having seen some prospectuses many have clearly given up on that anyway.

        I still am not quite sure why universities cost so much anyway – how much does a few lectures, a few notes, a tutor, the odd building and an exam or two plus a posh certificate really cost? After all academics are not very well paid in general.

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          Also in the press a few days ago.

          Foreign students are NOT paying back Student loans given to them by the UK taxpayer.

          The debts are growing and now run into Millions it is reported.

          They seem to vanish when the course finishes, and cannot be found.

          Now there is a surprise, did no one think this would happen ?

          What an utterly stupid idea in the first place.

          We now taxpayer fund foreign students to take up the places of our own Nationals, at our own University’s.

          You could not make this up in the real World.

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

            Indeed we have free education in Universities in Scotland for all from the EU (but not England) and free education in England for many from the EU because many will clearly not repay the loans. Only a complete loony could design such a mad system (or a Libdem perhaps).

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

            Alan Jutson: “Foreign students are NOT paying back Student loans given to them by the UK taxpayer.”

            This has been a well known phenomena for quite some time, reported some time ago on Richard North’s blog.

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            So basically the universities are accepting money from (EU) foreign students in the forms of loans from the government which are underwritten by the taxpayer and not paid back it seems by the foreign student…….Gosh, haven’t I seen that MO elsewhere when the ‘foreign student’ and ‘university’ were called something else…….

            And yes, the ‘universities’ are asking the government to fund more of these ‘foreign students’ through the taxpayer…..

            How are those ‘university’ CEO/manager salaries going?….Can someone jog my memory?

            zorro

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Have an idiot son go to Oxford/Cambridge and get a first as long as the father builds a wing on the university. This is OK in principle? It was centuries ago, so why spoil a tradition? Have the most elite doctors give preferential treatments to anyone will in to pay and use the money to fund poor patients. Is this OK? Abandon democracy and have the country run for the benefit of the wealthy hoping the wealth will somehow trickle down. Is that OK? Have anyone against this arrested. Is that OK?

          Reply No-one can buy a first at Oxbridge. If someone is capable of getting a first they do not need to buy a place.

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            I prefer selection on ability to university rather than access to funds. I suspect that some of the increases in tuition fees are helping pay for the management/CEO levels at universities now. They have clearly expanded from what existed when I went to university…..

            Of course, it is important to have a vibrant research facility, and top quality foreign students, but I am keen that we ensure that talent we have indigenous to this country is given the benefit of a world class British university education….

            John mentions grade aspiration and how difficult it is to obtain a first at Oxford, and what better example than our current PM, David ‘Cast Iron’ Cameron who obtained a First Class degree!……admittedly in PPE 🙂

            zorro

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps no longer (and nor a first) but did not Prince Charles (and many others) get places somehow with nothing much to show in the way of A and O levels? Admittedly only doing anthropology with Nick Clegg types.

            I do not suppose it matters that much if they are not doing medicine, civil engineering or similar. Looking at some of the quack subject offered, one would surely have to be rather daft to even want to study them? Rather like studying the history and philosophy of fairies and fairy rings at the bottom of the garden.

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            If they can cope with the course and buy a wing too why deprive them of the education the University can always create more places if they have the money.

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Bazman,

            Wibble

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            “JR Reply No-one can buy a first at Oxbridge. If someone is capable of getting a first they do not need to buy a place.”

            But what about PhD’s at the LSE? And with ‘coaching’ thrown in the ‘Libyan package’ as well!

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          What you’re identified lifelogic is an example of the markets effecting university admissions. Basically universities make more money from foreign students than UK students so they want more foreign students.

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            Indeed great the more money they have the better for the University and the town and the country.

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Not for the university if it looks like they are selling degrees to the highest bidder and not for the country if we want educated workers. The university is not a degree factory. If this was the case than we could apply it to the education of children. ‘Coping with the course’ means churning out degrees by default and could be done in any subject, even maths and science. Your next predictable reaction would be the dumbing down of subjects in order to make degrees more easy to get fees. It ain’t rocket science. Though I suspect you need some education in the real world.

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            The university is not a degree factory yes it is but it need to guard its reputation it is a balance fee income V reputation a balance is what is needed. Turning down full fee payers will not help unless they are really useless.

      • Posted June 28, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “We have not got a clue where the money is coming from now”

        QE, borrowing, one place you know it isn’t is spending cuts.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      One of the worst examples of crony, nepotistic ‘capitalism’…..

      Zorro

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Zoro

        Agree perhaps you need to support your Party (if you think they are right) but not by looking and acting stupid, by refusing to answer very simple questions.

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Funnily enough, I was referring in my reply to ‘green’ industry and someone’s in laws – but it must read the same for Ms Smith! (that was not my intention of course)

          Zorro

          • Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            zorro

            Yes my mistake, clicked on this comment of yours by mistake for an earlier one of yours !!

            Got lost on the thread, will try harder to keep up next time !!

  4. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Just as the Balkans was not worth the blood of a single Pomeranian grenadier….couldn’t help themselves in the long run, could they…..?

    Zorro

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      In fairness to the great man, it was Bismarck who said that of the happiness of the Bulgarian people. It was the headstrong Kaiser who sacked Bismarck who could not help himself, well aided by a military establishment.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely Fritz, I was being a bit cheeky and juxtaposing how Germany mixed it a bit in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and now economically with Greece…..

        Zorro

  5. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    I think I can lay all our minds at ease that we won’t be throwing away more of our freshly printed £’s. Heaven knows we need them here, and plenty more of them according to Merv!

    David Cameron sensibly said last week that we’ll only provide bail out funds via the IMF to prop up European countries and their banks but not to prop up the Euro.

    So there you have it, nothing to worry about.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed, utterly disingenuous…..

      Zorro

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I wish you had emotions to make sure that everyone knew you were being ironic.
      Guess who runs the IMF – with the full approval or our Chancellor!

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, calls for more centralised economic control in the 17 countries that use the euro and says rescue funds should be given direct to banks rather than via governments.

  6. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Your analysis is spot on.

    Zorro

  7. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    In agreement, as always, with your outlook on the EU, I fear you may have weakened your argument unintentionally by saying “There is no evidence that the German people are ready to put the German credit card fully behind the troubled areas and banks of Euroland. If they are not willing to do so, why should we?” The inference is that were Germany to back Euroland fully, then we should be more willing to give monetary help. No.

    Whatever machinations take place within the Eurozone, it is their business alone. The UK has provided assistance already, for what seems to be precious little goodwill or appreciation.

    Reply: You can be assured there are no conditions in which I would put UK money at risk!

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Reply: You can be assured there are no conditions in which I would put UK money at risk!

      So it isn’t just the country that disagrees with the stance taken by Cameron, Osborne, and the EU Toadies. Good to know!

      The aforementioned seem impervious to your sound reason and good judgement, so what should we do to get them to see sense John?

      It seems that no amount of debate will get these Europhiles to change course. They have got themselves into positions of power and influence , by trickery, by claiming to be Euro-sceptic, when all the time, they have a different pro-EU agenda. (etc-ed)

      To my way of thinking, that removes their legitimacy and any right to govern. Is it not now time to take the gloves off and be even more vociferous?

      Tad

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        They clearly have no legitimacy, but they cannot change course as there is no commanding officer to give the signal. They would all need to do it together and swallow the words they (and the BBC) have been pushing at voters for years. So they all continue marching to the cliff edge just like Mr Major Disaster and the ERM farce. No doubt muttering things like “if we come out of the ERM interest rates will have to go up even further than 15%” just before they fell like a stone on exit.

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          It must be like ‘Groundhog Day’ for DC….If my memory serves me correct, I remember seeing him (when he worked as a SPAD) standing surreptitiously behind Norman Lamont when Lamont announced that the UK had ‘a bad day’ in 1992, and was exiting the ERM……

          zorro

          • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            A “difficult and turbulent day” I think it was.

            Chancellor Norman Lamont raised interest rates from 10% to 12%, then to 15%, and authorised the spending of billions of pounds to buy up the sterling being frantically sold on the currency markets for Mr Sorros and other sane people.

            But the measures failed to prevent the pound falling lower than its minimum level in the ERM.

            Labour and the Libdems who both supported Major’s insane policy forgot this and made hay and Sorros made billions I think. Then we had three terms of the Bliar disaster.

  8. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2012/06/26/merkel-makes-an-over-my-dead-body-statement-maybe/

    Mrs Merkel makes a statement……Keep your eyes peeled Angela……

    Zorro

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      ….. and there were people shouting, ‘Long may she live’ which is encouraging!

      Tad

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

      Your link took us to, apparently, Reuters having pulled the statement, but here
      http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120627-43399.html it is repeated with a lot more explanatory text.

      Sorry, John, for adding a link to your blog, but it ties with Zorro’s…

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m grateful to you for posting the link Martyn. Dear old Germany might not wish to fund all the waste. Oh dear!

        Tad

  9. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    One way or another the € will cost us taxpayers’ money. It will cost if and when the € crashes, and it will cost while the € zone props it up.

    But for me, the most important and most dangerous aspect of this continuous crisis is the ever increasing deficit in democratic procedure.
    It is time our politicians and journalists take their eyes off the can, kicked down the road for years. It is not about how much Germany must be made to pay, and why the pitiful ‘victims’ need more and more money. It is about decisions to be taken by Brussels gremia who are not and never will be elected, who will not be democratically accountable, and who will be able to override not just the budgetary sovereignty of any member country, but can demand funds from any country when deemed necessary. By Majority Vote.

    Please, John, have a look at this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZr17HLH5U

    This is the treaty Madame Merkel is trying to whip through the Bundestag, this is the treaty Ireland was forced to agree to, by pain of not being allowed to draw from the ESM funds.
    This is the treaty which has been made palatable for some German MPs because it also incorporates the Tobin Tax.
    This is the treaty which allows Ms Merkel an ‘out’ from installing €-Bonds.
    This is the treaty which the German Constitutional Court is scrutinising, which the German President will not sign until that court has given its opinion. This is the treaty which led to the break-up of the Dutch Government, with elections next month.

    To say that “we” won’t be forced to give our money because we’re not in the € zone is ludicrous. We’ve already supported Ireland, we’re pledged to give our money to the IMF, who will fund, through illegal means, the €. Yes, illegal, as Madame Lagarde herself confirmed.

    It is very disturbing indeed that the front bench has seen fit to spend time on HoL ‘reform’, a sweeping constitutional change where we will have no say, but is drifting into the € trap without any obvious concern for our country.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      To clarify, if I can manage to do that without creating more confusion about a complicated situation, the video is about the vile ESM treaty while the Irish referendum was only about the fiscal pact.

      The ESM treaty is an intra-eurozone treaty which is being erected on the new legal base which would be created in the EU treaties by the radical EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011 through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU.

      The ESM treaty was first agreed and signed last July, but in January Merkel had it re-opened to insert a “blackmail clause” so that after March 1st 2013 new ESM aid would not be available to any country which had not ratified her recently agreed fiscal pact.

      The Irish government had already decided that it would not hold a referendum on either the ESM treaty, or the enabling EU treaty change, but for rather obscure reasons the Attorney-General decided that there would have to be a referendum on the fiscal pact.

      There is an ongoing court case, in which the Independent TD (MP) Thomas Pringle is arguing that both the ESM treaty and the enabling EU treaty change need approval through referendum – this is from the Irish Times today:

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0627/1224318806009.html

      “Mr Pringle, who contends the ESM treaty breaches EU law, the EU treaties and the Irish Constitution, is to proceed with his application for an injunction restraining the Government from completing ratification here early next month of the ESM treaty, his counsel, John Rogers SC, said.”

      I’m afraid that I don’t hold out much hope that his case will succeed, but at least he’s having a go.

      In Germany the parliament is being asked to approve both the ESM treaty and the fiscal pact, apparently with some linkage to support for a Tobin tax although that can’t be inserted into either treaty by the Germans acting alone.

      The enabling EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011 also requires approval by the German parliament, and by the parliaments of all the other 26 EU member states, before it can come into force.

      It’s difficult to keep track, but I believe that a few of them have already done that, while there is a Bill before the Irish parliament to approve it, and here the Bill to approve it was started in the Lords on May 10th and now today it has reached its report stage:

      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/europeanunionapprovaloftreatyamendmentdecision.html

      “A Bill to make provision for the purposes of section 3 of the European Union Act 2011 in relation to the European Council decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro.”

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Seems to have got stuck in moderation!

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Here’s the (temporary) link to this afternoon’s Lords Report Stage of the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Bill:

      http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/lords/todays-lords-debates/read/unknown/107/

      It’s very brief: the only comment before Lord Howell moved that the Report be received came from Lord Owen, who raised the possibility of holding referendums on EU treaty changes outwith the scope of the “referendum lock” law:

      “… the Government, not using the 2011 Act, might consider that the implications of these changes are of such importance that they wish to call a referendum under the general powers … When the Bill comes back on Third Reading, will it possible to clarify the not-significant clause in a helpful way towards the European Union?”

      However Owen has completely missed the point: as Hague made clear in his statement, his reason for denying us a referendum on this EU treaty change has nothing to do with its significance, but is simply that on paper there are no provisions which “apply” to the UK.

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Incidentally I’ve just seen this press release from the (unicameral) parliament in Lithuania:

      http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter/w5_show?p_r=4028&p_d=126379&p_k=2

      “Amendments to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union concerning the establishment of a permanent crisis mechanism ratified”

      “With 81 vote in favour and 8 abstentions, the Seimas adopted the Law on Ratification of the European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of 25 March 2011 Amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with Regard to a Stability Mechanism for Member States Whose Currency is the Euro.”

      “The amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides a legal basis for establishing a permanent crisis mechanism to be resorted to in case of emergency.”

      NB:

      “It is foreseen that the ESM will enter into force on 1 January 2013.”

      which is actually the earliest date for the EU treaty change to come into force; but of course Merkel foresees the ESM coming into force long before then, when there would still be no legal basis for it in the EU treaties.

  10. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Sadly Cameroon and cronies will be willing to waste our funny money on the ridiculous project. They do not share your views Mr Redwood, nor do they represent the people of this country in any meaningful way. Most of their ideas are Blair-Lite and look where it’s getting us. A financial cliff edge.

  11. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I do not think the English understand the European Project at all.

    I think most people still hanker after a free trade area with, perhaps, another parliament on top where things are discussed democratically and with perhaps another set of British justice with juries and Common Law on top of that. It is boring, so they are not paying attention. That’s for the “politicians” – on their “sinecures” naturally.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. The idea is to produce one country by stealth. It always has been and it will remain so. This Euro crisis is a “beneficial crisis”. Again and again some headline crisis must be exploited to justify the community’s powers, thus furthering integration. It is a major tool of the project.

    Why has nobody read Christopher Booker? Why? Appeasement was silly in the 1930s, but not as silly – or as dangerous – in a computerised and snoopy and nuclear age as the one we live in. Witness the way the sacred Olympics are being exploited quietly to impose “temporary” security measures – all anti-terrorist, of course and quite necessary. We really are drifting towards a future where Mr Redwood and I will no doubt meet over a friendly green recycling bin, or in jail for saying something “xenophobic” on the web..

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I’ve got a lot of sympathy for those views Mike! That’s precisely where we’re headed!

      Tad

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      If these “temporary” security measures are ineffective and are then breached we can expect the police to be out in force – but who will be protected from whom? And how many more intrusive and sinister laws will be introduced as a result?

  12. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    If the IMF helps fund the Euro ‘rescue’ then we WILL be paying towards it. Cameron/Osborne increased the UK’s contribution to the IMF when Lagarde asked – knowing full well that the funds will be spent on propping up the Eurozone.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I don’t think you should be quite so casual in dismissing the idea of providing money for the IMF. Our own finances are not in a good state and our currency could get into difficulties. I don’t expect that to happen but if it does we might need IMF support. A modest contribution to the IMF seems to me a prudent precaution.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense the more we contribute the more likely we will need them.

        • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Ya can’t tell ’em LL!

          Tad

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        I think that is when the ‘UK will have a very interesting choice to make’ argument mentioned by Mr Blair recently may start to come into play…..

        Zorro

  13. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I fully agree, no more money from us, indeed they have had too much already.

    I only hope that the IMF who we continue to pour money into, does not continue either.

    Who could blame the German people for failing to fund their debt addicted neighbours time and time again.

    I see at last that the EU Zonone has realised that the only way forward is complete fiscal union, with one controling financial system for all, taxes, budgets, finance Minister etc.
    Good luck to them, I hope the population now realise what is coming down the tracks for those Country’s involved.
    The hidden agenda is now starting to break into the sunlight.

  14. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    A Reader Writes:-
    Dear Uncle John, I am shortly to go to Italy for a restful few days on a Lake. Should I take cash money as Euro, or pounds, or US Dollars, or Swiss Francs. Prime Minister Monti says there are only ten days to save the Euro, I am at my wits end not knowing what to do for the best, please advise 🙁 .

    Reply: Doubtless I am not regulated to advise you on such weighty matters – please consult an approved expert.
    Were I going on holiday to Italy I would take some Euros so I could afford my first bus fare and coffee, and switch pounds as and when needed. I would expect the Euro to be saved for at least another fourteen days.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Acorn

      Just back from Italy a couple of weeks ago, took some euro’s but also some pounds sterling, paid for the small items with euro’s, the larger bills with credit card (good rate of exchange) and kept sterling for any emergency.

      In my experience you usually get a better rate of exchange abroad if changing sterling into Euro’s there, back home here its a rip off, given the massive percentages taken by our Banks.

      No problem anywhere we went at all, other than the rumbling affects of the earthquake on our rented villa, which was 100 miles to the South West of the Quake.

      Did notice a huge amount of empty factories though, evidence that industry had moved on to pastures anew (probably out of the EU area)

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they usually just put the labels or badge on in Italy now, if anything at all, so they can say – Made in Italy.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        AJ,

        Interesting observation.

        ‘Did notice a huge amount of empty factories though, evidence that industry had moved on to pastures anew (probably out of the EU area)’

        What a marvelous thing this European Union is! I know! Let’s have more of it!

        Tad

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Take a credit card and let the bank worry about converting any currency differences… or just take gold 😉

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

      Acorn, when I went to Greece recently I took Euros but ensured that I bought them at a certain supermarket (cheapest for last 15 years?) where you can get buy back insurance for a couple of pounds and can change leftovers when you get back at the rate you bought them at. It saves a packet if you have any to change back on return…..

      zorro

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to all who replied on this thread. Mrs Acorn much appreciates your advice.

  15. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    They say that a good rule in business is not to throw all your resources into a loser.

    Q.E.D.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Similarly, in military-speak there is the lessons of history summed as “do not reinforce failure”. Those who have tried in the past have just deepened their failure at, usually, horrific additionals costs in lives and resources.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        For ‘is’ please read ‘are’ !

  16. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    “This time on the agenda is the prospect of a Euro area Finance Minister and Treasury.”

    ” The last summit offered a banking union as the answer.”

    It must be expensive to set up such institutions. Not so bad, I suppose, with endless taxpayer’s money to go at…

  17. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Agreed!

    Should the EU now be renamed EUNUCH, European Union Now Under Castration Handicap?

  18. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Too many countries in the Euro area have spent too much, borrowed too much and have now run out of money

    =============

    And when it comes to the UK, you refuse to say how much you owe people for the state pension. You have effectively borrowed their retirement income and spent it, and now the are just offering a percentage on the pound in return.

    If a median worker (26K p/a) had put their NI in the FTSE they would have 19K, RPI linked joint life at 65.

    Instead you offer them 5.4K, CPI linked (its lower), not fully joint life, at 67. The raising of the age means they are 2 * 5.3K worse off from lack of payouts, plus another 9K in NI contributions. 20K worse off.

    That’s the fraud in Westminster.

    Meanwhile, why have you exempted yourself from tax investigation by7 HMRC and also made sure you aren’t subject to all the money laundering regualtions?

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

      The stock response is this is a Ponzi scheme in all but name. Existing pensioners paid for by current donations and current subscribers to eventually be paid for by future subscribers.

      Nobody cares to say what happens when the music stops, as eventually it must.

      This and previous governments have been guilty of great frauds, which would include the outrageous PFI fraud but the greatest of al in which they are all complicit is the Ponzi pension scheme.

      Shame on them all.

  19. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Yet don’t the treaties already contain limits on government-borrowing? All that’s needed is for those rules to be enforced with sanctions.

  20. Posted June 27, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    We have had many euro summits over the past few years and each one was supposed to be the one that finally produced the result that would solve the euro crisis. Europe is stagnating and this could drag on for many years into the future in its present form without any real significant change and little growth. I keep thinking of the Japanese situation where nothing has changed for 20 years. The European Project has managed to destroy democracy and bankrupt individual nations also create extremist parties, a great achievement. The tragedy is that the people who lead europe cannot be removed democratically so apart from the markets finally causing a run on the banks it will lumber on and on. Please can we return to the Nation State which actually and is totally democratic.

  21. Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    German exports have benefitted enormously from the eurozone. So why not make Germany pay, to coin a phrase?

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      …because Germany went through a series of reforms including welfare reform to make itself competitive. Other countries did not. Germans ask themselves why they, with a retirement age at 67, should fund retirement at 60 (or whatever it is below 67) in other EZ countries.

  22. Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Eurozone countries are being asked to cede Sovereignty and place decision making in the hands of a European Government and European leaders which have a record, not of success, but of catastrophic incompetence. It beggars belief that Barroso or Van Rompuy are so deluded as to their own abilities that they even have the cheek to suggest it.

    And as for European leaders who have an unshakable belief that the hated financiers have GOT to lend them money at rates which they will dictate themselves; they need to wake up.
    The borrower is always a supplicant because the lender always has a choice as to whether or not he will grant the loan. No Country has an absolute right to borrow money.

    The coalition is looking increasingly ridiculous and misguided in its support for the blatant power grab which Barroso and Van Rompuy are attempting.
    Is it Clegg’s influence which is dictating this asinine support for “Ever greater union?

    Never mind the House of Lords; if the Coalition reformed Clegg they would be doing something far more useful and essential to our future prosperity.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Governments cannot take on huge new responsibilities without it costing enormous sums of money.

      If the European Government gets its way, it will need to hire thousands of new employees, increase its budget significantly, and demand even greater payments from the Member States, many of which are being forced to sack their own Government workers.

      Brussells will grow far richer and the rest of Europe will pay for it. Does anyone need reminding that Van Rompuy was previously Belgian Prime Minister?

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        The oft quoted Oscar Wilde: ‘The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the Bureaucracy’.

        Has there ever been a more bureaucratic, profligate, and undemocratic institution than the EU in the history of the world?

        So far, not one single supporter of the EU has given one good reason why we should continue to bolster the place. They fall down flat. They say what they’d like, but not give any goood reasons for their belief.

        Totally lacking in credibility!

        Tad

  23. Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I agree, but Mr Barroso does not!

    Mr Barroso insisted the answer was more political as well as economic unity. He added: “What is at stake is not only economic integration, it is also the overall economic confidence in the euro area and indeed our commitment to the European project. For a genuine economic and monetary union to be established, we need a banking union, a fiscal union and ­further steps towards a political union.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/329155/Brussels-showdown-looms-for-David-Cameron

    So if Cameron read the Express he would know what to do to stop this. Can someone please point this out to him? And get him to act!

    If Cameron does not react to Barroso’s outburst to protect British interests, what point is there in his existence?

    What point is there in a British Government when it appears to have been castrated; it is impotent!

    It doesn’t have the b@lls to do anything!

    That is, apart from rearranging the HoL, promoting gay marriage, destroying university independence, giving away money to support a foreign currency (the Euro), increasing public borrowing, ignoring calls for an EU referendum, continuing to support windmills and inaction on fraccing, not facing up to the fact that you cannot ‘get out of a borrowing crisis by borrowing more’, not sorting out border control, keeping interest rates unnaturally low, ignoring the incompetence of the Climategate inquiries, making our tax regulation even more complicated, keeping our taxes above saturation level and having an anti-business Business Secretary.

    John, I have compiled this list using your previous articles! An impressive set of articles; pity about the PM!

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Your earlier article just shows how out of touch Cameron is with the country and Tory voters:

      What Conservatives Want
      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2012/06/26/what-conservatives-want

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Robert, I keep looking at your list for ‘EU migration’. You know, the people Labour allowed to flood in to Britain to take the jobs our own people should have been encouraged to take. That had an enormous social cost, but again, what a fantastic thing this EU is! Let’s have more of it!

      Tad

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        I did have “not sorting out border control” which would include immigration, but the list was based on JR’s previous articles, with a few more added because they were to mind. Here are some more, with more than a little help from some of today’s Telegraph posters under the “Lord Ashcroft’s Tory Right” article:
        * wrecked what little Labour left of the military
        * failed to cut Whitehall in any meaningful fashion
        * continue to pass into law unreal amounts of useless Brussels-based regulation, destroying businesses and our own culture and legal system in the process
        * paid out tens of milliards to the EU and the IMF in order to support the euro, a currency which isn’t even ours
        * pushed forward a disgraceful snoopers’ charter which gives government huge access to citizens’ private electronic correspondence
        * failed to amend the wholly unfair extradition treaty with the USA
        * failed to address the problems raised by the European Arrest Warrant
        * failed to come up with nor implement any meaningful policies on Education, Health, Social Security
        * failed miserably to take on the ECHR on getting rid of illegal immigrants
        * creating a horrendous budget that is being walked back one U-turn after another
        * repeating the same old crap at PMQs which are all LIES anyway
        * making Ed Balls look like he actually has a clue when it comes to economics
        * being arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk and sneer at what REAL conservatives want – a REFERENDUM on the EU

        It’s almost as if Brown never left office, in fact.
        Guess I’ll be voting UKIP next time round.

        Except that I already did!

  24. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I really don’t think the UK should be held up as a beacon of light. Having “our” own currency has simply allowed the government to trash it and having comtrol over our own interest rates has done no more than allow them to “steal” from one group of citizens to give to another.

    We have not benefited by having our own currency; on the contrary we have just bought a deferment of the crash to the benefit of a government that wishes to further demolish the value of the pound by printing yet more.

    We are not yet at the door of the pawnbroker but perhaps it would be best that we were for at least then we might be willing to pause and take stock of our predicament at the hands of a sad excuse for a government.

    We should take the Merkel line and insist we will pay not a penny more but, at the same time we should take a long look at the likes of Spain, for they are where we will be in just a short time unless we rapidly repent.

  25. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I listened to Newsnight the other night and there was a discussion on Euroland in or out. I was the usual suspects Nigel Farage, David Davies, Paddy Ashdown and Peter Hain with an invited audience. For me the most important moment was when Paddy Ashdown stated that we should join the Euro when the time is right i.e sometime in the future, no change there then and no doubt when Labour resume power in 2015 joining the Euro will be back on the agenda. Have they not noticed that the Euro has created 50% unemployment in Spain and removed democracy in Italy and Greece and caused the formation of extremist parties in Euroland. The usual liberal/socialist platitudes of -it will be okay in about 10 or 20 years when Euroland has been through years of pain etc apply. The sooner the markets put the Euro to the sword the better

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Merlin. I really do despair at people like Ashdown. The Euro has done nothing in Greece except destroy its economy. I’ve watched it happen and it makes you want to weep. So why do people like him not see the reality on the ground ? I will gladly take him to Athens and show him the results of what he so vehemently advocates.

      The Euro is, and always was, a total disaster. Rather than trying to save it the EU Political Elite should be trying to find a way to unravel this mess. They won’t of course, but then again ‘those whom the God’s wish to destroy they first make mad’.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      Care to explain why the euro hasn’t caused problems in Germany or France? The poor governance in Spain, Italy, and Greece is why these countries are having problems.

  26. Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Brilliant as usual but for a tendency to be euphemistic by talking about Germaany’s “Credit Card” “standing behind”. Standing behind implies mere back up and Germany is being asked to provide much more than that–actual loans and very long term (effectively forever) loans at that. And that’s just the loans–there are also the straight transfer payments (alias gifts) that Germany will be expected to make. If you are going to talk about Cards maybe it should be Debit Cards.

  27. Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The UK Government may well have a duty etc etc but I get the feeling that Dave and George dont quite recognise that duty. Surely its time for the men in grey suits to take Dave to one side and explain the political facts of life.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I am picturing the defenestration incident in ‘Braveheart’ here in my mind!

      Zorro

  28. Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yay! Andrew Neil does it again!

    Well worth watching the Daily Politics show today! Labour’s Douglas Alexander repeated the accusation that the government were ‘Cutting too far, too fast’.

    Andrew Neil asked him how much the government had cut. Alexander simply didn’t know!

    And we risk handing this undeserving Labour trash an election victory on a plate, simply because Cameron hasn’t got any bottle, and clings to his pro-EU ideology, even though the rest of us know the whole project cannot work and is in a state of collapse.

    The Government representative didn’t come off entirely unscathed, but I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t already seen it.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Tad

      Yes I saw it too.

      The Conservative lady (did not get her name) was asked why Government spending was still increasing, she also tried to evade the question but did not have a clue.

      So viewers left with the impression:
      She did not know government was increasing spending and borrowing more, or did not know the reason why that was the case.
      Eeither way she unfortunately looked dumb, for not knowing either answer.

      The real problem for the conservatives is the leadership, as they have gone on and on about cuts being needed, when spending has actually increased.

      Thus they are proving their own failure.

  29. Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Your message is timely, especially since Barosso is demanding that the UK join his proposed banking union – or else get frozen out of all EU decision making.

    The key sentence in your blog is the last one, to the effect that Germany does not have the resources to take on all of Euroland’s obligations. You should tell that to Mr Cameron in the House of Commons in front of all the other MPs. At the moment, he appears to be in denial.

    Whether it is best for Germany to leave the Euro zone, for the weaker nations to leave it one by one, or the currency to disappear in one big bang is yet to be determined. The middle course would be the least disruptive and could bring economic benefits. We should all ask ourselves one question: how many Member States will be willing to join a genuine political union dominated by Germany?

  30. Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I read (Spiegel online yesterday) that economic experts (Enderlein and his colleagues) are calling for a banking union with a central regulatory authority for financial institutions and a unified deposit protection fund for customers’ savings and proffer two proposals to save the Euro that look like classic compromises which may have good chances of being implemented by the EU dictatorship.

    One calls for a strengthening of fiscal surveillance of national budgets, so if a country became unable to access financial market support it could call on the common lending pot, but incrementally surrender its sovereignty on the basis that “sovereignty ends when solvency ends.” If that country called on the common lending pot in a small way the reform conditions would be minor, but the larger its need the more it would have to surrender its sovereignty. Hmmm, sounds to me like a fig leaf for federalisation by stealth.

    The second proposal is based on the principle of collective control, so in addition to an EU budget a stabilization fund would be established to help compensate for economic fluctuations and be controlled by all national parliaments. Can anyone possibly imagine how ‘all national governments’ could get together and decide in a timely way which country is entitled to what? Would all countries have an equal vote? Would those deeply in the red be entitled to have their say and vote? Mind you – I suppose Germany by its very size would always hold the whip hand and be able to dictate the terms of any agreement.

    Is that the sound of a can clanking its way again down the pot-holed road I hear?

  31. Posted June 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    The Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank had a private meeting with the PM to express his concerns about the damage that “would” be done to his business interests if Britain left the EU.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/benedictbrogan/100167739/winks-and-nudges-are-no-way-to-run-a-european-policy/

    The world is in the mess that it is in because the Governments of the world acted in the interest of the bankers, not their electorates and were persuaded to bail out the banks and saddle millions of taxpayers with their enormous losses.

    Their is rather more to life than banking, and I am sure that I am not alone in wishing that Cameron listened to the voters rather more, and his chums in the city rather less. There is a huge body of opinion which takes the view that we would actually benefit enormously from leaving the EU.

    We have got into the economic mess we were in because politicians allowed themselves to be manipulated by Bankers; enough is enough.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      This of course is the downside of deficit Government.

      There can be no democracy when a Government is dependent on continual borrowing for its political, and the Country’s economic survival. The power and the decisions are in the hands of the lender.

      To what extent did Brown’s Government depend for its survival on RBS and its affiliates buying Government debt? To what extent was this factored into the decision to bail out RBS?

      The European dependence on banks buying Government debt is destroying the standard of living in all the Mediterranean Eurozone.

      If the citizens of Europe want to wrest control of their Countries from the Banking fraternity, they (and us) will have to learn to live without deficit spending, and the sooner the better.

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        It is not written in stone that private banks should have a monopoly on creating money/credit. There is another way……

        Zorro

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘The Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank had a private meeting with the PM’……

      NickW,
      Surely you’re not saying that the CEO of SCB was leaning on the PM, whose great-great grandfather just happens to have been Emile Levita, the director of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China which later became Standard Chartered Bank in 1969….Surely just a happy coincidence?

      zorro

  32. Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I promise I won’t make a habit of this, but I beg our host’s indulgence on this occasion.

    Yesterday, there were exchanges on an earlier post between Europhiles and those opposed to the EU, and I didn’t want the former to miss a fantastic opportunity to join the real world and give themselves an education.

    Below, is an e-mail I have just sent to my own Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert, and I am grateful to Chris for providing the link contained within the body of the text.

    Dear Mr Huppert,

    It is clear that you and your party are wedded to the European Union, and are totally intransigent despite overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that the EU is totally unworkable and undemocratic.  Such a thing cannot be in this nation’s best interest.

    It is also clear that you have no intention of furnishing me with the figures I requested last October, which would show how much the EU has cost the UK both in terms of contributions, and lost revenue were we at liberty to trade freely with the commonwealth.

    I am quite looking forward to the Lib Dems being obliterated at the next election for their ridiculous position.

    I respectfully draw your attention to this article in the national press for your betterment and education.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100167508/the-eu-in-a-nutshell/

    Copy to Nick Clegg MP

    Regards

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    Sent from my iPod

  33. Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    John,
    The farce that is the € is now revealing itself in full glory. The arrogance of the EU elite – aka Barroso, Van Rompuy, Juncker – is criminal. They treat the citizens of Europe à la Marie Antoinette. Instead of her ‘let them eat cake’, they propose (sotto vocce) ‘let them pay more tax’. Behind all the smoke and mirrors of the ESM etc stands the poor taxpayer. What we need is LESS Europe, not MORE Europe. The € has totally failed. I believe the UK is quite capable of holding its own outside the European Union.

  34. Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I hope your colleagues in the Treasury understand this. No amount of money the UK throws at it will stop this sinking ship.

    It is for them to sort out alone and learn to live within their means.

  35. Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I assume that if the UK refuses to contribute we will ultimately be blamed for the collapse of the Euro, the failure of the EU, and the demise of the universe as we know it.

  36. Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    JR, we are definitely missing a trick here. We, that is, the UK, could start a breakaway movement for the more sane members of the the entity we used to call the EU. I am sure, with the right leadership, we could convince the existing EFTA and EEA nations, to renew the original EFTA mandate that the EU usurped.

    If the EU were a sick horse, you would put it down out of pure compassion. The only way I see of achieving this is simply to turn our backs on the EU and walk away. Stop paying the subs; keep apologising for not paying the subs. It will soon collapse after such action. There is no need to be frightened of it. Without cash money, the eurocrats will disappear back into there Marxist covens.

    Now, who do you think has the testicular fortitude to lead such a charge to revitalise a sclerotic old Western Europe of 500 million over indebted souls?

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Sure as hell aint Cameron! I can barely find anybody who has a good word for him!

      Yet it COULD all be so different. Who could possibly miss this golden opportunity to deliver to the British public, the thing they are crying out for?

      I’ll tell you, somebody who doesn’t really want what the rest of us want (with the odd exception of the head-in-the-sand loonies). That confirms the lie that Cameron told, that he’s a Euro-sceptic. That claim just doesn’t bear scrutiny.

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is a snake oil salesman who I have said before makes me sick. Simply unbelievable the hatred he has engendered amongst people who in other circumstances would have been behind him all the way. Instead people would do anything to be rid of him and to Hell with the consequences. Not very rational I know but they despise him so much.

  37. Posted June 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    You clearly think that the eurozone cannot continue and I agree but why do so many of your colleagues, eurocrats and EU politicians keep saying that the eurocan and must be saved? Apart from being totally signed up to the EU “project” how can they make such statements with any semblence of credibility?

  38. Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    This is like an LP with a scratch on it. Angela Merkel has again stated no debt sharing “as long as I live”.

    We are committed to the Euro
    So you want debt sharing?
    No we don’t want debt sharing
    So you don’t want a single currency?
    We are committed to the Euro
    So you want debt sharing?
    No we don’t want debt sharing
    So you don’t want a single currency?
    We are committed to the Euro
    So you want debt sharing?
    No we don’t want debt sharing
    So you don’t want a single currency?

  39. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I see the banking sectors outsourcing of IT jobs and technology is going to plan. They have found out that they have cut to much and are now going to invest more in future skills and technology. The next thing will be Indian IT workers in India demanding western levels of pay for western standards of work. Fancy that.

  40. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Anyone also want to defend their fixing of whatever they were supposed to be fixing? Politicians to blame for that as well. Ah! Not enough or to much regulation. A system as important as any fuel, health water facility run by for themselves and by themselves backed by apologists of the free market or in many cases just apologist for banking bordering on the fanatical.

  41. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Is there any possibility of a post to provide the background to this;

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2012/06/bill-cash-mp-we-need-a-referendum-on-the-proposed-fiscal-union.html

    We already have a Convention to discuss the future of Europe; it’s called the European Parliament; why is it incapable of performing the functions of a Convention as outlined by Bill Cash? (It should be but but it clearly isn’t).

    Why is the Bill desirable?

    Reply: The Bill is desirable because it would give us a voice and a vote on our relationship with the emerging Eurostate. It is not, however, about to happen as this federalist Parliament will not consider and pass it.

    • Posted June 28, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Bill Cash is referring to a convention under Article 48(3) TEU on the amendment of the treaties, composed of representatives of the national Parliaments, of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States, of the European Parliament and of the Commission. However EU leaders prefer not to go down that route, not least because it involves the EU Parliament.

  42. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    For those interested in the arguments about how much leaving the EU would cost, see the D Tel live blog today
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/debt-crisis-live/9358201/Debt-crisis-live.html
    “13.35 Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, has written a missive on whether leaving the EU would damage the UK economy:
    A referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU seems to be becoming a more realistic prospect. We think that concerns about the economic disruption if the UK were to leave are overdone. In fact, the economy could end up better off.”

    Her paper is on Capital Economics website, but access restricted. However there is an interview with her on her paper on the following link:
    http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/1213/capital-economics-says-concerns-about-uk-leaving-the-eu-are-overdone-1213.html

  43. Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    John, could you please give us a primer on the relative merits/ pitfalls of the following scenarios, especially from the UK point of view?

    1. Piecemeal defections from the Euro by the PIIGs, followed by defaults on their sovereign debts.
    2. German defection, which I assume would cause the Euro itself to fall dramatically in value.

    The first option looks chaotic and clunky, the second, decisive, more quantifiable. But I fear the second option could have a much greater negative impact upon us in Britain.

    Reply: Either could solve the Euro problem. After a short period of rapid adjustment things would start to recover on either scenario.

    • Posted June 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks JR. I must admit there are times when I wonder whether I should move to Lindisfarne, buy a gun, and start raising chickens.

  44. Posted June 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    If the richer countries are going to give money to the poorer countries it’s only right that they ensure the money is well spent, rather than wasted on vanity projects. It’s no different than a bank requiring a company to make certain changes in exchange for a loan.

  45. Posted June 28, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    But the Times has “Cameron offers EU bank extra £1.3 bn”

    Goodnight!

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    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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