Bailing out the EU

 

             The biggest area of expenditure which would yield welcome cuts for many UK voters is the EU. Recent work by MPs on what a new relationship with the EU might look like for the UK has highlighted huge areas of wasteful or less desirable spending in EU budgets that the UK would be well rid of. I appreciate many of you would like to be completely out and stop all the EU spending.

             When Mr Blair foolishly gave up part of the UK’s hard won rebate he told us he was doing so to get the larger prize of fundamental reform and reduction in the costs of the Common Agricultural Policy. No such deal followed. The  UK, with relatively efficient and larger farms, still has to pay large sums to subsidise small and inefficient farms on the continent. Farming is a policy which would be cheaper and better run from home.

               Regional policy is another area of waste and unfairness. The subsidies in EU regional  policy do not all go to the poorest regions, where more of a case can be made. The scale of payments is large for an intergovernmental organisation, but too small for a common currency area. As the Euro countries work out their political union, regional policy is a prime case where the responsibility and the costs should fall entirely on the Euro area players, with the UK disengaging. The UK can run its own regional policy. It does not need to send payments to other parts of a relatively rich continent for no good reason.

            Propping up the Euro is going to cost hundreds of billions. It is money we cannot afford, for a cause we do not believe in. The UK did Euroland a great service by staying out of it. Now we should reap the reward of not having to pay any of the bills, as they reap the reward of not having to prop up the UK’s large and weak banks in state hands.

              The UK has a veto over the next period of budget planning,. Instead of building alliances for no increase, the UK government should call for a major reduction in its contribution to the budget by opting the UK out of the farming policy and the regional policy completely. We were promised CAP reform which they have never delivered. They need a new and larger regional policy we do not wish to be part of. So let’s use the veto to negotiate something the Uk wants – much less of our money going to EU  policies.

 

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91 Comments

  1. Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    If there’s one area, and one area alone that is in most need of free, fair markets then it is the agricultural area of business; harsh economic times bright to light the absolutely fundamental nature of farming in society. Farmers, or the act of farming, on either a large or small scale, is what actually enables metropolitan areas to thrive. Agricultural policy should consist in very low taxes on farmers, if any at all, and as little regulation as possible, while forced transfer payments between one group of farmers to another are most certainly to be avoided! Here, here.

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood why are you advocating small reforms of repatriation when all we need is trade and friendship? There is a whole plethera of competencies that we don’t need the EU to be involved in, yet successive Tory/Labour Governments have gone along with it. The secret agenda has always been a politicial union/superstate and we all now know it. So lets just get out by inacting article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
      We will save £10 billion net costs, £9 billion annual costs of implementing its directives, get our fishing industry back, no agricultural policy, close our borders, give jobs to our young people instead of Eastern Europeans. Billions of savings in our health, housing and education budgets. With a £50 billion trade deficit we really do not need them!!

  2. Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Indeed but Cameron is clearly more pro EU than the last three dismal Prime Ministers, Major, Bliar and Brown. He will negotiate as well as Blair did on the rebate. He will thus get nothing of value, perhaps a few empty words. His heart is clearly for a non democratic, evil, socialist EU superstate and some role for him in it for himself perhaps.

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Off topic somewhat, but here in France I see they have yet another attack on the motorists, above the absurd five+ reflective jackets, light bulbs, and breath test kits you have to carry. New council car parks are now built with car spaces so small that a normal family car will simply not fit in them (or at least, if you do fit in the space you cannot get out of the door should the spaces next door be occupied, by anything bigger than a toy car). I assume you are expected to climb out of the windows.

      Is this a new EU standard perhaps? Many in the UK seem to be heading this way too. Rather like the new toy, cardboard, houses they build with garages and drives you cannot fit a car into.

      Also usually built with tiny windows so as to meet the building insulation regulations at minimal cost. Thus more electric lighting is needed I assume, due to the poor natural lighting from the tiny windows. I also note that my gas boiler here is about 26 years old and works just fine unlike the new complex condensing ones they force on to you in the UK that seem to brake down every other month.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        The more stupid regulations they force on you the more times they can catch you out and fine or criminalize you. That’s how police states work. Tax slaves don’t need to be able to park their cars or have working appliances. All they have to do is pay their taxes so that the state can pay for police to enforce the stupid regulations. All little steps to make you tow the line and know your place. Can’t have the slaves deciding things for themselves.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        The same certainly does apply in UK.
        Parking spaces in council parks and NCPs remain strikingly mean in size through, I suggest, lack of imagination and the parsimony of the bean-counting Suits who always seem to have the last word.
        Garages are often absurdly cramped because of similarly lamentable qualities in the philistines who run mass housing development companies. When looking around for a possible new house, I was astonished to find that my present 1960s garage was significantly bigger than many of those being offered in far newer homes: they seem to assume everyone drives a Fiat 500….
        I’m surprised by what you report in France: I’m there most years (went in May, off again end of August) and I’m accustomed to everything being a little more spacious, including car parking.

        • Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          The smaller the car parking space.

          The more parking spaces you can get in a given area.

          The more money you make.

          Simple greed, never mind all the dents made in the doors.

          • Posted July 28, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Not always true that you get more cars in – many places are left empty as they are simply too narrow after the other cars have parked. The tightness also deters many to use the facility and means people take a long time to manoeuvre so causing delays and congestion.

            Governments need to treat people (and the world) as it actually is not some silly happy caring sharing electric toy car, telly tubby land they would like it to be.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Flying over the part of France south of the Loire this week I noticed how the whole countryside was divided into small fields and woods. It looked very picturesque and presumably has survived because of the inheritance laws and EU subsidies.

        Having landed, I then had to negotiate the cancelling of the airport shuttle in favour of a local bus, going to the bottom part of the town via the suburbs and dropping travellers half a mile from the station. On the way back, the bus did not turn up. I had to run to the railaway station, wait in the heat and then in the town, find the suburban bus to the airport, nearly missing the flight. In the gate lounge, they had removed all but a few seats and some elderly Brits and French were giving up their seats to the more elderly.

        The trip was to sort out my little house, which is now subject to a large social security capital gain tax and retrospective tax on rent, although not rented, plus French and British capital gains. The French have a fair and simple indexation system but the UK thinks this is too complicated and extorts CG on inflated values over an unlimited period. An entente cordiale of legalised theft that we stand no chance of changing.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I have read that the car parking space is EU derived – they want people to drive smaller more ecofriendly cars. However, I am sure there has been some revolt against this in the UK and some leading organisation defying this. Will try to resurrect info on this – sorry to sound so vague.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic

        Don’t they all drive 2CVs?

        • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          Alas no lots of ones about but mainly not on the road. On the road lots of 4x4s, Mercs, small vans, and people carriers all far too big for the spaces provided.

        • Posted July 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          No but they mainly drive French ones.

      • Posted July 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Maybe the building companies should be doing more to more to meet the building regulations instead of just putting in smaller windows to meet insulation regs and illegally building house with rooms to small. The car industry for example often exceed the crash test and emission laws as they get ever tighter.
        Sloppy profiteering dumping the problems onto the customer. Are the cost savings passed on. Yeah right!

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      EU students are provided free university tuition fees in Scotland while English students pay them. Therefore the UK tax payer is funding free university education to our EU competitors while tuition fees for English students have risen to £9,000 per year – for some, a life time of debt.

      If that was not bad enough Mr M Campbell Lib Dem MP is the chancellor of St Andrews University and presides over awarding degrees to under graduates- free tuition for EU students while English students pay. This is the former leader of the Lib Dems whose party promised unequivocally to abolish university tuition fees within this parliament- I think his position is untenable. Mr Clegg claimed it would take a parliament to abolish fees because of the financial mess of the country. It strikes me that if the UK taxpayer can provide free university education to EU students in this country then it should also do the same for its own students. FOI request in the DT stated about 44% of EU students are failing to repay other student loans. This equates to millions of pounds. BiS state they will try to recover the money, although it only represents a small part of the budget. Do they have the capacity or ability to chase people all around Europe to collect the debt? And at what cost?

      Today we read in the papers Mr Cable is putting pressure on top universities to accept more students from state schools as part of his social engineering policy, where most of us see this as a race to the bottom in higher education ( don’t politicians learn from state school system?). The problem is the low standards at state schools which need to increase not to dumb down universities. At what future cost to our industry and our economic benefit will his useless policy be??? It appears to me the Lib Dems put socialism before economics and green energy before economics. It appears to me there would be a huge savings in getting the Lib Dems out of government and out of office. No reasonable person could believe a word they say?

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        England as a nation and the people of England are used and abused by the British Establishment. It allows MP’s from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to vote on matters which affects only England; they can thus take a stance which adversely affects England and it is a one-way arrangement. That is why we are in the current mess. Don’t be bamboozled by anyone who tries to tell you black is white. Many are hypocrites who support a Scottish parliament, but say England should not have one. It is a defence of the indefensible. We cannot expect the injustices affecting us all to be remedied under the present arrangements where England as a nation is denied and the English are disenfranchised. I urge the English to make the emotional and intellectual break from the status quo and demand a parliament for England. The present system is working against your best interests. Tinkering with present voting arrangements in the present Parliament will not do and must not be allowed, a completely new structure for England is needed.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        EU students in the UK get low interest loans many will not repay too.

        • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          As I say above, about 44% area failing to pay. This is the first tranche of students. Wait until word of mouth circulates how the UK provides free university education.

        • Posted July 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Completely break the current structure and then offer an eu-topia with promises a plenty.

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      You are obviously happy to leave the future of British children to the mercy of the giant corporations, who are more fair minded, moral, and civilised than the EU, ….NOT!

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

    Well said, how do you get this over to the government as a whole and the department that should negotiate this on our behalf?

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Sadly Mr Cameron has filled his cabinet with lefty pro European MPs. After 40 years being a Tory voter I am definitely voting UKIP.

  4. Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    The EU are going to accept that, I’m sure.

    With Cameron showing his hand (a busted flush) already by saying that we must stay in the EU at any price do you think anyone is going to do anything other than pay lip service to us?

    And Clegg with one eye on the Commissioner’s job – preserving the coalition is the only reason this government continues to exist so how will he react in order to shore up his credentials for the job and support in his party?

    Nice words, but it’ll all come to nowt, as per.

    It’s not a case of some of us want out and all expenditure stopped, it’s that the only sensible way (and perhaps the only legal way, although well above my knowledge) to go about it is to leave the EU and renogiate from there, a position of strength, rather than the self inflicted position of weakness we are in just now.

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I agree fully. It’ll all come to nowt – as that is clearly what Cameron wants.

      No one, who announces he will never leave the EU, who can appoint Lord Patten to the BBC, and who thinks a Greater Switzerland vision, (with a GDP nearly double the UK’s and economic figures, in nearly all respects, hugely better than the UK’s) is not in the UK’s interests can possible negotiate anything sensible at all.

      How is his absurd happiness index coming along? Perhaps a question like would you be happier with a Swiss standard of living, crime levels, services, gdp per cap etc. or less happy should be posed in it?

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Well said Norman, and I venture most would agree, but we shouldn’t expect anything other than capitulation from Cameron, as he can’t see that Europe is a rapidly diminishing market, and it’s troubles are going to last for decades.

      Tad

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Quite agree,well put!

      What will the Government’s future excuses be for not doing anything that is in the UK ‘s best interest?

      I am an optimist by inclination ,but pretty well all our dealings with the EU brings on an attack of cynicism and pessimism.

      Roll on Greater Switzerland!

  5. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Dream on John, do you actually think Cameroon would use a veto in genuine circumstances unlike the sham last time. He is pro EU through and through and will do anything to keep on the side of Murkel. All he’s bothered about is a place at the Eussr trough when he gets soundly thrashed at or before the next elaction.

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Surely it be ‘Continental Clegg’ whom he will seek to appease ?
      ‘CC’ loves all things continental – he even married one !

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I echo your comments and would add there is no such thing as a revised relationship with the EU. Anyone who has bother to find out how one “renegotiates” with the EU would know this, as I’m sure John does. But it is precisely this ignorance by the electorate that allows the political class to make promises they know they can never deliver on. There is only one way to compel the EU to the negotiating table and that is to inform them of our intension to leave the EU. Article 50. And given they need us more than we need them, we may just see a different attitude from the sprouts.

      For me I’ve had enough and don’t see a single redeeming need for the EU and say we should be out.

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        You and others who have posted similar comments are, I believe, abstolutely right. There is no option of renegotiating meaningfully. We have to approach the EU from a position of strength, and that involves stating that we are withdrawing from the EU, but are prepared to negotiate a completely fresh trading agreement with them. There is no strength behind Cameron’s present position, even if he wanted to alter the terms of our membership of the EU (which I believe he does not actually want to) and therefore progress will never be made, and any “promises” will be simply piecrust. The electorate are not that gullible, and particularly the grassroots Conservatives, who sadly do not trust David Cameron at all.

  6. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I have been on this blog for some years now. It has always been frank and full of insider knowledge and sensible suggestions.
    Which is why I am surprised at this post.

    The CAP cannot be reformed because it is the reason the EU was set up in the first place. The careful setting up of the current financial arrangements, similarly, was part of the original deal. German currency stability and French agriculture were to be safe for ever.
    Regional policy is so important in the Nie Wieder Krieg (No more war) sense too. It is part of the attack on nationalities.
    We are talking about the fundamental beliefs of the Founding Fathers here. It is like saying we ought to get rid of parliament or telling the Americans to bomb the Rose Bowl.

    Mr Wilson brilliantly handled the EU situation by going to Brussels and returning with some small, but much trumpeted, concessions. This gimmick was repeated by Mr Major and Mr Blair. Mrs Thatcher tried reasoning and look where it got her (and you!)

    Reasoning with Europe on its fundamentals is simply stupid. It is not, as Lilly Allen once remarked, going to happen. More and more I am convinced that we must leave. Just as we, thanks to Mr Brown, left the Euro.

  7. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I am surprised you did not add the Common Fisheries Policy to your list John. By all accounts this has been an environmental disaster for UK fishing grounds. Apparently Ted Heath deliberately hid the CFP deal from the public when he was ‘negotiating’ UK entry into the EEC. It seemed he was happy to give away as much as possible to pursue his European dream. This is scandalous behaviour by any yardstick. Maybe there are not enough UK fishermen to vote, so they could easily be ignored. Or maybe they were always out fishing, and did not vote so much.

    As we have mentioned before, 97% of UK trade with the EU is covered by the rules of the World Trade Organisation, into which UK pays a heavy subsidy too. The additional EU regulations are pretty onerous, to no realistic effect.

    Other candidates for your list – the embryonic EU Diplomatic Service *what’s it called again) duplicating national embassies round the world at vast expense. And the Euro-Army, where only the UK seem prepared to do any real fighting.

  8. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    That is something i totally agree with. I just hope our lovely PM and Chancellor also agree as they are the pair who will be negotiating the deal otherwise the daily express’ campaign to quit the EU will likely have another member in me.

  9. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    You’ve got it all wrong John. The puprose of the EU is to provide a nice career track option for failed UK politicians (see Names deleted etc) in which they can become very rich in a short space of time at the public expense in exchange for doing Jacques Chirac. No politician is going to threaten that bonus entitlement.

  10. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Fight against the EU crazy economic policy, or mainly the French economies CAP subsidy that keeps them afloat? With that wet weekend and damp squib Cameron as PM?

    No chance.

  11. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Why is it that Minister are such poor negotiators.

    Time after time they get the run around from Commercial businesses.

    Time after time they give away something for nothing in return.

    Time after time we seem to pay through the nose for everything.

    How difficult is it to say, on this date we give you this, on that date we get that in return.

    If we do not get that, you will not get this.

    To a bloke who has had to negotiate with suppliers, contractors and customers all his working life, it all seems so bloody easy.

    If they do not honour their part of the deal, then the deal is dead, and you revert back to things as they were.
    It is so simple.

    But then why are we paying so much to be in a Club that we get so little benefit from in the first place.
    Simply resign and pay no more.

    Once you are not a member of any Club any more their rules do not apply, you are a free agent.

    As for Cameron telling them in advance of any negotiations that we will not be leaving under any circumstances.
    This is such a rank schoolboy error, as to be farcical.

    Just like saying to a supplier, I do not like your prices, the quality of your goods, or your deliverty times, but rest assured I will not be going anywhere else, we will use you forever.

    It makes you want to weep.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Why is it that Minister are such poor negotiators.

      It is not their money, they are not negotiating for the country’s interest – usually just thinking of their personal interests it seems.

  12. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Agree entirely, Mr Redwood, but yet again what what springs to mind is the gulf separating your modest, reasonable, wholly rational suggestions, from the evident ambitions of your Party’s leader. It is believed widely that Cameron, Osborne and Hague are determined not only that we should remain imprisoned within the crumbling edifice of the EU, but that we must one day join the even more shaky Euro.
    Dead right a lot of us want out entirely…

  13. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid the Tory leaders have been pretty hypocritical about the EU budget.

    On the one hand they like to present themselves as strong critics, generating a lot of media noise, but in past Commons debates they very readily agreed that the EU budget had to be increased to pay for EU enlargement.

    In December the government signed the accession treaty for Croatia to join the EU, and while subsidies just to Croatia won’t amount to a lot obviously the cost will add up as more countries are allowed to join.

    If the Tory leaders got their way and Turkey was admitted to the EU then there would necessarily be a step change in the EU budget, and in our net contribution, and they would have no problem with screwing more money out of UK taxpayers for that purpose.

    As with Croatia the Tory position on Turkey is clear:

    a) Turkey should join the EU as soon as possible, no matter what the adverse consequences would be, including the cost of subsidies; and

    b) As a condition for joining the EU Turkey should also be placed under a legal obligation to join the euro at the earliest opportunity; and

    c) The British people must not be permitted to interfere with this process by voting against it in a referendum.

    Hague made sure of c) through the blanket exemption for accession treaties in Section 4(4)(c) of his “referendum lock” law:

    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/european-union/eu-act/croatian-accession-treaty/

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      A very clear exposition of where we stand. It is a pity that politicians are not honest with us about this. I have not heard even any eurosceptic MPs citing so clearly and concisely, as you have done, these issues about budget contribution and commitment, which are fundamental. Thank you, Denis.

  14. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Why can’t Cameron talk to the EU the way Nigel Farage does? He, Nigel Farage, really tells off these useless Europeans. Cameron is completely gutless.

  15. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    ‘But John, now is not the right time, we have other more important matters which I must deliver on before 2015, such as gay marriage…’

    Dave Cameron

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      And my vital happiness index and the gender neutral succession for the royal family, increasing taxes and regulations further and reforming the house of lords. Also funding all those pointless windmills for the landed gentry.

      D Cameron

  16. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    It is complete fantasy to think that we will be able to negotiate opt outs such as CAP. This is a cornerstone of the EU house of cards. The in/out referendum is the only way.
    I am amazed that no mature, right wing Conservative MP has not given up the official party whip. Membership of the Conservative Party will soon be accommodated in Wembley Stadium as can the Army. Cameron has no chance of winning the next election and any Conservative MP with a majority of less than 10,000 is at risk.

  17. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “When Mr Blair foolishly gave up part of the UK’s hard won rebate he told us he was doing so to get the larger prize of fundamental reform and reduction in the costs of the Common Agricultural Policy. No such deal followed. ”

    There is no evidence that he was not speaking with forked tongue as is his preferred mode of discourse. As an Englishman, I am getting rather bored with PMs who have no interest in promoting the national interest; any ‘patriotism’ they appear to evince is for some rather badly behaved entitiy in the ME.

    Cameron with his ‘gay marriage’ is fully signed up to the Frankfurt School. Does he realise that? I think we should be told.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      What was the rebate before Blair gave part of it away and what is it now?

  18. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    You must know that there is absolutely no chance of Cameron doing as you suggest. He has shown his true colours which are EU through and through. I don’t for one minute think that there will be any meaningful “renegotiation” but I suppose your party thinks it helps to keep up the pretence as we are taken deeper into the abyss. If there were ever to be a referendum I think that your party would recommend and work ferociously to stay in the EU. Remember your slogan: “All you need is truth”.

  19. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The chances of this coalition wielding the veto to improve the UK`s terms of membership seem to me to be about zero. Cameron has already declared his hand; Clegg has his eyes on a Euroland sinecure, tax free salary and a fat pension – not forgetting the limo and assorted flunkies.

  20. Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I like the ideas/views outlined but as Ian Wragg states “dream on” Mind you if some of the back benchers had some real bottle something in the UK’s favour might be achieved.

  21. Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    More chance of Grimsby winning the Premiership than our weak PM fighting for this country.

    More fool you John for even thinking that such a thing could happen!!

  22. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    In addition, with a view to inducing economic growth, we should opt out of the social chapter.
    Conforming to this chapter and its amendments helps to keep the UK less competitive in international markets. (And it’s to markets beyond the continent where we need export growth)
    Sadly Mr Cameron’s recent comments on the EU won’t help his negotiating position should he seek to repatriate any powers at all from Europe.

  23. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Mefears for Blighty…
    With so few friends at home (on the backbenches), Cameo will probably seek solace from his LieDum ‘allies’. They have many friends on the continent – those continentals are not stupid (corrupt – yes) – they know a push-over when they see one !
    Result ? Cameo will need to stiffen his sinews, flout his Flashman, if he is to do his best for us.

  24. Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    I see we still have plenty of tickets for sale for the Olympics, even for the opening event tonight.

    Just been asked if I want to go to the rowing at Dorney next weekend, but at £95.00 per ticket, decided that it is simply too much, then on top of that, you have to add whatever fee is to be charged to park the car at Windsor Racecourse, which is the nearest car Park I am told.

    If they perhaps had not made the system so complicated in the first instance, and the tickets so hugely expensive, then they may have sold them all when the event was first launched.

    I hope it all goes well, and the best of luch to them, but for me this is just too expensive.

  25. Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Cameron has made it clear that he is not prepared to countenance the UK leaving the EU and he’s pretty much demolished his own negotiating position.

    What I’d expect to come out iof this is some token concesssions; red lines, useless opt-outs. Purely stuff for home consumption and announced as a great triumph.

    If you were a supplier, negotiating with a customer over prices and the customer made it clear that whatever happened, they were still going to buy from you, how seriously would you take them?

    As for using a veto get real concessions, this is wishful thinking.

  26. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    “I appreciate many of you would like to be completely out and stop all the EU spending”

    This is the line I’d like to focus on. The implication is that you are happy to remain a member of the EU under the improved terms as you’ve set out. And I don’t disagree. I do think the EU can be made to work as a force for improved trade and cooperation across national borders.

    The problem is, it doesn’t currently work and, as you pointed out, we gave up billions of pounds of rebate on a promise that never materialised. As there is no guarantee we can get any of the concessions you proposed at what point do we just accept that, despite the fact that it could work in theory, the EU will never work in practice for what the UK wants and we should get out of it?

    Also we should consider that if we leave the EU, we can always gain the concessions you speak of as the terms of a future re-entry.

  27. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    All well & good – BUT when will Cameroon extract his proverbial digit???

  28. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    While I admire the sentiment this whole discussion of renegotiation in the UK’s interest is a red herring because we would require agreement from the other member states and Cameron has already been crazy enough to say he would not back leaving under any circumstances, which is right up there with Brown announcing when he intended to sell the gold.

    I am life long Conservative much like my father and his father but I cannot begin to express our sense of frustration with the current government’s handling of the EU and feel it is no wonder why so many lifelong Conservatives feel more at home with UKIP these days.

  29. Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    It is simply wasteful spending without any need for qualification. How it was possible for Blair to throw away the rebate & yet elect Brown tells how ineffective mere “skepticism” was on this island. For fear of being caste as a “lunatic fringe” forces opposed to this euro dystopia shunned clear & effective action. For this the BBC must be neutered by the first English government we enjoy. Soon we will be on our third PM from Blair & it may be Labour or another coalition but it will be Anti-euro!

  30. Posted July 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    John – As usual I agree. I wish you were Chancellor and we had a Conservative PM. I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish.
    Reality is that we have Europhile weasel of a PM and nothing will happen.

  31. Posted July 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    What is it about others in the EU who go on about being “Good Europeans”?

    From what you say, John, I think they only say this when they want some money from the EU.

    Perhaps we can export some Zil lanes to them to offset the money we pour into their agriculture??

  32. Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    John, I see that the Culture Secretary Mr Hunt has been energetically been living up to expectations by almost hitting some poor woman in the head with a loose bell……And Boris hasn’t done anything yet, so we need to make sure security are alert to any potential hazards to limit any fallout!

    zorro

  33. Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    As ever, John writes to correct prescription for the UK patient. It is just a shame that the only pharmacy in town is run by Cameron and Clegg and as both of their signatures are required to dispense the prescription, the patient is unlikley to get the required remedy.

    I still don’t see the point of involving ourseleves in institutionalised socialism on a grand scale, and even grander cost. Better off out, I say.

  34. Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    100% in agreement with this blog .During the 80’s I was the guest of a friend near Perpignan . Out sketching in the vinyards of Opoul-Perilous I could not understand why pine trees were growing amongst the vines – there were hundreds of them stretching for miles . My friend explained to me that because the region produced more wine than was needed , the vignerons were paid a subsidy to replace their vines with pine trees . Of course they planted the pine trees and got the subsidy (several Euros per tree) kept the vines and continued to produce their wine (excellent stuff !). There was absolutely no policing to ensure the rules were obeyed . The pine trees were kept trimmed so as not to prevent the sunlight reaching the grapes ,and , as far as I know , the region produces as much quality wine as it ever did . So much for the CAP .

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      At the same time, they were converting the beautiful heather covered mountains near the sea to terraced vineyards. The area producing Banyuls has been subject to erosion and fires over the past 20 years. The paths which were our favourite walks are now guarded by nasty dogs on long chains.

  35. Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Im voting UKIP. I do not belive anything said by the others.

  36. Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Fine words Mr. Redwood, and that’s why you’re not leading the EuroTories.

    • Posted July 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Who leads the anti EU Tories ?
      Bone ? Cash ? ? Redwood ???!

  37. Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Much of the CAP fund does not go to farmers. It goes to people who happen to own land which may or may not be farmed. I have a German friend, a teacher who gets subsidies for land he owns but does not farm. In parts of Southern Europe no one knows where the money goes…the CAP like the EU budget has not been able to pass an audit.

  38. Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Given that the UK sends 53% of its manufactured exports to the EU the longer these problems go on in the eurozone the worse it will be for the UK.

    In other news under Government plans academies will have unqualified teachers to somehow raise education levels. I predict it will lead to poor performance and replace real teachers with people on minimum wage who just read from an instruction book.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9433002/Academies-given-power-to-hire-unqualified-teachers.html

    Also it seems that migration is about to get a lot higher as big businesses are demanding that the Government make it easier for them to import cheap foreign labours, so they don’t have to employ the 2.56 million unemployed British people.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9431175/Immigration-rules-putting-off-investors.html

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      uanime5

      Well they’re laying off our armed forces personnel they’ve dumbed down the police, fire service and NHS, so now it’s time to finish the job with a stake in the heart of education.

      Unqualified teachers (educational equiv of PCSO’s) and university admission based on eligibility for free school dinners.

      The immigration agenda is about creating an electorate of dual passport holders who do not subscribe to traditional British values and customs, and have only a short term interest in the country, i.e. take what you can get while you can get it, and care nothing for the long term prospects of the UK.

      Does anyone notice a pattern here?

      • Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Any such people will only have a material interest in being here, and will be easier to control as they are highly unlikely to rebel against political control. The government want people who are glad to be here, and will not question or be so bold as to assert their natural born rights within this country.

        zorro

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
      • Posted July 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Yes, an interesting article which bolsters the view that the Conservatives are using the Lib Dems as an excuse for their ineffectiveness……

        (Theresa May) ‘She then more or less welcomed Harriet Harman’s Equalities Bill, the legislative basis for the greatest expansion of thought control in modern Britain.

        She said: ‘I look forward to working constructively with them on ensuring that we have workable and practical legislation to provide for a fair society.’ Miss Harman thanked her for her ‘broad welcome for the package’.

        The Tories are committed to this idea of ‘equality of outcomes’ which is nothing more than failed socialism. Equality of opportunity, the rule of law, freedom of speech are the bedrock of peaceful, purposeful societies committed to the improvement of the human race…..not Gramscian fantasies.

        zorro

        zorro

    • Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      The businesses may be demanding increased immigration but – with respect to big business – oughtn’t that decision be one for the British people to make at election time ?

      Why has no party declared openly in its manifesto “We intend to increase immigration.” ?

      I’ll tell you why. Because they’d lose the election if they dared. But isn’t about time that they all did ?

      • Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        As for teachers – our pupils have slipped to the bottom quartile of developed nations for numeracy and literacy.

        Could unqualified teachers possibly do any worse than this ?

        • Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          Do any of the top quartile of developed nations for numeracy and literacy use unqualified teachers? If not then it will probably get worse.

      • Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Possibly because they hold the British public in utter contempt… they are prepared to bring in cheap, uncomplaining low skilled labour to maximise their profits and let other taxpayers pay for the benefits of people out of work, and the state to top up low wages…..Big business is not in the least bit concerned about a nation or its wellbeing, as long it is reasonably stable enough to make money.

        zorro

  39. Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    It may have gone over Camerons head but his one spark of popularity in the last year or so was when he used the veto !More of the same please and the parties fortunes can be restored .The country as a whole now sees Europe as a mess we would be better rid of .

  40. Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I have just turned off the TV set watching the opening of the Olympic Games. Reason? Everything is announced first in French, followed by an Englaish explanation.

    How in Hell has it come about that the UK hosting the games has been taken over by France, when we, the poor tax-payers are forking out to hear a French sound-track with English sub-titles?

    Whoever dreamt this up should be shot…. And so should Mr C for permitting it to happen. After all that work and expense, the French take over the Games.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Until the middle of the last century French was generally accepted as the premier language of international relations and diplomacy; in this particular case it was a Frenchman who got the CIO/IOC set up, and its official languages are French, English and that of the host country.

      Could have been worse.

  41. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    JR: “Farming is a policy which would be cheaper and better run from home.”

    Here we see the dishonesty of otherwise sound people like John Redwood. Farming is entrenched in the Treaty of Rome.

    You cannot renegotiate the CAP without taking the whole treaty structure of the European Union apart, and not only is there no appetite to do that in Berlin or Paris, there is not the stamina in London either!

    So Mr Redwood dangles before us the juicy tidbit of CAP renegotiation, knowing full well to do so is a calculated deceit.

    Reply: please spare us the misguided anger. I voted No to staying in the EU. I am trying to help build a case and votes for a different relationship for the UK with the EU. Withdrawal is not on offer from this federal UK Parliament the UK voters chose.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      JR: “Withdrawal is not on offer from this federal UK Parliament ”

      Neither is renegotiation!

      Withdrawal is something we take. Renegotiation is something we ask for.

      JR: “the UK voters chose. ”

      We are offered three bowels of thin gruel, 40% of the voting population prefer not to eat anything.

    • Posted July 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Fair enough, but I doubt if one voter would say…’oh yes, I voted for a federal Parliament, it was foremost in my mind’…..Bearing in mind that the vast majority of voters vote for LibLabCon, there is no other result possible as all three party are europhiliacs in action (even though they might spout honeyed words at time)…….So, it makes little sense to major on this aspect….Rather a referendum vote might at least give better evidence of public feeling if it concentrated on the EU question.

      zorro

  42. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    “When Mr Blair foolishly gave up part of the UK’s hard won rebate…”

    Mr Blair does nothing foolishly. Everything he does is calculated and intended. Whenever he did this country grave harm (most of the time) it was because he wanted to.

  43. Posted July 28, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    The EU is a disaster for this country, having us paying vast sums for NOTHING IN RETURN. We could be a thriving nation if we unlocked the EU ball and chain inflicted on us by self serving traitors in Westminster. We agreed to TRADE ONLY, not to having a Political Union imposed on us, and certainly not a Fiscal Union whereby the EU Dictatorship would take complete control of all our finances, all nice and handy for them to use for their EU gravy train, euro bail outs, and continued expansion of their EU Empire. However, there is too much vested interest on the part of pro EU politicians for them to ever let us leave, what with (named individuals getting rich from EU subsidies-ed)courtesy of the tax payers. These people will fight tooth and nail to keep us locked inside the EU Dictatorship. That is why it is important to support UKIP, who go from strength to strength as people are starting to wake up to the big EU con we have been sold, and the lies they have been telling for years about how we must stay in the EU for our good, and carry on paying the money. Pull the other one Cameron and Co. It is for YOUR benefit we are plagued by the damnable EU, not ours. May we soon see the backs of all pro EU Westminster politicians and their beloved EU for good, and our country taken back from the EU Dictatorship by people worth voting for.

  44. Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    What you are advocating is scratching the surface of the problem. Your right Mr Blair was foolish, he should have dangled the reduction as a carrot first that he would approve it once he saw the reforms take place.

    CAP is one of many things, I would say the best option is to put in place mitigating agreements for free trade and free migration with the EU and pull out throwing all these top down EU things in the trash bin. The EU has been a poison challis for the tories and the UK, so put it to the people and put everyone out of their misery

  45. Posted July 28, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I would like to see your honest view on leaving the EU John? I believe previous posters are correct in that you know we cannot pick and choose our own options within the EU project as that would be precisely what the EU does not allow. Using opt outs and paying our hard earned cash to the EU is like not wanting to join a club but paying the subscriptions anyway.
    We must get completely out of the project and re build our links with Pan European organisations that do not require the EU Parliament.

  46. Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    Where we differ is that you say Mr Blair acted foolishly whereas it is my belief that
    Mr Blair was acting treacherously, Mr blair knows full well what Mr Blair gets up to
    and it always has a reason beneficial to Mr Blair and detrimental to all others.
    His ambition,top dog in the E.U, dog being very descriptive.

  47. Posted July 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    No matter what Cameron says he will surrender our hard earned monies to the EU, as this bloke is more deceipful than Blair. Cameron talks a good fight but before the bell sounds he is on his knees throwing the towel in. No wonder the Tories have shrunk by over a third of their members since the posh boy became leader/PM. Loads of education no true work experience, the same goes for his Cnancellor.

  48. Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Amen to that. But tell the PM.

  • 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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