Let’s dig in over the EU budget

I am glad some of you, like me, are pleased that Mr Pickles has abolished a great deal of needless and wasteful regional government, and has declined to play the EU NUTS game. I made it Conservative policy to abolish RDAs when in the Shadow Cabinet, and worked with others to keep the anti regional government policy alive over the ensuing decade. It shows you can get some things done by staying with the Conservative party.

The latest missives from Brussels make very clear the federal superstate intent. Mr Barroso’s speech of the 4 September urged more moves to monetary, fiscal, banking and political union. The “Future of Europe” Group of Foreign Ministers produced a report requiring the strengthening of the economic and monetary union, seeking a fully integrated foreign policy, and other moves to a country called Europe.

The UK does not want to be part of this single state with a single currency. No likely future UK government after 2015 is going to want to join the Euro and all the rest that entails. It must be crystal clear we need a different relationship with the integrated political body now emerging.

The best chance to put our case and to seek a new relationship will come when the 2014-20 budget is discussed. We have a veto over it. The integrationists will want larger budgets, and need them to pay more to the poorer parts of the monetary union to help it work. We need a smaller budget commitment, as part of our plan to get our deficit under control and reduce the size and scope of needless government. Of course we could save a lot of money if people were given a referendum and voted to come out. I will explore tomorrow how and why the government should dig in over the budget, and set out what the Uk wants for its future.

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129 Comments

  1. Nina andreeva
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    If the Conservative Party wants to get popular again why not just put two and two together and come up with this vote winning policy. Wealth will continue to cascade through the generations as John Major said it would because no one is going to see the value of the family home being use to pay for long term care. This is because LTC will be paid for by the state because we are no longer going to be paying benefits to EU citizens. it cannot be too hard to pick up support from Germany, Holland, Sweden and Denamrk to get this one sorted out

    Here are a couple of articles to get your blood boiling

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206255/Latvian-mother-demands-bigger-council-house-despite-raking-34k-benefits.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087857/Romanian-Big-Issue-seller-given-legal-right-claim-housing-benefit.html

    • sm
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      It is ALL increased spending as a result of the EU treaties which we have had signed on our behalf. Its overseas/eu subsidy aid in disguise.

      Although there is debate as to whether freedom of movement actually allows immigration for benefit purposes. Other countries are apparently much more strict.

      However if you have the dream of eve closer union the rules do not matter, who actually is in the position to enforce the rules answers the question.

      Thank our trojan horse parliamentary party system as hijacked by LibLabCon and overly political and actvist judges.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Oh its in the Daily Maul Mail so the facts are undisputed…

      When ever I see headlines such as those (and ones about the use of the NHS) I can’t help thinking about all those UK ex-pats on the Costa’s tutting at their locally printed copies of that newspaper! My point, only the scale of the claims differs, claim these people do though – I know some who do use and claim such socail resources, so please don’t suggest that it doesn’t happen, although the EZ crisis seems to be making the Spanish think again -so expect a flood of homeless, thus penny-less ex-pats to be replacing all those east european (people-ed)’ if things get any worse…

      There are far better fights to be had about our relationship with the EU than that of birth-rights and ethnicity etc. Even if it does excite a certain section of the tabloid press, such rants are easy for the europhiles to shoot down, on the other hand, the CAP, eco-regulation, federalism, the EZ and Budget/never signed off accounts are less easy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      John Major omitted to mention the corollary that poverty would also continue to cascade through the generations.

      Which was a bit odd considering his own family background, but then those who have climbed the ladder may easily be tempted to pull it up behind them.

      I remember my disgust some years ago as I watched a TV programme in which various notables, including Kenneth Clarke and a certain fairly well-known professor of genetics, utterly condemned the elitist grammar school system which had helped them to rise to where they were.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Makes a change from Nazi gold and UFO stories.

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    A timetable of events and who we should lobby? Ie- who do we have to rely on in any negotiation the PM,a minister or sir Humphrey !!!!

    • Timaction
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      The Tory Party under David Cameron cannot be trusted on the EU, EU aid, mass migration, foreign aid, Human Rights Act, EU HCR, bonfire of quangos, 80% public service cuts – 20% tax rises, middle East wars. In fact Cameron supports everything foreign to the detriment of the English. I for one will never vote Tory again whilst this liberal Conservative is in charge. Reading the blogs and speaking to lots of lifetime Tory voters, they won’t be either. We’ve all had enough and have nothing to fear as we’re getting more of the same following on from socialist Labour.
      Wasn’t it Einstein who said a sign of madness was to keep doing the same thing (voting Tory) and expecting a different outcome!

  3. colliemum
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Agree – the government simply must dig in regarding the EU budget.
    At a time when the €-zone is in dire straits, when the EU economies are literally on the brink, it is disrespectful, at the very least, for the Brusselocrats to demand more money.

    Let’s have a referendum, let’s get out!

  4. lifelogic
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Yes but Cameron clearly is, judged by his actions, a federal superstate, integrationist. Why else has he Osbourne (and Darling one assumes with Conservative agreement as it was post election – do we know?) been chucking our money down the PIGIS EURO hole. Why has he accepted the gender insurance directive, the green energy nonsense, the budget increases and the countless other absurdities flowing from the EU river of idiocy.

    His coalition partners are even worse. He cannot even reinvent himself as he simply will not be believed.

  5. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We hear good sense from you and others like Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan, when are we going to hear it from Dave? My guess is that we won’t.

    • Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      He might say it on suitable occasions with carefully chosen words (with suitably vague escape routes) perhaps at the upcoming conference – but he will never actually do it I suspect.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    And here is the voting choice for the referendum:
    “Would you prefer the government to adopt the Federal European Project or would you like to remain as we are?”

  7. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Mr Barroso explicitly stated that the intent was NOT to have a federal superstate and his speech must still be available on the internet. There will be no “country called Europe”. That said, the intent towards a federation of nation states has been expressed and I can imagine that UK eurosceptics will want to establish a new relationship within or with the EU. I would be careful though not to end up completely outside the EU. Why? I cannot imagine that over the longer term the EU would continually outsource its financial center of gravity to somewhere outside the EU. So unless you would want to retrain some bankers as fishermen, I would bargain for a more favorable relationship and deal inside the EU.

    • Boudicca
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The old East Germany used to call itself the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic). It wasn’t Democratic but the name implied it was.

      Barroso may not want the new Federal EU to be called a Federal Superstate, but that is the intention. The nations will be stripped of all meaningful powers and everything will be directed by the Kommissars.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Lord Tebbit rightly described the ERM the Eternal Recession Mechanism, let us not forget Cameron was an adviser to Lamont/Major to that failed operation that cost the UK taxpayer a fortune (literally billions), lost businesses, jobs and homes. They wanted us in the ERM. They now claim success from the unintentional consequences of being forced out. I distinctly remember the cost of interest rates for their fanatical EU dream.

        JR’s blog and bloggers a few days ago on EU regulation said it all. Westminster is all but a mouth piece for the EU. We heard how the state backed RBS, we leant £45 billion of taxpayers’ money, is told by the EU it must sell its insurance arm of the business. How does the EU get a say in what happens to a bank that is British owned and was bailed out by British taxpayers’ money??

        Despite JR’s claims to the contrary on veto that never was, Eurozone countries are still using using EU institutions despite this being Cameron’s second arm of his alleged veto. As he never applied the second arm, then it cannot be a veto. So do not hold your breath on Cameron who thinks it is in the UKs interest to remain in the EU. It should be clear by now, by any of the doubters, he has already given up on any negotiation. Cameron thought it was a success the last time the UK had to pay an increase in its contribution!!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        @Boudicca:
        I think you have to be prepared for a more nuanced construction between national states, unlike the ones from the past (such as empires or USA), after all this is the 21th century. Even the start of the EU had unique features, different from previous unions. It does require imagination and a little out of the box thinking, and, of course strengthening of democratic accountability (elected commission, assembly of national parliaments, parliamentary rights to initiate legislation, more community method, etc.). Let’s see in ten years how much this all will have evolved.

        • Boudicca
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          I am most certainly not prepared for a ‘more cuanced construction between national states. I never voted to give this country’s Sovereignty away to a bunch of megalomanic, unelected, unaccountable foreign Kommissars …. and I never will.

          We do not need to be in a union with the rest of Europe. We need our own democratic Parliaments and a Free Trade Treaty. That is all.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            In a way you did vote for this (giving EU some power over you!) if you ever voted for Labour, Conservatives or LibDem. None of these parties have ever acted to repeal your European Communities Act, 1972 and you know it.

      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        The UK has more in common with the GDR than you think. Take for example a parliament that has lots of parties in it, but they all believe in the same thing, (a false comparison removed-ed) and an obsession that sporting prowess leads to international glory.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Peter,
      When all else fails try threats and blackmail. Thanks for confirming the true nature of the totalitarian EU.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Nothing has failed as yet and why would threats or blackmail be necessary? It doesn’t require an Einstein to realise that a future, more integrated union will want to have more direct control over its vital interests. The current crisis shows how vital well regulated financial services can be.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      A federation of nation states sounds like a federal superstate to me.

      Of course, the EU is practised in the art of fiddling around with words so as to create the most appealing impression irrespective of the underlying truth. “Ever closer union” being a case in point.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        “ever closer union” was indeed the intention, right from the first sentence of the 1957 Rome treaty of the EEC/EU that the UK wanted so desperately to belong to. No problem though on my part with the UK’s second thoughts on the EU. You say that to you this sounds like “superstate”. If you look more in detail to what the various countries, including Germany and France want I think this will be distinctly different.

        • David Price
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          “No problem though on my part with the UK’s second thoughts on the EU.”

          So why do you expend such effort in trying to refute the arguments of those concerned about what they see as the malevolent growth of the EU and it’s taking on so much national government authority?

          You suggest below the UK contribution is a drop in the ocean – 1% of EU GDP and only 10% of contributions? I suggest you may find it’s much more especially when you include the IMF commitments and sundry EU funding vehicles. Also, I read recently in a Dow Jones paper that the Euro countries are exposed to at least twice their GDP for public sector and state pensions. What are you going to do if one of the top four net funders ups and leaves? Germany probably won’t allow you to inflate the EURO enough?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            @David Price: as a foreigner, I don’t always think that the Britons are right in their arguments. E.g. I can understand it if the UK wants a looser relationship, but will point out that it was the UK itself that wanted to join an ever closer union. With the wrong arguments and lacking nuances, a looser relationship might become a loser relationship.

            Reply: I do not agree that the UK wanted to join an ever closer union. Some of us voted No to the whole thing. Most of those who voted Yes voted Yes to “free trade”, not to ever closer union.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Some other quotes from Mr Barroso`s address:
      “This decisive deal requires the completion of a deep and genuine economic union, based on a political union.”
      “Ultimately, the credibility and sustainability of the Economic and Monetary Union
      depends on the institutions and the political construct behind it.”
      “To deliver lasting results, we need to develop a fully equipped Community economic governance together with a genuine, credible Community fiscal capacity.”
      “Our commitment to upholding the rule of law is also behind our intention to establish a European Public Prosecutor’s Office, as foreseen by the Treaties.”
      “The world needs a Europe that is capable of deploying military missions to help stabilize the situation in crisis areas. We need to launch a comprehensive review of European capabilities and begin truly collective defense planning. Yes, we need to reinforce our Common Foreign and Security Policy and a common approach to defense matters because together we have the power, and the scale to shape the world into a fairer, rules based and human rights’ abiding place.”
      “A deep and genuine economic and monetary union, a political union, with a coherent foreign and defence policy, means ultimately that the present European Union must evolve.”
      “Today, I call for a federation of nation states. Not a superstate. A democratic federation of nation states that can tackle our common problems, through the sharing of sovereignty in a way that each country and each citizen are better equipped to control their own destiny.”
      “…our proposals will be based on the existing Union and its institutions, On the
      Community method. Let’s be clear – there is only one European Union. One Commission. One European Parliament.”
      “We must use the 2014 election to mobilise all pro-European forces. We must not allow the populists and the nationalists to set a negative agenda.”

      Many of these measures, he says, can be achieved with existing treaties, but its completion will require a new treaty. We have been warned.

      I do not buy the argument that this is a federation of nation states. It is, in effect, a super state – that is why he says:
      “This also cannot be done without strengthening European political parties. Indeed, we have very often a real disconnect between political parties in the capitals and the European political parties here in Strasbourg. This is why we have to recognise the political debate is cast all too often as if it were just between national parties. Even in the European elections we do not see the name of the European political parties on the ballot box, we see a national debate between national political parties. This is why we need a reinforced statute for European political parties. I am proud to announce that the Commission has adopted a proposal for this today.”

      It will be revealing to see what subsidies and handouts are offered by the Commission to promote the outcome Mr Barroso seeks. Based on previous experience (eg promoting the Commission`s green agenda) they could be very substantial indeed.

      The conclusion is clear. Proposals for an increased Commission budget should be vetoed.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        @oldtimer:
        You make valid points and if you view this as “in effect a superstate” that is up to you of course. For me, I make a distinction between areas where a national approach appears to fail and a supranational approach will be better. I’d also make the point that Barroso moves much further than e.g. Draghi or Van Rompuy and than most countries. I expect that the minimum requirements i.e. the minimum level of necessary further integration, will be the course followed.
        The UK and others may well oppose an increased budget. Out-right vetoes have the habit of becoming boomerangs

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          You sound like Mr Mandleson: out of touch and with the British public.

    • GJ Wyatt
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      What is this “outsourcing”?
      Financial centres thrive on low transaction costs and economies of scale and scope. People choose to do business where they get the best service at lowest costs. Do you imagine that Brussels can confer these advantages on Frankfurt, Paris or Milan by edict?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        If the ECB or the Eurozone were to conclude that they were becoming to dependent on institutions beyond their control a bit of regulation might solve that. The ECB has indeed already once floated the idea of certain restrictions on euro-based transactions.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Peter, you can’t have a fiscal union without also a federal union, what ever Mr JMB says, if you give control of your sovereign budget to the EU (as was called for) then you have a federal state (super or otherwise) QED.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I would say that you’ll have certain federal aspects within this union of nations. You realise also that, apart from certain overall criteria to be met in all national budget, and indeed policed by a supranational authority, the “federal budget” itself, if you would call it that , is only 1% of the overall GDP, much and much lower than in a real federation.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Sorry peter but if a national government doesn’t control their own budget, that they have to submit it to a higher authority who has the power to veto/change it, than that government has lost tits sovereignty – no ifs, no buts- it really is that simple. This is why it is also so damaging for a national government to need to approach the IMF for a loan, to do so they have to open their budget up to scrutiny and change from the IMF.

          Mr Baroso might not want to use the federal word to describe his ‘vision’ but to anyone of independent mind it is clear as to what he and his eurocrats intend. By your criteria, Peter, California is a sovereign state and not one of the 50 states of the USA…

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            Thank you Jerry, and by your criteria the Netherlands lost its sovereignty when it signed up for the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952. For you “pooling” may be equivalent to “losing” but I beg to see that a little differently. By the way, it was a Dutch proposal (and letter in the FT August 2011 by Rutte and De Jager) to have such a budget tsar in the European Commission (Olli Rhen). For me, I see the development as pooling some more aspects of our sovereignty, necessitated by the global character of the financial sector and the euro. Long live the sovereign Swiss who are becoming more and more dependent of the EU without any influence and had to peg their franc to the euro?

          • Jerry
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Peter, you really are clutching at straws now, the Swiss are NOT becoming more and more dependant on the EU, on the other hand though the EU might just become dependant on all that nice fresh money in those Swiss bank accounts it keeps trying to get it’s hands on -claiming that much of it must be the ill got and gains from tax evasion etc.

        • Willy Wireworm
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          And when the federal army is in place? Will that be paid for out of the federal budget or national budgets?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your advice, Peter, but unlike you most Britons (and maybe most of your own compatriots as well) would much prefer their country to continue to be an independent sovereign state and do not want it to be legally subordinated as a component state of a pan-European federation, however that may be dressed up.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Denis, as for the Netherlands, it has never been more than a very dependent sovereign state. Indeed, our influence is far greater now that there is pooled sovereignty within the EU than before. Do you think that the Dutch guilder has ever been an independent sovereign currency before we joined the euro? It was mainly pegged to the Deutchmark, without any Dutch influence. The current situation does give influence.

        • Freeborn John
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          The Netherlands has no influence. The Dutch government unfailingly does what the German and French government tell it it to do, including ratifying the EU constitution which the Dutch people voted against. Pretending to agree with the decisions of others is not influence; merely being a disguise for how powerless you actually are. You have simply exchanged 100% influence over your own affairs for a handful of votes in the EU Council and parliament which have never altered any if the pre-cooked agreements made for you in the Franco-German summits held before each EU Council.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            Freeborn John, I could cite you numerous examples of real Dutch influence in many EU policies, but that would become a long list. I wish you well.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Peter, pegging a sovereign currency to the DM, $US or Gold is one thing, replacing a sovereign currency with another currency controlled (in effect) by another country and a centralised central bank is something totally different. One can be unpeggeed, the other can’t…

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

            You’re correct Jerry. However, we have one vote (out of 23) on the ECB board, we never had a vote in the German Bundesbank, when the Dutch guilder was pegged to the Deutchmark.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            @PvL: Sorry but that last reply of yours makes no sense, I suspect that you didn’t actually understand what I (and others) have been saying, Oh well, as they says, non so blind as those who choose not to see…

    • Timaction
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      With a £50 billion annual trade deficit I think it will be the EU, and Germany in paricular (£20 billion alone) who will be desperate to keep us onside. Remember there are NO benefits for the UK in the EU, save positions of great pay for our failed politicians. The EU is shrinking with its influence in world trade, whilst we need to look outside to the rest of the world. Not a regulatory machine costing us £9 billion a year to implement its Kommissars directives.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that your financial services sector has huge interest in remaining part of the EU. You realise that your “City of London” has some influence on your government.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          …………..I suspect that car manufacturers and industrialists will have influence on their Governments in Germany to ensure fair play with the UK as will French wine and farmers etc. The fact is that the EU and its supporters always play the fear card and it simply doesn’t wash anymore. The EU needs us far more than we need to be giving it £10 billion NET each year. This could pay for a lot of schools and hospitals and our infrastructure as opposed to EU projects. London trades with the world not just with the declining EU, it also has to be competitive and the EU wants to strap more regulatory burdens and transaction taxes to milk us a bit more.
          We want out Peter and the voice is getting louder over here. The politicians can’t hide the costs and true agenda of “ever greater union” anymore!!

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            This 10 billion pounds is less than 10% of the EU budget, which itself is only 1% of EU GDP. I don’t expect us to go bankrupt without the UK.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          @PvL: Yes, it’s one of the reasons why we are not in the EZ!

          You do realise that the EZ is only a small part of UK financial services sectors trade, as important (possibly more so) are the far eastern, US and ‘new-world’ sectors.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Hm, I remember some banker visiting your Mr Cameron a few moths ago, while jounalists could see some of his briefing folder. The next day Mr Cameron came out with the statement that the UK was to stay part of the EU

          • Jerry
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            @PvL: “The next day Mr Cameron came out with the statement that the UK was to stay part of the EU

            But not the EZ, ever wondered why, plus we choose to be a member of the EU…

        • sm
          Posted September 24, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

          The City’s interests don’t always coincide with the countries, i suspect that why we are where we are. The City is being bailed out with i read 1.1 trillion. So i am not too sure how many people think the City is capable of giving good advice to the UK!

          Anything big and monopolistic and anti democratic seems bad to me , thats the EU and i think probably also the City by its stance.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha ha ha that is just such a self deluding post Peter. In psychology its called cognitive disonance. I guess that must be why large parts of the City has relocated to Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong, because they so love the EU….ha ha ha

      That’s the best laugh I’ve had today

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 23, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        So there’s not much left of the City? Good, then there’s no reason to worry

  8. Single Acts
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The EU is changing and growing as you say. A new body is indeed emerging. So the choice is either to march us into this body at bayonet point as your current leader will surely do. Or not. The majority of us who chose ‘not’ must have an effective voice.

    It is no longer adequate to remain in the conservative party but say”well I was in favour of a referendum”

    I believe your defining moment in politics approaches.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      ‘Single’ is right and you, John, should gird your loins, soonest, for the long-overdue conflict that is surely to come.

      I, like everybody else, have a very high opinion of Nigel Farage, feel he always plays with the straightest of bats, unlike most cringe-making slippery MP’s, so is always to be believed and if there is some kind of breakthrough it seems undeniable that there will be a tsunami of support for what he has to say.

      You should leave the sinking ship that is the Conservatives and swim across to UKIP soonest. Remember if the ship is sinking it is only logical for everyone, rats included, to leave, especially if the good of the country is at stake as it is. Very seriously, I reckon you and Farage onside together in the same party could, in and of itself, be the catalyst for change. You do not owe the Conservatives any favours rather the opposite and, as I say, for the good of the country, you should leave and make as much noise about it as possible. Just think of all those left wing twerps at the BBC queueing up to interview you, with you and Mr Farage standing side by side and treating the level of their questions as derisory as it always is. How could UKIP possibly not shoot up in the polls?

      There may be risk in this for you but I reckon your position is secure as MP for Wokingham on any basis so any risk is not large. In any event we are not put on this earth never to take risks and if you do lose your own Battle of Worcester and end up in an oak tree at least you would be able to look yourself in the mirror when you shave each morning. I cannot believe you care much what the current leadership of the Conservatives think of you and remember it is very likely that the Conservatives are going to slump in the polls at the next election whatever happens.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Postscript, Once shared a flat with an ex-fellow director of yours at Rothschilds so even if the hard to believe were to happen and you (in any case temporarily) were out of parliament I cannot see that as any significant hardship for you, in fact it might be fun (unchained and all that) and there might be less hard work and getting up early involved.

        You know it makes sense.

        • Single Acts
          Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          I honestly think that if two dozen credible tory MP’s jumped ship they would smash to pieces Cameron’s clone conservatives in the elections. In a choice between JR with a UKIP rosette and some drone parachuted a-lister who would anyone vote for?

          A supercharged UKIP could really make a difference with the destruction of the Lib-Dems beckoning.

          Reply: And if the 2 dozen got re-elected, what difference would it make – you would still have the same Parliament with a majority against a referendum!

          • Single Acts
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

            I mean that the 24 would be a catalyst which would give the wider movement a credibility and a parliamentary presence in third (now possible with the Lib Dems on the critical list). A tory/UKIP coalition would surely give people the referendum they want.

            Whereas currently tory euro sceptics make no difference.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        How could UKIP possibly not shoot up in the polls?

        But UKIP (and others) have been saying the same thing for the last ten to twenty years…

        • Single Acts
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Whilst climbing up the polls against a background of being either ignored or mocked.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            OK so that explains the problem with the BBC and the Guardian, now please explain how the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, Daily express, Sky News……

  9. APL
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    JR: “It shows you can get some things done by staying with the Conservative party.”

    You might not believe it Mr Redwood, but I would be one of the people, should I live in your constituency who would consider voting for you as my MP.

    But your quote is one of the things you often say to support the Conservative party which illustrates why the party is useless. We have one marginally Tory like thing done three years into an administration, and you come out to claim it compensates for all the other Europhilic/Socialist policies and behaviours, Windmillery, Global warming thievery, graft corruption and just plain incompetence we have been subjected to from this administraton.

    It doesn’t!

    • Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed it does not -far, far more is needed.

  10. Nick
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Government spending in the UK, up in real terms, year on year.

    Why don’t you sort that out, because you have control over that? You are in power.

    Instead we get a distraction that its ‘the nasty EU that’s the problem’.

    Why haven’t you vetoed the UK budget?

    • APL
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Nick: “Why haven’t you vetoed the UK budget?”

      Since there is complete absence of independent action in the Commons and now the Lords is stuffed with paid and bought EUrophiles for example; Patten, Mandelson, Kinnock, ( our host claims that whilst these people may be bought by the European Union, they are independent, snigger).

      We need a referendum.

      No, not an in out referendum on the EU, a referendum on the finance bill. Each year, every year.

      By the way, that way, we could have popular decisions about the EUropean Budget contributions too. Now that would be localism.

      A policy the Tory party has quietly put to sleep.

      Reply: Labour and Lib Dems would always vote for the current budget rather than a lower one.

      • APL
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        JR: “Labour and Lib Dems would always vote for the current budget rather than a lower one.”

        Which is why it should be put to a referendum.

  11. Sue
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    As you know, I am on the “out totally” side of the coin on the EU. However, it does seem to me that as one of the biggest 3 contributors to the EU (besides Germany & France), we are constantly ignored and denigrated. Does our £58 million command any respect at all? If I were Cameron, I’d tell them that they’ll be getting alot less from the UK in future as Germany and France seem to have all the power. I know some of the other smaller members feel the same.

    • APL
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Sue: “£58 million”

      Per day?

  12. Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s post. While the front benches remain committed to the EU realities seem increasingly likely to drive any decision to be eventually taken by a referendum. The essential for the result of such a vote to take us out of the non-democratic collectivist socialised mess that the EU has already become will perhaps depend upon a feasible alternative being available for trade and interchanges elsewhere, most likely among other English speaking countries across the globe.

    Could a group of cross-party backbenchers not make the preliminary contacts so that more than vague suggestions are available to be put to voters when the long-awaited and crucial question is at long last put to voters?

    • David Price
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      You make an excellent point. It is not enough to show how bad or wrong one course of action is, you have to show an alternative.

      The EUphiles continually hold up the loss of euro-area trade if we left but has anyone offered a detailed counter view of what aspects of trade we retain and gain.

      Considering the negative encouragement the EU has practiced on the UK and based on the attitude illustrated in Peter van Leeuwen comments, we should assume they will engage in as much spiteful and disruptive behaviour as they possibly can if we did leave, this requires the best team of people to look after our interests.

      My concern is that we will however be relying on the same civil service to fight our corner in such a situation that have so utterly failed in all our years of CM-EEC-EU membership.

      My quandry as an indiviudal is therefore what to do about it, I am not conviced voting for anyone is the answer any more, even the growing band of UKIP-“We Demand a Referendum” Parties.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The UK’s contributions to the EU were not ring-fenced but have continued to rise. This government has actually been encouraging more integration within the Eurozone ignoring , in true EU tradition, any consideration of the wishes of the peoples of the member states. This will be followed by dire warnings that we cannot survive outside the new arrangements and we too will have to join. Sticking with your party will not prevent our being subsumed by this anti-democratic totalitarian organisation. Please don’t tell us that there will be re-negotiation as you well know that is not part of the coalition agreement and there is no evidence that your leaders are remotely interested in doing it anyway. Yours is not a Eurosceptic party despite what you say. I heard you say yesterday that we shouldn’t split the Eurosceptic vote – that can only mean vote UKIP.

  14. Boudicca
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I suppose it would be a start but of course we don’t need a smaller budget contribution – we need no UK contribution.

    Unfortunately we have Cameron as Prime Minister and his best buddy, the EU stooge Clegg as Deputy PM – both acting as the EU’s puppet leaders in the UK. They won’t want to do anything to upset ‘the colleagues’ and neither will the Quislings in the FCO.

    Cameron will come a way with a small increase in the budget than “he wanted” and will claim a massive victory – as usual.

    We should just get out and leave them to get on with building the EUSSR they desire.

  15. Marlin
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party is a pro EU party, led by a pro federalist leader who has already denied the British people a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. You cannot negotiate with the EU since it is not a democratic body, trying to get powers back is impossible. I do not want to be part of the EUSSR, let’s have the referendum that Cameron promised us, IN or OUT.

  16. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The starting point is to ” set out what the Uk wants for its future”. It will be good to read the John Redwood vision, the objective to which you would like to take us.

    And then, assuming we like the vision, we can turn our minds to the practical means of getting from where we are now to where we want to be. Experience of the last forty years suggests to me that seeking a new relationship with the EU will be time and effort wasted, as any vision likely to appeal to me is unlikely to be compatible with any form of MEMBERSHIP of the EU.

  17. MajorFrustration
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    JR unless this canker called the EU is sorted out by your party there will be any number of MPs needing retraining come 2015

  18. Atlas
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I suspect Cameron is concentrating of the fall-out of the Andrew Mitchell outburst. I suspect Mitchell will be retained, in which case Cameron’s image will push own his popularity even below E. Miliband Esq. All that ‘detoxification’ effort has unravelled, and with Mitchell still in place the Labour Party have been presented with a major PR advantage on a plate. I imagine they cannot believe their luck!

    Oppositions usually don’t win elections, rather Governments loose them.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and Labour are well ahead in the polls even with hapless Miliband in charge (the state sector union place man).

  19. Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I think Parliament should simply repeal the Accession Act, after a referendum. Negotiating an exit or new relationship opens us to a kafkesque byreaucratic series of steps towards something happening which will simply never result in anything. Furthermore to do it anywhere other thann in the UK Parliament is to specifically acknowledge that sovereignty rests in Brussels not Britain.

    If we could “recognise” Bosnia & Croatia as independent of Yugoslavia, a country where sovereignty had certainly lain with the central government merely on their parliament saying so (or in the case of Bosnia on 2 factions who were not the legal government saying so) it would be impossible for any politician or lawyer who did not oppose these acts to ever object in any way to Britain unilaterally withdrawing from the EU.

    Well it would be impossible for any politician or lawyer who was not irredemably corrupt.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      While it would be legally possible for Parliament to order it, unilateral withdrawal from the EU treaties without having negotiated any alternative legal arrangements would be totally impractical because of the wide range of connections which would be summarily severed. For a start, there would no longer be any legal basis for trade between the UK and the EU countries, or indeed between the UK and other countries where the current trade arrangements are based on an EU agreement.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 23, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Rubbish, WTO rules would still apply, and the EU will not wish to stir that hornets nest.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          It’s not that simple, I’m afraid.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes it is that simple Denis, no ‘government’ in their right mind wants a trade war, least of all to start one. Many other EU reactions/sanctions is likely to be in breach of the ECHR (which is nothing what so ever to do with the EU remember, pre-dating ‘La Club’ by a number of years….).

          • David Price
            Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:54 am | Permalink

            Shouldn’t it be a priority of the government to find and plan a way?

            For example how would we rejoin EFTA which already has trade agreements with many other countries? If we wish to leave the political union of the EU could we still remain part of the customs union?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 24, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

            Reply to Jerry below:

            Try reading what I wrote.

            I’m not talking about trade war or sanctions or even difficulties with making alternative trade agreements, I’m talking about the absence of any legal arrangements if the present arrangements were summarily terminated before any alternatives had been agreed.

            Reply to David Price below:

            Yes, and get the alternative legal arrangements ready and in place to take over seamlessly when the current arrangements are terminated. Not, as suggested in the root posting, just repeal the ECA72 and abrogate the EU treaties without first agreeing any alternative arrangements.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 24, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: Sorry but you are simply wrong, the WTO rule apply, they are already in place, if the EU refused to trade with the (independent) UK then they will be in breach of the WTO rules, what do you not understand?.

            Customs rules would revert to the international treaties that are still in place, for example the TIR Treaty.

            Also what do you think companies like the following would think of any ‘difficulties’ found by the eurocrats to frustrate EU/UK trade, companies like VW (and their subsidiaries), Bosch, Fiat, the PSA group, BMW (and what would happen to their Mini and Rolls-Royce brands) Candy etc. Just to list a few of the hundreds of companies who will not want the boat rocked.

            Sorry but this ‘problem’ is just a scare story, among many, put about by eurocrats and europhiles, the RotW already manage to trade with the EU with nothing other than the WTO rules…

      • peter davies
        Posted September 24, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        its called laying the ground work so trade arrangements are put in place before any withdrawal. The UK would probably need to sign trade agreements with all non EU entities that they trade with – so what?

        They would need to join EFTA to enable mutual free trade with the EU, bring it on…

        If all these issues are sorted out as pre requisites then the road is clear for a referendum to pull out.

        We have enough civil servants, it shouldn’t be that difficult…

  20. Acorn
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Great interactive chart at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/financialreport/chart/index_en.html .

    Select:- revenue > year > 2011 > Total national contribution > % GNI. You will see that the UK has the lowest contribution as a percentage of Gross National Income. Not a lot of people know that.

    BTW. You can’t give up the “EU NUTS game” unless you leave the EU; it’s built into the TFEU.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      @Acorn: Not sure what you point was but the fact remains that no one has ever been asked if we wanted to join the EU (the EEC yes…), less still a federal union, what is more in those countries that did ask their people the eurocrats didn’t accept the democratic wish of those people and made their governments ask again (Ireland, twice and France etc., until the poeple give the “correct” answer…

      Many, many people turned against the EU at that point (not helped in the UK by the way the Labour government refused our own referendum), the argument is no longer about the contribution vs. benefits received from membership argument [1], it is question of democracy. Of course now the EZ crises is in the mix too.

      [1] I never had a problem with the budget as such, it was very much swings and roundabouts, the UK was just foolish not to play the same games other members were when wanting to build that new rail link or road etc.

      • Acorn
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        There was no point Jerry really, I was just injecting some factual data into this sterile debate. All this reminds me of a lot of my old spreadsheets, when you recalc and get “circular references unresolved”. The UK + EU equation is and will remain just that; outside of Nigel Farage becoming Prime Minister that is.

  21. Barbara
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right, John, that ‘no’ future government will want to take us into the euro. But far too many politicians seem to take a ‘never say never’ approach for my liking.

  22. Bob
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr. Redwood!
    Alas, I’m afraid your suggestions will fall on deaf ears under present Tory leadership.

    I just wish Cameron would talk to the EU Commission the way Andrew Mitchell talks to the plebs.

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Agreed 100% but, always with the EU, it’s later than you think. In order to organise coherent opposition to the EU budget proposals for 2014-2020, the Conservative Party needs to make its manifesto policy crystal clear during the year before.

    There’s a lot of work to be done. We need to define which existing EU Treaties and EU powers are unacceptable to us, which industries we want to wrest back control of (e.g. fisheries, transport), whether we want a simple in/out referendum, whether to have an electoral pact with UKIP, and how severe a purge we have of Conservative candidates who refuse to sign up to the manifesto.

    This is why the Conservative grass roots need to make their opinions known now (write to your MP; that’s what he’s for). And that is why MPs and MEPs have to spend 2013/14 getting this right.

    There will be other factors. In a project as big as ours, we will need allies. Let’s list them. The Czech Republic, any PIIGS that can be persuaded to leave the Euro, Sweden and Denmark, Poland. Historically, Finland, the Baltic States, Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia are pro-German. And you can expect the original Six to stay inside the central core unless they are forced out of the Euro zone. Welcome to the European kalaidescope. Pace Mr Cameron, expect a big bust up.

  24. Sebastian Weetabix
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I see from this morning’s Daily Telegraph that Mr Cameron is putting his weight behind BAe “merging” with EADS. (At 60/40 weighting in favour of EADS it sounds like a takeover to me.) What is the unpatriotic maniac up to? Why is he conniving at handing our defence industry over to the French and Germans?

    I will never vote Tory again as long as Mr Cameron is in charge.

    • Bob
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the club Sebastian!

      • zorro
        Posted September 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        All part of signing over the ‘goods’ surreptitiously to the EU….We will soon not be able to function as a strong, independent country, and then we will be presented with a ‘fait accompli’….

        ‘The UK does not want to be part of this single state with a single currency. No likely future UK government after 2015 is going to want to join the Euro and all the rest that entails.’……What odds will you give me on that one, John?

        zorro

    • forthurst
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I saw that article as well as the most highly rated comment:

      “Racal Electronics plc was once the third-largest British electronics firm. Listed on the London Stock Exchange and once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, Racal was a diversified company with expertise in military electronics, including
      radio and radar. At its height, it employed over 30,000 people.
      Racal was purchased byFrench Gov. controlled Thomson-CSF (now Thales Group) in 2000, thereby giving the French firm access to the lucrative UK defence and armaments market as well as Racal’s emerging space technology.
      Thales is now the largest contracter for the Euro space agency.
      Thales now has ZERO manufacturing facilities in the UK.

      The French Gov also did the same thing with BAE dynamics. Matra BAe Dynamics was formed in August 1996 by merger of half the missile business of Matra Defense of France and BAe Dynamics (a division of British Aerospace) of the UK and was Europe’s largest manufacturer of missiles and UAVs.
      Both companies now pay their taxes in France.

      BAE EADS will be an unmitigated disaster for British jobs and Britain’s future – just like it was with the 2 companies above.

      Cameron is (nasty etc)

    • Martyn
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      “Why is he conniving at handing our defence industry over to the French and Germans?” Because he wants to keep moving running down our national armed forces and what is left of our defence industries, thereby making the UK reliant for defence and foreign policy on the yet-to-be formed EU Army, Navy and Air Force.

      It would also undermine our relationship with the US, because for some inexplicable reasons the US doesn’t very much trust Germany and France, who would amost certainly mine BaE for any confidential stuff originating from the US.

      Mr C seems hell-bent on surrendering our last vestiges of independance to the EU, for there is nothing else left in the way of major British-owned industry these days, so when BaE goes, that’s it; everything flogged off or shut down and now we have nowhere to turn to for our survival other than the EU. Game, set and match to Mr Cameron, for which no thanks or applause would be appropriate….

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Seems to me the “unpatriotic maniac” is up to something terrible.

  25. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The self-proclaimed “Scottish Parliament” is surely the most wasteful and divisive of regional governments.
    The Conservative Party has been too weak when dealing with this very serious threat to the existence of the UK. Cameron has allowed the aggressive and pushy lackey of the EU Salmond to dominate and take the initiative. Time and again one watches poor and apologetic performances from the beleagured Tory MSPs here. Its time that Conservative MPs from the rest of the UK backed up their colleagues at the Scottish Executive but I would like to see your Party go further and take the offensive against the separatists. Scotland may have only one Tory MP but that should not prevent Mr. Pickles from coming here. MPs from Scotland interfere in English matters so why not? Put some pressure on the Tory Party in Scotland. They are not performing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Why “self-proclaimed”?

      The UK Parliament proclaimed it, in Section 1(1) of its Scotland Act 1998:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/1

      “There shall be a Scottish Parliament.”

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted September 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        You are quite right. Should have read “self-proclaimed Scottish Government”.

  26. Bryan
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I hope you will address the social care problem of our aged citizens. I seems that the £1.7Bn ish per annum top up on an insurance scheme is deemed too expensive in the current economic environment

    Increasing the Aid budget from £8Bn to £12Bn is not however????

    Or even the £8Bn which we must be borrowing to give away?

    • Bob
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Increasing the foreign aid budget when we are borrowing to feed our own poor?

      What was the silver tongued (etc) Andrew Mitchell thinking of? What was his motivation?

      I’ve heard it said that it’s not the poor who benefit from the foreign aid, on the contrary, it’s usually the go getters who know how to tap into the tsunami of money pouring in from the EU and the UK.

      There must be a lot of people in the “third world” who have a debt of gratitude to Andrew Mitchell (many of whom have Swiss bank accounts).

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    JR, I realise that this is your blog and while you invite comments on your articles you have a perfect right to decline to publish them. However there seems little point in bothering to submit a hopefully thoughtful comment if it is going to end up stuck in moderation while other comments which have been submitted later are published.

    Reply: I do publish as quickly as possible. This week-end I have made three speeches in different places and have not had the time to moderate as quickly as you would like.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your response, and apologies if I seemed impatient.

  28. forthurst
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    “It shows you can get some things done by staying with the Conservative party.”

    Unlike Mr Pickles, the bones of whose Yorkshire forebears going back generations, if not millenia, lie under English soil, the Conservative party under Cameron is in the grip of those who have no sincere attachment to this country and as their preferred policies are identical, would be less than dismayed for the Labour Party to win the next election. The problem for the Conservative Party is that far too many are now realising this and are intending to reward the disloyalty of Cameron and his treacherous friends with an attachment to another party whose policies, by contrast, are authentically conservative.

  29. BobE
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The current elite realising that they will be ousted at the next election are holding on to the EU as a future employer. It does suprise me that the ordinary MPs don’t realise they are creating their own destruction as the EU subsumes policy and decision making. We will only need civil servants to enact the EU rules. By by MPs.
    BobE

  30. Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree. If Switzerland and other countries can do it why can’t we???
    Worth repeating but why doesn’t Camaroon simply say that until the EU gets its books signed off the UK won’t pay a single farthing into the corrupt and profligate pot?

    • Bob
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes Mr. Redwood, why doesn’t the government insist that the EU gets it’s accounts signed off before we pour any more freshly printed money into it?

      And if they can’t account for the money we should withdraw without further notice.

      The other question is why does the EU provided funding to the BBC?

    • uanime5
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      The EU has its books signed off every year by the European Court of Auditors so that won’t work. It’s a Europhobe myth that the EU budget hasn’t even been signed off.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        I think you will find that whilst they are signed off, as they have to be, many question as to how they have been audited [1] and what has been found remain (unanswered). Indeed wasn’t one (now) UKIP MEP sacked for refusing to sign off accounts she had serious doubts over?

        A couple of web pages (from a very quick Google for you “uanime5”, one from euobserver.com and another from
        accountancyage.com to illustrate the issue.

        [1] that is, discrepancies investigated

  31. outsider
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Your aims are laudable, but I fear that the Commission is way ahead in this game.
    Unless I am mistaken,
    1) The Commission’s latest offer envisages frezing the EU budget in real terms, but transferrin large sums from the CAP to the new agreed growth agenda.
    2) France and Germany will not accept drastic CAP cuts, so the Commission will offer the alternative of a higher total budget with the main existing programmes continuing more or less intact.
    3) If the UK or anyone else vetoes the Budget, it continues by default to rise in line with inflation but has to be spent on the existing programmes, leaving little for the growth agenda.
    4) The Commission has told member states that the new Financial Transactions tax, two thirds of which will belong to the Commission, will permit a sharp reduction in their “national” contributions . I assume that this actually mean that the budget can rise by the proceeds of FTT (the rate being set by the EU) without unpopular higher ” national” contributions.
    If I am right, that is a very clever, well-constructed position. It will need more than waving a veto to achieve what you want, although the veto is a good starting point. Whitehall’s position does not seem to have been thought through with anything like the same skill, if at all.

    • outsider
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      PS. Any UK threat of veto will of course be countered immediately by demands to remove what is left of the UK rebate.

  32. JayW
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    What is the use of a referendum? Countries who vote no, keep having referendums until they vote for entry into the EU.

  33. David Langley
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    When the Tories dig in, I worry that as soon as the enemy puts pressure on you, the spades will be thrown down, and retreat will be the order of the day. Not even an orderly withdrawal but a total capitulation. So far the evidence is that a few of you might be left to man the ramparts but you will be left high and dry. I thought Mr Hague was going to come up with a “Competencies for the bonfire” before the next election, perhaps he has grasped the fact that no one in the EU will be listening or caring because they will be occupying our regions before then.
    I do appreciate that compromise is the diplomats tool chest. We must not allow ourselves to shape our future within the Federal Budget of the EU project. The Eurozone will suck our real money into their “Unlimited” Eurotrash adventure and inflationary exercise. I do believe that for our future we must look to Germany to ditch the southern countries and set up a Euro Federation that we can live with.

  34. Derek Emery
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I doubt more than a small percentage here will want to be in a federal superstate which is bound to work only for countries like Germany since they have overwhelming influence re the future of the EU. We will never get any majority decision we want because we are only 1 in 27 and are not Germany or France who set policies.

    The UK public have been conned as a German on the Daily Politics last week said that the superstate has always been the intention from day one and that the intention from day one also has been to be a single party state. You do wonder about the honesty of UK politicians.
    The CEBR reckon the UK is on its way to a balance of payments surplus largely to the rest of the world by 2015 see http://www.cebr.com/?p=939 which won’t help the case for staying in the EU.
    Unlike the UK the EU is intensely inwards looking and always will be as a one party state.
    The rules and regulations the EU sets for finance and banks are bound to be negative to the UK as a world banking centre simply because only the UK will be subject to these rules. The EU elite have no interest in London as a world financial centre because unfortunately it’s not in either Germany or France when it would matter. Hence they care nothing for how much business leaves London due to new EU rules.

    The worst thing about the EU is that all decisions are taken at the centre and the centre is hopelessly incompetent.
    The elite invented the ERM which did not work and followed this with the Eurozone which most economists predicted would be in real trouble after a decade due to debt build up by the PIIGS. The design was flawed by having each country responsible for its own debts. This was to guarantee a permanent surplus to high productivity high investment Germany. The PIIGS debts that then accrued year on year have driven down their GDP. Locked to same currency as Germany there is no way they will ever have the money to make the same levels of investment per man and hence achieve the same productivity as Germany.

    Since they can never hope to match German productivity they need to reduce their wages and salaries year on year to be competitive in a common currency. There is no way the PIIGS public will vote for this perennial austerity so democracy has to go. Hence the move to take all financial decisions away from the states to the unelected commission.

    Even if the EU could solve the debt problem that does nothing about the lack of growth the PIIGS must have by never being able to achieve German productivity.

    Even if Germany agreed to a transfer union it amounts to little more than charity for the poor regions. It can never be enough money to invest in a new future as that would kill German growth.

    Since significant growth for the PIIGS is very unlikely while locked to a common currency with Germany the debt problem is not going to go away.

  35. Paul
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    A reduction in the EU budget (which won’t happen) will achieve what exactly? For a laugh let’s just say we do manage to reduce the budget slightly – it will mean nothing when you consider the colossal cost of our EU membership as a whole. We need a straightforward In/Out referendum and a vote of no confidence in David Cameron in this parliament – it’s good to know that 14 MPs, reportedly, agree. That’s about 10 more Tory MPs than I thought who have some sense. It’s interesting how many conservatives are now trying to get UKIP on side instead of belittling them, but I suppose JR and Cameron will remain the exceptions.

  36. Antisthenes
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    You have opened up an interesting conundrum. The EU oversees two distinct groups those within the euro and those without yet does so using just one budget. It could be argued that this is a situation that is already inherently unfair and of course is set to become even more so as the euro group integration gathers pace. The obvious solution and the only fair and practical one is to for the two groups to become totally independent of each other. This may be the straw that breaks the EU”s back as the elite will never countenance two separate groups and the groups will fight for their particular interests. The elite will no doubt come up with a fudge to hold the two together but if they do it will be to the detriment of the non euro group and will force those outside the euro to join PDQ or leave the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      They should have been separated from the start, and Major could have forced that to happen by resolutely saying “no” to the Maastricht Treaty.

      There could have been a simple statement inserted into the EC treaties to the effect that any group of EC member states would be free to establish a shared currency if they so wished, but they would not be permitted to make use of the EC institutions in that connection and they must not do anything which contravened the EC treaties.

      Instead he allowed it to become a new EU norm that it had its own currency with the involvement of EU institutions and that all EU member states must join it, on the strength of a treaty opt-out for the UK which he must have known would be under constant attack until eventually a UK government gave in and accepted the new norm by scrapping the pound and adopting the EU’s currency.

  37. Freeborn John
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    All evidence to date is that Cameron and Osborne believe in getting their EU surrenders in as early as possible. Maybe they think they are to posh to haggle but u predict their opening gambit will be ‘we agree the EU budget needs to rise’. They seem to feel that the immediate surrender will shut down domestic pressure on them, because after all how can backbenchers or electorate continue to demand more of them when Brussels/Berlin/Paris has already been told they can have what they want? This was how Cameron/Osborne behaved on EU regulation of the City, recent EU treaty changes, bailout funds for Greece, BAe takeover by EADS and it will be the same of the 2014-2020 EU budget. They obviously do not include negotiating ability on the Eton syllabus.

  38. uanime5
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    In 2014 there’s the MEP elections, so if you don’t like what the EU is doing vote for people who support your policies. These elections use PR so your vote won’t be wasted.

  39. Jon Burgess
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Yes we’d love it if you used the veto on the EU budget but I’ll stick my neck out and predict that old cast iron will fail to do anything. You see, your party leaders do not agree with you on the EU. They want to stay in and won’t countenance any deviation from the master plan. You really need to move to UKIP. Then they’d have an MP and we might start to get somewhere.

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    As ever a great blog John, cannot but help think the Conservative party is in deep trouble, shame as the country needs better urgently

  41. merlin
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I have just attended the UKIP annual party conference and the best leader of all parties presently, stated that this country is governed by-

    2 college kids on work experience

    Of course there is a 3rd, the leader of the labour union dominated party- red ed.

    I think this sums up the present political mess this country is in.

    Reply That “best leader” has no vote in the Commons, where some of us with votes have been trying to secure a referendum.Not a lot of help from that quarter.

  42. merlin
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    If you wish to leave the EU – please note John, there is no political party in the uk that will give you that choice. Logically therefore you have to support or join a party that will give you the possibility of that choice. When the next referendum occurs there will not be the choice to leave the EU. Renegotiation is not possible.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      @Merlin: I assume you actually meant “there is no political party, apart from UKIP, in the uk that will give you that choice“. Whilst I disagree, I do accept that UKIP is the only party that has a single view on this.

  43. Almost Ex Tory
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    This is all very tiresome – the lack of faith in politicians is because “they work for us” really doesn’t apply. It should.

    The public have a view on most issues that could be tested by referenda. We are denied these because the politicians believe they know better or because the public’s majority view would go against the niceties of their personal conscience.

    The vote on these issues EU membership, immigration, welfare levels, the death penalty are diagramatically opposed to what the politicians (want to) do and they are determined that the public will never be allowed to have what they want on these.

    Membership of political parties lib, lab, con continues to fall and one begins to question by what real right the current politicians have to rule us at all.

    I am not interested in my MPs nicety of “conscience” if you want proper democratic support do as you are told (or cede the position to someone who will) !
    Experience shows that on most topics politicians do not know better than the public they purport to “represent”.

  44. Edward.
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    The Commission in Brussels, they don’t do ‘negotiations’ or hadn’t you noticed John?

    The only way, to really provoke the attention of the autocrats of Berlaymont is to demand.

    Dictate terms, from a strong and determined position, something that has never once occurred to the ‘powers that be’ either in the Westminster village council, or the Whitehall administration.
    Since 1972, indeed going back to the days before 1970 – when the British were signed over to the Brussels dictators – ‘our administration’ [Ted Heath’s Tory party] lied through his teeth constantly – selling our entry into the ‘common market’ as some sort of big trade agreement, historically – it’s been an elongated and elaborate stitch-up by the political elite of Britain.

    The solution is simply and pleasingly designed by Brussels, Britain, must invoke clause 50 of the Lisbon constitution* and withdraw from the EU.

    A negotiation could then take place and after the Burghers of Brussels had replaced and refreshed suitable undergarments.

    It’s the only way.

    *Constitution = in all but name.

  45. Jon
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    The polls that show UKIP high don’t translate into MPs unlike the Lib Dems who will get many more MPs. The Conservatives need to ramp up the narrative there, certainly to re establish what they think should be given in aid and in what circumstances and who to.
    Immigration and a generous approach to asylum means the UK is playing its part domestically on world poverty and suppression. That warrants a lot of that aid staying here.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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