Mrs Merkel and the UK veto

Mr Cameron has rightly said he will veto any EU budget deal whmich aims to increase the EU budget. Some of us would like him to veto any budget which does not cut the EU budget substantially, given the chronic state of many European government finances. Mrs Merkel now says she will not hold a meeting if he insists on the veto. That is a silly idea, and would require the consent of all members if there is any justice in the system.

The EU cannot ignore the fact that is overspending, and cannot ignore the fact that the Uk wants a new relationship with it, as we find the current arrangements unacceptable for us. The sooner they tackle those problems, the better. The UK might, for example, be happy to consider allowing the rest to spend more, as long as we can pay in much less, and remove ourselves from large areas of the EU’s interference.

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140 Comments

  1. ian wragg
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Problem is John, cast elastic call me Dave will never veto the EU budget. He will do whatever Angela says. After all he wants a job when you lose the next election. He’s already talking of increasing the subsidy to Scotland after a no vote in a referendum. One thing Dave won’t do is trhe right thing for England.

    • Mrs C Young
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • Disaffected
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      There is a counter report saying that no such thing was said by either party. But let’s face it JR the Tories could not run a whelk stall or make a profit.

      Sir George Young, the replacement for Thrasher Mitchell, appears to be a former Etonian with strong pro EU inclinations. Glad to see to see a balance in cabinet and beyond to help Cameron drive the UK to be part of the EU superstate- some social engineering is required by the Tories for a balance of ordinary opinion from ordinary conservatives, where is Cable and Ebdon when you need them?

      Only weeks to go for the child benefit fiasco to start, how many U turns or Tory supporters will Osborne alienate? Will it be as ludicrous as Osborne’s budget? Has he considered it or spent too much time in No.10 now that Hilton and Coulson have left?

      • Mark W
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Well I’m hoping that the cost of all the tax returns etc will make Osborne do a Uturn on the child benefit attack on stay at home parents. And I know I’m not alone.

    • zorro
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      If he does, I will be more than surprised…..Hague is a busted flush and will not stand up to them.

      zorro

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      No moratorium on EU directives, edicts and legislation while there is ‘doubt’ and while there are ‘promises’ of a referendum ?

      Doesn’t this indicate that Mr Cameron’s promises are hollow, yet again ?

  2. Pete the Bike
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Dave is going to stand up to the EU is he?
    That will be like a wounded deer being defending from a pack of wolves by a Yorkshire Terrier. Not altogether confidence inspiring.
    Anybody running a book on how long it will be before he caves in?

    • Disaffected
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      He has not opposed anything yet. Based on his record nor will he. That is why is very poor at negotiating. Voting for police commissioners will cost an estimated £43,000,000. When Cameron could have let the vote take place on the same day as the local elections next year. Apparently it is done because the Lib Dems think they would poll badly if done on the same day. Who cares, they are history either way. Cameron still thinks he has credibility talking about budgets and saving money!

      Even Labour worked out that it would save the country a fortune by amalgamating 43 forces into about 12-14 thereby saving huge headquarter and back room staff costs. Some forces being smaller than some police districts ie Newport, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, West Mercia to name a few. Now Cameron thinks that employing 43 commissioners is a good idea when he tells us that we need to make cuts- only the political genius Osborne could dream this costly nightmare. How about the political appointments of chief constables by these commissioners? Or should we ask Merkel, AKA the EU, what the UK should do?

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention putting housing benefit in the hands of numerous local authorities, lots of pointless duplication and money to burn.

    • Mark W
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think you’ll get offered very good odds. I prefer to speculate about how he’ll cave in, that’s open to a gamble. But cave in is a cert.

      Great line about Yorkshire terrier..

  3. Martin Cole
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Cameron is wounded by the events of last week, by the economy and therefore further by his Chancellor.

    Like Galtieri he needs to pick a fight with someone. Merkel and the EU budget seem ideal from almost every viewpoint.

    Go for it, any outcome has to be an improvement for British taxpayers and voters.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      I am sure that Mr Cameron would regard Galtieri as an unfortunate example to follow – ship torpedoed, troops surrender and then booted out of office after starting something he could not complete.

      • Disaffected
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        He should have been allowed to apologise and that be an end to it.

  4. MickC
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    The UK should leave the EU as soon as possible.

    The EU itself is unlikely to last more than another 20-30 years-it is yesterdays vision of tomorrow. The tide of history seems to be in favour of smaller state in loose associations.

    • Dan H.
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Seconded here. The problem with the EU is that they never, ever accept a vote against them; the Irish veto of a treaty merely got the Irish told to go away and vote again and again until they got it “correct”. This isn’t democracy, it is poorly-veiled dictatorship.

      Based on past performance, Cameron is not going to be successful at renegotiating the UK position with the EU. He will get told to get lost, will return to Britain and try to spin a victory and will end up getting kicked out of the PM’s post for lacking the cojones to actually do his job. This is the problem with the man, he doesn’t think ahead. He’s trying to run a heavily euroskeptic party in charge of a strongly euroskeptic country and he’s trying to appease a large empire which sees him as nothing more than a mangy cur in need of a good hiding to bring it back to heel.

      The only way to treat with the EU is to tell it to get lost as the French frequently do, or to ignore it completely as much of the rest of Club Med does. Hold a straight IN/OUT referendum and when the expected resounding OUT! decision is returned, simply leave the EU. Repeal the enabler Act by which their legislation is enacted, then start revising it and in the mean time boot the hordes of EU economic migrants out of the country forthwith.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The EU seems to make up and interpret its rules/agreements as it likes.

    The sooner we get out of this cess pit the better.

    • Disaffected
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      It was reported at the weekend that an EU spoke person said the number of highly paid officials (estimated 4,000 on over £80,000 PA) should not cut their costs because they were high flyers not burger flippers. It had the same arrogance of a Tory minister. No wonder Cameron fits so well in the EU.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed they are not burger flippers in any sense. Burger flippers actually produce something useful, a flipped burger.

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Now there’s a threat to have us shaking in our shoes–Merkel won’t hold a meeting. Big Deal. Personally I think that’s just the sort of catalyst we want. Cameron should simply state that more money is not open to discussion so there is no need for a meeting. Merkel might even be secretly pleased. Talk is cheap (or should I say expensive in the EU–I wonder how much each meeting costs) but a contretemps such as this sounds Way To Go on general principles if we are to get it across that we are leaving. Japan can manage (not one single peep from anybody) well enough without budget meetings with the mainland and so can we.

    • Chris
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Re costs, have you seen on Conservative Home website the petition by Ashley Fox MEP about the costs of the “Strasbourg circus”?
      http://conservativehome.blogs.com/
      http://www.stopthestrasbourgcircus.com/

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        Chris–I have now.Thank you.

    • Sue
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      If he can niggle them enough, with any luck, they might all vote to expel us!

      • Sue
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        What have I said now? That little sentence can’t possibly be offensive. It was just a passing light-hearted comment!

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Japan is the only developed country in east Asia so they would gain little from a union with mainland Asia. By contrast the UK is surrounded by developed countries that wish to be in a union and require that anyone wishing to trade without restriction has to join the EU or abide by EU law. This is why Japan can do as it wants while the UK cannot.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        To uanime5–A peep no less, but not very convincing. If Japan can manage in a local trade vacuum then we can manage in mere restrictions, just as Norway and Switzerland patently very happily do – highest or very high per caput income I believe. Besides, trade though important is not the be all and end all and your reference to the shameful and ungrateful desire of certain foreigners to set up a cartel wall against us does not help your cause. Changing gear, any peeps yet from anybody on what would be wrong with being like (Greater) Switzerland, not forgetting that Switzerland has for very obvious reasons much less access to the rest of the world–none by ship. An example – not hard to find – of Cameron talking intense baloney.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          The situations of the UK and Japan are different. Japan is surrounded by developing countries that do not wish to enter into an economic union, by contrast the UK is surrounded by developed countries that do wish to be in a union. So just because Japan can manage doesn’t mean the UK can.

          Norway and Switzerland have to obey all EU, even though they have no control over it, in exchange for being to freely trade with the EU. So a Greater Switzerland where the UK gets all the benefits of trading with the EU without having to obey any EU laws is nothing more than a fantasy.

      • outsider
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Personally I would have thought that OECD member the Republic of Korea was pretty well developed along with whatever Taiwan is called these days but regardless of that I would not dispute your point that Europe is different from East Asia.

        Would you perhaps agree that it is nonsense to suggest that half our exports could disappear when WTO free trade rules will still apply and the goods the UK sells to the rest of Europe typically attract low or negligible EU external tariffs? Would it not also be reasonable to expect a bilateral trade agreement not much worse than that recently agreed between the EU and Korea?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          Though the Republic of Korea is a member of the OECD its GDP per capita is half of Japan’s. Taiwan (Republic of China) isn’t a member of the OECD but its GDP per capita is similar to the Republic of Korea.

          It’s difficult to determine how much of the UK’s exports would disappear if the UK left the EU. If the UK was outside of the EU then the EU can place tariffs on UK goods (much like the UK charges VAT and Custom Duty on goods from outside the EU) which would make them more expensive compared to EU goods. So the UK would lose a large proportion of their exports because their products would no longer be able to compete with their lower cost EU counterparts.

          Regarding bilateral agreements, such an an ENP, these would be on the EU’s terms rather than the UK’s. So the UK will only have access to some EU markets, not all of them. They also have to be renegotiated every 5 years.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Neighbourhood_Policy

          I wouldn’t recommend relying on the WTO. George W Bush introduced an illegal tariff on European steel and despite this tariff being ruled illegal twice the WTO didn’t punish the USA in any way.

          Reply The common external tariff is just 2.7%, and the Uk could also impose tariffs on continental goods.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        South Korea is also a highly developed country.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Laugh? I nearly did. Cameron is a 100% Europhile. What the people of Britain want, is a vote on the EU………… In or Out.
    When that’s done we’ll have a vote on a Parliament for England too………..

  8. Jon Burgess
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron says a lot of right sounding things – it’s just that his actions tend to come from the left(ist) part of his brain. Let’s see what happens when the spotlight shifts to the next self created crisis.

  9. David Price
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    In this case Mr Cameron should simply say he sees no justification for EU budget increases at a time of funding crisis and any attempt to do so will be vetoed. It is up to the rest, Germany included, to demonstrate just how seriously they take the current Euro financial situation and EU process.

    Mrs Merkel’s reaction, threatening to wreck and paralyse the process, does suggest that negotiating positions in EU discussions need not be anything like as subtle and humble as some EUphilics have suggested. It also shows just how much democracy there actually is in the EU – as much as you like as long as Merkel and the elites get their way.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Since when has one person opposing the wishes of 25 others been democratic? You’re forgetting that in a democracy the majority rule over the minority.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        More baloney–Either there is a veto or there isn’t and not desperately surprising that some or indeed many oppose given that they receive rather than contribute.

      • David Price
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Of course a veto it is democratic if the rules say that agreement must be unanimous, at least everyone will have been heard. However, It is quite undemocratic for one person to cancel the vote if they believe they won’t get their way.

      • Richard
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Well uamime5, thats the classic mistake, because in a proper mature democracy the majority ignore the views of minorities at their peril.

        Democracy isn’t the just rule of the 51% over the 49%.

        You have to respect,understand and satisfy the requirements of the minority 49% (or even the 1% minority) if you are going to rule with proper overall consent.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          In most mature democracies they have proportional representation, so the minority have up to 49% of the votes in the Government. Though the larger the majority the more you can ignore those who aren’t in the majority.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

        Europe is not a demos.

        Democracy in your sense is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        As Mr Redwood has said, to have a democracy you first have to find your demos. Most UK citizens find it preposterous that we should form a political union with anybody, and certainly not a German dominated federation.

        The Irish Republic couldn’t accept union with England and Northern Ireland couldn’t accept union with the Irish Republic (for this reason, the Good Friday agreement will one day die a death). Scotland has a choice to make.

  10. lifelogic
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed but just remove ourselves from the EU and cooperate when it suites us so to do. Not just remove ourselves from large areas of the EU’s interference, that is not enough.

    Start by stopping the imminent introduction of gender neutral insurance as this is clearly both insane and costly. Indeed it will even cost lives.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      If we negotiate with the EU it will be on the EU’s terms or not at all. As the UK no longer has an empire it cannot force the EU to accept anything.

      How is gender neutral insurance going to cost lives? Will people die of heart attacks when they see how much their insurance will be?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        Gender neutral insurance? Does this mean ignoring the different life expectancies, both at birth and conditional at retirement, of men and women? Does it mean ignoring the fact that women drivers have a better safety record in motor vehicles? Or does it mean taking the same precautionary measures against a German empire, regardless of whether a woman or a man is in charge of that country?

    • Disaffected
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Well said.

  11. Martin Ryder
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I consider that we should split our budget considerations in two.

    Firstly there are the Administration costs of running the bloated bureaucracy in Brussels and elsewhere. This should be cut by at least 25%, as should our contributions to the budget.

    Secondly there are the Programme costs for (a) aid to the EU’s smaller and poorer countries, which should be pegged to inflation, and (b) for the major programmes, such as the CAP, which should be frozen. The costs at (a) should be paid by DFID out of the aid budget. The costs at (b) should be reduced to only those programmes that benefit the UK, which doesn’t include the CAP.

    All of the above should be looked on as temporary measures until we have renegotiated our relationship to the Eurozone or have left the EU completely. Both of these actions will be fraught with danger for the UK, as we do not want a hostile, angry and bitter continent 22 miles from our shores, and will take brilliant negotiation skills. Skills that I doubt are to be found in Parliament or Whitehall.

  12. Tedgo
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    With Germany insisting on austerity measures in many of the EU country’s, I think the EU itself should reduce its spending by perhaps 1% to 2% per annum over the next 7 years. Dave should use the veto until he achieves that and other reforms.

    I think the sooner Mrs Merkel and her finance minister goes the better. It surprises me how much government money is spent in her part of Germany, on the old east German shipyards, around election times. They tried to bail out a bankrupt yard a few months ago, but the EU was watching.

    I see the Germany government is withholding E600 million in agreed loans to Airbus because Airbus owner, EADS, is not prepared to move more work to Germany. This (thankfully) scuppered the BAE EADS deal. The Germans were very worried that jobs would migrate to Britain.

  13. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    According to Reuters, Cameron said:-

    “I think it would be good to have a deal, it’s good to settle these issues, but it just would not be acceptable to see some huge increase in EU spending at a time when other budgets are being cut,” he told a news conference in Brussels.

    “So the British public expects a tough approach, a rigorous approach and that’s exactly what they’ll get, and if we can’t get a deal …. if there isn’t a deal that’s good for Britain, if there isn’t a deal that’s available, then there won’t be a deal.”

    Reuters report does not say “he will veto any EU budget deal whmich aims to increase the EU budget”.

    So, lets see what actually happens.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Alan–If he didn’t say he would veto then he should have done.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I haven’t seen exactly what Merkel said, but I’d have thought that the decision rested with Rumpy-Pumpy not with her.

    She wanted the European Council to have a separate full-time President, the creation of that post was part of the Lisbon Treaty which she had imposed on the EU population after the French and the Dutch had voted against the EU Constitution, so does she now think that he’s some kind of puppet with her pulling the strings?

    Article 15( 6) TEU:

    ” The President of the European Council:

    (a) shall chair it and drive forward its work … “

  15. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Bulldog barking for the backbenches?
    Cameron’s stance is in direct opposition to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Finland and the Czech Republic (the compromise deal), and of course also against the other EU members, the overwhelming majority of the European parliament and the European Commission.
    This wreck and paralyse attitude will put the UK once again in a minority of 1, and will most likely back-fire on the UK. Mrs Merkel is absolutely right that more pressing matters have to be dealt with than Mr Cameron’s grandstanding.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      It looks like Cameron is trying to alienate the EU even more than when he tried to veto the treaty designed to fix the problems with the eurozone.

      • Richard
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Uamime5, I must have missed that treaty “designed to fix the problems with the eurozone.
        Do you mean the one they where they wanted the UK to borrow a few hundred billion and give it to them to waste?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Given that the problem is some countries needing bailouts the solution is to create a fund to bail out these countries. While the UK didn’t give the EU any money they did give the IMF money, who then gave it to the EU so I’m not sure what the point of vetoing this treaty was.

          • Richard
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Because uanime5, the chances of getting our money back from the IMF are very good, whereas the chances of getting our money back from the EU is much less certain.
            The IMF has never defaulted on a loan.
            The IMF are much stricter ensuring nations actually do make the budgetary and structural changes they promise to make at the time they request a loan.

    • David Price
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying, before the meeting is even held and everyone’s voice is heard, that Mr Cameron is the only one concerned that the EU is trying to increasing it’s spending during this period of financial disaster? To quote uanime where is your evidence for this assertion?

      Has the result already been announced before the vote or is it that you believe only Mrs Merkel’s wishes count?

      A veto is allowed in the process, it is Mrs Merkel who would be wrecking and paralysing the process if she cancelled the meeting. Why bother with any rules at all if you simply ignore them when it suits you but insist on their adherence when it is the UK or someone not in your magic circle doing the rule breaking?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        @David Price: Many parties, like all the countries I listed have the same or similar concerns as the UK. It is simply not wise to start shouting “veto” before negotiations have well and truly started. THAT was stupid and probably meant for the hateful backbenchers. Imagine: if the veto holds -> no budget -> even more costly for the UK. The European Parliament knows this and mr Cameron’s “veto” threat has now provoked similar threats by EP parties. You ask for evidence: may I refer you to various articles in the Financial Times and the budget rules of the EU?

        • David Price
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          The FT is behind a paywall and I don’t subscribe so your “evidence” is inaccessible to me.

          In your original comment you say that Mr Cameron’s position that the EU budget should not be increased is in direct opposition to a set of countries that you then say in your reply have the same/similar concerns. There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance going on there…

          Interesting that you don’t list Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain or Greece in your reply – don’t they count either?

          Why is it wise to declare that the EU should get it’s budget increase at a time of drastic financial hardship for many EU members but unwise to be declare that it should not? Instead of addressing that dichotomy you instead chose to crow over the differing interpretations of “veto”.

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      You all want a bigger budget? Fine, you can all pay for it.

      Me, I wouldn’t give them one more penny until the accounts are signed off.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Just a little snag here – your government is bound to EU rules the UK has signed up for: no budget agreement? -> previous budget rules are “extrapolated” -> even more costly for the UK. That will come from your tax money – unless you’re prepared to go to prison for refusing to pay tax.

        • Sebastian Weetabix
          Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

          Since I am a law abiding democrat I would no such thing, but I can express my dissatisfaction by voting out my government if/when they spinelessly give in. No government can bind its successors. As a fully armed independent sovereign state we are at liberty to withdraw from any previous treaty if it no longer suits our national interest. And being shackled to the corpse of EU integration is no longer in our interest. We’re going to leave, it’s just a matter of time.

          Reply: All UK governments now bind their successors by consenting to EU laws, unless a future Parliament amends or repeals the 1972 EC Act.

    • David Price
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      With regards to wrecking and paralysing I suggest that kind of observation should really be directed at Mrs Merkel’s hold up the rescue packages and damaging Euro-country economies until she has got herself safely re-elected.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        @David Price: You have a point here. In her “defense” I should say that the Netherlands largely agrees with the German position and wants real reform and supranational control before committing too much credit. That hasn’t changed since the recent elections here.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

      Such as the European Army and joint foreign and home policy that Germany wants to create? What will be the policy in the Balkans, given that Croatia is Catholic and a long term ally of Germany, whilst Serbia is Orthodox and a long time ally of Germany? Perhaps you can guide us as to how immigration to Cyprus will be dealt with, granted that Russians and Chinese can buy property there and get permanent resident status, enabling them to travel throughout the EU. There are now up to 100,000 Russians living in Cyprus, double the official figure, and the Chinese are aware of the opportunity.

      These are all matters that the UK wants its own say.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:20 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Serbia is a long time ally of Russia, not Germany.

  16. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Where is our Churchill when we need him?

    WSC knew exactly how to deal with German intransigence.

  17. merlin
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I agree with all previous comments Cameron will do and achieve absolutley nothing over the EUSSR, and try to give the false impression that he has. As previouisly stated getting powers back is a lie, this will never happen.We also, now, have a weak leader of the country which is even more concerning since if you shout enough and protest he will surrender, his enemies will become much more daring in the future because they can smell blood.

  18. John Bracewell
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel seems to believe that just because she can push Greece around and tell them what is good for them, she can do the same to the UK which is a far stronger country with a brave and resilient leader who will not let any EU intstitution order him about. I wish I believed what I have just written, I wait and see with trepidation.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      1) As long as Greece is dependent on bailouts which are mainly funded by Germany then Germany has a strong bargaining position.

      2) As long as Cameron threatens to scupper anything the EU does unless he gets his way the more hostile every other EU country will become to the UK. Cameron’s lack of diplomacy and inability to find allies in the EU will prove to be very harmful to the UK, even if the UK leaves the EU.

  19. john problem
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    According to M. Hollande we are in retreat so no action is required. In Brussels the other day I actually heard a person say of us, ‘they are lions led by donkeys’. It appears the Europeans are fed up with being lectured – they were so when Brown rabbited on and now they have our Head Prefect doing the same. Our reputation must be shot to smithereens….

  20. Atlas
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I, for one, shall be pleased when I see action from Cameron on disentangling us from the EU Octopus, and not just words.

  21. James Sutherland
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    A rather misguided piece of one-upmanship from Merkel there – amounting to a school-yard level “oh yeah? If you plan to veto the outcome, I’ll veto the whole meeting then!” Apart from anything else, as I understand the rules, blocking the meeting in the first place has the same effect as holding it then vetoing any agreement, only saving us all a bit of money in expensive international travel to attend it…

    If there’s no budget agreement, I believe the EU defaults to continuing the previous budget, inflation-adjusted; short of Merkel and others actually agreeing to cuts, this is the best outcome we can hope for anyway. If we really, really wind her up, will she “threaten” to do other things we want, too? “Force” us to quit the CFP and CAP perhaps?

  22. Liz
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Germany throwing her weight around again! Why does Frau Merkel want everyone else to cut their budgets escept the EU?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Because Germany has to bail out countries that can’t control their budget.

      • David Price
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Germany (and France) broke the Euro Stability and Growth Pact in 2003 with regards to public debt as a % of GDP and in 2006 and in 2010 but Germany (and France) wasn’t punished at all.

        Yet Germany (and France) demanded different treatment of Greece, Ireland, italy, Spain etc when none of them could control their budgets either. Wouldn’t you agree that this rather hypocritical behaviour.

        In any case Germany isn’t bailing them out, it refuses to share the full debt and the UK has been drawn in to rescuing the Euro via EU and IMF funding.

        • Sebastian Weetabix
          Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

          Germany is merely engaged in vendor financing. Eventually the penny will drop that it isn’t viable.

          • Richard
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            SW,
            “vendor financing” is an excellent phrase.

            You have explained it in one short sentence.
            Germany are the European equivolent of China who do this world-wide.

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      It’s vital for the future of European democracy that we all do exactly what Germany says. Klop.

  23. Peter Geany
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    John British politicians ever since the end of the second world war have dealt with Europe in a totally naive way and therefore always been out manoeuvred. David Cameron doesn’t strike me as being the first UK PM to have a handle on Europe so I alone with most thinking people expect little to happen in the UK’s favour.

    For and until British politicians openly acknowledge that the EU’s sole aim is political integration then we will continue to get the charade that it is possible to renegotiate our membership. It is not.

    The only way we will get any negotiations is to invoke article 50, and state our intention to leave. Anything else is make believe and lies and if our PM thinks otherwise he is not fit to hold office.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I doubt the EU will change just because the UK is threatening to leave. 25 countries are not going abandon their plans for greater unity to accommodate 1 spoiled country.

      • Richard
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Well done uanime5,
        You’ve made the case for leaving the EU in one short paragraph

  24. stan francis
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    John u r wrong, the UK wants no relationship with the EU at all-why do you say this when it’s welknown the people, at least 80% WANT OUT OF THIS…u too ignore the peole’s wishes, you continue to try for better deals that you will then put to us when we get the vote in or out!-I am an ordinary working man that pays tax on his pension-this tax could be removed if we did not pay the EU!-This Gov’t is a knee jery Action Gov’t, it listens to someone with an idea,m without looking into it enough, it acts on it, how many are we too on backtracking, laqtest is how we deal with those that are BANGED UP?-we pay them a wage-here’s an idea, why not pay them not to offend and every time they do they have that money taken away from them, that’s no more stupid than CAMS LATEST!

  25. outsider
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    My own preference has always been for a renegotiation on behalf of all the peoples of EU member states rather than special deals for the UK. Such evidence as we have from referendums suggests that most of its peoples want a Europe des patries rather than their nations being relegated to the status of Texas or Nebraska. The main exceptions are Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, which see the EU as the only way to regain the influence they historically wielded and Belgium/Luxembourg, which have gained influence they never had from the EU.

    But a different approach is now needed. Time has moved on and the eurozone fiscal union has changed everything. It points to a two-tier EU or, if necessary, the UK leaving altogether.

    The EU Budget is important less for the money involved than for its purpose. The Commission only needs to spend more than 1 per cent of GDP to finance “growth agenda” programmes in economies that are suffering from the effects of their membership of the euro. It is not needed to be spent in or on behalf of the UK, Poland, Sweden or even Bulgaria.

    The veto is only a blunt and negative weapon. The UK should also positively propose that the EU Budget be fixed permanently at 1 per cent of the previous year’s EU GDP. If that needs a treaty change, it is one that would almost certainly pass any national referendums required.

    If the eurozone needs an additional “growth” budget to effect transfers to support currency union, as it certainly will, then it should be a separate one. That will be decided and paid for only by members of the eurozone, or by the wider group that somewhat hastily signed up to fiscal union.

    It follows that an FTT to finance this extra spending should have effect only within the eurozone/fiscal union. The UK should veto it immediately (regardless of where it applies) unless strong guarantees are built in that it will not trigger any trade discrimination between eurozone/fiscal union members and other EU members and that the European Court of Justice will be so directed.

    These two measures alone would create the framework for a fraternal two tier EU and for “ever closer union” to apply, in practical terms, only to member states within the eurozone/fiscal union.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    If she doesn’t hold a meeting, no part of the EU budget is legitimate and the thing grinds to a halt. So?

    • outsider
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      No, Lindsay McDougall, it is not like the USA. In the event of no vote or a stalemate, the EU budget goes on as before, with the same spending allocations, index linked. That is why the veto is not enough and we also need to put a new proposal on the table.

  27. David in Kent
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The more interesting threat from Merkel was to be nasty to us when the Europe-wide regulation of banks is discussed shortly.
    Also interesting that she feels it appropriate to threaten us at all.
    As to the threat not to hold the meeting; I’d respond “go on, make my day”.

    • Mark W
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m not surprised at a threat from Merkel. It’s only our money they like not us. As the French have a long history of standing up for themselves I hope it’s them we annoy, so they all gang up and kick us out. Saving us the agro of having to leave.

      This EU arguement goes on and on. It’s over 20 years since the Major government fiasco, and still the EU goes on. Can’t Cameron just push a bill throughwith eye watering salaries for the House of Lords, guarantee every MP from the commons a Lord’s seat when they leave or get booted out, so they won’t need the EU jobs when they fail. Then we could leave.

      • Mark
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        With all the contributions the UK has made and still is making, surely if we pulled out, then no-one would even bat an eyelid at the amount of expenses claimed by MPs, or self awarded payrises, because then we wouldn’t be throwing cash down the Euro Drain, without a hope of any decent return on our enforced investment, and more Taxpayers cash could be spent on business in the UK and FOR the UK.

        We are gaining absolutely nothing with continued “membership” of what is rapidly, and increasingly obviously becoming a Totalitarian State by any other name. We have so far managed to stay free of adopting the disastrous Euro as our currency, one thing i can honestly say Gordon Brown achieved in our favour. This country still has teeth and bloody big ones too, all we have to do is get someone into Number 10 who actually has the spine to clean them once in a while to let the howling loons across the water know that we mean business.

      • forthurst
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Good idea. Stuff their mouths with gold. Even elevate the usual suspects to hereditary peerages. Give the red tops something to write about. Cheap at the price.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 2:14 am | Permalink

        She is after all a “former” communist from the GDR. I suspect her attachment to power is rather stronger than her attachment to democracy and liberty.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      If it was only Merkel it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately the UK is opposing the wishes of every other EU country, so the UK can expect reprisals for acting like a spoiled child.

      • Richard
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        uanime5
        Its not “acting like a spoiled child” for our Government to try to hold down the increase in the EU budget at a time we have an annual deficit of £150 billion a year in the UK.
        The problem with the EU budget is that a few members pay in and a much larger number just take out.
        That is why the majority of EU members favour a big increase in the budget.
        Perhaps only those who contribute to the budget should vote on it.

        PS I like your use of the word “reprisals”, it really does illustrate what kind of an organisation the EU is becoming.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Care to explain why Germany is in favour of a larger budget when they are a net payer, rather than a net receiver? Shouldn’t Germany be calling for a lower budget?

          Let’s see now. If the UK annoys every other country in the EU then they might be less willing to vote for things that will benefit the UK. That’s why in a democracy you shouldn’t be in a small minority.

          Another problem is that if a new budget isn’t created the old budget will be used, so the UK will still have to pay more money to the EU.

          • Richard
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

            I shouldn’t really need to explain to you uanime5, as you are plainly well informed on EU matters, but as you have asked me, I will.
            You are right Germany should really be leading the call for a smaller budget.
            But Germany feels that a larger budget that enables bails out of nations like Greece Spain etc will be commercially beneficial for Germany, as it will secure profitable trading markets for their manufactured goods.
            If as aresult,Germany remains a powerful trading nation the Euro can stay at a world rate which makes German goods very competitive on world markets.
            With qualified majority voting and more member nations being net takers rather than contributors there is little chance of us winning a vote whether they like us or not.

            So this is the time to be open and honest and argue with our EU partners, that we feel an perpetually increasing EU budget during recessionary times when individual member nations are having to make cuts in domestic budgets is not sensible.

      • ian wragg
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        I’d love to meet you, according to your philosophy the peoples of Europe are all living in Nirvana with their glorious leaders doing everything they would ask for. Only ask do they not. Just continue to userp powers and subjugate the populace.
        The fact you speak so well of this corrupt organisation leads me to believe you are an EU mole.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Well the people of Europe keep electing pro-EU leaders and pro-EU MEPs so it seems they do like the EU. Even the Italian Lega Nord (largest party working with UKIP in the European Parliament) doesn’t want to leave the EU.

      • David Price
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        How do you know, they haven’t held the meeting to get the votes yet. As for being a “spoiled child” you support Germany getting it’s way because it is a net contributor but you don’t support the UK getting it’s way despite it also being a net contributor.

        The issue is that the EU wants to increase it’s buget when the contributor contries are having to cut back costs, how is demanding the EU also restrain it’s spending acting like a spoilt child?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          1) I know that other European countries doesn’t support Cameron because none of their leaders have been calling for the budget to be reduced.

          2) I don’t support the UK because it does not have the support of the majority of EU countries, but contrast Germany does.

          3) If every EU country except the UK has no objection to increasing the EU budget, but the UK threatens to veto any increased budget it’s clear the UK is acting like a spoiled child. Threatening to scupper something because you don’t get your way is an infantile way to negotiate.

          • David Price
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            1) Wrong – From the BBC website – 23rd October 2012 – “The European Parliament has rejected the 27 EU governments’ position on next year’s EU budget, triggering hard bargaining to reach a deal.” Clearly the EU doesn’t listen – FT 25th April 2012 – “Barroso plan for EU budget rise sparks outrage”.

            2) Wrong – see 1) – the British position has support, it’s just the threat of veto that has gotten up some politician’s noses.

            3) Still wrong – see 1)

  28. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The Telegraph ran an article on 21st October 2012:
    “IMF’s epic plan to conjure away debt and dethrone bankers”

    This is a story of how a group of Economists formed an idea to solve the problems they were witnessing with massive debt buildup followed by catastrophic collapse in Bank lending.

    The Chicago Plan was the collective term assigned to the correspondence of a group of Economists who were discussing Full Reserve Banking.

    It is about time that the IMF discussed it – and also rather surprising – if like me, you are skeptical of a positive attitude towards solving the rather abstract National Debt that we are all shackled to.

    Removing the power to rent out credit (Loaning Commercial Bank Money) and receiving interest on something that there is no real limit to creating undestandably does not get much support from the Banking Community – especially the City of London.

    A plan that could reduce public debt to nothing sends shivers through the Boardrooms of the “Too Big to Fail” Banks as this plan would make it legally impossible for a Bank to require a Bailout – but not to fail. “What Heresy!!!”

    A bank under this plan would only be able to lend money that was first created by the Treasury (or perhaps BoE via the MPC).

    Angela Merkel and her Euro Mafia would no longer have the excuse of debt to grind the Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portugese and Irish into the dirt.

    But this plan relies on a Sovereign Nation to control and issue it’s own currency. The EURO Technocrats absolutely hate the Chicago Plan as it means that their power would be dissolved and they’ll al have to get real Jobs.

    What a terrible shame for them.

    From the Telegraph:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/9623863/IMFs-epic-plan-to-conjure-away-debt-and-dethrone-bankers.html

    “The control of credit growth would become much more straightforward because banks would no longer be able, as they are today, to generate their own funding, deposits, in the act of lending, an extraordinary privilege that is not enjoyed by any other type of business,” says the IMF paper.

    “Rather, banks would become what many erroneously believe them to be today, pure intermediaries that depend on obtaining outside funding before being able to lend.”

    This is one proposal that needs serious consideration becasue the system we have is about to fail – big time.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    A stand against the EU increasing costs has to be made . Merkel has said that it would be wrong for Greece to get away with more borrowing ; Cameron says we will not sanction an increase in the EU budget . Both leaders have dug their heels in ; who will most likely stick to their guns ?

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The only solution is for the UK to leave the EU. The sooner this is done the better. Ubfortunately your leader has told everyone he doesn’t think the UK should leave the EU. Along with his other managerial skills, his negotiating skills are zero.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      On the basis of last Decembers veto – Cameos voting skills are little more than zero !

    • stan francis
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Brian I said the same to John last week and didn’t get printed possibly becuase he hadn’t brought up the subject himself, perhaps I am too forthright, anyway, at last count and EVERYOBNE is counting each time a Poll appears, over 80% want out of the EU, no negaotions for better terms just plain OUT, or can’t MP’s get their heads around such a BLUNT ANSWER?

      Reply: The latest polling is 51% want out, and some of us MPs have tried to offer people the vote on just that! It’s the others you have to persuade.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply
        Your leader doesn’t want an in/out referendum as he doesn’t want the UK to come out of the EU and has said so repeatedly. How are you going to persuade him? Clearly he thinks he knows our views, hence no referendum and thereby shows his complete contempt for the wishes of those he purports to serve.

  31. Pleb
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    So Merkel is now running Europe then. Forth richt.

  32. The PrangWizard
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    So, Merkel won’t talk as she doesn’t like the subject. Do we take this insult lying down?
    The EU is a form of dictatorship, with puppets in Greece and Italy. Our government should get us out as soon as possible, we should not be associated with such moral and political corruption. As individuals, those who can should operate a daily strategy of subversion. A war of resistance by administrative means. A curse on their Empire. Daniel Hannan’s interview on Russia Today a week or so ago is a perfect analysis what it has become.
    With strong and determined leadership we can, I think, get ourselves out of this illegitimate nightmare, little by little maybe it will have to be, but these must get more frequent, and then maybe some unilateral declarations and withdrawals. It deserves no respect so we should not submit to any accusations of bad faith.
    But what happens to our leaders when they get close to the EU, do they suffer some form of brainwash under the malevolence of it? How are they threatened, how is the country threatened? What does the EU have on us? As we are threatened we must fight back, with no compromise, no weakening. We must, all of us, ‘Keep on keepin’ on’.
    And for the sake of democracy, our other cause must be an English parliament. The cause is just.
    ‘For England and St.George’.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Allow me to destroy your rant with those annoying things know as facts.

      1) Neither Merkel, nor any other EU leader, has to renegotiate if the UK vetos anything. So they’re entirely within their rights to “veto” any renegotiations.

      2) Greece and Italy both had elections and elected their governments, so your claim that they’re puppet states is blatantly false.

      3) If the UK wishes to leave they can simply withdraw, rather than throw a tantrum as you suggested.

      The rest of your post is a paranoid rant without any evidence to back it up.

  33. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Won’t hold a meeting if we’re to veto arrangements, this proves they don’t want desent at all, but want to rule head on. Merkel is foolish if she thinks by acting like this we will be impressed, we won’t. Its proving out point of view more by this action than anything. I would not be surprised it its a meeting for the eurozone members only so they can rush things through. I just hope Cameron is up to the job, for these people are formidable people and don’t take NO for an answer.
    Mr Redwood this should be enough to convince Cameron he’s fighting a losing battle, he won’t get any repatriation of powers at all, this action is enough to prove that. His only chance will be is to remove the UK from the tenticles of the EU altogether; then we can really rebuild this nation. Trade with the EU will continue in or out, they need us like we need them. However, out we will see the City safe from their greedy hands. I have every confidence in the City fighting for its life and winning as we have seen in the past. Perhaps Cameron should concentrate on Europe more instead of his speeches which appear unimportant to this challenge.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      The UK needs the EU far more than they need us. Outside of the EU the UK will decline.

      • outsider
        Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Please supply your evidence for this. Or is it just a n automatic rebuttal?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          50% of the UK’s exports go to the EU, so unless the UK can double their exports to the rest of the world the day after they leave the EU the UK will have major problems.

          Before you claim that the WTO free trade agreements mean the UK can still trade with the EU I want to point out that the EU can legally impose tariffs on any products from outside the EU. This will make UK products more expensive than their EU counterparts, thus making it harder to trade with the EU.

          Finally any company that is located in the UK so they have easy access to the EU will leave the UK if the UK leaves the EU. So expect a lot of job losses.

          • Richard
            Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            I’m not so pessimistic as you unaime5,
            Exports to the EU are now well under the 50% tyou claim, and are falling, whereas our exports to countries outside the EU are rising fast.

            There is also the “Rotterdam effect” where goods exported from the UK going through this hub port, but destined for non EU nations, are counted as EU imports, which distorts the figures.

            To claim that if we left the EU that all our exports to the EU would stop on that day is plainly nonsense.
            To claim they could add punitive tarffis if we left the EU is possible but unlikely, because we could just threaten to add even higher tariffs on their imports into the UK and they would stand to lose far more than we would.

            The EU is a ailing economic trading area with a reducing proportion of world trade and the sooner we concentrate on those nations that are growing and succeeding , the better off we will be.

  34. Boudicca
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s already back-tracking. Now, apparently, he is prepared to concede a Budget increase as long as it doesn’t exceed the rate of inflation.

    Whose inflation? Ours?

    And why increase the EU Budget by the rate of inflation when we need it to reduce spending?

    Cameron is a wet as a bucket of rainwater.

    The answer to Merkel’s ‘threat’ is to confirm that any increase will be vetoed and challenge her to cancel the summit.

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Simple really – just stop writing the cheques to the EU.

  36. oldtimer
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    It is about time that the European political class got out of the habit of shoving up spending year after year after year. Most of the rest of us have to live with tighter budgets. It is about time they, and their bureaucrats, did the same.

  37. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    A British veto would be brilliant, but, after last years non veto veto ?

    BINGO ! – the solution to our detested membership of this club – VETO, VETO, VETO !
    Continual vetoing of further EU ‘enhancement’ will force their hand – they will give Blighty an ultimatum – in or out. We could then have that much sought-after referendum – at their behest !

    • Mark
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I fear that this much sought after “Referendum” is a concept that belongs solely in the Tales of Hans Christian Andersen or Aesops Fables, as i think that choice of in or out will only be offered to our Glorious Leaders and not deferred to us, after all, we are only the ones who subsidise this whole mess so why should we matter?

  38. Antisthenes
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    The EU started out as a common market but has ended up as just another layer of government and unaccountable and very costly one at that. Not just with it’s budget but with it’s senseless draconian rules and regulations it’s grand projects that wreck havoc with national economies the euro being the most visible one. At some point all the disastrous decisions, policies and practices of the EU are going to result in a major catastrophe that Europe may never recover from.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Antisthenes–Agreed but of course it’s by no means just grand projects – which at least would not require huge number of Jobs( not)worths and budgets accordingly – it is the foreign intervention in our minutiae that is equally unwelcome and indeed hard to understand even from the philiacs point of view.

  39. John Orchard
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Which ever way you look at it Cameron will cave in. There’s more backbone in a Jelly Fish.He must rank up with the greats like Gordon Brown, John Major etc etc.

  40. David Langley
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Sorry John it was tip toing around that got us into this mess in the first place. The EU will not allow a renegotiation of competencies. That is not what they are about. They know we are going to want to get out sooner or later and are already getting a whinge on, re Merkel and her moaning and Hollande who do better keep his home fires burning and I mean in every way.
    Stop the money which is surely in our competence and then watch them yell and shout. We will be invited to every meeting they have. I do not like your position that we have to crawl for a reduction in subscriptions that is just asking for a bashing.

  41. David Langley
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry my last should read , Hollande who would do better to keep ….”

  42. Chris Rose
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Budgets must always be challenged. The PM should ask to see a statement of cost reduction measures being implemented, because any organisation can always reduce its costs without reducing its standards of service. I have never seen any evidence of this from the EU, but perhaps I haven’t looked closely enough. There is no need for the PM get distracted into details, but he must satisfy himself, and us, that the money we send to Brussels is being not only well spent, but better spent year by year. Good luck with that!

    An organisation that refuses to reduce spending during a time of austerity is an abomination. Surely Cameron can hit Merkel over the head with that argument.

    I don’t know what it is, I always see Merkel as a chicken, usually a headless one; but then she’s got a PhD and I haven’t.

  43. merlin
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    This piece below is well worth a read if you believe that because the polls show that 51% of the UK want to leave the EUSSR, it will disappoint you.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/

    This has happened before when most people wanted to leave and you know what the result was -we stayed in. (1975)

    So contributers what is our choice for the future making the following 3 assumptions?

    1) renegotiating powers is a lie and won’t happen

    2) an in/out referendum will result in the UK staying in the EUSSR

    3) a vote in the uk parliament to remain in the EUSSR-very likely, we have a federalist parliament. They will vote to stay in.

    There is only ONE hope and that is UKIP the only party that says NO to Europe, the first hurdle which is the european elections we will outperform every other UK party. Then we will get seats at the next election in the UK parliament, with the hope that we get enough to vote on leaving the EUSSR, remember politics is a marathon not a sprint. This is the only strategy that will eventually get us out barringr a miracle.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      You really should link to the article, not the front page.

      http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83257

      Interestingly this article states that in a 1974 poll 50 percent voted to leave, against 32 percent who vote to stay; then in 1975 when there was a referendum on EU membership 67.2 percent voted to stay in and 32.8 percent voted to leave. It seems that the people who vote in polls aren’t representative of those who vote in elections.

  44. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    False alarm, no threat, as we know now. Has the barking bulldog lost its bite? Veto’s may cease to impress the other 26 nations. Next threat a Brexit?

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I do hope so.

  45. Electro-Kevin
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Off topic if I may please.

    The local news is reporting that a dire shortage of building in this area will result in rents escalating way beyond local wages and that housing benefit will be needed to subsidise these costs.

    I’m sorry ?

    Surely the rents will rise BECAUSE they are being subsidised by housing benefit.

    The claim, as usual, is that population growth is causing this demand and so I suppose that will tie in loosely to your Angela Merkell post given that we are continually told that we are unable to control our population levels because of Europe. This is baloney of course, given that companies such as Starbucks prefer to displace British workers and are not even required to contribute to their dole costs – this company must result in one heck of an outflow of money from the UK.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      If rents are raised by housing benefits then why aren’t the most expensive properties in areas where there’s a large proportion of people on housing benefit?

  46. Jon
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Here is the divide at its starkest and runs a train through Mrs Merkels’ credibility.

    I remember seeing the debate in the EU about the last budget, it should be shown more widely so people can see the lost cause of democracy and fairness in the EU.

    Yes the budget should be cut, anything less is madness in these times.

  47. Alan Duckworth
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Will somebody please explain, if politics is about power (which it is) then, why are all these politicians so anxious to hand over power to the EU ? What do they know that we don’t ?

    • Jon
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      A million pound benefit package, moving towards a post democratic era where both you and your family can permanently reside and “work” without pesky voters to be concerned about but who shower you with money. That’s power to many. See where Nick Clegg ends up 5 years from now.

  48. Overtaxed
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    How does David Cameron think he can freeze the EU budget when he is unable to freeze the Council Tax?

    Surrey CC has raised its Council tax by 3% and the so called public sector pay freeze is undermined by grade drift and annual increases within grade bands.

  49. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Interesting aftermath:
    1) The FT explains that without an agreed multi annual budget the current budget agreements carry on and UK costs will only be higher than now.
    2) the S&D faction in the European Parliament has just explained that Cameron is not the only one that could veto and that the European Parliament has a stronger position here than Mr Cameron.
    3) The S&D faction also suggests that Britain should withdraw its Conservative and Liberal MEPs from any committees working on issues on which the UK has a permanent or intended opt-out. To me this sounds like a bit of Brexit assistance from Brussels.

    • outsider
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Interesting Mr van Leeuwen, nit least because the British Labour Party, the UK’s official Opposition and possible next Government, is part of the S&D grouping and supplies one of its vice-presidents.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        If they want to impose more stupid rules on themselves, why should we be involved at all? All I ask is they don’t apply within the UK.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

      I think that it is time that the UK introduced the European Parliament to the gentle art of filibustering. There are many other ways in which the UK can be disruptive. It really is time that the EU agreed to take the UK’s right to renegotiate seriously and stopped the empty threats.

      • outsider
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I wish.
        If you look at some European Parliament sessions on line at BBC Democracy Live you will see that ordinary MEPs are each allocated a maximum time (often only 1 or 2 minutes) for their speeches and cut off if they go on too long.
        Nominated speakers for each of the political groups have longer but their limit seems to be in proportion to their number of MEPs and the groups to which UKIP and the Conservatives belong have the smallest and third smallest numbers.
        That is why Mr Farage has developed his rather brilliant sledgehamme technique to gain attention in a minimal time. Mr Hannan’s speeches, rarely more that 90 seconds, look good on You Tube but are delivered to an almost empty chamber.
        No-one has to listen or even be around, as at Westminster, because votes are usually taken separately in blocks the next day.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        @Lindsay McDougall: Isn’t that a bit early? The UK hasn’t even requested any renegotiation yet! Anyway, disruptive behavior is bound to back-fire onto the UK. It’s a loser’s strategy, born out of frustration, and sometimes out of projection (blaming the EU for the UK’s own problems).

  50. frank salmon
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Every now and again, the restrictions imposed by the ruling classes in Europe lead to a blow up. Think French revolution, think world wars one and two, think the Bolshevik revolution. The problem with Europe is that it is a model for despotic leadership, and it has never lost it. We have accepted the same mode of thinking in Britain now, and it is only a matter of time before we lose our faith in British tolerance and democracy. Unless we leave, we will be part of another European dictatorship and all that means for civil war and revolution. Now is the time to say – adopt British values of freedom and democracy, or we leave…..

    • F Geddon
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      hear, hear

  • 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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