Welcome EU movement

Today’s story in the Times that federalists in the EU are thinking of a new associate status for the UK as a privileged trading partner outside the emerging political union is great news. It shows that the UK can negotiate a new relationship with them. I shows  that many on the continent now recognise that the UK cannot join their Euro union and needs a looser relationship with them based on trade.

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209 Comments

  1. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    And is not the only method to obtain this renegotiation Article 50 of the TEU? Is not the obvious transition one of moving to EFTA/EEA membership?

    Why still this obfuscating talk of renegotiation and a looser relationship?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we even know exactly what the Union of European Federalists will propose in the plan and draft treaty, let alone how the EU member states including the UK might react to those proposals and what they would be prepared to agree.

      We now have a second- or third-hand account in the Telegraph, which unlike the Times hasn’t yet retreated behind a paywall:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9772371/Britain-should-be-offered-second-class-membership-of-the-EU.html

      But as usual that is a somewhat garbled account, starting with its first paragraph:

      “An umbrella group of 20 organisations campaigning for a federal Europe suggested Britain should be offered “associate membership” of the EU to prevent the country leaving altogether.”

      As Article 50 TEU is on voluntary withdrawal from the EU, if the aim really was “to prevent the country leaving altogether” (as glossed by the Telegraph?) then presumably Article 50 would not be applicable but Article 48 TEU on the revision of the EU treaties would come into play.

      Article 48 TEU starts on page 41 here:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0013:0046:EN:PDF

      and Article 50 TEU is a couple of pages on from that.

      • cosmic
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        “An umbrella group of 20 organisations campaigning for a federal Europe suggested Britain should be offered “associate membership” of the EU to prevent the country leaving altogether.”

        Just because they are pushing for a federal Europe doesn’t mean they have the foggiest idea what they are talking about, how feasible any of this is or what the mechanics of achieving it would be.

        If they are excluding exit (Article 50) then they are proposing changes under Article 48. However, it’s been made clear that the UK won’t be allowed an a la carte option.

        As you say, it’s garbled and not at all clear what they are actually proposing, but it appears to mean remain a member much as present, but with no representation. What about the commitment to ever closer union? What about the CAP, the CFP and all the rest?

        A few token concessions, temporary in nature, to give British politicians a fig leaf, and business as usual would be my guess.

      • rd
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Article 48 would not be used as it would force all the other lemmings of euroland to change their treaties – it may not pass their Parliamentary ratification. Article 50 is a more unilateral process.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          The intention of Article 50 is that there would be a withdrawal agreement between the withdrawing EU member state and the other EU member states, and that agreement would necessarily modify the existing EU treaties and would require ratification by all of the countries. Even in the event that negotiations ended inconclusively after the maximum period of two years, plus any agreed extension, the fact that then “The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question” would almost certainly mean that the EU treaties would have to be amended to take that into account. Bearing in mind that the existing EU treaties have been ratified by all of the countries on the basis that the UK is one of the parties to the treaties it’s hard to see how the departure of the UK could be arranged to avoid the need for them all to ratify an amending treaty.

      • WitteringsfromWitney
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        God, Denis – you still on this Art48 argument?

        Art48 would require the unanimous agreement of the other Member States – which ain’t going to happen as you well know.

        The only way Cameron can claw back powers is by invoking Art50 and starting with a clean sheet. If he wants back all that he says he does then the only way is EFTA or bi-lateral accords.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          God, Witterings, do you really think that Cameron is going to give notice of his intention to leave the EU just because you want him to?

          However the point you’ve missed here is that if the plan was for the UK to remain in the EU, somehow, then logically that would not be done through a treaty article on withdrawal from the EU.

  2. Ken
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Depends on details – how much will it cost pa & level of EU control

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    If it were as simple as you put it, then I agree, it would be good news but two points spring to mind: What are the actual details? and, since you continually tell us there isn’t a majority in Parliament for leaving the EU, what hope is there that any such arrangement would be accepted by MPs?

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed parliament is currently anti-democratic, EU, federalist. As are the three largest parties and party leaders. Even if they do pretend otherwise just to garner votes under false pretences.

      • Disaffected
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        It is reported in the DT today in response to IDS announcement about benefit fraud (in addition to his previous claim that 370,000 immigrants now claim benefits) it is unknown how many foreign based families claim tax credits.

        To quote rom the article:
        “the Coalition has disclosed that the tax credits are paid to support almost 6,000 children living abroad. It does not know how much taxpayers’ money is being paid to the foreign-based families, who are entitled to the British handouts under European law.”

        Is there any sane person in government or person advising the government who still wants to be in the EU? Moreover why still pursue policies that punish savers, workers, pensioners and strivers.

        About time Cameron woke up and smelt the coffee and did what he pledged. A bit of clue what to do to help the country: sort out the economy- stop spending and wasting money, our money. Make spending cuts and cut taxes. Get out of the EU it holds no benefits to the UK, stop and reverse mass immigration we cannot afford it (reducing the numbers will not do, they are breeding faster than any cut the government proposes- read the stats), stop overseas aid we cannot afford it, repeal the Climate Change Act and Carbon emissions drivel we cannot afford it, people will lose their jobs and industry will relocate. Create an energy policy that will benefit residents and industry- get Lib Dem politicians out of DECC ASAP. Stop social engineering nonsense, strivers are more affected than any other group, you will be left with dross. There is plenty to do before you further gay marriage or some other rot of no relevance to the country.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        It is clearly a carefully choreographed and coordinated attempt to help Cameron and the EUphiles to hold together the deliverance of the UK to the undemocratic EU against the wishes of the voters. The BBC and CBI seem to be clearly in on the choreography.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          @lifelogic: One could argue that at least the EU is still more democratic than the UK, which runs on a parliament with one unelected house and one unrepresentative house. Of course the EU cannot be blamed if in your democracy CBI and BBC were to do things against the will of the voters, or rather, against the will of lifelogic himself.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            @PvR: Unless you want everyone laughing into their New Year days afternoon tipples, do tell us when either Herman Van Rompuy or José Manuel Barroso were elected by the people into their respective official positions?… Duh!

            Apart from that you totally miss understand the role of the House Of Lords – its strength (as a reviewing and revising chamber [1]) is in the fact that its members are not pandering to the popular vote, they are free to do what is correct, not what is or might-be popular.

  4. APL
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    JR: “It shows that the UK can negotiate a new relationship with them.”

    It is touching to witness your loyalty to your EUrophilliac partyYour desire to put your party by pretending it is EUrosceptic is touching.

    • APL
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Edit: “party. Your desire to put your party before country by pretending it is an EUrosceptic party is touching.”

      I note you did not reply to my post citing the Norwegian Ministry of foreign affairs statement regarding Norways’ relationship with the European Union.

      1. Norway is not in the European Union.
      2. Through its membership of the EEA, Norway has as much, in fact more influence over EUropean Union regulations that impact Norway as the UK does.

      QED, there is no advantage to the UK being in the EU so long as we can rejoin the EEA.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Stay in the EEA, because as an EU member state we’re already in the EEA.

        • David Price
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          Does article 50 have provision to convert EU membership to the EEA framework alone?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            You can read Article 50 at the link I gave above, but the answer is that there’s nothing to prevent the negotiated withdrawal agreement taking the form of conversion from EU membership to just EEA membership.

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but Cameron seems not to want a greater Norway or Switzerland or any democracy. He think we should be far poorer and merely ruled by diktat from Brussels.

        • APL
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          lifelogic: “Indeed but Cameron seems not to want a … ”

          Like much of the Tory party, Cameron is a EUrophile.

      • uanime5
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        How exactly is Norway influencing EU law through the EEA when it has no MEPs, commissioners, or councillors?

        I think you’ll find that Norway has much less influence than the UK does.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Richard North provides a detailed explanation here:

          http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83408

          “Thus, to suggest that that, outside the EU but inside the single market, the UK would have “no say over the rules” is absolutely untrue. It is grossly and completely untrue. There is an enormous network of discussion and consultation even within EFTA/EEA, on a global and regional level, long before these rules ever get near a statute book. The UK would be an active part of this network.”

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

            All the UK would be able to do in the EFTA/EEA would be to make recommendation in reports that could be rejected or ignored by the MEPs with impunity (much like how MPs can ignore reports they don’t like). At least in the current arrangement UK MEPs can lobby for things that benefit the UK.

            Let’s not forget that like the European Parliament the working groups are based on majority decisions. So if everyone else doesn’t like the UK position then the decisions of these groups will be to propose something the UK doesn’t like.

            The UK will have far less influence over EU law if it goes from having voting rights on EU law to just helping to draft it.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: Norway has influence on the WORLD stage, as a European country this feeds into what ever the EU might decide, like those who are taken in by the British Gas adverts, europhiles seem to think that the EU is their world…

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            Every EU country has influence on the world stage and many have much more influence that Norway. Thus it is unlikely that Norway would have more influence on the EU than countries actually belonging to the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            @uanime5: Norway (as do Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Switzerland) has more influence because it is free to discuss and agree terms and agreements with the RotW unlike EU members states, who are banned under EU law from entering individual agreements etc. Norway, like any other RotW country, is in effect sitting at many tables whilst each EU member state is sitting at just one – the one in Brussels, chaired by eurocrats. EU member states don’t even sit as individual countries within the WTO!

        • APL
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          uanime5: “How exactly is Norway influencing EU law through the EEA when … ”

          Like talking to an extremely thick plank.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            Judging by failure to provide any evidence that Norway is influencing EU law I take it that you have no evidence back up your claim.

            Let me know why you have real evidence that shows how exactly the EEA is influencing EU law in any way.

        • WitteringsfromWitney
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          Actually if you did a little research on how EFTA works, together with the EEA you would not make such a stupid remark as that contained in your last sentence!

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            I have done research, which is how I know that my claims are right and yours are wrong.

            The EFTA is a group of countries that trade with the EU in exchange for implementing all EU law. However they have no influence over EU law.

            Every country in the EU and EFTA is part of the EEA. However the EEA has no law making powers as only the EU has these powers. Thus being part of the EFTA doesn’t give Norway any ability to influence EU law.

            Thus Norway has no means to influence EU law. By contrast the UK, which is part of the EU, is able to influence EU law.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            @uanime5: Your “research” seems to amount to consulting the europa.eu web portals…

    • Jerry
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      @APL: Well that is better then what Labour is offering (the most likely next government, thanks to the assistance so often offered to them by UKIP…), and just what is UKIP offering in any case? Come back once UKIP have an (elected, not poached) MP in Westminster, sorry to say but the Greens have more credibility in this respect than UKIP has!

      • APL
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: “Well that is better then what Labour is offering .. ”

        It is exactly the same as Labour is offering, just dressed up some for a different audience.

        Jerry: ” and just what is UKIP offering in any case?”

        I don’t know Jerry, I suggest you ask someone who has read the UKIP manifesto or is a UKIP member.

        Jerry: ” sorry to say but the Greens have more credibility in this respect than UKIP has!”

        It’s your choice, you are welcome to support the Green party if you so wish.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          @APL: Nice to see that you still miss the point entirely, look out for those low flying clues, and a Happy New Year!…

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “Nice to see that you still miss the point entirely .. ”

            Your point Jerry, is well worth missing because to address it would identify how mistaken you are.

            But since you insist, the Tory party is hemorrhaging members and votes not because of anything much that UKIP is doing, rather because the Leadership of the Party has become so disconnected from the rank and file, that they are pretty much another left liberal party within the husk of the organization of the old Tory party.

            Cameron routinely misleading part followers, he does not keep his word, he is obsessed with’ ishues’ that no self respecting Conservative gives a two hoots about in the current economic environment, viz House of Lords reform or Gay Marriage.

            If you really wish to identify the true causes of the Tory party decline, don’t look for excuses in UKIP, look directly at your own party leader and the policy direction the party has taken since he became leader.

            Not least the bankrupt and foolish policy of emulating Blair just as Blairism has come to be recognized as the fraud it always was.

            If the UKIP is picking up Tory votes, it’s because of the utter uselessness of the Tory party under Cameron – exemplified by the inability to achieve a clear majority against one of the most incompetent and stupid Prime ministers in living memory.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            @APL: Gild your UKIP lilly any way you like APL, but what do you not understand about the fact that the Tories are in government, UKIP are yet to get a single MP elected or that UKIP cause the lack of an over all majority for the Tory party in 2010?

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Gild your UKIP lilly any way you like APL”

            What on earth is your obsession with UKIP?

            If you are a member of the Tory party, get your act together, purge your party of traitorous EUrophiles, and present a coherent manifesto.

            Until then, I’ll call it how I see it, the Tory party is infested with EUrophiles and traitors. In short, it is a EUrophile Trojan horse.

            I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot barge pole.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            @APL: “purge your party of traitorous EUrophiles, and present a coherent manifesto.

            Nice to see you showing your true colours at last “APL”, democracy means even less to you than it does the eurocrats in Brussels. :(

            I’m glad that you are not a member of UKIP, even less a candidate “APL”, UKIP would be even more unelectable.

            As for Trojan horses, the results from the last general election rather shows that the real “EUrophile Trojan horse” is actually UKIP, it would have only taken a few more lost Tory marginals to have sent a europhile Labour/LibDem coalition into government…

          • APL
            Posted January 3, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            JR: “Nice to see you showing your true colours at last .. ”

            ‘at last’?! Ha!

            You are a fairly new contributor to Mr Redwoods blog, so I’ll be kind and suggest you don’t know what your are talking about.

            Nothing else in your post is worth spending the time to reply.

            Best regards

          • Jerry
            Posted January 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            @APL: How do you know how long I have been reading Mr Redwood’s blog, stop shooting from the hip, all you keep doing is wounding your own feet two right feet…

          • APL
            Posted January 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

            JERRY: ” How do you know how long I have been reading Mr Redwood’s blog .. ”

            You are mistaking me for someone who cares, Jerry.

            But it is worth pointing out that you too are capable of entirely missing the point. My position regarding the Tory party has been obvious for all to see since, .. for ever.

      • Bob
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry
        “what is UKIP offering in any case?”

        Their policies are listed on their website.

        http://www.ukip.org/content/ukip-policies

        • Jerry
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          @Bob: Except that until UKIP get elected, in sufficient numbers to hold the balance of power, that is their wish list

  5. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Wehee!

  6. Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    This is in line with comments from former EU Commission President, Jacques Delors, in Le Monde yesterday:-

    http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2012/12/28/jacques-delors-suggere-au-royaume-uni-de-quitter-l-ue_1811217_3214.html

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      C R B

      Yes, I found this difficult to believe at first, given the opposition Mr Delors had put up for many years.

      Perhaps just perhaps the tide is beginning to turn, let us hope Cameron can use it to our advantage.

      But I will not hold my breath, too many false dawns.

  7. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Not quite. The Federalist’s idea carries with it a loss of the veto and a loss of status as full member. We would then be subject to decisions over which we have no control whatsoever. The Federalist plan reduces the UK to vassal status, far from the withdrawal as a sovereign nation to a trading agreement which is the compromise most likely to be accepted by the Electorate – if we are even given the chance to vote on such a move.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      “a loss of the veto”

      Which veto do you mean?

      There are now precious few areas of EU decision-making where we still have a veto, successive governments having idiotically agreed to surrender our veto and allow those decisions to be made by qualified majority voting, where as I recall we presently have about 8% of the votes.

      As an EU member state we are already subject to decisions over which we have next to no control, and that will potentially get even worse in November 2014 with scheduled changes to the system (but not the scope) of qualified majority voting.

      There’s a table at the end of the first page here:

      http://en.euabc.com/upload/Final_Tables_by_Klaus_Heeger_pdf.pdf

      “NUMBER OF QUALIFIED MAJORITY VOTING (QMV) ARTICLES INTRODUCED OR EXTENDED, OR OF UNANIMITY ARTICLES MOVED TO QMV, BY THE DIFFERENT EUROPEAN TREATIES”

      “Treaty of Rome (plus extensions) 38

      Single European Act 12

      Maastricht (Treaty on European Union) 30

      Treaty of Amsterdam 24

      Treaty of Nice 46

      EU Constitution 68

      Treaty of Lisbon 68″

      Of course the last two entries are equivalent, the EU Constitution having never come into force because it was rejected by the French and the Dutch, but its legal contents having been decanted into the Lisbon Treaty.

      One very important veto which remains is the veto over further changes to the EU treaties – even though we have seen how a weak-willed UK government can allow it to be circumvented by a strong-willed German government – but in principle there is no reason why a new treaty between the UK and other countries should not allow the UK to retain a veto over certain changes to the treaties which subsist between those countries.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Kevin–As I keep asking with very little by way of cogent reply how does Canada manage so well with “no control whatsoever” over decisions made in America and, mutatis mutandis, New Zealand and Japan? Why is it different, according to you, just because there are 26 countries all milling around on the other side of the channel. A fortiori, I should have thought for obvious reasons we have the advantage over the three countries I have mentioned.

  8. Jerry
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Surely this is a realisation that the UK is likely to exit the EU and just how important keeping the UK in “Le Club” is to the EU, one out might mean more leaving! It will be interesting to see just what is offered and how it would differ from the UK being a member of the EEA or EFTA…

  9. oldtimer
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    And the price tag for this putative new relationship? Nevertheless it may be dawning on the pragmatists in the EU that the institution must mutate and evolve in an unintended way.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it would be sensible for us to demand an excessive price, and maybe we should even allow the other countries’ exporters to have access to most sectors of our national market free of any charge, of course with reciprocal treatment for our exporters to the same sectors of their markets.

      Norway and Switzerland are net exporters to the EU, unlike the UK which is a net importer from the rest of the EU; it would be quite absurd if we were paying a fee to the other EU countries to allow us to accept their net exports, but that doesn’t mean we should actually start charging them for that privilege.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Indeed, the Office for National Statistics said the UK’s deficit in trade in goods narrowed to £7.1bn in July, down from £10.1bn in June. But the eurosceptics do not tell the whole truth:
        CityUK revealed that theUK’s trade surplus with the rest of the EU in financial services is currently £17bn per annum and that more than 160 EU financial institutions base their business in the UK.
        Considering that the City already adds 10% to your GDP and you only pay much less than 1% top the EU, may I politely suggest that you tripple or double your current contribution, for the mere advantage that you already have, trading in the Single Market and the eurozone without having had to bear any of the extra cost that other EU members had?

        • David Price
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          Isn’t the German position that the EU budget should be capped at 1% of EU GDP? So why should any country, including Germany, Nederlands, France and Italy, pay more than 1% anyway?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          While we choose to remain part of your preferred cumbersome, inefficient and expensive system of transnational government it’s only reasonable that we should bear some of that “extra cost” – what happened to the great savings that it would allegedly produce? – but once we have removed ourselves from that system its exorbitant costs will still be your concern but not ours – any more than we need concern ourselves with the costs of government in the US or Australia or Japan or any other trading partner around the world.

          The fact is that overall we run a large trade deficit with the other EU member states, which is to their economic advantage, and there is no reason at all why we should pay some kind of annual fee for the privilege of running a trade deficit with them and more reason why we should charge them an annual fee for the benefits of access to our lucrative national market.

          Maybe you should think yourself lucky that probably we wouldn’t be adopting your nonsensical line of argument and insisting on billing you for part of the costs of government in the UK, without which our national market could not function to your net benefit.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: Nice try Denis but your arguments wouldn’t wash in the real world. As I’m only lukewarmly interested in UK’s EU membership, I”ll leave it to the people of trade themselves (CBI, City) to make the case, and if they fail, having been so lazy and late, so be it. In the Netherlands, independent and authoritative data show the net benefit of the Single Market, also in an expanding EU, up to six times as much as the Dutch annual net EU contribution. It simply cannot be all that different in the UK, unless your system is structurally uncompetitive, which I don’t believe it is. Decades of regurgitated eurosceptic myths about the EU have not been challenged by those in the UK who should have done so. In no way do I think that the EU is perfect, but beneficial it is.

        • sm
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Lets not presume UK national interest (or even EU interest) and City of London interests are the same.

          Always skeptical about City of London propaganda.

          Lets have country by country reporting first.

  10. Duyfken
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Your ebullience may be as misplaced as that you showed when Cameron used the veto (sort of), but we can only hope.

  11. Brian Taylor
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The devil will be in the detail,will we be able to set up free trade deals outside the EU framework and what will be our new payment terms?

    • JimF
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, they will be eyeing our ability to devalue and deregulate… and won’t permit these things alongside totally free trade. Unlike the Swiss we could end up with a down-peg.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Taylor: Here’s an offer you cannot refuse: The City contributes about 10% to your GDP, right? In that case a deat at the table where decisions are made must easlily be worth 2 or 3%. So if you would be so kind as to double or tripple your UK annual contribution (no rebate anymore), I’m sure that you will be guaranteed a seat at the table and all City concerns taken care of. :)

      • Timaction
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        With a net trade deficit of £50 billion annually with the EU, £20 billion alone with the Germans I don’t see a problem with our trading relations at all. We should be paying zero (not £10 billion net) for our trade with the EU or charge pro-rata if they want to play hardball. We’d win!!
        Other than mass Eastern Immigration for reducing wage costs putting English citizens on benefits, there are NO benefits for our membership of the EU. I’m one of millions fed up with being fleeced in our taxes to pay for foreign farmers and infrastructures and an ever increasing overcrowded island.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          The UK has a trade deficit because we import too much and export too little. This is the fault of the UK, not the EU.

          So if trade ceased between the UK and the 26 other EU countries the result for the UK would be shops devoid of goods, price rises for any goods that were in short supply, and economic ruin for any companies that mainly trade with the EU. By contrast the EU’s burden would be shared among 26 countries, making it far more manageable. Thus in a trade dispute the UK would suffer a huge loss and the EU would suffer very little.

          • zorro
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Don’t be ridiculous, trade would not stop if we left the EU – the EU would still sell to us like they do to the rest of the world. Why you keep on bringing up this ridiculous scenario, I will never know…..

            zorro

      • Jerry
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        @PvR: Nice to see the Joker is still in the pack!

      • David Price
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        So will the Nederlands (and Sweden) be giving up its lump sum compensation payment? Will the Nederlands and Sweden (and Germany and Austria) also be giving up their lower VAT call rates?

        As for EU guarantees, experience has shown these to be worthless unless they favour a certain select few.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          @David Price: We’re not the ones negotiating for a different relationship with the EU, no need to offer anything. The UK must at least have something new to offer for a deal different from their current deal. Where are the new goodies you’d offer to these 26 other nations?

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @PvR: Have you ever stopped to think why the UK population is so sceptical about the EU even when some actually think that the UK should stay in, you really do take us for idiots at times! :(

            If the playing field had been level since the creation of the EEC then there would never have been the UK Rebate, nor the CAP (etc.)…

          • David Price
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            So in your version of Europe, democracy doesn’t actually count for anything then, it all comes down to a small inner group demanding money with menaces and just how much someone not in the inner group is willing to pay.

            Who is the “we” you claim to be part of anyway? Clearly it doesn’t include Greece, Ireland, Portugal or Spain. They couldn’t offer “new goodies” and have been sacrificed to the whim of the “we”. Is Italy next I wonder?

      • Disaffected
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Stick the seat where the sun does not shine. it is not worth a bean or a Euro.

  12. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Yes, it does seem good news but which idiot chose totally unnecessarily to start talking about “second class” status? Whoever it was just doesn’t get it for of course if he wants to use that sort of language it is for us to make clear to him that it is we that are first class because we simply do not need all the EU baloney that is necessary for countries that are inferior to us in the simplest of senses in that they, so they themselves say, cannot stand on their own. Oh, the horror of not having a Commissioner etc. What needs to happen now is for other countries, Germany in particular, the ones that can stand alone, to go this route. The rest can then fully amalgamate to their hearts’ content and stop all this nonsense.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Postscriptum–I see the usual suspects are already starting to bleat about ‘lack of influence’. I for one don’t buy this nor even close. As just one in 27 we have little enough influence anyway and it seems clear to me that as the EU’s largest export market, as we would be, we would have influence of our own and very possibly more than we have inside, and this let alone the mega billions we waste paying in at present (which we could better use, and how, paying down debt).

      • uanime5
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Having a trade deficit doesn’t make the UK the EU’s largest export market, it just means the UK imports far more than we export.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Unanime5–It is my understanding that 21% of EU’s exports are to the UK, more than to the next two countries combined

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            What is your source for these figures? Are they for just goods, or goods and services?

            According to the CIA’s list of export partners the country that sends most of its exports to the UK is the Republic of Ireland, however the UK only accounts for 16.1% of Ireland’s exports. Thus your claim that 21% of the EU’s exports go to the UK is unlikely to be correct.

            https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2050.html#uk

        • Jerry
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          @uanime5: Except that the trade deficit mentioned is for EU single internal market [1], not UK (or even EU) trade with the RotW…

          [1] as members of the EU the UK doesn’t actually import anything from the EU, think about it!

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Indeed what real influence do we have, in practice, anyway?

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      @Leslie Singleton: I agree, a better name must be found: how about “royal class status”, “freedom status”or “UK only” status? :)

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        Peter–Unlike Unanime5 you seem to be getting the hang of it lol. Wait till Germany’s (well deserved) guilt complex starts to fade and they too decide they want out or some kind of independent status.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          @Leslie Singleton: Of course I cannot know how Germans will think and feel in future, but they have now a successful federal history and may have even less trouble with further integration than the Netherlands.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Why would Germany want to leave the EU when they’re a founding member and according to most commentators on this blog somehow running the entire EU for their own benefit?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5–Germany has no need of the EU or the Euro, simple as that. They joined when they were just West Germany if memory serves ie when the country was still literally broken. I repeat there will come a time when Germans wonder why they are mixed up in this nonsense or put another way they will feel that they haven’t yet reached redemption till they get their D.Mark back. As to the 21% you queried that figure was stated in writing in a recent article to be based on EU figures. From comments by others today it is rather your figures that are in question.

      • David Price
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        We are happy to trade and cooperate with our European cousins as we have proved in extremis in the past, we just don’t want to be ruled by the statist EU.

        Why do you have such a problem with that?

      • sm
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Sovereign status, non federal status, EFTA member or perfidious albion status or just plain old UK? As long as we are out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      As far as the Telegraph article is concerned, I would hazard a guess that it was the Telegraph editors who decided that it would be a good idea to rename “associate membership” as “second class membership”, so as to make it seem an unattractive option and bolster support for staying in the EU forever come what may. Which is of course the long-established position of that national newspaper and almost all of the other national newspapers, as would once again become all too clear if we were ever to have another “in-out” referendum like that in 1975.

  13. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Let there be no compromise, no weakening, no surrender! We want OUT.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      @The PrangWizard: Is that the Royal “We”, or did you just mean Mr and Mrs PrangWizard?

      For the record, I to want out, but I will accept the result of any referendum or victorious manifesto pledge, it’s called Democracy I believe…

  14. BJ
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how this will play out – surely all EU countries, or a majority, will have to formulate a strategy that will counter present treaties.

    I’m with Witterings from Witney, instead of waiting for the EU to move slowly and reluctantly Cameron must invoke Article 50.

    Dragging on like this is damaging everybody.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      You can’t realistically expect somebody who is deeply reluctant to make any move about the EU to make such a dramatic move to get the EU to move …

  15. Alte Fritz
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I agree this is good news. The path will be difficult but the terms of the debate are changing. Something to look forward to for 2013.

  16. yulwaymartyn
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Today’s story in the Times (which I notice you have ignored) has the headline:

    “BRITAIN MUST EMBRACE EUROPE OR GET LEFT BEHIND”

    This from the CBI with 240,000 uk businesses.

    It is astonishing in this day and age let alone in my lifetime that the Tory party – the party of business – takes the opposite view from the Britain’s most eminent employers representative organisation.

    • Edward
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      The CBI have always been pro EU.
      They represent just minority big business. They love the protected entry markets the EU provides them.
      Cosy little cartels where massive regulation, rules and redtape make entry into their established markets far more difficult for SME’s trying to break through and compete and thus they protect their easy profits.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        @Edward: And of course the City (pro-EU) only represents minority big banks? And the US (pro-EU) doesn’t represent anything of significant importance either?

      • uanime5
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Given that the UK’s market would be even more protected and full of cartels if they left the EU you claims are clearly wrong.

        You’ve also ignored all the EU laws designed to prevent cartels and to prevent companies abusing their dominant position. Along with ignoring all the evidence that companies are able to enter the UK from outside the EU, which is certain death for cartels.

      • Edward
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Well if you two are attacking me I’m now sure I’m right.
        Nice to see Uni backing multi national big business.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      They want low cost Eastern Europeans to keep wages low, thats all. We all pay for this with the inherent costs of the EU and all the public services of the low paid immigrants. Simples! Thats why they want us in, nothing more than self interest NOT National interest.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Now have a look and see if you can find another headline such as:

      “BRITAIN MUST EMBRACE THE EURO OR GET LEFT BEHIND”

      from the same “eminent” CBI a decade ago.

      Completely wrong then – and thank God that most of the Tory party did take the opposite view at that time – and just as wrong now.

      • APL
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Denis: “from the same “eminent” CBI a decade ago.”

        Isn’t it a tad sad and a little bit pathetic, the supposedly preeminent Business organization of the UK can barely come up with an original thought after twenty years of trying.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: but you ARE being left behind as a non-euro country, even though you now think that you have the better deal, just wait until almost all other EU countries will have the euro and the sovereign debt crisis will be history.

        • APL
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Peter van Leeuwen: “but you ARE being left behind as a non-euro country, ”

          Please Peter, you are far far too intelligent to discuss the issue in such puerile childish terms.

          Greece is a Euro Zone country, if keeping up with Greece means not being able to obtain such basic medicines as Paracetamol in high street Pharmacies, then frankly you can keep your Euro.

          Spain an Euro Zone country – general unemployment is 25% and youth unemployment is over 50%. Bankia
          is said to be worth (minus) – 4.2 Billion Euros. With figures like that, it ain’t the sovereign debt crisis you should be concerned about!

          But if you mean ‘being left behind’ means not moving toward political Union – where the UK has already gone too far along that unconstitutional path, then I am also quite happy you should keep your Euro and for the UK to take a different path.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

            @APL: Chances are we all will be happy in the end – you as some non-aligned European nation with certain benefits from the Single market, the Netherlands as a sucessful eurozone country with a very open economy.
            It will be interesting though to see how much of social protection of the weakest will dissapear in the UK once it will be “free” again.

          • APL
            Posted January 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            PvL: “the Netherlands as a sucessful eurozone country with a very open economy.”

            And I wish your country every success in obtaining that goal.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          Peter–Do you mean like the horror clearly (not) faced by Canada because the US have a single currency? What rot.

    • Jerry
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      @yulwaymartyn: Yes but what does the CBI actually saying, apart from getting mixed up with trade with the EU and trade that passes through the EU (the Rotterdam fudge), oh yes, from the horses mouth;

      “The UK must carve out a new global trading role for itself as part of a new, rapidly-changing European Union, CBI Director-General John Cridland is urging.”

      and then later;

      “We need to recognise and adapt to the realities of the multi-speed Europe which is emerging. The fallout in the Eurozone from the debt crisis is not just forcing through rapid political and financial integration. It is also forcing all countries to fundamentally rethink the EU’s wider purpose and deal urgently with the sort of structural flaws Europe has ignored for decades.

      and then, even later, this is thrown into the mix;

      “We need global trade deals to drive growth and create jobs, especially when the domestic economy is growing more slowly than required. Businesses don’t want the baby thrown out with the bathwater – not with 50% of our exports heading to Europe.”

      Sorry but the whole CBI message seems mixed and confused at the very least, they seem to be saying that we need to be free to trade with the RotW but also need the EU to tell us who the UK can/should trade with – in short, an editors dream of a press release, they can make of it what their editorial line demands!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry: I see no contradiction in developing both EU-trade and RotW trade at the same time, at least that is what’s happening in my country and also being promoted by business lobbies in the Netherlands.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          @PvR: Except, under EU rules, no EU member state can not do so whilst being a full member of the EU (if they do then any agreements need to be approved by the eurocrats), hence why some are talking about a ‘special arrangements’ for the UK, loosening our membership to that of EEA/EFTA status whilst many -it would seem- wish to leave the EU lock, stock and smoking-barrel.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry: If you would look into it, you’d find that, being fully “contrained” by eurozone and EU, bothe the netherlands and Germany do quite successful business with China, a country in which the UK, in spite of its assumed priviliged position as former HongKong ruler, is still playing catch up. Putting all the blame on the EU is sometimes just too easy.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            @PvR: As does the UK – all three do so thought with the blessing, but more importantly, the agreement of eurocrats that enforce the rules of the single market.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      yulwaymartyn–Trade isn’t everything, in fact there are some, not me of course, who regard talking about it as a bit infra dignitatem. We have sold our soul for trade with the EU in a complicated and unnecessary Faustian Pact. It cannot be stated often enough that other countries in similar positions (Japan, Canada, New Zealand) have managed perfectly well offshore of a bigger country or bloc and without giving a passing thought to implementing the nonsense we are mired up in.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        The UK’s situation isn’t like that of Japan, Canada, or New Zealand so any comparison is meaningless. For starters Japan and New Zealand don’t send 50% of their exports to their nearby neighbour. Though Canada sends 73% of its exports to the USA this is because they have a huge land border and aren’t offshore.

        Perhaps a comparison between Cuba and the USA would be more appropriate.

        • Jerry
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          @uanime5: Sorry but the UK does not send 50% of our ‘exports’ to the EU! Please do try and understand the single market and thus the difference between what is internal trade (within the single market) and what are true exports that go via another single market port (often Rotterdam) and thus only counts as an export once it leave that port.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Unanime5–And neither should we send 50%–as I have said elsewhere we have sold our soul and allowed countries across the Channel to suck blood from us for the privilege–also we did the dirty on our kith and kin in the rest of the world. Even with your extreme example of Cuba I understand that that country survives and with its head held high too.

  17. Mark W
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    From what I’ve read we lose MEPs and other positions and remain free to trade with each other. Obviously we lose our veto. But if they no longer can force any directives on us then right of veto would certainly not be our business.

    It sounds like a better deal than Norway and Switzerland have at present. It sounds too good to be true. But as this has been proposed by federalists, who are honest enough to be open about their view, then it may be real. They ditch the sulking foot dragging island inbreds (us), but they keep their much needed access to our markets. And we do to theirs. Win win.

    With the tearing up of EU socialist directives, the next Labour gov won’t be able to hide its intent in EU rules anymore.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      1) Directives are made by MEPs so the UK can’t vet0 them.

      2) Only treaties can be vetoed.

      3) I suspect that the UK will end up with much the same deal as Norway or Switzerland, which will involve obeying EU law in order to have access to the single market.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Unanaime5–Maybe but not to the extent you imply

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Further reply to Unanime5–And another thing that occurs is that use of the Wonder Term or goal of “Single Market” is tendentious and merely reflects that there is a melee of different countries and languages on the Continent. So what? It wouldn’t sound quite the same, would it, if it was just referred to as selling across the Channel, which is all it is? Does Canada think in terms of selling in to the “single market” of the US (Sorry, and Mexico).

          • uanime5
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            The single market is the combined markets of every country in the EU. All countries can have access to the single market, though not to the same extent. Countries in the EFTA have unrestricted access, countries outside the EFTA have restricted access.

            Also it encompasses far more than selling goods and services because it allows people in the EFTA to live and work in any other EFTA country.

            Given that 73% of Canada’s exports go to the USA I have to say that selling to NAFTA is important to them.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Well done, this time you’ve managed to be factually wrong not just on one point but comprehensively wrong on all points.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Well it’s clear from this post you have no idea how the EU works or what the different types of EU law are.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

            @uanime5: The words pot and kettle comes to mind when you accuse others of not understanding EU rules and laws…

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5–Where did you get the idea that I thought that Canada’s exports to the US were unimportant? Absolutely the complete opposite! The point is precisely that it is possible to have such good trade without a whisper of the EU’s non-trade political baloney and with no direct influence over US laws. BTW I have worked in Toronto in my time.

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            unaime5: “Well it’s clear from this post you have no idea how the EU works … ”

            Such lack of self awareness is breathtaking.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        @uanime5: Except that is the EU who wishes to have access to the UK market, not the other way around, the EU would be in even greater troubles if the UK looked west for their imports, Chrysler and GM corporate brands [1] instead of Mercedes-Benz and BMW’s, as a single industry example.

        [1] some of these US brands have already made inroads into the UK market

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Given how small the UK market (1 country) is compared to the EU markets (26 countries) it’s clear that the UK gains far more from having access to the EU market.

          Given how much more the shipping costs would be from the USA to the UK, than from the EU to the UK, the EU has nothing to worry about.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5–Why should we not have access anyway? And I have no wish for the EU to have anything to worry about–I and now the majority just wish they would leave us alone. They have made too many decisions that so many of us simply hate. Don’t hear much from you about the recent opinion polls I note and UKIP is only just picking up steam–wait till they get cranked up.

      • WitteringsfromWitney
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again! As a member of EFTA we would, just as Norway has done, have the right to disregard or veto a directive emanating from Brussels. Any member of EFTA who so does means that all the other members of EFTA do so too.

        Do your research and thus not make a fool of yourself – please?

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Care to name any directive that has been vetoed by Norway that resulted in something other than Norway being taken before the EFTA Court for violating their EEA agreement? Thought not.

          Even if Norway ever did refuse to implement an EU directive that doesn’t mean that any other EFTA member can ignore this law as the EFTA isn’t some final arbiter on EU law. I suspect you’re confusing the failure of Norway to implement EU law with Norway vetoing EU law. These are very different.

          Perhaps you should do real research rather than spew UKIP sound bites about things that you clearly know nothing about.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

            Steady the Buffs–Unanime5, You are starting to be gratuitously rude. We do not want anybody reduced to ad hominem comments do we? As I say, how about a comment from you on what the majority in the UK now want? Simple enough and the politicians will catch up sooner rather than later because they will have no choice.

          • APL
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

            unamie: “Even if Norway ever did refuse to implement an EU directive that doesn’t mean that any other EFTA member can ignore this law as the EFTA isn’t some final arbiter on EU law.”

            I have posted, and you have ignored a link describing the procedure of consultation between the EU and the EEA, the process ensures that NO EU regulations or ‘laws’ become regulations or law before they are acceptable to EEA members.

            Norway doesn’t need to refuse to implement an EU regulation because it influences the regulation before it is implemented.

            WfW: “Do your research and thus not make a fool of yourself ..”

            The Rubicon has long ago been crossed in that respect.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

            @Unanime5: Norway will never be taken to the ‘EFTA court’ (what ever that is…), why, because Norway can afford to walk away from what is not in their own interests, but can the EU afford to cause Norway to walk?…

            Remember that Norway is the Saudi Arabia of the North Sea, being natural resources rich, including oil and gas reserves, Norway doesn’t come second and fourth highest (depending on which scale is used) in world GDP tables and last in the risk of being a failed state, for nothing you know.

    • APL
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Mark W: “Obviously we lose our veto. ”

      1. We don’t have a veto in most policy areas now. QMV is the rule in the EU rather than the exception.

      2. Norway has a veto. Thus leaving the EU and, as Denis points out, staying in the EEA actually enhances our situation vis a vie the European Union.

      Since all regulations and legislation are scrutinized by the EEA prior to being accepted into Norwegian law. Norway can and does exercise its veto on issues it finds objectionable when it goes through the EEA scrutiny process.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Norway does not have a veto. At best they can refuse to implement EU directives which will last until the time to implement this bill expires and they are taken before the EFTA court for violating their EEA agreement.

        Your claims about EU law are a jumbled mess so let me explain what happens.

        1) The EEA may be consulted about a bill going before the European Parliament but the EEA’s advice is not binding and the EEA can’t veto anything.

        2) Once EU bills have been approved by the European Parliament they become European laws irrespective of what the EEA wants.

        3) Once an EU directive has been made Norway has to implement it and cannot veto them.

        4) If Norway refuses to implement any EU law then once the time limit to implement his law runs out they will be taken before the EFTA court for refusing to implement EU law.

        The belief by eurpsceptics that being in the EEA magically gives countries the power to veto any EU law they don’t like is nothing more than a fantasy.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Unanime5–Why should we be expected to know or be bound by all this baloney? All you are doing by spelling this out is ensure that a bunch more people want a clean and total Exit.

        • APL
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          unamie5: blathers on ad nausium.

          Point 1 is what makes 2, 3, 4 irrelevant.

          You use the term ‘consulted’, prey what is the point of a consultation if one is not minded to concede any ground. By your description, the EEA has at worst equal influence over EU measures as does the UK.

          This is interesting too: “about a bill going before the European Parliament”

          So the EU Parliament too, is just a cipher that rubber stamps legislation that originates elsewhere. Some democracy.

  18. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    It is certainly good news, but you still will have to convince the sleeping giants, which just the last few days appear to wake up from hybernation: the City, CBI, and the US government. Not all their concerns will necessarily have been met with such an “à la carte” arrangement.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Peter – have you seen the article by John Cridland Director General of the CBI this morning? It makes very interesting reading. Happy New Year.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        @yulwaymartyn: Happy 2013 to you too. I did see at least copied news about his speech. Interesting remark in it that of course the US is more interested in a trade deal with a market of 500 million than 60 million people.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        What does it say?

        Does it repeat that we must join the euro, or expect the four horsemen to be riding across the land?

        You do realise that the CBI has zero credibility when it comes to advice about our national interests?

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          @Denis: the CBI message isn’t different from the message given out by Dutch business. Business doesn’t do “national interest” but having prospering businesses may well be seen as a national interest by a government.

        • APL
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          Denis: ” expect the four horsemen to be riding across the land?”

          The four horsemen have been given pretty free reign in Greece. The Euro doesn’t seem to have protected them.

        • Mark W
          Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Big business, the likes of which represented by the CBI, love the EU as big business can handle regulation far better than small business. It also allows socialists to control by regulation rather than nationalisation. The CBI has a dog in the race, and regulation is the best way of wiping out competition from small business.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        @yulwaymartyn: Except that it did not, if you bother to read the article as released by the CBI and not as interpreted by the pro-EU media, Mr Cridland made it very clear that the UK has to find ever greater markets outside of the EU single market.

  19. Posted December 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    But I expect they would want us to keep all their rules and regulations even if we were only trading partners. Many of these rules are unnecessary in the UK and increase our costs, none of the far east countries or the US have them but trade in the EU, nevertheless I expect we will be forced to keep them.
    That is not withdrawal from the EU.

  20. Normandee
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood will search for every crumb of comfort he can find that further prevents him putting his head above the parapet.

    Reply What nonsense. I voted No to the whole thing.
    I am trying to find a way out of the Brussels government for all of us.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Mr Redwood perhaps you can point out the peoples wishes to the defiant quisling MP’s in Parliament who don’t do as we want and therefore UKIP is are last remaining option to get us out of this monster.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        @Timaction: UKIP have been saying this for the last 18 years, yet all they have ever managed to do in that time is protect the UK’s membership of the EU due to splitting the anti-EU/eurosceptic vote, in two and half years (even with a very europhile coalition partner) the eurosceptics within the conservative government/party have done more win the argument and (start) to extract the UK from the mess that is the EU than UKIP’s bluster within Brussels, election stunts and wish-listing have done in 18 years…

    • Jerry
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      @Normandee: Not putting his head above the parapet is something you can’t accuse Mr Redwood of doing.

  21. Bert Young
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    What price is freedom ? If the deal can be done , I’m all in favour , but I suspect the cost to us will still be enormous . If the budget of the EU is reduced by the UK contribution , it is inconceivable that Germany will pick up the shortfall ( and where else could it come from other than Germany ? ). Events are moving fast ; I hope our negotiators are ready .

    • uanime5
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      The UK’s net budget is £3 billion, so it can be obtained by a very slight increase in contributions from the other 26 countries.

      • David Price
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Your information is incorrect. The Centre for European Reform puts the UK net contribution at £7.4b pa

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Unanime5–And the sooner they get on with it the better–think of all those Free Trade agreements we could sign with the rest of the world which we cannot sign at present.

      • Edward
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Enjoy reading some of your pro-EU posts Uni, but I don’t know where on earth you get £3bn as the net cost of our EU membership from.

        “The net cost of the EU budget to Britain in 2011 was £10.8bn”

        source:- Office for National Statistics, Pink Book

        • sjb
          Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          @Edward

          The £3bn figure may be from a HM Treasury cost-benefit analyses of EU membership. The figures given for later years are either estimates or forecasts.

          Thank you for providing a source for the £10.8bn, but although I used your text as my search criteria I could not find the text in the pdf version of the Pink Book. However, I did find the “UK net contribution to the EU” for the period 2001-2011 in table 9.9 (see p178 of the pdf).

  22. Chris Rickard
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I welcome this proposal in principle. The elephants in the room that are being studiously avoided however are (1) does this mean that the UK will no longer have to contribute to the EU budget (2) will the UK have full powers over its own employment laws etc. Unless the answer to (1) is no and to (2) is yes, it’s pointless.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      1) If the UK becomes similar to Norway and Switzerland then it won’t have to contribute to the EU budget.

      2) If the UK becomes similar to Norway and Switzerland then it have to continue obeying EU law.

      • David Price
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        1) good

        2) Wrong, only a subset of the laws apply to the EEA – the common market trade related laws and there’s no reason why we should comply in a reciprocal fashion.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          While not all EU laws apply to the EEA the majority do. EEA member have to implement all EU laws on social policy, consumer protection, environment, company law, and statistics.

          • David Price
            Posted January 2, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            Check again.

            Norway’s stated understanding (on their UK embassy site) of the EEA agreement is that cooperation, as distinct from having common rules, is sought on social policy, consumer protection, environment and other aspects. This does not mean absolute compliance nor transfer of competence to the EU.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Unanime5–your 1) is splendid (indeed not sure what you are getting at there) and the only response to 2) is genuine puzzlement for of course we would have to obey EU laws in selling to the EU but, I might be wrong, but does that not always apply–between any seller country and buyer country? A lot of the fears you come up with are groundless or exaggerated and to the limited extent they have validity there would be huge compensation. Maybe China for instance would like a Free Trade Agreement with us, something we cannot do now but which Norway and Switzerland can. If I were Chinese I would.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Your denials will not change reality. China is not part of the EEA so it does not have to obey EU law. Norway and Switzerland are so they have to obey the majority of EU laws.

          You think europhobes like you would be grateful for people like me who actually tell you the truth regarding what the different types of relationships with of the EU actually mean. But I guess some people just want to believe the UKIP delusions that being the in the EEA means free trade without having to obey EU law.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5–Believe it or not I have never heard UKIP say what you ascribe to them but you are right that the goal of many of us is indeed Free Trade but no Politics–and why not? I’m not sure what you are saying about China who I would have thought would have to obey EU law when selling to the EU but so what exactly? Personally I do not want to care what the wretched EU does or does not do. Our own Free Trade agreement with China does sounds good to me.

          • Mark W
            Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            China is interesting though. When the BBC accidentally got a leading Chinese business representative to be on the proEU side of the debate he actually stated that in china they couldn’t care less if the UK is on the EU or not and that as China has over 300 million English speakers that’d count for far more. Poor little EU so hates our dominant language.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Wrong again on the details, you need to check these things out.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Given that you weren’t able to rebut anything I said it’s clear that you’re the one who needs to check things out.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        @uanime5: On the other-hand, if the UK becomes part of the RotW then we neither have to pay the EU nor have to obey EU Law, whilst the EU can’t afford not to trade with the UK nor disobey the WTO rules…

        • uanime5
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          The EU will be able to survive without trading with the UK, by contrast the UK will quickly suffer major economic problems by losing the 26 markets that purchase half their exports.

          The WTO is a toothless body that wouldn’t punish the USA for their illegal iron sanctions despite twice ruling these sanctions were illegal. Don’t expect them to help the UK if the EU introduces tariffs on UK goods (mainly because these are legal under international law).

          • Edward
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            And Uni, the 26 nations will be worried if access to their profitable UK mkarket may be restricted.
            It works both ways.
            You choose to forget the cards the UK has to play

          • Mark W
            Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            I’m not so sure the EU would wish to lose the trade of a nation of 60 million punters. I’ve seen plenty of BMWs, Mercs, Audis etc on the road.

            Less obvious things are Michelin tyres, Total fuel.

            It’s seems clear to me that this federalist group are being honest and realistic. We are a big market. We are also foot draggers to the whole project. If I were a continental federalist I’d want to kick us out but keep us sweet. It’s a win win.

            We are not an inherently left wing country and future labour governments would not get half the EU social nonsense past the UK electorate quite so easily.

            I’ve not seen a big queue of high earners moving to France to pay Francis Holland’s new tax. Funny that I thought Bono would have been right in there.

  23. David John Wilson
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    A very bad idea. The UK should commit to becoming part of a federal Europe and help it evolve a sensible solution to the problems caused by the current use of the Euro. This proposal is unlikely to reduce the number of levels of government and is far more likely to produce fuurther complexities.

    Much of this could be avoided by joining a federal Europe, reducing the power of Westminster to being an English government and the number of layers of local government below Westminster to just one.

    • Mark W
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      How on earth would a federal system be truly accountable with the huge language barriers and historically different legal systems.

      I’m also interested in what way you’d remove all but one tier of government below Westminster. Whilst I favour the unitary system in place of county and district. Surely the advisory level of parish and town would have to remain. They deal with details that would be beyond a county to get bogged down in.

  24. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    It is only great news if by “outside the emerging political union” you mean outside the EU.

    What really worries me is that if you, John, think that the future of the UK IS within the EU in a modified form more to the UK liking, then I despair.

    The news is only great if it reflects a growing reality within the EU that they are going to have to negotiate a new trade deal with the UK outside the EU.

  25. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Who are these “federalists within the EU”?

    From what I read they are UK MEPs. So to what extent do they represent the EU view as a whole? Are they not just UK europhiles by another name?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      A multinational collection of eurofanatics:

      http://www.federalists.eu/members/

      No, they don’t represent any official EU view.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Although they do seem to have the ear of EU officialdom and vice-versa, so the question is this a bottom-up suggestion or a top-down solution being sounded out?

  26. Antisthenes
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe it means what you say it does at all. In reality it means that Brussels will continue to exercise control and extract the UK contribution but the UK will lose what little influence it currently has and all it’s voting rights. The UK is to be treated like a naughty boy and sent into the corner until it learns to behave. The EU is suggesting a new arrangement for the Swiss and Norwegians very much along the same lines and that demands tougher adherence to EU laws, rules and regulations not looser ones. The EU mindset is not a free trade free market one but very much a controlled protectionist one.

  27. Patricia Salter
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It all sounds OK but what are the details, are we still going to have to give them 50m of taxpayers money every day, are we still going to have floods of eastern europeans, and probably southern europeans pouring into our country pushing down wages, claiming benefits, NHS, education, causing more unemployment for our own people. If so, it still remains that the best option for us is OUT OUT OUT. I am one of the former diehard Tory voters who have joined UKIP and I will remain with UKIP until we are in charge of our own destiny

  28. Manof Kent
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    They have probably twigged that the trade balance is hugely in their favour.
    They therefore want to retain this in the future while still charging us for being part of their Club.
    Let’s read the small print first!

  29. John Orchard
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    They obviously don’t want us to leave as we are one of the main contributers. But we the general public don’t want to see our Country ruined by immigrants who are here just for the money. Why as a pensioner do I having paid my dues all my working life get £6000 pension and some foreign Big Issue seller gets in the region of £26000 plus, not having paid a penny into the system. We are not Xenophobic but unfortunately the uselessnes of Government is making us that way.

  30. Posted December 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The Times is a bit slow on the up-take here.
    It was reported in the National Press that it was Jacques Delors who suggested that this was the way for the UK to go.
    Bring back EFTA – wh should never have abandoned it so blame “Grocer” Heath for that.

  31. ian wreagg
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I bet they mean we continue to pay as now, cannot exit the CAP or CFP and must obey the social chapter.
    This of course wouold trigger a referendum (wouldn’t it) and we woulod turn it down in favour of withdrawal. If only.

  32. Martin Ryder
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    To me the whole thing looks like an almighty fudge being concocted by people who are not at all interested in the UK. They are people who do not like us for being right about the Euro and for saving ourselves back in the 1940s. They are interested in our money and want to keep us close so that they can dominate us. They intend to allow us to remain in their Club; but with no voting rights and with us being allowed to use only some of the more peripheral facilities but not the important ones; so that they can keep our politicians dangling on strings that they can manipulate.

    We shouldn’t be thinking of aping Norway or Switzerland but should be looking at the relationships that countries like Canada, the USA and Japan have with the EU. We will be one of their major customers, if not the most important. We should leave the EU completely and then stand back from them and start negotiating a proper trade agreement between equals. They are much bigger than us but then so are the USA, Russia, China and India and we are not going to them cap in hand and begging special favours.

    An European Free Trade Area, similar to NAFTA, and containing all the European nations, including Russia, could possibly be acceptable, especially if the EU was just one nation but we should not allow ourselves to remain entangled with any organisation dominated by the EU Commission.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      The UK has voting rights on EU law in the Council, Commission, and Parliament. By contrast if we joined the EEA, like Norway and Switzerland, we would have no voting rights.

      Given that the USA couldn’t get a trade deal as equals with the EU I doubt the UK will be able to.

      • APL
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “By contrast if we joined the EEA, ”

        Kindly address the point raised by Denis that the UK is already a member of the EEA.

        We simply need to withdraw from the domestic political measures that the EU presumes to have authority to impose on the UK.

  33. uanime5
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Well if the UK keeps opting out of everything and isn’t involved in anything to do with the eurozone then we’ll eventually end up with some sort of relationship that applies only to the UK. I wonder how long it will be before the EU simply declares something as only a matter for the eurozone in order to exclude the UK.

    In other news Ian Duncan Smith has decided to attack those working in low paid jobs because 5.8% of tax credits aren’t properly paid by the treasury. I thought the government was trying to encourage strivers with a tax system that made people better off in work but it seems that this is no longer the case. I expect that when tax credits are cut or scrapped that the number of people able to work in low paid jobs will dramatically fall.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      “I wonder how long it will be before the EU simply declares something as only a matter for the eurozone in order to exclude the UK.”

      Well, that started about fifteen years ago:

      http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/10549-brusselsdiary/

      “In 1998, before the launch of the euro, Brown (then chancellor) loftily assumed that he would be invited to meetings of the Eurogroup even if Britain had no intention of joining the single currency. It came as a shock when it turned out that he was un-invited. Despite the best efforts of his spin doctors, Brown was photographed leaving a meeting of finance ministers while counterparts stayed on for Eurogroup discussions.”

    • Bazman
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      With unemployment still high, there are eight people chasing every job vacancy, and many more trapped in part-time, low paid work. No one chooses a life on benefits, but some very wealthy individuals and organisations like (names a company) do choose not to pay their taxes, and they’re the ones who should be demonised and pursued.
      The reality of this cutting is that many more will become involved with illegal activities like drugs directly or indirectly whether the fantasists want to believe this or not. Here’s how. The woman with children agrees to hide a suitcase in her house for £50 a week. The money is pushed through the letterbox every week by a child. She has no criminal record, no knowledge of what the suitcase contains and of course will be telling the police nothing due to the children. Other ways would include taking a shopping bag to another house, mail order scams, smuggling, small time drug dealing of soft and prescription drugs and so on. Do they think they will all just quietly starve outside society? The poorest also suffering the most from this crime. Ram it.

      • Mark W
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        And remaining in the EU with the huge migration helps this in what way? (I agree with your points tho).

    • Jerry
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      @uanime5: In the last couple of weeks or so IDS has been doing a very good impression of someone who doesn’t want his party to be in government after 2015…

    • Edward
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Apparently “Universal Credit” system of benefits will replace tax credits and many other benefits and should encourage people to remain in lower paid jobs.
      Fingers crossed!

      • Jerry
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        @Edward: Go and read the rules before making glib and sweeping statements, even now someone claiming in-work tax credits has to work 30 plus hours pw (up from the 16 hrs pw under the last governments tenure) before they can claim such benefits, considering that most low paid work seems to be either zero or 16 hrs contracts… I’m sure you can do the sums, even a kid of seven could! :(

        Many peoples perception of Universal Credit is that it seems more about removing people from benefits, and certainly not making it easier to claim, for example IDS announced (on the day Parliament rose for Christmas, so little chance of difficult questions no doubt) that UC would be claimed via the DWP -or their agents- website. How do they expect the poor to have access to the internet, even if their Library, College or Job Centre is accessible will their be enough computer available, will they be secure enough for people to enter their NI number, DOB, address, number of kids, kids names etc, what if the claimant is IT illiterate?

        This is going to make the security concerns surrounding Labours flawed centralised NHS computer system look like a Vicars afternoon tea party if a (third party [1]) server is hacked or just a few Library or College computer terminals are infected by key-logging malware.

        • Edward
          Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Calm yourself Jerry, as you say a child of seven should have realised I wasn’t replying to you
          I share your misgivings about universal credits hence my fingers crossed comment
          Not glib at all
          A liitle more reading and a little less rudeness would be good

        • Bazman
          Posted January 2, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          They should be made to access it via Facebook then there would be no problem. The universal tax credit though is to cut benefits not improve or make them more accessible.

  34. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Having just listen to Andrew Duff MEP on the Radio 4 PM Programme explaining his euro-federalist idea for the UK, my judgement is that it is a non-starter. Worse, it is totally ill-conceived from every practical point of view.

    I think we can consign the “Duff” proposals to dustbin of history.

  35. frank salmon
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    EU will only let us leave if we agree to continue to pay. The EU is a subsidy driven zombie economy that can only thrive on money it doesn’t earn. No way we can lose Europe, or Scotland for that matter, without agreeing to continue to subsidise – federal socialist style.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense, the UK could leave tomorrow, just like any club, one simple walks out the door and stops paying the subs! Just what could the EU do, they can’t fine us if we no longer subscribe to their rules, if they stop trading with us, apart from being against WTO rules that would hurt the EU far more than it would hurt the UK.

      • Mark W
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        I often think the simplicity of UK Secession from the EU is overlooked. It’s hardly like we are in the situation that South Carolina was in 1860.

        However I can’t see any of our politicians having the guts to do it.

  36. Barbican
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    And would that result, the Norway deal, free us from being in a Customs Union?
    No.
    The EU needs to have its supercilious nose pushed right into the “merde” it created.
    Nothing else will suffice and we’ll save over £50 million a day.

  37. Barbican
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Exit from the EU is the only option.
    We have “rare breed status” in that we are net contributors to this failing “project”.
    Invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty isn’t enough.
    Repealing Heath’s “1972 European Act” is the way to go but our government, its Civil Service and the client state means that it will never happen.
    Resistance is futile as the “Borg” collective kept on saying.

  38. Acorn
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get too excited. The reason the EU would propose such a plan is to make sure that if Germany has to recycle its surplus into the EU periphery; just like England recycles into Wales and Northern Island, then the periphery buys its goodies from Germany using Euros not from the UK in pounds.

    UK exports to the Eurozone will drop along with our currency because Europeans will have less reason to buy the pound. The United States of Europe has to happen soon to put a foundation under the Euro currency.

    • Jerry
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      @Acorn: So were is the internal-market for all the goods and services that previously came into the UK from within the EU going to be created if the EU stops selling (‘exporting’ [1]) their goods to the UK, yes some might come from further EU expansion to the east -except that many of those, once, EU candidate countries are starting to look back east towards the Russian Federation as the Euro crisis deepens- but that will hardly make up for all the lost trade? Besides which, it all sounds very likely to fail foul of the WTO rules, especially if the EU was to in effect ‘black’ the UK.

      [1] if the UK is out of the EU/EEA then they will be true exports/imports

      • Acorn
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, have a look at the WTO 2011 Stats, it is a fascinating read. You can see where the UK is being left behind. The EU is a massive trading block, even in its current state. Two thirds of its trade is internal, it will not be difficult for it to substitute for exports to the UK. WTO can’t compel trade only the terms of fair trade. WTO would apply if we left the EU, but the ECJ has not supported any WTO rules for internal EU trade; as far as I know. It likes to play at being a “Sovereign”, (that is; The United States of Europe). http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/its2011_e/its2011_e.pdf .

  39. Chris
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Sorry do not agree.

    It is not “great news” it is panic on behlf of those suggesting it and, if we fall for it, fudge. Cameron would be a mug to fall for it.

    THE ONLY WAY FORWARD for the UK, is use of Article 50 AFTER an IN/OUT referundum which has been won convincingly.

    Artilce 50 allows 2 years for negotiation of the future relationship.

    A government negotiating after an IN/OUT referendum would be properly empowered.

  40. Jon
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    When I heard it was from the TV and there was a very different slant put on it, it was a catastrophic development apparently. This is good news, is it Cameron working behind the scenes to lay the ground work? Was the speech delayed for these pre negotiation messages? Time will tell.

    Supposing it does go the mandate referendum way this could also affect the dynamic of the Scottish Referendum.

  41. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    It just wont do. We must have an in out referendum. The people must decide once and for all.Not politicians who are unable to run the country.

  42. Graham Swift
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Merkel wins WW3 without firing a bullet, and our Quislings in Westminster get their snouts into another trough.

  43. Elliot Kane
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s good news that the Federalists on the continent are coming around to the idea that Britain would make for a far better neighbour than we do as a house guest.

    The only problems I see are:

    1) Will our own Parliament see the sense in this, or will they fight to stay in at all costs? I’m sure there are a number of Europhiles in all parts of the house who will view the prospect of our returning to sovereign nation status with horror.

    2) Would the EU want us to keep paying billions every year for the privilege of access to their markets? And are our politicians gullible enough to meekly accept such an arrangement, if they do?

    As the EU sell far more to us than we do to them, it would make no sense for us to pay them for access to their markets.

    If we can get free trade and also free of the dead hand of EU bureaucracy without paying through the nose, I suspect all Brits who are not Euro Federalists will be happy. If we can’t, not so much…

  44. David Langley
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    When you negotiate with a bully, you are on a loser. Bullies dont negotiate they always know they are on a winner when their adversary tries to negotiate out of it. The EU has got where it is by negotiating with weaklings. A derogation for a few years, eg not having to give the bully all your sweeties right away, means you lose them all in the end. We must lay out our position and go for out. There will be a lot of aggravation if you care to listen. I will not be listening I will be out there trading and offering good products at a good price. I will be using the money and energy saved to increase our success and strength at home. We are weaker for being in a failed EU that is strategically bankrupt. Watching the agony of the USA bankrupt federal government failing year after year to sort out its problems makes me sad. I do not want to be tethered to a bankrupt EU.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Good. Let’s keep it simple:

    Negotiating position: Withdrawal from the CAP and CFP, removal of the commitment to ever closer union, repeal of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaty Acts.

    Bottom line: Removal of the commitment to ever closer union, repeal of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Acts.

    Mr Redwood, why don’t you now draft the European policy section of the next Conservative manifesto, then we can set about a purge of the Candidates lit.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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