The US wants the UK to be subservient to the EU so it can be free

 

           The USA was founded through a popular revolt against foreign rule. Many UK citizens admire the American revolution, and the mighty statements of democracy the founding fathers made in their cause.

           It is a crowning irony that the Obama administration now thinks the UK should be subservient to Brussels rule in many areas, just so the US has a more acceptable lobbyist at the EU court.  The US stance will probably recruit more UK citizens to the cause of new and different relationship with the EU for the UK. We wish to be self governing.

           We have no wish to be told that  we should lose our democracy in the cause of advancing America’s.

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175 Comments

  1. Mike A R Powell
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The concerns expressed by some in the US Government are unfounded. If the UK were to leave the EU our voice and influence in Europe would remain and in all probability increase.

    If the EU wish to present as a superpower with increasing influence over world affairs they will need the UK’s considerable military capability and cooperation… but they will have to ask us nicely.

    • Disaffected
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      AEP has written a brilliant article in the DT. Worth a read.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        But if it ever came to an “in-out” referendum, would he be for “out”, or would he toe the Telegraph editorial line and say “Despite my many past criticisms of the EU, I believe that it’s essential that we stay in and fight for reforms from within”?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph today:

          “Stay and fight for a better Europe: that has to be the rational approach.”

          • David Price
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            Not even rational, Jeremy Warner’s comment highlights the wrong headedness of the pro-EU people – the priority for our people should be to fight for the UK not the EU.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      The UK will have less influence on the EU if we leave it. Even if we join the EEA we will have as much influence as Norway; none.

      What exactly is the EU going to need the UK’s military capabilities for? Especially since even without the UK they have the combined armies of 26 countries.

      Reply: Hopw much influence do we have over the USA and China? Can we nonetheless trade with them? Why don’t we need to join NAFTA?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        As is or will be plain from my efforts at analysis below I associate myself absolutely with John’s Reply to Unanime5. All this stuff about influence between a Seller and Buyer, which is all it is, is vastly over-egged to say the least. I wouldn’t want to push the analogy too far but if a shopkeeper is trying to sell to a prospective customer how does influencing that customer (telling him to get his hair cut maybe??) come in to it apart from trying of course to make the sale? Besides, the other reason it is much exaggerated is that if I’m wrong and “influence” is important, I do not believe that we are yet that unimportant in the world that, even having exited, what we had to say, and as the EU’s biggest export market, yet, would have no importance with the inchoate country across the pond. And even then if I am wrong on both counts and there is a cost associated with this putative lack of influence, let’s hear a bit more about the enormous cost of the of the money we waste sending to the EU, which could of course be used directly to pay down debt, not to mention the other obvious, too numerous to mention here, advantages of being free.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Unamime5 why do we need influence with the dying EU? Its share of global GDP declines each year due to 1. The legislative shackles and uncompetitive directives, welfare, working time directives, it places on its members and 2. Growth in the tiger economies of the BRICKS, Indonesia etc who are not held back by the socialist policies that are killing the EU. Thankfully! Influence? With only 8% of the vote from 2014 (Lisbon Treaty consequences) with many competancies going to qualified majority voting, who wants that? We know we’ll be constantly out voted and manoevered at more expense to us! Just as turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, receipient nations don’t want budget cuts!
        The UK’s trade expands annually with the rest of the world (+10% GDP) and declines with the EU (-8% GDP). No coincidence. We’re paying huge costs (£10 billion) for £50 billion trade deficit for a political construct NOT trade. Trade and friendship with our European neighbours fine. Nothing more. We want our money, borders, farming and fisheries policies back. I’m fed up with paying taxes for the whole of Eastern Europeans health, housing and education costs (More next year with the Bulgarians and Romanians), whilst the employers (CBI) benefit on the minimum wages they pay, our people, especially our young are on benefits whilst English taxpayers foot the bills! Wake up and smell the coffee, England is on the move away from the EU.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          1) Germany has far more restrictive labour laws than the UK yet has a far stronger economy. This is because its companies are well run and their Government supports manufacture rather than finance.

          2) The four tiger economies were Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan; not the BRICS (which country is K meant to be).

          It’s funny that you claim that Russia and China aren’t held back by socialist policies. I guess right wing nuts don’t know what socialist means.

          3) Given how small the UK is compared to the rest of the EU why should we get more than 8% of the votes? Does the UK doesn’t have more than 8% of the population of the EU?

          4) Most non-recipient nations also don’t want budget cuts. Even Germany wasn’t calling for budget cuts despite contributing the most to the EU.

          5) The UK has a trade deficit with the rest of the world because we import too much and manufacture too little. So the UK won’t magically have a trade surplus if we leave the EU.

          Until the UK starts making goods for the domestic market and for export the trade deficit will remain. Leaving the EU will not change this.

      • zorro
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        ‘What exactly is the EU going to need the UK’s military capabilities for? Especially since even without the UK they have the combined armies of 26 countries.’……

        More hilarious comment from uanime5 on the effectiveness of the EU army….. Firstly, what use have they been in recent years in the world theatre when compared to the UK? (not that I agree with much of that usage)

        Secondly…..GOOD…..The UK army can defend the UK’s vital security and economic interests from now on, and stop aiding and abetting the fantasies of foreign powers.

        zorro

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          1) Given that the EU haven’t been declaring war on the middle east they haven’t needed to use their armies. So it’s hard to judge how effective they’ve been.

          I believe NATO sent some troops to Afghanistan and Iraq but decided to leave the countries that started the war to fight the war.

          2) I take it the foreign power you’re referring to is the USA.

      • wab
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: Of course if the UK exits the EU the UK will continue to trade with the EU. The point is that the UK will have no influence on any of the rules at all, so even less than the little influence it has now (and the latter is because the UK spends all its time trying to antagonise the rest of the EU rather than work with it). It would be amusing that the anti-EU brigade think these rules would have no impact on the UK if the consequences were not so serious.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          Thanks to the idiocy of previous governments most decisions are now taken by majority voting and we no longer have a veto.

          And thanks to the stepwise enlargement of the EU we now have only about 8% of the votes.

          So we’re not a strong position to get what we want.

          That said, there does seem to be a problem with the UK because Germany’s position is only a lttle stronger in terms of votes, but it seems to get what it wants most of the time.

          As has been repeatedly said, countries can trade with each other without having to accept common domestic laws unrelated to their trade; in fact ostensibly that is where the 1957 Treaty of Rome started, referring to “the approximation of the laws of Member States to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market”; however because the over-riding purpose of that and subsequent EU treaties is political, not to facilitate trade but to promote “ever closer union”, as time goes by it turns out that there are fewer and fewer laws which do NOT need to be approximated.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            I’d say Germany is in a stronger position because it has a successful economy that most countries want to emanate. So German proposals are seen as proposals for economic growth.

      • StevenL
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        The last thing the US wants is a rival superpower. Whether that be a united middle east, a united south america or a federal europe with a common military/defence complex. The UK leaving the EU might make a coherent common defence policy more likley than a divided, toothless talking shop.

      • Vanessa
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        Norway actually has much more influence by being a member of EEA and EFTA on legislation than we do by being a member of the EU. Also Norway can refuse to abide by some legislation whereas we have to implement with regardless whether it is in Britain’s interest or not.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Neither Norway, nor the EEA has any influence on EU law beyond recommendations that can be ignored or amended. It’s nothing more than a fantasy to assume that the EU would give a power to the non-fee paying EEA to override laws made by the fee paying members of the EU.

          So far since 1960 Norway has only once refused to implement a directive and that took place in 2012. As this problem is currently ongoing it’s unclear what the outcome will be but I expect Norway will have to pay a fine as long as it refuses to implement a directive.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        John I’d have to say that the UK has far less influence over China and the USA than the EU simply because the EU has more people and a larger GDP.

        If the UK went from being part of the EU to the EEA our influence over the EU will decrease to Norway’s level.

        We can trade with the USA and China but we don’t have unrestricted access to their markets, unlike the EU’s single market.

    • Capt Philip Healy
      Posted August 3, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Before Obama makes daft utterances like this, he needs to take advice from his experts on the EU.

      Don’t forget that the Treaty of Rome has an article which states that the members shall move towards the establishment of a common defense force.

      Presumably this defense force will consist of the already trained and enlisted soldiers of the member states.

      Does anyone remember the open hostility between Josker Fischer and Colin Powell??

      Colonel Powell was presenting his dodgy dossier, along with other nonsense to the UN, in support of starting a war with Iraq.

      If that article of the Treaty of Rome had already been enacted and UK troops had been under EU control then, there is no way that an EU defense commissioner would have allowed British troops to join in.

      Obama needs to be careful what he wishes for.

  2. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Agree wholeheartedly.
    Peter Oborne has written an excellent analysis in the D Telegraph of the European project highlighting how power corrupts, and how/why the idealists on the continent have a very different mindset from the empiricists in the UK (and what a disaster it has created for so many of the people e.g. unemployment and hardship and suffering).
    “Europe’s dogmatic ruling class remains wedded to its folly”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9790932/Europes-dogmatic-ruling-class-remains-wedded-to-its-folly.html

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Peter Osborne’s delusions about philosophy and sweeping generalisations show just how little he understands about international politics.

      First Peter Osborne ignores British idealism because it doesn’t fit his delusions about the UK and Europe always being different everything. He also ignores European philosophers who rejected idealism, such as the Existentialists Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, and Sartre for the same reason.

      Secondly the euro is working because the people of Europe are trying their hardest to ensure it works, rather than giving up because it’s difficult. Peter Osborne then whining about how bad things are in Spain or Greece while ignoring that the people in Spain and Greece want to remain in the euro because it provides them with stability. For someone who claims the UK is made up of Empiricists he seems to be basing his knowledge on something other than facts.

      • Bickers
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Please explain how Greece, Portugal & Spain can match the competitiveness of Germany within the same currency union?

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          1) Elect politicians who understand the economy.

          2) Have the politicians change Greece, Portugal, and Spain into nations with a strong manufacturing base.

          Simple really.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Unanime5–You don’t get marks for trying, you get marks for succeeding. Not too hot on Existentialism, I admit, but in simple accounting terms I grant that the Euro is seen in many places on the Continent as being an Asset (mainly, actually, simply because of convenience and the desire of many to rid themselves of the tiresome borders they have to suffer) but what about the other side of the Balance Sheet, with many people being devastated by unemployment, declining living standards, slashed benefits, property crashes, young lives ruined etc etc, the point being that if the Asset side doesn’t outweigh the Liability side, as the majority certainly over here now (correctly) believe, then the project has a negative Net Worth? How ‘s it go? What have you to say to that?? Not much. Thought not.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

          Unanime5–Sorry, make that last word ‘so’ of course.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Given that the people in the countries that have been worse hits by the recession (Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Ireland) still want to remain in the euro it seems that the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

          For all your comments about unemployment, living standards, property crashes, etc there’s almost no one claiming that things would magically improve if the country left the euro. I suspect this is because a new currency would quickly devalue into worthlessness and borrowing costs would massively increase.

          Finally it’s somewhat ridiculous to base what other countries should do based on the views of the people in this country, rather than the country that needs to change.

      • Edward
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Note to all readers,
        In uanime’s posts you need to delete the word delusion and insert the correct word…opinion.
        Uni has a problem with predicted text on his North Korean keyboard

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          Delusion is the correct word because Peter Osborne’s opinions are based on his own wishful thinking, rather than facts.

          • Edward
            Posted January 13, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            As usual you miss the point Uni, its only your opinion.You make many predictions on how the EU and UK’s future relationship will play out.
            We are meant to accept your views as facts but you shout down any other views as delusions and fantasy.
            Your views are no different to anyone else.
            Opinions

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      But if it ever came to an “in-out” referendum, would he be for “out”, or would he toe the Telegraph editorial line and say “Despite my many past criticisms of the EU, I believe that it’s essential that we stay in and fight for reforms from within”?

  3. Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Indeed but what would you expect of Obama. There seems to be a coordinated, pro EU ballet being arranged at the moment. With the usual business people, organisations, and politician all trying to kill UK democracy for their narrow personal interests.

    • Disaffected
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely. And Cameron is cheering it on while claiming to be Eurosceptic. The same is true with all his other pro European ministers and advisers. He wanted to control the party from the centre so he could decide which candidates could be elected. EU clones holding his views and opinions. Grass root Turnips cannot be trusted to choose their MP candidates. Centralist, elitist and authoritarian. Pity he does not have the same stance for the UK in Europe.

      Why should the UK have to renegotiate any powers back, we are meant to be an independent sovereign nation? This in itself is acceptance by Cameron that that the UK is not sovereign. The pro European machine is stating to stir to con the public. Nor should the UK act as a satellite nation for the US bidding in the world. Like them we want our independence and sovereignty which is of far more value than anything else.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        And the BBC is deciding seriously that the Americans ought to reform their gun laws……..

        • zorro
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Well, they have that well known moral authority, Piers Morgan, in the USA telling them what to do with their guns and second amendment. It was a quite something to see Alex Jones turn the tables on him during their encounter…..Normally Piers likes to take control but Mr Jones was wise to him (whilst reminding him of a few inglorious moments in the UK), and all Piers was able to come out with was some overall statistics without explaining the context…….

          zorro

      • Timaction
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        I agree. I have little doubt that the latest pro EU lobby has been actively encouraged behind the scenes by the Europhile Cameron and his quislings. It won’t work, regardless of which minimum wage (CBI), mass migration, free public services, non reformed CAP and fisheries, regulatory madness, huge costing Europhile who want to be part of the superstate. English people want out NOW! We never gave authority to our treacherous LibLab Cons for any of this. It was enforced on us by stealth and lies. We will get out!

        • zorro
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          This is all part of the long term psyops campaign on the British people to say that they cannot exist or govern themselves independently whilst freely trading with other countries……

          zorro

      • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed I am sure Cameron is influencing the mood music. His argument such as he can muster are that we need a seat at the table (even if we are always ignored or out voted), the usual 50% of our trade nonsense and that we would not want to become a large Switzerland or Norway.

        The only real reason not to get out of the EU is that they will all gang up on us – to discourage the rest from following. But even that is not a real reason, they will do that anyway through the EU mechanism and far more dangerously too.

        When Cameron has a pro-argument to put perhaps he should make it. Cast jelly has come up with nothing sensible yet. He has lumbered the county with the PIGIS soft “loans” and the gender neutral insurance absurdities and countless other drivel too. Any negotiation he does will be of the give me a fig leave so I can get this past the electorate and con them yet again type.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          It looks orchestrated, so somebody must be orchestrating it …

        • zorro
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Cast Elastic is certainly needing to stretch as far as possible to get his ducks in a row…..I really can’t wait for the speech.

          zorro

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          Being net recipients of EU aid stops most from leaving.

    • Credible
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I believe many Republicans have the same views.

  4. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It is marvellous the double standards and downright hypocrisy of these people. Democracy for North Africa but in the UK democracy can go hang (as the Americans would say). Our own politicians are the same when they say that the eurozone should have closer integration. The UK in the EU is in the interests of the USA but is it in our interests? Oh, I forgot, our interests and views are not considered relevant or important. My opposition to the EU, for the best part of forty years, has been because I don’t want us to be goverened by an alien organisation from which there will be no escape except through violence. We have been lied to continually by politicians and others about the real purpose of the EU. It was always intended to be a United States of Europe despite all the lies and denials. The pressure is building and we have seen much scaremongering in the media already this year. I don’t expect much from Cameron’s speech when he finally gets round to delivering it. It is plain to me that there is no intention to leave the EU, if anything is done it will be an attempt to con people as Wilson did in 1975. The plan was always that when the British people finally twigged what was happening to their sovereignty it would be too late. That is basically what the Americans are telling us.

  5. Nina Andreeva
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    The US view only reflects the reality of the UK’s position, in that as long as the Euro does not implode the UK will remain in the gravitational pull of her stronger European neighbours whether she likes it or not. If you are interested do a bit of reading on neo-realist IR theory (Google Kenneth Waltz).
    Otherwise go to “The Economist” website and read their special on Britain’s relationship with Europe, which came out before Christmas and in which JR is also quoted. There you will find that the “Norwegian option” does not work, as it is still subject to diktat by FAX from Brussels. While the chances of the UK getting a Swiss trade deal either are negligible and you can guess who also is obstructing the Swiss peoples decision that no minarets are built in there country for example

    • Mike A R Powell
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Who are these ” stronger European neighbours” ? The EU can project no significant military presence in any future conflict without the UK contributing the lion’s share.

      • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        I am talking economically here. However you really think the UK could do another Falklands these days? Remember that was also dependent on the use on an American spy satellite for intelligence too. In Iraq and Afghanistan if it were not for American logistical support its questionable that the UK would be there either.

        • Backofanenvelope
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

          Given the state of Argentina, I doubt we have much to fear.

        • KEITH
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          We don’t need to do another Falklands as we are bedded in there. UK’s involvement in Iraq & Afghanistan was a symbolic gesture to give Yanks international credibility. UK has strong ties to its Comm0nwealth countries to counteract any Eurocentric tendencies.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Unless the UK has the largest army in Europe don’t expect the UK to contribute the lion’s share unless we’ve declared war on someone and are trying to get the EU to help us.

    • Chris
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      A very interesting analysis of the Norwegian situation is on http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83485
      This demolishes the argument that the Norwegian option would not work. In the interests of balance, definitely worth reading.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        How about the UK option of simply ………………..out!

      • uanime5
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Norway has only issued 1 reservation in 2012, despite being in the EFTA since the 1960′s, so it’s unknown what effect this will have on Norway’s relationship with the EU.

        Thus any claim that the UK could benefit from such an arrangement are somewhat nonsensical.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          You should start your time period with the EEA Agreement of 1993, after the Norwegians defied their predominantly pro-EU political elite by voting against EU membership.

          (A predominantly pro-EU Norwegian political elite that the British Tory party has actually helped to create, by directing UK support to the EEC/EC/EU project over the past half century.)

          So it’s taken a couple of decades for the Norwegian political elite to decide that although it is pro-EU, and accordingly in the past it has willingly embraced EU proposals even when there was no legal requirement to do so and the proposal was not necessarily in the interests of the Norwegians, in this particular case it is not going to accept an EU law which would probably wreck postal services in Norway.

          I would have thought that you would applaud that decision, or are you so besotted with the EU that you will accept whatever it wants, even if it means wrecking our national postal service, or indeed our national health service? Which was one of fears expressed by some Labour MPs during the debates on the Lisbon Treaty.

          Some doubt has now emerged whether this is in fact the first time that the Norwegian government has rejected an EU law, or whether there have been a small number of previous occasions where the proposals were less significant and attracted less publicity; but in any case if it is the first occasion the second may be on its way according to this on Tuesday:

          http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83486

          “EU politics: Norway refuses EU oil regulation”

          Having said all that, it has never been my view that leaving the EU but remaining in the EEA would be a satisfactory long term solution for us, although what was intended to be a transitional stage on the way into the EU for Norway and other countries might be useful to the UK as a transitional stage on the way out.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            The problem with what Norway is doing is that it makes all the eurosceptics think that because Norway hasn’t implements an EU directive that:

            1) EEA members can veto EU directives.

            2) If the UK left the EU and joined the EEA we could veto EU directives.

            Thus you end up with eurosceptics claiming that joined the EEA will give the UK more powers and it won’t be until the UK is part of the EEA that they realise they were wrong. Then they’ll start blaming everyone else, claim that because they didn’t understand what they were agreeing to that someone was lying to them, and demand that there should be another referendum on the issue.

            Regarding Norway I suspect that they’ll be given the option of implementing the EU directive (if required by their EEA agreement) or paying an annual fine if they refuse (standard penalty for EU countries that fail to implement an EU directive). Thus Norway will have a way to ignore EU directives but there will be real limits on how often they can do this.

            While being in the EEA would provide some benefits for the UK (not having to pay membership fees, no CAP, no CFP) it also has some detriments (no influence over EU law). While it may be good for the UK there needs to be a realistic assessment of the benefits and detriments, not assumptions by people who think “EU bad, EEA better, out best”.

    • Ajay
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes, every Europhile spouts on about Norway and Switzerland. But what is the size of the trade these two have with the EU countries compared to that of the UK. Why is it that the UK will not be dictating trade terms to the EU?

      We trade with the rest of the world without having any diktat faxes flying around telling us what to do.

      • Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        I am no Europhile if you have read my earlier posts here. Please can you substantiate as to how the UK will be in a dominant position when negotiating a trade deal with the EU? The UKs advantage of a flexible labour market disappeared with the accession of the the Czech Rep, Poland and Hungary to the EU. As soon as they could find workers that would work for them for less wages Cadburys went straight to Poland and Samsung to the Czech Rep. While it cannot be our prowess in financial services either. According to one of the Scottish based fund management groups they were finding it hard to attract foreign money, as after RBS and HBOS, FS providers in the UK now appear to have the reputation as being incompetent.
        What are the aces that the UK has up its sleeve?

        • uanime5
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Most eurosceptics seem to believe that the UK’s huge trade deficit with the EU is our ace, even though all it shows is that the UK doesn’t make goods that other countries want to buy.

          Given that the UK’s trade deficit with the rest of the world doesn’t give the UK an advantage when trading with them I doubt it will give the UK an advantage in negotiating with the EU.

        • KEITH
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Its people are amongst the most resourceful and inventive on the planet if they’re not bogged down with bureaucratic nonsense & political correctness.

        • David in Kent
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          Nina, it is not a matter of hidden aces but rather that the rest of Europe sells more to us than we to them. So they will be reluctant to lose us as a customer while we will be just as happy to buy Honda cars as to buy BMWs.

          • uanime5
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            The UK sells 50% of its goods to the EU, the EU sells 10% of its goods to the UK. So the UK sells far more to the other 26 EU countries, than the rest of the EU sells to the UK.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          “As soon as they could find workers that would work for them for less wages Cadburys went straight to Poland”

          Yes, as promised EU enlargement has been a huge success story for British exports to the continent – export of jobs, that is, followed by importation of products that were previously being partly exported.

          Cadburys could be asked whether they wish to continue with the arrangement whereby they can use cheaper labour in Poland to produce confectionary for the UK market; if so, maybe they should lobby the Polish government to support a suitable two-way trade deal for after the UK has left the EU.

  6. Nina Andreeva
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    and another thing try using the “independent” nuclear deterrent without America’s say so. Its not just the EU that the UK kow tows to even when its not in her interests to do so e.g Iraq and Afghanistan

    • StevenL
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      Try even using the conventional Tomahawk missiles without the USA’s GPS.

  7. Pete the Bike
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    America is not a democratic country. It has the illusion of democracy but is actually run by corporate interests so it is totally uninterested in whether Britain is democratically run or a totalitarian state like so many of the regimes it supports around the world. As long as we are the poodles of Washington they will go for whatever gets them the most advantage.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Sound about right. This special relationship is a right wing fantasy. Every American needs a gun to keep the King of England out of his face as Homer Simpson pointed out.

      • Edward
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Baz,
        Your “right wing fantasy” and your “right wing delusions” phrase are becoming very boring cliches which you repeat in most of your posts.
        What you actually mean is anything you don’t agree with.
        Who says you are always right?
        Try arguing the points raised in Mr Redwoods article or is that a bit too challenging for you ?

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

          When the views of the writers can be justified, even by themselves, instead of just spouting slogans and propaganda, then they will not be delusions or fantasies and I will not write this.

          • David in Kent
            Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think that the ‘special relationship with the US’ is a right wing fantasy. Most people that the BBC and Guardian would regard as being to the right clearly understand that the US is a very helpful balance against excess EU power but that they always serve their own ends and on many ocassions in the last 70 years those ends have not been ours.

        • APL
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Edward: “Baz …. Who says you are always right?”

          It’s the voices Edward, the voices tell him.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            You seem to have trouble proving I am not so what does that tell you? Listen to your Uncle Baz.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      The UK has the same problems as it has the illusion of democracy but is actually run by corporate interests so it is totally uninterested in whether Britain is democratically run or a totalitarian state like so many of the regimes it supports around the world.

      Lobbying needs to be brought under control but that won’t happen as long as politicians, their friends, and relatives will benefit from increased privatisation.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        The EU terminology is “liberalisation” rather than “privatisation”, and as a committed supporter of the EU you should fall in line and support its policy of gradually liberalising everything, no exceptions, not even for services which you might think should be public services. Which of course is part of what Cameron means when he talks about “completing the Single Market”, with particular reference to services.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Given that no other EU country privatised their railways, their energy companies, or their water companies to the extend the UK does it’s clear that the drive for this much privatisation comes from elsewhere.

      • Tom William
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like a good description of the EU.

  8. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Bravo!

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Listen to the people not the politicians.

  10. Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    If I remember correctly, some time ago the Obama Administration said that the “Special Relationship” no longer existed and implied that the French were their best allies in Europe.
    As the French don’t want us to leave the EU and stop subsidising their agriculture, one suspects that the US Administration is now supporting their best friend.

  11. oldtimer
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Obama`s revenge? It could be indeed be counter productive.

  12. ian wragg
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Did you see the BBC last night, they are already in overdrive reporting Obummer and Branson in terms of armageddon. How do the other 150 or so countries survive not being ruled by Rumpy Pumpy et al???

  13. Porkydawky
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Why would anyone listen to a (authoritarian) like Obama anyway? The US is finished as a democracy, NDAA allowing indefinite detention without trial, the latest attempt to grab guns from the populace, drones over mainland USA. They are definitely becoming a police state with the puppet Obama Man of Straw writing one Executive Order after another. By the way John, the comment re. the “culture of the poor” and gambling? Could very well also be used to describe the UK banking system, except there is way more corruption, theft and zombification in the banking system. The poor are just debt slaves like the rest of us poor saps suffering just to pay the all powerful bondholders!

    Reply: You do not want to believe all you read in the Guardian. What I think appears here, not in some made up piece by them. I have written to them about it.

    • Porkydawky
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Ah ok. Thanks for clarification.

  14. Johnnydub
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    It simpler for me – Obama and his administration have proven themselves to be no friends of the UK – witness the harassment of BP and the British banks…

    So I would take any advice from them with an enormous pinch of salt..

    And more fundamentally, this is a battle for our freedom and independence, so sod em!

    • Bazman
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Harassment for laundering drug money and oil pollution, both on a massive scale? How dare they!

      • Johnnydub
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Bernard Juby below nails it – it was Halliburton’s incompetence that was the root cause of the spill – but Obama made absolutely sure the public thought it was “British Petroleum” (sic)

    • Porkydawky
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      @Johnydub, that’s all about competition from Wall Street vs City of London. You could even draw similar conclusions from this latest statement. Would be good if the FSA started to apply some exceedingly massive fines agin US banksters too, unfortunately the US is the bully in the playground..

      (then alleges bad trade activities by the US from sites I have not checked out)

    • Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      “We have no wish to be told that we should lose our democracy in the cause of advancing America’s”

      They showed their true colours when they failed to support our reclamation of the Suez Canal when Nasser “Nationalised” it.

      As for Bazman’s oil pollution it was the US-made bolts on the valves that sheered and proved to be not fit for purpose!

      • Bazman
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        They are responsible as they used the bolts without checking if they were suitable and fit for purpose if that is the case. Any excuse huh Bernard?

        • Edward
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          You are wromg here Baz about the way a line of liablility goes to right back to the source.
          The makers of the bolt, if this is proven to be the root cause of the incident, may well end up being liable.

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The latest Obama pronouncement is a comment on the EU that at least makes sense, and you don’t see many of those, but the trouble is that it makes sense only from the US point of view not ours.

    I still hope to have it explained why it should make so much or indeed any difference to us that the Continent in its project to form a single country is still inchoate. I think we should step up to the certainty that the Continent or much of it (probably not including Germany I reckon) will indeed amalgamate and sooner rather than later.

    What would the position be if the Continent were already a single country, the US of CE (Continental Europe of course)? Would we expect to be able to have direct influence over the laws of that country (Yawn)?–Of course not. Why would we? Moving on, in such case, would we expect to have a relationship with the US of CE similar to that between (say) Canada and the US of A or (as mooted the other day by Unanime5) that between Cuba and the US of A? As best I can understand (else what is the problem?) we are actively threatened with the latter rather than the former (indeed the former is not a problem at all). Comment is invited from the EUphiliacs as to why, if we are all supposed to be so convivial in the wider Europe, we would stand to be treated more like Cuba (an enemy or close) than Canada. All this repeated good stuff about influence simply would not apply in either case and nobody would expect it to. Why couldn’t we simply work out a sensible Us and Them relationship of just about any kind you like (but perhaps more along the lines of NAFTA) with the US of CE?

    I repeat, what has the fact that at present the US of CE is still inchoate got to do with it?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Postscript–I take it as a given of course that in the scenario I paint (and as I say I personally regard it as a certainty) we would not want to be part of the US of CE (to repeat, according to Unanime5 we would be more like Cuba off the shore of the US of A).

      • Dr Dan Holdsworth
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        What’s going on is simple: Obama and the US is acting in their own best interest, not in ours. Precisely whose best interest the current UK government is acting in is unclear, though it might not be the best interests of the bulk of the electorate.

        The EU’s position is interesting, though. If you take it as read that the EU was an attempt to set up an empire by stealthily dissolving the pre-existing governments of the EU states and transferring power to the centre, then the situation becomes clear. Von Rompuy and his merry men all want to present EU membership as irreversible and leaving the EU to be a dramatic step backwards, because you see they have failed in part of their plan.

        All the EU member states’ governments are fully intact, and whilst they are for the moment playing along with the game of “Let’s pretend the EU is the boss”, that is all they are doing. All EU member states could pull out of the union tomorrow, and suffer few ill effects from doing so; they don’t have to rebuild government and administration because they never dismantled those parts; indeed the EU regionalisation project has been universally scrapped.

        The EU is therefore in a very, very tricky situation; they have to pretend very, very hard otherwise the more prosperous states might simply walk out and leave them with a collection of economic basket cases for an empire.

        • uanime5
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Any country that is a net recipient of EU aid, the CAP, or the CFP won’t benefit from pulling out of the EU. Also all the countries that benefit from the single market and being easily able to export their goods to 26 other EU countries will suffer a loss.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            You do realise that one country’s exports is another country’s imports?

      • Acorn
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Leslie, nobody uses words like “inchoate” outside of a criminal law court.

        I think, at this point, barring a miracle, we can put some decent money down, that there will not be a Conservative government with a working majority after the next election. With people like Grant Shapps running the party; ; etc. What more needs to be said, my vote is going elsewhere? My late father would despair at what this Conservative Party has become.

        The phrase “you can’t spend your way out of debt “, will come back to haunt us; finally, we will realise that we actually came off the gold standard in 1971 and adopted a non-metallic paper currency convertible into nothing else except more paper currency.

        The government never runs out of its own currency. Liam Byrne’s note to his successor: “there’s no money left” was probably the biggest wrong a minister ever wrote. Deficit and Debt do not mean to a currency ISSUING government, the same as a currency USING household. But that is a lesson we will learn to late.

        I started out thinking the UK would be better off out of the EU, lock; stock and two smoking barrels. Now, after studying macroeconomics for three years, I don’t think we will be. We have liquidated most of our capital resources including the oil. Yes, there is shale gas and there is still a lot of expensive London property to sell to the Russians, but what else.

        I can understand the US wanting the UK to be their field agent in Europe. London is an excellent conduit for financial transaction in and out of the Euro-zone. And, the rules in London are much less arduous than in the US. But, that could easily change and the US would have no remorse if it did. The US looks after number one, regardless. Mind you, Obama’s choice of Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon is a telling move. It sends a strong message to the Zionist lobby to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          Acorn–Thank you for reading my effort. Please try and forgive me but inchoate is absolutely le mot juste, meaning of course begun but not completed. Don’t know about the Law Courts but from my banking days, and you are probably aware of this, a cheque is inchoate, as I say, if started (ie filled in) but with something missing, eg drawer forgot to sign. Such a cheque, like the EU I have just realised, which further persuades me my usage was appropriate, is of course invalid.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          If our economy is in such a terminally poor state, why are we still paying more into the EU than we get out? Do you anticipate that at some point in our supposedly inevitable future decline we’ll become grateful net recipients of so-called “EU money”? As far as I’m aware that’s only been the case in one or maybe two years since we joined the EEC, which just happened to coincide with the 1975 referendum on whether we should stay in it.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Give the lack of a land border with Europe and the small size of the UK compared to the rest of the EU a relationship similar to Canada and the UK is simple not possible. The relationship between Russia and the EU is more similar to the USA and Canada than the relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU.

      A better comparison would be the relationship between Canada and Cuba if we can agree an EU trade agreement, or the USA and Cuba if we can’t.

      • David in Kent
        Posted January 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5. I don’t see why the land area of the country pairs is of much importance in determining their relationships.
        So far as population and GDP are concerned the Canada/US relationship is about right. Canada is about 10% of the population of the uS. England about 9% of the population of Continental EU and a somewhat larger proportion of GDP.
        Canada has however a very different economy to the UK, though surprisingly similar to the US. They are much more culturally similar to the US than we are to the EU. As a result Canada does have to work hard to defend its culture from US dominance, also its industry from US protectionism.
        I imagine the UK would be subject to aggressive protectist measures by the EU if we left. We are not badly placed to retaliate however.

  16. A different Simon
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Obama’s claim to be a man of the people is as authentic as the astro-turf roots of the Tea Party .

    This is a president who like most world leaders has been anointed by the real global power brokers years before he took office .

    He is just towing the line that the council for foreign relations , tavistock institute , rockafeller institute , (investment banks) , ny fed and bis tell him .

    Ironic that he should hate Briton so much yet be ready to do the bidding of these despised organisations .

    Are they scared Briton leaving could create an avalanche ?

    Cameron isn’t going to turn on them when they can downgrade the UK’s credit rating and push the cost of borrowing to destruction point .

  17. Manof Kent
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I particularly liked Peter Oborne’s comparison of the EU to a doctor more interested in saving the cancer[euro]than the patient[the peoples of Europe]

    The tone of the pro EU BBC is being ratcheted up to give us a foretaste of how tough it will be to win a referendum vote.

    Unless there are similar budgets and time allocation we will have an unremitting pro EU tone.

    However there is hope in that surely the BBC position on climate change should be seen as nonsense following the recent warming downgrade.

    Rather like the inveterate gambler justifying his losses the BBC and Met Office line is
    ‘I know red has come up 16 years running,so black must come up soon unfortunately I don’t have the funds or will to back this ,so I am reserving my position.’

    Meanwhile we taxpayers are expected to fund their gambling addiction.

    Neither has a clue what is going on with nature but their default position is that we are storing up bad ways for a catastrophic future.

    The mechanisms that caused the Medieval Warming and the little Ice Age in the 1600s are not known and neither are the mechanisms that will cause the past 16 years worth of emissions from India,China et al to somehow come back and hit us at an indeterminate date in the future.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      You seem to have ignored that the people in the eurozone are the main supporters of the euro because a stable currency helps maintain confidence in their country. Even Greece and Spain want to remain in the euro because their economies would be worse off without it.

      What “recent warming downgrade” are you referring to? I trust it isn’t some nonsense from a climate change denier who has no scientific knowledge.

      While no one knows the exact cause scientists have been able to determine the most likely caused, unlike climate change deniers who find all climatology too difficult to understand.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        And in any case under the present EU treaties they cannot leave the euro without also leaving the EU altogether, a barrier to their exit from the euro which the Dutch Prime Minister has said should be removed but which our own Prime Minister apparently wants to be maintained.

        Or maybe when Cameron finally gives his long-awaited”Europe speech”, in the Netherlands, he’ll pay his host the compliment of saying that he agrees with him on this:

        http://www.openeurope.org.uk/Article?id=9637

        “We want to allow a country to leave the eurozone if it wishes to. At the moment that is not the case. A country can only give up the euro if it leaves the EU. We should revise the Treaties to change that. We are ready for this.”

  18. Richard1
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The substance of the debate seems to be coming down to whether the UK, if outside the EU, could in practice negotiate free trade agreements with other countries or whether we would be better off doing so from within the EU, putting up with the costs, interference and protectionism which goes with EU membership. The business leaders who wrote to the FT say such independent negotiations are a pipe dream. No-one on the pro-EU side seems any longer to be arguing that we should want to be part of a federal Europe for political reasons, in the Euro etc. Its all down to a cost / benefit analysis of trade and investment.

    The Government should ask President Obama whether the functionary who spoke on this issue did so with his authority. If so it would demonstrate how detached from & uninterested in the UK is President Obama & that there is no ‘special relationship’ worth running after, at least while he is President.

  19. Wilko
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    In Western Europe, WE are the subject. US is an object.

    Turn the map of the Americas via 90 degrees. The image is a perched bird, with Alaska at its tail & Rio at the tip of its beak. Maybe UK politicians would opine that the US should be subservient to the Falkland Islands.

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

      Good point. I’ve noticed that tramps collapsed in the street after to much refreshment often have a map of Cyprus around them. Is this significant to the political problems of this country you think?

  20. Bazman
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The Huffington post mistakenly believed that West Wales was in England in December. Some like to quote this American site on this site. Stick the the Telegraph and The Mail carrot crunchers.

    • Edward
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      And you Baz, believe all the Guardian and other left wing papers tell you, as you show regularly with your biased left wing comments.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        May be biased, but you can still ram them and unlike your right wing comments on this site I am capable of defending them. What was your point?

        • Edward
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          My point is Baz, you don’t defend your points, as you rarely ever make a new post which sets out your own views.
          You just come on here and use a limited number of political cliches to atatck everyone elses posts.
          Try explaining why is it a delusion, fantasy,etc etc.
          Just continually repeating yourself by shouting these few phrases at everyone doesn’t really achieve very much, other than possibly making you feel satisifed for “having a go”

          • Bazman
            Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            A delusion and fantasy is putting forward views that are clearly not true and based entirely on the prejudice of the poster who when confronted with some indisputable facts does not make any further posts and still holds these views no matter how much evidence to the contrary is put forward, The facts can be either from a right or left wing perspective either way are true and dispute the posters bigoted ignorant views. How you can still hold such views is beyond me as I have said before I am quite happy to be put on the spot and most MP’s of all parties could do this. However the snorting and derision of many pin stripped Tory MP’s when being told of the plight of many of the poor during the benefits debate tells you a lot about that person and the people who elected them. The point of view that somehow the claimant is entirely responsible for their predicament. However the same MP’s believe that without question they are underpaid and are hard done by in general. This does not bode well for other issues… Class war and the right to rule. They are in effect showing how thick they are.
            Their supporters back this by their delusions and fantasy. I do like to ‘have a go’ as you say on issues I understand and many do seem to ram it which is surprising as I have little formal education. I must concede that taking the moral high ground on bigotry and fantasy is easy. They need to up their game and so will I. Ram it.

  21. Neil Craig
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    We are seeing the start of a propaganda campaign by the Guardian & infinitely more importantly, thje state owned, officially “balanced” BBC to get a majority of people to go along with EU membership.

    That is what swung it in 1974, where, prior to the campaign, a large majority had been against membership.

    Thus they pick and choose foreigners to say we ought to be in the EU. In the last few days I have seen remarks from a Norwegian minister and an Icelandic one saying we should be in while, since the populations of both countries are overwhelmingly anti-EU, a randomly selected interview on the subject would have been likely to have produced nationals saying we are stupid to stay in.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Norway and Iceland want the UK to stay in the EU so they don’t have to worry about UK interference in the EEA.

      Also Iceland is currently trying to join the EU, while Norway doesn’t want to join the EU because the CFP and CAP won’t benefit it (though if these were reduced Norway would be more willing to join). So these countries aren’t as anti-EU as you claim.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        But whatever Icelandic politicians may say, according to opinion polls the Icelanders, the people, have swung strongly against joining the EU.

      • Rob
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        There is absolutely no chance that Norway will now join the EU due to a Norwegian company recently discovering a huge oil field. The Norwegians whom I know don’t want the profits from this find being raided by the EU.

        http://www.statoil.com/en/NewsAndMedia/News/2011/Pages/16Aug2011AM.aspx

        • uanime5
          Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          This won’t change much as Norway has historically not wanted to join the EU to protect their oil fields.

          • Rob
            Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            When the oil was thought to be running out there was some talk of joining at one stage. There’s not a chance now though.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Interestingly, this morning Russia Today used a UKIP MEP to analyse the US interference in our affairs. I think his name was Batten and he came over well. Articulate and rational. Never seen him on the BBC of course.

  22. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It says here that the absurd Clegg has opined that the UK is “valuable” to the US because it is a member of the EU, which may be the biggest SFW ever.

    I assure you there are plenty of Americans who don’t see it that way. I was told, again, over Xmas (from America) that we are the only friend they’ve got (apart from Israel, which of course likes American money). Although we are insignificant militarily to the US these days, they really really really value our being on their side, and willing to stick our head too above the parapet, in any conflict, rather than face the world (a lot of whom class America as The Great Satan) alone and if the EU carries on in present style (and we let them) how long is it going to be before we need permission from a jumped-up foreign so-called president or whatever of some alphabet soup before we could help, assuming we wanted to?

    I seem to remember, was it Wilson, saying that the Americans would have given their eye teeth for a Brigade of Guards in Vietnam (in which case, who knows, they might have won).

    • P O Pensioner
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      You may remember that the Belgiums refused to sell us ammunition during the Falklands War and the French provided intelligence to the Argentinians.

      It was the USA who provided the UK with arms and Satellite intelligence even though it caused them some problems with South American governments!

      Obama is out of order telling a sovereign democratic people how it should vote.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Lyndon Johnson said that all he wanted was a battalion of the Black Watch.

      Strange that he should be so specific, but I guess he knew about the Black Watch because they’d sent pipers for Kennedy’s funeral.

  23. Mark
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The answer to Henry Kissinger’s question (who are you gonna call?) has always been the UK PM so far as the US is concerned. It’s been the same for Norway too. If the EU ghost is busted the answer remains the same.

    There is a different logic that may start to emerge on international relations. If there is just one country called Euroland, presumably it will end up with just one UN vote (and perhaps France’s veto). If the US is looking for international coalitions to block unwelcome UN developments, it would perhaps do best to ensure that the EU remains a loose federation of nation states. Perhaps their wish to see the UK remain part of the EU is motivated by the desire to prevent Euroland from emerging. That is actually far more likely if the UK leaves the EU, and thereby demonstrates that withdrawal is actually beneficial.

  24. Bryan
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I agree, neither do I!

  25. Adam5x5
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I find it highly amusing that a country that prides itself of being founded on the principle of self-rule would want us to submit to Brussels.

    However what the administration says does not match what the Americans I talk to say. They are either ignorant of the topic, or would support us in our drive to get independence.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Maybe it’s because of the Civil War and the “all states have to remain in the union” mentality that makes them want the UK to remain in the EU. Alternatively it could just all be for economic reasons.

    • APL
      Posted January 11, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Adam5x5: “I find it highly amusing that a country that prides itself of being founded on the principle of self-rule would want us to submit to Brussels.”

      Each country should be looking after its own interests. The constitution of the US only guarantees the rights of US citizens.

      If US politicians think extinguishing democracy and free speech in the UK would better serve their national interest, why’d you think they would treat us any differently from … any other country they have invaded ( or meddled in the internal affairs of ) in pursuit of their national interest?

  26. Mark W
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Much as though I like the USA and realize the special relationship is shared by people here and there, I don’t pay much attention to the existence of a political special relationship that supposedly exists between the UK and USA. The USA has few special relationships that occur outside the expected national interest at a given time.

    For the USA it is land neighbours Canada and Mexico. And for internal politics Israel and Ireland. Not the UK. The USA wanted us in the EEC to ensure we never became a world power, long before we joined. Now it’s naked self interest to have us at the table pushing the Anglo free market agenda.

    It’s shortsighted and rude of them. The EU would wake up to free market reform far quicker if it didn’t have the luxury of UK subsidy to aid its socialist agenda.

    And as for the USA passing comment on a UK referendum, I don’t see Washington interefering in the business of the Republic of California that seems to have a good frequency of referendums. So keep out of ours.

  27. Martin Ryder
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    If the Americans think that the EU is such a good idea why do they not apply to join it? It could be called the North Atlantic Union and they could enjoy the same benefits from the union that we do; having the Belgian chap and the Portuguese chap taking their money and giving nothing back in return; other than a flood of ridiculous directives.

    You can imagine the response if a junior FCO minister went to Washington and started lecturing them on gun control or imprisoning suspected terrorists without trial. They would be outraged.

  28. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan has now taken this up and given his views as to the reasons behind Obama’s stance:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100197512/of-all-the-bad-arguments-for-being-in-the-eu-the-worst-is-to-humour-barack-obama/
    “…After the end of the Cold War, the Brussels élites started picking fights with what they called the world’s hyperpuissance. They channelled funds to Hamas, ……hectored the US about its failure to join various global technocracies and complained about domestic American policies, from cheap energy to the use of the death penalty. Most Americans, even some in the State Department, have started to grasp, Frankenstein-like, that the EU is turning against them. So now they want the most pro-American member state, namely the United Kingdom, to get stuck in and moderate these anti-yanqui tendencies. Would we mind abandoning our democracy so as to help them out? Well, sorry chaps, but yes, we rather would mind. Of all the bad arguments for remaining in the EU, the single worst is that we should do so in order to humour Barack Obama, the most anti-British president for nearly 200 years…………”

  29. Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Over there, over there, overpaid and over there…I recall not long after 1945 and the USA was messing up the financial systems of Europe before realising that the starving masses could just go Communist, there was a lot of graffiti around. It was very basic saying “Yanks Go Home”.

  30. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard adopts a slightly different approach and lists the reasons why the UK and other countries in the EU were and are important in getting through policies that the US wanted to see adopted e.g. Iraq war, anti terror legislation.

    To quote A E-P:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100022213/we-cannot-let-americas-tactical-interests-dictate-britains-sovereign-destiny/
    “The UK is the crucial swing vote in the EU system, as I witnessed many times during my Brussels days. People forget now that France and Germany tried to block EU support for US policy in Iraq. (Rightfully so, you might argue, but that is another matter).
    They convoked the famous “Praline Summit” in Brussels to denounce the war, and only Luxembourg and Belgium turned up at the meeting. The talks were held in the Hilton Hotel because the EU refused to offer the Justus Lipsius building for a protest meeting by a minority.
    What actually happened is that 16 of the 25 (then) EU states supported US policy, either by sending troops directly or with logistics. This provided crucial political cover for Washington.
    This would not have happened if the UK had been detached, à la Suisse. Without a British big brother to rely on, Europe’s smaller “pro-American” states would have tucked in behind the Franco-German axis.
    It happens over countless issues. The British play a key balancing role within the EU system, working with a patchwork of coalitions – typically with the Germans on trade, competition, and economic issues…..”

    A E-P’s response to the US request that we do their lobbying for them is as follows:
    “But at the end of the day, the British people cannot let America’s taste for tidy structures in Europe determine policy on matters that go to the heart of our democracy and sovereign self-government….At the end of the day, Washington will accept the fait accompli and slot us into its strategic system, just as it slots in Canada, or Australia, or Brazil, or Norway. Besides, do they think it promotes stability in the long-term to trap Britain into a miserable marriage?…”

  31. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    The United States was intended to be a Democratic Republic without a Central Bank.
    Now it’s just a Democracy (mob rule) with a Central Bank despite the many Presidents (such as Andrew Jackson), who fought against centralist control.

    The United States is a puppet controlled through the Federal Reserve System (The U.S. Central Bank) . The US is shadow of what it could have been, had Woodrow Wilson not been duped into signing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, an action he later acknowledged was a huge mistake.

  32. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Quite so! I’m going to have to keep my response basic. Don’t you just despise the US and Obama in particular. The arrogant b****ards. A gross interference in our internal affairs. What will the Highland Cameroon do? He will need to tell Obama where to get off, or he will be failing the country.

  33. Bert Young
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    America’s handling of foreign affairs has often shown considerable inexperience ; the Obama interference is a typical example . Whether DC has the inner strength to ignore this interference is about to be seen . I hope that the action Obama took was not the response to a German diplomatic initiative .

  34. Barbara
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I found this interfering in our affairs in insulting from a so called (ally). Now we learn its of course for their self interest, not ours. Who’s trying to fool who here? Cameron will, of course cling to this message hoping we will all take note and change our minds, he’s very much mistaken. Obama does not like the British at all, he’s raking over old coals from his father’s days in Kenya; and being hateful with it. He should concerntrate on his own problems which are far more serious than ours, he really does have limited power with the Republicans holding the Sentate. He’s become a puppet President.
    We however still retain our sovereignty, our freedoms, which we fought for in two world wars, I myself lost relatives in both wars. I will not let them die in vain for foolish Europeans. This arguement is now growing by the day about Europe, and with the President of the EU stating we cannot have repatriation of powers till 2018 at most, it seems Cameron’s talk is futile. There will be no repatriation of powers, therefore Mr Redwood it may be left to MPs like yourself to try and evok article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to facilitate a referendum on our excit. Or force Mr Cameron to face up to what the public want, via your party before its to late.

  35. Graham Hamblin
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    They want us in there to watch what they are up to and report back. They don’t trust them and neither should we?

  36. sm
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Interesting to hear the view of some of their representatives – now let them explain the rationale line by line. I rather think its their view that it would destabilize the EU, possibly prompting further change. I’m not sure they realise change can only be delayed. Is this all to do with bust monetary system and the mega-banks again?

    Is that delay in the interests of the UK ? I am not persuaded. We need to be out asap. We can recalibrate our relationship’s as needed, i dont see it as threat but merely kite flying by certain interests.

    Time to withdraw, retake our seas and control of our borders,rebuild the navy and our institutions and return our democracy to us the people and our MP’s (subject to locally driven recalls& referenda), not parties and the interests of their funders.

  37. Derek W
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I doubt if any of the political class from the major parties would support a referendum on the EU or go against the Americans as they see the dollar sign as their political aim, particularly if the dollars/euros go into their pockets.

  38. peter davies
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    “get your own house in order before lecturing others” springs to mind. Obviously part of a machine wanting to pimp their narrow self interests.

    If I was Obama I would be more worried about their Debt ceiling and the fact that they are (presumably) indebting themselves to China which at this rate will soon own half of the US.

  39. John Orchard
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    If you have watched numerous clips on Youtube of Nigel Farage venting his spleen ( rightly so ) against a good number of European Gravy Train nobodies then we need him to go to America and do the same with Obama who on entering office removed the bust of Sir Winston Churchill. The Americans want everything their way that is why the most of the World hates them. Suez, no support also we find a couple of weeks ago that Reagan wanted Lady Thatcher to give The Falklands to the Argentinians and Obama has come out on their side. We don’t need European nobodies to rule us although we have and had got some right prats in Governments.

  40. Antisthenes
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Posterity I believe will judge Obama’s presidency as the one of the worst in the USA’s history. Like the rest of the developed nations the USA was in decline prior to him becoming president but it still had the means, resources and dynamic to perhaps reverse that trend. However his socialist approach coupled with his administrative incompetence (one of the normal failings of left wing politicians) is accelerating the process so at the end of his second term the USA is going to be in very bad shape. Even before then if he does not wake up to reality and deal with debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs in a more prudent economic manner there is the serious likelihood of an economic and financial implosion. As you say it is disgraceful that he should meddle in UK affairs by using his undeserved popularity with the majority of the British people to persuade the UK to remain in the EU. In 1881 the USA became independent of the UK over the question of sovereignty in who was going to rule them Britain or themselves. However it is possible to understand his motives in that the USA is turning away from the Atlantic and toward the Pacific and of course he sees the UK as a kind of American proxy in Europe. etc etc

    • uanime5
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Obama is following Bill Clinton’s strategy which lead to a trade surplus, rather than Bush’s strategy which lead to a trade deficit. Cameron seems to be following Bush’s strategy with similar economic results.

      Also the USA declared independence in 1776 and was recognised as independent in 1783. Not sure where you got 1881 from.

  41. Muddyman
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it about time we asked the US to remove it’s occupation troops off our land, together with it’s surveillance units (Menwith Hill et al).

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Once the Americans get into a country they never leave. I don’t know how many are still here, or under what pretexts, but the time is now to get them out. We must stand on our own feet and build our defences accordingly, whatever the cost.

  42. Freeborn John
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I understand a delegation from the German parliament is shortly to visit Westminister. I do hope they are robustly reminded that the power to decide the laws in the UK is one that requires the consent of the British people and that the EU institutions do not have this consent. A return of this powers to Westminister is required and German politicians should not believe they can frustrate that process or somehow imagine these powers now belong to them or Brussels.

  43. forthurst
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Thomas Jefferson said, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

    The American people, those that don’t need to prefix their nationality with a more exotic description or hold more than one passport, may be our friends, but those that control the Federal government are neither our friends nor those of the American people. Our problem is also similar to that of Americans, that we are ruled by a power grabbing elite whose ambitions are by no means congruent with those of the real English.

  44. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think America wants to put G.I. boots on European soil a third time.

    One gets an uneasy feeling that this isn’t the first time a British PM has been told by Americans that we should integrate with Europe. The only difference this time is that it is in public.

    It would explain the UK establishment’s enthusiasm for EU laws and edicts, the implementation of which surpasses French and German efforts.

  45. Chris
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Pressure from all sides. It would seem that the UK is going to be subjected to a daily barrage from europhiles: now it is the turn of Gunter Krichbaum, chair of Germany’s European affairs committe. He is apparently warning Cameron not to blackmail the EU:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/germany-cameron-dont-blackmail-eu
    “…One of Angela Merkel’s closest allies has warned David Cameron not to try to blackmail the rest of Europe. The prime minister was also told a UK referendum was a high-risk option that might paralyse Europe and end in economic disaster for Britain….Krichbaum is a senior member of Merkel’s CDU party. His remarks come a day after the US assistant secretary of state for European affairs, Philip Gordon, warned Cameron of the dangers of staging a referendum.

    Gordon infuriated some British sceptics by saying a referendum might turn the EU inwards at a time when America wants an outward-looking EU with Britain in it.

    Krichbaum also expressed fears that a British attempt to reopen its relationship with the EU at a time of a treaty negotiation sometime after 2015 would open a Pandora’s box, with different demands being made by other EU member states.

    Asked if Britain could reopen the Lisbon treaty, he replied: “That’s first of all legally impossible because the treaties are done. But in the broader sense of negotiating a new treaty, it is neither wise nor useful to open Pandora’s box, because every state in the EU, not just Britain, would again try to get their interests in.”………..”

    The chair of Germany’s European affairs committee, Gunther Krichbaum, is leading a high-powered delegation from the German Bundestag on a two-day visit to Britain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      “Asked if Britain could reopen the Lisbon treaty, he replied: “That’s first of all legally impossible because the treaties are done.”

      That is just the kind of confusion which arises from journalists’ and politicians’ bad habit of referring to the EU treaties in toto by the name of the most recent amending treaty.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      It has always been obvious that the UK would never get a customised relationship with the rest of the EU by bartering UK agreement to allow the rest of the EU to do what they want. The more people who tell Cameron this to his face the better.

  46. alan jutson
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Me thinks the US should just keep their thoughts to themselves, and in the meantime try and resolve their own problems.

    There are not many in the US that know much about things outside of the US, indeed I would be surprised if only 5% of their population could name a dozen Countries who are members of the EU, let alone the policy, the way it runs, what it stands for, and our so called influence within it.

  47. James Matthews
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Philip Gordon articulated what he believes to be in the interests of the USA, which, unsurprisingly, is what determines US policy. This he is fully entitled to do. I am not sure why there is so much surprise about it. It is what the US has always done. We should perhaps be grateful for his candour and get used to the fact that allies are not the same as friends. We should also, of course, ignore him, but remember that if we want to stand on our own feet we must be willing to pay the price.

  48. Robert Taggart
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    This settles it – ‘Cowboy Country’ wishes Blighty to remain ‘European’ – bring on the referendum – out, Out, OUT !

  49. uanime5
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that the USA wants the UK to remain in the EU so that the USA has an English speaking country they can base their companies in, in order to gain access to the EU’s single market. This means that if the UK leaved the EU most of these US companies will leave and seek other EU countries which give them access to the EU’s single market, resulting in massive job losses in the UK due to easy hire and fire.

    Also in these times of austerity and benefits cuts 7 out of 10 MPs are demanding higher salaries. It seems austerity only applied to the poor.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9793615/Seven-in-ten-MPs-on-65k-believe-they-are-underpaid.html

  50. Jon
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I understand the stance from America although I don’t agree with it. I can understand us wanting the same from a province in the old Iron Curtain era.

    On the TV I saw a US representative explaining the view and he likened it to a small slither of Americans who want out of the UN. That gave me a good indication of their lack of knowledge on this by making that comparison. I won’t waste time explaining why that comparison is chalk and cheese.

    It is relevant and useful for us to know what the US think but also useful to bear in mind their angle on this and perhaps their naive understanding. A bit like that Daily Mirror editor whats his name criticising them on gun laws.

  51. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Subservience: that does not sit well with anybody and the position causes much unrest in the world. Some stupid women tried it with me yesterday ” I know you look up to us” .It has to be ignored ,but it grates to think that some people actually believe that they are superior. Whatever the financial or educational accumen which is obviously on different levels , the power for the sake of power status is only there if democracy is not working. Power is important ;one needs to be short sighted not to realise this , yet there is a difference between a powerful self / group of selves and power over some other. It actually smacks of abuse. Females have had a taste of this abuse of power for centuries , but rue the day it would happen to our mother nation.

  52. wab
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    “The USA was founded through a popular revolt against foreign rule.” Etc.

    Let’s see, what is the difference between 1776 and 2013? Let’s ask a 10 year old. Hmmm, the EU is a democracy and the UK can freely choose to participate in this democracy or instead to leave, without the EU starting a war over it. But other than that, Mr. Redwood’s analogy and analysis is spot on. The fact that Mr. Redwood hates the EU does not make it undemocratic. There are national and EU elections which together determine exactly how the EU is run. And it is amusing how hysterically the Little Englanders have reacted to one minor statement from one minor American official.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      “the EU is a democracy”

      Nope, the EU is not a democracy, and nor could it become a democracy for the foreseeable future, and therefore nor should it seek to pretend to be a democracy; cutting through the pretensions of its advocates, the EU is still no more than an international organisation established by treaties between its sovereign member states, and properly that is a matter for diplomacy not democracy.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Indeed, the EU doesn’t fit the term “democracy” even though it has a parliament which is more representative of the 500 million EU citizens than the UK parliament is representative of the UK people, one of the reasons why the UK doesn’t quite fit the term democracy either. The EU is a treaty organization, in which 27 heads of 27 democratic governments elect a EC president (Barroso) and they also elect their council chairman (Van Rompuy), forms of very indirect elections, but the European parliament is the result of direct elections. Even when in future the EU’s democratic deficit will be tackled (= reduced) the EU will still be a hybrid organization, ruled by treaties.

  53. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Advice from a freind with whom the UK has a special and essential relationship. You could say: advice is always welcome. You could say: sorry but this is none of the USA’s business. The most interesting however, now that one of the three previously sleeping giants (the City, Business and the US government) has spoken so publically and loudly, is how this might influence the UK government.

  54. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    A succinct expression of an opinion with which I think many will agree. It would be nice to think that all true Brits would agree.

  55. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    This view from the USA seems to be one of currently several from the doomsayers who are apparently feeling the earth moving beneath their Europhile feet and are getting anxious. But we have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to.

    However, what is needed is a positive vision of the future outside the EU so that “undecided” does not vote for the devil they know in preference to what they don’t know for fear it may be worse. Just knocking the EU will not win a referendum.

  56. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    What the Tory Party badly need is a George Galloway to savage these patronising and crass interfering hypocrites across the pond. Understandably though, at the moment they are furious with killjoy Piers Morgan for trying to spoil their gun-fun…

  57. Paul
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    I knew Romney should have been elected. If Obama thinks the EU is so wonderful why doesn’t he offer to give them $53 million a day in return for unlimited immigration, job destroying regulations and a bunch of unelected bureaucrats who live on another planet.

  58. Wilko
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    USA & other commentators suggest we would lose influence by leaving the EU.

    So much influence is currently needed, owing to the EU making lump decisions affecting us. If we in the UK were free to make our own decisions, we would normally decide, rather than attempt to exert influence over people with opinions opposed to ours, who prefer we follow step by step wherever they wander.

    Less influence. Less need.

  59. Tom William
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    It is well known that in the 1970s the CIA funded the pro Common Market movements/arguments. Will they do this again? Perhaps they will not need to as the EU is quite capable of doing it themselves, and is already doing so.

  60. i.stafford
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting to note the reaction from the US, and Germany about the UK succeeding from the EU and compare it with the absence of such comments about Scotland succeeding from the UK. I cannot recall but I wonder if similar (mutandis mutatis) comments were made in the past (other than by De Gaulle) to the Quebec separatist governments. Why is the UK’s succession from the EU of a different category?

    • Wilko
      Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      If the UK were to secede from the EU, it might well succeed instead.

  61. Neilyn
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    If a referendum is held and a majority in England vote out, but majorities in Scotland and in Wales vote in, are you prepared to live with the inevitable fracas and separation of the home nations into new states?

    I am.

    • Jon In Norway
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment before I made my own. Yours is a logical conclusion bearing in mind the sentiment outside of the “south-east chattering classes bubble” towards what the EU has achieved for many in the UK’s provinces. It’s understandable that many in the UK’s south-east are not amused by the idea of a resurgent UK provinces feeling more affection for Brussels than an increasingly irrelevant Westminster.

      Qualified professionals, if necessary leave the provinces of the UK to work in the EU. The idea they should all be grateful to take jobs in Lincolnshire cleaning salad for gangmasters so EU migrants can be sent home doesn’t go down very well with them I’m afraid. Maybe those so against migration into the UK will soon be complaining about the state of things and the rise in the cost of living if all jobs were to be done by British workers. The NHS would fall apart overnight as the army of foreign contract cleaners were replaced by unemployable Brits and as for public transport ……

      The UK’s provinces has lost its brightest and best to London for years in a domestic “brain-drain” and in return is derided from Westminster as being full of workshy chavs. The effect on the provinces of the UK being governed from Westminster is covered very carefully by the UK media whilst EU analysis of the UK shows the negative effect the way the UK governed has on the UK provinces illustrating why the economy in London and the south-east is so disconnected from that in the rest of the UK.

      The Tories’ EU agenda is being driven to the right by UKIP and Nigel “generations of my family have worked in the City” Farage. “The City” is terrified “business as usual” there will be snuffed out by EU controls aimed at bringing credibility to banking all over the EU.

      If I had a vote tomorrow, I would choose to be governed by Brussels over Westminster. Over the years, the EU and its laws has helped me far more than the UK government and even though I don’t pat tax in the UK, I am a nett contributor to the UK economy as I return to the UK to see family and friends there often.

  62. EJT
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    As an occasional visitor to this blog, my apologies if already commented on. Mr. Cameron is apparently going to give a speech in the Netherlands expaining his vision for the UK’s relationship to the EU. Am I the only person who thinks this is a wholly inapproriate venue and the Mr. Cameron should be prevailed on to make the speech in the first instance to Parliament ?

    Mr. Redwood ?

  63. matthu
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Very well-reasoned open letter to Philip Gordon US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs. Worth a read:

    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/open-letter-to-philip-gordon-us-assistant-secretary-for-european-affairs/

  64. AJAX
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    You are a Member of England’s current Parliament, Redwood, you should be more responsible in what you post when discussing such matters.

    • Montjoie
      Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      I can’t imagine a more responsible statement than what he’s posted.

  65. Jon in Norway
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I can well understand right wing lobbyists from the south east of the UK sponsored by the UK’s financial services industry campaigning for the UK to be out of the EU so as to avoid EU wide banking controls designed to avoid the dangers an unregulated and dangerously large financial sector poses to a nation’s economy and it’s citizens. What these lobbyists don’t point out is, like The Scots, many in the provinces of the rest of the UK are pro EU since, after the demise of industry in the UK’s provinces, it was the EU that provided jobs for redundant British workers.

    Scotland will vote for independence mainly because it sees itself thriving independently within the EU rather than as a part of a UK outside of the EU. The same mentality is common in the “manufacturing” parts of the UK and I predict within 20 years that what’s left of the UK once Scotland has left will have broken up as parts of the UK that want to manufacture and trade with the EU decide they too would rather be independent and in the EU rather than governed by rogue bankers in the south east who are obviously dangerous to any country’s economic wellbeing.

    Personally, it is EU law that has helped me access work outside of the UK when none was available in the UK and I have noticed a trend of British people from the provinces first moving to London in search of work seeking work in the EU. These people still have UK votes.

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  • 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.
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