Shades of Euroscepticism


            According to the polls the UK is a largely Eurosceptic country. It is full of people who either do not want to belong to the EU at all, or wish to be part of a free trade area or common market they thought they joined. There are very few who want to see the united Europe which France and Germany are building, and who wish the UK to be part of the emerging United States of Europe.

             For fifty years much of the UK establishment has taken a different view. They have either believed that the EU is just a rather grand single market, and we need to be in it for trade reasons, or they have used the cloak of trade to confuse the outlines of the emerging centralised government. Some thought the UK was struggling in the 1970s and needed German discipline and competition to sort us out. Some believed that the Exchange Rate Mechanism would control inflation and help our economy. Many went on to argue that we had to join the Euro, claiming the City and our other major economic interests would suffer badly if we stayed out. The collapse of  the ERM and the tribulations of Greece, Portugal andIreland within the Euro has not persuaded all of them that they were wrong.

          Today the Fresh Start Group of MPs will launch their proposals for getting powers back from the EU. They wish to see the UK regain full control over criminal law and justice, have an emergency brake to stop financial regulations we do not like through a country veto, and get back some of the powers over social and employment policy.

It would be a welcome start, but does not go nearly far enough for many Eurosceptics both inside and outside the Conservative party. It was Conservative party policy in opposition to repatriate our fishing grounds. It has long  been UK policy to undertake substantial change to the Comnmmon Agricultural policy to make it cheaper for food buyers. Many wish to see the UK regain control over its own energy policy and much else besides.

          There are the Come outers in UKIP constantly saying that the only answer is immediate withdrawal. They  assert that we need to withdraw without explaining how that is going to happen. There are the Better off outers within the Conservative Parliamentary party, who do work with others to try to limit further transfers of power and to start to shift things back. There are many suggestions on the combination of referenda, votes in  Parliament and clauses of the Treaty that could get us out or get us into a new relationship, but less thought about how the Eurosceptic majority can unite its forces to have its way.

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  1. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I wish to leave. The statements by big business and leading political figures regarding how devastating it would be to not join the Euro should be given huge coverage now. Their claims need rubbishing.

    The growth in the UK when we left the ERM needs highlighting.

    In the short term the government should use Acts of Parliament to repeal the parts of EU legislation we don’t wish to abide by any longer. I’m sure when we see food and energy bills dropping like stones a referendum would be no contest.

    Big business likes the EU because it can handle the regulations that stifle smaller businesses that are competitors to them.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Countries in the euro had a recession, the UK has had a double dip recession. It’s impossible to tell whether the UK’s recovery would have been better or worse if we were in the euro.

      There was growth in the UK after leaving the ERM because the ERM kept inflation high, unlike being in the EU.

      Your delusions that the Government can somehow reduce food and energy prices using acts of Parliament shows a lack of understanding regarding the prices of these items.

      Finally the UK also produces regulations that stifle small businesses, so the big companies are just as well off inside the EU as outside of it.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        I’m quite convinced that if the EU were to introduce capital punishment for holding negative opinions on the EU, you would find a way a justifying it and defending it.

        I don’t think government can deliver lower food or energy prices. Precisely the opposite. If government, particularly on its fantasy anthropological global warming nonsense, kept out of energy it would be cheaper.

        You clearly do not understand the ERM and Euro if you fail to grasp just why being unable to control your currency is a problem. You ought to take a visit to the ghost towns of the USA and see. The problem there is easier to deal with as the language barrier doesn’t exist and culture is more similar between states.

        I strongly suggest moving up from ladybird economics.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          The EU’s opposition to capital punishment is about the only thing they have got right.

          But clearly having UKIP type views is enough to stop you fostering as we have seen (are the guilty all still in their posts?). And sensible view on the climate scare or the EU seems to prevent you being on the BBC and gets you labelled a “denier”. It cannot be long before they ban such thoughts.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Do you even have any evidence that the laws on climate change have made food more expensive in any way?

          The UK can control it’s currency and we have problems worse than many eurozone countries so your argument is somewhat flawed.

          I’m guessing you’re still on ladybird economics as you weren’t able to explain why ghost towns in the USA had any relevance to not being able to control your currency. Ghost towns exist because there’s a lack of jobs, not because a town couldn’t devalue itself into prosperity (constant devaluation can’t fix all problems).

          • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            Wrong again as usual Uni, if each state in the USA had its own currency then ghost towns would not exist as they would be able to compete and thrive.

          • Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “Do you even have any evidence that the laws on climate change have made food more expensive in any way?”

            The laws on climate change, in particular the climate change levy that we all pay hidden away in our gas or electricity bills make energy more expensive than it otherwise would be.

            Every processed, transported or manufactured thing using energy in the process is more expensive as a result.

            QED. laws on climate change have made food more expensive.

          • Posted January 18, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            I think the point you specifically and skilfully side stepped was climate change and energy prices. Food prices I did not imply were linked to climate change. I don’t think even left whingers would try that one.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Extremely well said, Sir

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Exactly and lawyers, the state sector, politicians and governments like it because it creates more pointless jobs for them.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        I see the absurd Jeremy Corbyn at PM’s questions asked Cameron to support rent controls (or the theft of landlord’s property assets and the decimation of the supply of rental property as it should more properly be seen). I half expected the soft socialist, Cameron to support such daft controls but, at least, did not say that. He is already setting insurance premiums by law after all.

        Alas it seems we will get them from Labour after 2015 – thanks to Cameron surely burying the party at the next election.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          I presume you will still be allowed to sell the asset (rent controlled) and buy another investment product?

          The market has been rigged for investors so why object to a little more?

          Again its all because of our banks/housing bubble – you too can be sacrificed for the banks, the renters probably have no more to sacrifice.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Given that rent controls will prevent rents constantly rising, which will prevent the cost of living and housing benefit constantly rising, I’m surprised you don’t support it.

          • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            The rental market is fueled by excessive housing benefit levels.

            If the state offered to provide a foreign holiday allowance, the cost of foreign holidays would also increase. That’s how markets work. It’s called supply and demand and the availability of HB increases demand.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Big business loves regulation, well the regulation it wants and lobbys hard for it in the UK and the EU. Then the next thing you know their beef burgers are full of horse meat.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        This is true. A pernicious effect of a high level of regulation is a tendancy for that regulation to be influenced by large incumbent players in their own interest. We see this happening again at the moment in the banking sector.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Apparently the horses had not even read the relevant regulations!

  2. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    There are two interesting points here, which I’d like to pick up.

    One is the attitude of some in the 1970s that we needed German discipline to ‘sort us out’.
    I think there is still quite a lot of that attitude around. The mistake being made here is the utter disregard for the different political attitudes, especially in regard to socialism and trade unions.I’d go so far and say that the slew of nationalisations of industries after 1945, by the Attlee government, put this country on the wrong footing. Nothing like that happened in Germany, and I suggest that the attitude of the German Trade Unions was far more beneficial in both keeping the country working and getting social justice for all, than what we have experienced here.
    So the hope that German discipline and competition would help us was based on a false premise and simply wrong.

    The second point I find interesting is that about the different strands of Euroscepticism. It should be obvious that success in any form can only be had if there is unity, and if all are prepared for some sort of compromise as to what is achievable and how to achieve it.

    For a long time, the British were admired for their pragmatism in politics, and their way of achieving compromises acceptable by all. It would be sad indeed if these talents had been lost altogether.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Agreed -and we spent our Marshall Plan money on establishing the NHS
      and then went back to the Americans for more aid.
      Fortunately at that time they said they weren’t there to support socialism.

  3. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The last,sixteen word’s of this blog sum’s up the problem.
    And with the prime minister and other leader’s giving out false information on the way that those such as Norway have no say in such thing’s as trade deal’s, when most of these are sorted out by the WTO and other’s before being adopted by the world including the EU.
    The next referendum will be different from the one I voted to stay in,what I thought was I common market in this way,I at the age of 66 have a computer, I follow the news on Twitter and I am on Facebook for the sole purpose to inflict my opinion’s on all the friends of my children and grandchildren.
    We never had that in 1975,so I think David Cameron and other’s should be aware!!!

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      The WTO was completely powerless to stop the USA from putting tariffs on EU steel, despite twice ruling that these tariffs were illegal. The WTO will not help the UK if we leave the EU.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        Germany and France broke the SGP rules yet the EU Commission did nothing and the EU Council dropped the SGP constraints. So the EU seemed completely powerless to do anything about those countries regarding their breach of SGP rules on several occaisions.

        Why there is any need at all for the additional layer of EU bureaucracy when there are global organisations for trade (WTO) and technical (ISO etc) standards? It seems the EU might exist only to protect certain countries from the world market….

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      It will indeed make a difference. I was too young to vote in 1975 but was against staying in. It was quite obvious, to me, that the then fake Conservative leader Ted Heath, with his absurd 3 day weeks and half witted attempts to control inflation was almost certain to be wrong on almost everything.

      I have a similar feeling about EUphile Cameron with his gender neutral insurance, over tax, over borrow, print and waste, gifts to the PIGIS and gay marriage/royal succession type of pathetic PR distractions.

      Reply Mr Wilson for Labour was Prime Minister

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        I know that – I was not that young then or so old now that I have forgotton. I still remember the power cuts which were fun (will we get them with Cameron’s fake “renewable” agenda soon too I wonder). Cannot be long before he starts telling what private sector pay rises will be limited to – he is already fixing insuring risk premiums for the industry!

        Heath had taken us in on a totally dishonest basis and without asking the peoples authority and had been rightly kicked out for economic and general incompetence. But his being in favour surely should have been enough to warn people off. Wilson did at least grant the referendum but it was clear that all the rational people were on the get out side, as now.

        The BBC debates, as I recall, were a little more balanced then than now – how could they not be give the current line the BBC take?

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          There was an interesting insight into how the BBC influences public debate on Any Questions last week. Jonathan Dimbelby asked how many in the audience would vote to stay in the EU. Every single member of the audience (which had cheered all the leftist views from the panel and jeered the right wing views) voted to stay in. Its a mainstream view to be pro-EU membership, I’d probably vote to stay myself, but – given what we know about public opinion – its extraordinary that the BBC contrived a supposedly randomly selected audience, none of whom supported withdrawal. Its also notable that pro-EU views are now associated with the political left, the EU having become so dirigiste and statist.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink


          I seem to remember that one of the BBC presenters was quietly sacked in ’75 because he was sceptical about the “Common Market” and suspected it was just the thin end of a political wedge.

          • Posted January 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            Well he was quite right who was he or she?

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      It is clear you have a far better grasp of the web and computing than David Cameron who believes a “mainframe” computer is the height of computing technology…

      I agree with you and JR on the lack of coordination by the eusceptics, for example it doesn’t help that the Fresh Start group website doesn’t even list who is in the group, so how does one attach any credence to it.

  4. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    There are too many disparate voices condemning the existing UK:EU relationship, pulling in somewhat different directions and thus weakening the effectiveness of the EUsceptic camp. As Richard North has also reiterated today, there is a need both for a combined assault on the EUphiles (and Europhiles), and for supplying a common positive message of our regaining full sovereignty and the benefits to be derived.

    This calls for a single properly equipped and funded organisation to go into battle and be well-prepared for the coming (I hope) referendum. That referendum should be In/Out and that leaves no room for shilly-shallying with a half-way house of renegotiated or repatriated measures. Who will provide the leadership?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Sign the ‘’. Currently running with about 130,000 signatures and growing every day. It is across all parties and currently has the support of Dan Hannan and Zac Goldsmith along with Labour, UKIP and many other MP’s.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        “and currently has the support of Dan Hannan and Zac Goldsmith along with Labour, UKIP and many other MP’s.”

        including our host Mr. John Redwood.

  5. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The Germans and French do not want us to negotiate with us. Neither do the USA.
    The Treaty of Lisbon, which Mr Brown signed, lays down the rules in Article 50: you have to leave before you can discuss any competence.

    On the other hand, the French and Germans want to have a much closer federation and we do not. And they are going to have one.

    The French and Germans are never going to surrender the CAP or the fishing or the Frankfurt banking control. The EU Parliament, as far as I can see from Dan Hannan and Roger Helmer’s clips, is very anti British. If we ask for permission to leave or even negotiate, then they are not going to grant it.

    There are a great number of British people, including Miriam Clegg and UKREP who make their living out of the EU and they are not going to agree to us leaving.

    But what would happen if we just left? Nobody seems to be asking that question. We need to free ourselves up and go out and sell things: the EU is preventing us doing that with its strict controls and swiftly declining economy and its inward looking attitude.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Why, over the question of leaving the EU, is there always the, “It wouldn’t be easy”, “they wouldn’t make it easy” and here “without explaining how that is going to happen.”

      It’s like any other divorce, you open the door, walk out and say goodbye. No negotiation, no asking permission. Simples! No more contributions, no more CAP, no more fishing in our waters, no more EU free immigration or benefit payments, no more EU regulations and laws. And we will keep accepting your exports if you keep taking ours, and we can talk about the future of trade in the meantime, but we will trade with whomever we wish from now.

      Now (sigh) just watch all the conformists start spouting about why you “just can’t do that”.

      Reply The Issue is how you do that when the voters voted to stay in in 1975 and have not voted for come out parties ever since.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        “The Issue is how you do that when the voters voted to stay in in 1975 and have not voted for come out parties ever since.”

        Mr. Heath took us in without a referendum!

  6. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I fear that even the “modest”proposals by the Fresh Start group will contain a few no-go areas as far as the rest of the EU is concerned, at least that is what I digest from articles in Dutch media (the Netherlands considered a stauch UK ally in many areas). It doesn’t mean that some à la carte arrangement for Britain would be impossible over time, but it would require big bags full of EU fudge.
    An eye-opener for me yesterday, was to see that Britain has always misundestood the “raison d’être” of the EU, already way back at the 1959 Schuman declaration. It was never about economy but about peace, i.e reigning Germany into an integrated supranational structure as to make war impossible. The word trade doesn’t even feature in the Schuman declaration. The same reasoning led to the euro, and will lead to a further integrated eurozone. This fundamental UK misunderstanding, misreading or mismatch helps to explain why (some in) Britian thought joining a purely economical cooperation in 1973, could hope for a euro collapse or for an EU collapse and gets so angry when the word peace is uttered in conjunction with the EU. It almost follows that, once again the UK is completely misreading its chances for thorough EU change. It is not going to happen. Some accomodation of UK issues may be hoped for, a role in the outer EU ring. If that is not enough . . . so be it.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Peter, I usually find your comments to be anti-British and generally very negative about “outers” cause. However, this time you seem at last to have grasped that the British people did not knowingly sign up to “ever closer union”. We naively believed our Prime Minister at the time. He was after all a Conservative, so why should we have gone looking for a copy of the Treaty of Rome to verify what he told us? I think he said he was a “One Nation Conservative”. We understood that Nation to be the United Kingdom, whereas he was obviously thinking “European Superstate”.

      If the project was really all about securing peace on the continent then it must surely classify as the most catastrophically failed project ever embarked upon. It is already causing untold suffering in southern states and may well be the cause of yet wider civil unrest.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        @Sean O’Hare: me and many others disagree with you on the causes of the untold suffering and riots in Southern Europe. I do see a lack of solidarity from Northern states, especially those which are ruled by conservative governments. Are we also responsible for the recent riots and looting in Britain?
        See how Croatia and Slovenia have solved their territorial dispute, just to become EU member, see how even Serbia is slowly softening towards Kosovo to be able to become EU member one day, and tell me how many armed conflicts there have been between Spain, France, Germany, Belgium the Netherlands? Nato may have protected against the common enemy USSR, but its nuclear deterrent and missiles were never there to protect Spain from France, etc. Besides that, the EU has a good international record for conflict prevention.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      You write: ” An eye-opener for me yesterday, was to see that Britain has always misundestood the “raison d’être” of the EU”
      I must correct you. Politicians deliberately lied to the British people and told them it was about economics. Some of us realised this was not the case and voted against in 1975. If you would like to read some evidence of this I attach a link to Christopher Booker’s article from the Telegraph 28 April 2012:
      Many of us value our sovereignty and don’t want to be governed by an organisation such as the EU. This is the real issue.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Brian Tomkinson: Thank you for the link, will read it.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, Peter, it was always political. This is understandable in the aftermath of WW2, when for the policy makers of the time they were trying to plot a course that avoided a third European conflagration.

      But the situation in the UK has always been different to Mainland europe. Mainland countries had either been invaded or were invaders, or both. The Soviet Union continued to enforce dictatorship for some countries. Other countries suffered from unstable government and a lack of democracy. None of this applied to the UK.

      So for the mainland “ever closer union” offered the prospect of something better than had gone before.

      In the UK, with a thousand years of history, the system of government we had was just fine. Unfortunately, some UK political leaders deceived the British into voting for the EU (in the form it was then). In fact deGaul was right – NO! And so was Churchill – NO!

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        @Alan Wheatley: I can see your point. The question remaining is whether a solution can be found that will make the UK feeling both independent and also attached to the EU.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          It depends on what you mean by “attached”, but the way I understand the word it is not something the UK should be seeking, so the question does not arise.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        But the situation in the UK has always been different to Mainland europe. Mainland countries had either been invaded or were invaders, or both. The Soviet Union continued to enforce dictatorship for some countries. Other countries suffered from unstable government and a lack of democracy. None of this applied to the UK.

        Your knowledge of history is appalling.

        1) The UK was invaded by the Romans, Vikings, Normans (William the Conqueror), and the Dutch (William of Orange). There were also several attempts to invade by the Spanish (armada), French (Napoleon), and Germans (Nazis).

        2) The UK invaded North America, India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and many other countries during our colonial days.

        3) The UK Government has often been unstable leading to the War of the Roses, the Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, and Jacobite Risings.

        4) Universal suffrage in the UK didn’t exist until 1928. So the UK did lack democracy for most of its history.

        The UK has historically been no different from any other European country and has often been much worse than them.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          You have completely missed the point.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      The text of the 1950 Schuman Declaration is here:

      It used to be on the Foreign Office website, but it seems to have been removed – probably out of shame – and so I’ve had to go to the EU’s website.

      You’re right that the word “trade” does not appear in that text, but on the other hand the word “federation” appears twice:

      “a first step in the federation of Europe”


      “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”.

      However you’re wrong to suppose that British politicians didn’t understand this; most of those advocating EEC membership understood it perfeectly well but lied through their teeth, while the smaller number opposing EEC membership warned against it but eventually lost the propaganda war.

      Looking it up, I happened across this interesting record of the immediate private reaction of British government ministers to the Declaration:

      “There was general agreement that the French Government had behaved extremely badly in springing this proposal on the world at this juncture without any attempt at consultation with H. M. Government or the U.S. Government.”

      “Mr. Morrison said that the proposal might have been primarily economic in its origins, but it clearly had most important political implications. Sir S. Cripps agreed that these were the most alarming feature of the proposal. It looked like a challenge to the U.S. and the U.K. It was agreed that it showed a regrettable tendency to move away from the conception of the Atlantic community and in the direction of European federation.”

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      It was NATO that kept the peace and fought off communism. I was a submariner in nuclear boats in the 1960’s and 70’s.
      The EU or Common Market was largely quiet until the fall of communism and then sought to fill a vacuum. Hence people like Barosso who was a Lisbon (left winger-ed). etc???

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        @ian wragg: Nato was there to provide a deterrent against the USSR and China, but not to prevent conflicts between e.g. Belgium and the Netherlands.

        • Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Nonsense, if any NATO member is attacked then all other NATO members are bound to render it such assistance as they can, and it would make no difference whether the aggressor was a non-NATO country such as the USSR or a NATO member such as Germany. So before Germany started another of its wars of aggression its leaders would have to reckon that an attack on a NATO member would be treated as an attack on all other NATO members and would bring about the immediate entry into the war of all those other NATO countries, including the USA. That’s how you stop the Germans or anybody else in Europe starting another war, not by insisting that in Europe apples can only be sold in metric units – incidentally, the units used by the aggressor – and making it illegal to sell them by the pound – incidentally, the units used by those who stood up against that aggression and saved your country from Nazi domination.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        @Mr Redwood
        Why do you always suppress reference in comments to JM Barosso’s (word left out) past?

        reply I do not have time to research Mr B’s past and do not allow personal allegations about people on this site to protect bloggers from legal actions.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      The text of the 1950 Schuman Declaration is here:

      It used to be on the Foreign Office website, but it seems to have been removed – probably out of shame – and so I’ve had to go to the EU’s website.

      You’re right that the word “trade” does not appear in that text, but on the other hand the word “federation” appears twice:

      “a first step in the federation of Europe”


      “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”.

      However you’re wrong to suppose that British politicians didn’t understand this; most of those advocating EEC membership understood it perfeectly well but lied through their teeth, while the smaller number opposing EEC membership warned against it but eventually lost the propaganda war.

      Looking it up, I happened across this interesting record of the immediate private reaction of British government ministers to the Declaration:

      “There was general agreement that the French Government had behaved extremely badly in springing this proposal on the world at this juncture without any attempt at consultation with H. M. Government or the U.S. Government.”

      “Mr. Morrison said that the proposal might have been primarily economic in its origins, but it clearly had most important political implications. Sir S. Cripps agreed that these were the most alarming feature of the proposal. It looked like a challenge to the U.S. and the U.K. It was agreed that it showed a regrettable tendency to move away from the conception of the Atlantic community and in the direction of European federation.”

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        @Denis: as you quote it: “Mr. Morrison said that the proposal might have been primarily economic in its origins” That was a complete misreading! It was primarily political.
        And yes, I also saw the word federation twice in that declaration.
        In a Dutch referendum in 1952 (in 2 towns) the referendum text mentioned a European government. People were more ready for such a change then, because of the horrors just experienced in WWII.
        It will take a longer time to have federeal characteristics in the EZ, but we are moving in that direction.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I’m well aware that Germany is dragging other countries in that direction, with the active encouragement of a British government which has completely lost sight of British national interests let alone the interests of the peoples of those other countries.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Peter van Leeuwen: “It was never about economy but about peace, i.e reigning Germany into an integrated supranational structure as to make war impossible.”

      Do you not see an uncomfortable parallel with the reparations Germany was forced to pay after WW1 and Germany’s role as the paymaster for the EuroZone?

      In the first instance Germany was impoverished as punishment for losing WW1 and in the second instance Germany seems to be paying for losing WW2.

      A but tough on the Germans don’t you think?

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        @APL: I see your point but think that it is all very much hyped by the 24/7 media. In that hyping, the other side of the story is lost, being that countries like Germany and the Netherlands do very very well out of the eurozone. The average Dutch person (counting all, babies and pensioners included) benefits some 200 euro per year from our business with the rest of the EU.
        I really think that there are are benefits for the UK as well, but that is tabou in the current debate, and I cannot be bothered to start making the case for the EU of Britons themselves are too lazy to do so.

        Remember an important recent quote from Merkel: “if the euro loses, the EU loses”. That may not be readily understood in Britain but that is a fundamental idea, it is Germany itself that wants to be integrated in the EU. The problem is that people aren’t ready to follow their leaders when change happens fast, so the whole process will be as slow as possible. After German elections, whatever government will follow, Germany may be more ready to pay towards the southern countries, which then will become better markets for Germany and other countries in the North.
        The UK is already free-riding on this development and will also profit when the eurozone is “saved”, maybe we should ask it for an extra contribution.

        • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          @APL: sorry that should be 2000 euro per per Dutch person per year.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          @Peter van Leeuwen

          Peter, why do you think that European nations cannot trade with each other without the existence of a central government in Brussels/Strasbourg?

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        PvL: “being that countries like Germany and the Netherlands do very very well out of the eurozone ”

        Very good, but what about the average Greek, or Spaniard? They are now benefiting … not so well.

        PvL:”some €2000 per year from our business with the rest of the EU.”

        But if that €2000 is only borrowed from yourselves and paid to the Greek or Spanish so they can buy goods back off the Dutch and Germans, that scheme probably isn’t going to work too well in the long run, is it? The outcome will be Greek and Spanish poverty, and hardship for the Germans and Dutch, the unknown is just when it all happens.

        PvL: “After German elections, whatever government will follow ”

        Once again a EUrophile supporter seems contemptuous of democracy.

        PvL: “The UK is already free-riding on this development and will also profit when the eurozone is “saved””

        Peter, good luck ‘saving’ the Eurzone.

        If saving the Eurozone means more people going without basic medicines in Greece, the suicide rate in Greece continuing to increase, or civil unrest exploding – then I hope you are satisfied it’ll be worth it.

        I am not sure how the UK profits, we are contributing £10billion per year membership fee and numerous unspecified intra government financial arrangements to support the Euro countries – as one example – soft loans to Ireland, which it is very unlikely we will ever get back, least of all with interest – that may eventually contribute to the collapse of the UK sterling economy too.

        I don’t see that as ‘free riding’, I see a very tangible and extremely high cost to the UK for the UK political class’s clandestine support of the Euro.

        PvL: “maybe we should ask it for an extra contribution.”

        Well the term ‘contribution’ in English implies consent. So where you are welcome to ‘ask’ for an extra contribution. You shouldn’t be distressed if we turn your request down.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      “It was never about economy but about peace”

      Thats another resounding EU failure then as there have been more than 30 wars, uprisings, coups and major conflicts in Europe since the end of the second World War.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        @libertarian: You just might want to read this list you so wrongly referenced here: Had you really expected the EU to invade Hungary and drive out the Russians in 1956? Or fight the IRA? There’s nothing left from your list, now that I have taken the trouble and looking through it.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Peter ,

      I agree it was never about the economy but it certainly wasn’t about peace either .

  7. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    disturbing typing error:, it was meant to read 1950 Schuman declaration

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Also, it should read “reining in”.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        @Chris: Thanks

  8. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    We need to regain full control over criminal law and justice, financial regulations, social and employment policy, repatriate our fishing grounds, the absurd common agricultural policy, the energy policy, control of immigration, to withdraw from the ECHR and much else besides.

    Cameron has no intention of even asking for this. He will clearly be history after 2015 anyway. The EU-sceptic majority cannot do much because UK democracy is so weak and certain cast iron types of MPs will lie, cheat, mislead, do one thing say another or just act in their personal (or EU functionaries) interests rather than those of the UK electorate. The BBC will also cheer all this on at the voters expense.

    I see the BBC has decided to portray the EUsceptic element as being mainly over 65. Personally I have been of this view since listening to the debates on the dishonest “Common Market” referenda as a teenager. Are young people not interested in democracy? Have they just given up and see the UK government as just as bad as the EU dictatorship?

    Cameron’s speech is going to be the biggest anticlimax ever. Voters will be very angry and the Tories will probably come third in the MEP elections before the decimation in 2015. Not that that will change anything much.

  9. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    For 50 years politicians have ignored the will of the people. That rather demolishes the theory that democracy works doesn’t it? It seems to suggest that it simply gives legitimacy to those that seek power over us.
    If we do leave the EU it will be a great victory for the people but needs to be followed by a rolling back of government here too. Centralized states never work no matter whether it’s the EU socialist nightmare or our own smaller version.

  10. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Christopher Booker, MEP, claims (see, for example, his article at )
    one of the basic principles of the EU is that once powers have been surrendered to Brussels, they can never be given back, and the Euro elite have no intention of changing that position. I don’t know if that is enshrined in the EU acquis, or in the constitution, aka the Lisbon Treaty, or if it is just a principle that has become firmly embedded over the years. If it is the latter then it would seem that we have a hope (though arguably a smallish one) of renegotiating the return of some powers, but if it is the former then Mr. Booker’s claim that:

    “…there is only one way under the rules that Mr Cameron could get the negotiations he is talking about, and that is by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would compel his colleagues to negotiate. But he can only achieve that by first saying that Britain wishes to leave the EU – the one course he is ruling out from the start.”

    would appear to rule out any possibility of Mr. Cameron’s strategy succeeding.

    What are your opinions on Mr. Booker’s claims and views, John? Is the return of powers once ceded not allowed under EU law?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      The various treaties purport upfront to commit to “ever closer union”.

      Getting powers back is not ever closer union, it is ever lesser union hence he is correct.

      Signing up for the EU was explicitly for those states which sought to amalgamate at some point in the future, anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      In principle Article 48 TEU on revision of the treaties would allow treaty changes which returned powers to one or more member states.

      “2. The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the Council proposals for the amendment of the Treaties. These proposals may, inter alia, serve either to increase or to reduce the competences conferred on the Union in the Treaties … ”

      So there is no legal bar, just political obstacles.

  11. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    ” According to the polls the UK is a largely Eurosceptic country. “

    But no Eurosceptics managed to make it into the audience on BBC’s “Any Questions” last week. They voted virtually unanimously to stay in.
    What goes?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The BBC audience is always as left and socialist as the BBC can get. No surprise there then !

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      The operative word here is BBC!

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

      You will see how Eurosceptic they are at a referendum when they are voting for their wallets and rights and then your fantasy will be over Bob. Of course you will then move onto some sort of conspiracy theory.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Bazman ,

        I agree they will be voting for their wallets and will likely vote to stay in out of fear of the unknown .

        The popularly held perception that the EU is somehow a champion of workers rights seems to be born out of desperation rather than any facts .

        People have sure as heck been treated badly in the UK but jumping on a train which is heading towards a police superstate is surely biting the nose off to spite the face . They will be less free than they are today and dissent will not be tolerated .

        Bazman , how would you vote if the referendum question was phrased :
        “Do you want to the United Kingdom to be disbanded and it’s countries and their lands absorbed into a new country called Europe” ?

        YES or NO ?

        • Posted January 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          By asking such a leading question you have already decided that this is going to happen and this is by no means decided and highly unlikely. The danger is that the population will just walk into the wrong result. It’s like saying should child murders be hanged? Yes is not the right answer. For the individual yes for the state no. An old chestnut.

  12. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    “Today the Fresh Start Group of MPs will launch their proposals for getting powers back from the EU.”
    Good luck with that.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      The BBC report on the 10 o’clock news was remarkable. They simply announced there had been a launch – without any description or explanation – and then followed with 5 minutes of interviews with politicians, pundits and fellow BBC presenters about why Cameron would never succeed at repatriating powers.
      Even by BBC standards it was stunningly one-sided

  13. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I have just read on another blog. That in 2017 it will be mandatory for ALL members of the EU to have completed full fiscal union. eg. adopt the Euro.
    Do you have anything to say about that?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Whoever wrote that should check his facts.

  14. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    This is a very clear and, I believe, accurate historical account of the situation. It seems sensible to me to proceed by way of discussion and negotiation to discover what, if any, changes in the relationship the rest of the EU are ready to agree. If there are none, then I believe the UK now should exit the EU. In the event there is an attempt at renegotiation I am willing to wait a couple of years to see the outcome and then form a view. The significant hazard to this approach is the politics of the next election.

  15. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    While Cameron and others scratch their respective navels torn between what they want and what the country wants I will make you a prediction. If there is no referendum before the end of this Parliament on our future relationship with Europe, there will be very few conservatives in Parliament after 2015. Cameron has lost the trust of the people of this country, we just cannot believe anything he says.
    My position is that I am all for a reversion to EFTA status for the UK. Europe is a great place and living where I do is a daily refreshing experience. I do not want a totalitarian Brussels dictating life in the UK or for that matter anywhere else in Europe. Maybe, a positive readjustment of the relationship from the UK could lead to many europeans thinking along the same lines. Especially if our move is followed financial recovery in the UK.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      EFTA status still means obeying EU law. The only difference is that you have no control over this law.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        EFTA status doesn’t mean obeying all EU law. (what we’d get offered is an unknown and whether they’d be keen to please us (less likely) or cold shoulder us (possible) is another matter.

        From what I understand EFTA status only means obeying some EU law on trade that is specifically with EU countries. Not on other trade internally or with non EU countries.

        What I’d be interested in hearing from you (I don’t expect it obviously) is how a country with a smaller economy than ours, Brazil, is getting along in the world without being in the EU, EFTA, EEA? Is it bankrupt yet? Struggling in the world? How do they cope?

        I think this could apply to Russia, India and China, much larger, but not particularly bothered about joining the EU, but oddly enough choose to learn to speak a European language en masse. Now which language would that be…..

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        The game plan is to set up shop selling tat to the rest of the world in competition with China and India in a race to the bottom a race that the elite and many on this site will not have to take part in. Replacing EU legislation with no legislation and the devil can get behind. There will always be more workers than jobs so the unemployed can act as standing army of labour for business with no benefits except enough to keep them workable. Have nothing and be happy with it. The EU at least acts as some sort of brake on this uncivilised and flawed world view of class war proposed by extreme right wing ideology and fantasy.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Bazman ,

          I agree with what you said up until the final sentence .

          Look at all the Goldman Sach’s plants throughout EU central banks (including ours soon) , the replacement of Greece’s PM with a technocrat , telling Ireland they had to finalise their budget before holding an election . This is 1984 unfolding .

          These things the EU promises (and may not deliver) come at a very high price . In exchange everyone has to accept massive personal losses of freedom , a legal system which abolishes habeus corpus , detention without trial , burden of proof falling on the defendant . Unquestioning loyalty is required and dissent will never be tolerated .

          Your last sentence is wishful thinking .

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Baz, trading with all the world instead of being obsessed with just Europe is neither a fanatsy nor a delusion nor an extreme right wing solution.
          Opportunity and freedom and improved standards of living for all awaits.
          There will be no race to the bottom, that is of no benefit to anyone.

          • Posted January 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            Standing alone with our imperial measurement system is not real either. America still has imperial? Yes it does. How does Germany do so well economically with all its regulations and porous borders? Not by standing alone with third world ideas thats for sure.

          • Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

            Germany does well becase after WW2 it benefited from the allies rebuilding its infratsructure and from NATO defending it from agressors around its borders.
            Laterly the euro currency has a rate particularly beneficial to Germany which makes their exports very competitively priced compared to other EU members.
            I don’t understand your “imperial measures” and “third world” comments..where did that come from?

  16. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’ve listened to the politics of fear and the need for remaining in the EU but find absolutely no argument in favour other than the desire of the EU institution, its politicians (most of ours) and a few hangers on, CBI (Low Eastern European wages and regs to keep out competition from small and medium sized businesses) and has beens. The whole point of it was and is to create a united states of Europe by stealth. It is and was known to be against the wishes of the populations. I was reading a German newspaper the other day and the comments in the main mirror our own. They don’t want any part of it but get railroaded by their sneaky underhanded politicians.
    So how do we get out of it? We need to write on every left wing blog and media source (Left Wing Larry, Rob the Red etc) educating the populace on the mass fraud practised by the three main parties over 40 years. Show them the evidence from 10/3048 the 1971 FCO secret briefing paper to Heath. Don’t let Cameron/Clegg/Heseltine etc get away with lies, the jobs at risk nonsense with a £50 billion net deficit or no voice (we haven’t now!), completing the market (total bunkum, they’ve had 40 years) when we can get our own trade agreements with the growing rest of the world. We are not a back water and our economy and current defences (fast shrinking under Cameron’s EU armed forces plan) dwarfs many in the EU combined. Our net costs (£12 bilion) are more than the entire police payhead and rising whilst the interest on our debts now exceeds £50 billion. We can’t afford it or the £11 billion vanity foreign aid budget.
    As all three main parties are committed Europhobes we have to vote for the only patriotic Party. We all know who that is! At least they would put an end to the current invasion from the east and elswhere at English taxpayers expense. Their health, housing, education, tax credits far exceed any income tax and only benefits the ……..CBI who want to be in the EU.

  17. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    When the Lib Dems campaigned and advertised with an unequivocal promise there would be an in/out EU referendum it should mean what it says and Clegg now says it should not. Then I think it is time for legislation to stop the Lib Dems being allowed to lie to the public as to what they stand for to get votes. This is not a one off. Clegg is currently advocating against boundary review which was in exchange for AV. He spectacularly lost the public vote and cost the taxpayer a lot of money in doing so. He now says it was in return for Lords reform- it was not. This is clearly untrue. The Representation of the People Act needs to change and there needs to be a radical change in the standards of MPs and parliament. Lib Dems cannot be trusted on anything they say.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      JR, the public want out. It is only MPs and civil servants who want the UK in. The same people who wanted the UK in the ERM who wanted the UK in the Euro. They will say anything to get their way. Let us have a proper vote and act on a consensus. The UK needs to change to have more referendums on key issues because politicians simply cannot be trusted. They lie and deceive are allowed to do so without any consequences. More personal consequences, financial and custodial, for minister as well. It would help focus their minds.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        JR, I seem to remember that Clegg was asked if there was a link between boundary review and Lords and he said there was not. How does this equate to his current comments and why didn’t Cameron put him straight at the mid term review?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      The one who is lying about this issue is you Disaffected.

      The agreement between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives stated that certain laws had to be passed. The Conservatives refused to implement the Lords reform and the Lib Dems responded by saying that if the Conservatives were going to ignore the parts of the agreement they didn’t like then the Lib Dems were going to do the same. So the Lib Dems refused to implement boundary reforms until the Conservatives implemented the Lords reforms.

      So the Conservatives are reaping what they sowed.

      Reply: The deal was boundary changes for AV referendum. We Conservatives delivered the AV referendum which we did not want, the Lib Dems did not deliver boundary changes. On Lords reform we said we would help them seek a consensus. There is still no consensus.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        You beat me to a reply Mr Redwood. That was big news at the time. AV referendum for boundary changes. The Libdems have reneged. Simple.

        The LibDems also had the EU referedum in their manifesto so they had no business in voting against it in 2011.

        Also if they had principle they should not have entered a coalition because of their signed pledge on student fees. I’ve not really applied much thought to the issue so don’t really take a view either way but they should not have reneged on their pledge, after making so much fuss. One of the Labour ministers I actually had a bit of time for, Charles Clarke, lost his seat by a narrow margin to the LibDems in a student stronghold. I find that particularly distasteful.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        John when there was a vote in parliament on the Lord’s reform it passed with a majority of over 300, so there was a huge majority supporting it. However it was withdrawn because 80 Conservative MPs objected to it.

        Unsure why you think there’s no consensus given the support in the Commons and that the Parliament act means it can be forced through the Lords.

        Reply It would have been defeated in the Lords. There are issues with whether you can use the Parliament Act to change Parliament itself.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        You appear unable to read unanime5. Perhaps another failing of socialist Lib Dems.

  18. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    You can have a common agreement to trade without the need to build a ridiculous empire like there is at the moment.
    And what no-one seems to be able to do is justify the £54 MILLION PER DAY we send to the E.U. other than to shout jobs, jobs, jobs. So why wouldn’t we be able to trade with these countries if we were not in the E.U.? Plenty of other countries seem to trade ok. Being a member of the E.U. means we can’t do our own trade deals with other countries so in fact it may well cost us jobs, jobs, jobs being in the E.U. And let’s face it, you can buy a lot of jobs with £54M/day.
    At the end of the day we know it is nothing more than a stepping stone to a new world order which a small group of sycophants (BILDERBERG) are hell bent on creating which is supported by a bunch of self serving MPs who are too lazy or too busy filling their own pockets to stop it.

    As far as I am concerned the public have never given their permission to send £54M/day to the E.U. so it is nothing less than FRAUD and all those MPs who are either involved with it, or stand by and let it happen should be jailed indefinitely for TREASON!

    Reply I recall being in the minority in the last referendum when I voted for Out. The UK voters did vote by a large majority for ever closer union (in the Treaty of Rome) and Uk financial support for Brussels.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      You’ve forgotten that countries which don’t pay the EU any money are subject to quotas and tariffs. That’s why being in the EU helps UK companies.

      Also the UK can do trade deals without other countries while being in the EU. However the deals are much better when the EU does they because they have a larger market than the UK.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      John, most people didn’t realise that this was all about political union and not really about the so-called economis benefits. The reason for this is that they were deliberately lied to by politicians and others. The following extract from Christopher Booker’s article in the Telegraph on 28 April 2012 provides the evidence: ‘I am reminded of a document I discovered in the National Archives at Kew in January 2002,when sifting through papers released under the 30-year rule relating to Britain’s negotiations to join the Common Market. It was a confidential 1971 memorandum, clearly written by a senior Foreign Office official, headed “Sovereignty and the Community”.
      With chilling candour, this paper (from FCO folder 30/1048) predicted that it would take 30 years for the British people to wake up to the real nature of the European project that Edward Heath was about to take them into, by which time it would be too late for them to leave. Its author made clear that the Community was headed for economic, monetary and fiscal union, with a common foreign and defence policy, which would constitute the greatest surrender of Britain’s national sovereignty in history. Since “Community law” would take precedence over our own, ever more power would pass to this new bureaucratic system centred in Brussels – and, as the role of Parliament diminished, this would lead to a “popular feeling of alienation from government”.
      It would therefore become the duty of politicians “not to exacerbate public concern by attributing unpopular measures… to the remote and unmanageable workings of the Community”. Politicians of all parties should be careful to conceal the fact that controversial laws originated in Brussels. By this means it might be possible to preserve the illusion that the British government was still sovereign, “for this century at least” – by which time it would no longer be possible for us to leave.
      In other words, here was a civil servant advising that our politicians should connive in concealing what Heath was letting us in for, not least in hiding the extent to which Britain would no longer be a democratic country but one essentially governed by unelected and unaccountable officials.
      One way to create an illusion that this system was still democratic, this anonymous mandarin suggested, would be to give people the chance to vote for new representatives at European, regional and local levels. A few years later, we saw the creation of an elected European Parliament – as we see today a craze for introducing elected mayors, as meaningless local figureheads. ‘

      Looks as though everything has gone to plan until now!!

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Frightening .

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – This is true. The British public did vote for ever closer union and I suppose we should consider ourselves fortunate in having this second ‘nibble’ at the cherry.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      “The UK voters did vote by a large majority for ever closer union (in the Treaty of Rome) and Uk financial support for Brussels.”

      UK voters believed they were signing up for nothing but a common market.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      They voted for it because they were misled and not told the whole truth.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      “The UK voters did vote by a large majority for ever closer union (in the Treaty of Rome) and Uk financial support for Brussels.

      The public were misinformed about the true purpose of the project.
      Don’t forget that there was no internet at that time, so people relied on the TV and newspapers, which were all pushing the “common market” ruse.

  19. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    JR : ‘They assert that we need to withdraw without explaining how that is going to happen.’
    I presume by that you mean that the current crop of MPs will do all in their power to deny the people a real say. The heart of this is democracy. Those who want to stay in the EU and know that it means ever closer union are quite happy to continue to surrender our sovereignty and to take the people even further away from the decision makers. They are unconcerned about giving away powers with which they were only temporarily entrusted. Once again we witness the double standards of politicians. If the shareholders of a business, employing directors and managers, found that without consulting them those people entrusted to run the business tried to sell or merge their business, by law, there would have to be a vote by the shareholders for it to be approved. When it comes to the government of the country no thought has been given to allowing the people a say in whether that effective government should be passed over to an alien organisation. I don’t want to be governed by the EU. I know that remaining in the EU will inexorably lead to that – that has been its raison d’etre from its inception. There is a defeatist attitude in the pro EU camp who seem to have no confidence in the British people or themselves. Those of them in government clearly can’t do the job we are paying them to do without subcontracting it out to the EU without our agreement or permission. It is time they moved aside. The frontbenches have never been so pitifully lacking in ability and talent but the backbenches on both sides have far better people whose talents are being wasted.

    Reply Some of us voted for a referendum in this Parliament.

  20. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Britain is not a eurosceptic country. Europe is not the issue on the door step. Most British people know nothing about the European Union or how it works.

    The women and a few men walking in the rain this morning with their children on the way to school are not thinking about Europe; they are thinking of the gas bill and the child care and the next pair of new shoes. It is evident in their faces.

    We have an EU flag at our school standing alongside the Union Jack which stands alongside the school flag and nobody has objected to it. Half of the people don’t even know or recognise the EU flag. On UN day we will fly that flag – even less will recognise that one.

    Most people don’t even have time to read a blog such as this – let alone compile one.

    Its about the economy. If the euro was booming and the EU was financially buoyant and the pound sterling was clearly diminishing in value and prestige the peoples of Britain would join it. The converse is probably true too.

    In the meantime I will pay the gas bill today and make my child’s pack lunch. I shall help with the homework and will volunteer for cleaning the school hall floor which gets neglected.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      yulwaymartyn ,

      If British children had been properly educated rather than indoctrinated then perhaps they would be able to think for themselves and look further than their next meal .

      The EU is in a winning situation as all it needs to do to secure victory is wait . Soon everyone who knew anything different will be dead .

      I doubt I’ll make it to 60 years of age but if I do I’ll find somewhere else to live and leave the UK to those who decide to stay . They can have what will be left of it .

  21. Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “There are many suggestions on the combination of referenda, votes in Parliament and clauses of the Treaty that could get us out or get us into a new relationship…”

    The EU is like a black hole drawing us ever closer as our politicians continue to waffle. The longer we remain on our present course the harder it will be to escape.
    The current EU sceptic noises emanating from the Tory Party are designed purely to pacify members and stem the loss of support to UKIP. We know that Dave is fully committed to staying in because he has said so.
     “It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time;
     you can even fool some of the people all of the time;
     but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

      Abraham Lincoln

  22. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Maybe I should add that I was interested to know that the Fisheries Council of the EU agreed in December to increase the catch quota for prawns off the west coast by 18%. Further good news was that the catch quota for the channel for plaice has been increased by 26% and a less spectacular rise for sole of 6% . In the Irish sea the catch quota for herring has been increased by a further 5%.

    Knowledge is power as they say. I am trying to share it with all who will listen – or who have the time. Both in the UK are very restricted and I wonder who is responsible for that and why?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think I can answer that question, but I do know that many people hold the EU responsible for the discarding of perfectly good fish into the sea. If that’s not a case of the lunatics in charge of the asylum, what is?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      “Or again, The Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones. As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error which could be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a ‘categorical pledge’ were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.”

  23. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The European Elites of Brussels have no interest in, and indeed nothing to gain by re-negotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU. We can ask them nicely for ever and a day and they will simply shrug their shoulders and in more or less diplomatic language say forget it.

    There is only one way to alter our relationship with the EU, that is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Re-negotiation would then be possible under the terms of the second paragraph

  24. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The media fail to point out the damage that the Commonwealth has done to British jobs. Tens of thousands of jobs have been out sourced to India. UKBA still let Indian out-sourcers into the UK.

    Re the CAP – I think the “Come Outers” are playing it both ways. They fail to point out to rural areas that their farm subsidies would be at risk if the UK left the EU. Why should a future Labour(or any other) government continue farm subsidies? Some regard farm subsidies as a waste of money wherever they come from!

    Re Crime – be very careful that you are not making life easier for cross border organised crime. Jingoistic tabloid journalism is designed to sell tabloids.

    Re Fishing – a similar problem occurs – the difficult decisions re quotas and rules would still have to be made. Of course Westminster couldn’t then blame Brussels.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      “Jingoistic tabloid journalism is designed to sell tabloids”

      The product has to chime with what the customer is already thinking otherwise he won’t buy it.

      Jingoism hasn’t been taught in schools for at least 50 years.

      A reliable source tells me that the first paper to disappear from the morning deliveries to the racks at the Palaces of Westminster was always The Sun.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Most people aren’t worried about Syria, Tibet or Gaza

        They want to know why 300 mobile phones are being robbed from people in London every day.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          And why the police are not interested beyond issuing a crime number.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Is it because the muggers are not mugs?

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        The point I was trying to make is that what newspaper owners think or believe may not be good government. As for your comment about the most popular newspaper at Westminster – maybe MPs are like others who just buy it for the sport!

        • Posted January 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Do any of them buy The Sport? Unintellectual and crude? Your point is?

  25. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Once again:

    1) Why is Europe alleged to be different from other continents and possible groupings (which have been belaboured as nauseam)? If, somehow, it is because of the number of countries on the Continent (what else is there?), that number is clearly soon to become essentially one.

    2) Why, very much remembering that the British people want it to be this way, is it surprising or unreasonable for us to be independent and in an amicable NAFTA or ASEAN with this new country?

    Or are Unanime5 and her dwindling band, going to say how much more favoured Europe is by reason of having had trade and politics (yuk) conflated by the visionaries? Did I read that shots were fired in Greece?

    And while I agree it would be difficult, could we try to stop using the terms Eurosceptic or phobe? If anybody is interested, my mother was Italian and the best terms for what you are saying are EUsceptic and phobe. Perhaps these could be shortened simply to Eusceptic and phobe but in truth the “EU” is not too difficult to get one’s tongue round.

    Exit (Brexit?) may look difficult because of the complexity of the baloney that has been foisted on us but we must cut the Gordian knot and do a “with one bound Jack was free”. What a breath of fresh air that would be.

  26. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    What concerns me is that we will not have a genuinely independent vote, free from outside interference..
    In parliamentary elections, there are limits on what candidates can spend and requirements for impartial coverage by television, but when it comes to a poll on the EU it could be a free for all. In particular, the EU itself is likely to spend millions (or perhaps billions) of taxpayers money on propaganda, as would certain big businesses with vested interests. Then of course the USA has already started to try and keep us in, and will no doubt continue to press this view.
    How on earth can we have a genuine referendum with all these people and organisations interfering in the campaign ?

  27. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I think exit is the only reality. The German and French ‘bigger state’ model for Europe is too dear to their hearts to give way a little to the Cameroon level of scepticism.

  28. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Fresh Start Group – best of luck.
    But, which of the following does your ‘leader’ consider you to be – fruitcakes, loonies or closet racists ? !

  29. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’m a Come Outer. I recognise it will not happen for a while. As you will know I am also for an English parliament which is also is not likely to happen soon, but I will keep on hoping and pressing. The principle is similar for the English.
    However, as for the EU, how will I as a Come Outer be catered for in a referendum on partial withdrawal through repatriation of powers. Even if I understand the terms and we are not lied to, how do I vote?
    If I vote ‘yes’ because anything is better than nothing, will that be taken as a vote of satisfaction and acceptance of the way we stay, and thus we are stuck in this new Evil Empire for another 50 years? If I vote ‘no’ will that be taken that I want more, or less repatriation? What will the questions be, will they be so complicated as to confuse, is that the plan, to manipulate the people again?
    Will there be a third option for ‘completely out regardless’?
    I do not fear the confusion and uncertainty if we come out now completely, I do not believe Mr Cameron can do anything much even if I thought he wanted to, especially when he has the traitorous LibDem albatross round his neck, and daren’t throw it off.
    Britain and England will never see a true renaissance until we are free again. It may that the only way to achieve this is to take to the streets.

  30. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t thjink UKIP re4fuse to say how we could quit the EU. We may have a problem informing the public since neither the state broadcaster, at all, and most of the press, in any detail, won’t report what we say.

    How to get out is a complete non-issue. If Slavonia, Croatia and Bosnia could leaqve Yugoslavia, a state whose sovereignty wasc established by international law (& which inder the Helsinko Treaty all NAYO countries have guaranteed to “take no action against the territorial integrity and unity of”) within days simply by saying so then there can be no lawful objection to Britain leaving the EU at least equally swiftly.

    Reply: Thie issue is not how you do it technically, that is easy. The issue is how you persuade the public and Parliament to do it.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


      In my experience, they won’t take much persuading!

      The difficulty comes with getting the truth across despite the obstacle of ‘the most trusted British news medium’ the BBC, being in reality, the most politically biased of them all. They perpetuate the lies and the myths of the left, and create doubts in the minds of the ill informed.

      Were everyone given the true picture, I don’t think many would then have difficulty in making an informed choice.

      Personally, I won’t be satisfied until the BBC is purged of its left-wing bias, and made to be funded by an optional subscription rather than a compulsory levy. The licence fee is both an anachronism, and an anathema.


    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Re reply:

      You persuade the public by a fair exposition of the issues.

      Parliament follows on, or the public get a different parliament more to their liking.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s quite easy. You ask the public if they want to stay in the EU or if they want out. Then you act on the result.
      You could do that tomorrow if you want.

  31. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    JR wrote: According to the polls the UK is a largely Eurosceptic country.
    Opinion polls, yes; general election polls, no.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Sjb, it does read that way, but until recently, people haven’t really had much of a choice. Only now, even the likes of Cameron, Clegg (he’s worried sick about his plummeting poll ratings) and Red Ed Moribund (he’d be crazy not to recognise the public mood) are beginning to take notice.


    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      The fact that europhiles have got control of all three main political parties doesn’t change the views of the electorate about the EU, it just does what it is intended to do – make it very difficult for those eurosceptic views to have any practical effect.

      • Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        How strongly do people hold these eurosceptic views, though? They do not take to the streets in great numbers; there have been numerous by-elections, but not one UKIP victory; in the European Elections – a opportunity to “stick it to Brussels” – the turnout is poor and even then UKIP get under 20%.

  32. Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that to be part of a ‘common market’ we would have to leave the EU Single Market, thus enabling us to get rid of the burdensome regulation and our inability to negotiate a free trade deal with another country. The Conservative Party, presumably JR included, is in favour of staying in the Single Market. It is not so much for UKIP to explain how they would leave but for the Conservatives to explain how staying in is commensurate with a free trade area.

  33. Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    There is little chance that the EU will repatriate significant powers as it would weaken their Socialist, centralised power dream and could led to more net contributor members leaving.

    Can you really see us regaining control of fisheries when some Mediterranean countries have hoovered up almost all the fish in their native waters and whose populations have fish as a main part of their traditional diet? Some countries rely heavily on the CAP to keep their very small peasant and uneconomic farmers going and off the dole queue and also off the streets blockading roads etc.

    In my opinion the we should withdraw from the EU, negotiate a trade only agreement and bear in mind that they sell us more than we sell them and don’t want to lose us as a market.

    We should cultivate more and more trade with the rest of the world unhindered by EU rules and seek to increase our non EU export market. We support our own economy by generally buying British.

    We should operate a visa/ work permit system with no right to remain or gain citizenship for all foreign nationals. Only then would we control our own borders. Non nationals would have no right to benefits, entry or landing. Work permit holders and genuine visitors would be expected to leave (or be deported) at the end of their authorised stay.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Given that 50% of the UK’s exports go to the EU and 10% of the EU’s exports go to the UK it’s clear that we sell far more to the EU than the EU sells to us. The EU can survive by losing 1 market, the UK cannot survive by losing 26 markets.

      Also the UK currently has a trade deficit with the rest of the world and unless we manufacture more things we won’t have anything to trade with them.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Unanime5–So now we stand to lose 26 markets do we? Gr8. I reckon you are beginning to panic in what you say. Look ahead. Without a doubt the 26 will soon become one and using your logic that will mean there is only one market for us to worry about and we can cope with that.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          Whether the UK loses 26 markets or 1 huge market it doesn’t change the fact that the UK will suffer a far greater loss than the EU will if trade ceases between the UK and EU.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        What is clear is that your maths is wrong. Hint: EU exports are much more than UK exports.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          It is you who have failed to understand the maths (specifically percentages). Just because the EU exports are higher than UK exports doesn’t change that fact that losing 50% of your exports in more damaging than losing 10% of your exports.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Whether the UK loses 26 markets or 1 huge market it doesn’t change the fact that the UK will suffer a far greater loss than the EU will if trade ceases between the UK and EU.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        uanime5: “Also the UK currently has a trade deficit with the rest of the world and unless we manufacture more things we won’t have anything to trade with them.”

        The deficit which has grown inexorably year on year over the forty years of our membership, I know correlation and causation are not the same thing, but it is a cute comparison to bear in mind.

        And as Alan points out, 10% of the combined exports of 26 countries may be more in absolute sterling value terms than 50% of UK exports.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        “Given that 50% of the UK’s exports go to the EU and 10% of the EU’s exports go to the UK it’s clear that we sell far more to the EU than the EU sells to us.”

        It’s not clear at all.
        We have a trade deficit with the EU.
        Comparing percentages of EU exports to percentages of UK exports is wrong headed.

        Also, you need to factor in the trans shipments to non EU destinations routed through Rotterdam.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Bob, the UK is a very important market for many of the 26 EU nations.
          Uni carefully mixes percentages with nominal values of total exports and imports to give a ficticious account.

  34. Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I try to keep abreast of the political debate, especially something as crucial as Britain’s membership of the EU. For every argument in favour, there seems to be a more compelling argument against. And given that we have been led by tricks and cons into our present disadvantageous position, with all the penalties and restrictions that comes with it, I believe we are far better off out than in. We can still be allies with other EU countries, and work with them in areas of mutual national interests, but we would be master of our own house. How can anyone who doesn’t harbour latent and hidden federalist agendas, possibly complain about that?

    Again today, we have politicians telling us how Britain’s exit will cost jobs, where it stands to reason that the opposite is true, so I’m of the view that the only way we can stop the underhanded EU federalists, is to sever their creeping tentacles once and for all, much the same way as the Nazis were outlawed following world war two. EU federalism must not be allowed to rear it’s ugly head ever again. We’re not going to achieve that whilst we keep it alive with political links.

    If the EU really wants to go down the highly-regulated, uncompetitive route, then that should be a matter for them. The present highly predictable shambles on the continent of Europe, is not a model to which the UK should subscribe. Control and regulate is the mantra of the federalist. Unless we remove the shackles, we in the UK can never realise our full potential. And no Conservative Prime Minister worthy of the title should put obstacles in the way of Britain’s progress.

    Tad Davison


    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      You claim that the EU is “highly-regulated” and “uncompetitive” yet ignore that Germany has high regulations and one of the best economies in the world. Perhaps the UK should try copying things used by more successful economies.

      Your hatred of the EU’s way of doing things does not make them wrong or the UK’s way better.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      It will cost workers pay, holidays health & safety and rights. OK for the likes of you Tad.

  35. Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your conclusion Mr. Redwood but the opportunity to unify in a coherent manner is precluded in a sterile two-pincer stasis. The pro-EU factions refusing to campaign on the basis of what the EU actually is – a process of political, economic and international integration – and the various outlets of the mass-approval media either unwilling to or incapable of holding those pro-EU factions to account for that continued misdirection.

    When indeed an individual of your demeanour and opinion is interviewed on the matter (a rare occasion) the norm is that you would have to spend more than half the interview defensively discussing ‘trade’ rather than being able to hold your opponents to account for refusing to discuss the wholesale integration aspect – which has nothing to do with trade in any respect.

    Unfortunately, that falsification of the debate has had a knock-on effect on the EUsceptic camps. Many of them have been duped into accepting the ‘trade’ tenet of the debate and have spent too many of their energies chasing those wild geese, straw men and red herrings. To unite the EUsceptic camp, we need an authoritative image of what the EU actually IS to be highlighted. From that, a proper stage can be set on which to assemble a coherent set of objections to EU membership, coupled with a strategic programme for the alternatives. Alternatives, no matter the apocalyptic drivel talked by the EUphiles, which are in abundance.

  36. Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The aim of UKIP (I summise) is not to win power but to force a harder line in the Tory party.

    It voices populist sentiment. It steals millions of Tory votes and hundreds of active Tory party members. It is a protest group.

    This should reinforce the position of Tory Eurosceptics who remain within the party. The party needs to coalesce around an ideology further to the right and give the voting public real choice.

    Once again – UKIP are not BNP which languishes (thankfully) with a pitiful amount of votes. The “get out – kick ’em all out” option has been there for decades – the people were sensible enough (and nice enough) not to go for it.

    When will someone credit the tabloid reading British public for their patience and tolerance and understanding ?

    UKIP (led by a real marketeer) is simply filling a gap in the market.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Marketeer: That is not to say that Mr Farage isn’t driven by sincerely held beliefs and anxieties about this country’s future, rather than some cynical attempt to achieve power and money.

      It’s bad news for Tories that he is such great fun to watch. He makes even Europe seem highly interesting.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      “The aim of UKIP (I summise) is not to win power but to force a harder line in the Tory party.”

      I can assure you that you are wrong.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        I’m glad to be told so, Mike.

  37. Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    The EU is a political project to create a United States of Europe and the ratchet, the Aquis Communautaire, the one-way movement of powers to the centre is an essential part of it.

    As you say, it was never about a trading arrangement, that was just a blind. As you’ve also said, the Euro hasn’t been a sensible economic policy, it was a gambit to force further political union through fear created by a predictable crisis

    Membership implies subscribing to the goal of building a single European state, and there’s only one kind of EU on offer.

    The Fresh Start Group is deluded as there isn’t any credible mechanism for returning powers whilst remaining a member, signing up to the fundamental purpose of a centralised bureaucratic government in Brussels and Westminster being turned into a regional council. They can’t explain what would happen when the others say no and Cameron has destroyed the negotiating position by ruling out leaving. The others have already said it won’t happen. At best, it’s a serious waste of time.

    The only two options are in and accepting that form of government, or out. Renegotiation and reform from within is the old Conservative line of being in but pretending not to like it.

    The Conservative’s problem, which is now coming home to roost, is that they’ve never had a clear and honest policy on the EU. They’ve always tried to walk a tightrope between being pro-EU but putting up a pretence of being opposed to it. The question is binary and they’re still trying to pretend there’s a middle way.

    The only practical way to get out is to invoke Article 50 of the TEU announcing our exit and forcing a negotiation over trade. Certainly, far too little thought has been given to the practicalities of extracting ourselves from the EU and setting out an attractive view of life outside the EU.

  38. Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    It is no more appropriate for UKIP supporters to say we should leave EU than it is for Cameron to say we should stay.

    Whatever happened to this David Cameron. He knew exactly who should be deciding:-
    The above from the Conservatives own page does not support that contention:

    Whatever Cameron and his stooge say must be taken with a shovel full of salt.

    Clearly the contempt that politicians have for the electorate is equal to the contempt the electorate have for politicians, and that is considerable

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      That was before the EU Parliament elections in June 2009, and with those extra votes garnered Cameron announced on November 4th 2009 that he was dropping the idea of doing anything about the Lisbon Treaty.

  39. Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m pessimistic about the “eurosceptic” majority getting its way, partly because some of those who claim to be “eurosceptic” are in fact nothing of the sort, and are flying false colours to deliberately sow confusion and division amongst those who are, but mainly because we have a massive failure of our national democracy and it’s difficult to see how to rectify that.

    The facts are these:

    1. Under the present EU treaties the UK is committed to participate in a process of “ever closer union” with the other EU member states.

    2. According to opinion polls, about 90% of voters don’t want the UK to continue to participate in that process of “ever closer union”.

    3. But it seems that at least 90% of their elected representatives in Parliament are still committed to that process of “ever closer union”.

    I will view the supposedly “eurosceptic” MPs in the “Fresh Start” group with disdain, until they admit that even in the unlikely event that it was successful any attempt to repatriate certain specific powers from the EU would be swimming against the general tide of “ever closer union”, and eventually that tide would have its way, and they come clean about whether or not they personally support the process of “ever closer union”, and if not they make it clear that unless the EU treaties are radically changed to remove that solemn commitment then we must leave the EU and make alternative treaties which will not lead to the inevitable extinction of our country as an independent sovereign state in any meaningful sense.

    If Cameron was a patriot, a statesman and a democrat then on Friday he would lay it on the line that the British people have had enough, or more than enough, of the process of “ever closer union” mandated by the present EU treaties, and suggest that the same may well be true of the peoples in other EU member states; so either those EU treaties must be fundamentally changed, or he would have no alternative but to give notice that the UK intended to leave.

    Reply Fresh Start MPs do not support ever closer union.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      “Reply Fresh Start MPs do not support ever closer union. ”

      That shows how utterly muddled their thinking is.

      The very purpose of the European Project, now the EU, is and always has been ever closer union, as set out in the treaties and shown by the statements of its officials and its actions over decades. It’s a political project, as is the Euro. The very purpose of being a member is to support the fundamental goal and there’s only one kind of EU on offer, the one committed to ever closer union.

      They don’t want ever closer union, but want to remain members, but remaining members necessarily involves supporting ever closer union.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Admittedly secondhand, but earlier today I read elsewhere:

      “Andrea Leadsom has just admitted on Daily Politics that if her few, miniscule proposals do not materialise then of course we would not leave the EU.”

      How is that consistent with not supporting “ever closer union”?

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        Are Fresh Start any more than an attempt to distract Eurosceptics awy from following the only possible solution to the EU problem, getting out of it?

        Are Fresh Start simply posing as Eurosceptic for electoral reasons because they know how damned unpopular the EU has become?

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


          It’s UKIPs increasing popularity vs the Torys’ decreasing popularity that they’re worried about.
          In a nutshell.

  40. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    This is what Melanie Phillips reported David Cameron as saying on the Today Programme.

    “And so the inevitable question was asked: what if that relationship was not in fact changed? If Cameron failed to change it, would he then offer the British people the opportunity to vote on coming out of the EU altogether? And this was the Prime Minister’s equally inevitable answer:

    ‘I’m in favour of our membership, and I’m absolutely optimistic and confident that we can achieve changes in the EU to make sure that Britain feels more comfortable with our relationship with Europe. And I’m confident we can do that.’

    Pressed further on what would happen if the EU did not change, he said:

    ‘It is changing. The single currency is driving a process of change in Europe. So the opportunity to lead those changes and make changes that make Britain more comfortable is absolutely there. A fresh settlement. And fresh consent for that settlement.’

    Asked for a third time, he said:

    ‘I’m confident that we will get the changes that we went; we’ll have a new settlement and then we’ll put that to the British people in a very straightforward way so they can give or not give their consent to the changes.’

    So three times he was asked what he would do if he did not succeed in changing the UK’s relationship with the EU; and three times he ducked the question.

    It seems to me perfectly clear that if Cameron does manage to wrestle any concessions on the UK’s membership out of the EU, he will use these to spin the referendum as a vote on a new settlement — even though it is inconceivable that the EU will agree to any significant concessions, and any such ‘new settlement’ will continue to drain away the UK’s ability to govern itself. But if the Prime Minister is totally rebuffed, he will say that the conditions he placed upon this referendum have not been met, and so his promise to hold one is null and void.”

    Plausible? Yes.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      And, of course, it depends on how the question is put and the options available to answer.

      So, for instance, would a vote “not giving consent to the changes” be intended to express the view that: (a) too much change; (b) not enough change, but stay in the EU; (c) leave the EU.

      John Redwood has previously explained how he thinks the question should be put, which was fair enough, but he will not be running the referendum.

  41. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    We cannot belong to a federalised Europe because we have to legislate and manage our own affairs . It isn’t as if we had a lamentable past and we’ve done more than our fair share in helping Europe sort itself out in one way or another ; it has cost us many lives and fortunes we could ill-afford . Let us now return our democracy . Be a part of a Common Market – the relationship we all thought we were becoming a part of , but , let it stop there . The subsidy of our present cost of trading with Europe is sheer madness ; if necessary use it to subsidise our trade elsewhere . If we cannot negotiate our way to achieve this aim , then , GET OUT .

  42. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    “but less thought about how the Eurosceptic majority can unite its forces to have its way.”

    As a non-UKIP observer, it seems to me that they have been trying to work with the Conservatives (eg offering not to stand against openly eurosceptic Tory candidates) but the Conservatives look down on them and snub theit advances.

    John, what will you be doing to unite the forces?

  43. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Untrue. UKIP have a clear plan on how to leave.

    Reply: Is that the plan that requires 326 UKIP MPs? I do not recall a single one being elected in 2010, when they promised out.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      As you state it would require 326 UKIP MPs, we can take it that you think that not one Conservative MP would vote to leave the EU. Thanks, that confirms what we thought and tells us all we need to know!

      Reply Don’t be silly – I was trying to explain the UKIP proposition, not the Conservative one.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        Why was I being silly? You stated that UKIP would require 326 MPs to implement their plan to leave the EU. That presupposes that not one of the other 324 MPs would vote with them.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      So what is stopping all those Conservative MPs who were elected, from saying the same things as UKIP?

      If I thought or believed something, I’d have the bottle to say it. So we may deduce that apart from a handful, the rest are pro-EU toadies who do whatever the leadership tells them. Whatever happened to men (and women) of character and substance?

      Therein lies much of the problem. Little wonder the public hold our political representatives in so much contemp.


    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      All of Cameron’s plans require 326 Tory MPs, which is even less plausible.

  44. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr R, I can see the difficulties we face as a nation concerning the EU. In the end is should be the people who decide our own destiny, not party politics or individual MPs. I don’t believe Mr C will get what he thinks he will get from over the Channel, they appear to say your in either in or out and can’t pick and choose what laws you like or don’t like. Giving the UK what they demand will open a can or worms for the rest, and I don’t think they’ll want to risk that, so their answers will be no. What then?
    Mr C should therefore seek to ask us the people, he is right in that respect which he said at PM,QT today. This coalition will towards the end seek its own parliamentry parties ideas on how to proceed, but it is a golden opportunity within the last 6mths of the coalition to have a referendum and settle this question once and for all. Well before the next election, from what I heard from the Labour MP Mr Alexander, on the Daily Politic Show, they won’t allow a referendum if they win the next election. We all know they allowed more laws through, signed us up to more silly procedures during their time, if this is not settled before the next election, it will be even more dangerous for us all. On the politics show the question of repealing the referendum act was discussed, nothing was confirmed, but they are thinkng of repealing it so we don’t have to have referendums at all. This is the danger, if Cameron does not win the election, he should therefore make sure our voice is heard should Labour win. Surely the Conservatives we have now will no allow this to happen?
    Listening to the Labour MP was frightening, you can see they will take us back to Socialism and within the EU, perhaps not the eurozone, but if the referendum bill is repealed they can do as they please, and if they have the majority as expected they will.
    I appeal to you and your fellow Conservatives to be aware of the agenda, and make it clear to Mr C the dangers of his stance on no referendum. The last six months is the ideal time to hold one, and even Clegg cannot appose that surely; what would it matter as the election would almost be upon the nation, and ideal time to make people aware and think is it not.

  45. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    There are many divided eurosceptic groups – they need to be able to subscribe to a popular and positive vision – more than just the negative reclaiming of certain competences. Without this vision the danger remains for a “Reformed” Membership vs Out Referendum choice – splitting the eurosceptic groups and with the population at large liable to revert to the nearest option to the status quo.

  46. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The best answer I think is to plan to quit, then spend the next few years putting everything in place in order that free trade is protected and the trade agreements signed by the EU with other countries are replaced by UK ones for the UK.

    Clearly we would still have to comply with the EU for trade purposes where we trade with them like any other country would, this should not mean being part of the institution.

    One huge roadblock I guess will be all these Civil Servants that have become overly accustomed to complying and implementing EU legislation – I can see them being difficult to adapt.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Given how much smaller and less wealthy the UK is compared to the EU any trade agreements negotiated by the EU are likely to be far superior than those negotiated by the UK. So we should try to keep the EU ones.

  47. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    It will be difficult for other countries, e.g. non-eurozone countries to chose Britain as a strategic partner in EU issues, because it may still leave in some years time. Who’d want to bet on the wrong horse?

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      We in the UK clearly chose the wrong horse back in 1975, by voting to belong to a trading bloc, and we have been subsidising the cursed place ever since. But taking you up on your point about trading allies, if the UK were permitted to establish their own global trade agreements, it could do the EU a power of good by showing how restrictive and punitive EU legislation is, and everyone would then ditch it’s core socialist values in a similar way. So you see, it could work in everyone’s best interests.


      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        @Tad Davison: We’ll have to wait for the UK’s post EU era for that. Actually, most socialist, or (like me) social democrats, see too few social values in the EU, it is still very much tuned to big business. The crisis also shows a harsh, a-social side of the EU.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Unless they left as well.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        @Denis: I don’t see otehr countries wanting to leave the EU, and the waiting room is still filled with new candidates for EU membership. WHy, if all the EU were to bring is misery?

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          “I don’t see otehr countries wanting to leave the EU” due to being financially shackled to it.

          “and the waiting room is still filled with new candidates for EU membership.” and access to the UK’s free healthcare and benefits system, funded by Joe Muggins.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see the peoples of other countries being allowed to choose any alternative.

        • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          Well, it has brought misery in a way to the UK – (large numbers -ed) of EU nationals arriving in the UK to take advantage of our senseless way of, under EU law providing all those EU ‘citizens’ with housing, medical care and finacial support for those who do not, and perhaps not ever had any intention of, working and paying tax to support their lifestyle.
          Give us back control of our borders. Give back control of our fishing grounds that the EU has destroyed with its madcap regulations whereby more fish are thrown back, dead, into the sea that those sent to our tables. Give us back the right to rule ourselves in terms of finance, pensions, human rights that we once had and to hell with the EU commissars who care nothing, nothing at all for us or voters in the other member states of the EU other than as a cash-cows to fund their extravagant, wasteful, unaccountable and un-audited waste of our and others money.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Business will go where ever it can prosper most. So long as the UK has access to the Single/Internal Market via continued membership of the EEA, I do not see any problems.

      If UK corporate taxes, rates, energy and labour cost remain competitive with those on the continent, the UK should be the must place to go.

      It never stopped Ford Motorcars, a US company, locating in Turkey which, as you know, is not a member of the EU, EEA or EFTA.

      • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        @Mark B: EEA would be fine. But the UK seems to want a place at the decision table. Turkey has a customs union with the EU. That would be another possibility for the UK.

  48. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    ‘There are many suggestions on the combination of referenda, votes in Parliament and clauses of the Treaty that could get us out or get us into a new relationship, but less thought about how the Eurosceptic majority can unite its forces to have its way.’

    Well, Mr. Redwood, it will need people like you to lead the good fight against the dark forces of the EUSSR. There are many people, groups and organisations who would like to make things better, but they are constantly frustrated by the obvious majority in the political and ruling classes who seem to think it’s a good thing to remain a member. However, the calls for a referendum are growing, and it’s obvious the Europhiles are getting twitchy about any thought of one. You know the backs are against the wall when Messrs. Clarke and Mandelson are joining forces! Actually, I think the arguments FOR are going to wear very thin when the real debate starts.

  49. Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    A Fresh Start would be a better approach. The previous path has been full of expensive hazards.

  50. Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid that I cannot relate to any party directly as I am a conservative, socialist with liberal overtones . Performance related credit is usually on the back of another leaning just as the new party in power always blames the last party which was in power. Eurosceptic I wasn’t, but I work with all the immigrants and their rights seem to exceed mine. I like them all as a matter onf interest, but I am told off because I don’t speak the various languages and am made to feel unwelcome in my own country . I liked the idea of European expansion , but pragmatically it is not working.

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, and just wait until millions more of them have the right of residency in the UK come 2014!

      And that’s not racism, that comes down to a question of pragmatism too. We just cannot handle that influx. Why isn’t anyone blowing Labour out of the water for signing us up to this nonsense in the first place?


  51. Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    It is because most MPs are so ignorant of how the EU is set up and how the laws are made that most in government keep bleating about how it would be a “disaster” for Britain to leave.
    If you read this article which sets out comprehensively what the EU is and how it works together with the global law-making institutions you will see that Britain would have more, not less, influence when we leave.
    It is written by a man who worked in the EU for many years and who knows more about this “evil club” than any of you in government including our ignorant and incompetent prime ministers (no capitals on purpose).

  52. Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Today the Fresh Start Group of MPs will launch their proposals for getting powers back from the EU. They wish to see the UK regain full control over criminal law and justice, have an emergency brake to stop financial regulations we do not like through a country veto, and get back some of the powers over social and employment policy.

    This has no chance of working. The EU is not going to give the UK special exemptions because then all the other EU countries would demand special treatment as well. Especially not a veto which would allow one country to override the wishes of the other 26 countries (something very anti-democratic).

    If the Eurosceptics want to unite they first need a realistic plan that will be accepted by all other countries in the EU, not a one-sided wish list. At present there are only three realistic options regarding relations with the EU. Unless the Euroceptics can all agree on one option they will never be united.

    1) Remain in the EU and try to change it from within: have the CAP and CFP, full access to the single market, pay membership fees, have to implement all EU law, have influence over EU law, and have EU immigrants. Germany has this relationship.

    2) Leave the EU and join the EEA: no CAP and CFP, no membership fees, full access to the single market, have to implement most EU law, have no influence over EU law, and have EU immigrants. Norway has this relationship.

    3) Leave the EU: no CAP and CFP, no membership fees, restricted access to the single market (tariffs), don’t have to implement EU law, have no influence over EU law, and have no EU immigrants. The USA has this relationship.

    Anything else is nothing but wishful thinking. The EU isn’t going to allow the UK full access to the single market and let the UK ignore all EU law. Obeying EU law is the price of free trade with the EU.

  53. Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    At the beginging of your article you say that politicians, or the establishment, have been out of step with the public and taken different views. That is certainly an understatement concerning the EU and many other issues such as immigration and so-called gay rights. Some people could be forgiven for thinking that the last government had, in fact, declared war on its own countrymen. The Gordon Brown faux-pas with the Labour voting woman supporter who dared to question immigration illustrates my point.
    My own MP recently carried out a survey of her constituents on the question of gay marriage. The majority reject gay marriage. A short time later it was reported that she had attended a gay rights march in Edinburgh. Many MPs do not represent their constituents, they impose their dogmas on them; and why are turnouts at elections so low?

    UKIP may not have all the answers or even a plan in the event of withdrawal from the EU but they are putting a lot of pressure on your party to move back to the right. You point out that they won no seats at the last election. Let’s consider the damage that they could do to the Tory Party in future. UKIP is a child of the Tory Party. The Conservative Party has lost its way and lost a lot of support from its natural voter base.

  54. Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Euro-sceptics do not have the unity or the clout to ensure the winning of a referendum that specifically asks for an exit from the EU. They have been sufficiently vocal and effective in pushing Cameron into bringing the question of EU membership to the fore. A major victory but a pyrrhic one I believe because winning one battle does not win a war. This is one war that will involve many battles and will be fought over a time period that does not favour the euro-sceptics. Mr Redwood has pointed out the impracticability of having government invoke article 50 as a means of forcing the EU’s hand in either making substantial concessions to keep the UK a member or negotiate an orderly exit. Therefore the only hope that euro-sceptics have is for a negotiation for substantial repatriation of powers which must occur before the next election because after which the question will be buried by the next government which is certain to be a Labour one(god help us). That these negotiations will be a miserable failure will only help the outers cause and the final battle will undoubtedly be won and the UK will exit. The problem however is procrastination, obfuscation and deceit all of which will be employed by Cameron, the EU and vested interests. The hope must be that the euro integration process will throw up an opportunity for negotiations to take place and that Cameron wholeheartedly takes advantage of it. I believe at the end of the day nothing of any value to euro-sceptics will occur but take heart in the knowledge that one day the EU will collapse of it’s own accord like all over centralised, badly lead and undemocratic states have done in the past.

  55. Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    The EU is a forth reich

    • Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Fourth, Pleb, Fourth.

  56. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    What all the eurosceptics should be focusing on are the politics more than the trade arguments. The arguments should be about how much sovereignty we have lost and how freeing ourselves from the EU will mean that we get back our sovereignty and democracy. That is the real issue. The EU project was never primarily about trade. It was a political project based on individual member states ceding sovereignty to a central power base for political reasons (see Peter van Leeuwen comments) which itself had no democratic accountability.

    We keep getting dragged into discussing trade issues, which the eurosceptics could win, but which it is too easy for the europhiles to scaremonger over, but really the eurosceptics’ trump card is the loss of sovereignty and how Brussels effectively rules us. What the electorate should be made aware of by any eurosceptic campaign is the invasion into every aspect of our lives of EU laws (see European Charter of Human Rights EChHR, in the section which explains why citizens of all member states apparently need the Charter because of this. There is a wonderful statement which effectively says that EU citizens need the Charter because they are not aware of how much EU law affects all aspects of their daily lives! Very true. The Charter is a Lisbon Treaty creation and effectively ties us in with the ECHR).

    We are hardly free to rule ourselves having sacrificed much of our sovereignty in order to be a member of the EU project. This will progress relentlessly as the project nears its goal of ever closer integration. This, I believe, should be the basis of the eurosceptics’ campaign.

  57. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink


    “Most national parliaments in EU countries say the European Commission should go ahead with a law on female quotas on corporate boards. But six disagree.”

    “Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told press in Brussels on Wednesday (16 January) the consultation with MPs was not about the content of the proposal, but about “subsidiarity” – the question whether a given problem is best tackled at EU or local level.

    Parliaments are entitled under the Lisbon Treaty to provide opinions on whether proposals adopted by the commission subscribe to the subsidiarity principle. If one third contest, then the commission must review its draft.”

    “The green light by 21 out of 27 national assemblies is enough for the commission to go ahead, with MEPs and member states to thrash out details of the new law in talks in Brussels in the coming months.”

    “The six malcontents are the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK.”

    So much for that Commons motion and vote last week.

  58. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    How can there be shades of Euroscepticism: either one believes that we are better ruled from Westminster or better ruled fron Brussels? Of course, rule from Westminster has seen us degenerate from the major world power to a sad little country which cannot decide its own laws or who may live here or who may subsist on the English taxpayer or what one can say if one is English, a country whose manufacturing industry has been deliberately all but destroyed but which has become the destination of choice of international crooks, thieves and banksters.

    Obviously, the English have been rather poor at picking their representatives in the past, but many live in hope that they will become better in future if only given the chance, a chance they will never have if they continue to allow their laws to be concocted by the English hating, England hating bureaucrats of Brussels.

  59. Posted January 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I doubt UKIP would see the same rise as the SNP have seen in Scotland, there the Conservatives can’t really get anywhere. In England UKIP face two major parties not one. At some point there needs to be co operation to ensure the next elction isn’t just given to Labour and the Lib Dems but also that the chance of a different relationship is supperred for good as those two will close the door when they next can.

  60. Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I also believe Conservative/UKIP eu-sceptics have more in common with left wingers and even some trade unionists than most of the media realise.

    We need someone who has the charisma and statesmanship to bring together a broad rainbow movement with a branch within Parliament and one outside.

    UKIP and even the Conservatives are too narrow. It must be a broad movement and I am sure that, with many on the Left, you would be pushing at an open door.

    For example, Bob Crow is eu-sceptic. Whoever could unit Bob Crow and John Redwood in this one cause is onto a winner.

  61. Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    How to unite the Eurosceptic majority? I presume you mean the majority of voters rather than MPs ?

    Well, here’s some suggestions:

    1 Seek a mandate from the people before the next election – say by having an unequivical in out referendum. Then act on the response.
    2 Offer a binding in out referendum in your next manifesto, then fulfill that promise if you win. Act on the result.
    3 Resign from the unConservative party and join another one that agrees with you on Europe and a few other issues er, like selective education. Seek re election and see your majority increase.
    4 Get some of your like minded colleagues to do the same.
    5 Ask the BBC for some airtime to promote the better off out message and arguments. Now that one is just too fanciful, my apologies.

  62. Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    I have experience of negotiations with Japan on trade matters as part of an EU delegation and that was far more effective than the UK going in on its own. The single market is a powerful negotiating instrument which we would be well advised to remain a part of.

    Having said that, the political dimension of the EU has become unacceptable to those British voters who can think for themselves and do not regard Ever Closer Union as a quasi-religious consummation devoutly to be wished.

    The worst aspect of EU elites is their arrogance and lack of interest in the views or circumstances of the electorate. They simply do not care how many Greeks or Spaniards are unemployed: to them any price is worth paying to get the outcome they seek. Any price to be paid by other people of course, the eternal mindset of the theoretical socialist.

    Unlike every other country in the EU ( except perhaps Sweden ) we have run our own affairs and never been subject to dominance by invaders or dictators for 900 years. The British do not want political control from outside, full stop.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      The Greeks and the Spanish are unemployed because their governments mismanaged their economy. Something that wasn’t the fault of the EU.

      Unlike every other country in the EU ( except perhaps Sweden ) we have run our own affairs and never been subject to dominance by invaders or dictators for 900 years.

      Another person who doesn’t know their history.

      The Normans invaded the UK in 1066 and it wasn’t until the hundred years war (1337-1453) that they identified themselves as English rather than French (if you check royal records during this period you’ll find they’re all in French because that was the official language of the English Government).

      You also ignored the invasion of England by the Dutch William of Orange in 1688 which lead to the English King James II being overthrown.

      An absolute monarchy is a form of dictatorship, so it wasn’t until the glorious revolution in 1688 and the Bill of Rights in 1689 that England transitioned from dictatorship to some form of democracy (though there wasn’t universal suffrage until 1928). Before this time the King was supreme, not Parliament.

      So you’re 900 years claim is completely wrong.

  63. Posted January 17, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Here’s an extract from Peter Hitchens blog on this subject:

    “Look at it for yourselves. Work out how much you value the freedom to control your own borders, make your own laws, decide on your own agricultural subsidies, control your own fishing grounds. If these things don’t matter to you, then the undoubted difficulties of departure won’t appeal. But if they do, then those difficulties are a price well worth paying.

    But they will not be payable until we have a political party, committed at a general election, to withdraw if elected. All our major parties (and the Tories most of all) are deeply committed to staying in. When they offer referenda, they are toying with you and your vote. First, we must destroy the Tories. Then there will be hope.”

    And how do we destroy the Tories? Stop voting for them!

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I fear David Cameron has destroyed the grassroots, and therefore the true heart of the Party. He does not seem to realise it, but 2015 sadly will relay that message loud and clear. I think the only chance the Party has for survival is for MPs to act soon and enable a new leadership election. Some suggest waiting for the 2014 MEP elections. I think that is too late, but maybe the message that will come from that will energise Cons MPs to act, and maybe, just maybe, the Party could be saved.

    • Posted January 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      I stopped when the wets took over.

      • Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        You want a party of right wing extremists and they will never be elected. Britain does not want them or the fantasies you will not be affected by due to your age/padding Bob and so you are helping by not voting for the Tories. UKIP are unelectable, so well done keep voting like this and so should the rest of the little Englanders. Ram it.

  64. Posted January 20, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Cameron will never allow us to leave the EU whilst his family receive millions each year in EU land subsidies, and no wonder Heseltine is so keen on our remaining when he is receiving £900,000 in EU land subsidies each year, all courtesy of the tax payers, and recycled back from the ALMOST NINETEEN BILLION we chuck down the EU drain every year. The unelected leaders in the EU have well and truly made sure they keep the self serving, pro EU land owning politicos on board the gravy train they are running, and to hell with what is really in the best interests of the rest of us, which happens to be LEAVING THE EU BEFORE WE ARE WELL AND TRULY SUNK UNDER THE WEIGHT OF HAVING TO PAY FOR IT ALL.

  65. Posted January 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    In 5 years the eu will be completely differant to the eu we are in now. Article 16 of the Lisbon Treaty incorporates the substance of the treaty in to eu legal framework by 2017, if we are signed up to the legal framework ( the acquis communautaire) then we will consequentially be signed up to fiscal union. This is surely eu wide fiscal union by the back door, is this why cameron is calling the referendum in 2018 because by then it will be too late to do anything regarding our relationship with the eu, we need a referendum now not in 5 years time.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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