A simple question for Mr Hague

 

            My question for Mr Hague, is will he act in support of the last Conservative Manifesto on the crucial question of the EU’s power?

              The Manifesto we both fought on was crystal clear on the matter of the EU. It said in the opening paragraph that “We will work to bring back key powers over legal rights, criminal justice and social and employment legislation to the UK”. I saw no need to say something different in my personal manifesto on these items, other than to pledge to vote for a referendum.

             The Manifesto went on to say:

“In future, the British people must have their say on any transfer of powers to the EU….We will introduce a UK Sovereignty bill to make it clear ultimate authority stays in this country, in our Parliament. The steady and unaccountable intrusion of the EU into almost every aspect of our lives has gone too far…”

          Nest week I will willingly vote for a simple motion  opting us out of all 133 Criminal Justice measures we can opt out from. I cannot vote for a motion to opt back into any them, especially something as fundamental as the European Arrest Warrant. We should opt out, and then negotiate arrangements for extradition between ourselves and the rest of the EU on a bilateral basis, as we do with other non EU countries. I do not wish this matter to be put under the control of the European Court, and to be put beyond our amendment or improvement in  later years by incorporation as a sole EU competence or power.

         I understand the government’s Lib Dem problem. They apparently will only vote for the opt out from the 133 if there is to be some opt back in, whilst many Conservatives have no wish to opt back in. It poses a difficult question for Ministers. I assume Labour will back the Lib Dems as they usually do. Both these parties it seems take delight in giving as much power away to Brussels as possible.

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58 Comments

  1. Freeborn John
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Hague is the slipperiest politician in Westminister; the man who will tell you he ‘will not rest’ about EU powers but never tell you what he will do. Here he says “We will work to bring back key powers” but not “We will bring back key powers”. All these hints yet no action is the reason I voted UKIP in 2010 and will do so again in 2015. I want to see Cameron stepping down as leader and urge you and the parliamentary party to be more careful to make sure you elect a real euro sceptic as leader of the opposition in 2015.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      Oh dear. If enough right wing voters do as you do we will end up with a Milliband-Balls-Unite govt. Check out the progress of France under Hollande for a foretaste of that.

      • APL
        Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Richard1: “If enough right wing voters do as you do ..”

        If you are satisfied voting for a party that gives you policies that are almost indistinguishable from a-n other party. Why vote for the pale imitation ( Coalition ) when you can get the real thing – Labour?

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        We clearly will end up with a Milliband-Balls-Unite government anyway – but would that be much worse than Cameron where is the difference? Perhaps we would get some daft controls on rents and other lefty lunacies, but really no significant differences. Cameron cannot be replaced with anyone who would win – we are stuck with him until 2015. There is no will to replace him and no serious candidates anyway. Cameron is a fair actor just reading out the lines, he needs to be given a compass that is not 180 degrees out and forced to follow it. Alas it is now too late for 2015 without a UKIP deal and even then. He will surely come a poor third in the EU elections anyway in May 2014.

        • Acorn
          Posted July 15, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          Just think back to 2005. You should have chosen David Davis instead of Cam. I mentioned that the other day and was surprised at the positive reaction DD still gets. He was big on executive control by parliament and civil liberty; old fashioned stuff that does not fit the nascent Tory McCarthyism of 2013.

      • Hope
        Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Rubbish scaremongering. Nothing right wing in what he says. Being Eurosceptics does not make a person right wing. These are the sorts fjords from the BBC.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          I count myself both right-wing and eurosceptic. That is why, imperfect as it may be, I would rather have a majority Conservative coalition of the different strands of the Tory party than a Labour govt.

  2. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    While opting out can be understood from the sensitive perspective of too little “self determination”, the other side of the issue should be realised as well: the UK will lose its considerable influence in shaping judicial cooperation in Europe. Whether in the long term that can be seen as serving the British people is debatable. It is not the path chosen by Switzerland, Norway nor Iceland as far as I know, and it will also create extra bureaucracy for Britain, all these bilateral agreements.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I agree fully with your personal position, But I suspect that Mr Hague has now joined Cameron and the pro EU ratters in his heart and soul.

    I heard an executive of the Drax Group (on the bottom line radio 4) saying that burning US biomass (at 3 times the cost of coal) was “counter intuitive”. Surely she just means economically and environmentally bonkers? Perhaps she does not understand the words “counter intuitive”. This surely applies to something such as;-, learning to swim, statistically, increases your chances of death from drowning.

    Even this example is quite obvious if you think about it for few seconds. Why on earth are the UK energy systems in the hands of such people?

    • Hope
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Moreover what has Cameron done about it and why has he given the LibDumbs a free hand?

  4. matthu
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your principled stand, Mr Redwood.

    I look forward to reading which of your colleagues support you, and which use weasel words as they try to argue why any opt in should not be put to the people.

  5. Leslie Singleton
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    It’s no good just saying you or anyone else understands the problem with the LibDems, which problem is stultifying and clearly ineluctable as things stand. Cameron should do something about it, instead of just seeking to put off risk to his PMship for at least another two years as he is so obviously doing. He is positively dripping wet. I cannot see why he does not engineer an election straightaway and present himself to the electorate as having tried to honour the Coalition (Non) Agreement but having had to give up in the face of the various kinds of lunacy manifested by his Coalition (non) Partners. I reckon the country would understand. The very concept of the five year agreement was very un British to start off with and should be walked away from.

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    This is the same Mr Hague who argued against an EU referendum in 2011 and last week ignored his previous stance and argued for one. The man, just like Osborne, Cameron and most Conservative ministers cannot be trusted. If you ask him your question he will give you one of his after dinner speech responses which totally ignores the substantive issue. We now know, what he successfully hid from us for all those years, that far from being the arch Eurosceptic he, along with Cameron, wants to see the UK remain in the EU and you must realise by now that they are working hard to ensure that happens. Agreeing to the opt ins is a fundamental decision, for as Denis Cooper kindly confirmed to me earlier this week “once opted back in there can be no change of mind and opting back out.” This to me is further confirmation of the mendacity of Cameron and Hague. They aim to do their best to further ensare us in this organisation not release us from its tentacles. The well trailed “renegotiations” which we are told will start in 2015 after the election of a Conservative government will clearly not include these provisions. Just what will be renegotiated? I remain convinced that this is all just a party political ploy by Cameron because of the threat from UKIP. We have a virtual one party state when it comes to the economy and being subservient to the EU.

  7. Richard1
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    This is excellent news, as is the latest absurdity from the ECHR on prisoners’ life tariffs. The clearer it is to the British electorate that voting Labour or Libdem means rule by Brussels / Strasbourg whereas a majority Conservative govt means a chance to re-establish independent democracy in the UK, the more likely we are to get a Conservative victory.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      A majority Conservative govt under Cameron clearly means rule by Brussels / Strasbourg too alas. Cameron with his heart and soul, cast iron ratting, no greater Switzerland, soft loans to the PIGIS, No retirement laws, Lord Patton at the BBC, EU arrest warrants and Ken Clark in government. What else does he have to do before you realise he is a big state, pro EU, John Major/Ken Clark socialist at heart – regardless what he sometimes says. Much of the party is too.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        I don’t agree with that, although i agree Cameron is inclined to jump on fashionable bandwagons such as global warming alarmism, HS2 etc, thereby storing up big problems. The EU is becoming about making the eurozone work. The UK wont be part of that, so I think there is a chance for a re-negotiation which will in effect, if not in name, give us a Switzerland type deal (which I agree would be best). I don’t agree with the anti-Ken Clarke campaign either. OK he’s a traditional pro-European Tory – but the EEC in the 70s and 80s meant a block to socialism in the UK. That’s why in the 83 election, Mrs T was pro-EEC but socialist Labour in favour of withdrawal. We need all the help we can get to stop a Milliband-Len McClusky govt doing in the UK what Hollande is doing in France. I urge you and others to cut Cameron a little slack – with a majority he could be quite effective. Look at the welfare and education reforms.

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

          “Cut Cameron a little slack – with a majority he could be quite effective.”

          Well the only reason he has no majority is that he put a big state, fake green, EU ratting agenda to the nation and gave Clegg equal TV billing.

          He will clearly lose the next election, he could not even beat the sitting duck Gordon Brown and that was before he was a proven failure and ratter – how is he going to win in 2015 he will be third in 2014 MEP elections surely. He has not even levelled out the constituency bias. His only hope is a UKIP deal and it is probably too late for that, given his idiotic statements on Switzerland and Heart and Soul. He has no growth, has not cut the government waste, he has increased 199? taxes, increased spending and has no real growth.

          What is Ken Clarke doing in the Tory Party, let alone government – he was against taking the Falklands back, he is against the residual UK democracy, he is a big state, high tax, fake green, pro EU, soft on crime, anti freedom socialist – in short, like Cameron, he is wrong on virtually everything that matters.

          Milliband-Len McClusky is what we will get, and all thanks to ratter Cameron, they can not be that much worse than Cameron.

      • Hope
        Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Well said. You are spot on.

        • Hope
          Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Well said life logic that is.

    • sjb
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Richard1 wrote: […] latest absurdity from the ECHR on prisoners’ life tariffs.

      Under Mrs Thatcher’s administrations they were reviewed after 25 years; New Labour changed this in 2003.

  8. Jerry
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    First John he (and you) need to ask what the LibDems think, as without their support the Tory party can neither get this through parliament nor stay in government, when will the right not realise that they are in government but not in power…

  9. Peter Stroud
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I agree entirely with your view. Reclaiming powers related to justice was a firm Conservative manifest commitment. The public will make up its own mind on the views of the other parties.

  10. David Hope
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I am glad to hear it Mr Redwood

    It reminds me of all the talk of reducing the burden on business. Ministers repealed a few very minor unused regulations. Then voted through all Harriet Harman’s latest employment law.

    Here they will get out of small justice measures but support the astoundingly illiberal EAW.

    To blame the Lib Dems is not acceptable. The conservative have way more MPs. Mrs May and Mr Hague should be going across the airwaves explaining to the voter, journalist etc how this law means they can be shipped off to all sorts of places without any evidence presented here. They should be adding pressure, changing opinions.

    Reality is, they enjoy the convenience for when they want to get people brought to Britain and couldn’t care less about the liberty of the average Brit. They are using the Lib Dems as an excuse.

    I cannot vote for these people

  11. Bryan
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Could you please explain Mr Redwood why our relationship with the EU is a matter for the Foreign Secretary rather than say the Home Secretary?

    We have been members for some decades and even elect representatives to the European Parliament.

    Seems and oddity to me

    Thank you

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Because the EU is still no more than an international organisation established by treaty between its sovereign member states.

      Consequently the Foreign Office has some dealings with many matters which now involve the EU, which before our entanglement would have been purely domestic matters which did not require any involvement of the Foreign Office.

      For example, some years ago the correspondence on whether we could provide state aid for our post office network was between the Mario Monti, then the EU Commissioner responsible for competition, and Jack Straw, then the Foreign Secretary, rather than the minister responsible for post offices.

  12. James Matthews
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It is good that you ask, Mr Redwood, although we all know what the answer is – he will not.

  13. Mike Wilson
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    What a shame you can’t seem to get this message over, loud and clear, to the electorate.

    It seems these days that the 24/7 media intrusion into our lives and the multitude of channels used to deliver ‘news’ has diluted everyone’s ability to absorb information. That, combined with the endless spin generated by politicians and the disgusting, greedy behaviour of some politicians means that people are both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by politics. The end result is widespread apathy.

    But these are important matters. I have thought for some time there ought to be a ‘Prime Minister’s Statement’ broadcast to the country say once a fortnight. Just 5 minutes of whatever salient points he wants to get across. To be fair, I suppose, leaders of other political parties should have a ‘right to reply’ and could have their 5 minutes each the following day.

    It would be refreshing to just hear 5 minutes of (hopefully) straight talking – without the endless and inane interruptions of media presenters who think they are astonishingly clever.

  14. ian wragg
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    This should fall under the mantel of the referendum lock. Significant transfer of power should trigger a referendum.
    Cameroon should say we are opting out of all 133 measures and back in to none. If Liebor and the Libdums want to sabotage this a referendum or general election should be called.

  15. Chris S
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    This is the inevitable consequence of Coalition Government.

    The main question is :

    Of the reported 100 net opt-outs, given that many are already obsolete, are we actually achieving any improvement over the current position ?

    If we are, I would have to accept that the parliamentary arithmetic means that the very unpopular Arrest Warrant will have to remain, at least until the promised renegotiations take place. ( Surely we will get another majority Conservative/UKIP Government eventually, even if not in 2015 ? )

    The PM should now publicly write to the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy PM warning of the consequences of remaining within the Arrest Warrant system and invite them to reconsider and agree to vote against it.

    If they don’t, the PM and every Conservative MP should then publicise as widely as possible that they are being forced into opting back into the Arrest Warrant by the Lib Dems and Labour against their own wishes and that of the British Public.

    This can best be done by publishing all the relevant correspondence.

    The next time a British Citizen is ill treated by the Arrest Warrant system the Conservatives will be able to produce the correspondence again and state in the strongest possible terms that we warned about this but were unable to prevent it.

    The public will then put the blame very clearly where it deserves to be levied.

    If there is a genuine net gain from opting out of the 100 measures, this is the only logical option.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    You stick to your guns John.

    Keep it simple is the usual business mantra, because experience shows that the more complicated you make anything, the more you dilute the results achieved.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The first point is that most of these 133 EU measures are of little or no importance; it sounds good when the Tory leaders are holding this up as a fine example of how it is possible to repatriate powers from the EU, contrary to the naysayers, and we can certainly expect much more of the same if we all vote Tory at the next election; but the Economist quotes the eurofanatic Lord Hannay as follows:

    http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21581750-britain-wants-opt-outs-eu-rules-long-they-dont-much-matter-more-less

    “David Hannay, a retired diplomat now in the House of Lords, says the planned opt-outs are “defunct, dross or things that have no impact”, whereas staying in the arrest warrant is a “huge prize”.”

    The second point is that it was well known that this “opt-out opt-in” scenario would be coming up, but when Hague drafted his so-called “referendum lock” law, the European Union Act 2011, he did not include it in the supposedly exhaustive lists of circumstances under which a legal change relating to the EU would require a referendum, or even a full Act of Parliament, or even a vote in both Houses of Parliament.

    It is true that on Tuesday Theresa May promised:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130709/debtext/130709-0001.htm

    “Following our discussions in Europe, another vote will be held on the final list of measures that the UK will formally apply to rejoin.”

    but she would be doing that as a favour to Parliament, not to fulfill any legal obligation under the European Union Act 2011.

    The third point is that Hague must have known about it not just in 2011 but in May 2010 when the Tory party was negotiating a coalition agreement with the Lib Dems.

    This does not look good for the Tory party, which cannot claim that the “opt-out” part represents a repatriation of powers from the EU to the UK but the subsequent “opt-in” would not be a transfer of powers from the UK to the EU, although no doubt there will be attempts to spin it both ways, and which will also have to explain why it in effect conceded the EU arrest warrant to the Lib Dems as part of the price for David Cameron to get into Downing Street.

    And, more importantly, it doesn’t look good for those innocent Britons who will be carted off to languish for many months in foreign prisons without having had the chance to challenge prima facie evidence of guilt in a British court.

  18. Credible
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    In principle I’d like the UK to take back powers from Brussels.
    Sadly, in practise, we’d end up with the self-serving very rich ‘elite’ in the UK making policies for their own enrichment at the expense of ordinary British people. Until I trust our ruling class I prefer Brussels.

  19. Terry
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I despair for the future of this country of ours when half the Governing Coalition will vote with the opposition to hand over power to an unelected body in Brussels.

    What would Winston be saying? And what would Mrs T be doing, had she still been in power? How did we get into this position? And why are we here? What is the benefit of having another tier of bureaucracy to interfere and meddle in the ways of our international business?

    • Jerry
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      @Terry: Never mind Mr Wilson or Mrs T, what would the greats like Churchill, Macmillan and even (arguably) Atlee be thinking? If the UK were outside of the EU there would be no need to argue about the future of the NHS for example as we would have a first class service because we would be able to afford it – and have much lower tax rates…

      • Bazman
        Posted July 14, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Yeah right. If you believe that you believe anything. What a Right wing Tory government would ideally like in this world is for us to be outside the EU so the bar can be set as low as possible with the undeserving poor paying for the services they use via indirect regressive taxation on rock bottom wages and hopefully much of the infrastructure as this is what employees them if they have a job, which they must have or starve. Hey! Never mind Churchill. What would Jesus do? Third world does not cover it. Ram it.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 15, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          @Bazman: Tell that to both Norway and the Swiss, even if the EU was within the EFTA/EEA there would be many more advantages than disadvantages – but I do accept that those like you, with your blind faith, do not care to look beyond what they have been told by their political masters.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Baz
          Just have a look at how the standard of living for young Greek, Spanish and Portugese people has declined due to the way the EU and the Euro is run.
          Over 50% of young people unemployed in these fine nations and now we are seeing the same decline starting to happen to France
          How you can support and want to remain a part of an EU that has destroyed jobs, future prosperity and standards of living for millions is beyond my imagination.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            And you both think a race to the bottom will fix this? Don’t say we are at the bottom becuase we are not and competing with the third world is a none starter as you cannot have EU peasants, especially in Britain.

          • Jerry
            Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

            @Bazman: Is either Norway or the Swiss in a race to the bottom, many would suggest that they are in a race to the top, are the BRICS, is the USA? The only only area in the world with a crisis hit, collapsing, common currency is the EU…

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Terry–Why? Homogenisation, that’s why, at least that’s the way the EUfanatics see it–They do not think we are able to govern ourselves and would prefer to cosy up to foreigners whose ideology is different and who go so far as to eat frogs’ legs and horses.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: You do talk utter piffle at times, as if what we eat makes us any different, meat is meat, go read the story of Tarzan and how he was (supposedly) feed grubs and insects as a young child, go find something out about survival training – there are a whole forest/jungle of things far less pleasant than either horse or frogs that will keep you from starving.

        Oh and who on earth would ever eat a Cow, never mind a Pig, both being of religious significance to many people, that must make those jolly Brits as bad as those weird French who eat frogs (and snails…) or those ghastly eastern Europeans who dare to eat horse, if not more so.

  20. behindthefrogs
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The EU is simply a higher level of government. There are many things that are better governed at a European rather than a national level. What we need to do is ensure that the right things are handled at the most (cost) effective level. Similarly more functions should be devolved to local government.

    What we need is for the UK parliament to recognise that this is happening by reducing the duplication and the number of MPs and civil servants.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      “The EU is simply a higher level of government.”

      What a pity the “yes” side didn’t base its campaign on that clear idea back in 1975, rather than lying through their teeth denying it.

      From the government’s official pamphlet delivered to every household at public expense, advocating a “yes” vote in that referendum:

      http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm

      “WILL PARLIAMENT LOSE ITS POWER?”

      “Another anxiety expressed about Britain’s membership of the Common Market is that Parliament could lose its supremacy, and we would have to obey laws passed by unelected ‘faceless bureaucrats’ sitting in their headquarters in Brussels.”

      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament.”

      “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      But of course if the question had not been:

      “Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?”

      but instead:

      “Do you thing the UK should be subject to a higher level of government based in Brussels?”

      then they might have got a different answer.

  21. Vanessa
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    No government has the power to “bring back powers” from the EU nor can it renegotiate. The Lisbon Treaty – signed by Brown in 2009 – has embedded the “acquis communautaire” meaning (I understand) acquired competences and it is one way only, once given never returned. Apparently, in November 2014 this evil Treaty comes into 100% force with all the “competencies” (controls) activated.
    The British only have 8% in the EU parliament so it would be impossible to get a majority to renegotiate and the Commission would never give back something to one country because there would be a queue of 27 all wanting different controls returned. Why are the limp tories bleating on and on and on about this? Is it impossible to tell the truth for a change?

  22. Acorn
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The trouble with sunny evening bottle parties is some questions come out of the sun before you have got your weapons cocked. Expletives; hiccups and belches removed.

    (1) My question? Is the EU, particularly the European Commission under El Presidente Barroso, a private sector organisation? We are told that it is unelected, undemocratic and dictatorial, which it most definitely is. So it surely can’t be a public sector entity, it must be in the private sector. Which is good … er, isn’t it? 😉 .

    (2) There are a few other things that need clarification before the election. What is the status of the Euroscepticals (sic) and can they likely become, a “break-away” faction, capable of forming a coalition with UKIP. The number of MPs associated with these is, for self preservation reasons no doubt, unclear.

    Euroscepticals are apparently: (a) The Tea Party Movement in the UK. (b) BETTER OFF OUT. (c) The Freedom Association.

  23. John Wrake
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Some words from Jesus in the New Testament (Mark ch. 3 v. 24 Good News Bible) are apposite. “If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart”. Egypt, Syria, Irak, Afghanistan, all testify to the truth of that statement.

    It is true of families and also true of Governments and the evidence is before us. what is a coalition in name only is contributing to our collapse.

    John Wrake.

  24. Tad Davison
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I hope your question is answered in the affirmative John, and is then followed up with positive action, but Jerry makes a fair point in an earlier post, and it seems to me that the other two Westminster parties need to be exposed for their ‘pro-EU regardless of the consequences’ position in order to effect real and meaningful change.

    There is a massive open goal in the EU debate. All it would take to put the ball in the net, is for the leadership of the Tory party, Hague included, to come out fighting and say enough is enough, and the country would be carried along with them. But of course, Mr Cameron criticised us heavily for ‘keeping banging on about Europe’, and he thinks we should remain a part of it. Who knows, it could just be that Cameron has kept his Foreign Secretary hemmed in, and won’t let him have his head if he wants to keep his job?

    Political commentators have said that the EU doesn’t figure too highly in the primary concerns of mainstream man, but when we listen to those concerns, each has a direct correlation and connection to Britain’s involvement in Europe. And without those shackles, we’d be free to sort out the mess the EU has brought with it. Is Mr Cameron content to let ineptitude and unworkable policies go unchallenged, for the sake of harmony in the coalition?

    I recall that famous quote that found favour with a few senior US politicians – ‘when you’ve got them by the b*lls, their hearts and minds will follow.’ We must therefore do everything we possibly can to show the others up for what they are, if we are to change their minds.

    It simply cannot be right that the pro-EU people continue to defend the indefensible, and trot out the tired old disproven arguments, whilst those who could and should pull them to pieces, do little or nothing. Worse still, to go back on a manifesto commitment. And then we’re expected to trust them and vote for them next time. They just have to be joking!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Jerry
      Posted July 15, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      @Tad Davison: Indeed, there does seem to have been a measured decline in the NHS for every year the UK has been a member of the EEC/EU, surely the two can not go unlinked?

  25. Atlas
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    John, I’ve suggested to my Eurosceptic MP that he makes a stand over the European Arrest Warrant. I wonder how much support he might get from others in the Conservative Parliamentary Party?

    Reply There are a good number of us who do not intend to vote for opting into the EAW

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      To reply: Good what about the US one too?

    • RG
      Posted July 15, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      “There are a good number of us who do not intend to vote for opting into the EAW”

      Forgive me Mr. R but that looks a little “weaselly”, will you vote against, or merely abstain?

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, this is also not good news for the Tory party position that it would be possible to negotiate the repatriation of powers from the EU:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/business/global/eu-offers-berlin-compromise-on-bank-union.html?_r=0

    “In his speech in London on Friday, Mr. Barnier also warned against any effort by Britain to win special exemptions from E.U. single market rules for its financial services sector, the City of London.

    “By definition,” he said, “there can’t be two single markets: one for financial services and one for the rest of the economy. One for the City, and one for the rest of the E.U.

    “Repatriating full policy responsibility for financial services would mean leaving the single market as a whole and de facto the E.U.,” Mr. Barnier said, adding: “I believe the U.K. would lose out on many of its own interests if it chose that path.”

    Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate British ties with the European Union and some lawmakers from his Conservative party have called for new powers that would prevent Britain being outvoted on any new legislation on financial services.

    But Mr. Barnier rejected that idea.

    “It would not work,” he said. “If you give a veto to one country you have to give it to others and then we no longer have an internal market,” he said. “Our interest is in having a coherent single market with intelligent rules that apply everywhere.””

    Of course it wouldn’t be his decision, but clearly he’d fight against it happening.

  27. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    What about compensation for miscarriages of justice . The unruly would get away with everything, unless a similar national law was on a par?

  28. Bert Young
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I have been surprised at the way Wm. Hague has gone along supporting Cameron the way he has . I have always regarded him as intellectually strong and someone who was always capable of presenting his views in that typical and admirable Yorkshire manner ; his sense of humour has always kept him above the “yahoo” in the H of C ( such a terrible performance from both sides on Wednesday !). He must have made some sort of agreement with DC at the commencement of this Parliament , not to challenge him otherwise , by now , he ought to have emerged as Party Leader. I sense that your blog today is an attempt to “feel” out his true position .

  29. uanime5
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that the UK will eventually opt back into these measures simply because it will be easier than trying to get a bilateral agreement. I also doubt the EU will allow a bilateral agreement where the UK is able to ignore the ECJ on these issues but all other EU states are bound by ECJ judgements.

    Reply Of course they will if the UK government shows resolve – after all, the EU does with non EU members!

  30. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    I very much hope that you can get a Commons majority for what you want but I doubt it. You should be able to get a second bite at the cherry after 2015.

  31. Peter Gardner
    Posted July 15, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Surely opting in after opting out would be transferring powers to the EU and therefore would be contrary to the European Act 2011? Please ask Mr Hague.

  • 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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