Staying out of the Euro requires a new relationship


           The EU partners are pressing on rapidly with full union. The logic of the Euro requires ever more control to be taken to the centre over economic, fiscal and banking policy. The logic of ever closer union and the wish to harmonise their countries leads to outbreaks of integrationist policy. The EU view of mutual solidarity and support leads ineluctably to more sharing and pooling of power.

             This process has been going on for more than a decade since the Euro was established. Under Labour it was disguised. The then government usually signed up to it all, avoiding rows which would have highlighted its import. When challenged, as they regularly were by the Conservative opposition, they played down the importance. They always said they had established red lines which meant we controlled our own tax, benefit and borders policy, though it turns out we do not.

              The Lib Dems like to behave similarly, or sometimes wish to be more honest and to welcome ever closer union and more power for the EU. Mr Cameron does not, and seeks to use the Conservative position in  the coalition to limit the damage to the UK constitution. In recent days he has sought to keep the UK out of the impact of the banking union. He has argued against a defence union. He has sought to gain greater control over our benefit system. When will the other main parties in the UK wake up to the need to define a new relationship with the EU as the Euro area rushes on to full political union?

              The UK debate on the EU has been made more difficult  by the unwillingness of Labour to debate it openly and honestly. When the main opposition party is in denial about how much power they transferred, and how much power the EU would like to add to that transfer today, the public debate is enfeebled.  Today when the EU’s big role in benefits, borders and energy is at the centre of the UK political debate, we do not know what if anything Labour would want to do about all the power the EU wields over these crucial matters.

             UKIP supporters will continue to protest that all can be solved by their party, by simple withdrawal. However, the polls continue to point to most people voting in General Elections  for parties that welcome further EU integration, or for the Conservatives, the only Eurosceptic party with MPs capable of doing anything to resist the tide of EU power. We need to force the federalist parties to explain how much power they have given away, and to come clean about how little scope there now is for an elected UK government to alter great swathes of policy.

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  1. Arschloch
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    John there is no need for a referendum or a revised relationship Dave just needs to grow some and ask now how many divisions does Cathy Ashton & Co have? It only takes a little bit of bravery to stand up to the paper tigers Brussels elite and the rest of Northern Europe will follow. Just remember the other week HMG announces a few minor restrictions on benefit claimants from the Balkans and suddenly Germany and Holland jump in too and say what a great idea, why should we too be a receptacles for their surplus labour?

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      JR, I am somewhat puzzled by your comments. You will be aware of Cameron’s speeches in European countries and how he articulated quite clearly that the UK would welcome others joining the EU. This is in contrast to his latest PR/headline grabbing stunt. While we have come to accept you cannot believe a word Cameron says, it is difficult how you form your view in the above blog. There is also nothing Eurosceptic about fighting with heart no soul to stay in and not leading the UK out of the EU even if the referendum requires it. Christopher Booker’s last article on Cameron and the EU is spot on the money. Suggest you and your colleagues read it.
      BTW another MP convicted for fraud, we are still waiting for that clean up from Clegg and Cameron- this includes the Lords where we taxpayers’ are charged for the rail fare for Lords to sign in and bog off to get their £300. Possibly worse than welfare fraudsters as they are not law makers.
      Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year JR.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink


        It makes me sick too. These people bring the whole system into disrepute and should be made an example of. I notice though, that the good old BBC falls over itself to get their luvvies back on air as soon as they get released from prison (assuming of course they even go there in the first place).

        The whole system needs steam-cleaning to get rid of the festering, creeping rot that is corruption, and given the number who are at it, I could even allow myself to apply the word ‘institutionalised’. Peter Thirlwell who stood against McShane summed it up nicely, but I won’t spoil it for you, go and take a look.

        Yet it riles me that there are good men and true who are tarred with the same brush. I know of plenty who didn’t even claim the expenses to which they were entitled according to the rules because they saw it as excessive and unfair. That’s the kind we need. I would rather have somebody whom I didn’t agree with, but could trust to engage me in honest debate, than one who is sneaky and motivated by money and personal advancement. I have come across lots of the latter in my time and they still make me sick every time I think about them.

        Will the party leaders ever address this problem to the public’s satisfaction?

        Like the monkey said when he tiddled on the candle – ‘I doubt it!’


      • APL
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Hope: “Possibly worse than welfare fraudsters as they are not law makers.”

        The Lords has not been ‘law makers’ in living memory. What it was was a bulwark against constitutional tampering. Not surprising then that the filth Blair wanted it destroyed.

        Nor surprising that we now live in a state of perpetual lawlessness.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      We were never asked or informed of the LibLabCons intentions on the EEC/EU political construct as was written in the secret report FCO 1971 30/1048. EU superstate by stealthy incremental Treaty change. Therefore we don’t need one to leave. Invoke Article 50 Lisbon Treaty to regain our sovereignty and secure our borders.
      We’re still having the lies and spin of Mr Clegg/Cable/Cameron with 3 million jobs at risk. German engineers and Finnish Doctors etc. Total nonsense by the establishment partiers to bamboozle the sheeple by fear not reasoned arguments on benefits of the EU as there are none! We don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it, ask USA, Japan, China, Switzerland etc.
      With 2.4 million unemployed and 1 million young people we don’t need to subsidise Eastern Europe minimum wage workers with working tax credits, family allowances, free health, education and housing. The latter all subsidised by the poor British taxpayer to reduce wages for the multi-nationals like a certain Pizza chain.
      Never have the British people been so badly let down by our political leadership who still don’t get patriotism.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Agreed !

        • Hope
          Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          The Swiss have immigration quotas with the EU, a better deal than Cameron can achieve, or will ever achieve, while he fights to stay in the EU with heart and soul.

          Good article by George Carey in the DT about Chritianity and how Islamist are trying to purge them from the Middle East and the lack of government action. Even more reasoned replies in the blogs that followed it about what is being done in the UK.

          • zorro
            Posted December 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            To be even more precise, certain Sunni extremists who are supported by Western proxies,(etc ed), are murdering Christians in Syria, and have done in some other ME countries…… How peculiar that we should have been on the side of people who have actively persecuted Christians and tried to sow mayhem and destroy multi ethnic communities who have lived side by side for generations…….or maybe it isn’t strange.


            Reply I don’t think the UK government wanted to be on the side of extremists

          • zorro
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply – One would hope not but HMG getting a lot of practice…… history might suggest that we have tended to support (one way or another) extremist types on quite a few occasions or vice versa….. Afghanistan, parts of ex Yugoslavia, Libya, Egypt, Syria…….


      • Old Albion
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Agreed with christmas tinsel on.

      • bigneil
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        and agreed again – -but surely people are now realising that camerons lies are just time wasters to the inevitable – and that Cameron WANTS this country to crash and burn – where the rich will be ok and the rest can go **** — lie after lie – -no respect shown to the people he taxes to death – -more and more going to foodbanks – -and MPs don’t give a damn – -after all – -why should they – -to them the rest of us are called jack.

  2. Richard1
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Labour’s tactic of avoiding debate seem sensible. They did as you point out cede decision making over huge swathes of policy to the EU. Amazingly, considering this policy is hugely unpopular and a manifest disaster in many areas, they are still ahead in polls. Its the same with global warming policies. The climate change act is an unsustainable economic disaster and uncertainty on the science grows by the day. The leftist tactic? Just duck any debate, seek to smear or denigrate your opponents and try to get media focus on a few populist gimmicks instead. I think they only get away with this tactic on these issues as their allies in the BBC have an effective monopoly on broadcast current affairs programmes.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Richard–It’s not that Labour are ahead, rather that the Conservatives are behind

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Cameron never sought to make his case for what he stood for lord Ashcroft made the point several times. It was a tactic by Cameron.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    There is a problem. For years and years people of all the political parties (except the LibDems) have ben fudging the European issue.
    Mr Wilson’s referendum on the “Common Market” through all the treaties which were passed off as trifles, through to Lisbon which in itself was a pack of misrepresentation with our Prime Minister, the Scottish Genius, grinning feebly as he signed in a back room, has led to the present impasse where nobody is trusted.
    Not only can Mr Farrage be understood, but he can also be trusted.
    M. Barroso can be both understood and trusted to say what he believes. But his views are not fully reported.

    We need some leadership here, not more and more fudge. Mr Cameron must know that his words on immigration and welfare are just posture? Doesn’t he read Christopher Booker in the Telegraph? He must know that unless he does something pretty radical pretty quickly, we are going to get swept into the maelstrom of United Europe? That, honestly, could lead to war in the near future.

    Leadership is what is needed from Mr Cameron. Otherwise we can be assured of Labour taking over under the wing of the Trades Unions in just about a year’s time.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    “most people voting in General Elections for parties that welcome further EU integration, or for the Conservatives” – but Cameron also welcome further integration but pretend not to but only before elections.

    Cameron even ratted on the Cast Iron guarantee BEFORE the election and thus threw the sitting duck election away. We all know where his heart and soul lies, we know he appointed Lord Patten to the BBC, we know his views on a “Greater Switzerland on Sea”, we know his renegotiation plan is just another long grass, attempted fraud against the voters. We do not even know what powers he want to negotiate back for heaven sake!

    We also realise that UKIP will not achieve much, but then neither will a Tory victory. Anyway a Labour overall victory is pretty certain, the LibDems only sided with Cameron due to the numbers and Brown’s recent history, next time they would not do and the voting system boundaries are against the Tories (again thanks mainly to Cameron’s incompetence with his Coalition deal)

    Cameron and the modernisers have fluffed a huge open goal and perhaps the last chance for the UK to escape the undemocratic, evil EUSSR. People want smaller government, lower taxes, less or no EU, cheaper energy, no green crap, fewer daft regulations, no BBC think drivel, selective immigration, public services that are not dreadful & incompetent, a sound currency, functional banking and real democracy – they have been given the opposite by Cameron.

    They also want less motorist mugging by councils up to a new high I see reported today.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      80% are against the absurd HS2 but Cameron is still pushing ahead with it – why when it is politically unpopular and clearly economically absurd?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic–(Are you the same as lifelogic? I have asked before with no answer)–The best thing may be to nibble away at the edges, like (especially if Scotland wants to HS to Europe at least eventually) how come the wretched thing is going in to Euston and not wherever HS 1 goes in to London these days. Yes I know it would be difficult but seems a la Crossrail to me so do-able enough. The break in London, like so much else, seems preposterous. Another £20, ooo,ooo or so should do it, no sweat.

        • lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          Yes the same, sorry my finger are too fat for my ipad mini and my reading glassed rarely to hand, will have to stick to the laptop.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          Just realised I of course meant £20,000,000,000

      • BobE
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        I can only assume that he knows he will loose the leadership in a years time, having lost the election and so can ingrate himself with those who will gain from its construction. I can’t see any other reason for supporting such a poor idea.

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        It is not politically unpopular, the select committee came out in favour of it. The EU politicians want a rail link between all its major cities and Brussels is more powerful than the subservient UK government. I agree with you Life logic that the HS2 does not make any economic sense whatsoever, but then nor did the Climate Change Act that so many idiotic MPs voted for. Headline grabbing Dave thinks it is good, I think the civil servants must pay homage to his brilliance every day so that he continues to do what they want.

        • lifelogic
          Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          By “politically unpopular” I mean unpopular with voters not with politicians and the largely parasitic establishment, they clearly benefit from the nonsense HS2.

      • john wilkinson
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Part of the TEN.T programme for EU – that is what is driving HS2.

  5. Dan
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I rarely return to this blog nowadays. It makes me sick, to be perfectly honest.

    Given the ongoing destruction of of the UK through its membership of the EU, to read Redwood’s witterings about new relationship would lead one to despair, given he’d be one of the foremost ‘eurosceptics’ they have.
    There will be no renegotiation, no new relationship, just further integration. The tory sheep will put their careers and pensions first everytime…and attack UKIP as that’s the easy way out.

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed it sees as you say on the EU, “the Tory sheep (and the BBC) will put their careers and pensions first every time…” while occasionally pretending not to near elections to take in the gullible.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      His got to tow the Part Line, otherwise he is out ! And even if he does not get thrown out of his party, his chances of being the ‘New’ Leader of the Conservative Party post 2015 will look decidedly poor.

      Its called keeping you powder dry, saying the right things too the right people, getting over finishing line first, and being there to pick up the pieces of what’s left of the party.

      The Liberals in the Conservative Party(ie wets) have been running the show since Maggie left. That’s why they have not won an election since 1992 and never will.

      • Hope
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Cameron described himself as a liberal conservative. I would suggest the emphasis on liberal. No right thinking Tory would have links to common purpose, nor describe the self as the heir to Blaire- one of the most hated PMs once the truths out him surfaced.

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    John–Very good (BTW, why aren’t you in the Papers more often?) but one notes your casually easing in the word “protest” when referring to UKIP whereas UKIP is not a protest vote. Whether you like it or not the straight talk from Farage goes down very well indeed and one doesn’t need a poll to know that he and his party will likely win going away next year whereupon (it’s a sequential thing) there might be some hope. Cameron’s policy on Europe would not be unreasonable except that he has lost trust for all time and in any event “the polls continue to point to” Labour’s getting back in, so what he says has little meaning.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Postscript–How could a Eurozone Banking Union be “worse” for us than if the the Eurozone were already one country and if it were one country would we be worried? I suggest No, indeed it would be better in one sense at least in that we wouldn’t have to keep reading about it.

  7. Ken Adams
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Many see the conservatives as giving away just as much power, they certainly have never regained any hence we have a continual ratchet effect.

    “UKIP supporters will continue to protest that all can be solved by their party, by simple withdrawal.”

    I think you are misrepresenting the case, Eusceptics argue we can only obtain the settlement you keep saying we want by withdrawing, in other words the conservative position on renegotiation is unattainable.

    A further point is the promised referendum cannot happen as promised in 2017 because there is no way Cameron can force the renegotiation issue on the EU and even if there were and the whole treaty change process could all be completed on time, it would not be an in out referendum but one on treaty change. On top of which we would end up with a conservative government using the powers of the state to campaign for a yes vote.

  8. Old Albion
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    ” UKIP supporters will continue to protest that all can be solved by their party, by simple withdrawal”

    I wouldn’t wish to let you down John.
    In/out referendum A.S.A.P. is the only way.

    Merry Christmas.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink


  9. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    JR: “We need to force the federalist parties to explain how much power they have given away, and to come clean about how little scope there now is for an elected UK government to alter great swathes of policy.”
    I take it that you mean the three Westminster triplets – Conservative, Labour and LibDems? I noted with interest that the Sunday Times reported that when you and colleagues approached Cameron in the autumn to warn of growing rebellion about immigration he “brushed off” your concerns and for good measure he told you nothing could be changed. That is the saga of everything relating to the EU with LibLabCon abject surrender to the dictators of Brussels.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Yes, the missing word is “three”, as in “the three federalist parties”.

      Because that is clearly the reality of the situation, no matter how much JR protests to the contrary; and he should know that, having been one of only 27 Tory MPs who voted for an amendment to insert the words:

      “The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament in relation to EU law is hereby reaffirmed.”

      into the European Union Bill, while 256 of his Tory colleagues did as they were told by their party leaders and voted against it, such is their commitment to our national sovereignty and democracy.

      And that was not the first time; when a comparable amendment to the Bill to approve the Lisbon Treaty came up Cameron first asked the Tory MPs to abstain, and then the whips actually texted them to say they could go home just before the division was about to take place.

      Which was noted by Benedict Brogan at the time, and can still be read here:

      “Cameron hit by massive rebellion

      No, I didn’t notice either, but according to researchers at Nottingham University (aka Phil Cowley) it’s the worst revolt against the Tory leader’s authority since he took office. It happened last night in the divisions on the EU Treaty. While all eyes were on the tragi-comic silliness of the Lib Dems, few spotted the vote on New Clause 9, proposed by Bill Cash, which would prevent changes in the Treaty being used in British courts to challenge the supremacy of Parliament. Mr Cameron asked his troops to abstain, but 40 ignored him and voted in favour, including 12 from the new intake. Proportionately that’s as big a revolt as the one suffered by Nick Clegg. It’s also the largest revolt in numerical terms of the Treaty’s parliamentary passage so far. More useful analysis of last night’s results at Revolts.

      UPDATE: A robustly euro-sceptic MP has just shown me the text messages he received from the Chief Whip’s office yesterday evening. The first, at 19.17, gave Tory MPs a green-light to go home by telling them there would be “no further
      official votes”. The division on Mr Cash’s clause was called seven minutes later, at 19.24.”

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Denis, that stinks to high heaven, but is par for the course. They will try every devious trick in the book to manipulate the system in their favour. Tories a Eurosceptic party? That joke ought to be in a Christmas cracker!

        A few days ago, I received a round-robin e-mail from Grant Shapps telling me how well the party had done, and asking me for a quid.

        He’s got a long wait! I don’t support Euro-federalist parties – especially sneaky duplicitous ones.


  10. alan jutson
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives do not know where the other two parties stand, then simply force a debate and vote on many of the issues.

    Let it be plain to see where both the Lib Dems and Labour stands.

    Yes it may waste some parliamentary time (if such debates fail) but at least it shows where the Conservatives stand.
    At the moment we simply do not believe that Mr Cameron or his part of Government is fighting our corner at all.

    I see it is reported that Mr Clegg will not agree to any further curbs on immigration numbers. If so, then test him out for the public record, voters then can be sure what they are standing, and we are voting for.

    You need to get it out in the open.

    9 days to go before many thousands more can legally gain entry to our Country.

    How many houses are we going to build in 9 days to accomodate such people. ?

    • Hope
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      500,000 council and social affordable homes over the last 10 years it was reported today. Boles wants to build on very piece of countryside and what is left will be used for wind farms. With a year to go for the elections and Tories not making sufficient ground, it might be worth setting out their stall on a few issues to test the Lib Dems and to seal their fate for the general election. Then again, Cameron might see them as his continued partner, forever?

      • Bazman
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        In London 500K is considered affordable housing. All housing that sell can be considered affordable. You are suggesting that to many houses are being built? In Cambridge there is 5000 new jobs and 2500 new houses. What should we do? House share or live five to a room like I’m sure you do?
        What about the scandal of the middle classes unable to afford a property where they want such as the centre of London or even out in the provinces such Cambridge. If there was some sort of cleansing of these areas of the lower classes in these areas this would help a great deal. Barracks or the like based on income and qualifications. Maybe a lottery for some houses?
        Ram it.

  11. sm
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    This is an extract from a memorandum written by Sir Paul Methuen, an early C18th diplomat and MP:

    “Show always a due regard, respect, and obedience to the laws and customs of your country; and particularly an inviolable attachment to those amongst them which relate to the preservation of our liberty, property and privileges, which are the natural birthright of every Briton, and have been transmitted down to us by our ancestors with so much care; since these make so essential a difference between the present condition of an inhabitant of this island, and that of those in most other kingdoms of Europe.

    But above all, since you have the good fortune to be born in a country where some liberty remains, let me recommend independence to you, which properly distinguishes a freeman from a servant or a slave; and without which no one can lay any solid, lasting or secure foundation for the happiness of his whole life, but what must be precarious, and depend on others.”

    Says it all, really.

  12. Chris S
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The problem we have is that between 1997 and 2010 Gordon Brown made changes to the benefits system that added millions of working people to the number of recipients as well as providing a raft of non-means tested freebies such as Bus Passes and heating payments for pensioners.

    By promoting the impression that there is no limit to what the state can do for the disadvantaged an another significant proportion of the population, not on benefits, lost the will to work hard and get on. This is particularly the case with the young who have gone through a school system that has had all traces of competition surgically removed and, while given no realistic career advice, hundreds of thousands were encouraged to spend three or four years at University completing a degree of no value to their career prospects.

    During this time the Conservative front bench made no or at best only token efforts to point out the consequences we are now seeing.

    Is it small wonder that many employers now pay low wages when the state tops them up to a basic level on which people can just about live ?

    It will be almost impossible for the Conservatives to get support to put things back on a sustainable level while so many have a vested interest in the benefit system ?

    The word “fairness” has been highjacked by Clegg and Miliband to mean tax the middle classes and the wealthy till the pips squeak. ( to coin a phrase ). They are squeaking – loudly.

    We know things have to change it’s just that it will take someone of the stature of Margaret Thatcher to win over the public and make them see reality – and fully expose the weakness and falsehoods peddled by the LibDems and Labour.

    With due respect, you and I both know that DC falls well short in this respect.

    It may be that the Conservatives lose in 2015 and it will take another disastrous Labour administration, aided and abetted by the LibDems, to make the country see sense.

    If that happens, we can only hope that the decline and the inevitable damage can be reversed.

    • Chris S
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      PS. I should have added that David Cameron has hardly done himself any favours by taking many actions his core supporters dislike and cannot support. HS2 being the current example.

      He has not stood up to Clegg and co over electoral reform or Europe. He should have gone to the House over immigration, for example, and challenged the LibDems and Labour to either support the British people or vote against.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Well the Conservatives could easily fix this by introducing a living wage, which would result in almost everyone in employment earning enough money to live on, so they’d no longer need to claim working tax credits. Instead they did the opposite and introduced the apprentice wage which resulted in more people being eligible for even greater levels of benefits. The Conservatives cannot make people less reliant on benefits by making them poorer, they have to increase wages in real terms.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        This is such a seductive idea Uni but perhaps it has certain drawbacks.
        Where does an employer get the extra money to increase wages for everyone from?
        Easy for public sector, quango land and monopolies who would just tax us more or up their price.
        If your propsal works then logically you could go further and raise wages to a minimum of £500 per week eliminating poverty at a stroke and whilst you are at it you could make overtime illegal and reduce the maximum working week to 30 hours per person bringing happiness to all and eliminating unemployment as well.

        There must be a catch…?

        • ian wragg
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          That’s what they tried in France with the 35 hour week and lowering the pension age from 62 to 60. Businesses are closing at a rate of knots as they cannot compete with the rest of the world.
          Youth unemployment is heading for Greek levels.

      • Hope
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Neither party has to when it continues mass immigration and can import cheap labour which can be topped up with tax credits.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      It is true that a number of employers see benefits as wages instead of in addition too. Happily having their business subsidised by the state whilst telling us about the free market. The answer is not more benefits but higher wages. Does anyone seriously think that it is possible to live on less than minimum wage without benefits such as tax credits. Oh Yeah? Where would you live? Five to a room like Cambridge graduates working in warehouses?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        It is a good example of the free market Baz.
        A Government hands out free money to your employees boosting their incomes.
        This changes the market conditions which employers naturally take advantage of.
        I know companies where staff are refusing wage rises and bonuses as they lose more in tax credit reductions leaving them worse off overall.
        I blame “save the world” Gordon.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          They just pay what they can get away with if the state would not pay a minimum wages or tax you are telling us they would have to pay more a they would have to? As if. The employees would be paid less as there is to many desperate people willing to work for what they offer. They are subsidised and so is the employee by the state and they know it. The wage rise can be removed and the bonus not paid. ‘Managers discretion’. Get off.

          • lifelogic
            Posted December 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

            Of course they pay just the going rate, they have to to stay competitive and still stay in business.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            I am in favour of the minimum wage as you should know Baz as I have explained that to you in response to your accusations that I do not more than once.
            Yes I think employers would increase their wage rates if the monster of tax credits were slowly reduced.
            Then as you correctly say employers would pay not the State.
            It also needs changes to the tax system because it is silly to have people pay tax and then have to claim tax credits.
            Why not just tax them less in the first place.
            Its not just the lowest paid that qualify.
            You can qualify even if you pay higher rate tax.
            How weird is that.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            The whole idea of tax credits was to make work pay. An incentive to work. The employers will just not pay more wages unless forced. Is the minimum wage also unecessary to?

  13. oldtimer
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The problem that you have in discussing the EU (and it applies to concerned commentators on this blog too) is that it does not figure very high as a pressing issue, if at all, in the mind of the voter. It has no traction. The economy, unemployment, immigration, the cost of energy do have traction but the connection between these issues and the EU is not made. Unless and until the connection between the source of (some of) these issues and the EU is clearly and convincingly made the three main parties will keep the relationship with the EU on the back burner. That will only change if and when enough voters decide to back UKIP and Mr Farage, who has the knack of communicating the issues rather better than most.

    PS I happen to agree with the position and negotiating strategy you have outlined over the past year. But the reality is, in my view, that not much will change unless the main body of the Conservative and Labour parties have the electoral frighteners put on them by UKIP.

  14. Mark B
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    When you write these article’s, I often wounder, who is it you are addressing ? Its almost if you are holding a private conversation on matters that both you and the recipient(s) largely agree with.

    The ‘reality’, which most of us have come to see, is that the EU Commission tends to run those things that member states have ceded to them. We therefore can go too their website(s), or listen and read announcements made by them, in order to gain better insight as to what is really going on. In short – you, your colleagues, and Government, are out of the political and decision making loop.

    The EU will shortly announce that we are to embark on a new treaty. I think this one will create the European Superstate, so carefully and deceitfully craved by the political class and establishment. Or, as I like to call it, an exclusive club for politicians and civil servants, where the people are allowed to look, but are not allowed to participate in any meaningful way.

    When Red Ed assumes power in 2015, and you hand over the keys to the Cabinet Office, he will be at the negotiating table regarding our membership. I have longed believed, and you have carefully edited this out in the past, that it will be Red Ed that will remove the final opt-out/in on our membership of the Euro. He will however leave the final decision, via referendum, to whoever assumes office in 2020. By then, we will be so over run, that our membership will be a foregone conclusion. We will be assimilated into the greater EU Superstate, our nation (England) Balkanised. JOB DONE !!!

    And by the way, I am NOT a UKIP member, supporter or voter. Just an ordinary guy, who is pretty dam p***ed of with being lied to, and seeks to know what the hell is going on and try and help others see what a bunch of treacherous people we have running the show.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      If Miliband (and Parliament) agreed to renounce our treaty opt-out on the euro then we would be in the same position as all other non-euro EU member states apart from Denmark; we would then be legally obliged to join the euro, and if a later government suggested holding a referendum on whether to join it they could get the same message from the EU Commission as Poland got a few years ago, that it would be wrong to hold a referendum on that because that decision had already been made and Poland was legally obliged to join it. OK, I know that Sweden is dragging its feet about fulfilling its treaty obligation, and so could we …

  15. Bert Young
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    There are shocks ahead ; the opinions I receive all point to severe criticism of the leadership of the Conservative Party and the lack of trust in its utterances . A recent Chairman of the conservatives in Wokingham was reported to have been very surprised at the changes he noted while canvassing recently . Home truths indeed !! . Sorry you did not publish my literary effort yesterday , I thought the portrayal of the IMF in the guise of the Gruffalo was very apt .

  16. acorn
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Ah “ineluctably”, must try that word on a few council estate doorsteps on our patch.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Acorn–To be helpful in your unenviable task, it means unable to be struggled out of in the Greek and was the mot juste you can tell them. That should do it.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Merry Christmas John

  18. Kenneth
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Why on earth was the eu, previously the common market, debating defence provision?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Because John Major agreed that it could, through the Maastricht Treaty.

      From the preamble, on page 3 here:

      “RESOLVED to implement a common foreign and security policy including the eventual framing of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence, thereby reinforcing the European identity and its independence in order to promote peace, security and progress in Europe and in the world”

      • Kenneth
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Denis. I hadn’t realised that.

        Pretty scary if you consider how extreme the eu is.

        • Chris
          Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Kenneth, see the eureferendum blog for detailed information on this topic (if you haven’t seen it already). The search facility for articles on that blog is excellent. R North’s knowledge on things European and all the relevant legislation/regulations is second to none, and far superior to any UK politicians’ knowledge.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Good point Denis, and then he keeps crawling out of the woodwork in an attempt to influence the current debate as if he were some wise old sage whose words and guidance we should all be thankful for. I’m afraid he’s another one I’d see in chains in the Tower of London if I had my way. I’m quite particular when it comes to acts of treason and selling out my country to foreign powers.


      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        There are so many assumptions in the Treaty, for example “common values” . There is nothing ‘ common’ about the values which all the races share.

    • Bob
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Because the government are “sunsetting” the British armed forces.
      Their weapons will be taken away and they’ll be given hi-viz armbands so that they can act as ushers for big entertainment and sporting events (if they’re lucky!).

  19. Atlas
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the result of the European Parliamentary Elections might focus minds in the Labour, Lib-Dem and Europhile wing of the Conservative Party?

    It really does make me feel like the proverbial Christmas Turkey, trussed up and ready to be consumed by the EU lovers. JRR Tolkein’s character “Wormtongue” comes to mind when thinking about the hidden support for the EU by the higher echelons of our own Civil-Service.

  20. Freeborn John
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The next big decision in the EU debate will be who becomes the next Conservative party leader. After failing to win a majority in every election since Maastricht your party still does nothing about EU powers. Why do you think you your party deserve our votes when it is so clear that Cameron is aiming to keep us in the EU with no or negligible treaty change? Get a real eu-sceptic leader or lose again in 2020 too. And no more of these distractions about the ECHR or immigration – focus exclusively on making the case for EU withdrawal and no half-measures as in your books.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid that this no longer washes with many people, not just because they don’t trust Cameron personally but because a) they know that historically it was the Tory party which first led us into the EEC/EC/EU quagmire and then led us in deeper and deeper, and b) they realise that those leading the Tory party now have absolutely no intention of ever leading us out of that quagmire, and c) they can see that there is no realistic prospect that new leaders will arise through the Tory party who would attempt to reverse what has now been settled Tory party policy for the past half century, and d) they have had enough of being strung along by the Tory party on this matter from one election to the next and the next, and so they are no longer willing to suspend their disbelief and give that party any benefit of the doubt even if such doubt could reasonably be said to exist.

    It’s no good trying to shift the blame to Labour and the Liberal Democrats when it is as plain as day that those leading the Tory party are totally committed to keeping us in the EU, and in reality many of them are closet eurofederalists who have quietly transferred their primary allegiance to the EU, while the great majority of Tory MPs have little or no commitment to our national sovereignty and democracy and some of them are actively opposed to the very idea that the British people have a right to both possess and control their own country.

    • Chris
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree with you on this. I think the electorate expected Conservative Eurosceptic politicians to have taken radical action by now. I am afraid just registering a vote in the H of C is not enough to satisfy a thoroughly disillusioned and distrustful electorate.

    • cosmic
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes indeed.

      The parliamentary Conservative Party has never been and is not now eurosceptic. It has made noises occasionally, but that’s all. Largely, these noises are about EU reform and are a sham. You have to judge by actions, not words, and their actions have always dragged us further in.

      Less than 30 Conservative MPs who want us to leave the EU are going to make no difference.

  22. Neil Craig
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The problem with forcing the “left” parties to admit how much they gave away to the EU or indeed to discuss anything else is that most of British “political debate” is set by the BBC, which is the prime totalitarian broadcasting monopoly in the world. Nobody at the BBC is going to ask that question or even allow serious broadcasting of others asking it.

    The BBC Charter is unambiguous about them being required to report with “balance” & impartiality but (as 28 gate proves) they make no attempt to do so.

    MPs who believe in free speech should be calling for an immediate public assessment of whether 28 Gate, their reporting of almost everything, censorship of UKIP & other dissenters and their absolute refusal to broadcast free debates (ie those with both sides represented) is compatible with the Charter. If not every person involved cannot legally remain an employee.

    The downside of this is that the BBC will fight dirty (as when they invented the hacking scandal as a Murdoch phenpmenon because he was going to expand Sky) and that what the Tories will gain over Labour, they will lose to UKIP.& that Cameron would not clearly rather have a Labour government than a Tory/UKIP one but also owes his leadership of the party to a BBC dirty tricks campaign. But it would be the right thing to do.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is only required to be impartial when both sides have equally valid arguments, however when one side has evidence to back up their claims and the other side has no evidence the charter allows the BBC to only report the side that has evidence to back up their claims. So as long as one side lacks any evidence to back up their claims the BBC and all other broadcasters are right to ignore them.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        You need to look at the charter Uni.
        You are not correct.

  23. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I am far from clear what the new relationship would be if the Conservatives were to have a parliamentary majority to force throughout their vision.

    You give a hint: seeking “to keep the UK out of the impact of the banking union”; arguing “against a defence union”; seeking “to gain greater control over our benefit system”. But the man who is doing this seeking and arguing is also the man who is convinced that the UK should remain within the EU. No matter the energy of the seeking and the eloquence of the arguing, we are left none the wiser as to what will be the outcome.

    And all that against a background of seeking and arguing a relationship with other EU countries that goes against the the principles and direction of travel which all other EU members support (at least as a general principle if not in the minutia of all the details).

    And it completely ignores the bigger question: even if the UK could have a UK flavoured relationship, would the resulting EU be an organisation which is credible and in which it would be sensible for the UK to be a part. It seems to me it would spell the end of the EU as a coherent organisation as every member country would seek their own flavoured relationship best suited to their particular needs and desires. That seems like a recipe for chaos and disintegration which those who do believe in ever closer union are likely to fight to avoid.

    So no matter what David Cameron might want, it seems most likely he is not going to be allowed to get.

  24. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I’m not a UKipper but I was once a Conservative Party supporter. But no more. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Mrs Thatcher. After she was betrayed I stopped, and lost interest in the political scene; it was only after devolution I returned. because of the maltreatment of England.

    We all know people vote for minority parties when the mainstream don’t reflect their views, and complaining about that is unreasonable. I have lost all faith in the Conservatives, and have turned my back. What it seems to me you have to do is convert many more of the Euro-enthusiasts in your own party away from the EU, and get policy changed. I’m not sure how well you are really doing. A ‘new relationship’ is a bit weasely for me, simply meaning different things to different people. Its your party and there’s little point I think in your wringing your hands about what the Labour party says or doesn’t say.

    As your party continues to frustrate you. Does Cameron simply say whatever his particular audience wants to hear him say – the ‘finger in the wind’ school of politics.

    So, lets imagine, just how frustrated with your party are you? How valuable are you to it? Do you think you could be re-elected as a member of the English Democrats, for example? They are for EU withdrawal. Is your personal vote big enough to take you through? Is Wokingham euro-sceptic enough? It would be a good test I think. My party is very small and doesn’t have much money, so finds it hard to compete. We could then see how many people vote for you because you are a Tory and how many because you are a euro-sceptic.

  25. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    With reference to the last paragraph, I do not think that anyone is claiming that “all” can be solved by withdrawing from the EU. What withdrawal does do is enable the UK to determine its own destiny without the political interference, and all that follows from the political interference, of the EU.

    I can understand that for some countries the EU is very appealing as it offers something quite different from their own political experiences over the last hundred years or so. But the situation in the UK is quite different; judged by World experiences, the UK has done pretty well. We have had a thousand years to determine own own destiny, and we have gradually blended it, through many trials and tribulations, to something that is pretty good.

    We managed not only to acquire an Empire, but more significantly, for the long term, to let it go in relatively benign circumstances such that we now have a Commonwealth where the member countries are there because they want to be and want to participate in Commonwealth activities, despite the centre of the Commonwealth being their colonial ex-master. It is a World-wide organisation where the English language is a key element of cementing it all together.

    The UK got rich trading all round the World, why focus the horizon on Europe?

    I get the distinct impression that many of our political elite are scared of their own power, and rather than step forward with their vision for their country would rather hide within the safer confines of a cosy club where responsibility and accountability is shared.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


      Spot on !

    • Chris
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Quite so, Alan, with regard to your statement: “I can understand that for some countries the EU is very appealing as it offers something quite different from their own political experiences over the last hundred years or so.” The fundamental problem for the UK electorate is that we were misled by politicians (e.g. FCO papers) as to the exact nature of the European project, and had no real idea of what we had voted for. This is in contrast to many other Member States who knew exactly what they were voting for (their politicians had hidden nothing from them) and they chose to become part of the club.

  26. theyenguy
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Please consider that there will never be a new relaionship, as God designed from eternity past, that in the last days, the EU rise in preeminence over the UK as well as over the US; these latter two being the twin iron legs of global hegemonic power seen in Daniel’s Statue of Empires presented in Daniel 2:25-45.

    The EU was planned as part of God’s Economy, the concept that Jesus Christ is acting in dispensation, that is the political and economic administration of all things, so as to mature and complete every paradigm and age.

    On October 23, 2013, Jesus Christ opened the First Seal of The Scroll of End Time Events, thus enabling the Rider on The White Horse, who has a bow without any arrows, to empower the bond vigilantes to commence calling the Interest Rate on the Ten Year Note, ^TNX, the “Means of Economic Destructionism”, higher from 2.48%, thereby destroying fiat money, and to begin destroying fiat wealth, VT, as well as Nation Investment, EFA, and Global Financial Institutions, IXG, something that was done through debt deflation by the currency traders selling the Major World Currencies, DBV, the week ending December 13, 2013, and the Emerging Market Currencies, CEW, the week ending December 20, 2013.

    The trade higher in the Benchmark Interest Rate, ^TNX, beginning on October 23, 2013, was an extinction event which terminated the paradigm and age of liberalism, and pivoted the world into that of authoritarianism.

    Bible prophecy of Revelation 13:1-4 communicates that Jesus Christ is bringing forth a number of new things, as liberalism’s dynamos of creditism, corporatism, globalism, are powering down, and authoritarianism’s dynamo is power up.

    Under liberalism bankers, corporations, government leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors of nation state democracies were the legislators of economic value and the legislators of economic life that shaped one’s means and one’s ends. In contrast, under authoritarianism, currency traders, bond vigilantes and nannycrats working in public private partnerships and in regional governance, are the legislators of economic value and are the legislators that shape one’s means and one’s ends.

    Welcome to totalitarian collectivism; it’s the complement of regional governance as the Beast regime of regional governance is rising to rule the world. Soon out of the Club Med crisis of sovereign insolvency and banking insolvency, it will establish policies of diktat of regional governance in every one of the world’s ten regions, and schemes of totalitarian collectivism in every one of mankind’s seven institutions, where the EU will be model, that is the template for all of the regional zones.

    The beast regime’s power is quickly growing, and cannot be stopped by John Redwood, or Nigel Farage, or anyone else.

    • zorro
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Well, it looks like JR might as well pack up his bat and go home then, as he is clearly fighting in opposition to Jesus’s grand plan which involves the creation of an authoritarian EU it seems, as well as letting loose the bond vigilantes….


  27. Tad Davison
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    ‘The Lib Dems like to behave similarly, or sometimes wish to be more honest and to welcome ever closer union and more power for the EU. Mr Cameron does not, and seeks to use the Conservative position in the coalition to limit the damage to the UK constitution.’

    In haste, this is taken from Wikipedia but I think it’s fairly accurate:

    ‘The Constitution of the United Kingdom is the set of laws and principles under which the United Kingdom is governed.[1]

    Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single constitutional document. This is sometimes expressed by stating that it has an uncodified or “unwritten” constitution.[2] Much of the British constitution is embodied in written documents, within statutes, court judgments and treaties. The constitution has other unwritten sources, including parliamentary constitutional conventions (as laid out in Erskine May) and royal prerogatives.’

    The US has a written constitution, and in 2005 I wrote a 17 page document given out to politicians as to why I believe there’s a compelling case to have one in the UK that is set in stone. However, it isn’t perhaps in keeping and commensurate with our membership of the European Union, and we had a very pro-EU federalist government at that time who wasn’t listening.

    Much to cheer about then with this item from Open Europe:

    Kamal Ahmed: EU tide is turning and Germany is our ally
    Sunday Telegraph business editor Kamal Ahmed argues that “there is now a growing scepticism among German businesses about the grand European integration project”, citing evidence “pulled together by Open Europe, an impressive think tank”. He also cites Open Europe’s recent briefing analysing the reform scenario of the simulated UK-EU negotiations which suggested that the UK could ally with a “new Hanseatic league” of liberal-minded EU member states in order to push through EU reforms. Ahmed concludes that “From a minority position of one, the Prime Minister is finding more support than he expected for major EU reform. If he plays his cards right, businesses will back Britain remaining in a thoroughly overhauled EU.” Open Europe’s war games are also covered in The Scotsman, which describes them as a “milestone event”.

    Tad Davison


    • Mark B
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Open Europe, believe that the UK should be in ‘Europe’ but not ruled by ‘Europe’.

      This is a nonsensical position to hold, as the whole point of ‘Europe’, or to give its proper name, the European Union, is for further integration leading to a sort of United States of Europe.

      I do not believe them to be a reliable source of impartial information and consequently give them a wide birth.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        I hear you Mark, and I agree with you. I was just trying to highlight the fact that there seems to be a bit of a thaw on the continent and a change in attitudes. There are many who now see what a disaster the poxy place has been, and we ought to home in on that and fuel it.

        I have often said that the only way is out. That’s the only way we can stop the cancer of the EU ever coming back. Whilst their tentacles reach into our affairs, there will always be that danger.


        • Hope
          Posted December 24, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          The EU is a yesterday’s problem with a yesterday solution that provides its supporters with untold wealth. This is why the fanatical scam continues at our expense.

    • Chris
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      I think any optimism with regard to Open Europe findings is misplaced. See the eureferendum blog by R North, which deals very succinctly with their findings. His blog is not always encouraged by politicians as he pulls no punches (hence not including the direct link which sometimes triggers the censor), but more importantly his knowledge of all things European with regard to legislation/bureaucracy/workings is second to none. He puts Open Europe’s findings very much in perspective.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I have to issue a small reminder that in the late summer of 2010 Merkel said she wanted an EU treaty change to legalise eurozone bailouts, and Cameron agreed to give her that EU treaty change without demanding anything substantive as a quid pro quo.

    And that EU treaty change demanded by Merkel was finalised through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of March 25th 2011:

    “EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECISION of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro”

    And the UK Parliament quietly approved it through an Act, Hague having made first use of his new “referendum lock” law to block a referendum on it.

    And in October 2011 when JR had an article asking what powers we would like to get back from the EU:

    I restricted myself to potential treaty changes relating just to the euro and the eurozone, and listed eight such treaty changes that Cameron should have demanded to protect our vital long-term national interests – and indeed that MPs could have insisted that he must go back and demand, given that the Bill to approve Merkel’s treaty change had not even been introduced into Parliament at that point let alone passed, which didn’t happen until a year later, October 2012:

    And because Cameron declined to make use of that “golden opportunity” to demand EU treaty changes to protect our national interests, and instead simply gave Merkel what she wanted free gratis and for nothing, we are now faced with a eurozone which legally must expand to take in all EU member states apart from the UK and Denmark, and whether or not the peoples in those countries want to join the euro – Latvia will be next, on January 1st – and all new EU member states are put straight onto the conveyor belt into the euro – as has happened with Croatia, with Cameron’s agreement – and no country can ever leave the euro once it has joined, and the eurozone is becoming an increasingly federalised bloc – as publicly urged by Cameron and Hague and Osborne – which will increasingly vote against our interests, and devise dubious means to circumvent any residual protections there may be in the EU treaties, and over time our position inside the EU but outside the eurozone will become increasingly untenable, until eventually a future government of whichever party or parties will decide that as we can no longer beat them we must join them, and take us into the euro, with or without a referendum as it sees fit.

    Looking back in history it is difficult to find a foreign policy which matches this in its sheer insanity, certainly Pitt would be turning in his grave at the idea that the British government should actively go out of its way to make sure that almost the whole of Europe will be united against us.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      In short – another Tory con! Who would have guessed it!


  29. JoeSoap
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    ” UKIP supporters will continue to protest that all can be solved by their party, by simple withdrawal. ”
    That is the starting point, not the destination.

    “However, the polls continue to point to most people voting in General Elections for parties that welcome further EU integration, or for the Conservatives, the only Eurosceptic party with MPs capable of doing anything to resist the tide of EU power. ”

    The polls also point to a greater and greater proportion of people voting for the only Eurosceptic Party, UKIP

    “We need to force the federalist parties to explain how much power they have given away, and to come clean about how little scope there now is for an elected UK government to alter great swathes of policy.”

    If by that you mean the Labour and Libdem parties, then you will have the finger pointed back at you with the same question.

    Reply As a Conservative MP I continuously make the powerless of the UK clear to readers and listeners. UKIP is currently on 12% for a General Election, so if you think only UKIP counts as a Eurosceptic vote it means the country is 88% federalist. Maybe we Conservatives are Eurosceptic as well, – if not it’s very lonely being UKIP in a General Election, as last time’s 3% showed.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      John–You know full well or certainly should that last time’s 3% has almost no likelihood of being repeated especially after the elections next year and BTW I just read somewhere that the latest poll gives UKIP 16% not 12%. They are getting there and no mistake. The 88% you mention is meaningless and you surprise me. If we set 100% negative views at minus 10 through zero to 100% positive at plus 1o, this for anything you like, eg Redwood for PM, it does not follow that people not in favour of, in this instance, Redwood for PM are at minus 10, they could all be at zero.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Our disagreement on this point revolves around the meaning of Eurosceptic.

      If you’re on the side of the fence which wants separate nation states with their own tax and spend policies, budgets, a free trade agreement, freedom of movement without freedom of citizenship or freedom to permanently reside, freedom to legislate on all matters, freedom to enforce direct democracy, then in my book you are Eurosceptic.

      If you want to be part of an EU, within which the UK jostles with other members against their general trend of fiscal integration, against their call to join a central currency, against their call to operate transnational defence forces, but you still will always be part of the EU, then you are a Tory Eurosceptic. You will never achieve your aim, because you are rowing against the tide, and your negotiating position is handicapped because you have declared you will never leave the boat.

      There is a fundamental difference.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      I am not a member of UKIP but it seems obvious that each vote that UKIP wins is worth several of the ‘mainstream’ parties, no matter how much cold water is poured on them by their enemies. All this talk of percentages and statistics is bunk.
      The only interest that the Conservative Party is likely to stimulate at the next election will be one of ghoulish curiosity as to whether the unfortunate old stager can drag itself out of the wreckage and hobble away unaided.

  30. Antisthenes
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    You ask that federalists come clean and say how much sovereignty has been given away. Well they are not going to because that would damage their cause and they know it. However it does not need much honest research to discover that most of it has now gone to Brussels and the European parliament(who in their own way are more bureaucratic than the bureaucrats and more often than not demand more regulations and EU spending than even the commissars of Brussels do). If we had a decent media in the UK we would also know on a daily basis that David Cameron is all posture as his demands for renegotiation and repatriation of power is nothing but an unattainable wish list which surely a politician of his stature must be well aware of. What Cameron says he wants cannot be achieved because it requires treaty changes that all 28 have to agree on which is never going to happen. He and May are making statements of going to change this and block that which because of the power of the EU now they have have no hope of doing. Cameron appears to be using the lefts tactic of making populist statements regardless whether they are realistic or not or in the electors best interests for electoral gain but the right has never been any good at that type of deceitful spin and it may turn out badly. However we will have to wait and see how it works out and hope and pray that he has a major strategy in mind and he will confound us all and most of all Brussels.

  31. matthu
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink


    if you think the lack of trust in the Conservative Party is worrying, you may see some parallels with the following:

    In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, only 36 percent of Americans reported having “a lot” of trust that information they get from scientists is accurate and reliable. Fifty-one percent said they trust that information only a little, and another 6 percent said they don’t trust it at all.

    A whopping 78 percent of Americans think that information reported in scientific studies is often (34 percent) or sometimes (44 percent) influenced by political ideology, compared to only 18 percent who said that happens rarely (15 percent) or never (3 percent).

    Draw whatever conclusions you want, but the way I see it, once a group of professionals are perceived to have damaged their credibility to the extent that they have (over climate change in the case of scientists, over the EU in the case of politicians) there is no easy way back.

    Think Ratner.

    At least he had the sense to resign and change tack. He might have dug his heels in …

  32. Tim
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Remind me again, which party is Anna Soubry in?

    Another dreadful performance by her on TV yesterday. And we wonder why no one trusts the Tories when they have front benchers like her.

    Sorry John, UKIP all the way.

    • Chris
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Her behaviour was a disgrace, I believe. She was an A lister, and an MP of the new intake in 2010. That really says all one needs to know about David Cameron’s judgement. Worth looking at her appearance in front of the European Scrutiny Committee with regard to e cigarettes. You can form your own opinion on her competence, and her knowledge of her brief. To access it Google Soubry and ESC, or otherwise look on Conservative Home website Soubry article yesterday, in the comments section where the link to her appearance is posted.

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      She is a dreadful lefty, is this really the best Cameron can find? Why on earth did she join the Tory party with her silly views?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


        I missed last Sunday’s AM show, so after reading this thread, I belatedly went onto the iPlayer to have a listen. I was disappointed with Anna Soubry too, and for me, she lacks the statesman-like coolness and steely determination needed from someone in high office. Compared to Maggie, she’s a lightweight. But I feel sure Nigel Farage will pay no heed to what she said.

        However, it was Mandelson’s interview on the same programme that bothered me more. He came out with some real gems.

        ‘We’ve got to invest heavily in both the public and private sectors to close the productivity gap.’

        ‘We’ve got to see personal indebtedness reduced.’ (I wonder who used it to fuel the last boom?)

        And the banks should be ‘…..lending money chiefly to the corporate sector businesses in the economy’.

        As this thread is getting a bit long in the tooth now, I might re-introduce those quotes when the opportunity next arises, but if that shower ever get back into power, we’ll be back on a downward slide from day one!


  33. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    A big reason for withdrawal is the immigration problem , yet people like Vince Cable talk of isolationism as a factor why we should all fall in.

    • Paul
      Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that before 1997 immigration was not a major issue for most people. Then we had 13 years of uncontrolled immigration, EU enlargement, and now three years, and counting, of the same policies. Yet another issue where all three parties are identical, and why? All three are wholly committed to the EU.

  34. peter davies
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I often wonder why commentators and journalists don’t talk about the fact that the UK as part of EEA could leave the EU tomorrow and retain access to the so called single market. We may not then have an input to shaping their rules but that is the same as trading with the US or any other country.

    I heard someone on ITV News talking about Norway’s open borders being a condition of using the EU single market which is nonsense – they have open borders because their politicians were stupid enough to sign up to Schengen.

  35. Paul
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party, with their inability to stop saying ”hard-working people”, looks more amateurish and incompetent by the day. JR, you must have been angered by a representative of your party and member of the government yesterday who described a political opponent in such an inappropriate and disgraceful way on the Marr show. What on earth has happened to the Conservative Party? As Nigel Farage has been saying for months, the big 3 parties have lost the argument and have decided to play the man and not the ball. The public will eventually see through it and UKIP will continue to get stronger. The choice is simple – a real eurosceptic party or 3 identical futile parties.

  36. Ted Davison
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    ‘When the main opposition party is in denial about how much power they transferred, and how much power the EU would like to add to that transfer today, the public debate is enfeebled. ‘
    Indeed. And this is compounded by the failure of the great majority to take the trouble to be properly informed. The primary purpose of the institution is stated with perfect candour in the first sentence of the Treaty of Rome…

    ‘DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe,’

    Who knew?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      That seems mighty close to my name. I hope we’re not going to get gamers on this site. Care to choose something more original in future that doesn’t confuse everyone?

      Tad Davison


      • Tod Davisdon
        Posted December 25, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        Yes I agree.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted December 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like some plonker is messing around. Why not put your real name down, and let us hear what you’ve got to say so we can have a proper debate?

          Or is that a bit too grown up for you?

          Scared that you might be out of your depth?

          Tad Davison


  37. Wireworm
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    It’s as clear as day that the attempt to Germanify Latin Europe is doomed. If France could keep up, it would be a different story, but they signally can’t. Unless matters are resolved before the presidential election of 2017, Marine Le Pen will win it. Either way we’ll be dealing with a very different EU in three years’ time, if not sooner. Cameron wants a hand in defining it; it’s critical that Miliband is not allowed to do it instead.

  38. Normandee
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    At what point do you do a reasonable impression of the BBC, and reply to all the above posts by being sycophantic and then patronisingly point out that they all wrong and you are right.

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    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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