Text of letter to Prime Minister

This week-end 100 Conservatives have expressed their support for an important letter to the Prime Minister. We are impatient at the way the Coalition is prevented from renegotiating or giving us a referendum this Parliament on our current membership. Conservative MPs are pressing the government to deal immediately with the worst pinch points of EU policy like immigration and energy prices by legislating in the UK. We are seeking to reassert Parliamentary sovereignty. Once we have used the formula of passing an amendment or repeal of an EU measure “notwithstanding the 1972 European Communities Act” we are in a strong position to gradually correct the damage EU policy is doing. This would be good law in the UK. We would not accept any legal challenge from the European Court, and rule that out in our UK law. Such action could of course trigger the political renegotiation the UK needs with the other member states, and allow us to explain from a position of strength that we wish to trade with them but not to be governed by them.
The argument that such a veto would make a single market impossible is untrue. The so called single market programme has been hijacked by federalists who have used it to produce a massive extension of EU government. Changing that would not prevent a profitable trade between EU nations. As the rest of the EU sells us much more than we sell them they would of course wish to keep sensible tariff and other arrangements to allow the trade to continue.

The letter says:

“Dear Prime Minister,

Each time you have stood up for British interests in Brussels, you have achieved a great deal. We would like you to consider adopting the ideas put forward by the European Scrutiny Committee, which would re-establish a national veto over current and future EU laws and enable Parliament to disapply EU legislation, where it is in our vital national interests to do so. This would transform the UK’s negotiating position in the EU.

This would reinforce the point you made last week in your FT article, in which you suggested that the right of “free movement” in the EU should be a “qualified right”.

It is clear that that is a direct challenge to the existing ‘acquis’, and indeed your article prompted EU Commissioner Reding immediately to claim such a step was “non-negotiable”. However, we believe you are on to something fundamental and which must be pursued.

You have similarly talked about “the return of Britain’s opt-out from social and employment legislation in those areas which have proved most damaging to our economy and public services”; “a complete opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights”; and “limiting the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over criminal law to its pre-Lisbon level and ensuring that only British authorities can initiate criminal investigations in Britain.”

Your Bloomburg speech also made clear your challenge to the status quo in the EU when you justifiably asserted: “It is national parliaments, which are, and will remain, the true source of real democratic legitimacy and accountability in the EU.”

In making these statements, you have the fullest support of the Conservative Party – and the majority of voters. Most importantly, you are also speaking in the national interest. However, clarity about how we will achieve these objectives is vital for our credibility. The European Scrutiny Report provides precisely that.

Last week European Scrutiny Committee agreed a unanimous report.
The report cites the existing Article 4(2) of the Treaty on European Union, which requires that the EU “shall respect the essential state functions” of its member states, and that this means respecting the democracy of the member states. Accordingly, the Committee’s report recommends that “there should be a mechanism whereby the House of Commons can decide that a particular legislative proposal should not apply to the UK”. Further, it recommends “parallel provision should be made to enable a decision of the House of commons to disapply parts of the existing acquis.”

This proposal would enable the Government, for example, to recover control over our borders, to lift EU burdens on business, to regain control over energy policy and to disapply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is set impose enormous costs on British business and taxpayers) in popular and sensible ways.

We would urge you to back the European Scrutiny Committee proposal and make the idea of a national veto over current and future EU laws a reality.

Yours etc”

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92 Comments

  1. arschloch
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Instead of writing letters to him why not just get a rid of him? He failed to win the last election despite unprecedented events like a run on a bank and a load of Labour MPs, including an ex minister, being on their way to jail. While PM he has come up with non manifesto vote losers like same sex marriage and left you with a load of electoral handicaps to overcome, such as the boundary changes and rapidly sinking party membership. During the Viet Nam war unpopular officers who put the lives of their troops unnecessarily at risk ended up being fragged.

    • Hope
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      They write a letter to Cameron when Osborne is about to give a speech that the UK should stay in a reformed EU!

      When do the Troy MPs get it that Cameron and Osborne are not listening to them. Either the Tory supporters leave or Cameron does, it is quite simple. Tory support has halved under Osborne’s strategy and part time chancellor. The German foreign minister calls Eurosceptics brainless. The Tory MPs now argue for a veto on any law, we allegedly had this when we joined the EEC! Grayling arguing for changes, we allegedly had a veto in 2007 to stop/ prevent any further changes to the charter of freedom. Goodness me, what does it take for Tory MPs to wake up and smell the coffee?

      Christopher Booker highlights, once again, the prattle Cameron spoke about this week in relation to climate change and the weather. Bearing in mind his prattle about energy bills recently. He says one thing and acts in stark contrast. No one believes or trusts Cameron.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Mr Redwood, the letter from 95-100 Tory MP’s is “Huff and Puff” politics to try and give the impression that:
        1. Something can be done and fairly quickly.
        2. Your leader and Mr Osborne are listening.
        Or
        3. Are you all simply playing charades for the tame mainstream media?
        I don’t have the time, or your readers, the inclination to explain EU law and the time line necessary. Richard North does so succinctly a couple of days ago (11.01.14) here:

        http://www.eureferendum.com/Default.aspx

        The EU’s Martin Schulz and Ms Reding (As well as our President Barosso) have made it abundantly clear that our EU Government won’t allow any changes to the free movement of people or the aquis and we have no hope from the other 27 nations who can send their sick, lame and unemployed here. British taxpayers, as always, will pick up the bill for their (EU and others) working benefits, child benefits, housing, health and education costs at a net loss to us for those who actually choose to work. Immigration has been and continues at invasion levels. 318000 from outside the EU last year and 185000 from inside. Forget net as the Government has no control over our highly qualified and entrepreneur’s who choose to leave having seen the Countries demise.
        The game is up for the legacy parties as their goose is cooked and the sheeple can visibly see the results of the last 40 years of LibLabCon failure and capitulation to our EU masters on our Streets and Cities.
        Most people know friends and relatives who can’t get a job (especially the young), whilst being served at all service industries by someone with a foreign accent. Waiting times for Doctors appointments get longer, sitting next to someone from elsewhere on equal status at our overcrowded international A&E or health service. Can’t get a place at a local school for their children.
        The rush to build on the greenbelt to accommodate mass migration to alter our aging demographic. Note to politicians: Migrants also get old and its a giant Ponzi scheme.
        The EU Turkeys will not vote for Christmas and want our foolhardy contributions and services at no charge to them.
        If we keep voting for the same parties……….we will get the same result. Lets try a new patriotic party!

        Reply We are seeking to use the power of Parliament to change our relationship with the EU and change policies.

      • Hope
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Hague is now against the 95 who signed the letter with a little scare mongering added to the case- no surprise there if one looks at his voting record. A changed man if ever there was since the story about sharing a room with his adviser. I am afraid JR you need to take a different approach, they are not listening.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Hague just like the rest does not give a dam. All on the bridge are clearly EUphiles and just going to go down with ship shortly regardless. They pay far more attention to the fake green EU loving dopes in the Libdems than the sensible wing of the Tory party.

          You were conned by Cameron’s EUsceptic, but totally empty & worthless lies.

    • Bob
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      @arschloch

      Instead of writing letters to him why not just get a rid of him?

      Exactly!
      In truth, don’t want rid of him. He is exactly the leader they want, someone who can deny with his lips what he does with his hands -> “at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world.”

      With EU Parliamentary elections this May, and the General Election next year, the MP’s letter (probably instigated by Mr Cameron himself) is telling the faithful what they want to hear in an effort to offset some of the negative effect of the policies that he implemented without the support of the public.

      Make no mistake, the Tory Party is in the clutches of the Fabians, just like the other two.

      If it were not for ukip there would be no discussion of the EU issue.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        You’re quoting from Polly Toynbee’s grandfather, maybe following Lindsay Jenkins in her commendable 1997 book “Britain Held Hostage”?

        “Perhaps his most outspoken and revealing talk was at Copenhagen in 1932 when he set out his views on the nation state … He broadcast his disloyalty to the nation state:

        “If we are frank with ourselves, we shall admit that we are engaged on a deliberate and sustained and concentrated effort to impose limitations upon the sovereignty and the independence of the fifty or sixty local sovereign independent States ….. The surest sign ….. that this fetish of local national sovereignty is our intended victim is the emphasis with which all our statesmen and our publicists protest with one accord …. at every step forward which we take …. that the sacred principle of local sovereignty is (not) really being encroached upon and its sphere of action reduced and its power for evil restricted. It is just because we are really attacking the principle of local sovereignty that we keep on protesting our loyalty to it so loudly”

        How should it be done? Toynbee said:

        “I will merely repeat that we are at present working discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of the world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands, because to impugn the sovereignty of the local national states of the world is still a heresy for which a statesman or a publicist can be …. ostracised and discredited.

        I believe the monster is doomed to perish by our sword. The fifty or sixty local states of the world will no doubt survive as administrative conveniences. But sooner or later sovereignty will depart from them. Sovereignty will cease in fact if not in name to be a local affair.”

        He forecast that if the nation states “surrendered their sovereignty in good time, they can look forward to preserving their existence as non-sovereign institutions for an indefinite time to come.””

        Note in particular that admission:

        “And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands”,

        which is just how the British establishment has gone about it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          “And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands”

          Just like the coalition then and from Heath, Wilson, Thatcher even, Major, Bliar, Brown, Cameron and soon (thanks to Cameron) Miliband no doubt.

          • Alan Wheatley
            Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic, I am surprise you include Thatcher in your list, something I would not have done. But it is not for me to defend her.

  2. Duyfken
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Rather than “a national veto over current and future EU laws and enable Parliament to disapply EU legislation”, which barring the veto allows passive acceptance and automatic application, I would much prefer that any EU-inspired law should be subject to each item being debated and only brought into effect if it is passed by the UK parliament.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Dyfunken

      “Only bought into effect if it is passed by UK Parliament”

      Good job I read the comments first before posting, as your point is exactly the one I was going to make.

      Perhaps if everything came before Parliament, MP’s may get a flavour of exactly how much the EU wants to control our lives.

  3. Arschloch
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink
    • lojolondon
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Interesting article – wonder why the government and the Biased BBC keep telling us that we have to keep freeloaders, when (as with so many other European laws) clearly we are obeying them and others are not. Or we are interpreting them in a way less favourable to our country and our people than others are.

  4. Brian Taylor
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    If the above is not taken forward, you can look forward to a good kicking in the EU elections and a Labour government in 2015.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Even if they do they will still come third.

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “The so called single market programme has been hijacked by federalists who have used it to produce a massive extension of EU government. ” – Your letter.

    Now read what Viviane Reding said in a recent speech on the future elections on May 22nd:

    “We need a true political union. To me this means that we need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States.”

    All of us need to get the message across: European Parliament elections are more important than national elections.

    This will be our best weapon against the Eurosceptics: to explain to our citizens that their vote really matters. That the big decisions on policies in the European Union are made by the parties of the centre. And that therefore it would be a waste of their vote to use it as a protest vote, by choosing Eurosceptics on the right or on the left.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-1_en.htm

    You are not listening!

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Mike, I do not understand your point. Surely you do not think “parties of the centre” are a powerhouse of Euroscepticism? What party of the centre has a policy that is Eurosceptic?

  6. Old Albion
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I wish you well with that JR. But I have little hope that Cameron will listen.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed Cameron may well say all sorts of things, in a (usually failed) attempt to garner votes, but he is simply no longer trusted one thou. In his actions he is clearly far more of a Ken Clarke, Peter Mandelson, Lord Patten, Nick Clegg type of person. With his pro EU, fake green, ever bigger state, 299+ tax raising and endless over regulation drivel.

      He simply has the wrong Heart and Soul and genes. He cannot even tell us why he is so opposed to a Greater Switzerland merely that he is.

      I see he has said “he will think about it but if national parliaments regularly overturned the EU the single market would not work”. In other words get lost I am an EUphile and I am going down with the ship in 2015! Cameron is interested mainly in Cameron – not the Tory party nor the interests of UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Perhaps a slimmer, younger Leon Britain is the closest fit to Cameron. The sad thing is there are no other options would be able to win the leadership (with the current rabble of lefty MPs) and would do any better, the party are stuck with him until the ship goes down in 2015.

        • zorro
          Posted January 14, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          I am sure that Mr Cameron will be delighted with the comparison….

          zorro

      • APL
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “far more of a Ken Clarke, Peter Mandelson, Lord Patten, Nick Clegg type of person. [snip ]He simply has the wrong Heart and Soul and genes. ”

        The word you are searching for is, ‘Quisling’.

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Why, when Clegg (on the BBC this morning) says “3M jobs in the UK directly depend on the EU” do the BBC interviewers never question this absurd claim. The EU with its idiotic regulations, expensive energy, CAP, HS trains, the common fisheries policy, high taxation, lack of vision, big government, hugely anti-business attitude and idiotic EURO clearly destroys jobs by the millions all over the EU and the world.

        No one sensible, looking at the facts, could think otherwise. Surely not even Clegg really thinks this does he?

    • Duyfken
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Richard North at EUReferendum is scathing in his condemnation of both the letter and the “idiots” who wrote it. His main point is that this is pie-in-the-sky stuff and that nothing can come of it (barring of course withdrawal from the EU).

      • APL
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Dufken: “His main point is that this is pie-in-the-sky stuff and that nothing can come of it ”

        It is hoped by the political elite that extra votes will come of it. This is all part of the boring repetitive pattern we see in the run up to an election, any election.

        If your suckered by this tactic again, well, you deserve the government you get.

        • Duyfken
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the comment APL. I fail to see how I may have been “suckered” in and the criticism I summarised is that made by Dr North, with whom incidentally I am in full agreement.

  7. Andyvan
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Good idea but Dave won’t do it.

  8. Steven Granger
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It is becoming incredibly boring and irritating having to spell out the obvious flaws in the above approach but let me do it again this time in capital letters so there is a chance you and your quarter witted colleagues might understand:

    1. THE SINGLE MARKET WAS NOT “HI JACKED” BY THE FEDERALISTS, IT WAS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN PART OF THE PLAN TO ULTIMATELY CREATE A POLITICAL UNION. THE EU DID NOT START OUT AS A TRADING RELATIONSHIP THAT SOMEHOW GOT OUT OF HAND, IT WAS INTENDED TO BECOME A POLITICAL UNION FROM THE OUTSET. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO STOP THIS PROCESS FROM WITHIN THE EU.

    2.IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE TRADING RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES CLAIM TO DESIRE BUT ONLY BY WAY OF AN EXIT FROM THE EU VIA A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT UNDER ARTICLE 50 OF THE LISBON TREATY.

    Please repeat the above 100 times or as long as it takes to sink in.
    Reply I have often explained the federal intent of the scheme and the needless regulations for the so called single market. I am also trying to deal with the persistent criticism from the federalists that we need the single market to sell to the EU. If we are to win we have to engage with the federalists and tackle their viewpoint. Don’t lecture me, lecture them

    • Vanessa
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Well said ! The trouble is the tories in the government keep trotting out the same old lies because they actually believe them. If they read “The Great Deception” they might realise the truth as to how this evil organisation was set up in the beginning.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,

      “I am also trying to deal with the persistent criticism from the federalists that we need the single market to sell to the EU.”

      Correct ! At least initially. We can have access to the Single Market, all we have to do is make sure that it is pert of our agreement post Article 50. I am sure that those in the EU who sell a great deal more too us than we do to them, will be happy for this. It makes things easier.

      What you and others have to do, is not argue with them, but try to address their concerns by working on a solution that will deliver. You have been told both by myself and others that an EFTA/EEA gives us all, both Federalists and Sovereigntists, what they want. Of course, if they are Federalists then they support Commissioner Reding’s position on a United States of Europe, which basically means you are wasting your time.

      @ Steve

      Thanks for saying what I was about to put. It indeed does get rather frustrating when we, the simple folk, can see the solution, but those who sit up on high simply cannot, or will not see the reality of the situation.

  9. JoeSoap
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The request misses a deadline.

    Your reply will be along the lines of:

    “Of course our past, present and future efforts will be directed to the goals you are rightly seeking. This government has and will make clear our determination to return key powers to national Parliaments as Sovereign entities”.

    And guess what? Nothing will change.

    • Hope
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Voting UKIP will be the only hope of change. Far more practical than the above letter.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    It’s worth recalling that 136 MPs voted for this on May 16th 2006, in Division No 239 at Column 945 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060516/debtext/60516-0017.htm

    “New Clause 17

    DISAPPLICATION OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972 (NO. 2)

    ‘(1) An order made under Part 1 containing provision relating to Community treaties, Community instruments or Community obligations shall, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972, be binding in any legal proceedings in the United Kingdom.

    (2) In section 1 and this section -

    “Community instruments” and “Community obligations” have the same meaning as in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68);

    “Community treaties” has the same meaning as in section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.’. — [Mr. Cash.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

    The House divided: Ayes 136, Noes 318.”

    Somehow Bill Cash had managed to get official Tory party support for this amendment, and therefore those who voted for it were mostly Tory MPs, with some Ulster unionists; among the senior Tories who went through the “aye” lobby were Dominic Grieve, who is now the Attorney-General, and Theresa May, who is now Home Secretary, and David Lidington, who is now Europe Minister.

    The debate on that had taken place the previous day, starting at Column 750 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060515/debtext/60515-0010.htm

    with JR saying:

    “Finally, I turn to the amendments on the European issue tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Mr. Cash). Nowadays, so much of our regulation comes from Brussels that we cannot exempt that from scrutiny and from our deregulatory urge. New clause 17 makes a good attempt to draw the House’s attention to that and to make Ministers understand that they cannot have a deregulation policy worth anything unless they are prepared to tackle quite a number of the regulatory burdens coming from Brussels. That would preferably be through renegotiation of those individual items, but it would be good to have a legislative back-up to make it crystal clear that if this House wishes to deregulate something, that should be law made here in the United Kingdom.”

    It’s good to see that some people are consistent on this matter, but unfortunately that cannot be said for Cameron and those other senior Tories, including the then Shadow Attorney-General Dominic Grieve, who agreed that the Tory party would officially support this assertion of parliamentary sovereignty in May 2006 but have since retreated from that on at least two occasions.

    The first occasion being on March 5th 2008 over an amendment to affirm and protect the sovereignty of Parliament against possible attack through Declaration 17 attached to the Lisbon Treaty, Division No 120 at Column 1877 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080305/debtext/80305-0024.htm

    when only 48 MPs voted “aye”; while the second was on January 11th 2011, when MPs were asked whether they wanted the words:

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

    inserted into the European Union Bill, and only 39 MPs voted for that in Division No 161 at Column 253 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110111/debtext/110111-0004.htm

    Of those mere 39 MPs who voted to reaffirm the sovereignty of our national Parliament there were 27 Tory MPs, while 256 actually voted against it:

    http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live?mp=0&division=7

    including Cameron, Grieve, Hague, Lidington and May.

  11. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This does seem to be something of substance. It raises some fundamental questions.

    (1) Irrespective of the merits of the objectives contained in the letter, is there any prospect of them being achieved through the current parliament given the likely way its Members will vote?

    (2) Are the objectives contained within the letter consistent with the Prime Minister’s stated policy that the UK should remain within the EU?

    (3) If the objectives contained within the letter are achieved while at the same time the UK remains as a member of the EU, would such an EU be a credible and coherent organisation of which the UK would like to be a member?

    (4) Why would the approach advocated within the letter be better for the UK than simply leaving the EU and negotiating such arrangements as we want from outside?

  12. Richard
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The plan is as follows :

    1) Scotland either votes for complete independence or devolution is enormously extended to give essentially the same result.

    2) The EU proposes the rUK must re-apply for EU membership as they are no longer the entity which negotiated and signed the existing treaties. The HM government says this is not being proposed by the EU.

    3) The EU proposal arrives for negotiation. HM government says there is nothing to negotiate.

    4) The EU proposal is negotiated. HM government says it is winning the argument.

    5) The EU decides that rUK can be fast tracked back into the EU if all existing treaties, including a new one proposed by Germany, are signed immediately without opt-outs. The HM government says the decision does not say what it says.

    6) The BBC, the CBI, the Civil Service, all EU supported organisations and EU pension holders, and most Parliamentarians say that exit from the EU will rapidly lead to millions of job losses and financial ruin for the rUK.

    7) Mr. Cam Cleggmill signs to save the rUK.

    Job done.

  13. Bert Young
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The letter is forceful , well explained and , particularly , timely . The work done by Bill Cash and his Scrutiny Committee has been overlooked for too long ; it has reflected the view of the electorate and , for reasons only known in 10 Downing St. , been pushed to one side . I’m not of the opinion it is just the constraint influence in the Cabinet of the LibDems ., it has to be because David Cameron is too inclined towards the need for a united Conservative Party belief ; in fact , it has led to its biggest ever split . The Opinion Polls today make it clear that the centre of power must be returned from Brussels . Nigel Farage is now in clear blue water and has been handed a magnificent start to the forthcoming EU election . A deal with UKIP makes sense and should be engineered as quickly as possible .

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Bert–I am disappointed that John doesn’t seem to think that the Country Before Party plan is worth his even commenting on, not so far at any rate. He did say he would read it so I am sure he has. It is at least possible that Country Before Party could actually happen whereas, although the Letter John shows us today has a lot of good stuff in it, it of course has not even the remotest chance of happening, certainly not while Cameron is there.

      Reply Where do I find it? I have not read anything about it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Blimey–As I said (and, forgive me, the only way I know for certain as I write–remember I advised you might want to hold your nose) is James Delingpole’s blog a couple or three days ago in which he gives a link to Toby Young’s article. For what worth to you, I am gobsmacked all round. I merely read the article, thought gr8 if it or something similar could be done, and that it might get further useful discussion going; however now it seems that nobody (to my knowledge) has even heard of it, but how can that be? Delingpole may not, because of his rooting for UKIP, be your cup of tea but he definitely does exist, right?, as does Toby Young. BTW, I am thoroughly depressed having just read what our esteemed Chancellor is apparently going to say tomorrow (per Torygraph today). He and the PM badly need lessons in the basics of how to negotiate. It makes me weep.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Bert said;

      “The work done by Bill Cash and his Scrutiny Committee has been overlooked for too long . . .”

      The only thing that has been overlooked for far too long, Bert, is the slow, drip, drip of power from the UK too the EU without we the people ever being asked once. And 1975 does not count.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      A deal with UKIP makes no sense what so ever: the two parties have diametrically opposed policies on UK membership of the EU.

  14. Freeborn John
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It is a shame the list of signatories has not been published. It is imperative that the next Conservative party leader is chosen in 2015 from among those who signed this. No more faux euro sceptics like Maeron please and that includes Boris Johnston, Theresa “European investigation order” May any many others that want to keep us in the EU and delay and minimise change.

    • roger
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree. My first reaction in reading this excellent letter was the same. Who are the signatories? Can we be enlightened please?
      However being a pessimist on this issue I am convinced, like many others, that given the opportunity and however many ‘gains’ he might achieve before 2017 David Cameron will never, ever campaign for OUT. We will be opposed by every vested interest imaginable and be frightened into voting for the status quo.

    • Chris
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      The Sunday Telegraph states that apparently Bernard Jenkin, James Clappison, Sarah Wollaston, John Baron, Anne Main, Conor Burns and Sir Gerald Howarth were signatories.

      Reply Yes – and I signed it.

      • APL
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        JR: “Yes – and I signed it. ”

        So, I’d be curious to know what you think of the Times FOI request ?

        “Now it has been revealed that the letter was never actually sent to Number 10, and does not actually exist.

        A response to a Freedom of Information request by The Times said: ‘A search of our records has not identified that we have received the letter to which you refer.’

        “Bernard Jenkin, the Tory MP who co-ordinated the letter, said he had passed the names to Mr Cameron’s parliamentary aide Gavin Williamson, rather than send an actual letter.”

        Reply He delivered a copy of the letter but as I understand it no-one actually signed the letter though they had made clear privately their support

  15. zorro
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Well let’s see the concrete actions as opposed to words of the PM… Hopefully, either way people will know who to vote/not vote for when necessary….

    zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      All concrete actions from Cameron are in the wrong direction, the only actions in the right direction are worthless words, long grass tactics or cast iron PR gimmicks.

  16. Chris
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I am not sure if many/any Conservative Eurosceptic MPs are aware how far advanced the EU is in the work on a replacement treaty. A new draft treaty by the Spinelli Group has been put forward for consideration and I believe it is essential reading. It is extremely relevant to the last few postings which John Redwood has made on the issue of the EU.
    http://www.universitapereuropa.eu/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fundamental-Law_final-EN.pdf

    This was brought to my attention by R North on his eureferendumblog, who in turn refers to C Booker’s article in the Telegraph.
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84618
    Booker: floods, treaties and other matters
    “…As we (RN and CB) have both noted, there has been scant secrecy about what the EU’s ruling elite is up to. Since October we have even been able to read a 300-page draft of their new treaty, published by the German think tank Bertelsmann-Stiftung, and backed by José Manuel Barroso, the Commission president, and Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president.
    Barroso has said that, before stepping down later this year, he plans to make a major statement on this treaty, hoping to put it at the centre of May’s euro-election campaign. Not only will this treaty become major news, but it will also show up all of Mr Cameron’s talk about a treaty of his own as idle prattle.
    A year or two after his 2017 deadline we will, by law, have to hold a referendum, wholly different from anything he is talking about, to decide whether we can accept a treaty that, according to the draft, will allow us to remain in the EU but as a second-class “associate member”.

    “So why are we not being told about this?”, Booker asks.”

    has It rather puts the efforts of our Eurosceptic MPs into perspective

  17. Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    The time for polite letters congratulating an india-rubber Prime Minister for his non-existent achievements in resisting E.U. mission-creep is past. 100 Conservative M.P.s out of the total who do not agree, never mind their LibDem partners and the Labour Members is ineffective, as your previous words on this blog on arithmetic have made clear.

    Your leader has expressed his view that he is in favour of the U.K. remaining a member of the European Union. That membership is unlawful.

    Writing letters to a politician in favour of an unlawful situation is not likely to achieve the return to the rule of law which is essential.

    If the 100 M.P.s who have signed this letter believe that the sovereignty of the British people should be reasserted, something more than letter-writing is required of them.

    John Wrake.

  18. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I’d be interested to know the names of the 100 Conservatives who supported this. Is there any chance of a list please?

  19. Vanessa
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    “achieved a great deal……” What, exactly ?

    The budget went up when DC said it should go down.

    There has been no change in the immigration figures despite all the posturing by DC that he would get them down.

    When will he or any of you understand that you do not have the authority to CHANGE ANYTHING. We are governed by the EU under all their treaties and you are all just “Managers”. Get used to it because you have to ask permission before you do anything and usually it is refused !!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      “… you do not have the authority to CHANGE ANYTHING.”

      Parliament is still the supreme legal authority for the United Kingdom and it can completely repeal its previous Acts approving the EU treaties, whereupon EU law would cease to have any legal force in this country. Very few question that it still has the authority to do that, at present, and in fact most europhiles are content to emphasise that if we don’t like being in the EU then we are perfectly free to leave any time we can get a majority of MPs to vote for that.

      Somewhat more contentious is whether Parliament has the authority to partially repeal the Acts approving the EU treaties, which is the essence of what is being proposed here – that Parliament should repeal the Acts to the extent that certain specified EU laws would no longer be granted any legal force in this country, while other EU laws would continue to have legal force here.

      I would go with the view of Bill Cash MP that as Parliament is still the supreme legal authority it certainly has the authority to do that, and any problems which may arise subsequently would not be with our national law but would be on the international plane, that is to say some of our neighbours might object.

  20. Sue Doughty
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    One thing we can do immediately is harmonise our benefits structure better so that we are no more generous than other EU states and things like Child Benefits paid for children are paid at the going rate in the country where the children live. If it alright for local workers it must be alright for those whose parent(s) work in the UK.

  21. Bazman
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The Tories want to try putting the interests of Britain first for the people living in Britain and stop blaming Europe for many of the as what Osborne laughably calls hard choices. Hard choices that as I have pointed out a numberer of times do not fall on him and his supporters, but on mainly non Tory voters or non voters such as the young and unemployed.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/12/george-osborne-cuts-young-poor
    Ram this. Lefty rants will not wash whatsoever. Lefty socialist France is like here socialism for the rich with inheritance taxes being a big part of this being allowed . As Tax breaks for the rich and sweetheart deals for big business are. Absolute communism run by a communist party. The BBC? etc

  22. Remington Norman
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This sycophantic letter will achieve nothing. Despite bouts of Eurosceptic rhetoric, the PM has shown his true colours – as has George Osborne; namely, that they wish the UK to remain in a member of a reformed EU. This not only discounts the wishes of the British people, it also ignores the reality frequently expressed by Signor Barroso and others, that piecemeal repatriation of powers is not possible under existing treaties. Nor, indeed, does the Commission wish it.

    Mr Cameron has had 3 years to put a clean referendum before the British people but has chosen not to do so. In this, as in much else, he lacks the courage to act for fear of the consequences.

    The Tory party is finished electorally unless it finds a leader with conviction and the guts to act on it.

  23. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I await developments with interest, and wish the signatories and the Committee of course in particular, and the rest of us who want major change, Good Luck. Such hard work, intelligence and dedication deserves just reward. I would like to think that the PM is of the same mind as the reformers, and needs developments of this nature to help him along, not being able to come out and say it himself.

  24. Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, John but although I have great respect for you and most of the time I agree with your ideas, this letter is just political troublemaking. It will give ammunition to Clegg and Miliband and make life even more difficult for the PM.

    Cameron cannot get a Veto bill through Parliament because, as you have frequently advised UKIP posters here, he hasn’t got the numbers.

    Secondly, whether we like it or not, the last Government gave away our fundamental right of Veto in most areas and gained nothing in return.

    No matter how much we dislike them, we cannot and must not unilaterally break treaties legally entered into by previous British Governments.

    If we do, amongst other undesirable consequences, we will give Spain a precedent under which they may well then feel able to unilaterally break the Treaty of Utrecht and be far more aggressive in their efforts to recover Gibraltar.

    We are legally signed up to QMV and the only way out is to renegotiate or, if that fails ( as it certainly will ), leave.

    I am very surprised that you have put your signature to this letter.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      The EU is perfectly willing to break its own treaties when it suits – for example, with members of the Commission staying in post beyond their prescribed five year terms, and with the EU Parliament being unlawfully constituted for two whole years, during which period all its acts could and should have been deemed null and void – so I would have few moral qualms about our sovereign Parliament deciding that it was necessary to break the EU treaties on certain occasions.

  25. stred
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Could you also ask him to confirm that in the UK, Channel Islands and IOM, we will not allow theft of 10% of savings and accounts over £100k, as suggested by the IMF. If not anyone with an amount over this, often needed for property transactions or investments for pension top up, would be wise to transfer it elsewhere or buy assets. This move could have a few unintended consequences if anyone was unscrupulous enough to implement it. There has been no reaction from HMG so far to this proposed raid.

  26. Mark B
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I vaguely seem to remember from my school days in history lessons, that a certain PM went off to see some ‘johnny foreigner’ and came back home with a piece of paper, claiming peace and no war, or something. I mean, what possibly could go wrong with that approach to European politics ?

    Those useful fools who have indulged themselves in this piece of fantasy politics , and that rather sadly includes our kind host, might do well to read that which we have signed. ie The various Treaties from Rome too Lisbon. It was their job after all. It is what we pay you people for, isn’t it ?

    Had you all bothered to read them, any of them, then you would not have people like Dr. Richard North of EUReferendum, Denis Cooper, myself and many others telling you what you can and cannot do. Just think how embarrassing it is to have little people like myself correct you over points of European and UK Law. Seriously !!!!

    You CANNOT control EU immigration – PERIOD !!!!!! END OF. NO MORE DISCUSSION.

    You CANNOT deny other ‘EU Citizens’ the right to access our welfare and benefits system – PERIOD !!!!!! END OF. NO MORE DISCUSSION.

    You CANNOT renegotiate the return of ANY powers ceded too the EU – PERIOD !!!!!! END OF. NO MORE DISCUSSION.

    There will be no referendum in 2017 – Not because Parliament will not necessarily pass the legislation but, you will not be allowed to because they (EU) will be in full flow renegotiating a new Treaty. I Know this is a bit presumptuous of me but, I suggest they have the signing ceremony Munich, Germany, and call it the Munich treaty. For some reason it seems to have something to do with the PM I have mentioned above – can’t think why though !

    Mr. Redwood MP sir, with the utmost respect, could please re-frame from embarrassing yourself with this kind of sham. Your Leader and your Party are thoroughly detested and have shown complete contempt for the people of this country, our history, laws and traditions. You (Conservative Party) have fallen in love with ‘another’ (EU) and despite your denials, we see through all this and will give you back that which you so distastefully have given out. Your Leader and your Party is totally untrustworthy.

    Mercifully more and more people are beginning to wake up to the sham and those responsible for it. And it is with some sadness that I say that the only solution is for the complete destruction of your Party at the ballot box. Something that can easily happen as you have written yourself about, regarding the German elections.

    Reply Continuing clashes between Eurosceptics will give the victory to the federalists. The Jenkin/Cash proposals if implemented would force a change of relationship of the kind we want. These proposals were Conservative policy at one point in Opposition.

    • Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Mark, in your scenario, Cameron or whoever is PM at the time, will return from Munich waving a piece of paper in his hand probably saying something like “All EU Problems Solved, Peace In Our Time !”

      We all know what that piece of paper will be worth……………

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      It is all very well submitting proposals but, so long as said proposals are realistic and achievable, it remains in the world of the fairies.

      I hear that you onetime Eurosceptic and friend, Foreign Secretary William Hague MP has already labeled them as ‘unrealistic’. Care to comment ?

      Reply I disagree!

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Hague’s response to the letter from the Tory MPs, as reported on the Telegraph website:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/10566611/William-Hague-Tory-rebels-not-realistic-on-Europe.html

    “If national parliaments all around the European Union were regularly and unilaterally just able to chose which bits of EU law they would apply and which bits they wouldn’t well then the European single market wouldn’t work.”

    Well of course it would still work, just to some degree even less perfectly than it does now, which would have a small economic cost – and it would be small, because it was originally projected that the single market might provide a one-off boost to the collective GDP of the EU member states of only 5%, equivalent to just two years natural economic growth for the UK at the long term trend rate of growth, and as far as I know that has not been achieved.

    But what this shows is that Hague believes in the primacy of EU law, and not in the supremacy of our national Parliament; and however much he may deny it that defines him as a eurofederalist.

    • Chris
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I think Hague must be fully aware of the proposals for a new EU treaty, which are apparently well underway. I have tried to post this link earlier but my comment has not been posted yet, so will try again, as it is of great significance to the current debate: “A Fundamental Law of the European Union” draft treaty produced by the Spinelli Group of MEPs.
      http://www.universitapereuropa.eu/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Fundamental-Law_final-EN.pdf

      The significance of this has been covered in articles in Telegraph today by CB and on R North’s blog. However, suffice to say that it unsurprisingly confirms that the intention is ever closer integration, as swiftly as possible, with no repatriation of powers and cherry picking. Our option instead will be to accept EU terms of Associate Membership, or leave. The content rather puts into perspective our own MPs’ efforts with regard to a referendum in 2017, and renegotiation/repatriation of powers.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

        I haven’t had a chance to read through that yet, but I note for starters that another word for “Fundamental Law” is “Constitution” – for example the German constitution is the Grundgesetz, which is usually translated as “Basic Law” but can equally well be translated as “Fundamental Law”:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Law_for_the_Federal_Republic_of_Germany

        - and that its proposed Article 4.2 reads:

        “The Fundamental Law and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Fundamental Law have primacy over the law of its States.”

        which parallels Article I-6 in the EU Constitution that was rejected in the French and Dutch referendums in 2005:

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2004:310:FULL:EN:PDF

        “The Constitution and law adopted by the institutions of the Union in exercising competences conferred on it shall have primacy over the law of the Member States.”

        In other words, the eurofederalist dogs are once again returning to their vomit.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I rather tend to agree.

      To be generous to the signatories, the letter is good to the extent that it is a push in the right direction, but it does rather smack of a little local skirmish that will have the effect, whether intended or not, of diverting attention from the heart of the matter.

      And I find myself left bemused as to whether the signatories believe that what they are advocating is “the” solution, or at least a step on the road to the solution; though what that solution might actually be I can not fathom.

      Or perhaps the real objective is more to do with an attempt to change Conservative Party Policy from within without being seen to be at odds with the leadership.

      It must be a hard furrow to plough for any party member to be at one and the same time loyal to the Party and against Party policy.

      Reply We see this this as another move to a solution, just as our move to persuade them to a referendum was part of this process, cutting the EU budget was part of the process, and getting agreement to a renegotiation was part of the process.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the reply. So a step on the road to a solution it is then.

        I think fellow travellers will be in short supply all the time there is no clarity as to where these steps are intended to lead. By the way, a referendum is not an end point but a fork in the road, and who knows who will be calling for which route to take.

        Thinks: perhaps I am all at sea with my “roads” and “furrows”; or rather, being at sea would be more appropriate. Thus, making waves draws attention, and the bigger the waves the greater attention – until the rescue crew take charge of the ship of state and sail to waters safe from the turbulent EU.

        I am sorry this comment has become rather OTT. But it is late, and through tired eyes I can just see the tug boat that is leading the way; I can’t make out the name, but it seems to begin with a “U”.

    • Hope
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree, well said. He is a changed man.

  28. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Clegg implied this am that these sort of tactics are pre- election stirrings by the less than caring conservatives. He said that the only hope in the future was to temper the conservative insensitivity and put an anchor on labour’s bad financial management.

    Good luck with the letter.

  29. Robin
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Your letter is unlikely to change anything, unless it has a purpose beyond my comprehension.
    After five decades always voting Conservative, I and my wife are eagerly looking forward to the elections this year and next. It is our duty, to our children and grandchildren, to support Nigel.

  30. Alexis
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the initiative. I support the gist and intention of the letter.

    The single market is a joke, and nothing worth preserving. It is no more than a vast regulatory body, swallowing taxes, and hurling out regulation.

    The sooner we are rid of it the faster the economy will recover.

  31. Antisthenes
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I cannot condemn the concept in fact I find the idea laudable but challenge the practicalities of such an action. There is no chance sufficient MPs would support it, I suspect David Cameron will not and even if it did become UK law the commissars of Brussels would have the UK before the EU court screaming foul. The court will find the UK guilty of breaching EU law and force the UK to retract the bill or face heavy fines and in the face of UK intransigence will keep on fining the UK until it submits. It would cause an EU constitutional crisis though and would definately put the cat amongst the pigeons but then maybe that is the aim.

  32. Chris
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    One of the best summaries I have read, in addition to the two articles/journalists I have mentioned in my earlier comment, with regard to this whole issue of the future direction of the EU, our chances of a referendum, in the context of recent actions/pronouncements by Eurosceptic MPs. Article entitled “EU’s New Treaty – A Great Leap Forward” on The Boiling Frog blog.

  33. David Hope
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I am somewhat perplexed by all the people who, when John writes about Europe, attack him for anything governments have ever done with Europe. People should express their anger towards the Labour and Tory and Lib den MPs who always vote for pro EU policies not one of the people against the EU!

    One or two people cannot by themselves make changes, we need the electorate to put on pressure and vote in anti EU candidates – like a lot of the 2010 conservative intake perhaps and as we see from UKIP’s growth and the pressure that puts on the big parties.

    There is still a lack of trust about referendums but lets not be too downbeat, at least we finally one party promising one and a EU commission determined to encourage it by saying ever stupider things!

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      John,

      I get cross a do take our kind host to task on this matter because, unlike an awful lot of people, too many in fact, I have a basic grasp of the EU and what it is. I therefore, and not entirely unreasonable, expect those who we elect, pay, and trust to act for, and on our behalf, to have at least a similar understanding. I do not posses the level on knowledge shown by the likes of Dr. North or Denis Cooper, but I have good grasp and I am willing to learn more. I listen to what is being told and then seek to conform it, adding to my own knowledge. I do not ask our elected representatives to know everything on any given subject, even on the EU but, I do expect them to at least accept that those who may know more are worth listening to. When they keep coming out with the same tired excuses and stunts like today, I feel that this is a complete waste of effort.

      The Europhiles, and indeed the Europlastics have most of what they want. We are inside the EU and their intention is for it to remain so until we can be successfully assimilated into the Eurozone. We may not join now in one great leap but, we will join piece by piece. Talking to Europhiles is a waste of time and effort. The only way forward is to find alternative options to the EU and present them to the nation. Dispelling their fears and showing how much better the UK would be outside the malign grip of the EU.

      This whole project has been build on a fabric of lies and deceit, and I want no part of it. Those who wish to prolong this agony under the guise of discussion and renegotiation may fool many, but it isn’t fooling me, and I will not be insulted !

      I am truly grateful to our kind host and the fact that he take time to write, read, and comment on his ‘Diary’, we are much more fortunate than we care to admit. But I will not let anyone take me for a fool !

  34. Iain Gill
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff John.

    Probably mass public support would pile in if some specific precise things that the 100 were not prepared to agree with Europe about were listed, choose issues high up the publics “do not want” list.

    reply I have set out some of them on this blog and in interviews, starting with open borders and dear energy.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      what does open borders mean? you are against ICT visas as used currently? you dont want new member states citizens to gain work rights here automatically? you are happy with current situation but want the UK parliament to make the same mistakes as Europe? what do the 100 mean, and what will the die in a ditch for? then get it front page news…

      cheers

  35. ian wragg
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    John, I have been following Christopher Bookers coverage in todays Telegraph about the new treaty being prepared by the EU commissars. It would appear that no Euro members will be given associate status which actually means that we are removed from any discussions formulating policy but will have to implements it.
    Our contribution will remain as it is and when we vote to ratify the treaty there will be no question about leaving the EU. It appears we will be asked to a) Join the Euro and have a 1 in 28 vote or stay as we are with no vote.
    Is this why Cameron is keen to stress 2017 as he can say he has negotiated associate membership when in fact this is a worse than ever deal.
    He will probably recommend we join the Euro sos we have a voice.
    Do you think we are entirely stupid???

    Reply No, I don’t. Mr Cameron will not recommend joining the Euro. If the new status he achieves is no good we will vote for Out.

    • Chris
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right, Ian, that Associate membership would be worse than at present. I also fear greatly that, with spin, Associate membership will be presented as an acceptable arrangement, and that many people will be fooled by this. I think that when the new treaty comes about we need to be firmly out of the EU (and ideally before that time).

    • Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, John, you will and so will 100 or so of your colleagues but are there ANY circumstances in which Cameron will campaign to vote to leave the EU ?

      Somehow I think the answer is no. If that’s the case, we will have the whole of the establishment and the BBC in favour of staying in.

      That will be a hard referendum for us to win.

      Have you or any of your colleagues asked him the direct question ? If not, someone needs to.

      Reply Mr Cameron is quite clear the current relationship does not work, so if as some of you argue he gets no changes he will have to vote for Out.

  36. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I wonder to which waste paper basket your letter has been consigned? Your answer is here in the Telegraph from 3 senior Conservative cabinet ministers, firstly, Hague and Grayling:
    “Tory rebels demanding the power to veto every aspect of EU law are not being “realistic”, two senior cabinet ministers have said. ”
    And then quoting Osborne:
    “Chancellor to back Britain staying in a ‘reformed EU’”.
    Now tell us all again about your Eurosceptic party! It never has been, it is not now and is led by supporters of Euro federalism.
    Face it, your party will not get us out of the EU nor does it want to do. Anyone who wants self-governance has to vote UKIP.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The contempt and disrespect Mr Cameron has for legitimate and politely held Eurosceptic opinion contrasts startlingly with his sucking up to the Duggan family.

    I wonder why ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The whole of the British establishment seems to be on the run.

      Mr Cameron thanks Duggan’s aunt for telling people NOT to resort to violence. Thank goodness she didn’t decide otherwise. She obviously has the whip hand.

      (“No justice no peace !” ? Whatever can this mean ?)

      Leaving aside the ridiculousness of this situation when will Mr Cameron thank the British public for being so moderate and tolerant ?

      It sometimes seems that ( protest ed) is the only thing that British governments will respond to.

  38. Paul
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that MPs who are pro EU are generally those who have never done anything in life except politics, have no experience of anything and are incompetent (look no further than the three party leaders). One has to admire the Conservative MPs who genuinely believe they can influence David Cameron and shape the agenda on the EU. Cameron is a fake eurosceptic and only complains about it every now and then to try and keep his eurosceptic wing quiet and win back a few naive voters from UKIP – the only party worth bothering to make the effort and vote for. Still, 16 months to go and Cameron will be history. Looking forward to it.

    • BobE
      Posted January 13, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Clegg will also loose his seat and be off to join the commission

  39. bigneil
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    is this letter’s timing just coincidental to the result of the Haverhill by election?

    ukip go from zero to 54%

    or have alarms been set off? – that people are not just SAYING they will vote for them -they actually have !!

    I know it is a very tiny result – but skin cancer starts with a tiny spot !!

    Reply Nothing to do with UKIP. This comes from the Select Committee Report.

  40. peter davies
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    A lot of negative comments on this piece. It may not gain traction but I hope it sends a strong message – just a shame its only 100 MPs. If only there were 200 more Redwoods in the HOC this issue could surely be put to bed.

    Best of luck.

  41. Max Dunbar
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Is this letter really a warning shot to Cameron and a declaration of intent to be followed after the anticipated disaster of Tory fortunes at the Euro elections?
    Could Cameron be forced out as PM after the Euros? Would these 100 Conservative MPs do a deal with UKIP in the aftermath of a wipe-out? Are you clearly positioning yourselves now and using this letter as an insurance policy for the post-election period?

  42. uanime5
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    We would not accept any legal challenge from the European Court, and rule that out in our UK law. Such action could of course trigger the political renegotiation the UK needs with the other member states, and allow us to explain from a position of strength that we wish to trade with them but not to be governed by them.

    I doubt that the other EU countries are going to allow the UK to ignore EU law simply because it will benefit the UK. Especially when no other country can ignore EU law, yet have complete access to the common market.

    Given that other countries that import more from the EU than the UK haven’t been able to obtain this relationship it’s unlikely that the UK will be given this relationship.

    The so called single market programme has been hijacked by federalists who have used it to produce a massive extension of EU government.

    You can only have a single market if all countries have to follow the same rules regarding the production of goods and services. It won’t work if one country is allowed to force people to work for free, while all the other countries have to pay their employees.

    As the rest of the EU sells us much more than we sell them they would of course wish to keep sensible tariff and other arrangements to allow the trade to continue.

    They also sell a lot to the USA and China but they’ve put tariffs and quotas on both of these countries.

    This proposal would enable the Government, for example, to recover control over our borders, to lift EU burdens on business, to regain control over energy policy and to disapply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is set impose enormous costs on British business and taxpayers) in popular and sensible ways.

    What about all the Brits who are currently living in the EU? Will they be forced to return to the UK when other EU countries regain control of their borders?

    Also I doubt the Conservatives will be popular if they start trying to remove employee rights and human rights. People do want to live in a country where they’re not abused by their employers or the state.

    In other news Sir Merrick Cockell, the leader of councils in England and Wales, warns that volunteers will be needed to run some basic council services at a time when council budgets are being cut and Osborne is planning to force the unemployed to work for their benefits. If seems that the Conservatives have been destroying council services, rather than creating jobs, so that they can force the unemployed to work in them for free. No wonder the economy has had so many problems when the Conservatives have been constantly wrecking it for ideological reasons.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10565926/Volunteers-needed-to-run-museums-and-libraries.html

    • Edward2
      Posted January 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Uni
      You say “council budgets are being cut” but the amount of money being spent is going up.
      Quote from Government:- “Budgeted total revenue expenditure by local authorities in England totals £102.2 billion in 2013-14, compared with £98.4 billion in 2012-13, an increase of 3.8%.”
      Not a huge rise but many businesses in the private sector would be very happy to have 3.8% extra available to spend.
      I know businesses that are having to cope with budgets reduced by 10% and more and still manage to keep their customers happy.
      I hope you would agree with me that there is scope for savings to be made at the top of these Councils with many executives and managers on big six figure salaries rather than making deliberate gestures of cutting front line services as a first reaction.

  43. Javelin
    Posted January 13, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    John – every right is qualified. Even the right to life has self defence. Its down to having the authority to qualify it. Back to the same issue then. I think the key issue here is what what the right to qualify leads. There is clearly some internal structure here – that needs fleshing out.

    For example the right to settle, or right to send child care abroad – thats about being reciprocal. To I would say you had the right to veto a rule if it was reciprocal. There are lots of other exaples that can lead to principles that can be found.

    I think it boils down to the this – and I think this needs to be sold to the British people. The idealist philopsophy on the continent is to have a platonic ideal. The British are more empirical (even US pragmatic in nature) In the in otherwords the EU could set an ideal (ala the French Platonic ideal) and we need to be able to choose whether to adopt it.

    It is the difference between cultures that have developed over the past 500 years that is the root cause of the differences. These differences are deeply rooted.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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