Review of competences

 

The wide ranging review of how much power the EU has is still continuing throughout government. Yesterday I had the opportunity to explain to the Treasury offical in charge of their review how I think powers should be brought back in their area.

Those of you who simply wish to leave the EU will argue this reveiw is a waste of time. As there is no prospect of this Parliament voting for the UK’s exit from the EU, nor even approving a referendum to allow the people to vote for Out if they wish,  there is something to be said for the review. It will firstly inform more people of just how wide ranging the powers now taken by the EU are. Secondly it could provide a substantial platform of powers we need back under any renegotiation  before UK voters would consider voting to stay in. It will inform the negotiation.

The Treasury has one major area where the case for complete repatriation is overwhelming – banking regulation. As the UK knows to its cost, if a government gets banking regulation wrong and manages to preside over a collapse, it is the UK taxpayers,  not the EU, that pays money to prop up the system. The UK is still a sovereign nation in a crucial respect where the members of the Euro are not. The UK can decide to pump as much money as the Bank of England sees fit into money markets and the inter bank market to keep solvent banks liquid. Euro members have to look to the ECB and European level decisions.

As we pay the bills for any bad banks a UK government wants to help, and as we still have the capacity for our Central Bank to act as lender of last resort and decide how much money to create or allow, we have no need of banking regulation from the continent. There needs to be clarity. The solvency and liquidity of British banks depends on the actions of the Bank of England, supervised by the Treasury. Let us repatriate all banking regulation to the UK, and have a system of co-operation and information sharing with the ECB and EU regulators as we do with the US Fed and regulators for their banks.

 

PS I am told not many Eurosceptics are writing in to those conducting the Review of competences. It is important they do so, as officials like weighing the balance of submissions before concluding their reports.

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116 Comments

  1. Ian Bland
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what counts as a “competence”, but the EU Arrest Warrant is a serious matter of concern.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Ian

      “Competence”.

      I see reported on todays news that the accuracy if the NHS waiting time figures have now be bought into question.
      It is suggested some trusts have manipulated figures to retain financial support, or to avoid being fined for poor performance.

      Police reported Crime figures also now under question, reported a few days ago.

      If you are using unrealistic/manipilated/wrong figures as the basis for anything, then you make the wrong policy choices for going forward.

      Makes you wonder if you can really believe official figures at all !.

      • zorro
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Perverse indicators supported by lamppost supporting statistics created by organisations mainly led by Common Purpose appointees overseeing the breakdown of social and national institutions…… When you have the unique Lin Homer in charge of HMRC, the government revenue appropriator, what more can one conclude?

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Oh, did I forget to mention that they were on grossly inflated salaries…….?

          zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Surely not, manipulated figures in the NHS and Crime figures I am totally shocked! You will be telling me they are massaging the inflation and migration figures next!

        • Bazman
          Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Benefit figures too in that case. £71 a week on the dole is to much you would say?

    • Hope
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Also the president for letting the Eurozone countries be bailed out for nothing in return. Yesterday the EU won the court case to stop short selling in the city, is this another issue Cameron could plead to have control of as it effects our national interest?

      Clegg is off to Davos to make they case for the UK to stay in the EU. This person would have the UK in the Euro, look at where we would be now. Another day another revalation about the weird Lib Dems. About time the Tories focused on these (people ed), no need to smear UKIP when these are there partners of choice.

      It is reported that Cameron will not take advantage as it secretly thought they might need to go into coalition with them after 2015. I think this is fanciful both parties will be tarred with the same brush unless Tories put clear water between them and they will both be sunk. Weird party, weird policies and another example of poor judgement on Cameron’s part. No mention from him about fruitcakes etc.

      • Hope
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Also quietly reported that Vicky Price has her job approved by Cable. (words left out ed) What a complete mess they are making of government. Low standards, poor judgment, and an overriding sense of self interest.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Ian,

      “Competence” is another word for power. So when our Government decide to find out what powers they have merrily given away, they like to call it competance as it does not quite let as to what they have done.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    This is very good news. Mr Cameron promised that he would renegotiate our relations with the EU, but then nothing seemed to happen. It might have been nice, for instance, to have seen some sort of meeting or other, preferably including Mr Verhofstadt and Mr Barroso which was publicised as much, for instance, as the recent meetings in Montreux.

    I notice that the ECB is tightening its grip – but we are not included (at the moment) in the list of countries that are going to be regulated by the ECB this autumn. How far is the control of our banking system just an aspiration of the EU? Europa website seems to think it is just that.

    Thank you for pointing out that some progress is going on. I would personally love to write to the Review of competencies but a. I didn’t know it existed. b. Where does it live? c. Who is eligible to approach such an august body?

    PS In 1536 the Pilgrimage of Grace protested, with a large army, against the Reformation by marching on London. The King’s messenger rode out to meet them and promised that there would be big changes and that they could all go home. Guess what? They went home and nothing happened. The pupil I am teaching asked why they were so naive…

    • bigneil
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      “Mr Cameron promised”? – -we all know what THAT means.

  3. APL
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Richard North: “Article 28 of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 on “short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps”, giving power to the EU’s Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority in 2012 ”

    Reports that the EU is attempting to take more powers over the City of London and the ECJ (snicker) has ruled in favor of the EU and against the British government.

    Q. Since the City of London is an independent entity, is it even bound by the European Union treaties? So does this ruling even apply?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Do you really want answers to those questions?

      The City of London is part of the UK and therefore the ruling applies.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed let us repatriate all banking regulation to the UK, but could we make sure they are competent this time.

    Even now years after the crash, the incompetence in bank regulation, interest rates and the lending signals are absurd. Lending is largely restricted to entirely simple cases the banks, are often just inventing silly reasons to restrict lending, particularly business lending. RBS/Natwest has done huge damage by calling in perfectly good, solid loans wherever they could. This while under 70%? government ownership, pure vandalism of the economy jobs and thus tax revenues, by the government itself.

    Base rates are too low, bank margins too high and lending to businesses is far to tight.

    • Hope
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      JR is dreaming again. No powers can be repatriated under the stance Cameron is taking. Why has he and his fellow Tory MPs not learnt that he person leading the party needs to be trusted in hue he first instance and then have a strategy. Cameron’s plan is to stay in and fight heart and should to do so. He has not said what he will do if the referendum was to vote the UK out of the EU, not stated what powers he wants back, when he had the opportunity to change the Lisbon Treaty he chose not to, he introduced the EU arrest warrant when he did not have to, he did not stop the Eurozone countries from using EU institutions as he claimed. What gives anyone the impression he will do anything?

  5. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    In weighing submissions, how heavy is an e-mail? Whom do we write to??

    • Atlas
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed, where can we vent our spleen !

  6. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    As long as the many EU regulations are being reviewed and discussed, there is at least a chance of becoming more independent .
    It may be pertinent to point out that an EU law is intervening and stopping bringing HS2 forward.Those who want to remain in the EU will be frustrated at such a law and those of us who believe that the money is being spent unwisely will be satisfied at his intervention.

  7. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Has that woman who just said that the Tories should “stop” “hating” been fired yet? She was wrong in numerous ways and has proved herself not fit for political purpose now and forever. If the Tories did more about what the majority of people do indeed hate, instead of backpedaling on such issues they would do a lot better. Is she next going to stand up and say that the Tories must stop being elitist and posh?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100256139/big-government-conservatives-like-nicky-morgan-are-the-problem-not-the-solution/

      Excellent piece on why woman (with children) earn less than men too, after Fararge’s eminently sensible line on the issue. Women with no children actually earn more than men already it seems rather proving the point.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Yes–Brilliant–I have only just read it and Delingpole as so often is spot on–Just think: if she were UKIP the woman really would have been fired and Good Riddance yet I understand that she is a junior minister or somesuch. How? Why??

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Postscript–And I have just read in the Torygraph (Oborne) that, first, this woman was “acting under licence” (??), and, secondly, that the Tories, or perhaps just the more bonkers “modernisers”, are trying to rescue Clegg (???) apparently because if LIbDems don’t vote LibDem they will vote Labour. If this has even a trace of truth (which actually I doubt) the Tories are not exactly planning to hold the pass at Thermopylae. Why do the words Gods, Destroy and Mad come to mind?

          • zorro
            Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Surely not Leslie, for we have been sincerely told that our PM, Mr Cast Elastic Cameron, can’t wait to lead a Conservative government. He, of course, would want to swat away the Lib Dems who have so surely frustrated him in carrying out his true cast elastic Eurosceptic Tory views. The poor man has been thwarted (so he says) at every turn by the beastly Nick Clegg who learned his trade from his political ‘sugar daddy’ Sir Leon Brittan, metaphorically bouncing off his knee as Leon Brittan injected the necessary cunning into Nick Clegg into him so that he would learn his Europhiliac dark arts……..

            We all feel for the PM, who is assuredly preparing for victory in 2015. You see, it was all too difficult to win outright in 2010, Cameron was in ratting mode before the election (and afterwards), and he was against that political colossus James Gordon Brown, First Lord of the Treasury, and former Chancellor (call me Prudence) of the Exchequer with his winning Labour government which had amassed massive government debt in an upturn, and then bailed out the banks. Brown’s government was so successful that he managed to QE 1 in every 4 pounds of government spending. I mean how clever was that?

            So please don’t be too hard on the Slough slogger Cameron, he was trying his best…..the only trouble being…….

            zorro

        • Bazman
          Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          It’s interesting, as an example, that Delingpole says that we are ‘kow-towing to the bloated welfare class. Now as most benefits are paid to working people and pensioners he must presumably mean these in his right wing rants or does he mean the rich and their insider companies? He is so deluded it’s difficult to tell.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Right wing religious nonsense. Woman should not work and stay at home to look after children, but not stay at home as they should be out working with children looked after by nanny. What would you say if the man stopped at home and looked after the children as the woman had a better job. Would this be OK. You know it would not be and in the same vain how are single mothers to work with this attitude, high cost childcare and no minimum pay or contract? Just retarded.

    • APL
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Leslie Singleton: “Has that woman who just said …”

      There you go, a leopard does not change its spots.

      ‘Nasty party’, ‘stop hating’, bla bla bla.

      By now you’d think she would have come to the conclusion that it is she that’s in the wrong party. Perhaps she isn’t that bright?

      Maybe she should cross the floor to the Liberal democrats. They specialise in talking rubbish.

      Teresa, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

      • lifelogic
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        The really nasty people, to me, seem to be people of the left, (egs left out ed). Constantly trying to incubate destructive feeling of unfairness, jealousy and envy, while trying to buy votes with promises of other peoples money.

        • Bazman
          Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          When you are giving massive tax cuts to the rich and cutting the living standards to the poorest whilst receiving large donations from the very same people you are representing it will be seen as nasty and unfair. You have yet to tell us how the lowest in society can live on less and why they should be somehow happy with it.
          Maybe anyone with a spare room in receipt of any benefit could have this benefit cut to help the country or other such wheezes to help the rich cascade their wealth down to them?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

            The 5% rate reduction for the rich has led to greater revenues being paid by them.
            Is this a good or bad thing Baz?

          • Bazman
            Posted January 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            It has not.

  8. acorn
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I see the ECJ slapped down the UK claim to keep the casino banking favourite of “short selling”. That is, selling something you don’t own in the hope you can buy that something cheaper before you have to deliver it. The Treasury / City Spivs, are also challenging caps on banker bonuses, the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and the European Central Bank’s policy on clearing house liquidity provision.

    If casino banks want to play these sorts of bet, they need to be separated from retail and clearing banks; that is proper banks. They are glorified betting offices with little public purpose and should not be backed by any public insurance.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Of the things you list the FTT is of most interest because if it is implemented it is us who will pay it in some way, not the banks. The other items can be regulated as far as I’m concerned.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        “Of the things you list the FTT is of most interest because if it is implemented it is us who will pay it in some way, not the banks.”

        The last time I bought some stock I was charged 0.5% stamp duty. When banksters harvest the stock market with HFT trading etc, it’s all profit for them; they are not acting for customers, at all. It’s not clear to me why I should pay 0.5% on an investment and banksters be allowed to gamble gratis.
        If FTT were introduced on all transactions, perhaps stamp duty could be reduced commensurately, leaving investors better off?

        • APL
          Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          forthurst: ” with HFT trading ”

          Yea, HFT is a problem, but 10:1 no one in Parliament actually knows what it is, let alone why it’s a bad thing.

      • acorn
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Who has to pay the tax? Theoretically it would be paid by the computers that do the trading. If your computer’s trading software algorithms were to slow, and you were caught holding for more than half a second; you wouldn’t have to pay the tax cos you were a loser, no bonus for you sunshine. The UK banksters appear to have lobbied this bit out at the moment.

        The tax applies to the financial institutions, funds and asset managers that carry out taxable financial transactions or engage in proprietary trading. It does not apply to retail investors, pensioners or SMEs. The tax is based on the underlying value of the transaction not how much of his own or borrowed money the investor bets. For example, if an investor pays EUR 1 000 for an option to purchase or sell shares valued at EUR 1 000 000, tax of EUR 100 would be due (0.01% of 1 000 000).

        Of course, it is highly likely that banks will pass the tax on to retail investors or companies if they carry out such transactions on these clients’ behalf. However, this should not be problematic, as the tax rate is very low. The amount of FTT due on EUR 10 000 purchase of shares would be EUR 10, while EUR 100 would be due in the case of hedging a foreign currency transaction valued at EUR 10 000 000. This means that the cost of such financial transactions would rise by 0.1% or even merely 0.01%.

        Who is most irritated by these taxation plans? The taxation plans are, of course, most irritating for high-frequency traders and for fund and hedge fund managers whose business model is based on quick successions of financial transactions and on frequent transactions with high profit (and loss) potential. The more frequently that things are bought and then sold again, the more short-term ‘bets’ are made with the same amount of capital, and the higher the ‘bets’ are in nominal terms, the higher will be the gains and the more the fees that are raked in.

        Paraphrased from http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/other_taxes/financial_sector/index_en.htm .

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      acorn–Actually they do serve a purpose in making a well-functioning meaningful market but, and as I have written here before, they are not banks and banks should not be allowed to do it.

      • zorro
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Hear hear…..

        zorro

    • APL
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      acorn: “I see the ECJ slapped down the UK claim to keep the casino banking favourite of “short selling”.”

      Short selling, is simply the flip side of buying to hold, because you think a company is a good bet, you accumulate the stock.

      If you think a company is being badly managed, you might sell the stock in anticipation of the price going down.

      What is wrong with that? The short seller takes a risk, if he has sold stock, but the price goes up, he has to cover his short position at a loss.

      Short selling is part of the price discovery mechanism.

      • acorn
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Short selling was the device that actually killed Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and HBOS and sent the planet into a spin. Putting thousands out of work does not appear to bother you.

        • APL
          Posted January 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          acorn: “Short selling was the device that actually killed Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and HBOS ..”

          No.

          Short selling was the mechanism that exposed the (weaknesses ed) endemic in the financial system after twenty years of loose credit expansion.

          It is very difficult to short a healthy company with sound financials.

          Bear Sterns was(weak ed) long before the short sellers saw it for what it was, it was overleveredged, as was Lehman, HBOS and RBS.

          Having experience of being out of work. Yes, it rather does.

          But we are not talking about my sentiments, we are talking about math.

          Why don’t you have a look at the financial crisis over the last thirty years, notice anything? Like increasing frequency?

          • APL
            Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            JR: (weaknesses ed)

            Packaging securities with rotten real estate loans and selling them as prime investments, is corruption not weakness.

            Selling secrities with *no assets at all*, essentially just the ISIN as prime investments is corruption not weakness.

            Instances of both activities are in the public domain and on the public record.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Banning short selling is bonkers. It stablises markets, prevents damaging irrational exuberance and serves a vital purpose.

  9. Barry
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    It is not the EU that is the problem, it is our own bloated state with its hordes of bureaucrats that love imposing authoritarian rules and regulations on the public, along with the inevitable fines for those who do not comply. It is easy for them to blame their bully boy antics on the EU. If you go to any other EU country it is like going to a free country compared to here which rather proves the point. You are left alone in these countries, you can smoke in the pubs and you aren’t spied upon for every moment of your life. They don’t pay obscene salaries to middle and upper management in the public sector or subsidise private companies for running the transport networks. They spend money for the good of the people, not to keep an elite in luxury while others starve. There is not the institutionalised corruption across the public sector which we have to suffer here.

    There may be a lot wrong with the EU but it is trivial compared to the nasty, bullying, corrupt, freedom denying culture we have here.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Barry – quite right. Also its about time the EU got a bit tougher with some of its more peripheral and perfidious members.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, there’s peripheral and particularly perfidious member which should be chucked out, if the EU treaties provided any legal mechanism to do that which unfortunately they don’t.

  10. Gary
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “The Treasury has one major area
    where the case for complete
    repatriation is overwhelming –
    banking regulation.”

    When all is said and done it boils down to this : Frankfurt vs City of London to be the usury capital of the world.

    The rest is just hot air.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I saw Cameron outline the Conservatives’ “long-term economic plan” in his dire party political broadcast last night.

    Long term being 15 months one assumes.

    We do have now a recover in jobs, just imaging how much better it could have been had he cut government, cut taxes, had cheap energy, cut payment to the feckless, has far less EU, fewer and better regulations, functional banks, heathwick and a pro business vision back in 2010. Instead of all that EU ratting and vote blue get green crap party broadcasts (available on Utube) that he used, so effectively, to throw away the last election against, the hugely unpopular, sitting duck, Gordon Brown.

    • Hope
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

      Miliband does not have to do anything, Cameron is doing everything for him. Now the Tories will be tarnished with the weirdo Lib Dems.

      First we had the dishonest faction of the Lib Dem party, now it seems sexual impropriety (may be present in some in the ed) party and Clegg does nothing- he is off to Davos to make sure the UK is compliant with the EU project. We already knew their energy policy and alike were weird (words left out ed) Why does Cameron not speak out about them? he is normally keen to call his supporters names and other parties as well?

      Reply In one case of allegations of sexual misconduct the MP left the party. In another case the senior Lib Dem denies that he did anything wrong. All Lib Dems are innocent unless proven guilty of sexual misconduct. I don’t know who you have in mind. Calling other parties unpleasant names is not usually a good idea, and something I discourage on this site.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Note that, according to the BBC, the recovery is not a national recovery but a ‘global recovery’.

  12. Andyvan
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Given the record of catastrophically bad monetary policy in this country the prospect of the UK being able to “pump as much money as the Bank of England sees fit into money markets and the inter bank market to keep solvent banks liquid” really doesn’t delight me. Yes take back powers from the EU then abolish the Bank of England and let money markets set interest rates. That would have the benefits of drastically curtailing the squandering of public money and end the debasing of sterling by the BOE. Only problem is that the gravy train would stop running for the political and bureaucratic class so it won’t happen.

  13. Richard
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    It is essential there is a review of competences. There also needs to be a proper cost-benefit analysis of the single market – what do we get out of it beyond a customs union and how much does it cost, in money and obligations? Nigel Lawson, who speaks so sensibly on many important issues, is now an ‘Outer’. But he points out that it is very rare that in such issues of public policy its black and white – he feels the balance of advantage has switched away from EU membership. Eurosceptics who want the UK to leave will have to make clear arguments so people can weigh this balance of advantage.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Apologies to the ‘Richard’ who posts here. This above was me, Richard1.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        A suggestion for Richard I–Presumably you have given thought to changing your name to Lionheart??

        • Richard1
          Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          There is no justification

  14. Bob
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink


    PS I am told not many Eurosceptics are writing in to those conducting the Review of competences. It is important they do so, as officials like weighing the balance of submissions before concluding their reports.

    This is because they know that the only real solution is UK independence, anything else is just like the piece of paper that Neville Chamberlain waved when he returned from his meeting with Adolph Hitler.

    I quote here the reaction of Winston Churchill at the time:

    we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road … we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged…

    Any minor concessions that David Cameron is offered are nothing more than a sop to mollify wavering conservatives in preparation for the looming elections.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

      • Hope
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Exactly twice. SOmeone needs to wake up the Tory MPs ASAP.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I was most disturbed yesterday to read that an unelected Labour Lord had tabled over 40 amendments to the Bill being debated on our future with the EU . He denied that he was fillibustering claiming each of his points were valid . This blatant action is a denial of democracy and should be banned ; if it results in pushing the Bill beyond the February deadline , the HoC must impose its power clause and push the Bill through . The question of outside controls inhibiting our Banking activities should not be allowed and ought never be discussed ; I agree it is our sovereign right to determine how we conduct and manage our affairs , the markets will respond whether we have got it right or not . I was not aware that we ” Eurosceptics ” had been requested to make our views known to ” those conducting the review of competences ” ; please advise who they are and what exactly they are reviewing .

    • uanime5
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      I was most disturbed yesterday to read that an unelected Labour Lord had tabled over 40 amendments to the Bill being debated on our future with the EU .

      Given that all the Lords are unelected did you really need to point that out.

      He denied that he was fillibustering claiming each of his points were valid . This blatant action is a denial of democracy and should be banned

      The House of Lords would be pointless if it couldn’t amend bills, so it would be undemocratic to prevent the Lords making amendments to any bill.

      if it results in pushing the Bill beyond the February deadline , the HoC must impose its power clause and push the Bill through .

      Under the rules of the Parliament Act this will have to be done next year, assuming that they can get it through the commons in time for the election.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        So when the Lords act in a way that you agree with Uni, they act properly, but in all other instances you tell us the Lords are an undemocratic and anachronistic organisation that needs abolishing.
        Care to explain your logic on this?

  16. oldtimer
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    This report on CityAM is very relevant:
    http://www.cityam.com/article/1390442087/humiliation-uk-europe-overrules-finance-veto

    It begins:
    “THE CITY is braced for a beating from Europe, after Britain lost a key legal case that could set a precedent for Brussels to overrule the UK in financial services. In a shock decision the European Court of Justice (ECJ) went against its own legal adviser to give the European Securities and Markets Authority the power to ban short selling when it fears for market stability, scrapping the UK’s veto over the rules. – See more at: http://www.cityam.com/article/1390442087/humiliation-uk-europe-overrules-finance-veto#sthash.p8q6D7xs.dpuf

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed absurd.

      • zorro
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Ah bless, they want to rig their own market, and don’t want anyone to spoil their game.

        zorro

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        It will result in this element of the City moving away from London perhaps to the far east or probably the USA

        We will be the poorer for this stupid decision.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      “First they came for the Fisherman, and did not speak out, for I was not Fisherman. . . . “

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    JR: “Secondly it could provide a substantial platform of powers we need back under any renegotiation before UK voters would consider voting to stay in.”
    Dream on. This is just a charade. You know this but you are playing along with the game for party political reasons. I don’t want a “Review of competences”, I want independent self-government.

    • cosmic
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I agree that we need self-government and to be outside the EU.

      I can however see some value in the review of competences, as in practical terms there will be a knot to be carefully unpicked, rather than cut in two with a sword, if we are to avoid chaos; the review of competences could give some guidance in unpicking the knot.

      I agree that staying in the EU, but choosing only the bits which suit us, including avoiding things fundamental to the very nature of the EU, is a complete non-starter.

  18. Alan Wheatley
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Your “PS” is alarming!

    I did not know all and sundry had been invited to contribute to an activity undertaken by government. Where was the invitation?

    As to “weighing the balance of submissions”, is this by quantity or quality? Are the lobbyists to the fore?

    We know that big business is supportive of the UK remaining within the EU, and they are best placed to make submissions to any government review. So where does this leave the individual?

    Suppose an individual (with no status as to post or position held) happens to have specific knowledge in a particular area where EU Competence is a significant factor, and suppose the individual makes a well argued and convincing case for a return of that competence to the UK; what influence will such an individual submission have? My expectation is NONE.

    To those of us who, as a matter of principle, believe the UK should be governed in ALL matters by the UK government the “competences game” is an enormous waste of time an effort. Time and effort better spent planning for life outside the EU.

    It should be a simple, quick and cheap job for the government to publish on the government web site a list of all the Competences we have surrendered to the EU, with accompanying explanatory notes, so we can all see the extent of the issue.

    And in the end the writing that will count most will be on the ballot paper.

  19. ian wragg
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    iPadSubject: UKIP Wish List

    Apparently this is zooming around the Internet at great speed. It’s so simple and makes sense; can it be so easy???

    I like this “Wish List”!

    HERE IS ALL I WANT OUT OF LIFE AT THIS TIME..

    Borders
    Closed to further immigration.

    Illegal immigrants
    Found stopped and sent back.

    National Commitment
    Re-establish National Service

    Parliament:
    Obey its own laws.
    Make politicians keep their promises or have them disqualified from further election.
    No programmes scheduled to start past the next election.

    Dual Citizenship:
    Abolished (you’re either British or something else.
    If you’re something else, be a visitor then leave when your visa runs out.)

    Language:
    English, Welsh, Gaelic only.

    Flags:
    Illegal to display another flag except for consulates and embassies.

    Culture:
    Respect the British culture,(words left out ed) Stop trying to change us!

    Drug Free
    Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare Benefits!

    NO Freebies to Non-Citizens.
    Look after British BEFORE donating to other countries.
    No British welfare for any country that is developing nukes
    Or spending more than a reasonable amount on arms.

    Bring all British soldiers home – let the rest of the world sort out their own problems!

    British pensioners before all other nations.

    Only 86% will send this on. Should be 100%. What will you do?
    If you don’t send this on, nothing will happen to you but you must be part of our home-grown problem.

    There’s more to leaving the EU than banking regulation etc. Farage is correct. We want our country back.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Please tell me those are not official UKIP policies.

    • Excalibur
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      In a nutshell, Ian Wragg. This country has enough skills and talent to go its own way. It really is that easy. The introduction of National Service would I suspect create a stampede for the exits. .

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      All very fine and dandy I am sure. But ‘before’ all that, just how are you going to go about leaving in the first place ?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I am a borderline UKIP/Conservative voter and I dont agree with those policies. For instance I know lots of dual nationals who contribute more to thise economy than the majoriy of Brits, and those that have British children cannot be kicked out ever in basic terms, and so on.

      My number one is abolish uncapped intra company transfer work visas as used by the outsourcers etc

    • uanime5
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Borders
      Closed to further immigration.

      What happens other countries respond by preventing Brits emigrating?

      Illegal immigrants
      Found stopped and sent back.

      So what the government is currently trying to do. Given that UK law often makes this a time consuming process don’t expect it to be any quicker without major legal reforms.

      National Commitment
      Re-establish National Service

      Expect this to be a disaster. The government’s already having enough trouble trying to find enough places for the unemployed to work for 4 weeks.

      Flags:
      Illegal to display another flag except for consulates and embassies.

      So French and Italian restaurants can’t display French or Italian flags. Expect this law to be mocked by everyone.

      Drug Free
      Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare Benefits!

      So it you’re addicted to drugs your only option is crime. Expect this to end badly.

  20. Timaction
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood do you have an e-mail or contact name and address for the review team? I recently researched and have the latest real detail for the only party who is against the EU super state project. Costs, on-costs, lost revenue costs, trading deficits, trade and service industry deficits, lost jobs and costs to the British people etc.
    Having seen the results to date I have little faith in any of the Government Departments and their findings (Total propaganda). Even the statistics I recently found from the Government itself were so slanted as to be ridiculous. Why will this be any different? I’m happy to share real data but fear it may end up in the bin as it would put their mission in a very poor light. The EU Government is far more honest and straight forward, not hiding things from the paying second class British sheeple. The Foreign, Home Office and other Government Departments and the Federalists in Parliament are so ingrained with the EU as to be indistinguishable from it. Only root and branch reform and removal of most of people in positions of authority will do. This is a struggle about ideals/sovereignty not cost/benefit analysis. They are ALL institutionally Europhile. Their wriggling despite overwhelming evidence to show we are better off out points to their fanatic behaviour and opinions. Lies, lies and more lies over 40 years, not 5 minutes shows the struggle we face.

    Reply Each department has its own review – you can write to the Minister, or take the Review official contacts off their websites.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      John–Now I know why you didn’t just give me an address earlier when I asked

      • Timaction
        Posted January 24, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Quite. A waste of time when you see the results to date and now know how it works. It is better to spend time informing people on the Web on all mainstream media and blogs. The LibLabCons can no longer suppress information and get away with spin and misinformation. The truth is out there. The internet is the demise of the legacy parties and EU apparatus. Everyone out here is talking about it and the lack of action on the things that count won’t be forgotten or the betrayals!

  21. Iain Moore
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Before we start trying to decide what powers we want back, the debate might be informed by doing an audit of all the powers that have been given away.

    Reply The Review does that as well

  22. Gary
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    “The solvency and
    liquidity of British banks depends
    on the actions of the Bank of
    England”

    Translated: the banks are bust and in the hands of the insurer of last resort, the central bank. If the central bank cannot have Carte Blanche to print reserves with an inflation tax on the populace, the banks will fail.

    Well, maybe the banks should fail. It will be cheaper in the long run.

    Problem is, these insane socialist monetary central plannings, called ZIRP, has crowded the entire economy into the low interest rate bound and the smallest increase in rates will collapses the entire house of cards, including the “miracle recovery”. Europe and the USA are in the same bind. The fight now is whether our ZIRP is managed by London or Frankfurt.

    In the end it does not matter. To monetize this level of debt will require a repo of most of all the equity in the country and the currency will be toast.

    Reply No, the banks are not bust. Banks do have to some extent to lend long and borrow short, so they do need a lender of last resort to assure liquidity at all times.

    • MickC
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      By any meaningful use of the term, the banks most certainly are insolvent.

      Your insistence that they are not is based on an extremely narrow definition of the word.

      And yes, the banks should have been allowed to fail-which was Conservative policy at one point.

      As it is the banks have been rescued at the expense of the people, who are failing rather rapidly.

      And no, interest rates are not low. The banks can borrow low, but they surely charge high on their lending.

      • APL
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        MickC: “The banks can borrow low, but they surely charge high on their lending. ”

        Yep, the precious consumer, beloved of all politicians, is supposed to spend us out of depression while, being screwed on the interest on his savings, and screwed on the interest he pays on his borrowings.

        Then not to be left out, the government sticks its shovel in by stealing his money by virtue of its inflation policy.

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Completely off-topic post John, but I’d be interested sometime to hear your views on Scottish independence, whether you (like Cameron) are a unionist, or whether you think it appropriate for an English MP to have a position on it at all.

    Reply I think Scotland will vote to stay in so I have not spent much time on it as an issue.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      That is true. But the answer seems to imply you have no pre-set ideological position on it, unlike Mr Cameron who is clearly a unionist. It is an interesting topic with the Spanish PM threatening to veto an independent Scotland joining the EU in an attempt to stop Catalonia and the Basques gaining independence. I was just wondering if being an ideological unionist is incompatible with wanting to leave the EU as they are really aspects of the same belief.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted January 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Very relieved that we have Salmond and not the Catalan president Mas. Mas is intelligent, persuasive without being aggressive, slim, good looking, sophisticated, well dressed and not someone to be ashamed of, and the vote for separation from Spain has apparently rocketed. No wonder that the Spanish are jumpy.

  24. alan jutson
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Well I am pleased a review is at least happening, but I would have thought this should have been done years ago. If for no ther reason that to keep track on what is acrtually going on.
    Bit like a score card really.

    Given this is happening, how come we all hear it for the first time through your site John.

    I would have thought if the government is actually looking for submissions it would have made a public request, or were the Public to be excluded.

    All sounds a bit like trying to fix the evidence to me, but thank you for taking the time, and for making what I am sure will be a worth while contribution.

    Only time will tell if the resulting recomendation is fixed.

  25. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood – you have in-depth knowledge of these matters. I wonder if you could answer a simple question.

    Is the UK a sovereign nation?

    Reply Only if she asserts her sovereignty against the EU.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      So, that’s a ‘no’ then.

      It’s funny, I don’t recall anyone asking us if we wanted to cease to exist as a nation state.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Obviously that’s not a “no”.

        And I would disagree with JR; I would say that the UK is still a sovereign state but has fallen into the hands of political leaders who have no strong wish to exercise that sovereignty and indeed in some cases would prefer it to longer exist.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      The UK is straight-jacketed by the Treaties that have been signed. Out fisheries are sovereign territory, but they were the first to go. And we have never been able to claim them back since.

  26. ChrisS
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    It seems that, like myself, a number of commentators here had little or no awareness of the review of competences you refer to.

    I have since done a trawl of government websites, in particular the FCO website, and now know a little more about this Review.

    Bearing in mind that the original intention was to seek views from a wide range of sources including the British public it seems a pity that more was not done to bring this to the attention of the public.

    I happen to support the PM`s stance in seeking to renegotiate the UK`s membership of the EU and I can see the logic of conducting the Review prior to the start of negotiations.

    Reply That is why I am again bringing this to people’s attention!

  27. Chris
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I received the following comment from an authoritative source on EU legislation and regulation, after he had read your article:
    “….In financial services, more than in any other sector, we are seeing the globalisation of regulation. All the main components of regulation are initiated by global bodies and, as time passes, that will become increasingly so. It has to be so because of Art 2.4 of the WTO TBT Agreement. There is, as a result, not the least chance of repatriation…”

    As I understand it, if we are to have any influence on global regulation and if we are not to be in a position where we just receive regulation handed down from the EU (much of which is detrimental to the UK) then the UK must have a seat at the top table of these global organisations, in its own right. Only in this way can we hope to influence the shape and nature of future regulation. As it stands, we do not have this top table seat – that is taken instead by the EU, which takes a common position for all 28 Member States at any global regulation debate (often this is detrimental to the UK). This is because our governments to date have surrendered our powers to the EU. What has to happen is that we first leave the EU, invoking Article 50, enabling the UK to reclaim its seat at the top table of global organisations once again, free to wield considerable influence on legislation in its formative stage. Our current position is that we simply have “hand me downs” from Brussels – how the mighty have fallen.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Chris the UK has a seat at the WTO and is also represented by the EU, so effectively we have 1.0357 seats. Thus your entire argument is wrong.

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

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Your piece is an argument for straight exit without negotiation. As you say banking regulation falls totally within our own remit as we have our own currency and central bank with the levers to control and manage as we see fit. If the Euro survives and the longer it lives the more likely it will, we, as non users, are de facto a non member of the EU. I believe all new entrants have to sign up to joining the Euro on invitation and by so doing effectively give up sovereignty and economic control. The Euro is a/the prime tool in the creation of a federal Europe and their destinies are totally linked. So unless we succumb our membership of the EU, with other non Euros, becomes marginalised to the point of being untenable. This for me is the nonsense of Cameron’s renegotiation strategy – the Euros can ultimately only negotiate among themselves. The big ticket policies e.g. CAP, CFP will always be cornerstones of USE and any concessions will be shortlived as the EU marches on, as was our rebate. The research and diligence should be into the merits of our being in as a fully paid up Euro member or out altogether with an in/out referendum at the end of this process. Renegotiation is pure Mickey Mouse thinking and logic.

    Reply When we last had a referendum I voted for Out.

    • Posted January 24, 2014 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      “When we last had a referendum I voted for Out.”

      Me too. Those who were on the No side last time were largely the Trades Unions, and those on the left of political spectrum. There were exceptions of course on the right. Enoch Powell is the name everyone will know in that respect. But the donkey work in the referendum was done by Labour supporters like I was at the time.

      The referendum wasn’t a fair contest. The Yes campaign was generously funded by the business establishment. The No campaign was run on a shoe-string. The Yes campaign had most of the mainstream media on their side. The No campaign had Michael Foot, Barbara Castle and Tony Benn. They all spoke eloquently, and prophetically, but they were never going to win over middle England.

      As far as they were concerned if the Conservative and Liberal Parties , not just Ted Heath but Margaret Thatcher too at the time, thought EU/EC membership was a good idea and the Communist Party thought it a bad idea then it was pretty clear who was always going to win.

      We still got about a third of the votes which was pretty good considering the odds stacked against us. Most supporters of the No campaign accepted the verdict and got on with other things. The feeling was that if Britain was in the EU it may as well make the best of it. I think I felt that way for a time too. But the original reasons still stand for our opposition. It is time for a new broadly based campaign to have a new referendum.

      If there were to be a referendum now the Out campaign probably wouldn’t succeed for the same reasons as last time. Except, last time it was due to an association with the hard left of politics but next time, if there is a next time, it will be, and unless things change, due to an association with the hard right.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        “Most supporters of the No campaign accepted the verdict and got on with other things.”

        Which was unfortunate insofar as the verdict delivered by the people in the 1975 referendum related to a certain arrangement, the UK staying in the EEC with 8 other countries, and the Tory government and Parliament very soon agreed to alter that arrangement without considering that the people should be asked whether they agreed to those alterations; and that set the precedents which have got us to the present situation of being in the EU, not the EEC, and with 27 other countries not just 8, and with most of the national vetoes abolished and the EU issuing its own currency which it expects all its member states to adopt, and all this happened without a single referendum at any point to ask us whether we agreed with the next lot of changes. And the person who was mostly responsible for this was Thatcher, who both with the Single European Act and with the accession of Greece to the EEC in 1981 set the precedents that her successors of both the Tory and Labour parties could cite and follow.

  29. Rods
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree that a review of competences is important as before you can find solutions to a problem you need to clearly define it.

    Surely, the next stage from this is then creating a wishlist and negotiating position for talks with the EU. Personally, I would like us to have an EFA agreement, so we freely trade with the EU by we are not ruled by them. This way we become a sovereign, democratic, self governing nation again. I would hope as part of any agreement that international standards for products and services are defined by the various standards institutions again, rather than EU ‘political definitions’ ruling our lives.

    On the banking and financial services the capping of bonuses shows that the EU through jealousy will quite happily wipe out what is a very important sector for the UK.

    Where you mention the bailing out of banks, the EU banking union agreement basically allows Euro nations to bailout a bank, but if the EU gets involved then they will be looking at a “Cyprus” style solution with the liquidation of the banks assets and any deposit over €100k bailed in. History suggests that their €50bn bailout fund in 10 years time will be too little, probably too late when the next major financial crisis happens. The banking crisis is far from over in Europe where there are still many bad debts on their balance sheets at full value to be written down. Spanish property and German shipping loans are likely to incur losses. I hope the next round of EU bank stress tests are much more ‘realistic’ this time.

    Where you talk of the UK authorities being able to bailout banks as required I personally think the complex, expensive, ineffective, box ticking regulation with “too big to fail” banks is a disaster waiting to happen, with no moral hazard on the bankers behalf. A much better solution would be to tell them no more bailouts, bondholders and shareholder will be bailed in, set rules for much more transparent accounts and make everybody aware that if they have funds over the government guaranteed amount of €100k, they should consider insuring them through a 3rd party.

    Like credit default insurance goes up if a company or country gets into difficulty, so the price of of bank deposit insurance would be influenced by the perceived risks of a banks solvency. This creates a market solution and actual hazard for reckless banks, where they would have to factor in their deposit insurance rate as a result of their investments and actions.

    The latest UK /US agreement of how to deal with insolvent banks makes it quite clear that when you deposit funds with a bank, the money no longer belongs to you as most people assume, but to the bank, you are an unsecured creditor (at the bottom of the pile) in the event of insolvency.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Personally, I would like us to have an EFA agreement, so we freely trade with the EU by we are not ruled by them.

      Well that’s not on offer so we’ll never get that.

      I would hope as part of any agreement that international standards for products and services are defined by the various standards institutions again, rather than EU ‘political definitions’ ruling our lives.

      EU policies ensure that these products are made to a higher standard than the international standards. So unless you want UK products to be considered inferior to EU products we’ll need to comply with EU standards.

      On the banking and financial services the capping of bonuses shows that the EU through jealousy will quite happily wipe out what is a very important sector for the UK.

      Please explain why bankers need a bonus worth more than double their salary. Make sure you explain how this benefits the UK.

      A much better solution would be to tell them no more bailouts, bondholders and shareholder will be bailed in, set rules for much more transparent accounts and make everybody aware that if they have funds over the government guaranteed amount of €100k, they should consider insuring them through a 3rd party.

      Don’t expect this to be popular among the wealthy as they’ll have to pay for this disaster. Along with anyone who’s invested in these banks.

      The latest UK /US agreement of how to deal with insolvent banks makes it quite clear that when you deposit funds with a bank, the money no longer belongs to you as most people assume, but to the bank, you are an unsecured creditor (at the bottom of the pile) in the event of insolvency.

      Don’t expect any political party to get re-elected if they refuse to held people who’ve lost their money when a bank fails. This policy will also make runs on a bank more common, which will further destabilise the banking industry.

  30. YorkshirePudding
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    As part of the review that the MoD is doing with respect to its links with the EU, will there also be a plan to cut the links with another meddling entity and to send back the US troops occupying Britain since 1942?

  31. Vanessa
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your very good points JR that this review will inform the public of what controls the EU has and what is left with us.

    The one point I would make is : why do we have to pay such a hefty “membership fee” for all this legislation and control when the rest of the world – USA, India, China, Russia, etc. – all who have trade agreements with the EU do not pay £55 MILLION PER DAY for the pleasure ? Surely, this is a good argument for leaving and arranging our own Trade Agreements with countries in the EU.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      The one point I would make is : why do we have to pay such a hefty “membership fee” for all this legislation and control when the rest of the world – USA, India, China, Russia, etc. – all who have trade agreements with the EU do not pay £55 MILLION PER DAY for the pleasure ?

      The USA, India, China, and Russia all have tariffs imposed on their goods so they do have to pay to trade with the EU.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        You keep telling us this and I have always believed your point on this Uni, but now having looked at the figures for just EU v USA trade I see that the USA charged 4.5 billion dollars in import tarrifs in 2012 on EU imports which is more than the EU charged the USA.
        So your regularly asserted argument doesn’t hold up.

  32. Tom William
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    In all the discussion of renegotiation and reform of the EU we all know the scorn which Mr Barroso and Commissioner Reding have poured on it. But why has the British political press, and I think you JR, not mentioned the 300 page draft treaty released last October by the Spinelli Group and called “A fundamental law of the European Union”? This treaty, when passed, will radically change the EU into a virtual country. Page 284 is “Protocol no 9″ offering Associate Membership to countries which can not go along with full membership but still want full trading access.

    Mrs Merkel has said, since her re-election “I know that pushing through treaty changes in the member states can be difficult, but if you want more Europe, you have to be prepared to develop it further. In a world that is constantly changing, we can’t stand there and say that at some point we agreed the Lisbon Treaty and there’s no need to change it again. This won’t work.”"I know that pushing through treaty changes in the member states can be difficult, but if you want more Europe, you have to be prepared to develop it further. In a world that is constantly changing, we can’t stand there and say that at some point we agreed the Lisbon Treaty and there’s no need to change it again. This won’t work.”

    The realistic chances of the UK being able to change the EU structure the way Mr Cameron says he wants is zero.

    • Chris
      Posted January 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are absolutely right, Tom, and I cannot understand why our politicians seem unaware of, or unwilling to tell the electorate about, such key developments as the plans for the new Treaty (draft proposals as you have pointed out are in the Spinelli group document). Plans for the new treaty are well underway, and as others have posted, the EU will be tied up with drafting and approving this, and will be not in the least interested in any renegotiation or repatriation, which of course goes completely counter to the direction of the Treaty. This work on the Treaty also means that there is no possibility of a referendum in 2017, and demonstrates what a hollow promise (another) that Cameron has apparently made for a referendum then.

  33. bigneil
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    is it a review of competences – -because – -a review of INcompetences would take far too long?

  34. Mark B
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;

    “Yesterday I had the opportunity to explain to the Treasury offical in charge of their review how I think powers should be brought back in their area.”

    I suppose you told him, that once a power is ceded, it can ‘never’ be returned.

    “Those of you who simply wish to leave the EU will argue this reveiw is a waste of time.”

    Not just a waste of time but also money.

    This review of ‘Competences’ (ie powers) is akin to a sheep asking a pack of wolves, what they would like for dinner.

    The longer we remain a part of the EU, the more they will take. Not they need to mind.

  35. uanime5
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The Treasury has one major area where the case for complete repatriation is overwhelming – banking regulation.

    Such as the law that prevents bankers from getting double their salary in bonuses, which seems to be the one of the main EU banking law the Conservatives are currently objecting to.

    As the UK knows to its cost, if a government gets banking regulation wrong and manages to preside over a collapse, it is the UK taxpayers, not the EU, that pays money to prop up the system.

    Given all the EU bailouts to countries who banks ran into problems it’s clear that the EU will prop up the system. Also the UK taxpayers contributed to these EU bailouts.

    It seems Ian Dunchan Smith has become so deluded that he believes that forcing people to work for free is the same as abolishing slavery, that cutting tax credits for those in work will somehow prevent children living in poverty, and that cutting benefits will make people less likely to turn to crime. I wonder how long it will be before the DWP is renamed Ministry of Love.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10591755/Iain-Duncan-Smith-welfare-reform-is-like-struggle-against-slavery.html

    • Edward2
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Is it just controlling Bankers pay you have an obsession with Uni?
      Do you also think top sports stars, top musicians, famous comedians and show business entertainers should also be forced by law to curb their income and bonuses?
      Perhaps you feel the State should tell us all what the maximum we are allowed to earn should be and what bonus we can pay ourselves if we have a good year or earn our company millions extra.
      If you were to make your employer many millions I would take a guess that you would demand a share.
      In the form of a bonus on top of your basic pay perhaps.

  36. Mark
    Posted January 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Is there a convenient site that links to the various reviews going on in different departments?

    It’s hard to make any submissions when the details are hidden away.

  37. Posted January 24, 2014 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    You favor to repatriate all banking regulation to the UK.

    In response, I write that the Global Financials, IXG, are trading lower.

    If regulation is returned to the UK, will short sellers in the City of London Financial Center start to short sell EU stocks.

    I envision that the financial situation is going to rapidly deteriorate, and that there will be no repatriation of banking regulation to the EU.

    And finally I relate that London based short sellers are probably actively thinking if they can and should sell EU Stocks short; their attention for now is better focused on US Stocks.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve done my review already. I want the UK to recover all of the powers and competences it conceded in the Maastricht, Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties, treaties that have wrecked, not enhanced, the Single Market.

    Then I want full control of our own immigration policy, with zero net population growth the goal. How can it be right that Malta can sell citizenship for €650,000 a throw, when these Maltese ‘citizens’ will flock to the UK?

    And I want the European Court to have only very limited power to overrule UK courts, restricted to the legitimate, narrowly defined, core of the Single Market. And the ECHR should have no such power.

    That spells OUT, doesn’t it?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      And I want the European Court to have only very limited power to overrule UK courts, restricted to the legitimate, narrowly defined, core of the Single Market.

      The purpose of the European Court of Justice is to ensure that countries are implementing all EU laws, something they agreed to do in all the EU treaties. So it already is doing what you want.

      And the ECHR should have no such power.

      So you don’t want anyone to have human rights. Don’t expect that to be popular.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Uni
        It is making new law with its own interpretation of treaty law and imposing this on member nations without a vote by MEP’s which was never envisaged when this court was originally given powers.

  39. Posted January 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    The love of money is the root of all evil.

    This nation was built on Common Law and a Constitution designed to deny the misuse of power by Monarch, Lords, Commons, Judiciary or Church. Now it has deteriorated into constant squabbling about money between greedy and dishonest sectional interests. Why? Because the leaders of the nation have turned away from our roots in order to further their own agendas, rather than listening to and caring for the people, who have raised them to a position of power.

    Time to stop the name-calling and apportioning of blame. Time to return to the Rule of Law.

    John Wrake.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      This nation was built on Common Law and a Constitution designed to deny the misuse of power by Monarch, Lords, Commons, Judiciary or Church.

      The UK wasn’t built on those principles. If anything the feudal system was designed to ensure that there was no way for ordinary people to prevent the wealthy misusing their powers.

      Also there wasn’t an equivalent of the Commons until the 20th century when the UK allowed the average person to vote.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        You have read some very odd history and constitutional law books Uni for your unique interpretation of British history.

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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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