Powers keep going to the EU – so why no referendum Mr Miliband?


Mr Miliband sat firmly on the fence yesterday in his speech on a referendum. The bottom line, we were told, was a referendum would be unlikely between 2015 and 2020 if Labour win the election. The Mirror can say that means a vote is possible, and the FT can reassure business (just the Europhile kind of course) that there will be no referendum.

The problem with the policy is that it is based on a lie. It assumes no powers are currently passing to the EU, and that no powers will pass to the EU in the next Parliament. Why doesn’t Mr Miliband admit this is untrue? Is he ignorant, or deliberately misleading people?

Early this year our power to control the numbers of people coming to our country from Romania and Bulgaria passed to the EU. There was no referendum on that and Labour did not seek one. The EU has in recent years passed substantial legislation to control and regulate banking and financial services. Most of this work is now controlled by the EU. Mr Miliband did not seek a referendum on that. The EU is currently planning strengthened banking and market abuse legislation. He is not offering  us a vote on that.

The EU has just set out targets and policies for energy between 2020 and 2030, limiting the right of the UK to have its own energy policy. Mr Miliband did not ask for a referendum on that.

The Coalition has rightly opted the UK out of all the Criminal Justice measures of the EU. Mr Miliband has stated his intention to opt us back in to some of the most important ones, taking power away from the UK. He is not offering us a vote on that.

New countries may enter the EU in the next few years. Their entry will reduce the UK’s power of self government, as their citizens will gain many rights enforced by the EU. I doubt we will be offered a vote on that either by Mr Miliband.

The cynicism of the contradictory headlines in the Mirror and FT were well brought out by the Today programme yesterday morning. Underneath that deliberately spun set of contradictions is a fundamental lie. Power is being transferred all the time to the EU. Every new Directive and regulation gives the EU more power and the UK government less.  Mr Miliband has no intention of holding a referendum on it despite his promise.


  1. Lifelogic
    March 13, 2014

    Indeed it is of course based on a complete lie. As you say Mr Miliband has no intention of holding a referendum on it despite his promise. Mr Cameron’s promise is however just the same, he has no intention of holding a referendum. This as he has virtually zero chance of an overall majority after 2015. A coalition with the Tories is also highly unlikely and would give him an excuse to rat yet again on the electorate which he would clearly take given his form.

    Mr Cameron’s ratting ruse (of claiming a treaty is not a treaty after ratification) is even worse than Miliband. If Cameron were not such a failure as PM and such a tax borrow and waste, fake green, EUphile Miliband would have promised a referendum already.

    With Cameron so weak and discredited he does not even have to do this. He will win in 2015 anyway.

    Miliband like most EUphiles says the case for staying in the EU is “overwhelming” but they never ever say why do they have a single valid reason is so why do they never say what they are? We will see if Clegg can come up with a sensible reason in his debate, I rather doubt it.

    It is clearly not overwhelming for the far richer Norway, Switzerland or countless other countries.

    The only hope is a UKIP deal post May 14, to show that Cameron is serious. Even then few will trust Cameron. The Cameron brand is far too tarnished. Why should they anyway after the PIGIS loans, Lord Patton, Clark, Heseltine, Major, heart and soul, no greater Switzerland, a treaty is not a treaty, almost every appointment he makes, his A list and his ratting? All his speeches are actually pro EU while slightly pretending not to be for his sensible wing of 100.

    I think I would prefer the dreadful Miliband to watching Cameron rat again.

    1. Hope
      March 14, 2014

      Well said. You forgot how he insulted his supporters and expect them to pay more tax as well. More and more people drawn into the 40 percent plus 12 percent NI bracket. Lawson has come out to say too many people are being caught. Even Brown had the sense to court his supporters by throwing money at them before elections. Good Strategy again by Osborne, hit your supporters hard and they will vote for you- NOT.

      Build on every piece of land and flood your supporters out of their homes and farms is another tactic not likely to win votes. Appointments of Labour pro EU cronies and ask them to write policy documents? Are the not enough Competent Tory politicians? Why did Spelman re appoint Smith at the EA. The same is true with a host of others is quango positions. Perhaps someone should remind Osborne there is an election this year and next year.

  2. Lifelogic
    March 13, 2014

    I see Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho is now even in the Lords. What on earth for? (criticism of her business activities removed as n o proof offered ed)

    Clearly I am heading in completely in wrong direction with my companies, who makes these barmy decisions? I can think of thousands far more deserving and not all that many that are less deserving.

    Mind you all the fake greens, single handed sailors, token woman, religious leaders and socialist in the Lords perhaps are, at least Martha might have learned something on her journey I suppose.

  3. Patryk
    March 13, 2014

    Sad to see that you are also misleading your readers. “New countries may join the EU – this is NOT a transfer of powers. How could British people have a say on other countries’ matters?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 14, 2014

      Of course this is a transfer of power. Currently the government have the power to limit immigration from countries outside the EU. If they join we loose those powers.

      QED a further transfer of power away from the UK government.

  4. arschloch
    March 13, 2014

    Cynicism eh? You can call me cynical but I believe Mr Brokenshire to be absolutely correct. Its not the EUs fault per se, but the establishments addiction to all the goodies that the EU brings, like cheap labour, that sucks us in further. Dave had a nanny from Nepal and now HRH Prince William is using one from Spain. Though I presume in his case its because he wants to kiss and make up with the Spanish over Gibraltar, the Armada or something.

  5. alan jutson
    March 13, 2014

    Change by stealth.

    We have had this deliberate policy for years with fiscal drag on our tax rates.
    Changes in the interpretation on Human rights.
    Changes in policy by the EU in how it runs.

    John its not new, its how past and present politicians do things to suit themselves and attempt to confuse the voters.

    Too many people rely on headlines and the news media to do the thinking for them, so that policy has worked so far.

    Do you think the next government will be any different, no matter who its is.

    That is why so many people are now getting fed up with politics and one of the reasons why some smaller Parties and independents are getting votes.

  6. Mick Anderson
    March 13, 2014

    JR is quite correct that Mr Miliband has not called for any referendums relating to the steady stream of powers being ceded to the EU. I note that Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have also failed to call a referendum, in spite of being in office. All three have the same approach – keep telling the Public that no power is being transferred and if anybody points out the obvious, trot out the story that it’s because of a treaty signed by somebody else. “Before my time and I can’t do anything about it, Squire….”

    We’ve heard Mr Camerons promise of a referendum in 2017 and don’t believe him. He’s not telling us the truth now so we anticipate a lie then, even if he is still in office. We are assured a rebellion in the ranks if/when he goes back on his word, but it’ll be too little, too late.

    Out here in the real world, it’s really rather hard to tell the difference between all three party leaders, not that the difference is significant enough to matter. I have the greatest of respect for our patient host, but he has a much closer perspective of SW1 than those of us contributing to his blog. Everything looks larger when you’re that near to it.

  7. Lifelogic
    March 13, 2014

    The BBC radio 4 line yesterday was UKIP members are mainly uneducated & working class not Tory defectors. Where as the BBC staff are mainly over educated, fake green, rather dim, lefty arts grads one assumes.

    Also the EU is not an issue for most voters.

    Of course the main issues for voter of uncontrolled immigration, expensive energy, the poor economy, low wages, poor transport, lack of jobs, over taxation ……. are nearly all the direct result of the EU’s insanity.

  8. margaret brandreth-j
    March 13, 2014

    He said that there would be a referendum if there was any further transfer of powers to the EU, but this was unlikely . You say that the transfer of power is happening surreptitiously. Do you agree that there is a failure to recognise this?

  9. Nick
    March 13, 2014

    You offered a lock.

    Cameron offered a lock.

    Why have you given us a referenda.

    Conservative leader confirms U-turn on his ‘cast iron guarantee’ that a Tory government would hold a public vote on the controversial treaty

    Cameron lied.

    We have introduced a referendum lock to ensure that in future, no powers can be passed from Britain to Brussels without the consent of the British people in a national referendum. Because of this, it would now be illegal for Ministers of any government to act as Labour did over the Lisbon Treaty.


    Yet more lies. This is Tory policy and you come here and confirm what we all know.

    The Tories are lying through their back teeth.

  10. corin
    March 13, 2014

    All true, doesn’t Dave exploit the same lie too! He wants to stay in as eell

    1. Lifelogic
      March 14, 2014

      He does, that is why he lost the last election and will also lose the next one barring a UKIP deal and probably not even then.

  11. formula57
    March 13, 2014

    Given “New countries may enter the EU in the next few years. Their entry will reduce the UK’s power of self government, as their citizens will gain many rights enforced by the EU, then why is the UK not saying it will veto new entrants? I know there is a view that the UK has championed EU expansion to ensure achievement of the unworkable mess that is the EU today, but hasn’t that succeeded well enough?

  12. stred
    March 13, 2014

    He also ignores all the directives and regulations passed since the last referendum, many of which the general population did not know existed.

    For example, the environmental directives so eagerly taken up by the EA, in order to flood farmland and create bird reserves and the HS2 line which follows the TENS plan. The directive to add ethanol to petrol, which puts up cost and produce virtually no CO2 reduction and the burning of corn, despite food shortages. And the cutting down of huge areas of American forests inorder to burn the branches in Europe is another brilliant directive which is about to cost3x as much as coal stations which they have ordered to be closed. While the safety directives for nuclear result in the same power stations being built in a quarter the time in China and with energy at a third of the cost.

    We owe them so much and our civil servants enthusiastically agree.

  13. Denis Cooper
    March 13, 2014

    Joining the euro would entail a major transfer of powers to the EU. No treaty change would be necessary, as provision for the UK to join the euro is already in the treaties waiting to be activated if the UK government decides to do so, but power would still flow from the UK to the EU.

    Therefore if Miliband means what he has said a proposal that we should join the euro would trigger a referendum; but it would not be a referendum just on whether to adopt the euro, it would a referendum on whether to stay in the EU and adopt the euro or to leave the EU.

    The Italian politician and erstwhile EU Commissioner Mario Monti came up with this method of applying duress to a recalcitrant electorate back in December 2004, when he proposed that if the people of a country voted against accepting the EU Constitution there should be a second referendum in which the question would be:

    “Do you wish to accept the EU Constitution, or do you wish to leave the EU?”

    What Miliband and also Clegg now propose only differs from Monti’s idea that in that the bullying would start straight away with the first referendum, rather than waiting to see if it was needed for a repeat referendum.

  14. Hope
    March 13, 2014

    Come on JR, using language such as lie is not warranted. He used the word significant before transfer of powers. Like Heath did about significant loss of sovereignty and independence. Like the weasel words for the alleged transfer of power lock. Miliband is no different from Tory leaders including Cameron who appears to copy and gold plate what Miliband has done ie the energy point you make. Like Brown before him, you might not like what he stands for but No one knows what Cameron is about, one thing for sure he is certainly not Eurosceptic. So let us put that one to bed without calling Cameron a liar. We just think he is a confused arrogant posh boy without a moral compass or any life experience where we cannot believe a word he says.

  15. Denis Cooper
    March 13, 2014

    “New countries may enter the EU in the next few years. Their entry will reduce the UK’s power of self government, as their citizens will gain many rights enforced by the EU. I doubt we will be offered a vote on that either by Mr Miliband.”

    In the 1975 referendum we voted to stay in the EEC with 8 other countries. Now we are in the EU with 27 other countries. At no stage have we ever been asked directly either whether we agree to the changes to the nature of the contract or whether we agree that the contract can be extended to additional countries.

    You “doubt” that Miliband would offer any vote on future enlargements, JR, but we know for sure that Cameron would not do that because Hague deliberately wrote that into his “referendum lock” law, and indeed he has already used that fine print to rule out a referendum on whether we wanted Croatia to be allowed to join.

    1. yulwaymartyn
      March 14, 2014

      Same with NATO which has consistently enlarged over the same period. Never had a referendum on that, never been asked if we want to be members, have never been asked if we want nuclear weapons. No referendums on that either. Never will be either. Never had a referendum on the House of Lords. Never had a referendum on capital punishment. Never had a referendum on the Privvy Council. Never had a referendum on the monarchy.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 14, 2014

        I’m beginning to seriously wonder whether we should have referendums on new countries being added to the NATO alliance, as we are committing ourselves to defend them and if necessary engage in a nuclear exchange with Russia or some other aggressor. However if Ukraine was allowed to join NATO that would not mean that the British and Ukrainian peoples had agreed to embark on a process of “ever closer union”, it would not give the ca 50 million citizens of Ukraine the automatic legal right to come and live and work in our country, it would not give Ukrainian representatives any say over the government of our country and it would not necessarily require us to subsidise Ukraine. All those things would come about after Ukraine had joined the EU, but not after it joined NATO.

        1. yulwaymartyn
          March 14, 2014

          Quite right Denis it wouldn’t. But as you say it would mean that we would be obliged to defend them if they came under attack.

          What would you prefer? ever closer union (whatever that means) or an obligation to defend them in the event of an attack, nuclear or otherwise, by the Russians.?

          If “ever closer union” means for example, Estonia and the UK as they are now, and a delay in Ukrainians working here for say twenty years and someone else in the meantime doing the jobs that others already here don’t seem to want to do, then I think that is marginally preferable to nuclear or conventional war against the Russians.

          You may get a referendum on the EU but you won’t ever get a referendum on our existing NATO membership or on our right to leave. Hypocrisy rules.

          I wish you would spend more of your considerable talents and research abilities on assessing our NATO obligations and our lack of choice on membership as you do on our EU membership. Perhaps via you, we could all become better informed. Have a good weekend.

          1. Denis Cooper
            March 15, 2014

            Thanks, I’m already au fait with our obligations under the NATO treaty, which is much simpler than the EU treaties.

      2. Mark B
        March 14, 2014

        I agree ! Perhaps its time that all changed don’t you ? I mean, the Swiss seem to manage it OK ! Brought them decades of peace and prosperity whilst all around them there has been carnage.

        We the people ! Or just click my name to see what I mean.

  16. me3
    March 13, 2014

    I thought your lot had put in place a bill to automatically trigger a referendum if powers transferred.

    Another cast-iron guarantee?

  17. oldtimer
    March 13, 2014

    Deceit is an essential tool of the Labour party. In this respect Miliband is no different from Brown who promised, but did not deliver, a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty before he signed it.

    Deceit is also an essential tool of the EUrocrats in pushing their agenda of ever closer union and the causes they promote. We saw it over the Lisbon treaty, we saw it over the CAGW propaganda campaign, enthusiastically supported by Miliband who, as the Secretary of State, piloted the passing of the Climate Change Act. We now know much more about the sophistication of the campaign that underpinned the passing of that Act, the payment of taxpayers money to environment groups and charities to act as sock puppets to advance the propaganda campaign – a technique also used by the EU.

    It would not surprise me in the least if we discover that the same techniques being used by the EU in the current anti-fracking campaign. Nor would I be surprised to discover,again, that it is also being aided and abetted by Gazprom which has a vested interest in the development of shale gas being thwarted.

    1. stred
      March 14, 2014

      Fracking horror stories are shown repeatedly on Russian Television. Any opportunity and they roll the propaganda.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    March 13, 2014

    Just like your leader and Clegg, Miliband is determined to keep the UK in the EU whatever happens. He just needed to find a different way of expressing it to perpetuate the myth that they somehow are different and disagree. You rightly say :
    “Power is being transferred all the time to the EU. Every new Directive and regulation gives the EU more power and the UK government less.”, but you forget that this is happening under a Conservative led government. All that nonsense about renegotiation and repatriating powers is yet another “lie” when, as you assert, they are actively giving away more on a regular basis. There is a basic dishonesty in all this discussion of the UK membership of the EU from the three main parties in Westminster. If it weren’t for the threat posed by UKIP there would be no discussion at all, for, as they and their media pals like to keep telling us, there is no real public interest in the subject of who governs the UK.

  19. Ken Adams
    March 13, 2014

    But Labour were not in power during the power transfers you mention. Why did not the Conservatives call a referendum in these instances?

    “The Coalition has rightly opted the UK out of all the Criminal Justice measures of the EU. ” And then opt back in to the most important ones where was the referendum on that.
    As you say power is being transferred continually to the EU, what has the Conservative party done to prevent further flows, basically nothing, not once have they ever mentioned offering a referendum. Oh sorry there is 2017 one, if we elect your party which is lead by an avowed pro EU supporter someone who cannot even meet his own deadline and someone who is on record stating he will do whatever he can to keep the UK in the EU.

    Reply The Lib Dems and Labour will not vote for a referendum this Parliament so we have been blocked from having one!

    1. Bob
      March 14, 2014

      Reply The Lib Dems and Labour will not vote for a referendum this Parliament so we have been blocked from having one!

      It may have slipped your mind Mr Redwood, but the Tories voted against an EU referendum on 24th Oct. 2011.

      Reply I voted for one

      1. Bob
        March 14, 2014

        Reply I voted for one

        Yes, you did, but your party didn’t.

        An overwhelming majority (75%) of Tory MPs voted against having a referendum.

        The Tory’s record on EU membership speaks volumes.

    2. Tim
      March 14, 2014

      That’s a weak excuse. Look what happened in the Referendum bill. I understand no one voted against. So falsely prejudging the vitrify the house JR does not wash.

  20. English Pensioner
    March 13, 2014

    People simply no longer trust most politicians whichever party they belong to, which in turn is why we have such a low turn out at most elections. They give promises which are so hedged with “ifs” and “buts” that they are totally meaningless. Please don’t pretend Cameron is any better, he’s promised a referendum if he wins the next election and if he is unable to negotiate a better deal with the EU. What is a “better deal”? It’s as meaningless as Miliband’s “if more powers are passed to the EU”.

  21. acorn
    March 13, 2014

    You say, “The problem with the policy is that it is based on a lie. It assumes no powers are currently passing to the EU, and that no powers will pass to the EU in the next Parliament.” If the situation is so desperate, why are you waiting till, in practical terms, the spring of 2018 for the referendum ballot.

    Cameron has stated it will take two and a half years to “renegotiate” the EU contract. I would take advice from the Swiss on that. The Swiss – EU bilateral agreements have taken much longer than that to get the equivalent of “commencement orders” in all 28 EU States. Particularly the “Fight Against Fraud” http://www.europa.admin.ch/themen/00500/index.html?lang=en .

    IMHO, if all the EU, EEA, EFTA, Council of Europe member states said bugger it let’s start again, throw the Treaties in the bin. All 28 (???) nations adopt all the Swiss – EU bilateral agreements and form, with the Swiss, a 29 nation confederation on the original EFTA model. Basically, a trading bloc with sovereign currencies where necessary. It would take a while to un-pick all the superfluous EU legislation mind you.

    Have you noticed how complicated this brilliant Wikimedia Euler map is getting nowadays? We are being infested with supranational bodies. Fortunately, not all of them can make law, but give it time, and they will, if we let them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Supranational_European_Bodies .

    Reply I have not been waiting until 2017. I voted for a referendum in 2011!

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      March 14, 2014

      reply to reply,
      In opposition to your Parliamentary party and its leader.

    2. Lindsay McDougall
      March 14, 2014

      I voted for a referendum on Maastricht in 1997. RIP James Goldsmith. Does anyone remember David Mellor’s defeat at Putney in 1997? Much more humiliating than Portillo.

  22. Kenneth
    March 13, 2014

    Many blame large companies for evading tax when the companies are trying to do what they are supposed to do by maximising profits.

    Many blamed unions for grabbing power in the 1970’s and beyond when, again, they were doing what was best for their members. The late Bob Crowe was en excellent union leader imho.

    Some blame immigration on immigrants and the growth in welfare costs of claimants.

    It’s the same with the eu. Why should it be blamed for peacefully appropriating more and more power if allowed to do so?

    No, we should look closer to home. The duplicity of the Labour Party is symbolic of the problems we are facing: we are electing governments that do us harm.

    However, is it the electorate’s fault? We are busy people and will vote according to the information that is presented to us.

    So where is the main source of information for the general public? Why are we being so misinformed and who is responsible?

    1. Max Dunbar
      March 14, 2014

      There is no excuse for the public not to be informed with the superb opportunities that the internet has to offer. However, older people are at a disadvantage as many of them do not have a computer or the ability to operate one.

  23. Bert Young
    March 13, 2014

    I do not trust any of the promises our leaders have made on our relationship with the EU . I am far more concerned with the recent utterance of George Soros who claims that ” we have the best of both worlds being members of the EU without having the Euro “. His betting against the pound years ago gave him an immense fortune and now , the strength of a” voice of truth ” behind his threat ; I hope he is wrong in his judgement because I value our independence above all else . At the moment I support the view that we can replace the volume of trade we have with the EU with the creation of other outlets and we will not be worse off , so , I will push for any Party who will achieve the restoration of our independence .

  24. Paul
    March 13, 2014

    So we have Labour/Lib Dems refusing us a referendum and Conservatives/UKIP offering us one and yet the most likely outcome after the next election is a Lab/Lib coalition. The question is where will the Eurosceptic Labour votes (of which there are many) go? Typically, Labour Eurosceptic voters are ordinary, working class people who feel betrayed by the political class – they would not even contemplate voting Conservative (as recent by-elections in the north have shown) and therefore UKIP will only continue to get stronger as a result. It is much more in the interests of the Conservative Party to offer UKIP a deal. Cameron needs to accept this or, preferably, resign.

  25. Narrow shoulders
    March 13, 2014

    Ed Milliband and successor in waiting Balls are died in the wool centrist planning sociists who believe the populace need constant instruction on how to exist. As such the EU is to be embraced. Socialists do not need to take account of public opinion as they know best (even if some of their doctrine is not to apply to them). Your leader regularly displays similar traits for the record Mr Redwood.

    At least now there is clear water between the two main parties for those who vote but insist on voting for a party with a chance of winning (for this is how they feel they make their vote count). If the EU genuinely registers among voters’ concerns then a choice can be made. Unfortunately I feel that too many voters do not make the EU connection with much ( but not all) that is wrong with the way we are governed.

    It does suit all administrations to blindly adhere to many EU dictats as it removes responsibility and accountability from them.

  26. JoeSoap
    March 13, 2014

    Thanks for lining up against your own party line.
    I believe Cameron was supposed to be giving us a referendum BEFORE new powers were transferred to the EU.

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    March 13, 2014

    Most important of all, the Lisbon Treaty – already in force – authorises 3 different kinds of enhanced cooperation by Member States on military matters. Given that the EU already has a permanent president and a foreign minister, all the components of a German led Super State are already in place. The Trojan horse is already within the gates.

    The 2015 to 2020 parliament is going to be the final opportunity to escape this nightmare, by voting Conservative, the only Party with both the will and the power to stop it.

  28. Leslie Singleton
    March 13, 2014

    Apart from when it is you-know-whom doing the talking there is always an absolute load of baloney spoken on when we might have a referendum; and of course it is always a matter of some vague time in the future. Jam tomorrow to keep the rabble in line. I simply could not believe my ears when I listened to what Miliband has just proposed. To be fair to him, I think he was only talking about Treaty changes but even so how can he speak out of both sides of his mouth at once and say that a change is “unlikely”? I would have thought that the likelihood of a change involving further transfer of power, even a Treaty change, soon enough to make the possibility of same worth acknowledging now, is a stone cold certainty. The idea of him dressing this up as just warm fuzzy co-operation disgusts me–disgusts some in the Labour Party too, I note.

  29. Tad Davison
    March 13, 2014

    (reference to a contentious individual removed as no time to check it ed)
    There’s a bit of an interesting parallel because I have found any condemnation of the EU to be a bit like that. Cogent people who have taken the trouble to search out the facts and have seen the light, are unfairly rubbished and ridiculed, and treated as ‘loons’ and ‘fruitcakes’.

    (X) has often said that one of the biggest problems these days (and I guess it is one that threatens to consume us all if we’re not careful) is that people don’t read. That can be applied to all manner of things, and not just to the acquisition of political knowledge, but if they really were to take the trouble to learn about the ways of the EU, they would see through Miliband in an instant.

    Yet so many people take so much for granted. They listen to outlets such as the BBC and think just because the BBC says something, it must be true, and don’t bother to question the matter any further.

    So what lies behind Mr Miliband’s gesture?

    I would say he recognises the mood of the country, and the growing antithesis towards the EU, and wants to cash in on it without actually doing anything. He wants to make people believe he’s genuinely concerned about the UK’s relationship with the EU, whilst quietly going along with the excesses his party was partly responsible for creating.

    Mr Miliband relies on ignorance and stupidity (and I’m still working on certain family members to make them see sense). Curiously, there are now many socialists who are openly condemning the EU for their involvement in the foment in the Ukraine, but alas, we need to get that information from elsewhere as the BBC won’t freely acknowledge such a thing. Little wonder then, thirty years after its inception, there is a push to censor the internet, and feed us only the information those parties with vested interests wish us to hear.

    I just hope a lot of people make better use of the internet and leave such ‘trusted’ institutions like the BBC well alone. But Miliband isn’t the only political leader to love the EU for the most curious of reasons.

    Tad Davison


    1. Tad Davison
      March 13, 2014

      As taken from this morning’s Open Europe newsletter:

      YouGov poll: 50% of voters disagree with Miliband’s EU referendum policy;
      Labour pledge receives mixed response from business groups
      A YouGov poll for the Sun has found that 50% of voters disagreed with Ed Miliband’s pledge to only hold an in/out referendum if more powers are transferred to the EU – a move he admits is “unlikely”. 32% backed his policy but nearly twice as many people regard it as a cowardly move rather than a bold one. Miliband’s pledge has received a mixed response from business groups. While the CBI and EEF manufacturers’ organisation welcomed Miliband’s remarks, the IoD’s Director General Simon Walker said, “The EU has to change, and it makes sense to put such changes to the British people.”

      The FT’s leader broadly welcomes Miliband’s policy but notes that it “does not guarantee the British people the right they should have to an in-out referendum if the bloc ultimately redesigns the way it operates in the wake of the eurozone crisis.” The Telegraph’s leader describes it as a “classic fudge”.

  30. miami.mode
    March 13, 2014

    I feel Mr Miliband should be pushed to give examples of the powers he is talking about, but in a similar vein David Cameron should perhaps be a bit more specific on what powers he wants renegotiation.

    I always felt that Gordon Brown/Ed Balls deserved a pat on the back for the way they devised the opaque tests to determine whether or not we should join the Euro, but only they will know if this was to thwart Tony Blair or the realisation that they would lose ultimate control of the economy.

    ‘Twas ever thus how politicians go about their business – sometimes it works in the way you want and sometimes it doesn’t. Just imagine how it would be if we were now dancing to the Merkel Two Step.

  31. Mike Wilson
    March 13, 2014

    You have no right to get on your high horse. Where is the promised referendum on the Lisbon treaty. And, who cares that it was already signed? A referendum with a no result would have allowed you to enter a renegotiation with teeth.

    Reply I and my colleagues voted for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty when it was still in contention, and we lost thanks to Labour and the Lib Dems.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      March 14, 2014

      Reply to reply,
      I seem to remember Cameron and Hague saying something along the lines of ‘we shall not let things rest there’ – another mendacious statement.

      1. JoeSoap
        March 14, 2014

        “there will be consequences”
        Different statement, but both could mean anything, really, or nothing.

      2. Leslie Singleton
        March 14, 2014

        Brian–Mendacious is exactly the right word–another brick in the wall of their lack of credibility

    2. Leslie Singleton
      March 14, 2014

      Comment on Reply–To many of us it still is in contention

  32. Max Dunbar
    March 13, 2014

    At present, it looks as if Miliband will win the next general election with help from his friends in the north. Labour are busy plotting to make sure that they continue to control the break-up of the UK whilst at the same time maintaining the block Scottish socialist vote at Westminster. Gordon Brown, having elbowed the ineffective Alistair Darling aside, has stated that he wishes further powers to be devolved to the Scottish Executive despite a NO vote. This suits Labour’s divide and rule strategy very well and English nationalists will be encouraged to play into their hands by pressing for a separate parliament in England although they will not be allowed to have it. English nationalists will, understandably, be furious that Scottish voters will be able to return a Labour government so soon after the separation referendum. This strategy may also help by splitting the right-wing vote nationally.
    In Scotland, despite an element of proportionality, we have no real choice of parties here and this is nothing new as Scotland has been effectively run as a one party Marxist state for years. This is the way that Labour like to keep things, and for all the humbug talked about democracy in the UK there has been a de-facto one party administration running the nation since 1997 as every institution worth penetrating has been subverted and controlled by socialists sympathetic to Labour.
    Both Labour and the SNP are keen remain in the EU and to continue to hand powers over. This, they think, is irrevocable and the surest way in which they can force us to submit to socialist control for the foreseeable future.
    If Labour win the next election we can expect an immediate tightening up of control over political dissidence and activism from parties or individuals who do not comply with Labour’s ‘values’ and who are deemed to be contrary to the ideals of a ‘progressive 21st century state’. Right-wing parties will be proscribed and their members will lose jobs and pensions. The police will continue to be brought ever more tightly into line through carefully orchestrated and choreographed public humiliations and the increased placement of political commissars within it’s senior ranks. The Army will be further emasculated and reduced in size as this institution will pose the only organised threat to the government. Mass immigration will continue apace. The Labour Revolution will roll on. The question is, once Labour have completely destroyed the country and eradicated all genuine opposition where do they go next? Do they turn against one another? Will internecine warfare commence as it did in Republican Spain in the mid thirties?

  33. stred
    March 13, 2014

    Another of the most unexpected items not on the list when we last voted to join the Common Market is the creation of a Foreign Office, now headed by the never elected ex-Labour Brown babe, Catherine Ashton.Like her predecessor, Catherine The Great, she has been busy expanding her empire and meeting foreign leaders. The new EU embassies must have been helpful, with all the travelling.

    Recently she was in the Ukraine helping to encourage the peaceful demonstrators. She seemed surprised to be told that they may have been shot by their own side, encouraged by US neocons and having been mainly using national socialists to oust the elected but disliked president. Perhaps the appointment of oligarchs as governors came as a surprise too.

    Then she visited the Iranians during international women’s day (or is it week) and was followed by the BBC female reporters, meeting Iranian women. After all, the Iranians have become much more enlightened and they need encouraging. Perhaps no-one had shown her the report in Le Monde last week which reported that the Syrian regime, supported by Iran, is using systematic rape as a weapon against women unfortunate enough to be in the Saudi financed areas.

    It must be tough being a foreign minister without any previous experience in diplomacy or politics.

  34. Atlas
    March 13, 2014

    Just why is Miliband so craven to the EU? What’s in it for him, or for that matter, his party?

  35. ianwragg
    March 13, 2014

    John, as with Cameroon, there will be no referendum. Powers will continue to flow to Brussels and we will become a vassal state within the next 5 years.
    Cameroons position is based on a lie as is Milipedes and Cloggs. All manner of ducking and diving will be employed to ensure we the voter have no say.
    The4 DM says UKIP should vote tactically to stop a Liebour victory. We have been caught out by that before. 2nd time shame on me.

  36. Neil Craig
    March 13, 2014

    Even without the fraudulent nature of his “promise” all he has done is to repeat the manifesto promise that we will have a referendum on the Lisbon constitreaty.

    His party, and the LDs, cynically broke that previous manifesto promise immediately after the election (the Tories took longer).

    There is a phrase most electors will have heard – Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

  37. Mark B
    March 13, 2014

    To be fair to RedEd, he is the leader of Her Majesties Official ‘Opposition’ and so is not in a position to offer anything. Yes, he can demand that the Coalition Government, which also has been handing powers over to the EU, should call a Referendum on this but, since you ALL are so enamored with this political project, I doubt any of you will give us a say over our own future, in our own country.

    i do not know if RedEd is lying or not but, he is wrong about one thing; there is a new Treaty in the offing. But since you ALL swerved ever letting us have a say over Lisbon, and indeed any Treaty, I do not hold much hope.

    As I said on Dr. Richard North’s blog, EUReferendum, It all comes down to trust. And frankly, I do not trust any of you.

    Here is a link to the Spinelli Group working on the next Treaty.


    “The aim of the Spinelli group is to promote a ‘federal’ and ‘post-national’ Europe and the use of the Community method in the European Union.”

    ie One Nation State and the abolition of our country.

  38. yulwaymartyn
    March 13, 2014

    Both leaders are being wholly evasive. One is based upon renegotiation of powers (but not specifed). The other based upon there being no referendum unless further powers are transferred. (but not specified).

    You can’t call one a liar and the other not. Ridiculous politics Mr Redwood.

    Reply Mr Cameron will set out the powers he wants back during the election, and the UK voters will be given the chance to vote Out if they do not like it, if there is a Conservative government.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      March 14, 2014

      Question on Reply–This is the first I have heard of “during the election”. Whence cometh it?? All I have seen is stuff about negotiating the best deal he can if and after he wins (a big if). Good to see the referendum being held straightaway in Crimea without all this jiggery pokery.

  39. Jennifer A
    March 13, 2014

    David Cameron won’t be giving us a referendum either.

  40. Aunty Estab
    March 13, 2014

    A really massive vote for UKIP at the forthcoming election is needed to let these arrogant people, Milliband, Cameron & Clegg, know that a majority of the country are completely sick of them thinking they know what`s best for us.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      March 14, 2014

      Very much agree, Aunty

  41. Eric
    March 13, 2014

    Mr Redwood,

    A man of your intellect must know very well that David Cameron’s referendum pledge is not credible. The treaties are not structured in such a way as to allow an individual Member State to unilaterally renegotiate without first agreeing to leave the EU, which of course we should do. This takes much of this sting out of Mr Miliband’s non-committal stance. If the Tories went into the next election offering to trade and co-operate with our European friends and allies without involving ourselves in the political integration process to which they are committed and for which there is no appetite in the UK, they would have a very strong chance of winning an outright majority. Without such a clear commitment, the next British government will be either Labour alone or a Labour/Lib Dem coalition.

    I will not vote for any party that is equivocal about the desirability of the national independence and popular sovereignty for the UK.

  42. bigneil
    March 13, 2014

    Why say “he” isn’t offering a referendum -when we all know DC isn’t really offering one either. They are both pro EU at the expense of the British and Britain. You say other countries could join the EU -or in simple terms – millions more get the big thumbs up to pile here for their free house money and healthcare -courtesy of the British taxpayer. Along with more of other peoples “culture” and religion forced upon us. Totally unwanted. Yesterday you asked about tax cuts in the budget – how on earth do you propose to fund millions more coming here ?
    The EU and LibLabCon’s determination to eradicate the British and Britain off the world map goes on. I hope all those in our govt are pleased with themselves.

  43. zorro
    March 13, 2014

    ‘….New countries may enter the EU in the next few years. Their entry will reduce the UK’s power of self government, as their citizens will gain many rights enforced by the EU. I doubt we will be offered a vote on that either by Mr Miliband…’

    All coreect, but if you look at the above section, I doubt that Mr Cameron would have wanted to offer a vote or oppose further enlargement…. Remember, he wants to go up to the Urals, and wants entry for Turkey/Ukraine. That would give them freedom to enter no matter wnhat he says….


  44. TonyT
    March 13, 2014

    Well said. Wouldn’t it be nice if our media that is supposed to inform us mentioned this constant seeping away of power. We have no chance of an informed debate in this country on the EU as the truth is permenantly hidden from the public. That said, I doubt we’ll ever get given a vote anyway.

  45. REPay
    March 13, 2014

    To care about the EU and its powers you have to care about democracy, that means you have to be able to identify the “demos”. This is the British public (or maybe what is left of Britain) after September.

    I think the UK and EU political class has narrowly defined the demos as “people like us,” comfortable, well-educated, state-funded bureaucrats like themselves. They are profoundly statist, suspect of enterprise and markets, “benignly” authoritarian, and believe tax is a good in itself.

    The last thing the Labour Party wants to do is risk the chance that the “great unwashed” will vote to leave an organization that is the guardian of these values.

    1. Max Dunbar
      March 14, 2014

      In reply to your last point:
      Or that the ‘the great unwashed’ should take to the streets and horror of horrors be led by a ‘great unwashed’ leader. Can’t have that can we?

  46. matthu
    March 13, 2014

    The most egrigeous aspect of Labour’s stated policy on holding an EU referendum is Miliband’s deceit in “guaranteeing” that an in-out referendum would be held if the UK was being asked to transfer more powers to Brussels.

    Miliband intentionally obscures the fact that under the Lisbon Treaty’s Passerelle clause, the European Council is already allowed to increase the number of decisions made by qualified majority voting, thereby giving the EU an ability to circumvent any annoying member veto at any time and effectively making the Lisbon treaty self-amending.

    No wonder Miliband is so confident that there will be no further necessity to effect another treaty to transfer powers from the UK to the EU: we have already signed away our rights to retain any remaining vetoes.

    Miliband should be confronted about this transfer of power and asked to explain why this does not warrant the electorate having a say.

  47. Anne Palmer
    March 13, 2014

    Re the TTIP NEW trade Agreement-a new Treaty (Please note-this is a NEW Treaty) A rather large and important new Treaty, which it seems our National Government has PAID to give national Sovereignty (Authority) to foreigners to decide what elected Governments and Parliaments must agree to for themselves. The people in this Country have never agreed to any of this for they expect their own Government to negotiate any new treaty that may affect their own Country and their freedom. The people of this Country must have their say on this Treaty also. These are massive powers, and if true that our Government has given permission to allow foreigners to accept and agree Treaties on behalf of all those we have elected and pay to actually govern us all here in the UK, it has all been done without the people’s say so, there is obviously no point at all in either having anyone in those Houses of Parliament at all, yet the people of this Country are forbidden by their own long standing Common law Conbstitution to encourage foreigners in any way, Governing them

    See this below.
    “We, the Leaders of the United States and the European Union, are pleased to announce that, based on recommendations from the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Kirk and European Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the United States and the European Union will each initiate the internal procedures necessary to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

    “The transatlantic economic relationship is already the world’s largest, accounting for half of global economic output and nearly one trillion dollars in goods and services trade, and supporting millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

    “We are committed to making this relationship an even stronger driver of our prosperity. In that regard, we welcome the High Level Working Group’s recommendations on how we can expand further our transatlantic trade and investment partnership, promoting greater growth and supporting more jobs.

    “A high-standard Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would advance trade and investment liberalization and address regulatory and other non-tariff barriers.

    “Through this negotiation, the United States and the European Union will have the opportunity not only to expand trade and investment across the Atlantic, but also to contribute to the development of global rules that can strengthen the multilateral trading system.”

  48. uanime5
    March 13, 2014

    Early this year our power to control the numbers of people coming to our country from Romania and Bulgaria passed to the EU.

    This was inevitable when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU several years ago.

    The EU has in recent years passed substantial legislation to control and regulate banking and financial services.

    UK MEPs were free to campaign and vote against a law that prevented bankers getting a bonus worth more than twice their annual salary.

    Mr Miliband did not seek a referendum on that.

    Given that Labour supports taxes on banker’s pay they would have implemented a similar law even if the EU hadn’t made this directive.

    The EU has just set out targets and policies for energy between 2020 and 2030, limiting the right of the UK to have its own energy policy.

    The UK need to look for ways of producing power that don’t require fossil fuels or produce large amounts of CO2.

    New countries may enter the EU in the next few years. Their entry will reduce the UK’s power of self government, as their citizens will gain many rights enforced by the EU.

    It’s unlikely that any new countries will get full EU membership in the next few years as Iceland’s application has been suspended, while Turkey and Montenegro have a long way to go before they’ll be ready to join the EU. Even if they do get EU membership the UK can ban anyone from these countries from working in the UK for up to 7 years.

    Every new Directive and regulation gives the EU more power and the UK government less. Mr Miliband has no intention of holding a referendum on it despite his promise.

    What about bills that are supported by the UK’s commissioner or MEPs? It’s hardly fair to blame the EU for doing something that the UK’s representatives’ supported.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 14, 2014

      Serbia is now an official candidate, and others will follow.

      The Commissioner nominated by the UK government is NOT a representative of the UK, all Commissioners have to swear an oath of office that they will serve the EU as a whole.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        March 14, 2014

        Lord Haw Haw clearly thinks that we should be grateful for the opportunity to commit suicide S L O W L Y.

    2. Bob
      March 14, 2014


      The UK need to look for ways of producing power that don’t require fossil fuels or produce large amounts of CO2.

      How about closing down the British manufacturing industry and just import whatever we need. That will reduce the UK’s CO2 output.
      Oh, but wait… we’ve already done that.

      Perhaps we could just stop exhaling?

  49. Steve Cox
    March 14, 2014

    Mr. Miliband may be ignorant or deliberately misleading people but overall his position is little different to Mr. Cameron’s before he saw the light on the wisdom of holding an EU referendum (I’m being kind to him there, and many people still do not trust him on this issue). Mr. Clegg may as well be a carbon copy of Mr. Miliband as far as the EU is concerned, although arguably he is even more Europhile.

    The big question is WHY do the leaders of all three main parties (well, at least up until Mr. Cameron’s supposed change of heart on the subject) wish to suborn the UK so completely to the will of unelected foreign bureaucrats? Not very long ago this would have been considered a matter of high treason, but now it’s the height of fashion among the metropolitan ruling class. Apart from devolving work and responsibility to other people so that nobody can point the finger at them when things go wrong, why are our political leaders so content to become little more than glove puppets to the Brussels puppet masters? When we elect a Prime Minister we expect them to do the job they sought, if Messrs. Miliband and Clegg (and possibly Mr. Cameron too) don’t much like that job as it’s too much work and responsibility then perhaps they shouldn’t bother applying for it in the first place.

  50. Denis Cooper
    March 14, 2014

    JR, I think somebody should ask Cameron how he would vote in a referendum with the question framed along these lines:

    “Would you prefer the UK to stay in the EU and join the euro, or would you prefer the UK to leave the EU?”

    The official Tory party policy of staying in the EU but not joining the euro would not be an option on offer in a referendum designed in that way, so which side would Cameron and the other Tory leaders take during the campaign?

    Last night on the BBC programme This Week there was a segment on Miliband’s pledge of an alternative “referendum lock” law, starting at 29.36 here:


    However the crucial point came at 31.45 when Andrew Neill said:

    “But what I don’t understand … is why does a … treaty change, have to trigger an “in-out” referendum, why doesn’t a treaty change … why don’t you just have a referendum on the treaty change?”

    His guests were Alan Johnson for Labour, Michael Portillo for the Tories (sort of) and Miranda Green who used to be a LibDem press officer, and none of them could come up with an even halfway convincing answer to that question.

    In his speech Miliband offered a nonsensical explanation:


    “So today I am announcing that the next Labour government will legislate for a new lock. Not simply a referendum on any treaty change proposing a transfer of power. Because there have been too many referenda like that in other countries which have been ignored. But a lock that guarantees that there will be no transfer of powers without an in/out referendum.”

    Well, of course there have been no referenda like that in other countries which have been “ignored”; either the EU gets the result it wants the first time of asking or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t then if the country in question is a large country like France the treaty is put on hold until it can be revamped and reintroduced with the excuse that it is not the same as the one rejected before, or if it is a small country like Ireland then the people are made to vote again and are bullied into reversing their decision; what Miliband really meant was:

    “Because there have been too many referenda like that in other countries which have given the wrong answer”

    and his plan is to introduce the bullying right from the start by automatically making every EU-related referendum an “in-out” referendum, calculating that the government would always find it much easier to get its way on changes it wanted if the people were no longer allowed the possibility of staying in the EU after having rejected the proposed changes but instead were only presented with the alternatives of accepting the changes or leaving the EU altogether.

    And of course there is no guarantee that if we voted the wrong way in such a referendum then we would actually leave the EU; whatever it had said beforehand the government could still decide that we should be asked to change our minds in a second referendum, perhaps with the pretence that since the first referendum it had been able to negotiate some important concessions to make continuing membership more palatable.

  51. f cunctator
    March 14, 2014

    The whole of the discussion here is misplaced. The current paradigm in which everything is discussed and takes place is that set by the Euro Commissioners. Barroso, Redding and the rest consider the EU to be, de facto, a single country and therefore, there is the need for all laws and legislation to be ‘homogenised’. The U in EU is wrong; in their view there is no Union it is a single entity with convenient administrative regions. The action here is no different from the UK central government deciding to run what were previously in local government ambit. However, it not for administrative convenience In the EU it is a profound belief and philosophy. This is how they see the Europe.
    Until people begin to realise this fully, each erstwhile individual country will become less
    recognisable not by stealth but through its own carelessness in not under standing the paradigm and it vocabulary and consequences. The same is happening on a smaller scale but in reverse in the UK; one cannot discuss the UK sensibly with the Scottish separatists as they believe England and Scotland to be two different countries when in fact they are not.
    Since WWII the whole discussion in the EU and the UK , as in much of the world, has been
    in the corporatist/socialist paradigm. Even a right wing politician has to discuss his ideas in term of the PC correct Gramscian framework. There has to be a paradigm shift as there was after WWII to reverse the changes. The NWO Weltanschauung embraced such seemingly diverse institutions as Bilderberg Group, EU, UN and various other globalist and international bodies, while using the doublespeak of diversity, will result in less and less diversity as it is in their interests to have one entity to control.
    This may be the correct way for Humanity to progress, I personally am unsure.
    95 % of the world population have no idea politics are in play and there can be no open discussion unless people realise what has and is happening. If people are not allowed to use language correctly, where words have a well understood meaning, and if they do not recognise the forces in play ,they have no means of entering a meaningful discussion of their own future.

  52. ChrisS
    March 15, 2014

    It is now quite clear that only by voting UKIP will we have any REAL chance of getting an in/out referendum on EU membership.

  53. Dennis
    March 16, 2014

    Mr Redwood – the ‘powers’ already happening recounted in your blog are not ‘substantial’ powers as other MPs are always saying so don’t count. An excellent get out point for any wishing to use it – hard luck.

  54. Daniel
    May 14, 2014

    I fear we are being run by BRITISH Autocrats in both political parties. Neither party have any intention of curbing immigration OR leaving the EU. I am afraid the days of a veneer of democracy are over.

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