A vassal state?

 

Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg have been too ready to condemn the idea that the UK needs a new relationship with the EU. They are in denial about the massive amount of power the EU wields over our government. They should try reading a bit more.  They should start with a recent publication of the UK government entitled  “Europe 2020: UK National Reform Programme 2014″.

This extraordinary and little discussed document is 91 pages long. It is the UK’s government response to the “country specific recommendations addressed to the UK by Heads of state or government at the European Council  in June 2013….” and reports “against policies in support of the Europe 2020  Strategy priorities…”

The UK was told to do six things. The first is  to “implement a reinforced budgetary strategy… ensure the correction of the excessive deficit….prioritising timely capital expenditure with high economic returns…in order to raise revenue make greater use of the standard rate of VAT”.

I have no disagreement with the EU’s view that we need to remove the excessive deficit. My complaint is that it should be none of their business, but something we settle here in the UK. As a good European Mr Miliband under this requirement would have little scope to change the current UK approach to spending and borrowing. It is interesting that the EU is effectively critical of Labour’s heavy cuts in public capital spending which they put in in 2010. Their words seeking more public capital expenditure do not seem to include HS2 as that is not a project showing “high economic returns”. Mr Miliband might also worry about the EU’s belief in raising VAT further, when he has been an opponent of higher VAT.

The second requirement is to “increase housing supply, including through further liberalisation of spatial planning laws…take steps to improve the functioning of rental markets, in particular by making longer rental terms attractive to both tenants and landlords”. This seems to have already inspired Mr  Miliband to adopt just such policies, so he will probably have no difficulty with it. However, the EU also warns against land and property taxes which impede residential construction, which he might find more annoying.

The third is to do more work on training and apprenticeships.

The fourth is to improve work incentives through fair welfare reforms, and to accelerate measures to cut the costs of childcare. This includes support for Universal Credit, a policy Mr Miliband is not keen on.

The fifth is to improve the supply of bank finance and strengthen competition in banking. Labour in office did the opposite by encouraging all too many inappropriate banking mergers.

The sixth is to “facilitate a timely increase in network infrastructure investment…provide a stable regulatory framework for investment in new energy capacity”. I love the irony of this one. The EU has required the UK to generate more power from non carbon sources, and is now querying the level of subsidy needed to do just that!

The UK government has tabled 51 statistical indicators to allow the EU to monitor progress on these matters and criticise us in the future if insufficient progress is made.

Doubtless pro Europeans will claim that this is guidance, not mandatory in the case of the UK. That is not entirely true. This work includes, for example, the renewable energy and carbon dioxide reduction targets which the UK has to follow under EU law. The UK’s position in the EU “semester” or common budget controls is ambiguous, with the EU’s role clearly growing despite the lack of a power to fine the UK if it does not comply with the EU’s budgetary demands for the UK domestic budget.

All of this control , guidance and legal requirement over central issues of public policy is appropriate for countries in a currency union moving rapidly towards a political union. It is not appropriate for an independent country which wishes to have good relations and plenty of trade with the neighbours. Were Mr Miliband to become Prime Minister, he might start to find it all too intrusive, as clearly some of it is not in accordance with his views on budgets and tax.

 

 

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69 Comments

  1. Freeborn John
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    The NY Times is reporting today that Cameron has privately given up on EU treaty change and quotes Conserversative ‘Fresh Start’ MPs saying that there won’t be treaty change and they will be happy with some minor political declarations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/10/world/europe/britain-european-union.html?&_r=0

    Do you really wonder why we don’t trust Cameron to deliver and want him out in 2015? The Conservative party clearly will not deliver on real EU change and appear not even to be trying.

    • Hope
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      We also see how EU directive 139/2004 might control whether Astra is taken over by Pfizer. Once more, the UK parliament being an expensive side show for the UK taxpayer. It is also reported how the lobbyist for the takeover is Cameron’s friend and went on holiday with him.

      (words left out ed)

      The sort or lobbying Cameron warned us about (could ed) be the next scandal. He has failed to deliver on his pledges for cleaning up Westminster (etc ed).

      JR, the seven principles Cameron has stated he wants to negotiate with the EU are already in tatters. He pledged not to promote closer union, then allowed £18 million pounds to wasted on propaganda for closer union with the EU, you were part of the debate, and now Cameron tries to claim he will negotiate with the EU to prevent closer union!

      Your comments are very valid, BUT, they equally apply to Cameron and his cabinet of modernisers- from their actions over the past four years it is unclear what political persuasion they represent. I prefer Gordon Brown to Cameron, at least he kept us out of the Euro.

      Reply A lobbying scandal requires improper influence/secret meetings etc. Open lobbying is legal and a necessary part of democracy. That is why we have a “Central lobby” at Westminster for people to come and make their case.

      • Hope
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        What has Cameron done to clean up Westminster exactly? He promised early legislation for Right to recall , where does he stand this week?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          He even puts David Laws back in the Cabinet and wanted to retain Maria Miller.

          Clean up Westminster, hardly. He even gave support to Tim Yeo.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      No one trusts Cameron and rightly so we know from his action where his heart and soul, no greater Switzerland, green crap, high tax beliefs lie. He will not be in a position to negotiate anything and even if he did hid Ken Clark, John Major types would stop him or perhaps even defect. You can con voter and supporters once and rat on them but to do it again will be very hard for him to pull off, even with the help of the hopeless Miliband.

      • Hope
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Cameron’s fanciful view about the UK negotiation does not appear to be upheld by Borroso’s speech in Berlin last week.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      John,

      I’ve urged Tory MP’s to boot him out before then. If they lose the European elections, that will be good enough grounds. If Cameron loses Scotland, he’ll be history anyway.

      The trouble with the Tories, they often make the changes at the wrong time. Cameron was damaged goods and should have been kicked out when he first ratted on the Lisbon Treaty. Better still, he should never have been elected leader in the first place, but the EU federalists wanted ‘their man’ in place and saw to it. I’m glad it is now unravelling about their ears, but they wouldn’t listen. A great and gathering swathe of the people are hostile towards the EU, and the Tories ignore that at their peril.

      Tad

      • Hope
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Cameron told Sky he did not see it as a matter of resignation if Scotland left the union.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          He might not, but that’s not what others have told me privately. And that’s not me making mischief, that’s genuine. I sometimes wish I could betray a confidence.

          Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Elections are lost from the centre as we saw with Heath, Major and Cameron. Yet the Tories won three elections with Lady Thatcher (and Major’s win was only won because he was Thatcher’s choice and voters had not worked out what a pro EU, ERM, pro EURO dope he was then).

        People know they want when they are shown it just as they wanted Iphones and Ipads when they saw them. In politics too they want something that works. Not the big state, high tax, gender neutral insurance, 299+ tax increasing, tax borrow and piss down the drain, pro EU, say one thing do the opposite, green crap socialism of Cameron. We might as well have Miliband.

        Cameron’s approach of dipping his finger in the water then saying what he thinks people want to hear but doing the opposite is a total disaster. Give the man a working compass.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      What most people do not understand, but need to understand if they are to avoid being tricked by Cameron in the same way as we were tricked by Wilson in 1975 – and I think JR would agree that we were tricked by Wilson – is this:

      On the one hand a PROTOCOL attached to the EU treaties is legally binding and in fact under the EU treaties it is an integral part of those treaties; while a mere DECLARATION by EU political leaders is not legally binding, it is no more than a statement of intent by those politicians, honest or otherwise, and in that respect it is on a par with the manifestos they produce for elections.

  2. alan jutson,
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Amazing the things the EU can get away with under mission creep or stealth.

    Are governments of all colours and Nations so embarrassed about the control the EU has over them, that they always seem to want to hide away many of these so called directives, for fear of appearing powerless and subservient to their people from their masters in Brussels.

    Successive governments here are the same, Budget proposals turning out not to be as stated, with the devil in the detail being exposed many months later.
    Mr Brown was an expert at this sort of practice.

    I wonder what it will take to shake our representatives out of this non confrontational surrender to all things EU.

    I wonder if the results of the Euro elections will press any buttons.

    Some of us natives out here are getting impatient, and we are only aware of a fraction of the directives which seem to pour out of that establishment.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Well as Cameron seems to have given up on the next election (odds 3 to 1 for an overall majority) we will soon find out how Miliband gets on. His idiotic announcement on rail, his new rent act and intervention in the energy market do not bode well.

    What is very clear is Cameron will never be in a position to keep his renegotiation promise. He clearly does not want to anyway. With all his heart and soul he is pro EU to the core. On the EU issue I do not see Miliband as being much worse than Cameron. He cannot win an election with the pathetic slogan not quite as dreadful as Labour.

    • Hope
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      LL, you seem to think Miliband will be any different from Cameron when most laws,policies, guidance and directives come from the EU. Westminster is an expensive side show for the UK taxpayer. We do not need 651 MPs or 850 Lords appointed by those MPs. It has become self serving interest without consideration for the public or national interest. Their interest only goes as far as getting into office (generalisation as few are genuine).

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    One of the rudest things which I do all too frequently is not to listen to what other people are saying. Sometimes they are hinting and I miss that. Other times they are quite open and my mind is elsewhere. Sometimes I just dismiss what they are saying because it does not fit in with my own views.

    So I really think it is very rude of all our politicians (except Nigel Farage, not himself a very tactful person) not to listen carefully to what the leaders of Europe are saying. OK so the leaders themselves are all coming up for “election” where a list of names is presented to the “parliament” for approval and they may be getting careless.

    They want More Europe. They want this:

    “Our fatherland is now Europe. Our national anthem is Ode to Joy. And our flag is that of the twelve yellow stars on an azure background.” (Guy Verhofstadt).

    “If you don’t like Europe as it is: improve it!
    Find ways to make it stronger, internally and internationally, and you will have in me the firmest of supporters. Find ways that allow for diversity without creating discriminations, and I will be with you all the way.
    But there are, honourable members, areas of major importance where Europe must have more integration, more unity. Where only a strong Europe can deliver results.

    I believe a political union needs to be our political horizon, as I stressed in last year’s State of the Union. This is not just the demand of a passionate European. This is the indispensable way forward to consolidate our progress and ensure the future.” (President of the Commission’s State of the Union Speech 2013.

    If you have been following the “debate” you will see that these are no proof texts: they really believe it. and they say it quite openly. And nobody seems to be listening!
    Except Nigel Farage…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      All three party leaderships know this full well. It is not so much a case of not listening as actively trying to hide the truth and deceive/trick the voters until it is too late. Cameron is to the fore in this deceit with his referendum ratting before the last election and his long grass policy of negotiation and 2017.

  5. Timaction
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    As all three of the legacy parties are federalist europhiles the only way to free ourselelves from the dictatorship is a vote for the only patriotic peoples party. The earthquake is coming!!

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Mr T

      I feel your earthquake will not register on the Richter scale in the real world.

      Nigel Farage may well score a stupendous win in the Euro elections but what is he going to do with it – vote us out of the EU from within his Brussels seat?

      As JR repeatedly points out you need a majority in the UK government to be able to begin any sort of proceedings to get us out.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Every long journey begins with a first step. The Labour Party doesn’t,t have a long history.
        The lies and deceit of the legacy parties and their self interest is being exposed. The British people can see and experience for themselves what has been done to them.

  6. David Price
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    If we are a vassal state what drives the lordlings? Is it simply that the EU is a bigger pyramid than the UK?

    Last night I attended a European Election Debate for SE England at the University of Reading.

    On the platform were three MEP candidates (two were existing MEPs) – LibDems, Labour and Green – who strongly support our vassal status, sandwiched between Alan Stevens (UKIP) on the left and Daniel Hannan (CONS) on the right. I had never been to a political meeting before and wanted to gauge the candidates and their positions without the help of the MSM and tribal activists, it was an illuminating experience.

    Most of the discussion was economics which highlighted the disaster that is the EU and the diminishing democratic freedom we have with the EU interfering in all aspects of our lives. Immigration was not discussed though the Labour candidate claimed the EU improved peace and our multicultural society ignoring the benefit we received from NATO and the commonwealth before the EU got involved. No-one mentioned the supposed 3m lost jobs, as I recall it very little in the way of quantitative information was given.

    Labour and Libdems want to progress the EU for the EU’s benefit irrespective of the cost to this country while the Green wanted to save Antartica irrespective of the cost or actual needs of this country. The only candidates that clearly had this country’s interests at the fore and gave a good account of themselves were Daniel Hannan and Alan Stevens.

    I assume bitchiness and point scoring is a feature of this kind of event and while the three hopeful lordlings got in their cheap shots at Nigel Farage at the outset, Daniel refrained and Alan ignored them. The three added nothing new in this and only served to underscore how lightweight they are and where their true alliegences lie. As an example the Labour and LibDem candidate sang the praises of the EAW and how beneficial it had been to address the wrongful arrest through of an A level student stuck in a Greek goal. However, of the group only Daniel Hannan had bothered to go see the poor lad and described clearly the dire problem the EAW had actually created in this instance resulting in him being stuck in the worst goal in Greece for 3 years without trial.

    In chosing representatives you need people who will have your interests at heart and you have faith they will do the right thing. Only two of the candidates met that measure for me last night.

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Yes but did Hannan offer you anything you can take to the bank? all he has is anything that Cameron says, with all the value that has.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        I generally like most of what Hannan says, but there is always an inherent danger with these people. When the chips are down, they would rather not bite the hand that feeds them, and their party loyalty tends to override their stated principles and objectives. They ultimately give in and kowtow to party policy, even when that policy is basically EU federalist in its design.

        It’s happened time and time again. Just look at the trenchant and vociferous Tory MPs who declared themselves as ‘Eurosceptics’ who then voted for Maastricht, which is why on this occasion, I’d rather go for someone whose party policy is the same as the candidates who stand for them. That removes any compromises, ambiguity, or back-handed dealing. Yet sooner or later, the Tories will see that they got it wholly wrong on the EU, but by then, it will be too late, and it’ll be another twenty years or so before they even get a sniff of an election victory.

        Tough on them! It’s not as if they haven’t been told often enough! Yet they still let the Heathites like Cameron and Clarke run the show!

        Tad

        • David Price
          Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          There is always a danger that someone doesn’t do what they promise, either because they don’t want to, must follow the party line, or can’t because the public sector blocks their actions.

          I am not readily swayed by what a politician says but more by what they do so none of the UKIP rhetoric means much to me as they have not demonstrated delivery against promises. Furthermore, Mr Farage seem to be as adapt as playing the political smoke and mirrors games as any other politician so may well turn out the same once in a position of greater influence. After all he will have to work with and through the same public sector as the politicians who have gone before him.

          I am not impressed by the UKIP peformance as MEPs, it is the action of those who are already in positions where their performance on behalf of the public which I feel would be more indicative.

          So, instead of perhaps detailing the performance of Alan Stevens in his role as UKIP county councillor or the benefits that his professional experience might bring to public office all we get are the same tired and bitchy UKIP complaints from supporters and activists.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            I am sure that in time, as their message reaches more people, UKIP will get more people elected and thus turn aspirations into actions.

            They can keep bitching about the other three Westminster parties as much as they like for me, there’s so much to bitch about! Nobody detests cheats and liars as much as I do. I hope UKIP finally get their chance to get our country back.

            Tad

        • Hope
          Posted May 11, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          MrsThatcher was quoted that politicians had got it wrong with the EU project and the traitors in her own party caused her demise.

      • David Price
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        You are in no way helping your cause if you are a UKIP supporter. However, your tribal comment makes perfect sense if you are a Labour activist.

    • stred
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Maybe a transfer home could be arranged.

      From the info provided by JR, it appears that we need not worry about who we decided to vote for. The aims seem reasonable and whether an intelligent PR man with no beliefs or a dim but well meaning socialist brought up by communists becomes our leader is irrelevant.

    • bigneil
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I see you mentioned (but they didn’t) the supposed 3m job losses. Has anyone shown that 3m jobs were actually created when we “joined”?

      • David Price
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        You’d have to ask Nick Clegg that, though this seems to have quietly slipped from their rhetoric if last night is anything to go by.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Was the Labour representative their lead candidate, the Scottish woman who failed to get herself elected to Parliament in Reading in 2010?

      • David Price
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        No, it was John Howarth. I think you may be referring to Annaliese Dodds who was listed on the original flyer as the Labour representative but did not attend.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 12, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          Thanks.

          Unfortunately it seems very likely that Labour will get at least one seat in the south east. In 2009 they got the 10th seat on 8.2% of the votes when nationally they got 15.7%, and at present they are on about 25% nationally.

  7. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    JR: “A vassal state?”
    Of course we are. We have leaders of the three main parties in the Commons who are totally committed to this subservience. They clearly do not have the “intellectual self-confidence” to lead an independent self-governing country. They are happy to take their orders from Brussels and see their role as implementers of someone else’s strategic planning. As for the views of the electorate, they are treated with contempt. This, too, is perfectly in tune with the practice of their masters in the EU.
    There are those in the minority in our Parliament who want to be MPs in a truly independent democratic country. Unfortunately, they feel subservient to those pro-EU party leaders and put their party before country.
    On 22nd May we have the opportunity to show that we are sick of this – we want control of our country back.

  8. Chris
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Barroso’s speech a couple of days ago only serves to reinforce the sentiment expressed in the title of this article. R North has reviewed this speech and it is alarming. There are no doubts at all about where we are heading if we stay in the EU. I think this review should be compulsory reading for our politicians, many of whom seem to have little idea of the nature of the European Project and what can and can’t be done to deflect it from its course (JR and a few others excepted).
    See the eureferendum blog website, “EU politics: Barroso’s swansong”.

    If you will allow the link, Mr Redwood:
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84931

  9. Chris
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The project for the United States of Europe is well out in the open now, and now the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, follows on from Barroso’s speech in outlining where the European Project is going (details on R North’s website, eureferendum blog):
    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-elections-2014/italian-pm-vows-push-united-states-europe-during-presidency-302048
    “In an unprecedented speech outlining his vision for Europe, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi called for courageous leaders to work towards a United States of Europe…
    (the EU) is not only a common past but a common destiny, to which it is impossible to escape”.

    To quote from R North:
    “This (eurofederalism) is one of the hurdles that Cameron would have to overcome if he was actually going to renegotiate our relationship with the EU – in which there are 28 member states including the UK.
    Renzi, in this context is a particularly good example of the federalist tendency which drives European integration. And no amount of wishful thinking is going make him roll over and welcome Cameronian attempts to halt the march of “ever closer union”.
    When the Six in 1957 committed to “ever closer union”, they meant it, and they mean it now. There is only one way for the UK to go – Article 50 and the exit door. Anything else is delusion.”

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Every cloud has a silver lining .

      When the Conservative party is trounced in the forthcoming general election they will finally be able to rid themselves of Cameron .

      There will be a nice cosy job waiting in Brussels for him – he’s earned it .

      There is one thing politicians are good at and that it is looking after their own .

      Am drawing blanks trying to think of a suitable replacement . Can anyone help please ?

      • BobE
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Boris

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Even Boris is bonkers he wants to move Heathrow to the Thames Estuary! He has silly Boris bikes (largely under used and just blocking the pavements) and wastes money on endless other stupid things.

          • Excalibur
            Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

            You are wrong on this one, Lifelogic. I see ‘Boris island’ as a visionary project that could serve the aviation needs of England for decades. Incoming flights to Heathrow already fly up the Thames. With the right supporting infrastructure this new airport could put us in the forefront of European aviation. Scrsp HS2 and build for the future !!

          • sm
            Posted May 11, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            How many declared emergency landings at Heathrow have there been. Landing flight paths over heavily urbanised area’s- increasing flights means they will also tend to increase.

            An estuary airport makes perfect sense in some respects.

            Maybe the EU has already decided which EU airport is going to be the superhub.

  10. John E
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    When I read the headline I thought you would be writing about our relationship with the USA.

  11. ian wragg
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Everything your government is doing is driven by EU guidance including the stupid waste of money HS2.
    We generally know this but John you continue until now to deny this. The Lisbon Treaty (constitution) handed vast powers to Brussels including self amendment which means almost anything can be done without reference to national Parliaments.
    Today’s advice becomes tomorrows law in the EU and as Barosso says, a federal Europe is the final destination.
    When will you all admit this and stop fannying about.

  12. Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The problem is that this interference – and plenty more examples – is not being aired in public.

    The BBC will no doubt write a report in 20 years time telling us how it ignored these issues and will do better in future.

    The only people who are being given a regular mass media platform on these issues are UKIP but they are too busy talking about immigration and wearing Labour’s clothes to articulate these views.

    I welcome this post, but I fear it will not be given the coverage it deserves.

    Mr Redwood I would urge you to do all you can to form a cross-party group that will campaign on the issue of our loss of sovereignty. In my opinion the only way to get some lobby going that can get over this message is to form a broad church of like-minded people.

    Reply There are practically no Labour or Lib Dem Eurosceptics! That’s the reason we cannot get much through the current Parliament. We do work with the handful of sensible Labour MPs on this topic.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      The main reasons you cannot get much through the current Parliament are:

      Cameron threw the last election by his pathetic EU ratting and by giving Clegg equal TV billing.

      Cameron is an EUphile green crap Libdim to his very core and so does not even want to try.

      Half the Tory party are pro EU, green crap big government career politicians and would not let him anyway.

  13. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Why do we engage the efforts of an expensive Chancellor and his expensive Civil Servants and special advisors to deal with this interfering nonsense?

    “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS” will suffice.

    When will people get it into their heads that Government is bad for them; the less we have of it the better.

  14. oldtimer
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The UK is well on the way from vassal state status to becoming a subservient region.

    It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the majority of MPs and the party leaders are entirely content with this and are actively seeking to promote the process. Cameron`s recent statements about seeking renegotiations and new arrangements for the UK are, in my opinion, mere cover to buy time.

  15. Richard1
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    It is becoming clear that the EU is working towards economic government. At some point the choice for the UK might be join the Euro and accept economic govt or leave.

    My concern is that if we really face the disaster of a Miliband-Balls govt, might it not be better from right wing / free market perspectivd to have rule by the EU, which might prevent some of Labour’s more absurd ideas – price fixing, industrial interventionism, confiscatary taxes etc? I supported EEC membership in the 80s as I thought is was, at the time, a relatively pro market force in a more socialistic and protectionist world, also that it would be a block on the extreme leftism of the Foot-Kinnock Labour party, should we ever have faced the disaster of a Labour govt. Could we be going back to those times, unsatisfactory and over-wheening as the EU now is, with Labour returning to its socialist roots?

  16. Atlas
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    John, your analysis is too true. If only Cameron could be trusted on his referendum promise… (“Once bitten twice shy” with him)

  17. Bert Young
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I am always incensed when I learn of yet more detail of EU interference in our affairs .If I had trust and faith in the quality and experience of the Brussels bureaucrats my blood pressure would remain calm , it does not because that trust is not there . The office I had in Brussels for 15 years was constantly exposed to intellectually low grade individuals who had little experience in the conduct and running of international business ; my view was supported by other international bodies who were endeavouring to expand in Europe with their products and services ; the interference received at all levels was laughable and extreme . In the end I withdrew handing my business over to my French partners for £1 . Many of the clients my organisation advised did the same – some withdrawing from Europe altogether . The original concept of a Common Market developed into an opportunity for political exploitation mostly at the expense of smaller and less capable countries and economies . Those correspondents centred in Brussels – like Boris , felt and expressed the same view .
    We have been sucked into this bureaucratic maelstrom largely by a Civil Service who, of course , saw it as a means of propagating its own presence over a number of Parliaments each in turn dependent having to learn the ropes when taking over . Very few politicians have had the gaul to stand up and fight against this influence because of their party policy and short term ambitions. Most of our political leaders have found the aura of an international involvement very satisfying to their egos and the opportunity to spread their wings well beyond their original expectations . At no time have I witnessed one of them standing back and saying or thinking ” Is this the best position for my country ? ” or , with the willingness and determination to let the electorate to decide . Maggie was made of the right stuff and so was Norman Tebbit ( a great shame he did not become our PM ). So , when a figure such as Nigel Farage comes along , he is like a breath of fresh air and the provision of hope for Magna Carta . Hopefully the EU election results will stir a different atmosphere and renewed determination within the Conservative Party to act and create the change that is vital and necessary for the survival of this country in an ever more competitive world .

  18. NickW
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    In terms of political structure and power hierarchy the EU is very similar, if not identical to the former Soviet Union. The European people have been disenfranchised and have no say or influence on the actions of the European Government. Witness Van Rompuy stating openly that the European people were not in support of an EU spreading ever Eastward, but that it was not going to stop him from pursuing that policy anyway.

    We know that Barroso is a (former?) Communist.

    I think we have to be open to the possibility that the EU is an overt or covert camouflaged Communist organisation; and that is the explanation behind the mobilisation of the militant left against UKIP.

    What is clear is that EU politicians are not supermen and have no greater ability to govern competently than any of our own politicians, and their distance in terms of geography and lifestyle from those they purport to govern means that the policies they pursue cannot be successful because they are not based on the reality of the situation on the ground.

    We are very literally, under the thumb of these people and we need to get out from under it and restore our own sovereignty, and they are NOT of their own free will going to allow that to happen. Cameron’s renegotiation is not going to be allowed to be successful.

    The reality staring the Conservative Party in the face is that those Conservatives who have transferred their allegiance to UKIP are not going to come back to a Cameron led Conservative Party; they have endured to many insults from Cameron and he has broken too many promises to be believable.

    If the Conservative party wants to survive, it has to ditch Cameron and install a leader who can work with UKIP, for the benfit of both Political parties and the Country.

    If the Conservative Party does not get a grip on the situation, events are going to lead to its extinction.

    The EU is no longer acceptable to the people of this Country.

  19. Colin Hart
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Jose Manuel Barrosso, President of the European Commission, gave the game away earlier this week by saying in effect that David Cameron is wasting his time trying to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership.
    Now we know that ‘much closer union’ is an immutable article of faith, those who believe otherwise have no alternative but to vote for a party that will take us out of the European Union without bothering with a renegotiation followed by a referendum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Cameron is not trying to renegotiate, he is just trying to kick the issue into the long grass until after he has been kicked out at the next election.

      • APL
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        lifelogic: “he is just trying to kick the issue into the long grass ”

        Which has been the Tory tactic since, ooh! 1972.

  20. acorn
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    UK National Reform Programme 2014; don’t bother reading it. 2014 is just as full of BS as the two previous editions. It’s like the budget report edited by someone high on LSD.

  21. Tad Davison
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Thank you John, for posting such an informative piece and the important points you raise. I eagerly await the response of the lefties who visit your blog, to see how they square being socialists AND pro-EU.

    Tad

  22. Ray Veysey
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    So, Referendum, Labour won’t, Lib Dems won’t , UKIP can’t (?) and now conservatives can’t as well, because Mr Barroso, and all the other commissars say so.
    Cameron continues to commit electoral suicide, now it’s raid your bank or tax rises, because the EU says so. He might as well supply the political piano wire and pick a lamp post. You and Carswell, Hannan and the others have been put in the new Cameronite social democrats lifeboat, and cast adrift from the mother ship. Desperately paddling to keep up with them, and picking your way through the history they throw overboard is not going to be good for anybody except the very extreme form of political masochist you are turning out to be.

  23. behindthefrogs
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Yes VAT should be widened, in particular to foods that have a health problem such as a high sugar content. This would help to reduce the consumption of such foods and also the imports of sugar. However any extra revenue raised should be used to reduce employers’ NICs thus further improving the competition beween imports and home produced food, similarly improving exports.

    One place where VAT should be reduced is on motor fuel thus reducing the problems of outlying areas even if the revenue raised had to be recovered with fuel duty which is much more equitable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      And, as we know, once some stupid UK government had put VAT on food it could not then be removed by a subsequent UK government which decided that it was not such a good idea after all. Thus is our national democracy gradually destroyed by membership of the EU, as was always intended to happen.

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      btf

      We cannot adjust any VAT without getting the nod from the EU as a percentage of the tax goes to them.

      When Labour temporarily reduced the tax by 2.5% this gained approval from the EU but bearing in mind the way they operate I would imagine they demanded a higher percentage to adjust for the perceived loss of income. I also imagine that at the end of the period of around 15 months they would be reluctant to reduce their take to the original percentage because that’s not what they do, but nobody seems to ask these questions.

      Secrecy is the watchword wherever the EU is concerned.

  24. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    It is simply embarrassing that we so much as acknowledged receipt never mind replied to the report you mention.

  25. Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    These socialist-minded leaders in Brussels will never learn.

    The very last thing we need is another increase in VAT.

    VAT is the perfect example of how the UK state has increased expenditure and taxation over the years. In 1973 it was just 10%. In 40 years it’s been progressively been increased to 20% : A huge increase in direct taxation.

    At 20% there is huge avoidance going on, particularly in the building trade. Who wants to pay £200 in VAT for every £1,000 they spend on home improvements ?

    Over the next ten years we need to shrink the size of the state so that taxation can be reduced : especially VAT.

  26. Martin
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I always though we were America’s sidekicks. Have you discussed this with Mr Hague?

  27. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Which twerps collated the indicators to monitor progress and when they did,how either precise or woolly are they? I find this is the most offensive part .The indicators could be deliberately configured as to give the wrong information which demonstrates a need to do this. On the other hand they could be laying out ‘as it is’ and completely open to the EU scrutiny which demonstrates a total faith and naivety in the process. Each alternative makes me shudder .No thanks to Yes Sir!

  28. Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    “Europe 2020: UK National Reform Programme 2014″ as required by the European Union, for this applies to all the EU’s Member States ofcourse.
    Brussels, 5 May 2014
    Public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy: towards a post-crisis growth strategy for Europe
    Today, the Commission has launched a public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s long-term growth and jobs plan. The consultation will be open until 31 October 2014. Through this public consultation, the Commission is seeking the views of all interested people and organisations on the Europe 2020 strategy.
    The aim of the consultation is to draw lessons from the first four years of the strategy and to make sure it acts as an effective post-crisis strategy for growth and jobs in Europe. It covers the scope, nature, instruments, ownership and delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy, and will provide important evidence for the mid-term review of the strategy, scheduled for 2015.
    A lot has been done in recent years to assist Member States in developing their national policies. Now is the right time to take stock of Europe 2020 and to think about what its focus should be in the coming years. Not only are we approaching the halfway point of the strategy but we are also emerging from the worst crisis faced by our economies. It is also timely to examine where things stand as the EU prepares for a new political leadership following the European Parliament’s elections.
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-504_en.htm

    Europe 2020: UK National Reform Programme 2014

    Europe 2020: Scottish National Reform Programme 2013 Monday, April 29, 2013
    ISBN: 9781782565383 This Report sets out the actions that are being taken forward across Scotland to support the delivery of the ambitions set out in Europe 2020.

    National Reform Programme for Ireland 2013 Update under the Europe 2020 Strategy
    http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/europe-2020-in-your-country/espana/national-reform-programme/index_en.htm

    PORTUGAL2020 | NATIONAL REFORM PROGRAMME Etc. etc for ALL EU COUNTRIES. The Government we elected to Govern this Country according to our Llaws and Constitution has to obey the orders of FOREIGNERS. The DEEP SHAME.

  29. ian wragg
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    John, can you tell us what hold the EU has over politicians who seem incapable of seeing what a God Almighty mess it is. We understand that a degree in mendacity and stupidity is required to gain a seat in Westminster but pray tell us how that (left wing etc ed) Barosso is blackmailing you all.
    Are they threatening your gold plated pensions if you utter seditious words or are they keeping your families hostage.
    When the whole thing collapses same as the USSR it will be interesting to find out the truth such as the Stasi

    Reply No, I have not been threatened with further cuts in my pension other than the ones that have been published, nor is my family hostage. Many of my Conservative colleagues agree with my analysis of the many things that are wrong with our membership of the EU.

    • ian wragg
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      …..funding CND.

    • APL
      Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      JR: “nor is my family hostage.”

      But your party is hostage to the likes of Ken Clarke who is STILL minister without portfolio, sneaking around Westminster doing the bidding of his EU masters at our expence.

  30. forthurst
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “The second requirement is to “increase housing supply, including through further liberalisation of spatial planning laws…”

    The policy of building housing estates adjacent to villages is deeply flawed; the existence of a typical English inland village is indicative of the adjacent presence of prime agricultural land; a typical English village does not have the infrastructure to support a larger community so there is absolutely no benefit in building there. If the government cannot stop our population growing well beyond what most people feel is either sustainable or desirable, they must at least ensure that our green and once pleasant land is not buried under an ever encroaching swathe of concrete: they must increase the population density of existing conurbations.

  31. Excalibur
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I see the latest EU proposal to curb our freedoms is tracking devices to be fitted to all new cars. This combined with David Cameron’s threat that taxes will rise if the arbitrary debiting of bank accounts to realize alleged tax liabilities is not introduced, does not bode well for a democratic future for this green and pleasant land.

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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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