If you don’t like our relationship with the EU, try reading the Bloomberg speech

 

Whilst many of you have been praising Mr Carswell for switching parties and getting himself back into Parliament and condemning me for not doing the same, I have been working with like minded Conservative colleagues to get major changes of policy and approach within the Conservative party.

People often ask me now what kind of renegotiation does Mr Cameron have in mind? They accept that we have changed Conservative policy in three fundamental ways. It is now official policy to say the current EU relationship does not work in the UK’s interests. It is policy to see if we can negotiate a relationship that would be in the UK’s interests. It is also policy to give voters the choice of whether to stay in or leave. I regard these as crucial changes which means we now have a Conservative European policy I support. This was the policy which Mr Carswell welcomed strongly when he heard the speech.

UKIP critics argue that all this is not good enough. Some even  say we will not get a referendum. That simply is untrue. If Conservatives win a majority of  seats next time we will ensure there is a referendum.

They say it is not possible to negotiate a new satisfactory relationship. Let us suppose that counsel of despair is true. Then we will simply vote to leave, as the British people will sensibly conclude the current arrangements or something like them are not what we want.

They say the negotiating demands have not been spelt out and the Prime Minister will settle for not very much and present it as a triumph. Those who say that have either not read the Bloomberg speech or do not understand it.

Bloomberg makes clear the Prime Minister wants nothing less than the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty. He said  : “A new settlement subject to democratic legitimacy and accountability of national parliaments where member states combine in flexible co-operation, respecting national differences, not always trying to eliminate them”. In other words if the UK Parliament wishes to impose border controls or make its own decisions about welfare payments it should be free to do so.

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121 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    In 1975 I voted to stay in The Common Market
    Who would have thought at that time today I would be able to express my opinion to an MP put it out to a much wider audience on Twitter and other social media.
    This give me hope that if I am not satisfied with the re negotiation, this time the BBC and some papers will have as much say as in 1975!

    Dear Mr Redwood
    Will you support Owen Paterson, to repeal Ed Milibands 2008Climate Change Act?
    See Daily Telegragh?

    Reply Of course. I opposed it at the time and did not vote for it, unlike Mr Paterson who voted for it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      There is an excellent and free book: “Sustainable Energy – without the hot air” by a Cambridge physicist that addresses the numbers and reality of energy. He is far more of a “believer” than myself, but being a good physicist he is at least honest on the physics, practicalities and the numbers.

      Improved Nuclear is surely the best answer and lots of R&D needed, not a roll out of duff, tax payer subsidised & premature technology as we have under Ed Davey.

      • David Price
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        That book only looks at the issue of energy and fuel. Oil is also the basis for a vast chemicals industry that nuclear et al do not address at all. We need far more R&D on all aspects of “replacing the whole oil barrel” not just the bit that keeps transport moving and electricity generated.

        A large part of that will involve increasing bio-resources which in turn means we would have to revolutionise our use of land to grow feedstock as well as food. Another reason to leave the EU – to take back control of our bio-resource so we can mangage it for our benefit, as much as regaining control of our economy.

        • APL
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          David Price: “Oil is also the basis for a vast chemicals industry that nuclear et al do not address at all.”

          Once you have large scale supply of *cheap* nuclear energy, you no longer need to burn hydrocarbons for energy, you can then use the spare raw materials to either supply the synthetics industry ( plastics, fertilisers etc ) or use surplus energy to make plastics from their well know raw materials.

          Such a change might make plastics more expensive, but energy (without the paraphernalia of state regulation ) would be cheaper, so net net, we might not be worse off.

          • David Price
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            If the intent is to stop importing oil then you don’t have the oil to process differently. Also it is not simply taking a different proprtion of the crude oil to extract non-fuel compounds they are different fractions in the chemical sense rather than a mathematical sense. The petrol and diesel are not necessarily “spare”.

            Any solution has to address both our energy and chemicals dependencies on oil.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            With sufficient supplies of cheap energy you could use all that nasty CO2 in the atmosphere as your feedstock.

          • APL
            Posted October 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

            David Price: “If the intent is to stop importing oil then you don’t have the oil to process differently.”

            The intent is to make sure we have sufficient energy for our economic requirements.

            If building significant extra nuclear power capacity means we no longer (a) have to import so much oil, and (b) care what the Saudis think. That too would be a good thing.

            And as Denis points out, we could combat climate change too by fixing CO2 from the atmosphere.

        • A different Simon
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          David Price ,

          Biomass has a large footprint on several accounts ; agriculture , large treatment works because the biological process is relatively slow (days) thus requiring storage .

          Some of our chemical feedstock could come from gasification of municipal solid waste into synthesis gas which can be turned into waxes , liquid fuels , ammonia , methanol

          Air Products should start gasifying waste in their Tees Valley Plasma Gasification plant in 2015H1 though the syngas will primarily be used to generate the power which is used to gasify the waste .

          This will be the biggest site of it’s kind in the World with the two largest plasma gasifiers ever built ; each capable of gasifying 1,000 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste .

          The biggest benefit is the reduction of landfill requirements without generating dioxins and phenols as incineration does .

          If the syngas were being used as chemical feedstock then it’s composition would have to be altered .

          Other companies are attempting waste gasification with methods other than plasma .

          There is also in-situ gasification of coal to produce synthesis gas and coal condensates etc which can be a feedstock .

          • David Price
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Helpful information, thank you. There are alternative chemicals and processes but not for all oil derivatives and it would be best if people realised they have to address more than just the energy aspects, something ignored by the wind and solar proponents.

        • Hope
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          The Bloomburg speech makes it absolutely clear. No it does not. You forgot the main substance, you cannot believe a word he says. How many U turns, how many failed promises before you expect people to realise he is a fervent Europhile, promoting political correctness, sexual revolution without a mandate and pro Green quackery that Mr Patterson will dismantle this week as an absolute expensive folly that will turn our lights out. The slashing of our armed services while borrowing to give away overseas aid so India can send a satellite to Mars, at the expense of the UK taxpayer. No thanks, I do not trust him. Failing to honour past tax pledges now giving new ones, Lisbon Treaty, getting nothing back for allowing treaty change to bail out other EU countries, pledging not to bail out EU countries directly or indirectly then giving a loan to Ireland or money to IMF, his false pledges go on and on. The game is up, I thought the by election results were clear.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          True be if we get cheap nuclear energy of some sort working, it hugely helps the chemical industries to synthesise most things that are needed more cheaply, even oil based fuels and it also gives us clean water, water distribution and endless other benefits.

      • sjb
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Hinkley Point C nuclear power station received the EU’s ok a few days ago.

        Last year we were told it would cost £16bn; that has now risen to over £24bn and it is admitted that the total cost could be as much as £34bn. Any bets on what the actual cost will be – particularly as the EPR technology is operationally unproven?

        EDF would receive huge subsidies from UK consumers (£17.6billion).

        Assuming EDF decide to go ahead with the project, will Parliament obtain the best independent expert advice on (a) the final contractual terms before HMG sign on the dotted line and (b) probable damage and consequential losses if a hijacked plane were crashed into the site?

        References:
        http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1093_en.htm
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11148193/Hinkley-Point-nuclear-plant-to-cost-34bn-EU-says.html

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted October 15, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we should have too much faith in Owen Paterson – he is yet another dyed in the wool Europhile Conservative as his voting record shows. As Lord Redwood has said he voted yes in 1975.

      He has pretty much signed up for ‘every closer union’ throughout his whole career – it’s a bit late now to undo the damage inflicted.

      http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live (minus 62%)

      Reply I did not say Owen voted Yes in 1975 and I voted No to continued EEC membership on that occasion.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted October 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the correction re the 1975 referendum – I re-read your post just after submitting my post and realised my mistake ..but by then it was too late!. I note that you do not disagree that Mr Paterson (as is most of his colleauges but that is another matter ) are Europhiles.

        Reply I disagree with a lot of the things people post here,and do not have time to rebut most of them

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I shall look at the Bloomberg speech again but it looked very vague indeed to me last time. Typical of Cameron’s vague on the fence, escape clause, waffle. Anyway we know with Cast Iron and IHT Cameron is simply not to be trusted one thou he can only be judged by his actions his mouth simply cannot be trusted.

    You say “If Conservatives win a majority of seats next time we will ensure there is a referendum.” Well how can you guarantee that the large Ken Clark tory wet wing will allow one or not defect somewhere?

    Even if we do get one Cameron has already said he (and one assumes the Tories, Labour, Libdem, BBC, EU, Big business….) will be using all their might and tax payers money to distort the debate. Cameron will only give one when he thinks he could win it for remaining in. Perhaps he will foolishly allow 16 year old’s to vote to help his cause too.

    Anyway it is all irrelevant as the Tories cannot win an overall majority now thanks to Cameron’s duff compass. The chances of one are now are vanishingly small, perhaps under 3% or so. Without a UKIP deal Miliband/Unison and his idiotic rent act and price controls it clearly is to be.

    Norman Tebbit has it about right as usual:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/normantebbit/100289273/only-a-ukiptory-pact-can-guarantee-the-defeat-of-labour-only-pride-prevents-it/

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/normantebbit/100289273/only-a-ukiptory-pact-can-guarantee-the-defeat-of-labour-only-pride-prevents-it/

    Reply The Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party, as our voting for the current Referendum Bill shows. Mr Cameron has put a 3 line whip on voting for the Referendum Bill this Parliament, but he did not need to, as we would vote for it anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      I have now re-read the Bloomberg speech, lots of words, largely pro EU waffle and very little content. It is essentially a pro EU to the core speech, but suggest a bit of fig leaf tinkering. Very tedious to read, nothing much of substance to say and lots of time and words spent saying it.

      Cameron even says: “The result is that democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer thin”! There has never been any democratic consent what so ever. No one under about 57 years old has ever had any say in the matter. Even then they were told/conned by all the major parties was it was just about a “Common Market”.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/eu-speech-at-bloomberg

      Well done Owen Patterson for pointing out the total insanity of the Climate Change Act in engineering/economic/environmental/practical and economic terms.

      Why does Cameron sack all his most capable people?

      Reply The EU has full democratic consent in the UK because electors have regularly elected a Commons with a majority of Lab/Lib/nationalist pro EU MPs. IT is only if and when Eurosceptics get their act together and win a majority can we do something.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        Well the voters keep electing LibLabCon parties who endlessly rat on their promises once in power – but is that democratic consent?

        The only way for Cameron is a UKIP deal. No one will trust him otherwise and he simply will not win an overall majority without one, certainly not with his current pro EU, high tax, pension mugging, IHT ratting, fake green agenda.

        • David Murfin
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          It takes two hands to clap with. I can see no possibility of a UKIP deal with Cameron-led Conservatives.

          “The Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party, as our voting for the current Referendum Bill shows”
          The Conservatives supported the Scottish referendum. Did that make them Scottish nationalists? The Referendum Bill (not yet passed?) merely puts the question ‘Should we be in?’ to which the answer might well be ‘Yes’ I fail to see how that shows the Tory party as a whole to be Eurosceptic.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            It is also already a biased question as it is well know that people statistically prefer to say YES rather than a negative NO.

            Showing how they Tories want people to vote.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          It would be madness for UKIP to enter into any electoral deal with the Tory party, so it is good news that Farage is once again publicly ruling that out. There may be a few cases where UKIP could decide not to actively oppose a particular Tory candidate, but any national deal with the Tory party would potentially be as devastating for UKIP as coalition with the Tories has been for the LibDems.

          If there was any basis for a deal then Cameron would now be saying that the Tories would stand down in constituencies where they clearly had no chance of winning and give UKIP a free run to take on Labour and/or the LibDems without a no-hope Tory candidate spoiling UKIP’s chances.

          He isn’t saying that and will never say that, partly out of ingrained Tory arrogance but more importantly because he would much prefer to see a Labour or LibDem or even Green candidate get elected if that was the way to prevent a UKIP candidate getting elected.

          Those other pro-EU parties are merely rivals of the Tories, while UKIP is their common enemy.

          And with UKIP support in the opinion polls still trending upwards – 25% is the latest high reported by Survation, probably a temporary spike but even so a new high in their series of polls:

          http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9022

          there is nothing for UKIP to gain and everything for UKIP to lose through any kind of association with the Tories.

      • zorro
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply – No, no, no – It doesn’t. The UK has not had a major party which would commit to UK exit, and general elections are decided on a range of issues normally. In any case, there is no way that you can deliver the Ken Clark wing of the Tory party. Your General cannot even state circumstances when he would vote no! He is leading the effort quarter-heartedly and will be about as reliable as a Sunni General leading the Iraqi army against ISIS! You know and we all know that he will NOT vote for out if he does not get a deal. What can this nan get now? It’s ridiculous….. zorro

        Reply There were always minor parties recommending out and they attracted very little support. I think Mr C may well have to recommend out unless he does get a great deal which restores our democracy. Of course he needs to be optimistic about his own chances of doing a good deal.

        • Graham
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          John,

          Your reply is ridiculous and Zorro is right. When the chief negotiator has already revealed his hand you know that what follows will be a sham.

          Why do you continue to peddle this line of thought that I believe you really have no faith in.

        • zorro
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply – Agreed, but he needs to lay it out straight. He needs to say that ‘I am after a far better deal than we currently, and unless I get it, I will be recommending a ‘No’ vote.’ That would concentrate minds. Those minds are currently not concentrated because he will not set it out straight…..

          zorro

        • Hope
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          He ordered a three line whip to prevent an EU referendum taking place. He ignored voters who did not want gay marriage, he used £18 million pounds to promote closer union to the EU. You were there to argue the opposite! We do not believe him and do not trust him. I would like to see the likes of you, Owen Patterson and others in control of the party. It is not going to happen. Therefore the only Conservative party in town with national interest at its heart is UKIP. The rest want EU rule with presentational differences, as we see with the borrow and give away economy.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Dear John–How can you possibly say that Cameron may have to recommend Out when he has too many times to count made it clear that that is precisely what he is not going to do? Is what Cameron says to mean absolutely nothing at all??? And you will probably have just heard on the BBC World This Weekend the Interviewer rebutting Boris by saying, But the Conservatives want to stay In, with Boris offering no further meaningful comment (This written after my earlier effort, not yet moderated as I write).

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted October 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            Postscript–And then, after Boris had given the ritual good stuff about preferring to stay In, after a successful renegotiation, he said, politician that he is, that on the other hand if the Referendum vote was Out he was (from memory), Fully reconciled to our being Outside and that we can do very well on our own (or something very close). This prevarication is precisely what we don’t want; but it is (to the extent such a thing can be garnered), I guess, where Tory Policy on the subject is right now. Hopeless.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          To Reply well first past the post means most voters only get a choice between the two main parties with established brand loyalty.

          At elections the Tories just pretend to be EU sceptic sufficiently to trick the voter each time.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        “Reply The EU has full democratic consent in the UK because electors have regularly elected a Commons with a majority of Lab/Lib/nationalist pro EU MPs. IT is only if and when Eurosceptics get their act together and win a majority can we do something.”

        We saw the Union flag at the Tory conference – not an EU one.

        Will the imposters who believe in the EU wear EU badges and put their EU policy to the fore on their election pamphlets ? Will they have an EU flag on the cover ?

        They’ve never done so far.

        Your party has continually posed as a Eurosceptic body when it has been anything but. It has duped people into voting for it.

        The people are on to it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply:

        Better hope for a lot more UKIP MPs then John, and get rid of the old pro-EU Tory guard who have consistently let us down so badly.

        Tad

      • APL
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        JR: “The EU has full democratic consent in the UK because electors have regularly elected a Commons with a majority of Lab/Lib/nationalist pro EU MPs. ”

        The European Union hardly ever gets a mention on the doorstep. And when it has had a hand in a National catastrophe, like the flooding of the Somerset levels it is sufficiently disguised by layers of UK bureaucracy that it becomes such tedium to explain it to the voters.

        Not to say, that with MPs like milibrain and Cameron who both voted to cut our industrial output by 80% by 2050., OK, they didn’t put it in those terms, but the effect of cutting CO2 emissions will be pretty much the same as reducing energy consumption by 80%, essentially closing down (what’s left of ) industry in the United Kingdom.

        • APL
          Posted October 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          JR: “The EU has full democratic consent in the UK because electors have regularly elected a Commons with a majority of Lab/Lib/nationalist pro EU MPs. ”

          And by the way. It is thought appropriate to get the opportunity to elect or dismiss our own national government every five years ( at a maximum).

          Why haven’t we had the opportunity to dismiss the government in Brussels ( I don’t mean the puppets in the EU parliament ) every five years too?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      The Ken Clark wing is rather large and surely includes even Cameron if his Bloomberg speech is the best he can do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Also why is Cameron against any meaningful MP recall bill?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          That’s an easy one to answer LL, it’s because once Cameron had done the calculations, he realised just how many of his MPs might need to be held to account, and that would destabilise his party. He couldn’t possibly risk that, and I venture, neither could Labour nor the Lib Dems.

          It just shows the appalling level of cynicism in British politics, and why we need to change the way it works (or doesn’t work!) After the expenses scandal, action was promised that our elected representatives would be made more accountable to the people they serve.

          It is highly indicative that Mr Cameron has chosen to put those measures on the back-burner. It shows his level of duplicity and his contempt for the electorate, so why the hell should anyone trust him on his promise to deliver meaningful renegotiation, or a referendum thereafter?

          I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever in David Cameron, and looking at recent election results, a lot of others are coming to that same conclusion.

          Tad Davison

          Cambridge

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Cameron on his current course, is going to bury the Tory party even more effectively that the unapologetic/ERM disaster Sir John Major did but without even the excuse of vacuity.

      Also doing this for exactly the same reasons, he simply has the wrong policies on nearly every issue: taxation, pension mugging, 299 tax increasing, ever more EU, the green crap religion, the size of the state, on border control, on recall and on over regulation.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Dear John–You have not convinced me that the Conservative Party is Eurosceptic in any meaningful or satisfying sense. For a start “sceptic” doesn’t connote much and is ill-defined at best: what we want is EU-100%-Negative. A Referendum is well and good but you cannot tell me that a majority of the Conservative Party want Out, plain and simple. And of course you have to face the fact that there are no words your Leader can now use to make anyone believe that he is anything other than a Stay-Inner-No-Matter-What, a la Clarke and Heseltine.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Postscript–Just read a letter in today’s Torygraph that rings Oh so true. It says that “A referendum under Mr Cameron could well be worse than not having one at all”

    • zorro
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – and he had a three line whip against a referendum earlier in this Parliament!

    • UKIP voter (ex Tory)
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic – Mr Tebbit’s conclusion in that article is wrong.

      It is not ‘false pride’ which is preventing a pact between the Tories and UKIP. It is that the two parties are not of the same political cloth.

      The Tory party has more in common with Labour than it does UKIP and they’d prefer a Labour win – as shown in last week’s by-election.

      This is not our fault !

      Besides. “Vote UKIP, get Labour” has been shown to be false.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Cameron is a known Europhile and will renegotiate nothing of substance. He has told the 1922 this already. After 4 and a half years we judge him on his actions not words. Mrs Thatcher spoke of modern day political leaders who think they’ve done something on policy once they have given a speech! His cast iron guarantees or no ifs or buts promises are frankly a national joke.
      What has Mr Cameron done on Europe and immigration other than increase the powers and control of the EU ? (and its budget, despite his claims to the contrary) and preside over 560, 000 known immigrants last year alone with an additional 200,000 illegals with none removed!
      The legacy parties have failed, so move out and let the only patriotic party in to do what we want, not what you want!
      The English are crying out for action not words!

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Peter Hitchens, today, is more accurate than Norman Tebbit.

      Any truly eurosceptic Tory MP really does have it in their hands to save this country. Our final chance, I believe.

      http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

      If an Labour or unreconstructed Tory party is returned in 2015 we – the ordinary people – are finished anyway.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens ‘But what sort of ‘loyalty’ is this? Why should it be thought noble to try to save your party at the expense of your country?

        Something for Conservative Mp’s to ponder – In my view it’s time for them to stop clinging to the Tory nurse and do the right thing and join UKIP. It’s not a perfect party but atleast it offers hope and a fresh start.

        Political party’s that no longer reflect the wishes of their supporters do not deserve to survive. Why should honourable Mp’s, such as our venerable host have to suffer because of the actions of misguided fools in his party’s leadership.

    • Boudicca
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Mr Cameron has just agreed to destroy Habeas Corpus by signing us up to Corpus Juris and the European Arrest Warrant. And we’re supposed to believe he’d be prepared to leave the EU!

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        The heir to Blair has been taking lessons from ‘the master’. The Blair creature would have loved to have taken a wrecking ball to our judicial system.

      • APL
        Posted October 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Boudicca: “agreed to destroy Habeas Corpus by”

        That would of course be unconstitutional. And if there were any members of Parliament who thought the UK had a constitution, they might speak out against it.

  3. mickc
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Cameron can say anything he likes, nobody believes him.

    Like the main supermarkets, the main parties thought the voters had nowhere else to go and were stuck with the products and prices they offered.

    Then along came Aldi and Lidl…….

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Micke–Very well said

  4. Alan
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    But the UK parliament has sovereignty – if it wishes to impose border controls or to make decisions about welfare policies it can already do so.

    In fact it has imposed border controls (I wish it hadn’t: then I wouldn’t spend ages queuing at the immigration controls) and it does largely determine welfare policy.

    Reply Not so. We are very constrained b y Treaties, Directives and the ECJ

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – But immigration is still a taboo subject. You have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to debate it.

      Your party is not on our side. As Mr Carswell says.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Treaties signed in the main by Tory P.M’s. They should all have triggered a referendum but due to the lying deceitful nature of our rulers they were always sold as something else. Just a tidying up exercise. This after first denying there was any loss of sovereignty with each treaty.
      According to the referendum lock, major hand over of powers should trigger a referendum but CMD ops into 35 justice clauses without a vote. Disgusting.
      What is so special about waiting until 2017 John. I believe by then it will be almost impossible to leave the monster of the EU and that is why the lying, cheating toe rag is refusing to budge.
      The house of cards is collapsing and the LibLabCon will probably opt for a grand coalition to ensure we remain prisoners of Brussels. Who is pulling the strings John?

  5. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    “It is policy to see if we can negotiate….”
    And for me, that sums up precisely the flaw in this whole idea of re-negotiation.
    A useful political word is ‘if’.
    There is no way out of ‘Ever closer Union’.

    Reply But there is – vote No in a referendum and leave, if they do not offer a way out of it for us.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      We will not get a referendum because Cameron will fall at first base by failing to get an overall majority and even if he does he probably will rat yet again claim the wet wing will not allow him. Or he will arrange an unfair one with a biased question. and tax payers money and the very biassed BBC etc. to the fore.

      If his Bloomberg speech is the best he can do he is essentially just a Ken Clark type to his heart and soul. There is virtually nothing in it, the man will not even say he wants to return to UK control of our borders and selective EU immigration. Nor will he say he might ever vote for out.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I noticed that Andrew Marr, on the BBC this morning, made the point clearly that he had asked Cameron time and time again if he would ever vote for a withdrawal from the EU, and never received an answer. We know that Cameron wishes us to stay in, and his negotiation is window dressing, he will recommend ‘in’, whatever he does or doesn’t achieve. Cameron cannot be trusted. Desperately chasing lost votes. He is not much different from Labour in practice on this. His referendum will be worthless so it could be said there is not much point in having one.

      And full marks to Marr for raising the problem of TB in London. It is at dangerous proportions and has been growing for years; and guess why, large scale immigration from countries where it is endemic. Could not be talked about of course, it’s not PC, so it has remained under censorship. And then Buffoon Boris went on to say that London has an extremely efficient health care system, the man is fool for saying such a thing. The obvious question is, if it is so good, how has the TB problem been allowed to get so big? May it also be that NHS is frightened to tackle it robustly for fear of causing ‘offence’. And we know that no-one will attempt to stop people from the Ebola countries travelling here either. What about the precautionary principle we hear so much about in other spheres. Not PC is it in these cases? So we, the people of England, are put at risk of our lives by the smug British Elites and those whose politics act against our best interests – again.

      And earlier we had Trevor Phillips trying to convince us he understood why people supported UKIP; they are not racists etc., it’s they don’t like change. The man is deluded, he still gets his views from others like himself in spite of saying otherwise. UKippers and others don’t like being told all the time by the so-called authorities that ‘we know best’. They object to being constantly lied to and deceived.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    John

    Afraid Mr Cameron has not made any of his points strong enough over the past 4 years with regards to Europe.

    Only now, when he and his Party appears to be getting desperate, and time is running out, is he starting to try and sound anywhere near patriotic enough.

    All rather too little, too late, and too near an election to be believable.

    Just look at the pathetic list of aims and requirements he released a few months ago, which you posted on this site.

    I really wish The Conservatives were serious about renegotiation, but I simply do not believe it.

    I am fully aware that you are, as indeed are a number of your colleagues, and power to your elbow, but you are still unfortunately a minority, as you keep on telling us.

    Remember the promise that immigration was to be reduced to the tens of thousands, seems it now turns out that it did not mean or include people arriving from the EU !

    Thus a complete and utter failure of a twisted promise.

    Cameron has said he does not want to leave the EU publicly so many times, that for him to make any case for out, should renegotiation (if ever it is held seriously) fail, is all simply rather laughable.

    Sorry John, i simply do not believe Cameron is serious.

    Reply The Immigration policy was for all net migration including the EU. The government has now discovered that EU migration has risen and that will require exit from the EU or a new relationship with the EU to put right. The Lib Dems of course are preventing that in coalition.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      It is always too little too late with Cameron. He only says (rarely does) anything sensible when he is forced to and then does just the minimum very reluctantly.

      As Carswell put it Cameron was clearly not serious. He is all about long grass, PR stunts, endless green crap and silly distraction gimmicks.

      This is exactly why he lost (or threw) that last election and is heading for the cliff now.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      JR: “The government has now discovered that EU migration has risen and that will require exit from the EU or a new relationship with the EU to put right.”

      Balderdash, any self-respecting MP must have known that for years – I certainly have and I’m not an MP!

      Reply I voted for out in 1975 as I thought Rome was also a centralising treaty.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        So did I, but you continue to make these facile excuses for your party’s leadership.
        Why did you write : “The government has now discovered that EU migration has risen and that will require exit from the EU or a new relationship with the EU to put right.” other than being deliberately disingenuous?

      • APL
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        JR: “I voted for out in 1975 as I thought Rome was also a centralising treaty.”

        Which seems to be a rather irrelevant reply to the topic of how many MPs knew and for how long they knew, that EU migration would rise and has risen, and why do those MPs that did know, say nothing about it in Parliament?

        I knew and raised this issue

        • APL
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          JR: “I knew and raised this issue”

          Good for you, now what about Ken Clarke, the fellow that was paid a ministerial salary for four years to snoop around any and every government department he wished.

          He must have know. Why did he keep schtum?

    • David Price
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      As far as I recall, and media reports at the time make clear, the statements in 2010/11 specifically addressed caps on immigration for non-EU immigrants and made clear we couldn’t restrict movement from within the EU.

      I don’t trust Cameron much to look out for our interests but trust Farage even less based on UKIPs track record of non-achievement and willful disregard of their duties in the EP together with their stance against English devolution.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        UKIP can hardly be be accused of non-achievement they only got their first MP last week!

        • David Price
          Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Who said anything about UK Parliament, they have been in the EP for 20 years .

    • David Murfin
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      “The government has now discovered that EU migration has risen”
      Has EU migration this century ever been small enough for total net immigration to be ‘in the tens of thousands ‘ which is usually taken to mean under 100,000?

    • zorro
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Exactly, and that stated policy has failed abysmally, and it is not the fault of the Lib Dems as exactly the same result would have ensued with a majority Tory government…… I love your description the government ‘discovered’ exactly what had been happening for years whilst contemplating its navel!

      zorro

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Reply reply

      Oh yes the LibDems again.

      Sorry no backbone.
      Just put it before Parliament, and let Labour and the LibDems vote it down if they dare.

      Then Cameron could go to the Country and honestly say, well I tried to.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Dear John–You would do well to stop talking about “net migration” which is of course invented PR drivel designed to avoid the need to use the word immigration; and nobody cares what “Policy” is: we want immigration down now.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      The LibDem’s and the Coalition look like they will be history soon .

      Cameron won’t be able to use the requirement for their support as a threat to keep his own rebeles in their place .

      The excuses will one day run out .

      You are obviously an extremely intelligent person John but intelligence makes people more susceptible to certain types of mistake .

      For the rest of us , Alan Jutson’s no nonsense assessment sums it up , especially the last bit :-

      – “All rather too little, too late, and too near an election to be believable.”

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I notice two things that are both failures (of many):

    The constant problem of the price of Milk in UK – Radio 4 this morning…again!!

    EU Referendum…not happening and should have. Talk, talk, talk….talk.

    Constrained? Screwed more like it !!

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    JR: “This was the policy which Mr Carswell welcomed strongly when he heard the speech.”
    Wasn’t it Lady Thatcher who said that the trouble with the current crop of political leaders is that they think because they have made a speech they have done something?
    Actions speak louder than words and in the time since that Bloomberg speech those who are not blinded by total party loyalty have seen it is no more than the same confidence trick perpetrated by Wilson in 1975 and an electoral ploy to stop the move to UKIP. A ploy which fortunately has been unsuccessful.
    You mentioned Carswell, well here is what he said when he announced his switch to UKIP:

    “No one cheered David Cameron more loudly at the time of his Bloomberg speech, when he finally accepted the case for a referendum. He would, he claimed, negotiate a fundamentally new relationship with the EU, and put it to the people in 2017; In or Out.

    But there’s been no detail since. That’s because there isn’t any. Again, they’ve not thought it through.

    Ministers have specifically ruled out a trade-only arrangement with the EU. The Prime Minister said so specifically at a meeting of the 1922. It won’t even be on the table.

    His advisers have made it clear they won’t contemplate any deal with UKIP. They’re more comfortable doing deals with Nick Clegg than with a party that wants real change in our relations with the EU.

    His advisers have made it clear that they seek a new deal that gives them just enough to persuade enough voters to vote to stay in. It’s not about change in our national interest. It’s all about not changing things.

    Once I realised that, my position in the Conservative party became untenable.”

    You still have your head very firmly in the sand.

    Reply Mr Carswell’s recollections of the 1922 is not the same as mine. Many Conservatives just want a trade deal. The Bloomberg speech sets out a way of restoring the UK veto, which would mean we could then set our own rules and policies when did not like EU ones.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      All he did was make a speech in January 2013.
      In that speech he said: “That is why I am in favour of a referendum.”
      That from the man who had ordered a 3 line whip on his party to vote against just such a referendum in October 2011. The BBC reported a Downing street spokesman thus: “The easy thing to do would have been for us to have avoided expressing a view. It was important to take a strong lead – because Britain’s best interests are served by being in the EU.”
      You believe what you like I will never trust Cameron or your party with regard to EU and immigration or much else for that matter.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      This sits oddly with Mr Camerons wish to sign up the European arrest warrant. He just says one thing and does another. Many Conservative sceptics did not like foreign judges wielding power over British citizens.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10947132/Rightwing-Tory-MPs-to-defy-David-Cameron-over-EU-power-grab.html

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      ‘Wasn’t it Lady Thatcher who said that the trouble with the current crop of political leaders is that they think because they have made a speech they have done something?’

      And none more so than on Law and Order Brian!

      How many vitriolic speeches have we heard at Tory conferences in the past slamming criminals and saying how this or that is going to be clamped down on heavily, to garner support, only to find these measures never come about, or crime isn’t then dealt with to the public’s satisfaction?

      And this to their very own Tory grass-roots faithful! If the Tory hierarchy can lie to them, they can lie to anybody – and clearly, they do!

      I could sort the present criminal justice system, and believe me, if criminals were not deterred by what I have in mind, they would never want to experience a second dose of the medicine, but these mamby-pamby liberal softies haven’t got a clue. Yet they try and sound tough. They try to con the public over and over again. I think this exemplifies why we need a total change of direction away from the soft liberalism that has let us down so badly. Cameron is its icon and its epitome.

      Tad

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “Ministers have specifically ruled out a trade-only arrangement with the EU. The Prime Minister said so specifically at a meeting of the 1922. It won’t even be on the table.”

      Is this true? Certainly Cameron said stupid things like no to a Greater Switzerland by Sea – why on earth not?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 13, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

      Dear John–By the same token, sounds as if Carswell’s memory is not the same as yours

  9. agricola
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I for one have a problem with re-negotiation. We could end up with a dog’s breakfast that 27 nations have to agree to. The EU will not like it because other nations might wish to do similar. Because CMD is a Europhile he will claim it is wonderful, and those who vote UKIP will condemn it. In the end , if there is a referendum people will not have a clear idea of what they are voting for or against. I suspect that CMD like Harold Wilson is aiming at this end. If you choose not to believe Heywood or Clacton then unlike the voting public you still believe in our Prime Minister.

    Much better, I suggest is that we vote in a referendum of in or out based on what we know the EU is now and it’s effect on the lives and the sovereignty of the British people.

    Assuming the vote is out, our government then invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The EU is then in no doubt as to our intentions. I believe there is then a mandatory negotiation of the process of leaving. We can then say we will be happy to continue buying your cars and brie, and we will cooperate in certain areas such as cross border policing, air traffic,, maritime law etc.

    This way will never be asked to vote for a horse and find ourselves in possession of a three legged camel.

    If CMD wishes to restore the integrity of the Conservative Party, himself, and possibly win the general election in May then all he needs to do is fix such a referendum for March next year. QED.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Strong and valid points, well made Mr Redwood. Unfortunately you are pointing to a speech you can not show actions that your leader has taken which support your case. Vetoing the fiscal compact does not count as it went ahead anyway and all the leaders in the room gave him a non commital out.

    One can not say that you will fight with your hesrt and soul to stay in something until you know under which terms you are fighting. Your leader and your party (not you Mr Redwood) have a huge credibility defcit in this area. Talk is cheap, your coalition is all but over so moves could be made in parliament now with those voting against pro UK sovereignty measures brought before the house exposed prior to an election and those supportive of such measures identified.

    Anyone can say anything from a platform but my taxes are still supporting immigrants and EU subsidies so that is not helping me much.

    Do keep up the fight on our behalf but please do not expect us to thank your party for rhetoric.

  11. bluedog
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Say what he may, and Bloomberg is a good speech, Cameron knows but does not admit that unless Germany and/or France wish to return to the Europe des Patries model , nothing will happen and Brexit becomes inevitable. Readers will recall that E de P was a term coined by Giscard d’Estaing, who showed his true colours by becoming the leading architect of the Treaty of Lisbon, the ultimate (and totally incoherent) manifesto of the ever closer union position, which directly contravenes E de P.

    It follows that as France embraced E de P initially and then rejected it, Cameron’s negotiations depend on France reversing policy once again.

    So why is this likely? What is the incentive for France to do so? The only conceivable incentive for the French to execute another policy backflip is through force following the total disintegration of market confidence in the Euro, triggering an even sharper slump in the Eurozone economy. Not an outlandish proposition, either.

    Watching Cameron negotiate with a French government facing the failure of a seventy year old economic policy will be priceless.

  12. ChrisS
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I have no doubt that you and your colleagues like my own MP, Christopher Chope are sincere I also trust you to make an honest assessment of the deal that will be on offer and I know you will campaign to leave if it’s not.

    Personally, I find it hard to imagine the EU, a supertanker heading for the rocks if ever I saw one, negotiating a satisfactory deal. If I were to be a betting man I would lay down a large sum that Cameron will get off the plane waving a piece of paper, Neville Chamberlain-style, which will have about as much value as that famous document.

    Frankly, I cannot imagine any circumstances in which David Cameron will honestly present a poor outcome and campaign alongside you to leave.

    Even if I’m wrong and the deal looks to offer reasonable safeguards, the problem is that nothing will really change.

    The fact is that all the major players in Brussels are committed to the disastrous policy of Ever Closer Union and the system has been built in such a way that it has a myrad of routes by which it can continue its course as if nothing has changed. We are told that the other parties will give us a referendum on any further reduction in sovereignty but almost every week some directive or other is circulated which entwines us even more and reduces our freedom of action.

    The problem is that a majority of the member states, the Commission, the European Parliament, the Civil Service (here and in Brussels) are all committed ECU and will never stop scheming to achieve their goal. If they want to get round opt outs like the Working Time Directive they simply make a phone call at their cronies at the European Court and get the equally committed judges to impose the policy by the back door.

    Whatever the outcome, they will ensure we remain a massive net contributor and, if the Eurozone is allowed to continue to die a slow death, the shrinking economy of Germany will result in us being the largest contributor to the whole sorry mess.

    The only safe route for us to follow is to retain our membership of the Single Market like Switzerland but leave all the other institutions.

    Like Boris has just said on Andrew Marr, there is nothing to fear by leaving and going back to trading alone with the rest of the world, particularly those countries around the world that will continue to grow.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Good points Chris.

      In contrast to Boris on this morning’s Andrew Marr Show, Labour’s shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna firmly stated on Sky’s Murnaghan programme, his party’s commitment to the EU. He must have overlooked the fact that the EU is tottering on the edge of another big downturn, that millions of its people are out of work, that social strife is rampant, that its expansion now threatens world peace and stability, and that it’s a diminishing market that will have even less money to spend on our goods and services in future. Nor did he say anything about the massive trade imbalance the UK has with the EU where goods are imported that we could possibly make ourselves.

      Maybe Mr Umunna neglects to take account of these facts, despite his party just scraping by in last Thursday’s by-election. What was it I read about Ostriches burying their heads in the sand to avoid seeing the dangers that are clearly obvious to everyone else?

      Perhaps Mr Umunna would like to see the UK become another France under the current socialist president, with all the inhibitions placed upon the very wealth-creators who could dig the country out of its malaise?

      So I naturally ask, what’s Cameron’s excuse. Why should a Tory leader be a ‘heart and soul’ Europhile just like the ones in the Labour Party, and the Looney Lib Dems. What is his vision of a workable EU, and how will any amount of renegotiation ever achieve that?

      So far, I haven’t seen anything that can work for the UK, except an exit from the madness altogether.

      Tad

  13. M Davis
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that it is far too late in the day for Mr Cameron to be desperately trying to get his core voters to believe in him. It is only now, because the people have shown who they support on the issues of the EU and Immigration, plus the fact that there is a GE on the very near horizon, that Mr Cameron is panicking.

    +1000, to you and your eurosceptic colleagues for your hard work in trying your very best to knock some sense into this incompetent Government.

    I wonder, JR, if you have read it, what you think of Richard Norths’ Flexit plan?

  14. matthu
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The only new relationship with the EU will relate to immigration from new EU members who are yet to join and immigration from existing members is unlikely to be affected. Or have i got that wrong?

    Furthermore, watch the government seeking to redefine immigration so as to exclude those coming here for study purposes. If we could expect the inflow of students to match those returning, this change of definition would be expected to have little impact. The fact that it is still felt to legislate over speaks for itself.

    Watch for other changes in definition.

  15. DaveM
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Lots of negativity and pessimism again today.

    My only pessimism stems from the fact that we may end up with 5 years of Labour hell after 32 % vote Labour, 25% vote Ukip and 27% vote Tory. To me, the most significant by-election was in Manchester. Labour voters don’t change allegiance – but they did, lots of them!!

    The concern, I think, from people voting Ukip, is that DC will offer a referendum, then make noises about repatriating powers, and dupe the less attentive members of the electorate into voting to stay in the EU. There will then follow a very long process which doesn’t really repatriate any real powers.

    So DC needs to make a lot more noise about it, a bit like Farage has. And he MUST deal with Ukip.

    The majority of Con voters will vote Con because they know the referendum will be offered and they don’t trust Ukip on other matters. So they, and Labour voters have to be the target. And this brings us back, once again, to the matter of an English Parliament.

    Why? Because if you can convince Labour voters that they will have an English Parliament and a local English Parliament MP who can speak for them at national level on local matters, the NHS, jobs, etc, they will be more inclined to vote Tory in a UK GE. There is a simple, realistic solution which actually removes a layer of govt and saves money, but your solution, John, for double-hatting English UK MPs won’t do this because people will vote Labour on a local level and therefore put them in Westminster. Ironically, most of those who voted Ukip in Manchester because of immigration would normally vote Labour and therefore wouldn’t get a referendum.

    So, the bottom line is that if Con want to win an overall majority in 2015 they need to be as robust as Ukip in terms of the EU. They win their elections in England, so they need to enfranchise the English people by offering an English layer of govt so that a GE vote is for UK and international matters and an English Parliament vote is for local matters. And DC needs to shout the future vision from the rooftops to be heard over the clamour of the BBC.

    Mr Jutson – spot on.

    Bernard – not true. If the Eastern bloc could be dismantled, we can get out of Ever Closer Union!!!

  16. JoeSoap
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    There are still two over-riding factors which persuade people that your course of action won’t work.
    First, people are wary that if your scenario of a failed negotiation played out, if a referendum is still offered, if the Tory leadership backed an out vote, if the population actually voted out, it still wouldn’t happen. Too many ifs, too many vested interests.
    Second, there is an intense scepticism that Cameron hasn’t declared that he can conceive of any situation we would leave. If he was as positive as you say about change and restoring sovereignty, he wouldn’t be entering the negotiation with neither a Plan A or Plan B.

  17. JoeSoap
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I realise we as UKIP are up against the type of classic lefty quip by Trevor Phillips on Marr this morning – as to whether Ebola or UKIP were more damaging to his relatives chances of getting through UK immigration…. There is no chance of the Tory party looking nasty enough to deny his relatives entry on either of these grounds… we need a party without the baggage to ignore these types of move…

  18. Mondeo Man
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    It’s immigration, John. Some of us have been trying to tell you this for years but not even you – a Tory ‘extremist’ were listening. We told you here about the risks of rising immigration from the distressed Eurozone too and so it has come to pass – but didn’t listen then either.

    Your party has done nothing about it but weaken the border force. Now you are paying the price.

    We told you so. Nobody believes you anymore.

    As for the EU we’ve had:

    – The PM call us fruitcakes and loons

    – A BBC correspondent joke about Mr Farage’s testicular problems (would the BBC dare do similar with a woman ?)

    – A Tory PM joke about Farage having a finger stuck up his bottom

    – A Tory mayor tell us we like sex with vacuum cleaners

    – A PM talking about us ‘going to bed’ with Mr Farage

    – Grant Schapps running around shouting “Liar ! Liar ! Pants of fire !” when someone steps out of line

    Is there any chance of a *mature* debate on immigration and Europe, do you think, Dr Redwood ?

    I don’t.

    Clearly we are not small minded enough to be put off by posh boys – Mr Farage is one. We just don’t like politically groomed PPE graduate posh boys who slap us around like we’re their fags.

    None of us minded immigration when it was controlled either. Mathew Parris has proven to be a stupid man and cost you at least one by-election. However, I believe his to be the true voice of the modern Tory party and not yours.

    If your party was a product it would be a Leyland. The production line run for the workers and not the customers with no-one buying it. When the working class produces something as shoddy it’s your party that believes in the introduction of real competition – so why doesn’t the same apply to you ? You’ve allowed most of your work to be outsourced from Britain already.

    Party or Country, Mr Redwood ? It really has come down to this now.

  19. Mondeo Man
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “A Tory PM joke about Farage having a finger stuck up his bottom”

    Correction

    A Tory minister made that appalling ‘joke’. On what level was it meant to connect ? Is that the level of banter in the Cabinet ?

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      PS, I didn’t mean to demote you from Dr to Mr and I can assure you there was nothing Freudian in it either. Sorry !

  20. Sam
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    JR – it is extremely refreshing to see a Conservative actually setting out the party’s position on the EU, and why a Conservative majority is the best route to a happier relationship between Britain and Europe.

    There is too much dangerous pessimism and fear fueling the Ukip rise. Comments sections such as this consistently demonstrate that those supporting Ukip do not trust politicians (except veteran politician Nigel Farage, and elected “LibLabCon” politicians who turn coat), do not trust the “mainstream media”, and are unable to see the difference between the two main parties. The result of all of this is that many committed supporters of Ukip have shut themselves off from logic and reason. An in/out referendum lies within our grasp. It is madness to jeopardise that merely because David Cameron is too posh for some people’s tastes, because we feel uncomfortable with gay marriage, or because Nigel Farage is willing to say more inflammatory things about immigrants.

    I have never been so worried about the fate of this country. We are at a fork in the road; one turning leads to a better relationship with Europe for Britain, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and growth. The other leads to Ed Miliband, peeking through the curtains of 10 Downing Street.

    If I believed in prayer, I would be pleading for the restoration of common sense, so that Britain is not delivered into the hands of its enemies in the Labour party.

  21. Freeborn John
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The section of the Bloomburg speech you quote at the end, seems in practice to relate to William Hague’s plan to strengthen the so-called ‘yellow card’ procedure which allows national parliaments to object to EU Commission legislative proposals. The current procedure is deeply flawed in that it only allows objections on the single ground of ‘subsidiarity’, gives national parliaments hardly any time to make the objection, has a high threshold requiring more parliaments to object to the proposal than states are later required to block the EU law in the Council of Ministers, and ultimately the yellow-card can be ignored by the Commission anyway. However it is not credible of you to suggest these ideas of Cameron and Hague for a ‘red-card’ would restore national sovereignty. They would still only apply to new proposals form the EU Commission, and so not be any means to repeal existing EU law, would still require support from large numbers of other parliaments so we could not block EU laws alone anymore than Cameron was able to block the federalist Juncker becoming Commission president. In short, the text you quote from is nowhere remotely close to anything that would restore the ability of British voters to decide the law they live under again via the ballot box in the vast swathe of policy areas where current treaties have given that power to the EU.

    The truth is that Cameron is not even starting the negotiations with an ambition to restore our relationship with the EU to one of trade alone. Indeed under his watch EU powers have grown most recently with the seizure by the EU Parliament of the right to appoint the EU Commission president. Cameron is obviously not serious and needs to be replaced, and since the Parliamentary Party will not do it the task will fall to us next May which you can be sure we will.

  22. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    For decades (certainly under Major) the Conservatives have been saying that we need to change our relationship with Europe or change the nature of the Eu by our ‘influence’. The trouble is it never happens the Sir Humphreys always get their way. This isn’t a new development just more of the same old failed politics. I won’t be fooled again.

    Bloomberg is too little too late. We have had years of ‘modernisation’ with the Leadership constantly thumbing their noses at the common Conservative voter . Well they have had enough as the Mail on Sunday poll putting UKIP on 25% shows.

    There are precious few ‘like minded ‘Conservative colleauges’ for Mr Redwood to influence. http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live.

    Most put career and party before country. This is why the leadership describe the sceptics as ‘headbangers’. They know they have the system stitched up with patronage given primarily to those that vote for the Eu.

    Dr Redwood doesn’t explain how he can change the minds of the 270 or so Conservative Mp’s that the Bruges group describe as ‘Europhile’. There are a small core of Mp in touch with reality and the public mood but these are exceptional individuals.

    My view is that Mr Cameron will create an illusion that our relationship with Europe has been renegotiated and attempt to hoodwink the public in the unlikely event that he is in a position to offer a referendum. I suspect he will ‘throw’ the election if the polling signals a Conservative majority so that he can form another coalition.

    The Conservative brand is ruined and by association it is damaging to Dr Redwood’s reputation.

  23. me3
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Please be assured your negotiations with Mr Cameron will now go more smoothly thanks to Mr Carswell.

  24. Jane
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I would never vote for an MP who switched political parties. I find it disloyal. I also look at the constituencies they represent and in many cases those MPs are in danger of losing their seats. The same MPs elected under a different banner should be shunned by former colleagues.

    UKIP are now attracting the votes once given to the LD. In my area they are also attracting the votes for those who once supported the BNP.

    I do believe that the PM will enter negotiations to stop the never ending erosion of UK powers. I also believe if he is not successful then a referendum will be held. Until then, I want all conservative MPs to unite behind DC (he is after all an asset to the party) to ensure victory at the next election.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Jane, You say : “I do believe that the PM will enter negotiations to stop the never ending erosion of UK powers. ”
      But he was supposed to be repatriating powers not stopping their erosion.
      As for your devotion to party loyalty, is there really nothing Mr Cameron could do that would stop you supporting him out of pure blind party loyalty?

  25. Bert Young
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    All the promises made about improving our relationship with the EU depend on the outcome of the General Election – and that depends on what is achieved by winning enough concessions from the EU before then ; so far all the indications concerning immigration show nothing ( the French have already said “No” to this ) and the likelihood of loosening the grip of the ECHR is thin on the ground . Putting these 2 facts together does not auger well for a Cameron win . Therefore as I read things the General Election is not a question of Cameron vs Milliband , it is more about the Conservatives doing a deal with UKIP . I hear that Norman Tebbit today is calling for this presumably because he feels it is the only sensible way forward .

  26. Phil Cunnington
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    My experience tells me the same as others are hinting at here: if you don’t hold a strong and believable starting position when entering a negotiation, you will find it difficult to get even 50% of the way towards the outcome you desire.

    We all hear the same message from David Cameron that the rest of the EU hears which is that he wants to remain in the EU. Immediately bargaining strength is damaged.

    David Cameron has so far showed no sign of of backing this speech with action strong enough to persuade all of the other EU members to give real concessions. If he does, we all know it will be in panic and not conviction. I can’t understand how the John Redwood that writes on this blog can put up with that any longer.

    We have heard what defectors and other disaffected insiders say which is that the Conservative Party leadership believe they can carry out a perfunctory negotiation on repatriation of powers, gaining just enough concessions for them to sell it to the UK public as a victory for the UK and win those over who pay less attention to the detail.

    I don’t want to see the public had over in this way. I don’t want to see the UK lose this opportunity because of such a weak approach.

    There is enough significant Euroscepticism in the Conservative Party to support a very strong threat to leave the EU but David Cameron doesn’t show any desire to use that support, causing us to think his Euroscepticism was perhaps just an instrument to gain position rather than a core belief.

    What is key is that the lead on rattling the cage is by the voters. Leaving the complacent politicians scrabbling to understand the voters and non-voters they have take for granted for so long.

    Traditional family/entrenched political affiliations are being thrown aside as a result of the realisation that it is the only way to have their voice heard and find a party that represents their concerns. There are no doubt some good politicians in Con and Lab whose political careers will suffer damage because of this groundswell. They will only have themselves to blame.

    You are unsurprised I would give this opinion I know, but standing on the sidelines shouting is not good enough anymore. I have taken what is a huge step for me in standing up and being counted on this issue. I see very little from contributors here that I disagree with. In fact their contribution only enhances my resolve.

  27. English Pensioner
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I was taught that “Actions speak louder than words”.
    Unfortunately, most people that I know think that Cameron is all talk and no action.
    Indeed, if you ask people what Cameron has achieved, the first thing most come up with is “gay marriage”.
    The media now say the Tories will include in their next manifesto a promise to substantially reduce immigration. But wasn’t this in their manifesto for the last election?
    Sorry, but I don’t trust a word that he says and there is no way I would vote Tory whilst he is leader.

  28. nTropywins
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    The reason I have switched allegiance to UKIP is that they have the policies that I would expect of a Conservative party. If there was one person in the country who I would expect to stand up against the green crap it would be the leader of the Conservative party. The fact that he has embraced it only underlines the extent to which the current Conservative party is NewLabourLite. And I am expecting the real Tories in the Conservative party to show their hands after UKIP win Rochester. Cameron is toxic. Avoid.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    JR, a couple of points which although off this topic are very topical:

    1. Why do we have this stupidly wrong system whereby whenever a Commons vacancy occurs during the course of a Parliament is it left to one of the political parties to decide when the constituents should have the opportunity to elect a replacement MP?

    Why should the Labour party be able to rush the Heywood and Middleton by-election, because they thought that would be to their advantage, and why should the Tory party be able to delay the Rochester and Strood by-election for the same reason?

    Does a party have some claim over a seat in the Commons because the last MP elected there happened to be one of their own?

    Surely it would be possible to devise a set of rules leading to a standard timetable for when a by-election should AUTOMATICALLY take place, taking into account the season and public holidays and the proximity of the next general election?

    If we ever got a recall system, would we find that the leaders of a political party could indefinitely delay the by-election to replace the MP who was forced to resign?

    2. Do we still have the stupidly wrong system that an MP can only become entitled to the resettlement grant if he stays in Parliament up to the next general election? As far as I can see that is indeed still the case, even though some other details have been changed: if for whatever reason somebody resigns his seat in the Commons during the course of a Parliament then he is not entitled to that grant, it being considered that his loss of office is voluntary and therefore does not warrant the equivalent of “severance pay”. On top of continued payments of his salary and expenses up to the dissolution of Parliament this obviously creates a further financial incentive for a disgraced MP to hang on for many months, even years, rather than standing down immediately as he should do.

    I vaguely recollect that before the 2005 general election two out of the eight MPs elected in Berkshire were doing this, just hanging on to the end of the Parliament: one Labour who had been deselected, and one Tory who had made false expenses claims.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Denis,
      Good points to which I note you received no answers.

    • APL
      Posted October 13, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper: “Do we still have the stupidly wrong system that an MP can only become entitled to the resettlement grant if he stays in Parliament up to the next general election?”

      Why should a member of one of the best paid & most privileged clubs in the country be entitled to a ‘resettlement’ grant at all.

  30. Remington Norman
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    “It is now official policy to say the current EU relationship does not work in the UK’s interests. It is policy to see if we can negotiate a relationship that would be in the UK’s interests. It is also policy to give voters the choice of whether to stay in or leave.”

    Strewth! John, Mr Cameron promised all this at the last election. Since when he has manifestly dragged his feet. Please would you answer a simple question: the majority of our laws are now made in Brussels; we are under treaty obligation to enact them into UK law with limited rights of amendment and none of veto. Do you really consider this massive transfer of sovereignty acceptable? If not, then why are you not recommending we leave the EU forthwith? If yes, please explain why.

    A straightforward question requiring a straightforward answer.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      “A straightforward question requiring a straightforward answer.”
      Quite, but too difficult it would seem.

  31. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    It has always been Conservative Party policy to look to UK interests. Renegotiation in one form or another also appears to have been policy for some time. Note the late Mrs Thatcher’s published photos when she failed to make headway.
    Are we to believe the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition merely sat twiddling their thumbs around the Cabinet table when one EU affront after another was presented to them? If so, why?
    Also the Labour Party, despite its apparent acquiessence over the EU does have more than one or two doubters in its midst.
    Enough re-negotiations! They have failed. Any acceptance by the EU of the UK’s stance would spell the end of the EU . As Ms Lagarde ( IMF ) has stated “The EU must have much more integration not less. She was speaking of not the desire but the necessity of such a move from the EU perspective.
    Therefore I do not believe it is utterly skeptical for a voter to see the Tory Party stance of “Vote for us, and there WILL BE re-negotiation and a referendum” as nonsense: an election-winning political ploy without substance.
    How many times has the electorate been solemnly promised all manner of things only to find that “Circumstances have changed, we have to make TOUGH decisions based on the realities today! ” .Been there, seen it, got the mucky tee-shirt.

    There was a promise made in World War 11 by another British Coalition that the Common Land turned over to farmers to produce extra food would be handed back. It was not. And it is hard now to find so much as uncultivated edges of farmers’ fields where farmers do not intercept dog-walkers and tell them they are trespassing on private property. But of course that is an issue which must be dealt with firmly in this dog-loving nation after an exit from the EU deletes subsidies on a par with welfare benefits for farmers doing nothing and leaving OUR land periodically fallow and not fit for a dog.

  32. petermartin2001
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering if anyone else had noticed the irony of the opposition to the EU, and in particular the economic basket case known as the Eurozone, being led by those who would prescribe almost identical economic policies for the UK, as the Troika of the EU commission, the ECB and IMF have forcibly imposed on the countries of the Eurozone.

    Those policies have been designed for the big exporters like Germany. When they are applied to countries which aren’t such large exporters then they are less successful. The UK is a net importer. They would have been a disaster for the UK , just as much with the pound as it would have been with the Euro. There is nothing in the name of the currency which has helped the UK recovery. That recovery has come about because as issuers of currency, the UK government does not have to abide by Euro rules.

    After the economic shock of 2008 the UK’s government deficit increased to around 12% of GDP as taxation revenue slumped as a consequence. As the economy has improved it has fallen to half that as taxation revenue has improved. If it improved further the deficit would fall further. It is a similar story in the USA which has a similar economy and has returned similar deficit figures. (as % of GDP)

    12% is four times higher than would be allowed under Euro rules. 12% was seen as an economic failure both in the UK and the USA, but an alternative view is that these high deficits are the application of what Keynes called the automatic stabilisers. Those deficits on the part of the government were surpluses on the part of everyone else. It was money supplied to the economy to enable it to recover.

    Consequently Germany now finds its export market to the UK and USA to be in a relatively healthy state. They can still sell BMWs and Audis into these markets as we can all notice for ourselves. They are now finding their exports to what should be their prime market drying up because those Euro economies have not been allowed to recover. They used to understand that surpluses needed to be recycled when they had their own currency , the DM, but they seem to have forgotten that now they use the Euro.

    So, by all means pull away from the sinking ship of the EU, but don’t follow the same kind of economic policies afterwards which will cause HMS UK to sink too!

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Well, JR, I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage that:

    “A volunteer is worth ten pressed men”.

    Farage is a volunteer in this protracted fight against domination by the EU.

    He could have carried on with his no doubt lucrative career as a metals broker – not a banker, that is a lie deliberately spread by Labour smearmongers – and then moved on to something similar but less stressful as he got older, but instead he dedicated himself to fighting the EU and has been doing it for two decades.

    Cameron, in contrast, is a pressed man, who has had to be forced into lining up in the ranks of those opposed the EU, resisting at every stage, dragging his feet at every step, and doubtless ready to desert at the first opportunity if UKIP was no longer standing behind him with a gun ready to shoot him if he tried to bolt.

    That is why few people really believe a word that Cameron now says about the EU or trust his intentions, not even many of the tribal Tories who pretend to do so and try to defend him, but many more people do believe that Farage means what he says.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      This is the result of Cameron being an appointee, placed for his PR skills to counter the Blair Mandelson axis of 2004. All wrong at the time and way out-of-date now.

      Farage is a self-appointed, person of conviction, with no particular PR skills, just belief.

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, so be explicit.

    We must be free of the commitment to ever closer Union and our refusal to join the Euro must be properly recognised by the EU in the only way that matters, by allowing other Member States the right to leave it.

    We must have absolute control of our own borders. In practical terms, this means our Government being able to specify the net level of immigration to the UK from 2017 (referendum time) onwards. It could be zero but a practical compromise might be 30,000 to 40,000, with quotas for specific countries of origin, determined by us.

    We don’t want to be part of a European Federation, so we must have a right to repeal our Acts of Accession to the Maastricht, Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties, with all that that implies in terms of reduced EU areas of responsibilities, reduced QMV and reduced Authority for European Courts in our country.

    We can accept some harmonisation of technical standards for what goods may be sold in the EU but not interference in our social affairs or the means of production, so that employment legislation must be down to us.

    Why hasn’t David Cameron produced a list like this and why haven’t you asked him to do so? The fear is about the negotiating strategy. Where is the guarantee that David Cameron will not behave the way that Harold Wilson behaved between February 1974 and the 1975 referendum?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Lindasay,
      You ask: “Where is the guarantee that David Cameron will not behave the way that Harold Wilson behaved between February 1974 and the 1975 referendum?” to which you received no reply. The reason, no doubt, is that our host knows as well, if not better, that such action is exactly what is planned. The whole promise of a referendum, just a year after Cameron had imposed a 3 line whip against exactly such a referendum, should be seen for what it is, a cynical ploy for electoral purposes to be followed by a re-run of 1975 with the sole intention of, once more, duping the British people to lock themselves into permanent government from Brussels.

      Reply I did not reply because I have answered this false accusation so many times! Do try and think up a new lie.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Sorry about the unintended extra ‘a’ in your name.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        JR: “I did not reply because I have answered this false accusation so many times!”
        Please remind us, just what is the guarantee that David Cameron will not behave the way that Harold Wilson behaved between February 1974 and the 1975 referendum?

        Reply 1. He wants to change the relationship 2. He knows the public will not fall for a cosmetic change

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 13, 2014 at 2:07 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply. Yes, I trust him but Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless do not, and nor do most UKIP voters, who are playing it long term and have their sights on 2020, not 2015. There is a problem and the Prime Minister needs to address it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 13, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Carswell has exposed the truth about Cameron’s intentions, for the benefit of those who hadn’t already worked it out for themselves.

  35. waramess
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    The Party that overwhelmingly voted in favour of Lisbon and Maastrich are in no way Eurosceptic. They say they are but words are but words and actions speak for themselves.

    That Cameron is willing to agree a referendum has far more to do with UKIP tanks on his front lawn than a few softly spoken words from a few irritating Europhile backbenchers.

    That said, the referendum promise is completely worthless: Cameron and the rest, including the Labour and Liberal Europhiles will use scare tactics to persuade the badwetters in the electorate to vote Yes to staying in the EU as is, and they will not worry too much whether the issues they present are consistent with the truth.

    All this is plain to see from the utterences of Cameron who, if not the liar he is sometimes portrayed as, is a deceptive little man who seems to view trust as an opportunity to deceive a little more and, so far, he seems to be getting away with it.

    Frankly, should voting UKIP result in a Labour win your party as a whole should be heaving a sigh of relief. It will mean that the total hash of the economy caused by Osborne’s stewardship on top of the mess created by Brown will be handed over to Labour who will have to take ownership of the crash to come, that is if the chums can avoid a meltdown before the next election.

  36. ian
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    This is much more than just a vote on the EU and your party having three line whip and that the problem your party needing a three line whip to vote for a referendum on EU, you stated the problem yourself. It the people parliament, not the conservative parties or labour or lib/dem or ukip or any other country parliament. It should be a place where the people send their MPs to vote the way they want them to on the subject at hand. Ideology of parties of capitalism, socialism, communism and all rest of the isms and big business, EU, USA, IMF all coming out on top with the three line whip of which ever party in power at the time. You SIR are standing in the way democracy, you are in the way of world democracy. You are stating that your party comes first with it Ideology what ever that maybe from the list above also that countries and institution from around the world having say in the people parliament is more important than the people. The people have the right for their MPs to go parliament and vote the way they tell them to vote.

  37. Richard
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I have read again Mr. Cameron’s Bloomberg speech.

    Most of it is cleverly worded waffle where Mr. Cameron states that not only does he want to solve the UK’s problems but also those of the whole of Europe at the same time :

    “I don’t just want a better deal for Britain. I want a better deal for Europe too.”

    Whilst of course remaining part of the EU :

    “And I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it.”

    Although Mr. Cameron says he is in favour of a referendum he also says that we should not have one until the EU emerges from the Eurozone crisis.

    When will that be may I ask ?

    Furthermore, Mr. Cameron wants the referendum to take place after a new treaty has been negotiated “at some stage in the next few years”.

    When will that be and what is likely to be the outcome ?

    We have already been told by the EU and by major EU countries that our wish to curb EU immigration and treat other EU citizens differently in matters such as NHS treatment and benefits will most definitely not be entertained.

    Mr. Cameron’s plan is clearly to delay the referendum for as long as possible.

    By the way there is no point in UKIP doing a deal with the Conservative Party whilst it is Conservative Party policy is to remain in the EU (expanded to include Turkey and all countries from the Atlantic to the Urals) and whilst it has so many Europhile Conservative MPs.

    My own MP once described himself to me in a letter as “strongly Euro-sceptic” but when I check his EU voting record on the EU on the Bruges Group website (MP Watch) his figure is -52% virtually the same as the well known Conservative Europhile, Mr. Ken Clarke, at -54%.

  38. ian
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Your world of Keynesian economics will not work, the world assets are on a time line, you can print as much as you like it does not matter. HOPE is not a strategy, the power to be way of life is over, They went for a free for all in 1982 with the bankers and that is coming to a end. Their thinking was wrong. They have shoot themselves in the foot, the majority of paper assets will be worthless, hard assets will not be much better. To big to fail will be a signed to the waste paper bin. It all in the stars and cannot stop it brother. Wars and the rest will carry on as their assets get smaller as they cling on to power with the people raging at their doors. The end. It is all planed this way so democracy will shine for the people with a new start on this planet. This is the way change will happen, it seems to me that this is the way you want change, it always the same here, They never move in front of the change always behind, living in HOPE that thing will stay the same for them at the top.

  39. lojolondon
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    John, Cameron has been running the country for 4 years now, 4 years spent taking Labour/LibDem/BBC positions on every subject including HS2, global warming, the EU and immigration

    Suddenly he has become worried about the things that concern proper Conservatives – like immigration and the loss of our democracy.

    That is exactly why we vote UKIP – to provide the impetus for his next u-turn, and eventually to remove him from his job as PM because he is a flip-flopping talking head, not a Conservative.

  40. Boudicca
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    The only way we will return to being a Sovereign, self-governing, independent nation is by LEAVING the EU.

    Renegotiation – IF it takes place and IF it has some success – is intended to result in us remaining in the EU. IF we remain in the EU we will not be Sovereign, or self-governing or independent …….. or democratic.

    I do not want the “offer” Cameron made with his Bloomberg Speech. (He can’t be trusted anyway.)

    I want OUT of the EU. Completely out.

    Reply I too think we will be better off out, but I also think the country needs to see if the rest of the EU has any wish to reform or not before we vote on whether to leave. We have to win the referendum when we get it.

    • BobE
      Posted October 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I want out. Just trade with Europe.

  41. Bill
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I note that the 100 comments in this thread are almost entirely eurosceptic and many convey a sense of frustration, anger and even betrayal. I am more cautious than most, however, since although I would be glad to exit the EU, I should like reassurance on two issues:

    1. if we do leave the EU, what sort of retaliatory action is likely by those EU states who dislike and despise us and will say ‘good riddance’? Can we be sure of a simple trading relationship with the EU and will the World Trade Organisation protect us?

    2. to what extent is it true that our pension system depends on a large base of working-age people to keep it going and to what extent is this large base dependent on immigration? Or to put this another way, if fertility rates drop and longevity increases will the tax-take be sufficient to fund all the elderly?

  42. julian
    Posted October 12, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Whilst I would prefer withdrawal is it not more achievable to aim for substantial renegotiation? The reason for asking this is that only UKIP actually has a policy to withdraw and the official Conservative policy is to remain in. If all the main parties campaign against withdrawal in a referendum it is very unlikely that a majority for exit would happen. In that case we might get the worse of all worlds – no exit and no renegotiation!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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