Bloomberg is about national democracies and UK Parliamentary accountability


The background to the Bloomberg speech, hammered out in a series of private meetings the Prime Minister held with some Conservative MPs, Ministers and his advisers, was a realistic and pessimistic view of the problems facing the present EU.

The PM said that three major issues were going to require fundamental EU change. The first is the “problems in the Eurozone.” The second is the “crisis of European competitiveness” where the EU as a whole is failing to compete and generate the jobs and incomes it needs. The third is the “gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years – and which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent  that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain”.

I entirely agree. I find it bizarre that the many people I debate the EU with from the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties in the UK or from the mainstream governments and parties on the continent, cannot seem to grasp the seriousness of the EU crisis and the need to  make major changes. When I put to them the obvious need for a new relationship for non Euro members as Euro members plunge into greater political union, they either tell me I am wrong or seek to change the topic. When I say the EU energy policy or the business regulation policy is exporting jobs and prosperity to Asia and America from the EU there is a wish to deny or ignore the reality.

The speech explained to EU audiences that the UK has “the character of an island nation, independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty”.  The PM said he did not think there is a “single European demos” so there cannot be an EU wide democratic government. He explained that many of us “fear that the EU is heading for a level of political integration that is far outside Britain’s  comfort zone”.

So, when people say what is the negotiating position, I say this is the negotiating position – the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty and democratic accountability for the UK. The UK seeks a decisive move to being an independent state co-operating and trading with partners on the continent. At the same time we would be happy to accommodate the wishes of Euro members to create a political union for them which could not possibly include us.

Bloomberg should  not be a prelude to some horse trading. It’s not a case of gives us back our fish and we will put up with your energy and agriculture policies. It’s not a case of repeal a few directives and let us make more decisions on welfare and we will be happy. Bloomberg is more radical than that. What Bloomberg pledges  is to restore our right to self government. We want to trade and co-operate with the rest of the EU. We do not wish to be bound ever more tightly by rules, laws and EU government decisions.


  1. Mark B
    October 13, 2014

    Good morning.

    If all true, and I have no doubt that it is, I would just like to point out that, you and your Leader are some 20-30 years behind the curve. But no matter, in less than 9 months time, this will all be forgotten.

    The Eurozone needs to move to ever closer fiscal, financial and ultimately, political UNION. In order to survive, even in a truly terrible state, it has to continue with the aims of the ‘project’ of creating a single unifying European Nation.

    The UK is a square peg being hacked at the edges to fit into a round EU hole. And it is turning out to be a mess.

    The only way, and it is the ONLY way, is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and go for a negotiated withdrawal.

    Of course, this will never happen. And so we lumber on regardless of the consequences.

    Better people have been hung, drawn and quartered for less.

    1. Bob
      October 14, 2014

      @Mark B
      Article 50 would place the terms of exit into the hands of the EU Commission and that would cost us dearly.

      The solution is repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act which would immediately restore sovereignty to our own parliament with no interference or levies from the EU. We could then decide by ourselves which if any EU legislation should be maintained here.

      1. Mark B
        October 15, 2014


        That is not how I read it.

        Article 50 is the means of informing both the Commission and the other Member Countries, that the UK wishes to leave the EU and seek and new relationship. It also sets out the framework on how this could be achieved.

        Repealing the ECA 1972 may have worked prior to Article 50 but, since Lisbon, we now have to do things ‘by the book’. If we do not, we would no longer be parties to the Treaties the EU has signed on our behalf, effectively excluding us from access to other markets.

        1. Bob
          October 16, 2014

          Gerard Batten puts it like this:
          In common with the majority of developed democracies the United Kingdom is a ‘dualist jurisdiction’. This means that our international treaties are, as such, a completely separate matter from our law. International treaties do not become part of our law unless expressly ‘incorporated’ by an Act of Parliament. It follows that, whatever a treaty may say about withdrawal, Parliament can always remove that treaty from the body of our domestic law simply by repealing its earlier Act. From that moment, the treaty becomes a purely foreign affair affecting nobody except diplomats.

          While ‘EU law’ is recognised as part of English law, this is so only by force of the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972. ‘EU law’ is what constitutional lawyers call ‘subordinate’ or ‘secondary’ legislation. It is by the authority of Parliament, and Parliament alone, that ‘EU law’ is incorporated into our law; it follows that Parliament has the legal right to reverse that incorporation by repealing the 1972 Act at any time. Under the terms of the English Constitution,1 the Sovereign Queen in Parliament has every right to withdraw from the EU unilaterally at any time.

          Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community in 1972 was unlawful under the English constitution. The three simplest points of the argument are: it created another legislature over the Queen in Parliament and purports the supremacy of EU legislation; it purports to bind future Parliaments contrary to a fundamental principle of the English constitution; and it establishes an alternative government by unelected foreign bodies without the consent of the British people. The Road to Freedom – Gerard Batten

  2. Mark W
    October 13, 2014

    Despite the fuss and Cast Iron tag, Cameron did come clean on the Lisbon referendum before the election of 2010. That’s just a simple fact no matter how annoying I found it. So he has a history of honestly in that respect;


    This makes me nervous that he is quite shy about mentioning anything he specifically wants to repatriate and specifically will NOT confirm that he MAY campaign to leave to EU in a referendum if they pull up short on us. This strikes me as ensuring he remains honest. It is not dishonest to hold back on stating your real intention. He’s allowing the idea to float that we will have a say, well quite, that is true, but like in Scotland if the front benches of both main parties and media and big business all go pro EU then that is a likely result as they’ll scare too many away from a No vote.

    Added to that we’ll get. People didn’t vote for Ukip. They won’t bang on about waking up with miliband then.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 14, 2014

      Cameron was hardly coming clean on November 4th 2009 when he brazenly made the false claim that we could no longer have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty because it no longer existed as a treaty:

      “The Lisbon Treaty has now been ratified by every one of the twenty seven member states of the European Union, and our campaign for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is therefore over.

      Why? Because it is no longer a Treaty: it is being incorporated into the law of the European Union.”

      As I pointed out at the time, if the amending Lisbon Treaty had really ceased to exist that would have been excellent news; it would have meant that the previous EU treaties had remained unchanged, and that the reference to the Lisbon Treaty in the Act of Parliament to approve it would have been nugatory. But it was of course complete nonsense, the Lisbon Treaty still existed, and indeed can still be read among the collection of treaties on the EU’s website.

      What Cameron achieved by doing that in the autumn of 2009 was put off the evil day when the UK government would have to tell the governments of the other EU countries that the EU treaties were not acceptable to the UK and would have to be renegotiated, which he is now promising to do in 2016 or 2017 when he should have girded his loins to do it 2010 after the Lisbon Treaty had been rejected by the British people in a retrospective referendum, but probably at the price of losing enough support to tip the balance against the Tories getting an overall majority in the 2010 general election.

  3. Lifelogic
    October 13, 2014

    We will surely get nothing substantive from EU renegotiation just a pathetic fig leaf or two. It is very clearly a Cameron long grass strategy. One that he has reluctantly and belatedly taken against his will. We know how Cameron really feels from his various daft statements: heart and soul, no greater Switzerland, vote blue get green, fruit cakes and closet racists. Also from his continued pension mugging, his IHT ratting and 299+ tax rate increases so far.

    Meanwhile it seems they are actually raising less tax as wages rates continue to decline outside the state sector and benefit sectors.

  4. petermartin2001
    October 13, 2014

    Just to be clear: Are we talking about this speech?

    PS Entirely agree with your comment on the “bizarre” nature of the incomprehension of the scale of the EU, particularly, the EZ problem.

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    October 13, 2014

    You make it sound as though your prime-minister wants to leave the EU, i.e. remove, at least for the UK, the EU’s supranational component, which has been there from long before the UK requested to join the EU(EEC). How is that possible without a Brexit?

    1. Lindsay McDougall
      October 14, 2014

      It’s not just a Brexit. We want to attain the situation that would have come about had John Major vetoed the Maastricht Treaty, namely a two ring Europe: a Federal core using the Euro and led by Germany and a non-Federal outer ring retaining its own national currencies and having a much looser relationship – more free trade than harmonisation.

      And there are far too many Member States using the Euro for our comfort. British policy has always been to avoid having one power dominant on the continent.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        October 15, 2014

        @Lindsay McDougall:
        Are you suggesting that the UK has an interest in breaking up the eurozone?
        The inner and outer ring will not be such a problem, in case the outer ring becomes EFTA (i.e. Brexit), then three rings may result (eurozone, rest of EU, EFTA)

  6. zorro
    October 13, 2014

    Indeed,, a Greater Switzerland…… Well, Cameron has told you what he thinks about that. So what are you going to do about it? Remember that this is your general leading you over the top…..


  7. Mike Stallard
    October 13, 2014

    I think he’s got it…

    Flexcit. EU Referendum blog please.

  8. Roy Grainger
    October 13, 2014

    It is interesting to try to understand Labour’s position on the EU. Over decades significant figures on the left-wing of the party and in the unions have been strongly against the EU (Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Bob Crow etc.). This is understandable as the EU has clear disadvantages for low-wage union members who face competition from EU-immigrants. To be fair some like Benn also were concerned by the lack of democratic accountability in the EU. Another strand is the imposition of what they would regard as extreme right-wing economic austerity by the ECB, though as this has only been applied to Greece and some Southern European countries Miliband & co don’t seem too bothered by it for the moment.

    So given all this what positives do Labour see in the EU ? The only thing I can see really is that it perpetually enshrines a liberal/left position on various social and political issues such as human rights law and climate change independent of whoever is in control of Westminster. It would be a tough sell to convince voters that those issues alone justify us staying in EU. I’d like to hear Miliband try.

  9. Andyvan
    October 13, 2014

    A speech from U turn Dave is hardly a cause for celebration. How many promises has he made then broken? Fine words mean nothing, we should judge people on their actions and by that standard both Dave and the entire Westminster elite fail utterly.

  10. bluedog
    October 13, 2014

    Dr JR, your correspondent is confused. You say, ‘What Bloomberg pledges is to restore our right to self government.’

    Well, if Parliament is sovereign it can demonstrate that sovereignty at anytime, can’t it? So why doesn’t Parliament exercise sovereignty with regard to the UK membership of the EU? You have been recommending that Parliament exercise sovereignty with regard to the powers of non-English MPs within the House of Commons (quite wrongly in the view of this writer), so why is the EU any different? If there are to be no negotiations and if the UK is to withdraw from all EU treaty obligations and replace them unilaterally with a free trade agreement, there is nothing stopping Cameron making such an announcement in the House.

    Today, or Tomorrow.

    End of UKIP.

  11. Richard1
    October 13, 2014

    I think there is every reason to believe that with a determined Conservative govt, negotiating in a calm way, much of this is achievable. The other EU countries do not want the UK to leave. Most of the UK business establishment is nervous about leaving also. But the fundamental get-out is the UK isn’t in the euro. This can be used to justify all manner of opt outs for the UK, in the (likely) event the EU does not wish to reform its whole self along the lines of the Bloomberg speech. There won’t be a deal until the 11th hour – there never is in a negotiation. But with a referendum back-stop the most likely result is the EU will agree a new much looser arrangement for the UK whilst keeping the UK in the EU. This could have widespread public support in the UK whilst not frightening the horses as straight exit might. But there’s only one way to get this result – a majority Conservative govt.

  12. Lifelogic
    October 13, 2014

    Well that might be your interpretation of Bloomberg but it does not seem to be Cameron’s nor the Tory leadership’s. The speech is very vague and nuanced, anyway it seems Cameron will never be in a position to deliver, even if he wanted to (which it seems he does not).

    As Peter Hitchen’s blog put it:

    The Prime Minister likes to scare us by warning ‘Go to bed with Nigel Farage, wake up with Red Ed’. But, Mr Cameron, most of us have been through a worse nightmare than that.

    To use your own rather tacky imagery, they went to bed in 2010 with an apparently conservative, pro-British Tory leader – and woke up in the morning to find it was all just thick make-up, and that you were a fervent Europhile, a politically correct sexual revolutionary and a Green fanatic.

  13. Narrow Shoulders
    October 13, 2014

    Mr Salmond received a very good deal for Scotland by being belligerent and spelling out his demands post independence. The UK has not shunned Scotland nor do they appear hugely disadvantaged by Mr Salmond’s negotiating tactics and position. The only victim appears to be Mr Salmon himself who seems to be struggling to cope with the reality that he lost the battle but crushed the opposition in the war.

    I need to see Mr Cameron take on negotiating tactics similar to Mr Salmond. Belligerent, guerilla tactics aimed specifically for the benefit of those indigenous to the UK.

    I need this approach to be evident before I am taken in by speeches and other platitudes emanating from your party’s machine.

    Additionally and not unrelated, my tax burden needs to fall, your party used to be for aspiration. Now you protect the “wealth creators” and the poor while milking the aspirational.

  14. Ex-expat Colin
    October 13, 2014

    The first few lines of your third paragraph says it. Unfortunately as MEPs/MPs they are well supported by voters it appears? I think therefore as skeptics we are in the minority and that negotiation will not amount to much. Use logic as required but a very strong pro belief exists.

    How to change the beliefs of the voters who clearly support the EU? UKIP cannot do it alone. Not sure how divided the Tory party is on the EU and leaving it to voters to self fathom won’t work well.

    What I saw of Frans Timmermans at the Conference of Presidents’ meeting in Brussels last week was interesting but seemed to indicate great complexity within the EU and a dense set of problems that would not exist if the EU itself did not exist.
    Simply jobs for the boys (and girls) I thought….not real jobs that is!

  15. JoeSoap
    October 13, 2014

    So, please describe exactly the difference between this position and not being a member of the EU. If there are no substantive differences, as you imply, why not just quit?

  16. Graham
    October 13, 2014

    There is more chance of changing a Harry Potter plot that Cameron getting the rest of our EU ‘partners’ to even listen to what we want.

    Sorry John – deluded thoughts from a respected politician.

    Even as we blog we are becoming more embroiled as this administration signs up to more of what you say we don’t want.

  17. alan jutson
    October 13, 2014

    Perhaps if Mr Cameron really believed your take on the Bloomburg statement, then perhaps he ought to make his point rather clearer, rather more simple, and rather more straightforward.

    Something like :

    If we do not get back complete control over our own affairs, then I will simply withdraw our membership of the EU.

    Then the message is out loud and clear to everyone.

    Why all this complicated fudging, if it is not to deceive.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      Indeed he is unbelievably vague and nuanced, as if he has to be dragged to every minor sensible concession he makes kicking and screaming.

    2. Timaction
      October 13, 2014

      I agree with your comments Mr Redwood but you are not in charge of the Europhile Tory Party. I see that Mr B Johnstone was put up as the Tory spokesman on EU immigration on the Andrew Marr Show. Again he is not the leader or policy maker. Lots of deniability and distancing can be made of the obvious propaganda by him following UKIP policy.
      Once again its “Silence of the Cam” on the major issues that concern us. He is all talk and no action always kicking the can down the road.
      There is only one Party leading all debates and it is not any of the legacy Parties. Analogue Parties in a digital age.

    3. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      Delay and deceive is clearly his strategy.

  18. Tim Woodwartd
    October 13, 2014

    A good speech was made some months ago. OK, I agree with that. But what has happened since to back it up? Have we said that we will reduce our budget contributions until such changes are made? Have we repealed laws that give precedence to those from the EU? Anything similar at all? If the other parties in Parliament wanted to oppose these things, they would be exposed to the ire of the electorate.
    I bet Parliament will have enacted hundreds of EU Regulations since the speech, and that we will have handed over many millions of pounds too. We have just sent a UK Commissioner to Brussels. Why? I do not like UKIP at all and will not vote for a xenophobic party on principle, but the coming choice between various parties who all say one thing and do another, is not much of a choice. What is your evidence that Bloomberg is not just hot air?

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      UKIP are not remotely a xenophobic party. On the contrary they want to have sensible controlled immigration on a points basis from anywhere. It is the current “EU immigration good from everywhere else bad” policy that is quite clearly racist by definition.

      You have been listening to too much “BBC think” & “closet racist” propaganda.

  19. Bert Young
    October 13, 2014

    I fully agree with your negotiating position – the restoration of our independence is absolutely essential . It is ludicrous to believe that there is a “one size fits all” for the very different countries of Europe and it is equally stupid to believe that Germany will allow its surplus to fund the poor . The bureaucrats in Brussels can sit behind their desks and devise all manner of schemes they believe can be implemented into the cultures and economies of the Euro members ; it is another thing to bring this harmony about . We must let them get on with it and we should not waste out time believing we can negotiate that degree of independence the electorate are now demanding .

  20. oldtimer
    October 13, 2014

    Thank you for that background information and your analysis of the Bloomberg speech. That is most helpful. The issue for some, who have previously commented here, and say Mr Carswell is the credibility of the PM and his advisors. In short, does the PM get the benefit of the doubt or not.

    Of course the wider issue is the problem of those, eg Labour and LibDem MPs, who are not even on the same page as you and who fail to see the EU crisis unfolding before them.

  21. Ian wragg
    October 13, 2014

    So what does CMD do. Gives 18 million for EU propaganda and signs up to 35 justice measures without a mandate. Say one thing and do the opposite is his mantra and he’s been found out. All talk and no action.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      That sounds like Dave. Say one thing then do the opposite. As soon as he appointed Lord Patten to the BBC Trustees (shortly after he threw the last election with his ratting and lefty fake green drivel) you could see he was going to be a wrong-un. Still he is all they have for May 15.

    2. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      That sounds like Dave. Say one thing then do the opposite. As soon as he appointed Lord Patten to the BBC Trustees (shortly after he threw the last election with his ratting and lefty fake green drivel) you could see he was going to be a wrong-un. Still he is all they have for May 2015.

  22. formula57
    October 13, 2014

    Reasonable though they may be, the Bloomberg speech aims strike a mortal blow at the EU project and so it must be improbable that they will be accommodated except possibly through allowing the UK some form of semi-detached associate member status – but that is also dangerous for the EU lest others like what they see and demand the same.

    1. outsider
      October 13, 2014

      Dear Formula57, You make a key point. To achieve any real change would require at least one radical new EU treaty as well as new directives to overturn previous rulings of the European Court of Justice. I cannot see that happening if the UK aims to get more privileges or exemptions not available to others, or at least to all outside the eurozone. To remain in the EU, the UK Government would need to mount a campaign for change right across the member states (and not even just among their governments). There is not the slightest sign of this happening or being planned, either by the UK Government, by its bloc in the European Parliament or by the Conservative Party.

  23. Chris S
    October 13, 2014

    I agree that the Bloomberg speech offered a brief insight into what DC sees as a satisfactory framework for the renegotiation.

    The problem is, 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. They are continually making progress with ECU because every single week, some directive or other is circulated which entwines us even more and reduces our freedom of action.
    Labour and the LibDems tell us they will give us a referendum on any further reduction in sovereignty but, slowly but surely, it’s already happening !

    While a majority of the member states, the Commission, the European Parliament, the Civil Service (here and in Brussels) all remain committed to ECU, they 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.

    Where I part company with Nigel Farage is that in order to have the best possible chance of winning the referendum and leave, we have to give DC the opportunity to renegotiate and fail. That will bring on board a large proportion of the undecided. It will be up to us to make the case that DC has failed, despite assertions from him that he will have had a great success.

    Even if I’m wrong and the new deal looks to offer reasonable safeguards, nothing will really change. Whatever the outcome of the renegotiation, the vested interests will ensure we remain a massive net contributor and, if the Eurozone continues to die a slow death, the shrinking economy of Germany will result in us being the largest contributor to the whole sorry mess.

    If UKIP force a 2015 referendum and we lose it, that will be the worst possible outcome : we will have to take whatever Brussels throws at us, aided and abetted by the other parties. Even a weak set of renegotiated terms would be better than that.

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

    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.

  24. Sean
    October 13, 2014

    As A free trading, Independant country which we have been stripped of without the citizens voice, giving up our country to a foreign Land ( The EU ) in my opinion is a treacherous. Then our government wants to fight for crumbs to keep the citizens quite. Why on earth didn’t you improve the so called common market? Why do we have to become a state of the Eu that is a slap in the faces of a the dead that gave their lives to keep us safe and free as a world leading independent country. I will never recognise the Eu as my country, let alone their boring flag and anthem.
    I truly see that there is only one way out, im voting Ukip, fed-up wasting my vote on the Lib-lab-cons, same ole, same ole,crap!

  25. Leslie Singleton
    October 13, 2014

    Dear John–One can only be impressed if one truly is: it is just not something that one can pretend, certainly not to oneself; and I assure you that the country has not been impressed by “Bloomberg”, referred to by you as if it were on a par with The American Declaration of Independence but in fact a damp squib. Part of the problem is the man not the speech as I believe you well know. One reads that when Mr Reckless wins, as increasingly seems certain, and hopefully with another increased majority, the necessary 48 plus will arise (You will of course say the papers have it wrong) to get rid of Cameron, who is of course the main reason we haven’t exactly been bowled over. He as usual misjudged matters and ruined everything by making it crystal clear that he himself would vote to stay In no matter how the hoped for renegotiation goes. How NOT To Negotiate 1.01.

  26. Max Dunbar
    October 13, 2014

    In order for us to regain our independence from the failed EU empire the boil of the Scottish Parliament needs to be lanced. Whilst the main part of the semi-dismembered UK is pulling one way, the Marxist SNP ‘government’ pulls the other.
    Worryingly, we in Scotland have been told that stamp duty is to rise more than threefold for houses that are deemed to be the preserve of the bourgeois middle class, a direct assault on aspiration laced with bitter envy. And this is just the start.
    You can expect that someone as extreme as Sturgeon will go much further than this and cause problems for England as well as a nightmare for the inhabitants of the north of this small island.

  27. bigneil
    October 13, 2014

    the “gap between the EU and its citizens ” – -this has been done deliberately – all part of the plan to go back to “Lords and serfs”.
    ” the need to make major changes” – – – Cameron wants us in full stop – -he has said it and clearly is hell bent on it – never mind what it does to this nation.
    The PM said he did not think there is a “single European demos” so there cannot be an EU wide democratic government.” – certainly NOT democratic – got that right.
    “The UK seeks a decisive move to being an independent state” – -????? REALLY expect us to believe that?- -exactly the opposite of what has been pushed through against our wishes.
    More weasel words from a desperate and dangerous leader, hell bent on any way of trying to keep his “wage”.

  28. Kenneth
    October 13, 2014

    If the PM sides with the Kenneth Clarke faction then the eu-sceptics will have a new home in UKIP (unless they manage to topple a relatively popular and media-friendly PM which looks unlikely).

    If the PM sides with the eu-sceptics, where could the ‘Clarkers’ go? Only a handful – if any – would join the LibDems. Once again I doubt they could topple the PM. A new party would surely be doomed from the start.

    As such I think that it is time that the PM moved strongly towards a more eu-sceptic stance and brought the Conservatives in line with public opinion. I think most ‘Clarkers’ would stay in the party.

    Would that neutralize UKIP? Of course not. The BBC is (bizarrely) heavily promoting UKIP in the way that is used to promote the green party. The BBC is ultimately the ‘kingmaker’ and while it is pushing UKIP the Conservatives will still need some sort of pact. This will be easier to achieve once the PM is off of the fence.

  29. Ken Adams
    October 13, 2014

    Give us not veiled hints in speeches but clear party policy set out in the party manifesto for the election. Even then if Cameron was leader we would want a Cast Iron promise, set in stone…..

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      Cast Iron is clearly not good enough with cameron he has all ready used that con up.

      He clearly needs UKIP to give him any credibility at all on the EU issue.

      Why on earth should the Libdems, who get about 1% of the vote and keep losing their deposits, have two TV debates yet UKIP (who came top in the EU elections and nearly always second now in most elections) – only get one debate? It should be the other way round.

      Meanwhile Boris now wants a quota for EU immigration. Why be so racist about it? Why not just take the best from around the World as needed, and perhaps often only take them short term licences initially too. I thought “fake equality” was with “fake green drivel” and “ever increasing tax rates” one of the new modernist Tory religions after all!

    2. Timaction
      October 13, 2014

      ………………………..sworn on oath and in the presence of a notary!

      Would that be a cast iron guarantee, a no if or buts promise, set in stone commitment or a future policy after an election with 19 deniable proviso’s in 2050?

  30. Shieldsman
    October 13, 2014

    NO Horse Trading – surely that is what Cameron plans only he will not disclose what he wants to trade. Whatever it is he will be disappointed. He certainly won’t get a revision of free movement of the Citizens of current member States.

    “So, when people say what is the negotiating position, I say this is the negotiating position – the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty and democratic accountability for the UK.”

    Surely this must mean you want the UK to leave the EU. Your stated position demands it.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 13, 2014

      It will indeed come to down to leaving the EU in the end, perhaps better to get it over with as soon as possible.

  31. Bob
    October 13, 2014

    Mr Cameron is very good at making speeches and promises, but since he has lost the trust of many of the voters (including some of your own MPs) his words no longer count for anything.

    1. Chris
      October 13, 2014

      There is absolutely no trust in Cameron, and this is something that he, and his MPs, seem completely incapable of understanding (and perhaps unwilling also?). This head in the sand attitude seems to be due to the total disconnect from the electorate, or contempt for what the electorate thinks/believes/wishes, or both.

      Whatever, it means that current policy decisions on how to tackle UKIP and win the election are flawed because they are based on false perceptions/assumptions.

  32. agricola
    October 13, 2014

    Bloomberg as explained by you would seem to me to encapsulate everything UKIP have to say about our relationship with the EU. There is only one sensible answer and that is that the UK should invoke article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, following which there would be a negotiation on trade and other areas of mutual cooperation which would be of benefit to both sides. All this after a referendum in March 2015 that permits the UK to move out. Might even boost the Conservative party’s chances in May 2015.

    There is only one snag, CMD does not want it whatever he may say to suit a given moment. Clegg and Milliband exist in a time warp totally detached from reality and the will of the British people. All three could learn something after May 2015 or sooner if they cared to notice the writing on the wall.

  33. a-tracy
    October 13, 2014

    Talking about Parliamentary accountability and negotiating positions, just what is the truth on midwives pay, on the BBC News website people are claiming midwives haven’t had a pay increase in three years and they are earning the same now that they were three years ago. I must admit I always get curious about statements like this and we hardly ever hear the person heading up the Health Service defending their position on pay. We hear the MP wages and the 10% increase but what is the situation of health workers? How does this pay compare with the rest of the EU Germany, France, Italy, Spain compared to each nations average pay?

    Reply MPs have not had a 10% pay rise! They have been kept down under the current public sector pay restraint. Nurses are offered a 1% award, or seniority/scale awards of 3%

    1. a-tracy
      October 14, 2014

      Your NHS spokesman on C4 news last night was absolutely hopeless. He was quizzed over the 10% rise that are on all the banners and news headlines and gave a poor response because you’re giving yourself the increase recommended by an outside agency but not giving them the increase recommended by an external pay board you appointed to them. Why didn’t he say all of these midwives have had increases every year as per their incremental contracts of time served grading system? Those midwives that are on the top bands have been given a 3% increase because they don’t get the automatic x% and more between bands.

      Reply MPs are not giving themselves anything. MPs in the next Parliament will get a pay rise unless that Parliament decides to scrap the independent system and go back to MPs choosing their own pay.

  34. Bill
    October 13, 2014

    I assume that the 2017 date is given to allow at least six months of negotiation with the EU, some debate on the revised terms in Parliament, some discussion on the wording on the referendum ballot, some campaigning on either side, some fact-checking by independent bodies and some preparation for life after the EU – assuming a ‘yes’ vote.

    I am assuming parliamentary processes and the media will go into overdrive and that many of the sceptical voices raised against David Cameron will be heard and answered.

  35. NickW
    October 13, 2014

    A political speech is worthless unless the electorate can trust the speaker to keep his word.

    The electorate cannot trust Cameron to keep his word because he has a record of broken promises.

    That, sadly, ends the discussion.

  36. The PrangWizard
    October 13, 2014

    Just to say that I was lucky enough to see you and hear your question in the House on ‘English Votes…’ and some of the following questions, and answers from Mr Hague. He sounded determined to see that the right thing is done for England, so I hope he can and will deliver. Just where are we with the LibDems? And I hope the deadline of end November is not allowed to slip. It must be adhered to; it is surely a matter of honour and the English deserve to be shown the respect.

    I noticed the rather nasty sounding intervention from a Scottish Nationalist MP who I’m glad was jeered, and then later we had what seemed a somewhat hypocritical comment from a Welsh Labour MP. Whilst my personal view is that I would like to see an independent England eventually, for him to say that ‘English Votes…’ would be a step to the break up of the UK is a bit rich from someone who I presume supports the Scottish parliament and the Welsh assembly. It is part of the Labour party narrative. Your TV piece with Peter Hain, and Gordon Brown’s more recent comments show that.

    They just cannot keep their self-important and selfish noses out can they? It’s all about self-preservation for them. They may find themselves with not much to do when they are excluded from English affairs. They say that control of domestic affairs is good for Wales and Scotland, but not acceptable for the unity which is England. Just how long have we been trying to stop them interfering? Too long. Good Luck.

  37. acorn
    October 13, 2014

    Remember that No 10 changed the title to “The speech at Bloomberg”. The biggest problem with spinning it was one of trying to find enough people for the audience, that would clap at the end of it. According to BBC’s Henley, “Hannan was there, later claiming the idea of a referendum after negotiation was his own suggestion, to cap the switch away from the EPP in Brussels that he first encouraged Cameron to make.”

    Alas, the defection of half the apparent manifesto brain power in the Conservative party (Carswell), has left the bigger half (Hannan), single-handedly defending Cameron from the right wingers.

    Remember how these two were going to change the world back in June 2010 with the “Direct Democracy” coalition programme. Statements like “Lib Dems want democratic control of health boards and police authorities. They favour self-financing local councils. They are often better than Tories at understanding the difference between being pro-market and being pro-business, and have an especially good record of standing up to defence lobbyists. They are strong on civil liberties, and on defending the prerogatives of parliament vis-à-vis the government. When they say they want an elected second chamber, they mean it.”

    Oh how we laughed. We knew it would never happen, but we always fall for the same old lies, and we will again in 2015.

  38. ian
    October 13, 2014

    The three old party will agree to any thing as long as it not direct democracy, wet&mad testing for bank bail ins today. Sounds about right.

  39. Margaret Brandreth-J
    October 13, 2014

    To be honest the truth is that it is difficult to cut through the crap. The talking over a voice, dismissing a question or comment as ludicrous,someone answering a question on the other side of a phone completely out of context where it is obvious that they are playing to an audience on their side, changing a subject, or ignoring the central issue by picking on the unimportant thereby not allowing the central issue to be heard or deliberately taking the argument off on a tangent and spending all the time on this aspect or then again complete reversal.Only today I was trying to correct an important problem. The person on the other side would not let me get a word in. I asked if they would let me speak and they said that they would terminate the conversation . Conversation is about communication, not one sided bullying.

  40. Iain Gill
    October 13, 2014

    Hi John,
    Love you to bits and all that, but it must be hard to have a feel for what’s being said on the streets in your position.
    For what it’s worth the disgust with the political class is at an all-time high, a total rejection of being ruled by people “who have never done a proper job”
    The upset at the ongoing out of control immigration is bubbling everywhere, even amongst immigrant communities, even in relatively middle class jobs like mine there is a 100% open rebellion at the political classes willy nilly issuance of work visas and indefinite leave to remain visas, there is no longer any politically correct peer pressure to say nothing for fear of being labelled racist.
    Europe and its layers of expensive European civil servants and people fighting for quite the reverse of what the majority of the public believe is just seen as another broken part of the political system, as is the lack of resolution of the “English question”.
    The public don’t have many choices in our supposed democracy, don’t be surprised if they show their disgust in the only way open to them on the ballot paper.
    Me personally I think you would think my way if you sat down and listened to my experiences and were not in the bubble.
    Good Luck

    1. DaveM
      October 13, 2014

      Absolutely. Well said. Plain talk rarely gets through though. The bubble is just too thick.

      Our host excepted. Maybe he could read that comment out in the HoC.

  41. Richard
    October 13, 2014

    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 with the words :

    “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 ?

    It appears to be getting worse not better.

    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 MPs.

    Reply As the Referendum Bill we are trying to get through says, it will have to be held by end 2017 at the latest, and earlier if we conclude negotiations more quickly.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    October 14, 2014

    Is this ambition not too limited? Can we feel comfortable while there are still so many Member States in the Euro zone? Can we help any of them to leave?

    1. Margaret Brandreth-J
      October 15, 2014

      We tried with Greece

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