The four freedoms of the EU

 

We are being reminded that members of the EU have to obey the four freedoms, the freedom of movement of capital, people, goods and service provision.

These should come as no surprise to us, as they were in the original Treaty of Rome. They are not some new addition from more recent federalising treaties. These later treaties  have added a common foreign and defence policy, economic and monetary union, common citizenship and criminal justice integration amongst others. These features have been opposed by Conservatives, voting against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon. The UK has an opt out from the Euro and is not committed to  the criminal justice and defence unions. The four freedoms were effectively approved by the British people in the referendum of 1975, when people ignored voices like mine pointing out the full implications of these radical changes to our constitution.

The reasons we need another referendum include the fact that many voters today were not old enough to vote or were not born in 1975, and the fact that most senior politicians in 1975 assured UK voters that they were just voting for a trade agreement or common market. They could point to the fact that in those days the UK still had a veto over any new proposal. Things have changed a lot since then. Many voters in 1975 failed to read the Treaty of Rome so they did not understand the free movement provisions. They understand them  now, thanks to events.

One of the reasons it was possible for the Labour government in 1975 and other leaders to say it was no more than a common market was the inability of the European Community then to enforce many of the things that were in the original Rome Treaty. The Treaty dealt with balance of payments imbalances and said “recognising that the removal of existing obstacles calls for concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition”. Instead large trade imbalances persisted and the EEC took no action to help the UK, a large deficit country.

The Treaty said it would reduce “the differences existing between various regions and backwardness of the less favoured regions”. Instead the gap between the successful and richer parts of the EEC  and the rest in many cases  grew bigger.

The Treaty began with the aim of laying “the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”. It said it would abolish “the obstacles to the free movement of persons, services, and capital” and would  eliminate customs duties and quantitative restrictions on the movement of goods.

Today the free movement of people needs limiting. The UK wishes to control its own benefits system.There should be no automatic right for new arrivals to qualify for the range of out of work or in work benefits that UK citizens enjoy. The UK wishes to control its own criminal justice system, and be able to send back to their own countries criminals who have broken our laws. The UK also wishes to limit numbers seeking lower paid work in our country, all the time there are UK citizens without jobs who might be better off from such work.

It is no good the rest of the EU saying these changes cannot be made because of the underlying principle. There are several underlying principles of the modern EU which the UK does not accept, including the all important monetary union. If they wish us to stay in they need to change the arrangements so we can control our own borders.

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58 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Cameron, as everyone knows has no real plans to address this, even in the highly unlikely event he wins a majority. He has no serious re-negotiation plan (beyond throwing the next election). Daniel Hannan in the Spectator points out that UKIP and the Conservatives have nearly 50% support and Labour just 34% yet Cameron seems totally determined to lose. Just as he threw away the last election.

    Anyway the EU has ordered UK ordered to pay extra €2.1bn into European Union budget so Cameron can pretend to be standing up for the UK by resisting that demand. This as the UK economy is doing well as we can perhaps see by Tesco’s dire profit figures.

  2. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    From Dutch media I conclude that quite a few of these changes can be made without violating the treaties, I actually still miss one: preventing that wages are undercut by foreigners working under much worse labour conditions and dubious legal constructs, like registering your UK trucking company in a poor EU country but keep operating in the UK.

    These typically are areas where a number of EU countries are allied, and where a lot of flexible interpretation of a principle (free movement) is possible without needing to violate the undelying principle. Trying to shout harder than UKIP wouldn’t help spitzenkandidat Cameron in the upcoming elections, but I’m not sure that this is realised.

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      How about the fallacy of EU exports from the UK when actually they are destined for elsewhere in the world and are just going via a port? Time to leave the EU menace. It is more like racketeering each day.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      UKIP aren’t shouting.

      A weary public have sought to quietly withdraw their support for the main parties through due democratic process.

      This despite what seems to amount to outright provocation by both the action and neglect of the main parties – I commend our people for this.

      What is needed from Mr Cameron is a little less talk and a lot more action.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Correction: *through* both the action…

    • Edward2
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Peter
      In 1975 it was thought that the power lay with nation states.
      Now the EU has the power and nation states lie like lap dogs.
      The servant is the master now.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2: I disagree.
        The nation states (in the European Council) have actually dictated the agenda and priorities that the European Commission has to follow the next five years and regularly updates these policy lines. The national states (in the councils of ministers) also have to agree to any proposal made by the EC. (the parliament also has to agree of course). That is no lapdog behaviour, those are hard headed negotiations by the 28 nations states involved.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    And the anti EU brigade is so delusional as to think things would get better if we left the EU? Well lets look at Switzerland, which is often used as an example by commenters here as to how great things are on the outside (you can make the same points about Norway too). The Swiss have a foreign crime problem so much so that

    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/three-out-of-four-swiss-prisoners-are-foreign/5293728

    and people from overseas do help themselves to their welfare handouts

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2758055/Outraged-Swiss-village-1-000-residents-forced-raise-taxes-African-refugee-mother-seven-moves-costs-40-000-month-benefits.html.

    Its absolutely daft to think that if the EU goes away things are going to get better. Both the UK and Switzerland’s ills are caused by neo lib economics which demand the free movement of labour and until LibLabCon put down its destructive crack pipe things are not going to get better. (words left out ed) The EU is a nuisance buts its not the cause of everything that is crap about living in the UK these days.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Of course the EU is not the sole cause of “everything the is C**** in the UK”, as you put it. Just a very great deal of it and it is getting worse daily. Major, Bliar, Brown and Cameron need to take much of the blame too. This for the bloated, over paid & largely incompetent state sector, over taxation, the green crap energy, the damaging & pointless wars, over regulation, over complex taxation, the augmenting of the feckless, the unselective immigration …..

  4. Mark B
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    You forgot, The Single European act and Maastricht.

    We were lied to. We were told it was about trade and that we would not lose; “any significant sovereignty.” There is, in my view, no legal or moral right for us to remain. We never came into this via referendum, so I do not see why we should leave via referendum. Invoke Article 50, and begin negotiations on our terms of exit.

    There is little or no point asking for any powers back. One of the key principles of the EU is, once a power is ceded, it can NEVER be returned.

    And finally, and this ‘is’ the most important. The Conservative Government, with out mandate from the British people or Parliament, signed the Treaty of Rome which, committed the UK to; “Ever closer UNION.” You are either in, or out ! Which is it to be ?

    Reply We will ask the UK voters exactly that question so we can all decide. I have made clear that I am voting Out if we have to stick with existing treaties!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      And Cameron has made it very clear that he does not want any significant changes but will vote to stay in regardless. Also he only has about a 7% chance of an overall majority, and even that includes at least 50 people like Ken Clark.

      Perhaps negotiation techniques are not taught in Oxford PPE. Talking of which Evan Davis (another lefty 1st at Oxford PPE) had an interview with “BBC thinker” Russell Brand on Newsnight last night. Why one wonders? What on earth was Brand actually trying to say?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Brand sounded like an angry teenager who for the moment hates his parents and the world, just before he leaves university and get himself a well paid job and a very attractive partner.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Apparently he is “in tune” with the enriched…

    • Timaction
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      We were lied to repeatedly by the legacy parties to get their desired Unite States of Europe by incremental stealth. They were all in on it and pretended the treaties were about trade and tidying up exercises.
      So who do you believe may bring about change? The legacy parties who have never admitted or apologised for their deceit or the only patriotic party?
      The choice and answer is ours.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      “Reply We will ask the UK voters exactly that question so we can all decide.”

      JR, please excuse me for pointing out that there is in fact no intention to ask us “exactly that question”, and in early 2013 when I suggested that we should be asked “exactly that question” in an immediate “mandate referendum” prior to any renegotiation, in order to restrict the scope for the UK government to cheat us by pretending to have secured major concessions, “transforming the EU”, when that was not the case, you were less than enthusiastic about my proposal.

      March 15th 2013:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2013/03/15/the-mandate-referendum/

      May 5th 2013:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2013/05/05/the-mandate-referendum-link-from-article-in-sunday-times/

      Your preferred question was:

      “Do you want the UK government to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, based on free trade and political co-operation?”

      while my alternative was far less woolly, to get to the heart of the matter it was along these lines:

      “Under the present treaties of the European Union the United Kingdom is committed to a process of “ever closer union” with the other countries in the European Union.

      Do you wish the United Kingdom to continue further with this process of “ever closer union”?”

      Which provoked cries of foul play from some quarters on the specious grounds that some people might not understand that voting “no” would be equivalent to voting to leave the EU; when of course Cameron had made clear that in his view the opposite is true, he assured us that after his hypothetical renegotiation we could remain in the EU without being committed to “ever closer union”.

  5. petermartin2001
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:59 am | Permalink
    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed a pack of lies in large part.

      But at that stage we still had a minister with veto on any new laws. Not much use if ministers can be “bought” so easily (perhaps in some trade off or with a job offer), or simply does not want to act in the UK’s interests anyway.

      The people need a fair say and without the BBC’s mad bias & indoctrination.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        Cameron clearly likes being in the EU. So why does he not try to make the case for it? Saying one thing to the electorate, then constantly ratting and doing the complete opposite behind the scenes, is just contemptible.

        Ho can he expect any respect and a majority that way.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Maybe I’m just too partisan but I would say the No campaign wasn’t based on lies. Although looking back we probably concentrated too much on the price of butter and not on the sovereignty issue.

        I remember handing out these leaflets in the Kings Road in 1975. We were told by pro-market supporters, then, that we were ‘scaremongering’ by suggesting there was more to the, then Common Market, than a simple free trade agreement. The leaflet did warn that the agenda was for a single future country with its own Parliament and that Britain did risk becoming a mere province of Europe.

        Sounds about right to me!

        PS The No campaign was organised by the political left then! Its a pity they have largely changed their mind since. Not all of us though!

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        We all know the BBC won’t give a fair view of this. It will be completely Biased as it is with other things like renewable energy. Have you noticed how they never mention the vast subsidies being paid for renewables which are unreliable and intermittent? They only try and point out the ‘good’ things. I just hope Owen Paterson gets a good chance at putting his views forward on Question Time next week in Taunton. We know exactly what Caroline Lucas will be saying. She will be against anything good for the country and for more lunacy.

  6. Mick Anderson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    If they wish us to stay in they need to change the arrangements

    The EU doesn’t see it like that. The politicians in the UK have been delighted to sign the various treaties handing the EU all the power it wants, each one a little legacy to ensure their name is in the history books. Even if a demand wasn’t on the list, the EU tells SW1 how high to jump and too many are happy to do so, unquestioningly. The red, blue and yellow Party machines have selected a majority of Europhile candidates and Whip them into line; all the electorate is allowed is a protest vote for somebody who doesn’t have a chance, who the gang of three have done their utmost to exclude. In the same way that they pretend to be environmentally friendly to cancel out the Green Party (a glorious excuse for more taxes), they now pretend to be Eurosceptic to do the same to UKIP.

    There is now a demand for another £1.7bn for almost immediate payment, and I’m sure that the EU can point to a signed treaty that says we have to obey. After a bit of bluster, Mr Osborne will break out the cheque book. The initial demand will have been reduced slightly, which we will be told is because they are so good at negotiating on our behalf…. It’ll be added to the list of excuses for why he has been unable to do anything significant about the deficit.

    I don’t believe that Mr Cameron actually wants to repatriate any powers, only that he worries that his own status might be taken away if he doesn’t make that sort of promise.

  7. Richard1
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The 4 freedoms would be fine if the EU constituted only the original 6 or the 9 countries which were members when the UK joined. More free trade is always and everywhere a good thing,but free movement of people, especially if people have rights to all benefits, doesn’t work in 28 countries with widely divergent levels of wealth. (Let’s remember also that it was Conservatives, especially Mrs Thatcher, who favored expansion, seeing it as a way to dilute federalism).

    It should be possible to renegotiate much of this using the fact that the UK isn’t in the euro and isn’t committed to join as a justification. We can forget fundamental principles as many not those have been changed or ignored in the eurozone bailouts.

    The new EU demand for money is marvelous for eurosceptics. I wonder whether the European commission are trying to bolster UKIP in order to avoid a UK referendum (knowing as many of us do that a vote for UKIP at the general election means a Labour govt and no referendum)?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      “More free trade is always and everywhere a good thing”

      So you would have no objection if the Islamic State was able to buy plutonium and then hire an expert on constructing nuclear truck bombs to reduce your much-improved-by-immigrants London to a radioactive wasteland.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        No IS is a criminal gang. Free trade doesn’t mean no law or anarchy.
        Free trade of course means free trade within the law.

  8. DaveM
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Absolutely. There has to be a referendum on this as soon as possible. I was 4 in 1975, and after a few years of hard work I now pay a considerable amount of tax, none of which I want to go the EU and none of which I want to pay for free healthcare for people who have never contributed a thing to this country. The EU’s use of the word ‘Freedom’ is quite ironic though.

    But on a positive Friday note, the EU is doing its best to ensure we vote to leave, with its demands for an extra £1.2 Bn “because the UK economy’s done well”! That should at least appeal to Labour (who seem to like punishing people who have done well) – or will the Labour voters be equally gobsmacked by the brass neck of the European Commission (who I believe intend to give rebates to France and Germany because they haven’t done so well)?

    After the NHS discussions of the past day or two, the maths seems fairly straightforward:

    1. More than £6Bn a year goes to the EU.

    2. The NHS in England reckons it needs an extra £6Bn per year over the next 5 years, largely due to the increase in demand from foreign migrants.

    I won’t even bother doing the rest of the sum!!

    This all adds up to GE gold dust if only someone would recognise it.

    The Conservative hate campaign against Mark Reckless didn’t do that well either – he was polling 43% in R&S at the last count, with the LibDems on 3% (that’s just one point behind the ship’s cat).

    All in all, probably not the best time to have an ultra-europhile closet Libdem as a party leader John!!

  9. Mondeo Man
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    What was not explained was how big the EU was going to get and how poor the countries being admitted.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t foreseen at the time of the Treaty of Rome regardless of whether or not people had read it.

    The EU demanding money at short notice because the British economy has done better than expected ? This is communism is it not ?

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      And since then successive parties and politicians have failed to declare their Europhile prominently.

      Were a Union Jack is displayed there ought to be the EU flag displayed (with equal prominence) too so that voters are in no doubt that they are lending support to a mandate for closer European union.

      I have, in the past, mistakenly voted for a Tory in the honest belief that it would result in more Euroscepticism as I thought the party was Eurosceptic.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Appalling spelling, sorry.

        They’re, Where, (that I know of – perhaps Lifelogic could help me.)

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 26, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          Life is too short to worry about trivia like spelling, we all know what you mean. Understandable that you were conned at Cameron lied by claiming he was a sceptic before he turning into a fake green, EU ratting IHT ratting, tax borrow and waste, Europhile.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Bear in mind that Major once pointed out that over the post-war period GDP growth in the Warsaw Pact countries had been only a fraction of that in western Europe, a clear demonstration of the superiority of the capitalist system.

      Then also bear in mind that he wanted those relatively low productivity, low wage countries in the EU as soon as possible, and put that in the Tory manifesto for the 1992 general election:

      http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/man/con92.htm

      and then again in the Tory manifesto for the 1997 general election:

      http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/man/con97.htm

  10. Gary
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Why do people cross every country in the EU and come here ?

    Either we have spare jobs and then that is all well and good, or they come for welfare and then why has the rest of the EU not got this welfare ?

    And as for jobs, let us not forget if the labour coming in is taking our jobs then maybe we should look at our ourselves. Because if we stop more productive and lower cost labour from taking our jobs, then companies will leave these shores and move to this labour.

    What we need to be doing is follow Germany’s example, and create more highly skilled jobs that have a high barrier of entry that unskilled labour cannot do . eg. engineers.

    The EU is not the problem here, we are.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      “…then companies will leave these shores and move to this labour.”

      If companies are set up in business in this country with the specific intention of employing imported labour on low wages subsidised by English taxpayers (who have employment), then it is hard to see why their leaving would be a manifold tragedy for this country.

      The imputation that most of the problems which affect our country adversely are self-inflicted is correct and, of course, those responsible are now asking us once again for our votes leading up to GE2015.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      So you think that WE are the problem if people in some countries joining the EU have much lower average standards of living than we do. Would that be because we somehow caused them to have much lower standards of living, or would it be because we were stupid enough to let them into the EU? How low do you want to drive the living standards of workers in this country? Would it be low enough if we got down to the level of Romania, or would you prefer Rwanda?

      • Gary
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        It is not conspiracy paranoia. It is economics 101. If you wipe out your productive economy by serially cutting rates and thereby destroy capital, then all you have left are menial service jobs with no barrier of entry that anyone can do. You can then implement communist protections and then companies have a choice, put up with overpaid local labour, or move to where the labour is cheap. No skills are required, cost is the only parameter.

        Instead of looking for the EU under your bed all night, raise rates and preserve capital, move the economy out of the City and back to production. Educate engineers and scientists and provide jobs that refugees off a boat cannot do.

  11. Old Albion
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    But they won’t and if a Tory referendum is ever held, which i doubt. It will be fiddled to ‘stay in’ rather like the last one in 1975.

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    If Mr Cameron makes a speech to this effect without any caveats and get outs I may just be persuaded to vote for Boris which would pain me greatly.

    Well put Mr Redwood.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Although if we stump up one penny of the £1.7 billion that is being demanded then UKIP it will be.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    But th whole point of the EU is to destroy the nation state and homogenise the people so the Soviet style government can continue unabated. Cameron and the other two clowns are full signed up to this despite their rhetoric

    I see the NHS is in the news again
    I suppose payments will be only for English taxpayers whilst the rest of the world get free treatment

  14. alan jutson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    John

    I think you can safely say the population were sold a lie in both referendums by most politicians.

    Words and phrases can mean so many different things to different people when in different times and situations.

    If you are living in a country with personal freedom to travel abroad, of course you would want free movement for people living in a country who do not have that luxury, but you still accept that wherever you travel, you still obey the rules and traditions of that country, not impose your own.

    Harold Wilson imposed financial restrictions on people taking money abroad back in the 60’s, something like £25 . £50 if I remember correctly, such was the dire state of our economy, how did this fit in with free movement of capital/money ?

    In my experience many Politicians will put whatever slant they want on any subject to suit themselves in order to gain power for their argument.

    Few people read the treaty of Rome, thinking and believing that our Politicians were Honourable men and women, who would honestly represent the best interests of the British people.
    How wrong we were to trust them at the time.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      How right you are Alan!

      Tad

  15. Douglas Carter
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Just want to leap-frog the coming international dispositions the current debate will bring on and take it to a point some time subsequent to the 2017 referendum. Naturally with the proviso it has been held and the public have recorded a vote which declares implicitly that the UK electorate want their borders protected more comprehensively, among other implications.

    In the past, many have (rightly, in my opinion) opposed some strident new power which is being sought by authorities for additional surveillance or investigation. Usually opposed since it is pointed out those authorities don’t already use those existing powers long at their disposal. On this occasion with regard to border protection, theoretically, a Government will be seeking for additional powers.

    Having given that Government a mandate to provide for enhanced border security, the public will then be entitled to see that implied contract fulfilled. As with all things in the UK, it’s one thing for a Government to claim it’s seeking greater competence of conduct in some notional activity – it’s entirely another to see it properly delivered. That electorate will be furnished with a right to see that Government ensure the UKBA – or any subsequent organisation – functions competently in that respect.

    But it goes further. The UK electorate will also be directing to UK Courts that illegal immigration must be treated as exactly that, and will also be directing to the various unaccountable Human Rights groups the very same thing. I would expect my Government to defer to that contract implicitly sealed with the electorate before it meekly surrenders to the hard-left metrosexual agenda of the (words left out ed) chatterati.

    Any political activity which seeks so hard to bring something about must be seen to oblige itself to the eventual results of those actions. If the public give those additional powers, they will expect to see them used, and properly.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Your pieces are increasingly making the case for a 2015 in/out referendum. Any renegotiation is seen as futile by many of us and is becoming more obvious week by week. Your loyalty to Cameron may be paying dividends but you and other like minded MPs need to insist that there is a 2015 Referendum date in the Conservative manifesto, forgetting the renegotiation nonsense, otherwise he is out and the Conservative Party will be history.

  17. Know-Dice
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr Redwood,

    I’m sorry that I ignored your good advice in 1975, I will try not to do that again 🙁

    Wokingham resident…

  18. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I am trying to picture the 40% decrease in CO2 (EU2030) on the day. I won’t be able to sense any CO2 change thats for sure, energy bill will reflect that failure. Will no doubt see more propellers though – thats if the EU still exists?

    The demand for more money and headline its getting will no doubt promote UKIP right now. Naughtie sounded a bit flustered this am. Surprised they covered it.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    JR: “If they wish us to stay in they need to change the arrangements so we can control our own borders.”
    That is not enough. Open borders is just one aspect of what is wrong with the EU and why we must leave as soon as possible. It is anti-democratic and membership means that the British people have had the powers they temporarily entrusted to a UK government transferred, without their consent, to a foreign organisation over which they have no real democratic control. The fundamental issue is national sovereignty – we want our country back.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      …….and QMV gets ever-closer Brian!

      Tad

    • Chris
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Your comment, Brian, is absolutely key to all of this “The fundamental issue is national sovereignty – we want our country back.” Our politicians in Westminster have been forced to address the immigration issue by UKIP, but they seem scared to talk about the sovereignty issue, for fear of admitting how much we have lost through their complicity, and how hard it will be to get sovereignty back. The EU is designed to be one way, with no giving back of powers. It is this massive deception that has been played out on the people of the UK by our politicians that is unforgiveable, and the “awakening” electorate are demonstrating exactly what they think of this.

  20. Peter Roy
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    JR – Excellent Blog Site. Read it every day. On topic where do we get some real facts on the EU situation ?
    How many UK jobs really depend on the EU ?
    How much do we really export to the EU ?
    How much of this export figure includes goods for onward transmission ?
    What is our balance of trade figure with the EU ?
    What is the welfare cost to us for non UK Nationals – ie; Benefits – Health – Education ?
    As an aside I agree with you that none of the Continentals would want to stop selling us their cars – white goods – wine – apples etc should we pull out !!

  21. Bert Young
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Everything in your post today I agree with . It’s time for action stations and the referendum .I don’t want to the outcome of the General Election to decide this , I want it NOW . I witnessed the last straw this morning and had great difficulty in digesting my breakfast – the EU is defunct . Cameron cannot take the humiliation he must have felt yesterday and still go along with the ramifications ; he faces another defeat very soon and the reality of a possible rejection from his own Party .

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    What I still don’t understand, is when few Tory MPs would privately and perhaps publicly disagree with what you say, they then stay in a pro-EU, federalist party that has given us much of this junk in the first place?

    The claim by some that it is best to change the Tory party from within to a more Eurosceptic one, seems hollow. Many have been trying to do that for decades, and there must come a time when the penny finally drops that the Tory party is beyond redemption, is now a toxic brand, and is just another failed social democratic shadow of its former true-blue self.

    Let’s see them squirm over the latest retrospective tax bill from the EU!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  23. M Davis
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The politically uninitiated in 1975, we the younger generation, were snookered and duped into voting for something we believed would benefit us – the British people. Now, as older adults, we know that we were fobbed off with things that we did not understand then and the ones in Government knew we didn’t, they took advantage of the fact. Today, we feel that we were hoodwinked into signing away powers that should never have been signed into. The Governments of the day were treasonous and they still are!

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    “It said it would abolish “the obstacles to the free movement of persons, services, and capital” and would eliminate customs duties and quantitative restrictions on the movement of goods.”

    Because as far as the authors of that treaty were concerned “persons” were not human beings with links to their families and communities and nations and countries, but just another economic input like capital, goods and services; a mechanistic, inhuman, view shared not only by slave owners over the centuries but also by various dictators who have arranged for the mass transportation of workers from one place to another place where their labours would be deemed more useful.

  25. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    If, as many correspondents assert on this site, the EU is a Soviet style organisation then a leader of the calibre of Reagan or Thatcher is needed to take it on. I can’t help feeling that negotiations of the sort being discussed at present are a waste of time and a delusion for those who believe that they will bring results acceptable to the UK.
    We can only realistically negotiate on our own terms with any chance of success if the EU seriously believes that we will withdraw or make things so difficult for them that they have to accommodate us. Our, still unitary, state has the power to take on the EU but the main stumbling block is our own parliament and the majority of Europhile MPs who dominate at present.
    We need more MPs like Dr Redwood who adopt the bulldog approach to the EU and will not let go of its leg.

  26. Peter Stroud
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Freedom of movement of labour was probably acceptable when the EU comprised six nations, all with similar economies. But it is unacceptable with 26 states, some of which are considerably poorer than the average.

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Freedom of movement of capital was and is a good idea. Sir Geoffrey Howe was lucky enough to be able to remove all exchange controls in 1980.

    In 1975, freedom of movement was thought mainly to benefit students and other young people travelling through wealthy Western European countries. The context has change utterly. We have to think again.

    Freedom of movement of goods is a great idea. So why should it apply to just one regional grouping rather than worldwide? Why does it need to be constrained by unwanted employment and social measures and by unnecessary harmonisation and regulation.

    Freedom of movement of services has by and large not happened. Language differences have been one problem, protectionism another.

  28. JoeSoap
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    The choice is clearly between full integration and an exit. This business of “re-negotiate and decide by referendum” is BS and will never happen. That is why you are haemorraging support, and your personal line is no more credible than Cameron’s.

    We are either all-in like Labour and LibDems or all-out like CH, N and UKIP. Anything else is a diversionary tactic.

  29. Richard
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Juncker interviewed by the BBC on 22/10/2014
    [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29731120] said :

    “We cannot change European rules.If we are changing rules of freedom of movement today then tomorrow others will try to change the freedom of the movement of capital”

    Didn’t Cyprus impose capital controls last year which have not yet been completely removed?

  30. Dennis
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Many people could not vote on EU membership in 1975 or were not born in time is constantly repeated. This implies that there should be a referendum every generation – is that what JR et al really want?

    I am a Baron and have had no chance of renegotiating on Magna Carta – should I start a campaign to be able to do so?

    Reply On the contrary. Magna Carta is regularly modified, especially by the EU measures!

  • 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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