What are the threats to the UK?

The UK today faces just two formal threats from other states to the integrity of places we protect. Argentina refuses to lift her claim to the Falkland islands, despite losing a war following an illegal invasion, and despite the overwhelming wish of the islanders to stay with us. Spain lodges a claim to Gibraltar for no good reason, other than geographical proximity, and regularly seeks to disrupt life on the Rock.

Our diplomatic and defence forces have to be in a state of vigilance to ensure the safety and self determination of both the Rock and the islands. Both places have shown in referenda their overwhelming desire to stay with the UK. The Falklands showed the unfortunate need for the UK to possess an expeditionary capability to defend the islands. It also showed we cannot always rely on NATO and the US to assist us. Then our force was seaborne and successful, but with considerable hazard. Today a new airport would make it much easier to send forces rapidly should there be a new military threat. It is most important the UK shows permanent resolve in all it says and does, to avoid giving the impression that illegal acts by others would no longer be resisted.

The UK also buys into the US view of the threat from Al Qaeda/Taliban/Isil and other similar insurgent violent groups in the Middle East. Whilst it is true that the UK has to be vigilant to see off terrorist activity here in the UK by intelligence and police action, it is not necessarily true that going to war from time to time against some of these people in some of the Middle Eastern countries where they operate makes us safer at home or will lead to the end of such terrorist threats.

The UK public was very critical of Mr Blair’s Iraq war. There is considerable scepticism about the results of the intervention in Libya. The long war in Afghanistan was bravely fought by our troops, and may result in a better Afghanistan depending on how the local politics now work out. However, it transpired that the US went to the wrong country to track down Bin Laden. The US has discovered that the terrorist groups operate over the borders into Pakistan so they cannot be defeated just in one or two Middle Eastern countries.

Libya is now a broken country with warring bands competing for power and territory. Egypt’s democratic revolution led to a military coup. Iraq is split into three broad fighting groups, with its government shelling its own people, and the rebels killing both the government troops and civilian bystanders. Syria is also gripped by a long and brutal civil war. So far western intervention has not been able to stabilise the region, nor to help create several functioning democracies as hoped.

The main ways we can protect ourselves against terrorist threat are through proper controls of our borders, and through good intelligence and police action here at home. We need to develop our cyber capability, use access under warrant to the phone and internet connections of those we suspect to monitor and warn us of forthcoming trouble, and work through schools and colleges to tackle home grown extremism.

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  1. petermartin2001
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Of course we are all pleased to know that Gibraltar chooses overwhelmingly to stay British. What’s the vote? 99% in favour? I’m just wondering if the support of the Gibraltarians for Britain is quite what we think.

    What would be the vote in the I.O.W if they could choose to be Spanish and have no capital gains tax, any kind sales tax (or value added tax) and much reduced rates of income tax?

    I’m happy for Gibraltarians, Falkland Islanders, Channel Islanders , Manxians (is that the right word?), Bermudans and other residents of the remaining British Overseas Territories to remain British for as long as they wish. Britain should commit to defending those territories to the same extent as the commitment to defending the mainland.

    But, the residents of those territories should accept that it doesn’t come for free. If mainlanders have to pay VAT at 20%, income tax at 45%, or whatever, then so should they. Being British means accepting British laws. That should include the tax laws too.

    Reply This shows you just do not understand freedom and the right to self determination. If we annexed them in the way you suggest we would not be respecting their right to self government, and we would then have to pay them the same range of benefits and pensions as we pay people on the mainland and underwrite all their finances. The defence part of our budget is very small and does not require all the VAT and Income tax we levy. This is a typical EU response – you can have any colour car you like as long as it is black.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      …..The defence part of the budget is small and getting smaller year on year. It is rapidly becoming ineffective and it is doubtful if we could defend the Falklands. The government is a disgrace spending £12 billion on foreign aid whilst gutting the armed forces.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


        Agree with your comments

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      The UK should be copying the economies of these islands – with their lower taxes and far more efficient governments, vastly lower crime rates, vastly lower unemployment rates, better education and health systems….. not destroying their economies with the dead hand of the massively inefficient British state sector, endless daft regulations, the pointless green crap, pointless wars, the EU insanity and hugely over high (and over complex) taxes we have in the UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        To a degree the UK do for some, with the non dom regime. Which is a sector doing very well (though Osborne is now attacking it further with large increases in the non dom tax and silly stamp duty rates).

        Extend such a tax regime to everyone and fire half the state sector that do nothing useful – that is the way to go. Release them to get some real jobs it would do them good.

        What sensible person with say £20M would want to live in the UK and have perhaps 90% of it slowly taken of them and their families through 40% IHT, 20% VAT, NI, Stamp Duty, 45% Income tax, CT, lifetime capital transfer tax, insurance tax, mansion tax, taxes on trust and all the rest. Mainly to be wasted by incompetent governments.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink


    • zorro
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Well said John. These places manage their own affairs but are still British and deserve to be defended. Typical high handed EU post….


    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      As I recall UK were unable to defend the Channel Islands last time so did not even try to.

  2. Mark B
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The threats both to Gib’ and to the Falklands no longer come from those you name. They come from within ! Labour tried to get the Gibraltars to accept Spanish rule. It failed. Had they succeeded, it would have been obvious that the Falklands would have been next.

    Spain could take Gib’ anytime it wanted. Argentina has tried and failed to take what it sees as its territory. I’d doubt they will try it again, as it lacks the military capability to do so. Both countries have resorted to other methods and as the EU takes over more and more responsibilities, I can for see a possibility that it will one day, it will be the EU that will settle this matter and not ourselves.

    When determining what threats there are to our Nation, I invoke the, ‘Broken Windows Rule’. If they have not set, or actually broken any windows, then they are deemed not to be a threat. Russia has broken a window,by (named allegation – one of many possible allegations ed). She is a threat, but of a different kind, and needs to be treated differently.

    But to me, the greatest threat of all, comes from our own Government. This is the form of ever increasing powers of control over the people of this land. They seem to think that, in order to protect democracy, they must do all they can to suppress it. The threat from the RoP is real, but it is also imported and is a reaction to our actions elsewhere.

    But as I am always minded to say; “Beware when battling monsters, less ye becomes one oneself !”

    • Javelin
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Agreed the biggest threat are the colonial apologists.

      Guilt ridden children who passed their 11 plus exams and somehow got into power.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I accept your moderation regarding my allegation. But you cannot obtain Polonium from your local Boots.

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        I can’t remember that enquiry being concluded.

  3. Steve Cox
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    You don’t consider Russia to be a threat? It seems that every month there’s another report of Russian fighter jets or submarines approaching or encroaching on British air or sea space. With the bear currently nursing a nasty hangover from the double whammy of western sanctions and a falling oil price who knows what mischief it is capable of unleashing next. Some commentators are concerned that, after annexing Crimea and supporting the creation of NovoRussiya in the eastern Ukraine, Putin may decided that things can’t get much worse on the economic/sanctions front and go hell for leather to annex one or more of the Baltic states. As NATO members if one or more of them then invoked Article 5 we would be bound to go to their aid militarily, up against the wounded but nuclear-armed bear more or less on its own territory. That certainly sounds like a possible threat that should be keeping some planners awake at night.

    Reply I do not see Russia as a direct threat to the UK. There is no history of Russia invading us and Russia is a long way away making that extremely unlikely. Russia was our ally against Germany in the twentieth century, when Germany did threaten us with invasion. Of course some possible Russian land grabs in eastern Europe would be an attack on NATO, and some as in the Crimea are not. I do not approve of any such actions by Russia, but here in the UK we should only sign up to helping guarantee the frontiers of countries in eastern Europe that we can defend. We do not resort to military intervention against all regimes we dislike – e.g. North Korea – as we recognise there are limits to the force we have and to how much responsibility the UK should take for bad regimes.

    • Mitchel
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed,JR.We,on the other hand,have invaded Russia twice – during the Crimean War and ,far less well known, in 1918 during the Russian Civil War (my grandfather was amongst the British troops sent to Arkangelsk).It was another of Churchill’s failures and by intervening (along with another c13 allies) we prolonged a savage conflict that may have cost up to 14 milion Russian lives without altering the outcome.That was the true start of the Cold War with the USSR.Strangely enough it was also one where the Americans,whilst also involved,acted with admirable restraint.

      • forthurst
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Mitchel, I believe your grandfather fought in a noble cause, that of supporting White Russians against the Bolsheviks, an alien criminal gang originally funded by ‘Americans’; that the Bolsheviks under War Kommissar Lev Bronstein defeated the allies, already exhausted by the World War was a great tragedy for both the Russian people and the World, as subsequent events would show.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear, Mr Redwood MP

      There is no history of Russia attacking the UK. But we have attacked Russia.


    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see Russia as a threat either. It’s an illusion cooked up by the west that harbours an ulterior expansionist motive. We are more of a threat to them than they are to us, as can be seen from the encroachment of NATO counties upon Russia’s borders in violation of agreements made after the dissolution of the USSR.

      As for Russian incursions into our air space, we have glib assurances they have actually taken place from people who have a proven propensity to lie, and who then fail to back up the claims with hard evidence. We might see the occasional picture of a Russian aircraft and a NATO one alongside each other, but who can independently verify the location?

      If the US told me it was raining outside, I’d still go and look for myself. People really do need to read up on the number of spy flights the US AND the UK made over the former Soviet Union in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. What was the primary purpose behind Kelly Johnson’s Lockheed U2 and SR72 Blackbird, to give pleasure flights to the edge of space?

      They were designed to spy, and the spying continues to this day with even more sophisticated hardware.

      So what’s the purpose of it all?

      In a word – OIL! Russia has vast quantities of both oil and gas. US reserves will run out first, so they want political control over Russia’s reserves, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Russia could be a massive ally and trading partner, but the west, headed by the good old decent, honest USA aren’t having that at any price!

      Tad Davison


      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        SR71 Fancy an aircraft enthusiast and historian like me making a typo like that.

      • David Price
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests” – Henry Kissinger

        We are only of value to the US when it supports their interests, eg Grenada, and the Falklands recently, useful technologies in the past etc.

        The same is true for every country though I find it difficult to detect such a priority for UK interest in the UK establishment and government.

        We are only of value to the EU for our funds, significant contribution to their defence and our establishment’s willingness to pay welfare to all and sundry, relieving the majority in the EU of costs.

      • zorro
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        Exactly as many of us are trying to tell others…. Who wrote the ‘Grand Chessboard’? Who has nearly 900 bases overseas, and spends many multiples of what the next country does on military spending?


    • William Gruff
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Russia was our ally … when Germany did threaten us with invasion.

      That is not correct, Dr Redwood. Notwithstanding that the Soviet Union acted against us and our long-term interests throughout the Second World War, she colluded with our enemy in the partition of our ally, Poland, murdered Polish citizens in their tens of thousands, and offered us no aid whatsoever while we were fighting for our lives in 1940. Until the German invasion, in 1941, British Communists conducted, on instructions from the Soviets, an ostensibly anti war campaign, including industrial action, that was effectively low level espionage – there’s an Orwell essay, or letter (I can’t be bothered to search it out now so cannot give a reference) in which he describes the British ultra left as ‘objectively pro fascist’. I don’t think he was exaggerating.

      Further, Stalin did quite a lot to hinder our war effort even while we were giving him war materials that we were buying, by one means or another, from our other ‘ally’, the United States, also doing all she could to undermine our position in the world and destroy our future. If you haven’t read about the politics behind the Russian convoys, Stalin’s groundless refusal to allow them to be routed through the Persian Gulf – leading to much unnecessary suffering and loss of life – and the treatment of those who manned them, you should consider doing so; you may find the material enlightening.

      Your PPE graduate Great Leader may be so poorly informed as to believe that the United States was the ‘senior partner’ in 1940 but for a historian to state that the USSR came to our aid while we fought to prevent invasion is not acceptable. ‘Russia’ was not even nominally an ally of ours until the danger of invasion was effectively over and without the aid we gave, without any thanks, to them the USSR could not have withstood the Germans for very long.

      Reply Yes, of course, Russia was with Germany until the 1941 German invasion, under the Soviet-German pact. The UK had a peace agreement with Hitler from 1938 until 1939. The USA did not join us until after Russia, joining the war at the end of 1941. I referred to Russia as our ally, as the Big 3 were USA, Russia and UK, planning the defeat of the Germans on the continent together and seeking to settle the future pattern of European borders. The UK was on her own following the defeat of France until the German invasion of Russia.

      • William Gruff
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply to reply:

        I do not wish to test your patience and I am not trying to score points, however, I would observe that ‘UK’ should actually read British Commonwealth and Empire (I hope that England will not forget her friends as readily as the ‘United’ Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and several other places, has.) and that we were alone only in the sense that the British government alone was able to bring that war to a close at that time.

        Whether you publish this or not, my thanks and my respect to you for publishing opinions that many others in your position would censor.

        • William Gruff
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Once again I see that I have not typed my closing tag properly, nor checked before submitting. What price a good proof reader?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Good points Gruff, not forgetting the substantial number of aircraft that we supplied to Finland in its fight against Soviet aggression in 1939/40.

    • sjb
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      JR: I do not see Russia as a direct threat to the UK.

      Then why do you support Trident?

      Reply Because there are many nuclear powers now, and because nuclear weapons could fall into wrong hands.

      • William Gruff
        Posted December 24, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        Whether or not Russia, or any state that may succeed that country, is currently perceived as a threat, a country that will not provide for its own defence with competitive weapons is one that is unlikely to last very long.

        Nuclear weapons are nasty, dirty horrible things and no one wants them used against themselves. That we have them can only help us to protect ourselves from the unwonted attentions of others.

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Erm and just where does Trident fit into this world view? Its not as if we have the money to pay for it in the first place. That is of course if you want to transform the UK into being “Upper Volta” with rockets as the Soviet Union was once described. As I have said before everyone else in Western and Central Europe, bar the French, can sleep at night without a “deterrent” so why do we need one? If there is an existential threat to France you can be dead sure its going to be one to the UK too. So why not just live under their umbrella? Why do we have to put guns before hospitals? Its not as if it is an “independent” deterrent to begin with as the Americans control the targeting data and intelligence, let alone provide the missiles themselves. Just try using it if if comes into conflict with their interests. Do you seriously think that Iran and North Korea are threats to the UK? I would suggest that if you do you have a look at the works of Prof Ray Garthoff and Capt. Michael Moore RN and see just how much a threat the Soviet Union actually was.

    Reply We do not put guns before hospitals – health spending has gone up substantially, defence spending has been cut. We do need a nuclear deterrent and cannot rely on the French one.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita

      Perhaps a rather poor comparison using France as an example

      The French do not exactly have a good defensive record in the last 100 years do they.

      They managed to help defeat an enemy with rather an awful lot of outside help.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        Eh and just how helpful was the good ol’ US of A to us in 1956? I seem to remember they started a run on the pound to get us out of Egypt. Or how they misled poor Mr Blair into invading Iraq?

        John ha’ way man give me a logical scenario where an existential threat to France would not be one to the UK too, especially when we consider how far Dover is from Calais?

    • William Gruff
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      The rest of Europe, and many other nations on other continents, sleeps at night because we and France, and the United States, have nuclear weapons, not despite their not having them.

      I dislike nuclear weapons, and I’m all for saving money, but I’d rather have them than scrap them, and I don’t object to replacing them in due course. Our armed forces are dangerously emaciated and perhaps not entirely fit for purpose (no insult intended there to our brave lads etc. etc.); it’s reassuring to know that we have something with some serious clout, if we ever find ourselves with our backs to the wall again.

      • stred
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes. We’ve all understood that we need a detererent- the opponent changes. Just identify the enemy. God help us if the religious experts have a nuke and we don’t.

        • William Gruff
          Posted December 24, 2014 at 4:11 am | Permalink

          Firstly: We haven’t ‘all understood that we need a deterrent’. Were that otherwise there could be no controversy about Trident or its replacement.

          Secondly: It is not necessary to ‘identify the enemy’, he will identify himself, usually when we have no deterrents, or are engaged with other enemies.

    • bluedog
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Dame Rita says ‘Just try using it if if comes into conflict with their interests. ‘

      Quite, the US has right of veto over the survival of the UK. Utter folly.

      The French nuclear deterrent is completely French and not beholden to any other power. We have developed a lot of technology jointly with the French: Concorde, the Jaguar ground attack plane and the two new aircraft carriers. Perhaps we should develop a joint nuclear ballistic missile sub to replace the existing. There need be no question of sharing all intelligence and targeting, other than an agreement not to target each other!

      We should hand back the Trident missiles and build our own, one way or the other. Perhaps Commonwealth nations such as Canada and Australia could be persuaded to take an interest. A joint Commonwealth missile submarine fleet would be strategically transformative.

      • stred
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Good idea. A surface and fire cruise missile would still deter and could be much less expensive.

      • William Gruff
        Posted December 24, 2014 at 4:20 am | Permalink

        If you knew anything of the history of Anglo-French ventures you’d know that the French contribution was little more than window dressing, colour schemes and petulant foot stamping over spellings and the honour of first flights, breakthroughs etc. That we are said to own two aircraft carriers jointly with people we refused to work with on the Tornado should prompt you to pause for thought. Could we have produced a deterrent with the Commonwealth perhaps we might have done.

  5. matthu
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The biggest threat to the UK is undoubtedly being posed by people who subvert our laws, the manner in which they are being promulgated and enforced and our British way of life.

    Unfortunately in this instance proper control of our borders will be ineffective as the threat lies wholly from within: I am of course referring to our Europhile members of Westminster.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan have surely all been total counter productive on balance. Disastrous wars, we should never have entered into them, the governments even kept changing the reasons given for entered into them.

    As you say we certainly cannot rely on Nato, the US or the EU to support or assist us. MOD procurement has been a disaster influences by the EU as it is.

    • nigel
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      When will Western politicians accept that western style democracy does not suit every country and many are not ready for it. France showed us that when de Gaulle took over in 1963.

  7. Sandra Cox
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    There might be valid reasons for going into Iraq, but I am sick and tired of hearing that we must bomb this or that country in order to protect our streets – that tactic obviously hasn’t worked in the past. For better or worse, we are involved in Iraq yet again, and we have to hold our nerve and see what happens this time.

    My overriding fear is that bombing Islamists in Iraq is a distraction. We need to look closer to home because the Islamists’ best weapons are right here, courtesy of EU immigration policies and human rights laws – all gold plated by the EU’s useful idiots in our parliament. These idiots have not only allowed (some radical ed) newcomers into the country, (who can use freedom here to encourage others and their children ed), they have also provided them with the funds to do so via our welfare system and our charitable organisations.

    Worryingly, and the tip of the iceberg, Simon Heffer wrote a while ago about the 3,000 mainly North African immigrants who have entered the EU through Italy, Greece etc, been processed and sent on their way to Northern Europe. Many of them are massing in Calais, and Heffer wrote that if they reach Dover we should send them back to France who should send them back to Italy. Surprise, surprise, it’s against EU rules for us to do so! Just what is the EU’s reasoning behind this policy? Has it been challenged? If not, why not?

    Our main problem lies with the donkeys we have in parliament and their blind allegiance to the whims of Brussels and Washington. The tragedy is that our lions – our Armed Forces – are the ones clearing up the mess they create!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Our street are clearly less save due to these counterproductive wars.

    • DaveM
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Bombing by itself never wins a thing regardless of what the US may think.

      What all the so-called commanders should be reading up on and learning how to counter is 4GW – Simon Murden, Plymouth University is the world expert.

      • DaveM
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        PS. The Sling and the Stone (Thomas X. Hammes) is also a very interesting read for those “forward looking” military strategists who think drones and robots are the way forward.

        Interesting that to an infantryman (or similar), in this world of high technology, satellites, planes, long-range artillery, rockets, drones, etc, a hole in the ground is still the favoured survival aid!! And men with knives on the end of their rifles win wars, not drones dropping bombs.

  8. Excalibur
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    An interesting analysis, JR. However, I doubt that we have either the institutionalized integrity or the ruthlessness to protect ourselves. Take just one example. “Proper control of our borders”. To protect our borders adequately we would need totally dedicated, highly trained, incorruptible border officials prepared to work with diligence and skill to ensure only bona fide people entered through our ports. How, one asks, are we to get that ? We learned only recently of officials helping immigrants with their citizenship tests.

    • Richard
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I agree.

    • William Gruff
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      We cannot make assumptions about the motivations and loyalties of officials in a vibrant, modern multicultural society that makes no demands of newcomers. However, we might find the people we need were we to be more discriminating, and we cannot be that until we review some of the laws we have allowed ourselves to be controlled with, and then repeal them.

  9. Mark W
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I have always thought that when Spain start on about Gibraltar there is a simple one word answer that shuts them up. Rarely used which is a great discredit to this almost bizarrely unknown fact.


    Simple eh.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Actually, this one’s better.


      Many thanks to, Daniel Hanan MEP for this.

    • bluedog
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      The other words that silence Spain have always been: ‘Canary Islands’.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The UK is more under threat from within than without.

    Socialists and other apologists for our history are determined to assuage their guilt for being white British by giving away our space, money and other assets and as mentioned by a poster above giving supermecy over our laws to an unelected EU.

    I see today it is being hailed as a victory that we MAY not have to pay child benefit to children outside the UK. It is likely we will still give tax credits though. When we can’t afford an army will we get any of this money back or will the EU just up our bill some more?

    We are more likely to have a cut and shut administration with all assets going to the EU than to be invaded by the “cheese eating surrender monkeys”.

  11. Old Albion
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    How many British military personnel have died in the pursuit of revenge for 9/11 ?
    How many have suffered devastating injuries, multiple limb loss, blindness, deafness facial disfigurement? How many are now under the protection of physciatric care.
    How many are homeless and living on the streets?
    How many have faced trumped up charges of cruelty, torture or murder as a reward for their work?
    And, was any of what they so bravely attempted, worth doing?
    What has been achieved in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria by the sacrifice of our military?

    I mention only ‘our’ sacrifice. There are of course thousands of others who too have been sacrificed on the alter of US/UK led desire to remind those foreigners who’s boss.

    Shutting our borders and monitoring radical Islamists within, would have cost finacially, a comparitive tiny amount, and would have been more successful. But rather than face the lefty claims of racism such actions would have produced, successive governments followed at the heel of the US president.

  12. Richard1
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The continuing Spanish claim to Gibraltar is completely unacceptable. Part of the EU renegotiation needs to include an insistence that Spain drops this. Germany should be able to bring this about under threat of restrictions on borrowing in euros/ transfers etc. If EU countries are not obliged to recognize the principles of democracy and self-determination, there is no basis for the EU at all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I agree but the EU will do nothing of the sort quite the reverse.

    • John E
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I believe they already dropped their claim as part of previous EU negotiations. Not sure there is any point in asking them to do so again. It would imply we can’t trust their word, in which case there isn’t much point asking for it again.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        If it is true that Spain no longer claims Gibraltar then I am mistaken and so is JR in the post above. Even so it is the case Spain seeks to distrupt life on Gibraltar, which should be punished through the international courts. Perhaps the EU could withhold some subsidies from them until they belt up and respect democracy and self determination. It is absurd that the UK should have to reckon on defence expenditure to guard against a possible threat by a European democracy and an EU member state.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        There’s a Declaration attached to the present EU treaties:

        “55. Declaration by the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

        The Treaties apply to Gibraltar as a European territory for whose external relations a Member State is responsible. This shall not imply changes in the respective positions of the Member States concerned.”

        I take the last sentence to mean that Spain does not renounce its claim, it merely acknowledges that at present the UK not Spain is still responsible for the external relations of Gibraltar.

        In any case Declarations are not legally binding, unlike Protocols which are an integral part of the EU treaties and just as legally binding.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      It is not Gib’ itself that the Spanish claim, it the waters that border it. Not as clearly defined.

    • bluedog
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth would we want to grant Germany powers as guarantor of our position in Gibraltar? We fought several wars to avoid becoming a German protectorate.

      This year, on 1st August 1714, we celebrated 300 years of the Hanoverian succession. You would have noticed that Angela Merkel was all over Cameron (who is of illegitimate Hanoverian descent) on this one. The Royal Family seem to have greeted the event with less enthusiasm…

      • Richard1
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Its not a question of wanting more power for Germany it’s just a question of recognizing where the power is in the EU. Insolvent or close to insolvent eurozone states are completely dependent on Germany to allow bills to be paid. So Germany can make political demands on them as required.

        • bluedog
          Posted December 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          ‘So Germany can make political demands on them as required.’

          And what would Germany expect from Britain in return for a helping hand? Cancellation of Cameron’s current plans to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU?

          As a general principle it pays to compartmentalise issues rather than to create a mass of conflicting cross-claims which may lead to unintended and disadvantageous consequences.

  13. Javelin
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The biggest threats you talk about are aggressive. I think you use the word threat to mean “threatened by” or overt threats.

    Threats also come from (1) passive aggressive (2) economic incompetence (3) collateral damage (4) negative potential energy.

    As I have said for years there is a very real threat from the EU constitution that has been built like a fortress. Powerful, commanding and strong. But it is vulnerable to takeovers from extremists and those who don’t sharp out national interests.

    The EU looks more and more like Japan – if only in the scale of its malaise. The idea that countries or companies would lower their salaries and standards of living to adjust for the strong Euro exchange rate ignores the reality of real humans in real jobs. In a soverign state with its own currency changing the fx rate is natural and not really noticed. A 15% fx rate slide has little effect. A 15% fall in salaries has a huge impact on a country and the people involved. It leads to socio economic strife. It leads to long term depression in areas that would otherwise thrive. Eventually tension between the Germans wanting dominance and Med countries not wanting to be sub servants will result in a sudden fracture. We need economics to create mutal interests not 20 year economic depressions and conflicts.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JR: “The UK public was very critical of Mr Blair’s Iraq war.”
    Indeed but that hasn’t stopped the Chilcot Inquiry report being kicked into the very long grass, aided and abetted by your leader and reportedly still an avid fan of Blair.

  15. DaveM
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    “The main ways we can protect ourselves against terrorist threat are through proper controls of our borders, and through good intelligence and police action here at home.”

    We have the tools, but without full sovereignty and proper funding we can’t use them properly.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. The ECHR and membership of the EU, which requires we sign up to the ECHR, is the problem here.

      Getting out of the EU and freeing ourselves of Judge made law will be liberation beyong belief.

  16. Andyvan
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’d have thought the best way to stop terrorism would be for Britain not to participate in the illegal invasion, occupation, rendition, torture, sanctions, regime change and support for despots that it seems so willing to do at the behest of America.

    • Monty
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      So your advice is that we allow our foreign policy and military operations to be dictated to us, by those who threaten terrorism against the public.
      That’s utterly bankrupt, even as a logical premise. (Some extremist ed)Islamists are just as violent and sadistic against states which have no involvement in the middle east whatsoever. Thailand suffers terrorist attacks pretty much every day. The victims are killed for no other reason than their non-muslim religious affiliation.

      • forthurst
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        “So your advice is that we allow our foreign policy and military operations to be dictated to us, by those who threaten terrorism against the public.”

        It was ‘our’ illegal invasions in the ME, Libya etc, whose real purpose was to destroy states with powerful secular central government, whose toxic by-product was the terrorists of whom you complain. It is said that Nature abhors a vacuum; well, terrorists just adore a power vacuum; it is their nursury and stamping group were they can prosper to deploy their own destructive capabilities.

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think the realisation should be that there will be no military win…anywhere at any time.

    The enemy is well within and reveals as Human Rights lawyers of late. Seems a battlefield is not safe for the righteous because your leaders will return to punish you. Never mind that you risked everything on their command and your sense of right. Well, you thought you were right…for quite some time.

    I served in the RAF for a large duration of the Cold War and apart from the 1st class technical training it was a totally dismal period, consuming vast sums of money…and here we go again, only those having to perform will need to be aware that they are at great risk from their own.

    I think I’d have to eradicate the enemy at home first and gradually move further out. Trouble is that too many here are the wrong people in the right places and are the cause of our weakness. So impotence will surely reign and still vast sums wasted.

  18. English Pensioner
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The problem with every thing that we do in this country, and it applies to other areas than where we intervened militarily, is that those who do the planning never seem to look at the possible unexpected consequences.
    Take Libya, for example. Throw out Gaddafi, and then have democratic elections on the western model, and all will be sweetness and light. No one seemed to consider that the opposition to Gaddafi was only united in one respect, a common aim to get rid of him so that they in turn could become dictator. So now we have ongoing fighting and probably more deaths than would have occurred if Gadafi had remained.
    Similarly, in Iraq, no forward planning, just an idealistic version of a democratic country! As for Afghanistan, there didn’t even seem to be a vision for the future other than some belief that the Taliban would give in and join a peaceful government!
    We’d have spent the money far more wisely on decent border controls (inspecting every vehicle entering the country) and better security services.

  19. Richard
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I have read in the Telegraph of 21/12/2014 :

    “North Korean students were paid by a British university to study computer courses that included modules on identifying weaknesses in networks [which] could be exploited by hackers.

    Two offspring of the regime’s elite, studying at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, were given bursaries worth tens of thousands of pounds to study masters courses in computer science at Westminster University in London under an extraordinary and rare cultural exchange programme.

    Modules of the course at Westminster include understanding cyber attacks and assessing whether networks are vulnerable to malicious hackers.”


    If true, this is just one example of many.

    I no longer believe that our leaders, our institutions, or our judiciary wish to protect us.

    • William Gruff
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      I no longer believe that our leaders, our institutions, or our judiciary wish to protect us.

      They wish only to suckle at the public tit for as long as possible.

  20. Gary
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    This argument is absurd.

    if you annex a piece a territory, put your own people there and ask them if they support you, what do you think the answer would be? !

    Better ask the people who were displaced what they think…….

    It reminds me of apartheid South Africa. The whites were asked what they thought, the blacks were not.

    • Tom William
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Since you use the word absurd you must believe you have indisputable facts.

      Just who was “displaced” from the Falkland Islands? And Bermuda? And when?

      As for Gibraltar, which was ceded as a result of a war 250 or so years ago, do you think Calais should still be English?

      However if you suggest on the same argument that the Crimea should indeed be Russian – again – I would agree.

      • bluedog
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        ‘do you think Calais should still be English?’

        Indeed. And it is not too late to reverse the defeat at Castillon in 1453 when Aquitaine was lost.

        • William Gruff
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

          Aquitaine was never part of England nor English and so was never lost. Those kings of England who were dukes of Aquitaine were legally vassals of the king of France, though they claimed to be kings of ffrance – a diplomatic nicety, even if they did him no homage.

      • William Gruff
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Gibraltar 1704 – making it English and not ‘British’.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted December 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Ceded 1713 in perpetuity – so British not English.

      • Gary
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        It is not the annexing of land by war, as bad as that is, that is absurd. It is asking your own people that you put into the annexed territory what they want and then using that as a justification of the annexation ! Talk about a tortured tautology.

        BTW : are you suggesting the “empty land” justification ? ie there was nobody there, so we took it. That old chestnut.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Russia must be considered a threat and the reason why NATO continues to be relevant. It behaves in a belligerent way, regularly tests NATO defence responses in the air and at and under the sea. It possesses the capability to inflict huge damage if the worst came the the worst, remote though that possibility may be. Short of the worst case scenario, there will continue to be significant border frictions. The presence of the Russian diaspora in countries fomerly part of the USSR offer plenty of opportunities for trouble.

    The UK does not control its borders so far as the rest of the EU is concerned; control has been surrendered. The large influx in recent years is evidence of that fact.

    Significant areas of foreign policy are beyond UK control. It seems to have had little influence on EU policy in the Ukraine which appears to have been the preserve of Germany, Poland and others – with the disastrous consequences you have commented on.

    Foreign military interventions, apart from Libya, have been at the behest of the USA. None can be described as successful when set against their initial stated aims. And the Anglo/French Libyan intervention has finished up a shambles.

    I am not persuaded that legislating to spend 0.7% of GDP adds to national security. It would be better employed on our own internal security and armed forces.

  22. They Work for Us?
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Disgracefully we lack the resolution and ruthlessness to protect our interests against all comers. Remember Machiavelli’s principles for sound rule. We should stand no nonsense from anyone transgressing our interests.
    Our politicians and the Foreign Office should be told that it is career limiting to want to be liked rather than to be ruthless in protecting our interests.

  23. Terry
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Let’s face it, Britain is finished as a world power and the rest of the world knows it. That is clear from these attacks on sovereignty in the Falklands and in Gibraltar.

    We have the second largest debt per head in the world and have now so depleted our armed forces that we can barely defend our own coastal waters, let alone those of other countries. The most damaging cut was to wipe out the Harrier squadrons that at the time, were 100% operational. And all, so it appears, to boost the cash paid out in Oversea Aid programmes. Why is Cameron so obsessed with this to the grotesque detriment of our armed forces ?
    It is clear, we can longer afford to act like a world power and with such dumb thinking at the top, why do we continue to pretend we are something we are not?

    I find the whole idea abhorrent that we now have to borrow more in order to freely hand over that money to foreign Governments in the vain hope that it will help the poorer people in those Nations, when there are thousands of people in this country who require our Government help. Cancer patients dying because the NHS cannot afford the drugs to cure them but there is always enough to hand over to some distant cause across the world. Never enough for this country to help its own citizens, though.

    If there is a logic behind this I am unable to see it- if anyone can explain what it is, I shall be grateful.

    • bluedog
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      ‘ The most damaging cut was to wipe out the Harrier squadrons that at the time, were 100% operational’

      Yes, and a squadron of Spitfires could be made operational too. The Harriers were obsolescent and only able to prevail when provided with air-cover by a competent fighter like the Typhoon. Thanks to 30 years of poor planning, the RN lacked an aircraft carrier that could fly a fighter aircraft to cover the Harriers.

      There is no reason why the UK cannot re-emerge as a competent minor global power, it just requires focus and a clear plan to enable. A PM whose core competency is mastery of the transitory and ephemeral may not be the best person to develop and implement a coherent strategic plan.

      The Falklands are of critical importance in view of the UK’s claim to large swathes of Antarctica, a legacy of the zenith of empire. The Falklands are an essential base for the exploitation of Antarctic resources, currently precluded, but with a bit more global warming, potentially an important global development.

      In addition, from the Falklands it is possible to control access to the South Atlantic from both the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which is why we own the Falklands. There was a time when discussion of sea control and ‘blockade’ was understood and considered acceptable in polite society. We used to conduct blockades frequently, for example in the North Sea between 1914-18 and 1939-45.

      One questions whether British political leadership is really up for a thorough examination of these issues.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        May I say, I am so glad that someone else has recognized the importance of the Falklands. And not just the Falklands, but South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands. All of which Argentina lays claim to. Argentina’s claim over the Falklands is tenuous at best, but to claim the other territories just goes to show her real intent and aim.

        Well said, sir !

      • Martyn G
        Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        “Thanks to 30 years of poor planning, the RN lacked an aircraft carrier that could fly a fighter aircraft to cover the Harriers”. Well, that is true but made no difference to the Falkland Islands war, when the unaided Harriers took a terrible toll on the Argentine fighter aircraft.
        And as for being obsolescent, ask your self which nation bought our Harrier fleet and who has the biggest fleet of Harriers still in service? And perhaps why that is so?

        • Terry
          Posted December 23, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          When he says “cover” the Harriers, I think he means “replace”. Furthermore, after refurb they should have been good for another 10 years service why otherwise carry it out? But you know that as do I. Unfortunately, us plebs do not matter to the Quad – they of super intelligence. For they follow the ways of Blair and Brown who knew everything about everything. Well, they thought they did and look where that took us.

        • bluedog
          Posted December 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          In the Falklands War the RN deployed a fighter version of the Harrier, but that was thirty years ago. The abolition of the Fleet Air Arm’s fixed wing operations came later and the final Harriers were a ground-attack variant flown off RN ships by the RAF; an operationally cumbersome and inefficient exercise. The US Marines can operate their Harriers under cover from the USN’s F18 Hornets and Super-Hornets. For an existing Harrier operator, purchase of the UK Harrier fleet made sense.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink


        I wonder if the F 35 is going to live up to expectations and give us the all-round operational capability it’s manufacturers claim?

        A lot of experts are saying it’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. One thing’s for certain, it’s massively expensive for what it is.

        And if we compare its flight envelope with some front line aircraft of over 50 years ago (higher, faster, further, pay load etc.) it lags behind. The Avro (Canada) Arrow would eat it. And of its so-called ‘stealth’ capabilities, it has been found that old long-wave radar equipment from the second world war can detect it from far away.

        Yep! I’m right with you when you doubt the competence of the British political leadership. And it’s our security they’re gambling with.


        • bluedog
          Posted December 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, Tad. It remains to be seen how effective the F35 really is, but there is no alternative at this stage. One reads that the F35 may be the last manned fighter and that drones are the future, which may finally be technically feasible. Certainly the first nations to master air to air combat by drone will open up a huge lead over manned fighter aircraft. The spirit of Duncan Sandys will be relieved. The great tragedy was the cancellation of the TSR2, largely under pressure from the US.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted December 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            Yes, drones are the future. Fantastic for extra-judicial killings often carried out with total disregard for national sovereignty. They do away with expensive and controversial detentions and high-profile court cases. Just designate your target a threat to your security, get your drone to follow him, and blow him up. Operated from the comfort of an armchair on your own soil, they keep these things distant. Obama and Netanyahu love them.

            Reply Wrongly used they may also lead to some high profile court cases.

      • Terry
        Posted December 23, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        They were 100% operational because they had just completed a refurb programme costing £Millions. They would have been invaluable around Libya and after selling them cheaply to the Americans for “spares” we were left without a carrier borne aircraft. What were the Quad thinking of when they ordered this? Their dumb action demonstrates why we should never allow professional politicians to run our country. They lack the experience and knowledge gained from working in a real world environment. It’s about time we laid down minimum qualifications required to become an MP – Cabinet Minister. Going to the right school and having the right connections just doesn’t ‘do’ it any more.

  24. lojolondon
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The greatest threat to the UK (and England) is from the creeping power of the EU. That plus in six months time the SNP will take Scotland, Miliband will take his usual negotiating stance of promising anything and everything they want, and will rule the UK as a Labour/SNP coalition, ensuring that he commits as much as possible to the EU and to “global warming”, moves that can never be undone.
    There will be astronomical damage done to our country by Lab/SNP before 2020, and we will be very lucky if we still have control of the Falklands and Gibralta at the end of that time.

    • William Gruff
      Posted December 24, 2014 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Milliband can only rule England and Wales as part of a Labour / SNP coalition, not the ‘U’K.

  25. waramess
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    If Spain and Argentina were our only threats then I think we could think ourselves very lucky.

    I would suggest that our greatest threats are in fact the EU nad our own politicians who between them will bring the economy to it’s knees.

    No idle statement given the EU energy policy and our own politicians unwavering subservience to it.

    Uncompetetive and unreliable energy will, in the medium term make the supposed threat from Spain and Argentina look like a walk in the park compared to the consequences resulting from an inability to compete internationally except between others in the EU.

    Forget all these overseas adventures and concentrate on getting out of the EU and, as you say, protecting our borders.

  26. agricola
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    In both Spain and Argentina the claims are a diversion for home consumption by both governments away from the parlous state of their economic performance..

    For Spain there is no moral driver. If they were so concerned they would give Catalonia , Ceuta and Melilla their independence. The stance is pure hypocrisy.

    For Argentina there are similar economic drivers, but their desire to get their hands on oil in Falklands waters is paramount.

    Much of our military activity in the Middle East has destabilised the counties concerned. We may have removed despotic regimes, but we also lifted the lid for anarchic fanaticism to take root in the form of militant Islam. This has been allowed to feed back to within our own shores. I think we have a duty to eliminate it. Ultimately something approaching democracy or ethnic federalism should be the aim. We were successful in Europe and Japan after WW2 so it may be possible. My only caveat is how ready are the people of these areas ready for it.

    Thinking of UK security you are correct. If measures taken are to be effective then it can only happen after divorce from political EU. Some argue that we should be inside to effect change. I say that setting an example of success outside is more likely to make people inside want something similar and then take steps to get it.

    Integration of the ethnic minorities and the teaching of a British moral code in our schools should be a priority. Religious education had a bad track record well before Islam arrived on our shores so it should be banned. The principal should be one education, one law, one nation. with no compromises. Those that cannot accept this should be directed to where they might achieve their goals beyond our shores.

  27. Stephen Berry
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    John says, “At the high level, the UK’s first national interest must be to promote the prosperity, peace and happiness of UK citizens.” Agreed. So lets take a scientific attitude and look at those countries whose foreign policy has been most successful in doing this for their citizens. After all, if we wanted to decide on an economic policy, we should look to emulate those countries which had been the most economically successful.

    I would contend that the two most successful European countries in promoting the peace and prosperity of their citizens were Sweden and Switzerland. Over the last 100 years when literally millions of Europeans have been slaughtered in various conflicts, I doubt if more than a handful of Swiss or Swedish citizens have lost their lives in conflict. Both these countries also enjoy a high standard of living with Switzerland probably the wealthiest country in the world.

    So what is the foreign policy which performs this trick? Quite simply put, the Swiss and Swedes mind their own business as far is humanly possible. They even managed to stay out of the two world wars. If the UK were to do this for the next 100 years, it’s a strong possibility that it and not Switzerland would be the wealthiest country in the world.

    In any case, I will raise a glass to 2015 as the first year for a very long time that British troops were not engaged in a conflict somewhere in the world.

    Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Possibly the greatest threat is potential enemies thinking we are as important as we think we are.
    The next greatest threat is possibly believing we are as important as we think.
    And the one threat after that is continuing to try to prove we are important to a world where a AK47 is cheaper than a ceremonial spear.

  29. David
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    @”The main ways we can protect ourselves against terrorist threat are through proper controls of our borders”
    As many of the people responsible for the attacks in 2005 were born here, how would that help?

  30. Aatif Ahmad
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Develop thorium based nuclear power and develop shale gas. Bring down the price of oil to $10 and all threats and problems emanating from the Middle East will disappear.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, while I would (almost completely) support Theresa May’s plan to partially close a notorious backdoor route for mass immigration by insisting that all foreign students must leave the country at the end of their studies, and then if they want they can apply for work visas from abroad, the SNP have joined with Labour and the LibDems in objecting to her proposal:


    “Sending foreign students home will hurt Scotland”

    This is of course a matter reserved to the UK Parliament, but there is no chance that a law could be passed with the present makeup of the Commons.

    Personally I would make it the general rule but allow exceptions for a small number of particularly talented individuals of good character, who could be offered visas without the need to first leave the country and then apply.

    • William Gruff
      Posted December 24, 2014 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      Personally I would make it the general rule but allow exceptions for a small number of particularly talented individuals of good character, who could be offered visas without the need to first leave the country and then apply.

      I cannot be the only reader to laugh at this. Denis, you’re a tonic. ‘Personally’ I particularly liked ‘a small number of particularly talented individuals of good character.’ Stap me vittals (vitals, not victuals) and swelp me mither, you never fail to amuse.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Your point being? Oh, you don’t have one, it’s just an attempt as personal abuse in the absence of any point that might be worth making.

  32. DaveM
    Posted December 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    A poll not commissioned by the UK Europhiles OR Eurosceptics. Interessant……


  • 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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