A New Year message for 2015

Next year could be a decisive year for England and for the UK. There is a lot riding on the election in May.
This should be the year when the business of England is at last on the agenda. After 15 years of one sided and unfair devolution, Parliament must come to a judgement about how to allow England a voice and a vote over her own affairs. England is not willing to see large new powers granted to other parts of the UK without some justice for us. I will continue to speak for England.
This could also be the year when the UK decides it does want a new relationship with the European Union. If the squabbling Eurosceptics can put aside their differences over the pace and extent of change in the relationship with the EU, they can win the election. An election win will mean a renegotiation of the relationship. More importantly it will mean a referendum on whether the new relationship is worth having, or whether we should simply leave the EU and seek to sort out the consequentials once we have given notice. Those who believe there is no chance of a sufficient change to warrant staying in will then have their opportunity to persuade the country to leave. Seeing if there is a deal on offer first is a necessary part of either getting what we want through negotiation or showing the country that the EU is unreasonable and unfriendly to the UK’s needs. Moving straight to an In/out vote as some wish would be a more hazardous enterprise.
Years of dramatic constitutional change have been deliberately undersold to the UK electors. Labour’s Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon treaties were mighty steps on the way to EU control, presented as minor moves. The devolution settlement was presented as important in Scotland but played down or ignored in England. At the very least the debates running up to the election of 2015 will be a political education on the big issues which remain unresolved, or are left in a state which many English people find unacceptable once they are explained.
I look forward to speaking for an independent UK with a new relationship with the EU, and to speaking for England. A more independent UK could achieve more, be more prosperous, and truer to its history and the beliefs of its people.

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90 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have neither seen or heard anything from any of the the main Legacy Parties that suggest that there will ever be justice for England and the English.

    As for this, referendum, well, I have never believed in it right from day one. Why ? For the simple reason that we have committed ourselves to the process of, EVER CLOSER UNION !!

    It never ceases to amaze me how gullible and stupid people are, even very intelligent people. It is a classic conmans trick. Offer something to someone that they want, in the full knowledge that they will never get that which they need. Building false hope and leading them along the path.

    Until you remove the legal commitment to, EVER CLOSER UNION, you will be forever bound to do just that, irrespective of what might be gained. Which incidentally, will not be much.

    The only way, and IT IS THE ONLY WAY, is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Owen Patterson MP seems to understand this, but sadly so very few do.

    All this is, is a ploy to prevent mass defections form the Conservative Party and its total destruction. Even if Cameron loses the election, if it is by a small margin he might gain enough support to remain in office. If not, there are others in the Europhile camp who will put on the Eurosceptic sheepskin jacket, and continue as before.

    You have all been warned.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Unless Cameron moves decisively and by 180 degrees on most issue and especially the EU and the open door EU immigration then he will clearly will throw this second election even more decisively than he threw the last open goal election.

      This despite all the help Miliband is giving him with his lefty loon policies like the rent act II. No one wants ever closer union, open door EU immigration, hugely high taxes, pointless wars, over regulation, dreadful public services and the expensive energy green crap. They want the exact opposite of what the LibDem “moderniser” & scientifically illiterate Cameron is offering them.

      He can still win, but genetically his is just Libdem at heart. He actually actually prefers to throw the election.

      It is a tragedy that he has wasted the huge opportunity he had in 2010 to reform the country and have three+ terms in power. The country is crying out for it with nearly 50% supporting UKIP or a sensible & real Tory party.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Despite the rhetoric all three legacy parties are pro the EU and therefore anti British and English. All their actions over the years have shown to be absolute lies and spin. So why should we believe your Party now?
      A leader who reneges on “cast iron” promises on referendums, his contract and “no ifs or buts” promise on reducing mass migration to the 10’s of thousands? His claim to stop the crafty salami slice give away of our sovereignty to the EU (Meaningless Referendum lock legislation) whilst signing us up to the European Arrest Warrant so we can be dragged off to backward criminal justice systems without British judicial scrutiny?
      His promise to reduce the clear this deficit in this Parliament whilst giving away £25 billion to EU and foreign aid?
      Reform of the Human Rights Farce?
      The list goes on and on……………………I know who I, my family and friends will all be voting for in May and it isn’t ANY of the extreme failed untrustworthy legacy parties. No matter how many smears in the main stream press.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Here is Australia, self government works. We really do not need the EU.
    So how do we withdraw?
    We cannot walk out – that has been fixed by Article 50 and article 48 of Mr Brown’s Lisbon Treaty.
    We could go for the Swiss option – and invite decades and decades of well paid fatties discussing trifles settling nothing.
    Or we could – perhaps – just go for the Norway option.
    What is likely to happen, though, seems to be drift. Lots of people are very happy where we are at the moment. And they hold the power. (Dame Lucy?)

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Mike, we can take note of the options exemplified by other countries but we do not need to limit ourselves to those options; we can choose our own.

      Seems to me the time is right for the Commonwealth.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary we are still a sovereign nation and we can still walk out any time we want; if we abrogated the EU treaties as a whole then that abrogation would of course include abrogation of Article 50 TEU, which merely lays down an agreed withdrawal procedure under those agreed treaties. But that would be a disorderly withdrawal, and it would be far better to first try to use Article 50 TEU to make an orderly withdrawal.

  3. Excalibur
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year, JR. I recall being dismayed when you first mooted in these columns the idea of a negotiated settlement to determine our EU future. It smacked to me then. as it does now, of opportunities for obfuscation, of blurring the issues and confusing the electorate. Ultimately it will lead to a dog’s dinner of an agreement that will satisfy no one. What we need is not, as you say, a more independent UK, but a wholly independent UK. We are quite capable of making our own way in the world, and indeed, I believe it would help the national psychology to be able to act in our own interests, without the EU straitjacket.

    So, another year ends. The pace of their passing increases as one gets older. The blind senator,T.P. Gore, grandfather of Gore Vidal, said they pass “like snowflakes on a river”. And so they do. Best wishes for 2015.

    Reply If there is no good offer then we vote for Out

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      There is and never will be “a good offer” as you must well know JR. It is just inflicting 2 more years damage on the country to delay in this way. It will also lose the Tories votes, not that they are likely to win anyway.

      We can be sure that Cameron and the Libdem wing of the Tories will only allow a referendum if they think they (+ the BBC, state sector, big business, the EU, tax payers money & CBI types) can swing it for an in vote.

      The man cannot even be trusted on the simple, direct and very clear promises given to the electorate of Cast Iron, on IHT tax or on the deficit.

      He can however find room for an AV referendum, 299+ tax increases, further attacks on pensions, the absurd gender neutral insurance and pension laws and gay marriage. We know exactly where his priorities lie.

      This was very clear when Cameron first ratted, threw the last election and then appointed Lord Patten to the BBC trust. Nothing has changed Cameron is just the same ratting man now, just as John Major is just the same man now. They have both learned nothing the only difference and Cameron lacks the excuse of vacuity.

    • Hope
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I think your party has had forty years to find out what was on offer. Major sought to continue to give away the sovereignty of our country to the EU. If that is too much to understand then why are you not listening to Merkel, Borroso, Junker, Van Rompouy? Their message was clear to me and the people I speak to. In contrast I have not heard one person say they believe Cameron.

      EVEL is seen by Euro fanatics as a form of nationalism that must not be allowed if the EU project is to remain alive. Your leader, and those before him, will not allow it. Hague did not have to give fudge options, he only had to to provide one option: the same right for English people as those of the other devolved parts of the UK. After all the Westminster rabble rant about equality so much it should be easy to implement.

      I note from the DT paper, Merkel is including an address to protesters who are against the ‘Islamifacation of the west’ which marches each week in Dresden. She too would appear to have an immigration problem that is causing concern in her country. There is a growing concern that a proper debate about Islam needs to be had, labelling people as racists will not help the problem or address people’s concerns whatsoever.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Sounds very optimistic. The problem is the Tory party is well over 50% Europhile, high tax socialist, in the Matthew Paris/BBC think mode (as indeed is 299+ tax increasing Cameron). They almost all voted for the insane climate change act, want more EU, an open door immigration policy and voted for all the recent counter productive wars. They are clearly quite unsuitable to decide anything. Being just “not quite as bad as Labour” is really not enough. The Tory voters & MPs are nearly all in England yet even now Cameron is wet on the English issue and fails to defend the English. He rarely even says the word England. He is still moving towards to a break up of England against its will with an unwanted Mayor for Greater Manchester and other moves.

    The MP voting system is also strongly against the Tories all thanks to Cameron’s incompetence (and the one sided Libdem deal). He failed to get it fixed when it was perhaps the most important thing to do. The only way to win in May is some informal UKIP deal, but both parties seem to prefer to lose.

    Clearly a Labour government or rainbow Coalition is what we are very likely to get. It will be even more of a disaster than Cameron has been. Cameron could still quite easily win but he simply has not got the heart and soul, nor a working compass.

    Time to sell up and leave the UK perhaps or, at least, move you investments away from the UK to countries with sensible pro business policies, cheap energy and sensible tax levels.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      You may well continue to speak for a just deal for England, but your party & leadership are simply not listening.

      Nor are they listening over cheaper energy, the pointless wars, the absurdly high taxation rates, the huge over regulation of everything, the EU, the essentially racist EU open door immigration policy, the abysmal public “services” generally delivered, the second rate schools, poor hospitals and even incompetent rubbish collection.

      • backofanenvelope
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Has anyone noticed the Swedish GE? Left wing alliance – 40%. Right wing alliance 40%. Anti-immigration party 20%. So the left and right wing parties have formed a coalition and the anti-immigration party is the opposition. Perhaps that is our future – a ConLab government with Mr Farage as leader of Her Majesty’s opposition!

        • Richard1
          Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          The anti immigration party in Sweden is a BNP-type party. What is interesting about Sweden, contrary to leftist perception in the UK, is the consensus which has enabled radical supply side reform such as tax cuts and privatization and competition in health and education.

  5. matthu
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning, John.

    In the Express you are quoted as saying ““I hope the Government get a deal from Brussels we all like” implying that you think it is perfectly possible for the government to get a deal in the short time available that would persuafe you it was worth staying within the structures of the EU?

    Perhaps you would outline for us the minimum you feel would be both possible and sufficient to be able to present a deal that you would cause you to campaign to stay within the EU?

    Thanks.

    Reply I have set this out many times. It is a relationship based on free trade with the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      At the moment the trump card held by the Ins is to assert that the UK needs to be a member of the EU in order for businesses here to be able to access EU markets. Unless and until there is a very clear argument to settle this matter – giving confidence that UK based businesses will still be able to access EU markets – I see very little chance the Outs will win a referendum, irrespective of the renegotiation. Clear enough arguments havent yet been made!

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        The much reduced trading with Russia is affecting EU industry and business e.g. tourism, so the supposition that our exit from the EU would see us ostrasized is demonstrably a pathetically weak argument.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Richard1

        luckily the totally ignorant, incompetent and useless EU has managed to start this process for us. They have just enforced a new VAT regime for micro and small businesses which comes into effect in a few days time. The insanity of VATMOSS will affect 1,000’s and 1’000’s of people. Even those below the UK VAT threshold have to comply with this. They are left with 2 choices now. They have to comply with all the different VAT schemes in operation across Europe or cease trading with them .

        Do you know what? I haven’t heard one single politician criticise this. Do they not realise the whole job and economy boost that has just happened is directly due to these small businesses.

        Meanwhile this rule change DOES NOT apply to large corporations who go on using Luxembourg etc as a base to avoid paying tax in the UK.

        So when the CBI and the City tell you they are in favour of the EU, you know why. Meanwhile the SME community who employ 67% workforce and generate 53% of GDP are increasingly anti doing business with the EU at all.

        • alan jutson
          Posted December 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Libertarian

          Yes more complication and cost.

          Glad I am now retired and out of it.

          Happened to mention this to a family member over Xmas, as his Company buy and sell products from and to many Countries.

          He was completely unaware of the situation, and was going to contact his accountants immediately after the holidays for clarification.

          It would seem HMRC have also been caught cold on this one as well, as reports suggest they are totally and utterly unaware of the chaos this will cause in a few days time and are seeking clarification themselves !

          Would seem our Politicians who voted for this did not have a clue of the repercussions of this either.

          Not sure of the absolute details myself, but at first glance would seem that you have to register for VAT in any country where you sell goods as VAT will be paid to that country where any sales are made.

          Just shows again the problem of having MP’s making far reaching decisions for business without any personal commercial experience or knowledge.

          Talk about absolute chaos in the making !

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            HMRC has been sending out briefings about VATmoss for a while.

            All the big Accountancy firms have run seminars on it, one assumes that the smaller accountants went to these seminars or got the same briefings from HMRC.

            Silly idea and easily worked around by the big boys but it has not come up on the rails.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        The arguments have been made in great detail, but are not receiving the attention they deserve.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        So you’re saying that the Ins would win the referendum on a lie. Well, you could well be right about that, because hardly anybody in the mass media or indeed elsewhere outside the actual Out campaign would be inclined to expose it as a lie, especially with the government on the In side.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        We have a trade deficit with the EU in excess of £40 billion last year alone. So who would loose out in any trade war? 8% of our GDP and falling is accountable to trade to the EU. However, that is an overestimate as many goods passing through Dutch ports for onward transportation counts as EU trade as does the deep water ports in Northern Ireland for onward transportation in the world. China, Japan, USA etc. don’t have to be in the political union to trade with it. It is and always has been the creation of United States of Europe by incremental stealthy Treaty change by the disingenuous legacy parties.
        £12 billion annual membership fee for improving our competitions infrastructure and farmers. Billions more in CAP costs and loss of our fishing industry.
        Where is this voice in the world now that we are on equal footing with the other 27. We’ve seen how effective Mr Cameron was on stopping the federalist Mr Junker’s appointment. Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande have put Mr Cameron in his place stopping the free movement of people, so we get more £billions spent on health and education costs.
        We are told what to do by the Germo-Franco led EU dictatorship!

    • David Murfin
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Matthu asked what you thought was sufficient and i
      Parliamentary sovereignty, if that means implementing the will of the people, is not compatible with ‘ever closer union’ and indeed many of the existing EU rules.

    • David Murfin
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I’ll try again.
      Matthu asked what you thought was sufficient and
      Parliamentary sovereignty, if that means implementing the will of the people, is not compatible with ‘ever closer union’ and indeed many of the existing EU rules.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Re Reply.

      In the event that the renegotiated position of the UK in the EU did give you all that you want, John, in what practical sense would the UK be able to operate with the other 27 Members, whose membership was so totally different?

      It seems to me that your acceptable result would be so unacceptable to the other members that it has no prospect of succeeding, not because of anything the UK government may or may not do but because your objective is inherently incompatible with the EU concept.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Then you have to leave the EU. Because the EU is a proto-superstate in the making.

      We can still trade with the EU, so long as we maintain access via the EEA / Single Market. This can be achieved within 2 years of the UK issuing an Article 50 declaration, signaling its intention to seek a new relationship. So long as we are in the EU, we are bound to EVER CLOSER UNION.

  6. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    There will not be a new deal with the EU because as of May of next year Dave will be making his exit into history. Let us remember this will be of his own making because while he was busying himself with none issues like “gay marriage”, he let a load of boundary changes go through to his disadvantage. I also predict that the election will resemble something that goes on in banana republic too. Nothing has been done to stop people being locked out of the polling stations as happened in 2010. JR says its down to the councils to sort out, FFS these people cannot organise timely dustbin collections let alone run a genial election. While you can draw your own conclusions about “postal” voting.

    • English Pensioner
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      There may be improvements to the economy under this government, but Cameron will go down in history for just one thing, “Gay Marriage”.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        An improving economy? I will believe it when I see it. The Xmas sales results from the retailers should be anything but “below expectations” after my trips into Newcastle city centre. I had no trouble getting parked as close as I could to Northumberland St. While of the punters on the streets, of those that had carrier bags, they tended to come from the deep discount retailers. Also the stuff that I have bought online has been delivered a lot more quickly than I thought it would. So obviously there is a lot less demand around than the politicians would like you to believe. NB Newcastle is no retail backwater either, it has the second biggest M&S outside of Oxford Street.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      The point is that the boundary changes have NOT gone through.

      It was backbench Tory MPs opposing reform of the House of Lords who gave the perfidious LibDems a pretext for blocking the planned boundary changes, and if the bias in the electoral system works in the same way as in May 2010 the Tories could get 7% more votes than Labour but not win an overall majority. I wonder whether Tory defenders of the present unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords would then reconsider whether they had made a wise choice on that one.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Dame Rita Webb,

      I quote Norman Tebbit here:

      “If Ukip and the Conservatives were to agree that their mutual interest lies in the defeat of Labour and Lib Dem candidates and that – to that end – each party would support the candidate most likely to keep those out, and withdraw its own candidate to achieve it, there is little doubt that the Tories would emerge as the largest party – probably with a majority.”

      A Labour win need not be inevitable and if they do get in it will be the Tory party’s fault entirely.

      Norman Tebbit suggests how we will get a Tory government AND more Eurosceptic MPs in Parliament even if not all of them are Conservatives.

      The era of voting Tory to keep Labour out must end and people should not be afraid, nor ashamed, to vote Ukip. Voting blindly for the Tory party is what has got us the democratic deficit in the first place.

  7. Peter Van Leeuwen
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Any relationship “with” the EU implies the UK being outside, unless you’re talking about a relationship with yourself. It will be interesting to see whether the Conservatives can keep close ranks. Success with your fight!

    Reply We must not stay within the centralising treaties.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Peter

      You may have seen the recent Opinium poll about young people and their voting intentions. Apparently there are 3 million voters who are able to vote in this election for the first time. Around 3% intend to vote for UKIP. Not many more for the Lib Dems. These young people are described as overwhelmingly pro EU and their main concerns are housing, jobs, and the costs of education.

      Can’t wait.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Young people either in (or recently out of) education – affected by the left leaning educational establishment.

        There is a reason why older people veer away from the EU and it isn’t because they hark back to the ‘good old days’.

        It’s because they have more life experience and are wiser.

        No wonder Labour want the voting age reduced to 16. It would cause a headache for the Tories.

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted January 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          The opposite is of course equally relevant. Some of the young see some of the old as out of touch, dull, prejudiced and inadequate. They think the older generation have been conned and this is not going to happen to them.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Peter/Yulwaymartin

        How’s youth unemployment doing in the EU remind us, still 50% ? Which country created 1.5 million new jobs last year and is on course for another 1 million new jobs in 2015? Remind us which pro EU party introduced tuition fees .

        First time voters in the UK are faced with many more parties to vote for than previously so I wouldn’t be too cocky in your predictions especially as the only anti EU party just WON the last national election.

      • Peter Van Leeuwen
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        @yulwaymartyn: That is good news, and it confirms what I see in my family in law in Britain (in which all generations appear to be pro EU)

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted January 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Good to hear that Peter. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      “Any relationship “with” the EU implies the UK being outside”

      No, it doesn’t imply that all; apart from anything else because the EU has its own legal personality separate from those of the UK and the 27 other member states, see Article 47 TEU and also Declaration 24.

      • Peter Van Leeuwen
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Denis, I stand corrected.
        In a more colloquial manner of speaking, the Dutch (forget Wilders) view the EU as “us”, something we belong to, and the eurosceptic people on this website always speak of the EU as “them”.

        For 2015, I wish you all the best in your struggle.
        (if you were Don Quichotte, I would also wish you all the best)

    • outsider
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter van Leeuwen, I think we are really talking about the UK’s relationship with the eurozone, which can either be inside the Union or outside.
      I see that Signor Draghi of the ECB, as reported by Reuters, is calling for the eurozone nations to move to “governing together, going from co-ordination to a common decisional process, from rules to institutions.” I am not sure what this means but his first priority seems to be a single eurozone capital market. Again, it is not crystal clear what change that might entail but it would appear to separate the UK in particular further from the eurozone.
      The process of separation is therefore on-going, though presently as a result of eurozone initiatives rather than any initiatives from the UK or other non-euro member states.

      • Peter Van Leeuwen
        Posted January 1, 2015 at 2:17 am | Permalink

        @outsider: Having one currency will require more integration as the recent crisis has shown. As a minimum, a banking union will gradually beformed. I think that integration will stop well short of forming a “euroland”.

  8. Richard1
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Certainly it has become appallingly clear the extent to which Scottish devolution has fed the cancer of Scottish separatism, the exact opposite of Labour’s self-serving intention. Another disaster for the UK for the account of the Blair-Brown Labour govt to add to: the great recession caused by the explosion in spending, bad monetary policy and silly regulatory changes, the sale of the gold, the Iraq war and the Afghanistan mission creep, uncontrolled immigration, the surrender of much sovereignty to the EU, the deliberate creation of welfare dependency and the mushrooming of the bureaucratic state. Is anyone intelligent seriously thinking of voting Labour?!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Many people will vote Labour, as will many people will vote Conservative. A Conservative Party and part of a coalition Government that has not kept its original manifesto promises, has brought in laws that they have no mandate for, and have taxed (+299 times), borrowed and wasted.

      Two cheeks of the same Political Class ass !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I think you, and some others, should make a New Year’s Resolution:

      “I will stop blaming the Labour party for carrying on where my own party left off with something that my own party started in the first place.”

      • Richard1
        Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        This is not true. The budget was on its way to balance under the Conservatives, it was Labour that started run-away borrowing when even Kenyesian theory would say they should have been running surpluses. Leverage in the UK banking system was c. 20x for several decades until it rose to c. 50x under Labour. Labour not the Conservatives passed the 3 centralizing treaties of the EU. Mass immigration got out of control under Labour. The gold was sold by Labour, etc etc. The Conservatives are far from perfect but the lazy line which you and others promulgate here that the Labour and Conservative policies and record are much the same is demonstrably untrue by reference to the facts. But I guess it’s a pity to let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Now explain away the successive treacheries of the Treaty of Rome (a Tory, Heath), the Single European Act (also a Tory, Thatcher) and the Maastricht Treaty (another Tory, Major).

  9. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Both are commendable aims Mr Redwood, god speed in your pursuit of them. I am not convinced your leadership is as committed as you and much of the electorate are at best ambivalent on those two issues, not persuaded of the impact on their own lives or fearful of political correctness.

    From my perspective please add a fully transferable married couples/ household tax free allowance to your list to lower the tax burden on single earner households who incur the same costs as advantaged dual earners. Also hasten welfare reform so that a newly arrived immigrant with several children is no longer able to bank 36 thousand pounds a year take home while earning minimum wage.

    Happy New Year to you and yours sir.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I agree that you highlight two very major policy requirements John.

    I will be voting for you in the May elections, because of the above, and because of your track record as my local MP.

    However I will do so with a rather heavy heart, because unfortunately Mr Cameron will also take my vote for you, as support for his type of Conservative Party, which I certainly do not agree with.

    The Conservatives in my opinion, in order to stand a chance of government, need to reach some sort of an agreement with UKIP, not to contest certain seats which the Conservatives have absolutely no chance of winning, but UKIP have.

    Lets face it, a Labour victory, or even a Labour coalition with the LibDems, SNP or the Greens, would be an absolute disaster for our Country, and certainly more harmful than the failed and weak coalition policies of the last four years.

    Will Mr Cameron plod on as in the past without change, unfortunately I think he will, and by doing so he may well cause us to be under Socialist control after May 2015.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Tory MP “We must get more Eurosceptics in Parliament.”

      Well, if you really mean this then you will understand that the way to do it sometimes is to stand aside for UKIP rather than splitting their vote where they can win but you can’t.

      Happy New Year everyone.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      Had John Randall been standing I too would have crossed Conservative with a heavy heart to reward a fine constituency MP. That is a burden I do not have to carry as Boris Johnson was parachuted in over an outstanding local candidate David Simmonds who has done much to raise local education standards.

  11. Andyvan
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    So if the Conservatives (the party that got us into the EU) win, we might get a referendum, or maybe not if Dave changes his mind again.
    Somehow the English are suddenly going to get justice, not only with regard to the EU but also in their own Parliament against the Scottish political mafia.
    Well I’ll believe it if I see it but I’m not holding my breath.

  12. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I think David Davis puts it fairly clearly…..we go nowhere without a properly functioning H0C/Parliament.

    David Davis MP delivers lecture on Parliament and Liberty:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XppXQifOgEY

  13. Bill
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I wish you well for the coming year and agree that 2015 ought to be crucial to the future of the country. My only advice is to ‘keep on keeping on’ and to try to build alliances where you can.

    The Guardian is a loss-making newspaper funded by profits from elsewhere (e.g. Auto trader – I believe) and gives us the opinions of public school boys (Monbiot at Stowe) or socialists who send their children to fee-paying schools (Diane Abbott, Polly Toynbee). The BBC recycles information given by this pressure group. But my advice would be to look at the demographics to see whether the big block of working class voters can be effectively reached and to see whether the many Asian businesses, which would be natural conservatives, can be persuaded to see the advantages of conservatism and euroscepticism.

  14. JimS
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I want a strong United Kingdom.

    I don’t want it trussed up into EU regions.

  15. Vanessa
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Mark B is right above, the “Ever Closer Union” is embedded in all the treaties and is why the EU was set up. Even with Cameron’s famous renegotiation (ha ha ha) this will be impossible to ditch.

    Until the sensible MPs, such as yourself, start to tell the truth about the EU and explain it in simple language with important “bites” such as “your food bill is more expensive with our membership of the EU” and explain why. “The NHS is in peril under the EU” and explain why – google Angus Dalgleish (Consultant in NHS), people will never understand the length and breadth of the EU’s tentacles.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Because “Ever Closer Union” is embedded in all the treaties, it also explains the real reason for the HS2 project, and why it is rather more political than logistical. Under ‘Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system’, “introduction of provisions on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system must not create unjustified cost-benefit barriers to the preservation of the existing rail network of each Member State, but must endeavour to maintain the objective of the circulation of high-speed trains throughout the Community;” so it appears it has been agreed that expenditure on our domestic railway is not to interfere with the smooth running of the ‘interoperable’ Trans-European Network (of which HS2 will of course be a component), so we’ll all end up paying for the building of it whether or not we ever use it. To put it another way, we’re effectively going to be paying for improving one slightly clunky, but operative, national railway system from the South to the North of England and building another brand new international one there as well.

      Christopher Booker explains this in his article, 14/1/2012:

      “As we know, the high-speed trains from Birmingham will not stop at St Pancras, where the HS1 line to Paris begins. They will either stop at Euston or, as the ministry confirmed to me, will continue, via the North London line and the Channel Tunnel, direct to the Continent.
      The hidden story behind this project goes back to 1993, when Jacques Delors was busy with two gargantuan schemes for the integration of Europe. One was to give it a single currency. The other, just as ambitious, was his plan for Trans-European Networks (TENs), designed to integrate all Europe’s transport and communications systems.” and
      “Whenever a new line is built, under EU directive 96/48, it must connect “interoperably” with the rest of the network. This is why those trains from Birmingham and the North will have to connect directly with the continent. No doubt, since one can fly from Birmingham to Paris in under an hour, such trains will prove as financially disastrous as their Dutch equivalent – but nothing in the grand design is based on practical calculations. HS2 is a political project, inspired by Delors’ dream of an integrated Europe. And that is why our politicians and officials, under its spell, press on with it, regardless of common sense.
      But why can’t they just tell us this? Why does the driving force behind this insane project have to be a state secret? Not the least price we pay for being part of the “European project” is how it makes those who rule over us so routinely deceitful about almost everything they do.”

      Lastly, many thanks to our kind host and the very best to all for 2015.

  16. Old Albion
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe any worthwhile renegotiation with the EU is possible. However it is clear that other than UKIP, the political parties want to stay in. So if Cameron and the Conservatives are re-elected (which i doubt) we will have to go through the pantomime before being offered a vote. Should the in/out vote NOT be put to us on the basis of some worthless EU renegotiation ‘success’ I fear for the country’s future and the Conservatives will find themselves as popular in England as they currently are in Scotland.
    As for the democratic defecit affecting England. The silence from most of Westminster is deafening. It’s a place full of traitorious MP’s who care more about their own careers and political point scoring than they do for England.
    Your welcome voice has been a revelation. I don’t believe EVoEL is the answer. I don’t even think it’s workable. It has at least created the first stirrings of interest in the devolution mess that has been created. Keep going with your attempt to get justice for England.
    Next May’s General election could become quite an event. If the Conservatives had any sense? They would seek a pact with UKIP.
    If they don’t, England may well find itself controlled by a Labour/SNP government.
    That will be fun, won’t it ?

  17. oldtimer
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I agree with your views. But I doubt that 2015 will see a resolution of the issues of a new relationship with the EU or of England with the rest of the UK. The forces to retain the status quo on both probably are too strong to overcome in 2015. But I think the momentum for change will grow. A critical aspect of that change will need to be the leadership of the Conservative and Labour parties and how that plays out.

  18. Alan Wheatley
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    As to the new relationship with the EU, I want to see in parallel an assessment of the options available to the UK outside the EU. It seems to me a narrow and foolish approach to consider IN on certain, explained terms and OUT as a leap into the unknown.

    If OUT is a realistic possibility, as surely it must be, then any meaningful referendum must be conducted in the knowledge of what it would like to be OUT. Out of the EU but then in what?

    So, while negotiating the new relationship with the EU ALL Eurosceptics should be preparing a plan for the alternative IN.

    Referendums are not won by presenting only the negative case. Could it be those promising a referendum went to ensure they have dealt themselves a winning hand before play commences?

  19. Kenneth
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    For 2015, the elephant in the room, as always, is the political power of the BBC which, in my humble opinion, trumps all elected MPs.

    The BBC has already stated that it wants more pro-eu views in its output:

    BBC statement:
    What do the consequences mean of Britain outside Europe in terms of jobs; in terms of our status; in terms of employment…and industry and a whole range of things… and those questions it’s quite legitimate to say let’s discuss those two and then we can get perhaps some balanced and informed debate based upon actual information rather than an easy lazy ‘Oh yes! let’s leave Europe’ without thinking what the consequences might be

    Source: BBC head of political research David Cowling

    Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/journalism/subject-guides/european-union/article/art20130702112133688

    The BBC firstly cannot distinguish between Europe and the eu and secondly it worries about lazily saying “let’s leave” but does not worry about the even lazier “let’s stay”.

  20. agricola
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The Cameron’s, Miliband’s, Clegg’s appeal to the Scots was that of a lover about to be jilted because the mistress did not have in her opinion a big enough wardrobe allowance. In placating the mistress they have dumped the wife of many years, England. They are now squabbling over how much to give the wife to keep her quiet. At least two of them wish to retain their conjugal rights.

    I have not noticed the Euro-sceptics squabbling. A situation that would suit CMD. The only difference is between the real Euro-sceptics and those in the conservative party who pretend to be Eurosceptic but do nothing to achieve the end. The doubts reference renegotiation exist firstly because there is no itemised bill of demands for change, just a lot of rhetoric, and secondly because the powerbase in Brussels has repeatedly said that they refuse to agree to it. Who isn’t listening.

    Anyone serious about renegotiation would choose to do it from a position of strength, which can be achieved by invoking Article 50. Then we would see how important we are to Brussels. The sad part is that any negotiation would be with a bunch of unelected bureaucrats and not the people of Europe who may well want some of the same. Two totally different entities.

    You are right about the various treaty steps being a con. The main perpetrators being every UK government from Wilson onwards. Latterly the balkanisation of England has become part of the con, and is part of Lib/Dem/Lab policy, overt or covert. The reason is that they want England, comprising 85% of the UK population, diluted to the point where it is no threat to socialism. From Lenin onwards socialists hate lack of control. If they hate it, it must be good so go go go England in 2015.

  21. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    It is a more appropriate way of conducting a referendum with options which ask firstly about a new relationship, secondly about in or out of the EU and finally if no solution to a better deal is reached then a conclusive Out of th EU.
    An IN or OUT referendum is too closed and more like a research project which asks you to tick the boxes , yet ones answer cannot be categorised into any available boxes

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    It is looking more likely than ever that we will have a Miliband government supported by the SNP, which will certainly not provide justice for the English. The only chance the Tories will have is if they come up with some firm, credible policies on immigration which the electors will actually believe. This in turn means firm, believable policies on the EU.
    The trouble is that in view of what has happened during past five years, the Tories have an almost impossible job in convincing the electorate that they mean what they are saying. One solution could be to try to reach an agreement with UKIP as, rightly or wrongly, the electorate tends to believe UKIP actually mean what they are saying and this would ensure that any agreement with the Tories on immigration and the EU would be kept and not swept under the carpet.
    As none of this seems likely to happen, I believe we will end up with a Miliband government with English issues being totally ignored in the interests of the Labour party rather than the country.

  23. Steven Granger
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Your point about trying to renegotiate a relationship prior to a referendum is a reasonable one to the extent that, by trying to renegotiate before a referendum you neutralise a potential Europhile argument against a vote to leave. Without such a negotiation, opponents of leaving would say we should try to change the EU and renegotiate rather than simply leaving. This I think would be a powerful argument and so, to that extent, you make a fair point in arguing for a renegotiation.

    However, you consistently fail to address two “elephants in the room” as follows:

    1. To get any meaningful change of the type you claim to want would require a fundamental change to the existing treaties to either change the rules for everyone and the fundamental principles on which the EU is founded or make the UK a special case with special rules and exemptions applying only to the UK. Anyone that understands the process for treaty revisions involving the negotiations, the need to convene an intergovernmental conference, the ratification process etc. knows that this cannot possibly be completed in time to have a referendum by 2017. Any changes that can be agreed without treaty change will be inconsequential and meaningless.

    2. Your party leadership has failed to articulate the fundamental changes that are to be sought apart from an initial wish list that was so weak even the likes of Clegg and Clarke would support it! It is clear that the intention is to undertake a faux renegotiation and to try and hoodwink the electorate by hugely overhyping anything that is agreed. This links with 1 above in the sense that Cameron must understand that any changes of real substance will be impossible and must only be planning to try for cosmetic changes. When Carswell defected he confirmed that it had been made clear to him that this was the strategy with the leadership intending to campaign for “in” at the referendum.

    You have failed to comment meaningfully on the above issues beyond parroting that you yourself would vote to leave if changes were not substantial. In taking this stance you may well allow Cameron to get away with this betrayal of the people you are paid to represent. I believe that your stance has everything to do with trying to get your party re-elected and nothing to do with trying to get the best outcome for the country.

    It would be interesting to hear a meaningful argument from you about why the above points are not correct but I won’t hold my breath.

    Reply I have made it clear I want restoration of UK sovereignty, which clesrly mens outside the centralising treaties. I will vote No if ewe do not get control back.What other way is there to get us out of the EU knots that entangle us, than the renegotiation and referendum route which is now on offer from one of the main parties which could win to be able to do it. Splits in the Eurosceptic movement make it more difficult to pull off.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Granger

      What a beautifully eloquent post. And all quite correct and much in line with my views.

      Thank you.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    It was never intended that England would be left out of the devolution process, but the preferred approach to its inclusion was to break it up into nine EU regions.

    The first step, re-establishing an elected authority for London, was innocuous enough, even with the addition of a directly elected mayor; before the present GLA there had been the GLC, which was abolished by the Thatcher government primarily for political reasons and without any alternative put in place, and before the GLC there had been the LCC, and the creation of the LCC in 1889 had been a generally sensible response to the enormous expansion of the metropolitan area, although apparently it had to be forced upon the Conservative government of the day by their Liberal Unionist allies.

    The next steps, to break up the rest of England into EU Regions, had no similar practical justification and like Thatcher’s abolition of the GLC were driven primarily by politics, but this time by EU rather than national politics; and it needs to be recalled that it was the man whose name is now being touted to lead any putative renegotiation of the EU treaties who agreed to the establishment of the EU’s Committee of the Regions through the “Game, set and match for Britain” Maastricht Treaty.

    Prescott and others believed that their best chance of winning a referendum to approve the establishment of a first euroregional assembly elsewhere in England lay in the north east – which incidentally had not previously existed as a separate region, but had been just part of a larger region of Northern England – after which they could move down the country unzipping it stepwise, with the south east as the last step – but their proposal failed to inspire the people in the north east and was roundly rejected in the referendum on November 4th 2004, which brought the whole process to a halt.

    It should be said that while many Tories opposed this process of breaking up England into euroregions others supported it and were keen to participate in it, while flatly denying that there was any connection whatsoever with the strategy of regionalisation which was, and which still is, being applied not just across the existing EU but also in neighbouring countries as potential candidates for absorption into the EU.

    Now we have two things happening with regard to devolution and England. The first is that all of the old political parties are absolutely determined that there should never be a single separately elected devolved assembly and administration for the whole of England which could act as a barrier to its dissolution and as a focus for English nationalism, while the second is that a somewhat different form of dissolution is being pursued by stealth, with what amounts to a massive reorganisation of local government in England into “city regions” without the consent of the people affected and in at least one case in direct opposition to their expressed wishes, and that is being done essentially by decrees of a Conservative Chancellor issued using some rather obscure legal authority and with no regard at all for public opinion on the matter.

    • bluedog
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. The City Regions are merely regionalisation by stealth in accordance with EU diktat. There is no doubt that the selection of Sir John Major as UK negotiator with the EU pre-determines the outcome – continued compliance with all aspects of EU governance.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I commend the priorities you have set out for the New Year . There is no doubt that the English votes on English matters has to be at the top of the list . Sturgeon has already gone public on her intentions and this has to be neutralised before the election . I regret that this position is the outcome of the Scottish Independence Referendum .

    The “red lines” with Europe have still not been announced and , as every day passes , the Tory case is weakened . Defining our relationship with Europe the way you have put it , completely fits my outlook ; I sincerely wish it was the stated policy of the Conservatives and not the vacuum that presently exists . Having just been to Luton Airport again , I am also convinced that “immigration” has to be a significant feature on the election agenda .

    Those of us who have lived long enough know the value of this country being independent again and being able to assert our values on the world without hindrance from the outside . The dignity of this position and our ability to enforce it when challenged would restore my faith ; I no longer wish to be trammelled by weaker backgrounds pretending they know best .

    I convey to you and all your responders my very best wishes for the New Year .

  26. Sean
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    The British people never had a referendum to join a foreign land, The Money pit Eu, why do we need a referendum to leave. I do not like being blackmailed on the premise of ‘if we win the next election’ yout have your referendum. If the vote is no! The Hell Hole of the Eu will make us vote again until we vote yes.

  27. Shieldsman
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I cannot really add to the above commentators.
    You replied: “I have set this out many times. It is a relationship based on free trade with the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty”.
    What wishful thinking on your part – any negotiation by Cameron or John Major will be a complete and utter waste of time.
    On immigration both Cameron and Miliband are snookered by the ‘Freedom of Movement’ which the colleague’s have said is irreversible.
    Parliament sold out to the ‘green blob’ with the climate change Act. The 2050 CO2 targets are unachievable, although the DECC is working on replacing fossil fuels for generation and home use (heating & cooking) with renewables. With electricity costing three times the price of natural gas millions of home owners will be in fuel poverty. Smart meters are not for the benefit of the customer, DECC envisage timed tariff’s, equivalent to white meters (electricity when the wind blows).
    I foresee a 2015 change of leadership for Lib/Lab/Con. If it takes place before May then a hung Parliament might be avoided.

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    The Rt Hon. The Lord Mandelson may be your sparring partner. I heard him on TV saying he looks forward to the debate on EU membership and will lead, well perhaps not “lead” is the correct word, he will be… at the forefront… in doing nothing about the EU on behalf of the Labour Party. He did well in securing a contract for JCBs with Russia in 2008. But the test of a good business leader is whether you can get a repeat order.

  29. fkc
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I agree with what you say wholeheartly, acheiving it will be a rocky road. We must set upon the task with speed and fortitude. England must come first. Others are out for their own ends we must do likewise. Good luck with your aims and ideas. Happy New year to you and yours

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, overnight another of the projected “outer ring” of non-euro EU member states will succumb to gravity and fall down to the “inner core” of eurozone states:

    http://euobserver.com/economic/127073

    “Lithuania on Thursday (1 January) will adopt the euro with a majority now supporting the currency change amid heightened tensions with their former Russian masters.”

    “All EU member states, with the exception of the UK and Denmark, are required to join the euro.”

    Meanwhile, with the agreement and support of the UK government Greece is now much better placed to withstand its new crisis and there is little prospect that the “inner core” will disintegrate:

    http://www.independent.ie/business/world/why-ireland-wont-follow-greece-if-a-euro-zone-crisis-resumes-30872281.html

    “When Greece hurtled toward bankruptcy in early 2010, the European Union had no way of helping countries in need. Now, it has a full-time aid fund in the €500bn European Stability Mechanism.

    The risk is less a splintering of the 18-nation euro zone – it will become 19 tomorrow when Lithuania joins – than a protracted phase of subpar economic growth that leaves a generation scarred by unemployment and tempted by political extremism, especially in the south.”

    All part of the legacy of the same Tory who could be asked to undertake the renegotiation of the EU treaties, if the next general election leaves Cameron in a position to ask anyone to do that and he doesn’t renege on his promise.

  31. ian wragg
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    A vote for the Tories is not a voter for a referendum on Europe. CMD has reneged and lied so much this last few years, he would rather resign than give a referendum. If on the tiniest off chance that there was one it would be so one sided with funding and the BBC propaganda units that it would be a farce.
    Better to get Milipede in to destroy us and then we can rebuild in a sensible manner. Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate.
    Note. over the last 24 hours CCGT has been used for frequency control on the grid meaning that CCGT plants have swung between 8 and 18GW releasing untold amounts of pollution as they are only efficient on full load.
    Tell us again John how much CO2 the windmills are saving!!!

  32. BobE
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Predictions.
    Boris will become the Tory party leader.
    Lib dems will vanish. Cleggy will do a Kinnock.
    Labour combines with the SNP to form another left wing govern
    UKIP will continue to grow ready for the 2020 elections.

  33. zorro
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    ‘If the squabbling Eurosceptics can put aside their differences over the pace and extent of change in the relationship with the EU, they can win the election’……

    For me, the above sentence is the key part of this blog post. I’m not sure if John is referring to the Eurosceptics in the Tory Party. If he is, I can see the relevance to winning the election. However, if John is referring to squabbling Eurosceptics across the political spectrum, there is a problem…… Because, it assumes that these people will vote Conservative if they are not to squabble. From what I see, at the moment, there is no other option. Now, if there was an electoral pact between several parties to bring about a referendum with a broader concensus, I could see the sense behind the sentence.

    That would be good… But I have to tell you John that people will not be frightened into voting Conservative this time for fear of the bogeyman on the promise of a Cameron referendum. After recent years, it is too late. Cameron will bury the Tory Party….

    zorro

  34. Boudicca
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    We don’t need English Votes for English Laws. We need an English Parliament.

    The Westminster Parliament represents the UK. Even IF EVEL is put in place, English Ministers and English MPs would be influenced and lobbied by MPs from the other devolved nations, materially affecting the outcome of votes.

    Also – the Westminster Parliament is elected under FPTP, which entrenches the power of Labour and the Conservative Parties and denies supporters of other parties any voice in parliament/government. The devolved parliaments are elected by a form of PR, so their voters’ voices are fairly represented.

    EVEL within the Westminster set-up will not provide the English with fair representation or self-determination within the Union.

    We need an English Parliament.

  35. The Targe
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Don’t start trolling me when I say this but…Tony Benn’s Commonwealth of Britain Bill 1991 offered a constitutional solution to the very collection of problems we face today. I revisited my old A Level Law book and the issues the Act of Parliament tackled included, an Oath of Allegience, National Parliaments and a sovereign commonwealth parliament, a charter of rights, religious freedom in a secular framework, a constitution protected by an independent sovereign court. I neglect to mention the presidency part of course. If only our political leaders had implemented a settlement such as this decades ago we wouldn’t be in this fine mess.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Google: The Harrigate Agenda. Not the same, but not far off either.

  36. Jon
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Hogmanay is associated with Scotland though, it seems, it maybe from Yorkshire, or the French Normans, Italians or the Vikings. It was a way of putting aside and redeeming the cumulative troubles of a year and making good, a fresh start for the new year. Debts would be cleared (ha), a lime wash given to the walls, even urine sprinkled, the Vikings I’m thinking there.
    This used to be at the Yule, the solstice on 21st December when the sun is furthest away and the tide changes. Mistletoe would be collected, highest growing new growth in mid winter, a sign of hope, a pagan UK ritual.
    I read as late as the 1950’s this was frowned upon in Scotland. The hair shirt presbyterian protestants banning the alcohol frivolity and children shouting Hogmanay at each household in hope of some treats like is done at Halloween. Being banned for 4 hundred years since the Gregorian calendar was introduced by a Catholic Pope Gregory VIII, the earliest reference to Hogmanay being Latin. Christmas was not celebrated being seen as Catholic extravagance and a knees up so gifts were exchanged at the new New Year calendar. Hogmanay in Scotland became the Christmas for a while and, having lost it’s hair shirt and need to repay debt by the end of the year, became the big celebration it is now.
    We may not have cleared our debt at the year end, nor lime washed our plaster, nor sprinkled urine for our Norsk brothers, this new year will bring change. I hope it’s the fresh start that it is meant to be for the English. A happy decadent Gregorian New Year!

  37. matthu
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Do you trust any political party that expects you to believe that a brand new relationship can be forged with the EU that will be based solely on free trade with the restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty and all within two years?

    Because lending your vote to the CP is asking us all to believe in fantasy, fantasy that should be exposed now and not allowed to distort reality until in eighteen months’ time when we are told that the negotiations have been a huge success and we get promises in the last few weeks along the lines of those made to Scotland.

    The exact same political leaders are involved.

    The exact same strategy used in Scotland (avoid all debate if at all possible, throw the kitchen sink in the last few days) is being used again.

    There WILL be no restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty in two years’ time, but unless we start now making people realise what this means we simply continue down the path towards ever closer union.

    John, you need to explain how there can possibly be a restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty within two years, making it clear how this can happen without treaty change, or exaplin how there can be treaty change within two years when nothing is yet negotiated.

    REPLY Either they offer us our sovereignty back by treaty change or we vote for out.

  38. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Happy and healthy New Year to you all. I hope that you can change our lot around John. I for one don’t know how to vote in the coming elections having been on the receiving end of extremely bad private treatment .The so- called working class has changed , but there are still some ‘salt of the earth’ who should be doing better due to their moral behaviour and still many others who take the mick.

    • BobE
      Posted January 1, 2015 at 2:48 am | Permalink

      Ukip my dear, tis the only future

  39. Robert Taggart
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Oneself also looks forward to you speaking on behalf of a newly independent Blighty, Johnny, better still – a newly independent England !
    Signed – with fingers crossed for May !!

  40. bluedog
    Posted December 31, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    bravo!

  41. BobE
    Posted January 1, 2015 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    But this will never be seen in print

  42. rick hamilton
    Posted January 1, 2015 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Does a referendum require parliamentary approval?

    If so it is hard to see how that could be achieved unless by some miracle the Cons either got an overall majority or did an electoral deal with UKIP as recommended by the last Tory realist standing, Norman Tebbit. Even if Cons had the most seats they would surely need to do deals with a ragbag of minority parties to get any legislation through and most of them would be pro-EU and anti-referendum. UKIP might get huge numbers of votes but very few seats thanks to FPTP.

    We could end up with Cameron as PM, unable to get a referendum through and blaming it all on the ragbags for whom millions voted. Rather depressing for a New Year’s Day !

  43. matthu
    Posted January 1, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year!

    No-one knows whether Cameron is negotiating for restoration of Parliamentary sovereignty and no-one even knows what Cameron thinks Parliamentary sovereignty looks like.

    So when he tells us (no ifs, no buts) that he has won historic concessions from the EU, how will we be able to believe him?

    So how can we lend him our vote?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Cameron had Tory MPs whipped to vote AGAINST Parliamentary sovereignty!

  • 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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