Do you have to be difficult in a Union?

This week there was a rare event. The European authorities said the UK had the better of the legal argument with the ECB over whether institutions in the UK can trade in Euros. The ECB was threatening a new protectionism to place more business within the Eurozone.

It looks as if the European authorities have at last decided that a very provocative move against UK business and trade would be a bad idea when an important part of UK opinion already thinks the UK deal in the EU is a bad one. To lose a chunk of the City now would weaken further the pro EU forces in the UK. The last thing the EU wants is to lose the UK’s generous payments into the EU, let alone our big and profitable export market for them.

The unusual good legal result may lead more to conclude that the UK will only be taken seriously and given the occasional support it needs if it continues to complain. The danger in a union is parts of the Union feel they have to threaten or be difficult to get attention and better treatment. The very disobliging things that they have to say or do both damages the union, as it reduces trust and common feeling, and may get results.

We see this pattern in our own Union. Scottish Nationalists decide they will continuously complain and demand more,as making demands in the past has got them some of what they want. In a more extreme form Greece has shown us within the EU and Euro area taking an aggressive stance can bring dividends for the complainer.

Here we have the paradox of unions. If a party to the Union is unhappy, they will demand change and express unhappiness. In doing so they drive a wedge into the Union. The Union will normally accommodate part of their grievance but by no means all. It just sets itself up for another grievance and more disputes


  1. Narrow Shoulders
    March 6, 2015

    Your examples show that being difficult pays as a junior partner, the senior partner who values the union will appease complainers even while its demos ccomplains.

    Does the UK wish to be a junior partner in Europe. Where is the influence we are promised. We can be a significant junior partner on the world stage without the trappings, concessions and bureaucracy required to be part of the EU

  2. Old Albion
    March 6, 2015

    Strangely, this theory totally collapses where England is concerned. We’re simply ignored.

  3. David Price
    March 6, 2015

    I think we are well past the point of maintaining the status quo in both relationships, inept leadership and stewardship by successive governments has seen to that.

  4. Lifelogic
    March 6, 2015

    You are exactly right.

    This is why Cameron was so foolish throw the last election by ratting on his cast iron promise to hold a referendum on any treaty that emerges from Lisbon. Had he held one he would not only have won the last sitting duck election but would have strengthened his hand in any negotiations with the EU and against opposition parties in the UK.

    My voters think this mate so if you do not make some large concessions they will leave.

    Regarding “Cast Iron” he even went on to say: The final reason we must have a vote is trust. Gordon Brown talks about “new” politics. But there’s nothing “new” about breaking your promises to the British public. It’s classic Labour.

    What chutzpah the man has. It it clearly classic Cameron too and not just on this referendum but on Inheritance tax, the balance of tax increases and expenditure, the deficit, the return of powers from the EU ……..

    Cameron’s lefty Tories continue to drift down in the polls. It now look as though Labour will even be the largest party. Delivering an SNP/Labour + others disaster to the UK. What a dreadful outcome when Cameron could easily have won outright the last and this election.

    All for want of a vision and a compass. So lacking of a sensible vision and so mired by his past history of ratting

    Cameron cannot even dare to debate Miliband or Farage without a whole gang their to detract from the debate.

    They should just leave an empty chair for the man. If he not dare get come get someone else in who is.

    1. Hope
      March 6, 2015

      Miliband is (Left ed)and Cameron centre left Blair socialist with Clegg somewhere in between.

      All of whom want the UK to be subservient to the EU implementing its laws, policies and regulation using deceit to pretend to the British public it is their own policies.

      LibLabCon should put up their best person against Farage and then let the public decide which of the two it wants to be governed by and whether the public wishes our country to be independent and self governing or a regional province of the EU superstate where it has no control over those who set our laws, regualtion and policies which regulates our way of life.

      Reply UKIP is on 14%, not on a winning number!

    2. Bazman
      March 6, 2015

      IHT reductions are a vote loser. How sympathetic is the average person to this tax reduction who will never pay it and that will have to be costed elsewhere such as more tax or less services? Lefty ideas for the rich that none swallows.
      I would like to see Cameron defend it or anything else for that matter. The Buller boy is now trying to hide behind a crowd. Remind us of what you said about the importance of TV debates in the past Dave? Sorry? You don’t want to debate that either? Empty chair or MIRROR chicken?

      1. Bazman
        March 7, 2015


        1. Edward2
          March 8, 2015

          The point at which you start to pay IHT is now getting close to the price of the average family home.
          It may not be a big vote winner and this is probably why it hasn’t been altered recently, but when more and more ordinary families suddenly find it is a tax which hits them, I predict a rise in the call for change.
          The least that should be done is to increase the starting point based on the effect of inflation and rises in house prices from when £375,000 was seen as a tax which only hit the 1%

  5. Ex-expat Colin
    March 6, 2015

    The Union has emerged by the force of fools…and only that. I think it will be a war ultimately that scatters this stupid piece of ideology. And not the war that has been prevented by such a union.

    Libya and Russia….I am pretty sure a full attack on Libya will have to take place fairly shortly and perhaps a follow through to Syria and Iraq. ISIS is not going to go away.

    Playing with Russia will remain just that…a game of further waste.

    Too many balls in the air!

    1. A different Simon
      March 6, 2015

      ” ISIS is not going to go away.”

      Up until now America and it’s lapdocs , the EU and Britain have not wanted it to go away .

      Countless American and British soldiers lives and Iraqi lives were spent softening up Iraq so Isis could get a foothold .

      As if all the money the West has invested in ISIS and arms it has provided were not enough , we continue to fund them by buying stolen oil from them .

      Hitler (a lowly lance corporal) wouldn’t have got to power without outside influences . More outside influences such as funding both sides kept the war going for 6 years – quite an achievement . Net result destruction of empires and debt owed to the U.S.

      Looks like the U.S. trying to pit the E.U./UK against Russia .

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    March 6, 2015

    565, 000 on the last three years of your party’s watch (at least).

    Good news for business (additional markets) the immigrants themselves, the countries to which our money is sent home and politicians who can crow about growth (without benefit to the wider population).

    Bad news for the taxpayer who must pay for the additional services required (£4-6K for each of the many immigrant children filling our schools, £9k each in Tower Hamlets), bad news for our living costs as demand pushes prices inexorably higher ( the inflation figures take no account of housing expense) and bad news for our culture as we become assimilated by our political classes who insist that we, not the incomers, should bend. Who knows what security risks we are importing in that half a million (and counting).

    1. Hope
      March 6, 2015

      Child benefit also sent to countries for children who have never set foot here, only a Cameron PPE graduate would allow the British taxpayer to be abused in such away. But he is still sure he wants the UK to be in the EU per his article this week!

    2. Bazman
      March 6, 2015

      Good news for business and the bosses who trouser the tax avoided profits telling us that immigration is bad and a drain on the state.

      1. Edward2
        March 7, 2015

        Whenever I’ve heard companies and their bosses talking about immigration they seem, almost in all cases, to be in favour of it.
        Quite the opposite of your claim Baz.

  7. alan jutson
    March 6, 2015

    In a true union all sides should be entitled to exactly the same benefits, and pay their agreed fair share of the total costs.

    Just like a club which has a membership fee, all the same rules apply to all of the members, all of the members share the clubs costs at an agreed rate (the membership fee)

    Unfortunately the EU is not like that, and now The UK Union has followed suit.

    With different rules for different people, and different rates of payment, arguments will and indeed are guaranteed to occur, as one or more feels disadvantaged against another.

    Given the above, eventually disharmony, infighting and chaos will occur, and the club will lose the good members as it slowly goes downhill..

    It takes time, but sure as eggs are eggs it will happen !

  8. Ian wragg
    March 6, 2015

    The ECJ may have found in favour of the city. What’s the betting Brussels ignores the ruling and carries on regardless.
    The MSM and BBC in particular are in overdrive trying to rubbish Ukip. The Jeremy Vine show in particular was very aggressive towards the Ukip immigration spokesman who was very measured in his response. I am out daily delivering leaflets and believe me the public are furious about the latest immigration figures
    Another topic is defence as the coalition has decimated the military whilst CMD is daily issuing threats with nothing behind him.
    I think this election will surprise everyone
    The liblabcon has nothing to offer Joe public only the same old failed policies and anti England legislation.

    1. Jerry
      March 6, 2015

      @Ian wragg; “I am out daily delivering leaflets and believe me the public are furious about the latest immigration figures”

      Only the people who choose to talk to you about it, what about all those who avoid you, or those who accept a leaflet, mutter something nice about UKIP and then bin the said leaflet as soon as discreetly possible as if it was something the dog might have picked up?

      No doubt Ian you will ignore this comment like you ignored the last time I challenged you on your electioneering assumptions…

      “Another topic is defence as the coalition has decimated the military whilst CMD is daily issuing threats with nothing behind him.”

      Indeed, but how much of this has been forced upon the PM by the realities of Coalition life.

      “I think this election will surprise everyone”

      Indeed, but perhaps not in the way people such as yourself mean…

      1. A different Simon
        March 6, 2015

        Jerry ,

        I hope you will not ignore this comment like you accused Ian of and will reply please .

        In any society there are people who are only able to do the lower paid jobs .

        The number of positions which these people can fill is finite .

        If an immigrant ends up doing one of these jobs it causes a lower paid Briton to end up on the dole and the effect on their family is devastating .

        Do you think that low paid Briton’s deserve protection against having their jobs taken by immigrants ?

        1. Jerry
          March 7, 2015

          @ADS; So why don’t these unemployed British people take such jobs, BEFORE the migrants even get in to the UK.

          Thanks again ADS for proving that I was wrong in doubting IDS and his team at the DWP, in fact he hasn’t been tough enough!

          1. A different Simon
            March 8, 2015

            You are living in a dream world Jerry .

            You don’t have the slightest idea what life is like for people at the bottom of the food chain do you .

            Your let them eat cake attitude stinks .

          2. Jerry
            March 8, 2015

            @ADS; The truth seem to hurt you ADS…

          3. Jerry
            March 9, 2015

            @ADS; Oh and you couldn’t be more wrong in the assumption you made, but I won’t wallow in self-pity and doubt over it, whilst blaming others…

          4. Jerry
            March 9, 2015

            Sorry, that should have read; …but I didn’t wallow in self-pity… More hast, less speed on a busy Monday morning!

      2. Hope
        March 6, 2015

        Utter rot Jerry. Get off your sanctamonious horse and understand that other people have views that are equal to your own. And come across much better as well.

        1. Jerry
          March 7, 2015

          @Hope; Well at least I try and debate the issue, which means acknowledging others have differing opinions by definition, all you ever seem to do is state your “facts” and then throw insults when ever your ideals are challenged as you have done once again. As for who comes over better, I suppose it depends on whether we are in the local debating society or behind the goal of the football ground…

      3. Timaction
        March 6, 2015

        Well I’m out there getting the same response with other volunteers so we can’t all be wrong. The great British public have had enough and rightly so of the legacy parties abuse of the British, particularly the English people.
        They would have to be from planet Clingon not to have noticed the huge rise in foreign people, the overcrowding, congestion, waiting times at Doctors surgeries, unable to get their children into the school of choice and A&E. Building on our greenbelt. With more austerity around the corner the cake will get smaller for us all.
        Having a points based system is common sense. The public were never allowed a say on any of the Treaties that they stealthily signed us up to under false pretences, actually lies (FCO30/1048 from 1971)!
        We want our sovereign democracy back and we will get it!
        Defence has been decimated whilst the cartel have agreed a £12 billion and rising foreign aid bill (0.7% GDP).

        1. Jerry
          March 7, 2015

          @Timaction; “Well I’m out there getting the same response with other volunteers so we can’t all be wrong.”

          Well you will if you only ever speak to those with the same opinions as you already hold! No doubt the Green Party supporters believe they can win the election too, for the same reasons, that they here nothing but support on the door step…

    2. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2015

      The BBC & channel 4’s bias against UKIP is a total outrage a blatant distortion of democracy.

      Odd really because UKIP have a non racist immigration policy whereas LibLabCon have a clearly racist policy of EU good everyone else bad (even where the EU person in question is an active criminal or a real danger to the public).

    3. Max Dunbar
      March 6, 2015

      Good luck with the leafleting Ian. It sounds as if you are getting a good public response.
      I think that UKIP could gain a substantial number of votes in Scotland but their chances of gaining a seat are remote. However, in the 2016 Scottish elections there is a distinct possibility that seats will be won on the List. If a large number of left-wing parties contest that election then the percentage threshold will lower and providing that UKIP do not suffer from too much competition for the right-wing vote they may be able to provide some genuine opposition at long last.
      Incidentally, I listened to Any Questions on BBC Radio 4 last week and heard David Coburn MEP doing his best against a bear-pit of 3 socialists, a rude chairman and an audience that sounded more like a deputation from the Socialist Workers Party.

      1. Jerry
        March 6, 2015

        @Max Dunbar; “Good luck with the leafleting Ian. It sounds as if you are getting a good public response.”

        Good grief, talk about utter nonsense (to put it politely), he is hardly going come on here to say something like;

        Oh yeah, by the way, I was out leafleting today and got told by fortune, told to take a hike and have come to realise that the majority of those I approached are going to vote for any party other than UKIP…!

        Is he?!

        I think that UKIP could gain a substantial number of votes in Scotland but their chances of gaining a seat are remote.

        I find that a very strange suggestion. UKIP, if it appeals to ex Labour votes at all, will do so for those ex-Labour voters won over to the centre-right during the Thatcher years, but unless these people have been sitting on their hands since 1992 when the Tories lost a great swath of Scottish support (due to the Poll Tax) were are these votes coming from in 2015 when the polls suggest that Scotland if it’s doing anything is turning towards the left and the SNP big-time.

        “I listened to Any Questions on BBC Radio 4 last week and heard David Coburn MEP doing his best against a bear-pit of 3 socialists, a rude chairman and an audience that sounded more like a deputation from the Socialist Workers Party.”

        What you mean is, the programme must have been biased because the UKIP message was being rejected – perhaps UKIP just isn’t wanted, ever though of that…

      2. Hope
        March 6, 2015

        I agree. I think most people are getting fed up with the BBC type views and are well aware of the EU drive through our media to con the public.

        Look on the bright side if Cameron wins the election he will build even more houses for immigrants because he cannot get immigration under control because it is not in his gift to do so, only the EU can do that and they have already told him they will not change! More working tax credits for the EU working poor anyone?

    4. Denis Cooper
      March 6, 2015

      I wonder whether there is now enough time left before the election for UKIP to get its act together and clearly explain that the Australian points-based system it favours does in fact start by setting an annual cap on immigration. But maybe some people in UKIP don’t understand that themselves, which obviously will make it difficult for them to explain it to the public; and especially when their party leader is saying that there would be no arbitrary cap on numbers.

      “Australia’s Migration Programme for 2014-15 has 190 000 places.”

      It would be reckless in the extreme not to set a cap when you cannot be sure beforehand how many applicants will get enough points to qualify, it could be tens of millions if you misjudged the situation and set the bar too low.

      I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the last few days of muddle and conflicting statements on this have potentially been pretty catastrophic for UKIP’s prospects in May.

      1. Hope
        March 6, 2015

        Disagree Dennis with your normally astute analysis. Such an immigration policy will by itself set limits and introduce a quality control that does not exist at the moment. When the parties vied for position in the sixties and seventies on how best to curb immigration what was the cap?

        How can it be right that any convicted criminal of low skill from the EU is free to enter the UK and commit further crimes and is allowed to claim benefit at the same time, perhaps send a few quid of child benefit home as well?

        Where does this leave Cameron’s security of the UK and our safety? He is prepared to commit into law billions of pounds in overseas aid, which by the govt’s own report is mostly wasted, and will not commit to defence spending. Absolutely disgrace. Police budgets also slashed. Insufficient Border controls and staff to implement any policy and they A&E not allowed to ask EU citizens questions about their duration of visit! No actual or reliable system to count people in and out the country. Who are actually going to protect us?
        I think most people are aware of the total mess Tersa May and Cameron have made on immigration in all its forms. This is one reason Cameron does not want to debate and certainly not against Farage.

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 8, 2015

          Australia is on the other side of the world, and just as opponents of AV were able to make gross misrepresentations about its electoral system so opponents of UKIP will be able to do the same about its immigration system, unless UKIP is successful in now explaining that it does in fact start by setting an annual limit on the number of immigrants. Notwithstanding the UKIP leader having suddenly told the media that UKIP would not be putting in place any quotas, in flat contradiction of the longstanding policy which had been previously worked up and which is still being stated by the UKIP man responsible for that policy area.

      2. Mondeo Man
        March 6, 2015

        Denis – I think the public knows what Farage meant.

        We have never demanded an end to immigration – only that it be selective and measured to the good of our country.

        The Daily Mail in particular has been a disgrace. Its reporting on the Loose Women interview withFarage was a total misrepresentation of what happened. He was brilliant and appeared to be really well liked. And when it uses phrases such as “UKIP in chaos on immigration cap” then its bound to sound like disaster for UKIP but they are still the only ones with policies that people are crying out for.

        The realists among us know that it’s game over for Britain. But even if it is the Tories are no friends of mine and I’d sooner stick needles in my eyes than vote for them again.

        1. Jerry
          March 7, 2015

          Mondeo Man; “I think the public knows what Farage meant. “

          Oh so very true, they see right through him and UKIP, and what a vote for UKIP will most likely mean – five years of Labour, and perhaps even worse, five years of Labour backed by a supply and confidence pact with the SNP (and perhaps even the Greens)… UKIP, far from being a thorn in the side of the EU could actually turn out to be the EU’s best ever friend west of the Dover harbour wall!

          “The realists among us know that it’s game over for Britain.”

          Well it depends on what game you’re playing I suppose, for many the game ended in 1945 (if not 1939) when the Empire started to be lost, for others it was 1964, 1979, 1997 etc. Others believe that our best has yet to come.

        2. Denis Cooper
          March 8, 2015

          Unfortunately I don’t think that the public will know what Farage meant, not least because it seems that many UKIP members and supporters don’t know what he meant and will be unable to explain it clearly to the wider public, and indeed I have grave doubts about whether he himself knew what he meant.

          He is UKIP’s greatest single asset, no question about that in my mind, but by the same token he can cause UKIP great damage when he makes a badly misjudged public statement.

          We will have to wait and see what the impact will be this time; it’s possible that it will have little impact, given that many people seem to have already made up their minds about how they will vote and the opinion polls are no longer showing clear significant responses to particular events which might be thought to be to the benefit or detriment of any party.

          As far as I’m concerned I’ve long held that the existing citizens of this country should be asked directly in a referendum how much immigration they would like to see, and the government should then accept what they say when setting an annual limit.

  9. The Prangwizard
    March 6, 2015

    And therefore England would be better as an independent nation. Independent of the EU and independent of the UK.


  10. DaveM
    March 6, 2015

    I don’t know about being awkward necessarily, but you need to fight your corner otherwise you get trampled on.

    This is the problem we English have, no-one to fight our corner…..

    Mr Hague really has done a sterling job for his anti-English pals. Maybe someone should remind him that his beloved Yorkshire is actually in England. When are we going to hear any more about English votes? (No answer expected)

    1. Jerry
      March 6, 2015

      @DaveM; “This is the problem we English [of a right of centre political view] have, no-one to fight our corner…..”

      You mean that we’re in a minority of one, if so what might that tell us?

      1. DaveM
        March 6, 2015


        Bad choice of words (true nevertheless) – no-one fights ENGLAND’s corner.

        Labour and Con fight for no-one except themselves as a party. Those within those parties (e.g. Mr Redwood, Frank Fields) who do try to fight England’s corner are utterly stymied by party agendas and drowned out by party straplines.

        As an aside – I’ll make my views well known sometimes, but have never indicated which way I would vote – at this point in time any party which swore to hold a referendum on EU membership and promised a fair and meaningful deal for England would get my vote!

        To return to the subject at hand – if I was Scottish and had blue blood running through my veins, I would probably vote SNP – at least I’d know they have my country’s interests at heart, not just personal ambition.

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        March 6, 2015

        You mean that we’re in a minority of one, if so what might that tell us?

        That those who do not have to pick up the bill have different priorities?

      3. APL
        March 6, 2015

        Jerry: “if so what might that tell us?”

        The one, isn’t in the herd of lemmings heading for the cliff.

        Perhaps, he ought to do his best to save some of his friends and family.

        1. Jerry
          March 7, 2015

          @APL; “The one, isn’t in the herd of lemmings heading for the cliff.”

          Perhaps, always assuming it is a cliff of course and not a simple ridge and the reason the “lemmings” are heading that way is to get away from the grim reaper coming up from behind… I’m just suspicious when it is a group of one who keeps insisting they are the only one who sees the “reality”, as quite often their reality is nothing of the sort…

          1. APL
            March 7, 2015

            Jerry: “I’m just suspicious when it is a group of one who keeps insisting they are the only one who sees the “reality” ”

            I couldn’t agree more. Which is why I was always suspicious of Pseuds like Ken Clarke, aka “we must not get left in the slow lane’, or ‘we don’t want a two speed Europe [always meaning European Union, or EEC not Europe]’, or “only extreme nationalists want ‘silly’ European referendum”,

            The latter a sentiment you’d expect from someone with a high degree of contempt for democratic consultation, and a hatred for (in context) the United Kingdom as an independent nation state.

          2. Jerry
            March 7, 2015

            @APL; But UKIP’s message is not a lot different in structure to those from the likes of Ken Clarke (“we must not get left in the slow lane”), other than it is the exact opposite (“we must not be left behind, there is a whole world beyond the EU”), and both are equally wrong for the same reasons as both assume that dire things will happen if we don’t follow their respective advice…

            The UK will survive within or outside of the EU, but either way the UK will not, cannot, be the same as depicted on so many of those idyllic WI tea-towels …

          3. APL
            March 8, 2015

            Jerry: “The UK will survive within or outside of the EU ..”

            Which rather illustrates you don’t know what you are talking about.

            The United Kingdom, is being absorbed by the European Union. If the process continues, the UK will cease to exist, has ceased to exist as an independent self determining entity.

            Our government isn’t in Westminster, it’s in Brusberg.

          4. Jerry
            March 8, 2015

            @ADS; “Which rather illustrates you don’t know what you are talking about.”

            No, I probably don’t, as I neither suffer from a “Little Britain” complex nor tunnel vision.

            “The United Kingdom, is being absorbed by the European Union. If the process continues, the UK will cease to exist”

            I suppose Texas, one of 50 states of the USA, doesn’t exist any more either. Best not try and tell a born and bred Texan that they are American first and Texan second though!

            “Our government isn’t in Westminster, it’s in Brusberg.”

            Whilst many years ago my government would have been in the old Kingdom of Wessex, and the currency would have been etc ed

          5. Jerry
            March 9, 2015

            FAO Mr Redwood, I seem to have got moderated for mentioning an Anglo-Saxon period currency!


            Reply Yes you did – unfair – in my speed I did not understand what you were driving at so took the cautious approach.

          6. APL
            March 9, 2015

            Jerry: “I probably don’t, as I neither suffer from a “Little Britain” complex nor tunnel vision.”

            Going to take your self diagnosis at face value, Jerry.

            Jerry: “I suppose Texas, one of 50 states of the USA, doesn’t exist any more either. ”

            Texas, like the other US states have reserved powers, assured by the US constitution, and thus it’s status hasn’t changed significantly since it joined the Union in 1845.

            What UK powers can withstand ‘ever closer Union’ and an ovine corrupt Parliament, and second chamber stuffed to the gunnel’s with EU bought and paid for placemen?

            Jerry: “Whilst many years ago my government would have been in the old Kingdom of Wessex,”

            At least the Kingdom of Wessex was within the geographical borders of what is now the United Kingdom. But I dare say there was quite some opposition by some quaters to Wessex extending it’s influence.

            If the point you are trying to make is ‘it doesn’t matter who we are governed by nor where our seat of government is’, I’m as usual Jerry, more than happy to disagree with you.

            I for one wouldn’t particularly have liked to have lived in the USSR under Stalin, nor for that matter under Pol Pot in Cambodia. You, on the other hand, may have had a whale of a time.

            And again, if you are happy to pay to be governed by a pretend Parliament that indiscriminately rubber-stamps any and every directive that the EU Brusberg government sends its way, that’s fine for you, and once again, I am thrilled to find myself in disagreement with you, again.

          7. Jerry
            March 11, 2015

            @APL; “Texas, like the other US states have reserved powers,”

            As does the UK within the EU, and I see nothing that will change, obviously should the USoE ever happen then just like with the USA and Texas there will be certain federal laws that trump any state laws.

            “At least the Kingdom of Wessex was within the geographical borders of what is now the United Kingdom. “

            Well that is debatable considering that the Isle of Wight was a part, if ones needs a “Passport to Pimlico” why not the Isle of Wight!… 🙂

            My point is about the ‘fluidisity’ of a nation state, a United England (never mind what we now call the United Kingdom) is historically a fairly recent concept and do also remember that for some of that time areas of France were also a part of the Kingdom of England. Why should I be ruled from Londinium when I want to, and should be, living in the Kingdom of Wessex and thus be ruled from Winchester, and if my adopted Kingdom can be absorbed into a greater kingdom state of first England and then the UK then why can’t that greater kingdom also be absorbed into another state – at least this time it will have been achieved with the majority approval of the population even if it is only from not voting for the alternative at elections.

            Another prime example and perhaps why this question of the ‘fluidisity’ of a nation state is less important to mainland Europe, look at the Catalan’s, of north east Spain and south east France, even before the Schengen agreement the border between France and Spain hardly existed, same for the Basques and so on.

            “I for one wouldn’t particularly have liked to have lived in the USSR under Stalin, nor for that matter under Pol Pot in Cambodia. You, on the other hand, may have had a whale of a time.”

            What ever… If you think that the EU is comparable to those dictatorships then you have the problem not me.

  11. eeyore
    March 6, 2015

    I hope the UK won its case on evident merit, and not by making threats. But you are right, Mr Redwood, there is always a short-term advantage in being the worst behaved person in the room. How much more important, then, to remember Burke’s grave and profound advice: “The best policy for any government is simplicity of heart.”

  12. Andyvan
    March 6, 2015

    Good. Bring it on. Let the Scots go and live in their socialist utopia, let us leave the EU, leave NATO- all excellent developments that would contribute to peace and prosperity enormously.

  13. Lifelogic
    March 6, 2015

    I see that the Tories now have a new slogan.

    “A Britain that rewards work”.

    A very good one indeed if only then meant it.

    Unfortunately Cameron’s coalition has spent five years doing almost the exact opposite. People on benefits are often better off than those who work (after the costs of getting to & from work, child care, clothing, and the likes and the tax NI deductions). People working for the state are about 150% over remunerated relative to the private sector and there are far too many of them delivering very little of true value. We have an NHS that is killing (too many by accident ed), a police force that has (does not do well enough ed), countless quangos that do little of any use, a BBC that constantly drips the nation in magic money tree, fake equality, lefty madness and endless subsidies for greencrap, expensive energy lunacy.

    1. Bazman
      March 6, 2015

      People on benefits are often better off than those who work.
      This is true and your solution is.? Hmm lets think….? They should be paid less benefits in order to incentivise them to get a job in the police with a massive pension so they can pay for private healthcare and get SKY? Or some other deluded non thought out right wing fantasy? That is really just socialism for the rich with the rest going to hell in a handcart?
      Thick nonsense. A fact not an insult.

  14. Bert Young
    March 6, 2015

    I liken the EU to a bully at school . He was a blessed nuisance to most younger boys – verbally and physically . One morning he had a go at me and I decided enough was enough .I threw my satchel off and raised my fists ; we were soon in a right good tussle . Fortunately I landed a blow at the right time and in the right place – he backed off with a blooded nose . From then on he always treated me with respect as did many other boys who were glad his nonsense had been stopped .

    The EU has to be put in its place also ; it has long overstepped the mark causing many unnecessary problems . There is a point of no return that has to be faced – missing this point will only lead to further quarrels . Scotland at the moment is also flexing its muscles and needs to be squared up to ; it needs to be reminded of who its breadwinner has been and that playing the bully will not win in the end .

    1. Hope
      March 6, 2015

      The biggest insult is that they are increasing nd using our taxes to pay them lottery type salaries for something we do not want and do not receive anything in return! What did we get for the £1.7 billion Cameron gave them, despite his assurance he would not to con the public, as an additional payment? This equates to paying 60,000 nurses for life and their pensions, as Hannan pointed out. Utter madness. Good for EU commisioner pensioners like Patten, Mandelson, Kinnock etc not good for the country.

  15. Sir Graphus
    March 6, 2015

    Similarly, if a country holds a referendum and votes NO to the EU, then the EU always offers some concessions.

    I wonder why our govts always let our EU partners know there’ll be no UK referendum on the various EU treaties. It immediately weakens their (our) negotiating position. If the EU knew that any treaty would need the consent of the UK voters, rather than just its politicians, then the UK would always get a better deal.

  16. Mike Stallard
    March 6, 2015

    Mr Redwood, how many more times do the EU grandees have to say it: the answer to all the problems within the EU is More Europe! Of course everyone in the USofE must have the same currency! It stands to reason because within the Eurozone, and later the EU itself
    , of course, capital must move freely. Countries which are not yet fully in the Union must learn that theirs is but a temporary stop. There can be no permanent two speed Europe.
    The ECJ surprisingly has backed the British and Swedes against the Italians, Spanish and French. How many more times they will do so is anyone’s guess. We are at their mercy.

    1. Jerry
      March 6, 2015

      @Mike Stallard; “We are at their mercy.”

      No, we are at our own mercy, and have been for 40 years now (come 6th June), and quite frankly what ever the result of any In/Out referendum in the next couple of years I fear that the UK will carry on being so. 🙁

  17. A different Simon
    March 6, 2015

    Restrictions which prevent trading in a currency are surely artificial and contrary to natural law .

    Why is the EU concerned about this ?

    Is it a sign they are thinking about bring in capital controls ?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 6, 2015

      Capital control with surely follow or perhaps more EU organised bank account theft as they have done already.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    March 6, 2015

    On 01 Jul 2014 the Telegraph published an article by Andrew Lilico, the Chairman of Europe Economics, under the headline : “After 2020, all EU members will have to adopt the euro”. This went largely unnoticed.

    Is it true that, rather than 2020, it is intended that this date be brought forward to 2018 and plans are well advanced for the introduction of the euro in the UK at that time?

    Reply No

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 6, 2015

      You have to be wary about headlines, because usually the headline given to an article is written by a sub-editor rather than by the author of the article and it may not accurately reflect the contents of the article.

      In this case, Lilico said:

      “Indeed, by 2020, all but five member states of the EU are due to be euro members and Poland is likely to join by then as well, leaving just the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Bulgaria outside.”

      and then went on to conjecture that afterwards, “perhaps shortly afterwards”:

      “… the residual nugatory non-Eurozone EU will have to be wound up.”

      What he said about the general direction is roughly correct, because all of the EU member states apart from the UK and Denmark are under a legal obligation to join the euro at the earliest opportunity – Major agreed to that, and no British Prime Minister since then has tried to get it changed – but he had no grounds for stating 2020 as a precise deadline for all but those four countries to have joined, and likewise the sub-editor had no grounds for extrapolating that to all of the EU member states being forced to join the euro by that date.

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      March 6, 2015

      Reply to reply,
      It’s still 2020 then is it?

    3. Brian Tomkinson
      March 6, 2015

      Reply to reply,
      I have been informed that there are people currently employed in this country preparing for the euro in 2018.
      They must be being paid to waste their time.

  19. Timaction
    March 6, 2015

    We don’t want to be in any political union paying £14.5 billion net for a £77 billion trade deficit. We also have to pay for the millions of immigrants from poorer EU Countries, health, education, and other public service charges. Then we should make a mention of the CAP and Fisheries give aways. Only the legacy parties could imagine what a wonderful deal they’ve secretly negotiated for us. There is no need for Westminster with over 65% of our laws coming from unelected Dictators who we cannot remove. China, USA, Japan all trade with the EU but don’t have to be a part of this socialist body.
    There is another solution in May and the public are waking up to the extreme nature of the ruling class in the Westminster bubble.

  20. Max Dunbar
    March 6, 2015

    ‘Scottish Nationalists decide they will continuously complain and demand more, as making demands in the past has got them some of what they want’.

    Very true. There are parallels here with Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein have done much the same and achieved dominance through these techniques.
    In the forthcoming election the SNP will take up any seats gained at Westminster and use them to drive the ‘wedge’ deeper into the heart of the enemy which they share with Sinn Fein. The Irish Nationalists refused to take up their seats on a point of principle. However, the SNP have broader socialist objectives and ‘nationalism’ is merely one component, and a subordinate one, of the whole. A Labour/SNP coalition would sit as comfortably for these extreme Leftists as complete integration within the EU.
    Any fantasies that people in England may have that Scottish independence would relieve them of a tiresome, expensive and hostile region of the UK would be very misguided indeed. The Scottish boil has to be lanced and that means engineering the destruction of the SNP. If the ……….. tentacles of this party are allowed to (damage ed) the UK parliament after May then they will have achieved their aims, our destruction as a nation.

  21. rick hamilton
    March 6, 2015

    The UK is an island nation. We think differently from Continentals and we see the wider world more clearly. Many British families have relatives in NZ, Australia or Canada but not so many in Bulgaria, Estonia or Slovakia. Continentals have been fighting for centuries over who controls the mainland of Europe while we have fought against whichever power was trying to gain control whether Spanish, French or German and we fought hardest to keep them out of our islands.

    Now the Continentals are trying to eliminate endless conflict through a political union but we British inherently distrust it and feel separate from them. We will always be expressing unhappiness and demanding change from the EU because we will never feel we belong to it, however much political theorists and dreamers insist we must. Political union with mainland Europe was never a realistic prospect. The single market is as far as we can reasonably expect to go.

    I don’t believe the Scots really feel separate from the rest of the UK in that sense. The SNP is playing upon grievances about our parliamentary system which many English people also feel dissatisfied with. Putting aside mean-minded or cynical attitudes surely no Scot would genuinely feel closer to say the Poles or Italians than he does to the English?

    1. Jerry
      March 7, 2015

      @rick hamilton; “The UK is an island nation. We think differently from Continentals and we see the wider world more clearly

      That should mean that Eire, Cyprus, Iceland [1] etc. also see things like the UK does, but they don’t, so could it be that the UK has a rose tinted opinion of its place in the world due to the now lost Empire?

      “Many British families have relatives in NZ, Australia or Canada but not so many in Bulgaria, Estonia or Slovakia.”

      I note that you left off France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland etc, I suspect that there are more British families who have relatives (never mind friends) in those European countries that those who have meaningful relatives in NZ, Australia or Canada.

      [1] Iceland only rejected further progress towards EU membership accession due to the EZ and their own banking problems

      1. David Price
        March 8, 2015

        I doubt it is a rose tinted view based on a lost empire as in loss of power and influence, more a jaundiced view of relationships with Europe based on the experiences of the 20th and 21st centuries. Besides, such loss of empire would be far more meaningful for the establishment than any individual and I suggest meaningless for those who comment here.

        A major outcome of the empire though is the Commonwealth and that does have influence on many of us with family connections, I note how you missed out India, Africa, Hong Kong in your list – perhaps owing to a rose tinted view of the EU?

        We have a different experience to Eire, Iceland and Cyprus in that we grew in the world as a sea trading nation and that has influenced us differently.

  22. oldtimer
    March 6, 2015

    A union will last provided the members believe that their membership of it is better than any alternative and that adequate provision is made for accommodating reasonable needs. The EU no longer, in my view, provides that adequate provision. Too much sovereignty has been surrendered. No electoral means is available to change things we do not like, short of Brexit. I doubt that any renegotiati0n will change that, though I do not object to the attempt being made.

    As I understand it, the SNP wants independence as a matter of principle. There is no possibility of accommodating SNP needs short of total independence. That is a matter for Scottish voters to decide following a devolution settlement. If the SNP is successful in winning most of the Scottish seats at the next GE, we shall get a clearer idea of how much disruption they will cause to the parliamentary process and the government of the UK. The potential to do big damage is there if they hold a balance of power, as is possible.

    For the rest of us there must be a limit to what is or sensibly should be devolved. Beyond that limit it would be better for the Scots to be independent. What is seriously lacking, in the rest of the UK, is adequate discussion or decision on a sensible devoluti0n settlement. It seems to me that the other main parties contending the election should be very clear about what those limits are. That is probably too much to expect. But it is a question that should be asked of them all – Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, UKIP and the Greens. My view is that devolution should be even handed, should be to the four nations and that England should not be balkanised into regions for this purpose.

    1. Max Dunbar
      March 6, 2015

      The SNP may claim to want independence but if that is the case, why do they also want to join one of the most remote and autocratic unions that we have ever known, namely the EU, immediately on gaining secession from the UK?
      The answer is that they are not true Scottish nationalists at all. They do not have the interests of either England or Scotland at heart. They are socialists. This is why they are so happy to drive a Trojan Horse into the House of Commons and not only take part in, but dominate the British Parliament. They would relish being able to dictate to the hapless inhabitants of England alongside their friends in the Labour Party. Are you really going to allow a party as extreme as this which has a stated aim to break the UK, to be handed the levers of power in May?

  23. cliff. Wokingham.
    March 6, 2015

    It seems to me John, that the left are pushing the devolution thing to do the EU’s bidding and to break up the UK and then, break up or balkanise England…..Many people now are pushing for an English Parliament which is the natural reaction to the better deal for Scotland handed to them by Messers Cameron, Clegg and Milliband.

    Sadly, I see Mr Clegg has moved the break-up of England into regions, as wanted by the EU, by stating he would set up a Cornish Assembly if he gets into power, of course, he knows that, just as England wants it’s own parliament, as a reaction to the Scots one, so The South East etc will want their own assembly, in reaction to the Cornish (or South West) one.
    I also feel that by giving the big cities special status and powers, our party has also furthered the EU’s agenda.

    Did we not get rid of the larger county councils in favour of unitary authorities in the not so distant past? I also notice that many of the former components of The Royal Berkshire County Council are now going down the “shared or pooled services and resourses route” which begs the question, were we wrong to get rid of the county councils?

    1. DaveM
      March 6, 2015


      I live in the South West (right on the border with Cornwall actually, and I’ve been in and out of Cornwall for the past couple of weeks).

      I don’t like regionalisation any more than anyone else, and I want an English Parliament as much as anyone here.

      However, I would actually advocate Cornwall being a Crown Dependency like Jersey or the IoM. Difficult to explain why unless you live amongst it (I come from Reading so I know how it looks from there!)

      Living in the N Devon and Cornwall areas, though – it pains me to say it, but the LibDems run a local area a great deal better than the other two legacy parties.

      1. Bazman
        March 6, 2015

        Better for who holiday home owners or those without a job?

    2. Backofanenvelope
      March 6, 2015

      A Cornish Assembly would be interesting given that only 40% of the electorate are vaguely Cornish!

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 6, 2015

      There’s only one way to stop these machinations to break up England, and that is to establish and entrench a separate and separately elected devolved Parliament, and a separate devolved government, for the whole of England.

      The same as the Scots have had for Scotland for the past fifteen years.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    March 6, 2015

    Why complain when you can leave?

  25. lojolondon
    March 6, 2015

    John, you are correct, everyone becomes a minority and gets their own way, and eventually the only people who pay list price are the hard workers in the SE.

    BTW, there is a strong implication that the ECB is planning to change the law so that the decision of the ECJ will be meaningless – let’s hope they show their intentions BEFORE our elections in May….

    1. Jerry
      March 6, 2015

      @lojolondon; “let’s hope [the ECB] show their intentions BEFORE our elections in May”

      The way some think of the UK banking and finance industry currently stating such intent could end up influencing the GE vote either way, towards the Eurosceptic parties or against them…

  26. Denis Cooper
    March 6, 2015

    But this decision is not necessarily the end of the story, as acknowledged here:


    “Since the ruling was made at the General Court, the ECB has the right to appeal.”

    And secondly:

    “”In the ruling, the Court notes that the ECB has the ability to request a change to its Statute to allow for its role to cover securities clearing. It could request this and as the ruling notes, there is a derogation which:

    ““Enables the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, and on a recommendation from the ECB or a proposal from the Commission, to amend those provisions.””

    This means that changes to the ECB Statute of this nature could be done without full Treaty change and would be decided under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV), meaning the UK could not veto it.”

    Now, where’s that official pamphlet which the Labour government had delivered to every household in 1975, urging us to vote to stay in the EEC or “Common Market” …

    “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament.”

    “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

    1. Hope
      March 6, 2015

      And at the time of writing they knew it not to be true.

    2. sjb
      March 7, 2015

      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister […]”

      True in 1975. But it was a Conservative Prime Minister that signed up to QMV.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 8, 2015

        Indeed, the sainted Margaret.

  27. Vanessa
    March 6, 2015

    The EU certainly has not listened to all our fishermen nor to dairy farmers. Most of these businesses are being shut down and the UK will not be able to feed itself in a few years time. All our food will have to be imported from either the EU or other countries where we have no knowledge as to how the products are treated and what goes into them.

    The sooner we leave the EU the better and then we will be able to restore this important ability to feed our own people.

    1. Bazman
      March 6, 2015

      Most coal is imported and look at he advantages of that. so why not food? We just buy of the world markets and if we do not like the prices or quality go elsewhere like you do with your food shopping, clothes and utilities. Its just common sense to let these farmers fail they are to expensive and inefficient and why you think I should pay for their 100k Range Rovers to take their lamb to market while they are in the pub telling everyone how poor they are as NZ lamb trundles half way around the world cheaper than they sell is beyond me.

      1. Edward2
        March 8, 2015

        You need to look up “economies of scale” and farming subsidies in other world markets Baz, before you unfairly slur UK farmers trying to compete with imports from New Zealand.

        1. Bazman
          March 9, 2015

          What has that got to do with the price of lamb and coal?

  28. Denis Cooper
    March 6, 2015

    Off-topic, this has just come my way:

    and I see Klaus Regling, the unelected official who was put in charge of the (arguably illegal) EFSF bailout facility, and who is now in charge of its successor the ESM, saying how he was “extremely concerned” that the newly elected government in Greece was attempting to steer a different political course to the previous government.

  29. Atlas
    March 6, 2015

    The fundamental problem is that the Union you mention came about on a false prospectus.

    Off topic: I see that cigarette plain packaging is to be brought in on Monday by the back door to avoid a vote in Commons. Cameron may think he is being clever – I think otherwise. Ditto his refusal for a leadership debate during the election campaign.

    1. Jerry
      March 6, 2015

      @Atles; Re cigarette plain packaging, not that I agree with it but hardly the most problematic of legislation, it’s not as though they are banning brands (people will still be able to ask for Brand XYZ as they do now), and unless UKIP form the next government as a majority (!) if it isn’t brought in before the GE it will be within weeks after May 8th who ever forms the next government I suspect.

      “Cameron may think he is being clever – I think otherwise. Ditto his refusal for a leadership debate during the election campaign.”

      When did he refuse to debate with the other leaders?..

      If the broadcasters do attempt to go ahead with ’empty chairing’ any of the leaders then I suspect either the programme to be stopped beforehand under election laws or the broadcasters to have to provide a right of reply with equal airtime (and time-slot) for the person empty chaired!

    2. JoeSoap
      March 6, 2015

      Thank goodness the broadcasters have called Cameron’s bluff on this. Let them proceed without him. Perhaps our host would stand in for him to explain what true Conservative policies are?

  30. Margaret Brandreth-J
    March 6, 2015

    Sometimes skilfull compromise works best for all. It’s the hype which destroys rationality. We should be quietly be able to keep our European relationship with demonstration that reason and good sense works for all. One of the disadvantages of a democracy is that the one voted in is often more charismatic and less sensible than the dull but intelligent strategist.

  31. Jon
    March 6, 2015

    The entities that form a union need to have equal power, that in itself can deter calls for further devolution and the like. The proposal for England is that if it’s MP’s want to put forward a bill it is voted on by all of the union unlike the devolved parliaments. That could weaken the union. We can see now that the SNP are backing away from using their to be devolved taxes because of the response of the rest of the UK. By giving England a weaker deal than the rest I think we could be attracting the grievance and disputes. If say Holyrood know that the English MP’s can put forward an English bill without their vote then I think it would deter some of the potential grievances.

    Appeasing never seems to work, it just fuels the fire and I think the English proposal is that, it’s not strong enough.

Comments are closed.