Debate on the EU work programme

Yesterday Parliament held a debate on the new Commission work programme for the next year. It is the EU equivalent of the Queen’s speech. It contained 23 major proposals, including two new taxes, a federal energy policy, a Euro 315 bn investment programme and work on migration and borders.

My Conservative colleague Sir William Cash moved an amendment to highlight the importance of migration and the impact of the free movement policy. The debate as a result had to cover both freedom of movement and the work programme, which overlapped anyway.

I spoke against the Energy Union proposal. I raised the question of how much of the Euro 315bn investment programme is to be money from  taxes in member states. The Minister told me that would be Euro 24bn, with the rest coming from borrowings and other levered money from the private sector. Sir William and I pointed out that under current EU law benefit reforms which we need to deal with recently arrived migrants may be illegal. I suggested putting our benefit system more onto a contributory basis, so recently arrived people will not automatically qualify without infringing EU law. Anyone educated at school here would also qualify for benefits.  Sir William proposed using an amendment to the European Communities Act allowing us to legislate as we wish, which would  be a good way of doing it.

Neither Mr Carswell nor Mr Reckless came to the debate, until at the very end Mr Reckless arrived. He did not speak. It was strange that both UKIP MPs missed a crucial debate on the activity of the EU for next year, and had nothing to say on migration, benefits  and borders. As it happens, the amendment was passed without a vote, but that was not clear until well into the debate. We need more Eurosceptic voices in the Commons. Once again it was just Conservatives. The Labour front bench supported everything the EU Commission proposed, and made no criticism of the Coalition government’s handling of the EU issue.

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147 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    You say “We need more Eurosceptic voices in the Commons. Once again it was just Conservatives.”

    Well certainly more EUsceptics indeed but how may Conservatives are? 50 perhaps or at best 100? How many Tories vote sensibly on EU issues certainly not the leadership who are overwhelmingly EUphile. Only a handful even voted against the patently insane climate change act. There is no chance at all of getting a fair referendum out of the pretend EUskeptic cast iron Cameron – perhaps better to have no referendum than a fixed one.

    Even if Cameron does manage to get a small overall majority (Miliband & Balls are trying their best for him) it will include Ken Clarke and very many like him.

    The majority of the Tory MPs will be EUphile let alone the majority of all MPs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      (Para left out re a named product ed)

      I just heard some dope on the BBC suggesting electric cars reduced reliance on fossil fuels! Electric cars and batteries are not a source of energy just storage. The circa £20,000 batteries (which have a limited life) are just the equivalent of a £100 plastic petrol tank. You still need an energy source at the power stations and far more than half is wasted in generation, distribution, battery charging, battery storage losses and discharging losses.

      Do the BBC ever employ anyone with a grasp of basic science in front of the cameras or only in the technical departments?

      After the “Climate Change by Numbers” drivel have we not had enough fake green propaganda from the BBC?

      With technology you should do r&d and get it working economically and then roll it out not put the cart before the horse. That way is hugely expensive and pointless as we see with absurdly subsidised wind and PV nonsense in the cloudy, northern UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        Mind you if you have several Hon. Members for Unilever, Unite, various greencrap companies and Beijing West you are likely to get even more of this nonsense tipping our taxes down the drain.

      • stred
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Someone was saying how pleased he was with his electric car. It cost nothing to run because he charged it from his PV panels. Presumably he didn’t need to use it when the sun was out.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Hear hear!

      The Conservative party is stuffed with Europhile’s and extremely lukewarm ‘sceptics’ that are forever happy to hop back on the EU bus whenever career interests dictate. The voting record speaks for itself.

      http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live

      • Hope
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        JR, what a pathetic electioneering last paragraph. Once more, you need to look at your leadership’s record on Europe before passing inane remarks. No doubt your debate will achieve little or scraps at best. Article 50 is the only option, stop beating your head against a wall.

        Cameron has broke promises about Lisbon, migration, bail outs, debate on the EAW and failed to get anything in return for allowing Merkel her fiscal pact. His veto that never was and rediculed by Junker. He has not yet told us what he intends to renegotiate, or rather what he is allowed to put into the public domaine by Junker. How much EU legislation has entered into the UK in the last five years Cameron has been in office? Has he actually stopped anything?

        Could you tell us categorically whether the EU has ordered, instructed of influenced in any way the sending of British troops to the Ukraine. Today Hammond is trying to tell us, full of propaganda, why Ukriane dispute is a threat to British interests. This is EU expansionism nothing to do with the UK! Please explain to us why the UK has got involved? Where are we with the EU army, what is the actual truth of UK involvement? The extent of your party’s Euro fantaticism appears to have no bounds.

        I seem to recall you writing that you would not pay the £1.7 billion extra payment to the EU for nothing in return, how did that go with Cameron? Did. He pay or did his con that he would not pay work with the British public?

        • David Price
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

          So why exactly are the two UKIP MPs in parliamenbt at all if they take no active part in matters that are supposed to be their overriding concern?

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          @Hope; “JR, what a pathetic electioneering last paragraph.”

          Not so, just the facts, and very uncomfortable facts for UKIP too. They have bleated on for years that they need MPs (not just MEPs) to be able to stand up for the UK but now they have a couple often the UKIP MPs are nowhere to bee seen

          As for your version of events, well so much for your own last three paragraphs of electioneering, hot air and much bluster, many facts being twisted to fit your ill-informed rant.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Unlike the Tory MPs who constantly pack the green benches for every debate, as we have so often seen.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      “Well certainly more EUsceptics indeed but how may Conservatives are?”

      There are more Fabian’s in the Parliamentary Conservative Party than EUsceptics .

      That Oxford PPE course …. again ….

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        @ADS; “There are more Fabian’s in the Parliamentary Conservative Party than EUsceptics “

        Well there will be if the eurosceptics keep leaving, you utter a self-fulfilling prophecy…

      • Hope
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        The public did not kick out the most successful Tory PM Maggie Thatcher it was the Euro fanatics in the Tory party. They learnt from their time under Major to be more discreet/under hand.

        Perhaps we need to understand why debate a subject they can do little about under the leadership of Cameron.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          @Hope; “The public did not kick out the most successful Tory PM Maggie Thatcher it was the Euro fanatics in the Tory party.”

          Perhaps, and just like the Labour Party 10 years before, those left smarting and with little influence decided to rip the heart out of the party in an act of spite.

          “Perhaps we need to understand why debate a subject they can do little about under the leadership of Cameron.”

          The problem is that some (outside of the party and/or parliament) do not want Cameron, like Major, to succeed because it would rather cramp their rants…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I’ve always argued that it would be better to have no referendum than a fixed one which not only kept us in the EU but completely shut down the issue for another generation, at least; however I’m changing my mind on that to some extent, in view of the way the SNP seems to be getting away with demands for a repeat run of the Scottish independence referendum despite having repeatedly said during the campaign that it was a unique, once in a generation or even once in a lifetime, opportunity for the brave Scots to shake off the shackles fastened on them by the wicked English back in 1707.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; “I’ve always argued that it would be better to have no referendum than a fixed one which not only kept us in the EU but completely shut down the issue for another generation”

        But a fixed referendum, that would see us leave the EU and shut down the issue for at least a generation, would be OK?!…

        “in view of the way the SNP seems to be getting away with demands for a repeat run of the Scottish independence referendum”

        As I said the other day Denis, you don’t seem to understand what democracy is and is not, as indeed the SNP do not seem to either 🙁

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          You should not assume that everybody else is like you, Jerry; some of us actually value honesty in public affairs.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; More filthy pots and pans calling the kettle dusty… Only you Denis, and those who think like you, are making such a big deal out of when, where and how this referendum is held.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            If hardly anybody cares about this referendum, why did the Tory leaders go to such lengths to try to get a law passed ordering it to take place?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; To neuter UKIP’s chuntering perhaps?!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            Why bother, if hardly anyone cares about it? Are you saying that the Tory leadership is so inept that it will expend great effort on an issue which is of no concern to the voters?

  2. Mark B
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This EU ‘Investment Program’, is just another way of saying; “Eurozone bailout !”

    Money will be diverted to poorer countries in the EU, and possibly Ukraine, only to be wasted and pocketed by corrupt officials. Its not as if it is their money and that their people and taxes and interest payments will be used. When it is other peoples money and those dishing it out are not going to be held accountable for its use, this kind of thing will go on.

    We need to leave. We need to reform our own Union and start the process of reform to our systems of government.

    Other member countries, particularly in the Eurozone, need to step up to the plate with their responsibilities and not try to off-load them on to us.

    • Hope
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Well said. Presumable the debate will be had among the other 27 countries who will view it from their perspective of net gain. Then we will find out in the distance future that the debate here was a waste of time as the UK was unsurprisingly out voted. Every time a new country joins the EU the UK voice gets smaller, it is a squeak at best as it is.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Maybe they decided, and I can certainly see why they might, that such debates are an exercise in futility

    • Timaction
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I agree. UKIP,s policy on the EU is clear. We don’t want tinkering but exit from this socialist dictatorship as only true patriots do!! We only have two representatives until May then we will start to see real change on behalf of the people. Not the cartel legacy parties!
      I read that Brown was spouting the usual lies in the Guardian, jobs at risk, trade, as Mr Hammond did on Marr unchallenged as always. We are all spreading the word on the true political project that has little to do with trade. Ask China, USA, Japan who don’t happen to be members.

  4. Mick
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    UKIP probably thought what’s the pint of being there because all you do is talk, then do what Mr Cameron tells you,

  5. Richard1
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Votes for UKIP – unless in Labour or LibDem marginals where the Conservative candidate doesn’t have a chance – will be wasted and won’t deliver a scintilla of extra euro scepticism. Only a majority Conservative govt will do that.

    • Bob
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      @Richard Recent by-elections suggest that you are wrong.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Flogging a horse which is not only dead but in an advanced state of decay.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        @Bob; Indeed, but by-election wins are historically on average nothing more than protest flashes in the pan, UKIP might yet regret not waiting until the general election, weathering the passing storm from gaining a Westminster presence from crossing the floor. Even if other PPC’s win for UKIP in May but either or both of those two by-election wins are lost it will do for UKIP as such losses did for the SDP in the 1980s.

        @Denis Cooper; Well perhaps Denis, but only after being flogged since at least 1993, and then in 2010 the horse finally died, all at the hands of UKIP.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          I can’t say that I really understand what you’re trying to say here, Jerry, but I will point out again that the economic and financial mismanagement of the Labour party was so gross that the Tory party should have easily beaten it into the ground at the 2010 general election, despite having sacrificed some support when Cameron decided to surrender over the Lisbon Treaty.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “I will point out again that the economic and financial mismanagement of the Labour party was so gross that the Tory party should have easily beaten it into the ground at the 2010 general election, “

            Indeed Denis, and the Tory party would have had a good majority, had it not been for UKIP, enough to have perhaps already held a In/Out referendum. UKIP even boasted about being the cause of the Coalition.

            “despite having sacrificed some support when Cameron decided to surrender over the Lisbon Treaty.”

            That is a prime example of UKIP flogging the life out of the horse, the only people who believe UKIPs spin on it are europhobic people and those who are still smarting the political loss of Mrs Thatcher as a figure head, everyone else understands the logic behind the course of subsequent events. Time to move on…

            As I’ve said before, UKIP are the EU’s best friend in the UK when it comes to getting their policies ratified by the UK parliament unchecked, unquestioned!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear, did some people decide to vote for nasty UKIP instead of sticking with your party despite all its lies and betrayals? Well, that’s called “competition”, Jerry, and you are supposed to be in favour of it, remember? And what makes you think that the 3% of the voters who decided to support UKIP would have supported your party if there had been no UKIP candidates offering an alternative? Many of them had resolved never to vote Tory again, and would not have done so. Labour had presented the Tory party with an open goal, don’t blame UKIP or anyone else if they were too incompetent to score.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “Oh dear, did some people decide to vote for nasty UKIP”

            Funny that, usually it’s UKIP complaining that ‘some people decide to vote for that nasty Tory party’, even sometimes going so far as to call such people traitors and such like…

            As for election figures, past election stats, or are you now going to back track on your willingness to use statistics to prove a point – oh and don’t forget that it was UKIP who claimed that they had taken votes from the Tory party. You seem to want your bread not only buttered on both sides but there be jam on both sides!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

            I would never say that ordinary members of the public who merely VOTE for Tory party candidates are traitors; they are mostly decent patriotic people who have been misled into voting for a party which is led by politicians who are not decent patriotic people.

            Nor did I ever agree with or support post-election analyses based on the obviously false assumption that in the absence of UKIP candidates all those who had voted for UKIP would have voted for the Tories instead. Not for the 2001 and 2005 elections, or for 2010 election either.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; ” they are mostly decent patriotic people who have been misled into voting for a party which is led by politicians who are not decent patriotic people.”

            Once again Denis you show your utter distant for democracy, “they are mislead”, people (politicians or voters) simply can’t have a different political opinion in your world can they, to do so means not only that they are being “unpatriotic” (to who, you?) but that they are not even “decent” (why, are they unwashed?) people.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I’ll tell you what we WILL get if people are stupid enough to vote Tory at the next General Election…………………a WAR!

      Listening to Cameron and his side-kick Hammond, it’s downright scary! They’re just as bad as the very worst warmongering neo-cons in Washington.

      I am a natural Conservative who believes that benign non-predatory capitalism can work for all of humanity. A good and equitable foreign policy can actually emancipate under-developed nations, to everyone’s mutual benefit, but this shower doesn’t even come close! They’re nuts!

      Last time, I voted Tory to get rid of Brown as a matter of national emergency. We simply couldn’t carry on with an incompetent Labour government. This time, we need to get rid of Cameron as a matter of national security. He’s already up to his neck in the catastrophic foreign policy failure that saw a stable country with a good infrastructure, Libya, turned into a failed state. Cameron is about to make the same mistake with Russia.

      He’s a chump! And I’ll tell you something else, there are a number of senior Conservatives who agree with me!

      • Hope
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Well said. But I think Cameron is doing the bidding of the EU junker supported by the US in the background.

        Cameron would make a great BBC news presenter. Good oral skills, Euro fanatic and left wing at heart.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          @Hope; We’re not in 1954 you know, other television and radio news services are available, indeed many more if you wish to subscribe to one that has been tailored towards a right-wing audience…

      • Richard1
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        I do find it rather bizarre that a number of contributors on this site seem to think a govt led by Ed Miliband would be preferable to one led by David Cameron. Its difficult to reconcile with professed euroscepticism, belief in a small state, low taxes, green scepticism etc. Isn’t the 7/10 option preferable to the 3/10 option?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink

          Make no mistake about it, I want neither Miliband nor Cameron (nor Clegg for that matter just in case someone jumps to that erroneous conclusion).

          I swear on my kid’s lives and a stack of Holy bibles this is true. God himself wouldn’t ever get the name out of me, but a rather prominent Tory MP rang me at home one Saturday morning and told me they thought Cameron was an opportunist – another Blair. And how right that person has turned out to be!

          My reply was a very succinct, ‘Then Christ help us!’

          I feel like a lot of other natural Conservatives – utterly betrayed!

          Interestingly, although I disagree with her brand of politics, I listened to what Claire Short had to say on the UK’s foreign policy on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, and I found myself agreeing with most of it, especially the bit about the UK being the US’ poodle. It will be remembered that she fell out with the Blair government on key foreign policy issues that led to unjust wars and millions of lives needlessly lost.

          With Cameron and his tough-talking bullshine, we are teetering towards the edge of oblivion, and people just don’t seem to be aware of the true extent of the danger he presents. I am not at all surprised Merkel and Hollande didn’t want Cameron anywhere near their recent discussions with Putin.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            @Tad Davison; Beyond the rhetoric, please define what you mean by “natural Conservatives”, judging from some of the comments on here (not necessarily yours) it seems to be some place the UK has not been since at least before Sept. 3rd 1939 and perhaps long before then.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 3:05 am | Permalink

          Well the Tories are slightly better but only every so slightly. The danger of Cameron is that he might even win a referendum together with the BBC propaganda unit and other vested interests like big business. Also if we get Miliband we might get a more sensible Tory party for 2020.

        • Bob
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          @Richard1
          Two words: Heywood & Middleton!

          Vote Tory – Get Labour/SNP.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; [re Heywood & Middleton by-election]

            UKIP only appeared to do well because so many Labour voters sat on their hands.

          • Bob
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry
            Wrong as usual. They switched to ukip, that’s why ukip’s support was “one of the biggest surges ever recorded in a by-election”.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            A lot of the support for UKIP in that by-election came from erstwhile Labour supporters, that was obvious from the numbers.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; Wrong again bob! Turn out was down to 36.0% from 57.5%, Labours vote was down circa 7,000 – 11,633 in 2014 compared to 18,499 in 2010.

            @Denis Cooper; Not so clear as you think, the Tory and LD votes were both down circa 10,000, Con 3,496 in 2015 compared to 12,582 in 2010; LD 1,457 in 2015 compared to 10,474 in 2010. UKIP polled 11,016 in 2015 compared to 1,215 in 2010,

            Source: Heywood & Middleton election result figures.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            Jerry, it was discussed extensively on this blog at the time, and if you missed that I suggest you look in the archives.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; [the Heywood & Middleton by-election] was discussed extensively on this blog at the time”

            So the polling figures are wrong, best you tell the election commission!

            The election stats speak for themselves, what ever opinion and spin may have said otherwise, and with the greatest of respects to this site and our host, any such discussion was hardly likely to have been supportive to Labour even had UKIP not put up a candidate.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          But it’s never been the case that all opponents of the EU do believe in a small state and/or low taxes and/or green scepticism. The core question is whether the decisions on such matters should be made by our national Parliament and government or by the EU, as Mark Reckless put it whether our country should be no more than a star on somebody else’s flag. It was the ostensibly right wing Tory party which first took us into the EEC/EC/EU federal project, and it was the Tory party which not only displayed the EU flag on the platform at its party conference but gave it the position of honour that would be accorded to a federal flag, superior to our national flag, and it is perfectly clear that those leading the Tory party are still determined to keep us within the EU proto-federation. It is not a matter of left or right, but of national sovereignty and democracy or legal subordination within a supranational federation, and that is one of the reasons why a chunk of erstwhile Labour supporters have now become UKIP supporters alongside a chunk of erstwhile Tory supporters.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Agree!! I see in the papers today that foreign aid has been made law. The House of Lords has decreed that 0.7% of our national wealth has to spent on overseas development and aid. Another nail in the coffin for the Tory party. Also agree that UKIP thought it would be a waste of time commenting in parliament as nothing will get done and those in favour of the EU will win through anyway. Like lambs to the slaughter!!

      • acorn
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Tad, the big mistake you made was voting Tory to get rid of Brown. There was NO national “financial” emergency. There was NO incompetent Labour government. In fact, you would struggle to find anything the Labour government did wrong under the then current legislation, that they were not pressured into doing by the Treasury and BoE civil service and Sp Ads.

        We now know with the advantage of hindsight, that failed banks should have been put into immediate administration and sold, the same day, as a going concern, to the Treasury, for £1; effectively nationalised and refinanced by the unlimited funds of the Treasury. The prime objective being, to keep the payment and settlement system of the bank concerned, operating.

        Anyway, with the likes of Hammond at the Foreign Office and Fallon at Defence, the next European war can’t be far away. I wonder if these muppets are actually aware that Russia still has over 8,000 nuclear warheads in missile silos and as many again, non-Start Treaty battlefield nukes.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          No emergency?no incompetent Labour govt? Which planet were you on in 2010? Borrowing was spiralling out of control – look what was happening in the bond market inc market commentary. More Brown could have put us back in the hands of the IMF like the last time Labour were in power. Hardly surprising with a budget deficit over 10% of GDP. Growth during the Blair-Brown years was all public sector driven, numerous foolish mistakes were made such as the sale of the gold, the reorg of financial regulation and compounded at the end by the unnecessary and foolish nationalisation of the banks for £70bn. We certainly needed to get rid of Brown and we certainly don’t want to go back to Brown Mark II with Miliband and Balls.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            @Richard1; “No emergency?no incompetent Labour govt?”

            No one is saying that there weren’t serious problems by 2010, or that a crisis wasn’t looming had the Blair-Browns era of tax/borrow & spend carried on, but there was surely no “national emergency” at the time of the election, if there had been I would have expected a lot more -quite possibly draconian- controls on the movement of money etc. to be put in place (either before or immediately after the election), indeed had there been an actual national emergency it would have been conceivable that a national government would have been formed in the same way as it was during the Great Depression of the 1930s instead of holding a general election in May of that year.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          @Acorn; Well said.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Could not possibly disagree more

      • Richard1
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Really? Take the Somerset seat where Jacob Rees Mogg will stand. There is a UKIP candidate. What will happen if euro sceptics vote for UKIP instead of for Rees Mogg? A LibDem – a euro federalist green enthusiast will win. Result? A eurosceptic – one in favour of withdrawal from the EU as it happens – will be replaced by a euro federalist. I really wonder what UKIP thinks it is for.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Dear Richard–A lot of people know very clearly what UKIP is for. You talk as if the present set up of tired and discredited parties is set in aspic for evermore or that there have not been fundamental shifts in parties many times in the past. Nobody said it would be easy. What a surprise BTW that Cameron is equivocating about the 2%. The only stuff he is clear on is (etc Leslie).

        • Timaction
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          That’s the problem with the legacy party cartel. They think they own Westminster with a right to rule forever. Think of their unpopular policies and record of the recent past. No reform of Human Rights. No repatriated powers from the EU, no reform of our huge EU bill, no control over immigration, NHS out of control through sheer need. Need for 250,000 school places for migrant children. Building on our greenbelt, congestion, over crowding, defence cuts, police cuts, increasing foreign aid, involvement in foreign wars, gay marriage. Our culture, history and very existence under threat, whilst we have extreme ideology and practices from now significant immigrant populations from the third world. Political correctness threatens to stop all freedom of speech!
          So why wouldn’t we want change?

  6. Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I am not sure when an amendment can be passed without a vote and am not sure of the law which ensures immigrants contribute prior to receiving benefits. I suppose when the argument is figured in compliance with the EU and it is for the UK’s benefit then there would be little opposition.

    • Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I thought that you may enlighten me John

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        It was passed without a vote because there was little opposition and so no need for a formal division. If the Speaker puts a question and there is little or no vocal opposition then it is taken as being agreed, without the need to interrupt proceedings in order to count up the MPs on either side.

        • margaret brandreth-j
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Thank you Dennis.

        • Posted March 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          Sorry to harp on about this Dennis and thankyou for answering my question , but how do they measure opposition when there are few bums on seats to oppose.I understand that those not in the house can vote from afar yet this problem was not open to a vote.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            The Speaker puts the question and tells all those present who agree with the proposal to say “Aye”, and then all those who disagree to say “No”. He then says that he thinks the “Ayes” have it, or the “Noes” have it, as the case may be, cue for another round of noise and so on and eventually he decides whether or not there should be a formal vote. Many measures are passed without a formal vote because there is little or no opposition and no voices are raised saying “No”.

    • Hope
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Cameron’s answer to the mass immigration is to promiseto build more houses if re elected! No thank you.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I have seen the ayes and the noes shout their various opinions and a decision made from very few people in the house which underlines my views that more should attend debates. I hope all MP’s have an agenda of proposed debates long before they take place .

  7. agricola
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    It is quite conceivable that both Mr. Carswell and Mr. Reckless had nothing to say because both they and their party have made it abundantly clear that to solve the immigration, benefits, and borders questions you have to leave the EU. No other party in the H o C is advocating such a policy. You and perhaps about 100 conservatives plus a handful of labour MPs support exit, but not enough to achieve anything. You have failed to convince the conservative party that exit is in our interests. Your stance and that of the two gentlemen on these subjects are the same so stop trying to make cheap political points in the election run up.

    It might be better to push your leader onto TV to explain why he is so pro E U and our involvement in it’s political outcome. The trade argument is shot to ribbons, so what is it about this socialist, Marxist, undemocratic, ruinous organisation that he so dearly loves. His explanation is long overdue.

  8. Jerry
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    First off, Thanks to you and the usual people for at least getting the important and not just allowing the “candy-floss” issues to be a part of the record.The two things that struck me were, as you mention UKIP’s apparent absenteeism (their silence was almost deafening!), but secondly as was also pointed out during the debate, 90 minutes was simply not long enough, an almost a scandalously short time, and such a time constant most likely put many europhile and eurosceptic MP’s off from even attending as a chamber full of MPs all wanting to speak would have made the debate a total farce.

    Something needs to be done to alter the procedures of the house in the next parliament…

    • ian wragg
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth would UKIP representatives debate the EU annual programme. Brussels will carry on implementing its programme regardless as to how much breath you waste in the HoC. Who actually writes the programme. What input do MEP’s have. Does anyone get a say in how it will be implemented.
      We saw the EU energy proposals, we now hear of the EU army proposals, what next.
      We are being taken over by aliens and MP’s are powerless to do anything about it.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        ian wragg; “Why on earth would UKIP representatives debate the EU annual programme.”

        To place on (official) record their objections at the very least, and considering that there appeared to be not a single shout of No! when the main vote was called…

        “Brussels will carry on implementing its programme regardless as to how much breath you waste in the HoC.”

        One then has to ask why UKIP bother having MPs at Westminster, other than for that style of river boat I’m not allowed to mention!

        “We are being taken over by aliens and MP’s are powerless to do anything about it.”

        It’s Life on Mars Jim, but not as we know it! Hyperbole on stilts, especially coming from a UKIP party activist. “MP’s” could end it tomorrow (decide to leave the EU), a strong eurosceptic Tory party could have ended it in 2010, but MP’s wont do so because at the moment they have no democratic mandate – something UKIP dealt, and boasted about causing, in early May 2010…

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I suspect its the same as Farage says about voting in the EU Parliament. You can vote against as much as you like but as an opposing minority it would have no impact. And I think anybody with a functioning brain would know that UKIP would oppose most anything the EU proposed. Out is the only way…

    Why bother now?

    • waramess
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I think the UKIP position of not voting or voting against all and every EU proposal is entirely honourable.

      Their view is not to renegotiate with the EU (worse than useless) but an exit at the first possible opportunity, so why give credence to the EU proposals.

      If others wish to remain and they are supported by a majority in parliament then let them take full responsibility.

      Perhaps one day the electorate might wake up to the fact that the majority of their representatives in parliament have an entirely different agenda to their own.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        @waramess; “I think the UKIP position of not voting or voting against all and every EU proposal is entirely honourable.”

        But will the general public see it that way, or will they simply see absentee MP’s not even bothering to vote… UKIP, any party, needs more than just their die-hard supporters to get elected, once the floating vote is lost for what ever reason the party (at least as currently constituted) is a busted flush, Labour found that out the hard way in the 1980s.

  10. DaveM
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Does the migration policy include the (slightly conspiracy theorist) rumour that reception centres issuing EU passports will be established in N African countries so that none of the migrants flooding in from there will be deportable?

    Maybe the two UKIP MPs didn’t bother turning up because they knew they couldn’t win against the EU-phile HoC and didn’t want to go to bed angry and frustrated last night.

    JR: “Once again it was just Conservatives.” A small minority defying the whip no doubt.

    Mr Redwood, I tend to look outside the BBC and Daily Mail bubble: The Sun, for example (who – to its shame and regret – was Blair’s kingmaker) is massively anti-EU, and is bending over backwards to help the Conservatives win the GE. However, your party is being broken by your leader. A simple deal with UKIP over voting in May could win you this election easily. As long as you have your EU-phile leadership you are banging your head against a brick wall.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Dave- They’ll be setting up EU funded ferries too.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Sir William Cash : “It is truly shocking that it took more than a year for the Government to bring forward a debate on the free movement of EU citizens, given that the document in question was recommended as long ago as January 2014 regarding a matter of enormous significance that was discussed on 5 December 2013 in the Justice and Home Affairs Council.”

    Mr John Redwood: ” This debate is a disgrace. This is a massive work programme with huge implications for the British people and our own country, yet we have been given 90 minutes.”

    After 9o minutes it was Resolved,

    “That this House takes note of European Union Document No. 5080/15 and Addenda 1 to 4, a Commission Communication: Commission Work Programme 2015–A New Start; and supports the Government’s view that the most significant initiatives are those that focus on the strategic priorities set out by the European Council in June 2014 to promote jobs, growth and investment in the EU; and urges the Government to encourage the Commission to develop policies during 2015 relating to the free movement of EU citizens.”

    It would seem that apart from yourself and Bill Cash only Jacob Rees-Mogg and Christopher Chope spoke from your party apart from your europhile Minister for Europe, in what would appear to be a “debate” with no meaningful consequence.
    None of this gives me any confidence that your party has any intention of taking us out of the EU.

    • DaveM
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      “None of this gives me any confidence that your party has any intention of taking us out of the EU.”

      They don’t have any intention at all of doing such a thing.

      Cameron intends to come back from a closed door meeting with his boss Merkel waving a piece of paper – Chamberlain-esque – with the intention of conning the British public into thinking we’ve got a good deal.

      He only needs to walk around the towns and cities to realise that any so-called renegotiation will be way too little too late, and that we’re not that easily duped or conned. He should stop wasting time, call a referendum this year (or early 2016) and get it over with, because the longer it goes on for the more anti-EU the populace will become, so not only will he be defeated but he will be utterly humiliated.

      If he did call an early referendum he might actually stand a chance of a majority in May.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your sentiments but will European migrants be allowed a vote? Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and Cameron cannot be trusted on any cast iron guarantee or no if or buts promise. Unless its gay marriage, foreign aid but will pay EU surcharges at any time.
        I heard Eastern European people expressing their voting intentions in the recent Scottish poll. Cameron will do everything in his quisling power to keep us in the political project. Even reducing our military for eventual submission to Junkers plan.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I missed this debate, but checking Hansard now I find that all the amendment did was to add the words:

      “… and urges the Government to encourage the Commission to develop policies during 2015 relating to the free movement of EU citizens.”

      to the end of the original government motion.

      That’s a pretty anodyne addition, given that the Commission has been more or less constantly developing policies relating to the free movement of EU citizens, just not necessarily policies that we would want, and so maybe it’s not surprising that government let it pass unopposed.

      There’s another debate this afternoon, about “subsidiarity and proportionality and the Commission’s relations with national parliaments”, and I don’t expect that much will come of that either.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–I clearly remember Hurd assuring us that Subsidiarity would be the saving of us. What a joke. The trouble is of course that the meaning of the word (if it is a word) is a matter of opinion……..THEIR opinion

  12. alan jutson
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you, for you and your colleagues efforts in attempting to curtail the relentless march of all things EU.

    Keep up the good work, those who hear about such debates support you, but all too often nothing is mentioned/reported in the media with regards to signing up to additional taxes and borrowing.

    It would seem that the Press and TV have a complete blind spot on creeping EU legislation when it does not involve treaties as a necessity and that is the danger.

    Agree benefits should be on a contribution basis.

  13. bigneil
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I notice the £315bn and immigration was left till last in the paragraph John. Hoping it would slip through? I wonder where a disproportionate amount of that cash will come from? I’m slightly cynical so I will guess . . . the UK. The EU’s target of our financial, and actual, destruction and annihilation is progressing nicely (for them). Take the money we have to borrow, flood us with highly-skilled car washers, make demands left right and centre that DC will (very willingly but with faux anger) do in his continued attempt to make the EU “Top Table” for himself. Everyone has a limit. maybe DC and the EU should remember what happened to Caeusescu. This country and the EU are becoming more like him every day.

  14. John E
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    A very good point and well put.
    We see every day the effects of bumbling amateurism and populist tabloid policies on our political life.
    It is desperately sad that hard work, determination, and professionalism are so little valued in this country.

  15. Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    What is the point of wasting time discussing any of these issues?
    We can’t do anything about controlling our immigration and borders whilst we remain in the EU, so why discuss these matters. Indeed, why discuss any of the matters mentioned as the EU will steamroller ahead whether we approve or not?
    Cameron is in the pocket of Jean-Claude Juncker, just like the Tories claim Miliband is in the pocket of Alex Salmond.

  16. DaveM
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    ConservativeHome’s articles are right on the money today. You really should get your party to read it!!!

  17. Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Good to know that some anti-EU activity paid off . I don’t read much into the absence of the 2 UKIP MPs for much of the debate , they were probably informed of the state of progress and realised their presence would add little to the outcome .

    The reality is that anything we might do or say concerning EU bureaucratic activity is likely to be cast aside . We have not the first line strength in our leadership representation for any follow up programme to be seriously regarded . I am presently in the middle of Nigel Lawson’s “Tory Radical” book where there are several illustrations so far of how Margaret stood her ground and became respected in her dealings with the EU ( if only this were the situation now !).

    I regret the fact that we spend any time debating EU matters in the House . By the end of this week I hope the “rebels” make a good case for the size and value of our Defence Budget and put a marker down that priorities cannot and should not be kicked into the long grass .

  18. A different Simon
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    “I suggested putting our benefit system more onto a contributory basis, so recently arrived people will not automatically qualify without infringing EU law. ”

    It is surely heaping insult on top of injury that the most vulnerable Briton’s should not only have their jobs taken by immigrants but get their assistance cut .

    MP’s are meant to represent Britons . You should be positively discriminating in favour of us .

    Reply I am not proposing cutting UK recipients’ benefits. The rule would be you qualify for UK benefits if you have paid NI for a specified time or if you were educated here.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Dear Simon–Once they have arrived they are us

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Postscript–Translated for the benefit of the weaker brethren if not clear, we should not have let them in in the first place and should not continue to let them in, certainly not in anything like the present numbers. If the EU doesn’t like that then for me that alone is more than sufficient reason for us to leave.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      So the sons and daughters of foreign nationals who live overseas and who are sent to private schools in UK (and there are lots, from Russia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong etc.) automatically qualify for UK benefits ? Where’s the logic in that ?

    • Jerry
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      @ADS; “It is surely heaping insult on top of injury that the most vulnerable Briton’s should not only have their jobs taken by immigrants but get their assistance cut .”

      OK then, lets stop people from the EU being able to work in the UK, but how do you feel about vulnerable Briton’s having their jobs taken by working age returning ex-pats?

      Funny how these migrants can find this work but not the British unemployed, those words uttered by Lord Tebbit, after the 1981 riots, about getting on a bike and staying on it until work is found…

      • A different Simon
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        There are Briton’s who did poorly at school and have limited ability and consequently only have a small number of jobs open to them .

        They can’t compete with go-getter’s from overseas who are prepared to do a job which they are over qualified for .

        You embarrass yourself by jumping through hoops to defend this situation . Is this because you are a hostage to political dogma or do you despise Briton’s at the bottom of the food chain so much ?

        Some industries (seem to rely heavily on recently arrived migrants ed) ; i.e. hotels , catering , chain coffee shops and increasingly construction and I.T.

        I have no problem with returning ex-pats .

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          @ADS; “They can’t compete with go-getter’s from overseas who are prepared to do a job which they are over qualified for .”

          That’s a new one! Normally the over qualified are the ones complaining that they didn’t get such jobs because they are over qualified and the employer thinks they won’t stay…

          I suspect the reason some people don’t get jobs is the same reason why they did poorly at school in the first place, attitude!
          Strange how many of those who have a SEN, and thus actually have a valid reason for suffering from poor educational ability, are the ones who don’t bleat and often thrive way above the level that many expected in both obtaining employment and then progressing, I have been involved in training such people and many actually out achieve those with academic qualifications.

          “Some industries (seem to rely heavily on recently arrived migrants ed) ; i.e. hotels , catering , chain coffee shops and increasingly construction and I.T.”

          No one is going to hand anyone a job on a platter these days, migrants show they are prepared to go the extra mile (quite literally) and thus they are prepared to actually turn up for their shift etc, some of the indigenous population bleat about having to catch the first bus at 6am, perhaps having to work in any weather or in a chilled environment, having to adhere to a company dress and/or health code etc.

      • forthurst
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        “…but how do you feel about vulnerable Briton’s having their jobs taken by working age returning ex-pats?”

        You mean the highly skilled returning from countries which only let in people with the useful skills they need? Whose jobs would they be taking, exactly?

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          @forthurst; There are many many many UK passport holding ‘children’ of ex-pats living in other EU countries, many competing for low skilled jobs just like everyone else in their country of residance, there are many adults who have gone to work in other EU countries that are not highly skilled, all these people could well have to return if tick-for-tack migration policies were put in place.

          Don’t even start on benefits that returning ex-pats would be 100% entitled to should retires feel the need to return to “old-blighty”.

          There is nothing worse than an unthinking Europhobe, and that’s an ignorant Europhobe…

          • David Price
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            There is something worse – an ardent eu-phile. By demonstration a eu-phile automatically puts the EU first, ahead of his neighbourghs whereas a eu-phobe does not.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; Stop the world, I want to get off, or in the case of UKIP, engage reverse, I wan t to go back to 1950….

            It’s not a case of being europhile, eurosceptic or whatever, it’s a case of living in and dealing with the world as it is today and not as it was at some point in history past.

          • David Price
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            The issue is entirely about a group of UK public employees and representatives that put the interest of the EU above and ahead of those of the UK.

            If such had actually succeeded in delivering substantial benefits for people in this country and didn’t continually undermine our interests for the sake of unrestricted migration, for example, then there would not be as much ill feeling towards the EU and UKIP likely wouldn’t flourish.

            The fact is though that the eu-philes have failed, they have got us very little to balance all that they have given away. They pat themselves on the back for being good europeans while achieving noth for us and merely being usfeul idiots for the EU bureaucrats, German and French politicians.

            The world has moved on, it is the EU and it’s sycophants who are stuck in the past.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; “The world has moved on, it is the EU and it’s sycophants who are stuck in the past.”

            So say those wanting to turn the clock back to pre 1973… 🙂

            The EU is a fact of life, even if the UK chooses not to be a member, and we will be influenced by what they do and decide like it or not. I’m not saying that we are better off in, just that we will be better off in OR out if we engage rather than take the UKIP route of being antagonistic if not outright rude at ever turn.

            Oh and if it was only the issue of the EU then UKIP most probably would not flourish, in fact we hear increasing little from UKIP about the EU directly [1], they have found a niche way of blaming the EU for the UN’s IPCC (whose influence sorry, interference has infested almost all national governments world wide) and the failings of our indigenous population and society etc.

            [1] as for example in the said debate that our host’s entry into his diary is about, their two MPs not bothering to turn up to either speak nor vote

    • David Price
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      In late 2014 the ECJ ruled that Germany could deny benefits to unemployed EU migrants if they had not held a job in that country. So there is scope within the current EU rules to address that issue though I suspect we would need to also address aspects of so-called self employment like the big issue scam.

      A contributory basis would probably be a useful element to such an approach and provision also made for UK youngsters who have been in education, ie those who have right of abode already.

  19. Peter Stroud
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I notice that there are a handful of Labour MPs who are passionately Eurosceptic. Perhaps a loose pact between the Conservative and Labour Eurosceptic MPs and UKIP members might be a good idea. I’m sure such alliances have been formed in the past, for other causes.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Superb idea and all the more likely to come about once UKIP get a few more seats. That’s why the latter is the number one priority, even at risk of more supporters of that maniac Miliband

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Such a “loose pact” was formed to campaign in the last referendum we had on the Common Market in 1975 with predictably chaotic results.

  20. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    As an exercise in banging heads against velvet covered brick walls, this was certainly a prime example of that futile activity. You did say that ‘This debate is a disgrace’ and you were quite right, it was. The Minister appeared to be Europhile and perhaps it should not be a surprise if the 2 UKIP MPs you mentioned simply treated the ‘debate’ with the contempt that it clearly deserved. In years to come we may look back wistfully to the good times when debates such as this one took place at all, even if the views of the various protagonists had little influence and no effect.

    • David Price
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      The UKIP MPs didn’t treat the debate to anything at all, not even a statement for posterity in Hansard, so are they in parliament merely for decoration?

      If thet take the coin but do not take an active part aren’t they treating their electorate with contempt?

  21. Mondeo Man
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “Neither Mr Carswell nor Mr Reckless came to the debate, until at the very end Mr Reckless arrived. He did not speak. It was strange that both UKIP MPs missed a crucial debate on the activity of the EU for next yea…”

    Well. They were in the Tory Party a long while, John. Old habits die hard.

    I’m not a Ukip fanboy. But I’m not voting Tory.

    And it looks like another coalition – Cameron couldn’t beat Brown and he can’t beat the ridiculous Ed Miliband.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      We need to ask why Ukip exists. The answer to that is immigration, immigration, immigration.

      No matter how many jobs you create or houses you build there will never be enough and our kids are going to be poor.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Mondeo Man; “We need to ask why Ukip exists. The answer to that is immigration, immigration, immigration.”

        Err, UKIP began as a party to ensure that the UK didn’t end up being a part of the Euro Zone (hence their Logo…!), complete with the slogan about “Keeping the Pound”. Why do I get the feeling that you are getting mixed up with other parties -old and new- that are some way further to the political right than UKIP ever will be and more importantly would like to be associated with… 🙁

        “No matter how many jobs you create or houses you build there will never be enough and our kids are going to be poor.”

        Funny that, the largest single population boom the UK has seen in modern history was due to the baby boom of the 1950 and ’60s, but even with the migration waves of during the same period and the economic problems of the late 1970s and early 1980s, from the late 1980s until the banking crisis of 2008 the UK was able to build plenty of houses [1], finance their purchase, create jobs and have on average a very good standard of living.

        [1] although not enough, although that was more than often down to planing issues

      • A different Simon
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Disagree , the main reason is sovereignty , not immigration .

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Mondeo Man you are wrong, UKIP exists to get the UK out of the EU. Immigration is but a symptom of a much larger problem.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          Correct, Alan.

  22. Robert Taggart
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Good to see the ‘awkward squad’ are still alive and well – live long and prosper !

  23. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The amendment and your contribution will make not a scrap of difference. It’s never enough, it’s never robust enough, it’s never tough enough. They know they can safely let you and the few others have a say and then ignore you, safe in the knowledge you will fall in line when push comes to shove.

    If you were truly anti-EU and wanted the best for the UK and England you would you would leave your party and campaign for OUT. Your ‘new relationship’ argument is just double talk.

    Messrs Carswell and Reckless showed some belief. I imagine you would get re-elected so you could do what they did safely. If you can’t bear UKIP then be an independent. By staying in you give encouragement to those in your party who support the EU, that they are safe because opposition to them is weak. You can’t claim that the EU does not dominate your thinking and your politics, if this blog is anything to go by.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Dear Prang–Our host says he gave his word to his constituents to the contrary, which he feels overrides the fact that if he were to resign (albeit now too late for a by-election I’d guess) and translate himself to You Know Where, that would make a real and very patriotic difference, much bigger than Carswell and Reckless (who frankly, and with all due respect, are not in the same league, certainly not in the public eye). As I see it, the position would be that the Conservatives ratted on and left him, not the other way round.

    • David Price
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      My impression is that after 20 years of trying UKIP only started to make headway when they stopped complaining about loss of sovereignty and started complaining about immigration. Some might say UKIP have abandoned the moral high ground, others that UKIP had to adapt and follow a line that brought more support where it matters.

      In a parliament that has to demonstrate some support for democracy but is predominantly pro-EU you’d have to follow the negotiate-referendum path or something very similar to get parliament to support the referendum.

      The alternative is that UKIP take enough Labour and/or LibDem seats to be able to force a coalition and the agenda. To do that you would be better advised to focus on encouraging Labour/LibDem voters instead of depleting the potentially supportive Conservative MPs.

      Do you want a referendum/leave the EU or do you want to destroy the Tories?

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    As only 2% of the 200-odd backbench Tory MPs actively participated in this debate it seems a bit harsh to criticise the 2 UKIP MPs for their lack of participation.

    • Bob
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper
      Exactly, a 50% turnout for ukip vs 2% of the Tories. pah!

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for qualifying my comment about Tories at 11.28, Denis.

    • David Price
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Yet UKIP is supposed to be 100% focussed on disentangling us from the EU impediment so should engage in any and all EU related matters. What they have demonstrated instead is that they are incapable or don’t care enough. After all, if you have no authority you can claim no responsibility or influence yet still get paid to whine from the side lines.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper; But what’s that saying, something about Three’s a crowd?

      The less numerate your presence the greater the need to be physically present…

      As there was only one UKIP MP present at the end of this debate, who didn’t speak, who didn’t (appear to) vote, that says far more than a twisted percentage will ever do. If I was a UKIP MP I would act more like Denis Skinner than Denis Cooper, believing that the average voter is good at percentages!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        You have no idea what the 2 UKIP MPs were doing when they were not in the chamber for this debate, any more than you know what 200 Tory backbenchers were doing elsewhere when this debate was held.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 11, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; I suspect our host has been far more busy, if only judged on the fact that he is still moderating comments from three days ago, but he managed to tun up. Never mind the fact that for UKIP anything involving the EU on the floor of the house will trump almost anything else beyond a personal/family emergency, and as has been stated there was one UKIP MP present by the end yet there doesn’t seem to have been any discontent shown even a solitary should of No! would have done…

          Reply Mr Carswell also was absent from yesterday’s debate on the EU and national Parliaments, and Mr Reckless arrived half way through, too late to make a speech.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            @JR reply; John, can you confirm (time permitting) if there has been any timetabling problems, such as these debates starting before the expected time, or if either UKIP member might have been in Westminster hall or in committee. Also, should being late to a debate be unavoidable due to other official business, can arrangements be made with the Speaker should the MP wish to speak?

            Without such an excuse and considering that both these MPs have now been in parliament for one party of another close on five years I really can not understand why or how they can turn up late other than by design, had both been completely new to parliament late last year then their time keeping/absence might be excusable!

            Reply There was nothing unusual about the timetabling, and the order paper made clear there was a Conservative amendment to the EU Work programme debate to highlight free movement of peoples and migration.I have no idea what the 2 UKIP MPs were doing. I merely reported because I thought it interesting they missed a rare opportunity to debate this topic which Conservative MPs had engineered. No you cannot speak if you arrive late, as you have to listen to the opening speeches to be part of the debate. It is a debate, not people reading out their own speeches in a vacuum. On the Conservative side a group of us conducted the debate – with other Conservatives trusting us to put the Conservative Eurosceptic viewpoint and doing other things, as we cannot all get in to a debate.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            So do you know what they were doing outside the chamber? Could they have been in committees, alongside some of the 200 Tory MPs who were also absent?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            @JR reply; Thanks for the time to reply.

            @Denis Cooper; If the UKIP MPs were likely to have been in Westminster Hall or committee it would not be to difficult to check the order paper for that day etc, I know you love to cite URL’s, here is your chance!… As for your comment re the other Tory MPs, JR’s reply to me (above) covers this.

  25. Atlas
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    You are correct John,

    The Eurosceptic Party UKIP should make its voice heard in such debates.

  26. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Sir William also pointed out, in uncomplimentary terms, his low opinion of the government for the way they had limited the debate on such important matters to a mere 90 minutes.

    Even if the two UKIP MPs had been present throughout the debate it is extremely unlikely either would have been called to speak given the very limited time and the status of those who were called.

    In fact it was notable how few MPs were in the Chamber, eurosceptic Tories included.

    Having said that, I delayed watching my favourite football team win at Old Trafford so I could watch live all who spoke. And, John, I agree with all you said and the way that you said it.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      @Alan Wheatley; Had UKIP been present from the start, even more so had they made it know to the speaker that they wished to speak before hand, there would have been an even greater chance of at least one of them being called. You can’t expect to speak if you do not turn up!

  27. Stevie
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood I watched your performance in the House last night it was a pity so few members were there. It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.
    The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
    The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.
    The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.
    At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.
    No one produced anything.
    No one earned anything.
    However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

    And that, is how the bailout package works.

    • acorn
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Stevie, you have just discovered fiscal stimulus.

      The guy who left the €100 note was the the Chancellor of the Euro Exchequer. That note cost him nothing, as he is the issuer of that currency. Everyone else in your story is a currency user.

      The Quantity Theory of Money which in symbols is MV = PQ. The money stock (M) times the turnover velocity per period (V), is equal to the price level (P) times real output (Q).

      In Mr Osborne’s economic ideology (and JR’s), V is fixed (despite empirically it moving all over the place) and Q is always at full employment as a result of markets always being infallible; always adjusting to maximise the use of resources; always yielding the perfect outcome. None of which is true.

      Frankly “V” in your story is impossibly high. You end up with a “fiscal multiplier” that would make our GDP (that is Y above) undergo stratospheric growth and use up the total capacity of the economy in days leading to inflation.

      No one produced anything. No one earned anything. Oh yes they did; they all did and would have been components of a very handsome GDP report from the ONS!!!

      In your story, there was no VAT. That is, no “leakage” from the money flow around the economy. The Chancellor who put down the €100, would have got it all back eventually with the VAT tax, everytime the money changed hands, that is “V” incremented. In your economy, the hotel owner pays all the VAT back in one go when the German Chancellor leaves the hotel.

      That is how a sovereign fiat currency economy works. All we need is a political party that understands it. Unfortunately none of ours get anywhere near understanding it.

  28. Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    “Anyone educated at school here would also qualify for benefits.” Why do you want people to go on benefits straight after school?

    Reply I do not! Just think about it and what you need to do under EU law to achieve the objective.

  29. Ian wragg
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Just been looking at grid watch and wind is supplying 0.385gw or 0.73%. Any comments John seeing as Brussels is about to take control of National Grids with Tory blessing.

  30. Jon
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    “Once again it was just Conservatives. The Labour front bench supported everything the EU Commission proposed”

    It’s like Ed Ball’s dossier on Conservative spending which was inaccurate but nothing from the Shadow Chancelor on what he would cut to balance the books. She he of all people be spending time looking into how he will manage the finances instead of shirking that.

  31. Posted March 10, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    UKIP has just changed its immigration policy from an annual cap to a points based system. If we want a control system that works to our advantage, we need both. Perhaps the UKIP members didn’t feel well enough prepared to debate.

    Incidentally, delaying benefit entitlement is not an immigration control system. The Conservative Party does not need to allow the PM to make policy on the hoof, nor should it. Remember the Bloomberg speech of early 2013, with little follow up in detailed definition. Remember the VOW, a most appalling panic measure for which we will pay dearly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 11, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      A points based system must incorporate an annual cap, or it is a nonsense. The oft-mentioned Australian system had a cap of 190,00 for this past year.

      • Bob
        Posted March 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        @Denis
        If you set the bar right, the cap will take care of itself and standards will improve.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          Firstly you have no control over the number of applicants. As the world population is 7 billion and rising it could potentially be a very large number.

          Secondly you cannot predict with any certainty what proportion of the applicants will qualify if you set the bar at a certain level.

          Set it very high and maybe nobody at all will get over it, which may not be what you really want, but worse than that if you set it too low it could be a huge number who qualify, far more than you want.

          It would be reckless to have a system which could potentially lead to you having to admit an excessive, huge, number of immigrants because you had it far too easy, in fact that would be pretty much the same situation as we are in now.

          Therefore the first step must to decide how many immigrants you want, which the Australians have done by saying that there are 190,000 places in their immigration scheme for 2014-2015:

          http://www.immi.gov.au/News/Pages/migration-programme-2014-15.aspx

          With various sub-totals making up that overall cap – 128 550 places for skilled migrants, 60 885 places for family migrants and 565 places for special eligibility cases.

          Having set the immigration cap(s) for the year there is no reason why you should not review the position of the bar on a monthly or quarterly basis to make sure that they are not exceeded over the whole of the year, but unless you are working to numerical target(s) for the year there’s no way to decide whether the bar has been set too high or too low.

        • David Price
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          The bar just sets a numerical limit, a points system allows you to be selective eg for engineers and scientists over plumbers, you need both points and cap.

  32. rick hamilton
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    I am convinced that after decades of control from Brussels the mainstream politicians are scared to death of the prospect of taking responsibility for running an independent UK. Civil servants who now gold plate EU regulations would also be terrified of the need for independent thought. Most ministers have little or no experience of the activities they are responsible for and almost none of them have scientific or technical qualifications. Why we continue to appoint Chancellors who have zero financial or business experience also baffles me. How can such people challenge vested interests at the Treasury and in big banking?

  33. Richard
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I thank Mr. Redwood for his efforts and whilst I agree with him that we need more Eurosceptics voices in the Commons I do not think this can be achieved by voting Conservative.

    The Conservative Party is no less Europhile than the Labour, Lib Dem or Green parties.

    It is the party for “big business” who really like EU membership for the advantages it gives them to be able to heavily influence the regulations and to be able to move factories, workers and profits to wherever they like.

    To keep voting Conservative and expecting the Commons to be filled with Eurosceptic members is Einstein’s definition of insanity :

    “Insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    Those English voters who wish England to be out of the EU should learn from the SNP’s success in Scotland and start voting for those who truly represent them.

  34. William Long
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The fact at you were only given 90 minutes encapsulates all the reasons why I find it impossible to vote for the Conservatives under their present leadership.

  35. Edward2
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Jerry
    I’ve counted 50 posts from you on just this article.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      @Edward2; If it’s a problem to our host then he is free to either advise me in public or via email. But if it’s a snide comment about free speech you want, how about considering your own contributions, how many would be better made on a UKIP blog – even more so come the end of this month?…

      • Edward2
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        51 lol!

        • Jerry
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          @Edewartd2; You really don’t understand the concept of democratic debate do you – oh and yes this will be “#53”, what ever…

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            52 actually.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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