The relentless march to a more united Europe

This week Mr Hollande assured Mrs Merkel that the French local election results would make no difference to France’s economic policy despite the poor showing for his party. He confirmed that France would try to  stick to the Euro disciplines. In practice France is finding it too difficult to hit the deficit target, but apparently wants to.  Meanwhile France and Germany signed up to further joint projects to reinforce the merging of their two economies within the Eurozone and its common framework. Both of them played down the threat to the Euro from Greece, saying they wanted the experts to make more rapid progress assessing Greece’s latest policy offering, and claiming  to be relaxed about the Greek visit to Moscow.

Stories circulate  that Greece may face capital controls and suspension of bank account convertibility if things get worse, or that Greece is even planning to nationalise the Greek commercial banks and issue a parallel or new Greek currency to pay the bills. The Greek government denies these rumours and has just tabled new proposals to try to comply with some of the requests of their creditors.  It seems to me more likely that Greece and the rest of the Eurozone will cobble together a compromise, as it seems clear Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande do not wish to see an exit of Greece from the currency. Meanwhile the ECB lend more to Greece to keep the banks going.

All this reinforces a central truth for the UK. The Euro is driving relentlessly the process of political union for its members. They will volunteer for more and more joint projects, investments and shared networks as part of a deliberate policy to blur national distinctions and make more matters truly European.They are edging towards a proper banking union, where the ECB is still financing the Greek commercial banks as they are  under pressure. They will need to make more progress in achieving common welfare and larger transfers of cash from the richer to the poorer areas. The UK wants  no part of this, and will have to battle to stay out or get out of the intrusive features of political union to support the monetary union.

I just hope enough UK people understand the urgency of all this. The Greek drama is driving events at a fast pace. The UK needs a new relationship soon to avoid being sucked into the EU political union. Last night five of the parties present either pretended there is no issue with the EU, or affected to be  relaxed about all its current policies, powers, and direction. On this issue these five parties are out of step with a majority of people in the UK. The UK needs the renegotiation and the referendum which Conservative policy offers. Polls also make clear the public  is not about to elect a government pledged to leave without negotiation and discussion with the rest of the EU.

Voters who care about self  determination and democracy here in the UK need to ask how they can best further that aim in the election.

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179 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I have sadly come to the conclusion that the vast majority of our general Public do not understand or seem to want to understand the workings of the Euro, the EU in general, or the move towards political union.

    Indeed one starts to wonder if people (and some politicians) actually believe their is a hidden orchard of money tree’s somewhere in Parliament Square, so little seems the basic connection between spending and taxation.

    Yes it is worthy to try and enlighten them, and do please continue to try JR, but I think the only thing that will really wake them up, is a full blown financial crisis. Not that I wish for one, but we nearly had that is Cyprus where the EU wanted to rob ordinary people of their savings to cover that Country’s debt, but instead chose common sense after much argument and threat.

    Unfortunately a real crisis in Europe may have a knock on effect here, no matter how much we try and insulate ourselves from it, but at the moment few believe it.

    Bribery with our own money still seems the order of the day for most Party’s.
    Likewise Borrowing and future debt, is now called an investment in our future.
    That is until the Bailiff comes a knocking.

    For too long now we have worried about looking after and subsidising people who are in debt, but who are fit and able, when what we should be doing is making sure we look after the people who are paying to look after those who are in debt, like the savers and taxpayers of our Country who are the majority and who fund it all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Well the BBC/Labour/Libdems/Greens/SNP/Plaid Cymru all do their very best to pretend that governments do have a magic money orchard at every turn.

      The statement the government should invests in …… should set off all the alarms. Before governments can invest (almost always in something totally absurd like greencrap energy or HS2, damaging wars or pointless bureaucrats, licence issuers or regulators) they have to first steal the money from people or industries who would have invested it far better and more efficiently than governments do.

      “Investment” by Governments is nearly always a big net negative – beyond basic law and order, defence and some infrastructure.

      • agricola
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Yes, one of the most misleading government tricks is to add government spending to GDP as if it ever turned a profit for anyone. Then our borrowing gets measured against GDP to further delude everyone.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Indeed much of what they do is actually a negative merely inconveniencing people, HS2, pointless wars, motorist mugging, pushing up energy prices or employment costs or just preventing people doing things.

          Given this I suspect we get value from what the government spends of rather less than 20% of the actually spend. Also the tax collection costs to be considered and the huge damage that does in distracting the private sector from productive activities.

          • Hope
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            Well said Alan. All parties thus far need growth to hide their shameful spending and to make the spending sound small to GDP. It is still wasteful govt, too much spending and too much interference by govt. The shameful spending on overseas aid needs to highlighted for what it is. Most would help a little to those in need through disaster, but not if their govt chooses to spend billions on space programmes rather than feed their population. It is certainly not the UK taxpayer responsibility.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I understand what you are saying about the public not seeming to understand just what is happening in the EU at the moment but that is down to the fact that most of the media never actually tell them and the BBC is totally biased towards staying in the EU and can never say anything positive about leaving. All political leaders, apart from Farage, tell us how wonderful the EU is and unless you actually follow what is happening in the EU parliament you are never going to know what is really happening and what is being planned for the future. I despair at the knowledge of the young when it comes to politics and suggest that maybe some kind of political, unbiased education would be good.

      How anyone can want to stay in Europe at the moment with the risk of having to use the Euro is beyond me. All the time we have the likes of the wet Cleggie going on about job losses etc most people will be scared about coming out. We need to clarify just what will be expected of us if we vote to stay in or we don’t get a referendum. A referendum is looking less likely all the time unless the Tories join with UKIP. This is what Cameron is afraid of. To have a Cons/UKIP coalition would be dangerous as Farage would get a real chance to let the public know just what the score really is regarding the EU.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        I’m convinced this is the very reason some parties want the voting age to be lowered, to increase the size of the pool of ill-informed people. Maybe politics should be a core subject in our schools, but then I wouldn’t trust the so-called ‘progressive left’ to poison the debate, brain-wash the pupils, and influence it in their favour.

        It isn’t for no reason that a lot of senior people tend to vote for centre-right parties with an anti-EU agenda. They have a whole life’s worth of experiences to draw upon.

        Tad

        • Jerry
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          @Tad Davison; “I’m convinced this is the very reason some parties want the voting age to be lowered, to increase the size of the pool of ill-informed people.”

          Yeah, as if some of the current voter base are not as ill-informed, or even worse.

          Indeed, maybe politics should be a core subject in our schools, but then I wouldn’t trust the so-called ‘democratic right’ to poison the debate, brain-wash the pupils, and influence it in their favour, ho-hum…

          “[senior people] have a whole life’s worth of experiences to draw upon.”

          Indeed, but often their experiences have been built upon simple prejudice, not in anyway informed facts or even opinion, one only have to look a some of the rather nasty things such people have said in the last 5 years about same sex relationships for example.

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          Tad

          I had to laugh at your comments about brain washing pupils. It’s already going on. Take the Global Warming crap. That’s taught as though it is confirmed science when it’s not. Take a look at Scotland. Pupils are being brain washed up here. The propaganda about Scotland and its relationship with England and the SNP pushing forward the independence crap. An SNP councillor actually suggested that over 60’s should not be allowed to vote on the independence issue. One of my friends wrote and got published a letter saying “Why don’t you just go the whole hog and ban anyone from voting unless they are an SNP member?”

          Just about sums up education in the UK today!!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Lefty parties clearly want as many non tax payers to vote as possible then they can vote to rob money of the perhaps minority of people who pay for it all.

          • Monty
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 1:09 am | Permalink

            Instead of having an arbitrary age for enfranchisement, I would favour a more discerning threshold. For example, five years of full time employment, with a concession of three years of service in the armed forces. (We could make some special provision for those registered disabled.)
            The number of people who are net burdens on the economy, will ultimately outstrip the number of contributors. Luckily for us, many of the burdens are so bone idle that they never bother to vote at all. But if they ever get wind that their handouts might come to an end, they will vote in their droves, for every penny they can exact before the entire edifice collapses into bankruptcy.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

            @Monte

            Indeed, if you ask voters would you like more public services and higher benefits (that you will never have to pay for someone else will) one tends to get he answer “yes please”. This is just legalised theft through “democracy” in essence.

            It is essentially what the Labour party (and lefty parties in general) are all about. The politics of envy and of course the over rewarding the state sector employees and state sector unions. It is one lot of people living of the backs of others.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        The BBC clearly dances to the EU’s tune and Cameron clearly likes this – otherwise why would we have have had Lord Patten and Rona Fairhead at the Trustees.

      • zorro
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Your last sentence sums it up….. The Tories can ensure that a referendum goes through by a pact with UKIP providing they get enough seats. But as you say Cameron is unlikely to go there, although he did shake hands with NF at the end of the debate. It is either that or a Faustian pact with the SNP to ensure that at least the majority of voters in England get some recognition of where their votes go in what policy is enacted.

        zorro

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          UKIP will get a hand full of seats at best. Both the Libdems and SNP will get more with far less support.

          • Hope
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            Not sure you are right,new will see.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        It’s actually worse than the media failing to provide information, not only because they sometimes deliberately provide misinformation but also because they will block attempts to remedy their deficiencies.

        In a comment below I’ve quoted an excerpt from an July 2011 article by the Tory commentator Andrew Lilico which ended with the words:

        “… virtually no-one knows that a Treaty revision has been agreed and is awaiting ratification”,

        and the reason for that almost universal ignorance was the virtually complete media blackout about the treaty change.

        As far as the Telegraph was concerned that systematic suppression of the facts extended to the instant vaporisation of readers’ comments which referred to the treaty change, which continued for months until the Bill to approve the treaty change was well on its way through Parliament and it was too late to do anything about it.

        I could understand and accept this for comments that risked revealing sensitive information, for example security information, which was the subject of an official DA-Notice, but not for information about an EU treaty change.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The Greek situation will be a good bellweather here. If they are let go, then we have the real possibility of it sinking in to people just how bad things are. Any new Greek currency will be practically unconvertible, leaving a Euro cash economy and a floundering new drachma bank-based one. If Greece is propped up, then we are a long way down the road to a very weak Euro-based system, where all the weaklings know they will be supported by printing money.
      On the other side of the coin, the Swiss economy, who nobody much talks about, is starting to suffocate with a practically 1 to 1 exchange rate with the Euro… they have to print massively, again, or deflate to stay alive.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      @alan jutson; “I have sadly come to the conclusion that the vast majority of our general Public do not understand or seem to want to understand the workings of the Euro, the EU in general, or the move towards political union.”

      Or of course they do understand but either do not care or -as silly as it might seem to most of us on our hosts site- approve.

      “Unfortunately a real crisis in Europe may have a knock on effect here, no matter how much we try and insulate ourselves from it, but at the moment few believe it.”

      That will happen whether we are a part of the EU or not, just as whenever the USA (and now China, amongst others) catches a cold the UK tends to develop a bout of economic Flu. Together with depressed wages and off-shoring etc. it is one of the unwelcome side effects of Globalisation.

      “Bribery with our own money still seems the order of the day for most Party’s.”

      I would say that all political parties have that trait and always have had, of course years ago it was designed to the benefit of the few (because it was only the few who actually had the vote), now the ‘bribery’ is designed to appeal to the majority, being a member of the EU is irrelevant, and indeed these traits could become far worse if/once outside of the EU – don’t believe me, go read some of the more radical (both left or right) party policies/manifestos, if the SLP ever rise from the ashes then I hope that the money trees also raise like a Phoenixes because the economic policies of the SLP will make Mr G. Browns sale of UK gold reserves at the bottom of the market look like an economic master piece of success.

      @Lifelogioc; @fedupsouthener; Not just the BBC, all the broadcasters these days tend to tell; us what they think we want to hear, indeed it can be argued that because of the BBC’s funding method they are the one broadcaster more likely to give the less rosy picture because they do not have to worry about telling their advertisers audience that they should be saving their mo9ney and not spending it on such items!

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Utter rubbish. Most people do not understand as Alan stated. The cartel continue their deceit helped by the MSM.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 6, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          @Hope; “The cartel continue their deceit helped by the MSM.”

          More conspiracy theories…

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      You’re dead right Alan!

      The people of Britain have consistently been peddled a lie that 3 million jobs depend upon the UK’s continued membership of the EU. They’ve been brainwashed by an unrepentant political structure that is hell-bent on destroying our nation state, and a media that should know better and doesn’t properly hold them to account.

      I’m aiming to take delivery of a new car soon, and for once, one that isn’t made in the UK. It’s made in Belgium, and I’m hoping it will stand on my drive when the canvassers from the pro-EU parties come to call. I will ask them if the Belgians will no longer wish to sell us cars like these if Britain were to leave the EU. And as we realists know, trade is a two-way street.

      I’ll leave everyone to guess where the conversation will go from there on, and how long they’ll stay on my property if they persist in trying to con me with lies. I can be pretty earthy with my language, and they’ll get both barrels!

      Tad

    • acorn
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I am willing to bet you have no idea about ” … basic connection [or lack of it] between spending and taxation”.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Maybe John could explain to use why the Lords accusing Tories of ‘burying’ review that cleared EU of interference?
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/28/lords-accuse-tories-burying-eu-powers-review

      • Edward2
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        You do realise the Guardian who’s stories you regularly quote gleefully is to many just the left wing version of the Mail.
        A paper which you with your political leanings regularly decry on here.

        But you believe every word the Guardian prints eh Baz.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          The Guardian is reporting a story of the Lords accusing the Tories of ‘burying’ review that cleared EU of interference. It should be in all the papers. Don’t shoot the messenger, the other papers could be accused of suppressing the story and had it been a Labour criticism not reported in the Guardian this is what you would have been saying.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            So a pro EU committee thinks the EU doesn’t interfere as much as the PM does.
            No surprise there Baz
            The big story is the PM has chosen to ignore this.
            Wow
            Another huge scoop for the Guardian.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 6, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            As I have said you are shooting the messenger and trying to say the report carries no weight as you do not like the reports findings. Not true. It would be a different song had it been a anti EU report by the same committee.
            Lierlogic does not like bikes as he is unable to ride one and you lack the technical knowledge and ability to make full use the internet so take a moral stance against it. Real Tory boys aren’t you? LOL! This is the political fight of the election. Against the likes of you two and here is the proof. Lets hope it a whitewash.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Well Cameron is clearly the only hope there is. He is marginally better than the dreadful prospect of Labour/SNP.

    Unfortunately Cameron has shown, by all his past actions, that he is essentially just as EUphile as Nick Clegg in his heart and soul. Thanks to his wet, green crap, high tax, big state, pro EU, lefty agenda and his failure to level the electoral playing field plus his past serial ratting he is rather unlikely to win a majority. Not to do so even against the pathetically weak Miliband/SNP would be a triumph of Cameron stupidity.

    Furthermore he has a party stuffed with token candidates & Ken Clark types – like Cameron himself.

    The opposition of Miliband/SNP are totally hopeless, the election there for the winning, with nearly 50% of the country wanting something between the UKIP and the Tory direction and yet Cameron is going to throw the election just as he did against the hapless Brown. All for want of a working compass and a real Tory leader.

    So when do we finally get the Tory Manifesto. Let us hope it is not as pathetically left wing and wet as Osborne’s appalling, pension and bank mugging, election throwing budget was.

    The Libdem are on 9% of the vote so why exactly does Cameron ape their hugely unpopular policies (of expensive energy, ever higher taxes, endless waste, a dreadful NHS, no grammar schools, over regulation of everything and ever more EU) in nearly every respect?

    It can still be won were Cameron finally wakes up to reality and what the electorate actually wanted. They do not want the Libdem lunacy he pushes.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Will the manifesto do anything on the £1M IHT thresholds or on £80 mph motorways and a fair deal for motorists as dishonestly promised last time or are all these now all forgotten? Will it actually say what powers they want to negotiate back from the EU?

      It seems according to the spectator that Cameron has ordered a rewrite, one assumes to make it even more to the left, more pro EU, push more green crap & make it wetter still.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1434629/Well-raise-M-way-limit-to-80mph-say-Tories.html

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Still the lefty loons in France clearly have interesting priorities. With their basket case, over taxed and bloated state economy they have decided their main priority is to make employing skinny models a criminal offence.

      Miliband and Sturgeon doubtless have similar lunacies in store for the UK starting after May 7th. Compulsory lessons at all schools in magic money tree economics and the wonders of the marvellous EU perhaps.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        One assume they think these thin models are bad role models in relation to health, but then plump models are too. Surely they need to address the ones with BMI’s over say 25 too.

        Clearly no one with a BMI outside the government prescribed levels should have to stay indoors so as never to be seen at all or perhaps travel around in some sort of protective tent.

        Then again will this not all conflict with all the EU’s loony “discrimination” employment laws.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      LL:

      ‘All for want of a working compass and a real Tory leader.’ Well said!

      Shakespear’s Malvalio (Twelth Night):

      ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’.

      JR may yet become the Tory leader if we thrust it upon him. We could do a bloody sight worse, and consistently have done in the past twenty-five years with disastrous consequences!

      Tad

    • Jerry
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      @LL; “It can still be won were Cameron finally wakes up to reality and what the electorate actually wanted.”

      Oh, so you are advocating that Cameron takes a leap to the left them – go look at the opinion polls, you might notice that the popular vote is to the left of centre at the moment!

      Looking at the poll of poles, Con 33%; Lab 33%; UKIP 13%; LD 8%; Greens 5%; Others (inc. SNP) 8% – thus the right of centre have 46% whilst the left have about 52% of the total vote [1]. Fine you might say, a Tory/UKIP alliance could win through if Cameron does as you suggest Mr Life, but remember that the Tory party will likely loose at least some of what you might consider the europhile “wet” votes from the left of the party, who will then either sit on their hands or worse move their support to another europhile party. What actually needs to happen is for UKIP to move towards the eurosceptic-centre ground, at the same time dropping some of their more outlandish policies that only appeal to extreme.

      [1] I’ve allowed 2 for NI parties and any ‘also-rans’, whose support to which party is as yet unclear

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        It is about a selling vision or growth, freedom, lower tax and sensible policies that actually work. Left wing tory leaders Major, Heath, Cameron types have always been an electoral disaster and a disaster when in power.

        It is not about silly focus groups and dipping fingers in the water it is about leadership, vision and what is right and best for all. To lose to Gordon Brown in 2010 took huge incompetence.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Making the old mistake of lumping UKIP in with the Tories.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          @LL; Sorry but it is about “silly focus groups”, it’s about selling to the average voters policies, dressed up/down as needs-be, that will appeal. Please stop suggesting that the right are immune from making the same sort of silly fundamental political errors that the Labour Party did in 1983 with a manifesto dubbed the longest suicide note ion history.

          @Denis Cooper; “Making the old mistake of lumping UKIP in with the Tories.”

          Are you trying to claim that UKIP is not a right wing party! If so you have just proved that you’ve not bothered to read, never mind understand, their policy documents. But if you have read the UKIP’s portfolio of policies perhaps you were merely suggesting that the Tories have already taken that leap to the left, judged by many of UKIP’s policies I can understand why you might think as such… 🙁

          • Hope
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            No it is not far right. Well, only to those on the looney left.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 6, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            UKIP has never been far right, and it has moved towards the left, it has never been a splinter group of the Tory party and it is even less so now. That is the mistake in your thinking, Jerry, if “thinking” is the correct word to use.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 6, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            @Hope; “No it is not far right. Well, only to those on the looney left.”

            Of course the patients in the asylum being of perfectly sound mind, it’s all those on the outside who are in need of treatment, the walls being needed to keep people out…

            By any measure, if you bother to read and (more importantly) actually understand UKIP policies they are significantly to the right of the current Tory party – hence why most eurosceptic Tory MPs seem to want nothing to do with UKIP.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “The UK needs the renegotiation and the referendum which Conservative policy offers”
    April 1st has gone JR. Out here in the real world we know two truths. Cameron has no intention of leaving the EU. He is wedded to the idea.
    Any ‘renegotiation’ he undertakes will be a farce. He will undoubdetly come home waving a piece of paper saying ‘I will change the EU in our time’ and it will be meaningless. Mrs Merkel and her all allies (27 countries) will NOT allow any meaningful change to our relationship.
    Of course Cameron has to win the election outright first and that is looking unlikely.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      It is indeed unlikely that he will win having failed to get fair boundaries and failed to put a sensible, real Tory agenda to the country.

      Despite the UK is crying out for sensible government and no one sensible wants a Labour/SNP disaster – the election could still be won were Cameron to finally wake up or have a brain transplant.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        @LL; “It is indeed unlikely that he will win having failed to get fair boundaries”

        Be careful of what you wish for! A proper, politically independent, review of boundaries could loose a number of safe Tory/right-wing seats (that is the seat would be abolished), my own constituency for instance could be split in two, the two hales being added to the safe Tory constituencies to either side [1] without affecting either of those MPs workloads to any great extent.

        [1] as indeed was the case until the boundary and local government changes of the early 1970s

    • Jerry
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      @Old Albion; “April 1st has gone JR. Out here in the real world we know two truths. Cameron has no intention of leaving the EU. He is wedded to the idea.”

      Not sure what your point is OA, if it’s the one about UKIP wining the GE and enacting a Brexit as a manifesto pledge your own April fools joke is around 1780 day out of date! 🙂

      Of course your point might be about UKIP being able; to ‘force’ Cameron/the Tory party to offer a binding referendum that has already pledged anyway… Thus whatever Cameron personally wants it will be the electors who decide, and should UKIP try and force an early referendum without first attempting to renegotiate the UK’s membership deal or how the EU is run then the electors might actually turn again the eurosceptics/europhobes due to being perceived as undemocratic themselves for not giving the EU an chance!

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Cameron cannot negotiate freedom of movement of people, how many times does he need to be told!

        • Jerry
          Posted April 6, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          @Hope; He doesn’t need to even if your assumptions are correct that “free moment of people” is non-negotiable, and even then withdrawing from the EU will not stop the attempted influx from illegal migration, rather quite possibly increase it. There are enough controls allowed within current EU treaties etc to manage the non-economically active migrant from abusing the system, the problem is that so far the UK government has failed to implement them properly, and of course first such people need to have likely employment to come here for, if people like you Hope stopped bleating about “migrants taking all the jobs” and thus keep giving the (often) work-shy excuses not to get on their push-bikes and look for work and keep looking until they find work then sure eastern Europeans will be recruited by our businesses.

          There is no reason why so many able-bodied single-people (and many who are not) under the age of 30 needs to be unemployed in the UK, if there is any restriction it is the lack of affordable rented accommodation, although lets face it the same problems exist for the migrants but they seem to manage – even if it is living in employer provided static caravans and such like, as is the case with some of the farms around here. Oh and quite why the Tory party thinks that stopping Child Benefit for non resident children of migrants will help, all it’s going to do is make the migrants bring their entire family with them rather than just themselves!..

  4. M Davis
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    … Voters who care about self determination and democracy here in the UK need to ask how they can best further that aim in the election. …

    A very difficult choice since David Cameron has alienated a large number of core Conservatives and they like what Nigel Farage has to say.

    • Jerry
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      @M Davis; “A very difficult choice [..//..]”

      Not a difficult choice at all, if your principles (your dislike of Mr Cameron) are more important than your dislike of the EU then you will be happy to see Ed Miliband (with perhaps the SNP/Green leaders) walking up downing Street on the morning of 8th May…

      • Hope
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Utter rubbish and no substance. There is no substantial difference in the LibLabcon cartel. 65 percent of laws, regulations and directives come from the EU and the call prevent the public knowing the full extent. Read the FCO paper, you might be better informed.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 6, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Hope; “Utter rubbish and no substance.”

          Perhaps not according to the opinion polls on Mars, those on Planet Earth tell a different story. The popular vote is not going the eurosceptics way, splitting the vote is thus even more stupid, a vote for UKIP is thus a vote for “more Europe” never mind the UK left-wing.

          UKIP, intentionally or not, the best buddy of the EU commission!

  5. matthu
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    “Last night five of the parties present either pretended there is no issue with the EU, or affected to be relaxed about all its current policies, powers, and direction.”

    Five? Make that 6.

    Cameron has always affected to be intensely relaxed about the prospect of his achieving substantial change through negotiation while never revealing any red line.

    Either his idea of the changes required are vastly different from mine or he supremely overestimates his own negotiation skills and the amount of time that would be required to effect change in the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      6 indeed. Cameron has so far not even asked for any serious renegotiations on the EU.

      The very least we need is the restoration of the clear supremacy of Westminster democracy on all issues and an end to open door EU immigration to be replaced by a sensible worldwide system that judges applicants on their merits. voluntary cooperation and not submission to the new & disastrous EUSSR that is clearly in the making.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Tory MPs voted solidly AGAINST the supremacy of Parliament!

        With a few honourable exceptions.

        http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live?mp=0&division=7

        It beggars belief, but it is true.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; “Tory MPs voted solidly AGAINST the supremacy of Parliament [../Url/..] It beggars belief, but it is true.”

          More ill-thought though anti-conservative party hyperbole from Denis. 🙁

          A quick look at your cited Url suggest that there were indeed a lot of votes against the supremacy of Parliament, but the majority were not Tory but Labour MPs who abstained by sitting on their hands, not doing what they were being paid to do on behalf of us Plebs – vote! You might not like how the rest of the MPs voted but every single one of them who did vote was clearly putting the supremacy of Westminster before that of the EU, otherwise there would not have been any such vote in the first place, nor even the motion.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            If you’d taken more than a quick look before rushing to comment you might have noticed that you can get the breakdown for each of the parties and that for the Tories was 25 ayes against 256 noes. That seems to be pretty solidly voting against the supremacy of Parliament, don’t you think?

            But if you want to see Labour MPs voting solidly against the supremacy of Parliament, rather than just abstaining as on that occasion in January 2011, then you can see that in an earlier vote, Division No 120 on March 5th 2008:
            http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080305/debtext/80305-0024.htm

            Ayes 48, Noes 380, and with a few exceptions the Noes were all Labour, while almost all of the Ayes were Tories.

            That was the occasion when Benedict Brogan reported that the Tory leadership had actively tried to persuade Tory MPs not to vote for the amendment and had then resorted to sending them home before the vote:

            http://ebooksfromblogs.weebly.com/uploads/1/5/5/7/1557501/ben_brogan.pdf

            “Cameron hit by massive rebellion

            No, I didn’t notice either, but according to researchers at Nottingham University (aka Phil Cowley) it’s the worst revolt against the Tory leader’s authority since he took office. It happened last night in the divisions on the EU Treaty. While all eyes were on the tragi-comic silliness of the Lib Dems, few spotted the vote on New Clause 9, proposed by Bill Cash, which would prevent changes in the Treaty being used in British courts to challenge the supremacy of Parliament. Mr Cameron asked his troops to abstain, but 40 ignored him and voted in favour, including 12 from the new intake. Proportionately that’s as big a revolt as the one suffered by Nick Clegg. It’s also the largest revolt in numerical terms of the Treaty’s parliamentary passage so far. More useful analysis of last night’s results at Revolts.

            UPDATE: A robustly euro-sceptic MP has just shown me the text messages he received from the Chief Whip’s office yesterday evening. The first, at 19.17, gave Tory MPs a green-light to go home by telling them there would be “no further
            official votes”. The division on Mr Cash’s clause was called seven minutes later, at 19.24.”

          • Jerry
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “25 ayes against 256 noes. That seems to be pretty solidly voting against the supremacy of Parliament, don’t you think?”

            You really do not seem to understand the concept of democracy, for you it is only democratic if the politicos are doing what you want. 🙁

            If there were any people acting against supremacy of Parliament in your (originally) cited vote it were those MPs who opted for sitting on their hands rather than vote either way. Next you’ll be accusing those 256, who had the audacity to vote no, of treason just because they do not agree with your political dogma and how you wish the country to be…

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 6, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            You never seem to realise when to stop digging yourself further into a hole, Jerry.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 10, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; The point you miss in your haste to have a europhobic rant and rubbish the UK parliament is the fact that by having that vote, which could have gone against the wishes of the EU and their laws, was a de-facto statement of the UK parliaments supremacy. Hence why it could be argued that those who chose not to vote were the MPs not interested in enforcing such parliamentary supremacy.

    • agricola
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Number 6, who was not relaxed was Nigel Farage, unless our host was pouring a beer at the time. The rest were positively Europhile.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        @agricola; From the ‘cheap seats’ the most europhile speaker of the 7 was Mr Farage, sure he spouted much anti European comment but by doing so he was more than likely turning listeners and viewers against his own message, hence why the consensus of the opinion polls-of-polls gave “Victory” to the most Europhile party all, the SNP. For a leader of a party that ultimately wants to break up the UK the SNP leader had the more inclusive “we’re all in this together” message of all, as I said, some feat the other 6 managed to pull off between them…!

        • Timaction
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          What nonsense. No such conclusions can be reached. Are you paid by the EU to troll the websites?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          I think I can tell you the real reason “why the consensus of the opinion polls-of-polls gave “Victory” to the most Europhile party all, the SNP”, and that was because her strong anti-austerity and anti-Tory message resonated with many people in England and Wales just as it resonates with many people in Scotland. Given that there has in reality been no “austerity” worthy of that name you might like to ask yourself whether the Tory party has done a good job in explaining that and countering its critics. JR has made sterling efforts on that front, but he could not do it alone.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Indeed you have valid points, but there again if those people were of a eurosceptic opinion would they have opted for the SNP leader, after all she is so far off their “base message” and don’t dismiss the need to connect with such core beliefs before being able to gain support, the Greens didn’t do at all well even though they are both as against “austerity” and as pro the EU as the SNP are, yet they loose support because they are the modern equivalent to the Militant left of the Labour party in 1983.

            One thing is clear though, there was little appetite for the “challenger” parties, including UKIP, after all and as you insisted the other day Denis, the SNP not actually being such a “challenger” party having been around since 1934…

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, it is this wilful obfuscation which makes people here despise Cameron. Calling every other participant on Thursday as wanting more debt and more taxes. NO. He has delivered more debt and more taxes, UKIP want to reduce both.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but why let the truth get in the way of blatant lies before an election.

        Cameron is apparently “repaying the debt”, “is a low tax Tory at heart” and assures us “we will be in the black by 2018”.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        @JoeSoap; “[debt and taxes] UKIP want to reduce both.”

        Unless they are proposing to plant “Money Trees”, or cut governmental domestic spending [1] to the bone, those two wishes are an economic oxymoron.

        I can see, should UKIP be the (surprise) equivalent to the LDs of 2010, that is the peacemakers in Westminster after May 7th, they will end up having the same rude awakening as the LDs did when reality comes knocking and the fairy-tail policies have to be put back in the musical box…

        [1] not just external expenditure such as to the EU and via DfID

        • Hope
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Utter rubbish with no substance.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 6, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            @Hope; “Utter rubbish with no substance.”

            Indeed UKIP’s economic policy is, just as their migration policy is too, hence why the vast majority of UK businesses are not supporting UKIP even if some do want a EU referendum vote!

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Voters who care about self determination and democracy here in the UK need to vote UKIP.

    Replyto ensure a federalist victory again and a Parliament which refuses to do anything to save our democracy.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Repy to reply,
      Your party is just as federalist as Labour and your erstwhile pals the LibDems.
      History proves it.The cynical stance of your leader, who only agreed to a referendum when pressure from UKIP put the wind up enough of your colleagues to force him to change his mind for purely party political purposes, is just a re-run of Wilson’s con of 1975. You must see this but blind party loyalty stops you from admitting it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–No, the priority is to get UKIP established and go from there. Impossible to predict, but I think there could well be enough Variability across the country in the UKIP vote such that their tally goes in to double figures. I fervently hope so. Cameron makes my skin crawl.

      • agricola
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Problem is Leslie that variability across the country can equal dilution. I too would like to see UKIP as the kingmaker for a conservative government. It being the only way we will get a truly conservative government.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Leslie Singleton; “the priority is to get UKIP established and go from there”

        Not that daft comment again, UKIP have had 18 years to become “established”, meanwhile Rome burns so to speak, the federalists within the EU march on, no doubt UKIP supporters will still be pleading for people just to allow UKIP to become established the day upon which the UN accepts the United States of Europe into the security council, to become one of the permanent members (replacing France and the UK)…

    • zorro
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – It would do nothing of the sort. If a majority of voters in each constituency decide to vote UKIP they will get MPs. That is all it needs…..

      zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        But there are just too many voters who are always have/always will vote X – perhaps very elderly people for example. Who may not even follow current events or switch votes at all.

        It is hard to compete with Coca Cola, Heinz etc. They have the brand loyalty and “come what may” support as Virgin found out. With the first past the post system this gives the large parties a huge advantage. It will be very hard to dislodge Labour or the Tories given this. Even with the hopeless Cameron and Miliband as leaders.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          @LL; Of course they might just not want to vote UKIP, disagreeing with more than they agree with policy wise!

    • Jerry
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson; For goodness sake all you UKIP supporters, are you on a ego trip or do you wish for the UK to have a chance of getting out of the EU, if the former then carry on daydreaming of UKIP walking into 10 Downing Street, if the latter go off and try to understand the opinion polls, they clearly show that a vote for UKIP means a europhile government on May 8th! 🙁

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Jerry,
        You are correct both Labour and Conservative are europhile.
        Perhaps you weren’t around at the time of the 1975 referendum. I was and I voted against membership of the EEC. Nothing has changed my mind and determination since then. Having lived through those times, I am not going to accept that Cameron is in any way sincere in his intentions but is definitely copying Wilson’s blueprint with the sole purpose of completing our imprisonment in that foreign organisation.
        In addition, I happen to find UKIP’s policies most closely match my own.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        A vote for a party, is a vote for that party. If enough people vote for say, UKIP, then UKIP it will be. Look North of the Border. More people are voting SNP. So it is likely that an SNP majority will be returned.

        If political parties could no longer count on the way people voted, and had to work for every last vote, we would have never joined the then EEC.

        • Jerry
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          @Brian Tomkinson; “You are correct both Labour and Conservative are europhile.”

          That would be why the Tory party has pledged a single issue In/Out referendum on the UK’s EU membership, because they are so europhile and would like nothing more than a federal EU. Carry on with your omnibus of a ego trip, the rest of us have got of to walk..

          @Mark B; “A vote for a party, is a vote for that party. If enough people vote for say, UKIP, then UKIP it will be.”

          Only true if those who vote are the previously non-voting disaffected, otherwise for ever vote taken from another party has split the vote, and as the vast majority of UKIP votes appear to be at the expense of the Tory party it doesn’t take to many such switched votes in the marginal seats to allow the rock solid vote of the runner up to triumph.

          “If political parties could no longer count on the way people voted, and had to work for every last vote, we would have never joined the then EEC.”

          That is why there was a very substantial majority, asked via a single question referendum, to stay in the EEC a mere two years after joining, if that campaign didn’t concentrate how people voted then it is very doubtful that an ordinary general election would as for most people they either vote for (as Lifelogic has put it) “brand X” what so ever or the manifesto becomes a compromise of ideals.

  7. Richard1
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Your last point is an important one. There is nowhere close to a majority for leaving the EU without a first attempt to improve the current position. Anyone who counts themselves eurosceptic should back the Conservative plan to renegotiate backed by a referendum. I would like to know from Martin Sorrell, who surely has long experience of negotiation in his business life, how he thinks a negotiation can achieve success if you say to the other side that you would like this and that but in the end will accept whatever you are offered.

    People underestimate the opportunity for the UK here. The eurozone crisis is putting the EU in unchartered waters. They need to integrate to save the euro. They accept the UK isn’t part of that. They make up the rules as they go along (sensibly). So it is perfectly possible for the UK to achieve an extensive renegotiation under the heading of an arrangement for non-euro EU membership. Just shouting that we should leave now, as UKIP does, will not command a majority. Votes for UKIP, unless in a Labour or LibDem marginal where the Tory has no chance, are a vote for the socialist-federalist combination of Labour and SNP.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Richard,
      Do you seriously believe that there can be ‘an arrangement for non-euro EU membership’? The more the current eurozone moves towards political union, as JR has described, the more calls there will be for the UK to join or lose any authority within the EU.

      • acorn
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        I suspect you are correct Brian. The price of an renegotiated, sort of, “associate” membership, will be adopting the Euro and possibly Schengen. Not sure which party in the UK 2015 “Mess Club 7” election, could get its brain around that.

        Meanwhile JR there is a good read at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/euro-currency-manipulation-by-stefan-kawalec-2015-04 .

        Particularly the link in the last para about a proposal for a new EMS with national currencies and adjustable currency bands. Should we tell them, we did that back in the nineties and we still have the blood-soaked T-shirts?

      • Richard1
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Yes I do. ‘Leaving the EU’ frightens the horses. More or less United against leaving will be the business establishment, the unions, the BBC, most political parties and politicians etc. it won’t happen. A fudge however is eminently possible. The other EU countries do not want the UK to leave. They recognise the UK isn’t in the euro and therefore have an excellent justification for cutting us a special deal. They might not like it and they might not recognise the possibility in advance. But faced with the choice between the UK staying on a special deal with all sorts of carve outs, or leaving, they will want us to stay. We will have to go on paying the sub but we could – in theory – get out of everything other than the trade deal if we want to.

        But only a Conservative govt has any chance of achieving this.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          You’ve already been put right about that fantasy!

          As far as the EU is concerned we are only outside the euro until we eventually see sense and fall into line and join the euro, it is only a TEMPORARY DEROGATION from what is required of us and all other EU member states under the EU treaties.

          Note that back in May 2010 when Merkel said:

          “Our goal must be that all EU member States join the euro one day”

          she made no exception for the UK or for Denmark.

          And why should she, when all EU member states including the UK and Denmark have signed up to the euro becoming the norm?

          “RESOLVED to achieve the strengthening and the convergence of their economies and to establish an economic and monetary union including, in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty and of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a single and stable currency”

        • Jerry
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; What part of the meaning of the word “renegotiate” are you having difficulty understanding?!

          • Timaction
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            UKIPs policies are for the British people. The legacy parties represent the EU. Just remember the fury of the whole panel that NF should challenge the wisdom of treatment for the worlds HIV suffererers. Drugs are rationed for English cancer patients yet the legacy parties, SNP/Greens think we should be taxed for any sufferer who chips up here from anywhere at £1million a time. Who,s extreme?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            The part contained in regular speeches by Merkel and Baroso and others stating there is little for any.

          • Mark B
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            I cannot speak for, Dennis but, I can tell you that we have already negotiated and agreed many treaties with the EEC/EC/EU and, not once have we ever got a power back. Not anything meaningful at any rate.

            Once a power is ceded to the EU, it can NEVER be returned. What part of this sentence do you not understand ?

          • Mark B
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

            I cannot speak for, Dennis but, I can tell you that we have already negotiated and agreed many treaties with the EEC/EC/EU and, not once have we ever got a power back. Not anything meaningful at any rate.

            Once a power is ceded to the EU, it can get it to be returned. What part of this sentence do you not understand ?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, Jerry, what are you trying to say?

          • Jerry
            Posted April 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            @Denis, et al; “what are you trying to say?”

            Seems strange that non of you lot seem to understand plain English, otherwise can I claim my Five Pounds? – [one of] You are Mr H.G.Wells, complete with your time machine (with apologises to “Lobby Lud”…). After all you must be, as can tell us all here on the 5th April 2015 the future as to what happened during EU renegotiations at some point between the 8th May 2015 and mid 2017. Pss, who won the Grand National, and what are next weeks national Lottery numbers! 🙂

    • agricola
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Wrong, that is urinating into wind thinking. Invoke Article 50, negotiate, and then ask the UK population if the can accept or otherwise what is on offer.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      “People underestimate the opportunity for the UK here.”

      What, you mean like the opportunity which came and went in late 2010 without Cameron seeking to make any use of it?

      One of the very few political commentators to write anything about that episode, against a background of an almost complete mass media blackout, was this chap Andrew Lilico writing on the ConservativeHome website, for example this article in July 2011:

      http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2011/07/andrew-lilico-eu-renegotiation-another-different-bite-at-the-cherry.html

      “Last year Britain should have used the fact that there was a Treaty change to renegotiate our position in the EU. That the Conservatives were content to see a Treaty revision come and go without making the slightest attempt to deliver upon the promises of renegotiation that we made at the 2001, 2005, and 2010 General Elections is an extraordinary failing, for which we would be paying a heavy price with the public and witnessing a peasants’ revolt by our activists were it not for the fact that virtually no-one knows that a Treaty revision has been agreed and is awaiting ratification.”

    • Mark B
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I do not think Martin Sorrel could negotiate the UK out of EVER CLOSER UNION. Not that you could possible understand what that actually means. Because if you did, you would not come out with that nonsense.

      CDM could not negotiate himself out of a wet paper bag.

  8. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    ‘The UK needs the renegotiation and the referendum which Conservative policy offers’. JR

    Hang on a minute……
    After March 2017 under the Lisbon Treaty we lose any right to hold a referendum or repeal the 1972 European Communities Act. So what is the point of a referendum, Mr Redwood – we will simply be told to go away until we give the ‘right’ answer like the Irish dutifully did.

    So in delaying the vote Cameron is keeping us IN and destroying any rational reason to support the Blue Labour party.

    Reply Simply untrue. Weneed an act of UK political will. If Eurosceptics still just want to argue amongst each other we will not get that act of political will. The pure doctrine of immediate withdrawal is getting in the way of winning this argument and saving our democracy.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Just what part of Kenneth’s comment is “untrue”?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        The bit about March 2017 is untrue, just as previous warnings about what would happen in November 2014 were incorrect, based upon a misreading of the treaties.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwoods comments seem to indicate that complete withdrawal from the Eu might be out of our grasp ?.

        Perhaps our masters enthusiasm for ‘gold plating’ Eu legislation will ensure that the letter of the Lisbon Treaty is implemented?

        Why aren’t the Eu sceptics in the party using their influence to bring back the referendum back to before the Lisbon Treaty comes into effect ?.

        With respect, if your partys leadership has it’s heart set against withdrawal from the Eu project, the sceptics, unified or not in their present numbers, face an almost impossible struggle ?

    • DaveM
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      To reply – You keep on saying that all EUsceptics need to unite – if you’re as passionate about leaving the EU as you say, can you, as a senior politician, not start uniting them? Time is running out.

    • matthu
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      ‘The UK needs the renegotiation and the referendum which Conservative policy offers’. JR

      What this plan omits (this plan which seems intent on rushing from a very superficial negotiation headlong into a very superficial referendum) is any opportunity to debate any of the matters affected by the EU (including but not limited to lack of democracy, control over our own borders, judicial supremacy, cheaper energy, defence, foreign aid) in front of our own UK electorate.

      Very plainly Cameron is too *scared* to debate Farage because the arguments don’t stack up.

      But perhaps if we avoid the arguments, we might still be able to pull the wool over the eyes of enough voters one more time to get a Conservative majority?

      You are all in la-la land: UKIP may not get many seats in a first-past-the-post system, but they only need to be polling 7% nationally to have real impact in marginal seats and currently they are well in excess of that.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Exactly !

        After the GE they need to go after the councils.

    • zorro
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – so the only hope is to vote Conservative? Some hope! You know full well that if the Tories had a majority of 100 at the last election, they would barely have done anything different, and Cameron certainly would never have promised a referendum without having the wind put up him. Sorry too late – this country needs to put strong votes where they want and not be put off voting UKIP. If the majority vote goes with Tory/UKIP but the seats don’t add up, there will be huge political pressure to redress the democratic balance.

      zorro

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth – “After March 2017 under the Lisbon Treaty we lose any right to hold a referendum or repeal the 1972 European Communities Act.”

      That is no part of the Lisbon Treaty, you have been misled about that.

  9. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    JR: “The UK needs a new relationship soon to avoid being sucked into the EU political union.”
    There can be no new relationship that involves remaining part of the EU. You must know that. The whole tone of this comment right from the title describes the inextricable move towards political union. Your leader must know this and yet, responding to pressure from UKIP and thence you and a minority of your colleagues, he is now offering a charade to the voters that he can somehow prevent this whilst simultaneously expressing his determination to keep us in the EU. There can be no doubt that, if he succeeds with his cunning plan, this will be the end of the £. The vote will be taken to confirm our imprisonment and that as ‘willing’ paricipants we must now go the whole hog and join the euro. That is probably why I heard that some people are making plans for that very eventuality as early as 2018.

  10. matthu
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “Polls also make clear the public is not about to elect a government pledged to leave without negotiation and discussion with the rest of the EU.”

    What many of us are no longer inclined to do is continue voting for a government that is prepared to continue leading us into ever closer union while seeking to avoid ever discussing this with the UK electorate.

    The Conservative government under Ted Heath never did hold a referendum before the United Kingdom joined and ever since then we have been led up the garden path by the Conservatives.

    Remember the Lisbon Treaty? Cameron once expressed faux outrage at the manner in which the Lisbon Treaty was foisted on us – now it is never mentioned.

    There are those who never learn from past mistakes … they will be condemned to repeat them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed the two faced blatant dishonesty of Cameron is the real problem.

      • matthu
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Just as Miliband’s refusal to trust voters with an EU referendum is symbolic of Labour’s wider disdain for ordinary people, so Cameron’s refusal to trust voters by openly explaining those issues he is supposedly seeking to renegotiate AND explaining those issues he does not see benefit in renegotiating is symbolic of the extent to which he is wedded to EU supremacy.

        The Lib Dems are reportedly ready to demand that millions of EU migrants should participate in any referendum as well as pushing to include 16 and 17-year-olds who are statistically more likely to hold pro-EU views because of propaganda in schools (similar to teaching about the supposed cause of climate change). And Cameron will likely go along with that because he will agree to any trick that skews chances in favour of retaining the status quo.

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        The watershed moment was the election of Cameron as Conservative leader in preference to David Davis. Only one of them is a real Conservative and they chose the wrong one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          It was indeed a tragedy. Probably the last chance to save the UK was thrown away by Cameron’s Cast Iron fraud and his wet, green crap, pro EU losing agenda.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          But he could make a speech without notes!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Not one that would have got my vote.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          Would this be the same David Davis who was Chief Whip at the time of the Maastricht Treaty, and pushed it through even those like our kind host were clearly against it ?

          Just asking.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          It was unfortunate that there was some ‘bad blood’ between Mr Davis and the Eurosceptics in his party that prevented them supporting him over Cameron (although he was a much better candidate.).
          The link below explains all and why the sceptic wing of the party split and let the heir to Blair in.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/maastricht-tory-whips-target-70-treaty-rebels-westminster-disaffection-1555076.html

          ‘The ‘enforcers’ in the whips’ office include David Lightbown, a burly northerner, jokingly called the ‘caring whip’, and David Davis’.

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    They already ‘cobbled together a compromise’ to get Greece into the Eurozone in the first place, and that was the very thing that started this mess.

    If these no-hopers want to give away their sovereignty and become part of a monetary union that will ultimately falter, that’s up to them, just as long as we in the UK are not called upon to join it too, or bail them all out when it does go wrong because the model is so flawed.

    That leaves me with little faith in the judgement of UK politicians who want more EU, especially those who, crazy as it seems, still wish to join the Euro. You are right John, it would amount to nothing short of surrendering our inalienable right to self determination, and in my view, these equally useless people would give it away for the most flimsy of reasons, and for the most dubious of advantages.

    As for lending Greece more money as if it didn’t really matter, and as though there were no long-term consequences, any lending needs to be responsible. Those banks and institutions who lent recklessly and precipitated the last crisis, should have been more accountable. Just giving more money to a failed country is no solution at all. But Greece clearly won’t be allowed to leave the Euro and devalue, because if they succeed, that could start a runaway snowball with others wanting to do the same, and where would this unworkable left-of-centre pet project be then I wonder?

    So where is the evidence that the UK will not ultimately get drawn into this mess, and who amongst our political class is getting before the television cameras to put the alternative case to people who need to be better informed at this crucial time?

    As for the parallel issue of Europe being an important export market for us in the UK that we might lose if it all went wrong, I have been asking around amongst some exporters of high-end goods, and they say Europe a diminishing market with little money to spend. Their main export markets are elsewhere, and those companies are doing pretty well right now.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  12. David Murfin
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    “The Euro is driving relentlessly the process of political union for its members.”
    “Relentlessly” implies that negotiation and discussion is likely to be fruitless, at best delaying the inevitable. If our present terms of membership are unsatisfactory, we should be negotiating hard now to change them, especially if the government wants to stay in. I don’t see much sign of that. The EU’s mind is on a Greek exit, or Greek terms to stay in.
    “I just hope enough UK people understand the urgency of all this.” They clearly do not.
    “Polls also make clear the public is not about to elect a government pledged to leave without negotiation and discussion with the rest of the EU.”
    There is no party likely to form a government this year which is “pledged to leave” – all of those wish to stay while seeking to revise the terms of membership in ways incompatible with EU “deliberate policy to blur national distinctions and make more matters truly European.”
    You support one of them. Why?
    If indeed “The UK wants no part of this, and will have to battle to stay out or get out of the intrusive features of political union to support the monetary union” then a government “pledged to leave” (even if that pledge involves first seeking to negotiate better terms of membership) would first ensure that the EU’s mind was refocussed on to the possibility that it is one of its currently large and strong members which is intending to leave if terms are not revised. A government “pledged to leave” would at the least recommend invoking Article 50 as the proper vehicle to carry out the required “negotiation and discussion with the rest of the EU” to define our future relationship with the EU. It would of course first need to get elected with that as a main plank in its manifesto, but might offer a referendum on the issue before taking that action, as few governments are elected on a single policy, no matter how important.
    In other words, any referendum should be offered on the membership terms in place at the time of voting, with the clear commitment that a vote for OUT means that, and not further negotiation to change the terms of being in.

  13. Hope
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Your third paragraph appears wrong when you say the UK does not want this. Actually some parties do and your leader has been totally ineffective in a king case to suggest otherwise. Moreover, he used strong language to warn us over the dangers of the Lisbon Treaty in opposition and has done abso,utterly nothing when presented with opportunity to take action ie keep his promise from 2007 , not let matters rest there, make changes in 2010 when he had the opportunity, make negotiations for change when the fiscal pact required treaty change. So it is fair to say he also wants to keep the integration of the EU project going forward while making small noises to keep his party quiet. In answer to your question the public needs to vote UKIP.

    Tories can no longer be trusted to act as Cameron has broken so many promises his word is meaningless. CCHQ nominates candidates who are clones of what they want in office, therefore people like you are being squeezed out by your own party. Unless you and similar minded people take action your party will continue with its terminal decline. People are resigned that Labour might get in and this might act as the catalyst for change in the Tory party. I think it is best for the party to disappear and for someone to take a Steve Harper approach to create a real Tory party. As UKIP exists, it would make sense for people like yourself to join it making the changes required. Your efforts are more likely to be rewarded than beating your head against a wall in the Tory party. The protege of Major, Clarke Heseltine has change your party beyond help. The nasty image of underhand behavior to get rid of Bercow was in full public glare and reminiscent of behaviour to oust Thatcher. Insincere strap lines will not change people’s minds.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Well the best way would be to get Cameron to finally find a working compass (on nearly all the important policies he is 180 degrees out). The Tories could then easily win this perfectly winnable election.

    This rather than than continuing his Libdem in drag or Trojan Horse wreck the Tory party approach. Then having won he could apologise for throwing the last election and his past mistakes and resigning to hand on to a sensible Tory leader, perhaps a clone of Norman Tebbit or similar.

  15. DaveM
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Quite a contradictory post today Mr Redwood.

    You start by saying the French and German leaders and the ECB are pushing relentlessly towards a united Europe regardless of the wishes of the French (and increasingly the German) people – the inference being that they will do anything to pursue their political aims regardless of what their electorates want, and will steamroller any resistance (using bits of paper with signatures on to support their plans).

    Then you go on to talk about renegotiation again. There will be no renegotiation. You’re either with them or against them. Black and white.

    You ignored Ukip’s contribution to the TV debate, yet the point Farage made about having a relationship based on trade and friendship is one you have backed yourself on this website. We are getting further and further away from the political decisions made in the EU (due to not being in the Eurozone), and the climate being created on the continent is going to make British people incredibly resentful when Germany starts demanding cash to bail out Greece and other messes not of our making. Particularly when the UK has been pretty quiet about austerity measures imposed by the coalition government.

    Despite your wishful denial that the “two main parties” are under threat from other rising parties, it is quite clear that we now need to get out of the EU and put our own house in order with agreed and equal devolution to the four Home Countries and Crown Dependencies. The SNP, Ukip, Plaid, aren’t going away sir. The time has come to bite the bullet and sort things out. It’s eminently do-able.

    In the meantime, I think you and your like-minded colleagues need to get your leader to answer this straight question: “why are you so desperate to cling on to the utter mess which is the EU?” The “business” argument won’t cut it. To most people in the UK, big businesses are faceless multinationals full of rich people in pinstripe suits in London, Paris, and New York. To them, the EU represents a bureaucracy which wants to take their money, make them wear hard hats to bed, and change their communities beyond recognition.

    Reply In the latest poll of polls Conservatives and Labour are on 69% compared to 65% in 2010. It looks as if more people want to help make the choice between a Conservative and a Labour government. I and likeminded former colleagues have set out the case for a new relationship basedon trade and friendship and have persuaded Mr Cemeron to make the Bloomberg speech. If we all we get is abuse and criticism from other Eurosceptics we will not succeed in ourt joint cause.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Dear John–I was brung up to say “with” when comparing differences between things that are the same. “To” is for comparing similarities between different things. I do not know what the world is coming to.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      To Reply:

      My reference to the “minor” parties was in relation to the UK. The 69% you refer to is reflected by mainly English voting intentions. The debate the other night made it clear that the SNP and Plaid Cymru are 100% EUphile and will resist (probably using some spurious ancient legal argument) any attempts to leave the EU. Therefore, once again, the %age that votes you in (if indeed they do) will be English, and ignored, because even if the EU Referendum goes ahead and votes to leave, the govt’s desperation to keep the UK together will mean they bow down to the celtic minorities.

      So the choice appears to be UK and EU or no UK, no EU. Unless of course the scots and welsh have an independent referendum and vote to leave the EU. Although I suspect Sturgeon would make the scots vote again and again until she gets the right answer.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      reply to reply:
      “I and likeminded former colleagues have set out the case for a new relationship basedon trade and friendship and have persuaded Mr Cemeron to make the Bloomberg speech. If we all we get is abuse and criticism from other Eurosceptics we will not succeed in ourt joint cause.”
      Take more notice of actions, please, and less of words. Particularly so in the case of Mr Cameron.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Poll 0f polls will be meaningless come the 7th May. I think a whole lot more people will be voting for UKIP even following the smear campaign by the legacy parties and the msm. People can vote what they want in the privacy of the ballet box!

    • agricola
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      If you don’t wish Eurosceptics to be critical of the current situation, but to lie back and leave it to their elders and betters then you are part of the problem not the solution. Your Mr Cameron has made endless speeches promising jam tomorrow, but when it comes to action there is little. Why should we believe a word of Bloomberg.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      JR, as I pointed out earlier today on the other thread you have to be clear whether those percentages include or exclude Northern Ireland, as in general the opinion pollsters only look at Great Britain. In the 2010 election the Conservatives and Labour together got 66.7% of the votes cast in Great Britain, and the most recent UK Polling Report average, also just for Great Britain, has them each on 34%, so their combined support in Great Britain is now 68%. I understand that one might a “FPTP squeeze” on the other parties but so far it doesn’t seem significant.

      Reply Today’s poll of poll is 69%, and recent polls are over 70%

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        You have shown UKIP supporters why it is essential that they vote positively for what is offered by UKIP and not take your advice to vote Conservative for fear of letting in Labour. You love to tell us the combined % vote of the two failed parties, who seem to think they have a devine right to govern. At the last election UKIP had just 3% of the vote, no doubt you would like that to stay the same, after which we should never hear the last of it from you and your leader telling us how it was a vote of confidence for your party and that there was no support for UKIP and its determination to see us leave the EU.
        The pressure needs to be kept on your leader and, dare I say, you too.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/uk-polling-report-average-2

        34, 34, 8, 1, 5

        I rarely comment on single opinion polls because the margins of error are too great for small changes to be significant; as I think Antony Wells has said, if a poll looks particularly interesting and shows a big change then most likely it is an outlier and wrong. Not always, but usually.

  16. Shieldsman
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Your opening paragraph sums up the stance of France and Germany, they want further economic and political union.
    Mr Cameron says he wants to negotiate unspecified reductions in the rules of the Lisbon Treaty. In other words he wants the other 27 led by France and Germany to bend to his will and they have made plain their answer.
    Promise of a 2017 Referendum after renegotiation is academic as it requires a majority in the H of C.
    Despite the mood in the Country, the so called television debate made clear that the leaders of 5 political parties with the approval of big business wish to remain in the EU

  17. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    “I just hope enough UK people understand the urgency of all this”

    Regrettably Mr. Cameron doesn’t.

    Renegotiation and 2017 referendum are fantasy land.

  18. Chris S
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Most of us can probably agree on some points on this subject :

    The chances of securing a vote to leave in a British referendum are greatly diminished if we have not tried and failed to renegotiate significant changes first. This is because there are so many undecided voters who certainly don’t want full EU integration but at the moment are too scared to vote to leave because they have been fooled by the BBC and others with their dodgy statistics and propaganda.

    There is no chance of achieving significant and satisfactory improvements in our relationship without treaty change.

    The EU will avoid any kind of treaty change because there is such dissatisfaction that quite a few countries committed to referenda can give no assurance that they will get the necessary support. This is holding back the necessary changes to the Eurozone and certainly rules out any prospect of achieving changes to ever closer union and repatriation of significant powers to suit the British.

    Cameron knows that bringing the referendum forward to 2016 without any renegotiation will appease UKIP supporters but it will give him a much better chance of keeping Britain in. If he is again in coalition with Clegg, he will probably get the Libdems to agree to an early referendum for the same reason.

    Unlike the Scottish situation, we will only get one opportunity to leave the EU and the stakes are huge : If the referendum is lost we will be at the mercy of both Brussels and the Eurozealots here such as Clegg Miliband and Sturgeon. We may be able to stay out of the Euro but will be forced to accept everything else including ever closer union.

    My view is that we must have a renegotiation first.

    Yes, we know that the renegotiation will fail but Cameron’s strategy will be to fudge the issue before during and after. He will then act like some 21st Cantury Neville Chamberlain waving a worthless piece of paper signed by Frau Merkel.

    We have to rely on members such as our host, my own MP, Christopher Chope and Bill Cash to hold Cameron’s feet to the fire to ensure he publishes satisfactory red lines that can be used to demonstrate that it has failed.

    It won’t be easy because almost the entire political establishment plus the BBC, big business and the left of centre press will be ranged against us.

    Put simply, our future as an independent country is at stake and we can’t afford to lose.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      “Put simply, our future as an independent country is at stake and we can’t afford to lose.”

      No chance. It’s over.

      All that’s left is your last opportunity to show your disgust.

    • Monty
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 1:31 am | Permalink

      Instead of having an arbitrary age for enfranchisement, I would favour a more discerning threshold. For example, five years of full time employment, with a concession of three years of service in the armed forces. (We could make some special provision for those registered disabled.)
      The number of people who are net burdens on the economy, will ultimately outstrip the number of contributors. Luckily for us, many of the burdens are so bone idle that they never bother to vote at all. But if they ever get wind that their handouts might come to an end, they will vote in their droves, for every penny they can exact before the entire edifice collapses into bankruptcy.

    • Monty
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 1:52 am | Permalink

      Chris, I take on board your argument that a negotiation of terms is necessary.
      But we couldn’t allow that to happen without a clear and objective set of criteria, agreed by parliament at the very least. How else could we avoid a charade in which Cameron would emerge from the talks and declare “victory”, having lost everything we wanted and needed? You need clear, objective criteria, published in advance, that the public can understand and sign up to. Such that failure to achieve them would preclude any pretence of success and trigger Brexit.
      No way would any politician allow himself to be coalboxed like that. The whole exercise will be geared up to taking whatever he can get, and then retrospectively dressing it up as what we really wanted all along.

  19. agricola
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Late on parade today sorting a problem with an absent friends fish pond.

    Who will battle on behalf of the UK. Not the present government or any potential government ,but for a miracle.

    How can you expect enough UK people to understand the urgency when even MPs who see the danger fail to support the only political party that offers leadership on the matter. All you have done for the past two years is deride and demean those who are trying to inform the UK population, putting your own political party before the good of the country. You may think re-negotiation is a realistic possibility, but I and many who have examined the evidence do not. If you were serious you would put it to the test by invoking Article 50 and enforcing a re-negotiation from a position of strength. However you are not, so you keep repeating the mantra and hoping for the best

    If you deduce that, as a bye product of polls, that cannot tell us who the next government will be , you have greater perception than Mystic Meg.

    Should Cameron ever get around to a negotiation, he will return from the Continent saying we retain our sovereignty in our time. Maybe he will be seen to wave a symbolic piece of paper. Then in due course the exit door will close, just as it did last time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      That indeed surely what will happens if Cameron is returned with a majority. But what is the alternative just Miliband/SNP. Both prospects are totally nauseous I prefer the former just because Miliband will mess up the rental and energy markets and ruin the economy even more.

  20. oldtimer
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Re Greece it looks as though politics will trump economics again – if only against fear of greater Russian influence in Greece.

    Re the UK, ignorance of the evolving and creeping EU influence is the order of the day. It is helped on its way by the mogadon tablets fed into the daily diet of news from the BBC. As things stand I think a referendum now would result in a vote to stay in. A vote to exit requires the results of a renegotiation attempt to be known first. I have no doubt that Germany would not want Brexit – as much for its potential political impact as for the its economic impact. To make the most of that negotiation the UK will require a tough negotiator. I have no confidence that Cameron, if re-elected, will appoint one.

  21. JoeSoap
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This post should have more resonance with your own party, who can dilly-dally around until 2017, than with most of your posters on here or with UKIP, which echoes your urgency here. Can’t you see the chasm between Cameron’s attitude of “we want to be part of these institutions” to your own/UKIP’s of “there is some urgency here?”

  22. Henry Kaye
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I am an avid reader of many of the comments made here and in several other “blogs” elsewhere. I am in great sympathy with the many voices raised in criticism of our membership of the EU but those voices are almost always talking of the more practical objections of our membership. There is a much deeper reason that we should be voicing – the real reason for the existence of the EU and that is the much shared philosophy of “One World” and “Common Purpose”. I believe that David Cameron and the other leaders involved in the EU project are seeking not just a political union but the eradication of all nation states and all that binds those nation states to their inherited identities. This, to my mind, is the real danger and why we must strive mightily to fight against this deeper ambition.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I would reluctantly accept the eradication of my nation state if I believed that it was what a substantial majority of my fellow citizens really wanted for themselves and their descendants after careful, mature consideration of all the facts. But to be honest I’m not sure that we’re much further forward with a careful, mature consideration of all the facts than we were in 1975 when two thirds of those who took part the referendum voted to stay in a “Common Market” which has turned into something very different from what most of them were led to expect, which they could have predicted for themselves if they had been in possession of the real facts and had thought about it properly. Apart from anecdotal evidence such as an intelligent and well-educated man trying to reassure me that EU Directives were only advisory and we were not in any way bound to follow them if we didn’t want to, there is the evidence of opinion polls such as that mentioned here:

      http://openeurope.org.uk/blog/what-explains-british-attitudes-to-the-eu/

      When asked to choose between five hypothetical options for the future of our country with respect to the EU, these were the responses from a sample of my fellow citizens:

      24% Leave the EU
      38% Stay in EU but reduce its powers
      18% Leave things as they are
      10% Stay in EU and increase its powers
      4% Work for single European government

      What this demonstrates to me is that at least 52% simply do not understand the basic nature of the EU, which is not only the European Union as the name of an international organisation but European union as an inexorable, never-ending one-way process, that of “ever closer union” as prescribed in the treaties; if they did understand that then they would not be choosing either of the unavailable options of “Stay in EU but reduce its powers” or “Leave things as they are”.

  23. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    You offered us a referendum last time.

    Where is it ???

    We’re going into the EU full on whatever happens.

    It is a matter of whether one gets suckered into voting for it and having to live with the frustration of realising it afterwards.

    Reply The Conservative party did not offer a referendum in the 2010 election

  24. bluedog
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    With the BBC part-financed by the EU one can safely predict that not a single anti-EU thought will be uttered by the state broadcaster between now and May 7th. In terms of media coverage it is hard to see where support for the Euro-sceptic case will come from, certainly the Murdoch press cannot be trusted given its own European ambitions. The Eurosceptic campaign is therefore dependent on social media, in itself no bad thing. The extraordinary campaign run by the website Wings over Scotland before the Scottish vote last year should go down as a model of citizen insurgency. In the event, WOS failed, but only because the pro-independence campaign was totally swamped by the BBC and the MSM. So where is the WOS equivalent of the Eurosceptic cause? As yet, nowhere to be seen.

    It is undoubtedly correct to say ‘The Euro is driving relentlessly the process of political union for its members.’ This was always the intention, in particular that any crisis would merely be a shared experience and therefore a bonding process.

    All is going according to plan, at present. In fact the Greek government may yet be the only hope of derailing the plan. A Greek default, initially on its obligations to the IMF, cannot be discounted and would potentially trigger a banking crisis in the Eurozone. If the ECB stands behind the banks in the Eurozone, who stands behind the ECB? Confidence in the ECB must be becoming fragile at this stage in the crisis and the markets will be looking to the ultimate holding company for comfort. But who or what is the UHC? The answer is that there isn’t one.

    It’s early days yet, but as spring turns into summer there is scope for the EMU to continue to weaken as the current QE programme seems totally inadequate to cope with the loss of liquidity implicit in Greek default. As is so often the case, the full crisis may not develop until the great and the good return from their summer holidays in September. Then a group-think frequently takes place as the financial titans act individually in a way that has a collective impact out of all proportion to any imagining. Only then will the Europhile political class be utterly discredited so that the final abolition of Britain is put on hold.

    A further measure of salvation may come through a hung parliament that gives UKIP the balance of power. If the Conservative back-bench were to vote with UKIP, Cameron could be forced to resign. But the financial markets maybe a more reliable white knight in this instance.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Dear Blue–Hope for the best which is that UKIP do very well, such that despite the prattle the Conservatives are forced to reach an accommodation. There will be few Liberals and the Conservatives are not likely to get in to bed with the SNP so I see a good chance of such a deal. The EU boneheads are more likely to see reason faced with yet another good UKIP result–said boneheads will, from the very name of UKIP, have no doubts what UKIP stands for and may be more ready to give ground–can’t see them getting too fussed about anything Cameron alone has to say–he has already sold the pass and isn’t he the party of big EU-loving business?

  25. tony houghton
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Lifelogic

    Why do you not write to David Cameron – the facility is available online through the daily emails they are sending to Conservative Party members. A colleague of mine has done just that and received a reply.

    But I suspect you are not a Conservative voter?!

  26. tony houghton
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Lifelogic

    Further to my last comment the link to email the Prime Minister is:

    If you would like to send an email to the Prime Minister or contact a Government department, please follow the guidance on the Number 10 website.

  27. CGR99
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The logic of this article is that you should be standing for UKIP and not the pro-EU Cameroonian Tories.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:42 am | Permalink

      Dear 99–Very much agree. JR said he couldn’t because he gave his word but as I remember what he said that applied only to the Parliament just ended. All EU sceptics should pile in to UKIP.

      Reply I gave my word because I thought – and still think – that we can only save our country from the EU if we unite and win an election.That can be done with the Conservatives but clearly cannot be done with UKIP. Lastest polls put UKIP on 2 seats for the next Parliament – that’s not going to solve our EU problems.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately only the winning of an election could be done by the Tory party under its present and any likely future leaders, not the saving of our country. For somebody to save the country they need to want to save the country, not just win an election. If I could install you as Tory leader, JR, then I would, but obviously I can’t.

  28. DaveM
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “We have heard the voice of Scotland – and now the millions of voices of England must also be heard. The question of English votes for English laws – the so-called West Lothian question – requires a decisive answer.” Indeed it does.

    Whoops. Sorry, did I say that out loud?

  29. Bert Young
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    These are very unsettling times and it is not easy to see any one really positive feature on the horizon . There is no clear message from Europe about Greece and there is very little influence we can bring to solve the problem . We need a very clear and determined leadership in this country and in Europe ; we simply do not have it , the result is the path is strewn with indecision . I foresee this situation lasting for quite a few years .

  30. They Work for Us?
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I am coming to the conclusion that the Tory Eurosceptic MPs also now believe that nothing can be done about all of this and that the best bet is to hang in there and hope against hope that they will, for a time, achieve some mitigation (or that something will turn up). It will take a major (and obvious to all crisis) in order to pull up the drawbridge and say “No more”.

  31. ian wragg
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I am willing to put a substantial bet on CMD reneging on the referendum pledge.
    I just hope one day the truth comes out as to why our politicians have become such quislings.
    The vast majority in the HoC are utterly detached from reality and have no allegiance to the people who elected them.

    • agricola
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      The sad thing is that those to be elected in May will in the majority be just as detached, because we the people had no voice in selecting them. They will be loyal and grateful to their party and will vote as directed by their whips in the hope of advancement. The last thing on their minds will be the wishes of their constituents.

      My fear is that this lack of umbilical to the electorate will eventually lead to a level of civil unrest not experienced for many years in the UK. The main political parties are suffering the same detachment from the people as did Charles 1 and most of us know what happened then. I would also point out that the symptoms are even more pronounced in many European countries, so expect problems to kick off there first.

    • Chris S
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Ian, you are so right !

      We have the perfect demonstration in the foreign aid budget which all three traditional parties and the SNP and PC are determined to keep at 0.7% of GDP.

      Soon it will be greater than our depleted defense budget and the EU is reputedly going to use new methods of calculation that will make our 0.7% contribution increase by £1bn per year.

      Yet this morning we have some interesting figures :

      85% of voters want to see income tax rises to pay for extra Health spending.

      Just 5% want the foreign aid budget to be maintained at current levels. Presumably 95% would like to see the aid budget drastically reduced.

      Yet only ukip reflect the position of the average citizen on this issue and the others just want to increase the foreign aid budget !

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    “Polls also make clear the public is not about to elect a government pledged to leave without negotiation and discussion with the rest of the EU.”

    I’m not aware of any party which is proposing to do that. Even though in principle the UK government could simply send a letter unilaterally abrogating the EU treaties that would create chaos on many fronts, including on the domestic legal front if Parliament did not at the same time repeal the Acts through which it had previously approved those treaties, and thereby inter alia instructed the courts in the UK that henceforth they were to apply all of the laws which might spring from the operation of those treaties.

    If you invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which may be read here:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2010.083.01.0001.01.ENG#C_2010083EN.01001301

    then the first step is to put in a formal notice that you intend to leave the EU, and that is followed by negotiations on the new treaty arrangements which will apply after you have finally left some time later.

    However it must be understood that there is no provision for a country which has stated that it intends to leave to subsequently change its mind and revoke its notice; that article cannot be used as a mechanism to try to renegotiate the treaty terms of membership, and if that is the intention then it is Article 48 which must be invoked.

    The difference between UKIP’s policy and that of the Tories is that UKIP would start by putting in the formal notice under Article 50 and then conduct real negotiations for the new arrangements to apply after the UK had left the EU, while instead the Tories would copy Harold Wilson by going through a pretence of renegotiation, which might actually involve Article 48 or might not even extend to seeking treaty changes – Wilson did not in fact even attempt to get any treaty changes – with the aim of keeping us in the EU.

    It would only be if the voters rejected continued membership in a referendum that the Tories would then be forced to embark on any real, rather than pretend, negotiations, that is unless they found an excuse for ignoring the result of the referendum.

  33. forthurst
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    “I just hope enough UK people understand the urgency of [the inexorable moves towards a European superstate].”

    There is only one party which is trying to get that understanding across and that is not the Conservative Party. It is not the Conservative Party which is trying warn the people; no, the Conservative Party is offering a faux Referendum on the basis of a faux Renegotiation; ‘faux’, because neither is a serious offer but simply a deceit to try to stem the haemorrhage of patriotic English people from the Tory fold so that they may be transported into a European superstate: that is what unpatriotic unconservative entryists like Cameron and Oliver Letwin want; that is what the banksters and all other major donors of the Tory Party want; that is what the multinational companies want; that is what the England and English-hating BBC wants.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    JR, what you have failed to mention is this: apart from the UK and Denmark all of the present EU member states are under a treaty obligation to join the euro, and will be expected to fulfil that commitment sooner or later whether they like it or not, and that treaty obligation is automatically imposed on all new EU member states under their terms of accession to the EU, and there is no mechanism in the treaties for a country to leave the euro once it has joined. Hence, quite obviously, as time goes by the UK will become increasingly minoritised and isolated as a member state of the EU which has not yet adopted its currency, and the pressure for the UK to fall into line and join the euro will increase correspondingly; until eventually a future UK government of one political complexion or another will succumb to that pressure, more or less willingly, and with or without consulting the people in a referendum, which might be a referendum just about the euro or might be a referendum in which the choices are to stay in the EU and scrap the pound and accept the euro and alternatively leave the EU altogether. That is the most likely future which successive past governments have planned out for us, and which the present coalition government has done nothing to avert, preferring to join the “Save the Euro” campaign and declining to make any use of that “golden opportunity” to get the EU treaties changed to impede and reverse the expansion of the eurozone which arose back in 2010 when Merkel demanded an EU treaty change to stabilise it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–I think you are over-egging the pudding on any risk to sterling. Almost everyone agrees that having our own currency has been correct indeed a Godsend and I cannot see that changing anytime soon. Also, although new applicants will be forced in adopt the Euro, EU members that are Treaty bound to adopt will be in a position to abrogate that undertaking if things move that way–and without too much grief because nothing will actually change and the EU boneheads may have more immediate and pressing problems on their mind. In any event I for one have never come close to understanding why we need to concern ourselves with what they do on the Continent either on the Euro or anything else. A new country with capital presumably Brussels and with us on our own, holds fewer fears for me than the course presently set. Canada manages perfectly well and then some on the edge of the USA. I have asked a thousand times-why are we different?

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Leslie,
        I disagree.
        If Cameron succeeds in his ambition of keeping us in the EU, after a rigged referendum, it will be taken as the final confirmation of our commitment to abandon our sovereignty and be subservient to a foreign organisation. As JR has explained today the eurozone is on a relentless march to a more united Europe. By confirming our membership, it will be assumed that we are at last fully committed to the ‘project’. In any event, decisions will increasingly be made by the eurozone which under qualified majority voting has an in-built majority in the EU. Our politicians will tell us that in order to have any real influence in the government to which we would have just subjugated ourselves we must abandon the pound and enter the eurozone. I would go so far as to say that such a move would be implicit in our surrender to the EU at the time of the referendum.
        As I have written before, it is has come to my attention that at least one financial institution is already preparing plans for the introduction of the euro in the UK in 2018.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 2:56 am | Permalink

          Dear Brian–That’s what makes a horse race. I think we can be a bit more optimistic than that. For a start the whole EU thing is just an experiment and a failing one at that. All based on the French fearing the Germans and the Germans fearing themselves. Re-negotiation at the least has to be very possible. In fact anything could happen given no love lost between the tribes in Europe, There is nothing God-given or necessarily permanent about the EU, certainly not in its present form.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Well, I don’t think that the past reassurances along the lines of “It will never happen” and “It will all fall apart before then” have often proved true, have they? If Wilson had been telling the truth in his pamphlet for the 1975 referendum we wouldn’t even be discussing the future of the eurozone and the magnitude of the threat that it poses to us, because there wouldn’t be one:

        “There was a threat to employment in Britain from the movement in the Common Market towards an Economic & Monetary Union. This could have forced us to accept fixed exchange rates for the pound, restricting industrial growth and putting jobs at risk. This threat has been removed.”

  35. Freeborn John
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    We can best further the aim of getting the UK out the EU by ensuring Cameron, the wannabe leader of the Yes-to-an-unreformed-EU in a national referendum to “refresh” the EU’s legitimacy, goes down to a heavy defeat in May. I for one will have a bottle of champagne on hand when he makes his resignation speech.

    Reply Exactly the absurd and unhelpful attitude of too many so called Euroceptics. That would mean a Labour government, five years of deeper EU commitment and no referendum.

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      Your reply to Freeborn John, accusing him of being absurd and unhelpful does you no credit.

      I am reminded of a quote by Norman Tebbit in the Daily Mail dated 23rd September 2013. In the article he is quoted as saying…..

      ‘If I took over a shop in the high street which used to have a lot of customers, and found that the customers were going past my shop and going down the road to a competitor, I wouldn’t do what Ken Clarke has advised which is to stand in the street abusing one’s ex-customers in the hope that that will bring them back into your shop.

      I’d go and see what the other guy was selling, and if I found out it was pretty well what I used to sell in my shop, I think I’d fire the purchasing manager of the shop and get some goods back in that attracted the people in’.

      It seems that a lot of customers have walked past Mr. Cameron’s shop and decided that they favour the one down the road. It is the voter’s prerogative.

      However, it appears you expect voters to back Mr. Cameron’s strategy irrespective of how much they disagree with it. If your party wants these people to return to the fold then it should tailor its policies accordingly.

      General elections come and they go. The winner gets to be Prime Minister and the loser is usually replaced by someone who the defeated party thinks could do a better job. The process should involve taking into account what voters tell it at the ballot box and in other forums also.

      Reply As I have devoted much energy and political capital to explaining why we need to change our relationship with the EU and need an In/Out vote, I do not wish to see the chance slip through our fingers owing to Europsceptic splits.

      • Bob
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        “I have devoted much energy and political capital to explaining why we need to change our relationship with the EU and need an In/Out vote,”

        If you’re serious about a referendum, then you should be announcing BEFORE MAY 7th:

        – renegotiation red lines
        – the referendum question
        – who will be eligible to vote
        – whether it will be binding.

        If in the run up to the election your can’t provide answers to these basic questions it proves that the Tory referendum promise is just another empty promise of jam tomorrow to bribe gullible voters.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 3:04 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply–Dear John–Nobody wants that but you talk as if the Conservatives were sceptic but few see it that way. Why don’t you join an unequivocally sceptic Party?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 6, 2015 at 3:38 am | Permalink

          Postscript–What chance you, John, are one of the “more than a handful” who might jump, per Farage, if a new Coalition with the Liberals is mooted and that Party is against a referendum? In your comments about the Conservatives you forget that many (most?) Conservative MP’s are EUphilic in spades. Certainly my own MP (a Conservative) is pottily obsessed with how wonderful the EU is. There is no way in Hades I can vote for him never mind indirectly for his and your oh-so-modern leader. You and yours are just a small part of the whole–synecdoche I think was the word, like referring to sail when what is meant is ships.

          Reply. The Conservative party will not support a coalition that stops a referendum. That’s another good reason why we need a majority and will spend the next month trying to secure one

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted April 5, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        The trouble is John Redwood has stayed consistent in his position but the Conservative party has changed.
        On the Eu and other areas the party has consistently failed to stand up for Britain and British values.

        Why are the Conservative party pushing the mad ‘Islamophobia’ agenda by inventing a specific ‘hate crime’ for this. At a time when Islam is becoming more powerful and |Christianity in decline, why was it thought this a sensible idea.
        etc ed

        Why is there no comparable offence of ‘Christianophobia’ etc ed (I suspect such offences do not officially exist because it is un PC to discuss them).

        Sorry Mr Redwood, your party has become part of the problem and not the solution although I would personally give you my vote.

        Reoly As I understand the law we passed, all religious hatred crimes can be prosecuted under a law which does not distinguish between different religions for this purpose.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted April 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          My earlier comment seems to have been deleted – there is much that cannot be said in modern Britain concerning Islam.

          As I said before, hate crimes could be dealt with under existing legislation.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3026015/Attacks-Muslims-specific-hate-crime-say-Tories-bid-establish-extent-Islamophobia-Britain.html

          Nobody said that the IRA bombers had been ‘radicalised’ by the IRA godfathers in an attempt to excuse them for their actions. We just rightly referred to them as ‘murderers’ for they chose to take the course of action they set upon.
          Why cannot the same logic be applied to Muslim extremists ?.

          We need to stop making up silly new words to appease the politically correct – ‘islamophobia’ and ‘radicalised’ should be the first in the bin.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      John, yes, maybe.

      But the point some of us are making is that either Con or Lab will LEAD the next govt in all likelihood. Yet the wishes of a large proportion of Con voters and the 16% – that’s 16% – of the electorate who intend to vote Ukip (that doesn’t include those who would like to but won’t because Ukip’s unlikely to win in their constituencies) are being ignored.

      It’s not democracy, John, and you know it. Our country’s being decapitated and castrated against our wishes due to a leadership which is probably pursuing a personal agenda. And we can’t do anything about it. Because the PM has presidential powers yet we don’t have a presidential election, and the boundaries have been rigged to ensure the two major parties have a stranglehold on Westminster. It’s a dictatorship.

      I regard you as an honourable, principled MP – a rare breed indeed – and I admire loyalty to people and organisations. But I honestly don’t think that if I was you right now, in the party which you love but which has changed beyond recognition in your career, that I’d sleep very well, if at all.

      • Chris S
        Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Democracy is indeed slipping away from us.

        The FPTP system was fine when we had two major parties and the much smaller Liberals/LibDems. It gave us strong Government and a positive direction, albeit flip flopping between Socialism and Conservatism.

        We are now in a completely different situation. It is simply untenable for UKIP to gain a predicted 12% of the popular vote yet be forecast to achieve only a single seat while the SNP is likely to achieve 48-50 seats with less than 4% of the vote.

        Looking at the overall left/right split, UKIP and the Conservatives are predicted between them to gain almost 48% of the vote and 279 seats whereas Labour/SNP/PC and the Greens should be on around 42% of the vote but are likely to gain 337 seats between them.

        These are http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html figures.

        This cannot be right, it’s an afront to democracy.

        The system also works against the Conservative party, particularly in Scotland :

        The popular view is that the Conservatives have been “wiped out” in Scotland. This is a lie perpetuated by Labour and the SNP. In the European Elections the Conservatives won 17.2% of the vote against Labour’s 25.9%. Hardly a wipe out

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          You cannot simply lump UKIP together with the Tories.

          I said that after the 2001 election, and after the 2005 election, and after the 2010 election, and it is even more true now.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Any Eurosceptic voting for a man who wants to lead the Yes campaign to settle the EU issue for a generation would be the true absurdity. As absurd as you once telling this site Cameron was a real eurosceptic. Be careful not to be fooled again and elect a real EUsceptic as next Conservative party leader if you want to avoid yet another defeat in 2020.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it ‘absurd’ and ‘unhelpful’ to suggest that a crushing defeat of Cameron’s Blue/Modern Conservatives would be a very good thing.

      Then all the Blair worshipping fools that fill the party’s top table can go back to their media/PR jobs to make way for proper politicians with real world experience with a working political compass.

      From the scorched earth, would grow a new and better Conservative party that wouldn’t go out of it’s way to offend it’s natural supporters – and probably put UKIP out of business.

      That seems to me the only way to unite the sceptics. I appreciate that time is now getting short – but the window available to save our democracy shrinks as the Conservative party clunks from one disaster to another.

  36. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The only way is to use the vote as a weapon to stay out of federal EU.

  37. The Truth Will Out.
    Posted April 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I will never vote for the conservative party again.Cameron cannot be trusted with anything he says. His track record proves this. More of the same is more EZ and ever closer union. The political elite have been lying to the electorate since the huge deception and blatant fabrication by Heath. If UKIP have a good chance of winning a seat, then vote UKIP. If they have no chance vote for Labour. The conservatives are destroying our country. Labour will destroy it quicker. The electorate will then realise the lies of the Lib/Lab/Con. UKIP will strengthen and serve the electorate as the only true opposition.

  38. JGD
    Posted April 5, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately one of the leaders who seemed incredibly “relaxed” about the way EU is progressing is Cameron.

    When are the real Conservatives in the party going to end this disastrous reign of the unprincipled, surrounded for the most part by “wets,” who have continued Blair’s agenda of social engineering, multiculturalism and “positive” discrimination – which has reduced a once extremely efficient civil service to a bevy of left wing appointees now making up the bulk of the public sector?

    It is not good enough to ask those of us with conservative principles to hold our noses and vote for a party led by this oleaginous man.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      When are the real Conservatives in the party going to end this disastrous reign of the unprincipled, surrounded for the most part by “wets,”

      Mrs Thatcher had her problems with the ‘wets’…but now they have taken over the party!. The sceptics are now the minority as the voting record shows.

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

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 5, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Helmut Kohl, Angela Merkel’s predecessor and mentor, deliberately designed a flawed single currency, the Euro, knowing full well that a joint fiscal policy would have to be added to a common monetary policy in order to make it work.

    The United Kingdom’s foreign policy should be targetted at making the Euro fail, or at the very least encouraging half of the current Member States to leave the Euro zone, starting with Greece. Financing the cost of Greece returning to the drachma should not be ruled out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Correct.

      Then we could follow Pitt, more or less, by saying that “England has saved herself by her exertions and will, I trust, save Europe by her example.”

      Not as Pitt’s biographer Hague and his colleagues might have it:

      “By its exertions England has played a crucial role in consolidating Napoleon’s empire and helping him to dominate the whole of Europe.”

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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