What difference will this election make to our position in the EU?

One of the most significant differences between the  four main parties (parties likely to win more than 10 seats) is the approach to the European Union. The three left of centre parties all support our current membership, would be happy to see a continuing erosion of power as the EU passes more laws and gains more control over our lives, and are happy to pay a substantial contribution to the rest of the EU. The Conservatives argue that the current relationship is not working in the UK’s interest, that too much power has already passed to the EU, and we need a new relationship with them.

A Conservative government would recognise that the Euro area members of the EU will need to take more and more power to the centre, to add political, fiscal and budgetary union to their currency union. The UK has no wish to do that, and needs a new relationship with the Euro area as it emerges in a more centralised form. A Conservative government will seek to negotiate a new relationship based on trade and political co-operation. As Mr Cameron made clear in his Bloomberg speech, a central task will be to restore UK democratic accountability of government to Parliament. Voters will then have a referendum to decide if they like the new relationship or would rather leave the EU altogether. Those who are sceptical of the UK’s ability to negotiate a new deal without leaving, will be free to vote for Out. The presence of the referendum will provide a good incentive to the rest of the EU to negotiate, as very clearly they do not wish to lose all that money we pay in.

The other three parties would fail to address the real issues which are already upon us over our membership. As non members of the Euro we are finding that regulation and control of our large financial services and banking sector is increasingly under EU law and administration  in ways which can be damaging to business. We are finding it impossible to run a low priced energy policy thanks to EU energy rules, making  our wish to expand UK manufacturing more difficult to deliver. The EU wants the UK to stand behind the debts of the banks and states of the Euro area. We need to resist this. Any likely government  but a Conservative one will not stand up for UK interests, and will not seek to resolve the growing tensions between Euro and non Euro members.

This election will make a huge difference on the matter of our EU membership. There is only one chance now to vote for an In/Out referendum before many more EU shackles are placed upon us if we have a government formed from the 3 pro EU left of centre parties.

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126 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Dear John–An article about the EU without mention of UKIP is Hamlet without the Prince. Pray God Nigel Farage gets in with a few others whereupon hugely more chance that something will happen, if not immediately then by and in 2020. Everybody agrees that something will have to give within the EU by or around then on any basis, Of course there is always hope that likely events in Greece will catalyse change for the better in one of several possible ways sooner than that.

    • Hope
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I presume the three left of centre being the LibLabCon, anyone beliving a word Cameron says must have lost leave of thief senses! Most would have seen the systematic and continues theme of Cameron promising a lot and delivering nothing. The we have the insidious of gay marriage without a mandate or Quenns speech, what is he hiding this time?

      Totally untrustworthy. We even saw this in the Tories last act of parliament by their underhanded way, in their failed bid, to get rid of the speaker.

      Can anyone think of a good reason why he did not clean up parliament with scandals happening right to the last?

      Reply 3 left Lib,Lab,SNP

      • Hope
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        More shackles were put on us by the EU under Cameron, you must know this. He gave away our taxes to promote closer union to the EU, he prevented Tory MPs the debate he promised them on the EAW, therefore giving away British citizen rights and freedoms to backwater EU criminal justice, he allowed the fiscal pact and allowed Eurozone countries to have bail outs, he heped bail outs in contrast to his promise, he loaned Ireland £7 billion, he even claimed the other day about his veto that never was, the second part to prevent Eurozone countries using EU institutions, he also claimed to reduce the EU budget but forgot to say this will cost the UK more! He caved in to allow two EU parliaments and £90 million extra in costs, he supported the expansion of the EU to the Urals. I think you are right to suggest this is an important issue, but the only party to bring the change you hope is UKIP. It will certainly not be Cameron and the Europhiles he surrounded himself with over the last five years. Not even you could believe Cameron based on his actions to date. Oh, and now Osborne is engaged in the Balanisation of the country to regionalise the UK as the EU wishes, hence no EVEL promised by Cameron. Totally untrustworthy.

      • APL
        Posted May 4, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        JR: “3 left Lib,Lab,SNP”

        In actual fact, it’s four left. ‘Conservatives’ – who can happily ally themselves with the Liberals.

        Do you really expect us to believe that a supposedly right of centre party you claim the Tories are, can successfully ally themselves with a notoriously left of centre party like the Lib-Dems?????

        Either the Lib-Dems are not really a left of centre party, or the Tories under Cameron (and Clarke, Patten et al ) are really are not really a rightist party.

        I know which it is.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree with the sentiments of our host who unfortunately has Europhile masters and Europhile majority in his own party. Therefore the ONLY answer is UKIP. They will get MP’s despite the biggest smear campaign in our history from the msm and legacy cartel. It has been a David V Goliath struggle but I’m one of millions of voters who will make history and get us out of the undemocratic EU. It was only 2011 when Mr Cameron made you all vote to make EU law supreme over our own. The referendum lock with enough wriggle room to make it totally useless. He claims he got a reduced EU budget …….but then we paid more! The non veto of a treaty that didn’t exist and no renegotiation when they amended the rules to allow bailouts. £18 million for EU propaganda. So he simply cannot be trusted. Ted Heath, Mrs Thatcher, John Major and now Mr Cameron all signed us up to treaties or failed to give us a referendum. Most laws now made in the EU by unelected dictators, whilst immigration continues at extortionate levels so our health and public services will start to fail.

      • Hope
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        This the same Cameron who ordered a three line whip to prevent the public the right to a referendum to get out of the EU in 2012. In contrast decided he knew better than the public and thousands of years of Christianity to impose gay marriage upon us!

      • bluedog
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        The only answer is not UKIP. It’s a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives, and the prospect of a Labour/SNP coalition remains an acute risk. While being totally in sympathy with many of the positions of UKIP, one has to recognise that voting UKIP may guarantee the destruction of the Union and greater, indeed perpetual, servitude to the EU.

        Labour/SNP now presents an existential threat to the UK and we cannot let them prevail.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          Vote UKIP where they can beat Labour, surely, Bluedog ? Otherwise this sounds like simplistic anti UKIP rhetoric.

          • bluedog
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            Entirely reasonable, Anonymous. But in south-east England where UKIP seems strongest and where it tends to out-flank the Tories on the Right, voting UKIP is a free kick to Labour-SNP. You won’t see UKIP win in Scotland either, that’s where the Conservatives may surprise.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            There is no such thing as “Labour-SNP”; it is a figment of the imagination of Tory strategists, no more than a spectre they have raised to frighten voters in England.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          If you are so concerned about the existential threat to the UK posed by “Labour/SNP” in government you should ask why the Tories are threatening the electorate with “Tory/SNP” in opposition if they, the Tories, are not allowed to take office, as some of them still assume is their natural right.

          Because there is no way that a maximum of 59 SNP MPs could outvote 280’sh Labour MPs, unless the 280’sh Tory MPs were prepared to join them in the lobby; and without the numbers to outvote Labour the SNP alone would not be in a position to impose their will on a Labour government.

          • bluedog
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            Denis, Tory-SNP is just another of the mistakes the Conservatives make with depressing frequency. However under FPTP, a divided conservative vote hands victory to Labour-SNP. As both Labour and SNP are socialist parties their policies are more likely to align with each other than with Conservative-SNP.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            Well, the left is divided as well as the right; if Labour and the LibDems were to unite, and they took back all their erstwhile supporters from UKIP, as well as the SNP and the Greens, then that unified left would almost certainly outvote a unified right even with the Tories having recovered their erstwhile supporters from UKIP. For example in 2010 that unified left would have got about 56% of the votes.

        • Hope
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          No it does not. If it did then look at Cameron and ask yourself why he did not negotiate better terms before the Scottish referendum or allow it at all? Labour and Conservative allowed this potential threat, why allow them to follow it through? No, you are quite wrong. We need a change and that does not include a Tory party that does not know what it stands for. We had Clegg this morning saying that the Tories were relieved when they went into coalition so that they would not have to address the EU. Osborne is engaged in the Blakanisation of the country. Manchester rejected a mayoral system that the EU wants, so Osborne is imposing it with a Labour council!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            “We had Clegg this morning saying that the Tories were relieved when they went into coalition so that they would not have to address the EU.”

            Then he was confirming our longstanding suspicions.

            Reply More likely he was trying to cause dissension amongst Eurosceptics. Why believe this when you don’t believe other things he says

          • APL
            Posted May 4, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            JR: “More likely he was trying to cause dissension amongst Eurosceptics. ”

            Only if you believe the fiction that the Tory party is a Eurosceptic party.

            It is not.

        • Timaction
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Einstein said the first sign of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. This former Tory voter and patriot doesn’t,t believe the words of the quisling legacy parties. They lied to get us in, they lied to keep us in, they lied to get “ever closer” union by stealthy incremental treaty change. You think they,re not lying now? Keep taking the tablets!

  2. Matt
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Our host makes a strong case, but I can’t shake the feeling that the referendum will be crafted to maximise the chances of an “In” vote.
    The detail matters.
    What will the question be?
    Will the referendum be timed for when anti-EU feeling is at a minimum?
    Will we be offered some sort of bribe to vote for “In” as the Scottish were?
    Will the significance of minor concessions from the EU powers be exaggerated?
    Will legal barriers to withdrawal be put in place before the date of the vote?
    Will important EU figures be invited to make scary speeches about trade etc?

    There are probably far more political tactics to be brought to bear on the matter that I haven’t thought of. I’m not a politician.

    If Mr Cameron openly states his support for “In” then I suspect he’d be expected to resign in the event of an “Out” vote. In which case a monumental effort will be made to get us to vote for “In” that would be hard to match.

    With an apparent large majority of the Conservative party in favour of staying in, I remain skeptical that a simple straight vote is what we will get.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      You can be quite sure that, with Cameron in charge, any referendum will be crafted entirely to maximise the chances of an “In” vote. Anyone who appoint Lord Patten to the BBC trust, rats on IHT & Cast Iron, puts up 299+ taxes, mugs private pensions, removes personal allowances, child benefits, introduces stamp duty at 12% and “believes” in the global warming co2 devil gas religion (the huge exaggeration of) is clearly a wrong’un.

      If Cameron really does belief in green crap and is not just wasting circa £50K per household because he think it buys votes. This of course would be even more stupid and immoral but I suspect that is his true position. He surely cannot be stupid enough to be a believer? Has he decided which football club he supports yet?

      • Hope
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        It will be crafted on the same deceitful terms last November that he would not pay the extra £1.7 billion to the EU. Which of course he did.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          And “We will not take asylum seekers from Libya” or “We will restrict immigration from outside the EU”

          He knows full well that once they are on EU soil they are ours.

    • Mick Anderson
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Also, will the vote for in/out be restricted to the people who were born in the UK (or have taken citizenship) or will the vote also be given to immigrants who are only here as a result of having come from the EU?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        The latter no doubt. They will pull every trick in the book. Staying in will probably be a “yes” answer which introduces bias in the question. The EU side will be hugely funded, the state sector and the BBC will pump out the usual endless EUphile propaganda. Even if they lose they will just negotiate a few more fig leafs and ask the people again.

        • Bazman
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Have you anything against the constant propaganda pumped out by Tory newspapers which are now almost not credible putting forward the views of hard working non taxpayer non resident owners? The Sun @Oops I just Lost My Election’ headline after the leaders debate was actually written before the debate and is actually supporting the SNP in Scotland and the Tories in England.
          Or the bias of SKY which of course you approve of.
          All this bias is OK as long as it supports you deluded world views?

        • Bazman
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Have you anything against the constant propaganda pumped out by Tory newspapers which are now almost not credible putting forward the views of hard working non taxpayer non resident owners? The Sun @Oops I just Lost My Election’ headline after the leaders debate was actually written before the debate and is actually supporting the SNP in Scotland and the Tories in England.
          Or the bias of SKY which of course you approve of.
          All this bias is OK as long as it supports your deluded world views?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      All those details do matter, but what matters far more is the almost universal support for EU membership among those who control the mass media. We cannot expect to have a fair referendum campaign on that matter, or indeed on any other matter, if the mass media are prepared to misinform and mislead the electorate. It’s bad enough with elections, but at least then the mass media are much more divided in their support for different parties; there would be hardly any division in the ranks of the mass media during an “in-out” referendum on the EU, they would be almost completely on the side of “in” and they would have no scruples whatsoever about uncritically repeating and embroidering whatever propaganda the “in” side, including the government, fed to them.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    What difference will this election make to our position in the EU?

    Answer; None.

    Labour rabid Europhiles, Lib Dems, rabid Europhiles, SNP Double-rabid Europhiles.
    Conservatives, pretending they will give free and honest in/out Ref on our membership that Cameron and you and I know, will never happen.

    UKIP, would get us out, but the constant smears, lies and scaremongering have taken their toll. They are unlikely to get more than five seats.

    • Duyfken
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      If that.

      Nevertheless the total vote may carry some weight regardless of the number of seats won. In safe seats for the Conservatives (or Labour), a vote for UKIP is still very worthwhile as an indicator to whichever Party forming the government, of the strength of feeling against membership of the EU.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I would put some good money down that the opinion polls are not actually reflecting UKIPs real support. For example do you not think that if you worked in the public sector it would be a career limiting move to put it around that you were a UKIP voter, let alone a member? Remember what happened to the foster parents in Rotherham?
      Around here the UKIP banners get torn down on a regular basis but they pop up again like mushrooms overnight so somebody must be supporting them. You need not guess which party’s propaganda pieces go untouched though.

      • ian wragg
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Around here I put up UKIP posters and stickers which get torn down. Not so Limp Dumbs or Liebor but I have an endless supply and pre polling I intend to festoon the place with them.

      • Matt
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I do work in the public sector.
        I find myself choosing between the Conservatives and UKIP. As does my wife who also works in the public sector.
        We don’t have to hide our opinions, but we are in the minority.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Hold the faith Old Albion. Most people I speak to are voting purple so we shall see. The blatant lies by all the legacy parties has been like a banana republic. Claims that holding off limited benefits will stop immigration is the worst. We are not a sovereign democratic Nation if Messrs Junker, Holland and Ms Merkel dictate who can come here. Never has a British Prime Minister appeared so impotent to alleviate the fears and destiny of the British people. Such a weak position as we pay £14.5 billion for membership fees! Disgraceful that they allowed treaties to get us to this position and told absolute lies to the electorate to do so. They do not deserve our support or votes!

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        I am concerned that there will be vote rigging and corrupt counting.

        There is such anti UKIP hostility that counters binning UKIP votes as spoiled papers worries me. The bias and smear has been such that I never expected to see in this country.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          The Left see it as their duty to save the country from UKIP. What if they are given jobs in counting votes ?

          As with many readers here – I know there is lots of support for UKIP despite what the polls say.

          • Timaction
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            We’re represented locally at the Counting stations. Like you, we don’t trust the establishment or anyone else. The word on the doorstep is miles from the polls. The vilification from the press and msm has never been seen before. I read an article reported in the Mail today and then watched Mr Farage on BBC i player. The reporting is tantamount to straight lies and must be close to breaching the Representation of the Peoples Act.

  4. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Of course. We have to get out of the EU and we must renegotiate.
    The problem is how.
    The underlying problem is that the EU takes AGES to negotiate anything. Think how long it took Portugal to enter the EU – some ten years. Look at the pathetic world trade negotiations and the sparse number of countries that have trade agreements with the EU.
    We need a plan.
    So go to EU Referendum blog and download Flexcit.
    Tolle lege!

  5. Andyvan
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    When has a Conservative led government stood up for Britains interests since Mrs Thatcher was stabbed in the back?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Even Lady Thatcher gave far too many powers away and foolishly allowed John Major (and the rest of the traitors) to push her into the predictably disastrous ERM, this despite having been wisely advised by Professor Sir Alan Walters. Many of the traitors are still there too even now.

  6. JoeSoap
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    You should be questioning our democracy when the sum of your third and fourth parties’ votes is below the one Eurosceptic party, whose views you continue to ignore at your peril.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    But Cameron is clearly centre left pro EU too. There is virtually no difference between serial cast iron ratter Cameron and the Labour/LibDem leaders. He has made 299+ tax increases, wastes money hand over fist, engages in stupid & hugely damaging wars, continues to mug private pensions, is very pro EU, believes in the green crap subsidies and expensive nonsense energy, wastes money on HS2, passes daft laws like the gender insurance and annuity crap, likes open door uncontrolled immigration, has increased the national debt by over £400 Billion (while blatantly lying that the Tories have been “repaying the debt” and will be “in the black” by 2018.

    To describe SNP as a major party when UKIP came fist in the EU elections (and are likely to have at least three times the number of voters in this election) is a rather odd & selective way to pick your statistics.

    True he is not quite as bad as Miliband and Clegg but he is so very little better. Above all no one even trusts him to deliver a fair referendum, after his blatant & serial past ratting and lies.

    • Andy
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      But what you forget is that he is the only game in town. If you watched Thursday’s debate from Leeds that was abundantly clear. Miliband’s arrogance was almost beyond belief. The pity is far too many Ukippers hate the Conservatives more than they hate the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        I do not forget it at all. Cameron is clearly a dreadful, EUphile, green crap, tax borrow and waste, serial ratting, happiness index toting, election throwing lefty. But he is slightly better that the alternative of Miliband/SNP I agree. If only due to the 80 0dd on the sensible wing of the Tories.

        At least we will not get Miliband’s wanton destruction and theft in the property rental sector and the huge damage to the economy the abolition of non-doms will do. Cameron might even back track on his idiotic expensive energy policy and HS2 perhaps.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        “Ukippers hate the Conservatives more than they hate the EU.”

        He started the hatred. He called us loons and racists.

        Then he ignores us.

        UKIP poll more than the sum of the Greens and LibDems and do not have proportionate representation.

        It is intensely frustrating and annoying.

        Luckily we are not of the Left otherwise we’d have smashed the place up by now.

        We should be respected for using the appropriate democratic method to express our disapproval rather than being subject to insult and smear.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        We don’t hate anyone. We won’t give up on being ruled by dictators of the EU. Our task is to inform and expose the truth of the legacy lies. No one unless a fool would vote for the lying cartel once they know how they have been duped. Even now the policy of fear prevails. Milliband peddles the absolute lie of trade and jobs at risk by leaving. We have a £14.5 billion membership fee annually. A lot of hospitals, Doctors and nurses but spent on foreign infrastructure and farmers by foreign bureaucrats. We have a £77billion trade deficit with the EU. We are their biggest market! 92% of our businesses have no trade at all with the EU. 12% with the rest of the world. A simple trade agreement and friendship. Nothing more. The reality is it is coming. Our politicos just need to catch up!

  8. David Murfin
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that not enough emphasis is placed on the way existing EU powers are used to further the goal of ‘ever-closer union’, by using them to set up new Europe-wide regulations and new organizations to replace existing national bodies. Undoing that makes future exit ever more expensive and difficult.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    This is what the Irish politicians, and the Irish people, have agreed would be the best way to run Ireland, a country which fought for its independence from Britain and which still claims in its national constitution that Ireland is a sovereign state:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/european-commission-questions-government-s-budget-plan-1.2197080

    “European Commission questions Government’s budget plan”

    “Commission to ‘fully assess’ Spring Statement in coming weeks”

    I say that it was the Irish people as well the Irish politicians, because unlike the UK Ireland has had a succession of referendums since joining the EEC and even if the people have said “no” in the first place they have always caved in and said “yes” on the second time of asking; but on the other hand it has to be questioned how many of them really understood exactly what they were agreeing to.

    Well, of course we wouldn’t want that here, would we? Except that we have already got it, albeit in a somewhat diluted form, thanks to the past actions of our own politicians over the past half century, and especially, JR, those of the Tory politicians.

  10. Bob
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Where have I seen such smug sneering complacency before?
    Oh, I remember now, the Scottish Labour Party!

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The answer is simple – None!

    ‘The Conservatives argue that the current relationship is not working in the UK’s interest, that too much power has already passed to the EU, and we need a new relationship with them.’

    That’s a bit rich given all the pro-EU Heath-ites in the Tory party who have aided and abetted those who would enslave us in this undemocratic money pit. I was looking forwards to a peaceful, relaxing weekend. You sure know how to wind people up!

    And then people wonder why we don’t trust the Tories anymore, and they continue to languish in the polls.

    The word ‘cynical’ doesn’t even come close to describing Tories. This country desperately needs decent, honest, fiercely-loyal politicians who act in this country’s best interest, and not their own. There are very few of those left in the three main Westminster parties.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      As you say:- “This country desperately needs decent, honest, fiercely-loyal politicians who act in this country’s best interest, and not their own.”

      Indeed perhaps 80 of them at best in the Tories, a few Irish and a tiny handful in the parties of envy, theft, spite, vote buying and moronic stupidity.

      • Bazman
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        ie right whingers who put the fortunes of the rich before the rest of the population. How far has that got us?

    • Timaction
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      I can think of a handful in the UKIP leadership team. They say it as it is without spin or political correctness unlike the legacy class of politicos who have rarely been outside of Westminster and mixed with real people!

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        That is certainly true TA.

        Look what happened when Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband went before ‘real’ people asking ‘real’ questions in the recent Question Time leader’s debate, instead of an audience full of compliant apparatchiks. They looked very weak and flapping. None looked remotely like a competent leader and statesman.

        Farage by contrast fought his corner well and explained his stance in a clear way people could understand. If a future Tory leader could do the same, they might bring the party back from oblivion, but I say again, they need to purge themselves of all the failed pro-EU Heath-ites who have seen support and party membership slip away. People have had enough. It’s up to them to take the party out of the gutter before it slithers down the drain into oblivion.

        Tad

        Reply Mr Cameron answered well and was adjudged the winner of the interviews in polling afterwards.

        • Timaction
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          I thought Mr Cameron did ok by comparison with Messrs Clegg and Milliband. However, there was truly one elephant in the room that everyone was asking. Where’s the real leader? Where is the only patriot? Where is the leading politician who would wipe the floor with all three? Yes, where was Nigel Farage? The BBC’s insult to democracy. It must be broken up or sold up to restore our democracy!
          Reply He also had an interview which people could watch then or the next day if they are interested and he had prime slot on the Today programme the next morning

          • Timaction
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            Indeed Mr Redwood. With UKIP miles ahead of the Liberals in the polls and winning the European elections it is believed they belatedly offered this slot because of the biased left wing audience they selected for the recent leaders debate. Pointed out by Mr Farage denied by Mr Dimbleby. Later confirmed that 36% right of centre audience selected by ICM the rest, left! No wonder I don’t believe their polls or Mrs Ashtons husband.
            The BBC deliberately selected the graveyard slot as most people have to work and won’t bother with catch up TV. Most lead busy lives and are kept in the dark by the msm and legacy parties. That’s why UKIP will keep saying the truth until they are all aware!

  12. alan jutson
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I understand that the next Prime Minister will be either Mr Cameron Or Mr Miliband, and I understand that it is only Mr Cameron who out of the two is offering a vote on the EU, albeit after the promise of negotiations.

    I also understand you want people to vote Conservative John so that Mr Cameron is Prime minister, but the fact is not all Conservative candidates are of the same opinion as yourself and have Eurosceptic views.

    So

    Do people vote for a Europhile Conservative member, who will then vote against leaving Europe if negotiations are unsuccessful, or a member of another party who would support a vote for leaving the EU.

    That is the situation in a number of areas where to vote Conservative will lead to a Europhile member of Parliament be it Conservative, Labour or LibDem.

    The only other option is to vote for another Party who’s member will support a referendum, should one be proposed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Well over half the Tory party candidates are EUphile.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        The leadership clearly is too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        But UKIP will, at best, get three seats and will be powerless.

        • Hope
          Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Not so. Stop talking UKIP down, that is the job of the BBC!

          • bluedog
            Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            He’s not talking UKIP, down, merely reflecting an arithmetic truth. Now we see the full extent of Labour/SNP collusion, the risks to the future of the UK are off the scale they are so high. Voting UKIP simply dilutes the conservative vote as Dr JR has repeatedly said.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

            I am just giving a prediction based on the evidence and given the system. We shall see very soon.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            bluedog, what I also see is the threat of Tory/SNP collusion.

          • Timaction
            Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            Around here there is a suggestion that Weston Super Mare will have its first UKIP MP. Another in Plymouth and a number of Southern seaside towns as well as Grimsby, Thurrock, South Thanet and others in the South East. Then we may have Rotherham and a number of other disillusioned Towns up North and around our great Country. We will just wait and see what the people decide. The legacy parties are boring us with who will join who in a coalition whilst UKIP want to talk policy. Says it all really. The legacy parties think they are born to rule!

            Reply Not what the current polls say

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          None of you mention that it IS sensible to vote UKIP in Labour seats where the Conservatives can’t win.

          I’m sorry. But your failure to mention this shows your bias and misplaced loyalties.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      If we had some system of proportional representation for general elections in the UK, I would happily advocate voting UKIP to get movement on the question of the EU. That way, you would have almost 100 new Eurosceptic MPs (if the polls are to be believed) and UKIP would be able to pressure a majority Conservative government.

      But we do NOT have a system of PR, we have the First-Past-The-Post system. This system will ensure that, come next Thursday, millions of right-wing votes will go down the plug hole unless something very dramatic happens between now and then. The FPTP system will not only ensure that UKIP has a large number of votes for a miniscule number of seats. It would, in effect, completely nullify the effect of these votes and make possible the election of an EU integrationist party.

      At the moment Cameron is saying that a referendum on the EU is a ‘red line’ which he would not negotiate away in talks about forming a coalition. I think Alan, that this is as good as it gets. The realistic alternative to the Tories is a pro-EU party or coalition which will welcome an even closer relation between the UK and the EU. If you can’t get what you want now, don’t vote to ensure that you get what you don’t want.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Stephen – The Tories are EU integrationist too.

        Vote for them out of misplaced loyalty and you will regret it. You will continue to be ignored.

  13. Mondeo Man
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Why no suspension of new EU laws and mass immigration until this ‘new relationship’ is found ?

    Mr Cameron produced with great haste referendums on AV and the continuation of our Union regardless of its grave economic ramifications. Why no referendum on the EU yet ?

    Pardon me, but I have the suspicion that 2017 buys time to turn the electorate which is 70% Eurosceptic at the moment according to some polls.

  14. agricola
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    The Conservative argument is not clear on the EU, Cameron never has been. He has never stated what he likes about it. Hence the strong suspicion that he is driven by other forces. A new relationship yes, but what sort. Behind the door closed dealings between Cameron, our civil service and Brussels is totally unacceptable.

    Trade is a separate matter, as is cooperation. There are plenty of precedents for this so I see no problem.

    The new relationship you talk of will be a half way house, open to erosion as soon as it starts. What is it about the EU that Cameron clearly likes, and you appear to like, that allows you to acquiesce to a potential dogs breakfast of a result. Please specify and then tell us why it cannot be a subject of cooperation and not one that erodes our sovereignty.

    You are asking us to take a punt on Cameron based on the premise that he is not one of a long line of deceivers starting with Harold Wilson and going via Heath, Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron/Clegg. It is a choice between a parachute and a forced landing in a rough sea. Neither outcome bodes well. To me it is a crazy position to put our country in when Article 50 sits there offering an orderly exit and amicable future relationship.

    The sovereignty of our nation is paramount. The two countries outside the EU, but related to it are Norway and Switzerland, two of the most successful nations in the World. There is no downside to joining them.

    • agricola
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I would contend that anything or anyone who cedes power over our population to a foreign unelected power without a clear mandate from our population is committing a treasonable act. It is as simple as that and there is no nicer way of putting it.

      The referendum must be in or out and the sooner we have it the better. I would also contend that it is a decision for British born nationals. Not one for arrivista, shipped in migrants or members of any other EU state. During the build up to it there should be no comment or financial payouts from those in Brussels who should be told unequivocally to stay out of it. The rules of total impartiality should be made known to the BBC, to which they should adhere at risk of prosecution for interfering in the democratic process. Their pretentions to being a political force in the country should be severely curbed. They have done enough damage during this election to warrant such a statement.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      There is indeed no downside in joining them. The EUphile side never even try to make any sensible argument for staying in the EU. None beyond the absurd “seat at the table” where we are alway outvoted, preventing wars (yeah sure) and free trade – which we will clearly have anyway.

  15. JoeSoap
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I just had to check the date on this piece. Has this been copied and pasted from May 2010? I seem to remember promises then of referenda, renegotiation, a new deal over Europe etc. etc.

    The very fact that you need to write this now points to the lack of progress made in 5 years -you can’t say there has been re-negotiation, referendum, new deal etc. because there hasn’t been, has there?

    I think we have worn this one to death. You’re either fooled twice or your vote goes elsewhere.

  16. James Matthews
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    And what an indictment of our electoral system it is that two of the “major parties”, by your definition, will get many more seats than one which will receive a much larger proportion of the popular vote than either of them.

  17. acorn
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “Those who are sceptical of the UK’s ability to negotiate a new deal without leaving, will be free to vote for Out.” JR Says. What if I am still sceptical after we vote for out? It will be a decade before they let us back in on any terms, including joining the Euro.

    I am sceptical of the UK’s ability to negotiate a new deal in the two years between this election and a “possible” Referendum in 2017. The Swiss have taken a decade to negotiate multiple bilateral Treaties; AND, are still negotiating its February 9, 2014 Referendum vote, to limit EU immigration and repeal its “free movement of people” bilateral agreement the EU insisted on!

    Meanwhile, what happens to the UK economy while all this is going on, particularly foreign direct investment into the UK. There is a Poker idiom “drawing to an inside straight” I think that is where the Conservatives are putting us.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Over the past fifteen years or so I have repeatedly warned those calling for a referendum on the EU to be very careful what they wished for.

    If they are calling for a referendum on some further step in the process of integration, such as joining the euro or accepting a new treaty, then if they got that referendum they would have a good chance of winning it, and if it happened that they lost the vote then that would not be a lot worse than not having had the referendum at all.

    But if they are calling for an “in-out” referendum then if they got it their chances of actually winning it would be very much lower, I reckon an order of magnitude lower, and afterwards the pro-EU politicians could say that the matter is now settled and think that they could go ahead with further integration just as they pleased.

    Yes, I know that in Scotland the SNP is now saying that what they previously described as a “once in a lifetime” independence referendum might in fact have been one of a series of “once in a decade or less” referendums, until they got the result they wanted, but they are only in a position to press for that because their party now has majority support among the population, or close to it, and will continue to control the Scottish parliament and government.

    For the same thing to happen about a repeat “in-out” referendum on the EU would require a party like UKIP to get itself into a similar position, with at least a tripling of its present level of support, and in that case it might take us out of the EU just on the basis of a manifesto commitment and without a referendum – something which the SNP would no doubt like to do for Scottish independence, but which it could not do legally because the Union is a matter reserved to the UK Parliament and so it could only be dissolved by the UK Parliament, not by the devolved Scottish parliament.

  19. Richard1
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Yes, anyone thinking of voting UKIP should bear in mind that it will then become very unlikely that there will ever be a referendum. I wouldn’t be surprised if a left coalition puts in place a legal/constitutional impediment to ever holding an EU referendum (2/3 vote in Parliament eg?)

    I think you should do a post before the election reminding people why the Labour govt was in fact largely to blame for the crash and recession. Labour spokespersons – Miliband in the recent debate being an example – deny Labour borrowed and spent too much. Their stock answer is ‘Lehman Brothers didn’t go bust because Gordon Brown built too many schools and hospitals’ etc. this disingenuous answer is never then challenged by BBC interviewers, who do not ask about the deficit before the recession, whether monetary and regulatory policy had anything to do with bank leverage, why the response to the crisis was so cack-handed etc. Labour are getting off very lightly for the disaster they caused.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      People switching from UKIP to Tory will not be counted as “we want a referendum” especially if their Tory candidate is a Europhile.

      The Tories will point and sneer and say “Where are UKIP now ??? Ha ha !”

      The feelings of the people who rested with their consciences, held their noses and voted Tory will be ignored and absorbed into the grand mandate.

      Cameron has lied yet again when he said recently that asylum seekers coming on boats from Libya would not be accepted. Once they reach Italy they are ours – and so here they are, massing at the the French border to reach our world famous welfare state.

      We’re going to need record numbers of jobs – to infinity in fact.

      White van man is stuffed whichever party wins this election. It’s just a matter of how quickly he feels it – betrayed by the Tory party to whom he responded by competing in the global economy, as they asked of him, not expecting that the same Tory party would be keen subsidisers of cheap imported labour to keep him in his place (who signed Maastricht ? Who brought us record levels of uncontrolled immigration ?)

      This is the last time WMV has the chance to give the LibLabCon the rejection it thoroughly deserves.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        wrested

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      So you think we should vote for Cameron, who voluntarily gave a unqualified “cast-iron guarantee” that unlike Brown he would put the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum so that the British people could decide whether they wanted it, and then diluted that promise down to “we would not let matters rest there” if the treaty had already come into force by the time that he became Prime Minister, knowingly perfectly well that Brown would simply not give him the opportunity to become Prime Minister before the Irish had been made to vote again with the very probable outcome that the treaty would have already come into force, and who then reneged completely on his original pledge on the nonsensical pretext that the treaty no longer existed; and who then having said that instead when the eurozone states needed treaty change, as they would, that would be the “golden opportunity” for him to extract concessions in return, but in the event failed to even ask for any treaty changes; and who agreed to Hague putting fine print into his so-called “referendum lock” law so that the treaty change given to the eurozone states free gratis and for nothing would not trigger a referendum, and nor indeed would the treaty for Croatia to join the EU; and who adamantly opposed all attempts to secure a referendum, including attempts by some of his Tory colleagues to secure a “mandate” referendum, even whipping Tory MPs to vote against a motion demanding a referendum; and who instead indulged in the PR exercise of a Private Members’ Bill to mandate a referendum, but only in the next Parliament, and then wrongly blamed his coalition partners for the demise of that Bill; and who whipped Tory MPs to vote against the sovereignty of their own Parliament; and who is beyond any doubt utterly determined that we shall stay in the EU; that same man, Cameron, is to be trusted to not only hold a referendum but ensure that it is a fair referendum, if necessary severely upbraiding the mass media and others for any falsification of the truth during the referendum campaign, and that despite the fact that he himself would be using his position to campaign in favour of staying in the EU and all his Tory colleagues would be required to follow suit; and this would be after he had gone through the motions of a “renegotiation” of the terms of our EU membership which it is already very clear would amount to nothing of significance, but would be dressed up as major improvements obtained after long hard negotiations, exactly what Wilson did the last time we had a referendum.

      You and he must think that we are complete mugs; unfortunately in many cases you may be right.

      Reply What annoys me is that some of you continue to doubt my intentions, when throughout I have fought this Euro/EU power grab and have been one of the leaders in highlighting the dangers of it which others now see. It is my judgement that our best chance – maybe our only chance – is this referendum which we can secure if Mr Cameron stays as PM. All other likely outcomes of this election will be worse – indeed all others will see a federalist majority in the Commons continue to surrender powers, sign up to new laws, and make it even more difficult for us to get change or to get out after 2020. Politics is not just about having the right ideas or analysis of the powers of the EU- it is also about taking enough people with you when have the right analysis, and presenting an overall package of views and policies which appeals sufficiently. At current levels of support UKIP can stop the Conservatives winning but will win 0-3 seats. Zero seats would make them an irrelevance in the next Parliament.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        The Lisbon treaty has been debated endlessly on this site. Mr Cameron was in no better position to offer a referendum on the Losbon treaty than he was on the treaty of Rome or the treaties of Versailles or Utrecht. It was already approved by Parliament. It was not Mr Cameron’s fault that there was a Labour govt in 2009-10 with Gordon Brown as PM. The Comservatives made their opposition to Lisbon clear but didn’t have a majority at the time so couldn’t do anything about it. You need to stop making the perfect being the enemy of the good.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Let us imagine that in November 2009 Cameron had rejected the patently nonsensical pretext that it would be impossible to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty because it no longer existed, and instead he had decided to defy the europhile wing of his party by sticking with the unqualified “cast iron guarantee” of a referendum which he had volunteered in September 2007. And let us suppose that this pledge, and his integrity in sticking with it, had won the Tories enough extra votes in the 2010 general election to give them a majority, and they went ahead with that referendum.

          So what would have happened if the electorate had then voted against that treaty in the referendum, in effect saying that they didn’t want the UK to be bound by it? Would that have meant that the UK would have to immediately leave the EU? No, but it would have meant that Cameron would have been politically and morally obliged to open negotiations with the other EU member states to try to get the terms of our EU membership changed so that they would be more acceptable to the British people, and that process of renegotiation would probably have started around 2011.

          Instead what we have now is Cameron promising that if he is still Prime Minister after the 2015 general election then he will open negotiations with the other EU member states to try to get the terms of our EU membership changed so that they would be more acceptable to the British people, the same thing except that he has managed to put off the evil day when he will have to confront the problem for at least five years, and maybe forever.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        JR, my reply was to Richard1, not to yourself.

        I have explained why those who wish to leave the EU should not be calling for, or voting for, an “in-out” referendum when they have little chance of winning it. My desire is to leave the EU, not to have a vote which keeps us in the EU until long after I’m dead and gone. That is my judgement, based upon my knowledge of what happened in 1975 and my observation of how the mass media behave; your judgement is different, that somehow the truth would win through despite the intense propaganda blitz that those calling for an “out” vote would face. I don’t doubt your intentions, JR, but I do doubt your judgement in that regard.

        Reply It is our only chance. The UK is not about to vote in 326 MPs who will vote to leave the EU without a referendum.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          No, it isn’t our only chance. I would much rather win an “in-out” referendum in 2027 than lose it in 2017.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        We are only now talking about this because of UKIP. We have a mountain to climb and will get seats this time. Many more next time as we will not give in to the LiblabCON. Austerity will focus peoples minds on vanishing Doctors, hospital and all other public services. We don’t have a housing crisis, we have a mass migration crisis that will continue whilst we are in the EU. A few minor changes to benefits won’t change anything. When will our politicos start talking the truth like UKIP or get out of the way so we can govern for the British people not the EU.

        Reply We are discussing this because Conservative Eurosceptic MPs in previous Parliaments have kept on highlighting it.

        • Timaction
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Mr Redwood please. In the Parliament that just sat your party voted in favour of EU supremacy over British law. What has changed since? UKIP. UKIP will keep the legacy parties feet to the fire to return our sovereign democracy to these shores that your parties gave away by lies and stealth, without mandate or permission from the British people. I saw the hypocrites standing at the recent war memorial and thought how many British people gave their lives in these wars, including my ancestors, for the quislings to loose the peace to the Franco/German led EU! Disgraceful and unforgivable.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        It’s the feeling that the Tory hierarchy consistently saw those who worked for its election as ‘useful idiots’ that annoys me. We were made to believe they stood for one thing, when in reality, they stood for something else. They’re bot a bit euro-sceptic.

        Cameron is a complete con-man, as Denis righty describes. But you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time, however much he may try. Cameron’s chickens always were going to come home to roost, and if he doesn’t get a clear majority on Thursday, it is down to men like you to do the right thing and get rid of him!

        It just isn’t good enough to put a personal career or a secret agenda before the best interests of the British people.

        Tad

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      “I wouldn’t be surprised if a left coalition puts in place a legal/constitutional impediment to ever holding an EU referendum (2/3 vote in Parliament eg?)”

      Aren’t such attempts to bind a future Govt on shakey ground to the point of being unenforceable ?

      Denis Cooper has a good point about holding a referendum on issues where the referendum would be won rather than risking an in/out .

      When push comes to shove , neither French , German , other nationals are going to willingly consent to the replacement of their own countries with a new EU country .

      The best chance for those of us who want to keep the nation states is to ensure the EU dream is killed off on the European mainland – by refusing to allow the EU elite to hide the ultimate destination from mainland Europeans .

  20. Kenneth
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I suspect that we eu-sceptics will have our day one way or another.

    Whatever the outcome of the election, Parliament will almost certainly have a large rump of eu-sceptic MPs, whether they are Conservatives, UKIP, UUP or even some of the Left.

    If a minority Labour government takes the reigns I suspect this will be followed by another election shortly afterwards where eu-sceptics may have an even larger share, bearing in mind the chaos unfolding on the continent.

    I don’t think there needs to be any co-ordination between these MPs as they will pretty much be of one mind on most issues. As most of them will be ‘conviction’ MPs I am sure most will vote the same way on most issues, even at means defying their respective whips.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    You say “Mr Cameron made clear in his Bloomberg speech, a central task will be to restore UK democratic accountability of government to Parliament”.

    His Bloomberg speech was hugely vague (and clearly intentionally). It made very little actually clear at all and left huge gap and uncertainties in his position. We also know that Cameron is the sort of person (clearly seen from his long record) who says one thing while doing the complete opposite behind the scenes.

    Why would anyone trust some who appoints Lord Patten to the BBC, fires Michael Gove and Owen Patterson, appoints (clearly second rate) token women and minorities all over the place and even had (the proven wrong on almost every issue) people like Ken Clark and Ed Davey, on his team? Even David Laws who should clearly have been kicked out of parliament.

    A treaty is not a treaty once ratified…. we are repaying the debt…… we will be in the black by 2018 ……..I am a low tax conservative at heart……. The man simply has zero credibility and no vision, he is just a tiny bit less bad than potential landlord robber (and it will clearly harm tenants too) Miliband/SNP.

  22. Paul H
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Except that it is going to be an in/in referendum. Cameron has already said he is going to campaign to stay in, so the EU can get away with offering – basically – nothing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Nothing but a fig leaf will be offered something like Majors “subsidiarity” con trick.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    To answer the question you pose at the top of this post is “I haven`t a clue!”.

    The outcome of this election is unpredictable. Many voters (c20%) have yet to make up their mind. Even more will not vote at all. UKIP turnout in the GE is an unknown, as is the extent of tactical voting in the marginal constituencies where the result will be decided.

    I know what I would like to see which is a clear Conservative-UKIP majority so that the EU issues gets the attention it deserves. That is wishful thinking. More likely seems to be a minority Labour government hobbled by SNP on vote by vote issues – for which the rest of us will have to pay dearly while EU issues are kicked into the long grass.

  24. Max Dunbar
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Two words which I have heard repeatedly from the SNP during the past few weeks are Power and Control.
    If the SNP hold the balance of power at Westminster then we can expect an accelerated programme of political union with the EU. But of more immediate concern will be the way that the Labour Party, assuming that there is a Lab/SNP deal of some sort, will be pushed even further left. Despite what Miliband says this is virtually certain. So people in largely conservative England will have a Far-left government imposed upon them by Scotland if the current predictions are accurate.
    What does this mean for English Nationalists, some of whom comment on this blog? Are you going to continue to push for ‘devolution’ for England or will you come to your senses and recognise the threat from Scotland and deal with it? There is no escape for you. Edward the First knew that and dealt with it. So did the British government of 1745.
    If you turn your backs on history then the price that is extracted will be heavy.

    • formula57
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      59 or so SNP-occupied Westminster seats ought to be ample to bring us to our senses and act to compel Scotland’s exit from the Union by, say, 1 July next.

      We would hear a deal of whinging from anti-independence elements in Scotland, but only for those few remaining weeks and thereafter that would be Nicola’s problem. Wins all round otherwise.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        You may as well do a 3 for 1 deal and get rid of Wales and Northern Ireland while you are at it. But it’s not going to happen is it?

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

      To assume that there would be a Labour/SNP deal is to assume that the Tories would force Miliband into doing that, despite his many clear statements that he would not accept any deal at all with the SNP, with the implied alternative of an effective Tory/SNP deal in opposition, with the two of them voting together to defeat a minority Labour government at every turn. There would be no way that 50’sh SNP MPs could vote down proposals supported by 280’sh Labour MPs unless the Tories came to the aid of the SNP with their 280’sh MPs.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 2, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Let’s wait and see what Labour’s paymasters have to say about all this.

    • bluedog
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      ‘What does this mean for English Nationalists, some of whom comment on this blog? Are you going to continue to push for ‘devolution’ for England or will you come to your senses and recognise the threat from Scotland and deal with it?’

      This comment represents a profound misconception. Set aside your contempt for the Little Englanders and look at the big picture. Given Tony Blair’s partial devolution ignore England, it is only reasonable to reconstitute the UK as a federation in which each of the nations/provinces has a parliament. Call it constitutional equity. You can see how this works by studying the federal constitutions of say, Germany, Spain, the US, Australia and Canada. There are many successful models to help you understand the system.

      We can agree that the emergence of the SNP in possible coalition with Labour represents an existential threat to the UK. Dealing with any threat is best done by seizing the initiative and getting ahead of the problem rather than reacting to one’s opponents. In this case, taking the initiative requires the launch of a federal UK.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Firstly, can I contradict your assertion that English Nationalists are ‘Little Englanders’ to use your term. I do not hold these people in contempt, I consider them to be misguided and contributing to the assisted suicide of the UK at the hands of the SNP.
        ‘Dealing with any threat is best done by seizing the initiative and getting ahead of the problem rather than reacting to one’s opponents’. And that is exactly the mistake Labour made when they stated that devolution would ‘kill nationalism stone dead’. You would make exactly the same mistake as Labour did in 1997.
        The misconception is yours.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    During the time I have been responding to this post I have yet to read anything to convince me that staying in the EU is an advantage to this country . The vast contribution we make and the imposition of laws we are obliged to follow that have not been instigated by our Parliament , are the main features that stick in my gullet .
    I am old enough to have been around when we were asked to join a Common Market ; I voted “Yes” to this ; since then the relationship has been deteriorated by various agreements I have never been asked to consent to . Time after time one politician after another has signed away our independence and we have reached the stage today that only a withdrawal will reinstate the control over our own affairs .
    The sooner we can assert our independence the happier I will be and when this time comes , I hope we will be led by a politician who thinks as I do .

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Not entirely off-topic:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/no-default-if-greece-misses-debt-payments-328371.html

    “‘No default’ if Greece misses debt payments”

    “Most top credit rating agencies say they would not cut Greece’s rating to default if it misses a payment to the IMF or ECB, a stance that could keep vital ECB funding flowing into the financial system.”

    ““If Greece were, for whatever reason, not to make a payment to the IMF or ECB that would not constitute a default under our criteria as it is ‘official’ sector debt,” said Frank Gill, who rates Greece for S&P.

    As was seen during Greece’s massive 2012 debt restructuring, only when all four of the main agencies declared Athens in default, did the ECB say it would not accept Greek bonds as emergency liquidity assistance collateral. Moody’s is the other agency.

    Even then it did a quick U-turn after eurozone countries put €35bn into an escrow account to cover the central bank in case there were any problems during the restructuring.”

    This is the dishonest way in which the EU routinely operates.

    The Greek government compounded with its private creditors, that “massive 2012 debt restructuring”, correctly called a “default” by the credit rating agencies, but nonetheless the story has been put around that it wasn’t a “default”, instead we are still waiting and fearing that there might be a “default”.

    Now if the Greek government fails to meet its commitments to its “official” creditors that won’t be a “default” either.

    But now it is also being put around that even if the Greek government did “default” that wouldn’t necessarily mean that Greece would have to leave the euro, even though previously in order to intimidate the Greeks the story was put around that exit from the euro would be an inevitable consequence of any “default”, and that exit from the euro would mean leaving the EU altogether.

  27. John Wrake
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,
    Which are the three other parties to which you refer?

    Reply. Lib,Lab,SNP

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      In the EU elections (where people can vote according to their true wishes) UKIP came first and had far more votes than Libdems, SNP, Greens and all the other minor parties put together.

  28. ian wragg`
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Why did CMD sign up to the EAW without debate. Why has your government continued to enact EU law and guidance and in many instances passed it off as your idea.
    Why is the Conservative Party Balkanising England as per the wishes of Brussels.

    Your government has done nothing to convince anyone that they are serious about repatriating any powers from Brussels and as with immigration which is at its highest level ever you don’t even control the areas which you can.

    No one is fooled by the last ditch efforts to pretend the Tories are not the raging Europhiles which they most certainly are.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      You forgot to mention savage the armed forces in a deliberate effort to render the UK unable to defend itself .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed post election they will revert to type for a second time.

  29. Mark B
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    It will make no difference even if the Tory’s got a working majority. It never before and it will not much matter since. Your leader has made it plain that he wishes the UK to remain in the EU and has forbidden Tory MP’s from campaigning for out. Hardly Eurosceptic that, is it ?

    The claim of wanting a new relationship I believe, has more to do with EU regulation and taxation of the banks than anything else. The EU needs cash to pay for the disaster that is the Eurozone and the City and the Banks have plenty. What we are witnessing I argue, is a power play between the UK and the EU. And all this guff about referendums and the UK leaving is just part of that little scam. What do you think the EU is about ? This was always going to happen. They first took the fish, then the rest of our industries and utilities, and now they are coming for the banks and the rest of the financial services sector. You cannot win. Now the EU is pitching its tent on your lawn and you do not like it. Well tough ! Either you leave or just get on with the job of making yourself irrelevant.

  30. A different Simon
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    So the message is that the Conservatives are the least bad choice of the parties which will end up with the most seats .

    That is probably correct but when you look at the people ready to jump into Cameron’s shoes it is scary .

    Does anyone seriously think the traitorous europhile Mrs May is cabinet material let alone leadership material ?

    Then there is the awful Boris with his put on aloofness act .

    David Davis is the only credible alternative to Cameron and by far the most normal .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it was a tragedy we did not get David Davis last time and Cameron then threw the sitting duck election, with his pre-election, cast iron, EU ratting. But the reason is that the Tory party is essentially EUphile, greencrap, tax borrow and piss down the drain just like Cameron/Labour and the Libdims. The next leader will probably be as dire as Cameron has been.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree with you about those deemed to be the likely successors to Mr Cameron.Furthermore,If I were a committed Tory I would also be thoroughly depressed by the apparent lack of talent amongst the younger generation of MPs.Those we have been encouraged to believe are rising stars have failed to impress and seem to be just clones of the metropolitan liberal stereotype or diversity box-tickers.

      • A different Simon
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        For a while I thought Chuka Umunna had substance to him and it gave me some optimism .

        Sadly I have come to realise that I was mistaken and that he’s just another one of the clones you describe .

        Makes you wonder whether this lack of talent extends beyond the elected representatives into Whitehall .

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes if DD becomes leader I would vote Conservative again

  31. Shieldsman
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    NONE.
    I have just been been reading your manifesto and I see that Mr Cameron is still dancing to the tune played by the environmental green blob.
    Pages 56 and 57 show what little grasp politicians have of the impossibility of meeting the CO2 reductions demanded by the Climate Change Act and the EU.
    ‘We will will continue to support the safe development of shale gas’ What is the point the DECC pathway commits UK to phase out the use of gas for generating electricity and domestic use, policy committed to by Conservatives.
    Miliband has quite clearly stated he wants to phase out by 2030.
    Having off-shored most of our Industry already, the rest will follow and we will become a third world country.
    If you have any doubts on the outcome go to GWPF and read ‘The Madness Of Germany’s Energy Socialism’ Wolfram Weimer
    Already a whole republic of Green electricity councils establishes determined plan-prices, solar and wind comrades produce arbitrary amounts of power, the population pays compulsory levies, supply and demand are suspended and party politics determine plan fulfillment figures. In this eco-socialism, everybody who produces electricity from renewable sources receives a nationally defined “energy feed-in tariff” (the very word sounds like it comes from East Berlin) according to plan specifications. This has as much to do with free market prices for electricity as Stasi boss Erich Mielke had to do with the freedom to travel – nothing.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 3, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      If you wanted to lower CO2 emissions , the way to do it would be with a CO2 tax on the fuel .

      That way the market would determine the most efficient way of achieving the objectives .

      It is amazing that technocratic politicians seem to prefer a top down dictat approach which foolishly attempts to specifya rigid 50 year plan for “how” the objectives should be achieved .

  32. David Price
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    If there is any effect it will be for the worse for the majority of us. No politician since Mrs Thatcher has even tried to get a meaningful benefit out of the EU for the UK.

    Have we paid the extra £1.7 billion yet?

  33. Tommo
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    You should have joined Nige years ago John. There is no future for you in Cameron’s pro-EU, ‘modernised’ Tory Party.

    If you really believe in what you write about the EU then the only party is UKIP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      UKIP will (due to the huge bias of the FPTP electoral system and the historic pull of the Tory & Labour brands) will get about three MPs at best. We need more sensible EU sceptic MPs not fewer.

  34. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    JR:”A Conservative government would recognise that the Euro area members of the EU will need to take more and more power to the centre, to add political, fiscal and budgetary union to their currency union.”

    May I remind you that: “All Member States of the European Union, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, are required to adopt the euro and join the euro area.” There are currently 19 countries in the eurozone with 7 due to join and another 6 “candidate” countries wanting to join the EU. Eventually if all the candidare countries joined that would mean 32 in the eurozone and 2 outside.
    By your own declaration, you are promoting “more power to the centre” of the eurozone. It is nonsense to say that your government would seek to resolve the growing tensions between Euro and non Euro members. With all countries except 2 having to join the euro, as the juggernaut moves on and enlarges further the views of those 2 countries will become irrelevant.
    Do you really expect us to believe that your party will not one day take us into the euro? It follows, as night follows day, that after implementing Harold Wilson’s blueprint for conning the British people to stay in the EU, the next step will be adoption of the euro. You know it. I have heard that some financial organisations are prepering plans for it, as soon as 2018.

    Reply nonsense. I wrote the books against the euro and helped persuade the Conservatives to oppose in principle, as we do to this day. There is no way we want the Euro, so top fibbing.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I am expressing an opinion not “fibbing”. Can you find fault with the logic of my argument? If so, I should like to read it.

      Reply It is and you know it. I have explained the true position on many occasions for you.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted May 3, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        I am sorry I refuse to accept your smear. Most of my comment is factually based:
        1.The membership of the euro – present and future.
        2.I have met someone from a significant financial organisation who has told me that he is preparing plans for the euro to be introduced into this country in 2018.
        My opinioin is that should the public vote to stay in the EU then the next logical step will be membership of the euro just like all the others except Denmark. What is wrong with that?
        How can 2 countries have influence within a membership of 28, and likely to rise to 34, when you are encouraging the eurozone “to take more and more power to the centre”?

        Reply No party is campaigning in this election to join the Euro. All agree there would need to be a referendum before joining, and those who want to join the Euro know there is no chance of winning such a referendum. The UK will not join the Euro in 2018. Conservatives are against the Euro in principle.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          “All agree there would need to be a referendum before joining”, at the moment, but some say that it should not be a referendum just on whether we wanted to join the euro with EU membership continuing irrespective of the result, but instead an “in-out” referendum – “in” with the euro, or “out” altogether. And the reason why the LibDems and Labour are saying that is because they think there would be a much better chance that we would vote “in” rather than voting “yes” just to the euro.

  35. bluedog
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    ‘The EU wants the UK to stand behind the debts of the banks and states of the Euro area. We need to resist this. ‘

    Dr JR, this development is of critical importance to the debate on the EU and may swing the less convinced Europhiles to a Europhobe position. For the British state to offer a guarantee for the liabilities of the EU, the EMU and the ECB is the height of folly. One can already see in the tranches of liquidity offered to Greece by the ECB how the EMU is laying the ground similar measures to bail out any other EMU member whose economy is crippled within this system. The UK simply cannot offer a blank cheque to the entire EMU. By doing so, all the work done since 2010 in restoring the British economy to growth would be put at risk. Osborne will understand this and may succeed in explaining the dangers to Cameron. We must hope so.

    Reply indeed. Our greater success at generating jobs is already helping bail the Euro project by offering jobs here that they cannot get there.

  36. marg brandreth-jones
    Posted May 2, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Which ever way the die falls all will have to fight the continuing power struggles and the people who use political parties for their own furthering and gain of power .These people will vote for those who they see have more financial or social influence . The manifestos won’t matter. You may say that this has always been the case, yet this last 30years has seen corruption on a scale without a precedent.

  37. petermartin2001
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    It looks very much like the best the Conservatives can hope for in the coming election is to be part of another coalition.

    So what happens to the EU referendum pledge then? Is it going to be a case of saying:

    “Oh the LibDems (or whoever) don’t want a referendum so that’s the end of that idea” ?

    Or, are the Conservatives going to be insisting on a referendum? Are you going to be saying to the Lib Dems:

    “Well, you had your choice a referendum in the last Parliament. It’s our turn now’?

    Reply Mr Cameron clearly said the referendum was his one big red line – he made it essential for him entering coalition.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 3, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    “As Mr Cameron made clear in his Bloomberg speech, a central task will be to restore UK democratic accountability of government to Parliament.”

    I like that, but how can it be done without re-asserting the supremacy of UK law over EU law – which effectively means OUT?

    Let me put it this way: If the Conservative Party wins this election, Eurosceptics will need to put into the public domain what they think needs to be renegotiated. I know you think that you have done this already but it bears repetition – especially if you and someone like Daniel Hannan issue a joint pamphlet.

    For my own part, I don’t want us to be party to any federalist treaty. Nor am I happy about there being so many countries in the Euro zone, especially since the Greek crisis will be cited as justification for joint fiscal control.

    Nor am I happy that ‘The Single Market’ is used as an excuse for excessive regulation and social control. As Enoch Powell put it – “You don’t need to share someone’s bathwater in order to have a trade agreement with him.”

  39. Bill
    Posted May 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I think one of the Conservative’s strongest cards is to say that, without a strong economy, you cannot have a strong NHS. The economy comes first, the NHS second.

    Or, in Mrs Thatcher’s terms, the Good Samaritan needed to have earned money before he could pay for the treatment of the bleeding man who lay at the roadside.

  40. Freeborn John
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    I sent of my postal ballot marked UKIP yesterday. Cast-iron Cameron had 5 years to do something about the EU but only signed us up to EAW, allowed more EU treaty changes that suited Merkel without getting anything for the UK and said he wants to lead the Yes campaign in a referendum to keep us on the EU on largely unchanged terms. He HAS to go. I will be putting a bottle of champagne in the fridge today in order to celebrate his resignation later in the week. Please make sure you elect a real EUsceptic as next party leader truly prepared to take the country out of the EU.

  • 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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