The referendum

In the run up to the General Election Conservatives and UKIP candidates and supporters were fighting each other for the seats available in Parliament. That process required both sides to stress their differences as part of the cut and thrust of democratic debate. That’s democracy.  

However, in the months ahead we need to prepare for an even more important vote, the vote of the UK people on whether to stay in the EU or not. To win that vote for Out if that becomes necessary  will require all Eurosceptics, of whatever party and of greater or lesser conviction, to unite. Subject to what the Prime Minister manages to agree with other EU members, many Conservatives and many UKIP supporters may well find themselves on the same side of the referendum argument.  If Mr Cameron cannot persuade the other members of the EU that the UK needs a new relationship with the Euro area which restores our domestic democratic control over the things that matter, including welfare and borders, then we need to  urge the public to vote to leave the present treaties. A vote to leave would  trigger a negotiation of a trade based relationship which the rest of the EU will of course wish  to have, given how much they export to us.

In order to win the referendum for Out, if it comes to that, it will be essential that all those who think the EU has too much power and who think the present relationship unsatisfactory to unite around the strong proposition that we  leave. UKIP will need to help Conservatives persuade those who feel much less strongly about the matter than UKIP itself, which will require the right tone of voice, a positive message about how life can better outside the EU, and a willingness to compromise with those who are not strong believers in Out.It will also be easier to persuade those with less sure convictions on this topic than UKIP members if the Prime Minister is seen to have tried to get a decent deal for the UK, only to be rebuffed by other EU states.

It is not for me or others outside UKIP to say who should lead you or how you should be led. That is a matter for you and your party. It is for me, someone who has campaigned long and hard for the restoration of democracy in the UK by  getting back control over important decisions from the EU, to urge you all to have the new task of the referendum in mind when you make your decisions.

Mr Carswell left the Conservative party for UKIP to make a point. I did not agree with him then, as I hoped the Conservative party was close to winning a majority in the Commons so we could vote through a referendum which  we all  want. I felt Mr Carswell’s decision made that more difficult. Fortunately Conservatives in Parliament can  now offer that vote. Mr Carswell urges his new party to work tirelessly for the referendum in 2016/17, and points out it will require  a positive, optimistic friendly tone of voice to carry the day. We will need to show how the UK can be more democratic, more vibrant and more successful outside the Treaties. It is important to recognise we need a new relationship based on trade, friendship and political co-ooperation.

Yours sincerely

John Redwood

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As I understand it, political parties are not permitted to lead referendums. If so, that leave amalgamated groups on both sides made up from all the political parties and other interested individuals etc.

    Whatever Cameron comes back with from Brussels, if it is a straight IN or OUT question, I shall be voting for OUT. If it is anything else, ie “would you like the UK Government to renegotiate a new relationship with the EU ?” Then I shall boycott this sham of a referendum.

    My views on this matter have been made before, so please forgive me for making them again.

    Once a power is ceded too the EU, it can never be returned. Also, there is only one thing, and just once thing that I want back from the EU. And that is, the removal, in perpetuity, from the commitment for the UK to EVER CLOSER UNION. Anything less is of no interest to me as our kind host has pointed out in an earlier piece. The UK ‘veto’ on so many matters, has been steadily eroded. I see no reason why such a situation whilst committed to EVER CLOSER UNION is ever likely to change.

    Finally, many of the things regarding the free movement of people and welfare our government can already do under existing terms of the treaties it has signed. It just chooses not to enforce them. In short, you are offering me nothing that can not be done already.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      What an excellent comment. Well written!

      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Second that one three times over

    • Chris Rose
      Posted May 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I understand that we do not want to be bound to Ever Closer Union, but I do not understand how being freed of that would in practice make much difference. The rest of the EU is committed to it, and if the Euro is to survive, the Eurozone will have to bind itself more closely together simply to make the currency area work. So, if we remain in the EU, we shall be swept along to ever closer union, whether by agreement or not: we shall be left carping on the sidelines. I want the referendum, Yes or No, to bring our days of carping to an end.

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Others have written today about the second referendum in Denmark in 1992 which produced a yes vote for Maastrick, after previously voting No.
    An agreement was reached with Denmark and later added to the next treaties.
    What do you recall about this agreement?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      That is the “Danish option” discussed here in the WSJ last week:

      “In 1992, after the Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in a referendum, EU leaders addressed their concerns through a protocol that granted Denmark special treatment in four areas, including an opt-out from the euro and from the common European defense policy. This leaders’ pledge made by the European Council in Edinburgh didn’t require renegotiation of the Maastricht treaty – which created the euro – but granted Denmark exceptions that could be later given force in a new treaty.

      Ireland secured a similar exception after its people rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum in 2008, when it was assured, among other things, that there would always be an Irish representative on the European Commission, the EU’s executive in Brussels. In 2009, with these assurances secured, the Irish backed Lisbon in a second plebiscite.”

      However while a Decision of the European Council is legally binding under the EU treaties it would be open to the European Council to repeal or amend it later on, so a promise to change the treaties at some point in the future should be seen as something like a manifesto promise.

      • Hope
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Good article today by Peter a Hitchens about EU referendum. It includes a link to the veto that never was by Cameron and also The Great Deception by North and Booker. A must read based on JRs sentiment of acting together.

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Did you forget your smearing UKIP blog a few a days ago? Perhaps you are having a Cameron moment when he ignited British nationalism to get elected and then the day after the election called for one nation! Perhaps Lynton Crosby was right in his article in the DT about MPs, which equally applies to your party, that they are out of touch with ordinary punters, white Oxbridge bubble with no common sense.

      Perhaps the Tory party needs training in its people skills it could also help negotiating with others and even make them endear to the public. With Flashman Cameron speaking yesterday, it is only but a distance dream and hopeful strap lines.

      NB: you might have noticed which Euro fanatics are in the cabinet and who are being kept distant.

      • James
        Posted May 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Bury the hatchet for the referendum, if we win the vote to leave you can tear each other to pieces as much as you like.

  3. Richard1
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Those who want the UK to leave the EU will have an enormous mountain to climb – persuading those who say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t mend it’ to take the great leap in the dark which withdrawal will be presented as being. For most people, while the EU has unstatisfactory aspects, it’s not intolerable. A much more coherent vision will have to be presented by Outs of the UK outside the EU and what that will be like. You are certainly right on tone. If the tone of The Out campaign is anything like some of the comments on this blog, along the lines that Mr Cameron and the Conservatives are euro federalist socialists who want to betray UK democracy, we can be very sure there will be an overwhelming majority to stay in.

    • Bert Young
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Richard1 . “If it ain’t broke – don’t mend it “. The EZ is an economic mess – it needs mending badly !! . The state of the North in the EZ is vastly different to that of the South – ne’re the twain shall meet !!

      • Richard1
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        The UK is not in the EZ and no one significant is now proposing we should join.

        • Jacq
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          The Euro was only part 3 of EMU. We still have to run our economy for the benefit of the EU and not the UK and submit to economic ‘convergence’ which might explain some of Gordon Brown’s strange handling of our pensions industry e.g.?

          Look at every Chancellor’s Budget and the small print is that it has been approved by the European Commission. (read the full version not the summary on the Treasury website).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      ” A much more coherent vision will have to be presented by Outs of the UK outside the EU and what that will be like. 2


    • Sir Graphus
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      This is what Eurosceptics and Kippers forget; it will be really hard to win this referendum. The lesson of the Scottish referendum is that the message must be continually positive, offering hope. Any mention of sending immigrants home will lose the debate

      The trouble with an IN vote, and why I am nervous of holding the referendum at all, is that the EU will take IN to mean YES to staying in, AND to the continued direction of travel. It’ll be the last referendum we will ever have. For this reason, I’ll be voting OUT. I’m sure we’ll get a second referendum.

    • Pud
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      The EU’s supporters often think that the way it is “broke” is in fact an advantage, for example, the oft-repeated claim that employees’ rights would be eroded if we left the EU. If we assume the employee rights claim is true then the only way the EU can be responsible is if they are capable of overriding what the UK government wants to do. If you try to argue that parliament and not Brussels should be responsible for UK law then an alleged advantage of EU superiority, such as employment law, is argued. The EU-sceptics need to argue back with areas where the EU forces the UK to act in ways the EU-philes may well object to e.g. VAT on sanitary towels and tampons, discarding dead fish, VAT on heating. If you can’t make your own laws the laws that are made for you aren’t always what you want.

      • Reader
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        The most obvious thing to argue at the moment is the changes to digital VAT removing the VAT threshold if you trade cross-border online & from 2016 affecting physical goods as well. 200 businesses already closed and chunks of US small business blocking trade with the EU including Britain. It’s a disaster with legal requirements that are impossible for SMEs to meet (both cost and technology-wise), and they aren’t changing it.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Yes, agreed all eurosceptics will need to unite, but the one advantage Conservative members do have over their Eurosceptic partners, is perhaps the ability to make sure the question we are offered, is both clear and precise.

    It is important that you also fix, well in advance, those who are able to vote in the referendum.

    • CdBrux
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Fix is hopefully not the right word! Agree maybe!

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    “A vote to leave would trigger a negotiation of a trade based relationship which the rest of the EU will of course wish to have, given how much they export to us”

    A Brexit could be expensive for the Netherlands indeed, shown in reliable studies like that of Bertelsmann. That the damage the UK will do to itself is estimated 8,5 times higher is of course a cost that all of you would happily pay for the feeling of self-determination within the illusion of perfect UK democracy afterwards. I’ll remain an interested bystander. As the Netherlands proved flexible enough to deal with loss of trade with Russia, I expect we can also deal with a Brexit if it comes to that.

    Reply Brexit would do no damage to the UK

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed not, Brexit would surely assist the UK. Even those who want to stay seem to suggest that the only real advantages of being in the EU are free trade (which we will get anyway) and a seat at the table (at which we are almost always out voted). They sometimes also talk drivel about preventing wars.

      We will have far more influence as a strong economy outside the EU.

      The advantages of leaving are:- no expensive membership fees, far cheaper energy, fewer daft self harming regulations, no CAP, freedom to control our own borders, no MEPs, freedom to select which students get funded at university, freedom to set our own laws and have our own courts as final arbiters and above all restoration of some democracy.

      Also funding things we need directly with our own taxes, rather than via the EU will be hugely more efficient and we might get the things we actually need for a change.

      Also we can get rid of all those EU flags, number plates and signs.

      • David
        Posted May 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        All those dreadful EU flags, number plates and signs broadcast our submission to our very selves… Smash them!

    • lojolondon
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Brexit will do no damage to the UK. However, it will do plenty of damage to the Netherlands, as we currently contribute far more than we receive from the EU, in addition, our economy is damaged through EU laws and the restrictions on trade with the free world.
      In the long term, Brexit will kill the EU, because other countries will see Britain thrive outside of the EU and all the European people will want to leave. Only the politicians, socialists and MSM will want to stay, because they are paid to.

      • David
        Posted May 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Our leaving the EU will liberate the European peoples more than the armies of Britain and her great dominions ever did in 1945. Bring it on!

    • Timaction
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      With a £14.5 billion net cost for a £77 billion annual trade deficit why do we want to be in this undemocratic dictatorship? Billions more in immigration costs to our health and public services. In and out welfare payments. 100% compliance with the 65% of our laws when only 8% of our companies trade in the EU. No ability to make our own trade deals withe rest of the world where 12% of our companies trade. No CAP or fisheries surrender. So why do we want to be in it?

    • acorn
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      The initial damage will be capital flight out of the UK. Foreigners will first start dumping UK “financial” assets, the most liquid forms of investment, causing the Pound to devalue against investor currencies. Next, foreigners will start dumping “real” assets, fearing the Pound dropping further. Some will be income generating businesses that make things. Some will be trophy assets like football clubs. I suspect most will be Chelsea mansions and the like, that were only ever bought by (disobliging generalisation re foreign buyers removed ed)
      Unlike Greece, we have our own sovereign currency, so this will be survivable. We may have to lay off the luxury imports for a while. Imports we have to have; commodities mainly, may have to be rationed, it worked OK after WW2. If foreigners have faith in the UK’s ability to do a Singapore, they will be prepared to sell us stuff, and hold our currency as an asset that has long-term purchasing power.

      To make this as painless as possible, we need to start manufacturing some import substitutes. This needs government to spend and create a demand in the private sector. The private sector profit motive will not work in these circumstances, because, it will not see any consumer demand forthcoming, that will require capital investment to supply the need. The government has to start the process with “fiscal stimulus”, (deficit spending). Once it gets rolling the private sector will take over and the government can back out of the funding requirement; and, get its money back via taxation.

      For this to work, the very last thing; the total opposite in fact, of what the UK needs, is a government that wants to create a budget surplus by the next election.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        So we should not be surprised if during the referendum campaign the government set off rumours that it had started to print ration books as part of its contingency planning in case of an “out” vote …

        After the votes had been cast and counted, and it had been announced that the “out” side had won, we would still be in the EU, and at most that would be just the trigger for the government to activate Article 50 TEU and start negotiations for the new treaty arrangements which would apply after we had actually left, some years down the line; it is quite conceivable that in fact the government wouldn’t do that, but it would instead go back to Brussels and try to extract apparent concessions to address what it chose to identify as the main concerns of the “out” voters, and then hold another referendum to give a chance to change their minds.

        It was noted that the Wharton/Neill Private Members’ Bill:

        did not say what would happen in the event of an “out” vote, unlike the Act for the AV referendum which did specify what would ensue from a vote in either direction:

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: Interesting, but a bit cynical. The UK, being a major country would put it in a different category fro Norway or Switzerland. I imagine that some more a la carte solution will be found (fudged) to accomodate the UK. It might include promises to be kept (enforced) when a new treaty is due, say in 2020. I doubt that the UK can enforce a treaty change right now (1 against 27), but that doesn’t mean that an arrangement would be impossible which normally require treaty changes. We both know from past experience that the EU can temporarily bend rules when reality dictates it.
          What I expect to be difficult and out of reach is to negotiate special preferential treatment, of the kid that Cameron tried when he famously tried to “veto” a fiscal accord and was ignored (sorry I mean he showed the real bulldog spririt 🙂 )

      • libertarian
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink


        You sound like the Labour Party, totally detached from reality. You obviously don’t know anyone in the circles that you think are only here with their businesses because we’re in the EU.

        Governments to create a demand in the private sector…… ha ha ha ha

        People create demand, innovators create demand governments tax or create loopholes thats about it. Government subsidies and “investments” are always in unsustainable and unwanted by enough people markets.

        Your Keynesian statist top down, big government agenda peaked in the last century. Its all changed now. 21st century economics is radically different

    • petermartin2001
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      I’d argue that a Britexit is potentially better for the EU and the eurozone too.

      It would demonstrate to most EU and EZ countries that life without the senseless economic restrictions imposed by their membership of the EU, generally, and, their use of the euro, particularly, can be far more preferable!

    • Jacq
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      My friend, you forget that the EU doesn’t want a trade war – rather it is committed to further reducing barriers in the interest of “fair and free trade”, “balanced trade” to use the Commission’s own words.

      All indications are that we would get a comprehensive free trade agreement.

    • Hefner
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      “Reply: Brexit would do no damage to the UK”.

      Isn’t it a bitty short as an answer … I was expecting something, how to say, a little bit more elaborate, some kind of an argument. Do I have to understand that it has now become an article of faith?

      In that case …. Alleluia, we get the UK out of the EU, Father John told us “Brexit would do no damage to the UK”. Are you becoming a Tea Party convert?

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Difficult to see an out vote winning, with nearly all the large businesses, the CBI, the BBC, the EU and Lib/Lab/SNP/most of Con/most of the state sector all wanting to stay in. Doubtless a sloped playing field too in terms of the question, voting eligibility, funding for each side, the BBC, the presentation of the fig leafs and the threats of doom if we dare to vote out.

    Unlikely even given that Cameron seems not to be trying to get anything substantive from the EU and is very unlikely to get anything but fig leaf dross. The betting odds seem to be circa 4/11 on the UK staying in so why would the EU offer much beyond a fig leaf or two?

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Does anyone know what Cameron is renegotiating? Hammond is already in spin that there is no need for treaty change. Heseltine on manoeuvres with Osborne. And yesterday it was reported on TV of the new naval force in the med, is this the EU naval force? Part of the EU army that they will not confirm? Remember JR reported a few years ago that Liam Fox said there was no plans for an EU army. Clegg said it was a fantasy in the EU debate, the one that Cameron ran away from. Junker thinks otherwise and what is the rapid response force?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Does anyone know what Cameron is renegotiating? We if even Cameron does then he certainly is not telling the public. This hardly seems the best way to get anything substantive.

        Cameron absurdly would, I suspect, be in favour of staying in even with the current arrangements. So why would the offer him anything much?

  7. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Your leader wants ‘in’, my leader wants ‘out’.
    Chalk and cheese, I’m afraid.

    • CdBrux
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      To get out you have to have >50% of the voting public in agreement with you. The way to get that level of support is not to speak just to your core vote, and most certainly not to alienate those you need to persuade. Ed Miliband just found that out!

  8. Sandra Cox
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    John, are you sincerely expecting UKIP voters to agree that Douglas Carswell should head up the Out campaign on behalf of UKIP? Just as I’m starting to think that he’s a Cameron mole!

    Next, you’ll sincerely be expecting British voters to accept that 1.5million + EU citizens their 16-year old +’children should also be able to vote.

    Then, you’ll sincerely be expecting us to go to the polls with the electoral rolls in a chaotic state, iffy postal voting, and serious questions hanging over the role of the Electoral Commission.

    Then, you’ll sincerely be expecting us to be pleased that Cameron will possibly be holding the EU referendum on 5th May 2016 when voters for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and for the London mayor will be taking place. Once again, it seems, the English (apart from the London metropolitan elite) are to be “discouraged” from turning out.

    Quite sincerely, I could go on, but writing this comment hasn’t been a good start to the day, so I think I’ll pull the bed covers over my head, go back to sleep and hope it’s all been a bad dream!

    Reply If you wish to win you have to make compromises, be optimistic and win over people who do not agree with you. I do not of course agree with all your points above and will be arguing for a fair referendum which Out can win.

    • Sandra Cox
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: John, I apologise as I hadn’t intended to make it so personal – I should have said “the government” rather than “you”. Put it down to the early hour, and thank you for all your efforts in ensuring a fair referendum. Kind regards, Sandra

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      I have never heard anyone more optimistic about the UK’s future outside the EU than Nigel Farage.

  9. Douglas Carter
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve already written to the Electoral Commission, several MPs and MEPs on this and it’s an important pre-qualifying tenet of a free and fair Referendum.

    It is HM Government inviting the electorate to decide to remain in a ‘reformed’ EU, or to withdraw from that EU. In doing so, it’s going to have to present that electorate with a decent terms-of-reference description of what the EU actually is. It will have to be reasonably accurate, and in plain language so the electorate don’t have to individually employ solicitors to explain it to them. Delivered very early, so if necessary it can be subject to appeal and amendment, or even Judicial Review, should it be deemed to be misleading. That description ought to match the description the EU might apply to itself.

    It will be that description around which the Referendum campaign should be fought. Without that description, there will be hundreds of individual campaigns fought on unaccountable terms on a mythological preferred version of the EU held by that pressure group or influential body. We already see many, if not most, Pro-EU groups coalescing around matters of trade, attempting to misdirect the electorate in pretending the EU and the Single Market are one and the same thing.

    In the recent general election campaign, I asked both the LibDem, and Labour figure at my front door canvassing for votes the same question. ‘What is the EU’? In both cases, their answer delivered was complete drivel. If that’s the standard of knowledge among people who are supposedly politically engaged, then how can the general public make a proper determination denuded of a proper description? The case for the Government producing an accountable and plain language description of the EU for the purposes of the referendum campaign is compelling. I would be concerned if no such thing emerged in forthcoming weeks. Will you help press for one John?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Good point, well made.

    • Hope
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      There is no such thing as a reformed EU, it is either in or out. To think otherwise is simply foolish and to underestimate the EU fanatics. Destitution, loss of jobs and business matter not as long as The EU project remains in tact.

  10. Leslie Singleton
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Dear John–All very well but unfortunate that you have been beguiled in to referring to “tone” (twice) which is an obvious tacit statement that you would prefer Farage not to remain UKIP’s Leader. I now think even less of Carswell following his comments, which cannot be undone. In particular I think Farage’s “tone” to be very positive and effective indeed and I liked his comments on health tourism without qualification. We have a ways to go and it is still very much the case that many, very much including me, do not trust Cameron–the election does not change that in the slightest. It is true that he is unlikely now to be able to slide out from under holding a Referendum but there are still infinitely important matters to be agreed such as who can vote and at what age and the all-important wording of the Question. Trust apart, he managed to allow all that to be set wrong in my opinion in the case of Scotland. I bet my boots that the Cameron cohort will seek to find a way to bend everything they can in favour staying In. Active vigilance by UKIP and Farage is essential.

    Reply I think you misjudge the mood of the country. The referendum is not about what committed voters like so much as about what uncommitted voters do.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Leslie – There seems to be a push to get Farage out of politics altogether. No-one is challenging his honesty – only his tone.

      This is significant. They couldn’t get him on truth so they’ve got him on his personality.

      Truth is more important than tone. It is difficult (if not impossible) to convey the seriousness of these matters whilst sounding pleasant. Especially where the opposition argues from a dishonest position of ‘niceness’ and is armed with the “you’re a xenophobe” dirty stick .

      First one states one is a Eurosceptic – thereafter it is a matter of defending one’s sanity and decency.

      Quiet reasoning on this most boring of subjects (the EU) will not get through.

      Loud reasoning will get through but will be rejected as too shrill, unhinged, alarmist and xenophobic.

      I’m a realist. I’m pretty sure that an EU OUT result cannot be won – certainly not with the money and seemingly insurmountable forces railed against it.

      Because of this the truth must be heard before people vote and this must be as loud as possible. And if they are stupid enough to vote to stay in after that – or we were proved to be wrong – then we must accept the result.

      It’s about the best we can expect.

      (Thereafter we can discuss the need to continue the UK Parliament)

      • Timaction
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Our very existence as a sovereign democracy is at stake and the legacy parties got us into this state by lies and stealthy treaty change. They cannot be trusted but Nigel Garage can. He must speak as the only voice of truth not spin and deceit.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–Not sure how what I said conflicts with your second sentence and as regards the mood of the country I am in line with it where I live, certainly about Farage. I admit I have to say “where I live” but that is the main reason for the existence of UKIP. The only mood swing I have detected recently came in the form of longstanding friends and neighbours all of them freely admitting that they liked “Nige”, screaming at me to vote Conservative for fear of a conjunction of Labour and SNP. Without that effect UKIP and Farage would have done much better and anyone who thinks that wouldn’t have been down almost entirely to Farage cannot be serious.

  11. oldtimer
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I agree with your views. Along the way there are important matters to be decided. First is the nature of the agreement that Mr Cameron is able to negotiate. That needs to be clear and specific, not woolly and vague, and the process by which it is to be achieved. There also needs to be an early decision on who is entitled to vote – in my view only British citizens, not citizens of other EU countries resident in the UK. The nature of the question asked, the amounts that can be spent on campaigning need to be decided – especially with respect to the amounts spent by the EU Commission, either directly on its own account or indirectly through its sock puppets. The IEA has revealed that the use of sock puppets (paid to promote the EU line) is a favoured EU Commission method to promote its ideas.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Only UK citizens, not those of other EU countries, as for EU Parliament and regional and local elections, nor those of the Irish Republic and Commonwealth countries as for general elections. In other words it needs a new electoral roll with only adult UK citizens on it, which in my view we should in any case be using for all public elections and referendums in the UK.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Deutsche Bank appears to be one such sock puppet. This is just attempted blackmail, surely? What is going to change so much that all these companies who needed branches and offices in the UK to enhance their profits no longer need them here and are going to find thousands of extra customers from nowhere?

      I’ve moved house several times and it costs a fortune. How much must it cost to acquire new land, build new buildings (with the required infrastructure), recruit and train new staff, etc etc?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        deutsche bank has long been a protagonist for euro federalism. In fairness it’s probably in the interests of such organisations. Also any bank whose ultimate backstop is the German govt needs to recognise on which side it’s bread is buttered.

  12. David Murfin
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    There is a Stanley Holloway monologue about the Magna Carta.
    The last verse reads:
    And it’s through that there Magna Charter
    As were signed by the Barons of old,
    That in England today we can do what we like,
    So long as we do what we’re told.

    I know that is not historically accurate, but it does seem to me to encapsulate the Common Law principle of actions being legal if not specifically forbidden and of economy of laws. It recognises that this is of English origin (Scots law being different and more akin to continental law).
    The fundamental issue, before all economic and social factors are considered, is whether we wish to be told what to do by a body over which we have effectively no electoral control, drawn from a disparate collection of nations none of which can point to a comparable 800 year development of our framework of laws and freedoms. This has been eroded since we joined the EEC/EU and will be further eroded by those nations’ desire for ‘an ever closer unity’ which can only be achieved on any short timescale by restrictive legislation. The governance of the EU must involve woefully slow and lowest common denominator decision-making, unless democratic processes are replaced by autocratic control.

  13. Jerry
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I suspect the Tory eurosceptics will have more luck getting co-operation from eurosceptic/phobic hard left that they will from UKIP, a bit like with magnets, similar poles can never be united, UKIP need to keep the anti, an Out vote will never be good enough, for if it was then UKIP has made its self an irrelevance, an In makes UKIP an irrelevance.

    PS and off topic; John, was your position on the green benches (second row, behind the Governmental front bench) yesterday just chance, or can/should we read anything into it?! If so good, but I hope it will not curtail your ability to comment here. Good speeches by both Mr Bercow and Mr Rees-Mogg, but the usual mishmash from the both dispatch boxes, never mind the totally out of place speech from the SNP, in fact how can they be the “Third UK Party” when they do not have and never had any intention of representing the whole of the UK in the UK parliament (also gate-crashing what should have been Labour benches, disgraceful, disrespectful)…

    Reply I usually sit there or on the next row back.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Jerry – You could argue that cancer doctors don’t really want to cure cancer for fear of making themselves redundant.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        @Mondeo Man; Any oncologist not only wants to cure cancer, they are willing to work with anyone, and would be more than happy to make themselves redundant having found the cure for cancer. What ever…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps not in the case of cancer but certainly drug companies can take that approach sometimes. Drugs that you take for the rest of your life to “control” a condition are rather better for profits than quick permanent cures. Therapists, psychologist & psychiatrist can sometimes head down this path too alas. A cure means no more consultancy income stream, even those delightful lawyers on occasions.

        Charities (or government departments) rarely say “we have sorted out the XYZ problem that we were set up for and so will now disband”. Usually the first thing they do is exaggerate to extent of the problem.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic – My comment wasn’t meant to be serious. It was in response to Jerry’s first which could apply to virtually any organisation – not just UKIP.

          Jerry forgets that the majority of party activists are unpaid – in fact their membership costs them. It also goes that they are unrewarded in power and representation – no matter how hard they work or many votes they get (attesting to their amateurism*)

          *amateur being no bad thing in this instance – we are all sick of slick Parliamentary machines and two of these have been dumped by the people in this last election.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

            Mondeo Man; “My comment wasn’t meant to be serious.”

            To anyone who has lost a relative to cancer, to the doctors and staff who treat such people (often voluntarily going that extra yard if not mile), your comment was both crass and unthoughtful…

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            Dr Redwood.

            I think we need a better class of Lefty than Jerry for sparring. Too much ad hominem for my liking.

            Where did that clever chap from the LSE go to ?

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed – the SNP already appear like a bunch of ill-disciplined disrespectful giggling kids. In fact – that’s a bit rude to kids. The few times I’ve been to the HP, school parties have behaved immaculately and with decorum and respect for their surroundings.

      If the PM wants to demonstrate that he will no longer be passive in the face of extremism, he could show some toughness by giving the SNP’s leader in the HoC a bit of a brief on how to behave like members of the country’s parliament!

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM; “[the PM should give] the SNP’s leader in the HoC a bit of a brief on how to behave like members of the country’s parliament!”

        I expect we will not have long to wait, when are the first PMQs?!

      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Dave M

        show some toughness by giving the SNP’s leader in the HoC a bit of a brief on how to behave like members of the country’s parliament!

        Sorry mate they don’t know how to. Never have and never will. Ask yourself who was their “teacher”

        No contest

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      The behaviour of the SNP group is no surprise whatsoever. You can expect to see more of that sort of thing in the coming months. Their thuggish tactics during both the referendum and election campaigns were sickening. They take their cue from the leadership of course. etc ed

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Quite agree Max. I have many dealings with the SNP ministers and all come across as arrogant, self opinionated etc…who look down their noses at anyone not agreeing with their views. Reasoning does not register in their brains.

  14. Alan Wheatley
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    As to “a positive message about how life can better outside the EU”, I agree entirely.

    Any argument that simply says life will be better because it does not include those things we do not like about the EU is not good enough. That is a weak and unimaginative argument that will not win the day.

    To achieve a majority for out it will be necessary to present a positive vision containing all the new and better elements that come from not being constrained within the EU. A return to living in a democratic country is the most important, and enables many other advantages to be had.

    What is the Conservative Eurosceptic vision? A subject for a future blog I hope, for while a united voice on OUT will be a good thing, a coherent voice on WHY will be even better.

    Undecided voters will be encouraged if the leap they are being asked to make from the frying pan is not a leap of faith to a potentially fiery landing, but a confident leap into a comfy chair beside the fire.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Alan – I think Mr Farage has made the best and most memorable presentations for getting out of the EU.

      We may have to accept that the people are Europhillic. I wonder if anyone has coined a phrase for people who are scared of leaving the EU.

      Globa-phobic or suchlike ?

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Mondeo Man; “I think Mr Farage has made the best and most memorable presentations for getting out of the EU.”

        Indeed, if you like a society built upon finding scapegoats, rather than telling a few home truths from those who you are seeking support at the ballot box…

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


          please clarify what you mean, Jerry.

        • Ted Monbiot
          Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Just 4 million who do not agree with your view Jerry.

          Scapegoat… any problem UKIP highlight.
          Eg uncontrolled immigration and the failures of the EU

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; Indeed. So what about the failure of the Labour Government between 2007-10, what about the past failures of the Tory party. what about the failures of both UK education and those who don’t want to be educated, what about the failings of those who think they should not have to cut cabbages or what ever from a farmers field because they went to University or College have obtained a ‘First Diploma’ in what ever etc. – oh silly me, of course, all our national failings are the EU’s fault and those … migrants.

            “Just 4 million who do not agree with your view Jerry.”

            Thanks goodness in our nations ability for rational thought, only a mere 4m have irrational thoughts. 🙁

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            I only understood the last paragraph Jerry.
            Have a little respect for other people’s political opinions.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – As it happens people taking their degrees might appreciated field work – if they could get it !

            Nobody is scapegoating migrants.

            When Mr Farage mentions immigration ( a criticism of policy) his detractors immediately change the word to ‘immigrant’ (a criticism of foreigners) and make it an issue of xenophobia.

            You’ve just done it here.

            That you are allowed to do so without censure means that you are empowered.

            When Dr Redwood talks about the ‘tone’ of the debate what he basically means is that we can’t talk about immigration because – with this clever sleight of hand – the Left have effectively made it taboo, or at least very difficult to talk about without appearing to be defensive.

            The problem the Out campaign is going to have is this:

            The EU (by design) is utterly boring. This is its strength. The average person – not at all interested in the political bubble – would rather not pay attention to something so dry and dull.

            However. The one subject that really does irk a lot of people is mass immigration, which is largely attributable to our membership of the EU.

            If we’re going to get an Out vote then we’re really going to have to start talking about it.

            But you don’t like us talking about it, Jerry, do you. And people such as you have determined what will be the acceptable ‘tone’.

            I would bet the farm that most people – be they Labour, Conservative, UKIP, black-white-brown or yellow want an Australian type points system.

            Reply I do think we need to talk about migration and UK borders as part of the debate.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply (4.46pm)

            Jerry has twisted words here, to make people like me look bad.

            I note that Mr Dimbleby allows similar on Question Time without correction.

            Thus – on clever, underhanded and unchallenged semantics – the Out argument will be lost.

            I’d like to thank Jerry for providing us a useful example as regards likely tactics.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; No one but yourself has made you look “bad” (especially today), you are to quick to shoot from the hip, thus hurting the one you love the most – in both feet, time and times again!

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink


            You can throw in a word like ‘scapegoat’ with its deep and unpleasant insinuations and command the conversation. Thereafter, if I disagree with you, then I’m on tricky ground.

            If I challenge you then it’s me being tetchy and shooting from the hip.

            If I don’t challenge you on it then you’ve won. If I do challenge you on it then you’ve won.

            My point about oncologists was not that they don’t want to cure cancer – nor that I don’t take cancer seriously. Your argument on UKIP not wanting to put themselves out of work is as flawed as your later argument [further down this page] that those who didn’t vote in the election rejected UKIP.

            In fact they rejected all parties so why mention them at all ?


            I think we’re probably boring everyone by now and keeping Dr Redwood from his work.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            *Scapegoat Dfn – a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.*

            UKIP don’t scapegoat. They blame government policy, not people.

            There is a vitally important distinction to make here. This is why the anti UKIP campaign has been so easy and effective.

  15. Alan Wheatley
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    As to “tone”, the UKIP tone was good enough to win 3.8M votes at the General election, and to win outright the recent EU election. So appealing to a good many.

    Reply Conservatives won three times as many votes as UKIP in the General Election, Neither party on their own have enough votes to win an Out campaign. Is there anyone in UKIP who wants to win the referendum?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Your last sentence is hardly setting the right tone.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – How many of your voters really wanted to vote UKIP ?

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        @Mondeo Man; How many who would have voted UKIP but did not because they disliked the way the party always finds scapegoats rather than telling some home truth about those they are asking for support from. With turnout being a fraction over 66% there could have been anything up to another 34% of voters who might have voted for the party…

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          Jerry – With Dr Redwood’s leave we’ll discuss ‘scapegoats’ in your previous reply to me.

          As it is the Daily Mail and the Tory party had to plead with voters NOT to vote UKIP.

          The polls shifted unexpectedly on the night. Up until then they were showing Lab and Cons as neck and neck – which I believe to be correct.

          In the week leading up to the referendum their was scaremongering about the SNP/Miliband nexus and the chaos it would cause to the economic recovery.

          I believe that a lot of people returned to the Tories voting tactically rather than how they wished.

          Tories are celebrating the fact that they managed to get many voters back – which means that they must agree with me that voters have indeed been brought back.

          From where, Jerry ?

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; In your rust to rubbish anyone who doesn’t support UKIP you seem to forget that my point was the 34% who did not vote for anyone, the DM and the Tory party were asking voters to vote Tory, something that 34% did not do. How can you be so sure that at least some, perhaps most, of that silent 34% of electors would not have voted UKIP had they actually cast their vote?

            UKIP love to try and point to tactical voting against them, to explain their wholesale failure, but never mention the number of possible lost votes that went to no such alternate party instead of UKIP, not voting at all did not keep Labour/SNP out.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            Jerry at 6:58 – I think you have the direction of the tactical voting wrong.

            About the only party we can say for sure that 100% of the voters who voted for it did so because they *wanted* to is UKIP.

            Anyway. In your *rush* to mock me you have provided a useful example to those diverted their UKIP votes to Tory.

            I’d point to your smugness and say “I told you so”.

            I only rubbish the people who lost their bottle and didn’t vote UKIP when they really wanted to. Otherwise I respect any heartfelt opinion so long as it is expressed fairly and that respect is mutual.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; How can you ever know were those who DID NOT vote would have otherwise cast their vote, please do try and keep up! I have also, elsewhere, explained why UKIP votes could actually have come from, Europhiles…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          That’s right Jerry, let your contempt for many of your countrymen come through. Go out on the streets and broadcast it, do.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “let your contempt for many of your countrymen come through. Go out on the streets and broadcast it”

            Did the recent general election pass you by or were you holidaying out of the country (perhaps on Mars) Denis?! I don’t call a mere four million votes (for UKIP, or anyone else) a majority, if you do then it is you who is allowing “your contempt for many of your countrymen come through”.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            “… telling some home truth about those they are asking for support from.”

            So what “home truth” would that be, in your opinion?

      • Timaction
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        A few million in banker seats to keep Labour/SNP out.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Well we get a good indication from the MEP voting in 2014 as voters do not have to vote tactically here.

        UKIP came first with a vote 27.5% and Tories third with 24% . The two parties still have about 50% of the vote now.

    • agricola
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      Which only goes to illustrate our out of balance electoral system where there are more than three major parties involved. As to the second question I would guess there are 3.8 million plus all those of UKIP inclination who voted conservative at the horrific thought of a labour/snp coalition.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        @agricola; More people did not vote at all than voted for either the SNP nor UKIP, perhaps even combined, who knows what the effect of changing the election system will be, for example I would want to make voting compulsory if it was ever changed, bring in a “[x] Non of the above” box, or perhaps even have a reverse PR/AV system, were the voter can specify who they do not want elected…

        As for you comment about tactical voting, surely that is like me asking if you have stopped beating your wife yet, one assumption built on another assumptions, either or both quite possibly wrong!

        Reply I cannot see how None of the above as an option helps persuade people to vote. It is not a vote, it is a refusal to help choose from between those who are prepared to stand. Some people do do just that anyway without a special box, though it is usually a very small number in any given seat. They do so by writing that on or by putting a line or cross through all the candidates.

  16. MPC
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I know Mr Redwood doesn’t like hyperlinks but Daniel Hannan sets out some principles here which surely we can all unite around to restore our democracy?!

  17. agricola
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    What we will be fighting for is our sovereignty, of which democracy is an important by- product.

    Unless the EU really succeed in irking our Prime Minister to an unprecedented degree, he will be batting for those who wish to stay in. So will many of his cabinet colleagues. I am all for healing the relationship with the known 3.8 million UKIP voters, perhaps you should have lunch with Nigel and break the ice. The campaign for out will be dirty and bruising and will need to be led and well organised. The Bruges Group could be a suitable vehicle to coordinate it.

    The in advocates will not facilitate an even playing field if they can get away with it. They will welcome the cooperation of the CBI, BBC, and the EU. Personally I would like to see an outright ban on their involvement. The CBI is only interested in it’s own large companies, not in the people who work within them. The BBC is full of left wing idealists who would not recognise reality if it kicked them in the crutch. The EU appreciate our money and realise that a reasoned exit by the UK could well lead to stronger second thoughts among many of their other members.

    You need a very strong intelligence and de-bunking department so that people like Clegg cannot get away with their millions of jobs nonsense. Perhaps Robert Oulds could lead it, there being few who have a better understanding of the EU and what it is up to. Choose carefully those who put our case in public, the opposition will reduce it to the banal if they can. The instant media by computer is very important, perhaps more so than the conventional news outlets. Beware of the skewed facilities the BBC might offer, remembering whose side they are on. Of the new intake assess who is onside and who is for staying in, marshal your forces. Gather in the big hitters in industry, such as David Bamford, who see no downside to being out.

    You never know DC might have a road to Damascus moment after which logic prevails, but do not bet on it, he has I fear another agenda that is prepared to sell the UK people to this monster we call the EU.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      I was watching my local BBC news (Midlands region) yesterday evening when Bamford was featured;the BBC,of course,had to counter his views with those from two Europhiles – the MD of Acme Whistles and the proprietor of a French Restaurant in Birmingham,the former suggesting he would lose his European markets and the latter his European staff.Neither of these silly statements was challenged.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The message on UKIP pledge cards was “Believe in Britain”. That was a very positive message, and perhaps it should have been given more emphasis.

    There is the Better Off Out campaign, which has just produced a May edition of its Brexit magazine:

    “We can be reasonably certain, therefore, that there will be a referendum. The timing is, however, left vague. It will be held “before the end of 2017”. This means it might be held considerably sooner. Indeed, Cameron might well want to get it out the way as soon as possible, so it is likely to be held on the same day as the local elections in May 2016.”

    • Tom William
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      There is also Flexcit, a way of leaving the EU without damaging the UK’s economy proposed by Dr Richard North and summarised by him on youtube.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        You can sign up to support Better Off Out as a campaigning organisation, can you sign up to support Flexcit as a campaigning organisation?

        • Sean O'Hare
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          ..can you sign up to support Flexcit as a campaigning organisation?

          @agricola above suggests that Robert Oulds Director of the Bruges Group could lead the “out” campaign. Robert Oulds is an advocate of the Norway Option and therefore pretty well signed up to Flexcit.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            @Sean O’Hare; “agricola above suggests that Robert Oulds Director of the Bruges Group could lead the “out” campaign”

            Who is Robert Oulds many will ask, others will hear his name or the words “Bruges Group” and think of Mrs Thatcher, the latter not a lot of help if you’re attempting to woo the eurosceptic/phobic left…

            Not sure if we are allowed to suggest politicians, if not dealt this John, but perhaps the MP for Vauxhall might be a suitable figure head [1], being a eurosceptic, whilst many on the right and left respect her.

            [1] so long as the hard right and left can be kept in check, both will lose any Out campaign anyway

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper; “The message on UKIP pledge cards was “Believe in Britain”. That was a very positive message, and perhaps it should have been given more emphasis. “

      Most people do believe in Britain, just not UKIP’s vision of Britain!

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Jerry – If you have a problem with an Australian style points system for Britain then please tell us why ?

        Do you like uncontrolled immigration ?

        If you do then poll after poll tells us that a good majority of people dislike your version of Britain.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          @Mondeo Man; “If you do then poll after poll tells us that a good majority of people dislike your version of Britain.”

          The result of the 2010 and 2015 general elections suggest otherwise, they are the only poll that counts. As I said, the majority of UK voters do not like people or parties who find simplistic scapegoats.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            Jerry – UKIP do not find ‘simplistic scapegoats’.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; That is a mater of opinion, and of course no UKIP supporter is going to agree.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        I’m not convinced that is true in your case, Jerry.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Speak for yourself!

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; No worries, the feeling is mutual!

          @fedupsoutherner; Judging by the GE result a considerable number , into the tens of millions, think the same way as I do, even if we do not agree on our political allegiances, on the other hand UKIP and those who support the parties views account for a mere 4m…

  19. DaveM
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    If I was part of the ‘OUT’ campaign, I would probably go for the approach whereby I presented a positive ‘vision’ which set out how the UK’s constitution (and thus the UK) would look in 5 years time outside the EU. This means detailing internal constitutional change as well as describing how our relationship with the EU and the rest of the world will look in terms of trade, diplomacy, defence, etc. In other words, show people that a strong independent UK is the way forward. Play on history a bit. I’d also campaign for a voting date next summer – either somewhere around the 22nd of April or just after the Olympic Games.

    You, and people like you, present a sober, grown-up, sensible voice, and have the ability to produce coherent, accurate and realistic figures (even in the face of poorly disciplined BBC interviewers). The ‘IN’ lobby will shout a lot of vague meaningless rhetoric about jobs and (doubtless) the NHS (yawn), and how big businesses will run away and take their investments with them (really??).

    You won the GE by sensibly presenting your arguments for staying in govt. Don’t underestimate the number of people who voted for your party because of the promise of a referendum; add to that number all those who voted Ukip, and you’ve got a pretty strong fanbase.

    If you made friends with the more charismatic Ukippers and maybe even crossed the floor and got one or two Lab MPs in your camp, you’d win an OUT vote I reckon. Wouldn’t pay too much attention to the polls – someone called Ed did that recently and it caught him out a bit.

    There are a lot of comments here and elsewhere about how the PM will try to dupe voters with a meaningless renegotiation. I believe, though (and this was demonstrated the other week) that people who care enough to vote can make up their own minds. We’re not stupid. I was pretty certain your party would win the GE (should’ve bet on that!) and I’m pretty certain that if the PM gets fobbed off and sent home by the Eurocrats that the OUT campaign will win. People don’t like change, but at the same time they also get a bit excited about it.

    Reply I have just won my seat as a Conservative Eurosceptic. I have no intention of crossing the floor to join the party that came fourth in Wokingham. My job is now to support the Conservative government I helped get elected, and to be a voice for the special issues and views I raised myself on this site and in my election statements.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      I wasn’t suggesting you joined the Labour Party !! I was suggesting that a combined eurosceptic voice encompassing MPs from all parties would be more effective and give different angles – e.g. to natural Labour voters in Liverpool/Birkrnhead, etc.

      The lefties let your party back in by exposing their inability to get on. One solid, anti-EU front would therefore be a lot more effective and persuasive than groups of detached eurosceptics squabbling due to party differences.

      Reply To win a referendum we have to work with people of all p[arties and of none, and respect the other differences

    • agricola
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.

      I am sure he does not mean crossing the floor in a political sense. I think he means walking over and making friends with those who are on your side in terms of leaving the EU. Just as easily done in one of your numerous bars. The question is sovereignty not one of party politics. You need all the support you can get so please do not disdain it based on it’s origins. Even the SNP, when they have got over the shock of finding themselves where they are, might start to question whether they wish to be ruled by Brussels.

      Reply Of course Conservative Eurosceptics work with Labour MPs of like mind. I do not expect SNP MPs to be Eurosceptic.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: You are quite correct that SNP MPs will not be Eurosceptic Dr Redwood. Even if some of them had ideas of their own they would not be allowed to air them. Soviet style conformity and discipline within the party is rigorously enforced.
        Expect more pantomime antics from the benches opposite as Labour suffers further humiliation from their socialist brothers and sisters.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Does doing your job of supporting the Conservative government extend to agreeing to its policy on future membership of the EU as it finally did over Maastricht?

      Reply I resigned over the single currency and Maastricht. I will not of course support a deal which fails to restore our control over the things that matter, as I have made consistently clear.

    • BeeCee
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      As Paddy Ashdown has said on a different matter, Mr Cameron will achieve an Agreement of Ambiguity with the EU.

      This he can trail as a great victory for the UK whilst the EU will claim a significant victory for the opposite.

      It is thus always and we are the duped!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Why April 22nd when there are already elections scheduled for May 5th?

      Unless those elections were cancelled it would be difficult to hold a referendum on April 22nd, or any date for weeks before, because the referendum polling day and its aftermath would fall within the ongoing campaign period for the elections. Therefore to keep the two campaigns separated the campaign for the referendum would have to start very early in the year, possibly while there was still snow on the ground. That is why I think it would be too much of a squeeze to fit a 2016 EU referendum in before May 5th, it would have to be either well after May 5th in the autumn or on May 5th itself at the same time as the elections.

      • DaveM
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Queen’s 90th birthday’s on 21 April. lots of flag waving and all that.

        It was a flippant remark.

  20. formula57
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Should UKIP fail to do whatever it takes to help bring about Brexit, it will have betrayed itself but also the British people.

    Nearly two weeks on, it seems still to be focussed on its General Election failures when the urgent need is preparing for the referendum. Is it serious about its professed aim?

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Formula 57 – UKIP has been under constant assault from the press and BBC.

      Surely you can’t blame them for being distracted.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    JR: “.. if the Prime Minister is seen to have tried to get a decent deal for the UK, only to be rebuffed by other EU states.”
    The problem I have with that argument is that it seems abundantly clear that Cameron, just as Wilson did in 1975, will claim success with his renegotiations. Therefore there will be many persuaded to accept his recommendation to stay within.

    Do you know yet whether you, and particularly members of the cabinet, will have a free voice to express your views on the nature and outcome of the renegotiations and your recommendations for the future of the UK?

    Reply Of course I am free to express my views, as I regularly do! The Cabinet approach to the referendum has not yet been decided.

    • Graham
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      You must be the only one who doesn’t realise that the Cabinet approach hasn’t been agreed – the rest of use plebs know it but we just know how it will be sugar coated – for our benefit of course.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        @Graham; Nothing like prejudging a book before it’s even been written!

  22. Hefner
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    An interesting problem, rather well discussed in the Guardian under
    “Britain’s EU referendum: Who gets to vote is a potential deciding factor” a couple of days ago.

    Only British citizens? Even the 1.8 million ones living in continental Europe?
    All people in the UK able to vote in European elections? That would include a couple millions of continental EU citizens living in the UK.

    Any kind of (potentially fudged) decision on who can vote is not likely to be helped by the absence of a written constitution in the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      First and foremost, only UK citizens should be allowed to vote in the referendum. That means the general election register as a starting point, but revised to exclude citizens of the Irish Republic and Commonwealth countries, who for some quite inexplicable reason are allowed to help elect the government of the UK.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; “That means the general election register as a starting point, but revised to exclude citizens of the Irish Republic and Commonwealth countries”

        Why not ‘nobbel’ the electoral register even further? How about stopping UK citizens who are not actually living in the UK from voting, such as the ex-pat community, after all it’s quite likely they would like the UK to stay in the EU more than those from the Commonwealth countries, although perhaps those resident in the Channel Isle and IoM might not…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Why do you think that people who are not citizens of this country should be allowed to take part in decisions on its future? Because you place no value on British citizenship, that is why.

          There’s nothing unusual or dubious about a country restricting the right to vote in its public elections to its own citizens, it’s common around the world and perfectly logical.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; I know some Commonwealth citizens, they are probably far more patriotic to their adopted country, that some still affectionately call “the mother land” than many a person born here, they have paid their taxes here in the UK (for some, quite a lot), and in some cases they have created employment for indigenous British people born here. Just because these Commonwealth citizens (for what ever reason) have not taken British citizenship and passport, why should they not have a say in the future of the country they have made their home, simply because to some europhobe, with a contempt for the democratic process, amid fears that the democratic will of the nation might not be to his liking.

            The more you set out your idea of democracy Denis, if it is ever reflected in the wishes of the Out campaign I will have serious doubt as to were this county might be heading – etc ed

            I actuality agree with you with regards using the general election register (it would indeed be silly to use the Euro election registrar for obvious reasons!), my objection was on a very narrow point regarding people who have had a right to vote in the UK elections since before we joined the old EEC. Also disenfranchising those from the Commonwealth countries might back-fire, especially if post any Brexit we go looking towards the Commonwealth countries as UKIP suggest…

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            If they are truly committed to this country they can become citizens and formally give their allegiance, it’s not as though the UK government is restrictive about naturalisation and in fact it has become extremely lax about dual nationality, so much so that the first Muslim MP was able to give up his UK citizenship and go to Pakistan to take up public office on the basis of his retained Pakistani citizenship.

            I suggest you do a survey of countries around the world and come back with a report on which of them would be so stupid as to allow foreign citizens to vote on the future of a country which is not actually their country.

            I can tell you straight off that despite our close historical links UK citizens would not be allowed to vote in an Irish referendum:


            “Who can vote?

            You must be an Irish citizen.”

            So what do you think about democracy in Ireland, then?

            That the Irish have no idea about it, you dread to think what would happen if we followed their example, etc etc?

  23. mick
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning Mr Redwood
    Whooop Whooo it would be great to have the referendum in 2016 or sooner, i see the scare tactic`s have started from the press with the annouchment that the “Deutsche Bank has become the first bank to formally consider what it would do if the UK voted to leave the EU” no doubt there is going to be plenty of this, i just hope and pray the British voter and only British born voter not anybody else from the EU are not taken in by all the lies that will be spouted to stay in, because this is going to be a once in a generation chance to get or country back, so its upto you Mr Redwood along with all the other eurosceptics to make sure we have a fair vote and not rigged in favour of staying in, the ball is in your court the country is watching like no other time

  24. Shieldsman
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The contenders for the Labour leadership appear appear to have changed their minds on backing an EU Referendum. Miliband was against it but did carve in stone that he would control immigration.
    In speeches made by both Milband and Cooper they admitted that Labour had been wrong in permitting mass immigration. They wish to rescind Freedom of Movement by talking nicely to Brussels, which indicates they have little understanding of the Lisbon Treaty.
    Mass immigration has put a heavy demand on the UK’s infrastructure of which Labour supporters are more aware.
    Big business gains advantages from EU membership but is immune from the effects it has on the Public at large. It is the Public at large that has to make the decision by their vote.
    I consider that return of sovereignty is paramount

  25. Gina Dean
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    If the PM gets some renegotiation he will have to make sure that the EU does not go back on its word. As the reform of CAP for Blair and the loss of part of rebate, boundary changes with the Libs. It should be tied up in a tight bow. No wriggle room.
    knowing the EU they are very two faced how mant times will we have to vote till they get the result they want, also how much money will they plough into the UK to defend their plan.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      The EU won’t be commissioning the vote so they can’t tell us to vote again. If it is the case, though, that the PM is told by Brussels to repeat the vote, that will just turn British voters towards the OUT camp.

      The Scottish referendum was a pretty close call – that result was taken as final. So no reason for a 51%-49% OUT vote shouldn’t be.

      Reply Of course 51% for Out means Out.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        JR, if that is the case why didn’t Mr Wharton say so in his Bill?

  26. Bert Young
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Dr.JR the plea you make for a co-ordinated and calm approach for the eurosceptics is sensible ; I hope the discordant voices will listen , understand and agree . There are many doubts that our leader will be able to secure the sort of terms that we , as a country , will accept , and this – being the case , will require calm and compliant individuals to remain solidly together .

    Germany will prove to be a difficult negotiation in spite of the fact that we are their most important European export market ; the investments they have here and the companies they own and run should not give them extra leverage . Without our huge contribution to the EU funds , Germany would have to make a compensatory amount available – naturally they will try everything to avoid this . I , like other responders , abhor the position the CBI and the BBC obtain in financial support from the EU ; the Government ought to tax these institutions like sums ; I believe the bias that exists is derived from their EU support .

    Equally the recent publicity given to non British registered voters being given the right to participate in a referendum does show how vulnerable the outcome could be ; the sooner this is sorted out ( and stamped out ) the better .

    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    JR you speak touchingly of using a “friendly tone of voice ” in an OUT referendum. I feel you have a sense of humour which most decidedly is “Cross-Party”.

    I cannot speak for the whole of UKIP but I imagine they will continue with Mr Farage’s straight-talking and go on calling a spade a spade and not succumb to wiffle-waffle of terming it as “quite a handy implement that one could in certain circumstances, such as when one’s gardener takes a day off, use effectively to show him in his absence just how it is done. ”

    If the Conservative Party Eurosceptics, following in the tradition of what perhaps it considers the gentle honeyed tones of the late Margaret Thatcher, fails in an OUT referendum then they should join UKIP as the subsequent disintegration of the Tory Party and the British economy may require a friendly voice or two to calm possible disequilibrium when the British ultimately realise what has happened to them.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Raoul Ruparel of Open Europe had an article in the Telegraph yesterday, in which he urged Cameron to go for proper “reform” of the EU, if necessary with treaty change, and not try to rush the process just to permit an early referendum:

    I was out for most of the day and came late to the comments section, but my comment was to point out that for over two years the Telegraph had obliged the government by systematically suppressing all information about the EU treaty change which he had mentioned in his article, the EU treaty change that Merkel had demanded to provide a legal basis for the European Stability Mechanism, and so readers should not regard the Telegraph as a reliable source of information during Cameron’s negotiations or the referendum campaign, instead it will help him pull the wool over their eyes.

    Merkel’s proposal in the autumn of 2010 not reported; votes in each of the Houses to allow Cameron to agree to the draft proposal not reported; Cameron’s formal agreement on March 25th 2011 not reported; five stages in the Commons to pass the Bill to approve the treaty change not reported, likewise five stages in the Lords and Royal Assent, all not just unreported by the Telegraph and almost all the mass media but in the case of the Telegraph actively suppressed with comments about it silently vaporised.

  29. Iain Moore
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    We need an umbrella organisation to head the out campaign, having any political party head it would be to alienate potential supporters, the likes of Bill Cash or Farrage would sink the cause. But I am at a loss to suggest someone .

  30. Lucy Locket
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Carswell was wrong to refuse to take the Short Money. The campaign to stay in will be massively funded by the EU. The campaign to get out needs all the researchers it can get. The near 4 million who voted Ukip would at least have had a lot of people working on the facts & figures to support the get out campaign.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      @Lucy Locket; “Carswell was wrong to refuse to take the Short Money [..//..] The campaign to get out needs all the researchers it can get. “

      Mr Carswell stood on a personal ticket of public servant responsibility and accountability, as much as the UKIP manifesto, employing considerably more staff at public expense than any MP legitimately needs for their work as a constituency MP would leave him open to ridicule at best and a lot worst should it be decided by the authorities that parliamentary rules on Short Money have been broken as I suspect it would, campaigning to leave the EU is not a core ‘parliamentary duty’ (although asking difficult questions would be). It was improper of anyone in UKIP to even ask the man to act in such a way…

      That said, and unlike the 1975 referendum, there is a case for better controls on funding, perhaps even statutory equal funding. Also, do remember that UKIP actually have the largest number of UK MEPs so there is a source of “research” anyway, and much -I suspect- can be done as part of their normal work as MEPs.

      • Stuart B
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        On the money question – can anyone tell me if the Green’s have accepted a, presumably identical, amount with their single MP (and incidentally, their leader not an MP)? I seem to have missed any coverage of this.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Jerry – In my long time on this blog I have never accused a politician of corruption – no matter how much I dislike their views.

        You seem to insinuate that UKIP are racist and corrupt.

        Well call the police then. And if you can’t then do be quiet.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          @Mondeo Man; “You seem to insinuate that UKIP are racist and corrupt.”

          Do you honestly think our host would publish such comments if I had, thus leaving himself open to a law suit as myself…

          Have a few days off Mr Mondeo, your cooling system is obviously over heating.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            Jerry – I take your point here.

            I misread your comment on funding and apologise. You weren’t alleging corruption.

            In view of previous comments I have been reading everything you write negatively.

            I vote UKIP and dislike being accused of scapegoating people intensely, and all the insinuations of xenophobia that go with it. It is annoying and untrue.

            UKIP are not xenophobic – they are claustrophobic. The country is overcrowded and the state is subsidising it.

            How Farage kept his cool throughout the election campaign is a credit to the man.

            Mr Carswell could easily have justified taking the money. After all he left the party because of the Tory leader’s position on the EU.

  31. Kenneth
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    While the BBC insists on being a powerful political player I have serious doubts about the fairness of the eu referendum.

    • DaveM
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      They were somewhat skewed towards Labour during the GE and that didn’t do a lot of good.

      Labour lost lots of voters but had a fair chunk of the vote share because of the anti-Tory vote. However, there should be no such party loyalty in an EU in/out referendum.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM; in reply to and @Kenneth; “[the BBC] were somewhat skewed towards Labour during the GE”

        If you think the BBC was bad you obviously didn’t check out Ch4, before or during the GE…

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      You had better believe it!!!!!!!!!

    • bluedog
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      The BBC Charter should be amended to prevent the BBC from accepting money from a foreign power, as is the case with the grants it receives from the EU.

  32. Atlas
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Agreed, John.

    It will require a positive view as well as a negative view to overcome the overtures, no doubt in the manner of the Greek Mythological Sirens, of the secret EU lovers (for example, dare I say on your blog?, Cameron).

  33. lojolondon
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    John, given David Cameron’s commitment to staying in the EU, and our previous experiences with him in this area, I am extremely concerned that the referendum will not be free and fair. For example, advertising the IN vote will almost certainly be skewed by the BBC’s ongoing support for the EU, bolstered by the £6M the EU passed to the BBC in the last three years. Secondly, allowing Europeans resident in the UK or 16-year old children to vote will certainly skew the results. Thirdly, it would be easy to split the OUT vote by including several options for OUT. So I ask, how can we be confident that the referendum will be fair, UK voters will get a free and fair say on this matter?

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      @lojolondon; “the £6M the EU passed to the BBC in the last three years. [to assist in their reporting of EU affairs]”

      How much funding does UKIP (and the other members of their grouping, currently the EFDD) get each year from the EU to assist in their work (much of which will likely be to oppose the EU within the EU parliament etc.)?…

      • Ted Monbiot
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        They get the same funding as any other elected MEPs of any party.

        Which is very different to the way the EU helps fund our compulsory licence fee funded public service broadcaster the BBC.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          @Ted Monbiot; “They get the same funding as any other elected MEPs of any party.”

          No they do not, any party or individual MEP outside of a group gets far less, hence why Mt Farage recruited a far right MEP to the EFDD when another more moderate MEP left, otherwise the group would have lost both funding and other privileges within the parliament.

          As for EU funding, let me get this right, what you are saying in effect is:

          It is correct for an organisation to accept EU funding to help create a political story or event.

          It is wrong for an organisation to accept EU funding to help report a political story or event.

          Glad we have that sorted, not sure what it does for democracy though…

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            So Jerry you think it acceptable for the BBC to get funding from the EU.
            As a public service broadcaster informing the public maybe it should not disturb people’s confidence in its impartiality by accepting this money.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; Prove EU biased by the BBC then I might start listening, until then this is just another zero facts bash the BBC rant, with of course no criticism allowed of UKIP accepting far more EU money – the usual UKIPpers hypocrisy on stills…

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            Its not just UKIP supporters who find the EU funding of thr BBC wrong.
            And its not a zero fact, its a fact.
            And for the record Jerry like you I am not a UKIP voter.

  34. ChrisS
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I will keep this a very simple post :

    1. The number one issue that has to be resolved is to reduce the number of people moving to the UK each year. It does not matter where they come from, but 250-300,000 net arrivals per year is both unacceptable and completely unsustainable.

    2. The return of Sovereignty is also vitally important.

    3. Everything else will be OK as long as 1. and 2. above are properly addressed.

    We all know that 1. above is going to be the stumbling block because we have been told in no uncertain terms that Free Movement is sacrosanct.

    Everyone knows, although few in any of the political parties ( with one exception ) will admit it, we cannot possibly accommodate anywhere near the current level of arrivals.

    We can’t build anything like enough infrastructure and the effect on our country, if the current level of migration were to be sustained, will be even worse than that suffered under the Blair years.

    Reducing net migration to “tens of thousands” is clearly the right objective. It would solve our housing shortage at a stroke and it would also go a long way to solving the short term problems of the NHS and Schools.

    Industry wants mass migration to continue but it should not be up to them : In the unlikely event that the indigenous UK population were to agree to the current situation continuing, it is industry and not the taxpayer who should agree to pay the costs of the additional infrastructure through increased business taxes and levies. They won’t !

    Nigel Farage was absolutely correct when he said he would prefer lower growth and an end to mass migration. I believe that most people, if asked would wholeheartedly agree with him.

    It isn’t racist or xenophobic it is simply a matter of space, infrastructure and the continuance of our British way of life.

    Whatever Cameron achieves in the negotiations, we have to vote in a way that enables us to reduce the net inflow of people to our small island.

  35. forthurst
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    In the last General Election, there was a choice between two ‘right’ parties, Conservative and UKIP, in which the latter was explicitly ‘Out’ and the former, implicitly ‘In’, being led by CMD who has already expressed his preference for both ‘In’ and an expansion of the EU to the Urals incorporating Turkey on the way. Furthermore, it is most unlikely that major backers of the Conservative party, in contrast with UKIP, whose backers are both patriotic and ‘Out’, would countenance any shift in the position of the party on this most important issue.

    During the election, UKIP banged on about controlling our borders and the Australian ‘colour blind’ points system which might itself not have universal appeal. UKIP was repelled by the repetition of the lie that our trade would collapse if we left the EU, a lie which a significant proportion of the electorate believed, as would have been predicted (by masters of spin ed). It is absolutely vital therefore that that lie is demolished in order to win the Referendum. This will not be achieved by saying, defensively, “no, we’ll be ok, really, the Germans will still want to sell us their motor cars etc”. There are many issues on which we can attack the ‘In’ campaign on trade and present a brighter future. We can point out that leaving the CFP, getting our ancestral fishing grounds back will yield approaching £3 billion annually, as well as reanimate our ancient fishing ports and every coastal hamlet from which a drifter use to launch. We can explain that the CAP was designed for the betterment of French farmers and the detriment of British taxpayers and farmers, who are told what they are allowed to produce by Brussels, and therefore we would all benefit financially from an exit. We will be able to guarantee to keep the lights on and to ensure that electric power is delivered to our businesses at a cost to keep them competitive with the rest of the world so no more factories will be closed and reopened in Asia with subsidies provided by our taxpayers. We can point out that since the EU has encroached on consumer product specification, giving us light bulbs that done shine, vacuum cleaners that don’t clean, and toilets that don’t flush, outside the EU we can both satisfy our own consumer demand and manufacture functional products the rest of the world will want to buy. We will, in fact, be able to trade with the whole world including the EU on our terms as we will become once again, a principal negotiating agent, and will no more suffer from Brussels-based stitchups designed to benefit them at our expense.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      @forthurst; Of course UKIP tell their supporters to think that Cameron is a europhile, anything else would make UKIP irrelevant. The fact is Cameron had delivered, UKIP failed, and it might even lose it’s single MP yet is the personality cult carries on much longer….

  36. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I assume Mr Cameron will not offer a free vote on the referendum ?

    Reply It will be a free vote for all Conservatives, though whether that includes Ministers remains to be established.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Just remind us how many ministers there are – a significant proportion of Conservative MPs.

    • willH
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply, why if someone is deemed fit to be a cabinet minister could they not be considered capable of making up their own minds as to whether the renegotiated terms were acceptable ? Surely if Mr Cameron gets a good enough deal the cabinet members will be happy to vote for it without any need for coercion. If they are forced it will demonstrate the deal is iffy.

  37. majorfrustration
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    EU referendum is important but has English votes for English voter now slipped below the radar

    Reply No. It should appear in the Queen’s Speech as promised.

  38. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    At some time between now and the end of 2107 the Prime Minister will tell the British people that he has achieved significant change in our relationship with the EU and that he strongly urges people to vote to stay within the EU. He is never going to announce that his renegotiations have failed and he recommends the UK leaving the EU. At the referendum, you will have the dilemma of putting country before party because if the result goes against the government then it will provoke a vote of no confidence and a general election. Which will it be?

    Reply I have shown on many occasions that I put country before party on the EU issue.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Brian Tomkinson; “At some time between now and the end of 2107…”

      2107, no rush then!

      Thanks for making me chuckle. 😉

  39. Javelin
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    25% of the public have already voted to opt out of the EU by voting for UKIP in the general election and 27.5% in the EU elections. That tells me that 27.5% are fully committed NO votes. Even in the general election the percentage of the votes only went down by 10%.

    So that leaves 23% of the voters to persuade. If you assume a chunk of labour voters do not vote UKIP – say 5% of the vote. That leaves the NO campaign looking to get 18% of the voters.

    If I was to bet my mortgage it would be on a NO vote around 60%.

    Reply UKIP polled 13% in the GE, not 25%.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – How many people voted Tory only for the promised referendum ?

      How can we possibly know ?

      It is axiomatic that those wanting a referendum want out. Those happy in the EU are already in the EU so don’t want a vote on it.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      @Javelin; Who says, what ever the actually percentage of vote received, the 2015 UKIP manifesto says;

      UKIP believes British citizens should have an in/out
      referendum on our membership of the EU as soon as

      Nothing about a de facto Brexit there, so how do you know that everyone who voted UKIP wants to leave, some, perhaps many, perhaps most, might simply want our EU membership status sorted out once and for all and thought that UKIP was best placed to deliver the referendum even though they would prefer to stay in? It’s called tactical voting, ho-hum…

      UKIP and their supporters not only seem to want to judge the book before it’s been written but want to cite how many people bought the book!

      • Ted Monbiot
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        There is a difference between UKIPs position and the Conservatives position.
        UKIP want an in out referendum as soon as possible.
        The Conservatives want a re negotiation of terms first, followed by a referendum based on the results of that renegotiation.

        PS what does ho hum mean?

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          @Ted Monbiot; “UKIP want an in out referendum as soon as possible.”

          Exactly. Hence why many a europhile who wishes to remain within the EU and believes that they are in the majority could have actually voted UKIP simply to force an earlier referendum. Thanks for backing up my point, we can’t assume that UKIP voters want Out, we can only assume that of paid-up party members.

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            No logic in that response.
            Many UKIP supporters voted Conservative in the next best use of their vote in order to ensure a chance of a referendum.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; No logic in your comment, you seem to be admitting that voters realised that UKIP is an irrelevant failure and that the only way forward was to vote Conservative!

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Some did vote Conservative if it was sensible, in other constituencies some did not.
            Quite logical.

  40. Elliot Kane
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree, John.

    We can be pretty certain that the Europhile argument will be based on scaremongering and, shall we say, a certain looseness with fact, as they seem to have no actual, rational case for their belief in the EU. In short, their argument will be almost totally based on pessimism and negativity.

    As such, we Eurosceptics need to make a positive case, based on optimism, hope for a brighter future and our desire to engage with the rest of the world as well as with the insular, declining trade block that is the EU. No accusation of insularity must be allowed to stand.

    If we can convince enough people that Britain, once the greatest trading nation in the world, can be that way again, we win. There is no path to a win through scaremongering and negativity, as fear of change always favours the status quo.

    Ideally, we need David Cameron to lead the campaign for Brexit. As a reluctant convert who deeply desires a working EU but cannot get one, he is sure to sway the undecided in ways that a fully convinced Eurosceptic cannot. However, I have no idea what he will do if the EU laughs off his attempts to get a better deal for Britain. He may still campaign to stay in, which would be unfortunate.

    If the leaders of every main party bar UKIP and most of the media are pro-EU, as seems possible, we will have one heck of an uphill struggle. Nigel Farage himself has said he is not the best person to lead the Brexit campaign and, much as I admire him, I think he is right. He will surely play a great part in the campaign, but still.

    There is one heck of a fight ahead of us for the future of our nation, and it will be very hard fought and harder won. Positivity and optimism for Britain will only aid us; negativity and scaremongering will only help our opponents.

    If we can show Britons a clear path for Britain to become greater than now, we win. It’s as simple – and as hard! – as that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Before you attempt any estimate of the chance that Cameron could support or lead the “out” campaign, take into account that:

      a) He is totally committed to continued EU membership;

      b) The leaders of the other EU member states, and those at the top of the EU institutions, also want to keep the UK locked in the EU and will be willing to help him to keep us in it;

      c) The US government would also prefer the UK to remain in the EU;

      d) He can also rely on the help of almost all the mass media in the UK.

      • Elliot Kane
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        You’re right on all counts, Denis.

        It’ll be a major uphill struggle, with or without Cameron. But it’ll be easier with him than not. I can’t say I’m amazingly hopeful that he’ll campaign for Brexit, but there is SOME chance, I think, if the EU are foolish enough to drive him to it. And they may yet be.

        There’s also the fact that Cameron does seem to be pushable by a combination of his own party & UKIP pressuring him. He didn’t really want to offer a referendum at all, I have no doubt, but he folded in the end… I’m just hoping for a similar fold rather than a Damascene conversion.

  41. Shieldsman
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Carswell termed his disagreement with Farage a question of tone. Don’t you think this is pussy-footing-around playing the PC game. Many of the internet comments I have read are appreciative of factual statements of the cost to the NHS to treat a growing immigrant population.
    Labour have to atone for their admitted mistake in permitting mass immigration and the resulting demands on the infrastructure.
    I doubt whether the EU will agree any change to the Freedom of Movement Directive and return of control of our borders requires it to be rescinded.
    If return of sovereignty can only be achieved by leaving EU the Public must be given the choice
    The Governor of the Bank of England Mr Carney said immigration had contributed to wages stagnating, with thousands of migrants coming from Eastern Europe.
    No doubt we will have people like Clegg and Alexader aided by the BBC dragging out the old unsubstantiated tale that leaving the EU will cost 3 million jobs. There probably would be fewer car washers in supermarket carparks.
    The Directors of JCB have said they can foresee no adverse effect, if anything a reduction in red tape.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      “Labour have to atone for their admitted mistake in permitting mass immigration and the resulting demands on the infrastructure.”

      And as a result the Labour party is all but dead.

      The Tories won’t be any better either if they don’t get a grip of things this time.

      Slightly off topic…

      Now would have been an ideal time for Labour to show it’s Equal Opportunities credentials.

      It could have elected Diane Abbott as its leader. Instead we got the most able candidate – yet another stale, pale male in Andy Burnham.

      Surely if the Labour party insists that commercial businesses must operate to quota systems then it should do so itself – regardless of the outcome for its own organisation.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


        (aberrant apostrophe – and now a possible mispelling of aberrant)

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      @Shieldsman; “The Governor of the Bank of England Mr Carney said immigration had contributed to wages stagnating”

      He said no such thing.

      • Ted Mombiot
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        I know from reading your many posts Jerry, that you are a stickler for accuracy, so below are quotes from Mr Carney as reported in the Mirror and the Times.
        He was quite correctly, very careful and diplomatic in his choice of words, but said that immigration was at least “in part” the cause of an increasing size of labour force in the UK where wages had not risen very much,
        He also mentioned the effect of a larger than expected number of older workers who had remained in the labour market.
        So your statement that “he said no such thing” is at least partly incorrect.

        From The Mirror
        Official figures yesterday showed average earnings rose only 1.9% in the year to March and Mark Carney said ‘labour supply has expanded significantly… partly driven by higher net migration.’

        From the Times
        Immigration is posing a threat to Britain’s recovery by holding down wages, the Bank of England has warned.
        Mark Carney, the governor, described the current high level of net migration as “a key risk” to the economy if it continues to bear down on pay.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          @Ted Mombiot; “I know from reading your many posts Jerry, that you are a stickler for accuracy”

          Then you will know that I have already posted this URL before (apologies to John for adding it again).

          Try going to the source, not to what the press thinks or hoped he said; Mark Carney interview, from 14 May 2015, BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

          On immigration he was quite dismissive of claims that they are causing problems, quite the opposite.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            And when I listen to that I find that the passage quoted below was accurate:

            “”Compare that to the increase in net migration, the increase in the number of people coming to these shores. The first two numbers I just gave you total up to more than 500,000; the increase in net migration over that same period, the last two years, is 50,000,” he said.”

            Why on earth should he, or you, think that the correct comparison would be with the INCREASE in net immigration during that period, 50,000 he says, which means 50,000 a year more than before, rather than the TOTAL net immigration during that period, with over 500,000 people added to the population and therefore a large fraction of that added to the labour force?

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Are you confusing his press release to the press with the subsequent BBC radio interview?

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            So do you claim both quotes from the Times and the Mirror are wrong Jerry?

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Well yes, anything can be made to mean anything when lifted away from the context in which it was originally made….

          • Jerry
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; See my reply to Denis, above, the problem is that they are only partial quotes.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            “anything can be made to mean anything when lifted away from the context in which it was originally made….”

            Indeed Jerry, isn’t that exactly how you develop your numerous argumentative counter posts?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          Having seen Carneys speech and heard his subsequent interviews on TV and radio I agree with all you gave said Mr Mombiot.
          Jerry is on a pedantic mission.
          Take no notice.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Stop arguing for the sake of it… Pointing out the FACTS, taken in context, Mr Carney did not say what some europhobes wish he had, that is not being pedantic – if it were then every single historian would be “on a pedantic mission”!

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            Dont tell me what to do.
            Either the quotes are wrong or they are right.
            Stop wriggling and answer the question.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

            I think Jerry was having a go at me Ted.
            But thanks anyway for the supportive post.
            What was it we heardbtoday, over 300,000 new arrivals in the last year alone?
            According to Jerry this has no effect at all on pay and job competition in the lower levels of the UK employment market.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Yes he did, then on the Today programme he tried to backtrack on the basis of a self-evidently specious, in fact ludicrous, argument.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Denis Cooper; “Yes he did.”

          Then you will have no problems citing an official transcript or full recording of his speech…

          “[then backtracked using a] ludicrous, argument.

          Well of course Denis you’re going to think that, anything that doesn’t agree with your pre-convinced ideas are deemed “ludicrous”.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            Here’s the backtracking, and even you should be able to see that his argument was specious:


            “But this morning he made clear that by far the most important factor over the past two years was “a big increase in the willingness of British people – British nationals – to work”.

            This includes older people remaining in the workforce, who account for over 300,000 extra workers, along with those in work wanting to take on more hours – a phenomenon Mr Carney said was responsible for the equivalent of “200-300,000 more workers”.

            Speaking to the Today programme, he contrasted those trends with the overall increase in migration over the same period.

            “Compare that to the increase in net migration, the increase in the number of people coming to these shores. The first two numbers I just gave you total up to more than 500,000; the increase in net migration over that same period, the last two years, is 50,000,” he said.”

            If net immigration over the past two years had added up to just 50,000 people then Cameron would have been meeting his manifesto promise with a lot to spare, but in fact for 2013 and 2014 it added up to more than 500,000, ten times as many.

            It’s a great pity that Carney, obviously a highly intelligent man, has now demeaned himself by resorting to such sophistry.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Funny looking BoE or .gov URL that…

            How can you be sure that is an authorised and actuate transcript?

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Keep wriggling Jerry.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            I’ve told you above that I listened to what Carney said on the Today programme, your link, thanks, and that he did indeed put forward that ludicrous comparison. If you cannot see how ludicrous it is that can only be wilful blindness.

            I’ve a pretty good idea where you picked up this story, and I suggest that you should try not to be so gullible.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Mombiot: I’m not the one wriggling, unlike those who are using selective quotes (and thus refuse to cite a full transcript or AV recording), so carry on wasting our hosts time if you want the last word…

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Yes please Jerry.
            Are you claiming both the Daily Mirror and The Times actual quotations are wrong?

          • Jerry
            Posted May 22, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; But any facts that go against your pre-judged opinions are “ludicrous” thus the only person with wilful blindness is you Denis.

            @Ted Monbiot; What do you not understand about “using selective quotes? Not wrong, just used out of their proper context, and thus invigorating their readership to come to an incorrect conclusion.

            @Edward2 (May 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm); More of your own pots and pan on parade…

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Nipped back to have another childish post Jerry I see.
            But still not facing the facts
            Quotes in just two of many newspaper reporting this speech.
            Are you claiming they are all wrong?
            Perhaps there should be a press enquiry..

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 23, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            Your original quote was “he said no such thing”
            These quotes show that whist he made other comments and gave other reasons, your bold statement is not correct.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Nipped back to have another childish post”

            @Ted Monbiot; How can I be wrong when I have cited his very words, his very voice?! Have you actually bothered to listen – some how I suspect not.

          • Ted Mombiot
            Posted May 24, 2015 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

            You said:-
            He said no such thing
            Even your own link proves you wrong.
            And quotes in major newspaper and in radio interviews show you are wrong.

  42. Shieldsman
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Carswell’s question of tone was a fall out with Farage quoting the cost to the NHS for treating immigrants with aids.
    Tone – don’t you think it is pussy–footing-around playing the PC game.
    I have read many of the comments expressed on line approving, it being factual that rising immigrant numbers do have to be treated by the NHS.
    Much of the argument to stay in will be made by International and big business who can move headquarters off-shore for tax purposes.
    Company directors invariably have contracts that cover them and their families for private health cover, they can bypass NHS waiting times.
    When you have the Govenor of the Bank of England saying immigration depresses wages the labour movement would be justified in voting for OUT to regain contol of our Borders

  43. matthu
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Had we been invited to vote on the Lisbon Treaty instead, I wonder whether it would have been the right strategy to keep a pleasant tone or instead provoke indignation at what politicians were trying to slip past us?

    My guiess is that only indignation would have woken the electorate up.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      @matthu; “I wonder whether it would have been the right strategy to keep a pleasant tone or instead provoke indignation”

      It’s always best just to present the FACTS, after all if one can’t substantiate the facts you’re already on the slipper slope before even trying to climb the mountain…

      • matthu
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        The facts are (1) that the implications of the Lisbon treaty were far-reaching and never adequately put before the public, (2) Gordon Brown was indecent in his haste to sign-off this treaty before any change in giovernment and (3) Cameron was rightfully indignant at the time but allowed his indignation to lapse into acceptance after the event.

        Cameron’s re-negotiation is unlikely to revisit any of the powers transferred to the EU as a result of Gordon Brown signing that treaty.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          @matthul “The facts are (1)… (2)… (3)…”

          Those are not facts, they are (1) Incorrect. The Lisbon Treaty [1] was accessible to anyone who cared to access it, at least for those who had internet access. (2) Sour grapes. He was as entitled to do so as the Tory party will be in the next five years to push through what the left wing Europhiles don’t like. (3) Incorrect, once ratified Cameron did the only thing he could, offer a referendum on our membership, unfortunately due to UKIP in 2010 there was no majority for pushing one through.

          “Cameron’s re-negotiation is unlikely to revisit any of the powers transferred to the EU as a result of Gordon Brown signing that treaty.”

          Then the UK could very well vote to leave, what’s your problem, if you want out surely its good news, unless of course all the hype about how the worm has turned and the eurosceptics are winning the argument is just bluster and hot air…

          [1] indeed as was the “EU Constitution” before it

  44. turbo terrier
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Which ever way the vote goes remember that nobody loves losers or remember them.

    We have the greatest chance to get it out of this mess called the EU and it it is the time for massive team work never mind the colours. History will prove the out crowd to be correct.

  45. margaret
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The respect for other parties opinion must also reach out to the European union. Diplomacy must take precedent. We can have an opinion without falling out.

  46. Andrew S
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Talk of holding the referendum in 2016 I find concerning.
    Even Mr Burnham of Labour was pushing that idea.
    Scotland had a full two years to campaign on their independence referendum.
    Surely there is not time enough between now and anytime in 2016 to try a renegotiation with the EU, leave sufficient time for EU governments to consult and consider, for the EU to prepare a proper response and negotiate ? Let alone then time for a full public debate of the outcome, then time to campaign leading up to a referendum.
    It would have to be May or October 2017, these months are when general elections happen and for good logistical reasons.
    Going early than that seems like a spoiler tactic. Thoughts please?

  47. Boudicca
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    30 years of so-called Conservative EU-scepticism achieved precisely nothing. Tory EU-sceptics continually put self-interest first, closely followed by Party and finally country as their party systematically transferred our Sovereignty to the EU.

    It ill behoves Mr Redwood criticising the one man who has spent the past 20 years painstakingly growing UKIP to the point where it forced Cameron to pledge a Referendum.

    Farage has already acknowledged that he is not the man to lead an OUT campaign. But he isn’t going to be silenced by a group of Conservative EU-sceptics who have never had the guts to put their careers and livelihoods on the line in order to get this country’s Sovereignty and independence restored.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      @Boudicca; “Farage has already acknowledged that he is not the man to lead an OUT campaign.”

      That is all well and good but Farage has also made himself into the “Chief UK Eurosceptic”, many (including the media) will see him as the leader even if he is not – a classic “Personality Cult” that has thus befallen the eurosceptic/phobic camp…

      People keep talking about ‘The Norway Option’, I only wish Mr Farage had taken heed of the Norway Debate from the 7/8th May (75 years ago to the day, the GE just gone), 1940 – “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

  48. JamesMD
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 1:32 am | Permalink


    It’s all well and good putting yourself forward as an Eurosceptic, and someone to get behind for the next two years with the anti-EU movement, but you should be well aware of the limitations of what Cameron will get from his renegotiations and therefore there shouldn’t be any equivocation from you at this point as to whether you will be fighting for a Brexit instead of Cameron’s Wilsonian fudge.

    Bear in mind that a vote to stay in the EU, even with whatever little Cameron gets does not stop further political integration from that point, indeed further political integration as we have seen since the last referendum, for a common market, back in 1975 is very clear. We want out, and unless you can commit to this I cannot know whether you are just being a quintessential politician or whether you can represent me.

    Sorry if my tone is a bit sharp, it is nothing to do with UKIP/Tory, it is just that I’m fed up with talk about process, being politically correct, etc. I want to see action, and results. Stand up now and make clear that Cameron’s renegotiation is nothing more than a sham. Please, show something that can enable some good faith. Your words on paper are fine, but they are nowhere near enough. Thank you.

  49. Stuart B
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Your post was a call to campaign, in a united front, to promote the ‘NO’ vote in the coming referendum. Unfortunately, many of your respondents have chosen to rehearse – yet again! – the many nooks and crannies of exactly why everyone should be voting that way..
    It reminds me of a small non-conformist church I was brought up in, which suffered a long-term decline, partly because its members became fatally hooked on talking to each other rather than to the rest of the world. As a result, they became progressively less and less connected to people outside their own small congregation, and less in sympathy with the great majority of the population, who either laughed at them or, worse still, utterly ignored them.
    Instead of constantly slapping each other on the back (or punching each other on the nose, at times), perhaps the ‘NO’ camp need to take a deep breath and engage instead with those sectors of society whose views they may routinely deride, and in whose company they are least comfortable.
    These are the folk who will win the referendum – trade unionists, who are force-fed a constant stream of internationalist propaganda; young people, who are likewise force-fed a stream of disengagement propaganda; ethnic minorities, who are routinely encouraged to think only in terms of their own community interests, despite the enormous benefits to them of living in even the stub of a British society.
    There are many more sectors and constituencies which could, and should, have an interest in re-establishing the UK’s sovereignty – it is both the fount and respository of our culture and society, a precious jewel, encompassing many conflicting interests and points of view, so it makes sense that all those elements can indeed be persuaded of their interest in its resurrection.
    If UKIP supporters and Conservative Eurosceptics take the more comfortable line of refining their theologiesand talking among themselves, they will become embattled minorities and go the way of the Hutterites, the Amish, the Strict Baptists, the Brethren (both Open and Plymouth) – not to mention all those political parties which lose their ability and inclination to talk to the Great Unwashed. It is a fatal failure of courage, all too easily condoned and excused by those involved, and crucially IT IS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER THEY ARE RIGHT.
    If you want to succeed in the cause, just think of all the people and parts of society you are least comfortable with, and go out and try to persuade them that their own nterests dictate they vote ‘NO’. It is called evangelism, and it is risky, but the potential rewards are enormous. But then the risks and opportunities simply mirror those attached to voting ‘NO’ yourself, don’t they?
    So, commenters, if you really believe what you say, it’s obvious what you have to do, isn’t it?

  50. Cheshire Girl
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I see that on the BBC website this morning (wednesday) the CBI is already gearing up with dire warnings as to how we would not thrive if we came out of the EU . They frightened the electorate to death as to what would happen if we didnt vote Conservative, so we dont stand much chance of being able to make the decision ourselves! I think the result of the referendum is a foregone conclusion. After months of haranguing, I think people will just give up and vote to stay in. It will seem like the easier option.

    • Stuart B
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Two points on that:

      Firstly, I think it’s only the services sector which has grown in the UK in the last few years – in particular, manufacturing has continued its long march downwards. If we’re talking about the benefits of EU membership, this isn’t a very positive sign;

      Secondly, I think there are two kinds of industry relevant to the alleged risks of leaving the EU: risk-averse, typified by large corporations in mid-life, together with their dependent organisations; and risk-attracted. It is the latter which the ‘NO’ campaign needs to get solidly on its side – young, aggressive, on-the-money market disrupters and generators. It is these people who are genuinely enterprising, and will give us true renewal, long-term employment, and a chance at real wealth.
      The CBI is a middle-aged organisation whose most enthusiastic members are the absolutely least likely to rock any boat or abandon any gravy train. They should be firmly rebutted and told to speak of trade, and not of politics.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl; “I see that on the BBC website this morning (wednesday) the CBI is already gearing up with dire warnings as to how we would not thrive if we came out of the EU”

      Did you miss the similar EU referendum themed item from two days ago (18th), an interview with the Chairman of JCB advocating a Brexit and that the UK should not fear leaving.

      The BBC can’t win can they, dammed what ever they do, they report a eurosceptic and the eurosceptics miss it, but then complain when the BBC abides by its Charter and carries the balancing item a day or so later!

      “[The BBC] frightened the electorate to death as to what would happen if we didnt vote Conservative”

      Funny, eurosceptics and the right wing were accusing the BBC of being pro EU, pro Labour/SNP, pro AGW up to polling day…

      • Edward2
        Posted May 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        I’m unsure why you have jumped to the conclusion that cheshire girl is criticising the BBC when to me she was not.
        Just criticising the CBI’s stance.
        Too quick with your endless counter posts perhaps?

        • Jerry
          Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; “criticising the BBC when to me she was not.”

          Why then mention the BBC, citing the CBI would have been enough, never mind then go on and say what she did in the second part of her comment.

          “Too quick with your endless counter posts perhaps?”

          Oh look, those filthy pots and pans are on parade again …

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            She was criticising the CBIs views, simple as that.
            No criticism of the BBC.
            It was just a referrence in the post.

            Read it again.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

            Totallt agree Ed

          • Jerry
            Posted May 23, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; Then, as I said, there was no need to mention the BBC what so ever, after all that CBI story wasn’t a BBC scoop.

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted May 24, 2015 at 12:09 am | Permalink

            You are so sensitive and reactive to any mention of the BBC it is extraordinary.
            If someone dares even to mention the BBC you are off writing a post immediately.

  51. Vanessa
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I find it astonishing that Cameron can offer a referendum but still fight for a “yes” to stay in vote. He obviously does not believe that Parliament or his government can run Britain successfully without redress to the EU first.

    If politicians started to tell the truth about the EU and the business community started telling the truth rather than spreading the fear and lies, we would have a better chance of persuading people to support a “no”.

    I find once I tell them that we cannot make our own trade agreements but have to wait for Brusssel’s bureaucrats to make them for the 28 members – to include Britain, helps people realise how useless our government has become. Also there are many in the NHS who say the EU Working Time Directive has destroyed this once brilliant service.

    The BBC, of course, will try and destroy any truth told and will wheel out hundreds of idiots to say we will lose 3million jobs etc. but we must get a short, punchy, probably bullet point leaflet out to every household telling the truth and stating the positive outcomes once we leave. The leaflet we all received in 1975 was just lies, lies and more lies. With the help of Dr Richard North on EUReferendum dot com and Better Off Out and others we must start to turn the British people’s vision of Britain OUT into a positive and successful picture where we can embrace the “Rest Of The World” rather than 28 insular, failing, protectionist countries with a falling percentage of world trade which we have strung around our necks like an albatross. Britain would FLY once we are free.

  52. Richard
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “To win that vote for Out if that becomes necessary will require all Eurosceptics, of whatever party and of greater or lesser conviction, to unite.”

    I am not convinced that it is necessary or better for all those who wish to vote for Out to unite behind a single person or organisation.

    The In proponents already have multiple voices in their favour such as the corporations, the BBC, and all our major political parties apart from UKIP, with the Conservative Party leadership still in favour of not only remaining in the EU but in an EU enlarged to include Turkey and all the countries as far east as the Urals.

    So I see no reason not to have multiple Out groupings each speaking to their own crowd. They do not have to agree on everything or follow a single script .

    It is only necessary that they do not attack each other.

  53. manofkent
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Redwood would have been better served writing this article when HE knows what side HE will be on. If he and other Tories decide they are not ‘plastics’ and are real Eurosceptics who want withdrawal then we Kippers will be waiting’ but if not he will once again prove the second rule of politics:

    You can’t trust the Tories over Europe.

    Reply I am on the side of restoring UK democracy, and have been so from before UKIP was born.

  54. Marcus Lasance
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    The most extraordinary deluded sentence in this ukip open letter is:

    “A vote to leave would trigger a negotiation of a trade based relationship which the rest of the EU will of course wish to have, given how much they export to us”

    In common with ‘has been’ ukip economist Ruth Lea, Redwood seems to think “They’ll trade” because Volkswagen AG, Mercedes Benz etc. must have the EU parliament in their pockets. Because our City bankers spend so much of their grotesque annual bonuses on buying German performance cars, rather than buying Range Rovers, Jaguars or Bentleys, the Porsche and Piëch families will just snap their fingers and say to Mr Juncker: “Please give the Brits a Free Trade Agreement and make it pronto!

    Austin Allegro
    Germans would not touch an Austin Allegro with a barge pole. Market strictly ‘cool’ Britannia, no export success!
    Hang on, these German quality cars are not like the Seventies ‘ugly as sin’ butt of many jokes ‘Austin Allegro’ that nobody in the world beside the Brits would touch with a barge pole. I would say there’s plenty of other markets for them besides Nigel Farage’s banker friends, as anyone that ever visited China will have quickly spotted at any Beijing or Shanghai traffic light.

    This whole idea that the rest of Europe is somehow at the beck and call of the mighty British pound sterling is ridiculous. Many currency traders only see one way for Stirling after a Brexit and that is the way of the Zimbabwean dollar. That is because successful trading countries in the EU like Germany and the Netherlands manage to make a profit trading with the rest of the World, not run a structural deficit for decades, while selling off the family silver to pay for their spending habits. Tory Eurosceptics call this closing down sale of Britain FDI by the way, which is short for Foreign Direct Investment.

    Let’s go back to one of the core reasons why the EU Common Market was created in the first place. After WWII the United Stated of America clearly emerged as the dominant industrial power and economic world trade power house. Economists studying the success of US companies growing so quickly from mom & pop stores into multimillion dollar corporations, noted that in the USA business start-ups immediately had access to a huge single market. Having a common currency, the absence of state borders and tariffs and a common language helped them grow rapidly. Having achieved economies of scale in their domestic market, US companies then naturally became internationally competitive on price and productivity, even when faced with competition of often lower wage economies. While the language barrier will of course remain an issue in the EU, by creating a common Euro currency and a single common EU regulatory trade frame work for goods and services, the EU has copied the success factors that made the US the No. 1 global economy. The fact that English is also in the EU the most spoken ‘second’ language only adds an extra advantage to the UK’s EU membership. After a brexit, there is no way that the other 27 EU nations are going to just give the UK unfettered access to the largest and richest unified consumer market in the world ‘for free’. ‘They’ll trade alright, but any post brexit EU trade agreement will have a stiff price attached as Norway will testify.

    Beside the single market, this whole side show of ever closer union people get so hot under the collar about, quite frankly is something nobody in Europe besides a few career politicians gives a damn about. In view of the low turn-out at GE2015 it seems not many in the UK do either.

    Reply This is a muddled and unfriendly contribution. I cannot see the point of references to 1970s cars.The UK pound floats freely against the Euro today, and has been going up against it in recent months. After Brexit it will rise or fall depending on relative interest rates, inflation rates, rates of money creation etc. There is no way the pound will be trashed by our authorities like the Zimbabwean currency has been in the past. The rest of the EU sells us much more than we sell them. The German government has already made clear they wish to continue with this happy situation and will therefore not want to place new barriers in the way of their exports, and see that means they cannot at the same time place barriers in the way of UK exports either. I thought the EU was meant to b e about greater friendship and co-operation between EU countries, so why do we get so many threats for daring to express our preferences over government?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      ‘Hang on, these German quality cars are not like the Seventies ‘ugly as sin’ butt of many jokes ‘Austin Allegro’ that nobody in the world beside the Brits would touch with a barge pole’.

      Or the Rover SD1 that was voted European car of the year and was way ahead of it’s time. Sure there were quality problems but French, German and Italian cars broke down in the 1970’s too we just don’t hear so much about it….

      In my view the VW beetle was a joke car – ugly, slow and riddled with faults – give me an allegro over one of them any day. At least British Leyland got the engine in the right place…

      If the Uk is so bad at cars, why did the Germans buy Land Rover, use her resources to develop the BMW X5 and New Mini ?.

      BMW left the deal with a much loved brand and one less competitor….
      After cherry picking the company the rest was dumped.

      If this is the Eu ‘common market’ we are best out of this (German run) racket.

      • Marcus Lasance
        Posted May 22, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Like I said Ken, kippers are stuck in the seventies. Todays UK car plants are no longer owned and run by the Brits in case you hadn’t noticed. etc ed

        • Ken Moore
          Posted May 22, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          As you mentioned the poor reputation of one British car of that era it seemed only fair to mention there is much about British motoring heritage and Engineering to celebrate.

          BMW could have developed it’s own small car but such was the appeal of the British Mini brand it adopted it as it’s own. Same story with VW and Rolls Royce.
          I suppose we should be flattered that our former competitors now seem so keen to copy the British way. It’s a pity that it took foreign eyes to recognise the brand value built up, by the Brits, in happier times.

          I’m only too painfully aware that all of the UK’s volume car manufacturing is in foreign a way that would be unthinkable to the French or Germans. Unfortunately we have suffered leaders that have been remarkably short sighted and ignorant of the value of manufacturing.

          I agree with you about the British tendency to ‘sell off the family silver’ and lack of a coherent industrial policy to pay for our imports.

          Pre joining the EU the Uk had a large automotive, textile and electrical sectors. The loss of national pride and confidence that resulted in the disastrous decision to enter the Eu is something we need to get back.
          Whether by chance or design, joining the Eu in 1970 doesn’t seem to have been particular good for the Uk’s manufacturing base with many sectors in steep decline. More of the same medicine that has made us sick isn’t going to turn this situation around.

          Reply It is British shareholders, not governments, which have sold off car companies to foreign investors. I am glad I live in a free country where you can sell an asset if you wish and buy other things with your money. Foreign investors are welcome here.

          • Ken Moore
            Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

            Reply It is British shareholders, not governments, which have sold off car companies to foreign investors. I am glad I live in a free country where you can sell an asset if you wish and buy other things with your money. Foreign investors are welcome here.

            I agree they are welcome but there should be safeguards over key strategic infrastructure and industries – ports, airports, power companies etc.. Everything and anything shouldn’t be for sale to the highest bidder. We have been careless.

            In hindsight was it wise to sell Austin Rover to BAE industries (a low volume manufacturer with no experience of producing mass market consumer goods). Was there nobody who could have been appointed by governent who could have provided the right leadership to guide the company back to profit ?.

            If we had back then a clear long term industrial policy in place then we might be in a better position today.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted May 21, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      ‘Beside the single market, this whole side show of ever closer union people get so hot under the collar about, quite frankly is something nobody in Europe besides a few career politicians gives a damn about’.

      Well silly old England being concerned about the trifling matter of a ratchet mechanism for transfer of power to an un-elected and unaccountable superstate with it’s ‘one size fits all’ policies.
      I suspect that if the Euro didn’t suit sharp elbowed Germany’s economic interests and Southern Europe hadn’t been bribed with ‘free money’ other countries would also be as concerned about this ‘ever closer union’.

    • Marcus Lasance
      Posted May 22, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      So this is the extent of your knowledge of the economics of International Trade John? We in UK buy what we want and if we don’t have enough goods to export in return ( or an industrial policy for that matter) than we just open up the Sterling tap, tell the Bank of England to print some more pound notes to pay for it all and you will not devalue the pound?

      That must be the same magic that halved the UK’s deficit while at the same time doubling its national debt.

      Reply If you tried reading my posts before sounding off you would know I do not recommend anything you ascribe to me!

  55. Ken Moore
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Good article – I think Dr Redwood deserves credit for his recognition that those on the sceptic side of the debate need to unite and put previous animosity behind them.
    There seems to be more that unites UKIP and the genuine Conservative sceptics than what they disagree on.

    JR says that ‘To win that vote for Out if that becomes necessary …I would be interested to know what exactly would be a satisfactory settlement…and how this new settlement would be superior to complete withdrawal as that would be the much more expensive option ?.

    How could we ever be sure that once a settlement had been reached the terms and conditions wouldn’t be changed again at a later date ?.

    Reply “Complete withdrawal” will still require the negotiation of all sorts of trade, pipeline, ferry, air routes agreements etc. My test for a new relationship is simple – can the UK now make the main decisions – on borders, tax, welfare,energy etc – without having to follow an EU line?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted May 21, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Reply “Complete withdrawal” will still require the negotiation of all sorts of trade, pipeline, ferry, air routes agreements etc. My test for a new relationship is simple – can the UK now make the main decisions – on borders, tax, welfare,energy etc – without having to follow an EU line?

      Thanks Dr Redwood for setting out your position with such clarity.

      It seems to me that to reach that position, the Schengen Agreement, Maastricht Treaty, Lisbon Treaty etc. would all have to be amended or opted out. Even if that were possible, we would be saddled with the huge costs and the EU dictating how the money we get back is spent.

      So far the only reason I have heard for staying in is that we gain ‘influence’.
      How can having just 1/28 of the vote on the European council ,rather than speaking as a strong independent nation be the better option ?.

      Reply As an MP I voted against Nice Amsterdam and Lisbon, as did the Conservative party. I have not been converted to these treaties by the passage of time, so the very least I want is the end of their sway over us. What I want of course requires us to opt out of much of the consolidated treaty, or to leave and negotiate what we want.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you should form Conservatives for OUT right now. It must be made clear now to pro-European Conservatives, who were estimated in the last parliament to be a rump of 60 MPs, that the tail will no longer be allowed to wag the Conservative Party dog. And you should allow UKIP members to affiliate.

    Our minimum goals are to repeal our Acts of Accession to Federalist Treaties, to re-establish the supremacy of English Law except with regard to narrowly defined trade harmonisation, to gain full control of our immigration policy (a delay of 4 years to benefits does not achieve this) and social policy, and to reduce drastically the number of Member States in the Euro Zone. To achieve all this will mean a move to a two ring Europe.; that’s what the renegotiation should be about.

    Does that not imply OUT as Germany understands it?

  57. Dioclese
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The ‘In’ campaign will try their hardest to muddy the issue. Not being in the EU does NOT mean that the UK will not be able to enter into a free trade system with any EU country, it will just leave us free to control our own borders and trade with whomsoever we choose as well.

    The UK is a huge export market for the EU and they won’t want to lose that market. The ‘In’ campaign will try to persuade us that leaving the EU will cripple our economy, but that’s patent nonsense. As far as I can see, it could actually improve it.

    I have to tell you bluntly that there is no power on this Earth that could make me vote to stay in the EU whatever the terms of any ‘renegotiation’.

  58. Phil C
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Many in UKIP are ready and willing to work with those in other political parties who share their concern for the preservation of the UK as a sovereign nation, self-determining, with a mutually beneficial trading relationship with the EU and the rest of the world.

    No party has the monopoly on able people ready to progress the eurosceptic cause and I am certain I am not alone in my view that country comes before party.

    Even in areas where UKIP were not able to challenge directly large Conservative majorities, those who voted UKIP are more certain supporters for the OUT campaign than Conservative voters. A valuable asset going forward.

    JR is correct in his assertion that the tone of the message will win many multiples more in support than an abrasive, antagonistic approach.

    Given that the UKIP position is well defined in this regard, we should leave the anti-EU rhetoric behind . The concentration of should be on promoting the positive, forward and outward-looking, successful future that Britain can have outside the EU as a trading partner rather than that of a voiceless subjugate.

    I look forward to taking part in that campaign, not as a UKIP or Conservative supporter but as a patriot and an optimist.

  59. Heather
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The EU

    Foolish I may have been ( youth or ignorant of the politics involved) perhaps?
    I was one of those that voted to join the then Common Market (Trade) – as I recall the Common Market (now EU) was spun to the populace as being a good thing – at the time I thought of the future benefits particularly for industry which was struggling in this country – as I recall.

    BUT and it’s a BIG BUT – it has grown into an uncontrollable monstrosity – it reminds me of a CULT by any other name…………..its mantra seems to be “Resistance is Futile” you will be absorbed whether you like it or not.

    I am at an age where I can recall what this country was like pre EU – sure we struggled in many ways and things were not perfect by a long stretch of the imagination but one thing we had was FREEDOM, Sovereignty and still a wee bit of pride in ourselves.

    These days I see none of this in our country – in a word it’s a mess – its tearing itself apart slowly (Scotland v England aka referendum) and the bad feeling that has caused. Which I think is the ultimate aim of the EU – This phenomena is not just happening in the UK…………this is happening the length and breadth of Europe.

    The UK has one advantage compared with a lot of the countries now ensnared by the EU – it still has its own currency (we did not get totally absorbed – we resisted monetary union) This IS a thorn in the side of the EU masters – they are determined that we WILL accept this currency and be totally dominated by one particular country in question G*****y.

    The eventual aim of the EU as I see it (correct me if I am wrong) IS to break the back of this country and prevent us fighting back or objecting………….soon this will happen – because those folk that remember this country when it was independent and can recall what it was like pre EU will be few in number – therefore less to object or resist/vote against it………….hence why NO referendum date in the foreseeable future.

    Personally I would rather be stood on my feet poor but FREE than on my belly scratching in the dirt for what might be left when they have finished and completed the plan set out for this country and many others in Europe………….

    The outcome is bleak I fear IF something is not done to sort this EU mess – before we end up with another war in Europe………….which will happen IF we are not very careful…………….and this is the one thing I do fear……………….Hopefully I am wrong.

  60. Heather
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I concur with John Redwood regards Euro sceptics somehow (all euro sceptics – irrespective of party politics) need to become one voice for our mutual benefit.

    I was asked recently WHY I joined UKIP – this was my response – Hopefully I do not offend anyone.

    I want my country back basically – I do not like the developments that all the main parties have forced on the UK which in my opinion was without the peoples consent – The three main parties have NO concept of the effect on local communities (I have no problem with immigration BUT in moderation) Hopefully my mention about immigration does not sound insular – I am all for diversity new ideas technology etc – at a young age I had experience of new cultures (I had an aunty Sabra & an uncle Khadim – I watched aunty Sabra prepare Halal etc. – I ate chapattis and curry before most folk in UK had even heard of curry) – so NO my feelings are not based on race or religion – to add to this half my family are foreign I have a Jamaican sister in-law, I have a French niece and nephew, and a granddaughter who is Italian – BUT as my old dad would have said you cannot put a pint and a half into a pint pot – and when it has an adverse effect on education, NHS, housing etc then enough is enough. My background is in education and inner city schools – I have seen the detrimental effect on student learning due to uncontrolled immigration – it is Bad. In conclusion regards immigration IF this one topic alone is not sorted soon……………I do fear the outcome – I saw as a young child what happens when cultures collide (it is not pretty) fortunately I had a very brave mother (she was a local business man’s daughter and well respected in the community) who stood on a back street in Leeds and alone disarmed a mob of whites & Asians and prevented a blood bath (this was in the days when such things were not covered by the media) I hope I never see those days return to the UK.

    I want a future for our younger generation – and at the moment I cannot see one which does not include a lot of hardship – I want our government to put this Nation first above all others – to be less proliferative with our hard earned tax contribution (be it overseas aid (aka soft politics), or the contributions it is forced to pay to the outdated EU) – which since its conception is way out of control and has impoverished numerous once proud sovereign countries of Europe -with the false premise that they promote about it keeping peace in Europe – is the biggest white elephant in the room – it has been NATO in my opinion that has kept the peace – all the EU seems to have done of late is create another cold war situation……………..which is NOT good – in fact it is downright dangerous. We need to trade with Europe and not be ruled by them – to think this country that was the birth place of democracy and law that most of the world adopted…………….is now no more than a satellite nation to the EU is a sad state of affairs………………it is like being part of a communist empire in all but name…………..IF I had wanted to be a communist I would have moved to Russia long ago.

    As far as I am concerned UKIP speak to ordinary folk in language that they understand, they are not afraid to say it as it is (PC nonsense has gone too far in this country) Personally I had lost interest in Politics until UKIP came on the scene and I had not voted in many years (was pointless as it was always a two horse race – there was no spark) UKIP on the horizon and we got that spark – folk seem to have shaken off the apathy that had become the norm in this country – I think people now believe that “People Power” can make a difference to this country – hopefully the fight back and spirit this Nation once had is slowly creeping back – and I honestly believe without UKIP’s help – the Referendum would NOT be on the agenda.

    I tried to make my reasons as succinct as possible – hopefully my reasons are adequate regards WHY I became a member of UKIP.

  • 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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