Could the UK restore democracy without leaving the EU?

 

It should be clear to anyone that you cannot have a democratic UK under the current Treaties. Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon certainly prevents that, and arguably parts of the Rome Treaty as well.

Restoring the UK’s ability to veto new EU proposals in the major areas that Labour surrendered would help, and would be a minimum requirement. It would still leave substantial jurisdiction transferred to the EU which makes it difficult or impossible for the UK to control its own borders, pursue its own welfare policy, control its own fishing and many others. To remedy this the UK would also need the capability to override Brussels and ECJ decisions where the UK Parliament thought that essential. There would then be a retrospective veto available for the worst cases.

A better and more realistic way of getting agreement to a new relationship that would work for us and them would be to define what the UK wishes to stay in. The business community seems to be surprisingly keen on all the rules and regulations of the single market when it comes to making any decision about the UK’s future. The UK could agree to belong to the single market, with rights to sit around the table and be outvoted on new proposals, whilst withdrawing from anything to do with borders, welfare, criminal justice, fishing and others.

The problem with all of this is  twofold. The EU is well known to expand its jurisdiction. After a new settlement the EU would likely decide more and more things were single market with a view to ensnaring the UK in them. The EU has introduced qualified majority voting for many of these matters, so the UK would be back in the position of having to comply with things it did not agree with.

This shows why it will be very difficult to negotiate a new relationship that does restore UK democratic control, and why many will decide leaving is the easiest option. Leaving also means we will be £15 billion a year better off. Those who wish to stay in at any price have to explain why this is a bill worth paying, and tell us what might stop it going up too much in the future. As much of the rest of the EU in Euroland is going to have to send much larger transfer [payments from rich to poor, how do we avoid the UK being sucked into that system? The impact of a common policy o0f sharing on our fisheries should be a warning to us of what can happen when you let the EU run something for you.

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151 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Clearly there is not real democracy within the current EU, there is not even a sensible demos. Cameron is also not even asking for any of this in the renegotiation. Not that he has told us what he is seeking, if seems little more than a few short term benefit changes.
    Even the token removal of “ever closer union” does not look likely.

    The only way is to leave, but it is a huge task to get the public to vote for this given the position of Lib/Lab/Con/SNP the BBC bias, the biased question and the relative funding of the two sides in the campaigns.

    It seems that the human rights act manifesto promise has been fully ratted on already, surely as good as dead now. It did not take long before all the ratting started again.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/nigel-farage/11642293/David-Cameron-in-split-with-Theresa-May-and-Michael-Gove-over-human-rights.html?

    • Richard1
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Why so? The UK has been a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights since 1953, but we’ve only had Labours Human Rights Act since 1998. We had much less of the sort of nonsense with the human rights industry pre 1998, but just as many – perhaps more – actual freedoms. So let’s just go back to the pre 1998 status?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Yea but we ignore it anyways. Eg retrospective laws are outlawed but we have had a few.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        But the seeds of the current problems were sown when Parliament allowed the government to ratify a treaty including what was then Article 53:

        “The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the decision of the Court in any case to which they are parties.”

        The substance of which is now in Article 46(1) of the present Convention.

        I say that Parliament “allowed” the government to do that because there seems to have been no legislation to positively approve the Convention, so presumably it was deemed approved from the absence of any objections when it was laid before Parliament under the old Ponsonby Rule.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Why all this endless BBC coverage of the sun-powered Solar Impulse plane? It is clearly possible to fly a PV battery charged solar plane as sensible engineers have know for ages.

      They also understand that, from a practical load/range/cost/speed/safety and economic point of view, it is a complete non starter. So why bother wasting so much time and money on it? It is surely just a fake green PR publicity stunt. Hopefully non of my taxes were used.

      Are they expecting the laws of physics to change perhaps?

      Why do the BBC not have a sensible engineer/physicist to point out how pointless this PR exercise actually is and put it in context? Every greencrap nonsense from the BBC even the absurd Swansea barrage is covered with a sort of “BBC think” religious rapture. Just as to the BBC almost every single landlord is always evil or unscrupulous.

      Trip aborted now I hear anyway, at least no one paid with their life.

    • Bob
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic
      Picking up on your reference to BBC bias, there was a noticeable increase in public service announcements on commercial radio channels during the election campaign. It was accompanied by also an increase in the amount of anti ukip propaganda, especially on LBC with virtually every presenter chucking around slurs and innuendo of various *isms directed at ukip.

      Now since we have a massive tax funded public service broadcaster with several TV channels, national and local radio channels and a £200,000,000 p.a. website, why is government placing ads with commercial radio?

      Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…

      • Bob
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Couldn’t believe it that no sooner had I submittred this comment Nick Ferrari (LBC radio) introduced a discussion about Douglas Carswell’s comments on ukip’s “mean spirited” election campaign, and who should he invite to speak on the matter but John Rentoul of the Independent and some bloke from a gay rights pressure group.

        Needless to say, John Rentoul advised listeners that ukip was a spent force and then went on about Nigel’s “unresignation” and that Douglas would soon return to the Tory fold.

        So no bias there then. snip snip snip.

        • Hope
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          Well said Bob. This is about conditioning minds against those opposed to the EU. The biggest protest group being UKIP. The smears will continue as there is no substance to staying in a political union to trade with European countries. Therefore the theme will to be to scare and smear those opposed to being in the EU.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        @Bob; “why is government placing ads with commercial radio?”

        Oh do go and find out something about Party Political Broadcasts, Public Service Broadcasting and Public Information Announcements/Films etc, never mind election law. All your anti BBC rants are doing is showing up your total ignorance!

        • Hope
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Nasty drivel as usual.

        • Bob
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          You’ve missed the point completely Jerry (as usual).

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; What ever, but I have not missed the point at all, how could I as your rant had no point as it had no facts! 😛

      • Bob
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        I switched on the radio again tonight to listen to Clive Bull who is discussing electoral reform in the light of the massive amount of votes that ukip got which resulted in only one seat in the HOC.

        Who gets invited to speak on the issue? Dan Hodges!
        He didn’t mention the SNP/Labour scare, he just said that the outcome was a complete rejection of ukip and what they stand for.
        They call him as a journalist, although I would suggest spin doctor as a more appropriate description.
        Nuff said!

        • APL
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 6:21 am | Permalink

          Bob: “massive amount of votes that ukip got which resulted in only one seat ”

          The problem for the UKIP and similar parties is that their support is dispersed throughout a large area – UK. Whereas by comparison the relatively lesser support the SNP received was concentrated in a specific geographical area.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          @Bob: “He didn’t mention the SNP/Labour scare, he just said that the outcome was a complete rejection of ukip and what they stand for.”

          Stop bleating, 4m votes out of just shy of 46.5m registered voters is a complete rejection [1]. So once again UKIP are doing what UKIP do best, and they will receive very little sympathy from voters once again, they tried to find scapegoats for all of the UK’s ills during the 2015 GE campaign, now they are trying to find scapegoats to explain the complete rejection of those scapegoats. What is more they seem to want lopsided changes to the electoral system, they want to get more seats but don’t want the political left, Ecological or europhile parties to also benefit – which they will do, most likely leaving eurosceptics as permanent opposition parties once the wheeler dealing of PR/AV coalition/pact governments start to be formed.

          [1] leaving the Con, Lab and SNP aside, more of the popular vote did not go to the UKIP message than did

          • Hope
            Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            Poor analysis as expected.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

            Whereas 11m votes out of just shy of 46.5m registered voters would presumably be an incomplete rejection.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            @Hope: In your opinion of course, as a UKIP supporter…

    • Hope
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The half way house, kick into the long grass approach! The same did not apply to gay marriage. It appears the rights of everyone are discerned by Cameron because he knows some people’s rights are more important than others! What a waste of space. What a negotiator! There were those trying to be loyal claiming it was only delayed. Base do. His record to date in office would you trust Cameron?

      The choicest membership of the EU is simple: in or out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I just heard Cameron on child care just now saying something like “they (parents) look at the cost of childcare and what they are earning and it does not make sense”.

      So why on earth does it make sense for the other taxpayers to have to pay for their child care? Either is makes sense for them to work or it does not – taxing other workers to subsidise these peoples children’s care make no difference to the logic. It just gives them a tax payer subsidy to do something that makes no sense. Rather like all the greencrap grants in fact.

      Does getting a first in Oxford PPE not require any logic?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Agree entirely with these comments. Why should tax payers who have brought up their own children and paid for childcare or stayed at home like myself, going without many material things, be expected to pay for people on good money going out to work? If they can’t afford children then don’t have them. Simple, but don’t expect the rest of us to foot the bill so that some of them can continue their lavish lifestyles.

        • Hope
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          LL, it does not make sense to provide child care, in work tax credits, child benefit and now school meals! The immigrants must love e land of the free living. Why work hard and take responsibility for the amount of children you can afford when the government is prepared to pay for everything if your are irresponsible!

      • Hope
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Tax freedom day starts today. The average worker has been working 150 days for the government until yesterday, now they work for themselves. A day longer than last year. On average workers contribute 40 percent of their pay on taxes, indirect and stealth taxes included. This is the low tax Cameron! He ought to learn how to make spending cuts, perhaps this should be central to the Oxbridge PPE course as politicos seem to fail to grasp the concept of spending less than you earn or do not borrow vast amounts to pay interest on and then give away while your own constituents and countrymen need food banks! Growth is looking bleak, imports far higher than exports, deficit still very high and worse than Greece (Osborne ridiculed Brown’s spending would lead to this) debt going through the roof with interest payments higher than some basic public service spending. This is the reality of the fictitious Osborne economic recovery. Yet taxpayers’ money is given freely hand over fist to the EU without quibble from Cameron.

      • acorn
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        That other workers child may well be paying taxes to pay your state pension, in a few years time. (Not that taxes actually pay for anything in the real world).

      • turbo terrier
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        LL.

        I remember so well when I announced to my parents that my wife was pregnant.

        “That is lovely dear. You want them, You have them and You bring them up”

        No arguements with that then and that is the way it remained.

        If you want children you have to make sacrifices not rely on others.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        More importantly why should a couple with only one bread winner subsidise those with two. Its another massive distortion. We need a much simpler tax and benefits system not this nonsense.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Or perhaps someone who cannot afford to have themselves is paying taxes to fund single mothers with 4,5,6,7 or 8+. Perhaps the taxes are the reason they feel they cannot.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, LL

      Human Rights Act – not a good start. Anyone want to run a book on how many of the manifesto points will be discarded? It wouldn’t matter if Cameron kept the HRA exactly as it is but renamed it; at least he would’ve actually done something he said he’d do. My normal optimism is waning already…stupid me for thinking a leopard could change its spots. Note to self – never be fooled by him again.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    There is no way Merkel and Co are going to allow the (dis)UK any worthwhile re-negotiation. The problem the voters face, is understanding the difference between what concessions Cameron tells us he has won and the truth.
    If I ever do get a vote on EU membership. I’m going to work on the principle the whole thing is built on lies and obfuscation and vote OUT. We’ll never get another chance.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Old Albion, I’m with you! As you say, we will not really know what is on offer and if it will change later so the best way and the only way to secure our democracy is to vote out. I don’t need to hear any more throw away lines from Cameron or anyone else.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        It must be extremely upsetting for our host and other likeminded Tory’s seeing and hearing with their own eyes and ears what UKIP predicted in these farce of renegotiations. It was always a sop to kick the issue down the road in the hope he would never have to deliver the promises. We are either in and ruled by the EU or we are out. There are so many competencies given up by the LibLabCon it’s time they came clean and explained the truth on their European project and admit that UKIP were right all along and apologise for the lies and deceit over many years. Will they admit its not about trade, jobs, influence in the world? Not a chance.
        We however, will continue to tell the truth and educate the public.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      “If I ever do get a vote on EU membership. I’m going to work on the principle the whole thing is built on lies and obfuscation and vote OUT.”

      That would seem a reasonable assumption after Ted Heath’s dishonestly, Wilson’s “common market” referendum, Major’s “Subsidiarity” con trick on Maastricht and now Cameron’s biased question and his totally worthless non renegotiation theatrics.

      • matthu
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Cameron either goes down in history as the one leader who single-handedly wrote the Conservative party into oblivion, or he comes back and outlines exactly why he is unable to recommend staying in the EU on current terms.

        Then Boris heads up the Out campaign and unifies the CP.

        That is the optimistic scenario.

      • Mark W
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        I’ll vote Out whatever deal is promised but I think we’ll lose and then boy will we pay for it. The EU will behave like they have a mandate with us to do whatever they like. I can’t see an Out vote being the end of it either. They’ll promise something else and rerun it

      • Ken Moore
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Majors nonsensical and hilarious ‘variable geometry’

        Refreshing how this wise ‘elder statesman’ has managed to refrain of late from giving us his valuable advice on how to screw up an economy and political party completely. Well done Sir John.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Well he still seems to be on the BBC rather often, helpfully explaining things very slowly (as if aimed at dim five year old’s). Always treated by the BBC as if he were some great sage of wisdom, rather than someone who has been proven wrong on almost everything he ever touched.

          Never asked anything much beyond “what would you like to impart to the nation today John?”

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      I agree with Old Albion.

      I intend to vote for out or ‘no’. I have no time in-betweeners, those who argue to stay in if we get a concession here or there, but will never have the courage to say ‘out’ or ‘no’ whatever the outcome; they may even claim they need something significant.

      It’s plain to see that unless we are out the EU monster will always hold sway over us and continue to eat away at our independence and sovereignty. It will continue to destroy our confidence and self respect as individuals and as a country.

      There are many supporters of the EU who seem to think we are worthless without it – shame on them.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion.

      Not much to argue with that one!!!

  3. David Murfin
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    While we have ‘achieved’ a referendum on UK membership of the EU, it seems to me that the only way to achieve what you set out above is not through negotiations aimed essentially at staying in under improved terms, but through the negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and an independent UK which would follow UK notice to leave under Article 50.

    Reply We need to show a majority wish to leave. The negotiations over exit follow the decision to leave.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      When Cameron laid down his plan it was always clear what he wanted to happen. He offered a referendum in 2017, knowing that Labour would offer no such thing, thus winning the anti-EU vote this year. He then intended to renegotiate terms that would favour the UK sufficiently that people voted to stay in.

      His problems are that he clearly didn’t use the intervening years to plan his negotiation, and didn’t account for the fact that the EU would reject any demands for border control and restoration of total sovereignty.

      So ultimately, the answer to the title today is “no”, and if I were DC I would concentrate on promoting an OUT vote and start planning for the future of the UK. If he was an ambitious man this could be the most exciting 5 years of his life.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        CMD is not a patriot, he is the product of Major. Look who he surrounds himself in office and who he listens too. Europhiles. He loves the EU and loathes the British, particularly the English.
        Who else could claim renegotiation whilst telling our European leaders he wants to stay in regardless and supports freedom of movement. We don’t. Look around you Cameron. We are full, it is taking weeks for Doctors appointments, months for Hospitals. Schools of our choice are becoming a rarity, overcrowding, congestion and they are relentlessly building on our loved greenbelt. What will it take for our political leaders to understand the frustration and anger out here?

    • DaveM
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      “The negotiations over exit follow the decision to leave.”

      Yes, but it might help the OUT campaign if there was a “manifesto” on what the UK’s future would look like outside the EU? Clearly you can’t use the ‘p’ word but you could give an idea to counter what the IN campaign is going to say.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM; “it might help the OUT campaign if there was a “manifesto” on what the UK’s future would look like outside the EU?”

        Trouble is there are many options, not all Brexit’s will be the same! Surely far better to generalise those options and possibilities but spend time and money counter the scare stories that the europhiles will be using, such as “What about those 3m jobs” or “90% of our trade is with the EU”, those half-truths will be the same what ever any Brexit ends up looking like.

  4. Iain Gill
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Priti Patel on tv this morning persuading every couple with one bread winner to vote for someone else. Is this the best the conservative party can do?

  5. Sandra Cox
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    John, talking about leaving the EU, I thought this was an interesting read on Conservative Home, regarding the impact of a UK exit on Ireland. What is particularly interesting is the phraseology around the “harm” and “punishment” the EU might inflict:

    “It is often implied that the EU would punish the UK if we ever decided to leave……”, “…. that doesn’t mean that an EU scorned couldn’t make life more difficult for British businesses trading with Europe.”, “However, the bunny boiler option would also damage EU businesses trading with Britain – with particular harm being done to the Irish economy.” and “Would the EU stab Ireland in the back just to hurt Britain?”

    Before you think it all sounds too negative, the article certainly has a different and, in some ways, positive perspective on the EU NO campaign:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/the-deep-end/2015/06/britains-inout-referendum-has-major-implications-for-our-closest-neighbour.html

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      “the “harm” and “punishment” the EU might inflict”

      They can and do inflict far more harm and punishment if one stays in and has to obey their rules & their courts than if you leave.

      • Sandra Cox
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Exactly 🙂

      • matthu
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        As Daniel Hannan frequently points out, fear of harm and punishment that might be inflicted if we leave i.e. blackmail is hardly a sound reason for wanting to remain part of the EU.

    • Hope
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Reports that Murdoch will back the UK staying in the EU. Add this to the BBC and very little media will be balanced.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        @Hope; Perhaps people now see the folly in only bashing the BBC, when as great or greater problems exist across the media, be it broadcast, print or web.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      With an annual £77 billion trade deficit with the EU. We can play hardball. Leave it to us not Cameron!

      • Jerry
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        @Timaction; “[the] annual £77 billion trade deficit with the EU”

        Hmm, now I understand why UKIP are against TTIP, they don’t want the EU to haver an alternate marketplace for their goods & services… If the UK can find alternate markets for our products, as UKIP keep telling us we will post any Brexit, why can’t the EU do like wise with what they sell to the UK?

        • Timaction
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          That’s a matter for the EU in a free market Jerry. 8% of our GDP depends on exports to the EU whilst 100% of our businesses have to comply with its laws and costly directives. This is supported by the CBI and largest corporations as they can deal most effectively with those rules whilst eliminating the competition (SME’S). The 8% is actually less when you consider the Rotterdam effect for onward exports counting as EU exports as is Ireland with its deep water ports exports coming through Northern Ireland.
          We export 12% to the rest of the world. The EU is a shrinking market and the rest of the world is growing.
          The EU is and has always been a political project with trade as an aside. It is about the creation of a superstate by stealth Jerry and the Europhiles and you know it. You are not prepared to tell the truth. Don’t quote UKIP policy Jerry as you don’t know it and have little knowledge.
          There are huge benefits in leaving the EU and none for remaining.
          As one of the leaders in Hargreaves Lansdown said recently: if you start with a blank sheet of paper of the benefits of EU membership…………..you end up with a blank sheet of paper. We want our sovereign democracy returned. Nothing more. If the Tory’s were serious about Brexit they would remove their leader. This issue is far more important than party politics and a particularly Europhile leader who cannot be trusted with the National Interest as he has proven repeatedly with his actions as opposed to speech’s.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 3, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            Timaction; “Don’t quote UKIP policy Jerry as you don’t know it and have little knowledge.”

            I know what they have put ion the public domain, so p0lease leave that tone at home otherwise you will do more damage to the eurosceptic cause than good!

            “There are huge benefits in leaving the EU and none for remaining.”

            I know, you don’t need to convince me, nor most on our hosts site, but you will need to convince a majority of the UK electorate – get used to having the blindingly obvious questioned…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      In which context, bear in mind that under current plans Irish citizens resident in the UK will be entitled to vote in our referendum even though UK citizens are not allowed to vote in any Irish referendum.

  6. Gary
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    “The business community seems to be surprisingly keen on all the rules and regulations of the single market”

    I cannot for the life of me understand why that is surprising. The only reason can be that the euroskeptics don’t understand economics.

    If you have a single currency you arbitrage out currency friction within the union and you ensure that only productivity increases give you the exporting edge, and not bastardizing, short term pricing advantage by currency manipulation. Floating currency is a cancer to the economy. The politicians cannot fathom that, because they cannot see past the next election. The floating currency propaganda has enthralled the masses, and it’s impoverishing us.

    The ultimate step is to make the fixed currency regime tied to gold so that you don’t require a tax union to maintain it. But we cannot trust govts, so it’s more of the same.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Floating currencies can be a problem for businesses when trading internationally, but there are ways around this.
      Some contracts specify payment at a particular rate or between a range of rates.
      Some companies order ahead of time at a fixed rate of exchange.
      Some contracts are paid in a reasonably stable currency like US dollars despite both parties not using the dollar domestically.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      That’s an argument for the excellent Thatcher-Major hard ECU scheme, rejected in favour of the euro. The problem with the euro is, along with the advantages of trading in a common currency, come the disadvantages of shared liabilities with all the other states in the euro and the inevitable transfer of political and economic power – and in the case of richer countries like Germany (and the UK), money as well.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Gary

      It is reported this morning that the Business for Britain group are worried Mr Cameron has watered down too much his demands on business reform with Europe.

      Not aware as to how much sway this group has, but certainly not all businesses are pro EU and all that goes with it.

      I also see it is reported in the Press this morning that Ken Clarke and JR both want Ministers to have a free vote, and be able to campaign as they like before any referendum.
      This certainly would be part of true democracy in action, that you can follow your beliefs publicly, even if a Minister.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes, saw this in the Daily Mail. Hopefully John R will get to say what he wants more often and hammer home the case for OUT!!

    • acorn
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Gary, you will need physical Gold to get to circa $7,000 per ounce, to synchronise it with the worlds fiat currencies for a smoothe transfer back to the Gold Standard.

      Think about all those FX dealers and punters you are going to have to retire? They will have to go back to betting on flies landing on windows!!! $5,300 billion worth of fiat currencies traded every day. In 2013 the total value of goods traded in the world was only $18,350 billion; three and a bit days worth!

      • acorn
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        BoE Governor Mark Carney is doing a good job, the stats coming out of the BoE are better and easier to read. The Quarterly Bulletins are a must read for economics students. He did manage to stop the Canadians from worrying about debt and deficits because he knows how fiat currencies work.

        He has just issued Working Paper 529. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Pages/workingpapers/2015/wp529.aspx# . Read to the end of the introduction, it gets complicated after that.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      That would be the worlds gold that is 80% owned by China would it Gary? Great plan. Keep taking the tablets

      • Jerry
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; He did say “The ultimate step”, ideally China (nor any country) should not hold anything like 80% of the worlds mined gold – and to think some people on here call me rude…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Gary, I am not sure you understand economics – there are loads of ways to do business and limit the currency risk you can agree the deal in anything from gold, oil, or you can just hedge it.

      Regulations as daft as those in the EU clearly just put business as a huge competitive disadvantage in the World. Hence much of the lack of growth in the Euro Zone.

  7. Colin Hart
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    If we are obliged to remain in the EU, here’s a way to find the $15 billion annual membership fee. Impose a super corporation tax on businesses over a certain size. This should catch all the CBI worthies who think they know what’s best for us. If they want it, they can pay for it.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      @Colin Hart; Hmm, and how many jobs would that cost, those CBI “worthies” would not be paying anything, but then nor will those put out of work…

    • matthu
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      That is the most sensible and eloquently-argued way of raising the membership fee I have yet heard!

  8. Pete
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    That 15 billion saved could then be squandered by our own politicians instead of by foreign bureaucrats- clearly much better.

  9. Richard1
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I think the referendum will come down to one very simple question: will the UK lose jobs, investment, market access if we are not members of the EU? If there’s any doubt on that question the Ins will clearly win.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      They may lose some but could gain many more by trading more freely. We have to give it a go because our track record says we are pretty good at it. How the hell did we manage before the EU?? We have always had good business relations with the rest of the world and I don’t see that has vanished.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner; “We have to give it a go because our track record says we are pretty good at it. How the hell did we manage before the EU?”

        A lot of our trade had been with the Empire/Commonwealth nations, it was this dwindling trade as the Empire died and the new Commonwealth nations naturally built or increased the trade links to their near neighbours that focused all sides of the political divide in the UK upon the EFTA or the then EEC.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1; Indeed, those who want a Brexit need to make their business case, just as if seeking investment or a bank loan, all the europhiles need to do is sow some doubt.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of remaining a member of the EU it can quickly be seen that the disadvantages are considerable and the advantages few. Even if the negotiations result in substantial reforms, which it will not, unless it includes return of sovereignty to the UK parliament those reforms will be meaningless as they can be easily reversed later.

    We all know the EU’s track record on bowing to the will of it’s member states and their citizens. They do not. The EU has used all and any means to pervert democratic decisions; multiple referenda, blatant disregard of it’s own rules(deficit control being one example), centralised policy making by unelected officials and using poetic licence in EU treaty interpretation.

    The UK really does not want to be part of this corrupt and undemocratic shambles as the only ones who gain from it are the overpaid bureaucrats and politicians and states who are negative contributors to the EU budget. Because of German and French hegemony the UK has no influence in the EU and as I have found out from experience the mindset of continental Europeans is vastly different from that of the people of the UK.

  11. Ian wragg
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Reclaim the powers that Liebor gave away. ….. really
    Who took us into Europe and who signed up to the most treaties. Who opted back in to the hated EAW.
    As Ken Clarke says in todays papers. The majority of Tory MP’S are pro EU. I for one don’t doubt that.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      @Ian wragg; “As Ken Clarke says in todays papers. The majority of Tory MP’S are pro EU. I for one don’t doubt that.”

      And the majority of the popular vote was for europhile parties, no wonder you always sound so angry, how dare they have a different opinion!

    • matthu
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      The majority of Tory MPs look after their own careers first. (Some of them of course have been noted for wanting to keep their noses in the trough.)

      So if Cameron were to back OUT, most cabinet members would have a Damascene conversion.

  12. Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    From my perspective a big “yes that is possible”, an opinion shared by many millions of continental Europeans, and, I guess, by many British as well, although not necessarily the regular readers of this particular blog.

    Some people may think that “unelected hereditary peers”, giving one representative to 4 million voters and 56 representatives for fewer than 2 million voters, having a minority government wielding majority powers in parliament, having rather few female representatives, that all these distortions are fine in a democracy, “because we’ve always done it that way”, but I don’t find that very democratic at all! “Winner takes all” is no substitute for democracy. All the above distortions can be changed without leaving the EU.

    The EU may be called distant, but its democratic processes don’t compare so badly with the UK.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      We are aware of your disdain for the UK parliamentary/electoral system and the fact that you believe the EU to be democratic. I wouldn’t argue with your reasoning or your beliefs. But what you don’t seem to get is the English/British (even Irish) mindset. I know it’s different even from the NW European mindset because I’ve spent a great deal of time in your country, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

      My house has a fence around it and a solid front door. I like my neighbours, I’ll help them out, even lend them money if they need it. I’ll invite them over and say hello and be polite every day, pick their kids up from school and so on.

      BUT. It doesn’t mean I have to shop in the same place as them. It doesn’t mean that when one of them has an argument with another person that I have to always back them. I don’t have to support the same football team or listen to the same music. The list could go on.

      There are two overriding factors though.

      1. I will never take my fence down or give my neighbours front door keys to my house.

      2. My house may not be the best in the street, my household may not be the richest, happiest, or tidiest. But NO ONE, NO ONE and NO ONE tells me what to do in my own home.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        @DaveM: I understand your statement but rather than a big difference between a British and a continental mindset (e.g. my family in Britain and Holland) and I think that this is more a difference between various British mindsets.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      PvL What a pity! I was right with you, until, “The EU may be called distant, but its democratic processes don’t compare so badly with the UK.” The UK political process may be flawed as you suggest, but the EU, by intent, is anti-democratic to its fingertips; there isn’t any democracy: they continuously change the rules to try to freeze out all but the Europhile soft centre of ‘for’ button daleks who vote for EU policies of which they have had no part in their construction and very little if any prior knowledge.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        @forthurst: Intersting that you would call the European parliament “anti-democratic” and the European Council “anti-democratic” and the Council of the European Union “anti-democratic”. I see no evidence of that.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see European systems of various forms of PR connecting the voters better Peter.
      Countries where you end up with a few Greens holding the reigns of power, or even worse a few extreme right wing parties doing the same.
      Where MPs are placed into your parliaments by their parties after an election, based on some unfathomable maths formula. Members of Parliaments in Europe who therefore have no proper connection to any constituency.
      Systems where you vote for a party not a person and take pot luck who will be your local MP.
      Coalitions of parties where the manifesto one voted for is not the post election manifesto cobbled together after the election, under the duress of a few fringe parties.
      The UK Government needs to try to govern for all the voters and an MP has to try to represents all his or her constituents equally.
      If they govern just for those that elected them they usually fail at the next election.
      We now have another stable period of government after our recent election.
      Some European nations have had dozens of failed coalitions that have broken down mid term leading to economic instability.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        @Edward2: The continental system may feel different for you, but the democratic systems in your devolved parliaments do not need to feel different. They are superior probably because, just like the European parliament, they are from a later date. In the Netherlands, 70000 votes gives you a seat as “people representative” (MP), full stop. No difficult math. So if your government really really wants to govern for all the people, they ask if they may copy part of other parties’ election manifestos? As a minority government which has majority power? I don’t think so. That would be empty talk, just a bit of window dressing. A good step forward might be to reform your national parliament in the direction of your devolved parliaments. And all that is just a national development, for which leaving the EU wouldn’t be required.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      “The EU may be called distant, but its democratic processes don’t compare so badly with the UK.”

      The UK’s system is I agree pretty poor but we can remove a government. The EU clearly has no democracy at all. Not even a sensible Demos. MEPs are clearly a powerless fake veneer and rather an expensive one too.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: you clearly underestimate the power of MEPs. The EP has co-decision power for most European decisions. Collectively they may have more power and influence than their national equivalents.

        • Posted June 2, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Peter,

          ” Collectively they may have more power and influence than their national equivalents”

          If that’s true why are Merkel and Schäuble speaking for the EU on the Greek question?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 2, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

            @petermartin2001: “If that’s true why are Merkel and Schäuble speaking for the EU on the Greek question?”

            According to me, that is because this is an “intergovernemental” issue, just like the “Eurogroup” is an intergovernemental structure. The money lent to Greece doesn’t come from the EU as such but from the 18 countries which are part of the Eurozone.
            This also explains why Cameron isn’t part of these negotiations.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      That would be apart from the absence of a pan-European “demos” as the basis for any pan-European “democratic processes”.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        Various peoples can participate in one democratic system, the Scottish people, the Welsh people the English, are an example. Do they have to have the same language and culture? No, look at Switzerland. There remains a difference with regard to the number of allocated MEPs per national inhabitant. Otherwise Malta, or even the Netherlands would dissapear among the larger population blocks. So out of respect for the national identities and nations, which will always be there, I think this allocation variation is ok.

    • yosarion
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      One person outside each polling booth on the day in a Balaclava with vote Yes get Civil war. job done.
      Though the EU caused the problems in the Balkans, so might just be playing into their hands

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:38 am | Permalink

        @yosarion: Would the idea that the Balkans caused the problems in the Balkans be too far-fetched for you?

        • yosarion
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Tito and others had it sorted until a western country decided to recognize a part of a constitutional state as independent, remind me again who that was

          • Jerry
            Posted June 3, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            @yosarion; “Tito and others had it sorted until a western country decided to recognize a part of a constitutional state as independent”

            Indeed and the west has now made the same sort of mistake in Libya, with even more dire results.

    • Michael Walzer
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Rather refreshing post!

    • Jerry
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      @PvL; “an opinion shared by many millions of continental Europeans,”

      Is it, the last time that was freely tested by the EU the electorate in at least three countries said a big fat “No”, it quite upset the eurocrats in your beloved European Quarter of Brussels, who then contrived to make the people vote time and time again until they got the ‘correct answer’, even then it was decided that asking the Plebs didn’t work so the eurocrats changed the tittle of the troubled document so that it could be ratified like previous Treaties had been – and you call that democratic! Since then, given a free choice, the people of continental Europe have sent more eurosceptics than ever before to the European Parliament as MEPs or to their national parliaments as MPs, if not as part of their national governments.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        @Jerry: the idea that coutries are “forced” to vote again until the correct answer appears, is great fantasy. Countries force themselves, when they don’t like the consequences of their vote. No one outside has that power. Do you really think that the the EU could decide or organise a referendum in Ireland. I cannot. The eurosceptic contingent in the European Parliament has grown into a significant but small minority. It reflects popular opinion much better than you H.o.c. which you are totally free to reform into something even more democratice without leaving the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          The Lisbon Treaty was Merkel’s treaty, originally her “Reform Treaty” embodying almost all the legal contents of the rejected EU constitution in a different form, and above all others she decided that the Irish must be made to vote again and get the answer she wanted. The Irish government was already in the doghouse for a) failing to avoid the referendum in the first place and then b) failing to win it, and there was no way it would stand up to Merkel over that, especially as hardly anybody of any importance in EU circles would have been prepared to come out in its support if it had refused to contemplate a repeat referendum.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          @PvR; “the idea that coutries are “forced” to vote again until the correct answer appears, is great fantasy.”

          Utter europhile drivel, pressure was put on national governments – historical fact.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Peter vL

      As you know I agree with you on the democratic deficit of the UK system. However as there is none what so ever in the EU thats a bit rich. If you think there is democracy in the EU please highlight who is the leader of the opposition and how many votes have been won and lost by the EU rulers . The EU’s democratic processes are non existent and that my friend is one of the major reasons a majority of Brits ( 70% ) want change. I wouldn’t be too complacent about our fellow continental Europeans all being in favour of the EU either. I seem to remember the EU having to rerun a few referendums to get “the right vote”. Wow now that IS democracy …..not

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        @libertarian: the EU doesn’t run or rerun referendums, it hasn’t got that power. Should I also blame the EU because they are running a UK referendum? Rubbish. Only in the more primitive democratic constellations you can have ONE leader of the opposition. In a country like the Netherlands, ,the opposition, and if you like its leader, may vary from topic to topic. I could imagine that with certain topics in the European Parliament, Nigel Farage acts as leader of the opposition. At least in that parliament his voters got a fair representation, being respected in the democratice EU.
        Wanting change is ok, and is already happening.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Agree with your concerns John.

    If we remain a member of the EU, then once again, little by little, year by year, we get sucked in once again with more and more controls and regulations and law being decided by majority vote.

    The only real way is out.

    Hope the EU implodes, before we end the what now seems to be a dash for a decision.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      I think your last sentence is correct and that British patriots ought to be stirring up as much mischief as they can on the continent .

      We should be asking ourselves why no mainland countries have committed to full political union with Germany .

      Let’s call their bluff by challenging the French and Polish to commit to full political union with Germany .

    • matthu
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      All of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg had been gambling on the proposition that no further treaties would ever be needed for a very long time and had miscalculated what would happen if Greece were to deteriorate, for that would surely require treaty change and probably result in referendums right across Europe.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    JR: “Could the UK restore democracy without leaving the EU?”

    The answer is clearly ‘no’. All this obfuscation about renegotiation is just clouding the issue. The main issue for me, right back to 1975, has been self-governance and preservation of our democratic parliamentary democracy. Those determined to keep us in the EU will discuss anything but this, just as they did in 1975.

    There is also the question of trust that the EU would fulfil their obligations. I was reminded by a letter in today’s Telegraph that in 2005 Blair gave up 20% of our rebates which were willingly taken in exchange for reform to the Common Agricultural Policy which never materialised.
    You have tried your best to straddle the position when it is clear that what you and I want cannot be achieved by anything other than leaving the EU.

    I note that on April 9, 1975, the House of Commons voted in favour of staying in the EEC on the new terms prior to referendum in June. Do you expect Cameron will use the same ploy before this referendum?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure he will, if it gets to the point of having something to vote on.

  15. Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    We should do what the French do – whenever it suits them they ignore Brussels and get on with it . As things stand we have only one real solution – get out !

    This am. the extent to which our democracy works is also highlighted by the disproportionate allocation of seats at Westminster ; the FPTP system is flawed and we need to overhaul our electoral approach . Alternative systems have shown that UKIP ought to have finished up with over 50 seats . All the approaches indicated that the Conservatives would have had a majority in any event , however , the SNP would have had significantly less – exactly the way I would have wanted it !

  16. Vanessa
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    It is so ironic that we, in the West, used to have democracy and this is what we keep telling the Middle East they should adopt; but we, in the European Union, have given our democracy away, lock, stock and barrel to the most protectionist, insular and criminal “government” that ever took our taxes and “screwed” us with it.

    Democratic, it is NOT and NEVER will be no matter how many renegotiations Cameron gets! This is why we MUST LEAVE.

  17. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    No, not as we know it. The whole macro-debate on democracy, autonomy and other Greek words has a surreal ring similar to some sci-fi movies.

    Whilst Mr Cameron, Frau Merkel and Mr Juncker probably had very nice dinners discussing crosses on ballot papers, the US Secretary of State Mr Kerry fell off his bicycle discussing important matters of European Security and Iranian nuclear power.

    Meanwhile, an armed robber strolls out of a British jail with spy satellites high in the sky backed up by the mighty forces of internet surveillance without so much as a passport and, utterly unfamiliar with overseas travel, crosses our borders and some European border and phones a British journalist saying he may very well return home to the UK as ” He doesn’t want to have to look over his shoulder all his life. ” Why should he feel that, one may ask. I dare say if he hadn’t used his phone no-one would have known of his Steve McQueen-like Great Escape in the first place.

    It is clear and unclear at the same time how many souls from abroad, are living in the UK and with the postal voting system how many times they each vote in our elections at any one time.

    No… the EU OUT/IN Debate has not descended into farce, it is there already.

    Are we going to have two years in this Debate with the People of IN producing spurious number and statistic after bogus number dragged from thin air or concentrate our minds on the recent Great Escape and what that should signify for us all?

  18. Atlas
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    My short answer to your question John is: “No”

  19. Bill
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Somebody ought to sit down and devise a game to show what would happened at each point along the way if the EU referendum votes Out. If we assume that each country votes in favour of its own self-interest, it might be that the countries that are net receivers from EU largesse would make some concession to the UK rather than lose the £15 bn we give. On the other hand it might be that these countries would then enjoy moving up the EU pecking order (i.e. receive more EU Commissioner seats etc) with the removal of one of the big economies. What we do not know is how nationalism would play out in a supra nationalistic framework.

    Anyway, just as the US military uses war gaming to predict possible scenarios, I hope the British treasury is similarly far sighted.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Under the Cameron plan we would not have our referendum until all the other EU member state governments had formally agreed with the UK government on a package of proposals, whatever they may be, when we would be asked whether we were content to stay in the EU on the revised basis which had been agreed, and if so then the other governments would proceed with their legal steps to bring about the implementation of the package. So there would be the possibility that one or more governments could encounter difficulties doing what they had agreed to do, either because they hadn’t taken enough care to check whether their parliaments would go along with it, or because there had been elections in the meantime, or because they had to put it to a referendum and the electorate rejected it. On the other hand it wouldn’t make much sense for all of the others to go through those legal processes before they knew that the British people had agreed to it.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; You describe the problems of negotiations with 27 separate governments, you make a very good argument for the speedy creation of the USoE!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Usual rubbish, Jerry.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 3, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; You are entitled to your opinion, but that doesn’t change the actual facts, if you object to the UK having to (in effect) get the approval of the each of the other 27 member countries then there is only one solution, a federal EU and thus only the one government/state.

  20. Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    The pro-eu camp paints a very negative picture of our continental friends.

    – the BBC worries that Mr Cameron’s ‘style’ may upset some other European leaders, resulting in a worse deal

    – we are often warned that the eu may restrict trade with the UK if we were outside the eu

    – there is often vague talk of some kind of vindictive backlash from eu members, should we contemplate leaving the eu

    I don’t see much evidence of this kind of childish behaviour coming from other eu members or even from the unelected commission. Yes, there is some hot air vented in the self-styled ‘European parliament’, but nothing that amounts to anything.

    I think that eu-sceptics should point out how unlikely it is that other eu states will somehow try to punish the UK and thereby cut off their noses to spite their faces.

    I am an eu-sceptic but if I was in the other camp I would despair at these lines of argument which are as silly as the old line that we would not need to queue up at the bureau-de-change if we were in the Euro.

    The subject of this blog is far more pertinent and fundamental: Could the UK restore democracy without leaving the EU? Personally I would say that the answer is no.

    However, if we were having a decent debate some tv interviewer should be asking this question of the IN camp. I am not holding my breath though.

  21. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Perhaps ,to be a little flippant , but nevertheless may have significance, is the sudden change in the Eurovision song contest votes , when prior to Maastricht we were considered more powerful and GB was looked up to.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Margaret

      Eurovision Contest is no longer a song contest, its a vote for your friends contest.

      Sad to say we now have rather fewer friends after our interventions in the middle east.

      The fact that we are not members of the Euro, also do not help in this regard.

      Amazing, wherever you go in the World they constantly play UK and US songs and music all the time, but when it comes to a song competition !!!!!!!

      Russia and other countries seem to do rather better.
      Remember the singing grannies !

      Euro vision is now a farce, we should get out of that too.

      No not sour grapes, just a pure and simple fact, where you know in advance who is going to vote for Who.

      Almost as bad as the alledged goings on in FIFA.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        @alan jutson; The Eurovision song contest still does what it was invented to do, and geopolitical voting has always been a problem, worse though has been the politicisation of the contest in more recent years – often coupled to misconception that the contest has something to do with the EU, when in fact it is the child of the EBU.

        The reason the UK doesn’t win is simple, we simply enter crap songs these days, probably the average UK citizen only ever being exposed to over commercialised (often “Tiny-pop”) ultra-safe styles of popular music, hence the average UK entry to Eurovision!

        • daveM
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          “the average UK citizen only ever being exposed to over commercialised (often “Tiny-pop”) ultra-safe styles of popular music”

          This is just the tip of the iceberg, Jerry. It’s not just music, it’s everything. The conspiracy is to turn everyone into bland robots!!

          Whatever happened to the likes of the Sex Pistols or The Smiths? No one’s allowed to get angry anymore, or display a modicum of personality. That attitude even extends as far as the England cricket team re Pieterson!!

          In the words of another great punk band which used to test and push the limits – “Whatever happened to the heroes? No more heroes anymore.”

          • Jerry
            Posted June 3, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

            DaveM; “This is just the tip of the iceberg, Jerry. It’s not just music, it’s everything. The conspiracy is to turn everyone into bland robots!!”

            No conspiracy theory needed, just commercialism and capitalism, why would any music publisher risk loosing their investment on something that might not sell when they can sell a couple and more million CDs/tracks of formula ‘Muzac’.

  22. Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    JR uses the word arguable to suggest that even the original treaty of Rome might allow democratic nation states. No, the words of the preamble and the judicial structure created to execute those words mean that from the beginning there would be no chance of a democratic UK surviving or an independent UK. Period.

  23. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Margaret, yes you are so right. Seems to me like the rest of Europe can’t stand us unless they are receiving our hospitality in the UK of course and then we’re the best thing since sliced bread.

  24. Sean
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    yeah right…. I watch pigs fly passed my window all day long. The Lib-lab-cons are like dogs chasing their own tails, going nowhere, but still where in the EU hell hole. We didn’t get to vote to give up our county, all we got were lies, No democracy, just spin, spin, spin.

  25. Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Almost everyone who contributes here cares about the sovereignty issue but how many of the electorate have really taken this on board ?

    The most important concern to the people of England remains net migration and the PM knows it. Yet his negotiation strategy fails to address the issue of the 50% of it that comes from within the EU.

    It needs to be explained to the rest of the EU and the Brussels elite that that for purely practical reasons we simply cannot continue with net migration running at 250-300,000pa. It causes us problems of space, housing and infrastructure which we cannot possibly address. These problems are getting worse every year.

    Leaving aside the fact that Cameron hasn’t even shown us a credible plan to reduce to “fives of thousands” the 50% of migrants that come to the UK from outside the EU, he knows that without an end to freedom of movement, ( FOM ) he can’t possibly reduce to “fives of thousands” the other 50% that come from within the EU.

    We all know that he is going to get nowhere with curtailing FOM so perhaps we can make the “Out” case simpler for the electorate to understand if we help our kind host to come up with a list of areas we wish to remain involved in.

    We should also include organisations such as Interpol that, while not being EU structures, are important. If we don’t, our opponents will be disingenuous and use scare tactics by warning that we will be left exposed outside them.

    As a starting point, my list of what we want to remain involved with is quite short :

    Free and unfettered Bilateral trade without tariff barriers. *
    Interpol
    NATO

    * NB I have not used the term “Single Market” as membership of that will be used to reintroduce every kind of regulation by the back door.

    For goods that we sell into the EU we will undertake to comply with every rule and regulation that applies to the design and operation of each and every item but we will have nothing to do with any other aspects of the single market such as the working time directive.

    It would be nice to have a seat at the table when these issues are discussed but we don’t necessarily need to be involved in the setting the regulations. As long as everything applies to every country within the EU as well as ourselves, we can reasonably rely on German and other industrial countries to make sure that they are reasonable and sensible.

  26. PaulDirac
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for Brexit ASAP and my issue is WAY out and in the realm of the large IF, but here it is:
    1. Assuming we get some concessions from the EU and the country voted to stay IN, would a future Labour government be able to reverse all the concessions (as Blair did with Thatcher’s rebate).

    2. Assuming we vote OUT, can a future Labour government sign us back into all (or most) of the treaties without re-joining the EU, but creating much of the same effect.

    Same for the ECHR and HRA, if we manage to leave the one and repeal the other.

  27. Stuart B
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    It is the task of the ‘In’ lobby to convince us that sovereignty and democracy are not in the end that important.
    That we worry too much about abstract ideas like freedom and liberty, and not enough about whatever tangible benefits membership of the EU brings.
    They need to persuade us that a China-style surrendering of the political domain to a super-state is genuinely more important than bread and circuses.
    They must demonstrate that being irreversibly subsumed is a positive moral act based on superior moral principles; that enjoying mere freedom of choice in a sovereign state which is only based on a millenium of cultural heritage, is a negotiable asset rather than a birth-right.
    If they can persuade us that the dignity of their cause is genuine; that it generates a greater nobility of purpose than our own nation’s previous history; that it is capable of achieving a superior balance between democracy and power;
    If they can do this, then I will abstain from voting against remaining in the EU.
    I am not holding my breath.

  28. forthurst
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    It is vitally important that our approach to the EU Referendum is on a united front. Partisan blogs that purport to blame, in passing, one party or another for our current entanglements with the EU lack credibility and are counter-productive. If a post deals with the subject purely on the issues, it is far more likely to be given a wider currency than being restricted to the narrow confines of the Conservative Eurosceptic fold. There are more Eurosceptics now in this country than voted for the Conservatives at the last election; let us try to reach out to all these people and more, irrespective of their traditional loyalties, to inform them of all the arguments for leaving the EU and getting our sovereignty back.

  29. Stuart B
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Apologies – my previous post should have said:

    ..”that a China-style surrendering of the political domain to a super-state is genuinely less important than bread and circuses.”

    !!

  30. Ray Veysey
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    “The business community seems to be surprisingly keen on all the rules and regulations of the single market when it comes to making any decision about the UK’s future.”
    This a sweeping statement that is completely false, not all the business community are “surprisingly keen” at all, only those who are actively subsidised by the EU or one of the EU countries like Renault Nissan in France, and Airbus in France and Germany and the lobbying groups also supported like our own CBI and BBC. Many other very large groups and international Think tanks believe the opposite. Sceptic he maybe, but Mr Redwood is firmly in the Cameron/Chamberlain camp and will be cheering the valueless piece of paper he returns with.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    With all due respect, JR, I think that in the interests of cross-party harmony in the Out camp it would be necessary for Tories to acknowledge that the problems didn’t start with the treaties agreed under the Labour government elected in 1997.

    For example I will once again pull out the table here:

    http://en.euabc.com/upload/Final_Tables_by_Klaus_Heeger_pdf.pdf

    “NUMBER OF QUALIFIED MAJORITY VOTING (QMV) ARTICLES INTRODUCED OR EXTENDED, OR OF UNANIMITY ARTICLES MOVED TO QMV, BY THE DIFFERENT EUROPEAN TREATIES”

    “Treaty of Rome (plus extensions) 38

    Single European Act 12

    Maastricht (Treaty on European Union) 30

    Treaty of Amsterdam 24

    Treaty of Nice 46

    EU Constitution 68

    Treaty of Lisbon 68”

    Of course the last two entries are equivalent, the EU Constitution having never come into force because it was rejected by the French and the Dutch, but its legal contents having been decanted into the Lisbon Treaty.

    Now it would certainly be possible to say that these are just numbers, and some of the lost vetoes were more important than others, but the central fact is that the process of abolishing vetoes started under Thatcher, not Blair, and because she didn’t put the Single European Act to a referendum in the same way that it was put to a referendum in Ireland that set the precedent that the government and Parliament could vary the terms of the original contract directly approved in the 1975 referendum without going back to the people to ask them whether they agreed with those changes being made.

    It is also interesting to note that when the government pamphlet recommending a Yes vote in the 1975 referendum gave the reassurance that:

    “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests. Ministers from the other Governments have the same right to veto.”

    that was not strictly true even then; in fact if you search for the word “qualified” in the text of the 1957 Treaty of Rome you will find that there are over 60 occurrences.

  32. Chris
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    The answer to your question Mr Redwood is No.
    Worth looking at Tsipras’s words about the workings of the EU from his first hand experience of the Greek debt negotiations with the Troika. Extract taken from Le Monde article yesterday (acknowledgement to John Ward):
    “..The lack of agreement so far is not due to an alleged inexorable, intransigent and incomprehensible attitude from Greece but rather the persistence of certain institutional actors in continuing to submit absurd proposals showing no awareness of the recent democratic choice of the Greek people….this suggests a complete abolition of democracy in Europe. It means ultimately the authority to create a technocratic monster, leading to a Europe totally alien to its founding values….For those countries that refuse to bow to the new power the solution is simple: Harsh punishment. Mandatory austerity, even more restrictions on the movement of capital, disciplinary sanctions, fines, and even parallel currency. A new European power will be built at the expense of member States, and the first victim is to be Greece. If, however, anyone imagines that this decision concerns only Greece, they’re making a massive error. I would suggest such people reread Hemingway’s masterpiece: “For whom the bell tolls”’.”

  33. turbo terrier
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    At the end of the day it is all about gut feelings.

    They will stitch CMD up and what ever he gets they will just change the rules a couple of months after the vote. Lamb to the slaughter.

    Would you trust or buy a car from any of them?

    Simple!!!!!!!

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  34. ian wragg
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Just been reading about the interview with Junckers. I think he’s spot on when he says a
    yes vote will give the green light for Cameron to pursue full integration with the EU including joining the Euro.
    I’m sure there is a grain of truth in the story that the treasury is preparing for a Euro date of 2020.
    CMD’s ploy will destroy the Tory Party without a doubt.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everything in your second paragraph, JR, which is in fact is pretty much what you were recommending in November 2013 here:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2013/11/29/restore-the-veto-over-eu-laws/

    However while it would be a giant step forward I’m not sure it would be enough.

  36. matthu
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    As his country’s teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, Greek leader Alexis Tsipras claimed Europe is at a crossroads and warned of the consequences if EU creditors are allowed to force “absurd” reforms on the cash-strapped nation.

    He also delivered a rallying cry for Europeans to resist EU officials, who are constructing a body of “super” officials and eroding the freedom and democracy of the eurozone’s member states.

    Mr Tsipras said those who believe that the current debt crisis only concerns Greece are making “a grave mistake.”

    He envisioned a future where a “super” finance minister of the eurozone wielded unlimited power and the ability to reject budgets of sovereign states that are not aligned with its “extreme” ideals.

    Mr Tsipras said a non-elected EU superpower is already in the making and seeking to serve up Greece as its “first victim”, in order to make an example to other countries who consider not following the discipline of eurozone masters.

    His words come as Athens is in dire need of an EU loan of €7.2billion (£5.6billion) to stave off bankruptcy, along with economic and political turmoil.

    Meanwhile

    David Cameron wants to use the upcoming EU referendum to ‘dock’ Britain permanently to Brussels, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has claimed

    Let’s hope Juncker joins Tony Blair on a whistlestop tour of the UK, persuading voters to vote for IN.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      ‘David Cameron wants to use the upcoming EU referendum to ‘dock’ Britain permanently to Brussels, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has claimed’

      Words to chill the blood from a man that has just had a lengthy weekend stay with Mr Cameron at Chequers. Cameron must have really played hard ball then.

      We should be used to the process by now by which England is slowly chipped away and dismantled piece by piece.

      -Initial optimism often cheered by those who really should know better
      -Critics dismissed by the group-thinkers for being negative or just ‘cranks’
      -Cowardice and back tracking
      -Disappointment
      -Defeat
      -Pretending the crushing defeat is really a victory
      -Critics proven correct but sidelined.

      It’s like the Conservatives are taking penaltys in a world cup final and they are sending in the teams German tea lady to take the shots.

      Yet some of the sceptics continue with the wait and see strategy ..instead of calling Cameron out and demanding he provides a REAL new deal

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      There’s no point in Tsipras and other Greeks complaining about the neutering of Greek democracy by the eurozone while still wanting to stay in the eurozone.

  37. libertarian
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Margaret

    The British music industry is the number one in the world, more British acts have sold more music than any other nation. The Eurovision is a BBC con job were we submit a crap song in order to give the rest a chance. If it was important we would win it every single year

    • Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      BUT looking at the nations who vote ,it is certainly not objective and what I am suggesting has nothing to do with the quality of the music, but rather the bias towards groups of countries voting for their likeness. If this tendency is transposed into the political arena then one gets an idea of how EU voting may proceed. Countries/ people claim to be objective , but the majority are power seeking. For example here are a few philosophical positions ‘ (1) the more objective I am and can persuade, then this will give me power’ (2) The more I can discredit my colleagues/friends , and furthermore persuade then this will give me power) and again but rather more crude (3) The more I can hurt people either with physical violence , ridicule or emotional violence and persuade , then this will give me power

  38. matthu
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan has a brilliant article today

    http://www.capx.co/fifa-the-eu-and-the-un%e2%80%8e-are-riddled-with-crony-corporatism/

    “All international bureaucracies tend to be self-serving, and for the same reason: there is nothing to stop them. An entrepreneur has to worry about his customers, an MP about his voters. But a UN official, like a FIFA delegate or a Eurocrat, doesn’t really answer to anybody. He can concentrate on making himself comfortable.

    Now ask yourself this. Who are the biggest supporters of the EU project? What kinds of people, in the 28 member states, are keenest on the Brussels racket? By and large, they are the local equivalents of those bespoke-suited Eurocrats: big bankers, heads of mega-charities and NGOs, cartel politicians, civil servants, spokesmen for trade and professional associations, lobbyists, directors of multi-national corporations.

    Does Britain want free trade and democracy, or corporatism and crony capitalism? I know which side I’m on.”

  39. Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    John Iam not clear on this one. If we managed to get UK autonomy on deciding borders , fishing rights etc ,as you mentioned ,how could those rights be taken away from us again. Surely there could not be new laws to over ride this. If as I understand there is a potential for this then there could be underwriting to prevent this?

    • David Price
      Posted June 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      A very good question considering how we were finagled into the project in the first place

  40. Mark W
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Just a slight shift in topic but I need to ask a rather urgent question regarding the UK withdrawing from the European convention on human rights.

    I seen a lot of fuss from politicians and commentators arguing that we should remain in as it provides vital safeguards.

    What I need to know is am I safe travelling to the USA and Canada soon? I’ve been several times to both and always felt safe given their history but from what I hear about not being in the European convention it must follow that they are dangerous places and I and millions of others have just been lucky like travellers to Australia, Jamica, New Zealand etc. Is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office likely to publish a statement with how foolhardy we are travelling to countries not signed up??

  41. Ken Moore
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood rightly says it will be difficult to negotiate a settlement that restores democratic control – in my view it is an impossibility given Mr Cameron is leading the negotiation. Anyone who thinks differently only needs to listen to those closest to Mr Cameron.

    Is it now, not time to stop the pretence that there is any merit in this re-negotiation strategy in it’s current form ?. We have been chided for our negativity in the NO camp but it is fully justified.
    Already we know Cameron is toying with the idea of ensuring cabinet members campaign to stay IN only. This is an outrage. Even the biased referendum in 75 allowed ministers campaigning on the IN and OUT side.

    Mr Junker himself after meeting with Mr Cameron said “Cameron wants to dock his country permanently to Europe.” That is what we have been saying – that the result of the negotiation is pre-ordained by Mr Cameron who is attempted to game the referendum to get the result he wants.

    Mr Clarke on the Sunday Politics said of Mr Cameron ‘He’s not asking to repatriate any powers’. ‘The vast number of ministers and mp’s are pro Europeans’.

    The sceptic side need to get the gloves off and stop patiently waiting while Mr Cameron continues with this ridiculous charade that is fooling nobody. It is a stunt dreamed up by a man that is a master of windy rhetoric and low in principle – a dangerous combination as we have seen before.
    Why haven’t any senior Conservatives broken ranks and gone on the record to condemn Mr Cameron’s feeble window dressing and demand real change ?

    If the words of Junker and Clarke chill the blood that is nothing to how we will feel when we wake up post referendum to find ourselves locked in a socialist EU state more or less indefinitely.

    • Chris
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      This is a fight to restore the sovereignty of the UK and it seems clear that Cameron has no intention of doing this. The eurosceptic MPs cannot afford to give Cameron the green light for using the referendum to lock us in to the EU permanently. There is little time to act, but I fear that those MPs who want to restore our sovereignty have been duped by Cameron and his true intentions, and are dangerously complacent about our current situation. It is time to show some real backbone, however uncomfortable that is, so close after an election in which Cameron managed to scrape home against one of the weakest leaders of the Labour Party. It was not a victory to be proud of and there are many “lessons to be learned” by Tory MPs about the nature of this “victory”.

  42. Posted June 2, 2015 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I just read that Ken Clarke has said “He (Cameron) is not asking to repatriate any powers (from the EU)”.

    It may be a silly question, but just what’s the point of the re-negotiation if we aren’t asking for anything we don’t already have? What are the negotiating teams going to do all day? Discuss European football?

    I’d like David Cameron to clearly state what he’s asking for.

  43. David Price
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    No, the whole point of the EU is to remove national governments with all authority vested in the unelected council and EU bureacracy.

    If we want some influence over our own affairs, economy and future then we need to leave the EU.

  44. Graham Wood
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Could the UK restore democracy without leaving the EU? Clearly no, as JR and almost all bloggers here concede.
    Clearly leaving the EU is not on the political agenda from this government, only an unattainable “reform” leaving the status quo and an unrestored democracy intact.
    Like rabbits caught in car headlights the ‘sceptic community appears to be mesmerised and resigned to losing a future referendum, but that is not surprising or unrealistic given the scale of the opposition which is already being mounted. But that should not be a reason for impotence at any level.
    No amount of Brexits, Flexcits, and other theoretical answers can substitute for actual political power, which still lies with parliament, and with the Tory government, even with a slim majority.
    But there is another route out and one which cuts the Gordian knot of EU hegemony which also has the virtue of “not frightening the horses” IMO.
    Power and control can still be wrested out of the hands of the EU if the political will is there to exercise it, and there may be a sufficient number of Tory ‘rebels’ to implement this suggested course:
    It is to initially amend the ECA 1972 as to massively diminish the power of the EU to ‘make our laws’. The amendment need only ensure that all EU legislation is subject to parliamentary scrutiny (already the case but unenforceable under the ’72 Act), and what is not deemed in the national interest over ALL policy areas is accepted or rejected.
    I understand a number of Tory MPs have already backed the principle, but not thus far any policy to amend the Act.
    I believe this is not only doable, and effective in terms of returning power back to our own elected parliament, but also that it would be popular with the electorate.
    This is as near to leaving the EU which is politically possible at present without actually implementing the ‘nuclear option’ of repealing the Act.
    Once the Act has been amended and a selective process is in place and working, then in time the Act can be safely left to wither on the vine and repealed as being superfluous to requirements.
    To stop interference by the ECJ and the charge that it is ‘illegal’ under the treaties, Parliament should legislate to give to our Supreme Court status a higher authority over all other courts, and henceforward all laws passed by Parliament would be superior to all EU laws – de facto and de jure.
    Given the almost certain victory for remaining ‘in’ due to the massed power of corporatism (as Dan Hannan has superbly shown), the media, CBI, the BBC, and most of our politicians of all parties, then I believe this is the only course to pursue.

    Reply. There is no majority to do this in the Commons nor in the Lords

  45. Graham Wood
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Given the very likely scenario that the UK will remain ‘in’ the EU there is another possible course for a Brexit that should be considered.
    At present the eurosceptic community appears to be mesmerised and resigned to losing a the future referendum, but that is not surprising or unrealistic given the scale of the opposition to the UK leaving which is already being mounted. But that should not be a reason for impotence at any level.
    No amount of theorising as to the mechanics of leaving the EU can substitute for actual political power, which still lies with parliament, and with the present government, even with a slim majority.
    Assuming for a moment that the referendum is lost by the ‘outs’ there is another route available and one which cuts the Gordian knot of EU hegemony. It has the virtue of “not frightening the horses” as being too radical a step in the current political climate. Power and control of our governance can still be wrested out of the hands of the EU if the political will is there to exercise it, and given a sufficient number of Tory ‘rebels’ to implement this suggested course:
    It is to initially amend the ECA 1972 as to massively diminish the power of the EU to ‘make our laws’. The amendment need only ensure that all EU legislation is subject to parliamentary scrutiny (already the case but unenforceable under the ’72 Act). What is not deemed in the national interest by way of legislation emanating from the EU in ALL policy areas could then be filtered for acceptance or rejection. (I understand a number of Tory MPs have already backed the principle, but not thus far any policy to amend the Act).
    I believe this is not only doable, and effective in terms of returning power back to our own elected parliament where it rightly belongs, but also that it would be popular with the electorate.
    This is as near to leaving the EU which is politically possible at present without actually implementing the ‘nuclear option’ of repealing the Act.
    Once the Act has been amended and a selective process is in place and working, then in time the Act can be safely left to wither on the vine and repealed as being superfluous to requirements.
    To stop interference by the ECJ and the charge that it is ‘illegal’, Parliament should legislate to give to our Supreme Court status and higher authority over all other courts, and henceforward all laws passed by Parliament would be superior to all EU laws – de facto and de jure.
    That initiates Brexit and then begins the longer task of uncoupling 40 odd years of EU law and treaty enactments.

  46. Gary
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Richard1

    the Thatcher-Major proposal would have been a step in the right direction

    lifelogic businesses don’t want to be currency speculators, if they did they would move into the the currency speculation business. That’s why they want to stay in a single currency zone, where there major trading partners are.

    libertarian

    gold pays no interest, it must therefore flow to the most productive enterprises to gain an investment return. As it should be. Also gold is not rationed by weight, but by price. The amount of gold is not the issue, the price/value is.

    vested interests involved in the massive interest rate speculation will not let that go, and it’s killing us.

  • About John Redwood


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

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