The UK should not pay a penny more to the EU

The UK is constantly being mugged by the EU.In recent years the UK state has had to pay fines in excess of £500 million for infringing EU rules. We have recently been faced with an additional bill for regular contributions because our economy has grown faster than others and is bigger than they originally calculated. Now they want the UK to stand behind a bail out for Greece, when the UK has an agreement with the EU that it will not participate in any Euro bail out.
The main money for Greece has been provided under the auspices of the EFSF and the ESM. These funds are for Euro members only and are provided by Euro members only. So far so good. Then up pops the Commission and suggests that Greece’s next “bridging” loan of maybe 12 bn Euros should come from the EFSM, which is money provided by all 28 member states of the EU to an EU country in financial stress. The money is borrowed by the EU, and member states stand behind the market borrowings. The UK government is right to reject the  use of this mechanism for the special problems of a struggling Euro member. It looks as if the UK has now received legal assurances that we will not be liable for any of this money, and will expect full collateral against the amount put up by Euro area countries, along with watertight text.

Were the Commission to persist and to push it through without protection for the UK on a qualified majority vote which the UK lost, the UK should refuse to pay. If the EU tried this The UK Parliament should enact a one clause Bill amending the 1972 European Communities Act to make clear we do not pay any Euro bail out monies and would not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court on this matter.

The EU is free with its economic advice,telling the UK to cut its budget deficit and to get it below 3% of GDP. This advice is incompatible with its constant demands for more taxpayers money from the UK and its own spendthrift ways. Every penny we send to the EU is borrowed, to be repaid later by UK taxpayers. The sum needs to be cut.

It is difficult to understand why the EU and the Euro Group think they have more chance of succeeding with this latest Greek loan than with the previous ones, or how they think this is going to be repaid. They are lending more money to a country which is already in default with the IMF and the EFSF, as the EU’s own institution has made clear. They may want to use the EFSM rather than the ESM at this juncture because it seems to avoid the need for Parliamentary votes in the Euro area countries pledging the money, but as they intend to make longer term loans through the ESM they need Parliamentary votes on that. It’s a bizarre money go round linked to an economic policy for Greece which does not work.

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96 Comments

  1. Peter Richmond
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Could not agree more with this. But Mr Cameron yet again seems to give in to Brussels demands. But all this can only support those who seek to leave the EU. When will this referendum take place?

    • Hope
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      JR, you wrote this about the £1.7 billion extra demand made by Brussels last October. Cameron tried to deceive the public he would not pay, and true to form did so willingly.

      • John C.
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Hope- True to form, indeed. Surely everyone knows by now that he is all bluster, that he always goes back on his word some time later, when the dust has settled and he assumes (quite rightly) that no-one will notice.
        You can bet, with utter certainty, that anything the E.U.demands, they will get from Cameron. He will make tub-thumping speeches, he will jut out his jaw in a display of bulldog defiance and a few weeks later we will discover he has quietly slipped them whatever they demand.

        • Hope
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          Cameron had the gaul to to include in his Bloomberg speech and the Tory manifesto! What I find astonishing is the way he slammed Gordon Brown and Labour for political gain and did exactly the same! He still follows and uses Labour policy, energy, economics, nom doms etc.

          Cameron now wants to fulfil a regret of Blair to review/get rid of the Freedom Of Information Act. It was Cameron who claimed openness was the best disinfectant! Look at the panel selected hardly bastians of openness. Straw should be no where near any such panel after (words left out ed) and role in the Iraq war.

          Cameron has presided over a clamp down on freedom of speech in the press which lasted 300 years, snooping on private emails, raiding personal bank accounts without proper judicial process, fudged Chilcot report, fudged judicial review of establishment paedophiles rings, Saville investigation in the BBC, employed Coulson as press officer – convicted of hacking, numerous broken promises, deliberately trying to deceive the public with extra payments to the EU, underhand behaviour trying to get rid of the Speaker at the HoC, HoC votes against bombing Syria while he lets them engage in any case and the Lybia fiasco. Is his substandard behaviour befitting a PM? I think FIO needs to be opened up even more with people like him in public office. I would not believe a word he says.

  2. petermartin2001
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    To function effectively, the eurozone needs a fiscal mechanism for the surplus countries to recycle those surplus euros. Germany and Holland run trade surpluses in euros of 7.5% and 10% of GDP respectively, in their current account. Supposedly well educated finance ministers of those countries then wonder why their trading partners run out of euros!

    The UK neither uses the euro nor runs a surplus in its trading account. It runs a deficit of approximately 6% of GDP. For both reasons there is no justification, whatsoever, for the EU to require the UK to make any contribution to any Greek so-called “bail-out.”

  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Yet another difficult day for anti-EU Europeans, but understandable: If you are against the police, of course you would rather not pay for a speeding fine. If you especially dislike part of your club (the EU club of 28 countries contains an EZ club of 19 countries) you don’t like this kind of 3 month relatively small bridging loan, even though you’ve been guatanteed to get your little money back after the 3 months. When you’re anti, you have to behave anti. But even if you don’t like the 28club and you don’t like helping friends, no rules are being applied that the UK itself hasn’t agreed to. It’s all legal. Like any other poor or rich EU country the UK contributes a mere 1% of its GDP and apart from the UK economy benefiting from EU membership, it even enjoys a rebate on its contribution. Little reason to complain, unless you’re “anti” anyway.
    Whether this current approach (Greece and 18 other democracies voting for a difficult path to new negotiations) is going to work remains an open question for me. But it seems that all the 19 parliaments want to give it a (last?) try.

    Reply We had an assurance the UK would not have to pay for any Euro bail outs as we decided rightly not to join the Euro. THis type of conduct makes more UK people want to leave the EU

    • Jerry
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      PvL; “Yet another difficult day for anti-EU Europeans, but understandable: If you are against the police, of course you would rather not pay for a speeding fine.”

      Strange analogy… As Mr Redwood said, twice, the UK had assurances that the UK would not be held responsible in any way for the debts etc. of the EZ – oh and yes, to follow your analogy, if someone gets “fitted up” by the police they do tend to be rather anti police from there-after!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry: Maybe not such a strange analogy – the first sentence in this blog is about having to pay a fine.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 2:40 am | Permalink

          And how much has Germany and Holland been fined for their mercantilist approach to the common monetary union which generates massive ILLEGAL external trade surpluses?

          The German and Dutch populations do not win, nor do their trading partners who end up losing too many euros. Euros which they need to run their economies. Their only temporary remedy is to borrow some more, but which, of course, puts them into debt, so forcing them to break the rules too. But, whereas Germany and Holland aren’t punished, the debtor nations are.

          It is an insane situation. But is it a case of economic delusions, on the part of the persecutors of the EU debtor nations, or is it a case of criminal insanity?

          • Hope
            Posted July 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            Oh dear PVL, you seem to forget w joined an EEC for trade not to become a region of an EU superstate. The UK politicians lied and deceived the public. They Continue to do so. Those of us who see the reality of the dictatorship do not want it. It is not anti Europe we love European countries with their own identity we do not want an EU imposed dictatorship that our forebears fought to prevent in the last world war. The Dutch were not that quick off the mark, like now they will come around in the end.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: Calling it “paying for a Euro bail-out” is a bit exaggerated (IMHO) as it concerns just a small participation in an only three month bridging loan with the guarantee that you’ll have your money back after that.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          But a bridging loan as part of a deal agreed without any input from the UK. This Eurozone business, pure and simple. So far as we are concerned the drachma and no bridging loan would have been a better course for most. But perhaps not for Germany.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            @JoeSoap: Greece hasn’t opted for a Grexit and its people by and large want to stay within the eurozone.
            Some Germans (i.e. finance minister Schäuble) keeps talking about a temporary exit from the euro, hoping that Greece would want that too, but no. It seems that all the 19 governments want to avoid a grexit.

      • turbo terrier
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Fitted up. Now thats a phrase from the past but honest to God how true.

        This time the policeman is the EU totally led and influenced by Germany

        • Jerry
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

          @turbo terrier; In truth it’s just eurocrats from were ever, many in Germany are not happy either, even their finance minister is reported to have been willing to let Greece go and just deal with the fall-out (and he would not have aired that opinion without at least a nod of agreement from Angela Merkel surely?), but of course the eurocrats want to protest their project, their reason for being so once again more Fudge cake has been made.

    • Hope
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Why would anyone in their right mind lend money to a country knowing that it could not pay the money back and would cause further untold misery on the people of that country rather than support an alternative to help it? This is in addition to publicly stating that the UK would not be involved in any bail out directly or indirectly. Cameron”loaned” Ireland £7 billion, and indirect, if not direct bail out. He then tried to gain political capital to publicly insult Gordon Brown who he claimed agreed to this. It transpires Cameron made no substantive legal change to the existingposition contrary to what he claimed, went along with what was agreed and ended up doing exactly the same when Greece was in a financially worse position! The one and only Cameron! Anyone trust the lead negotiator in EU reform?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        @Hope: It is not going to be a lot of money, and you are guaranteed to have it back after only 3 months and this guarantee is given by wealthy EU countries so doesn’t have to come from Greece.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          If it’s not a lot of money why is it needed at all?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            Because Greece has to pay this to the creditors (some interest I suppose).

          • Jerry
            Posted July 19, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            @PvL; The IMF seems to disagree…

          • APL
            Posted July 21, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

            PvL: “Because Greece has to pay this to the creditors ”

            Why?

            The loans are extended on palpably false terms. There is no way Greece can realistically pay them back, it’s GDP is dwarfed by the size of the borrowing.

            The people of Greece are being ‘frog marched’ into debt slavery. To bail out Mercedes, EDF and ECB.

            It’s wrong and, not a term I use often, immoral.

        • David Price
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 1:59 am | Permalink

          The “guarantee” is from an organisation that has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to meet it’s own promises and commitments, let alone laws.

          The “guarantee” is worthless.

          Look at it another way, if these wealthy countries are able to offer a guarantee to pay us in the event Greece defaults, why don’t they simply provide the money to their own club member in the first place?

          • Hope
            Posted July 19, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            Cameron stated the UK would not be involved at all. That means at all. It turns out to be utter rubbish. This is very significant no matter what the sum is involved. Cameron already wastes considerable sums of taxpayers’ cash on the EU and overseas aid. Not one penny more. If he wants to waste his money absolutely fine, but not mine.

    • Graham
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Peter

      Be a good chap and tell us which part the the EU Empire is paying your salary. Unless I know this it is almost impossible to take anything you say as nothing but sponsored propaganda.

      I have no political allegiance other than believing that the EU is nothing but a resurrection of communism – but with poorer quality dictators.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        @Graham: You do get tedious don’t you?
        My pension comes from a telecoms company and I have never worked for a European institution. Like many Dutch people though, I do read good papers, I speak some languages and I have a lot of life experience.
        You on the contrary seem to suffer form distrust, not the best guide in life.

        • Jerry
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          @PvL; “[Graham] You do get tedious don’t you?”

          Cough…

          I might not agree with Graham with regards “a resurrection of communism”, somehow I think the people of the old GDR and Poland etc. who fought against communism might have twigged by know but he does make a valid general point never the less.

          Oh and PvL, yes having miss-trust all the time is unhealthy, but so is having nothing but total trust like you do, it’s not only unhealthy but could be potentially fatal.

        • Hope
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Good papers? I suppose you mean those who unconditionally support the EU monstrosity. What you claim is wrong. If it were correct no need to involve all countries in the EU only those foolish enough to be in the death trap of the Euro. A fanatical scheme that is clearly not sustainable without help from countries around the world. Oh, perhaps this is what it should be trade with countries around the world while retaining sovereign democracies.

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Remember how before Glasnost the Labour Party wanted Britain to become allies with Russia ?

        What must serious senior Russian’s have made of delegations of jokers from the Labour Party , just as they themselves were losing all enthusiasm for communism ?

        • Jerry
          Posted July 19, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          @ADS; You seem to be getting confused, wasn’t it Mrs Thatcher and Reagan/Bush Snr. who wanted closer relations with Russia (or more precisely the then USSR), and that is how and why “Glasnost” came about.

          By the late 1980s Militant etc who had been pushing for such a Labour policy had been ousted, those who had not been expelled were more interested in Cuba, more than likely seeing it as a way to split the UK and USA relationship.

  4. Jerry
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    “If the EU tried this The UK Parliament should enact a one clause Bill amending the 1972 European Communities Act to make clear we do not pay any Euro bail out monies and would not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court on this matter.”

    Totally agree that the UK is seen as nothing but a cash-cow by the EU, and it has to stop but would your suggestion above not be in breach of EU rules that we have, willingly or not, signed up to, thus such a vote would in effect be a unilateral Brexit – why not just repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and be done?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Nope, it would be a vote to disapply just one part of EU law, not all of it.

      • Jerry
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; It’s one hell of a fundamental disagreement, not being subservient to the will of the European Court!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, the EU treaties and laws are being broken all the time with no consequences for the perpetrators. The important thing is that if/when UK ministers break EU law they do it with the approval of Parliament so that our national law is not broken. And once upon a time Cameron agreed with this, in May 2006 he even gave official Tory party support to an amendment tabled by Bill Cash MP for the purpose of authorising ministers to disapply EU laws. You can see numerous senior Tories voting “Aye” to that amendment on May 16th 2006 in Division No 239 at Column 945 here:

          http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060516/debtext/60516-0017.htm

          • Jerry
            Posted July 19, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; One thing “breaking the law”, another thing entity writing into British law a clause that instructs the government to break EU law come what may – can you not see the difference?

            It’s like being caught for speeding, going to court, admitting the offence but then telling the Judge that as you do not believe in the speed limit you not only have no intent of paying the fine but will carry on ignoring the speed limit. It would be taken as a contempt of court!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            It says something about your attitude, Jerry, that you will even compare the UK to a speeding motorist. I increasingly suspect that you are in fact a Liberal Democrat.

            The UK is not a speeding motorist, it is a sovereign state, and its supreme legal authority is Parliament. People are prosecuted and punished for speeding because it is the will of Parliament that they should be. It is always open to Parliament to change its mind and decide that motorists should no longer be punished for speeding, or change the conditions under which that happens. But while it is the will of Parliament that people should be punished for speeding it would be quite wrong for the police and CPS and courts to ignore the will of Parliament and turn a blind eye to those who speed on the roads, that would undermine the rule of law and it would hold Parliament in contempt.

            Likewise ministers (and other public authorities) in the UK must comply with judgements of the ECJ (and also the ECHR) because, and only because, Parliament has said that they must, and again it would be wrong for ministers to ignore the judgements of those foreign courts in defiance of the will of Parliament. That would undermine the rule of the law which is most important, our national law.

            But once again it is still open to Parliament to amend its previous Acts, as suggested above, so that ministers would then be properly authorised, or even instructed, to disregard all or some of the judgements of those foreign courts, and that is the correct way to proceed to maintain the rule of our national law.

            Of course it is not open to speeding motorists to do the same thing because they are subject to the law, they do not make the law as Parliament does.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Jerry

      For once I totally agree with you

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Jerry.

      Parliament is stuffed full with lawyers – don’t they ever read the small print?

      It’s the old story – if you can’t take a joke then you shouldn’t have signed up.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but doubtless & true to form, Cameron will cave in, or accept guarantees that will later prove worthless in EU courts. We shall see but were we not given CAP reform guarantees a while back in return for giving up the rebate? Has he actually decided what powers he wants back from the EU yet, or is he still muttering about pathetic trivia such as being able to restrict benefits to migrants for a month or two.

    • Hope
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Any assurance is worthless if the EU broke an grew meant. Why do they think any assurance to underwrite will be okay? Cameron needs to be held to account, it was written in his manifesto, he told us many times the UK will not be involved in bail out directly or indirectly. This is could not be clearer. It transpires it was not legally enforceable and the UK will be involved even with any alleged underwriting. He is incompetent or a liar.

      We read today our troops are involved in bombing Syria after parliament voted against it. Fallon is trying to spin this is somehow different! What if they are shot down, captured and burnt alive like other pilots? What action would this precipitate? How will this enhance and threaten our security further from terrorists? Cameorn knew and has not told parliament or the public. You really cannot believe a word he says even when British lives are at stake.

      • matthu
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Cameron has surely undermined any prospect of holding out any cast-iron or other promise when it comes to the referendum.

      • John C.
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Surely there is a difference. We have decided to bomb the other side. It’s a laugh, isn’t it?

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Fallon is a competent minister .

        This might give Dave an excuse to sack him .

        Dave probably arranged to have the info leaked .

  6. agricola
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Very well put, and the market reaction places the Euro at 1.44 = £1.00. A very good opinion thermometer.

    A bizarre thought, is your leader waiting for the party conference to recant on his love of the EU warts and all. It would certainly be a headline grabber. It could be his defining moment.

    • John C.
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      agricola- Bizarre indeed, and totally fantastical. No more ardent servant of the E.U. exists on this planet.

  7. Timaction
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I was discussing this recently and the mechanism’s for loans and repayment are getting ever more confusing. Are the new loans to repay the old loans or new money? Is it right that under the existing treaties that loans cannot be written off? The IMF have made it clear that Greece will not be able to support this and the previous loans without £50 billion being written off. The repayment schedule needs to be kicked down the road by 20 or 30 years. I get the distinct impression this is just a mechanism to kick the can down the road again whilst the Greek people suffer.

  8. Old Albion
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I’m not a gambling man JR. But i’ll bet a fiver the (dis)UK pays toward this latest bail- out. Cameron will start off with bluster then capitulate, just like the last time.

    Quote, (Cameron) we will not be paying any of this money (the addition based upon the (dis)UK growth) He then immediately paid half and consented the other half be removed from our rebate.

    P.S. When will we be hearing from you on the subject of MP’s pay?

  9. Richard1
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Well if they really come up with such an absurd demand it should greatly strengthen David Cameron’s hand in his negotiation, and will make life even tougher for those arguing for Euro federalism in the UK (the broad left, the TUC, the CBI the Church of England etc). Certainly the govt should say no. It should also be pointed out that the concept of a ‘bridging’ loan is a bridge to a defined take-out of the loan. Greece has no such plans. The bridging loan will just be taken out at maturity with another bridging loan. Greece is bankrupt. The sooner that is recognised by the EU and acted upon accordingly the better for all.

  10. Pete
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Does anyone, anywhere, expect spineless Dave to stand up against the EU?
    Our governments have had a long and almost unbroken history of caving into whatever Brussels wants and Dave just isn’t the man to change that.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I thought we had already paid into the EFSM (whatever that is) so we do not have much chance to refuse.

    I guess they can by majority vote alter this finds use, and if that is the case they simply just take it.

    The fact that you imply that we have a guarantee that it will not be at risk should Greece fail to pay it back (with other borrowed money) surely means we cannot stop it being used for this new purpose.

    Pray tell me why the EU is holding our taxpayer money in this fund in the first place.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      oops

      “Funds use” not finds

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Pray tell me why the EU is holding our taxpayer money in this fund in the first place.

      Indeed, ones assumes because the one or other of the many recent EUphile governments idiotically agreed to it.

  12. Richard1
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    In an excellent piece in the FT Stefan Wagstyl, a good economics writer, makes the same point as you that Greece is now a protectorate of the EU / EZ. He points out that based on the experience of Eastern European countries and even Germany itself post WW2, this is exactly the opposite of what’s needed: all it does is help to perpetuate the myth that Greece is suffering as a result of external forces (the Turks, the Nazis, now ‘neo-liberalism’ imposed by the EU). He makes the point that whether Greece remains in the euro or exits is not the important thing – what’s important is that real market-oriented reforms have the support of the Greek population. With the election of a nationalist-Communist govt it’s clear they do not at the moment. To me it’s clear that the only way is to allow and insist that Greece does stand on its own feet, and step one for that is to leave the euro.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    With our arch negotiation team of Dave and Gideon we will huff and puff and ultimately cough up.
    The EU would appear to be crumbling around the edges and resorting to even more preposterous ways to alienate the sheeple.
    Let’s help it self destruct sooner rather than later.

  14. Matt
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I understand that the agreement made by the PM with the EU that the EFSM is not legally binding. It is however a promise that was made. There has been criticism, not least on here, of the PM for expecting the EU to keep that promise rather than getting a legally binding agreement. I think any such criticism should be directed at the EU. What kind of person thinks nothing of breaking a promise like that without even justifying it? Honourable people keep their promises. If the EU PTB have no honour then it’s one more reason to get clear of them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I profoundly disagree.

      The EU has a long history not just of broken promises but of outright illegality, and Cameron must have been well aware of that and should not have accepted an agreement which he knew was only a statement of current intent and so had no more legal weight than a party’s election manifesto.

      The first bailout of Greece was agreed at an extraordinary meeting of EU finance ministers, including Alistair Darling, on May 9th/10th 2010. Literally within hours there was extensive commentary suggesting that all or some of what had been agreed was illegal under the EU treaties. Even Open Europe, which seems to be close to the Tory party and claims to be influential in forming policy, ran a blog article on May 11th entitled “They said it would never happen”, which unlike some of the contemporary commentaries is still on the internet:

      http://openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/they-said-it-wouldnt-happen.html

      Note in particular:

      “EU leaders are basing parts of the bailout on Article 122 of the EU Treaties. This is profoundly dishonest and involves a huge legal stretch …

      … As we’ve stated before, the European Council has previously said that any use of this article must be compatible with the no bailout rule in the EU Treaties. This interpretation is now being completely ignored.”

      It is inconceivable that Cameron, Osborne, Hague et al were unaware of this, and it is inconceivable that they did not realise that the only reliable way that the UK could stop it happening again was to insist on the restoration of the national veto over any decisions made under that article, and they had an opportunity to get that EU treaty change made in the autumn of 2010 when Merkel demanded an EU treaty change because she herself had qualms about the legality of what had been done and how the German constitutional court would view it.

      It was Cameron’s decision that he would simply give Merkel that EU treaty change without asking for any other treaty changes in return for his assent, and he would instead accept a legally worthless assurance that the UK would be exempted from any future eurozone bailouts including through this illegal mechanism. And he cannot even make the usual excuse that it was a coalition government and his hands were tied by Clegg, because there was no way that Clegg could have forced him to give his assent to Merkel’s proposed EU treaty change, which was formalised through European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of March 25th 2011, and later approved by the UK Parliament through the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 2012:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/15/contents

  15. Graham Wood
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Once again a very sensible comment which exposes the deep political flaws in the whole EMU structures artificially sustained by the EU and which is a clear failure.

    You suggest: ” If the EU tried this The UK Parliament should enact a one clause Bill amending the 1972 European Communities Act to make clear we do not pay any Euro bail out monies and would not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court on this matter. ”

    Indeed so, but I would go one step further in amending the ECA 1972 as a first step towards restoring British parliamentary rule within our own country, We should amend the Act with a clause which specifically asserts the supremacy of British law, and a British Supreme Court over ALL EU law.
    That is the necessary first step to break EU hegemony over our political and economic policies, and then once that vital step has been taken we can then repeal the Act altogether as being entirely superfluous to requirements (leave alone incompatible with national sovereignty).
    Amending and then repealing the Act is in effect to exit the EU but without all the empty rhetoric associated with Mr Cameron’s already failed “negotiations”.
    It is preposterous that an unelected self appointed body which is totally without democratic legitimacy should be allowed by our own elected parliament not only to dictate much of our domestic policy via its diktats, but adding insult to injury, should also have the power to “fine” any elected government (in effect to impose a further tax upon British taxpayers).
    The question is: when will the British parliament exercise the powers which voters invest in it at every GE and do its duty by the British people to whom it is accountable – NOT the EU Commission?

  16. Hope
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    No. The UK should refuse full stop if it had an agreement. The assurance is worthless after the agreement was broke. We all saw with the Greece that the EU has no regard whatsoever for national sovereignty and Shultz publicly declared the removal of an elected government. Cameron remained silent. Disgusting. Junker’s words were equally disparaging and should be treated with disdain. No fine should be paid. E EU flagrantly breaks the rules without any concession or detriment yet countries are fined! I cannot believe how these dim-witted politicians would manage in the real world. It shows me they are prepared to support the Eau in everything it does despite lies and deceit to the contrary. THIS IS our taxes that we cannot afford.

    Osborne is running a £90 billion deficit spite lies by Cameron that he has halved the deficit. E UK debt is £1.5 trillion. Our deficit before the election was worse than Greece. The EU flagrantly changes treaty, breaks rules, does not have its accounts audited and the UK still pays.

    Today we read Cameron has broken another promise on capping care fees. Not likely to come in until 2020! So he is prepared to give away social housing to one and all, but not protect those who work all their lives paying tax, scrimp and save for their homes. So people are forced to sell their house to live in the same care home as their neighbour who paid nothing, a large proportion of whom will have come from other nations and not contributed to the UK pot.

    Come on JR, Cameron is not fit for office. There is not a Tory value about him.

  17. alte fritz
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Quite agree. There are few sights as unpleasant as an establishment hard at work to protect itself. Yet this cover up is in broad daylight. Is that a measure of the contempt in which the EU holds its member states and their peoples?

    • Chris
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      In answer to your question, AF, yes, I believe it is a measure of the contempt in which the EU holds its member states, both governments and people, and also the EU’s supreme arrogance. Pride comes before fall . We can only hope.

  18. turbo terrier
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Very informative.

    Yes we should amend the 1972 ECA should be first thing on Mondays agenda in the house.

    If all our creditors started wanting their money back would the EU bail us out?

    May be that it is not very PC but the answer to the question for more money for the Greek bailout is very simple.

    THE SECOND WORD IS OFF!!!

  19. Sean
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I bet you a pound to a penny, one way or another that we end up paying.
    Our EU money pit may increase member fee or take it indirectly somewhere along the line.
    One way or another we all will pay. The only way out of the EU money pit is to leave. It’s that simple people.

  20. Douglas Carter
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    …’Were the Commission to persist and to push it through without protection for the UK on a qualified majority vote which the UK lost, the UK should refuse to pay.’…

    On this occasion, I think I’d prefer to see a different democratic route. On historic observation where financial ‘obligations’ to the EU are concerned, it’s a shame that UK Government opposition to extraneous demands are usually as long-lived as a snowflake in an inferno, I don’t want to see my Government embarrass themselves once again in asserting advance indignation just to see them meekly and quietly fold only days later as is the historic norm.

    In the UK, the Treasury have the power to summon any Secretary of State who requests a greater budget for his department to justify the disparity. If that’s good enough for the UK Cabinet, it’s good enough for the EU too. In terms of the reply Mr. Cooper gave to my response to your earlier article – ‘The deadlines for the Greeks to repay debts make a deliberate and unhelpful crisis’ – penned a couple of days ago, these financial demands on other countries (not just the UK) source back to dogmatic decisions taken years ago against any economic justification.

    Those decisions have proven to be quite disastrous and the figures who bear the responsibility for those decisions have never been held to proper political account. (Or legal, for that matter – but we all know that will never happen. Better an entire population suffer for years rather than the outrage of prosecuting one of the EU’s own….)

    If – on this occasion – it turns out inevitable the UK taxpayer once again pays the piper, let’s summon him to the correct venue and direct him to play our tune.

    Why not request of the Prime Minister that he might summon – for example – Mario Monti to Parliament to be subjected to pertinent questioning on just why such largesse has been necessary where there is abundant and conclusive evidence that the decision to permit Eurozone membership to Greece was unambiguously a catastrophic one? A session on the floor of the HoC, for example. Or an extended appearance before the Select Committee with all relevant contemporary documentation for parallel consideration? Once again, of course there is absolutely no chance of that taking place – but that’s not the disappointing bit. That is reserved for the reliable fact that no British Government would ever make such a request. Unless someone might wish to prove me wrong?

    The UK taxpayer would presumably have every right to hear the accounts since no matter our alleged independence from the Eurozone, we find we are liable for decisions taken in its name. If we are liable through poor negotiation of agreements which otherwise might have shielded us from obligation, then at least we can investigate the nature of the original gross negligence costing us money? (…’But you’ll get the money back..!…’… – no we won’t. Not in this tectonic era).

    Even if any EU or administrative figures are immune from proper prosecution, at least their names and their administrations can be publically identified as holding joint culpability in the ruination of Greece. Not to mention the associate affliction of economic blight across the EU via similar inappropriate membership of other nations who also were unqualified for membership?

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Still some very good news:

    The Government has formally announced that it will be closing the Renewables Obligation scheme to new projects from 1 April 2016 (but why wait till then?). There are also doubts about the future availability of the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) regime for onshore wind.

    Great, just stop all this expensive pointless and damaging lunacy now. Kill the grants and the whole absurd & pointless industry will collapse. When it makes any sense economically (or even environmentally) it can stand on its own feet without subsidy. R&D in this area is fine but roll out with tax payer subsidy before it works economically is absurd. They should also withdraw (or tax back) the subsidies being given to existing schemes, these were surely always just a scam against the taxpayers.

    What about the bonkers Swansea “Lagoon” though?

    Why on earth did government ever start this absurd religion/gravy train. Might it perhaps have had something to do with some MPs’ “consultancy” fee income?

    Reply It is required by EU law

    • turbo terrier
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Just one of many reasons why we should be away from the EU asylum.

      I do wonder what in reality what they could actually do if we stopped all of this RE madness.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The gradual abolition of green crap is greatly to be welcomed and shows that – contrary to the pronouncements of the likes of Mr Farage – there is a very big difference indeed between a Conservative govt and a Labour/LibDem govt.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Quite right John, it is EU law and another good reason to get out of it. Germany is building so many coal fired power stations and we are building none. We need to stop the subsidies now!!! Also agree with Life Logic. We have been pushing for extra taxes to be imposed on landowners and developers to claw back some of the disgusting amounts of subsidies these people have been paid for a long time now. As one farmer put it when we asked about his sheep “What do I need to worry about them for when I have these wonderful turbines on my land?” Says it all really. Farmers do not just farm anymore and should have their CAP’s reduced and other payments amended to take account of the vast sums of money they are raking in. As another farmer said to us “I’m already planning my cruise around the world” and that was before the development was even on the planning books at the council!! Meanwhile, our home and many others around us have become unsaleable unless drastically reduced in price. Cameron needs to change the planning laws regarding fracking to enable us to follow in the footsteps of the USA and reduce emissions sensibly while boosting our economy and job prospects both in the industry and outside of it. Let’s get some sensible policies in while we can and while we are not tied by the Lib Dims anymore. That was Cameron’s excuse before so that is not valid now. Action please!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Lobbying or “Consultancy” fee income at EU levels then perhaps? Surely no one but the BBC, the EU, Prince Charles, a few innumerate arts graduates, celebs & actor types can actually still believe in the runaway, irreversible, catastrophic warming religion can they?

      No warming for 17 years and counting and very little change even over the last 100 years.

      “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard P. Feynman

  22. DaveM
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    EU/Eurogroup: “You need to throw us a couple of billion Euros, Dave.”

    DC: “Why’s that?”

    EU: “Got a bit of a problem with Greece – if we don’t chuck em some cash it’s going to mess up the European Project which we’ve decided to impose on Europe without asking the European people. Bit arrogant, we know, but we’re, like, a thousand times cleverer than the average person (which is incidentally why we can get into power without being elected, and we can make up rules any time we like)”.

    DC: “But we have a clause saying we don’t have to help out with Eurozone stuff.”

    EU: “Ha ha yeah, whatever. We can rip that little chestnut up.”

    DC: “But the British people are my boss. They elected me. Well strictly speaking it was the English who did that but I prefer to forget that and treat them like a cash cow – they can’t do much about it cos they don’t have a parliament or anything. (Shouting): I THINK THIS DEMAND IS OUTRAGEOUS AND I WON’T PAY IT. (Whispered): come on guys, I can’t keep making sneaky little payments – I can only hide so much from the press and my people”

    EU: “Oh we think you can hide it. If you can’t, never mind, you’re essentially a dictator anyway – look how many promises you’ve got away with breaking and how many lies you’ve got away with. Your own party’s too pathetic to do anything about it so you’ve pretty much got a free hand to do what we tell you – er, sorry, I meant to do what you like.”

    DC: “No, this is a step too far. I won’t pay.”

    EU: “If you don’t pay, Angela and Francois won’t talk to you and we’ll make you sit with the E Europeans at the next dinner.”

    DC: “George, get the chequebook.”

  23. Vanessa
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The BBC has reluctantly admitted, a few years ago, that it receives millions from the European Union every year in the form of “loans” but of course as long as it supports the EU’s policies (global warming and membership, etc.) it will never have to pay them back.

    Why don’t we abolish the Licence Fee and let the EU fund the BBC. It is after all an “EU Poodle” now. And as its website is so vast and “informative” the rest of Europe probably has access so they are paying too with their funds to the EU coffers.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Which is why, of course, they are always plugging the virtues of staying in the EU. I say don’t change the BBC but make sure they become unbiased over climate change, the EU, welfare reforms, unions etc,etc. The list is endless. We want popular programmes for all the family but we don’t want bias and brainwashing which is what we are getting right now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        BBC – Bias, Brainwashing & much Crap perhaps. Plus you have to buy it even if you do not like it or even ever watch it.

        Still I suppose I would pay that much just not to have adverts and have some of the output from radio’s 3 and 4. A shame then that the BBC still has huge bias & even the endless adverts (usually for itself) but also charities, BBC spin offs, the national lottery, pop festivals ……

        Perhaps these EU loans should be deemed illegal as an attempt to buy illegal political influence and thus deemed thus unenforcible? Would the BBC be able repay them if they had too?

  24. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    In the scheme of things the UK government has handed over signed Direct Debts and pre-authorized Credit Card payments to the EU.

    EFSM and ESM funds seem to function like a open-ended Direct Debit or Credit Card. You hire a car on holiday. They insist you pay by card. You return home to find they have deducted additional fees and two months later even more is deducted as they say you had a minor traffic violation somewhere or other but obviously you are not in a position to dispute it. You phone your bank and find they can do little about it as you signed your own money away.

    Do not allow someone else to take charge of your money.

    Did not the UK government, decades ago, have access to financial advisors and legal experts before it handed over the nation’s credit and debit cards to the flavour of the day EU bureaucrats?

    On this note I see the BoE is now indicating that its advice to the Government concerning interest rate increases will not be September but later in the year. Well that makes two years of quarterly Bank of England incorrect predictions on interest rates not to mention wrong growth forecasts and very odd , most odd, lack of understanding of the global oil industry and oil prices even those emanating in North America. Mr Osborne would be better going to a seaside side-street astrologer than the BoE.

  25. Bill
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Agree with all of the above.

    Please can this story be monitored so we can see how it turns out?

    Do we have anyone on the inside of the EU Commission who can tell us what is going on behind closed doors? Whenever we see clips of the EU Parliament in action, we witness boorish behaviour and maliciously anti-British taunting from a bunch of hardline liberals. Presumably EU Commission decision-makers are in tune with all this.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    “It looks as if the UK has now received legal assurances that we will not be liable for any of this money, and will expect full collateral against the amount put up by Euro area countries, along with watertight text.”

    Somebody should point out to George Osborne that telling the media that something is legally binding does not make it legally binding when it is not legally binding.

    How can the ECB legally stand guarantor for Greece, promising to repay loans from the UK and other non-euro countries to Greece if the Greeks themselves fail to honour their commitment to repay those loans, when the ECB could only fulfil that guarantee through a patent breach of the EU treaties in which Article 125 TEU states inter alia:

    “The Union shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments … “,

    the ECB being an institution of the Union, and the Greek government being one of those central governments?

    Far from being a legally binding agreement it is an illegal agreement from the start, and therefore void; nor can it be made a legally valid agreement by any assurances from the Commission, which has no power to set aside Article 125 TFEU; indeed it claims to be the “guardian of the treaties” and should be pointing out that however carefully the text may be written this proposed arrangement would be illegal under those treaties.

    I think it’s unlikely that the Greek government would in fact default on what is meant to be a short term bridging loan, but suppose that it did? Then the UK government would turn to the ECB to fulfil its promise as guarantor of the loan and meet the commitment which had been made by the Greek government, and the ECB would be duty bound to say that under Article 125 TFEU it was prohibited from doing that.

    • acorn
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      There is no law without enforcement of the law. I very much doubt if any EU citizen, regardless of status, will be taking the ECB to a Court, to enforce Article 125 of the TFEU.

      Total EU public debt is about €12,300 billion, €9,300 billion in the EZ bit. Another €7 billion is loose change. (UK is €2,200 billion equivalent of the total).

      The Eurosystem was designed by a Candian economist. It basically varies from the Canadian system by requiring the member states Treasuries, to sell Bonds in a Euro market, to get some Euro to spend. The UK Treasury spends “reserves” which can be converted into cash notes if required, without limit. The UK Treasury doesn’t have to borrow from anybody, it issues the currency, but it does voluntarily issue debt (Gilts), to match its deficit.

      The Canadian Treasury gets the Central Bank of Canada to buy its Bonds (Gilts) directly from its debt management office for Canadian cash, both physical and electronic. The BoE is not allowed to do that; it buys / sells its monetary control Gilts in the secondary market. The Canadian system makes it difficult to work a QE system like the FED and the BoE.

      Now perm those two systems together, take out the essential bits that would make it work properly and you have the Eurosystem. The smoke and mirrors that is the EFSF; EFSM; ESM; BoP Emergency facility; Emergency Liquidity etc etc; all have one thing in common. The only place you can get Euro is at the ECB, it is the monopoly issuer of the currency (via the NCBs). All the Euro ever issued and not yet returned to the ECB via taxes and repayments, no matter if they were loaned, granted or dropped out of a helicopter (fiscal stimulus) are still out there being held by someone somewhere at any moment in time.

      Which gives the number one problem for the Eurozone, nobody is spending anywhere near enough money, even though the ECB has a bottomless pit of the stuff, that costs it nothing to spend into existence, it is FIAT. The only worry is inflation if everyone spends too much. But at the moment are large dose of inflation would be very welcome in Europe at least.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 19, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        “There is no law without enforcement of the law. I very much doubt if any EU citizen, regardless of status, will be taking the ECB to a Court, to enforce Article 125 of the TFEU.”

        Well, they have, in Germany, and the German constitutional court has even referred a question on to the ECJ, and likewise in Ireland there have been legal challenges and the Supreme Court also referred some questions on to the ECJ. But of course the ECJ has then said that it’s all OK on a correct reading of the EU treaties, that is to say on its often highly convoluted readings of the treaties designed to ensure a continuation of the process of “ever closer union” prescribed by the same treaties which inter alia established the ECJ.

        What can be said about the German judgements is that they have made Merkel a bit more cautious about what she does, even to the point of demanding an EU treaty change to provide a clear legal basis for the ESM – that EU treaty change which hardly anybody in this country is aware of, thanks to a virtually complete mass media blackout.

        In principle it would have been possible to go to court and seek a judicial review of the actions of UK ministers in agreeing to breaches of the EU treaties without express authorisation from Parliament, which had passed Acts to approve those treaties down to the last comma and incorporate them into our domestic law. The prospects of success in such a court case against the government would seem pretty remote, especially when hardly any member of Parliament is raising any objections to the infringement of its rights by ministers.

    • formula57
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      I think the way around the illegality that you describe rests upon the source of the funds the ECB would use in the event the guarantee were to be called. Those funds are profits the ECB has realized on its holdings of Greek bonds (and iirc Greece has made a claim on them). If Greece defaults, doubtless the ECB will contend that any Greek claim to the profits (not I think accepted anyway) is extinguished and the funds will be applied in meeting the guarantee obligations.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 19, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        I’ve read that the Greek government is advancing a claim to the profits on Greek bonds held by the ECB, and just as a passing reference within an article that may seem to be a reasonable claim; that is until you recollect that when the ECB bought those bonds it became the beneficial owner of the bonds, it is not holding the bonds in trust for the Greek government which originally issued them.

        So the Greek government has no more claim to any profits on those bonds owned by the ECB than to any profits on Italian or Spanish or Portuguese government bonds which the ECB also bought to prop up their secondary markets and bring down the interest rates.

        The Greek national central bank is a shareholder in the ECB, and because Greece is in the euro it is fully paid up, unlike the Bank of England, and so it is entitled to its share of any overall profits made by the ECB while also liable for its share of any losses. But it too has no special claim on any part of the ECB profits which have arisen from its ownership of bonds which just happen to have been issued by the Greek government.

        The ECB did the governments of the distressed eurozone states a favour by rigging the markets in their bonds, and as far I know it was no part of the arrangement that they would be directly entitled to any profits made by the ECB on its holdings of their respective bonds.

  27. oldtimer
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Agreed.

    It seems to me that one of the reasons for the way the Greek refinancing has unfolded, and unravelled, is that it is a game of political pass the parcel. No one wants to be seen to be the person who finally puts the boot in to Greek membership of the EZ and thus get the blame for breaking up the EZ. The German finance minister, Schauble, put forward a draft proposal for a Greek five year break from the EZ while it got its house in order. But even that was too close to the bone for Merkel so it was dropped. No doubt Germany, and France, are looking for other suckers to help bail out this catastrophe and hide the grim reality from their voters. The UK should have nothing whatever to do with it.

  28. Leslie Singleton
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Agree with every word this morning especially the bit about what the “technocrats” (not at all sure how that word comes in) are doing differently from five years ago. Maybe there is a difference but if so it is hardly being made clear. It is the big picture that sucks not mere technicalities.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    So the more austerity we accept, the harder we work to improve Country turnover and productivity the more the EU just come along and take off us to hand to people who won’t tighten their own belts. “NO!”.

    I knew Cameron would lead the Conservatives like this, no backbone, no principle, is his mother still working like mine at 67 because she can’t afford to retire. Stand up for us man or get out and leave the job to someone with a spine or are we actually ruled by the people that meet up in secret behind closed doors with the likes of Osborne and Clarke and whoever is PM has absolutely no choice anymore.

    As for MPs pay John Redwood certainly earns every penny and more of this allowance, the fact that Scottish MPs have only half the power in Scotland over matters is dawning on them which is probably why they can afford to elect fresh graduates who don’t even have to pay their 9% graduate tax on earnings over £16,000 like our English graduates do should concern us more than it seems to for now until people wake up when their graduate children/grandchildren struggle to pay whilst trying to have children themselves. Why are we delaying an English Only Voting Chamber on devolved matters, get on with it or set up and English Parliament in the Midlands and halve the number of MPs in Westminster and demand a better standard of qualified, experienced MPs on UK wide matters with minimum standards. They get devolution we get delayed, do we need to start getting English nationalists like the Scots do? We’re getting walked over within the UK and the EU!

  30. oldtimer
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Since my earlier post I have come across this article in SpiegelOnline on the differences of opinion between Merkel and Schauble and the conduct of the recent negotiations:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/schaeuble-pushed-for-a-grexit-and-backed-merkel-into-a-corner-a-1044259.html

    I am curious to see the Merkel response if one or more of the other EZ parliaments reject the proposals before them.

  31. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I would be more than happy to give the EU sod all!! By coming out we need not give them a penny – unless we have to pay to trade with them which I think is what Iceland has to do but it would be a fraction of what we give away right now.

    • formula57
      Posted July 18, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Well said! Although (if you will forgive my candour) some of us feel the same way about Scotland, especially now that it is a one party state.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 18, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Don’t worry Formula 57, many of us living in Scotland would like it all to stop too. Scotland is holding the rest of the UK to ransom and Nicola Sturgeon and co think they rule the roost. We are just as fed up with the status quo in Scotland as the rest of the UK. Many of us would never vote SNP locally or nationally and would be glad if they just took a run and jump!!

  32. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    The Greek situation is a complete debacle. You are correct to say that the UK shouldn’t pay a penny more to the EU but your colleagues, Cameron and Osborne, haven’t got your fortitude and, more importantly, will accept anything to assuage the dictators in Brussels rather than stand up to them.

  33. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    When there is bankruptcy around the corner I have heard it say that more and more jump on the band waggon in order to take and stache away . In for a penny etc.Then of course the innocent are made to pay when it happens and have their lives ruined whilst the takers continue pruning their hedges now and again.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    JR, I wonder if you can explain why of 650 MPs so few show any concern about the rule of law, and in particular law which they and their predecessors have enacted?

    I point out again that Parliament has passed Acts to approve the EU treaties – down to the last comma, they cannot alter anything in a treaty as it has been agreed within the EU – and incorporate those treaties into our national law; therefore when a UK minister or official is complicit in a breach of those EU treaties that is not something which just happens “over there”, it is also a breach of our national law here.

    The EU tells the world that it is based on the rule of law, but among other infractions this is an organisation with a Parliament which was unlawfully constituted for two whole years but just carried legislating as normal without any questions being raised about the legal validity of its acts, and a Commission which stayed in post for months beyond the expiry of its term, and yet one heard nothing from our MPs about these blatant breaches of the EU treaties as they had been approved by our national Parliament.

    And when one of the very few MPs who does pay attention to such matters directly asked the Prime Minister in the Commons whether he shared the concern that the eurozone bailouts were unlawful, and did he think there are serious grounds for challenging the unlawfulness of it, the latter merely replied:

    “He may have a good point. Article 122 of the treaty refers to help in the case of natural disasters and other emergencies. There are some people who question whether it should have been used in this way to support eurozone countries.”

    Despite the fact that one of the main participants, Christine Lagarde, had just gone on the record openly admitting that those responsible had “violated all the rules” and the bailouts were “major transgressions” of the EU treaties.

    Now we have Osborne telling the media that he has secured a legally binding agreement to make sure that the UK will not lose out on its contribution to bridging finance for the Greek government when in reality it is an illegal agreement, and he is just agreeing to add one more illegality to the pile started when Italy was allowed to join the euro.

    Will there be no end to this, will we always have our MPs turning a blind eye to the lack of respect for the rule of law which comes with our membership of the EU?

    Except of course when the EU wants to apply the law, when it becomes a stickler and is perfectly content to ruin livelihoods, and even drive people to an early grave, over minor breaches of absurd rules such as the prohibition on selling apples by the pound.

  35. Mitchel
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The story,in today’s DT,about the new “Imperial” dinner service being ordered,at a cost of £2m,for the EU’s diplomatic service,headed by a former Young Communist,is beyond satire.I hope they don’t invite the Greeks round!

  36. forthurst
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    This and yesterday’s post, illustrate that the EU has far more capacity for creating problems than of solving them; meanwhile our posturing idiot politicians make their theatrical gestures of repudiation whilst knowing perfectly well that they have previously signed up for whatever they purport to be able to refuse.

    The EU is a malignant organisation etc ed

  37. Peter A
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  38. ChrisS
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    The EU seems to be doing everything it can to persuade the UK electorate to vote No in our forthcoming referendum.

    A few months ago it was a demand for an extra €2m from the UK because our economy has been judged to have been doing better than they thought. They can’t have that, can they ? No, so they decide to burden the UK economy with another €2m of debt !

    The cynical way Greece has been treated over several years to preserve their precious Euro and the blatant disregard of the IMF, treaty rules and regulations along the way is only the latest in a long line of scandals – and I bet there are plenty more that we don’t know about.

    This week we have had the “Legally Binding Agreement” that is, well, not legally binding because it now appears it’s only a “Political Agreement” and, according to (President ed) Junckers, those aren’t legally binding at all !

    Trust Greece ? they all said rather dismissively, well, we now have every right to say exactly the same about Brussels.

    Now we have the €2m Dinner Service debacle and in the background there is a tender document that has recently been issued looking for terms for a €200m loan facility to buy properties around the world for yet more new EU embassies.

    As if the “External Action Service” hasn’t done enough damage in Ukraine !

    These issues are all being seen and taken on board by our voters and they must be having an effect. Obviously, we who will be actively campaigning for the No camp, are carefully filing them away to bring out and remind wavering voters just who and what we are dealing with when the time comes.

    Please carry on as you are H. Juncker, Frau Merkel and Co.

    Every new scandal is adding to our chance of winning a No vote !

    Reply I agree – and I think you have understated the amount of money they have demanded

  39. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 19, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Not sure why we’re even discussing this, there can’t be anyone anywhere who thinks Cameron will refuse to pay. Boris should point this out, rather than stay loyal and have Osborne and May stitch him up again.

  40. Patricia Salter
    Posted July 19, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    John, why oh why don’t you put yourself forward for the position of PM, you would be so much better than the loser that we now have

    • Chris S
      Posted July 19, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Hear ! Hear !

      During his first administration Cameron at least had the excuse he was constrained by the Libdems but now he isn’t and can’t.

      Yet since the election we have a half hearted and inadequate attempts at EVEL, soft policies towards the EU, a pathetic renegotiation package combined with a failure to tell the EU that he will campaign to leave if the deal isn’t good enough.

      No wonder many say that Cameron felt more comfortable in Coalition.

  • 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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