A wild ride to political union if we stay in the present EU

I have a debate on Tuesday in Parliament on the topic of political union. I want to draw more attention to the 5 Presidents joint policy statement of how they intend to create a political union out of the EU and Eurozone. It is high time the BBC followed this, and the UK government made their response to this revolutionary and important document known.
The ambition of the document is clear. They seek a Euro Treasury. They want detailed control over a wide range of economic and business policies in every Euro state. They want a political union to back their currency union. They imply a transfer union despite German objections.
The document envisages future large transfers of power, just as we are seeing in Greece already. The document says nothing reassuring for the UK as a non Euro member. The UK has to understand this vision, and work out a new relationship for us to live and work alongside it but not to be dragged into it. That is the purpose of my debate, to stress the urgency and to see how the government will protect our democracy from this latest assault.

As the document says “Progress must happen on four fronts: first , towards a genuine economic union that ensures each economy has the structural features that prosper within the monetary union. Second, towards a financial union that guarantees the integrity of our currency across the monetary union and increases risk sharing with the private sector. This means completing the Banking union and accelerating the Capital Markets Union. 3rd, towards a fiscal union that delivers both fiscal sustainability and fiscal stabilisation. And finally, towards a political union….”
This will inevitably involve sharing more sovereignty over time…it will need to shift from a system of rules and guidelines for national economic policy making to a system of further sovereignty sharing with common institutions, most of which already exist…”

All this is a sensible prospectus to try to build a successful single currency. There are three problems with it. The first is they want to use the EU, when two members of the EU are not going to join the Euro and seven others are not yet in it. That requires a different political architecture.

The second is, they have already created the currency, which is greatly stressed by not having proper political and transfer arrangements to back it up.That means they are in a tearing hurry on what are very sensitive and difficult matters.

The third is, Germany is still reluctant to pay her share of the bills in the way richer parts of a currency union do elsewhere.

It is time for the UK to explain why we need a looser relationship with the EU, as the Euro area takes the rest on a wild ride to political union.

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87 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Keep up the good work JR. You can however be quite sure that the BBC will do all it can to hide these truths about the EU agenda for a single antidemocratic socialist state from the public as far as they possibly can. Just as they constantly deceive them on the catastrophic, irreversible, manmade global warming agenda, the hugely expensive and idiotic “renewable” energy agenda, the totally dysfunctional NHS, and the bloated size of the largely incompetent state sector.

    So where is Cameron on this is he still just pathetically muttering about a few delays in benefits for new migrants?

    You must surely JR disapprove of much of the lefty lunacy that was in the budget too. The double taxation of interest for landlords, the absurd government knows best how much employers should pay staff, the general increase in government expenditure & waste and the huge overall increases in tax rates. Why do you not put this more stongly?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      On the NHS I see that Jeremy Hunt is claiming that we have 6,000 avoidable deaths every year due to weekend treatment being even worse than week day treatment. This is on top of the much larger background avoidable death rates one assumes.

      Perhaps the FCO should advise against using the NHS where possible rather than helping that terrorist by advising against travelling to Tunisia. Unfortunately, due to the way the NHS is funded, competition is largely eliminated. There there are often not many better alternatives in the UK to the NHS.

      • Hope
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        JR, we all know from this tragic episode that the EU presidents have no regards for national democracies let alone weak negotiators like Cameron or Osborne. They have no regard how they commit our taxes to whatever they choose to waste it on. They have a record for lavishing OUR taxes on other countries to lure them in the EU. What has Cameron not spoken out about Shultz wanting regime change in Greece or Junker’s equally disgusting comments? Moreover, why is Cameron and Osborne sill trying to dissolve England for the EU regionalisation plan and why is your party allowing it?

        When will Germany and Holland be fined for having too much of a surplus and making their southern neighbours uncompetitive? President Hollande making a speech asking for a new EU parliament and treasury. It is quite clear this project is about an EU superstate where the UK becomes a small region and a very small 1/28 voice.

        The Taxpayers Alliance issues a piece how the £2 billion the UK gives away to the European Development Fund is wasted on stupid projects. A lame response by DfiD. This is our taxes that Cameron is wasting.

        No proper reply why MPs get 10 percent pay rise for their part time job while Osborne fixed all other public sector employees at 1 percent. No proper reforms as Cameron promised six years ago, no proper right to recall as promised, no cuts in number of MPs, too many Lords as the is not enough seats.

        1 percent spare capacity this winter for energy when under the CGB they 27 percent spare capacity.

        • DaveM
          Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          Hope,

          “It is quite clear this project is about an EU superstate where the UK becomes a small region and a very small 1/28 voice.”

          I’m not sure they even intend to allow the “states” to have a voice in the long term, I think they just envisage them as administrative bodies employed to implement the EU’s policies which will be made in Brussels – they will probably continue to allow national elections in order that they can pretend there is a vestige of democracy.

          I don’t expect any of this to actually happen, because the European people won’t have it, but it is what I believe people like Juncker have as their vision.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Indeed tax borrow and waste, endless greencrap and drive forwards to be subsumed into the EUSSR superstate.

      • Brigham
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        When I was a medical rep, I sponsored a surgical meeting at St Helier Hospital in the ’70s. The consultant surgeon that was giving the lecture (on bowel obstruction) told the audience, mostly junior hospital doctors, the statistics on deaths with that condition, were very much higher at the week end. His words at the end, are burned on my memory forever. “Don’t forget don’t get a bowel obstruction at the week end unless you know a consultant surgeon is on duty. Some chance.”

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 20, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Indeed so little changes alas. Particularly in large state organisations which are so often run largely for the benefit of the senior staff.

          In my experience the diagnosis of even common conditions such as appendicitis, gall bladder problems and the likes can often be very poor, even now with all the scans available.

        • Hope
          Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Janis Burns writes very good letter to Cameron. Hunt is another completely out of his depth. Advising the public not to go to A&E, but did so himself.

          Today Cameron speaks again with little thought what is place by politicos to contradict his ludicrous view. Involvement in Middle East wars ie Lybia, the UK cannot deport suspected terrorists or hate preachers we are at the mercy of the ECHR, mass immigration without proper border controls thanks to the EU, HRA prevents firm action, equality legislation prevents people speaking out,ie Rotherham, Osborne creating and cementing the Balkanisation of our country when the public rejected it, he is no longer asking just implementing, EU asylum seeker policy, sacked Gove and allowed Morgan to cancel on the spot inspections at Trojan Horse schools, Sharia law allowed it should be outlawed, one law for everyone, segration at unversities and Labour Party meetings. Clueless springs to mind. He needs to start with basics of providing security for country.

          • Cliff. Wokingham.
            Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            Out of interest John, regarding the British pilots who were embedded with U.S. forces: Were they flying US or RAF jets whilst bombing Syria?

            Reply I assume US jets. That is the point of lending them to the US to get operational experience of an ally’s systems and command structure.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        LL, BUPA and co do not do A&E so who do you want to come and treat you if you prang your Jag on the M1? I am quite happy with socialised medicine just as I am equally happy with a socialised army and police force. Do a bit of googling to get a quote from one of the exchanges for a plan under Obama’s “Affordable” Care Act. You also might check out how much a drug costs in the UK v the US and ask why Americans are forbidden from importing them? Its no secret their hospitals have a problem with “superbugs” and are happy hunting ground for malpractice lawyers too. Thats something you would not expect if you are paying top $ for, unless you enjoy being ripped off.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Dame Rita Webb

          Actually you are wrong BUPA , The Princess Grace Hospital & others in London. The Emergency Plus Group operate private A& E hospitals in Surrey & are rolling out expansion hospitals around the M25. The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester & The Casualty First Group Ltd, and Urgent Care Group Ltd ALL offer private A&E hospital services, There are dozens of private ambulance and paramedic services . Where I live we have a brand new private hospital that treats acute brain injuries, we have a private specialist heart hospital and opening soon a private oncology hospital.

          I also have no problem with taxpayer funded medicine I do have a major problem with the godawful NHS. Its too big, too centrally controlled and not patient focused

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            What they have a fleet of ambulances that will turn up to a crash on the M1 after a 999 call? Will LLs life be at risk from the time needed to take him to a private hospital when it would be better to get him to a NHS one?

            I cannot agree with you about the NHS being “centrally controlled” its too balkanised. This leads to too many pen pushers and sinecures for the nomenklatura of the political parties. In the meantime consider this, we have NHS England, NHS North of England and from memory a city like Brum has at least three trusts within it. NICE issues guidelines, but another group of local busybodies want to rewrite them to make fit to local circumstances. The next time JR writes an article on it, I will bring up some real life examples of how this lot stops my other half getting in front of the patients.

          • libertarian
            Posted July 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Dame Rita Webb

            Yes, to some extent. A lot of ambulance services are now privatised. They do have to take you to an NHS hospital unless you ask otherwise.

            Like everything else in this country there are 100’s of government organizations at local and regional level with 100,000’s of staff BUT everything is managed centrally by government rule. Thats the problem. The money is collected, controlled and distributed centrally.

  2. petermartin2001
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Yes, this is absolutely right.

    The advocates of the YES campaign won’t want to admit it but the coming EU referendum will be about much than it might first appear.

    The 1975 referendum YES result set in course a chain of events that led the UK very nearly to adopt the euro in 2002. Tony Blair was in favour. Gordon Brown wasn’t. It was a close run thing!

    I doubt we’ll be quite so lucky next time a PM wants the UK in the euro if 16/17 delivers a YES vote.

    I don’t think we need to be silly about it and say that we’ll end up with different National anthem or a European football team to support in the World Cup but we will end up in a European Super State if we do vote YES. We’ll have German mid-raking officials telling us to reduce our debt levels or they won’t sign off our budgets!

    We all may disagree, depending on our political viewpoint, with Tory or Labour budgets from time to time, and we’ll disagree passionately but, dear European friends, we’ll do that on our own, thank you very much!

  3. Mark B
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Yes, there does, as ususal, seem to be very little in the way of debate on the EU and news on the march too EVER CLOSER UNION and all it entails.

    It must be quite worrying for some to see the Eurozone members moving at a faster pace than us. It must also be quite worrying to see the true reality of such a UNION. A UNION in which countries like Germany become the paymasters with nothing in return. A bit like England paying to keep Wales and N.Ireland afloat. Whilst we do not generally mind doing that, the Germans do ! And that is a major faultline in the Eurozone.

    They are rushing headlong, just as they did with the ERM and the Euro, and to hell with consequrnces. They want UNION, and by hell they are determined to let us have it, whether we want it or not. And that applies to many in the Westminster Village.

  4. agricola
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    If your piece covers all the points in the presidents submission, there is one gaping void. No hint of democratic control of what they are intent on creating. A petard on which it could fail, because it would seem not to take account of the growing swell of discontent in Southern Europe in the form of political opposition.

    There is a logic in it if you want a USE, but with the known existing democratic deficit I do not give it much chance of success.

    I would hope that during the Tuesday debate your leader will stand up and explain to the country why he wishes us to be a part of this and why he intends to sell our country for a handful of shekels. I would be very surprised if he even bothers to attend.

    If he does not ,I wish you well in steering majority opinion in the H o C away from any involvement in such an EU project. It will require a no holds barred expose of what the EU is, a task that to date can only be trusted in the hands of Nigel Farage. The talent for such is within the H o C but needs to free itself of party loyalty and direct itself at the future of the UK.

    Reply One of the 5 is President of the Parliament. In general terms they envisage a bigger role for the European Parliament, but fail to spell it out, and are clearly not suggesting a USE elected government formed from MEPs replacing the Commission.

  5. Tim
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Coconut for anyone who can name the 5 Presidents….

    • Hefner
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      “Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union”, J-C Junker, D. Tusk, J. Dijsselbloem, M. Draghi, and M. Schulz.
      Available from ec.europa.eu

      Coconut, please.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        OK smart boy: Answer these questions: Is D. Tusk President of the European Council or President of the Euro Summit? In what way is J. Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup related to the Dutch Minister of Finance?

        • Hefner
          Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          Oooh , the lazy boy, who cannot lower himself to do a bit of research.
          The EU produces organigrams for anybody to check, and if the task at hand changes, the “title” might change.

          • forthurst
            Posted July 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            Just joking. I would query how when EU officials are supposed to set aside their national interest to further those of the EU, that is compatible with Dijsselbloem’s two hats, or how someone whose primary role pertains to the European Council on all matters affecting the EU has time to author a document relating specifically to the Eurozone when that ‘competence’ has its own President.

          • Hefner
            Posted July 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            I guess the same question can be asked from any country representative in a larger assembly with officially similar objectives (NATO, NAFTA, Commonwealth, EU, EuroGroup, …).

  6. Pete
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    What possible grounds are there to believe that the UK government would or could protect our democracy? They have absolutely failed to do so for the last 50 years.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      It is and always has been about the loss of our sovereign democracy by stealth. They can’t admit this publically. It is now beyond party politics and the Tory leadership needs to be removed and exposed. When is that going to happen? UKIP is the only answer!

    • Bob
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      “The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

      I can’t remember who said it, but it may have been the architect of the EU.

      • DaveM
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Good quote, but I prefer The Traitor Within by Cicero.

  7. Ken Moore
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Now is not a good time then for Mr Cameron to go on holiday for ‘most of August’ chillaxing.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Well why not, if you want a politician who doesn’t take holidays and doesn’t claim expenses and refuses pay rises then vote for the old puritan Corbyn, far better to have a “normal” person in the job.

      • bluedog
        Posted July 21, 2015 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Yes, Corbyn is an interesting study.

        Easy to deride and this writer has done so, but Tory triumphalism regarding the rise of Corbyn could be misplaced. In a world of total B/S and executive spin, Corbyn stands out like a beacon of integrity, not unlike our host, although the comparison may be uncomfortable!

        Of course, Corbyn’s proscription is something with which one cannot possibly agree, but there will be a large slice of the traditional constituency of Labour and the Lib-Dems who will be strongly drawn to his message.

  8. Iain Moore
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Past Empires were only ‘sustainable’ while they gobbled up other nations. The same with the EU, they can’t make the ‘project’ work, so they hide its failure by continuously sucking the sovereignty life blood from the member nations.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    For a NO vote in the EU referendum to be successful there needs to be millions of people turning out to do so.

    They simply have no idea nor interest in the type of intricacies and details posted here. They don’t understand the impact that Greece has on them nor that there even is a push towards political union in the EU.

    All they will hear is “3 million jobs will be lost !”

    The pro EU lobby is allowed to be hysterical and dishonest and use its trump card as many times as it likes. The Eurosceptic lobby – despite telling the truth on very real issues, including quite evident overcrowding in Britain – were silenced and their arguments and people were smeared and toxified.

    You, your party and the Conservative press played a part in doing this and, in doing so, burned our trump card.

    You now have nothing to play that will galvanise the millions of voters you need to succeed in getting us out. A minority of blog and Torygraph readers who’ve read the deeper arguments won’t cut it.

    Forget it. The game’s up.

    • DaveM
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      That’s the spirit!!!

      “Ooh no dear, we shouldn’t take our boat to Dunkirk – best just sit at home and learn German.”

  10. Ken Moore
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    It’s odd that Mrs Merkel, born in the ‘basket case’ ,communist East Germany is now unwilling to transfer more wealth to southern Europe. She more than anyone must know that monetary transfers and political union must go hand in hand.
    If she wants a United States of Europe it won’t be cheap the Germans need to pay for it. And that includes other countries such as Italy, Portugal as well as Greece

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Pedantic point of the day, she was born in Hamburg.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        That’s true, but she was only two when her family moved to East Germany !

    • DaveM
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Does she though? I know Juncker does, but does Empress Angela not just want to be able to sell as much stuff as possible to the rest of Europe to make Germany richer? I reckon if she was English and in charge of the UK there would be a lot less Euroscepticism around in this country. She just needs to watch out that her own people don’t turn on her regarding her “generosity” with their hard-earned taxes.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        ” not just want to be able to sell as much stuff as possible to the rest of Europe to make Germany richer?”

        Does it really make them richer? Running a euro surplus in trade means that the amount of real things Germany imports is less valuable than the amount it exports.

        In that sense, they run a deficit in the trade of goods and services. Doesn’t that mean their standard of living is lower than it could be?

        • DaveM
          Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

          Exactly my point Peter – the EU and Euro is a convenient tool for her to enrich her own country. If it starts making them poorer the whole attitude could just change.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    You have tried to ridicule my various attempts to alert people about the prospect of this country joining the €, should we be so foolish as to comply with your leader’s ambition that we must remain members of the EU. If there had been any doubt about this likelihood then I hope that this 5 Presidents joint policy statement and your debate on Tuesday in our Parliament will bring it into sharp focus.
    I also mentioned previously that it had been brought to my attention that a major international finance company was making plans for the introduction of the € in the UK as early as 2018.
    The best way to avoid this horrible prospect is to extract ourselves from its rotten core – the EU.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    It is good to hear that this will be debated. Unfortunately many will want to sweep the issue under the carpet, or will ignore it altogether.

  13. ChrisS
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    As I have posted repeatedly here before, there is no appetite amongst the taxpaying voters of Germany, Netherlands, Finland and Austria for full fiscal union because this will inevitably require massive and permanent annual transfers of funds from those countries to ClubMed.

    We know that a chronic lack of electoral support has never stopped the Brussels steamroller before but politicians in those potential donor countries know what the cost to them would be so it isn’t anywhere on their agenda.

    Brussels may see the USE as the ultimate goal but no German Chancellor, even Merkel, the ultimate consensus politician, is going to go along with it. Only one leader has come out openly calling for it and that’s Hollande.

    Hollande has just made a big speech calling for a full European Government, a single treasury etc but he’s done it for only one reason : politically he is of the left and couldn’t bring himself to propose changes that would make France even remotely competitive. Even if he were so inclined, he is so politically weak that he couldn’t get even his own party to vote for it. He will be out of office in 2017 anyway.

    There is considerable doubt, given recent history of militancy within the French labour market, as to whether any French politician could bring the Country’s economy into the 21st century. Even Marine Le Pen is a raging leftie when it comes to the economy : anti-Euro, protectionist and dead against any kind of trade deal with the US.

    Hollande’s call for a Eurozone Government should be seen for what it is : a cowardly attempt to pass the buck to Brussels and ultimately Berlin for them to sort out his economy for him. One can only imagine what would happen on the streets of Paris if any attempt was made to impose economic reforms from Berlin ! There wouldn’t be a cobble stone left !

    Those inside the Brussels bubble, including a large proportion of the more rabid pro-EU MEPs may well see a European Government as their Shangri-La – after all they would expect to be running the show – but it would be hard to find any other individual EU leader that would be prepared to give away their sovereignty to such an extent, especially given Brussels’ history of incompetence and economic mismanagement.

    In reality, we in the UK don’t have to worry about this but, once again, Brussels and Hollande are making our task of achieving a No vote that little bit easier by openly talking it up.

    Carry on please, M. Hollande

  14. Bill
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I guess it is inevitable that, after the fiasco that is Greece, some countervailing tendencies would be at work. What is worrying is that there is a whole department of EU civil service-types doing the groundwork for what these Eurocrats intend.

    Wake up BBC! Do your duty – educate and inform, within an emphasis on the last word.

    Incidentally, I see the Guardian as a pressure group with a newspaper attached. It is astonishing that such a small group should be allowed to use a BBC megaphone to amplify its dire views. (The Guardian is a loss-making newspaper kept afloat by the profits of the Trust that owns it).

    • bluedog
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      ‘ It is astonishing that such a small group should be allowed to use a BBC megaphone to amplify its dire views. ‘

      That’s because the BBC is a pressure group which shares an identical agenda to the Guardian, albeit funded by the British tax-payer rather than by a not-for-profit foundation. One wonders whether the geographical relocation of so much of the BBC so close to Manchester is merely a coincidence.

      • Bill
        Posted July 21, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Yup. All this implies we need to open up the broadcasting sector to competition.

  15. Atlas
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Good points John. I’m certain the louder the point is made about Germany picking up the tab for all the others, the faster this Union will come to pass !

  16. alan jutson
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    If you are to have a proper currency union, then the proposals of the 5 joint Presidents makes some sense, because you will need a common monetary, tax, welfare, benefits, employment regulation, budget policy for all, to have a reasonable chance of it working.

    As an example, look to the UK before Devolution.

    Thus it is clear that we will then have/need a two stage Europe for those outside of this Union.

    I see some major problems here:

    Are the European people aware of the Proposals.

    Will the European population (especially those who belong to the Euro Zone) go along with the above.

    Will those who are not in the Eurozone be dictated to by the policy of those who are.

    Interesting times ahead.

    The media need to pick this up so that people are informed and a discussion held before our referendum.

  17. formula57
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    We owe you much that you are initiating the debate. It reflects poorly upon the Government that it has neglected this matter.

    From the UK perspective, surely it is in our strategic interests to see that although “Germany is still reluctant to pay her share of the bills in the way richer parts of a currency union do elsewhere” it nevertheless does so. After all, someone has to pay for bailing out the others, eventually including France (where the astute M. Flamby yesterday proposed “a government of the euro zone (with) a specific budget as well as a parliament to ensure its democratic control”.

  18. JJE
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    These proposals won’t get anywhere. They will never get past referendums in those countries that would have to hold them. The EU is stuck – unable to go forward and unable to unpick the mess it is in.
    Of course one should allow for the possibility of more half cock implementations of bits of measures in a compromise that adds more layers to the Gordian knot of regulation – just so those involved can say they are not anti Europe.

  19. Vanessa
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I read on EUReferendum dot com that the EU is now talking about the Eurozone getting treaty change and therefore a federal government for the 19 euro members. This would probably mean the other countries having to be “Associate” members with a new treaty. Cameron looks as if he is in favour of this new arrangement which I can only say seems to be a “cop-out” for him.
    The new EU government for the Eurozone will have their interests at heart and the “associate” members will get less and less consideration for their views as they make the Commission and EU Parliament stronger to deal with the horrors of the euro we will be ignored over time BUT we will have to pay increasing amounts of our GDP into the coffers of the EU to prop up their Eurozone.

    Cameron, we think, will give us this in the Referendum and then when the new Treaty is born we will get a second referendum to vote on that. This is not what we want and makes us a second-class member of this corrupt and dysfunctional “project”.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    This morning it is reported here:

    https://euobserver.com/economic/129695

    that Hollande had a letter in a French newspaper calling for a “vanguard” of EU member states to go ahead with greater integration and lead a strengthened eurozone.

    It seems that not all of the present eurozone states would necessarily be part of that “vanguard”, and curiously it seems from the French Prime Minister that they would include the original Six of the 1957 EEC, one being Italy which we know should not have been allowed to join the first wave of the euro, and would probably have been excluded if Kohl had not decided that she must be in it from the start.

    As reported this seems a very confused proposal.

  21. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Why don’t we hear anything about this from Cameron himself or, as you say John, the BBC?? The whole problem with the EU is its lack of transparency where the general public are concerned. We know nothing until it is done and dusted! Democracy? I don’t see it.

  22. Richard
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, you are absolutely correct.

    Voting to remain in the EU is the “wild option” as it will surely be a leap into the dark.

    It is definitely not the safe “let’s keep things as they are” option as EU membership is always portrayed by the corporates, our political leaders and by the BBC.

    To remain in a corrupt organisation that is run by unelected and unknown people from 27 other countries is certainly the “wild option”.

    To remain in the EU where there is freedom of movement of all 485m people – soon to be expanded by 100m people by including Turkey and all the countries in the east of Europe as far as the Urals, if Mr. Cameron and the Conservative Party have their way, is definitely the “wild option”.

  23. acorn
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The 5P plan goes beyond federalism as we know it. The EU governance would look very much like the governance of England looks now. That is, everything is dictated by Westminster / Whitehall, and Local Government is reduced to field operating units, with little local discretion and “penny packet” financing from the centre.

    It would be likely IMO, that the EU / EZ supremos, would want to move to the, currently, 98 “regions” model and try and make member “States” redundant. I think there are some regions who would gladly disconnect from there States under an EU umbrella. (12 regions in the UK, 9 in England).

    Once you get rid of member states’ Treasuries and Central Banks; taking both fiscal and monetary policy to the centre, wherever that may be; there is only a sort of a grant funded County Council role left. With a similar tax model to England, 95% collected by the Westminster.

    Last night, we were trying to work out who is the top dog in the EU and/or EZ? It has got more presidents than you can shake a stick at. Who is the equivalent of Chancellor Osborne and Governor Carney? We came to the conclusion that Jeroen “Mr Euro” Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup is increasingly Osborne, usurping gradually, the fiscal bit of Mario Draghi job. Mario D is definitely Governor Carney.

    The big advantage Draghi and Dijsselbloem have got is they are unencumbered by any direct accountability, to anybody who was elected by a popular vote of the little people.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Acorn

      Good post, agreed .

  24. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Why has it been so easy for the EU to edge us to a political union? Because at every turn of the EU vice, the British do not feel any difference.

    Local governmental corruption remains unaddressed and absolutely ignored, even made easier. Internal democratic deficit remains unchanged. Trades unions remain Corporate as opposed to Free. The notion that “foreigner” also means “politically different” has been eroded on the grounds of being racist.
    So some people of all races colours and creeds of the UK based Parliament are at odds with people of all races colours and creeds in a Parliament based a few miles away over the Channel. Hmm.

    It is an uphill battle for true British patriots to make the case for defending our country from external threat on all levels from the EU when “Them in government , do what they want no matter what we say “.

    British political parties may have deep within their manifestos an indication they are going to fight corruption within Local Authorities, political parties themselves at branch level, also trades union branches at branch level and to investigate the cosy relationships between Trades Unions/Local Authority employers and indeed with certain companies. But where is the beef? Are we to assume counter-intuitively that this Billion Pound UK economy is squeaky clean? British people know better.

    It is no use a British Al Capone asking the British people to support him because a European Al Capone is seeking to take over his speak-easyies and his massively money laundering private landlord housing sector.

    As I write, I hear Rt Hon Home Secretary Theresa MP speaking about finding ways to counteract terrorist recruitment here in the UK amongst ..well, she did not state,.and come up with the solution in the Autumn. Yeah the terrorists no doubt have gone on their hols over the summer Parliamentary Recess.
    Well she might well think along the lines of its funding methods. Try buy-to-rent and Local Government interactions as a point of entry. Or hand the problem and solution to a… they’re-just- like-us… EU body.

  25. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you are one of the tiny minority of politicians or journalists who have been keeping up with developments. You should receive a lot of kudos for this.

    There are in fact three options in the Spinelli Document.
    1. Complete Union with one parliament voting along party lines and elected on party lists, one council with reduced powers voting by majority vote, one flag, one police, one army and the whole thing run by the Commission (Russian: Komisar) which is unelected, secret, not budgeted properly and alone able to propose laws and enact them. The constitution, unsurprisingly, is very similar to the USSR. Several of the people who planned all this were brought up under the communist/socialist era. Many of them try not to talk about their youths which were stained with Communism too. (names people who may have ceased to be communists or who maybe were never communists ed)
    2. Pre Euro States (not countries). ??????? Poland?
    3. Associate Membership: EFTA countries, Switzerland and Great Britain (possibly). Maybe even Turkey. They get voting rights, membership of the common market, but not powers of deliberation over Euro matters. Of course EFTA and EEA will be subsumed into the EU.

    The game has changed: where does Mr Cameron propose to lead us? And notice, as our host says, NONE of this has been mentioned by the BBC which is following the Star (story) and not reaching Bethlehem (as in the poem”What rough beast, his hour come round at last, struggles toward Bethlehem to be born”. Or words to that effect.)

    Reply I am citing the official EU document – the Spinelli doc puts a spin on the official doc.

  26. Peter Stroud
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The incredible danger of the UK remaining in the EU, becomes clearer by the day. But I really worry that our Prime Minister is blinded by an illogical love of the Union, and with the vast majority of Labour members, and the entire SNP contingent totally wedded to the EU, to say nothing of the LibDems, we will never get a balanced view from the HoC? I fear that Cameron will return to the role of PR exponent and try to b******t us into voting to stay in.

    • DaveM
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t totally disagree with you. However, I am beginning to wonder whether DC really is that blind still, or if the scales are starting to fall from his eyes. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he decides to support the OUT vote following some condescention from the EC/Juncker and the consequent ridicule in the popular press, although he needs to toughen up and stop caving in under pressure. I’m also not sure how much Labour really like the EU either.

      As for the SNP – they only like the EU because they hate England but recognise the need for an underwriter.

  27. Martin
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Out of interest how does the Sterling area do it?

    When will Gibraltar and the Falklands pay the same taxes as the rest of us who expect the Royal Navy’s frigate(s?) to defend our shores?

    What would happen if the Falklands or Gibraltar suddenly started borrowing like crazy?

  28. outsider
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood: Thank you for your usual rational analysis. It seems obvious that evolving the eurozone into a confederated state is closely connected to creating a new relationship between the UK (and the other nine? non-euro EU members) with this semi-state. Negotiations on the two are inextricably bound together.
    Judging by reports of M Hollande’s latest article, he might well be sympathetic to a clear separation of EU rules and structures and eurozone rules and structures. “More Europe” makes sense within the eurozone but makes no sense for the rest of us, who mostly want “less Europe”. The Foreign Office’s renegotiation plans seem no more than a sideshow to this central issue.
    It seems ridiculous that, under present plans, UK voters will have to make a long-term In/Out decision without having any clear idea what we are voting to be in or out of.

    • DaveM
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Glad you mentioned M Hollande – he’s only going to be around for another 2 years max, when he’ll probably be replaced by Sarkozy (who in turn will be under pressure from a BIG FN contingent and a very charismatic Mme LePen).

      We’re not the only country fed up with this.

  29. waramess
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who has refused to consider the posssibility of a (German led USE ed) emerging from all this will surely need to re-examine their reasons.
    Greece has not been treated well in spite of it’s excuse for a government because the Germans wish to impose a German style austerity on them rather than simply let the process of default take it’s course.
    Like a cat with a mouse they continue to impose the torture of economic servitude to the point of actually allowing the Greeks to run out of cash.
    It would seem that few people fully understand the nonsense behind this and simply see the Greeks as having run out of money.
    My friend in Greece has not run out of money but he is unable to get cash from cashpoints however, he can transfer money to my account in the Canaries and I can send him cash in whatever amount he requires.
    These days money is no more than a unit of account which makes it far easier for banks to create and, banknotes no more than tokens for small transactions, so why, when it is clear that cash withdrawals left the Greek banks short, is the ECB unwilling to provide liquidity against eligible securities?
    The answer is pretty sinister and should be of great concern to all members of the Euroclub who do not stay on the right side of the Germans

  30. alte fritz
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Quite agree as usual. Do these lofty aims not look feeble against the background of a rapidly developing world, especially in Asia? Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

  31. JoeSoap
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    This is such a back-door way of working.

    More democratic would be

    1 referendum in each sovereign entity in order to ensure that all entities wish to surrender sovereignty in all of these areas.
    2 continue with your political union
    3 continue towards a genuine economic union that ensures each economy has the structural features that prosper within the monetary union

    You could put yourself forward on the basis that you are the greatest proponent of political union but only if within the context of full political democracy…

  32. forthurst
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    This document authored, allegedly, by the ‘five presidents’ begins as with many great works of fiction with a memorable phrase, “The euro is a successful and stable currency.” Does it have have the capacity to reach those parts that other currencies can’t reach?

    The EU is awash with ‘presidents’ whose democratic credentials are obscure; we don’t need or want any presidents because we a monarchy.

  33. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    It is legend the political Far Right and the Far Left in countries come into prominence when societies become amongst other things slugglish, undemocratic, impoverished, very impoverished, extremely impoverished, corrupt or governed by a foreign power.
    I see in very prosperous countries such as France, Germany and the UK these extreme parties are not just reaching prominence as parties in their own right and are dug-in preparing for an offensive but also like-minded folk are distributed liberally amongst mainstream parties.

    Who will rid us of this troublesome EU?

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      The legacy parties like to paint UKIP as extreme but they are not asking for anything which hundred of respectable countries around the world do not already have .

      As a single issue party (British sovereignty) , UKIP do not fit in the traditional left-right political spectrum model either , neither at the centre nor the extremities .

      “….these extreme parties are not just reaching prominence as parties in their own right and are dug-in preparing for an offensive but also like-minded folk are distributed liberally amongst mainstream parties.”

      Given how UK mainstream parties have been totally hijacked by EUphile interests this comes across as ministry of truth doublespeak .

      Aren’t you concerned that by dismissing respectable protest parties (like presumably UKIP) as extremists that you are not just going for the man rather than the ball ?

  34. Leslie Singleton
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–One reads in the Sun that Boris might head up the OUT campaign. What do you think of them apples? As I see it he might do a good job but I must say I have never seen him as particularly EUphobic (I don’t care whether he is Eurosceptic or not because that word has no meaning). His article today in the Torygraph was excellent but he always did boast (correctly I feel) that he could write a thousand words without breaking stride on any subject and in either direction. I tend to like the idea of him perhaps teaming up with Nigel.

    Reply I do not think he wants to lead the Out campaign and as far as I know he does not go to any of the meetings planning such a campaign.

    • DaveM
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      To reply: Who do you think should lead it, John?

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      What Boris’s real friends should tell him is this :-

      Firstly he should go home to America .

      As an American he could eventually stand for President , with perhaps David Miliband as his running mate .

      London is his legacy and David Lammy , if elected , will be a safe pair of hands to build on his good work .

      There is no way Boris will get himself out of the career rut he finds himself in over hear .

      If he stays he’ll start looking more and more absurd like Jeffrey Archer did towards his downfall .

      Time to bow out with dignity .

    • Chris S
      Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      A couple of questions for our kind host :

      Obviously for Boris the only game in town is the party leadership and to be the next PM. Irrespective of the outcome of the referendum, is that even a remote possibility if he takes on the leadership of the No campaign ?

      What is your best estimate of the current relative voting strength of Conservative MPs on the Referendum ? Let’s assume here that the renegotiation is nothing more than smoke, mirrors with one of Juncker’s “Political Agreements” to implement some treaty changes “at some future date ” ?

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 20, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        words left out ed

        The Boris personality cult and the fabricated persona he projects has a limited life and has grown old over here .

        He’s should move somewhere his act is not old hat .

        If the UK continues to draw it’s leaders from a school with an intake of 330 pupils per year , we not only exclude women but exclude 99.996% of the talent in the country who didn’t go to Eton .

        • libertarian
          Posted July 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          A diffident Simon

          Which school should they get them from ?

          Heres a quiz if you think that Eton isn’t diverse enough?

          Which party has provided the UK with

          1) A female leader
          2) 2 gay leaders
          3) A jewish leader

          None of them went to Eton

          Which party has NEVER had a leader who wasn’t a male,white, middle aged , heterosexual, christian ?

          Which party after September will STILL NEVER have had a leader who wasn’t a male,white, middle aged , heterosexual ?

          The UK has had 73 PM’s 19 of whom went to Eton. Before Cameron the previous Old Etonian PM was Alex Douglas-Home in 1963 there have been 7 PM’s since then who DIDN’T go to Eton.

  35. IanB
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The only relationship we should have with the EU is the same as we have with any other foreign power. We have got to get out of this crazy, ramshackle “empire”.

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The lunatics are in charge of the asylum with a vengeance. We must not only get off this train, we must wreck it – totally wreck it – before leaving. This is why it is totally unacceptable for the PM to be in sole charge of our renegotiation and to negotiate in secret.

    You need to hoist the flag of rebellion now.

    At the moment, Conservatives for Britain is a parliamentary organisation. It badly needs an organised non-parliamentary group to go with it and to get our alternative vision into the public domain.

    It is time – and more than time – to stop the pro_European tail of the Conservative Party from wagging the Tory dog. Conservative Eurosceptics need to assert: “We are the majority and we are the masters now.” If this means a Eurosceptic standing for party leader, so be it. David Cameron does not have tenure for life.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I find that it’s a Westminster Hall debate starting at 4.30 pm.

  38. Chris S
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Finding the statement wasn’t the easiest of jobs but here it is :

    http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/economic-monetary-union/docs/5-presidents-report_en.pdf

    There’s little in it that anyone in the UK could accept but just one or two selected passages should be enough to sound warning bells throughout the Government. They will require serious rebuttal as they strike directly at the heart of the City of London :

    Section 3.2 “Launching the Capital Markets Union”

    “Alongside Banking Union, launching the Capital Markets Union must be seen as a priority. . This applies to all 28 EU Member States”

    A little further down on the same page :

    “This should lead ultimately to a single European capital markets supervisor”

    This is no more than a power grab to seize control over our most important industry.
    The BBC should be asked why this isn’t headline news !

  39. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I have read individual statements following the meeting on 7th july , but cannot find the official statement ?

  40. Chris S
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Lindsay McDougall is right in her post above.

    Conservatives for Britain should not be an elite group only for MPs. Membership should be open to like-minded individuals like many of us who regularly contribute here.

    As the referendum gets ever closer we simply cannot stand by and watch David Cameron, his Europhile chums and the BBC dictate the argument. If we are given no alternative we will just have to join UKIP.

    My preferred option would be to join a group led by John Redwood and Daniel Hannan.

    Reply Conservatives for Britain are planning a website and membership/affiliation for whoever wishes to join.

    • Chris S
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      That’s good news but what it needs most is an organisation on the ground and local groups ready to canvass support all over the country when the campaign really gets going. That needs to be planned now.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Just for the record, Lindsay McDougall is Glasgow born, 18 stone and decidedly male. I look forward to the Conservatives for Britain web site.

      • Chris S
        Posted July 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Hello Lindsay

        This Chris is also decidedly male but as a mere 13 stone Southern Softy I certainly wouldn’t want to upset you !

        My sincere apologies !

  41. bluedog
    Posted July 21, 2015 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Well done, Dr JR.

    Reading the document flagged by Chris S, this is not to be an exercise in free market capitalism but the imposition of central planning in the European capital markets. The document talks vacuously about market-driven shock-absorbers, but then alludes to a Single Supervisory Mechanism. One also reads about an equally intimidating Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, which emerges in section 2. on Convergence, Prosperity and Social Cohesion. It seems that as yet unappointed Tsars will control omnipotent agencies that enforce collective uniformity for the greater good.

    Haven’t we been here before?

    • Chris S
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      Hardly surprising, Bluedog :

      The EU is most certainly not a Free Market body. It is a left of centre organisation with very strong centralist tendencies : much more socialist than capitalist.

      A majority of MEPs are social democrats, not Conservatives and the whole ethos of the Brussels elite is to grab as much power as possible to the centre and devalue the role of the member states.

      The surprise is just how many national politicians are still prepared to go along with that, even in the UK.

  42. agricola
    Posted July 21, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    While wishing you well in the debate today on political union I note that it has been consigned to Westminster Hall which I would judge as only a toe in Parliament. Although the BBC are Live in Parliament I would be surprised if they give the debate much air time. This is an indication of the forces that are lining up to skew the debate on whether we should belong in the EU or not. I hope I am not in a position to say I told you so at the end of the day. Hit them where it hurts.

    • agricola
      Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Addendum.

      Well not even a hint from the media, but no surprise at that. So for the benefit of all can you publish what you had to say plus some general background to put it all into context.

      My thought is that the NO campaign needs to be coordinated and it should bring together all those, irrespective of political affiliation, who believe in NO. A coherent story needs to be told. Apart from yourself there are two others who come to mind who should be on the board so to speak, Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage. Then co-opt people from all other parts of our society, Industry, the Law, Education, Finance etc. The cause of leaving the EU needs a focus for the media. In it’s separate component parts it is too easy to pick of or ignore, which is what I guess happened today. From now on I will watch with interest.

  43. Stuart B(eaker)
    Posted July 23, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I was hoping to hear your debate reported on the BBC, but I must have missed it, even though I did listen quite carefully.

    There is absolutely no hope of even getting an OUT vote, let alone making it count, while the main broadcaster is now so deeply sunk in deceit that it is blatantly crooked in its reporting, not just of this issue, but of many others too.

    I think the jaws of the vice are now finally closing on us – the media and the political leadership are almost completely compromised and distanced from their true functions. The only remaining facet is to warn off anyone who is rash enough to contemplate direct action in the face of disenfranchisement – for this, expect the further tailoring of ‘anti-extremist’ legislation to target instead any opposition which might be expected. There seems little doubt that it will be ‘re-purposed’ just in case the vote goes the wrong way.

    Just in case an OUT vote does materialise, the EU will undoubtedly overrride it, as it has just done to Greece. The economic levers will be different, but I expect that the UK will, in this eventuality, be subjected to contingent economic warfare every bit as ruthless and determined. The NO campaign has to anticipate the consequences of victory at the poll as well the probability of defeat.

  • 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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