To remain or leave? That is the EU question.

I accept the advice of the Electoral Commission. The EU referendum deserves a neutral and clear question. Remain or leave is quite straightforward and meets with general approval as fair. I will vote for that and trust the government will recommend it as an amendment to their Bill.

I read that Mr Farage does not wish to co-operate with other Eurosceptics in running a Leave campaign. He wants to run his own campaign, with one topic, that of immigration. Fine. I now hear that Mr Farage has wisely said he does wish to co-operated with the official campaign but not to run it.

I do not think it would be wise to run the Leave campaign on just one issue, however topical it currently is and however central it clearly is to an important group of voters. The reason we need to leave is wider than current migration problems. We need to leave so we can regain control over our future. We need to leave to be a free and prosperous people. We need to leave to restore our democracy. We need to leave because the EU is increasingly becoming the political union for the Euro area. We need a new relationship with the rest of the EU so we can trade, be friends and co-operate with them outside the current centralising treaties.

We do want to make our own decisions about who to invite into our country. But we also want to make our own decisions about what welfare benefits to give out, about how to regulate our banks, about how to generate our power, what price to charge for electricity, about how we can best look after our environment and who we can deport and extradite. Most of the rest of Europe is embarked on a project to create a United States of Europe. The EU is on a wild ride to political union. UK voters can keep us out of that by voting to leave the current treaties, or by accepting the new relationship Mr Cameron negotiates if he succeeds with this wider vision of fundamental change. The rest of the EU will want to trade with us and do deals with us, and many will be relieved there is no longer worry over the difficult question how does the UK have a relationship which works from inside the centralising EU, now dominated by its single currency.

I hear the government also plans to amend the Bill over the issue of purdah, or the rules over what government can do during the referendum period. As an MP who voted against their original proposal I look forward to seeing their second thoughts.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I was amazed that anyone could have though that a yes/no question was acceptable in the first place it would have given a very significant bias to the yes campaign. At least it seems we have made progress there and on the purdah. We still have the appalling & huge BBC bias though.

    It is not, of course, the case that the “get outers” are even against immigration. They are largely only against uncontrolled and non-selective immigration. Immigration which is totally outside the control of Westminster or of the voters. I can not understand why anyone or any democrat could not take this position. How can anyone defend not taking this rational position?

    I was listening to Yvette Cooper-Balls on radio 4 yesterday talking complete and utter nonsense and rewriting the recent history of labour on immigration. All rather hilarious but for the vast damage Labour have done.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Is it true, as was reported, that Osborne tried to prevent Cameron’s referendum promise?

      Are we ever going to be told what Cameron is even trying to negotiate?

      The Cameron pro EU side of the debate should clearly not have any control over the date, as this provides another huge advantage too the in side.

      The BBC have only one central & fairly impartial political reporter in Andrew Neil on the EU issue. They have non on the EU out side at all. All the others are clearly BBC think on the EU issue (on global warming greencrap and the ever bigger state sector too). Their bias is clear in nearly every daft or biased question they pose. So how are the BBC ever going to provide any balance in the referendum? They have just one neutral and perhaps 100+ pro EU political reporters and commentators.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:31 am | Permalink

        Just look at all the current Newsnight presenters, for a clear example of the huge BBC bias.

        • stred
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          Arrived back from holiday last week and turned on Newsnight to find the latest presenter is Mr O’Brien, the (words left out ed)from LBC. Everyone knows his views, as he uses endless blarney to let us know them and put down less idealistic callers.

          This morning, after the picture of the poor little drowned boy, anyone not willing to accept refugees is the target. Forget that some of us have been saying that proper refugees from minorities in Syria should be taken after due process and that any gaining refugee status in the rest of the UK can walk in anyway, and probably will.

          Who better to uphold the charter to unbaised coverage?

          • stred
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            Correction. of the EU.

          • stred
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            When ‘words left out’ is used to edit, it makes it look as though very rude words were used, even though a mild description was given, which the subject often uses himself.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Actually I find Sky is just as bad.

        • Excalibur
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 2:44 am | Permalink

          Quite so, Denis. Their absolutely mind-numbing coverage of trivia such as ‘celebrity’ news and other flotsam makes their news coverage second rate. The British public is poorly served for clear, unbiased news reporting.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Mr Cameron/Osborne’s renegotiation strategy is a joke as we all know and it is widely reported that they want to remain in regardless of outcome. A ridiculous starting point in any negotiation for anything in life. Like Browns selling of the Nations gold reserves. Am I surprised with either of these non jobs? No, they are who they are. They have no life experience and rely on spin and deception. The public can see it in all they do. Utterly clueless. After 5 years they can’t suddenly emerge as true statesmen. They certainly can’t stand or debate with a real leader like Nigel Farage who would eat them for breakfast. He has publically stated that he would work with anyone or group to get us out of the EU. Its not about him, he knows it and has done more than anyone else in this COUNTRY to remove us from this dictatorship. He is the true patriot not your leadership!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      It is reported that we have had the wettest August since record began yet the Met Office predicted a summer with below average rainfall. Also it seems Dame Julia Slingo claims “forecasting months and seasons ahead is still in its infancy”.

      So why do we get these claims for the temperature increases in 100 years, and why are we wasting £billions reducing co2 in a misguided and doomed attempt to try to control it?

      • turbo terrier
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink


        So why do we get these claims for the temperature increases in 100 years, and why are we wasting £billions reducing co2 in a misguided and doomed attempt to try to control it?

        Because it gives all the believers and disciples to the Global Warming and Renewable Energy religion a chance to earn massive sums of money knowing that the majority of the rank and file politicians do not and will not understand it. In the land of the blind the one eyed God is King!!!

        • Peter Stroud
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          You are absolutely right, regarding the neo religion of CAGW. But I am not sure that all of the political leaders are so scientifically ignorant when embracing the doctrine. Certainly most leading politicians are classically, or business trained, but I am sure some realise that the entire structure of AGW is based on massive computer models with many parameters unverified: in other words estimated, or guessed. The hypothesis seemed to fit the facts of a warming world some twenty years ago: but certainly no more. Setting up the IPCC at that time was a mistake. It is bound to promote and reward research into anthropogenic climate change, because that is in it charter. Not climate science as a whole. Hence, it must always promote worst case scenarios, to survive. We will see it with all its support from every green activist movement, in Paris, in December. Wait for more doom and gloom: but, as usual,no international agreement.

          • Excalibur
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 2:31 am | Permalink

            If climate change is indeed anthropogenic, how much do the endless ‘wildfires’ in the United States contribute ?

          • old salt
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

            Why is so much ice melt and temperatures rising.
            Could it be burning so much fossil fuel, so many more cars and lorries, power station coal, oil and gas field gas flaring etc. If one wanted to heat up the sky this is the way to go. Solar and renewable has to be the way. How many decades will the present way last? There will be more wars over diminishing resources. Forget fracking and the poisonous chemicals used that will eventually poison our water. I rather suspect our grandchildren? will witness.

    • MikeP
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Personally I’m hoping that Cameron’s renegotiation stance is framed around the list of 7 demands he put in his Telegraph article in March last year, since making such a public statement allows us to hold him to account on it, not least as he won the election on it. So:
      – migration controls; immigration rules on benefits; ability for national Govts to block legislation; free trade deals with USA and Asia; supremacy of our courts over the ECHR; more powers flowing away from Brussels rather than towards; a clear opt-out on “ever closer union”. That all said, I’m not holding my breath mind!

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        The “free trade” deal with India (presumably part of Asia) is nothing of the sort. Its a disguised stitch up to allow the Indian outsourcing movement to use uncapped intra company transfer visas to bring in ever more Indian national workers, subcontract them here for less than a Brit can work for, and allow many of them to stay here forever. And much more. In return the UK is supposedly going to be able to sell more insurance to India. You have to laugh at the ridiculous nature of the whole thing. To label it “free trade” deal is brilliant PR but basically just good old fashioned lying.

        Be very worried.

        • Excalibur
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 2:52 am | Permalink

          You are quite right to keep drawing attention to this, Iain. Once suitably ensconced with their extended families there is not the remotest possibility of them returning to the sub-continent. As I have mentioned before in these columns, we get very little in return from India when big contracts arise. They much prefer to buy from the French and Russians.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          I may be wrong but I think the first time trade and immigration were linked was in the 1957 Treaty of Rome establishing the EEC, with its “four freedoms” of which the fourth was freedom of movement of persons between the member states. Now it has come to be implicitly assumed in some quarters that two countries cannot agree to a deal for the exchange of their goods and services without also agreeing to the exchange of their citizens.

          So I imagine that the two chaps who are at this very moment downstairs fitting a new carpet will expect to be able to move in with their families afterwards, as part of the deal, but for me the possible advantage is that I would also have the legal right to move into their houses if I wanted to.

  2. petermartin2001
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Agreed. The EU referendum is very much more than being about immigration. UK democracy is the key issue. Nothing else comes close. Immigration into the UK is, any case, the symptom of a wider problem in the EU/EZ economy. The EU have set up a common currency without the least idea of how to make it work.

    Let UKIP get on with own campaign if they must. Well away from the rest of us. That’s a good thing.

    • agricola
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Your last statement is ill informed and stupid in the extreme. As I have had to point out to our host, you do not win battles on a divided front.

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


        You do not win campaigns by dividing. Why is Farage being such an ass on this issue? Having lost credibility by not resigning he now throws his toys out of the pram and states it is a one issue debate. Complete rubbish from a man I used to admire.

        The EU leave/out referendum will be won by convincing the majority that we will be better off out and that the risk of change is smaller than the scaremongerers state. Concentrating just on immigration will not win over sufficient numbers to win the referendum and the chance will be lost. It is a multifaceted debate which can be won on all fronts as there is no tangible benefit to staying in. We should ensure we win all the arguments with immigration as the joker in the pack to play regularly but not solely.

        Mr Farage is becoming a liability (because he will turn away many voters who may otherwise have voted to leave) and so should become lower profile. He has played his part in getting us where we are today, he can be proud.

        • agricola
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          He will only turn away the myopic.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 4, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            The myopic also need to be convinced or do you take victory for granted.

            There are other eloquent spokesmen in UKIP- Paul, Suzanne and Patrick for starters plus Stephen Woolfe

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Much of the immigration into the UK is largely a symptom of a different and much wider problem across the world, namely many decades of excessive population growth in poor countries, outstripping their capacity to develop economically and improve living standards and often exacerbating longstanding internal conflicts rather than helping to heal them through shared material progress.

    • Catalpah
      Posted September 6, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Who are the ‘rest of us’? What other LEAVE campaigns are there? I have not heard of any. Business for Britain and its offshoot Conservatives for Britain are only interest in getting reform of the EU; they are not interested in leaving.

      Except for UKIP, there is no LEAVE campaing currently.

      Reply I and others have made very clear our wish to leave the current treaties.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Excellent news that Nigel is about to set up a separate UKIP campaign. The other two “campaigns” I for one scarcely knew existed – I personally have not the slightest idea who is leading them – and in any event they have made zero impact. I doubt that UKIP envisage concentrating exclusively on Immigration but it wouldn’t bother me much if they did. And of course getting rid of the Yes/No in favour of Remain/Leave was always the right thing to do as some of us said here months ago. Best of all would be if the EU were to collapse so we wouldn’t need a Referendum at all. They deserve all they get for simply ignoring the fact that, is it nine?, countries do not want and increasingly don’t want the wretched Euro and that objectively it has been a disaster. Its only success has been making it difficult to leave – unfortunately.

    • Bernard from Bucks
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      I would prefer a ‘Leave/Remain’ question.
      The letter L comes before the letter R. Alphabetical order is usually considered neutral.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Bernard–Good point and I agree entirely

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Agreed, “leave” should be the first option presented, not “stay”.

        However that is not what the Electoral Commission has recommended, and maybe we should count ourselves lucky that Cameron has agreed to their proposal rather than insisting on the unfair question he wanted.

    • Narrow shoulders
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      @LS and @ Agricola

      You do not win campaigns by dividing. Why is Farage being such an ass on this issue? Having lost credibility by not resigning he now throws his toys out of the pram and states it is a one issue debate. Complete rubbish from a man I used to admire.

      The EU leave/out referendum will be won by convincing the majority that we will be better off out and that the risk of change is smaller than the scaremongerers state. Concentrating just on immigration will not win over sufficient numbers to win the referendum and the chance will be lost. It is a multifaceted debate which can be won on all fronts as there is no tangible benefit to staying in. We should ensure we win all the arguments with immigration as the joker in the pack to play regularly but not solely.

      Mr Farage is becoming a liability (because he will turn away many voters who may otherwise have voted to leave) and so should become lower profile. He has played his part in getting us where we are today, he can be proud.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Who first came up with this argument?

        People who want to stay in the EU.

        • Narrow shoulders
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          Which argument?

          The one that different people will be convinced to leave Europe by different arguments (surely not?) or the one that Nigel Farage turns a section of the populace away?

          Nigel Farage has made huge strides in getting us to where we are but like Chris Houton or indeed Brendan Rodgers as a premiership manager he has his limitations and should know when he has taken his side as far as it can go under him.

          There are others who can lead the fight with Nigel Farage assisting (ably) when required.

          If we leave the EU then history will be very kind to Nigel Farage. If we do not and he has splintered the leave vote and turned away others then it will not.

          Nicola Sturgeon is showing that a change at the head of a separatist campaign can be hugely positive. Same message, different delivery. Alex Salmond potentially lost the referendum for the No campaign as he was so divisive.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 4, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            The argument in your last paragraph.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Tinkering at the edges John. One powerful lever, the choice of the date of the referendum itself, is still in the hands of the Euro-enthusiast Mr Cameron and he has still failed to tell us what “concessions” he is attempting to negotiate with the EU. Both of these mean that no valid or informed debate can really happen in the lead up to the vote and it will all happen at the last minute when he will deploy the CBI etc. to scare the electors.

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The amended question gives a clearer choice, so is an improvement.

    If the “leave” campaign were to become a rant about migration, I’d very much hope that Britain would leave. It would cease be the force for good that it was last century.
    Now, it is still far from pulling its weight with regards to real refugees, often refugees from war zones where the UK has been very involved in recent years.
    Now, Germany is to accept many times more real refugees than “the country with no friends, only interests”.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Peter Thanks for the official Brussels response to our referendum
      Merkel wants to be careful about her pronouncements on immigration
      Many if not most at Calais are economic migrants and 95% able bodied young men who should be fighting to improve their countries
      Some are no doubt IS supporters or sleepers so when the next atrocity occurs in mainland Europe the people will not be happy.
      As with all things when the EU is involved chaos follows

      • Qubus
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think that we need any lessons from Germany about refugees. What short memories some people have!

      • stred
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Just got back from France and my British engine and car conked out in Dunkirk at the last filling station. With the diesel at the same price in France in Euros as in £s, ie 40% less. Tax or what? My bird was pushing and suddenly the speed picked up for the hill start. A well educated young man of ME appearance had been helping. He asked whether, in return, I could take him to England. Fortunately, the boot was full and the engine compartment was too.We were searched.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Certainly for us in the UK whether we remain or leave is more than an immigration issue, but I wonder if we are going to see a “sea change” of the attitude of many of the other European countries with regard to immigration in the coming months.

      I need to ask how many of those heading for Germany will actually remain there?

      And how are the authorities sorting out the genuine in need of asylum or protection from those that wish us harm?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: Some of those “who wish us harm” were born and raised in the UK or other EU countries. I suppose that when our intelligence services work to spot those with terrorist aims, they cover all residents, not just refugees, and with good reason, if you look at results so far.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          Peter VL

          What about rivalries and vendettas we are importing into the EU ? Most are fleeing (or claim to be) sectarian violence.

          Will they drop their hatred and grudges at our borders ?

    • Bernard from Bucks
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      But when these 800,000 in Germany, get their new shiny EU passports, what’s stopping them from making a ‘B-line’ (B for benefits) to the UK?

    • petermartin2001
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Peter Van Leeuwen

      I don’t know about you, but if I were a refugee from the Middle East I’d much prefer to settle in Spain, Italy or somewhere else where the weather was warm and sunny. But I’d know I couldn’t because there aren’t any jobs there. So I’d probably head towards London.

      Why aren’t there any jobs? There’s jobs in the sunnier and warmer parts of the USA like Florida and California.

      Why is the EU so useless and incompetent by comparison?

      • Dennis
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Peter – obviously you have never been to Spain or Italy or at least know much about them – it is freezing in Winter even at sea level.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          Or just not in the winter perhaps.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          A coastal city, therefore at seal level, like San Sebastian on the Northern coast of Spain has, according to my sources, an average Jan temperature of 10C. I haven’t actually been there in January – the last time I was there it was September – so I can’t personally vouch for the accuracy of this figure! But you think it’s much too high?

    • formula57
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      @ Peter van Leeuwen – your words about Britain – “It would cease be the force for good that it was last century” are truly astonishing and most unexpected: I have not before seen such kind and fulsome praise of Britain’s record. Thank you very much! 🙂

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        @formula57: Well, let’s not forget the positive UK role in establishing the European Convention on Human Rights in 1951. You no doubt could have a few good things to say as well about the UK 🙂

    • agricola
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      What a bitter little man you have become. The UK accepted in excess of 600,000 last year alone against Germany’s 800,000. Not bad going for such a small island. I would add that we have been doing it for hundreds of years, mostly as a result of the bigotry and genocidal tendencies of continental Europe.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        @agricola: You’re not very well informed I believe. Out of those 624,000 migrants, there were not more than 24,914 refugees, according to your own statistics. I’m far from bitter, just more cynical about the level of discussions in the UK.

        • petermartin2001
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Peter Van Leeuwen,

          It all depends on what you consider to be a refugee. If the EU sent in their tanks to destroy Greek livelihoods the exiting Greeks would be refugees? But if the EU uses banks they’re just migrants?

          OK. If that’s your definition then fine. But, the recently inflicted collective punishment on the Greek people hasn’t gone unnoticed by the left in the UK. The sight of pensioners weeping because they didn’t have access to their money and could not buy food was just appalling. Whatever quarrel the EU has or had with the Greek government is no justification whatever for failing to ensure that ordinary Greek people are not denied access to their euro bank accounts.

          It would be inconceivable, no matter what disputes there might be between Holyrood and Westminster, that the UK government would ever freeze, or semi freeze, all Scottish bank accounts for example. If it were to happen I’d regard it as an act of war on the Scottish people.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:19 am | Permalink

            The current devolution settlement is war on the English poor in the northern English sink estates, who are feeling all the pain while Scotland throws money around. Who is speaking up about them?

        • Timaction
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t matter what category of immigrants Peter. Whether they are from Africa, Eastern Europe or elsewhere they are still immigrants here. 634,000 in a year and every year to assimilate without impacting our culture, heritage, our very way of life. Not to mention the overcrowding, use of health, education, building on our greenbelt. This is neither reasonable or sustainable. We didn’t vote for the EU Commission or its laws and we can’t remove them! It is just a dictatorship!

        • Dennis
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          No one seems to have heard German economists and politicians say 2 or 3 weeks ago that they need immigrants which is why they opened their borders – quite different to what the UK needs. the comparison is flawed.

          Whether they now want more than they bargained for I don’t know.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          I’m surprised you didn’t bother to check your facts. Germany has 9 million citizens of foreign birth the UK ( which is far far smaller) has 7.1 million Your country has 1.8 million.

          The 800,000 entering Germany are immigrants as well as refugees just like our 600,000, Not very well informed at all.

          Oh and what politicians do isn’t normally represented by the voters view , not all the Germans are happy

          By the way I do NOT have a problem per se with immigration & I believe we should be taking in more real refugees but people like you who play politics with these issues really annoy me.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: I don’t thin I can trust your “facts” in this matter.
            For instance, Germany expects to accept 800,000 asylum seekers this year (2015), which I compare to your 24,914 refugees of 2014.
            Also, more than 16 million German citizens are of foreign/immigrant descent (first and second generation (wikipedia). I believe that to be higher percentage (20%) than in the UK.
            I’s good to hear that you think the UK should tke in ore real refugees than it currently does.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:24 am | Permalink

            A lot of foreign born German citizens are from other Soviet block countries that happened to be in East Germany when the wall came down, and were able to pick up a German EU passport as part of the chaos of the aftermath of that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Well, Peter, you still haven’t answered my question from two weeks ago:

      “But as you choose to be sanctimonious about this issue just answer a simple question – how many of that 7,300 million, rising by about 80 million a year, would you like to come and share your own country, the Netherlands, present population at an all-time high of 17 million?

      Because if you wanted to increase the population tenfold that would be no great problem, you could simply offer to take in immigrants equivalent to the increase in the population of the rest of the world each year for a couple of years, surplus population generated by those people fully exercising their human right to reproduce.

      So come on, Peter, be honest and tell us as what point you too would set aside your concern for human rights and start saying “Too many”.”

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        @ Denis Cooper, I hadn’t noticed your question, but here goes:
        In spite of Mr. Farage’s claim that 500 million people may come to settle in the UK, no such thing has ever happened to the Netherlands, in spite of it being a founder member of both Schengen and the EU. Can you really not see the populist myth and scaremongering in these words, being, I suppose, an intelligent man? I’m flabbergasted!
        I’m pretty sure that obviously necessary solutions to the current refugee crisis (relocation in the region of origin, forging peace in the current war zones, distinguishing between refugees and economic migrants etc.) can and will be found long before the refugees become “too many”. Without good European cooperation this will only take longer to achieve. Let me hope that your government will show more wisdom than you in this matter.
        A problem (both in the UK and the Netherlands) is the right-wing fear of losing out to populists. A sad development

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 4, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Still no answer, just waffle to avoid answering the question!

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 4, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            @Denis: I’m a little disappointed, had expected more intelligence: I had disqualified your question as not within the realm of reality. Just like there never were 500 million people coming to the Netherlands. To discus such utterly academic questions look elsewhere please.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 5, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            It’s a simple enough question, and your refusal to even attempt an answer itself speaks volumes. You are, in my view, a traitor to your own people, but it is for them to deal with you.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Still no answer.

    • Graham
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      More pearls of wisdom from the EU sponsored man in the know.

      Not your country so (politely) mind your own business.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      The UK has a long history (over the centuries) of accepting refugees from conflict and persecution. I reject your criticism.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        @oldtimer: Current populist debate in the UK and conservative politics leaning over backwards not to lose these voters doesn’t bode well for a continuation of being a positive force.
        Mind you, I’m equally disturbed by the populist debate (Geert Wilders) in The Netherlands.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          Answer Denis as above as we have already had our quota!

        • Horatio McSherry
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink


          The “populist” argument always makes me laugh. When governments do what supercillious people like you want, you call it “democracy”, yet when a government (of a representative democracy no less) does something the majority of people want, you call it “populism”. I mean, heaven forfend a government does something that the downtrodden, ignorant masses want. They don’t know what’s best for themselves, do they?

          As has been asked above, how many refugees/immigrants would you be willing to take into you country? Let’s not get too precious; nearest 250,000 will do. As we know, your country has had no recent problems with racial/religious/socials divisions and if you could show the way, it would be appreciated.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            @Horatio McSherry: Sorry, but in a proper proportioanl representative democracy like ours (not yours) a government DOES represent the majority (50% plus) of the people (instead of your current 37% of the popular vote). Populism is a polite way of denoting the one-liner scaremongering and demagogy applied by people like Geert Wilders or etc ed. Power-mongers can be quite clever in playing on the fears of common people. This “tell me to the nearest 250,000”is such a fear-based argument, swimming in the sea of misinformation in the UK.

      • MickN
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        We have a proud history of taking in refugees and we should welcome a number of those fleeing persecution in Syria. Unfortunately all the time we have half of Africa wanting to move to Europe many of whom are hell bent on getting into the UK we cannot cope with those in genuine need.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          @MickN: That problem is not unique to the UK and is also best addressed in close cooperation. Such cooperation would suffer from a Brexit as even a Tory ex-minister like Damian Green acknowledges.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      When did the German government ask its people if they were happy to accept 800,000 (refugees ed)? What will they say when next year they find that there are 1.6 million arriving?

      • bigneil
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        1.6 million? – -are you having a laugh? the current flood will become a human tsunami – -all wanting their free lives, paid for by us, while telling us we must accept their demands to change our ways to theirs. Look at the current photos from Hungary. Those people are from countries where we are always shown masses, in the streets screaming and yelling, arms in the air. They now have “escaped” their countries – and behave exactly the same when they instantly don’t get what they demand. Europe’s streets will soon be full of fanatical arm wavers, screaming and shouting.
        Etc ed

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Correct, there is an effectively unlimited number of people who would like to escape from their countries of birth, many of which are little better than hellholes thanks mainly to the way the population behaves, come to Europe and (change that ed)as well. As a dissident voice on the Sky press review pointed out a few nights ago, there are probably 4 or 5 billion, that is 4000 million or 5000 million, people around the world who would prefer to live in Europe, and with the UK at or near the top of the list of their preferred final destinations. I suspect that many of those who say we should be kind and welcome whoever needs/wants to come have no appreciation of the potential numbers involved, and their arithmetic skills are poor, while some others understand it perfectly well and are motivated by malice towards the established population.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            This is the end, Denis.

            By the end of this government I doubt we’ll be a stable country any more, let alone a prosperous one.

            I know the pictures are tragic but it really is a case of them or us now.

            Who is the government going to put first ?

            And just who is Emma Thompson ?

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Come on Peter, we all know this is not just about refugees and people movement, this is about POPULATION MOVEMENT.

      Germany is taking so called refugees because its population is forecast to drop and so it needs more people, ours is forecast to rise dramatically.

      The solution to refugees is surely to try and get theM into a safe haven in or close to their own Country, whilst an attempt is made to resolve the issues in that Country, so people can then return to their homeland.
      In this regard the UN, EU and NATO are all failing.

      We are spending £billions abroad trying to help.

      Did not see many of the terrorists trying to help those with Ebola, or those recent victims of earthquakes or Tsunamis throughout the World.

      You and I know that the UK are one of the most compassionate group of Countries in the World, but we do tend to get rather angry when people try to take deliberate advantage of our generosity.

      We have always in the past taken genuine refugees, even questionable ones who have then preached hate against us.

      Once again we have a problem caused by wrong decisions made by politicians, trying to be solved by the very same politicians.

      Your solution is ?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        @alan jutson: I can agree with much of what you state, and also that many British are compassionate people. I’m just flabbergasted that on the issue of REAL refugees, the UK government is in such stark contrast to the German government. Demographics don’t explain that for me. A less fearful UK government (of UKIP stirring) would have embarked on real cooperation in this matter months ago. I just hope for a different UK position, come the 14 September emergency immigration ministerial EU summit.

    • acorn
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Peter, don’t mention the Bush – Blair wars. Yes, we know that bombing other peoples countries, has caused a wave of mass tourism from the Middle East into Europe. Lots of people go on holiday while their houses are being remodelled with high explosives! Why not go and visit the countries where the remodellers came from!

      Anyway JR, can we take it from your post, that you have gone cool on the renegotiation thing? ” … or by accepting the new relationship Mr Cameron negotiates if he succeeds with this wider vision of fundamental change.” That is, you are now an out and out outer!

    • Mark
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Other than France, most other EU countries (including Germany) have contributed very little to attempts to stabilise the Middle East and Africa, whether by way of aid, military intervention, help with improving their governance or otherwise. They have left that to others, and now we see the result. Their concern seems to have been rather to pursue Eastward expansion of the EU into the Ukraine and Turkey. They have sought to keep the EU as an internal market, imposing tariffs, quasi tariffs via regulation, and quotas on trade. They refuse to sanction the building of viable energy supplies in many of the poorer countries of Africa. So now we have a refugee crisis and economic migration to evade the barriers they have erected.

    • Bob
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink


      “it is still far from pulling its weight with regards to real refugees”

      If Germans want to salve their collective consciences by taking in this asylum seekers then that’s their decision, but I hope they vet them carefully because there could be some among them who are merely welfare seekers or worst!

      Remember, once they get their EU passports they’ll be free to settle anywhere in the EU.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        @Bob: scaremongering. These refugees aren’t “welfare seekers”, but more likely will contribute to your (and our) economy.

        • Bob
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


          “These refugees aren’t “welfare seekers””

          The evidence is to the contrary.
          These people will be entitled to free housing, schooling, healthcare and cash benefits. Why do you thing they are risking their lives to get to the UK when they could easily settle in France or Germany?

          ISIS have already admitted that they will be sending jihadists via the asylum route.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          So why, despite having previously issued public invitations for them all to move to Germany, is the German government now saying that they should be shared around the rest of the EU more “fairly”? Is that so the other EU member states will share in the economic benefits?

    • Malcolm Browne
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      England is by far the most densely populated country in the EU, and cannot take any more people. The roads are continually choked and there is a shortage of housing, schools and hospitals. Let the larger and less densely populated countries take these immigrants. Your countries will be enriched by the experience.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        @Malcolm Browne: Not so.
        Number of inhabitants per square mile:
        Maltha – 3,424, Netherlands – 1,064, UK – 660

        • petermartin2001
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink


          Just as I know the difference between Holland and the Netherlands, I would expect you to know the difference between the UK and England! 🙂

        • Narrow shoulders
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


          If we are to send these immigrants to the bits of the UK that make the whole capita per mile less dense (we have large urban areas that are hugely dense and then areas of great beauty and solitude) then they will most certainly be in receipt of benefits as there are no jobs in the more rural areas.

          You can’t have it both ways, our commercial centres are full so they either add to the already unpleasant density or they claim benefits. Either way we don’t want them and there are countries more suited to their own cultures nearer their own countries.

          Or they can stay in their own countries and make them better for all rather than fleeing. The EU (and UK in particular) did not become what it is now over the centuries without great turmoil and fight.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      When Holland has over 500,000 new arrivals per year for many years, added to record of accepting tens of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers for decades I will accept your criticism of our record Peter.

    • sm
      Posted September 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      This a Schengen was a problem to start with. Created in Brussels/Berlin/Paris, probably with malice & foresight too destabilise countries.

      Well now we have problem with mass economic movement or more politely for some refugees, moving considerable distances. (Not just MENA but Ukraine etc.)

      How long before mainland EU given them papers which allow unrestricted access to the UK anyway?

      Maybe if the EU worked properly and stabilized countries ( ref Greece-major loan write offs or Euro ejection) it would work better.

      Consider abandoning Schengen and addressing root causes.

      We should be considering immediate withdrawal from the EU, as it is not fit for purpose. All it wants from the UK is money and someone to scapegoat.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    The revised question and available answers sound sensible, and should be clear to all.

    Not sure about a single group campaigning to leave, as they would probably spend more time arguing amongst themselves about the content of the argument, than actually making it.
    Having said that, I think they should have at least a loose agreement to co-operate with each other.

    Farage probably a good person to argue about immigration, as he is the one person who has never been afraid of mentioning it over very many years, so at least he is a consistent voice, but it does not stop others using the same argument and doing the same to back him up.

    Apart from yourself and a few others in Parliament John, I have always been impressed with Dan Hannan when he has argued the case for us leaving at lectures, discussions, interviews etc.
    Always calm, always clear, always precise and logical.

    One thing for sure all those arguing for us to leave need to get very busy and be clear with the facts, as the scare stories about leaving will come thick and fast from those who wish to stay.

    I see Mr Cameron has quietly dropped the idea of wanting to scrap the working time directive now, after a few conversations with our Masters abroad, so we will have more compliance with the EU.

    I also see it is reported that the European leaders are getting rather fed up with Mr Cameron’s circular tours and private chats, they want his demands to be out in the open, so they will actually know and are aware of what he really wants.
    Would seem at the moment he is simply asking what they will give, and has made no actual demands or requests.

  7. ken from glos
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Some one should explain to Mr Farage that the present crisis is caused by U.N rules and regulations and has nothing to do with the E.U.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Rubbish. The EU has taken over asylum policy and incorporated the charters and protocols into EU treaties so until we leave we can’t make our own decisions

      • stred
        Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        Peter Sutherland , the UN chief wallah, has aid that economic migrants from Africa and Asia are living in such horrible conditions that they deserve recognition as refugees. He also worked for (named bank ed) ( or another international bank and GATT), so he must know what is in our interests. Almost all western countries abide by UN rules and the EU is a subsidiary.

        Word government rules.OK.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 4, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          We can and should withdraw from the 1951 Convention and especially the crazy 1967 Protocol extending the scope of the original Convention, which was designed to deal only with the aftermath of the war and only in Europe. One year’s notice of withdrawal is required under both of those treaties, but personally I would skip that.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        They have, but we have an opt-out.

    • Bob
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      @ken from glos

      ” the present crisis is caused by U.N rules and regulations”

      Are you talking about the people currently fleeing from France to the UK? Please elaborate.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      UN rules embodied in a 1951 Convention designed to deal just with the aftermath of the Second World War and also just in Europe, which would now be virtually obsolete if it wasn’t for a crazy 1967 Protocol removing those original limitations and extending its scope to the whole world for all time, but with provision for any state to withdraw from the treaties with one year’s notice.

      Personally I wouldn’t bother with the one year’s notice, I would announce that from a specified date in a few day’s time the UK will not be entertaining any new applications for asylum on any grounds whatsoever, and if migrants wish to take advantage of free movement within the EU to claim asylum they should go to Germany, where the government will unreservedly welcome them all with open arms as a great boon for a German economy with a declining workforce, that is when it is not saying that this great boon should be more fairly shared out among all EU member states.

      Or maybe Sweden, where apparently the political class hates the indigenous population so much that they want to dilute it, and eventually replace it, by anybody else from anywhere in the world.

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Saying the current crisis is nothing to do with the E.U. is stretching a point too far. It is true that the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees and 1967 protocol are mainly t blame for the crisis, but it is the EU’s incompetence that has failed to provide a satisfactory solution.

  8. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I am pretty sure Farage doesn’t trust many in Westminster, so by default he will have to go alone. We have seen what a mess the EU has made of many things and continues to. Immigration now another serious problem that needs a few more lunches!

    I know there are you rebels, but not enough! And I guess the SNP are going to be noisily opposing everything. Does it all get scuppered by the HoL on a later date?

    BTW: Mr Helmer tells us that the PM did not invite candidates from UKIP for the HoL.

    “Amend the Bill over the issue of purdah”. I heard this am on R4 something about “with exceptions”. Don’t understand that and as usual the BBC doesn’t explain well.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Maybe the “exceptions” are just those detailed in Section 125(3) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000:

      “Subsection (2) does not apply to –

      (a) material made available to persons in response to specific requests for information or to persons specifically seeking access to it;

      (b) anything done by or on behalf of the Commission or a person or body designated under section 108 (designation of organisations to whom assistance is available);

      (c) the publication of information relating to the holding of the poll; or

      (d) the issue of press notices;

      and subsection (2)(b) shall not be taken as applying to the British Broadcasting Corporation or Sianel Pedwar Cymru.”

  9. MickN
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    That is all very commendable John.
    Now what can you do to stop the EU spending my taxpayer money being thrown at the vote to remain?

  10. Iain Moore
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    We need to leave to give us a future .

    Locking ourselves into the institutionally sclerotic EU, where the means to adapt and change to changing events have been locked away into treaties decided decades ago is a disaster for us all. When it takes 40 years to make any changes to the Common Fisheries Police, and still a mess, shows what a hopeless system of Government the EU is, and especially when they sacrifice Greece to their articles of faith, their treaties.

    The sheer inertia built into the EU is killing off the future for all the peoples of Europe.

  11. formula57
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    When you say “We need to leave…” I presume you mean in the event only that the renegotiation evidently being undertaken at present does not produce an outcome that is satisfactory? My question of course makes the assumption that none of us believe the renegotiation exercise will be a Wilsonesque repackaging, insubstantial and temporary, but hailed as a great leap forward pro tem.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Well, the question will be improved, and purdah may be reinstated, so now the next thing to sort out is the franchise, which should not include any foreigners but should be restricted to British citizens eligible to vote in a general election. After all, Cameron has repeatedly said that the purpose of the referendum is to discover the will of the British people, not the will of the British people plus sundry foreign citizens who quite wrongly are allowed to vote in our national parliamentary elections for outdated historical reasons.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:35 am | Permalink

      Certainly foreign citizens here on only temporary visas, like student or work visas, should not be allowed to vote here. That they are swings the result in many areas. If they have indefinite leave to remain here and are fully integrated then I have no problem with them voting. EU citizens who would not otherwise qualify for indefinite leave to remain shouldn’t be voting either, those that would (married to a Brit or whatever) should.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        In my view only UK citizens should be allowed to vote in any of our public elections or referendums. Foreign citizens resident here are akin to lodgers, and you do not ask lodgers to help decide what you will do with your house. If they want to help decide how this country is governed then they should apply for naturalisation, and as part of that process they should swear allegiance, preferably undivided allegiance, to their adopted country.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 3, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          not really as “indefinite leave to remain” is in almost all practical purposes the same as being a British citizen these days. and mostly those that hang onto their home passport with an indefinite leave visa rather than swapping it for a British one when they are entitled to do so are doing it for sentimental reasons. they mostly could have a British passport as a formality if they wanted. you also need to remember that the government has handed British citizenship to lots of people who are not pro British at all, many quite the reverse, so the citizenship itself does not in my eyes confer trusted status like it should do. it is being integrated into society here, and being pro British, rather that is the real test for me.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 5, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            No, it’s not the same at all. Indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a foreign citizen does not carry with it any implication of allegiance to the UK, and it can be withdrawn at any time.

  13. agricola
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I think you are being somewhat churlish re. cooperation with Nigel Farage. Far too party political in a situation that is to decide our national sovereignty.

    To quote Nigel Farage, “I’ll work with absolutely anyone in order to free Britain from the EU.” You do not get much more unequivocal than that, so cut out the carping language and concentrate on the job in hand. You do not win battles by dividing your front, learn from history.

    The Eurosceptic parliamentary campaign, the campaign led by Arron Banks for business, and that led by Nigel should be talking to each other on a daily basis. If not in public, then at the very least via a coordinating committee. If not you will be cold meat for the snares run by the quislings, who are fighting for their political lives. If they lose there will be no room for them in UK politics.

    I do not know why I should have to tell an experienced politician such obvious facts. Concentrate on the ultimate goal, and be successful.

    Reply I am not churlish! What is wrong with saying “Fine”. We will work round it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Farage may only wish to campaign on immigration. The really distasteful thing has not been this but the smears against him being racist when he is not such thing.

      Other than that, why not an Out campaign based mainly on uncontrolled EU immigration ?

      You think the Out campaign will fail if it doesn’t go into the mundanities of EU issues ? That the masses won’t turn out unless these are discussed ?

      The masses are bored witless by these debates. The only things they will hear are:

      – 3 million jobs lost


      – We will be swamped if we don’t leave

      Only one of those arguments is founded in reality.

      Why not use the trump card ? Let the voters vote on the EU based on whether or not they want uncontrolled immigration to continue. It’s as good a ground to fight on as any.

      There is no more important issue to test our membership on, after all.

      Tory Eurosceptics have never had such a strong hand nor such a good opportunity. Is it that you’re quietly satisified with the situation ?

  14. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Good for Farage. Yes, leaving the EU HAS got a lot to do with immigration and uncontrolled immigration. What is the point of inviting more and more people into the country who have no jobs, no money, loads of kids and more family to bring over when our NHS, schools, infrastructure etc are dire now??? It doesn’t make any sense. We don’t know how many of these people are genuine refugees anyway. None have any papers or passports. Surely if they were serious about claiming asylum they would want to help the process by producing papers and identity? As for saying the EU has nothing to do with the present crisis, this is rubbish. Of course it does. Immigrants are not claiming asylum in the first European country they land in and open borders in Europe do not help. Because the Germans have said everyone is welcome we now have an exodus from Africa. This could eventually lead to millions coming over to take advantage of our welfare state.

    We must get out of Europe to escape some of the ridiculous legislation being forced on other countries which are causing great harm to our economy. The Global warming issue is one thing that should be thrown out and we should get back to a sensible way of producing energy instead of using useless wind farms, solar, biomass, etc all of which attract obscene subsidies. It is mostly the more wealthy that can afford all this crap and the poor that have to pay for it. Getting out of Europe will be the best thing this country has done in a long time and I cannot support a government that wants to stay in. Farage is the only one talking any sense on this topic and UKIP are the only party to want to come out. The money for the NO campaign should be given to UKIP as they got thousands of votes in the election and represent many of the electorate. They give out a clear message unlike Labour and the Cons.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Fedup – Plus UKIP have already been successful in winning EU elections.

  15. turbo terrier
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    All the European countries taking these migrants in know only too well in the fullness of time with open border policies they can just get up and leave and head for where they will get the best deals in benefits.

    Leaving the EU is also more about not being forced into being part of the USE and completely losing our identities in the process.

    • Tim
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink


      I hope you are going to remind people what the ‘Status-quo’ option really is?

      Many assume it means nothing changes but in reality we will continue to lose control, to a point I fear, where even a future referendum will be subject to EU authorisation.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I listened to Farage on Today yesterday and he did not say what you attribute to him.
    He actually said:
    “Let’s be clear. I am not refusing to work with anybody. I will work with absolutely anyone for us to get a No vote in this referendum.
    “There are two competing groups who want to get the nomination for the No campaign. All I am saying is I am not choosing one side or the other. We will work with whichever of them gets the nomination.
    “But before we get to that point, I would hope there will be a coming together between the two of them, because I can see that both of them have good skills.”

    He also said that he didn’t know who would end up leading the No campaign, but that he would “absolutely not” be putting himself forward for the role.

    Reply I say again “Fine” ! What’s your problem with what I wrote?

    • DaveK
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: The start of your second paragraph perhaps – “I read that Mr Farage does not wish to co-operate with other Eurosceptics in running a Leave campaign”.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Did you add the sentence “I now hear that Mr Farage has wisely said he does wish to co-operated with the official campaign but not to run it.” after reading my contribution? It puts a different slant on your initial comment.

      Reply I checked his latest interview and amended

  17. Bill
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Good article by Danny Finkelstein in the Times this morning saying that he would like a two block Europe: an inner Union and an outer Market. If that were possible, we would have a chance of making a lot more people happy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 3, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      And did he also mention that only two EU member states are free from the legal obligation to eventually join the inner Union of countries with the euro as their currency, and that Cameron is perfectly happy with that?

  18. Atlas
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I’m still less than impressed by Cameron’s “renegotiation” – still, he has to do what the Germans tell him, so I suppose they haven’t made their minds up yet either.

    I see a ‘leave’ event happening for me.

    As for barring the ‘No/Leave’ campaigners from the Conservative party conference… it says it all about Cameron’s/Osborne’s real stance on the matter.

    • Bob
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink


      “As for barring the ‘No/Leave’ campaigners from the Conservative party conference… it says it all about Cameron’s/Osborne’s real stance on the matter.”

      That would mean that our host would be barred from his own party conference? Surely not.

  19. ChrisS
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Cameron has been attempting to pull every stroke in the book to win the referendum by fair means or foul.

    At least the electoral commission has pulled him up on the question and have probably warned him privately that they take a dim view of his plan to do away with purdah.

    He will have to give way on allowing ministers to campaign for a no vote or face several high level cabinet resignations in the run-up to the vote. These will take place after the results of his renegotiation are known and will prove deeply embarrassing and good for the No campaign.

    That just leaves the renegotiation itself which is looking more of a sham by the day.
    Everyone here knows that what he’s asking for is nowhere near enough to satisfy the British public – it’s just a smoke screen.

    As for the No campaign, we have to concentrate on the issues where public opinion is strongest. We here almost all agree that there are more than enough reasons to leave even without the migration issue. Nevertheless, Nigel Farage, whatever one thinks about him, does have a real feel for public opinion. He’s right that migration is THE number one issue with the public, even more so with the swarms of overwhelmingly economic migrants now getting into the EU. It has to be central to the campaign.

    The British public will take a very dim view of political pressure being piled on by the Germans and Austrians for the government to allow quotas to be forced upon us. This is yet another example of how the EU cannot be trusted to keep to agreements and respect hard-won opt-outs when it suits them.

    It’s will also be obvious to the electorate that even if the other members agree to Cameron’s small benefit changes they would have minimal impact on the issue of EU migrants and, anyway, to implement these minor measure we will have to apply them to our own citizens as well. Is that really what we want to do ?

    We also know that once the new migrants from outside the EU get documents they will be free to come to Britain and many will.

    Such is the pace at which this issue is developing, the vast numbers of people involved and the fast-spreading animosity between EU countries, particularly towards Britain and her opt-out, I can see Cameron wanting to postpone the referendum till the 31st December 2017 rather than bring it forward.

    Either way, it’s going to make it very difficult for him to win any meaningful majority in favour of staying in.

    I’m getting increasingly confident that if we all pull together we can win.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      What you have said is quite true.

      What about the question of what Cameron will do if the country votes to leave?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 4, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        We’ll cross that bridge happily when we come to it.

      • ChrisS
        Posted September 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Cameron has conveniently said he is going before the next election in 2020.

        If the referendum decision is to leave there should be no call for him to go immediately. He will probably stay into 2018 and help negotiate our exit then hand over to his successor a decent period before the next General Election.

        That sounds reasonable to me.

  20. Lesley
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Am I being dim about his? I thought that there would be renegotiations made and that until we had final clear changes offered we would then be able to vote.
    How can we say Y/N without the facts?

    • bigneil
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      really? – you expect Cameron to talk FACTS? – he doesn’t know what facts are – because facts include the “truth” – something that CMD does NOT do.

  21. Chris
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Nigel Farage has said loud and clear that he will work with anyone to campaign for a No vote. Your claim, Mr Redwood, seems quite extraordinary and misleading.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I take heart from the post this morning because – as a eurosceptic , I want us out of the EU at the earliest opportunity . I agreed to be a part of a “free trade ” Europe and nothing more ; I want no interference in our way of life or in the way we make and are governed by our own laws . I see the EU as a dangerous institution hell bent on political integration ; and a destroyer of democracy and independence .

    As things stand the opposition sectors ( the 3 “No” campaign groups ) need to get their act together and be a common force in influencing the referendum vote . There is little point in going to bat on simply immigration matters because there are so many other factors that presently inhibit our lives ; a strong and effective person who would have the respect and confidence of the electorate needs to be identified and persuaded to lead the campaign ; this should happen quickly . I have mentioned before that our host together with Norman Tebbit and Nigel Lawson should be entrusted with this task ; I have complete faith in their judgement and , I am sure , they would arrive at a good conclusion .

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

    The change in wording will result in a clearer, less ambiguous question and is welcome.

    Re Mr Farage, he was interviewed on BBC Breakfast yesterday. He agreed and emphasised that immigration was a subset of the wider question of the need to restore the sovereignty of Parliament and the need to make the Supreme Court genuinely supreme and not subservient to other European courts. He argued that it was important to get the No campaign, now the Leave campaign, up and running. Otherwise the Yes campaign, now the Remain campaign, would continue to have the field to itself.

    I assume, because it is obvious, that he focuses on immigration because a great many people understand it, have experienced it and can associate themselves and agree with the argument. It has been a significant element of his campaigning over the years. Depending on his audience, he has been just as strong about the loss of sovereignty and the anti-democratic nature of EU institutions in many of his speeches. While true, I imagine he has concluded that the idea of loss of sovereignty has less traction among voters than the more tangible issue of uncontrolled immigration, which is a consequence of it.

    But so long as we are kept in the dark (and potentially covered in bs) about the terms that are being sought and agreed, then it will be difficult for the Leave campaign to get any traction at all. That I imagine is the calculation of Mr Cameron and of Mr Osborne, who now seems to be in charge of the negotiations and who, it is reported, was against the idea of a referendum in the first place.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Re your last paragraph, I don’t agree. I do, however, think the OUT campaign should stop waiting and start the ball rolling. Nearly every day you read about another renegotiation demand that has been dropped, watered down, or rejected by the foreign leaders of the EU. Therefore no point in waiting for DC and his Chamberlain moment.

  24. ChrisS
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve just seen this on the BBC website.

    Is there any further proof needed that the French have got to be made to get a grip of the situation in Calais and deal with it robustly ?

    It’s not just the inconvenience of passengers and disruption to trade, lives of innocent passengers and drivers are at risk when migrants are allowed to run riot.

    “Passengers threatened to “smash the windows” of the Eurostar on a Paris-London Eurostar stuck overnight not far from the French side of the Channel Tunnel after hours spent in the dark with no air conditioning or communication, Henry Samuel in Paris writes.

    Frédéric Bruel, a French passenger, told France Info radio that the train was stopped at around 9.30pm just four minutes from the Calais-Frethun train station, meaning nobody could leave the train, and electricity was cut.

    Quote Little by little the situation deteriorated. The train ended up running out of batteries, so there was no air conditioning, and then after two more hours no more communication as the audio system was out of service. We then spent an unbelievable amount of time in the dark, in an air that was hard to breath.

    “I saw people who were finding hit hard not to totally go off the rails. Some people started screaming and threatening to smash the windows. It must have been 35C in there.

    “And all this time, we were just four minutes from the Calais-Frethun train platform. I was told by rail staff once we finally got to the station that we were locked in this train, whose doors were shut mechanically and impossible to open – imagine if there had been a fire – because those in charge were scared hat that if they opened the doors, then migrants would try and make the most to get into the train.”

    Then we have the recent refusal of the port authorities to allow ferries to dock because a few protesting sacked workers had tied up a couple of ship’s lifeboats against a sea wall well away from the ferry terminal.

    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    With regular armies in at least two European states on red alert to assist neighbouring states not with handing out sandwiches and bottled water to people forcibly violating the integrity of their borders but to militaristically prevent their entry, it is very British to talk about just how we will hand out bits of paper to our own citizens and what should be written on them and where to put the cross, and should we all have a purdah, and should we talk about this aspect or that aspect and whether their will be a tombola while we wait. Which 1960s pop and rock bands with wizened faces and still not recovered from drug abuse will be in favour of which place to put the cross. Frightfully entertaining and jolly good fun.

    The serious question of course is the migrant trail across Europe from all parts of the world.

    The Conservative and Labour Governments have by their own migrant figures and foreign policy done nothing but encourage and facilitate the turmoil in Europe. Continue to do so by every action and non-action.

    In many ways the stifling middle class in this country actually has not personally felt the impact of migration. Not yet. But they’re coming.
    Perhaps a back garden party as a prelude to “The Great Vote” would be pleasant with balloons, bunting, ice-cream and jelly of course with lashings of ginger beer.

  26. Bob
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    @Mr Redwood

    “He wants to run his own campaign, with one topic, “

    Not quite, although it will be the main focus of the campaign because it’s the issue that affects the majority of people due to overcrowding in schools, hospitals and GP surgeries, the downward pressure on pay rates, the burden on housing and the welfare budget.

    Obviously there are various other problems with EU policy that need to be raised, but an uneducated single mum or young couple struggling on low wages or benefits are hardly going to be thinking about the CAP, wider issues of sovereignty, or the injustice of the EAW and the eye watering cost of the ever expanding pampered bureaucracy. Open borders are the most visible and palpable adverse manifestation of EU policy.

  27. Kenneth
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it will be a bad thing to have the UKIP OUT campaign as a separate ‘branch’ of the overall campaign. There are many on the Left who may (rightly or wrongly) feel uncomfortable sharing a platform with Mr Farage and those on the Left are crucial in order to give the OUT campaign some width and wider appeal.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I have no problem with UKIP running its own separate campaign for people to vote to leave the EU in the referendum, if it happens; that would after all be no more than a culmination of its campaigning activity for the past two decades, and as usual it would be prepared to be much more direct on some important issues than the official campaign.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 3, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      At least with UKIP we would hear some truthful, hard hitting facts and not the whitewash we have come to expect from all other parties and especially DC. How can the British public make an informed decision if they are not told the truth? I have been listening to all the reports about the small boy washed up on a Greek beach this morning and yes, it is tragic, but unless we actually send boats out to get them and bring them here how is it going to stop? They have to realise that coming here illegally is not going to be allowed and that is the only way the deaths will stop. If we give a few an easy ride here then we can expect the whole of Africa, Afghanistan etc to come. We have to have a sensible policy similar to that of Australia where they have stopped much of the trafficking because people realise it is futile. People have a responsibility to make what they can of their own countries. We have had to change our fortunes over the decades and they must do the same. Other countries can help but we cannot have half the world coming over here.

  29. adams
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    NF is being misquoted on the subject of getting an OUT vote in the Referendum .
    Mr Farage told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “Let’s be clear. I am not refusing to work with anybody. I will work with absolutely anyone for us to get a No vote in this referendum.
    There are two competing groups who want to get the nomination for the No campaign. All I am saying is I am not choosing one side or the other. We will work with whichever of them gets the nomination . ”

    Got that everyone ?
    Now tell me what exactly Shameron is renegotiating because to my knowledge we have not been told . And this bloke is Prime Minister Totally amazing !!!!!!!!!!

  30. John Wrake
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    It is a pity that you seem unable to report on UKIP without demonstrating your biased views on their policies.

    Your statement of what you have read of Mr. Farage’s attitude to the Referendum campaign indicates not just hostility, but deliberate inaccuracy.

    He has stated quite clearly that he does not wish to lead the OUT Campaign, but is happy to co-operate with whichever group gains that status among the contenders. His arguments in favour of OUT are not confined to the immigration problem, though he is the only politician with the courage to have consistently raised that matter over the years, unlike those who claim to want to leave the E.U. but haven’t the courage to tackle it.

    Without him, we wouldn’t have been offered a referendum on the matter.

    John Wrake.

    • Chris
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Very well said, I W.

      I expect better from Mr Redwood.

    • willH
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes, what an achievement, contrary to the the whole Westminster elite and the BBC, hope he eventually gets the recognition he deserves if we get out of EU mess.

  31. agricola
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I would ask the question. Who is leading the out campaign within the parliamentary group. Where is their website and what opportunity is there to contribute to it. I could say much the same for the business group but at least their leader is known.

    I would nominate Daniel Hannan to lead the parliamentary group, even though his membership is of the European Parliament. He is always clear, concise, and above all accurate. He is more likely to find common ground with Nigel Farage who is clearly up and running and will shortly be interacting with the voting public.

    There is still the question of purdah to be settled, and even more important that of who is allowed to vote. Parliamentary General Election voting rules should apply. No visiting EU citizens whose voting rights remain in their country of origin for the first fifteen years of their presence in the UK. This applies to UK citizens who reside in the EU.

    The BBC must be forced to offer both equal time and facilities to the IN and OUT campaign. Their contribution should be neutral. Any suggestion that they are promulgating an opinion should be stamped on by the Electoral Commission. Said commission should publicly give them a set of ground rules to which they must adhere.

    The EU must be kept out of it at all levels. I would suggest a purdah period from now until the election that applies both financially and vocally. Yes an end to any financial contribution to any organisation deemed to be political.

    Finally I would suggest that the out campaign appoint someone to spread the message among all those UK citizens who reside in Europe , but are entitled to vote in UK General Elections. There are a lot of them, they have direct experience of the EU, and mostly they are politically aware and have the best interests of the UK at heart.

    Reply There will be one Leave campaign in due course. For the time being Steve Baker leads Conservatives for Britain and there is a Labour equivalent.

    Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    There is an problem in regard to the EU Question. Many will not vote. They will not vote on the Question. They will not vote on the advice of any political party or group.
    Was it 61% or thereabouts who voted for anybody or any thing in the 2015 General Election?
    To be sure, some people are not enthused to vote. But many are plain fed up. Fed up with lies.Fed up with corrupt politicians though it is kind for so many Labour Councillors, 12 in each town, offering to take migrant families into their own homes. Bless.

  33. Remington Norman
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    We must run the Leave campaign on one single issue and that is Who Governs Britain. That is the overriding concern, beneath which all others are subsidiary.

  34. agricola
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I believe the Conservative Party Conference is scheduled for October this year. Can you let us all know on which day they will be holding the debate on our EU membership. I would not like to miss it.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      thanks for the laugh – -much needed – “holding the debate on EU” – -oh my sides are aching !!! – -absolutely hilarious.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    The answer is LEAVE.

  36. zorro
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Frau Merkel seems to be helping the out campaign with her interventions and long may they continue. So unless we accept more asylum seekers we won’t get any renegotiation and relations will deteriorate. Bless, nothing like a bit of blackmail….. Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake…. ‘Who do you think you are kidding Mrs Merkel….’


  37. Stuart Beaker
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Immigration may not be the only issue, but it is the key one. It is now focussing on the annihilation of sovereign boundaries; enforced funding (or tribute, as it used to be called), with the EU being called on to reduce cash redistribution to countries who don’t play ball with its ideas on encouraging mass immigration from the ME; imposed joint foreign policy; and the renewed imposition of the EU social chapter on a UK which is being steadily reduced to a municipality with an overriding ‘duty’ to conform – for example, the demand that the UK alters its benefits policies to harmonise with the rest of the Union.

    Sometimes, many issues are crystallised in one critical situation. Something happens which engages peoples’ emotions as well as their reason. This is one such time, and it is already pre-empting any more gentlemanly ‘debate’ over EU membership. The population of the UK is seething, angry and frightened at what is happening. They see it as a civil invasion, against which the EU has shown itself to be utterly powerless, cowardly and possibly conniving in its own, our own, downfall.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    You must now be aware that the PM’s renegotiating stance is turning out to be a damp squib.

    He has accepted freedom of movement within EU borders. A 4 year delay to benefit payments is not the same as full control of our borders. Does he know that those 800,000 Syrians that Germany intends to grant citizenship to will have right of admission to the UK? That means that Angela Merkel determines UK immigration policy.

    He has not challenged the competences and shared competences that the unelected European Commission and the European courts have acquired in the Maastricht, Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties. These have given rise to 22 years of interference since Maastricht became law on 1st January 1993, making the Single Market worse, not better.

    He has apparently given up on the UK re-acquiring full control of its own employment law and regulations.

    He hasn’t asked for the UK to be able to negotiate its own trade deals with BRICS etc.

    He has accepted the right of the EC – whose accounts haven’t been signed off for 20 years – to dictate UK accounting practice in some areas.

    The PM hopes to advance the Referendum date to 2016. The smaller the changes asked for, the easier that is to do.

    You rightly say that the EU is rushing headlong to full political union.

    In these circumstances, Mr Redwood, why aren’t you mounting a challenge for the Conservative Party leadership?

    People say that Mr Cameron is a winner but under his leadership, the Conservatives have won 36% and 37% of the popular vote in two General Elections. In the four elections from 1979 to 1992, they won over 40%.

  39. forthurst
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    “I now hear that Mr Farage has wisely said he does wish to co-operated with the official campaign but not to run it.”

    What ‘official’ campaign is that; the one that includes Tory MPs who continue to wait on CMD’s ‘renegotiation’, those that say they might vote to leave if CMD does not bring about either a ‘reformed’ EU or are very own a la carte membership? These people cannot be serious, so how on Earth do they expect people who are undecided, people who know little other than what they have been groomed to believe by the heavily infiltrated BBC, to make an informed judgment on the future of our country?

    There are two serious campaigns, that of UKIP whose raison d’etre is to leave the EU (not to beat up foreigners, that’s for the neocon scumbags infesting the mainstream parties), no ifs or buts, and the IntheKnow campaign which is yet to make an impact. Unless every member of the ‘official’ campaign states categorically, that he wishes to leave, come what may, it could very well sabotage the efforts of more serious ‘out’ campaigners; ultimately, the Tory ‘Eurosceptics’ and those from other parties need to decide which comes first, party or country?

  40. Sean
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I read today that the EU hell hole are tell us to take more refugees or lose our EU funding.
    We are the idiots that are funding the EU money pit not the other way around. They are just giving us our own money back. Stupid people!

    Spineless con-man-eron will give in to the Germans and the EU as always. We need a Mr Trump, am that loves his people and will never owe anyone anything. Unlike our Ministers from all parties. Trump says ” they are all talk and do nothing ”

    Have a nice

    Posted September 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Mr Andy Burnham MP today, speaking about migrants which the Labour Party have recently noticed, and the Referendum, says if the UK agrees to what the EU wants then he feels it would be make it easier to negotiate with the EU to stop it getting what it wants.
    A cunning plan.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 3, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Surely that’s what successful negotiation is all about – a bit of give and take on each side. Ideally you give what you didn’t want in the first place and take what you did…

      Problem is our politicians since Margaret Thatcher have all given and there has been absolutely no take…a few red lines that just got forgotten about but our EU “partners”…

  42. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    To remain or leave ? That is the WRONG question.

    Do we scrap the British Parliament or abandon the EU one ?

    That is the right question. Anyone who says we can have both is lying.

    There is no point at all in having two governments – except if one of them is only there to provide wealth and status for a self serving elite.

    We don’t need well paid politicians to throw open our borders and give all our stuff away. A troop of baboons fed on bananas and grapenuts could do that job.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 3, 2015 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      Both sets of baboons like open doors immigration, some just like to lie about that at election time.

  43. Monty
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    John is there any possibility of you doing a thread to summarise the following concerning the referendum?

    1. Campaign spending- will there be limits applied, and will those limits be equally applied to both sides? (I’m thinking here about an Irish referendum in which the EU spent a vast amount to get the outcome they wanted. Could we stop them doing that?)

    2. Voting rights- will the vote be restricted to UK citizens? Is there any protection against the ballot being rigged by significant numbers of new arrivals from the EU, registering at the eleventh hour?

    3. Postal votes for UK residents- should have been banned by now due to shennanigans, but what is the position to be in the referendum? Is there any protection against UK houses being used effectively as mailing addresses?

    Sorry to be a cheeky pest.

  44. margaret
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    The days of slagging people off in politics may not be at its end, but less notice of these big heads, who think that that personal attacks on others somehow expounds their slim theories is gaining momentum. Ego’s which search to big boot on top of others in an attempt to gain credibility, eventually destroy themselves, yet in the process the more vulnerable persona sometimes turns vitriolic slander onto themselves and damage can be done. Some school children cruelly sometimes do this for fun.

    The EU issue needs intelligence, perspicacity and an understanding that we are all in this together ; more so now than ever before. Local Conservative MP David Nuttall has tonight been interviewed on a local TV station. He put himself in a situation where as a town ,labour dominates, to discuss his job and political views. Not once did I hear him put down opposition.

    I understand what purdah is ,but not the exact issue of purdah.

  45. margaret
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Again John an example of taking one sentence out of the context of the whole displayed by commenters . The confused and biased publishers would use the first comment and not the updated position of Farage to attack. It says more about them than you.

  46. ChrisS
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The photographs in this morning’s papers of a little boy who lost his life in the seas around Bodrum are deeply distressing but most of my anger is not directed at EU politicians who as a group have failing to take adequate steps to deal with the crisis.

    This poor child’s parents had taken their family to Turkey and they were on the Bodrum Peninsula, an area I know well as a very pleasant and civilised area of Turkey indistinguishable from many similar Greek, Cypriot or Italian holiday destinations.

    In other words, an entirely safe area where anyone could live in peace and security.

    The fact is that this child’s parents deliberately put both their sons lives at risk by taking them out to sea in a small dinghy in an attempt to make the four mile crossing to the Greek island of Kos. Furthermore they took them out on waters which are well known for their strong winds and steep swells, for purely selfish economic reasons : to try and get into the EU and it is the children that have paid the price.

    If British parents recklessly took their young children out to sea in a similar small dinghy in British waters they would undoubtedly be prosecuted for child neglect.

    Of course this crisis has its roots in the Arab Spring and the disaster that is Syria but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Africans are using the conflict not just to escape immediate danger but as an excuse to gain what they perceive will be a better life in the EU.

    We need to adopt a robust strategy to put an end to this illegal and unwarranted movement of people. What the EU should be doing is investing whatever it costs to ensure that there are safe havens in Turkey and elsewhere around the Mediterranean and Adriatic where genuine refugees can live in safety until they can return home.

    We must not lose sight that those that are leaving Syria in particular are the youngest, strongest and brightest who will be desperately needed to rebuild their country.

    In the long run, allowing them to permanently settle in the EU would be doing their compatriots and their country a disservice.

  47. nigel
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  48. Tom
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Your invite to take part in a poll and test the new EU Referendum wording on a new website

  49. Stuart Saint
    Posted September 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The Out or Leave campaign should emphasise the important fact that a Remain or In vote will NOT be for the status quo. There is much change required within the Euro area and this will require substantial amendment to treaties, voting and contributions.

  • 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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