Better off out – a more influential country

Out of the EU the UK will regain her own seat on the World Trade Organisation, and be able to press for world agreements that we want.

The UK will gain a seat or have more influence on world standards bodies which in turn inform EU standards.

The UK will have her own seat and policy at World Summits like the World Climate summits.

The UK will be better treated by France and Germany who will need our support on various issues in the future and will not be able to outvote us in the EU to stifle our opinion.

The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy and one of the world’s most important military powers after the USA, China and Russia. It is high time we were fully represented in our own name in all important world fora.

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93 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I whole heartedly agree !

    It is this more than anything that makes me want to leave the EU. Not MASS immigration, or the even the lack of democracy in the EU. It is the fact that we have to take the ‘common position’ irresepective of whether it is in our nations best interests or not.

    Inside the EU our hands to do and say what we want are effectivly tied. It is this that most people do not seem to understand.

  2. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn defected to the EU yesterday. An immigration zealot. Take him a very long time nailing all his colours to the mast.

    Meanwhile, we should man the cannons agin Battleship Merkel whilst Cameron skips merrily around Europe, except Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic asking pretty please for the odd bit of second-hand sovereignty.

    We can sail on very well without Cameron and Corbyn: Captain Bligh and Captain Sly.

  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Some of these points are also true for Norway indeed. But Britain could already have been the real leader in Europe if it had played its cards differently and a different UK approach might still pull that off over time. Apart from in military terms I don’t see a separate Britain exerting so much influence in things that matter. For some it may “feel better” though.

    • JimS
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      ” But Britain could already have been the real leader in Europe if it had played its cards differently…”

      Only as long as it was leading in the direction that the project wants to go, ‘ein Volk ein Reich’.

      With our own seat on the WTO we could have had our own trade agreement with the USA, like little Canada and Australia have. We could be influencing rules on car making, like non-car maker Norway, instead of having to accept what VW tells us.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        @JimS: Obviously you will all be very happy with Britain’s own seat in the WTO. Interestingly, the UK already HAS a seat in the WTO, if this internet information is correct:
        “The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its 28 member states — making 29 WTO members altogether.”
        The only difference then is that the UK misses its chances to coordinate its positions within the EU. It won’t make it strongere vis-a-vis the other 27 WTO members which have coordinated thier positions.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      PVL “I don’t see a separate Britain exerting so much influence in things that matter.”
      Like what Peter, and what influence in these matters do we have now, have you any examples when the UK has achieved anything contrary to what the Germans and French decided?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy: How about having shaped the Single Market very much in the way the UK wanted, rather than the much more protective instinct of the French and even Germans. With regard to services and a digital single market, this work=, and thus Britains continuing influence is far from finished. If you want to gauge how much Britain stands to gain from a single market for services, talk to The City of London companies.

        Reply. I do not agree that the single market brings us advantages countries outside the EU do not enjoy as trading partners.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply: That is an interesting position – being outside the EU but still benefiting from it being one trading block. Similarly – being outside the Eurozone but still benefiting from trading with a block with no longer lots of different currencies. Similarly – if we (the EU without Britain) make Poland and other eastern countries more wealthy through the cohesion funds, you’d still benefit from increased potential markets over there. It seems an interesting manner of cherry-picking without taking any responsibility! If EU officials are intelligent enough (EU job exams are among the most difficult and competitive) they will spot this and policies will emerge which will prevent the UK getting a “free ride”. Let us wait and see what will happen after Brexit (in case that will happen).

      • Rita Webb (Mrs)
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Going off to invade Iraq on the basis of a pack of lies for starters. France and Germany wisely saw right through that lot

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 18, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          France and Germany did not see through Ukraine though

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Why should we want to be a ‘real leader in Europe’. I just want to live in a country with a decent standard of living for everyone – with the right to decide who comes and lives here and the right to make our own laws.

      Happy to join with other countries – around the world – for mutual security and to try to reach agreement not to pollute the planet etc. Not happy to be told how many hours a week one can work or how straight a banana has to be or how many people from other countries we must allow to live here – or face being penalised.

      The EU – a common market which would help prevent further wars in Europe – was a great idea. The people running it now are going to destroy it by trying to do something in a few years – complete fiscal and political unity of 500 million people in 28 countries – that can only be achieved over a hundred years or more. The fable of the tortoise and the hare leaps to mind when thinking of the EU.

      • Maureen Turner
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        M. Turner,

        Mike Wilson – a common market would help prevent further wars in Europe ….

        Perhaps a good idea in 1948 but 60+ years on it’s tearing the heart out off our continent with their crazy one size fits all currency and open borders. Mr. Redwood is correct in that the UK needs to fly free from this stifling institution.

        To successfully govern the 28 nations would require almost total conformity by every state to the never ending stream of EU diktats and with those failing to comply incurring financial punishment – even economic success involves punishment. You will recall last Oct. Mr. Yuncker advised that the UK would within a period on five weeks be required to make a payment of £1.7bn for economically out performing other countries in past years. The PM, as is his wont, did a great amount of huffing and puffing but I understand this has now been paid in full.

        This grand Project has developed from being merely a trading bloc into one that has as its principle aim the redistribution of wealth from the wealthier nations to the poorer. Amongst its other aims are territorial expansion outside Europe, ie. “inviting” the countries of North Africa to join the happy band, a EU army and the UN’s requirement as put forward by Mr. Peter Sutherland that all EU individuals should divest themselves of any sense of nationalism.

        If this dosen’t keep you awake at night I don’t know what will. Just why do they need an army?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson:A leader is more influential than a follower, today’s blog topic.

    • Duyfken
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      PvL: “Britain could already have been the real leader in Europe”. I have seen no signs of any ambition among the British public for this nation to lead Europe. Others (Germany, France) may wish to be the leader, but this reflects the general desire of Europhiles to create a hegemony and to have one of their number dominate the rest.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        @Duyfken.Not among the British Public,no….but I can think of a number of our countrymen who think otherwise….Tony “Britain is such a small country” Blair for one …..and his heirs and fellow travellers who work ceaselessly-if,these days, quietly- for our total immersion in the project.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I refer to my comment to Mike Wilson

    • Edward2
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Not much chance of power for the UK to be ” the real leader in Europe” when we are just one voice among 28 with qualified majority voting together with limited areas of veto.
      With just a few like the UK and the Netherlands putting in more money that they take out, I do not see it as a very democratic power sharing system.
      The voting should be rearranged to be a combination of population size GDP size and especially the amount of money you put into the pot.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2: Both Britain and The Netherlands take out far more than the put in, but then as benefit to their economies. The blog’s author doesn’t agree, which is his right, but I have even read this on UK government websites and you will also find this in CBI publications.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          Rubbish
          The UK and the Netherlands put in more money than they take out
          But both only have one vote each out of 28.

          If you think you are right, list who actually puts more money in than they take out.
          Somebody must do
          Or is there an EU magic money tree too.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Peter v L – The EU is an abject failure – now visibly and spectacularly so. There is no ‘pulling off’ anything for us except the Great Escape and I suggest we do this with utmost haste rather than over time.

      ‘For some it may “feel better” though.’

      Patronising.

      A) Clearly you’re not clever enough to patronise us

      B) You don’t have the vote in Britain so it should be an axiom that how I ‘feel’ should be more important than how you do

      C) If you do have the vote (which is a possibility) then more reason for us to get out of the EU

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        D) What’s more important than our own PM making us feel good ???

        Judging by his payment of monies to the EU it’s clear he deems it more important to make them feel good !

      • Graham
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Well said but he is a paid supporter of the EU so it is to be expected.

        He fails to say as well that most countries in Europe would (and have since 1914) prefer to be led by the nose unlike the British.

        Patronising other people is a PvL speciality.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: no patronising intended. I cannot see what is patronising about “feel better”. Some will e.g. feel better with the idea that “Britain makes its own laws” irrespective of these being Corbyn laws or Osborne laws.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 18, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          PvL: Why did you put “feel better” in quotation marks ? Was it a mistake ?

          This connotes that people who regain their sovereignty will be delusional.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 18, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Delusional: That to want to be out of the EU is some kind of psychological disorder.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Reply to PvL:
      The individuals who “designed” the EU never had UK leadership in mind, and in fact the whole project has been devised so that individual nation states’ power is minimal (except for Germany, who for one reason or another, now dominates, and apparently also alters the rules to suit itself, viz. recent refugee/migrant policy changes).

      Thus your claim that the UK could have had more influence/been a leader, or might be so in the future, is, I fear, pure fantasy. Power and wealth are concentrated in the core in Brussels/Berlin, with those who wield the real power being effectively accountable to no one, least of all to the people who live in the Member States.

    • libertarian
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Oh Peter, surely you realise that Britain was THE world superpower, with dominion over one third of the planet and an imperial empire 10 times bigger than the EU. We gave that up voluntarily ( with for the most part not a shot being fired) for a reason. The EU are just starting to come face to face with the horrendous problems they have inflicted on themselves with their imperialist agenda . The EU and its apologists need to catch up with the modern world

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      PvL I disagree from a cultural point of view the UK is the dominant power in Europe. Why is the union flag so popular as a t-shirt for kids in Europe? Apart from the schlager stations, why is that I cannot hear anything but British music on my car radio? Why do you want to watch BBC 1 & 2 on your cable TV? Why do your shops sell “English wine gums”?

    • Monty
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank’s Peter, but no thanks.
      The British people are not interested in dragging anyone else along with us.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    What exactly is the point of climate summits anyway? If the green priests actually believed what they preach they would surely do them by video and email anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      When Cameron is asked about “affordable housing” his first answer should have been:- I will scrap Osborne’s absurd double taxation of landlords’ interest. He should then go on to say he will scrap the over the top, green crap, building regulations (resulting in nasty houses with such tiny windows), relax planning and employments laws, reduce stamp duty (so people can move), sort out the banking sector (and their poorly designed regulation) thus giving more availability of low cost capital for house builders and control the population.

      More supply of housing is what is needed, not moronic legalised theft off landlords which will reduce supply.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        What ‘double taxation’ of landlords’ interest? As far as I am concerned housing, a fundamental human need in this country, is not a business. Why people think they have some divine right to buy a house on a buy to let mortgage and have other people pay their mortgage off for them – so they own a house outright after 25 years without putting in a penny (okay – a 10% deposit – big deal) baffles me.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Oh so you don’t believe in property rights? Interesting.

          I think you’ll find property rights are the foundation of a democracy.

          If its that easy why doesn’t everyone do it? I think in the real world the REASON that people are renting rather than buying is that they can’t get together the 20% ( its actually 20% Mike on planet reality) deposit that is required

          Based on your absurd statement, you don’t think that food an even more essential human need is a business either? I think you’ll find communism was tried and basically resulted in 20 million murders and the lowest standard of living ever achieved . Housing was available for everyone though Gulags I think they were called.

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            Third paragraph: absolutely correct.

        • Handbags
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Once you pay your rent then what the landlord does with it is none of your business.

          If he bought beer, fags and take-aways would that make you happier?

          What people spend their money on is their business – it’s called freedom.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            Correct Handbags,
            If you own a bit of land and try to build homes the State makes you jump through hoops for two years.
            The Landlord is the latest lefty panto villain
            The actual answer is to build more homes
            Any chance the Unions or the C of E might join in?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        “More supply of housing is what is needed, not moronic legalised theft off landlords which will reduce supply.”

        Rubbish

        If you want to make profit out of our skewed housing system then be honest about it. Stop telling us you are doing it out of duty and altruism.

        Ask most young people what they would prefer and it would be that you sell your rentals into the open market at prices which would be affordable if all you landlords did the same.

        However, for the economic recovery and reversion to ‘real’ house prices would be a disaster. One we are going to have to go through sooner or later, I’m afraid.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Prices are determined by supply and demand and that is very good thing. This as high prices help to increase supply.

          Unless of course the government intervenes bugger up the market up as usual.

          Even if you legislate to say houses in Chelsea cannot sell for more than £500, you will still not get a house in Chelsea, this as there are just not enough to go round.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 18, 2015 at 6:45 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic – you have a funny idea of ‘demand’.

            Yes. The profit to be made from renting out houses has created another tier of demand – a new breed of btl landlords competing to buy the houses to add to those wanting to actually live in them.

            You are not providing a service. You are causing a problem.

            The Tory party needs to rein in btl. It is killing off the next generation of home owning Tory voters and turning them into potential non stake holding Labour voters instead.

  5. Antisthenes
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    And what is the point of the EU in it’s present form other than being a political project? None that I can discern and would ask europhiles to name one sufficient benefit of being a member that they can do truthfully. If they answer truthfully then they would be hard pressed but then they never do as they have to rely obfuscation, deceit and employ scare tactics to win their case.

  6. Richard1
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    All true but if there is any chance of a new far left Labour govt under Corbyn then we might be better off living under the surrendered sovereignty of the EU so such a Labour govt can do less than it otherwise would be able to. This was part of the logic of supporting the EEC/EC in the 70s, 80s and early 90s – the EU was a positive force for free markets and economic liberalism by comparison with Labour at the time.

    • getahead
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      I think not.

  7. Livelogicha
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    So will Corbyne help the out side on the EU vote or hider it? Still nothing from Cameron on what he is renegotiating, the silence is deafening. Has he decided himself yet? Do Tory MPS have a clue and if not why are they not demanding answers? If they do why are they not telling the public?

    Reply Yes, the government has repeatedly explained what they are trying to negotiate. I will write again about it if you have forgotten.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      That would be useful. I am a bit unclear as to what a successful re-negotiation with an ‘In’ recommendation would look like.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Richard–Cameron, in and of himself if he had the choice, would be satisfied with very little, almost by definition given that he is going to vote to Stay In no matter what. However, what he does or does not think is close to irrelevant, the plan being to try and persuade the Continent to yield as much as possible by putting doubt in their minds about how the people might vote if negotiations don’t achieve much. What Cameron definitely does not want is to be in charge during and after a Brexit vote, possibly because he wants to become one of these five presidents one (disbelievingly) reads about.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      The government has use lots of vacuous phrases on the so called “renegotiation” but nothing clear or substantive at all.

      Cameron’s pronouncements on the subject are as clear as mud as he clearly intended them to be.

  8. aelitaman
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I agree, but also we are permanent members of the UN Security Council, members of the G8 and G20 including the important FSB.

    The argument that we would loose influence in the world if we left the EU is facile. With membership of all of the above we have more influence than the EU, who the UN barely recognise and at the G8 I understand they are allowed in the room and told to listen whilst the others have the discussion.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I think a glance at this draft policy document for the EU may change your view about the UN and the EU. The links are extremely close indeed, with the EU being an essential tool, I believe, for the UN to effect change:
      (AFET/8/03466) The role of the EU within the UN – how to better achieve EU foreign policy goals
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/documents/afet/pr/1068/1068840/1068840en.pdf
      (An important aside: in the above document is the proposal to remove the French and UK seats at the EU and replace them with a single representative. There are other hidden “gems” too which have been analysed on an MEP’s website, based on the debate on this on 15 September. I am puzzled as to why no Conservative MEPs are alerting us to these issues. Just another day in the European Parliament where a successive stream of policies is generated, which further diminishes the UK’s sovereignty).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. I see they want a World Parliament “to represent the people”; of course the UK part of the people in the world would be less than 1%, and as they reject any sort of veto right we would be told what to do by the more populous countries. Thus power will spring from the loins of people in poor countries who make no serious effort to limit population growth, even though that is essential for the stated aim of sustainable development.

  9. margaret
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I will be voting out

  10. Nigel
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    JR: Can we now assume that you have given up on David Cameron’s attempt at renegotiation, and are now saying we should get out, full stop?

    Reply I have always set out clearly what kind of new relationship I want for the UK. I have always said I think it unlikely the EU will offer Mr Cameron what I want.

    • ChrisS
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      “I think it unlikely the EU will offer Mr Cameron what I want.”

      Surely your real view is that David Cameron is not asking for nearly enough ?

      If he isn’t even asking for enough, there can be no prospect whatsoever that they will offer him enough !

      Therefore you, and almost everyone of us who regularly posts here, will have already decided that we will be campaigning to leave.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is asking for nothing but a transparent fig leaf.

        That is surely very clear indeed to almost everyone.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      An excellent message from you today John, all with which I agree.

      Welcome to UKIP.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Agree with this post John.

  12. Mick
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The dreaded EU will promise the earth to keep us in the club, then a few more years down the line we will be back to square one,but without the chance of another referendum, so we need to change the mines of the EU brain washed to vote out or our country is Doomed

  13. rick hamilton
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    If the UK leaves, it is the EU that will lose some influence in the world.

    Our exit would give a lead to other countries whose voters are sick of the EU (not politicians or bureaucrats who love it mostly). The EU will also lose a big financial contributor and a member which has historically run its own affairs a lot better than continentals.

    Ironically, they will continue to talk among themselves in English !

  14. Bert Young
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    All the advantages of “out” are highlighted in today’s blog ; I -and most other individuals who have researched the question of our membership of the EU , agree it is better to leave . The imponderables that do exist are heavily outweighed ; the most significant aspect is the regaining of our sovereignty .

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right. Never did get an answer to why Canada doesn’t worry that the lack of Union with America diminishes their “influence”. I lived on the border and would wager that it would be difficult not to say impossible (I never met anybody) to find a Canadian who would have the first idea what you were talking about if such a thing were suggested. Obviously Canada can handle its own influence and so can we. To the Brussels mindset Canada should be teetering on the brink–last time I looked three quarters of her exports went to America (and, though I do not know, I wouldn’t mind betting it is increasing). And a final bet today is that no cogent response forthcomes.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Canada does not worry as it is proud of its identity and its history, having fought hard for nationhood, and also confident in its abilities to run its own affairs. That they should then give this up and offer subservience, both economic and political, to another entity (such as the UK has done to the EU) would be incomprehensible, (as I think you suggest), and most probably anathema.

  16. a-tracy
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    We are always told the EU represents peace, really! Yugoslavia, the Ukraine’s problems the EU helped to create with Russia, insecure borders, free movement of EU murders and rapists to our country unchecked who re-offend here. Do what we’re told, fall in line or else fines, taxed on untaxed earnings (prostitution and drugs). Merkel this week throwing in that Germany, GERMANY! will want a European army as a negotiating chip with Cameron ha ha ha you couldn’t make it up.

    I notice the Independent newspaper had figures for migration in an article but it stopped at 2011, why? Can’t their reporters find the figures to date? Or don’t they fit their arguments that we need to take more. I’m amazed we can house everyone when I know people that are really struggling in overcrowded small private rentals and have been waiting years for much subsidised social housing.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      “Germany, will want a European army as a negotiating chip with Cameron”

      a-t, this is just another plus for the OUT campaign. If Cameron turns up with a few tiny concessions and a lot of attached conditions, it’s all the more likely to make people want out.

      I’ve been in the forces a long time, and I can assure you that no-one I know wants to be in an EU army, and everyone I know takes their allegiance to the Queen very seriously. That includes our Commonwealth brethren – in fact they take it even more seriously than most.

  17. Shieldsman
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    All readers of this column want to LEAVE the EU, but how many of your fellow MP’s are like minded.
    You have quite rightly stated that ‘status quo’ is not on offer and any one in doubt should read – State of the Union 2015: Time for Honesty, Unity and Solidarity by Jean-Claude Juncker.
    A fair deal for Britain – read between the lines.
    Over a year ago, when I campaigned to become President of the Commission, I made a vow that, as President, I would seek a fair deal for Britain. A deal that is fair for Britain. And that is also fair for the 27 other Member States.

    I want to ensure we preserve the integrity of all four freedoms of the Single Market (freedom of movement) and at the same time find ways to allow the further integration of the Eurozone to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union(regulation of the City).
    To be fair to the other Member States, the UK’s choices must not prevent them from further integration where they see fit.

    Staying in will mean more integration and more directives from Brussels. We might as well close the Palace of Westminster for what little authority any debate will have.

  18. matthu
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Read Rioger Helmer’s post today about an EU luncheon he attended where a distinguished British businessman and Europhile effectively made the case for Brexit:

    https://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/a-europhile-makes-the-case-for-brexit/

  19. DaveM
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Don’t tell us John, tell the PM and his merry band of Europhiles.

    You’ve got 85% of the newspapers on your side – time to harness the surge of public opinion and tip the balance.

  20. NickW
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    The problem with the “EU’s voice” is that it has become a megaphone for Germany and France with all other EU Members being ignored.

    We in the UK are routinely lambasted when we challenge EU policy which is detrimental to our interests, whereas Germany gets away with ignoring EU policy whenever it suits, without ever being accused of being Un-European or being bombarded by insults from Verhofstadt in the EU Parliament.

    Germany broke EU policy on running a budget deficit, is breaking EU policy on running a massive Trade surplus and has now unilaterally obliterated Schengen.

    The EU does not exist; it is simply a camouflage which allows one or two Countries to dominate Europe.

    I agree that we need our own voice, and one which will the world will listen to, but so does Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland—–.

  21. atlas
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Agreed.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    With the present influx of migrants, the EU has clearly shown itself as being incapable of dealing with a real crisis. Countries have started to act unilaterally, regardless of the EU. The EU was designed to present a united front to the outside world and has failed dismally at the first real test.
    Merkel wants a European Army. Putin must be laughing his head off, the refugee crisis has demonstrated that the EU would be quite incapable of reaching any decision to deploy it.
    If, as you say, Britain would have its own seat on various international organisations outside the EU, what on earth made the EU countries surrender the individual votes in favour of just one EU vote? Individually, but acting in concert, they would have far more power if they had retained their individual identity.
    Brussels is a haven for bureaucrats and failed politicians, that is why Cameron and Corbyn both want to keep it as a retirement sinecure.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      And the one EU member state, Hungary, which is doing its duty by actively trying to prevent illegal mass incursions across its part of the EU’s “external border” is being condemned from all sides, including condemnation from those running almost all parts of the UK media. Although not in the comments sections, where comments on an article are allowed they overwhelmingly contradict the media line and support the Hungarians – “overwhelmingly”, as in hundreds of comments on one side for each comment on the other side. This is the EU’s “external border” which we were told would be so secure that there would no longer be any need for controls on the EU’s “internal borders”, that is to say those between the member states, and look what a total shambles has now been created. We even have a country, Greece, which has been allowed to become not only an EU member state but also a member of Schengen, but which has been declared an unsafe country for refugees so that nobody who claims to be a refugee can legally be returned there.

  23. Tad Davison
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of that John, and the arguments for it are incontrovertible, except the heretics in the flat Earth society will not be swayed.

    Politics is all about effecting change with a reasonable and rational argument, but that takes no account of the entrenched positions of those who simply refuse to see what is right before their very eyes. Rationality can never win through with irrational people.

    Tad

  24. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Any argument for Out is a good one.

    Now even the Daily Mail and the Express are leading their comments with “The one subject to get us out of the EU is immigration” as I have been telling you for some while now.

    Everyone is talking about it

    Most people are worried about it (this is why poles have tipped towards people wanting out)

    This and “three million jobs lost” is what will get the otherwise uninterested masses out of their houses and voting. Nothing else.

    Yes yes yes – you can argue the detail as you do so often, but you need the populist vote and those voters now realise that even if the Europhiles deliver a stone bonker reason for staying in and even if the EU delivers us six million jobs it will not go anywhere near covering the costs of the tens of millions of people it demands that we take in.

    It makes no economic sense to us on any level whatsoever.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      polls

  25. majorfrustration
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Agree. My concern at the moment is that there appears little or no impetus from the Britexit camp. Supposedly the polls show a slight advantage for the Out of camp but there needs to me a more vigorous campaign.

    • Graham Wood
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      “Little or no impetus from the Brexit camp” Really? Apart from the existence of UKIP, there is a very well informed, professionally researched and lively website of the Know – http://theknow.eu/. What a breath of fresh air!
      Currently it averages about 200/3oo new supporters every hour and full of all the facts you need to know about the EU.

      • Hefner
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Very interesting site, and from there it is relatively easy to see how the various groups of UK MEPs recently voted in the recent TTIP debate? Curiouser and curiouser.
        Were the MEPs voting for a TTIP expecting a future within the EU, or are they expecting a future TTIP-equivalent between the USA and the UK?

      • Chris
        Posted September 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Just to add to your post, GW, there is livestream coverage of all the main venues in the saynotoEU tour with Farage and other key speakers. Last night’s from Essex was very convincing, as was the previous meeting in the tour. Full house, and a rapturous applause for a very clear, concise and hard hitting address from NF. There is a tremendous OUT campaign being fought by UKIP but they are not being given the coverage by the media. No comment.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Daily Mail today:

    “In a magnificent show of defiance, David Cameron refused point blank to pay a £1.7billion surcharge to the EU, describing it as ‘appalling’ and ‘totally unacceptable’. Ah, but that was before the election.
    Now it emerges that since polling day, Chancellor George Osborne has quietly paid the bill in full – despite having claimed last November that he’d forced Brussels to halve it.
    No wonder voters are exasperated by our posturing political class.”

    Some of us pointed out at the time that Mr Cameron’s defiance was loaded with caveates and get-out clauses and that these monies would be paid in full.

    He is now using the very same tricks over the refugee crisis.

    We WILL be taking in millions and we will be seeing huge changes in our country within the term of this administration.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      You highlight clearly how David Cameron cannot be trusted. This is but one of so many examples of him “promising” one thing, but doing something completely different. He seems to have adopted Tony Blair’s apparent tactic, which was that the “truth” was something that was expedient to say at the time, but could be modified for a different/later occasion for political gain i.e. it is an elastic concept.

      Cameron’s approach to the Referendum, asking us to trust him to deliver renegotiations and vote before he has gained anything legally binding, is flawed as it depends on the one quality, trustworthiness, that I and so many others believe he does not have. We have bitter past experience to support our views.

      • matthu
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        More to the point, neither does the EU have our trust either. they have screwed us over and over, particularly in bending the rules to bail out Greece i.e. doing so in direct contravention of EU law.

        If EU law can be side-stepped to save the Peroject, what chance a treaty on the back of a fag packet?

        • Chris
          Posted September 18, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          None whatsoever, and that is why it is all such a charade.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Migrant, or more plainly illegal immigrant, crisis, not refugee crisis.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 17, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Denis – For once I disagree with you.

        It is a refugee crisis too. It reaches a point where, sadly, we draw a line marked ‘them or us’.

        There has to be a limit.

        When patients are denied cancer treatments because of shortages we have already reached a point we’re we have to decide who is going to live or die.

        Lax border control is killing our own people already.

  27. forthurst
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    It is time to take back all that traitor Heath ceded in 1972.

    It is time to take back our ancestral fishing grounds.

    It is time to take back our right to help our farmers produce what we need to eat and they wish to grow.

    It is time to reinstate our peferential trade with the Commonwealth.

    It is time to take back our right to decide which bunch of foreigners, if any, deserves taxpayers’ largesse.

    It is time to take back our right to make our own laws. However, a valid criticism of prior governance at the Palace of Westminster by the two parties elected under the FPTP system was the destabilising effect of the enormous gyrations in policy as governments moved from one extreme to another under the influence of comparatively small movements in the popular vote. The two party system yields either of two undesirable outcomes, that as previously described and that which we have had under Blair and Heir to Blair, as they have in the USA for some time, where two dominant parties largely adopt similar policies freezing out new parties and fresh ideas which could replace what has become a pathological consensus in many policy areas. Therefore, those offering us the possibilty of freedom from the EU, should also consider how best to achieve a post-Brexit legislature which more fairly represented the shades of opinion within the electorate, in which entryists cannot so easily pervert the direction of policy, possibly in a new arena which could be conducted in a more adult, sober and less confrontational fashion.

  28. MickN
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Another advantage would be that next time we get a bill for £1.7 billion pounds and Cameron thumps the table and says we will not pay it, we would not actually end up paying that amount and more a few months later.
    Yet another “No ifs, no buts” moment.
    How do you and your fellow Eurosceptics let him keep getting away with it?

  29. peter davies
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Agree on all points, its a no brainer.

    I see there is now a Petition going out requesting the PM invokes Article 50 now, number 3003153 (not that it will lead to anything)

  30. DaveM
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Just a (tongue-in-cheek) thought:

    We’re worried about 20,000+ refugees coming here over the next 5 years from Syria and so on.

    If the UK votes to leave the EU, we may be inundated by 400,000,000 European asylum seekers who are being persecuted in their own countries for not supporting the EU, and who oppose the regimes of their governments in Paris, Berlin, Athens etc!!!! I believe they would be referred to as “dissidenski”!!

  31. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Bring it on. A sovereign country.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, Dr Redwood.

    A little while back someone here complained about nepotism in celebrity circles. You replied that “Having a famous father should not bar one from getting a good job.”

    I had to ruminate on this one a while as there are so very many celebrity offspring out there. Okay. Perhaps brilliance is a genetic trait in families. But then we hear today that (gives a named e.g. Of helping a son into a job)
    Well that puts paid to my theory – which was always a weak one anyway.

    I agree. Having a famous parent should not disbar someone from a good job – but nor should it be a passport to an outstandingly brilliant one.

    Such nepotism shows just how common such alleged talent is and just how overrated and overpaid these people are.

    I suppose the pertinence of my comment is not in relation to the perpetuation of familial wealth but in the perpetuation of familial power.

    These very lucky people are gifted with a disproportionate voice in our democracy and are being allowed to set the agenda.

    They aren’t even particularly talented, let alone backed by any sort of electoral mandate.

  33. Old Albion
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Hi JR. I’ve been away for a week, I hope you missed me? 🙂
    I agree with every word you typed. If we ever get a vote (in/out) I hope we vote Out. But of course if we here in England say ‘out’ and those spoilt people North of the border say ‘In’ a whole new issue will arise. How will the British handle that?

  34. JoeSoap
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I simply ask as a Conservative why you aren’t supporting Mr Cameron’s Herculean efforts to return sovereignty and why have you given up the ghost?

  35. Boudicca
    Posted September 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely, John.

    But you’re in a Party which has a long-standing policy of remaining in the EU. And you take the Whip from a Party Leader who is determined to keep us IN and who will do whatever it takes to get the “right” result in the Referendum.

    The Conservative Party – more than any other – is THE party of the EU.

    Reply Not so. It is the only party which has offered us a referendum which it can deliver, and we will be free to campaign for Leave.

  36. Richard
    Posted September 18, 2015 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    I would expect that our influence at EU QMV votes is no more successful than our entries to the Eurovision Song Contest and for the same reasons.

  37. petermartin2001
    Posted September 18, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to be somewhat off topic but I’ve just come across this in the Telegraph

    “Andy Haldane….. made the case for the “radical” option of supporting the economy with negative interest rates, and even suggested that cash could have to be abolished”

    Yep, no more £5 and £10 notes etc. That’s so that we all have to keep our money in the bank where we’ll be charged handsomely for the privilege. “How stupid can anyone get?” You may be thinking. “And who is this guy Andy Haldane, anyway?”

    The answer to that is he’s the BoEs chief economist!

    This is where the logic (if that is the right word) of thinking the economy can be controlled by solely varying interest rates leads. Every time the economy needs to be “supported” interest rates have to be reduced. Eventually they get so low they have to go negative and cash has to be abolished.

    Yes, the economy has to be supported, but it can’t be supported by an interest rate reduction. That just leads to a build up of private debt in the economy which then slows it down yet again. So we have to have another reduction. Then another one!

    Can we give Mr Haldane some sabbatical leave, on condition that he uses his time to learn some sensible economics?

  • 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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