Mrs Merkel gets it wrong again

Hard on the heels of Mrs Merkel’s generous invitation to too all Syrians to go to Germany as migrants came her U turn telling them not to with demands to spread refuges and economic migrants around the rest of the EU.

This time Mrs Merkel is doing a deal with Turkey. In return for promises that Turkey will do more to restrain migrants from going through Turkey into the EU, Mrs Merkel has promised in the name of the EU that the EU will make more rapid progress to letting Turks into the Schengen common borders area and will allow relaxation of travel and visa restrictions for Turks. How does she think this will help? By whose authority does she do this? Will the rest of the EU and the Schengen area go along with this? The EU we are told has agreed to give Turkey Euro 500 million of aid in an attempt to restrain more migrants passing through Turkey. Mrs merkel is talking about Euro 3 billion. Where does this leave the agreed policy that the UK pushed for a lower EU budget?

Mrs Merkel is coming in for more criticism in Germany for her ill thought through migrant policy. This will not restore her popularity. It is another reason why the UK needs to control its own borders. It is a reminder that the EU is a German driven and led Europe. This is not what most UK people want, especially when the leader of Germany is so head strong and unsure of touch.

It is not a good idea to offer Mr Erdogan of Turkey these advantages just before an election.Many in the EU are concerned by the drift of Turkish policy on many matters including the Kurds, and do not wish to see Mr Erdogan buttressed by visits and deals just before an important election.

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94 Comments

  1. Richard1
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Free trade with Turkey is of course a good idea. But if the EU is a political association of liberal democracies which respect the rule of law and human rights, it is clear that Turkey as presently governed should not be eligible for membership. For some odd reason it seems to be settled UK policy to push for Turkish memembership. I assume this dates back to the Thatcher ear when it was felt (wrongly as it turned out) that the bigger the E U became the more it would be a simple trade zone and the less a political union.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      That publicly stated Tory policy of encouraging “widening” to prevent “deepening” has been a disastrous failure, but I guess its originators knew that it would be.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        No I don’t tHink that’s fair. I think they thought widening would prevent deepening and it was a reasonable assumption at the time. It is probably also true that the admission of former communist countries has bolstered the more market oriented side in the EU.

    • Bob
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Don’t waste time trying to rationalise the irrational actions of the de-facto ruler of the EU, just revoke the European Communities Act 1972 and rejoin the rest of the world.

      Germany is in an expansionist mood again, and we should have no part in it.

      • yosarion
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        For the past twenty years or s0 I have been told time and time again (quite often by our Celtic Cousins ) that England is to big to have its own Parliament, my response has been the same during that period in time, ” then by your logic alone, Germany should never have been allowed to be Re-Unified.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        Bob – Watch the 1973 series The World at War episode 16 – Inside the Third Reich.

        The Germans are a highly intelligent and gifted people but are prone to group madness.

        • Richard1
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I do hope the EU debate doesn’t descend to this sort of level. There will surely be a large majority to stay In if it does.

          • Bob
            Posted October 19, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            @Richard1
            Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            Richard1,

            Yes. Well said.

            The case against the EU has nothing to do with any dislike of any European nation. We like modern day democratic Germany -except when they beat us at football! 🙂

            Except we don’t want to share a currency or political union with them and we don’t believe it’s in their interest to share their currency with anyone else. But that’s for them and others to decide.

            Let’s keep the discussion along sensible lines.

  2. Rita Webb (Mrs)
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    And what sort of guarantee do we get from Turkey in return for the billions? They cannot be that trustworthy as one of the war aims of the Russians is to head to its border with Syria to deny Islamic State one of its main supply lines.

    Meanwhile back in Germany “Focus” magazine has a report from Matthias LĂĽcke, an economist at the Institute for World Economy in Kiel, who estimates the annual cost of refugees in Germany at €45 billion per year. This estimate assumes €15,000 a year in costs per refugee, one million refugees a year, and three years until they integrate into the job market or return home. So where does Mrs Merkel have the cash to pay for her share of the money to the Turks?

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    This is exactly what Mrs Thatcher feared would happen and everybody laughed at her. She was right.
    The EU simply has to tighten its grip or it will fall apart. Greece and the decline of the Eurozone economically – and now the immigrant crisis – make it imperative that the EU acts. But 28 people all facing in different directions and not really communicating are powerless in a hostile part of the world. (Russia – Middle East)
    The question which nobody – nobody at least in this country – has faced up to is this: who will be in charge of a tightened up Europe? Please God we get the right person.

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The EU is not a membership of equals where every state has a say in it’s running and it’s policies. It appears that only one state Germany and perhaps France limping in second decides and everyone else is whipped into line including the UK. Even the UK with it’s clout and on the world stage and that is a lot or would be if it was not for the EU divesting the UK of the means to exercise that considerable influence. At the same time the UK has not much influence in the EU.

    We are told we must stay in the EU to exert our influence and that is the only way that we can reform the EU. However we do not have any influence inside but outside that would change considerably. Unfettered we can not be dismissed so easily as are now by the apparatchiks of Brussels. The size of our economy our links with many parts of the world and the size of our trade with the EU mostly in the EU’s favour ensures that we have to be listened to and treated with the respect we deserve which we currently are not getting.

    Not forgetting that we are a major contributor to the EU budget which the EU conveniently forgets but are at the same time squeezing us to pay more finding many ways of doing so nearly always unfairly. That alone should gain us the influence we deserve but it does not.

    Remaining in the EU is reducing us to becoming a mere province with 2nd class status.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      We would have a lot more influence if we still had what the government promised us in 1975 referendum:

      http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm

      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament … The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      But Thatcher thought that the development of the Single Market would be held up if each of the member states could veto any proposal, so now as a result of her Single European Act and subsequent treaties decisions are ordinarily taken by qualified majority voting where we have 12% of the votes and no veto.

      Restoration of all the national vetoes which have been abolished would be essential before I would even consider voting to stay in the EU, although that alone would not be enough as there are other changes I would require.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I agree fully. But why is Cameron not even asking for the powers to control UK borders to be restored. Why too will he not even tell us which powers he wants back? Other than the four totally trivial matters he listed recently of nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing? “I rule nothing out” is about as close as he gets to saying anything specific. He is a clear as mud on this issue. He is no clearer on the alleged benefits of membership. Why also do the IN side constantly tell us of the “huge benefits we get from membership” yet they are unable to detail what these alleged benefits actually are?

    It was interesting to see the over emotional “BBC think” historian Simon Schama battling it out on Question Time with Rod Liddle. Is being an emotion over brain person embedded in the genes at birth I wonder, or does it come from environmental conditioning. I suspect mainly the former.

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      LL as a businessman you should be welcoming these open borders. Remember earlier this year when Obama opened up his border to thousands of child refugees from Central America? For some reason they did not fancy life in Spanish speaking Mexico. Do a bit of googling and you will see there is a lot of government pork to be had if you want to get into the resettlement game.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Why have open borders when you can have selectively open borders? Allow the ones you want or need in but not those who will be a huge liability.

        It is not all or nothing as the BBC like to pretend it is.

        • Rita Webb (Mrs)
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Its the “huge liability” is were the money is. The taxpayer pays you to take care of these people who are mostly going to be wards of the state for the rest of their lives.

    • Bob
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      @lifelogic “Simon Schama battling it out on Question Time with Rod Liddle.”
      Dimbleby allowed Simon Schama to rant uninterrupted, while Roger Helmer was told to button it. Dimbleby obviously trying to restore the usual balance, since they managed to invite two opponents of PC orthodoxy onto the same panel (tut tut). Someone slipped up!

      The QT audience “plants” are getting less subtle than they used to be.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Indeed

  6. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    ‘ Re-energize’ the talks on access to the EU ? That is ‘politician speak’ if ever I heard any! I am very suspicious, as I know that among others, the UK government is in favour of letting Turkey join. I think we need to know exactly what was promised in our name, and how much it will cost us.

  7. agricola
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Merkel’s behaviour is a product of the autocracy that operates at the head of the EU. It is an overriding reason why we should leave this un-democratic, totalitarian cabal.

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I would disagree Mrs Merkel has been carried away by a sense of German “can do”. Germany resettled thousands of refugees expelled from Eastern Europe in the ’40s and ’50s and then took over the former GDR in the ’90s. Her fatal error has been to forget that these people were German to begin in so there were not many reintegration problems. She has also annoyed quite a few voters in the West of Germany who are still paying the “solidarity tax” for the ex GDR regardless of what its going to cost on top to take in millions of non Germans now.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Actually I think it is a product of the culture of the German elite. To some extent also the culture of ordinary Germans, but mainly the elite of that society.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Let us face facts, the EU is at the moment in total and utter Chaos.

    Mrs Merkel of late seems to have lost any good judgement she may have had in the past.

    Just Like Mrs Thatcher in her later years, she has become to look arrogant, gives the appearance that she is not interested in anyone else’s views, because she has made up her mind that its her way or no way.

    Pray tell me how free movement of Turkish citizens is going to help the EU in any way.

    It was always a German aim to run Europe, and it certainly seems to be going that way at the moment.
    History often has a habit of repeating itself, painful lessons it would appear, have not been learned as Europe once more is heading for real political conflict between Nations.

    The sooner we look to stand on our own and get out of this mess the better.

    Me thinks time to strengthen our borders, and increase the spend on our own security.

  9. matthu
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    When GDP stalls, you can simply add prostitution and gambling into the numbers to improve the trend.

    When crime begins to trend upwards, you need to add digital crime into the numbers in order to muddy the waters.

    But what will happen to the target of tens of thousands of net migration once Turkey joins the Schengen common borders area?

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The woman has gone mad,

    Surely a time to invoke article 50 ?

    This cannot go on.

  11. Tad Davison
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Well we true Eurosceptics have been saying all along what an unworkable, undemocratic nonsense the EU is. Perhaps now, the rest of the country will finally wake up and realise that fact for themselves, so we can vote to get to hell out of it.

    If we think we’ve already seen the worst of it, just watch what happens if Turkey joins the EU. We’re not going to stop the deluge until we get proper control of our borders. That will take a fundamental treaty change, and we’ve already been told in no uncertain terms by those who call the shots in the EU, that won’t happen.

    So what is there to renegotiate?

    Maybe we need to take Mr Hollande’s advice. I’m sure we could manage it if we really put our minds to it.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

  12. matthu
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Just last month the German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised that British Prime Minister David Cameron would fail to secure any meaningful renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU unless he openly supported the idea of an EU army. “If you want favours, you have to give favours,” a Berlin source said.

    Last year when Nigel Farage argued that the EU wanted to create an army he was derided Nick Clegg, who called Mr. Farage’s assertions a “fantasy”.

    Last month Angela Merkel promised that David Cameron would fail to secure any meaningful renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU unless he openly supported the idea of an EU army. “If you want favours, you have to give favours.”

    Next week the leaders of the European Parliament’s largest party will be pushing ahead with plans to introduce a European Union (EU) army, justifying the measure by citing concerns over “Russian aggression” and containment of the migrant crisis. “We are going to move towards an EU army much faster than people believe,” European People’s Party president Joseph Daul is reported as saying.

    So where do we stand on the subject on an EU army and will Cameron make reference to this in the next couple of weeks when he outlines what is up for negotiation?

    • Qubus
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      What use an EU army? They would never be able to come to a decision about taking action?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      This is the well established position of the UK government regarding the question of an EU army: it doesn’t exist and there are no plans to create it. And they would still be saying that as it marched down Whitehall.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    According to this:

    https://euobserver.com/migration/130713

    Turkey is demanding €3 billion, €2 billion more on top of €1 billion of aid already pledged by the EU in September but not yet all provided by the member states.

    To be fair it’s unreasonable to expect a poor country like Turkey to bear the burden of so many migrants, all of whom claim to be refugees even though that is clearly not the case even when they enter Turkey let alone when they choose to leave Turkey, classified as a “safe country”, and move on into the EU.

    On the other hand as it was the government of Germany which precipitated a massive increase in the flow of migrants, intentionally or otherwise, it is also unreasonable to expect other EU member states to pay for the consequences of that German policy in terms either of money or the number of migrants they are then expected to accept.

    In particular I will point out again the UK has a treaty opt-out not only from the EU’s common asylum and immigration policy in general but also specifically from any financial consequences arising therefrom, see Article 5 in the UK’s opt-out Protocol (N0 21), and so if the UK does make any contribution towards assistance to Turkey it should be made very clear that this is entirely voluntary.

    As for lifting visa restrictions on Turkey, or speeding it towards EU membership, forget both of those; we do not want to replace uncontrolled mass immigration of non-Turks through Turkey with uncontrolled mass immigration of Turks.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel has become a menace. No one in the EU seems prepared to stand up to her, except perhaps Hungary. She is increasingly becoming dictatorial and seems determined to alter the demography of the countries within the EU. The EU, which was founded on ending conflict in Europe, is moving ever closer to creating it by her actions.

  15. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    “Where does this leave the agreed policy that the UK pushed for a lower EU budget?”

    It leaves us contributing more via a mandate that she (Germany) has acquired and to which we have very little or no say on.

    Greece applies the order of the heavy boot it appears to their elderly today…for more loans aka investment?

    Cable tells us this morning that electricity for steel is too costly (8p/Kwh) against europe, Osborne and carbon tax wrong (yes!), EU subsidy control. Meanwhile we are trading outside the EU very well, otherwise we are totally stuffed in protecting our foreign owned major industry. He said we could make (sort of) internal UK projects buy UK steel. Weird?

    etc ed

  16. MPC
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    We all knew it was wrong of the EU to take the decision in the summer to seek to rescue all migrants in boats in the Mediterranean – rather than have them escorted safely back to where they embarked, with proper asylum processing at source. David Cameron has been complicit in all of this and if we stay in the EU he will have been a ‘manager of decline’ for our country, something which was resisted by the Tory governments from 1979. At least the media is starting to recognise the implications of all this – including the Independent with a well balanced article – link below. We need UK pressure on the EU to recognise reality and take appropriate steps – along the lines of the Australian response – which will surely stem the flow and weaken the people traffickers.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/afghan-refugee-shooting-this-deal-with-turkey-is-mere-wishful-thinking-by-brussels-a6697391.html

  17. E
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    She may have got it wrong, but she’s providing a never ending stream of assistance for the Leave the EU campaigns. Come on Mrs M, let’s have some more bright ideas and you’ll even get the Germans joining the campaign to leave!

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m reading this:

    https://euobserver.com/migration/130725

    “Hungary to seal border with Croatia”

    with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban quoted as saying:

    “We can close the border in an hour, but it’s only the second-best solution, the best would be closing the Greek border … There is no force or political will to take over the border protection from Greece.”

    And nor is there any will to take over the EU’s border protection from Italy, or Spain, in fact it seems there is no will to have any effective EU border protection at all; insofar as other countries including the UK have become involved it has been to positively facilitate and encourage illegal immigration under the guise of a humanitarian response.

    But then this has been going on for ages on a smaller scale; I remember reading about the Italians dealing with illegal immigration from Albania by the simple expedient of helping them on their way to the UK, and that was years ago.

    Advocates of Scottish independence might care to think about the likely attitude of an anglophobic SNP government of an independent Scotland, and the costs of sealing the land border if/when they started behaving like the Italian and the Greek governments.

    • formula57
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      @ Denis Cooper – ” the costs of sealing the land border …” would be less than retaining Scotland in the Union – and a price well worth paying for such an outcome, some might think.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        That is debatable. The costs of border control would be just one item on a list of new costs which would offset any apparent financial benefit to England from Scotland separating from the rest of the UK, which apparent financial benefit would not be large in the first place and sometimes would be negative. Anyone in England who expected a cut in their taxes would be disappointed.

  19. james c
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood makes some good points here.
    It is simply astonishing that Mrs Merkel can presume to speak for the EU in this way.

  20. Colin Hart
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    They do say BSE can lie dormant for years.

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Looking at her on TV she does not seem to be bearing up to this very well. I bet she will be gone by Christmas.

  21. ChrisS
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Rarely have I agreed more with you than on this occasion.

    The true nature of the EU in 2015 is an organisation totally dominated by one country and that country is itself is dominated by Frau Merkel. Furthermore, there is no effective opposition in Germany as she is the head of a grand coalition.

    If ever there was an example of an ineffective democracy, Germany in 2015 is it. All democracies need an effective opposition, Labour please note.

    As for the EU the democratic deficit has increased by leaps and bounds in the last five years. It was bad enough when the leaders of Germany and France strutted the world stage purporting to be the voices of Europe and deciding the outcome of European summits before they even started.

    What we have now is infinitely worse and a perfect example of why the EU will not work effectively in our lifetime. For the EU to work effectively the leader of Germany should be but one voice amongst 28. Yes, the weighting of votes should be relative to the population of the country but nothing more than that.

    Yet neither the leaders or the voting public in any EU country are ready to accept the full implications of this : If they were, fiscal transfers would be being made from Germany to Greece and all the other lame ducks in the Union without a murmur. Spending and taxation would be equalised across the 28 member states ( or at least the Eurozone ) and set in Brussels and everyone in Schengen would accept migrant quotas with good grace.

    Instead, what we have is one woman calling the shots and acting as a bully within the Eurozone because effectively she holds the purse strings. ( See Greece ), Similarly, as far as Schengen is concerned she made a unilateral decision to open the flood gates to migrants with no effective control and certainly no consultation, and everyone else has to accept what she has done and is struggling to deal with the consequences. We don’t even know whether she intends to give all the Syrian migrants arriving in Germany an EU passport. That is a really important issue and an action that would have profound repercussions for the United Kingdom. Yet I’ve not even seen it mentioned anywhere in the media.

    One can only imagine what the other leaders all think of Merkel’s recent actions ! She has lost all credibility and there can be precious little goodwill left anywhere within the 28 countries, including her own. With one notable exception, why are all the other leaders being so quiet and polite about all this ?

    No, the people of Europe are in no way ready for a European Superstate, especially with Frau Merkel in the driving seat but unfortunately the megalomaniacs in Brussels can’t see it and are racing on at full speed to make it a reality.

    Fortunately I’m getting increasingly confident that we will be the first to get off this rollercoaster which might as well be called Oblivion because, sadly, it’s going to end up in a crash far worse than the one at Alton Towers.

  22. Ian wragg
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    What makes you think Merkel is wrong. She wishes to flood Europe with grateful immigrants even at the expense of Islamisation of the EU.
    Credit to Hungary for resisting Merkel and her barmy ideas.
    It really is the 4th coming and Merkel struts around like previous chancellor’s dictating policy whilst Cameron follows like a poodle.
    This will be a significant boost for the leave campaign.

    • Qubus
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree, but you have to remember that the birth-rate in Germany is too low for the country to be sustainable, whereas the birth-rate in the UK is very high at the moment. Also the population density there is considerably less than the UK. Perhaps there is, indeed, some sense in her madness.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        I don’t think a country becomes unsustainable just because its birth rate is below replacement level. However if the government had planned its future finances on the assumption of a steadily increasing workforce paying more taxes then that could prove unsustainable.

        • Qubus
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          It must ultimately.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            Well, historically countries were sustainable with very much lower populations than now, populations which were not only low but often static for long periods. If countries can only be sustainable if they have constantly increasing populations then ultimately that will also be a problem, given that the earth’s resources are finite.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Kindred spirits of Barbara Lerner Spectre wouldn’t think that “Merkel gets it wrong”, I’m afraid to say.

    • margaret
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t have thought that you would have got away with this comment.

      • ChrisS
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t either – but it’s what almost all of us here are thinking !

      • forthurst
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        It seems quite reasonable to impute a motive to Merkel when she has as yet not been forthcoming with one and that applies to every treacherous poltician whose actions are clearly against the interests of those they purport to serve but not necessarily those whom, clandestinely, they do. A low birthrate is a temporary phenomen which is easily corrected with the right incentives; depriving a people of their living space means certain death for them.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          It is quite reasonable to impute that kind of motive to Merkel because of her track record. In my considered view she is an (unpleasant? ed) woman, and no way is she a friend to this country and its people and its democracy, and nor is she necessarily a friend to ordinary Germans either.

          • Original Richard
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            To understand Mrs. Merkel it needs to be remembered that her family moved from West to East Germany, she speaks fluent Russian, and held a senior poition in the Russian organisation Agitprop whose purpose was the promotion of communism.

  23. Atlas
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    John,

    I can foresee 4 problems for Cameron in the coming few months:

    1) As you rightly say German flip-flopping (with other peoples money) on the immigration crisis in the EU;

    2) The reduction in Tax credits for working people (A re-run of the 10p Tax saga all over again);

    3) A cold winter producing:

    a) an NHS crisis and

    b) electricity cuts because of the misguided reliance on renewable energy.

    Given that Cameron is going, these may help his departure but I’m not sure that Osborne will come smelling sweetly out of these either.

  24. zorro
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Who knows what she’s thinking? Trying to resurrect a Central Powers axis or get more German influence in the ME. There is always a quid pro quo. Good that you are stating what the EU is in reality though…..

    What is clear is though is that Erdogan is no Ataturk and has been ‘facilitating’ some unsavoury types. The Turkish airforce also seems to have lost its radar settings as its bombs are, in the vast majority of cases, falling on the Kurds rather than ISIS. Good to see though that the Russians with seemingly little effort have got ISIS on the run in a week or two as opposed to the efforts of the Grand Coalition tickling stick in the last 18 months……

    zorro

    • zorro
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      I wonder how Mr Al Baghdadi is feeling at the moment…. A little shaken and lightly grilled apparently but in the hands of ‘friends’. I guess that he’s got no air force to protect him anymore.

      zorro

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Obama claimed last week that he leads a coalition of 60 states compared to Russia’s pro-tem alliance with Iran and Iraq over Syria…….surely never was so little achieved by so many!

      • zorro
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Wow… I wonder where all those bombs from those ‘grand coalition’ raids have been dropped if not on ISIS…. I hope that it wasn’t Syrian infrastructure or civilian settlements which were hit (like hospitals in Afghanistan)…

        zorro

    • Monty
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Erdogan is an islamist, and the drift away from secular principles is likely to accelerate. I reckon history will show that their dalliance with secularism lasted less than a hundred years.

      To get back to Merkel, she is showing all the signs of turning into the autocrat of Europe, imposing her will on the entire EU without a word of consultation. Her latest unilateral proclamations include inviting the population of North Africa/ Middle East to come and live here, allocating said immigrants to individual member states according to a system of her own, suspension of the Schengen agreement, and now extending the offer of the freedom of the EU to 78 million Turks. She is giving the game away, it’s true. We are beginning to see the EU for what it really is

  25. Bert Young
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Turkey would love to manouvre into the EU by whatever means it can ; Merkel and others should not fall into this trap . Turkey is not in Europe and Turks are not Europeans ; so far the Turks have done little to stop the exit tide of Syrians and others .

    Merkel has recently found that Germans do not want to be an open door to migrants and she now seeks to minimise her mistake by deals with Turkey – paid for by European funds !. The demonstrations throughout Germany against the influx of migrants has jolted Merkel into a panic type response and she now faces an election with mud all over her face . There is no doubt that Germany faces a huge economic and social problem as the result of her decision and no matter how justified her original sympathy was for the migrants , the damage has been done and it now signals her demise .

  26. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    ‘Bio of Mrs Merkel has a seemingly infinite depth and incremental diminishment of light. Hmm. Her actions, if one puts on her hat for a moment, do not add up. Not if you love your country.Not if you have the personal survival instinct of a western political animal. Her poorer EU neighbours’ hostilities build. Her economy, other things being equal, cannot possibly benefit by OTT immigration. Only a headline of necessary growth in the housing sector can put a shine on an economy set for huge downturn. Germany’s iconic car industry, airlines, banks and now possibly her Football are knocking the cobwebs and pride out of what Solzhenitsyn referred to ” a land industrious and proud ” in his poem “Prussian Nights” or was it in his novel “August 1914”?

    • Monty
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Christopher, you might want to add this factor to your analysis of Merkel:

      She is aware that welfare payments in Germany for those who have no record of tax contributions, are very modest. Much better payments are available eg in Scandinavia, and the UK. I think she is expecting to use this as a push factor, by which the layabouts and wastrels among the immigrants will choose to leave Germany as soon as they have an EU passport, with only the skilled, the grafters, left behind to enhance German productivity.
      She could hardly say that out loud though, could she?

  27. backofanenvelope
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Haven’t the French got a law saying that before Turkey can be admitted to the EU, a referendum must be held in France?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Repealed:

      http://www.euractiv.com/enlargement/france-scraps-referendum-turkeys-news-220068

      and as far as I’m aware not reinstated.

      We should have a law that the government must get approval in a referendum before ANY new country can join the EU, and we would have if Hague hadn’t slipped Section 4(4)(c) into the European Union Act 2011:

      http://www.euractiv.com/enlargement/france-scraps-referendum-turkeys-news-220068

      “4) A treaty or Article 48(6) decision does not fall within this section merely because it involves one or more of the following—

      (a) the codification of practice under TEU or TFEU in relation to the previous exercise of an existing competence;

      (b) the making of any provision that applies only to member States other than the United Kingdom;

      (c) in the case of a treaty, the accession of a new member State.”

  28. Davem
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Quite. It is becoming increasingly clear that Merkel regards herself as the president of Europe and feels that she has a mandate to do whatever she wishes despite the fact that it affects not only her own (increasingly frustrated) country, but also any other country in Europe – not just the EU.

    Of course, this is good news for those of us supporting an OUT vote, but the worry is obviously how much this foreign chancellor can have a detrimental effect on our country before we get a chance to leave the EU.

    She seems utterly oblivious though. Seemingly she was aware of the VW business (not that I particularly care about that). (Allegation left out ed) She is truly coming to epitomise the totalitarian nature of all things EU. However, the Germans aren’t generally hugely fond of the Turks, and the fact that there are millions already in Germany, one would imagine Germany would be the natural destination for those Turks wishing to move west.

    Note to Merkel – beware the German far right.

  29. Donna
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    The migrant crisis, like the Euro crisis, is demonstrating very clearly that the EU is just a fiefdom of Germany.

    Merkel had no right to unilaterally rip up the Dublin Convention. She had no right to order other EU nations to “take their fair share” of migrants or face financial penalties from the EU structural funds. She has no right to enter into negotiations with Turkey over increased aid, relaxation of visa requirements or faster progress towards Turkey joining the EU.

    Personally, I don’t see a great deal of difference between mass migration of middle Eastern/African Muslims and mass migration of Turkish ones.

    I am amazed that there aren’t more leaders of the Sovereign nations of Europe speaking out against Merkel’s failing polices and German domination. Every political career ends in failure and Frau Merkel is no different: except her failures are destroying Europe.

    Any concessions Merkel graciously allows Cameron will be far too little. This country must regain its Sovereignty and leave the EU.

  30. Bill
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I heard that, in response to Merkel’s request and in return for extra EU money, Turkey will do more to keep migrants inside Turkey. But if that happens and then Turkey becomes a member of the EU, the migrants will have a right to travel anywhere. This will surely just enable another tranche of people to come to the UK.

    This is a crazy situation. A decision made by the German Chancellor simply sets up future problems for the UK once Turkish EU membership is agreed.

  31. Daisy
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Why don’t EU countries use their own naval forces to stop obvious people-smuggling boats from setting off from Turkey, if it is unable or unwilling to do so itself without the indefensible bribes now being offered?

  32. Alexis
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    This juggernaut is careering out of control.

  33. Peter Stroud
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Germany, under Frau Merkel is beginning to take far too much control of the EU without any mandate to do so. Frankly the good lady seems to be panicking after her rash invitation to migrants during the Summer. It is time for our prime minister to speak firmly against her actions, and make it clear that we do not wish for swarms of Turks to come to Europe. He should also realise that many of his voters are not as keen as he appears, to see Turkey join the EU.

  34. paul
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel makes her move as Germany is falling off a cliff, just as lawmakers in this country made their move in 2001 to keep big business afloat with lots more people coming in and to keep prices going up.

    As the lawmakers look around and talk to big business they know that they need double their effort to keep the millions of pounds flowing in to their bank accounts and more jobs for their offspring paid for out of government money.

    Every effort will be made to keep the financial system afloat while they try to find a way out, the only thing is, is when millions people move in to a country they do not leave, it the people who were born in the country that leave.

    The financial system has gone down again, just like in 1971 when the usa move the world off of the gold standard and that year Brittan join the EU and changed your currency from 144 pence a pound to 100 pence a pound. They have still not told the people of the world that the financial system went down in 1971 and it unlikely that you will be told this time, you just see the disruption all around you, like in 1971 20% odd percent inflation a year and no growth with workers unrest and the IRA bombing, yes everything was to blame but the financial system. They called that era stagflation.

    In 1981 the big bang started, unlimited money printing by banks, I think you all know how well this is going, it need more and more people now to keep it afloat and prices to keep on going up to keep the financial system going that’s why BIG business want you to stay in the EU to keep the people coming in, now from turkey as well, there will be only one country left to join and that’s Russia. Turkey has over 1 hundred million people not 76 million people, that’s more people than eastern Europe put together.

    What the new financial system will look like I do not know but it coming soon.
    If you vote to stay in the EU you will more than likely have to take it with the euro as your currency, just like in 1971 when your currency was changed.
    Could be a another round of high inflation and no growth while the lawmakers and friends try to keep their money intact.

  35. Peter Davies
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The more one hears and reads the stronger the case is for brexit, it is patently obvious that the eu is a German toy and a mechanism for control, something the UK really needs to cut loose from. Mr Cameron needs to stop all this “demands BS” and prepare for a fair referendum asap

  36. majorfrustration
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    If ever there was an arrangement that typified the EU its this one. The UK has had no input to a deal that has both political social and budgetary implications – the only good thing is that it strengthens the will for Britexit.

  37. They Work for Us?
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    You put very well JR.
    What authority does Angela Merkel have to commit the EU to anything.
    She has no financial authority to commit the EU to spend money or to play with the Schengen Agreement.
    She is relying that:
    No EU Prime Minister will have the effrontery to confront HER because of who she thinks she is and that the usual blackmail of showing you are good Europeans and show “Solidarity” will work.
    A meeting of the Council of Ministers should refuse to back her proposals and tell her she has no authority to make them.
    At the very least Cameron should state the UK will contribute no money to this proposal and will maintain its Schengen opt-out.

  38. Qubus
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    How can the woman be so stupid? She has a PhD in Theoretical Physics, after all. Is she suffering from a bad case of hubris, or is she psychologically damaged from her formative years in the GDR? In any case, why should Germany be able to act so autocratically; she seems to do just as she pleases, followed by the French poodle. Germany and France totally dominate the EU. We did not win two world-wars to be dictated to by Germany.
    How quickly people forget.

    Incidentally, I may be wrong, but isn’t the UK prevented by the EU in coming to the aid of the UK steel manufacturers? If that is so, why is it not more widely stated, for instance on the airwaves by our champions of democracy, the BBC?

    • DaveM
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      “Incidentally, I may be wrong, but isn’t the UK prevented by the EU in coming to the aid of the UK steel manufacturers? If that is so, why is it not more widely stated, for instance on the airwaves by our champions of democracy, the BBC?”

      Exactly. Or indeed, why is a cabinet member not explaining this on TV or in the papers?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Disgusting that they don’t help our steel manufacturers when they have given no end of subsidies to foreign energy companies and developers of wind farms which have resulted in the failure of companies like the one at Redcar. I am sure many more will go to the wall before anything useful gets done on that front. I see Scottish wind farms are being allowed a longer grace period to raise money for yet more bloody turbines. Vast areas of Scotland are blighted by them now. I didn’t vote green but I am not really sure what I voted for when I voted for Dave!

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:50 am | Permalink

          When one wind turbine creates enough energy to manufacture another wind turbine then we might be on to something.

          Caroline Lucas states that we should keep borrowing money until we can’t pay it back.

          These Green people are insane.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

            they only exists because of subsidies in the first place so they don’t actually fund themselves!!

  39. waramess
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    An ever closer union with a German led European autocracy. That’s what the British will be voting for in the forthcoming referendum and just what we fought against in the last war.
    Few were able to see the aspirations of the Germans in the ’30’s and even fewer are willing to be heard talking about the German aspirations now, because of the offense it might give.
    Whether it be German dominance in Europe or mass migration of Muslims into Europe, the British seem to have an almost endless ability to downplay the danger both to our society and to our economy but are more comfortable to slavishly adhere to political correctness.

  40. margaret
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Mrs M is a powerful woman , but it is wrong to say that she speaks for the whole of the EU. It is self evident that she doesn’t.
    incidentally John in the first sentence of your article I thought you may come out as a ballet dancer with all these to too’s around.

  41. Paul Cohen
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to Poundland taking over lease of EU HQ building!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. let us hope it is soon.

  42. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Been out of the loop for over a week now in Canada but have at last got onto a computer to see what kind of mess the UK is in now. My God, it doesn’t get any better does it? This immigration issue is going from bad to worse and as you say John, it’s Merkel pulling all the strings and calling all the shots. It’s as if the other EU countries don’t matter a jot. Well, they probably don’t to her, as long as they tow the line and so as they say she is happy. Well, I think the tide is turning and many countries have had enough and the people’s of those countries too. Bring it on. The more she shouts her orders the less popular she will be and hopefully the British public will say that’s enough and vote to come out of her little club. Without sounding petty, many people are of the opinion that the Turks cannot be trusted so what will happen if they are handed billions on a plate? Can we be sure the outcome will be what we want? I don’t think so. More money down the pan and you can bet there will be bigger sums needed in the next round of negotiations for pennies for the pot. This problem is one that will be with us for a very long time and the longer it continues the more stupid decisions will be made. PLEASE God let’s just hope we all vote to come out. There will be no border controls at all soon and the Shengen agreement will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s all just so depressing!

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      Fedup – The stabbing of a politician in Germany is a worry. Not because she was stabbed (bad enough) but that there will be a lot of ordinary people thinking ‘good’.

      When politicians ignore the democratic will and do so repeatedly then should we be surprised if there is a violent backlash ?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Can’t comment on the stabbings as I haven’t seen this bit of news. Only looked up the blog on John’s site while I was away to get a feel of what was happening in the UK. I don’t condone violence whoever it is inflicted upon but what is happening in the EU is only going to get worse and endorses my opinion that we would be better off out and I think many others in other countries are feeling this way too.

  43. bluedog
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, until very recently your correspondent thought that Mrs Merkel was a good German of just the type needed in Europe.

    It seems that judgement is wrong, but to say that is not to imply that Mrs Merkel is bad, but simply out of her depth and dealing with a problem that is beyond her frame of reference. Like the UK, Germany is a state and equipped to manage threats from other states. The current refugee/migrant influx reflects an attack on the state by non-state actors who are individually insignificant but collectively of major import.

    Sweden appears to be the EU state most advanced in terms of social catastrophe by migrant influx. Sweden has become a handy metaphor for the problems faced across Europe as the tide of demographic claimants from the Middle East and North Africa continues unchecked. Rioting and violent crime by migrant youth in Sweden has reached epidemic proportions, as it now seems to be doing in Germany too. Until EU governments make the conceptual adjustment from multiculturally driven welcome to defence of the realm, the situation will continue to deteriorate. Theresa May has it right but her proscription is ignored in Europe. Utter folly.

    In the context of Turkey and Germany, the gast-arbeiteren seem to have become the tail that wags the dog. Perhaps Mrs Merkel’s concessions to Erdogan are designed to appease the powerful demographic of the German-resident Turks, themselves vigorously courted by Turkish politicians. By appeasing the German-Turks Merkel possibly hopes that at least one Middle Eastern demographic will remain loyal to the German state. An alliance between German-Turks and recent arrivals from the Middle East would present Germany with an existential internal security crisis.

    In conclusion, one can foresee a massive convulsion in the making. Accommodation of the mass-migration from MENA has lost the support of native European electorates, but the political class isn’t listening. Soon the pendulum will swing the other way. The politicians will sense that there are more votes to be won be expelling the youth of MENA than pretending they can become exemplary Europeans. etc ed

  44. Maureen Turner
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    When Mrs. Merkel extended her in itvitation to Syrians, all 800,000 of them, to come to Germany she was cheered as the compassionate one but not unsurprisingly her compassion evaporated after a mere three weeks. As Tommy Cooper might have said – ” just like that”. This ploy wasn’t by accident but rather by design.

    Mrs M is far too astute to think Germany could sccept 800,000 without forward planning and it’s now we learn these fleeing persecution are to be farmed out to other EU countries. From what I’ve read only one third of the 800,00 are likely to be Syrians in fear of their lives.

    It seems there is not a single leader among the entire EU countries who has the slightest idea as to how this crisis might be tackled. Instead they are prepared to off load the problem on to Turkey on the understanding they can secure their borders with the inducement of 3 bn. euros and a more sympathetic approach to their long hoped for EU membership.

    It is only three months ago since Mr. Juncker proclaimed that the EU’s greatest achievement was its open borders policy and this when lorries were stacked back on the roads on the outskirts of Calais and Dover and the Channel Tunnel closed. If, as it now seems, the answer is for Turkey to act as some type of border controller then surely the same answer applies to all EU countries. Or is that too simple.

    We keep hearing from those in Brussels that one of the EU’s the founding principles is the free movement of its people – “its people” now appears to include the world and his wife. So do we take it that regardless of circumstances this is inviolable. It is this type of warped thinking that has got us into this ghastly mess so let’s hope we cut the ties that bind before these idiots in Brussels crash most of Western Europe. They are more than capable of it.

  45. Original Richard
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I do not see how offering the Turks either the relaxation of travel or visa resrictions, or even full EU membership as Mr. Erdogan has requested, will make any diffence to the migrant crises as the migrants will just switch to another route, such as via Libya.

    Since the Conservative Party’s leadership is in favour of Turkey’s membership of the EU the migrant crises makes an excellent “reason” to allow a further 75m million people access to the UK and its institutions and benefits.

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Pity poor Hungary. It doesn’t want any (word left out ed) immigration and has put up border fences to emphasise the point. However, under QMV it is in theory obliged to accept whatever quota the Commission (i.e. Germany) imposes on it.

    I wonder how this will play out. I can’t imagine too many of these migrants wanting to go to Hungary.

    Is there no end to the damage that reckless German behaviour will cause?

    Memo to Frau Merkel: If you want to admit 800,000 migrants, send ships to Pireas and other Mediterranean ports to collect them; don’t involve other nations in your folly.

  47. LondonBob
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Rewarding bad, extremely bad, behaviour.

    Turkey has fueled the Syrian war, sending in mercenaries, subsidising ISIS and Al Qaeda as well as even bombing Kurdish forces whilst US advisors were embedded. Turkey (helped create? ed) this wave of immigrants upon us and we need to tell them firmly we will not tolerate this. The Generals are not happy, there is widespread unrest and their economy is on the ropes, they hold no cards. Pathetic European response.

  48. sm
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Why has parliament not yet managed to come to a consensus and just exit? We may as well.

    How are we to prevent new arrivals from the EU who have now been given German or other papers and travel documents? This is a problem NOW. Never mind the 20,000 or so illegals arrested by the Police recently disclosed in the press.

    Who thinks we have time for further delay and wait for a referendum?

  49. REPay
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Frau Merkel is becoming the de facto prime minister of a Federal Europe. The idea that admitting Turkey will help with migration from Syria is to open Europe to even more immigration, assuming that right of movement is part of their package. I think she needs to slow down and think before she speaks and to build consensus. If the EU funded its obligation to the UNHRC that would be a start…more could be done in or near Syria.

    Also, I reject the current notion that this is a European problem. It is a Middle eastern problem and while Jordan and Turkey have done a lot – Saudi Arabia and Iran who fund the two sides in the civil war have done nothing. The princelings should be made to cough up!

  • 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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