Statement on the EU summit

Yesterday in the Commons the Prime Minister reported back on the recent EU summit. It was dominated by debate over how the EU should respond to the pressures on its borders from economic migrants and refugees. Apparently there were heated arguments between member states who are members of the Schengen common frontiers about how they should police their external border, how they should allow or help people to move within the common border area, and how realistic it is to take the large numbers now seeking to enter the EU.

Mr Cameron was able to report that there was no criticism of the UK for taking a different view of how to handle this problem than that taken by the Schengen countries. The UK was praised for doing more to help migrants and refugees in camps in the Middle East, where the UK’s food and other aid programmes have helped to provide some support for people away from their homes and to spare them the dangerous and expensive journey to the EU. By staying out of Schengen, and by providing a different analysis and policy prescription than the others the UK has been able to help more and avoid some of the obvious dangers of the common policy.

The UK policy has not encouraged more people to risk death or harm by undertaking perilous journeys to the EU, and has done positive things to help those who have had to flee their own homes in war torn parts of the Middle East. The UK also understands that the true answer to the current crisis lies in helping resolve the conflicts and economic disasters which force people to leave their homelands.

I supported the Prime Minister’s stance on Syrian refugees against Labour, Liberal democrats, the SNP and the bishops who want the UK to take refugees and migrants who have made the journey to the EU, acting as a further magnet to others to do so. I also pointed out that the UK has been able to have a different policy on this, and to stay outside the Euro because of past actions over EU integration. It for me underlines the need to gain our freedom to pursue the policies we think best in other areas the EU does currently control.

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82 Comments

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

    An excellent example of how the UK has the ability to work better unilaterally.

    If only we could hurry up and remove ourselves from the shackles of this disastrous organisation and its increasingly totalitarian leader Merkel.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Dave M

      The excellent 1973 series The World at War is worth revisiting. For me a first in fact.

      So much has been glossed over, forgotten and forgiven. That nation took collective leave of its senses just several generations ago. It rode roughshod over many peaceful and advanced countries.

      ———-

      The steel crisis. A government Minister has appeared on TV stating that Chinese steel cannot be dumped on the EU because of preventative tariffs.

      This misses the point entirely.

      Our industry is beholden to green taxes, green energy costs and emission targets with the aim of saving the planet.

      What is to be gained by bothering to make our industries carbon efficient whilst allowing ‘dirty’ Chinese plants to compete at all ? Let alone to the degree that they put our own factories out of business ?

      Surely the EU’s aim should be to avoid outsourcing those emissions as much as to prevent them being made in Europe.

      Otherwise WHAT WAS THE POINT ?

      • miami.mode
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Dave The steel crisis.

        There’s a chap on BBC News currently saying the government can do nothing, being shackled to the EU, other than perhaps offer some contracts for HS2! Does anyone in government understand how industry works? Do they not realise that, unlike a government, a company cannot run a deficit for a number of years with a promise to sort it out at some time in the future? For companies the future is now.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Vice Cable pontificating on the issue too.

          It is fake green Libdims like Vince Cable, Chris Huhne & Ed Davey that are the main cause of the steel problem.

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic – How can be claim to be a low carbon economy when we revert to buying from high carbon economies because our emission-compliant factories are too expensive ?

            If the purpose is to save the planet then ought we buy from high carbon factories at all ?

            Shouldn’t our factories be subsidised and given preference ?

          • stred
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            Vince Cable was on Newsnight last night and said that when he was trying to run the Business department they had obtained permission from the EU Commission to compensate steel manufacturers for high energy costs. Presumably they don’t need permission to lower business rates. The managers and unions have been warning the government about this for a long time. Nothing has been done.

            Is Cable telling the truth JR?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:07 am | Permalink

          Does anyone in government understand how industry works?

          It seems not. They are even described as unscrupulous for paying lower wages where they can, but to be competitive they have little choice but to.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      These are self imposed shackles. For example we decided, not the EU, not to have an ID card. So anyone who gets here can get stuck into the black economy as soon as he touches base. It was not the EU who came up with the idea of ferrying them around in stretch limos either. You can imagine the trafficers pitch now, “the streets of London are really paved with gold, the government will even pick you up in a limo”.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      ……………”It for me underlines the need to gain our freedom to pursue the policies we think best in other areas the EU does currently control”………..
      Remind me. What political parties signed us up to be part of the EU Superstate and allow a foreign organisation to control ANY of our laws? Fingers all pointing to the quislings in Westminster!!!!!! UKIP is the only credible Political party to represent the people of the United Kingdom. The rest can’t be trusted. I see CMD is on manoeuvres again to lie and spin to the British people.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more!
      And also Mr Cameron should take a lot of the credit for standing firm when Mrs Merkel threw a wobbly.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Indeed well he does get it right once in a while, but it is so very rare.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    We certainly do need to regain our freedom, but Cameron clearly wants to remain handcuffed to the sinking EU superstate vision.

    When exactly will he let us know what his real demands are, so far he has indicated nothing of any substance at all and in the vaguest terms.

    What is he going to do about steel and high energy prices. Is he still going to piss huge amounts of taxpayers money down the drain on offshore wind and other nonsense?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      It seems the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is to intervene in Brexit debate with the Bank publishing a report on impact of European Union membership on the economy and banking. I imagine it will be suitably vague (like Cameron’s pathetic demands) and self contradictory – sitting firmly on the fence but leaning towards remaining handcuffed.

      Let us hope it is more sensible than the silly & unscientific green agenda he foolishly came out with last time.

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic,

        I think the The BoE report is written by Sir Jon Cunliffe…who was part of Blair’s National Changover Plan to join the Euro.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      “His demands”? – shouldn’t that be a “polite request”? he probably wants a different biscuit with his tea.

      • Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        That does seem to be about all it is likely to amount to.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Very good

  3. margaret
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    If the situation were reversed and we were subject to the atrocities of a civil war, what would we do. I certainly would not want to flee into a foreign land where I could not speak the language, yet if my children’s lives were threatened there would be nothing I wouldn’t risk to save them. For the refugees to act in such a way which entails travelling over seas in flimsy boats ,they too must be balancing the benefits and the risks.
    I agree with the UK policy , but wonder if the children are safe.

  4. Mark B
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think it is important to both recognise and state, that many of those seeking to enter into Europe are not refugees, but economic migrants seeking a better life. Most of these are men and a certain age range with very few skills (they cannot all be doctors, engineers and scientists) and will be a burden upon the taxpayer. These people need to be sent straight back to where they came from. Falure to do this shall, in time, have serious consequences for both peace and stability. Do not think that you will be able to control the hordes once they have begun to settle. They will demand more and get more, or etc ed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Funny the BBC so often seem to think (and imply) that they are all doctors, engineers scientists or similar and will all be a huge asset.

  5. bigneil
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    The mass of migrants and so called “refugees” from non-warring countries crossing Europe has caused loads of problems, massive disruption, and probably cost millions already- -and all of it is still ongoing. Germany is the one who said they wanted them, Germany should have arranged their transport straight there from Turkey/Greece. Is Germany going to recompense the other countries all these people are creating disruption to? – they never asked for all these people to come and cost them a fortune. . . and now Germany is saying they want a “Berlin Wall” to protect their borders . .where the hell are all those still coming across to Greece going to go – i’ll take a guess at an island off mainland Europe, one where free lives are available for arriving, and where the govt bows to any of their demands that WE should change to THEIR ways. The same idea is clearly going down well when the German local girls/women are being told to dress more conservatively – in their OWN country – because it may upset those coming in to their towns. Worse than a Brian Rix farce.

  6. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Makes little sense..they’ll get EU passports, travel documents, free tickets and there here in short time. Or did I miss something?

    EuroTunnel in trouble yesterday.

    Netherlands and teen brides.

    I’d say something about China but any of it might be sensitive I suspect. And there is a lot to say.

    • waramess
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      This is something that I have found puzzling. surely once the migrants get EU papers, whether in Germany, Greece or Romania then they automatically get their entrance into the UK and it’s benefits system?
      Would seem to me that it is only a question of time before someone sees the opportunity to make money out of this and for any effort on the part of the UK to limit it’s immigration intake to be wasted

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Colin – Bang on the money.

      Claims about being exempted from Shengen miss the point. Once in the EU the refugees are ours and the posture of strength on border controlls is a false one.

      The global shift in population is only just getting underway.

      Things will continue to change dramatically and for the worse in Europe and in Britain.

      There is nothing that can be done.

      The media goes on about Corbyn’s Labour party but I think it’s the Tories that will be destroyed in the next four years.

      The immigration crisis is going to sink them … and all of us !

      We’ve had it, I’m afraid.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        There is nothing to be done

        Of course there is. We could leave the EU and control our own borders and immigration.

      • John C.
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        You may be right, but there is just a glimmer, a rapidly fading gleam of hope called the referendum. However, by the time it takes place (the very last day possible, I suppose), it may be too late ever to return to sanity. Even with a “leave” vote, we will still have a socialist party in power, and an extreme left-wing opposition- oh and one UKIP M.P.

        • Richard
          Posted October 22, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          Beware that the UK has the rotating presidency of the European Council in 2017. This is the job that Donald Tusk currently has. I fear that Cameron is planning to use this opportunity to appear to be calling the shots in the EU around the time of the referendum, and therefore win the vote to stay.

          If we vote to stay I will continue to vote for a party at all GE’s indefinitely who pledges to take us out of the EU. If no such party is available I will spoil my ballot paper.

  7. Antisthenes
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The BBC is hammering home that to leave the EU would be a disastrous mistake. I have to believe that that is their position because they only bring on people on their news and current affairs programs who relentlessly agree with that opinion. So much for the BBC’s impartiality. Because of globalisation they say only big trading blocks can have the clout to negotiate trade deals. This is patently untrue as the UK has enough clout of it’s own to make deals in it’s own right and beside the EU is not just a trading block it is primarily a political project. Who needs that certainly not the UK we are a large economy with a political and economic system that has over the years been tailored in a way that suits our way of doing things. The continental way is not our way and we are and will regret having that way foisted on us.

    It is now becoming more and more obvious that CO2 is not the problem that climate alarmists would have us believe and that the climate change modelling is hopelessly inaccurate. We are having an environmental impact on the planet but higher levels of CO2 is one human induced factor that is probably doing more good than harm. The planet is becoming greener crop production is increasing and the historic evidence suggest that previous climate warming was not caused by CO2 but other factors not yet understood. We certainly have to tackle vigorously the pollutants that we produce as they are the danger not CO2. We must rid ourselves of the EU and UK legislation on reducing CO2 emissions as doing so is a complete waste of money and instead channel our efforts in stopping the production of pollutants that are clogging our oceans and poisoning our atmosphere. Deforestation needs to be halted and reversed and we must put more effort into nature conservation.

    EU summits are starting to become very acrimonious affairs. So much for the EU’s role in creating harmony and stability. Germany has now shown that it is she who decides on EU matters and everyone one else must conform or else.

    And of course something else that is being exposed which we already knew David Cameron,s renegotiations are nothing but a sham. Unless of course he is hiding the fact that he is going to ask for reforms that require a complete rewriting of all EU treaties but he is not. He has gone native he loves the EU and is even adopting their ways of doing things one of which is can kicking. That is exactly his approach to the renegotiations spell nothing out but if forced be vague hope with time the problem will go away.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Absolutely agree with the Governments existing policy to help refugees in their own homeland, or in a safe place near their own homeland.

    The big problem is the EU.
    When other member states are operating the policy of allowing entry to what will eventually be millions of people, and eventually give them the relevant paperwork, those very same people can then all legally enter the UK under freedom of movement, thus undermining the very policy we are attempting to implement.

    Afraid Mrs Merkel has offered the carrot, not only to refugees, but now to Turkey, where another 75 million people live, and will be able to legally travel from.

    Pray tell me what right does Mrs Merkel have to bind another 27 countries to her thoughts and ideas, without any form of prior arrangement/agreement.

    The EU does not have a refugee problem, it has a population movement problem, and that is an entirely different and larger problem.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    All well and good in the short term. When all the immigrants in the Schengen area get documents the ones that can work will stay in Germany and the 80% unemployable will come to Britain for housing and a steady income via the taxpayer.
    Your party and the rest will do nothing to stop them.

  10. Iain Moore
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Yet when confronted with the advantages of not being shackled to the EU, Cameron moves heaven and earth to remain part of this failing construct.

    If Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, what is the act of insisting on doing the same when doing something different has been shown to be so much better?

  11. agricola
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Quite right to show most support for Syrian refugees at arms length. The Merkel solution has just created chaos. If the 20,000 to be invited to the UK are chosen with care and initially well supported they could become self sufficient in a short time. Syrians are generally well educated, westernised and will fit in well.

    As the re-negotiation stutters along it appears that the demands of your leader become fewer and fewer. Even those he is negotiating with declare themselves to be in the dark as to what he wants and he had little to say on the subject yesterday, making the disquiet in the H o C quite palpable.

    The EU is not heading in the direction that is of any benefit to the citizens of the UK, nor can it be diverted from it’s path until the people of Europe realise in large enough numbers that they have no control of their destiny. When the realisation dawns on them in sufficient numbers I foresee civil unrest. Why CMD wishes to be part of this will I hope materialise before long.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Is the 20,000 figure watertight ie no additional relatives/dependents brought in after the 20,000 arrive here?I only ask because I came across two examples of the “multiplier” effect in the media at the weekend :- 1) an Afghan interpreter having smuggled himself here via Calais and now being allowed to stay has been given permission to bring 10 relatives in.2) A Syrian doctor having arrived here being allowed to bring her husband and three children over.That 20,000 figure could soon balloon if these are typical examples.

      • agricola
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I would be fairly relaxed about immediate family additions that increased the total. However for a definitive answer you need to ask CMD. I doubt if he has really thought it through, and assuming he has he will not be telling us, unless dragged kicking and screaming to the despatch box.

    • stred
      Posted October 22, 2015 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      I had a conversation with some professional ex EU folks last night and said I thought Mrs Merkel was looking a bit shaky when perched on a gold throne chair opposite the Turkish president. They thought she was actually quite smart, as the immigrants to Germany would be mainly professionals, who could afford the trip, and the others with less education would have to find somewhere else to live once they were required to learn German. Germany would solve its skill shortages and other countries could help with the refugee problem.England would be best destination, as the language is easier and jobs too.

  12. Iain Gill
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The Bishops in particular need a good talking to the hypocrisy is outrageous. Ask them if they are going to relax their stranglehold on large numbers of state schools which will only admit pupils of their particular brand of medieval fantasy. Or are the newcomers expected to further crowd out the schools used by everyone else.

    Other than that well said John.

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed they should get all religion out of schools as far as possible (including the Global Warming exaggeration of religion). Have we learned nothing from Northern Ireland? What, after all, is the difference between very many religions (and school selection of religious schools) and pure racial discrimination? Not very much at all in many cases. Yet these beliefs get protected by law while the racism is prohibited by law.

      Children are children, they are not born Christians, Muslims or any of the thousands of other belief systems. They need to be taught only to learn to think for themselves.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Agreed.

      • Bill
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Children are taught how to think for themselves at faith schools. And parents of all kinds, believing and not believing, select faith schools because they believe them to be the best. The Catholic ones (and I am not a Catholic) have a reputation for good pastoral care because Catholic moral theology is valued.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Bill

          “Catholic Moral Theology” ??? Really ? Really? Have you read a paper or seen a report on the news at all in the last 10 years or so? Moral? Catholic church? Ha ha ha pull the other one.

          Parents choose faith schools because they are 1) Selective 2) Impose strict discipline

          • Bill
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            These are matters that can be decided by proper empirical research. My own reading of this research (which I admit may now be a bit out of date) showed that Catholic schools gave attention to individual children and included parents in the whole process. For many children the triadic relationship between church, home and school provided a safety net.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:14 am | Permalink

          It is not really “the moral theology” they are just able to attract brighter pupils with more motivated parents and thus better teachers too.

          • Bill
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            That may be true. But the issue is about setting up a virtuous circle.

            When I spoke about ‘moral theology’ I was referring to such things as teaching against abortion or abusing your body by taking drugs.

          • Bill
            Posted October 21, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            But the issue is about setting up a virtuous circle.

            When I spoke about ‘moral theology’ I was referring to such things as teaching against abortion or abusing your body by taking drugs.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      As I understand those church schools are now required to acknowledge the equal validity of a range of medieval, and even prehistoric, fantasies, while still offering a general ethos springing from their own particular brand which helps to get the good academic results which are seen as important in the real world.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        The results are nothing to do with that. Its all to do with self selecting pushy more affluent parents and keeping disruptive elements out.

        • John C.
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          I suspect you are right, and of course private schools offer the same attraction- old-fashioned discipline, ambitious parents and the ability to keep out the disruptive.

    • scottspeig
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Faith schools are not allowed to require the child is of that particular faith (ridiculous if you ask me), nor select based on ability (another silly rule).

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes they are allowed to select on supposed faith. It is the norm. In many ways its just a round about way for “people like us” and “those in the know” to try and keep others out of their favourite schools. Turning up for a while to pretend to be a believer in order to get a priests signature on schools admissions cards is now routine in many churches, speak to the parents concerned and they think the system is a daft as I do and many think religion is a load of old cobblers.

        • John C.
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          I suppose fudges like this are necessary in a system which virtually bans selection based on ability. We seem even to have banned selection on ability at university level.
          Though, of course, it creeps back in: we have barely acknowledged divisions from Oxbridge and the Russell group downwards- and downwards.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, but in practice and given those who tend to apply, that is what happens.

    • stred
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Anglican bishops really reduce themselves to a bunch of lefty windbags on Speaker’s Corner. They deserve to be heckled when subjecting congregations to their nonsense.
      Unfortunately, it would take a lot of nerve to shout “Why don’t you stick to religion pinko?”, ” Shouldn’t you be wearing a pink frock?” or other suitable interruptions.

      The congregations tend to be made up of people who don’t do logic anyway and believe (the words ed) put up by Saul (Paul) and his sidekick Luke offering salvation to lifetime sinners. The services are becoming more like a party political meeting than a place to be spiritual. Fortunately there are some vicars left who stick to their job.

  13. Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I can understand politicians disagreeing on what should be done, but I am completely unable to understand the attitude of our Bishops.
    If they had said that they wish to give Christian refugees sanctuary in this country, I would have understood, and agreed, with their position, but without that qualification, their wish to see thousands of immigrants of a different religion allowed into this country is totally inexplicable.
    I am aware of the Christian concept of “Love thy Neighbour”, (words left out ed). At the same time, I can’t recall even one Bishop expressing his concern about the massacre of Christians in Syria or their treatment in Pakistan.
    It’s almost as if they had a death wish for Christianity!
    Personally, I support Hungary’s position of wanting to allow only Christian refugees into the country; we should do the same.

  14. Martyn G
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I read in the DT today that Mr Cameron seems to have nailed his flag to the mast of ‘stay in the EU’, saying that ‘voters should remember how EU deals have brought them cheaper air travel and cut mobile roaming charges’. He also characterised the wider EU debate which has focussed on questions of sovereignty and structure of the eurozone as ‘arcane’.
    Clearly, he is not at all interested in regaining our surrendered Parliamentary sovereignty and seemingly believes that voters will be persuaded by access to cheap air fares and roaming phone costs. What a statesman!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Thank goodness the EU invented the jet engine. And the mobile phone, of course. But not the internet unfortunately, as Al Gore was first with that. OK, people are critical of the EU, and as June Sarpong was saying only the other day it certainly isn’t perfect, but there are two major technological advances for which those steering it can properly be given full credit.

    • Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      How pathetic “cheap air fares and roaming phone costs” you just buy a local sim anyway.

      If he wants cheaper air fares he could reduce Osborne’s huge levels of air tax and give the go ahead to a decent 5 runway Heathwick as soon as possible.

      Anyway a UK government could easily limited call charges to the UK should they chose, there is nothing to stop them.

      The many is getting hugely desperate. Even the wrong on every issue, EUphile “Libdem think”, Mathew Paris (in the Spectator) thinks the referendum might well go for out. Let us hope (for once at least) Paris is right.

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

        the man not “the many”

    • Qubus
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      How trivial can it get?

    • John C.
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I would not be surprised if the country voted for cheap air fares etc. in preference to regaining its own sovereignty.
      Patriotism has become an unclean concept, tarnished by the brush of xenophobia and racism; history has been manipulated to diminish our contribution as a nation (we are meant to be ashamed, it seems); and experiencing the pleasures of the moment has completely overwhelmed anything resembling speculation and contemplation.
      Oh, yes, air fares will win every time.

  15. mick
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    At the end of the day Mr Redwood Mr Cameron can promise the earth to us but we all know some of the things he says he will get he wont because it will take treaty change, so he will promise us that after 2017 or what ever will get what he wants, and i for one will not be taken in by that con and hope other people will also see through the con that it will be a delaying tactic to keep us in the dreaded EU for ever,

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I note near the end of the Conclusions from that meeting:

    “7. The European Council was informed about the process ahead concerning the UK plans for an (in/out) referendum. The European Council will revert to the matter in December.”

    I wonder when our Prime Minister will see fit to inform us about it, or are we going to have to stay alert over Christmas to pick up scraps of what he tells them about it then?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      We we are just the voters whose democracy it is, what possible rights do we have to know what Cameron is asking for?

      Does he not realise how absurd his stance is. Asking for nothing and not telling us what this nothing actually is. With no one putting forward any sensible reasons for staying in.

      Clutching at straws like phone call charges and cheaper air flights – it is just pathetic. The complete and utter opposite of Churchillian.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “I also pointed out that the UK has been able to have a different policy on this, and to stay outside the Euro because of past actions over EU integration.”

    You mean that the UK government negotiated temporary treaty opt-outs so that others could go ahead and establish a new EU norm, with the expectation that in due course there would be a UK government which was in a position to surrender the opt-out and bring us into line with the EU norm.

    As indeed this government has done over the EU Arrest Warrant, a fine example of what is meant by a “multi-speed Europe” – all of the EU will get to the same destination in the end, it’s just that some countries will be a bit slower getting there because of small and hopefully short-lived obstacles such as domestic public opinion.

    To recall the rather cryptic comment from the then Commission Vice-President Margot Wallstrom back in July 2007, that “an opt-out is also an opt-in”:

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20070711+ITEMS+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

    “First of all, on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Commission does not like opt-outs. We would have preferred not to have any opt-outs. But what was the real political choice here? It was a weakened charter without legal force or a charter that is legally binding for the EU institutions with an opt-out, or preserving the full text of the charter. Then, I prefer to have a charter which is legally binding, and an opt-out is also an opt-in so this is not cast in stone.”

    It seems to me that if you really object to pretty basic matters like the euro and Schengen which are enshrined in the EU treaties and thus established as EU norms then you should not be a party to those treaties. While you are, then it is only a matter of time before you get a government which will succumb to pressure and fall into line.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “… conflicts and economic disasters which force people to leave their homelands.”

    It doesn’t really need “economic disasters” as such to set in train large scale movements of people, it’s enough if moving to another country will offer them the opportunity to enjoy a significantly higher standard of living than in their homelands.

    The economy of Poland was not actually disastrous in 2004 when barriers to the movement of its citizens to the UK were removed, it was just backward compared to western Europe, with per capita GDP down at something like one sixth of that in the UK, but that drove migration on a scale which exceeded the sanguine projections of the UK government by an order of magnitude.

  19. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    20,000–31,500, according to the CIA in September 2014 is the number of ISIL fighters in both Iraq and Syria. Mr Cameron alone has taken out 2 of them with his motorised kite built in his back garden hut. This leaves 19,998-31,498.

    So, I guess there are 9,999-15,749 in Syria minus a year of Jordanian, American and Canadian bombing.

    Allepo alone in Syria, had over 2,000,000 citizens. In fact many remain in an around the city willing and brave enough to fight for their homes, their city and their country on one side or another.

    Aside from children and those females and males below the age of 18 or disabled and so unable to fight, what are Syrians doing in Europe in camps outside their beloved Syria in their multiple millions? Why are we feeding and housing any of them? They are human beings. We should encourage these numerous millions of human beings to take on 15,749 ISIL invaders. On Poppy Day, perhaps some of our still marching veterans can be enlisted to lecture them how.

  20. Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    What has happened to the Church where many of its bishops wish to see more people risk their lives? The immorality is staggering.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      The feebleness of the western churches in defending their faith, and those who profess it, is staggering. I’m not a believer myself but if I was I would be disgusted at the way that our church leaders are willing to kow-tow to the adherents of a backward religion which has barely moved on from the seventh century and which seeks the destruction of Christianity, and the enforced conversion or enslavement or death of all Christians across the whole world. Moreover it doesn’t end with the Christians, now a small minority in our society but one which might be happy to turn the other cheek and go quietly into the night in the name of their faith, all the rest of us, of other faiths or none, are also being lined up for the same treatment, and yet the Christian churches don’t want us to be able to defend ourselves and by seeking to appease those who wish to oppress us they are actually helping them.

      • John C.
        Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        It’s time the bishops were honest enough to say that a believer in Christianity believes all other religions to be absolutely wrong, totally misguided and mistaken, and leaving their believers into eternal extinction.
        Their woolly-minded attitude, “we’re all nice chaps together, we have minor differences but we can all agree to rub along” is in absolute contradiction of Christ’s own words.
        It’s logically impossible for all faiths to be correct; etc ed

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

      It is emotion over brain every time with lefty Bishops. They always want to sound as if they are being nice (nearly alway using other people’s money in the process).

      Get the Bishops out of the Lords as soon as possible, by what right do these lefty people of faith have to be there making laws over others? There are, like the LibDims wrong on almost every issue.

      • Bill
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think you should get the Bishops out of the HoL but I do wish the Bishops were known more for their robust common sense than their lopsided theology.

  21. miami.mode
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The summit almost seems academic when Frau Merkel can swan off to Turkey and do deals and generally act unilaterally.

    • yosarion
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink

      She has obviously been studying Gordon Browns, lets promise my Homeland everything it want’s in an unequal Union without prior negotiation and force those others around to fall into line strategy.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I read in the Telegraph today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11940080/Italy-could-back-Britain-over-two-speed-Europe.html

    “Instead, diplomats with knowledge of the talks say that Britain is clear it needs an “explicit understanding” that those countries outside the euro will not be compelled to join the currency.

    Under current rules only the UK and Denmark have an opt-out from the euro, while the remaining seven nations – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden – are obliged under the Maastricht Treaty to join when they meet the economic criteria.

    British renegotiation demands, if successful, would essentially formalise the position of Sweden, which has met the economic conditions need to join the euro but has dodged its obligations to join the euro by refusing to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), a necessary precursor to euro membership.”

    Well, it seems that at long last Cameron has got around to one of the EU treaty changes he should have demanded five years ago as a quid pro quo for the EU treaty change then being demanded by Angela Merkel, which instead he gave her free gratis and for nothing.

    One of six such EU treaty changes, as I suggested around that time:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2011/10/05/protecting-the-single-market/

    “JR: “That is why I made my modest proposal that in this crisis the UK allows Euroland to press on to single economic government in return for having an opt out from anything we do not like, past or future.”

    I’d be more sympathetic to that modest proposal if I don’t know that under the present EU treaties Euroland is destined to continue its expansion across the EU; indeed it is legally required to expand until the UK and Demark are the only two EU member states left which are not part of it, and if the euro-federalists get their way it will expand until every EU member state including the UK is part of it.

    Hence my own modest proposal that in exchange for the change to Article 136 TFEU that (some) countries in Euroland want, Cameron should have demanded a series of related and perfectly reasonable treaty changes to protect our long term national interests.

    Such as:

    1. The creation of a mechanism for a country to make an orderly withdrawal from the euro if it so chooses – installing a fire exit, to extend Hague’s “burning building” analogy.

    2. The 8 EU member states which are not yet in the euro, but which were forced to commit themselves to eventually join it as a requirement of their accession to the EU, to be relieved of that legal obligation so that they have a completely free choice whether or not to adopt the euro.

    3. The EU must cease to impose that legal requirement on new member states, so they too would have a completely free choice in the matter.

    4. Strengthening of the UK’s “opt-out” protocol, so that it was written into the EU treaties that the EU could not allow the UK to join the euro unless that decision had been approved by a national referendum.

    5. EU member states that are not in the euro to regain some control over the entry of additional countries – at present it’s the eurozone states alone which make those decisions, under Article 140 TFEU, even though as we’ve seen the consequences of de-stabilisation of the eurozone severely affect the non-euro countries.

    6. To help prevent any repetition of its disgraceful abuse in the future, Article 122 TFEU to be returned from qualified majority voting to unanimous decision making, so that the UK and every other country will once again have the right to veto its activation.”

  23. David Johnson
    Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I am repeatably asked if there is any update on an English Parliament.. People are getting increasingly angry that nothing is being done, they watch the Scottish & Welsh MPs on PMQs & on the Media continuously criticising our English MP’s on English policies that is no business of theirs…

    Reply Yes, as I have repeatedly said. We will vote for English votes on Thursday under the scheme to do it by Standing Order changes.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    What it all comes down to is that the UK is “semi-detatched, a little bit out of the way”. Helmut Kohl, Angela Merkel’s mentor, said it with a sneer in his voice, but it is a simple statement of fact. We cannot avoid the disadvantages of this, so we may as well ensure that we get all of the advantages.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    A number of Conservative backbenchers are criticising the Chancellor’s coming reduction of tax credits. They are wrong. We still have a large fiscal deficit and there is more misery to dish out to get rid of it.

    It is going to be impossible to avoid the retired elderly sharing in the misery. We have been well protected in recent years. The triple lock on state pensions is no longer sustainable. There is no reason why pensioner perks such as the winter fuel allowance should not be treated as income and subjected to income tax. Concessionary fares on public transport should be replaced by an annual transport allowance subject to income tax. Eventually, all of these taxable perks could be consolidated into the basic pension, which is subject to income tax.

    The Government’s only policy so far is to raise the retirement age. This is like going round a golf course with a single club in your bag and the effect is unpredictable. No amount of anti-ageism legislation will force employers to employ people that they don’t want to employ.

    It would be no bad thing if the retired elderly were forced to downsize their residence a little earlier than they would want to (or take in a lodger). It would increase the supply of residential property.

    I will leave aside the highly controversial matter of charging the elderly for prescriptions or for some of their health care. It’s best to wait until there is little alternative and public support can be won – hopefully not until after 2020.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      Sorry, this belongs under ‘Labouring with delusions’.

    • John C.
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Sounds to me as if there’d be no point in having any money. Those that have-pay for everything, those that haven’,t take it free. As for your suggestions about forcing people out of their property, it’s shameful.

      • Posted October 23, 2015 at 1:44 am | Permalink

        No one would be forced out of their property; they would just run out of money sooner. You must admit that everyone except pensioners has suffered from the very necessary deficit reduction measures. Many elderly people have no idea how resentful the young are. They have to borrow for their education, often their wages are low and they can’t get into the housing market.

        I’m 69, so I’m arguing against my own interests. But intelligent Conservatives know that the Party cannot rely on the grey vote forever. It’s time to look ahead.

  26. Martin
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Of course when it comes to energy we are now “Little Britain a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”!

  27. Posted October 22, 2015 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    The PM is still not acknowledging that if we don’t want to join a European Federation, we have to repeal Acts of Accession to Federalist treaties. If we did so (and it could be done unilaterally), then automatically the areas of EU competence and joint competence, and the powers of the EU courts, would be drastically reduced. We could begin negotiations AFTER doing that.

    The PM is also in denial of the fact that, under current EU law, any migrant given a passport by the German government will have an unconditional right to live and work in the UK. And fiscally challenged Member States like Greece and Malta are selling passports at a high price, knowing full well that many of the people issued with them will travel to UK. Don’t be surprised if this habit spreads to Italy and France, neither of which is in good economic health.

    The PM still pursues this idea of delaying certain benefits until immigrants have lived in the UK for 4 years. However, Poland is going to challenge this in the European Courts – and believe me, Poland will win. We would be given the choice of backing down or applying the 4 year rule to our own youngsters.

  28. Maureen Turner
    Posted October 22, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Let’s start by cutting self flagellation. Why does our tax funded public broadcasting service seem to dislike us so much and why does it assume we require to be conditioned to their way of thinking? There is hardly a period in times past when we can’t be blamed for the most dastardly of deeds. Not content with years of PC nonsense they have now moved on to Orwellian mind control. It is totally ridiculous that we are required to pay for their biased propaganda and failing to do so can result in a jail sentence.

    Like many others responding here I would like to see green taxes cut. These taxes don’t just damage manufacturing industry but the spending power of the individual as we all reduce our spending to cover the costs of the basic household need for heating and lighting. Going green seems to confer on all who think this way a degree of virtue. What’s virtuous about it when around 20,000 elderly die from cold related illnesses annually.

    HS2. Do we really need to shave off 25 minutes in getting from A to B when it comes with a price tag of £ 53 bn. Seemingly it will take 20 years to complete the project and it could be that over this period the cost will be considerably higher. We are told inflation has been built in but they said this about Holyrood and its costs went sky high. I read some years ago that we receive monies back from Brussels on the understanding we carry out certain structural works that link all 28 EU states. I can’t vouch for this but it would fit in with ever closer union. Surely this is a white elephant in the making when you consider the ticket prices and the very few stopping points along the route – not forgetting the despoiling of the tranquil Chiltrens.

    This doesn’t qualify for a cut as it hasn’t been decided yet but why not use the £ 53 bn. to build a new London airport! I like the sound of Boris Island with a high speed rail link to central London. Now that’s forward thinking.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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