That letter to Donald Tusk

The very deed of having to write a letter to Donald Tusk about how we chose to govern the UK should alert UK voters to the profound change in our democracy and constitution put through by stealth in various EU Treaties. Each voter should learn of the plans for political union in the 5 Presidents Report on the future of the EU and the Euro, and ask how can the UK fit into such a far reaching constitution? Each voter should remember that the German government does think that in due course the UK should join the Euro and be in the whole scheme. Germany sees the Euro as a necessary part of the discipline of the single market.

The UK government is seeking changes in five areas. Those who have criticised them for not setting out before their negotiating aims are being unfair. The Prime Minister called for fundamental change in his Bloomberg speech, and identified the need to bring powers back. He grasped the need to restore UK democracy by restoring the power of the British people to make the changes they want through their own Westminster Parliament. I gave the aim of fundamental reform to restore our democracy in that speech my support.

Today’s letter will fall well short of the noble aim to restore democratic accountability through national Parliaments. It will doubtless say he seeks a greater role for national Parliaments, but this will be interpreted as meaning some limited power for national Parliaments to hold up or avoid future legal and policy changes. That will not restore to the UK the right to settle her own borders or determine her own welfare policies. That means that we will need to vote to leave the EU to get back control of our own affairs.

It will say they need to end the message that we are embarked on a journey to ever closer union. They may well remove the message, but that is not the same as removing the reality. The move to ever closer union is built into the current treaties we have signed, and drives the verdicts of the European Court and the decisions of the Commission. We are on a wild ride to political union, though the UK has never wanted that or consented.

It will ask for limits to the amount of welfare we have to pay to recently arrived migrants from within the EU. There may be concessions made to help us. They are unlikely to concede the principle that the UK and the UK alone should be free to decide who will receive in work and out of work benefits.

It will ask for more progress in constructing the single market, and in promoting trade deals at the EU level. The rest of the EU will willingly consent to this, as it strengthens the role of the EU over more of our lives. They will also probably genuflect to the UK wish for some deregulation, but overall this year and next year, as last year, the volume and impact of EU regulation will increase.

The government also seeks safeguards for non Euro members to avoid us having to pay the bills and accept the extra controls the Euro will require. As the Chancellor recently pointed out, the UK thought it had a watertight agreement that we would not have to play any part in future bail outs of Euro countries, only to be told the UK did have to participate in the recent bridging loan for Greece. This demonstrates that anything we want needs to be put into the Treaties themselves to guarantee it.

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118 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    But why on Earth did Cameron ever think that a few delays in migrant benefits and changes to the words “ever closer union” would even scratched the surface of what is needed?

    The more the UK voters learn about the EU they less they are likely to vote to stay. Doubtless Cameron will try for an early referendum date if he can.

    If we leave the EU we can restore democracy, control our own borders, halve the price of energy, reduce the daft regulations, save billions on membership fees, stop exporting jobs, reduce taxes, restore the fishing industry, opt out of the European courts, cut the size of government hugely, get back to a UK legal system ….. it is win, win, win for all save the lawyers, politicians and bureaucrats.

    I think 11/8 odds for an exit vote are well worth a bet.

    Then again we still have the appallingly biased BBC, CBI, Whitehall, Academia, Cameron, Osborne, the Libdems, the Greens loons, big business, the school indoctrination system, most of Labour plus the Scottish/Welsh positions to overcome.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Also Cameron and Osborne would have to go, to be replaced by a proper conservatives for a change perhaps. People who might actually believe in UK democracy and far less government. They might actually be “low tax conservatives at heart” rather than just mouthing the words.

      Yet another win.

      • DaveM
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Ah, but LL – Cameron’s not stupid. When he says “I’ll back a UK exit if my demands aren’t met”, what he means is “I’ll back a UK exit if it looks like the result’s going to be Leave”.

        He’ll be on the winning side, no matter which one it is. His only priority is himself.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Hopefully he will back the leave side but it would go against all the indications so far.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            I’m quite sure that Cameron will never back the Leave side, not under any conceivable circumstances.

          • bigneil
            Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            He’ll never want “leave” – -his reward for staying in is a seat in Brussels for the destruction of England and the English people.

        • miami.mode
          Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          I agree Dave.

          The political antennae of Dave and George have been twitching over the past week or so and hence a subtle change in their language.

      • Charles
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        ‘Proper conservatives in charge for a change’
        Well that worked when William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard were in charge, or were they not ‘proper conservatives’?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          They lost mainly thanks to John Major burying the party (for 3+ terms) by destroying it’s reputation for relative economic competence. Then failing even to apologise and change direction post the Erm disaster.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            But no they were real tories who really wanted lower taxes, smaller government and out of the EU. None made the moral case for a far smaller state sector and people keeping more of their own money.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        I don’t think it’s a good idea to tell people that if they vote to leave the EU then they will be voting for Cameron and Osborne to resign, as on balance that will probably make it more likely that they vote to stay in. Moreover as a matter of principle it would be wrong to try to turn a referendum on the EU into a poll on how much we dislike Cameron and Osborne, just as it was wrong to try to turn the AV referendum into a poll on how much we disliked Clegg.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        How are low taxes going to pay for more expensive private services and the additional cost they put on other services by low wages, neglect and tax evasion.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      LL

      What concerns me more about the EU is the system of law. We will go from a system thet tells you what you cannot do, to one they will tell you only what you can. A small but very significant change in the way we are governed to my mind.

      We will cease to be free people and instead become property of the state {shudders}.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        I see it is now being widely reported that Germany is sending back half of the recent immigrant intake within 3 weeks of them being “processed”

        I wonder if all of those who passed the checks just happened to be the professionals with money, qualifications, and who could prove useful to the German Economy.

        Looks rather like it may be selection of immigration to me, the very thing we are told we cannot do under EU Law.

        Once again it seems like one rule for Germany, and one rule for everyone else.

        Why on earth do we put up with this charade.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        It will also be a system that the UK voters will not be able to peacefully get changed.

    • stred
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Given the probable close vote, it is a shame that Lord Green got nowhere with his amendment to remove voting rights from non UK citizens. There are 3m Commonwealth citizens. 1.6m eligible to vote have no British passport. 340k are Irish, and Maltese and Gibraltarians can vote too. No EU country allows non- citizens to vote in referenda and only NZ and Carribean allow foreigners to vote in GEs.

      If I were Irish or Indian, I would wish to stay in the EU, as work and travel would be important and may be refused if outside. If the exit vote is lost on a small margin, with foreign vote making the difference, it will be seen as manipulation by the political elite, lead by Eural and other agents for the EU .

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Well, it has been raised and debated in the Lords and the government has flatly refused to amend the Bill so that only UK citizens could vote, as would be right and proper, so if the result is a small margin in favour of staying in those who wanted to leave would be justified in rejecting that result and continuing to campaign for withdrawal.

    • Graham
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you wholeheartedly and agree also that we have the wrong person presenting this case.

      Unfortunately I am sceptical of our general population to see above the level of gross served up by those who want to frighten us to stay in and genuinely fear that our cause will be lost.

      Hope I’m wrong but it’s not an inspiring start is it.

      Graham

    • Shecath
      Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely true Lifelogic!

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I see Tesco are pointing out what a disaster Osborne’s central control of wages levels will be for retail, pushing up prices and destroying jobs as it clearly will.

    We have three huge tax grabs on the private sector from Osborne. Reductions in “in work” benefits, wage increases forced by law and general increases in taxes across the board. All three are just large tax grabs. All starve the private sector of money they need to invest and remain competitive.

    All will harm the economy and jobs.

    • matthu
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      We have also seen concealed taxation via our energy bills (even to the extent of E.ON recently being fined for delay in getting advanced energy meters distributed to large companies!) and we should now also prepare ourselves for plundering of our investments and pension funds by massive “fines” being imposed on large companies such as BP, VW, the banks and in future any large corporation that “fails to plan adequately for climate change”.

      Disregard for a moment the unpalatable truths that

      “if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100″/i>

      and

      “if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.”

      Governments simply leap onto climate as a mechanism for taxation under the guise of protecting the environment. (And, of course, no doubt EU and government pensions will be protected in perpetuity.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Tell that to dairy farmers, Lifelogic.

      What do they care about people being employed and on living wages ? When real competition comes there way (Lidl/Aldi) the flaws in there business model are revealed so blaming government policy is a get out for them.

      We cannot have their workers subsidised by taxpayer funded top-ups. Especially if it is migrant labour adding pressure to public services and housing costs.

    • graham1946
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      There is over supply of supermarkets. If (any large supermarket group ed)can’t manage, then time to close up. They’ve done enough damage to our economy and other shops, farmers and small suppliers, so no-one will cry over them. Why should the country support low paying employers, especially when their idea of having a rough time is only making a few hundred million?

      What they don’t mention vis a vis business rates is that they get a whacking great subsidy compared to the little shops and on a per square foot basis pay far less than Mr.Patel in his corner shop, and nothing for their massive car parks.

    • stred
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Well, the idea according to Gideon is to create a high wage/low tax economy. Inflation in retail and services guaranteed. Job losses in manufacturing too. Any bets on the ‘low tax’ part?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Every budget Osborne has given he has increased taxes hugely and increased the government debt hugely too.

  3. AndyC
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Sovereign nations do not need to write to foreign politicians asking for permission to govern themselves. This process begins and ends with legislation in Westminster to repeal or substantially amend the 1972 EU act. Anything else is a con trick.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Perfectly put.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        agreed.

        Having to write a letter to anybody else proves you are not in charge, and do not have power.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed not even a good con trick. Surely one that it transparent to all who look. Rather like Cameron’s a treaty is not a treaty once ratified or “I am a low tax conservative at heart”.

      There is still time for Cameron to come to his senses and recommend an out vote. Even if the EU give him all he has asked for it does not even begin to form what is needed.

      It is just arranging the napkins (not even the deck chairs) on the Titanic.

    • Martyn G
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      AndyC – “Sovereign nations do not need to write to foreign politicians asking for permission to govern themselves”. Exactly so, therefore despite all the waffle, ifs, buts and maybes from our politicians and others, the UK it is clearly not a sovereign nation and cannot ever become so unless and until it leaves the EU. That message needs to be shouted from the rooftops, posters saying it placed on every parish, town and city noticeboard, put in every newspaper and broadcast daily by the BBC so that all can see and hear the message.
      On the other hand, pigs might very well sprout wings and fly…..

    • Graham Wood
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, well put, and both points I have made constantly. Amendment of the ECA ’72, followed by repeal at some stage is essential, particularly if the British electorate finds out that they will be offered a ‘pig-in-a-poke’ resulting from the negotiations.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Exactly right. I was watching Nigel Farage speaking in Gloucester last night without notes. He offered to debate Cameron on any night of the week but this won’t be taken up as he would win hands down. He is the only true patriotic leader.
      Our legacy parties have given up their right to Govern and have handed power to a foreign body to manage the UK as a region of that state. Westminster merely implements that foreign bodies laws. We no longer live in an independent sovereign nation.
      The renegotiation was, is and will be a waste of time. Cameron’s wish list could be written on the back of a fag packet. Totally useless.
      A Country that can’t decide who can come and go through its borders, legislate the majority of its own laws, has given supremacy to foreign law making and human rights, is no Country at all.
      Where and what are the alleged Europhiles doing about it????

      Reply Mr Farage could try to debate with Lib Dem and Labour leaders who are already committed to staying in. Mr Cameron has still not made up his mind.

      • Timaction
        Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Mr Farage will debate whoever it will take to win the argument. You may remember he put Mr Clegg to the sword, twice!
        As for your leader. You cannot be serious that he has not made up his mind. Look at the pitiful renegotiation list. It’s pathetic. Ask your own readers. Its time for us to put Country before party. Fortunately, I belong to a party where that its a given without debate!

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

        “Mr Cameron has still not made up his mind.”

        I think he made up his mind a very long time ago, most likely before he became an MP, certainly before he became Tory leader.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          I seem to remember he was a Spad under Maastrict Major. Someone who keeps popping up on all things Europhile. ERM costs anyone!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      As a sovereign nation we have freely entered into a contract with other sovereign nations, and while we could exercise our continuing sovereignty and unilaterally cancel that contract we should not expect them to look kindly upon that course of action. It is available as a last resort but it should not be the first resort.

      • AndyC
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        It’s not a last resort, it’s a necessary precondition if sovereignty is to be restored. Any renegotiation which leaves the 1972 Act in place will be eroded in the courts, as EU law will continue to trump UK law.

        Sure, I take your point about doing things diplomatically. But I don’t believe a meaningful renegotiation within the existing framework is possible, even if the government were pursuing one. Having read Mr Cameron’s speech and letter today, they clearly are not. So I want out of the EU, and repeal – at whatever stage – is the only way to do that.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          I mean that unilateral abrogation of the EU treaties should be the last resort, not the first resort. Of course ECA72 would have to be repealed either way.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. The referendum is not really about the letter – although Mr Cameron will want to paint it in such terms. It is about all the treaties that have been signed by successive governments, including recent Labour governments that promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty but failed to honour that promise.

  4. Mark B
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Once a power is ceded too the EU, it can NEVER be returned. Because once you let one member country have back a little of what they want, the rest soon start demading the same. And then the whole thing begins to unravel.

    The march to ever closer UNION is only one way. You are either in, or out. Ther is no in between. The sooner the people of this country are told the simple truth the better. Then we can all decide and plan a head whatever the decision. Pretending that this is all but a trading block and it is about trade and jobs is mendacious lying.

  5. Sean
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    The only option we have is to leave this Eu Hell hole and money pit.
    You have to be deluded to think anything other than leaving will give us
    Control and freedom to run our country, the country our families died for

    The late and great Ronald Reagan summed it up years ago, yet we forget.

    “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

    Be warned.

  6. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    An elected prime minister has to write to an unelected person in another country? And thats about the control of the UK.

    O/T: the BBC on sports says that an unelected person tells a sovereign state to respond to a very short deadline…or else? A lot of simpletons in this country will easily understand that….and a lot of simpletons there are!

    Weird place this is…it really is.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      I was going to remark that he’s just following the procedure laid down in the EU treaties, as amended by that Treaty of Lisbon which supposedly no longer exists, but in fact he isn’t.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    None of these detailed arguments about treaties matter much.

    The People are seeing millions of pushy young men of which we know nothing about being given EU citizenship and, therefore, a right to settle in Britain.

    The good thing is that Mr Cameron’s detailed arguments won’t matter much either.

    The People will almost certainly vote Out in the coming referendum unless he can stop the invasion.

    • MickN
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Which is why he will call an early vote before the sheep wake up and see what is happening

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Mick – The people are wide awake.

        Thanks to the BBC that may think it’s doing good showing articles about the plight of migrants but all it does is draw continuous attention to the issue.

        This is helpful for those who want an Out result.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      There’d be no EU citizenship to give if it wasn’t for the Maastricht Treaty.

  8. Excalibur
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    So it unfolds exactly as I predicted. CMD propagating the myth that we will be more prosperous and more secure under the yoke of the EU. His re-negotiation stance is lamentable. We want our sovereignty back. Neither CMD nor Chancellor Osborne are the men to achieve it; EU apologists to their core……

    • alan jutson
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Excalibur

      A copy of the letter can be seen on Guido Fawkes web site.

      No more than just a few wishes.

      I have to say its all rather pathetic, as most of us predicted and would have guessed.

      Pray someone tell me, have we really waited a couple of years for this farcical request.

      We can now see the true colour of the man, EU through and through.

  9. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    How any Eurosceptic can remain in the Conservative Party with Cameron in charge is beyond me. As previously written hell will freeze over before he recommends exit. He is desperately trying to cobble together a plan with the unelected Eurocrats and influential EU leaders to justify his renegotiation. Unless Eurosceptic Conservative MPs up their game by resigning the Whip and even membership and stop paying lipservice to Cameron’s nonsense the undecided and probably younger voters will not be convinced of the critical decision that is in their hands. At this time of year when we honour the survivors and those who sacrificed themselves to save the sovereignty of this country we are in real danger of giving it up completely.

    • Duyfken
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      It may be just a matter of timing and for what it’s worth I reckon that JR is presently playing a blinder!

      • JoeSoap
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Not my take on it.
        By playing along with Cameron’s promises these last 6-7 years our host and other Eurosceptics has have given the promises and Cameron himself the credibility they don’t deserve. Presenting these arguments for “out” at an earlier stage would have given more time for the arguments to sink in. If Cameron cuts and runs now, there won’t necessarily be time to turn this ship round.

  10. Richard1
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    It would be good if he could slip into the letter in addition to the request to stop EU migrants claiming benefits for 4 years and the general language on federalism, getting the UK out of some of the following: the Commin agricultural policy, the common fisheries policy, the common energy policy, the social chapter which restricts working practices, and get back the rebate won by Margaret Thatcher and given away by Blair and Brown.

    • Graham
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Not a chance of any of that?

  11. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    1945 UK Population =49 million
    2015 UK Population =65 million?

    Inside or outside the EU the UK Government has never been able to keep its hobby buttoned up inside its trousers. No point giving Westminster “control” back.

  12. rick hamilton
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    We are like a passenger on a bus with 27 others, who have all agreed what the destination should be, although there is argument about the route to be taken. We have paid more for our fare than most of them because they think we are richer.

    After a long ride we have concluded that we don’t want to go to the same place as the others, so the logical thing to do is to tell the driver to stop and let us off.

    Unfortunately our man on the bus, Mr Cameron, enjoys riding on it so much and chatting to the other passengers that he would rather end up in the wrong place than make his own way. He asks the driver to change the destination, which is of course opposed by the others, so nothing happens.

    Then he calls his family and asks them what to do. Half of them tell him to get off as soon as possible: enough is enough. The other half are scared the weather might bad outside, or other buses are less comfortable, and tell him to stay on.

    So what does he do? Stay on the bus of course, with his mates, and ignore what the family says altogether.

  13. Graham Wood
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The Prison Governor and Executive summarise their response to your requests as follows :

    1. All prisoners will now be free to choose the décor of their cells in any colour, except plain black or plain white.

    2. The Executive believe that in the interests of fairness and welfare ALL new incoming prisoners must have the same food allowances and privileges as those of long serving prisoners.

    3. It is agreed that the exercise yard needs enlargement and exercise times increased, and prisoners will now be allowed to walk anti-clockwise, as well as clockwise.

    4. A complete change of regime in the prison kitchens ensuring more a la carte meals is confirmed with freedom of movement in dining halls, whilst compulsion to take the standard prison breakfast porridge course will now be dropped.

    5. It has been decided that Prisoners Works Councils’ will not be included on discussion of prisoner sentence remission policy.

    6. Outside work parties will be allowed at the discretion of the Governor and only in liaison with other HMP authorities.

    7. Right of appeal on the part of Prisoner Works Council will continue to be submitted to, and heard by, the Prison Governor and Executive only which collectively will make final decisions.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t say that Cameron’s letter to Tusk “fell well short”,I would say it was a complete damp squib . I had expected a crisp no nonsense letter emphasising sovereignty first and foremost followed by a clear rejection of the ECHR , a definite “No” to immigration and to the paying of benefits to immigrants who had less than 4 years of contributions . His watered down approach is an indication of his lack of understanding of how the electorate is presently thinking and his own wish to stay “In”.

    I notice that my own strong criticism of Germany yesterday and its influence in the running of the EU was not published . This is not the time to mince words over how one perceives the iniquities of the EU ; it is a defunct Union wholly dependent on the will of the Germans ; the mess they have made of the migrant crisis is an indication of how their influence can go badly wrong .

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    “anything we want needs to be put into the Treaties themselves to guarantee it.”

    It does need to be put into the treaties; even though we know that having something in the treaties does not provide any kind of absolute guarantee, because the treaties can be and have been stretched and bent and broken when it suits the eurocrats, nonetheless having something in the treaties provides the strongest guarantee available within the EU framework.

    To be clear about this:

    A “political agreement” is not legally binding, as we saw recently over the agreement that we would not contribute to any future eurozone bailouts, which Cameron had described as “repatriation of the bailout power” when it was nothing of the kind.

    A fair analogy for an EU “political agreement” would be that it is at the same level as an election manifesto, possibly an expression of current intent by those who issue it but in no way legally binding.

    A “declaration” attached to the treaties is also not legally binding. The EU’s Court of Justice may or may not pay some attention to it in passing, but it ranks so far below what is in the EU treaties (considered to be the EU’s primary legislation) and the EU laws (seen as the EU’s secondary legislation) that it is very close to worthless.

    On the other hand, a “protocol” attached to the EU treaties is legally binding, not just because that is the usual practice with international treaties but because it is explicitly stated in the EU treaties, in Article 51 of the Treaty on European Union:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012M/TXT

    “The Protocols and Annexes to the Treaties shall form an integral part thereof.”

    If EU treaty changes were put into a new protocol to the treaties there could still be some grounds to complain that this was weaker than putting them into the main body of the treaties, but only because the Court and other EU institutions may give greater weight to treaty provisions which are given the greatest prominence, above all of course that commitment to “ever closer union” right at the start in the preambles.

    I’m not sure how a protocol added to the treaties saying that the UK was no longer committed to “ever closer union” would interact with a commitment to “ever closer union” still given by ALL member states in the preambles to the treaties.

  16. Iain Moore
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Never has so much needed to be done, but so little ambition shown.

    For all the real powers our democracy has haemorrhaged to the EU , for Cameron to have come up with this renegotiation is a joke. The only response any sane person can have to this offering is ‘Is that it? ‘

    The whole Cameron renegotiation is load of wishy washy nothing, a wishy washy nothing that Brussels won’t moments hesitation in circumventing, or as you point out, more likely used to enhance Brussels controls over us.

    One of the few powers the Conservative party used to want to claw back was our fishing grounds . The 2005 Conservative manifesto offered us , …’ because fisheries would be better administered at the national level, we will negotiate to restore national and local control over British fishing grounds. We are determined to ensure national control in this area.’ …. but even that has been quietly dropped .

    The only response someone can have to this tawdry offering is to vote to get the hell out of the EU.

    PS The BBC’s attack line against the renegotiation as we heard this morning on radio 4 with Fallon was informative of the BBC, which was to worry about equality across the EU, and if welfare restrictions would be discriminatory. No questions on behalf of the view that we should be a self governing country again.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Your first sentence sums it up very clearly – the UK has been turned into a supplicant state no longer in c0ntrol of its internal affairs. I was reminded, over the weekend, of the two great principles of Magna Carta which have prevailed in these islands. Namely, to paraphrase, no taxation without representation and the application of the due process of law which applies to everyone (the crown included). The 5 President`s Report paints a grim picture for any UK citizen who has any shred of respect for the past.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The charade continues working to the Wilson 1975 blueprint.
    Here is the pro forma they will use when the referendum eventually comes taken straight from Wilson’s pamphlet:
    “BRITAIN’S NEW DEAL IN EUROPE

    ‘Her Majesty’s Government have decided to recommend to the British people to vote for staying in the Community’
    HAROLD WILSON, PRIME MINISTER
    DEAR VOTER
    This pamphlet is being sent by the Government to every household in Britain. We hope that it will help you to decide how to cast your vote in the coming Referendum on the European Community (Common Market).
    Please read it. Please discuss it with your family and your friends.
    We have tried here to answer some of the important questions you may be asking, with natural anxiety, about the historic choice that now faces all of us.
    We explain why the Government, after long, hard negotiations, are recommending to the British people that we should remain a member of the European Community.
    We do not pretend, and never have pretended, that we got everything we wanted in these negotiations. But we did get big and significant improvements on the previous terms.
    We confidently believe that these better terms can give Britain a New Deal in Europe. A Deal that will help us, help the Commonwealth, and help our partners in Europe.
    That is why we are asking you to vote in favour of remaining in the Community.
    I ask you again to read and discuss this pamphlet.
    Above all, I ask you to use your vote.
    For it is your vote that will now decide. The Government will accept your verdict.”

    People were deliberately and mendaciously conned in 1975; we must not let it happen again.

  19. Posted November 10, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Despite all the warnings, it has been obvious for some time that the 2015-17 “Renegotiation” is going to be little more than a cosmetic sham similar to that which occurred before the Wilson Government’s referendum.

    Cameron is not even asking for the two most important points :

    1. An end to free movement without limits

    2. A return to National Sovereignty via a National Veto.

    I agree with Brussels that these two issues are incompatible with membership of the kind of EU the majority of European politicians now seem to want ( although I have severe doubts as to whether their citizens are of the same opinion ).

    Both the EU and Britain are therefore going to be far more comfortable if we have some form of associate status.

  20. JimS
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “Dear EU Cricket Club, we think we should be able to play Rugby Football on your pitch, yours submissively, David Cameron” P.S. If you say ‘no’ that’s OK with me XXX.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Maybe we could use the same field to play rugby in the winter and cricket in the summer, that’s what happened at my school.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    JR, as you think it is essential to get EU treaty change, would it not be a good idea to briefly explain the process of treaty change in a separate article, and with particular emphasis on the time which might be required for the various stages?

    Because there are major misconceptions circulating about the technical details, some of which may have been deliberately fostered in order to provide an excuse for not seeking treaty change before the referendum so that instead we would be asked to vote on a vague and unreliable promise of treaty change in the future.

    Some look at the eight years it took to get the Treaty of Lisbon into force, but of course that is a completely false picture because the EU Constitutional Treaty was formulated by the Convention at a rather leisurely pace and then adjusted and then signed, but it was rejected by the French and the Dutch peoples in referendums, and then after a “period of reflection” (and a Presidential election in France) almost all of its legal contents were decanted into Merkel’s “Reform Treaty”, which was duly signed in Lisbon (with Brown arriving late and signing it separately from the others, skulking) but then rejected by the Irish, leading to a further period of delay while they were worked upon and induced to accept it in their second referendum when it was time to bully the Czech President to sign it off so that it could finally come into force.

    I suggest that a more appropriate example would be the protocol to allow three surplus German MEPs to keep their seats legally rather than illegally.

    That had to be done through the ordinary revision procedure, as it was outside the scope of the simplified revision procedures, but nevertheless it was only seven months from the need arising when the Treaty of Lisbon finally came into force on December 1st 2009 to the agreed protocol being signed by EU leaders on June 23rd 2010, as mentioned in the UK Act of Parliament to approve it so that the UK could ratify it:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/12/part/2

    “15 Protocol on MEPs: approval, and addition to list of treaties

    (1) The Protocol amending the Protocol (No. 36) on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, signed at Brussels on 23 June 2010, is approved for the purposes of section 5 of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 (amendment of founding Treaties: approval by Act of Parliament).”

    Because member states did not rush to approve and finally ratify it that protocol did not actually come into force for seventeen months after it had been signed, however the point is that it had been agreed and signed within quite a short time – in fact if Cameron had known exactly what EU treaty changes he wanted back in May then on a similar time scale he could now be close to presenting us with a signed protocol with the detailed treaty changes he had been able to negotiate.

    In my view it would be unreasonable to expect 27 other countries to go through their procedures for approving and finally ratifying a package of treaty changes before it was known whether they would be enough to satisfy the British people, but we should be presented with a detailed package which has been agreed and signed, and not be expected to vote on a vague and unreliable promise of treaty changes some time in the future.

    Reply I think it is easier just to leave.

    • Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply :

      Hear ! Hear !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      I think it would be infinitely better just to leave, given that most of the continental politicians want to take us somewhere we don’t want to go and they’re very unlikely to change their minds on that. But not necessarily easier.

  22. Antisthenes
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The truth is that Cameron is not asking for anything other than superficial changes to how we are governed by the EU and no changes at all to the way the EU operates.

    The renegotiates are nothing but a sham that Cameron will sell as ground breaking changes. Which we have said would be the case right from the beginning. At the same time he will join the chorus of the remain inners who we know do not have any case whatsoever for remaining in so resort to untruths, half truths, obfuscation, deceit and fear to win the referendum.

    The tragedy is that their tactics will work and that they will win and so will condemn us all to a future that we will regret very much.

    • John C.
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I feel that you are right. The only real hope for Leave supporters is that a simple message gets across: this is the last chance for Britain to remain an independent nation. There will be no vote in the future – ever. We will become a part of a European Superstate governed by unelected leaders. This is not a vague fear; it will certainly happen.
      It is vital that the Leave campaign hammers this home again and again. Britain will be no more if we vote remain.

  23. Vanessa
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Not only does Germany believe we should join the Euro but eventually Britain will drive on the RIGHT (I think, written into the Lisbon Treaty). What kind of country is it that has most who drive on the right and one which drives on the left ? If Britain opts to stay in as an Associate member we will have to change to drive on the right.

    All signs will have to be changed over and buses changed not to mention every car which will be at a disadvantage not being able to see to overtake. We must get out and keep our own identity.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t go around saying that it’s written into the Lisbon Treaty, because if you were challenged on that you would be hard put to prove it, to say the least.

      • Posted November 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        It probably isn’t specified directly but ‘transport inter-operability’ is definitely one of the areas of EU competence or joint competence. Also, you are aware of the golden rule of European Court rulings – whenever there is a dispute between an individual Member State and ‘Europe’, the verdict, almost without exception, is in favour of ‘Europe’.

    • yulwaymatyn
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Vanessa – good point. Which clause is it?

  24. MikeP
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Cameron sounded a warning note that this was a one-off decision, a chance of a lifetime so, if we voted to stay OUT, we wouldn’t get a second chance to get back in. Presumably he senses that there’s a large constituency of voters who believe they can vote to leave but still get a second chance in future. I’m not sure why he made this point other than a scare-mongering tactic, just as we saw in the Scottish InfyRef.

    But significantly he didn’t make the point the other way round. If the result is to stay IN, will the door be closed forever for us to leave, regardless of how bossy, bizarre, controlling, undemocratic and arrogant the EU becomes in future?

    John do you know if this would be the case ?

    Reply It is clearly better to settle it in one go, and I am glad to have confirmation that Out means Out. Once out I wish to stay out.

    • Original Richard
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      If the UK votes to leave the EU then, as has often, if not always, happened before, the EU will insist upon a second referendum.

      That is when the real negotiations will begin since Mr. Cameron has already informed us again today that he will fight “heart and soul” for the UK to remain in the EU.

  25. NickW
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Europhiles constantly insist that only by membership of the EU can we influence legislation and regulation.

    That is a lie.

    This article in Der Speigel (in English), describes how Volkswagen influenced Brussels through the German Government to get an emissions testing regime which suited their Company ……..

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/vw-scandal-exposes-deep-complicity-of-government-a-1061615.html

    Is there anybody who seriously believes that an English Company could have the same influence on Juncker.?

    Membership of the EU is not giving us any useful influence of any kind whatever; we would lose nothing by leaving, but the gains would be incalculable.

    It is worth noting too, that Brussels would have served Germany and German Industry far better if they had resisted pressure from Volkswagen.

    • NickW
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Note that other vehicle manufacturers have managed to find successful solutions to the emissions problem.

      It was the easiest and cheapest option for Volkswagen to use lobbying to get away with non-compliance.

      • ian wragg
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        I’ve worked for the Americans, French and Germans and have always thought their reputation for quality and innovation was a myth.
        Much of their power generation equipment is over engineered, difficult to maintain and not a patch on the American equipment.
        The spares for American equipment usually comes with an idiots guide to fitting which suits me.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        I can tell you for free some of the others are simply lucky.

  26. Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s going do do himself an injury sitting on the fence and constantly turning to look at what’s happening on each side. Especially as the fence might collapse any time under the weight of all the other MPs sitting alongside him.

  27. Chris
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Worth looking at Richard North’s article today with his interpretation of the clever game that Cameron is apparently playing, with appealing to the middle ground rather than both extremes who are probably very committed and won’t change their views. Cameron will be plugging what will effectively be Associate Membership, aided and abetted by “the colleagues” in Brussels. It will all be presented as a struggle for Cameron, which he valiantly wins for Britain. Many committed eurosceptics regard this as merely a charade, apparently. North also raises the uncomfortable question that some eurosceptics apparently are asking that VoteLeave may in fact be a false flag operation.

  28. lojolondon
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    John, I feel for you – Cameron is your boss, so your hands are tied to an extent here. I will tell you that for us, this is far too little, too late. In any case, ‘reforms’ are meaningless as long as the European parliament has supremacy over Westminster they can just create another law and we will be back where we started. There are so many negatives and the quoted positives are so tiny that the logical path is the one that Iceland has taken. I hope the EU rejects our demands out of hand, and I look forward to the referendum.

  29. miami.mode
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    It would appear that around half of EU migrants claim benefits although whether this includes child benefit is unclear.

    Michael Fallon casually mentioned on Today that the average claim was £6000 per year.

    According to the government website a UK pensioner has to have at least 30 years National Insurance contributions to get the basic pension of £6045 per year.

    • matthu
      Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      I believe that Cameron quoted a figure of 43% of migrants claiming benefits over a four year period. But that would be inflated as it certainly does not count those who came in under the radar and have yet to be counted.

      Put yourself in the position of someone who arrives, maybe manages to work for a year or so, and then loses his job. Perhaps he has a family to support – and no benefits anymore.

      What would you do? Walk back home again – or work on the black market? Perhaps you get sucked into illicit dealings in order to support your family.

      Whatever – the new arrangement is unlikely to deter (EU) migrants who have the opportunity to earn 20x what they might have been able to earn back home. (It certainly won’t deter refugees.)

      And on previous form, the government is hardly likely to be able to withstand legal challenges to support these individuals and their families, are they?

      Tens of thousands! I bet Cameron regrets doubling down on that bet.

  30. Chris
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I see that Daniel Hannan is writing in the same vein this morning, but in rather stronger terms. Judging from the Comments section for his article on Spectator Coffeehouse blog, readers are not convinced by his sincerity and are asking him to walk the walk to demonstrate his credibility.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    On a quick scan there is little or nothing new in Cameron’s letter to Tusk, who incidentally occupies a post which the Tory party repeatedly said should not even exist, and who in fact is not the person to whom proposals for treaty change should be initially addressed under Article 48 TEU in the EU treaties as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, which Cameron said no longer existed … this is all getting a bit confusing.

  32. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Why no mention of the CAP? Is this sacred cow considered off limits these days? How can we opt out of ‘ever closer union’ and remain members. The whole point is ‘ever closer union’. If that is what the people in the Eurozone countries want – fair enough. Has anyone ever asked them if they want that? I know we have never been asked if we want it – or anything like it.

  33. graham1946
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it strange how ‘facts’ change according to the argument. A few weeks ago, around the election, UKIP and others were saying that migrants are a drain on the country with their entitlement benefits. Up pop the usual suspects including some government ministers to shout that down and say that immigrants don’t come for benefits and that they are a wonderful addition to the economy and make us all a profit.

    Today, now Cameron has something else to prove, ie that immigrants benefits must be knocked back for 4 years minimum, it seems that 40 percent of them already here do actually take benefits, even if lots of them are ‘in work’ benefits – it still costs more than they pay in tax, without education, NHS etc. and is patently obvious to anyone wishing to think straight, rather than left wing propaganda and businesses wanting cheap labour.

    If its really true that they don’t come for benefits, then the EU will not have any hesitation in granting the 4 year wait. Let’s see what happens. Actions speak louder and more authoratively than politicians trying to win a point.

  34. MPC
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if recommending people to read the 5 Presidents’ Report is enough to influence them sufficiently. The Report purports to apply to the Euro area and many people would expect Euro Member States to converge further, as recommended previously by the Conservative leadership, in order to better address financial shocks to Euro area economies in future.

    Perhaps what we need specifically to be concerned about are the Single Resolution Fund and Capital Markets Union proposals in the Report, which explicitly apply to all member states. Drawing some reasoned inferences from this for our own citizens could be helpful to people – while at the same time mentioning the trend of increasing EU interference in matters of finance (as shown by recent EU requirements on our own mortgage market).

  35. matthu
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    So is David cameron indicating that he is relaxed about the Common Agricultural Policy i.e. that a policy that was in such dire need of reform that a previous PM gave up some of our rebate in order to have it reformed (an agreement which the EU later reneged on) is now acceptable?

    And by the way, if the EU saw fit to renege on reforming the CAP, how can we agree in advance an arrangement that relies on the EU implementing treaty change at some unspecified time in the future?

  36. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The question is: Do we wish Parliament to be given its sovereignty back by a vote of the British people? Knowing Parliament is composed of MPs and Parties which gave sovereignty away in the first place.

    Seeing on “BBC Parliament” right now the debate on the “EU Renegotiation Statement ” and hearing the general tenor of the majority of MPs, it would be folly to vote in favour of these people regaining their sovereignty and power. A Leave Vote would have them ruling the roost.
    Parties parachute MP candidates into Constituencies well over the heads of local people leaving them no real choice in solid seats where their loyalties en masse to Party, outstrip the undesirability of the heavily camouflaged Parachuted Cuckoos. These dear exotic birds are in themselves foreign to the local electorate. No less foreign and gravely undesirable as the President of the EU and his Helpers.
    Let us hope Mr Cameron with his thin-gruel negotiating stance still wins on further powers being taken from MPs. In this case, the devil you DON’T know could be preferable.

  37. ian wragg
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I will wager that CMD gets the benefit changes by changing domestic law for which he doesn’t need Brussels permission.
    He will come up with something like you have to have contributed for a 4 year period and this will apply to UK nationals.
    He will also stop paying child allowance abroad by stopping UK nationals abroad claiming.
    If they then go on to say only the first 2 children get child allowance that will complete the story.
    Nothing like shafting your own electorate to satisfy Brussels.

  38. peter davies
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    They are doing no more seeking to put the breaks on the train to slow it down whilst the UK gets used it rather than jumping off it. I think the whole thing is fruitless and will probably go down in history as a feeble attempt to try to change EU direction.

    We need all pros and cons put honestly on the table and a fair balanced referendum. And pigs might fly!

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I note here, in an article by somebody who was an MP:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2015/11/cameron-prepares-to-negotitate-conservatives-should-prepare-to-leave.html

    “He will attempt to enshrine them in Treaty change – or, rather, a protocol, to be lodged at the UN, which will commit them to be enshrined in such change at a future date.”

    As I’ve said in another comment, which I hope JR will see fit to publish because it covers important clarifications on just this kind of technical detail where it is easy to go wrong, a protocol attached to the EU treaties is legally binding, just as legally binding as the main body of the treaties, and a new protocol itself constitutes a treaty change.

    And I believe that apart from being deposited with the government of a designated depositary state, which for historical reasons is always Italy for EU treaties, as far as I’m aware, like the protocol discussed above which is linked below, it would also be lodged with the UN and be added to their list of international treaties.

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Protocol_Amending_the_Protocol_on_Transitional_Provisions

    “Article 2

    This Protocol shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the Italian Republic.

    This Protocol shall enter into force if possible on 1 December 2010, provided that all the instruments of ratification have been deposited, or, failing that, on the first day of the month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification by the last signatory State to take this step.”

    In fact some countries were so slow with their ratifications that it didn’t enter into force until a year later.

  40. Terry
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The EU is an expensive irrelevance in 2015. Why do we pay Brussels to do a job that we are very capable of doing ourselves? Why do we take orders from a gang of unelected and failed ministers from foreign nations? The EU lags the rest of the world in economic growth and should we remain, will drag us down with it . I feel that a majority of those who wish to stay under the shackles of EU dictate, do it only for their self-interest, be it as a conglomerate or as an individual who has gained personally from our membership. I doubt any will have thought of the country first and foremost, which is exactly what they should be doing.

    Mr Cameron is failing his people with such watered down demands. It is as though the decision to stay (under slightly relaxed terms) has already been made and he is just going through the motions to gain the confidence of the electorate. I would like to hear him state why we should remain within a controlling body to which we pay a high price for being just a one twenty eighth shareholder who is constantly outvoted by smaller countries typically those who benefit the most.

    India, Indonesia and China are our oysters now but we are ‘cuffed to the EU to expect them to negotiate for us when the EU exports team are more interested in promoting their own home Nations. What other country in the world allows foreign nationals to negotiate their trade agreements on their behalf?
    It is a diabolical situation which must be stopped before this country reverts to a mere Partition within the United States of Europe.
    To remain within the EU is to sentence the Nation of Great Britain to death and to ultimately destroy the proud sense of Britishness. Rule Britannia.

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    1 Oh dear the SNP are stopping the government changing the Sunday trading rules in England… so much for any pretence at democracy for the English
    2 All this talk of European immigration is a bit of a joke when the government has allowed in so many people from outside of Europe, especially to work in the IT business in skills already in oversupply
    3 Cameron is not fighting for anything other than his own position. He will blow in the wind and back whatever sides looks like it will win. This maybe better than a Miliband/SNP government but its still a shallow imitation of a decent government.

    I wish you luck John but I think the bigger battle is in the UK getting decent candidates selected into the Conservative party as all of the levers of power are being used to push in people in the Cameron mould. Until that is fixed we are drifting anyways.

  42. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Have just read the letter and I’m solidly with Bernard Jenkin and his “Is that it?”. It’s a non event and an embarrassment. Nothing on the main event of immigration. It is as if Cameron has asked them what he may ask for. One just has to hope that his approach is, as I believe, so wrong that we now vote unequivocally for OUT. I especially cannot understand the references one hears to our (supposedly, but how and why I cannot imagine) being more “secure” in the EU. And I also cannot understand how Cameron proposes to prevent a second Referendum if it seems the way to go at the time as I think it will.

  43. Know-Dice
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Why is CMD asking the EU to allow us to restrict EU migrants from getting benefits for four years, when they are already doing this in the Netherlands for five years.

    PvL?

    And don’t get too exited about CBI and CMD giving an indication that they may swap horses in the future – it’s a ruse, to put the “Leave campaign” off guard…no ifs, no buts…

  44. Monty
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Well I think for a lot of people, any negotiations are now irrelevant. Our requirements for full national sovereignty will not, can not be granted, because they are not being asked for.

  45. Anoneumouse
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    EU accounts not signed off for 21 years

    The European Union and the EU Commission draws up on its LEGAL BASIS on budgetary maters from Article 268 to 280 of the EC Treaty.

    Article 274 The Commission shall implement the budget, in accordance with the provisions of the regulations made pursuant to Article 279, on its own responsibility and within the limits of the appropriations, having regard to the principles of sound financial management.

    As the European Union has not performed or been in legal compliance for 21 years then surely we should now withdraw from the European Union using the provision of Article 61 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

    Article 61 Supervening impossibility of performance
    A party may invoke the impossibility of performing a treaty as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from it if the impossibility results from the permanent disappearance or destruction of an object indispensable for the execution of the treaty. If the impossibility is temporary, it may be invoked only as a ground for suspending the operation of the treaty.

    21 years of non compliance feels fairly permanent to me.

    It doesn’t mater how fast you chase the European Commission, you never catch up with the money.

    This fact can be expressed as EU = mc21, where EU is the immovable object, mc = mass corruption and 21 is the number of years that it has been impossible to perform a budgetary audit.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Looks like sound reasoning to me.

  46. DaveM
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    OT – EVEL’s working a treat, isn’t it? “Sunday Trading Laws in England and Wales”. How is that interpreted as a UK-wide matter? The clue’s in the title!!

    Can we hurry up and sort out the EU business so we can sort our own constitution out?

  47. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Just seen on the news the number of Eritrean’s coming to Europe and mostly children with no adults to look after them. These will all need looking after for many years. How does Cameron/Osborne propose to manage the welfare bill? His letter to Tusk just doesn’t go far enough in that he doesn’t address the numbers of immigrants (mostly illegal) coming into Europe and possibly into the UK eventually. Add to these those that will also come from Turkey and we will be in a fine mess. A friend from Canada asked me why we are so nationalistic and I tried to explain to her that we don’t want the EU running our country and making our laws. I wonder how Canadians would feel if America ran their country?

  48. ian
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    If the CBI and big business say they cannot afford to leave the EU, then why do they not show commitment and pay half the net contribution fee each year.

  49. Margaret
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    The only way is ‘OUT” and this is the way we must go. I hope all those sheep will follow the OUT way. All the migrants we have here already ,might think how the changes would affect them if they didn’t vote for OUT too. In the EU they would not have the same entitlements.

  50. Javelin
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Not disappointing just a useless list of nothingness.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    All very true but the EXISTING treaties have progressively given away powers to the EU. The Single Market is not a perfect concept – unfetterd world free trade would be much better – but it was an acceptable compromise. The Single Market was essentially complete after the Single European Act was passed into law and the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties have done nothing to enhance it.

    We are agreed on where the EU is heading and the need to get detach ourselves from it.

    There was once a popular song by Paul Simon called ’50 ways to leave your lover’. Among the lyrics were:
    ” Just get out the back, Jack
    Make a new plan, Sam
    Don’t need to be coy, Roy
    Just get yourself free”

    We need a new version entitled “Article 50 ways to leave your lover”.

  52. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Below is a message I e-mailed in reply to several received from the Vote Leave campaign. Do people agree with the sentiments?

    Dear Sirs,

    Your recent posts have been excellent but the problem is that you have been preaching to the converted. We need to communicate with the undecided in a way that will – or at least should – influence them.

    Firstly, the message. Pride of place should go to demonstrating that the EU is galloping headlong towards the formation of a German dominated Federal SuperState. The evidence is overwhelming:
    – The vast extension of the EU’s areas of competence (sic!) and joint competence as specified in the Lisbon Treaty
    – The authorisation of 3 separate types of non-NATO military co-operation in the Lisbon Treaty
    – The fact that European Courts always rule in favour of the EC against individual Member States
    – The 5 presidents’ report advocating EU control of fiscal policy and monetary policy
    – The requirement for EuroZone Member States to submit their budgets for approval by the EU
    – The Tobin tax and other financial rulings deliberately designed to wreck the City of London
    – The extensive EU control of social and employment law, including the Working Time directive
    – Last but by no means least recent German conduct under bossy boots Merkel

    Germany wants to admit 800,000 would be migrants. Rather than lay on ships to transport them from Pireas and other Mediterranean ports to Hamburg, it encourages them to tramp across other EU Member States in order to reach their destination. And other Member States MUST (by quotas enforced via QMV) accept their ‘fair share’ of migrants. (Allegations left out ed)And the Euro, championed by Germany in German interests, is inflicting 50% unemployment on the youth of southern Mediterranean Member States. And Germany thinks that it is fit to lead!!!!!

    [If you need someone to assemble this evidence in a single damning document, John Redwood is your man. I’m willing to help.]

    Secondly, if a Member State – e.g. the UK – doesn’t want to join a Federal SuperState, then it shouldn’t sign Federal treaties. Our PM should be demanding the right to repeal our Acts of Accession to the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties, and should declare that he is willing to repeal them unilaterally. Conservative MPs should be demanding that this is included in the PM’s negotiating stance. He will probably refuse but the fact that David Cameron is currently PM doesn’t mean that he has to continue. After all, 70% of the Conservative Party’s membership is Eurosceptic. Granted, it might be simpler to leave, but it is important to table legitimate demands.

    Thirdly, immigration and control of our borders: If Germany admits 800,000 migrants and issues them with German passports, then every single one of them will have a right to live and work in the UK. The idea that a 4 year delay in benefits entitlement will give us the control we want is laughable. In any case, Poland has said that it will challenge such a measure as discriminatory, and the European courts would back Poland. To make the measure stick, we would need to impose a 4 year benefit delay on our own youngsters.

    So there’s three main strands that we need to get out there in a blockbuster document – the aim being to land an early knockout blow. Lastly, we need the right mass media outlets. I think that Sky TV will have a role to play but only to the extent that our documents etc are newsworthy. At this stage, hatchet jobs on the EU and its EU funded allies such as the BBC and CBI are what is needed. The constructive message can come later.

    Kind Regards,

    Lindsay
    Chairman, Hook Conservatives

  53. Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    The government also seeks safeguards for non Euro members to avoid us having to pay the bills and accept the extra controls the Euro will require.

    The UK government can’t help with euro bills even if it wanted to.

    The eurozone as a whole runs a €32 billion surplus in its trade and other external financial transactions. Where do those euros come from? They can only be created by the ECB in an effort to keep down the euro and maintain that surplus in trade. If the ECB didn’t issue euros and let the euro find its own level trade would naturally balance in the eurozone.

    Britain hasn’t got any euros of its own but it could supply pounds. The EU could change those pounds for euros on the forex markets which would increase demand for euros and push up its value.

    So we have the farcical situation of the EU asking the UK for pounds which only has the effect of increasing the euro’s value above the target value decided by the ECB which prompts the ECB to issue more euros to bring it back down again!

    If the EU need euros why don’t they just ask the ECB to create them and just leave the UK out of it?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Well it seems that the euro is the unit of account, and moreover the sole unit of account, for everything in the EU, certainly “The multiannual financial framework and the annual budget shall be drawn up in euro” under Article 320 TFEU. So I presume that all the payments demanded are expressed in euros and it is up to the UK government to get pounds changed into euros so it can pay. Quite how this is consistent with Cameron’s idea that the EU should formally recognise that it has more than one currency, not just the single currency, is not clear to me.

  54. RB
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    There’s no secret. Even in the EU renegotiation statement to the HoC yesterday the minister, Lidington, said repeatedly that what “we” need is “a strong UK IN the EU”.

    This tepid renegotiation (which is a hundred miles away from the content of the Bloomberg speech 3 years ago) is just pantomime for the media.

    Can we just leave now, please?

  55. Vanessa
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I quite agree – why, indeed, do we have to ask permission to do or change anything? I thought we were a sovereign country?
    Cameron has not actually “asked” for anything. The four areas he mentions in his letter to Tusk just say he will be open to different ways of doing things. He is being so weak and wimpish as British Prime Minister as to make himself a laughing stock in his own country. He should go and say these are the changes we want so that we stay in and if we do not get them “to the letter” (sorry, no ifs or buts !!) then we will leave.

    Britain is the SECOND LARGEST contributor (financially) after Germany to the whole project – we do not need to bow and scrape to these people. They NEED US DESPERATELY to help keep them afloat..

  56. Maureen Turner
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “After all that – is that it?”

    Occasionally in politics an MP or even PM makes a remark that sticks around for a very long time such as Crisis, what Crisis? which was never actually said by Callaghan but coined by the Press yet it still pops up to this day. “After all that – is that it? ” has the potential for falling into this category because it is so versatile. One bright spark writing in a comments column said – I love it – let’s get it printed on T shirts for the Leave campaign.

    I listened to the PM’s entire speech yesterday which came over as someone covering himself for both an IN or OUT result but was information lite and took ages to say.

    Is it not the case that both opting out of ever closer union and withholding benefits to migrants for four years would require Treaty change? I understood the former was a given but whatever is agreed both surely have to be written into a legally binding Treaty.

    The one thing never mentioned was our country’s sovereignty and border control and without these all other concerns such as loss of trade etc., important as they are, must not be allowed to become a scare tactic for the Inners. Messrs. Clarke, Heseltine and Mandelson never have anything constructive to convey about being in the EU other than we need to be in the Club because outside we would have no clout. Well we don’t seem to have much clout in the EU so if we are going to be cloutless surely it would be far better to plough our own furrow.

    The PM did advise that this referendum regardless of outcome will not be repeated which makes it so very important that we don’t push to get the vote until we know exactly what’s involved. The electorate is slowly wakening up to how much of our sovereignty has been handed over , ie., 70% and this without any mandate from the people. Yes, another year of migration at the current level is worrying but if this referendum returns an In vote then migration wise we would be at the mercy of Brussels for years to come. Makes me shiver.

    • Excalibur
      Posted November 12, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      A very good post, Maureen. I concur that in these tepid attempts at re-negotiation,
      not enough emphasis has been placed on our loss of sovereignty. The scare tactics predominate. Oh, that Nigel were in the House……

  57. Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    So it’s come to this: the leader of the world’s fifth largest economy, a nuclear power with a still formidable military force, has to beg for a few scraps from Europe’s table. Nothing less than a full restoration of our sovereignty will do and if Merkel, Tusk, Hollande, Juncker, Schultz and the other EU pygmies don’t like it, then send Farage to tell them their fortune.

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted November 12, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    We would be better off asking to be a US state. Ditch the monarchy when the Queen dies and I am sure we could do such a deal.

  59. Posted November 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Patrick Jenkin put his finger on it when he said “Is that all there is?”

    Now that it is clear that the PM’s renegotiation stance is grossly inadequate and bearing in mind that 70% of Conservative Party members want to leave the EU, do Conservative MPs still want David Cameron to lead them?

    And if they don’t, what are they going to do about it and when? Sooner rather than later, methinks. We can no longer tolerate the Europhile tale wagging the Eurosceptic dog.

  • 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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