Brexit would be such sweet change

The EU is something which happens to us daily. It means laws we do not want, bills we do not want to pay.

Those who urge us to stay in are usually the rich few older men who gave done well out of the EU themselves. A narrow elite of believers has been given the well paid jobs in government and multinational business. They push out the mindless and threatening propoganda to try to keep us in thrall to their bureaucracies, and to retain us paying their bills.

Those of us who want fewer laws and lower taxes have no part in the EU world. We are not wanted. Socialists are similarly ignored, as their views do not fit in with the austerity the EU wishes to visit on member states so it can carry on spending on itself and demanding tax revenues for its own purposes. The elite always knows best. It bullies the rest of us into submission or cold shoulders those of us who will not be bullied. It is not our EU, it is their EU. We are just made to pay for it. They offer us votes in European Parliament elections, but ignore the results in any country which votes against their views. Most people don’t bother to vote, showing they don’t feel part of it.

When the Germans ask me what do I want from the negotiations I say I just want one thing- the restoration of UK democracy. The easiest way of doing that is just to leave.

Every time the EU adopts a disastrous policy, it seeks more power and control for getting it wrong. When they made so many poor with the Exchange Rate Mechanism, instead of learning from it they decided to make even more people poor for longer by adopting the Euro.

Today they destroy industry and close plants in the UK from their energy and climate change policies. Their answer to the problems is to do more of the same to make us even more dependent on EU wide scarce and dear energy.

They make the EU vulnerable through their open borders policy. Now the damage that does us clear they seek more EU wide powers over security and intelligence.

Every EU created crisis leads them to demand more EU. It is high time the UK declined and regained its freedom.






  1. Antisthenes
    November 23, 2015

    If the UK leaves the EU none of the scary things that Europhiles tell us will happen will. Life will go on much as before trade will continue and there will be close cooperation with the EU but only on matters that the UK chooses is in it’s interest to cooperate on . However trade and cooperation would expand worldwide as the UK can represent itself on global bodies and negotiate directly with non EU countries. Instead of now being forced to let the EU do all that for us.

    Brexit is not to be feared if done properly and orderly however the British solution that Cameron is advocating which is nothing more than associate membership is to be greatly feared. The EU is a straight jacket that is pinning down it’s wearers it’s member states and denying them independent action or choice on nearly every matter. The straight jacket is every day being made ever tighter and associate membership will not stop that. The same rules of the EU will apply except immediate entry to the Euro-zone. All that will happen is that associate members will just be allowed to become full members at a later date when they have been whipped and groomed into being obedience and are fully ready to be subservient to EU superstate.

    Once again the EU will be can kicking and the associate member group will be that can. There is no way out of eventually joining the euro or of full political union whilst the UK is in anyway tied to the EU that can only happen if the UK leaves. The British solution is political speak for promising more freedoms for the UK but at a later date. However what it really means is that the promises will be nebulous, vague and contain little that Euro-sceptics and the UK needs and will never be honoured anyway and the road to complete integration is still the road the UK will be on. The EU will then just wait for the right UK government and conditions to switch the UK from associate to full member.

  2. Excalibur
    November 23, 2015

    Splendid commentary, JR. Thank you for that.

  3. sm
    November 23, 2015

    Totally agree with your summary John, but without wishing in the least to be flippant, doesn’t this all remind you of what has been going on at FIFA? Another wealthy and blatantly corrupt organisation that the UK bleats about but doesn’t have the cojones to walk out of?

    1. yosarion
      November 23, 2015

      The UK does not have a Football team, Thankfully the English are allowed to put the George Cross up occasionally

  4. Lifelogic
    November 23, 2015

    Indeed, and with Cameron’s renegotiation demands of nothing. nothing and nothing at all then out is clearly the only sensible option.

    What constantly amazes me is that the “in side” constantly say we benefit hugely from EU membership yet can never even make a single sensible arguments as to why. Just muttering drivel about 50% of our exports being lost.

    The real danger is that Cameron, the Libdims, Labour, the SNP and some interested parties like the state sector, some big business, CBI and the massive bias of the BBC will lock us in – hopefully not.

    1. Bazman
      November 23, 2015

      If the BBC asks a businessman or minister if we should stay in or leave the EU would you say that is a bias question? Here is the question. “Would it be good or bad for Britain to leave the EU minister?”
      Business telling it may be bad for us to leave the EU? In a 100% of all other arguments you believe without question what whatever business leaders say. Each word a gold coin no less, sensible arguments, common sense, sound reason, astute, sage, rational, intelligent, scientific, ask any businessman etc. Whatever is bad for them is bad for us all as it will cause them to leave pay less tax, less employment greater welfare costs and so on.
      Funny that..

      1. Edward2
        November 24, 2015

        Its more subtle than that Baz
        Its who they choose to ask in the first place.
        they already know the answers they will get when they choose the ones they want to interview.

      2. matthu
        November 24, 2015

        It is usually the businessmen who already have most invested in Brussels lobbying groups who wish to remain in the EU.

        1. Bazman
          November 25, 2015

          They have a vested interest you are saying? Well that is just like any other business decision that you support and it is not just those with the ones with the largest vested interest. A convenient catch all from you. Many see close cooperation as the bests thing for small business.

        2. Brian
          November 30, 2015

          Big business loves the EU so much as it enables them to evade our Corporation Tax, do you not remember all the news about Amazon, Starbucks etc.?

          It also enables them to get legislation that benefits them at the expense of smaller companies, and it tends to drive down labour costs.

          Does any of that benefit, us, the taxpayer? No, we get taxed more (to make up for missing CT), we lose competition amongst our suppliers, and we are paid less. What’s not to hate?

    2. matthu
      November 23, 2015

      The Inners do not want to reveal their arguments about what benefits are to be had from membership because (a) they fear they won’t stand up to scrutiny (b) they fear that they won’t even stand up to the passage of time, so there is advantage in selecting their arguments as late as possible.

      Meanwhile The Independent is reporting that interviews with 30,000 voters for the British Election Study found that those who have not yet decided how to vote are “significantly more likely than Inners to hold negative feelings about immigration, and also… more likely to feel dissatisfied with how democracy is currently working within the EU.”

      These are coincidentally (?) also the two issues being raised most strongly by Leave.Eu.

  5. Mike Stallard
    November 23, 2015

    “The elite always knows best.”
    Nothing – Nothing – turns Englishmen off quicker than an arrogant European Grandee. They are, however, never allowed air time on either the TV or the Radio. Why ever not? Just three of them would win us the Referendum.
    Please will you use your considerable influence with the Media to ensure that the Five Presidents and the Spinelli Group are given the time that they utterly deserve to put forward their fine and indisputable views on the Fundamental Law which, as we all know, is to be implemented, with our approval, in 2025.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      November 23, 2015

      Dear Mike–Which considerable influence with the media? A problem is that John himself doesn’t rate his influence highly. I have badgered him a number of times to get his articles published more widely but he discounts his ability to do so. I continue to struggle to believe that if he were to offer more to the media he would not have his arm bitten off every time.

      Reply The Telegraph agreed to take an article 2 weeks ago and still haven’t published it. I find it easier to get on and publish myself. My thinking and the agenda moves on.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        November 23, 2015

        Dear John–You must be doing something wrong–Your thinking and your agenda indeed are going to move on, and rightly so, but only so many read your notes each day. It is your duty on behalf of the Leave campaign somehow to get your views across more widely. In some ways it might be better for you to move away from the Torygraph–I myself have a lot of time for what the editorials in the Sun have to say these days.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          November 24, 2015

          Postscript–By no means just the Sun either. The Express is not what it was but I believe they were the first to declare, and very much still do campaign. for Out, with of course Nigel Farage writing regularly and to good effect. You could hold your nose but if you were in some way to team up with Nigel (damn what Cameron thinks of course) forming some sort of joint approach with UKIP that would really be something–something with the sort of impact that I find sadly lacking so far in the spasmodic output from those who need to work together in order to get us Out, The Ins have so little to say that it should be possible to blow them to Hades.

          Reply UKIP remain on 11% and I suspect Express readers have largely made up their minds on leaving the EU. If the Express wants an article from me I can supply one, but publishing my views on this site puts them out there for general use. Conservatives are currently on 40% and we need most of them to vote for Out, along with sensible Labour and other left of centre voters who want more control over our own laws and money.

          1. Leslie Singleton
            November 24, 2015

            First, Have you told the Express? Secondly, the trouble as seen by me is that in the nicest possible way I doubt that the “general use” you mention amounts to much in terms of the general public at least–as I have said before, I have given up asking “Have you read John Redwood today?”. Though it pains me to say it, the end (ie Out) justifies the means and I think you need to do something about your PR. You tell us about the “us” you are part of and I am sure in your own terms your description is accurate but I would wager that the chap on the Clapham bus would have no clue who they are and also unfortunately, especially if he were a younger chap (the dreaded 16 and 17 year olds), would have very little more clue about who you are. I do not see this as easy for you to accomplish but somehow it has to be done. You can and regularly do take potshots at UKIP (but even 11% is not to be sniffed at) but you have to hand it to Nigel Farage re his ability to whip up a storm–everybody has heard of him. I have great respect for the All Souls’ Old Library but maybe it’s not really the best for getting the attention of the masses.

    2. forthurst
      November 23, 2015

      “The elite always knows best.”

      Actually, I think the elites always know what’s best for them, which usually is not what is best for us since there is no particular reason that their goals and ours should coincide; that is why we have a democracy and why, having elites being able to override it, demonstrates its dysfunctionality.

  6. Sean
    November 23, 2015

    Time to give Con-man-eron the no confidence vote. Anyway Juncker has said that Britain cannot leave and will never leave no matter what the people’s wish for.

    1. matthu
      November 23, 2015

      This makes me wonder whether Cameron is simply (and reluctantly, he will say)going to offer us the “British model” (i.e. associate membership by another name) as the best way to LEAVE the EU.

      In doing so he will hope to receive the endorsement of Vote Leave.

      Will that be forthcoming? I think it will (from that lot).

  7. Mick
    November 23, 2015

    Why is Cameron fannying around the issue just call a referendum now, the majority of the public know he’s not going to get anything worth having, the only people wanting to stay in are the ones who have made money out of the dreaded EU & the brain washed

    1. M Davis
      November 23, 2015

      The problem is that, there are an awful lot of ‘the brain washed’!

      1. Bazman
        November 23, 2015

        Take a look at your own false conciousness of mindless right wing drivel costing the state a fortune and lowering living standard for millions.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      November 23, 2015

      Dear Mick–Absolutely right–Cannot imagine too many people having their minds changed by the piffling baloney Cameron has come up with–The pity is that he has an increasingly strong hand to play did he but know it and were he to play it right but instead he seems to have just thrown it in–He should immediately threaten to veto literally everything unless Juncker gets told to shut up and that’s just for starters.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 24, 2015

        He can hardly veto anything now, successive treaties have seen to that.

  8. Antisthenes
    November 23, 2015

    The UK did not produce a Kaiser, a Napoleon or a Hitler no we produced a Churchill and a Thatcher. The two mainstays of the EU France and Germany are the two countries that brought the most instability to Europe and it was the UK who for some centuries has brought the most stability.

    The UK being a member of the EU is no longer in a position to use it’s unique ability to bear to help solve Europe’s problems when they occur as independent action is not allowed. The UK’s stabilising influence is constantly being muted because either it is voted against or the membership rules do not allow it. It is not that the EU has not got problems it has and they are many but the UK as a member can do little to help solve them.

  9. Ian wragg
    November 23, 2015

    Totally agree John. It’s a pity your boss doesn’t agree. Will history tell us why those at the top want to remain in the undemocratic road crash that is the EU.
    I see today France is importing 2% of our generation when wind is supplying 2.35Gw.
    I see the Russians are flying to Syria via the UK. Do you think they are making a statement. We certainly don’t have that sort of capability.
    So having chopped up our new Nimrods in 2010 we are now going to purchase some maritime surveillance aircraft from America. True Tories putting the UK last.

    1. forthurst
      November 23, 2015

      “It’s a pity your boss doesn’t agree.”

      I dont see CMD as JR’s boss since he is not in the government. He is answerable to his constituents and his political nous which put him in opposition to much of what a CMD led government does.

  10. Margaret
    November 23, 2015

    I have just left a longer comment which can’t get through. Internet use is becoming more difficult, but yes there would be little sorrow in leaving.

  11. Boudicca
    November 23, 2015

    The people who planned the creation of a United States of Europe knew it would have to be done stealthily without the people understanding what was happening until it was too late.

    They envisaged a series of “beneficial crisis” which would force integration since their solution to every crisis would be “more EU.” In Chinese script the same character means both crisis and opportunity. The EU has turned this into a long-term policy.

    Hence they have no incentive to avoid a crisis. The ERM was unstable: any organisation which wanted to avoid a crisis would never have created the Euro in its current form. But they wanted a crisis – although possibly not as severe as the one they got. The crisis would be used to force through the next stage of integration (ie takeover of national economic governance).

    The migrant crisis was encouraged by Merkel and Juncker,: another “beneficial crisis” which they could use to force through a takeover of EU border patrols and controls. They also attempted to take over a uniform asylum process, but Victor Orban and other Eastern European leaders as well as Cameron seem to have stymied that …. for now.

    etc ed

    The EU never lets “a good crisis” go to waste. It looks suspiciously like they deliberately create the conditions which will result in, or exacerbate a crisis.

    1. hefner
      November 24, 2015

      Closer to our times, there have been other uses of this idea of crisis and related opportunity, e.g., to push a neo-liberal agenda, see 1973 in Chile, Pinochet, and the Chicago school of economics.

  12. Ex-expat Colin
    November 23, 2015

    Siemens reported on BBC World (womens) Service last night that apart from a slow down in investments due to terrorism, they’ll stay in Manchester and anywhere else they currently exist – in or out.

    So that eliminates EU businesses leaving UK I think. And if the UK makes existence in UK profitable…more will come. Cut energy costs etc and its rather simple, or common sense?

  13. Lifelogic
    November 23, 2015

    I see that Ed Miliband has emerged from hiding to pronounce complete and utter drivel on global warming on radio 4. How can supposedly intelligent people be so deluded on this issue? Do they really believe the drivel they utter or do the just think it is good politics?

    Wind and PV cost far more than gas and coal & do not even save any significant net C02. Furthermore they are not on demand and thus need expensive gas/coal back up. What on earth is the point in exporting jobs but just then having the CO2 produced in even larger amounts elsewhere in the same World?

    He claimed something like – the cost of doing nothing is higher than the cost of acting and that the cost of capital would be less, due to more “certainty”? What complete and utter drivel the man comes out with. He is even dafter than Cameron. At least the Tories are finally quietly cutting the daft subsidies for this fake green, intermittent energy – while still pretending to the public that they still believe in this unscientific catastrophic warming religion.

    No warming for 17 years and counting. Antarctic ice at new record levels. All totally unpredicted by the green dopes & their expensive computer models. How many more years will it take for them to finally catch on? If it does not agree with experiment your models are wrong. Ed Miliband, the Libdims the Greens, much of the public and Cameron might be fooled, but nature will not be.

    1. stred
      November 23, 2015

      Yes, it was good to hear Ed back and that, despite arranging for his party to be taken over by the Socialist Workers, he still thinks he did a great job as environment minister. Last week R4’s Costing the Earth had Prof MacKay on to celebrate the forthcoming climate meeting in Paris, which Eural will be going to in his new airliner.

      Prof MacKay is a srong believer in AGW and the eventual shortage of fossil fuels, but he wrote ‘ Without the Hot Air’ because he is a very highly qualified mathematician and physicist and thought policy was being made without knowlege. Soon after publishing in 2009 he was brought into DECC as their chief technical advisor. Up to then they had almost totally unqualified politicians and civil servants. In this programme he said that he was concerned that EU policies had resulted in wrong policies being implemented, which did not reduce emissins in an economical way.

      One example was a choice between insulating a school or putting in a wood burner. His local school went for the latter because it was highly susidised- but it was not the sensible choice. On a large scale, he argued that burning American wood in power stations also produced few savings and was expensive. He said that when he had done the calculations, he went to see Ed Davey and explained the problem, the rely to this was “Shit!”. Mr Davey was interviewed and said he had then stopped the Eggboroough conversion, against Tory opposition. Just consider how it was possible for this Ministry, headed by Milliband, with his physics A level, was able to devise and carry through this policy on the assumption that burning trees from America was CO2 neutral. This is the advice of the EU and other countries are building the same. This has been subsidised by the Green Bank and is now a very big business, headed by an ex- civil servant.

      Talking of biofuels, I found this in the errata page of MacKay’s book.
      Bioethanol from corn in the USA ( a very big business)
      …power per unit area of 0.2 W/sq m; however, the energy inputs requiredtoprocess the corn into ethanol amount to 83,000BTU/gallon; so 99% of the energy is used up by the processing, and the net power per unit area is about 0.002 Watts/sm….

      Then there is the EU plan to put more biofuel into petrol, which increases fuel consumption to the point where it is pointless. I gather this is being held up by someone, but a lot of fuel stations seem to be being replaced for the extra pumps at the moment.

      1. stred
        November 23, 2015

        errata. Omit ‘was able’.

    2. Bazman
      November 24, 2015

      You are spouting unscientific drivel. Black propaganda with no basis.
      “The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,” Parkinson said.
      Read what is wrote and correctly listen to what the video says instead of putting your own desired views and conclusions on it.
      Read the final paragraph from the same source as you quote and tell us what it says. etc ed
      Then tell us why you are writing these posts. What agenda are you following?

      1. Bazman
        November 24, 2015

        The thickness of right/left-wing ideology no less. Its called pig ignorance. I too have a lazy day with lazy ideas…

      2. stred
        November 25, 2015

        Did you catch Ch4 news last night Baz? John Snow repeating the agenda about AGW and rising sea levels causing people in Bangladesh to flee into the cities to escape the risen sea level. Unfortunately, sea levels have hardly changed from their regular rise of 3mm pa and the big sea level rise the warmists have forecast is based on the upper scale of warming, which has nor followed their graphs. They showed some parts of Bangladesh being protected by a bank similar to the ones in Essex that I walk on weekends. What a good idea. Then all of their vastly increased population now living in the cities could have somewhere nice for a walk too. Suggest you read Wiki before you get too agitated.

        1. Bazman
          November 25, 2015

          Which will be this one presumes.

          Wiki is not a particularly reliable source of information, but like lifelogic you need to read, listen and understand what is being said. Putting some mud bank around the whole country is going to mitigate a rise in sea levels or hoping that it will not happen is do nothing nonsense and there is many other very low level food producing areas such as in Vietnam.
          Interesting piece by C4 punting forward the problems of reducing emissions for third world countries and even if they should.
          Solar lighting was providing real benefits for the population in cost savings and health benefits though by our standards was a bit dim. Would you argue that this was unfair competition for kerosene companies in the area as the sun is free?

          1. stred
            November 27, 2015

            I don’t think solar lighting for folks living in sunny countries is dim at all. It’s a good use of solar. We have plenty of low agricultural land too, like the Wash and E.Anglia- way below high tides. The bank, or Dyke as the Dutch call them, was only about a foot from the top of the last surge, when I last went for a walk on it. As sea level has been rising at about 30mm every ten years for ages it would be a good idea to build them higher.

            Unfortunately, the Environment Agents seem to prefer retreat and salt marshes for waders.

  14. A.Sedgwick
    November 23, 2015

    Absolutely – is David Cameron on the same wavelength? Absolutely not!

  15. Horatio McSherry
    November 23, 2015

    I’m expecting with the current migrant crisis and ongoing terrorist threats Mr. Cameron will be pushing the referendum as far into the future as possible. Especially as it seems after last night that the terrorists are now toying with the Belgian police; having them chase all over Brussels with one threat after another.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    November 23, 2015

    Advocates for remaining in the EU have no confidence in this country’s ability to govern itself. Those in this group who are MPs can have no confidence in their own abilities. Why did they put themselves up for election to our Parliament if they can only operate under instruction from a higher foreign power?
    Those who advocate leaving the EU have the positive vision of a self-governing, independent country trading with the world and prospering outside the straight jacket of EU bureaucracy and control.
    Your own leader initially argued that to stay in the EU would require repatriation of powers and fundamental changes enshrined in treaties. He has now abandoned such demands but still gives the strong impression of a determination to keep us in when, as Lord Lawson stated on yesterday’s Sunday Politics, the logic of his earlier position should mean that he should lead the leave campaign.

  17. Bert Young
    November 23, 2015

    There is no other decision other than to leave the EU . I fully agree that the primary consideration is restoring our sovereignty . Every day I am appalled at the way our lives are directed by outside influence and the mockery it makes of our democracy ; when I go to the ballot box I want to know that my vote counts .

    The criminal wastage of the funds that the EU handles is unbelievable and its belief that one size fits all is beyond imagination . Europe is not a happier or better off place as the result of the two wars ; the differences that remain amongst the member countries are as divided and marked now as they ever were .

  18. Ken Moore
    November 23, 2015

    Mr Cameron didn’t even ask for Uk law to have precedence over EU laws – the restoration of Uk democracy was never on the table from the so called re-negotiation.
    It was a fraud like so much about David Cameron – it’s either remain in on present terms or out.

  19. Anonymous
    November 23, 2015

    Peter van Leewen has been notable by his absence.

    Perhaps even he has stopped believing in the EU project.

    1. ian wragg
      November 23, 2015

      I’ve noticed that other EU trolls have been absent on other web sites.
      Maybe funding for the propaganda arm of Brussels has been cut or maybe its because things aren’t all that rosy in Holland.

  20. JimS
    November 23, 2015

    “Every EU created crisis leads them to demand more EU. It is high time the UK declined and regained its freedom.”

    For ‘EU’ I think one could substitute ‘political’.

    Housing crisis, Community Cohesion, Immigration, Islamanism, Terrorism, Over-spending, etc. etc., all created or made very much worse by our politicians often doing the exact opposite of what their electorate wanted.

    Not that the electorate were ever asked, it being made socially ‘unacceptable’ to ask the questions and now it gets ever-nearer to becoming illegal to broach some subjects.

  21. APL
    November 23, 2015

    JR: “Brexit would be such sweet change.”

    Wow! Do you mean ‘Brexit’ as in Richard North’s idea of Brexit or some watered down pale imitation of British (un)exit from the EU spawned by CCO?

    It’s an important point.

    JR: “Those who urge us to stay in are usually the rich few older men who gave done well out of the EU themselves.”

    Well, Yes again. How do we get British centric legislation through the British parliament when the second chamber is stuffed to the gunnels with European Union pensioners?

    JR: “Every EU created crisis leads them to demand more EU.”


    1. forthurst
      November 23, 2015

      “Do you mean ‘Brexit’ as in Richard North’s idea of Brexit”

      Trade and friendship, repeated many times, with only the former requiring negotiation, but not quite as convoluted as that of Dr. North’s proposals which do not assume a desire between parties to maintain an existing mutually beneficial trading relationship.

  22. Shieldsman
    November 23, 2015

    A fine summation.
    Only the rich, the political establishment and all those NGO’s funded by the EU benefit from our membership.
    Not forgetting the EU pensioners.

    Stop worrying about what it will be like outside, we can choose for ourselves. Stay in and it will all be decided in Brussels.

    For the Public at large there is only one real choice by which we can benefit.
    Let’s get out – vote to leave the EU

  23. Denis Cooper
    November 23, 2015

    Perceptive observers on both sides of the argument know that if we stay in the EU under the present treaties then inevitably we will end up in the euro, sooner or later.

    That won’t happen for some years, obviously, and maybe it will take so long that much of the electorate will have forgotten how catastrophic the euro proved for some countries which adopted it and a majority will be persuaded to vote for it in a referendum, but in any case if a future government of whichever party was planning to join the euro then it would not have to hold a referendum if that seemed too risky.

    Nobody should put their faith in a law saying that we must have a referendum before we joined the euro, when that law is in no way entrenched against normal repeal and a future government could just get Parliament to repeal it, in part or in its entirety.

    Indeed it would only need the insertion of a few words such as “notwithstanding any provision of the European Union Act 2011” into the Act to take us into the euro without a referendum, and that would be enough to guarantee that any legal challenge would be rejected by the courts.

    All MPs with more than half a brain know this; Hague knew it very well when he drafted his “referendum lock” law and made no attempt at all to protect it against normal repeal by a future Parliament, even though several methods of entrenchment were suggested at the time; Cameron and Osborne know it now, and so indeed does our host here.

    Their argument is that while it may be legally possible for a future government to take us into the euro without a referendum it would not be politically possible, but anyone who watched our politicians wriggling their way out of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will know that provided a government can retain its Commons majority, and there is enough time before the next general election has to be held, then many things which might seem to be politically impossible become perfectly possible.

  24. Paul
    November 23, 2015

    It is vital we get someone who has broad appeal to lead the Out campaign. This could be the difference between winning and losing. I am baffled as to why Nigel Lawson thinks he should in any way be a leading figure in any of this. To put it politely his appeal is somewhat limited. Given the incredibly dull and flat launch of the In campaign we have a great opportunity and need to get it right.

  25. Martyn G
    November 23, 2015

    John – you know it and I suspect most of those who respond also know it, so the question is, why can not the PM see and know the EU for what it is? Or, if he does see and know the EU for what it is, why is he so intent on keeping the UK locked into that sclerotic empire controlled by largely unaccountable, unelected self-seekers?

  26. Old Albion
    November 23, 2015

    As you say, the only answer is vote ‘Leave’ If Cameron gives us a vote?

  27. Denis Cooper
    November 23, 2015

    Andrew Lilico had an interesting article on Saturday:

    Asking “How will Eurozone institutions affect Britain?” he points out it would not really be credible to propose the establishment of separate parallel institutions for the eurozone to replicate the present Commission and Parliament for the whole of the EU – he could have added the Court, and the Councils, as well – and that any eurozone sub-groupings within the EU institutions would eventually take them over,

    “especially as the number of non-euro members in the EU fell”,

    because the majority of EU members are already members of the euro and

    “more are scheduled to join”.

    Well, in fact only two EU member states, the UK and Denmark, have treaty opt-outs from ever having to join the euro, and while the rest of the non-euro members are not actually “scheduled” to join the euro on any precisely fixed timetable they are all under a legal obligation to work towards doing that at the earliest opportunity.

    That is part of Major’s malign legacy; not only did he unnecessarily agree that the EC/EU could start issuing its own single currency, he agreed that it would become the norm and all new EU member states would have to agree to conform to that norm.

    Therefore, enlargement of the EU, as strongly supported by the Tory party then and now, necessarily means expansion of the eurozone some years later; the latest example being Croatia, which Cameron readily agreed would be put straight on to the conveyor belt into the euro, to eventually join the eurozone bloc lined up against us.

    1. ian wragg
      November 23, 2015

      Denis, I can’t actually see the East Europeans rushing to join the Euro whatever the treaty commitments. I was recently in Croatia and business is totally against joining.
      Poland has said it will join when its economy is the same as Germany (read never)
      I think the coming associate membership will give them a get out.

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 24, 2015

        I’d rather that they given an opt-out rather than hope that they will somehow be given a get out, and Cameron is not intending to ask for that. Even while emphasising the benefit of the UK having a treaty opt-out from ever having to join the euro he does not say that the same benefit should be extended to other countries, in fact even when the Tory party’s ODS allies in the Czech Republic came out and said that they wanted it he remained silent.

        As far as the EU Commission is concerned it is just a matter of waiting until the vagaries of domestic politics gives power to a party which is prepared to comply with the legal requirement that the country joins the euro.

        It will then make no difference even if most of the electorate are opposed to that, as they will not be asked directly in a referendum on the grounds that they were already asked about it as part of the previous referendum on whether to join the EU, and they agreed to it then.

        I am not just imagining this, it is what happened in the Baltic states.

  28. Kenneth
    November 23, 2015

    Nearly everything the eu does goes wrong.

    Euro/ERM: lost jobs, ruined lives
    Schengen: lost lives
    Inviting refugees: lost lives
    Dear energy: lost jobs, ruined lives

    Democracy and a sense of patriotism moderate the behaviour of politicians. Both of these elements are missing and that leaves the unelected fanatics free to pile on more agony.

    The eu is anti-democracy. It is anti-Europe.

    1. matthu
      November 23, 2015

      You wouldn’t be Kenneth Clarke would you? No, I guess not … 😉

  29. Graham Wood
    November 23, 2015

    JR I fully agree, as also I would fully support Boris Johnson’s suggestion on amending the 1972 European Communities Act as reported recently in the DT “Mr Johnson floated the idea of a “brake” ……… “You could amend the Act which says
    that all EU directives, regulations and other obligations have supremacy over British law to say that it has supremacy unless expressly overturned by parliament. The great thing, which makes it so attractive, is that you don’t need a negotiation”.

    I cannot think of a better approach in restoring UK sovereignty over the hegemony of the EU, and one that I have advocated for some time. Amendment initially, as opposed to repeal would be preferable, for it would in effect ‘short circuit’ all such legislation without ‘frightening the horses’ in electoral terms. Repeal could follow once the principle of the legitimate return of powers to our own parliament had become well established.
    In one sense, the question of the supremacy of law – either ours or that of the EU, is the ONLY question at stake in the coming referendum. Given that Mr Cameron has rejected that option then all other negotiations are meaningless for any concessions, unless entrenched by treaty change,which is now extremely unlikely, can be struck down by the ECJ. Thus, without addressing this issue in his negotiations Mr Cameron has consigned the whole negotiation process to the illogical and futile.
    I hope that the newly formed Conservatives for Britain will energetically pursue BJ’s proposal so that the ECA ’72 can be consigned to oblivion, and real negotiations begin.

    Reply Bill Cash and I have tried this approach many times before. The world has now moved on – it time to decide to stay or to go.

    1. Chris
      November 23, 2015

      Reply to reply: I see that Bill Cash and Nigel Farage are debating with Barroso and Nick Clegg at the Oxford Union tonight. Should be very good.

      1. Know-Dice
        November 24, 2015

        Not good enough to win the debate though 🙁

        The Union voting 283 in favour of staying in the EU, with 73 against.

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 24, 2015

          I’m not surprised, our universities have now degenerated into a state not dissimilar to that during the Cultural Revolution in China.

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 23, 2015

      Boris Johnson may play the buffoon but he is no fool, and surely he must have been aware that Philip Hammond expressly ruled this out back in the summer?

      “Philip Hammond rejects Tory MPs’ demand for veto over EU laws”

      “Foreign secretary says ‘unilateral red card veto’ is not negotiable, responding to Conservatives for Britain group”

      “EU referendum: Tory Eurosceptics’ demands ‘not achievable’ – Philip Hammond”

      “The 50-strong Conservatives for Britain group wants Westminster to be sovereign over European Union law.

      But Mr Hammond said a “unilateral red card veto” for the UK would “effectively be the end” of the EU.”

      However in reality Hammond explicitly dismissing the idea of a “unilateral red card” was just removing the final veil from Hague’s deceitful proposal for a “red card”, which the latter had been actively mooting for over two years, following others who had suggested it some years before.

      From May 31st 2013:

      “Hague says UK wants national parliaments to have power to show ‘red card’ to EU proposals”

      “William Hague backs giving national parliaments a new ‘red card’ to replace the current yellow card … Hague will argue that only by giving greater powers to national MPs, rather than MEPs in the European Parliament, will Europe be able to restore the democratic deficit … We have long championed this approach and the idea of a ‘red card’ in particular, including in our paper making the case for ‘European localism’, published in 2011.”

      You can see my reaction in the comments there:


      “perhaps we should introduce the principle of a ‘red card’ so that a given number of national parliaments can block initiatives from the [European] Commission.”

      To hell with that transnational nonsense; our national Parliament is sovereign and I want it to have its own red card, aka “a veto”.”

    November 23, 2015

    In regard to Brexit.

    In the last few days we have had to listen to British MPs interviewed on TV speaking with apparent wisdom, knowledge in deep tones which only a professional speech therapist could have taught:

    1.”Nowadays we can use precision bombing which only hit specific targets.”

    2. “We need to “take-out “ISIS but we must have a long-term plan.”

    3. “They are (ISIS ) a death cult.”

    Each of those MPs is young, never experienced any war in their lifetimes; does not have any personal military connections; is not in a Constituency where there is a UK Forces base; does not have theoretical or work knowledge of so-called “smart bombs”; has not had a previous job but for a couple of years outside Politics; does not have an education related to politics, international diplomacy, religion, military and social post-war strategy; no experience of the Middle East except perhaps excursions to the pyramids on a package tour; cannot speak a Middle Eastern language; has not shown any knowledge even gleaned from recent books of Syrian history; has not mentioned President Assad was the best friend of the UK in the ME before they reached adulthood; does not know any detail of the political complexion of Kurds; is unaware of one and a half million internal refugees sheltering in Damascus fed ,clothed and housed by the Assad regime; is unaware the biggest proportion of Syrian refugees walking across Europe are from Aleppo fleeing not from Assad but from ISIS; is not aware their obvious healthy bodies, wallets, and teeth are the product of’ President Assad’s government and economy; have absolutely no idea who or what could replace Assad; has never experienced a country without any government good or bad; etc.

    JR…you want the British people to give back sovereignty to a Parliament peopled by such,- who now and in the future have the vote to kill people thousands of miles away from their intelligence and knowledge?

    Not on your nelly!!!!

    1. Graham Wood
      November 23, 2015

      Very good comment and unanswerable. Equally so is the riddle of the PM’s absurd attachment to the EU. Totally inexplicable given the now obvious consensus that this ramshackle organisation benefits nobody, is long out of date, expensive, utterly undemocratic, and grossly incompetent.
      JR. Given these facts and many more that could be quoted about the many obvious contradictions of the EU, can you enlighten the curiosity of subscribers to your blog and countless others as to exactly why DC continues his mad policy of remaining in the EU, which incidentally must prove eventually to be so politically counter-productive?.

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 23, 2015

      So you’d prefer the decisions to be made by people in Brussels who are only similar in their lack of competence, or even worse, and who are much less accountable.

    3. forthurst
      November 23, 2015

      I think you are being too pessimistic; were we to exit the EU, I think there would be a strong groundswell demanding proper representative government which would mean sweeping away the FPTP system which yields governments elected by a minority of the electorate and the replacement with a fair proportional system in which newer parties can replace the dysfunctional duopoly over which donors have exercised insalubrious control.

      Did anyone ask these wippersnappers from where they were going to get their coordinates with which to target their smart bombs?

  31. Anonymous
    November 23, 2015

    No matter how catastrophic EU policy why is the answer always, but ALWAYS more EU ?

  32. matthu
    November 23, 2015

    The EU is something which happens to us daily. It means laws we do not want, bills we do not want to pay.

    Absolutely spot-on.

    Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the current Westminster government will be any better.

    Whether it is open borders policy, dearer energy policies, European arrest policies we assume that the EU knows bets. Never a voice from government opposing any of this madness.

    So what happened to the right of recall?

  33. Bill
    November 23, 2015

    Agree with every word.

    What is wrong either conceptually or practically with a free trade area, a Common Market? That is what many of us thought we were voting for under Harold Wilson. Why this obsessive drive to political and financial union? Is the nation state really the root of all evil?

  34. ChrisS
    November 23, 2015

    This post should be the basis for an article in a national newspaper or, of course, following on from you recent success, another Radio 4 programme.

    Would the Guardian take the article or the BBC the programme, I wonder ?

  35. Denis Cooper
    November 23, 2015
    1. Chris
      November 23, 2015

      I tried to post something on this the other day but it was disallowed apparently. I fear that they are so arrogant and contemptuous of what the electorate think that they do not think it matters if they apparently break the rules so openly.

    November 23, 2015

    No it would not be sweet change. Further and complete integration into the EU, most unfortunately, very unfortunately, is perhaps the only way the monsters in power in the UK who have overly ambitious military goals can be ousted once and for all.

    The UK and other western powers actually are not so enthusiastic about “boots on the ground” but not for their declared reasons.

    MPs, perhaps because of their exalted position, never learn the truth except by accident. it’s a little like a King surrounded by his advisors who never actually learns the truth.

    Apart from a few nutters, our Army …well it’s not that they have low morale exactly…though it could thus be explained by warmongers. The “lower ranks” as some people call them…that is, the people who do the dirty work ( literally ) and not just those without rank ,actually have a Corbynistic attitude to recent wars they’ve had to fight. Though they are aware their votes/ballots can get spied upon by the powers that be. So no government should believe it own Intelligence.

    But I feel the UK government is quite aware of their lack of support from their own “ground forces ” They haven’t much support from sailors for that matter. You see, unlike most MPs and the unrepresentative military personnel who lie to them, they know what has been going on in the Middle East.

    1. forthurst
      November 23, 2015

      When the neocons were orchestrating their regime change in Ukraine, were the representatives of the EU government conspicuous by their absence? I think not. NATO and the EU are part and parcel of the US control of Eurasia. The EU has weakened the abilities of the countries of the EU from acting in their own interests; have you noticed how the foreign interests of all the countries of the EU are normally represented by one woman who obviously is out of her depth?

  37. Original Richard
    November 23, 2015

    Mr. Redwood,

    You are absolutely right. In this forthcoming referendum we are seeking to regain our independence.

    It seems that the pro-EU side are pushing for votes for 16/17 year olds believing that they will vote to remain in the EU.

    But is this correct ?

    In the Scottish referendum it is reported that the majority of 16/17 year olds voted for independence (viz leave the UK). On this basis is it not therefore more likely that this age group will vote to leave the EU (viz for UK independence) ?

    1. matthu
      November 23, 2015

      In the Scottish referendum it is reported that the majority of 16/17 year olds voted for independence (viz. leave the UK). On this basis is it not therefore more likely that this age group will vote to leave the EU (viz. for UK independence) ?

      No, I would hazard a guess it means that 16 and 17 year-olds come out of school still largely influenced by government propaganda being taught in class. They are also more likely to believe that climate change can be prevented by destroying our energy sector.

  38. Peter Stroud
    November 23, 2015

    You are correct in just about every point you have made JR. However, the energy and climate change policies adopted by Ed Miliband, and supported by most of the Tory and LibDem MPs, are totally home produced. The obviously sane move would be to repeal these industry killing bits of legislation ASAP. But, as we all know, our PM is a keen supporter of the AGW religion.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 23, 2015

      How can you possibly say those policies are “totally home produced” when the EU is so keen to emphasise its activity in those areas?

  39. lojolondon
    November 23, 2015

    Hear hear! Amen.

  40. Lifelogic
    November 23, 2015

    So more counter productive bombing seems to be Cameron’s set agenda. Hugely increasing the chances of terrorist attacks on London & the UK, but without any sensible post bombing plan. This after Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Cameron’s failed attempts at first to remove Assad. Now it seems he wants to help him. Will he never learn?

  41. David Murfin
    November 23, 2015

    Well said.
    But this means strongly opposing your party leader at every opportunity.

  42. Robert K
    November 23, 2015

    I agree, but with one note of caution. Get out of the EU and we might find that the excess bureaucracy that we all dislike might not disappear as fast as we hope. Brexit would bring huge responsibilities as well as opportunities to shape the country that we should have.

  43. oldtimer
    November 23, 2015

    I agree with you that the best course for the UK is Brexit. It seems that there are some arguing for more EU intervention and control following the recent ISIL atrocities. They appear to forget that one of the reasons is that jihadis have enjoyed freedom of movement, courtesy of the Schengen agreement. On past evidence, as you point out, the EU is an incompetent organisation.

    No doubt you will have seen Andrew Lilico`s note on the evidence he has submitted to the House of Lords European Union Committee, published on ConservativeHome. In it he raises good, and unanswered, questions about the implications of the Five Presidents` Report for the institutions of the EU, especially the implication that the proposed establishment of a treasury would require political oversight and thus a parliament for the Eurozone. He asks how would this relate to the existing European parliament?

    The problem the Brexit campaign faces is the bias, if not outright ignorance, of the BBC. This morning I was astonished to hear an interview with Mark Rylance, the actor who played Thomas More in Wolf Hall, and who appears as the spy in the film Bridge of Spies, in which he said the Russia was right to be suspicious because “the West was responsible for 20 million of its war dead”. He was not questioned about or corrected about this gross inaccuracy by his interviewer, Mr Turnbull. The fact is that Soviet deaths in WW2 were principally the responsibility of Nazi Germany and, indeed, of Josef Stalin himself. They were not the responsibility of “the West”.

    1. Mitchel
      November 23, 2015

      To be fair I think that was a misunderstanding (or clumsy use of the expression “the West”) rather than bias – western countries have,after all,been responsible for all the main assaults on Russia,be it Hitler’s Germany,Bonaparte’s France,the Poles in 1612 or the Swedes in the Great Northern War.

      1. oldtimer
        November 23, 2015

        Not so. He was speaking specifically about WW2. The most charitable interpretation would be ignorance – both on his part and on the part of the BBC.

    2. stred
      November 23, 2015

      Apart from the wisdom of actors, we have the wisdom of princes. Charles the Green says he agrees with Charlotte Church about the exodus from Syria. It’s because of climate change, and a drought apparently. So the answer could perhaps be irrigation?

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 24, 2015

        The answer is family planning of the kind urged upon the people of this country by their government, before it stopped worrying about the threat of over-population and started worrying about how it would be able to fulfill all the promises of future welfare benefits with an aging population.

        Or, more correctly, the answer WAS family planning, it’s too late now with an eightfold expansion of the population of Syria since the war. No problem with an aging population there, the opposite.

  44. ian
    November 23, 2015

    Well put john.
    There just a problem with your own party to deal with, with loads of new laws and spending like a mad man.

  45. Maureen Turner
    November 23, 2015

    It is not just the matters JR refers to but the sheer minutiae of what this organisation wishes to control that is hardly believable. Today it is what can and what cannot be planted or should be removed from your garden. It’s hard to believe we somehow managed to oversee and run an empire without the benefit of wisdom coming from Brussels.

    Last week we were informed by Mr. Juncker – “There will be no Brexit.” This was followed by – “I’ve spent the last three years preventing a Grexit”. Many of us have over recent years referred to the EU as the Project but now perhaps we should rename it
    Project Entrapment.

    This morning the PM advises he intends to spend £ 178 bn. over the next dacade on our military to keep Britain safe which flies in the face of what has been happening over the last parliament, ie., cuts to Defence. Seemingly two new brigades will be included in this spend but won’t be operational for ten years, something that is already concerning the military timewise as we apparently need them more speedily for our own defence.

    What we can expect over the next few months is much more of what Mr. Cameron has already been saying this morning during his visit to Hollande. “Working with our EU partners to fight ISIL.” And a repetition of the word together.

    Last week the EU President was again stressing the need for a EU army sometime in the future so should we take it all this togetherness talk is merely a means of laying the foundations to secure this aim.

    1. bratwurst
      November 24, 2015

      The two new ‘strike brigades’ are not additional forces, they are being created out of existing units.
      The long lead-in time to create them is partly because the new Mechanised Infantry Vehicles with which they will be equipped have to be procured and MIV will not be ready until (optimistically) 2025.

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    November 23, 2015

    That’s fine for us. But what about the greater ambition of ensuring that as many Member States as possible leave the emerging German dominated EU SuperState?

    Just because we leave does not mean that we can avoid the need for foreign policy.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 24, 2015

      There is no such greater ambition, whether it’s taking other member states out of the EU with us or getting/keeping them out of the euro with us.

  47. ian
    November 23, 2015

    No sooner had I stop writing and the con party I read have just spent another 6 billion on trident, on top of the 180 billion spent already and on it go, by next year it will be 220 billion. not a pound for the people.

    1. Margaret
      November 23, 2015

      Defence is for the people. We can’t fight the extremists or other potential trouble makers with words.
      We need in this world to spread through the media the ‘soft touch’ . We need not to see everything as a competition ,As teenagers we were getting over the Vietnam war; it was all so far away .ww1 & ww2 was our parents and grand parents generation, but we didn’t face the sort of unscrupulous attacks the world is faced with now. There are no war rules, to be shot in the back is advantageous to the aggressors.

      I listened to the Isley brothers ‘this old heart of mine’ and felt happy ,;revisited that feeling of youth and freedom without threat . These memories were not the golden age, but love and friendship were pedalled in the media, optimism filtered through every teenagers heart. The media could help if it didn’t rely on stories of hopelessness, anger, murder and violence and alternatively steered our collective psyche to stories of freedom , friendship and happiness. We need to check our own attitudes to pleasantly drown the ideologies of anger and murder.

  48. Ken Moore
    November 23, 2015

    I fear Brexit may come too late….

    I read an interesting opinion piece today ..the logic seems flawless..Phony prosperity from a phony Blair clone prime minister.

    ‘In George Osborne’s first, emergency budget for the coalition government in June 2010, borrowing was expected to be £37 billion in 2014-15.

    It was in fact £89.2 billion, according to the latest official figures .

    Despite David Cameron’s talk, he’s going to add another estimated £500+ billion to the national debt in the next five years.
    That’s more than Tony Blair and Gordon Brown added to the national debt in 11 years. It’s more than every British government of the past 100 years put together.

    Every government of the last 50 years shares the blame for arming this debt bomb – but Mr Osborne’s government has been by far the worst.

    In 1997 Public Sector Net Debt stood at £352 billion. From there it took only 12 years to double, and it doubled again by 2014.

    At such a rate, by the next general election in 2020, our national debt could stand at almost £2 trillion.

    Our total debts stand at more than FIVE TIMES what our entire economy is worth.

    Everything you see around you, all the construction cranes, the new buildings, the glass towers in the City, it’s all built with borrowed money.

    But who will pay the bill?

    The simple answer is: you will.

    You will be forced to .

    These false signals — all the phony prosperity you see around you — mask the true nature of what’s really happening.

    The reality is — as you will see — the financial system is already in the first stages of an horrendous collapse.
    This is more serious than that. Everything you value about living here in Britain — your very freedom as a citizen — is in the balance.

    I believe we are fast approaching a time when you could be stripped of your right to do what you want with your own money’.

  49. ian
    November 23, 2015

    As the English homeless on your streets lying dying in the cold weather and with what ever they get now to be cut and go to armaments and other rubbish, do you feel good to be apart of that john or are you going to stand up against it.
    It might be someone you know, it will come to a lot more people as the years go on.

    Reply Who and where are people dying on my streets? Of course if I saw that happening I would get the authorities to take action, but there is no such case in Wokingham that I know of.

    1. matthu
      November 23, 2015

      I was told by a Wokingham Community Police Officer (at a CLASP event) that there were at least ten permanently homeless people in Wokingham. Will they survive the winter?

      Reply I have not seen or had reported to me anyone sleeping on the streets of Wokingham I am pleased to say.

      1. Bazman
        November 24, 2015

        It a wonder. William Gomes made this Freedom of Information request to Wokingham Borough Council.
        One of his interesting questions was this.
        7. Please provide how much council had spent yearly since January 2012 to
        December 2013,to build new council house/flat.
        The reply was..
        The council has spent £0 (zero) building new council houses/flats.

    2. Iain Gill
      November 24, 2015

      I don’t know about Wokingham, but you could ask one of the homeless charities in the South East to take you on a soup run with their volunteers.

  50. Bazman
    November 23, 2015

    In the first two paragraphs change EU to UK. Not much to say on these points have we John? Can equally apply to all MP’s and their advisors I might add. A revolving door of cushy well paid jobs from the state sector to the private sector via the media and any other direction as these incestuous institutions make us all pay whilst believing they are poor compared to the ultra wealthy.

  51. Chris
    November 23, 2015

    If we weren’t in the EU, then perhaps we would not be put in the position that we are in now by Cameron where he has offered the French the use of the Akrotiri base in Cyprus to bomb Syria, before the UK has even had a debate and vote in the House of Commons on military action in Syria. Apparently our government have just issued “clarification” on this issue saying that it has offered this facility to the French under the terms of Article 42 of the Lisbon Treaty. Again the EU seems to make a mockery of our “sovereignty”.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 24, 2015

      During the referendum campaigns in Ireland one line of opposition was that the Lisbon Treaty would further “militarisation” of the EU.

      To counter that and other “concerns of the Irish people” before they voted in the second referendum EU leaders promised that Ireland would have its own special protocol added to the EU treaties, and to dupe the Irish into believing that this political promise was legally binding, “copper fastened” as the Irish government liked to say, they put it into a Decision of the European Council.

      Oh, and as I recall that Decision would be lodged with the UN, as if that made the slightest difference when the European Council would still be free to revoke it.

      In the event the promise was kept, the protocol was drafted and agreed and sent to be approved by the parliaments of the member states before each finally ratified it, in our case with parliamentary approval being through Section 2 of the European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Act 2013, which also mentioned that there was no need for it to be put to a referendum in the UK.

      All this is described in the Explanatory Notes to that Act:

      which also make it clear why there was no problem with getting that protocol agreed and signed ready for national approval and ratification, a process within the EU which was completed in seven months but could have been pushed through much more rapidly if that had been necessary – because the protocol “clarifies, but does not change either the content or the application of” the EU treaties.

      So while it was a treaty change – a protocol is a legally binding part of the treaties, so the addition of a new protocol is a change to the treaties – it was a treaty change which actually changed nothing in the treaties.

      It is entirely possible that Cameron will try the same sort of tricks to get us to vote to stay in the EU on the promise of treaty changes in the future, rather than treaty changes which had been finalised in detail, and formally agreed and signed, by the time of referendum, but with the difference that if the envisaged treaty changes would actually make significant changes to the treaties then the British Protocol might not have the same unobstructed passage as the Irish Protocol.

      Of course our concerns about “militarisation” of the EU through the Lisbon Treaty were not the same as those in Ireland, as we are not a declared neutral state but instead are part of NATO; and now we have Hollande preferring to invoke the EU treaties rather than the NATO treaty, while there is more chatter about the need for the EU to have its own federal armed forces.

  52. ian
    November 23, 2015

    Your government has spent million on trying to overthrow the Syrian government for the last 10 years and bring in refugees for you to pay for, now they want to spend 220 billion and loads more refugees for you to look after which will come to a few more billions a year and all for nothing. There aim must be to do a cool trillion on the muslim problem and the English people just get the cuts so it can all be paid for.

  53. ian
    November 23, 2015

    Most of them are in coastal towns, being sent from council like your to make out there no problem, maybe you should take a couple of weeks off from commons and have a good look around because these people hide themselves from the public and can be hard to fined, I have put up homeless myself for the council so I know a little bit about it, that is the mentally ill, drug uses and homeless single family and never found them problem as such, just a problem to themselves, I am just saying that it would not hurt even in your town to have a big tent put up in the park for the winter with heating, beds and a couple of staff just to make sure, it would only cost a couple of bob and then you know how many if any, who they are and what their needs are, if any.
    I rather spend a couple bob on that even if nobody turns up than read the death toll out after the winter is over and try sweep it under the carpet, its what a good person would do.
    Most of them have family somewhere which have turn their back on them but they do not wish them dead.

  54. Jon
    November 23, 2015

    FIFA or EU or EU and FIFA, Sepp Blatter or any one of the 5 EU presidents that don’t feel the need to campaign to us, here, in our Streets, for election.

    Lets stand up for what we were bequeathed at such horrible expense.

  55. The Active Citizen
    November 25, 2015

    “The Telegraph agreed to take an article 2 weeks ago and still haven’t published it. I find it easier to get on and publish myself. My thinking and the agenda moves on.”

    Firstly, another good and heartfelt piece JR, thank you.

    The problem of bias in the indisputably pro-EU British media seems almost to have been tacitly accepted now, whereas a few months ago Eurosceptics were still being more vocal about this.

    I once tried to persuade the readership and commenters on a couple of ‘BBC is biased’ complaint sites that a coordinated campaign to address this would be more useful than just posting about it, but the suggestion met with indifference or cynicism.

    When it comes to you, JR, I feel the media were unduly unkind to you in your ministerial days. I’m sure you’ll say that you have no complaints and that it comes with the territory. However it annoyed me at the time, because you were clearly someone we needed as part of the government and you have the intellectual mettle required.

    Now, however, it’s not just about one person and what might be seen as “the normal cut and thrust of the media’s political reporting”. The issue at stake is the most important in our lifetimes. It’s more important than ever that we make attempts to force the media into being less biased, by making anti-EU voices hard to ignore and readily available.

    I’m realistic and I know that we’ll never transform the BBC in time. Things are now so bad it will take legislation and a generational change starting from within the journalism colleges before the word ‘impartial’ is even understood, let alone visible in media output.

    However the least we might hope for, from now until the Referendum, is that MPs such as yourself are seen more and more on TV, speaking out. The occasional vestige of impartiality on the odd news programme would at least be something. I fear that this won’t happen by osmosis and that an effort needs to be made for you to be heard.

    JR, you’re probably now seen as a ‘seasoned campaigner’. The upside of your longevity in this field is that you come across well on TV as an informed and serious politician. And it’s TV that really matters if we’re going to win the Referendum, not just Radio 4 or the Telegraph.

    I’ve no idea how these things are achieved in the political world, with its increasing rules and regulations. In business I successfully employed a PR consultancy to get me and my company in the press, on Radio 4, and on TV (many years ago now) but I’m sure there are rules on expenditure for parliamentarians. Maybe someone on here will know the rules, if you don’t have time to comment on this.

    I, for one, would be happy to make a contribution to any costs associated with promoting you to major TV news channels to comment on EU issues – and other issues, for that matter.

    Regards, TAC

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