Leave is best

This week end the Prime Minister was reported to say he would lead the Leave campaign if he does not get what he wants from the renegotiation. At a time when we see yet again how the government cannot hit its sensible target for controlled migration thanks to the EU the case becomes ever stronger for us to take back control over the things that matter to the British people.

Leaving the EU will make us freer, more democratic and better off. The UK will save its large financial contribution or EU tax which it currently pays. The UK will be able to decide for itself how much to award in benefits to whom. We will be able to settle who we invite in and to whom we grant citizenship. We will be able to decide our own energy policy and much else besides. The people you elect to Parliament will be able to amend our laws as the UK wishes, and no longer have to accept laws we do not like because they are part of the EU requirement.

Many of us think the PM asked for too little. Controlling benefits does not deal with the difficulties posed by freedom of movement. Nor does it deal with the mass unemployment of parts of the Eurozone, which drives people to the jobs in the UK.

Those who want to help the Vote leave campaign on the ground should go to their website www.voteleavetakecontrol.org where you can register as a supporter and receive their communications.

On Friday evening I set out the case for leaving the EU at a seminar in Oxford. I followed that with a speech to a Conservative dinner. I reminded them of the importance of offering and delivering the referendum, which all Conservative MPs voted through the Commons. I also told them about the work of Vote Leave reminding them that the official Conservative party is neutral, allowing members to join Vote Leave or the rival campaign if they wish.

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123 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Clearly Cameron’s demands are not only not enough, they are no even remotely close to being enough.

    So Cameron has apparently said the he would lead the Leave campaign if he does not get what he wants from the renegotiation. But this man also gave us a Cast Iron Guarantee, claims to be a low tax Conservative at heart then increase tax rates hugely, gave us a no ifs no buts 10s of thousands pledge, ratted on the £1M IHT threshold promise and foolishly said money was no object over the flooding – so perhaps forgive me if I do not believe a word that man says.

    The renegotiation was always just a pathetic delaying strategy that he was forced into. This to win (and only just thanks to the SNP) the last election. I would still not put it past him (or his replacement) either to find some excuse not to hold the referendum or to have one then, in effect, simply ignore the result. Or perhaps renegotiate and hold a second/third referendum.

    If Cameron is wise (for once) he will indeed campaign for exit. It will indeed be like a Berlin Wall coming down moment if we do leave. It will be good for the UK and all the EU in the long run. He will redeem himself and become a hero if he get the UK out. His daft policies of tax, borrow and waste, over regulate everything, endless green crap, serial ratting, counter productive warmongering and the rest of the lunacy will all be forgotten.

    The real danger though is we have a referendum and vote to stay in. The peopled having been conned by politicians, the absurd bias of the BBC, the EU, CBI types, the state sector in general and some of the larger businesses.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Interesting to read about the flood in Carlyle of 1853, of a similar scale (despite the lack of higher CO2 concentrations at the time). Not that this stopped the BBC, the dafter politicians or the Dame from the Met Office from jumping on the Man Made Global Warming Catastrophe Religion yet again. Such events are seven times more likely now they claimed (with totally spurious & farcical contrived accuracy). A shame they could not predict this flood in time to inform residents to move their valuables upstairs and get out.

      My guess, looking at the footage, is that the very expensive flood defences have merely shifted the problem from one area to another and achieved little perhaps even made things worse.

      Governments as we know form experience very rarely spend money efficiently. After all they care not what they spend nor what value they get.

      The plan to tax insurance policies of people in non flood areas in order to subsidise those in flood areas is clearly totally misguided sending totally the wrong financial signals. Why should I subsidise people to live in areas subject to flooding? Indeed even encouraging people to live in flood areas.

      People who live in flood areas should often just sensibly adapt their houses so the ground floor can flood occasionally but with little damage being caused. Just as they do in many other parts of the World.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        I am no civil engineer but can you explian the following to me? Why would you build flood defences to around half the height of the high watermark the last time the town was flooded.

        LL most of the older properties around here took flooding into account when they were built i.e. stone walls and stone floors. However what do you suggest for new builds SE Asian style kompongs on stilts?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          You just make the ground floor so that it is not damaged much by any water ingress that occurs. There are lots of ways it can be done, where the risk is high enough to justify it.

          • stred
            Posted December 9, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Since the floods in Lewes, door dams have become available. The drain connections to the WC and others can be blocked using PE foam or conventional expanding blockers used in drain pipework. Walls can be painted with sealant and any air vents blocked.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Possibly so that some of the excess water can spread around your town rather than flood another town downstream …

        • DaveM
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          DRW: “Why would you build flood defences to around half the height of the high watermark the last time the town was flooded?”

          Because the money is better spent elsewhere, like topping up the EU’s coffers and giving it away in foreign aid.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            Or thinking you are controlling the World’s CO2 thermostat, with bonkers wind and PV subsidies.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps because the people spending the money did not live in the town being protector and it was not their money they were spending?

          SE Asian style kompongs on stilts might well make sense in some places but lots of other solutions. A tax on everyone’s insurance is certainly not a sensible thing.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        Yes we are certainly hearing the floods in Carlisle are due to man made global warming. I have been meaning to listen to Quentin Letts’s radio 4 programme ‘what’s the point of the Met Office?’ But now the BBC have banned it and taken it off iplayer due to its inclusion of environmental heretics. Does anyone know how one can get hold of a recording? It must have been like this during the Reformation for those circulating heretical texts.

        • Kenneth
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          I heard the show and it was very one-sided (although I happened to agree with it).

          Mind you, if the BBC banned all one-sided shows it would be banning nearly all its output.

          That said, one of the most entertaining things I’ve heard on the BBC recently is Rod Liddle’s appearance on BBC 3 Counties Breakfast Mon 30 Nov 2015 about 2:18:00

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          Indeed Roger Harrabin (English Catz, Camb) pushes this silly unscientific propaganda endlessly on the BBC. Almost never any historical context to any flooding event. If we had the East Coast sea floods of 1953 (which killed nearly 2000) the BBC would be in complete heaven about catastrophic global warming.

          They keep talking about new records but you can always find records if you just look at very small areas, for which, perhaps where only very recent local records are available.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Richard 1 – We can take it then that the dramatic decline in the Thames swan population is not down to global warming – otherwise the BBC would have made sure we got to know about it.

          • bigneil
            Posted December 9, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Apparently one reason for the decline in our swans is (some people ed) – who see them as a tasty meal. With a lot of swans now willing to come close and take bread off humans their capture must be easy. I myself have actually had one take bread off my hand.

        • Steve_L
          Posted December 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          The BBC were found guilty of bias in the way they edited the programme – QL included people who made a case against AGW, but the editors cut it afterwards, so what was aired was very one-sided. They were forced to remove it from the iPlayer.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        “My guess, looking at the footage, is that the very expensive flood defences have merely shifted the problem from one area to another and achieved little perhaps even made things worse. ” Absolutely LL…

        Maybe our host should look nearer home (Wokingham & Winnersh) and be asking himself whether building on a flood plane at Hare Hatch as approved by Wokingham Borough Council is such a good idea?

        Reply I regularly urge the authorities to make proper provision for water containment in new developments and have proposed various schemes to improve our current vulnerability to flooding.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Reply to Reply: May be councils should be given more powers to reject planning applications on potential flood risks. We know that in many instances their hands [the council’s] are tied either by the threat of monetary penalties if they lose a planning appeal or by Governmental targets…

          And back to the subject of today…Leave is the only way forward… I wonder if the “leave” campaign is focusing on the wrong reasons for leaving, may be more emphasis on what affects people’s day to day living rather than just sovereignty.

          And don’t forget all the “gold plating” that goes on in Whitehall which will continue regardless of whether we leave or stay 🙁

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Reply to Reply – the only evidence I can see (as a former civil engineer) on new developments around Wokingham, is the inclusion of a ‘balancing pond’. This is an artificial pond which, in heavy rain, fills up and effectively slows down the amount of water running off into the drains. In torrential, continuous rain, they fill up rapidly and are, then, useless.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        If our population was not growing at such a fast rate we may not need to build on flood plains as we would not need so many houses.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          If our population was not growing at such a fast rate we may not need to build on flood plains as we would not need so many houses.

          Clearly, you are not ‘with the program’. The Conservative party wants net immigration of over 300,000 a year because it creates a bit of growth – in the absence of any other reforms.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Cameron also called people against the pointless bombing of Syria “terrorist sympathisers” and then failed even to apologise. So his judgement is often very badly lacking. Let us hope for once he gets it right and does indeed go for Brexit. The problem he has is that he has asked for so little he might even get it all. Then for him to campaign for Brexit might look odd.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        This remark was clearly made in a private forum. Which of us hasn’t used some intemperate choice of words in a private group which aren’t our considered views? In any event given past statements and actions of certain figures now senior in the Labour Party the description is reasonable.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Yes but unfortunately for Dave and his mates it helps us see what us behind the mask. Remember when most of the contributers here would have been dismissed as “swivel eyed loons”? That sounds mild in comparison to the latest revelation as to what they really think about us.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          Then he should have apologised.

          His policies are surely the main terrorist incubator, look at the mess created in Libya.

          • Richard1
            Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            No the responsibility for terrorism lies squarely with the terrorists themselves and those financing and supporting them. We should not absolve terrorists of responsibility for their evil by providing them with excuses. 9/11, the worst terrorist act to date happened before any Western intervention in the Middle East apart from chucking Saddam Hussein out of Iraq, which had widespread support.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            If the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton well the battle for Libya was certainly lost there. Libya is now being described as a potential bolthole for ISIS should it be defeated in Iraq and Syria. Remember Dave was more interested in organising a BBQ for some Iraq vets than taking his generals’ advice to stay away.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            To say Cameron’s bombing policies incubates terrorism does not absolve the terrorists at all. It merely make the true point that there will be more of terrorists as a result of these policies.

            Sometimes this is a price worth paying, but I suspect it is not in Syria.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          I’d like to hear you explain that on Any Questions, with the chairman constantly interrupting and the audience jeering. 🙂

          • Richard1
            Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            I would focus on the second part of the explanation – Labour should make less fuss of this than they are, it just draws attention to comments made and views held by Labour figures which can be construed as supporting terrorism.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        “The problem is he asked for so little he might even get it all”

        Indeed, I am sure this was the thinking behind the very policy he has implemented.

        Thus he can truly say to us all, he got all he asked for, and therefore we should be grateful and should stay in.
        The fact that the demands were pathetic in the first place will escape many people.

        It is simply asking for crumbs from the table.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Well planned choreography and PR stunts is certainly his strength. Perhaps his only one. Personally I prefer a good sense of direction in a leader.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        I’m sorry LL but after 10 years of CMD we know he is a disingenuous fool. I’d say a lot more and stronger words and evidence but our host would rightly block that narrative.
        His current renegotiation is a total sham. Its concocted to give his eventual “Chamberlain” moment. He’s asked for so little deliberately to exploit this as his later “success”. Tusk, Junker and the rest are in on it. I’m sorry treason has been taken off the statute as it was to protect our legacy leaders who are practising this deceit as I write.
        Where is his evidence to show a limit on benefits will halt the mass migration he and the legacies are imposing on us. I’m getting to the point where writing and highlighting the nonsense spun to us is not enough. We may have to arrange demonstrations up and down this Country to visibly show the politicos our anger!

      • Andy
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Did you hear Cameron say that ? No you didn’t, so you actually have no idea what he said. You are relying on reports of it. If he described Corbyn & McDonnell as ‘terrorist sympathisers’ I would say that was entirely within the bounds of fair comment.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Well he did not deny saying it, nor did he apologise. He was given numerous opportunities.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I see that Andrew Tyrie says the new IHT tax proposals too messy and complex. Rather an understatement, they are totally absurd, creating pointless complexity, uncertainty and much pointless work for parasitic tax advisers, Very hard for tax payers to understand. Furthermore they do not even come close to the original promise that Osborne made (all those years ago) to give a £1M threshold each.

      Nor do they even come in fully for many years yet.

      Just keep your promise for once, better still just abolish IHT fully and attract more rich and hard working to the UK. Any taxes lost will be collected anyway through the very many other taxes in place and the growth of the tax base that would ensue.

      What sort of fools at the treasury came up with the current absurd proposals. A pathetic fig leave so Osborne could lie they he was keeping his promise. They are not competent and should be fired? Taxes should be fiscally neutral, simple & not to high. Anything else inflicts huge damage on the economy, lowers competitivity and creates damaging inefficiency.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/12037511/Inheritance-tax-changes-are-too-messy-and-complex-says-Andrew-Tyrie.html?WT.mc_id=e_DM69134&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_2015_12_08&utm_campaign=DM69134

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Absolutely agree that IHT is a complex mess now.

        Even Financial advisors are having trouble working out what it all means.

        Even HMRC were confused for a while.

        One thing seems certain, it discriminates against people who do not own their own house.

        Why not just make it £1,000,000 as originally promised 8 years ago and be done with it.
        So much more simple, fair, and given that the plan is for the present proposals not to be fully implemented until 2020 its all rather a nonsense, that has a huge fiscal drag.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Exactly and the absurdity of his claiming that he is keeping his promise. It is no where near his original promise of the £1M threshold per person and absurdly complex. It should now be nearer £1.2M per person now anyway.

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Alan. If they made it simple, taxpayers would get away with not paying it.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps but the economy would grow, fewer parasitic tax experts & planners and a far larger tax base.

            A 40% tax grab over £325K is far to0 large a theft.

  2. Mick
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    David Cameron HUMILIATED after EU bosses RUBBISH his migrant welfare plans, not very bright is he every man and his dog knows he’s not going to get anything of substance, why is he putting off the inevitable and just join the OUT campaign, even if he gets something from the EU to keep us in we would get screwed further down the line till Great Britain didn’t exist anymore

    • matthu
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      He will argue that political union with the EU is the only way of fighting terrorism / mass migration / climate change.

      All the great evils of our brave new world.

      Take note of the French election results: scare tactics will not work this time.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        They worked in the recent general election.

      • stred
        Posted December 9, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        RTs British review of the press is on at present and the Lembic the ex libdem has picked the Independent comment about Marine le Pen’s success being the ‘rise of fascism’ in France. Their policies are to end large scale immigration, to negotiate an exit from the EU and limit global trade agreements in order to protect French industry. This sounds familiar. Are UKIP fascists too?

        • stred
          Posted December 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          Lembic also argued that charging foreign users of the NHS is unreasonable because a lot of Brish people are treated free when abroad. As far as I know we either have to pay through insurance or produce a card and the cost is then reclaimed from the UK.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Not sure. Tis “no benefits for 4 years” thing is being held up as a major sticking point, my guess is because when it is conceded by the EU in some sort of fudged way it can be held up as a triumph by Cameron. Remember both he and the EU bosses are working to the same agenda – to keep UK in – and so the “negotiation” must be seen to have succeeded at the end.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        You are almost certainly right give Cameron’s dire history.

      • matthu
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        “no benefits for 4 years” is what is known in the pharmaceutical industry as a “surrogate endpoint” i.e. the real objective is to be able to control inward (or net?) migration and there is absolutely no evidence whether limiting benefits for newcomers will help us to control benefits at all.

        Are they able to control the (illegal? Ed)economy (are we allowed to call it that any more? I’m not sure what the alternative description is, but the economy that does not rely on paying NI contributions or on collecting benefits).

        Are they even able to estimate the number of illegal immigrants?

        So declaring vistory in some minor way by being able to secure changes over elligibility for benefits for newcomers is a farce.

      • bigneil
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        The “benefits ” problem you mention seems to be “in-work” benefits only if I understand it correctly. So, does this mean that they can still pile in and instantly stick out their hands? – and NOT work? It seems so. It appears the whole of the country can see the stupidity of handing out free lives, just for coming here, except one group – -the govt.
        I wish they would publish hoe many have come here, contributed nothing, not worked, what they have cost the NHS, how much have they claimed in benefits, how many houses they take up – -and how much crime and associated cost they have caused. I won’t hold my breath.

      • Dave K
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        John & Posters,

        The 4 year benefits point is a smoke screen or red herring. As you all must know by now, the EU benefit rule is that all EU citizens should be treated equally. If Mr Cameron wants a 4 year rule then he can have one tomorrow as long as it applies to everyone. You can see how that would send the opposition party (the BBC) into paroxysm. As an example look to the way France deals with unemployment benefits (edited for brevity):

        To qualify for unemployment benefit (Return to employment benefit or ARE), the claimant must satisfy the following conditions:

        1. have lost their job further to termination by the employer, the end of a fixed-term employment contract, termination by mutual agreement or resignation for a valid reason,
        2. be physically employable,
        3. be registered as a jobseeker with the “Pôle emploi” and comply with a personal return-to-work plan,
        4. be actively seeking employment,
        5. have been registered with the scheme for a minimum period (at least 122 days in the last 28 months, or in the last 36 months for jobseekers aged 50 and over) before becoming unemployed,
        6. be below the legal minimum retirement age (or the qualifying age for a full pension),
        7. accept “reasonable” job offers (sanctions apply if a jobseeker refuses more than two such offers).

        The daily unemployment allowance is calculated partly on the basis of a daily reference wage. The reference wage is based on earnings subject to contributions during the 12 calendar months prior to the last day of paid work.

        The amount of the daily allowance is based on the recipient’s earnings prior to the loss of employment (most important point in my view).

        The duration of benefit payments is based on the principle of “a day of work equals a day of compensation.” Benefits are paid for a minimum period of 122 days and a maximum period of 730 days (24 months) for private-sector employees aged under 50, and 1,095 days (36 months) for employees aged over 50.

        Imagine the wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes the government would see if they introduced the last rule.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      I’ve said before, and I’ll repeat here, that if Cameron joins the campaign to leave the EU then I’ll eat my hat.

      He may drop hints about doing that now, to try to give the false impression to his domestic audience that he’s negotiating very strongly on our behalf and as our national champion he’s prepared to play hard ball with the other EU leaders to get what he wants, and in response they may oblige him with choreographed public expressions of concern that it could end up with him leading the UK out of the EU, but they know perfectly well that he would never, ever, willingly do that.

      Cameron is not deceiving the other EU leaders in the least, rather he is trying to deceive us and they are prepared to help him do that.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Right on the money Denis. Exactly what he and the Tory Party are up to.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–How do you mean join? He was talking about leading, except that no-one wants him on side. Toxic is I believe the word.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      He is not even asking for anything significant. Still the longer it goes on, the more the public understands and the higher the chance the vote will go the right way for BREXIT. Then again the sooner we leave they sooner we all start getting better off.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      He is not even asking for anything of substance.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    “the government cannot hit its sensible target for controlled migration thanks to the EU” Who are you kidding? How does the EU stop HMG from reducing non EU immigration which still keeps rising? They keep coming because the establishment wants them to come because it fits their neo lib agenda. I look forward to article from you blaming the EU for limiting the size of flood barriers and thats why my town centre is flooded out.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita

      Climate change is the excuse already !

    • backo
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I have urged repeatedly that immigration should be tackled in two halves. Non-EU immigration could be halted now. Removed the right to settle and stop the payment/prevision of any tax-payer funded benefits or services to non-EU people, except for emergency medical care.

  4. Brian Taylor
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I have faith in the British voters to vote Leave IF you and others that Blog and can get articles published on the press make the case to leave as clear as possible by taking away the FEAR that the remain side will push.
    So please do not dismiss the Norway option as this would kill the single market argument dead even if this was just an staging post to negotiate a much better deal over time.
    My greatest fear is our own civil servants who could so easily wreck the negotiations by dragging them out hoping for another referendum as the EU has form on taking no notice of those that vote against it.
    Good luck to all who work to get freedom for the UK

  5. Edward.
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I shan’t spend time on criticism of Mr. Cameron’s stance and tepid EU renegotiation, I believe that his hands are tied very tightly though, in a quiet space where he knew he would be free to voice his real thoughts about the EU and Britains’ therein, I wonder what Mr. Cameron would aver?

    I consider and vehemently it’s true, that, the Brussels customs union suits Britain not at all.

    Much of our trade is conducted with our overseas partners not least our allies and friends in the USA, Australia, Canada along with the British Commonwealth of nations, the External Tariff averages between 5-9% and is way too high. Further, the sternly protectionist policies within certain EU countries precludes drafting more liberal agreements which would benefit Britain to a much greater extent, in other words Brussels formulated, inspired trade agreements – hold us back.

    Other than, trade with our European neighbours and as we’ve always done way back before this dreadful Brussels customs union, I’ve yet to unearth a single reason which can even part-way justify our membership. Shackled as we are to a bloc which, because of its anti democratic methods and overt political ambitions to fashion a supra-national federation becomes ever more onerous and authoritarian, as each dreadful month passes, it feels like another nail in the coffin of the British nation.

    Good grief, as this God awful Brussels leviathan stumbles, tramps and rides rough shod over all the freedoms and democratic institutions we in Britain have fashioned in the greatest and oldest democracy of all the European nations, I step back and muse on, why does Britain put up with it and the damage wreaked……… I’ll provide an egregious example or two.

    The ECHR and therein its indivisible but bastard sister the ECJ, is a pernicious rule making organization which has overstepped its jurisdiction and with its bench of footling civil servants pretending at amateur lawmaking based on Roman Tort [guilty until proven innocent].
    The ECHR-ECJ, it turns on its head 600 years of British law and statute of precedence, in every which way and then some, the British courts its jurisprudence is, were [are] superior to that of its European neighbours, yet the encroachment and usurpation of British law is as unconscionable as it is undemocratic – Parliament should set our laws – that’s why we call it a LEGISLATURE.

    The Conformité Européenne.

    Conformité Européenne, is a bog standard, a lowest common denominator and highlights the drive to the bottom that the EU imposes on British standards. The ‘CE’ mark, in every way this atrocious Brussels criterion is substandard to the old British ‘Kitemark’. From light fittings to food standards and it’s paper trail – Britain loses out because we can no longer set our own standards of excellence – how does that benefit the British people?

    I could go on, to mention the green agenda and the idiocies of carbon emissions limitations and the inequity – where Britain has to close its coal fired power stations, yet it is OK for the Germans to construct new build coal – LIGNITE burning generating plant.
    Open borders, the ongoing disaster of the ECB and it’s blessed € – how it increases the divide between the south and the north – the obverse of what it was intended for, it would be funny if it wasn’t so bloody tragic. Know this, figuratively and metaphorically the EU will turn off Britain’s lights.

    Everything, the Brussels monster turns to rust and desperation, yes the elite benefit, so too do the corporate elites, the investment bankers and an army of paper clip counters where every minutiae is made out in quintuplicate.

    But how membership of the club of the damned benefits the individual, indeed the nation of Britain, we knew the answer long ago because, all we do is pay in for receiving ever greater decrepitness, dilapidation and deconstruction.

    One can only conclude: Brussels is the bane of Britain.

    • ian wragg
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Excellent post.

  6. agricola
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Should Cameron repent of the stupid illogical farce he has fronted it does not make him fit to lead the out campaign. Tainted will the total nonsense of re-negotiation he is not to be trusted near the helm of the out campaign. Remember he is still a dyed in the wool Europhile so caveat emptor.

  7. Beecee
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The biggest question Mr Cameron, along with those who campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, has to answer is – why does our Government of the day have to go cap in hand to a foreign power to ask permission to govern the UK as it thinks best for UK citizens?

    And – why is this a good thing?

    • formula57
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Quite so – but alas some people express contentment that national governments have to get clearance from the EU, presuming that its consensus-driven procedures and need for conformity ensures that the EU always acts benignly and prevents national departures (that could be harmful) from what are presumed to be comfortable international norms.

    • Roehamster
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Minor quibble: ICELAND is Europe`s oldest Parliament.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I want to congratulate you for having the nous to write the above article. I also want to congratulate you for spending time making speeches about leaving the EU. Well done!

    The problem is how many other MPs have your insight into the direction in which the EU is inexorably heading and how many have the guts to do what you are doing?

  9. bratwurst
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Cameron won’t lead a Leave campaign. His strategy is working – he has admitted that the EU needs reform and has also discredited leaving by the Norway option (which is probably the best route as an interim solution).

    He can therefore propose a middle ground solution – Associate Membership aka The British Option – a “new relationship” for Britain with the EU and that the new deal will involve Britain becoming a second-tier member within a “reformed EU”. This is a proposal that previous British governments have rejected on the basis that such a deal would be an unacceptable compromise.

    The proposed deal outlined in the Bertelsmann/Spinelli, A Fundamental Law, would involve Britain remaining subordinate to EU institutions, without global influence in the global intergovernmental forums that determine more than 80 percent of Single Market regulations and without even a full seat at the heart of the sub-regional EU

    Cameron is willing to submit the UK to supranational EU governance and a subordinate role for Britain in global affairs. Unfortunately, because the electorate is unlikely to be made aware of this Cameron will successfully sell his British Option solution as a good deal and we will remain in the EU on a worse basis than now.

    • Chris
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      A great summary, bratwurst. What fits in beautifully with this, of course, is the apparent stage management of the renegotiation that is taking place, with lots of mini battles being presented/fed to the media, who apparently lap it up and regurgitate it faithfully to the unsuspecting public. Cameron is to be portrayed as the big hero waving his piece of paper with the AM or British Model prize – someone who has triumphed after struggling valiantly against our “difficult” EU partners.

      As you suggest, I believe the conclusion of this apparent charade has already been drawn up behind closed doors and Cameron is simply playing his role. Yes, the new inner core with outer satellites model, (which the British Model would be part of) would represent change from the status quo and require treaty change, but it would be even more damaging to the UK than the present status that we have, and that is what the Leavers have to campaign on.

      I suspect that any treaty change designed to effect the change to a core and periphery model will not take place in time before the referendum, so we will be relying on promissory notes from Cameron, as to what his renegotiation will have achieved, when we answer the referendum question. A highly dangerous and thus totally unsatisfactory basis for a referendum. Maybe Cameron or the next leader will ask for the referendum to be delayed?

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Well said bratwurst!

      Only thing I would add is that it is obvious to some of us that associate membership for the UK has been on the cards all along. What is happening now with Cameron’s negotiations is all a clever charade agreed with his EU colleagues months ago. After all you don’t get to become Prime Minister or one of the EU presidents by being stupid. The plan is to get the leave campaigns to dismiss his proposals (or “demands” as the MSM refer to them) as pathetic while the in campaign continues its rabid attempts to frighten us into retaining full membership. Cameron will at the last minute stand up as the voice of reason to announce that we will be leading the outer tier of the EU and thus strike the extremist views of Leave/Remain groups into silence. When this happens please remember that MacMillan and Heath didn’t think Associate Membership was good enough for the UK and they were right.

      Some utterances from people backing Vote Leave (e.g. Daniel Hannan) seem to regard associate membership as appropriate so can such really be regarded as genuine leavers? As Vote Leave seem undecided and Leave.EU is all over the place we who wish to leave the EU are not being well represented at the moment. Hopefully a genuine grass roots movement will emerge before referendum day.

    • Chris
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      I wrote a response to you bratwurst supporting you and adding to what you said. Disallowed apparently. Very odd.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Any renegotiation of UK membership of the EU is meaningless unless it includes giving the right of the UK parliament to veto or amend EU laws, rules and regulations. The UK is no longer a sovereign nation and that needs to be rectified.

    There is much in the EU treaties that the UK I am sure is happy to be signed up to but there is also a considerable amount that it is not. Of course allowing member states to pick and mix which parts of EU treaties they wish to participate in is impracticable as things stand. The EU does not have the structure, institutions and mind set that would allow that to happen and does not have the vision to recognise that if the will was there it could indeed be made possible.

    The EU needs reform I believe nobody denies that but what they do deny is that it needs root and branch reform not tinkering at the edges which is how europhiles and Cameron are approaching the problem. Anything less than a complete dismantling of the treaties and rewriting them so that those member states who wish to keep their sovereignty may do so will make it possible for the UK to remain in.

    Without sovereignty the UK is not a nation but a satrap of a European bureaucratic and oligarchic empire.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

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

      “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister answerable to a British Government and British Parliament.”

      “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax if he considers it to be against British interests.”

      That is what we were promised in 1975 and nothing less than that will do.

      A unilateral veto, not some system under which the UK Parliament would have to get enough of the other national parliaments to agree so that they could exercise a collective veto, which is just another form of transnational majority voting.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Well, the UK government has just been outvoted on a proposal to increase the number of judges on the EU’s Court of Justice:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3347842/Britain-s-1million-bill-extra-EU-judges-tried-block-European-Court-Justice-double-number-judges-56-four-years-despite-appeal-ministers.html

      Tracking back I find that was one of the many vetoes abolished by the Treaty of Lisbon, which is a remarkably potent treaty considering that it ceased to exist at the same instant it came into force …

  11. alan jutson
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your efforts JR, keep up the good work.

    Let us hope that the penny will eventually drop for the majority, and that they will come to their senses in time to support the out vote.

    Recently returned from cruise holiday, and whilst away came into contact with many people from many different walks of life.
    Did not meet one person who thought we would be better off by retaining our EU membership, all wanted out.

    All wanted us to control our own borders and for immigration to be either drastically reduced, or even stopped.

    Couple of Scientists thought global warming was a complete scam, as they knew how the government system worked in funding any type of research.
    Come up with a conclusion the government liked and you get more funding, come up with a result they do not, and the funding stops.
    Others around the table at the time astonished !

    Still lots more work to do on the Global Warming scam, so good to see Piers Corbyn the other day (on BBC of all places) saying look at the facts and the money trail, not at theoretical computer models and selective records.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed the more you understand science the more you are likely to distrust the BBC/Government/Greens view that CO2 is some kind of World thermostat and a catastrophic hell is just around the corner.

      Most of the “believers” I have met do not understand the term positive feed back, or even know what units energy and power are measured in or understand the concept of energy density. They usually do not even have any science at GCSE level how can they, they just feel clean energy is nice and good with their emotions and think of pictures of polar bears on melting ice rafts.

      • hefner
        Posted December 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        LL, Could you give us all an explanation of the greenhouse effect and of the potential negative/feedbacks, to be sure starting from first principles and not from the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, or any other newspaper or Piers Corbyn’s declarations?
        I’d love to get, for once, a proper scientific information from somebody who understand physics.

  12. Ian wragg
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    What about the immigration you can control. That’s increasing and still an estimated 65% of students don’t leave at the end of the course.
    Why Voteleave John. Its a limit company and the chief honchos have form. Part of the Westminster bubble me thinks.
    Looking at the floods I can’t help feeling after years of being brainwashed by the BBC, the farmers have stopped clearing ditches and the EA has stopped dredging our rivers. After all we have been told to plant tropical and drought resistant plants as their would be less rain. It was also getting warmer do to CO2 in the atmosphere despite ice core samples showing much warmer phases in times gone by.

    • bigneil
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Once another 500,000+ houses have been built for our human imports to sit in for free, waiting to go to their free hospital appointments, there will be even less land to soak up the rain and the floods will get worse as it is channelled into less and less space.

    • Martyn G
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that you mentioned dredging of rivers. I have been a volunteer assistant lock keeper on the River Thames for the past 4 years and am familiar with the section of the river on which I have spent time working the locks. Already shoals there are aplenty, many of which were supposed to have been dredged this year, but the EA dredging plans were stopped in its tracks before it started, because the Fisheries Agency banned it, saying that dredging harms fish. Unbelievable but true.
      We who work the river have had innumerable complaints from boaters about going aground on new, unmarked shoals, for the pleasure of which they are paying hefty licensing fees. The EA says its hands are tied by the Fisheries Agency and if the latter carries its anti-dredging obduracy into 2016 and we get a wet winter with strong streams and flooding, it will be interesting to see how much more silting up happens, and where. I think I might buy shares in a navigation buoy manufacturing company!

  13. Tedgo
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Even if we voted to leave does anyone think Cameron would have the necessary vision and skills to free us from the EU, or would we end up like Norway and Switzerland paying for the privaledge of hanging on to the EU’s shirt tails.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Negotiation is not his strong point. He is quite good at reading out lines like an actor, perhaps he should get someone sensible to write these for a change.

  14. Ben Kelly
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Has Mr Cameron suggested that each EU country might like to pay the benefits received by each of its citizens who claim in other EU countries?

    The bureaucratic behemoth that is intrastat seems to track transfers of goods and services fairly reliably so administration is not an issue.

    This approach will preserve the principles of competition within the single market while preventing further transfers of funds from one country’s taxpayers to another.

    It would be interesting to hear the response from Eastern European countries as to why this solution is not an equitable one and payment by each country for its emigrated citizens would negate the pro EU’S oft heard cry about our pensioners and other ex – pats living self sufficiently within the EU.

    To be clear I favour leaving but wish to mitigate the effects if we have to stay.

  15. MPC
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I have joined VoteLeave and agree with Mr Redwood’s endorsement of it. They seem to have taken on board what some of us have been calling for via this site in terms of forming a thoroughly professional campaigning organisation.

    I would also encourage everyone to join and take an active part in the campaign. I believe we can wrest back our democracy but only if we all contribute as best we can – rather than expect Mr Redwood and his colleagues to do all the work!

  16. Old Albion
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Cameron has crawled to the EU and asked for a minor policy change or two. He’s been told NO.
    So how will he spin this utter waste of time?
    He may come back waving his new agreement ‘Chamberlain’ style and go on to tell us how he has reformed the EU. Therefore we should vote to ‘remain’ In fact nothing will have changed.
    Or he may slither out of the referendum on some spurious grounds. I’d guess ‘more time to negotiate needed’
    What Cameron will never do is admit his ‘reforms’ are not and will never be, accepted. Nor will he ever recommend ‘Brexit’

  17. Graham Wood
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    JR. Your second para was spot on, and admirably describes the main priorities.
    To extend your argument a little: It is not just that Mr Cameron is asking the wrong things and with a weakness which is repugnant to all of us who are ‘leavers’.
    It is more the case that he is completely missing the point about the nature of. National sovereignty and. Democratic sef-government.
    When will he and other closet Tory EU federalists grasp the fundamental democratic principle that a UK electorate votes ministers and MPs into office to actually govern,
    NOT to pass that function and countless other powers to the EU bureaucracy which is both unelected and unaccountable to us.
    Unless and until that simple principle is understood and applied all the current negotiations are futile. Mr Cameron will merely be begging for the miserable scraps the EU Commission and Mr Tusk condescendingly throw our way

  18. Antisthenes
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Reading Tusk’s letter about the UK’s renegotiations it appears Cameron is not asking for anything substantive other than on benefits and housing. The latter two he is not going to get and does not go far enough as you have already pointed out anyway. On the others it will only be a gentleman’s agreement which if the EU decides not to honour the only redress the UK will have is to make it’s concerned known which can be ignored by the EU if it so chooses which of course it will.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    JR: “This week end the Prime Minister was reported to say he would lead the Leave campaign if he does not get what he wants from the renegotiation.”
    Do you seriously believe that?
    It’s all part of the charade. You must know that. He has asked for next to nothing in negotiations and now we are at the stage of the script where those with whom he is ‘negotiating’ exclaim how difficult and unacceptable his ‘demands’ are. Early next year we will be told that Cameron has achieved a great success. Just like Harold Wilson he will claim that he didn’t achieve everything but enough to warrant recommending staying in.
    Having lived through the original, the repeat is proving tiresome.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

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

      “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.”

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Dear Brian–Except that what little Cameron has all-but begged for is such inconsequential and embarrassing piffle that I do not believe people are going to buy in to any attempt by him to make play on what he has asked for–and that’s ignoring the fact that even what little he has asked for someone called Tusk is having trouble with (because our demands are so demanding or some such utter drivel). What this nonsense proves is that “they” on the Continent have a totally different mindset from us in the UK, which is THE problem and THE reason why we must leave. From “their” point of view, with their multiplicity of borders, free and unlimited migration for example may even make some sense but what has that got to do with us?

  20. Bert Young
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Cameron is the last person who could be trusted if he took part in the “Vote to leave campaign”. He seems to have reached a point in his – so called , negotiations , that he is not wanted in Brussels any more than he is wanted here .His shallow promises in the past of so many things – with “caste iron guarantees” , proved valueless ; he has emerged as the man of words but not of integrity .

    Those individuals – our host in particular , are to be complimented on the efforts they have made to restore our sovereignty . The voices that have spoken do have significant influence on the public in spite of the efforts of part of the media to dampen their views down . Results recently in France and the opinion polls here show a marked shift to leave and this public sentiment needs to be endorsed by all trusted leaders .

    Time is now running short before a referendum takes place ; I am confident that a Brexit will occur and we will see the end of a defunct EU .

    • Tom William
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The latest example of Cameron’s word is “no ifs, no buts” promise that there would be no third runway at Heathrow. Regardless of whether there should or should not be one, that was an example of making a promise without knowing/caring whether it would be kept.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed get on with one at both Heathrow and Gatwick now please then link them with a 15 min HS shuttle train.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 9, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps even another one at Stansted and take the HS (round the M25/M11) shuttle round to there too.

          • stred
            Posted December 10, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink

            If they expanded Stansted, the rest of the country would find it easier to get there and would not clog up London. Planning would be easer and the locals could be bribed. A HS train connection along the m11/m25 would be easier too as regards planning. But the retail jobs would not be as great as Heathrow, and we really need retail jobs, so it will be ……

    • DaveM
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Bert,

      As you mention France ; it’s curious that according to the BBC, every nationalist/populist voter in the EU – indeed in the world – can only be knee-jerk voters reacting to attacks, etc, and can’t possibly have anti-internationalist/federalist sentiments and a wish to live in their native countries with their native cultures in civility and peace.

      Surely everyone wants to live in a multicultural border-free world where atheists and transgenders are the norm, and the only thing people care about is pointless “celebrities” prancing around on a saturday evening??!!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      My guess is we will eventually leave the EU but not under our own steam. Other countries may leave first prompting a collapse. Le Pen getting elected would do it, or any of a number of possible scenarios.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    To recap the story so far in flashbacks to previous episodes of the current series:

    Brown bluntly refused to put the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum, whereupon Cameron deplored that and gave a “cast-iron guarantee” that he would put it to a referendum, but then quickly diluted that unqualified promise down to a pledge that if the treaty was already in force he “would not let matters rest there” because the treaty would lack democratic legitimacy and give the EU too much power over domestic policies.

    Then having stoutly maintained that position for two years Cameron finally caved in and pretended that having come into force the treaty no longer existed and so it could not be put to a referendum and he would have to let matters rest there after all, swallowing the treaty whole, but instead he would demand powers back from the EU at some opportune point in the future, for example when the eurozone needed treaty changes or there was an accesssion treaty for an additional country to join the EU.

    Then Cameron became Prime Minister, and within months Merkel was demanding an EU treaty change to legalise eurozone bailouts, that much anticipated “golden opportunity”, but Cameron asked for no other EU treaty changes as a quid pro quo; and later Croatia joined the EU, but he didn’t attempt to use that opportunity either.

    Meanwhile Cameron was coming under increasing pressure both from within his party (cut to dissident Tory MP making yet another stirring speech in Commons) and from outside, those nasty racist swivel-eyed loons in UKIP (cut to Farage caught with maniacal grin on his face), and eventually he succumbed and declared his intention to get the EU transformed and then hold a referendum so the British people could express their great satisfaction with the new relationship with the EU that he had secured for them.

    Whereupon various people produced various lists of changes which they saw as desirable so that the EU would be turned into something that the British people liked much better than the present EU, many of them requiring treaty changes, but Cameron and his friends had already quietly started to work out how the minimum of changes could be made without having to ask for the “Lisbon Treaty” to be “re-opened”, which would supposedly be a huge obstacle and very difficult to get agreed, even though there had in fact already been several changes to the EU treaties since the Lisbon Treaty came into force.

    And so we come to the latest episode in the story, where it becomes apparent to anyone who is not actually comatose that the cynics were right all along, and he is asking for virtually nothing of any substance, and wriggling around trying to get something which can be presented as major change without any change to the treaties.

    And now the preview of the forthcoming, even more exciting, episode, in which David Cameron will change his name by deed poll, and write another signed article for the Sun like that one eight years ago, but this time sign himself as Harold Wilson, the same signature that he will put on the official government pamphlet recommending that we vote to stay in the “reformed” EU.

  22. Duyfken
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I would not be concerned if Cameron decided to support the ‘Leave’ campaign, although even that might bring the kiss of death. What should never be allowed is for him to lead it or indeed have any active role. So many unsatisfactory attributes including being untrustworthy, irresolute and weak.

    Full marks though to JR for doing a splendid job! Thanks.

  23. bigneil
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    “if he does not get what he wants from the renegotiation” – what DC wants is for this country and nation to be destroyed – for that he will be given a seat at the Brussels table. His ego doesn’t care about the people of this country.

  24. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The whole thing is a farce. The demands, I feel sure, would have been agreed in advance. ‘Yes, we allow those three because they are meaningless and the fourth, the benefits one, we’ll make a big song and dance about it and then compromise.’ We are being taken for fools. Unfortunately, most people are fools.

    Our only hope is the French. If they don’t get what they want, they seem to know how to make a point.

  25. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    How on earth did this ‘4 years no in-work benefits’ thing ever get started? Whose idea was it? The original idea of a referendum was based on the idea of sovereignty – that we had given control of legislation away and that we had no control over our borders – and that the British people had never been asked.

    Who gives a monkey’s about ‘the renegotitation’. The ‘renegotiation’ is a diversion. That’s all.

    The referendum is on the principle – ‘do you want to be in an undemocratic superstate or not’?

  26. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    This detailed stuff is all very well but what is missing in light of the noises from the Continent along lines of “contrary to the principles of the EU” is for someone to stand up and clearly say that it is these very so-called “principles” that we disagree with. In fact many of us think that not only do we not agree with them but we think that they are unrealistic naïve and dangerous. Even if there were something to be said for them in theory in some sort of dreamland they have been a disaster in practice.

  27. bigneil
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    ” he would lead the Leave campaign” – – -thanks john – – best laugh I’ve had for weeks.

  28. English Pensioner
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that Cameron could negotiate his way out of a paper bag! From what we read, he has absolutely no idea how to negotiate anything.

    He gives the EU a list of the concessions he wants, and when they said ‘no’, he steadily reduced the list until almost nothing is left. Any real negotiator would have started with the list saying that these were his minimum requirements and that he would be prepared to talk about the others.

    He either has absolutely no clue about negotiations, or, as I suspect, it is all show to make us think that he is trying to do something. The hints that he might support Britexit are either to try to persuade the ‘out’ supporters that they don’t need to any more or to try to put some backbone into those who want to stay in. Either way no-one will believe him!

    • Ben Kelly
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      A good negotiator would give no inkling as to red lines even after the negotiations concluded.

      Start with a long list of desires, finish with a list of desires that is better than expected by you at the outset because the other side were unsure of your position other than it is strong.

      That is good negotiation. You have to be prepared to walk away (but also to give a little).

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “I reminded them of the importance of offering and delivering the referendum, which all Conservative MPs voted through the Commons.”

    Yes, JR, but as was pointed out long ago part of what Conservative MPs voted through the Commons was a small provision for the overwhelmingly pro-EU Lords to have the power to prevent the referendum ever being delivered if they were so minded, in exactly the same way that they recently prevented Osborne’s tax credit cuts being delivered.

    Or do you disagree that this is the case? Thanks to poor drafting of Clause 9, which means that the statutory instrument setting the date of the referendum must be approved by a resolution of the House of Lords as well as by a resolution of the House of Commons, just like the statutory instrument for the changes to tax credits.

    Reply That I believe was part of the bargain to get the Bill through the Lords.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Hold on – are you saying that to get the referendum Bill through the Lords without having to resort to the Parliament Acts the government agreed to give the Lords a veto over the referendum taking place, which veto it could not then neutralise by resorting to the Parliament Acts as they do not cover secondary legislation?

  30. ChrisS
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I posted a comment on the Times website yesterday on this very subject.

    Those that run the EU and the leaders of the many the countries that benefit from our £10bn net contribution are playing a stupid and dangerous game.

    They are so arrogant that they simply don’t believe we will actually vote to leave and, despite Cameron’s best efforts to make it easy for them by asking for almost nothing, they are so hell-bent on preserving the status quo that they are rebuffing him even on those minor benefit changes.

    He must be hiding real anger and disappointment at their lack of cooperation.

    What with the profound disunity over the immigration crisis, largely caused, remember, by one woman in Berlin, things are most definitely moving “our” way. With no agreement on benefit changes it is looking almost impossible for Cameron to argue that he has an acceptable deal. His only fall back could be that some of what he is looking for on benefits will come about anyway through the planned introduction of Universal Credit. This will not get him off the hook, especially when the campaign really gets going.

    As many of us have been saying for many months, even years, the renegotiation is going to be a sham very similar to that undertaken by Harold Wilson. The mistake Cameron made was that he thought he could blur the facts and pull the wool over the eyes of the British electorate by getting agreement to his minor changes. Now, thanks to his buddies around Europe, he doesn’t even have that fig leaf to hide behind.

    Furthermore, the public are so much better informed that they were before the computer age and you simply can’t hoodwink them any more. ( Miliband tried it and look what happened to him ).

    We will now have to wait until February to know exactly how spectacularly Cameron’s renegotiation has failed. The campaign to leave can then get going in earnest around the country. Those within the Westminster Bubble, including, I have to say, the majority of Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, have kept it too close to their own chests for far too long.

    When we vote to leave, many around Europe will find out what an expensive mistake their leaders have made. I mean, of course, those in receipt of a share of our £10bn pa largess and the taxpayers of Germany and the ten other countries out of the twenty seven who are net contributors and will be asked to make up the shortfall in the EU budget.

    We, on the other hand will be free and clear to retake our rightful place on the International stage as the World’s fifth largest economy.

  31. Sean
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to say this, Cameron is gutless and spineless, the Eu tells him to jump, he then asks” How high?” He is a waste to the British public. We new a Donald Trump, a winner, someone that will fight for the British, fight to keep our green land, instead of allowing the world to enter our small land, we have taken enough, it’s time to look after our own.
    Before any Liberals start mocking me for my opinion, I from a mixed race family.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    It seems a cowardly move to have the Lords’ amendment on votes for 16 year olds declared a matter of “financial privilege” for the Commons, JR; on that basis there will be few things which do not “engage financial privilege” because there are some possibly very small extra costs associated with a proposal, and what would be the point of having a second chamber if it was excluded from many debates because there were some very minor cost implications? To be honest I wouldn’t blame the Lords if they reacted by flinging the Bill back in the face of the Commons. And how about MPs expressing some concern that UK taxpayers’ money contributed the EU budget is being used as part of the €3 billion bribe to Turkey, even though our treaty opt-out from the EU’s asylum and immigration policies extends to exemption from bearing any financial consequences of those policies? Does that not “engage financial privilege” to a much greater extent than the costs of having some teenagers added to the electoral register for the referendum, and supplying them with polling cards and ballot papers and then counting their votes?

  33. Kenneth
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The reforms the PM has asked for are hardly worth bothering with.

    If that is the best a British government can muster from within the confines of the eu it is obvious we are better off out of it.

    My preference, once we are out, is to allow other European countries to continue to export to us with a minimum of restrictions.

  34. agricola
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    As I have postulated in the past, the EU as currently constituted and run is the engine of it’s own demise. It doesn’t just ignore the problems of it’s peoples, it pretends that said people do not exist. It blunders on to it’s version of utopia while the unemployed masses in it’s southern population grow increasingly restive. An ostrich of continental proportions with it’s head firmly in the Sahara.

    The contagion of discontent sees the continuing rise of extreme right wing politics in France because the EU has added security failure to economic failure. Now the Danes are saying so far but no further while the Eastern Europeans are building fences to protect against the security failures of the whole. The security failures are at the doorstep of Frau Merkel who having invited in tens of thousands among whom are ISIL terrorists now wants to stoke the problem by opening the door to Turkey.

    Meanwhile Cameron hovers outside the door like some thwarted lover, hoping for some gesture that suggests the affair is not over. A pathetic position he has placed himself in, and one he hopes to sell to an increasingly sceptic electorate. He has no credibility to lead an out campaign or the country after it decides to leave. He beats previous attempts in longevity of suicide notes. I would submit that the UK leaving could be of the greatest benefit to the people of Europe who might gain the courage to pull the edifice, Berlin Wall like, to the ground.

  35. lojolondon
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    By leaving we will not only secure democracy for Britain, withdrawing our subsidy to the EU should ensure it’s collapse, and hopefully a return to democracy for all countries in Europe.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    You are absolutely correct in your analysis and conclusion that we need to get our independence from the EU.

    We have for years been taken for a ride by the EU. Not only have we paid very large net amounts to the EU for the benefit of most of its members to build up their infrastructure etc. but now the Eurozone is in a mess we are expected to provide jobs, welfare benefits and free NHS care to anyone from the EU who travels to the UK.

    However, I do not believe that Mr. Cameron will ever campaign for independence.

    Firstly because Mr. Cameron has a habit of saying what he knows the majority of the electorate want to hear and then not implementing his promises.

    Secondly, and more importantly, because the corporate run Conservative Party would not allow him to campaign for our independence anyway. The corporates benefit enormously from an EU that enables them to move factories, workers and profits to wherever they like.

    Furthermore, the corporates know that eventually, if the UK remains in the EU, then it will not be possible for the UK to continue with its generous welfare benefits and “free” NHS.

    Especially an EU enlarged to include Turkey (75m people) and all the countries in Eastern Europe as far as the Urals (both Conservative Party polices).

    [We see this already happening as Mr. Tusk is suggesting that the way to stop migrants receiving in-work and housing benefits for 4 years is for these same restrictions to be applied to UK nationals.]

    The eventual collapse of the UK’s welfare system and “free” NHS will mean that the corporates will be able to step in and run lucrative replacement insurance schemes.

    This is probably what the TTIP is all about as far as the UK is concerned.

  37. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: Thus far no groove-faced has-been pop stars from the 1960s have declared they are opening their homes to accommodate homeless flood victims from Cumbria. Perhaps a young body laid face-down dead on a Cumbrian river sandbank could be featured on worldwide tabloid front pages to get them atuned to reality. Yeah, it really can be grim Up North.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Neither has Yvette Cooper

  38. Maureen Turner
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Until the UK can control the number of people entering this already over crowded island then living standards for all can only deteriorate. We have neither the land mass or the infrastructure to cope.

    The PM’s suggestion that he might, following a NO DEAL from Brussels, switch his allegiance to the vote Leave campaign is to be expected from one who has no commitment to anything other than his own long term political advantage. Under no circumstances
    would I like to see the PM lead this campaign should it ever materialise. He has made it clear by his own words he is a Europhile so campaigning for what you don’t want sounds a bit duplicitous. How does that work?

    The issues the PM set out for renegotiation in his letter to Mr. Tusk were weak to the point of being worthless as no mention was made of the electorate’s primary concern – border control. Just how much humiliation is the PM personally willing to take and as a result expect us to endure?

  39. Margaret
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    In Socrates earlier days Athens thrived with democracy, then a group of thirty took over so called the ‘Thirty Tyrants’ They tormented Socrates and executed him after being charged with impiety, the allegation coming from one single man. This powerful objective man talked about an ideal political life. The power he endowed others with was turned upon himself as the despots became jealous of his influence. Plato followed this up writing about his mentor in political philosophy and completed the’ Republic’ which centred around reason.

    Who are the thirty tyrants now, which Greeks sold out on their heritage and the cradle of western civilisation. Doesn’t it seem that time repeats itself with a few different variations and players?

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Cameron couldn’t lead a crisp packet, the out campaign are better off without him.

  41. Vanessa
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Most of us will know that all Cameron’s strutting around with his “renegotiations” is all just “theatre”.

    Because he has asked for so little (in fact nothing except 4 areas to be discussed) he will come back with “associate membership” (or as he calls it “British model”) and say this is the renegotiation he wanted all along and after huge debate and stamping of feet he has got a lot to be thankful for and therefore we will stay in. Pay for the privilege? Of course we will, by being kicked around for ever after by those corrupt idiots of Brussels.

    It is a rerun of 1975 with lies, lies and more lies. It is all theatre on both sides. The EU will say how strongly he argued for British change and they gave in with a great fight.

    Oh, for a Statesman who really cares about this country and its successful place in the world. Cameron is a PR man – empty, but what you stick on him.

  42. petermartin2001
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    I just received a posting in my Facebook page from the Labour “InforBritain” campaign which repeated the usual guff about the importance of EU membership for British jobs etc.

    However the comments below from LP members and supporters were overwhelmingly and openly hostile. I didn’t see any references to “immigrants coming in to steal our jobs”, instead the line of argument was typically that the EU was too pro capitalist and was a neo-liberal club with little regard for the rights of workers in the peripheral struggling economies. Not reasons the readers of this column might identify with, but still valid reasons nonetheless. A LEAVE vote will be just that whatever the reasons of the voter making that choice.

    The recent events in Greece have been a real game changer in that respect. The support for the EU on the left is softer than it’s been for many years.

  43. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 9, 2015 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Off Topic: I had only ever seen snippets of speeches in the US House of Representatives on UK TV until a few hours ago when I watched “C-Span” via the internet.
    Oh dear. I shall never ever ever sit down with American friends or any foreign friends for that matter and watch BBC Parliament on TV. The Americans do seem to have got the hang of conducting themselves rather well in their “parliament”.

  44. stred
    Posted December 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I like Poles and have chosen them as tenants in preference over the past 15 years, as they are honest and stick to agreements. I often have a chat and exchange christmas cards with them. They often go home and come back and they all have good jobs. They tell me that things have been improving at home, but not enough to go home. Some have now married and have families here.

    This is how I know that tax credits, HB and child benefit is an important factor in their decision to come here. Donald Tusk has been PM of Poland for much of the time they have been sending money home. He knows that foregn earnings from Poles in the UK are important to their economy, and that they could not find enough jobs if they returned. He is now head of the European Council and is unlikely to be a turkey voting for christmas.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 9, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Below is a briefing that I recently received from the Vote Leave campaign. Any comments?

    One of the top figures at the Office for Budget Responsibility yesterday blew a hole in the Government’s hopes to limit EU migration through its renegotiation. He told a panel of MPs that the Government’s proposals would make ‘not much’ difference to immigration from the EU – and that ‘any changes to benefit rules are unlikely to have a huge impact on migration flows.’

    This is a damning verdict, especially as the Prime Minister claims that limiting migrant benefits is one of his most important demands. The Sun writes: ‘The stage-managed “bust-up” in Brussels over letting Britain halt benefit tourism looks like a smokescreen for the absence of any campaign to reclaim full and permanent border controls. We can only conclude that David Cameron has given up on stemming immigration.’ The Mail echoes this, stating that ‘withdrawing is the only way we will ever control mass immigration into this country’. The only way to get fundamental change and to take back control is to Vote Leave.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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