William Hague, the EU and the Euro

It comes as no surprise that Mr Hague might vote to stay in the EU. In 1997 when he ran for Leader he would not rule out the UK joining the Euro. It was only later when Leader that we persuaded him to rule that out. He never made a speech saying we would be better off out.

His two reasons are bizarre for staying in. The first is the SNP will not like it. The SNP will use any argument to try to split the UK. This obvious fact cannot stop us doing the right things on important issues.

The second is we are important to democracy in eastern Europe.  The EU has not created democracies in Eastern Europe. The people and politicians of those countries have done that. They will not cease to be democracies if we leave the EU!

Note that his  reasons offer the people of England nothing that we want. Once again those in favour of us being in fail to make a positive case. Mr Hague couldn’t even think up negatives about us outside, but had to resort to negatives for the rest of them if we go!

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121 Comments

  1. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It is reported Mr Hague says exiting the EU would lose it one of its “respected military powers” and leave it weakened. There’s us thinking the EU has absolutely nothing to do with things military. What happened to NATO?

    So Mr Hague also believes 2 million Scots represented by the SNP ( today ) should not only dictate to the rest of us whether we remain in the EU but also what particular military allegiances we have. Perhaps Mr Hague may agree to the idea we should depopulate England, Wales and Northern Ireland and all move to live in Scotland where the heart of the UK apparently lies.

    • David Murfin
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      What a good idea. Plenty of not very fertile land to build on. It would scupper the SNP as well.

    • yosarion
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      You can take the Jock out of Scotland , but you can’t take the divine right to rule over others out of their heads. just look at the surname,
      you won’t have to go back to many Generations to find the Tartan.

    • beecee
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      That means we could follow our money

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Well, I don’t want Scotland to separate, but if that proved to be part of the price of getting out of the EU then I would have to accept that. But I don’t expect it would happen, instead the SNP would discredit itself by blind support of the EU.

      • Wireworm
        Posted December 24, 2015 at 4:43 am | Permalink

        Firstly, an independent Scotland would have a hard time getting into the EU. Secondly, accession would be conditional on its accepting the euro. Would Scots vote for that? It’s one the many issues that puts time on the side of Leave.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Parading the old and the bold is not going to cut the mustard.
    Since they retired from active life, immigration, the Jungle at Calais, Greece and the call for More Europe, the new Fundamental Law of the European Union by the Bertelsmann-Spinelli Group and the Five Presidents’ Report have altered the case beyond all measure.
    They have done what they could for the country and God Bless them for that.
    Now they should shut up.

  3. matthu
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    More than any other vote in our history, this referendum will be about whether we carry on deciding our own affairs at future general elections, or whether we abrogate those responsibilities to a remote, foreign corpus.

    Will it be our Government that determines our tax rates, decides who comes across our borders, decides who we go to war against and who we fight alongside or will it be unelected commissioners in another country?

    Are we intent on living in a free and independent country or having our laws dictated to us by being part of a larger bloc over whom we have very little influence?

    Do we have confidence in our own ability to strike trade deals with China and India and the rest of the Commonwealth nations, with the United States and the rest of the English speaking nations in the world or are we too small to survive on our own?

    Do we have faith in our justice and rule of law and history of fighting for human rights, or do we need our laws to be interpreted by a foreign court?

    Do we have faith in our own currency and capacity to thrive as an independent country or do we feel we would be better off inching closer to the Euro and going along with every new Brussels initiative for fear of being left out?

    Are we stronger and safer being part of a multi-national political structure that takes years to reach any meaningful agreement or one that is more flexible and can respond to rapidly changing world situations?

    (Much of this could have been put forward by William Hague himself in another time. Why can’t he see it now?)

    • Roger
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Excellent. Well said. Are you available to lead us outers?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the right points.

      He clearly must have had a new F&C office “brain” inserted.

  4. Ian wragg
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Everyone who goes to the Foreign Office had a brain transplant and immediately goes native

    Hague made one of the most eloquent speeches on the problems with the Euro and now would be minded to join.
    No wonder we hold politicians in the same regard as car salesmen and estate agents.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Rather unfair to many estate agents and car sales people.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      The Foreign Office seems to have the ability to turn people into apologists and supporters of totalitarian regimes, whether the Soviet Union or the EU and hostile to our country.

      It is well named as the Foreign Office for it has precious little to do with defending the United Kingdom.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Well his argument seems to be that we are so important to the EU that if we leave it will fall apart. He then argues that we are so unimportant and have so little influence in the EU that we can’t change its unwieldy structures. He can’t have it both ways.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The Scots have had their once in a lifetime referendum. They would be very foolish indeed to leave the UK, join the EURO and start paying money to the EU again for nothing but over regulation from the EU. When they see the UK getting on very well they will not want to leave. This is no reason to stay in what so ever.

    The other argument (that Major and others put) is that the EU would be very nasty to the UK if we left, like an acrimonious divorce and a bitter wife. But they do this anyway and & far more effectively when they can use the EU courts and Treaties to enforce fines and judgements against the UK and attack the finance sector.

    It seems for example we will have to pay millions to the EU in fines for air pollution in some cities. Why fines to the EU? Surely this money should be spent in the UK perhaps cleaning up the city air if that is needed.

    The reasons to leave are simple a restoration of some real democracy, a better economy, fewer daft regulations, cheaper energy, accountable government, selective immigration, control of our borders, far lower taxes, far more competitive, freedom to trade freely around the whole world.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Needless to say Hague is yet another Oxford, Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Magdalen) chap.

      What damage so many of these people (and other lefty Economists) have done in the UK and governments around the World in general.

      I see that John R Hicks following his following the award of the Nobel Prize for Economics was rather unimpressed with the PPE course even in its early days:- “My move (in 1923) to “Philosophy, Politics and Economics”, the “new school” just being started at Oxford, was, however, not a success. I finished with no adequate qualification in any of the subjects I had studied”

      Reply Mr Hague I believe read Modern History.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        I suspect the problem is really the types who (in general) aspire to study Oxford PPE. They are clearly not the sort we want running the country in general. But then the same could probably be said about the sorts who aspire to be politicians in general. It appeals mainly to self publicists who like bossing others about, spending other people’s money, passing daft laws, preaching and those who always think they know best.

        Perhaps we should just get some decent engineers, mathematicians a few sound/real scientists and the odd sound economist – perhaps selected at random from a preselected group to run the country for a while.

        Indeed just selecting at random from the population at large would give better results than the current lot. A gang who seem mainly to want to give their UK powers away to the EU any way.

        • Mitchel
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          @Lifelogic- yes,giving their(our) powers away-but continuing to enjoy the titles,jollies and financial rewards – all the benefits of power without the nuisance of exercising it or having to take responsibility for the effects.Our entire Establishment ,sadly from Her Majesty downwards,has become a hollowed out imperial relic,awaiting the coup de grace.Will Cameron,or more likely Osborne,be our Romulus Augustulus?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        To Reply:

        Wiki says PPE but anyway George Osborne read Modern History so that seems little better.

        Given Osborne’s absurd tax rises, his pro E/ anti-democracy stance, his IHT ratting, his attacks on tenant’s rent and landlords and his endlessly increasing tax complexity and support for endless government waste like HS2, the green crap and the dreadfully run NHS.

        • Margaret
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Actually philosophy , including the philosophy of language , political philosophy, philosophical logic, business ethics, moral philosophy is a good grounding for all disciplines. If our Doctors and Nurses could understand a logical premise and the variables they would be able to diagnose more satisfactorily, introduce treatment in the right order, know when to monitor and when to treat.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Philosophy has indeed sometimes got its place, but give me an engineer, physicist or mathematician any day if you want something done. Someone who understands numbers, real costs, real risks & dangers and real rewards.

          I do not want my plane designed, maintained or flown by PPE or philosophy graduates please – nor my bridges, roads, trains, my banking system, my auditing system nor my energy system.

          But if we must have a philosopher lets have a sensible one like Jamie Whyte please.

          • Margaret
            Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            Sorry but philosophy is at the base of maths and language . If you don’t understand the basics, numbers are nothing. Many people have taken degrees in philosophy and understand what they actually do in their profession . Some don’t even know the difference between reason , logic and rationalisation and wonder why their computer cannot think all but in a fixed way.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Lord Hague is undoubtedly very bright. He is one of the few politicians with an MBA from a top school.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          There is bright in being good at memorising & regurgitating endless things, bright in speaking many languages and remembering countless people’s names. But there is also being bright is understanding how things actually work and interact and through that being able to work out likely the best direction and avoid the cliffs.

          I want some one with the working compass please. Not a “clever” person with good PR stunts, endless ratting & a broken compass.

          There is also the question with politicians as to whose interest they are actually acting in. Rarely are these the interest of the electorate.

          • Richard1
            Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know many politicians but I disagree with this. I think most people enter Parliament or take govts jobs because they really think their work will make the country – even the world – a better place. Most MPs also do a lot of low profile unseen work for constituents. Many of them hold views I don’t agree with & neither do you. But I don’t think we should impugn their motives – except in a few cases where it’s clearly justified. Also, by and large, they are an intelligent and articulate bunch. What is missing – and concerning – is lack of experience in the private sector, which employs c 80% of the working population. Such people also dominate the media, which is perhaps why there is such a statist bias, why eg, whenever you hear a minister interviewed it’s always why Arnt they spending more money, not why are they wasting so much.

  7. Jerry
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    “The EU has not created democracies in Eastern Europe. The people and politicians of those countries have done that.”

    Hmm, the EU might not have created democracies in Eastern Europe, but it does keep then on the straight and narrow, including EU candidate countries.

    But indeed William Hague’s comments, as reported this morning, do sound most bizarre, as you imply John the SNP will likely call for another referendum should the UK chose to stay within the EU, claiming that the Scottish people had little say…

    • Jerry
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      @Jerry; Just to add, of course all the talk about what the SNP will do post the EU referendum result is dependant on them remaining in single party majority government at Holyrood after 5th May 2016 elections. With the UK Labour party having now taken a leap to the left, ground that the SNP has been occupying since the Blairite/Brown era, it is just possible that previous Scottish Labour voters who switched to the SNP will switch back. I have never believed that support for UK EU membership is a pre-requisite where traditional labour votes are concerned, support for the EU has been more about political ‘carpet-bagging’ since the late 1980s and Kinnock leadership -the EU handing out short term promises, promotion and protection, for the political left, not hard won rights and/or progress that can only come by way of a (traditional) UK Labour government.

  8. Jerry
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    @Mercia; “What happened to Hague?”

    He became a diplomat (by way of the FCO), not a politician, it happens to all who hold that post…

    • Mercia
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      He became a diplomat (by way of the FCO)

      >
      The FCO twitter page is a national embarrassment. I just had a glance at it now and they have featured some Soros funded propaganda from Syria (an NGO Soros set up) to demonize Russia.
      Usually they are praising the Saudis and condemning Israel. It is all very sad.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m inclined to agree with that too.

      There’s something odd about that place and that office. It’s as if the newly incumbent minister is suddenly faced with an overwhelming political status that is being deliberately hidden from the British people, and one that favours the EU above our own sovereignty. Hidden because the British people would rise up if they knew the truth. Our own democracy would therefore appear to be a sham, and the EU has already taken over.

      Whatever the truth of the matter, we don’t need a pro-EU Foreign Secretary. We need one who puts Britain first. To me, patriotism is almost physically real and not negotiable. It’s a bit like me as a Manchester City supporter of 46 years standing, suddenly being asked to accede to a Premier League run by Man United . It just ain’t going to happen!

      Tad

      • APL
        Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        “Our own democracy would therefore appear to be a sham, and the EU has already taken over.”

        **News flash**

        Our own democracy is a sham, and the EU has already taken over.”

    • outsider
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Dear Jerry and Mercia, Maybe Mr Hague has not changed but has been peddling the Atlanticist agenda consistently.
      Fifteen years ago, there was still , as perceived from this side, a conflict between our relations with the US and Continental Europe, even if, from the American side, things had changed rapidly after 1990.
      About seven years ago, as shadow foreign secretary, Mr Hague made a powerful speech at the Conservative Party conference promoting Turkey’s accession to the EU and advocating Georgia joining too. This did not figure on the agendas of any of the British or Irish nations and I have personally not voted Conservative in a national election since.
      As Mr Redwood points out, Mr Hague’s latest contribution majors on Eastern Europe (pity about Ukraine) as an argument for the UK staying in the EU. This too reflects the Atlanticist agenda which holds that the EU, not the UK, is the agent for winning and holding as much as possible of the old Soviet Empire in the “Western” camp and that anything weakening the EU, notably UK secession, is to be resisted.
      The particular interests of UK citizens are deemed irrelevant to this wider picture.

  9. Richard1
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    It probably is a reasonable point that aspiration to join the EU – seen from behind the iron curtain as a beacon of freedom and democracy – was a factor in promoting democracy in Eastern Europe

    The key argument on In-Out will be trade, jobs and investment. Out need an answer to this issue: 40-50% of trade is with the EU. Terms may not get worse if we left, but they certainly won’t get better. Today in many (but not all) sectors, trade with customers in other EU countries is no more complex or expensive than trade within the UK. How can this be guaranteed to continue if we leave? Unless there is a very coherent answer to this question, In is likely to get the safety vote.

    Reply Our trade is not at risk. Why spread false rumours it is.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Our trade will benefit hugely outside the EU as we will be far more competitive without all the absurd regulation, taxation and far cheaper energy. If we get rid of all the daft domestic regulation and over taxation too then even more so.

      If we get free trade with the EU as we clearly should fine, even if we do not get that (and this would be in the EUs interests anway) – we can simply adjust production, imports and exports towards domestic demand or export elsewhere. Businesses will adjust.

      John Major (the other day in his what would you like to day today Sir BBC “interview”) said that we would have to pay half the EU membership fee to trade with the EU. How on earth did he come up with this absurd figure? Complete and utter drivel they should be paying us as we are more important to them than they are to us.

      • Rupert
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Surely our trade *WILL* be affected if we leave the EU… If you are CEO of Nissan or Toyota or similar and you are planning your future car plant to serve the European market, would you choose to locate that plant in the UK (outside the EU) or would you choose somewhere within the EU to minimize your political risk?

        Reply Nissan have chosen the UK and recently announced a new model for UK production regardless of ditsy or leave.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          It will be “affected” but not on balance in a negative way quite the reverse.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Rupert

          Thats odd because VW build cars in Mexico, Brazil, China & the USA ( dont think they are in the EU ).

          What political risk would that be? Oh and dont you think there my be a few more considerations of where to put a car plant that is most effective?

          Rupert I dont think youre very on the ball with multinational business.

        • yosarion
          Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          Ford moved Transit production from Southampton to Turkey some years ago.

      • Richard1
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        I assume he would have based that on the contributions paid by Switzerland and Norway. I agree, If – and only if – the result of leaving the EU is we move to a low tax light regulation more dynamic economy, and we get a free trade deal with the EU, then we would probably be better off. But will that happen?

    • NewVoter
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find it is more difficlt tp trade with EU members:

      A British Chambers of Commerce survey of 7500 members revealed:

      “When it came to increasing sales in global export markets, some reported that it was easier to trade with a range of non-EU countries (e.g. 9% reported regulatory barriers for EEA countries versus 12% of businesses reporting similar barriers in the EU), suggesting that the single market has yet to deliver the growth Europe so desperately needs.”

      http://www.link2portal.com/bcc-majority-exporters-favour-free-trade-area-integration-less-loved

      However, the trade question is a red herring simply because the political EU are the Single Market are sepertate entities. You do not have to be in the EU to trade with the EU as shown on the EU Commission website:

      http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/index_en.htm

      • Jerry
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        @NewVoter; “I think you will find it is more difficlt tp trade with EU members:”

        Then of course it would also be more difficult for the EU to trade with us… Considering that EU member countries ‘export’ far more to the UK than we ‘export’ to the EU it is not in any EU member countries interests to start a trade war upon a Brexit -and of course, if they or the eurocrats in Brussels did, the UK will be free to find alternate markets (both export and import), being freed from the restricted practices set by Brussels-centric trade deals that even the heavy weights like Germany are.

    • Richard1
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: I am not spreading any rumours I am raising a question which I hear very often amongst business leaders, both privately and in print. I’m a floater myself and I think this is the key issue for me. I don’t think that sort of response will win the argument.

      Reply Germany has said no new tariffs or barriers will be imposed. why would they want to given the huge exports they enjoy

      • Richard1
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes tarriffs are very unlikely. There are of course non-tariff barriers where it’s more difficult to forecast the resulting deal. You may be right, there’s v small chance of adverse change, but I think it needs setting out in detail very clearly.

    • acorn
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Be honest JR, “Our trade is not at risk. Why spread false rumours it is”, is not exactly true.

      There will be a considerable period when EU external tariffs will apply. LL says “… we will be far more competitive without all the absurd regulation …”, is patently untrue.

      Are we going to be selling durable electrical goods to the EU with a UK 13 Amp plug on them (you will be OK in Dubai; same plug). Will we be selling goods into the EU without “CE” conformity? No we will not. Every trading bloc has its own import regulations for political / protectionist reasons, as well as technical reasons.

      Also, depending on getting a fair deal at the WTO is risky, that organisation is unlikely to last out the decade. It has spent 15 years trying to complete the “Doha Round” and still has a long way to go. The Likes of the new major trading blocs, ASEAN; TTIP; TTP and half a dozen more, including the blocs the EU is likely to be in, will replace it. The UK could find being outside the EU, a very lonely place.

      The principal problem with the EU is the design and operation of the Euro currency. Get rid of the Euro and the EU can be developed as a “economic and social union” and any thoughts of progressing to the ultimate “full political union” can be excluded by Treaty.

      Concentrate on getting rid of the Euro currency. Once that is done you will find the “sovereignty” issue will unwind with its abolition.

      Reply The Euro us the central driver of the EU which is why we must leave. The WTO and the various world standards bodies will continue to drive world trade rules. Out of the EU the UK could get her vote and voice back on those bodies

    • libertarian
      Posted December 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      You must remember that the 45% trade with EU figure is EXPORT trade . As over 80% of trade is internal it means that just 9% of our economic activity is with EU.

      Acorn

      Oh dear why just not admit you havnt got the first clue about business. 13amp plugs indeed.

      I guess you bought an iMac or Dell with 120 V 60 Hz 2 pin plug?

  10. agricola
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If I thought that upsetting the SNP would result from us leaving the EU, I would say “Bring it on”. An unexpected bonus.

    The biggest danger to democracy in Easter Europe, or for that matter in Europe as a whole is the EU, as presently run. It has many of the qualities of FIFA.

    William Hagues’ farcical attempt at English votes for English laws was a good time for him to leave.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I guess from your post that Mr Hague has made some sort of statement, and at last shown his true colours to the Public.

    Amazing what retired politicians say shortly after they have left politics, almost as if they have a need to cleanse their system of past lies !

    Pray tell me why the SNP should govern and fix the policy of Great Britain, when they got less votes than half the votes of UKIP !

    SNP seem to be against being overseen by Westminster (part of the UK who have given them some extra powers) and still really want Independence.

    But

    The SNP seems to want to be part of the EU who are taking away independence from all member Nations.

    Has anyone asked them to explain the logic of this nonsense.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Fewer than half the votes of UKIP indeed.

      Still at least the fear of a Miliband dog being wagged by an SNP tail just about managed to keep Cameron in power. So we will (assuming Cameron cannot now rat yet again) get a referendum. Albeit one distorted and choreographed by Cameron / Major /Hague /Osborne /Clarke / the BBC and the rest or the usual suspects.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Hague as been infected by the usual group think foolishness at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    Pym, Howe, Major, Hurd, Rifkin, Straw, Beckett, David Miliband, Hague, Hammond – it is not a very inspiring list to say the very least. Robin Cook was perhaps the best of the recent lot.

    etc ed

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I’m curious to know what was edited out. Robin Cook was at least a man of conscience, but such people are sometimes an intolerable inconvenience to those who have bigger plans, and I wouldn’t trust the powers that be any further than I could throw them.

      Tad

  13. Horatio McSherry
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Mercia, I have to agree. I used to enjoy listening to his interviews and his speeches – very eloquent, forthright, funny – but the day he got into government it was if he’d been replaced with his evil (and not so bright) twin brother.

    • Timaction
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I get the impression that Cameron is wheeling out one failed politician after another for the “Remain” group. First Maastricht Major, then we had Heseltine and Clarke (Remember them cosying up to Blair for entry into the Euro via the ERM disaster), now we have “burning building” Hague. I bet he wished he’d not made those savings on hotel rooms! None of them have a credible reason for remaining other than scare stories. We want our sovereign democracy back, our borders secured and our public services protected for British people only. We no longer want laws imposed on us by unelected dictators or pay huge fees for foreign infrastructure and farmers. We also want our fishing rights restored.
      We don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it! Go ask China, USA, Japan!

      • Jerry
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction; “We”, is that a royal We, or more likely just what you, your mates down the pub and others with a similarly narrow thought processes want?

        I want out of the EU but for non of the many rather hysterical reasons and misnomers you list, the only two sentences I agree within your comment are the last two regarding trade on the last line!

        • Edward2
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Jerry
          There is nothing at all “hysterical” or “misnomers” about someone saying they want to live in a soveriegn democratic nation, to have secure borders, public service available for its own citizens, etc as Timeaction has said.
          You are entitled to have your own reasons to want to leave the EU (and there are many to choose from) but your sneering at those who have different but valid other reasons for leaving leaves you looking rather poor.

        • M Davis
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry, – “the only two sentences I agree within your comment are the last two regarding trade on the last line!”

          It seems to me that it is you who has the, “narrow thought processes”, problem.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 24, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Except that we already do, even within the EU, the problem is that our own governments (for what ever reason) do not actually use the political/policy tools etc. available.

          @M Davis; Not at all, I have a very wide thought process. Hence why I do not look for, nor need, scapegoats…

        • Timaction
          Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          My visits to a pub are limited Jerry and I don’t need to trade insults with you. I don’t do hysteria or non factual nonsense. Our sovereign democracy is the overarching aim. To return each and every power ceded by incremental stealthy treaty change over many years by the the legacy parties, whilst claiming the EU was about trade and tidying up exercises.
          My children and grandchildren deserve their own Country ruled by a true democracy with control by elections. If they want mass migration then tell us so we can agree or disagree and remove at the ballot box. We are seeing how that worked out! I don’t agree with the majority of our laws being made by unelected dictators in the EU.
          Now that’s not to difficult Jerry is it?

        • Bob
          Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry
          The thing I like most about this blog is the civility and reasoned debate among its contributors.

          You however, do not seem to be able to express a view without resorting to childish insults. You remind me of those tedious trolls that infest the rest of the internet.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction; “I don’t need to trade insults with you. I don’t do hysteria or non factual nonsense.”

          Both are matters of opinion…

          “My children and grandchildren deserve their own Country”

          As do everyone else’s, yet you think you (can) talk for all, the royal “We”, and them accuse others of being unelected dictators…

          “Now that’s not to difficult Jerry is it?”

          No, on the face of it, except that all number of holes can be found in the rational you use to form your argument, one being is that for 20 years the UK electorate could have voted to leave by electing significant numbers of europhobic MPs.

          Also, if your children and Grandchildren really do not want “mass migration” then I hope they’re willing to work the low paid menial and/or physical jobs that so many of the migrant labour force are doing because so few UK indigenous workers are not – nor is off-shoring any real solution because both skilled (high paid) work tended to go the same way as the low skilled (low paid) work.

        • Jerry
          Posted December 26, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          @Bob; What ever, you like everyone else are entitled to your opinions..

          Oh and as for trolls, if you really think that there are (published) trolls on this site you do not have a first idea what a troll is, as you say, this site is a very civil place compared to many if not most political websites (and one reason why it would be a mistake for our host to outsource moderation to the likes of say Disqus), never mind the wild-west that is Usenet!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Hang on, according to the media – not just the BBC – these are “elder statesmen” and we are lucky to have their wisdom available!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Well these people have certainly made lots of entirely predictable mistakes, but alas they seem to have learned nothing at all from them.

          Why are all the BBC interviews with Major and such people of the, “What part of your wonderful & great Worldly wisdom would you like to impart to dim voters next Sir John?” type.

          Why not start more like:

          Welcome Sir John. Before we start may I ask why on Earth we ever trust you when you went in to the hugely damaging ERM, you wanted the UK to join the EURO, you stayed in even why it was clearly hopeless, costing the nation endless £Billions and later failed even to apologise? You then buried the Tory party for 3+ terms and even now it had not really recovered. I put it to you that you record is one of a total failure judgement, you are simply not a reliable compass. You are if anything reliably wrong on most issues Sir John.

          You further sold the voters the blatant lie about “Subsidiarity”.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        If the UK were a business and the CEO had recommended it adopt a particular policy or practise that was later found to be potentially ruinous (as in the proposal to join the Euro), the shareholders would be right to lose confidence in that person’s judgement and vote to get them out. The same rationale applies to failed politicians who want us to remain in the EU, and let’s not forget the drubbing Major got in 1997.

        If something has failed so miserably and has cost the UK tax-payer so much with so little benefit for the past forty-odd years, despite the glib assurances that we need more of it and it is our salvation, why the hell should we trust their judgement and remain in the EU?

        Tad

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and it was all entirely predicable and indeed was predicted by all of the sound economists. Furthermore he has never even apologised nor accepted his error.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Not only that but Cameron is getting chummy with the Murdoch clan again (The Spectator reports he was at their intimate Christmas drinks bash this week)….and Mr Murdoch’s past apparent Eurosceptism,as was revealed earlier this year,is under review.They are all starting to show their true colours as we get closer to the line.

  14. Know-Dice
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    May be William Hague has done the “Leave” campaign a favour…how many of us in England would have like to have had a say on whether Scotland should go its own way…now we have a chance.

    Interesting interview with John Major on the Andrew Marr show. Apparently 27 to 1 is bad when you are on the outside and want to trade with the EU, but gives you loads of influence when you are on the inside…I don’t think so.

    And, somehow the migrants at Calais will become a British problem if we leave, no John they are a Schengen problem always have been, always will be.

    • Dennis
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      “And, somehow the migrants at Calais will become a British problem if we leave, ”

      Yes this is surely absurd. Why didn’t Marr question this – he sticks too much to the script.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Indeed total rubbish and perhaps you should counter these silly assertions Mr R. In Calais they will surely be more of a French problem and less of a British problem than they are now.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I think the idea is that while we’re inside and doing as we’re told at least some of those 27 will pretend to be our friends at any one time.

      Maybe only a few, and not always the same ones, but at least some at any time, and that’s better than having all of them as our sworn enemies all the time, which is what we are supposed to believe will happen if we are on the outside.

      But then if we stay in the EU but refuse to join the euro the same thing will happen as the eurozone expands, as it is legally required to do under the present treaties, and we remain stubbornly aloof and increasingly “isolated” outside of it.

      Logically, therefore, Major should not only want us to stay in the EU but also join the euro, and of course that has always been what he hoped would happen.

  15. nigel
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    JR: I think you should demand a right to reply in the Telegraph.

  16. Graham
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately these ill-informed missives from the great and good (joking of course) will drip away at much of the population who still think this is an issue about whether they will still be able to holiday in Majorca.

    Can’t see how we can raise the quality of the debate to a more acceptable level.

  17. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Well at least we now have a difference between ourselves and Canada, viz saving the Balkans no less. It will be remembered that Canada is considerably smaller than we are in both population and economy; and three quarters of her exports go to the USA, as against our measly half to the continent, yet Canada has nothing equivalent to our “union” and gets by very well.

  18. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Reading about the Union with Scotland in an old History book one of the Results of the same was given as:

    “The rise of many Scottish towns: for example, Glasgow, a small village at the Union, is now the second city in Great Britain”

    No doubt this can be picked to pieces but it perhaps shows a positive line that we didn’t see much of in the recent debate.

  19. MPC
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    ‘Leave the EU and break up the UK’ is indeed a very silly argument and deserves to be condemned. I’m sure you and your colleagues will point out in the media that the recent Scottish referendum resulted in what was in fact a pretty decisive vote to remain part of the UK. If the SNP can prove they have a clear mandate for calling a second such referendum in Scotland before a next General Election, then fine we should say we would not object to it as an indication of a healthy democracy!

    I’d be amazed if, post Brexit – what with considerable Scottish devolution, and the UK flourishing economically and independently – the Scots were to vote to rejoin the EU with all of its costs, restrictions and what would then be the obligatory Euro currency!

  20. DaveM
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I actually laughed a bit reading Mr Hague’s comments. He’s basically saying that if we vote to leave it will upset the SNP and damage the EU’s chances of becoming a bureaucratic behemoth ruled from Brussels.

    That’s like telliing kids ”if you don’t eat all that ice cream and chocolate you won’t get the fish and cabbage”. Hilarious.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed spot on.

      All these choreographed people coming out for a stay IN (what every the outcome of Cameron’s long grass “non negotiation” farce).

      The idea that the Scottish (especially with oil at its current very low price) will really want to rejoin the EU, abandon the English support and adopt the failing EURO when they see the advantages of leaving that the UK will (by then have gained) is for the birds.

      The SNP lost the last vote on the absurd basis of keeping the pound (without English consent), retaining the Queen and yet becoming “independent” – what a complete and utter nonsense that would have been.

      Did the green priests & loons not tell us oil and gas were going to run out about 15 years back and that it would all get prohibitively expensive? They are about as good a compass as John Major was with his ERM fiasco.

      The general rule is that if the BBC/actors/actresses/pop stars/J Major/The green loons, Cameron/Blair and the Libdims are all pushing something then it is nearly always going to be a very bad idea.

      • ChrisS
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        There does now seem to be a very well coordinated series of pro-EU announcements by once-prominent politicians and the BBC is doing a great job as the EU’s publicist in the UK by dutifully putting them on early in every news bulletin without any opposing view, of course.

        I suppose we should expect nothing less.

  21. bigneil
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Desperation. Desperate to help their already rich buddies become even richer, wanting the inward flood of 3rd worlders for cheaper and cheaper labour to never stop – but – would a country full of 3rd worlders (run by a tiny proportion of “elite”) turn out the quality goods that we have been famous for all over the world for years?
    Ever increasing population, all wanting electricity which we can’t produce, all wanting yet more houses, all wanting hospital treatment, all making waste, human and trade, all wanting transport – what a wonderful vision of the future for this island. . . . Still, so long as a few egomaniacs are mega-rich – who is bothered?

    • Ken Moore
      Posted December 24, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed I have been asking those questions.
      I wonder can the British inculcate the many newcomers we are forced to accept, with the values and ideas that have shaped our nation and previously made it successful?. Or are we about to dock ourselves in the one size fits all Eu mould and vote ourselves into oblivion?.
      Our values, the things that tie us together as a nation and make us strong, to my mind come from our ancestry and pride in a country with a long and rich history.

      Or will the Uk become more like the countries that are increasingly sending it’s citizens to us – Pakistan, Romania, Poland etc. ?. I don’t think anyone knows the answer – it’s an experiment and we are the largely unwilling guinea pigs.

  22. Bert Young
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I have always had a soft spot for Wm. Hague and was surprised at his pronouncement this am ( Cameron must be desperate looking around his Cabinet ). If Hague is right that the EU will be weakened at the core , then Brexit is doing it a service . Politically and economically the EU is a fudged put together ; it shouldn’t exist so the sooner it ends the better .

    Were Scotland to seize another referendum it would be economic suicide for them and a major gift to the rest of the UK . The rump of the EU would not want to add another costly burden round its neck and , if Scotland were eventually members of the EU , it would only be after the prerequisite waiting period during which time there would be no supporting £ behind them or the support of the Barnett give-away .

    Hague must have been a very serious tongue -in – cheek man when he went public .

  23. fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    The SNP cannot be allowed to dictate the terms of whether we stay or leave the EU. They want any excuse to have another referendum and we should not be letting them bribe us with this threat. Another referendum in Scotland will come eventually anyway and this time I think the SNP might get their wish. My only hope is that I will no longer be living in Scotland. Many Scots feel the same way too. I only wish the electorate here could see what they are doing by voting SNP in any elections. It gives them a mandate to say what they want to happen to Scotland and we all know what that is. They DO NOT speak for all of Scotland when they say Scotland wants to stay in the EU. Far from it in fact. Many of our friends and colleagues want to leave and also feel ashamed of Sturgeon and her cronies for what they are doing to both Scotland and the UK.

    I hope more ministers speak out against the EU like yourself John. Hopefully Cameron will see sense and allow ministers to speak out on the subject without punishment. More importantly, if this is the case we need as many as possible to show their colours.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      And what’s more Sturgeon and Salmond have driven a big wedge between the English and Scottish people 🙁

  24. Mitchel
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Taking a swift glance at his scribblings,he also seems to be keen that the EU should be extended to the states of the “West Balkans”.I’m just trying to think what’s left to be annexed to the EU- Serbia,Albania,Bosnia,Kosovo,etc.Not an appealing prospect whilst we remain in.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      They’re all lined up for EU membership and everyone agrees it should happen.

      That’s everyone who matters, by the way; you and I and the rest of the ordinary citizens don’t matter and we would no more be asked whether we wanted them in the EU than we were asked whether we wanted Croatia in the EU, notwithstanding Hague’s “referendum lock” law which was in force by then.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-accession-of-the-republic-of-croatia-to-the-european-union

      The link to the Section 5 statement no longer works, but in brief the answer was “No, there is a blanket exemption for all accession treaties”.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    What is rarely mentioned in the mainstream media is the tremendous gamble we will be taking by staying in the eu.

    The eu produces crisis after crisis which it then feeds from in order to grow even more thus fuelling the viscous circle goes on. “Crisis” is the eu’s middle name.

    We must break free from this failed organisation (as I suspect other European countries should too); otherwise we will be sucked even further into the maelstrom.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it there one single thing the EU had done well?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:04 am | Permalink

        Well, hush your mouth, Lifelogic–Think of all those lovely (Brussels) Public Sector workers as Prescott once (idiotically) said (but not about Brussels)

  26. Bob
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    @Mercia
    You only wrote two lines, but I can read between them.

  27. mick
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    His two reasons are bizarre for staying in. The first is the SNP will not like it. The SNP will use any argument to try to split the UK, The scots are going to try every trick in the book to leave the UK anyway referemdum or not so that is a lame excuse from Hague, as for Europe i could`nt care less about it, the same goes for the scots the sooner we have neither the better then we can get on with our lives

  28. Anonymous
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    We can’t let Scotland dictate how we vote on the EU. The break up of the UK seems on the cards regardless.

  29. English Pensioner
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Hague’s belief that leaving the EU would cause the UK to break up could be a significant factor in persuading large numbers of English to vote to leave. He underestimates the number of English who would like to see Scotland have independence and thereby achieving English independence. If I hadn’t already made up my mind to vote ‘out’, the bonus of Scotland leaving the UK would certainly be a clincher!

  30. Atlas
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Like others, I find his arguments a sad end to his political career.

  31. Pat
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    It is sad to see William Hague abandon his very common-sense position on the EU. Clearly he has been assimilated during his spell at the Foreign Office! I jest… I really don’t have a problem with those who think the UK is best served by remaining in the EU, I’m sure their opinions are sincerely held. I do have a problem that they seek to label those with a different opinion as ‘fanatics’ and ‘die-hards’. I am neither. In 1975 I voted ‘out’ of the then EEC because I could see its direction of travel. It actually turned out to be worse than my worst imagination! Those who seek to promote the ‘remain’ view should be honest. They seek to subsume the UK into a federalist EU super-state. I love my country and its history, I don’t want to see it become an EU ‘region’. Nor do I wish to see European countries with terrific histories and cultures become mere ‘regions’. That is an honourable view, it is not being a ‘fanatic’.

    • graham1946
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Pat

      Actually, fanatics and diehards are ones who do not use argument but insults and threats and faith, so that lets you out anyway. We have also been called closet racists and assorted fruitcakes, among other things. Remind you of anyone? I’d say that person was a fanatic and a diehard, not a democrat.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Pat,

      I agree with a lot of that, but I’m afraid I definitely DO have a problem with those who want to remain, and for a very good reason – they’re fundamentally wrong, and their miscalculation and even subterfuge in some cases will see this nation gone for good. It’s a bit like saying one doesn’t mind rattle snakes, when those slippery creatures that don’t see things he way a rational person does, pose a clear and present danger to us and all that we cherish. We have to see them for what the are if we love our country.

      Tad

  32. graham1946
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    My take on this is that at heart, William is a true Eurosceptic, but doesn’t want to upset Dave. If anything can be guaranteed to turn the English vote it will be the possibility of getting shot of Scotland, so he’s doing the ‘out’ campaign a lot of good. Why else were the English denied a vote in what should have been a national Referendum, other than that if given the chance they would vote for separation? If CMD really thought the English would back him he’d have had a national referendum like a shot, not the regional one he fixed, though even at that he was panicked into needless concessions to the Scots to to bribe them to stay in.

    What I find extraordinary about the SNP is that they don’t want to be governed by a foreign power in London, who pay their bills but are falling over themselves to be governed by foreign powers in Brussels who will send them a bill. . Is there something wrong with porridge in the way it affects the brain?

    Reply Mr Hague was not a true Eurosceptic.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and how many of William Hagues’ constituents voted for him in the past on the basis of his “in Europe, not run by Europe” slogan.

      Is that now changed to “in Europe, run by Europe, dictated to by the SNP,?”

      • Ken Moore
        Posted December 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Hague is the ultimate professional politician – he long ago jettisoned any awkward principles that may interfere with that most important of matters – the career advancement of Lord William Hague.

        He is the perfect establishment figure – a chameleon able to bend the facts to fit any argument.
        Please let him soon retire to his piano playing so we can be spared his tedious nasal tones…

    • Ken Moore
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Reply Mr Hague was not a true Eurosceptic.

      Mr Hague it seems pretended to be a Eurosceptic when it suited him.

      William Hague’s ‘Foreign Land speech of 2001.

      ” This Government thinks Britain would be all right if we had a different people. I think Britain would be all right, if only we had a different government.

      Presumably now Mr Hague is relaxed about mass immigration and has no problem with Mr Cameron who is more than happy to continue the politically correct work of his mentor Mr Blair.

      “There is nothing that the British people can talk about that this Labour Government doesn’t deride”

      ‘The British people’ have said loud and clear they want the numbers of migrants brought down – something that can only be done by withdrawal from the Eu.

      Is this something else Hague has changed his position on…another principle to be tossed aside if it might ingratiate himself with the leadership of the Conservative party.

      Hague in 2000 “In more than 20 years in politics, he (Tony Blair) has betrayed every cause he believed in, contradicted every statement he has made, broken every promise he has given and breached every agreement that he has entered into…. There is a lifetime of U-turns, errors and sell-outs”.

      It’s a pity Mr Hague doesn’t judge himself on the standard he holds others to. He could teach Tony a thing or two about looking both ways at once and contradicting himself.

  33. willH
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    As a resident of the constituency represented by William Hague I remember a road being closed for bridge repairs for several weeks, causing a long detour for trucks coming to the local quarry. A representative of the hauliers met Mr Hague to try to get help with lifting a weight restriction temporarily on another road that would have alleviated the problem. I was told
    Mr Hagues response was that as this road was close to Sir Timothy Kitson`s house trucks couldn`t be allowed past waking him early in the morning! Apparently all the extra fuel being used didn`t matter, or the drivers extra hours, as long as the former Conservative minister wasn`t inconvenienced. Another example of the contempt we are held in by our representatives.

  34. Peter Drummond
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    William Hague misses the point, whilst the SNP threaten another referendum and claim that a vote to leave the EU would trigger another referendum they would not actually call one unless they were sure of winning. Just as last time the Scots in the privacy of the polling booth, by a considerable margin, would vote with their wallets; they wouldn’t leave the Barnet Formula, the protection from a fluctuating oil price and Sterling. It is safe to say that the Scots are in their best ever position, a never ending list of grievances without having to face the real world (note how there has been no movement on their tax rate) and with someone else ‘buying’ them off.

    I suspect they would dislike having their bluff called.

    To distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine is not difficult.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      They can’t call one without the consent of the UK Parliament, as Salmond and Sturgeon implicitly acknowledged by signing the Edinburgh Agreement.

  35. JoeSoap
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Hague’s of course

  36. Shieldsman
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    All the grey ones (and some not so grey -Hague) coming out of the woodwork. They have their instructions to support our failed (renegotiations) PM. Repeat after me – ‘We must lot leave the EU, we must not leave the EU’.
    On past history are they trustworthy? Not in my book.

    Are they trying to dig D.C. and the Tory hierarchy out of his failed MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – EU renegotiations.

    For those that read his Bloomburg ( though many seem to have forgotten, it reads as though Cameron the grand statesman (following in the footsteps of Churchill and Thatcher) is going to change the direction of the European Union and row back on the Treaties culminating with Lisbon which we (the Brits) do not like.

    To fulfill any of his changes would require Treaty change which the Comrades are not prepared to make at this time. They are too busy trying to correct the failings of Shengen by patching up the Eu’s external boundaries.

    As you previously pointed out Treaty change will come after 2017 and will not benefit the United Kingdom. It will not comply with Cameron’s Bloomburg vision,
    it will demand closer integration of the member states to bolster up the EURO. It is all set out in the 5 Presidents report.

    On 15th March 2014, after Bloomburg and before the European Parliamentary elections David Cameron wrote in the Daily Telegraph: the EU is not working and we will change it.
    It is best described as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, The would be statesman has failed to deliver on all his promises . Note his promises to, and failure to control migration into the United Kingdom are not even mentioned.

    In 2016/17 will history record it as Cameron’s great retreat from Brussels?

  37. brian
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    European countries wishing to join the EU are encouraged to get their house in order before making a formal request to join. However, most existing members, including Germany, think it’s OK to break the rules when it suits them.

  38. ChrisS
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    England voting us out of Europe thus upsetting Sturgeon and possibly leading to Scotland voting to leave the UK, will actually increase support for Brexit in England !

    I haven’t found one English person that likes Sturgeon and most are utterly sick and tired of the SNP whinging and trying to call the shots at Westminster.

    Surely the General Election result should have told all politicians that ?

    Clearly the votes in Scotland need to be counted separately and, if they vote differently to England they should be offered another referendum. They won’t vote to leave, of course, so we can call Sturgeon’s bluff anytime we want.

    Thanks to the plunging oil price. their economy is now utterly dependent on massive fiscal transfers from England and the SNP still have no answer to the currency question.

    Osborne should put proper EVELs and an end to the hated Barnett formula in the 2020 Conservative manifesto and reduce Scottish spending per head to the same as England. They can then start to pay for prescriptions and university fees like the rest of us.

    I predict an increase in the Conservative majority in England and I doubt whether the sole Conservative seat remaining in Scotland will be lost.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Nothing has happened to him. It was always obvious that a man who went around saying “In Europe but not run by Europe”, and who would only rule out joining the euro in the short term, was just another Tory “pseudosceptic”.

  40. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Hague’s Telegraph article is feeble and risible. To think that he once aspired to be Prime Minister. The baseball cap wearing photos revealed more about his intellect than we then realised.

  41. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    No surprise, to survive with Cameron and Osborne was the clue.

    As to the SNP I am in favour of Scottish residents having five year referendums on their UK status. It still puzzles me that a nationalist party can win 95% of the seats and not be inclined to declare independence. The reason no doubt is that the commitment was not in their manifesto, what happens if it is in 2020? Then Mr. Hague needn’t worry about the SNP. Another political conundrum: why are the SNP so keen on having independence from a benign and generous UK to become a minnow under the five presidents?

  42. Leslie Singleton
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Just read his article and wouldn’t have thought it of Hague, using Janus-faced weasel words like this. If evidence were needed (It isn’t, as I’ve said many times) that the word “Eurosceptic” is meaningless, with a strong injection of pure mendacity, this is it–his applying the word to himself while opting to vote to stay In is just too much. Where it all leaves Mr “I-rule-nothing-out” Cameron (Are words to have no meaning at all?) and his joke of a non-existent s0-called re-negotiation, Heaven alone knows. How can he possibly be allowed to keep squawking that he is on course for fundamental change? Fundamental is a strong easily understood word but what he is offering is the complete opposite. There should be a way to forbid him doing this, especially as with him fluent dissembling is nothing new.

  43. matthu
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Christmas Quiz:

    Put the following in the order that they will be rolled out ahead of any EU referendum (repetitions allowed):

    Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Gordon Brown, Chris Huhne, Richard Branson, Alex Salmond, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Chilcott Report.

  44. Bob Scobie
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    As a committed Scottish Unionist I firmly believe that the Uk will be safer outside the EU. The SNP Slogan was “Independence in Europe”. Can you imagine the majority of Scots voting to leave an independent UK when they realise it would mean using a different currency to trade with their biggest trading partner England, along with the border controls that would apply. Throw in the loss of the Barnet formula, etc, etc etc – No Chance!

    New Slogan – LEAVE THE EU TO SAVE THE UK

  45. EdwardM
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Well said.
    Unfortunately for Hague he just shows himself to be mixed-up and unable to follow his own argument through to its logical conclusion. A disappointment that is best forgotten.

    And unfortunately for us, Mr Cameron so far also chooses to be a follower of the EU rather than a leader of the British people. I hope he finds his reward on this earth to be a leadership challenge.

  46. Maureen Turner
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    To my so called compatriots south of the border. Can I remind you that last year’s Separation vote was won by those who wished to remain part of the UK by 55/45% in which the PM played no part in securing. Over the past four years many of you have indicated you want shot off Scotland but it comes with a downside for all you Scot haters and it is this.

    If you keep up your nonsense about spongers and whingers you are most certainly going to get your independence and you’ll most likely get more “ever closer union” but it won’t be with Scotland but Brussels. For decades Scotland was rock solid Labour but they didn’t
    care for Messers. Blair, Brown or Milliband and along came the SNP which they flocked to and won 57 seats out of 59. It was in part the neglected Tory vote that carried the Separation referendum but don’t assume they will vote Leave in the EU referendum as they are also pro EU in quite large numbers.

    The political landscape of the entire UK is in a ghastly mess as this PM doesn’t seem to realise that although three parts are devolved he still has to carry the whole country. Sitting back and assuming they’ll get on with it is exactly what he is allowing to happen and it’s not nice. The money paid to Scotland through the Barnett formula is peanuts compared to that going to Brussels and we don’t place any restrictions on how you govern your selves over the border.

    Think of it this way. Would you rather have an irritating itch on your scalp which you scratch from time to time or perhaps be subsumed into a Federal State of Europe with no scalp left at all? If you want the Leave vote to win the day, as I do, then stop harping on about whingers and scroungers as all you are doing is driving those neglected Tories to consider voting Remain – the SNP were for decades known as the Tartan Tories and that’s
    when we helped return Con. Goverments to Westminster.

  47. ChrisS
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    From an English point of view we have sat on the sidelines and watched Scotland taken over by a spiteful and nasty anti-English party. The SNP has been totally hypocritical in taking everything the Scots can get from the union while forever complaining about the way they are treated and continually demanding more.

    The fact is that, despite Labours best efforts to rig the system to prevent it happening, the Scots have voted for one party (SNP) government. Scottish voters need to understand that if they vote for an SNP government there will eventually be a backlash from England.

    There are only so many insults and demands we will be prepared to put up with as Milliband found out when Sturgeon, in a breathtaking act of arrogance, told English voters that, whatever they voted for, she would keep David Cameron out of Downing Street. Well, that went well, didn’t it ?

    I don’t know of one English politician who has unilaterally come out openly against Scotland, they have always been responding to the latest round of SNP insults or demands. I can’t find any examples of the opposite being true, can you ?

    Labour has reaped what it has sown by changing the voting system and creating such a one-sided devolution arrangement. ( I will not call it a settlement because, as far as England is concerned, it is far from “Settled” ! )

  48. turbo terrier
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    With Mr Hague going can somebody (anybody) arrange for him to take the Prime Minister with him NOW.

    The longer he remains in post the worse this is all going to get.

    There are more than enough old and young bulls in our party to really take this country forward to greater achievements without the EU.

    We need people with vision, not those unable to see and embrace change.

    Europe never was, never will be the panacea to all that is wrong with this country indeed their rules and regulations make it worse.

    Mr Cameron is never going to get the country a deal and he knows it, He should do the honourable thing and resign now before he does even greater damage

  49. Alexis
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    They really were bizarre reasons!

    Having held such a senior post, I expected stronger arguments.

    Instead I am left in disbelief. Is the pull of EU prestige that strong?

    • ChrisS
      Posted December 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Could Hague be lining up to take the next seat on the Brussels gravy train if we vote to stay in ?

      He’s just the kind of politician that they appoint as a President or similar :
      Formerly prominent in his own country, proven record of supporting the EU ( still working on that, obviously ) but not exactly from the top drawer.

      Perhaps Cameron is on a promise that the next senior position that comes vacant will go to Britain if we vote “The Right Way.”

  50. Ken Moore
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    It was Mr Hague that described the Euro as being like ‘a burning building with no exits’.
    Well isn’t the whole Eu project now a ‘burning building’ with it’s tattered borders, stifling regulation and remote, overpaid and unaccountable elite.

    However now some of us have sighted the exit… Mr Hague wishes to lock it.

    It is the season of goodwill so I shall fall short of suggesting he is a foolish man.

  51. Ken Moore
    Posted December 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    .

  • 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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