A renegotiation without treaty change achieves nothing lasting

Let us assume the PM secures all his negotiating objectives. There will be huffing and puffing over the fourth, the 4 year ban in welfare payments to EU migrants, but doubtless there will be some bridge, some fudge that claims symmetry between UK benefit recipients and those from the rest of the EU around a four year delay.  The trouble is, without Treaty change there are  no guarantees, no change to the underlying UK/EU relationship, no protection against future penalties and policies that the UK does not like.

Any deal depends on the view of the European Court of Justice anyway. They could overturn the apparent success in a future case. Any part of our welfare system, reformed by the deal, can be found to be against EU rules, or can be altered by future EU rule changes that we might not be able to block.


Were the UK to vote to stay in the rest of the EU will claim we have been given very special treatment and will then wish to reverse as many of  the concessions and special deals we enjoy as they can. There is continuous pressure to get us to drop what remains of our cash rebate. The UK government regularly gives into pressure to transfer more criminal justice powers to the EU. Part of Mr Cameron’s deal is to increase EU powers in business regulation and services. The Germans always make clear that they see the Euro as a necessary part of the single market. Most EU countries want the UK to be fully part of the common borders policy.


If the UK is foolish enough to vote stay it needs to understand what it is staying in. It is an emerging state called the EU, with the full range of state powers. It is a wild ride to political Union.


Mr Caneron’s renegotiation also shows how it is impossible to combine national democracy with EU sovereignty. If after every election in a member state that state needs treaty or policy change then the EU becomes  unworkable. If instead every country accepts it cannot change any law or policy from the EU by a General election it us no longer a national democracy.


  1. Leslie Singleton
    January 10, 2016

    What happened to “fundamental change”? Cameron’s letter doesn’t amount to a hill of beans and even such as is in it will be diluted, especially as he has now up and said that he believes in free movement. Benefits is a third order SFW matter. The only good news is that this is all so pathetic that the people will see it for what it is, and what it is not, and vote to get the Hell out and the sooner the better. What fun to see Merkel saying the immigrants have to obey German Law. How familiar did she think they would be with German Law? How many speak German? Instant mass multiculturalisation like this is insane.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016

      Indeed I thought Cameron’s Bloomberg speech was vacuous and vague, but he has not even come close to asking for that. The renegotiation is a complete joke he is fooling no one.

      His big demand (as he sees it) the restriction of benefits, is a total irrelevance in the scheme of things. We want real democracy & selective immigration decided upon by UK elected and unelected politicians. A policy that will need to adapt depending on the circumstances at the time. All decided upon by UK representatives and with the interest of UK subjects in mind.

      1. Jagman84
        January 10, 2016

        The events of New years eve, in many German cities, have rendered any economic arguments regarding the EU obsolete. It has become essentially a cultural issue. If Germany persists in it’s open invite to millions (from an alien culture) to enter the EU then, for the safety of our women folk, we must withdraw immediately.

    2. alan jutson
      January 10, 2016


      Amazed to hear on the news yesterday that Mr Merkel says she is going to introduce a law to be able to deport people Immigrants/refugees who break German law.

      Whilst I would agree with her.
      If it is that simple, then why have we not done the same, why are we having difficulty Changing our Benefits/Welfare system to suit us.

      What about so called Human Rights.

      The Court of European Justice.

      Has Germany got some special privileges in law making for the whole of the EU, or is it just Germany that is a special case.

      1. Mark B
        January 11, 2016

        She has seriously messed up. She knows it, her supporters know it and now the people know it. This is a feeble attempt at damage limitation.

      2. Lifelogic
        January 11, 2016

        Indeed, the UK probably would not even be allowed to cut their benefits by 50p.

      3. Denis Cooper
        January 11, 2016

        Merkel invited them to Germany and now Germany is stuck with them, unless the German parliament decides to disregard their human rights as defined by the German courts in accordance with the crazy views of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    3. Tad Davison
      January 10, 2016

      ‘The only good news is that this is all so pathetic that the people will see it for what it is, and what it is not, and vote to get the Hell out and the sooner the better. ‘

      You have a lot more confidence in people than I do Leslie! I see a largely ill-informed electorate that is easily swayed by misinformation emanating from the likes of the BBC. We are where we are because people have been duped all the way down the pro-EU line. Certain nepotistic manipulative people continue to bank on the fact that the public pay scant regard to anything ‘heavy’ until it’s time to make a decision, and often, they do so on the flimsiest of pretexts. Sometimes it is down to the charisma of a politician rather than the substance of their policies, as in the case of one T. Blair.

      The ‘Out’ campaign needs its own ‘telly-genic’ figurehead to get the message across in simple easily understood terms. So far, that person has eluded us. Unless we get one, the entire campaign may falter.


      1. Leslie Singleton
        January 10, 2016

        Dear Tad–Yes, but one has to try and remain optimistic

    4. Qubus
      January 10, 2016

      Maybe not German, but I bet that most of them speak English !!!

      1. Lifelogic
        January 11, 2016


    5. Leslie Singleton
      January 10, 2016

      Postscript–I have just read that Cameron is hopeful of “a” deal by February. This bemuses me. Of course he’ll get “a” deal but it doesn’t seem to matter to him that what he is asking for (leave alone what he will be given) is inconsequential in the extreme. How does he say what he does with a straight face?

      1. Lifelogic
        January 11, 2016

        How does he say what he does with a straight face?

        Well he is a politician after all and PR person. He has had a great deal of, no if no buts, cast iron practice and after all he is a “low tax Conservative at heart”. This even thought Osborne has done nothing but increase taxes hugely and has even ratted on even his IHT tax threshold promise of many moons ago.

        He goes from one PR event to another like a hired actor just saying his lines and forgetting them almost as soon as the sound dies away. If you can fake sincerity …..

  2. Jumeirah
    January 10, 2016

    We want our Sovreingty back. THAT’s IT. No deals. No negotiation. Nuff said.

    1. DaveM
      January 10, 2016

      Hear hear.

      I don’t give a monkeys if the Polish guy who works in a garage or a Romanian who drives a taxi claims in-work benefits. I do care that one seemingly(ill directed ed) woman from east Germany has the ability to dictate all of Europe’s policies and future.

      Treaty change is irrelevant. Complete control of borders and total sovereignty is all that is acceptable. We must leave.

  3. Mike Stallard
    January 10, 2016


    Mr Redwood, as a politician, you will understand the attractions of power.
    I am re-reading the Five Presidents’ Report at the moment. It is, frankly, a bid for total control of the EU. Admittedly it sets out to be only about money. But, of course, social policy (benefits) comes into that. So does political union – under the Commissioners naturally.
    If we vote REMAIN, the we are holding the door open for M. Juncker and the others to march through and take control of the whole of the Eurozone first, then the rest of Europe second.
    Britain will be (temporarily?) sidelined onto “Associate Membership” (or the “British Option”). But the power will be in the hands of – guess who? – the Five Presidents!

    1. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016


    2. alan jutson
      January 10, 2016


      Agree absolutely.

      Its out, or agree to the future erosion of any power we have left until its a fully integrated EU.

      Surprised the out team have not mentioned the 5 Presidents report as yet.

      I would guess 99% of the population not even aware it exists, let alone what it means.

      1. majorfrustration
        January 10, 2016

        Rather like the “out team”

    3. Timaction
      January 10, 2016


      The lies by Mr Cameron are already reported in Germany. His claims of a renegotiation are simply lies. We’re almost at his “Chamberlain” moment, whilst his federalists can say his lies the sceptics are kept quiet. We are way past party politics our very future is under threat as a sovereign Nation. UKIP are the only party of truth.

      1. Denis Cooper
        January 11, 2016

        “The victor in this game has already been determined. On Feb. 19 in Brussels, David Cameron will prevail with all of his most important demands. The British prime minister, to be sure, will be standing alone at the summit, faced with opposition from his 27 EU counterparts. But in the end, following tough negotiations, he will get his way.”

        Then he can adapt Wilson’s pamphlet from 1975:


        “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.”

  4. The Active Citizen
    January 10, 2016

    Yes, JR, whatever results the PM achieves from his supposed negotiations are meaningless and have been even before ‘President’ Tusk published Cameron’s letter to him, last November.

    1. Meaningless because what the PM aimed for was so limited anyway, and so many of the fundamental issues of reform were ‘forgotten’, which even he had previously said needed to be addressed, and
    2. Meaningless because of the inevitable overturning you refer to by the European Court of Justice, and
    3. Meaningless because if the negotiation outcomes are promised to be included in some future revisions of the Treaties, it is inevitable that some amongst the 27 other countries will object in the future. In the case of some EU countries, they would have to hold their own referenda by law, and their peoples would object.

    The question of the irrelevance of the PM’s negotiations is why I have previously said that I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t get an unequivocal statement out of Messrs Cummings and Elliot that the UK should leave the EU, regardless of any negotiations. Their previous incarnation of ‘Business For Britain’, on which Vote Leave was eventually built, specifically stated they were about reforming the EU, not leaving it. I’m sure they’re now changing their position, but I will never like the fact they refused to come out for leaving the EU ‘come what may’, when they were asked.

    A general point : I know that most of your correspondents believe that the Referendum battle will be won or lost primarily on sovereignty and immigration and that I’m in a minority for disagreeing. I’m also well aware that immigration scores highest in terms of ‘most important issue’ in all the recent surveys.

    However, this is not what will win the debate. Immigration and issues of ‘take back supremacy of Parliamentl’ are of course vitally important, but these just frame an emotional background to most people’s thinking. What will make people put an ‘X’ in the leave box is:-

    1. Will I personally be better or worse off?
    2. Will my job be safe? (Might my job prospects get even better?)
    3. Will we be better off as a country, i.e. will my children be better off?
    4. Will we be safer or not, as a country?

    If we have powerful, believable, and simple answers to these questions, and if these are really well-presented repeatedly, we might have a chance of overturning what looks to me like a 2:1 vote for remaining.

    Call me cynical, but if we rely on arguments of sovereignty and immigration, we’ll lose. The vast majority of people are not interested enough in our debates – they care about themselves and their families and only really look at clear and decisive reasons for leaving which will improve their lot. And I’m not criticising them for that.

    1. Ben Kelly
      January 10, 2016

      Your four points above are true but sovereignty and immigration contribute a sizeable chunk of the risks to future personal prosperity and security.

      We need credible figures showing GDP per capita declining and cost of living shooting up due to demand from our supplemented population. We also need figures showing that although most Europeans come here to work their incomes are supplemented by the various in work benefits that being in the European Union entitles them too. Housing benefit, working tax credits, child benefit, free education, health care and translation services among others. It is not enough that some immigrants contribute more in tax than they claim (at £4K per child at school they will need to be earning a lot) they need to be paying sufficient tax to cover those who are kept out of work or training by their presence.

      How many low skilled jobs have become only open to Europeans as the hiring supervisor is recruiting only their countrymen?

      Assurances from business that all will be well outside the Union are essential but unequivocal facts about how much this membership costs us compared to the paltry return will show how much better off and secure we will be after voting to leave.

    2. A different Simon
      January 10, 2016

      Quote “However, this is not what will win the debate.”

      As Saul Alinsky or one of his followers explained “The issue is never the issue , the issue is always the revolution” .

      Only the OUT campaign (mistakenly) views this forthcoming referendum as a debate or trying to win an argument .

      The IN / EU / leftists have no intention of allowing a debate to take place .

      The OUT campaign needs to realise pronto that they are in a war because the other side have understood this from the start !

      To win a war , no tactics must be ruled out no matter how dirty .

    3. Margaret
      January 10, 2016

      I don’t agree with you. Debate will not win the day. The change in this country has been so rapid that most will be able to see the deterioration. People will vote with their gut feelings and the hurt they have suffered throughout this EU take over.
      DC who should be respected as any other who has an opinion and not subject to these personal insults has stated that if the country votes for out he will have to make it work. Even if deep down he doesn’t think that it is in GB’s interests to remain, diplomacy must continue . Imagine the potential relationship with a YES vote if we all said outright the EU stinks.

    4. Denis Cooper
      January 10, 2016

      I’m not sure that we do in fact have “powerful, believable, and simple answers to these questions” which will counteract the fear generated by the other side, that seems to me to be a great weakness in the propaganda case.

    5. bluedog
      January 10, 2016

      Excellent post. There is no doubt that Cameron will use the benefits of incumbency to the max to influence opinion for a vote in favour of remaining. No lie, half-truth or misrepresentation will be left unemployed, and he is of course a PR man.

      But the good news is that the EU is above all a crisis generating device, thanks to the inherent weakness of its structures and policies. The year is young and already a major crisis is developing in German politics, one that could easily result in the downfall of Merkel’s reich. Who will come next? We cannot say but the likelihood is that the next leader will be a right of centre nationalist.

      Perhaps Dr JR should reciprocate the hospitality of his interlocutors at the German embassy, pour copious drafts of Wehlener Sonnenuhr down their throats to help them sing, and publish his findings on the future of Germany.

    6. Chris
      January 10, 2016

      I think that people will also put an X in the box if they feel there is a credible exit plan drafted. The Flexcit plan by Richard North is one such plan, and it is interesting that Leave.eu have now taken on R North as a consultant and he, in conjunction with them, will be producing a shorter version of Flexcit for public consumption. Thus, Leave.eu is the only campaign which has a viable and detailed exit plan and as such this campaign far outshines the other Leave campaigns, and deserves, I believe, the formal recognition from the Electoral Commission.

    7. Qubus
      January 10, 2016

      The reason that we shall stay in is basically because of scaremongering by the “In ” crowd; the threat of the loss of 3m jobs etc.
      “Keep hold of nurse for fear of something worse”.

    8. Know Dice
      January 10, 2016

      Absolutely agree, especially your point 1.

      More strength should also be put in the argument that a vote to stay in will not just be retaining the status quo.

      A vote to stay in is a green light to the EU and its institutions that we are ready to be fully assimilated into the greater EU…

    9. hefner
      January 10, 2016

      Whereas I think your four questions to be highly relevant and likely to be those in most people’s heads when voting, which politicians could really give a real answer to such questions? Politics is a game of mirrors, and no honest politician (not even JR) will ever be able to guarantee the outcome.
      People who think that out is the solution are as blurry-eyed as those who pretend that staying in is the way.
      As once said, forecast is difficult, especially over the future.

  5. Lifelogic
    January 10, 2016

    Indeed without a Treaty Change it is all worthless. Even with a treaty change we cannot trust the EU courts not to extend clauses like health & safely, a single market and rights to a family life to mean almost anything they want it to.

    Reported in the Telegraph today: David Cameron is facing a fresh Cabinet revolt amid warnings that Downing Street is censoring eurosceptic ministers in order to keep Britain in the European Union. Senior officials have taken the extraordinary step of seeking to vet – and in some cases alter – speeches from ministers in Parliament, to tone down their eurosceptic comments, The Telegraph can reveal.

    I always doubted that Cameron would ever grant a fair referendum. After his previous blatant, serial cast iron, no if no buts betrayals and his entirely fake, long grass, choreographed “renegotiation” how could anyone not?

    As the referendum looks more and likely to vote to leave then I doubt it even more. He is clearly determined to either rush a referendum through, as quickly as he can, while restricting the few sound ministers as much as he can. I suspect he will find some excuse for yet more long grass delays. The tide is against him I suspect.

    As you say Mr Cameron’s renegotiation also shows how it is impossible to combine national democracy with EU sovereignty. If you did it would only be a fight between them until the (almost certainly the EU) grabbed all the power.

    1. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016

      I see that Christopher Booker has an interesting take on this – also he claims that:

      Met Office’s ‘wettest ever’ claim fails again, Official records show that December ranked as only the 20th wettest since 1766, despite what we’ve been told.


      1. Denis Cooper
        January 10, 2016

        They do the same as Thames Water has done over the sewer which runs along the length of our garden and which has repeatedly got blocked ever since we moved here thirty years ago – “lose” the earlier records, so that I have to tell them what has happened in the past from my own notes.

    2. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016

      So Cameron and Osborne are to offer parenting classes. Paid for by yet more taxes and endless borrowing no doubt. After we all know what a wonderful job the state sector does when they bring up children! What did we do to deserve such a compass lacking lefty dope in charge of the Tories. How are his idiotic happiness indexes coming along, still costing us millions no doubt and yet we hear almost nothing of them nowadays? What is the point, other than the creation of yet more pointless parasitic jobs?

      1. Lifelogic
        January 10, 2016

        Perhaps the parenting and marriage classes should be tested out on some of the MPs many clearly need some help in this area?

        1. Jerry
          January 10, 2016

          @LL; “[personal,] parenting and marriage classes should be tested”

          If only there was a GCSE in personal, parenting and marriage theory, PPMT for short…! Joking aside, it would likely be more useful to the nation than kids leaving school having learnt by rope their (11 and 12) times-tables!

  6. Mick
    January 10, 2016

    I wonder what scare tactic Cameron and other eu loving people will say and use to keep us in the dreaded eu, it worked in the 2015 election by saying a vote for UKIP is a vote for SNP so people were scared into voting Torie, and as for ministers in the cabinet not being allowed to speak out at the moment, if they wanted they would is it because they don’t want to because they don’t want to loose there jobs and ministerial cars and that they don’t give a dam about GB but themselves

    1. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016

      It only just worked May 7th. Mainly due to the hopelessness of would be landlord thief Ed Miliband and the dreadful vision (for the English) of a Labour dog waived by an SNP tail.

      On top of this UKIP voters had to hold their noses and vote Tory in nearly all the seats just to stop the even worse Labour or Libdims. This due the FPTP voting system and the Tory historical brand loyalty that still pertains with some voters.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        January 10, 2016

        Foolish or not, I still voted UKIP as that is the party I now believe in. I was a Conservative all my voting life but that has all changed particularly in light of Cameron being in charge. Get a few sensible ministers back in and I may come back to the fold but it would have to change significantly. We need more people like yourself John.

        1. Ken Moore
          January 10, 2016

          We need more people like yourself John.

          If you read what JR says you will find he has no fundamental problem with political correctness (he confuses it with manners and decency) and is much more relaxed about mass immigration than you and I. We also need people in touch with the concerns of everyday people not just mp’s that live in leafy spacious suburbs.

          I suspect this will be another post that is conveniently delayed or deleted by the moderation process so I suspect this will be my last contribution.
          The case for coming out of the Eu is overwhelming yet the IN side have been allowed to build a case that has deceived a large number of people. The No campaigning has had no imagination, no passion, no organisation and zero simple messages that will resonate it’s all very poor. The OUT campaign need to wake up, stop the endless discussions and start getting hard hitting messages out now.

    2. Dame Rita Webb
      January 10, 2016

      Just like they did in Scotland, vote out and lose your job. This is complete cobblers of course as any Greenland fisherman will tell you. Post exit trade deals are possible as witnessed by his prawns being more competitively priced, in my local supermarket, than the rival product from Scotland.

      1. Iain Moore
        January 10, 2016

        Not only did little Greenland get control over its fishing rights, but also got the EEC to pay them subsidies. Now compare that with the ‘thin gruel’ that Cameron is renegotiating, and we have these brilliant diplomats in the Foreign Office making the most of our economic, trade, military, etc maximising our leverage.

      2. Dinosaur
        January 10, 2016

        So why can’t we say ‘stay in and you will lose your job ?’

        Hundreds of thousands of taxi drivers, pickers, packers and shop workers already have.

        1. fedupsoutherner
          January 10, 2016

          Dinasoar, don’t forget the steel workers, and people in heavy industry who have lost their jobs partly because of the EU policy of renewables and expensive energy. Another good reason to repeal the Climate Change Act and get back to a decent and common sense approach to energy production in the UK.

          1. Lifelogic
            January 11, 2016

            Indeed and the desire for cheaper energy will probably do for the misguided “green” Zak Goldsmith in London too.

            No one sensible swallows the Climate Catastrophe BBC religion any more. They want cheap reliable energy.

        2. Annoyed in IT
          January 12, 2016

          And don’t forget all the small digital businesses hit by the EUVAT laws. Their US competition can put up a Paypal link and get paid, while some UK firms and the self-employed face an 80% cut in revenue trying to comply.

          Right now it is easier to sell to New Zealand than France, because of the EU. Isn’t that the opposite of the common market’s aims?

    3. alan jutson
      January 10, 2016


      “…..Ministers in the cabinet not being able to speak out….’

      It does not have seemed to have stopped a long list of Ministers from saying we should stay in.

      Double standards again..

    4. graham1946
      January 10, 2016

      And there you have it – their miserable careers are far more important than the national interest. They could easily ignore it.
      Why all the Tories kowtow to Neville Cameron, I cannot understand – he’s not a winner and will be gone in a couple of years regardless. He cares nothing for this country and for him the EU debate is a nuisance and of little consequence – he is more worried about his ‘government’ and his ‘legacy’ than anything else. A small man, with no discernable principles. After the referendum, regardless of result he will be dumped by his beloved chums in Europe from anything meaningful. It is embarrassing than any time you see them all at a summit, he is always the outsider, trying desperately trying to be one of the big boys.

  7. The Active Citizen
    January 10, 2016

    “If the UK is foolish enough to vote stay it needs to understand what it is staying in.”

    JR, you write so prolifically that I’m sure occasionally things creep in which you might later wish to reword, in case of deliberate misinterpretation by the left-wing media. I believe what you were trying to say was that the UK’s people have a right to know what they’re being asked to vote for and have the right to be fully and well informed.

    You were right to say that the UK would be foolish not to seize this opportunity to become a sovereign, successful, global player again. That’s not to be confused with saying that the people would be foolish of course. If the UK votes to remain, it will be because of years of endemic and institutionalised indoctrination suffered by its people. Particularly true of the under 40s.

    The problem here is the manner and nature of this information. I think it’s fair to say that several of your correspondents on this site are better informed (and do more research) than many of the journalists now employed by TV and the press, as well as numerous organisations such as the CBI and all the other bodies coming out of the woodwork and expressing an opinion – often without the right to do so.

    We can either whinge about this or do our level best to present the facts and the arguments in an effort to overcome the overwhelming bias which can be seen on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that the public are currently confused.

    If the UK gets fooled, then I believe the fault will lie with those of us who fail to fight hard enough. The British public have a habit of sorting out the truth in the end – they just need help to see all the facts and there are many fine people who seem determined to assist in this, of whom you are one.

    Finally, can you please object to the Chair of the 22 or direct to the PM (or whatever is the most appropriate method) about the absurd situation where pro-EU ministers are constantly coming out with pro-EU statements – almost daily now – when eurosceptic ministers are prevented from making anti-EU statements?

    1. Lifelogic
      January 10, 2016

      Cameron will clearly do his best, within his powers, to ensure the referendum is as biased to the remain in side as he dares. We see this all over the place, he controls the referendum date, he want a clearly biased BBC look as the dire DGs he has approved. The Telegraph reports that sceptic minister’s speeches are being pre-vetted.

      1. Jerry
        January 10, 2016

        @LL; “The Telegraph reports that sceptic minister’s speeches are being pre-vetted.”

        What the Telegraph (or any newspaper) reports and what is actually occurring are not necessarily the same… After all there is no way to pre-approve a speech that is then given live to an audience, this is why ‘speech transcript’ press release statements often have the words “Check against delivery” across the top of the page!

        1. Jerry
          January 10, 2016

          @Jerry; Hmm, I just noticed that I posted the above comment just as the BBC and Mr Cameron was discovering that live means live and the script/song-sheet isn’t always obeyed!

          Not being a regular viewer of the Andrew Marr show so didn’t know about the ‘incident’ until much later.

        2. Edward2
          January 10, 2016

          Presumably any comments from by BBC will be believed by you Jerry as you have said their comments are perfectly balanced.

          1. Jerry
            January 11, 2016

            @Edward2; “Presumably any comments from by BBC will be believed by you”

            Not at all, unless of course it is being broadcast live (another word you seem to have a difficulty with understanding its meaning). What ever…

          2. Edward2
            January 11, 2016

            What a very odd yet bitter comment Jerry.
            I understand what live means.

    2. Ken Moore
      January 11, 2016


      Peter Hitchens on Sunday ‘If migrants from other cultures arrive too fast and in numbers too great for society to absorb and integrate them, they begin to impose those cultures on the host country. Germany is witnessing this now, and so are we’.

      I pretty much said the same thing on Saturday but my post was deleted. I made the point that if the Uk doesn’t leave the Eu, society will increasingly tilt towards Muslim values. Why can’t John Redwood see this is the big issue.

      Why is it acceptable for PH to make these comments in a national newspaper but considered beyond the pale here for me to do so ?

      Peter Hitchens ‘And that’s Mr Cameron’s problem. He’s an EU-loving, pro-immigration, anti-grammar-school, politically correct social and economic liberal.

      ‘His MPs are mostly the same, though they do a bit of pseudo-conservative braying at elections. But his voters and his remaining party members are patriotic real conservatives’.

      I have had enough of the ‘pseudo-conservative braying’ we need real leadership and action.

      Reply I have made it very clear in many posts and interviews that I want to see migration brought down to much smaller numbers and believe we need to leave the EU to allow that.

  8. Antisthenes
    January 10, 2016

    It is obvious that most people are not in favour of government that is minimal and that is only an instrument that provides basic services that individuals cannot provide for themselves or cannot be obtained from the private sector. They have a misguided belief that the government role should be much more than that so have allowed the growth of armies of public sector workers , civil servants and institutions. That is of course what socialists and the like advocate should be the case. Forgetting that the more government does the more power it has to have and the more that resources are used inefficiently, wastefully and individuals freedom of choice are curtailed.

    The EU is just a continuation of this practice as another layer of government has been added exactly when the opposite should be happening. Layers of government should have been stripped away as already domestic government was far too large and powerful. Adding another how ever well intentioned the reasons for doing so has been a terrible mistake as has been proven to be so on many occasions. It is grossly undermining the democracy and right to self determination that we have spent centuries often through self sacrifice and hardship to achieve. Willingly and blindly like lambs to the slaughter we have joined the monolithic anti-democratic EU and we are paying a very heavy price for doing so. So willingly we should now as we have a once in a lifetime chance we can escape it’s clutches and leave.

  9. Mark B
    January 10, 2016

    Good morning.

    Thanks to the Maastricht Treaty we are all considered EU Citizens and as such are to be treated equally. ie You cann0t make rules for one and exclude others, that’s discrimination in the eyes of the EU and cannot be allowed.

    Any changes to benefits must therefore equally apply to UK residence as well, and this needs to be explained.

    Of course part of these so called negotiations mean that the EU will be given more powers and eventually we will cede our so called opt-out over the EURO, that’s part of the game they are playing. It is just that, like before, we are not being told the whole truth.

    Leaving the EU will not solve everything, but it will put us on the path to a better future. One where people have a real say over and in which way they are governed. Leaving the EU, to me at least, is not the end, but the start.

    PS Can our kind host please update his readers as to when we, the English, are likely to get something approaching what the Scots have ?

    Many thanks.

  10. agricola
    January 10, 2016

    There is no halfway house in membership of the EU.

    Cameron’s proposals, yet to be finally revealed, will be the thin end of what he may or may not have asked for and been refused. The EU might allow him a few meaningless tweaks, open to reversal by the ECJ, which if accepted by the UK electorate will mean the end of the UK. What her Majesty thinks of this I shudder to speculate.

    The EU is set upon a route to becoming a United States of Europe in which member countries loose all democratic control, and submit to a total void of democratic control within the whole. A mirror of the old USSR. There is now growing unrest throughout the member countries of the EU which if ignored will lead to revolution. It will be ignored by the ruling junta of the EU until it breaks like bursting pustules across the face of Europe. I do not wish us to be a part of this. Historically we have seen it all before.

    If we wish to continue as a free trading sovereign nation then there is only one way and that is to vote out. I hope that those in positions of influence who wish to retain our nationhood and sovereignty have the courage to be sufficiently vociferous in condemning Cameron and his duplicitous proposals.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    January 10, 2016

    You are sending out mixed messages. Haven’t you been telling us for years and didn’t you very recently write in the FT that all Conservatives are Eurosceptics? Don’t cloud the issue by putting your party’s unity before all else. We know the majority of the cabinet will support staying in the EU come what may not to mention Clarke and Heseltine. When Cameron comes back from the EU, just as Wilson did in 1975, having achieved little but claiming success and urging voters to stay in the EU your definition of Euroscepticism will look a little foolish.

    Reply. No I said most Conservative members are Eurosceptic. Do read what I write if you wish to represent my views.

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      January 10, 2016

      Quote from FT article by John Redwood January 8, 2016 under heading: “We Tories are all Eurosceptics now”
      “There is no split in the Conservative party today. There are merely different shades of euroscepticism”.

    2. Dinosaur
      January 10, 2016

      Reply to reply: Is that Conservative members or is that Conservative MPs.

      I thought that the number of Eurosceptic MPs in the Conservative Party is a minority. Am I wrong ?

    3. Leslie Singleton
      January 10, 2016

      Dear John–Continuing mystery to me why you are so very free with the term “Eurosceptic” when it is devoid of meaning. For a start “sceptic” is a mild term so doesn’t fit the bill for that reason alone: so much so and so meaningless that it is easy to imagine the likes of say Heseltine saying that he is Eurosceptic in sense he wants “modifications from within” or some such piffle (Fat chance when we apparently have no traction now despite being in a strong position, which latter we will give up the minute we agree to stay In). Even then there is what is meant by “Euro”: Europe; the EU; or the coin. Beyond me why “EU” cannot be used in a word in that it is eu(Sorry!)phonious enough and it is after all what we are or should be talking about. “Sceptic” is as I say a damp rag: presumably the not particularly “anti” average Conservative MP doesn’t like “phobic” which seems obviously the word to me but I reckon anything is better than the nothing-worth-a-damn being used at present. It wouldn’t be so bad but you yourself continually make such play on the word whilst, unfortunately, because of its vacuity not saying much and that little very fuzzy. You should define the term and in doing so be forced to ditch it. Do you or do you not mean the “WantOuters” or somesuch? Answer of course is you don’t, nor even close–and PLEASE don’t say they are waiting for the results of the ridiculous non event of re-negotiation.

      Reply I had a disagreement with the FT who wanted Eurosceptic where I wanted EU sceptic. Conservatives are various trades of EU sceptic from come out at one end to stay in after modest renegotiation with various opt outs at the other. Most Labour and LIb Dems are EU enthusiasts.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        January 10, 2016

        Dear John–Shows how much I know–Wouldn’t have believed it possible that the FT could veto your chosen orthography, especially as (ignoring the objections to “sceptic”–a story in itself) I find it hard to believe that anybody would want to object to “EU sceptic”–I think it is evil to equate Europe with EU as is so often done and the idea of the wretched EU gaining credit for say the Coliseum (I have relatives in Rome) makes my gorge rise. Anyway, Well Done for trying. Changing gear, I no longer have to read the FT, thank God, so did not read your article, or maybe I imbibed too much over the hols. Did you not do what you normally do and publish it here? Or at least mention it?? Hard to believe I missed it if you did. How does Cathy Newman get published so often in the Torygraph. I am NOT just being a pain in the you know where–this is VERY important.

    4. Chris
      January 10, 2016

      Reply to Mr Redwood:
      I realise your comment concerned “members” but I am concerned by what Peter Hitchens has indicated about the so called “euroscepticism” amongst Conservative Ministers and others lower down in the ranks. I fear if there is some truth in it:
      “If he does let Ministers campaign on both sides, it will quickly be clear that hardly any of the Tory top brass, and not many of the bottom brass, genuinely want to leave the EU. They don’t mind criticising it a bit, but they won’t quit, and they won’t fight to do so.
      Most of them would rather be gagged, so they can pretend to be straining against the leash. How long can the Tory Party stay in one piece, when its leadership and its core vote are so utterly divided?…”
      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3392249/PETER-HITCHENS-strong-borders-pride-civilisation-save-now.html#ixzz3wqbLC894
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  12. Old Albion
    January 10, 2016

    Cameron is playing a ridiculous charade. He is asking for nothing and will get less. Then he will sell it to the British public as a success.
    I can see that, you JR, can see that, most posters on this blog can see that. Sadly I still feel most voters in the (dis)UK will fall for the scaremongering ‘remain’ campaign.
    Be assured this is the last chance to get out of the EU. The mandarins will add a new treaty preventing any single country ever leaving. They no longer wish the corrupt empire to be exposed to public gaze.

  13. Douglas Carter
    January 10, 2016

    John – no matter what Mr. Cameron returns with, when he does so, presumably it will be presented to Parliament for a vote?

    An advance opportunity beckons presently since I would be willing to place a fairly significant investment with Ladbrokes that the Labour Party won’t have an official view on the outcome. They usually frantically evade any possibility of having a clear attributable view of the EU; and if as expected, Mr. Cameron returns with a disguised variant of Associate Membership, voting ‘for’ it will attach the Labour Party to that and obliges them to support it – warts’n’all.

    An opportunity for some advanced goading is available – highlighting both their considerable splits in the current theatre, and their long-term and encompassing incoherence on the EU. Perhaps you might press your erstwhile Labour colleagues if they’ll have the courage to express a view on the renegotiation package; or if they’ll run and hide from attributable responsibility on the matter – as per usual?

    1. John
      January 10, 2016

      I do not think it will be a vote in Parliament, it will be presented as the basis for the referendum vote. Why would Cameron risk his inadequate renegotiation outcome being exposed to a MPs’ debate and then vote?

  14. Antisthenes
    January 10, 2016

    Why is so much emphasis put on the obtaining of the four year gap in benefit payments and no attention is paid let alone scrutiny of the other by far more important renegotiating items on David Cameron,s list. I suspect it is because the majority of politicians and the media do not understand them or the ramifications of being a member of the EU or how it works, it’s goals and it’s processes. They are probably not even interested as that would require them to actually learn a lot more and delve deeper which they are too lazy to do, would be boring to both them and the public and would unearth unpalatable truths most would like to be kept hidden.

    It is all an exercise in futility as you rightly point out as without there actually being treaty change nothing agreed is guaranteed and even then the possibility exists that can be overturned. Treaty change is coming anyway as is abundantly clear just from reading the EU website. A treaty that will define what is expected of members who are in the euro-zone and those who are not the associated members David Cameron’s famous or should that be infamous British option. So we will no doubt end up having two referenda one prior to the new treaty changes being announced and the other about eight years later when the those changes are incorporated. What an unholy mess. Of course we can avoid the second by simply voting to leave in the first because if we do not we will be manipulated and bullied into voting for the second whether we want to or not and we will not as it will do nothing to restore our sovereignty.

  15. Donna
    January 10, 2016

    Your last paragraph sums up the position and is the reason we MUST leave the EU.

    We cannot be in the EU and be a properly functioning democracy. It doesn’t matter what the British people want or their elected government promises to deliver: if the EU says “no” it won’t happen.

    The EU has demonstrated on a number of occasions that it will ride roughshod over the terms of its own treaties if it deems it necessary and it will completely ignore apparently binding legal agreements when it suits.

    Cameron promised treaty change. If he fails to deliver treaty change, he will have failed. An honourable man would admit that. Unfortunately we’re talking about Cameron.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      January 10, 2016

      Cameron said this morning that he saw no reason to resign if he loses the referendum.

      1. Chris
        January 10, 2016

        I think that Cameron knows that there is no effective opposition within his Party i.e. no-one prepared to take a radical stand, so this has apparently given him a feeling of security and complacency, which seems to have led to an arrogance in the way that he treats not only his MPs, but more particularly Conservative past and present voters.

  16. Jerry
    January 10, 2016

    “Were the UK to vote to stay in the rest of the EU will claim we have been given very special treatment and will then wish to reverse as many of the concessions and special deals we enjoy as they can.”

    A bigger worry is what a future UK government will give away, after all they will have the same but opposite mandate as those who wish to undo past EU policies that have been written into UK domestic laws.

    “The Germans always make clear that they see the Euro as a necessary part of the single market. Most EU countries want the UK to be fully part of the common borders policy.”

    I’m sure that George Washington had the same thoughts about a common currency, whilst most States understood ideals of border-less travel within the Union!

    “If the UK is foolish enough to vote stay it needs to understand what it is staying in. It is an emerging state called the EU, with the full range of state powers. It is a wild ride to political Union.”

    Indeed 🙁

    But voters should also know (from those campaigning for an “Out” vote) that a Brexit is no magic bullet either, many of the UK’s problems are home grown and nothing to do with the EU – beyond perhaps misinterpreting EU directives and then gold plating them into those UK domestic laws, regulations and policies, river dredging for example. What will the hapless politico and protester do once they can longer blame the EU…

    1. forthurst
      January 10, 2016

      “I’m sure that George Washington had the same thoughts about a common currency, whilst most States understood ideals of border-less travel within the Union!”

      George Washington rightly objected to the private Bank of England having a monopoly of monetary issue, outlawing their own local issue. When the bankster-owned BoE obliged KGIII to attack the Colonists, they resisted by force: all wars are banksters wars.

      “But voters should also know (from those campaigning for an “Out” vote) that a Brexit is no magic bullet either”

      No sensible person would deny that; however, the whole direction of British governance since 1972 has been towards being good little European Unionists however damaging that has been for our economy and our country; we have completely lost the ability to put our own interests first and that is what we will need to rediscover with the assistance of patriotic politicians, unlike CMD and his ilk, who are determined to put us back on the world’s stage as a major independent nation.

  17. Iain Moore
    January 10, 2016

    “Mr Cameron’s renegotiation also shows how it is impossible to combine national democracy with EU sovereignty.”

    We can see that , unfortunately bar a few principled MP’s in the Conservative party , many of the rest will sell their souls and the Country for career preferment , and as for Minsters, the closer we get to the referendum the more of them we find the EU sceptic noises that came out of their mouths is completely divorced from the recommendation they intend to make, which is to stay in the EU come what may. e.g Hammond, he was supposed to be an EU sceptic, now he’s cheer leading for us to stay in on the basis of Cameron’s faux renegotiation.

    When the time comes for Minsters to put up on the EU, I doubt more than a couple will show any integrity and campaign for out, and that is going to be a real problem for the Conservative party and the British political class as a whole.

  18. Denis Cooper
    January 10, 2016

    If I put myself in the position of a eurofederalist lawyer sitting on the EU’s Court of Justice then I don’t think I’d be fooled for a moment by a scheme which deprived both nationals and immigrants of certain welfare benefits, but then compensated the nationals but not the migrants for the loss of those benefits. I would see through that straight away and pronounce it to still be indirect discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and unless the UK could rely upon a special exemption enshrined in the EU treaties I would declare the scheme to be illegal and tell the UK government to discontinue it.

    I’ve mentioned before that just on a quick and superficial google search I found a case where the EU Commission objected to a scheme whereby a provincial government in Italy was giving preference to longer term residents for appointments to public positions, on the grounds that migrants from other EU member states would be less likely to be able to satisfy the residency requirements than Italians born and bred in the region, and they cited in particular a 1996 case, where the judges said:


    “20 It follows from all the foregoing case-law that, unless objectively justified and proportionate to its aim, a provision of national law must be regarded as indirectly discriminatory if it is intrinsically liable to affect migrant workers more than national workers and if there is a consequent risk that it will place the former at a particular disadvantage.

    21 It is not necessary in this respect to find that the provision in question does in practice affect a substantially higher proportion of migrant workers. It is sufficient that it is liable to have such an effect …”

    In any case while restricting benefits for immigrants may or may not be the right thing to do it will certainly not be effective as a means to restrict the volume of immigration from poorer EU member states.

    For some years now the Tory party has been treading a perilously fine line between extolling the purported benefits of mass immigration from eastern Europe on the one hand, while on the other hand spreading the false impression that many of these people have only come here for the welfare benefits and the flow can be significantly cut by depriving them of those benefits.

    Both of those propositions are wrong, in my view; of course it will be easy enough to find exceptions, and there can be misunderstandings, but on the whole these are not in any way bad people, on the contrary they are in general honest and hard and willing workers; however at the same time their arrival has produced no net benefit for the established population, on the contrary it has exacerbated a range of preexisting problems.

    1. Dinosaur
      January 10, 2016

      Denis “Both of these propositions are wrong…” Your concluding paragraph.

      The truth of the matter is that we can’t possibly know who is good and who is bad.

      We don’t select migrants for the benefit of the country. Those that say they will pay our pensions fail to address those on low wages and those who come from cultures whereby a pension is in their having a large number of offspring.

      I have spoken to several mini cab drivers who have come here specifically because they get paid by the state – on top of their meagre wages – to support their many children. It will be a long time before they (or their children) get around to paying our pensions.

      The stubbornly rising national debt does not lie.

  19. DaveM
    January 10, 2016


    it only ruled for 40 (?) months though! 🙂

  20. Denis Cooper
    January 10, 2016

    It is different, it is the first “non-imperial empire”.

    1. Mitchel
      January 11, 2016

      Surely the USA is the first non-imperial empire,using its reserve currency status and control of the financial markets as weapons of suppression.The EU is merely following in it’s wake,originally hoping to be a challenger but now more likely to be a vassal tied into the same system.

      1. Mercia
        January 11, 2016

        To cut a long story short, God is telling us in Bible prophecy that the USA is the enforcing EU membership (just as they enforced the global economic system) and they in turn are doing Vatican foreign policy.

  21. Bert Young
    January 10, 2016

    The referendum campaign has started but important voices are stifled ; our democracy does not allow this and our justice ought to put things right . The futility of our relationship with the EU is obvious ; we cannot decide for ourselves – we are constantly over-ruled by a bureaucracy in Brussels . Equally minority interests ( Ramadam changing the timing of the examination time-table) ought to be kicked into the long grass – even Cameron has uttered his views on the priority of our customs and laws .

    We are foolish to allow our attitude of fairness to all to overcome what the ballot box says . Those we vote for are the only ones allowed to change our laws and decide what we do and how we should behave . If we don’t acknowledge this then our democracy is dead and whatever we say will no longer have any credibility anywhere .

  22. APL
    January 10, 2016

    JR: “Let us assume the PM secures all his negotiating objectives. ”

    He could have stayed home at Chequers and played tiddlywinks with the Misses, and he would have secured all his negotiating objectives.

    Your leader is lying to us, ( and you, but then you know that already ) when he says he wants to get a better deal.

  23. Kenneth
    January 10, 2016

    “If instead every country accepts it cannot change any law or policy from the EU by a General election it us no longer a national democracy.”


    This is why the word ‘Democracy’ should be plastered over the literature for the OUT campaigns for this is really a choice between democratic rule and technocratic rule.

    To underline the point it should also be pointed out that if we decide to stay in the eu, MPs should be demoted to Councillor status with remuneration to match

  24. The Active Citizen
    January 10, 2016

    Mr Cameron on the Marr programme this morning :

    Q: “Will the British Parliament be sovereign after these negotiations?”/b>
    A: “Yes, the British Parliament is sovereign now.”

    Words almost fail me. ‘Disingenuous’ is perhaps the most charitable response one can think of.

    The genuine response is, “Not true, and completely shameful, Prime Minister”.

    1. forthurst
      January 10, 2016

      “A: “Yes, the British Parliament is sovereign now.””

      I think this may be correct; unfortunately, it is hypothetical because since 1972, apart from after Mrs Thatcher’s Damascene moment and before she was unceremoniously dumped by Europhile Ministers, we have had governments in favour of us being in the Federal Republic of Eurapia who have signed into law practically everything including treaties which have emanated from Brussels.

  25. Nick
    January 10, 2016

    Then so long as you put in place a law that says that if the deal is revoked in anyway, eg, further treaty change, courts over ruling it, that the UK automatically leaves the EU on the grounds of bad faith by the EU.

    Then there’s no problem is there.

    ie. Bind parliament and the EU legally.

    That law has also to be only amendable by a referendum.

  26. Dinosaur
    January 10, 2016

    The most sinister thing to come out of the Cologne incident was not the vile acts by newly arrived, pushy, young men or the sexual destabilisation or our nations (about which we ‘dinosaurs’ have been warning for years) but the EU High Command’s (Germany’s) attempt to hide the truth from their own people.

    The Chief of Police for Cologne took the fall but are we to believe that he was acting autonomously ? If not directly ordered then acting in accordance with the present EU zeitgeist and its beloved Political Correctness ?

    We now know from this, from the destruction of nations to keep them in the Euro, from the refusal to accept the outcomes of referenda if the result is unacceptable to the EU… we now know that the EU must not be allowed to fail and that it must not even be SEEN to fail.

    Peter van Leeuwen is notable by his absence on these pages. Perhaps he has, at last, seen the light; perhaps it is simply too demanding to keep defending what is clearly becoming the indefensible.

    However, the PM (from the Marr interview this morning) seems more pro EU than ever. We are staying in the EU I’m afraid.

    Peter Hitchens vs Gaby Hinsliff (Cologne again) is a must hear on R4 iplayer. She makes a fool of herself and also makes herself sound a nasty piece of work.

  27. A. Sedgwick
    January 10, 2016

    Quite so. The saddest aspects of this farce are that we have our PM travailing around EU capitals. demeaning the Office and continuing to pretend he is achieving something fundamental instead of openly admitting there is no viable renegotiation we are outnumbered 27 – 1 and the referendum is a simple choice: leave or submit to the majority will. In the run up to voting day the debates will centre on our sovereignty, what is the point of Parliament, uncontrolled immigration and the effect on housing, schools and medical services. Whatever form of words Cameron concocts with his EU mates will be discredited and ignored well before R Day.

  28. Dinosaur
    January 10, 2016

    The referendum question should be simply:

    “Do you want to have a UK government or do you want to have an EU government ?”

    One or the other. Because that is the truth of the situation.

  29. Vanessa
    January 10, 2016

    What is also missing from this information is that the Lisbon Treaty has a “Self-amending Clause” which does exactly as it says on the tin ! It can be changed without any agreement from the 28 members but is changed by the elite.
    So it does not matter whether we have a new Treaty or not this clause will, presumably, be lifted and placed in the new Treaty without any fanfare or by-your-leave at all.
    Any renegotiations are a sham, whether they are accepted and a success or not. The elite have carte blanche to do what they like without agreement after the event if they so wish.

  30. Maureen Turner
    January 10, 2016

    The article in today’s DT by its Snr. Political Editor re Eusceptic Minister’s requirement to
    pass text for vetting to ensure they are not too EUsceptic is almost beyond belief. In some cases their piece has almost been rewritten which hardly augers well for a free and fair referendum.

    The understanding that campaigning should not begin prior to renegotiations being completed appears to apply only to the Leave group as the Remain group have been given a fair wind to promote their views on radio and TV. My regard for the PM began to diminish many years ago and with this degree of suppression its now hit rock bottom.

    Lord Tebbit in his latest DT blog posed the question “Could the Conservative Party split?”
    Yes of course it could. The damage Mr. Cameron has done to his Party by selling himself as a sceptic prior to 2010 only goes to highlight his failure to understand the electorate’s need for honesty on a issue of this magnitude.

    The politics of today for some, especially those seeking high office, appear to be driven soley by a lust for power and any political Party regardless of its ideology is merely a vehicle to achieving the individual’s aim. It appears the PM’s desire to be heir to Blair is
    well on its way to being fulfilled.

  31. The PrangWizard
    January 10, 2016

    Your leader shouted, bluffed and bullied his way through his appearance on the Andrew Marr show this morning. In my opinion it was a dreadful performance by a man who appears to me more and more unpleasant as each day goes by, and it will be interesting to see if it gets much analysis in the press. But I do hope it gets the kicking I think it deserves. I am sure though he will think he did extremely well, and does appear to like the sound of his own voice above everything.

    It is clear beyond any shadow of doubt that he absolutely determined to ensure that the UK stays in the EU, whatever the outcome of his negotiations. We need to be ready for an onslaught of self-congratulatory notices and a massive propaganda campaign.

    If there were any remaining doubts it will have been noted from his failure to answer questions on this, and just about everything else, that there may be no government contingency plans being drafted for a withdrawal. Let’s hope that’s just more of his bluff and bluster and there are some dedicated civil servants who are doing their jobs properly. It was just another question he dodged after all. He is as one commentator has dubbed him I believe, Mr Slippery.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    January 10, 2016

    Mercia, One could assume this fourth kingdom could be a new look Europe once immigration from Africa is complete??? I fear the mix will not be a good one from what we have seen already.

    1. Mitchel
      January 11, 2016

      Perhaps the “King from the North” will save us?!

  33. fedupsoutherner
    January 10, 2016

    John, you have put your case for leaving so clearly which is more than can be said for other ministers and Cameron when stating they want to stay in. Why, for goodness sake, when there is so much going wrong in Europe would we want to stay in? I cannot understand why our government cannot see what the ordinary person on the street can see. Europe and the UK will become the new African state and the problems that will result will be bad for everyone.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      January 10, 2016

      Dear fedup–I am with you on what I think the ordinary man wants and there was a letter to the Torygraph saying that a private survey had only 3 out of 200 wanting to stay In (Yes, I know, but even so); however the bookmakers apparently say to the contrary which is very worrying indeed: money talks more loudly than mere surveys.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        January 10, 2016

        Leslie, we can only hope that those that wanted to vote UKIP and didn’t because of the threat of the SNP are forgotten by the media and the polls and come the referendum will vote to come out. This is what happened regarding the Tory victory and the polls did not foresee the outcome.

  34. bigneil
    January 10, 2016

    The EU should be renamed the dictatorship – it is nothing but that.

  35. turbo terrier
    January 10, 2016

    Very good entry today John.

    After watching our PM on the Marr show it is sad to watch our leader seemingly for me and I suspect a lot of your readers not actually addressing for us the real points that matter as to staying in the EU. Your entry today is far more on the nail and seeing the bigger picture. If the figures are to be believed then the EU market is not expanding and it is time for the UK to shop and export elsewhere. It is very much a charade and I for one have had enough of being told it is raining when somebody is p*****g down my neck. The country needs real leadership and direction.

    If we are an important part of the community as Germany tells the PM would it not be sensible to share their experiences with friendly countries what a mitigated disaster their renewable energy programme has become. Sent this link this morning:


    If it is true then strange nothing has come to the surface with our media.
    If it is then maybe the RE industry have more power than we think they have.

    The point is if you are all in the same team and a part of it is failing then eventually that failure can impact on the rest of the team.

    Again there is all this German talk about doing away with petrol and diesal vehicles, but has anybody thought how we are going to dispose of the batteries? We have not got a solution to wind turbine blades fully sorted. Yet another knee jerk reaction, urinating before having their flies open.

    The British people cannot trust the media and the only way that the real story is going to get out there is through sites like this and social media but that is also a double edged sword. The alternative is people on the streets especially is this country gets a replay on what happened in Germany New Years Eve. The PM stated families will come from Syria. How is it that a small hamlet near Chichester in West Sussex is being proposed for 200 odd single young men from Calias.

    Totally agree with your last paragraph.

    The biggest fear is our military presence. If we stay in we become part of a European Army and you could have the situation where the Falklands come under threat and we cannot respond. Complete and utter madness all of it.

  36. Chris
    January 10, 2016

    A must read, I suggest from the eureferendumblog this morning, with links to C Booker in Telegraph (“What they’re all missing on the debate on the EU”):
    EU referendum: the wrong kind of leaves

    January 10, 2016

    Your last sentence JR:

    “If instead every country accepts it cannot change any law or policy from the EU by a General election it is no longer a national democracy.

    It is not possible to change EU policy even by election of British-based MEPs, merely to make a few YouTube soundbites which most people never see or hear.
    How many of us watched the debate in the EU Parliament of President Hollande jointly with Mrs Merkel against an onslaught by Marine Le Pen? It was something to behold but all we get stuck with is BBC Parliament presentations of Party unthinking scripted questions from the likes of Wakefield’s MP Mary Creagh.

    She asked of whoever was on the opposite bench in mid-afternoon what if any compensation would be paid to businesses and private individuals who had built on flood plains since 2009. A question Mr Cameron, in person, I heard answer comprehensively from another Labour MP three hours earlier. I guess Labour MPs don’t talk to one another much nowadays. I don’t blame them. They know what they’re like.

    But even national politics has become suddenly unfunny and dangerous….

    Despite Germans having a great love of photography… Even freelancers ask at every tourist venue to snap you for a few Euro…despite this and every Jan and Inga having cameras on their phones, very little photographic footage has been shown on the BBC and Sky, even social media, of the events in Cologne on the New Year celebrations.
    Also a three-day German press and police information blackout.

    Listening to the BBC and Skynews, one cannot but be mightily impressed by the versatility of the English language in providing so many bland unhelpful synonyms for the nationality/race/ethnic origin and religion of the actors in Cologne that fearful and awful night. Merkel’s chickens come “home” to roost.

    Without words. Without photos. Without a free and genuine media. Without a proper meaningful vote. We can probably look forward to a UK and trans-European Party emerging to set matters right. Unscripted politics beyond the ken of naive young Labourites. Dangerous. More precise English is necessary for the BBC and Skynews and at least one camera that works.

  38. Bob
    January 10, 2016

    The 4 year hiatus on benefits for migrants is a red herring.
    The most important thing if we are to remain a democracy is the ability to dismiss those who govern us, something that is not possible in the EU.

    Sadly, a majority erroneously believe that it’s the EU parliament that governs the EU and the likes of David Cameron want them to carry on believing that way.

  39. ian
    January 10, 2016

    The problem is no one will speck out about it anywhere, they might tell you when the job is done, if you think you have it bad now just wait to see what they have in store for you in the future.

  40. Denis Cooper
    January 10, 2016

    Only slightly off-topic, Cameron is departing from the Wilson precedent by refusing to draw up any contingency plans for withdrawal from the EU, presumably because with his usual ingrained arrogance he is assuming that he is certain to win the referendum.

    The Labour government did have enough sense to prepare such plans before the 1975 referendum, and they have been available in the National Archives since December 2005 if anybody thinks they may still be worth studying:



  41. oldtimer
    January 10, 2016

    Your headline re the need for treaty change to embed the results of a renegotiation by Mr Cameron will be fundamental to the process of implementing a vote to Remain, if that indeed is the outcome of the referendum. What worth can be placed on the words of Mr Cameron and the other EU leaders or on the piece of paper on which, presumably, they will sign their names? It seems to me to not much more than a declaration of intent. I should like it to be seen and declared as a contract between the parties.

    There would need to be legislation in place to reverse the referendum result in the event of future backsliding by the EU on the agreements reached. You point out that this has occurred in the past. It may reasonably be expected in the future. If the EU fails to produce or seeks to alter the agreements reached then that would be tantamount to a breach of contract. In such circumstances the result of the referendum would and should be nullified. The UK could then and should then initiate the steps to leave the EU. Otherwise the country will eventually be sucked into what you describe as the “wild ride into political union.

    I hope that someone with better knowledge of parliamentary procedure and statute law than I possess is giving thought to the matter.

  42. ChrisS
    January 10, 2016

    Almost all of us posting here are in complete agreement with you.

    The problem is that Cameron’s “renegotiation” has proven to be, as we all expected, smoke and mirrors and the whole Brussels establishment is gearing up to give him a great “victory” in the hope that he can sell it to the more gullible voters who are undecided.

    At present we have a far-from-phoney war going on with anti-EU ministers effectively muzzled while the pros keep coming out with positive statements and glowing, rose-tinted praise of what Brussels is doing for us.

    To make matters worse there is a definite campaign of scaring people into voting to stay in. I hope this will backfire because what they are saying is overwhelmingly negative about the future prospects of our great nation outside the EU. I’m sure that a majority of our citizens remain proud of our country and confidently predict that there will be a backlash against it being denigrated by the Europhiles in such a way.

    However, our main hope of victory must lay with the migration debate.

    Everyone knows that the withholding of in-work benefits for 2-4 years is going to do nothing to reduce net migration by any significant amount. Only a change to the FOM rules will actually have any effect and we already know that that is unachievable

    Recent events in Germany, Austria Sweden and Finland should rightly be concerning British citizens as much as they are the citizens of those countries.

    I know from talking to friends in several of those countries that public opinion is certainly not overwhelmingly supportive of this mass migration. Like the reporting of the events of New Years Eve in Cologne, there is a serious disconnect between the facts and what is being reported in news media. This is most notable in Sweden.

    We certainly do not need to apologise for pointing out that the decision whether to give passports to the 1.5m – 2m migrants that will have arrived in the Germany by the summer lies with Merkel alone.

    Can there be any doubt that she will find it convenient to reduce her serious domestic political problems by seeing thousands of English-speaking migrants head for Dover, holding their shiny new German passports in hand ?

    There are razor wire fences being erected across all of the countries surrounding Greece in an attempt to prevent migrants moving Northwards. However, Greece remains within the EU and there can be little doubt that the Greek Government will have no option other than to respond by the mass printing of EU passports.

  43. ChrisS
    January 10, 2016

    Further to my post on scare-mongering by the Pro-EU lobby :

    I see that one of the main Guardian news headlines today is pointing out that Arthur Simpson-Kent is to face rapid extradition from Ghana as soon as he has been formerly identified by British Police :


    So, with the right sort of agreement between countries, fast extradition can be achieved without the need for a European Arrest Warrant !!!

    Another Europhile myth debunked

  44. Ian wragg
    January 10, 2016

    Welcome to the real world John. Everyone knows that the status quo is not on offer. A remain vote will be taken as tacit approval for complete integration including joining the Euro.
    The ECJ will go into overdrive to strike down any supposed concessions granted to CMD and he will see it as a green light for complete capitulation.
    The Tories will split and maybe a genuine right wing party will rise like phoenix from the ashes.
    Every cloud ……..

  45. agricola
    January 10, 2016

    Well I watched CMD on Andrew Marr this morning. Marr asked some pertinent questions, but all we could deduce at the end of it was that CMD was hell bent on staying in the EU whatever the result of his re-negotiation. Additionally he would be demanding support from the full cabinet and the civil service until he was satisfied that the negotiation was over. Only then would out members of the cabinet be let off the leash but not of course the civil service.

    A very warped attitude that will win him few friends. If the UK votes out we cannot trust CMD to have anything to do with the subsequent negotiations. He openly admitted that he had no exit strategy nor was he asking the civil service to provide one. Strains of Bush/Blair in Iraq.

    What he is asking of the EU is so pitifully inadequate as to be irrelevant. I do hope the UK electorate have the wisdom to realise this.

    1. JoeSoap
      January 10, 2016

      It is a disgrace that Cameron can say the decision is in the hands of the British people but then have no strategy or plan if the vote goes for exit. It is crass irresponsibility and dishonest, and you should be making that clear to him Mr Redwood.

  46. Dennis
    January 10, 2016

    Didn’t Cameron say about the Scottish ref. that he didn’t want the breakup of the UK? Isn’t being a member of the EU just that, a 27th part of the EU?

    I don’t think anyone has said what Cameron gets out of the UK being in the EU. What’s in it for him- less power in governing the UK or being in the history books as being the one to abolish UK’s sovereignty? He’ll be long remembered.

    January 10, 2016

    Off Topic: One wishes the Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies would share with the nation whether and at which particular times she is reading from the NHS Old Testament or New Testament and indeed which particular Gospel this time around.

    I refer to her New Year glum tidings of teetotalism , not that one should drink tea which doctors recommend and condemn depending on which side of the bed they are mannering.
    It is written, or was written, supported by many a TV, radio and newspaper resident licenced doctor that the red wine lake of Europe had useful tannins preventing heart disease, cancer, low blood pressure, heart attacks, dandruff and gout no doubt. Now it is written most assuredly with equal scientific evidence that what all the NHS doctors said and wrote was “An old wives tale”.
    Naturally enough, the nation awaits for Dame Sally to provide a comprehensive list of doctors in her employ who have given false and life-threatening advice. How many will be struck off? How many will be jailed? Most important: a full explanation and exacting detail of the errors in experimentation which led to false notions of the benefits of alcohol ( the red wine lake variety in particular, not the much better selling shallow pond white wine variety ). It must be stated that prosecutions for quack invalid experiments…based on “sound scientific principles” have not been forthcoming. Also Aspirin, heralded in the NHS Old Testament was only months ago condemned as EVIL and doctors (GPs ) forbidden from advocating its use ) to, just weeks later, the New Testament saying, actually it was and is OK. ..just so long as you are incapable of being sneaky enough to buy a one 16 aspirin pack and another, the same day, at a different shop.

    For at least half a century, many people do not believe medical authorities and have anecdotes of their own as to why. The Chief Medical Officers’ advice, historically, whatever its merits is simply not believed because of lack of consistency and sound scientific evidence. For those young people who might follow it, it may lead to severe medical difficulties which they will learn about authoritatively the flowing week…perhaps dependent on consumable commodity production and sales or, lack of sales. Has there been, by the way, a recent catastrophe in world sugar beet production…flooding perhaps?

    1. Leslie Singleton
      January 10, 2016

      Call me a pedant but, to me, what clinched the lady’s lack of authority was the fact that she did not know how to say the word “longevity”. Was it not possible to edit out this error in this Oh so ex cathedra statement, what with all the PR types around? I say “clinched” because of the debilitating effect of the many changes of mind–one pronouncement, not too long ago and more egregious than most in its idiocy, was Nanny telling us the maximum number and size of the boiled potatoes we should be eating. I understand that if Coffee and Tea had only just been discovered they would be forbidden because of the Caffeine. Nanny has made a fool of herself.

    2. forthurst
      January 10, 2016

      The Chief Medical Officer needs to concern herself solely with notifiable diseases and their alien vectors.

  48. ian
    January 10, 2016

    I can not see any cabinet ministers joining the out camp, anyway you fighting the wrong battle, the battle is with your own party and parliament, if you can win the UK parliament it a automatic out vote, your party is not fit to be in parliament, it has align it self with a religious cult, the same with the labour party and the 99% are going to suffer.

    I have seen the 99% suffer badly since this religions cult took over your parliament in 1997 and will not get better, who is going to do their job and brake the party line speak out for the people

  49. ian
    January 10, 2016

    It will not belong before they own everything and begin to feed on each other and the ones that helped them will be slowly eaten up by their masters who have promised them great wealth and power which they already have or the belief of a one world government and religion which they have bought into hook line and sinker.

    The politician who sold out at the bottom will be first to be hit when they get what they want and be cast out into the street with the rest of you with their kin and they close ranks to consolidate they power.

  50. Nigel
    January 10, 2016

    We also need to stop the Government using our money to promote the stay in campaign:



    “STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers (OUR!)money on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets” – To effectively ‘DISABLE’ us!!

  51. Iain Gill
    January 10, 2016

    Cameron is correct sink estates are a big problem and need sorting out. He is completely and utterly incorrect in his outline solutions. Firstly the biggest problem is those estate stranded too far away from the modern jobs market, empowered citizens allowed to take their housing subsidy where they liked would have moved closer to the modern jobs market long ago, and indeed would continually optimise their location re the jobs market much better than the state ever will. Secondly a lot of these estates have had large amounts of public money spent on “regeneration” over the years already, and these spends have been wasteful and have comprehensively failed to produce the desired results. Thirdly why would a good teacher choose to work in a sink school? When they can get just as much money and an easier life in a leafy suburb? The schools are never going to be fixed if the parents cannot take their kids elsewhere, when the schools cannot attract decent teachers with extra money or other perks, and so on. The schools indeed are never going to be fixed if we keep the current extreme religious segregation going in our state schools.

    1. Iain gill
      January 11, 2016

      The other thing needing urgent action is proper rules and enforcement about what constitutes a dangerous dog. The numbers of pit bulls and similar being kept as weapons on these estates is beyond a joke.

  52. Peter Davies
    January 10, 2016

    I find it strange that there is so much focus on benefits, I would class that more of a symptom of other treaties rather than an issue on itself.

    A looser relationship means UK law being primary, control over all domestic matters and the freedom to strike trade deals

    As you rightly say we need to pull put asap

  53. me
    January 10, 2016

    Then stop propping him up!

  54. Ken Moore
    January 10, 2016

    This is

  55. Lindsay McDougall
    January 11, 2016

    As I have said many times before, the most certain way of avoiding being bound by federalist treaties is to repeal them unilaterally. Just a simple declaration to this effect would force Brexit and go a long way towards defining what ‘leave’ means. Mr Cameron won’t do this but I’m surprised that Eurosceptics like yourself haven’t proposed it.

    I am slightly pessimistic about the referendum result for two reasons. Firstly, nothing has been done to dent the Prime Minister’s prestige and authority, so there will be some deferential votes by apolitical people. (Angela Merkel loves me, this I know, for David Cameron tells me so). Secondly, younger voters are strongly pro-EU. They need to be told how being out can be better because they have no past experience of being out.

  56. Edward.
    January 11, 2016

    We need to set our own standards, so that, the world can follow us.

    I know it is a big ask, who could possibly ken the full implications, specifications and inner workings of the Brussels machine?

    These days, all too frequently Brussels is just the conduit passing down regulations which are hammered out and imposed by myriad transnational organizations, or is it? Mind you the Brussels Burghers-European elite love organizations which are even more distant and unaccountable than are the office boys of the Brussels Nomenklatura.
    When one considers, just who are the major contributors to UN funding, uh you’ve guessed it, that would be the EU with an input estimated at 40% in 2007 and there can be no doubting that the contributory percentage is greater now. How it works, the corparate teams (ERT) get together in the EU, inform Brussels what it is they require, Brussels scurry off to their legal teams who run over to NYC and tell those UN lawyers what it is that has been decided and an international pact is signed and then enacted by the ECJ – and then Westminster stamp it and gold plate its standards.
    Oh its all to simple really and never once are any taxpayers asked but we all know who pays for it – don’t we?
    Then consider just for a moment, the fantastic proliferation of the big legal companies and here I am talking of the ‘Golden Circle’ of London – Linklaters and the rest – it’s a virtuous and perpetual boom time for the legal micro managaging bureaucracy designers and fees no object – what’s not to like about ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT?

    Make no mistake, it was so designed that, the big business, giant international conglomerates – the chief execs of this lot with their legal teams and lobbyist machines have a far greater say in what you and me eat, buy and how we live than any old MP; reference the European Round Table of industrialists setting the standards of NO₂ emissions wherever you live, though, the SCotUS (Supreme Court of the United States and just about, still independent) will have something to say on that and soon.

    Unaccountable, unspeakable and untouchable and glibly totally irresponsible: the EU funds it and augments it. Whether it is called the UN or EU UNEP or whatever it is – it ain’t democratic and it doesn’t suit Britain, the individual and the small guy in business and remember well, aught that ever got bigger, never got better.

    A Sovereign Legislature – that simple phrase strikes dreaded consternation into the minds of the Brussels machine and EU elite, along with our very own system of British Jurisprudence independent of any and all other jurisdictions is, the only way to freedom.

    We need to get off the juggernaut of one world government, that, the EU so hotly desires.

    In the final analysis, anything that Brussels requires: means pain for the British taxpayer and with no gain whatsoever.

    Ask again, why does Britain continue to prop up this bureaucratic monster called the EU?

  57. Atlas
    January 11, 2016

    Your heading for this post says it all John.

    How many remember “subsiduarity” ? – well, that lasted all of 2 minutes didn’t it!

    1. Edward.
      January 11, 2016

      Ah, promises, promises.

  58. ian
    January 11, 2016

    I can not see this country coming out of the EU, even if you win the out vote because one the civil service will say that it will take 10 year or more to wind down with payment still going out to the EU and also all the 3 main party will put in their manifesto in 2020 to over turn the vote and join again, I can only think that this is a bad cop good cop game being played hear to keep your party vote up at the next election.
    signing off.

  59. Javelin
    January 12, 2016

    John, a wise man will see Cameron’s threats as showing his weakness. Now is the time to strike and have the ministers resign and use the narrowness of the Conservative majority to defeat the Government. Six months of paralysis of Government is worth the price of leaving the EU.

  60. ChrisS
    January 12, 2016

    At last a positive piece on Brexit on the Today Programme !

    This morning at about 08:50 Nick Robinson interviewed two academics on the subject of Britain’s place in the World and the EU.

    By far the more eloquent speaker was Prof. Gwythian Prins of the LSE.
    He would obviously fit in well here because on one occasion he famously told Chris Huhne, then Climate Change Secretary, that “Personally, I believe that you can no more have a department of “climate change” than King Canute could have one of tidal reversal”.

    Prof. Prins made the point that Britain was not in decline but that the EU certainly was and that a strong Britain could perfectly make its way in the world outside it. He also debunked the myth that the EU has been responsible for peace in Europe since 1945.

    His opponent had no real answers and her responses were at best half-hearted.
    Nick Robinson even gave Professor Prins the last word, something unheard of on the programme.

    I suspect Nick will be told not to do that again !

    After the relentless pro-EU propaganda I could hardly believe what I was hearing.

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