Co-operation, influence and independence

Many are struggling over whether an independent UK would be stronger and more influential, or isolated and sidelined. Indeed, it is probably one of the pieces of disinformation that characterises the cynical and negative Stay in campaign.

It is important once again to dismiss their myths. The UK’s power will not be diminished one jot by exit. We will still have the same economic strength, the same income, the same armed forces the day after as the day before. We will, it is true, have more of our own money to spend, so that is a gain.

We will not be less secure. Our defences will still rest on our own armed forces, our own vigilance, and our partnership with NATO. The UK will still be a leading member of NATO out of the EU. We will still have the same intelligence sharing arrangements with our allies, and be the continuing beneficiaries of the NATO guarantees to our security.

Far from having less influence over trade and commerce, the UK will regain her rightful place at the top trade and regulation tables of the world. Instead of being represented – or misrepresented – by an EU official, the UK will again have her own seats on these global bodies. That will give us more influence.

Some claim the UK would be unable to negotiate trade deals with the USA, India and China, as we would be too small. This is absurd. The world’s fifth largest economy would of course be able to negotiate deals with other large economies on our own, as many smaller countries have done. The irony is as members of the EU for 43 years we have no trade deals with any of those there so far!

Far from cutting ourselves off from the rets of the world, leaving the EU means the UK can reconnect with the rest of the world in our own right. I also think we will be taken more seriously by Germany and France from outside, as they will no longer be able to sideline and outvote us as they can all the time we remain in but not properly committed to the European project.

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101 Comments

  1. The Active Citizen
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Very good post.

    Ideas, when repeated often enough in subtly different ways by figures of authority, have a tendency slowly to gain traction in people’s minds. We are already seeing this in the Remain camp’s Project Fear.

    Add to this, the neo-liberal and pro-EU indoctrination present for the past forty years in our children’s education and we have a toxic mix of erroneous ideas finding fertile soil in already-prepared minds.

    What is desperately needed JR is for the Leave campaigns to state some of the simple truths in your post (and more), on a daily basis, backed up by a convincing fact or two in each case.

    We also need clear statements about D-Day+1. What precisely happens the day after we vote to leave? People need to understand the WTO principle that trade continues, at the very least on a most-favoured nation basis. Forget Dr Richard North and his overly-complex analyses of exit options (his Flexcit paper). All that has done is confuse anyone who’s tried to read it.

    We should dismiss talk of ‘models’ such as Norway and Switzerland. The message should be that we’ll announce we’re leaving and carry on trading while we negotiate a new trade deal with the EU, without free movement. At the same time we’ll start opening trade deal discussions with all the countries who’d love to talk to us as an independent country – the 5th largest economy in the World.

    We should bang home arguments about basics – trade will continue and will grow, better job security, better income prospects, safer individuals and families, control over our borders, democracy and freedom.

    Then we contrast with the very dangerous prospect of being tied to the failing EU group of countries getting themselves into deeper and deeper trouble each month – financially and socially. Now that’s what should make everyone really scared if they don’t vote to leave…

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      T A C

      Agree with your comments

      The stayers are fighting a negative campaign based on fear of the so called unknown, and seem to be getting publicity.

      The outers are making many positive and serious points, but unfortunately do not seem to be getting traction from much of the media.

      Example, the stayers keep on saying we will not be able to get trade agreements with the US, China, and India in the future, but the EU do not have such agreements at the moment either, but how many people actually know that is the case.

      I guess the simple answer is, you either go with those who want to try and frighten you to stay, or you go with those who want to look forward in a positive way.

      I know what I want, I want to opportunity to move forward and improve, let us get rid of the straight jacket of the EU.

      Safety in numbers thinking is ok, but not when the ship is sinking, then you need to think positive, act positive, and get into a lifeboat

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      “What precisely happens the day after we vote to leave?”

      The Act ordering the referendum to be held does not say what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU, in contrast to the Act ordering the referendum on AV which made it clear what would ensue from a vote in favour of AV.

      The EU referendum Act could have said that if the vote is in favour of leaving the EU then the responsible minister must immediately send the EU a formal notice of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU, which the EU could take as being the formal notice required as the first step in the Article 50 TEU withdrawal procedure even if the UK government still reserved the right to proceed in another way, but the Act does not say that.

      Nor does it say that the minister must send in that formal notice but only after all scope for legal challenges to the referendum result have been exhausted – under Section 19(2) of Schedule 3 to the Act any such challenges must be lodged within six weeks – which would have been a reasonable proviso, in view of the fact that Article 50 TEU makes no provision for the notice to be revoked.

      So the answer must be “Wait and see”; as Parliament has not laid down what will happen the government will decide how it wishes to respond to a vote to leave, and hope that Parliament will accept whatever course of action it proposes.

      • Bob
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        A vote to leave would result in further negotiations which would lead up to another referendum.

        This process would continue until either we vote to remain, or we elect a political party that is dedicated to the restoration of self determination for the UK.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 19, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Maybe that is what will happen, at least for the first paragraph.

      • agricola
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        For sure what happens after a no vote must not be left in the hands of CMD. Sad to say he is not to be trusted.

    • Getahead
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      “What is desperately needed JR is for the Leave campaigns to state some of the simple truths in your post (and more), on a daily basis, backed up by a convincing fact or two in each case.”
      Where? We have very few media outlets. The BBC, the country’s principal broadcaster is well entrenched in the Common Purpose camp. The newspapers, apart from the Express and the free press are all government controlled.
      They have us by the balls.

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Please keep pointing out the fact that a vote to remain is the biggest danger as this would result in more cost to belong to what should be a simple free trade area.
    We will be bombarded with fear stories so please keep up the good work.
    Unlike 1975, when we only had the press and the BBC or ITV news.
    This time we have Social Media.

    • Bob
      Posted January 20, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      @Brian Taylor

      “Unlike 1975, when we only had the press and the BBC or ITV news.”

      In 1975 Mr Redwood knew that his party’s leader was lying and yet he was unable communicate this to the masses, due to the tight control of dissemination of information (and disinformation).

      It’s a scandal, and demonstrates that the EU project is founded on lies and deceit.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Its interesting to see how the Poles are currently dealing with the EU’s diktat with regard to what they consider to be interference in their domestic affairs. Compare it to LTC Dave’s attempt to renegotiate our relationship with them and you need to ask yourself what sort of influence the UK has in the world deemed by the results so far. Enquiring minds might like to read this FT article about Poland, The last sentence is quite scary and shows Dave is wasting his time if he thinks he is going to get anything worthwhile.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/16a8f504-bb72-11e5-b151-8e15c9a029fb.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3xZfVGD7L

    • Bill
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I cannot access the FT. It is behind the paywall. Any summary of the piece would be helpful.

      • JJE
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        I stopped my FT subscription when they started backing the campaign to abolish cash, but I did buy a paper copy with some coins at the weekend. It’s a long article that starts with the Polish PM saying;
        “There is no risk of sanctions against Poland. The European Commission cannot punish us. Do not expect us to regard our partnership with the EU as some special privilege; it is our right. Do not expect me to go to Brussels and be docile. Do not expect us to be on our knees.”

        And ends with an EU official saying;
        “It is like the Greek government again. They can shout at the beginning but they have to learn. They are part of the system.”

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        You can register your email address on the website to gain access.

        The new Polish government wants to be able to appoint the director general of the state broadcaster (just like in the UK) and judges to its supreme court (just like in the USA). The EU considers this to be “undemocratic”. Germany’s Günther Oettinger, the commissioner for the digital economy and society, says “There is a lot to be said for activating the mechanism on the rule of law and putting Warsaw under supervision.” Who voted him into his job eh? Top and bottom of it is this quote at the end of the article, speaking of the Poles, “It is like the Greek government again,” says one EU official. “They can shout at the beginning but they have to learn. They are part of the system.”. So its either “in” or “out” and no deals are possible. LTC Dave is effectively on a wild goose chase, thats if you are daft enough to believe he is out for a serious deal in the first place.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Not having a subscription to the FT I can’t read any of the article, so what does the last sentence say? EUobserver has been following this, and the latest is here:

      https://euobserver.com/justice/131877

      “Kaczynski rejects EU ‘pressure’ ahead of EP debate”

      Three things strike me about this.

      The first is the sheer hypocrisy of the EU, and specifically the EU Commission, in attacking Poland over the “rule of law” when it has a long history of bending and breaking its own laws. Maybe when we have voted to leave the EU and hostile voices are then raised to say that as we don’t want to join them in their “wild ride to political union” we should be punished with trade sanctions, as if we were some rogue state, we could remind them of the various articles in the EU treaties which say the opposite and ask why they are proposing to breach them.

      The second is that one Pole, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is blaming another Pole, Donald Tusk, for making matters worse, the difference between them being not one of nationality but of political party; and of course that is a problem when one party is eager to irrevocably hand over more power to the EU and another then attempts to retrieve some of that power and uphold the sovereignty of the country.

      And the third is Kaczynski’s statement:

      “One might conclude from our geopolitical position that we should abandon our sovereignty because Russia and Germany are more powerful … I don’t think we should abandon it.”

      I recall an attache at the Polish Embassy offering me precisely that explanation for the Poles being so willing to subjugate themselves to the EU when they had just escaped from being in thrall to the Soviet Union, with a shrug of the shoulders:

      “We have Russia on one side and Germany on the other, what can we do?”

  4. Mick
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe there are still people that would vote to stay in the eu when you read of all the rapes and violence going off with migrants JUST VOTE OUT

    • Margaret
      Posted January 23, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      It is often a case of I’m all right Jack and the abused are losers anyway!

  5. Mark B
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think it will also come down to what people think is better for them personally. If say, they were told that upon leaving the EU, that the UK government, and not the EU, would be able to set what items were subject to VAT, and its level I think many might come to the conclusion that they would financially be better off if they voted to leave.

    Being able to control ones laws and tax is a fundamental principle of sovereignty. And the will of the people of this country would be greatly deminished if we were to remain as we would no longer, through our elected representatives, be able to influence matters.

    • Yosarion
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Good point JR, just how much reduction in VAT could be brought about by not having to pay EUSSR membership fees?

    • David Price
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      I would expect VAT to fall immediately on leaving the EU since part of the current levy is collected on behalf of the EU who few their cut as “own resources”, but we are talking about tax so the chances are it won’t.

  6. DaveM
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    What you say is quite true as usual. However, what concerns me at the minute is that your concise, simple, and factual articles (along with various articles by others of a similar persuasion) are not being publicised enough. People in this country are not stupid, not easily scared, and have the ability to make their own minds up, but they usually do the latter based on facts and evidence.

    I haven’t read the papers recently, but I haven’t seen a lot of articles by the Out campaign elsewhere other than on websites I look for as an anti-EUer. I think it’s about time someone gripped all the Out campaigns, formulated them into one cohesive group with a charismatic and sensible spokesman, and started genuinely educating the public in the way you educate us here, and dismantle the In campaigners’ sensational scare-tactic arguments the way your party dismantled the Labour Party’s shouty “Our NHS” GE campaign.

    reply I had an article in the FT the previous weekend and was on ITN yesterday. I take any opportunity available. Articles here are as published as an article in a paper, and all can forward them for others if they wish

    • DaveM
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      OT – I noticed the BBC World News had a full half-hour programme on “Britain’s Muslim Soldiers” today. Whilst not wishing to be derogatory to those noble 29 who died in the service of the UK, what about the thousands/millions of Hindus and Sikhs and Africans who made a similar sacrifice?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Indeed or all the very many sensible atheists who died in service. The BBC will always find a daft angle to approach any issue. Also did they really know the true beliefs of these people as opposed to the religion they were allocated at birth?

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Nothing but perception management. The liberal elite hates potential immigrants who have a proven loyalty to the Crown, have skills that they can automatically put to use once they get here and speak English. The proof being how hard it was for the Gurkhas to get to the UK against those who share none of their qualities.

    • Chris
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I understand that Leave.eu have taken on Dr Richard North as a consultant, and he is going to help them produce a brief on the exit policy from the EU, based on his very detailed and excellent Flexcit document. The sooner this is in the public domain, the better. For those like The Active Citizen, there is a 2 page summary at the beginning of the Flexcit document, plus a 20 minute videoclip of North explaining the whole exit policy. To be recommended. All on North’s website, eurefendumblog.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Dear John–I too as you know have long tried to encourage you somehow to get yourself published more. Your statement that your articles here are “as published” etc is unfortunately meaningless to the point of being misleading. Your articles may be “as published” in the sense that they are available to people who have already decided to read them but apart from that they are hardly “published” at all. You bear comparison with an arcane section of a reference library. I suspect you feel it a bit infra dig to have to ask to be published and more especially to ask to be published regularly and instead prefer to wait to ask for invitations. As one of our more incisive anti EU warriors you simply must find a way to put yourself more to the fore. I still find it incredible that you do not have a regular slot in the Torygraph in particular.

      Reply I do appear from time to time in other publications. The Telegraph has no wish to have a proper Leave EU columnist. They are still sitting on the article I wrote for them with their agreement before Christmas.I have wasted enough time on trying to get them to take material. I am not against appearing in other publications, and have just agreed some more BBC Radio programmes following my one on the Euro.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    We have two choices in the coming referendum.

    If we vote REMAIN then we are inevitably on a course to joining the Eurozone. That is what Mr Juncker assumed in his recent speech and what is assumed in the Fundamental Law and what is assumed too in the Five Presidents’ speech. Dan Hannan is quite right: we are on a bus travelling to the Eurozone and to a United State of Europe.

    It was very noticeable yesterday that Federica Mogherini was negotiating with the Iranians for the whole Union. Poor Mr Hammond was allowed into the photo at the end.

    If we vote LEAVE we can stop being absorbed into the Eurozone and being sucked into a Europe governed by the unelected and unchecked Commission which works (very badly) in secret, well away from the press and criticism of any kind. The failure of the euro, the baiting of Russia, the unlimited numbers of randy young men in Cologne, the initiation of the flooding policy, the disastrous green energy policy which closed down a Tata works yesterday and which has decimated our heavy industry – all these we can lay at the door of this second rate and unaccountable body.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed if the UK is foolish enough to stay in they are on a death spiral to an anti democratic, socialist, sclerotic, disunited, high tax, States of Europe.

      • graham1946
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Exactly. Don’t know if you’ve seen it, but on Youtube there is a film lasting about 30 mins which draws frightening parallels between the EU final destination and the old Soviet Union, from the Politburo right down to the gulags (although in the EU version it is a philosphical gulag rather than a physical one, (but maybe that’s just a matter of time). It is called ‘EU Conspiracy – Britain on the Brink’ and everyone who cares for this country needs to see it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          It is surely the UK’s duty to show the way to the exit door.

        • Chris
          Posted January 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Yes, indeed g1946. Gorbachev’s observations (from some years ago) are relevant here!
          “The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”
          ― Mikhail Gorbachev

  8. Anonymous
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    A win-win either way:

    Leave ? Then we save EU membership money, regain our sovereignty etc and get to sell the EU the two useless aircraft carriers we are building for their navy.

    Stay ? We get to scrap our own surplus parliament and sell off the buildings for exclusive housing development in a prime London location.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      We won’t get to scrap our own parliament if we don’t stay ? Well talk about politicians not having their cake but eating it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Rarely in the state sector is anything scrapped. They have no interest in saving tax payers money, particularly if this money is coming to them in the form of wages, pensions, subsidised restaurants and expenses.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Indeed and we will also have the advantage we could then deregulate hugely and move to a sensible, cheap energy policy. Assuming, that is, we can get a sensible UK government. I see it is reported that our endlessly tax increasing (and tax complexity increasing) chancellor is now going to attack pensions yet again with yet more restrictions on reliefs. Surprising as Cameron claims to be a low tax conservative at heart. If he is why does he not get a chancellor who is one too?

    • M Davis
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Cheap energy may well have saved our Steel Industry. Talk about myopic!

  10. Tim L
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    John,

    The BBC – again.

    On one web page they headline a Nick Clegg clip with: Leaving the EU ‘will not end migration’. The reader is to understand he is responding to demands that the UK stops all immigration.

    I followed the link. The headline changes to: Leaving the EU ‘will not end mass migration’. The reader is to understand he is responding to claims that the UK leaving the EU will end mass migration into Europe.

    John, forgive my sarcasm, I don’t suppose you know which campaign to leave the EU is claiming either of these things because the BBC clearly think Mr Clegg has a valid point worthy of a quoted headline?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Well Clegg the Libdims and the BBC are all fully in tune. They all like more EU, open door non-selective immigration, ever higher taxes, bloated government, expensive energy, the dysfunctional NHS, climate alarmism, trains, bikes, over regulation of everything, blocking the roads for cars, more and more “human rights” and all the rest of the bonkers BBC, lunacy.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 19, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, you forgot to mention the dumping of gas boilers, cookers and fires. Where the hell is all this electricity going to come from when we no longer have gas? Politics has gone mad. I am seriously considering purchasing a diesel generator seeing as the price of oil is cheap and it’s being endorsed by the government for generating power!!

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      This was probably a reference to his comments made on the Marr programme on Sunday morning, which I watched. It was a straw man argument, typical of of the political class – put up a phony case and then knock it down, with a self satisfied, triumphant expression.

      That was followed later by Mr Corbyn, evidently trying to go one better than Mr Cameron’s aircraft carriers without aircraft. His idea now is to build the nuclear submarines but not to equip them with nuclear missiles.

      There are times when utter despair is the only rational response to the utterances of the ruling, or would be ruling class. I do not doubt that we shall get much more of Project Fear in the weeks and months ahead which, we will be assured, can all be set aside by the rabbit that is to be pulled from Mr Cameron’s top hat.

      • Beecee
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Mr Cameron is now following his ‘master’ Mr Blair in announcing an initiative a week.

        Clearly his renegotiation initiative has not yet hit fertile ground.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Utter despair indeed, the bonkers economics of Corbyn or the bonkers light tax borrow and piss down the drain version from Osborne.

      • Tim L
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        oldtimer…

        Yes you are right, it was on Marr who did little to in the clip to pull Clegg back. I ought to say I never saw the whole interview, thus I commented on the clip itself.

      • stred
        Posted January 19, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        At the end Marr said that any of us worried about balance could tune to Politics later where they had Nigel Farage on. They had him on talking about the campaign, not the facts, then had Ken Carke on to spout the lies for In. Someone needs to count the broadcast media bias and make a formal complaint to OFCOM- not that they took any notice of the many complaints made after the disraceful Ch4 film about industry closing and riots days after UKIP won at the election. A look at the appointment method reveals why.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      The last edition of “Blue Peter” on the iplayer should finally show that the BBC does not give an accurate reflection of contemporary British society.

      Incidentally Nick is correct the EU has no powers over the British government as to who its allows in to the UK from outside the EU. The insanity continues with some chappie, who walked through the Channel Tunnel, being granted asylum despite him being completely out of harms way in Calais. Meanwhile Deutsche Welle reports that some four to five thousand refugees are still arriving in Germany each day.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Nick Clegg is right to say that leaving the EU will not reduce migration. The impetus for it comes from within our own borders.

  11. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    On what democratic basis did the EU lift most sanctions on Iran a day or so ago?On what democratic political mandate did it impose them in the first place?
    The US allowed India and China to continue buying huge amounts of oil from Iran and increasing those amounts. Did the EU also agree to this waiver? If so, when? Who authorised it? At what time were we even so much as consulted?

    The sanctions of course were utterly ineffective. Which EU officials or politicians lost us the opportunity of buying very cheap oil from Iran throughout this period, cars and textiles?
    Which politicians or bodies within the UK authorised it?
    Which companies within the UK lost business because of those sanctions?
    How many UK workers lost their jobs because of the sanctions?
    How much has this cost the UK tax-payer in paying welfare benefits to those workers and how much in tax receipts was lost?
    In what way did the sanctions violate the WTO regulations? They were levied purely because of political and not practical reasons. How did the UK and EU get round the breaking of international law, if they did?
    Sanctions were imposed on Iran. But by general assertion by the USA, EU and the UK, the Iranian Republic was not and is not democratic in any way and did not and does not care one jot for its people. Since the ruling elite of Iran and indeed all countries where sanctions are imposed never suffer financially or materially from the imposition of those sanctions, why were the sanctions nevertheless imposed on ordinary innocent Iranian people? Why were they made to suffer…when they were thought to be totally unable to effect a change in the ruling class of Iran?
    This of course could be asked about all sanctions imposed on countries.

    There could be comprehensive and just reasons given in answer to these questions. But the fact the answers do not come readily to mind to most British people shows the flaws in democracy in government and the EU.

    Throughout all this Iran farce lasting decades, I personally know one Iranian and British spouse who operated an extremely humble small business which just about earned them a living and who managed very easily to travel back and forth to Iran and on occasion effectively lived both here and there.
    So what was it all really…really about? We are told so little.

  12. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Nigel Lawson says Cameron has gone fishing and will only get tiddlers. Thats an understatement really. The EU is going for political union which is a significant insult to us. If so then most of Westminster can be laid off along with the workers of Tata Port Talbot…the former being a saving in perpetual waiting?

    A significant danger to us is the extremists in Scotland who spend their time not getting Scotland working adequately and obstructing everybody else. Wales…coming soon!

    Germany is about to wreck Europe again. This time too many fools in UK are siding with them.

    Is the NHS ever going to get their business right? Parking tax now followed by sugar tax.
    And I’d much prefer £20M spent on science and engineering students than on a group of people who will never integrate.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Fools? More like traitors.

  13. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Off topic: This morning 18th january 2016 BBC TV News says Mr Cameron is said to be encouraging British muslim women to study English ” to help beat terrorism “.

    Congratulations to the BBC for daring to use the word “Muslim” for the first time for quite a while. It’s been a struggle for the BBC to get its tongue round “Muslim”. etc ed
    All the many British muslims I’ve spoken with in their homes across the north and midlands of England and at work haven’t had much a problem with English, not my English anyway, except one lady who was a bit shy to use it and told me her husband was “better at it”. And one other, who was actually mute but another British muslim living next door coincidentally had been on a sign language course the month before so he translated for me.

    There did not seem any great urge to terrorise me because of my English. Sink me, Mr Cameron may have got it wrong. Most uncommon.

    If he is right however, he should take a “Teach Yourself English ” book to Mrs Merkel. Mr Juncker is very good at English but it doesn’t seem to have done him much good. Someone must have radicalised him over his internet.

  14. Antisthenes
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The EU is an enormous white elephant, a folly and a vanity project. It is costing the UK dear and holding back the UK from taking it’s rightful place in the world. It is holding back the UK politically, economically and commercially. It is abusing and misusing our trust and our wealth and wishes to do so even more whilst ensuring that we have little or no say in how the EU is structured and run.

    The EU probably benefits some of it’s less prosperous members and it has encouraged European nations to cooperate with one another. However those benefits have been at a cost to some of it’s other members and that cooperation has not always been wisely applied. Both could be achieved better and less expensively by other means. Some of the EU’s members can be excused for saying that membership has not benefited them at all and in fact they are paying a heavy price because of it.

    The UK is paying a price in so many ways as you point out and if we leave how heavy will quickly become apparent. I believe we will find out that being a member of the EU has cost the UK heavily with little or no benefit being received in return.

    The world will not end if we leave and we will continue to trade and do political business with the EU but will be able to do so on our terms at the same time to be free to make our own way in the world as we will have received our sovereignty back.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    All of the points John highlights is his post today I heartily endorse ; we must take our affairs into our own hands again and prove to the world we are strong , capable , trustworthy and successful .I do regret that the Commonwealth is not so well integrated as it used to be and that the trade we had with them was damaged by the foolish decision to join the EU .Fortunately our investments abroad are strong and we have an infrastructure in place to build on .

    We do face change in the world markets and our manufacturing base does have to take on the problem of very low cost products – some artificially inspired . On the other hand we have very competent financial and service sectors and an educational system feeding considerable talent to employers . If the taxation system is made attractive I believe there is nothing to stop us obtaining a top place in all the centres of power and influence .

  16. Ian wragg
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    It would seem that everything the remain camp utters is diametrically opposite of the truth.
    Why doesn’t anyone stand up in Parliament and expose the outright lies being spread.
    Dave says security would suffer if we left yet the EU is the most dangerous outfit on the planet.
    Silly Rudd says energy security would suffer if we left but her department is gold plating EU directives to the extent that Britain is helping mainland Europe keep their emissions.
    We are being lied to on a daily basis and no one challenges it.

    • Chris
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Did you know that Amber Rudd is sister of Roland Rudd, that keen advocate of the EU, and Chairman of Business for New Europe and Treasurer of the Britain Stronger in Europe …

      • M Davis
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Chris, for that bit of information which, we would not get from anywhere else unless we googled for it.

      • stred
        Posted January 19, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Roland Rudd and Robert Peston are great friends and used to work together for the FT, etc ed.

        How the media, PR political class network is a wonder to behold.

        • stred
          Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Anyone wanting to know what the etc ed was can wiki Roland Rudd. Well worth it for a chuckle

  17. NickW
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The British people were deceived and told lies in order to get them to vote to join the EU at the last referendum.

    The deception and lies continue.

    The EU is determined to incorporate Turkey, regardless of the fact that it is a Muslim country which has been shown to be facilitating the aims and ambitions of ISIS. UK Citizens won’t be asked their opinion on this; the EU will steamroller it through in its usual dictatorial fashion. The stay campaign has to explain how we can protect ourselves from the consequences of Turkey’s incorporation once we have bowed our head in servitude to the EU with a “Stay” vote. We obviously can not.

    Those leaders of Industry who are bombarding the media with their “Stay” propaganda are making a declaration of their own incompetence and lack of ability to successfully adapt and take advantage of a changed situation were we to vote to leave.
    All the propaganda from the stay campaign is based on the premise that there will be no adaptation. The British people deserve better leaders than that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      “UK Citizens won’t be asked their opinion on this; the EU will steamroller it through in its usual dictatorial fashion.”

      UK citizens won’t be asked their opinion on this because the UK government has never wanted to ask UK citizens their opinion on additional countries joining and becoming parties to the EEC/EC/EU contract, from Thatcher deciding that she wanted Greece in the EEC and she wouldn’t deign to ask us whether we minded the contract we had approved in 1975 being varied in that way, right through to Hague writing a blanket exemption for all accession treaties into his so-called “referendum lock” law and then using it to avoid a referendum on whether we were happy for Croatia to be allowed to join the EU:

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

  18. alte fritz
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Project Fear is based on myth, or, to be blunt, it is based on lies. The “Establishment” (there is one) is consciously building a campaign on systematic lies. It did so in 1975. Just what conclusions should the average person draw about the nature of the state under which that person lives?

  19. Kenneth
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    There are still people going on the television saying things like ‘nnnn jobs will be at risk’. I even heard someone saying that tourists may not come here if we leave the eu.

    The out campaign has cleverly avoided facts as they would ruin their campaign.

    However we should expect the media to call this out and, so far, it has not done so.

    IMHO if the campaign was based on facts we would never take the risk of remaining a member of the eu.

    • Kenneth
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Sorry, I meant the IN campaign has cleverly avoided facts….

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they just blindly say how much damage coming out would do in the manner of the great BBC favourite thinker Polly Toynbee, but they never give any rational reasons as to why.

        The EU can inflict far more damage on the UK if we are in than if we are out using the treaties, court and mechanisms they have in place. We have nothing to fear from getting out and much to be gained.

    • Chris
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Reply to K: I understand that in the latest government sponsored pro EU leaflet which is being delivered to every door is the 3 million jobs myth.

  20. Atlas
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    About 1/5 the country definitely wants to leave the EU. Another 1/5 definitely wants to stay in come-what-may. So that leaves 3/5 who could not really care less about the subject.

    So are these 3/5ths likely to be more influenced by other considerations?

    It seems that Osborne is hoping to take over from Cameron. However, Osborne has tied his colours to the mast by wanting to stay in the EU. Hence if Cameron loses the Referendum and resigns it follows that Osborne’s chances of becoming leader under these circumstances are small. So if people don’t like the prospect of Osborne as a future leader then they may be motivated vote to leave the EU because of this knock-on effect. It may not be principled but it is realistic politics.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Osborne would be a disaster politically, rather like Ed Miliband he lacks the right ability to appear normal. In addition he has a record of endless tax increases, IHT ratting, not wanting an EU referendum, absurd tax complexity, robbing tenants by interest and SDLT changes, thieving off pensions and general tax borrow and huge waste incompetence.

  21. ChrisS
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s Marr program yesterday had Clegg and Corbyn on it. While Corbyn had a good grilling and did even more damage to his leadership with the completely daft idea of building new Trident Submarines without the missiles, Clegg was given an easy ride over Europe. I suppose we can be grateful that at least one of the paper reviewers was a Eurosceptic.

    Something needs to be done to counter the endless propaganda being pumped out by the BBC, Cameron and his cohorts, particularly people like John Major who are being very vocal and whose every word is being given top billing by the Corporation.

    With the country so evenly balanced on the referendum issue, surely the time has come for political programs to have equal representation of both positions and for the protagonists to debate the issues directly ? Only in that way will we see the myths and lies put out by the Europhiles being properly challenged.

    Terrifying statistics in the Sunday Times this week about the number of migrants landing in Europe. 16,000, even in the middle of winter. One can only imagine the flood that will start to arrive as soon as the weather turns in April. That will be perfect timing for the referendum campaign if Cameron goes for June. Unless, of course, the BBC, which gave us wall to wall coverage of the story last year, for some some convenient reason decides to ignore it in 2016.

    The rest of Europe must be quietly thinking that they should have pushed Greece out of both the Eurozone and the EU last year so that the problem would have been entirely the responsibility of Greece. Having made that mistake, and realising that trying to get Greece to do anything sensible about the problem is a waste of effort, it does look like they are trying to isolate Greece by closing all the land borders between it and other member countries. Leaving the Greeks to handle all the migrants landing on its shores is going to create even more problems in that relatively small and impoverished country.

    Turning to the other problem area of Italy, until it is safe for them to return to their own country, the South of Italy, being sparsely populated, can easily accommodate all of the genuine Syrian migrants arriving on its shores from North Africa. The climate would suit them far more than that of Germany.

    Italy just needs to get a grip and immediately arrest and deport the majority of arrivees on its shores who are overwhelmingly young, male economic migrants.

  22. JimS
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Ken Livingstone was pushing the line that the UK was too small for China to to do a trade deal with on BBC’s Any Questions? this week.

    Does he not know that Iceland has a trade deal with China?

    Similarly Canada and Australia have trade deals with the USA yet the ‘essential’ EU hasn’t got a deal with China or the USA.

    Is he just ignorant or is he deliberately creating fog?

  23. turbo terrier
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    All the time you have politicians like Clegg and Salmond they will spin whatever they have to to achieve their personal dreams and ambitions.

    Yesterday on the Marr show showed us politicians at their very worst.

    If we stay in the EU we end up as just another state with little or no say in anything.
    We are entering into the stage of politics from the mad house.

    Salmond believes Trump should be kept out of the UK, partly because he dared to fight an offshore wind farm that will impact on his project in Aberdeen as he has only spent a fraction of the money that he promised to invest. No consideration to the thousands that will be affected by Trump pulling out of all his golfing projects in Scotland. Salmond stated that both developments will be snapped up. Only if Trump decides to sell them. He could mothball the lot and just bide his time. All the suppliers and employees will be left signing on.

    Along with all the other politicians that oppose Trump they only talk about the first part of the statement made about Muslims not the last bit “until this country sorts it out etc”

    Hopefully as already mentioned the power of social media may will dilute the actions by the BBC and some of the press.

    As for CMDs extra rabbits it begs belief especially in the light of some of his past promises and knee jerk rections to minority groups. We still do not know what he has really really been discussing. If the country votes to stay in he will be off as he has already stated that he will not do another turn, so why should he give a stuff?

    All the want to leave groups have got to get into the same strip and start playing as one team all these different groups just dilute the impact of their arguement. I personnally do not give a fig who heads it up but they have to sing from the same sheet and music.

    If we stay in there are no guarantees that a few years down the track the faceless nameless commissioners will not change it all have us in the euro and signed up for the European armed forces with no say in anything.

    I would rather life in a country that has it own controls and full independence with the knowledge if I do not like their policies I can place my vote accordingly every 5 years.

  24. forthurst
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “It is important once again to dismiss their myths.”

    We need to identify all their mischievous misrepresentations and address them like fencers with a parry followed by a reposte. e.g. when the lying and discredited Nick Clegg claims that we would be ‘isolated’ if we left the EU, ask whether all the other countries with lesser economies than ours are ‘isolated’, impoverished and clamouring to join the EU and that the likelihood of Germany wanting to isolate us from their car plants is zilch, and then point out that our minority voting powers within the EU mean that both in the Parliament and the Council of Minsters we can be and are outvoted and sidelined whereas as an independent nation we can decide our own laws exclusively and negotiate our trade deals on a one-to-one basis. If the say our farmers would no longer get EU subsidies and would all go broke, say that there would nothing to prevent us assisting our farmers with the money which we current pay to assist french farmers; furthermore, we can work with our farmers to assist them exclusively to produce what they wanted; furthermore we would be able to assist our fisherman to harvest all our waters for the first time since 1972. Overall, we would become far more self-sufficient in food than while in the EU whilst not having to subsidise their agricultural production or allow them to steal our fish.

  25. Antisthenes
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    If we need a template on what the EU structure and how it is run should be like then we need to look no further than the UN. That is an institution that provides a forum that facilitates trade and political cooperation between sovereign nations. Each nation is free to sign up or not to the various bodies and treaties that the UN believes would be beneficial to bring into being.

    Of course modelling the EU on the UN brings attention to the fact that the EU is not necessary at all as it is only mostly duplicating what is already done but on a much larger and more important stage. Worse the EU is doing by force what the UN does by persuasion and as we know coercion does not make for sound foundations and is certain to foster resentment. The EU is redundant it does nothing that it’s members cannot do adequately for itself and/or through the good offices of the UN. Let us not forget NATO another body brought to life through the banding together of sovereign nations to enhance those nations security. So security one of main reason behind the creation of the EU was not a good reason at all.

  26. Iain Moore
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I am always stuck at the institutional view of influence that is promulgated by the EU fanatics for their cause, that you can only have influence if your country is represented by one person, to 27 other people, in the reactionary EU that won’t accept change if it means loosening their control.

    A much more powerful form of influence is the one you achieve by setting an example. If a nation is doing something special it would be stupid to ignore their example because they aren’t being aired in a late night EU meeting when everybody would rather go to bed. But it is more important that for with the conformity the EU seeks to impose on every aspect of our lives, the diversity of new ideas, which are our future , are getting snuffed out without them ever being talked about in EU meetings, let alone tried.

  27. Bob
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    On Question Time on Thursday a young chap in the audience said that young people like to travel, implying that if we left the EU he would be imprisoned in the UK.
    UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn quickly corrected him by saying that we will not be trying to emulate North Korea.

    It’s quite scary to see the level of indoctrination that the establishment have achieved since the “long march through the institutions”.

  28. majorfrustration
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Why are the Big Beats of the Leave campaign so shy – the above message from JR is spot on but its no good blogging to ourselves. What is stopping the Big Beast of the Leave campaign
    from making the above issues more public?

    Reply This is making it public! And I did a bit of it on the ITN main news yesterday at 5.35

    • majorfrustration
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      I appreciate you are doing your bit but where are the others. For every “leave” speaker on the MSM there are three speakers for staying in.

    • acorn
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Conservative MPs that are eurosceptic, tread a fine line. There is a replacement PPC for every one of them should the Osborne wing triumph. Best not to get too loud, just in case eh. Party and the salary package will always come first, before country. Particularly if you are a younger member and have plans for a front bench future. 🙂

      Anyway, if we vote for out, it will be five to ten years before you notice any difference whatsoever. It might be a good idea to try and join NAFTA and maintain our EU trade via TTIP.

  29. nigel
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Nick Herbert tells us: “Quite apart from the risk to inward investment, the price of access to the market which British business requires would likely be a substantial payment to the EU, the free movement of labour, and no say over the rules”.

    Does he really expect us to believe that?

    However, I am sure that his words will strike fear into the minds of many people, so we need to have the counter arguments made again and again.

  30. Colin Hart
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Being part of the EU trading bloc does not seem to be of much benefit to Port Talbot steelworkers losing their jobs because of low cost imports.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Cheap imports and expensive energy, both connected with the EU even though Sky could not bring themselves to make those connections last night.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      And Rudd’s absurd expensive energy.

      • Chris
        Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        See the Carwyn Jones Nigel Farage debate on Wales and the EU a few days ago. It was tremendous as one myth after another was demolished. Also the true causes of the decline of steel in Wales were made crystal clear by one of the two. No prizes for guessing who.

  31. graham1946
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Latest lie coming from the ‘Inners’ who are saying that if we leave, our shopping bills will increase by 20 percent whereas the truth is that our food bills will drop substantially as we freely trade with the world and are free of the EU barriers to trade.

    Also, we won’t have to have VAT (but its doubtful any British government would want to pass on this saving to its people rather than splash it up the wall) on more lunatic schemes.

    We might also see an improvement in third world countries as we trade with them freely and allow them our markets rather than keeping them out as we do at present and instead give aid. Trade is better than aid always. We’ve been pouring aid into Africa for decades and nothing improves, so there could be a long term saving there as well. It’s harder for the despots to profit from trade than to simply filch the Aid Budget.

  32. AndyC
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the ‘in’ argument about trade agreements. International trade is governed by the WTO, which is outside the EU. And as you point out, you don’t need trade agreements in order to trade; the EU currently doesn’t have one with the USA and it doesn’t seem to stop anyone sending goods across the Atlantic. In any case, the way the TTIP being secretly negotiated is an affront to democratic governance, as will be its rubber-stamping by Westminster wihen the time comes, if we do not leave the EU.

    That leaves the ‘single market’. This seemed like a good idea at the time in the 1980s, but it predates GATT/WTO, and I’m wondering what its value really is in a more globalised world. If the USA/China/rest of the world can trade with the EU without single market membership, then I don’t suppose it would be beyond our wit either.

    There’s a strong strand of Tory pessimism in this, going back decades, via Heath to MacMillan and indeed Salisbury. The current Conservative leadership seems to accept this idea too, that such things as sovereignty are indeed beyond our wit, and we need to do what we’re told by outside agencies in order to survive.

    The related argument that seems to be popular now is that we will get an economic ‘punishment beating’ from the EU if we dare leave. I find that an astonishing argument to make in favour of continued membership. If it’s not true, then there’s no problem, and if it is true, I want nothing to do with such an abusive organisation.

    I no longer consider myself a Conservative supporter, due to the antics of the current front bench. But I do wholeheartedly support your efforts to spread a positive message more widely!

  33. jeffrey
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “The world’s fifth largest economy”

    This mantra is being repeated so often now, it deserves comment. It might be a nice propaganda soundbite, one which ‘inners’ are wary about dismissing as too much ‘project fear’. But it is only true in a meaningless sense – at prevailing exchange rates. As Harold Wilson famously pointed out in 1967, the exchange rate has nothing to do with what is provided within a country’s domestic economy.

    Consulting the latest World Bank exchange rate purchasing power adjusted GDP data (for 2014, but updated 12/2015), the UK ranks 10th. Of course, anyone with economic background regards PPP calculations as a bit of a joke in practice. But the World Bank table largely makes sense, since the whole point of 21st century economic power is the greater relevance of population as a result of global technology diffusion. China is still a very poor country by GDP/head, less than a quarter that of the US. But that does not stop it having the largest GDP in real terms.

    It is particularly bizarre to couple the 5th claim with talking about trade deals with India. If you seriously believe the UK economy is larger than India’s, why bother? India, with a population of 1.3b ranks 3rd on the World Bank list. Seems about right to me.

  34. Nig L
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I agree totally but once again it is Politicians obsessed with ‘influence’. Having worked with umpteen businesses and the people in them I have never heard anyone mention ‘influence’ once. People do not give a fig about it.

    Three things. Inward Migration overloading an already very crowded country. The cost, boiled down to the shed load we all pay via our taxes because as a country we are successful and the almost unlimited ‘red tape (both new and constantly being tinkered with)’ and incessant requests for information.

    Only today Nicky Morgan praised the fact that DC had negotiated a reduced settlement (apparently the first time ever) but my understanding is that the EC used another method of claiming it and we coughed up quietly as we always do)

    As a previous correspondent said, we want your (and others) views trumpeted. Tell us whether we did indeed get a reduction or whatever happens, our contribution will be open ended?

    Highlight the fact that Osbourne is now threatening Ministers’ careers and they will put themselves before country (again).

    I am not alone in worrying that your and others intellectual approach will be lost in amongst the coordinated agitprop that will spew out of the EC, the Treasury and the BBC

    • Colin Hart
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      My recollection is that DC, along with all the other EU heads of government, agreed a reduction in the EU’s overall budget or at least a reduction in what the Commission was proposing. Meanwhile the UK’s contribution actually increased.

      DC usually uses a form of words that reflects the reality even if it gives the impression he has done a Mrs T. Morgan either has no respect for the truth or was simply reading out what was put in front of her.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    In the last few days I think I saw mention of the 2015 manifesto. I know very few people read manifesto’s but surely the Conservative Party and its MP’s have a collective responsibility to see it implemented. It states what they will do if returned to power and they use the word WE.

    David Cameron has already decided (has orders) to back staying in the EU. So let us look at the commitments his MP’s are ignoring.
    The highlights are:
    Controlled immigration that benefits Britain Pages 29 & 30
    Our commitment to you: Our plan to control immigration will put you, your family and the British people first. We will reduce the number of people coming to our country with tough new welfare conditions and robust enforcement.
    (Note Freedom of Movement which allows migration within the Member States is not rescinded by amending the welfare rules)
    We will: keep our ambition of delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands
    control migration from the European Union, by reforming welfare rules
    Conservatives believe in controlled immigration, not mass immigration.
    When immigration is out of control, it puts pressure on schools, hospitals and transport; and it can cause social pressures if communities find it hard to integrate.

    Real change in our relationship with the European Union
    commit to keeping the pound and staying out of the Eurozone
    reform the workings of the EU, which is too big, too bossy and too bureaucratic
    reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the Single Market
    back businesses to create jobs in Britain by completing ambitious trade deals and reducing red tape
    We will negotiate a new settlement for Britain in Europe, and then ask the British people whether they want to stay in the EU on this reformed basis or leave.

    Little or non of this is obtainable without Treaty change, so where does this leave the Conservative Party and Eurosceptics like yourself?

    Cameron is tiring of his advertised mission to change the EU – ” the EU is not working and we will change it”. Your leader has already thrown in the towel, directing his Cabinet to join him in pushing for a vote to remain in the EU.

    In his speeches and manifesto Cameron laid out all the faults he saw in our current Treaty arrangements and said he would change our relationship with the EU. So far there is no sign of that. I think Donald Tusk and other EU officials are perplexed by Cameron’s antics. It was only in November that Cameron after two years of making speeches set out in a form of words what he wanted. “First, I want to end Britain’s obligation to work towards an “ever closer union” as set out in the Treaty.”

    Juncker and other Council members have pointed out to Cameron that it is not within their gift to make Treaty changes.

    Staying in Cameron gets little or nothing, leaving gives him everything he wanted. QMV has not even been entioned.
    Staying in is not the statis quo BES would have us believe. The folly with staying in is nothing changes until the next Treaty, with the rows and arguments starting all over again. The 5 Presidents report and Spinelli promises closer union, replacing the existing treaties it takes a major step towards a federal union. But then, many politicians are either lazy or do not have the mental capacity to interpret these documents which are freely available.

    Charles Moore sum up neatly Cameron’s position in whipping his Cabinet: Every stretch of language is now being made, every benefit of the doubt given to the intentions of the other member states, to make them feel OK about voting to stay. And I bet this is what they will do.
    One need not complain about this – governments have to try to stay alive, and ministers want to keep their jobs. But one just has to remember that the whole process has almost nothing to do with the issue on which we shall be voting in the referendum, which concerns not the convenience of the Conservative Party, but the future of this country.

    Reply I wanted a referendum, I have helped secure one, and I will now vote for Out.

  36. Tom William
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I have just received, via the postman, a newspaper type brochure from Britain Stronger in Europe. I presume every house in the UK will get/has got one. It is full of downright lies and Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

    What organisation is going to reply with a counter-blast? A whole page is devoted to attacking UKIP but it would be much better if it was not made into a pro or anti UKIP riposte. Or is it better to keep one’s powder dry?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Downright lies delivered by the postman to every household in 1975, now the same thing in 2016. Now as then advocates of the EEC/EC/EU federal project have no scruples about resorting to downright lies to get what they want.

  37. adams
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Out of the EU we could make sure our Steel industry survives to supply the steel that we will need for the future . Your party is very quiet on the EU rules and regs killing the Steel industry not to mention the Carbon tax nonsense John .

  38. MikeP
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    If there’s to be any impactful “Project Fear”, it should be driven from the Leave Campaign, since we should all be very very fearful of what life would be like if we vote to Remain in this ragbag of a club:
    – are France and Germany really going to tolerate a UK vetoing future policy changes and Treaties in future, given that we would have just given the EU a big tick in the box?
    – is the government really going to agree that future shifts of power to Brussels merit a mandatory public vote under the referendum lock bill ? Who decides what is a shift of power?
    – as the Eurozone either implodes or grinds to a painful halt, and integrates even more, do we really want to be shackled to a stagnating bloc when the rest of the world (with whom we’re forbidden to enter into free trade agreements) is growing faster than the EU?
    – is the track record of us being outvoted more times than the other 27 countries put together suddenly going to change?
    – are our courts never going to be over-ruled by the ECJ?
    – is our Parliament never going to be trumped by some over-arching diktat from Brussels?
    – are we going to have any real chance of stopping economic migration from Turkey if they’re admitted to the EU as Angela Merkel wants?

    No in every case. Time to get out for good.

  39. David L
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I am really trying hard to make an even-handed assessment of the pros and cons of our EU membership. At the last General Election the Labour candidate in the Wokingham constituency referred in his address that to leave would bring on “disaster”. I e-mailed him and innocently asked him to provide details of what this disaster might consist of. He listed:no trade deals with China, India etc., precipitation of another Scots referendum, having to pay the EU to access its markets, reduced inward investment and possible loss of various companies’ European Head Offices.
    You have given your side about all of these issues, Mr Redwood, and I am more convinced by you than by him. However, nothing is ever simple and should there be a Brexit I don’t doubt there will be problems that the Press and BBC will play for all they’re worth.
    At heart I’m a fan of lots of aspects of Europe, it’s culture, it’s diversity, it’s cars (well, certain German and Italian ones) to name but a few, but the bureaucracy and the unwieldy Euro are surely best avoided. It’s Leave for me.

  40. Maureen Turner
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Around three months ago Kenneth Clarke was interviewed on the Sunday morning
    Murnaghan programme avd stated as if actual fact – the UK would lose its permanent seat
    at the UN, be of no consequence within NATO and that the USA would have no interest
    in forming a trade deal with the UK if it voted to leave the EU. Please Mr. Redwood
    scotch these falsehoods at every possible opportunity.

    You are correct in that we must promote what we could have should the Leave vote carry the day but how can this be achieved with a hostile BBC? If this organisation could
    broadcast Lord Haw Haw during WW2 lets have an evening slot for This is Angela Calling and let the print media make hay with it. – I wish. The BBC is so tied-up with political
    correctness they would choke – no fun allowed.

    I’ve been following your blogs re securing a fair deal for England, ie., similar to that granted to the devolved nations and hope your efforts prove fruitful. Much of the anger
    coming through in the comments on your blogs arise from the failure to sort out the Barnett Formula and West Lothian Question and I hope once those are addressed we can
    get back to being a united group of four countries as worked so well for us over 300 years.

  41. Margaret
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I love the positive post and say OUT ; then someone comes along and makes me doubt. My responsibility in this vote is weighing heavy and it is not often where I can be swayed by an opposite stance. Steel industry down the plug ;;where is our manufacturing going? Cheap European steel !

  42. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: If only the late Screaming Lord Sutch were alive today,dressed as he was at the Declaration of votes cast with the late PM Harold Wilson in Huyton, the former wearing a lavatory pot on his head. The latter a grin on his face. What a fitting Chairman Lord Sutch would have made at the Trump Debate in some room of Parliament today.

    JR you missed the important debate on whether an American who no-one has cast a single vote for in any election even in America for any post whatsoever should be allowed to visit the UK . Not that he has indicated he wishes to visit us.

    Instead JR I saw you were debating in the absence of Jack Dromey, the Bash Street Gang and familiar faces from the SNP, about redundant oil wells , manufacture in Scotland, closure of steel plants, unemployment, Climate Change. and Energy pricing and long-term Energy provision. Well at least Mr Miliband was there. Thought like his colleague Mr Benn, he cannot get his mind off Arabian desert sands. Even expecting a flood in his constituency.
    The Corbyn factor seems to have turned Parliament silly.

  43. turbo terrier
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Influence and independence

    It might be a very good idea to start at home.

    With the Tata Steel announcements today I think it is time to elevate Ms Rudd to the House of Lords as it would appear that the labour and Cross bench members are about to throw out the alterations to on shore wind subsidies.

    As with the ex boss of HMRC the prize for failure is promotion to the upper house.

    Thankfully the premiership doesn’t work on the same principles. If you fail the manager gets sacked and the team relegated.

    In truth it is time to shut the down the whole second chamber and replace where people can be held accountable for their actions every five years

  44. The Active Citizen
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The Remain campaign should reluctantly be congratulated. Their “Europe & You” newsletter is an effective piece of work, posted to over 10m UK households at the weekend. It’s also tailored according to the region you’re in, with some of the articles having a local bias.

    Round 1 has definitely gone to the Remainers I’m afraid. The leaflet is full of lies, but who amongst the Remainers will care as long as it persuades people?

    My impression is that Vote Leave are too immersed in the Westminster bubble and big business, and they have spokesmen like Cummings and Hannan still talking about having a second referendum after the first (as a basis for a second EU negotiation), leaving me continuing to doubt very seriously that they really want out at all.

    Leave.EU are satisfied in having 400,000 people signed up or supporting their social media pages. Social media types and forum commenters are not the voting public. Leave.EU have also just signed up Dr Richard North, whose Flexcit work is important background but it will not be read or understood by the vast majority of the public. I’ve read all 400-plus pages but I suspect I’m in an insignificant minority of people who have. And it will never win votes.

    GO, (“Grassroots Out”), the new leave campaign, have only just formed. The jury is still out on this one, but let’s hope….

    So much for all the stories last year about how far the Remain campaign was behind the Leavers. The full power of the establishment is now in evidence. If we are to have any chance of winning the Referendum then the Leave campaigns need to get their act in gear fast. Hard political realities need to be confronted. Politicians understand how to win votes far more than academics or business people like me do. Top UK advertising agencies need to be employed to communicate the messages.

    JR, you were head of Lady T’s No.10 Policy Unit and played a fundamental role in the development of policies which brought our country back to prosperity and away from socialist dogma. I recall doing homework by strike-induced candlelight in a depressing and failing country, but went on some years later to become a successful entrepreneur thanks to the sea-change you helped to effect in our country’s social, political, and economic structures.

    You are respected as a major intellect and an honest propounder of what you believe in. That’s a rarity these days. You have a significant role to play in this most important decision for our country in generations.

    I wonder if you might write a post on how you see the Leave campaign – maybe comment on what is now required in order to overturn what I still believe would be a 65%/35% vote in favour of remain, if the referendum were held tomorrow?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      If we had any reliable measure of public opinion then it would be interesting to see if that very expensive mass mail shot had any discernible effect.

  45. JimS
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Trident missiles launched from Vanguard class submarines use an internal inertial guidance system referenced to the submarine’s guidance system just before launch. Star sighting is used late in the flight to refine the position data.

  46. JM
    Posted January 21, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The question is not about influence; it is about independence. Do we want to be masters of our own destiny – whatever that might be – or do we want to become a province of a new country called the United States of Europe? That is the choice we face and all else is an irrelevance.

  47. David Edwards
    Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    According to a senior member of the government the economics are too finely balanced to make the economic argument for “remain” and therefore we need to add the extra dimension of security to counter-act people’s distain of the EU.

  • 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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