We can control our borders if we leave the EU

Starting this morning I am going to write a series of summaries of why we should leave the EU, taking a topic at a time.

The UK today can decide how many people to allow in to work and live from outside the EU, if they come directly.
The UK cannot control how many people come to live and work here from EU countries, and cannot control all those coming from outside the EU who come via another EU country.

Most people in the UK want controlled immigration.

Outside the EU the UK could have a fair system, placing identical limitations on people coming from the EU as from the rest of the world.
The UK seeks to limit non EU immigration. We favour students, people with skills our economy needs, people with money and ideas to invest, and people with sufficient money to pay their own way.
These limitations are designed to keep the extra costs of public service under control, and to allow in a manageable number of people.

In recent years the UK has experienced very high levels of inward migration. This has required providing many more homes, school places, NHS capacity, transport capacity and other public facilities. It has helped fuel high rises in property prices in the most popular areas of the country. It has provided a plentiful supply of labour, with an impact on wages and on people already settled here getting out of unemployment. For these reasons the current government was elected on a pledge to cut net migration to tens of thousands.

To keep its promise the government will need full control over policy. It will need to impose new restrictions on EU migration which are not legal under the current Treaties. Nothing in the renegotiation will make it legal to do what is necessary.

OUR OPPONENTS WILL CLAIM THAT THE REFORMS OFFERED SOLVE THE PROBLEM

Gaining more control over welfare benefits to limit these to new arrivals will not be sufficient to hit the government’s target on net migration. The main attraction of the UK to migrants from the rest of the EU is the availability of jobs. This will be enhanced by the introduction of the living wage, which is relatively attractive to migrants from the lower paid areas of the EU and from the areas of high unemployment.

Others on the Stay in side welcome unlimited migration. They see the plentiful supply of new labour as an advantage, rather than putting in the apprenticeships and starter jobs for UK citizens which we need.

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123 Comments

  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    JR to be blunt the people who tend to have problems fitting in and contributing to the UK do not come from within the EU. Also jobs are not the lure if up to 70% of some groups remain unemployed. Its not a question of numbers, its a question of quality of new entrant. The UK scored big by admitting the East African Asians in the 70’s and blew it by turning away the Hong Kong Chinese in the ’80s and leaving the door open to those mainly who get in today.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Quality is of course what we want, But in this new “non judgemental” non “discriminating”, PC world everyone is allegedly equal.

      Clearly any requirement to be a high earner before being allowed in to the UK would discriminate hugely against the dim, the sick, the feckless and the disabled.

      When I was young being considered someone who was “discriminating” was considered to be a very good thing.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita, BULLSEYE!
      Immigrants are not just a mass of people. They have different aims, different ideals, different ideas about God/not God, different ideas about what they want out of family life.
      Unless we sort this out, we are doomed to (problems ed).
      PS One of the finest men I have met in my life is a man from Sierra Leone who was Archbishop of West Africa. Sub Saharan Africa, the world of Islam and the world of Asia produce some cracking people.
      pPS Some of the worst people I have met in the last ten years have been from “Europe”. I reckon we have had one potential suicide bomber, someone (from Angola) who was certified insane, several Russian drunks from Lithuania etc ed ‘Nuff said.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed about the HK Chinese who held second tier UK passports and totalled about 2m. Not all would have come but I bet the vast majority who did would have been net contributors and that is apart from the moral aspect.

      • Excalibur
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        Endorsed. We sold the Chinese short in Hong Kong and in Malaya where the Chinese who contributed most to the economy were effectively made second class citizens.

      • Jerry
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick; Not all [HK Chinese] would have come but I bet the vast majority who did would have been net contributors and that is apart from the moral aspect.”

        Well, I suspect that emotions are perhaps running a little wild there, after all wasn’t it only in the 1980s that the UK removed many eligibilities to other Commonwealth citizens so just what is/was especially about HK Chinese ‘migrants’ other than China being a communist country [1].

        Also many UK passport holders might still have complained bitterly (with some legitimacy) that these HK HK Chinese were “taking all the high tech-jobs” etc. and of those who did not would have been blamed for taking low-skilled jobs -that of course were not being filled by UK passport holders, just like many such jobs are not being filled other than by eastern European today.

        [1] but on that score surely much the same could be said about certain other commonwealth countries were the political regime is not as we might wish

        • Edward2
          Posted January 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          I think you are wrong Jerry
          I feel the British people at that time were generally in favour that a far more liberal attitude should have been given towards those Hong Kong residents who might have wished to come here.
          We missed out on a tremendously talented, hard working and prosperous bunch if migrants.
          Other nations actually encouraged Honk Kong residents to come to their shores.
          Relatives of mine who live in Canada tell me they have made a very positive contribution.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Indeed clearly we need to be selective and take the best from anywhere in the world but with some requirement that they can speak reasonable English other than in exceptional circumstances.

    I am broadly in favour of immigration providing they can pay their own way and not be a burden on other tax payers. That really means they will need to have independent wealth or earn over £40,000 or so. Even more than that if they have several children, health problems or bring elderly parents with them too.

    Cameron & Osborne’s current strategy seems to be designed to drive out the wealthy and hard working (who do pay more in the tax system than they draw out). This while attracting more and more low paid, low skilled, public service demanding, immigrants who mainly will not.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks to Osborne’s immoral tax grab on landlords (and thus tenants) I have had to spend the weekend reading the excellent Taxcafe Guide to the new interest deduction rules. The more one reads the more absurd, bonkers, damaging and unfair his proposal clearly is. Taxing people on “profits” they are not even making yet not taxing those rather richer landlords who have not borrowed to buy.

      The Budget dishonestly tried to justify this theft from Landlords and Tenants by saying.

      “The current tax system supports landlords over and above ordinary
      homeowners. Landlords can deduct costs they incur when calculating
      the tax they pay on their rental income. A large portion of those costs are
      interest payments on the mortgage. Mortgage Interest Relief was
      withdrawn from homeowners 15 years ago. However, landlords still
      receive the relief. The ability to deduct these costs puts investing in a
      rental property at an advantage.”

      What an absurd, dishonest & bogus argument this is. Businesses clearly need to be able to deduct their costs of doing business for tax. The interest is already taxed on the bank who receives it anyway. Interest for a mortgage holder is comparable to rents for a tenant – neither get tax relief. You either rent the money or you rent the property. It is not remotely comparable to the landlords interest which is clearly a legitimate cost of providing the property.

      What next? Tax people who sell goods not on their profits but just on the final sale values! We expect Labour chancellors to be bonkers. Mind you after (the broken cricket bat) Geoffrey Howe, (IMF disaster) John Major, (wrong on almost everything) Ken Clarke and George Osborne perhaps we should now expect the same of Tory ones too.

      Still plenty of ways round it so he will not get any more tax off me. In fact it will create some extra work and tax deduction costs for me so he will actually get less. There will also be fewer property to rent for tenants. Well done IHT ratter, pension and landlord thief G Osborne. Another great own goal.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        Another own goal – rather like Osborne’s misguided attack on Non Doms and the banks. Surely it is time for HSBC to finally leave the UK and boost their share price. Especially given that their share price is sliding yet again and now approaching half what is was ten years ago.

        Are the overpaid directors not supposed to act in the interests of shareholders rather than nearly halve their investments?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        It will clearly deter landlords from much gearing up with new loans or building/extending/improving/buying more properties to rent out, This will decreasing his stamp duty and VAT receipts and restrict the supply of properties to rent. It will damage job mobility and increase rents – is that what Osborne wanted? Or is he perhaps too dim to see all these obvious consequences?

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

          Lifelogic – Your buy-to-let landlord has been one of the few winners out of the mass immigration farce.

          In fact property values is what kept people voting Conservative even when they could see that David Cameron was handing control of our borders to smuggling gangs (see my posting below.)

          • Jerry
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “Lifelogic – Your buy-to-let landlord has been one of the few winners out of the mass immigration farce.”

            If only, the BTL farce (and thus the lack of affordable properties for sale) pre-dates so called mass EU migration – again many seem to be mixing up cause and effect.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            What kept them voting conservative was the SNP and Ed Miliband what sane person would want such a labour dog waged by the SNP. That and the fact that the FPTP voting meant many UKIP voters has to hold their noses and vote Tory.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            So… btl landlords have not benefitted from mass immigration’s contribution to the housing shortage…

            …Okaaay.

            I wasn’t saying any more, nor any less than what I said at 8.23

            Buy to let landlords have benefitted from mass immigration – regardless off start dates. What’s to dispute, Jerry ???

          • Edward2
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Jerry the real growth in buy to let started in 1996.
            The boom years were during Labours 13 years in power when our borders opened up and our population rose rapidly.
            There are figures available on the internet.
            The cause and effect you mix up is blaming the growth of the rental market with high property prices.
            A factor of course but only one of many factors.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            @LL; If people really wanted to vote UKIP then the voting method is irrelevant, only largely unpopular parties want some form of PR. UKIP might well have got a smidgen under 4m votes in May, but that is a mere 8.37% of the electorate (and even if one considers only the seats UKIP contested it is only 13.14%) Stop trying to guild the UKIP lilly!

            @Anonymous; Once again you mix up cause and effect, obviously BTL benefit from people wanting a place to live but who can not buy nor rent in the public social housing sector. Still the biggest call for BTL rents are from UK passport holders who have been priced out of the mortgage market due to house price inflation and a long history of low numbers of new builds.

            @Edward2; That had little to do with (then) unknown numbers of possible EU migrants, it had a lot to do with changes in tax and pensions arrangements and allowances.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            It wasn’t unknown numbers at all Jerry
            Figures for immigration were published throughout the Blair and Brown years.
            They showed big increases as they opened our borders.
            They all needed somewhere to live.
            And the vast majority rented.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; If it would-be future immigration numbers were “known” in 1996 (the date you quoted) or ’97-2010 then it was crystal ball gazing, considering the UK had/have various opt-outs from the Schengen Agreement for citizens from certain eastern member countries – psss, what are next weeks lotto numbers? 🙂

          • Edward2
            Posted January 27, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

            What on earth are you waffling about Jerry?
            Every single year immigration figures are published by HMG

            And they showed a steady rise from tens of thousands towards the hundreds of thousands.
            This rise increased demand for housing rentals.
            By to let grew greatly in this period.
            It’s no coincidence.

          • Jerry
            Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “What on earth are you waffling about”

            I might ask the same about you.

            You said “the real growth in buy to let started in 1996.”, how could anyone know in 1996 what the migration figures will have been from 2004 and from 2007, that is before the countries of those two EU accession intake years had even been granted such accession! Duh…

            The biggest change in the numbers of BTL purchases, after the start of assured shorthold tenancies (Housing Act 1988), was due to savers being allowed to use them as part of their pension plans, it had nothing to do with migration (EU or non EU). The way people like you talk anyone might think that no one in the UK ever rented flats and houses before the advent of eastern European migration in 2004.

            No one is saying that BTL landlords have not benefited from inward migration but very few will have built their pension or investment portfolio around it (more certainly in student lets, even if the maintenance risks are higher…).

          • Edward2
            Posted January 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            It’s not “duh” as you rudely claim Jerry
            Immigration was rising before 1996 but grew greatly in the years under Labour
            And generous housing benefit rule changes by Labour
            Councils were calling out in the Midlands for landlords to house waiting list clients.
            You were claiming the immigration figures were not known
            I was saying they are published by Govt every year.

        • stred
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          There are 2m landlords in the UK. Many have invested for the long term and have low mortgages, so will not be affected y the tax changes. However many of the BTL landlords,who have followed the advice of the financial advisors operating in the field, have borrowed to the limit and are in the upper tax band. They will be forced to sell, or face large losses on their investment. They will have to sell.

          If a million homes come on to the market, the housing boom may come to an end and prices may fall. Against this, there will be an extra 300k pa net immigrants who will need housing and the plan is to build 200k pa houes at best. This is unlikely. Immigration will take up all of the proposed new housing.

          First time buyers in expensive areas will be unable to afford the current price. So, with fewer private lettings and public housing not increasing where are these people going to live, unless prices fall to a level that allows them to afford a deposit and mortgage?

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            I have no sympathy for any of the BTL brigade who get themselves into trouble. Especially if they got into it post 2007/8, which proved houses do not just keep going up and up in value and when indexation relief went from CGT. You should have read up on basic investment principles like putting all your eggs in one basket, especially in an illiquid area like property, that comes with additional problems, like dealing with tenants. If you think its easy money, like the TV property shows told you it would be you deserve what is coming to you.

          • stred
            Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            Pensions became a joke and stocks and shares were risky. All sorts of people decided to invest in property instead, as government decided to allow private rentals to have security. Recently, it has been the only secure investment. Now Gideon and his team of taxation number crunchers has identified BTL as one of the few areas where theer is any money left. They are looking for any option to pay their debts and will shoot any sitting duck in range. Unlike multi national corporations which are out of range.

            What pension investment is available now and where will will young native British find housing unless ther is a reduction in house values of over 50%?

          • Jerry
            Posted January 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            @stred; Pensions did/have not become a “joke”, peoples expectations have…

        • Paul H
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          I have a lot of sympathy with your views on Osborne, who has reneged on much of what he promised he would do and in many respects seems to be Continuity Brown with gold-plating. However, although I thought the alleged tax advantages of BTL landlords were a bit off-the-mark, I doubt you will find many people feeling that they are the most deserving of sympathy.
          Nor is it necessarily the case that discouraging them will increase rents. Restrictions on housing supply are almost entirely driven by planning considerations vs. demographics, and the cost of housing – whether through purchase or renting – driven by what can be extracted from the pockets of those wanting a scarce resource. If fewer houses are purchased for letting then more will be available for sale and the smaller number of let properties will be chasing a smaller number of would-be tenants. There will always be a market for rented properties but, based on the number of people I know who are renting but would like to buy, its “natural” level is a lot smaller than we currently see.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        So Osborne has made one of my businesses (and thousands of other people’s businesses) rather less efficient, wasted a lot of my time, created lots of pointless work for accountants, landlords and lawyers, damaged the economy, pushed up rents and harmed the availability of rental property.

        Yet he will end up with less tax (from me anyway).

        Well done George.

        It seems he is going to mug pensions yet again shortly too. Still they are “low tax conservatives at heart” allegedly.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Well remember who pumped prices up. Now they’re trying to take action to bring them down.

        The thing people aren’t yet conscious of, I think, are that Mr and Mrs Smith with their 2million pound house in London wanting to move up to 2.5million and 300k Cotswold cottage will end up paying 75k MORE stamp duty because they own that 300k cottage

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          Indeed the cost of moving from a £2M house to a £2,5M one could might be well over £200,000 it is an absurd level for a turnover tax. Perhaps paying about two or three years income after tax to the government just for the right to move home.

      • Bob
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        @lifelogic

        “Tax people who sell goods not on their profits but just on the final sale values!”

        Mr Osborne was forced to hit BTL landlords due to their demonisation by the left. That’s the modern Tories for you, dancing to Labour’s tune.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Ahem – BTL is driving out the next generation of Tory voters !

          If there is no chance of you buying your own home (because btl owners have hogged them all) and you have no stake in society (because all your rent money goes in someone else’s pocket) then why vote Tory ???

          This imbalance in society – towards the old who favour cheap migrant labour (though they might do so unwittingly) – is very unhealthy and, ultimately, unsustainable.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Bob – btl is not capitalistic. At source it is a pyramid underwritten by the welfare system.

            It skews the reward-for-effort system meaning that an ordinary worker must be able to earn over 50k in London before being able to compete with welfare recipients for housing.

            A London doctor wrote to Jeremy Hunt to explain that her 50k a year was peanuts and that she could barely affored to rent the single room she lived in, let alone buy it.

            It rewards unimaginative and mediocre landlords who then go on to believe that they are entrepreneurs when they are nothing of the sort.

            They are as connected to the welfare teat as much as any drop out. There is nothing unConservative about bringing this racket into line.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          It is the tenants who will lose out in the main. But yet Osborne is indeed dancing to the tune of the lefty loons. I think it was the bonkers green party who suggested disallowing interest deductions first.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic – The houses will not disappear. They will either go for rent at a different price or be sold.

        There won’t be any change in the number of homes available to be lived in.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          No but there will be fewer to rent and many want short term agreements or cannot buy for other reasons. What is needed is more to be built. With high stamp duty it often does no make any sense to buy short term.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Being an immigrant yourself you can hardly say otherwise!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        If you mean me then I am an emigrant (from the UK anyway).

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Yes looking at it from your secret European location. Having said that I cannot see why anybody bothers with BTL. Considering the tax, the relative illiquidity and dealing with the tenants, council etc its easier to make money with a bag of ETFs.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    With respect, its a fat lot of good trying to control our borders, when the Government willingly allows more people in. This morning two newspapers have reported that the Prime Minister is ‘poised’ to admit several thousand unaccompanied children in response to pressure by some charities. Is it not possible to say ‘No’ sometimes! If this goes ahead there will doubtless be a possibility of ‘family reunions’ at some future time, which means many more people. It is enough to make one tear up one’s Conservative Party Membership Card!!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      It’s being suggested that this would be like taking in Jewish children just before the war, but there are some significant differences.

      Firstly, while it may well happen that some of these unaccompanied children will never be reunited with other members of their families, not even their extended families, like almost all of those Jewish children where tragically whole families were later exterminated, in most cases these children will still have many relations alive with whom they can eventually be linked up, and of course quite rightly every effort will be made to do that.

      But, secondly, we can be sure that those family reunifications will rarely take place in their home countries, almost all will be in this country.

      And, thirdly, before the war we did not have a European Convention on Human Rights and a European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and our own judges saying that therefore if you already have some relation living in this country then you should automatically have the right to join them here.

      These are children and as innocent children I am sympathetic to their plight, and obviously I don’t blame them if their parents have decided to use them as tools to barge into the UK, but I would like to be sure that if we admit (say) 3000 children then it wouldn’t end up as being (say) 30,000 plus when their extended families were located and allowed to join them.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl

      Agreed

      Many of these children could probably simply be trojan horses for the rest of the family members, who will surface once they are resident here.

      Little children do not track across the countries of the World without some help from others, who may also have a hidden agenda.

      Yes help refugees by all means, as indeed we are doing at the moment with local camps where children can still go to school, but only help through official channels once checks have been made, otherwise it will simply add to the chaos and reward those trying to jump the queue.

  4. agricola
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    While I agree with the direction of your argument it makes no reference to the current situation in the UK which is the result of having no effective policy on immigration and no control of the vast numbers who are here legally and illegally. A result of Blair pre-empting Angela Merkel with a blanket invitation to all and sundry to reside in the UK. I agree we should close the door and have a more logical system of entry, but what do you propose to do about the vast number who should have never gained entry to the UK and are there illegally.

    I have ordered a recently published and extensively researched book by Ben Judah titled Life and Death in the World City. The city being London. If introductory articles are anything to go by it should be a very revealing read. I will save further comment until I have read it.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      If you bought the book on the basis of the article in yesterday’s “Mail” and knowing Judah’s other work on Eastern Europe you might be a bit disappointed. Judah is saying nothing new. London has always been full of immigrants, especially around Tower Hamlets and Limehouse with its colonies of Chinese and Lascar sailors. If you read Jack London’s “The People of the Abyss” it was also downright dangerous and criminal too. London went into the East End with a sovereign sewed into his clothes, so if necessary, he could buy himself out of trouble. etc ed History does not change it just rhymes!

  5. The Active Citizen
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Very well summarised JR, thank you. I look forward to reading more of your topic summaries in due course.

    The only thing I would add to your first summary is that BSE are saying that a post-exit UK would still have to accept free movement of peoples from the EU in order to trade with it. Might be worth adding a sentence to contradict this.

    O/T but very topical : Can you please tell us your position on the new cross-party “Grassroots Out” (GO) organisation which launched officially yesterday? Interesting that Dr Liam Fox was the surprise guest speaker.

    I see that Aaron Banks from Leave.EU was there supporting, but it seems that Cummings and Elliott from Vote Leave weren’t. Maybe Banks is considering a formal alliance with GO, if it gathers pace.

    Many of your correspondents would like to see a more coordinated approach on the leave side, meaning a combined campaign. You’ve previously said that you don’t see a major problem with a variety of leave organisations being in the fray. I wonder if you now think GO has the potential to rally all pro-UK contra-EU forces under one banner? Are you considering backing GO?

    Reply As I understand it GO will make itself available to whichever of the two campaigns competing to be the official campaign gets the nomination. They themselves do not seek the nomination. I am not very interested in all the architecture and mechanics of the pre official campaigns. I am working to ensure the official campaign has good materials and clear popular arguments come the day. I am backing the official Leave campaign, and assume that will be Vote.leave.

    • hefner
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      I take JR’s reply to be consistent with what he was already saying on 15 December 2006 on this blog. Thanks for that.

  6. DaveM
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    “For these reasons the current government was elected on a pledge to cut net migration to tens of thousands.”

    As well as many other things which probably won’t happen. Realistically the government was elected because the majority of people wanted a sensible Conservative government which would take care of the electorate. Instead we find ourselves with a neo-liberal dictatorship, the leader of which appears to have more loyalty to the EU than to his own people, and I would venture, even his own party.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I should possibly add that if he doesn’t get what he wants from the EU his loyalty to that monster would probably dry up too. He cares about one thing and one thing only – himself. He shouldn’t be leading our country because he cares nothing for it and cares nothing for the people who put HIS PARTY in power.

      Someone with that much power should be elected like a president.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      DaveM

      There can be no arguement with your last paragraph.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      And yet they all dance to his tune, even though he will be gone in a couple of years at most, or sooner if he loses the referendum. In any event, win or lose, the EU will have no further use for this stooge and will quickly drop him from their Christmas Card list.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Well, I always thought he looked like such an intelligent and caring man – just shows you cannot judge a book by its cover!!

      • JoeSoap
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Not Liam Fox, now shaking Garage s hand rather than dissing UKIP and him at every opportunity.
        Fox had a UKIP opponent too last May.
        Host take note.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Farage of course!

  7. Antisthenes
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    A multiracial society is desirable a multicultural one is not. I am glad that the Conservatives are taking steps to undo the damage progressives have done from them imposing diversity on our society. Like most lefty ideas, policies and practices multiculturalism has proven a disaster. We have societies living within societies where different , standards, values, traditions and cultures are being practised. To hide the fact that this a detrimental state of affairs the state has been complicit in covering up the consequences and has blocked debate of the problem. Fortunately that is not the case any more and the whole rotten situation is at last coming to light.

    If we are to have a multiracial society then all people living in the UK must follow the same rules and be treated equally. There should not be any preferential treatment of one group over another. That only leads to resentment and eventually to social unrest. A multiracial society can only cope if the numbers of immigrants allowed to enter that society is controlled at a rate at which they can be seamlessly absorbed.

    The current wave of immigrants entering Europe are far too many for society to handle and absorb successfully. It is not going to have the economic benefits that migrants normally bring in fact it is going to be a drain on economies. There are not the jobs especially on the continent where unemployment is already too high. Infrastructures and institutions already not quire totally adequate are being stretched even further. Different cultures are clashing over what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

    The free movement of people makes economic and humanitarian sense but for it to work then all the conditions needed to cope with it must be in place. Currently that is not so. So for practical reasons free movement has to be restricted and controlled so that it can be coped with.

    Being a member of the EU makes that impossible as we are obliged to accept EU rules on immigration. On top of which many of the immigrants coming to Europe are going to come to the UK as they cannot be stopped once the EU gives them a right of residency which gives them the right to move freely anywhere in the EU.

    • Tony Harrison
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      Why is a multiracial society “desirable”?

  8. Richard1
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    What would happen if we leave to the several million EU citizens now living and working in the UK and UK citizens living and working (or retired) in EU countries?

    I certainly agree with those who say a plentiful supply of skilled labour has benefitted the UK economy. If leaving the EU means it becomes much more restrictive that will be a strong argument for staying. The City of London could not possibly function at the level is does now without an ability of city firms to recruit widely – in particular in Europe – unrestricted by immigration rules. Taking a smaller example, the building sector in London has been transformed hugely for the better by an influx in particular of Polish builders. Would this still be allowed if we leave the EU?

    Let’s be careful of what the excellent economist Allister Heath characterised as “the wrong sort of euro scepticism” – by which he meant anti-immigration protectionism. Has EU – as opposed to non-EU immigration really been a problem in the UK?

    • Dennis
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Any immigration is a problem no matter how rich, productive, economy boosting or wonderful it may be.
      Increase in numbers needs more imports of almost everything, more roads, parking spaces, houses, schools, transport etc., etc., etc. and what is the fuel needed to produce the energy to feed all this activity? The ecosphere which consequently will be trashed/used even more than it is now.

      The UK should do its part by decreasing numbers, as a lesson to other overpopulated countries and accept what concomitant sacrifices this would entail for some time no doubt. The present state of affairs obviously is not felt as an emergency as was perceived in 1939 – we shall have to wait until it is upon us unprepared.

      The constant cry that whatever will boost our economy is good is one of unrelenting selfishness and greed.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I agree totally with the sentiment of your post. Yes, of course there are some undesirables here from eastern Europe, as there have always been gangs in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, etc, and foreign gangs operating here. In fact the Krays had major problems with the Maltese and Turkish gangs. Likewise there are foreign murderers and other criminals who receive a huge amount of publicity in comparison to our home-grown criminals.

      Everyone knows what we’re talking about, which is the ability – in the near future – for millions of jobless middle eastern “easy life seekers” pouring in the way they have in Germany and eastern Europe. In fact, I feel far better disposed towards the E Europeans than the W European liberals at the minute.

      We just have to have 100% control over our borders and immigration, and the ability to deport who we don’t want. Liam Fox’s speech yesterday was right on the money.

      We just want our country back. We and our families fought, died, suffered for it , built it and improved it for our future generations. It’s ours as much as it is the politicians’, and we don’t have another one. It’s not Cameron’s to give away, it never was and it never will be.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Poll after poll has shown that the great majority of the British people are opposed to uncontrolled mass immigration into their country, and they have the right to oppose that that if they choose, and they should have the right to expect their Parliament and government to pay attention to their views and not just ignore them because certain powerful lobby groups like the present situation.

      That is not the same as being opposed to the controlled admission of smaller numbers of exceptionally talented or skilled or qualified people with a view to permanent settlement, or to tourists coming to visit their country and then going home, or to students coming to study and then going home, or to temporary and seasonal workers coming here for a time and then going home.

      As far as UK citizens already living in other EU countries are concerned, I would not expect the UK to insist on the departure of all their citizens who are already here and so I would not expect those countries to send back all the UK citizens who are already there. Of course they would be free to do so, and might do so if they chose to be as stupid and vindictive as some supporters of the EU suggest.

      Citizens of the other EU countries who have come here and are living and working, and in many cases raising families, in the UK have merely taken up an invitation freely issued by the UK Parliament and government when it was agreed that they would automatically have those legal rights, and it would be unreasonable, unfair and often inhumane to go back on that and deprive them of those rights.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s important the Leave campaign makes clear what would happen to the status of EU people living in the UK and UK people in the EU (to the extent possible). Clearly we don’t want uncontrolled immigration. But we need to be very careful not to send a signal the UK no longer welcomes productive newcomers.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          That depends upon your criteria for “productive”. We have no shortage of people of average abilities, even a lot higher than average abilities, let alone below average abilities. And if we said we would have an open door for anybody in the world whose abilities were comparable to the top 1% of the present UK population, assuming that they were otherwise OK, then even that much more selective policy than the present policy could produce a greater influx than we would want to welcome or could easily absorb. First we need to set an annual numerical limit which is acceptable to the established body of UK citizens, then select the best applicants.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      What will happen if we come out? Not much, I reckon except we can choose who we want in future. There will be no major repatriation either to or from the EU, except some may wish to come home when it crashes and burns without our cash.

      In any event, in or out we will be, we can’t continue with the hokey cokey arrangement we have had over recent years, whereby we pay top dollar, have no influence and are out voted every time we object to something. If we vote to stay it will be right in with all the EUSSR arrangements and no argument, probably including the EURO if it is still alive by then because they will say ‘you had your referendum, your people want it all.’

      Has EU immigration damaged the UK? I’d say yes, it has lowered wages, put builders out of work and overloaded our housing and social systems and I am not convinced the majority contribute net to our economy.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        As an occasional consumer of building services in London I welcome it!

    • Tony Harrison
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Why should anything at all “happen” to UK citizens resident in other EU countries if we were to leave? Do you anticipate pogroms? I have a house in France. It’s bought and paid for (= money into the local economy), I get on very well with my neighbours, I spend money hiring artisans, buying food & services… No problem at all. Same with e.g. the many French professionals in London: they’re contributing to our economy, they pay their taxes, they’re not semi-literate low-paid immigrants from distant continents. No problem at all…

      • qubus
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        If we came out, we could have exactly the same situation as before we went in: a dynamic equilibrium between the states concerned. No need for any repatriation.

      • qubus
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Before we were so deeply involved with the EU, we still had people from other countries coming to the UK, often on a temporary basis. As an example: if a university wanted to employ an American postdoc, the university had to prove that the job could not be filled satisfactorily by a UK applicant. Not a difficult task.

    • Original Richard
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      “Has EU – as opposed to non-EU immigration really been a problem in the UK?”

      The answer is “yes” as it has clearly kept wages low for the EU backing corporates.

      But worse is to come :

      The EU and the corporates/Conservative Party have a policy to admit Turkey (75m people) into the EU. Turkey is definitely not a European country.

      The EU/Germany have a policy to admit millions of people from the Middle East and Africa into the EU and thence into the UK and the rest of the EU. There is as yet no decision to halt this immigration.

      So there really will be no distinction between EU and non-EU migrants if we vote to remain in the EU.

      Our government claims this immigration will increase our GDP.

      But for the UK population, as opposed to the corporates, there are more important considerations than GDP or even GDP/capita such as culture and population density.

      Fnally, if Mr. Cameron and the EU believe the EU needs more people then should they not be looking to China rather than the Middle East and Africa ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Well, if the long term aim if for the EU to stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals, as Cameron publicly said he would like, then either the EU must go around Turkey or it must go through Turkey, or preferably both.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        The Blair govt could and should have given UK passports to the Hong Kong Chinese. Not many would have come to a high tax economy like ours but those who did would have made a huge contribution.

        • qubus
          Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          The mind boggles at the shear duplicity of the government not agreeing to this, yet acquiescing to all these immigrants.

  9. Douglas Carter
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    For me it’s not whether a Government ‘can’ properly make arrangements to secure a border, it’s whether it ‘will’.

    It’s through Parliament that competences and powers have been passed to Brussels. That has happened with the willing acquiescence of the majority of MPs. I see no point in returning those competences and powers to Parliament if our own MPs do not want custodianship of those democratic instruments. There’s no point augmenting the law to make it easier to eject illegal visitors to this country if Government won’t direct the authorities of the same law to actually eject those illegals from the country.

    For me this isn’t about Brussels – it’s about our own Government and how Parliament holds it to account on behalf of the electorate. When eventually we leave the EU the next step is to oblige our own politicians to retain custodianship of the powers they have been temporarily permitted to represent. When I vote for my representative, it’s not so that representative can hand that representation to a more distant and unaccountable body.

    Nor do I want the most marginal vector of my vote being used to influence the conduct of governments in France, Denmark, Belgium, Poland or Spain. I live and vote in the UK – my government has no business meddling – via an authority in Brussels – in the internal matters of those other nations. Similarly, UK internal affairs have nothing to do with the collective electorates of those nations, nor their own respective Governments.

  10. Paul H
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s Before last year’s election you enjoined us several times not to vote UKIP on the basis that only the Conservative party could deliver a referendum. I remember replying to one of your blogs along the lines that a Cameron referendum would be fraudulent and such a referendum was much worse than no referendum at all, as it would be used to argue that the matter was “settled”. As everyone dislikes people who say “I told you so” I won’t say it, but …
    And, of course, although Cameron and Osborne are now telling us that there will not be a second referendum, we all know that in the miraculous event of a vote to leave the EU Cameron will trot off to Brussels, come back with another paperbag of sweeties as proof of how tough he is, and tell us that we really ought to reconsider.
    Combining this with some of the most socialist policies ever seen from a Tory Chancellor, I am afraid that you are in the wrong party, Mr. Redwood. Or perhaps it would be fairer to say that Cameron and Osborne are in the wrong party, but unfortunately they are the ones steering the ship.

    Reply I have delivered with my friends. We have a referendum and no-one can rig it. Just join in and help us win!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      The referendum Act does not say what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      So the decision to hold a referendum had nothing to do with the threat from UKIP to the Conservative core vote?. I think JR and his friends overplay the amount of influence they have within the new Politically correct conservative party.
      They should be far more outspoken and critical of the leadership but it will probably be too late by the time they realise this.

      reply You are wrong. why go out of your way to criticise us who have done most to advance this case?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 5:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is very likely that after a no vote a better deal will emerge and we will be told that we really ought to reconsider.

      So even the people in favour should vote for out and wait for the better deal.

      You are right the endless socialist policies coming from IHT ratter, pension and landlord thief Osborne are hugely damaging to the economy and to the rebuilding of the Tories reputation for economic competence (destroyed by Major and his predictable ERM fiasco). What on earth driving Osborne to this damaging economic lunacy is he just foolishly following his tax borrow and waste “experts” in the Treasury or is he actually driving the lunacy?

  11. nigel
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    The real problem regarding immigration when remaining in the EU, is when Mrs Merkel, without any consultation, invites millions of immigrants to Germany. Once there they can acquire EU citizenship and will be free to travel to the UK, completely unhindered, and there is nothing we can do about it.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Quite agree Nigel. I would like to know why she has the only say in all this mess. Since when did the UK cow tail to the Germans?

  12. Iain Moore
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    On a completely different topic, I see Rona Fairhaed of the BBC Trust on Marr, while talking about Scotland this and Wales that, and another place of ‘regions’.

    It seems NOTHING has changed with the BBC in relation to England.

    Reply I agree. A disgrace of an interview. Patsy questions and poor corporate speak answers.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      It was an appalling interview, I am afraid this is an example of the problem we have with the media, where they interpose themselves between us and the people making the decisions, but only pursue the lines of enquiry that interest them, and just as Marr was incapable of asking questions on behalf of English people to Ms Fairhead, we get the same lack of inquisitiveness from them on other issues.

      For example in regards to your topic of border control, a question we will never hear the BBC ask a Minster would be.. ‘Minister how do you square your claimed concern about our hosing shortage with immigration driven over population?’ …or much closer to the BBC’s heart , global warming and the link between population and CO2 emissions, after all when the built environment accounts for 47% of our CO2 output , there is a very clear connection between that and population expansion, but it is an issue that would will never see explored by the BBC.

    • qubus
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      But did you hear the sycophantic “Thank you very much” said sotto voce right at the end of the interview?

  13. Tony Harrison
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Perfectly true that “We can control our borders if we leave the EU” but this invites the immediate response, Do our leaders actually want to? Immigration from outside the EU exceeds that from within the EU, and remains at alarmingly high levels. Were the UK to leave the EU there is no indication that Cameron’s Conservative Party – responsible historically for a great deal of immigration – would at the same time decide to behave patriotically, rationally, and with a concern to preserve our demographic integrity, by making border controls and an immigration policy that work.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      You are just going to have to put up with it regardless who is in power. Until there is a “Prince Albert moment”,in that until one of the elite directly suffers from the open door nothing will change. Remember the establishment did not get serious about public sanitation in London until after Albert succumbed to typhoid.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Somewhat off-topic, I think John Baron has done a good job in exposing the fatuity of the “red card” scheme that Hague came up with:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12117826/EU-Renegotiation-is-No-10s-Achilles-heel-says-John-Baron.html

    “We, therefore, return to the central issue of sovereignty. The most revealing paragraphs of the Prime Minister’s letter to the European Council describe his desire to ensure national parliaments can club together to stop unwanted EU legislation.

    This would be a minor evolution of the existing “yellow card” system, which has proved ineffective in the past.

    If our parliament, acting alone if necessary, cannot stop unwanted EU directives, taxes or regulations then everything else is peripheral.”

    But Philip Hammond said last summer that there was no intention to try to get back our Parliament’s unilateral power of veto, a power which we were promised it would always have in the Labour government’s official pamphlet urging a “yes” vote in the last and only referendum, all those years ago in 1975:

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

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

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

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/07/philip-hammond-foreign-secretary-rejects-mps-demand-uk-veto-eu-laws-andrew-marr-show

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

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

  15. Mark B
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I have said on these pages and elsewhere, that immigration is a Hydra of a problem. It has many heads and, once you solve one aspect, another one pops up in its place. You are never going to solve it but, you can minimize the worst effects by talking about it and acting when necessary rather than burying ones head in the sand and scream; “RACIST !”, which the Left like to do.

    Our kind host has touched on many things in a short article. What we all need to understand is, what kind of country do ‘we the people’ want ? Do we want a country were people, as I host has stated, come here to improve themselves AND the country which they wish to call their new home or, do they wish to only take from it and not give ? ie Do we want a Welfare based society or, open borders and MASS immigration ? Because what we all must understand, is that we simply cannot have both. One or the other, that’s it !! You have to address the pull factor which this is.

    Leaving the EU will not be easy and we do need to have a working plan like FLEXIT to chart a path to becoming a Sovereign nation again.

    The problem of housing is not limited to just more people. It is a bubble fueled by some outside and inside investors and greed. Problems of MASS immigration are felt through the lack of school places, even for immigrants who have been here a long time, and other services that are at breaking point.

    The problem of illegal immigration, like those at Calais, is one where a country like France does not obey agreed treaties and does nothing to send those there back to the first country in which they landed or, send them home. Here the UK government is at fault because, as the Mayor of Calais has pointed out, the UK has too generous benefits that attracts them here.

    Another aspect, is that laws and treaties over how asylum seekers are treated once here is both out of date and inadequate. These laws and treaties were created at a time before mass communication and mass transportation was possible and need to be amended or gotten rid of.

    Sadly the Genie is out of the bottle and it will take real strong leadership to even attempt to put it back in.

    • M Davis
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, it is not FLEXIT, it is FLEXCIT!

  16. alan jutson
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    All we need is an Australian points type system to be introduced for all immigration into the UK from anywhere in the World.
    Thus we choose who is suitable and under what criteria.

    To get the above, which is not EU policy and never will be, we need to leave the EU, its as simple as that.

    We can then hold our own Government Ministers to account if they do not implement it as we like.

    Talk all you like, but the simple fact is we need to control completely our own borders and who comes here, anything less is simply a failure.

    Allowing others to set the rules is simply madness and an absolute cop out by our own Government.

  17. majorfrustration
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Solving the problem indeed. Like IHT. Like Buy to Let. Like Bill of Rights.

  18. Kenneth
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The arguments put forward by the INs usually include the line that many UK citizens enjoy the freedom to work on the continent.

    This is an elitist argument. The vast majority of UK people have no interest in working abroad. They are not graduates who are enjoying ‘2 years out’ or have the luxury of picking and choosing which European capital to party in while they study their degree. They are not executives selling abroad or lobbying Brussels to protect their businesses from the free market.

    The vast majority of people are staying put in the UK and, in many cases, watching their communities change as they accommodate more people from overseas.

    As always, the IN’s forget the majority and would rather appeal to the elite minority.

    In any case, the elites will no doubt continue to go abroad whether we are members or not.

    • Dennis
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes that’s right. Even in the 1950s many of my friends were working in France without any restrictions. Did the EU change that? How is it that many Americans seemingly can travel to Europe and work and live there without any restrictions.

      Sometimes I hear that Americans working here need some work permit so that may have changed – how recently?

      Also if European countries consider UK workers profitable why would they want to ‘deport’ them. No matter what we do it is the various governments to choose their policies as the UK also should be able to.

  19. Bert Young
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    We are the most densely populated country in Europe and the infrastructure of our health , education and communication systems are strained to – almost , extreme . We cannot allow outside decisions to control and influence how we manage our affairs – they are not interested in the basic problems we face .The sheer traffic volumes on our roads are another indication of how our basic population has grown and of our inability to do much about it .

    Migration has added considerably to our problems and the many advantages of our welfare systems have added to the attraction of migrants . Deciding who can and who cannot benefit from these give-aways is , almost , impossible , the only solution is control of immigration . The present crisis that Germany has created by allowing uncontrolled migrants in has exacerbated the position in Europe to the point of revolt ; Merkel made a huge mistake and cannot now to expect to push the result on to other EU countries in her efforts to re-create control . I admire the stance of Hungary , the Czechs and Slovakia who have very bluntly responded , each highlighting the conditions and problems they face .

    Apart from the need to regain our sovereignty the very heart of the referendum campaign will be determined by the immigration question . Cameron is bound to claim that he has won all the points he wished to win with the EU because he is a vacuous PR individual with little integrity ; he is seriously at fault in the way he has handled the position so far and in stifling the views of other members of his Cabinet . He knows he faces a revolt in his Party as well as losing the trust of the people of this country .

  20. Tad Davison
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    John,

    You might want to watch Eric Pickles on Sky News this morning. He’s another Tory who describes himself as a Eurosceptic, yet doesn’t even come close to the definition others might recognise.

    One of the curious things he said, was that the ‘Out’ campaign haven’t yet told us how things would be better if the UK were to leave. I think he and others like him are due a little enlightenment, but perhaps his words are indicative of a far wider problem that the ‘Out’ campaign aren’t getting their message across as well as we should.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    Reply He should try reading my articles in the press and this website!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      The nearer we come to the Referendum I fear the Conservative Eurosceptic label will become more of a contradiction.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Tad,
      Glad you, too, saw Pickles interview and raise it here. This seems to be part of the current Conservative strategy to give air time to”Eurosceptics” who are going to vote to stay in! Of course our kind host aided and abetted them (unintentionally I’m sure) when in a recently published article in the FT he wrote “We Tories are all Eurosceptics now”.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted January 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        “We Tories are all Eurosceptics now”.

        http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/index.live

        Did Mr Redwood really say that with a straight face ?.

        Reply No, I did not say that. It was a headline to my article in the FT, the only thing I did not write! Try reading the article, which cites the EU sceptic policies Conservatives adopted in opposition and talks about the views of the membership. Why do Eurosceptics just want to bash each other for no good reason?

    • majorfrustration
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      That’s simplistic. Leading Eurosceptic with public standing need to get out there and spread the message – not take a tutorial view. Take the risk.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Also somewhat off-topic, I read in the Telegraph today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12117890/Europe-the-gloves-are-off-as-Tory-rift-widens.html

    “Mr Cameron has said he wants to win the referendum to stay in a reformed EU, to settle the issue for a generation.”

    I must admit that I hadn’t noticed him explicitly saying that he wants “to settle the issue for a generation”, but if that is his objective then perhaps he could explain to us how is he going to make sure that the EU doesn’t continue to change in the future as it has in the past, so much so that a generation after the last referendum in 1975 it had changed into a very different beast from the one we had voted on, and without a single referendum to check whether we were happy with the changes being made to the original contract that we had directly approved?

    In an article earlier this week the FT revealed that Osborne had been the “key figure” in watering down Cameron’s demands for EU “reform” to more or less nothing, and now in the Mail on Sunday Peter Oborne has an article highlighting that Osborne still has a very chummy relationship with Mandelson and suggesting that the two of them want to delay the referendum until the last moment in 2017, the idea being that by then Juncker will have set in train major treaty changes to implement the proposals of the Five President’s Report, which he claims are “central to the Mandelson/Osborne masterplan”.

    I have my doubts about that, it seems much more likely that Cameron would prefer to hold the referendum as early as possible and get us to agree to stay in the EU, with no prospect of another referendum for at least a generation, before it became clear that it was about the undergo radical changes rather than afterwards.

  22. Original Richard
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    On both sides of the referendum issue there are core supporters for whom no argument can make them change their mind.

    So the referendum will be decided by the currently large undecided group.

    The economic case has reached stalemate despite all attempts by all major parties, the corporates and the BBC to frighten the population into thinking that the UK will collapse if it is not a member of the EU.

    The argument that 3 million jobs will be lost is balanced by the savings of not being a member and being able to trade more freely with the rest of the world.

    Here the undecided voters are more likely to be swayed by Mr. Cameron bringing back from his EU summits a promise that mobile ‘phone roaming charges in the EU will be cancelled if we remain in the EU.

    Sovereignty doesn’t seem to worry the undecided group as they probably do not care who runs the country.

    However, the referendum can be won and lost on the issue of immigration and the Leave campaign should make it clear how the country will be changed by continued large scale immigration by migrants who do not share our culture.

    Remaining in the EU will ensure that we will be open to immigration from Turkey (75m population) as the EU (Germany) and even our own Conservative Party support Turkey’s admittance into the EU.

    And of course, should the current migrant flow into Germany from the Middle East (population 500 million) and Africa (population 1.2 billion) continue it will not be long before these migrants are given German passports so they can travel freely to the UK.

    In fact Mrs. Merkel has already suggested that the “solution” to dealing with the vast numbers of migrants is not to stop the flow but for them to be spread around the EU.

  23. ian wragg
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    You say we can control the numbers from outside the EU, why don’t we make a start then.
    Only 40% students leave at the end of their course. If institutions were only given the same number of visas as had left, they would soon get their act together.
    Of course Dave and Gideon don’t want to control immigration, the tens of thousands pledge was just a ploy to get elected.
    We now learn that if we become overwhelmed the OECD may suggest a brake on EU immigration. Stable door shutting springs to mind.
    Are you aware that immigration has risen every year since your manifesto pledge.

    • NigL
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Agree totally and as we discuss the Government says it is looking at taking thousands of unaccompanied children from war zones. What will then happen is that under the Human Rights act their representatives will argue for a right to family life and all their families will be let in.

      The whole thing is total BS and as evidenced by JR’s failure to respond to your comment is a conspiracy of silence.

  24. Nig L
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I agree totally. Don’t forget Turkey inching closer to EC membership. Another massive group of people who will pour into the UK (and Germany because of the Turkish workforce already there).

    The benefits are only a very small part of the reasons people are desperate to get here and a smoke screen by DC who is looking more like a glove puppet daily, operated by Juncker.

    we have THE international language so communication is a lot easier, there are both community and welfare support mechanisms for these people, the fact that they will be ‘destitute’ because of benefit curbs is risible and we have a vibrant economy where these people will always find work, legal or not, again especially from within their own communities.

    However your views will carry that much more authority If you stand up and be counted over the ‘one million’ illegals already here and the feeble efforts of the under funded Home Office to deal with them.

  25. DHEWokingham
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    There is no greater barrier to innovation, invention, investment and improved productivity than a plentiful supply of cheap labour

  26. Maureen Turner
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m pleased to learn Mr. Redwood you will be setting out the case for the benefits arising from an Out vote in the promised EU referendum whenever that might be. The French
    Separatists in Canada had such a protracted affair over referenda these became known as
    the neverendum referendum(s). Does anyone see the template here?

    The most worrying factor for many of us is the sheer volume of people arriving annually be
    they from other EU countries or without. Those settled here have every right to consider their needs should be addressed before the newly arrived, after all it is their tax
    that is paying for what they have ever right to expect.

    “Our opponents will claim that the reforms offered will solve the problem”. You are correct when you say the UK minimum wage plus benefits are more than sufficiently attractive to keep the numbers coming. For some from Eastern Europe it is a huge increase in their earning capacity.

    For a worker in the UK, supposedly a first world country, it is ridiculous to expect them to
    settle for third world wages. The Remain case as put forward by the CBI is the need for
    skilled workers which is some cases may be true but being the Trade Union for big business it probably also has more than a selfish desire for cheap labour.

    I don’t know who it was who coined the phrase that the workforces of today were merely considered “economic digits” but it is getting round to feeling that way so I hope
    your summary re the benefits of leaving the EU will also touch on the quality of life factor not necessarily in the workplace but everyday living in a fast becoming overcrowded island,
    or as Noel Edmunds put it “Is Britain full up?”

  27. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Syrians recently came immediately to be housed, fed, clothed, given pocket money, medically catered for, and cared for in the UK directly from Calais over the head of the Home Secretary. Had those Syrians been living in a non-EU country it would not have altered their legal case ( correct me if I’m wrong for I do not wear a white 16th century curly dandy wig ) and they would have found our Home Secretary’s head, as always, no great obstacle in jumping over, walking over, speed-boating over, sliding over, hop-skip-and-jumping over, skiing over, bicycling over, volting over, parachuting over, gliding over, flying over, or heaven forbid drilling and tunneling underneath. If our Home Secretary ever throws a sickie , no potential migrant will know the difference. Etc ed

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      It would alter their case under the UN Convention and Protocol if they were trying to come to the UK directly from a country where they were being persecuted, rather than coming from France where they are already safe from whatever persecution they may have been suffering in Syria or their other home countries. Having in the main got to France through Italy, another country where they would have been safe from persecution by the standards which most normal people would apply. Under the EU treaties all the EU member states are deemed to be safe countries, at least insofar as (for example) the UK authorities would not normally entertain any application for asylum from a French citizen, on the basis that he could avail himself of adequate protection in his home country, France. The notable, partial, exception at present is Greece, which has been condemned for not treating refugees well enough by both the ECJ and the ECHR.

  28. Leslie Singleton
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Late to the fray today but maybe I can squeeze in that free movement reduced to the absurdity it is would allow up to 100 million (or whatever the highest is or is likely to become) to up and move here literally overnight and that would be from just one country. I agree with the comment above about Merkel inviting in all and sundry; if she could keep them in Germany it might be different but of course free movement cannot allow that.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Leslie.

      With you all the way on that Leslie

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Postscriptum–And of course snake-oil Cameron – he of the “fundamental change” (not a chance) – has now declared as part of his song and dance begging bowl kow-towing to Merkel that he is in favour of free movement. Hardly believable. I wish half the cabinet would rise up and throw him out and Osborne with him. Liam Fox is my latest hero–so right in what he said about our security, to which free movement is antithetical.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Indeed Liam fox has been to the point, hard hitting and his ‘begging bowl’ line has echoed what many people have been thinking.
        Simple powerful messages are needed that shake the sleep walking.
        Compare and contrast this with John Redwood’s low key approach, hampered by the need to be nice to David Cameron and it’s easy to see which has the most impact.

    • qubus
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      We should keep in mind that Germany needs these refugees; they have a decreasing birth rate. We in the UK do not. I would have thought that the answer to a decreasing birth rate would have been to offer encouragement to young Germans to have more children; give new parents say a one-off €10,000 per child.

  29. Qubus
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    JR, whilst I am broadly in favour of leaving the EU, I should be grateful to read a convincing explanation of what would happen to the “Calais” problem, were we to do so.
    Why, as the “Remain” voters claim, wouldn’t the French just wash their hands of the problem and let them all cross over to Dover?

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      The specific point is perhaps moot. The advantage of leaving the EU is that we can hold the Westminster Government to account for its failures. If indeed borders are then seen as insecure, no UK government can blame the EU for it – the remit is entirely within its own measure, and the electorate will rightly hold them responsible.

      With that, I expect of the Government of whichever particular nature of that time to conduct its affairs in a manner the electorate would expect of them. To rightly protect the vulnerable, eject the unwelcome and properly protest at alleged friendly neighbouring countries whose own incompetence or failure of conduct has passed its own problems on to the UK Taxpayer. If, or rather when that Government does not do so, the voters may find at the next election a replacement Government more trusted over the matter at hand. No more hand-wringing and passing the political buck.

      On that, I would recommend to you to look out today’s ‘Sunday Politics’ programme on BBC iplayer and listen to the subtext of what Damian Green was protesting. He effectively announced that it was better that the migrants remained in Calais since the British reaction to the same problems would inevitably be hopeless, slow, inadequate.

      By leaving the EU, we manipulate problems back into the hands of those who should be solving them – the people who stood for election to do exactly that.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Why are the French authorities even tolerating these unofficial and illegal migrant encampments on their territory?

  30. Anonymous
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care if this is published or not. Only that you see it, John.

  31. Ken Moore
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Some good points but a typical John Redwood middle of the road article that ignores any really difficult non PC issues. Most people are concerned about public services and jobs…but above all they do not want their country turned into a place that is strange and unfamiliar. These issues are being openly discussed in virtually all newspapers – yet JR seems to be stuck in 2005 when it was still a taboo subject.

    So what about the cultural aspects of mass immigration? – importing vast numbers of young men from often backward looking cultures that look down upon women is seriously misguided. etc ed Lets face it it’s impossible to integrate these people in anything like the numbers that are being proposed.
    We have already seen the disdain that the EU treats the UK when it has asked for a ‘renegotiation’….what will it be like when we are tricked into voting to stay?.

    A vote to stay in is an act of national suicide – it’s time the OUT campaign laid the cards on the table and stopped pussyfooting about. An IN Vote is a vote for profound and irreversible change.

  32. turbo terrier
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Reading through your blog John you cannot help but see an underlying belief in a lot of your supporters that there is very little to no faith, trust and belief in your leader.

    In the real world perception is all there is.

    Maybe it is the price you pay for trying to be all things to all people. Sadly he has not cut the mustard.

    Reply In the GE voters had more faith in him than the other party leaders

    • Ken Moore
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Some foolishly took Mr Cameron’s promises at face value and believed that he really was a Conservative but shackled by the Lib Dems.
      Well nobody believes that now. The fact that Mr Cameron is a rather convincing liar is hardly a basis for John Redwood to offer his support!.
      Mr Cameron and his stooges will find out what unpopularity really is if he gets his wish to effectively destroy Britain and lock us in the Eu prison.
      It is the duty of the older and wiser to prevent him loading the dice too heavily in his favour ..already we are seeing a worrying amount of ‘loyalty’ from those who should know better.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Reading all these sensible comments I am left feeling totally bereft and depressed for our nation and for my children who have all the problems coming to them. I just wonder how the hell the UK and the poor tax payers are ever going to manage to pay the bills that will surely come our way.

  34. PaulDirac
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Cameron has announced today that he will allow 3,000 refugee children into the UK, sounds reasonable but hang on a sec.
    These children have (usually) large families and within a year will have bunches of lawyers asking for them as a “human rights” issue, to be allowed in as well.
    Well, so 30,000 in a year, not a disaster, but most of those will have relatives in even larger number, now 300,000 in 2 years sounds a bit different.

    We have a huge resource problem, housing, health, education, transport etc. while useful, limited immigration is a bonus, Cameron is ultimately opening a huge door for poorly educated, “young men of Cologne fame”.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      It took one visit by Corbyn to a “refugee” camp and Cameron caves and lets in how many “grappling hook kids”? For God’s sake John, fiddling while Rome burns doesn’t even touch it. This is ridiculous. I didn’t vote for this insanity, I voted for a party that made promises to look after our economic and physical security, and it’s doing the absolute opposite – for what? So that a few people can get EU-sponsored pensions. Utterly sickening to have trust betrayed so vilely.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      And as I understand they would be coming from France. Are we to suppose that all these people who desperately want to cross the Channel to the UK are fleeing from persecution in France, like the Huguenots of an earlier age? It’s a nonsense, and it’s even a nonsense in the terms of the nonsensical UN international agreements on the treatment of those claiming to be refugees, which in fact only prohibit their return to a territory where they might be persecuted, not to safe countries like France, and which only exempt them from criminal penalties for illegal entry when they have come directly from a territory where they might be persecuted.

  35. Margaret
    Posted January 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    It is time for the bloggers to go along with the flow you set now instead of challenging and being obstructive. We need a clear run.

  36. qubus
    Posted January 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    If these refugees/immigrants are so desirable, why doesn’t the EU ship some across to the USA?

  37. Stuart Saint
    Posted January 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Never underestimate the pulling power of free medicine. The NHS is known globally.

  • 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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