A possible right to stop future EU laws if enough countries agree with us

Well there’s a surprise! In future if a majority of EU Parliaments agree, we can stop an EU proposal we don’t like. How does that differ from being able to stop an EU Commission proposal today if we have enough votes around the Council of Ministers table? Not a lot.

The only thing that works for us is a veto – or exit from the EU. If we can veto a new law then we return power to UK voters and their Parliament. Nothing else works. What matters more is the huge number of laws already agreed and the big obligations placed on us by the current treaties. Our democracy has already been badly damaged by the legal controls placed on us.


  1. ferdinand
    February 2, 2016

    The problem is will the electorate realise this is a confidence trick. It will fool no one who has studied the matter but may well influence the many who do not question anything in detail

    1. Horatio
      February 2, 2016

      An absolute confidence trick. However, the public would currently rather the devil they know as there is no clear picture of what a future outside will be like.

      Re: Daily Politics today
      Nick Herbert is a very good and seasoned media performer but even his slimy (never a true Eurosceptic) evasions failed to paint emergency brake etc.. as a success. Jo Coborn’s gentle under arm bowling was not even smashed decisively to the boundary.
      Absolute lies re: the out campaign too. Thank god for Ian Dale talking in layman’s terms, just what we need, pure common sense.

      Having said all that we need one campaign, with one prospectus. Then the BBC and mendacious Tory MPs won’t be able to wriggle around and talk about how some people want this and some want that. People won’t vote for out unless they have a clear viable alternative. A clear vision of what the future outside will be. Not, we could do this or that. People are sheep, they want to be led and inspired.

      There are alot of Tory MPs who were elected on a Eurosceptic platform, who will be facing deselection or mass abandonment in the next.

      1. Stephen Barraclough
        February 2, 2016

        Come off it Horatio – DON’T BE SILLY!
        This is the pathetic line the ‘safer in’ have timidly adopted! The E.U. is a relatively recent phenomenon, and we didn’t ask THAT question when the Blackshirts were offering us a ‘place in their Glorious future for Europe’! We never NEEDED Europe before IN OUR LONG AND SUCCESSFUL HISTORY! WE DO NOT NEED THEM NOW! As the World’s Sixth Largest Economy, WE need ‘Brussells Commissars’ telling us ‘how to wipe our noses, or do trade with the world’? DON’T BE SILLY!

      2. Lifelogic
        February 2, 2016

        Do the defenders of Cameron’s pathetic “new deal” with its jokers “red card” and “hand break (operated by the EU of course)” realise how stupid they sound defending this pathetic con trick?

        If Cameron would really want to take the UK in to the EU if offered a deal like this, he is clearly totally bonkers or does not give a fig about the UK voters.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 3, 2016

          hand “brake”

    2. Henry Kaye
      February 3, 2016

      Oh yes! This was my immediate reaction as I watched Cameron deliver his address – claiming that all of his demands had been agreed! I am hoping very much for a vote to GET OUT but I’m very much afraid that far too many of the votes cast will be cast by people who have no idea what it’s all about.

  2. Lifelogic
    February 2, 2016

    Exactly and anyway we need to undo load of damaging things that are in place already.

    Cameron clearly think the voters are complete and utter fools and can be rushed into an IN vote. Using all the arms of government, the EU, various scare stories and the BBC to fool them all. I do not think it will work that way, The out side is getting stronger all the time. The in side have not a single rational argument.

    Even those in favour of IN are better off voting OUT in the first referendum and getting a better deal to vote on later, as surely that will be what happens. Vote again you fools and get it right this time the establishment will say. Hopefully they will say get lost again.

    1. Mike Stallard
      February 2, 2016

      Let us get it right, shall we?
      LEAVE and REMAIN are the two options.

      1. Mark B
        February 2, 2016

        No, Mike.

        It’s, LEAVE or EVER CLOSER UNION !!

        1. Lifelogic
          February 3, 2016

          Leave or the every closer union death embrace.

      2. Lifelogic
        February 2, 2016

        OK I will try to use those terms. At least it is not the biased yes and no.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      Listening to all the pro EU voices trying to defend this joke of a deal I am struck by how totally absurd they all sound.

      Do they really think they can fool the UK voters with this farce? An emergency brake of merely some benefit restrictions controlled by the EU and a way in which only a majority of members can perhaps stop the EU doing some things in the future. Benefits are not even the issue. They are, in the main, coming to work anyway and we should just take the best of them but not all of them. It is a question of numbers and their quality.

      The mechanism Cameron has agreed is more likely to work against the UK than to work to help it.

  3. Ex-expat Colin
    February 2, 2016

    If thats anything like voting in the EU parliament I think we’ve heard Farage on that. Anyway, will need multiple lunches.

    Nobody is going to block one single thing in that place!

    1. Timaction
      February 2, 2016

      as the newly acclaimed Europhile Hague said………..once!

      As William Hague said in 2008:

      “Given the difficulty of Oppositions winning a vote in their Parliaments, the odds against doing so in 14 countries around Europe with different parliamentary recesses… are such that even if the European Commission proposed the slaughter of the first-born it would be difficult to achieve such a remarkable conjunction of parliamentary votes”

  4. Denis Cooper
    February 2, 2016

    In 1975 we were officially promised that:

    “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”,

    and nothing less than that will do.



    “The British Parliament can stop any new law or new tax, provided it can get fourteen other national parliaments to agree with it”,

    that is just another form of majority voting when what we need is the unilateral veto that Cameron did not even ask for:


    “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”.

    Plus, as you say, JR, our Parliament should not only be able to unilaterally veto new EU laws but also disapply existing EU laws within its jurisdiction.

    1. Yosarion
      February 2, 2016

      Watching one of the top EUSSR ministers in an interview he clearly stated that Veto’s were not permanent, its like watching a vulnerable cliff being eroded by an Atlantic Storm over the last Forty years.
      Cameron promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty originally, that’s where he should be taking us back to at the very least.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      February 2, 2016

      Dear Denis–The idea of being able to block new laws by majority is simply laughable–except not very funny. The very essence of our problem is that the needs of foreigners on the Continent are different from ours, they truly are–for example it makes a lot of sense for the Balkans, wherever they are, and the like to have a common currency and all that flows from that. This means the Continent is never going to vote with us on very much. As ever, we must simply pray to God that this pathetic and embarrasingly silly deal will be seen for what it is and will fool no-one.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        February 2, 2016

        Postscript–Nicholas Ridley’s forte may not have been PR but he was perfectly correct when he fought not for just tolerating the Continental countries’ going their own way but encouraging them. Our Governments instead decided that a homogenised Continent would be a threat whereas the opposite was and remains the case. Have never got close to understanding why we wouldn’t want “them” to do whatever the Hell they want on the Continent, after which we could deal with just Brussels just as Canada deals with just Washington. Of course we would have had to obey whatever laws “they” put in place. Big deal. Us and 200 others. Once again: Canada sells much much more of its Exports to the US than we do to the Continent. Never a comment on this.

    3. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      Exactly anything less is worthless.

  5. Know-Dice
    February 2, 2016

    As has been said several times here – CMD will come back from his “negotiations” waving a slip of paper.

    “Peace in our time” –

    Why should our elected Government have to go cap in hand to anyone to change/add the laws of this nation.

  6. Antisthenes
    February 2, 2016

    The proposal makes perfect sense in a political and economic union but then is not the idea that the UK does not want to be any part of that. The USA operates a system akin to it. David Cameron is telling us that membership is about trade and that requires in or out of the EU a veto. A situation where if a trade deal is not of mutual benefit then one party can walk away from it.

    So we are being sold a lie by David Cameron because essentially remaining a member is really a commitment for more than trade. We do not need to be a member for trade as many Non EU member states have demonstrated.

    What this development exposes is that membership is about union and nothing else in we eventually become a province of the great superstate that the EU will become. Accepting all the burdens, obligations, cost and responsibilities that entails. Out we have none of that without effecting our trading with them except we will be free to do so on our own terms.

  7. Iain Moore
    February 2, 2016

    Cameron’s red card will never be produced, for we will never get 55% of the support to stop a bit of EU legislation.

    To call it a red card is disingenuous , for a red card is produced by one person, the ref, in a game of football of 22 people, not a committee of 12 players deciding the legality of a tackle which would mean there is never any agreement and the red card never produced.

    1. Mitchel
      February 2, 2016

      The red card…….this year’s “cast iron promise” or “no ifs,no buts”.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      Worthless spin, just as we have come to expect from Cast Iron, no ifs no buts, at heart a low tax conservative, “a treaty is not a treaty once ratified” vacuous spin doctor.

    February 2, 2016

    ” Tomorrow around noon I will table proposal for a new settlement for #UKinEU. Good progress last 24 hours but still outstanding issues. ” (Twitter account of Mr Tusk.) We shall just have to wait and see what Mr Tusk decides what Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne must do. He can tweet them. He can tweet us all what we must do.
    What a pathetic position Mr Cameron has constructed for himself. How he has humiliated us all.

  9. me
    February 2, 2016

    Pains me to say it, but by continuing to accept the Tory whip you are helping to support the structure that is trying to sell this country down the river.

    Now is the time to resign the whip.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      February 2, 2016

      No hope–He tells us he promised his constituents, placing as he sees it his personal honour ahead of the good of the Country. Personally I do not see how he can possibly see himself as bound never under any circumstances to resign.

    2. JoeSoap
      February 2, 2016

      Either our host thinks Wokingham constituents voted for Cameron type policies, in which case he’s not representing their wishes by campaigning in the way he is on this issue and others, or he thinks they voted for his wishes in which case his constituents would surely prefer he was part of UKIP or even independent.
      By trying to straddle this divide, he will eventually come to grief.

  10. bigneil
    February 2, 2016

    ANY “deal” that CMD supposedly gets in an effort to get a vote to remain will definitely come with a VERY high price attached. Increased fees to pay, us to lose any control of immigration numbers from anywhere. etc. The EU is a massive dictator who wants our money first and our extermination second. Some of the rich want to stay because they believe that an imported 3rd world workforce will make them more money. If this is the workforce they want, why don’t they build their factories in those 3rd world countries – instead of turning this island into a new deliberately created one?

    1. Mark B
      February 2, 2016

      They want to turn this country into a 3rd world one rather than help actual 3rd world countries, because it is easier to drag a nation down with all the infrastructure in place, than to lift one up.

  11. Tom William
    February 2, 2016

    Downing Street, and much of the media, are claiming Cameron has won a veto, that the “red card” would allow the Commons to effectively veto any inappropriate EU legislation – as long as MPs and MEPs have the support of 55 per cent of the national parliaments in the EU.
    “This will strengthen the power of Westminster to stop unnecessary EU laws and addresses concerns that the current ‘yellow card’ system has not proved strong enough,” a Number 10 source said. “It ensures that the European Commission cannot just ignore the will of national parliamentarians and delivers greater democratic control over what the EU does”.

    But it is playing with words to say that this “strengthens the power of Westminster” when it does not GIVE it the power to veto it within the UK. As you say, very little has actually changed.

    It is a three card trick.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 2, 2016

      In fact it wouldn’t really be a “veto” by the parliaments anyway, not a unilateral “veto” nor even a collective “veto”. It’s just a tiny step further than the so-called “yellow card” procedure which was introduced through the Lisbon Treaty, with much acclaim and brazen lies from supporters of the treaty, which has since been used just twice as far as I know, and with the EU Commission actually refusing to accept that there was a “yellow card” on the second occasion.

      Under that existing procedure, which is set down in a protocol attached to the EU treaties, Protocol (No 2) “on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality”, here:


      the Commission “may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw the proposal” if there are objections from enough of the national parliaments; but if it decides to continue with the proposal without amendment then that could be stopped later “by a majority of 55 % of the members of the Council or a majority of the votes cast in the European Parliament”.

      While under the new “red card” system as described here:


      the Council must discuss the objections and only proceed with the proposal if “the draft is amended to accommodate the concerns expressed”.

      A Tory MP produced a gem about this eleven years ago when it was part of the EU Constitution, which was picked up by Richard North:


      “Friday, February 11, 2005

      A new right to be ignored

      On the vexed issue of whether the EU constitution gives new powers to national parliaments, as asserted by the government, Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory, Conservative MP for Wells – and one of our two representatives on the EU’s constitutional convention – rather put the record straight when he spoke in the second reading debate of the European Union Bill, last Wednesday. “We heard again the tired argument about this new power for national Parliaments over subsidiarity”, he said, adding:

      That is not new; we can object already. It is certainly not a power, as we can object all we like, and the Commission can go on ignoring us. All that we get in this constitution is a new right to be ignored.

      I like that – and as a sound-bite, it is hard to beat. One to treasure, methinks.”

    2. fedupsoutherner
      February 2, 2016

      Tom, “It is a three card trick”.

      Did we ever expect anything else?

  12. ChrisS
    February 2, 2016

    Clearly the OUT campaign needs a high profile leader, ideally one who is in the current cabinet and can speak with experience and authority.

    We know that Theresa May is instinctively Eurosceptic but she must also realise that she will have little or no chance of winning the Conservative leadership post-Cameron if she is running against Osborne and Boris had all three have backed Cameron and kept us in the EU.

    Following her instincts and leading the OUT campaign holds little risk of Mrs May losing her job as Home Secretary, having been the most successful holder of that office, certainly since WW2. Besides, Cameron, and whoever replaces him, will need as many high profile women in their cabinet as they can justifiably appoint.

    Most important for our campaign, Theresa May is able to speak with real authority on the crucial issue of EU migration. There is nobody else in the country in a better position than the current Home Secretary to demolish the ludicrous idea that restricting benefits will reduce migration to the “tens of thousands”

    1. Mark B
      February 2, 2016

      I think, Denis is in a better position to judge Ms. May’s Eurosceptic credentials.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 3, 2016

        I did, long ago, before I decided to stand against her as the UKIP candidate in 2001, and I’ve had no cause to revise my judgement since then.

    2. ChrisS
      February 2, 2016

      Exceedingly disappointing to hear Theresa May support Cameron today in saying that the Tusk Paper could be the basis for a deal.

      If she joins the IN camp that will mark the end of her leadership ambitions.

  13. AndyC
    February 2, 2016

    I don’t think anyone posting here will be surprised by how this ‘renegotiation’ is turning out.

    The question now is how the individual members of the parliamentary Conservative party react to this brazen feat of intellectual dishonesty, from backbenchers to ministers.

    1. Iain Moore
      February 2, 2016

      I think the question of how the Conservative parliamentary party is going to react is being answered in the troop of Ministers and MPs who have put their career prospects over and above national interest.

      In this I believe we are seeing a split develop in the Conservative party, between activist base for whom a majority are EU sceptic , and the Parliamentary party who seem to be mostly EUphile.

      Cameron may thing he is very clever corralling the Conservative Parliamentary party to support the EU, but in doing that he is alienating the Conservative party membership, and in light of the falling Conservative party membership, they can ill afford to lose many more of them.

      1. Anonymous
        February 2, 2016

        Iain – After the IN result the fortunes of the Conservative Party won’t even be a consideration. It will have served its purpose and can die after that.

        1. Jerry
          February 3, 2016

          @Anonymous; “[the Conservative party] will have served its purpose and can die after that.”

          Upon a vote to remain in the EU the only political party that will wither and die is UKIP, unless of course they are going to do what they accuse the EU of doing when the vote is not to their liking (call the vote again, and until the plebs chose the ‘correct’ answer), all other eurosceptics (Tory and Labour) I suspect will carry on fighting for the UK and our best interests from within.

    2. Atlas
      February 2, 2016

      Unfortunately, AndyC, I suspect that most do not give a damn.

      There are those who wish to remain slaves to the EU and there are those who see short-term preferment.

      There again, perhaps they just mirror the outlook of the voters who put them in that position?

    3. fedupsoutherner
      February 2, 2016

      Most will stick together and shaft the country.

  14. agricola
    February 2, 2016

    Absolutely right John, the E, ECHR, and the ECJ totally hamstring the UK from taking sensible action in many situations. I will now highlight one of them, bear with me.

    To discuss immigration is not racist. In fact it is an humanitarian, subject just as slavery was for William Wilberforce centuries ago. For the illegal immigrants in the UK and there are reported to be 600,000 in London alone, it is the new slavery. Everyone who partakes in your diary should read “This is London, Life and Death in the World City” by Ben Judah. He is a journalist who has immersed himself in the immigrant communities in London to write a most revealing account of life as it is for immigrants, especially the illegal ones.

    The book is very sympathetic to the plight of these immigrants, most of whom have had their dreams of a new life shattered by the reality of the slavery they have become part of. In many cases the legals from within the EU, and in particular the ex communist EU are held in a similar form of slavery. Their families back home under threat of repayment of loans incurred to get them to the UK. Loans that are never cleared due to the vast interest added. The immigrant ends up in slave labour, prostitution or crime.

    Yes we get some professionals such as doctors and nurses for our beleaguered NHS, and welcome they are, but the underlying malaise is one of cheap enslaved labour, living in conditions no better than the slaves of earlier centuries.

    We can thank most of this situation on Mr Blair and his Labour Party for their acquiescence to EU treaties without asking permission from the UK electorate, and their open door policy for all and sundry who wished to enter the UK, no questions asked. Acts for which I hope history castigates them.

    It is also patently obvious that Cameron’s re-negotiation will do nothing to redress the almost overwhelming problem or it’s continuation. 600,000 in London probably adds up to in excess of 2 Million throughout the UK. It would be interesting to ask the TUC what they think of all this cheap, below the horizon labour in the UK. For sure it is not minimum wage or living wage territory. One can see the attraction for some employers who prefer to keep the door open.

    Should we vote to leave the EU and it’s arachnoid web of control we would be free to deal with this enormous humanitarian task that has been generated. I suspect that you will find that many illegal immigrants will be happy to return to their countries of origin given the opportunity. The EU should be induced to deal with the criminal elements within their own jurisdiction who feed on these unfortunate people.

    We are always being reminded by the illiberal left of the past UK elements of slavery that suit their mind-set, they are at it in Oxford at the moment, I wonder if they have any idea of what is going on under their noses right now.

  15. Alan jutson
    February 2, 2016

    I only hope the people of the UK realise that on the day of the Referendum they have a chance, and a choice:

    To keep our democracy in house, and within the UK.
    Vote to let it go to Brussels for them to decide our future.

    We will never get a 55% mandate from other EU countries, simply because there are not even 55% of the members outside of the Euro with their own currency.

    Euro Zone Members will run everything in their favour, pure and simple.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 2, 2016

      No change there then.

    2. Mark B
      February 2, 2016

      Correct. And that number of Euro nations is going to rise and rise. Only Denmark will probably stand with us.

  16. Colin Hart
    February 2, 2016

    On a scale of 1 to 10 how stupid does Cameron think we all are?

    1. oldtimer
      February 2, 2016


    2. fedupsoutherner
      February 2, 2016

      10???? Sadly, because many don’t read blogs like this or even take an interest they will all think what Cameron wants them to think.

    3. Bob
      February 2, 2016

      @Colin Hart

      “On a scale of 1 to 10 how stupid does Cameron think we all are?”

      He doesn’t think we’re all stupid, but 11,334,576 people voted him into No. 10, and many of those people believed in his “renegotiation” ploy, some actually believe that the EU has bought peace to Europe and others think we should join the Euro.

      If the cap fits…

  17. Kenneth
    February 2, 2016

    Absolutely, it’s pointless. This proposal apes what we can do already – which is not a lot. The BBC talks of ‘breakthroughs’ and ‘hard won concessions’. Rubbish! We know this is being choreographed. Daniel Hannan also suggests that even the so called emergency brake is also a sham.

    It’s just like we joined a business breakfast club with the intention of promoting local trade and doing something for charity.

    However, after a while the committee started to demand ever greater subs and started to find ways of controlling how we run our own businesses, forcing up our costs by, for example, increasing staff and electricity costs.

    After a while they wanted to know about the personal lives of our staff and invited them to complain directly to them if they were unhappy with their work

    The business club had turned into a hippy cult.

    Of course, in the real world we would have walked out long ago. However, we seem be in la la land and there are some of us who are mesmerised by the cult leaders.

    Now’s the chance to get real and walk away and I hope and pray we take that chance while we still have it.

  18. Peter
    February 2, 2016

    EU countries are not really our partners but our competitors. It stands to reason that what suits us may not suit our competitors and obviously they will block us where they Can. That’s how it’s always worked. The EU is run to benefit the German \ French axis and smaller countries agree to tuck in behind with transfers of cash. The UK gets neither influence or cash.

    1. Anonymous
      February 2, 2016

      Peter – Mr Cameron understands the power of the soundbite over the short attention span of those who don’t read things.

      The OUT’s soundbites have all been toxified and neutralised.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      That is exactly it.

  19. graham1946
    February 2, 2016

    Even if a veto was on the cards, I wouldn’t trust it. You cannot rely on self serving politicians to do the best for the nation any more. There is very little honour in modern politics. We’ve had vetoes and they’ve been given away by these graspers.

    As it is, this red card nonsense is just a sad con and shows the contempt the political class, particularly the posh boys has for the voters, that they think can be so easily and lightly deceived and manipulated. Unfortunately, the country over the last 40 years seems to have lost its spirit and courage and may well decide to cling to nanny, not realising that she cannot be trusted to serve it’s best interests. The only way is ‘OUT’ and then ideally a massive clear out of Westminster so there may be a fresh start with people who have the nation’s interest at heart, rather than personal gain, including the ludicrous Lords retirement home for the incompetent. Maybe if the Conservatives can accept an ‘OUT’ vote and govern for the nation instead of the privileged few then they may be worth joining again.

    One thing about the referendum this time around is that as far as I can remember, in 1975, there were practically none, if any, MSM in favour of coming out – it was all pro Common Market (another political con) including the BBC and ITV and the big firms and commentators. This time I detect a little more realism. The Daily Express certainly seems to be against and the Daily Mail has been hammering the Cameron con for weeks. The Mirror will do what Labour wants, but is largely an irrelevance these days, so lets hope enough of the 20 per cent or so of ‘undecided’ will get a fair representation of the facts, which they certainly didn’t get last time, but in the rush Neville Cameron is arranging he is determined that fairness should not play a part. What a shallow little man we have in our greatest office of State, but then it was probably to be expected when his only attribute was to make one good speech at the Tory Conference and they took it instead of Mr Davis.

  20. Robert Christopher
    February 2, 2016

    John, in this week’s MoneyWeek (p18) there is an article, based on a Telegraph article by Allister Heath:
    “Stay or Leave? I’d prefer the third option’

    It is proposing that, instead of either of the ‘extremes’, Stay or Leave, we should be able to choose a third option: ‘some sort of free trade area’.

    I hope you have something to say about this, especially to the Telegraph and Moneyweek!

    It highlights the misunderstandings that the media are propagating. We know that Leaving will result, at worst, in an almost ‘free trade area’ that would be less costly than paying EU ‘membership fees’ and would definitely free us, politically, from the undemocratic, detached Brussels Elite. At best, the free trade area would cost us nothing or even making a ‘profit’ with trade extending into new territories.

    Their errors need correcting by an authoritative voice! 🙂

    1. Richard1
      February 2, 2016

      The suggestion is a sensible one. There is unlikely to be a majority for leave. Paying a few billion to ‘stay’ so long as we can get out of all the damaging federalism and just have free trade could be a good compromise.

  21. Remington Norman
    February 2, 2016


    You are right in everything you have said about the EU and Mr Cameron’s negotiating stance. What needs to be drummed into voters, at every opportunity, is that British sovereignty is the overriding issue to which other concerns, however, intrinsically important, are subordinate. Conditional arrangements, however superficially attractive in the short term, do not address this issue.

  22. ChrisS
    February 2, 2016

    Just had a quick look at the document.

    Bullshit from start to finish. Cameron has achieved almost nothing.

    Sovereignty is not protected as the veto is no such thing.
    It doesn’t cover existing legislation and even in the case of new legislation it only covers subsidiarity issues, not major items. It even requires 55% of EU countries to back it.
    It’s a joke in very poor taste.

    Slightly reduced Child benefit still to be able to be sent to children abroad

    The migration brake is really undefined, no details of the mechanism for bringing it in, no term and no suggestion as to how it will be brought to an end. I suspect that’s because if these were in the control of the UK it would never get past the Council of Ministers.
    It’s been described even by the BBC Deputy Political Editor as a sticking plaster !

    Finally the deal is most unlikely to survive an expected assault by the European Parliament, other EU Governments and the European Court because it will rely on a gentlemen’s agreement until it is incorporated into a new treaty.

    As we’ve seen before, they aren’t gentlemen and even written agreements Britain thought she had have been disregarded by Junkers as mere “Political Agreements”

    Nowhere near good enough.

    As I suspected all along, Cameron is another Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 3, 2016

      There’s no “migration brake”.

  23. miami.mode
    February 2, 2016

    EU draft document just published with an “Emergency Brake” on benefits for an unspecified period after a Remain vote but how about a “Permanent Brake” for a period specified by us if we vote Leave?

  24. Bob
    February 2, 2016

    I read that Mr Cameron has granted pro-EU Cabinet Ministers a three week head start on the referendum campaign. Were you ever in any doubt that he would pull every stunt he could think of to weight the referendum in favour of the status quo.

    1. graham1946
      February 2, 2016

      Of course he wasn’t – he has been told by just about every contributor here that this would be a fix, both in the negotiation and the running of the campaign but he said he wanted to give Cameron a chance. Now we all know for certain that our instincts are right – Cameron is wrong ‘un.

  25. ChrisS
    February 2, 2016

    Child Benefit for Children living outside the UK :

    Currently UK Child Benefit is £20.70 for the first child and then £13.70 each for additional children.

    The document talks about the amount of child benefit being indexed linked to the cost of living in the country concerned. There is therefore no certainty at all that Child Benefit will be reduced to match that paid locally. If not, it will continue to act as a draw for migrants to move to the UK.

    Taking Poland as an example, if child benefit was reduced to the local rate in the country in which they live, according to Migration Watch, the amount paid for Polish children living in Poland would be as follows :

    £13.60 per month (68 Polish Zloty) for children aged 4 years and under, £18.20 per month (91 Polish Zloty) for children aged between 5 and 18 years and £19.60 per month (98 Polish Zloty) for children aged 18-24 who remain in education.

    The rate of UK child benefit for the first child is therefore FOUR TIMES the rate paid in Poland. No wonder the UK is such a popular destination for parents and the Polish Government is so set against any changes !

    As I said above, It is by no means certain that child benefit will be reduced to the same rate as paid in the home country : the document only talks about the amount being indexed linked to the cost of living in the country concerned.

    The definition of the index link to be used is just one area of the “deal” which the Europeans will easily be able to water down to be almost worthless. I suspect that the Polish PM will be placated by a quiet word in his ear along these lines.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 3, 2016

      And is it not true that every Polish child brought here to get the higher rate of benefit, if that happened, would cost the UK taxpayer in other ways?

  26. Stu
    February 2, 2016

    27 other EU members agreeing with us?

    Herding cats is easier

  27. Denis Cooper
    February 2, 2016

    Having read Tusk’s proposals, the text of his draft deal negotiated with Cameron, I don’t know whether to be depressed or angry.

    Once again our political system has thrown up a Prime Minister who is prepared to perpetrate a gross fraud on the British people.

    Once the most powerful voices in the country’s mass media are prepared to be accessories to this fraud.

    And I fear that once again many ordinary people, too busy with their everyday lives to study and understand any of the details, will be taken in by the fraud.

    Depressed or angry at the brazen contempt with which we are being treated?

    I think I’ll be angry for now, and possibly save the depression for later.

  28. MickN
    February 2, 2016

    What a gamble it would be but I think were Mrs May to lead the Out campaign and do it now she could well become our second lady Prime Minister.
    It would show a degree of backbone and the ability to put country before self in a way that Cameron does not have it in his makeup to do

    1. Justin
      February 2, 2016

      Sadly her performance as Home Secretary over the years would suggest she is an invertebrate.

  29. Bob
    February 2, 2016

    Cam’s “red card” is equivalent of a referee only being able to send off a footballer if more than half his team mates agree.

    Patrick O’Flynn

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 2, 2016

      That’s very good and should be repeated as widely as possible.

      Here’s what Hague said about this kind of scheme in 2008 when he was Shadow Foreign Secretary:


      “Given the difficulty of Oppositions winning a vote in their Parliaments, the odds against doing so in 14 countries around Europe with different parliamentary recesses… are such that even if the European Commission proposed the slaughter of the first-born it would be difficult to achieve such a remarkable conjunction of parliamentary votes”

      And here’s what Hague said about it in 2013 when he was Foreign Secretary:


      “EU countries should think about going further still and consider a red card to give national parliaments the right to block legislation that need not be done at the European level.”

    2. Justin
      February 2, 2016

      not right, only if more than half of the opposition team agree.

  30. ksb
    February 2, 2016

    Questions on this ‘deal’ are currently being presented to the Foreign minister in the commons, it’s a shame JR seems absent (although I’d imagine for good reason) as the proposals seem to be getting a bit of a kicking from all sides.

  31. agricola
    February 2, 2016

    From reports received it would appear that the UK can block unwanted EU legislation, but only if 55% of the governments of the member states agree. Next to useless. Parliamentary sovereignty is back where it was yesterday, none existent. Additionally there is no mechanism to repeal all the unwanted legislation we have suffered from the EU already.

    Whether we pay benefits to migrants or not it will have little effect on the 630,000 who arrived last year. It did not stop us acquiring up to 2 Million illegal migrants of which 600,000 are in London alone. Most of these are no doubt in the black economy where a lack of benefits was no deterrent to arriving in the UK. There is no proposed mechanism for their removal.

    Child allowance even on a reduced scale is still paying for children in Europe.

    The blather about not being dragged into ever closer union is trivial top dressing. No mention of our sovereignty, properly controlled borders with an immigration policy of our own that limits free movement. We will still be paying £12Billion per annum and rising for membership and having no control of fishing, agriculture, or energy supply.

    What it does do is move the deckchairs on the Titanic, what it does not do is address our sovereignty as a nation state.

  32. lojolondon
    February 2, 2016

    John, you are totally correct here – unfortunately the Biased BBC and MSM will never repeat your comments, so most voters will be blissfully unaware. I believe that the Netherlands has a similar ‘Red Line’ written into their contract, 13 times The Netherlands has exercised their ’emergency handbrake’, and 13 times denied. Totally pointless, in fact just a lie, designed to decieve.

    1. DaveM
      February 2, 2016

      I’m rarely a fan of BBC reporting, but having just read their report on this, to be fair even the BBC sounds scathing this time.

    February 2, 2016

    Watching as I type ( 02/02/2016 : 13.40hrs ) BBC Parliament “UK’s Relationship with the EU Question ” in which The Rt Hon David Lidington , Foreign Office Minister, MP for Aylesbury is taking questions.

    In my view, and in one sense, I am exquisitely happy and content that EU STAY MPs have abdicated UK Parliamentary , civic responsibility, voting rights, and what might be termed their own “sovereignty ” via Parliament’s sovereignty.
    In other words, given they are MPs and stuck above us, good they have given their power to influence our lives more than in relative terms than that they might achieve as Parish Councillors.
    If the UK is to STAY in the EU there is no wholesome reason why these MPs should be allowed office and paid. The UK Parliament can be run by some well-trained clerks with a rubber stamp in each hand. But I fear those MPs would much prefer the clerks to be foreign and based outside these shores so they could be sure they would do their jobs properly.

  34. Bert Young
    February 2, 2016

    Cameron has produced nothing . His ridiculous efforts to bluff his ,so called , “achievements have exposed just how stupid he is . The Red Card is not a veto ; obtaining 14 other countries to side with us in response to any New legislation from Brussels is meaningless ; it would make our own voting system a complete farce .

    Nothing has been achieved in protecting our own borders ; Germany still insists that the principle of free movement is paramount , this simply means that once the migrants have obtained a German status they will be free to enter the UK .

    If I understood correctly , the benefits paid to dependants in other EU countries when they do not live with the worker/father/mother in this country , will continue to be made and paid according to the inflation level in the country where they live ! How utterly outrageous this proposal is !! . Cameron has been stitched up and will be further ridiculed at the next summit a couple of weeks away .

    I hope and pray that other members of the Cabinet will now be free to disclose where they stand .

  35. Iain Moore
    February 2, 2016

    QMV requires 55% of member states, representing at least 65% of the EU population, to vote in favour.

    So Cameron’s red card that requires 55% of member states to oppose legislation is never going to happen, because EU legislation would already have 55% support to become legislation.

    And its not as if QMV votes are spread evenly across the EU population for the UK with 29 votes gets one vote per 2 million people, while Malta with 3 votes gets a vote for every 140k people.

  36. MikeP
    February 2, 2016

    What did he once say? “I believe we’ll be stronger in a Reformed Europe.
    – this renegotiation doesn’t reform a darned thing of any substance.
    – worse than that, they’ll still operate QMV so the Euro bloc will continue to outvote us.
    – once it was about controlling our borders and cutting migration not just cutting benefits.
    – the OBR and others have said that cutting benefits will have little if any effect on migration.
    – Boris has said it as it is, “The PM is doing a good job at getting people to see it his way but much more needs to be done”.
    And according to Mike Smithson, betting on the EU Referendum has swayed sharply over to Remain since midday – what are people smoking out there ?!?!?

  37. oldtimer
    February 2, 2016

    If we assume that Mr Cameron actually said what he meant, and meant what he said, in his Bloomberg speech and compare it with what is on offer now, one can only conclude that he has capitulated on just about every condition he previously stated he believed in and would seek from renegotiation. The incomplete draft released today not only leaves out some important conditions and clauses but is also to be subject to further negotiation with the other members of the EU and Commission. The implication of that is that Mr Cameron will be expected to make further consessions as a result of the negotiations if he is to secure any agreement from the rest of the EU.

    It also seems that the 55% idea could be used as much against the UK as in its favour. As the odd man out on so many EU issues, the idea that this clause is a win for the UK does not convince. Only a veto will do.

    My immediate conclusion is that the proposals are a trap for the unwary, rather like a duck decoy that tempts ducks by exciting their curiosity (in the case of the ducks it is a dog that appears and disappears as it travels deeper and deeper into the decoy) until the unsuspecting ducks are drawn into the end of the decoy and the trap is sprung. In this instance our attention is focussed on a few issues which, while superficially beguiling, do not actually amount to very much and ignore the fundamental trap into which the UK is being drawn.

    The reality is that the rest of the EU is not interested in, and has no intention of conceding, the substantive reforms that Mr Cameron said he was seeking in his Bloomberg speech. It has a very different agenda and road map. It is set out in the Five Presidents’ Report. That, fundamentally, is the real choice to be made in the coming referendum – independence as a sovereign nation or subservient, outvoted cash cow within the EU.

  38. Anonymous
    February 2, 2016

    The BBC/Cameron coupling will win the In vote.

    Two things to observe:

    – The referendum question is dishonest in itself. It suggests we may have two governments when in fact it really is a choice between one (British) or the other (EU). “Do you want a British Government or an EU one ? You cannot have both” is what we should be asked.

    – The BBC is covering for David Cameron really well and we are heading for an In result. Nothing would explode this deceit more than the mass resignation of sceptic MPs at this moment. It is no good leaving it until afterwards.

    We should question the integrity of any Out MP who remains in office after an In result. QMV would mean that the large number of MPs and ministers we have in this country would be seriously out of kilter with the diminutive voice we’d have within the EU.

  39. Robert K
    February 2, 2016

    The most compelling arguments I have heard for staying in were voiced at the All Souls seminars before Christmas at which you presented and I attended. If we leave, this line goes, our voice of reason will be lost, to the dismay of Continental euros-reformers. This could be dangerous at a point of great turmoil and tension in Europe. There is also the issue of Northern Ireland – if the UK secedes tensions between North and South could increase.
    On balance, I feel the best place for the UK is out. And maybe the shock of our departure might stimulate a re-think of the whole project for the remaining members.
    By the way, at one of the seminars I asked the ex finance minster of Luxembourg whether us being out of the EU would prevent us from contributing to discussions on regulation. He said it probably wouldn’t, although it might be a bit less convenient. ’nuff said.

  40. Denis Cooper
    February 2, 2016

    On the matter of “ever closer union”, JR, I note on page 9 of Tusk’s proposals

    “[The substance of this will be incorporated into the Treaties at the time of their next revision in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties and the respective constitutional requirements of the Member States.]”

    Why wait until the next time the treaties are to be revised?

    The substance could put into a protocol to the treaties now, before the referendum, like this stand-alone protocol agreed in 2012:


    “Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon”.

  41. The PrangWizard
    February 2, 2016

    Cameron is strutting a stage, arms waving, face bloated and flushed; ”If we were on the outside now and I was to be asked would I join – Of course I would”. This odious man has no honour, no self respect, everything he does is for self preservation and to feed his ego. He would therefore join and sign up to all the treaties which have robbed us of our sovereignty, security, status and wealth.

    He knows that if we vote for out, we are voting him out too, and much of the British Establishment would have go too. They will fight dirty, and lie and deceive as he has done and as it has always done, to protect their privileged positions, and if it means sacrificing the best interests of the nation, then so be it, they think. Cameron betrays everyone in the end. There are no exceptions.

  42. Edward2
    February 2, 2016

    I don’t see what is different in this arrangement to any other vote we might need to win in the EU to get our wishes granted.
    We used to need a majority of the member nations on our side and now we still do.

    For me it has been a very clear example how little power we have left as an independent nation.

  43. JJE
    February 2, 2016

    “Given the difficulty of Oppositions winning a vote in their Parliaments, the odds against doing so in 14 countries around Europe with different parliamentary recesses… are such that even if the European Commission proposed the slaughter of the first-born it would be difficult to achieve such a remarkable conjunction of parliamentary votes”
    William Hague in 2008 as quoted by Guido Fawkes

  44. Pericles Xanthippou
    February 2, 2016


    There seems to be some confusion within the comments over the meaning of the word veto.

    Holding a veto means having the power to prevent a piece of legislation from being enacted. In many comments however the word seems to be used to mean derogation, which is the exercise of the right — without preventing its enactment — to be exempt from such legislation.

    It is the latter — derogation — that this country needs; she does not need to dictate the rules applicable to other member countries. Moreover her derogation cannot be left dependent on the consent of even one other member country, never mind fourteen!

    A further important point is that this country’s right to derogation must apply to laws already extant that, in the opinion of her own sovereign parliament, act against her interests.


    Intra-E.U. migration and the associated British in-work benefits are — ’Ow you say, ’Astings? — ze red kippeurs: E.U. citizens working here contribute greatly to our economy; their immigration is not the problem.

    The migratory problem relates to those from the Third World, many of whom refuse to adopt our ways, some going as far as refusing to learn — or to allow their womenfolk to learn — our language … even to a modern-B.B.C. standard! That is a huge problem, one bequeathed to the incumbent Prime Minister (over decades) by his scheming and mendacious predecessors … and one to which there is no practicable solution: we didn’t listen to Mr. Powell in the 1960s; now we must just muddle through.

    Multa longa migration — at least that of E.U. citizens — is irrelevant. What we must now avoid is being sucked in to the disaster brought about by the breathtakingly stupid Chancellor of Germany.


    Finally, any-one convinced this ‘deal’ will not fool the man in the street is, I fear, deluding himself: most of this whole subject will fly right over the head of the common man, who will not have studied the subject … never mind his understanding all the jargon and double-talk.


  45. Will Rees
    February 2, 2016



    It does n’t change anything about things coming out of the Commision, that already is 55%, what it changes is things coming out of the Council, currently 72%. EUrozone has 67% of the Council, this means they won’t need non Eurozone members on-board to push legislation. The very opposite of Mr Cameron’s safeguarding a non EUro EU.

  46. RB
    February 2, 2016

    The whole Cameron event is a non-event. No one cares about migrant benefits

    Cameron is a like a left wing teenager who has ZERO understanding of the things which actually matter to the political Right, or even those with a sense of ENGLISH history, how on earth did the Conservative Party ever get him?

    As an Englishman, there has been little more humiliating in my entire life than Cameron’s negotiations.

  47. RB
    February 2, 2016

    Can an attempt be made to force him out of office (as a sign to the electorate how unacceptable this is)?

  48. RB
    February 2, 2016

    The voters need to clearly told they are being taken for fools.

  49. acorn
    February 2, 2016

    My problem is who can we trust to not screw over the 99%? Imagine the UK out of the EU, with a Conservative government! All human and civil rights legislation repealed; a bucket full of “snoopers charter” type legislation, tracking our movements and contacts 24/7. All promoted by right wing media hysteria.

    Anglo-Saxon neo-liberal capitalism, is falling apart, somebody must be blamed to protect the guilty. Of course, it must be the immigrants (words left out ed) Ask any US Red-neck Republican Party voter. Particularly the US middle class faction, who have been badly screwed out of their “net worth” by the Banksters. Somebody must be to blame!!!

    So JR, I need you to assure me that by 2025, after a likely third term of a Conservative neo-liberal Osborne government; you will not have confiscated all my savings and pensions; and, I won’t need a licence to go out of the end of my street.

    PS. JR, you will be aware that Mr Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has been lobbying the EU, to get our tax haven Bermuda, off the EU blacklist. Yes, I know, Treasury ministers talk the talk on clamping down on tax avoidance; but, God forbid they should ever be caught walking the walk on it. Hence, as my Bank is closing down customer accounts in our Jersey tax haven, should I try Bermuda, or not? 😉

  50. RB
    February 2, 2016

    It is bad enough that Mr Cameron has reneged so badly and so almost completely on what he promised in his Bloomberg speech.

    It is worse that he now paints his “deal” as a great success.

    It is just simple contempt for us that he goes further and says that on the basis of the “reform” he has secured if he had to vote today to join the EU he would.

    It is breathtaking. Even though I knew we would be hereabouts I am still furious.

    1. RB
      February 3, 2016

      It is breathtaking. Even though I knew we would be hereabouts I am still furious.

      It is breathtaking.
      This is a pivotal moment in history and our hopes and prayers are with John Redwood and fellow men of principle and honour with a sense of history and duty, at this time.

  51. John
    February 2, 2016

    It’s hard for me to decide which is more disappointing; the fact that Cameron has come back with pretty much nothing or the fact that he is prancing around trying to pretend he’s achieved major concessions from them.

  52. Linday McDougall
    February 2, 2016

    David Cameron just sent me an e-mail boasting about his progress. Below is my reply:

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Yours may be one of those ‘no reply’ e-mails but here goes.

    If the UK – or any other non-Euro Member State – doesn’t want to get sucked into a German dominated European SuperState, it shouldn’t sign federalist treaties. So please repeal:
    – The bit about ‘ever closer union’ in the original Act signing us up to the Treaty of Rome;
    – The parts of the Single European Act that promise more integration later;
    – Our Acts of Accession to the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties; and
    – Anything else that implies that ‘Europe’ is a single state.

    Do it, do it unilaterally and do it now. Then our real negotiations can begin.

    Kind Regards,

    Lindsay McDougall

    PS 70% of Conservative Party members want to leave the EU. It’s you who is out of step.

  53. Russell Rimmer
    February 2, 2016

    For me, a vote to remain in the E.U. would be like taking part in the ‘Last Ever’ General election whereby the winner would stay in power forever. A one party state, where like it or not, you will never again be able to vote them out.
    If the ‘OUT’ campaign only receives one vote, you can rest assured it will be mine.

  54. bluedog
    February 2, 2016

    Exactly, Dr JR. Sovereignty is the matter at hand and the EU is an existential threat to the sovereignty of the UK. Indeed, that sovereignty was eclipsed by the Treaty of Lisbon and the British PM now seeks the permission of the EU for some minor concessions of a largely conditional nature.

    Imagine that! The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has to negotiate with a European bureaucracy before being able to act freely in the interests of the British electorate.

    Such has been the effectiveness of pro-EU propagandists that a large number of people see nothing exceptional in this state of affairs. It is quite remarkable how subservient attitudes have become in just two generations of EU membership. Unless there is a clean break with the EU very soon, one shudders to think how Britain will be after another two generations of EU rule and re-education.

  55. Bob
    February 2, 2016

    The television producer and director Martin Durkin is seeking crowd funding for a documentary making the case for Brexit.

    Mr Redwood, Could you have a word with Mr Cameron and see if he could arrange a grant from TV Licencing for the project, since the BBC will be supporting the case to remain funded be the taxpayer.

  56. RB
    February 2, 2016

    If we can veto a new law then we return power to UK voters and their Parliament. Nothing else works.

    BBC News at 6 reported this as bullet points which more than implied we could stop new EU laws on our own.

  57. PAulDirac
    February 2, 2016

    Even if we are fools enough to believe this plan will be executed as stated, then in four years time our “special rights” will run out.
    Exactly on time for the one million “bunch of migrants”, who arrived in 2015, to become EU passports holders, with full rights of “freedom of movement”.
    Followed, year by year, by the millions who fully intend to come in the next few years.
    Those of them who want to come here will be unstoppable, if we are still members of the EU.

  58. RB
    February 2, 2016

    The BBC says “Cameron wins over Theresa May who is a known euro-skeptic”
    What a farce, I predict the IDS will be next.

    Reply. Mrs May as Home Secretary has given powers away to the EU, and has never been a member of any Eurosceptic group

  59. RB
    February 2, 2016

    Even a failed leadership contest would send a message to the public things are seriously wrong. Is this possible?

  60. ChrisS
    February 2, 2016

    Having read the entire Tusk document there are paragraphs therein that I believe will be used agains the UK by both the Brussels elite and the European court.

    The first is :

    “Member States whose currency is not the euro shall not impede the implementation of legal acts directly linked to the functioning of the euro area and shall refrain from measures which could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of the economic and monetary union”.

    The above paragraph will provide plenty of opportunities to challenge the UK in many areas of policy and law.

    “This is without prejudice to Union mechanisms of macro-prudential oversight for the prevention and mitigation of systemic financial risks in the Union and to the existing powers of the Union institutions to take action that is necessary to respond to threats to financial stability”.

    Clearly EU institutions are reserving the right to take action against the UK and our institutions if in their opinion, they judge them to be a threat to their financial stability.
    This allows a very wide ranging opportunity to intervene in our financial markets.

    “The purpose of the principle of subsidiarity is to ensure that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen. The choice of the right level of action therefore depends, inter alia, on whether the issue under consideration has transnational aspects which cannot be satisfactorily regulated by action by Member States and on whether action at Union level would produce clear benefits by reason of its scale or effects compared with actions at the level of Member States”.

    Clearly this paragraph gives the EU the power to decide, against the wishes of a member state, that any particular competence can be taken under the control of Brussels on the sole basis that in their opinion “it would produce clear benefits by reason of its scale or effects”.

    These paragraphs are sounding alarm bells and I haven’t even been through half of the document so far. Given the long record of Mission Creep in the corridors of Brussels and the European Court, this document offers me no comfort whatsoever.

    Today Cameron has said he would want to JOIN the EU on the basis 0f this agreement.
    Nobody in their right mind would voluntarily sign up for this dog’s dinner with ongoing membership fees of £10bn a year and rising !!!!!

    It makes me ask what planet he’s actually living on.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 3, 2016

      As I recall, that “Member States whose currency is not the euro shall not impede the implementation … ” proviso reflects one agreed at the time of Maastricht.

  61. Lindsay McDougall
    February 3, 2016

    The only thing that works is unilateral repeal of those Acts of Parliament that have conceded too much power to the EU. And that is as good as exit.

Comments are closed.