Staying in the EU is the risky option

The main problems the Stay in campaign have is they do not like much of the current EU, and can’t tell us how much more centralisation there will be.

They seek to argue that the EU is just a trading club. They say they don’t want to join the Euro and the common borders, two of the crucial central features of the modern EU. Staying out of them causes all sorts of difficulties for us and the other members.

The EU is on a wild ride to political union.

The UK’s contributions to the EU have shot up in recent years. They will go on demanding more tax from us as their union will be expensive.

The UK has surrendered power after power to the EU, especially in the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon with the loss of many a veto over EU action and law making.

They will ask us to surrender more in the forthcoming Political Union Treaty, Meanwhile each Directive or regulation passed is another surrender of UK power to decide.

How much will the UK’s contribution be by 2020?
Won’t the UK be expected to contribute to the rising costs of bureaucracy and to larger regional transfers needed owing to economic failures within the Eurozone?

How many more laws will they pass that will apply to us even if we do not want them?
Will they admit that every Regulation and Directive is another area of life where we can no longer decide for ourselves? How many more will there be and do they want?

How can we trust them when they said the UK would still be free to set its own taxes and welfare benefits? We have just seen the UK cannot make minor changes to welfare, and cannot alter VAT on tampons when public and Parliament are united in wanting to do so.

Why did so many of the Stay in people want us to enter the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which did so much damage to jobs and business? Will they apologised and admit they were wrong? What have the learned from that?

Why did so many of them think we ought to enter the Euro? Why have they changed their mind?
Do they support the EU’s proposed Financial Transaction Tax, or are we right to try to avoid it?
Hoe does the UK avoid being dragged into the costs, laws and responsibilities of the Eurozone?

How did EU policy towards Ukraine work out? Has that made us more or less secure?

Being part of the EU exposes us to the Russian gas energy risk, to the political tensions on the eastern borders of the EU and to the failure of the EU to control its borders.
Staying in is the risky option.
Staying in is a wild ride to political union.


  1. bluedog
    February 2, 2016

    The desire of the Stay group for continued dependency must surely be evidence of some kind of arrested emotional development. Were they the last of their siblings to leave home, clinging to every vestige of their childhood and seemingly afraid of becoming self-sufficient? Their lack of self-confidence is most telling, and their arguments in favour of the UK surrendering itself into colonial status within the EU empire most demeaning, indeed, un-British.

    One reads, Dr JR, of a heroic victory in which Cameron has prevailed over EU President Donald Tusk who has capitulated to the force of the PM’s logic and his personality. Or is it the other way around? How on earth can an emergency measure that can only be effective once ratified by a super-majority of 55% among a disparate group of 27 individual nations (in practice 15) be any other than a non-event. The day the UK wins the right to reject EU legislation under these terms is the day there is six feet of snow on the floor of Hell. Which is another word for the EU.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      Indeed this fake renegotiation is clearly a complete joke with Cameron desperate to rush to a June vote to avoid the issues being explored properly by the public. The longer it goes on the more clear it will become that the IN side simply have no sensible lines of argument.

      Only after an out vote will any real renegotiation tax place, so everyone should vote for out in this referendum. I would vote out regardless of the offer as the EU simply could not be trusted to stick to any offer made. Even if they did ever make a sensible free trade only offer.

      The choice is between out or a death spiral to mere regions of an overtaxed & antidemocratic socialist economic basket case.

    2. DaveM
      February 2, 2016

      “How on earth can an emergency measure that can only be effective once ratified by a super-majority of 55% among a disparate group of 27 individual nations”

      Quite. And emergency measures that can only be enforced following a subjective and unquantifiable conditions!

      It’s laughable.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 2, 2016

        It is clearly a complete joke as I always suspected it would be.

      2. Timaction
        February 2, 2016

        So Vichy Dave’s, “Chamberlain” moment has arrived and not surprisingly he has been found wanting. He is an absolute Europhile quisling who must go. It is time for those true patriots to rid our Country of this weakling Prime Minister. The majority of us out here in the real world didn’t want him or vote for him. Only first past the post allows this undemocratic system and the EU to flourish. It’s time for change and Cameron and Osborne to go.
        They didn’t even turn up for the debate. Says it all!

    3. acorn
      February 2, 2016

      bluedog; would you mind if I copied your first paragraph elsewhere, it is an excellent example of the pompous, arrogant, right wing insults; that are no help whatsoever to JR’s cause.

      1. bluedog
        February 2, 2016

        Mr Acorn, if you think the first para is pompous, arrogant and no help to Dr JR, why copy it for use in another forum?

  2. The Active Citizen
    February 2, 2016

    Your articles get better and better, JR.

    I’d like to comment on vetoes, red cards, and breakthroughs, as these will be all over the news today.

    Downing St is once again being very upbeat this morning and the DT and BBC both talk about a possible veto being agreed on any new EU laws we don’t like, as part of the PM’s negotiations.

    ‘Veto’ means a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a lawmaking body. That’s not what’s (potentially) on offer.

    This veto or ‘red card’ amounts to us asking the EU to stop a proposed draft law. (Not one already in existence.) We then have to persuade a majority of other EU countries to agree with us – 55% is the figure quoted. 55% is not a veto, it’s an exercise of democracy where a majority wins. Or it would be, if the EU were a democratic institution.

    This groteque distortion of language and the truth gets even worse. According to the BBC the vote will allegedly be given to each parliamentary chamber in the EU. I looked it up and thirteen states including the UK are ‘bicameral’, ie they have two chambers. In our case it’s almost inevitable that the HoL would vote the opposite way to the HoC, thereby cancelling out our vote.

    The UK would need the votes of 23 out of 41 parliamentary chambers in the 28 countries in order to win any so-called ‘veto’ vote with a 55% majority. Not a chance, given the way we’ve been outvoted to date.

    Finally, something like this would certainly require treaty change, which the PM has not, and will not be, offered.

    How is any of this any kind of ‘breakthrough’? If No.10 describes it as such, or if it tries to use the word ‘veto’, I regret that it would be perfectly fair to call their words ‘outright lies’.

    1. alan jutson
      February 2, 2016

      Ah yes the Emergency Brake.

      Would you want to drive a car and allow someone else to control the steering wheel and brakes. ?

      No of course not.

      But that is in effect what is being offered for our Countries political and commercial future.

      Anyone who falls for this latest con trick is either just plain stupid, or has some sort of death wish.

      Let us purchase and drive our own cars, go where we want, when we want, and be responsible enough to avoid any accidents, by planning our own route and steering clear of large obstacles.

    2. Jerry
      February 2, 2016

      @TAC; “That’s not what’s (potentially) on offer.”

      How do we mere mortals (of the non politico class) know what the proposals are until published later, relying on press reports should always carry a health warning…

      “In our case it’s almost inevitable that the HoL would vote the opposite way to the HoC, thereby cancelling out our vote.”

      Perhaps next you need to “look up” how our UK parliament works, the HoL can not actually block the will of the elected government (even less so when the Salisbury Convention is held), if needed the government can use the Parliament Act, if needs-be the HoC can always revisit Lords reform, perhaps along the lines of the Wakeham Royal Commission (meaning that the HoL could only block the will of the HoC for 60 days).

      “Finally, something like this would certainly require treaty change, which the PM has not, and will not be, offered.”

      If it requires treaty change why would the EU commission (in effect) be offering it when they have said they do not want to revisit treaty change – more wishful thinking from the Brexit media perhaps?

      The Brexit groups need to tell the truth, not lies, speculation or half-truths, if it does not it will loose – the vast majority of mere mortal Plebs are not as stupid the “enlightened ones” think and actually know when the wool is being pulled (which is one reason why the near constant ranting on about migrants generally gets the Brexit debate nowhere).

      1. Jerry
        February 2, 2016

        @Jerry; My first Paragraph above, in reply to @TAC. was written before Donald Tusk’s letter/proposals were published. Oh dear Mr Cameron, you wanted to go to Birmingham but Donald has taken you on to Coventry -will anyone ever listen to you again! 🙁

    3. Tim L
      February 2, 2016

      Presumably this veto will be used by other member states against the UK’s interest?

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 2, 2016

        That was the essence of Thatcher’s argument for the wholesale abolition of national vetoes through her Single European Act, contrary to a promise on which she had campaigned vigorously to keep us in the EEC during the 1975 referendum, but without a fresh referendum to see whether we agreed with that change to the original contract; and that set the precedent for later government to do the same, until we end up now with hardly any cases where the UK can still exercise a unilateral national veto and with its mere 8% of the votes in the Council is regularly outvoted.

    4. Graham Wood
      February 2, 2016

      Silly boy! How many more times need I tell you? You can have ANY car in this showroom – as long as it’s black.

    5. Timaction
      February 2, 2016

      Cameron has shown time and time again that he was never serious about any real renegotiation and was just kicking the can down the road. So 15 out of 28 Nations have to agree a red card! Yet our population is significantly greater than most of these Countries combined and we pay 11% of the EU’s bills. Some democracy, some renegotiation. Non jobs Cameron and Osborne out of their depths big time.

  3. Leslie Singleton
    February 2, 2016

    There is a whole chunk of overpaid and very overpensioned bureaucrats sitting in Brussels, Strasburg and the countries doing nothing apart from dreaming up laws aimed at homogenisation, which nobody wants. If I want to feel at home I can just stay at home TVM. What chance is there that these people will decide to wind themselves down? Zero of course–they have too good a deal. Accordingly some new proposal or other is going to arise regularly forever so we must get out from under now. One looks back (in anger) and wonders where we would have been without Lisbon (Wasn’t that just the tidying-up exercise–what a joke)? If we had said No the only effect would have been a few politicians might have been unpopular with the EU – SFW. Brown should be attainted. I can scarcely believe what I have just read about Cameron and the fact that he has come back with “a” deal (and even that subject to approval). The fact that it is irrelevant piffle doesn’t seem to matter. Does he really believe that this deal represents the “fundamental change” he said he’d die in a ditch for?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 2, 2016

      They simply care not what damage and harm they do to others. So long as someone gives then a good salary, a pleasant office, tax incentives and good pension then they are perfectly happy to be damaging everyone else’s productivity, their businesses, destroying their jobs and standards of living.

      I see that Rowan Williams, Lord Rees and other such dopes have written to Oxford and Cambridge to suggest they pursue more “morally sound” investment policies that have no basis in fossil fuels. A few of the physicists, scientists and engineers who have signed are sometimes quite sensible and should have known better – but perhaps they have grants applications dependent on being fake green. If Rowan William supports something one can be fairly sure it is totally wrong headed, irrational, based of belief (unsupported by evidence or logic) and usually very damaging.

      A far more sensible and honest line comes from Matt Ridley: WIND MAKES ELECTRICITY EXPENSIVE AND UNRELIABLE WITHOUT CUTTING EMISSIONS

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 2, 2016

      Norwegian anti-EU campaigners say that by their calculations Norway is only having to accept about 9% of new EU laws under the EEA agreement which gives it access to the EU’s Single Market:

      “Some people say that Norway is forced to accept all EU regulations. In fact, despite the EEA agreement, most EU regulations do not apply to Norway. Between 2000 and 2013, Norway adopted 4,723 directives and regulations through the EEA agreement. In the same period, the EU adopted 52,183 pieces of legislation. Of all EU legislation, only 9 per cent was adopted into the EEA agreement.”

      So if only 9% of new EU laws are actually necessary for the Single Market, what about the other 91%? Presumably many of those nine tenths of new EU laws, in round figures, have little point other than the furtherance of “ever closer union”, and so fall within your category of “laws aimed at homogenisation, which nobody wants”. Or at least we don’t want, that’s for sure.

      1. The Active Citizen
        February 2, 2016

        Denis, good post. I saved that article too.

        Simple soundbite for Leave MPs and Leave campaign representatives:

        “Norway only adopts 9% of EU laws and directives. We have to adopt %100. If we leave we don’t have to adopt any.”

        This can be used whenever some Remainer says we don’t want to be like Norway, having to obey all the laws but with no influence over them.

        I know there are many other arguments about the Norwegian model and I’m not advocating it at all, but it’s obvious that Leavers being interviewed need much better bite-sized answers which will get through to people fast and counter the lies.

        1. Denis Cooper
          February 2, 2016

          Still having to accept 9% of new EU laws would not be ideal, but it would be a damn sight better than having to accept 100%, and the present EEA need not be the end of our journey.

          On a notional calculation leaving the EU but staying in the EEA would mean that instead of our Parliament having 54% control over our new laws it would have 95% control, or putting it the other way round we would go from having 45% out of our control to only 5%.

  4. Mick
    February 2, 2016

    Good morning Mr Redwood I do like reading your blogs and listening to what you have to say on TV about the eu, I couldn’t disagree with anything you say on it because it’s all true, you seem to get more coverage than Nigel Farage and people seem to listen to what you have to say and don’t rush to turn the tv off when you appear on the tv, so why won’t you be the figure head for the out campaign we stand a better chance of getting out of the dreaded eu with you fronting us for out

    Reply There is no job as Head of the Leave campaign. The campaign will doubtless have various voices and faces. I am always happy to serve as the media and colleagues allow.

  5. Lifelogic
    February 2, 2016

    Spot on as usual.

    Why did so many of the Stay In people want us to enter the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which did so much damage to jobs and business? Will they apologised and admit they were wrong? What have the learned from that?

    One assumes they are just rather dim or all pro EU religious dreamers – what other explanation is there?

    Why did so many of them think we ought to enter the Euro? Why have they changed their mind?

    The same reason stupidity. Furthermore they have changed their minds (perhaps only temporarily) only for reasons related to public opinion.

    Why are these pro EU, ERM, EURO, no nation, dreamers nearly always the same ones who support all the green loon religious agenda too? A lack of any logic or reasoning genes perhaps?

    1. Alan
      February 2, 2016

      The debates on the ERM and the euro were about 20 or 15 years ago. It doesn’t seem very helpful for the current situation to debate them now.

      I would be interesting in debating them as a matter of historical discussion. For example I see both the ERM and the euro as mechanisms that might have caused us to get our balance of payments problems under control, and I regret that the ERM was not successful (because of errors in the way we went about it) and that we did not join the euro. We get a lot of the advantages of the euro even by not joining, because we gain from so many countries all using the same currency so that we can more easily trade with a large group of countries, and we can travel to them without having to carry many different currencies (remember all those Belgian coins that went out of use before you next got back to Brussels?). We could have the further economy of not having to pay large commissions to banks and foreign exchange companies every time we change currencies if we joined the euro now.

      I’m never arguing that the EU is a perfect institution. I do argue that we should be trying to make it better, not trying to leave, or to obstruct it. The question of leave or remain is about whether we should be in or out of the EU, not about what its policies should be.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 3, 2016

        You regret that the ERM was not successful (because of errors in the way we went about it) and that we did not join the euro.

        Are you totally mad? It was quite obvious that the ERM and the EURO were going to end in disaster, to anyone who thought it through. Why follow the same fools who got all these things so wrong back then?

  6. Jerry
    February 2, 2016

    “The UK has surrendered power after power to the EU, especially in the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon with the loss of many a veto over EU action and law making. “

    No surprise that you failed to mention either the Single European Act nor the Treaty of Maastricht, both signed by governments you were a part of.

    When will those on the right of the Brexit debate realise that this is not a party political issue, mistakes have been made on all sides, that during the 1980s much of the right was very pro-EEC whilst the left was not. By not acknowledging the past failed policies towards the (now) EU the right are just leaving themselves open to accusations of being eurosceptic because their political ideals have fallen out of favour.

    “They will ask us to surrender more in the forthcoming Political Union Treaty”

    Not to mention TTIP… But yes, and that is why it is important to hammer home that it is a choice between a Brexit or a USoE, what ever David Cameron and Donald Tusk wish us to believe.

    “We have just seen the UK cannot make minor changes to welfare, and cannot alter VAT on tampons when public and Parliament are united in wanting to do so. “

    Nor remove the last 5% VAT on energy, after a Tory government imposed VAT on what had been one of the exempt areas, funny how the right only want to talk about Tampons… Oh and a minor changes to welfare is often a major change to those affected, even more so when those affected are the same people the Brexit groups need support from – quite a few born and breed British quite like the idea of migrant labour allowing them to sit on JSA rather than cut cabbages all day!

    The Brexit campaign needs to be NON party political, almost truth and reconciliation, mistakes have been made on all political sides when it comes to our relationship with the EEC/EC/EU (etc.) right from the get-go in the 1950s.

  7. Paul H
    February 2, 2016

    You are writing some truly excellent stuff but are, of course, largely preaching to the choir here. The question is how to get these kind of messages out in a sufficiently digestible form to fight the fear factor that will be deployed by the remainers. I see no strategy emerging for this – so far all we seem to see is the leave campaigns fighting amongst themselves. Maybe a sense of urgency will now kick in and bring everyone to their senses. Maybe.

    Reply I am also putting these views out on other people’s media and in their publications. These papers are available to the Leave campaign and have been sent to them.

    1. Alan
      February 2, 2016

      But it is the Eurosceptics who are deploying the fear factor here – talking about a ‘wild ride’ to a political union. You yourself make the point that the leave campaigns argue amongst themselves. They seem to me to have contradictory policies on what happens after we vote to leave. If we vote to stay then things stay as they are. If we vote to leave something – anything – could happen, because we don’t know which policy will be followed. No negotiation on leaving has even started yet, no preparations have been made, so far as I am aware. There is just an assumption that everything will be all right.

      If pointing out that the leave campaign don’t have a coherent policy is fear mongering, then I suppose I am guilty, but it seems to me quite a reasonable point to make.

      Reply 160 plus countries around the world trade with the EU successfully whilst not being members. We know exactly what being a non member is like as most countries are not members!

  8. Alan
    February 2, 2016

    When Eurosceptics complain to me about EU legislation I usually ask them which particular EU regulation has adversely affected them personally, and quite often they have no reply. Mr Redwood’s post seems to me a bit like that. He says the EU is on a wild ride to political union. The idea of the EU being on a ‘wild ride’ to anything is laughable, since it has great problems with fast decision making. As examples of this ‘wild ride’ he quotes VAT on tampons and Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine (which he seems to blame on the EU). He goes back 20 years to point to policies on the exchange rate mechanism and the euro that he believes were mistaken, but since they were never put into effect we can make no judgement on their outcome. This must be the most peaceful ‘wild ride’ ever.

    I wonder if the Eurosceptics describe staying in the EU as risky mainly to distract attention from their own lack of detailed policies. If we vote to leave we are voting for polices that are not spelled out, and where a variety of mutually exclusive options are proposed. We know what we get if we remain in the EU. We do not know what we will get if we vote to leave. Now, that is a risk.

    Reply The ERM was put into action and did huge damage to the companies and businesses that recommended it. I often write on EU legislation which is damaging – e.g. the whole raft of energy and water directives.

    1. alan jutson
      February 2, 2016


      I will ask you again have you read the “Five Presidents Report”

      That fully explains the EU’s future wishes.

      I prefer to live my life the way I want to, and make my own choices and yes perhaps make the odd mistake.
      Better that, than obey slave like what my neighbour wants me to do.

    2. Richard1
      February 2, 2016

      Examples of bad EU legislation which affects many and in some cases all of us in the UK’s include: the common agricultural policy (high food prices, mandatory subsidies for farmers across the EU and protectionism vs developing countries); the common fisheries policy (clearly terrible for the U.K.’s fishing sector), the common energy policy (subsidies for useless wind farms, prevention of shale gas and increased dependency on Russian gas), the social chapter – working time directive etc – which damages so many service sectors where applied, most financial legislation such as interference in the management of financial institutions and a possible financial transactions tax – hugely to the detriment of the City of London, the open borders policy, which means even out of Shengen we cannot control who comes to the UK and can make claims on the UK taxpayer once they have EU citizenship, the EU foreign and defence policy which seems to be set up as an alternative to NATO and the transatlantic partnership, to the detriment of European security. Is that enough?

      I have a question for you: what are the good things about the EU – which EU policies – other than free trade which we don’t seem to need EU memembership for – are good for us?

  9. agricola
    February 2, 2016

    You ask the questions we have all been asking. The answers should be forthcoming from your leader of diminishing aspirations re. our relationship with the EU. His presence at the dispatch box should be demanded to account for his unwavering devotion to all things EU. A love affair that offers him a ride to hell in a handcart.

    I would point out that the subject of immigration, pivotal in the run up to the referendum, is not a banned subject in those venues where the thought police hold no sway. Nor is discussing it racist so have no fear. It is a long overdue subject in your excellent rebuttal of reasons to remain within the EU.

    Reply I started with it! I have often written on it. IN my tv interviews I usually lead on controlling our borders.

  10. Richard1
    February 2, 2016

    The Argument of the Stay campaign is changing and is now along lines: not that the EU is working, it’s that it isn’t working, but the EU has been key to underpinning liberal democracy, the rule of law, diplomatic dialogue and free trade in Europe for the last 50 years. Along with NATO’s deterrent to the Soviet Union, it has therefore been a force for peace and prosperity. The EU is now under threat – partly of its own making – mainly from the disaster of the euro and the migrant crisis. Nationalist (and in most cases socialist) populist parties are on the rise in Greece, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary etc. The U.K. Will inevitably be affected by instability in Europe – therefore, argues the Stay campaign, the UK should not leave as this would further undermine the EU and make the UK less relevant in sorting out the mess. What would you say to that?

    Reply The UK leaving helps stabilise the Euro area as it removes an obstacle to the faster political union they need.

    1. Richard1
      February 2, 2016

      Yes although I think the euro can only possibly work if 4 or more weaker members leave. The EU needs to be re-worked probably from scratch.

  11. s
    February 2, 2016

    I feel the most dreadful sense of deja-vu when I hear what is coming out of Downing St.

    I am old enough to remember clearly the arguments about joining what became the EU during the 60s and 70s. In 1975 I was still innocent enough to vote In because I believed that we were being offered only an economic Union.

    We are being fed the same obfuscating, dangerous tosh now as we were then; I have seen and heard our host on radio and TV explaining clearly the whole situation, yet I have picked up little evidence of any other Eurosceptic MP working as hard. I live in a ‘true Blue’ constituency, yet my MP has made no effort to communicate his views on this massively important matter to his voters.

  12. Antisthenes
    February 2, 2016

    The leavers have most certainly won the argument but I believe the remain inners will win the vote. Too few of the British public are interested or knowledgeable enough or understand how debilitating to the UK economy and society and to them that being a member of the EU is. Vested interests have succeeded in indoctrinating and deceiving the public so as to let them control how our society thinks and acts. Groups like the Greens with their climate change scam, progressives with their anti civil liberties PC and their dumbing down of society for the sake of equality, lefties with their anti capitalist statism and Europhiles with their delusional EU superstate vision. None of which is designed to benefit society as a whole but only to benefit certain groups within that society.

    All bad things eventually become exposed because the very fact that they are bad they cause damage and that is in the end felt by a large number of the people. Then the people say enough is enough and they act to change it. So it will be with all those vested interest groups policies and actions I mention above. Over time all will be discarded.

    So it will be with the EU we may vote to remain in but it will not be permanent. I foresee that it will collapse at some point as it is an unsustainable project. It cannot drunkenly reel from one crisis to the next, it cannot continue to interfere with the governance of it’s member states and act to do it even more without causing friction and disharmony. It cannot continue with it’s interstate redistribution of wealth on the scale that it does the taxpayer will not put up with it. And so many other appalling things it does far numerous to mention here. No the EU is doomed. The only question is when it’s demise will come and how much harm will it have done before then. Of course a vote to leave will immune us from that but then we will have to turn our attention on discrediting and neutralising all the other vested interest groups.

    1. M Davis
      February 2, 2016


      Although dated 2006, this is still very relevant:
      Vladimir Bukovksy, the 63-year old former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union. In a speech he delivered in Brussels last week (2006) Mr Bukovsky called the EU a “monster” that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fullfledged totalitarian state.

      “The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.” ― Mikhail Gorbachev

  13. MIke Stallard
    February 2, 2016

    Isn’t it funny how old men and women use out of date metaphors? I love the kick start BSA motorbike analogy. Also the “you cannot get a cigarette paper between them” schtick from anti-smokers!
    Now we have the “emergency Brake” and the “Red Card”. Has Sepp Blatter been paid to advise these people?

    Has Mr Cameron really not read the Fundamental Law of the European Union from the Spinelli Group? Has he not seen the recent statement from Andrew Duff that Associate Membership has probably been withdrawn? Has he not listened to the State of the Union Speech of President Juncker? Or read the Five Presidents’ Report?
    Last night on the News, Mr Tusk was introduced as the “top bureaucrat” in the EU.
    Says it all really.

    1. MikeP
      February 2, 2016

      …yes a “top bureaucrat” who we never elected yet is the person to whom DC has to present his meagre begging bowl. Pathetic isn’t it?

  14. John Bracewell
    February 2, 2016

    Another excellent article. The ’emergency measure’ being discussed is just that, it expires in 5 or 7(?) years, so then the UK is back to square one. That is not bringing powers back to the UK it is just a temporary ploy by the PM/EU to try to get the vote they want in the referendum, it has no lasting significance.
    A Stay in vote is not a vote for the status quo which it is being portrayed as in the media, it is a vote for final capitulation in the EU’s drive to create one country, the USoE. Then all semblance of democracy would have been removed from the UK.

  15. oldtimer
    February 2, 2016

    All good questions to which we await the answers, probably in vain.

    The number 55% has been bandied about on the media. I do not yet know or understand what it means or implies. But will it be any better than before if the EZ members decide, en bloc, to vote en bloc? If not, then this would simply enshrine the principle that the UK accepted being out voted by the EZ group on any and every issue as they are already the majority group. Sounds like a classic smoke and mirrors grab for power to me and the final surrender by Cameron.

  16. Bert Young
    February 2, 2016

    I voted “Out” before and I will vote “Out” again . If democracy means anything in this country it has to mean that our MPs really do represent us . If MPs are not the will of the people our voting system is nothing .

    The leaks emerging from the talks between Tusk and Cameron so far suggest that if we want to object to some constraint from the EU we will need to persuade 55% of the EU countries to agree with us . This condition is worthless . We will not gain anywhere near the independence that is required to satisfy me from the negotiations taking place now and before mid February . The EU is a defunct mechanism and we must not be a part of its shambles .

    1. Yosarion
      February 2, 2016

      I would get a researcher to find out how many time 55% of the EUSSR has voted with us on any matter over the last forty Years, that should make very interesting reading.

  17. MikeP
    February 2, 2016

    Having watched yet another interview on BBC, it’s clear that the main thrust for Remain is to emphasise that the Leave camp can’t say what life will be like if we vote out, so leaving is a huge risk. Their other tactic is – without exception – to talk over the replies of their opponents so valid ripostes don’t get heard. Ironically, given everything that the EU has imposed against our will in the past, the Remain camp DEFINITELY can’t say what life will be like if we stay in but that point is never heard !!

    So John your campaign spokespeople have got to understand that they’re not bound by the good manners and etiquette of an Oxford debate, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a struggle, to open the eyes of the British electorate to what the EU is really like, what we know it has done and will continue to do to us, what the Remain camp is hiding from everyone, and the huge benefits to our children and grandchildren of regaining our freedom and Sovereignty.
    The key to this is NOT to put up weak campaigners who will politely give way to mouthy opponents and pushy interviewers but speakers who are strong, lucid, well-briefed and media-savvy.

  18. Ian wragg
    February 2, 2016

    So now we have it. Significant reform a la CMD. An emergency brake controlled by Brussels and a veto on legislation providing 55% agree.
    Does the PM really believe he can fool the public so easily. No treaty change just vague promises.
    He has made himself and Britain the laughing stock of Europe. We now have the likes of Malta and Bulgaria controlling our tax funded benefits system.
    etc ed This could spell the end of the Tory party.

    February 2, 2016

    Risky for UK news media.
    The only news for the best part of 24 hours on the Cameron/Tusk dinner negotiations came firstly, at about midnight, from an off-the-cuff comment by Mr Tusk that the dinner was over. The nation breathed a sigh of relief.

    The next bit of news, remarkably came again from Mr Tusk perhaps 8 hours later. Even more astonishing it came from his Twitter account:-
    ” No deal yet. Intensive work in next 24 crucial. ”

    On Budget Day we shall just have to wait and see on Twitter what Mr Tusk has decided…more tax, less tax, welfare benefits adjustments…oh, but he’s already deciding that in advance of Budget Day. Silly me.

  20. They Work for Us?
    February 2, 2016

    The first task must be to immediately expose the proposed settlement as giving us nothing trying to be dressed up as something. There is no regain of sovereignty, finances or control of our borders.
    The second task is to prevent a rapid rush to have the referendum in June to minimise the time in which the EU can expose itself to be undemocratic, incompetent and out of control of immigration. The EU project supporters can only manage to be on “best behaviour” for a limited time before some disaster Them or they continue to show their true colours.

  21. Yosarion
    February 2, 2016

    Have they changed their minds on the Euro, Ken Clarke when asked that very question within the last couple of weeks twisted and turned and said now is not the time and he can’t see it happening in his lifetime, but who knows what future generations may want, as Adams used to say,”they haven’t gone away”

  22. Stu
    February 2, 2016


    Now repeat at every possible opportunity.

    I am very worried by the split in Leave campaigns they must unite or fail

    1. MikeP
      February 2, 2016

      …Dan Hannan, Boris and Digby Jones to the rescue …?

  23. fedupsoutherner
    February 2, 2016

    Good post John. Found it a little difficult to read as I was crying with so much laughter over the absurd claims Cameron is making. The man gets worse every time we have to listen to him.

  24. Paul Cohen
    February 2, 2016

    Watching the odious Claude Juncker giving CMD a pat on the cheek and a high five really annoyed me – can you imagine Winston Churchill responding to that?

    Will we now get a serious debate where the points of both sides are made and heard in a proper setting? – not a Question Time type knockabout, and with some serious and knowledgeable participants including of course JR. ITV may have a real opportunity here to show the BBC how to conduct a proper unbiased and informative event.

  25. miami.mode
    February 2, 2016

    Your point on national security is very valid but David Cameron and others of his persuasion constantly say that being in the EU helps us in this respect. However, as any EU country can grant citizenship to whoever they wish with the consequent EU passport and free movement, then basically we are subcontracting much of our security to those that may not be quite as concerned as we are.

  26. turbo terrier
    February 2, 2016

    Jackanory, jackanory, jackanory CMD is telling stories and that is a long way from the truth.

    Until the talking is over and ratified all it is is telling stories.

    Those who are signing up to what might be on offer sadly goes to show the poor standard of a lot of our politicians that cannot and will not put this nation first. All what may be agreed can be turned over in the blink of an eye a few years down the track.

    Nothing being talked about will stop the immigrants coming or will give us back full control of our laws and borders

    Sadly once and yet again our Prime Minister is falling far short of what the people of this country expect and demand.

    The only light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming down the same track.

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