Why travel in a car that needs at least half a dozen emergency brakes?

The government is busy trying to retrofit the EU car with emergency brakes to stop it being driven in a direction the UK does not wish to go. Why not get out of the vehicle and get into our own, and drive it where we wish?

The government inherited an effective emergency brake fitted to stop us having to enter the Euro, written into the Treaty.

We also have an emergency brake applied to keep us out of Schengen, but the free movement rules work round its effectiveness.

The government originally wanted an emergency brake to limit inward EU migration. This idea seems to have been dropped.

The government is negotiating an emergency brake for benefits to EU migrants. Unfortunately the one on offer is not in our control and could be overturned by later Court judgements or Council decisions.

The government is seeking an emergency brake to stop future requirements needed by the Eurozone from applying to the UK.

The government claimed to have an emergency brake in place to keep us out of all Euro area bail outs, yet we were dragged into the short term loan for Greece last summer.

When a country needs as many special arrangements as this you need to ask if it is in the right institution.

The only emergency brake that works is one in the sole control of the UK and written into the Treaty.

None of these new proposed brakes are to be written into the Treaty, so they can easily be ignored or overridden at a later date.

If the car you are in needs six emergency brakes because the driver is going in the wrong direction for you, maybe it is time to get your own car and drive it yourself.

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130 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Very good indeed as usual (on this subject!), but what one never sees is anything on who “we” are, as against “them” on the other side of the Channel. This is it in a nutshell. The EU lovers are very happy, in their dreams, to drive a bigger car of their artificial construction and drive that car wherever they wish. If they win, there is no “we” any more, as in we in the UK and in our own car. Brotherhood-of-man types would say, despite its being the most natural thing in the world, that discussion on anything like this is racist, xenophobic, not PC and all the rest. I don’t hate anyone but do want control of the UK’s borders. For some reason I am reminded of Ronald Reagan with his, Trust everybody but cut the cards. If I want to go to, say, Italy I want to go to Italy and have no desire to feel at home, rather the opposite. There is hope following Cameron’s having self-evidently labelled himself a fraud and a liar.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      “Fraud and a liar”.
      I too feel betrayed. I trusted Mr Cameron. He seems a decent, happily married, cultured old Etonian man. He has also had the privilege (I am not being cynical, I mean it) of personal tragedy. That makes him human.
      Now?
      I cannot understand what he is doing unless it is clever clever Blair type antics to keep us in his own version of the Bullingdon Club.
      Mr Redwood, I would not be in your shoes for anything.

      • A different Simon
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Quote “I too feel betrayed. I trusted Mr Cameron.”

        The trouble is Mr Cameron is so convincing .

        You could tell Nick Clegg never believed a word Nick Clegg uttered but with Cameron you just don’t know when he is telling the truth .

        Does Mr Cameron know when he is telling the truth or is it all just bullshit ?
        Blair’s pronouncements became almost axiomatic – if Blair said something it became the new truth .

        Sometimes I even think Cameron is serious about pulling the UK out of the EU if he doesn’t get the reforms the UK requires .

        It seems as if the PPE course at Oxford exists to indoctrinate prospective politicians and teach them how to lie even more proficiently .

        • getahead
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          “Sometimes I even think Cameron is serious about pulling the UK out of the EU if he doesn’t get the reforms the UK requires .”
          No, I always felt that was too good to be true.
          Cameron deceit at its best.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            I will eat my hat if Cameron ever says we should leave.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            No if no buts about it, you can take it as a cast iron guarantee from the “authentic” master of lies, spin & deceit. The greencrap, hug a husky or hoody call me Dave. But always remember that a treaty is not a treaty once ratified and he is, at heart, a low tax Eurosceptic Conservative, but also one who puts up taxes almost every other day and hates any residual UK democracy or self determination.

            “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

            ― Mark Twain

            This is clearly long overdue for Cameron – and Osborne is the last person we want to replace him he is even worse.

            Sincerity – if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

            ― George Burns

            At least John Major had the excuse of exceptional vacuity. Even Heath must have genuinely thought the common market was a good idea at the time. Cameron has seen the disaster that is the EU, the EURO, the ERM, CAP, the common fishing policy and all the other disasters and yet he still wants more of it. This while lying consistently to the voters and MPs before election just to get elected.

            Vote leave and lets see no more of this appalling traitor.

        • turbo terrier
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          A.D.S

          Quote “I too feel betrayed. I trusted Mr Cameron.”

          The trouble is Mr Cameron is so convincing .

          No one in this country can feel betrayed simply because when you enter into negotiations about anything you do not start at the bottom of your expectations and go down. Inreality he was asking for three fifths of zilch. Everyman and his dog knew that it would come to this but most will be in denial and out of fear driven by the media will close their eyes and ears and hope for the best.

          In negotiations you start very high and if necessary you can come down, this is a skill developed by any good salesperson worth their pay. Anybody can give it away and that is what Mr Cameron is doing. He will not be nominated for the salesman of the year award. The rough and tumble skills of negotiations are learnt in the school of hard knocks of industry and business and with the majority of poor salespersons when they are found out that their project knowledge, customer, supplier expectations is found wanting they lie AKA Tory Manifesto on Europe and Immigration. The first thing that should be taught on all PPE courses is how to UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER. Rocket science it is not.

          If ever this nation needed a reason to leave the EU or Prime Ministers dealing with this matter is abysmal and at present the perception among a lot of the electorate I feel is that we are or have been sold down the river. Why should we be dictated to by 27 other countries? same old same old

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Sometimes I even think Cameron is serious about pulling the UK out of the EU if he doesn’t get the reforms the UK requires

          Oh, please, nobody ever thought he was serious when he said this. He keeps repeating it but it is clearly bull. I think he seriously believes what he has achieved (virtually nothing) is going to appease us all. Deranged or what?

        • Ken Moore
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Mr Cameron is a good salesman for sure complete with his factory floor appearances, rolled up sleeves and the power gestures his advisors have instructed him to do.
          He is the most dangerous of politicians – one with no principle but simply driven by a superhuman ambition for power at all costs.

          In my experience trust in Cameron is NEVER rewarded – there is always a hidden agenda driven by the motives of a very narrow elite. His so called re-negotiation isn’t good enough for Britain and I sincerely hope our host will be asking him some tough questions in the HOC.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Well Cameron, clearly always was it seems, at heart, a pro EU, tax increasing, borrow and waste, green crap pushing, pointless warmonger, pension and landlord thieving, cast iron, no if no buts, kick all the Tory voters in the teeth, long grass renegotiation con, Ted Heath, John Major, Ken Clark type of ratter to his very core. It seems most of the Tory MP as just the same.

        He just mouthed a few of the right things shortly before the leadership and his other elections – then he forgot them a day or two latter. He is just another, wrong on every issue, LibDim. Just like the appalling Clegg, Huhne, Davey, Shirley Williams, Vince Cable and the rest of the totally deluded dopes.

        We saw how popular they all were at the last election.

        He only scraped back in due to the uselessness of Ed Milliband and his Ed stone and the threat of the SNP.

        He says he would even go into the EU with the current deal. The man is beneath contempt. He is now trying to rush a referendum through to try to slant the field of play. He is surely beneath contempt.

        • MikeP
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Come on Lifelogic, don’t mince your words, what do you really think? LOL

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          Do as I do, think about cancer before you have a glass of wine, says chief medical officer says Dame Sally Davies.

          What a cheery message for the nation!

          It seems the recent gender neutral PC drink guidance is nonsense as:

          A. Men being rather larger on average can indeed take rather more alcohol before damage ensues.

          B. They are based on figures using data form what people “say” they drink. Yet we know from actually sales figures that they actually actually drink 2-3 times as much as they say. Perhaps then times them by 2.5 to get the real position.

          Perhaps the government or the statistics office should correct their misleading guidance?

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            I’ll drink to that…hic…

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            Dear Lifelogic–I have tried many times to say that men and women have to be identical these days and I wasn’t kidding or even exaggerating

          • zorro
            Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes, think about cancer before you breathe will doubtless be the next advice from Dame Sally…. Hopefully, that will kill off enough people who might vote Brexit in their cunning plan! To all those who seem somewhat surprised by dear old Cast Elastic’s super strength deal with the EU, all I can say is that he is called Mr Slippery for a reason ? ……

            zorro

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic, eloquently put!!

  2. DaveM
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    What concerns me is not that “None of these new proposed brakes are to be written into the Treaty”, but what else is likely to be written into such a treaty.

    Does the PM genuinely believe people are going to fooled by this? It’s beyond a joke.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Dear Dave–There are so many aspects to the joke–Call me ignorant but I rather thought that it was a given and well accepted that without a Treaty change nothing was being achieved because some foreign Court or other could subsequently override just like that, or some President or other could simply opine that what has just been agreed (subject to approval–a joke in itself) is merely political, as happened last year on something we thought we had agreed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      In a recent FT article it was claimed that Osborne had steered Cameron away from asking for any “upfront treaty change”. In fact there are two instances in Tusk’s draft proposals where it is acknowledged that treaty change would be required, but in both cases it is to be deferred to some indeterminate point in the future.

      First in Section A here:

      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/02/david-camerons-draft-eu-deal-full-text/

      relates to proposed measures to protect the position of the non-euro EU member states, including their exemption from participation in any future eurozone bailouts – an exemption which Cameron claimed to have already secured back in 2011, as his quid pro quo for agreeing to the EU treaty change demanded by Merkel to provide a legal base for the European Stability Mechanism.

      The second in Section C relates to “ever closer union”, where it is said:

      “It is recognised that the United Kingdom, in the light of the specific situation it has under the Treaties, is not committed to further political integration into the European Union. [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.]”

      Here they are cynically relying on a wide public acceptance of the myth that it is impossible to make any treaty changes without “reopening” the EU treaties in a thorough-going major “revision” like that which led to the Lisbon Treaty.

      The fact that there have been at least four changes made to the EU treaties since the Lisbon Treaty came into force on December 1st 2009 is, shall we say, not given a lot of publicity.

      And two of those EU treaty changes have been made through new stand-alone protocols added to the treaties without having to delve into the main text, the most recent being this one agreed in 2012, which is now just as much an integral part of the EU treaties as any part put in at the time of the last major revision:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:060:0131:0139:EN:PDF

      “PROTOCOL on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon”

      In that the EU member states “agreed upon the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”, thereby making them an integral part of the treaties.

      There is absolutely no technical reason why the treaty changes envisaged in Tusk’s draft proposals will have to wait until the next major treaty revision, whenever that may be; they could be negotiated, agreed and signed as a protocol BEFORE the referendum, and one has to ask why that is not being proposed.

  3. The Active Citizen
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    So, no rabbits and no hats. MPs and Leave representatives need to be much clearer than they were yesterday. The PM’s negotiation on only four points has turned out to be a humiliating fiasco and he’s achieved nothing meaningful at all.

    If you add in all the promises he made in the last six years, including the 2010 and 2015 Manifestos, his failure to achieve any kind of ‘fundamental change in our relationship with the EU’ has been abject and embarrassing.

    After the PM’s negotiations would I still vote to leave…? “I sure would.”

    Looking ahead constructively, we now have to win the Referendum. Vote Leave and Leave.EU have to merge in the next week – no matter what collateral damage to one or two individuals may occur.

    I suggest a ‘war cabinet’ of cross-party MPs and prominent individuals be formed, with specific tasks set around their particular areas of expertise. In this way, the Leave side could have a spokesman for each of the key areas of policy. Much easier for the media – and for the public – to understand and follow, and a more efficient use of resources all round.

    I propose the principle of collective responsibility be agreed. For example a common exit strategy should be quickly debated internally and all should adhere to that. The simpler the better in my view.

    In General Elections, divided parties generally lose. The Leave side must present a united front in order to win.

    Strategy: In the last 20 years we’ve seen just how important a winning political strategy can be. I’ve yet to discern a credible one in either of the main Leave campaigns. Again, this must be agreed so we have some structure to the campaign. Rest assured that the pro-EU ‘Britain Stagnating in Europe’ campaign will have one. Their messages are already more powerful and consistent than ours.

    The positive news is that the trend is our friend. The EU just can’t help itself crashing from one crisis (of its own making) to another. The immigration calamity will inevitably worsen, as will civil discontent on the continent and at home. The Eurozone will face another crisis over Greece, and other EZ countries will continue to suffer. Expect to see France and Italy’s economies in the headlights this year, as well as those of smaller EU countries.

    These external factors will help. In fact without them I’m convinced we’ll lose.

    The key things are a committed, organised, and unified campaign, and simple reasons why we’ll be better off out – for jobs, our prosperity, our security, and our way of life.

    If the Leave side now gets its act together, we have a good chance of restoring Britain’s sovereignty and going forward into a very bright future for all of us.

    • getahead
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      “Their messages are already more powerful and consistent than ours.”
      Because they have access to the public media.
      What you are in effect saying is that pro-EU campaign, although it cannot produce any positive reason for staying, has the BBC pushing out its daily sneer and fear propaganda.
      And it is the BBC that (forgive me) the sheeple pay attention to.
      It seems to me that the BBC’s pro-EU programmes should be prohibited until the referendum is over.

      • Dennis
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Listening all day yesterday to the BBC all I heard were opinions on why the UK should leave the EU. This impression I noted as I’ve always read here the opposite.

  4. Mark B
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Like DaveM above, I too am worried about what we are giving away. I think it is important to ask CMD what exactly are the EU asking in return for these pathetic CONcessions.

  5. Mick
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I for one don’t trust Cameron one inch, if you cut him in half he would have the eu in his body like a stick of Blackpool rock, and come a new government down the line all can change and will be back to square one being told what to do by the dreaded eu, and as for the emergency brake with crash test dummy Cameron at the wheel, these demands he’s asked for were watered down with a psunami

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Why would anyone trust a totally dishonest serial ratter such as Cameron? His Bloomberg speech was pathetically wet and vacuous and yet he has not even come close to delivering anything in that.

      How could anyone vote of “remain” on this basis? You either want out or you at least want a far better deal to say in. Thus everyone should vote out, unless they just want to inflict huge damage the UK. A far better deal will follow an out vote, but we should still get out.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        So who will replace Cameron after the leave vote that surely must now be delivered? Certainly not the pro EU, tax (before breakfast, lunch, tea and supper) pension and landlord mugger Osborne I suspect. He is far too unpopular, has a broken compass like Cameron and does come over well on TV either.

        Are there any good candidates who can step up to the task?

  6. DaveM
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The Sun today has compared the PM to Capt Mainwaring. Two problems with this:

    1. Mainwaring would have given his life for his country.

    2. Mainwaring is a far more competent leader than the PM.

    Very rude!!

    • A different Simon
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      It is amazing how many younger people completely misunderstand Dad’s Army .

      One celeb on TV thought Capt Mainwaring was posh and upper class and didn’t realise that he was a grammar school boy contending with what turned out to be the Hon. Sergeant Wilson .

      Found that very sad .

      Sergeant Wilson is a much better comparison with Cameron .
      Pike with Osborne .
      Warden Hodges with Jezbollah .

    • zorro
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Stupid Boy! ?

      zorro

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The deal is a complete and utter joke. The MPs & people trying to defend this deal just sound absurd.

    As the Sun puts it today:

    “DAVID Cameron is, on the whole, an excellent Prime Minister. But there is no getting away from it: his “renegotiation” with Brussels has produced a steaming pile of manure.

    It is a dismal failure worse than we ever imagined.

    It will not improve one aspect of British life.

    It will achieve nothing whatsoever on the two central problems it was meant to tackle: our out-of-control immigration and the erosion of British powers by the EU.

    Brussels, not for the first time, has treated us with contempt and given us the square root of diddly-squat.”

    The Sun is of course totally wrong on the “excellent Prime Minister bit” but otherwise spot on. Cameron as we all know is a tax increasing, IHT ratting, no if no buts ratting, cast iron ratting, low tax at heart ratting, EUphile, greencrap pushing, tax borrow and piss down the drain Prime Minister. He is just not quite as bad as the alternative that was offered of an Ed Milliband dog, wagged by the SNP.

    Surely many in the Cabinet will no go along with this joke of a deal? Is there really going to be only 70 or so Tories wanting out?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand why the cabinet doesn’t get rid of Cameron like they did with Thatcher. At least when Thatcher spoke you knew she was serious. They really do need a new leader or else God knows what will happen to the country come another election. What choice have we got? Labour are terrifying and the Conservatives are not really Conservatives anymore.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Especially when someone bureaucrats (with a long history of producing endless serial disasters) is controlling these emergency brakes and not yourself.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    He has not even got his rather worthless four year ban on benefits for migrants! It is unbelievably pathetic, even by Cameron’s low standards.

    • Bob
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I guess it was the PM who overrode civil service warnings about Kid’s Company.
      It certainly wouldn’t surprise me.
      Still, it’s only money (and it’s not even his money).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 4, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        To me Camila Batmanghelidjh (the BBC favourite etc ed) looked like the sort of person one would be well advised to avoid employing to do anything.

        I decided this the very fist time I saw her being interviewed by the BBC, Newsnight I think. One to be avoided I thought. Cameron alas has rather a poor record of judgement in selection of staff, officers and people to support. He seem drawn to disastrous choices and appalling A listers, rather like a moth to a candle.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, he could have gone into these negotiations and told them that this is what we want and if we don’t get it , we’re gone!! Simple. Instead he just goes on lying about what he has achieved expecting everyone to be in awe when we just wish he would go away.

  10. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    All this shows just how weak and cowardly Cameron and his government is, and how weak and ineffectual the UK is within the EU. Those in favour of staying saying that we must be within the EU to maintain our voice at the tables of Europe. What voice? It is clear from all this that are effectively mute and the EU is deaf, because the result of all Cameron puffing himself up is, next to nothing. It shows how little respect the EU has for us, and how much they pull our strings and just how much they do not listen to us.

    All this is total humiliation, that we have no power and no influence within the EU, we count for nothing and we can change nothing.

    We must vote for OUT. We the voters must act to regain our freedom of choice and self-respect.

  11. Martyn G
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    How shameful it is to see the Prime Minister of a once great nation crawling cap in hand to beg a few pointless favours from the EU autocracy, those who are effectively dictators since none were elected and cannot be removed.
    Indeed, it has been a shameful and pathetic performance by our PM that, no matter how loudly he shouts about it, has achieved nothing of value and done nothing to get back a shred of our surrendered parliamentary sovereignty.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but how many of us will still vote Conservative? Time for a change I think and I don’t mean Labour!!

  12. alan jutson
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    We are sitting in our own car already John, and have paid a heavy price to purchase it, on a very expensive credit agreement, but we are trying to drive it from the back seat by verbal instruction only.

    The people in the front seat are in complete control, steer it where they like, brake and accelerate when they like, and are happy to completely ignore our comments from behind, because they suffer with tunnel vision and are colour blind, so they have problems reading warning signs and traffic lights.

    Thus often we are not even going down the road of our choice, at the speed we would like.

    Now and then the car stops for refuelling and the occupants for refreshments, all on board have a nice chat, but it continues with the same group of people in charge as before.

    The pathetic negotiation effort, has been rewarded with a pathetic response, which means absolutely zero gain in effect, it is being dressed up by all who were involved with complicated words, but in reality its alike a dodgy MOT certificate, not worth the paper its written on.

    Shame on all those who support this so called agreement.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      But all the time the public vote for the same then that is what they will get. Time for a re-think.

  13. Antisthenes
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As we all know predictions are notoriously unreliable. However I and many others have actually made a prediction that has become a fact. We said that David Cameron would not receive anything of substance from his negotiations with the EU and that what he did achieve would amount to nothing but would still be touted as a major reform package. That is exactly what has happened.

    David Cameron should come clean and say that he has failed to receive anything worth while from his negotiations with the EU. If he does that and at the same time recommends a vote to leave he will show himself to be a statesman of integrity and principle which at the moment he is not. He then actually might get the EU to restart negotiations that will produce reforms that would satisfy his stated aims. Not that I would vote for them as they do not go anywhere near what I would demand and that is the return of our sovereignty in full.

    Up to now the EU has treated him and the people of the UK with contempt they have not taken the negotiation at all seriously. Preferring instead to do their usual things. Can kicking, vague ineffectual promises, relying on FUD and a bit of bullying to do the rest.

    • Pud
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Why would the EU give the UK anything when Cameron went into the negotiations saying he wanted the UK to stay in the EU? He should instead have stated that the UK is the second largest net contributor to the EU (after Germany) and we are prepared to leave the EU if we don’t get what we want.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        It is getting difficult to tell the difference between Corbyn and Cameron both saying that they will surrender British sovereignty without firing a shot in defence of it. They both are happy to talk the talk but not to act the act. Both are willing to let foreigners invade us either with soldiers, terrorists or laws and do nothing to stop them. Although to be fair only Corbyn will do all three. The last depends on his thinking on the day as he is somewhat ambivalent about that one as it does not involve bloodshed. Currently he is for it although who knows tomorrow that may change.

        Negotiating with a declaration that whatever the outcome you will not fight back is asking to not to be taken seriously and open to being out manoeuvred. Surely only intellectually challenged people would bank on that strategy working to anyone’s benefit other than the opposition.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 4, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          Well Corbyn is sound on the pointless wars – other than that not very much. They are both tax, borrow and waste, green crap, bloated government, pro EU, magic money tree socialists.

          I suppose Corbyn at least used to be against the EU and at least Corbyn say what he actually thinks where Cameron usually says the opposite.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Exactly!

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Nowadays I rarely bother to send letters to the Telegraph because they don’t get printed and are probably completely ignored if not thrown straight in the bin. However:

    “Sir

    I was surprised to hear David Cameron declare that if we were not already in the EU then he would be very happy to join on the new terms of membership he claims to have negotiated.

    He seems to have blotted from his memory the two years and more that he led a campaign against the Lisbon Treaty, after his predecessors had fought vigorously against the EU Constitution from which it was derived.

    But the trivial changes he has now secured do not address any of his previous points of criticism of the Lisbon Treaty.

    None of the 68 vetoes lost through the Lisbon Treaty are to be restored; the dangerous “ratchet” and “self-amending” clauses remain untouched; and if the treaty “gave the EU too much power over our national policies”, as William Hague claimed in the Commons, then it will still do after these “reforms”.

    Those who unstintingly gave their time, effort and money to the campaign to stop the Lisbon Treaty must now wonder whether there was a kernel of truth in Tony Blair’s gibe that Cameron was only “going through the motions” of opposing it.

    Yours etc”

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Good Luck, Denis, but after their top frontpage headline yesterday, which just ignored the minor (not) fact that we would need 16 (some say 14) other countries (different languages, history, culture, laws etc) on our side to do much, I’ll believe anything. And by report they don’t rush to publish our host either. If that weren’t enough, even I have had trouble though I did get one in on Scottish Devolution.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Tony Blair’s gibe that Cameron was only “going through the motions” of opposing it was clearly spot on.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      You would have more luck writing to the Daily Mail!

  15. Bert Young
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The responders to John’s blog are solidly behind his views – none more so than I . I am sickened to the core this morning having listened to the waffle from Cameron yesterday who chose to avoid the barbed questions and criticisms he would have received in the HofC.

    His coatless arm waving efforts in front of the Siemens workers in Wiltshire and his statement that he would want to join the EU on the terms he had negotiated were pathetic . The whole of his gestures were one of a man who had lost but wanted to convey the opposite . The majority of my life was spent in assessing individuals for key appointments and I recognise a sham operator when I see one . His background in PR ( very poor PR ) was obvious .

    He has now launched his campaign . It is based on worthless issues that I trust every reasonably minded voter will deride . Kicking him out of office and see him suffering the shame he deserves will be a great moment in my life .

  16. Know-Dice
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    CMD’s new clothes:

    No one believes him

    No one can see them…

    We should worry that he ACTUALLY believes that he has a good deal and that the EU grandees will actually stick to the deal.

    Hopefully the February meeting will kick them in to the long grass and more people will see the truth about our position and influence in the EU and make them angry enough to go and vote LEAVE…

  17. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    The EU car is a 1950s German Trabant with a fiat control panel. No doors. Very much taxed. 28 drivers fighting for the steering wheel. Southern European mechanics have already taken off the back wheels and sold them fro scrap.

    • DaveM
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      CH:

      Even 1950s German Trabants weren’t as bad as the EU car!

  18. bluedog
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Dr JR, we know that the BBC is the financial beneficiary of the EU, but is it possible that other voices are also tainted by benefits, even if only in kind? When one considers the inadequacy and dishonesty of the Stay group’s arguments one’s thoughts are inclined to take a somewhat paranoid turn when searching for an explanation.

    Cameron was in very short trousers in 1975 when we last voted, but the attitudes then and today are a world apart. There would have been no possibility at all of a British minister recommending Cameron’s 2016 deal to the electorate in 1975, the ridicule would have ended his/her career. Incredibly it seems that politicians with what might be termed an institutional memory of 1975 are now batting for the other side, so to speak. Take Sir Nicholas Soames whose quasi-Churchillian utterances in favour of the EU seem to lack the acuity and discernment of his grandfather.

    • Yosarion
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Would that be the Grandfather who in a speech in 1952 said, if Britain should choose between Europe and the open sea, it should choose the open sea every time.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Because of political correctness large numbers of people are incapable of dealing with the factually correct truth – they inhabit a world governed by the politically correct truth that dictates Eu sceptics are motivated by zenophobia and racism.
      PC drivel has been drip fed to us for the last 40 or so years..

  19. JM
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Is that it? If that is how much they want us to stay …

  20. Old Albion
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Cameron waves his bit of paper in true chamberlain-esque style. A meaningless work of spin.
    Vote ‘leave’ you’ll never be given another chance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      If you vote leave there will anyway surely be another “get it right this time” referendum later and on rather better terms later. Clearly everyone should vote to leave this time. Who will then replace Cameron and Osborne?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        LL – That’s the way I see it, classic poker…

  21. ferdinand
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I read that Donald Tusk has said that if we vote to stay in then that is it. We shall have to accept ever greater integration, and after the new 2020 Treaty that will include being part of the Euro.

    • ChrisS
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      While we are both on the same side in this argument, what you are suggesting makes no sense. We are not obliged to join the Euro and have a permanent opt out.

      Scare tactics like this bring us down to the level of the IN campaign for whom that is their only tactic.

      Unlike the Europhiles, who can only win by running down our country and saying we can’t succeed outside the EU, all our arguments are all uplifting and positive ones.

      I believe that this might well be what swings the outcome our way.

  22. Richard1
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The argument that international investors and companies will shy away from the UK post Brexit is dealt a blow this morning with ChemChina’s $43bn acquisition of Syngenta. The headquarters are to remain in Switzerland.

  23. agricola
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Well, even the Guardian seems less than enthusiastic. The only positive line I could find was “The EU must keep Britain in to save itself” Possibly true but hardly overwhelming.

    The Independent describes it as watered down. I would be tempted to ask how you water down nothing.

    The Telegraph highlights that cabinet ministers prepare to defy Cameron. So they should and quickly.

    As I pointed out in yesterday’s yet to be published submission, I await the response of the TUC. As far as I can see there is little in it for them or their members.

    The much hyped re-negotiation is a none event, as most of us suspected, full of the usual Cameron woolly promises, which on examination lack substance or the assurance that they can be fulfilled. The headmaster’s report was “Disappointing in this subject, recommend you discontinue it.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      “I would be tempted to ask how you water down nothing.”

      Well, that is the basis of homeopathy; Cameron has produced a homeopathic remedy for our problems with the EU, and some will put their faith in it.

      • agricola
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Good question. I imagine you get wet nothing as opposed to the more explicit nothing as described by David Niven in the “Moons a Balloon” when recalling an incident with the director of “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

        To pick up on the medal aspects, CMD is dishing out placebos.

        • agricola
          Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Sorry “medical”

    • Qubus
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      It is the political equivalent of Homeopathy

  24. Ian wragg
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Traitor. No other word comes close to describing this sell out.
    Perhaps it will be used to the advantage of the leave side.

    • Atlas
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      A strong word – ‘appeaser’ seems to fit the bill better.

  25. Tad Davison
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I have a guilty secret. Coming from a disadvantaged working-class background, I often revert to type when something disgusts me, angers me, or frustrates the hell out of me, as was often the case with Gordon Brown. I lapse into profanity. I got told off by my wife yesterday when Mr Cameron revealed what a fantastic deal he had secured for the UK.

    The mark of a successful con-man is to sell a crap product to a hapless victim by convincing them it is the best thing since sliced bread, and will be earth-shattering or life-changing in its import. Liddington was at it too last might, trying to make people believe the ‘deal’ was something fantastic we simply could not do without.

    For some time now, I have been quietly lobbying all and sundry to make them see just what a bad deal we are getting from the EU, and impress upon them that the only way to free ourselves from the madness is to vote for ‘OUT’ regardless of which campaign they might wish to support. I am hoping after this pathetic paper-thin, washed out, anaemic re-negotiation, it will make my job easier.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  26. Douglas Carter
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    As it happens I was never expecting Cameron to return with anything meaningful or substantive anyway. So in that respect, I’m not surprised.

    I am surprised however, at how openly and manifestly empty and pitiful these ‘concessions’ are. This is not just political weakness – it’s contempt for the voters. As far as I’m concerned Mr. Cameron just spelled out in clear language he thinks both the electorate and his own political party are stupid. I hope both groups will be proving him wrong in very short order.

  27. Bobby
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Just one quick question to Mr Redwood….

    Your party will overwhelmingly vote to remain.
    I’m assuming you’ll vote leave.

    Do you see yourself remaining a member of the party after such a betrayal of the Britosh people?

    Reply I expect the big majority of party members of my party to vote to leave – we are not going to win it unless they do.I was elected as a Conservative, on a ticket of producing an In/Out referendum which we are now doing. I have no intention of letting my voters down.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Reply-Reply

      Thank you John for your answer.

      I wonder how many of the Conservative stayers will still be in office after the next General Election.
      If I was one of their Constituents they would certainly not get my vote, ever again.

      I guess there are many who would feel the same.

      • eeyore
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        How might the numbers stack up? At the General Election 4m voted UKIP – presumably they’ll all vote to Leave. Something over 11m voted Tory – at a guess at least half may vote to Leave. Labour got 10m – let’s guess a fifth at least will vote Leave. Scot Nats got 4m, and not all will be EU lovers; let’s say a quarter are Leavers. We’re already at 11-12m Leave votes, all of whom, one may surmise, feel strongly and can be expected to turn out.

        Remain voters, on the other hand, might be expected to be often dubious, lacking conviction, probably young or youngish, not in the habit of voting, and possibly with something better to do on polling day.

        The Today programme this morning said it was generally agreed that a third of the electorate are as yet undecided.

        How many will vote in all? Say 30m. The winning post is therefore 15m. Seems the Leavers are in with a shout.

    • Bobby
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      No offence, but you know as well as I know, you’re playing with words there.
      It’s slippery.

  28. Bobby
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    ‘BritIsh’!

  29. Robert Bywater
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    ​On the subject of Britain leaving the EU or remaining in: there is a problem because while a new “in” is beginning to be defined, “out” is never defined or even discussed.
    “out” into what? Isolation and ultimately, penury, that’s what. Our only compensation
    would be that we can stop Spaniards and others gobbling up all our fish.

    In the wake of Brexit there would follow instability as well as poverty. The Scots would probably want to go for independence leaving a very odd-looking rump of a not very united country. Kingdom? Not necessarily.

    The “out” that I am advocating neatly combines these two issues, devolution and Brexit. It provides an “out” that really has meaning. It consists of forming a trading bloc with OZ and NZ and Canada (NOT USA – they are too bossy, and riddled with their own internal conflicts). The nations I would want to include would NOT want to join a bloc which appeared to be run by the UK. That would be seen as trying to revive a colonial past, which should remain as history. We English need to become a bit humble on this point. Devolution is the answer. The UK has anyway passed its “sell-by” date, “Rule Britannia” is a lot of fun on the Last Night of the Proms, but is rather risible otherwise, these days.

    My “out” begins with devolution into separate nations who immediately form a trading bloc: England, Scotland, Wales & NI, and all other British maritime territories collected into one federation (Falkland Islands and Antarctic Islands, IoM, Channel Islands, Ascension and St Helena etc., Gibraltar, Bermuda and whatever others there are).

    Then NZ, OZ and CAN join this bloc as equal partners. There is no need to worry about other former Commonwealth countries bleating about not being allowed in. They will never achieve the required “convergence criteria” before the Commonwealth is wound up anyway. South Africa a borderline case depending on how things pan out. India too big and on its own anyway, now. Pakistan too corrupt and dystopian.

    Once the bloc becomes a going concern, one could maybe interest the Republic of Ireland in joining, they would surely want to reside together with their NI neighbours. We could dangle the prospect of reunification in front of them (without making any rash promises).

    We should keep strong ties to EU and USA, hold Russia and China at arm’s length, keep good relations with India and African countries.

    The advantage of such a trading bloc would be its unique world-encompassing character and almost 100% English speaking (pace the Québecois).

    About USA: well, fine as a good friend and trading partner, but they are too big, and far too bossy. The so-called “special relationship” has only ever worked in their favour and we should stop deluding ourselves that they really care all that much about us. Above all we should stop poodling up to US Presidents whoever she may turn out to be.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Robert

      Let us not run before we can Walk.

      Let us concentrate on getting out first, and not over complicate the issue.

      The ballot paper says REMAIN or LEAVE, nothing else.

      The World is our Oyster if we leave, with thousands of positive possibilities.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      “Isolation and ultimately, penury, that’s what.”

      Last night I watched a TV programme about Anglo-Saxon cemeteries dating back to the fifth century. Even though this was some time before the establishment of the EU it seems that they were not “isolated”, but had extensive trading links with the rest of Europe and beyond; and nor were they living in “penury”, on the contrary there was clear evidence that they were wealthy societies for their historical period.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      ‘there is a problem because while a new “in” is beginning to be defined, “out” is never defined or even discussed. “out” into what? Isolation and ultimately, penury, that’s what.’

      Why? Just an uninformed guess, the logic of which is defeated by your subsequent proposal to form a trading bloc with Canada, Australia and NZ. Do you think these nations have been sitting on their hands since the end of preferential trading with the UK in 1973? Of course not. Canada is a member of NAFTA, while Australia and NZ have what amounts to a common market that includes visa free travel and settlement. Both Aust. and NZ have been busy negotiating their own free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea. Into this milieu the UK will be Johnny come lately, having squandered a uniquely privileged position on joining the Common Market in 1973. Of course, a large economy like the UK is always an attractive trading partner so negotiating free trade agreements with like minded commonwealth nations will be no problem. But to suggest that an independent UK cannot prosper is to ignore the success of Canada, Australia and NZ as independent trading nations of British heritage in the past forty years. The lack of confidence implicit in your statement seems alarmingly widespread.

      Here’s a point for the benefit of the Europhiles. The UK retains a powerful legacy influence globally through the monarchy, with 15 Commonwealth nations recognising HM Queen as head of state. Of these, Canada, Australia and NZ with a combined population equal to that of the UK are by far the most important. But if Britain votes to remain in the EU, the powerful republican movements in these three nations will achieve a windfall gain. The argument will be put, why keep the Queen as head of state if she is a vassal of the EU? After the Treaty of Lisbon that is in any event the case. Sentiment can change quickly, and it would be a great loss to the UK if the Queen were to be sent packing in these three nations.

      Indeed, would the monarchy then survive in Britain?

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “The government claimed to have an emergency brake in place to keep us out of all Euro area bail outs, yet we were dragged into the short term loan for Greece last summer.”

    Cameron did claim that, for example in this exchange with the Tory MP Mark Reckless on October 24th 2011, Column 36 here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm111024/debtext/111024-0001.htm

    “Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood) (Con): The Prime Minister tells The Daily Telegraph today that we should use any treaty change to shore up the euro to get powers over employment and social policy back, yet on 25 March, he agreed to precisely such a treaty change, but did not ask for anything in return.

    The Prime Minister: I have to take issue with my hon. Friend. The very limited treaty change that is about to be debated in, and hopefully passed by, the House of Commons, gets us out of the bail-out mechanism that the previous Government got us into. I thought, and I still think as Prime Minister, that that was the single most important price that we could exact for that treaty change – that was the biggest concern of the British public.”

    He then went on to say:

    “The point I made yesterday and that I will make again today is that I believe that huge changes will take place in the EU and the eurozone. That will give us opportunities to maximise the national interest, which is what we should be talking about and debating in the Conservative party, the coalition and the House of Commons as a whole. We will not further that by having a referendum that includes an in/out option.”

    And later:

    “The most important thing is to deliver what people want, which is to ensure that we get the best out of the EU and that, where there are opportunities as Europe changes, we take those opportunities. That should be the focus in this Parliament and beyond.”

    “… what we have achieved in a relatively short time—getting out of the bail-outs, getting agreement among the big countries for a freeze in the European budget this year and getting the European Commission to focus on deregulation rather than regulation …”

    “… so far in this Government, one treaty change has been proposed and we exacted an important price, which was to get us out of the bail-out funds from 2013 …”

    “We did have a commitment to seek the return of important powers from the European Union, such as the social and employment legislation. Obviously, we are in a coalition, but as Conservative leader, I remain committed to achieving that, because it is in the British national interest to do so.”

    Well, now he is not in a coalition, but he has made to effort to achieve that among many other changes which were previously held to be desirable, if not essential.

  31. Maureen Turner
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    For years we have been told by the PM his main aim was to work for a reformed EU. We are now aware that this is never going to be the case as even his simplest demands have been ignored. This emergency brake re migration is not some huge win for the PM as it can only be applied with the agreement of our EU partners., ie over 55% and its implementation and duration is at the discretion of someone in Brussels.

    Forget the emergency brake it’s as good as worthless. Time for a full on handbrake turn.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      “Forget the emergency brake it’s as good as worthless.”

      If the Poles are warming to it then they must also have worked that out.

  32. NHSGP
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The government is negotiating an emergency brake for benefits to EU migrants. Unfortunately the one on offer is not in our control and could be overturned by later Court judgements or Council decisions.

    ===============

    So put in place a clause in the bill that says any UK court decision that is over ruled by Europe automatically leads to Brexit.

  33. Kenneth
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The socialists say “the eu protects workers’ rights”.

    Or, to put it another way, the only way socialists can destroy worker’s jobs (by making them too expensive) is through bypassing the ballot box

  34. Bill
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Good article by Danny Finkelstein in the Times this morning. At some point the Out groups need to coordinate their messages but they seems they have divergent priorities.

    Farrage is still the best TV and radio performer even if he is difficult to work with. Daniel Hannan is also good and uncompromising and since both he and Farrage speak from the Brussels context, they can be said to know what is going on over there.

    • getahead
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      This superb performance by Nigel Farage in Brussels wasn’t reported
      in the French or German media – and it’s wonderful seeing the shots of Merkel’s
      and Hollande’s faces as they listened to it! This is really worth watching. He
      really does know how to sock it to ’em!

      https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5lXYw1l8l0?rel=0&autoplay=1

      • WillH
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for link really good stuff from Mr Farage.

      • Bill
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        A fluent and forceful speech – and so true!

        I have some sympathy with Merkel as a young woman growing up in East Germany and perhaps allowing her heart to rule her head when she sees Syrian migrants. I have no sympathy for Hollande who has messed up the French economy and been deeply unhelpful to Britain. And his treatment of Segoline Royal simply stinks.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Bless the man!! Makes you proud to be British. At least you can believe what he is saying. Like him or loath him he is more honest than Cameron and sincerely believes we will be better off out of the EU. He has my admiration for keeping on regardless of what the media say about him or other politicians. At last, someone who can be taken seriously other than obviously our host.

      • ChrisS
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link. Absolutely brilliant.

        Merkel looked like an pale, exhausted elderly woman rather than the de facto leader of Europe. And Hollande didn’t look much better !

        It reminds us just how much we need to see Nigel Farage in the House of Commons. He would totally demolish the Europhiles and really upset all those SNP freshers on the opposition benches.

    • miami.mode
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Bill

      Unfortunately Nigel Farage can sometimes be considered a bit toxic and is not to everybody’s taste, but I have been very impressed by Steve Baker MP whenever he has been on TV.

  35. ChrisS
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The more you look in depth at this offer you realise how very weak it is.

    Firstly, it totally fails to address the most important issue to the electorate : that of inward migration. Secondly, this “deal” does nothing to redress our loss of sovereignty : we are getting no powers back whatsoever and, as others here have said, the so-called veto powers are, in practice, impossible to use as the bar is set far too high.

    In every other area the document is cleverly written to be vague and open to individual interpretation so the European Parliament, the Commission and the European Court will drive a coach and horses through it. Remember, in the EU, what Brussels and Strasburg says goes. Only their interpretation counts. In a 21st century rerun of Yes Minister, Sir Humphrey, now heading up the Brussels establishment, will work his devious magic on it and, whatever we thought it said, he will ensure it actually comes to mean something completely different.

    In short, the renegotiation has achieved almost nothing and the Tusk document will prove to be almost totally worthless : it is the Wilsonesque con we suspected it would be all along.

    Cameron, with his PR background is spinning it as best he can, ably assisted by the pro EU lobby, particularly the BBC who, lest we forget, is hardly independent here as it is paid millions of Euros every year for services rendered to Brussels.

    It’s depressing that they have offered us so little given the fact that they need us a lot more than we need them : they seem to forget what a lucrative market ours is with their massive trade surplus with the UK. Then there is the little matter of our £10bn a year net contribution which supports so much infrastructure spending in the former Eastern Block countries. It’s born out of arrogance, their outlook is so myopic that they cannot conceive that we might actually vote to leave.

    We can only hope that all the talk about what they are prepared to allow, or not to allow us to do will resonate with the electorate. As the campaign develops perhaps the British People will remember their history and ignore those like Cameron who would have it that the fifth largest economy in the world cannot survive without the stifling hands of Brussels round our collective throat.

    Should we win the referendum they will undoubtedly come back with a far better deal in the hope of keeping our £10bn annual donation. Hopefully, by then we will have a new PM with a bit of backbone willing to really stand up for their country.

    However, given the self-interest clearly at work in the upper echelons of the Conservative party, I’m not even hopeful of that.

  36. MikeP
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    What kind of emergency brake is it when it can only be enacted by he EU Commission -not us – and only then when another 15 countries who with us represent 55% of the EU population. A little bit of GCSE Geography may help people understand that unless we can get one or more of France, Germany, Italy or Poland to vote for the brake with us, it will never be triggered. Fat chance.
    What fools is Cameron taking us for, how come the general public of the UK still support such weak-willed treachery ?!

    • DaveK
      Posted February 4, 2016 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      Looking at online sources, the eurozone countries hold 65% of the total vote and the non euro countries 35%. I imagine it will be impossible to persuade a third of the eurozone vote to change sides.

  37. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I am genuinely baffled. Mrs May is Home Secretary and has been thwarted by Europe at every turn in her efforts to deport undesirables and to reduce immigration to targets set by her own Government. The deal negotiated by Mr Cameron doesn’t contain a single thing which will address these issues. Yet it is reported Mrs May supports the deal and will vote to stay in the EU. I just can’t understand her motives at all – she would be voting to perpetuate her inability to carry out her job. Does anyone have any credible explanation for her reported position ?

    • Qubus
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Like many politicians, she has already decide that the result of the Referendum will be a vote to leave. WHy should she then jeopardise her Future Career in politics ?

    • Alexis
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Well, she still gets paid.

      Perhaps getting paid matters more than her values, who knows?

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I will be interested to see what reaction there is in both Houses of Parliament if Cameron persists with his reported intention to rush on to a June referendum. Personally I would tell him to go back and negotiate something worthwhile before asking us to vote.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      You really wonder what the House of Lords would do with a bill to hold a rushed June referendum ? Wave it through – there is a huge pro-EU majority in there.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        There’s a huge pro-EU majority in both Houses, the main differences are a) the Lords are unelected legislators-for-life who need not concern themselves with whips or constituents or future political careers as much the MPs, and b) the government does not have an overall majority in the Lords.

        However … the theory so far has been that Cameron and others who want to keep us in the EU should try to rush on to an early referendum, before the other side can get its act together, if they ever do; but now on the other hand the reaction to Cameron’s “deal” has been so generally negative that there might be a risk of them losing the referendum unless he goes back and gets something more convincing, which would take time.

  39. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    As we all knew the EU referendum will be on whether we want to stay in an unreformed EU on the current terms or leave. The renegotiation was always just PR spin. I think it is unclear what the outcome will be and polling will be unreliable. I imagine many people of all political views will just regard it as a “free pass” to register their disapproval of Mr Cameron and the more he promotes the In cause the more people will vote Out. In any event even if we vote In then it is not final, refugee and financial crises will continue and eventually the EU will collapse with other (braver) countries choosing to leave or being kicked out by Germany.

  40. MikeP
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Rather worrying that so many MEPs are saying this is a good deal and they support it.
    A good deal for who ?
    He has achieved nothing to repatriate laws.
    Nothing to stop EU laws having supremacy over UK law.
    Nothing but weasel words on reducing the burden of bureaucracy on our companies.
    Nothing to increase trade with countries who are growing, like US, China, Oz, Canada, Brazil, India.
    So we stay wedded to the stagnating, high unemployment protectionist EU bloc.
    And nothing to bring our borders under our control.
    God help us, particularly those who – even now – choose to vote to stay in.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      MikeP

      “…so many MEP’s are saying its good……”

      Well they would wouldn’t they, many still want to be on the gravy train !

      A bit like the Junior Doctors argument.

      First the new shifts were not going to be safe, now they are, but only if they get more money.!!

      Strange how some can sell their sole for cash.
      Its just a question of how much for many !

      The truth is out at last !

  41. graham1946
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    The cuttings folder Cameron’s Civil Servants do for him each day, showing how wonderful he is (how else can he be so deluded) will be a bit thin this morning. The papers seem to be all over this denouncing it as the farce it all is.

    Rather a good test of his character yesterday when he chose not to face even his own side in Westminster but scuttled off to a German factory, but even there, they don’t believe him much. How pathetic. This is our leader in the world?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      They must all be laughing at us. Taking our money and laughing. What a nice position to be in. Just what has this country become? We held such respect in the world at one time but this must have damaged that to such an extent that there cannot be much respect left.

  42. Edward M
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It is foolish being a member of a club whose rule do not suit you, and asking for so many emergency brakes – yet as you say, not being in sole control – so there is little difference from being a fully signed up member.
    Need I remind the conservative party voted against the Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon treaties. Why does Cameron not give the EU notice that the UK is no longer going to be bound by these treaties for a start, and demand the CAP reform promised when Tony Blair gave away part of Mrs Thatcher’s rebate. Why not tell the EU we want to renegotiate the Single European Act where it doesn’t work for us.
    For someone who claimed to be so against the Lisbon Treaty, I can only conclude that Mr Cameron, like Blair before him, is not a straight kind of guy and he cannot be trusted.
    I am also very sorry and annoyed that there are so many conservative MPs who have previously described themselves as Eurosceptic but now fall in with Cameron’s charade.
    When the people have voted to leave the EU, Cameron et al can absolutely not be trusted to take our country through the exit process to true independence (there’s a danger he’ll use Lisbon article 50 to keep us shackled to the EU – repeal of the EC act 1972 is what will be needed in short order). There will have to be a leadership challenge.

  43. Anthony Makara
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    These half measures, or qualified promises, make the Prime Minister look weak. We know from history that the EU will always gang up against us. The Europeans are fundamentally different from us in their attitude and their perceived values. Many of us remember how the Spanish state broadcaster allowed the Argentine government airtime to run a fundraising show during the Falklands War. Money raised in Spain to kill British servicemen. Are we really like the Europeans? I believe we are a different culture with different values and different ideas on Nationhood, the role of the State and International Relations. We need to go our own way. Cameron’s permission seeking proposals are an insult and won’t fix decades of abuse from Bruxelles.

  44. Horatio
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    After watching Andrew Neil destroy these negotiations on Daily Politics i would love for him to take Cameron apart as leader of the out campaign. Would it ever happen? Really hope key eurosceptics watched the simple way he smashed all the argument and refused to be deflected. Campaigners should simply ignore biased questions and take every opportunity to pour scorn on the negotiations.

    The basic point is that whatever is agreed now, however small, will not involve treaty change and like Blairs deal on giving up part of rebate for reform of CAP will never happen.

  45. matthu
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I think Braclays analysts got it right when they calculated that the greater risk after any Brexit would lie with the rump of the EU.

    Cameron gives every appearance of someone who has inside knowledge of horrendous risk and turmoil which would ensure were we to leave the EU and this surpasses any national, economic, legal, financial disadvantage of remaining.

    His eyes are like a rabbit caught in the headlights, lips pursed into a grimace, being blackmailed by forces we commoners cannot even begin to comprehend into arguing that it is right for the UK to remain in the EU. That if UK was not already a member, he would seriously seek to join.

    We have been lied to over 40 years and are now being lied to again on a massive scale.

    The question is whether to let the whole unedifying poisonous stench out into the atmosphere, or hug it close and lock both it and ourselves into a small airtight room and throw away the key.

    • getahead
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Cameron works not for the British electorate but for the CBI and big-business.
      Any horrendous risk and turmoil would be suffered in the bonuses that the corporations clearly receive from the EU.

  46. lojolondon
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    One key point about an ’emergency brake’ is in it’s name – to be used in an emergency, implying that speed to act and timing is of the essence. So what use is an ’emergency brake’ if you have to apply to a council to activate it, who will review the application, then submit the request at it’s discretion to a group of other parties who can, and most often will, refuse activation. Clearly there is absolutely no point in such a system, except to influence voters with an entirely false sense of security. Once again, this will be supported by the BBC, who suppress any doubts about the negotiation, in fact their headlines have been ‘May supports Cameron renegotiation’ and ‘Cameron hits out at Johnson’.

  47. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    “EU Renegotiation Statement” 3rd February 2016 BBC Parliament. Answers to questions by Rt Hon Cameron PM

    Lots of whens and ifs from Mr Cameron.

    He appears to have been palmed off with the absurd absolutely impractical notion that the UK will be able to block the 27 nations of the EU from taking actions which will allow them to further integrate their fiscal and monetary union IF such would adversely affect the UK. He gave the ridiculously simplistic example that his re-negotiations foresees the effective banning of economic/trade transactions being made exclusively in the Euro. Goodness me, even a two-bit vegetable market stall owner knows his onions far in advance of Mr. Cameron.

    The fact is, the other EU nations will proceed to financial/fiscal union. There can be no block by the UK to them doing it. The UK will be obliged to comply with EU financial regimen which is and will be far more complicated than a kindergarden summer toffee lollipop sale where Susie hands you one on a stick and you pay a penny, so long as it’s a bright and shiny one. EU nations’consolidation… fiscal and monetary union will quite naturally adversely affect the UK economy. And yes, it will affect the Pound in your pocket.In fact, it already has.

    The UK Cameron bunch are also quite self-centred. Naturally so, for we are the UK. His renegotiations are obviously about the UK in relation to a possible Brexit and the consequences for the UK and the EU. It does not seem to have crossed his mind that one or more nations other than the UK may in future decide to exit the EU.
    Imagine 10 nations in Europe banding together and exiting the EU. Where would that leave the UK? Absolutely tied economically trade-wise to the remaining EU nations. Unable to form any trade agreement with those exiting nations. Suffering along with the rest of the EU by their exit, irrespective of Mr Cameron’s assertion of our Sovereignty.
    Mr Cameron really does believe the EU will survive. What an odd thought for one so educated and intelligent as he. Perhaps living in the confines… the cave… the small world of a self-centred UK is an occupational hazard for any UK Prime Minister.. We must try somehow to bring him out of himself.. And out of the EU.

  48. miami.mode
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Donald Tusk seems fond of his Shakespeare but this whole charade is Much Ado About Nothing and hopefully his wish for the outcome in his favour will be merely A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    • Bill
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I would certainly be glad to see more Henry V from Cameron!

  49. Maureen Turner
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Listened to to both yourself and Sir Wm. Cash put your questions to the PM this lunchtime re his draft renegotiation points. The answer he gave to yourself re concerns over, trade, migration and taxation was mostly turned into one regarding the UK having its name carved into No Closer Union. A similar convoluted reply was given to Sir William’s question.

    You may have noticed over the past few weeks our PM has somewhat changed his tack in respect of wanting concessions into playing the role of mentor to the other 27 EU nations, ie., this great nation of ours us has a lot to offer our partners and it’s in our interests that we all work together to ensure we get the best for everyone. Can’t see Mr Tusk disagreeing with any of that.

    Mr. Frank Field speaking on TV today. The PM will not hold the EU Ref. on 23rd June if he considers it will return a Leave vote and added if the noises off aren’t favourable we will hear less and less of this date. Nothing wrong here but confirms yet again just how strong are his EU beliefs.

  50. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Why do we need a car with two drivers, more to the point ?

    “Do you want the British government OR the EU government ?” should be the referendum question.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Having a car with two drivers is exactly why you’d need it fitted with multiple emergency brakes !!!

  51. backofanenvelope
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt that we will vote to stay in. The very next day there will be a phone call from Juncker. Your share of the 3rd migrants comes to 100,000 – this year!

  52. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t Kate Hoey be the best figurehead for the Leave campaign ?

    Likeable, sensible, female, mature(but not too old), of the Left, moderate with an easy way and tone about her…virtually impossible to toxify.

  53. RB
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Everyone has a camera on their laptop or phone, put your thoughts to words and then upload it to Youtube. There are some great comments here.

  54. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested in the way Cameron and Tusk have agreed to tackle the thorny problem of “ever closer union”, which Cameron said “is not the objective” for Britain.

    At present the position is that all EU member states have a general commitment to the process of “ever closer union”, but various states have various treaty opt-outs on certain specific areas.

    Going by what Tusk has written*, and assuming that the substance of it is actually put into the treaties, then the new position will be that all EU member states will have a general commitment to the process of “ever closer union”, but various states will have various treaty opt-outs on certain specific areas.

    I can only suppose that they think people in the EU institutions have been overlooking the fact that various states have various treaty opt-outs, which are legally binding parts of the treaties and therefore should be respected, and so it would be a good idea to restate that in a new provision in the treaties.

    * “The Treaties already contain specific provisions whereby some Member States are entitled not to take part in or are exempted from the application of certain provisions of EU law. The references to an ever closer union among the peoples are therefore compatible with different paths of integration being available for different Member States and do not compel all Member States to aim for a common destination.”

  55. Chris
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Excellent presentation by Daniel Hannan on the renegotiation charade by Cameron:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wkpGgYLIRs

  56. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    So, News at Ten and DC is happy to be judged on the results he has achieved.

    He is deluded, that is my judgement and that of many others. He has failed miserably to improve the nations future after the disaster of the coalition and I hope more MP’s fail to back him. If this is not the case then I see no hope for the future of the UK with any of the main parties.

  57. Alexis
    Posted February 3, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    When a country needs as many special arrangements as this you need to ask if it is in the right institution.

    Hear hear.

    Square pegs, round holes come to mind.

  58. Yosarion
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Its quite ironic that this was on the 100th anniversary (to the day I believe ) of the Tanks first deployment on the Western Front, the MK 1 had four steersmen / brakemen, of course they quickly modified this with the later Tanks having just one break unit as it was bloody difficult to coordinate an impracticable.

  59. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Why should these emergency brakes not be permanent, why should they not apply to all non-Euro Member States and why should they not apply to all Member States in the Euro that want to leave it?

  60. Margaret
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I have made a comment to Mr Redwood about appearance being an important part of media related politics which has not been published .The appropriateness of the comment is directly related to the reality of what we see happening .Whilst we allow all sorts of diverse displays of originality of dress and sexual orientation to take the stage ( because in weightier seriousness it is though of as a little naff) we do not face up to the fact that the older person who is experienced and has lived through many changes can learn from experience. The perception of learning from experience in the minds of some appears to exclude theory and academic learning as not relevant and as though this is not also part of experience.
    Many seem angry about the proposed changes yet this simply reflects what happens in all spheres particularly professional lives . In my own profession I have worked at an advanced level for many years , but at the age of 64 will not get the recognition I deserve as my learning and working experience is being negated for a new degree. It is always out with the old , disregard input and in with the new. The professional bodies who set these standards don’t even listen to those more experienced. They selfishly want their own way. They rely on people who want to play their game to get on and cannot even think that there may be contra ideas which ae workable. The truth is often abused for the sake of opinion so these bodies of people can bulldoze their own path to power and not for the betterment of the people they are supposed to represent. They will then of course patronise by saying this is a view when there is substantial factual evidence and not merely a perceptual understanding. Why get angry when we all know that everything is a façade.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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