The UK will not be alone outside the EU

In recent debates with those who want us to stay in the EU I have been impressed by their pessimism and amazed at their fears. The most recent pro EU MP I heard told us that the Euro was a bad idea and the Schengen common borders was not working, but we needed to stay on the EU boat as it hit the rocks so we could show solidarity with the others and not be isolated. Yes, that was his image! I myself prefer to get off a boat going to the rocks. We then can rescue ourselves and be in a stronger position to help the others if indeed their boat sinks. By his own image the better European approach for the UK to follow would be to get off to be able to help after any disaster.

Others I have witnessed also agree with me that the Euro is not working well, the common frontiers are in disarray, yet still they want the UK to stay shackled to the EU’s tight legal grip. If this is the best they can do, surely many voters will want to head for the exit? Why don’t the stay in people believe in all the main aspects of the EU, which is now based around the Euro and free movement? Germany thinks the UK should in due course join the Euro. Why don’t the stay in people believe that too? After all some of them used to recommend we did join.

The pro EU lobby try to spread the fear we would be on our own if we leave. That is absurd. The UK will still be much courted by many countries in the world, including EU countries, when they want us to help them, when they want to spend our money, to solicit our assistance in some diplomatic or military activity, of persuade us to back some new treaty or international agreement. With our own voice and our own place at the table, instead of the through the EU, we will have more friends and be in a stronger position to influence others.

The pro EU lobby needs to answer exactly how they think the EU would come to our aid if needed if we stay in. They clearly have not come to assist Mr Cameron as he seeks very modest changes to our welfare system, and proper guarantees for our independence outside the Euro. If they cannot even be very helpful under pressure of the UK voting to leave, how can we expect them to be helpful when there is no such pressure?

The EU did not come to our aid when we had a bad banking crash in 2008. We had to pay our own bills to get out of that. They did not come to the UK’s aid when sterling was dropping out of their Exchange Rate Mechanism. They just watched us drop out and did nothing about the damage their economic policy had caused us. No compensation, no additional financial support.

They do not contribute to the UK financially and are unlikely to do so in future. We contribute to them.

Nor do they get behind the UK when we need diplomatic and military support. They did not back us when Argentina invaded the Falklands, claiming that Iberia’s links with Latin America prevented them from helping.

A person or a country can be more lonely in a relationship which is not working, than free of it and capable of making new friends and revisiting old alliances.

I have every confidence that outside the EU the UK will be less lonely than inside. Our relations with France and Germany will improve, as we will no longer be trying to stop or slow down the changes they want in the EU. meanwhile they will need to seek our support for wider global matters where today they can outvote us or take us for granted.


  1. The Active Citizen
    February 7, 2016

    Thank you for another good article which points up the absurdity of one of the Remainers’ arguments.

    We’ll be alone outside the EU? Au contraire.

    86% of the countries in the World can trade with the EU quite happily, without being part of it.

    And without accepting free movement and all the other EU laws which govern and damage the UK.

    (Leave campaigns, you’re free to use soundbites like this…)

    1. Timaction
      February 7, 2016

      It’s straight choice.1. Remain which is agreement to a German lead Country called Europe where we have no say over our laws or who makes them. You can hear the philes now insisting we gave that mandate in the referendum.
      2. Freedom and independent sovereignty returned to elected politicians in Westminster who we can remove at the ballot box.
      When is the quisling Cameron being removed?

      1. turbo terrier
        February 7, 2016


        When is the quisling Cameron being removed?

        A lot of people have been wishing for this action to be taken for ages.

        One day our party will have to face and man up to this problem.

        He may have won the election but the party would have won it with anybody else such was the state of the opposition.

  2. The Active Citizen
    February 7, 2016

    Oops, that percentage should have read 84%.

    84% of the countries in the World can trade with the EU quite happily, without being part of it, without accepting free movement, and without the other EU laws which govern and damage the UK.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 7, 2016

      “without accepting free movement”

      It’s very unusual for immigration and trade to be linked in the way that the EU treaties have linked them, right back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome with its FOUR freedoms.

      I’m not going to say that it’s unique; maybe it isn’t, maybe there are other cases where one country has refused to trade with another unless all its citizens are given the right to go and live in that other country; but I can’t think of one.

  3. Lifelogic
    February 7, 2016


    You say:- They clearly have not come to assist Mr Cameron as he seeks very modest changes to our welfare system, and some proper guarantees for our independence outside the Euro. If they cannot even be very helpful under pressure of the UK voting to leave, how can we expect them to be helpful when there is no such pressure?

    Indeed but then Cameron did not seem to be asking for anything significant and they also knew he wanted to stay in regardless negotiation is not his strong point. Also that his “renegotiation” was really just a long grass lets trick the voters again scam. Dishonest PR/spin and saying one thing with fake sincerity then doing the opposite seem to be his strong points.

    As the leave side gets stronger by the day it will be interesting to see how many senior Tories do abandon Osborne & Cameron’s sinking ship.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 7, 2016

      It is indeed amazing how many of the remain in the EU ball & chain side like to run the UK down. This wet and windy island as I heard it described by one recently (an EU fan on Any Questions). They nearly all seem to have the usual wrong headed, BBC think Libdim views too: the catastrophic warming and expensive green crap energy religions, the trains/bikes good & cars/trucks bad religion, the desire for ever more regulation over almost everything, the lack of numeracy or any understanding of real science and economics, the desire to lower the drink driving limit and get rid of imperial units, the love of bossing other around and they know best, the love of uncontrolled immigration regardless of merit (so long as it will not be too near their home towns), the desire for more and more court levels and judges who rewrite and stretch laws, a dislike of voters and democracy, the magic money tree economics religion, the belief in ever higher taxes and more bloated government and that government “investment” creates jobs when it usually does the complete opposite, the hatred of grammar schools, the PC language of deceit and “euphemisms”. They often even think the NHS actually works well and just needs yet more magic money tree money.

      The EU’s position on the Falklands was indeed a total outrage and very damaging indeed, it clearly encourages others and to attempt other illegal invasions or even for Argentina to try again.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 7, 2016

        I was amused to see a Falmouth fisherman saying in a recent TV programme that his boat only had “forty fathoms” of rope available for a task.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          February 7, 2016

          Dear Denis, At a quiz the other night the young-ish and clearly perplexed quizmaster told us that there must be a mistake in the next question, and to prove it he read it out, viz, How many feet in a “fat” “hom”. No idea that it was one word and even less what it meant.

          1. Denis Cooper
            February 8, 2016

            And this is in what used to be described as a sea-going nation, brought up on tales of pirates and jolly jack tars …

      2. Pud
        February 7, 2016

        The Falklands – the British territory that people with Spanish surnames living in South America complain about colonialism about.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 7, 2016

      It is very close and heading the right way as everyone realises Cameron has got nothing, the remain side have no valid arguments and anyway for remain voters too a far better deal will follow a “leave” vote just as sure as night follows day.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      February 7, 2016

      Indeed but then Cameron did not seem to be asking for anything significant and they also knew he wanted to stay in regardless negotiation is not his strong point.

      Agree with this sentiment. Cameron never has had any intention of leaving and all these ‘negotiations’ are a scam to try and get the public to think they are getting a good deal when in fact they are getting nothing. If we vote to stay the rest of the EU will wipe the floor with us. As you rightly point out John, where were the rest of the EU when we fought in the Falklands?? We rush to everyone’s aid if they have a crisis but I don’t see anyone falling over themselves for us. We will end up just being a begging bowl. I have always said the French and the Germans are in this for themselves. Interesting to see last night on the news just how many anti immigration protests are spring up in Europe and in particular at Calais. Something has to give somewhere and we will be better off out of it when it does. Cameron is the worst thing to happen to the Conservatives in a long while and the sooner he is gone the better but not if he is replaced by Osborne. David Davis or Davies would get my vote.

  4. eeyore
    February 7, 2016

    My niece asks where she can go to get an overview of the Remain arguments as clear and cogent as those provided in this blog for the Leave camp. I can’t tell her. Does anyone know?

    1. Graham Wood
      February 7, 2016

      Eyesore. I think she will look in vain! There is the BSE website and afaik that is about the only one campaigning (slight hyperbole with that word) to remain
      However, it is not exactly a mine of information about the issues. It does not have a FAQ facility, and no other mechanism for a full and open discussion of the issues it professes to defend. Further, it ignores all e mail enquiries, and only operates on
      ‘transmit’, so is not interested in the views of the British public.
      There is if course the Labour Party equivalent (name escapes me) headed up by
      Alan Johnson, but he is virtually the ‘invisible man’ in the current debate, and the rare times I have heard him he remains as ignorant as ever.
      To be frank, not one single person or organisation on the remain side can produce one single substantial reason (as opposed to an opinion), why the UK should be In this anachronistic. 1950’s parasitic organisation.
      Finally, she could of course try some of the EU’s own websites, or their front organisations but all she would find there is windy rhetoric and propaganda.

    2. DaveM
      February 7, 2016

      I had a look and couldn’t find any.

      1. eeyore
        February 7, 2016

        Me too. Rum, isn’t it? Perhaps Mr Redwood knows somewhere.

      2. fedupsoutherner
        February 7, 2016

        Me neither, that’s because there are no positive reasons to stay in!!

  5. alan jutson
    February 7, 2016

    I am pleased you have mentioned getting no help for our Banks.

    If we ever got into Financial trouble as a member, I have a gut feeling that they would simply refuse on the grounds that we are not in the Euro, but have a separate currency.

    This excuse does not seem to work the other way round, given we have helped fund bail out after bail out for the Euro area.

    For from being so called little Englanders, we want to be part of the World, not part of a region of the protectionist EU with no identity.

  6. The Active Citizen
    February 7, 2016

    JR, given that it’s Sunday I’d like to make some general points if I may.

    This referendum is starting to attract high passions. You, yourself, have stayed above internal bickering and have focused on the arguments for leaving. I’ve long had strong feelings about the leadership of one of the campaigns but respect your wish to stay focused on the issues. ‘Nuff said on this.

    It’s clear that many of us would like the public to see and hear more of you, and you’ve made clear that you’re active in trying to get the messages across via as many outlets as possible.

    Some also hope that Grassroots Out will invite you as a guest speaker at their next event. From one of your replies yesterday it seems that you would accept such an invitation if you’re available. That’s great news. I have a feeling their next event might finally attract news coverage from the BBC and others.

    Last week I saw you in a short TV interview making some important points with great clarity and effectiveness. And your ‘sick joke’ comment about the PM’s ‘deal’ got you major coverage everywhere. I hope you’ll come up with many more phrases which are strong and newsworthy like this.

    I think it’s time to raise an obvious point again. To win the referendum we need votes from people with all political opinions and none. I’d happily cooperate with people who are on the far-left of the Labour Party or the union movement, if they’re backing Brexit. On this particular issue, we can and should be friends. In addition, they need our support, because the Opposition front bench in Parliament are saying almost nothing. For example TTIP should be a big issue for them, yet it’s hardly being mentioned.

    Many people are now starting to ask: “What would things look like if we vote to leave? What would happen and when? How would it affect my life, short-term and medium-term?” The Leave side needs much clearer answers on what will happen after a Leave vote. As most people know, there isn’t yet agreement about the precise form of exit – something which absolutely needs addressing with urgency.

    JR, you’ve written an article about repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and about the use of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. I wonder if you’re planning to write a piece about the answers to the kind of questions I cited in the previous paragraph? Less about the mechanics but more about painting a picture for the general public – something you frequently do well.

    Reply yes, I would accept a Go invite if I can make the time and place. Yes I will write more on how we can use the new freedoms, influence and extra cash we will have on leaving. Yes I am putting phrases into circulation. My old phrase about sharing a bank account with the neighbours is being used again by others I am pleased to see. I am keen for more to use ” wild ride to political Union”. I thought Bernard Jenkins “Is that it” was very good as well

    1. Timaction
      February 7, 2016

      They are excellent and catchy phrases. I just watched Marr’s interview with Mr Carswell and he wants to trivialise personalities not the issues. No mention of remain being a “wild ride to political union”. This needs to be repeated or put in a song so the message gets out to everyone. It’s also time for the sceptics in the cabinet to put up. Cameron and the philes have got away with too much without challenge! People need to know the EU isn’t a static or safe option.

    2. graham1946
      February 7, 2016

      ‘Cameron’s Con’?

    3. turbo terrier
      February 7, 2016

      The Active Citizen

      Very well said indeed excellent.

      Every time I meet with a Stay person I just give the reply ” You want to do what?” as I was reminded going off to the last referndum when an old fitter said to me ” just have a look who are in thet club, there ain’t one we haven’t given a good hiding to, join them and it will be get even time” Thought about who were the members and revisted history lesson on the way to vote. It was no then and no now.

      It will be Europe that will be the losers if history is right, it was the British and its Empire that stood up against Hitler to enable them to have what they have today.

      The French never mention the impact their missiles had down in the Falklands. They are to be trusted, not. With behaviour like this who can honestly believe that the EU will keep its word towards the “deals” being spoken about by Cameron? A few years down the track it will be all change.

      1. Dennis
        February 7, 2016

        “it was the British and its Empire that stood up against Hitler to enable them to have what they have today.”

        What about the Soviet Union?

  7. Leslie Singleton
    February 7, 2016

    The very idea of free movement – ceratinly if, as in their dreams, it is to have no controls on it at all – is as daft as a brush. Could the whole of say Spain just up and go to say Luxembourg overnight if they wanted to? Apart from the mere volume considerations, big enough God knows, the divergences in Law, Language, Religion, Culture, History, Treatment of Women, Wage and Welfare Levels et cetera blow any such thing right out of the water, yet it is supposed to be a fundamental principle. It’s about time a few more Out/Leave/Exit types stood up and proclaimed it as the baloney it is. A pox on homogenisation.

  8. Richard1
    February 7, 2016

    This argument is easier for the Remain side whilst there is a relatively anti-British administration in Washington. Obama has been happy to have the UK alongside whenever it’s been needed from the US perspective but has rushed to describe Germany and even (absurdly) France as his most important alliances when opportunity has arisen. We also saw a decidedly antagonistic side of the ‘special relationship’ during the BP oil spill disaster, the environmental impact of which was hugely overblown by Obama. Maybe however all we need is NATO membership so it’s clear have a workable alliance if attacked, and should work out how else to ally ourselves as we go along.

  9. Dame Rita Webb
    February 7, 2016

    You forgot to mention the Commonwealth. Remember we used to have a trading arrangement called Imperial Preference. Lots of its citizens came to our aid in WW2 though we disgracefully told them to get stuffed if they wanted to settle here e.g the Gurkhas, Rhodesians and South Africans

    1. bluedog
      February 7, 2016

      Dame Rita, the trading bloc defined by Imperial Preference was a casualty of the Lend Lease agreement in 1942. The US wasn’t prepared to help Britain in our hour of need without destroying the economic rationale for the British Empire.

  10. MIke Stallard
    February 7, 2016

    Allow me a short geography lesson:
    Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe.
    Europe is just one of the five continents!
    By being confined to just one continent, dominated by a tiny group of disparate, unelected, unaccountable group of people and just 1/28th of the decision making process – if that – what can you expect!
    It is all so ridiculous that I am surprised anyone will take it seriously.

    1. Duyfken
      February 7, 2016

      Er, did you not overlook one other Mike?

    2. Timaction
      February 7, 2016

      Cameron knows we have been outvoted 40 odd times with QMV since 2010. We have no voice or influence!

  11. ChrisS
    February 7, 2016

    Germany has a long history of not helping allies such as Britain. Self interest almost entirely based on potential damage to her extensive exports has always come before principles. Hence the failure to back us over the Falklands.

    Throughout the ERM debacle, not John Major’s finest hour, it must be said, Germany hung us out to dry in the worst possible way. Of course, we should never of gone into it in the first place or, at least, left it much earlier. Although we were always urged to stay in by… Germany !

    As for the others, the whole attitude of Spain towards Britain is breathtakingly hypocritical over both Gibraltar and the Falklands, given their retention of Melilla and Ceuta in North Africa.

    We must not forget that we get precious little support over the Spanish behaviour around the waters and frontier with Gibraltar. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Like so much else in the EU, democracy and Self Determination is conveniently ignored when it has even the slightest adverse affect on “The Project”

    No, we are better off standing on our own.

  12. oldtimer
    February 7, 2016

    The rest want the UK to remain because it is a cash cow – it is the second largest contributor to the EU (after Germany) and runs a huge trade deicit as well (Germany runs a huge surplus). No wonder Germany wants the UK to stay in. It has also become a source of jobs other EU countries are unable to provide. The UK will continue to picked clean if it remains in the EU.

  13. Antisthenes
    February 7, 2016

    We do strange things because we have a propensity to base beliefs on faith rather than on empirical evidence. In other words fantasy is far more attractive to us than reality. Of course religion is the epitome of this occurrence but we do it far more widely than that. Socialism is another faith based ideology so is statism which is part of that ideology and therefore so is the EU as it was created from a messianic vision of a great all encompassing and compassionate Europe. A Europe that would be overflowing with milk and honey and create peace and tranquilly for all it’s citizens. In fact a new promised land.

    The problems of building something visionary from fantasy based belief is that in the end the reality never lives up to the fantasy. So it is with the EU in theory workable and capable of fulfilling all of it’s aims but in practice not delivering any of them and being very harmfull and injurious to the citizens of Europe in the process.

    So we can say with certainty that Europiles are fantasists because they want the EU despite the evidence that we would be better off without it. They cannot point to any evidence in support of the EU and when confronted with that fact go into denial and refuse to listen. They can daydream as much as they like it will not make the EU what it is not the Utopia they believe it is.

    Daydreaming is dangerous as attention is distracted and and walking into things and even falling over precipices is always a possibility. At least the EU has proved that to be the case.

  14. bluedog
    February 7, 2016

    Dr JR, David Cameron has already prudently hinted that he will not be standing again as potential PM in 2020. After all, it’s only fair that George or Boris should have their turn. Presumably Cameron envisages a worthy semi-retirement as Lord Cameron of Peasemore in the County of West Berkshire, a far cry, it must be said, from Cameron of Lochiel, but enough of that. The Camerons tended to holiday in Marbella rather than fishing in the West Highlands.

    In any event, putting oneself in Cameron’s bespoke shoes, it is possible to imagine a few worst fears. Chief of these is defeat in the EU referendum in 2017. There is no doubt that every day sees the EU generate fresh horror headlines that even the most gifted PR operative struggles to present as positives, and ones endlessly nagging banker friends will keep pointing out that time is a component of risk.

    Thus in the context of the EU referendum, 2017 is far to far away; one shudders to think where the EU, Merkel, Juncker and the rest of the happy crew may be in 2017. No, a risk mitigation strategy needs to be devised, and quickly, otherwise one’s legacy could be very much in doubt. Now where’s Oliver?

  15. RB
    February 7, 2016

    So Cameron is putting pressure on minsters by hinting it may damage their careers? The time has come for the tables to turn. Mr Gove is reported to be “torn”, can someone help him out here? Perhaps remind him that those who penned his favourite book (the King James Bible) had correctly identified a central authoritarian European power to be the greatest threat to God and country!

  16. JoeSoap
    February 7, 2016

    These are of course all true. They see that in and out of a crisis we have an Anglo-Saxon mentality and that doesn’t accord with their outlook, excepting the Scandinavian countries. We simply have different ways of dealing with things, whether financial, security, immigration. In a few very limited areas, like the NHS, we can learn from them, because we are hopelessly disorganised, but it doesn’t mean we need to share a chequebook.

    Surely Cameron understands this but for some reason wants us shackled.

    February 7, 2016

    Arguably the British have always had a skewed view of the world and their place in it.

    In our hearts, half a century ago, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, Canada and lots of other countries coloured pink on a map, we considered OURS ,part of us. School children were in no doubt. Their parents were happy that they thought so. Our wartime alliance with Russia and its sudden curtailment created a certain confusion.

    British politicians, generally, shy away from too much mention of religion. Well let us be honest, they do not wish to offend anyone and need votes from everyone. But religion, politically, in Europe is very important. Far more than is admitted openly.

    Ukraine has two main varieties of Greek orthodoxy, neatly split between Russian-Ukrainians and Ukrainians. Very important there. But hardly mentioned here or by the EU.
    Just when Mr Cameron began to get criticism for taking the rescue ships away from the Mediterranean for “refugees”, the Holy Father in Rome came out and said it was “our” duty to save their souls. Italian ships set sail. Followed by Irish, French and others and lastly British. But a day or so ago Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference In Germany says there should be a “reduction in refugees”.
    This follows leading religion-based political parties, in power, in former Eastern Bloc countries refusing the intake of Muslims because they feared it would cause instability within their quite religious Christian electorates.Not to mention a creeping reiteration in Germany of its Christian heritage. The thousand sexual assaults on women and girls right in front of Cologne Catherdral had more impact than is thought.

    The UK is trying via its membership of the EU to square the circle. It is trying to balance a rather odd notion of its “interests” internationally which infuriate otherwise non-aggressive nations and their…. religions…. for no economic gain for the UK. Syria.Libya. Iraq.

    Surely it is time for the UK to reassess its international allegiances. Not get roped into the more in your face quasi-religious endeavours of the EU. Now the EU is trying to tell Islamic Turkey, telling her, to take even more refugees at her border. Having the cheek to tell her what to do.

    Well there are more religions and ways of life in the world than those represented in the most liberal democracies of Europe.
    If the diverse cultures and religions of countries in BRICS can form an economic alliance then we should perhaps look to them and also to the USA and Canada instead of the EU.
    Europe…lets us see it with our eyes wide open. Actually, behind the scenes, is not a tolerant continent at all. Its peoples are not tolerant. Unless World War I and World War II were just Hollywood movies starring John Wayne and Tom Cruise.
    Europe is the world’s centre, the absolute centre of violence and war.

  18. ian wragg
    February 7, 2016

    Cameron has lied to Parliament. Why is he not being held to account.
    His crumbs are not binding and Uk law will never trump EU law whilst we remain a member.
    FUD. FEAR, UNCERTAINTY AND DOUBT that’s all the remain have to offer.

  19. Antisthenes
    February 7, 2016

    Surely there cannot be anything less edifying than watching David Cameron Oliver Twist style taking his begging bowl around Europe and like Oliver being refused anything to put in it. Worse is the sight of him then dipping his spoon into this empty bowl and saying yum yum.

    1. Timaction
      February 7, 2016

      I agree. The fact we have to ask a foreign powers for these minor concessions demonstrates to all the nature of the powers and democracy given away by the fools in Westminster!

  20. Mercia
    February 7, 2016

    Douglas Carswell made some excellent points on Andrew Marr. But I couldn’t help notice he said “I was out distributing leaflets”. Remember, the Reformation happened due to the new media at the time. While distributing leaflets is still important, we have social media and youtube today. The new media. And people are crying out to hear ordinary peoples views because they do not trust the MSM. So make a video (give it an attractive title) and do your bit to campaign!

    1. graham1946
      February 7, 2016

      I know Douglas Carswell and believe he is much more media savvy than just about any other politician. The fact that he is out delivering leaflets shows he is willing to work hard as he has always done and is out and about meeting voters at the same time. It’s why the people of Clacton, love him and relate to him, pretty much regardless of which party he represents. He gets stuck into local issues and does not just issue sound bites and central office dogma as most other politicians do.

  21. RB
    February 7, 2016

    Listen to Tim Farron, “do we want the security of being in the EU” or out in the cold, what is the matter with these people we are one of the biggest powers in the world.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 7, 2016

      Tim Farron reminds me of a wet weekend.

  22. Nick
    February 7, 2016

    There is a key argument for out.

    The EU alarmists keep pointing out we would be charged for access. A tariff to trade with the EU.

    1. That goes against the EU’s principles. Why would they do that?

    2. Introducing a tariff where none existed goes against WTO treaty rules. Why would the EU break their treaty obligations?

    3. What percentage tariff with the EU charge?

    4. How much should the UK charge the EU for access to the UK market? [Sauce for the goose …] [You can get tariffs imposed against the illegal EU tariffs]

    5. With a trade deficit, and the tariffs the same, the net result is the EU pays the UK.

    6. It’s stupid to put in place tariffs. The EU 3 days ago published a paper saying structural problems, ie. Tariffs were one of the causes of an insipid EU economy.

    7. Now for the killer. Tariffs with the US, China etc into the EU are 1%.

    We pay 12 bn a year for 150 bn of exports to the EU. That’s a tariff of 8%! That’s bonkers.

    So even if they charge what they charge China, the USA, we are still vastly better off.

    1. Ian wragg
      February 7, 2016

      Our net contribution equates to a 7% tariff on all our EU exports. General tariffs are about 3% with the rest of the world so it costs us dearly to run up a deficit with Europe.
      I think there are about 140 countries outside the EU who don’t have to pay to trade.

    2. Peter A Smith
      February 7, 2016

      I don’t believe we need to trade with Europe at all. What do they make that we can’t buy elsewhere, and probably cheaper?

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 7, 2016

      “Introducing a tariff where none existed goes against WTO treaty rules.”

      It would also go against the previous commitments that all the EU member states have given in the EU treaties, in particular Article 21(2)(e) TEU:

      “2. The Union shall define and pursue common policies and actions, and shall work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, in order to …

      … (e) encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade”

      As well as Article 3(5) TEU:

      “In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. It shall contribute to … solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade … ”

      And Article 8(1) TEU:

      “The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.”

      All the other EU member states will be bound by those treaty articles during and after our withdrawal negotiations; the UK will be bound by them while it is still a member, that is until such time as it ceases to be a party to the treaties.

  23. Bert Young
    February 7, 2016

    All the points John makes this am are vital and need to be pressed home to the public ; it is they who decide and their votes are the only thing that matter . Listening to the public and responding to their needs is at the very heart of our democracy . Cameron has made a huge mistake in his advice to MPs , they should now consider whether he is the man to lead this country and the Conservative Party .

    Attempting to make black appear white is the mantle of all PRism ; Cameron cannot achieve the sovereignty condition and he knows full well ( confirmed by Shulz ) that his red card demands – even if achieved , would take years to implement . He cannot be trusted to negotiate or to represent the will of our people a moment longer . There is a job to be done now by the 1922 committee ; a challenge for the leadership of the Conservative Party should not be delayed .

    Our voice in the world will be clearer and much better understood once we are “Out” . The EU is a befuddled organisation ; it has made many enormous mistakes presently highlighted by the influx of migrants . Europe is essentially a Christian area and it now faces an identity crisis due to Merkel’s error etc ed

  24. a-tracy
    February 7, 2016

    The Out side just need to invite more arrogant EU leaders on to our screens to threaten and try to scare us, lots more, get some French and German ministers on. Put Mr Cameron with his arrogance on our screens more to give us his hollow agreements when we can all see he is a laughing stock in the European Commission. Just another member of the Club doing their bidding rather than protecting us. How can any EU nation agree that other Countries should have to keep their home grown exported law breakers, murders and rapists at the end of their sentences, in fact during their sentences, they should go back to be kept by the own taxpayers.

    Lop sided voting where tiny Countries have the same say as us is pathetic, we’re not trying to change the important things in Europe. We stood up to the Germans twice, losing many lives over it, this time we need to make a stand diplomatically and we need Sparta leaders not gormless lilly liveried senators throwing us off a cliff, doing what’s right for them and what’s right for the people. I will be very disappointed with Michael Gove if he doesn’t make a stand on his principles.

  25. Anonymous
    February 7, 2016

    The only thing that will make a real impact is if the Eurosceptic Tory MPs resign. Peter Hitchens says so too today.

    Your views are not in accord with your party.

    After the referendum will be too late for your resignation to make any impact. And if the vote is to remain in then you should – in all conscience – resign anyway.

    reply On the contrary my views are in line with a large majority of my party. It is the Leader who in this occasion is out of step with us.I stood on a platform of wanting a referendum and made clear I want a relationship with the EU based on trade and friendship outsid the current treaties and that is what I am seeking. To deliver

    1. Lifelogic
      February 7, 2016

      No the FPTP voting system means the sensible real Tories need to take back control of the Tory party from the No Nation, anti-democratic, LibDim ones.

      Hitchens is however right in saying that:

      Referendums are held for the benefit of politicians, not for the good of the country. Like the super-oily Harold Wilson 40 years ago, the eel-like David Cameron is trying to slither out of an internal party crisis.

    2. JoeSoap
      February 7, 2016

      Well your views might be the same, but frankly the fact that so many of your colleagues will toady up to the leader makes this meaningless.

      Unfortunately the fact that you trumpetted Cameron’s Bloomberg speech and miscellaneous other ramblings in the past as meaning he was Eurosceptic has caught many of you on the wrong foot. He has, true to form, pulled another fast one.

    3. bluedog
      February 7, 2016

      No. Look at Doug Cardwell in UKIP, a lone voice. We shouldn’t send our blog host to that fate. Better by far to recapture the Conservative Party and use its franchise in the interests of Britain rather than the EU. The Conservative Party is a very important British institution and should not be surrendered interests that seek the Abolition of Britain, to use Peter Hitchens expression.

      1. bluedog
        February 7, 2016

        Carswell – typo

  26. RB
    February 7, 2016

    Far too little was made of the fact it was the French who effectively sank our ships in 82. Did the British State ever covertly take revenge? Or did they just get away with it Scott free?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 7, 2016

      The latter I suspect.

  27. RB
    February 7, 2016

    If all these pro EU utopians think the French would never do us any wrong, someone needs to remind them of all those young men who lost their lives in that Falklands war. Who is speaking for them now? Do we think they would be voting for solidarity with the French whose missiles killed them?

  28. agricola
    February 7, 2016

    Absolutely correct, many less than adequate in the area of self confidence and belief in Britain will strive to preserve their umbilical to the EU not realising that to cut it leads to greater self esteem and pride in their heritage.

  29. fedupsoutherner
    February 7, 2016

    As somebody that lost a brother in this conflict I find this information sickening. I always thought the French were two faced but this is too much. We really must leave this bunch of traitors who are only in it for themselves and are milking the UK dry with relish.

  30. Denis Cooper
    February 7, 2016

    “Germany thinks the UK should in due course join the Euro.”

    Correct, in May 2010 Merkel told Le Monde:

    “Our goal must be that all EU member States join the euro one day”

    and making no exceptions for either the UK or Denmark, the two EU member states which actually have treaty opt-outs from ever having to join the euro, let alone Sweden or any of the other EU member states which are under a treaty obligation to join it.

    “Pour Mme Merkel, “notre objectif doit être que tous les pays deviennent un jour membres de la zone euro”.”

  31. ian
    February 7, 2016

    russia wins again, usa gutted with israel and friends, 40 years work down the drain, russia and china to clean up or usa must go to war with russia.
    what aload of tosses.
    All that british money wasted following fools.

  32. Fairweather
    February 7, 2016

    I read here you would be happy to speak at a “Grassroots Out” campaign meeting
    Why don’t you join it?Put your money where your mouth is etc
    It would make a HUGE difference

    Reply It would make no difference. I will appear on any sensible platform that I can make, and will back the official campaign when designated.

  33. Tad Davison
    February 7, 2016

    I am just astounded that supposedly well informed people like Sir Eric Pickles still don’t see the advantages to the UK if we left the EU (See the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show). How can it be, that such a clear cut and well proven case passes them by?

    I can, and do, parley with these types of people every day of the week, trying to make them see sense, and bringing down their arguments, but there’s more to their intransigence than an inability to comprehend a compelling argument, as is regularly put forward on these pages. They have an agenda and reasons of their own for wanting the UK to be tethered to this political and financial disaster called the EU. Otherwise, we could dismiss them as just plain mad and unfit to hold public office. That’s the dangerous bit. Their undeclared reasons for their illogical support of the EU and Britain’s part in it might still indicate their unsuitability to hold public office.

    Those arch pro-EU supporters, the Tory Europhiles, Labour, and the Lib Dems, keep telling us the EU needs reform. Perhaps Sir Eric might care to ask them what this reconstructed and perhaps even reconstituted EU might look like if they had their way, and then enlighten the rest of us, because I sure as hell can’t find anyone who’ll let us in on it!

    You can bet your bottom dollar that such a thing would mean even more centralised control, financial integration, and a further loss of sovereignty of the nation state. And if that isn’t the case, then let’s hear them say so, big and loud!

    Tad Davison


  34. bluedog
    February 7, 2016

    The French also provided Britain with full details of the performance of the Exocet and flew simulated attacks on the British fleet off the French coast using the same aircraft that they had supplied to the Argentines. Unhelpful?

    1. bluedog
      February 8, 2016

      Well presumably evasive action through chaff dispensers was one option and the Army’s Rapier missile was capable of defeating an Exocet if mounted on a warship. Note also that the Argentine Navy was equipped with two brand new type 42 destroyers, sister-ships of HMS Sheffield, at the time. Was British technical support available for their Rolls-Royce Olympus jet engines and their Sea-Dart missiles? It’s a funny old world.

    2. bluedog
      February 8, 2016

      We had chaff dispensers and decoys on our ships. Later in the conflict the Army’s Rapier missiles, that could shoot down an Exocet, were mounted on ships. Wasn’t HMS Sheffield was hit while stationary with her radar switched off? If so, no evasive action possible and no warning.

  35. mick brawn
    February 8, 2016

    London – Financial capital of the world,
    London – The most visited city in the world
    Heathrow – Europe’s busiest airport
    Oxford street – Europe’s busiest shopping street
    The Queen – the worlds 2nd longest serving monarch with 62 years service
    The British Empire governed one quarter of the known world at its height

    Just a few of our many British 1st,s and inventions –

    DNA fingerprinting – Adjustable spanner – Blood transfusions
    Shorthand – Radar – Pencils – Postage stamps – Tin cans
    Lawn mowers – Gas turbines – Smallpox vaccine – Disc brakes
    I.V.F. – Jump jets – Traffic lights – Screw propellers
    Gas masks – Cats eyes – Jet engines – Splitting the atom
    Pocket calculators – Tanks – Aspirin – Hovercraft – Meccano
    Parachutes – The bouncing bomb – Football – Rugby – Cricket
    Tennis – Darts – Snooker – Baseball… YES baseball
    Seat belts – Teletext – Universal joints – Rubber bands
    Electric generators – Caterpillar tracks – Bagless vacuum cleaner
    Internal combustion engine – The colossus computer –
    Automatic electric kettle – General anaesthetic – The law of gravity
    Hip replacements – Fighter aircraft – Diving bells – Sextants
    Thrust SSC Jet car – Depth charges – Torpedoes – Crossword puzzles
    Hydrofoils – Theory of Evolution – Underground rail systems
    And Mr Tim Berner-Lee… invented the World Wide Web !!!!

    We were doing pretty well before we joined the EU.. and we will survive
    when we leave.. If anything the EU will probably fall apart and fail if
    we leave.. they need us more than we need them..


  36. mick brawn
    February 8, 2016

    Recent floods – The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF)
    was set up to respond to major natural disasters and
    express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions
    within Europe. The Fund was created as a reaction to the
    severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002.
    Since then, it has been used for 70 disasters covering a
    range of different catastrophic events including floods,
    forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. 24 different
    European countries have been supported so far for an amount
    of over 3.7 billion..
    Today the Commission decided to grant aid worth €16.2
    million from the EU Solidarity Fund to Greece and Bulgaria
    following natural disasters that occurred in the winter of
    2015. Greece suffered from wide-spread flooding affecting
    five of its regions, while considerable damage was caused
    in Bulgaria due to severe winter conditions.



  37. Lindsay McDougall
    February 8, 2016

    I agree with 99% of this but ………………………..

    “I have every confidence that outside the EU the UK will be less lonely than inside. Our relations with France and Germany will improve, as we will no longer be trying to stop or slow down the changes they want in the EU.”

    The UK cannot be neutral if a large number of Euro Zone Member States proceed to form a Federal European SuperState. The total population involved will be too big and the entity will be too powerful if ever they can decide on what language their European Army will speak. We might unkindly call such a SuperState the Power of Babel.

    Once we leave, we should use what influence we have to persuade some other Member States to leave the Euro Zone.

  38. Perry
    February 8, 2016

    Has David Cameron had assurances from the French that they will keep to his pledge of moving the migrant camp from Calais if we do not stay in the EU?

  39. RB
    February 13, 2016

    Camerons “pull up the drawbridge” comment in Hamburg was unfair. And it is not because we are an Island nation with “Island nation mentality”, it is because we are a Protestant nation with Protestant nation mentality.

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