How they misled voters before on the EU

The 1971 White Paper set out the case for the UK to join the European Economic Community. In that document people were left with the firm impression that little would change and the UK would stay in control of her own affairs. The White Paper stated

“Sovereign governments are represented around the table. On a question where a government considers that vital national interests are involved, it is established that the decision should be unanimous. …There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty.”

“The common system rests on original consents, and ultimately on the continuing consents of member states and hence of national Parliaments. The English and Scottish legal systems will remain intact”.

These promises were soon broken. Majority voting was introduced on an ever wider range of issues, removing the UK veto over important policy areas. The English and Scottish legal systems came increasingly under the control of the European Court of Justice. The more EU law there is, the more matters have to be based on that EU law with ultimate appeal to a European court.

It is true the White Paper did say the aim of the EEC was ever closer union, did recognise it would be based on freedom of movement of people, and that the organisation would work towards a common foreign policy and other matters. The White Paper tried to allay fears over this by pointing out the 6 existing member states of the EEC were all relatively prosperous countries with similar high wages to the UK’s, and reminded readers that developments of more centralising policies would be partially fashioned by the UK view.

The document did begin the long standing confusion of power with sovereignty. It stated “Where the members reach common agreement to pool resources and authority, it is done because they consider it is in their interests to do it. At present the Community institutions are purely economic. But if the development of European policies in non economic fields calls for new institutions, then as a member Britain will play a full and equal part in devising whatever additions to the institutional framework are required”.

So was recorded the EU’s future long march to full economic, political and monetary union. So began the long series of rearguard actions by successive UK governments to avoid the transfer of too many powers, or to pretend no power was passing when large powers were being given away.

The British people were never given a vote on the transfer of their powers of self government to the EU. The first referendum was based on these principles, that the Uk could always veto anything it did not like and our own court system common law and much else remained unaffected. The forthcoming referendum is the first time UK people can express a view on their government having to get the agreement of many other EU governments before being allowed to make simple changes to welfare payments, certain taxes, our borders and much else besides.


  1. Horatio
    February 10, 2016

    Another day, another load of Eurosceptic water to throw on CMDs scaremongering. But will the BBC report it?

    The 2003 Calais treaty not at risk, there is no chance of The Jungle moving to Kent. Why? It’s a bilateral agreement made outside of the EU that the French have no plans to give up and is a great example of what can be achieved independently.. no comment from MSM, BBC just hummed and haa’d about ‘facts’.

    CMD says life outside the EU is less safe. But our bilateral, intelligence sharing agreements with the French DGCE and German BND pre-date the EU and are not at risk. Again nothing said on this by BBC. Our main source of intelligence is the Five Eyes network, nothing to do with the EU. As a result of Five Eyes the intelligence we share with the EU is of greater import than that which they share with us.

    BBC and CMD scaremongering again, vis collapsing trade, imposition of tariffs and punitive measures on financial services. They have an £89b trade deficit; If we leave the EU, as you showed so excellently yesterday JR, then there is no way the EU would endanger their economies by risking this.

    I just wish that OUT colleagues read their briefs or this site as I continually see them on TV floundering around with no facts at hand to make simple logical arguments. I’m hoping that after designation there will be a hymn sheet. Although I do have suspicions that it is the weaker and less persuasive OUTERS who are more often invited to represent the cause..

    As it emerges to a seemingly stunned BBC, that CMD could’ve got a 6 not 4 year farce of a ‘deal’ on benefits the question must be asked. Why has the fifth largest economy in the world, the second biggest contributer to the EU and a country with an £89b trade gap not played hardball and asked for more? My European and Commonwealth friends and business colleagues are incredulous.

    1. Hope
      February 10, 2016

      It is particularly sad to read Hague’s comments today. Since the revelation he shared a bedroom with a member of staff he seems to be a broken man and no longer holds his former Eurosceptic views. Today he claims Cameron is not a Europhile! Like Cameron he discredits himself to utter such nonsense. His article full of wishy washy nonsense that does not stand up to any proper scrutiny. Can Hague remember Cameron’s strong views about the dangers of the Lisbon Treaty? It is on YouTube if he wishes to compare to Cameron’s latest position that he would vote in if the UK was outside, yet makes no changes to the dangers of Lisbon! Which of Cameron’s diametrically opposed views is true and which one false? Where are the substantive points from his hailed Bloomberg speech in his alleged renegotiation? All dropped when it mattered. No one should believe a word he says, he cannot be trusted. And, yes, Mr Hague he is a Europhile. All his actions demonstrate this.

      Good to see DR Woolastan MP understands hog wash when she sees it. Her views about Cameron’s position hits the mark.

    2. Know-Dice
      February 10, 2016

      Why has the fifth largest economy in the world, the second biggest contributer to the EU and a country with an £89b trade gap not played hardball and asked for more? My European and Commonwealth friends and business colleagues are incredulous.

      You are not the only one asking that 🙁

  2. Horatio
    February 10, 2016

    Seems that Tory leadership hopefuls are waking up to the fact that the next leader of the Conservative party will not be a Remainer and that the grassroots are actually Eurosceptic. Expect more detestable, slithering from Boris.
    I back Priti Patel a passionate, smart, Eurosceptic who could win alot of votes in the instinctively conservative but labour voting Asian community. She would appeal to women and is also a good media performer.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      February 10, 2016

      Dear Horatio–Yes, Boris is behaving poorly. I can see the wood from the trees and the wood I espy is that Boris is talking baloney with his line about sovereignty. Either EU law has supremacy or it doesn’t and whilst we are in the EU it obviously has so what on earth can there be to talk about, we must obviously leave.

  3. Mick
    February 10, 2016

    I was born in the 50’s and am always telling people that the best decades of my growing up were the 50’s. 60’s. 70’s then I realised why it was, it was because we weren’t being dominated by the dreaded eu, so bring on the referendum so we can vote to LEAVE the dreaded eu

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 10, 2016

      Absolutely spot on Mick. I’m with you on that one. I was born in the 50’s and remember when Britain was a proud nation and didn’t have to go cap in hand to anyone to ask if we could do something. I am trying to get that over to my children who have known nothing but life within the EU. These are the ones we need to win over. They have no concept of life outside the EU where we were free to deal with the rest of the world in the best way for us.

      As for the BBC and some of the comments on this page, they are despicable and their treachery knows no bounds. To think we pay for this bunch of rabble.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 10, 2016

        Sorry John. This line I put in sounds dreadful on refelection.

        “As for the BBC and some of the comments on this page, they are despicable”

        I meant that the comments on this page were about the BBC and the comments were informable but weren’t despicable – just the BBC.

    2. acorn
      February 10, 2016

      The three post war decades were successful because of good old, socialist, deficit spending. They ended when Thatcher style “monetarism” was inflicted on the economy, at the end of the seventies. Neo-liberal Conservative governments, have no understanding of Effective Demand Management, which was the major driver of post war growth.

      The following link is what the kids are learning. In modern money terms it lacks some fundamentals. For instance, high personal, and corporate, savings, increases the government budget deficit, not the other way around. Taxes; Savings and Imports, reduce domestic population spending power. The latter is the prime driver of the economy. Also, the Debt to GDP ratio is of little relevance in a fiat currency economy.

      “Could the UK happily borrow 230% of GDP like in the late 1940s? – I don’t think so. But, when politicians tell you the only way to reduce debt is through painful austerity, you could remind them of the 1950s and 1960s when the opposite happened. The striking thing is the steady reduction in debt to GDP, whilst at the same time seeing real government spending levels rise.”

      If you don’t believe it, ask the Japanese, their Debt to GDP is currently 230% and rising; because the Japanese people save far to much and don’t spend enough.

      Reply UK policy over the last six years has increased public spending in real terms do what is your grievance? The UK economy has also grown over the same period.

      1. acorn
        February 11, 2016

        All true JR but unfortunately not enough to create a post -war type revival, particularly with the parallel increase in UK population. Your cumulative budget deficits, since 2010, have injected circa £460 billion (exc. PS Banks) into the economy; and, Mr Osborne plans to start extracting it from the private sector economy (budget surplus), before the end of this parliament!

      2. Bill
        February 14, 2016

        “The UK economy has also grown over the same period.”

        But where has it grown? Our trade is now just 7% of GDP compared to 28% in 1997? The Economy is growing on the back of ‘Loans’, Consumer Spending, by enforcing austerity and low wages, they have pushed people into borrowing and all these ‘loans’ created from thin-air, are ADDED to our GDP?
        In 1971, tricky Dickie took us off the gold standard, this is when SHTF, we joined EEC in 1973 and had (?) to go to IMF in 1976, why, we print our own money? Why didn’t we just print more? This would have the same effect as ‘devaluing’ which was the problem from what history tells us!

  4. The Active Citizen
    February 10, 2016

    Thank you for another excellent and very balanced article in your series on the EU, JR.

    The British people are unaware of the extent to which the EU plans to become a single country of ‘Europe’ or ‘the ‘United States of Europe’, thereby abolishing the UK, Germany, France, et al.

    Your article rightly says that the plans for full union were mentioned back in 1971. However you point out that the overriding message in 1972 until the Referendum in 1975 was that the UK was joining a Common Market, with no loss of sovereignty.

    Bringing things up-to-date, the public still don’t know of the existence of the 2013 Spinelli Draft Treaty which is proposed to replace the Lisbon Treaty called a “Fundamental Law of the EU”. Nor do they know of the “5 Presidents’ Report” of June 2015, creating political and economic union in the Eurozone by 2025.

    I say this without firm evidence as I can’t find good research on it, however I’m convinced that the vast majority of the British public are unaware of the realities of what the EU will soon become. The EU’s method for achieving its objectives is naturally complicated. You can’t amalgamate 28 countries into one, without it involving some complex and lengthy documents.

    The result of this complexity – and of the majority of the UK’s political and media class not wishing to highlight the matter – is that Joe and Jane Public really have no idea what’s coming.

    JR, you came up with the powerful phrase “a wild ride to political union”. May I suggest that we start talking in even more specific terms, to help the public to understand the intentions of our EU partners? Below I suggest some additional phrases, to elaborate on your all-encompassing one. Maybe other readers would like to contribute their own suggestions.

    “The EU’s admitted intention is the abolition of all individual European countries.”
    “The EU’s plan is to have ‘regions’ of Europe. Countries like France, Germany, Italy, and the UK, will cease to exist.”
    “In the end the EU wants the UK to become a ‘Region’ of the United States of Europe.”
    “There will be no role for the Queen in the EU’s new ‘United States of Europe’.”
    “The EU sees national parliaments like the House of Commons becoming Regional Assemblies in a Greater Europe.”
    “In the next 10-20 years the EU wants to roll all 28 countries into 1. The UK will cease to exist.”
    “Keep the Pound, keep our own country, trade with the World.”
    “They told you that joining the Common Market was about trade. Now our laws are made by foreigners. They told you we should join the now-failing Euro or our economy would become a disaster. Now our growth is double that of the Euro countries. This time they’ll tell you that your country is safe in the EU. Don’t fall for their promises a third time.”
    “The EU’s secret plans for full union in 10 years: If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s the United States of Europe.”

    Yes, I know that these kinds of statements will upset Remainers, with them proclaiming that they’re untrue and demanding evidence. I don’t care. They can be backed up with facts. We need some simple phrases and sentences so that people understand. The public read and latch onto headlines, such as the PM claiming that we’ll have Calais-type jungles in the UK overnight, if they vote leave.

    Recently I saw a woman interviewed about her Referendum views. She said “Yes, I think we should join the EU.” I kid you not.

    I’m not suggesting the above phrases/quotes are great – I rattled them off and it’s early in the morning. But surely we can come up with some additional cracking ideas to summarise things for people?

    No-one’s going to read the EU’s documents and no-one’s going to read some of the over-complicated and legalistic arguments of people like North. JR, you often say things simply for people, despite you having a brain the size of a planet.

    I hope you’ll agree that we need more and more ways of getting our points across quickly?

    Reply I agree. I did after all write a book called The Death of Britain explaining the whole EU/devolution scheme of the last Labour government! I was much criticised by Labour at the time for saying their EU treaties with so many losses of veto were tantamount to the abolition of UK democracy.

    1. DaveM
      February 10, 2016


      I have likewise never researched the ins-and-outs of the Spinelli Document, but a few phrases I picked up by glancing at it for 5 minutes jump out, and they should be published nationally so people are aware. A couple of examples:

      ” In the face of hostile public opinion, the national governments of its member states fear to give the EU the powers and resources it needs. National parties and parliaments fail to embrace the European dimension of politics. So the European Union needs to assert itself. European challenges can be met only in a European way.”

      “Ending rigid unanimity for future treaty change and entry into force”

      “Ending opt-outs in justice and home affairs”….HOME AFFAIRS!!

    2. agricola
      February 10, 2016

      Very well put.

      All these truths about the EU and it’s intentions tend to circulate in a goldfish bowl of those who are intent on the facts, and the Westminster/Media bubble. It can be a bit like a humourless soap opera with very low viewer ratings. It often misses the public at large. The message needs to be a bit more Sun and less F.T.

      Whatever your views, Nigel Farage is superb at this level of communication. The rest of the out campaign needs to explain itself in similar easy to understand terms that register with the public at large. It needs to avoid the embarrassment of the lady who did not realise we were already in the EU.

      Please let us start to explain in easy to understand terms the advantages of being out to average Joe /Jane public. More jobs due to increasing our trade with the rest of the World. Lower energy bills because policy will not be directed from Brussels. A growing fishing industry because we control it. Etc, Etc By such means we increase our footprint with the electorate.

    3. Duyfken
      February 10, 2016

      I heartily agree with this approach: of succinct one-liners to get the message over. For what it’s worth, I have put together several posters in the same tenor, to be used appended to emails and the like.

    4. Denis Cooper
      February 10, 2016

      Don’t forget the army, the EU federal armed forces under EU control, that the eurofanatics are determined to get.

      So far it’s only embryonic – though some seriously powerful units are earmarked for it – and it’s shared with NATO:

      But this is what the German Foreign Minister had to say in 2007:

      “In his closing remarks, Steinmeier noted there is much work to be done, conceding that visions for Europe are projects that will take up the next 20 to 30 years and citing a future European army as an example. He also noted that this century could well see the disappearance of national foreign ministers, that the “German foreign minister” is probably a dying breed.”

    5. Roger Knight
      February 11, 2016

      Very well written by The Active Citizen but missing ONE important bit the EU are hell bent on bringing TURKEY into the EU by 2023. 80 million Muslims joining the basic Christian EU. I really don’t see this working well and will only lead to problems, which were set out years ago by Enoch Powell.

    6. Bill
      February 14, 2016

      The Spinelli draft is being debated now and is due in 2017, which is why Cameron has brought the Ref forward. Because we aren’t supposed to know there’s a ‘Treaty Change’ due and he can’t affect the contents, which is ‘ever closer union’, in fact that is the very first subject;
      On 1/1/2020 we become REGIONS of the EU, see here; now, if MEP’s are to run these Regions, what becomes of our MP’s? The TTIP-TPP-CETA deals, are the next move towards NWO, all nations Sovereignty & Public Service rights will be given to Corporations, which is why public sector wages are being attacked, and the biggest Public Service…………………is Government?
      On 31/3/2017 we lose the right to Article 50 and can no longer Repeal ECA 1972, we become fully integrated into EU and it becomes harder and harder to leave from here on in!
      I propose the House of Parliament, which is closed for repair May 2020, will re-open as the Grandiose London Regional Seat, NOT as the National Seat of Government, try getting odds on it!
      It’s a great pity more people didn’t read this; – we wouldn’t be in the mess we are!

  5. Mark B
    February 10, 2016

    Good morning.

    It was also recorded elsewhere that the UK Government ‘knew’ the eventual result of what EVER CLOSER UNION would be and deliberatly kept that from the British people.

    [citation needed] “They must not know what is happening to them” was what was said in a FCO memo.

    People like the late, Enoch Powell warned people that; [citation needed] “A cruel trick is about to be played on the British people.”

    If something is so good, why lie about it ?

    1. Tom William
      February 10, 2016

      It is now known that the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department, set up to oppose communism by covert (but accurate) propaganda was also used covertly to influence public opinion in the UK by planting pro EEC articles and letters in the British press.

      1. Hope
        February 10, 2016


        FCO paper 30/1048

  6. Antisthenes
    February 10, 2016

    Although the EU has taken away so much of the UK’s sovereignty and is helping itself to it’s wealth it is not affecting ordinary peoples everyday way of life. It is but not yet directly or perceptibly enough for them to be alarmed. The problem is it is impossible to demonstrate how much better off the UK would be now and in the future if it had not joined the EU. Unfortunately it falls into the category of faith that the UK would be better off out.

    The arguments we have for leaving are by and large academic and philosophical ones beyond the interest or understanding of most people. Coupled with the fact that the EU is doing what all governments do bribing and indoctrinating it’s citizens with their own money.

    We can rail as much as we like against the iniquities of being a member. Of the losing of our right to self determination, the crippling costs of EU rules, regulations, laws policies, that it is an unnecessary layer of government anyway and so much more but if people are not conscious of the effects of this they will not act to reverse the situation. It has not arrived at the point that they have to eat cake as there is no bread. If we remain in then that point metaphorically speaking will come about.

    1. Know-Dice
      February 10, 2016

      As someone once said “It’s the pound in your pocket” that will swing the balance…

    2. forthurst
      February 10, 2016

      “Although the EU has taken away so much of the UK’s sovereignty and is helping itself to it’s wealth it is not affecting ordinary peoples everyday way of life.”

      Boiling Frogs.

      1. agricola
        February 10, 2016

        The general public may not be aware of it but food in the supermarket could be a lot cheaper were we able to buy it wherever we wished in the World. All we need is oversight to ensure that the supermarkets do not take the opportunity to jack up their margins just because they perceive that the public are used to current price levels. Having friends in high places allows them to screw the UK farmer. They need to be restrained.

    3. bigneil
      February 10, 2016

      “it is not affecting ordinary peoples everyday way of life” – From your comment I will make the assumption you are a sight further up the class/social scale than me.

      The EU is destroying this country. Cameron is in full compliance with that aim. He wants his place in Brussels that he firmly believes should be his. More and more “ordinary” people are seeing what their (CMD/EU) plans are.

      Your “ordinary” people are a lot more aware than you think. And a LOT angrier than Cameron would ever think. Everyone I talk to now classes him as a liar and a traitor to this country – as toxic to this nation as TB – make your own choice – etc ed

  7. alan jutson
    February 10, 2016


    I think your point about weaker and less persuasive Outers being asked to comment by the media, probably has some strength/truth behind it.

    Why, because it makes it less likely that a Europhile or uniformed interviewer is made to look rather less dumb.

    This tactic is something all of the leave/Go campaign Mp’s need to be aware of.

  8. MIke Stallard
    February 10, 2016

    I was mad keen to join the Common Market (sic) in 1975. I really was. I thought England would be awash with French wine and those super sexy French Films! I never considered for one moment that my motherland was to be absorbed into equality with Cyprus, Romania and Latvia!
    We have been consistently lied to since then. Yes, lied.
    Oh – I nearly forgot – there is always the small print written in 6 point at the bottom to cover the wretched politicians who were deliberately giving the false impression (aka lying).
    In 1975 politicians were deeply respected. Today? You tell me!

    1. turbo terrier
      February 10, 2016

      Mike Stallard

      In 1975 politicians were deeply respected. Today? You tell me!

      Thats a tough call Mike.

      For my money there are a 100 odd not only respected but also trusted but sadly not one in any position of real power to change anything

    2. Monty
      February 11, 2016


      “…I thought England would be awash with French wine…”

      We already had shops selling French wine, Champagne, Belgian chocolate, Danish Bacon, Danish Butter, our dealerships were full of German cars, and our factories were full of German machine tools.
      What wasn’t happening was reciprocal trade, us selling our products to the Common Market. Not really surprising, as we weren’t even very good at selling our own produce to our own UK customers. We were churning out a load of tat, we were crippled by militant trade unions, and it wasn’t the Common Market that got us out of that malaise, it was Margaret Hilda.

  9. Margaret
    February 10, 2016

    I agree with Mick it wasn’t that we were young and it was a perceptual ‘golden age’ but we were free and what is more self control was a feature. Now the whole tone is a despotic one.
    When the freedom of movement was written in in 1971 I bet it didn’t envisage the freedom of movement we get to day . It meant within the European Countries. I doubt whether Eastern ideals and culture being an integral part of our were ever imagined then. I doubt that we would all be scared in case a suicide bomber came to town. I doubt that we ever thought of mosques and this way of life replacing the Church of England.

    1. Margaret
      February 10, 2016

      Apologies again .I always write on the hop; being busy busy busy. Correction :- “an integral part of our lives were ever imagined then “

  10. Lifelogic
    February 10, 2016

    I was a little too young to vote last time but even then I found the proponents of leaving far more persuasive than the remain side. The arguments to leave are far more persuasive now. Indeed I have yet to hear a sensible reason for staying in. Cooperation with the countries of the EU of course yes, but anti-democratic, top down, socialist government by them never.

    1. Bob
      February 10, 2016


      “I have yet to hear a sensible reason for staying in.”

      If they had one we would have heard it by now.

      1. Timaction
        February 10, 2016


    2. Lifelogic
      February 10, 2016

      I see that the trade deficit (with the EU especially) has increased still further. Yet William Haigh says in the Telegraph today that all good Conservatives should be torn.

      Nonsense the arguments are very clear, leave is the only sensible option unless you like a sclerotic, anti democratic, top down command, socialist superstates. Plus lower drink driving limits too it seems.

      1. Bill
        February 14, 2016

        “Plus lower drink driving limits too it seems.”

        This is merely taxation, drivers are being used as cash cows. The average person isn’t ‘drunk’ on 3 pints, yet they want to lower it from it’s present 2?
        Why not make it ‘zero’ this will stop the money people manipulating the system and we’ll have a level playing field!

  11. John Bracewell
    February 10, 2016

    Not only did the White Paper of 1971 mislead people, a lot of what you have quoted in this article was not communicated to the voters in that referendum. I lived through that time and did not get the sense of anything but economic arguments being put to the voters. This time it is quite different, the positions on law, migration, sovereignty and economy, although still being represented in a deliberately misleading way by the Stay In side, are now much clearer since voters in the appropriate age groups, can see the effect of EU policies and do not have to rely on politicians telling them what may happen. The PM is quite rightly being accused of scaremongering. However, there still remains approximately half the voters that are intent on voting to Stay In, what advantages they can see in remaining in the EU is surprising to me, I can only think it is the under 50 age group who both do not remember life before the EU and have not experienced how life has changed due to the EU’s interference in UK affairs. I am quite reassured that if the vote is to Remain, I will not be around to see the consequences which will be complete takeover by the EU despite us being told it will only be the Eurozone that will form one country, the rest will be dragged in too in true EU style. The whole EU project will founder at some point just like the USSR did since there are too many diverse countries and populations in the EU, at some point the workers in countries that are donating large amounts to people in other countries will object to their hard work and taxes being used to bolster poorer countries and that will result in unrest (similar to that seen in Greece recently but much worse), perhaps civil war and the ultimate break up of the EU. The question is whether some countries will have the sense to see it happening and pull out before it affects them too much.

    1. Bill
      February 14, 2016

      “However, there still remains approximately half the voters that are intent on voting to Stay In”

      That’s if you ‘believe’ the polls, I think the number to stay is a lot less, but they dare not show it! Remember how far off the ‘polls’ were in the GE?
      These polls can and are manipulated to fool people, why do people allow themselves to be swayed by polls? They have a brain and can see and feel the hurt the EU policies are causing, they don’t need a weatherman to say which way the wind blows!

  12. ian wragg
    February 10, 2016

    So the deception carries on. Endless scaremongering from CMD and the BBC. I see the deficit with Europe is at an all time record. Sure they will want to disrupt trade if we leave(not).
    I think the establishment is starting to smell the horse dung

  13. eeyore
    February 10, 2016

    I hope this remarkable series of posts by Mr Redwood on the EU vote will be collected and issued in book or pamphlet form in time for the referendum campaign. There is nothing from the other side remotely to compare with it – and I’ve taken pains to look. Whether in accumulation of fact, weight of argument or cool skill in debate, it is, I think, a masterclass in putting a political case.

    1. DaveM
      February 10, 2016

      Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.

  14. Lifelogic
    February 10, 2016

    I see that Osborne’s economic plan to tax borrow and waste until the pips squeak, rob private pensions, RAT on his IHT promise and raise tax rates before breakfast, lunch and tea does (rather predictably) not seem to be working very well. Also he seem to want to ensure that as many people as possible do non productive jobs as tax lawyers, regulation compliance officers or in tax planning and admin.

    The way to growth George is to cut out state sector waste (about half of it is), lower tax rates and simplify tax. It is also the only way to close the huge deficit he is running and become competitive again.

    Vote leave and get rid of these two misguided, say one one thing do the other, tax borrow and waste socialist ratters Cameron and Osborne as an extra bonus on top. Just passing daft laws on minimum wages does the opposite and will just kill & export jobs and businesses.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 10, 2016

      More drivel about the essentially non existant gender pay gap I see too. What is the total money government has passed away on this agenda I wonder.

      It is just people of both genders making work life balance and other life choices, as is very clear from the statistics.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        February 10, 2016

        Motherhood is of no consequence or value these days and Apple Pie makes one obese

    2. Bill
      February 14, 2016

      “The way to growth George is to cut out state sector waste (about half of it is), lower tax rates and simplify tax. It is also the only way to close the huge deficit he is running and become competitive again.”

      There’s more than one way to skin a cat, who slashes public spending in a growing population? We could ‘sell’ more? But to do that we need to leave EU, because at present we omit 48% of the world population? Under the TTIP ‘Trade Agreement’ we wont be trading with BRICS nations, they have been left out, on purpose, because they wont sign away their Sovereignty! Uruguay left the talks in September, when they found out they had to cede Sovereignty, to Corporations.

  15. Antisthenes
    February 10, 2016

    An example of how difficult it is to make ordinary people understand the intricacies of life’s events and the consequences of the way participation in that event is carried out was exposed on BBC news this morning. The EU is a massive event which few have little understanding of the consequences of participating or not in it. So judging by that news item and from the ordinary peoples views of that event it was covering they cannot possible be capable of making a wise decision on whether to leave or remain in the EU.

    The item was covering premier league’s ticket prices. A simple matter it would be thought but alas no. Those ordinary people had very strong opinions all of which declared that the football clubs could cut prices and even make entry free. A noble sentiment no doubt but then who does not want something for nothing so not so noble after all. Then when asked why the prices were high they responded because of demand. Surely that should have been the end of the discussion they had answered their own question but no. They then put forward moral reasons for cutting prices. They wanted price control which they failed to understand that if instituted would not have the desired effect as long as demand was greater than supply as all that would happen is that prices would not fall just the profits would be transfer from clubs to ticket touts.

  16. fedupsoutherner
    February 10, 2016

    I had to laugh last night when the BBC were highlighting the tidal lagoon at Swansea. They kept going on about a ‘government subsidy’. NOOOOOOO it is not a government subsidy, it comes out of our bills. The first figures were for a price of £150 per MW?? (Cannot remember the exact figures) but it was a very large figure and they wanted subsidies for 30 years. Obviously this was not as competitive as nuclear so they came back with a figure similar to nuclear but with subsidies for…………….90 years!!!!! Yes, 90 years. Are they having a laugh and why is the DECC even considering this stupidity? Then the BBC had the neck to say that jobs in the steel industry and other areas were going in the local area and this would be good for employment at the tidal installation. I could not believe my ears. Much of the problem for industry in the first place is because of stupid ‘green’ ideas such as this pricing our men out of the markets. Another bloody stupid idea from the EU backed up by even more stupid ministers in the UK. For God’s sake, let’s get some intelligent people behind the dire problem of energy in this country.

  17. Graham Wood
    February 10, 2016

    It is worth repeating again and again. For the ‘ remain’ side to win this referendum it would be a win for a Trojan Horse – and with a vengeance! There could be no return to the status quo, and from the start a signal would have gone to the EU Commission – the UK does not really believe in itself, and it’s “eurosceptics” huff and puff, but mean nothing.

    From then onward there is very little that the EU could NOT impose upon Britain, and on each occasion the same reply would be returned, with interest, – ‘ but you voted for it in the referendum’
    End of all discussion.

  18. Bert Young
    February 10, 2016

    When the first EU vote occurred I was old enough to know what I was doing ; I voted “No”. I did this because I valued the Commonwealth more than the “6” and I was also disinclined to get alongside De Gaulle . The French had already steered the Germans into financial support to their agriculture and it was obvious we would be pulled into the same mechanism .

    The EU table of decision was never and is still not representative of population and economic size . Why should Latvia and Malta have the same weight vote as the UK or Germany ?. Of course if I was only paid a pittance wage in the country where I lived and I could earn much more elsewhere , I would want to move . If I could also send benefit money back home to the wife and children I had left I would want to do so . If my wife was with me and became pregnant I knew she would get the best of care and the child a good education ; all in all I would think myself lucky .

    As time has marched on our nett contribution to the EU has got larger , the numbers of member states have increased to 27 and our vote and influence watered down . The Commonwealth – one of my original concerns , has drifted away and our identity in the world sublimated by the EU cloud . The euro has emerged and become a fake currency and countries like Greece a nightmare to our own financial stability . This entire malaise has got to be brought to a halt and our sovereignty and independence re-established .

  19. Atlas
    February 10, 2016

    Yet another good reason to leave the EU is to avoid such “Harmonisation” moves like reducing the drink-drive limit. The Transport SoS went native quite quickly didn’t he.

    February 10, 2016

    As I remember, TV standard news broadcasts in the run up to the vote did numerous presentations of how one or two other EU nations had really long holidays.

    They showed the UK as having a pathetically small number of weeks by comparison.
    They told us ours would increase to their levels.
    They pointed to the USA as even having less than us.
    Our allegiances with Australia and elsewhere were painted as worthless.
    They used stereotypes showing Australia with thousands of sheep, as if mutton and wool were their only exports to us
    They showed New Zealand, its cows, and saying we bought cheese and lamb from them. But we could get them cheaper in Europe.

    The TV just rubbished our Commonwealth. Rubbished the people living there. Even our own British people living there…millions of us. Rubbished their trade with us as worthless.
    They never once mentioned Canada and our trade with her. Millions of our relations living there.

    The TV pictured the political opponents of joining as extremists. Far Left. Far Right joined in a peculiar alliance against commonsense.

    No-one envisaged us ever having a Prime Minister who would boast of going round to talk one-to-one to 27 Prime Ministers to ask if he we can pretty-please-thank-you-for- -your- time have a change in our welfare benefits, to stop them sending millions of their people to fill our schools, hospitals, social housing, private housing, and communities.
    No-one had a clue this monstrous EU would be the end of Great Britain and we would be governed by faceless European officialdom.

    Hard to believe the TV and Mr Cameron are going to give a fair debate on leaving. He has already started campaigning to Stay. He started campaigning to stay before he went for renegotiations. “Please Sir, I want more for the UK . But if you say no, don’t worry. I’ll tell them to stay anyway. ” Some negotiator.

  21. James Matthews
    February 10, 2016

    Let us not forget the malign influence of the professionals in the foreign office (and, it must be acknowledged, big business) over the years. The FO under successive governments, provided much of the driving force behind EU expansion and were willing to trade vetoes for it, giving us to understand with nudges and winks that more countries with more divergent interests would put a brake on the drive to closer union, while simultaneously expanding our trade. As with so many things, they were spectacularly wrong about this, but who knows whether they ever believed it ?

    For big business, sadly, protected access to large markets trumps national sovereignty every time. Not really surprising, they are just doing what they exist for, and not necessarily a bad thing when national governments are properly vigilant and assertive in their national interest, but destructive to nation states when they are not.

  22. Vanessa
    February 10, 2016

    Which is why this government should get behind the LEAVE campaign. To campaign to stay in says it all. The tory government is too ‘green’ (in the old meaning) and incompetent to dare to vote to leave the EU as it would mean the people would realise how hopeless they are in government. All they do is create more and more QUANGOs to do their work and bidding for them because they do not have “the balls” to make the decisions which would make this country GREAT again. You have forgotten how to make STATE decisions for the best interests of this country but go cap in hand to ask the EU elite what you should do. You should all be strung up on lamp posts by your ……..!

    1. Kigombe
      February 13, 2016

      Hear hear.

  23. ChrisS
    February 10, 2016

    A very interesting post.

    The INs can indeed say that the 1971 White Paper issued before the last referendum predicted ECU but it would be equally right to point out that it most certainly did not specify what was intended.

    More important, it clearly spelt out that we would have a veto over anything new that would affect sovereignty. That would have been enough to convince a lot of voters that it would be OK. After all, they would never have thought for a moment that their own government would conspire to do anything to erode our status in the world let alone give away their own powers to an unelected European body.

    The problem from then right up until today has been that the Whitehall machine has been consistently scheming against the wishes of the electorate to take us into ECU as far as they could get away with. In this they seem to have been aided and abetted by a majority of ministers in the various governments, and particularly by PMs Heath and Blair. Even Margaret Thatcher was dragged into the ERM against her instincts by her ministers.

    It was only the stubbornness of Gordon Brown that prevented Blair from taking us into the Euro. That was as close a shave as we are ever likely to face and the one redeeming feature of his time at number 11. Yet none of the former proponents of the Euro are the slightest bit remorseful over it.

    The present incumbents of Nos 10 and 11 are no better than their predecessors given the lies, half truths and scare tactics they are employing to win the current referendum. There is little doubt that, should the electorate vote Yes, the outcome will be more of the same. By the time the European Parliament and the Court have worked their evil magic on the “settlement” we will be sucked deeper and deeper into the mess that is the EU as if nothing had changed.

    I simply cannot comprehend why successive governments have been so intent in giving away power and taking us ever deeper into this deeply flawed institution.

    In 2016 it’s profoundly and deeply depressing to see a Conservative Prime Minister strutting the European stage conspiring to win the referendum by such underhand means. Win or lose, a majority of Conservative voters, many MPs and amost all Conservative party members will not forgive Cameron for his handling of this whole matter .

    I suspect that he will depart for No 10 before the year is out, whatever the outcome.

    Given the depth of feeling the next leader will have to be a Eurosceptic. I would have voted for May but she appears to have chosen the wrong side. Gove would never appeal well enough to the wider electorate.

    Boris, the job is yours for the taking.

  24. Paul Cohen
    February 10, 2016

    The poison pill is in the second paragraph – the word “essential” This throws the intent into limbo and effectively disarms it.

  25. Roy Grainger
    February 10, 2016

    Mr Cameron’s arguments for staying I the EU are so spurious and feeble that one wonders what his REAL reasons are ?

    1. Leslie Singleton
      February 10, 2016

      Dear Roy–Presumably he fancies doing what Blair failed to do meaning becoming one of them five presidents one reads about. Good riddance to him. At least so far as I know, he hasn’t yet said we should be ashamed that we don’t have a foreign General from the Balkans or wherever. As I have said many times what Cameron has in common with Conservatism and why Conservative MP’s put up with him are way beyond me. On a scale of 0 to 10, Corbyn gets minus 10 and Cameron minus 9.

    February 10, 2016

    In June 1975 the electorate gave support for EEC membership, with a vote of 67% in favour on a 65% turnout. So, 35% of our people did not vote at all. More than 1 in 3 . In addition 1 in 3 who did vote did not vote in favour for the then EEC ( EU ).

    Well there are rules for a National Election , I guess, about appropriate levels of turnout. But in the worst democratic-deficit scenario you get another General Election every five years to put it right. But with the forthcoming Referendum though in theory another could be held within months, in practice it will be years. By that time the demography of the UK will,at the rate of immigration and migration not actually be the United Kingdom at all. A nation without unique identity with an update on some middle-class people wondering what “British” means to a murky classlessness wondering what Patriotism means. Just who should you cheer in a “national ” football match?
    It is a far-eastern philosophical dream that societies can function without idols in the broadest sense. We all need a hero in fact. The UK will be without heroes if we stay in the EU. Mr Cameron is a prime example.

    The SNP did have a point in Parliament yesterday. Paraphrasing: “Is something going to happen in the Summer, something odd, which makes desperate the Prime Minister to hold the Referendum, at all costs before that time on June 23rd? What can it be? ” The rhetorical question was delivered with a seemingly knowing smirk by Mr Salmond.

  27. Ex-expat Colin
    February 10, 2016


    Channel 4 interviews Shultz and Newsnight Barosso of late, Then Channel 4 (Snow again!) swipes at Farage for not reporting Tories at Newark.

    More to be ushered through I guess…yawn! Won’t need pills today as Trump won.

  28. Bill
    February 10, 2016

    Aren’t White Papers drafted by civil servants? This misleading prospectus has the hallmarks of civil service obfuscation. What is odd to me is that Tony Benn was part of Harold Wilson’s government and was anti-EU. What on earth happened in the cabinet and was Wilson really so sold on the idea of joining the EU that he played down the negatives?

    I have looked at Wilson’s book The Governance of Britain (published in 1976). There is no mention of Sovereignty in the index and the sections on the EU referendum and the renegotiation of terms is largely procedural. Interestingly it was the truly awful Edward Heath who queried the relaxation of collective responsibility during the run-up to the referendum – he questioned the ‘right of the minority to differ from the majority decision of Cabinet’ (p 76). Wilson states ‘there was a great deal of interest in constitutional circles’ (p 75) but this interest seems to have been focused on the relaxation of collective cabinet responsibility rather than the substantive matter of the steamrollering of British institutions by an over mighty EU machine.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 10, 2016

      I have a copy of that book, no longer wanted by our local public library and in a pile of books being offered for sale at a pennies each …

      But the 1975 referendum was a retrospective referendum about whether or not we should stay in the EEC after Heath had taken us into it, not about joining; and in a way it is surprising that it even took place given that our treaty of accession would have ceased to exist, evaporated, the instant that it came into force, according to the new theory of treaties propounded by Cameron in November 2009.

      Foreign Office mandarins connived with Wilson and the pro-EEC faction in the cabinet to sideline the anti-EEC members, as described in this internal history:

  29. BobE
    February 10, 2016

    Another pay rise for MPs. !! Why!!

  30. Colin watson
    February 10, 2016

    Hello John

    A good article as usual. To me the real crux is that the general public are going to decide and unless they have some consistent information on both sides of the coin then they will do as they always do, avoid risk and uncertainty and pick what information takes their fancy from the media. I do think that non political information should be provided by the Government, simple key points and facts. Unfortunately that would prove to be very difficult because coming out has many unknowns, whereas coming out is the same as before with some changes, good or bad doesn’t really matter to most people.

    I thought William Hague’s article in the Telegraph today was good and balanced and showed the “dilemma” ahead for the Conservative party.


    1. Timaction
      February 10, 2016

      No it wasn’t. Adam swung it!

  31. brian
    February 10, 2016

    Another day and another useful essay by John Redwood. All these articles should be collated and published in the form of a pamphlet.

  32. Phil_Richmond
    February 10, 2016

    I seriously question how many MPs actually understand what the definition of democracy is? I also question if they know the definition of treason.
    When did we the people give our consent to have foreign un-elected bureaucrats making our laws?
    When did we the people give our consent to open up our borders to mass immigration?
    Never mind a referendum most of Parliament and Whitehall + the MSM should be on trial!

  33. Dennis
    February 10, 2016

    France has escaped the threat of huge fines from the European Commission over its illegal ban on British beef imports.
    “The Commission withdrew the proposed $161,400 (£100,000) a-day penalties against France because they cannot be imposed retrospectively.

    France lifted its restrictions on imports of British beef last month – more than a year after being ordered to do so by the European Court of Justice.

    The Commission had applied to the court for the hefty daily fines until France agreed to accept British beef, but the case was still pending when France lifted its ban.” (BBC News)

    So it took nearly two years for the EJC to act. How was it delayed and why? Have we a list of all laws which if broken contain the periods of non compliance when retrospective penalties can no longer apply – could be useful.

  34. NickW
    February 10, 2016

    Why is it necessary for those who wish to leave the EU to be represented by a single organisation?

    I have received news of a number of local organisations springing up which suggests that there are large numbers of people who dislike the idea of associating themselves with the existing organisations. I believe that what is behind this is the concerted media efforts to smear all those who want to be free of the bullying and nastiness emanating from Brussels.
    The BBC can get away with routinely insulting its customers because there is a legal compulsion to pay them, other media outlets need to be rather more careful; insulting your customers is likely to have profound commercial repercussions.

    What is clear is that the role of the “Official” representative of the Leave campaign needs to be a co-ordinating one, even to the extent perhaps that it disburses official funding to other groups by means of an affiliation process.

    The “smear and fear” campaign is having a profound effect; generally speaking, being poked in the eye and insulted regularly tends to make the victims very angry.

  35. turbo terrier
    February 10, 2016

    They misled the voters the last time and if CMD has his way it will be a repeat performance.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 10, 2016

      Turbo Terrier. Since when was it ok for the government to lie, not mislead, the electorate? Even my mother who is not political at all can’t stand Cameron and doesn’t trust him at all. She has voted Conservative all her life but won’t anymore simply because of Cameron. Speaks volumes.

  36. Denis Cooper
    February 10, 2016

    Apart from that 1971 White Paper, here is the pamphlet urging a “Yes” vote that the Labour government had delivered to every household for the 1975 referendum:

    Pack of lies.

  37. Denis Cooper
    February 10, 2016

    It seems unlikely that anything much will change at the EU summit next week, the draft conclusions have already been written in advance:

    So anybody who reckons that what Cameron has been offered is not enough, but is still sitting on the fence waiting to see if he gets more, is likely to be disappointed.

    There’s still the nonsense about “legally binding” guarantees, a short answer to which is:

    “What happened to that protocol promised to the Czechs in October 2009?”

    That promise was made in writing by the European Council:

    “… taking into account the position taken by the Czech Republic, the Heads of State or Government have agreed that they will, at the time of the conclusion of the next Accession Treaty and in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, attach the Protocol (in Annex I) to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.”

    We’ve had the next accession treaty, that for Croatia, so where’s the protocol?

    Dead and buried, that’s where.

  38. Maureen Turner
    February 10, 2016

    I suppose it is only fair to the late Edward Heath to note that in the 1971 White Paper he was merely quoting what was stated – “…….. There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty.” However, the forward design for the Project indicated very clearly
    something entirely different from a trading bloc which he admitted later in life was political union not just economic.

    It is always easy to be clever after the event but it is hard to believe the legal people in Whitehall or our constitutional experts didn’t have concerns. Then again perhaps they were advised to pipe down like today’s wayward Cabinet Ministers.

    What is surprising, to me at least, is that “ever closer union” has obviously been in the Project’s sights since its inception, ie., the EEC, which goes to show its founders sheer determination over decades to see it through to completion whatever obstacles they might face. Only today, in either the Mail or Express, there is a photograph of Angela Merkel and Mr. Hollande smiling broadly as they clasp each others forearms advising that they are going ahead for ever closer union. It would be delicious irony if the PMs negotiating skills have driven the other Leaders to say enough of this man for heaven’s sake – let them go.

    Just what does ever closer union look like when you arrive and why no glossy brochures to show the destination? I like your rocky ride as it’s a pretty good analogy but I’m afraid it is not only the horse who is wearing blinkers.

  39. fedupsoutherner
    February 10, 2016

    Here is yet another example of EU policy gone mad. Rugeley Coal Fired Power station to close early.

    Rugeley’s early closure has added to concerns over short and medium term capacity. Photograph: ArenaPhotoUK/123RFRugeley’s early closure has added to concerns over short and medium term capacity. Photograph: ArenaPhotoUK/123RFA one-gigawatt baseload coal-fired power plant in Staffordshire owned by French utility Engie is to close in the summer, citing a rapid fall in demand for electricity and the cost of covering carbon emissions.

    The 46-year old Rugeley B plant was expected to close by 2025 at the latest after energy secretary Amber Rudd’s promised to phase out unabated coal. But the suddenness of the decision by joint owners Engie (75%) and Mitsui & Co (25%) on 8 February was a surprise.

    Utter madness.

    1. Ken Moore
      February 11, 2016

      Another example of the huge benefits of that foreign ‘investment’ we keep being told is good for us. No doubt the Japanese and French owners have decided that shareholder interests come first. How did we allow key strategic assets to be traded and sold like they are apples…

  40. Socrates
    February 10, 2016

    Last time round, as a student, I naively believed it when I was told that we were supporting a free trade zone. Over the years I have concluded that support for the EEC/EU has caused more bare faced lying by British politicians than any other reason.

    In the words of the great philosopher Pete Townshend – “We won’t get fooled again!”

  41. Jonixi
    February 10, 2016

    As an outer it is helpful to have answers to rebut the
    assertions of the inners.
    Just recently I have heard the Hon. Robert
    Preston, former BBC economics editor and now
    ITV news political editor, twice recently stating that
    the weakening of the Chinese economy is
    not good for the EU and would be even
    worse for the UK economy were we to leave
    the EU.
    This in itself is not going to change my mind
    but I can see that it may well help those
    who choose not to look too deeply into
    these matters to cling onto what they perceive to be the EU security
    blanket. So what is the counter argument
    to this particular question?

    Reply There is no reason to say slower growth in China is worse for us outside the eu. That’s absurd. Why do you believe it? How can it. Possibly be true?

  42. Ken Moore
    February 10, 2016

    “Sovereign governments are represented around the table. On a question where a government considers that vital national interests are involved, it is established that the decision should be unanimous. …There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty.”

    Werner’ The transfer to the Community level of the powers hitherto by national authorities will go hand-in-hand with the transfer of a corresponding Parliamentary responsibility from the national plane to that of the Community’.

    The intentions of the Eu were crystal clear but the warnings were ignored by British politicians.

    The Werner report pre-dates the white paper by one year – It was BEYOND DOUBT the purpose of the EU was political union through a new communist-style superstate called “Europe” in which national sovereignty, and democracy, would become a thing of the past. Yet this was sold to the British people as a ‘common market’.

    This is what we have been led into – an old Soviet system presented in a western guise.
    It is complete with Soviet style endemic corruption, elitism, propaganda and the tendency to elevate ideology over practicality. Then we have the Gulag of political correctness to suppress unwelcome views.

    Yet despite all this, Cameron and his Eu loving friends will have to be dragged from the wreckage of the Eu by their fingernails..

  43. Bill
    February 14, 2016

    When the Lisbon Treaty was signed, this gave the unelected bodies, ‘Legal Fiction’, they’re now allowed to print money from thin-air and buy national bonds to prop up the banks, they stopped Greece from doing this when Syriza gained office, as they don’t like ‘left wing’ Government.
    So now we have even MORE fake money in the system, when will people wake up?
    92% OF ALL MONEY IN CIRCULATION IS MADE FROM THIN-AIR! UK economy relies on ‘LOANS’, as we make nothing from Trade, as the deficit shows! This is because we only trade with half the world?
    We now have 19m people Economically In-Active [can’t get a loan] which is why we need new borrowers [Immigrants] can’t give a low paid job to someone who can’t get a loan?

  44. Nick H
    February 17, 2016

    Hoist on his own petard, having rashly promised a Referendum, will Mr Cameron now be lucky to return bloodied but unbowed from this Tusk of a dilemma?

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