Is that it then?

Bernard Jenkin’s question resonates throughout these renegotiations.

The Prime Minister asked for too little.

The first draft offered him considerably less than he asked for.

In the end he got even less.

The good news is the whole process must by now have driven home some basic truths to all UK voters.

The UK is not in charge of its own borders, welfare system or even its economy and banking system.

We need to get the permission of 27 other countries to make modest changes.

They deny us permission for the full change we wish to make.

The whole process gums up the poor working of the EU and dominates a summit when other issues matter.

The UK wants a very different EU from the majority.

So isn’t the good European thing to do to leave?

We and they need strong relationships between the UK and the EU based on trade, mutual co-operation and friendship.

The sooner we do that the better, for their sakes as well as ours.

Their wild ride to political union is not what we want to go on. We don’t need an emergency brake. We need to get out of the vehicle.

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169 Comments

  1. Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Indeed, these talks have shown perfectly just how sclerotic, incompetent and absurd as a system of government the EU is. Even these pathetic & trivial changes to benefits have taken years & months to agree. Even now they are not binding and the control of them still lies with the EU bureaucrats. So much for Major’s great lie of “subsidiarity”.

    It is surely not only “in our interests” but it is our moral duty to leave and and thus to show others the door. If you love Europe you must leave the EU. It is a one way trip to a top down, anti democratic, socialist superstate. It will end in disaster.

    Even those who wish to remain should vote out and get a far better deal than this.
    The deal is a complete and utter joke. even by Cameron’s pathetically low standards it is worthless.

    As you say:

    We and they need strong relationships between the UK and the EU based on trade, mutual co-operation and friendship. The sooner we do that the better, for their sakes as well as ours.

    Why on earth can Cameron and most of the Tory MPs not see this obvious fact? We shall, shortly see how very few real Tories there are in the Cabinet. They are a gang of no nation Libdems with the usual pro EU, green grap, tax borrow and waste beliefs or perhaps no beliefs at all beyond wanting a job, salary, expenses and a good pension. The leaders have complete contempt for the real interests of the country and complete contempt for their membership too.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Lifelogic. But not only CMD and most Tory MPs, there must be substantial numbers within the Labour Party who can see how inadequate re-negotiation has been, and who would vote for Brexit. Why do we never hear from them ?

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Indeed last time we had Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Peter Shore, Eric Varley, and Barbara Castle.

        • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Cameron claims EU migrants who do not find work will be sent home after six months. Staggering. He has a lost hundreds of thousands illegal immigrants, how would he find or coral these people to send home! EU will allow new laws to prevent SOME criminals entering the country. The U.K. Should be able to stop ALL convicted criminals entering the UK. Cameron cannot claim on this basis the country is safer. Absolute shyster. Gove makes it clear, former head of Interpole claimed it is like a banner welcoming all terrorists.

          • Posted February 21, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            Mr Cast Iron, no if no buts, at heart a low tax Conservative will say anything at all – it is forgotten before the sound dies away.

            Also how on earth does Mrs May square her robust immigration speech (at the party conference) with her desire to remain in the EU? Perhaps logic is not her strong point, she did after all read Geography at Oxford.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Apparently, according to God (BBC) this morning, the majority of the Labour party are voting to stay in!!!

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Six thousands more migrants arrived in Greece yesterday and Cameron has not secured the UK borders. He has not stopped out taxes being given away in child benefit to children who have nev set foot in this country. Some possible sliding scale tapered in the future all subject to be vote down by the Eau parliament and ECJ. No guarantees for the city, no treaty change to stop ever closer union. He has not achieved Treaty change in any of his weak requests and any slight change is not legally binding. He has failed what he promised to deliver and therefore with honour he should not rule anything out and lead the UK out of the EU. No to do so demonstrates, once more, that you cannot believe a word he says. He is severely disredited as a person and he has severely discredits our beautiful nation. The Tory party needs to remove him ASAP. All those Tory MPs who remained silent in parliament while Cameron spoke need to feel ashamed of themselves and now act to rectify their mistake.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        The excellent Frank Field was very scathing about it and he is a very good media performer.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Listening to Shami Chakrabarti going on and on about the wonders of “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. I wonder if perhaps I am the only one who thinks it was the most tedious and boring book I have ever been forced to read.

      Surely one of the top 10 most over rated books?

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        No. It was a great book. And it had an important message. It was so powerful that what followed has been out of proportion.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you there – months of studying it at school made me hate it!

        Although in my opinion, as overrated books go, you’d find it hard to beat “The Catcher in the Rye”!.

        • Posted February 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Amen to that. I couldn’t even be bothered to finish it.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      If this summit proves anything it is that the EU is institutionally sclerotic , and as such it is not a system of Government or decision making that will give European nations a future .

      If it takes years of planning , months of trawling the EU capitals, and days of negotiation to get these few crumbs , then it becomes clear why the EU took 40 years to make any changes to the disastrous CFP, drove Greece into penury , and is incapable of responding to the migrant crisis.

      This is not a way to run a country or content , the inertia this sclerotic organisation is imposing on Europe is piling up problems and doing damage to the economic prospects of Europe. We , us outers have to make this argument to people.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      An emergency brake that is held not by the UK but by the EU bureaucrats. What use is that?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree Lifelogic. What I found sad was the number of big Tory hitters who proudly told the TV news reporters that they were supporting the PM. I expected more than the tiny handful who have declared support for the out campaign.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Tory MPs seem to be 20% sound and 80% dreadful career, pension and expenses seeking LibDims.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Simon Heffer has it spot on in the Telegraph. Clearly Cameron thinks we are very stupid indeed.

      Interestingly nearly ever one in the UK has a very good reason to vote to leave it:

      Those who want to remain as they will clearly get a far better deal if there is a leave vote (in a second get it right this time referendum).
      Those in Scotland who want to be independence from the UK will probably get a second independence referendum – if they assist in a leave vote.
      Those who dislike Cameron and Osborne and want them to go should also clearly vote leave.
      Finally those who want to leave should clearly vote leave.

      The only people who should vote to stay are surely only the types who just want to damage the UK, destroy its democracy and break it up – “this damp, dreary, pathetic, small corner of Europe” as this type so often, disparagingly describe it.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12166318/EU-referendum-Just-how-stupid-does-David-Cameron-think-we-are.html?WT.mc_id=e_DM89443&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FPM_New&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FPM_New_2016_02_20&utm_campaign=DM89443

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      How the heck does Lifelogic get first comment so many times ???

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        OCD? Either that or living somewhere a few hours ahead of GMT!

        • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          I just wake up early.

          • Posted February 21, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            I was joking! I did suspect you were an early riser.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        I’ve always wondered that. But give him credit he might be suffering from sleep deprivation but he always makes interesting contributions. Perhaps he will tell us his secret. Hopefully before Boris makes hi mind up.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Well done BBC not. Sturgeon CMD and Farage on marr tomorrow. 2-1 ins to outs then. Absolute bs.

      Just read Goves piece. Brilliant!

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Expect no sensible questioning of the Cameron and Sturgeon just “what would you like to say next Sir” and hints in the direction of racist. little Englander slurs against Fararge.

  2. Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed and the fight starts now.

    Something must be done about the BBC. I understand that it was during the Falklands war that ‘Our soldiers’ became ‘British soldiers’ to preserve impartiality. I fear for the day we have to fight to protect our people again, as the BBC will actively brief against us. I suggest a move from Salford to Brussels.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The BBC should simply change the first letter of its name

      EBC European Broadcasting Company, after all some of its finance comes from there.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      @Horatio; Oh I do wish some people would stop thinking that we still live in 1954, that the BBC is the only TV and radio broadcaster here in the UK! I know that it is nice to have a whipping boy to take ones anger out on but rarely do such actions win any arguments, quite the opposite in fact.

      As it is, Horseferry Road, Westminster is often far more like the European Quarter, Brussels than either Portland place London, or Salford Quays. What is more the output from Horseferry Road is far more likely to be heard and seen by the voting demographics the Brexit campaign needs to win over.

      • Posted February 23, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “Oh I do wish some people would stop thinking that we still live in 1954, that the BBC is the only TV and radio broadcaster”

        Oh I do wish some people would stop pretending the BBC is the same even handed organization it was in 1954.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is actually doing a great job for the Outs.

      Its every soulful report on migrants, its every drama featuring trafficked people and the bigoted white English (that’s you and me that is !) is drawing our attention the the failings of the EU.

      Privileged David Cameron STILL DOES NOT GET IT. The people are shit scared of uncontrolled immigration and they are right to be so.

      THIS is the issue that could well see us leave the EU.

      Richard Branson and Emma Thompson (and their kids) don’t have to compete with mass immigration for anything that matters to them.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Privileged David Cameron STILL DOES NOT GET IT. The people are shit scared of uncontrolled immigration and they are right to be so.

        >
        Staying in the EU is the threat to our national security because if we do not leave peacefully now we will leave by revolt in the end when the people finally realize what the political class have done.

  3. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    “I do not love Brussels, I love Britain” says Cameron. Love “the end of Britain” was perhaps what he meant to say. Love the final death any residual democracy, I assume.

    Another sound bite to be tossed aside with all his other lies and empty promises – His Cast Iron promises, his no if no buts to the tens of thousands, at heart a low tax Conservative, a treaty is not a treaty once ratified. vote blue get endless green crap and all the other lies & drivel.

    This agreement does not even come close to the totally pathetic demand Cameron laid out in his Bloomberg speech. How on earth did the Tory party elect another John Major/Libdim type? This after having seem what a utter disaster the first one was in every respect.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      It has got to be the case that if we can get a leave vote then CMD resigns and brexiters not wets lead the exit talks. Otherwise the foreign office and career beurocrats will give away far too much. And we’ve seen how good CMD and Osborne are at negotiating in Britain’s interest. And no more favours to Scotland if they want to go let them. Take away the subs to Northern Ireland, move the ship orders to Newcastle and Plymouth. Explain to them the price of oil. If they insist on another referendum explain that the terms will be different.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I do not think the Scottish will vote to leave, even if they do get another referendum. The last vote was on the absurd premise that they would stay in the EU and keep the UK pound. When they look at the realities of standing on their own feet, perhaps having a Scottish pound and the very low oil prices they would surely not go for it. The SNP are such patent, inept, lefty, (people ed) they have surely had their day.

  4. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Cameron’s negotiations have had an unintended consequence. Not even he can now pretend that the UK is an independent state. Cameron has done us all a favour by inadvertently laying bare his impotence and that of Britain. The debate has therefore shifted. Whatever the terms they are irrelevant. The central point has become sovereignty; nothing else matters. Let us trust the British people to see that and vote to regain the sovereignty so deceitfully surrendered.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Remember where you read this first – Cameron is an arch-genius, being a secret Leaver!

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. The other debate is now how to remove this EU rep. It was and is obvious this man represents the EU not the British people and it sickens me to think he has any say in our control.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Sham Cam’s charade has been beautifully exposed and he must now surely be on his way out with Gideon. He has shown to be a quisling in his beloved EU.
      People are not as stupid as HE thinks!

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        I hope (and think) you are probably right but we shall see, it will be fairly close.

  5. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The only question now surely is:- Will Cameron (and the appalling bias of the BBC) manage to fool the voters into voting to stay yet again?

    The betting odds do not look hopeful. Stay 1/3 Leave 9/4.

    I think Cameron with struggle and a leave bet is surely worth a punt.

    Do the people of the UK really want totally open borders to the whole of the EU (and anyone else any country decides to give or sell citizenship too) – without any quality selection or Westminster control at all?

    Do they really want to be subsumed into an anti-democratic, socialist, economic disaster area?

    Do they really want Westminster to be a powerless, pointless, taking shop, joke?

    Why does even Cameron & Osborne want this?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Death tax on probate announced on the horizon, not allowed to buy a second house without more taxes. This is a marriage tax. Married couples are treated as one, “partners” can buy two houses! After over 300 tax rises it is about time Tory MPs started to ask when taxes could be cut, state reduced through spending cuts. Some cuts would not affect service delivery at all i.e. Getting rid of the Environment Agency would save over £1 billion without any consequence to the public. Cameron promised the bonfire of quangos. Anyone who thinks the EA spent their money on dredging is deluded. They replaced perfectly good wooden fencing on the Somerset levels with the exact same type of fencing, erect steel barriers by roads all done presumably so it could be claimed X amount was spent of flood defences. The public will be deceived into thinking a considerable amount of the money was spent on dredging when it was not. Vast sums of money spent on alleged flood defences, replacing perfectly good fencing, will not stop flooding or make a jot of difference. Now the local council is increasing its community charge for flood defences! Why should the tax paying public pay two or three times for some thing at is not happening? What is the useless Liz Truss doing about it? Moreover, why is she not looking at the detail or is this really tokenism because the EU directive will prevail?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The question to the “Remainers” should be, does it make any sense to be on the periphery of the EU and not join the Euro with political union and still pay billions to the EU for this “special status”? And all that influence that CMD has shown over the last few days to be a “pipe dream”…1 of 28 at the moment going to 1 of 35? in the next few years.

      Surely much better to “Leave” and trade with the rest of the world like we (Britain) has done for hundreds of years.

      And to LL one to add to your list of “ratting”, apparently the Probate will be changed from a fixed fee to one based on the value of the estate.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35612264

      From £150/£215 to £4000 for estates between £500,000 and £1 Million which will hit a lot that live in the south of England… 🙁

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I see that Theresa May also wants the UK to be subsumed into an anti-democratic, socialist, economic and freedom destroying EU.

      I am not surprised, I never has much time for this freedom attacking, geography graduate.

      Even the fairly sound Michael Gove has said there is only one significant difference he has with the excellent PM Cameron.

      A proper Tory would differ with Cameron on countless issues:

      The EU, the level of taxation, the size of the state, the endless waste, the absurd structure of the NHS, Grammar schools, the green crap subsidies, the inheritance tax ratting, and countless more things.

      So even the people on the leave side are wet lefties. Not real Tories alas.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Also Michael Gove, rather depressingly said it was the most difficult decisions he has ever had to make.

      What on earth is difficult about the decision. Cameron has got absolutely nothing from his choreographed, joke, non renegotiation. No proper Tory (one who believes in democracy, freedom, accountable government, a smaller state, strong defence, sensible levels of taxation, cheap energy, control of our borders and a sound economy) could possibly want to remain in this anti-democratic, regulated to death, EU disaster area.

      So what will Boris do, does he have the courageous?

  6. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Something must be done about the BBC. On the news yesterday Richard Branson was being interviewed about space travel, at the end he was asked about his opinion on Brexit. He is a “stay inner” and gave a strong piece of advertising for the remainers.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Nothing of any consequence will be done about the BBC. The government under Cameron, a weak and posturing egoist and blusterer, does not have the courage nor the desire to do anything. It is part of the Establishment Cameron and the rest wish to preserve, just as they have been shown to be weak and wilfully ineffectual over the EU, which they also wish to preserve. They know that if we leave the EU they are finished.

      The BBC sees itself as untouchable, as does the EU. They need to be fought and defeated, they are not open to democracy or self reform. Where are those who are prepared to act to restore our freedoms, we need them to come out now, to do more than merely write about the problems, yet stay within their comfort zones no matter what the failures. These are the ones who give the bullets to someone else to fire and stay behind the parapet themselves.

      If it is true about Mr Gove, at least there is one man who is prepared to put belief first and risk his position and career. Let us hope there are many more. But how many even where country and freedom is at stake will stay with their betraying paymasters.

      Cameron and his clique are useless, Project Fear could have failed, so lies and deceit from them will probably now be orders of the day. The BBC will concentrate on portraying those who wish to Leave as divided.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s true the BBC is shocking. But its also true that many leave campaigners waste their opportunities on TV. Long term Eurosceptics may understand that sovereignty or lack of it is the cause of all problems but the person on the street understands different things. Stretched public services; 3 weeks for a gp appt for their child. English as a second language in their children’s schools. Not being able to get their children in the local schools. Importing a population the size of Birmingham every year. 1 in every 6 jobs to a foreigner, how will junior get work? It’s not scaremongering it’s reality and it’s what will make wives and mothers vote leave.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes and no reminder that he once avidly supported joining the Euro, that it would be a disaster if we didn’t. Wrong then, wrong now – as someone once said.

  7. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    No word from me until after the referendum, apart from:
    Success with all your campaigns on both sides!

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Glad to see Brussels department X is still functioning. No doubt it’s champagne all round having perpetrated the biggest con on the gullible UK public.
      Are we really seen as that stupid.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Peter

      Pleased you are still reading the postings on the site.

      Sad fact is this so called deal still has to pass the highest test of all, ratification or not by the most senior group of people in the EU, which is not happening we are told until after we have had our referendum.

      Thus we are asked to vote on something that we may not even get, if the media and senior powers in the EU are to be believed, as it could be overturned after our referendum.

      How strange the way politics works.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Thanks a lot.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Nice to see a post from you again, Peter.

      However, many of us value your opinions – there are not enough people here arguing the contrary view to provide balance.

      If we promise not to be too hard on you, could you not continue ?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Peter Van Leeuwen ,

      As I understand it the EU president is chosen and he/she appoints the other 23 members of the commission .

      The European Council then rubber stamps his selection .

      The European Commission then decides policy and the European Parliament is basically powerless ; less powerful than our own House of Lords even .

      European citizens have no say in who they think the president should be or the other commissioners . They can’t replace them .

      Do you see the decision makers lack of accountability to the populace as a positive which facilitates strong and fast decision making Chinese style without the encumbrance of democracy or parliamentary debate ?

      Are you not worried that there is nothing the ordinary person can do about it (except vote OUT at once in a lifetime referendums like this) ?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Peter, I, for one have no objections to any views you may express. I would like to read any real arguments for us to remain in the EU, however I don’t believe there are any.
      Please make any, because nobody is doing that in the UK. Its all fear mongering.
      Bob

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      There is only one ‘right’ side Peter.

      The EU is corrupt, undemocratic and is failing spectacularly.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Peter,
      As a person living in Holland and below high tide level for much of the time, what do you think of our Environment Agency policy of following EU advice and letting the sea and nature win, in a ‘managed retreat’, taking care not to spend too much on raising our sea defences? Are you able to keep your country dry under EU directives and if not, will you all want to come and live here when the sea rises 1.5m, as our Met Office thinks?- Nothing to do with the referendum so don’t worry about getting into trouble with Herr Junker and his mates.

  8. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Yes, yes and Yes.
    Now what?
    We should immediately – before the referendum – make absolutely sure of our membership of the EEA. We cannot afford the slightest tremor in our trading relationships with Europe.
    We should start sounding out EFTA so that our position is at least recognised by the rest of our European neighbours. This is going to be difficult because a lot of important people see themselves “at the top table” by right. Although EFTA does actually provide that (Norway for instance is often consulted by the EU) and although the wide world provides a lot of top tables especially in Geneva, I don’t think the penny has actually dropped yet.
    “Their wild ride to political union is not what we want to go on. We don’t need an emergency brake. We need to get out of the vehicle.”

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Mike, we are already members of the EEA by virtue of membership of the EU. If we were to leave, via the Art.50 route, we would be able to negotiate access via the EEA. Remember, they sell more to us than we sell to them, so its as important to them that we are EEA members as well.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      The EEA free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the internal market of the EU 28, when the latter was formed in 1994, plus three EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein Norway), plus Croatia if it gets in the EEA. The Swiss rejected the EEA by referendum, for reasons that have never been clear and does everything with bilateral agreements.

      EEA states participate in the EU’s internal market without being EU members, adopting almost all the relevant EU legislation, except agriculture and fishing.
      Ask Denis Cooper, he knows the Treaties’ history.

      See the EEA / EFTA map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Supranational_European_Bodies

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Norway has to accept about 9% of new EU laws:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11963908/Actually-Mr-Cameron-we-Norwegians-are-happy-rich-and-free-outside-the-EU.html

        So the question I have posed before is this: if only 9% of new EU laws are necessary for the EU Single Market, what are the other 91% doing?

        According to Christopher Booker and Richard North there was actually no need for Cameron to seek EU permission to restrict benefits to migrants as the UK could have invoked the EEA treaty:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/12144436/EU-deal-is-not-legally-binding-in-any-way.html

        “And the so-called “emergency brake”, which would supposedly allow the UK to impose a modest restriction on the right of EU migrants to receive benefits, has been covered by articles 112 and 113 of the agreement on the European Economic Area ever since 1994.”

        Well, I’m not entirely sure about that, but here are those articles:

        http://www.efta.int/media/documents/legal-texts/eea/the-eea-agreement/Main%20Text%20of%20the%20Agreement/EEAagreement.pdf

        “Article 112

        1. If serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties of a sectorial or regional nature liable to persist are arising, a Contracting Party may unilaterally take appropriate measures under the conditions and procedures laid down in Article 113.

        2. Such safeguard measures shall be restricted with regard to their scope and duration to what is strictly necessary in order to remedy the situation. Priority shall be given to such measures as will least disturb the functioning of this Agreement.

        3. The safeguard measures shall apply with regard to all Contracting Parties.

        Article 113

        1. A Contracting Party which is considering taking safeguard measures under Article 112 shall, without delay, notify the other Contracting Parties through the EEA Joint Committee and shall provide all relevant information.

        2. The Contracting Parties shall immediately enter into consultations in the EEA Joint Committee with a view to finding a commonly acceptable solution.

        3. The Contracting Party concerned may not take safeguard measures until one month has elapsed after the date of notification under paragraph 1, unless the consultation procedure under paragraph 2 has been concluded before the expiration of the stated time limit. When exceptional circumstances requiring immediate action exclude prior examination, the Contracting Party concerned may apply forthwith the protective measures strictly necessary to remedy the situation.

        For the Community, the safeguard measures shall be taken by the EC Commission.

        4. The Contracting Party concerned shall, without delay, notify the measures taken to the EEA Joint Committee and shall provide all relevant information.

        5. The safeguard measures taken shall be the subject of consultations in the EEA Joint Committee every three months from the date of their adoption with a view to their abolition before the date of expiry envisaged, or to the limitation of their scope of application.

        Each Contracting Party may at any time request the EEA Joint Committee to review such measures.”

        • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          It begs the question why no-one has raised this in Parliament, perhaps someone should

  9. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Yes this play is being staged for all to see and perhaps it is a good thing. All the migrants past and present will not really care as they have no loyalty to the UK .They are here to make a better life for themselves, not for our countries. The more qualified are here to gain power over us , the unemployed are here to milk us. We do not have the power to control our battle for Britain . Are we British or are we European without any history or peace we fought for?

  10. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Well that’s it then, Cameron will come back waving the non deal written on the special piece of Andrex writing paper and try and fob off the British public, notice I didn’t say his cabinet because they’ll go along with him just to keep there jobs and to hell with the GB.
    Now it’s upto you and your fellow Outers Mr Redwood to rip this non deal to shreds so the British public are not con like back in the 70’s and get us OUT of the dreaded eu

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Well he’s certainly trying to sell us a pup.

      (Andrex)

  11. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I agree. From what I have read so far, I’m not convinced that the Emergency Brake will deter migrants from coming here. It seems, it doesnt even apply until 2020- plenty of time for more to come in before it starts.
    I will read it more carefully over this weekend, but I’m pretty certain I will still be voting ‘Out’ .

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Every job created in Britain will draw a competitor from the EU.

      Thus British workers can never enjoy the fruits of electing their own government sensibly.

  12. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Cameron talks about how he has managed to reform the EU. That will not be how the EU sees it.

    A claim that the UK is now exempt from “ever closer union” is something the Red Queen would have said in Alice in Wonderland, and probably threatened to cut off the head of anyone who disagreed.

    Cameron’s press conference in Brussels was a master class in spin, repetition and failure to answer any difficult questions by more repetition and evasion.

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Cameron is a master at playing a worthless hand well, but everyone can still see he has no valid arguments and his “negotiated deal” is totally worthless.

  13. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    A ludicrous charade which I seriously doubt will convince even a single “don’t know” voter. I must admit I am surprised though; I expected the EU to pretend to concede more than this. Are we going to get a last minute “pledge” just before polling, like the one a day before the Scottish independence referendum?

    What we need now is a clear commitment to act immediately if the vote is “out” from the government.

  14. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I have read the text of Cameron’s speech and cannot find one tangible proposal
    The whole thing is EU babble with absolutely no substance.
    I note there is no reference to what he has conceded in return for his nonessential reforms.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg:

      “…no reference to what he has conceded….”

      You are right. No questions from journalists from across the EU and America either about what he has conceded.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Similarly this blog and all of the comments refuse to mention any of the good things that the EU have achieved

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        behindthefrogs
        The EU is very good at making food troughs at the EU Parliament and filling them with leftovers. Also at making very select gravy trains.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        behindthefrogs
        Seriously:-
        First:The EU wished and instigated the translation and publication of its member states classic novels/literature. The UK disagreed with Latvia having such, on the grounds of expense. I remember which Party and which male leading figure in the UK objected. Well it wasn’t JR or Labour or Libdems. Well the Latvians are a small people and nation. But honour to the EU for that. Curses on all political forces in the UK for not helping Latvia.

        Second: I feel it is the EU and its institutions which stopped the UK Parliament from standing by whilst our children were beaten in schools ( corporeal punishment ) by ill-trained, professionally inept underworked , over-holidayed and badly headmastered teachers backed by ignorant Local Education Authorities and “British” “Law.”
        Well the Latvian books are printed. The kids have their teacher abusers disarmed. So, LEAVE the EU!! It has nothing left to teach us.

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        How can anyone expect me to support BREXIT when the only response I get is such stupid comments

  15. Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This entire process demonstrates clearly that we no longer have National Sovereignty. David Cameron literally had to bow and scrape to come up with a set of reforms that are at best a Fudge. Do we need any further examples of how the EU lords it over us? Those at today’s Cabinet meeting should consider their futures if they support the Fudged-Deal because if they lose the referendum they cannot be allowed to hold senior govt positions, their positions will become untenable. A post referendum cabinet and the position of Prime Minister would have to be held by Eurosceptics. Any cabinet member who feels they could lead Britain as Prime Minister should step forward and support the ‘NO’ campaign. In effect David Cameron now has to win the ‘Fudge-Yes’ campaign to stay on as Prime Minister. If he loses we need a new PM with a post European vision for Britain.

  16. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The deal is not a deal until it is legally binding and this one is not. Vague promises of treaty changes on some of the elements may never actually be incorporated. Why should they be as time and circumstances will have changed much by then as that is quite a long way off. The EU parliament(immediately after a remain in vote it can repudiate the deal and probably will), Brussels, the other 27 states and the ECJ can and probable will reinterpret it and even veto it. France is not going to let the UK protect her banking or her other commercial interests for instance only she believes she has the right to do that. Even though she has said that she will. No it is a meaningless document that is set out so that anyone can drive a horse and cart through it’s provisions.

    Of course worse is what is not in the deal or has been papered over. No return of powers and no EU reform the very thing Cameron said he was going negotiate about and were his red lines. He is taking us for fools and probably he is right to do so because the majority will still vote for us to remain in.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      He won the election and will be out of politics by the next, why should he care ?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      We should be voting once the EUSSR have voted in these amendments ( that are a joke) not before, we know only to well that they backslide at any time it takes their fancy, remember the growth and stability pact for entry to the EURO, that was fudged because the likes of the Italians and others could not meet their criteria for joining, they even ended up letting the Greeks in on the back of it.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      So much for his statement about leading a Brexit vote if he didn’t get what he wanted. He is well short of this but still is determined to ruin the UK. What a sorry man he is.

      • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        So much for his statement about leading a Brexit vote if he didn’t get what he wanted. He is well short of this but still is determined to ruin the UK. What a sorry man he is.

        >
        When he made that speech in Russia about England not so long ago I thought he was one of the best PMs we ever had. Now I think he is one of the worst, a PR man and to be blunt, a traitor.

  17. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe that Cameron is campaigning to remain in the EU after ‘winning such a good deal for Britain’. Just who is he trying to kid. The French, who else, have already stated that the deal is not legally binding and on their past form it won’t be long before the deal is thrown away with the bath water. We are the most densely populated country in Europe and the likes of Germany, France and Spain are so much larger. Nobody has thought about the strains on us with all the immigrants Merkel has invited in without consultation. This is the way of Europe though. We just have to do what we are told. I remember when we lived in Spain, we had a new house built and no building regulations were adhered to like in the UK. We are too eager to please and do all the things we are told to do. We were not offered any benefits and had to provide our own accommodation. The corruption and failure to comply with clean water etc was enough to bring us home. We are not in control of the brake John and the accident is just up the road.

  18. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    You say “the whole process must by now have driven home some basic truths to all UK voters” and I concede there is a slim chance you might be right but it is not yet clear of of course whether that would be enough to induce them vote to escape the Evil Empire.

    Let us not overlook that Europhiles have an excellent record of fooling most of the people most of the time and very many all of the time. And what about the 3 million jobs!

  19. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The most telling aspect of the farce that Cameron has been conducting, and possible still is subjecting us to, is not that he asked for nothing and got less, which he will try to sell as a triumph; it is that he takes the electorate of the UK for a bunch of morons.

    I as a miniscule part of that electorate feel utterly insulted by the contempt in which he holds us.

    If the conservative party is to have any future he must go. It needs to have a future because the opposition is in internal disarray and has proved itself unfit for purpose whichever way it goes. Should the Brexit campaign carry the day then Cameron must go, if only for subjecting the British people to such an humiliation.

  20. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron repeated again America thinks we should be in the EU. He has never explained why. Why he continues to repeat it. Why America wishes its major competitor the EU to be strong. Why America wishes the UK to lose its competitive edge in the world by being swamped in EU problems. Why the USA would want us to take food out of the mouths of Americans by squeezing its export markets as part of the EU until its entrepreneurs cried Uncle.

    Yorkshire BBC, on the eve of the return of Yorkshire soldiers from Germany declared quite openly: –

    “They will return to their base at Catterick as part of Britain’s contribution to the European Army. ”

    Mr Cameron says we will never be part of a European Army. Well OK, a US proxy Army then, with the ability for troops more easily to cross EU nation state borders without so much as a kiss my Brussel.

  21. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The campaign now starts . Cameron has returned with something that the MEPs will over-rule – Schultz confirmed that . The message to the country is clear – we want OUT . It will be very interesting to see how Boris reacts and other members of the Cabinet .

  22. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    If this is the best we have, then one must despair for the future of this country.

    This white paper moment will show as in 1938 how weak an inept this Prime minister really is.

    When you are ask for nothing you get nothing but to ignore what all the voters want if we did decide to remain is nothing short of incompetence. Fundemental and far reaching change? my backside.

    When is this country going to wake up to the fact that our senior politicians just do not cut the mustard and what we desperately need is street and business wise experienced people running the country.

    Listening to G.O. on radio four this morning is enough to make you weep.

    The list of what is not being talked about is endless.

    For once John Humphries tried to keep on the track of not addressing the real points regarding European Courts and parliament laws.

    We will end up fully losing our sovereignity.

    27 against 1 dictates that we will always lose the arguement.

    Not once did Osbourne accept that these “legally binding treaties” can be turned over if the economic situation changes.

    Cameron has over promised on very little and under delivered on a lot.

    Like the EU the man has got to go if we are to realise our full potential.

  23. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron’s repeated: “We are safer in the EU” needs him to explain why our exit from the EU would convince European police forces to ignore and shred faxed information about its home based terrorists.

    Like the lead up to Iraq war, you can tell the validity of a Prime Minister’s case by the amount of lies and misinformation he needs to give it breath.

  24. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    What Cameron has come back with is (an extreme negative comparison removed ed)

    That is how bad it is.

    No real agreement on imigration the one thing that bothers even terrifies a lot of the population even here in dictatorship Scotland.

    Wake up Dave and smell the coffee.

  25. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    One thing I would like to understand a bit better is whether the WTO has any significance in all this or not–in other words, as things stand, can the Continent these days set up a tariff barrier against us or not? If they cannot (by International Law??) what is all the good stuff one hears about the massive importance of the dreaded Single Market? Be that as it may, it seems to me that in any case it is only a matter of time before we have something much closer to global Free Trade and when that time comes why on Earth would we want to be even more embedded in and under the control of the EU?

  26. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it would appear a good portion of the electorate live under an umbrella of not wanting to know, going about their lives in a fog they choose not to waft away so they can see the world outside as it may upset their status quo. It is these people, those daft enough to believe we should embrace the Euro so they don’t have to change currency when going on the annual holiday to Benidorm, those that believe our all jobs will be lost if we leave, those that play the racist card as an argument to those wanting to leave, (I could go on) these are the people that will vote to stay and these are the people that the leave campaign have to educate with factual information in a calm and rational manner.

    Leave the personal attacks, lies, scare mongering and campaigns of fear to Mr Cameron’s supporters, so far we have already seen a lot of negative campaigning from this group, attack seem’s to be their biggest weapon which can often be seen on the BBC, lot’s of accusations yet no facts.

    This is not going to be easy, hopefully the leave campaign will win out and we can release ourselves from the EU.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Priti Patel should lead the Outs.

      She has it all. Including the fact that she is not white, old or male.

  27. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Indeed where are the ‘fundamental’ political reforms. This renegotiation is David Cameron’s political death warrant.

  28. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The provision in the deal that deals with political union and specifies that the UK will not have to be part of that. Sounds very good and encouraging and will appeal to many Euro-sceptics. As it appears to give everything that most sceptics want. Trade with the EU but not political union without having to leave.

    However close inspection and it does not have to be that close is that provision will never be a tenable one. The mechanism for it is unrealistic and obviously designed so that it will be next to impossible to use it. Then there is the problem of the fact that in declaring non political union de facto is declaring that you do not wish to be a member of the EU as you do not share it’s goals or ambitions. How can the EU be a union with some of it’s members not part of that union. That is a ridiculous idea in the extreme and only the idiots of the EU and David Cameron and his advisers can think that concept is even possible let alone acceptable to the other states in the union.

    This deal is madness badly brought about in so many ways culminating in intentions that as usually have been badly thought through as how to actually achieve the desired outcomes. Of course that could have been intent all along. Confound, confuse and make it all meaningless. If so in that they have succeeded.

  29. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I did not hear all of Cameron’s press conference (BBC 10pm News cut it off after a few minutes) nor have I read the final document. My comment today is based on the reaction of the German reporter based in London, interviewed this morning on the BBC.

    His revealing comment was that all it did was put on paper what already happens, apart from tinkering with the benefits paid to migrants, and it was anyway subject to what the MEPs might do to it (citing the President of the EU parliament Martin Shultz). In my words it looks like an attempt to lock the ratchet over ever greater EU encroachment at its current position. It certainly does not reverse the ratchet by returning any powers. It does not look like a very good lock, but one capable of being picked by those determined to do so such as the MEPs (probably sooner than later), the European Court and the Eurocracy (probably later than sooner).

  30. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Mr. Cameron’s return from his discussions seem strangely reminiscent of that of Neville Chamberlain in 1938.

  31. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Succinctly put JR. Sometimes you write on conceptual matters and sometimes you’re more specific and direct. Both types of article are equally interesting.

    One area on which I’m in complete agreement with you is that we don’t need to intellectualise the post-Brexit process. For the vast majority of the voting public it’s sufficient to say that of course we can sort out a trading arrangement with the EU which doesn’t involve accepting free movement or continuing to pay tens of millions of pounds per day for the privilege of buying their stuff.

    People understand when we say: “They sell us far more than we sell them, so of course they’ll want to carry on trading with us as an independent nation – they can’t afford not to.”

    You’re sometimes asked about the details of post-Brexit negotiations, from people who perhaps spend too long on sites promoting Flexcit, and you rightly and confidently dismiss concerns. Business is business, and it will continue. The Germans, French and Italians will take a pragmatic approach in the end, or they’d take a hit they can’t afford.

    Where I’ve differed with you in recent months has been on a different practical matter: that of the need to be organised in order to overturn the probable Remain victory.

    Some months ago you appeared to be in support of one of the campaigns. However you made it clear that you weren’t interested in the machinations and would support whichever campaign was designated. I still wish you had played an active political role in influencing campaign structures and policies, as I think your experience and views would have helped, but I basically shut up.

    This campaign will produce strange bedfellows (witness the awful George Galloway speaking last night) and you indicated that you’d be happy to speak at a Grassroots Out event if asked.

    In the next couple of hours when the PM finishes Cabinet, the campaign will really be underway. May I ask if your position has changed in respect of the competing campaigns, or are you still preferring Vote Leave but will not ‘sign up’ to a campaign until the Electoral Commission makes its designation?

    I wouldn’t ask, but I worry that if you wait until the EC makes its designation your role may not be as strong as I’d like it to be, and I’m also thinking about the candidates for the post-Brexit Cabinet if we win. I feel that both the first and the last weeks of the next four months are crucial to victory.

    Reply I am helping both Vote leave and Go, and have written a lot for Conservatives for Britain.

  32. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    …’…driven home some basic truths to all UK voters.’…

    In my case that truth being that I was right to demand of Cameron full disclosed details of intent prior to the General Election of last year, and that I was right to believe he was lying to me at that time, would continue to deceive, and wholly intent on deception of that same electorate all the time since that same election.

    So, not exactly a lesson learned personally – only a good illustration of justification. There will never be a credulously signed blank cheque from this voter whilst plain unambiguous evasion, dissembling and waffle is on offer. No advance details in plain language = no vote of endorsement.

  33. Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Coming back from almost two weeks in France, Montpellier and Lille, a number of things were made clear to me:
    a. Most French people are hardly aware of the British present turmoil.
    b. Most of people with an interest in the British debate (5/7, but obviously not statistically significant) are expecting a Brexit, and would look at it with pleasure, with comments that are not particularly pleasant (De Gaulle was right all those years ago, Brits only want to be in a club if they chair it, isn’t time that the quants of French origin can work in France … and that sort of things) with people from National Front to Front de Gauche sharing these views when expressed in front of them.
    I also heard a couple of “radio-trottoir” interviews on various radio stations: “the British people want to leave! Good for them, and we’ll see how they do and whether these “surhommes ” (UberMensch) succeed”.

    In the last hours Cameron did not bring much, Osborne was rather weak at defending him, and across the Channel, people do not care or are skeptical.

  34. Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I’m only surprised CMD didn’t arrange to emerge to a group of suitably dressed people giving him a fanfare with a pre-arranged rent-a-mob of adoring fans prostrating themselves at his feet in wonderment at his incredible achievement of “the deal”.
    Agreeing with Mr Wragg, what has he agreed to sign away in order to change 27 other people’s minds? Is it coincidental that at the same time of “the deal” France has issued eviction notices to a portion of the jungle at Calais? Recent reports of their numbers went from 7000 to about 4000 – with no explanation of where they went. Now the number is supposed to be reduced again. No explanation where they are going to go. What’s the odds they suddenly turn up here? two groups of illegals reported yesterday
    ( god knows how many unreported) had 18? in one group found to have come across to Hull from the Netherlands. By now all should be tucked up nice and warm in a hotel, being waited on hand and foot, already seen a paramedic or doctor, and all eagerly awaiting their taxpayer funded new address, healthcare and benefits for life. MPs STILL can’t understand what the “pull factor” is? Speechless.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Calais is merely a bottleneck. Pushy young men are massing there because pushy young men are getting through.

      We can see it on our streets.

      THIS is what could see us leave the EU.

  35. Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Sovereignty with or with out chips…don’t mind really.

    Not happy with our referendum first and then related decisions made by EU parliament on whats been agreed over English breakfasts etc.

    I was very surprised that Child Benefit is truly a universal benefit. Wide open to abuse as are we being in the EU anyway.
    Etc ed

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, Expat.

      Cameron has negotiated concessions on things that most people are unaware that we’re being bummed on in the first place !

  36. Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The PMs objectives were systematically parred back until he got some small reduction of child benefits for kids that don’t live in the UK. No doubt this will result in more public sector non-jobs to administer it and the cost will exceed the reduction of benefits claimed.

    Even the PM must admit that he has failed miserably to achieve the“fundamental, far-reaching change” that he promised.

  37. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The key to being successful in the coming referendum is publicity.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, the national broadcaster is strongly pro EU. (Did you hear the uninterrupted flow from Hilary Benn this morning?) This means that influential people, such as our host, should not so much focus on this column, welcome though it is, preaching mainly to the converted, but start writing more articles in the newspapers, try to get on discussion programs, even the ghastly QT. If ever a programme had passed its sell-by date, it is QT; the panels now invariably seem to consist of ill-informed, self-opinionated non-entities.

    Reply I did a piece for the Guardian today

  38. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    No point in again going over the yawning gap between the Blumberg speech and the eventual outcome of the summit.

    At this stage we perhaps should concentrate on the detail, particularly the facts around how legally binding the terms of the deal are and whether CMD’s intention to beef up British Sovereignty can do anything about the supremacy of the European Court over our own.

    In the case of the latter, if the Justice Secretary is joining our side, the answer would appear to be a resounding NO.

    In the case of the former, I heard on Radio 4 a comment that the French PM has already made a statement for domestic consumption that Cameron’s deal is not legally binding.
    I have tried to track down a transcript of what he has said without success but, if true, it completely destroys what precious little credibility the deal has.

    From our point of view the summit has made a very positive contribution to our campaign :

    Firstly, it demonstrated just how little control we have over our destiny : Channel 4 News last evening placed great emphasis that all the time and political capital expended on the arguments over the changes to migrant benefits were over a mere £25-30m.

    How can a country be sovereign if its leader has to beg, plead and argue to be allowed to decide for itself on such pifling amounts ? Especially when the leader of the fifth largest economy in the World is having to ask permission from otherwise insignificant little countries like those from the former Eastern Block ?

    Secondly, the whole unedifying spectacle of the summit demonstrated just what a lack of will there was to assist and accommodate Camerons’s position and the utter contempt countries like France have for the UK.

    Clearly leaders like Hollande think that their version of the EU Superstate is such a wonderful institution that they cannot contemplate that we might actually vote to leave.
    Over the weekend he was calling for a single EU tax system, government and Treasury.

    Well, if he bothered to look at the polling figures in his own country, he will get a shock.
    French voters don’t want to sign up for any of that, nor do Germans taxpayers ( who know only too well who will end up paying all the bills ).

    The disconnect between the dreamers at the very centre of the EU and the electorate is immense. If this persists, there is a real chance that Marine LePen could end up in the Élysée Palace, despite the French Presidential electoral system being so stacked against her. At the very least, it will likely force whoever stands for the Republican Party to distance themself from Ever Closer Union.

    Sooner or later the outcome of an election usually overcomes this kind of disconnect, except in extreme cases where democracy itself is usurped. Presumably Hollande is prepared to give up the sovereignty of his country because he already knows that he has no chance of the Socialists being reelected next year.

  39. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Antisthenes In a word – the deal is not worth the paper it is not written on.

  40. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    If we don’t get out of the vehicle I can see us in the car crash without seat belts!!

  41. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Will Straw and Chukka Umuna lost no time in telling us the renegotiation is finished and can’t wait to put the referendum to bed .

    Looking at the front pages of the newspapers this morning , they are supposedly giving Cameron a hard time .

    The Daily Mail has always been one of the most pro-EU papers . Their “Euroscepticism” is a bad joke at the expense of their readers .

    Closer to the referendum they will reveal their true colours .

    I’m not sure whether the “stay in” campaign is being choreographed or whether they are so confident that they don’t think it’s necessary .

    If by some miracle we manage to achieve an OUT result , over half of currently sitting MP’s careers will be in tatters . After so many years they will have nowhere to go . They wouldn’t know what hit them .

  42. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    And these words are from Open Europe who are themselves a pro-EU organisation.

    “It is unfortunate that EU leaders have not risen to the occasion and taken this opportunity to embrace Europe-wide reform. This has narrowed the scope of the negotiations to British exceptionalism and therefore falls short in many of the areas that Open Europe has identified as ripe for reform. It is not simply the British public that wants a more competitive, democratic and less bureaucratic Union. Even at last night’s summit a number of other states attempted to piggy-back on the UK’s reforms, but this was resisted by others for fear of ‘reform contagion’. The question now is whether the EU will ever be able to embrace radical reform. British voters must not only weigh this question when they go to the polls, they will also consider the wider arguments for and against membership and the alternatives that are put forward.”

    Only a con-man would ever dress up junk and make it out to be something fantastic in order to sell it to an unsuspecting and gullible public. I ask myself, what does Cameron have against us, that he is prepared to deceive and to spin, in order to please a different master in a different place?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  43. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Today the BBC made this political statement:

    “In the end, the political battle will almost certainly not be fought on the details of this deal.

    It will be fought over the economic risks of leaving the EU and whether the UK can regain control over its laws and borders.”

    (Gavin Hewitt, BBC News Website, today 20th February 2016).

    If we did not have a biased BBC then the political battle will be fought over our right to bring back democracy to the UK and over the economic risks of STAYING the EU.

    However, we can already see how the BBC will be framing a one-sided debate. It is going to be a tough struggle to counter this BBC narrative.

  44. Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Tim Montgomeire has had enough of a Tory Party that does not do what it says on the tin !
    How about you John ???

  45. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    The In side are going to rely on fear and ignorance and not facts to win the day. They don’t care about this appeasement as long as they have something. If you follow this topic it is hard to remember all the in’s and out’s as it is, the average voter I fear will decide this voice is worthless and not turn up on the day.

  46. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    How is it that all the stay members of parliament are now banging on about our security?

    I thought that being an active member of Nato had more to do with that than being a member of the EU.

    If this country does not have full control of its sovereignty then in reality we as country control three fifths of naff all.

    All the talk about benefits, euro, immigration placed on the side ending up to be the main topic of argument mean nothing as in the past our decision making will slowly but surely be eroded.

    What has he bought back concerning jobs,job security, investment and justice?

    I hear that if he loses he will go. Has he not already declared that he will not be staying?

    Either way it cannot come soon enough.

  47. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    At long last! We will now be able to sort the wheat from the chaff!

    Those Tory MPs and ministers who always claimed to be Eurosceptics, but were in fact Europhiles hiding beneath a Eurosceptic cloak out of cynical political expediency. Perhaps we should now expose these duplicitous turncoats and use their past words against them.

    No wonder the general public don’t trust so many of the people they elect to represent them. What a deplorable state of affairs!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  48. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    What a statesman we have in ‘call me Dave’ He crawled into the EU den, begged for a tiny rule change or two (to save face) Was given even less, then burst out the door proclaiming his desire to work ‘heart and soul’ at keeping the (dis)UK in the EU.
    All this despite the obvious conclusion that once the British sheeple vote to remain. His tiny changes will be reversed. …what a guy!….

  49. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    The image of our elected PM, sitting at a table with a bunch of unelected European bureaucrats, begging them to allow him to change the way he pays our money to foreign people, some of whom have never set foot in Britain and never will – is a stark reminder of how our democracy has been stolen and why we must take it back.

  50. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Who on earth is pulling the strings of these previously euro sceptic cabinet ministers who think this joke of an club is something we should stay with?

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Who on earth is pulling the strings of these previously euro sceptic cabinet ministers who think this joke of an club is something we should stay with?

      >
      I don’t know? But Theresa May is a complete fraud and if she ends up being anointed as the next leader and not someone like John or David Davis then I will be convinced of some sort of conspiracy. Are they all anointed at the Bilderbergers or the Vatican or something?

  51. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The Problem the EU Dare Not Discuss

    Hornswoggled UK and EU Citizens

    It comes up from time to time in the UK and European Press but not for very long. It is embarrassing for many readers, victims and governments. Distressing in the extreme for individuals intimately concerned. Renders geo-politicians like those of the EU impotent, speechless.
    I do not write of sham marriages, contrived marriages for gaining entry to the EU and the UK. But legitimate marriages by non-EU, non-British people to gain access. Even access to “get married” similar to the one the Jihadists had before killing their workmates in San Bernardino..a fiance-visa. They had children too on American soil as an unutterable monstrous cover.

    It is well-known to British police who have to deal nationwide on scores of occasions with the result of British citizens having to deal with sometimes the violent aftermath of their recent beloved girl or boyfriend or recently married spouse enabled to enter the Country. The victims, some quite lonely, were taken in by the fake romantic advances by foreigners even to the point of them getting deliberately pregnant. All to gain access to the UK. One TGWU legal online advisor years ago told me:-

    ” I get over 40 calls per week from Trades Union members asking for advice on their legal position after being conned by foreign lovers. ”
    If one reads the Spanish Press nicely translated automatically for free by Google then you can read examples of Spanish speaking persons from South America who have duped lonely and genuine people in Spain with an awful romantic trap. They communicate first by penpal letters or Twitter or Facebook and free telephone/video services via the internet. The same with Portugal. The same with France. French being an international language due to France’s former colonialism. Everywhere in the EU in fact now has the problem.

    Access to the EU via Spain, Germany and the 26 other member countries coupled with marriage provides almost immediate access to the UK and all other countries whether ones intention is the creation of unloved children, an unloved wife , husband or partner, whether this pretended romance has to look on the surface real, for a given number of years is nothing to many of the desperate but intensely cruel and selfish human beings in this world. The victims are ongoing. They are many.

    There are many cases of asylum seekers going after spouses simply for permission to stay, even fathering children. Of asylum seekers deliberately becoming pregnant in a loveless relationship ( for them ), using their unborn child as a permanent stay visa.

    Thousands of cases of this in America and illegal Mexican and South American illegals who cross the American border illegally and have “an American child”. This is the truth. Poverty does many stabs to a human being’s sense of morality.

    The EU bureaucracy is a whole continent away from the realities of interpersonal life even though the victims face the most humiliating, life-changing attacks upon their very souls. Of course , their personal cash which they paid for this and that to a cuckoo spouse can never be accurately calculated.

    The EU is a breaker of hearts : a breaker of minds . A breaker of national sovereignties and peoples. Mr Cameron’s Deal cannot speak and does not address the hundreds of thousands of individual rights and protections of our very selves. EU Rubber-Stamp Land has rendered us all, our friends, neighbours, sons and daughters, pregnable.

  52. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Cameron says “Britain will never join the euro …”

    The UK has had an opt-out protocol on that since the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, which Protocol (No 15) will still start with the words:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012M/TXT

    “RECOGNISING that the United Kingdom shall not be obliged or committed to adopt the euro without a separate decision to do so by its government and parliament”

    ,just as it has always done, no change at all there.

    But as Cameron cannot predict to us the composition of all future governments and parliaments he also cannot predict to us that we will “never” join the euro; and inevitably the pressure to do so will increase as more countries join it – as THEY will still be obliged to do – and the UK heads towards becoming the only member state of the EU which has not yet adopted its currency.

  53. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    This “lever” which Cameron says the UK could pull unilaterally to activate an “emergency brake” to protect our financial services industry appears to consist of this in Article 1 on page 27 of the European Council Conclusions here:

    https://t.co/t0IJqVxp6M

    “Article 1

    1. If, in relation to the legislative acts to which Section A of the Decision of the Heads of State or Government applies, the adoption of which is subject to the vote of all members of the Council, at least one member of the Council that does not participate in the banking union, indicates its reasoned opposition to the Council adopting such an act by qualified majority, the Council shall discuss the issue. The Member State concerned shall justify its opposition by indicating how the draft act does not respect the principles laid down in Section A of that Decision.

    2. The Council shall, in the course of these discussions, do all in its power to reach, within a reasonable time and without prejudicing obligatory time limits laid down by Union law, a satisfactory solution to address concerns raised by the member or members of the Council referred to in paragraph 1.”

    In other words the UK would not have the right to apply a brake which stopped the proposal, it would only have the right to ask the Council to discuss the proposal and perhaps find a satisfactory solution.

  54. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Followed by:

    “3. To that end, the President of the Council, with the assistance of the Commission and in compliance with the Rules of Procedure of the Council, shall undertake any initiative necessary to facilitate a wider basis of agreement in the Council. The members of the Council shall lend him or her their assistance.

    While taking due account of the possible urgency of the matter and based on the reasons for opposing as indicated under paragraph 1, a request for a discussion in the European Council on the issue, before it returns to the Council for decision, may constitute such an initiative. Any such referral is without prejudice to the normal operation of the legislative procedure of the Union and cannot result in a situation which would amount to allowing a Member State a veto.”

    Note that:

    “cannot result in a situation which would amount to allowing a Member State a veto.”

  55. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    There is no special status in the EU, if one country gets something they all get it, you have had special deals before but all given away by politician over the years and as for the con party leader saying it would a leap in dark for the uk, I think you will fined that united states of Europe really got going in 1990 which is 26 years up against hundreds of years of the uk on its own, its has been the last 26 years that have been a leap in the dark,
    I see the smartest man in the con party and in parliament is going for out, Mr Michael Gove a man name worth printing, and what a good job he is doing for people in need.

  56. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    However and on the bright side we all know where Cameron’s next job will be.

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed ,we saw the camaraderie at the EU table.

  57. Posted February 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    The media is full of unsubstantiated fear mongering along the lines of—

    “If we leave the EU, London “Could” be struck by a meteorite killing millions of people”.

    Watch out for the “Ifs” and “Coulds”.

    There will be a process of adaptation by all those who are capable of it, which will nullify all the scare scenarios, because opportunities outside the EU are far greater than those inside.

    As for the Bankers and the City of London, those who work there are our servants, not our masters, and they should not expect the country to run itself to suit their entirely selfish needs.

    They will adapt too; we should not chain ourselves to the ball and chain which membership of the EU constitutes just to please the bankers.

  58. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Cameron is THREATENING US WITH TERRORISM if we leave the EU.

    And its all a LIE!

    When will someone come down on this like a ton of bricks? Should we have surrendered parliament to Rome in the 16th century as we are safer from Guy Fawkes type plots? WHAT SORT OF MODERN TREACHERY IS THIS?

    Cameron and Theresa May must RESIGN!

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      No, he didn’t threaten us with terrorism at all!
      He showed us what they are like and gave us the decision – use it correctly

  59. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    And the band played believe it if you like

  60. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    It is vital to remember two things;

    1) We were drawn into the EU by lies and deception. The founders admitted that if we had known the truth about loss of sovereignty we would never have agreed to join.

    2) Juncker reaffirmed his and the EU’s committment to lies and deception with the recent statement; “When the situation is desperate, you have to lie”.

    There is no doubt that Juncker and his associates regard the possibility of Brexit as an emergency situation and it follows that none of the promises made to Cameron can be believed; they will be broken.

    We would have to be idiots to believe these promises.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we have finally been shown what EU politics is about and we have the right to decide not to be like that. Politicians should be sackable and serve the Queen – that is the British way and it makes us not European. Thank you, Mr Cameron, for showing us the truth that others kept hidden for so long

  61. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Eating my pasties today I was reflecting how out of touch our political class is. I hope the out campaign gets as much money to spend as the other side will get.

  62. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Is that it then? Seemingly. What happened to – “I want a reformed EU” Mr. Cameron?

    After all the to-ing and fro-ing and tortured expressions he succeeded in getting minnows but these are already being hailed as a triumph. Do those in Cabinet who almost overnight changed their EUsceptic stance to one of a EUphile still have confidence in their own judgement or for that matter their PM? The changes he did get are not legally binding and can be discounted at any time should Brussels choose to do so.

    It is a very odd feeling to watch a Con. PM more or less sell his country out for a tuppence worth of tar and be helpless in the wake of the decision. Does he even begin to understand the possible enormity of what he has done? One person commenting on Charles Moore’s excellent piece in the DT wrote when I heard the outcome of these so called renegotiations and understood it to be the deal I felt physically sick.

    A PM is only a temporary custodian of the office he holds and no decision of this magnitude should have been arrived at by any PM threatening to sack those in Cabinet who didn’t fall in line with his objectives then gagging them and having their correspondence scrutinised and only passed subject to the PMs approval. Heaven help us. This is reminiscent of what went on in Franco’s Spain.

    Use your vote wisely folks it’s probably the last chance we’ll get.

  63. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I have been watching the reactions on the BBC following the Cabinet meeting . It is very clear what their bias is and I regret this very much . The coming campaign must insist that the arguments for and against are not weighted to one side or another ; it is also clear how much the campaign will depend on the personality issue .

    I feel it is now absolutely essential for the “Leave”, “Out”,”Brexit” sides to work together under a charasmatic leader ; Boris ought to seize this opportunity ; if he responds to this challenge , he will finish up as Prime Minister . Sadly the outcome may depend more on personality than the content and reasoning of argument .

  64. Posted February 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Cameron sounds just like Blair did when he said he had given up our rebate in exchange for a renegotiation of the C A P. Nothing changed but we LOST our rebate.

    Cameron is a very good liar, although I would not count that as my first character trait needed for a pm – although on second thoughts it seems to be a necessary one now that we are NEVER told the truth any longer.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      No, you are wrong about Cameron. He has made the EU show what it really is and how they think, how they work. This is new to us – previous PM’s, Blair and Brown, just said yes to whatever the EU put before them. Not Cam. He has handed the choice to us. Get it right. We need not fear being British again and not Europeans – we are in Nato.

  65. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Time to end the Tories’ (censor away if you wish Mr. R., but I’m saying it regardless) & Labour Party’s game of the last 40 years of reducing England into becoming an eu Grand Duchy & restore it to being a kingdom again (despite the noises off from the useless Windsors).

    Contact your constituency’s (item left out ed) Leave.eu , Voteleavetakecontrol.org , Grassrootsout.co.uk , & volunteer to deliver their LEAVE Referendum flyers in your neighbourhood. I’ve just finished 20 roads in mine single-handed.

    Too many are talking & not enough are doing – which are YOU?

  66. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Following my earlier comment and having seen the bones of the agreement and it’s dissection, it seems that the German journalist was right. The “deal” merely writes down on a piece of worthless paper the position as it is today. There is no fundamental reform. The EU has not relinquished any meaningful control. Fundamentally, the UK is not in any stronger position than it was before.

    PS I thought Michael Gove, in his statement, made a compelling case for Brexit.

  67. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Michael Gove speaks for all of us. He writes;

    “For weeks now I have been wrestling with the most difficult decision of my political life. But taking difficult decisions is what politicians are paid to do. No-one is forced to stand for Parliament, no-one is compelled to become a minister. If you take on those roles, which are great privileges, you also take on big responsibilities.

    I was encouraged to stand for Parliament by David Cameron and he has given me the opportunity to serve in what I believe is a great, reforming Government. I think he is an outstanding Prime Minister. There is, as far as I can see, only one significant issue on which we have differed.

    And that is the future of the UK in the European Union.

    It pains me to have to disagree with the Prime Minister on any issue. My instinct is to support him through good times and bad.

    But I cannot duck the choice which the Prime Minister has given every one of us. In a few months time we will all have the opportunity to decide whether Britain should stay in the European Union or leave. I believe our country would be freer, fairer and better off outside the EU. And if, at this moment of decision, I didn’t say what I believe I would not be true to my convictions or my country.

    I don’t want to take anything away from the Prime Minister’s dedicated efforts to get a better deal for Britain. He has negotiated with courage and tenacity. But I think Britain would be stronger outside the EU.

    My starting point is simple. I believe that the decisions which govern all our lives, the laws we must all obey and the taxes we must all pay should be decided by people we choose and who we can throw out if we want change. If power is to be used wisely, if we are to avoid corruption and complacency in high office, then the public must have the right to change laws and Governments at election time.

    But our membership of the European Union prevents us being able to change huge swathes of law and stops us being able to choose who makes critical decisions which affect all our lives. Laws which govern citizens in this country are decided by politicians from other nations who we never elected and can’t throw out. We can take out our anger on elected representatives in Westminster but whoever is in Government in London cannot remove or reduce VAT, cannot support a steel plant through troubled times, cannot build the houses we need where they’re needed and cannot deport all the individuals who shouldn’t be in this country. I believe that needs to change. And I believe that both the lessons of our past and the shape of the future make the case for change compelling.

    The ability to choose who governs us, and the freedom to change laws we do not like, were secured for us in the past by radicals and liberals who took power from unaccountable elites and placed it in the hands of the people. As a result of their efforts we developed, and exported to nations like the US, India, Canada and Australia a system of democratic self-government which has brought prosperity and peace to millions.

    Our democracy stood the test of time. We showed the world what a free people could achieve if they were allowed to govern themselves.

    In Britain we established trial by jury in the modern world, we set up the first free parliament, we ensured no-one could be arbitrarily detained at the behest of the Government, we forced our rulers to recognise they ruled by consent not by right, we led the world in abolishing slavery, we established free education for all, national insurance, the National Health Service and a national broadcaster respected across the world.

    By way of contrast, the European Union, despite the undoubted idealism of its founders and the good intentions of so many leaders, has proved a failure on so many fronts. The euro has created economic misery for Europe’s poorest people. European Union regulation has entrenched mass unemployment. EU immigration policies have encouraged people traffickers and brought desperate refugee camps to our borders.

    Far from providing security in an uncertain world, the EU’s policies have become a source of instability and insecurity. Razor wire once more criss-crosses the continent, historic tensions between nations such as Greece and Germany have resurfaced in ugly ways and the EU is proving incapable of dealing with the current crises in Libya and Syria. The former head of Interpol says the EU’s internal borders policy is “like hanging a sign welcoming terrorists to Europe” and Scandinavian nations which once prided themselves on their openness are now turning in on themselves. All of these factors, combined with popular anger at the lack of political accountability, has encouraged extremism, to the extent that far-right parties are stronger across the continent than at any time since the 1930s.

    The EU is an institution rooted in the past and is proving incapable of reforming to meet the big technological, demographic and economic challenges of our time. It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and like other institutions which seemed modern then, from tower blocks to telexes, it is now hopelessly out of date. The EU tries to standardise and regulate rather than encourage diversity and innovation. It is an analogue union in a digital age.

    The EU is built to keep power and control with the elites rather than the people. Even though we are outside the euro we are still subject to an unelected EU commission which is generating new laws every day and an unaccountable European Court in Luxembourg which is extending its reach every week, increasingly using the Charter of Fundamental Rights which in many ways gives the EU more power and reach than ever before. This growing EU bureaucracy holds us back in every area. EU rules dictate everything from the maximum size of containers in which olive oil may be sold (five litres) to the distance houses have to be from heathland to prevent cats chasing birds (five kilometres).

    Individually these rules may be comical. Collectively, and there are tens of thousands of them, they are inimical to creativity, growth and progress. Rules like the EU clinical trials directive have slowed down the creation of new drugs to cure terrible diseases and ECJ judgements on data protection issues hobble the growth of internet companies. As a minister I’ve seen hundreds of new EU rules cross my desk, none of which were requested by the UK Parliament, none of which I or any other British politician could alter in any way and none of which made us freer, richer or fairer.

    It is hard to overstate the degree to which the EU is a constraint on ministers’ ability to do the things they were elected to do, or to use their judgment about the right course of action for the people of this country. I have long had concerns about our membership of the EU but the experience of Government has only deepened my conviction that we need change. Every single day, every single minister is told: ‘Yes Minister, I understand, but I’m afraid that’s against EU rules’. I know it. My colleagues in government know it. And the British people ought to know it too: your government is not, ultimately, in control in hundreds of areas that matter.

    But by leaving the EU we can take control. Indeed we can show the rest of Europe the way to flourish. Instead of grumbling and complaining about the things we can’t change and growing resentful and bitter, we can shape an optimistic, forward-looking and genuinely internationalist alternative to the path the EU is going down. We can show leadership. Like the Americans who declared their independence and never looked back, we can become an exemplar of what an inclusive, open and innovative democracy can achieve.

    We can take back the billions we give to the EU, the money which is squandered on grand parliamentary buildings and bureaucratic follies, and invest it in science and technology, schools and apprenticeships. We can get rid of the regulations which big business uses to crush competition and instead support new start-up businesses and creative talent. We can forge trade deals and partnerships with nations across the globe, helping developing countries to grow and benefiting from faster and better access to new markets.

    We are the world’s fifth largest economy, with the best armed forces of any nation, more Nobel Prizes than any European country and more world-leading universities than any European country. Our economy is more dynamic than the Eurozone, we have the most attractive capital city on the globe, the greatest “soft power” and global influence of any state and a leadership role in NATO and the UN. Are we really too small, too weak and too powerless to make a success of self-rule? On the contrary, the reason the EU’s bureaucrats oppose us leaving is they fear that our success outside will only underline the scale of their failure.

    This chance may never come again in our lifetimes, which is why I will be true to my principles and take the opportunity this referendum provides to leave an EU mired in the past and embrace a better future.”

    First Class.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      It would help the leave side greatly if you formed a provisional ‘cabinet’ which offered assurances to small farmers that the money saved would be used to improve their position. The EUBC is running a campaign of misinformation about agricultural and regional subsidies being lost if we leave the ‘generous’ EU.
      Michael Gove mentioned science and universities. These too should receive a committment that they will not be worse off. Scientists collaborate with colleagues all over the World and the universal language of science is English.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes, absolutely first class, as are JR’s Blog-posts!

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Is this the Michael Gove who has just proposed, out of the blue, a massive increase in probate fees for husband and wife, if they live in a modestly nice house in the SE of England, or more IHT by the back door?

      We have the London mayor with his Cycle Superhighways blocking all the roads, Osborne taxing anything he can get his hands on and now Gove has his hands in the coffin. And they hope we will vote for the lying EU agent Cameron too.

      They are only there because the other options are as bad and this is what they count on. They should be forced to reveal their own tax arrangements and Boris should be made to drive a van around central London for a day and discuss his ideas with other drivers stuck in the gridlock.

  68. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    , “Ever Closer Union”. Cameron claims to have a new opt-out from ever closer union — though it appears to depend on future Treaty Change, which will be fiercely resisted. But it is also meaningless. As long as we in Britain remain subject to the constant flow of new Directives and Regulations from Brussels, we are committed to ever closer union, with or without those three words.

    “Competitiveness”: Cameron has an agreement that the EU should focus on competitiveness. Meaningless verbiage — it will make no difference in reality.

    Many of Cameron’s so-called concessions can be challenged after the referendum (if we vote to stay) by the European parliament, and by the ECJ. Like so many things in the EU, it’s not a done deal. It’s part of a process. And the process is engineered to go in one direction: Ever Closer Union.

    The PR man has conducted a PR exercise, and will now try to sell us the snake oil.

  69. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    when will you and all other Tories just the leave campaign? So far we only saw six Ministers.

  70. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    The point is if we lose this battle then the country is gone from history.

    And we are heavily outnumbered, not least in parliament.

    Also, the referendum is styled as remaining in the EU instead of remaining as the UK.

    I wonder why Conservative politicians seem to believe they will be welcomed with open arms into the EU. Not they not understand those people would rather guillotine you than listen to you.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      No, the referendum is simple, Remain or Leave. Many will be taken in by the fear thing being spread by the EC and Labour and Lib dems but we are isolated islands and we like it that way. Most Conservative MPs believe as I do and will vote Leave, probably quietly. I believe David Cameron will also vote Leave in the privacy of the polling booth.
      He has handed the power to us. Stop trying to make out he hasn’t.

  71. Posted February 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Michael Gove’s statement, set out on Guido, says it all.

  72. Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    A few weeks ago on QT the skilled Peter Hain honestly but misleadingly said the EU is 55% of our trade but we are 10% of its. I wish I had been there. I would have offered him 55% of my entire wealth in exchange for 10% of his.

    I have a question tho. Does the 55% of our trade technically include internal UK transactions as we are technically EU at present. I understand that out net contribution would exceed a tariff they could put on us (if they treat us equal to Mexico) not withstanding the tariff we would earn back on VW, BMW, Audi and Mercedes alone.

    I’d just like to make arguments with more knowledge of the othersides weakness. I hasten to add that I’ve yet to meet anyone on the “In” side yet and am growing confident of our freedom. I quick trawl back will see that prior to last years general election I did forsee Tory victory and wrote as such on this blog before May 7th.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      No. If transactions internal to the UK were included in the “trade” statistics then the fraction with the rest of the EU would be much lower, something like 15%. That is just taking the internal “trade” as being about 70% of GDP and the external “trade” the other 30% split between EU and non-EU.

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 1:27 am | Permalink

        Thank you, that makes sense, and is a useful point

  73. Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    The whole thing is embarrassing–Cameron would have us believe that at the cliff-hanging (yawn) end he went from ruling nothing out to heart and soul In, just like that. This is preposterous given the absence of substantial change in those last few hours–pure theatre. The good news is that people see right through him now and have had matters brought to their attention that previously had lain hidden. He very much has not been as clever as he thinks: his whole re-negotiation ploy has blown up in his face; everybody could and did see that no matter how little he brought back it would be presented as the deal to end all deals.

  74. Posted February 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m campaigning hard for a leave vote but do fear that ‘denying us permission for the full change we wish to make’, if the leadership of the UK government remains as is after a leave vote (Mr Cameron having said he’ll stay on no matter what the result), will also apply on ‘our’ side. Some of the tactics I think could be one or more of the following (all designed to obfuscate and delay until the next general election campaign is looming):

    David Cameron has Messrs Tusk, Juncker et al lined up to suddenly offer a superficially appealing new arrangement the day after a vote to leave, badged as say ‘associate status with full UK sovereignty’ – Mr Cameron announces ‘this new proposal amounts to exactly what all eurosceptics wanted as a minimum. The implications of leaving the EU are so fundamental that I am arranging for a new round of negotiations from a position of strength designed to achieve this new EU membership status’

    ‘the turnout was low, and there was a very small majority in favour of leaving. We need to thoroughly consider the implications by means of an independent inquiry …..’

    ‘there was no mandate to leave in Scotland (or Wales) and there will therefore be an independent inquiry into all of the ramifications for the UK prior to commencing departure negotiations’

    ‘Our manifesto commitment was to renegotiate and hold a referendum only. There is no explicit mandate for leaving the EU and I am therefore announcing an independent inquiry on all the implications and risks of departure which will inform any future negotiations with the EU and which best reflect the wishes of the British people expressed in the referendum’

    It will be over to you and your colleagues Mr Redwood to make sure there are fresh faces at the top of government to prevent all this.

  75. Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    There is no reform to the EU.

    All we have is a way of being side lined by the 27 countries with promises which will amount to nothing. Our interpretation of what was offered and what the others think will be 2 different things
    This will be taken back when it is put in front of the EU parliament after the referendum if we vote to stay.

  76. Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    So now we have it from your leader. It would appear that the theme of the stay in campaign will be the fear of coming out. Not a worthy successor to Drake and Cook plus all those others who put the great into Great Britain.

    He talks of staying in a reformed Europe. Who is to reform it, not your leaders pathetic re-negotiation, nor is there any sign from within the EU that they wish to change anything.

    Membership he says makes us safer. Not I would submit in an EU where terrorists arrive in the guise of refugees, and then roam at will. Not when they gain EU passports and can freely enter the UK.

    He says it is good for trade and jobs, but these are not under threat if we leave because it is in the interests of the EU who enjoy a trade surplus with the UK. The EU as an area of almost zero economic growth will not wish to stop selling to us. To hamper our trade with them would be akin to turkeys voting for Xmas.

    One of his most blatant false claims is that belonging to the EU gives us access to lower prices. Of what I ask. We are subsidising the higher cost of food from the EU by contributing to the CAP. We are denied the opportunity to buy our food in the World market because the EU acts as a protection racket for it’s own less than efficient food producers.

    He claims we will be stronger by remaining without defining what he means. How can you claim that a one in twenty-eight vote is stronger than a single UK vote at the WTO for instance. If he is thinking militarily, give me membership of NATO over a toytown European army acting at the behest of a European External Action Service putting us in jeopardy not of our choosing.

    He would shackle us to a totally undemocratic, financially corrupt EU, that is becoming increasingly out of control, and politically unstable.

    I wonder how many of those career serving ministers, who have aligned with your leader, have consulted the members of their constituency parties for their thoughts on the EU. Their short term expediency should be examined against their personal manifestos of the 2015 election.

  77. Posted February 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Just been listening to “Any Answers”, when one caller raised the problem of corruption in the EU. Could we have some clarification on that topic please, JR? It sounded as though enormous amounts of money were involved.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Qubus

      According to the Daily Mail earlier this week, it is reported by the auditors that 4 billion pounds sterling are unaccounted for due to fraud. This was originally reported 17th. April 2013. The European Commission admitted then that 348 million euros per year was going missing, but it is said that this is thought unrealistic and that 12 times this amount is probably involved – some 5 billion Euros.

      If JR publishes this, hopefully it will help you see what is happening.

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Graham1946:

        Many thanks.

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      @ QUBUS. This might answer your question about corruption in the EU?

      “The economic costs of corruption in the EU were estimated by a study conducted for the European Commission to amount to approximately 120 billion Euros a year (the equivalent of 1% of the EU GDP). Corruption in the area of public procurement is a clear barrier to competition in the internal market. Studies have shown that about 20 to 25% of the public contracts’ value is lost to corruption. In the healthcare sector, research has shown that approximately 56 billion Euros are lost annually to fraud and corruption in the EU.”
      Source from EU Commission website.

      Please don’t ask me why the Leave campaigns haven’t been publicising this kind of stuff….

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        @active citizen

        Thank you for that information. It might also be worthwhile disseminating the information that the EU’s auditors have refused to sign-off its books for the last 19(?) years. I have to confess that I am not sure what exactly that means for an organisation like the EU, but for any reputable UK limited company it would be very bad news indeed.

  78. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    If I was a Conservative MP, it would make me physically sick to sit alongside fellow party members who have declared their intention to sell the country out to the EU.
    It’s treachery .
    I’d be, and I’d be expecting my colleagues, to resign from the party on Monday morning.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      I think, like boiled frogs, they’re quite used to it by now.

    • Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      No need to think like that at all. Conservatives promised a referendum and is doing it. Cameron has worked himself to the nth degree to get the best deal and now he says it is our decision. He could have done no more and this is a great deal more than any other party leader would have done. And as for treachery – Gordon Brown signed the Treaty of Lisbon without having read it so how dare you lambast the party that gave you the power?

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the reply Samantha.

  79. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    If you want to see a document which effected genuine far-reaching “reforms” of the EU there’s one here:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12007L/TXT

    That’s Merkel’s “Reform Treaty”, later renamed the Lisbon Treaty, or more exactly the “Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community” – the treaty which Cameron pretended no longer existed once it had come into force, and so could no longer be put to the referendum that had been the subject of his famous “cast iron guarantee”.

    After that the EU really was a “reformed” EU – 68 vetoes abolished, EU allowed to move into all kinds of new policy areas, Donald Tusk’s present position created, the Charter of Fundamental Rights enshrined in the treaties, etc – but then it came from a strong politician who knew what she wanted and was determined to get it.

  80. Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Indeed Mercia. I would rather tend to think we would be safer outside the EU as we could control any migrants from the EU then. With thousands of migrants coming from Syria all the time and crossing the border into Turkey it won’t be long before we have terrorism in a big scale on our doorstep. Being in the EU is a security risk that we cannot afford to take.

  81. Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it’s hardly the stuff of brave men, is it?
    Can you see Cameron and Osborne on Plymouth Hoe, pleading Drake not to set sail because it was a leap in the dark? Or Nelson with Cameron by his side saying “England expects every man to compromise his principles for a safer Europe?”

  82. Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes, John, just what I’ve been thinking. They say we are safer and richer within the EU but nobody is saying why or how. They say we should fear isolation – we are a groups of isolated off shore islands and like it better that way.
    NATO keeps me safe, not the EU. Srebrenica was EU’s fault – didn’t keep them safe and it has no intention whatsoever of keeping me safe.
    I have to vote Leave.
    (And I suspect that in the privacy of the polling booth so will David Cameron unless he has changed completely since I met him as a PPC.)

  83. Posted February 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    True, and Srebrenica happened

  • About John Redwood


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

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