Take back control – the summary of the case for Brexit.


Outside the EU the UK will be able to draw up free trade agreements with the rest of the world.
Our trade with the EU is not at risk, as they sell us more than we sell them and they do not want to impose new tariffs or barriers.

Outside the EU the UK will have £10 billion more to spend or to offer in tax cuts, the money we currently have to send to Brussels and do not get back.That’s £300 a family every year.

Outside the EU we could have cheaper and more reliable energy.

Freed of EU control we save our fish and have farming and environment policies suited to the UK landscape and needs. We will carry on paying all current EU subsidies out of the money we get back from the EU.

Outside the EU the UK will regain seats on international bodies which the EU threw us off, and will have her own voice with more influence as a result.

Leaving the EU means we can take back control of our borders and decide who to invite in.

The UK will be more secure outside the EU as we can have our own foreign policy, cease to rely on EU common policies, and control admission to our country.

Above all the UK will be a democracy again. Public opinion and elections will be able to change policies and governments instead of having to accept many laws and spending requirements because the EU demands.

The risky option is to stay in. The rest of the EU is on a wild ride to political union. If we stay we will continue to lose control over more of the things that matter to us.


  1. Excalibur
    February 21, 2016

    Nicely summarized, JR. Interviewed on Sky yesterday, George Osborne could only say about leaving the EU, that “it would be a leap in the dark”. Perhaps you could enlighten him with the above list ?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2016

      Things like “A leap in the dark”, “jumping off a cliff”, “playing fast & loose with the UK’s security”, “Calais shanty town will come to Dover”, “a damp and rainy corner of Europe”…….. are the sorts of things you say when you lack any valid arguments to advance. Why does Osborne not concentrate on keeping his IHT promise, balancing the books, cutting out the huge government waste and keeping his tax simplification promise – rather than doing the complete reverse.

      He should shut up until he has something sensible to say.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 21, 2016

        According the the Sunday Times today Osborne is even considering getting rid of the 25% tax free lump sum from private pension pots. This as well as getting rid of higher rates tax pension relief and his cutting of the cap endlessly.

        If this is true Osborne clearly needs to be fired. Cameron, after all, bizarrely claimed to be a “low tax conservative at heart”. He must therefore sack him very quickly and get someone who does not think about mugging private pensions, landlords/tenants, people seeking probate and almost everyone else before every breakfast, lunch, tea and supper.

        Start cutting the endless government waste instead for a change.

        1. alan jutson
          February 21, 2016


          The removal of the 25% tax free Pension lump sum, and the suggested 1000% PLUS increase in the Probate Charge, must simply be the very last straw for anyone who has tried to invest in their own future, to try to avoid claiming State aid.

          What is the point, may as well spend it on endless holidays abroad, and claim State aid and reduced Community charge when penniless.

          Cameron and Osbourne are now on the very, very slippery slope of ending any possibility of any future Conservative Government.

          The above is a shameful planned deceit against the very people who have traditionally supported the Conservative Party, and worked to try to be self sufficient at some short term cost to themselves.

          Simply disgraceful.

          1. Hope
            February 22, 2016

            Well said. But the previous 300+ tax rises and lack of spending cuts over six years was a bit of clue while the deficit still runs at £79 billion! Worse than Greece. The Tories under the posh duo are gains strive, savers and married couples. Gender neutral and PwC claptrap. They are two posh boys who do not know the price of milk.

            Good article by Dominic Lawson in the DM. Why are the remain camp against democratic self government? JR, your side needs to nail this down. Cameron’s untruful response on Marr about sovereignty must be exposed. Heath, Howe and others deceived the public and parliament before, do not let it happen again.

      2. Lifelogic
        February 21, 2016

        Well done Boris, you have certainly made the right choice. The choice Cameron should have made to given that he has achieved nothing of any substance from his renegotiations.

        All proper Tories, who believe in any UK democracy should be for out. Alas it seems only about 80 are so far. The rest one assumes are anti-democratic, Libdim types or just job, expense and pension seeking career politicians. Why is the party so full of such MPs.

    2. Bernard from Bucks
      February 21, 2016

      “it would be a leap in the dark”.
      Wrong Mr Osborne. Once out of the EU we can get rid
      of those pesky ‘low energy’ light-bulbs and re-open coal-fired
      power stations if we chose to.
      With BREXIT the future is brighter!

      1. Alan
        February 21, 2016

        No we can’t. Even outside the EU coal fired power stations will still produce CO2.

        I advice buying LED bulbs. Brighter cheaper light.

      2. Lifelogic
        February 21, 2016

        The dreadful, slow, flickering, dim, low energy (compact florescent) light bulb are now all just mercury containing landfill thanks to the EU. The useless ones the power companies bombarded you with due to some daft government regulation.

        This as the far better, instant, but rather expensive white LEDs are now replacing them all.

        Having said that I bought 6 LED lamps about six months ago (claimed life expectancy 10 years and costing £8 each) and three have failed already. So keep all your receipts would be my advice. Probably used far more energy driving to get them replaced, than I have saved thus far.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 21, 2016

          Rather like those new but less unreliable gas condensing boilers. The energy saving saves far less than all the extra repairs needed.

          1. ChrisS
            February 21, 2016

            You are so right about boilers !

            We have 20 modern gas boilers installed i various BTL properties over the last 15 years and the reliability is appalling. We have had several instances of engineers recommending replacements after less than 10 years in service, particularly Combi versions.

            This is now a lucrative racket – many Gas fitters routinely expect to replace a modern boiler after ten years in service and try to charge £2,000 or more, yet I can buy the boilers themselves for around £600 and they take a competent engineer one day to replace.

            We can often buy the boilers cheaper on the internet that through our trade accounts and only employ gas fitters on a day rate.

            I would advise everyone faced with the problem to do the same.

          2. stred
            February 22, 2016

            Re A grade new boilers- fitted 3 in the past 2 years, all German top quality, all failed with diverter valve, control and condenser blockages. More trips from gasmen parts and CO2 than would be saved in entire shorter lives.

            Re LED bulbs. Does anyone else find the almost blue LED car headlights with forward dipped area on big German cars and JLRs dazzling, paticularly from side mirrors. The latest eye pain is caused by the LEDs being fitted to the bigger streetlights, which have 6 LEDS diecting intense white high energy light sideways. I have to put the sunshades down.

            EU directives no doubt.

      3. Hope
        February 21, 2016

        Even if we leave the EU we will not be able to control immigration, says Cameron. So has he been lying to us up until now? Again, more threats of his incompetence. He has to go. If we vote to leave how could we have someone like him in charge?

        The country is not safe with Cameron in charge. Our borders are open for another Paris type terror attack. 9/11 was planned from Germany. (A few ed) Muslims in this country are leaving to join ISIS through Syria. So yes, Mr Heseltine it is perfectly possible if we are stupid enou to stay in the dictorial shambolic EU and if this worries you that people will vote out- good.

    3. Anonymous
      February 21, 2016

      Remaining in the EU is a ‘leap in the dark’.

      They haven’t a bloody clue as to what they’re doing, be it Ukraine, immigration the common currency, EU wide youth unemployment…

  2. Horatio
    February 21, 2016

    Perfect JR! This is the script for every leave interview for the near future , the only thing missed would perhaps be to trash the 3m jobs claim and point out that there are 5.5m EU jobs dependent on trade with us. I also quite like the fact that CMD has been outvoted 42x under QMV since 2010, which shows what a sham the last fortnight has been!

    Was dismayed that Grayling in his first interview yesterday spoke about CMDs passion and vigour in attempting negotiations. I salute Grayling for putting country over career but he should have just pointed out it was all a sham and then trotted out today’s post as a script. Remainer’s don’t mess around in scaremongering the same old lies and they are never pressed to defend them. Leaver’s must dictate and lead their MSM interviews otherwise points won’t be made.

    Absolutely inspired by Gove’s magnificent piece of writing. His writing and oratory will be crucial and he certainly will not be bullied intellectually or otherwise by any reporter or lose a debate. Thank god for people of conscience such as you and he, JR. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-michael-goves-full-statement-on-why-he-is-backing-brexit-a6886221.html

    1. Alan
      February 21, 2016

      The point about the 3 million jobs isn’t that they will all be lost if we leave the EU; it is that some of them will be lost. Of course trade will continue and many of these jobs will continue. but if you have one of these jobs you won’t know whether your job will be one of those that will go. So you and your dependants will vote to remain. The 5.5 million in the remainder of the EU don’t get a vote in the UK.

      I was going to say you can comfort yourself with the thought that everyone who works in our massive border control bureaucracy will vote to leave, since that will safeguard their jobs. But then I realised that the trade agreement that we eventually negotiate with the remainder of the EU might well require us to join the Schengen agreement (like Switzerland and Norway). So maybe those people should vote to remain as well.

      1. alan jutson
        February 21, 2016


        Clearly you do not understand the importance of a strong negotiation position.

        They need us more than we need them.

        At the moment WE PAY THEM to be in a trade deficit, that will all change if we leave.

      2. Anonymous
        February 21, 2016

        Alan – What use keeping jobs or creating new jobs if all they do is draw more jobseekers to the country ?

        The British people don’t get to feel the full benefit of their sensible election choices. In fact they’d be better off with fewer jobs and less pressure on services and the housing sector if it stops such large numbers of people coming here.

    2. Hope
      February 21, 2016

      Javid’s explanation for staying in does not make any sense to me. It appears to demonstrate he does not have the courage of his convictions. He needs to look in the mirror and ask if his views are based on such weak premise whether he should he resign? If his decision is based on the short term then he also needs consider if he is very short sighted and needs to act for the longer term because this decision will affect our country and citizens forever. His rationale has all the smells that it is about his political career.

  3. Lifelogic
    February 21, 2016


    Cameron is suggesting we will be safer and more prosperous in the EU but he puts forwards no rational arguments for why this would be so.

    The £300 saving per family is just the start of the benefits. Cheaper energy, cheaper imports and a bonfire of the absurd regulations that tie our industry in knots, the greater productivity that will ensue, will multiply this benefit by many, many times.

    Being selective on immigration and allowing in only people who will be a net asset and not the many who will be net liabilities will also help hugely in terms of the economy and indeed safety, crimes and the quality of public services.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2016

      What on Earth is Niall Ferguson on about in the Sunday Times today? What planet was he on when he wrote this:-

      Brexit now and we will only have to Breturn to save a disintegrating Europe

      To us Anglosceptics, the lesson of history is that British isolationism is itself a trigger for continental disintegration. Vote for Brexit this year and we shall “Breturn”, sooner or later, to sort out the ensuing mess, but in much the same appalling, costly way as we had to in 1808, 1914 and 1939 — and with much less strength than we then enjoyed as the world’s biggest empire.

      In the days before empire, Henry VIII’s version of Brexit was to renounce Roman Catholicism and divorce Catherine of Aragon. A true sceptic in those days would have advised him to Bremain — and unite against the Turk.


      How can he come to the daft conclusion that the UK staying in the EU will somehow prevent an EU disintegration?

      1. DaveM
        February 21, 2016

        “In the days before empire, Henry VIII’s version of Brexit was to renounce Roman Catholicism and divorce Catherine of Aragon. A true sceptic in those days would have advised him to Bremain — and unite against the Turk.”

        Indeed there were many sceptics in his chamber at the time, all terrified of a continental pope-sponsored invasion (with far more justification for their fears than the threat of dearer mobile phone tariffs!) And what happened after the shackles were removed? The greatest period of English growth and influence in history.

        Perfect summary today JR – tailor made to be printed on a red, white and blue leaflet and delivered through every door in the country.

        1. M Davis
          February 21, 2016

          “Perfect summary today JR – tailor made to be printed on a red, white and blue leaflet and delivered through every door in the country.”

          Agree, absolutely, DaveM! I for one don’t mind chipping in for crowd-funding it.

      2. Mike Stallard
        February 21, 2016

        Continental Europe is not Britain.
        Continental Europe had a brief encounter with our system in the time of Napoleon and the French Revolution (1789-1815) but on the whole, Continental Europeans have been content to be ruled over by people who they have not elected and over whom they have no control.
        Power tends to corrupt, however. So you get the Kaiser, Napoleon himself, Louis XIV, Felipe II and finally the rash of dictators of the 1930s followed by Communism which spread like a rash all over Spain, Italy, Portugal and Yugoslavia. (Lots of the current leaders of Europe started off as Communists.)
        In each case we were there for the refugees. On the whole we stayed out, or intervened ineffectively. This is certainly not a case for staying in the EU.

      3. Alan
        February 21, 2016

        If we put more effort into making the EU work well we might well achieve much to our and the whole EU’s advantage. If we had joined the euro for example we would quite likely have convinced the rest of the EU to devalue, avoiding the austerity and its consequent unemployment. If we had worked harder to convince the rest of the EU to support refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey we might have had less fleeing the area. If we had been in Schengen we might have been able to prevent Mrs Merkel making her unilateral decision to admit large numbers of refugees.

        So we could do much more, but instead we have chosen to obstruct and delay.

        1. alan jutson
          February 21, 2016

          Alan, we are out voted 27 to 1 there are no veto’s left.

          That is why it is pointless staying in.

          Time to cut and run and look after ourselves.

          That is what some in the Eu are already doing in part by putting up barbed wire fences.

        2. stred
          February 22, 2016

          Alan 1. I hope your level of understanding is not typical of other voters. The problem with the Euro is not devaluation as a whole. It has actually been devalued relative to the £ and $. This help German industry, but has made the southern countries wages and expenses too high, creating mass unemployment.

          The problem with Mrs Merkel is that she is the top EU dog and decided to take the advice of Deuchebank and encourage migration, without bothering to ask the leaders of any other country. We are actually member of the EU and have to accept any migrants given EU passports, within a few years and all the illegal ones to, owing to EU rules. Did she bother to consult us?

          Re. influence: in the recent triumph brought home by Eural, we could be outvoted by Cyprus, Malta, and all the other ex communist countries with average wages lower than our Child Benefit and tax credits, soon to be raised minimum wage.

      4. agricola
        February 21, 2016

        The Times piece reminds me of those who keep re-designing the chair while overlooking it’s principal function. Obviously a man in search of a different angle , just for the sake of being different.

        I would contend that our Brexit might just cause a re-think of the master plan for the EU that Brussels seems at present bent on. If the UK remained in I question whether we would be in a position to seriously influence the direction of the EU. After Cameron’s abysmal effort, I can only think that Brussels now holds us in contempt.

        The market place in goods and finance will dictate the future of the EU. If our departure and grassroots political unrest within the EU add to the pressure for re-direction, then this is how change comes about. For the sake of the people of the EU I hope it is painless.

        Cameron’s statement in Downing St, saying he wanted us to remain in a reformed EU was an all too typical piece of Cameronesque PR fantasy. His jetting around Europe since Christmas has done nothing to reform the EU. They in turn have given no indication of intent to reform their sclerotic, socialist, undemocratic, corrupt fantasy of a united states of Europe. I will now go see how Andrew Marr shapes up.

      5. Stephen Berry
        February 21, 2016

        Niall Ferguson is wrong. British isolationism could not make Europe disintegrate, nor could British engagement put Humpty back together again. The Eurozone is a project which Britain can do little to influence and is wise to stay clear of. How will the policies of the UK change the effect of the Euro on the Spanish, Italian, Greek and Finnish economies? European political institutions can disintegrate and reconstitute themselves perfectly easily without British input. This has happened several times in the past will happen again.

        Interventions on the European mainland in 1808, 1914 and 1939 were choices, not necessities for the British governments of the time. In contrast, the UK chose not to intervene in 1848 or 1870 on the European mainland and other European countries got along fine without us. Needless to say, we also got along fine without them.

        It’s clear that a low growth, bureaucratic EU cannot persist, any more than the Eastern bloc could. If the UK comes out of the EU it nails its colours firmly to the mast. It must become a world trading power or else it is nothing. Against such a backdrop, meddling in European and Middle Eastern politics would be a luxury we could ill afford.

      6. Denis Cooper
        February 21, 2016

        I was interested to read recently that Sweden, Denmark and north Germany all broke with the Pope before Henry was forced into following suit.

        Unfortunately Cameron’s previous hints that other countries might join with the UK in demanding radical reform of the EU have proved unfounded, his demands have only triggered opposition to the UK not to the EU.

        I guess that while he was having “bi-laterals” so was Merkel.

        1. bluedog
          February 21, 2016

          After us, the deluge. Expect the Scandies to be next in line.

          1. stred
            February 22, 2016

            My Scandie outlaws told us last week that they have new equality laws making the cost of hair dressing the same for men and women. They think men may start cutting their own, or growing it long and having dyes and perms.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 21, 2016

      That’s in a “reformed” EU, if there was one.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      February 21, 2016

      All true Lifelogic but I don’t think Cameron will be strong enough to implement half of what will be needed. We need a new leader.

  4. The Active Citizen
    February 21, 2016

    Good summary JR, although I believe the figure per household should be higher. For one thing 2016 figures from the OBR published in January show our net contribution being £11.2 billion, not £10 billion.

    Since Friday Mr Cameron and his colleagues have been using the mantra “safer, stronger and better off” if we stay in. I’d suggest that’s only true for large corporates and vested interests.

    For the voters I’d suggest that the Leave campaigners use the same mantra but adding a prefix:
    “Making the British people safer, stronger, and better off”.

    1. DaveM
      February 21, 2016

      Absolutely. Every time they talk about free trade and use the words “better off” someone should quietly explain that it’s actually the big corporations that are better off because the taxpayer-funded Membership Fee replaces the tariffs they’d normally pay, effectively. So in essence, the UK taxpayer is paying for the big corporations to get richer.

      1. DaveM
        February 21, 2016

        Also, the PM keeps on saying “we’ll be better off in a reformed EU”. Is anyone going to point out that there isn’t going to be a reformed EU? As far as I can tell it’s on its course and nothing will make it deviate from that!

        1. DaveM
          February 21, 2016

          Having said that, the “reformed” qualification could be the PM’s excuse for swapping sides later on when he looks like he might not be on the winning side:

          “I said we’d be better in a reformed EU. It clearly hasn’t reformed, therefore I’m now backing Leave”.

          Apologies for replying to myself TWICE!!!

    2. alan jutson
      February 21, 2016

      I see Mr Cameron has attempted to redefine what Sovereignty actually means on Andrew Marr this morning.
      Yet another guarantee !

      Just a taste of things to come, lies, lies, and more lies.

      How can you be safer when 1,000, 000, people cross the borders into the EU, and you do not have a clue as to who they are, where they have come from, where they are going, or what they are going to do when they arrive.

      Guarantee no more closer Union, really, so we to be are exempt from the next piece of EU legislation or Treaty change and all others that follow in total are we. !
      I simply do not believe it.

      This really is spin like the “Peace in our Time” statement of 77 years ago. !

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 21, 2016

        Have the electorate ever been lied to on such a grand scale before?

  5. matthu
    February 21, 2016

    It’s clear now that the United Kingdom should never have joined the European Union. In many ways, it’s a failing project, an overblown bureaucracy in need of wide-ranging and urgent reform.

    Had we never taken the fateful decision to sign up, the UK would still, of course, be a successful country with a strong economy.

    We would be an independent trading nation like the US, Japan, or Canada.

    Over the years, we would have developed trade agreements with the EU and with others, all without surrendering control over immigration or our economic independence.

    If this year’s referendum were a vote on whether to join in the first place, I wouldn’t hesitate to stand up and say Britain would be better off staying out.

    And these are the words YESTERDAY of SAJID JAVID who is currently advocating staying IN. Wow, the rest of the case for staying in must be overwhelming.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2016

      Will someone save us from these dreadful, career politicians – perhaps the best way is to stop paying them anything. That way the quality would surely improve hugely.

      1. agricola
        February 21, 2016

        You are quite right Lifelogic, no doubt the bigger picture, in his mind for his future has him voting to stay. Lets prove him wrong.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2016

      Not exactly a ringing endorsement from SAJID JAVID is it!

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 21, 2016

      If we had stayed out then the EEC might never have got beyond the original six members; by joining we have fed the monster and thereby prevented any better alternative emerging. We have done the rest of Europe no favours in that.

    4. Maureen Turner
      February 21, 2016


      I was both surprised and disappointed to read Mr. Javid’s words as he was being touted as a possible future PM but I can’t see someone leading the Con. Party with his holding on to nurse views whilst working for a reformed EU. Selling a negative can sometimes work but this sounds like knocking the whole edifice down and starting from scratch.

      When will our politicians stop fooling themselves that the UK can bring about a reformed EU when we’ve seen over recent days just how little our PM was granted in the way of his concessions. Even the thin gruel draft was watered down on second reading yet hailed as some achievement of a reformed EU. Remember we have our referendum vote based on these concessions on 23 June but it is only later in the summer these have to be ratified and it takes only one veto to make them null and void.

      With 28 disparate nations in the EU and a population of 500 million to administer the only way to keep the show on the road is by a one size fits all style of admin, i.e., authoritarian rule. The bureaucrats know only too well that being lenient to one will see the others come hammering on the door. It maybe the PM sees the EU’s future developing along the lines of the USA but from its doctrinaire approach to date I envisage a less pleasant outcome.

      Until the UK departs this failing experiment and finds itself a Prime Minister who is genuinely interested in governing the UK, not just playing statesman on the world stage, then as Mr. Redwood advises we can start to make our own future as a self governing nation.

  6. Pericles Xanthippou
    February 21, 2016

    The leave campaign needs to avoid double counting, when publicizing the amount of money saved by not being in the E.U. For example, we’ll save £10-billion a year in net contributions, as above, but cannot simply squitter that away: we shall need a fair chunk of it — as things stand — to support agriculture and, perhaps, other projects ‘funded by the E.U.’ but still wanted by us.

    I suspect that the swing voter, decisive in this plebiscite as in any election, is so much confused by the pronouncements of both sides — and convinced all the guff is a tissue of lies or, at best, half-truths — that the matter will come down to this: whom amongst the politicians &c. campaigners does he trust?

    So who is likely to have this trust? I should not be at all surprised to see the fans heading for the exits as soon as Boris Johnson announces his own decision. … He has a weight on his shoulders.

    Reply We do not need any of the £10 bn to pay agricultural subsidies and grants for development etc as we get this money back from the EU on top of the £10 bn.The leave campaign is promising to match all EU payments out of the saved contributions and will still have the extra £10 bn to spend.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 21, 2016

      Also we can help UK agriculture far more efficiently in the long run without all the red tape, inconveniences and costs of the EU.

      There are massive other economic benefits from leaving too.

      1. Hope
        February 21, 2016

        It is not £10 billion, this has not even taken into account the additional 2.9 billion given away. Cameron or that it is written the UK will pay an extra £1.7 this year depending on good performance in the economy. Nor is the bail out hook ups reflected i.e. £850 million with Greece, £7 billion loan to Ireland, 250 million to help the Tukey with immigration,even though we are not legally bound by the EU to provide it. Cameron gives away or guarantees our taxes to the EU without a moments thought or care in the world that he might be able to negotiate something in return.

    2. Pericles Xanthippou
      February 21, 2016

      Sorry, J.R.; I didn’t realize you were quoting a figure net of agriculture &c.

      Perhaps the thing to do with the £10-billion is to move toward abolition of the most destructive of all taxes: estate duty (I.H.T.), which has destroyed so much of this country.


    3. ian wragg
      February 21, 2016

      The savings are net after we have paid out all subsidies etc. This money is then channelled to our competitors to improve their infrastructure and buy their support.
      We can continue all subsidies and payments for research etc and still net £10 billion.
      No double counting necessary. Without out 15% budget contribution, the whole project will hopefully fail.

    4. forthurst
      February 21, 2016

      “Reply We do not need any of the £10 bn to pay agricultural subsidies and grants for development etc as we get this money back from the EU on top of the £10 bn.The leave campaign is promising to match all EU payments out of the saved contributions and will still have the extra £10 bn to spend.”

      This point is vital therefore needs emphasising every time: we pay £x billion tax to Brussels every year of which they make conditional grants of £y billion to spend on their priorities for our country; when we leave the EU, we will have £x billion to spend on our country according to our priorities for our country, including £10 billion which we did not get to spend before.

      Our economy is entirely hamstrung by the EU. How much money do they return to us for the environment, returning it to a state of nature, that is, rather than dredging waterways to prevent flooding, building reservoirs to prevent water shortages, leaving green belt unspoilt rather than filling it with sewers, sewerage treatment plants, houses, roads, hospitals, schools to accommodate the every increasing number of migrants they dispatch to us every year? Let’s spend our money on our priorities for our country, so let’s get out of the EU, otherwise it is their money, their priorities, their laws, their country.

  7. Lifelogic
    February 21, 2016

    The UK voters have been forced to wait 41 years (by a series of dreadful politicians) for a second chance to get out of the EU. Surely the public will not allow Cameron, Labour, the Libdims, the BBC and the rest of the usual suspects to deceived them yet again will they? Especially after Cameron’s worthless joke of a deal.

    I think not, I must place that bet while the odd still look attractive.

    I was slightly too young to vote last time, but even as a teenager I thought the arguments from the leave proponents were far more persuasive and rational.

    The arguments to leave are now totally overwhelming.

    Boris is, one assumes, trying to work out if “leave” will win – it will and he should help it do so.

    1. graham1946
      February 21, 2016

      My opinion on Boris is that he knows what he is going to do, but is contractually tied by his newspaper deal. If this is true, don’t expect the revelation until the papers go to press late tonight.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 21, 2016

        Hurray, Boris is on our side.

    2. Bob
      February 21, 2016

      Andrew Marr to Cameron “in the unhappy event of a leave vote…”

      This is balance?

    3. Bob
      February 21, 2016

      What a contrast in interviewing styles by Jo Coburn on Sunday Politics today!
      She could barely contain her disgust when she hectored Chris Grayling constantly cutting him off mid sentence, however when Hilary Benn took his seat her whole demeanor changed and they had a very convivial chat and struggled to find anything contentious to discuss.

      I recommend you view this while it’s still on iPlayer. A real eye opener for anyone who still believes the BBC is politically impartial.

  8. The Active Citizen
    February 21, 2016


    I like the fact you’re mentioning money. Putting things simply, we’ve had one Leave campaign focusing on immigration and one Leave campaign focusing on business prospects. The messages that matter are those which apply to people across the board, outside of any referendum question.

    For example, of course immigration matters and I know it comes out top in surveys of ‘most important issues to the British public’. However we’ll never win if that’s the argument which is always stressed. Neither will we win if we talk mainly about trade and business, or sovereignty.

    I’ve said before, what matters to people are jobs, money, security, personal happiness and way of life. These are the things which should be the focus of the messages because they will influence how people vote. We have very strong arguments for all of these.

    1. Alan
      February 21, 2016

      Well, at the moment, inside the EU, people have jobs, money, security, personal happiness, and a way of life. Why should they risk that?

      1. alan jutson
        February 21, 2016


        Clearly you have not heard of wage compression or are not competing with people who live in houses of Multiple occupation and thus can work for lower wages or prices because their living expenses are but a fraction of a normal family.

        In the construction business I am told by my contacts that some immigrant labour are working for £35 per day.
        Can you work for that and pay all bills ?

      2. Bob
        February 21, 2016

        You sell yourself to cheaply.
        The issue is whether we can elect the people who govern us.

      3. Anonymous
        February 21, 2016

        Alan – SOME people have money, jobs, security inside the EU.

        Others are being put out of business, house and home because of it.

  9. DaveM
    February 21, 2016

    OT – I find it highly amusing that Trump is “Trump”, Clinton is “Hilary Clinton”, and Bernie Sanders is “Bernie”, according to the Corbyn-loving BBC of course!!

  10. eeyore
    February 21, 2016

    Among the people I talk to opinion is decisively for Leaving, but that may just reflect my own narrow acquaintance. It might be useful if other commentators to this blog took a crude straw poll of their own family, friends and colleagues, and reported the results here, if Mr Redwood would kindly permit.

    We now know the essential position of the Stay camp. Mr Cameron said yesterday that “we are safer, stronger and better off in a reformed EU”. He also revealed their slogan – that leaving would be a “Leap in the Dark”. These are not arguments, only assertions. It remains to be seen what weight they carry with voters.

    The comments to this blog are overwhelmingly in agreement with it, except for those who think it does not go far enough. Is it not odd that there is so little dissent, and that the Stayers have not seized the opportunities offered so generously over the last few weeks to challenge Mr Redwood’s facts and demolish his arguments? Where is the opposition? Why has it been so silent?

    1. Alan
      February 21, 2016

      It’s better for most of us just to let the inconsistencies and false assumptions of the Leave campaign to become apparent. I only write here to amuse myself. I don’t think I make any difference.

      1. James Matthews
        February 21, 2016

        Don’t undersell yourself. You do make a difference, reinforcing people in their determination to work for Brexit.

        1. Alan
          February 21, 2016

          Well, I guess that’s something.

    2. Cheshire Girl
      February 21, 2016

      Politicians should remember that if no-one had ever taken ‘a leap in the dark’ we would not have had all the things we have – both good and bad. The easy option is always to stay with the status quo, but is it the right one!

      I cant speak for my family, but I will be voting ‘Out’.

      A little off topic perhaps, but does anyone know how Jacob Rees Mogg is thinking now he has heard the ‘ Deal ‘ ? Recently it has been reported that he was in favour of ‘Out’. He is a Politician whose views I respect.

      1. Peter Davies
        February 21, 2016

        There’s a long list on the guy fawkes blog, I’m sure he is a firm outer

        1. James Matthews
          February 21, 2016

          He is.

    3. M Davis
      February 21, 2016

      One of my Son’s has changed his mind, from wanting to stay in, to now voting for leave. The reason, is not because I managed to persuaded him, but because of his colleagues in Europe telling him that they are ‘sick to death’ of immigration and the situation in their respective different Countries.

    4. Gary C
      February 21, 2016

      Between the waffle and sidestepping are plenty of, if’s, would, could and promises for the future of which the EU will no doubt override when contested later.

      I notice nothing has been mentioned about the EU’s preference of bureaucracy over democracy, assumably not something worthy of reform in Mr Cameron’s eyes.

      Anyway I have and continue attempting to discuss the in/out situation and find those wanting to stay in would rather not engage in the matter, the conversation seems to stop abruptly when I ask:

      Would you agree to putting your money in a bank which could not balance the books for 19 years ?

      Do you agree with bureaucracy over democracy ?

      Do you agree with having/being part of an EU Army ?

      Please feel free to add to the list, it’s really not that difficult.

      I find it strange that so many that put their faith in the EU are willing to discount such important matters.

    5. Peter Davies
      February 21, 2016

      One problem is so many people are unaware of what being in the eu means apart from the odd soundbite like “immigration” so how this plays out in the coming months is difficult to predict.

      The one good thing that came out of these “negotiations” is how much has already been given away.

  11. Mike Stallard
    February 21, 2016

    “The risky option is to stay in. The rest of the EU is on a wild ride to political union. If we stay we will continue to lose control over more of the things that matter to us.”

    The EU has said in a draft document (the one Mr Cameron thrashed out over the last couple of days) that it will exclude Britain from ever closer union.
    Do we believe that?
    The have lied before – to Germany over the change from the D Mark to the Euro. Christopher Booker’s tome on the EU is called the Great Deception. No doubt other people will remember a few porkies too.
    So, no, we do not believe it.

    Now what?

    1. matthu
      February 21, 2016

      Nothing in the “agreement” Cameron secured prevents our EU representatives from simply following the same course they have followed since 1975.

    2. Hope
      February 21, 2016

      It is not legal and enforced by treaty Chang. Cameron made the point himself that it would need to be, and the, guess what, he reneged on it. There is a surprise. His piffling changes can be voted down by the EU parliament Shultz has made that perfectly clear. I do not know why Cameron thinks we should believe him more than Shultz?

    3. forthurst
      February 21, 2016

      “The EU has said in a draft document (the one Mr Cameron thrashed out over the last couple of days) that it will exclude Britain from ever closer union.
      Do we believe that?”

      Such a woolly statement clearly has to legal force. Have they agreed to send us no more directives? Otherwise, every one reduces our autonomy and increases their control over us. Every new supplicant country that joins the EU reduces the already puny powers we can jointly exercise and increases the likelihood of further tax.

    4. turboterrier
      February 21, 2016


      The rest of the EU is on a wild ride to political union.

      A lot of people I know would say “a wild road nowhere”

      Non audited companies cannot last forever neither can the EU it is just a matter of time

    5. graham1946
      February 21, 2016

      One of the great deceptions was Blair’s giving up our rebate for CAP reform. They took the money but did no reform. These are not people to trust. They say they will write Cameron’s ‘guarantees’ into future treaties, but there are no future treaties envisaged. If one should by chance, arise, does that mean another referendum according to current law? They surely won’t allow that if we vote to stay in. That will no doubt be repealed poste haste or there won’t be any treaties, just some ‘tidying up exercise’ like Lisbon. Cameron’s been had for a fool.

    6. Javelin
      February 21, 2016

      It also states the UK will (1) support ever closer union and (2) not be allowed to block it. Clearly belts and braces.

      But what this means is as Eurooe gets ever closer the UK will get pushed out until it eventually has to leave.

    7. Denis Cooper
      February 21, 2016

      Firstly it’s only a promise, and despite brazen claims to the contrary it is NOT a legally binding promise; indeed I expect you’ve seen Richard North arguing that Cameron is “perpetrating a fraud on the British people”:


      As to whether it would happen, Remainders will no doubt cite the Danish and Irish precedents while I will cite the contrary Czech precedent, the Czechs having been promised a treaty protocol in October 2009, and that protocol having even been drafted, in Annex I here:


      but it never happened.

      Secondly, because Cameron is in such a tearing hurry to hold the referendum we don’t know the precise wording of any treaty change, and therefore we don’t know whether it would be effective in cancelling the UK’s commitment to “ever closer union” which would still be in the preambles to the EU treaties.

      Thirdly, although it would be good to call a halt to the process of integration most people want more than that, they want it to be reversed with powers repatriated, and Cameron himself said that he wanted powers repatriated, but as he didn’t ask for any powers to be repatriated they wouldn’t be.

      And my fourth point is that Cameron’s vision of other countries possibly wanting to join the UK in escaping from “ever closer union”, for example in his Bloomberg speech:

      “We understand and respect the right of others to maintain their commitment to this goal. But for Britain – and perhaps for others – it is not the objective.”

      has not come to fruition; he found no like-minded allies on that; or at least none who were prepared to come out openly and speak their minds and say “Put us down for the same exemption as the UK on that.”

      So we would have 27 or more countries all swimming along together in a tide of increasing integration, as stated in their treaties, and one trying to tread water in the same place while really wanting to swim in the opposite direction, against the tide; and it is difficult to see how that could work for the odd country out, or even why it should be attempted.

    8. Peter Davies
      February 21, 2016

      You cannot trust anything on the eu without a Treaty, even then they find ways to circumnavigate things which other instruments.

      I read somewhere that turkey will soon have visa free access into the eu, if true a very bad move

    9. Peter Davies
      February 21, 2016

      So their new regulations abd directives are stopping then?

  12. alan jutson
    February 21, 2016

    A clear and concise posting today John.

    Given some of my family will be away on holiday for this vote, I guess they will have to register for a postal vote for the first time in their lives.

    I trust the system will be up and running with no delay’s so that they will be able to do so.

  13. Jerry
    February 21, 2016

    “Outside the EU the UK will have £10 billion more”

    We will likely have more, as much of the money we currently get back is pre-allocated to pet EU projects or sponsored development grants etc.

    “That’s £300 a family every year.”

    Next you’ll be making pointless comparisons, such as how many given items would fit on a Football field or how their hight compares to a double-decker bus, like the MSM do! The above ‘fact’ tells us nothing.

    A better measure would be per HMRC registered personal tax payer, those subject to PAYE or self assessment, a “family” is an ill-defined grouping, are single people living alone a ‘family’, are childless couples, does it include grandparents and in-laws, does it include adult children still living as part of the core family unit or away at Uni’. If it is the HMRC ‘individual’ then £300 per person is a lot of dosh, but as a sum of a traditional family (2+2.5) not so much.

    “Outside the EU we could have cheaper and more reliable energy.”

    Yes we could but all the time the main-stream political parties are signed up to the AGW scam we will not. Inside of the EU we could have built many nuclear power stations anyway (like the French have), thus ensuring reliable energy and at a known cost, even more so if owned by the state. Our energy supply problems are as much, if not more so, a result of Westminster mismanagement as they are Brussels meddling.

    “Freed of EU control we save our fish”

    Either there are some well trained fish out in the Atlantic, beyond our 12 mile waters, they know the difference between UK nets and other nations nets and thus only allow themselves to be caught in the correct ones, or our host must be talking about factory farmed fish!

    “Outside the EU the UK will regain seats on international bodies which the EU threw us off, and will have her own voice with more influence as a result.”

    Indeed, but will we be listened to any better than the EU is, as nice as it is to have our own seat at such world bodies I doubt many will see this as a Brexit vote clincher.

    “Leaving the EU means we can take back control of our borders and decide who to invite in.”

    As can the EU, I just hope those reciprocal agreements, such as the EHIC, survive to include the UK, otherwise we might have another migrant housing/services problem, one of returning Ex-pats!

    “Above all the UK will be a democracy again.”

    Always assuming that one believes the UK was a democracy before (we joined the EEC/EU) and will be again, after all without the democratic elections for MEPs to use as a spring board were would a parry such as UKIP or the Greens be today – probably recorded as also-rans on returning officers forms, not with a MP and thus voice a piece, whilst punching well above their weights by way of airtime given to MEPs.

    “The risky option is to stay in. The rest of the EU is on a wild ride to political union. If we stay we will continue to lose control over more of the things that matter to us.”

    How is that the “risky opinion”? To even a causal observer the outcome of staying in the EU is a known known, and has been since the early 1990s if not before. Unless one is over 50 years of age the unknown unknown is more than likely a Brexit, and thus it will be for the Brexit groups to demonstrate that they are actually proposing known unknowns at the very least. With apologies to Mr Rumsfeld!

    Sorry if I sound harsh, I really do want a Brexit, but not at any cost (no babies are going to be thrown out with their bath water in my name), I believe that a Brexit is there for the loosing, due to assumptions, arrogance and easily provable half-truths from the Brexit side, not the MSM or those wanting to remain in. Even more, silly stunts as apparently happened at that “Grassroots Out” campaign meeting the other night will do more to harm the Brexit campaign than help, once again the leader of UKIP appears to be helping to keep us in, but then the day after a Brexit vote UKIP is a spent political entity with no reason for existing…

    1. Jerry
      February 22, 2016

      Comment Number 802441 has (at the time of writing this) spent 23 hours in moderation, why, not because the comment was long, other comments are longer but have been passed, not because it contains URLs, it doesn’t, not because it contains a direct reference to a third person, it doesn’t, whilst other comments do including a “passed for publication’ comment from myself…

  14. The Active Citizen
    February 21, 2016

    Third and last post of the day.

    A few weeks back I commented on how the PM had started using the ‘security’ theme and implied we should be careful that the Remainers don’t take ownership of it. Yesterday Mrs May took things further, saying “But in my view – for reasons of security, protection against crime and terrorism, trade with Europe, and access to markets around the world – it is in the national interest to remain a member of the European Union.”

    This comes dangerously close to the Home Secretary saying that leaving the EU would be a threat to national security. That would be a very serious claim and not one to be invoked lightly. As it is, I regret to suggest that Mrs May quite cynically knew how her remarks would be interpreted by the public. Shameful, and she should be called out on it.

    How about tackling the Remainers’ security argument like this:

    “At least 13 of the total Paris terrorist gang were EU nationals, according to French police. Because of free movement which the PM’s so-called reforms could do nothing about, these terrorists would have been free to travel to the UK as EU citizens. Imagine if they’d decided on London or Manchester or Edinburgh as their target instead of Paris?”

    “Britain will be safer when we control our own borders and security. The only way for you and your family to achieve this is to vote to leave.”

    Or what about this:-

    ”According to Europol’s Director last week, there are now 3,000 to 5,000 Europeans who have accumulated combat experience in a terrorist training camp, and who have now returned to the EU.”

    “Under the EU’s ‘freedom of movement’ rules which the PM can do nothing about, all 503 million EU citizens have the right to come to the UK. Voting to leave the EU means we will no longer be under threat from uncontrolled immigration of the EU’s homegrown terrorists. We’re safer as an independent country – vote to leave.”

  15. Antisthenes
    February 21, 2016

    Another reason is the EU is pretty much a basket case, dysfunctional and creates crises that it never cures. It just shelves them and indulges in can kicking. It does not and cannot cater for the multitude of disparate needs of it’s members. Each state has it’s own special needs and because the EU demands uniformity it advantages some and disadvantages others thereby causing injustices and inequality.

    The euro is a prime example of that Germany and a few others benefited from the exchange rate that it enjoys while all the rest are suffering calamitously. Another is the immigrant crises exacerbated by Germany’s open door policy. Having manufactured the problem Brussels does not insist that Germany cleans up the mess that it has created but insists other states do it whether they like it or not and many do not.

    The EU is lopped sided in that most of the power resides in the wrong places. Germany and France more or less dictate the EU’s ideology and reason d’etre. Brussels then iron fist like ensures that all the rest comply with the economic and social policies that emanate from that ideology. A method of government over them that only leaving the EU can change. Sure there are councils of ministers and the EU parliament that is supposed to democratise the EU.

    However in practice they are mostly toothless as they are constrained by the rules written in the treaties and they were decided by France and Germany long ago. Rules as we have found out recently from David Cameron’s renegotiation that are inflexible and not possible to change in any appreciable way. Brussels is not going let anything get in it’s way in achieving what is their vision of what is best for Europe that of economic and political union.

    The EU is fermenting division, resentment and economic chaos. Germans resent Greeks because they do not like lending them large sums of money that they do not expect will ever be paid back. Greeks resent Germans because the conditions of that loan is causing them pain through austerity and believe the whole idea of the euro to to enable them to have access to free hand outs whenever they chose to have them. Unemployment and economic growth in most states is deplorable because of the euro and Brussels economic policies.

    The Brussels is incapable of putting it’s house in order it will not reform itself and it will not let anyone else do it for them. I do not believe the EU is a viable project and even if we do not leave of our own free it will eventually fall apart anyway. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

  16. Alan
    February 21, 2016

    What Mr Redwood seems to be envisaging is that we can conclude an agreement with the remainder of the EU that allows us to trade as we do at present, but retain control of our fisheries, prevent travel to the UK by EU citizens, and not pay £10 billion per year to the EU.

    The terms we have now are the best ones we have managed to get whilst joining and then being inside the EU. It doesn’t seem to me at all likely that we will be able to get better terms after we have left. Certainly some parts of the EU will want to continue their profitable trade with us, but other EU countries will press for some compensating advantage for their own citizens. I suspect the best terms we could get would be to continue as we do at the moment, but without any voting rights. The eventual agreement might be even less advantageous. We are more dependent on the EU than they are on us.

    And the agreement that Mr Cameron has negotiated has put an end to “ever closer union”. I thought that was one of the changes that Mr Redwood most wanted, but he seems to be ignoring it now that it has been obtained.

    Reply It hasn’t – ever closer union is built into the architecture of the treaties and institutions and will continue regardless of the preamble phrase.

  17. Anonymous
    February 21, 2016

    A 15 point lead to stay according to the Daily Mail today.

    I reckon the public will be taken in by the renegotiation charade (which has been favourably reported by the BBC)

    And the tie ! The lurid green ‘GO!’ tie which makes every wearer look like a raving nut job. Who on earth thought that was a good idea ???

    Forget it. We’re staying In.

    February 21, 2016

    “A Great Leap in the Dark” is supposed to have been the final words of the British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes referring to his imminent death.

    So, the STAY Campaign equates everything bad about leaving the EU with Thomas Hobbes who thought all legitimate political power must be representative and based on the consent of the people. Well they’ve got something right anyway.

  19. me
    February 21, 2016

    Unfortunately rational arguments aren’t going to win it.

    The British people are sheep, they just want to keep their heads down and hope nothing changes.

    As well as rational arguments you need to shock people into waking up to what’s happening, that means quitting the Tory party and trying to bring down the government.

    You and your fellow Tory travelers are too nice to do this, so we will lose the referendum and the UK will die as a free and sovereign country.

  20. Bert Young
    February 21, 2016

    Much depends on the media now – they are the persuaders and influencers . It is a travesty that the BBC are biassed because every day the public are switched on – most without a clear head on their shoulders . Because we are very dependent on leadership -( it’s a basic ingredient in human nature ), everything and anyone who thinks as I do hopes and prays that Boris will come out and support the “Leave” effort . He is a charismatic individual always capable of grabbing the headlines .

    Farage made a terrible gaff in allowing Galloway on to his platform and did a great deal of damage to his previously popular image with the public ; whether he can re-capture a persona with the public again is questionable . It is the man in the street who now matters and persuading the hims and hers to vote for Brexit is paramount .

  21. Douglas Carter
    February 21, 2016

    Just personal opinion but unfortunately, good reasons for Brexit this morning should rightly be overshadowed by wholesale fury at a Prime Minister who is openly and blatantly lying about his alleged deal.

    This deal is not legally binding. Not in any way, shape nor form. No solicitor describing it as such would be competent observing so, no observer confirming it would be doing so honestly or accurately. No MP passing it so would be doing so democratically. Any Prime Minister presenting it to the HoC as ‘legally binding’ would be intentionally misleading Parliament. Any MP or observer knowing so, but permitting the lie to pass would be colluding in lying to Parliament and a participant in misleading the Electorate.

    This passes beyond the subjective matter of a Referendum. It now illustrates that the present Prime Minister is being sustained under false pretences. No matter how the Conservative Party conducts itself over the coming poll, I would look to them to punish a Party leader who genuinely believes he has leave to, has right to, and has margin, to openly lie to Parliament and the country. If he remains in place, your party has no right in any respect to the public confidence.

  22. Tony Harrison
    February 21, 2016

    Very good summary JR. I just watched Nigel Farage on the Marr Show talking as cogently & persuasively as ever, discussing (among other things) his sharing a platform with Galloway. Would you be happy to share the same platform with Farage? I’ve long supported & admired each of you…

    Reply I have already done so

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 21, 2016

      Good stuff John. As you have always said this is not about party politics but a campaign to save Great Britain from a fate worse than death!!!

  23. turboterrier
    February 21, 2016

    When one is in a hole you should stop digging.

    The fear factor being promoted by CMD on Marr today just shows how out of touch he is with the real world,

    Has he never heard of Interpol? That was and is around before we joined in the first place.

    Cannot help wondering who is actually pulling his strings?

    Like the first B in the BBC it is all a load of male cow po po.

    These scare tactics will damage us both in the short and long term.

    It is that Dragnet moment for those old enough to remember that programme “Facts man we need the facts” No more no less

  24. Kenneth
    February 21, 2016

    Nice Summary.

    Perhaps it is about time the Remain camp put forward their vision.

    What does Remain look like?

    To me, it looks like open borders to the world, a failing currency and economy, and increasing centralization as enterprise is stifled. It looks like a high cost economy that relies ever more on overseas production and overseas energy. It relies on technocratic rule instead of democratic rule.

    It appears that most Remain campaigners do not want the Euro and do not want Schengen. Many are not keen on ‘interference’ from Brussels.

    So what is it that they LIKE about our membership of the eu?

  25. acorn
    February 21, 2016

    “The UK should leave the EU by not leaving the EU. What we do is repeal the 1972 European Communities Act. And that’s about it. That ends the capacity of anybody outside the UK from enforcing treaty rules within the UK. We then just assume grandfathering and carry on pretty much as before. The UK will then move away from the EU in the same way that an iceberg moves away from an ice sheet. Slowly as the laws are amended. ” (Neil Wilson at 3spoken).

    JR / Denis C. Would the above hit any icebergs in the fog of the Treaties? How will the referendum result be enacted? If we vote to leave, does Westminster then have to vote to repeal the 1972 act? What if a Westminster vote gets a different answer to the referendum???

    I think we should be told.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 21, 2016

      That isn’t how I’d do it. Yes, I’d set in train repeal of the ECA72 on the domestic plane, but on the international plane I’d give the EU notice that we’re leaving.

  26. DaveM
    February 21, 2016

    I’m sure most people here watched Marr. I’m not even a politician and I could have picked apart most of the PM’s arguments for In, despite the fact that he was in full PR mode.

    Why is he focusing on “security” and “safety” (particularly against IS) when;

    1. The main military force in the EU is the UK,

    2. It’s the EU’s open borders and Merkel’s imposed immigration policy which are allowing terrorists free movement to anywhere in Europe and creating the biggest security threat for decades?

    And of course no mention whatsoever of the Five Presidents’ Report.

    People like yourself, Mr Gove, Kate Hoey, David Davis, etc should be able to refute every single argument for In.

  27. bigneil
    February 21, 2016

    I just hope all the braindeads can see through the stupid comments being peddled by the “Stay in” group. There are actually idiots whose vote WILL be based on “no cheap flights to Spain, no mobile phone use abroad etc”.

  28. hefner
    February 21, 2016

    An interesting view from a top fund manager, Neil Woodford


    and somehow more informative than some of the politically biased views (from whatever side) and the usual ramblings.
    Gee, four more months of these!

    1. hefner
      February 21, 2016

      So sorry. Should be http://www.woodfordfunds.com
      Apologies to all.

  29. MikeP
    February 21, 2016

    All Governments have competing demands on their finances. Say the UK Chancellor has 1000 competing demands at any point in time. Better that, and having the ability to influence those 1000 and vote out the Government if it makes too many wrong choices, than having a remote Parliament pondering 28,000 competing demands and us a net contributor to whoever gets the benefit of their choices.
    To give Cameron his due, and he is a PR man after all, he gave pretty polished performance on Marr but misled the audience in countless areas where Marr was either too unprepared or too deferential to challenge him on the spot. Surprised, not.

    1. Hope
      February 21, 2016

      No, he was allowed to giv a speech. If he was challenged it would have been totally different. Hence why he will not debate the issue with Farage. He will smear and create bad rumors about others but will not debate them face to face.

  30. fedupsoutherner
    February 21, 2016

    Great post once again John. If we can get your message out loud and clear to as many people as possible it can only help swing the vote our way. People have got to see the other side of the lies being spoken by the IN camp. I get the feeling from what I read in the papers etc that the vote is surely starting to go the right way. However, I worry closer to the time how many of the banks and other financial institutions will ‘manipulate’ the market to scare those who want to leave into voting to stay. It is not beyond the realms of possibility.

    February 21, 2016

    England, Wales and Northern Ireland will immediately need emergency housing on a LEAVE decision. A number of Scots and foreign residents in Scotland may become afraid.

    Being stuck in an “independent” Scotland, a little country at the mercy of the then 27 Borg-like collective consciousness of the EU could up and down glen many a bed wet.

  32. oldtimer
    February 21, 2016

    I have just watched the Marr programme which featured Mr Cameron and Mr Farage. The camapign slogans might be summed up as “security” for Remain vs “control” for Leave.

    Mr Cameron enlarged his security argument as “safer, stronger and better off in the reformed EU” versus the “leap in the dark” of Brexit. He claimed that EU membership, which assured “full and unimpeded access to markets” was preferable to a trade deal which resulted in discrimination against British exports to the EU. It was better, he said, to be a member with “full and unimpeded access” than having to negotiate “full and unimpeded access” post Brexit like Norway who had had to accept free movement and pay a fee for the privilege but without the protections he said he has now negotiated for Britain. This appears to be the nub of his trade risk argument. Leave must deal with this argument because it will be used over and over again.

    There is a supplementary argument employed by Sajiv Javid (in the Mail on Sunday?) that Brexit would result in market turmoil and destabilise European politics and markets. This might be described as the geopolitical argument, already deployed by the USA. In response it does not appear that our influence counts for much – Mrs Merkel for example appears to make policy on the hoof with scant regard for others.

    The case for remain therefore seems to rest on FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. It is not the case for a “big, bold Britain” that Mr Cameron claimed it was but the case for a timid, frightened Britain that has lost confidence in itself.

    What I also found worrying was Mr Cameron’s statement that he would continue as PM if the country voted Leave. From the way he talked it seems to me he is the last person to be entrusted with the detailed negotiations if the country indeed votes for Brexit – we would be straight back into paying access fees and free movement of peoople for the doubtful privilege of continuing to run a huge trade deficit with the rest of the EU.

  33. Ptolemaeus
    February 21, 2016

    To have real sovereignty we must surrender to Germany and do the bidding of the U.S, otherwise we only have an illusion of democracy. Cameron tells it straight. Sovereignty of nation states is over and the biggest powers have won.

    February 21, 2016

    Mr Corbyn’s official policy is to return a STAY vote and, the Tory Party, as tens of thousands of jobs have been created, increased living standards, decreases in fuel bills, an expansion of economics and culture on all levels. WAIT….
    No, Mr Corbyn ‘s official policy is to STAY in the EU because “economic chaos” “the worst since the 1930s” ( a stated view shared by Mr Miliband ) “massive deterioration in housing provision” “the death of manufacturing ourtput ” and “no economic progress on any level for many years.” Mr Benn of the relative right-wing-edness tendency in the Labour Party also shares this view: A STAY vote= catastrophe…or…=the opposite.

  35. They Work for Us?
    February 21, 2016

    Silly question, but why is the result of the negotiation not subject to approval (or not ) by
    Parliamentary free vote ? Such a system would help rein in the Presidential thoughts of Prime Ministers and would be democratic.

  36. Ex-expat Colin
    February 21, 2016

    Cameron on Marr show today:

    “Warning that leaving the EU would not signal an end of freedom of movement, Mr Cameron told the Andrew Marr Show this morning:

    ‘If we were to leave the EU and we were to try to insist on full access to the single market, like Norway has for instance, every other country that’s got that sort of deal has had to accept the free movement of people and a contribution to the EU budget”.

    Think that needs qualifying and fixing PDQ.

  37. ferdinand
    February 21, 2016

    An excellent list but in the next 120 days each item needs to be expanded to emphasize the merits of each especially to young people who tend to think that leaving the EU is leaving Europe. So much for modern geography.

  38. Best of British
    February 21, 2016

    “Our trade with the EU is not at risk, as they sell us more than we sell them and they do not want to impose new tariffs or barriers.”

    Flaw in the first paragraph, John!

    I think you’ll find that in percentages, EU exports to the UK are tiny in comparison to what we export to them ( 15% vs 50% ). So, tariffs hurt Britain more. Not a great bargaining position.

    No doubt we’ll get a “Free trade” deal or sorts by having to pay for it, broadly the same amount Norway pays. Your £10bn of savings is very doubtful!

    Reply Not so. The German government has said it does not wish to impose new barriers on our trade as they sell us so much.

    1. alan jutson
      February 21, 2016

      Best of British.

      You need to understand mathematics before you start to make comparisons which do not have a similar base.

      There are 500,000,000 of them but only 65,000,000 of us, that is why the percentage argument does not work.

      You need to think in monetary terms if you want to compare ACTUAL TRADE FIGURES.

      We pay £50,000,000 a day AND have a trade deficit with them at the moment, that is why they NEED US.

  39. ChrisS
    February 21, 2016

    Clearly CMD has given up on trying to make us believe that we remain a sovereign state while we remain in the EU.

    On the Marr program he tried to redefine sovereignty in a way that nobody in a truly independent country like the USA would recognise. If his new definition is the height of his aspirations for our country, I want no part of it.

    Cameron is so obviously planning to base his whole campaign around fear on every front so we need to come down very hard on each and every daft suggestion he makes.

    We can start with his assertion that there is a threat to your security if we were to leave the EU :

    What possible reason could France, Germany and any other EU country have for putting their own security at risk by failing to cooperate with our security and Police services ? The very idea is unthinkable.

    We must also point out that Britain is the ONLY country in Europe with an intelligence network as comprehensive as that provided by GCHQ and, most important, has full and unrestricted access to the intelligence take from the wider network formed under the UKUSA Agreement. ( IE from the combined efforts of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The UK and USA ).

    EU States like France and Germany are extremely keen to get whatever information they are allowed access too from these sources. That access comes via the UK so what possible reason would there be for this to change ?

    Cameron’s scare tactics in this area, as in most others, are just plain ludicrous. Furthermore he is demonstrating complete disrespect for the electorate by treating us like complete idiots.

  40. fkc
    February 21, 2016

    I totally agree well said. This must be said in all corners of our lovely land before our life economy is destroyed by Europe and its ways .

  41. turboterrier
    February 21, 2016

    Another very good reason to get out of the madhouse is, if it is true the report in the Telegraph highlighting even more subsidies for onshore turbines on the Scottish Islands.

    Voting leave could mean the reinstatement of our coal power stations and the beginning of the end for all this green crap which is costing us so dear.

    Unless of course it is part of a master plan to let dictatorship Scotland begin to be reigned in if ever they want to be independent as they wake up to the fact that the 5 million residents could never begin to pay for them in their bills. The distribution costs alone make this a no brainer but we all know how the DECC thinks!! After all its not their money they are spending

  42. Smithers-Jones
    February 21, 2016

    Norway also “sells the EU more stuff than they import from the EU”.

    Norway is also a big trade partner with the EU. The EU’s 5th most important trade partner!

    So we’ll probably get the same great trade deal that Norway has with the EU!

  43. behindthefrogs
    February 21, 2016

    I see that you recognize no down side or risks in BREXIT . Would like to p0st a blog that presents a little more balanced view.

  44. Jane
    February 21, 2016

    A referendum is being held. The next few months will be utterly boring for the majority. My question is that once the people of this country vote will MPs accept the will of the people?

  45. hefner
    February 21, 2016

    Have a look at

    Neil Woodford is a top fund manager and his company’s analysis of Brexit is likely to be closer to the mark than most of what we can read here, there and everywhere (whatever the side of the argument).

    1. stred
      February 22, 2016

      Thanks for this Hefner. The first thing is that on balance they conclude there is nothing too much to worry about either way and the report seems sensible. They conclude that net migration from the EU is 180k and that any change would be to recruit more skilled immigrants and fewer unskilled. Also the unskilled would not have to be permanent. They do not cover the point that any immigrant could be screened and sent back or arrested if there were security issues. This seems very supportive of the Out side.

      It is also interesting to see the chart showing EU subsidies, ie our money generouly given back. Most goes to Wales, then Northern Ireland with Scotland getting a little and England bugger all. I conclude that the Scots must be keen to leave because they would rather have EU money than stuff scounged from the enemy Sassenachs. As the word is derived from the word Saxon’achs’ one wonders why they prefer to depend on the originals instead of their immediate neighbours. Perhaps it is the love of wind turbines that brings them together. Why not have an English referendum and let them have their way, before June, then ignore Scots and Irish Stay votes.

  46. Javelin
    February 21, 2016


    Could you do the Brexit campaign a favour and please read the text from Donald Tusk and clarify (not what the UK got out of the agreement) but what the other EU states got out if it.

    For example I am looking at the paragraph that now allows Eurozone states to reclaim the cost of any Eurozone bail outs from the general fund. Could you then give an estimate how much that could cost the UK.

  47. Denis Cooper
    February 21, 2016

    “Our trade with the EU is not at risk”

    I don’t think for one moment that it would be; but we need proof, JR, or at least strong evidence, mere assertion will only take us so far.

  48. Gary
    February 21, 2016

    I find all these arguments quaint. The next financial crisis, simmering as we speak, is going to take it all down, in or out of the EU.

  49. graham1946
    February 21, 2016

    Alan Johnson on World at One today, as well as spouting the usual EU nonsense has taken to personal insults. He says of the Cabinet ministers who have come out against the EU they they ‘are not the all stars and none of them are the most astute politicians he has met’.

    What a cheek. He says he held 5 Cabinet positions in his time in government, but doesn’t seem to allow for the fact that his government ruined the country both financially and with their open door immigration policy to ‘rub the right’s none in diversity’. I’d say if there is anyone who is not astute is is Alan Johnson and his cronies.

  50. hefner
    February 21, 2016

    I have just listened to IDS on Radio4: a bit sad that as Secretary of State for Pensions, etc, he does not seem to know about the Purchasing Power Parity Index of the IMF. So he might ask his staff to reinvent something that has been around for more than 40 years., just to be able to compute the amount of child benefit for children in another EU country.

    As he said (more or less) in response to Alan Johnson’s remark, he does not consider himself as anyone special. He certainly is not, based on this.

  51. Javelin
    February 21, 2016

    I am interested in the logical consequences of rejecting the euro and keeping the open borders.

    As I see it if you assume the euro is bad then it will drive immigration to the uk until the standard of living reduces to the same level as the eurozone.

    That is I believe a sufficient argument to leave the eurozone

  52. agricola
    February 21, 2016

    I fairness to Andrew Marr he displayed balance in his interviews this morning. Both Kate Hoey and Nigel Farage dealt with his questions with clarity

    He asked pertinent questions of Cameron, but got back little in terms of clarity. Cameron gave a bizarre interpretation of sovereignty which did not include the UK making it’s own laws and such laws taking precedence over the tidal flow of EU law which has found it’s way to our statute book. He talked nonsense about the vulnerability of UK trade with the EU, overlooking the fact that it is in £60 Billion deficit in favour of the EU. I’m sure they would not wish that to be switched off overnight. He poured out much scaremongering , which while being dubious says little for the ability of the British to survive a break with the EU.I found it demeaning of our talents and history It was in effect advocating the dependency culture on an international scale. He made a big issue of us being saved from ever closer union or being subjected to the Euro. To the best of my knowledge these two points were never in contention. Andrew Marr gave him too easy a time, but one could argue that letting him talk nonsense allowed condemnation from his own mouth.

    By contrast I thought Joe Coburn on Sunday Politics was a real Yorkshire Terrier, snapping at the utterances of whoever sat opposite her. Chris Grayling coped with her quite well in the mode of someone who is never going to take offence at whatever she implied. Hilary Benn made it obvious that Labour would oppose Brexit on party political considerations in relation to employment law, rather than as a national issue. The big questions did not seem to excite him.

    I think it very important that, while battle rages, the Brexit campaign discusses and formulates a policy for the programme necessary to effect our future relationship with the EU, specifically on trade. A quiet talk with those EU companies that export to us £60 Billion PA more than we sell to them would be wise. It is better that they lean on any mouthy European leaders in their own interests than our leaders indulge in a shouting match. We have four months, perhaps Michael Gove could have a fruitful below the horizon European tour of the CEOs of the major car plants. We should know the state of play on 24th June for implementation.

    Lets hope we do not get too bored with the process, four months is a long campaign.

    Reply The only industry with a possible issue, the motor industry where the EU imposes a 10% external tariff, is satisfied the EU will not do this on exit for obvious reasons. Leading motor companies have said they will carry on with their UK investment plans. Germany has no wish to face a 10% tax on all her car exports to the UK.

    1. a-tracy
      February 23, 2016

      Germany is not alone on big car and van imports into the UK, what about Citroen, Renault, Peugot from France. Fiat from Italy. Who are our biggest importers?

  53. Graham Wood
    February 21, 2016

    JR Fully agree that “the risky option is to stay in” . For those who so assuredly tell us that leaving the EU is a “leap in the dark”, the boot is really on the other foot!

    The position is that Mr Cameron’s deal is legally fragile and certainly open to challenge in our courts, in European member states courts, and indeed in the European Court of Justice itself.
    Because Mr Cameron appears to have abandoned his many assertions that he wanted treaty change to make his negotiations effective and binding, then the real “leap in the dark” may yet arrive in the form of the ECJ or the EU “parliament”, amending or fully striking down this deal.
    As Martin Schulz. EU parliament President has himself said: “David Cameron’s package of EU reforms cannot be made legally binding before the British public vote on it… the (EU) parliament “could amend any deal done at the summit and would not necessarily rubber stamp it all”
    Unless and until we leave the EU the “directives” will continue to flow from Brussels to London so directing our domestic policies being incorporated into our own domestic law, so making a mockery of the phantom derogation from the “ever closer union” so loudly trumpeted by Mr Cameron. Remaining in the EU is therefore the real ‘leap in the dark’.

  54. Ian Wragg
    February 21, 2016

    I’ve just been listening to Cameron on about sovereignty and security. He says everything opposite to the truth. We would only have an illusion of sovereignty if we left he says. We have absolutely none now. We are safer in Europe he says whilst giving the nod to half a billion folks to come and claim NHS free treatment and education for their kids.
    The mans a shyster and I hope all his nonsense is exposed in the next few weeks.

  55. agricola
    February 21, 2016

    In modern jargon here is some blue sky thinking.

    What would be an ideal EU that we could all sign up to. I would contend that the major attraction of such an EU would be free trade in goods, services, and professions. To facilitate it, and the EU is nowhere near it yet, it would be better in my opinion to retain absolute sovereignty for all nation states participating. This way the people retain control.

    To facilitate inter member trade transactions, why not use a trade Euro. Each country could have it’s own floating exchange rate with this trade only Euro. The exchange rate would be judged, based on the financial performance of that country in a commercial none government market. Good countries currencies would be worth lots of Euros and bad ones much less. Good countries could buy a lot, but poor countries much less. It would be left to the sovereign governments of each country to run their economies as they saw fit , but with the approval of the people. Trade outside the Euro would be conducted with the national currency.

    You may need a European parliament and committees to effect harmonisation in areas where the member countries need to cooperate. It would be necessary to evolve a workable balance between small countries and large one so that no one country can dictate. Let it evolve for the next 100 years, moving to other structures where it is considered advantageous. Whatever it must all be done with the consent of the people. It will never work by dictat from unelected bureaucrats, as we have at present.

    What we have at present is not working and has no long term future. What John has highlighted mostly comes down to retaining or regaining absolute parliamentary sovereignty so that is what I will lobby for.

  56. Denis Cooper
    February 21, 2016

    According to Sky News:


    somebody described as “Boris Pensions Tsar” has dismissed the alleged “protection of the City” as virtually worthless:

    “”From what one can see the so called Protection of the City amounts to no more than a whingers’ charter,” Mr Truell wrote.

    “We have the ‘right to appeal to the heads of government’: surely a ‘right’ we have already.”

    Well, I think that is probably true in practice, de facto, even if there is no “emergency brake” written into the treaties, de jure; if the UK really objected strongly enough to some proposed measure which could be imposed using QMV in the Council of Ministers then it could kick up a stink and insist that whatever the treaties said the matter must be referred up to the European Council for a decision, and that would probably happen; but of course that is not equivalent to having a veto.

    As stated in the Conclusions to the meeting of EU leaders:

    “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.”

    I find that there are already three “emergency brakes” written into the EU treaties as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon:



    The brake clauses concern three areas:

    the measures for coordinating social security systems for migrant workers (Article 48 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU);

    judicial cooperation in criminal matters (Article 82 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU);

    the establishment of common rules for certain criminal offences (Article 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).

    The brake clauses have been created in order to enable the ordinary legislative procedure to be applied to these three policy areas. The ordinary legislative procedure is restrained by a braking mechanism: a Member State may submit an appeal to the European Council if it considers that the fundamental principles of its social security system or its criminal justice system are threatened by the draft legislation being adopted. In this case, the procedure is suspended and the European Council may:

    either send the draft back to the Council which shall continue with the procedure, taking into account the observations made;

    or stop the procedure permanently and request a new proposal from the Commission, if appropriate.

    Therefore, the importance of the brake clauses lies not only in the mechanism they propose, but also in the fact that they enable the ordinary legislative procedure to be extended to the policies concerned. The introduction of this mechanism into the decision-making process has convinced the most resistant of Member States to apply the ordinary legislative procedure to certain policies, where they had previously applied the rule of voting by unanimity.”

  57. ian wragg
    February 21, 2016

    John. Listening to Cameron and Nick Herbert, they are lying. The document he has is not binding or irreversible. Unless written into an treaty the document is worthless. Several countries will have to have referenda if ever anything gets incorporated and may very well be vetoed.
    We are still under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and they will continue to support ever closer union.
    Liar, liar, liar. Why does no-one challenge him??

  58. a-tracy
    February 21, 2016


    1/ Mr Cameron, why will we still have to pay in? What for exactly?
    2/ why can’t we have our own pact with Norway and other Counties, why do we have to be in a club that tell us what to do even when it’s very much against our interests?
    3/ if we’re one of the big 5, top contributors etc. Why hasn’t our Conservative leader led a delegation of other heads to enquiry why the Belgium head quarters can’t balance the books or sign the accounts off year after year, there must be other nations who agree, why aren’t we leading the charge instead of constantly having our backs against the wall, why does this accounting department have to be in Brussells if they can’t do the job, why can’t it relocate to a Country that does account properly and on time and balance their books, paying in instead of taking out all the time? Wherever that place is, if it exists at all?
    4/Which are the Countries that have had the most out over the past 10 years and what state are they in now? Are they contributing or still getting handouts?
    5/ which Countries aren’t following the rules, lets highlight them and ask what fines they’ve had imposed. I’m sick of just accepting our lot fixing dinner in the kitchens but never being invited to the meal.

  59. a-tracy
    February 21, 2016

    We also need more women on the Brexit communications, men just barge in, speaking truths without caring too much of feelings and empathy. Women voters don’t like this, we have worries that are being ignored. I really don’t think that vitriolic Scottish Nationalists understood how damaging their anti-English, Celtic-hugging preclusion and rhetoric damaged future and current relationships and feelings. The majority of the English couldn’t stand the idea of a weak Miliband having his chain pulled by Salmond. Nicola has gone some way of easing tensions with her smoother charm, but he’s still barking from the sidelines in a damaging fashion and I don’t think the average Brit wants this, we want Europe to know we love Europe and our European neighbours, we just don’t like being told what we can and can’t do, especially when it’s ruining our power security, historical independence/freedom, our rights to fish around our own Island whilst being forced to deep6 perfectly good fish just to meet selfish EU quotas. We don’t want to pay for our armed forces but have them controlled from Brussells who can’t even keep proper accounts. With obfuscation and over spending and little freedom to investigate mal -practice.
    We’ve no problem with the majority of social rights in fact our Country has always had more than most, with a welfare state well before the others. Isn’t the truth that the French and others have gone too far with some of their generous welfare packages and now want to make us as uncompetitive as them because otherwise they’ll be in a pickle. We don’t want more Ponzi schemes set up without long term thought, where the future generations won’t have the retirements our parents have had.

    We need to talk calmly about the areas of Britain that have been monopolised by other nations and speak of how we’re going to get balance back in those Boroughs to ensure the British way of life, our beliefs, and our hard fought for freedoms survive in the future and are continued to be enjoyed by others who want to live here, fleeing persecution and adapt to our ways not to try to change us from within.

  60. Ian B
    February 21, 2016

    The Daily Mail are reporting that Boris Johnson is about to declare as an Outie, possibly because they have insider info from Mrs Gove. Is the tepidly Eurosceptic Johnson an asset or a liability to the Out Campaign? And does it mean that even within senior Conservative circles there is a serious belief that an Out vote is achievable? These are rhetorical questions by the way.

  61. Biro
    February 21, 2016

    How can we believe in an EU government that produced a policy to preserve fish stocks, which involved fishermen who caught non quota fish having to throw the dead fish back in to the sea.
    I remember when we went in to the EU one of the common sayings was “they only want us for our fish stocks”. How true that turned out to be.

  62. fedupsoutherner
    February 21, 2016

    John, you say that out of the EU we could have cheaper more reliable energy. Not with Amber Rudd at the helm we won’t. Take a look at predictions for Scotland where Sturgeon is still allowing on shore wind to go in at a disastrous rate. Apparently Scotland is the most wind turbine crowded country in the world. Makes you proud doesn’t it?


    We then read in the telegraph:


    Seems the wind industry is pressing for guaranteed payments much like gas etc to be renamed instead of subsidies but still guaranteeing them a nice turnover. Our energy bills will soar. The last 2 paragraphs sum it all up nicely.

    This has prompted the wind industry, supported by its allies on the supposedly “independent” Climate Change Committee, to propose that new wind farms should enjoy a similar “subsidy-free” contract, allowing their power to be sold at a price similar to that given to the gas plants.

    In other words, first the government’s obsession with wind creates an ever-growing technical problem that threatens to put the lights out. To get round this, it proposes to subsidise gas by the back door. Then the wind industry, to get round that no “new subsidies” pledge, says it should also be given the same money as before, but simply called by another name – to which the Government says it is “carefully listening”. While we, the customers, just carry on paying those ever higher bills. Clever or what?

    A great reason alone to tell the EU where to stick this policy.

  63. matthu
    February 21, 2016

    So, we have Boris Johnson confiding that after a “huge amount of heartache” he had made the “agonisingly difficult” decision to go against David Cameron and “advocate Vote Leave”.

    But (The Independent says) significantly he suggested that a no vote might not necessarily result in the UK pulling out of the EU altogether instead, creating a “new relationship based upon trade and cooperation”.

    So are to believe that Boris Johnson is single-handedly re-interpreting what the country will be trying to convey if it votes to Leave in the EU referendum? This was so utterly predictable.

    I trust that the other members of the Brexit campaign will clarify matters for Boris?

  64. turbo terrier
    February 21, 2016

    Full control on how we run our energy supply and distribution has got to be a major priority when we leave the EU. That way we can give hope to all those working in high energy industries

    The cost to the poor old energy customer will just spiral out of control and the impact on the industrail will cost even more jobs and will the EU give one hoot?

    Maybe just maybe out of the tentacles of the madness of the EU energy policies we might have the courage to repeal the climate change act and stop all this “subsidies” nonsense.

    The final part of Bookers article in the Telegraph today just about sums it all up:

    At the moment, thanks to the massive “carbon tax” on fossil fuels, generating companies are highly reluctant to build any new gas plants. So the government proposes to bribe them to do so, not by giving them a direct subsidy but simply through a “contract for difference”, allowing them to sell their power at a hugely inflated price similar to that of wind energy.
    This has prompted the wind industry, supported by its allies on the supposedly “independent” Climate Change Committee, to propose that new wind farms should enjoy a similar “subsidy-free” contract, allowing their power to be sold at a price similar to that given to the gas plants.
    In other words, first the government’s obsession with wind creates an ever-growing technical problem that threatens to put the lights out. To get round this, it proposes to subsidise gas by the back door. Then the wind industry, to get round that no “new subsidies” pledge, says it should also be given the same money as before, but simply called by another name – to which the Government says it is “carefully listening”. While we, the customers, just carry on paying those ever higher bills. Clever or what?

    Further proof that we need politicians that understand the energy business and will not be blinded by the power of the EU. Even the Liberal leader today had to get in his standard “Climate Change ” plug today on Sunday Politics.

    You can lay money on it every time the BBC are running the interview.

    I and a lot of others are confident that having full control of our energy supplies will go some way to address the high costs being paid by both industry and domestic consumers.

  65. Mark W
    February 21, 2016

    I hear a lot about Scotland being dragged out against its will. If you believe there’s a huge majority for remain in Scotland (I don’t as it happens, but for the purpose of my point) what happens if the rest of the UK narrowly votes out but we are held prisoner in the EU by a huge Scots remain majority. This is mathematically possible.

    1. Iain gill
      February 21, 2016

      More likely england votes to leave but we are kept in by Scots votes.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      February 21, 2016

      Yes, once again being held back from sanity by the Scots.

    3. MPC
      February 21, 2016

      In the circumstances you describe – Scotland wants to remain, rest of UK wants out but overall small majority to remain – I think we would have to accept that the Remainers will have won. Like yourself I don’t believe the Scots are ‘different’. If there’s a small overall UK majority to leave, (but with the Scots voting to remain) then we’ll have to rely on Mr Redwood and co to insist that General Election rules apply and the Leavers have it. In such circumstances I think we should be confident not to resist any future Scottish referendum on their rejoining the EU. I don’t think they’d want to do that, but even if they did it would be something the rest of the UK could live with.

      1. Mark w
        February 22, 2016

        Fair point,

        Thank you all replies

  66. Iain gill
    February 21, 2016

    On another topic…

    Power lines down and the East coast mainline is at a standstill again… Remind me what’s wrong with diesel trains, cheesed off given up getting there stuck half way on my journey.

    This country really is a laughing stock.

  67. William H
    February 21, 2016

    Thanks JR. Very nicely and succinctly put ! This European debate is and always has been about our democracy. Arguments put forward by vested interests, industry in particular, are a total irrelevance. To my knowledge, industrial and commercial success is the product of a vibrant, open and democratic society, not the other way around. We need small and efficient government with MPs who are 100% accountable to their local constituents. The European construct flies in the face of all this.

  68. Jerry
    February 21, 2016

    I see, even though there has been accusations from the Brexit camp that the BSE group is using scare tactics, that some within the Leave camp are not beyond doing the same. Mr IDS gave an interview were (unprompted [1]) he made claims that ‘Paris style attacks’ are more likely due to our open boarders to EU passport holders etc. – can someone remind him that the three of the four London 7/7 terrorists were people born in the UK, the UK is at risk because of our foreign policies, not because of our EU membership…


    Fortunately events have overtaken this interview, with the media, and no doubt the public, now far more interested in what Boris has to say.

    [1] in fact the interviewer interrupted his first attempt to raise this, for clarification on his immediate prior point, so he had opportunity to chose his words more carefully, if at all, but was obviously intent on making such a point

    1. matthu
      February 21, 2016

      The fact that 3/4 of the London 7/7 terrorists were people born in the UK does not rule out the possibility that they were significantly influenced by people who either entered Britain as a result of our open borders policy or were prevented from being removed from Britain as a result of human rights.

      1. Jerry
        February 22, 2016

        @matthu; Well that logic would suggest that we should also follow China in restricting the internet to. For many are, and have been, radicalised whilst sitting in their bedrooms looking at their computer monitors! People could come to or leave the UK as tourists and sow/find the seeds of radicalism whilst on their two weeks ‘holiday’, should we shut-down our tourist industry to those from outside our own boarders, restricting were our own people to holidays at home to ‘acceptable’ countries only – is that not how the old Warsaw Pact countries acted…

        As I said, we are not unsafe due to being a member of the EU, we are unsafe because some people hate our country and what we stand for, it would be better to ask why that is rather than try and find a scapegoat in the EU surely?

  69. miami.mode
    February 21, 2016

    Hopefully leaflets produced by the Leave organisation will be as simple and concise as your post. All too often the message is lost in overlong missives.

    How strange to see Jeremy Corbyn and his comrades in effect going through the same voting lobby as Goldman Sachs and numerous other international bankers as well as many multi-national companies. Read a mildly amusing article in one of the papers online which indicated that Mr Corbyn had been against the EU for forty odd years and that he is really trying to say Leave by saying that unlimited immigration is a good thing and that TTIP is a bad deal for us.

    I believe David Cameron is making a statement on Monday in the Commons and if Jeremy Corbyn responds it sounds almost like the political equivalent of 2 bald men fighting over a comb.

  70. Javelin
    February 21, 2016

    Cameron gave the European Central Bank the right to issue new Eurobonds and make the UK the lender of last resort in a crisis !!

    I know Cameron isn’t the brightest button in the box. There has been something irking me all day about the agreement he reached. Basically you don’t get something for nothing in a negotiation. We only heard about the agreement from Cameron’s side. So I had a read through the text that was agreed to find out what the EU got in return for agreeing.

    I think there is a very important paragraph in there that needs intense discussion and has a impact of the UK credit rating and the price of UK sovereign bonds. I think Cameron has agreed to be the lender of last resort in a crisis and stitched the UK tax payer up. It’s a rotten agreement with a bottomless liability for the UK.

    The full text can be found here.


    3. “Emergency and crisis measures addressed to safeguarding the financial stability of the euro area will not entail budgetary responsibility for Member States whose currency is not the euro, or, as the case may be, for those not participating in the banking union.

    [this is the key paragraph here]

    “Appropriate mechanisms to ensure full reimbursement will be established where the general budget of the Union supports costs, other than administrative costs, that derive from the emergency and crisis measures referred to in the first subparagraph.”

    So what this second paragraph does is basically make the UK a lender of last resort to the Eurozone area via the general budget and the ESM. Here is a link to the ESM.


    Here is the UK text for the ESM agreement

    http://www.esm.europa.eu/pdf/ESM Treaty/20150203 – ESM Treaty – EN.pdf

    “The ESM may therefore provide stability support on the basis of a strict conditionality, appropriate to the financial assistance instrument chosen”

    [So the key thing here is the Uk has agreed to bail out countries via the general EU budget and this can include new euro government bonds. ]

    “In its statement of 28 November 2010, the Euro Group stated that standardised and identical Collective Action Clauses (“CACs”) will be included, in such a way as to preserve market liquidity, in the terms and conditions of all new euro area government bonds.”

    What makes this who thing so irksome is that Cameron wanted the agreement not to be reversible in future. In other words the UK has committed to bail out Eurozone failures.

    Now this is very interesting because it doesn’t matter what rules are placed on UK lenders because the EU is not responsible for them. But we are responsible for EU banks and Governments.

    Reply I don’t see how you deduce from this we are on risk through the general funds.

    1. stred
      February 22, 2016

      This seems to be as clear as mud and no doubt EU lawyers and commissioners would have no problem with taking the money. If this has not been clarified beyond doubt, then this clanger could be as damaging as any previously given way. Thanks for the warning Javelin.

  71. Jon
    February 21, 2016

    “Leaving the EU means we can take back control of our borders and decide who to invite in.”

    Yes and we can choose to accept in the qualified, the professionals, the business generators. rather than what we are forced to accept. This could improve our unemployment level.

  72. Colin Hart
    February 21, 2016

    The choice is simple. Do you want to be governed by your own elected British government or ruled by the Franco-German empire?

  73. Anthem
    February 21, 2016

    How can any Prime Minister of the UK refer to Sovereignty as “an illusion”.

    That surely makes him an illusion, too? What exactly is he the PM of?

  74. Anonymous
    February 21, 2016

    Nicola Sturgeon is getting all uppity that the EU referendum will clash with the second (SECOND) Scottish referendum.

    Doubtless if the vote is to remain In the EU then Ms Sturgeon will be one to say that there shouldn’t be second referendums. Unless you’re a Scots Nationalist, of course !

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 22, 2016

      No Anonymous, she is getting in a tizz because she thinks the Scots won’t be able to cope with the Scottish elections (not referendum) close to the EU vote. Some of us are livid that she thinks we are all so thick we cannot tell the difference. What an insult to the Scots. She will consider holding a second independence referendum, in fact she has said she definitely will if it seems the Scots voted to stay in the EU but the rest of the UK votes out. Here we go again, more money and valuable political time wasted on the SNP’s ego.

  75. Man of Melos
    February 21, 2016

    At the time of the French Revolution, “Paine prophesied that the same species of liberty would be extended to other countries; and led away by his wishes, fancied all Europe would unite in overturning monarchy. Whether of himself, or from the suggestion of his French friends, Paine expressed his wishes that the British Opposition should coincide in the republican views, and use parliamentary reform as the pretext. Burke answered to him, “Do you mean to propose that I, who have all my life fought for the constitution, should devote the wretched remains of my days to conspire its destruction ? ”…

    Robert Bisset, The life of Edmund Burke….The second edition, 2v. London 1800, II. pp. 285-286.

    I hope that in the wretched remains of their days, your colleagues put conscience before career, follow the moral exemplum of the founder of the party, fight for the Constitution, and VOTE LEAVE.

  76. Maureen Turner
    February 22, 2016

    With Michael Gove and Boris coming on board the Leave campaign the BBC has decided to play this down and gone instead with their fear factor dish of the day – Security – plus all neatly tied together with an Isolated UK outside the EU.

    Seemingly if we aren’t in the EU we will be out of the loop when it comes to the exchange of Intelligence and hence more vulnerable to a terrorist attack. We have exchanged Intelligence with friendly nations for decades so this sounds highly unlikely as Intelligence exchange is reciprocal. I have never before seen the individual who made these remarks but he was standing beside Douglas Carswell when both were being interviewed.

    Now we learn from the PM, a bit late in the day, that in or out of the EU will not make any difference to the number of migrants coming to the UK. What happened to the limit of tens of thousands? Perhaps best forget it.

  77. petermartin2001
    February 23, 2016

    I’ve just come across this:

    Assessment of action taken by THE UNITED KINGDOM
    in response to the Council Recommendation of 19 June 2015 with a view to bringing an
    end to the situation of excessive government deficit


    I know we all might have different views on the nature of the deficit but I’m sure that most correspondents on this blog would agree that if the UK wants to run a deficit and there’s enough overseas buyers for gilts to support that deficit then it should be entirely the UK’s decision.

    It all strikes me as being a bit rich coming from the EU. It’s largely the desire of EU countries to sell more stuff to the UK than they buy from the UK that causes the trade deficit in the first place. Someone either government or the private sector in the UK has to fund that deficit by borrowing!

    Don’t they understand that?

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