Crucial Questions for Stay in the EU that never get asked by the media

Debating against Better Stay in speakers always produces the same attitudes. They spend half their time running down the EU they want to stay in, and the other half scaremongering about coming out! They always say they do not wish the UK to join the Euro. They stress the protections of the UK’s opt out and subsequent negotiations over avoiding the costs and rules the single currency imposes. They usually rejoice that we are not in Schengen, implying that means we are also opted out of freedom of movement which of course still applies.

So the first question to Stay Inners is Why do you wish to belong to this organisation, when you disagree with its two central features, the currency and the common borders? It is like joining a cricket club, only to announce you have no wish to either play or watch cricket, and then to complain that people talk about cricket at the odd social you attend as a member.

They should be asked how does the UK keep itself out of consequences of Schengen, when we have freedom of movement obligations with Schengen members?

They should be asked if they support the Common Fisheries policy? Do they think it has helped or damaged the UK fishing grounds and industry? Why did it take almost 40 years to get some basic reforms of its damaging policies? Wouldn’t we have better fishing grounds and a stronger industry if we left and controlled our own fish stocks?

They should be asked if they support the Common Agricultural policy, still the biggest cost in the EU? Do we get benefits from subsidising continental farmers? Wouldn’t it be cheaper for UK taxpayers to just subsidise our own farmers? Why did we get less milk quota than we needed? Why did they show such hostility to British beef?

They should be asked if they support the common energy policy? Hasn’t the EU requirements on renewables forced us to construct large numbers of onshore wind turbines which have affected the landscape and left us without reliable power? Isn’t EU energy policy a damaging mixture of supply restrictions and high prices, the very opposite of what we need to tackle fuel poverty and increase industrial investment?

They should be asked if EU policy towards Croatia and more recently Ukraine has helped or hindered stability.

And they should be asked why they think £10 billion of our money should be spent on rich countries on the continent.

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146 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    You make some very simple and logical points John.

    I have come to the conclusion that they really do believe that what we have, is better than the so called risk of leaving, because they have become comfortable with not having to be responsible for actions they take as a group, and thus collective failure is better than being held personally to account.

    What they fail to understand is that we should not be comparing what we have now with leave, but what the EU will become with leave.

    The EU is not going to stand still, it will move forward (not the positive forward, but a backwards step for populations ) towards ever closer union in all aspects.

    They also seem to believe that if they say the same thing enough times, people will eventually believe them.
    It is so much easier to put fear into people to not do something, than it is to encourage new thought, work and action towards a new direction.

    The quality of forensic interviewing with the exception of one or perhaps two, appears now to be a lost art.
    We now have presenters (not interviewers) who set themselves up as so called experts and speculate on what the news will be, rather than reporting what is fact.

    An additional problem is that the media always seems to want to run with its own agenda and political leanings, unfortunately for us the largest of those, the BBC has a socialist agenda and so encourages all things EU.

    One really has to question why an organisation called the British Broadcasting Corporation, should be allowed receipt of funds from the EU at all.

    Perhaps they leave side should start putting some figures out on exactly who is being funded by the EU, as it seems to me so many have now got their fingers in the pie, it will not even go in an oven.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      We can’t blame the EU for the wind farms, those are due to the Labour govts climate change act, supported at the time by the Conservatives and still praised by Mr Cameron and others.

      • forthurst
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        How many times do you have to be told that the EU makes most of our laws, including those relating to saving the planet by shutting down our industry and subsidising its transfer to the Orient?

        “Key EU targets for 2020

        20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990
        20% of total energy consumption from renewable energy
        20% increase in energy efficiency

        Key EU targets for 2030

        At least 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990
        At least 27% of total energy consumption from renewable energy
        At least 27% increase in energy efficiency”

        Etc etc etc

        Note that all these targets are entirely independent of what action if any, any other country is taking to save the planet, if they believe in that BS, that is.

        http://ec.europa.eu/clima/citizens/eu/index_en.htm

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          These targets are also entirely independent of the law of physics, science, economics and sensible engineering.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        We can blame indeed the EU for much of this absurd anti-science climate alarmist religion and the very expensive intermittent “renewable” energy guff. I do however agree that Labour, the Cameron’s hug a husky Tories and the Libdims are all very much to blame for making it far worse still.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Agree Lifelogic but nobody loves wind more than Sturgeon and Co. They really are insane!! They will not consider nuclear and will not entertain fracking. Scotland’s energy is in crisis when Longannet closes next month but still they won’t listen to reason. We need some firm and sensible led policy from Westminster and we need all subsidies in whatever shape or form for wind stopped. Stop wasting the public’s hard earned cash. Its a disgrace.

    • Hope
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Yesterday we read American ambassador claim that Turkey supported Al Qaeda against US wishes. The EU are fast tracking Turkey to join the EU, supported by Cameron, and somehow he illogically claims we are safer!

      Both Hungary and Poland believe they defeated Cameron and their citizens will continue getting welfare without making a contribution! If this is a good deal or fundamental reform what does failure look like? Cameron has failed to deliver his manifesto pledge and failed to deliver for the tax paying nation.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I am sick to death of hearing what a great job Cameron has done. He has done nothing!!!! Europe will not be reformed and we will just keep on propping up the sick men of Europe.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Well, some weeks ago I managed to get a letter published in our local newspaper in which I challenged any local supporters of EU membership to say how they thought the EU would develop over the next forty years, it being forty years since we were last allowed a direct say.

      So far, nobody has taken up that challenge.

      • alan jutson
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Dennis

        “….Nobody has taken up that challenge.”

        That is exactly my point.

        Those that want to stay in are terrified we will find out, so for them they want to compare with now, and only now, because that is their only chance of winning.

        They do not want to have to defend the EU that the five Presidents report outlines.

        For the life of me I cannot understand why so many of our politicians want to give up the right for us to govern ourselves.

        Why get voted into power and then choose to give up any chance of making a real difference to a group of 27 other Countries who have a totally different agenda.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I think there is some truth in your suggestion that politicians like being in the EU because it makes their life easier and gives them someone to blame for their own failings (Mrs May and her immigration targets for example). To be honest I am not too worried if the vote result is Remain, some future crisis will cause other countries to leave and the whole thing will collapse, or we’ll get a vote on the next round of treaty change after the EU has failed to deliver on any of Mr Cameron’s “deal”. They say this is a once in a generation vote but as with Scottish independence it won’t be.

    • eeyore
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      “One really has to question why an organisation called the British Broadcasting Corporation, should be allowed receipt of funds from the EU at all.”

      It gets worse. The ever-vigilant Guido Fawkes now tells us that British charities receive over £200m of our own money, recycled through the Brussels cornucopia-machine and dispensed as EU largesse. The source of Guido’s information? None other than BSE, who seem actually proud of it and think we will applaud.

  2. The Active Citizen
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    John, you are on SUCH a roll. This is one of your best-ever pieces in the series on the EU. It touches real issues for ordinary people and more importantly it asks some key questions which Leave spokespersons can use in so many interviews, but which are so far being forgotten. Thank you.

    I know we have your permission to repost your articles and I’ll certainly try to do this again today, with this excellent piece of yours.

    Reply Thanks. We need to get the message out in as many ways as possible

    • Timaction
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      ……………and the Tory party needs to ask why they haven’t removed Cameron and Osborne the biggest risks to our national security in a generation???????

      Reply Because they recently won a General Election and command the majority of Conservative MPs.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they did win (though only just) by being the least bad option. It was largely won for them by Ed Miliband, Ed Ball and Nichola Sturgeon’s SNP.

        Still Cameron has delivered a referendum (not quite a fair one) but it will do.

        I see the Government are desperately and immorally trying to hide the true immigration figures that the DWP & HMRC clearly hold.

        Osborne is also making himself hugely unpopular with his ratting, over taxing, endless waste & pension and landlord thieving. Hopefully he and Cameron will go promptly after the leave vote.

        We can then get a proper Tory government to restore British democracy and one who can win a proper majority over the hapless & hopeless Corbyn and run a sensible smaller state economy.

        • Hope
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          So did Margaret Thatcher, the public did not get rid of her the Europhile Tories did.

      • Timaction
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        But not the majority of the public or your own party and its activists!

        • Hope
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          JR, the disparity between ONS figures and NI numbers by HMRC might be that ONS are estimated, HMRIC ar actual. Could you confirm if this is correct. There is no proper way of actually counting people in and out the country, is this correct? If so, how can it be safer to be in the EU when such people are not allowed to be asked why they are coming to the UK. Once again, please tell me if this is correct.

    • stred
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      A good way to get the message out would be to put out on U tube a speech made in the EU Parliament yesterday about teatime. It was on the Parliamentary channel.

      The ex Belgian PM Guy Marie Louise Verhofstadt vented his Flem and told us that the referendum was ‘totally bonkers’ and all about falling out between Eural and Boris. Boris had let Londoners down. The pound had fallen because of the attempt to escape and it would all be a disaster because the USA would refuse a trade agreement. The only party who would bring us to see sense where the British Lib Dems. The speech was about as off putting as any wavering voter could witness.

      Mr Vehofstadt is the founder of the Spinelli Group, which he co-chairs with Daniel Cohn Bendit. Anyone wishing to see an interesting past of a politician should read the wiki on this MEP. The words ‘totally bonkers’ would seem appropriate for this pair too.

      • stred
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        oh dear- were not where

  3. Mark B
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    One thing that irritatest me when I hear that a Europhile has been speaking on this program or that, is that it is always someone with nothing to lose. eg Sir john Major, Lord’s Heseltine and Mandelson. You do not hear a MP that is in a key marginal come out a pro-EU. I would imagine that this is because it is deemed too unpopular to hold such views and, to risk losing ones seat 😉

    One question that our kind host and others might like to ask those who whish to remain and yet, do not like being in the Euro etc is;

    “Do you believe in the comittment to ‘EVER CLOSER UNION’ ?”

    Because if they do, then the natural consequence is that we shall one day join the Euro etc. And if not, then how can they support something that is its central aim ?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Wasted question. The PM has apparently secured an opt out from ever closer union as part of his “fundamental reform” of the EU. Easy to bat away and then launch into the benefits of such reforms.

      A better question would be given the remainder of the EU is committed to ever closer union and the UK no longer will be doesn’t that amount to associate membership which you are saying reduces our “influence”? Without such influence would we not have greater influence fully out and independent?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        All that Cameron has secured is an unreliable promise that an ill-defined treaty change will be made at some indeterminate point in the future.

        This business about the treaty change being made when the treaties are next revised is complete tosh, and the government knows that it is, and all the MPs who were present at debates and voted in divisions for Part 2 of European Union Act 2011 and the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 2012 should also know that is tosh.

        For the first of those Acts, Part 2 is headed:

        “Implementation of transitional Protocol on MEPs”

        and refers to a protocol which was negotiated and agreed in June 2010 without waiting for the next occasion when there was a general revision of the EU treaties:

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/12/part/2

        “The Protocol amending the Protocol (No. 36) on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, signed at Brussels on 23 June 2010, is approved for the purposes of section 5 of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 (amendment of founding Treaties: approval by Act of Parliament).”

        The second refers to a treaty change agreed in March 2011, once again without waiting for the next occasion when there was a general revision of the treaties:

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/15/introduction

        “An Act to make provision for the purposes of section 3 of the European Union Act 2011 in relation to the European Council decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro.”

        From these precedents it is clear that there is no valid reason why the EU treaty changes now being mooted should not be drafted and agreed in detail as a protocol signed by all of the EU leaders BEFORE the referendum; at least then we would have a clearer idea of what we were voting on, even if there would still be a chance that one or more of the other countries might later be unwilling or unable to complete the final ratification.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          But asking a remain candidate about ever closer union allows them to answer about opt outs secured and so is a waste of a question. Your refutation after their answer has already been disregarded but any undecided voters or remain votes who are listening.

          Much better to focus on how the opt out if indeed it is legally binding has undermined what little influence we have.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 27, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

            But nothing has been “secured”, only promised, and as far as the treaty changes are concerned the justification for that is based on the false claim that we have to wait until the next time there is a general revision of the treaties, “reopening the Lisbon Treaty” as some would put it. And that false claim only stands up because the electorate have been deliberately kept in the dark about the four occasions on which the treaties have been amended since the Lisbon Treaty came into force on December 1st 2009, including two amendments by the simple expedient of adding new protocols. Moreover it should have been five occasions, except that another protocol which was promised to the Czechs by EU leaders in October 2009, in writing, ready drafted, never happened.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted February 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

            Wholly agree Dennis which is why it is a wasted Question. Much better to ask if any of it amounts to a can of beans than offer an opportunity to spout about how much has been gained

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      These duff compasses of the past and BBC favourites. Yet they are never asked about their dire past decisions and huge mistake – over the EURO or the ERM. They have not even apologised for them now. Why would anyone follow the advice of such people for the future?

      I see that even Michael Howard has come to his senses.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12173888/Michael-Howard-David-Camerons-reform-bid-has-failed-its-time-to-go.html?WT.mc_id=e_DM91923&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_2016_02_26&utm_campaign=DM91923

      • scottspeig
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I’d be careful of that one – While it is good he’s on the side of Remain, it is only in order to have a second referendum. One I will be loathed about if it occurs.

        Although saying that, if we did vote remain, I’d still support a party that advocated independance – a bit like how Scotland went.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        So Cameron says that more renegotiation and a deal after the leave vote is “fiction”. In reality this is very likely indeed as history as shown. The EU and establishment will not cave in that easily. There certainly will be no improvement in terms if we vote stay even the pathetic deal offered will be watered down yet further.

        We should of course say no to the second deal too. There will, almost certainly, be a more serious renegotiation. Unless perhaps the leave vote is totally overwhelming. This though looks quite likely, since no one has any interest in voting “remain” in the first vote even those who want to.

        Also the remain side has yet to come up with a single rational argument for voting “remain”.

    • John Bracewell
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      On the subject of Ever Closer Union. The EU will proceed in its usual way of creating a near accomplished state of affairs and then if any member not part of that union complains, it will be ‘you can join if you want, otherwise shut up’. So, the Euro area will first form a union in order to give the euro what is needed, one government to oversee the currency and economy of the Eurozone. That union will then effectively be the start of the one country that the EU aspires to be. That government will then, of course, govern in the interests solely of that one country and accumulate all the other, besides economic, powers of a full government of a country. It is at that stage that if the UK or any other current member of the EU complains about anything that government (of the country covering the Eurozone) does, they will get the answer I stated above. The question of , but Cameron for the UK secured an assurance that EU members outside the Eurozone would be treated with respect and their issues discussed, will not be remembered. In other words, the EU will carry on doing what it wants to do, which is create one country and disregard the complaints of any member of the EU not in that arrangement, as it always does. The clause about ‘ever closer union’ secured in Cameron’s renegotiation is not only not legally binding but is totally meaningless.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Well, it is explicitly stated that non-euro countries would not have a veto over decisions imposed by the euro countries through qualified majority voting to apply not just to themselves but to all the EU countries. So if a contentious proposal was referred from the Council of Ministers up to the European Council it would be for Cameron or his successor to persuade the other EU leaders that it should be dropped, he would have no veto.

        Moreover there is nothing in the “deal” about relieving non-euro countries of their treaty obligation to join the euro, so the number of euro countries will inevitably go up with time while the number of non-euro countries will go down, and in the longer term the number of non-euro EU member states could not exceed two, the UK and Denmark.

  4. Margaret
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Perhaps they see it as a job they have managed to get as a last resort , for low pay , but some pay and will do anything the management demand of them ,good or bad to keep some money coming in.

  5. Mick
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    It’s simple why they are inners it’s because there after ministerial posts and the public who are for in are just brain washed from schooling to university, what MP’s want to remember is come the 2020 GE they will get chucked out and replaced with a party that as always been a outer and that goes for the Libs/greens/ snp/labour/ conservative
    Just wait and see what is going to happen in the May elections

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    What they SHOULD be asked and what they GET asked are two different things.

    The BBC inflicts the damage on the Out case and the Outs thereafter play catch-up on obscure blogs like this one, which few of the television watching public read.

  7. Alan
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The way I see it is:

    Mr Redwood thinks that the euro caused the financial crisis. It did not: that was the consequence of foolish investment decisions and poor regulation, largely outside the euro area.

    He thinks that the immigration problems are caused by the Schengen agreement. They are not: they are caused by the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and poverty and wars in Africa.

    He thinks that fish are constrained by international boundaries. They do not, they swim freely in the sea, from Spanish and French waters to and from British ones.

    He thinks that the CAP benefits only continental farmers. It does not, many British farmers wish to stay within the CAP.

    He thinks that generating power by burning fossil fuels would not produce carbon dioxide if we left the EU. It would.

    He thinks it would be better if Ukraine were abandoned to Russian invasion. It would not.

    He thinks all our contribution to the EU is spent on rich countries. It is not: some goes to improve the poorer countries of the EU, an investment from which we will all gain in the future.

    Reply That’s a great series of misleading and foolish statements!

    • Margaret
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Alan the situation with the migrants would not have arisen if we had control of borders. How other countries behave with their own citizens should e our concern but NOT our responsibility.

      Fish do swim freely but are more likely to stay within their spawning areas.

      We all agree that burning fossil fuel is not good for the atmosphere and whilst windmills produce help with the overall consumption of electricity , we have to find interim solutions to be self sufficient.

      Many think that the Euro made worse the financial crisis due to the domino effect and the sameness of currency ripping through the various countries.

      Many modern farmers who are subsidised by the EU are frightened that there is no other way.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Answers below, each marked ***

      Mr Redwood thinks that the euro caused the financial crisis. It did not: that was the consequence of foolish investment decisions and poor regulation, largely outside the euro area.
      *** The poor reaction to the financial crisis, however, is caused by the euro.

      He thinks that the immigration problems are caused by the Schengen agreement. They are not: they are caused by the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and poverty and wars in Africa.
      *** The EU borders extend way beyond Britain and are policed by the EU’s weakest members.

      He thinks that fish are constrained by international boundaries. They do not, they swim freely in the sea, from Spanish and French waters to and from British ones.
      *** Then let the Spaniards fish off the coast of Spain and the British off the coast of Britain.

      He thinks that the CAP benefits only continental farmers. It does not, many British farmers wish to stay within the CAP.
      *** Then let them vote In.

      He thinks that generating power by burning fossil fuels would not produce carbon dioxide if we left the EU. It would.
      *** He thinks no such thing

      He thinks it would be better if Ukraine were abandoned to Russian invasion. It would not.
      *** The EU encroached where it should not have.

      He thinks all our contribution to the EU is spent on rich countries. It is not: some goes to improve the poorer countries of the EU, an investment from which we will all gain in the future.
      *** Our economic strength is that we are out of the euro – Greece’s economic weakness is that it is in the euro.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Alan

      Clearly you have not been reading this website for long enough, otherwise you would not be making the comments you have.

    • The Active Citizen
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Thanks Alan, I needed a good giggle. My favourite has to be “He thinks that fish are constrained by international boundaries. They do not, they swim freely in the sea, from Spanish and French waters to and from British ones.” Oh dear, oh dear.

      There’s only so much humour we have time for on here though, so I’ll now be ignoring your comments – and I hope others will too – on the basis that you might then go and find an outlet more appropriate for you.

      All the best, TAC.

      • The PrangWizard
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Natalie Bennett, the Greeny was on the Daily Politics today and came up with this nonsense, that fish don’t stop at boundaries. It is so unutterably stupid it’s difficult to find words to counter it, but given that she said she was in favour of complete freedom of movement of people, I assume she does not believe in boundaries between nations.

        It follows that she thinks there should be no boundaries in the seas, that is no national waters, and thus everyone and anyone can go after the fish anywhere and everywhere, including up to the beaches and the harbours.

        It hurts my brain to imagine that people think she and her party are deserving of votes. They are completely mad, bad and dangerous.

        She is of course in favour of staying in the EU.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Just about the level of stupid non debate from the remainers.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      What a load of completely duff points.

      Wind farms and PV save virtually no co2 anyway, after manufacturing, installation, maintenance, back up and storage are considered. The policy just exports jobs and C02 production and pushes up energy prices for all. Anyway CO2 is not really a problem (as is now rather clear to sensible scientists). CO2 concentrations have increased over this period and yet their has been no significant warming since 1998.

      This was not predicted by any of the alarmists computer models so as Feynman said. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Alan, you have deliberately misrepresented JR’s position on every single topic; what exactly do you hope to achieve by that? If you do not believe that, then you need to go back to school and take some lessons in elementary English comprehension because it would appear your grasp of the English language is tenuous at best.

      • getahead
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        He’s a troll having a laugh.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      No more misleading than the original blog. As I have now said a number of times, we need rational arguments not just criticisms of the outers based on highly biased views.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        They simply have no rational arguments to put.

        So they just waffle on about “a leap in the dark” and other such complete drivel.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      On farming, a couple of interesting things: firstly, George Eustice, Minister of State for Farming, is one of those who is calling for us to leave the EU:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/12169948/Britains-farms-would-thrive-outside-of-the-EU.html

      while, secondly, this has come my way about the undesirable effects of the EU’s CAP on Greek farming and on Greece as a whole:

      http://www.ekathimerini.com/206308/article/ekathimerini/comment/greek-agriculture-and-the-eu–inconvenient-truths

      “The deepest harm inflicted on Greece by the European Union, among the many benefits, is probably that it has maintained a large agricultural sector. Hundreds of thousands of young Greeks, instead of working hard in creative ways to attain a better future, just sit around waiting for European subsidies to materialize. Instead of utilizing their skills to create useful knowledge and innovation, they devote themselves to devising ways to fool the EU and block Greek roads.”

      Of course our taxpayers’ money is going towards those “European subsidies”.

    • stred
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Oh you poor confused soul. Please read slowly and absorb the following points in answer to yours.

      You are confusing financial crises. The crash was, as you say, caused by banking deregulation and misinvestment. The other crisis is in the Eurozone caused by the Euro helping the industrial north sell products cheaply, while making the south too expensive and causing unemployment, while the ECB has squeezed the outer countries into recession.

      Immigration is caused by wars, poverty and a huge population explosion in Africa and Asia but also because EU citizens in poorer coutries with high unemployment can come to the UK of right and obtain paid work with tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit, free healthcare and unemployment benefit and other benefits worth more than they could possibly earn at home. Some of us think large scale immigration is causing a housing and identity crisis here and preventing natives from obtaining higher pay.

      We do realise that fish tend to swim around. However the problem is that most are caught by big Spanish and other European trawlers which have turned some of the sea bed into a desert. Some of these are subsidised by the EU. While our fishermen are fined heavily for exceeding small quotas and have to throw dead fish back for the seals and seagulls. Our fishing industry is all but finished.

      The CAP does mostly benefit inefficient continental farmers. Our agriculture employs a small percentage of the population. The proportion of agricultural GDP is far higher in the EU and that is why most of the EU contributions are spent on it. Our farmers have been told they may lose their CAP money. They should be told that they could be paid more if we did not have to subsidise their French counterparts. The only big tariff- 50%- the EU puts up is on dairy produce. If they imposed it on us, our dairy farmers would benefit, as imports of milk and cheese would cost more and supermarkets would have to buy British.

      Yes CO2 is produced by carbon burning power stations. The argument is that changing to wind and tree burning actually saves little, is very expensive and makes the backup electricity expensive too. While the nuclear deal is the worst one DECC could have found and is needlessly expensive. And because of expensive energy, industries are being moved abroad, where they produce more CO2 and pollution than more efficient power stations here.

      Some of us think that had the EU/US not interfered in Ukraine, there would not have been the disastrous civil war, not invasion. Russia also would not allow its main seaport to be taken over by NATO and if you think the Crimean population thinks it was invaded, why not get the EU to pay for a second referendum, as they usually try to get one with a result they prefer.

      EU contributions are mainly spent on poor countries infrastructure and CAP, which benefits rich countries like France and Italy. The UK gets money back in Wales and Northern Ireland. England gets bugger all.

      Hope this helps. etc ed

    • Pericles Xanthippou
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Usury & The Financial Crisis

      Alan is right: ‘the financial crisis’ (2007/08) was caused not by the Euro but by poor regulation. The immediate cause, not mentioned, was — and in the case of the next, similar crisis will be — the ability of usurers to vary interest rates on fixed-term loans, especially mortgages. This practice, started in the 1970s (I believe), means that when a mortgagor goes to re-finance a loan, he can find himself unable to afford to do so, as happened in 2008.

      The interest rate should be set at the time of the mortgage’s creation and last for its duration.

      Immigration Generally

      I’m not entirely convinced that immigration from within the E.U. — accounting for about half the current figure of about 320,000 p.a. — is much of a problem. The reason we’re having to import so many eastern Europeans is that we insist on sending our own population to University: we have thousands of graduates in media studies and P.P.E. but cannot get a competent plumber, electrician, carpenter or bricklayer for love or money!

      The problem of immigration from the Third World should be laid at Labour’s door: something it did with the intention of creating its own client state; it was about the only enterprise in which the recent Labour government ‘succeeded’!

      The Current Migration Crisis

      Alan is right again: the wars in the Near- and Middle-East — most originating in our own misdeeds, some of which date back more than a century — have given rise to the immediate refugee problem.

      Thoroughly misleading, however, is his failure even to mention the naïve invitation issued by the terminally dim-witted Chancellor of Germany — and spread across the whole of the Third World within minutes. Frau Merkel’s action justifies what many countries in Europe are now saying: this is Germany’s problem and she must pay for it.

      ‘Fossil’ Fuels

      If the atmospheric concentration of carbon-dioxide caused the atmospheric temperature to change, the E.U.’s energy policy would be justified; we know, on the other hand, that levels of carbon-dioxide lag temperature changes by about three-quarters of a millennium. Does cause follow effect by 750 years?

      Dissipation

      Alan is again right in saying that not all of Britain’s contribution to E.U. coffers goes to subsidize the wealthier countries. Where the money is wasted, however, is in its use to prop up long failed aspects of the E.U. project itself, such as the ‘bilocation’ of the European Parliament and the Euro!

      The Caucasus

      The problems in the Ukraine arise from E.U. expansionism. Had the E.U. not tried to expand in to the Ukraine, Russia would not have annexed the Crimea or sent her military in to the eastern part of the region (or shot down Malaysian 17, for that matter).

      Min. of Ag. & Fish.

      Farmers in the U.K. are less concerned about subsidies — those would continue to be funded (justifiably or not is another question) by the British government direct — than about access to the single market. There might be a hiatus during the transition but, given the amount of goods the E.U. sells to the U.K., it’s hard to justify a contention that this would last very long.

      The problem with fisheries relates not to where the fishes are but to the access E.U. boats have to British waters.

      ΠΞ

    • Margaret
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Agree : it is a silly argument, however we also must think about casting nets out and not catching versus abundance. That is directly related to how we treat our seas.

  8. Martyn G
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    All good questions, John, which I suspect will not get asked. I can think of a couple more questions I’d like to hear asked, like “Prime Minister, after your negotiations, has Parliament now regained sovereignty to the extent it can decide to ignore or not implement any EU directive or regulation with which it disagrees?” and “Prime Minister, whose immigration figures should I believe, those published by you or those published by HMRC regarding the number of immigrants who have registered for NI, since the latter number is 3 times higher than yours?”

    • The Active Citizen
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Two great additions, Martyn.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      What are new NI registration numbers and how many of those are actually paying tax and NI? What is the average they are actually paying I wonder?

      • Rowenna
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        There is data collected (NINOs) on the number of NI numbers allocated to overseas citizens. It is broken down into various regions of the world (not sure if it can be broken down further).

        All EU citizens can apply for a National Insurance number once they are resident in the UK and wanting to work or apply for benefits. It is important to note that dependents often do not apply for NI numbers e.g. children.

        For the past year Jan 2015 – Dec 2015 over 630,000 NI numbers were requested by EU citizens. (In comparison there were only 197,000 NI numbers requested from citizens outside of the EU).

        In the year Jan 2014 – Dec 2014 590,000 NI numbers were requested by EU citizens (175,000 non-EU citizens)

        In the year Jan 2013 – Dec 2013 440,000 NI numbers were requested by EU citizens (176,000 non-EU citizens).

        In the year Jan 2012 – Dec 2012 342,000 NI numbers were requested by EU citizens (176,000 non-EU citizens).

        Ten years earlier things were very different as the EU had not yet expanded. So in the year Jan 2002 – Dec 2002 74,000 NI Numbers were requested by EU citizens.

        Someone (I can’t remember who) did put in a freedom of information request to find out how many NI numbers of EU citizens were active in the UK. The government declined to answer (I can’t remember what the reason was but it was not a valid one such as security or time required to comply with request).

        The above is something that I think needs to be highlighted and pushed as it is quite likely it will illustrate the real number of EU citizens living in the UK which may well be contrary to the numbers acknowledged via the ONS data. This is something the population has a right to know about when making decisions relating to whether or not we want to remain in the EU.

        Reply Crucial numbers which we assume all represent a recent extra arrival

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          Thanks and one assume the NI number do not even include children or people not wishing to work.

        • a-tracy
          Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for this information.

          I wonder why we don’t have a national insurance number from birth, just one number for life that is used for eligibility for schooling, hospitals, doctors etc. And then eventually registers your insurance tax?

          Couldn’t we then say only children with registered UK national insurance numbers can have child tax credits?

  9. Cheshire Girl
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I watched the debate in Parliament yesterday, and there was an excellent speech by Jacob Rees Mogg. Sorry to keep mentioning his name – he is not my MP – but he took the ‘Deal’ apart piece by piece, and exposed it for what it was. Great speech by Richard Drax too.

    Thank goodness we have people like them (and yourself, John) to speak for many of us. Otherwise, so much would be hidden from us, and we would’nt hear both sides of the argument. Often the Media is anything but impartial!

  10. lifelogic
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed.

    The “remain” side look increasingly desperate. They simply lack any valid arguments to put. Just watch Question Time last night with Elizabeth Truss, Diane Abbott. They were both pathetic. Truss (PPE yet again) gave us the duff % of the EU trade and % of our trade argument yet again, but with slightly different figures. It is the volume of trade that matters dear, can you not see that? The % of figures are totally irrelevant.

    Abbott was he usual pathetic self with nothing sensible or logical to say.
    Truss even put forwards as a reason to stay how dreadfully slow the EU would be to negotiated anything many years. The usual accusation for the stay side that the leave side what to stop all immigration this would damage industry and would not be able to anyway. Not at all they want just the right sort of controlled & selective immigration of the people we actually need and who will not be a financial liability and not criminals or a terrorist threat.

    The usually we will have to agree to fees and free movement and rule by to get free trade with the EU drivel. Free trade with the EU is not remotely worth these sacrifices. Even if this were the only . Clearly it will not be as they need our trade market more than we need theirs.

    Outside the sclerotic EU, prices will clearly fall in general, daft regulations will go, energy will become cheaper, we will not have to pay the fee, we can be selective on immigration, we will return to a democracy, we will not have to educate EU students at universities and give them loans they often do not repay. Also ratter Cameron and (pension and landlord/tenant robber and IHT ratter) Osborne will have to go.

    What is not to like?

    It was actually two people for stay and three for leave on Question Time must be a first – well done the BBC for once. Usually 4 plus the chair or interviewer to one the other way.

  11. Richard Prior
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Excellent article – David Cameron has studiously avoided ANY explanation why he is so committed to remaining in the EU.

    There is more to say.

    The EU Leadership is incompetent and undemocratic.

    The common currency has caused more economic damage than benefits to all countries that have adopted it.

    The European Central Bank adopts policies that weaken rather than strengthen the member states.

    The No 1 issues for which Mandelson has committed Treason – not merely to UK but the whole of Europe is the Trade Policies of the Bloc.

    The region has the highest regional population amongst Developed nations 500m – BUT instead of increasing production and jobs within the Region, Europe’s inept leaders (Mandelson included) have destroyed entire industries and lost millions of jobs.

    Back in the 80s, I trod the same corridors of Westminster – but as a Consultant, rather than a politician. Employed by Price Waterhouse, I advised Governments, Financial Markets & Stock Exchanges in UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Hungary & Central Banks in China and UK.

    My advice is to Leave the sinking ship that is the EU, participate in the destruction of EUs Political Union and resurrect a Regional Trading Platform exclusvely committed to Industrial Development & Job Creation within the Region and FAIR TRADE outside Europe.

  12. Richard1
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    It certainly is notable that none of the EU remainers are prepared to defend core EU policies. In this country the majority are opposed to all of them. What the debate comes down to in the UK is do we need to be part of the political union (albeit with some opt outs) in order to have the economic benefits of the single market? The complicated thing is this isn’t only about absence of tariffs , it’s also about all those other ways in which UK businesses benefit from consolidation and integration at a European level (passporting in the financial sector, European level approval processes for biotech / pharma products etc).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the remainers are often more desperate to show how “sceptic” they are and how imperfect the EU is than are the leavers.

      If you love Europe it is surely your moral duty to vote leave.

    • Original Richard
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      “The complicated thing is this isn’t only about absence of tariffs , it’s also about all those other ways in which UK businesses benefit from consolidation and integration at a European level (passporting in the financial sector, European level approval processes for biotech / pharma products etc).”

      If it weren’t for the “European level approval processes”, where a corporation can get approval for its products Europewide from a single testing station, the VW emissions scandal would never have happened.

  13. Antisthenes
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Like what happens to most debates the EU referendum arguments have been reduced to trivia, with misleading information and emotional blackmail thrown in. The hypocrisy, obfuscation and deceit of the leavers knows no bounds. They avoid the awkward questions and use the tried and tested strategy of attack is better than defence. A bit like David Cameron does on PMQs which of course we praise if we are a Conservative supporter. We have only ourselves to blame because we will do exactly the same if it suits us. So we have to live with it and perhaps like a person who employs marshal arts use their own aggression against them. Some how.

    As for the media no point looking for help there. They are just as partisan as everyone else and despite supposedly being more knowledgeable and have access to greater resources than most others tend to be just as stupid, lazy and ignorant as the rest of us except with a pay cheque thrown in for being so.

    • getahead
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      “The hypocrisy, obfuscation and deceit of the leavers knows no bounds.”

      As the leavers have a clear catalogue of reasons to leave, I wonder if you meant the “stayers” there.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        Thank you for pointing that out. I do indeed mean the stayers.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Like what happens to most debates the EU referendum arguments have been reduced to trivia, with misleading information and emotional blackmail thrown in. The hypocrisy, obfuscation and deceit of the stayers knows no bounds. They avoid the awkward questions and use the tried and tested strategy of attack is better than defence. A bit like David Cameron does on PMQs which of course we praise if we are a Conservative supporter. We have only ourselves to blame because we will do exactly the same if it suits us. So we have to live with it and perhaps like a person who employs marshal arts use their own aggression against them. Some how.

      As for the media no point looking for help there. They are just as partisan as everyone else and despite supposedly being more knowledgeable and have access to greater resources than most others tend to be just as stupid, lazy and ignorant as the rest of us except with a pay cheque thrown in for being so.

  14. forthurst
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Every politician who is likely to face headwinds from the BBC in support of Brexit should watch George Galloway’s masterly performance on the Daily Politics. He knocked every ball bowled by the beboid over the boundary.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0725hps/daily-politics-22022016

  15. agricola
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    In a sense the EU is one big quango. It allows those nominally in power, government ministers to shed responsibility. They only have to do what the EU tells them or often tells them via a quango of their own making. The department of the environment is a case in point. It has become none accountable government and as such covers Immigration, I see that 617,000 arrived up to year ending September 2015. Energy Supply where capacity is limited , but what we have costs an arm and a leg. CFP where UK fishermen are largely limited to twelve miles offshore, but only if it does not include sea bass, while EU factory ships have decimated our traditional grounds. CAP which prevents us buying on the World market , but subsidises largely French small inefficient producers. What we pay into the CAP is in effect a tax on what we buy at the supermarket. Even with Foreign Policy we can find ourselves dragged into situations not of our making and in the case of refugees from the Middle East not able to force sensible solutions because we need the agreement of 27 other nations.

    As your leader Flashman does not play by the normal rules of human behaviour requiring balance, you will never see the BBC being curbed nor the civil service being even handed. Really the time for reasonableness is over, Brexit and all those therein should be going for the jugular of the BBC at every opportunity. They are on the ropes over Saville/Hall pretending that not one member of management had a clue as to what was going on. It is just not credible. While they are off balance go for them.

    Brexit must communicate with the electorate in both the old fashioned way of Town Hall meetings and the modern way of social media. None of which Flashman can control. The arguments of fact and personal experience should be held with the electorate. It is also naïve to think that this battle can have no effect on long term relationships within the Conservative party. The party in the constituencies is already alienated from the party of government. The stay contingent are alienated from 50% of the electorate. Add to this Flashman demonising his opponents in his party and trying to isolate them from public information. None of this bodes well for harmony in government after 24th June. I would ask a question . If he can make the civil service partisan to his stay in policy, is it normal that they are out of bounds to Her Majesties Opposition while in opposition.

  16. Chris Dickson
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Great article – another question which I would like asked is ‘How much does the EU project cost the UK economy, direct costs and indirect costs please ?’ For me, it is the most important question.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      As our host has stated several times, we pay in about £15bn and get back about £5bn. Those are the direct costs. The indirect costs are as long as a piece of string; e.g. cost of building new housing, schools, hospitals, providing social services etc and the concomitant loss of countryside,energy costs, crowded roads and so on. Admittedly some of these are at least partially paid for by the taxes the new arrivals pay, but how do you pay for the loss of green fields to ugly housing estates?

      • Ken Moore
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Or how do you put a price on democracy and the ability to remove unpopular lawmakers?. This shouldn’t be for sale at any price but is being sold by our rotten PM to save his own wretched political skin.

  17. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    A BBC presenter called Michael Howard a bastard on the R4 Toady program during an interview this morning, simply because he disagrees with the PM on the Brexit.

    It’s not only wannabe politicians that are selling themselves for a “mess of pottage”, the BBC being very aware that their TV Licence is under review.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      There is balance though – yesterday she called the ex-CEO of RBS a “Mr Hester” and agreed with his sentiments along the lines that wildly successful banks like RBS would become less successful with the UK outside the EU.

      One needs tongue in cheek moments with the BBC and Cameron right now.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

      I heard the interview – that is a ridiculous distortion of it.

  18. Iain Moore
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I find the Inners support the whole EU project , Euro, Schengen, the lot, it is just that they can’t for the Euro and Schengen have been proven to be such disastrous policies, so they say we have the best of both worlds, being in the EU but out of the worst of the EU’s policies. If we got another opt out on another core EU policy, they would fight it tooth and nail, when confronted with the reality of the loss of that power from the EU, they would pretend to be converts to it, saying isn’t our special relationship with the EU wonderful and why this special relationship is a reason for us to remain in the EU. It is basically a rearguard action in order to keep us in the EU in the hope they will be able to build on the EU’s powers later on when we aren’t watching them.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink
    • DaveK
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      John, could there be a link between the huge (2,25 million) National Insurance issue and the EHIC problem? All I needed to get mine was Name, Age and NI Number.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33843758

    • agricola
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Up to year ending September 2015.

      Immigration Total 617,000 of whom 87,000 were returning British and 530,000 were none British. Of the none British 257,00 came from the EU and 273,000 were non-EU. We know why the EU come, but in the total of non-EU it is a hell of a lot of students and people to run the NHS, if that is what they are.

      Emigration was a total of 294,000 of whom 127,000 were British. Possibly people retiring to better climes, maybe the newly qualified whose talents are better appreciated elsewhere. I wonder how many doctors and nurses there were. 167,000 were non British of whom 85,000 went back to the EU, and 82,000 went elsewhere.

      The point that many politicians gloss over is that those leaving are likely to be financially self sufficient and net contributors to the UK economy. A high proportion of those coming in are of an age at which they will need to make use of maternity hospitals, education facilities, and subsidised accommodation, not to mention all the benefits that are available. They are likely to be the EU8 and EU2 groupings.

      The next batch of statistics will become available on 26th May 2016. Watch this space. http://www.migrationwatcguk.org/statistics-net-migration-statistics

      • alan jutson
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        agricola

        “…those leaving are likely to be self sufficient…. etc…”

        The very point I have been making for years.

        Those with money and talent are going, many without either, are arriving.

        Thus we are as a Nation, the poorer for it.

        Something which few politicians seem to realise or even want to talk about.

        Additionally those singles who come from abroad very often live as cheaply as possible and send money back to their family home, so whilst it may even be earned here, little is spent to keep the economy moving locally..

  20. Bert Young
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I always admire the detail and analysis that John consistently produces ; he always hits the nail on the head and highlights an argument second to none ; today’s blog is no different .

    On Wednesday I accompanied a friend to a new house build and was able to chat to a few builders – men whom I consider “the salt of the earth type”, I asked them what they thought of the EU and how they would vote , they replied “In”. I was surprised because I thought they would have some thoughts about the weaknesses that being “In” would mean to them .They admitted they had not thought a great deal about it and asked for my views – which I promptly gave them . I highlighted migration and lack of control over our own affairs as main issues . Before leaving they said they would think again .

    What this ordinary encounter showed was that the man in the street is not in possession of basic facts and , when given some , will reconsider and perhaps vote a different way . I wish the media would present the arguments in a rounded way and give ordinary people a truer balance ; they are not doing this now . The “Leaves”, “Outs” and “Brexits ” have a major problem before them and need to get their act together .

  21. forthurst
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I can remember a time before we joined the CFP when the Englishman’s favourate dish was plaice, chips and peas: wholesome, delicious and modestly priced. As a child, staying with my grandparents, we had plaice, fresh caught and landed by the town’s fleet of drifters almost every day. Those fish are ours by birthright and we need to take them back; many people have forgotten that fish and chips does not have to be a plate of dispiriting, undersized, overpriced grey mush, a product of the CFP and a testament to the theft of the Englishman’s erstwhile favourite dish.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    As the EU Auditors refused to give a clean bill of health to the EU accounts for two decades why are we just putting up with this and who is responsible for it? We are being asked to top up £1.7 billion here, £2 billion there despite no clean bill of health for more than £100bn worth of Brussels spending, if Brussels can’t do the job why are they in charge of it, who elected them to this task? We are threatened with fines; do Brussels pay fines to us? Why is the EU budget not managed properly? Is the system then wide open to fraud? Are you happy just to continue as we have been? Surely the whole point of paying auditors is to ensure integrity. If we are unhappy with a UK government’s control of our national spending we can vote them out, how do we even know what is happening, where is the Michael Crick of the EU pointing these things out to us on our news channels?

    Why are we asked for higher contributions for a successful economy when we all know our economy isn’t successful and we’re up to our necks in debt, why don’t we have a debt/deficit offset? We read over and over again that the EU budget continues to be spent on poor quality projects with bad oversight. What should we be doing to ensure our contribution reflects our debts and deficits and reduces continued and frequent demands for extra money to stay in the club?

  23. oldtimer
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    These are very good questions; it must be doubted that they will be asked by members of the UK broadcast media, with the exception of Andrew Neill. And even if they are asked, how many presenters will be knowledgable enough to ask the penetrating follow up question to cut through the evasion, fudge and no-sequitors that the response to the initial question will produce?

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    They could also be asked why on a Friday evening their leading spokesman says that the UK will NEVER be part of a European Army:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2016/02/camerons-press-conference-statement-full-text.html

    “Likewise, we have established once and for all in international law that Britain’s national security is the sole responsibility of the British Government – so, for instance, we will never be part of a European Army.”

    “And we will never be part of Eurozone bailouts, the passport-free area, the European Army or an EU super-state.”

    and even though the subject of a European Army was not touched upon in the “deal” he had just negotiated, but then on the following Wednesday morning there is a national newspaper letter instigated and drafted by one of his personal aides and signed by a dozen retired senior military commanders stressing that EU membership is crucial for our defence:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/12170385/Letters-In-an-increasingly-unstable-world-Britain-cant-afford-to-lose-the-security-provided-by-the-EU.html

    And claiming that while we are in the EU we can block other EU countries from going ahead with initiatives which would be inimical to our strategic interests, even though the UK has been either unwilling or unable to stop other EU countries forming Eurocorps, an embryonic European Army, the same European Army which apparently is so intrinsically undesirable that we will NEVER join it:

    http://www.eurocorps.org/

    “Eurocorps: A Force for the European Union and NATO”,

    which, incidentally, described itself as:

    “Eurocorps: A Force for NATO and the European Union”

    until a year or two ago, when the order was quietly reversed.

    There is a perfectly respectable argument that it would strengthen our defence and that of the other EU member states if we had merged, fully integrated, multinational, federal EU armed forces, rather than retaining 28 separate national armed forces under national control, and obviously the creation of Eurocorps is a step in that direction – it already includes a Franco-German brigade, once described as its “spearhead”:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080220071754/http://www.eurocorps.net/organisation/german_french_brigade/

    But few in this country are prepared to make that argument openly so that it can be debated, and in my view most likely rebutted; instead we have the de facto leader of the Remain campaign simply and gratuitously proclaiming that we will NEVER join it, and that is after years of pretending that it didn’t even exist.

    As John Nott wrote in reply to that Telegraph letter:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/12172361/Letters-Generals-shouldnt-play-politics-when-Britains-security-depends-on-Nato-not-the-EU.html

    “Britain’s security depends on Nato and not on the EU. The latter has consistently tried to diminish and usurp Nato with its calls for a European army.”

    The reality is that successive British governments have not blocked those attempts, they have gone along with them and in some respects assisted them while trying to pretend to the British people that they are not even happening; and if we vote to stay in the EU then it should be on the clear understanding that the movement in that direction will continue, and it will not be blocked by future UK governments any more than it has been blocked in the past; and eventually it will lead to the abolition of the British armed forces, with or without the British people being directly consulted in another referendum.

    I am reminded of that revealing statement from Arnold Toynbee in 1932:

    “I will merely repeat that we are at present working discreetly but with all our might, to wrest this mysterious political force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local national states of the world. And all the time we are denying with our lips what we are doing with our hands, because to impugn the sovereignty of the local national states of the world is still a heresy for which a statesman or a publicist can be …. ostracised and discredited.”

  25. miami.mode
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    If, as the BSE scaremongers imply, the French and Germans may well be difficult on trade or even refuse to trade with us after an exit, will this sound the death knell for Champagne Socialists?

  26. Colin Hart
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Are they happy for jobs to be destroyed because we are in an organisation that prevents us taking prompt, effective and perfectly legal action against the dumping of cheap steel on our market?

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Excellent! Blows them clean out of the water!

    I just hope the ‘IN’ campaign gets to read your post, and it gets widely circulated, but I wouldn’t expect the BBC to give it much coverage. They struggled yesterday even to mention that Greece had withdrawn its ambassador to Austria because, as the FT puts it, of the ‘mounting acrimony between EU countries over the bloc’s failed refugee policies, a fight that increasingly risks destroying the continent’s passport-free travel zone.’

    The ambassador’s withdrawal got one brief mention at 1:18pm on the News Channel which mysteriously dropped out as soon as the piece seemed to criticise the EU, and wasn’t mentioned again until much later in the afternoon, and even then, only fleetingly. It’s a bit like the appalling sound quality on the BBC’s Chris Grayling interview last weekend. Surely they could do better than that, these professional BBC people with many decades of experience.

    As I’ve said before, they’ve got form

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  28. Shieldsman
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood and your readers should think carefully about the following questions.
    What constitutes a reformed European Union.
    Does it require Treaty change?
    To be a truly reformed European Union, would it have to apply to all member States or could it apply to only one?

    When Mr Cameron was setting out the faults he found with the EU in his Bloomburg speech, later interview with the Daily Telegraph and Manifesto it is interesting to review what was said. There were bold statements of how he was going to change our relationship with the EU.

    “Some changes will best be achieved by alterations to the European treaties – others can be achieved by different means”.

    “But when we achieve it, we will have transformed the European Union and Britain’s relationship with it. I would then campaign for Britain to remain in this reformed EU in 2017”.

    Prior to the ‘Deal’ the MSM were looking for the rabbit, perhaps it has been on display all along. A ‘reformed EU’, the confidence trick has gone unnoticed.

    The concentration on the legality of those three little words ‘ever closer union’, is this just a red herring, together with the 28th piece of a red card?
    Then we come to the wishful thinking “we also have in two vital areas the commitment to treaty change. Treaty change to carve Britain out of ever closure union. So we’re in the bits of Europe we want to be in but out of those we don’t want to be in”.
    Sounds a bit like ‘pick and mix’ which President Hollande said was not on.

    The ‘ever closure union’ opt out only highlights the UK’s different direction of travel from the other 27 members. We really will be the outsider being excluded from further political integration. If we are only half in, shouldn’t we only pay half fees?
    “(UK) will not create obstacles to but facilitate such further deepening (economic and monetary union) while this process will, conversely, respect the rights and competences of non participating member states”

    Nothing changes for now (until the next treaty) and the Lisbon Treaty and Protocols are unamended. Cameron has not Reformed the EU, our terms of membership remain the same. We carry on paying £55million per day and implementing every Directive from Brussels.

    Cameron’s non-binding deal and arguments for remaining has more holes than a kitchen colander.

    Cameron attempted to put a new spin on the word sovereignty as disclosed by the Daily Mail DOMINIC LAWSON: Cameron and the cynical lie that’s festered for 45 years. Which ends up saying ‘On that basis, the British Parliament and Government are not sovereign’.

    What Cameron is recommending is the ending of the oldest Parliamentary Democracy in the World. If we stay in the EU we will witness its demise. The last salami slice taken by the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      If Cameron was an honest man he might be saying that while he would prefer to stay in a “reformed EU” he simply hasn’t managed to achieve that, despite his best efforts over many months, and so he has decided that it would be better if we left.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Watching Question Time last night with Liz Truss rambling on spouting the same kind of nonsense that I’ve been hearing since before she was even born – although for a long time accepting it, rather than recognising it as the nonsense it is – some questions did cross my mind which she and other Remainders should be able to answer:

    If the EU Single Market makes it easier for businesses in this country to export to the other EU countries, does it also make it easier for businesses in those countries to export to us? Or is this a kind of one way system, with our goods and services flowing out more easily but their goods and services finding it no easier to flow in? If that is so, how does it come about that we consistently buy more from them than they buy from us? And if leaving the EU would make it more difficult for businesses in this country to export to them, would the same apply to their businesses exporting to us? And if that was the case, who would benefit and who would lose from those impediments to trade?

    • Know-dice
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      And why should we pay a subscription fee for the EU to sell to us?

      She also claimed that we are a member of the WTO is that true?

      And Diane Abbott thinks that trade tariffs only work in one direction…no one wants a tariff war, but if Germany & France put one in place against the UK, I guess the price of BMWs, Mercedes, VWs, Renaults, Peugeots etc will go up and make British built cars more competitively priced in this country (and the rest of the world).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Yes, each of the 28 EU member states is a member of the WTO, plus the EU is also a member, but the EU represents the EU member states:

        http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/april/tradoc_150988.pdf

        “How the EU works with the WTO”

      • Colin Hart
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        We are members of the WTO but through the EU which has sole and exclusive charge of external trade relations. This is why we were able to do absolutely nothing about cheap steel being dumped on our market at below the cost of production.

        When we leave I don’t believe we would have difficulty joining the WTO as a sovereign nation. What’s more we – our businesses that is – would carry on trading with everyone else under WTO rules.

        Liz Truss didn’t appear to understand her own arguments but she’d clearly read the brief and committed it to memory. She is an embarrassment.

        Diane Abbott makes it up as she goes along.

    • DaveK
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Regarding Liz Truss failing miserably to answer the question on QT, perhaps she should have read what Mr Eustice wrote (or perhaps she did).

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/12169948/Britains-farms-would-thrive-outside-of-the-EU.html

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Trade is not a zero sum game. If the EU single market has led to more true than there would otherwise have been then that counts among the EU’s successes.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Trade can be a zero sum game or even a negative sum game, and when it is a positive sum game the gain may still be marginal or (as in the projected case of TTIP) of little economic significance. That’s apart from the gain to those actually involved in the trade, of course.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Watching Question Time last night was very revealing. The two politicians, from different parties but both pro-EU, came across as ill informed wafflers whilst the other panel members ran rings round them. To think that they represent the opposing front benches is a depressing thought.

  30. Chris
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    One crucial question that the media should be asking is:
    “Is there any truth in the claim that the EU is holding back key legislation until after the referendum for fear of fuelling Brexit?

    See later comment for further details.

  31. EForster
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Considering possibilities in favour of being outside the EU’s stranglehold, we could dramatically change and simplify our tax system such that every international business would want to operate and base itself in the UK. Such a proposal would never be counternanced under the EU’s harmonisation policies.

    For instance: taxing producers of goods and services in a myriad of ways, including by income taxes, ineluctably introduces a hidden general rate of taxation on consumption that all consumers bear when spending their disposable incomes, whether they be rich or poor. Recognising this, it is easy to conclude that an equivalent explicit tax on consumption at the point of sale could simply replace all other taxes on producers whether companies or individuals.

    And as a further boost to our international trade, the Pound Sterling could be made convertible with gold once again.

    Of course this could never happen?

    • Pericles Xanthippou
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Gold can already be traded; a good delivery bar will set you back a little under a half-million dollars. No point in tying the value of any currency to that of gold: there’s no reason to suppose it would work any better now than 85 years ago.

      The tax change, however, is not unimaginable but would take an enormous diplomatic effort. Before anything could be done all major countries would have to understand the economic illiteracy of the idea that businesses pay taxes. That achieved, they would have to abolish business taxes in unison (a trade war being pointless).

      ΠΞ

      • EForster
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        The problem with the gold standard came when successive Governors of the bank of England forgot how to manage it and still would not know. Up to then the gold standard brought a great period of international trade and government financial probity.

        As for changing methods of taxation, why wait for any international agreement, because it simply would not come. Economists of today would not even admit there is a problem.

  32. Edward Saunders
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    They should also be asked why they believe that the Euro can survive with the enormous differences in the size and stability of economies across states within the Union?

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

    Regarding the claim that the EU is holding back key legislation until after the referendum for fear of fuelling Brexit, there seems to much evidence to support this.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-presses-brexit-hold-button-uk-referendum-campaign-eu-legislation/
    “…Among them (Brussels initiatives) are: a mid-term review of the bloc’s seven-year budget, which could result in a fight over a proposal to increase EU spending by €20 billion; the launch of the Commission’s labor mobility package, which would set out new guidelines for the freedom of movement of workers; and the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, which the U.K. government strongly opposes, claiming it would infringe on the sovereignty of the British legal system……….

    “There’s a kind of a deflection of attention to some issues,” said Mercedes Bresso, an Italian MEP from the Socialists and Democrats group, adding that the referendum was causing a “delay in some debates,” including on the EU’s budget. “Now is not the moment to create more problems.”

    A French official called the decision to hold back on some legislative measures a “reasonable” one.

    “These proposals can be discussed after June without creating too many difficulties,” the official said. “In fact, it would be more problematic if we had to negotiate under the pressure of the U.K.. So, in a way, it protects the other member states as well.”….

  34. Vanessa
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I see Cameron is showing some very nasty “fangs” now he is being crossed by some tories in Parliament. Mr Paterson’s question about the fairness of the fight got a very woolly answer as to the legality of withdrawing help to those wishing to campaign for leave. It is so nice to see what a fair and honest pm we have for this country. Democracy is dead.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I thought it was quite a clear answer. It’s government policy to recommend a remain vote and that’s where the resources of the govt will be directed, supported by the civil service. Ministers are permitted to dissent in a personal is presumably because a large majority of the cabinet supports Mr Cameron’s position.

      • Chris
        Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I beg to differ, R1. A proper response is required from the PM with regard to the “legality” of what he has done. Apparently Cameron’s actions are in “direct contravention of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, known otherwise by its full title, the European Commission for Democracy through Law”. See Richard North’s analysis and evidence.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      As I pointed out yesterday, we were only promised that we would have a referendum, not that it would be a FAIR referendum. At least I haven’t yet found any reference to Cameron promising that it would be fair, and nor did I expect that it would be; on the contrary I fully expected Cameron and others to do whatever they could, fair or unfair, and moreover legal or illegal, to get the result that they want.

      Richard North has justifiably been getting hot under the collar about it, citing a widely accepted international code for the conduct of referendums:

      http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85946

      “In running roughshod over these provisions, therefore, Mr Cameron is showing himself intent on winning at any price – even at the price of skewing the democratic process. With this and other moves, he has eroded the legitimacy of the contest.

      This is not a fair fight, and it we do lose it will amount to a stolen referendum. It will not resolve anything.”

      As a result of the McKenna case:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum_Commission

      what Cameron is doing would technically be illegal in Ireland, but to be realistic the Irish government has flouted the law on that and got away with it.

      • David Price
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

        I agree it won’t be a fair fight though it is illuminating that the “win at all costs” attitude of Mr Cameron and his group only applies to keeping us in the EU, it didn’t seem to apply to getting a good deal for the UK from the EU.

        In the case of breaching a law couldn’t a judicial review be called? If so better to call it before than after the referendum.

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

    John, ou are absolutely correct on this. One would think that when taxpayers pay £6Billion a year for an independent organisation that has a Royal Charter obligation to product impartial news, that is the least that we would get. I believe the Biased BBC is to blame for many of the problems in the UK today – failure to report on NHS failings meant that thousands died from Superbugs and in Mid-Staffs and other areas. Failure to report on almost all government departments means that things are never as good or efficient as they could and should be. The EU donates money to the BBC, both directly and by sponsoring subsidies to produce propaganda like “Meet the UKIPPERS” and silly programme about what it would be like if we left the EU. The worst part of this is that they deliberately attempt to influence voters. The British public really do deserve better, and I had hoped and believed that a Conservative government, after 13 years of BBC / Labour collusion, would put an end to it, but no such luck. At the moment the best we can hope for is a successful Brexit vote, Cameron stands down, and a conservative leader takes over the Conservatives.

  36. lojolondon
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    John, here is a good article on Conservative Home about the relationship between the EU and BBC –

    http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2015/11/robin-aitken-if-britain-votes-to-leave-the-eu-the-bbc-will-be-at-least-partly-responsible.html

  37. Horatio
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    QT last night: wittering on about how no one has a grasp on figures. How about getting a eurosceptic on who does. Between then Humphries and Truss managed to create the illusion that we wouldnt be £11bn better off every year with all current subsidies paid.

    No panel member mentioned WTO protection. Absolute garbage. Thank god that the BBC was stupid enough to put Diane (lets not talk about my kids schooling) Abbott on the show. Is there a more discredited politician in the country?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      There are two reasons why many British people are confused about the EU.

      The first reason is that it is too complicated, some might suggest deliberately so, and the average person lacks the time and energy, perhaps even the ability, to work out the details; that is made worse by the fact that it changes, so that it is easy for any understanding which has been achieved to become dated.

      Even a French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, whose business it was to have a grip on it, admitted to the FT back in 2008: “No one understands the institutions and no one’s interested. No one understands anything, not even me.”

      The second reason is that British politicians have deliberately set out to obfuscate and confuse and deceive the general public.

  38. Horatio
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant section on immigration figures on DP today immigration figures govt says c300,000 (figures come from asking immigrants if they intend to stay for a year) came last year. However, c600, 000 applied for national insurance numbers , most from eastern Europe, allowing them to work or apply for benefits. National insurance numbers categorically don’t include children. Huge disparity.

    This interview needs massive redistribution and rewatching. Absolutely stunning. I imagine that this will be taken up by a national paper.

    • Chris
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      See Breitbart London article on this – they are virtually always at the forefront, long before the rest of the press (and very often significant issues that are ignored by the rest of the media are analysed on Breitbart. No sweeping under the carpet there).

  39. Pericles Xanthippou
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    What if?

    In the run-up to a general election the Civil Service takes the sensible precaution of preparing the ground for alternatives to a win by the incumbent government. This procedure is accepted by politicians of all stripes.

    From what we’re hearing from cabinet members on the E.U. side — e.g. the ban on the use by ministers on the British side of their using government resources — it’s apparent that the government, rather as Jean-Claude Juncker, has only a ‘plan A’: its own victory. (As witness: this morning’s comments in the Far East by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

    Is it not time for some-one — preferably in the House of Commons — to ask the Prime Minister direct: Has he instructed the civil service to prepare the ground for a British victory? If not, why not?

    And, if so, then why are data thrown up by such work not being put before the electorate, that it be better informed before the plebiscite?

    ΠΞ

  40. Pericles Xanthippou
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    What’s that tree doing there?

    A better comparison might have been with joining the cricket club but expecting it to move the boundary line to exclude the tree and to let one use a tennis ball!

    (Is that tree still there at Canterbury?)

    ΠΞ

  41. Lifelogic
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Indeed the constant confusion of Europe and the EU is clearly a key part of the strategy.

    If you love Europe then leave the EU.

  42. Sue Doughty
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The post Brexit Britain is coming. Whitehall is making ready for it and I believe the majority of this country wishes to to get back the right of self determination.
    So what will the post Brexit Britain be like and what will the post Brexit EU be like? Sunny uplands for us and deeper in mire for them, or will lots of other countries barge their way out of the door we left open?
    It seems to me to be the only way to close down the European Commission that all the people of Europe loathe and despise.

    • bluedog
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      This writer predicts that within five years of Brexit it will be surprising if the EU even retains the original six of the Treaty of Rome.

  43. Margaret
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I am just watching BBC Parliament and had to switch off due to the rubbish being spoken. There was a discussion about having to get either EU nurse or Phillipino nurses. Do they know that thousands of British Nurses could not even get jobs, Those young enough had to leave their families to emigrate to find work. Myself and many others went on hundreds of interviews trying to get jobs , for full weekends, paid for ourselves lecturing at universities as a presentation only to find that the place had been taken by a non English speaking nurse who was not really up to it. Do they ever think of their own first ? Then some have the cheek to say we couldn’t survive without overseas nurses and doctors.

    • Margaret
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      sorry about the disagreement in tenses…….so careless when annoyed!

  44. a
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    All excellent points John . The Outers when interviewed on the BBC and elsewhere are always constrained by the interviewers and their narrow questions . I think they should retort ” why are you not asking about the 23K jobs lost to the fishing industry along with the £3.5 billion free fish pa we donate to our EU “friends” “. Do not let the interviewers keep the debate where they would like to keep it . Andrew Marr never mentioned any of the points you mention when talking to Sturgeon last Sunday . Scottish fishing grounds being very relevant . She just gets an easy ride . WHY ?????????????????

  45. Maureen Turner
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    The two main outlets for political debate are the BBC and Sky. Both their television and radio programmes are peopled by those holding left wing views and not necessarily just in relation to the EU but almost everything under the sun. They are products of today’s education system, particularly university. Retired journalist/news reader Peter Sissons mentioned in his biography it wasn’t wise to be seen in BBC buildings reading anything other than the Guardian.

    The questions I would like to put to the PM , Leader of the Remain group, are these:-

    You have said you wish to see the EU stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals. How do you think this would aid relations with Moscow?

    I understand consideration is currently being given to increase the EU budget by £ 20 bn. over the next three years. How is this going to be funded and why is discussion on this matter being delayed until after our EU referendum?

    The EU’s exterior Schengen borders are currently insecure. Are you confident these can be made secure before the expected influx of migrants begins in late Spring?

    We learn today from Brussels uncontrolled migration into the EU is running at a rate that could bring the EU down within ten days. Is this correct?

    In your Bloomberg speech you outlined the concessions you were looking for from Brussels. Why were they not included in your renegotiation package?

    The landmass of the UK is limited. Are you still holding firm on your promise to hold migration levels p.a. to tens of thousands?

    Thank you Prime Minister. Please shut the door as you go out.

  46. Lindsay
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    The EU is Hell bent on creating a Federal European SuperState and the evidence is overwhelming. I liken the Remain people to optimistic riders who mount the four horses of the apocalypse expecting them to go to a different destination.

    Another analogy is people swimming close to the sinking Titanic and not expecting to be sucked under.

  47. A.Sedgwick
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Osborne in China (that’s another debate) speaking on lunchtime news said ” in my judgment as Chancellor it would be bad for jobs etc etc if we left the EU”. This should be enough for anyone undecided to vote Leave. He has been and Remains a misguided, muddleheaded, unreliable Chancellor e.g. I read the Tax Code Book has now reached 21000 pages, it was 10,000 pages in 2010. It is laughable that one of his key aims was tax simplification. A massive bonus if we Leave would be his being PM would be inconceivable.

  48. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised Leave MPs are not asking Mr Corbyn at every possible opportunity what his personal position is on the EU – or perhaps you are but it is not being reported.

    Reply There is no Leader of the Opposition Questions in Parliament. He has not so far appeared on any programme I have been on to be able ask him in public.

  49. ChrisS
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent post.

    The only way to defeat Cameron and all the forces lined up on the Remain side of the campaign (BBC included ) it to demolish their arguments one by one.

    The fact that there are a number of different groups supporting Brexit at the moment could even be an advantage in this respect.

    To take just two recent scare tactics :

    1. Farm subsidies.

    Problem : It has been said on several programs that farmers would be at risk from the loss of their CAP payments.

    Solution : All the Brexit campaigns should issue a joint statement that it would be their policy to continue with all current payments to British farmers under the CAP for a period of at least five years. After that period there might be changes to direct the money to sectors that Britain itself judges to be more appropriate for our own needs but overall the current level of support will continue with inflation increases. This would cost the UK nothing as the money used to support our farmers is already being sent to Brussels by our own government simply to be returned.

    2. Security

    Problem : We are told that our security would be at risk by leaving the EU.

    Solution : Itemise the current level of cooperation with our European allies both those inside and those outside NATO.

    Make it clear that NATO cooperation is totally unconnected with EU membership.

    Ask the few EU countries we cooperate with on security matters that are outside NATO the direct question as to whether their cooperation would end after we leave. Ireland is one of the most important, for example. I suspect all would be prepared to admit that they would be very keen for the current relationship to continue as it is in their own interest. None will suggest that cooperation would end.

    Currently we are not adequately responding to the lies and half truths put out by the Remain camp. Some of their arguments are laughable and most voters will see straight through them. However, others are hitting home because they are not being adequately rebuffed.

    This might be because there are too many groups promoting Brexit but I suspect it is more the case that no group has yet established a unit dedicated to issuing immediate rebuttals. This has been a mistake because it was always certain that the campaign would start immediately after the end of the renegotiations.

    Then, of course there is the problem of the BBC which simply has to be addressed very rapidly indeed.

    • Chris
      Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      I fear that the BBC pro EU bias issue will not be addressed as long as Cameron is in Downing Street. He seems to be very content indeed with its stance on things. Have no illusions, Cameron would act if he felt the BBC was not working in his favour on the critical issues. As far as I can see, I think Cameron feels the BBC is performing a very useful service to him.

      • ChrisS
        Posted February 27, 2016 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        I agree but the BBC Trust is tasked with ensuring that the following Charter requirement is complied with :

        “The BBC is required, under the terms of its Charter and Agreement of 2006, to ensure that political issues are covered with due accuracy and impartiality”.

        It issues Editorial Guidelines to cover the whole of its output and requires that editorial standards are observed.

        The editorial standards that apply to the referendum are contained in this document :

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/appendix8.

        Please note : Appendix 8 states that “The Guidelines are publicly available and the BBC can expect to be held to account for their implementation during the campaign”.

        They are further required to :

        “deliver to audiences impartial and independent reporting of the campaign, providing them with fair coverage and rigorous scrutiny of the policies and campaigns of all relevant parties and campaign groups”.

        Although the campaign has not yet formerly started, the guidelines specifically refer to the period beforehand :

        “However, campaigning begins before the formal referendum period and content producers should be sensitive to the need for particular care during the run up to the Referendum Period. Advice is available from the Chief Adviser, Politics”.

        In my view the management and editors of BBC News, despite assurances given to Bill Cash and his European Scrutiny committee as recently as last September, are most definitely flouting the editorial guidelines with impunity.

        Because the Trust is bound by the Charter, the requirement is subject to legal scrutiny and, presumably, judicial review. It is imperative that the Out campaigns raise this with Trust members immediately because clearly BBC News is not taking the guidelines seriously, nor are Trust members holding them to account.

        For the benefit of our host in moderating, I have cut and pasted Appendix 8 below in full from http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/appendix8:

        1.1 When the Guidelines come into effect

        These Guidelines come into effect at the beginning of the formal Referendum Period, which will be xx[1] weeks before polling day. They are applicable, therefore:

        From xxxx

        Until xxxx

        However, campaigning begins before the formal referendum period and content producers should be sensitive to the need for particular care during the run up to the Referendum Period. Advice is available from the Chief Adviser, Politics.

        [1] Highlights denote text which is subject to change depending on legislation currently going through Parliament

        1.2 The Referendum Question and the Referendum Period

        The question for the Referendum is:

        ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’

        The timing of the Referendum Period will be as agreed by Parliament.

        Under the provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, one of the roles allotted to the Electoral Commission is to decide on the designation of a Lead Campaign Group on each side of the issue.

        1.3 Principles of the Guidelines

        There is no area of its output where the BBC’s commitment to due impartiality and independence from political influence is more closely scrutinised than in reporting election and referendum campaigns. For this campaign in particular, that scrutiny will be intense and high profile.

        These guidelines are intended to offer a framework within which journalists and content producers:

        can operate in as free and creative an environment as possible and
        deliver to audiences impartial and independent reporting of the campaign, providing them with fair coverage and rigorous scrutiny of the policies and campaigns of all relevant parties and campaign groups.

        The BBC is required, under the terms of its Charter and Agreement of 2006, to ensure that political issues are covered with due accuracy and impartiality. These Referendum Guidelines supplement the Editorial Guidelines (Chapter 4 “Impartiality” and Chapter 10 “Politics, Public Policy and Polls”). They should, in particular, be read in conjunction with the sections in Chapter 10 on “Reporting UK Election and Referendum Campaigns” as well as “Broadcasting During Elections” which say we must ensure that:

        news judgements continue to drive editorial decision making in news based programmes.

        Relevant advice is available from the Chief Adviser, Politics.

        The Guidelines are publicly available and the BBC can expect to be held to account for their implementation during the campaign.

        1.4 Application of the Guidelines

        These Referendum Guidelines apply to any programme or material intended for locations in which audiences will be voting in the EU Referendum (UK-wide outlets, all outlets within the UK, BBC online plus outlets intended for Gibraltar). They are rooted in the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, spelling out more specifically the application of those Guidelines in the particular context of this referendum. BBC output which is not directed at audiences in the UK nevertheless remains under the same obligation of due impartiality in coverage of issues relating to the referendum.

        It is the responsibility of each editor, or equivalent senior editorial figure, to ensure that their content producers are aware of how the Referendum Guidelines apply to their output.

        Editorial Guidelines say that any programme which does not usually cover political subjects or normally invite politicians to participate must consult the Chief Adviser, Politics before finalising any plans to do so. In this context, anyone taking an active campaigning role or a public position on the referendum should be regarded in the same way as “politicians”. The reference to the Chief Adviser, Politics applies to such programmes irrespective of what is being discussed (i.e. even if the topic is not linked directly to the referendum or is not seen as “political”).

        News and current affairs output (eg, programmes which do routinely invite politicians to take part) should also take care – especially when live – if they plan to include contributions from politicians or referendum campaigners on topics which are “non-political” and unrelated to the referendum. Such items should not be used to promote either side of the referendum issue.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 27, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      We are supposed to believe that if the German security services had information about a terrorist plot to set off bombs in London then they would only share that intelligence with the British security services if the UK was still in the EU, if we left they would keep it to themselves and allow the plot to come to fruition.

      That is the kind of extremely negative view of countries currently described as “our European partners” that one might expect to hear from some of the more fevered opponents of our EU membership rather than ministers in the UK government or other supporters of our EU membership.

  50. ian
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Even if you win the out vote it will be hollow victory because all the top posts in Whitehall are controlled by inners they hold more PMs in parliament, they control more big companies they run the NHS, schools, unis, the police, arm forces, you name it they run it.
    As for them agreeing to stop 10 or 12 billion going Europe right away I cannot see it and cos if the inners win the cost will go up 15 billion a year or more by 2020.

    like I say the battle is hear in your own back yard if the inners think ukip will become a winning party they will take it over like everything else.

  51. Mick
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood could please explain the “Rotterdam/Antwerp Effect”
    Because to me as a novice to politics it seems to me that somebody is talking porkys about the trade we do with the dreaded eu

  52. Peter Davies
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Good points. What about given the stealthy way the eu works do in supporters not consider that one day the UK will have to join the euro and schengen?

  53. Yosarion
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    In see Osbourne has spoken from China telling us that things will get worse, but only a few days ago he told sturgeon that they could have Barnett gold plated plus until 2021. They are taking the piss John, that is why this Englishmen would get out off both Unions tomorrow given the chance.

  54. bluedog
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    On the broader topic of Defence and Intelligence, Dr JR, your correspondent apologies if the following points have already been made.

    Cameron and others repeatedly claim that Britain’s defence, protection from terrorism and security will be impaired by leaving the EU. The reverse may well be the case. By far the most effective intelligence network on the planet is the Five Eyes group of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and of course, the UK. This network shares political, military and commercial intelligence at the highest level. It follows that Brexit entails the EU being detached from its informal association with this group by virtue of British membership of the EU. Thus any disadvantage of Brexit in this context is entirely on the EU side and not as Cameron claims at all. An association with the Five Eyes group is something that a large number of nations outside the grouping repeatedly seek in order to get a free ride.

    It is of critical importance that the blatant lies being propagated by the Remainians are forensically exposed, as we all understand.

  55. Ken Moore
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s devotion to the Eu made no sense until todays news that 600,000 National insurance numbers were issued last year. The true scale of immigration shocking though it is has been underplayed.
    Not content with ploughing borrowed money into the economy to buy ‘growth’…he has come to rely on massive immigration to create economic growth in a range of low skill industries.
    We cannot be allowed to leave the Eu as the Uk economy would be exposed as a Ponzi type scheme.
    All this time Cameron has been pretending he really wanted to cut migration to ‘the tens of thousands’. The referendum was a cynical stunt to silence the sceptic wing of his party and lock the country into a program of radical population expansion.
    Then Cameron has the nerve, the bare faced cheek to accuse Outers of wanting to make a ‘leap into the dark’!.
    The question is ..will any Conservative Mp’s with any clout have the nerve to publically call Cameron out on this ?. If this nasty little deal is allowed to go un noticed and un debated that will be very shocking indeed. Mr Redwood any comment please ?.

  56. Ken Moore
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    We have had army general telling us how to vote (I thought it was just military dictatorships that allowed such people to have political opinions) and business people..

    They need to be reminded how badly they got it wrong last time….

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2831221/Ford-drives-case-for-Britain-to-join-euro.html

  57. ian
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Wet & mad more cuts and tax increases coming, wet & mad budget gone out the window, he will be hitting around 1.8 trillion by 2020 maybe more, just like I said and growth could go as low as 1 percent, I think he may do a extra 50 billion in QE soon which is total waste of time and what more non of this debt will ever be paid back.

    Housing prices on a tear with immigration, 700,000 NI card hand out to claim benefits, I hope you lot can afford it, nearly all the growth you have seen is because of borrowed money, so far over 500 billion with more to come.

    John as usual will be supporting wet & mad budget as he sends million and million of pounds to Scotland to support the down turn in oil which in the future will have to be shutdown with cost to the taxpayer of 30 billion pounds.

  58. Dennis
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    JR, I don’t suppose you would mind UKIP spokespeople using some of your points which they seem never to know. Why don’t you inform them that you have plenty of material they can use which they seem never to have thought about?

    Also why, as a negative reason for Brexit, is the spectre of the UK having the Norwegian setup often put forward when as far as I know no one wishing to exit the EU would ever consider it – am I right there? These terrible conditions were again put forward by Lucy Powell MP on tonight’s Any Questions as a nightmare scenario for the UK but Paul Nuttal on the panel just let this pass – doesn’t he know Brexit does not want this?

    All the ‘outers’ need to get together and inform themselves of each other’s salient points as they don’t know now it seems.

    Reply I publish the material here so anyone can use it

  59. ken moore
    Posted February 27, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s devotion to the Eu made no sense until todays news that 600,000 National insurance numbers were issued last year. The true scale of immigration shocking though it is has been underplayed.
    Not content with ploughing borrowed money into the economy to buy ‘growth’…he has come to rely on massive immigration to create economic growth.

    It seems we cannot be allowed to leave the Eu as the Uk economy would be exposed as a Ponzi type scheme.
    All this time Cameron has been pretending he really wanted to cut migration to ‘the tens of thousands’. The referendum was a cynical stunt to silence the sceptic wing of his party and lock the country into a program of radical population expansion.
    Then Cameron has the nerve, the bare faced cheek to accuse Outers of wanting to make a ‘leap into the dark’!.

    • ChrisS
      Posted February 28, 2016 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      The issuing of 600,000 NI numbers should not be a surprise to anyone :

      The headline figure published for migration is actually NET migration.
      What that means is that approximately 650,000 migrants are currently arriving in the UK each year and about 300,000 are leaving.

      As most people arriving to live here will be given an NI numbers, the figures are not a surprise although I suspect that, given the total failure of CMD to meet his election pledge to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands,” there may well be some massaging going on.

      Sir Humphrey will be trying to exclude as many as possible from the numbers of migrants for any reason he can think of.

  • About John Redwood


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

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