The EU/ Turkey agreement

The Turkey refugee facility to be paid to Turkey by the EU which stood at Euro 3bn prior to the latest meeting will be paid for out of a mixture of EU and member states budgets. One third comes from the EU, and two thirds from EU states proportionately to their Gross National Income. The direct UK share of the 2bn of this facility will be £250 million, which will come out of the UK overseas aid budget. Presumably any expansion of the money to Turkey which has been discussed in the latest meeting will also be a further charge on the UK budget.

The Agreement does not look well crafted or helpful to the EU. The EU has offered visa free access for all Turks from June this year, and has agreed to take a Syrian for every Syrian returned to Turkey under the new more aggressive policing of the EU’s external frontier. Illegal migrants from other countries will simply be returned with no commitment to take anyone in their place.

It is difficult to see how this system is going to work. Who is going to return the illegal migrants? How will the take up of Syrians from Turkey be organised and shared out between the EU member states? Why will any of this deter more people from coming to the EU? Won’t it encourage more migrants to destroy their passports and documents and claim they are from Syria?

It also leaves the UK government with some explaining to do. Why did they sign an agreement which apparently means the UK too has to accept visa free access for all Turks from June? Mr Cameron says we are outside Schengen and none of this applies to us, but maybe he was just referring to the EU agreement to share the task of accepting Syrians from Turkey. It does not seem to include Turkish visa free access, as the Agreement published by the EU sets this out for the whole EU. There needs to be urgent clarification of the visa free access issue. The Agreement says “visa liberalisation roadmap with all member states with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016”

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83 Comments

  1. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    A few additional questions:

    1) How can Syrian migrants/refugees be legally deported from Greece back to Turkey ? Is the ECHR likely to approve this ?
    2) The agreement only relates to migrants arriving in Greece, won’t this just encourage them to make longer voyages to Italy ?
    3) On what basis does Merkel set policy and make announcements on this for the entire EU prior to getting agreement from the individual members ? Is Hungary likely to approve or veto this scheme ?
    4) Can Mr Cameron explain the benefits to the UK of being inside the EU given this new policy ?

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Schengen is irrelevant. Once they have their papers they can travel anywhere in the EU- including the UK. Merkel knew this when she invited them. Why is Cameron not asking her to take all of those suggested by Turkey’s proposal? Why is Cameron offering to pay anything, we are not obliged to pay as the UK is not part of the EU asylum policy. The papers say he is going to give £500 million! Last week he was scaring everyone of camps being set up in Kent, smiling when Hollande made threats to our nation, insulting the brave men who lost their lives to save the French and now in stark contrast is claiming the UK borders are some how “rock solid” safe. The man is not fit for office and you really cannot believe a word this idiot says. He changes his tune almost on a daily basis and gives away our taxes more than making spending cuts to live within our means.

      Start from the beginning JR. Make him tell the nation what the true immigrant numbers are, no more lies, deceit or excuses of EU referendum. Make him demand that Germany take more than anyone else as Merkel caused the mess by inviting them. Germany must pay more than any other country. German crime figures have soared for migrant crime. Therefore we are not safe to accept anymore. The EU plans will not stop the problem only increase it.

      Better still send the boats back like Australia did and stop using the navy as a ferry service for safe passage.

    • John C.
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      The most baffling mystery is number 3. Why do the European leaders, all of whom have climbed to the top of the greasy pole in their respective countries, submit helplessly to her edicts? What is the secret of Frau Merkel’s hypnotic power?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      http://openeurope.org.uk/daily-shakeup/eu-leaders-alienated-by-merkel-turkey-deal-as-chancellor-faces-backlash-amongst-closest-political-allies/

      “EU leaders alienated by Merkel-Turkey deal as Chancellor faces backlash amongst closest political allies”

  2. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    “The direct UK share of the 2bn of this facility will be £250 million, which will come out of the UK overseas aid budget.”

    Why? Article 5 in our “opt-out” Protocol (No 21):

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

    “A Member State which is not bound by a measure adopted pursuant to Title V of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union shall bear no financial consequences of that measure other than administrative costs entailed for the institutions, unless all members of the Council, acting unanimously after consulting the European Parliament, decide otherwise.”

    • Margaret
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      good will?

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Where does Cameron’s non deal stop this migration happening? How will it stop migrants getting their papers from Eau countries then travel to the UK? Surely even the most die-hard Europhile must the nakedness of Cameron’s failure to achieve anything from the EU. As for his rock solid borders is this the same as his I will not pay the £1.7 billion! NO ifs or buts cuts to immigration?

      Carney and his Europhile deputy scaremongering over Brexit. Have they looked at the financial circumstances of the Eurozone countries, mass unemployment, mass immigration to the UK etc etc. could they be advised to look at the scare stories oif the U.K. did not join the Euro, it might give them comfort and ally their ill informed concerns.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Call me a cynic but is the end of June visa free date linked to our referendum date? Was this decided yesterday or some time ago? I heard the Prime Minister say we have a rock solid agreement on Schengun! Is this the equivalent of a cast iron guarantee or a no ifs or buts promise or we will not pay this surcharge promise? He must go in the interests of our Nation. National interest has to take precedence over party interest. How utterly irresponsible of the federalists with their project fear. The latest is the Governor of the Bank of England. How dare they tell us we have to be ruled by foreigners with NO elected mandate! I’d rather be poor and free than a slave of the EU!

      • Timaction
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        I heard no mention on the costs to our in and out of work EU Nationals or health and public services for the 650000 new arrivals from the EU nationally. Similar number will come from Turkey as well! The costs to our greenbelt, energy, fishing, CAP, regulation from EU. Utter silence and connivance from the Osborne’s Governor!

    • Grahm Wood
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Denis. Thanks for this prompt and most useful information and quote from the TEU.
      The clause in the Protocol seems clear enough, but no doubt there will be some sort of weasel words from the incompetent David Lidington to justify this further waste of our money.
      But I will write to him in the faint hope that I’m mistaken.

  3. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    If Merkel really wants to speed Turkey’s entry into the EU she’d better start thinking about the total inadequacy of the current transitional provisions for new member states.

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      How does Cameron’s rock solid border controls face up to visa free Turks entering our country without being asked where they are going or how long they are staying for? And he thinks being in the EU will make us safe!!

    • acorn
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Denis, as things are starting to hot up, UK / EU number crunchers, are e-mailing their mates in the international law and international accountancy firms. These outfits are totally client based; they don’t give much away to passers by, even old mates. Hence, can I suggest that if JR approves the link, you keep an eye on the Brexit site at http://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/knowledge/publications/134331/brexit . There may be a few crumbs fall from the table, for the 99% to try and make sense of. 😉

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I have already posted my opinion of this yet another debacle of the EU’s on your previous article. A debacle of it’s own making thanks to that irrational woman Merkel. However thankfully you have fleshed out in detail and more informatively the problems of this Turkish deal and what it all portends better than my poor previous rambling comment has done.

    So the EU moves on to another crises that it has not and cannot deal with adequately and will precipitate other newer ones like all the rest proceeding it. Those waiting to re-emerge again. They say do not let a crisis go to waste. Normally one is enough but apparently not for the EU as they seem to like having as many crises as possible. On which not to waste creating a bigger more powerful union that forces countries to share the same bed despite that bed not the right dimensions for all to fit snugly in it.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Already made Off topic comment on your other post today John about this Subject.

    Just to say this seems to be an absolute disaster of a policy/agreement, which does absolutely nothing to sort out the real problem.

    We are simply shifting people movement from one Country to another.

    In the back door out the front, in a giant 6,000,000,000 Euro Ponzi people churning operation, which now includes 95,000,000 Turkish citizens.

    I guess Cameron thinks this is a good deal, which just shows how completely out of touch and how completely useless he has now become.

    All will have the right to come here, if they choose to do so under freedom of movement.

    Turkey In, Britain Out is the message, loud and clear.

    The longer we stay in, the worse it will get.

    As I have said many times, do not compare the EU as it is now with Leave.

    The true comparison is to fall into the abyss (what the EU will become) or Leave.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the choice is between Brexit and an EU inspired death spiral and ultimate break up.

      • John C.
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        In other words, Brexit soon or Brexit late, after more chaos, waste and bad feeling.

  6. JJE
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I can only think of this in terms of the later Roman Empire paying tribute or subsidies to barbarians in an attempt to ward off attacks.

  7. Pericles Xanthippou
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Every time she turns around Frau Merkel seems to cause another disaster. The elephant in the porcelain shop is as nothing to her!

    ΠΞ

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      PX. Who would have thought that single-handedly a German Chancellor could cause so much turmoil in Europe?

  8. Tom William
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Much clarification needed. As we are outside Schengen, and Turkey is not in the EU, surely any agreement by the EU to waive visas can not legally be extended to the UK.

    Once again we see Merkel making agreements as if she was President of the EU.

    Turkey is not a European country, does not accept many of the laws/attitudes of Europe and should never be a member of the EU. That it is a member of NATO is irrelevant.

    • John C.
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think we do “clarification” these days, Tom. We just do what we’re told. Is our Prime Minister going to say, “Hold on, now”?
      He just seems anxious to please; his role is that of E.U. Ambassador to the U.K.

  9. Stuart Saint
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Despite the Tusk hyperbole this is not a deal yet, just a proposal.

    If agreed (unlikely) instead of Iraqi’s, Afghani’s, Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, Ghanaians etc Europe will have to accept Turks, many of whom will undoubtedly at some point be Iraqi’s, Afghani’s, Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, Ghanaians who gave qualified for Turkish passports.

    This deal will not stop mass immigration.

    Leave and protect our borders.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “It is difficult to see how this system is going to work” – indeed it is. It is hardly as if the EU much of a record a things that work either.

    Carney is, I suspect, pretending to be “fair” and “balanced” over Brexit, but (correctly) says that city will lose some business when we Brexit. Indeed it will, but the City will also gain rather more in the medium and long term from people who want to be outside the absurd regulations and general lunacy of the EU. He seemed not to mention that for some reason.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I see that, as I suspected, No. 10’s fingerprints are indeed all over the Brexit Martyr’s exit. A fair referendum was never likely but Cameron will surely lose anyway. These things tend to backfire, just as Holande’s choreographed “zer vil be consequences for Britain”

      Vote Brexit if you want to leave
      Vote Bresit if you want Cameron and Osborne to resign
      Vote Brexit if you want a second far better deal to vote on
      Vote Brexit if you want another Scottish independence referendum
      Vote Brexit if you want democracy
      Vote Brexit is you want selective only, quality immigration, as and when it benefits the UK.
      Vote Brexit if you want higher wages (as even Lord Rose advises)
      Vote Brexit for cheaper energy and goods
      Vote Brexit for no VAT on sanitary products
      Vote Brexit to annoy the French and the German leaders.

      Vote “Remain” for? – Er well, if you just hate the UK and just want to destroy its democracy have it governed by incompetent, largely foreign, and unelected bureaucrats and break it up permanently and like pensioners freezing due to expensive energy!

      It is surely a no brainer – still good odds available on Brexit though.

      • miami.mode
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Ll. Almost surprised that Jeremy Corbyn has not stuck to his principles and pushed for Brexit. If Remain wins it’s doubtful his core vote in the Labour Party would desert him as they may well be of the same opinion, and if Leave wins then he could demand the resignation of David Cameron and George Osborne and perhaps even push for a General Election as government policy is for Remain.

        It also seems rather demeaning for David Cameron to constantly come on TV and say what a good deal he has got when it plainly isn’t, plus standing next to a pipsqueak Frenchman who threatens him with “consequences”.

      • Hope
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        I think you will find that a No10 aid did make the telephone call that No 10 later denied any involvement. Read Guido. It stinks of a cover up. Cameron needs to be held to account by his party and got rid of ASAP.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        @LL; “Vote Bresit if you want Cameron and Osborne to resign”

        Yeah and we saw what happened after Thatcher was forced out, after Blair was forced out, voters never mind the party faithful don’t always get who they want! Also, out of the last four PMs to leave before their term was up their replacements (Douglas-Home, Callaghan, Major & Brown) only one was able to manage to get re-elected, and many hold the opinion that the then Labour leader lost that election more than Major won it.

        “Vote Brexit if you want another Scottish independence referendum”

        Well best I, and a lot of others I suspect, vote BSE…

        Now if a Brexit would see the end of the SNP you might have had a point!

        “Vote Brexit if you want democracy”

        Problem there Mr Lifelogic is if the people had real democracy then parties like the Greens, the LibDems, real Socialist and perhaps the embarrassment of the totally undemocratic communists and far right would have far more influence, resulting in weak governments, one only has to look at countries that do have such “democracy” to see this – of course what you mean by democracy is probably nothing like being a true democrat.

        So again, many will vote for what they know works and gives at least a strong working government, even if it is not perfect.

        “Vote Brexit is you want selective only, quality immigration, as and when it benefits the UK.”

        Which translates for many as; Vote Brexit is you want your kids to have to work in the fields all day cutting/planting cabbages (or any other ‘dead-end’ bobs, with low paid and little career progression), rather than going to Uni/College and getting a career with good basic pay and good career progression.

        “Vote Brexit if you want higher wages (as even Lord Rose advises)”

        So who is going to pay someone more than they can buy the same product (including get it shipped) from China etc. So perhaps you mean; vote Brexit for a trade war when we start placing tariffs on selective imports?

        “Vote Brexit for no VAT on sanitary products”

        If that is the best you can think of… Also if this was a vote winner the EU could soon noble the vote by allowing a UK opt-out. A better ploy would be to suggest that a Brexit vote will allow the last 5% VAT to be removed from your energy bills (that had been Zero rated before a previous Tory government chose to remove the zero rating) the average family budget could buy then quite a few sanitary products per year from the savings made on their energy bills…

  11. Iain Moore
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    So the EU’s response to a couple of million Syrian migrants is to open the EU upto 70 million Turks by giving them visa free travel by June.

    It is going to be enjoyable watching them sell that one to the people of Europe , let alone Cameron trying to tell the British people not to worry about it as they go to vote on the EU referendum ( Is the EU a secret supporter of Brexit?)

    PS Has anybody bothered to check with the UNHRC if they can send migrants en mass back to Turkey?

    • bluedog
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Both the UNHCR and Amnesty International strongly oppose the ideal. Very positive.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Your party will be toast by the next general election. It’s a pity that the effects of visa free movement are not going to be seen much before 23rd June.

    Anyone who votes IN deserves what they are going to get.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      One way or another, Europe could soon open its gates to 77million Turks – in return for an agreement intended to limit migration into the EU.
      Only the increasingly bizarre and dangerous fantasy of ‘ever-closer union’ could have created such an outcome.

      (Daily Mail)

  13. Yosarion
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    John, one of the Red lines for Cyprus joining the EUSSR was to sort the long standing problem in Northern Cyprus since 1974, this never happened, if we have to find another 250 Million’ may I suggest we withdraw our UN troops out of the Buffer Zone to save the money to pay for, it and let them get on with it.

  14. A different Simon
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Erdogan schooled Cameron in the art of negotiating with the EU .

    Maybe Cameron just likes getting turked , first by Boris , then by Erdogan .

    How many millions of British taxpayer’s money was sent via the EU as a grant to Turkey which is not even in the EU to shift Transit van production from Southampton to Turkey ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Have Transit vans got cheaper ?

  15. ChrisS
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    The best we can say about this agreement is that at least our share of the cash will come from the overseas aid budget.

    Might as well give it to Turkey as see it lost through corruption in Africa.
    Or going towards the Indian space program…….

    Merkel is saying that Turkey didn’t have the upper hand in the negotiations. Well, if she believes that, she must be about as good at CMD at making deals.

    Does anyone not believe that Turkey is taking Europe for a ride over this ?

    €6bn ! It just shows that these Europhiles have no concept of the value of money.

  16. agricola
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    There is likely to be an expansion of money to Turkey. They are asking for £6.0 billion. This would make the UK contribution £1/2 billion.

    Problems of legality of the agreement , if it becomes one, are being raised by the UN. I do not see all the EU states complying with it. What does Cyprus think for instance. Will it be a case of if Germany likes it, it will happen, but that will further divide the nation states of the EU.

    When it comes to visa travel for Turks in the EU I see the forging industry rubbing their hands in glee, what a business opportunity. I assume they will be allowed to come to the UK whatever weasel words Cameron might apply. How long before a visitor’s visa becomes a right to reside.

    The observation we should take from all this is the excellence of Turkish negotiating skills from a strong position, and the totally pathetic weakness of Cameron’s ability to negotiate from the equally strong position of being the second largest financial contributor to the EU. It has confirmed in my mind that Cameron is completely unsuited to the office he holds and that after 23rd. June he should not be allowed anywhere near any further negotiation with the EU.

  17. MartinW
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    It is extremely unsurprising that this ‘deal’ is unravelling fast, and Cameron has been ‘rolled over’ into accepting the package, without bothering himself with tiresome detail. Very soon after Cameron’s coronation as leader, we began to see what sort of a man he was (and is), and we didn’t like what we saw – i.e. someone who lacks basic common sense, and vision, concerned mainly with sound-bites, PR and his own survival. He gives the strong impression that nothing is properly thought through, the welfare of this country being secondary to that of the EU. A man whose top political advisors are protégés of Paddy Ashdown, and unreformable euro-fanatics. Unless Cameron is removed, tout suite, there is little hope for the Conservative Party.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, MartinW. A man who said he wanted to the Prime Minister because he thought he would be “quite good at it!” Sorry Cameron, old chap, but you are in danger of being considered the worst one in modern history. And that’s with a lot of recent competition. I believe that he is dead in the water, whatever the referendum result.

  18. Shieldsman
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    So we are going to pay out of the economists funny money that 0.7% of GDP which Osborne is borrowing. But we have already given away the £12 billion for the past year.
    The Bank of England are worrying about BREXIT, I think BREXIT will be a saviour in disguise, the £22million nett per day we save on our EU fees will go towards reducing the deficit.

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Or, could build a power station or two and pay for them in a couple of years with cheap power per KW/h rather than the inflated figure that’s being talked about for Hinkley.

      Just imagine that – owned and run by the British people…oh dear, I’m sounding like Corbyn today 🙁

      • Pericles Xanthippou
        Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Know-dice is perhaps closer to the truth than he knows: the privatization of the infrastructure — driven entirely by ideology and unsupported by either economic theory or the results — has proven costly.

        ΠΞ

  19. agricola
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    As an addendum to my first contribution to this article I read that the EU is now planning to take over from nation states within the EU including the UK, the decision as to who is an asylum seeker. I know our borders are porous, but if we stay in the EU they will become none existent. This argument needs to be added to the script for leaving.

  20. A different Simon
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    By imposing mass immigration in an attempt to marginalise (predominantly white) European’s , the elites have created a monster .

    It must surely be obvious to them by now that their wild child is uncontrollable .

    Instead of applying the brakes and having a rethink , they seem to have armed it , pumped it full of fizzy drinks and access to a trust fund .

    Roll on the elections in Germany .

  21. Narrow shoulders
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    This is influence

  22. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    JR, you’re being very diplomatic. I’m sure you don’t seriously think that there’s a cat in hell’s chance of an EU-Turkey agreement that will work, any time soon. There are so many obstacles it’s not worth listing all of them.

    The EU is incapable of resolving crises. For example the EU-Turkey migrant readmission agreement first came out in 2011, then had various modifications every year because it wasn’t working, and yet here we are today waiting on yet another meeting of heads of state next week. Do these prime ministers and presidents get any other work done? Like running their own countries?

    Incidentally, the original visa waiver agreement refers to Schengen countries. The statement last night referred to all EU member states, it’s true, but if it’s the case that the UK agrees to be included, there need to be some VERY serious questions asked of the PM. I doubt he’d dare, with the referendum coming up.

    Anyway those are just two aspects of the draft agreement which the EU is now working on. I won’t bother giving detail on things like the Turks not yet complying with EU Regulation (EC) No 444/2009 (passport biometrics) before any visa waiver can come into force.

    Let’s be honest. What we’re dealing with here is a situation dominated by two main players acting in their own political interests. Frau Merkel is desperate to stop the flow of migrants into Germany but she can’t climb down and say she made a mistake. She’ll agree to almost anything from Turkey, in order that she doesn’t have to put a limit on numbers entering Germany.

    President Erdogan wants to show his people he’s making fast progress with the EU – membership and visa waiver. He knows Merkel’s in a weak position and is going for everything he can get.

    In all of this, a proper and thorough resolution of the EU’s migrant crisis will never be achieved, regardless of what spin is put on it next week.

    For what it’s worth, here’s the Statement of the EU Heads of State or Government from 01.50 this morning.

    Reply The whole point I am raising is the way this implies the Uk has to waive visas as well as Schengen. Why do you assume they have made a mistake in the drafting?

    • Pericles Xanthippou
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      The Active Citizen’s suggestion of an urgent question to the Prime Minister over (The Eu/Turkey deal ed) must be taken aboard. Are we too late for to-morrow.

      ΠΞ

    • Monty
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      “…to accelerate the implementation of the visa liberalization roadmap with all Member States with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016”

      All member states includes us.
      If anything needs to be trumpeted from the rooftops in the run-up to the referendum, it’s that.

  23. Antisthenes
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    When will all wake up to the fact that we do not want to leave the common market or at least not to continue to trade with it we want to sell our goods and services to it very much. What we want is to leave the EU so that we can regain our political and economic freedoms and not be dragged into all the crises that befall that benighted project. Crises that we had no part in causing but are obliged to help solve at great cost.

    For those who say that outside of the EU there will be tariff barriers forget that inside we already have a tariff. It is not called that it is called our contribution which effectively is a premium/tariff on everything we sell there and is sold to us. So EU light is not an option because some contribution will still have to be made. Though not as much as we do now I believe even if the stayers would try to convince us differently.

    The obvious choice is to be completely independent and trade like places like Canada and if that means tariffs so be it. At least those tariffs would not be subject to annual increases as our contribution is as tariffs are not in the total remit of the EU as the contribution is they are agreed at the WTO. Tariffs would go not just into EU coffers as the contribution does but the UK’s as well dependent on the level of trade. It maybe we will decide to buy less from there and go where better tariff deals can be negotiated. So perhaps tariffs would quickly come down or be taken away.

  24. Horatio McSherry
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    If our entire government resigned this evening, would we notice? I mean…ever?

    I’m genuinely, genuinely lost as to what they do for this country.

    We even have a Prime Minster who’s such a spineless laughing stock he’s reduced to travelling to the EU purely so they can feed him his lines then wheel him out in front of the cameras to wring his hands while looking concerned.

    Anyway, no matter what the referendum result, there may be no EU to leave by that time. Spring will come, the migrant numbers will become truly biblical, and then they’ll open the door to 75m Turks (who will have spent three months packing), and then it’ll get very, very ugly in Greece…and then it’ll spread from there.

    Well. That’s enough cheeriness from me 🙂

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      As we all know, there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and lets make sure that the “[EU] gravy train” stops now…

    • John C.
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m even more pessimistic than you are. Instead of huge catastrophes, unrest and protests on a massive scale (which might after months of turmoil see a resolution of the whole E.U. monster, i.e. its demise), I see a very steady decline of Europe into a strange mixed shambolic newcomer to the 3rd world, a quite new phenomenon in world history. A Continent that willingly gave up its identity and submitted to conquest and decline.
      Fascinating historically, but depressing to be a part of.

  25. stred
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    This deal seems a little bit odd. Any migrant, even Syrian families will be sent back 6 miles to Turkey and then another migrant from the camp in Turkey will be accepted as a refugee and be sent to various EU countries. So, if the Turks stop the boats leaving, they will lose the opportunity to send the same number from the camps. It, therefore, becomes in their interest to supply the maximum number of safe boats and send day trippers to Lesbos, claiming to be refugees.

    Meanwhile, the country which allowed Isis headjobs to pass freely into and back from Syria, in order to help overthrow their previous friend Assad, and arranged to take any Isis oil going, is now going to be able to send anyone with a Turkish passport through British customs without a visa and soon after they will be free to travel, work and claim benefits here. While we will be one of the main contributors to the cost, because our GDP is so good, much of the improvement being attributable to the growth in population. It may look like a good deal on a Treasury computer, but it may seem a bit dubious to anyone with a bit of common sense.

    As suggested, migrants may decide to take the Libya to Sicily route instead. Would it be legal in the UN’s rulebook to tow them around to Tunisia and pay them to send some of them them back over the border on the way to Nigeria, where their president says they will be safe? They have plenty of space in their hotels at the moment, suitable for genuine Syrian refugees.

    • stred
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      too.

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you’ve brought this subject up John. My husband and myself were only talking about this over Breakfast this morning. How does paying Turkey billions to do something which probably can’t be done and probably wont be done, help when it comes to stopping the influx of migrants into Europe? This does not stem the tide which will keep coming in for God knows how many years and when Turkey gets access to the rest of Europe it won’t only be the Turks coming in, as if that weren’t bad enough anyway. It is another failure on the part of the EU to come up with a practical solution and just throw money at a problem which won’t go away. Unless we all take action to take these people back to where they came from (which is what Australia does) and perhaps provide safe haven in their own countries we are all doomed.

    • Daisy
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      It will soon be cheaper for the EU to have bought entire Turkish holiday complexes to house migrants, and it would have made more sense in every way.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 9, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        There are many empty and up for sale as the Russians no longer holiday there.

    • John C.
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Which is the same as saying we’re all doomed. Which I think we are.

  27. oldtimer
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    OT: I read that a Mr Daniel Korski, described as a special advisor to Mr Cameron at No 10, did in fact phone the BCC to complain strongly about Mr Longworth’s comments in favour of Brexit. It was this same Mr Korski who persuaded senior military figures to write a letter in support of Remain; however he also included General Rose, former commander of Special Forces, who spoke out to say he did not consent to the use of his name. The lame excuse was that it was “an administrative error”; if so he is an incompetent and should not be in the position of influence he apparently holds

    Is this, I ask myself, the same Daniel Korski who wrote short, and very controversial, articles for the Spectator Coffee House blog a few years back? That Daniel Korski could be guaranteed to raise the ire of all his readers who vehemently disagreed with him more often than not. etc ed

  28. Daisy
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Removing visa requirements while a country is in the throes of a refugee crisis is insanity. The migrant exchange programme will be entirely ineffectual. Either this is deliberate, in which case it is also evil, or merely incompetent but equally insupportable. If our leaders do not come to their senses soon there will be serious trouble. This sort of thing starts wars.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Much truth in that.

  29. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Reply to reply – Because the statement also says “for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states, within the framework of the existing commitments.” This needs clarifying too.

    I’m assuming that there was sloppy drafting in the early hours of this morning, applying to this and to the visa waiving issue.

    If not, then the PM is in enormous trouble. I very much hope you’ll be in the vanguard of questioning him about this before any deal is reached with Turkey next week. As drafted in the statement, such a deal would be completely unacceptable to the UK.

  30. oldtimer
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    The return of migrants on the scale that will be required looks like an impractical task. Who is going to do this? The Greek army, police and navy? What if there is physical resistance to mass deportation? Will force be used? If so what force? Batons? Guns? Has Mr Cameron committed any of our military or police to the programme of enforced deportation from Greece to Turkey? We can be sure that the TV crews will there in force, recording it all. Or will the TV crews be banned? Perhaps the Prime Minister will enlighten the nation with answers to these questions at PMQs tomorrow. And while he is at it, perhaps he will elaborate why and how this agreement makes us safer and stronger through our membership of the EU – as he claimed just a few days ago.

    PS It is a remionder that the status quo is not on offer. The EU stumbles from one crisis to another; and Angela Merkel appears to be the principal actor seeking to commit everyone else to share her foreign policy follies.

  31. Margaret
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but being discussed in the house at present. Six years ago I was called to a hearing London where I pressed the need to understand that FGM is a crime. This however much attention is paid to it still continues. If mutilation is recent the police will arrest the perpetrator , if it is in the past in another country, yet the person has migrated to GB then it is still reportable.
    I recently took on on- line mandatory course up date for my profession. The question was “Do some cultures think that FGM is acceptable?” I answered yes…. If other cultures didn’t think it was acceptable then we wouldn’t need to fight it. However I got it marked as incorrect and only achieved 90% . We in GB need to understand how other cultures see this terrible practice and say ” not here ” . Hopefully one day it will be ‘not there’ also.

  32. Boudicca
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I sincerely believe that Angela Merkel has completely lost the plot.

    European security agencies have already reported that 5000 jihadists have entered Europe, hidden within the migrants she encouraged to come. Now she wants to give visa-free entry to 75 million Turks (some of whom will also be extremists).

    Apparently, the production of fake Syrian passports is already a nice little earner for the Turks to go with their people smuggling operations. Now they can add fake Turkish ones to their production line as well.

    And Lady Bountiful in No.10 has agreed that British taxpayers will help fund the lunacy. Power also appears to have gone to his head and completely destabilised it. The 1922 Committee need to pay him a visit – with a piece of paper holding 50 signatures.

  33. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Instead of playing with this situation, I don’t understand why we don’t airlift anyone who wants to leave Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq to a country with a low population that is mad keen on open borders etc. How about Scotland? I would have thought they could do with a doubling of the population.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      My only comment on that Mike, is please let those of us who wish to leave Scotland get out first!

  34. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m not writing this in the somewhat fawning way that some correspondents write … but I must acknowledge the performance of Mr. Redwood – generally – but, specifically, on this matter. It is frustrating he is not being more widely heard in the media.

    I’d back him to wipe the floor, with arguments not ‘fear’ with any ‘Stayer’. Unfortunately, he is a politician and most people think politicians are one rung below estate agents. Which is another shame as those with integrity are tarred with the same brush as those without.

  35. acorn
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    JR, I am aware that I am asking you to do the equivalent of a “Road to Damascus” conversion. I would politely suggest, in the interests of a balanced debate, that all Redwoodians read Prof Bill Mitchell’s post of today.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=33124#more-33124

    Just read it, don’t go off on some neo-liberal rant on this page. Get your A level kids and grand kids to explain it to you. 😉

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I found that impenetrable.

      I note a reader in The Times the other day advocated that old people ask their grandchildren their desired outcome for the EU and vote exactly as they would as the grandchildren will be the ones living with the consequences.

      This (along with the Ins telling school kids to ‘grab a granny’ and tell the old how they should vote ) smacked of a government planted letter to me.

      I’m applying the Occam’s Razor principle to all things these days.

      Thinking too deeply is what has got us all into trouble.

    • bluedog
      Posted March 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      In economics, as in so many areas of intellectual endeavour, it frequently seems that today’s crank is tomorrow’s prescient genius. On the other hand there are always those best described as a stopped watch. Mitchell would appear to fall into the latter category.

  36. James Matthews
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    ” Why did they sign an agreement which apparently means the UK too has to accept visa free access for all Turks from June? ” Could it be part of the price of Cameron’s spurious negotiated “concessions”? The man has now dipped below Tony Blair in my estimation and that is a very, very, long way down.

    The question is whether the majority of our compatriots will continue their blinkered and deafened onward trudge to destruction and vote to remain in the EU in June, or will they wake up and get us out? The possibility of a vote to stay is truly terrifying.

  37. Bert Young
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    In 5 years time the migrants via Turkey are likely to qualify for status of the country they migrated to . We , and the other countries of the EU , will have to then accept them under the free movement principle . I may have misjudged this and would like to be corrected if wrong ; if otherwise I shudder to think of the consequences .

  38. Pericles Xanthippou
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    For the life of me I cannot see the point of this ‘exchange of Syrians’. If we’re going to accept them in to Europe, then in the name of common humanity let’s just settle the ones that have risked and struggled so much to get as far as they have, especially those in Eidomene, now wallowing in mud … particularly the ladies and their children.

    We might say we want to vet them but, let’s be frank, we have no idea which are refugees bona in fide and which terrorists. Are we just going to send back angry, frowning young men?

    (One thing troubles me: many of them express sentiments implying a belief that such terrible conditions — evocative of the Great War on the Western Front — are appropriate for animals. I for one have no wish to welcome to England’s green and pleasant any-one that thinks such conditions right for animals!)

    Developments during the day imply that, in any case, the whole deal will collapse for failure to comply with treaties to which the E.U. and its member countries are signatories. And, as J.R. says, how the Hell is all this to be managed? The E.U. and its members cannot even manage the existing flow of persons in the direction in which they want to go; now they would try to manage a flow against the tide!

    ΠΞ

  39. Pericles Xanthippou
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Roy Grainger (11:26) raises a very important point affecting the entire matter of the E.U. and Britain’s relationship with it, not just the instant issue: “On what basis does [Frau] Merkel set policy and make announcements on this for the entire E.U. prior to getting agreement from the individual members?”

    To the extent, albeit small, that the E.U. is democratic its administration is modelled on that of fifth-century Athens: the Boule (the Commission, roughly equivalent to the Senate) proposes; the Ecclesia (the European Parliament, likewise to the House) decides. The Reichskanzler cannot — in theory at least — simply dictate what the E.U. will do, sc. dictate the terms of an agreement between the E.U. and an external country. Given how much France has to lose here, it’s surprising that not a peep seems to have come from the Élysée or the Quai.

    ΠΞ

  40. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    So much for the plan for Turkey to take migrants from Greece. It’s already been declared illegal under EU and International law! Does anyone in the EU know what they are doing? Also, is it my imagination or is the BBC making a big thing about Mark Carney’s comments about leaving the EU?? We can always trust the BBC to scaremonger on a big scale.

  41. turboterrier
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    The EU is totally out of control over this immigration crisis and the only answer seems to be throw money at it with very little thought of the consequences of their actions.

    A number of leaders are looking very suspect when it comes to the decision making process and they all seem to be the nodding dog on the car parcel shelf and as they come up for re-election I doubt if many will survive.

    Within the EU they seem to forget that once you give immigrants a passport they can travel wherever they can get the best deal in handouts so thanks to Dave we become the patsy.

  42. Original Richard
    Posted March 8, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The unreformed EU/Mrs. Merkel/Turkey/the UN are on course to bring Middle East conflict to Europe.

    This disaster, combined with Mr. Cameron’s agreement to allow the Turks visa free travel (and hence residence) to the UK, will make any discussions as to whether the UK will be financially better off inside or outside of the unreformed EU of little importance.

  43. Old Albion
    Posted March 9, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It’s a fudge. It’s what the EU does

  44. sm
    Posted March 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Vote to remain or stay in the EU and you get gross immigration in he millions pa.
    (Extrapolate from NI numbers this is not unrealistic)

    Visa free travel. No problem with illegals. Thwy will just get a visa and never leave.

    The EU is on a self destruct course and pursuing policies on immigration completely at odds with EU populations.

    This is utter madness leave now before they cause civil collapse. in EU nations.

  45. @foto2021
    Posted March 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    This shabby and shameful ‘arrangement’ with Turkey gives us more than sufficient reason on its own to leave the corrupt, incompetent, inefficient and undemocratic European Union.

  • 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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