VISA liberalisation and faster progress to Turkish EU membership

I drew attention to the fact that the official minutes of the 7 March EU/Turkey Agreement made clear that all member states need to lift visa restrictions on Turkey by June this year. The UK government keeps saying this does not apply to the UK.  I suggested they have the minutes amended in that case.


Far from doing so, the minutes of the European Council held 17-18 March  reconfirmed the minutes of the 7 March “Following the decisions of the Heads of State of government of 7 March”  the European Council “calls for the full implementation of the EU-Turkey statement”.  So if we assume the UK is not actually going to lift visa restrictions we are left wondering why official statements of the Heads of State and government which we are asked to rely on in other contexts are wrong on this matter. We also need to remember how assurances that the UK would not have to bail out Euro countries were swept aside when it came to a new loan for Greece.

There can be no opt out for the UK when it comes to possible Turkish membership of the EU. There we are told clearly in the minutes of the Council meeting that ” the EU and Turkey reconfirmed their commitment to re energise the accession process” for Turkey to become a full member.

Visa liberalisation even if confined to the continent means many more people having easy access to the EU and possibly establishing citizenship and free movement rights to the UK  as well as the rest of the EU. Full membership of course brings complete freedom of movement. In view of the pressure on us already from the many people in the rest of the EU who want to work and live here, we do need to consider this Turkish issue more seriously. One of the failings of William Hague’s Referendum Act was it does not give the UK people a vote on new members joining the EU, though they can represent a big change to the EU and to our obligations as. Result.


  1. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2016

    Indeed we do need to consider this Turkish issue more seriously. I imagine the Cameron government will just treat it like a hot potato and ignore the issue as far as he can. Or just state complete untruths on the issue, wittering on about the need to stay in a “reformed EU”. What reform? There is none.

    The UK clearly need selective immigration, not open door unselective immigration. The best candidates from all around the world only. We cannot have this in the EU and wages, GPD per capita and pressure of schools, the NHS, roads, transport, the police, housing, social services. the deficit ….. will all get worse and worse unless we achieve this.

    1. Horatio
      March 20, 2016

      The only things fully funded by this government are the EU, foreign aid and the Ministry of Green Crap. None of which benefit the British people and all of which leech taxpayers money away from failing public services and useful things like British flood relief.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 20, 2016

        State sector wages and pension seem rather well funded despite the lack of anything of much value ever being delivered.

        1. REPay
          March 22, 2016

          Yes – a cap on pensions over 60k as per the 2010 manifesto would be good. I suspect too many policymakers are on the other side of 60K for it ever to be enacted.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      Surely everyone by now realises the vast difference between what he says or promises and what he actually does. He has backed the wrong horse this time I doubt he will be able to trick the UK into remaining even by hiding the truth on migration and getting Obama over to tell them what to do.

      “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.
      ― Mark Twain

      1. Hope
        March 20, 2016

        JR, I really do not know why you persist in relying on anything Cameron says. How much more evidence do you require that you cannot believe a word he says? I suggest you watch Cameron on YouTube warning us all of the dangers of the Lisbon Treaty and then ask yourself what he has actually done. Nothing. He had the chance to make amendments in 2010 and chose not to. He did not follow his headline in the sun to hold a referendum either. He came up with a lame excuse that it could not be undone. The veto that never was, the second part- he failed to stop any Eurozone country using EU institutions. He wa going to stop money being spent on Strasbourg. He did nothing as might upset the French, yet we saw him recently standing by Hollande while he made threats to our nation while Cameron stood by smirking! I will not pay the £1.7 billion, we will not bail out Eurozone countries and did and gave loans to Eurozone countries when we did not have to. He has given money to help the EU asylum seeker policy when he told us our exemption was “rock solid”. The list is truly endless. Look at film clips of Cameron in parliament telling us he would not give an EU referendum and that the UK was better inside. He only caved because of the Eau elections that UKIP won and the threat at the elections.(Allegation removed ed) Russia does not trust Cameron over Lybia, Syria, Ukraine or his provocative pro EU expansionism speech to extend the EU to the Urals. EU immigration figures hidden, twice the number have NI numbers to what we are told is net immigration! Chilcott not allowed to be published until after the referendum. You and your colleagues have the answer, get rid of him for the sake of your party and the security of our nation.

    3. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      A very silly article by John Major in the Telegraph today, even by his standards. Is this the best they can come up with? The man who wanted us in the EURO and the ERM gets even dafter as he gets older. Still no apology from the man for all the homes repossessed, businesses, lives and jobs destroyed with his ERM & 17%+ interests rate mortgages as chancellor and PM.

      I tend to be with Heffer on Major. Whatever Major says do the opposite.

    4. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      The usual bogus argument of 45% of our trade and 7% of theirs from Sir John Major. It is the size of the trade that matters in any negotiation not the %. We import more than they export to us.

      Is John Major really too daft to see this I suppose he could well be?

      1. alan jutson
        March 20, 2016


        I wonder what he would say if 100% of our trade was with the EU and theirs was 100% to us, meaning we would have an absolutely massive deficit 0n trade.

        Would he make the same arguments !

        Or would he say we should do 500% more

        The bloke is an absolute mathematical and economic fool.

        Time some interviewer took him to task, and made the stupidity of this percentage argument public.

    5. Timaction
      March 20, 2016

      No he cannot. Many millions of us know he is a lying quisling who is an agent of the EU along with most in Westminster. That’s why I did not and could not vote for him or his party.
      Everything that was predicted by UKIP has proven to be the truth. More fool those who believe a word that Cameron/Osborne etc. say. I remember well the lies and spin told by the msm during the build up to the election and will never forget how the propaganda machine worked then and now.
      This is your leadership Mr Redwood. Why are they not being held to account by your party in the commons? I don’t expect any better from the rest of those who collude to sell out their Country. Surely they can be asked in the Commons to come clean on the so called deals on Turkey with its visa restrictions and membership options?
      Why hasn’t he be called to account for the lies in the House already? His pathetic deal cannot be legally binding when some Countries need referendum’s to confirm Treaty change.

    6. alan jutson
      March 20, 2016


      “Cameron is the slickest snake oil salesman of the lot……”

      Not sure who is worse, Cameron or Osbourne.

      I see the lifetime ISA for the under 40’s is not all as it appears to be if you read the small print.

      Cannot be used towards the next house purchase if you already own your own home.

      If you take it out before it matures at age 60, then you lose all Government bonuses and pay a 5% penalty.

      Seems its only of value if you leave it in place until you retire.

      Looks about as complicated as the so called Inheritance tax modifications.

      Why do Politicians try to mislead us with headlines John, when the truth eventually comes out, they just look like liars or con artists.

      No wonder people by and large do not trust a word most politicians say.

  2. bluedog
    March 20, 2016

    The terms of the Turkish deal are a suicide note written by European civilisation, of which Turkey is not a part.

    Once within the EU on ‘temporary’ visas, the Turks will simply disappear and add to the massive number of Middle Easterners and North Africans already swirling around within the EU. Instead of bribing the Turkish president with 6 billion euros of Turkgeld in a one for one swap of ‘Syrians’, it would be better by far to spend the money to keep the ‘Syrians’ out, and repatriate all those now within the EU. It only takes a competent navy to do this.

    Subcontracting EU border control to Turkey is guaranteed to disappoint. Turkish President Erdogan is an Islamist who has in the past gone so far as to support IS. Erdogan would see an exodus of settlers to the EU from Turkey as a heroic victory for Islam. Bringing Turkey formally into the EU is the strongest reason possible for Brexit. Bad luck, Boris.

    We should simply not be part of this Turkish folly. If the British government is issuing false statements with regard to Britain’s role in this debacle, the responsible minister must be subject to a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons. As the fish stinks from its head, it would save time to start with Cameron.

    1. Horatio
      March 20, 2016

      Turkgeld indeed. The Cypriots will probably veto it anyway considering the way the German’s treated them. I’m constantly bemused when I see normally sensible OUT MPs declare that in the event of a Brexit vote they would happily support Cast Iron Dave and Tonto to lead the exit negotiations. In my mind it would have to be someone highly numerate, intelligent, experienced, patriotic, no bs and with a grasp of all the issues. I wonder where we can find one such individual JR?

      1. fedupsoutherner
        March 20, 2016

        Certainly not Cameron or Osborne. They are both treacherous and I and many others would not trust them to get a good deal for us upon Brexit.

    2. Timaction
      March 20, 2016

      Remind me who is buying the ISIS oil and attacking its own Kurdish citizens? Cameron cosying up to this regime is a disgrace.
      I see once again he’s been stopped from keeping the boats in Libyan waters and Turkey. The EU clearly has an open door immigration policy. All part of the plan to remove thoughts and feelings of nationhood as part of their long term plan. Same as the legacies policies here. Forget the rhetoric lets see the actual events and actions by the legacy quislings. I didn’t vote for any of this!

    3. peter davies
      March 21, 2016

      If there was one reason and one reason alone to pull out of the EU, this in my view would be it.

      The EU really is a disaster zone, politically and economically. Sooner people wale up the better.

    4. Eleanor Justice
      March 22, 2016

      Hear! Hear!

  3. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2016

    I see that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and the government seem to have given up on any real deterrents at all for crime, especially for the many foreign criminals in the capital.

    Deterrents only seem to be important (to the Met & the UK state) for parking offenders, people doing 22 in a 20 mph area, people making mistakes in their tax returns or people getting caught with one wheel in an empty bus lane. Indeed only where there is cash to be grabbed from the exercise.

  4. Lifelogic
    March 20, 2016

    You can still get 21/10 betting on a BREXIT surely good odds. I really cannot see the UK voters being stupid enough to vote remain this time, they will never get another chance if they do. This is the first one for 40 years I was too young to vote out last time.

    The leave voters are far more motivated and the remain side just sound dafter with every non argument they make. They do not even dare to give us the NI statistics on EU immigration and earnings. Even the remain voter should vote leave in the first referendum, a better deal will surely follow they will not give in easily.

    Just the mere threat of a Brexit vote has already enabled Cameron to win the trivial war over Tampax VAT.

    What sensible reasons are there to vote remain I have heard none? Unless you just hate democracy, want you wages depressed and services stretched by open door migration or want a job as an EU or UK bureaucrat or a human rights lawyer?

    1. Horatio
      March 20, 2016

      I would tend to agree and would cite last week’s demolition of Clegg and Johnson in the Guardian debate by Farage , as evidence. The Westminster bubble is complacent and as usual doesn’t understand the English people. However, what with the lies of the BBC and the useless, abject, negative, seemingly unbriefed performances by supporters of Leave on the TV , I believe it will be closer than it should.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      Violence is surely far more likely if we stay in this anti-democratic disaster area.

      1. Hope
        March 21, 2016

        He did not win anything over tampon tax. Th idiot misses the point he should not have to ask a foreign power whether to increase or spend our taxes. It exemplifies the idiocy of his position. Put it to Obama whether he should ask Mexico to increase or decrease tax on any US product for sale? Utter to55ers.

    3. James Matthews
      March 20, 2016

      Yes they do and, worryingly, they need to find it in the next thirteen weeks.

    4. graham1946
      March 20, 2016

      I don’t think the Tampon Tax ‘victory’ was anything of the sort. It was just a choreographed stunt to big up Cameron and pretend he has some influence at the top table. After the vote, in or out, it will be back to business as usual and UK being ignored. Expect more of this type of thing before the end of June as long as they can find things sufficiently small to give to him that he can brag about for the duration of the campaign.

      I still don’t understand how a word from Juncker overrides EU law. If it was the law for the Vat to be added last week why is it not this week? Did the EU parliament pass a new law to allow it.?

    5. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      They can and do punish the UK far more easily when we are in anti-democratic the EU and subject to the EU courts, treaties, fees, fines and open door immigration (oh sorry they are not Treaties once ratified or at least that is what Cameron’s lot seem to think).

    6. Phil Richmond
      March 20, 2016

      The problem is that the Conservative Party is riddled with wet social democrat quisling internationalists. Cameron fooled so many MPs in 2005 and has since slowly taken over the Party.
      If we had a leader (like David Davis/Liam Fox etc) who wants out of the EU then this campaign would be very different and the OUT would easily win.
      I hope we win on June 23rd but if we dont then the remaining real Conservatives (including Mr Redwood) need to step up, show some spine and take back their Party.

      1. Richard
        March 22, 2016

        What does it take to challenge Cameron for the Tory leadership? Internal ballot?

        He’s in a weak position currently surely… Would it be possible to oust the PM by before the referendum?

    7. sm
      March 20, 2016

      If we leave, the EU will change.

      Without the cash inflow from the UK they will need to act like a unified state and make very tough choices on printing money and redistribution to the remaining former states. All without democratic consent? Who pays the bill then t? I see others wishing to leave.

      Which do you think is likely?

      If we stay it will delay things only and it will just get worse.
      No border,budget or representative democratic control?

      Violence? that remains a very real risk if we stay in an expansionist EU.

    8. Ken Moore
      March 20, 2016

      Millions voted for Tony Blair in 1997, 2002 and as late as 2007 when it was clear what his agenda was.

      The stupidity of a section of the British people is not to be underestimated!.

  5. Margaret
    March 20, 2016

    Off topic but indirectly related: How do politicians apply for party leader and who decides whether their application should go through ?
    We await the Andrew Marr show and hope it will help rather than hinder Brexit .

    Reply There is only a vacancy to apply for if the leader resigns. Then nay MP can seek nomination by colleagues. Conservative MPs can demand a vote of no confidence in the leader. If 50 do so there would be such a vote, and if the leader lost it then there would be a leadership contest.

    1. The Prangwizard
      March 20, 2016

      If there aren’t 50 MPs who think Cameron needs to go, then the message is that the Tory party is itself a disgrace, if there are then why are they not doing something?

      I’d like to think they are working on a plan as I do try to remain optimistic that everything will turn out right in the end. But then my other self says that too many much prefer to be MPs than not whatever the circumstances, and as long as Cameron is considered as an asset, they will stay with him. He hasn’t yet been rumbled by sufficient of the electorate, and there isn’t a replacement candidate.

      I’ve noticed that the party establishment is turning its venom on Mr Duncan-Smith, Cameron has got his friends, media included, and their dogs out.

      Reply It needs a majority of Conservative MPs to remove a leader

    2. turbo terrier
      March 20, 2016

      I cannot believe for one moment there are not 50 or more party MPs who must be totally hissed off with what is going on within the UK. Strong government requires a strong leader. The price we pay for voting for academics with no real life skills. I was informed today that a poll has put labour in front on the question of leadership. If it true we are doomed,doomed, the time has come to dump our Mr Mannering.

  6. Horatio
    March 20, 2016

    William Hague is a failure. He failed on the referendum act, failed spectacularly on EVEL and betrayed his roots or apprarances as a pro democracy sceptic to out himself as a raving europhile. Proximity to other useless, lying politicians like Hilarious Rodham Clinton and to stars of the public eye, like the beautiful Angelina Jolie have turned his head.

    Of course we will keep paying through the nose for Merkels immigration fetish, we will keep doing so until the patience of the German people finally snaps and she’s kicked out. No referendum on all this money leaking away to pay for Erdogans’ palaces, the rapid Islamisation of Turkey and the utter desecration of Ataturk’s legacy.

    Some political meetings, schooling and religious worship in this country are completely segregated with British culture and the work of that fine British woman Emmeline Pankhurst subverted:. Not a whisper from the (politically correct ed). Women groped and attacked across europe. Laws changed in Sweden to prevent the normal reporting of rapes, towns in Germany teaching native girls, in schools, that they are targets for sexual attack because they are too provocative; not that it is the visitors/settlers requirement to change their mysogenistic values. Not a whisper from the (politically correct ed). Howver, British TV presenters sitting on the wrong side of sofa… Uproar from the (politically correct)!

    Trump is a rasicist for wantinv to build a wall. The Hugarians led by that fine strong PM, Orban, were dubbed rascist by the rest of europe led by the BBC bdcause they wanted to erect fences and stop free movement. A short few months later and countries all over europe are building fences, preventing movement and calling temporary halts to immigration. (The BBC on hardtalk still thinks the Hungarians are rascist) but not a whisper of condemnation for ‘the new rascists’ or apologies to the others.
    Something is hideously rotten in the state of western civilisation. Mark Steyn called it long ago. When you put more money into welfare than defence, when you breed and protect benefit entitlement. When everything is ultra PC and to love your country and its historical culture and belief systems is rascist then you know it’s only going in one irection

    1. fedupsoutherner
      March 20, 2016

      Of course we will keep paying through the nose for Merkels immigration fetish, we will keep doing so until the patience of the German people finally snaps and she’s kicked out. No referendum on all this money leaking away to pay for Erdogans’ palaces, the rapid Islamisation of Turkey and the utter desecration of Ataturk’s legacy.

      Agree Horatio but unfortunately by the time this happens it will be too late to save Europe but more importantly, the UK.

    2. Robert Christopher
      March 20, 2016

      The response of the Authorities is more frightening than the unrest and disturbances.

      It shows that we are headed for worse times unless there is a change of heart by our ‘leaders’.

  7. Horatio
    March 20, 2016

    In other news great to see the Norwegian pm say that brexit would not halt increasing Norwegian investment into UK and how the Canuks, Kiwis and Australians would like a visa free system with us, post brexit guaranteeing highly skilled labour. That’s definitely my kind of visa free zone.. similar cultures, languages and religion although they all have better educational and health care systems than us!

    Without all the cheap European labour we could employ more of our unemployed on higher wages (thank you Stuart Rose). A real positive vision of the future beginning to develop.

  8. Antisthenes
    March 20, 2016

    Brussels has allowed us to take VAT off tampons. If I was a cynic which I am I would have to say that the alacrity of them doing so is all about the referendum otherwise they would not have done it.

    Turkey should feel right at home in the EU they want to kill off democracy and Kurds, become a theocracy and have scant regard for human rights. Or perhaps not, no democracy is fine Brussels believes in that the rest though a bit iffy. Although the EU disapproves of human rights violation or their definition of it it does approve of abuse of power. That we see them doing on a regular basis; installing puppet governments, reneging on agreements and ignoring and/or suppressing opposition to their policies. Then of course there is Cyprus will it solve that problem? Maybe maybe not.

    There is no clarity on the visa issue as there is not on the deal DMC brokered which of course suits both the UK stayers and the EU. The latter because it allows the EU to perpetuate their abuse of power by allowing them to interpret the deals anyway they like as they already do with the EU treaties. The former because it hides the truth that the deal is worthless from the British public.

    1. Robert Christopher
      March 20, 2016

      It was the Turkish president that said that democracy was like a train journey – that they would use it until they arrived at their destination.

      1. APL
        March 22, 2016

        Turkey is not our ally! And should be expelled from NATO. We can’t afford to allow the Turks to provoke a confrontation between NATO and Russia.

        Just think how Islam would view a nuclear confrontation between largely Christian Russia and predominately Christian NATO! It would be as if all their Sundays had come at once.

  9. Mike Stallard
    March 20, 2016

    Mr Cameron is a very clever man with one of the best upbringings in the world. He has moved, all his life, among clever and charming people. He is one of the most privileged people in the whole world.
    So why is he supporting REMAIN?

    1. Mac
      March 20, 2016

      Mr Stallard,
      “Mr Cameron is a very clever man…”
      So cleaver, he could tell you the cubic capacity of a jar of pickles at a glance; but, sadly, has absolutely no idea how to get the lid off.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      Am am not at all sure he is that clever. A good presenter and remember of names and sound bites I agree. At A levels he did history of art, history and Economics with Politics then Oxford PPE. nothing too numerate, logical or scientific there.

      He has a chancellor who is barking completely up the wrong tree with higher tax rates, higher tax complexity and endless borrowing & government waste. He even instigated a happiness index (rarely heard about now), supports over priced green crap, unreliable energy subsidies and thinks you can improve things with a job destroying higher minimum wage. He even caused complete chaos in Libya. Not very much in the way of intelligence showing through to me. He promoted totally the wrong people in general Soubry, Huhne, Laws, Cable, Davey, Rudd, Warsi, Greg Clark, Ken Clark, Heseltine, Hammond …… Above all he thinks the EU is a good think but can give no reasons why and he thinks he will win the referendum. He will not I suspect.

      What he needs is a intelligent working compass like JR. He is just rather a misguided lefty actor/presenter in my books. He is quite good at that but it wears thin after the endless say one thing do the opposite agenda.

      1. APL
        March 22, 2016

        Mercia: “proposed Turkish entry in the EU”

        was a Thatcher innovation to scare the rest of the EU and to give her some leverage.

        Unfortunately it has now become Tory party policy and since the Tory party is implacably opposed to the interests of the British population has become an article of faith, not to be disputed.

    3. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      If Cameron is clever why is he supporting “remain” and yet he seems totally unable to put forward a single rational argument to defend this position?

      He could not enter a debate real on the issue as he would be demolished. He will only be interviewed by wet, on side interviewers like Marr.

      Cameron’s claims that outside the EU we could not control migration or would have to pay a fee to export to the EU are clearly absurd.

    4. Anonymous
      March 20, 2016

      Because – from his privileged and safe position – he and his family get to only experience the best of the EU.

      They cannot possibly understand what it is like to be in direct competition for everything with ordinary migrants.

      I was in Lincolnshire recently and asked of a man who used to drive mini buses for the English fruit pickers who used to do that work, why had it been taken by migrants and why weren’t the English prepared to do it ?

      He said they were prepared to live on site and pay the accommodation charges. So not only did the farmer not have to pay the van driver, he could also profit from a few cabins on site.

    5. oldtimer
      March 20, 2016

      Probably because he believes in supra national organisations above the nation state and, preferably, that control of those nation states be whittled away and replaced by an unelected, supra-national bureaucracy. And who better to play a part, or even better, to run such a supra national bureaucracy than a privileged elite of which he is a prominent member. I cannot think of a better explanation than this.

    6. Roy Grainger
      March 20, 2016

      Good question. I can only assume that it is because whenever he interacts with the EU he only ever meets people exactly like himself.

    7. old salt
      March 20, 2016

      Same as Blair I guess.

    8. Lifelogic
      March 21, 2016

      I am not sure Cameron is clever at all, in the sense of choosing a sensible direction of travel, an understanding of logic, real economics, engineering, science or maths. Clearly he has the gift of the gab and is good on his feet like a second photocopier or car salesman perhaps.

      Libya was far from clever. His Cast Iron Ratting cost him his first general election, he only won the second thanks to Ed Miliband and the dire threat of the SNP.

      What is clever about expensive intermittent green energy, employing Ed Davey or C Huhne or A Rudd, what is clever about saying we are cutting the taxes people pay then putting them all up, or promising £1M IHT thresholds then ratting on that?
      What is clever about absurdly high stamp duty or taxing landlords/tenants on profits they have not even made?

      His A levels in History of Art, History and Economics with Politics plus Oxford PPE do not inspire confidence. His selection of people to promote or A list has been dreadful in general. He renegotiation on the EU is a complete joke. Further he has backed the losing side in this referendum which is not very clever either.

      Give me someone with a sound working compass and lacking the gift of the gab in preference every time please. What is the use of a leader who leads you over the cliff as John Major did? Not that Major even had the gift of the gab nor even the decency to apologise.

  10. alan jutson
    March 20, 2016

    Syrian Refugee Policy and Turkey to become a member the EU.

    These reasons alone are good enough reasons to leave the EU.

    Note the silence from our so called leader Dave, who had to go begging again last week to get some movement on some VAT items, which he would never have got if we were not voting in June.

    Why do some MP’s still think we run our own Country ?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      What sort of a democracy cannot control its own borders, decided on its own energy policy, agree it own trade deal or fix the sales taxes on Tampons?

  11. Ex-expat Colin
    March 20, 2016

    RT reporting yesterday that the German Nuke companies taking Mutti Merkels Govt to court for forcing plant closures…popcorn/lunches anyone?

  12. JJE
    March 20, 2016

    Is it true that the Chilcot report has been finished and delivered to the PM but that he plans to delay publication until after the referendum?
    If so, that is entirely disgraceful and cannot possibly be tolerated.

    1. oldtimer
      March 20, 2016

      This was reported in the |Daily Telegraph yesterday, source Downing Street.

  13. stred
    March 20, 2016

    JR. You keep finding all these problematic facts and asking awkward questions. It is surprising that Eural hasn’t offered you the vacant cabinet position. Hasn’t he heard the saying about tents and urination?

  14. formula57
    March 20, 2016

    Surely no-one serious believes either that the Turks are going to actually do anything in return for the EUR 6 billion bribe nor that the EU is going to grant membership to Turkey. Is the supposed deal not all about face-saving for Merkel and buying time in the hope something will turn up?

    Meanwhile, there is a new business opportunity opened up to sell Turkish passports (and thereby get access to the EU) to Syrians el al now in Turkey, at least for any official with good enough connections and bad enough morals.

  15. brian
    March 20, 2016

    We may not get a referendum on Turkey’s membership of the EU but our government can veto it or put down conditions such as requiring that Turkey does not join until it achieves a greater GDP per capita.

  16. The Prangwizard
    March 20, 2016

    Is this another case where Cameron doesn’t tell lies, he just sees things differently?

  17. Tony Harrison
    March 20, 2016

    The very idea of Turkey’s being admitted to the EU is beyond grotesque. It is almost inconceivable that this Muslim country, nearly all of which is in Asia Minor not Europe, with 75 million+ inhabitants, should ever have been considered for membership. That it has reflects not only the desperate incompetence of the EU’s leadership but some sort of cultural death-wish. The fact that our own Prime Minister has supported Turkey’s admission, and continues to do so, is possibly the biggest single reason for wanting him to go away and never return.
    It seems to me that this issue should be highlighted as much as any other, in the pre-referendum debates. Surely the mass of English people cannot be happy about the consequences of staying in an EU that includes Turkey? It would offend against all reason and common sense.

  18. rick hamilton
    March 20, 2016

    The Leave side only have to focus on the VAT issue where Brussels dictates what the UK government may or may not levy, to convince millions of waverers that this massive fraud perpetrated on the British taxpayers must end.

    The worst part is that most people have no idea who the ‘Brussels’ pests actually are. The BBC has utterly failed to educate their audience on the who, where, what and why of the EU. They interrogate the likes of Farage like a criminal but almost never manage to get an EU spokesman in for a thorough dressing down.

    As for Turkey, I pointed out in a recent post (not published) that if the UK leaves and Turkey joins, the EU will have about 20% Muslims. With their higher birthrate this will (word left out ed) change the nature of European society within two generations. Is that in any way the European dream?

  19. Bert Young
    March 20, 2016

    Turkey is not Europe no matter from any point of view . They have found a way of blackmailing the EU and will now exploit it to the full . Cyprus is the key and will , hopefully , prevent further development . The history of Europe shows what the attitude of Russia would be if Turkey obtained a closer relationship , so , if the USA is more interested in keeping a quiet Putin , they will use their influence and prevent further development . On the other hand most US foreign policy has been a shambles and they may get this one wrong .

    1. The Prangwizard
      March 20, 2016

      Turkey was once called ASIA MINOR, it is perverse to consider it as part of Europe.

  20. Paul Cohen
    March 20, 2016

    Mr Cameron has some explaining to do.

    His imperious manner is beginning to grate, when asked questions he will always ignore it, and instead veer into a prepared statement, when delivered will walk off rapidly.

    His recent odyssey to the heads of various states was not a great success, not helped by his announcing his intention to stay with the EU in advance, resulting in some weak agreements which can be unpicked at a later date -” thin gruel” indeed and not to be relied on.

    He said that in the event a proper acceptable agreement is not reached, he would state a preference and recommend to leave the EU – we hear nothing from him now on this, nor a reason for his now apparent enthusiasm to remain.

  21. oldtimer
    March 20, 2016

    I thought I heard Mr Osborn say, in a TV interview in the past couple of weeks, that the UK could still veto Turkish membership. Is this correct?

    It is my understanding that the position of Mr Cameron and the present government is to support Turkey’s membership of the EU. Is this correct?

    1. James Matthews
      March 20, 2016

      Yes Osborne did say that, I think during an interview with Andrew Marr, attempting to gull people into believing that Turkish membership of the EU is a very distant prospect and that the UK Government would not accept Turkish membership unless there was either so much economic convergence that Turks would see no great advantage in coming to the UK, or Britain secured an exception to freedom of movement.

      However,the operative word is “could”. Pressed by Marr several times on whether Britain WOULD veto Turkish membership if neither of these conditions were met he repeatedly sidestepped giving an unequivocal answer.

      I believe the answer to your second question is also yes.

    2. Richard
      March 22, 2016

      Here’s a short video from October 2015 in the HoC where Cameron commits to wanting to help Turkey with EU membership.

  22. Dennis
    March 20, 2016

    “There can be no opt out for the UK when it comes to possible Turkish membership of the EU.”

    ” One of the failings of William Hague’s Referendum Act was it does not give the UK people a vote on new members joining the EU,..”

    What? I have heard many, many times that a single state vote not to admit a new member is all that is required to stop it. The vote has to be unanimous. What has changed or all those speakers wrong?

    Reply The UK can veto a new member . I am talking about the need for a U, referendum on it.

    1. old salt
      March 20, 2016
      A must read from William Hague but briefly: without full membership: a kind of associate membership. Membership of the single market and participation in Europe’s trade deals with the rest of the world, but without full freedom of movement of people, no linking of criminal justice systems, not be committed to “ever-closer union”, and there would be no question of joining the euro.

      Reply Such a relationship not asked for by him when he was Foreign Secretary!

  23. Dennis
    March 20, 2016

    Also on the Sunday Politics today Nick Watts said that as France will veto Turkey’s entrance that will stop it. Is he wrong or is JR wrong?

  24. Yosarion
    March 20, 2016

    I see John Major has tried predicting Armageddon if we leave the EUSSR, may I ask that all those wishing to leave should remind the Man who took us into the ERM at every opportunity of his previous dubious at best, future predictions.

  25. ian
    March 20, 2016

    I do not see how the ex works and pensions minister can say that he can do better job outside the cabinet than inside and also supporting the party and PM, how does that work john.

  26. Roy Grainger
    March 20, 2016

    John -I read that after Croatia all other countries wanting to join have to be approved by a referendum in France. Any truth in that ?

  27. Antisthenes
    March 20, 2016

    The lie fest is intensifying. IDS’s resignation is taking it to new highs with points scoring in close second place. For the likes of me it is frightening to watch grown ups act like kids especially as those grown ups make up our government, parliament and our political system. It appears that both the Conservatives and Labour are tearing themselves apart at a time when we need a considerable degree of stability. The world is in a mess as Obama and the EU have gone about their business they have sown discord everywhere. Built an environment that favours mayhem and made the world a much more dangerous place.

    All the politicians of the world are doing things which they probably always have but now the scrutiny is greater and and their shenanigans are being exposed like never before. In the long run it is probably a very good thing as they will change their behaviour for the better. Until then chaos will run supreme and trust in politicians will go even lower than it is now. We have only ourselves to blame for listening to their siren voices when they promise us everything our hearts desire and who can blame us for it. Then to vote them into office only give us in the end heartbreak.

  28. Ian Wragg
    March 20, 2016

    I bet Dave has agreed to Turkey having unlimited access to the whole of the EU. It will be interesting to see what the East Europeans do. Mind you the Turks won’t want to go to Bulgaria or Romania when they can flood Britain. No doubt they will all have EHIC cards so we have to wait 6 weeks for a doctors appointment.
    This is very good for the Leave camp.

  29. ian
    March 20, 2016

    Wet & mad policy has 90% support in the con party, they all believe in the same thing.

  30. forthurst
    March 20, 2016

    A totally bizarre deal: only someone who is clearly bonkers could even begin to contemplate it; take a bow,…. Merkel. Her response to emotionally charged issues are flawed at the most fundamental level since it is based on emotion itself and not reasoned analysis. Take her response to Fukushima, power stations which were built close to a fault line, below the level of a previous sunami, a design which would go into meltdown without constant cooling fluid circulation and with the subsequently established inability to connect to an external auxilliary power supply because of slovenly incompetence and lastly with spent fuel stored in tanks directly above the power plants. Did any of this apply in Germany? To all of them? Then why did she shut them all down? Now we have the Turkey ‘deal’. Is Turkey supporting terrorism in Syria thereby prolonging the war and facilitating the activities of genocidal maniacs thereby causing the refugee exodus in the first place; has a Turkish national (ahem) been purchasing pirated oil from terrorists thereby financing their activities? Has Turkey been treating its Kurdish minority with kid gloves? Has Turkey been attacking Kurds outside Turkey e.g. in Syria, Iraq? Is Turkey a safe place for Syrian refugees? If not now, what has changed? Has Turkey been allowing foreign economic migrants to enter and pass through Turkey in order to be shipped by people traffickers into Europe (Turkey is not in Europe). Should bad behaviour by Turkey be rewarded? Does this not set a very bad example? Are the countries of the EU incapable of mounting a blockade of Turkey and Libya to interdict traffickers’ transports? If not, why not? Who apart from the not English CMD wants Turkey in the EU?

  31. ChrisS
    March 20, 2016

    I am writing this from Austria having crossed from Germany by car yesterday. There were no signs of any additional border police activity on the Autobahn in either direction.

    Turning to the subject being discussed, the visa-free entry for Turkish citizens, if it does apply to the UK and/or Ireland it would certainly be very much in CMD’s interest to hide this from us until after the referendum. I suspect that even with the likely connivance of Brussels, it will prove impossible to prevent MEPs from obtaining the definitive answer.

    Clearly if we are exempt, this has to be stated in writing in some official document or other. Failure to produce such a document is all the proof we need. Even then can we rely on it !
    Dave’s old friend Junckers could just get his tame Brussels lawyers to declare the exception another example of a “Political Agreement” and ignore it.

    These days can we really trust anything that isn’t very clearly enshrined in a Treaty ?
    My instinct is No. CMD and his government is far too deeply committed to the EU to be trusted to uphold Britain’s best interests, just like the Coalition and Labour before
    it. We just know that if the referendum is lost, they will stretch and bend every rule to avoid any future referendum on any form of Treaty change, declaring that any powers given up are minor. They will certainly not give us a say on Turkish assession.

    If we lose, is there anyone in power we can really rely on ?

    The depressing answer is no.

    1. bluedog
      March 20, 2016

      Correct. Without a change of government to one that puts the interest of the British people first, we’re on a wild ride to oblivion.

    2. Richard
      March 22, 2016

      Can we even trust things enshrined in a Treaty? My understanding is that the bailing out of EU member states by other states is explicitly forbidden in the relevant EU treaty.

  32. Tom William
    March 20, 2016

    In today’s Sunday Telegraph we have the former Conservative Prime Minister, who refused to hold a referendum on the EU in 1997, putting forward arguments for staying in the EU which are superficial, inaccurate and would be marked down for an A level essay – eg “Great Britain or Little Britain”. Not really surprising for someone who thought Maastricht was a great triumph and was an enthusiast for ERM.

    At his first cabinet meeting as PM he is reputed to have said “well, who would have thought it?”. Indeed.

  33. ian
    March 20, 2016

    The welfare state was set up for the disabled and the poor but in the small print it included everyone, now we have people in retirement getting the old age pension and the perk that come with it on 600/ 700 pounds week after tax and people on thousands a week after tax and claim disable benefits in retirement on more money from government and councils and when their partner dies who was disabled they carry on receiving the money in some cases because they say they have a custom to it.

    It all depends who you are and who you have work for, as for lords getting 300 pounds a day when they are millionaire and other perks cannot be right it should be their duty if they want to serve with out payment.

    We have people who are getting old age pension with perks, occupational work place pension, government works pensions, PMs pensions,union pensions,private pensions, EU pensions, trusts that pay no tax, now 2 million tax free in private pension that can be handed down tax free, no end of perks if your in the know and some people are claiming the lot and working in to their eighties and claim the lot.

    People putting all their pension to be paid offshore so they pay no tax on them and we have government look for gifts to given out.
    There one thing in having something against the rich and a another thing taking the people for a ride.

  34. ian
    March 20, 2016

    I forgot the 25% cash payment on most of these pension tax free.

  35. ian
    March 20, 2016

    Their kids under 40 years old are getting more perks than ever with housing and pensions all coming out of taxes that the poor pay, at a time when the debt is out of control on top, surly all these housing gimmicks should be cut back to pay off the debt and as for pension and taxes break for the young shouldn’t they all get the same not just the few or none a tall at this time considering where we are with the economy.

    What I mean is there is a time and a place for these things but must included everybody.

  36. acorn
    March 20, 2016

    “I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest”. (IDS).

    I couldn’t put it better myself. Osborne is operating a Dickensian version of Gold Standard economics. The Gold Standard ceased to exist, finally, in 1971. That is how far out of date this government is. The budget deficit and the accumulated budget deficits, known as the national debt, are irrelevant at times like these. The debt to GDP ratio is also meaningless.

    The whole of the government’s, so called, national debt; is Pound for Pound equivalent to the non-government sectors savings. So if you want to reduce the national debt, send all your Gilts; NS&I savings bonds and cash notes, wherever you are saving / holding on to them, back to the Treasury.

    Fortunately, you are not going to do that. Even worse for Osbo’, every time he spends his own money (creates new fiscal assets) into the non-government sector, every day; you buggers don’t let Osbo’ get it back in taxes and reduce his deficit, because you don’t spend enough of it. You keep saving it, for rainy days and the chance a P45 will turn up in your household. Mind you, compared to the Japanese we are spendthrifts.

    As I said before on this site, Osborne is a far greater threat to the UK economy than Brexit. It is doubtful that the Conservative or Labour Party, has anyone, who knows how to use a fiat currency system as a tool, to maximise the use of both labour and capital resources.

    We need some new politics, preferably consisting of system design engineers and fiat currency accountants.

  37. Iain gill
    March 20, 2016

    Just let anyone in, Isis fighters, the poor of India and Africa…

    Don’t worry the liberal elite say that will be fine.

  38. Phil Richmond
    March 20, 2016

    Very few in Westminster actually understand that they are there to serve the people. When was this mass migration ever put to the people for approval? Even Cameron when he mentioned it in a manifesto just lied and said with his weasel words that immigration would come down to the 10s of thousands. Lies lies lies! No Tory MPs challenged him on this and he was allowed to get away with it.
    I wish we had Conservative MPs in Parliament who actually think that saying the right thing is enough rather than actually DOING something. Fight for your Country/Party. Remove Cameron/Osborne and all their sycophants – Soubry/ Hammond/ Morgan etc. You have the members on side!

    1. Lifelogic
      March 20, 2016

      He must have know he had no power at all to limit immigration and indeed with his non deal we still have no controls at all. It will grow and grow if we remain in.

  39. ian
    March 20, 2016

    Letting in million of people is alright as long as it not affect you as it is to have morals as long as you can afford them.

  40. Edward.
    March 20, 2016

    This latest deal with the Turks, some EU stitch-up is a perfect window onto, an exemplary model of just how the EU works and how it does not work for furthering the interests, defence welfare and security of the UK. If, nay WHEN visa restrictions are lifted (in June – the 24th maybe?) for Turkish citizens there are only two countries Turks will desire to travel to, one is Germany and the other is can you guess? Alas – Brussels knows this very well and yet they have signed up to it, stuff to the British is the theme.

    I fear very greatly that, the UK media blessed with the attention span that would challenge a gnat. A UK paparazzi, discombobulated and bedazzled as ever by the arcane and endless ennui of minutiae therein, involving EU diktats and thus hacks and hackettes bored beyond words at done deals sorted, stamped and delivered fomented. An agreement, made real, facilitated by, a German leader and enacted by those various Brussels Kommissars in alliance with the <strike.forbears of the Ottomans Erdogan’s Premiership.
    What with, the British media navel gazing at some other local difficulty in some domestic political party or other. Thus, once more this very significant deal with those erstwhile (new?) Ottomans Ankara regime – will be unnoticed until the guesstimations of immigration are published in 2017 – ‘people’ – we’ll notice of course but HMG and the administration will whistle in surprise, “well fancy that – eh?” they’ll wing it.
    As they did with the eastern Europeans, the press will be late to the event, way and very long after the horses did bolt…………. and as ever.

    The media are controlled, as is Westminster and Brussels dictates, it’s been like that since the late 60’s – yes: before we were forced marched in.

  41. bluedog
    March 20, 2016

    Off topic but of critical importance Dr JR, is the proposed merger of the LSE and Deutsche Boerse. The head of DB is quoted as saying that if the merger does not proceed, the UK’s financial markets will fall under US control.

    Right then, the cat is out of the bag.

    Implicitly, it is only under enlightened German kontrol that the LSE will be safe, and this is not a merger but a takeover. Since when has any partnership with Germany not seen the Germans appoint themselves as the senior partners? Given the central role of financial services in the British economy, it seems utterly insane to allow the management and ownership of British financial markets to be transferred to Frankfurt. Within a few years, that’s where the entire business will be relocated.

    Presumably Cameron will wave the merger through on orders from Merkel.

    Reply Under the terms of the bid The German buyers have a majority of the shares

    1. bluedog
      March 21, 2016

      Reply to reply. It is to be hoped that HM Treasury is aware of the implications for the UK’s largest source of tax revenue. If losing the financial markets to Germany cannot be prevented by virtue of some EU edict, this takeover is yet another reason for Brexit. If the bid is ratified before Brexit, that approval needs to be reversed post Brexit, precedence be damned.

      One can see where the EU is heading, and it’s a two pronged strategy. Firstly cripple the City with EU regulation, then buy the key infrastructure, then reverse the regulation so that Frankfurt is the undisputed financial capital of Europe.

  42. Ken Moore
    March 20, 2016

    Recently CMD made a big fuss saying he would not pay the Eu’s demands for extra money…before promptly paying up in full.
    I suspect it will be a similar story with the Turkish visa issue… tough then when the fuss dies down cave in. That is Cameron’s modus operandi.
    He is the ultimate schemer and political liar.

  43. Monty
    March 20, 2016

    “The UK government keeps saying this does not apply to the UK. ”

    Forgive my persistence Mr R, but could we have a name to go with that? In particular, WHO in the Government has given Parliament that assurance? Because wouldn’t the misleading of Parliament be a rather serious matter?

  44. adam
    March 23, 2016

    Words left out ed

    Less than a week before the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of possible bombings in European cities, including Brussels.

    “There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara could not explode in Brussels, or in any other European city,” Erdogan declared during a ceremony commemorating the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli in the coastal town of Canakkale on March 18.

    “The snakes you are sleeping with can bite you at any time,” Erdogan added.

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