A letter to America

On Tuesday night I was asked to speak at a dinner to commemorate the partnership of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. I spoke as usual without notes or text, but seek to recreate some of that speech here.

Our two countries are united by our history. Together and sometimes apart, usually in concert but sometimes at odds with each other, our two nations have pursued liberty. First England established rights to a fair trial, equality under the law and habeas corpus through Magna Carta. Next we established Parliamentary control over the Crown through the Restoration settlement and the Bill of Rights. At the end of the eighteenth century America took up the pursuit of liberty, and through her War of Independence produced some of the great literature of freedom and the immortal words of the US Constitution. In tandem in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries both nations pushed on to votes for all adults, a wider range of civil liberties and more general tolerance for how citizens chose to live their lives.

As an Englishman I admire the achievements of the leaders of the US War of Independence as I do of the Parliamentarians in England who over centuries made royal power more accountable. Britain was wrong to treat the American colonists as she did.

Each generation has to fight for freedom, for there are always siren voices wanting government to take back power from people, and there are always enemies of freedom in tyrannies around the world. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher won the Cold War. Their resolve and Mr Gorbachev’s vision made possible the liberation of Eastern Europe from communism without a shot being fired.

Our generation in the UK has to win back our democratic independence from the EU.

To our guests from America I say try to explain to your President that we are fighting our war of Independence. Fortunately we don’t have to fight our EU war with muskets and cannon . We are fighting it through this referendum and we wish to have our democracy back. Our right of self government has been gravely damaged by our membership in the European Union. Those rights that we thought were inalienable and are part of the pursuit of happiness and the development of freedom have been taken away from us and given to Brussels bureaucrats. As proud inheritors of the English speaking tradition of freedom under the law and accountable government through elected assemblies we now need to resume our rights to govern ourselves in the UK.

We presently have to broker our laws with 27 other countries. We now have to send large sums of money to the European Union we don’t get back which they choose to spend. We run a kind of overseas aid system to rich countries on the continent of Europe. Why are we doing that? We would like to spend that money ourselves on our priorities. We are very conscious our defence alliance needs America and needs NATO and not the European Union which is trying to supplant it is part. It is in danger of creating a wedge between natural allies across the atlantic who have often made common cause.

To Americans who say we should stay in the EU I ask this question. If making laws by agreement with the neighbours is such a good idea, why doesn’t the USA merge with Cuba, Mexico and Canada and show us how it can be done easily and in a democratic manner? If sharing revenues and expenditures with other countries is such a good idea, why doesn’t the USA has a common budget with Cuba and Mexico?

It is time once again to defend our freedoms, restore our rights, and keep in mind that shining light of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


  1. Mark B
    April 7, 2016

    Good morning.

    Our so called war of independence may not be fought without musket and cannon, but absorption into the EU was done without ever asking the people of the UK.

    The EU is not the problem, it is just a symptom of the real problem. The problem being, the lack of REAL democracy in the UK. We have achieved much, but there is still someway to go on this.

  2. alan jutson
    April 7, 2016


    May I ask, what was the response from those present.

    Reply Support and agreement

    1. alan jutson
      April 7, 2016


      Pleased to hear it.

  3. The Active Citizen
    April 7, 2016

    Good Lord, I would love to have been there. Simply excellent. In what you’ve summarised in your article you speak for so many. Inspirational stuff from you once again.

    We need to get this article across the Atlantic. I’ll have a go at this later today.

    1. alan jutson
      April 7, 2016


      Already sent a copy to some American contacts.

      1. Bob
        April 7, 2016


        “Already sent a copy to some American contacts.”

        Are they eligible to participate in the referendum?

        1. alan jutson
          April 8, 2016


          I would not think so, unless they are British citizens on extended holiday and have a registered for a postal vote, but they can forward onto others who may have some political contacts over there, who may be completely ignorant of the real facts, and who may have a kind word in their Presidents ear (who is due to visit here shortly)

          Never know your luck, always pays to circulate information to interested parties when it is well written..

  4. Antisthenes
    April 7, 2016

    Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher came across for me as decent, intelligent and principled people. Those who vilify them are those who cannot say the same about themselves. Their passing was a loss to the world and their calibre of leadership is sadly missing in today’s turbulent world. You worked with Margaret Thatcher I would be surprised if you did not endorse my opinion.

    We have had a special relationship with the USA the Reagan era was one that epitomised that. The same cannot be said about Obama’s term in office it is not so good now. He has his reasons to not look on the UK kindly. The world is a less safe place because of him and the EU both have policies that have made it such. Both are also guilty of making the economies of their domains less secure and diminished the rights and liberties of their people.

    Violent crime rates are rising in both regions. In the USA because under Obama and the democrats race relations have taken a turn for the worse. Rising crime is most prevalent in Cities and areas controlled by them. Chicago Obama’ home town has an epidemic of gun crime. The EU crime rate is now rising because of the increasing number of immigrants arriving with jihadists amongst them. Likewise the USA as people from the South pour in. They are both giving us a legacy that is going to bring us great harm in the future.

    The USA and Europe are no longer the great democracies and power houses and a beacon to the rest of the world as they used to be. A Trump or a Clinton cannot fix that as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher could in fact like the EU they will make things considerably worse.

  5. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2016

    Excellent. So what are Obama’s real reasons, is it just that our government have asked him to make some statements urging people to vote “remain”. We also got such instructions from Australia I understand.

    Matt Ridley also has a good take on the issue.


    I still feel sure the UK will vote “leave” but you can still get 2:1 odds on Brexit!

    1. bluedog
      April 7, 2016

      ‘We also got such instructions from Australia I understand.’ No instructions on Google. Former Australian PM John Howard OM is on record as saying the UK should Leave.

  6. Shieldsman
    April 7, 2016

    Are we in a DICTATORSHIP?
    EU referendum: Government to spend £9m of taxpayers’ money on leaflets warning of ‘damage’ Brexit would cause.
    Use of the word Government is a misnomer. It is a decision by the PM to use taxpayers money to print and promulgate PROPAGANDA in furtherance of his own personal aim and that of his PUPPET MASTERS to keep the UK in the EU.

    His recommendation to stay in a reformed EU is a confidence trick. Nothing changed on his visit to Brussels, no Treaty changes were made therefore the other 27 member states carry on working as before. Carving out a separate world for the UK is a myth.
    The EU is not working we will change it, did not happen.
    Mass migration to Europe and to the UK from the EU is still taking place.

    1. getahead
      April 8, 2016

      Are we in a DICTATORSHIP?
      Certainly tin-pot Cameron thinks so.

  7. agricola
    April 7, 2016

    Perfectly put, I home Obama has the wisdom to take it on board and back of if he ever turns up before 23rd June.

    You now need to address the outrageous spending of £9 Million of tax payers money on a piece of vacuous propaganda from Cameron as to why the EU is the promised land. I have two pages awaiting the signal.

  8. agricola
    April 7, 2016

    Sorry, home should be hope.

  9. Alan
    April 7, 2016

    I don’t think that Mr Redwood is fighting the American War of Independence. He is fighting the American Civil War – on the side of the Confederates. I hope he loses.

    The USA is itself a union of states that joined together to make something greater than each could have achieved independently. If we could build something equivalent in Europe most people would be very pleased and would enjoy the increased wealth.

    1. ian wragg
      April 7, 2016

      They all support the same government and elect the President and representatives. English is the language of business and government.
      There are no similarities with the Soviet inspired EU.

      1. Alan
        April 7, 2016

        Actually I don’t think they did all speak the same language when the United States was established, and they do not all speak the same language now. They don’t all support their government and president. There are many similarities with the EU which is not Soviet inspired.

        1. qubus
          April 8, 2016

          Actually, I understand that they had a vote on the matter: should the language of the USA be English or Spanish (or was it German)? Fortunately, they decided on English!

    2. alan jutson
      April 7, 2016


      “If we could build something similar……..”

      You may wish to share your bank account and tax contributions with some of them, afraid I do not.

      1. Alan
        April 7, 2016

        What are you talking about? There is no possibility of us having to share bank accounts.

        1. alan jutson
          April 8, 2016


          If we bail out or financially support another EU Country, then our Government uses our taxpayers money to do so.

          My taxpayer money already supports many areas of the UK, if my taxes have to go up to support ever more Countries, then it stands to reason that I have less to spend on myself and my family, thus my bank account suffers from having less disposable income.

          Given that tax is taken at source there is not much I can do about it.

          Simple really.

    3. Denis Cooper
      April 7, 2016

      So you would wish away our national sovereignty and have us legally subordinated in a sovereign, federal, United States of Europe.

      Well, fine, you’re entitled to your view, if you don’t care about the sovereignty of our national Parliament then you don’t care about the sovereignty of our national Parliament, that’s all there is to it, and so you should get out and tell as many people as possible that this is why you want to stay in the EU.

      At least you are being honest about it, unlike most of the 3% or so of the British people who agree with you; including some, but not all, of those who are actively campaigning to keep us in the EU, for example our Prime Minister.

      With respect to the US Civil War, the argument for war that Lincoln presented to Congress on July 4th 1861:


      was entirely spurious, based upon a false historical account, as indeed is your own argument that JR is now engaged in a civil war.

      1. Alan
        April 7, 2016

        I do care about sovereignty and the power to affect our future. We will have more influence on the future of Europe if we are in the EU than if we are outside. We will be richer and more powerful, more able to act in our own and others interests. Do you imagine that, say, Massachusetts would be a powerful independent nation if it had not joined the USA at the start?

        It was Mr Redwood who compared the present situation to fighting a civil war (i.e. The American War of Independence). I only picked up the analogy. I am not accusing Mr Redwood of being engaged in a civil war.

        Reply California or one of the other big states of the USA would indeed be a powerful independent country if that had been its choice

        1. Know-dice
          April 8, 2016

          When we joined the Common Market in 1973 we were one of eight countries. We and all other members states had an absolute veto over decisions made.

          We are now one of twenty eight with “qualified majority voting”, please explain how you think this gives us any useful say over how the EU will affect us in the UK.

          Especially consider that most of the countries that have joined the EU in recent years have economies running at a lower level than the UK and will always need to subsidised by the so called “richer” countries.

          So how will this happen?

          We will be richer and more powerful, more able to act in our own and others interests.

  10. JoeSoap
    April 7, 2016

    Unfortunately you belong to a party in government which is willing to piss money away on propaganda to save Dave s skin. Why are you in with these wastrels?

  11. mick
    April 7, 2016

    I see the project fear as gone up a knotch, at the tax payers expence,
    When are the outers going to stop playing by the Queensberry rules and take the gloves off, we have one shot at this and so we cannot afford to be polite anymore start playing dirty because you won`t be thanked for it after the 23rd of june if the lying inners win

    1. oldtimer
      April 7, 2016

      Paul Goodman has a good article on this here:http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2016/04/splashing-taxpayers-cash-on-pro-eu-propaganda-harms-the-government-and-the-conservative-party.html

      The charitable view is that Mr Cameron is playing hardball; the uncharitable view is that he is playing dirty. I tend to the latter view. He is silly because it is so obvious and because, if Remain wins, he will be charged with corrupting the referendum and the matter will not be allowed to rest there.

  12. Denis Cooper
    April 7, 2016

    Somewhat off-topic:

    Minister for Europe David Lidington speaking in the Commons on September 7th 2015, during the debate on the EU referendum act, at Column 89 here:


    “Let me repeat that we have no intention of legislating to allow the Government to do things such as mailshots, paid advertising or leafleting.”

    1. Timaction
      April 7, 2016

      Cameron and Osborne simply must go. You cant believe a word they say or any of their promises or boasts. Panama still has legs to run and expose!

    2. The Active Citizen
      April 7, 2016

      Oh you little beauty Denis! As ever you manage to come up with a gem from the written record.

      I have a feeling that Facts4eu are going to add this on their new ‘Project Fear’ page which is all about the Government’s latest piece of propaganda: http://facts4eu.org/facts/project_fear.htm 🙂

      1. graham1946
        April 7, 2016

        My pamphlet, (because at 14 pages, it certainly can’t be called a leaflet), when it arrives is going straight back in the post marked ‘Not Wanted – Return to Sender’

        I suggest everyone does the same and shows CMD what we think of his shennanigans.

    3. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2016

      A typical statement & probably technically true (as they did not need legislation to slant the field anyway) but surely designed to mislead.

      They are getting desperate and it will get worse. I suspect Cameron’s mail shot will misfire anyway. No one thinks cheap flights, free trade and roaming cost depend on membership of the anti-democratic EU. The leaflet is a pathetic joke.

    4. Anonymous
      April 8, 2016

      The government has no mandate to be pro EU.

      It didn’t electioneer on a pro EU ticket. Nowhere on its campaign literature did it feature the EU flag.

      In fact the Conservative party offered a referendum – and on that offer of a referendum it won an unexpected majority.

      We can assume the only people who want a referendum are those who want to vote out, so a lot of Tory voters elected Mr Cameron’s government because they want to leave the EU. Why would anyone happy to remain in the EU want a referendum ?

      So on what grounds is the Government spending 9 million pounds on pro EU literature ?

      I would bet that most of their voters are Eurosceptic.

  13. oldtimer
    April 7, 2016

    Nicely put.

    But will Obama listen? Not a chance!

    April 7, 2016

    We should have a kind of Thanksgiving Day for American English; in fact, English.
    It was an ITN broadcaster, surely it must have been earlier than the late 70s, who told us “The Americans have invented ANOTHER new word ( obligatory and customary sarcastic smile ). The word is: ‘Update’..It means… (smile ) that….when they want to say (smile)…that….” .
    There then followed an erudite explanation of ‘Update’ running into 40 words or more without a trace of irony… followed by a sarcastic smile.
    This was at a time when America was adding to the global English vocabulary at a rate of 30,000 words per year. British commentators attributed this awesome growth in thinking and expression to American scientists needing to create new words so they could name “things they saw down their microscopes and via other technological innovations across the board.”
    One recalls wordy debates on UK TV too with invited grammarians lamenting how our language was falling apart and that Grammar should be taught as it used to be taught in British schools. They were right. But our adherence to certain forms of expression, in my opinion, sucked and still sucks.
    Germans and the French in the EU are very reluctant to accept “Anglo-Saxon” words and phrases into their languages. Pride. National pride. Leaving they and their developmental thinking and usage dead in the water. Stumped.
    The EU in terms of thinking, democracy, and individuality has taken us back in time and is holding us back.

  15. Ian Wragg
    April 7, 2016

    Having been in America and worked in the Middle East with many Americans I find them a puzzling race. Very few are entrepreneurial and the majority cannot think out of the box.
    They all think that they are the greatest and the rest of the world should follow their example.
    The USA would never join an outfit like the EU but would encourage us to stay as it hobbles our industry.

    1. libertarian
      April 8, 2016

      Ian Wragg

      ha ha ha that is the funniest post ever. Having worked for both British and US companies and being English yet having lived and worked in different parts of the US i can tell you for a fact that more Americans are entrepreneurial than Brits, that US culture celebrates business whilst British culture sneers and the vast majority of UK companies are so stuck in a rut dinosaur like that it makes the jurassic look modern. In technology terms remind me of the British tech companies leading the field in computers, smartphones, indeed social media .

      The only bit of your post that is accurate is the last sentence

      1. Allen
        April 9, 2016

        “leading the field in computers, smartphones, indeed social media .

        And all these people are Americans, are they? I’d say SE Asia is the powerhouse these days.

  16. Bob
    April 7, 2016

    So Mr Cameron has decided that the government will run a “Remain” campaign additional to the official “Remain” campaign with a budget not governed by the official spending limits and funded by it’s victims.

    Mr Redwood, did you honestly believe that he would play a straight bat, after the way he broke the spending limits to block ukip last May. He has form.

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    April 7, 2016

    Hoping that the current £9M junket is not a biased document dump. And having a good minister resign over money (budget/disabled) recently this could be yet another nail in the Tory Govt head.

    Whats wrong with Govt website to list the facts and bits of paper applied for by individuals..why blanket paper bombing?

    1. ian wragg
      April 7, 2016

      If it’s on the Government website it has to be factual. Most of the document is subjective propaganda.
      They would be done for lying.

  18. Cheshire Girl
    April 7, 2016

    I lived in California in the days of ‘Ronnie and Maggie’ (as they were affectionately called). There was a joke that they had a ‘lovefest’.

    What I remember most about that time, is that there was a sense of optimism, that seems to be sorely missing now. Although I know it’s not wise to hark back to things that are in the past, I would love to feel that sense of optimism now, both for the USA and for those here in the UK.

    Please forgive my ramblings.

  19. John Bracewell
    April 7, 2016

    I like the analogy with Mexico and Cuba and why not a few more less wealthy countries like Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia and another 18 countries so that the USA and EU have a similar number of countries. See if the USA would do that without expecting the US Government to call the shots, it would be an eye opener to see the USA cope with Cuba as an equal in any voting arrangements within the new United Americas club.
    Getting through to the American President that we in the UK decide our future without USA help/interference is a forlorn task. He appears to believe the hype that he is the most powerful man in the world and everyone should do as he says. Unfortunately for him even many of his own citizens have seen through his rhetoric and the euphoria at his initial election has largely disappeared. He will make no difference to how UK people vote in the EU referendum except a possible small increase in the Leave vote due to the annoyance his interference in UK affairs will bring.

  20. Denis Cooper
    April 7, 2016

    Again somewhat off-topic, Richard North as an interesting blog article about the regulation of cabbages having been quietly transferred from the EU to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE:


    “But, on 5 December 2008, the 1987 Regulation was then repealed … Remarkably, there was no replacement standard, ostensibly bringing to an end 43 years of EU cabbage regulation.

    However, this was not the case. With the 2008 regulation came what amounted to a revolution in the way the Commission was organising the fruit and vegetable sector … Rather than set these standards as it had done in the past, for all but a few products, it stated:

    “In order to avoid unnecessary barriers to trade, where specific marketing standards are to be laid down for individual products, these standards should be those as set out in the standards adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) … ”

    In other words, the Commission was not in any way abandoning the “cabbage regulation” … It was simply outsourcing its marketing standards to Geneva, where UNECE had been hard at work producing a whole range of them. For cabbages, it had UNECE standard FFV-09, “concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of headed cabbages”.”

    Going on from which Richard North points out that if we left the EU:

    “…. As fully paid-up members of the WTO and UNECE, we would be applying the UNECE regulations in preference to our own. But there would be a difference. Within UNECE, all EU Member States vote as a block, in accordance with a pre-determined common position. We have no independent vote. But outside the EU, we recover our right to vote independently … Only outside the EU could British officials take full part in deciding the intricacies of cabbage regulations”.

    But of course it’s not just cabbages, it’s potentially everything which is covered by EU Single Market trading rules; and that is why it is arguable that outside the EU Norway actually has more say over the EU laws it is obliged to accept under the EEA agreement than it would have if it was in the EU.

  21. stred
    April 7, 2016

    When Obama was first elected the US was discussed here. I had been in Washington and watching the C Span politics programme for a week, as the other TV was so bad. I came to the conclusion that if you put (anyone ed) in the White House, it wouldn’t make much difference. There is a TV programme here at the moment on his record after 2 stints and he seems to have come to the same conclusion. Everything he has tried has been blocked.

    Perhaps he thinks he will have more influence coming over here and telling us how to vote. I gather he wishes the US system was more like the EU, where the presidents are unelected and they just do what they want without opposition.

    As to his relationship with his bro in deception in no 10, who wants him to tell us to hand over to Brussels, it really is a strange world etc ed.

  22. bluedog
    April 7, 2016


    April 7, 2016

    Off topic:

    It was The Rt Hon Mr David Lidington MP for Aylesbury. Minister of State for Europe, who we saw and heard in the House of Commons giving detailed comprehensive assurances to many MPs and the nation regarding Purdah and indeed the time before official Purdah, about the EU Referendum Campaign. At the time he appeared vexed that MPs should be suspicious that the Government would in any way attempt to use EU or UK public money to make the case for REMAIN and outbalance the debate.

    It must be acknowledged that the Rt Hon Mr Alex Salmond, SNP MP for Gordon, despite his own pro-EU position,made query after question after attack on the idea that the EU Referendum would in fact be held in a democratic and fair manner. The Rt Hon Mr Lidington MP never tired in his reassurances.

    Will The Rt Hon Mr Lidington MP’s resignation be held up in the post due to the 14-15 page £9,000,000 spam surface mail of bumf clogging up postal service arteries in the UK? Surely at least his words will be read back to him to him ad nauseam at the earliest opportunity and indeed for the rest of his professional career as MP?
    I believe there is an online petition starting later today to ask for a specific discussion/debate in the House of Commons on this travesty of our democracy and misuse of public money

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 7, 2016


      Speeding upwards, now over 75,000; but the government has already made its reply, and I don’t suppose MPs will debate it before the referendum and even if they did the government would still go ahead and copy the Labour government in 1975.

    2. Know-dice
      April 7, 2016

      Should we be posting back this propaganda directly to 10 Downing Street?

      Ideally in a coordinated manner to all arrange on the same day….

  24. Denis Cooper
    April 7, 2016

    I’ve just been listening to Michael Fallon being interviewed by Nick Ferrari on LBC, and it was one brazen lie after another. How have we ended up with so many fundamentally dishonest people in Parliament and government?

    1. stred
      April 7, 2016

      I liked when he said that we could not have stopped a murderer coming here to murder because he had no criminal record. (Words left out re specific case ed) Then he mentioned airlines operating here not being allowed to fly beteen capitals in the EU. Ryanair has head office in Ireland and would be allowed and if they were so stupid to stop Easy jet, we could retaliate against continental airlines doing the same thing. Or Easy jet could open a Luxembourg style head office in Ireland. Besides which Norwegian already fly all over and now to the US too.

      Presumably he was sent because he looks sensible while able to misunderstand most of what he is talking about.

    2. JoeSoap
      April 7, 2016

      This is an appropriate question. Just what is it that gets otherwise intelligent people to lie, mislead, obfuscate about a question which should be debated openly and honestly.
      A wholesale clearout of these astonishing wastrels is needed and a UKIP-Eurosceptic Conservative alliance (which should have happened way back) should be constructed at the earliest opportunity post 23/6, whichever way this vote goes.

  25. Mitchel
    April 7, 2016

    Sadly the USA is losing touch with its English roots.Weak presidents and the malign influence of the neo-cons (and the powerful lobbies that support them)whose ancestral roots are demonstratively in the Pale of the Russian Empire (and who are second or third cousins of the Trotsky faction of bolshevism) mean that democracy in the form of the will of the people has slipped down the agenda both internally and externally.

  26. Bert Young
    April 7, 2016

    Very appropriate comments John . The USA’s place in the world to some extent has been at the expense of ours ; we paid very heavily in both costs and lives in the 2 World Wars leaving them to exploit economic and military splendour . We , as the result , have become their lackies following them in wars and political initiatives we should have avoided .

    Today the USA is the last country to try to influence our position with the EU . It is none of their business . Obama will lay himself open to the ridicule of our public if he comes over here trying to to tell us what to do ; his own achievements as President are virtually nothing – in fact during his periods in office , he has exacerbated the alienation in their society and weakened the case of American democracy . As a world leader he is seen as weak and incapable .

    Re-establishing our place at the World table as a proud and independent nation has to be a priority ; the EU is a confused non-entity we should have nothing to do with . The Dutch have recently spoken in their rejection of the proposed trade deal with the Ukraine ; we must follow up adding to the growing voice of the dissenters throughout Europe . Russia awaits with their cheap energy source and trade deals looking to us to complete their transformation economically and socially .

    1. Mitchel
      April 7, 2016

      England’s very first joint stock company,The Muscovy Co,was established in the reign of Elizabeth I to exploit the trade opportunities opened up when English explorer/adventurers discovered the White Sea route to Murmansk and Archangel and so break the monopoly of the Hanseatic League on Baltic trade.Queen Bess even had an offer of marriage from Ivan the Terrible as a result.That is the spirit we need…..and I don’t think David Cameron or any of his likely successors need worry about a similar proposal from President Putin!

  27. Derek Gove
    April 7, 2016

    An excellent piece as always Mr Redwood.

    On a slightly related matter, how do we ensure that the £10m of our money that the government has just blown on pro-EU propoganda is charged to the ‘Remain’ accounts?

    This is a blatant attempt to buy the result, and if the ‘Remain’ side wins, I believe this will forever taint the fairness of the result.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2016

      It is one of many attempts to buy the result. Using the voters own money to tell them how to think and damage the UK.

      It will get far worse as Brexit gains support throughout the campaign. This as it becomes more and more clear the remain side have no rational arguments to put.

      1. Bazman
        April 7, 2016

        When have you and the Tory party ever cared about bias or fairness except when it was not in your favour or could be implemented to give advantage to the wounded party not the person or cause being wronged.
        I wonder how you and many like you reaction would be if this leaflet had been printed at public expense, but was for a Brexit?
        It is one of many attempts to buy the result. Using the voters own money to tell them how to think and damage the UK? Nuuuu! Nuuuu! As if..
        When Tories and companies start talking about ‘fairness’ I smell a rat.

        1. Edward2
          April 8, 2016

          It would a little fairer if the leaflet carried not just the argument for remaining but also the argument for leaving.

          The Government said they want us to be informed.
          But it seems they want us to be informed only of one side of the referendum debate.

    2. Chris
      April 7, 2016

      There is an official petition against this use of taxpayers’ money, and it is growing by the minute. Also, the Electoral Commission seem to disapprove of this leaflet produced using taxpayers’ money and they have suggested that emails/letters to the Cabinet Office are in order:


      General enquiries
      020 7276 1234

      1. Chris
        April 7, 2016

        Now at over 98,000 at 10.15 pm! Phenomenal growth in just one day.

  28. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2016

    It is encouraging that the Dutch overwhelming vote 61.1% against a proposed Brussels deal with Ukraine. It is clearly a widespread vote against the whole of the doomed EU project.

    Surely the UK will vote the same, if they do not they will only have themselves to blame.

    Meanwhile Cameron is happily printing and distributing absurd propaganda to every home using tax payer’s money. Not that I ever expected such a Cast Iron, no if no buts, Lord Patton, Heseltine and K Clark appointing, IHT & serial ratter to hold a fair referendum.

    He surely will not win it would be a disaster if he and the BBC do. If we actually get out of the EU post the Brexit vote is another question.

    Cameron tells us that “at heart he is a low Tax Conservative”. He is certainly not a Conservative at all and as for “low tax” you can only have low taxes if you stop all the government waste something he never does.

    Start with the cost of this totally unfair & biased propaganda, HS2, Hinkley Point, the costly low paid immigration and his bonkers happiness index perhaps?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 7, 2016

      Surely everyone will vote to leave, unless they just hate democracy, hate the UK and want to damage and end it – like the hugely politically unpopular Libdems? Or perhaps a few human rights lawyers or bureaucrats on the gravy train.

      Almost everyone has a good reason to vote out:

      The remain side who surely want a better deal than Cameron’s joke “renegotiation”.

      The Scottish who want a second independence referendum (that they will surely lose again).

      The Labour voters who want to damage the Tory party and get rid of Cameron and Osborne.

      The real Conservative who also want to get rid of the current LibDem leadership from Cameron and Osborne.

      The people who believe in sound economics who want to get rid of tax, borrow and piss down the drain George Osborne, his job destroying wage controls, endless tax increases, bonkers tax complexity and counterproductive absurd sugar tax.

      Businesses who know they will be far better off with cheaper energy, no EU, lower taxes, sensible immigration and far fewer regulations.

      Those who want proper control on open door, low paid, immigration and controls on any potential terrorists. So wages can rise again.

      And those who always wanted to leave too – obviously.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 7, 2016

        In my own view the main deciding factor will be how many people vote to stay in the EU simply out of fear of losing their livelihoods if we leave. Several times three million will be wondering whether they could be among the three million thrown out of work as the government is predicting, in fact threatening, and of course in many cases they will also have dependants with votes.

      2. Bazman
        April 7, 2016

        I predict that if the young voters and all the ones who have been damaged by this type of right wing nonsense that blames the EU, the BBC, anyone finding themselves without a job paying massive rents from tax rises and benefit cuts, without ever being able to buy a house and basically anything except right wing deluded policies that do little to help the average person but lies that they do, get themselves out to vote in any great numbers. The like of you will be very very upset screaming blue murder about BBC bias and buying the result as they did after the Tories won using the same methods. Lets hope they vote the right way as the other side are detached from rational argument and reason. See how many points you have answered in past posts and how these answers stand up to scrutiny? Do you think you own the facts? The voters do not think so I suspect.

        1. Edward2
          April 8, 2016

          Perhaps UK young voters should consider the high rates of unemployment in the Eurozone countries and the even higher rate of unemployment for young people which is over 50% in some member countries.
          The first step in affording a car and a home is to actually have a job in the first place.

          1. Bazman
            April 8, 2016

            It is for sure that those 18-35 are having the scales of on their eyes slowly falling off when it comes to neoliberal economics which are in the main the cause of their unemployment/low wages, high tuition costs and the rest of the problems they face. Older ones see themselves as being slowly robbed. Not by communism or socialism, but by this right wing ideology that allows communism and socialism for only themselves. The richest 10% who caused the crash benefiting from the recovery and the money pumped into the system. Not even 10 more like 1% who avoid all social responsibility and often do not even live in the countries they claim to represent, but put the low wage economies first such as India and China.
            The genie is out of the bottle and will not go back in helped by wider use of the internet spreading such ideas. Not all the young are mindless Facebook users they swap ideas and reasons on the net as we see the wane of TV and the utterly, to them at least, dead tree press such as the Daily Mail and the Telegraph propaganda sheets belived by self censoring middle aged men.
            How does the right propose to stop this rise enlightenment of the youth of today as it surly must as it plagues many regimes such as China and Russia.
            There’s going to be trouble and that is not much of a prediction is it?

          2. Edward2
            April 9, 2016

            I see an EU which is following 1950’s style socialist policies in the EU.
            Low growth falling living standards, high unemployment and a reducing share of world trade in the EU and the Eurozone in particular..

            Neo liberal economics in the EU?
            If only.

            Ps Strange how you think people’s opinions are greatly influenced by right wing newspapers yet are not at all influenced by left wing papers like the Guardian Mirror Indi and Observer..

          3. Bazman
            April 9, 2016

            What we are seeing is neoliberal economics propped up by the state as they do not work. i.e. socialism for the wealthy paid for by higher prices, fares and taxes.
            Free market economics shouted from the roof tops by companies and organisations in receipt of billions in state aid and gifts of infrastructure often owned by foreign countries with the profits used to subsidise their own industries. Tory landlords and farmers propped up by taxpayers money are a good example. Little to say have we lielogic on this?
            Basically all scrounging of the taxpayer whilst avoiding taxes. Gifting money to their supporters so they stay in power to continue the gravy train/revolving door based dogma.
            The Observer and the Mirror point this out on a regular basis, but how can the Daily Mail and the Telegraph point this out given who they are owned by?
            The rise and existence of Trump is evidence of what I write. We are yet to see a British version of him, but the lies are getting weaker as younger people see through them, due to the rise of the internet.
            Anyone down the pub can look at the right wing bores opinions via a smart phone and see how much they are built on sand and this enlightenment is set to continue and I put it to the right/left wing fanatics which add up to the same. Wealth for the few at the expense of the many.
            How are you going to stop this?

        2. bluedog
          April 8, 2016

          The role of the press will be instrumental in forming public opinion. The presence of so many Eurosceptic Conservative MPs at the recent wedding of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall may be a pointer to Murdoch’s thinking. Remember, he doesn’t think highly of Cameron and with Cameron weakened by a range of controversial issues, what better wedding present than to finish him off.

          It’s early days yet for a press campaign but Cameron’s billet doux is likely to be completely swamped before 23rd June.

  29. DaveM
    April 7, 2016

    As the EU Referendum is to be “fair and unbiased”, can we assume that £9million will be spent on govt produced leaflets that will explain why the UK would be better off outside the EU?

    I look forward to hearing Cameron’s response to the Petition. I bet he wishes he’d never come up with the ePetition idea now.

  30. Know-dice
    April 7, 2016

    The USA only does what is in the USA’s best interest, whether it be rocket scientists, chemical warfare or lend lease, they only look after number one.

    Their greatest fear is war on USA mainland, they will do anything to avoid this – the same as we would.

  31. formula57
    April 7, 2016

    Let us recall with gratitude that Ronald Reagan did not follow his foreign minister Haig’s wish to be “even-handed” as between the UK and the Galtieri regime of Argentina.

    In other news, I see the silly Dutch people have put themselves to the necessity of voting again (and possibly again after that) in order to make their decision about Ukraine compliant with the EU’s requirements. It is nice though that they had the chance once to properly express their views: more than we were allowed by our government on that subject!

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 7, 2016

      Our government didn’t have any such problem, they just got this SI nodded through on March 19th 2015:


      “The European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Association Agreement) (Ukraine) Order 2015”

  32. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2016

    I just listened to David Cameron talking the usually complete and utter drivel at Exeter University. Why do the remainers, such as Cameron keep claiming to be a Eurosceptics? They clearly are nothing of the sort nor clearly are they even democrats?

    I suppose just for the same reasons that he claims to be a “low tax conservative a heart”, or that he will “get net immigration down to the tens of thousands”, or that he would sort out the ECHR, or that he would get a proper MP recall system, or that he would give us a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, or that he would give us £1M IHT thresholds each……..

    He is just incapable of ever telling the truth very often.

    He even tried to claim it is fair for tax payers money to be used on remain propaganda without similar provision for the leave side. “It is right” he said. Why on earth is it right to slope the pitch using voters own taxes to tell them what to think?

  33. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2016

    Michael Gove is quite right, it is a total outrage for the government to spend £9.3 million on one sided remain propaganda. It is far from all they wasting on such propaganda either.

    £9.3 million that they could have spend sorting out Cameron (ex) priority in three letter the dysfunctional & rationed NHS. Perhaps so that people might make an appointment with the doctors when they need one, in a reasonable time frame.

    Or reducing Osborne’s huge PSBR.

    1. Bazman
      April 7, 2016

      ‘Michael Gove is quite right, it is a total outrage for the government to spend £9.3 million on one sided remain propaganda. It is far from all they wasting on such propaganda either.’ Your words so square them off.
      Presumably this applies to both arguments, but I suspect not, as we never hear a squeak from you if it benefits your case, so can you tell me why if the money had been spend on an out vote it would not apply and you would be telling us how it is an excellent use of public money and not mention spending it on a wasteful and inefficient NHS and caring about PSBR ran up by insufficient taxation not just waste. How else would massive subsidy to the housing market be paid for or the infrastructure necessary to earn sky high rent?

    2. JoeSoap
      April 7, 2016

      Cameron’s greatest priority is in 7 letters not 3.
      Sorry, NHS comes second to saving one’s skin.

  34. Sue Doughty
    April 7, 2016

    When the British referendum was announced the relationship between the UK and the EU changed irreversibly. Mr Cameron has promised to abide by our decision whatever it may be. We crave facts, but there can be none. We do not know what the relationship with Europe and the rest of the world will be the day after we vote and nobody can predict that. In the week after the count the world will change in ways we can only imagine. But we do know that NATO will keep us safe from harm.

    If we vote to remain the European Commission will tell the British government that we have decided to be run by Brussels and strip us of all vestiges of democratic control over the way we are governed and who by. They can do it and a bureaucracy always does what it can do – civil servants are trained to look busy, finding work to do in order not to look dispensable regardless of need for that work to be done. They are not telling us what that will be so we have no facts.

    If we vote to leave our government will begin enacting our extraction from the EU institutions and the EU institutions will set about building barriers to delay that happening until the end of time. They will make threats, demand money, put in place barriers that the people and industry of all Europe will ignore and work around. In Westminster and Holyrood politicians will talk the talk and civil servants will do the work, trying to achieve our extraction and building up the institutions we used to have and who did what the European Commission took upon itself to control. But this is the next century and we can build them better, more efficient, electronic, maybe paperless.

    Defra will be very busy getting our fisheries research centres back together and working, getting the systems in place and paying out so that subsidy payments continue as before seamlessly. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will set up new information exchange systems within days, and Interpol was never part of the EU anyway.

    The Common Agriculture Policy that was designed to prevent famine on mainland Europe will carry on regardless with trade going on the same. Saying that France wants to sell us cheese and to buy our lamb and beef is a minor part of the farm produce and research trade across the Channel.

    Work has been going on to design and deliver a new British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act and will end up looking very similar except that the highest court in the land will be in this land, not overseas. The High Court and the senate will no longer be looking over their shoulder before making judgements.

    Arrangements for University research grants will revert to how they were before but done better, more immediate and local coordinated here and worldwide so that they retain links with other organisations in Australia, Africa, India and the USA and well as Switzerland and the nation states within the EU.

  35. Warren Randall
    April 7, 2016

    It does tend to be stooges working in the Obama administration who are for the UK remaining in the EU.

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    April 7, 2016

    This reminds me, are we really neutral in the coming US presidential election? The whole Democrat establishment seems wedded to this Dean Acheson idea that Britain must be in the EU to protect US interests.

    Are we not better off with Donald Trump, who is a little bit isolationist, is capable of minding his own business, doesn’t hate Russia, knows the sources of terrorism and wishes to do something about illegal immigration? The fact that he may cause some strife inside America isn’t our problem.

  37. Lifelogic
    April 7, 2016

    Daniel Hannah is spot on too today on the huge bias/propaganda is being paid for by tax payers. I do not think it will work for Cameron, unless the UK voters are rather dafter than I think they are.


  38. Margaret
    April 7, 2016

    On the happiness scale are we happier when we are rich/ poor or content ?
    To reverse A Cooke’s letters from America is in a way asking for help to let us become us again. I fear we have gone too far away from the past emotional comforts, but the future can rekindle some sort of UK light again it we handle things well. I say ‘we’ because there is no reliance on the vote calling for remain.
    I have just had a rep in presenting disease and drugs.. the same old thing for 40 years again and again with other products .The enthusiasm for the new/ old should not be dampened though as slight alterations in course gather momentum and have a greater impact than the original impulse, but I cannot get enthusiastic having seen the sameness of things for many years. It is role play.
    Happiness could be removing violence, aggression , poverty for the majority ; only that may be simply classed as the mundane….which is good ?

  39. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016

    Hugo Dixon writes in the Evening Standard (in summary):

    – UK sends £55m a day
    “Yes. But this ignores Mrs Thatcher’s rebate. We actually pay £17m a day for the benefit of access to the single market.

    – The EU needs us more than we need it
    “Not true. 13% of our GDP is in trade with the EU. 3% of EU trade is with us.”

    – The UK can be in the EU’s single market without free movement.
    “No it can’t. Even Switzerland (with only partial access) has had to open its borders.”

    – The City will thrive if we quit the EU
    “The City will lose its passport that allows it to operate freely across the EU. The banks will have to shift operations to Europe to operate there.”

    – We could be like Canada in our relation with the EU
    “No passport for financial services and tariffs on some exports.”

    – The UK could keep its trade deals with the EU post Brexit
    “We’d lack clout outside the EU. We’d have to start afresh with trade deals with the BRICs and commonwealth countries – with less strength.”

    – Red tape costs Britain £600m a week
    “The benefits actually outweigh the gains and the worst of the red tape is British in origin.”

    Would anyone care to challenge Mr Dixon’s opinions. (My apologies to him if I’ve got any of this wrong in my summary.)

    Reply We have answered these points endlessly.

    1. acorn
      April 7, 2016

      It all depends on how you add up the numbers. For instance, you say: “We actually pay £17m a day for the benefit of access to the single market.” I would put that at about £27m a day.

      The rest are, let’s say, debatable; in number crunchers (NC) terms. I reckons the UK, at a rough guess, will have to negotiate a little over a 100 Free Trade Agreement, to get back to the EU levels of access it currently has.

      Nothing says this can’t be done; but, it is going to take 3 – 8 years, based on world averages for such negotiations. That is likely to be longer than a UK Parliament term! By 2020, we could be in an economic condition, such that we will be saying bye-bye to the Conservative Party for the rest of the century (with luck).

      BTW. Going viral in the NC world. There is a footnote in ECB Paper 169, April 2016:

      “Central banks can’t go bankrupt!

      “Central banks are protected from insolvency due to their ability to create money and can therefore operate with negative equity.”

      “[…] this applies to sovereign, currency issuing governments, too, but don’t expect the idiots in the mainstream (economics, media, Wall Street, corporate, policy or otherwise) to understand or admit this. I don’t know what the Fed would do in a negative equity situation simply because Congress might get on their case about not remitting profits.” (Mike Norman).

      The ECB doesn’t have the FED’s or the BoE’s problem; it acts as the currency issuing Treasury for the Eurosystem all on its own. The latter, both have elected Treasuries (that are the sovereign legal currency issuers, not the Fed or BoE) run by neo-liberal politicians, who still think that US and UK governments, have to borrow or tax before they can have any money to spend.

      The true Reagan – Thatcher legacy, is the western de-regulated financial casino, that resulted in the 2008 Great Financial Crash. There is no doubt about it, all the data is in now, for the history books to be written.

      1. bluedog
        April 8, 2016

        ‘The true Reagan – Thatcher legacy, is the western de-regulated financial casino, that resulted in the 2008 Great Financial Crash.’

        So Bill Clinton’s repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in late 1999 had nothing to do with Lehman? If you are looking for a single catalyst, that would be it.

        1. acorn
          April 8, 2016

          Glass-Steagall didn’t cover “shadow banks”, like Lehman, that were primarily responsible for the 2008 crash. Glass-Steagall was only partially repealed by Clinton. His wife has said she would not reinstate it. Bernie Sanders says he will, or the new version of it called the “21st Century Glass-Steagall Bill”.

          It was the late seventies and the rise of Chicago School “monetarism”, that became Reaganomics and Thatcherism, followed by the Clinton budget surplus; that lit the fuse for 2008.

  40. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016

    In answer to your excellent speech.

    It was only relatively recently that the ordinary British person (including the English) became liberated themselves.

    Sufferage for women, worker’s rights, property rights.

    Our people were as poor and enslaved as anyone else’s. Or did they really want to toil in mines or be torn from family at home to be sent to America to fight colonists ?

  41. margaret
    April 7, 2016

    I have got a good idea( and I don’t have many) Lets send ten billion pound / PA to Brussels and the we wouldn’t have to worry our tiny minds about anything. They could do all the management. After all its worked in the NHS hasn’t it?

  42. ian
    April 7, 2016

    They sunk trillions into creating the united states of Europe over the years , it a USA idea and a banker dream of perpetual debt and control of politicians and to keep it in line a string of institution set up by the USA and bankers so they can earn their money and give out the orders, all run by the elite and none of the people who work in the institution are liable for tax on earning.

  43. ian
    April 7, 2016

    When I say set up by the USA I mean, by the people who control the USA.

  44. Dunedin
    April 7, 2016

    Excellent questions re USA merging with Cuba, Mexico and Canada. This could be expanded to include all of Central and South America as well, with open borders and free movement of people. 70% of US laws would be made in South America, the Federal Reserve and US dollar would be replaced by a central bank in Mexico managing the Pan-American Peso, and a court in Brazil would be able to overturn US court judgements?

    Perhaps we can ask President Obama what he thinks about this when he comes over to tell us to remain in the EU.

  45. adam
    April 7, 2016

    I don’t feel we ever won the Cold War as the Communists were never punished for what they did. Its amazing they would convict Milosevic for one little thing yet they could ignore the enormous crimes and evil mindset of the Soviet Union and others. Maybe its not even possible in our country given how successful their counterintelligence has been in subverting our institutions.

  46. Iain gill
    April 7, 2016

    Working in Chicago i was at a garden party on independence day, they had long forgotten I was a Brit, they raised their glasses for a toast… To all the English soldiers we killed… I kid you not.

    Didn’t join in on that one.

    1. Allen
      April 9, 2016

      A lot of Celtic sounding names, by any chance?

  47. ian
    April 7, 2016

    Health secretary should have decency to sack himself before more doctor leave and innocent people die for con party beliefs.

  48. Qubus
    April 7, 2016

    I was interested to read an article in the Daily Telegraph this morning by our friend William Hague. In it he quotes the response of Americans when some English (I think actually that they were Guardian readers) wrote to the swing state of Iowa in 2004 urging them not to vote for George Bush. The American response was, and I quote, “Stay the hell out of our business, you limp-wristed, knock-kneed, bed-wetting, euro-wimps”.

    How interesting that Obama is intending to visit the UK before the referendum to advise us how to vote!

    1. Bazman
      April 8, 2016

      Daily Telegraph?! Again! FFS!
      Is this the only source of information available to users of John Redwood’s website?

      1. Qubus
        April 9, 2016

        Bazman, do calm down a bit, you will do yourself no good.

        What I was quoting was fact, not fiction. One must learn to distinguish between the two.

        1. Edward2
          April 9, 2016

          If there is anything g reported in the Guardian then Baz soaks it up as the whole truth.

          1. Bazman
            April 10, 2016

            I rarely read the Guardian, Observer every week and the Mirror every day along with Private Eye. The paper versions. I also have the internet to investigate facts. Which includes the truth of newspapers.
            To many on this the only source of information seems to be The Telegraph and the Daily Mail along with a large amount of self censorship.
            The internet is puting large cracks into right wing nonsense which is really just left wing nonsense dressed up as self standing business when in reality without the state support it receives would cease to exist at least in any affordable useful way.

  49. Bill Bristow
    April 10, 2016

    Independence, is never easy. Freedom is never easy. But we did rather well before we were in the Eu. It is time to leave the sinking ship and save our British Soul/character and set an example to the rest of the EU. Many of our EU associates want us to leave as they are fed up with the EU. Brussels, and the non democratic form of laws and rule the EU inflicts upon, each and every one of the members. We need to lead by example and many others will follow.

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