Now for “the continental crisis”

Mr Juncker, the President of the Commission, made clear in an interview just before the Netherlands referendum on the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement that a vote against the EU plan would “open the doors to a continental crisis”. As I presume he is an honest man who knows his EU, I await his measures to deal with this crisis that he has helped create. The results rejected the Agreement roundly, by 64% to 36%.

The vote was called on a petition by Netherlands voters. Though it is advisory, the Netherlands government has rightly said they cannot ignore this strong expression of public opinion. The proposition was rejected despite a vigorous and hard hitting campaign to persuade people to vote for the EU scheme. Voters were told in no uncertain terms that a vote against was a vote for Mr Putin. One poster showed Mr Putin embracing the leading opposition politician in favour of voting down the Agreement.

So why didn’t voters believe the EU and their government? The first thing to realise is the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement is not just about trade, as some sloppy people in the media have claimed. To the government in Kiev the most important parts of its are probably the opening sections about political, foreign policy and defence collaboration. The Agreement sets up “regular meetings both at the level of high officials and of experts of the military institutions of the parties”. It establishes a Political and Security Committee. Article 7 promises to “intensify the dialogue and co-operation and promote gradual convergence in the area of foreign and security policy including the common security and defence policy”. Whilst I have no time for illegal military actions by Russia, I can understand why Russia thought this Agreement provocative. Some Netherlands voters were clearly concerned that the EU is over reaching itself in making financial and military commitments to Ukraine, and saw that this very Agreement is part of the important background to the civil war in Ukraine between pro Russian Ukrainians and pro EU Ukrainians.

The sad deterioration in the Ukraine and the split of the country with Russia taking Crimea has come about against the backdrop of the EU making overtures to Kiev to strengthen ties between Ukraine and the EU. Maybe voters thought this a bad idea. They also had doubts about regulation of standards in Ukraine in areas like keeping chickens, and worried about any possible future relaxation of border controls between the Ukraine and the EU.

Mr Juncker now needs to tell us how he will handle the “crisis” he forecast. In the meantime apparently the Netherlands government has been asked to suggest a way forward.I would have thought the answer was obvious. The Netherlands cannot have its name on the Agreement. The people have spoken.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

128 Comments

  1. DaveM
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Well, it has to be said that the best thing that could happen for those of us hoping for a Brexit is for Juncker to bully the Dutch into signing his agreement and for the papers and the tv news to broadcast the fact that the EU ignored the vote. We all know that Juncker doesn’t ‘do’ democracy.

    • Horatio
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Precious little coverage if this in MSM. Theyve already initiated the deal anyway. The EU operates with nothing but contempt for the national democracies that pay for it.

      It gets worse;
      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/7055521/EU-blows-British-cash-on-flooding-UK-schools-with-propoganda-to-brainwash-kids.html?CMP=spklr-_-Editorial-_-TWITTER-_-SunPolitics-_-20160408-_-Politics-_-424272431-_-Imageandlink

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        The EU operates with nothing but contempt for the EU citizens, on whom they parasite. They think they know best but they are completely wrong almost everything they have done has turned into a disaster.

        They have total contempt for the national democracies too of course. It is a one size fits all, anti-democratic, top down form of socialism. Benefiting few but some bureaucrats, politicians and a few large companies with good “connections”.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          A bit like the housing policy from past and present governments, benefiting few but some bureaucrats, politicians, landlords and a few large companies with good “connections” as well as creating a massive drag on the economy. and misery for millions. Yeah. That will be it.
          Your constant repetitive praying posts for regressive policies in housing, regulations, employment and taxation have in the main been answered giving use the shrinking low paid economy we see today in thsi country with the deluded right blaming the BBC and the EU for believing that everything such as steel is external like the weather.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Dave M

      the tv news to broadcast the fact that the EU ignored the vote.

      You are not including the BBC in this I hope. They also don’t do unbiased reporting

      • DaveM
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        TT, I agree, however the BBC’s hatred of anything Tory (and by association Cameron) appears to be skewing them back towards the neutral ground regarding the EU.

        And realistically, the Sun and the Mail’s reporting trumps the BBC’s bias most of the time.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Cameron is not a Conservative. Indeed he is “BBC think” to his finger nails. He likes ever high taxes, bloated government, greencrap, open door immigration, a dreadful (free at the point of death & rationing) NHS and an EUphile just like the BBC.

          • DaveM
            Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            I know that and you know that but as far as the BBC is concerned he’s keeping the Tories in power and is therefore a wrongun!

  2. Mark B
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I whole heatedly agree with our kind host. The agreement between the EU is not about trade, but a about expansion. Expansion that will go all the way to the Ural’s and Asia Minor. This is indeed very provocative as many Eastern European Countries have long held issues with Russia. Issues that we would be well advised not to be involved in.

    As we are on the subject of referendums and respecting the peoples voices, I would like to go off-topic slightly and draw our kind host and my fellow readers to the petition on the matter of using taxpayers money to advocate membership of the EU. I do not have an issue with the government issuing a taxpayer funded information leaflet, but it must contain material from both sides. The claim that the government has decided to endorse the IN campaign is wrong. The government should be neutral as the people may vote to leave. If that is indeed the case then we will have a situation where we have a government that is at odds with the people. Such a government cannot stand and, I believe therefore it must resign and the people elect a new one.

    I would also hope that our kind host will now speak on behalf of those who wish to leave the EU now that we have secure the mandatory 100,000 signatures, of which I am one.

    See link (if our kind host approves)

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/eu-referendum-petition-stop-government-using-taxpayers-money-pro-eu-leaflets-hits-more-75500-1553730

    • Know-dice
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      That’s the way I see it. The Government has called a referendum because either it can’t make up its mind about whether we should be in or out, or it feels that it needs a mandate from the people over this matter. In either case it should be neutral and supply full and unbiased information to the people to help them/us make an informed decision.

      Can we agree on a date to return these leaflets to Downing Street, such that they all arrive back together. Say post second class Friday 29th April?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      The governments defence seems to be that Harold Wilson did it when he conned people into staying in the common market. As if two wrongs make a right. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. The contents of the leaflet are clearly blatant propaganda.

      Do any UK voters want to pay tax and then have those taxes used to try to con them with propaganda telling them how to think?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Though he had allowed an out leaflet too.

      • Paul H
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        We already do – our money is used by the EU to pay for its propaganda in many different guises.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Whose signed us up to this agreement without our consent? The one and only tax dodging Dave, who has finally admitted he had shares in his father’s off shore unit trust. He simply must go. How can it be right that the Government is using taxpayers money for EU propaganda?
      This Government is taking us into a dictatorship in quick time. I’m glad I didn’t vote for it!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I am no fan of Call me Dave, but to call him tax dodging for having some offshore shares circa £30K inherited from his father then selling them off and (paying any tax due) is a bit over the top, (though I assume he might have put them in joint names to use two CGT allowances if needed, that is certainly what I would have done).

        Where Dave and Osborne went wrong was endlessly going on about morally repugnant tax avoidance. Avoiding tax legally is a highly moral thing to do. It is usually spent or invested far more wisely by the individual than the government. The more the government get they more they will waste.

        Osborne has gone wrong in having tax level and tax complexity so high that he is deterring investment and money coming in to the UK and encouraging it and the hard working to leave. While running open door minimum wage, net liability migration.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Dear Lifelogic–He did not (according to Downing St) “inherit” it

        • JoeSoap
          Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes it’s the fact that he’s harped on about the immorality of offshore investments which are clearly only there to avoid tax on accumulated gains not on income from those gains which of course everyone pays.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Yes it is the do as I say not as I so mentality that is the issue here not the legality.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Tell that to millions across the world short changed by these toll dodgers. Tolls that pay for defence, housing, especially rental, education and transport. Stolen money laundered into the British house markets pushing the price of property out of reach and pound for pound the shortfall of taxes being paid for by the average person with no optional payment and fantasy that the government will just waste the money for no good on such things as the police.
          It like taking a tenancy of a house and then legally finding a way of not paying any rent for it as you will spend it more wisely and invest it better than the landlord who already has to much money anyway. How moral do you find that and if you cannot justify this why write it?

          • Bazman
            Posted April 9, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Where is your reply to this argument lierlogic?

          • Bazman
            Posted April 10, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            And the rest of you telling me I know nothing. Where is your counter arguments.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      It is now up to 136,000 signatures.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Now up to 128,000 signatures, including mine:

      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Update as of 5.00 pm: nearly 150 thousand. Let’s hope it just keeps going up and up. A million here we come. The leaflet is the very essence of tendentiousness and as always Cameron is just plain untrustworthy and lacking in judgement–just as with same-sex marriages (his proudest achievement) and doing nothing about the Climate Change Act (and firing Owen Paterson). Godspeed to those Conservatives who are willing to grind him and his government in to the dirt by reason of his breach of faith. By contrast Bill Cash tells the straight truth.

    • Nig L
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      See Guido Fawkes blog. The funding looks illegal under the Venice agreement that the UK is a fully signed up member of. The Brexit people should be all over it. A Staying Injunction to start with on Monday morning.

      Come on JR something else to get stuck in, om

    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      referendums and respecting the peoples voices,

      Watching last nights QT the member of the government did a very good job shouting down everyone else. As is the norm the Chair did not control the situation at all.

      Never mind respecting our voice just try listening.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        That does not surprise me. And neither should it comes as a surprise my friend that I do not watch the BBC as I do not condone such behaviour.

        Now, if everyone did this and not pay the license fee (I am not advocating breaking the law by the way), then the BBC would be in a right old mess.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Signed it myself last night

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Peter Davies

        And me just now and sent the link to all my friends and family.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Well done everyone and thank you. And a special thank you to our kind host for allowing it. I do hope he and many others take advantage to air their views in the HoC on this matter.

    • David Price
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Tried to but it appears to be the same as the one started in January I had already signed.

  3. Richard1
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    The likely result is a new referendum which is binding with some fudge to assuage voters. We should expect the same thing if Brexit is voted for here. Perhaps we will end up with a Switzerland type deal whilst remaining nominally ‘in’. I have always thought this might be the best outcome – a fudge which no-one thinks is perfect but which achieves more independence but doesn’t frighten the horses.

    The Ukraine issue opens up a new area for Leave to question Remain: is the EU creating potential security liabilities for us by sucking the UK into disputes and possibly even conflicts which we don’t want? We haven’t heard much on this yet.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      ‘We haven’t heard much on this yet.’ Actually we have, and we were there first! It’s called the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. Recall that the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991 and that three former USSR states, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan were independent nuclear powers as a result. This nuclear proliferation worried the US, who leaned on the Russian government, such as it was, and brought the UK into the deal too. Possibly for US domestic reasons. In essence, the three former USSR states were to surrender their nuclear weapons in exchange for guarantees of territorial integrity. The guarantors being the US, UK and Russia. It is hard to see the Russian involvement in the Ukrainian civil war, and the subsequent annexation of Crimea, as anything other than a flagrant breach of its treaty obligations under the BM of 1994. One suspects that the Ukraine feels betrayed. The insertion of the EU (German front company) into the situation adds a further layer of complexity.

      • forthurst
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        It was the people of Crimea, overwhelmingly, that voted to rejoin Russia rather than be subject to a bandit run state created by neocons handing power to political groupings that previously had been proscribed by the EU itself. Etc ed Speaking for myself, I am on the side of liberty for all, not just for a disgusting collection of individuals who control ‘Western’ foreign policy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      As a big and relatively easy step in the right direction, but not the last step, I would prefer a Norway type deal with us out of the EU but still in the EEA or similar.

      The fact that the government has been so assiduous in telling lies about the position of Norway suggests to me that they also know that this would be the best route out, even though the EEA was originally intended as a route into the EU.

      The advantage is that the basic treaty structure is already there with the UK as a separate party to the EEA Agreement in its own sovereign right, not just as an EU member state, and it would only need all of the other EEA parties to accept an agreement to amend that treaty so that almost all of its terms would continue to apply to the UK even after it had left the EU, either indefinitely or for a specified number of years.

      In the simplest terms it would just mean moving the UK from the end of the list of EEA parties which are also parties to the EU treaties, on page 4 here:

      http://www.efta.int/media/documents/legal-texts/eea/the-eea-agreement/Main%20Text%20of%20the%20Agreement/EEAagreement.pdf

      to join non-EU Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway at the top of page 5.

      On page 1 there is a list of six agreements which have already been made to amend the original EEA agreement, the most recent of which is a 13 page “Agreement on the participation of Croatia in the European Economic Area” which is here:

      http://www.efta.int/sites/default/files/documents/legal-texts/eea-enlargement/2014/Agreement%2BAnnexes-en.pdf

      In principle there is no reason there should not be a similarly short “Agreement on the continued participation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the European Economic Area”, provided all the other contracting parties were prepared to go along with that.

      Of course there are disadvantages as well as advantages in following that route out of the EU, but it need not be the final settlement. Especially as the EU is set upon further enlargements, and the new EU member states could only join the EEA if all of the existing EEA members, including the UK, agreed to that.

      • matthu
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        It seems that John Redwood has always been vehemently opposed to the idea of a Norway type deal – even as a part-way solution.

        I however can see there are some advantages.

        Perhaps, John, you might care to explain why you regard this as such an undesirable route to follow? Or is it simply that it is a bad stance to take leading up to a referendum? It seems that what it does have going for it is that it is a tangible position to adopt.

        Perhaps adopting any tangible position is seen as attracting too much flack in the lead-up to a referendum?

        (I appreciate that adopting almost any leader e.g. Boris in the lead-up to the referendum would risk presenting the pro-EU side with a target which might be used as a major source of distraction.)

        John: the Norway option as an initial part-way solution. Is it that bad, given that it allows the UK to renegotiate at leisure?

        Reply There is no need to concede as Norway has done. We want out of the freedom of movement clauses and want to make no further financial contributions. Our trade is not at risk as Germany keeps telling us. They want no new trade barriers! Just be sensible and stand up for the UK. We are the fifth largest economy in the world, the importer of last and first resort for Germany and a leading member of NATO. Let’s act like it for a change.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          I’m sanguine about the prospects for our economy outside the EU, JR, but I’m not so sanguine about the prospects of getting enough people to vote to leave the EU, because while we know that our trade is not at risk we have Cameron and his allies saying that it is and that three million of the people could lose their jobs. Moreover of course nobody can identify those three million, so the concern could extend well beyond three million workers, plus it could extend to family members with votes. Unless we can thoroughly convince the voters that this is a myth we could have a quarter of them voting to stay in the EU just out of an unfounded fear for their livelihoods, and even though many of them might otherwise prefer to leave.

          I also doubt that we will be able to do very much about curbing immigration from the EU until we have more leverage because the EU wants to expand, and we will either have a veto on new countries joining the EU and the EEA, as now, or we will still have a veto on new countries joining a wider arrangement such as the EEA.

          Reply Help us win instead of predicting our defeat. Leaflet, canvass, send things to the media as I am doing. We can and must win this

    • Mark B
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      A Swiss type deal will take years and will not be to our advantage. They need us more than we need them.

      1. Art 50 a long with amending / repaeling the 1975 ECA and any other relevant Acts of Parliament.

      2. Negotiations with the EU (2 years, more or less)

      3. EEA and EFTA membership – for the time being.

      4. Repeal any EU laws we do not like.

      5. Get our act together and get our own trade agreements and sit at the very top table by way of international bodies – no more little EU.

      6. Tell the EU and others we want to renegotiate our terms. Set a 5 year limit otherwise, no more trade.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        I think the govt could and should have pressed for a Swiss type deal whilst remaining ‘in’ the EU. It would have meant playing a longer game a referendum in 2017. It would most likely have got a majority in the referendum & support of eurosceptics but not alarmed Business in the way in which Brexit clearly does. Outers shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good (or much better). Perhaps we will end up there.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure that EFTA membership is indispensable.

        It hasn’t yet come to anything, but:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Area#New_EFTA_members_or_special_agreement

        “EEA integration, either through EFTA membership or an association agreement directly with the EEA, has been discussed with regard to the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino; Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and other ENP partners; and the territories of the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man.”

  4. The Active Citizen
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Association Agreements, such as that signed with Ukraine are most definitely a prelude to membership of the EU. An early step, yes, but a step nonetheless.

    What readers may not know is that visa liberalisation is part of these Agreements. Here’s what Facts4eu.org wrote recently on their site:-

    “1. Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are Eastern European countries who wish to join the EU.

    2. Their combined population is 52.9 million and their average wage is only £1.24 per hour.

    3. Moldovans were approved for visa free access to the EU’s Schengen zone in April 2014 and Georgians were approved on 09 March this year. Ukrainians will be approved if the Dutch vote yes in their referendum on 06 April.”
    [More info here: http://facts4eu.org/facts/immigration.htm ]

    On the Dutch vote, their PM said yesterday: “If this is the outcome, we will have to consider this advice carefully.” Hardly a ringing statement that the Dutch government will now refuse to ratify the EU-Ukraine Agreement.

    Given that the EU has previous history in ignoring the votes of the people (Dutch, French, Irish and Greek), let’s assume that this vote will equally make no difference and that the EU will plough on regardless.

    So that’s 52.9 million from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, in addition to the 78.7 million Turks who will gain visa-free access in June this year. An extra 131.6 million people from poorer countries, able to enter the continental EU…

    The EU’s foreign policy in Ukraine has been nothing short of disastrous for that country – and for EU-Russia relations. The EU’s performance on the migration crisis has been beyond parody. And now the EU is facing a huge influx of 131 million people from four poor countries – without the EU’s people being told about it.

    You couldn’t make this up.

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed, you couldn’t make it up but it seems to me that what has and is happening is to enable the free movement of millions of people to where benefits, salaries, health care are of greater value than in their home countries.
      Eventually, as is happening in an as-yet few parts of the country once known as England, immigrants of all shapes, sizes, nationalities will out number the ethnic population.
      If the EU – as it well might – rules that a EU citizen must be granted voting rights in their country of residence, the concept of nationhood will be lost and another plank in the EU walkway to the US of EU will be set in place.
      I bitterly resent having my England removed from the map, the PM’s continuous prevarication, half truths, terminological inexactitudes and arrogance. All in it together? Pull the other one, it goes ding-dong…..

      • Antisthenes
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        This movement of people from poor countries to richer countries is like people on a boat that all move from one side to the other. The weight of numbers causes it to sink.

    • Alan
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      It’s the Schengen area that is facing an “influx of 131 million people”, not the EU. And I rather doubt that Georgia, Moldova, the Ukraine, and Turkey will be emptied of their populations.

      It is Russia’s policy on the Ukraine that has been disastrous, not the EU’s. The EU did not invade the Crimea or allow its soldiers to operate in the Ukraine.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        The EU agitated for regime change. Russia has bases and former citizens there. ie They have an interest. The new, and in my view, illegitimate Ukrainian government, were hostile to those Russians living in the East. They attacked them and killed many innocent civilians (a war crime).

        I want nothing to do with these people. They are corrupt, violent and may well agitate for war with Russia which may prove disasterous.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Dear Alan–Disagree entirely–It’s thinking like this (meaning ignoring the other side’s – in this case Russia’s – point of view) that causes a lot of the problems in this world. I don’t blame Russia at all for not wanting the EU and then NATO right up against its borders not to mention that a lot of Ukraine’s Eastern population are very definitely pro Russian. Whose side were you on during the Cuban missile crisis? The EU created the Ukrainian crisis out of thin aided by the crap from Cameron about all the way to the Urals.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed. All the more reason to Brexit and have selective rather than open door migration to the UK. Cutting out Cameron’s low paid, productivity destroying, net liability, open door migration – in the hundreds of thousands PA no if no buts about it.

      Can anyone come up with a single good rational reason for the UK not to Brexit? I have yet to hear any at all.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Poland has apparently issued hundreds of thousands of work permits to Ukrainians in recent years to provide cheap labour(and probably fill the gaps left by the large number of Poles that have moved west).

    • Tom William
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      A most important posting which must be given more publicity. There are indeed too many “sloppy People” in the media who get half truths, or even ignore them. It is not just the people of the UK who need to know this.

      • Old Salt
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, but just how do we get it out to the 20 million plus homes?

    • bigneil
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Another 130m+ people – all entitled to walk in here and hold their hands out for a lifetime of free cash, unlimited healthcare, schooling for their kids and housing. Really can’t think who would be expected to pay for it all. Oh yes – all the people who haven’t had money spirited away in Panama – that’s who.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      In short an organisation which does what it does very poorly and thinks the answer is to do more. Totally against conventional wisdom. Normally when someone or something does badly they get given less to do……

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      https://euobserver.com/political/132966

      “EU awaits Dutch response to referendum result”

      “Regardless of the referendum results, the commission is still planning to put forward a visa liberalisation proposal for Ukraine.”

      So if we vote to leave the EU that will result in the strange situation whereby Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel freely into and around the EU without visas but UK citizens will need visas just to pop across to the continent, possibly even to the Irish Republic – at least, according to Cameron.

      • Mark B
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        I have no problem wanting or getting a VISA to travel around the EU and elsewhere.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          But some people do – it has even been mentioned here as one of the problems with leaving the EU – and they are people with votes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      It’s not clear to me whether the UK has yet ratified those three agreements.

      They were debated in a Commons committee on February 12th 2015:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmgeneral/deleg17/150212/150212s01.htm

      and in a Lords committee on February 26th 2015:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/150226-gc0001.htm

      and in both cases the proceedings ended with resolutions that the committee had considered the draft orders.

      Which orders were then made on March 19th 2015:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/843/contents/made

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/844/article/2/made

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/847/contents/made

      but only to come into force when the agreements came into force for the UK.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    You make excellent points. Other perhaps than you presumption that Juncker is an honest man”.

    The people have indeed spoken, but they will be ignored or asked to speak again after some revisions. Post the Brexit vote the UK voters will probably be treated with similar contempt and a new better deal will be offered. We should reject that too.

    Do the Conservative leadership really think Anna Soubry is an asset to the remain cause? She is vulgar, repeats the same idiotic sound bites and constantly interrupts. Is she all they can find?

    It was good to see Ruth Lea on the programme. Perhaps the only woman I have seen on BBC political programmes who talks sense. She was needless to say endless interrupted by both Anna Soubry and the equally bad Chris Bryant.

    Lacking any valid arguments I suppose that was all the remainers on the panel could do.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      It is interesting to see Cameron hoisted on Osborne’s ‘morally repugnant tax avoidance’ petard. Tax competition is almost the only thing that prevents governments from stealing everyone’s capital off them at will. A vote every five years is little help.

      Given that we have a chancellor and government who waste money hand over fist, then surely legal tax avoidance is an extremely moral thing to do. The avoider will almost always invest & use the money far more efficiently than Osborne will.

      Osborne has delivered much higher tax rate all over, doubled the government debt, has dreadful productivity growth, a huge PSBR, no significant wage growth and a record peace time trade deficit, a bonkers sugar tax.

      But he has however created lots more parasitic jobs as tax advisers with his tax complexity. His national minimum wage will be massively damaging to jobs.

      Hopefully he & Cameron will be gone post Brexit.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      LL.
      Do the Conservative leadership really think Anna Soubry is an asset to the remain cause?

      If she ever becomes a real asset then we are doomed, doomed.

      Hopefully they will keep her in the frame at the moment, that will help our Leave campaign.

      I too felt that Ruth Lea was really sold short by bad control of the panel. She could have done the stay support a lot of damage.

      • bluedog
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Remain have the happy knack of promoting their cause with individuals who qualify for the term ‘useful idiots’, without mentioning any names. And that’s useful for Brexit.

  6. Margaret
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Well as an example it obviously intensifies the Brexit movement. The fact is we like our own territory and whilst there are degrees of attempted dominance and take over of countries ,we can observe that the nature of man is not going to change. How this observation transposes into defensive action though, needs a recognition of potential states of affair. We have experienced Germanys onslaught and lust for dominance and territory twice in the last century .I am sure that the Germans want peace , but on their terms ,as they are a major influence in the EU. They have the capital and feel stronger with their underground Rhur surplus as well as their over ground Euro. They have money and resource in the bank., but what happens when others become frustrated because they desire to dominate ? However global harmony is dressed up the territory markers want to expand their breeding space and others want to stop them. Frustration can lead to war and if people cannot compete on manoeuvre of treaties and duplicity of syntax ,some will overstep the mark and football crowd- like push to extremes. This is what we have to stop …as Brigit says…. for England

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Rutte will consider it…and likely ends right there. Yep, I considered it..done. And Putin is always causal or a man he knows. I thought Russia adjusted the space to help the Russian speakers of the region and so the unstable Kiev Govt lashed out. Persistent punch ups in that hell hole! Chicken eggs anybody…an awful lot of them!

    I note many Dutch polling stations were closed making this vote process very awkward.

    This issue itself should be a signal to Junker to back off and down everywhere that the EU persists. Roll it all back.

    Nobody in their right mind would want to be involved with these people. Perhaps we need a new definition of “right mind”, but don’t let the Tory Govt publish anything on that topic.

  8. Antisthenes
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Russia is of course a bully and is run by gangsters. The same charge could be levelled at the EU the only difference is that the EU gangsters have a veneer of respectability about them. They do not have their fingers directly in the till(not so deeply at least) and their cronyism towards big business is done through rules and regulations and not direct coercion. Ukraine is caught between two unsavoury entities which is worse well on balance that has to be Russia. So Ukraine will be better off under the protection of the West and having access to a European wide tariff free market.

    For Ukraine to achieve both those objectives there is a better way than the way the EU wants to do it. For defence NATO is the appropriate body for that. To join in the supposedly EU tariff free (I have given my views before in saying that the common market in reality is not tariff free) then they have to join the EU. Better would be that the common market is not controlled by Brussels but facilitated by it. That EU political and economic ambitions were not to allowed to influence the common market. That political and economic union was outside the market and open to those who wished to proceed with it.

    In fact the EU should be divested of it’s role in all matters concerning the common market and a separate body along the lines of the WTO should replace it. Let the EU get on with it’s vanity project and those who wish to play with the same toy are at liberty to do so.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps I should have added that when we and others are in the a tariff free common market we will consider the EU’s application to join on it’s merits. As long as they keep their political, economic and competition policies to themselves I am sure they would be accepted. A fee of course would need to be forthcoming say 10 Billion a year to off set the burden they would be with their odd often calamitous ways.

  9. John Bracewell
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    ‘the Netherlands government has been asked to suggest a way forward.’

    Why should the Netherlands government say/do anything, presumably the EU represented by Juncker had foreseen the possibility of a NO vote and had formulated a policy based on that outcome. It smacks of the usual EU voting arrangements, countries vote and repeat their vote until they get the correct answer. The EU is a corrupt organisation. If Juncker is not very careful, he could reignite the Russia/Ukraine military conflict and try to drag the rest of the EU and NATO into a serious situation.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I see that productivity in now back below pre-crisis levels.

    A quarterly drop in output per hour of 1.2pc in the final three months of 2015 the biggest decline since the end of 2008, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

    The sooner Osborne leaves and takes his totally misguided policies with him the better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Does Osborne have anything positive to show in the economy? Lots of low paid, low productivity jobs for migrants is about all he seem to have.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Osborne and TOrY Story policies may well play the root cause, but why is the private sector not paying higher wages when they are making large profits often added to by and from low pay? They are then sending these profits offshore to avoid tax that often these profits have come from leaving the state to provide benefits to top up the low wages of the low paid jobs not always done by migrants, but by people who can only work within a commutable distance often that distance set by the cost of housing and living in that area. They are not paying more because thy do not have to hence the need for NMW to save the taxpayers from subsidising poverty pay or unacceptable living standards for millions.
        How do you intend to increase wages without legislation or unions? You are proposing to ask the companies nicely to pay more for low skilled but very necessary jobs and thats it?
        Or somehow deludedly think that competition between the low paid will push up their wages up instead of down?
        Or thirdly think that they should be paid, but not allowed to claim any healthcare or benefits such as rent and social security? Ave nothing and be happy with it.
        Etc ed

      • stred
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Also interesting that between 2009 to present the growth, even though slow, but better than other EU countries, is only 40% of the published figure, when taking into account the rise in population. re ONS-ABMI-IHXW graph UK GDP vs GDP per head. available on economics help website.

        It appears that much economic growth is down to population increase but then it is diluted. Presumably Gideon is aware of this?

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    The displacement of indigenous Europeans continues unabated with the aid of Brussels and the UN.
    Another 130 million, many who will chance their arm and try for asylum in the UK.
    Reading the Dutch press there is a strong suspicion that many polling stations remained closed to reduce turnout below the required 30%. Is there no limit to the antics the ruling elite will stoop to.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      ‘Is there no limit to the antics the ruling elite will stoop to.’ The answer is clearly no.

      There are entirely justified concerns that after a ‘Yes’ for Brexit vote Cameron would move heaven and earth to ensure that Remain becomes the outcome. We can almost guarantee that if Cameron were still PM, his post-Brexit vote negotiations on behalf of the UK would simply be an extension of his recent failed negotiations, where no treaty changes were obtained.

      As things stand, the European Court of Justice is the ultimate holding company of the United Kingdom and until this is no longer the case, Brexit has not been executed. One hopes Leave have identified criteria which put Brexit into effect.

      It follows that the best way to ensure Brexit is for Cameron to be forced to resign, preferably before 23rd June. An excellent article by Tim Stanley in the DT, taking a pro-Brexit line, explores possibilities.

  12. eeyore
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Completely off topic, if Mr Redwood will permit: those who resent being propagandised at with their own money will find a Parliamentary petition against it at

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762/signatures/new

    Please sign and pass it on.

  13. ChrisS
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Recent history tells us that the normal course of action would be for Brussels to tell the Netherlands, rather brusquely, to get on and vote again and this time come up with the “right” result.

    On this occasion that is far too dangerous – the Dutch might well vote no but this time by a bigger margin and on a higher turnout. If there is no further vote, the Ukraine agreement cannot possibly go ahead because, quite rightly, the Dutch PM – being a proper democrat – knows he can’t possibly sign up to it. Junckers and Co will find that hard to accept but then the elite running the EU have always found democracy somewhat inconvenient.

    A further vote would also be yet another bad precedent for the UK referendum which we are being told is a one-off chance to vote to leave or stay. In short, Junckers and Co are between a rock and a hard place.

    So is this a wider precedent ?

    Yes, of course. Even if the UK votes to remain, possibly by a narrow majority in favour of Brexit and the balance swung in favour of Remain by Scotland, the genie is out of the lamp. Brussels will know that it is now so unpopular that it simply has to avoid any more referenda on any subject, particularly Treaty changes necessary to bring about the full EZ fiscal integration necessary for the Euro to survive.

    As I have said here many times, whatever their leaders say, French voters are never going to sign up to political control from Brussels or, in reality, Berlin. Nor will German taxpayers vote to send countless billions of their hard-earned Euros to Clubmed to keep the show on the road.

    The Dutch vote might currently look like one small step on the road to the failure of the EU as currently constituted, but history could eventually conclude that it was a pivotal event in a process that Europhile politicians were powerless to stop.

  14. Alan
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t know in detail what Mr Juncker said, and anyway it’s the Council of Ministers that determines foreign policy, not the Commission. But I will point out that “opening the door to a continental crisis” is not the same as “causing a continental crisis”. Maybe the door will swing closed again.

    It’s more of a crisis for the Dutch government I would have thought, since I think they have already put their name to the agreement and now find their electorate does not support them. Some backtracking will be needed. Or resignation and an election, I suppose.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      All the governments put their names to the agreement subject to final ratification after domestic approval. It would be bad faith for a government to do that and then make no effort to get the treaty approved, but if domestic approval is not forthcoming then that does not imply that it is backtracking or reneging.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Dutch vote is highly significant in that the Dutch electorate has implicitly opted out of the EU foreign policy project. In doing this the Dutch people have demanded the return of their sovereignty to treat, or not treat, with foreign powers.

      One confidently predicts that the next Euro-revolt will be in France, where popular rejection of the EU Constitution was subverted by the Treaty of Lisbon. It seems likely that the emergence of German hegemony in the EU, with Merkel acting unilaterally on so many fronts, is awakening deep ancestral fears among the French.

  15. agricola
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I believe our PM gave his support to the EU plan to gradually ease the Ukraine and other eastern states into the EU. Expand to the Urals etc. Now Holland, via a referendum, has voted a resounding No to further EU eastward expansion.

    In a democracy, such as we have left in the UK, that would be an end to the matter. However in an EU where democracy is an alien concept, I can almost guarantee that they will be looking for ways to ignore this damning decision on their plans. It would not surprise me if they came up with something like the juxtaposition of an EU Constitution/ Lisbon Treaty scam to enable them to ignore the Dutch. Check your history, this is how Stalinist/Socialists think and work.

    I suspect two denials of democracy in Holland would be the last straw, resulting in a demand for Hexit. I hope it follows swiftly on our vote for Brexit.

    Only an ace PR. PM could find himself fighting battles of his own instigation on three fronts at the same time. One of Tax Avoidance, Two of spending Tax Funds to support Remain, and three the Brexit Referendum, while contriving to be on the wrong side in all three.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Uptick.

  16. Antisthenes
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The BBC has scented blood and so is going after DMC’s jugular I note. On breakfast this morning Nick Boles was interviewed about David Cameron’s tax affairs. Both questions and answers I thought were mostly spurious. The nastiness of the interviewer left no doubt as to where the BBC stands on this matter. His aggressive manner and constant interruptions lead me to believe I was seeing a true progressive/socialist lefty in action.

    Much of the off shore revelations are to my mind are also spurious as no one is distinguishing between tax avoidance (proper tax management) and evasion. One is perfectly legal and one is not. If our tax laws are wrong then attack the legislators not those who are abiding by the laws that those legislators enacted. People in glass houses the rest of us who will if given the chance find ways to pay less tax are throwing stones. Hypocrisy? Most definitely.

    I think that DMC’s handling of the criticism of his tax affairs does show that he is capable of being less than honest. His spin is similar to that which he uses to win his case for remaining in the EU. Little to do with whole truths but half truths. misdirection and obfuscating denial. Hopefully the general public will see the same thing I see and more will move away from supporting him. His political career at the moment appears to be unravelling. Good for us who wish to leave the EU but bad for the Conservative party.

    Still never make a crisis go to waste as anyone in Labour politician or Brussels apparatchik will tell you and so capitalise on it to win the vote. The fall out consequences will have to be dealt with later when it is all over.

  17. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Prior to the Ukraine civil war, there was a banning and active repudiation of the Russian language in the Ukraine schools and districts which had predominantly Russian speaking children.These were not migrants but born and bred Ukrainians as were their ancestors with a Russian tongue.
    The EU did not raise a hue and cry about the violation of their natural and human rights. The EU “moral” code; its own modus operendi, in even considering membership to the EU in any form should have blocked Ukraine…so too for Latvia with its continuing ban on a large percentage of its ethnic Russians from even having a vote in local councils let alone national elections.With former SS Nazi Latvian soldiers holding annual marches with the blessing of the Latvian government in the capital Riga. As for EU membership for Turkey…out of the question, obviously.
    The EU has moved its position just as NATO missiles have moved their forward positions in Latvia, Poland ‘Lithuania, Estonia, in one or two cases right up to the border of Russian territory. All this was prior to the now frequent Russian bombers flying in international airspace just outside our very own airspace. Slow moving bombers ( with propellers ) it must be said.
    (Do something ed) to see end of the EU’s Associate Membership nonsense with the morally and financially corrupt government of the Ukraine

  18. English Pensioner
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    One wonders what is the position of countries like Hungary and other ex-east bloc countries. Hungary hasn’t gone along with the EU on immigration, why should it agree on Ukraine which could do them just as much harm?
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to find real European news; in any case much of the media hides the details as it did with the problems over the new year in Cologne which are still emerging three months later. The EU is doing a good job when it comes to hiding what is happening.

    • bluedog
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      You have to look far and wide to get a grip on what’s going on in Eastern Europe.

      A good starting point is the Visegrad Group, an alliance between Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia covering military, economic and energy policy. A look at the map shows that this bloc stands in the way of western expansion by Russia. You will also note that the Visegrad nations have been running a coordinated policy on Syrian migration, taking a stance in direct opposition to Germany. Of course, the eastern border of Poland abutts the Ukraine, the topic of this post by Dr JR.

      Going further back in history to the 18th century, one of the largest nations in Europe was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which encompassed the Western and Catholic areas of Ukraine as well as Poland and Lithuania. This entity was destroyed by Russia and Prussia, acting in concert.

      Plus ca change, eh?

      • Mitchel
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Your analysis is in my view incorrect.There is a Polish view of history and there is a Russian view of history.The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth included vast tracts of land -the provinces of Volhynia & Galicia and the territory of Kiev(broadly equivalent to Belarus and the bulk of Ukraine today) -which were Rus and,by religion,Orthodox.Lithuania and Poland individually annexed these territories,whilst Russia was under the Mongol Yoke and as Mongol power in the west was fading, before merging together.The partition of “Poland” for Russia was the taking back of these lands and the restoration of most of Holy Russia(Poland proper went first to Prussia and then, after the Napoleonic wars,to the Tsar in personal union).You omit to mention Austria the other participant in the partitions.It took the bulk of Galicia (aka Ruthenia aka Western Ukraine) which on the collapse of the Hapsburg empire at the end of WWI declared independence but was quickly annexed by Poland.Stalin corrected this at the end of WWII when Poland’s borders were shunted westwards.The land of Holy Russia was therefore restored ,unfortunately the Poles had colonised these lands not just with Poles but large numbers of Jews which gave rise to the pogroms of the late Tsarist empire and then the(murders ed) conducted by the Nazis when they occupied them.Ukraine is still mostly Orthodox,Catholic in the Ukrainian context means the “Greek Catholic” (aka Uniate)Church- which administers the Byzantine rite of the Orthodox church but acknowledges the Pope in Rome- a compromise that was the result of Polish rule.

        • Mitchel
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Needless to say it is the Catholic,Polish view of history that is the standard western text,particularly in the USA where the diaspora have an antipathy to Russia akin to the Irish diaspora’s regarding the UK.

  19. Graham
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The Treaty will be ratified by the Dutch – watch and learn (again) – I suggest

  20. alan jutson
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I guess the other Member Countries, including ourselves will not get a vote, because their Governments have decided a referendum vote is not required.

    Given we have a referendum lock, which is supposed to automatically come into force should any further power be given away to the EU, should this not be triggered automatically.

    If another Country is to join (Turkey or any other) or indeed be part of anything EU, then that Country gains influence with its additional votes, surely that will mean that our voting percentage to influence decisions has been reduced, thus our Power within the EU has automatically been reduced.

    Well done the Netherland Voters, time will tell if their wishes will be backed up by their Government, or if it will be simply ignored.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Well, this is an association agreement, not an accession treaty; but even if it was an accession treaty we would not have a referendum on it under Hague’s “referendum block” law which has a blanket exemption for all accession treaties.

      That is how the coalition government was able to dodge a referendum on whether Croatia should be allowed to join the EU:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-accession-of-the-republic-of-croatia-to-the-european-union

      • alan jutson
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Dennis

        Why did I fear something in the small print would make the so called Referendum Lock an almost useless and unfit for purpose piece of legislation.

        Perhaps a track record of Budgets, Tax rises, Benefit modifications, etc etc.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          And that’s not the only “something in the small print” … but if the government ran out of loopholes then it could simply get Parliament to repeal the Act, either wholly or more likely just to the extent necessary to avoid the unwanted referendum.

    • ChrisS
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      That turncoat Hague, who went native as soon as he went through the door of the Foreign Office, was the guy who devised the referendum lock.

      He made a specific exemption : A new country joining the EU does NOT trigger a referendum. So, if Cameron wants to allow 90m Moslems free movement to come to the UK if/when Turkey joins the EU, there is nothing whatsoever we can do about it.

      Unless we vote to leave !

      • bluedog
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Hammond has gone native in the Foreign Office too. From being a Eurosceptic economic rationalist he seems to have been completely brainwashed into the FCO world-view. How do they do it?

  21. Chris
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The Daily Express has quoted various eurocrats’ remarks, as well as Poroschenko. They are not encouraging. I post some of the quotes below. Business as usual it seems.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/659147/Dutch-referendum-EU-leaders-Ukraine-deal-Netherlands-no-vote-Juncker-Merkel-Hollande
    “‘Your vote means NOTHING’ Brussels insists land grab plot WILL go ahead despite Dutch ‘no’

    EUROPEAN UNION leaders were tonight plotting to override the democratic wishes of the Dutch people and plough ahead with a rejected plan to tighten their grip on Ukraine
    Germany’s Angela Merkel told journalists the Dutch ‘no’ vote will be “managed as we have managed other difficult issues before”, whilst French president Francois Hollande said the EU will “implement and apply” the rejected treaty.

    And EU President Jean-Claude Juncker today expressly refused to rule out steamrollering the Dutch people’s democratic rights and enforcing the deal on them anyway.
    Their remarks came hours after Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko insisted his country WILL join the EU come what may, regardless of whether the European populace want it to. …..”

  22. Vanessa
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    An honest man? JR – this is the man who locked the doors of the (Belgian) parliament before he took a vote so nobody who disagreed with him could participate! Oh yes, as honest as the day is long !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Mitchel
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I think more people are becoming wise to the fact that post-Soviet Russia is not a threat to Europe,that it is the West (or rather it’s unaccountable elites)that is conducting an ideological war and that both the EU and NATO are cold war institutions past their sell by date.

    People should mark Foreign Minister Lavrov’s words in a recent article in “Russia in Global Affairs”:”During the last two centuries,any attempt to unite Europe without Russia and against it has inevitably led to grim tragedies,the consequences of which were always overcome with the decisive participation of our country”.

    There is both a warning and an opportunity in that remark;I hope our leaders heed both.

  24. Bert Young
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The Dutch vote confirmed that they had no faith in the direction the EU had taken with the Ukraine ; the fiddling that the USA and the EU have had in the turmoil of that country has led to the present dilemma and difficulty with Russia . We all know that the Ukrainians are capable of voting and it should be left to them whether they wish to align with Russia in parts of the country , or , not .

    Russia has a long and historical link with the Ukraine as well as sharing a border ; they do not want to be threatened by outside influences , particularly by the USA . Previous deals between Russia and the Ukraine led to the provision of Russian oil and gas – essential to the existence and survival of the Ukrainian economy . The Ukrainians are foolish to turn their backs on this link because the EU and the USA are in no way able to substitute for it . Only the votes in the Ukraine should decide ; outsiders ought to keep their noses out of it .

    That the EU is in turmoil is beyond doubt . The uncontrolled migration caused by Germany and the stand-off that now exists with many of the EU countries highlights the incompetence of a centralised regime to deal with it . Were it not for the contribution that Germany makes to EU funding , the crisis would not have existed . The lead that the Dutch have taken is a signal for liberty and independence ; we must follow .

  25. A different Simon
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I traveled to London yesterday and on the train read The Times , City AM and on the way home the Evening Standard .

    At least 1 in 4 pages of each of those publications was devoted to Project Fear . The media has gone into overdrive batting for the EU and fifth columnist British Establishment .

    Apparently Cameron is now trying to scare young people by saying leaving the EU will damage their career chances .

    He hasn’t come clean about tax dodging either , just says he isn’t going to do it in future .

    The Elite don’t seem to understand is that ordinary people see through their constant over egging of the pudding .

    It is like North Korea’s attempts to claim Kim Jon Un is legitimate because he got 99.25% of the vote or his daddy’s claim to have got hole in ones the first time he played golf .

  26. William Long
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    My guess, like some others who have commented so far, is that Mr Juncker will do precisely nothing and hope to ignore the will of the Dutch electorate. The democratic deficit is to me the worst thing about the EU and the reason that it must eventually collapse. Mr Cameron must regard the hypocritical sniping at his father’s investment arrangements as a welcome means of burying what should be used as great ammunition for the ‘Out’ campaigners.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    “Mr Juncker, the President of the Commission, made clear in an interview just before the Netherlands referendum on the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement that a vote against the EU plan would “open the doors to a continental crisis”. As I presume he is an honest man who knows his EU, I await his measures to deal with this crisis that he has helped create.”

    Personally I’d also like Cameron to say what he will do to deal with the crisis he is predicting for after we have voted to leave the EU.

    At present it all seems to be on the lines of doing nothing – “The French will swamp south east England with illegal immigrants, I will do nothing to prevent that happening” – or even threatening to make sure it is as bad as possible – “When the EU stops paying its subsidies to our farmers I will make sure that they are all bankrupted and you starve”.

    One might ask, “Whose side is he on?”, but many of us already know the answer to that.

  28. Pete
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, perhaps you could enlighten us by describing exactly what “illegal military actions by Russia” you are thinking of? Was it the Russians that sponsored the illegal (word left out ed) coup? Or Washington and Brussels? Has Russia invaded or attacked any country as NATO has?
    I’d be interested to know.

  29. turbo terrier
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Well said John.

    Like with the sudden realisation today reported in the Telegraph that our energy system was planned with little or no strategic planning and will cost us billions in constraint payments so the consideration of growing the EU with even more poor countries will drag us down and the UK government cannot see the bleeding obvious.

    The sudden realisation that Tata have made millions from CO2 trading does nobody in the controlling departments do their homework. Just because they have done nothing wrong it doesn’t make it right.

    This madness has got to be stopped.

    When it all goes wrong all we will hear is ” it was within the rules” Sound familiar?

  30. ian
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The Dutch are not as thick as the global elite had hope they would be but hear is another case.
    Any country and their leaders and politicians that do not conform to what global elite want like Russia are set a upon by their global institution, country they control and the corporate media, as you can see the leader of this country has allowed a referendum to take place and is now fighting for his life against the corporate media with allegations in the news that he might of done something wrong, what he has done wrong has allowed referendum to take place which if it go wrong can derail over 200 years of global elite work to take over Europe.

  31. turbo terrier
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The link regarding the National Grid as mentioned in my previous entry

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/07/uk-will-have-too-much-electricity-this-summer-national-grid-fore/

    Whatever happened to the Great in Britain?

    We have to take full control of our destiny and the priority is leaving the EU to their own devices and make sure we have clear water between them and us when it finally sinks without trace.

    • stred
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      TT. Apart from closing the big coal station and leaving Scots dependent on the English for winter top ups, the offshore wind industry is gearing up for many more windsubsidyfarms way out at sea. These have been approved and some are planned on the Dogger Bank 70+ miles out to be built by a company chaired by Lord Deben (S.Gummer) who resigned as he was advising the government then replaced by an ex DECC minister. Presumably, these too will attract subsidy for generating and also for not generating.

      These wind turbines will be 600ft tall and have to be replaced in 15-20 years. The cost of electricity has been estimated at 40x the real cost of gas generation, taking into account the replacement costs and others in a full calculation.

      The Swedish firm Vattenfall has taken down their first offshore windfarm as they wore out after 13 years, and this was in comparatively sheltered waters.

      re http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/offshore-wind/ development-rounds.cfm euanmearns.com/estimating-lifetime-costs-for-renewable-energy-in europe/ http://www.offshore

      • stred
        Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        The renewableuk page fails but just go to ‘offshore-development rounds. There are 18 approved or awarded new offshore projects underway and 28 total including operational. The Dogger Bank firm is a consortium of foreign companies including SSE. This is by far the largest investment in offshore in the world, will need maintenance and replacement, costs 14x as much as gas according to some engineers, requires gas stations to shut down and run inefficiently, and attracts inflation linked subsidies when working or not working. Well done Lord Deben, DECC and the EU.

        • stred
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          should be to cut CO2

        • stred
          Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          It was amusing to hear Greg now Lord Barker on the R4 Today talking about the need to protect the steel and other high energy users from high green electricity and fuel costs, especially as he was a minister at DECC when steel was being crippled. The above wild offshore wind farm expansion approved by himself and Ed now Sir Davey will put costs up even more.

          His answer was to do as the good green Germans and exempt heavy industrial users. As the wattsup post put on here 2 days ago shows, the UK heavy pays9.5kW/h, Germany 7.5 and Sweden with mainly nuclear and hydro pays 2.7. For domestic small consumers UK pays 12, Germany 12.7 and Sweden 5. Now work out how much extra the UK domestic consumer’s bill will have to go up if heavy users are protected and the energy companies are allowed to make the same.

          We are aiming to follow Germany although Germany’s policy has not allowed it to cost CO2 and the levels are among the highest- far higher than France and Sweden.

          https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/uks-crippling-energy-bill-for-industry/

          (Missed a slashafter 4 and first one not working)

  32. Chris
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I see that Germany’s AfD party have joined Farage’s EFDD (and left Cameron’s group) in the European Parliament. Article on Breitbart London. They apparently wish to support the Brexit movement/ideals.

  33. Qubus
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, I know.

    Whatever one thinks about the morals of Mr Cameron’s financial behaviour, I don’t think that he needs any lessons from our cheese-eating surrender-monkey friends across the Channel.
    I don’t agree with Mr Cameron’s stance towards the EU, but give the man a break.

  34. Chris
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the idea of a legal challenge in the European Courts to the £9 million leaflet is being seriously suggested on order order website. There are a number of quotes from the relevant documents which, on the surface, make it seem plausible? Have you seen this, Mr Redwood?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Personally I think that it’s enough to point it out, but without actually launching a hugely expensive and ultimately futile court case. While it is of course totally wrong the government’s dissemination of this pro-EU propaganda is technically legal under the European Union Referendum Act 2015, which the government has already, routinely, declared to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/36/notes/division/8/index.htm

  35. stred
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It seems more likely that the EU expansion east is a joint effort between the US and EU, driven by the neoconservatives and transformational diplomacy. They will ignore referendums.

    Eural was in Birmingham one day, Exeter the next talking to patsy audiences. Apart from the £9m spent on glossy leaflets, how much is being spent on flights and civil servants setting up these tv public relations adverts? Parliamentary questions are needed.

  36. Atlas
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    John, on a point of fact: Is this the same Dutch PM who bounced the Dutch people into the Lisbon Treaty?

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    The House of Commons Library has just produced this interesting, generally informative but in some respects unreliable Research Briefing:

    http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7551

    “EU Referendum: the process of leaving the EU”

    At this point I would draw particular attention to the claim that the UK could not stay in the EEA after leaving the EU unless it first joined EFTA, which is really only based on the absence of any precedent for a country to be part of the EEA unless it is either in the EU or in EFTA. My reply to that is simply that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU will itself be unprecedented, and so it may well necessitate alternative new arrangements which are also unprecedented but nonetheless perfectly possible from a technical point of view. After all when the EEA was originally planned it was intended to include all of the EFTA states at that time, but then most of them transferred to the EU while Switzerland has kept out of the EU and is still in EFTA but it is not in the EEA.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Dennis

      That is one view. If they want us to continue to by their goods, they will either have to do a quick (unlikely) deal or, make some special arrangement. Anything is possible when so much (for them as well as us) is at stake.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Where there’s a will there’s a way, and it’s all down to political will what new treaties are put in place. If everybody agrees that they don’t want existing trade to be interrupted or impeded then they will sort out the legalities to make sure that existing trade will not be interrupted or impeded. On the other hand if Cameron is right in his interpretation that they don’t really want to trade with us, and they only do so because we have somehow managed to get EU treaties in place to force them to do so, then that will be a very different matter. Then we will see the Germans gleefully seizing the opportunity to stop selling us their cars, and the French will be rejoicing that they no longer have to profit from supplying us with wine, etc. It’s all such a load of unspeakable tosh, and Cameron knows it is.

  38. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I listen (with disgust) to the likes of Anna Soubry going on about ‘the government has a position and we are going to tell people what it is’.

    As far as I am concerned, the Conservative Party is currently governing the country. David Cameron and Anna Soubry are just temporary inhabitants of their posts. In a few years they’ll be gone and someone else will be doing the job. I am under the impression that at least half of the Conservative MPs support leaving the EU. In which case, if the ‘government’ has a position it is for ‘out’. Why is David Cameron being allowed to impose his rabid and rather strange views (given previous things he said about being prepared to lead Britain out if he didn’t get what HE wanted (not US) from HIS (not OUR) renegotiation) on the rest of party?

    Haven’t any of the Conservative MPs who want to leave got a backbone? Time to let Mr. Cameron know that his slim majority could very easily vaporise if MPs had the guts to leave the party and become independent. MPs who put their country before their party leader would have the thanks of the electorate and would definitely get elected again.

  39. Mark B
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I would like to add something about Ukraine that we have not touched on and would be of some debate going forward.

    Currently the site at Cheynobyl (sp) is still highly radioactive and require a massive clean up that will run into the 100’s of billions. I’d the likes of Greece, Malta and quite a few others have the necessary funds to pay for the clean up that mess for a new member of the EU. So I guess it will be down to the UK and perhaps a few others.

    Worth taking into consideration that.

  40. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Once again, an institution of the West, in this case the EU, fails to recognise the difference between Russian nationalism and interests on the one hand and Communism on the other hand. Communism has gone, replaced by a kind of democracy, corruption and state sponsored murder. Whoever was in charge of Russia would have wanted Crimea back and would have been concerned about the interests of Russian speaking Ukranians who look to Moscow. The problem isn’t Putin.

    There is a deal to be done: Ukraine must be militarily neutral – i.e. not join NATO and not sign up to the European SuperState Project, which has military ambitions even if they are not yet realised. It must recognise unconditionally that Crimea is Russian. Ukraine could make trade agreements with whomever it wished to, and would give minority rights to Russian speakers, rights that would stop well short of conceding territory.

    It’s not Ukraine that feel sorry for; it’s Georgia. It declared war on Russia in 2008!!!! Very brave; too brave. Predictably, they failed to regain South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which have become economic backwaters because western nations will never invest in them.

  41. stred
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Yep. An election was due a year after the coup. They just couldn’t wait to get in there.

  42. Tim L
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    John

    On the point of Juncker predicting a ” continental crisis” if the Dutch voted I thought I’d see how the BBC website would cover it given they reported his remarks last month.

    It barely made the Home news page all day and the Europe page featured Iceland’s PM and the story about French sex workers as top stories.

    Either he was scaremongering or the BBC has missed the crisis!

  43. fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Keep up the good work John. I find your posting a great source of knowledge. This is how the EU started and things have got out of hand simply because of the secretive way they go about things. I and many others would not know half the things we do now if it weren’t for sites like yours. Thank you. I try to pass on much of it to others.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Another little gem from Juncker, among those compiled here:

      https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Juncker

      “We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.”

      Which is precisely what would have happened in this case, if the Netherlands didn’t have a new law forcing the government to hold a referendum if more than 300,000 citizens sign a petition to demand one – the kind of law the Swiss have long had, and we should also have, but the coalition government refused to contemplate.

  44. Chris S
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I listened to Chris Grayling on Today this morning and he made a sensible and well considered defence of the Prime Minister and his tax affairs before being asked about the referendum and the dodgy document, sorry, leaflet.

    I thought this was an excellent demonstration of vote leave taking the moral high ground.

    For the record, and as a recently-retired Independent Financial Adviser, I feel qualified to comment : David Cameron has done absolutely nothing wrong.

    His £30,000 was not in a tax free offshore bank account it was in a properly constituted Investment Trust, one of hundreds that are perfectly legitimate investment vehicles and, as Grayling said, ones that report to HMRC every year and whose unit values are reported in UK newspapers. An Investment Trust is not a personal vehicle for avoiding tax, it is a class of investment vehicle publicly available to anyone.

    At the time CMD cashed in his units, the fund administration and domicile had been moved to Ireland, maybe it was still technically “Offshore” but Ireland is hardly a tax haven !

    As the PM rightly stated, tax would have been paid on dividends from the shares the Investment Trust owned in the underlying investments, but the proceeds when the PM sold his units would have been subject to the Capital Gains Tax regime. He confirmed that the gain over the period he held the units was less than the annual CGT allowance so no further tax was due. For no CGT to be due in 2009/2010 or 2010/2011 financial years means that the profit he made was less than £10,100.

    It is therefore hard to see how Labour can justify making such a fuss over this.
    It’s all about Corbyn and McDonald trying to take cynical advantage and cause damage to the PM by stirring up feelings of greed and envy amongst voters.

    The only thing that No 10 rather than CMD can be accused of is PR mismanagement.

  45. matthu
    Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    On Sunday on Andrew Marr iain dale will be reviewing the newspapers. This is what he had to say on his blog about the government pamphlet:

    It’s hard to describe how angry this has made me. If you believe in any sense of fairness I just cannot see how you defend it. The increasingly hapless Liz Truss was sent out to do just that and the best she could come up with was that people want the facts, so the government is damn well going to give them to them. Except if you actually read the text of the leaflet it is full of opinions, threats and suppositions, with the odd fact thrown in for good measure.

    Worth watching, I reckon.

  46. gyges01 (@gyges01)
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi John
    I find it astounding that very few commentators tie together this treaty and the war in the Ukraine, apart from yourself.

  • About John Redwood


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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page