How will the Cabinet members really vote in the referendum? The EU is the face that launches a thousand whips.

We can be sure of just one thing about the voting intentions of Cabinet members on June 23rd. The six ( now 5 after resignation) brave enough to declare for Brexit will vote for it. It is not easy for a serving Cabinet Minister to disagree so fundamentally with the Prime Minister, so if they do so they will see it through.

But can Mr Cameron rely on the votes of all the other 16 in the privacy of the polling booth? There are some very unlikely converts to the joys of the EU amongst the Cabinet. They will live through some very uncomfortable interviews, problems with explaining their positions to their Conservative Associations and no doubt a good few constituent emails and letters. In the end their own inner beliefs may come through in what after all is a secret ballot.

Those who come out and speak about the topic are often quick to criticise aspects of the present EU. None of them want us to join its two central features, the common frontiers and the single currency. It’s as if we had joined a football club, only to state we have no intention of either playing or watching any football, and then demanding a lower subscription to the club because we don’t join in its main purposes.

Listening to the Prime Minister himself who will vote to stay in I am struck by how much of what he says about the EU is negative. He stresses all the things we are out of thanks to past opt outs, or things he wants us to be out of but probably are not owing to the weak deal. The Remain side  wants to win based on describing unappealing versions of Out which we do not have to choose, whilst stressing Eurosceptic negatives on the organisation they are  in practice recommending to us!

So who is the genuine EU enthusiast in the Cabinet? The curious thing is there isn’t one. Mrs May is as close as you get to someone who can see some good in the organisation and wants to expand its power a bit. You need to go to the next layer down to find a believer like Anna Soubry. Never has a Cabinet risked so much to argue such an unpopular case when so few of them believe in it.
The face of the EU is the face that has launched a thousand whips. Most of those whips have been as unpalatable as the EU’s face is unattractive to many Conservative MPs.


  1. Horatio
    April 13, 2016

    Absolutely correct JR and your colleagues would do well to ware this message. The threat of RedEd and Sturgeon stopped many voting ukip last time. It wont next time. There is a raw fury in the country. We are fans of England and UK plc and wont forgive treachery or deceit this time. In most constituencies it is the ground game:activists pounding streets and doing polling booth runs than win the day: That’s why we real Tories love rainy election days .

    Excellent piece in the Standard last night on the pros of BREXIT, shame it was tucked away at the back of the paper and not enlarged and opposite the hyperbolic ‘IMF predicts global apocalypse’ piece.

    Cast Iron Dave made a God awful pledge to the Scots and showed his absolute disregard for the English so he wouldn’t be the Premier who broke up the Union. He is showing a similar disregard, to the English again, but also to the rest of the UK, believing that we are better servants of Junker et al, than Masters. What beautiful irony it would be (at least to this proud Englishman) if CMD fails utterly and we stopped subsidising the profiligacy of those on the continent and lost that other ungrateful weight on the English purse as a result.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      What stops people voting UKIP is the FPTP voting system that render UKIP votes largely worthless.

      The only way, given the system that pertains, is to take back control of the Tory party from the current Libdem, pro EU, tax borrow and waste, greencrap, serial ratting, wage controlling, say one thing do the opposite, idiotic socialists that are currently in charge.

      Hopefully post Brexit this will happen, but will the party fall apart as these dreadful Libdem rats abandon the sinking ship?

      1. David Edwards
        April 13, 2016

        “…the current Libdem, pro EU, tax borrow and waste, greencrap, serial ratting, wage controlling, say one thing do the opposite, idiotic socialists that are currently in charge…”

        I agree very much with these words so rather than say something similar I’ve just copied them.

      2. Bob
        April 13, 2016


        “What stops people voting UKIP is the FPTP voting system”

        …and the determination by the political establishment to block ukip from Parliament which results in Tory voters being urged to vote Labour to block ukip and visa versa depending on which of the parties had the best chance of beating ukip.

        Add to that the apparent breaches of election spending limits by the Tories in target seats like Newark, Clacton, Rochester and Thanet South.

        Our democracy is broken.

      3. Mark W
        April 14, 2016

        FPTP may have stopped people voting UKIP in the past. FPTP stopped Scots voting SNP until they twigged that 45% in a referendum on independence would win you most seats at a general election. If UKIP have the sense to not stand against people like John Redwood or Kate Hoey et al (alot more Tories than Labour but it’s not only Tories that are EU realists) then the next general election in this country, if we lose the Brexit referedum (Which I bitterely regret that I think we will) could see a referendum loss with over 40 odd % become a landslide in a general election.

        I am becoming more optamistic about the June 23rd vote and my own findings from the parts of the country (alot of England) and most social classes is that I have met 2 in a few 100 that will vote remain.

    2. APL
      April 13, 2016

      Horatio:”Cast Iron Dave made a God awful pledge to the Scots..”

      David Cameron is a Scot. What do you expect?

    3. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      You say “Cast Iron Dave made a God awful pledge to the Scots and showed his absolute disregard for the English.”

      Indeed, not that he ever keeps his promises anyway of course. Needless to say he did not have any consent from the English for this pledge. The English who will have to pay for these pledges. So one can reasonably argue they the Scots a. should have know these were valueless and the pledges can safely be ignored. Unless the English voters agree to them in a referendum that is.

      At least the English were not daft enough to elect an Ed Miliband dog wagged by a Nicola Sturgeon tail. Even Cameron was preferable better than that dreadful prospect.

      The splitting of a country into two is clearly a matter on which both parts should have a say.

      Then I suppose the English would have voted for them to leave and the Scots would want to stay!

    4. Hope
      April 13, 2016

      The biggest scare is that dodgy Cameron might be allowed by his party to remain in post if we vote to leave! Who could think of a worse person than him to negotiate the UK exit? The lies in his pro EU leaflet are breathtaking i.e. Secure borders. Has he lost leave of his senses? Is this why May is allowed to lose hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to the system without punishment? Could he tell us accurately how many convicted EU citizens were allowed in the UK without supervision or monitoring and how many went on to commit serious crime against our citizens? The leaflet title claiming to be a government view is a sham. There is no collective resonsibility and therefore there cannot be a government view. It is his view not that of all the cabinet. The Vice President of the EU states his alleged renegotiation is not legally binding. Shultz made similar claims, can all the EU leaders be wrong? What do we make of the five presidents reports against Cameron’s leaflet?

      Is it not time he made a full open public apology to Jimmy Carr for his career assignation of him for his alleged tax avoidance when Cameron KNEW he had done the same! Particularly as he was lying to the public when he said that we were all in it together! Cameron cannot be trusted on any issue, or delivering anything he promises with a cast iron pledge. Too many to be a mistake or oversight. With his expensive education it is difficult not to reach any other conclusion than he is a compulsive liar.

      1. Antisthenes
        April 14, 2016

        David Cameron appears to be losing trust not just from us the usual suspects but the from the public in general. A plus for the leavers side. Long may it continue. Although I am not happy that it must also damage the party as well that has enough problems with the splits this referendum is causing.

        Cameron carrying on if we vote leave is a ridiculous notion for two reasons. Firstly by taking the stance he did in light of the non deal which is probably not legally binding anyway and his behaviour since no one will support him as he has proved himself a failure. Secondly his heart cannot be in a negotiation that involves Brexit as he has made it quite plain that he adamantly against it. Maybe he is contemplating a stitch up and a negotiating to leave will in fact turn into one to remain. He will no doubt with the connivance of Brussels announce that the EU is prepared to offer more concessions if we remain in and ask us to vote again. It will be the same nothings but reworded. We can be certain that is how it will play out because it has happened in similar ways so often before.

        1. Hope
          April 14, 2016

          He is already creating the narrative that there will still be freedom of movement for EU citizens to stay in the single market even if we vote to leave! In other words he will be negotiating for the status quo and there would be no point in leaving because he would negotiate the current position. The nation is more important than the Tory party. They must realise they should rid him from office ASAP.

      2. Denis Cooper
        April 14, 2016

        It’s over a decade since Cameron suddenly stepped into the limelight and blagged his way into the Tory leadership, he’s repeatedly broken his word, and if I didn’t know better about these things I’d be surprised that there are so many people who still trust him.

        But the reality is that most people are preoccupied with the often tiresome details of their everyday lives, not with politics, and they have many much more important matters to remember than every occasion a politician has shown himself to be unworthy of their trust.

    5. Beecee
      April 13, 2016

      Sturgeon+Lab, and a Tory candidate who expressed concerns about the EU saw off a very strong UKIP candidate in my constituency.

      Said MP has now declared that he is for Remain and seems to have voted for more EU integration at every opportunity.

      Disgraceful response to Mr Rees-Mogg at PM questions today.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 13, 2016

        Indeed Cameron was a compete and pathetic disgrace and in his answer to Rees-Mogg’s sensible question. But then we know exactly what to expect from the say one thing do the complete opposite, serial ratter.

        Surely no one ever expected him to deliver a fair referendum did they? I do not actually think we will get out of the EU, even after the Brexit vote. With so many people like Cameron & Osborne around and the commons clearly pro EU and against the public having any say.

    April 13, 2016

    “The face of the EU is the face that has launched a thousand whips.” – Excellent! Another interesting article, thank you.

    JR, let’s start the day on a positive note. Yesterday your correspondent ‘Chris’ posted an amusing comment about Herr Schulz’s interview mentioning ‘escape referendums’. Several other readers commented on the IMF’s announcement of Armageddon if we Brexit.

    So to start the day positively, your readers might like to know that we published a devastating rebuttal of the IMF’s claims within an hour of them being made. And thanks to Chris, we read the interview with President Schulz in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and published our take on this.

    Both of these are in ‘sound-bite’ form, as well as bullet-pointed ‘fact boxes’ which contain all the official sources. Readers can read them here:

    What a shame that no-one from any of the Leave campaigns has shown the slightest interest in all this voluntary but professional work, which is added to daily and updated throughout the day. It’s equally a shame that pro-Brexit MPs and even Ministers continue to appear on TV poorly-briefed. You won’t want me to name names so I won’t, but there continue to be ‘car-crash’ interviews, with pro-Brexit politicians and spokespersons not even knowing basic facts before appearing.

    JR, you don’t need us as you’re very knowledgable about anything likely to come up. When you’re given the chance to appear on TV, you make punchy and very positive statements, and you get your points across with authority. Some of your colleagues are also effective.

    However it’s perfectly obvious that many of your colleagues would welcome some fast and reliable facts and arguments. Our site is still a long way from being all-encompassing, but we have a lot of information in such a quick and easily-accessible form that it surprises us that none of this is being used. It’s also surprising that none of the Leave campaigns are interested, so it’s not being circulated.

    We have no ego about our site, but it’s a simple fact that the average voter needs easily-digestible and reliable information and they’re still not getting it. If any of your readers have constructive suggestions for getting the word out and can actually help, we’d love to hear them. And we’d love more comments below the articles.

    We continue to get ideas for fact boxes from your daily articles, so thank you for this, and for the link to us on your site.

    We’re all in this together!

    1. Graham Wood
      April 13, 2016 If I can comment on your point :
      ” it’s a simple fact that the average voter needs easily-digestible and reliable information and they’re still not getting it.”

      I suggest that is not the case, and the two main ‘leave’ organisations are indeed very active in getting out such material. For example, Vote Leave have produced what is in my view an ideal, attractive , basic points leaflet entitled “5 Positive reasons to Vote leave and take back control” and it is going out door to door in tens of thousands (certainly in my area of York) as we speak.

      Perhaps you make the assumption that the mass of British voters will be looking to internet websites for such information. That may be so for a very small minority, but I suggest there is no substitute for a simple “5 pointer” leaflet landing on your own doormat – to be read and digested at leisure.

      It is not a case of either/or but both “and”. Both serve different levels of interest and for those many who are not particularly computer literate, the leaflet is still the best information conveyor in my view. Your website is invaluable, but like all other sources, is limited. So maybe ‘leave’ organisations already have their hands full with their own initiatives, and are getting the main facts out and noticed.

    2. Denis Cooper
      April 13, 2016

      That’s a very good website, congratulations, now on my favourites list.

    3. Leslie Singleton
      April 13, 2016

      Dear Facts–John Woodward was splendid on the News last night, politely, cogently and convincingly demolishing the (BBC) interview’s attempts at loaded questions–I very much hope we see and hear a lot more from him.

    4. Chris
      April 13, 2016

      Thanks! It is really helpful to have your website and I will do what I can to publicise it. A tiny contribution, I realise. I listened to some of the European Parliament contributions this morning and found that there was a very convincing and interesting contribution by Farage about the non democratic nature of the EU and how they really are living in the past. He referred to the role of the blogosphere, and of course mentioned the Dutch referendum, emphasising the role the blogosphere played. I think he has some interesting ideas lined up for developing that side of things further, after the referendum. Whether you support UKIP/Farage or not, there is no doubt that he is a great orator, gets straight to the critical point, and delivers his address convincingly.
      (About 9.10)

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 14, 2016

        Anti-democratic. Criticising the EU for being undemocratic has the undesirable effect of encouraging the eurofederalists to try to get more power transferred from national parliaments to the EU Parliament.

    5. Horatio
      April 13, 2016

      Good luck to you facts4eu. Couldnt agree more about poorly briefed MPs. Its both a disgrace and a liability. Sites like yours and obviously this one offer great argument points. Reading Gerard Lyons, who works for Boris, yesterday i found myself dreaming that the mayor would use such pithy facts and rebuttals to maximise his media presence for the cause rather than allow himself to meander through interviews and be led down cul de sacs

    6. acorn
      April 13, 2016

      My neighbours’ test on your website URL, came back with a response I suspected; based on some years of doorstep leaf-letting. It basically gets interpreted as “facts FOR the EU”; that is, you are FOR the EU and the “remain” faction.

    7. forthurst
      April 13, 2016

      In order to facilitate linking stories by email, it might be helpful if it were possible to pick up its title instead of a more general one that gives no indication of the story linked to. ie “FROM EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT HERR MARTIN SCHULZ: THE UK IS TRYING TO ‘ESCAPE'” instead of “News for the EU Referendum Debate in the UK”. This would be useful for informing twitterbugs of important stories to carry.

      Excellent stuff.

    8. Ken Moore
      April 13, 2016

      An excellent website.

      I have to say that the Stronger in campaign seems better organised and more aggressive in pursuing it’s agenda. The OUT side at times seem strangled by political correctness fearful of giving non pc messages about migrants.

      John Redwood makes very good points but for the majority simple bite sized easy to understand preferably visual messages are needed to have impact.

      Pictures of Rusting trawlers/ closed power station/a long queue to see a GP captioned with the phrase ‘The Eu isn’t working’…vote leave!

      Or how about a picture of a new road in Spain with the caption ‘you paid for this…vote leave!.

      Picture of a new hospital alongside the Eu parliament…if we pulled out of the Eu we could build X new hospitals a leave!

      Some creative thought is badly needed on the out side…ie a picture of a busy building site captioned with the phrase ‘we need to build a city the size of Birmingham every 10 years to accommodate new migrants if we stay in the Eu…vote OUT!

      Where are the visual messages on twitter, billboards etc. It’s all been a bit quiet so far….

  3. Mick
    April 13, 2016

    What I find very confusing is when Cameron was negotiating the none existent chances he kept saying he left nothing out indicating he would campaign with the outers, but now he says leaving would be the worst thing we could do, just watch all the back stabbing after we leave and Cameron is gone and all these so called cabinet inners jostling to be still in the new cabinet with a new outer PM, and also stop being so nice to the inners they are fighting dirty so we have to we only have one shot at it, and something needs to be done about the blatant bias by the BBC, Sky, channel 4

  4. Timaction
    April 13, 2016

    Thankfully the 650 in Westminster have only one vote each and are not on the whole representative of the Country it’s supposed to represent. They gave up that power to Brussels with succesive Treaty change over many years. One benefit of this whole process has been the final admission by the legacies of the extent of power given up by them to a foreign power. Our own Prime Minister having to get agreement from 27 other Countries to stop VAT on sanitory products. How impotent does this and his non deal look to the average Joe and Jill?
    Our independence is coming regardless of the result, from the moment Cameron and his quislings decided to cheat and gerrymander the result with their lies, project fear and using tax payers money for outright banana republic propaganda. They now cannot get a result that will be acceptable to patriots. Thankfully Cameron is finished!

  5. Roy Grainger
    April 13, 2016

    Your remarks could equally well apply to the Shadow Cabinet John, though public Remainers they have been invisible in the debate as has Corbyn who it is clear would rather be standing alongside his RMT Union brothers as Leavers. Again it has been left to lower-level MPs like Chuka Umunna to try to make a positive case.

  6. Lifelogic
    April 13, 2016

    Indeed and Mrs May is in the absurd position of having rightly attacked open door immigration in her conference speech yet now saying she is in favour remaining in the EU and thus keeping open door, unselective, low skilled immigration. Preventing her addressing the issue.

    “Finger up the bottom and rather likes it ….. I want a serious debate” Anna Soubry is clearly a complete joke. Her idea of debate is just to endlessly interrupt and talk through anything anyone says from the Brexit side. She, like Peter Mandelson, is surely a huge asset to Brexit.

    You are quite right almost no one makes the positive case for the EU perhaps because there simply isn’t one to be made. It is all about “project fear” as we saw from the IMF and Obama’s ex advisor yesterday.

    If Osborne and the IMF are in favour of something it is clearly likely to misguided & wrong. I wonder what the IMF think about Osborne’s job destroying national living wage, or his bonkers sugar tax, they probably like them too. It is clearly a political decision and not one based on sensible economic analysis, nor the interest of the UK.

    This is just as you would expect of the IMF under the dreadful Christine Lagarde.

    Brexit will give a huge boost to the UK, not least by getting rid of IHT ratter Osborne and his bonkers, anti-business, pension and landlord/tenant mugging, even higher taxes and his low paid (net liablity) immigration promoting plans.

  7. David Price
    April 13, 2016

    Just received a status update on the petition to stop government spending taxpayers money on pro-EU leaflets – the debate is scheduled for 9th May.

    So that’s that then, there will be absolutely no taxpayer funded leafleting by our government until parliament has debated the issue. It’s good to know that democracy and parliament is still so pre-eminent in the minds of Cameron and his clique … as long as it is in agreement with his desires and those of his supporteres and sponsors.

    There is no pretence of objectivity nor concern for the good of our country as a whole now. If the remainers win no-one can seriously trust the results and I am far more worried now of the consequences such a result than any of the risks of leaving the EU.

  8. APL
    April 13, 2016

    Alexander Graf Lambsdorff*: “At the moment, the whole thing is nothing more than a deal that has been hammered out down the local bazaar.”

    On Cameron’s imagined treaty which turns out to not be with the European Union at all.

    Therefore not binding on the European Union. and thus, of no value to Britain!

    Cameron really does have a rich fantasy life with all these treaties he imagines. Poor deluded fellow.

    *Vice president of the European Parliament.

  9. JoeSoap
    April 13, 2016

    My take on this is somewhat different. The cabinet is just showing varying degrees of sycophancy. With Soubry this is taken to a whole new level. This is the type who takes her boss’s views and adds icing and a cherry on top. The shrieky type who compensates for a lack of intellect by behaving like a vocal sledgehammer.
    She’d be doing exactly the same on the other side if Cameron had perversely (for him) chosen Brexit.

  10. Richard1
    April 13, 2016

    But this has been the position of most of the Conservative Party for 25 years. I can think only of very few Conservative MPs who have argued openly for leaving the EU before the last couple of years. The argument has run: we will stay out of the worst aspects (the euro and open borders) but put up with and muddle through the rest because access to a free market of the whole of the EU makes it economically worthwhile. ‘Business’ has the same view – you don’t find ideological eurofederalsits in the business community any more than you find them in the Conservative side of the Commons tea room – but you do find a preference for staying and muddling through, as the costs and risks of leaving are perceived to outweigh the possible benefits.

    I suggest Leave produce a reasoned response to the Governments leaflet. If there isn’t the money to mail if just put it online maybe with a video summary.

  11. Margaret
    April 13, 2016

    When George Osborne said yesterday that he thinks we will be better off and safer in the EU it reminded me of a condescending smile of a very old fashioned person with limited perceptions of reality trying to take power by belittling those who CAN do and displaying extreme jealousy. That same patronising smile has happened every time the system built up is ruined by the CANNOT do’s.

    The IMF actually defeated their own argument as they say that the UK has so much influence as to upset the whole global market. If this is the case then the UK’s power can also build . Jealousy? We stayed out of the single currency for a reason.

    I have witnessed over the years the terrible take over of people who shout that they are the best and then bring every thing down to their level of incompetence. This is perhaps in my lifetime our last chance to get away from the growing influence of the backward, although Manchester have mind sets of penny pinching for the people and shiny , brassy new buildings to try and display a power they havn’t really got. I will never forgive the UK for bringing our own down in education, skills, intelligence, thereby swapping us for a show by cheap certificates and lack of perspicacity.

  12. alan jutson
    April 13, 2016

    Yes some Ministers may vote the opposite of what they preach in public, but what is the point in that given its their preaching which is probably doing damage to their real beliefs.

    Ministers and Politicians have only one vote themselves, whilst they may convert with their duplicity hundreds or thousands to the opposite view.

    You will no doubt have a much better idea than me as to who the real turncoats are, I know politics can be a dirty business, but how can they for the sake of their short term political career (and it will be very short if we vote out) sell their sole, the public, and their Country down the drain like this.

    If ever their was a good example of a political stitch up, then EUROPE: THEM OR US on BBC2 last night was an excellent example of showing how political manipulation was used to get us to join.

    The smug faces and voices of those politicians who were interviewed who took us in, were in complete contrast to those who were pasionately fighting to keep us out.

    We are seeing it being repeated in our own Parliament now, some 40 plus years later.

    If we are not careful history will repeat itself, as lessons have not yet been learn’t by the majority of our Politicians.

    Fear, lies, exaggeration and political manipulation behind the scenes are all being used again to try and keep us in, We simply must not let that happen again.

    The EU has turned out as Enoch Powell and Anthony Wedgwood Benn feared, their words were true then, as they would be now.

    All power to you and your patriotic colleagues to win this time around.

  13. Ian Wragg
    April 13, 2016

    Cabinet Ministers have only one vote like the rest of us. They think they are important but that’s just not the case.
    Interesting that the IMF lead by that awful Lagarde woman is trying to help Dave and Gideon. I bet the government phones have been red hot contacting organisations to encourage them to support project fear.
    In my limited circles I haven’t met any remainiacs.
    Fingers crossed.

    1. Narrow shoulders
      April 13, 2016

      I have met plenty – most of them driven by inertia. They believe that it is easier in than out.

      Leave will win if the turnout is low but if th turnout is high we need a compelling vision of what life would be like after we vote out.

      My response to those who tell me it is too hard or too risky to leave is that nothing will change on day one and thereafter changes will be gradual. Any changes that you don’t like you will be able to use your democratic right to help change the government for one you do like if others agree. At present due to EU constraints you are just voting for more of the same.

      My pitch has been given greater credibility by the IMF which has just conferred the ability to reek global havoc on our nation so we must be a real player on the world stage

  14. Antisthenes
    April 13, 2016

    Some of those in cabinet and who have come out now to remain in have previously been known to favour leaving. So what has changed their minds? Are they putting career before principle? Hard to blame them if so as most of us would be tempted to do they same under similar circumstances.

    It is this sort of thing that changes the course of history a few seemingly innocuous incidents can lead to a profound change to future events. So will these cabinet members not doing the right thing influence the voting intentions of the public? Probably not but in the end could cause them considerable embarrassment as their volte face is exposed in the ensuing rows and recriminations that will most certainly occur after the vote who ever wins.

    Many unsavoury things are being done in this campaign. The moral depths have been plunged and few are going to emerge afterwards untarnished. Damaged most of all are reputations all those who have used underhanded methods to achieve victory. Those who have sown fear, uncertainty and doubt and have gone in for deceit, manipulation and obfuscation.

    Not that it is something new the left and vested interests have been doing it for years. It is just now that the stayers are doing it on a grand scale. This sort of behaviour was beginning to achieve respectability maybe the stayers will finish that particular job. Maybe not as a surfeit of it may turn the public against it and demand higher standards from those who govern and influence us. Not confident of that.

  15. A different Simon
    April 13, 2016

    John ,

    You seem to be saying that most cabinet members are (at least publicly) putting their political careers and their party ahead of the country .

    Seventy five years ago millions of young men gave their lives for the country .

    Maybe some are being blackmailed by the whips but it is not like someone is holding a gun to these ministers heads or is holding someone dear to them hostage .

    They deserve contempt , not sympathy .

    We need people in public service who are prepared to do the right thing .

    What we seem to be getting are people who consider it a duty to toe the official line even when etc ed

  16. alan jutson
    April 13, 2016

    Yesterdays topic re bailouts.

    I see from the headings offered up by George Osbourne on his tax disclosures recently, that he only gained £3.00 in interest on his total investments/savings last year.

    Are his savings and investments that tiny ?

    No wonder he cannot get the Country into surplus, he is clearly not used to having money in the Bank for a rainy day, or any other sort of day.

    Do you think he will be in need a bail out when we vote to leave the EU, or has he another job lined up somewhere.

    He certainly will not be cashing in HIS pension scheme, given the benefits will he.

    1. Bob
      April 13, 2016

      @alan jutson

      “Are his savings and investments that tiny ?”

      Perhaps he has a Panamanian ISA?

  17. Lifelogic
    April 13, 2016

    I am not even convinced that Anna Soubry is actually “believer” in the benefits of the EU. She never gives the impression of honest and deeply held confidence in the EU. I suspect she is just another career politician, endless interrupter and professional lawyer/advocate for hire. Endlessly pushing project fear, as this is what she sees as her job.

    It is a job she does extremely badly indeed in a vulgar, irritating and moronic way. She lacks any valid arguments and is surely a great help to Brexit. If she is the best the remain side can put up they are struggling.

  18. agricola
    April 13, 2016

    The 16 are being practical, the vote is private. What they say to their constituents is almost private. In explaining their position they can always plead loyalty to the PM and collective cabinet responsibility. They have judged their decision to be the least threat to their careers. Such judgement could be questionable in the light of the blood letting that could occur post Brexit.

    Those in the country who vote leave are, not only doing a service to the UK, but to Europe as a whole. The seismic shift at our departure could give strength to those remaining who want to see a radical change of direction. Like a reversion to democracy and an end to central direction.

  19. Liz
    April 13, 2016

    How can you respect an MP who says one thing over the years to his constituents,then changes his/her mind in cabinet on a very fundamental issue?
    If we had an MP like that I would not feel like voting for him or her ever again. Fortunately we don’t.
    If we vote to remain there is no doubt the EU will be triumnphalist (and probably very unpleasant to us) and over the next few years force us to join the Euro and ever closer union. Those in the remain camp who think otherwise are either naive or not being honest about what they really want. This has been the story of our membershio of the EU since the beginning.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      “If we vote to remain there is no doubt the EU will be triumphalist (and probably very unpleasant to us)”

      That is certain, a remain vote would be a disaster for the UK. This is the very last chance to escape before the whole EU lunacy falls apart, violently or otherwise.

  20. Shieldsman
    April 13, 2016

    Another day of theatre and high drama on the BBC.
    IMF: The UK’s exit from the European Union could cause “severe regional and global damage”, the International Monetary Fund has warned in its latest outlook.

    A so-called “Brexit” would disrupt established trading relationships and cause “major challenges” for both the UK and the rest of Europe, it said.

    Then we had a very serious faced George Osborne saying the IMF’s comments reinforced the case for staying. “The IMF has given us the clearest independent warning of the taste of bad things to come if we leave the EU,” he said.

    Aren’t all the major problems within the EU, do they want our money to bail them out?

    If we stay in the EU, these two gentlemen will be vying next year for their Oscars.

    On BBC Parliament David Lidington kept repeating Cameron’s con (lie) – the government want to stay in this reformed European Union.
    He dodged the issue that the leaflet was not an unanimous decision of the Cabinet.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 14, 2016

      I saw some bloke on TV describing the IMF as “respected” and “independent”.

      This is an organisation whose head openly said:

      “We violated all the rules because we wanted to close ranks and really rescue the euro zone.”

      “The Greek and Irish rescues – €110 billion and €67.5 billion, respectively – and the creation of the bailout fund were, Ms. Lagarde said, “major transgressions” of the Lisbon Treaty that is the European Union’s governing document. “The Treaty of Lisbon,” she says, “was very straightforward. No bailing out.””

  21. Chris
    April 13, 2016

    I think those Cabinet members (as well as those voting in the referendum) should look closely again at the so called renegotiation and how shaky it is. Richard North analyses this, in the light of the recent comments by Lambsdorff (VP of European Parliament) about the fundamental weaknesses and dishonesty in the claims by Cameron to have obtained promises of treaty change. It is a very fertile ground for the Leave campaigns to focus on, to bring back Cameron from the economic arguments, with all the dire warnings about insecurity and uncertainty, where he feels safer. The fundamental point is not so much that what Cameron has “achieved” is not legally binding, but that it was an “invalid treaty” in the first place.

    For the arguments, which do seem plausible, see Richard North’s blog, with his links to the Euractiv article and others in the press. Brief quote below:

    “The Euractiv effort is an interview with Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, vice-President of the European Parliament who addresses the issue of whether Mr Cameron’s supposed treaty is binding on the European Union.

    Says Lambsdorff: “Who counts as the ‘the European Union’ here? Member state leaders have met within the framework of the European Council, but their agreement is in no way a document of the European Union, but a text of hybrid character, which is unspecified and not legally binding”.

    He then goes on to say: “At the moment, the whole thing is nothing more than a deal that has been hammered out down the local bazaar”….”

  22. Chris
    April 13, 2016

    A further important point relating to my post above, Lambsdorff’s article shows that Cameron has brought home “an invalid treaty”. The reasons for this are closely examined on Richard North’s blog, but a couple of quotes give some idea:

    “The point he (Lambsdorff) makes about the document is it was agreed within the framework of the European Council, but that does not make it a European Union document, as we pointed out here. The Heads of State and Governments were meeting in an intergovernmental forum….This is the point that must be made, again and again. Mr Cameron’s supposed treaty is invalid. It is a non-treaty. It can have no legal effect, and in that respect it is not and cannot be in any way binding on the EU.

    Interestingly, there are no claims made in the Government leaflet on having negotiated a new treaty. Any reference is missing. The Government prefers instead to claim is has secured a “special status”….”

  23. forthurst
    April 13, 2016

    “So who is the genuine EU enthusiast in the Cabinet? The curious thing is there isn’t one.”

    By that I assume JR means someone who is sufficiently stupid to genuinely believe that being controlled by the undemocratic, dysfuntional, failing Brussels regime would be good for the English. However, that still leaves those EU enthusiasts who believe that destroying England and the English by foreign domination and the repopulating of their country with allsorts from everywhere on the globe, as I observe, to an ever increasing extent in my own town, will be good for them, These people, who in the main, like CMD, are not English , obviously find it difficult to argue in favour of an organisation that they hope in secret will bad for the English, but in their minds, warped by their upbringing, nevertheless will be good for them.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      The deluded Ken Clark is surely genuine, but totally misguided. Cameron, Osborne, May, Greg Clark, Hammond, Rudd, Soubry …… are not genuine, just totally misguided and career politicians of the worst sort.

  24. Denis Cooper
    April 13, 2016

    Remain Proposition No 1 – The days of the British Empire are long gone, and the UK is now small and totally insignificant in global affairs and cannot possibly expect to survive as an independent self-governing country.

    Remain Proposition No 2 – The UK has a pivotal role in world trade, and any attempt to modify its existing treaties with its neighbours will not just harm the UK but also severely disrupt existing global trade patterns and so precipitate a global economic meltdown.

    Remain Proposition No 3 – Despite advance warning that if the UK votes to leave the EU that could cause a global economic meltdown no government anywhere in the world, and least of all that of the UK, feels that it has any responsibility to plan how to avoid disruption to existing trade patterns and avert that global catastrophe, beyond telling voters in the UK not to vote to leave the EU.

    Remain Proposition No 4 – No government in the world would do anything at all about protecting the existing trade, because in reality other countries don’t want to trade with the UK and they only go along with it because the UK has cleverly managed to get them trapped into EU treaties which force them to do so.

    For example, if the UK foolishly released the Germans from their present legal obligation to offer to sell things to the UK population then that would be a great relief for them, they would be overjoyed that they were longer compelled to profit from selling us their cars.

    It all makes perfect sense, the Remainders have put together a powerful case there … not.

    1. Margaret
      April 14, 2016

      Steady Dennis , many lawyers these days are not qualified in the English language and don’t understand sarcasm. They cannot swap literary modes. Legalese to satire and sometimes to irony need a greater depth of literary knowledge.

  25. Tad Davison
    April 13, 2016

    Good points, but tangentially, I fear for our Jury system.

    I have been engaged in trying to persuade ordinary members of parliament, some of whom are ex-ministers, that they should back Brexit. The evidence I have produced is in my view unassailable, but they won’t change their minds. Were these people sitting on a jury and pontificating over the fate of an innocent person, I feel there would be so many more miscarriages of justice. Their judgement would at best be questionable.

    Tad Davison


    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      Group think lunacy or just career politician self interest. Reason and logic are not priorities to them no even relevant to them.

      Look at all the loons who were in favour of the ERM, the EURO, the Millennium Dome, the expensive green crap energy, HIP packs, the green deal, Osborne’s pension and landlord thefts, the national living wage and all the rest of the government’s absurd counterproductive lunacies.

  26. alan jutson
    April 13, 2016

    Just received notification from Petitions:

    It would seem that there will be a debate in HOP on 9th May about Cameron spending £9,000,000 on the pro EU leaflet.

    Clearly too late to stop it as its already gone out, but hope it gets wide publicity and makes Cameron look like the chancer he is.

    Happy to play hard ball with the electorate, but a beggar before the EU, disgraceful behaviour from a man who in that position should be above it all.

    History will judge him poorly.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      It seems there is a freepost address, at Conservative Central Office to return this absurd propaganda to. Then each return costs the Tory party money. Perhaps add a pithy comment.

      See Quentin Letts in the Mail today for the address.

      1. alan jutson
        April 14, 2016


        Yes used the FREEPOST address myself, sent 7 pages back in 7 separate envelopes with comments on each page.

        Tried to avoid them excess postal charges on weight, and thought they may read at least one if I sent seven. (although doubtful)

        Sent the covering page back to Number 10 on which I paid my own postage with further comments, thus my protest did not cost the taxpayer a penny.

  27. Bert Young
    April 13, 2016

    Those with a Cabinet Office position and those nearby knocking on the door are more interested in self-preservation and personal benefit than they are for the good of the country . It is a sad reflection to make because everyone would like to believe that individuals who put themselves into public office do so not for their sakes but for the general good . Power seeking is an ego quest born out of the basic need for survival ; those in power do have the advantage to influence things for themselves and it is basic human nature to do so .

    Cameron is able to dangle all sorts of incentives providing he gets what he wants ; he has the capacity to defend himself believing that he is right – his performances in the HoC are always unstopable . Today he knows that the unseen voters do not have to face him down in public argument but he does know that he has encouraged their dissent to such a degree that it is now likely to go against him and put him out of office . All leaders fail for some reason or other and Cameron’s time has now come . Some of his close friends have turned against him for the first time and he is worried stiff .

  28. Denis Cooper
    April 13, 2016

    “So who is the genuine EU enthusiast in the Cabinet?”

    Genuine EU enthusiasts are few and far between, in or out of the Cabinet.

    Back in January I had a letter in our local paper inviting local EU enthusiasts to say how they saw the EU developing over the next forty years, starting with fairly basic things such as how many member states they thought there would be in 2056. No responses.

    Another chap had a letter in the paper last week announcing that he is personally arranging a series of local meetings, completely off his own bat, and inviting speakers for them as well as audiences to participate in debates. So far he has had plenty of people offering to speak for Leave, but not a single one who was prepared to speak for Remain.

    But then the Remainders have prudently decided not to major on trying to whip up any positive enthusiasm for the EU, but instead they are effectively basing their case on tacit threats of what terrible things the UK government will actively do, or at least allow to be done, to its own citizens if they dare to vote the wrong way.

    April 13, 2016

    Christine Lagarde, the strong Frenchwoman of the IMF, has apparently personified George Osborne as Britain effectively saying to him :”Oh you’re so mighty, so important, so distinguished that were you to so much as twiddle your little finger, leave me and rest of us so alone in Europe, the world would move, all growth and life as we know it would cease to be. He’s a push over for a person such as she. He’ll believe anything. He is probably so confused, bewildered by her suggestion… knowing in his very logical mind it can’t be true but his heart desperately wanting to believe her. As a Cabinet Minister he probably doesn’t know which way to turn. Should he, shouldn’t he, how should he vote and can he actually remember the subject of the vote?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      “Knowing in his very logical mind”. A logical mind Osborne!

      A logical mind would not pass a law to prevent people (whose work is worth less than a certain arbitrary figure) from working. Nor would it have tax rates well above the Laffer point. Not would it introduce a damaging sugar tax or have such an absurdly complicated tax system. Not would it promise £1M IHT thresholds each only to rat on the promise.

      The only question is:- Has the Right Hon Gentleman taken leave of his senses? or did he just never have them?

      Even the leader of the Opposition cannot get his, rather simple, tax return right it seems. Forgetting to put his pension income on the form. What a dire choice Cameron & Osborne or Corbyn and McDonnell

  30. Denis Cooper
    April 13, 2016

    Off-topic, I was rather taken aback by this story:

    “Top civil servant kicked out of Parliament committee for ‘unsatisfactory’ answers to MPs”

    Maybe kicking him out of the committee was not enough, there is contempt, and there is a Serjeant at Arms with a sword, and there is a Prison Room in the Clock Tower:

    It doesn’t say whether it now has wi-fi, so this arrogant “civil servant” could stay there until he came up with the answer being demanded by the committee.

    1. acorn
      April 13, 2016

      Civil Servants should not be brought before any select committee. Only elected officials should ever appear before sub-parliamentary committees. Ministers are responsible for all their departments bodies and non-departmental public bodies.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 14, 2016

        Disagree, committees of our sovereign Parliament should continue to have the power to summon any witnesses they choose, and where they can do so insist that those witnesses attend, on pain of punishment, and take an oath to tell the truth, on pain of punishment, and that they “produce papers” on demand.

  31. oldtimer
    April 13, 2016

    There was a useful programme on BBC2 yesterday evening presented by Nick Robinson on the tortuous path of the UK’s route to membership of the EU. I will watch it again because although some was familiar much was new, especially the after the event interviews with many of the key players at the time. One thing was clear. There has been no adequate public participation in the decision so far. It seems that the key decisions rested on the actions of relatively few politicians and officials. If you missed it, it is definitely worth watching. The forthcoming referendum is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity for the public to decide this momentous issue.

    Then, as now, it seems that the public was not told the real underlying intent of the European project. It is still not being told. The government’s silence on the implications of the Five Presidents’ Report, that the status quo is not on offer, is an obvious example of its silence on on how the Eurocracy proposes to “reform” the EU.
    It says nothing about proposed enlargements of the EU in the future and their potential impact on the UK. Apart from EU ambitions in Eastern Europe there is also the question of future Turkish membership, supported as I understand it by both Mrs Merkel and Mr Cameron. In this connection German-Turkish relations have suddenly taken a turn for the worse as a result of a disobliging, satirical poem about the President of Turkey, Mr Erdogan, etc ed

    Apparently the Turkish government first asked the German government to start court proceedings against the author but has now taken matters into its own hands by Mr Erdogan bringing a personal action against the author in the German courts. Mrs Merkel now has a new problem on her hands, to add to potential Greek debt default, negative interst rates and Brexit namely the unravelling of the refugee deal she struck with Mr Erdogan if he fails to get the satisfaction he demands. Her political position in Germany now appears weaker than at any time in office.

  32. ian
    April 13, 2016

    It all about who really controls your MPs and like john said.

  33. Atlas
    April 13, 2016

    I assume you watched Nick Robinson’s TV programme last night on the foundation of the EU. I hope you will let us know your opinion of it.

    For me, I just found Heath as a seller-out of all our parents had fought for in the Second World War. He wanted to avoid a future conflict by capitulating now ! To put it simply I seethed at the TV.

    Reply No I was at the Vote Leave fund raising dinner which went well.

    1. alan jutson
      April 14, 2016

      Reply – reply

      Aware you are very busy John, but worth a view on catch up if for no other reason than to look at the smug duplicitous faces who engineered our entrance to the so called Common Market.

      It will if nothing else remind you and any others on the leave side (not that you need reminding I am sure) that what you are fighting for is an absolutely just cause, and in the long term National interest.

  34. ChrisS
    April 13, 2016

    “demanding a lower subscription to the club because we don’t join in its main purposes.”

    I would completely agree, except that Cameron didn’t even demand a reduction in our subscription in return for us being opted out of some of the “benefits” of being a full members !

    Our net contribution is now unlikely to fall, as has previously been predicted. Because contributions are based on GDP, our net contribution is now going to increase and that increase will accelerate at a much faster rate because our GDP is increasing at 4-5 times the rate of Eurozone countries.

    Hopefully the trusty Denis will come up with some figures for the next ten years based on predicted GDP forecasts. These could be a real eye opener and useful ammunition for the campaign. One thing’s for sure, Cameron and the Government are not going to produce any figures !

    PS What has happened to that analysis of the NI number we were promised ?
    Have the Government and the BBC contrived to bury it ?

  35. Old Albion
    April 13, 2016

    Sadly I expect the majority will fall in behind ‘dodgy’ Dave.

    The public need to be aware of one thing. This is the last time we’ll ever get a referendum on our membership of the EU. I’ve been saying this for months. Today the Vice president of the EU (Alexander Graf Lambsdorff) has said it. Also saying the (laughingly titled) renegotiation, is not legally binding either.

    1. John C.
      April 13, 2016

      If the “renegotiation” isn’t considered to have any validity, will a vote to leave be accepted as the will of the people? I doubt it.

    2. Bob
      April 13, 2016

      The only way to reclaim our independence is to vote in 2020 for a party who’s raison d’être is UK independence (no referendum needed). We could have done this last year if the electorate hadn’t been herded like sheep by Mr Cameron’s scaremongering.

  36. ian
    April 13, 2016

    Again I have just listen to the con party leader about offshore companies and tax on properties and what they are doing with a register and that only includes a few places not all of them, when all that is needed is a withholding tax of 15% before the money leaves the country, it that simple.
    Most country have a withholding tax on property so people do not get away with CGT and IHT and pay the right amount of rent.

    Etc ed

  37. Nicolas Boileau
    April 13, 2016

    “the face that has launched a thousand whips”. Is that a reference to the thousand ships of the Troyan War?

    “Avant donc que d’ecrire, apprenez a penser.
    Ce que l’on concoit bien s’enonce clairement
    Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisement.”

  38. Denis Cooper
    April 13, 2016

    Just when you thought that the Remainders scare stories couldn’t get any worse, now we have Cameron threatening that if we vote to leave then he will do the negotiating.

  39. Lifelogic
    April 13, 2016

    Cameron’s reply today, in PM questions, to Jacob Rees-Mogg perfectly reasonable question was a total disgrace. The document the government has published (at tax payers expense) is, to a large degree, totally dishonest as Cameron must realise. How can he be so patently dishonest? He attacked Mogg and said “borders will remain”. Well yes they may, but they will be totally open to perhaps 300K to 900K+ of people from the EU every year regardless of merit, criminal record, health or anything else. Mainly low paid (and thus a net liability to the state) and all needing housing, schools, health care, roads, police, social services and all the rest.

    Meanwhile we will doubtless be turning away far better qualified and more deserving people from all over the world. Why does Cameron support this racist immigration policy?

    Total economic insanity from Cameron and another betrayal of the voters – no if no buts about it.

    1. Chris
      April 13, 2016

      I was aghast at Cameron’s response to Jacob Rees-Mogg, but not only did I feel this about him but also about many Conservative MPs. Cameron was apparently supported by many Conservative MPs nodding their heads on his answer to Jacob Rees-Mogg. It was, I believe, a thoroughly disingenuous response by Cameron, delivered with arrogance. This does not bode well for him. To say that it is a disaster for the country is not overstating things. How can we function and survive with a PM who apparently denies reality, and thus refuses to take the necessary actions to protect the UK, its people? Yours very much in despair,…

      1. A different Simon
        April 14, 2016

        I remember seeing Jacob Rees-Mogg being rude and condescending to a wheelchair bound lady on a TV political discussion show .

        Sounds like Cameron gave him a bit of bad medicine .

        They are both disgustingly arrogant in an unpleasant way . In Cameron’s case it seems to be borne out of contempt .

        Their parents and exclusive schools singularly failed to teach either of them manners .

        What a contrast with a true gentleman like Michael Portillo .

    2. Bob
      April 13, 2016

      For many years the establishment have known that the current level of public service provision, NHS and pensions etc. are unsustainable. By opening the borders to the EU they will be able to crash the system and rebuild it phoenix like from the ashes albeit to a lower level of service.

      Don’t be fooled that a Remain vote will result in continuation of the status quo.

    3. matthu
      April 13, 2016

      If we accept that they UK does have control of its borders as the PM affirms, then we must also accept that the government is wilfully allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants to enter in direct contradiction of the Conservative manifesto.

      That alone should be grounds for removing the government.

  40. Javelin
    April 13, 2016

    Are the Italian banks about to fail and the Italian economy to go on life support?

    There are a lot of goings on by the Italian central bank to bail out banks with bad loans and the FED is making unplanned emergency meetings with the president.

    There may not be an EU in three months to leave.

    Reply There will. Italian bank shares rallied strongly on news of a fund to buy up bad loans from them.

  41. David
    April 13, 2016

    ” ………………It’s equally a shame that pro-Brexit MPs and even Ministers continue to appear on TV poorly-briefed. You won’t want me to name names so I won’t, but there continue to be ‘car-crash’ interviews, with pro-Brexit politicians and spokespersons not even knowing basic facts before appearing.”

    Bear in mind that pro Brexit interviewees will be “selectively invited” by the interviewing media – eg. BBC. When they do get a heavyweight on – eg. John R of course, or Dan Hannan on Newsnight – he’ll be sure to get the short straw timewise or cut off mid sentence, whereas windbags like Ken Clarke are allowed to drone on endlessly.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 13, 2016

      Indeed mainly droning on to prevent Dan Hannan being heard. You can rely on the BBC for pro EU bias at every turn.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 13, 2016

        Cameron spends £9M of tax payer money to indoctrinate voters into being pro EU and the BBC does it with your licence fees.

        Both are an affront to democracy.

        1. Lifelogic
          April 13, 2016

          Though not as much of an affront as the EU is.

    2. majorfrustration
      April 13, 2016

      BBC allows Ken Clarke to ramble on – no surprise there then. BBC could actually get by with just using for all interviews Ken Clarke and Poly Toynbee

    3. Ken Moore
      April 13, 2016

      ‘he’ll be sure to get the short straw timewise or cut off mid sentence, whereas windbags like Ken Clarke are allowed to drone on endlessly’.

      Indeed ..Or the other tactic the BBC use regularly is to get the ‘sceptic’ to offer an opinion first …then they cut to a Europhile who gets the opportunity to rebut all the sceptic has said (by using selective facts or half truths) without being challenged whilst having the all important ‘last word’.

  42. Cheshire Girl
    April 13, 2016

    Its just been announced that Vote Leave and Britain stronger in Europe are going to be the two official organisations for the Referendum. Earlier in the year I joined the Leave EU campaign, but I guess they will work with the others now to get the result we desire.

    1. Chris
      April 13, 2016

      See Nigel Farage’s statement on the UKIP website. It is very positive, encouraging and gentlemanly. GO and have in the past approached Vote Leave on many occasions to try to get them to work with them but were turned down. That is in the past. Farage and UKIP are looking forward. We all have a goal which far transcends Party and other differences, and everyone will be working very hard to achieve that.

    2. Chris
      April 13, 2016

      See statement by Nigel Farage on website. It is very positive, encouraging and gentlemanly. Well done, and forward we all go!

    3. ian wragg
      April 13, 2016

      The problem is that Vote Leave will not work with the other parties. It is essentially a Westminster splinter group and probably a Trojan Horse.
      Farage will be side lined if it’s left to them although he was the main instrument in getting the referendum.

      Reply Vote Leave will work with all democratic forces wishing to leave the EU. Let’s just concentrate on joint action to win.

      1. Chris
        April 13, 2016

        Mr Redwood, I probably cannot expect you to answer this very real fear that I, and many other GO/UKIP supporters have, that Vote Leave may well renegotiate an Associate Membership type deal, and not fully leave the EU i.e. not implement Article 50. There are fears too that they will try to then bring about another referendum on the renegotiated terms. I feel I have every justification for being wary, as so many politicians do not keep their word, and twist and wriggle with meanings/interpretations, having been set an example right from the top, I am very sad to say. The truth for them seems to be what is expedient at a particular moment. I have no wish to be so cynical but this is what the politics of the EU and the UK has reduced me to.

        Reply Vote Leave is a campaigning organisation whose sole purpose is to win the referendum, so just help us do that please.

      2. forthurst
        April 13, 2016

        “Reply Vote Leave will work with all democratic forces wishing to leave the EU. Let’s just concentrate on joint action to win.”

        Well, they need to, otherwise they will look as they are a bunch of disgruntled senior tories rather than a broad church.

    4. miami.mode
      April 13, 2016

      CG. Now that Vote Leave is the official organisation, it’s

      Brexiteers – One for all, and all for one (with apologies to M. Dumas)

      Let the Power of Leavers provide the Levers of Power to bring back our independence and self-governance.

  43. Sean
    April 13, 2016

    The stupid will vote to stay in the Eu money pit and hell hole.

  44. Boudicca
    April 13, 2016

    Oh, I think we can count Cameron as a real EU-phile, along with Osborne.

    May was just hedging her bets when she made “that speech” at the Conservative Party conference.

    Javid is a genuine EU-sceptic who I believe was “persuaded” by Osborne to back Remain. I think he will come to regret it when he realises it will have scuppered his chances of becoming the first Asian Prime Minister. Hammond was an EU-sceptic who obviously values his career above his country.

    As for other EU-phile in the Cabinet, Amber Rudd (sister of Roland, who is best buddies with Mandelson and a leader of the BSE campaign) is basically a Liberal (like Cameron) and pro-EU, as is Nicky Morgan.

  45. Ken Moore
    April 13, 2016

    Broadly speaking, at the time of writing, the British electorate is evenly split between Remain and Leave, about 40% in favour of Remain, 40% in favour of Leave and 20% undecided. This, of course, is at odds with the mainstream Political Class which is 100% in favour of Remain. (aside from a few notable outspoken ‘rebels’ like John Redwood and a few others that are talented/brave/principled enough not to have to rely on the patronage of CMD.

    For me, it demonstrates the extent to which The Political Class is significantly out of touch with vast swathes of the people whom supposedly they serve.

    For this the ghastly Cameron creature must go as soon as possible whatever the outcome of the referendum. His Blairification is now complete.

  46. Lindsay McDougall
    April 14, 2016

    Could it be that there is quite a lot of fear of Germany inside the Cabinet. Just think how much easier it will be to say to Angela Merkel that “I was in favour of remaining in the EU but the UK electorate though otherwise”.

    I was most surprised when Philip Hammond came out for Remain after the EuroSceptic noises he made in the last year or two. I think he has damaged his career. Perhaps that nest of vipers and traitors in the Foreign Office turned his head.

    We need to say that if Remain prevails by a narrow margin, it will not be a once in a lifetime decision. If and when a Federal European SuperState is formed, we may want another vote. Who is going to tell David Cameron and Angela Merkel? It needs to be done.

    An additional vote may take the form of a Party commiting itself to leave at the 2020 General Election. I’m suspicious of referendums because (some) opinion may be manipulated.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 14, 2016

      I wasn’t surprised that Hammond came out for Remain.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    April 14, 2016

    Now that Vote Leave has won the mantle of official leave organisation, I hope that it will give opportunities to Nigel Farage. He is a very effective speaker and a clear asset.

    I have assembled a complete 9 page blow by blow rebuttal of HM Government’s tawdry little booklet but I’m not really doing anything new. The Remain arguements are just a gold (or is it rust?) plated version of the things that Nick Clegg said. Nigel Farage totally demolished Clegg’s arguements.

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