The EU now wants a naval force in the China seas

The French are floating the idea of a pan EU naval force to patrol the South China Sea in response to China’s creation of artificial islands  and use of the Spratley islands to extend its influence and military presence beyond its narrower domestic waters.

The Chinese action is contested by other regional powers and by the USA. It is difficult to see why the EU needs to get involved militarily in  this matter when the USA and regional powers are trying to sort this out and have made clear they intend  to stand up for free access to these waters by all wishing to trade or go about their legitimate business.

It is apparent  from this intervention and from hostile rhetoric and foreign policy stances  that are  a daily part of EU life that  many in positions of power do wish to see a tougher EU on the world stage seeking influence like the USA and gradually adding military power to back up its attitudes. Far from helping the peace or promoting stability, this seems to me to be a further force for instability.

The main EU nations are also members of NATO. Nato is a known force in the world, led by US military  might. Surely it is the best way of allowing European countries who wish to do so to work alongside the USA and make common cause about any international problem  or challenge any country who invades or disrupts another, as we did with the liberation of Kuwait.

The danger of the EU’s increasingly noisy interventions is that they are not backed by sufficient force to make them credible, but they  can be diplomatically disruptive, as we saw with the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement. Pushing for military and security co-operation with Ukraine as part of that agreement was treated as a provocation or an excuse by  Russia to seize the Crimea which the EU was impotent to prevent.

My advice to the EU is keep out of the China Seas militarily. If the USA and the regional powers there need help from EU countries with navies, NATO would be the obvious body to add European naval capability to the region under a combined command with the USA.

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  1. zorro
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Exactly this gives a lie to those who claim that the EU has ‘kept the peace’ or is a force for peace. Convenient memory loss (Yugoslavia) abounds… What about an EU army? Are you happy for your sons/daughters to be conscripted (they will be) into such a force under the contol of an expanding, aggressive union?


    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed I too suspect EU conscription will happen sooner or later.

      • Hope
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        Hague wrote in his news paper article that he vetoed the French proposal for an EU army before Clegg was lying to the public in the debate with Farage it was a fantasy. We see and read UK army with EU flags taking part in exercises on Salisbury plain. The navy currently used as a ferry service for illegal immigrants to help the dinghy death traps. Why does Cameron keep pretending it is not happening?

        Last night he was pretending that the UK could refuse entry to EU criminals and when pushed a little harder it was something planned for the future. Yet he originally spoke if could happen now and it would not in the future if. Left the EU. Dishonest weasel words, where is Major when you want his rancid rants? Cameron is a liar the UK, at this time, EU citizens can come here whether in work or not, whether a criminal or not, whether under supervision or not. The U.K. cannot stop convicted EU criminals from the EU entering our country, just the person who raised the question said. The specious claim we have border controls does not allow our respective forces to act against the EU rules! Tell the truth Cameron, more and more people do not beleive a word he says.

        Today, again, he says he will stay in post post Brexit! I cannot think of anything worse. Why would anyone want a traitor like him acting on our country’s behalf when he has been trying to talk it down and give it away to foreign rule! There would be no change and he would not negotiate anything. He still has not answered the Serco letters that might show he entered his talks in bad faiths do why he came out with nothing of substance.

      • ChrisS
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

        Conscription would be the only remedy they would have for 50% youth unemployment in the countries around the Med.

        It can only be a matter of time before they decide to invoke it to build the EU army.

        • Hope
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          Albanian Double killer found in England to roam in and out of the EU countries as he pleases reported by the Mail. Where does this square with Cameron’s false border control claims? Or his potential future border controls? It certainly does not match his answer on ITV the other evening. Safer in the EU my arse.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      absolutely that’s why Cameron’s been mooting National Service.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Where there’s an army there’s always the possibility of conscription if there aren’t enough volunteers of the right quality. Dragging other countries into your war so you can also tap their manpower is an alternative, as is employing mercenaries.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink


    The EU has made complete mess of so many very areas of life in the EU. Perhaps they could sort out just one or two of those instead.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      “Britain is a profoundly democratic country” says William Hague (Baron Hague of Richmond) just now. Well if Hague has his way in this referendum Britain will be neither democratic nor even a country for long.

      Rather like Cameron’s claim to be a “low tax Conservative at heart” when he is very clearly neither.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      It seems Cameron is set to break yet another “no if no buts” promise on “no expansion of Heathrow” made in 2009. If he wins the referendum it seems the runway will go ahead.

      About damn time too plus we need another at Gatwick too.

      Time to replace Cameron thought, there are only so many no if no buts/cast iron lies a PM can get away with.

      • Gary C
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        I fear Cameron’s despicable behaviour during this referendum has made the Conservative’s unelectable at the next election, especially so if the party still has a large number of remainers in their ranks. Looking to the future, I think not.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    And what’s Britain’s role here? Send in aircraft carriers without aircraft? Send destroyers that will break down because the South China Sea is too “warm”? Dave will be first to sign up for this one. You can draw many parallels here with Rozhestvensky’s voyage before he was finished off at Tsushima.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    How on earth did we get to have such absurd employment laws that people can (one assumes anyway) get rather more than £1.2M for a minor slight, when other people get far less for very serious, permanent and life changing physical injuries? This is more than a lifetimes earning for most. Where was the loss suffered? Has it been a small company they would have been put out of business by it with perhaps tens of people losing their jobs. It is complete insanity.

    The law is clearly sexist too, as no man would even have been offered such a figure. It encourages some people to become professional trouble makers and serial claimants. It is hugely damaging to UK competitivity. Once again creating lots of overpaid, parasitic, pointless & totally unproductive jobs in the legal, bureaucratic, regulatory and administration industries.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      I see the young Kinnock was playing the racist card against Farage yesterday – “coming across as bigoted and divisive person”.

      What delightful people they have in the Labour party and indeed in the Kinnock career politician family.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Their pygmies compared to the Clinton family and its history of “public service”. I think at least Kinnock pere did once have a job as a teacher though

  5. alan jutson
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Afraid most of the People in the EU have not yet woken up to the dream that our unelected masters in the EU have in mind.

    Few are aware of the Five Presidents Report and its very significant contents, even though it can be found on line.

    Few are aware of the wish to power grab other areas as yet still outside the EU with promises of fools gold to those citizens within those areas.

    The thought of a EU military force should be of of real concern, as it will dilute the spending and support to NATO, a proven useful organisation which has helped keep the peace in Europe and elsewhere since its inception, and before the EU was formed should worry us all.

    Quite why our Masters in the EU would want to get involved in an area over which they have little real interest or influence is a further cause for concern.

    Proof again if any is needed that the EU is all about simple political power not simple trade and co-operation.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is all driven by power, money, careers, large pensions and indeed corruption. If you look at almost everything that comes out of the EU then this is the only rational explanation for most of it.

    • Johnnydub
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Also how many Eu nations actually spend the mandated 2%?

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      The pertinent question, Alan, is whether the people in the UK have woken up to the direction of travel of the EU.

      In 1975 the vote was sold to the British public as the UK merely becoming involved in a wider market for its goods. Some of us knew otherwise and saw the centralising tendency of the EEC and the desire in Brussels to create a superstate. The last forty years have amply shown this to be the case and there surely can be no doubt in the public mind as to what is going on.

      The EU is sold as an organisation which has kept the peace in Europe these last 60 years. That it has the pretensions of a superpower makes it a danger to – not a protector of – the peace, whether that is in the Ukraine or even the South China Sea. Ironic that having extracted from the British government fishing rights in UK territorial waters, the EU seems to want to stick its nose into matters in the South China Sea. I voted against this sort of thing in 1975 and will be glad to do so again.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


        Afraid that the majority of the UK population are not really interested in politics at all, that is why I fear that project fear, will work on them.

        I really do hope I am proven wrong, but the huge take up of people registering at the very last minute would indicate to me, the remain camp tactics are working on the uninformed.

        The leave camp had got momentum going at last in the last few days, but it really does have to up its game in the last 3 weeks to keep it going.

        Cameron has to be shown as a lier and a man who cannot be trusted on many topics, and if that means showing footage of him preaching in the past the opposite of what he is saying now, then that has to be used to back up an otherwise positive message for Leave arguments.

        There can be no quarter given, Cameron made this personal, with his personal opening attack on Boris, so no holding back, forget about so called friendship and the holding of hands after the referendum, as that is no good to the cause at all if the Leave side fail to win the referendum because they were too nice.

        Cameron was in favour of Turkey joining, show the speeches, ask why is he now changing his mind.

        Cameron promised not to pay the last EU membership fee rise ( over his dead body at the time), show the speech to prove he lied.

        Cameron promised to reduce migration to the tens of thousands, show the speech to prove he failed.

        Cameron outlined his red lines for negotiation show them, to prove he failed.

        Cameron so called EU gains have not even yet been approved by the EU so what are we really voting for:

        Simply a Cameron Promise which he will never have to fulfil, because he has already said he is Quitting in a couple of years time . !!!!

        Cameron the man who promises much, but who is quitting before he is found out !!!!

    • walterb
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Who would get our nuclear subs? who would get to press the red button.
      Better still, who would pay us for all the money we have spent on the Trident
      missile system?

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Now that a Brexit result is looking rather likely I am rather looking forwards to enjoying my winnings.

    The government however clearly has a duty to plan for a Brexit outcome. So what are their plans for the Brexit outcome? It clearly has financial, defence, home office, employment, industry and endless other implications for government and government departments.

    The obvious reaction of the establishment and EU (that is always takes in these circumstances) will be to cobble together another deal, treating the democratic vote with total contempt and then asking the people to get try again in another referendum?

    So if you want Brexit vote “leave” and if you just want a better deal (how could it be worse) vote “leave”, if you just want rid and Osborne and Cameron vote leave – so why would anyone vote “remain”?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Also more threats to peoples’s pension pot values from yet more EU regulation. So vote Brexit to protect your pension pot from the EU (and also from the pension, landlord and tenant robber and IHT ratter Osborne by evicting him too).

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        The biggest threat to you pension came with Osborne’s reforms not something out of Brussels. However they do not apply to MPs, well with regard to how you can stuff into one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          I agree Osborne is the bigger threat on pension pots. But the EU are a threat too.

          Brexit will give us the additional huge economic advantage of removing Osborne.

        • Jagman84
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Maybe everyone should have a reminder of what the EU is capable of doing. Namely the Cypriot ‘bail-out’ in 2013.

          It would be illuminating to find out to whom the £65bn of recently moved funds from the UK belong to.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      No plans made for what is an even or more likely outcome. How irresponsible and arrogant can these Tories get?
      Cameron is about to reap what he has so painfully sown. Either Remain win narrowly, with an enormous surge in UKIP support on the back of this stupid and arrogant attitude, or Leave win and he (and half his sycophantic band) has egg all over his face anyway.
      Either way we would win in the end.

    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I think you are putting cart before horse. Call me Dave is doing everything he can to gerrymander things, now extending registration for 2 days.

      I think you’ve lost.

  7. Mark B
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As we are involved whether we want to or not. We are signed up members of the EU common foreign policy and must do what the EU decide. Their is no point in having a foreign policy if you do not have the means to enforce it. ie Armed services.

    The more is made of this the better.

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Remain continue to deny that there are any plans for an EU army. mr Farage says there is a definitive plan and we will hear much more about it from 24 June. Is there such a thing as a fact here?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Time will tell

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Jean-Claude Juncker proposed the idea in March 2015. The UK has opposed it because it would undermine NATO. There are reports that Angela Merkel supports the idea and is supposed to have used it as a bargaining chip in Cameron`s negotiations (ie he would get concessions if he supported it). It appears to have evolved to the point where the first stage would be to take over responsibility for external borders and the forces currently used for this purpose.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        At least the Royal Navy could be exempt from the proposed EU naval expedition to the South China Sea as it seems the MoD has procured ships which don’t work in warm waters. The scale of uselessness in the public sector defies belief. No doubt it will be impossible to identify anyone responsible.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Lots of facts here:

      “Eurocorps: A Force for the European Union and NATO”

      Incidentally it used to be:

      “Eurocorps: A Force for NATO and the European Union”

      and indeed it still is on some pages of that website.

      Here is another fact, the view expressed by the present German Foreign Minister back in 2007:

      “The era of small nation states has passed”

      “In his closing remarks, Steinmeier noted there is much work to be done, conceding that visions for Europe are projects that will take up the next 20 to 30 years and citing a future European army as an example. He also noted that this century could well see the disappearance of national foreign ministers, that the “German foreign minister” is probably a dying breed.”

    • libertarian
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      You ask a good question.

      The major lesson I’ve learned from this farrago is that the front benches of the Conservative, Labour and LibDem benches all make it up as they go along . I’ve heard some outrageous statements from the Prime Minister and Chancellor that defy any kind of logic or common sense. They have all proved beyond doubt they do not have the remotest clue about business, trade, the jobs market or indeed the 21st century

      Whether we stay or go from the EU I will never vote for this Conservative Party as its finished as a credible party

  9. D Whitley
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    “The danger of the EU’s increasingly noisy interventions is that they are not backed by sufficient force to make them credible, but they can be diplomatically disruptive”

    IMO they are not backed by sufficient experience either. This makes them more than disruptive, it makes them downright dangerous.

    Is there anything the EU doesn’t want to stick its oar into?

  10. Margaret
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Will we never learn from history? Whilst we know that circumstances change, we also know that the nature of man/ woman will not change. We as humans are little different from the animals with our hierarchical structures and desire to continue our own genetic lines and bigger power structures. Why do we all forget these basic instincts .Each individual wants to survive and then win . We Great British won and there is a residual competitive spirit against us . Lets tell them we can win again if we are BRITISH AND YOU CAN WIN TOO IF YOU ARE BRITISH .We do not need to be European ( in the guise of Germany) to win. We can build manufacturing , we can supply our own energy , we can trade with some of the greatest in the world.

  11. acorn
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Definitely worth a read of Mike Norman Economics for Tuesday June 7th.

    “NATO has begun its Anaconda-16 war game, calling for the largest assembly of foreign forces in Poland since World War II.”

    “Where Will America Invade Next? Pentagon Plans to Deploy Troops ‘Anywhere’.”

    “Neoliberal Think Tank Report Reveals ‘Blueprint’ For US Empire Under Hillary Clinton.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      It is suggested that Russia has been quiet both militarily and vocally these past couple of months despite provocations like the above and the Romanian missile deployment so as not to give the likes of Cameron ammunition for his “standing up to Putin” schtick in the Brexit debate.

      • acorn
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        There is no doubt in my mind, that the US Neo-Cons, are a “Clear and Present Danger” to this planet. Unfortunately, the average American, in the fifty States, hasn’t got a clue, what their out of control federal government, is doing in their name; and, they are sacrificing their potential income for. It is very sad. This will not end well I fear.

  12. Excalibur
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Eminently sensible, JR. There are enough forces within ASEAN and elsewhere to deal with the Chinese sabre rattling in the South China sea. We should not become involved. Once Brexit has been achieved, we should consider the expansion of our own naval forces. We need a number of vessels urgently e.g. corvettes, frigates, to patrol the English Channel to deter illegal migrants and to blunt Putin’s ambitions. Doubtless the US has a number of moth balled vessels that could be acquired for a rapid and cost effective expansion of our naval capabilities.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      I don’t see how increasing our naval forces(much as I am in favour of a strong defence posture) would “blunt Putin’s ambitions”.What do you think his ambitions are?Russia’s conventional military assets are mostly configured for defence of its vast territory and operations in it’s near abroad.

      In the 19th Century a document called The Testament of Peter the Great,a blueprint for world domination for his successors,achieved widespread circulation in Western Europe even in academic and political circles,prompting a bout of Russophobia that contributed to the Crimean War which was a disaster for all concerned.

      Turned out it was a forgery concocted by a Polish Officer in Napoleon’s Grande Armee during its sojourn in Russia.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink


      US has a number of moth balled vessels that could be acquired for a rapid and cost effective expansion of our naval capabilities.

      Just like happened early on in WW2.

      This country’s “elite” have learnt three fifths of naff all since 1945 and they forget how long it took to pay the Americans back.

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Look, let’s be perfectly clear about this, let’s not be misled by the untruths about this from the Leave camp, there is no EU army, except for this one:

    and even if one was proposed we could veto it, except we didn’t, and as long as I’m Prime Minister, which could be for the next four years, we will NEVER agree to have the UK involved in any EU army over the forty years plus before the next referendum when you would have another chance to have your say, those of you who were still alive.

    So once again I ask you not to believe the scaremongering from the Leave campaign and take my word, as your Prime Minister, that you can safely vote to stay in a reformed EU without having to worry that once polling day was over it would resume the previous pattern of constantly changing in ways you cannot control and don’t like.

    • zorro
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Of course Dave, we believe you and will vote REMAIN. Please be our decisive, patriotic PM forever.


    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink


      Pass out the sick buckets. Every time he opens his mouth it is enough to make you throw up.

      The man is a total liability

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    In the 1960s we built the County Class destroyers which were COSAG. Combined steam and gasses. These could operate worldwide regardless of sea or air temperature. Today we hear that the all singing all dancing Type 45 is a massive white elephants. Have we learnt nothing in 50 years. We don’t have the capability to sustainable a presence in the Far East except of course our nuclear subs which thankfully work.
    I watched the Quisling Cameron waffling on TV last night. The mans a traitor.

  15. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Congrats to Mr McLoughlin on his proposals for diesel powered vehicles. Yet another job killer/vote loser. No doubt East European trucks will not be checked for their emissions despite the 72p litre advantage they already have. Thanks for reducing the odds on Commissar Corbyn becoming PM.

  16. Martyn G
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “It is apparent from this intervention and from hostile rhetoric and foreign policy stances that are a daily part of EU life that many in positions of power do wish to see a tougher EU on the world stage….”
    John, who are these people in positions of power able to interfere on the world stage as they do? Are we talking about leaders of national governments, the unelected commissioners or the EU parliament itself? Frightening, very, that the UK electorate (and others of course) can be so easily drawn into yet another potentially political and probably militarily turbulent situation without any way of saying ‘not on our behalf, thank you’.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    As reported in the Telegraph today: “Voters preparing to back a Brexit are “quitters”, “little Englanders” and do not love Britain, David Cameron suggested in Tuesday’s televised debate on the EU”, presumably forgetting that “I rule nothing out” period when he pretended that this condemnation could include himself. But we should be glad that in the light of the fundamental reforms of the EU that he has secured for us he has changed his mind, he is no longer dallying with the idea of being a “quitter” and a “little Englander”, and has renewed his deep love of Britain. There is more rejoicing in heaven …

    We’ve had a decade of this kind of garbage from him, a real heir to Blair he is.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Quitter, my giddy aunt. It is just absolute tosh, as half a minute’s thought says. It will take far more guts as a country to free ourselves from this yoke than to knuckle under and be subservient to it.

    • Chris
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      It seems as though Cameron did not convince the Undecideds last night o the same degree as Farage .

      Live sentiment analysis from last night’s EU referendum “debate” last night has revealed UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to be the winner, being more popular with his own side, and more popular with undecided voters than the Prime Minister. The Times newspaper’s Red Box Pulse had a sample of 2,500 people last night who were asked to rank each politician up or down, live during the programme.

      The final results revealed that Mr. Farage had an average rating of 94 per cent among Leavers, 15 per cent among Remainers and 63 per cent among Undecideds.
      Mr. Cameron managed only 86 per cent among Remainers – his own side – with 29 per cent among Undecideds and just 4 per cent with Leavers.

      That the UKIP leader was more popular with Remainers than Mr. Cameron is with Leavers will come as a boon to him, his party, and the Leave campaign

      • Chris
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        PS to my post above, it has been revealed that whereas Sky debate used Survation to gain a “balanced” audience, ITV hand picked their audience, and apparently actually invited Imriel Morgan (who seem particularly aggressive with Farage, apparently refusing to let him answer while she harassed him with claims about racism). Breitbart has the details. They are not reassuring, and really ITV has to do better than this. Did they think that the voters would not eventually discover their apparent dishonesty” in selection.

        • stred
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          would be interesting

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Apparently ITV invited her along knowing her back story, in fact because of her back story, and the ITV presenter who was supposed to be an impartial moderator allowed Farage to be harassed in a way that she did not allow Cameron to be harassed.

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink


          If your comments have some substance then this needs to be exposed with FACT, but not by Farage or UKIP.

          • Chris
            Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            Listen to/see transcript of part of radio interview, as quoted by Breitbart London article. Farage did not make this claim – apparently there was a significant adverse twitter reaction to said individual and much googling to identify her, then a radio interview in which she said that she had been approached by ITV and why.

        • graham1946
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          They all seemed to be at it. The questioners were not so much questioning as making speeches and the moderator allowed it all, to the extent that she cut Farage off a couple of times as the time was used up by the audience.

          Cameron had no such problem.

          People complain about BBC bias?

          • Monty
            Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            I was also struck by the contrast between the audience members chosen to question Farage- mainly women, shrill, and unwilling to let him get a word in edgewise, and Cameron- mainly men, and generally content to pose their questions and give way to allow an uninterrupted response.

  18. Caterpillar
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I think the South China Sea (-or whatever a country’s geographic perspective calls it) is one area that a post-BREXIT UK will have to confront. As old alliances are rebuilt (Australia and Malayasia come to mind) policy in this geographic area will surface.

    • Chris S
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:57 am | Permalink

      Even with our new ( flightless ) carriers the modern Royal Navy couldn’t find enough resources to mount any kind of show East of Suiz.

      Cameron, Brown and Blair have run down the fleet so much that we don’t have the ships to form one battle group to defend a carrier let alone two. ( even if they have the equipment to both go to sea at the same time which us doubtful )

      With only Six type 45 Destroyers we will be lucky to have two at sea and fully operational at any one time.

  19. forthurst
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Crimea voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia. (silly allegation left out ed). The Brzezinski doctrine is not good for Europe as it was not intended to be; it is designed to prevent rapprochement with Russia. So far it has not been as successful as the Wolfowitz Doctrine in the destruction of lives but its potential is very greater.

    We need to become an independent nation with an independent foreign policy whose primary purpose is defending us from invasion and attack. Our problem is the enemy within led by CMD which is determined to flood our country with uncalibrated aliens to destroy our English heritage. Removing this fifth column via the ballot box would be much cheaper than patrolling the South China Sea with the danger of attack by Chinese hypersonic ballistic missiles.

  20. alte fritz
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    How does one reconcile this with WW III breaking out if we leave?

    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      EU probably declare War against us for Leaving !!

  21. Atlas
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Indeed John,

    … and some folk complain about Trump! As you explain, they should look closer to home for causers of instability …

  22. formula57
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Do not be concerned that “The danger of the EU’s increasingly noisy interventions is that they are not backed by sufficient force to make them credible…” for our foreign policy chief Mogherini is on the case, as will be revealed post the referendum, so says Der Spiegel magazine: –

    “One of the victims of this caution [screening EU announcements for if they could affect Brexit] has been chief EU diplomat Federica Mogherini, who has spent recent months crafting the EU Global Strategy — the first comprehensive foreign policy guidelines for the union since 2003. The original intention had been to present the paper in the coming days, but it has now been delayed.

    Foreign and security policy still remain the domain of EU member states, and hardly any other union member is as insistent about its sovereignty as Britain. Furthermore, Mogherini’s draft text includes ideas aimed at exploring stronger joint European defense efforts — a potentially dangerous approach given that British tabloids passionately disparage any suggestion of a European army. Mogherini has now been forced to push her presentation back to June 24.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      “Mogherini has now been forced to push her presentation back to June 24.”

      They could try being a little more subtle!

    • Chris
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      It is not only the EU defence policy, as der Spiegel makes clear!

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Cameron tells Brexit voters are “quitters” little “Englanders” and do not love the UK.

    He really is getting rather desperate and nasty.

    Brexit voters actually just want British democracy returned and to deal with the wider World. Rather then be shackled to the sclerotic, anti-democratic, uncompetitive disaster area that is the EU.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      There are loads of independent small businesses around here displaying “leave” posters. Obviously the proprietors are not bothered about offending the remainers. This one is in the bag. Unless we have an Austrian election

  24. agricola
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Those on a path to self delusion and destruction first drive themselves insane. To re- design a well known maxim. With apologies to the ancient Greeks..

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


      I thought it was something like:

      Those who the gods wish to destroy they first make bored.

      That is exactly what I feel when CMD and all his cohorts open their mouths, they are soooooooooooooo boring.

      No better reason to vote Leave.

  25. Mitchel
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Not only that but NATO is supposed to be a mutual defence pact not a self-serving bureaucracy that provides a few fig leaves when demanded by a US which seeks to be global hegemon.If the USA with all its military -and particularly naval -might and its local flotsam and jetsam allies in the Far East are unable to constrain China,there is nothing European countries can do to tip the balance.

    Moreover,it is becoming an unhealthy trend that the USA,stymied on the UN Security Council,seeks to use other transnational bodies it effectively controls to vindicate and progress its actions and ambitions overseas.

  26. English Pensioner
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I can fully understand why Russia views the EU as a hostile organisation. Having twice been invaded from western European countries (Napoleon and Hitler), their concern about the EU is understandable, particularly now the old east-bloc countries are part of it.
    What with the possibility of Turkey joining the EU and with the EU showing interest in the Ukraine, from a Russian point of view, it must appear to be trying to expand its boundaries. Now it wants to get involved in the Far East. To me it is the EU which is the trouble maker, not Putin, and the sooner we are out of the EU and disassociate ourselves from this expansionism, the better.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Twice?!The Poles in 10th,14th and early 17th centuries.The Swedes in 11th and 17th centuries.The Germans(as in the Teutonic Knights)in the 13th century.I may have missed some!It was because of these early invasions that Russia turned to it’s erstwhile tormentors,the Mongols,and effectively ceased to be a European country for several centuries.And the Russians still teach linear history.

  27. graham1946
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    What do they want to go there for? They can’t even cope with the invasion of the Med.

    Still if the water is cold there, maybe our new ships would work properly rather than break down in the Arabian gulf.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they could be powered by wind turbines? Even in war, we need to consider our Carbon footprint! 🙂

  28. NickW
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    This suggestion from the French raises a lot of questions because the French also have nuclear weapons.

    The inference is that the EU armed forces are, one way or another, eventually going to have nuclear weapons too.

    The EU won’t agree to France having unilateral control of its nuclear arms, they will eventually be compelled to pass control to the EU, if the desired political integration occurs. If the EU has nuclear weapons, effectively Germany has nuclear weapons, because Germany dominates the EU.

    And then there is the question of conscription into the EU fighting forces, because no one in their right mind would sacrifice their life on behalf of the EU.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Its just another example of the EU over-reaching itself . As Farage exclaimed last night ” the EU is broke , is defunct and has no future “.

  30. Jane
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I agree. I have just read an article from Chatham House quoting the former Secretary of State Ms Rice who addressed them last year regarding many foreign affairs matters as well as NATO. It is apparent that the US is getting frustrated with Europe. We all know that many EU countries contribute little to NATO to the frustration of the US. The consensus of opinion is that the US will be placing more emphasis on China and Asia regardless of who wins the Presidency. Further, if Mr Trump wins, he has made his views clear re NATO and without huge amounts of US funding (73%) for the organisation, NATO as we know it would not exist. It makes a mockery of all this grandstanding re military matters by EU countries who fail to pay their way on defence.. By the way, I did work for NATO many, many years ago and the funding argument was around even then.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      It’s always been the same, when we had the cold war, it was British and American submarines that patrolled the Barents Sea and kept tabs on the Soviets.
      We did rather more than the average American as we only had a handful of nuclear boats we did 3 or 4 six week patrols a year. The US boats tended to do one patrol then that was it.
      The French played around with their Force de Crappe but no one took them seriously.
      The rest of Europe had a relatively free ride and continue to do so.
      One upside was I spent so much time at sea that I paid my mortgage off before my 25th birthday.

      • stred
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        It looks like we have a surface Force de Crappe too now the destroyers get hot and conk out and the aircraftless aircraft carriers only have VTOL fighters which have less range, if they eventually arrive.

        The Chinese must be glad they didn’t steal the designs.

    Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Two of the things emerging from Prime Minister’s Questions today:

    1. SNP Rt Hon Angus Robertson and Rt Hon Mr Cameron have not sought a recommendation and expert advice from the very successful British entrepreneur owner of Sports Direct who employs many EU migrants for the Remain Campaign.

    2.Mr Robertson and Mr Cameron attribute peace in Europe to the EU and not to the joint Campaign of British Bomber Command and the Russian Red Army.

  32. MickN
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Question for our host…

    …….does being called an unpatriotic little Englander by your Boss make you as bloody angry as it does me?

    • DaveM
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      I wish he’d call me a Little Englander.

      Oh no Mr Cameron… I’m a big Englander. Or Englishman as I believe the correct word is. Isn’t ‘Englander’a German word?!

  33. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, off topic. The girl who does some cleaning for us – who is from LITHUANIA – and her partner – who is from POLAND – have both got polling cards to vote in the Referendum. She seems to think if you pay Council Tax – you get to vote.

    Mr. Redwood?

    Reply You have to be a UK citizen.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      But they both have polling cards!

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        We must all remember this. They cannot be insolation. It must be the case that tens of thousands of foreigners have polling cards which they should not have.

        I have serious doubts that with corruption in postal voting which has been seen elsewhere, and now this, our democracy and civil order is at risk. Weakness and subversion is at the heart of it all – no-one must be disappointed, except those who wish to uphold the long-standing rules.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Maybe we should be asked to produce confirmation of citizenship at the polling station.

        Not rocket science…

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        What makes you think this will be a stitch up? Can we really believe the results when they come through particularly if it is a vote to remain???

        Why do I have this awful gut feeling that people who shouldn’t be voting will be and they will have the most to gain from a remain vote?

        Just what is the EU thinking about when they are thinking of dragging us all into further confrontation ? Time to get out while we can.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Along with 1.5 million (sorry 3,500 according to the Electoral Commission’.

        A stitch-up is clearly on the cards.

      • Andy
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        You have a duty to tell the Returning Officer at your Council. He will then cancel the cards.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Or Irish or Maltese or Cypriot or other qualifying Commonwealth citizen.

      The only way to find out what the British people is to ask them, but ask sundry foreign citizens as well because it would be impossible to have a new electoral register which only included UK citizens.

      About 600,000 Irish, and not only Geldof but the Irish Prime Minister is trying to get them all to vote for Remain, and does Cameron politely ask him not to interfere in our referendum? No, he does not not.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Checking I find that according to the Irish Post there will be 1.5 million non-British nationals eligible to vote in what has been billed as “our” referendum, including 345,000 Irish citizens:

      I don’t whether that is correct, but as things stand with the opinion polls at present they would be enough to swing the vote from Leave to Remain.

      It’s cheat, cheat, cheat all the way, one thing after another.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        In our regional news it is being reported that voting forms do not fit in the windowed envelopes provided – so that the code can be read by computers. The instruction is in small writing on the envelope. Most will miss it. The votes will not get through.

        Ours is a Brexit region. I wonder if all envelopes are the same nationally.

        I am appalled by other issues in this referendum and wonder what country I live in now and nothing would surprise me. Sorry if this sounds paranoid.

        (The Andrew Neil/George Osborne interview was heavily edited for BBC News to omit the thumping that Neil gave him on many subjects.)

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      JR Dr Webb is a Commonwealth citizen and has a voting card sitting on the mantelpiece

  34. Beecee
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I am sure I heard Mr Cameron say at PMQ’s today that migrants will have to work for 4 years before they qualify for benefits etc. Surely he has misled Parliament?

    Any scheme is to be graduated, is limited to in-work, and has yet to be written into a revised act, assuming the EU Parliament agrees to it.

    If wrong perhaps you could correct me please Dr Redwood.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Tonight with Andrew Niel, Osborne stated they cannot get jobseekers allowance for 6 months. Niel corrected him by saying it was 3 months. He did not even seem to know this. Similar with pensions, he said the value of pensions would fall with the inflation he says will happen on Brexit (even though he actually wants inflation to rise by 2 percent), whereas with the triple lock they will rise by inflation if it exceeds 2.5 per cent or average earnings.
      I doubt Cameron knows what he has negotiated. He has told so many lies, it all must blur into on e by now.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, Sky News had the WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo on last night, supposedly an authoritative independent and impartial voice, and he said several interesting things.

    “Brexit Could Cost UK Exporters £5.6bn A Year”

    “British exporters are at risk of paying up to £5.6bn in duties if the UK votes Out, the head of the World Trade Organisation says.”

    £5.6 billion a year is a lot of money, but then in 2014 our total exports were worth £508 billion, so that would work out at 1.1%. Or it’s possible that he was only referring to our exports to the rest of the EU – the article is not completely clear on that – and as they were worth £227 billion that would work out as 2.5%. I did read here a couple of weeks ago:

    “Earlier the World Trade Organisation warned that if Britain leaves the EU, extra tariffs imposed on imported goods could cost the British consumer £9 billion.”

    and £9 billion on total imports from the rest of the EU worth £288 billion would be 3.1%. However whether it was 1.1% or 2.5% or 3.1% it would hardly have any great impact on our trade.

    I have read this before elsewhere, that since the EEC was set up in 1958 tariffs all around the world have dropped through successive world trade rounds, with average numbers between 1% and 4% being cited, so that most of the initial tariff advantage of joining the EEC has now disappeared.

    Azevado also said very clearly that after leaving the EU the UK would remain a WTO member, in fact contradicting what he was quoted as saying in that earlier article, that “the UK would have to negotiate membership of the organisation”; but he went wrong in asserting that all the existing trade deals would have to be renegotiated from scratch, because it would need no more than exchanges of diplomatic letters for it to be agreed that the existing deals would continue.

  36. DaveM
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink


    So far we’ve had 9 million spent on ‘information’ leaflets.
    A guidance leaflet with a X by the Remain box.
    Poles and Germans sent polling cards.
    A computer system that mysteriously crashes with….. 100 people visiting in an hour when it’s perceived that young folk are registering and therefore likely to boost the vote for Remain. Really.

    Funny that none of these accidental things are likely to favour the Leave campaign. Your leader is a total snake. I wouldn’t trust him with my dirty washing.

    Lucky for Leave that the Sun is on its side.

    • stred
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      And Leave ministers are banned from finding out what is going on and kept away with help from the civil service. The Irish don’t let British living in Ireland vote in their referendums and probably the same in most Commonwealth countries. But we have to because of electoral lists. Unfair to snakes to put them in the same category.

    • zorro
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      All these things are being carefully noted. The extension of the deadline sounds suspect…. And anyone who gets a vote without submitting a NINO should be declared invalid as should anyone whose nationality should exclude them from the ballot.


    • hefner
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Actually 214,000 people had been trying to register between 21:00 and 22:00 on Tuesday evening.
      The crash of the computers is not that surprising. Has anybody out there ever dealt with the recurring “unavailable connection” message when trying to connect to HMRC computers for filling up a self-assessment tax return in the last two or three days before the 31 January?

      • JoeSoap
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        To your last point, no because i’m organised enough not to do that. Anyone leaving registration to vote until 5 minutes to midnight is pretty disorganised and you have to question their judgement.

      • Andy
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        There should have been no extension. If you leave it so last minute, tough.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Dave M – Hopefully the extra couple of days won’t make a difference on the computer issue.

      I think the Tory party is finished. If we end up Ramaining we should all vote Corbyn in 2020 to show our contempt for this sham Parliament.

  37. mickc
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I would be extremely pleased to see the EU try to intervene in the Far East…..provided the UK stays well clear. The resultant catastrophe would ensure the demise of the EU.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Also off-topic:

    “There is an intriguing proposition doing the rounds in the Westminster rumour mill at the moment that the prime minister is considering a pledge for a referendum lock if Turkey ever finds itself on the cusp of joining the EU.”

    If Cameron had wanted a referendum on Turkish accession to the EU he would have told Hague to put it into his “referendum lock” law, the European Union Act 2011, rather than putting in a blanket exemption for all accession treaties, for all new member states but no doubt with Turkey especially in mind.

    In any case he won’t be around to keep his pledge in the year 3000, will he.

  39. Elsey
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    The EU will do what it’s masters in Washington tell it too. American surrounds China with a ring of military bases, sails it’s ships through waters agreed to be Chinese decades ago and now calls China aggressive because it builds an island in those waters. It is truly amazing how Orwellian this world has become.

    • bluedog
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      It’s simply not true to say that the waters were agreed to be Chinese decades ago. Evidence?

  40. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Nice one Micke!

  41. Chris
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Breitbart London refers to FT article stating that Cameron may be considering a referendum on Turkey joining the EU as frantic last minute bid to hold off Brexit. Similarities with last minute reckless concessions/promises to voters before the Scottish referendum.

    I actually believe Cameron is getting desperate. I was sceptical at first, but he seems to have thrown any caution to the wind and is wildly flailing around to get a Remain vote. I don’t think voters will take kindly to this at all.

  42. Chris
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Will you permit some (relevant) light relief, Mr Redwood?
    Now for some light relief:

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    This takes me back to Harold Wilson’s time when he used to bang on about our East of Suez policy. It was fatuous then and it’s fatuous now. Just look at the map and realise how far the China seas are from Europe. It’s not our theatre of war.

    How many more military ideas are going to come from this brainless, toothless European army and navy? Just think, 28 countries speaking 24 different languages, a veritable Power of Babel.

    Perhaps we should stick bossy boots Merkel on a ship with a megaphone. That will frighten the Chinese!

  44. ChrisS
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    The very idea is stuff and nonsense, and not just politically but militarily.

    A few years ago I was on a consultancy contract in a Middle Eastern Naval base where French-Built destroyers sold to that country were tied up alongside because they were unable to function correctly in the heat that they had not been designed for. It seems extremely unlikely that those in service with the French Navy would be any better !

    Now we are being told that our own billion pound Type 45 destroyers have to be modified at huge cost because, although built to the spec the MOD insisted upon, they too cannot operate in the high water and air temperatures and the humidity found in the Gulf ! This would also apply in the South China Sea !

    As only France and the U.K. possess naval assets that could be deployed to the South China Sea it isn’t looking good, is it ? Humiliation beckons.

    Turning to the politics :

    This is Hollande and the Graduates of the Grandes écoles that run the country continuing the delusional myth that they run the EU. Their aim has always been :

    1. To prevent the ascendancy of German power, or at least contain it
    2. To build the EU into a world power to counter the USA.

    DeGaulle started the policy after their utter humiliation in WW2 but only the 5,000 or so Graduates of the Grandes écoles that actually run France are unable to see and accept that both objectives have so obviously failed miserably.

    France is in a downward spiral. The 5th Republic in its present form is ungovernable and unreformable as the current round of strikes and protests make only too clear. Unions membership is said to be only 7% of the workforce yet they have a stranglehold over much of the economy.

    Given the economic deterioration, particularly in productivity against that of Germany, for the rail unions to be currently striking for a reduction of the working week to 32 hours looks suicidal.

    We are told the French people are more disillusioned with the EU than we are so the disconnect between these grand ideas and what the people want is huge and growing by the day.

    This result of this new poll Makes it seem increasingly likely, as I suggested the other day, that the two traditional parties will be unable to persuade voters to gang up and defeat Marine LePen in round 2 of the presidential election next year.

    If that happens, the EU as we know it will come to an abrupt and chaotic end without ant help from us.

  45. bluedog
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    There a large number of moving parts in this matter, Dr JR.

    We can agree that the EU is precisely the wrong entity to send a fleet to the China seas, but the French are absolutely correct in their assessment of the potential risks. There are well known conventions for settling maritime boundaries which China has decided to ignore. Curious given that China previously agreed on an equitable division of the Gulf of Tonkin with Vietnam. We’re now seeing the Chinese at their overbearing worst in their dealings with the Philippines, which is the current cause of friction. We have skin in the game too, on a couple of fronts.

    In the first instance the Five Power Defence Arrangements commit the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and NZ to consult immediately in the face of a threat to the Asian members. These Arrangements are not a treaty and replace security guarantees withdrawn following our retreat from commitments East of Suez in 1971. However the 2015 Strategic Defence Review makes specific mention of FPDA in the context of the new carriers. In addition, the same review mentions a defence agreement with Japan, described as a close Asian ally.

    If China were to try and control access to the South China Sea, the Japanese would face a threat they could not ignore. Similarly Malaysia and Singapore would be at risk. So declaring that we should sit this one out may not be an option, we are somewhat committed.

  • About John Redwood

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

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