Donald Tusk speaks out for the elites

Mr Tusk has written a letter to the EU 27 saying he disagrees with the views of many voters around the EU “that European integration is beneficial only to the elites, the ordinary people have only suffered as a result”. He should try telling that one to the millions thrown out of work or never able to get a job thanks to the Euro and the EU’s banking and economic policies. The UK was badly damaged by the EU’s Exchange Rate Mechanism.

He thinks that people do not feel secure enough. He urges the EU 27 to unite to undertake “definitive reinforcement of the EU external borders”. Does that mean he now wants to build more walls and fences, as the EU is helping Turkey do already and as some EU countries have done individually?

There is news for the UK, which is not mentioned by name. He tells us “The EU should not abandon its role as a trade superpower, which is open to others”. That sounds like a man who wants to have access to the UK market and accepts we will have access to the EU’s internal market. He clearly does not wish to lose any  European trade.

There is also the curious statement that “the times of European unity have been the best times in all of Europe’s centuries long history”. Is this the idea that the Roman Empire or the Habsburg Empire or the French conquests of the late eighteenth century were some golden age, despite the role of the military and of occupation?

His letter of course sets out exactly what many of us expected to be the EU’s next move – more progress towards a full political and defence union.


  1. Lifelogic
    February 1, 2017

    Indeed Donald Tusk is doing his very best to show the UK voters that they were absolutely right to vote for Brexit. He will surely encourage more to follow the UK’s example. He is totally out of touch with the peoples of Europe, other than group think bureaucrats like himself.

    He suffers from the usual EU insanity of the anti-democratic elite who only talk to each other. The agenda of centralising power and one size fits all, it destroys jobs, lives, wealth, freedom and all democracy.

    1. rose
      February 1, 2017

      I wouldn’t say Donald Tusk was out of touch. He told the EU Frau Merkel’s importations were mad and not wanted by the rest of Europe. He got her to shift policy on that. He spotted how we were feeling about our independence when the others were in denial. And now he understands about other Europeans’ attachment to the nation state. Unfortunately, for all his intelligence as an historian and a Pole, he also speaks as a Eurocrat.

      1. Chris
        February 1, 2017

        It is ingrained, sadly. Once a eurocrat, always a eurocrat, it seems.

  2. Alan Hill
    February 1, 2017

    It is now a race between full Political Union and Total Collapse. And as they enter the final furlong (201 metres) Total Collapse is leading by a short head.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2017

      I think total (or almost total) collapse now looks the more likely of the two.

    2. Mike Wilson
      February 1, 2017

      Given that a furlong is an imperial measurement, why show its length in metres. A furlong is an eighth of a mile. 220 yards or 10 times the length between the stumps of a cricket pitch – which is one chain. An acre is an area of one chain by one furlong.

      Ahhh, don’t you miss the madness? At school being asked to work out how much carpet to cover a room 12 feet 6 and 1/2 inches by 10 feet 9 and 3/4 inches when carpet is £2 10 and sixpence farthing a square yard.

      1. rick hamilton
        February 2, 2017

        That’s why our generation were so much better at mental arithmetic than the metric millenials. I rather liked the challenge of rods, poles or perches, bushels, hundredweights, apothecary’s grains, guineas, ha’pennies and half-crowns.

      2. Lamia
        February 6, 2017

        “Given that a furlong is an imperial measurement, why show its length in metres.”

        Presumably to aid those who only understand metric.

    3. Mark B
      February 1, 2017

      Brilliant summary and one I very much agree with.

  3. Mark B
    February 1, 2017

    Good morning.

    For Donald Tusk the beauty of his position is, unlike that of our kind host, is that he cannot be removed from office. No matter what he says, does or anything else, this man’s job is secure. That is because he is not elected by we, the little people. He serves a higher and better authority, the dream of a fully united Europe under one central all powerful government. This shapes his, and others thinking. A thinking that is very different from our own. Whilst indeed it is good that he mentions good trade relations with non-EU countries, that will always come second to the aforementioned union. Just saying. 😉

    The election of President Trump is an absolute game changer, it really is ! The fact that, at the time of writing, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande still have not been invited to Washington is really significant. The world really is changing and it is doing so right before our eyes.

  4. Feb
    February 1, 2017

    Heart stopped. Read headline as Donald Trump….

  5. alan jutson
    February 1, 2017

    Afraid he is deluded, and is still seeking the EU dream of the multicultural State to replace the Nation State.

    He ‘s a bit late wanting to reinforce the EU’s external borders, but better late than never.

    The people will decide in the end, not Mr Tusk.

    I only hope the people do not suffer for too long.

    I wish them well as we at last leave EU control behind..

  6. Denis Cooper
    February 1, 2017

    Good Lord, “Trump is right …”

    “Trump is right: Germany is running an illegal currency racket”

    “As a matter of strict objective fact, Donald Trump’s trade guru is correct. Germany is the planet’s ultimate currency manipulator.

    The implicit Deutsche Mark is indeed “grossly undervalued” The warped mechanism of monetary union allows Germany to lock in a permanent ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ trade advantage over Southern Europe, inflicting mass unemployment on the victim countries and blighting their futures … “

    1. Chris
      February 1, 2017

      I would suggest that the EU has always been run to enable Germany to become the dominant economic power. However, that has apparently involved sacrificing other MS, which some of them are only just realising. However, if they (MS) are not regarded as individual nations but merely as different regions of the same “country”, the USE, then this approach was apparently justified.

      1. David Ashton
        February 1, 2017

        Chris, regarding your comment that if the Member States are considered regions of the USE not Nation States then monetary union is justified. If they are regions of the USE then money should flow from the rich regions, particularly Germany, to the poorer regions. This does not happen, cannot happen under an EU law insisted upon by Germany, and is the reason why the Eurozone will collapse.

  7. ferdinand
    February 1, 2017

    One does get the impression that the EU leaders are running around like headless chickens. No doubt some sort of stability will emerge, perhaps when the serious negotiations start.

  8. Prigger
    February 1, 2017

    Most people do not know a Mr Tusk. It is noticeable Remoaners rarely refer to EU personages in studio debates. They should ask themselves why.
    Farage’s “Who…ARE…you!?” will feature in our history books for some time.

  9. turboterrier
    February 1, 2017

    He and his cohorts are beginning to see the real light and so now it will be threat after threat so as to prove they are the only credible form of salvation for the failing bloq.

    Any one with half a brain can and have seen the eventual destination for staying with the EU. Sadly for this country we seem to have a lot of politicians and luvvies with half a brain.

    All the while they do nothing about their growing debt burden, hoping and praying that they can bully us to pay upon leaving. Still the budgets have not been signed off. The European Union has become one massive cess pit that needs draining

  10. Rob Drummond
    February 1, 2017

    To me this (“definitive reinforcement of the EU external borders”) knocks on the head completely that The Irish have any say over whether or not ”they” want an open border

    Goodbye Ireland – but you got rid of ”your” border when you joined the EU and handed it over as an EU border; just as you handed over your sovereignty and then currency (and therefore your economy).

    1. C Sanders
      February 1, 2017

      And Ireland has done so well in the EU, as opposed to its backward state when it was ‘under’ Britain.

      1. Mike Wilson
        February 2, 2017

        Ireland, fair play to them, has received more than 40 billion euros over the years from its membership of the EU. Although it has become a net contributor (just) recently, I would suggest that if we had been on the receiving end of someone else’s money all these years, we would be enthusiastic members too.

  11. Anonymous
    February 1, 2017

    The EU empowers ambitious politicians who would achieve very limited office without it.

    1. Phil Moore
      February 1, 2017

      Read this as ‘amphibious politicians’. Chuckled.

  12. margaret
    February 1, 2017

    It amazes me that the crowds cry out for injustice of the wall and want to remain yet the EU is also wall building . . Of course it will never been on the same scale as the Great wall of china. Immigrants who want to travel from the south into north America will simply have to go through the correct procedure.
    Whilst I have written comments which have not been published , I can again say that what is lacking is perspective. If we look at the whole picture of globe wanderers and see where the harm is actually being done by terrorists we may get an idea of the reality of Jihadism . We do not disagree with any religious ideals , but murder does not fall into any religion . How do those protestors suggest we should control mass murder?

  13. Leslie Singleton
    February 1, 2017

    If the European Union is as beneficial as Tusk says (except that it is not of course) why is he not rooting for a larger Union with African countries to the South, the same to be called for instance the Afro-European Union? Where and what is the difference between African countries and especially the weaker Eastern European countries? In fact it has just occurred to me that there would be much less risk with Africa. Trump has the right of it, viz supranational agglomerations, especially large ones (and 28 in this context is large), do not work.

  14. ChrisS
    February 1, 2017

    The only route forward for the EU is a looser relationship based on trade and culture while allowing the Nation States to look after their own affairs.

    I doubt that there will ever be a return to 27 currencies but a small number of regional currencies could easily be made to work and would relax current tensions because the resulting exchange rate movements would restore the checks and balances so necessary for the world economy to thrive.

    I’m sure that almost everyone in Europe would prefer this kind of relationship between neighbours to the current mess that is the EU.

    It would not be such an inhibitor to trade as the Europhiles would claim : modern electronics would allow immediate comparisons of prices for goods and services and tourism and travel are now immensely easier with credit cars that offer almost spot exchange rates and no fees.

    We enjoy our European touring holidays, paying for almost everything on a such a card. It would be a very small step to incorporate a home currency display into a card so the price being paid would always be known.

    In 50 years the EU will be regarded as an over-ambitious, bureaucratic failure.

    1. turboterrier
      February 1, 2017

      @ ChrisS

      In 50 years the EU will be regarded as an over-ambitious, bureaucratic failure

      More like 5 the way they are going on.

  15. Anthony Molland
    February 1, 2017

    You are absolutely right. The European political elite are now busily trying to look after their own backs, now the realisation of us leaving the EU is not the bluff they thought it was.
    The EU is bound also to collapse once the PM gets into the clause 50 process and negotiation

  16. Brexit
    February 1, 2017

    Splendid speech in the House yesterday Dr Redwood. For any of your viewers who missed it we’ve run a piece on this, together with the video of your speech.

    Best wishes,
    The Pro-Brexit Facts4EU.Org Team

    1. Anonymous
      February 1, 2017

      Googling found plenty on Ken Clarke’s speech but little on John Redwood’s. Thanks for this.

  17. agricola
    February 1, 2017

    There are many voices in the EU. One can only hope that a thread of logic and self interest eventually joins them. If not they are the losers. My advice would be to deal with the humanitarian first and settle the future of EU and UK citizens in each others domain. Then deal with trade, do the EU want free trade or not. Do not accept a fragmented answer just to assuage remoaning big business.

  18. bigneil
    February 1, 2017

    “that European integration is beneficial only to the elites, the ordinary people have only suffered as a result”.

    Hardly likely to say the truth is he? And what does HE know about how the ordinary people live?

    1. C Sanders
      February 1, 2017

      His the son of a carpenter and a nurse. He was not born with a silver spoon, unlike lead Leave campaigner Boris Johnson, nor would he claim to be poor on a salary of 85000 euros, as does Farage, with his billionaire friend Trump. Of course the leavers do not care – it is not them that will suffer from the downturn in our pound and ir economy, it is the rest of us.

  19. Mitchel
    February 1, 2017

    I look forward to hearing what form Donald Tusk’s “spectacular steps” will take though I’m sure as our host suggests “unite” really means submission and ultimately assimilation which is the only way an empire can possibly survive in the long term.

  20. E.S Tablishment
    February 1, 2017

    I am listening LIVE to BBC Parliament Committee Rooms where Former Permanent Representative of the UK to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, is answering questions from amongst others the Chair Sir William Cash MP.

    It strikes me we are in danger in our possible negotiating position into being rather too accommodating to “What the EU is prepared to accept” and “Oh the EU takes a very long time to reach a decision on a trading agreement. ; three years is very fast for the EU”
    That’s n0t good enough!
    We must inform the EU such a time frame is unacceptable and will not be humoured or honoured. Make a deal in good time or we walk away!

    Sir Ivan Rogers has stated he believes the EU does not believe we will just walk away. He says in the “real world” we would not benefit by walking away without agreement. What Sir Ivan Rogers, remarkably, is not explaining are the consequences for the EU for we not reaching an agreement with it.

    Its Euro is very vulnerable. It would crash if we walked away. Devastating consequences throughout the whole of the EU.
    No personal desired nor intended insult but Sir Ivan Rogers’ attitude which no doubt comes from a respectable professional position could in the past be described of say a British Army Officer as “He has gone native!”

  21. Guy Knapton
    February 1, 2017

    Your blogs. speeches and other soap box propaganda are jaw-dropping.
    The first sentence of the preamble to the Treaty of Rome 1957 reads:

    DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever-closer union among the peoples of

    With the Act of 1972, Parliament has ratified this and all subsequent Union treaties. You make it sound as if you’ve only just woken up to this simple fact. What has changed since 1972 that leads you to rant as you did yesterday in the Commons? In the House, in a speech that towered over yours as did Nick Clegg’s, Mr Clarke asked a similar question and neither you nor all your frantic Brexiteers friends can answer it.

    Reply I opposed our signature on Rome and voted Out in 1975

    1. Anonymous
      February 1, 2017

      Guy Knapton – There was a groan when Mr Clarke seemed to say that the Tory party had become ‘anti immigrant since 2016’ and that he did not wish to follow them. Whoever groaned did so for me too.

      I gave it a chance but as soon as he said that I switched off.

      As for the Treaty of Rome Half of Europe was in the USSR in 1957 so they could not possibly have meant what has come to pass.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2017

      I am glad you had the sense to vote out even in 1975. I was still at school, but it seemed to me that the arguments of Powell (in particular) & Foot, Benn, & Shore were far more coherent than those of Wilson’s & the dire (three day week and bonkers central wage controls) Ted Heath’s. Of course we still have bonkers wage controls from Osborne and Hammond, they have leaned nothing.

      Interestingly then it was mainly some Labour MP’s, the DUP and the Communists for leave and two sensible Scottish regions, Shetland Islands/Western Isles, which returned a “No” vote then.

      1. Anonymous
        February 1, 2017

        As said before – half of Europe was in the USSR in 1975 (and ’57.)

        Guy Knapton is wrong wrong wrong if he thinks he can cite cold war period treaties to criticise the Brexit movment.

        The architects of the EU had no idea what would become of the Berlin Wall and the modern EU is NOT what we signed up to.

        1. Mitchel
          February 2, 2017

          “USSR” I think should read Eastern Bloc/Warsaw Pact.Significantly none of the original (1922) members of the USSR are-yet- in the EU,which is why Ukraine is such a bone of contention.

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 1, 2017

      Since when there have been five major amending treaties and nineteen new countries added, but not a single referendum to check whether the British people were OK with any those radical changes to the contract to which they assented in 1975 – until last year, when a majority of those who voted said that they were not OK with it.

    4. getahead
      February 1, 2017

      So Ken Clarke, after all your reminiscing, what has the EU done for Britain apart from cost a lot of money?

  22. fedupsoutherner
    February 1, 2017

    I have only just had the time to watch your speech JR and thought you spoke with such passion and integrity the likes of which I haven’t seen for a long time from any other minister. Whatever Donald Tusk cares to say it will never come up to the standard of your speech and I’m afraid I would never trust a damn thing that came out of his mouth.

    God, if only you had been our prime minister many years ago. We really need someone who is on the side of the people more than ever now. Thank goodness you are still around. The booing and noise going on from those who oppose you was disgraceful and one has to ask do they really care about the parliament they represent or the people they represent?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2017

      But the mainly lefty pro EU Tory MP’s keep choosing disasters like Heath, Major and Cameron – why? This despite Lady Thatcher having shown how to win 3 elections, with a sensible lower tax agenda. Four elections really as John Major only won his as people thought he was her chosen man. They realised their big mistake very quickly (and very expensively) and still he failed even to apologise for his ERM fiasco then buried the party for 3+ terms.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        February 1, 2017

        L/L Agree. John Major was a waste of space. Too much of a wet blanket. We need someone with fire in their belly to lead this country. I heard tonight that we are to be lumbered with a £40 – 60 billion bill when we leave the EU. Scandalous and this is why we need strong leadership once again. I suppose the EU thinks this will fund their never ending and unaudited spending for a few more years. Living in the lap of luxury at our expense.

  23. formula57
    February 1, 2017

    He does indeed speak for the elites, but as you will have seen (his 5th. paragraph) admonishes them thus: –

    “The third threat is the state of mind of the pro-European elites. A decline of faith in political integration, submission to populist arguments as well as doubt in the fundamental values of liberal democracy are all increasingly visible.”

    Mr Tusk thinks less of them than I do! All is not well in the Evil Empire it is clear.

  24. Colin Hart
    February 1, 2017

    Who is this chap Tusk? Don’t remember voting for him.

  25. Richard1
    February 1, 2017

    Interesting development yesterday: Andrea Enria, chairman of the European Banking Authority, has called for EU states to fund a bad bank to buy the estimated €1 trillion+ of toxic loans on European banks’ balance sheets. It is of course a good idea for banks to write down and sell such loans at market value in order to avoid Japan-style multi-year stagnation. But should taxpayers buy these loans? I don’t see that as a good idea unless they are very heavily discounted, in which case there will also be a need for widespread bank recapitalisations. It would be interesting to know the proposed contribution to this exercise by each state, including the UK. This could easily turn into the proposed (and needed) transfer union to make the euro function. I wonder whether this proposal will develop?

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 1, 2017

      And the Germans say “No” …

  26. Tad Davison
    February 1, 2017

    ‘The UK was badly damaged by the EU’s Exchange Rate Mechanism.’

    I can think of quite a number of ‘elites’ who made an absolute fortune out of that fiasco!

    And on European unity, Mr Tusk’s memory is highly selective, but that seems to be the way in any number of cases with these pro-EU types. If they don’t like history, they either change it, obliterate it, or conveniently ignore it, to fit in with the line they are pushing, in the hope the rest of us won’t notice.

    Tad Davison


  27. ale bro
    February 1, 2017

    I think the biggest threat to the EU is the alienation of EU citizens from the institutions of the EU, i.e. people believe that these institutions are no longer delivering tangible benefits, and that there is no prospect of reform.

    Tusk characterises this as “anti-EU, nationalist, increasingly xenophobic sentiment”.

    Anti-EU is not the same as xenophobia!

    Insulting people (a la basket of deplorables?!) and misrepresenting people’s concerns about the EU shows how he is struggling to catch up.

    His letter amusingly includes a delicious bit of fake news – that the US motto is “United we stand, divided we fall”. The official motto of the US is in fact “In God we trust”. I’m looking forwards to the BBC reporting Tusk’s assertion as fact.

    1. Mark B
      February 1, 2017

      Good call. Your first paragraph highlights the Achilles Heel of the EU.

  28. Original Richard
    February 1, 2017

    Mr. Redwood,

    You are correct that Mr.Tusk’s letter to the EU27 is a call for further integration in an attempt to solve the EU’s current problems, arguing that integration has not just been for the benefit of the elites.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Tusk and the EU, the current level of integration – the “four freedoms” – has led to large asymmetric flows of capital, jobs, workers, corporate profits and trade which has so far only benefited the elites and selected countries at the expense of other countries.

    This asymmetric effect has been further enhanced by the introduction of the Euro and the EU’s insatiable desire for expansion.

    The EU’s asymmetry will be further increased when it admits an additional 7 eastern European countries followed by the 7 “stan” countries as outlined in Mr. Cameron’s “Atlantic to the Urals” speech in Kazakhstan July 2013.

    The EU will become unstable unless it can address these asymmetric issues, as takes place naturally in nation states. As we have seen with Greece and the southern EU states this is not happening, in fact quite the reverse.

    Mr. Tusk’s solution to save the EU is through “European unity” and dealing with the “threat of national egoism”, as previously achieved in Europe’s “centuries-long history”. These eras described by Mr. Tusk as the “best times”.

    Fortunately we are leaving.

  29. Sue Doughty
    February 1, 2017

    One wonders how the 50% of under 30 year olds in Spain and Italy who have never had paid employment regard that the words of letter. It is as if he is making sure the EU unravels.
    All those living in grinding poverty in the southern states of the EU should not be disregarded so easily by the elites of Brussels.

  30. John Callaghan
    February 1, 2017
    1. Lifelogic
      February 1, 2017

      Absolutely bonkers, thank goodness we are (perhaps) escaping soon. I assume his letter is designed to exacerbate his third risk:- “A decline of faith in political integration” and to annoy nearly everyone.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 1, 2017

        About as daft as a government minister lecturing taxpayers on their duty to look after their elderly parents! What are they paying taxes/NI at circa 50% and 40% IHt on death for after all?

    2. Anonymous
      February 1, 2017

      “… this is why we decided sixty years ago to unite Europe.”

      This is where it’s gone wrong. Political Europe then was much smaller (and homogenous) than political Europe now.

  31. Antisthenes
    February 1, 2017

    Like so many remainers and europhiles they are blinded by the idealism of a pan European state that brings peace and prosperity to all. Nothing wrong with the concept but when put into practice it is failing to live up to expectation. The reason is that the institutions that were built to implement that vision are based on unsound principles incorporating socialism and modern liberal thinking. A recipe for an autocratic system of governance which abhors true liberal values so forces all to be obedient to the will of the EU institutions. It is also an anachronism as the world is evolving towards globalisation not trading blocks.

    The elite and their supporters like so many idealists do not see failure as a need to abandon or reform their beliefs. Instead they prefer to commit even more to them and as the EU has no democratic or in built mechanism to restrain it in it’s madness those who do not leave it will suffer the consequences. Brexit has not come too soon.

  32. Dunedin
    February 1, 2017

    Mr Tusk needs to have a better look – there are a lot of people suffering. The level of unemployment, and particularly youth unemployment, in parts of Europe is shocking. Italy, Europe’s third largest economy, has 12% unemployed, 40% youth unemployed. Many young lives may be permanently blighted as a result.

    With so many young Europeans out of work (especially in Southern Europe), it is hard to rationalise the political desire for high levels of immigration.

    Great speech in the HoC . I hope the puppet politicians will be disappearing along with the puppet parliament.

    1. C Sanders
      February 1, 2017

      Italy, Spain and Greece were poor before they joined the EU. You cannot put it at the door of the EU, though thankfully they have a bit of a safety net, thanks to their membership. If the Spanish and Italians didn’t know this, they would presumably be agitating to leave the EU!

  33. Tony Sharp
    February 1, 2017

    Fantastic speech by JR last night!
    Tusk’s reference to “the best times in European unity” you can add to the Romans, Habsburg and Napoleonic periods those of Hitler- etc ed

    Reply I doubt he had that era in mind at all

  34. Freeborn John
    February 1, 2017

    Is it not time to remove the UK’s security guarantee for EU countries via NATO. Why are we paying to defend countries from Russian aggression when those same countries are seeking to damage our economy, which funds their defence, by imposing a vindictively harsh Brexit settlement? If the US adminsration believes NATO is obsolete and wants good relations with Russia is a Uk & France only guarantee a credible deterrent anyway? Surely as a minimum we must tell the EU that there will no longer be any defence guarantee from the UK unless they offer a comprehensive free trade agreement that covers services.

  35. Anonymous
    February 1, 2017

    David Cameron (then Prime Minister de facto leader of the Remain Campaign) is facing accusations that he tried to have the editor of a pro Brexit newspaper fired – during the referendum.

    This is shocking news. Yet BBC’s Newsnight managed to turn this story into one of how much power and influence Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail have.

    Not as much as the BBC it would seem !

    (Newspapers are given too much credit. Few people actually read newspapers, even fewer the Daily Mail. 5 million out of 17.5 for Brexit ???)

    1. Anonymous
      February 1, 2017

      Typical of the anti free press, anti democratic and anti Brexit Europhile – aligned with the nature of the EU.

      I don’t know if I’m more shocked at what David Cameron is accused of or the BBC’s biased slant on the story.

  36. C Sanders
    February 1, 2017

    To those who say that Tusk cannot know what ordinary people suffer, I would point out that he is the son of a carpenter and a nurse. He is not from an ‘elite’ family, unlike our Leave campaigner BJ; he has not been rich, unlike Nigel Farage, who thinks earning 85.000 euros (and more) makes him poor, and who hobnobs with man-of-the-people Trump, with his gold and diamond doors.
    People should wake up to the fact that the leaders of the ‘Leave’ campaign are rich elites themselves who do not mind the fact that they are impoverishing Britain and the poor will suffer most.
    Tusk’s wise words that ‘only together can we be truly independent’ is a totally down-to-earth assessment of today’s world. We shall see how sovereign we are when we negotiate trade with protectionist Trump.
    Redwood’s triumphalist speech is immature and divisive: how is he intending to reach out to the nearly half the population who want to remain, and how will he compensate their children and grand-children for their fall in living standards? We are leaving the largest and most prosperous trading block which is on our doorstep for uncertain trade deals with the US (a tiny % of our trade) and small populations (Australia). The politicians are jeopardising our future – if anyone has CERTAINTIES about who we will trade advantageously with in two years’ time, why are they not telling us? Pathetic and worrying! Clearly no-one on this site will agree but they are burying their heads in the sand.

    Reply We are not leaving Europe and will continue to trade with their internal market. We are leaving the EU

  37. Narrow Shoulders
    February 1, 2017

    Donald Tusk is a bit of a protectionist warmonger isn’t he?

  38. REPay
    February 1, 2017

    “the times of European unity have been the best times in all of Europe’s centuries long history”…

    When was there European “unity” or even peace? (Not even the Pax Romana had much peace and subjugated many peoples, never mind the Habsburgs or the expansionist French monarchs and Napoleon.) Even through the 1990’s we had conflict in Yugoslavia and, in part, because of the EU’s clumsy expansion we have recently had a small war in the Ukraine.

    The relative stability in Europe achieved when all the major nation states became democracies…not because of the EU, the old canard that we have been stopped from war by the EU is one of the most annoying arguments for it. Although I think we can give the desire to be in the EU as generally positive for countries escaping communism or dictatorship (Spain and Portugal.)

    The elites seem to not have much of a grasp of history or reality…you need former to enjoy the latter!

  39. James Matthews
    February 1, 2017

    Since comments here have strayed on to Trump can we all please note the YouGov poll which puts support for Trumps visit at 46% and opposition at 36%. I wonder if the BBC will give it a tenth of the coverage they have devoted to anti-Tump petition.

  40. rick hamilton
    February 2, 2017

    The EU arch-federalist and former PM of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt has been interviewed on BBC’s Hard Talk.

    Remarkably, he concedes that the EU is not working. His answer to that is more EU, more integration, more centralised financial control, their own military and no doubt more people like him calling the shots. About as far from the rising tide of popular discontent as it is possible to get.

    No wonder Nigel Farage calls him a dangerous (etc ed).

  41. J.White
    February 4, 2017

    They just don’t get it do they, it’s like they have put their fingers in theirs going la all la can’t hear you!! It’s that childish. We ( the public) certainly did not sign up for policy like integration only to trade. Is it any wonder the respect for parliament is at an all time low. As for EU it’s only the elites that gain anything and I am sure a lot of MPs ignoring the will of the people is because they want in on the gravy train! Closer union will just cause revolution in the end the time of being ruled by undemocractic elites has to end. All the opposition benches are undemocratic none of them are listening to the people. We knew and it was stated add nauseam that a vote to leave was a vote to leave the single market and customs union, and still we voted leave , it’s an insult to say we didn’t know what we were voting for. . I and I am sure many others did their homework of how it all started ,how we got involved and the EUs future plans. I didn’t like any of what I read! Now we have EU trying to bully us, the Labour Party, The Liberals (I refuse to call them democrats) and the SNP all will cause problems with amendments next week. They will do anything to delay or block. Then next the unelected House of Lords with their amendments it’s so frustrating!! I am so glad I can count on my MP. Thank you Mr Redwood.

  42. J Leslie Buchanan
    February 4, 2017

    I love John Redwood’s scathing use of “the elites” in so much of his commentary. As a privately educated graduate of two Oxford Colleges, and a Fellow of a third, a former Cabinet minister and current MP, can he explain what comprises the elite? An unemployed graduate of a state comprehensive living in a council flat?

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