The Malta Summit

Today the EU  Heads of state and government will meet in Malta. Their background text will be the pessimistic and alarmist letter from Mr Tusk that we talked about on Wednesday.

The meeting will mainly be concerned with strengthening the EU’s external borders, with special emphasis on the problems of Libya. There are in the EU’s view too many migrants coming across the sea from Libya. The EU wishes to work with the Libyan authorities – to the extent that there are authorities in charge there – to reduce the flows. The EU may also wish to beef up its naval force, though so far this has been used to offer safe transit to the EU for those who have taken to the seas in dangerous and overloaded boats and got into trouble. The EU will wish to take stronger action against people smugglers, though that too will require co-operation with governments on the African continent.

All this illustrates the cruel dilemma of Mr Tusk’s letter. He does not wish the EU to give concessions to people he calls populists or to political parties that challenge the elite view of the EU. Yet he feels the need to hold a summit largely devoted to the populist issue of trying to reduce the flow of migrants and to strengthen the EU’s external borders.  He is ambiguous about the elite themselves, saying they genuflect too far towards populists, yet saying they are losing faith in the democracy which is driving the populist movements. I guess Mrs Merkel felt the need to change her permissive immigration policy owing to the pressure of public opinion. Does Mr Tusk think this was the wrong thing to do?

Important though Mr Tusk is within the EU, he is but the servant of the Council which is made up of the Heads of state and government. If they say they wish to shift policy in the so called populist direction, he has to allow them an agenda to do so. It will  be fascinating to see what emerges from their consideration yet again of migration and borders.

I do hope they take up the UK’s request to lift the uncertainty they have created for British citizens living in other EU countries. If they just agree they are all welcome to stay, the UK can confirm the same for all EU citizens legally settled in the UK. It is the right and decent thing to do, so why won’t they do it? I am sure Mrs May will ask them again. I thought civilised values were part of their idea of the EU, but they are  not showing them on this matter.

The later afternoon session will be for the EU 27 only. They plan to discuss how to celebrate the 6oth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which they think the UK could not help them with. It will be fascinating to see what celebration they want to hold, and what they think are their main achievements to trumpet.

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59 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    The 27 headed EU is so slow, cumbersome, sclerotic and infected with group think that very little will change I suspect.

    Outside the UK can be far more nimble, flexible and pro business, the economy and can act in the interests of UK residents. All we need is May to stop her daft socialism and become a real Conservative.

  2. alte fritz
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    My 60th birthday was profoundly depressing. With luck, the downward slope may be gentle, but one has surmounted the top of the hill. The end is in sight.

    The EU may feel that too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Never mind, cheer yourself up with free prescriptions, a senior persons discount rail card and a free bus pass too in London or Wales.

      • helen jones
        Posted February 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        nope you cant get any of that till you actually get your state pension

    • agricola
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      As an ex mountaineer let me assure you there is always another summit. In the hope that you are still physically and mentally capable of new challenges , get out there and find one. It will get you thinking positively and hopefully lift the depression.

      At this point in time I have no idea what the EU feels beyond a desire for self aggrandizement. They have distanced themselves from the people they purport to serve thereby ensuring their own demise. You might think the advent of Brexit and the Donald would cause them to ask questions of themselves, but to date it is business as usual.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Altefritz, you’re not talking about the calming embrace of death, surely? For you I hope not. For the EU I hope so, so that Europe may live.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Such a sad post. fritz. The end is nowhere in sight, this should be (if you have enough money to live on) the very best of your life, free from most of the family ties and if you can retire or look forward retirement, believe me the best is yet to come, except for a few aches and pains, but then there are many younger people with far worse.

      As for the EU, I would agree, it’s lived out its useful purpose and is now causing its members pain. When they ‘celebrate’ the 60th anni of the T.o.R. I wonder where they will send the bill? I bet we chip in, daft lot that we are.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Deary me. I’m 72 but I look to the future with hope and optimism. It would be better to be 60 to enjoy more years of freedom but at least I am able feel free again after enduring nearly 45 years in a system I opposed, as did Mr Redwood from all those years ago.

      Keep on keepin’ on. Or KBO.

    • hilltop
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t look forward or back. Loads to think and do today.

    • getahead
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      “the downward slope may be gentle,”

      Fritz, the downward slope starts gently but accelerates as time goes by. Life is too long as a child and too short as an old ‘un.

    • stred
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 3:47 am | Permalink

      But not as depressing as it will be on your 70th or 80th, especially when your family decides to have a celebration. Suggest leaving your dosh to a political party that annoys them.

      • hefner
        Posted February 5, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Leaving money to a party! Are you for real? Is that your solution to deal with some family problems? I pity you, really.

  3. Mick
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/762495/Brexit-Theresa-May-legal-challenge-Single-Market-Justice-campaign-High-Court-David-Davis
    Do these people want a civil war, because believe me that’s what will happen if the people are not listen to, these city slickers or what ever do not know what they will unleash if they try and keep us in the eu, most of these arguments stem from the London bubble but there are a lot more of us outside in the rest of GB, so just shut it and except the June 23rd vote Muppets

  4. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    It’s all so painful–I wonder if I am alone in not thinking much of the confusion between “the values of the EU” and the EU (structure etc) itself in a letter from EU types to other EU types trying to block the appointment of Trump’s new Ambassador to the EU. Whether there should even be such a thing is of course another story–maybe Trump will show them who’s boss and simply not bother.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I guess if we are excluded from the talks about the 60th celebration, we will not be asked to make a financial contribution to it.

    As I have said many times before, we should have escorted the boats back to North Africa to show such efforts were worthless, instead we gave them free transport into the Eu which encouraged more.
    Thus we created a people traffickers dream scenario.

    Helping finance and police safe havens in or near the troubled areas should have been the simple and logical policy of the EU.

  6. Mark B
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . . with special emphasis on the problems of Libya.

    Which would never have been a problem had we left things a lone ! 🙁

    The EU may also wish to beef up its naval force, though so far this has been used to offer safe transit to the EU . . .

    A ferry service by another name. Paid for by the tax payer. These people, once picked up, should be sent straight back. This, and only this, will discourage others.

    The EU is facing a serious threat to its existence. And that comes in the form of elections in Holland, France, Germany and possibly Italy as well. All four countries form the nucleus of the EU. They are founder members and, if the populist / democracy loving parties do well, or even win out-right, then its game over for the EU. It is that serious for them.

    There has never been a better time to be a Eurosceptic 🙂

  7. zorro
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Let us hope that we insist on a refund or hold back some money for being excluded from the afternoon meeting. Absolutely no reason to continue contributing if we are now not being treated as full members.

    zorro

  8. stred
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It is unlikely that Donald Trusk and his highly paid colleagues will actually do anything about Mrs Merkels guests and the thousands waiting to be picked up by EU navies, ferried to Italy and sent north to make their fortune or not. The weather looks sunny in Malta. Presumably the leaders did not share an economy flight and dumped a maximum amount of their precious CO2 into the atmosphere.

    They will be aware that any plans to send economic migrants home, as suggested by the president of Nigeria when he came to Brussels, will be illegal. Ex-commissioner Peter Sutherland made it clear that economic migrants are refugees as declared by UN laws. He should know as he worked there too. And of course Deuchebank and the others think migration is benefit to the economy, while Lord Kerr (the Scotch one) thinks they raise our intelligence levels. Nice jolly though.

  9. SM
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I would suggest the most honest way of celebrating the Treaty of Rome’s 60th anniversary would be to stop the insane, costly and fractious issue of transporting the EU Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I see Mr Verhofstadt is complaining about the “outrageous malevolence” shown by President Trump in choosing his EU ambassador – similar to the outrageous malevolence shown by the European Parliament in appointing Mr Verhofstadt as their Brexit negotiator ?

    The hypocrisy of the Left is on full display at the moment. For example over the past few days the Guardian has been full of criticism of the judge who is Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court based on his (assumed) political beliefs, whereas a few weeks earlier they were saying that the Daily Mail criticism of our own Supreme Court judges based on their (assumed) political beliefs was an absolute disgrace and a threat to democracy. Which is it ?

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Whatever Tusk says he is speaking for Merkel. Just how are they going to strengthen the external borders whilst using various navies as a defacto taxi service.
    I like the report that they want the EU flag on soccer kit.
    Deluded or what.

  12. Bob
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The BBC should be asking why British people were lied to about the contents of the Treaty of Rome.

    The press and broadcast media were complicit; as there was no internet in 1975 people relied of them to expose official wrongdoing.

    We were told that it was a common market, with no political ramifications or threat to sovereignty, and that was a bare faced lie.

  13. Peter Wood
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    The issue you raise on reciprocity for EU citizens in the UK, and vice versa is the one that makes my blood boil. For MONTHS our government has been asking for this slice of human decency, and all we get is a slap in the face from the EU. If this is how the EU seeks to deal with us then I fear there will be very little that can be achieved until the commercial forces come into effect. I hope Mrs May will not waste her time further on the EU until we send in our departure notice.

  14. a-tracy
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Your government really let the UK down John, giving up our rightful holding of the rotating presidency. When instead we get a man who is the leader of a country with a population half the size of Northern Ireland, representing less than 500,000 people dictating terms and threats to us “Speaking ahead of the summit Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Council, issued a stark warning to Britain. He said: “I do believe the UK is in a very delicate situation, right now.” This unbalanced European council is one of the reasons I wanted out.

    Angela Merkel can change the rules at will in Europe witness her no acceptance of family members for two years, how does she get away with this when everything we try to do is overruled. We are already Junior Partners Mr Muscat and pay a fortune to be disrespected. Then we get traitors in our own Country stirring up handcuffs for us with the EEA court case this morning – we need to be determining our future in a position of strength not in a position of people trying to nobble us before we go into talks, if this carries on PM May make this real public knowledge, force your ministers to discuss this on every program in every newspaper in every twitter link how we are being thwarted and run an election.

  15. a-tracy
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    “They plan to discuss how to celebrate the 6oth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, ”

    Does this occur after we leave or within the next two years? Because if it is why the hell are we excluded from this meeting. Do we not have to contribute financially to the celebrations do we get a rebate. This treatment whilst we are fully paid up members is really beginning to grate.

  16. DaveK
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Whatever they decide for the celebration, we’ll get an invoice.

  17. margaret
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We could celebrate our own views of the 60th anniversary Treaty of Rome . They could perhaps get a few good ideas from us.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The Malta meeting is a bit of a farce . Migration into Europe is not controllable and the present proposal to create some sort of a deal with Libya is laughable . Trump has shown that there is no point in having a week-kneed approach to immigration ; making a stand and closing doors is the only practical way of control . Merkel and those like her have created mayhem throughout the EU ; her “open border ” approach has driven a fatal wedge into any sort of unity . Malta must now look carefully at its own tourist business ; as a family we have rejected the possibility of a holiday there this year .

  19. Atlas
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    As far as getting out of the clutches of the EU elite is concerned I am suspicious of the ‘Transitional’ arrangements mentioned in the White Paper – these seem to let the EU manipulate us rather in the manner that Norway and Switzerland are manipulated.

    A ‘clean’ break is what is required.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 5, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      You’re right to be suspicious. But the White Paper says, page 65 here:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/589191/The_United_Kingdoms_exit_from_and_partnership_with_the_EU_Web.pdf

      “The UK will not, however, seek some form of unlimited transitional status.”

      My understanding is that this rules out any attempt to remain in the EEA.

      On other hand, it does not rule out the inclusion of time-limited transitional provisions in the withdrawal agreement(s), providing what the White Paper describes as “a phased process of implementation”.

      If one of those transitional provisions said in effect:

      “Existing arrangements on X shall be maintained for two years after this treaty has come into force.”

      so allowing enough time for all concerned to make necessary legal and practical adjustments, then unless it was agreed and stated otherwise then I would expect the UK to remain subject to EU law on X for those two years.

      But not subject to EU law on Y and Z, for which no transitional provisions were included in the withdrawal agreement(s), so allowing the new arrangements to come into effect immediately when the agreement(s) came into force.

  20. The Great Ear
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I hear the Republic of South Africa or elements of it, is accusing the EU of dumping carcases of chickens, minus breasts, on its internal market and bankrupting farmers— throwing its workers out of a job.The EU has denied it and invited the farmers to talk about it

    So the ANC thought the former Apartheid Regime were eternal yakkety-yakkers! They’ll learn! They already are learning!

  21. Mitchel
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The Libyan situation is interesting.The UN approved “government”in the west,backed by the EU,NATO and the Qataris is crumbling;the military regime of General Haftar in the east which is now backed by Russia,Egypt and UAE is expanding the territory under it’s control and seeking to eradicate the Islamists rather than accommodate them in a settlement.What will the EU do?What will Trump do?Are we backing the wrong side again.

  22. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    (Lastly, i think one important reason why so many people are messed up – and some / many seriously messed up – is because they have experienced, from one degree or antoher, coldness and detachment and judgement from one or both parents as well as, perhaps, sibling rivalry including jealousy, sometimes intensely so, where family life has often been a strain as opposed to something positive and great – this seriously affects individuals but it also affects our country in terms of people not reaching their full potential, of psychological and health problems, stress, and so on, and the huge strain of this on the country’s time and resources – therefore the Conservative Party must address this question, and run the country more so that it is focused on the FAMILY – making life as easy for young people to start families with the security they need, as well as help those already on their way with children, and struggling etc ..).

  23. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Can’t imagine how John Redwood persuaded himself to be so restrained. Most of us could not be.

  24. Tad Davison
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Perhaps they want to celebrate all the jobs and prosperity they have created, the record levels of youth employment, and the glowing example of representative democracy that the EU is today, not to mention how their price-fixing and tariff policies have done an enormous amount to help those in third-world countries to extricate themselves from poverty.

    I could go on, but I think we can see the irony in all of that. Personally, I couldn’t care less if the whole thing disintegrates. I just cannot understand how or why these pro-EU people continually fail to see the true picture. They’re not just blinkered, they’re blind!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  25. forthurst
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    People smuggling across the Med is very much like terrorism in Syria. In both cases, the authorities pretend they are acting against it, whilst closetly encouraging it.

    uckily, the alt media is available to tell us what is actually happening giving us evidence based reporting of indisputable facts. Several NGOs are using hired sea going vessels to transport hundreds of thousands of sub-saharans across the Med; this is the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan
    in action. People smuggling across the Med would be extremely easy to stop, were there the will.

  26. Doug Powell
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    JR, I fear you will have a long wait for the EU do the decent thing by UK citizens living in the EU.
    It would, of course, be a win/win for the EU to guarantee rights of residency of UK nationals, which would then trigger a reciprocal arrangement for EU nationals living here. That would be an honourable and humanitarian decision by the EU for the benefit of its former countrymen. However, the EU Elite seems to want only vengeance, and to achieve that, it is willing to abandon its own citizens.

    The majority of UK nationals living in the EU are pensioners, who have decided to retire to sunnier climes. That means they TAKE their money with them via the pension.

    Only an idiot, or the EU Elite, would be dumb enough to believe that cash strapped Spain and Portugal, would be prepared to forego this most welcome income! And it wouldn’t stop there: future UK generations wishing to ‘retire to the sun’ would avoid going anywhere near EU. More potential income loss. Punitive action against UK nationals looks dumber by the minute!

    This bloody mindedness by EU reinforces my belief that our exit negotiations will be a waste of time. The EU will attempt to extend and pretend for years and years if we let them. And all that time we will still be at the paying in window! So, bite the bullet Mrs May, slap our non-negotiables on the table at the first meeting – if they are refused, go directly to the WTO.

  27. Original Richard
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    “It will be fascinating to see what emerges from their consideration yet again of migration and borders.”

    Yes, Mrs. Merkel has sunk the whole of the EU into a very big hole and the EU’s hyperbole over Mr. Trump’s temporary visa and immigration bans are making the hole even deeper.

    Unless Mrs. Merkel is removed from office by the German people at the forthcoming federal elections later this year it does not seem likely that effective action will be taken to permanently control the EU’s external borders.

    Fortunately we are leaving.

  28. rose
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The Swedish DPM and Foreign Minister this am was a real pill. She wants peace and prosperity but she doesn’t want to pay for it. She wants to spend the money on other things. Neither doese she wish to be agreeable to the two countries which can help guarantee her peace and prosperity. Instead she spoke in a menacing way of “solidarity” which she considers the UK to be excluded from. That is the EU at the moment in a nutshell.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I absolutely agree Rose, they want their cake and to eat it. It’s time it stopped what could we do if we halved our defence spending, maybe have some of the highly lauded (by the likes of the Guardian) benefits. NO we’ve had enough, we can’t see a GP when we need to. We can no longer get antibiotics in England even though we’re importing hundreds of new flu bugs that are taking us a month to recover from. Our hospital operations are being postponed whilst we’re treating every other Countries emergencies for free. Get a grip May no boarding a plane to the UK without a medical travel insurance card, just like Spain and others insist on. It is not the NHS position to be benevolent with our money, the British taxpayers contribution it isn’t actually free folks we’re paying more for less for us.

      Merkel drops in new rules when it suits her, e.g. no family members for two years, lets drop a few of our own restrictions in to favour our own paying contributors, it is our NHS not the EUs or the World Health Service.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    “The later afternoon session will be for the EU 27 only.”

    Please could the government make a public statement now that it has consented to any such reasonable use of EU resources by the EU 27 without the UK being involved, rather than waiting until its lawyers have to explain it in an Irish court.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/26/tackling-brexit-irish-court-long-shot-article-50

    “To answer this, the applicants say they have a third question, which must be brought outside the UK. This is the allegation that Ireland, the defendant in the Maugham case, behaved illegally (along with the other non-UK member states of the EU) either by refusing to negotiate with the UK until Britain formally gives notice (the argument being that Britain’s giving informal notice was enough) or else (if that’s not correct) by excluding the UK from European council meetings held since the referendum.”

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    What is wrong with competition in UK banking JR you should know?

    Multiple letters this morning tell me the Co-op bank are lowering interest rates to 0.03% on deposits from £0-500,000 (unsecured). Yet if you want to borrow for a property or a business it is hard to get much below 3.5% + base + fee and costs, and that very well secured. This even when the borrowers are a much lower risk that the bank.

    Lending the money at 142 times their costs of borrowing (and even then reluctantly) what is going on. Where are the competition authority, the BoE and the regulators? The banks are still getting away with murder.

  31. NickC
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    “The later afternoon session will be for the EU 27 only.”

    Why is it for the EU 27 only? Are we not fully paid up members (for the moment)?

    If the EU 27 are going to exclude the UK on the basis that we have effectively left, then the UK should begin openly conducting trade negotiations with other countries, and arranging policies to suit ourselves out of the EU – for example announcing UK policy in our own fishing waters. Or perhaps Mrs Miller can take the EU to court for not obeying its own rules?

    • Andy
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      The EU has not received any Article 50 notification so excluding the UK is illegal under their own treaties. We need to retaliate and withhold payments and as you say start formal trade talks with other nations. I’m fast forming the view that we should serve the A50 notice and leave immediately – the EU will not negotiate in any honest way.

    • Know-dice
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely…

      Until Article 50 is triggered, Brexit is totally an internal UK matter…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 4, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      As mentioned above, in an attempt to involve the ECJ and create more delay some diehard Remoaners are taking the Irish government to court over that.

      But I recall that back in 2011 -2012 Cameron vetoed a new EU treaty that Merkel wanted, and to circumvent his veto she reacted with the intergovernmental “fiscal pact”, and initially the UK government said that it would not allow the use of EU institutions for the purposes of that agreement:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16057252

      “The use of EU institutions to police the new treaty is also controversial for the UK government. In December Mr Cameron said the European Court of Justice and the European Commission could only carry out policies applying to all 27 EU states.”

      But then:

      “Now he says he will not block the use of EU institutions in the new mechanism, even though he has “legal concerns”.”

      There was a lot of rather inconclusive discussion about those “legal concerns”, at least some of which was summarised in this report:

      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/RP12-14

      I recollect one general argument that under ECJ case law a group of member states could make use of EU resources, and including for certain types of activity not explicitly covered by the EU treaties, but only provided none of the other member states objected.

      The last thing we need is for the ECJ to get involved, and it would be better if the UK government kept the lid firmly on that can of worms.

  32. ian
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    One might of hoped they would of been talking about the wars ending in the middle east after 14 years and getting back to normal now with rebuilding programs but maybe that to much to ask for, when dealing with people of little intelligence one supposes they will carry on as before, making their subjects lifes hell, as they have been doing for the last 26 years
    and just have glorified piss up with fireworks.

  33. BOF
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon,

    ‘The EU may also wish to beef up its naval force, though so far this has been used to offer safe transit to the EU for those who have taken to the seas in dangerous and overloaded boats and got into trouble. The EU will wish to take stronger action against people smugglers, though that too will require co-operation with governments on the African continent.’

    Unfortunately this has resulted in many many more taking to the rickety vessels, resulting in many thousands of deaths, Much of this suffering could have been prevented by depositing all boats and migrants back on the North African beaches where they came from. Also it would have resulted in the drastic reduction in the evil trade of the people smugglers.

    This would be the true humanitarian solution.

  34. murray geddes
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The EU works very slowly.
    It will them 10 years to agree
    on how to celebrate the 60 years.
    Do they all have to agree or is it
    QMV?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

  35. Don Dutta
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree with Mr.Redwood. The decent thing to do is to grant UK nationals living abroad their right to remain in the EU countries and we should reciprocate for EU citizens settled in the UK legally. Mr Tusk, though, seems hell bent in having a confrontation- which is only going to make matters worse for everyone! For once, can he not be constructive and get to a solution quickly that works for all?
    Libya is a disaster and EU needs to address the Root Causes and not a Containment Action with an elastic band that is about to rupture!

  36. Nigel
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Today’s comments from various leaders, make the UK look like a ship leaving a sinking rat.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I know my layman’s advice is considered worthless, but in view of today’s proceedings in the High Court I will offer a repeat of what I said on January 24th:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/01/24/industrial-strategy/#comment-853425

    “… the government’s Bill should expressly state:

    1. Its provisions apply notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972.

    2. Authorisation to serve the notice to leave the EU shall imply authorisation to also leave the EEA.

    3. In accordance with the legislation establishing devolved authorities they shall not be permitted to impede or prevent withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the EEA.

    4. Nothing in this Act may be questioned in any court in the UK or anywhere else in the world.”

    OK, maybe 3. is no longer strictly necessary, or alternatively maybe there should be something to forestall claims that Gibraltar should have a veto?

    Plus I will repeat my plea of a few days earlier:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/01/21/new-departures-in-foreign-policy/#comment-853086

    “For God’s sake, JR, don’t let him muck up because government lawyers say that it will be OK, just as they previously said that the referendum Act was OK.”

    It is still possible for the government to propose amendments to its own Bill.

  38. Caterpillar
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting that Muscat was reported to have commented that UKmust have a fair deal but inferior to full membership. But, presumably by EU definition, any deal must be inferior otherwise why have would the 27 wish to continue with single currency, customs union, free movement, … The 27 can continue to enjoy/move towards these superior advantages.

  39. rose
    Posted February 3, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Another worrying ploy, this time by Guy Verhofstadt: a petition to the EU parliament is going round for people to sign up for EU individual associate membership in exchange for “special rights to live and work in the EU”. The remainiacs are signing in droves, not understanding:

    1 This is a serious revenue raiser. The Verhofstadt tax may well start low (they are even pretending there may not be a charge at all) but will soon climb. It will be handed on to our descendants who won’t be able to go and live and work in the EU, as we have always done long before the EEC, without paying it. As no-one else in the world will be paying it, our descendants will be in the same position as English students in Scotland. People from Africa and Asia will obviously not be charged.

    2 It is an underhand way of having a second referendum and will entice gullible teenagers. It will divide us as a country and undermine the government’s negotiating position.

    3 The EU has been refusing to discuss foreign residents’ security of rights, here and in the EU, on the grounds they won’t discuss till article 50 has been triggered. Are they happy to “negotiate” this in an underhand way before article 50 has been triggered so that
    a) they can present the government with a huge list of refuseniks
    b) they can charge the British EU residents the tax too?

  40. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    In the calm before Brexit, the EU had a plan: The Five Presidents’ Report for completing monetary and economic union.

    I suggest the EU should celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome by clapping itself on the back, saying it has done a great job in creating common understandings in Europe, showing that nations can co-operate and complete peacefully, and also demonstrating that this bold experiment – a world first – in supra-national technocratic government also demonstrates the limitations of this approach. So well done for the first 60 years.

    Turning to the future we see that further development and progress needs us to trust again national democracy, to free nations to act responsibly in their interest, to let them go as adults to realise their full potential. We have always promised freedom but we have instead imposed the yoke of foreign rule on all the peoples of our member states. Therefore we will fundamentally reform the EU to enable and encourage cooperation between independent sovereign nations in Europe. We will take the opportunity of the treaty changes planned in the Five President’s report from 2019 to start restoring competences to those national governments that wish to resume their sovereignty, and to enable those who wish for political union to continue that path.
    Furthermore, we shall restore the supremacy of national law to all member states and abandon our expansionist and military ambitions.
    May the next 60 years bring all of you good fortunes and happiness.

  41. Steve
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The EU clearly stated that they wouldn’t discuss the position of EU citizens continuing to live in other EU countries until Article 50 was issued, once issued they surely will.

  42. Mark B
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Still no post up from me yesterday ?

  43. J.White
    Posted February 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel again has refused to give any assurances on citizens. I am dismayed and annoyed by Labour etc saying she must unilaterally give the assurance to EU citizens living here. Mrs May has done on the proviso it is reciprocated for out citizens, this seems to be not good enough for the opposition. What will they do if we give EU citezens right to remain now and all or some of the other 27 refuse our citizens. How would they explain to our citizens that EU nationals are a higher priority than they are. I don’t think it would go down very well. They should go and harangue Merkel etc instead.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by Fraser McFarland on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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